What Exactly Will You (They) Be Suing For?


As Canadians, I’ve always been told that we are much less litigious than our neighbours to the south, which means we don’t use the expression, “I’ll sue you” all that often.

To be honest, I think we are more likely as a society to apologize, take responsibility for the situation and then come to a common resolution than to add fuel to a situation, find a lawyer and haul everyone off to court.

So, as parents, it’s not all that common to hear any conversation including the words, “sue” or “sued” or “suing” or even the expression “suing their asses off”. (I’m not sure if that’s a real expression but if I were suing someone, I’d want them to know that I was going to sue their ass off!”

Yet I swear I heard my kids trying to figure out if they combined their allowances, if they had enough money to hire a lawyer…

Hmmm.

Should I now put down some retainer funds on a lawyer?  I would if I knew that they were going to sue for, if it was even us, and where their grievances lie… Not enough treats?  Maybe they don’t like our “no electronics on school nights” rule, or maybe they want to stay up later than 7, 8 and 9 respectively.

Or maybe we just need to stop giving them allowance, or give them opportunity to buy more things with their money.

Got to love parenting!

How I Explained Taxation to a Class of Kindergarten Students


How I explained taxes to children in a kindergarten classroom without having them lose focus or fall asleep on me:

 

Q: Do you know what a tax is?”

It’s something you have to pay.

Q: Why do we have to pay taxes?

We pay taxes for things we need.

We have to.

We pay taxes so poor people can have some money too.

Q: Any examples of things we need?  How about some examples of things we need that we all share.

1) Roads

2) Lights

3) Signs

4) Sidewalks

5) Playgrounds

6) Schools

7) Policewomen

8) Firemen

9) The trucks that come to take our garbage away.

10) Hospitals

11) Doctors

12) Food – Do taxes pay for food?

Not usually.

We have to pay for our own food. But taxes pay to make sure our food doesn’t make us sick.

Money we pay as taxes make sure we have clean water.

Q: Does anyone remember the ice storm, and when all those branches and trees fell on peoples houses and cars and all over the street?  Men and women had to come to take the branches away.  Taxes paid for that.”

Snack time – I brought cupcakes for the kids.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Nothing is certain except (Hello Kitty) death and taxes,” and just as your children will gradually learn about (Hello Kitty) mortality, they will also find out about taxes and other financial issues.

There are taxes everywhere on almost everything to make sure that everyone has a chance to pay taxes and share.

Paying taxes is like this container of cupcakes.  This pile of cupcakes is the economy. This is the money that belongs to the whole country and everybody needs a piece – the schools, the street cleaners, the hospitals, and the TV stations.

Without their cupcake, the government can’t provide any of the things we need.

If we gave all of our cupcakes to the government we would have nothing left.  But taxes are like taking a little bit off – the wrapper, maybe – to give to the government while we keep the rest.  The government collects all the wrappers and uses them to keep all of us safe and healthy and helps us learn and grow…

Apart from enjoying a fun time, your kids will learn a very valuable financial lesson…sometimes you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

What Is In Your Child’s Hockey Bag?


I’m new to the concept of being a “hockey parent”.

A year ago my son could not even skate, and today he’s in a Learn To Play hockey league and he’s doing just fine, thank you very much.  For a child who doesn’t like to watch hockey, or know much about the sport, he has become the complete opposite of me, who was a diehard hockey fan, but never played the sport.

Growing up in the Great White North, I never really learned to skate and I never played ice hockey as one would expect every Canadian man, woman and child would have.  At all.  No organized hockey, no shiny, I’m not sure if I was even on ice with a stick and puck more than once or twice in my entire life until I turned 20 and decided to help coach a kids ice hockey team (at 5am and 6am on Sunday mornings).

I helped teach the kids to be better hockey players – skill-wise, understanding the game and reminding them to be nice on the ice and not to play dirty or take short-cuts, and they taught me to skate.  I had taken and completed my level-one Coaching Theory Certification for a Canadian Coaching Certification, and I liked the coaching which I did for 6 years until other things came along.

Fast forward to the children, and to my chagrin, my kids never took an interest in the sport so I was off the hook… Until last year.

Now, we happily take him to his practice / game and he loves it. (Although I still can’t get him to watch hockey on TV, or to call he puck a puck and not a ball).

