parenting trends roundup 2017


Your Favourite Stories on CBC Parents: A Year in Review

Dec 29, 2017

2017 has been a heavy year. 

But one of the beauties of parenting is the day-to-day reprieves from the news cycle and the inconsistent climate (both political and, like, climate-climate) — because, well, you're parenting. And we've done a lot of great parenting, and our CBC Parents have written thoughtfully about how they're getting it done, or trying to get it done. 

We know as well as you do that raising a child isn't always easy. Sometimes it's stressful, and sometimes you're the one crying and not your child. But sometimes it's the most magical way to live possible. And we hope we've touched on some what you're experiencing this year. Here's our 2017 CBC Parents year in review, from A to Z.


It might seem obvious to begin an alphabetized list with apples, but if you tried these delicious, crispy cinnamon apple chips, you'd understand why we have no problem being so obvious. Our recipe for apple sandwiches is also a hit with kids, if they prefer more of a fresh and juicy bite.

Beyond apples, Julie Green told a very touching story about telling her son he has autism. It's incredibly moving.

'A' is also for Arthurour favourite Aardvark. And Addison, a brand-new show coming January 6! It's about a young inventor and her friends who use imagination, reasoning and boundless enthusiasm to solve the mystery behind the latest neighbourhood conundrum.


Offering recipes is something we love doing, because we try to keep them simple and delicious so any parent can make them. This big-batch strawberry-rhubarb crumble from Julie Van Rosendaal is just the ticket, and since it makes a big batch, it's a beautiful thing to have around for many breakfasts (and desserts). 

Rob Thomas also pondered how to talk about belief as a non-believing parent, and he found some excellent books to guide you in your journey. 

'B' is also for Bookaboothe adorable rock-and-roll pup who loves to read. 


We had cookies and catharsis at CBC Parents this year. One of our favourite cookies was a heritage recipe from the Canadian Army — a simple molasses cookie that was eaten by all Canadian soldiers in 1946!

And if you've ever been asked, "Are you going to have another kid?" we have five cathartic responses to help you navigate, well, all that that entails. 

'C' is also for Chirp, featuring our favourite birds using their imaginations to go on a series of fun and wild adventures. 


We heard from a club for stay-at-home dads called the "Ugly Mothers Club," and from a dad who wished he'd spoken up sooner about his depression following the birth of his child. Parenting resources are often very mom-centric, and we were fortunate enough to hear a variety of dad perspectives. We're excited to share more in 2018! 

'D' is also for Daniel Tiger's Neighbourhoodof which there are far too many episodes to love. And, then there's Dot.the smart-as-can-be tech wiz who solves problems through a series of hypotheses. 


Being open to embracing non-traditional ideas is something we're seeing discussed more and more as the years go by. And we believe in inclusion and diversity at CBC Parents, so it's a perspective we're proud to share with you. An intriguing exploration of this concept came from Cory Silverberg's piece, "Embracing 'Kiddo': Talking to Kids about Gender." Silverberg provides his building blocks for discussing gender with kids, noting "there aren’t two genders: gender is a spectrum; there is no right gender to be; and there is no right way to be whatever gender you are."

'E' is also for E.I.P., Cottonball's club for important people! And it's not exclusive, because everyone is important! You can download your own badge here.


Family health is so important, which is why we've covered everything from handling holiday stress and anxiety to coping with a full-family gastro bug

'F' is also for The Furchester Hotelfeaturing Elmo, Cookie Monster and more of your favourite Sesame Street favourites. 


G is for guns. While it may not be the easiest or most cut-and-dry subject to broach, we explored the question of whether kids should play with toy guns twice. Check out "I Don't Think Kids Should Play with Toy Guns" and "In Defense of the Toy Gun." 

And, of course, 'G' is also for Gary the Unicorn, who has had a very busy year of hugging. (Want to make your own Gary for your kids? Or do you think your kids would want to make their own Gary? Make your own!)


Halloween is always a fun time of year for the little ones, but as a parent it can be both fun and daunting to cook up the perfect costume idea. Julia Lipscombe wrote a probing piece this year about why your kids' costumes matter, wherein she discussed her point of view on cultural appropriation. It's certainly thought-provoking and worth a gander!

