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Fall 2013

Healthy Homework Habits Back to School Tips A Family Just Like Yours

Easing Your Child Into a Blended Family A Mortgage Planner Can Help

The McLeod Family

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Message From the Publisher As I go to print with the fifth issue of Family Matters in Milton, I can’t help feeling overwhelmed with gratitude. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole year since our inaugural issue!

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for why I couldn’t do it, he always reminded me of the reasons why I could.

We all have something to be thankful for. Whether you recognize it or not, there are little things in your life that are blessings. Acknowledging them, only creates more blessings. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

I am thankful to our advertisers, for the contribution they make to our community and for the support they have shown for this publication. I appreciate all the positive feedback from you, the readers. I owe a big thank you to my husband for pushing me to combine my dream of publishing a magazine and my passion for my family. While I kept making excuses

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CONTENTS Healthy Homework Habits


Back to School Tips


A Family Just Like Yours


How to Ease Your Child Into a Blended Family


Ten Reasons to Consult a Mortgage Planner


All editorial content is property of Family Matters in Milton Magazine and cannot be reprinted in part or in whole without the written permission of the Publisher. All rights reserved. The Publisher reserves the right to reuse content and may reuse content in other media forms for the purpose of promotion of the Magazine or the Advertisers. The publisher does not necessarily endorse the products or services advertised. The publisher makes all efforts to ensure that information is current and accurate. However, the publisher does not assume liability for errors or omissions. All content is meant for information purposes only. For medical advice, please see your medical professional.

Cover photo by Amanda Morris

Thank you once again for picking up another issue. I look forward to your suggestions for improvement. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I can’t help but give special recognition to all the blessings in my life. I have been graced with a healthy family that includes a wonderful, supportive husband and three amazing, conscientious kids. My extended family and circle of friends offer me a great support system to get me through my hectic life! I ask for nothing more than this.

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Healthy Homework Habits


ack to school comes with a lot of excitement for parents and students. For students, they are excited to see their friends, and meet their new teacher. For parents, getting your family back into structure and routine is welcoming after summer holidays. With back to school jitters and routines comes the dreaded “H” word, Homework! Homework can be stressful for your child as well as you, the parent. The following are some homework tips to help you and your child through the academic year; • After school, allow your child some down time. They have been in a structured environment all day, so a light snack and letting them have some time to unwind is rejuvenating for them. • Establish a set time for doing homework and do not leave it for bedtime. • Make sure your child has a quiet setting, free from distractions to complete their homework (this includes technology and siblings). • Have the necessary materials like a sharpened pencil, calculator, ruler available. •B  e positive about homework. Children learn by modeling so your attitude towards education is the attitude your child will acquire. There are times when your child can become very frustrated and overwhelmed

with homework. It is important to note that homework is not new information that your child has just learned. Homework is designed to reinforce what they have previously learned, for example, a certain math task or a research task. Homework develops independence and lifelong learning skills, so it does come with some struggles. If you notice your child is struggling with their homework, guide your child through it without giving them the answer. Life is full of struggles, you want your child to value that hard work will lead to success. Try to problem solve together, you will find that you will learn a lot about each other during those struggles. When feelings of overwhelming frustration happen, it is time to write a note to the teacher and put the homework away. If your child is spending tedious hours completing homework it is important to address the issue with his/ her teacher. Open communication between parent and teacher is key to a successful school year. Diana Alvaro-Cannon, OCT 5

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Back to School Tips

By creating a routine for homework, bedtime, waking up, eating breakfast and extra-curricular activities you can make your home less hectic for everyone.

he return to school after two months of summer vacation can be difficult for some children. It means getting used to a new routine (bedtime, wake-up time, a new teacher, new expectations, homework), and adjusting to new routines takes time. For some, such adjustments are more difficult. There is also excitement (seeing friends, learning new things) and some trepidation (“What will my teacher be like?”). While helping their children, parents also have to manage their own adjustment to the changes. Here are some tips that parents may find helpful in preparing their child and themselves for the new school year. There are also some tips that kids and teens may find useful.

