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Try to give when Heart and Stroke Foundation knocks

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It’s almost February, and that brings Valentine’s Day, Louis Riel Day and the Heart and Stroke Foundation canvassing campaign.

Soon, more than 3,000 volunteers will be knocking on doors all across Manitoba.  These door-to-door travelling, parka-wearing, eyelash-frosted, toque-covered canvassers will be asking you to give whatever you can afford towards heart disease and stroke research.  

Here’s a little trivia – Heart and Stroke canvassing takes place in February because of Valentine’s Day (hearts – get it?). I’ve also learned that one Canadian dies from a heart-related illness every seven minutes, and that the Heart and Stroke Foundation depends on our donations. It does not receive core government or United Way funding.

So, when a frozen canvasser knocks on your door this month, please take time to say hello and thank you, and take a brochure. If you are able, please donate generously. February is all about health, family and love — what else is there?  

☐ ☐ ☐

Parenting is one of those jobs that never really has an end.

It begins with the diaper-changing stage that seems to go on forever, and continues with various challenges with which we must contend.

For instance, those situations that start when children get together and say: "I’ve got a great idea".  

I admit that kids today haven’t really invented bullying, pranks, off-colour jokes, or generally stupid ideas. Kids have been doing that since the beginning of time. The difference today is that the repercussions are immediate and can be more serious.

Social media has allowed offensive photos or comments to be seen by as many people as you have in your address books or followers on your Twitter feed. There’s no room for ‘take-backs’ once a text or photo has been shared.  

Parents need to include the do’s and don’ts of social media in their talks about drugs, alcohol, sex, and bullying. We tell our kids to "do the right thing" or "you’ll know what to do" but we have to give concrete examples of what that would look like, and how to react.

Recently I’ve been seeing the commercial of kids texting "Jack’s girlfriend’s photo", and it’s exactly what parents need to be aware of.

Learn more at www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/

This is just another lesson for us to teach to prepare our kids for the real world.

I say that parenting is a job that never ends, but it’s not really a job. Even with the bumps and hiccups that come our way, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Wanda Prychitko is a community correspondent for St. James-Assiniboia. Contact wprychitko@yahoo.ca

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