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September-October 2011

Education Section:

Principal Profile: Académie de la Capitale’s Lucie Lalonde a tireless, passionate educator

Fall Registration Guide

From soccer to arts to swimming, register for your fall activities now

Fall Family Fun & Destinations A helpful guide to the most breathtaking places to see fall foliage

Kids' Media Review:

Music moves mountains for Ottawa singer-songwriter Peter Puffin


A look at the ‘real’ museum experience

How museums blend learning, interaction and family fun

PLUS: Great ideas for healthy, tasty, back-to-school lunches OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 1


SucceSS The Ottawa Catholic School Board reminds students and families that Tuesday, September 6 is the first day of school.


he Board’s excellent French language programs from kindergarten to grade 12 enable all students, by the end of high school, to reach their full potential in the acquisition of the French language. Twenty-first century learning is one of our Board priorities. Mobile devices, interactive whiteboards, a wireless network and digital resources are used to support student achievement. Please view our website for more information.

New to Ottawa?

If you are new to the Ottawa area we invite you to visit the Board’s website to use the online School Locator. Simply type in your address to find out which school your child should attend. School boundary maps are also available online, or call the Planning Department at 613-224-4455, ext. 2321 for additional assistance. New students should provide: • EITHER parental OR child’s CATHOLIC baptismal certificate for students in junior kindergarten to grade 8; • A record of immunization and Ontario Health card; • A report card from the student’s previous school; and • For junior and senior kindergarten students, child’s birth certificate or other government document to show proof of age. Registration of new students takes place at each school. We welcome non-Catholics in our elementary and intermediate schools on a space availability basis — call your local school for more details. Catholic high

schools are open to all students. Elementary school offices will be open for registration on Monday, August 29. High schools are open all summer.

Kindergarten Eligibility

Junior and senior levels include children who will be 4 or 5 years of age on or before December 31, 2011. For a list of schools offering full-day kindergarten, and those that offer before and after school programs, please visit content.php?doc=6418.

Family Welcome Centre

Families new to Canada or Ontario who wish to register a student in the Ottawa Catholic School Board AND whose first language is not English, are invited to begin their journey by visiting the Family Welcome Centre for language assessment and help with the registration process. Please call 613-233-5670 for an appointment.


Transportation is provided for senior and junior kindergarten students who live at least 0.8 km from the school. For students in grades 1-8, the minimum distance is 1.6 km, while the distance for grades 9-12 is 3.2 km. Eligible secondary students who take OC Transpo buses to school will be provided with passes or tickets for the months of September to June. Bus schedules are available on the Board’s website at or on the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority (OSTA) website at Midday kindergarten

2 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

schedules and regular am/pm routes will be made available at elementary schools on August 29. Schools may be contacted directly after that date. Information regarding school bus routes can also be obtained by calling the OSTA at 613-224-8800, ext. 2580.

Adult Education

The Ottawa Catholic School Board also offers a full range of learning opportunities for adults. For details, please call the Continuing Education Department at 613-228-3338 or St. Nicholas Adult High School at 613-228-8888 or visit http://continuingeducation.

Catholic Education Centre 570 West Hunt Club Road, Nepean K2G 3R4 613-224-2222 Gordon Butler, Chairperson Julian Hanlon, Director of Education

Photo by John Beebe. Creative by

Speak for Speak for children here:


OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 3

publication colour


Ottawa Parent Teachers Magazine 4c

Ott_Par_FP_Oct1101 11-08-11 10:20 AM Page 1

On Your Cover:

École secondaire publique Omer-Deslauriers offers a variety of programs such as the International Baccalaureat (IB), the High Skills Major in Construction and the Ontario Curriculum. Its amazing students with rich multicultural backgrounds and dynamic, devoted staff make Omer-Deslauriers stand above the rest. Ici on réussit ! Please see ad on page 20.

Cover Photo: Danielle Lynn Photography


In this issue 21 Back-to-School 28 FEATURE: MATERNITY 31 Kids Zone 32 FALL REGISTRATION GUIDE 40 FALL FUN & DESTINATIONS GUIDE 46 Grandparents Connection 47 Mom the Entrepreneur 48 FEATURE: GOING GREEN 50 Closing Notes: Mark Taylor

6 from the Editor 8 OTTAWA'S MUSEUMS 11 Kids' Media Review 12 Community Profile 13 Just for Moms 14 Family Finance 15 Healthy Living 16 FEATURE: EDUCATION 16 Principal Profile


34 Dance 37 Music 39 Fit Parent 43 Birthday Party

48 28


Every Kid a Card Remember to pick up your FREE back-to-school basic: a Library card. Your Library card gives you free access to • homework help • resources for learning and fun • computers and Internet • activities

4 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

InfoService 613-580-2940


ages 5 to 105!


