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We are very fortunate that we live in Canada, more so Toronto, where we feel it is a progressive, open, accepting city. It is legal for gay people to live freely, marry whomever they love, and start a family. We are a family, just like any family out there. It is not OK to harass anyone based on their sexual orientation or for any other reason.
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If I bump into someone they will ask me, "Where are the kids?!" as if I left them abandoned under a bridge. Somehow it doesn't occur to them that it could be possible that their father is caring for them during that time.
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Twelve years ago my twins were diagnosed with severe autism and I have lived in a constant state of alertness ever since. Therapists liken it to what a soldier experiences in combat. I have to admit that I can relate to the 24/7 heightened alert that never allows your mind or body to rest.
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"Throw the damn books out the window and tune into your children. You can fix it."
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If you're thinking about taking a trip with your kids to get away from it all, think again. Know what you're getting into. Know that it might be even more difficult than life at home. Know that it could be messy, tiring and ugly at times. But it's honestly the best thing ever.
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Having a baby, or babies, is unpredictable. They are their own person and it is always harder to plan around someone else, especially when they cannot tell you their agenda. It is not always possible to just "go with the flow"; so having plans in place can help you to adjust when things are not working.
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It's hard to believe it's been five years since autism entered my life. My son is eight now. Raising him remains a mystifying experience, yet I have learned some valuable lessons along the way:
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Exactly. People don't generally announce in public that they shop at the Salvation Army, Value Village or Goodwill. But my teenage daughters love shopping at the thrift store. It's not that they like saving money. It's that they can get more clothes. I know those are two sides of the same coin, but it's a fundamentally different attitude.
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In family medicine we have a responsibility, a unique and critical role in helping shape the next generation. We are facing a crisis in primary care, and in medicine, especially in Ontario. Our system is not sustainable, wait times are increasing, patients are sicker but trust their doctors less, physicians are unhappy, burned out, and disenfranchised.
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Postpartum mood disorders are so much more than just depression. Anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, the blues, manic states and, more rarely, psychosis all make up the spectrum. My own experience parallels the experience of so many, and yet has its own unique complications.
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In 2016, as our children watched, bullying became legitimate. What we accept without dissent, what we allow to be framed as normal, alters according to our level of desensitization. We have become increasingly desensitized to bullying behaviour.
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Sparking such dialogue on a range of topics including more intricate and positive aspects of sexuality -- gender, sexual diversity, knowing your body, consent, respect, open communication, pleasure, mutuality, and the feeling of being loved, to name a few -- may not only be important in lowering sexual risk but also maximizing sexual rewards.
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New Year's often brings about resolutions to lose weight, eat healthy, or spend more time with family. But for new parents, those resolutions may not hit the mark. New parents are tired, overwhelmed, and may feel isolated. These resolutions are perfect for families, whether your bundle of joy arrived before the ball dropped, or is coming your way sometime in 2017.
Musical training such as participating in a choir develops language. Being in a choir means reading the lyrics of songs with the tempo of the music. Playing an instrument requires another type of reading and language. It is the ability to read music and transpose that to the instrument. Both activities require an immediacy that is brain training at its best.
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I grew up watching hockey religiously. I traded hockey cards. I went public skating. I played on the street. But the option to play the real game, on ice, wasn't there. My parents didn't have deep pockets. My mom saw it as a boorish, stick wielding fest of violence.
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It's no secret that the average American child spends seven hours in front of a screen every day and only five minutes playing freely in the great outdoors. Mothers have been arrested for allowing their children to play outside or ride their bike without adult supervision. Parents are putting leashes on children to walk them around shopping centres as if they're wild animals who can't be trusted. Preschoolers are asked to sit for extended periods of time when every fibre of their being is screaming at them to run, jump and play. It's refreshing to see a group of down-to-earth, respectful and conscious parents walking their walk and freeing their children of the expectations of modern day society.
