Tag Archives: health

The Next Generation of Bubblewrapping

“Mommy, why can’t I do cartwheels at school?”

I look down at my daughter and wonder how to answer her question. I don’t know what to tell her, truth be told. I can guess at why the administration in many schools don’t want their students to engage in gymnastics in the schoolyard. It will have something to do with liability. But I can’t explain that to my daughter. I can’t tell her the reason she can’t do what almost all 7-year-old girls (and some boys) do is because there are a bunch of adults in this world who are afraid that they will be sued if she happens to fall and hurt herself while she is cartwheeling through the air.

I can’t tell her that no matter how good she thinks she is at gymnastics or how many hours she has spent in gymnastics class, the adults who are charged with protecting her throughout the day are more concerned with getting in trouble and being faced with a law suit than they are about her physical well-being and abilities to use her body as it was intended: for play, for movement, for expansion of her skills and for exploration of the world around her.

So I tell her that it could happen that someone gets hurt at school and the principal may have to make a rule so that no one else gets hurt in the same way.

But I don’t like telling her that. And I know she knows it.

So we weren’t surprised when we found out that there are other parents who are not happy about a cartwheel ban in schools.

The Toronto Star ran an article about it last week. Click on over to The Star to read the article and watch the video.

Apparently, though, there is no ban at the board level.

The TDSB’s official position on this is that “cartwheels are absolutely acceptable.” If your school has banned cartwheels, you are urged to contact your school board trustee to find out what your options are if after speaking with your school’s principal the ban remains in place.”

There is no official ban at my daughter’s school, but there are several teachers who won’t permit cartwheels at recess when they are on duty. I think that’s confusing to kids and it sends the wrong message. There needs to be a clear rule. (And personally, I think the rule should be in favour of cartwheels and all manner of childhood physical movement.)

Kids have enough to deal with in this world without having to restrict their movement any further.

What do you think? Should cartwheels be banned in schools?


My Handy Little Health Journal

A short while ago, I was lamenting the fact that I had a health file that was about three inches thick with papers and cards spilling out everywhere. Definitely not a convenient package to be carting to the doctor. Although the information it contained was vital at some of my appointments.

It got me thinking about these two notebooks I kept when I was pregnant with both my kids. I wrote down all my appointments, kept notes about things my OBGYN (first kid) and midwife (second kid) said, and generally jotted down things related to my pregnancies and questions to ask the next time I had an appointment.

But these notebooks had no structure. They were just Dollar Store books that served the purpose when nothing else was available.

Recently, I received My Handy Little Health Journal to review. Wished I’d had this neat little book when I was pregnant. But I’m glad I have it now.


It has some great features like tips on eating smarter, reducing stress and sleeping better. It has sections to fill in your family medical history, record important medical information, prepare questions in advance for your doctor, document prescriptions, keep track of appointments, record comments or recommendations from your doctors and more. Continue reading

Kid at the Dentist

About three years ago, I took my first child to her first dentist appointment. It went well despite my trepidation (she does not react well to appointments of a medical nature).

Three years in and we’re still going for regular dental appointments with minimal fuss (actually, she’s downright awesome at it!) and she is regularly given a clean bill of dental health.

However, I’m sure she’s not brushing her teeth as well as she could. And she doesn’t floss. (My fault. I’ve always thought of flossing as an adult activity; not something a four-year-old does.)

Now I’m facing the first dentist appointment of my second child. I’m not so afraid this time. Maybe I should be, though. Continue reading

Nurturing the Soul of Your Family

Not very long ago, I was feeling frazzled with what had become my family’s daily routine.

Mornings went something like this: Get up, watch TV, eat breakfast, get dressed, get out the door. There was a fair bit of yelling (mostly me), some whining (mostly the kids), a whole lot of chaos and then, somehow, we’d all end up dropped off at the right spot. No one was particularly happy about the routine. I felt bad every day when I dropped my kids off, and that set the tone for the rest of my day at the office. It often carried over to pick-up and dinner time (and usually bedtime, too).

I was exhausted. My kids were exhausted. My husband was exhausted. But we couldn’t get off this hamster wheel. So when I was Cover of Nurturing the Soul of Your Familycontacted to do a review of the book Nurturing the Soul of Your Family by Renée Peterson Trudeau, I desperately grasped at the rope that was being extended to save my drowning family. Continue reading

Healthy Eating Starts at Home

I read this article in the Globe and Mail recently about connecting eating disorders to school health programs.

Now, some of it may be fact, some of it may be based on fact but spun by the writer to suit the paper’s take on the situation. And some of it may be taken completely out of context to illustrate a point. I haven’t looked at the research. I can’t say either way.

What I can and will comment on is the emphasis put on the school to promote healthy eating and weight management.

Since when did we make the school system fully responsible for the health of our children? Continue reading


I had the pleasure of spending Mother’s Day with my friend, Julie, the mother of one my daughter’s classmates. My family joined theirs for dinner and I had a chance to talk to Julie about this amazing thing she’s doing: walking in a 30k in Costa Rica and raising money for the Arthritis Society.

Since I have arthritis, Julie’s cause is particularly important to me. And when I wanted to find out more about Joints in Motion, Julie very kindly allowed me to ask her a ton of questions. (For brevity, I have summarized our discussion.)

nc: How did you get involved with Joints In Motion?
jb: A life-long friend of mine had participated in Joints In Motion before and got me involved for the walk that’s coming up in Costa Rica. Continue reading

Sitting is bad for your health

There has been a recent spate of articles in the media about how “sitting is the new smoking”. (freshjuice.ca, news.discovery.com, theglobeandmail.com. There are more articles. You can Google the topic if you want to read them all.)

Generations before us, the majority of people used their bodies to make a living, get around, survive, etc. Nowadays, most of us just use our minds. Our bodies aren’t as active as they once were. So we have to fit in a daily visit to the gym to get the exercise we once got just by going about our daily lives. Continue reading