Black History Month Resources

February is Black History Month, so you’ll find fantastic Afro-specific programming in venues across the city. Take the time to learn about and celebrate the heritage, traditions, and cultures of Afro-Canadians with your family! Likely, your little ones will come home from school with plenty of information on the topic.

Event Hubs

The Toronto Public Library– Don’t overlook your local library branch for fun, free activities- there’s always engaging child, teen, and family programming going on! This Black History Month, take advantage of the Libraries’ African drumming, storytelling, and movie events and celebrate Black history and culture! The South African Gumboot dance workshop looks especially fun… Events run from January 30th- February 28th.

Harbourfront Centre– Harbourfront has so many events happening for BHM that it’s hosting TWO weekends of programming! This February 2nd-4th and February 10th-11th, catch family events like Kuumba family crafts, screenings of short films from the National Film Board on Afro-Canadian culture, Kuumba drumming circle workshops, and more!

City of Toronto– The City of Toronto has compiled a list of the many BHM events hosted at community centres in the GTA this year. Highlights include the Scarborough Village Black History Celebration Event which features traditional foods and a theatrical performance, Family Story Time at the Jones Avenue Library, and the Mackenzie House Black History Month weekend celebrations!

NOW Magazine– NOW’s site and weekly publication details tons of events going on in the city. They’ve got an awesome online list of Black History Month events. If I were you, I wouldn’t miss Djembe Playday, which is aiming to break the world record for the most Djembe drummers playing simultaneously! You’ll get to “learn the history, legacy, and playing technique for West Africa’s most famous drum!”

You can also always head to your local library branch to borrow some books on Black history and culture. We’ve got Something Beautiful available for loan at the FCO library.

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Black History Month shouldn’t only be celebrated in February: Catch UofT’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) Campaign happening this March 20th-21st. Its conference, on the theme “What’s Anti-Racism Good for Now?,” is being held on Monday, March 20th.

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Alzheimer and Care

When I heard that seven hundred and fifty-thousand Canadians are now living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia and that the number will surpass one million over the next generation, I began to understand the importance of understanding this condition. Alzheimer’s affects not only those diagnosed, but also their spouses, daughters, sons, and all others providing care to them.

On Thursday, January 26th, Karen Phair, the Public Education Coordinator of Peel Region’s Alzheimer Society, discussed the topic with members of the UTM community. The central aim of the presentation was, in my opinion, to explain how a person living with dementia perceives the world, and how this condition affects his or her brain function.

Karen explained that, for a person with dementia, the cognitive function of the brain, which normally informs (along with the emotional function) our behavior, is suppressed. This leaves emotions as the only conditional of behavior. Such an occurrence gives us an important clue as to how to interact with a family member or friend suffering Alzheimer: trying to use logic or engaging in an endless argument will most certainly end in frustration for both parties. A sensitive, understanding approach that privileges non-verbal messages may create a better connection and further healthy communication with your elderly loved one.

As with many mental disorders and other diseases, a crucial step to working through them is to recognize the existence of a problem. This is particularly difficult, since the immediate response of someone in the early stages of dementia is to deny that they are experiencing challenges. It is never easy- often, it is quite scary- to acknowledge that something is not right with oneself. This is the time to be understanding and sympathetic, to show our loved ones going through these difficulties how much we care. It is also important to recognize the warning signs of the disease: memory loss affecting day-to-day abilities, difficulty performing familiar tasks, problems with language, disorientation, impaired judgment, problems with abstract thinking, misplacing things, changes in mood, behavior, or personality, and loss of initiative.

If you believe that you have a family member who may be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, it is wise to seek help for this person as well as yourself. The Alzheimer Society of Peel is devoted to alleviating the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and to help find the causes, prevention, and cures. The Society have many programs and services ranging from counselling and support, education and outreach, research, to home and respite care.

Should you need more information, you can find it at the Alzheimer Society’s webpage, or by phone: 905 278 3667.

Aged hands holding one another

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City of Toronto and Camp U ofT: Registration for Spring and Summer Programs 2017

It’s hard to believe that registration for City of Toronto’s spring and summer programs is just around the corner and that Camp U of T’s is already here! The best part is that children of all ages have access to awesome programs like swimming, arts and crafts, and summer camps – there’s something for everyone.

Jump to City of Toronto Summer Camps Information.

