A focus on relationships can make it the best summer ever!

By Mary Tabak, Our Kids Network Developmental Assets Manager

Some of the best family memories are made during the summer months. With a little bit of planning and a little bit of luck, the summer of 2016 can be one those summers that you talk about all year long.

So, what’s the magic recipe? There is no such thing. Every family has unique characters, special circumstances and interesting challenges and strengths. However, the summer of 2013, our best so far, did have a few guiding principles that helped us find our way.

First, we re-visited some old traditions. You know, those things that you did when the kids were young….but haven’t done in a long time. We used to visit our local farms regularly until the kids became “too cool” for that. Going to Springridge Farm for lunch and spending an afternoon, brought back old memories and stories, and a flicker of childhood past. We also pulled out some of our favourite children’s stories and opened the pool with an underwear swim. What started out as eyes rolling backwards, turned into a lot of good, affordable fun.  Continue reading

What makes a father?

Father’s Day June 19, 2016

When it comes to the diversity of families today, there are many definitions of “father”. Let’s celebrate them all this Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19! In the stories that follow, we see that it’s supportive, caring relationships that help children and youth thrive as they experience the ups and downs of life.

“We went out for dinner with Kyle on Friday night and he moved in on Monday morning.” Bruce Callan and his wife Kathie tell the story of how their 17-year-old foster son, Kyle, joined their family. Watch the video.

“We took a risk, and moved from a supportive larger community with families that looked like us to a smaller community where we were not sure how they were going to accept us.” The Logan-Powell family, Marcus, Wayne and their two sons, sought a smaller community when thinking about starting a family. Watch the video.

“Sometimes you have to wait for something big.” Kevin is an eleventh grade student with a passion for science, math and comic books. In 2009, his mom, Tina, reached out to Big Brothers Big Sisters. Read more

Learn more about building strong resilient family relationships:

Relationships don’t just happen. Learn more about strengthening yours at  www.Parentfurther.com

A New Kind of Parenting: Raising Kids 10 to 16 year-old We know that brain growth and development can greatly affect behavior at this stage. In this video series Dr. Clinton offers practical advice on how parents can adjust their parenting styles to help their children cope with stress and emotions during the pre-teen and teen years. Watch the videos.

Family Relationships Matter: The First Six Years Family Relationships Matter: The First Six Years, focuses on five essential actions central to positive child development: Express Care; Challenge Growth; Provide Support; Share Power and Expand Possibilities. In the video, seven families show these strategies in their own unique ways.

Recognizing the strength, bravery and resilience of children and youth in and from care

By Halton Children’s Aid Society, Our Kids Network Protocol Partner

May 14, 2016 is Children and Youth in Care Day in Ontario.

In late March 2014, the Honourable David Onley, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, granted royal assent to Bill 53, an Act to Proclaim Children and Youth in Care Day. This Act recognizes May 14th of each year as Children and Youth in Care Day, acknowledging the enormous contributions current and former Crown and Society wards make, as well as the strength, bravery and resilience they show in the face of adversity. Continue reading

Fast Forward…

To celebrate Mother’s Day this Sunday May 8, OKN director, Elena DiBattista shares her thoughts on children and grandchildren, and the relationships that shape them as they grow up.

By Elena DiBattista,  Our Kids Network director

“What kind of adult do I want my child to be?” This is an important question for every mom, especially as our children are growing up. Do we want them to be happy, self-assured, creative, fun, and honest? Will they have solid, supportive relationships, a strong sense of belonging and be reliable, good people? Do we want them to have strong connections to family and friends, be independent, make solid decisions, and handle the bumps and barriers? These are questions that I asked myself when my eldest child was a toddler, and that have also helped me determine how to respond in the many situations and scenarios that involved parenting my children. Continue reading