Child benefit program pays dividends but presents hurdles

Governments need to be careful that benefits don’t discourage social institutions that strengthen families and communities

Child benefit program pays dividends but presents hurdlesParents will receive an increase in the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) this month. The program has been widely credited with reducing child poverty, yet the benefit is not without challenges. The cost-of-living adjustment boosts the maximum compensation for a child under age six to $6,639 annually and maximum compensation for children between the ages of…

We need to make it easier for parents to vaccinate their children

No child should die a preventable death. It's time Canada had a national vaccine framework

We need to make it easier for parents to vaccinate their childrenBy Sen. Raymonde Gagné and Sen. Mohamed-Iqbal Ravalia “As an infectious disease specialist, there is nothing sadder than standing at the bedside of a parent in an ICU with a child who’s got a vaccine preventable disease who is dying.” That’s what Dr. Noni MacDonald, professor of pediatrics at Dalhousie University, told us at a…

Well-rested kids are healthier, happier and more successful

Poor sleep is associated with suicide risks, drug use, obesity and other serious health concerns. We can help these children sleep – and live better

Well-rested kids are healthier, happier and more successfulResearch says well-rested children and youth do better in school. Healthy sleep improves memory and attention, so kids are better able to learn. Well-rested children also have improved executive functioning, so they’re better able to plan and can perform difficult tasks with greater accuracy and speed. Well-rested children are also less irritable and impulsive, so…

Bringing sleep, and precious peace, to parents and children

Shan Roth of Jammy Time Sleep Solutions talks about helping parents feel confident and on top of their game

Bringing sleep, and precious peace, to parents and childrenShan Roth is a local pediatric sleep expert and founder of Jammy Time Sleep Solutions. What is Jammy Time Sleep Solutions? Roth: Jammy Time Sleep Solutions is a paediatric sleep consultancy – basically, I help parents teach their children how to sleep through the night and take long naps during the day. Many parents think…

The ‘A’ words – autism and advocacy – go hand in hand

With early intervention and the right supports, children with autism can learn and thrive. But too many doors are closed to these children

The ‘A’ words – autism and advocacy – go hand in hand“As soon as I mentioned the ‘A’ word, I knew she would not be calling me back.” This was what one of the parents I met at my preschool told me it was like trying to register her son with autism in a non-specialized local community program. Once the registrar heard the word autism, they…

Ontario offers a new direction in child-care funding

It will make care more affordable, recognize that parents have a right to choose and be relatively cost-effective

Ontario offers a new direction in child-care fundingThe tug of war over child-care funding in Canada is entering a new chapter, thanks largely to Ontario’s latest provincial budget. The province announced new tax rebates for child-care costs – almost irrespective of the type of care chosen. While the policy may not be perfect, its implementation will signify an important shift in the…

Kidoodle offers safe alternatives for family viewing

President Neil Gruninger wants to create a YouTube alternative for families, content producers and family brands

Kidoodle offers safe alternatives for family viewingNeil Gruninger is president and chief product officer of Kidoodle TV. What is Kidoodle TV? Gruninger: Kidoodle.TV is a Safe Streaming video service for children that delivers thousands of hours of vetted children's programs to Internet-connected devices, such as smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, personal computers, Roku, Apple TV and many others. How, when and why…

Why you need to talk to your teens about sex

Early sexual activity puts children at risk of pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases – and it can damage them emotionally

Why you need to talk to your teens about sexThe sexual behaviour of teenagers can strike fear in the hearts of most parents. Media reports and documentaries routinely tell us that today's teenagers are more sexually active, at younger ages, than ever. It's not uncommon for 13- and 14-year-old kids to experiment sexually. But what does this mean and what are the implications, if any,…

Tips to becoming a successful step-parent

Step-parenting is a sensitive role, often fraught with difficulties, but the myth of wicked step-parents is not valid and can be overcome

Tips to becoming a successful step-parentBlended families involving second marriages and step-parenting are common in Canada. Step-parenting is a sensitive role, often fraught with difficulties. From the time we are small children reading nursery stories, step-parents are portrayed in a negative light. In particular, storybook step-mothers are often wicked and unfair, and this myth sometimes sticks with us as we…

Truth and Reconciliation proposals on child welfare destined to fail

Government is called upon for yet more legislation and more money when the real problem is poor parenting

Five calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada report concern child welfare. They are all destined to fail. The calls to action focus on increasing funding for Indigenous welfare, establishing national standards for the various agencies, keeping Indigenous children in culturally-relevant homes, and reducing the number of Indigenous children in the…
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