March 2015

Yeah, SCIENCE!

by Samantha on March 29, 2015

Parents can enjoy Netflix while also teaching their kids about science

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. 

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But, why, Mom, why?!?

If you’re a parent, you’ve heard this question many times. Why is the sky blue? How do birds fly? Why do volcanoes explode?

Science.

Young minds are always looking for answers and kids are generally curious about the way things work. As parents we often have the answers but there are just as many times that we don’t. When we’re not sure what to say to our kids when they ask us these types of questions, we can go down the conventional route and look up the answers in a book or online or we can make it fun and interesting and get a little bit of relaxation as well as education in the process. I don’t know about you, but option #2 is a no-brainer in my books.

As a big Netflix fan, I’m always happy to oblige when my kids want to queue up some shows, and even more so if I can kill two birds with one stone. What’s better than being able to chill out in front of the TV with the kids without feeling guilty that you’re giving in to allowing your children to indulge in mindless entertainment for an hour or two? It’s possible to find the answers to your kids’ myriad of science-based questions all while kicking back with your feet up, some popcorn in hand and Netflix streaming. What could be better?

To get your kids excited about the laws of science and various truths, how about starting with these shows, all of which have a scientific flair?

DEADLIEST VOLCANOES

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HUNTING THE ELEMENTS

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COSMOS

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For the smaller scientist in the household, here are some shows to stimulate his or her inner Einstein:

THE MAGIC SCHOOLBUS

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FETCH WITH RUFF RUFFMAN

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ANIMAL MECHANICALS

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SID THE SCIENCE KID

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Of course, once you have the Netflix queued, you may want to check out some more adult-flavoured programming when the kids finally go to bed for the evening. How about a show about a mild-mannered high-school chemistry teacher who teaches a former student all about the subtleties of how mixing certain chemicals together can result a new chemical form that may be highly sought by others.

BREAKING BAD

Breaking-Bad-Heisenberg

And for you adult fans of Breaking Bad, also on Netflix, here you go:

Yeah, SCIENCE!

What are your favourite science-themed shows to watch with the kids on Netflix? Leave me your recommendations in the comments section below.

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How old should a child be before they're able to go to a public bathroom alone?


public washroom

We’ve all been there.

You’re out with your young child and all of a sudden, he/she announces “I have to go pee!!” You know that this type of warning means that time is of the essence and that a toilet needs to be found, now.

If you’re the parent of a child that is the opposite sex from you, you have a problem, especially if that child is “of a certain age.” In some cases, this can mean over the tender age of six. Yes, six.

Recently, a sign was seen warning parents to leave their boys who were over the age of six out of the women’s bathroom and to let them go alone to the men’s facilities.

To say that this is a problem is an understatement, at least in my opinion, and in the opinion of the many other parents who helped to make this image go viral. Here’s the offending sign:

boys over 6 sign

As a parent of young boys (twins), I know them well and know that my comfort level in allowing them into a public bathroom without me is not there yet. There are the practical problems: they may need help wiping or washing their hands, or even reaching the sink. I want to make sure they don’t touch too many things in the bathroom. They may need me to undo and do up their pants.

Then there are the more disturbing potential problems: what if there is a questionable person or persons in the bathroom who may pose a threat to my son(s)?

As a parent, I can’t help but feel that erring on the side of caution is best in these instances and therefore, my child will stay with me if they need to go to the bathroom, at least until I feel comfortable enough to let them go in on their own. At the end of the day, parents know their kids best and should be the ones making the decision about when their kids are ready to confidently venture into a public bathroom without their parent. An arbitrary age shouldn’t be dictated to determine bathroom abilities or the lack thereof.

On a related note, for those insisting on a specific cutoff age for going into a public bathroom with an opposite-sex parent, I would ask them the following: How do you determine a child’s age? Do you ask for a birth certificate? What about those kids that look older or younger than they really are?

In case it’s not clear, I think that six is much too young to be going into a public bathroom alone. I accompany my kids at this age and will continue to do so until I feel that they can handle things by themselves. As a mother, I will not be told that I  have to leave my children alone in a potentially vulnerable situation. And clearly, based on the response to this topic, I’m not alone in this sentiment.

Check out the Huffington Post Live segment below on the subject where I weigh in and provide my perspective, along with other parents:

VIDEO: The Public Restroom Challenge For Parents

So what do you think? How old should a child be before they can go into a public bathroom alone? Would you feel comfortable letting a six-year-old go into a public bathroom without you? Why or why not? Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.

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

Image courtesy of www.scrapetv.com

Image courtesy of Oklahoma City Moms Blog

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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

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