Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Events

Some Christmas event ideas for you and the whole family!
  1. December 1st is also the start of the Capilano canyon lights another great way to spend a night, unless your scared of heights.  Even if you are they still offer a great evening so it is worth dragging the family out to.     
  2. December 1st we have the Christmas Parade of Lights in New Westminster which begins at 4pm-8pm at 4th and Columbia and will travel along Columbia Street to Hyack Square. There will be a tree lighting ceremony, live music which includes a performance from A.J. Woodworth, Jon Cornish the CFL star will even be there signing autographs!
  3. December 2nd is the Rogers Santa Claus parade where you can bring your food donations, have some fun and enjoy over 60 dance troops, floats and marching bands!  There are always a TON of people to ensure you get there early in order to get your best view and the parade starts at 1pm.  
  4. December 6th-8th is the Vancouver Public Libraries annual used booksidewalk sale, which is an amazing place to find some great gifts and stocking stuffers, especially for the book collectors in your family. 
  5. December 7th is the beginning of the Festival of Lights at VanDusen botanical gardens which I think is honestly breathtaking.  They do this all the way up till January 1st but it is closed Dec. 25th so keep that in mind.   
  6. December 7th-31st you can also decide to take a ride on the Vancouver Trolley Karaoke Christmas Lights tour!  Ride in a cute trolley, sing some carols and enjoy being driven to some of the best light displays in the Vancouver area!  That includes of course the lovely display at the St. Paul's hospital which is a crowd pleasure every year. 
  7. December 8th there is both Breakfast and Brunch with Santa!! Breakfast is at Willingdon Community centre from 10am-11:30am and is $7.50/person.  Brunch is at 11am-12:30pm at Cameron recreation complex and is $6.92/person.  No drops ins are available so ensure you call this number 604-297-4526 and register!
  8. December 12th the Shadbolt will be presenting their hilarious show "Hotel Bethlehem" which I think looks like a complete hoot and a half!! Good idea for a date night after some crazy Christmas shopping I think! I also think that not enough people go to the theatre these days, and they really should, nothing quite like a live show! 
  9. December 14th the Queen Elizabeth theatre will begin their Nutcrackershow which is something that is a amazing to go to if you haven't already before.  A great first for the kids too, nothing like dressing up all fancy for a night at the Queen E.  Tickets start at $30
  10. December 14th is also the same night of the Carol Ships Parade of Lights at Barnet Marine Park.  This is completely FREE starts at 7:30pm and the ships are expected to go by around 8/8:30pm.  Always a nice compliment to lawn chairs, cozy blankets and hot chocolates!  
  11. December 21st the Winter Solstice Lantern Festival will be happening in Chinatown and it is FREE and all over downtown Vancouver including Chinatown!   
  12. Lastly we have Canada place that is doing so many great Christmas events that you'll just have to head over there to check them out yourself!  Not to mention all the great activities that the Vancouver Aquarium will be putting on and a million other places that I know I haven't found!

Some other Valley Christmas ideas:

1. December 5th Sell your Wares from 9am - 11am. If your crafty and want to sell your creations you can book a FREE table. This is to showcase our participants talent and to get into the festive spirit. Bring some spending money as well! Call 859-7681 on Montrose

2. December 8th Breakfast with Santa. 9 - 11am at Abbotsford Middle School. Tickets are free but you need them... get them at Family Center call 604-859-7681 ex 266.

Share your local Christmas event ideas here!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chilliwack Times Newspaper

So excited to have been interviewed and had this great article released today in the Chilliwack Times!

Learn why teaching your babies to sign can reduce TONS of frustration, tantrums and tears!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Out of control toddlers

Every feel like your 'Out of Control?'

Well, reminder that little people (toddlers) also can feel this way. 

I had one mom ask me the following question, "My two year old is 'out of control!' He doesn't respond to words. If I don't jump on his every command, he throws a fit or is constantly nagging me again and again about what he wants. Whining and yelling. He will kick, hit and scream at the top of his lungs to get what he wants. Even if it is as simple as leaving the park or gym time. I don't want to hit him and humiliate him, what can I do?

Some people would call your toddler spirited, energetic, passionate, or other's may say he is just strong willed. Whatever you call him... (and it's best to stay away from labeling him based on his behaviour)... if you try to control him, it will not work. What you need to help increase cooperation.

INCREASE COOPERATION... how can you do this?

1. Instead of telling and telling him what do, try instead to involve him in decision making and give him a sense of personal power, which is what he is trying to do in his own way. EXAMPLES:

  •     Give him a warning... "We need to leave soon. What are you choosing to do as your last activity? The slide or bouncy castle?"
  •     Carry a small timer could help him realize when it's time to go. Let him help you set the timer for 2 or 3 minutes and keep it in HIS pocket so he can come tell you when it rings. They love to be helpful.
  •     Give him choices... "Do you want to carry your lunch bag or the car keys to the car?" Giving them small responsibilities increases their feeling of 'being in control' That personal power is very important at this age, as they are striving for independence. We want to encourage this so when they are teens they are making positive decision and being more independent with a good sense of self worth.

2. Your child is not going to understand your 'Wait please" or other gibber jabber, as you may think he does. He doesn't' have the rational thinking skills you have. If you lecture your child on why you are going or why they can't have stuff and you over explain, they will get lost and not hear you at all. At least not at this age. These kinds of lectures are not use on toddlers, as they are more abstact thinking and they are in direct opposition to his developmental need. That said, he should not be allowed to just DO whatever he wants to do. Attempt to gain his cooperation in a kind and firm way, instead of threats and bribes. See the above suggestions.

3. Some other suggestions:

  • "Get down to his eye level, and say firmly, it is now time to go."
  • Say things like, "I know it's hard to leave, but we need to go now."
  • Try walking away towards your stroller and say, come on, let's go. 
  • Try a race... "Let's race to the stroller, on your mark, get set, go." Making a game of it will bypass any power struggles that may occur.
  • Say things like, "I know you can get your shoes on by yourself, can you show me?"
  • "Your really great at putting your coat on like a big boy."
  • "Did you need any help? Just ask me."

Now, once the timer goes off, and all your suggestions and games didn't work. Your STILL calm, firm and kind...  If he is still resisting try this: 

4. Take him by the hand and lead him to the car. Every time he resists, stop pulling and let your hand go in his direction until he stops resisting. Then pull towards the car again, giving slack every time he resists. Don't get into a physical power struggle. This may feel like a see saw. When he catches on that you are going to be both kind and firm, he will eventually go with you. If he falls to the ground, tantrums out, then simply pick him up and carry him to the car while ignoring the kicks an screams. Do NOT say anything at all. There is no need at this point, as you already said everything before you did this. Don't get hooked into over explaining and starting up a power struggle. This is not the time for a discussion. That was done earlier.

Remember that sometimes distractions can work just as easy. The timer goes off, it's time to go. You go over to the child and hand them a visual agenda of what's next? A picture list of what's next can be very helpful. 

A short outing example of a picture schedule:
A picture of gym time
A picture of a car
A picture of grocery store
A picture of home
A picture of lunch
A picture of nap

Keep it in the car for outings you do often.

Good Luck!