Did you know there is a place called Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, which is cited as the “Waterpark Capital of the World?” I did not until we happened to pass through that area on our 2,044km (1270 mile) road trip from London, ON to Winnipeg, MB.
There are few topics more charged these days than whether or not to vaccinate children. It’s right up there with politics and religion as hot button topics that can ruin friendships.
I used to be on the vaccination fence before I met and married a family doctor and had my first child almost eight years ago. Before kids, I read blog posts by staunch anti-vaxxers, and felt afraid that if I vaccinated my children I would be hurting them.
Tragic news stories like shootings in schools or public areas, kidnappings and war-violence can be quite scary for children. It can be extremely shocking when a child is suddenly faced with images of hurt people or the thought that there are meanies out there who do terrible things.
Parents can help teach children about the state of the world or what's happening nearby without causing undo stress on their systems. How children receive information about violent events can greatly affect their body's ability to process this information.
We hear the term “Positive Discipline” used frequently, but many parents are unsure exactly what this means, and why this form of discipline is the best for our kids.
The word discipline has origins in the Latin word disciplina, which means, “to teach.” Adapting this concept to raising children, I believe positive discipline means guiding, redirecting, and teaching our children in a way that opens them to be the best they can be. It’s like helping them grow the biggest set of wings possible.
When children do the things they naturally do, like push limits, ignore instructions, explore beyond their ability, or act inappropriately, it is our job as parents to redirect them to the behaviour that is acceptable.
The concept of dying and death can be very confusing for children. Younger ones might see their cartoon characters get blown up on TV, then shake themselves off and keep going. Children might also not know what to do with their big feelings or how to handle other’s reactions during this time. Parents can help their children process this natural phenomenon in life so although sadness might be felt, the child isn’t also overly anxious or scared.
The huge amount of parenting information sitting on store shelves and floating around the Internet can be quite overwhelming. In order to sift through the parenting noise, I’m happy to share the resources I recommend to my clients and readers, which come from sources I have grown to trust.
Are you looking to buy a gift or do something special for a woman who has young children? Consider these ideas suggested by mothers themselves.
For those close to moms of young ones, please know that many of these mamas are often short on energy, sleep, free time, fun, validation, feeling sexy, and stimulating adult conversation. Anytime one of these “bucket-emptiers” can be filled, moms are likely to feel better.
Here are gift suggestions that range from costly to free, suited to significant others, friends or family members:
One of the first protests children shout when they feel upset is, “That’s NOT FAIR!” Parents can tire themselves counting an even number of Cheerios into bowls or making sure each child gets a turn pressing the elevator button, but children might still feel life is unfair until they understand the underlying root feelings and what fair and equal mean.
To help children understand the concept of fair and equal and the intense emotions often driving those beliefs, parents can use these steps to grow fairness awareness.
The concept of trust is a complicated one. It can take years to build, moments to shatter, and the presence or absence of it strongly affects a person’s happiness in life. To trust more is to worry less, and to worry less usually means to be less anxious and less coiled into a knot.
Parents have been debating the appropriateness of the book, You Have To F***ing Eat, written by Adam Mansbach as a follow up to the popular Go the F**k to Sleep. Some people were upset that the use of profanity expressed toward children was harsh and derogatory. Others felt the obvious satire helped over-stretched parents feel heard.
Many of you have probably heard of a relatively new product called The Elf on the Shelf. According to the official website, it is being marketed as a Christmas tradition, where parents are to claim this toy is one of “Santa’s scout elves, who are sent to be Santa’s eyes and ears at children’s homes around the world!”
Over the past week and a half, many of us have experienced intense emotions regarding the series of events surrounding Jian Ghomeshi’s dismissal from the CBC. Feelings of betrayal are surfacing, as we are facing a difference between his public persona and what we are hearing happened behind the scenes.
Has your child had a strong negative reaction while watching a movie? This was the question I asked the parents in my Facebook community, with an overwhelming response. Story after story of sleep troubles, separation anxiety, cowering and shouting were told by parents about stressful movie-watching experiences their children had.
Movies can create an environment for family relaxation, snuggles, and great conversations, but they can also be the fodder for nightmares.
A study published in the BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, suggests that mothers have a higher chance of experiencing depressive symptoms four years after giving birth than in the first twelve months after their child is born.
A positive parenting strategy that works well to reduce dawdling and increase cooperation is one I call the “either/or.” This is where a child is presented with a choice to make that still accomplishes the task at hand.
Offering choices is a wonderful way to grow problem-solving skills; however, giving too many options can cause frustration. This method involves providing the child with a choice between only two options.
We all have parenting moments we regret. The other day I was hard on my son and felt very badly about my behaviour. Even though we may have the tools to do so, calming down when our kids are melting down, sometimes for the most ridiculous reasons, can feel impossible to do.