Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year

Go on, you know you want to... Christmas spirit is contagious, no matter what your beliefs

I love Christmas and everything about it. And yet, I’m not religious.
So to many, I’m probably the epitomy of everything that’s “wrong” with Christmas.
As with every year, the complaints have gone on about how Christmas has become commercialised and turned from a holy day into a profit-driven holiday.
Well, bah humbug to that, because I think it’s great, and here’s my list of reasons why:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Going solo

Life is tough for single parents, but there is help

During my daughter’s first year when I was sleep‑deprived, I remember thinking “how on earth do single parents cope?”
I found a new respect for mums and dads who do it alone, and recognised that it is truly hard work.
But being a single parent doesn’t mean a child is going to suffer. While it is a challenge, you can function as both mum and dad.
Between 1986 and 2001, single‑parent families increased by 53 per cent, and by 2006 there were on average 486,000 one‑parent families with children under 15.
Single-parent families can come about from separation, divorce, death, or sometimes a woman will choose to have a family without a partner, using donor sperm.
The effects of divorce are well documented, and the stress and trauma of a break-up can cause behaviour problems in children.
If parents handle the separation in an amicable way, and always support the best interests of the child, then it will be not as hard for the child to adjust to the new family structure. Single-parent families, no matter how they are formed, all face similar challenges.
Isolation, lack of support, financial stress and emotional problems can all become overwhelming and quite often this is felt by the child as well.
So what should single parents do to create a happy family environment?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The importance of baby teeth

A rise in dental decay among four-year-olds has sparked a new campaign to improve our children’s teeth

Like most parents, taking care of my daughter’s teeth is just as important as making sure she eats a healthy diet and gets enough sleep.
It has never occurred to me to actually take her to see a dentist until she lost her baby teeth and grew her permanent teeth. I always assumed that so long as you keep up good dental hygiene, brush twice a day, eat healthy food, avoid acidic and sugary stuff, she will be fine.
But new research has shown that decay rates are increasing in four-year-olds and less than 11 per cent of three-year-olds have seen a dentist.
We should hardly be surprised when you take a look inside kindergarten lunch boxes. Biscuits, salty chips, sticky rice bubble bars and juice poppers are not good for little teeth.
So the Australian Dental Association (ADA) is embarking on a community health initiative to help parents and carers of babies and toddlers with preventative oral health care.