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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?"
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Planning a family vacation can be just as stressful as it is exciting and deciding on a destination that pleases both parents and kids isn't as easy as you might think. To help you be the holiday hero with your family, we surveyed child travellers worldwide to uncover the best destinations for family travel. Here are the top destinations rated as fantastic for family travel, as chosen by the kiddos themselves!
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With a threenager in the house, there's nothing I enjoy more than having real conversations with other mums and dads about the shitty side of parenting. Because it does exist, despite what Facebook would have you believe. There's something incredibly comforting about hearing other parents' tales of woe and seeing how they've come out the other side.
There's a new trend happening around town and it's one that may be catching on. Consider this my civic duty to spread the word and stop the idiocy of being legislated. That's right -- schools are now trying to tell me what I can and can't put in my kid's lunchbox.
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Autism officially entered our lives on June 7th and then again June 14th, 2005. Not only was this new territory -- it was no man's land. Scary quicksand territory. Never before had our parenting skills been put to the test as it was in the latter half of 2005. Not just our skills, but our belief in ourselves as parents.
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Recently, I have become aware that something seems to be happening in our little autism family bubble. I'll name it Autism Fatigue. After 13 years of nothing coming easy, 13 years of aforementioned preparation and coaching, and teaching and coping and surviving and striving and advocating and fighting and praying.. I got tired. Christmas had fallen to the wayside, and Halloween was next.
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I think I'd feel much more comfortable if my child secured a traditional job with predictable hours, good benefits and long-term stability. Perhaps that can still happen. However, if that is not in the cards, I want to make sure he has started to consider alternate possibilities. Whatever the future holds, I saw Take Our Kids to Work Day as a chance to look beyond traditional workplaces and a chance to expose him to different career paths in a concrete way.
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An important first step is identifying the ways culture and media influence our understanding of sexuality and ideas about gender. As parents and educators of youth, improving our own media-literacy skills can enable the conversations needed to convert troubling topics popular in the media into opportunities for promoting gender equality.
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It's not always easy having boys 15 months apart. Now ages six and seven, they have always wanted the same thing at the same time -- same toys, same food, same clothes. They often feel they are somehow competing for the same resources, too, whether it be our time or attention.
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Start packing that truck!
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Throughout the teen years, vulnerabilities crop up. That, in turn, makes them susceptible to controlling friends. To identify negative relationships your teen needs to clearly understand the attributes of possessiveness, isolation and jealousy. These are strategies used by others to control a person.
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Not too long ago I was in a mall. I'm hardly ever in malls. I was running around, trying to complete my 503 errands and I found myself walking really fast to a place called nowhere. I grabbed a scoop...
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It is difficult to fully comprehend the experience of someone with special needs. However, drawing from my personal experiences, including those of being a mom and the creator of a fashion brand focused on comfort, I can attest to the difference soft and comfortable materials can make on one's mood. Clothing plays an important part in all of our lives, especially those with sensory sensitivities, and the tactile experience can be as meaningful as the style when it comes to feeling good.
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The best decision is to be proactive.
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Women typically have a specific timeframe in which they can produce healthy eggs.
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Two years ago today, an article I wrote on a whim was published on Huff Post Living Canada. It was an open letter to my fellow Canadians, a plea, asking for tolerance for my Muslim children in the wake of the Ottawa shooting. It kind of went nuts.
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If you're like us, most occasions 'creep' up out of nowhere. It's as though one minute you're commenting, "ohhh that would be such an awesome Halloween costume this year," and the next moment you're scrambling to figure out what you can create with the store leftovers.
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I don't know if my methods are right. Am I being a helicopter mom? Am I being too involved? Shouldn't kids learn to deal with these issues on their own, or is it ok to provide some well intentioned guidance?
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When my husband answered the phone you gently took over the job of restraining my son...something that no public servant has ever dared to do. We've had teachers and support workers tell us that they're not allowed to touch a child, even when it's a matter of keeping our son safe. But you held him firmly and respectfully, as gently as you could, without a trace of anger or fear on your face. "I have a lot of experience with autistic kids," you told me, and it showed.
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For parents, the healthy relationship boundaries talk is a topic that can be revisited many times during the teen years. They need to understand what it means to have boundaries. Take the time with your teen to explain emotional and physical personal space, dealing with privacy, and what to do when someone crosses a boundary.
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Parenting has changed since I grew up, and certainly since my parents were growing up. Kids can get away with more and more, and the side-effects of this in the sports world are not good at all. Sports are a great way to teach kids about life at a young age; they are not about creating superstars with a sense of entitlement.
I want them to know there's merit trying. The cross country season has passed us by, but there are still spelling tests, math tests, hockey games, baseball tryouts and track and field. They won't win every game. They won't make every team. But they will try again. I know they can.
Make it clear that one treat will be added to school lunchboxes daily, or just after school, and not anytime they want it. Whatever your rule is, make sure you kids know it in advance to prevent tears and cries of "It's not fair!"
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Raw, unedited, and incredible.
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The truth is, no one prepared me for any of this. Yes, I read about postpartum depression and I read about the sleepless nights, but no one told me that these fears and worries are common and can happen to anyone. I thought I'd be in the clear, and thought I was a bad mother because I was scared. But so many mothers feel the way I did; they just don't talk about it.
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Children who are naturally curious about sexual matters may be inclined to look online. The Internet provides a degree of anonymity, accessibility and affordability that make it particularly powerful as a medium for viewing sexual content. What they are likely to be confronted with is a barrage of information in which informed, educational messages are outnumbered by adult sexual entertainment and pornography.
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Parents model behaviour to their children, and children watch very closely. My dad taught me not to give money on the street, but if someone asked, we should treat them with complete, sincere dignity and take the time to offer them whatever it is they need. It can be inconvenient -- taking a stranger out for lunch and hearing their story, spending an extra 5 minutes buying someone groceries, giving someone our own mittens in the dead of winter, or perhaps giving someone a ride that is out of our way.
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I wasn't doing my kids any favours by handling everything, and I knew I had to let the kids take some of the responsibility. Even though they were only 6 and 7 then, I started to share everything I knew and everything I did in the name of safe eating for Celiacs and allergies, and as time passed, they started to take over for themselves.
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Many experts recommend dream journaling as a way to tap into the power of our dreams. This could, for example, reveal recurring patterns which would then reveal something that we can then address in our waking hours, such as hidden fears or desires.
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Many times I would put work above anything else as I became the "job." I didn't realize then that I allowed my job to define who I was as a person. For some odd reason I lost myself in the process of being dedicated and it took starting a family and getting laid off to realize it.
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Accepting that the marriage is really over is hard for many divorcing parents. In my case, although I initiated the split, I could only look sideways at myself as a soon-to-be-divorced woman. The pain surrounding that was too overpowering to take in all at once -- I felt it would have squashed me if I tried. So I got to know it gradually, with support, until I could stare it right in the eye.
Is it any wonder I misplace things hourly, write incomprehensible e-mails and notes to myself that even I can't decipher, and overall have become a very boring friend, especially amongst my childless crew, who look at me like I have had my brain removed? I cling to the distant hope that this is a fleeting loss of intellect. But I am starting to fear that along with the grey hairs, wobbly tummy, and crow's feet, my pudding brain might be here to stay.