Family Concerts presented by the National Arts Centre Orchestra! Enjoy interactive and entertaining concerts featuring guest artists, and the music of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart and Tchaikovsky!

4 concert series just $47 for kids $79 for adults | $207 for families of 4

Subscribe today! 613-947-7000 x620

OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 5

from the Editor Happy back to school, dear parents! And best of luck toughing out the frantic annual school supply and clothes buying spree. Well, it’s frantic for me, anyway. This year, I will have brand new Grade 8 and Grade 4 students to prepare, plus a spirited 10-month old along for the ride. With juggling my career and other things, this usually ends up a completely chaotic time, and every year when it’s finally over, I vow to be more organized in future—which never happens. How about you? Do you have any special strategies to make the transition back to school seamless? Do you get started early, or are you a procrastinator like me? I’d love to hear your experiences and ideas: And with education at the top of your mind, be sure not to miss our special back-to-school education section: This fall, Ottawa Parenting Times introduces a new regular feature: the Principal Profile. We’ll be talking to Ottawa-area principals from all boards about the hard work they do for their students. This issue, Jessica Hinds talks to Lucie Lalonde, principal at the independent school Académie de la Capitale. Our main feature this issue explores the wondrous world of museums. Writer Chris Hunt looks at how museums weave together learning and fun, and finds that a museum visit is not only a timeless family activity, but is even more beneficial for your children than you think. Enjoy, and as always, I’d love your comments, suggestions and story ideas. Reach me on Twitter: kelly_roesler and visit my blog, And Baby Makes Three: P.S. Between issues, Ottawa Parenting Times is still your source for parenting information, news, entertainment, contests and more. Don’t miss out! Find us on Facebook by searching “Ottawa Parenting Times” and follow us on Twitter: @ParentingTimes.


Opening Notes


circlula000 tion

For Ottawa’s Parenting Community EDITOR Kelly Roesler SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR (Twitter, Facebook et al.) Jessica Hinds CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Samantha Bayard Teri Clifton Jessica Hinds Chris Hunt Michelle Jondreau Stephanie Lawrence Sonia Morin Sarah Rae Kelly Roesler Kaleigh Sainthill Rebecca Steffan Charlina Stewart Mark Taylor Jennifer Wagaman ADMINISTRATION Sarah Rae WEB DESIGN Matt Scriven Solid IT MAGAZINE & AD DESIGN Anastasia Krachkovskaya PRINTING St. Joseph Communications Ottawa, Ontario PUBLISHER Peter Ausland, B.A. Follow Us on

ADVERTISING SALES Peter Ausland, B.A. Account & Marketing Representative Drop us a line. Comments, questions and story suggestions are always welcome. Ottawa Parenting Times and Ottawa’s Classrooms Magazine are published by

Family Media Publishing Inc.

Editorial and advertising inquiries can be made by telephone or e-mail. Family Media Publishing Inc. 67005 – 421 Richmond Road Ottawa, Canada K2A 4E4 Tel: 613 656-3430 Fax: 613 656-3424 Ottawa Parenting Times reserves the right to edit any submissions for clarity, space, and style. © Family Media Publishing Inc. All rights reserved. Articles, artwork, graphics, and photographs are protected by copyright and cannot be used without permission. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Unless otherwise stated, articles do not imply a product, or service endorsement by the publisher. Select photos used in OPT supplied by Shutterstock and DepositPhotos.


A financial donation has been made to Trees Ontario to reduce our environmental impact of producing this magazine.

Whiteface Region….GET CLOSE! For Family fun, Breathtaking Views and Great Local Attractions Less than 4 Hours from Ottawa! Visit the Whiteface Region and get close to the action from the centre of it all. Ruggedly authentic and refreshingly simple, the Whiteface Region offers immediate access to the great outdoors—from the highest peaks of the Adirondacks, to the thundering pools of the legendary Ausable River and the hundreds of miles of hiking/biking trails in between.

