The Nights That Never Die

I often think about the important life advice I want to share with T as he gets older. This past Saturday, I came across a song by the late Swedish DJ Avicii, whose soulful work I’ve long admired, called “The Nights.” Its simplistic lyrics, told through the perspective of a young man recounting his father’sContinue reading “The Nights That Never Die”

Trying Differently Rather Than Harder

On FASD Day, I’d like to share an important lesson I continue to learn as a special needs parent. FASD Day is observed annually on September 9 and has grown into a month-long event: FASD Month in September. FASD stands for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, a lifelong disability that affects the brain and body ofContinue reading “Trying Differently Rather Than Harder”

Why Struggle is Good for Kids

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” I reflected on this Robert Tew quote after a lifeguard at the public pool called us out after he noticed T struggling in the water. The outdoor pool has been our savior the last two summers. We are there every other dayContinue reading “Why Struggle is Good for Kids”

Explaining Evil to Young Kids

During our recent roadtrip, T came across dozens of shoes left behind on a set of stairs. The stairs belonged to the Town Hall of Gananoque, where we spent a nice weekend exploring the Thousand Islands. Across Canada, citizens gathered and left shoes behind at government sites in recognition of the discovery of several hundredContinue reading “Explaining Evil to Young Kids”

Helping Kids Set and Achieve Goals

One recent win we had was helping T set daily goals that positively impacted virtual schooling. T’s Child and Youth Worker was motivated – as were we – to get him to participate more in class. Depending on which camp you fall on, you may find token charts useful or eye rolling in shaping behaviourContinue reading “Helping Kids Set and Achieve Goals”

“Yes, I Can…”

Monkey bars provided a magical moment when T’s “I can’t” became “I can.” We see for ourselves that while T has a challenging prognosis of at risk FASD, he has so many great qualities. Among them, he is kind, caring, funny, bright and persevering. But we also see, and notice more, things like anxiety, selfContinue reading ““Yes, I Can…””

Teaching Kids About Money and Valuing Things

When T indirectly broke my tablet’s power adapter, he said non-chalantly, “Just get a new one.” “And where do you think the money is going to come from?” I asked him. Without flinching, he said, “I’ll open the pig’s bum,” referring to his piggy bank. Yes, a power adapter wasn’t super expensive. But it didContinue reading “Teaching Kids About Money and Valuing Things”

The Power of Having Someone Believe in You

An understanding, accommodating and compassionate teacher is a true blessing. We have been so lucky that T has had amazing supports in his junior and now senior kindergarten years. There are ongoing struggles, especially in the daily hell of virtual learning. But we are taking it a day at a time. Gym class has alwaysContinue reading “The Power of Having Someone Believe in You”

Why Youth Mentorship Matters

The hubby and I binged the latest season of Cobra Kai over two nights. The Netflix hit series continues the story of The Karate Kid movies 35 years later. I never watched the films but the show resonates with me, because it tells a compelling coming of age story. The aspect of the story thatContinue reading “Why Youth Mentorship Matters”

Celebrate the Daily Incremental Successes!

I’m grateful to work from home during the pandemic, because I can stand on the steps every morning and wave to T as the hubby drives him to school. As I watch the car disappear down the street, I say a silent prayer. I ask for T to have a positive day that includes incrementalContinue reading “Celebrate the Daily Incremental Successes!”

Giving Kids Chores and Building Their Confidence

While I was preparing to take out the recycling bin to the garage, T chirpily asked to help. It was overflowing in the pantry and I helped him pull the bin out; a mountain of plastic and boxes spilled onto the kitchen floor. T insisted on carrying the box down the hallway, out the doorContinue reading “Giving Kids Chores and Building Their Confidence”