Scheduling Fun and Family Time is So Important

It is September, and our lives here are getting rather busy. My teen is adapting to a new high school that she loves, and I have been busy dealing with the business side of CommonCentsMom. We have also had lots of invites and activities this month. If you follow me on my social channels, you may have seen some of these. With life getting so busy this year, we had to make a choice. We had to choose to schedule family time.All summer long my teen and I hung out together, we did lots of fun stuff and connected. As life got busy this month, I found myself craving family time, so we scheduled it. What did we decide we wanted to together? Nothing exciting? We didn’t even go out, we got out our favourite junk food, baked a couple of pizza and did a marathon of movies on Netflix while cuddling on the couch and getting caught up. Making time to simply enjoy each other’s company is so important.


So what have we been watching?

Well, I have a thing for Disney movies, so we did a night of those.

zootopia

First up was Zootopia which just came out on Netflix.  We had seen this movie in the theatre and just had to watch it again. I am in love with a certain sloth.

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After we had watched Zootopia, we got into the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies. We watched four of them. Yes, I have a thing for a certain Captain.

Both my teen and I love the assortment of Disney movies that are on Netflix. Have you checked them out yet?

We have also started watching a tv series together once or twice a week. There are some great choices on Netflix, where you can binge on a whole series. Currently, we are watching Breaking Bad which neither of us had seen. before. We have just started Season 2 and things are starting to get interesting.

Whenever we are relaxing and getting caught up though we have to have a snack? Is movie and tv time in your house snack time?  Here are a couple of recipes you might want to try for your next movie marathon.

First up are the Walking Tacos

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Second are the  Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwichs

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If you try them, send a photo to me. Let me know what are your favourite movie snacks and what are you currently watching on Netflix?

 

 

 

 

The School Lunch Debate and The Role Teachers Play

school-lunch

This morning while watching Breakfast Television, there was a large online discussion about school lunches. It was also a featured story in the Toronto Star and well since I am a blogger with a kid with food issues I wanted to bring the discussion here. In the latest story out of Durham region, parents whose children have had food routinely confiscated spoke up to the Durham Region News. It was then republished yesterday in the Toronto Star and talked about on Breakfast TV this morning.

Can you imagine Goldfish crackers (the favourite snack of my daughter as a kid) are considered junk food? Granola bars that might have no nuts but a bit of chocolate no goes as well? Even string cheese has been confiscated. Let’s just say I am glad my daughter is in grade 12, and well there are no teachers to monitor her lunch choices now. You see my daughter was born with health issues that I am well aware. My daughter’s teachers knew her allergies but not her intolerances and what they did to her body.

The one day in grade 8, when teachers were making food choices for the kids in her class, my teen had a huge reaction. That reaction led to some mistakes on her part and a five-month suspension from school. Things happen.

Yes, I am for sending kids with a healthy lunch. Yes, I am for sending kids with a lunch and snacks that will fuel them for learning, but I am also a mom with a tight budget. I am a mom on a tight schedule as well. My budget, when Rachel was younger, was even tighter. Fresh food was not always available, which is why I was thankful for the morning snack program. I also had to cater her lunches to her dietary needs. I could not imagine what my reaction would have been if I got a not scolding my choices as a parent for my child.

Allowing teachers to become the food police takes away parental rights. We know our children better than their teachers. Yes, my daughter had McDonalds for lunch on occasion ( a treat meal), yes, she had pizza, yes she had banana bread and cookies in her lunches. So what. I knew what she would be taking in that day. She was a growing child, and I was doing the best for her that I could. I think as parents we all do the best we can.

The curriculum for grades 1-3 talk about healthy choices, and it was about grade 3, the teacher’s role is in the classroom not as the food police at lunch time.

I know my now teen has a healthy breakfast before she leaves, This morning it was waffles and an orange, yesterday it was eggs, toast, and juice, the day before oatmeal.  I know she may pack a couple of snacks (do to meds she takes at 8 am her appetite is suppressed for hours (something her teachers wouldn’t know). If teachers were all of a sudden taking away the bit of food, she could tolerate and give her something her body can’t handle I would be livid.

