It’s inevitable. The day, or night, will come when your daughter will start her period. The signs are evident that it is about to happen any day now. To you, and to her as well. Because if the signs are there ‘the talk’ should have taken place already.
If you wait until ‘the day,’ you have missed the window of opportunity. She needs to know, soon, that being a girl means being prepared.
Thankfully, my own mom was both honest and prepared. I have a terrible Grade 9 memory of a good friend getting her first period in the cafeteria — and having no idea what was happening. You do not want this to be your child.
And so, while my own daughter is likely more than a decade away from getting her first period, my thoughts are with all the excited pre-teens headed off to camp this summer. Do not leave your daughter confused, surrounded by a huddle of her bff's who have to explain what is happening to her.
If your daughter is going off to sleepover camp, you will definitely want to organize an Emergency Period Kit — and you probably would want to seize this special moment by talking first and then preparing the kit together.
There are two guidelines to approaching this life event:
When your daughter goes off to sleepover camp, there are likely many caveats and reminders a parent will want to go over. ‘Don’t roll your eyes, dear daughter, it’s my job!’ you say with a smile.
Now use those simple rules of BE HONEST & BE PREPARED:
HONEST >> "You might start your period while you are at sleepover camp."
HONEST >> "That’s okay, because we have talked about what to expect."
PREPARED >> "Let’s prepare an 'Emergency Period Kit’ for camp."
PREPARED >> "Let’s make a shopping list, but first we will check what is available here that you already have!"
HONEST AND PREPARED >> Your daughter might want to make her own list AND kit. That’s fine too!
PREPARED >> You can even have a premade kit on-hand in case she acts like she isn't interested.
HONEST AND PREPARED >> Talk a little bit more with your daughter about starting her period.
Use smart, accessible websites to give you and your daughter answers to questions and concerns, be honest and straightforward about starting her period, and be prepared for it!
Organizing an emergency kit for sleepover camp just makes sense. Now, if she does start her period while she's away, she will not feel alone or unprepared.
Plus, now you have two guidelines for all the other talks...
What’s next? Boys? Dating?! This parenting thing never gets easy!!!
I vividly remember taking my precious two-month-old for her first set of immunizations. Along with other new parents, we paced nervously in the waiting room of our family doctor — awkward, over-prepared, and truly heartsick for having to do what we knew would protect our daughter from preventable infectious diseases. Rationalization makes the needle-prick sting less.
Fifteen months later, and we’ve now had five similar visits to our family doctor, with at least two more visits to come before my daughter turns six and other immunizations later in elementary and high school.
Organizing, scheduling, and tracking your kids’ immunizations can be a daunting task. Add “baby-brain,” other kids, and a dash of “life responsibilities” to that, and you’re lucky to keep it well-managed and on-schedule.
In knowing that your child has added protection against preventable diseases, you’ll come to notice that schools, child care centers, and camps all want to confirm that your child’s immunizations are up to date. This means they will want to see an official record.
This vital tracking doesn’t stop there: medical school students need to provide their immunization records. Even expecting mothers are asked about their immunities. When I was pregnant, my own immunity to measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) was unconfirmed, so I got a quick shot on my way out of the hospital with my newborn.
URImmunized.ca is a great resource; it provides tips and information about individual provincial vaccination schedules, answers questions you may have, and has information on common post-shot reactions.
Did you know that each province in Canada has created its own immunization schedule? You can find info on your province's schedule through the URImmunized website.
My good friend Skye and her husband — who are both medical professionals — have moved provinces twice, with their two small children, in the recent past. This meant three sets of doctors and six vaccine record booklets. Skye thought she was on the ball until she received a notice saying that her child was being suspended from school because her vaccines were not up to date.
Through this example, you can see how it can be complicated enough to track, even if you’re staying in the same province. Your doctor’s office will likely provide you with an official immunization record at your child’s first visit. This is your official home record.
Both paper and parents are not infallible, and this is where trouble arises.