But over the last couple of weeks he’s forgotten things in his hockey bag – neck guard one week, then his hockey pants the following week – so I made him write down the contents of his bag so he won’t forget anything  from now on, and this is what I got:

Top of the page “Hockey”

Underneath the title started the list;

“helmet”

“Jersey”

“Neck g” (guard?!?)

“Chest pad” (Looks like it was a chess pad first)

“Skates”

“Jok” (giggle – Jock)

“Socks”

“elbow p”

“leg Protect” (or shin pads)

“gloves”

“pants”

Nice!

I added the water bottle, towel, skate towel, and pj’s to wear underneath).  I also told him for the umpteenth time that in Grade 3 we had to pick French names for French class, and since my name, Warren, doesn’t really have a cool French name, I wanted “Guy” for Guy Lafleur, but my best friend – a HUGE Canadiens fan – chose Guy so I got Jacques.  Jacques Strappe was name French name for the next 2 years… UGH.

Oh, and he scored last game.  Could not have been more proud!  Of him and for him.

#3

How I Know I Have Embraced Being The Father To A Daughter: Leggings are NOT pants!!!


Leggings are NOT pants!

No pictures necessary.

No discussion needed.

Girls, women, transgendered people, even men… Leggings ARE NOT PANTS!!!

If you put leggings on and your shirt does not cover your bum, go home and change.  Please.

Whew.

Got that out.  I’ve been holding that in since the summer.  It really came to light when buying clothes for my daughter this past summer and still is a concern for me, and parents alike, I’m sure.

With the boys, it was pretty each to buy the same boring clothes for them; blue, brown, some black, some green.  When the girl arrived, I thought we would be smacked in the face with a whole new array of colour choices and options.   Sure, there are colours, but what is the deal with the choice of girls clothing available in some of these clothing stores???  low cut neck-lines, short shorts, and crop-style tops.  There is NO way I was going to let my daughter leave the house in a crop-top style shirt with short shorts, or worse, leggings.

So as her tastes evolved and we were able to agree on styles of clothing she knows that leggings are not pants, and that no one wants to see, or needs to see her bum during the day.

As this post tossed around inside my head, I thought that all I would need to do is post “Leggings are not pants” and that there is an understanding that this is true, but the more I thought about it, the more I could not help but understand the longer-term issues surrounded by leggings, especially in young, impressionable children…

“What if I’m not skinny enough to wear them?”  Does that come followed by, “I just won’t eat today.”  Or is there a group ganging up mentality from the girls who do wear them against the girls who don’t?  How about the girls who do not, cannot or choose not to wear them picking on a girl who wears them and shows too much…

Don’t think for a second that parents who dress their kids up in leggings don’t make a comment about their “ass”, and in the wrong child, at the wrong time of their life, could have long-lasting effect on their self-esteem.

UGH.

I’m all for leading a healthy life-style (well, my kids more than me right now) and being in the best shape possible, but that shape is physical, mental and emotional.  To place too much emphasis on one over the others can have dangerous consequences later in life.

So I call on you, parents, to please make sure that the next time your child leaves the house – if they have to wear leggings – that they have a shirt on to cover up.  Then give them a hug and tell them they are smart, kind, friendly and beautiful.

Here is a flowchart to help them (and you, if needed) understand this concept further.

AM-I-WEARING-PANTS

Editors Note: Apparently The Urban Daddy is not  so original is there are Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest pages dedicated to this exact line of thinking…  The Brooklyn Momma hit the nail on the head in her post, here.  The flowchart is from her site.

Random Children Car Conversations: “That Really Sucks, Eh?”


Driving in the car with children, as you all well know, can be either a pleasure or a pain depending on a number of factors usually beyond our control as parents.  In fact, children even have the ability to be educational or hilarious in the car, if they want, but being disruptive and difficult is usually the easiest.

Every now and then they say something funny, brilliant or even hilarious, which must be shared with the world…

A couple of weeks ago, while driving in the car with the children, our 9-year-old son, Linus began a rather short discussion with my wife which showed us that he is finally understanding the meaning of life and that – as we’ve been saying all along – life ain’t fair.

pumpkin stairs
Not related to the post, but rather the weather! Our steps last fall.

I had to share it!

Linus: “Mummy, you know when you find that perfect spot in bed that is so comfortable and warm and then, of course, you have to get up to pee and when you come back to bed, you cannot find that spot again?”

Mummy: “Yes”
Linus: “That sucks, eh?”