Visit us this fall for the 8th Annual Festival of the Colors – Saturday, September 10th –Free Family Festival Learn more on Page 45 or Book your trip to the Whiteface Region at: 6 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011


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OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 7

Ottawa’s museums blend learning, interaction and family fun By Chris Hunt


arie Lalonde laughed as she recently recalled a revealing story told by a mother who took her son to an aquarium. Mother and son were watching a jellyfish surge through the water toward them, each with different thoughts. “She was horrified by it, but said nothing,” said Lalonde, executive director of the Ontario Museum Association, “and her little boy said, ‘Mom, have you ever seen something so beautiful?’” Two people seeing the same scene, but each taking away something different, is typical of the museum experience, she said. Museums, said Lalonde, (who pointed out that zoos, botanical gardens and aquariums are museums with live collections) offer children a unique learning experience outside the classroom that allows for interaction, interpretation and especially fun. “It’s not just a description, it’s not a video where you see it, but it’s not authentic,” she said. “That’s the word about museums. It’s an authentic experience with the ‘real.’ The real object, the real ways that people knitted, or baked foods or worked iron, etc.” Education is the primary function of a museum and all museums have educators. Staff and volunteers research the best ways to reach families, seniors and children. Many museums offer programming that links to the Ontario curriculum to augment what children are learning in the classroom. “There are ways to integrate lessons by using the objects and the stories that museums offer for more authentic experiences in learning,” said Lalonde. Many exhibits employ the senses as teaching aides, providing a tactile experience by utilizing not only the exhibits but the stories behind them; for example, learning to use vintage equipment to churn butter for a taste of another time. “In Grade 3, they start to study the pioneers,” said Ashley Moores, education and interpretation officer

8 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

photo: Marie-Andrée Blais

Feature :: Ottawa's Museums

A snapshot of the ‘real’ museum experience

Ottawa’s museums offer children a unique learning experience outside the classroom that allows for interaction, interpretation, knowledge and especially fun

programs: Conservation Club, which teaches children how to preserve and maintain their favourite collectables, and Preschool Picnics, where preschoolers and their mothers learn about pioneers, gardening and various other things, followed by a picnic lunch. “Our exhibits themselves have all sorts of different learning techniques,” said Moores, adding that the main exhibit recently reopened after three years of renovations. Upon entering the museum, one is greeted by a huge family tree displaying the pictures of the various members of the Billings family. It features a giant touch screen that visitors can manipulate to learn about them. Much of the programming for children touches on multiple aspects, said Moores.

photo: Ottawa Tourism

photo: Currency Museum

for the Billings Estate National Historic Site, “so we get a lot of Grade 3s who come through because the Billings family were pioneers in the Gloucester Township.” It’s often the objects that make a museum special, but sometimes the building holds special interest. Billings Estate is the oldest wooden framed house in Ottawa. “The house itself was owned by the Billings family, who were the first settlers in the Gloucester Township,” said Moores. The estate was completed in 1829 and stayed in the Billings family until it was sold to the City of Ottawa in 1975. The house, pale white and eloquent, sits on a sprawling green lawn that the general public is free to use for family picnics and more. The museum recently launched two new

Get nose to nose with an awe-inspiring collection of insects, arachnids, and even slimy banana slugs, housed in attractive terraria at the Canadian Museum of Nature

Safe Money – Delving in the complex world of bank note production

Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada Discover one of Ottawa’s must-see downtown attractions, the Currency Museum of the Bank of Canada. With over 8,000 objects from the National Currency Collection on display, you can see first-hand how money works as a means of payment and a medium of exchange in a global context.

Programs The Currency Museum offers a variety of fun and educational programs. Pre-schoolers enjoy using all of their senses in opening treasure boxes and uncovering the unusual objects that were used as money in the Curious Currency Chests. Students aged 8 to 10 on the Dig It! program get to be archaeologists unearthing currency used by different societies around the world. Safe Money teaches students aged 10 to 14 about the design, production, counterfeit detection and the history of Canadian bank notes.

How to find us The Currency Museum is located at 245 Sparks Street within the Bank of Canada.


Tuesday to Saturday 10.30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (open Mondays from 1 May to 1 October) Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 9