CAMP U OF T SUMMER

Registration dates vary depending on which campus the camps are that you’re signing up for:

  • Downtown Camp U of T- February 8th at 8 a.m. 
  • UTM Camp U of T- February 16th at 8 a.m.

You’ll need to know the course bar codes of the programs that you’re hoping to get a spot in. You can find these codes in the 2016-17 Junior Blues Guide, which is available at these locations: the Family Care Office, on the KPE’s website, as well as at all of the KPE facilities.

If you have previously registered for any of the University of Toronto’s recreational programs, you’ll have received a login and pin number to access online registration. With this information as well as your programs’ bar codes you can register online.

Don’t have a login and pin number? You can set up an account with your first online registration. You can also register for programs by fax, mail, or in-person at the Athletic Centre main office.

NOTE FOR E-REGISTRATION: If your preferred program has a waitlist that you would like to be on, you must complete all registrations and then place your child on the waitlist of your selected programs. If you waitlist and then register, you will be removed from the waitlist. Be sure to click the ‘check out’ once you are finished and make sure to save your confirmation email (just in case!).

Please note that discounts are available for children of U of T students and Athletic Centre/Varsity Arena members, though some restrictions may apply. Make sure that you contact the main office for details.

JUNIOR BLUES SPRING PROGRAMMING

Registration for Spring Junior Blues programs begins on April 5th at 8 a.mEnsure that you save this date so that your little ones can get spaces in their preferred registered programs.

Registration for Junior Blues is the same as Camp U of T registration, so see above for info.

Two small children in pink wayfarer sunglasses swimming in pool floaties

CITY OF TORONTO SUMMER CAMPS.

To see what programs are being offered, check out the Toronto FUN Guide. It’s being released on the City of Toronto’s website on February 6th. We’ll be getting hard copies shortly after, but call ahead to ensure that we have some!

Don’t forget – registration dates vary depending on where you live.  

  • Etobicoke York District – March 4th at 7 a.m.
  • Scarborough District – March 5th at 7 a.m.
  • North York District – March 7th at 7 a.m.
  • Toronto and East York District – March 8th at 7 a.m.

If you’re not sure which district you live in, check out the map in each of the 4 Toronto FUN Guides to see the boundaries. You can register in programs held outside of your district, but not until the first day of registration in that district. For example, if you live in Etobicoke York District but want to register for a program held in Toronto and East York District, you must wait until Wednesday, March 8th to sign up.

Getting Your Family & Client Numbers

Start by getting a family account with the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation program. Simply call 416-338-4386 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday to get a client and family number that you will then use to register for the programs of your choice. It is best to do this as soon as possible.

Registering Online

The online registration system is available between 7:00 a.m. and midnight every day. Make sure you have your family and client numbers and the registration codes for the programs you are interested in (registration codes can be found in the print or digital  Fun Guides).

Registering in Person

If you prefer, you can also register in person at selected locations. The places and times are explained in the Fun Guides of each district. For more information on registering in-person click here.

Registering by Phone

The touch tone registration system is available from 7:00 a.m. to midnight every day. Call 416-338-0000 and press 1 to begin registering for courses. A detailed prompt system will guide you through the process. Do NOT hang up when the system tells you “You have registered successfully.” You still have to pay for the course!

Registration Tips

There is fierce competition to get into some high-demand City of Toronto programs. To maximise your chances of getting the program you want, be sure to:

  •  Be up and ready to log-in or call starting right at 7:00 a.m. on the day registration opens. I always start trying to log in and get through on the phone just before 7:00am
  • Alternate between calling and trying to get through online
  • Have your client & family numbers and course numbers written out next to you, along with your credit card to pay so you don’t have to scramble to find the necessary information
  • Create a list of options: make sure you have a second and even third choice written out in case your preferred program and times already full
  • Be sure to check out the offerings at several community centres, even those outside your immediate district
  • Talk to other families in your area, visit the community centres and chat with the staff about their programs to find out what will work best for you and your family
  • Consider signing up for a program for yourself while your child is in their session

Welcome Policy

While the cost of lessons and activities with the City of Toronto is less than what you would pay for private classes, it can still add up. The City of Toronto’s Welcome Policy provides a fee subsidy to help low income individuals and families access City-operated recreation programs. If you are approved for Welcome Policy, you will receive an annual financial subsidy that can be spent on any of the wide variety of high-quality recreation programs offered by the City throughout the year.

