Imagine a little girl, not even two years old, walking up to you in a hall at the Children’s Hospital, hand in hand with a police officer. She has red eyes. Her hair is tangled and uneven. She has a goose egg on her head, and marks around her legs. The smiley face earrings you spot in her ears make her innocence shine through in this terrible moment.
It was a beautiful summer day. My daughter Chelsea was 10 and after a week of hectic activity, we were finally ready for summer camp. I read out the items from the camp list: “Shorts? Check. T-shirts? Check. Rain gear? Check.” Everything she needed was stacked on her bed. Each piece of clothing now bore a label with her name. All of her clothing for camp was clean and folded. All Chelsea had to do now was put it in her duffel bag laid out exactly for that purpose.
Did you know that you’ve actually been a parent since you first found out you were having a baby? It may feel more real now that your baby has arrived. Even with the best preparation, the reality of caring for your baby can feel overwhelming. Parenting brings changes to your relationships as you take on your new role. There may be challenges with sharing parenting responsibilities, learning different ways of parenting and agreeing on what’s right for your baby. Communicating your parenting decisions to family members, friends and other supports is important.
As Albertans brace themselves for more tough economic times ahead, many parents are dealing with increased stress and anxiety relating to job security, job loss and family finances. Alongside mounting parental distress, however, come concerns about the mental health and emotional well-being of Alberta’s children.
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