Feature :: Ottawa's Museums

“A lot of what we do has several different links. For example, we have an Into the Kitchen program, where we make scones with them, so we’ll talk a little bit about agriculture and gardening and so it’ll tie in with science, it’ll tie in with environmental studies.” While the interactive aspects of the museum are an integral part of the learning experience, so is simply having fun. “One of the first things you need to think about when you are bringing kids in for a learning experience is: right from the get-go, you want to engage them,” said Moores. She should know. She wrote her thesis on the subject. She says marrying fun and interactivity leads to a richer learning experience. One of the more popular programs at Billings Estate, Can You Dig It? serves as a perfect example of interaction and fun. The four-week program sees children exploring the estate, digging up hidden artifacts and learning how to clean and preserve them. A member of the Billings family was the first person to be recognized as a palaeontologist by the Geological Survey of Canada, so the archaeological adventure links directly to what the children are learning in the exhibit while providing cherished memories. “They’re gathering all of these experiences that they are going to remember in the future, and all of the information that we’re giving them is going to be linked to this fun time and this exciting experience that they’ve had,” said Moores. Meanwhile, Anne Robinson, administrator for the Osgoode Township Historical Society and Museum, agrees that a museum visit is a vital part of a child’s education. “It’s actually very important,” she said. “They get to see how their pioneers started and what they’ve done for us in this day and age and how hard they had to work.” The collection housed within the museum features artifacts used by the pioneers who first settled the area, including a large collection of agricultural items. The museum boasts two buildings, each brimming with history. Touring the main exhibit hall, a visitor will find beautiful vintage wedding dresses, intricately woven quilts and even an exhibit of the Metcalfe Rural Telephone Company, among others. Outside is a barn loaded with various tools and machines pioneers used, including an antique potato grader, butter churns and dairy equipment. Here, children can see how their ancestors made cheese and butter. During holidays, the museum offers special crafts for children and hosts a summer camp, said Robinson. This year, camp goers will become tiny actors as they perform a play based on Alice in Wonderland. “We focus on children because they are our future.”


Mom, can we go to another one?

Get the whole Ottawa story by visiting our 10 community museums. They’re affordable, easy to find, fun to visit and offer hands-on activities that kids love.

Start your trip at Check out what’s happening: Billings Estate

Nepean Museum



Bytown Museum

Osgoode Township Historical Society and Museum


Cumberland Heritage Village Museum 613-833-3059

Diefenbunker: Canada’s Cold War Museum


Pinhey’s Point Historic Site 613-832-4347

Vanier Museopark


613-580-2424 x.32001


Watson’s Mill

Goulbourn Museum



10 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011 OMN Ottawa Parenting Times1_2pgV_EN_v3.indd 1

08/07/2011 10:55:40 AM

Peter Lenton uses award-winning children’s music as teaching tool

Photos: Peter Lenton

By OPT Staff I am proud like a mountain Big as the sea I will stand up For all that I believe And if I don’t succeed On the first or even 10th try I will pick myself up And try, try again These lyrics, from the title track of Peter Lenton (also known as Peter Puffin)’s Juno award-winning children’s album, Proud Like a Mountain, are as inspiring as the uplifting grassroots music behind them. Lenton, a singer/songwriter and educator from Ottawa, offers a lighthearted musical message about perseverance and other themes such as environmental responsibility, peace-making and boosting self-esteem. His concerts and teacher workshops have inspired and entertained thousands of families across Canada. “In concert I strive to convey a high-energy mischievousness, and connect with youngsters and parents by initiating multiple dialogues, both with conversation and musically,” said Lenton, who is now based in a small town outside of Edmonton, Alberta but has deep roots in Ottawa. “I have always steered clear of talking down to kids. Their innocent smartnesses are akin to a pure wisdom that they sense me respecting, so the hearts open and a mutual trust grows. It is a precious zone that I encourage in concert and on recordings. “ Proud like a Mountain, which also won the Billboard Magazine World Song Contest, mixes elements of roots, folk, blues and is filled with infectious melodies and knee-slapping delights. Just try to get the chorus out of your head.

His other recordings include Peter Puffin’s Whale Tales and Passengers, featuring songs that are musically and lyrically multi-layered for adults and children to enjoy. Lenton performs more than 200 Peter Puffin & the Whale Tales concerts per year, in parks, schools and communities across Canada as well as on the international stage, including Hong Kong, the U.S., New Zealand, Australia and Morocco. Lenton, who has degrees in biology and teaching, uses his music as a teaching tool. “I discovered early on as a teacher that learning is more efficient and impactful if students invest their own body and physical energy in the learning experience, hence the term ‘experiential learning,’” he said. “I also discovered that if I could get students to care about what they were learning, they were more likely to able to recall and apply the concepts I was sharing.” He has worked in Calgary classrooms, spent two years as a curriculum specialist and lived as an environmental and outdoor education teacher in a rustic cabin near Banff, before turning to workshops and crossCanada Peter Puffin Concerts full-time. As well as performing more than 2,500 concerts over the last 14 years, Lenton also facilitates musical keynotes, professional development workshops for teachers and designs curriculum-tied learning activity booklets that use music to teach all subjects. In 2011, Lenton achieved a personal milestone when Proud Like a Mountain won a Juno award for Children’s Album of the Year. “I feel very fortunate to be gifted the award. The even more pleasing phenomenon is how the award gets so many family members, friends and fans even more excited about the community-building music we are sharing. “Sparking joy in other people’s lives is quite an amazing side effect.”

