I don't talk about religion in our home. Or, at least, I try not to. This is how it works for everything. From bedtimes to toys to language to diet, you can set up the rules how you like them in your house, but once your kids get out in the real world, the rule book is out the window. But when your kids and my kids go to school, those different rules mix.
Dear Kristin Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. First of all, let me congratulate you on your success. A hit Disney movie, two Oscars, an American Music Award, a big single...it's wonderful and awe-inspiring. But I think I can speak for all parents when I ask you to never compose music for a children's movie, ever again.
If you too have possibly exhausted every family farm and play place, and may be looking for some simpler things to do, here are some tips and ideas for how to plan and survive the March Break without too much expense, or guilt, and create some adventures and memories along the way. Remember these don't have to be all day events, just "breaks" throughout the week.
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.
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?
Sure, Santa may determine that a child's behaviour is not up to snuff and is therefore a reason to deny said child of gifts on Christmas Day. But why does Santa have to be the judge, jury and (figurative) executioner on December 25th? Whatever happened to parental responsibility and the ability to look one's child in the eye in an attempt to deliver the verdict?
I regularly get the flu shot and I vaccinate my children too. But every so often, I question these decisions, particularly when I come across words that are new to me, like "live attenuated vaccine" or a new vaccine delivery type, such as nasal mist instead of the usual needle. This happened to me this week while deciding whether to get the annual flu shot or not.
Candy can also have a darker side for parents who are trying to keep their kids as healthy as possible, or protect them from allergic reactions by restricting what candy their kids can have. Imagine how the kid feels when they have a food allergy and can't have candy -- seeing other kids reaping the benefits of their trick-or-treating, dumping out their huge bags of candy and sorting through what they got -- it's both sad and frustrating.
It's fair to say that many teens love getting something for nothing. Free candy? It fits the bill. And every October 31, they fail to disappoint, showing up at the door, thrusting a bag in the direction of unwitting participants, sometimes without even uttering the agreed request -- sometimes, the words "Trick or Treat" aren't even mentioned.
Spending time with one child allows you to really connect with what they're doing at school, the friends they're hanging out with, and what they think about what's going on in the world as well. We also became quite adept at picking out the accents and languages of fellow travellers -- many British, German, and Eastern European dialects.
Lately the news is filled with stories about a scary new virus that is making many kids across the United States and Canada unwell. It is called Enterovirus-68 or EV-68. EV68 is one of hundreds of enteroviruses, including such viruses as coxsackieviruses (that cause hand-foot-and-mouth disease) and polioviruses. They generally cause symptoms of a common cold, with runny nose, congestion, cough, fever and diarrhea.
I just sat in the car and had a good cry. I was in the parking lot of my 11-year-old daughter's school on her first day of middle school, but I wasn't having the "oh my child is growing up" type of cry. Instead, I was unexpectedly engulfed in fear about her life threatening allergies to peanuts and shellfish.
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.