The Conscious Family Team is a team of professionals in York Region who support, guide and aid those who want to do their best each day to love, cherish and respect their children, and who want to learn and grow from their roles.

Giving birth and raising a family consciously used to be a matter of instinct. We trusted our bodies and our feelings to do the right thing. We learned from our families, and our communities how to care for and raise our children, and we just knew it would be okay. We had the support of those close to us - the village helped us to raise our children. There was no internet, no 24 - hour medical centres or helplines, and no bookshelf stocked with 50 or so of the latest advice books from "the experts", usually celebrities. Mom was at home during the day to lend a hand with the washing, or your neighbour would pop by with a casserole when times were tough.

These days, we're lucky to know our neighbour's first name. And if we need advice, we're more likely to consult Google than our brother, sister or mother. The village is truly gone.

Here with the Conscious Family Team, we want to bring the good days back by being your village and helping your family and village grow.

We believe that in order to accomplish these tasks, parenting must be a conscious endeavour, meaning that we are willing to examine ourselves, our background, beliefs, motivations, behaviours, and how these aspects affect the way we parent. Let's find the positives in the way we were parented, recognize the lessons we learned and empower ourselves to trust our own intuition and emerge as the parents we want to be.

Decisions made prior to conception, during pregnancy and in baby's first year and beyond provide the foundation for the creation of a conscious family. By consulting with one or more of the Conscious Family Team members, you will be inspired to take initiative to choose the style of caring for yourself and your infant/child that resonates with you and you'll be connected to the tangible tools and resources to support you on your journey.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Back-to-School Must: A Good Fitting Backpack

Back pain; neck, shoulder and arm injuries; headaches; numbness in the legs or arms – all of these can be caused by an improper fit of your child’s backpack.

Here are some quick tips to help you find the right fit for your child:
  1. Measure your child’s back from the shoulder line to the waist (belly button) & then add 2 inches. The backpack’s height should not be bigger than this measurement.
  2. Measure the distance between the outside ridges of your child’s shoulder blades & then add 2 inches. The backpack’s width should not be bigger than this measurement.
  3. The shoulder straps should be wide and padded.
  4. Preferably the back should be padded too.
  5. The backpack should also have a waist strap to support the low back.
  6. All straps must be adjustable.
When filling your child’s backpack, consider the following:
  1. Use the following weight limits:
    1. Up to 60lbs child can carry 5lbs
    2. 60-75lbs child can carry 10lbs
    3. 100lbs child can carry 15lbs
    4. 125lbs child can carry 18lbs
    5. 150lbs child can carry 20lbs
    6. 200lbs child can carry 25lbs (no one should carry more than 25lbs)
  2. Heavier items should be placed lower in the bag.
  3. Flatter items should be placed in the back part of the bag (these will be against the child’s back).
Encourage your children to pack as few items as necessary and wear the backpack properly. Their backs will thank you later in life!

Nicole Meltzer, RMT, CHt is co-creator of Balanced Body Mind Spirit. Through her specialization in fertility issues, prenatal & pediatric care she helps parents conceive & achieve balance while on their journey into parenthood & beyond. To learn more, visit