Children running through huge bubbles outside

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Family Day Events Round Up

There’s nothing better than a day that’s scheduled especially for family fun!

In consideration of this year’s Family Day- happening Monday, February 20th for those who don’t yet have it on their radar- we’ve made a list of 7 top picks across the GTA:

1. Board Game Making + Playing– At Steamlab, you can spend the day designing, building, and playing board games with the entire family! You’ll get to learn how to use a laser cutter, 3D printer, and will have access to tons of craft supplies to create a take-home game entirely of your making. Happening Monday, February 20th from 9-4pm. $35 for family drop-in or $95/child unaccompanied by a guardian.

2. Create, Explore, and Enjoy at the AGO– On February 20th, the Art Gallery of Ontario will be transformed into the KIDS’ Gallery of Ontario! There are tons of fantastic workshops that involve exploration, creativity, and family fun. Some of these include: kite and sailboat making, fort building, and yoga! Family Day Passes cost $39 and AGO Members are free.

3. Family Day at Evergreen Brick Works– Head over to Evergreen Brick Works on Monday the 20th and enjoy free skating, CBC mascots, and tons of family-specific outdoor activities. You’re welcome to bring your own winter gear- skates, hiking poles, and fat bikes,Owl in snow-covered tree but on-site rentals are available as well! There’ll be soup-making and storytelling, tours of the Winter Village Building, guided walks along the Don River Valley, as well as teachings on the Birch Bark Canoe by Anishinaabe artist Mike Ormsby. February the 20th from 11-5pm. FREE.

4. Family Day at Harbourfront Centre– There are so many great Family Day  events happening at Harbourfront this year. Too many to list! Some highlights include: Music with Bite: Giggle and Stomp!, Let’s Talk Science, the Cozy Chill Out Zone and Toronto Public Library Ready for Reading Program, and snow shoe-making with Shadowland Theatre! Monday, February 20th, 11-5pm. FREE.

5. Family Day at City of Toronto Historic Sites– If you stop by the City’s museums on February 20th you’ll find even more kid-friendly activities than usual! Visit the Fort York kitchen for some hearth baking and hot chocolate, enjoy storytelling at the Historic Zion Schoolhouse, learn Scottish Country dances at the Mackenzie House, and more! Admission prices vary.

6. Family Funday Weekend at the ROM– From February 18th-20th, the Royal Ontario Museum will be celebrating the country’s rich multicultural landscape with musical Two children leaning over notebook, drawingperformances, films, special workshops, and more. Hands-on themed activities inspired by the Museum’s exhibits will run from 11-4pm. Free with Museum admission (Students with ID $15.50, children ages 4-14 $14.00).

7. Family Day Monday at the Bata Shoe  Museum– The BSM is transforming into a magical wonderland on Monday, February 20th. Take part in hands-on demos and arts and crafts and catch a special viewing of The Snow Queen. Drop-in activities until 4pm. Free with museum admission (Students with ID $8, children ages 5-17 $5).

Looking for more activities? Check out sites like http://www.toronto4kids.com/ to find even more events near you.

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Choosing Your Child’s Elementary School- Deadlines!

Choosing the right Kindergarten or Elementary School for your child can be an exciting decision. The Family Care Office recently held a panel discussion on the subject, where experts advised parents and guardians on how to pick the best schools for their kids.

The panellists urged parents to consider schooling options carefully. They suggested that parents think about which environments their children will do best in, and also which educational methods the parents prefer. The panellists also recommended that parents and guardians learn about neighbourhood schools by speaking to people knowledgeable about them, including local parents and real estate agents. Attending a Parent-Teacher Council meeting is also an excellent way to get a sense of a school’s environment.

You’ll find in this blog:

  1. Details on Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Registration
  • Kindergarten Registration
  • French Immersion and Extended French
  • Alternative Schools
  • Optional Attendance
  • Before and After School Programming

2. Details on Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) Registration

  • Kindergarten Registration
  • French Immersion and Extended French

3. Information on school registration in the Region of Peel

1. Applying to Kindergarten in the Toronto District School Board

Children who will be four years old by December 31st, 2016 are eligible for Junior Kindergarten starting in September 2017; children who will be five by December 31st are eligible for Senior Kindergarten starting in September.

