Hey, 2020 – Burn Baby Burn!
Just kidding of course, but if you have space to safely do a ritual burning of your 2020 agenda as suggested by the Wall Street Journal, we are not going to judge.
Let’s talk New Year’s Eve with the family. Your household family of course I mean, this being COVID times.
What can you do to make it special and fun for everyone?
We have a few thoughts!
KID-FRIENDLY OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES – a recent post, from one of our amazing contributors has some great ideas to get out and about!
Do you feel like it’s the same old thing every year? Quickly after the beauty of fall fades, the next season creeps in. A season that makes even some of the world’s most resilient animals say… yeah, no, gonna sleep through this one.
I’m talking about winter.
Winter makes us feel the need to bury ourselves under every blanket in the house, turn on the fireplace, and debate whether letting our kids watch TV for the next 5 months straight is reasonable. Anyone with me? I haven’t always been the biggest fan of winter and my fiance is even less impressed with this particular season.
Unfortunately (but also, fortunately), our 5-year-old child tends to set the stage for our daily activities, so… OUTSIDE WE GO! He has truly helped warm my relationship with winter. Greatly. I’ve come to actually love it! So I’m going to spend the next little while trying to convince you, while winter isn’t the easiest season to tolerate, it can be one of the most fun! Believe me?
First, let’s quickly touch on safety. Safety in the outdoors is always important, but I would say it’s the most critical in the winter with all the ice, snow, and darkness (I know… I’m selling it. Please keep reading!). I’ll keep it short. I strongly suggest you check the forecast and overpack with many layers and backups if you’re heading out. If your kiddo is typically unimpressed with the cold weather, bringing hand and foot warmers can help keep them toasty and you happy!
Winter Fun in the Backyard
3 Part Series… Part 2 , Part 1
Part 3: GIVE Skills/technique or appreciation-based praise & AVOID person, looks, or talent-based praise.
I had been called ‘fatty’ by some family members for a large part of my childhood years. I was actually within a healthy weight according to medical standards, but I started to believe deep down, I was ‘too fat’ (aka not good enough.)
But when I hit puberty, my body changed and one day I was suddenly ‘complimented’ by a female member of my extended family who said “Oh wow Ashley. You’re so skinny now. You’ve lost so much weight. You look great.”
I was 12 years old. I was floored. My mind jumped with excitement.
I had never been called ‘skinny’ before! Throughout my formative years I was told I was fat.
So, what happened? I glommed on to this new-found approval, beginning my infatuation with wanting to be skinny so I could retain the approval I was getting… The ‘fatty’ comments I got before were constantly telling me that I was “not good enough.”
Where did this land me?
Although some parts of the province have already *gasp* seen snow there is still time to do some leaf art with the kids. Not only is this easy to do the clean up is minimal! No glitter all over the house with this project.
This is also great activity to get you outside. Not only will you enjoy a walk you will get the opportunity to pause and look closely at different shapes, sizes and textures of the leaves with the kids.
What you need:
- leaves and twigs
- cardstock or other thick paper
- glue (I used a glue gun to make sure it stuck flat but white glue or a glue stick works too)
- On your walk collect different leaves and start thinking about what they could be.
- Arrange the leaves on the paper the way the child wants and glue the leaves and twigs down.
- Draw funny faces, legs, arms and other details on the leaf and around it.
This is one of the easiest fall activities and they make great artwork for the fridge!
Camp Yowochas has been running year-round programs since 1981, and summer camp programs since 1916. But this year, they’re offering something completely new! A way for your kids to get their regular schooling done, but ALSO enjoy the benefits of the outdoors.
In 2019, Camp Yowochas hosted over 8,300 visitors, including summer campers, schools, user groups and employ up to 60 staff members during the high season. Located in Fallis, AB, this year, they are offering Yowochas Learning Academy!
The Yowochas Learning Academy is designed for students who have chosen a distance or virtual learning option with their school division. The Camp Yowochas team will work with the parents of the students to understand and schedule their day to ensure they are meeting all curriculum needs.VLDC is for students who are 5-15 and enrolled in kindergarten to grade 9.
“In a typical year at Camp Yowochas, our staff are busy providing programs for more than 8,000 guests throughout the year. The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything this year, and we worked hard to figure out safe, responsible and meaningful ways to continue to run programs at Camp Yowochas. Through our summer Family Fun Days, Cabins at Yowochas and the Yowochas Learning Academy, we continue to support our community by offering programs that meet their needs in these uncertain times.”