I think today; we are way too critical of each other and the choices we make. This criticalness brought into our classrooms and in the hands of our teachers can have dire consequences.  When food choices are picked apart, they can lead to issues like anxiety and worse especially if a child has any mental health issues. In other children, they will be embarrassed and perhaps left hungry as the “healthy food” often a piece of fruit is not enough to tide them over.  Let’s think twice before taking away provided foods. Let’s save those emergency lunches for kids who come to school hungry.

Right now we need to be supporting parental choices instead of policing one another. It’s a lunch after all and as long as by the end of the day and over the week there are healthy choices made that do help a child grow then parents be responsible for their children as they should be.

 

 

Celebrating National Coffee Day

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Ca you believe it’s September? I know my schedule is getting busier as we get into fall. There are the after school clubs, work and family events to keep track of. To keep us busy moms going, we turn to a certain caffeinated beverage that fuels our day – coffee. How often do you reach for your favourite cup of java?

On September 29th, embrace your vice and celebrate National Coffee Day with fellow coffee-loving moms. Did you know that Canadians consume an average of 2.8 cups a day?1

 Here are some other interesting statistics about coffee that will keep you brewing the beverage every morning:

·         Coffee is good for your memory. A study conducted in Maastricht, Holland found that coffee can combat the forgetfulness that often accompanies aging2.

·         Coffee helps fight the common cold. Coffee can help cold sufferers feel better faster by relieving the sluggish feeling colds leave behind3.

While a great cup of coffee is the perfect start to the day, sometimes our favourite morning ‘jolt’ can leave us wanting to hide under the covers. You know what I’m talking about!

·         Clothing stains. All it takes is a little drip from your mouth to land on your lap or your chest (the worst part is when you don’t even realize it happened). OxiClean™ Colour Shield Liquid Laundry Stain Remover features the power of OxiClean™ that reaches deep into fabric fibers to quickly and safely break up and remove stains and keeps colours looking their brightest.

·         Teeth stains. Our teeth probably hate us the most for our love of coffee. ARM & HAMMERTM Truly Radiant™  Spinbrush and ARM & HAMMERTM Truly Radiant™  Whitening & Enamel Strengthening Toothpaste are the perfect pair to fight coffee stains and get to a whiter, brighter smile in just 3 days. ARM & HAMMER™ Truly Radiant™ Spinbrush removes 100% more plaque in those hard to reach areas*, and ARM & HAMMER™ Truly Radiant™ Whitening & Enamel Strengthening Toothpaste removes stains, helps remineralize tooth enamel restoring its shine and smoothness.

What is your favourite way to enjoy your morning coffee? Let me know, right now as I right this I am enjoying a salted caramel mocha frappuccino. Yes, I drink my coffee cold sometimes.

Social Media Advice For Teachers in Ontario

social media teacher

In our house, we have been using social media for years. Even my teen daughter has had several social media accounts Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are her favourites. Personally, I have been using social media as long as it has been around. I love connecting online with friends and family and also use it for business.

Now, when it comes to my daughter and school here in Ontario, there are social media rules that must be followed for her safety.  In fact, there are social media rules for both students and teachers in the province. Teachers are just as informed about the rules of using social media wisely as our kids are. For teachers, there is an advisory document on the appropriate use of social media put out by the Ontario College of Teachers. For my teen, there is the social media contract.

Why have all these rules? When it comes to being online, there are many risks and dangers for both student and teacher.  We live in an environment where boundaries could be crossed very easily. Having established guidelines and rules makes it easier on all.

Over the last few years, my teen has used e-communication and social media in several of her classes to get school work done.  Her teachers have used social media to help her follow an astronaut’s journey, to develop friendships with other students across the country, and even to create social media posts and videos as part of her homework.  These skills help her prepare for real life, and I am glad that her teachers have been great role models in how social media can be embraced in the school system.

