I wondered if it was worth writing about a year with COVID-19. It has taken over our lives and has dictated our activities. I’ve also thought about how different we are from the start of the pandemic in 2020. The uncertainty and nervousness from March 2020, to now – freezing in Alberta February, 2021. Almost a year later from our initial lockdown and still no parties, sleepovers, no kids sports, no boozy girl nights (we could gather outside but -25 isn’t my jam).
The global pandemic didn’t stop our life, but it was the year we did a LOT less.
Fewer gathering, fewer people, fewer parties, and instead of the big family reunion this summer, we did day trips in Alberta. More family time, more time alone, more time realizing I’m a terrible baker. More gardening, more time in a hammock. More ordering in from restaurants and giving into buying from Amazon.
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!
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.
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?
It’s a weird time. Days are blending together, time doesn’t matter, putting on real pants has gone by the wayside, and for most kids the severity of the situation has probably sunk in. They are missing friends and family, their activities, and the freedom to play in the park. Parents are struggling with working from home, layoffs, teaching their children, and more.
This isn’t easy.
So we wanted to write to the Easter Bunny and let him know that it’s OK to chill a bit this year.
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
Why I Love Elf On The Shelf:
We love when December 1st hits and Elf On The Shelf comes back from the North Pole and here’s why:
- The magic of it all! They think it is real and I love the Christmas magic that happens when they believe.
- Let’s be real – it is a parenting too for the whole month of December. The kids definitely act better when “Jingles The Elf” is watching.