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ParentsCanada - April 2015

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.com 7 Janice Biehn, Editor Follow me on Twitter @JaniceBiehn editor's letter Want to win more? Check out our Right Stuff guide on pages 20-21 for other fave products up for grabs. APRIL 22 IS EARTH DAY Find stories online to help you live greener and take care of our world. ParentsCanada.com/earthday We're on the road again! From April 13 to 17, ParentsCanada contributor Andrea Howick will be making appearances on TV and radio stations to talk about our favourite new baby products. Follow us on Twitter @ParentsCanada for tour information, and enter online at ParentsCanada.com/contests for your chance to win featured products, including this Diono Rainier car seat. what's online Download our app – for free. Receive the complete issue – not just a preview – for free. Continue receiving entire issues in your Newsstand and enjoying ParentsCanada – for free. Did we mention it's free? Go toParentsCanada.com/ digitalsub for details. Is parenting harder today than it was for our parents? It's one of those deep questions that I often consider, sometimes over a keyboard at work, sometimes over a glass of wine with friends. Certainly, our parents – who could range in age from 40s to 90s – faced a huge range of challenges (especially the older ones). But invariably, I land on the fact that it's harder today because we know more. Knowledge is power, but it's also a major source of stress. Parenting used to be instinctual (it also wasn't a verb). Today, parents, want to do it right (especially the ones availing themselves of the scads of parenting resources out there, such as this magazine). We know the negative results of bad parenting and are determined not to screw it up. The stakes are so high that we can sometimes turn ourselves into knots over it. In an ideal world, we would be able to teach our kids everything they need to be successful and healthy adults, from proper nutrition and the benefi ts of regular physical activity, to how not to be a bully, to having good mental health, to positive sexual health. But we're not always getting the job done. Childhood overweight and obesity rates have skyrocketed over the past two decades. Stories of bullying leading to serious mental health issues are a chronic concern. And while teen pregnancy rates may be showing a decline, other changing social mores around sexual health and sexuality are a minefi eld. Sex topics that used to be the realm of adults are now fodder for sitcoms and blockbuster movies, not to mention the nightly news and the Internet. So the job of fi lling in the knowledge gap is passed on to educators, who are guided by current studies and information. With sex ed, this is proving to be a lightning rod for controversy. At the time of writing this, a tuned up sex ed curriculum in Ontario was under scrutiny, but I have to wonder why? The old one was written before the word "sexting" was invented, so it was clearly not serving our kids' needs. To parents who want to be the gatekeepers of their children's sexual health, I say yes, be involved and don't rely solely on the schools to teach your kids. But don't make the mistake of locking that gate and throwing away the key. Everything you're afraid your child is too young to learn, they're going to learn somewhere else, and chances are it will be based on misinformation, like the last word in a game of broken telephone. We're all suffering from a little TMI (too much information), not in terms of sex ed, but in life. Add media and the Internet to all our other preoccupations – bills, jobs, relationships, money – and it's no wonder we're not getting through all the parenting "curriculum". Perhaps a more pertinent question would be is it harder being a kid today than 30 years ago. If we fi nd it challenging to sort through the morass of information, think about how hard it is for them. READ US ANYWHERE – FOR FREE! Photography: Lise Varrette; Hair/makeup, Olivia Colacci; Stylist, Andrea Ford, Re:style Studio A little TMI We want to hear from you! Check out ParentsCanada.com/contests and answer our monthly surveys and you could win a cool prize! We're on the road again! and take care of our world.

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