First, find a way not to lose the doctor’s official record. If you haven't yet received an official record (or maybe it’s permanently missing), remind yourself to request a copy at your next visit by writing it in your calendar. Go on, write it down.
Once you have the official record, you can:
Add to or create a home file for your child’s health records
Put the official record in your Home Management Guide
Take a picture of the record, date it, and email it to important caregivers such as other parents, grandparents, and child care providers. Email it to yourself, too.
In Canada, there’s a FREE App for that. Immunize Canada offers an app that allows you to electronically track your child’s immunization records. It also allows you to receive notifications for when you need to be making your next vaccination appointment. You can download the app here.
Now that you have a safe place to record the information, how do you keep on top of next appointment?
Set an electronic calendar reminder on the spot. I like to do this while I’m sitting in the doctor’s office, right after the needle. “Great, so we’re seeing you again when? Three months from now is the next vaccine? I’m putting a reminder to schedule the appointment in my calendar now.” Let’s allow technology to do some good.
Put November 10th, World Immunization Day, in your calendar annually. Use it as a reminder to check your child’s records against the latest immunization information from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Use other notable dates, such as back-to-school, birthdays, March Break or the start of summer vacation to trigger a review of your immunization schedule.
In the end, the tracking of this essential info falls on you, there is no way around that. There is no foolproof way to manage this. Just like the universe of parenting, it may not be a perfect process or a smooth journey, but the unconditional love you show your kids means that you will find a way to manage it — one that works for you and your family.
Multi-tasking moms juggle hundreds of things a day but you don’t want to drop the ball when it comes to your child’s immunization schedule. Here's more info to help you de-mystify vaccinations:
Read about the resurgence of diseases that were previously under control and how important it is to protect your kids with immunization.
Watch this webisode to learn why parents of children with asthma need to pay special attention to their child's vaccination schedules.
Watch this webisode to learn the Myths vs. Facts about vaccination.
For more information on immunization and vaccination schedules, talk to your pediatrician, or visit URImmunized.ca.
I’ve recently moved into a very tight workspace. 'We can smell each other’s brand of deodorant' kind of tight.
I happen to share my new desk space (a.k.a. folding table with two computer stations) with a wonderful desk-mate, thankfully.
But, as I look around the office, it’s easy to see trouble brewing. It’s easy to spot where conflict will arise, solely on the state of people’s workspace habits.
You’ve got your 10 empty Starbucks cups person. Your no sense of personal space person. Those who can’t seem to regulate the volume of their voice. Those who love the boom-boom-wow music at 8am. You have your food hoarders, stationary hoarders, shoe hoarders, and your general all-around hoarders.
So, what does it mean to be a good coworker in tight quarters?
First, figure out what bugs you. Then, resolve not to do it.
The best way to understand what might bug your coworkers is to understand the stuff that gets under your skin. A little self-reflection is next—“Am I doing these things, too?” If you’re being all judgy on this, and its something YOU are also doing…you know where I’m going with this, right? “Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” Make those changes!
Next, think about what you really need at your workspace, and make a little list:
Look at your list and determine if you have the tools you need to keep your space organized. Some inspiration:
one: Stacking Organizer Trays, The Container Store, $12.53 (this combo)
two: Dokument Letter Tray, Ikea, $9.99
three: Savannah Recycling Bin, Pottery Barn, $108.35
Corral your office supplies in an organizer, like those above, and then you’ll have a place for everything (and at the end of each day, put everything in its place).
SERIOUS GUIDELINES FOR SHARING TIGHT OFFICE SPACES:
In the end, after all your tidying, self-reflection, and true efforts to be a good coworker in tight spaces, there is one more thing you need to do:
Breathe. Be patient with people. Be understanding. Be tolerant.
Try and overlook the 10 empty Starbucks cups, the close-talker, the loud talker, the 8am boom-boom-wow music. Don’t stop liking the food hoarders, stationary hoarders, shoe hoarders, and your general all-around hoarders.
Because in the end, the only person you can control is you. So be a good coworker. Your mom would be proud.