One of the projects that she worked on was a public service announcement. I can remember her searching You Tube, talking on Messenger with classmates doing the same project, and even emailing back and forth with her teacher. Even when watching all these interactions happen there were things done to ensure my teen was using her social accounts wisely. There were constant reminders on all the assignment sheets.

The Social Media Advisory document offers teachers advice on numerous online topics from having the proper security settings to the exchange to private messages. Every year teachers have informed me when my teen is online using social media for school work as this too is part of the advisory document. Being informed is a good thing. This advice for teachers allows them to embrace social media in ways that help our children.

When it comes to teachers, they are expected to be great role models for our kids in all their actions. Even the Supreme Court of Canada has stated that teachers are role models and must act as such inside and outside of school hours. I feel safer knowing that teachers as well as students are reminded often of their responsibilities.  This is a huge responsibility and having been an early education teacher I know that teachers take it seriously.  Those that are role models have such an important part in our child’s lives.

teacher

Find a Teacher

Ever have a question about a teacher’s credentials? I know I did one year. There had been an incident at school, and I wanted more information about the teacher in question. You can use Find a Teacher to check out their qualifications and even if there has ever been a disciplinary action taken.   This information is public knowledge because there are laws in place to protect our kids.  It’s also great to check and see if your child’s teacher has completed any special programs or courses. This is great information to have especially for parents like me who have children on IEPs. My daughter has a dual designation which means a well-trained teacher who is keeping up on the current special needs trends and courses is an awesome thing for her. Having this information can definitely give you piece of mind.

Resources for Parents

Want more information about the Ontario College of Teachers and what they do? They have a section for the public on their website.  Check it out and if you are a parent, you will want to sign up for The Standard. It is a free newsletter for parents. The newsletter lets you know more about teachers’ qualifications, the work the College is doing to ensure high standards in education, trends in education and changes in educational legislation.  If you want to get the newsletter in French, you can do that as well.

You can also connect with the College on TwitterFacebook, and Youtube.

 

 

3 Tips to Help Teens Have a Healthy Smile this School Year

It’s that time of year, and we are busy getting our kids and teens back on schedule and making sure great habits are in place for the coming school year.  One of the things we had to concentrate on with my teen was dental health.  You see, like over 50% of teens, she was not brushing her teeth at least twice every day.  How can we get our teens brushing their teeth? How can we make sure our teens have a healthy smile for this school year?There are some simple things we can do as parents to get them brushing. For me, as a mom, it meant working within certain boundaries. My daughter has some sensory issues and is allergic to mint.

Here are some tips that I used with my teen, who is now brushing twice a day without being reminded. I count that a win for mom and my daughter’s teeth.

Sonicare

Less Junk Food

You can’t always control what they eat when out with friends, but you can control what you purchase. This summer I have been making sure there is less junk food in the house. Healthy snacks and beverages are vital for dental health.  I find my teen is now even ordering healthy options when we are out.

Compliment Them

I know my teen loves being told she looks good. Does yours? When we reinforce with a sincere compliment, we tend to have to remind them less. Let them know their new or improved dental habits are noticed.

 

Keep the Right Supplies on Hand

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When dealing with my teen’s sensory and allergy issues, I learned that having the right tools was so important if I wanted her to improve her dental health habits. She is allergic to mint. Do you know how many toothpastes have a mint flavour? We went shopping for a different flavour and, after checking with her dentist, found that even a flavoured kids toothpaste is fine to use as long as it had fluoride.  Nice to know if you have a kid like mine who reacts to mint. I also learned to have the right floss (unflavoured works for her) and the right toothbrush. Stock up on what works when they are on sale; that way you will have a small stockpile ready for the school year.

When it came time to find the right toothbrush, we chose the new Sonicare Series 2 Plaque Control Toothbrush from Philips. It retails for about $79.99.

