his year has already become the worst year since 1945 for children who have been displaced and forced to flee as refugees, and for children who had their schools attacked and destroyed. Canadians should know about these crises, their impacts on children, and how youth can be better protected and educated in emergency situations.
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.
On September 13, 1976, I became one of the "Disappeared" in Argentina's Dirty War and I became a witness and a voice for those who could no longer speak. The search for truth, justice and memory can be a painful one and it is never easy work but I have seen the rewards. This is why I passionately believe in the work of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The reparations of relations between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples need allies. Allies that support and respect differing worldviews. This is about nation building.
Developing independence is part of growing up, and it's something that young people should be encouraged to develop at every age. Safety should always be a priority for parents, but kids' maturity should also be taken into consideration as well. When you show young people that you trust them, it helps kids to trust themselves.
B.C.'s Charter for Public Education is a public owned document, which stands as a testament to everything we as a community want and expect from our public school system. It is a document long forgotten somewhere between the never ending war against our public schools, funding cuts and dragged out court cases.
If there was ever a time to educate our children, outside of the classroom, now is the time. Our earth is in crisis, the global population is expanding by approximately 80 million people a year, poverty is increasing dramatically, and we don't have enough fresh water for about 20 per cent of the population.
In 2010, our five-year-old daughter, Lily, was diagnosed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Whenever Lily was released from the hospital, and the weather cooperated, we headed outside. We really started to depend on these adventures, these outdoor excursions, to get us through the bad days and help Lily along her road to recovery. According to the National Environmental Educational Foundation, exposure to nature can reduce stress levels by as much as 28 per cent in children. Health benefits of nature may include reduced anxiety and depression, increased energy and immunity, decreased stress and improved mental health.
With a federal election on the horizon, certain high level policy topics are bound to make the headlines beyond the personalities of the political leaders: the economy, energy prices, jobs prospects even climate change. But what seems surprisingly absent from the political hustings so far has been a fulsome discussion of the health of everyday Canadians.
I don't want to read any more arguments about who has it harder, whose work is "real work," who is contributing more to society, or who is doing a better job ensuring her kids become stable, non-homicidal adults. I'm proposing a new form of Internet literature, where one group of moms singles out another group of moms for a job well done.
What I do not regret is this: my struggle shaped me, and changed me, and helped me become the person I am now. That is, a woman that seeks progress, not perfection. A woman who knows that no matter how far down you go, you can come back, a mother that has earned her way back into this precious boy's life, and learns every day how to parent better.
Selfish is the ultimate insult you could call a mother. It cuts to the very core of what being a mother is, which is about giving. We give our bodies, we give our hearts, we give up careers, we lose friendships, we retire goals. We do this because the moment a baby is placed in our arms nothing else matters but the health and happiness of that little soul. We would sacrifice our own lives for our children. But who is looking out for the mother's soul?
The Syrian conflict is entering its fifth horrific year of escalating violence, with little sign of ending. More than 200,000 people have been killed, 10,000 of them children. Today over 12.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 5.6 million children. Almost 11 million Syrians have been displaced within and outside Syria, including 3.3 million refugees in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. More than half of the refugee population are children, and 114,000 children have been born as refugees.
"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.
I don't want to tell you the story of my drunkenness. You've heard it before, or seen it before, or a version of it. It is not unique. I don't have a tale to weave for you of bizarre miracles and angels and heavenly choirs. I want to tell you of simple amazement. I fell, upwards. I fell into a life, once I stopped shaking and twitching and seeing things and vomiting. This has not just been a sobriety lesson, but a life one. At school, with loved ones, even (perhaps especially and most simply) on my writing journey -- honesty, being open and willing to accept some guidance goes a long way.
WHO recommends vitamin A supplements to improve child survival. Vitamin A supplements have been shown to reduce the number of deaths from measles by 50 per cent, in populations with vitamin A deficiency. For children who are vitamin A deficient or undernourished, it would seem a simple solution -- immunization against measles and better nutrition -- to save lives.
You're finally out the newborn stage, adjusting to your new normal (and maybe even fitting into your pre-pregnancy jeans). Then, seemingly out of nowhere, your sleepy, somewhat predictable little one turns into a fussy, four-month-old all-night party animal. Welcome to the infamous four month sleep regression.
There are no polarities when it comes to twins. No "good" one vs. "bad one;" no angelic child versus evil spawn, no duelling forces, vying for the top spot in their respective categories. There are just kids, warts, scabbed knees and all. Though the mythology and expectation of opposite-minded twin siblings is appealing to some, it is, fortunately, untrue.
Allow your children time to grieve and remain open to ongoing conversations after the big announcement. If your children are asking you questions, this is positive. Encourage further conversations and be open to their questions, thoughts, and feelings. You may want to consider setting up a time for the children to talk with a therapist at some point.
Something is amiss in Canada. A 2014 UNICEF report compared the health and development of children in Canada with 28 other wealthy nations. In spite of being a G8 country, Canada's children rank number 17th, a status that has not budged in the last 10 years. The question is, why are these problems still so widespread?