She would get a quality education in any of these places, to be sure. And she would learn about navigating life independent of her parents, whether she is in residence in Hamilton or Kingston or Fredericton. But would she experience a new culture in Kitchener-Waterloo? Would life be so much different in Eastern Ontario than it is here in Niagara?
I don't know how to teach my daughters that they have to follow arbitrary rules about their bodies, rules that will change based on current fashion, the people they socialize with, the media they consume. I don't know how to teach my daughters to sift through the shit that society decrees about their bodies.
Tears in my eyes, I looked up from my nursing chair at The Hubster, who had our hungry newborn daughter in his arms. I felt like I was trapped in a cruel science experiment to determine how much nipple pain an exhausted new mother could take in two hour intervals before she cracked. Expectant first-time moms: Breastfeeding is hard.
Different-sex parents, apparently, have a few things to learn about how to run a household from same-sex parents. New evidence concludes that because same-sex couples allocate household chores based on each individual parent's suitability for the job, rather than on gender stereotypes, children from those homes are growing up in happier and more harmonious family environments.
As an adolescent psychiatrist, I've treated countless patients who have achieved their cherished external goals, such as acceptance into a dance academy, sports team, or college of "their choice"-- but whose lives are utterly devoid of internal joy. Your role as a parent has a major impact on your child's understanding of the word gratitude.
Once you let go of the expectations of having a perfect family holiday you can really begin to enjoy the opportunities for building deeper connections that are right in front of you. So the kids work through their backseat sibling issues and have fun exploring the new locations. And despite the sand flies the beach was great.
Routine is important for adults as well, and as a parent I must admit I have come to rely heavily upon the school schedule to guide the transition to summer. It is human nature to mark our changes with beginnings, middles and endings. A common complaint is that June is busy with closing ceremonies, awards nights, and all sorts of wind up parties -- nonetheless both the parents and children benefit from these rites of closure.
I'm writing this because I often complain about and worry about my new line of work / not work. I feel like I'm missing out on real life by not punching a clock. That I've perhaps sacrificed my career and will never get it back. I want to remind myself that even if I don't get it back, I haven't been wasting my time here. If anything, I've become a better worker, not a worse one.
It is reinforcing to be acknowledged for accomplishing a goal, but for many parents of children with autism the steps toward goals are mini and slow. Take the time to let them know that you notice their parenting efforts and the positive development you see in their child. In other words, be a cheerleader of the process not just the end goal.
I live in the city of Toronto with three young children. I am a driver and I am a pedestrian. But I am a pedestrian first. Unfortunately, many of the drivers in this city do not share my love of pedestrianism. They do not, in fact, seem to care about the safety and well-being of my children at all. So I put together a few simple rules to help them avoid running over kids with their cars.
Summer is a time for play, and kids know it. The pressure is off, and it's time to relax! Homework and tests are replaced with bike-riding and swimming. If you're lucky, you even get to go to camp. What the kids don't realize is, there's as much to learn at camp as at school, and those lessons can't be taught with books. What they're learning is how to deal with life.
Growing up, I was often embarrassed that my dad sometimes drove a taxi because I thought it was not "prestigious." Ironically, it was during my research on motivation at the prestigious Harvard Medical School Addiction Research Program that I realized that much of what motivates me (and all people) comes from lessons I learned from him in that taxi. Here are some of them.
My dearest little girl, sometimes I forget that you're only four years old. Actually, a month ago you were just three. Maybe I expect too much from you at times because you're a big sister now. Maybe it's because I just haven't taken the time and effort to see things from your bright little eyes. But my darling, I am slowly learning to do exactly this, and I'm sorry I sometimes forget.
Each child is different, gifted uniquely, and those moments of celebration, even if all you do is take them out for Dollar Menu sundaes, builds their confidence. Teaching them not to give up. And helps them to expect more of themselves. And in the end, they need to know that they are loved, accepted, and treasured, apart from their accomplishments. Simply because they are yours.