Phillips Sonicare toothbrush

Why did we choose it? The toothbrush uses patented sonic technology to drive fluid deep between teeth and along the gumline for a super clean. After a recent visit to my dentist, I know how important that is. My teen says when she uses the Sonicare toothbrush it feels like she has just come home from the dentist. She loves how easy it is to use and how it makes her mouth feel.

I love knowing that it removes 6x more plaque than a manual toothbrush, which helps to reduce cavities. Thankfully, she has only ever had one. I also love that this toothbrush did not break the bank.My teen loves that hers is pink, though a variety of colours are available.

Have you ever had trouble getting your teens to brush their teeth? If you have, try my tips and let me know how they work. For my teen, changing these three things has helped her to develop some great dental health habits that will give her a great smile this school year.

Philips Sonicare uses dynamic cleaning action and patented sonic technology to gently and effectively reach deep between teeth for a superior clean you can see and feel.   Switch to Sonicare 2 Series and remove 6X more plaque than a manual toothbrush.

Sonicare Logo

Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Philips via Mode Media Canada.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Philips.

 

 

The 10 Best Provincial Parks in Ontario for Camping With Your Family

Spring has finally arrived here in beautiful Ontario, Canada and camping enthusiasts like us are eagerly planning and booking their camping trips for the summer. We all know camping season begins with the May long weekend. Everyone has different requirements when they start searching for the perfect park to stay at, and parents camping with children know all too well how important it is to get a campground that will have enough going on to occupy their kids for the length of the stay. I took my little one on her first camping trip when she was four, and she has been on several since.  We both love to camp and are looking forward to getting away this summer.

camping

Finding that right campground can be a challenge when you are looking for the right activities and attractions. You work hard all year and your vacation time with your family is precious, so you want to make sure everything is researched, planned and perfect for your family. I know that is my desire when I make plans for us.  Check out what I consider the best 10 Ontario Provincial Park Campgrounds. I’m sure you will find your perfect summer family camping getaway amongst them.

Algonquin Provincial Park – 8 Campgrounds; 14 Trails; Each Campground and Picnic area has its own designated swimming areas; Birding; 3 Biking Trails; Boating; Canoeing; Fishing; Public Wolf Howl; Moose viewing along Hwy 60; Evening Outdoor Theatre Programs; Visitor Centre for Hour of Discovery with Games, Stories and Animals; Educational Guided Walks; Logging Museum & Art Centre.

My father first took me camping in this park when I was about ten years old. I still remember that trip. We spent a lot of time going for walks and swimming.

Arrowhead Provincial Park – 3 Sand Beaches; 5 Trails, Stubbs Falls; 2 Bike Trails; Birding; Canoeing; Fishing; Motor-Boat Free Lakes; Canoe, Kayak and Mountain Bike Rentals; Remains of Old Homesteads from 1870’s; Educational Programs for kids include Historical Walks, Evening Programs, Crafts & Games; 1 Hour drive to Algonquin Park.

The homesteads at this park remind me of my heritage. My family has been in Canada since well before Confederation. They were early farmers not far south of here.  This is where Rachel mastered the canoe.

roasting marshmelllows

Bon Echo Provincial Park – 100 Metre High Mazinaw Rock with over 260 Aboriginal Pictographs; Interpretive Boat Tours on Mazinaw Lake over to Mazinaw Rock; 6 Hiking Trails; 3 Natural Sand Beaches; Educational Programs, Children’s Programs, Evening Shows; Biking; Birding; Boating; Canoeing; Fishing.

This campground was the very first one that I took my daughter too when she was little. She loved the evening programming and the educational programs. This is a great park with little ones.

 

Grundy Lake Provincial Park – 8 Natural Sand Beaches; 3 Hiking Trails; 9 Back Country Sites; Biking; Excellent Birding; Non-Motorized Lakes; Jumping Rocks; Canoeing & Kayak Rental nearby; Interactive Educational Programs, Guided Hikes, Campfires; ‘Art in the Park’ Program.

