A view from Dan Brooke

Channel 4's Brooke: Family is my secret work weapon

My two boys, aged ten and eight, are my secret work weapon - the best thing that has ever happened to me.

I’m divorced so I only have G&F half the week, but that hour with them before breakfast inspires a day of productive joy at the office. 

Indeed, my working life is constantly enriched by reminders of their vitality: their immense capacity to conjure up change out of nothing; that life is fleeting and must be both savoured and cracked on with; and that, whatever office nonsense we occasionally face, "it’s only a job". Not to forget my daily reminder of the power of visual communication, delivered via the 4pm school-gates-open emoji-text!

And that’s despite the abuse that sometimes comes with the territory. Last year, they started calling me a "nube". I’ve no idea what this means, though urbandictionary.com says it is "someone so pitiful and idiotic that they have not even the meagre skills to be titled a noob". 

Like all kids, their creativity is boundless, whether it’s dressing up for and greeting my 83-year-old dad with the words "Hi, I’m Batboy and this is my friend, a country doctor"; connecting with their friends via Skype to play Ark: Survival Evolved; or just making up cheese(y) jokes (Q: What did the lonely cheese say to itself? A: Halloo me!). 

Of course, they have a straight-to-the-nervous-system way of nailing your character too, which is both delightful and discombobulating. People say you’re either creative or not. I believe everyone’s born creative but, too often, us parents unknowingly ween it out of our children from an early age. 

I’d like to have met Spike Milligan’s mum and dad. He must have roamed very free. Boundaries are essential, of course, especially where other people are concerned. But it’s important to keep boundaries around what needs tight boundaries.

Dan Brooke is the chief marketing and communications officer at Channel 4