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Autumn is the best. And the worst.

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Fall has always been my favourite season. I love Fall colours. I love Fall fashion. I love the fresh Fall air. And as a kid, I looked forward to going back to school and to my upcoming October birthday. But Fall is also other things. It is reminders that I don't want to hear. Like the Canada geese constantly honking their departure, reminding me that it was in a September many years ago that a baby brother was born still. Or the fresh air … [Read more...]

What is Therapeutic Yoga? A Q&A with Ottawa’s Jessica Keats

Photo of Jessica Keats

This blog has brought so many people into my life. Jessica Keats is a great example of this. After reading this article in Capital Parent, she emailed me and asked if I would be interested in learning about--and trying--therapeutic yoga. I don't currently see a massage- or physio-therapist on a regular basis, but I've certainly had my fair share of visits over the years. Despite finding these forms of therapy extremely helpful, I've never … [Read more...]

The Winter Resolution: Fighting the Winter Blahs

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Back in 2009, I made what I called "The Winter Resolution." The goal was to find a way to enjoy winter. Sounds simple, right? Not so much. Since then, I've made some excellent progress and don't cower as much when the temperature drops. But I still don't find it easy. It's not "natural" for me ... what feels natural is to run away and not come back until Spring! This winter is no different. Or maybe it is. Because it somehow actually feels … [Read more...]

What Should Schools Do About Bullying? A Q&A with Lissa Albert

Lissa Albert, M.A., Educational Technology

In the first part of my discussion with researcher and cyberbullying expert Lissa Albert, we discussed what a parent should do if they suspect their child is being bullied. Today, we’ll look at what schools can do. Q1.  What do you believe is the most effective approach for tackling bullying in schools? As an educator, I believe that we must always begin with as much as we can learn about any topic before we make a plan to tackle the … [Read more...]

What Can We Do About Bullying? A Q&A with Lissa Albert

School Climate 2.0 book cover

My last post on bullying sent the traffic to Coffee with Julie soaring. Clearly, I’d hit a nerve. I think that’s because the adults in our communities genuinely want to do something about bullying, but are just not sure what that is. One reader, Chantal, suggested that having access to a social worker or other experienced worker in the realm of bullying would be very helpful. So I reached out to my online community and received a number of … [Read more...]

Bullying is Bad. Wear a Pink Shirt.

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Back in October, I wrote a guest post on the PhD in Parenting blog titled "Bullying is Bad. Don't be a Bully." It started like this: It's not politically correct, but I'll say it: I'm tired of hearing about bullying. I feel like we spend a great deal of time as a society these days talking about bullying and the importance of teaching children that bullying hurts. I think children already know that bullying hurts. That's why children -- and … [Read more...]

How to Talk to Your Child about Murder (Guest Post)

Dear readers, I am sharing this post because there has been a tragedy in my home town of Ottawa. The community has been hit hard and like most parents, I've been struggling with how to talk to my children about these three deaths. Krista Gray-Donald, a friend of mine who works with victims of violent crime, offered to put together some tips and resources for me. In speaking with her, she also offered to share this information here on Coffee … [Read more...]

Christmas Cheer: What if you have none?

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At this time of year, when every form of media imaginable -- from commercials, movies, and television to magazines and newspapers -- are promoting the "warm glow" of holiday happiness and family togetherness, it might seem like you're alone if you are not feeling the Christmas spirit. Well, you're not. I just thought maybe you might want to hear that. So don't beat yourself up if you're just "not feelin' it." There's a ton a reasons why you … [Read more...]

Bullying and Rhetoric

Worried Young Woman Using Laptop At Home

Today, I'm a guest blogger over on Annie Urban's PhD in Parenting. Annie and I like each a lot despite butting heads on a number of issues. But that's precisely the point -- we both understand (and have a strong respect for) the importance of debate and discussion. Otherwise, we end up in rhetoric territory. … [Read more...]

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day

Today, September 10th, has been dedicated to preventing suicide around the world. The intent, according to a news release issued today by Suicide Prevention Canada, is to: "Support those bereaved by suicide, remember and celebrate the lives of those who died by suicide, support those who struggle with living, and renew our commitment to helping all Canadians reconnect with their reasons to live while building lives with dignity, purpose, and … [Read more...]

Help! I’ve Got a Kid

If I'd actually had enough spark left in me at the time, that's precisely what I would have cried out to the world almost ten years ago. But I didn't. Because it was too hard just to get out of bed, let alone care for my new born baby. I'd been smacked hard with a postpartum depression stick and was completely and utterly overwhelmed. I knew other mothers didn't feel like I did. And that made things feel worse. I distinctly recall observing … [Read more...]

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