Kids’ Media Review

Music moves mountains for Ottawa singer/songwriter OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 11

Odawa Native Friendship Centre offers resources and support for Ottawa’s aboriginal families By Jessica Hinds


rom Scott Street, it is difficult to grasp the true size of the Odawa Native Friendship Centre. As you walk around the building to the entrance on 12 Stirling Ave., the size of the three-storey building quickly becomes more apparent, but inside, the facility proves even larger than its exterior gives it credit for. While the size of the building is impressive, it does not compare to the vast expanse of good that this centre does for Ottawa’s aboriginal community. A Native Friendship Centre is often the first resource for aboriginal people who relocate to a new city, and a tour of the facility quickly reveals that the Odawa Native Friendship Centre is making sure to adequately supply all ages of Ottawa’s aboriginal community with important resources while maintaining an incredibly strong sense of community. “I do believe they know that this is their community centre, said Linda Deer, who runs the family support program. “It’s truly a community centre for all.” The effervescent program coordinator, clearly passionate about her job, is an example of why the Odawa Community Centre is more than a service provider, but a true community institution. Deer’s program encourages healthy childhood development and nutrition. While children

receive child care, their parents benefit from workshops about child development, health, or traditional practices such as making moccasins or cooking traditional dishes. “When they leave here, it gives them something to think about and to go home and to practice,” said Deer. The centre’s programming, aimed at parents and children, includes an Aboriginal Healthy Babies Program, the Dreamcatchers Youth Program and the Sweetgrass Licensed Home Child Care Program. The Odawa Sweetgrass Home Child Care Agency is licensed annually by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services and follows the rules and regulations of the Day Nurseries Act of Ontario. Alison Tranter is manager of the program and is charged with inspecting potential child care homes and matching them up with aboriginal families in need of child care. Tranter currently oversees eight homes, but would like to expand the program’s reach. “I am looking very much for other people who are interested in providing care in their homes, but in particular, aboriginal people, because that is the main focus of our program,” she said. As Tranter walks the halls of the centre, she points to the various rooms, describing the programs housed there, and engages in friendly conversation with staff

12 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

photos: Peter Ausland

Community Profile

‘Truly a community centre for all’

members. In one room, grandmothers and an expectant mother sit around a table, sewing moccasins and working on scrapbooks. Deer interrupts the conversation to check on something in the oven, and her maternal instincts shine through. “When people leave or somebody’s hurting, we all feel it here,” she explained. “I’m a mother, I’m a grandmother, and these are all children that could be all my children and grandchildren, and so it’s like coming to the family.” For more information on the Odawa Native Friendship Centre, visit

Momzelle’s fashionable nursing wear offers modest comfort


ired of struggling with blankets to cover your chest and belly when breastfeeding in public? Or the annoyance of tops that bunch up while you’re nursing? Toronto-based company Momzelle has a solution to these nursing woes. Its line of nursing tops and dresses come in a variety of styles, including T-shirts, tanks and long sleeve, and fit, according to its many fans, like a dream. The company was co-founded by Christine Poirier, who created her own nursing top shortly after the birth of her child, to feel more comfortable breastfeeding in public. She teamed up with her brother Vincent, and since its inception, the company has won several awards and glowing reviews from moms and the media. Momzelle was also featured on the hit CBC show Dragon’s Den. “Momzelle is the ideal choice for nursing mothers because our clothing allows them to feel good about nursing in public,” said Poirier. “I know what features are important for nursing mothers: a top that looks cute but is unpractical is useless. Momzelle nursing tops are just the opposite: they are stylish and they are easy to breastfeed with. “The nursing openings are wide enough for the baby to latch on well and very few people will know it is a nursing top because it looks like something you’d wear even if you were not breastfeeding,” said Poirier. Supporting breastfeeding is a priority for Momzelle, and the company sponsors many breastfeeding events across North America and donates nursing tops to women centres.

Just for Moms :: Momzelle

A stylish spin on breastfeeding

OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 13

Ideas to Teach Your Kids How to Handle Money Properly By Jennifer Wagaman


t is important to teach your children about money. Beyond knowing how much each coin and dollar bill is worth and how to add and subtract them to purchase items, they need to know when to save, when to spend, and how to properly handle their money. Too many children are growing up without the ability to handle money, which lands them in debt, and other difficult situations. Start now to teach your children about money.


