Yesterday the team at Fueling Brains reached out to Alberta Mamas about the platform they’ve launched in Calgary. You can check it out at www.FuelingBrains.com.
It’s an online tool for educators and parents, meant to support early childhood learning of your kids. They’ve been working in the child care space for nearly a decade as Kids U and they’ve put together a toolbox of activities and parenting resources based on the work of their educators and researchers.
And they’re offering it for free.
While they’re putting together this platform, they’ve also made a page for first responders and frontline workers seeking childcare. The platform’s founder, Anil, and his team even had their shoulders tapped to help healthcare practitioners in Alberta.
Author: Lorraine Mlambo is an Edmonton based Family Lawyer.
Like a thief in the night, we never saw this coming. The Covid 19 pandemic is the unseen common enemy that has wreaked unprecedented havoc around the world, leaving a trail of disaster, deaths, uncertainty and confusion. This pandemic will undoubtably pose a challenge for parents who are already separated or going through separation. To help parents through these trying times, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) have issued the following helpful guidelines:
Comply with all CDC and local and state guidelines and model good behavior for your children with intensive hand washing, wiping down surfaces and other objects that are frequently touched, and maintaining social distancing. This also means BE INFORMED. Stay in touch with the most reliable media sources and avoid the rumor mill on social media.
Be honest about the seriousness of the pandemic but maintain a calm attitude and convey to your children your belief that everything will return to normal in time. Avoid making careless comments in front of the children and exposing them to endless media coverage intended for adults. Don’t leave the news on 24/7, for instance. But, at the same time, encourage your children to ask questions and express their concerns and answer them truthfully at a level that is age appropriate.
BE COMPLIANT WITH COURT ORDERS AND CUSTODY AGREEMENTS.
As much as possible, try to avoid reinventing the wheel despite the unusual circumstances. The custody agreement or court order exists to prevent endless haggling over the details of timesharing. In some jurisdictions there are even standing orders mandating that, if schools are closed, custody agreements should remain in force as though school were still in session.
At the same time, it would be foolish to expect that nothing will change when people are being advised not to fly and vacation attractions such as amusement parks, museums and entertainment venues are closing all over the US and the world. In addition, some parents will have to work extra hours to help deal with the crisis and other parents may be out of work or working reduced hours for a time. Plans will inevitably have to change. Encourage closeness with the parent who is not going to see the child through shared books, movies, games and FaceTime or Skype.
Normally, I work outside of the house and due to class cancellations I’m home with the kids. I honestly thought the Social Distancing (as per the awesome Dr. Henshaw’s suggestion) wouldn’t get to me.
Well, I was wrong.
It was 10am on the second day when I finally broke down. I cried, a lot. I cried for the people who are sick, I cried for the people who’ve died, I cried and cried and cried. And then, I heard my kids playing and I told myself I had to stop.
There are people out there on the front line – grocery workers, nurses, doctors, police, fire, 911 operators, the list goes on and on. Like all the memes say – We can stay home – for them and for everyone.
So I made myself a list of 5 things that I can do to save my sanity.
There are so many people offering free live, or affordable online memberships. I’ve been watching two in particular myself – Fitcityguide and Metta Yoga but I would LOVE to hear if you’ve found awesome resources!
I will be 40 this year.
I’ve have heard that some people have a “scary” age. One that they just don’t look forward to and I always thought mine was 40, but now that I’m here – not so much.
In my 20’s I was crazy.
Farm girl gone to the big city, that first taste of freedom and ALL the mistakes. I had no idea who I was, what I wanted to be and absolutely no self esteem. I hung out with the wrong people, and dated the wrong guys, but really, came out on the other side smarter for all of it. I think of these years as my “test drive”
In my 30’s, I was better?
Gone was most of the crazy, I was married for a bit by then, had my kids and life just kinda went on. I started to come into my worth. My friend circle got smaller, but much more valuable. Towards the end of this decade here, I can honestly say I like myself more than I have my whole life.
I work with the younger generation and I hear them lamenting about turning 23, or 27 or whatever it is and I just keep telling them that they’re coming up on the best years of their lives. I tell them, believe in yourself, love yourself, be kind to yourself, life keeps going and really we just get more awesome.
The way I look at it is, I’m a Classic.
The days are slowly getting longer and temperatures are increasing, which means spring is on its way! Check out these 5 family-friendly events in the Grande Prairie area to celebrate Easter, which lands on April 12 this year.
1. Easter Eggstravaganza Hosted By Muskoseepi Park
Kids ages 2-10 are invited to meet the Easter Bunny, decorate cookies, play games, make crafts, and participate in the Easter egg hunt.