Kindergarten registration begins in February. To register, find a local school and visit it with the following documents:

  • Proof of child’s age (birth certificate or passport)
  • Proof of address (two pieces of identification that show your address, such as a residential phone bill)
  • Proof of child’s immunization(this is a card provided to you by your doctor that shows a list of needles your child has received)
  • Verification of date of arrival (if applicable)

You must contact your local school for its specific registration dates and times.

French Immersion in the TDSB

Early French Immersion begins in Senior Kindergarten. To locate the French Immersion school in your area, you must first confirm the English school for your home address. The application deadline for the September 2017 year has passed. It was on December 1st, 2016.

The Junior Extended French program which has Grade 4 entry has an application deadline on February 2nd, 2017. The Intermediate Extended French program which has Grade 7 entry shares this deadline.

Alternative Schools

Admission to Alternative Schools is by lottery, but each school has its own admissions procedures and deadlines. You can apply to as many Alternative Schools as you want, anywhere in the city, but there is no busing service to these schools. Many schools have information nights in January and February. Make sure to attend a few so that you can get a feel for the school environment that would work best for your child.

Optional Attendance

Students have the right to attend a school which is designated to serve their residential address (‘local school’) but are permitted the opportunity to access schools outside of their district (‘optional attendance’). Acceptance to these schools is dependent on spaces being available as well as the program’s suitability. Schools accepting students on optional attendance are classified as ‘limited.’ If you are interested in a ‘limited’ school, contact its principal.

NOTE: The deadline to accept an optional attendance offer with an elementary or junior high school is Friday, March 24th, 2017. To accept the offer, you must contact the school directly.

Before and After School Programming

As part of the TDSB’s Kindergarten program, a Before and After School Program is offered. These programs will be made available at schools where there is a confirmed interest from the families of at least twenty children. You must complete a Kindergarten Before and After School Program Parent Survey of Interest each year and will receive confirmation if the program is to run in April. Families receiving a child care subsidy are able to request that it be applied to the Before and After School Program fees. For more information, contact your local school.

 

2. Applying to Kindergarten in the Toronto Catholic District School Board

All children born in 2013 are eligible to attend Kindergarten in September 2017. NOTE: Non-Catholic children of non-Catholic parents who are not enrolled in the RCIA/RCIC program are not eligible for admission to a TCDSB elementary school.

Kindergarten registration begins on January 18th, 2017 at 10 a.m. To register, find a local Catholic school and visit it with the following documents:

  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Passport/immigration documents (if child not born in Canada)
  • Child’s immunization record (this is a card provided to you by your doctor that shows a list of needles your child has received)
  • Child’s Catholic Baptismal Certificate (or proof of parents’ Catholicity or RCIA/RCIC letter)
  • Proof of residency in Toronto

The TCDSB recommends that you call your local Catholic school for an appointment. Otherwise, you are able to register your child at https://soar.tcdsb.org/Login.aspx. Application forms will be available on Wednesday, January 18th at 10 a.m.

If you are not able to register in-person during the designated school day, most schools host extended hours for registration on one evening in January. Contact the Catholic school closest to you for more info. Registration remains open until August 2017, though parents/guardians are encouraged to apply early.

French Immersion in the TCDSB

The Toronto Catholic District School Board offers Core French, Elementary, and Secondary French Immersion. Contact the Catholic school nearest you which offers your desired program for more information.

NOTE: You do not have to speak French in order for your child to be successful in a French Immersion program!

 

3. School Registration in the Region of Peel

Check out our March 2016 blog post on registering for schools in the Peel Region.

Please note that Kindergarten registration is open in Peel. Schools will hold a Kindergarten Registration Week with special registration activities during Feb. 6 to 9, 2017.

 

 

Originally published in 2014 by Carla Murphy, updated and amended in 2017 by Gabriele Simmons

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Recognizing Aboriginal Life and Culture – FCO Library’s New Collection

The FCO library is pleased to announce that we now have a growing collection of books centered on Aboriginal Life and Culture. Our collection offers several children’s titles, such as Shin-chi’s Canoe and Shi-shi-etko by Nicola I. Campbell and Kim LaFave (Illustrator). These books have received much praise and have recently won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and Aboriginal Children’s Book of the Year. They are fantastic books to read with your children to introduce them to Aboriginal life and native children’s experiences whilst attending residential schools.