Family Finance

Teach Kids About Money

Family Finances Before teaching your children lessons about money, start with your own money skills. Do you have a budget? Do you stick to the budget? You should be putting money aside in a savings account each month, spending less than you earn and work towards eliminating any debt you have accrued. The adage that children do what you do and not what you say is true with money too. In order to teach appropriate lessons to your children about managing money, you must first manage your own finances.

Be Open with Your Kids

Give Your Children an Allowance Starting at a young age, your children can learn to manage money through an allowance. This can begin as early as five years old. All children make mistakes, and having those mistakes made at a younger age and with smaller amounts of money is safer than a teenager or young adult who has the potential to ruin their credit rating. Teach children that they need to save some of their money each month, to prioritize their expenses and that they should not go into debt. They should also put 10 per cent into savings, whether that is a piggy bank or a savings account at a bank. The rest is fair game for spending on whatever they choose. Start early and be consistent with your lessons about finances with your kids. Teach by example first, and then through open discussion and guided practice with allowance, your children will learn how to save and handle money appropriately.

Many parents, for one reason or another, avoid discussing financial concerns with their children, especially when times are difficult. Instead of avoiding the discussion, be open with your kids. Use discretion with the amount of detail you share, but help your children understand how you are trying to budget, and in what ways you need to cut back. When your children express interest in having a new toy, clothes, or a special trip somewhere, discuss methods of Visit Jennifer Wagaman’s website: earning money for the special purchase. Introducing a new childcare program for military families in Ottawa Are you a military spouse looking for home based employment?



That’s why the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) has set up a new program to offer specialized, licensed home childcare to military families – by fellow military families. We’re looking for warm, energetic and responsible caregivers from military families to set up childcare in their home. We offer all the information and support you’ll need! And we can guarantee payments for participating families.

Ou r Tr oups

As part of a military family, you know what it’s like to start fresh in a new place and manage daily life while your partner is away for long periods of time.

Now is a great time to join us. Please contact Liane Gallop at MFRCHCC@GMAIL.COM or 613-949-6870 to learn more.

14 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

OPT’s Healthy Living feature offers helpful advice about health, wellness, activities and many other parenting topics that will make your life easier. Do you have a pressing parenting question? E-mail

According to a recent study from the University of Oxford, parents are spending more time with their children than ever before. This is great news, since spending quality time with your children can raise their self–

esteem. Here are some ways you can increase your family time and your children’s self–confidence, too. 1. Family dinners. Sit down together at least three times a week for a healthy family meal. Involve your children in the preparation by assigning different tasks, like setting the table and preparing a salad. 2. Family night. Make one night each week “Family Night.” Prepare a healthy snack, take out a deck of cards and let the fun begin. Your kids will look forward to this every week. 3. Try new activities. At My Best (, a national school–based wellness program developed by AstraZeneca Canada and Physical and Health Education Canada, believes parents play an integral role in the development of their child’s emotional well being. To encourage this, At My Best has developed a variety of resources, tips and activities for parents, which can be found online. Challenge your child to a game or help your kids complete a healthy eating worksheet – there are dozens of activities to choose from.

Healthy Living

More family time leads to higher self–esteem for kids, study says

Are you a soccer mom or a hockey dad? Choosing the right sport for your child If you’re a parent, chances are you have spent time combing through catalogues and talking to friends and neighbours to find the right sporting activity for your child. Maybe you picture yourself on the golf course, cheering as your daughter makes her first birdie, or perhaps you dream of picking up a whistle and coaching your son’s water polo team. No matter how you choose to participate, finding the right activity for your child can be challenging. Here are some things to consider when making the decision: • Is your child old enough to express an interest in a particular activity? If so, can you accommodate that interest? • For younger children, is your child able to follow directions and actively listen while an instructor is speaking? Activities vary from very structured, to free–form play time. • Does your child prefer group activities or does he prefer to work on his own? One child may thrive in a team sport like baseball, while another enjoys an individual sport like martial arts. Assess personal suitability when selecting. • Will the time commitment be feasible with your family’s schedule? The activity should indicate how many hours per week are required to participate. • Are you looking for a weekday or a weekend activity? Factors such as how much homework your child is expected to do, or what hour they go to bed may help you decide whether you prefer a weekday or weekend activity.