•M  ake time for yourself: Good physical and mental health is essential to manage the stress of back-to-school. Reserve special time to take care of yourself. Use your break to read a book, go to the spa/ gym, watch a movie, or engage in any healthy activity to relieve stress and recharge your batteries. Tips for Kids and Teens: •F  ace your fears: Visit the school the week before it starts to look around, talk to the school secretary, and find your classroom, etc., in order to relieve any fears about return to school.

Tips for Parents: • Earlier sleep: A week before school, get your kids back into the routine of going to bed earlier.

•E  at breakfast: Having a full stomach before school will help you feel less anxious and do better in class.

• Organization: Help your kids organize their backpack, lunch, binders and cafeteria money in order to make a smooth transition back to school. Review all of the information sent by the school as soon as it arrives. Make a note of important school related dates in your calendar.

•O  ne minute story: Everyone will ask about your summer, be ready with a brief story. •K  now your combo: Know your locker combination and practice at home. •G  ood work habits: Start off the year right by writing down your homework and handing in projects on time.

• Healthy Lunches: Make a list of healthy items to include in lunch bags and ensure your home is stacked with these items. The night before school, select a few items from the list to make packing lunches a breeze. Try to make lunches fun a colourful!

•G  et connected: Be friendly to fellow students and teachers, join a team or club. Help build school spirit! Have a great school year! Article written by Dr. Paulo Pires, C. Psych. & Dr. Shonna John, C. Psych. Halton Psychologists (14A Martin Street, Milton; 905-878-6650)

• Schedules: Try to get everyone on a schedule to ensure a stress-free home.



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A Family Just Like Yours “I can’t seem to balance it all”! “I feel so overwhelmed”!


Photo by Amanda Morris

re these thoughts familiar? They are to Lori Ann McLeod. When choosing our cover family for this issue, we weren’t necessarily looking for an extraordinary family with unusual circumstances. We were just looking for a family with the same struggles as everyone else, because sometimes it just helps to know that we are not alone. These days, families are busier than ever. Trying to balance home, kids, couple time, work and health and wellness can seem daunting. Family Matters in Milton chatted with Lori Ann McLeod about her challenges and how she deals with balancing it all. This insanely busy wife and mother of two, operates the very successful Oxygen Yoga and Pilates Studio on Bronte. Besides the time she dedicates to running the business, she also teaches many of the classes herself. Somewhere, however she must find time for her hectic family life. Lori Ann’s 13 year old son Gavin is an up and coming singer /songwriter/musician who was crowned the winner of the Milton Talent Show. He has just made it through to round two of the CNE’s Rising Star. His recent performances include The Mayor’s Gala and Ital Fest this summer. He is also the lead singer in the Milton Rock This Way’s band. Eddie Fiore of Rock This Way keeps this band on the move

performances such as the one at Milton Street Festival. 11 year old Hannah also has very little idle time. She is dancing competitively 6 days a week. She is trained in art forms such as Ballet, Tap, Acro, Lyical, Contemporary, Pointe, and now tumbling. Competitive Dance also includes over night, out of town competitions. This can be challenging when trying to accommodate everything else that this family has on the go. John McLeod is a supportive husband who is also an entrepreneur. John is kept busy with his Heating and Air Conditioning company, while partnering up with Lori Ann to juggle their crazy life. When asked about her biggest challenge. Lori Ann admits, “It has to be finding and 8

keeping that connection as a family and as a couple, one that goes beyond passing each other in the hall. That not only applies to your kids, but as a couple as well. It’s hard to find time to look at each other while we talk about something other than the kids or work. I find we have to work hard to make that time. Talking with your back to that person while you do the dishes does not count. Even if you have to get up a little earlier and have your morning coffee together for 10 minutes. That sometimes can go a long way”. When asked about how she balances it all, Lori Ann confidently says,“It makes me sane knowing I’m not alone. Since the day I opened my studio, I have had at least 3 or 4 women a week break down when they open the front doors to my studio. They don’t just come here to get fit. They come here to vent about their everyday struggles

