Tradgedy Close to Home

It’s been all over the news and social media – the abduction of 2 year old Haily Dunbar-Blanchette discovered while police were investigating the death and possible homicide of her father: Terry Blanchette. Every mother and father feels an intense fear in the hearts thinking about “what if this were my child?” Who could have taken her? What are the motives? Everything from suspecting the mother (perhaps a terrible custody battle?) to child slavery or child pornography rings. The abduction of   a child – any child – is enough to freeze a parents heart and gather your own young close to you and hold them tight. 

On Tuesday night Global news reported:  “RCMP have confirmed that the body of two-year-old Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette has been found. An amber alert had been previously issued after her father, Terry, had been found dead in his home  The RCMP said earlier Tuesday they took a 22-year-old man into custody in relation to the girl’s disappearance. He was also a suspect in the death of the girl’s father, 27-year-old Terry Blanchette, whose body was found inside the family home. RCMP said the man remained in custody Tuesday night for questioning and charges were pending.”   By early Wednesday morning, #RIPHailey was one of the top trending topics on Twitter. The hashtag had been used 7,200 times during the first few hours after the announcement of the little girl’s death.

As the hope for finding Hailey turned into heartbreak, many people took to social media to share their thoughts and prayers. As Jill Croteau explains, nobody can imagine such harm could come to a little girl. Cheyenne Dunbar, the mother of deceased two-year-old Haily Dunbar-Blanchette, broke down in tears Wednesday while trying to tell reporters what she’ll miss about her little girl whose remains were found overnight.

Top 5 Things Parents Can Do to Improve Your Neighborhood

Most of us, who grew up before the 1960s, know the joys of living in a neighborhood. As children, this was our playground and the neighbors were our friends. When we became parents, our neighborhood was our sanctuary and the neighbors our support system.

How would you describe your neighborhood today? Do you know everyone on the block? Do you feel safe and secure in there? Is your neighborhood comprised of a community of people working together toward a common goal or individual families living independent lives? Unfortunately the latter characterizes many neighborhoods today. Why?

  • We’re a transitory population. We move from place to place in search of a better lifestyle. We don’t stay anywhere long enough to know our neighbors and we hesitate making new friends in order to avoid the pain of the inevitable good bye.
  • We don’t stay home. Many neighborhoods are virtual ghost towns during the week because, while the children are in school or daycare, the adults are at work. When these families come home after a busy day away, the last thing they want to do is socialize with neighbors.
  • We don’t trust as easily. We build high fences and cultivate thick hedges around our property to discourage even neighborly intrusion.

This is the beginning of a great article written by Patricia Fry

For many parents raising their children in a safe and community minded neighbourhood is very important. We have comprised a list of the top 5 things you and your children can do to improve the neighbourhood you call home.

  1. Reach out http://www.matilijapress.com/articles/8waystoimprove.htm
  2. Organize a campagin to raise money for new playground
  3. Organize a group of volunteers to help with trash collecting. Allocate 1 day per season (4 days per year) and gather a group of grownups and kids alike to help clean up garbage. Concentrate especially in the public areas such as parks and green space. Make note of places that are especially “trashy” and request for the city  to add additional garbage bins.
  4. Create a mural or logo that depicts values of your community. Distribue on cards, stickers and magnets throughout the neighbourhood. 
  5. Plant a community garden.

It is believed that raising children in a safe neighbourhood with good schools and nice playmates is the single most important thing you can do as a parent.  Perhaps in more than the quality of parenting. A contraversial article on the subject can be found here: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/05/attention-parents-your-neighborhood-matters-more-you-do

Helicopter Parenting

A helicopter parent is a parent who over parents. They basically “hover” over their children in an effort to control every aspect of their lives. They always want to protect their children from harm and from making inevitable mistakes. Its very clear helicopter parents are way overprotective.

But they also associate their own self worth with the successes and failures of their children. This is usually why they are so involved  in their children’s lives. They have a very hard time letting go. No matter how old their child is they won’t let them live their own life. If you aren’t sure if you are a helicopter parent here are a few traits that might mean you are.

