Growing up in Toronto, there were many things to do as a family but one of my ultimate favourite places to go to was Centre Island, or more specifically Centreville. I remember loving the ferry ride to get to the island and then spending the day on all the fun rides. Those are the moments that I remember and cherish to this day.
The euphoria of falling in love with our new babies is intoxicating. For me it was such a dominant force, that for a while it overshadowed everything else in my life, including my marriage. I took our marriage for granted, assuming it was strong enough to withstand any challenge. And it is incredibly resilient, but when a baby comes along we're tested like never before. Small cracks in a relationship may grow into colossal chasms and threaten the foundation of our precious family units.
One of a child's basic emotional needs is to be treated with respect. It sits at the heart of a strong parent-child connection, which is fundamental to healthy emotional development. We're capable of giving this to our children, but first, we need to recognize disrespectful behaviour and stamp it out before it jeopardizes our most precious relationships.
As parents, recent stories of children wandering off and tragically encountering a gorilla or an alligator strike fear into our hearts. We've all lost sight of a child for a moment while tending to another or had two toddlers shoot off in separate directions at a theme park. So how can we show our kids the world while keeping them safe?
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.
"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.
As I was preparing myself for my maternity leave, all I could focus on was bringing this new life into the world. I did not want to think about all the changes that were happening at my workplace and did not want to overthink the changes happening in my workplace. Why would I invest that extra energy elsewhere when I needed it for my baby? Besides I was going on maternity leave so I had to come back, right? Well, not quite.
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.
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?
"When I work with kids, I tell them, 'You are the chef, I am the sous-chef.' They feel good about themselves and they don't want to let you down. Involve them in the whole process. If you let them pick out the ingredients and bring them home from the store, they are going to be more excited to prepare it and eat it."