This past December, I was finally home for the holidays, after missing two years of the holiday season with my family and friends in Toronto. In fact, in the past two years, I have only been home for a total of three times and each of those three times, there's been an emerging trend: "When did my parents get so cool?"
Hurricane Matthew has put the lives of millions of children in Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic in danger. In Haiti, it is estimated that half a million children live in the most affected areas, particularly in Grand-Anse and the South. But words alone cannot demonstrate the destruction.
I was two months short of being 12. I went to bed quite late, only to be startled shortly afterwards by my mother. She was attempting to wake my father. She was yelling, "The war has started!" Years later I can still clearly recall the fright with which I got up. The haunting sound of the sirens still rings in my ears.
Parents model behaviour to their children, and children watch very closely. My dad taught me not to give money on the street, but if someone asked, we should treat them with complete, sincere dignity and take the time to offer them whatever it is they need. It can be inconvenient -- taking a stranger out for lunch and hearing their story, spending an extra 5 minutes buying someone groceries, giving someone our own mittens in the dead of winter, or perhaps giving someone a ride that is out of our way.
We all know that consistently staring at a screen for long periods of time can have short-term and long-term impacts on our eyes. When our kids are young we can control their screen time, but as our children age, we have less power over the time they spend on screen-based devices. The question is: How can we protect our kids' eyes?
It has been one year since South Sudan signed a peace deal to end 20-months of conflict in the world's newest country. But with renewed violent clashes in July and mass internal displacement, long-term peace and stability remains uncertain. These South Sudanese children share what peace means to them.
Have we ourselves ever fallen victim to the allure that devices and screens provide? I lie if I fail to answer in the affirmative. Of course, our family battles the daily urge to reach for our screens, the lifeline connecting the isolated to the seemingly infinite. But every once in a while, there is something greater that entices.
In public health, infant mortality is often viewed as a marker for a society's development, and Manitoba consistently falls to the bottom. Poverty, limited education, historical trauma and colonization, to name just a few factors -- can be linked to both Manitoba's high rates of infant mortality and kids in care -- and puts children at risk for other negative health and social outcomes.
As our lives became more hectic and lifestyles more busy, the traditional model of family also shifted. No longer were women staying at home, living out their lives as "domestic goddesses," and increasing numbers of men were shown to be not particularly handy when it came to making and fixing things, and that was okay. But now, our kids don't have those skills at all. What happened?
Our son used to have a really hard time with summer. It was so bad many years ago that I was scared that I would begin to hate summer, my most favorite time of the year. The solution for our family was gradually introducing my son to all the wonderful things summer could hold, but on his terms. This way he had control, and slowly our family started enjoying this time of year.