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"Put away your cowbells. They don't belong in the arena."
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"Children need to be occupied, they need structure, they need predictability," the experts tell us. Heaven help you if you don't make sure to keep those sticky little hands busy between late June and Labour Day every year. After all, children need structure right? No they don't.
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I was just a little girl, but you had a barbed tongue. Oh, you always couched your cruelty in humour. As if comedy was a disinfectant that redeems meanness. Time and again, I asked Mommy, "Please, tell Daddy to stop teasing me. It hurts my feelings." But you wouldn't or couldn't stop.
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I appreciate that the word "mandatory" is off-putting, but the benefits that come with mandatory paternity leave are an incredible web of interwoven and reinforcing benefits -- in terms of improved gender equality, child's health, the valuing of care, as well as greater life happiness and deeper relationships.
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When a woman is pregnant, she's constantly reminded to cherish her sleeping hours while she can. My wife Noelle was told of what seemed like endurance experiments involving no sleep combined with non-stop feeding, diaper changes, constant laundry and hosting visits from well-meaning friends and relatives.
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There have been thousands of pages devoted to the skills necessary to raise a child. I am quite sure my father never read one book about parenting. Common sense was his guiding force. He was a humble, compassionate man who knew right from wrong, and good from bad.
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The truth behind four common pieces of baby advice.
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I was trying to recall a day when I was a fantastic mom all day, where I managed to stay patient, positive and in the zone. More often than not, I flop back and forth between extremes like a fish out of water, I'm a fantastic mom, wait, nope I'm a shitty mom. It's incredible how quickly I can go from nailing it to absolutely shitting the bed.
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Because my baby girl, you come from a proud line of loving, nurturing, loud laughing, often giggling, deeply feeling and wonderful women with curves who have been wounded by other people's aesthetic expectations and cheated by their own understanding of perfection. I want you to see me love myself for all the gorgeous, nurturing mamas that came before me.
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"Careful" is a helicopter parent's mantra. These kids have grown up in the shadows of fear, always too afraid to take risks, too cautious to make sound decisions alone and too callous to stand up for themselves as they have never had to. In their childhood their parents made all their decisions and as young adults they have no clue how to fend for themselves.
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It's an interesting phenomenon among parents, this "just wait." What will happen if all I ever do is look out for the perils that lie ahead? I'll wait and wait and wait and then these precious years will be over. And in waiting in fear of what's next, I'll have missed the process of actually getting there.
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The quality of attention a parent pays to her child while they communicate with one another, as well as the frequency and predictability of disruptions in communication, probably determines how psychologically damaging the incessant checking of screens is to a growing child.
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This incessant use of technology by children has resulted in an abrupt change in the landscape of parenting. Parents are just beginning to recognize that we must protect our children as well as the avatars that represent them online.
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Having a baby is a very exciting time for new parents and of course for their families. We can get so excited to see the new baby that we may forget our etiquette and how hard it is for new families to adjust to the beginnings of parenthood.
When acts of terror rock our world, the last thing we want to think about is whether our kids are in the middle of it. Just the thought of someone you love being in that kind of trouble can make you catch your breath. So what do you do when your kids have the opportunity to travel?
You know what? I'm freaked out about it, too. This is such a big issue in the world and it's easy to freak out about it. Deeply caring about this and wanting to do something to help is the first step in making a difference. So, let me start off by saying you're already making a difference because you care.
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As a continuation in my pursuit to help you remain sane over the four-day long weekend filled with candy chicks, chocolate eggs and Easter brunches smothered in hollandaise sauce, I figured the need for some nutrition tips was warranted.
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I realize now that you're not coming from a place of goodness. You don't like that I'm not complaining, that I'm not struggling, that I'm not suffering. You can't stand the fact that I am actually enjoying my role as a full-time mom.
Our children need to develop and equip their own tool box -- we cannot do it for them. This is not our job, nor should we be trying to make our children's happiness and success our goals. This generation of parents is much too eager to do their children's work for them, and therein lies the problem.
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Simplifying is vital not only for our kid's health, but also for our own. Simplicity is a rare gift in modern life. It's an obvious message, and when we hear it, we can't help but shout YES. Slowing down feeds our souls and nurtures our families. No matter what parenting style we practice, this topic unites us.
Kids become deaf to their parents because we talk too much and mean little of what we say.
We are doing a huge disservice to our kids. We are raising a generation of children who are going to be incapable of succeeding in the modern era. They are being taught to be egocentric and to give up, often before even trying.
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So what's a parent to do when they realize that their child, for whatever reason, is having difficulty making or maintaining friendships? No parent wants to feel that their child is missing out or... being shunned for one reason or another... Yet, this is the reality for too many children who face rejection on a daily basis.
March Break is just around the corner, and if you're like many Canadians, you're probably wondering how you're going to afford to pay for it. Luckily, there's an easy way to save money, keep your children happy, and teach them a few life lessons too. Use the break as an opportunity to put your kids in the classroom of life by involving them in the March Break budgeting process. Here's how:
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This news story is a sickening one: Talk of women being allegedly blindsided with punches to the head in the name of foreplay, of them allegedly bashed against cement walls, of courageous women agreeing to press sexual-assault charges only to be ridiculed on the witness stand. What, on earth, do I tell my intelligent and social-justice-minded daughter about this?
Parenting, like life, is about balance. Between independence and rules, work and play. With the authoritative dolphin style of parenting, greater self-confidence, critical thinking, good behaviour and academic performance are all achieved by encouraging collaborative communication that is both firm and flexible.
I am judging you if you are barking orders at your partner. That person is not your slave. Their role is to help you, support you and guide you. There was a time, before stress, when you were loving and kind, which is why you are together. Get back to that. Your life will be better.
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Feelings are great, when they're positive. We smile and high-five to share our exuberance. As co-parents after divorce, we're more in the negative territory at first -- anger, sadness, longing. Who wants to feel those? Easier to ignore them, or distract ourselves with a glass of wine or a movie until the feelings go away.
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Experts say you shouldn't praise children. I'm no psychologist, but I think they're wrong. Kids absolutely need to be praised. They deserve to be celebrated -- for the right reasons. I don't beat on to my son about how smart or handsome he is (though of course I'm biased on both counts). But when I know he has done something especially challenging, I don't skimp on the praise.
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Telling your parents, be they Boomers or Gen Xers, that they 'had it easy' isn't fair. It negates the hard work we all did to get to where we are, and puts it all down to luck and advantage, and ignores what I believe are two main ingredients for success: motivation, and initiative.
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It all starts from the day they're born. I am proposing that, to paraphrase any person from England, you start the way you mean to go on. Let them take over your night's sleep for longer than a year? Hmmmm. Jeopardize every social plan you try to commit to? Not good.
"No study or expert knows better than the intrinsic voice within us."