I remember the exact day I met my parents. Not many people can say that. It was on my 10th birthday. February 23, 1979, to be precise. Danielle, the Social Worker in charge of my case since I had become an orphan four years earlier, drove me to a restaurant where she introduced me to a nice young couple. Today however, after a long and intense look into my past, the scene that took place some 35 years ago is a comforting memory not only because it coincides with the real beginning of my life, but because it also serves as a reminder of all that had to happen in the years before that meeting.
Anxiety is the number one mental health concern for children. Our children are growing up in a highly anxious world, surrounded by a massive amount of stimulation and information. Here are some practical and important tips to assist you with grounding your children in this anxious world, and helping them develop their self regulation capabilities.
Although the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child specifies that every child, everywhere, has the right to survive, grow and be protected from all forms of violence, a new report by UNICEF of 190 countries shows that emotional, physical, and sexual violence is "ever present" in children's lives.
A young reserve solider was shot and killed in our capital city of Ottawa by a gunman. Most of us are still reeling from this news and trying to make sense of what has happened today. But we also need to respond to our young people and help them understand what has occurred. There is much we will need to understand and process around this horrific event, but here are some tips to help you talk with your children right here and right now.
It was an ordinary summer day. People were milling on the main thoroughfare, bikes zig-zagging through traffic, cafés and pubs spilling onto the sidewalk, patrons sipping their way through a lazy Friday afternoon. We were ordinary that day too. Just another family, managing the hectic jumble of kids' lessons, bills, our careers, endless streams of birthday parties, too little sleep and the occasional date night out. But it was all shattered with a single word: autism.
Last spring, I joined my daughter Journey's fifth grade class as a volunteer on her field trip. I had the pleasure of watching a classmate approach Journey who was taking photos of a museum exhibit. The classmate suggested she turn off the camera flash; he was concerned that it could trigger one of her seizures. I was overcome with pride and appreciation for the caring, supportive community we have created in partnership with the school administration.
What divorcing spouses and partners don't realize is there are very real consequences of dysfunctional divorce that affect mental, emotional, and developmental well-being and behaviour of children. The effects of divorce trauma become more pronounced the longer a divorce drags on. And two or five years in the life of a child is a huge percentage of time.
A CBC investigation yesterday uncovered that 'deadbeat parents' in Canada collectively owe more than $3.7B in support. As a divorce lawyer for 20 years, it struck me that there is a lack of knowledge of how court-ordered support payments work. Here are three things to think about and two actions that you can take which should help Canadians understand spousal and child support a bit better, help you understand why the divorce support payments situation is such a mess, and help explain why it is not even worse.
As a mother, I have struggled with being labelled at times. Even so recently as last week, I denounced myself in conversation with my husband as being a helicopter parent, feeling defensive about my level of involvement in our children's lives. As a mom, I find myself consistently teaching, mentoring, coaching and loving our four.
I'm torn because my family always comes first, but I also have these ideas and opportunities and the iron is hot and I'm not getting any younger and this is my time, bitch. I'm riddled with guilt just typing that, because society and my upbringing and all that bullshit has programmed me to believe I'm a mother now, so I'm supposed to sacrifice my own dreams for everyone else's. But I'm determined to try my best to fuck that noise and do it all, even if I don't do any of it perfectly. I'd rather live with failure than regret.
This isn't just an American problem. Hundreds of thousands of Canadian children are growing up without enough. Low-income children, especially minorities and aboriginals, are growing up at an increased risk of preventable diseases -- diseases both classically medical and mental health related that arise as a result of their early living conditions and will affect us all. These numbers don't simply represent difficult childhoods; they mark a huge group of Canadians who are growing up without the supportive environments they need to develop into healthy adults.
No more hockey. No more swimming lessons. For 15,000 Thunder Bay families living in poverty, the proposed funding cuts in 2005 meant the end of the only affordable sports and recreation programs available to their children. The council debate was rancorous. The motion looked ready to pass. Then one councillor rose to remind his colleagues of their promise to the city's young: the Children's Charter.
The heavy academic pressures so common today raise back-to-school stress like never before -- and it's not just high school seniors or university students who are feeling it right now. Parents can do a lot to help ease their children's anxieties around school. The key is to really listen, and let your child open up about their fears.
On the first day of school when the class list was posted, I was shocked to discover that my son had absolutely zero former classmates in his class. None. Not one. Across the playground, there were quite a few other kids in tears after discovering that their best or closest friends would not be in their new class, either.