What you need to know:
Cost: $5 per child
Date & Time: April 11, 2020 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Ernie Radbourne Pavillion, 10326 -102nd Avenue
It was Valentines Day and I had made a lunch date with one of my favourite humans at Famoso Pizza. We are sitting at lunch, my youngest son tagging along for the ride.
The table next to us was filled with about 20 firefighters from the Spruce Grove Fire Department. We witnessed a man stand up and choke back a few tears as he made a speech to his retiring captain. It was touching and obvious that this man had made a huge difference in the lives of his team and in the community.
I looked longingly at my son knowing that I owed his life and safety to these brave men.
A couple years ago my son got locked in my vehicle while I was getting his brother out. The door closed and my car lost signal to the keys inside. My car is made to never lock with the keys inside so this was a very, big, problem. I got my one son out while my youngest stayed strapped into his car seat.
My kids are 8 & 11 and are in Grade 3 & 6. Just like us sometimes they need a break. So I let them stay home from school even when they’re not sick.
We don’t over schedule (as much as we can with two active kids) but sometimes life piles up. Big family changes, busy weekends, changes in school, and growth spurts sometimes all pile up in one messy ball of emotion and they get to a point where they just cannot function.
So they get to stay home. No questions asked.
I will say that this does not happen often. We trust them to make a judgement call when they need it and this power has yet to be abused. So far in this school year the youngest has taken one day and the oldest has taken two. They are rarely sick (knock on wood) and although we travel occasionally they don’t often have to miss a ton of school.
I can usually tell as soon as they wake up that they are going to use the “free pass” that day. Sometimes they will wake up, start playing into it and talking about staying home but 99% of the time they perk up, eat their breakfast and continue on with their day. But the other 1%? They tell me they just need a day.
A day to stay in bed. Read. Build Lego while listening to their podcasts. Watch their favourite cartoons. Cuddle.
I know the privilege I have to be able to work from home and adjust to their needs. I am grateful I have kids who do not take advantage of this. I get that this will not work for every family.
But for us this works. And as they grow up and become adults I hope that they learn that it’s OK to take a day to recharge.
Deanne Ferguson is the owner of Box Social Event Planning. When she is not planning fun, family, friendly events she is finding the yummiest food for the Edmonton Home and Garden Show Food Stage. She loves her #cocktailMonday dates with her husband and chasing around her two boys. You can find her at @DeanneFerguson on Instagram and @BoxSocialYEG on Twitter
I am not neurotypical. I have been diagnosed with ADHD, ED, LMNOP… Depression, anxiety and others I don’t know enough about to write about quite yet. Along with these letters, each one carries their own unique symptoms I deal with on a daily basis and while I try not to let diagnoses define who I am, it has been pretty clear that my diagnosis are something I can’t ignore. Also, LMNOP is not a real diagnoses, before we go any further.
When I was in my 20’s I played the game with myself where I decided I would not let my past effect my future. That I would not “dwell” in it and that anything I had gone through before was not going to shape who I was. This led me onto several unsavory paths that definitely shaped who I am if my diagnoses didn’t. Ignoring your symptoms is pretty impossible. While you think you are ignoring them, what you’re actually doing is pushing away anyone effected by your symptoms and bringing in people who have the same symptoms as you in the guise of “understanding” and “relating”. Let me tell you something, two unstable people does not a stable relationship make. In time, your life becomes chaos. The people in it are causing chaos by mirroring what you’re going through and dragging you down with them. The people you should have in your life that love you, you subconsciously push away in order to protect them. Or, you’re too afraid to hear the truth and be faced with the consequences of your own decisions. The decision that you were going to ignore your symptoms.
I’ll be honest with you, I have loved making goody bags for my kid’s birthdays. However, and that’s a BIG HOWEVER never once have I judged anyone for choosing not to make them and I’ve always taught my kids to be grateful that they’ve been invited to a birthday part and to not expect anything else.
My anxiety seemed to be managed and I was doing so well for a long time.
Well, you know how that goes. Life happens. Family issues pop up, especially around the holidays. I got busy and missed a few days of my medication and boom. The insecurities, the irrational thinking, the fear, all come on and it feels like I’m drowning again.
And you would THINK you would notice this in yourself but in my case I didn’t. I had to have a friend give a good swift kick and say – Ok, what’s up – you haven’t been like this in a long time. Then it dawns on me, and I remember missing days. And my Dr. has said that particularly stressful times will make my anxiety “flare up” but there is also the issue of time.