 

Killarney Provincial Park – 645 km of Backcountry Wilderness; 50 Lakes; 11 Canoe Routes; 6 Hiking Trails; 2 Beaches on Campground; Biking; Birding; Boating; Fishing; Georgian Bay Coast Line of Pink Granite & The La Cloche Mountains White Quartzite Ridges; Guided Hikes; Children’s Programs; Evening Programs; Art-In-The-Park & Artist-In-Residence Programs; Observatory hosting Guest Astronomers.

I have friends who live just outside the park, and it is one of their favourites. We camped here many years ago when I was younger.

 

Killbear Provincial Park – 6 Km of Biking Trails; 4 Hiking Trails; Birding; Boating; Canoeing; Fishing; Excellent Sailing & Windsurfing conditions; Cliff Jumping; Each Campground has its own designated Beach for Swimming; Children’s Programs; Guided Hikes; Evening Programs plus Musical Concerts by groups such as the Wakami Wailers.

This is a smaller park but a great getaway.

 

Long Point Provincial Park – 2 km of White Sandy Beach and Warm Lake Erie Water; 4th Oldest Provincial Park in Ontario (Est. 1921); One of the Largest Bird & Waterfowl Migration areas in North America with over 300 species; Biking; Boating; Canoeing; Programs throughout summer include ‘Reptiles at Risk’, ‘Creatures of the Night’, ‘Fowler’s Toad’

Everyone must camp here at least once. It truly is a wonderful park especially if your kids are into science and animals and migration.

Port Burwell Provincial Park – 2.5 km Sandy Beach with Shallow, Warm, Blue Water on Lake Erie; Excellent Play Area for kids; Biking; Boating; Canoeing; Fishing; 2 Hiking Trails; Birder’s Paradise with over 232 species; ‘Marvels of Migration’ Annual Autumn Hawk watching program; Interpretive & Recreational Programs include semi-weekly Children’s Crafts, Slide Show, Nature Theme Movies, Campfires, Skits & Conducted Hikes.

If you are a fall camper, it is a perfect time to hit this park.

 

Sandbanks Provincial Park – 3 Sandy Beaches with Shallow Water; World’s Largest Baymouth Barrier Dune Formation; Biking; Birding; Canoeing; Boating; Fishing; Explore 3 Hiking Trails with a Park Naturalist; Children’s Programs; Evening Campfire & Slide Shows.

One of our families favourite places to go is here. We love everything about this park.

 

The Pinery Provincial Park – 10 Km of Sand Beach on Lake Huron; Rolling Dunes; Rare and Fragile Oak Savanna & Coastal Dune Ecosystems with Extraordinary Biodiversity with over 800 Vascular Plants; Birding 318 Species; 10 Hiking Trails; 14 Km’s of Biking Trails; Fishing; Canoe, Hydro Bike, Paddleboat & Kayak Rentals; Programs Include – Bike Hikes, Evening Program, Conducted Walks, Children’s Nature Discovery-Stories & Animal Programs, ‘Ooze n’ Gooze’ Aquatic Discovery; National Geographic ranked Sunsets here among the “Top 10 Best in the World”.

If you love your sunsets like I love sunsets you want to go here.

Where ever you go, we are blessed to have some great provincial parks that we can get to this summer.

 

Honourable mentions: Awenda Provincial Park , Lake St. Peter Provincial Park, Lake Superior Provincial Park, Presqu’ile Provincial Park, Silent Lake Provincial Park

5 Ways to Save Your Sanity When You Work at Home

5 Ways to Keep Your Sanity When You Work at Home

I run my blog and small business from home. Sometimes when you work from home you can go a little stir crazy. Sometimes you feel like you could be losing your sanity. When you work at home, having a work/life balance can be something you need to work on. I know this has been the case for me. There have been days when I sit down at the computer, after my morning tea and don’t get up from it till bed time. So how does one save your sanity when you work from home? How do you get to be a happier mom, one that has a great work life balance? For me here are some of the things that are working:

1. Make Google Calendar Your Best Friend

I have always struggled with keeping myself on track. I can get lost in projects and timelines. I can get lost in thinking there are ways this could be better so what should take me an hour takes me five hours. How I learned to combat this was to structure timelines into my day. A good blog post takes me 2 hours. Then there is another hour for the creative and promotion. So every blog post gets 4 hours. I have started putting everything into my calendar from work obligations to personal ones. I love with the Google Calendar you can color code everything. This works for me. It helps me to be organized and it helps me to take back time.

