As school winds down for the year, many kids will partake in day or overnight camps with their friends and siblings. Some will stay local, attending camp at their community centre; others will travel up north and stay at overnight camps in the woods. But wherever they are headed, if they have food allergies, their parents will probably worry.
As a teacher, my dad has worked hard to instill in me a love of language and learning. Now, as a writer and editor with World Vision, I get to hear lots of stories of dads who, like mine did, are building a foundation for their children's futures. The reality is though, that my father has had more opportunities in life than the dads we meet with World Vision. And there's no better time to highlight those dads than on Father's Day.
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.
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.
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 think competition is good for us, and is critical to helping us find performances that we didn't know we had. Sometimes I feel we have become so sensitive about not leaving anybody feeling left out that we have all but obliterated competition in our schools, and to a large degree in our workplaces. Nobody gets recognized, and actually nobody feels special.
The kids are growing up, and as they do so, drifting away. Their independence is greater than their need. I think back to those days when I was smothered in children. When I knew every moment of their day. When our lives were so entwined it was difficult to see where one started and the other left off. When they were a part of me, and I was a part of them.
Dylan's chronic condition comes from an abnormal response from his body's immune system. It causes excruciating pain, with frequent trips to the washroom creating great embarrassment. In practical terms, it has influenced every aspect of his life, leading him to quit hockey, miss field trips, and decline invites to social outings.
With kids growing up surrounded by advertising, movies and TV, toys, books, and clothes that tell them that some things are for girls, and others are for boys, we're already fighting an uphill battle if our goal is to raise girls who know that they can solve tough, real world problems, and boys who are interested in collaboration, not just competition.
Which memories will our children remember forever and which are they going to forget? Are they going to remember the few times I got upset when they spilled their milk or all the times I told them not to worry about it? Are they going to remember all the times I attended their school events or the few times I couldn't be there?
A new study from Michigan State University shows people who think they can learn from their mistakes have a different brain reaction to errors than those who don't. Children who expect to make mistakes are much more willing to try new things and take on difficult tasks. As a result they're open to learning more both at school and in other environments.
"My daughter is 11 years old.The boys and the girls at school call her names that shouldn't even exist. They tell her she's ugly, that her face is like a pancake smothered in poop. They have created a 'We hate Brittany' club. I tell myself all the time -- 'this has to stop. And it has to stop now. Today.' But it never does."
Kids are suffering unnecessarily. This is the first generation predicted to have shorter, more disease-laden life spans than their parents. While we may view our personal food choices as our right, our children deserve more respect. What will it take for us, the adults, to step up to the plate and demand better?