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As many of you know we see a lot of little ones in our office. When it comes to the little ones is it not always about a big trauma like a fall or accident, sometimes it seems less obvious as to why they are in our clinic. We attended Dr. Jenna Davis's conference on the weekend on oral function in kids and adults. We started to talk about things we commonly see. We have statements we listen for that send up red flags too. These red flags let us know that the little ones that came in just for a wellness check may also have high tone or tension in the body that needs to be released. Some of these red flag statements can seem common but are not normal to growth and development of little ones. So here is a list of some of the statements we hear during initial wellness checks that help us determine how the little ones are developing.

"My baby is SO strong! They can hold their head since they where a baby."

"My baby hates tummy time."

"My baby loves to look out away from me so they can see everything."

"My baby has hiccups all the time."

"My baby arches and pulls away from the bottle or breast."

"My baby's eyes are so big."

"My baby hates to snuggle."

"My baby never cries for fusses."

"My baby easily startles and wakes themselves up."

"My baby cannot poop."

"My baby doesn't cross crawl."

"My baby is so strong and wants to stand all the time."

"My baby keeps gagging."

"My baby does not want to open their mouth very wide."

"My baby prefers turning their head one way."

These are some of the most common statements shared by parents that wave the red flags to the idea of high tone or tension in little ones. Not being able to do tummy time can be dural tension. Standing all the time could be a reflex that has not been inhibited. And well, not being able to poop daily; that's just not normal. How would you feel if you only pooped every three days or more? Not good! The longer tension stays in little ones the harder the compensation patterns become to unwind.

The great news is, little ones respond really well and typically quickly to body work. The chiropractic care is so safe and gentle, most parents or caregivers don't even feel like we are doing anything. Except when they start to see the positive changes. So if you have used these statements or know a friend or family member who has; it might be time to have the little one checked by a chiropractor with a special interest in paediatrics. That would be us:)

Have you ever considered doing a Family AGM (annual general meeting)? Have you ever asked the kids what they want to do that year? Places they want to visit. Camps they want to try. Maybe things they want to add to the house. Have you ever shared your family budget with them? Shown them where your hard earned money is spent as a family. Now in 2023 is a great time to start.

A Family AGM is a great time to go over your family purpose or manifesto, family values, goals for the year, even a chance to share the family finances of where money goes. What does all this mean...well it is an opportunity as a family to make sure you are participating in activities, spending time together the way you want and investing your money in the family goals worth pursuing.

Where to begin if you have never done an AGM. You will cover a few things. 1. Family purpose or manifesto. 2. Review previous years goals. 3. Go over last years finances. 4. Set new years goals. Then have fun! The family AGM typically takes about an hour or less, depending on the size of your family and all the input.

Either after dinner or during a meal just chat about this. You can come up with a family purpose or manifesto. This is what feels authentic to you and your family. It's a statement or group of ideas that you try to live your lives by. Our family manifesto or ideas we try to live by are posted on our living room wall surrounded with a variety of family pictures. This is something we see everyday. (You can see our's below). It can also be a simple statement you come up with. "In this family we love, respect, communicate, challenge and live authentically." Whatever it is that feels true to your heart. Put a pice of paper on the wall and let the kids write words or statements that resonate with them, or write it down at the table when talking about it.

If you have done this before make sure to review last years goals. What was completed or maybe worth doing again. We had family trips and adventures. We went dogsledding last year, did a big road trip out west. We also reno'd our furnace, laundry/ workout room. We joined the local mountain bike club. We had grade 8 grad and then the start of grade 1, grade 5 and high school. We had birthday parties and summer camps. Whatever you choose to do as a family or ways you support each other.

Now it's time to go over finances with your kids. It is a great opportunity to continue to educate them about money. They need to understand what it costs to run the house - mortgage, utilities, etc. What its costs for clothes, camps, activities, and birthday parties. How much groceries and dining out costs. Healthcare costs. Internet, phone, Disney and netflix. The cost of family vacations. We use round numbers of course. We use a family budget every year and this allows us to direct where we need our money to go. (If you don't budget -we highly recommend you start:) ) This is well worth doing.

Next you get to talk about the fun part. Creating your goals for the year, things you want to accomplish as a family or support as a family. Things like family holidays, when and where. Kids activities, camps, birthdays. Mom and dads anniversary, and date night or couples trips. This can also include home renovations, putting in a hot tub, buying a cottage. Maybe family fun days like mini golf or laser tag, or an escape room. A fun way to come up with ideas is to give everyone who can write a post-it pad and marker, then set the clock for 5min, turn on the dance party music and let the ideas fly. The kids and adults get to write down anything they would like to accomplish or participate in that year and stick it to a wall or window. At the end organize the ideas into categories i.e. place to visit for spring break, camps, family events, home stuff, whatever. With this list you can decide which ones to pursue that the family deems worthy doing with their time and money.

Have fun with this. Once you try it I believe you can find it as a valuable tool to create found memories and fun family time.

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