2. Work during Work Hours

Have you ever found yourself answering an email during family time? while you are out on a date? with the kids at the beach? I even answered emails while at church.  It was on a Sunday that I realized I needed to leave work to work hours unless it was truly urgent. It was a struggle for me to turn work off. I have learned that I can give more to family and friends when I am truly present in the moment. I have learned to but my phone on silent.

3. Take a Break

A dear friend, who is a pretty big name in the Stocial Media space, once told me for them to give the best to their clients they needed to take regular breaks during their work day. Every 2 hours they take a 15 minute break. They found it helped them to get up and move around the house, make a cup of coffee, check on other family members and then get back to work. They came back able to focus better. For me I find getting up and moving works. I now take 2 tea breaks a day and take an actual lunch time when I actually get up and do not eat in front of the computer ( a bad habit I had formed).

4. Exersice

For those of us who work from home, it’s easy to just stay home and get to work in front of our computers but what about selfcare? Until last year, I ignored regular exersice. One of the biggest lessons I have learned this year was to get outside and walk. It clears my mind and gives me energy. Living in Canada though, its not always easy to get outside so I also do BeachBody dvds that I love now and I find after a good workout, I write better and work better as well.

5. Bring in the Fun

What is fun for me might not be fun for you. I love finding time to binge watch a favourite show. I love getting creative for me (not for a blog post). I love colouring like I did when I was a kid. I love to read. I love to go thrifting and to garage sales. Find time to do the things you love. Schedule it in. For me and my daughter it was important to find time to do something fun at least a couple times per week. This might be baking ( something my daughter finds fun), hitting an arcade, playing a board game or watching a movie together, whatever it is we try and make it fun.

So what works for you? Let me know in the comments. What helps you keep your sanity if you are a work at home mom like me?

 

 

 

What Do You Need to Know About Teens and Mental Health in Ontario

Hospital waiting room

After the attack at a local high school, it took me a couple of days to really think about what I wanted to write here. From all media reports, it seems the girl who stabbed several other people was a time bomb waiting to explode. She had serious mental health issues, that were not being treated. Those are the facts.

If you have been a long time reader of mine, you know my daughter had serious mental health issues after being badly bullied at school. The issues came out with her being angry and being unable to control her emotions. It came to a head one day in the March of 2012. She was at school when she had a complete breakdown ( she has allowed the sharing of her story to help others). She made some serious threats. She was not expelled, not charged, she was suspended from school and put on a Do not Attend order that lasted till February of 2013. She was 14 (the same age as the young woman now in police custody).

From what I understand of the teen’s plight in Durham, she was waiting on mental health care. She had been struggling for years.

Here are some harsh facts I came to know well.

  • Wait times in Toronto to see a mental health specialist can take about 2 years.
  • Wait times for community programs after diagnosis can take years.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death of our kids only behind car accidents.
  • We have a shortage of specially trained adolescent care providers.
  • The only place to get urgent care is the emergency room and even then children and teens are often released to their parent’s care because of there being no treatment or hospital beds available.
  • We have no wait times standards for care in Ontario when it comes to our kids and mental health.
  • There are a shortage of Section 23 school seats where kids with mental health issues can get proper support.

So what can we as parents do? What can we as a community do?

