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Publisher's Pen

Wow! December is here and I canít believe how the months from September to December sped right by. Where did they go? I hope your fall went smoothly and you were able to balance family time with work, school and activities. I know how difficult life can be, managing everything that you need to do to get through a day, a week or a month. With the new year approaching, letís take some time to plan how we can make changes to help make family life easier and more fun! It will take planning but it can be done.

How can you spend more time together as a family? Try to have dinner some nights, go to the library, the community centre skating rink, watch a movie or play a board, card or video game together. As we head into 2020, I encourage you to think about what small changes your family can make to be more connected. As the saying goesÖîitís your presence not your presentsî that will make lifetime memories. Our fast-paced world is out of control, our minds are so distracted by screens and technology that I urge you to take a break from it over the holidays. You donít have to go cold turkey and shut down your screens all the time but what about at dinner time, or movie time or date night?
How did we live without our smart phones, tablets and laptops? Do babies and toddlers really need to be given cell phones and tablets to keep them distracted? Do 8 year olds really need to have a cell phone? YikesÖplease stop! The World Health Organization is warning parents that there is explosive growth in toddler screen time. "Use of screen time explodes between 12 months and 3 years of age in the United States, and most Canadian preschoolers between the ages of 2 and 3 are not meeting World Health Organization recommendations for appropriate use of television, computers and other screens, according to two studies published in November.

Parents must set an example. When you are with your children, put down the devices and engage them in conversation, read a book or do something fun together. Can we lift our heads from our phones when we are out and about and just smile at others?

This issue features our Winter Break Family Fun. Check out our articles and calendar to plan the best Winter Break ever! Light displays, concerts, family theatre and more! Get out and enjoy our wonderful Winterpeg and all it has to offer! We also suggest some unique "outside-the-box" gift ideas. Not stuff... but experiences that will be remembered especially if shared as a family. Also featured is our Join up for January section on programs, classes and school open houses that take place in January. Our local experts offer great articles on parenting and family life.

I want to thank our team who helps put Winnipeg Parent together throughout the year! Thank you to our loyal advertisers for their ongoing support. Without you, we could not keep publishing Winnipeg Parent. Thank you also to all our readers of the hard copy publication, on our website and Facebook page, as well as the subcribers to our new Scoop digital newsletter. From the Winnipeg Parent family to yours, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and Happy New Year!

Susan



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