Trait #1  You Fight Your Children’s Battles

Helicopter parents will step in the middle of any battle and fight for their child. If the child has a problem with a friend, the parent will call the friend and try to settle the dispute. If the child has a problem at work that same parent will call their child’s boss to see what’s going on. They will fight to prove their child is being treated unfairly.

Trait #2 You Will Do Your Child’s Homework

Helicopter parents are obsessed with their child always being number one. They want them to always get the best grades and be the best at whatever they do. To make this happen they are willing to do their child’s homework assignments. They will even write entrance exams to help them get in college.

Trait #3 You Are Overprotective

This of course is one of the most obvious traits of a helicopter parent. Helicopter parents fear for their child’s safety. So much so they will prevent them from taking any risks they feel are too dangerous. They are the type of parents who would rather lock their child in their room for the rest of their life than let them learn how to deal with the real world.

Children with helicopter parents often have a hard time facing challenges and overcoming obstacles. This is because they are used to their parents fighting all of their battles for them. They grow up to be emotionally unstable and have a very hard time dealing with disappointments.

Troubled teens more likely to get charged with a crime

The number of crimes have progressively increased within the last few years, not only in U.S. but in Canada as well. For instance, Los Angeles (California) has a crime index of 28, which means that 28 crimes take place for each 1,000 residents. At the same time, Toronto has a crime index of 21, which means that 21 crimes take place for each 1,000 residents.

With this in mind, no country on the world can be regarded as perfectly safe. Crimes take place everywhere, regardless of whether they represent property vandalism, robberies, assaults or murders. However, what it is to be noted is that troubled tends are more likely to get charged with a crime as opposed to a reputable person with good record. Why does this happen? There are a variety of reasons to take into account:

- Troubled teens are easier to accuse. They do not benefit from the support of a reputable person with clear record and stable lifestyle.This makes them an easy target for police and the courts. Furthermore, their previous record itself stands as a proof against them, as those who had issues with the society in the past are more likely to resort to crime.

- Troubled teens spend most of their time as outlaws. Teens who have fights and arguments with their parents often tend to leave home and spend their time in the company of their troubled friends. Some of them fall into the temptation of drugs or narcotics, and look for easy ways to find money – sadly this is often via theft.

- Troubled teens are not angels. The very fact that the teen chose to withdraw from his/her relationship with the parents and run away from them proves an anti-social behavior, one which makes them more inclined toward committing a crime. A teenager who was preoccupied about studying and building a good carrier will hardly be looked as a criminal in front of court. However, a person who chose to defy his/her parents and act based on proper intuition has considerably higher chances of being accused.

These are the main reasons why troubled teens are easier to charge with a crime, and some of them are truly justifiable. However, that does not mean that these teens are perpetrators of crimes, in some cases being just a misunderstanding which needs to be resolved before it is too late. In such case, one needs to resort to the services of a good lawyer specialized in criminal defense.

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High Child Care Costs Causing Parents To Second Guess Going Back To Work

Did you know four years of early childhood care can cost just as much as a four year degree? Its true and its a very sad reality many parents in metro Vancouver are now dealing with. The average family who has just one child in full time care can expect to pay as much as $50,000 from the time parental leave ends until the child enters kindergarten. A four year undergraduate degree at the University of B.C. costs right around $31,000.

That includes books, fees and tuition. The cost you pay for childcare will vary wildly depending on where you live. One of the most expensive places for child care is Vancouver. The least expensive regions are Delta, Surrey and the Tri Cities. Daycare centres are of course a lot more affordable than daycare in private homes.

Extreme Cost of Childcare in BC

If you are unable to afford child care you will be forced to choose between quitting your job or leaving your child in an unregulated situation. The sad part is more and more families are being forced to make this very tough decision. While they can’t afford child care fees they also can’t afford to quit their jobs.

Its a difficult situation to say the least. Sharon Gregson, a local child care worker says she has to let families know every few months that they can no longer bring their child to the care centre. This is because the parents have fallen too far behind on their payments.

Families Struggle with Going to Work or Staying Home

Its tough to say just how many families are in this type of situation. However, its safe to say the number is in the thousands. Most parents would prefer group daycare settings because it is more affordable. The problem is there is a long waiting list for this type of service in Vancouver. People will do almost anything to get and stay on the list.