with balance. Many of them walk in and are at their wits end and leave here feeling better just knowing they are not alone. I wish you could write this story on a bunch of families. Nothing would change from family to family. Lori Ann’s Advice “My family is no different than yours. I don’t know if I really have the answers. I do know that it’s important to make that time for you. Health and Wellness is most important. It doesn’t have be a work out at the gym. It could simply be shutting off your brain for a few minutes alone in your car after you drop off your child at their activity. Put away the smart phone and turn off the radio. Find that inner peace and just breathe and know that you are not alone”.

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Elvis: The Moments with Pete Paquette Saturday, Sept. 21, 8:00pm Presented by Paquette Productions. Enjoy an evening of Elvis music with international award winning Elvis tribute artist Pete Paquette accompanied by Toronto’s finest Rudy and the Angels Band. Culture Days Friday, Sept. 27 to Sunday, Sept. 29 – Free! The Culture Days weekend in Milton will feature free, hands-on, interactive activities, including dance and movement, photography, music, video and film, literary arts and more. Kids’ Club – Milton Mall Saturday, September 21st, 2 – 4pm Free and open to children ages 4 to 12 No registration is required. For more information, go to and click on Kids’ Club.

Fall Farm Craft Show Sept. 21 & 22 – 9:00am to 4:00pm Country Heritage Park Gadsden’s Milton Fall Antique Expo Sept. 28 – 8:00am to 4:00pm Country Heritage Park HAWTHORNE VILLAGE CAFE – EVENTS Circle Time with Circle Time Parties Sept. 4 and 18, 10:30am Share A Story with A Complete Family Sept. 16, 23, 30 – 10:00am Live Music Sept. 13 and 27– 7:30am Story and Craft Sept. 5, 12, 19, 26 10:30am

October 8:30am Race Start: 9am, Milton Fairgrounds. The Race: 10k Run (Chip Timed!) 5k Run (Chip Timed!), 1k Kids Fun Run, 5k Community Walk

Ontario’s Harvest Gala Organized by Farm & Food Care Foundation Oct. 24, 6:30pm Teatro Conference and Event Centre, 121 Chisholm Dr., Milton

Party in Pink™ Zumbathon® Charity Event for Breast Cancer Friday, Oct. 25, 7:00 - 9:00pm The Mohawk Inn & Conference Centre; 9230 Guelph Line in Campbellville. Tickets $30 per person-ages. Raffle prizes and door prizes. Tickets can be purchased at The Mohawk Inn or through Pilates Plus Fitness. email:

Milton Fall Fair Friday, Sept. 27-29 Milton Fair Grounds Youth Day Agricultural Education Youth Day, Friday, Sept. 27 – Halton Agricultural Society invites the students, teachers and parent volunteers from all schools in Halton Region, grades 2 to 3 United Way Fundraiser Sunday, Oct. 6 – Milton Fair Grounds

Fall 50+ Show – Milton Mall Thursday, Oct. 17 from 9:30am until 2pm Showcase of business/Non-profits offering products and services of interest to the 50+

Milton United Way 10k & 5k Run, 1k Kids Fun Run, 5k Community Walk Sunday Oct. 6th –Registration: 7:00am – 10

in Milton crowd. For a list of exhibitors, please check our website beginning October 1st.

HAWTHORNE VILLAGE CAFE – EVENTS Circle Time with Circle Time Parties Oct. 2, 16, 30 – 10:30am

Family Expo – Milton Mall Saturday, October 19 – 9:30am until 2:00pm A variety of exhibitors set up throughout the mall ready to offer expert advice, product samples and information related to parenting visit and click on Family Expo.