– Terry Kony, Director, Camp Yowochas
Designed With Parents In Mind
As the Alberta Mamas, obviously, we are parents ourselves and we know that we’ve all had to make changes AND choices that have not been easy. Camp Yowochas wants to provide parents with the opportunity to return to work with the peace of mind of knowing their children are safe and progressing in their learning and development.
UPick season is here!
We are all feeling it – the need to “get out” but the worry of too many people, not enough distance…it can make anyone want to stay at home. After being cooped up for too long, we decided to get out of the city for the day and go pick some Haskaps at Rosy Farm’s UPick for a fun treat, some fresh country air, and a whole lotta Blue Skies.
For those that are wondering “what the heck is a Haskap?” prepare to have your mind (and tastebuds) blown.
By Ashley Anjlien Kumar, The Confidence Coach
In Part 1 of this 3-part series, I described some of the behaviours a child might exhibit if they have perfectionist tendencies. To refresh your memory, check out the post here. Not only will this help a child with perfectionism, but it can prevent it from developing in the first place.
PART 2: CELEBRATE MISTAKES
Sounds counter-intuitive doesn’t it? Aren’t we supposed to prevent our kids from making mistakes? As kids we were always cautioned against making mistakes, right? So why do I want to celebrate my kids mistakes?
I hear kids all the time, especially in a dance class or sports, “I hope I don’t make a mistake” or “I hope I don’t get it wrong.” They hope they don’t make a mistake because they view the mistake as a diminishment of who they are. That somehow, they aren’t good enough. Many kids, by age 5 or 6 years old, are already determining their self-worth by their mistakes.
In my family, similar to many conservative traditional families, making mistakes was not okay. You did not make mistakes. Mistakes meant punishments.
As we spend more time at home and try to not run to the store for every little thing, I am finding that we are trying to use what we already have on hand. Or, make what we need from things we have here. OR, just make things because we have nothing else to do! For my son’s Art Week at school we were given some projects to create at home. One of the projects was window painting with homemade paint. I wanted to share it here because it’s quick, fun and cleans up easily!
- Liquid Dish Soap
- Warm Water
- Food Colouring
Mix equal parts of flour, soap and warm water in a large bowl. We used 1/2 a cup of each, but depending on how much paint you’d like you can adjust. Use a whisk to ensure that all the flour is mixed in. Find some small bowls and add the uncoloured paint to them. We used old plastic applesauce containers that I keep in the craft supplies. Use food colouring to create your own custom colours of paint! A while back at the grocery store I found these Neon food colours, they created some really pretty shades.
We painted on the window at our front door with a variety of brush types. Any mistakes we made were easily wiped away with a wet cloth. We also tried the paint on paper and canvas, with success!
What homemade projects have you been enjoying with the kids? Let us know!
By Ashley Anjlien Kumar, The Confidence Coach
Does your child get down on herself? Is she hard on herself? A ‘perfectionist’ child?
Some parents have reached out to me to ask what they can do to help their child who they believe has perfectionist tendencies. As someone who grew up with a mother with perfectionist tendencies, I picked up those qualities too in many ways. It isn’t easy going into the adult world expecting and wanting things to be perfect from the start, and then realizing there will be many roadblocks, ‘plan B’s’ – which a perfectionist mostly hates, and even failures. — What? Failure? Aarrgh (running in the opposite direction…Right?)
I’ve been working on those tendencies since I was 19 years old and have worked to diminish the effects of these habits on my life. There are adults in their 60’s now trying to unravel their perfectionist habits so they can learn to enjoy life more. This is isn’t easy as we get older, so the sooner we start with young kids, the better off they will be in the long run.
There isn’t one single answer that will ‘fit’ each child because each child is unique. But here are some ways to help your child that will benefit her regardless, and will help to increase the connection in your relationship.
First, what are some signs of a perfectionist child?
- Gives up easily after only 1 or 2 attempts of something,
- Unable to overcome mistakes,
- Has difficulty managing change,
- Self-critical, self-conscious, or easily embarrassed,
- Sensitive to criticism even if it’s constructive,
- Anxiety about making mistakes,
- Procrastinates or avoids challenging tasks,
- Tendency to stay in comfort zone,
- Emotionally and socially inhibited,
- Critical of others,
- Difficulty decision making…
These are just a few.
So what can you do?