And that’s why so many parents are now second guessing going back to work. For those who can find family members to care for the child going back to work is not a problem. But for those who cannot they really don’t have much of a choice but to stay home until the child starts school. This article was originally presented from newsweb.ca and illustrates the agnony of what many parents in Canada are faced with every day.

KIDS-DIVORCE

Preparing your Child for Moving After a Divorce

Getting a divorce is something we all strive to avoid. However, there comes a time in the lives of many couples when they have to face the prospect of a divorce. During this daunting period of their lives, parents can be so overwhelmed by their own problems and emotional stress that they forget to assess the huge emotional impact this separation can have on their children.

Thousands of children experience the stress of divorce each year. The way they react is mainly dependent on their age, personality and the connection they have with their parents. In order to avoid your children to suffer during this stressful time, you need to know how to behave with them and how to ease the transition process.

The Decision to Move to a new home

As soon as you’re certain of your plans to break up and move to another residence, you need to talk to your children about this decision. Although there is no easy way to tell them the truth, it is recommended that both parents are present at the “meeting”. Of course, discussing about these things should be tailored to your children’s age, maturity and perspective on life. You need to make them understand that they did nothing to be blamed for this, as this is solely your decision as parents.

Sometimes the decision to move may be out of your hands, probably due to financial issues or a new job opportunity. Probably you’re not that excited about the move. Nevertheless, it is imperative to maintain a positive attitude about this situation. Your kids are looking at you for reassurance, so if they don’t find it, it will be extremely hard for them to cope with the change.

Moving with Toddlers

It is somewhat easier to move with kids under 6 years, as their capacity to understand things is fairly limited. In order to ease the transition process for preschoolers and toddlers, here are some things you should do:

- Keep explanations at a minimum.

- Explain them that their toys will not be thrown away.

- Use a story when explaining the move.

- Ensure that their new bedrooms are similar to their old ones, with the same furniture arranged in the same fashion.

Moving with School-Age Kids

Most kids in elementary school may be open to a move, but they will still need some help throughout the transition. According to the experts, the best time to move is during the summer, because this way you avoid disrupting the school year. If your children are smart enough, tell them the real reason of the move, but don’t tell them that your spouse will never come back again. This thought alone might ruin them, especially if they are quite fond of your ex-spouse.

Moving with Teens

Teens are rebellious, especially when it comes to moving to another city or state. Most of them have invested considerable amounts of time and energy in a social group or a closed group of friends. Some might even be involved in a romantic relationship. Make sure you make them understand their concerns and you care about their needs.

The Bottom Line

Helping your children prepare for moving to a new home because of divorce might be quite a difficult task, but it is not an impossible one. Use the tips listed above in order to help your children adjust to this change and maintain an optimistic outlook – nobody knows what the future holds in store. At CanadainEasyMoving, we understand the difficulties families face during divorce. Our movers offer careful and efficient services throughout British Columbia & Canada during this vulnerable time in  your life.  For experienced long distance moving companies during a sensitive circumstances, visit our website.

KidsBC2

No Parent is Perfect

No parent is perfect, but did you know that our children don’t need us to be perfect?  According to D.W. Winnicott, a famous psychologist, children don’t needs us to be perfect, they just need us to keep them from harm and our devotion.  Actually our imperfections are the windows to our own childhood.  Finding the origin of those imperfections can make us better parents.

What is devotion?

That is the easy part!  We all understand devotion, especially when we become parents.  Devotion is shown any time you put a loved one’s needs ahead of your own.  You know… those times when all you want to do is sleep, but you hear your child calling for you so off you go.  Or when you lay cramped up on your child’s tiny little bed, because they were sick and needed you.

Keeping them from harm.

Pretty simple at first glance.  Dr. Laura Markham of AHA Parent, challenges this concept of keeping our children from harm.  We can actually be too devoted to our children and cause them harm.  What the hell?  How can that be true?

Our past defines us as parents if we let it.

Many of us didn’t have perfect parents, because to err is human, right?  We learn to parent from our own parents and past experiences.  In some cases, we even learn how to NOT parent by our own parents.  Is that enough?  The answer is “No!”  We can not truly be a better parent unless we want to be a better person.