• What is your budget? The facility location, level (recreational vs. competitive), qualifications of the instructors, and equipment costs may all affect the end cost to parents. Will there be additional charges for uniforms, tournaments, or awards? There may also be tax advantages when you pay for these activities. The Canada Revenue Agency has some information on its website at under “Children’s fitness tax credit.” The chance to sign up for activities can be several months before the session start date. Be sure to do your research early to avoid disappointment– particularly if you’re looking for weekend classes, since those tend to fill up first. Have fun! OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 15


Ottawa’s Classrooms :: Education

Love of learning top priority for Lucie Lalonde Académie de la Capitale principal a dedicated, passionate educator By Jessica Hinds


photo: Danielle Lynn Photography

ucie Lalonde’s office bookshelf overflows with books on child development and teaching methods. Even after 19 years of teaching and 13 years as a principal, Lalonde is constantly learning. The benefits of continued learning and the flexibility to adjust to an ever-changing world are virtues Lalonde would like to impart to the children who attend Académie de la Capitale. “I like to see children learn, and want to come to school, and love learning, and want to know more,” she said from her office in the open-concept school on Morrison Drive. “The teacher helps the student construct their learning, but we also do our own learning as we go.” After 19 years as a teacher in the public system,

Lucie Lalonde 16 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

Lalonde opened the bilingual Académie de la Capitale with only nine students in 1998. Since then, it has grown to 55 students from the ages of three to 14. The school is the first in Ottawa to offer the International Baccalaureate program at the primary school level. Her experience in the public system taught Lalonde the value of smaller class sizes as well as the philosophy of teaching “across the ages.” Lalonde is against the style of teaching that she calls “mass instruction,” favouring flexibility to meet the needs of a variety of learners. “We try and feed the child according to what they need and also make it real life,” said Lalonde. “It’s not about learning facts, it’s about developing thinking skills, ideas and risk-taking because facts and information change daily, but how do you sift through all the facts, how do you sift though all the information to find what is valuable?" “What we need for the future is not facts, it’s how to learn.” Preschool teacher Stephanie Greenberg said Lalonde is always “rolling with whatever happens,” and ready to take on new challenges. She said Lalonde’s dedication goes beyond simply doing her job because the school is her life. Lalonde’s dedication is obvious to Anne Skarzenski, whose two children attend Académie de la Capitale. “My impression from the first day is she’s very committed to the well being and the learning abilities and capacities of the children,” she said. “The children come first and that was really striking to me.” After a week of school, Skarzenski’s daughter Maya told her mother she felt like she had been at the school all of her life and she felt at home. And Skarzenski also feels connected to the parents and staff of the school. Connection is also important to Lalonde, although when she speaks of connection, she is more likely to be talking about her belief in making connections between different subjects, which she said is a cornerstone to learning. The principal is more comfortable sharing her thoughts on learning than highlighting her personal accomplishments, but her dedication is apparent. “I just love my school.”

The great French debate With rising demand for immersion programs, new campaign urges parents to consider the all-French language option By Michelle Jondreau


s more Ottawa parents make learning French a priority for their children, and popular immersion programs quickly fill up, the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est is making a pitch to families: for guaranteed bilingualism and the chance to fully experience the French culture, consider an all-French school. “It’s not just about learning about the language, it’s also about learning of the culture,” said Roxanne Deevey, director of communications for the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est. Learning in an all-French environment is about embracing a distinct culture with its own set of norms and values, said Deevey, adding this is valuable as there are many countries in the world where French is the primary language. While knowing French in a government city such as Ottawa is clearly an advantage, knowing French is also beneficial in today’s globalized world. And attending a French language school is essentially about learning French as a first language. François Benoit, director of education and secretary treasurer for the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario said this is the fundamental difference between French language schools and French immersion. And Deevey agreed. “If the parent wants their child to be functionally bilingual and to learn French as a second language, then French immersion is a very good option,” she said. “But if they want their child to learn French and to be able to speak it as a first language along with English, then French language school is definitely an excellent option.” Many parents are not aware that their children have the right to learn in a fully French environment, said Deevey.

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Ottawa’s Classrooms :: Education

