Playing board games as a family isn’t always the picture perfect TV commercial some might think. At least in our family it isn’t. More often than not, games night (or day) ends in someone crying, yelling or stomping off.
I decided today that we’d play only as much as we could during a rainy day game of Risk. I think we lasted more than an hour when voices rose loud in competition and the energy reached its peak. Some might think it’s a failure to “take a break” and go our separate ways. I think it’s pure strategy. No one gets hurt, there was no yelling or sore feelings and we got to enjoy some creative non-screen interaction for more than an hour.
Hurrah for small victories!
I’m sad to say I missed a day of blogging yesterday. Dock me ten points during the blogathon. ):
Ironically, I missed posting because I was attending a parent advisory board meeting for a mental health organization and passed out cold when I got home around 9 pm. This was the first meeting of a newly configured board of (mostly) women whose families are affected by mental health challenges.
One issue that always comes up when talking about mental health intervention is waiting lists. The waiting list is the torturous reality that most, if not all, parents and children face after contacting a government-run mental health care agency.
Rarely will a child be seen right away. If there’s a real crisis (and we joked last night about the clinician’s version of crisis versus the family’s version), families can head to their nearest ER and be seen within a few hours.
However, most families require short or long-term counselling and programs for their child in addition any crisis intervention.Because waiting lists are so long (many people wait 1o months or more before their first appointment), frustration, sadness and stress ensues.
What can be done? I’ll be posting more about Ontario’s changing mental health strategy (of which I have some insight) in the coming months. The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) also has a decent list of ideas for children and families currently on waiting lists, including:
- Checking in frequently with your family doctor
- Putting your child or youth onto other lists for services in your community/city
- Taking advantage of any employee insurance or private services (which can often happen within days) available
- Spending good quality time with your child
- Getting enough rest and having fun with the whole family in order to reduce stress
We have a long, long way to go before lists can be cut down to more reasonable wait times. Parents and kids with mental health challenges have enough on their plates and sitting on a waiting list for months at a time does nothing to counteract that frustration.
Posted in Books, Experts, Parenting, Peer relationships, Services, Study
Tagged about, alternative medicine, CHEO, child's voice, counselling, frustration, services, wait list for mental health services, waiting lists
Earlier today, I posted a status update on Facebook about feeling like “a zombie in the sunshine” after experiencing a terrible night’s sleep. (Full disclosure: I was sleeping with my daughter who was tossing and turning though really I’m not a great sleeper at the best of times.)
As we all know, sleep can be a challenge for adults and children alike. According to the Better Sleep Council, toddlers, children and teens need a minimum of 10 hours of sleep to stay healthy, babies need 16 and adults require 8. Lack of sleep can cause disturbances in mood, behaviour, learning ability, friendships, processing, relationships and work.
My status update received about a dozen replies and lots of advice. Suggestions included everything from taking magnesium (which I do) to using essential oils (wild orange on the big toes – who knew?!) to listening to relaxing, sleep-inducing music.
I’m a big fan of essential oils. We’ve used them in the diffuser; mixed with coconut oil for stomach aches, headaches and cramps; and I even ingested a tiny dollop of oregano oil when I had a cold. (It worked but it was one of the worst tastes I’ve ever experienced.)
For years, I (and sometimes my children) have used a white noise machine to block out extraneous noises and mimic sounds from the womb. It works like a charm, especially for those who are light sleepers.
Still, no matter what tips and tricks make for decent slumber, I’d love to have consistently good restful sleep. It makes life so much easier.
What’s your experience with sleep? Are you and your kids naturally good sleepers? If not, what’s your best tip? Please share. I’d be ever so grateful.
Posted in Books, Facts, Home, Parenting
Tagged alternative health, alternative medicine, child's voice, essential oils, exhaustion, lavender, sleep, sleeping, solutions, white noise