Wrapping Up the Fall term of 2021 at Redefining Traditional

Redefining Traditional Logo: A colourful tree growing out of a box

Through our blog posts and weekly Facebook posts, Redefining Traditional sought to amplify marginalized voices within both the student-parent communities and the parenting community at large. We aimed to expand the definition of Redefining Traditional parenting experiences beyond the academic sense, and to include content for both parents and their children to help them with learning about the experiences of other parents and children in the community.  

As we prepare to shift into 2022, here are some highlights from this past term at Redefining Traditional!

Centering Indigenous Parenting and Discussing Historic Events with Children 

Cover of the Indigenous Motherhood in the Academy book

September 30, 2021 marked the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The day honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families, and communities. We reflected on the importance of this day and shared a resource that helps parents meaningfully contribute to this day along with their children, starting with tools to help children understand the significance of this day and other historic events that parents may not know how introduce their children to. We revisited this theme of talking to children during Thanksgiving week, where we reflected on its origin story and how to add gratitude to the arsenal of emotional skills our children have .  

During Indigenous Education Month (November), we underlined parenting experiences within First Nations, Metis and Inuit communities through sharing several forms of content written by Indigenous people on what it means to be an Indigenous parent during the pandemic, how to address the trauma and on-going legacy of colonialism in parenting, and how to care for children along with other caregivers in Indigenous communities.  

Supporting the Importance of Mental Health for Student Parents and their Families

Icon: Two conversation bubbles overlapping, with a heart

Mental health featured in this term’s contents as well, both as it pertains to adults and children. We shared resources for the parents who may be struggling with identifying bullying and supporting their children. We included resources for children that support their emotional-social learning, and we highlighted a blog post by a single, student mother that discusses their unique challenges that are familiar to many student parents.  

Ontario Bullying Awareness Week (started 15 Nov) coincided with Trans Awareness Week, and we thought it is an important coincidence to bring forth discussions on the intersectional dimensions of oppression, such as bullying of trans students and what resources can be harnessed to support them. We also extended the redefinition of traditional parenting to include an insightful article on parenting experiences of trans non-binary people . 

Highlighting Accessibility Needs & Stories from Disabled Parents  

Icon: a book opening up to a globe with stars circling around it

Disability is an important dimension of parenting experiences that doesn’t gain its fair share within the traditional parenting discussions. We covered different accessibility needs for children during Halloween celebrations. We highlighted experiences of Hard of Hearing academics during the International Week of the Deaf in September. On December we shared two resources; one on parenting while disabled during the pandemic, and a blog post formerly posted at Redefining Traditional that shares several children’s book that feature a disabled parent and a resource of disabled parenting for adults. 

Exploring Childcare & Different Models to Support our Families

Icon: a stack of books

Childcare, like the themes above, is a never-ending discussion. We attempted to cover several aspects including innovative forms of childcare that help. We will pick up from this theme next year as we share an insightful interview on one major example of innovative family-friendly spaces within University of Toronto, stay tuned!  

2021 was another rollercoaster where student caregivers spent the ride between making sure their loved ones are safely buckled and managing their compounded responsibilities. With 2022, we hope the ride will not just slow down, but finally halt. Please take a moment to appreciate the journey you’ve been through and have a very Happy Holidays! 

Celebrating our Partners & Community

Icon: a lightbulb with a plant growing in the centre of it

We are thankful for the on-going support of our partners at U of T who are instrumental in advancing the conversation around supporting student-parents in higher education and the creation of a family-friendly campus at University of Toronto. Feel free to take a look at the links below to see what our partners are up to:

If you haven’t already, we encourage you to join our virtual community via facebook to continue these conversations, and highlight stories and resources from your communities.

Whether it be virtual or in person – we hope you all have a safe and restful holiday season with your loved ones, and we will see you in 2022!

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