But we also have spooky treats and crafts if you're looking for lighter fare. 

'H' is also for "How Does Gary Shine His Horn?


We've had a lot of great POV stories this year from all kinds of parents. One that came in under the wire this year was Susan Goldberg's "I’m Not Here To Make Life Magical For My Children," wherein she decides, for herself, that her role isn't to make life magical for her kids, because life itself is already magical. 

'I' is also for "I Want to Be a Vet" and "I Want to Be an Artist."


You know what you can do a lot with? A jar. You can make a terrarium, an evening routine organizer and vegan lemon pie overnight oats.

'J' is also for "Janaye Day," with the sensational Janaye from Studio K!


Sometimes we can catch ourselves not being kind, either to each other or to ourselves. For Megan McChesney, her son is holding her accountable for being kind

'K' is also for Studio K, a morning show where a moose, a cat, a monster and a unicorn learn lessons and sing songs with the help of some human hosts. 


Lunches! In the new year, it's back to making the kids something to take to school and we have 20 easy lunch box ideas to make prep simple.

'L' is also for Lazoothe world of make and do!


Motherhood is a big topic for us, and we've had women talk about how it is everything from an identity crisis to a way to get more in touch with your plus-size body

'M' is also for The Mobleeswho encourage us all to dance! And what goes well with dancing, once you've got the moves down? Music videos


How to teach niceness isn't always easy. This year, Selena Mills used her own experiences as a woman and a mother to discuss how she's raising her daughter to not be a mean girl

'N' is also for The Adventures of Napkin Man!


One kid is enough, according to Sarah Foster. Do you often hear the question, "When are you having another kid?" Give her essay a read!

'O' is also for Ollie! The Boy Who Become What He Ate!


Prevention is a year-round concern, but this year there was an unexpected hiccup in a favourite app for kids videos. We gave you the rundown on how to avoid those weird, inappropriate videos on the YouTube Kids app

'P' is also for PJ Masks and Poko


Quiet activities are so needed in hard times, like when your entire family is sick with a bug! Also, if you just need a nap and your kids want to play? Why not try a quiet box

'Q' is also for "Question Machine."


Representation and resiliency were on our minds this year. Here's how one father is teaching his kids to be resilient, and here's a mother on why representation in media matters.

'R' is also for reading comprehension, and the team over at Super WHY! are on here to help kids learn the alphabet, words and phonics!


Sexism is a tough topic to discuss with a child, but this year Natasha Chiam walked us through how she is doing this with her son. On a less heavy note, we learned how to squat properly this year, too. 

'S' is also for Scout and the Gumboot Kids!


Donald Trump. We know, it's impossible to escape that conversation if you're an adult, too. And that's why we loved hearing from a parent who is figuring out how to talk to his son about Trump.

'T' is also for "Tony Time," with the loveable Tony from Studio K!


Have you heard of living "unscheduled?" Well, this year Debbie King wrote about how her family is living in just that way

'U' is also for "unboxers" — that segment of YouTube that takes things out of boxes, which can sometimes feel a little strange to watch. But Jenn Cox found some channels that won't drive you nuts


Vegetarianism and veganism are ways of eating that many people enjoy, but what if your kids don't want to follow in your footsteps? This year, Rob Thomas tackled teaching choice as a vegetarian parent, while Susan Goldberg wrote about her child becoming vegetarian as she was in the process of getting her hunting license. 

'V' is also for "Victor Vids," with the playful and cheeky Victor from Studio K.


Answering and questioning the "whats" of life became a regular feature at CBC parents. And it really covered a spectrum, from "What they Didn't Tell You About French Immersion" to "What Gym Equipment Should I Own?"

'W' is also for Wandering Wenda, based on Margaret Atwood's Wandering Wenda and Widow Wallop's Wunderground Washery!


Xmas was a busy time for the CBC Parents elves. From crafts to snacks to unique gift ideas, the holidays were packed full of goodness.


Raising a young child at an older age isn't something that's often talked about. This year, Samantha Kemp-Jackson wrote about her experience raising a young child at 50

'Y' is also for You and Me.


And like apples being a little on-the-nose for 'A' we've got zebra for 'Z.'

Try this STEM challenge with your kids to make your very own zebra!

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