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I guess one could say that my professional background makes me well qualified for this parenting job, but I must admit that I have had my fair share of humbling moments when it comes to parenting. Sometimes I have moments when I feel I rock it as a parent, and then other moments when I hang my head and know I could have handled something much better. Yes, there is certainly room for improvement.
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Nothing can cause an argument faster in a group of parents than when someone brings up sleep training. Opinions range from "do it as early as possible" to "only terrible parents sleep train." With so many myths about sleep training out there, who do you believe? Let's examine the eight most common myths about sleep training and see what holds up.
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The vast majority of teens say social media helps them be more connected to the feelings of their friends and their lives. It's also a way they get support when facing difficult times. On the other hand, "stirring up drama" is the way 70 per cent of teens report their peers behave on social media.
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In many ways it is a values question. What do we owe our parents? It was a question I posed to several friends and the answers come from their own words. Parenting is the one job that has no prerequisite and requires no experience. Yet, parents have an enduring effect on our entire lives.
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I suffered the fate of many orchid beginners, enjoying the flowers when I brought a new plant home but never able to get one to re-bloom. I cared for a handful at a time but my collection never grew because plants died as often as new ones were introduced.
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Imagine what could happen if, instead of frantically trying to find another place to go or another activity to do, more children and adults slowed down and started to enjoy simple, playful, age-appropriate learning activities and conversations?
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Instead of enjoying the carefree innocence of childhood, many kids these days are fixated on how they look, comparing themselves to celebrities, models, and other unrealistic ideals. As parents, it's our responsibility to help our kids navigate the tricky landscape of body image with their self esteem and perspective intact.
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Although many parents today fear taking home the wrong baby, it is thankfully an unfounded fear. In reality, it is exceedingly rare for infants to be switched in the hospital and it becomes even more rare as time goes on. Extensive measures have been put in place in modern hospitals in order to prevent such mix-ups.
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On our first day of dance classes, my husband and I found ourselves in a large high school gymnasium with about 50 other couples. The teacher demonstrated something and instructed us to repeat. It seemed simple enough so we followed the instructions and immediately started blaming each other for our failure to look like Fred and Ginger. We tried again and failed again.
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We should have known from their birth that this was going to be a lifelong battle. I remember after the twins were born, listening to other new moms brag how their kids were sleeping through the night at three months old and secretly hating them. I remember trying all the same things I had done with my first and wondering why it wasn't working with O and W. 1 to 3 hours of sleep for their first 18 months would destroy the strongest of men but somehow we survived it.
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While the joys of parenthood are many, it's natural to worry about the inevitable milestones that shape a child's independence, such as their first solo walk to school, first sleep-over or first teen party. In our technology-driven world, parents must now consider a new growing-up moment: their first smartphone.
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How many times have we wondered exactly how to parent our kids when our kids throw us a curve or -- as we found out recently -- world events upend our sensibilities? Perhaps surprising is that how we parent has several underpinnings that never change, no matter what the circumstance
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I'm not making excuses, but between two active kids and their play dates, field trips, and activities I often feel like I'm struggling to keep it all straight. On top of that, I've got my own schedule: I'm in school, writing a book and trying to freelance. My activities come with deadlines of their own. My head is spinning all the time. I'm lucky to know the day of the week.
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People with autism are not all violent, unthinking, unfeeling or uncaring, incapable of progress or love. When supported in a loving environment and by people who believe in them and their potential locked within, most of the kids can go on to be very successful and lead fulfilling lives with loving relationships.
He doesn't have a "special" talent. In fact, less than 10% of the autistic population have some kind of savant talent. When you ask about his "talent" and he knows that he doesn't have one, he feels less. He feels as though he is being judged for being "wrong" yet again. I hug him and tell him that you mean well, and that the drawing he did of Spider-Man really did rock! What I wish you would ask instead, is this.
As the results began to become undeniable and there was no avoiding the dreaded outcome, I witnessed my children and their friends reaching out to ask each other in shock and asking their parents "How could this happen?"