Healing from the past.

In order to not pass on the mistakes of our past, we must learn from them.  We actually have to open up all those old wounds from when we were children.  Every time we feel that we have let our emotions get control of our decision making, we are only acting out of pain from our past.    I was a little surprised to find this out, I thought we could just move forward and forget it.  But after reading her post and seeing myself acting in similar ways, I realized I needed to change.

My parents were extremely impatient.  I can remember feeling ignored.  My emotions come boiling up from the past, I react in the same manner my parents did to me.  It hurt me when I was a child and I am hurting my child too.  I don’t want to hurt her and I want to be a better parent.  Dr. Markham challenges us to “parent consciously”.

What is “Parenting Consciously”?

Taking a time out and realizing that your reactions are not based on your child’s behavior, but actually to something in your past.  Self awareness is the key.  Stop and ask yourself, “Why am I losing my patience?”  “What happened in my past that made me react to this situation?”  Recognizing the trigger is the first step, then healing it.

Our children are a path to healing

Healing can take many forms.  Find a way to work through the emotions before you let them overflow.  I love to just get outside, my entire perspective changes.  Allowing yourself the time to de-stress can make all the difference, figure out what that means for you.  Find a support network.  When I find that I am losing it, I try to call someone to walk me through what is really going on.  I call it “talking me down off of the ledge”.  The important part is to be willing to look at the situation from a much calmer state and evaluating the root cause.  Allowing the pain to come in and then healing it for yourself and your family.

I am thankful to have read the post on “Discipline that Helps, Not Hurts: For Parents, Healing Yourself”.  One of the biggest gifts my child has given me is the knowledge and understanding of who I am.  By parenting her I am able to heal my past wounds and be a better person.

~A Story Submitted by a local mom who prefers to remain unknown

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Mothers Going Back to School

If you are a newly single parent, you may be looking at increasing your income by upgrading your skills. Many occupations require some form of education in order to enhance your skill set. If you are like many of us, you probably have very limited time and resources to attend college courses on campus. Attending class on campus often involves getting a babysitter, traveling to and from the school repeatedly and spending large amounts of time away from your family. If you have a job, campus courses must also be scheduled around your work obligations. Because of the difficulty and inconvenience, many mothers forfeit their education in favor of staying home with their kids. With the development of online education, however, it is possible to have the best of both worlds with a practical avenue for obtaining an online degree.

About Online Degrees

In the past, online classes weren’t nearly as popular or prevalent as they’ve become recently. However, as more colleges have moved toward online education, many employers have begun to view employees pursuing online education with greater enthusiasm. Today, many of the institutions that award online degrees also offer similar on-campus programs.

Benefits of Studying Online

  • Your schedule is flexible. Enrolling in an online program instead of traditional campus courses allows you to complete coursework at your convenience. You can still be a part of your children’s everyday life, and you can take care of your home. If you work, you won’t have to worry about scheduling your classes around your shifts.
  • Your kids can come first. If you take online courses, you can be there for your kids whenever they need you. If one of your children is sick, you can take care of the child without missing class. When your kids need help with homework, you can take a break from your studies to provide assistance.
  • You have a lot of options. Today’s online colleges offer a variety of programs in all fields, including education, healthcare, technology, business and more. In addition, both undergraduate and graduate degrees can be obtained through online study.
  • You are investing in your future. Even if you currently stay at home with your children, you may eventually return to the workforce. Obtaining an advanced degree online increases your education credentials and shows potential employers that you were committed to your career even while you were raising your kids.
  • Your employer may pay. If you are already working and you want to pursue an advanced degree related to your career, your employer may cover a portion of your tuition costs. Many employers are willing to cover the cost of online or traditional degree programs.
  • You are setting an example. When your kids watch you working toward your degree, you are showing them that education is important. You are also teaching them that it is possible to further your education even when you have other obligations.

As a mother, you want to be there for your children as much as you can. Because online education offers so much flexibility and autonomy, it is perfect for the busy mom with lots of obligations. By enrolling in such a program, you can further your own education without sacrificing the time you spend with your kids.