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

Is it hormones or mental health? What every parent needs to know.

I heard shouting down the hall… then crying. My daughter entered the room with an empty mug in her hand and she’s sobbing. “She spilled my hot chocolate.”

So we are crying over…. spilled hot chocolate?

Understandable behaviour if she was 5 but she is in her mid-teens and it took me off guard.

Hands of mother consoling sad teen daughter crying

I consoled her with a promise to make more and as I folded her into an embrace, I caught my husband’s eye across the room. He raised his eyebrows but said nothing. Continue reading

Posted in Mental Health, Parenting, School-aged Children, stress, Teens, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

In an emergency, would your child know how to call 911?

Boy in phone booth holding landline corded phone and cell phone to compare

A few years ago, we got rid of our landline phone. The only people calling us were telemarketers – even the baby boomer grandparents had moved on to texting us!

Our kids were babies at the time and to be honest, I didn’t think about them needing to use a phone. Who were they going to call anyways??

Wait… Even little three and four year-olds have called 911 and saved a caregiver’s life. Continue reading

Posted in Parenting, Preschool, preschoolers, School-aged Children, Toddlers | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Who’s the boss? You or your phone?

The dinner is on the table, the milk has been poured, and everyone dives in. Well, everyone except one. There is one person at the table checking their phone.

No. No. Not my daughters.

Like many households, we have a no-device-at-the-table rule. Apart from the occasional reminder my kids have done well to remember and even respect this guideline. It has long been established that the dinner table is a great time to regroup and connect as a family. I am embarrassed to say, however, that there is a rising star in this rule-breaking – my husband. Having recently started a next chapter in his career he is more in demand than ever. Add this to our societal shift of “all things must be answered now” philosophy and you have a dinner-time-device debacle.

Check out this hilarious video below from Commonsense Media:

Continue reading

Posted in Babies, Mental Health, Parenting, preschoolers, School-aged Children, stress, Teens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

We went on a family vacation… Without any screens

Mother and daughter happily making snow angels in the snow

2017 was an insane year for our family of four, so my husband and I decided to start the New Year off by taking the kids for a local getaway. I’m talking a small hotel room with a kitchenette for five nights and six days. And no screens.

When I told friends about our plan, the first question was a befuddled “WHY?!” Continue reading

Posted in Mental Health, Parenting, Physical Health, Preschool, preschoolers, School-aged Children, Toddlers, Tweens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

4 ways to inspire your teen to give back

Teenagers outside cleaning up a park with quote: “If you give kids the inspiration and tools to change the world, it will change their own lives in the process” -Craig Kielburger of “Me to We”

When our sons were about 14 and 16, their lives revolved around friends, food, sports and girls. Pretty typical, right? They were kind, compassionate kids who had done some mandatory volunteering, but as their parents we wanted them to see the benefits of giving back. Continue reading

Posted in Parenting, School-aged Children, Teens | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Me… Tandem breastfeed?!

Tandem breastfeeding wasn’t something I set out to do, it just sort of evolved. Here is my story:

I was breastfeeding my first child when I became pregnant with my second. Although I wasn’t totally ready to wean, the idea of breastfeeding a newborn plus a two year old was daunting. I pictured myself sitting on a spit-up soaked sofa, tandem breastfeeding a baby and toddler with play dough stuck in my matted hair, surrounded by piles of dirty laundry and stacks of unwashed dishes. Not a pretty picture. I also thought my son would be less jealous of the new baby if he was weaned, and so we stopped.  A couple months after weaning, the baby’s arrival ROCKED my first child’s world. He was angry that the new baby disrupted his life and he saw the new baby as a challenger for my attention.

Newborn baby held by parent, toddler sibling looking worried

Continue reading

Posted in Babies, Breastfeeding, Parenting, Pregnancy, preschoolers, Toddlers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment