CBC investigation reveals more questions than answers on this increasingly popular tactic

Hmmm…seems as if I’m not the only one with questions about the charitable donations that are being requested at the checkout.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that the trend towards “checkout charity” is one that gets under my skin.

Why?

Because there is little accountability about where the requested money is going to and consumers are being put on the spot to donate. A CBC Marketplace investigation revealed that a number of companies employing this practice are not as transparent regarding the details of how checkout charity funds are spent. You can read more about it here:

Checkout donations: Poor transparency about where the money goes

In terms of consumers, many feel shamed into donating at the cash register for fear of appearing cheap in front of the cashier and those who are lined up behind them. Instead of feeling good about their donation, or their decision to decline, they leave the store with a bad taste in their mouths.

Checkout Charity

Doing what they do best, the folks at CBC Marketplace set out to get to the bottom of this practice by asking the tough questions that us average consumers want answered. What Marketplace’s investigation revealed was surprising, to say the least.

Check out the full episode below featuring yours truly, as well as interviews with spokespersons from companies that employ this tactic. I was very surprised at what was revealed in the episode and would love to hear your thoughts on these details as well. Looking forward to your feedback in the comments section below.

FULL EPISODE: CHECKOUT CHARITY – DOING GOOD, FEELING BAD

——

Want more parenting advice and tips? Click on the image below to get your copy of my eBook today!

Like this post? Subscribe to the MMM newsletter get the latest parenting tips, advice and insight delivered right to your Inbox!

{ 0 comments }

Kids' selections provide a variety of ideas for young imaginations

DISCLAIMER: As part of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I will be providing monthly thoughts and suggestions about movies currently showing on Netflix. As with all content on this blog, opinions are completely my own.

“What will I be when I grow up?”

Way back when, kids would dream of being a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker. These desires seem quaint now, as children have much more lofty goals for themselves, fuelled by active imaginations. Whether they dream of being an astronaut, a nuclear physicist, a writer or otherwise, the sky’s the limit when you’re a kid with a dream.

As parents, we strive to foster independent, happy and successful children and do our best to support them in whatever choices they want to make regarding their future careers. Of course, these plans tend to change often, as kids fantasize about the numerous options that they’ve heard about or, more likely, seen on TV or in the movies.

If your child is still trying to make up his or her mind about their future career, you’re not alone. When the sky’s the limit, why stop at just one profession? Netflix has a number of features that will both entertain your kids as well as help them figure out what they really want to be when they grow up.

As the mother of young boys, I’d be lying if I said that they didn’t profess to want to be firemen or construction workers. If you’re in the same boat, Netflix provides a number of shows that will keep your junior firefighters and hardhats engaged.

Fireman Sam is a great show for kids who have big dreams of putting our fires and saving lives.

Fireman Sam Pic

 

Bob the Builder is a favourite in our house as my boys get to  follow the construction adventures of Bob and his crew.

Bob the Builder pic

Or perhaps your child dreams of living the high life, where work isn’t part of the equation (one can only dream!). Let the kids fantasize and check out the Netflix original, Richie Rich.

Richie Rich pic

For older kids, there are a number of selections to get their minds going.

If your child dreams of finding their bliss through winter sports such as snowboarding, the Art of Flight series is a great selection.

Art of Flight pic

Does your son or daughter enjoy cooking and helping out in the kitchen? If so, foster their inner chef by watching The Mind of a Chef, narrated by Anthony Bourdain.

The Mind of a Chef pic

What does your child want to be when they grow up? Help them figure it out with these and other Netflix selections. Leave your selections about your favourite shows in the comments section below as well!

——

Want more parenting advice and tips? Click on the image below to get your copy of my eBook today!

Like this post? Subscribe to the MMM newsletter get the latest parenting tips, advice and insight delivered right to your Inbox!

{ 0 comments }

CBC Marketplace – Checkout Charity

by Samantha on February 16, 2015

CBC program investigates the popular trend of soliciting donations at the checkout

marketplace

“Checkout Charity” is a thing.

Love it or hate it, it’s here to stay.

I’ve discussed the topic on more than one occasion, both on this blog and in the media. For details, click on the link below.

IN THE NEWS: Is “Checkout Charity” Just a Money Grab?

checkout aisle

Seems like I’m not the only one who’s fed up with this sneaky way of gathering funds. Consumers in general, are becoming fatigued with the amount of requests that occur on a regular basis. Enough that Canada’s leading consumer investigative show, Marketplace, decided to look into this increasingly popular practice.

I was interviewed for the show and of course gave my two cents. Tune in on Friday, February 20th to watch the full show. I’ll post a link to the program and do a follow-up post once it’s aired as well.

