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November 22, 2007

Parent Club gift ideas - Loveable Lables

This is a superb gift idea from Through this Canadian company, you can order a personalized storybook where your child will find his/her name on each page of the book. You can also include up to three friends names and the child's hometown to be woven into the storyline.

The treasured hardcover book promotes self esteem and reading skills.

If you order before Dec. 10th - you are guaranteed to receive your books before the holidays. Gift wrapping is also available.

This is a lasting gift.

As a bonus; Lovable Labels donates 50 cents of each book sold to be disbursed to various literacy organizations supporting literacy programs.

Lovable Labels Inc.
Toll Free: 1-866-327-5683

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November 21, 2007

Chores for Children

I am very guilty of not giving my children chores. I feel I can clean up quicker, better and with fewer tears. This isn't helping me -- or the kids -- and I know this.

Chores give kids responsibility. It also provides valuable life skills; tidiness, organization, prioritizing, multi-tasking. Doing a chore is "thought" and "action" at work. Why do I bulldoze this?...well, because I can't stand the whining. It takes more of my effort as coach to get them to pick up the toys than if I were to just roll up my sleeves and do it myself. Of course, by continuing to do all the work around the house -- they EXPECT me to do it. Will I be cleaning their rooms in the teen years?! Heck NO.

From about two years old can have chores. For the younger ones, it could be as simple as lining up their shoes by the door. Older kids can set the table, tidy the coffee table or turn the blinds down at nightfall.

Instead of nagging or coaching the child to do the chore; try making an observation. For example, instead of saying "for the third time - you can't watch Dora until these shoes are lined up" try letting the child find the solution on their own "the shoes are messy...what should we do?".

As a Parent of two messy children (aren't they all?!) I will give simple chores to my children. It will be better for all of us in the long run.


Francophone event

Campagne des Paniers
Dec. 1. l'Atrium de Radio-Canada 9h - midi. 250 rue Front Ouest.

Activitiés pour toute la famille, petite-déjeuners, coin des enfants, Pére Noel et un grand spectacle.
Activities for the whole family, breakfast, children’s area, Santa Claus and a show.

Donations accepted to help francophone families in need.


November 20, 2007

Your 2008 family newsletter

Yes, it's true. Now it the time to start thinking about your family newsletter. This is a bit of a lost art. In our busy lives, e-mail has taken the place of postal mail. It's quicker, easier, but less personal. Even with the great clip art images available today - I don't think an e-mailed holiday greeting quite measures up to the surprise of receiving a mailed card.

In the last few years, our family has taken the French custom of sending a New Year's card. Simply, because with the rush of December the cards just didn't always make it out in time. Plus, in political correctness - not all of our friends celebrate Christmas - so a New Year's Card just skips the holiday greeting conundrum. Adding a family newsletter to a New Year's card offers great advantage; it sums up your family's year. Personal, yet still manageable with bulk printing.

What do you put in a family newsletter?
  • favourite photos (group and individual)

  • Events (like house renovations, trips, job changes)

  • personal summaries (what grade a child is in, favourite hobby)

  • challenges of the year (illness, loss)

  • fun facts (what Halloween costume did you child wear this year)

  • your contact information (mailing address, e-mail, web page)

  • finally - or to start - a personal best wish to friends & family for a great 2008

  • Newsletters are a great way to network with colleagues, reconnect with old names from your address book or simply share with family. It is also a great memory keeper for your family; when you add trivia, events and photos.

    There are many templates available on the web - or create one yourself in Word. It's a great souvenir!


    November 19, 2007

    Green Light for Car Seats

    Free Clipart

    I have had the misfortune of dropping my child off at her grandparent's home -- only to realize a few hours later (and 150km away) that her car seat was still in my vehicle. Was she big enough to go without?!...
    Here's the 411 on car seat information (according to the Canada Safety Council);

    • Infants should be rear-facing (from infancy to 22 lbs

    • Babies and toddlers should be forward-facing (from 22 lbs to 40 lbs).

    • Kids should be in a booster seat (from 40 lbs onward)

    • Seat belts are for kids who are 1.45 m (4 ft. 9 in.), or 80 lb., or 8 years of age

    Check with your car seat manufacturer for the exact height and weight limitations of your product. Loads of kids don't hit their weight limitation but they do over-reach the height -- so be informed of both limitations.

    The Toronto Police and also Toronto Fire Services hold clinics for car seat inspection and installation. You can go to their respective websites and find information on a clinic in your neighbourhood. The great thing about the clinics is that, even if you have already installed your car seat, they will inspect it to make sure that it leaves the parking lot properly installed. These clinics are FREE.

    My dd was fine without her car seat. She is borderline seat belt ready. Though I think I'll keep her in the booster a bit longer.