Typical milestones are not the ones I celebrate with excited texts to my husband and best friends, or give my kids gleeful celebratory hugs over. In my own experience -- and I think that four kids under the age of seven counts as experience -- these are the baby and childhood milestones that are really worth celebrating.
Although we have more leisure time in our lives, we are having less fun. We could reap the benefits throughout our lives if we would give ourselves permission to indulge in some childlike fun. Realizing that I might not have been taking fun seriously, I'm committed to now share freely my own particular brand of fun without hesitation with anyone who asks.
For the most part, Hailey is just like any other seven-year-old. However, this past December, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Hailey's wish is to have a pop-up camper so that she can go camping with her family and friends and play in the woods, stare up at the stars, stay up past her bedtime.
UNICEF recently released a report card ranking child well-being in the 29 richest countries on earth. Canada came 17th, placing us in the bottom half of the pack on factors such as child poverty, emotional well-being and life satisfaction. It's time to have a frank conversation about how our country approaches early childhood.
"Stop the car!" My son's shout panicked both my friend, driving, and I, fearful we were about to collide with something or someone. Liam pointed out the window at a women who had just walked past us, struggling to carry a laughably insurmountable load of grocery bags and boxes. "I need to help her," said Liam. And he did.
Summer is a time for play, and kids know it. The pressure is off, and it's time to relax! Homework and tests are replaced with bike-riding and swimming. If you're lucky, you even get to go to camp. What the kids don't realize is, there's as much to learn at camp as at school, and those lessons can't be taught with books. What they're learning is how to deal with life.
Being a good parent isn't always about supporting your child in their endeavours no matter what. Was it better that we showed our children our support even though we knew the probable outcome, or would it have been a more prudent decision to have been honest with them from the outset, saving them from wasting time and worse -- the inevitable disappointment of failure?
The trend towards kids having rigorous schedules is a relatively new phenomenon. Perhaps a result of the pervasive guilt that so many of us share because of our need to work longer hours, we've put our kids in as many lessons as possible, some for practical reasons (after-school lessons and sports practice keeps our kids busy until we can leave work and pick them up) and some...well...not so much.
The message that we're sending to our children is loud and clear: we want you to excel at sports, so you'd better do it. We want to see you become an athletic star, regardless of your interest (and often skill level). Until we let go of our collective dreams of athletic super-stardom, of touchdowns and home runs, we will continue to negatively affect our children's psyches.
Looking back at this old life of mine, I realize how many of these fears, both big and small, were unfounded. But life as it is now, is seen through a cancer survivor's lens. Although I will be first to admit that there is the odd time when I have to stare fear in the eye, and fight to back it down, I fear much less today. Cancer has taught me a few things, and I don't scare easy.
Planning a vacation when you have children is almost always a headache-filled endeavour. But for divorced parents, such headaches can quickly become migraines, as they attempt to navigate through the provisions of separation agreements and court orders -- sometimes with the costly involvement of lawyers and, in some cases, the court. Here are some tips to avoid these pitfalls!
I have a recurring dream regarding vacations. They're always so perfect, so calm. But just like in real life, I'm constantly awoken from these visions of peace by, I'm sorry to say, my children. Let's face it, if you have kids, you're never going to have a dream vacation if you bring them along for the ride. So why not just leave them at their grandparents'?
Porn is out there, it's accessible, and it's here to stay. Sex and porn are so inextricably linked that it's as impossible to imagine the world without the one as it is without the other. The problem with most porn is that it reflects a weird world of hairlessness, bleaching athleticism and diminutive speech. It's not real, and this can lead to some serious social problems for teens.
I'm sometimes known as the Queen of Quinoa for my healthy eating habits. So you can imagine the shock on a patient's face when I bumped into them at Costco's snack bar where I was face deep in the most delicious beef hot dog, bun oozing with Heinz ketchup, French's mustard and Bick's green relish. Oh, and I was also inhaling a side of fries.
I feel clever because I took something that an ordinary person would throw away, or eat and resent because the yellow/peach coloured apples were mealy. But as applesauce, those pathetic specimens are going to be so good that I might even lick the bowl, and because it's just me here, nobody will know the difference.