PREVIEW: CHECKOUT CHARITY – DOING GOOD, FEELING BAD

CBC NEWS INTERVIEW: VIEWER FEEDBACK PRE-SHOW

——

Looking for parenting advice and tips? Click on the image below to get your copy of my eBook today!

Like this post? Subscribe to the MMM newsletter get the latest parenting tips, advice and insight delivered right to your Inbox!

Image courtesy of www.http://blogs.fit.edu/

{ 2 comments }

How to help your child get through the loss of a beloved companion

Boy and turtle

There comes a time when most parents must deal with the inevitable – the death of a beloved family pet. This occurrence is even more painful when the pet is the particular companion of a young child. Your son or daughter likely grew very attached to its turtle, gerbil, cat or dog and now the beloved pet is gone – a harsh reality for a young mind.

When this very real part of childhood occurs, it’s best to be prepared, so that you as the parent are able to calm and comfort your child while they go through the grieving process. While this is a difficult time, it is possible to get through it with your son or daughter understanding and accepting this very real part of life.

Following are five tips for parents on how to help their child manage the death of a pet.

When Your Child’s Pet Dies – Top 5 Tips For Parents

1) Acknowledge the Loss – It hurts. The death of a child’s pet is a painful experience and is one that often comes as a shock to those unaccustomed to the reality of death. As this is likely the first instance in his or her experience of losing something he/she loves, the reality of what has occurred will hit hard. For a child that has lost its animal companion, it can be all-consuming as well as confusing. Recognizing and acknowledging the pain that your son or daughter is experiencing, and providing comfort while they grieve is one of the first steps towards helping your child through this difficult time. Being there and recognizing your child’s feelings will help them get through it.

2) Leave Time For Grief – Just as with people, pets can’t be replaced. Sure, you can get a new dog, cat or gerbil, but a new animal can never take the place of the one that’s died. For this reason, it’s important to take some time for your child to grieve and reflect on the loss of the pet. While the impulse may be there to soothe your child’s pain, don’t jump in and get another pet right away. Kids need to be allowed to mourn the loss of their pet and realize that while their companion can’t be exactly replaced, a new pet can still bring joy – in time.

3) Give it a Proper Send-Off –  The rituals attached to death shouldn’t end with humans. Ceremonies are important, even if they’re small. Whether it’s a fish, a hamster or a larger pet, giving it a proper goodbye will allow your child to understand that the ritual involved is all part of the process and can often help with healing.

4) Talk Honestly About Death – While it’s a difficult time for your child, the death of a beloved companion can also provide parents with the opportunity to talk about the reality that all living things eventually die. Teaching a child that this sad occurrence is a normal part of life may be hard, but it’s an experience that we all have to deal with at some time in our lives. The loss of a pet can open the door to a difficult topic of discussion but one that is needed and necessary. Answering questions about death can give your child a greater understanding about this reality as well as an opportunity to calm his or her fears.

5) Create Memories With Child – “Gone but not forgotten.” While death is a difficult lesson to learn, children can also be taught that the loss of a loved one – pet or otherwise –  doesn’t mean that the loved one will be forgotten. Memories live on, an important lesson to teach your child in the face of their loss. Help them honour their beloved pet by putting together a scrapbook, photo album, or other memento that represents a permanent tribute to their companion.

How have you dealt with the death of a family pet? What additional tips would you provide to parents who are going through this with their children? Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.

——

Want more parenting advice and tips? Click on the image below to get your copy of my eBook today!



Like this post? Subscribe to the MMM newsletter get the latest parenting tips, advice and insight delivered right to your Inbox!

Image courtesy of http://www.everydayfamily.com

{ 0 comments }

Let’s End the Myth of the “Evil Twin”

by Samantha on January 31, 2015

There is no "good" twin and "bad" twin in the pair - let's end this fallacy

Good twin, evil twin

It was an otherwise mundane Saturday at Costco.

With three kids in tow, I sauntered through the aisles, plying myself and the kids with free samples and piling up my shopping cart with bulk items, many of which I didn’t really need.

We lined up in the checkout aisle and I took a deep breath before the final total was told to me by the cashier (it’s always more than you think it’s going to be when shopping at this particular store).

Making our way to our car, with my boys sitting together in the front of the shopping cart, we were stopped by what looked to be a kind-hearted woman. Smiling, first at me, then at the kids – with a focus on the boys in particular – she stopped me.

“Are they twins?,” she asked.

“Yes. They’re identical,” I responded.

“Awww! They’re so cute!”

“Thank-you!,” I replied.