Share A Story with A Complete Family Oct. 7, 21, 28 – 10:00am Live Music Oct. 11 and 25– 7:30am Story and Craft Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31 – 10:30am

Milton Talent Contest Thursday, October 17, 8:00 Adult: $15, Child/Student/Senior: $10 Celebrate local performers, or enter to showcase your own talent and win prizes. Contest is open to residents 14 years of age and older.

Heritage Fall Harvest Celebration Country Heritage Park, Oct. 5 – 10:00am to 4:00pm Harvest Halton Country Heritage Park, October 6, 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Class of ‘59: Legends of Rock N’ Roll Friday, October 18, 8:00pm Ticket: $48.50 Experience the early days of Rock N’ Roll the way it was, when music was raw and pure! Celebrating Stories: A Free Family Festival Sunday, Oct. 20, 1:00 - 5:00pm Roch Voisine in Concert: The Greatest Hits Friday, October 25, 8:00pm Celebrate the 27-year career of this Canadian pop icon. Annual Hallowe’en Spooktacular Milton Mall Saturday, October 26th 10am until 12 noon. There will be free pumpkin carving, crafts and entertainment for children ages 4 to 12.

November The Nutcracker: A Canadian Tradition Ballet Jörgen Canada Sunday, November 24, 2:00pm Adult: $42, Child/Student/Senior: $35 On the Road to Bethlehem Country Heritage Park – Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 6:30pm to 9:30pm Heritage Parade of Lights Country Heritage Park, Nov. 16 & 17 – 6:00pm 11

HAWTHORNE VILLAGE CAFE – EVENTS Circle Time with Circle Time Parties Nov. 13 and 27, 10:30am Live Music Nov. 8 and 22– 7:30am Story and Craft Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28 – 10:30am

How to Ease Your Child Into a Blended Family


s many as one out of 10 children in Canada are currently living in a blended family (Statistics Canada, 2011). It is not uncommon for families coming together to feel overwhelmed and challenged by the task of integrating two families, and parents are often concerned as to how their children will adjust to the changes. Research has shown that children are concerned that they will stop being loved and that the new stepparent will become more important than them. It is important to address these concerns and be mindful of four highly charged emotions your child may be experiencing.

and excluded by their biological parent, who will have less time to devote to each child given the increased demands of a larger family and new partner. Child: “You don’t care about me!”; “I’m not important to you!”; “You always take his/her side!” Solution: It is important to make time and to show affection for each family member. Each child should have some alone time with each parent at some point during the day. This can be as simple as taking your child along with you while you run an errand. Saying, “I love you” will also go a long way.

Loyalty Issue: Children typically feel a strong loyalty to their biological parents. In expressing this loyalty they may be dismissive and rejecting of the new stepparent. Children may even feel guilty for liking or being kind towards their stepparent. Child: “You’re not my real dad/mom!”; avoids family meals; spends more time away from the family.

Loss Issue: Children typically mourn the loss of their past routines and experiences. For example, children may mourn the loss of friends, school, neighborhood, their relationship with biological parent(s), and times spent as a family.

Solution: Acknowledge and accept each child’s loyalty to their family members but also strengthen the new blended family’s identity. Develop family routines (e.g. meals together, Saturday morning cleaning as a whole family) and create shared experiences (e.g. weekly movie night, participate in a child’s favorite activity). Rejection Issue: Children may feel rejected, replaced


Child: “Are you and dad/mom going to get back together?”; “I want it the way it was before!” Solution: It is important to acknowledge and talk about your child’s sense of loss. Let them know you miss the way things were too, before you tell them how excited you are about the possibilities your newly blended family has to offer. Fear Issue: Children may feel uncertain and fearful of their future, may not trust that

not feel heard or accepted, resulting in hurt feelings. You can create secure emotional connections between all family members by understanding each family member’s unique experience in the newly blended family, which means working through problems by sharing and acknowledging emotional feelings.

the new blended family will last, and may be afraid that their new stepparent will treat them poorly. Child: “Who is going to be here when I get back from school?”; “What are we doing for thanksgiving?”; avoids being alone with stepparent. Solution: Routine and predictability are reassuring for children. Use of a calendar so children can anticipate the family’s schedule is helpful. Time with the stepparent doing enjoyable activities will facilitate bonding.