Shin-chi's Canoe book

Shin-chi’s Canoe by Nicola I. Campbell and Kim LaFave (Illustrator)

For our adult readers desiring to learn more about Aboriginal life and culture, the library offers titles, such as Speaking My Truth and Life Stages and Native Women. An illuminating collection of essays, Speaking My Truth provides a more detailed account of the unfortunate injustices that Aboriginals experienced as a result of being taken away to residential schools. By this means, the authors strive to enhance discussion around reconciliation in Canada. Life Stages and Native Women, on the other hand, provides an intimate look at the lives of native women and the vital roles they play in sustaining the health of their native communities. With teachings gathered directly from native women in Canada, the author passionately shares the experiences of young native girls and women, touching upon their ever-changing responsibilities and traditions concerning pregnancy, child care, and more.

Life Stages and Native Women

Life Stages and Native Women by Kim Anderson

We invite you to come visit us at the FCO library and take one of these enlightening and thought provoking books home today! To browse through our complete Aboriginal Life and Culture collection please visit our LibGuide.      

If you are having trouble finding the information you need or would simply like a book recommendation on a family care topic, our library is happy to provide personal librarian services that you can access right from your desk. Alicja, our Library Communications Coordinator, is available to answer emails (alicja.adamczyk@mail.utoronto.ca) or drop-in queries on Mondays and Tuesdays between the hours of 1:00 to 4:00pm.

Written by FCO Library Communications Coordinator, Alicja Adamczyk. 

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PD Day Events in The GTA (January 20)

Haven’t got plans for your student’s January 20th PD Day yet?

Not to worry, we’ve got you covered!

Here are our 7 top picks for free and low-cost PD Day events across the GTA:

Bata Shoe Museum

If you’ve got the day off too, check out the Bata Shoe Museum’s Arts and Innovation: Traditional Arctic Footwear exhibition with your little one. The museum is open from 10AM – 5PM. Student admission (with ID) is $8, adults are 14$, and kids enter for free!

White sneakers with blue LED soles on skateboard.

Cow Over Moon Children’s Theatre

Now in its 20th season, Cow Over Moon is celebrating with its latest, most creative creation, Beauty and the Beast. There’s a show on January 20th from 10:30-11:30 a.m. While most appropriate for children ages 7 to 12 (the performance includes critical thinking, problem solving, and conflict resolution), it’s guaranteed to be a blast for the whole family. Tickets are $17 for adults and  $13.50 for kids.

hub

Try drop-in rock climbing with the kids! Full-time students and teachers get 15% off, so a day pass would only cost $15! That’s the same price for kids. They’re open 12 p.m.- 11 p.m. Orientation required for new climbers, shoe rentals available at the climbing gym.

Adult rock climbing in indoor gym

Steam Lab

This PD Day program is for kids aged 7 to 14 and it’s all about winter wearables clothing hacks! Kids’ll get to add LED’s and conductive materials to their winter clothing… From 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. $95/child, before and after care available.

Ontario Science Centre

Your little ones can take part in a full-day energy and physics day camp at the Ontario Science Centre. Watts Matter is for those ages 5 to 12 and is from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at $75/child.

U of T’s U Can Move and Varsity Hockey Game

Check out the U Can Move physical literacy program from 6 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. Following this, beginning at 7:00 pm, catch the Men’s Varsity Blues hockey game against U Windsor while sipping free hot chocolate! This event is no-cost. All participating family members must have tickets to participate – register at family.care@utoronto.ca

Hockey players on ice looking to goalie net.

Toronto Public Library

The Toronto Public Library has a variety of PD Day activities across all of its branches! Find the library nearest you and see what events are happening (movies, Lego, Bingo and more!).

Enjoy!

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Starting Your Year Off Fresh

It seems like every time that January rolls around we promise ourselves to eat better, make more time for our family and friends, and to end our procrastination for good. Often times, the goals that we make are too lofty or unachievable and so after a few weeks are slowly let go. When making year-long intentions it’s important to start small. As well, they tend to work best when you consider making ones that work with your schedule and commitments. That way, you won’t experience the discouragement of not being able to keep them.

Here’s our list of 7 resolutions that involve the entire family. Better yet? It’s largely UofT-specific!

