Canadians are feeling the penny pinch. According to a whopping 43 per cent of Canadian parents view back-to-school as a financial burden on their families. To help ease the pain class is in session and with a little savvy spending from my top five tips, your dollar will be stretching further this season!
There are truckloads of information about how to prep your children on how to cope when they go to sleepaway camp (or when they are away from you for a stretch of time). Where are the helpful hints and tips for the parents who are left behind? How do parents cope when they are faced with a very sudden (albeit temporary) empty nest?
Parenting is, of course, the most consuming, challenging and exhausting task that I have ever involved myself in. Some days I ask: "What were we thinking???" And on the other days, I just don't ask. Speaking of "we," I readily admit that marriage is a very close second in this listing of difficult things known to humankind.
Why not show the seedy, disgusting underbelly and sickening adverse effects drugs have on us feeble humans? Images of a deviated septum, busted arm veins, chronic bleeding noses, rotten teeth, fetal effects, undernourished human bodies, etc. Horrifying images of what drug use has on the human body. Visceral images that make one think "that's repulsive, I'll never do that." We usher in a movement that illustrates and encourages dialogue about the revolting face of what drugs do: destroy the human spirit, decay our bodies, ruin families, and ultimately lead us to an early grave. There is NO glamour in drug use, no matter what Kanye is singing about.
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.
Care packages are little packages of goodies and gifts that parents, friends or family put together and mail off to their little campers as reminders of home and to let them know we're thinking of them. However as many camps will tell you, parents often do not understand what is appropriate to send.
There will be lies, false claims and misrepresentations. There will be promises made that might not endure the test of time. Words spoken that will prove to be short-lived and disappointing. Arrangements agreed upon that will not necessarily be followed through. This is the reality of the passage of time and growing up.
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.