Winter weather brings exciting new outdoor adventures for you and your child. From tobogganing to building snowmen, the winter months offer opportunities to stay active and spend time together outdoors. When planning outdoor activities, it’s important to remember that the weather in Alberta can be unpredictable and temperatures can drop rapidly. Because babies and children have smaller bodies, they are at greater risk of becoming too cold (leading to hypothermia). Ensuring that both you and your child are dressed appropriately for the chilly weather is an important component of safe outdoor fun.
Learning that you, your spouse or another family member suffers from an incurable illness or a serious, possibly fatal injury is devastating. After the initial shock, you may wonder how to break the news to your children. “What we try and tell parents is that we can’t fix things that are heartbreaking, but we can make them easier to understand,” says Heather Kinney, CCLS, CPST, a senior child life specialist.
As a parent, you are the one tasked with helping your child be the best they can be. You are the one who knows your child best, and so you need to make the decision of whether or not your child needs support from a counsellor. Unfortunately, our children are faced with stress on a daily basis within their two main environments: family and school. Family stress often involves transitions such as moves, divorce, illness and death. School stress can come from academics (issues such as test anxiety, expectations and homework) or social aspects (relationships, bullying and peer pressure). Each child reacts differently even when they have experienced the exact same situation. As the parent, you must make decisions around your child’s mental health based on that individual child and not their siblings, cousins or friends. If you are concerned, trust your instincts!
No parent sets out to raise a quitter; no teacher sets out to nurture one. Your lip curls just at the suggestion, doesn’t it? My thoughts on this loaded subject crystallized when the following questions from a reporter came across my desk: “When is it okay for a child to quit a sport or activity? How can adults determine the difference between a truly bad fit and a child who simply wants to stop when the going gets tough, only to start another activity and repeat the cycle?”
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