Parenting

It takes a village to raise a child.

Don't be afraid to ask for help with parenting!

If there is one thing I have learned about parenting, it’s about learning to ask for help. Parenting is one of the hardest things I have ever done and I know without the support that I am so grateful to have I would be less patient. Recognizing that our tanks need to be full in order to continually fill up our children has helped me a lot.

Ways to Love a Child

One of my favorite poems!

Give your presence; Laugh, dance and sing together; Listen from a heart space; Encourage; Understand; Call them love names; Send them love letters; Really love yourself; Allow them to love themselves; Ask their opinions; Learn from them; Say yes as often as possible; Say no when necessary; Honor their nos; No yelling; Speak softly Apologize; Touch gently; Build lots of blanket forts; Learn about parenting; Open up; Fly kites together; Change your routine; Lighten up; Believe in possibilities; Take time away; Read books out loud; Create a circle of quiet; Teach feelings; Remove guilt; Share your dreams; Play hooky together; Walk in the rain; Go barefoot; Celebrate mistakes; Admit yours; Frame their artwork; Hang it on the walls; Stay up late together; Eliminate comparison; Delight in silliness; Handle with care...remember they have not been on earth very long; Protect them; Respect them; Honor their differences; Cherish their innocence; Giggle; Speak kindly; Go swimming a lot; Splash; Let them cry; Don't hide your tears; Brag about them; Answer their questions; Let go when it's time; Let them come back; Show compassion; Keep them in your hearts and in your prayers.

Top 10 Tips for Parents

  1. When your child wants to show you something, stop what you are doing and pay attention to your child. It is important to spend frequent, small amounts of time with your child doing things that you both enjoy.
  2. Give your child lots of physical affection – children often like hugs, cuddles, and holding hands.
  3. Talk to your child about things he/she is interested in and share aspects of your day with your child.
  4. Give your child lots of descriptive praise when they do something that you would like to see more of (e.g., “thank you for doing what I asked straight away”).
  5. Children are more likely to misbehave when they are bored so provide lots of engaging indoor and outdoor activities for your child (e.g., playdough, colouring, puzzles, cardboard boxes, dress-ups, cubby houses, etc.
  6. Teach your child new skills by first showing the skill yourself, then giving your child opportunities to learn the new skill. For example, speak politely to each other in the home. Then, prompt your child to speak politely (e.g., say “please” or “thank you”), and praise your child for their efforts.
  7. Set clear limits on your child’s behavior. Sit down and have a family discussion on the rules in the home. Let your child know what the consequences will be if they break the rules.
  8. If your child misbehaves, stay calm and give them clear instructions to stop misbehaving and tell them what you would like them to do instead (e.g., “stop fighting; play nicely with each other.”). Praise your child if they stop. If they do not stop, follow through with an appropriate consequence.
  9. Have realistic expectations. All children misbehave at times and it is inevitable that you will have some discipline hassles. Trying to be the perfect parent can set you up for frustration and disappointment.
  10. Look after yourself. It is difficult to be a calm, relaxed parent if you are stressed, anxious, or depressed. Try to find time every week to let yourself unwind or do something that you enjoy.

Looking for more information or want to chat?

Parenting Education

Always be open and receptive to learning something new.

Should you vaccinate your children?

To vaccinate or not? Unfortunately, this topic tends to be a very touchy one. It seems that many people are either for it or against it. I strongly encourage you to educate yourself before you vaccinate your children so you are making an informed choice.

Had I known what I know now, I would have done things much differently.

I recommend watching these documentaries to help you come to a decision:

Sexual health

Parenting classes

Food is Medicine

Here are some helpful sites with recipes and blogs about eating healthy and preparing meals that your whole family will love.

Sleep

A sleep consultant – the best money I have ever spent in my life… Really! Abigail and Nolan were nine months old and I was coming close to exhaustion. I had not slept in 9 months and I did not know how much longer I could go on. I was so worried that one would wake the other and they were both all over the place with their sleeping.

Dawn did a consultation over the phone with Marty and I and they were both sleeping through the night 10 days later! Yes… Seriously! I have sent her information to many friends.

Go to Dawn’s website to learn more.

“The best kind of parent you can be is to lead by example.”

— Drew Barrymore

Counselling

Colleen Drobot: An amazing lady and counselor. She has been so helpful to my husband and me. She is part of the Neufeld Institute, a previous teacher, and a mom of two children.

Go to Drobot Counselling’s website for more.

Groups & Networks

Infant Development Program

The program is for children younger than three at risk for developmental delay. It is a referral program or parents can self refer.

IDP helps parents find available service in the community and help them understand early childhood development (giving parents tools to help their child). The Infant development consultant comes once a month or more if necessary – home visiting program.

We were introduced to IDP when Abigail and Nolan were firstborn. It took us seven months to get to the top of the waiting list but it was well worth it. We loved our consultant who gave us tons of tips and tools about child development and helped us find resources in the community when we needed them.

Our IDP consultant was also instrumental in helping us get Nolan diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. If it wasn’t for her he would not be where he is today.

Thank goodness for programs like IDP!

Centre for Child Development

The Centre for Child Development of the Lower Mainland has been providing services for children with special needs and their families for 56 years.

The Centre provides specialized pediatric medical rehabilitation services and supports to 2,000 children with special needs and their families in Delta, Surrey, South Surrey, White Rock, Langley and other areas of the Lower Mainland.

Options Community Services

Support for Parents with Young Children – This is provided through Options. It is free and offers one on one home support, and education, and encourages the development of healthy families in the community. Services and supports 2,000 children with special needs and their families in Delta, Surrey, South Surrey, White Rock, Langley, and other areas of the Lower Mainland.

Other Organizations

Other Resources

24-Hour Nursing Line

  • Call 811 to speak to a nurse for free support.

Craft & Activity Ideas

Toys

I’m all about the toys that encourage your child to think, explore and be creative.

Parenting Books & Videos

Books

Videos

We're on a journey across Canada!

Get an exclusive look inside our family as we move from province to province creating conversations at the dinner table.

Simpson Family Cross-Canada Road Trip
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