We all have seen the promos, the sugar coating on Mental health days that try to bring issues to the forefront, but the reality is not enough is being done. More funds were recently made available but they did not even make a dent as the need is real. Wait time even for urgent care hospital beds and treatment programs are long. My own daughter waited 8 weeks ( while doctors said she was at extreme risk and labeled a high priority case). We need to stand up and say our kids lives matter. If these kids had a disease or illness that was not mental health related they receive a  certain level of care. We need to require that for our children who need support and care so they can have the chance to grow up. Statistics show the faster a child with mental health issues is treated the cost of long term care decreases.

Several things I learned as my daughter and I waited.

Advocacy is a must. Sometimes our kids can’t advocate for themselves so we must be there to do it for them. I became a momma bear. I even wrote a letter to the newspaper long before I was the Common Cents Mom.

Mental health issues can literally send a family into poverty. I had to give up a full-time job and work from home for several years so I could parent my daughter, look after her needs and learn as much as I could about mental health issues.

I trained myself in restraint holds when she was little, I learned about coaching my daughter. I learned to look for triggers and how to plan. It was hard work and google became my best friend.  I had to learn quickly what would work with little supports in place.

With mental illness isolation comes. Our support cycle shrunk as we battled. I had more then one well meaning friend speak to me about her behavior issues as if I was not parenting well. I left a couple of churches because of words said and the lack of empathy and compassion. She was the girl kicked out of Sunday School. Mental health is not a parenting issue ever! Parents of mentally ill children and teens often work overtime and hard to get their child what they need. They are often left unsupported.

Every case and every teen is different. My teen had two traumatic events happen and to be honest I am still not sure she has fully recovered from them( she still cringes every time we talk about life in Nova Scotia), add to that ADHD and a learning disorder that has her processing things at super speed and well you get a jumble of adjectives from doctors to describe my teen.

One of the biggest things I learned was what to do while I waited with her to get the care she needed. I had to do whatever it took. I had to think outside the box finally. Lucky for me, I found a great therapist who took my daughter unto their case load. But the reality is he charges quite a bit for a normal family. Thankfully, he allowed me to pay on a sliding scale. My teen waited over a year and half for community support programs that never came. We were on wait lists everywhere. There were no after school supports, no community therapies, no camps for her.

Schools need the funding and resources to have trained Child Youth Workers available so our kids can learn. There needs to be better supports for these children in school. Right now my daughter is supposed to have a certain amount of hours with an EA thanks to and individualized educational plan. She has yet to have that support this year. She has been dual identified on her plan yet does not get that support. Funding is lacking.

For us and for her it took time to heal. Like any illness, mental illness takes lots of recovery time and self care. My teen needed and needs medication to keep her doing well along with structure and support.  There is no shame in that. She has also grown a lot in the last four years. Karate, a good school where she could excel, medication and regular check ins keep her doing well. She has come a long way and fought a good fight but as a mom of a child who has struggled I am always on guard.

So what do I do? What should we do? We need to be advocating for care and a standard of care to be in place here in Ontario. We need to start saving the lives of our mentally ill youth, we would be trying more if it was any other illness. It is time to step up to the plate so our kids can have the lives they deserve.

 

A Month In And I am Making New Resolutions #Netflix

I think if you are a regular reader of mine you know I love Netflix. Over the Christmas break my teen and I got to watch quite a bit and even did some binge watching but then came January and the rush and hustle and bustle to get back into routine and our viewing time was at a minimum.

 

With the end of the semester for my teen and things finally setting in here at home this week we are finally making a viewing resolution. We each have our favorite shows that we want to binge watch and yes you can. My daughter loves “Dragons Race to the Edge”. She adores Toothless. I can’t wait for Fuller House that comes out later this month and I might even get caught up with some Friends. I am also looking forward to the next seasons of Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and Drop Dead Diva. I know what a mix.

Binge-watching can be dangerous for you if you don’t like to be left waiting. I know I am left here waiting for certain shows but they are easy resolutions to make even if you are late to the game like me. So tell me what are you looking forward to watching on Netflix this year?

*this post was brought to you by team at Netflix Canada. Once again I am a member of the #streamteam. I do receive compensation in the form of gifts and free Netflix.