Tag Archives | back-to-school series

Talk Body Science Before Heading Back To School

Not something you expected to be covered in a back-to-school series, but I’ve been thinking of ways to talk more openly about sex with my kids over the summer with new questions arriving and finding I didn’t have the answers I wanted or the right words in that moment. Funny how you can be so close to your children and get to the point of discussions about your body, sex, body parts, etc. and not be able to communicate properly. Something that surprised me because I’m very comfortable talking about most things with my kids. After checking out Meg Hickling’s book called Boys, Girls, & Body Science and also her SUPER helpful DVD where you watch Meg give her presentation about body science to parents/teachers and then a difference presentation to children – I learned a different approach that I honestly wish I had learned 7 years ago when my oldest started preschool. Because as Meg says multiple times, preschool aged children are the easiest to discuss these topics with and I totally agree. If you tackle the topic of sex and stick to treating it like body science, rather than an uncomfortable topic….you are on the path to open, honest, and must easier dialogue with your children.

 

What has taken me so long to initiate more conversations on this topic? My children don’t get sex education in their school, unlike most of their peers, which is really too bad. A lot of parents I’ve talked with rely on their children receiving sex education at school, because the topic has been avoided at home. After learning my body science from Meg, even if you’re children do get the talk at school, you should be asking questions and keeping the dialogue open. I was really surprised to learn that children as young as Grade 2 and 3 can start having nocturnal emissions or start menstrual cycle. If you are like me and will be handling sex education at home, I urge you to check out Meg’s lecture & books via your library or the websites listed at the bottom of this article. She empowers you with the ability to find the words to properly express body science. Do you still think children of a certain age are ‘too young’ to learn about body science?  Here are some facts I learned from Meg that convinced me that younger children are ready and a great audience for sex education:

– sexual abusers admit that they target children that are uneducated about body parts because it proves a gap in communication between child and parent increasing the chances of abusers not being ‘told on’ .

– children as young as 7 years old can experience a period (girls & scientific name menstruation) or wet dream (boys although the scientific name is nocturnal emission) and worry that something is wrong with them.

– dispel myths that friends or cousins have taught the child. If they aren’t learning body science at home or school…where do you think they are getting information?

– give children the opportunity to understand mechanical curiosity.

– whoever says ‘no’ rules.

What is my recommendation on speaking about sex? Gather a group of like-minded moms together and order the DVD as a group. It’s a really great launching pad and I’ll be sharing my copy with many of my friends who have expressed discomfort. Having a copy of the DVD among a few families is cost effective and a great resource.  The relief you feel at understanding this can be explained as ‘science’ is really liberating and the stories and tips from Meg with have you laughing out loud wondering what the big deal is! And why you weren’t saying “the penis goes into the vagina to deliver the sperm to the ovum” from the time your kids were in preschool. And if you are like me and all your children are older than preschool, don’t worry – there are many chapters in the book “Speaking of Sex Book” that can help with speaking to older children. Meg gives you the body science tools to initiate body science discussions with kids of all ages and I’m already thinking of questions I can ask my kids to test their body science. The only people experiencing discomfort are adults and when you are given the tools to provide factual information with easy-to-understand words, the discussions get so much easier!

To find a copy of the book called Boys, Girls & Body Science you can simply click here or it’s available in many bookstores across Canada via www.chapters.indigo.ca, www.amazon.ca and via the website www.harbourpublishing.com

Meg Hickling on DVD, The New Speaking of Sex can be found by clicking here or visiting www.woodlakebooks.com

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Litterless Lunch ~ Back To School With PlanetBox

PlanetBox is this year’s solution for packing healthier and litterless lunches for the family. It’s wonderful that planning your child’s lunch to include food without packaging actually promotes creativity and healthier food selections. We’ve had a blast testing our PlanetBox and here are the results from a picky mama and kids that are equally hard to please having seen many eco-alternatives for lunch time alternatives over the years.

Do I love the PlanetBox? Yes and so do my children. We are all convinced there is some magic at work because all the PlanetBox compartments don’t require lids to contain the different food items. My biggest pet peeve with stainless steel containers is when they aren’t airtight and food leaks into my kids backpack or into other food causing it to becomes inedible (strawberry juice on a sandwich for example). My school aged children love strawberries and grapes so I put the PlanetBox to the test by putting strawberries, grapes, granola bar and a sandwich all inside – just quickly plunking them all in the compartments and closing the lid. They I shook the Planetbox, twisted it upside down to simulate the movement inside a backpack, then shook it some more. We were all tickled that the water from the grapes hadn’t touched the sandwich and the strawberry juice didn’t leak onto the bread or granola bar. Also, I put chocolate chips in the small center area to make sure they didn’t move around in the box because they are so small. Everything stayed put and there were no leaks! This test was my biggie with this product and I’m very happy with the results. Here are some photos.

PlanetBox food

PlanetBox and magnets

For anyone that packs a lunch to work or school and you haven’t invested in a re-usable lunch solution – now is the time. It naturally encourages healthier meals and you’ll feel great about eliminating plastic baggies, plastic wrap, and food that comes pre-packaged in more plastic! Another very smart detail of the PlanetBox is the magnets that are included to ‘decorate’ the outside. Will the magnets eventually get lost? Of course. But if you have a child that doesn’t appreciate being one of the few in their class to have a different looking lunch system with only the stainless steel outside – the fun designs and characters that come on the PlanetBox magnets help kids feel comfortable with their peers and their traditional lunch boxes. By the time the magnets disappear at the bottom of the backpack or locker – your child will no longer care their system is different. From my son’s reaction to how cool he they thought the PlanetBox magnets are – I know he would have loved this option when he first started bringing ‘adult looking’ stainless steel lunch systems to school years ago. It’s a brilliant and inexpensive addition to the PlanetBox with several fun designs that kids love. The magnets allow your child to show their personality and there’s a spot to write their name to personalize. Here is my the other set of magnets that my boys love – sports themed!

PlanetBox litterless lunch

Another great aspect to the PlanetBox are the containers that can be purchased with the system if you’ve got kids that love yogurt, messy salads, or dips for veggies, etc. These additions can be stored within the lunchbox to keep all the pieces together – a great picture from the PlanetBox site below displays how it all fits together. My younger son would love yogurt in his lunch so I can use this system with the Big Dipper container – perfect for messy main dishes he loves – rather than a sandwich that he never eats. If you’ve purchased the carry bag with the PlanetBox there is also room in the outside pocket for the Big Dipper (and a reusable water bottle!!) and on the inside liner you can fit an icepack to keep these food items chilled throughout the day.

What I’m finding with my different ages and personalities of my four kids is that everyone needs a lunch system tailored to the food they’ll eat. For my easy to predict older son that takes fruit, veggies and a sandwich every day and enjoys every bite – I would order only the PlanetBox basic for $34.95 and be completely happy. He loved both the planet and sports themed magnets and thinks his PlanetBox is great! My younger son that likes variety with his food and would prefer salad or yogurt to a sandwich – I would need the PlanetBox Plus with the Big and Small Dipper containers for $49.95. The complete PlanetBox set includes a carry case and it’s super quality and answers the problem of parents wanting to keep their child’s lunch on ice so food doesn’t spoil in a hot backpack – so this system at $59.95 would be ideal. I like the different price points and options available from the PlanetBox and am excited to review such a well thought out product for this year’s back to school.

I’ll be writing my back-to-school series starting in July this summer because it’s helpful to order supplies early rather than waiting until September for information. For parents wanting a complete system for lunches this year, PlanetBox would be a great investment. This lunchbox has mom approval and is also kid tested and approved!

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