1. Expand your network – Being a parent- especially a student parent- can be isolating at times. Attending Family Care Office events is a great way to meet other student parents. We sometimes host kid-specific activities (U Can Move & Varsity Hockey Game), so even your little ones can make new friends! Another great spot is Hart House, which hosts free Family Sundays once a month.  And… are you in Graduate Studies? Then access U of T’s Grad Talks to build skills and gain balance!

Family Care Office text graphic with cartoon depictions of diverse families

2. Practice mindfulness – Mindfulness affects tangible, positive change in both children and adults’ management of their emotions. Parent Toolkit does a great job breaking down how to incorporate a practice of mindfulness into your family’s routine. One of their suggestions is creating a “‘mindfulness corner’” in a main area to act as a “zone of peace.” Another involves fridge notes that remind you to: “NOTICE emotions, NAME the emotion, ACCEPT what is going on, and BREATHE before jumping into action.” If you’re on-campus, make time to drop-in to the free meditation and yoga classes as your schedule allows.

3. Practice self-care – Schedule a block of time for weekly self-care, but try to ensure that you initiate mini-moments of the practice daily. This could include a family activity like reading a story together, but should also involve time designated for you alone. In these moments you can step away from your role as student/caregiver/etc. and just be you.

E-reader atop of colourful notebook with eyeglasses and ceramic mug beside it.

4. Be physically active – In case you aren’t able to make use of the University’s free drop-in recreation programs, make it a point to be physically active each day. Where possible, walk with your family instead of taking transit. Also, check out  the Athletic Centre schedule for low-cost drop-in family skating, squash and table tennis, and fun swim!

5. Focus on your mental health– Need support talking through family care-specific issues? You can always drop-in to see one of our Peer Mentors, or book a confidential one-on-one appointment with a Family Care Office Advisor. Our Mentors are available in-office twice a week and/or can be assigned specifically to you.

6. Get on-top of your budget– The Family Care Office is here to help you understand the financial resources made available at the University of Toronto as well as government benefits and tax credits. Check out the  Dollars for Daycare grant, a needs-based bursary open to full-time or part-time University of Toronto undergraduate students (including international students!) or peruse the financial resources section on our website to learn about additional resources.

7. Schedule weekly family meetings – Planning a weekly family meeting is something that many of our Peer Mentors swear by. This is because it allows everyone to slow down and to communicate with each other, work through any conflicts that have arisen, and plan the weekend!

Yellow sofa with gray pillow pictured from birds eye view.

These seven resolutions, with a bit of work, can be applied anytime throughout the year -January isn’t the only time to set goals! We hope that you and your family adopt whichever intentions work best for you, and that together you keep each other on track.

Let us know how it goes!

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Advocating Parenting Literacy

At a recent Grad Talk put on by the Family Care Office, which discussed the option of becoming a parent while pursuing graduate studies, one of the panelists was Nana Lee. Nana Lee is the Director of Graduate Professional Development at the University of Toronto and is also a lecturer. She is a huge advocate of parenting literacy. In her words, “In lieu of village wisdom, we have the next best thing – experts in various fields who pass along the wisdom in the form of books. I am an advocate of reading, attending these types of workshops, and asking other parents about the experience.”

For thousands of years, mothers and fathers have relied on their support systems, including grandmothers, aunts, and other mothers to provide insight as to how to raise their children. In the past, families lived close together and were always available to provide help and advice. Therefore, literacy during parenting received little importance or support. However, times have changed and these days parenting literacy is now receiving much attention again. Here is why parenting literacy is important and why you, as an expectant or new parent, should pick up a good parenting book today.

Limited Time and Separation from Extended Family

In the past, there was a high chance that mothers stayed at home to raise their children and as a result, had the time to seek advice from relatives and other loved ones. However, over the years our society has experienced a shift. In the 1960s, 65% of families had mothers who stayed home with their children whereas more recently in 2012, it was found that now only 22% of families have mothers who stay at home (Luscombe, 2014). For graduate students wishing to become parents, parenting may have its challenges, as school and other work responsibilities may limit the time that students have to seek wisdom and advice from family members and other outside support groups. Furthermore, graduate students may travel long distances to pursue their education and can experience separation from relatives and friends they would traditionally go to for support. Considering these factors, it is important for graduate students who are parents to seek advice and authoritative information by other means. Parenting books written by experts can provide this necessary information for parents.