References: families stepfamilies.htm Furrow, J. and Palmer, G. (2007) EFFT and blended families: Building bonds from the inside out. Journal of Systematic Therapies, 26 (4), 44-58.

Take Home Message To successfully ease your child into a blended family it is important to create predictable routines, opportunities for shared family experiences, and facilitate bonding by allowing your child alone time with each parent. It is also important to accept and acknowledge your child’s feelings of loyalty, rejection, loss and fear, so that they feel that you understand and accept them. Difficulties tend to occur when children do

Written by Kim Saliba, MSc. Child & Family Therapist New Leaf Psychology Centre 400 Main St. East, Suite 210 905-878-5050


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Ten Reasons to Consult a Mortgage Planner

or many Canadians, a home is the 3. Negotiating power – Mortgage planbiggest purchase most of us will ever ners have negotiating power because the make and it is a principal repository of lenders compete for their business. You’ll wealth. Mortgage planning looks at home get the best rate for your situation. equity as one of the crown jewels of personal 4. Access to rate promotions – You may finance – and the mortgage as a powerful not realize it, but there are sales and promofinancial tool. No surprise, then, that a tions in the mortgage world, too. Lenders growing number of Canadians have started often offer special rate promotions, for to ask some smart questions about their example.Your planner will know about these mortgage. In 2011, 48% of first-time buyers special offers, and whether they might completed their transaction with a mortgage work in your situation. broker, up from 45% in 2009 and 35% in 5. Mortgage Planning – A growing 2007. Clearly, today’s homeowners are very number of Canadians are accelerating their savvy about seeking out their options; they wealth by tapping their home equity for understand the value of professional advice, tax-deductible investments; a and don’t want to be tied strategy that gets their money to one particular bank’s In 2011, 48% of working double-time. They products. Why? Here get to enjoy their rising home are 10 great reasons: first-time buyers equity… at the same time as completed their 1. Choice – A broker has they watch their other investaccess to mortgages from transaction with a ments grow. They’ve got the a vast network of over 50 hardest working mortgages mortgage broker. anywhere! It takes financial lenders – so their clients have by far the best choice discipline, but it’s worth of rates and mortgage exploring! options. Your mortgage planner can help 6. Expertise – A mortgage planner is a design the perfect mortgage for you. financial specialist. That’s the kind of expertise you want to guide you through today’s 2. Independence and objectivity – plentiful mortgage market. With 30-year A mortgage planner actually works for you, amortizations, re-advanceable mortgages not for any one lender. That kind of objec(mortgage combined with a line of credit), tivity means that you – the client – are the no income documentation products for focus. They fit the mortgage to the client, the self employed, credit repair and debt not the other way around. continued on page 18

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continued from page 17

consolidation solutions, today there are mortgages for almost any situation. Your independent mortgage planner knows them all.

9. No cost to you*– As a rule, the winning lender pays compensation to your planner for the services and solution provided.

7. A focused specialist– A mortgage is a very significant financial event. Mortgage planners are in only one business, and they do it exceedingly well. That’s what you want: Someone who’s focused on the mortgage marketplace and your needs.

10. Personal attention – You need a mortgageplan that is a custom fit for you, and a planner who keeps in touch with you during your mortgage years. Keep in mind that their business is built primarily through referrals from satisfied customers, so your positive mortgage experience is essential for their ongoing business growth. Your mortgage is a big decision and a powerful financial tool.

8. One credit inquiry – Rate-shopping on your own can actually be hazardous to your credit. Every time a lender checks your credit, the credit bureaus take notice. Too many inquiries and your credit rating can weaken, possibly affecting the rate and terms of your mortgage. Your mortgage planner does one inquiry only, regardless how many lenders you’re looking at.

If you are interested in the options available, please contact your mortgage planner or find one of our expert planners at:

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