5 awesome things I discovered about being a divorced parent

Mother, daughter and dog relaxed at homeQuite often we hear about how hard it is to be a divorced parent, and it can be, but there are perks too!

When I think back to when my daughter and I were on our own, I have very fond memories.  This is before I married my current husband, so she was between 18 months to seven years old.

Here are 5 AWESOME things I discovered along the way:

  1. I remember enjoying her all to myself, just the two of us, for several days in a row.
  2. I made all the decisions in the house. No one else to check-in with (except of course, my daughter) about what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go.
  3. After a long work week, she and I started a Friday tradition of pizza and movie night. We would spend time in the movie-rental store (I’m dating myself now!) looking for the right movie to rent.  I was able to watch the entire collection of Disney princess movies while snuggled up with her.
  4. Every night, in the middle of the night, she would make her way into my room and crawl into my bed. I pretended to be asleep, but she would fill the empty space beside me and wrap her small arm around my side.
  5. In an effort to help her with learning the joys of reading, I read the entire Spiderwick Chronicles to her, in an English accent (just to add effect). We had a goal of finishing the book before the movie was in theatres. She and I then went to the movie and talked about whether it was true to the book. She still has the book in her collection, despite the shedding of many other childhood books.

These precious moments allowed me to create love and security for my daughter. Today, she is a teenager and it is hard to get her attention. This is normal and what I would expect. But the strong and loving relationship which was built in her childhood, created a young lady who feels comfortable in her own skin, yet knows she can always find support without judgement from her mom.  I will always cherish these memories of just the two of us alone, but always together.

Share with us some of the awesome things you’ve discovered about being a divorced parent!

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.

About this guest blogger:

Jennifer Jenkins-Scott: I have been a health professional for 34 years, but more importantly a mother for the last 16. When I am not ‘on-the-job’, I can be found at Mohawk College working towards my certificate in Interior Decorating, on the bike trails, in the gym, skiing, crafting, entertaining or at home either reading a good book or binge watching Netflix.

Posted in Babies, Mental Health, Parenting, School-aged Children, Teens, Toddlers, Tweens | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

It is possible! Tips for traveling with kids who have special needs

Cute little kid boy with suitcase on international airport. Mother and daughter on background, happy family waiting for flight and going on vacations.With the school break coming up fast, many families are preparing to travel. When you have a child with special needs, or even a child who struggles with transitions, you know there’s more to consider than just packing clothes for everyone. We connected with child development professional, Bev Legare, about the best tips for traveling with a child who has special needs. Bev has spent hours and hours with families helping them plan their family travels and vacations.

Here are the best travel tips she has learned along the way: Continue reading

Posted in Mental Health, Parenting, preschoolers, Safety, School-aged Children, Special Needs, Teens, Toddlers, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to be your child’s best advocate

Concerned couple with child talking to a professional

You think your child is unwell or may have a developmental delay, or a learning disability – but you’re having difficulty navigating the system to get a diagnosis and a plan. You’re feeling frustrated, worried and scared. Continue reading

Posted in Parenting, Physical Health, preschoolers, School-aged Children, Services, Special Needs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Being a healthy divorced mom

When my daughter was 18 months old I made the difficult decision to leave my husband.

I moved to a new city and started over.  We had equal access, but she spent 60% of her time with me or sometimes closer to 80%, as my ex-husband traveled for business.  It was a busy, hectic and stressful time, but also a wonderful time.

Content Mother and daughter blowing bubbles

Continue reading

Posted in Mental Health, Parenting, Physical Health, stress | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to help our kids deal with tragic news

Tragic events take place all around the world and many adults are challenged to process what has happened. As adults we know these types of events are extremely rare. We will react in different ways and with a range of different emotions that might vary from sadness to anger to anxiety.

Children on the other hand, do not have the same knowledge, experience or ability to deal with what they are hearing about these events. It can be very scary for them. They may think that it will happen to them or to people they love.

Upset boy sitting at the table and his sister supporting him while having meal with their parents

Continue reading

Posted in Mental Health, Parenting, Physical Health, preschoolers, School-aged Children, stress, Teens, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The benefits of a healthy smile are more than you think!

On an elementary school ski trip my bestie had her front tooth broken off by a wayward t-bar chair lift. Three things were learned that day and the days that followed; finding a broken tooth in the snow is impossible; exposed nerves don’t like winter air; and while waiting for the tooth to be repaired, my normally chipper (pun intended!) and fun-loving friend did not smile and missed school.

Portrait of Primary Schoolboys and Schoolgirls Standing in a Line in a Classroom

Today I am a public health nurse and a lot of my work involves helping kids meet their potential. Healthy eating, exercise, caring adults and friends all work together to help toward this goal. Oral health is an important part of this and we need to take care to keep a healthy smile. Dental injury or the development of cavities cannot be ignored as our oral health affects overall health and well-being. Continue reading

Posted in kindergarten, Mental Health, Oral Health, Parenting, Physical Health, Preschool, School-aged Children, Teens, Toddlers, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 tips for supporting kids in stressful times

As parents and caregivers, we might see our children’s lives as being carefree and happy. Hey, they don’t have to pay the bills, take care of the household, feed the family or chauffeur people all over the place!

Sad boy lost in his thoughts

But kids experience plenty of stress. Our kids hear frightening things about our world from social media, their friends at school, or the news in the background. Scary things like school shootings, natural disasters and talks of nuclear war. They even can be worried about those experiencing a tragedy on the other side of the world. Depending on your child’s age, they may have a very limited understanding of things like geography, politics and the likelihood of specific events affecting them.

Continue reading

Posted in Mental Health, School, school health, School-aged Children, Services, stress, Teens, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments