Parents often try to balance the ‘gimmes’ of the holidays with giving back. We want our children to appreciate what they have while teaching them about what other people don’t have. We want them to understand that life isn’t about what you have, it’s about how you make others feel. And we want to do all this amidst the frenzy of Black Friday shopping, toy commercials, and our kids writing out lists of what they want for Christmas. Sometimes lists that are longer than they are tall.
Nobody expects to get in a car accident. I know I certainly didn’t when we left the house on a sunny Sunday afternoon to go to my mother-in-law’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day. But less than a kilometer away it happened.
Ten years ago I was dropping off my son who was only three – too young in my mind – to begin his first day of school.
Even with the staggered start the scene was chaotic. Cars parked in the kiss-and-ride area, kids unwilling to go into the schoolyard, grabbing onto their mom’s coat with a steely grip, while others ran around the fenced-in playground yelling and playing.
Back-to-school for our family means back to busy. I have two boys going to different schools, both with two very different schedules. Add in my older son who trains in a specialized sport four days a week, my younger son who does an extracurricular activity twice a week, and, you know, that whole pesky business of my husband and I having to work. Most nights are a bit of a gong show.
I remember the exact date - January 6, 2013. I was sitting in a freezing cold car trying to gather up the nerve to go into my very first swimming lesson. I had signed up to race in a triathlon and the swim portion was mandatory. I had taken lessons as a kid but stopped around age 11 and while I could tread water and play around with my kids in a pool, I was definitely more of a floater than a swimmer. That first night, I couldn’t even complete one 25m lap.
You've decided to get a puppy! Or maybe you're on the fence and are still trying to decide. Either way, congratulations! I can't even begin to tell you how much that little bundle of joy is going to change your life for the better. If everyone greeted you the way a dog greets you, we'd be living in an incredible world.
However, it's best to go in with your eyes wide open because there are a few things NOBODY TOLD ME before we got our puppy. Know what? I would have liked to have known because life is better when you're prepared.
One of my favourite childhood memories is watching the "Carol Burnett Show" with my family. It was the ultimate variety show/sketch comedy and I looked forward to it every week. Now, as an adult, I realize many of the jokes went over my head but the best part for me was the anticipation – waiting to see if this would be the week where Carol, Tim, Harvey, or Vicki couldn’t contain the laughter.
Listen, I get it. I'm the parent of two boys. It was much easier to ensure they were active when they were younger because they had no choice. But as we all know, kids get older and aren't always into doing what we want them to do because there are computer games, Cookie Clicker, text messages and WILL YOU GET OFF THE SOFA BEFORE YOU BECOME A PART OF IT?
So before you get to the screaming stage, here are some easy ideas to make getting active fun so your kids - who are currently connected to the couch and technology - become connected with activities.