Looking at both of them with wonderment and curiosity, I thought I knew what she was going to ask next.

She’s going to ask me how I tell them apart, I thought to myself.

I was sure that this question must have been coming because it’s often one of the first things that people ask when they see identical twins – at least it has been in my experience.

Imagine my surprise, then, when she hit me with this doozy:

“Which one is the ‘good’ twin and which one is the ‘evil’ twin?”

She was serious.

My first thought was a mix of confusion and bewilderment as I tried to make sense of her question. “Good” twin? “Evil” twin? Was she for real?

Within a few milliseconds, my confusion simultaneously turned to anger and irritation about her presumptive comment.

How does one answer such a question? Was I to just respond – in front of both of my twins, and my 11-year-old daughter as well – “Oh, THIS one. THIS one is evil, this other one is good.

Was that really her expectation?

The mythology surrounding twins – particularly identical twins – is particularly fraught with the erroneous perspective that there is a “good” twin and, therefore, a “bad” one. Like Yin and Yang, black and white, opposites must co-exist and apparently this truth must be the case with identical twins. Its apparently not enough for some to accept that twins – identical or not – are not necessarily polar opposites. There is no “good” or “bad” twin any more than there is a “good” and “bad” set of siblings that haven’t had the unique experience of being born on the same day (or just a few minutes apart).

Identical twins, by definition, are certainly similar in many ways. From the obvious – how they look; to the not so obvious – their thought processes, they way they relate to each other and others, and other quirks of their personalities. That being said, they are individuals – not “good,” not “bad,” just  – different. Yet there seems to be a desire amongst some to attribute polarities to each twin. This needs to stop.

As the parent of identical twins, it’s hard enough to try to foster feelings of independence within them on a day-to-day basis. Imagine having someone who looks exactly like you? Of course you’d want to be seen as an individual. Kids will misbehave – whether they’re a twin or not – it’s a normal part of being a kid. So why is it when a twin misbehaves, they’re automatically labeled as “bad” or “evil?” Ironically, they are perceived to be the same (particularly in the case of identical twins) yet opposites. How is this logical – or fair?

Surely there are sibling rivalries that exist amongst twins, but the same can be said for any siblings, twin status notwithstanding.

There are no polarities when it comes to twins. No “good” one vs. “bad one;” no angelic child versus evil spawn, no duelling forces, vying for the top spot in their respective categories. There are just kids – warts, scabbed knees and all. Though the mythology and expectation of opposite-minded twin siblings is appealing to some, it is, fortunately, untrue.

To the woman who very rudely asked me which one of my kids was “good” and which one was “evil,” and to the many others who believe in this false dichotomy, so sorry to disappoint.

To read this article on HUFFINGTON POST, click here.

——

Want more parenting advice and tips? Click on the image below to get your copy of my eBook today!

Like this post? Subscribe to the MMM newsletter get the latest parenting tips, advice and insight delivered right to your Inbox!

 Image courtesy of www.galleryhip.com

{ 0 comments }

Baby it’s Cold Outside: Netflix Picks For Winter Weather

January 30, 2015

How to keep the kids entertained during the winter season DISCLAIMER: As part of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I will be providing monthly thoughts and suggestions about movies currently showing on Netflix. As with all content on this blog, opinions are completely my own. Baby, it’s cold outside! Between the snow, ice, and temperatures in the […]

Read the full article →

Huffington Post Live – Free-Range Parenting vs. Helicopter Parenting

January 24, 2015

How much freedom should a child be given, and at what age? Where do we draw the line? Where do a parent’s right to making a decision about their child or children end and the rest of the world’s responsibilities begin? Working from the assumption that most of us have the best interest of children […]

Read the full article →

Back to Work After Baby – Top 8 Tips For Moms

January 4, 2015

Simple but proven tips for a stress-free return to the workplace The time has come. You’ve spent precious moments with your bundle of joy but like many situations in life, this, too, must come to an end. Work beckons. And as much as you’d like to stay at home just a little while longer, there […]

Read the full article →

All Hail King Julien!

December 31, 2014

The Self-Proclaimed Monarch From Madagascar is Back With His Own Netflix Series DISCLAIMER: As part of the Netflix #StreamTeam, I will be providing monthly thoughts and suggestions about movies currently showing on Netflix. As with all content on this blog, opinions are completely my own. ——– Who’s the king? King Julien! All Hail the King! […]

Read the full article →

Don’t Make Santa the “Fall Guy”

December 19, 2014

Honesty is the Best Policy During the Holiday Season “He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good so be good for goodness sake!” So are our children warned in one of the season’s most popular tunes, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” Heaven forbid […]

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Read the full article →