Important Information That Our Support Systems Cannot Provide

Certain types of information important for child development can only be attained by reading expert books and articles. Necessary information that fits this category includes health information, since health suggestions for children are continually changing as new studies are performed. Health and nutrition information that family members and friends are able to offer may not always be up to date or reliable. As a result, parents should act on behalf of their children by practicing reading and educating themselves about current health and nutrition facts for children (Velardo & Drummond, 2013). This is of utmost importance, as parental health literacy directly influences how parents make health related decisions for their children, how parents speak to their children about health, and how parents create a healthy home environment (Velardo & Drummond, 2013).

Developing Your Own Parenting Style

By consistently seeking advice from extended family members and other supporters, certain parenting strategies or styles may be imposed onto new parents without their recognition. These specific styles may not always be the right style for a particular parent or their child. Luckily, numerous parenting books shed light on a multitude of parenting approaches and provide parents with the information they need to adopt a parenting style that is not only the best for their child, but also for themselves. Furthermore, expert titles encourage parents to discover their individual strengths and inspire parents to apply these strengths to their parenting practices. Considering this, parenting literacy has special importance in helping parents develop and nurture their own unique parenting style.

 

Feeling inspired to enhance your parenting literacy? Check out our TipSheet, which highlights great books suggestions for expectant parents. Also, listed below are some books that expectant or new parents have found extremely helpful in their parenting journey!

5 Love Languages of Children Book

Strengths Based Parenting Book

First Meals Your Questions Answered Book

Well Beings Book

Breaking the Good Mom Myth Book

If you have any questions about our library or collection please contact Alicja at alicja.adamczyk@mail.utoronto.ca. Alternatively, feel free to drop in and ask a question in person between the hours of 1:00pm to 4:00pm on Mondays, and 9:00am to 12:00pm on Wednesdays. To browse through our collection online please visit our LibGuide.

Written by FCO Library Communications Coordinator, Alicja Adamczyk. 

 

References

Luscombe, B. (2014). There is no longer any such thing as a typical family. Retrieved from http://time.com/3265733/nuclear-family-typical-society-parents-children-households-philip-cohen/

Velardo, S., & Drummond, M. (2013). Understanding parental health literacy and food related parenting practices. Health Sociology Review, 22(2), 137-150.

 

 

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How I Ended Up Taking My 2-Year-Old Daughter to Tutorial

PDH_Young Mom Studying With Infant Color-12 By Patrick House

Taking a 2-year-old to a tutorial sounds crazy, I know. But it really felt like I didn’t have a choice.

This all began because I’ve been planning a family trip to India for the winter break, and travelling to India means getting my daughter an Indian visa. I started my day by taking two buses, a subway, and another bus to get to BLS, the Indian visa application processing centre. Let me tell you, this place is not efficient: what I thought would be a one to two hour stop on my way to class ended up taking four hours! As the minutes passed I felt worse and worse; I kept stressing about missing my lectures. Because I hadn’t planned for those four hours that I lost, I ended up missing a lecture and getting to the university daycare when it was already nap time. We all know what arriving at nap time means: I couldn’t drop off my daughter.

At this point in time, I had to get to my tutorial. If I were to miss it, two points would be taken off my overall grade. Being a perfectionist means that I cannot stand missing a tutorial. Without other better choice, I decided to email my TA and ask her if I could bring my daughter to tutorial. She replied in less than five minutes saying it wasn’t a problem and that she would see both me and my daughter soon. I gave a sigh of relief… Ok, so I would not miss out on anything important and most important of all I would not be getting a grade penalty.

All the way to my Victoria College tutorial location, I prayed that my daughter would fall asleep. After all, it was her nap time. For a few minutes I thought this was the case- because she was quiet, but then I saw her smiling. This made me not as smiley…

When we got there we sat down and I put some Peppa Pig on the computer (with no voice). I waited for my little one to interrupt and to be difficult like we all know a toddler can be. But, to my surprise, she wasn’t, she was absolutely great! She didn’t even want to see the TV show. She listened when the TA spoke and laughed when everyone laughed. This made everyone laugh even harder. Together we had a great experience that reminded me of when I used to endlessly study while pregnant with her in my belly.

I wouldn’t say I think it’s possible to bring a 2-year-old with you to every lecture. But if your back is up again the wall and you have to bring your kid to university, don’t expect the worse, it might even be an enjoyable experience!

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