5 great ways to enjoy winter with the family!

I remember getting my kids bundled up for winter outdoor activities. What a process! First figuring out what activity to do and then telling myself – maybe more than my kids, that going out into the cold weather would be fun. Then getting them ready to go outside by putting on snow pants, boots, coats, hats, scarves and mitts, while they squirmed and said that they were hot. By the time we were done, I’d already had a workout and needed to rest!

Little boys sliding on sled in winter with helmets

But oh, my! How good it felt to breath the cold air and spend time with them playing and laughing outdoors. After coming home, the kids, with their cool, rosy cheeks, would laugh and talk about the experience over hot cocoa.

Not only is it rewarding and fun, but being active regularly with your kids when they are young increases their “physical literacy”.  When kids have developed the skills, confidence, and love of movement, they are more likely to be physically active for life. Physical activity is an important way to prevent disease and stay healthy.  This is good for our kids – and also for ourselves!

There are so many budget-friendly and local winter activities you can do with your family! Here are some options:

dad and 2 kids, one in wheelchair with snowman

  1. Take a winter hike or snowshoe at one of your local parks.
  1. Play outdoor games or create things from snow.
  1. Go tobogganing.
  1. Skate on an outdoor skating rink,
  1. Shovel snow together.

Pick an activity that you like, so you can join in and enjoy the winter wonderland together! Check out these hot tips to stay safer during cold weather activity.

We’d love to hear about ways in which your family enjoys the great outdoors in the winter time!

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For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000

Posted in Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Parenting Your Toddler & Preschooler, Play, Growth & Development | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Do I really need to start talking to my tweens about vaping?

I feel like I’m in a golden age of parenting. My kids are in their tween years (defined as being between the ages of 8 to 12 years). The exhausting days of early parenting are far behind me. My kids are doing more things on their own and often surprise me by what they can do. Yet they still need me and I have lots of input into their decisions. Sure, their brains are still developing which makes for regular emotional outbursts leaving me to wonder at times, who are these children? But for the most part, I love it!

Two sisters hugging ages 9 and 11

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Posted in Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Keeping Your Child/Tween Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween | Tagged | Leave a comment

Edible Cannabis: how to protect your kids from unintentional poisoning

I’ll never forget the feeling of panic when I saw my 3 year-old holding a bottle of household cleaner. I left a cupboard door unlocked in the bathroom as I went to answer my phone. Fortunately, he only looked at it. At that time, edible cannabis was not on my list of potential safety concerns. If I were to have a young child now, that list would be different.

In Canada, the number of young children hospitalized after the ingestion of cannabis has increased since cannabis legislation. Between September and December 2018, sixteen cases of severe reactions were reported to the Canadian Paediatric Surveillance Program.

Girl's Hand Reaching For Cupcake On Kitchen Counter

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Posted in Babies, Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Healthy Eating for Toddlers & Preschoolers, Healthy Eating for Your Child/Tween, Keeping Your Baby Safe, Keeping Your Child/Tween Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Baby, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Toddler & Preschooler, Play, Growth & Development, Play, Growth & Development for Babies, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Supporting breastfeeding in public

On August 1 to 7, let’s celebrate World Breastfeeding Week!

Breastfeeding is the natural way to feed a child with major health benefits for parents and babies. Parents have the right to breastfeed anywhere, anytime – a right protected by the Human Rights Code in Ontario. However, we still have some work to do to help parents feel comfortable breastfeeding in public places. Continue reading

Posted in Babies, Breastfeeding Your Baby, Breastfeeding Your Child, Parenting, Pregnancy, Preparing to Breastfeed, Toddlers & Preschoolers | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My baby went to university! This is what we learned.

One year ago we prepared to send my oldest daughter off to university. The final year of high school had kept us busy: driver’s license √, university acceptance √, prom √. We made it; but we had a new mountain to climb. She was moving away to go to school.

First day of College

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Posted in Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Keeping Your Teen Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Teen, Teen Brain, Teens | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your school age child is stealing: what can you do?

Put your hand up if you remember stealing something when you were a kid. I bet there are lots of hands raised right now!

It’s not unusual for kids to take something that doesn’t belong to them, without asking permission, especially between the ages of five and eight. But by this age, they know it’s wrong and a parent’s response is very important. If we ignore the behaviour, it encourages your child to keep trying to get away with it.Mom talking sternly to daughter, daughter looking down

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Posted in Children & Tweens, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Child/Tween, Emotional Well-Being & Mental Health for Your Teen, Keeping Your Teen Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Child/Tween, Parenting Your Teen, Teens | Tagged | 7 Comments

What about Dad?

You lie in bed, hearing the cries coming from the crib. The baby’s awake again, but you are so tired you dread getting out of bed. The days and nights are starting to blur together, and you’ve lost track of feedings and diaper changes. In your darker moments, you long for that time when there was just the two of you, with lots of time after work to relax together over dinner, watch a movie, and cuddle.  No one told you that fatherhood was going to be like this.Father and baby watching television

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Posted in Babies, Depression & Anxiety After Birth, Depression & Anxiety During Pregnancy, Parenting, Parenting Your Baby, Pregnancy | Tagged | 1 Comment