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The official term is “right holder,” meaning at least one parent is a Francophone or fluent French speaker, or had studied French at some point in their lives. “Most [French-speaking] parents are proud to promote their culture, which is about understanding the value of French learning,” said Benoit. Carol-Ann Beaudoin, a mother of two, strongly believes in her children’s right to learn at a French language school. “There is a sense of pride in being Franco-Ontarian, which is about more than acquiring a language, it’s about absorbing who you are,” she said. “I felt like I was going to rob my kids of [their culture] if I did not put them in a French language school.” Not that it has been without challenges for Beaudoin, who is Anglophone, to support her children during their time at Les Trois Chênes. However, her husband is Francophone, and together they were able to overcome barriers. “It is definitely a challenge for me as an Anglophone parent because I do like to be actively involved in the school and that was difficult because I could not speak fluently while on school grounds,” said Beaudoin. To help alleviate such issues, the system has evolved to put less pressure on the parents to teach their child French. Beaudoin said her children used to do much of their work at home, but has noticed this has dropped to where more than 90 per cent of school work is done in the classroom. Originally from Toronto, Beaudoin speaks French functionally but not fluently, which has presented employment barriers. So she wanted her children to attend a French language school, which has helped improve her own French proficiency. “My children have really helped me in terms of acquiring a second language,” she said. “I took French all through high school and that was it, but then when my kids were in school, I would learn new vocabulary every day, which was great.” However, while attending a French language school may be a good option for some, French immersion programs in Ottawa have grown steadily in popularity and many students thrive in this environment, said Denise Andre, deputy to the Director of Education for the Ottawa Catholic School Board. “The students very quickly can gain proficiency, and after a year in the [French Immersion] program we see students

growing in leaps and bounds in terms of their language acquisition and they do very well.” The Ottawa Catholic School Board has a French immersion program that starts at kindergarten level, where students receive 50 per cent French language instruction every day. Through Grades 1 to 3, students take Extended French classes, where 25 per cent of the instruction time is in French. While these classes are less intensive than kindergarten, they offer parents another option to suit their child’s needs. Andre said that ultimately, students who enrol in the French immersion program and stay with it until Grade 12 will be fully bilingual. So for Anglophone parents who may hesitate to send their children to a French language school for fear of language barriers, the long-term advantages could make the immediate challenges worthwhile. According to Deevey, roughly half the students who attend French language schools come from families where one parent is an Anglophone and the other a Francophone. To boost enrolment, the school board launched an awareness campaign in 2010 and 2011 to specifically target couples with one Francophone and one Anglophone parent and let them know about their rights. She said a Francophone can be out of touch with French language services because they work in an English environment or have an Anglophone partner, and likely don’t realize that they can send their child to a French language school. One of the strongest messages of the French Catholic board’s campaign urged parents to “give your child a real French education,” which caused some contention with proponents of French immersion programs as well as the English public school board. “When we say a ‘real’ French education, we mean French as a first language,” Deevey explained. So far, the campaign has been successful; the school board usually sees a steady increase in enrolment of about two per cent annually and last year, it nearly doubled, to 3.7 per cent. “We really had to make efforts to be more inclusive,” said Deevey. “It’s important to reach out to multilingual families for the long-term vitality of our Francophone community.”

...while attending a French language school may be a good option for some, French immersion programs in Ottawa have grown steadily in popularity...

OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 19

By Jessica Hinds

State-of-the-art construction Technology Labs


cole secondaire publique Omer-Deslauriers boasts an International Baccalaureate program, a diverse multicultural student population, a focus on charitable fundraising and from the sound of it, a very busy principal. “We’ve got so much going on here,” said Christian-Charle Bouchard, who became principal of the French school in April. Omer-Deslauriers offers, without extra costs to parents or students, the internationally-recognized International Baccalaureate program, which can grant students credits toward their first year of university and lead to bursaries. State-of-the-art construction technology labs are available for students who wish to participate in the Specialist High Skills Major – construction program, which prepares students who would like to

Building projects in collaboration with Scouts Canada

Learning outside the classroom

continue studies in engineering or the trades. Currently students in this program are building cottages and dorms in collaboration with Scouts Canada. In September, the school will open a new technology lab with a grant from Future Shop, with the goal to have another Specialist High Skills Major program available in information

technology. With an emphasis on fundraising for charity, Bouchard said the school is teaching students valuable lessons that extend beyond the classroom and “to be responsible individuals for the future.” With 650 students representing 62 different ethnicities, cultural programming and events play a large role at the school. “We also do many activities to promote French culture, to promote bilingualism and to prepare our kids to be able to enter the job force as fully bilingual,” said Bouchard. At l'école secondaire publique Omer-Deslauriers and all other CEPEO high schools, students graduate with a highly useful bilingualism certificate.

Fun activities for all students

École secondaire publique Omer-Deslauriers is located at 159 promenade Chesterton. For more information, visit

To find out if your child is eligible for French-language public education, contact us at 613 742-8960 ext. 3814.

20 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

Ongoing vis & registr its ation

photos: Danielle Lynn Photography

Ottawa’s Classrooms :: Education

Great things happening at École secondaire publique Omer-Deslauriers

By Stephanie Lawrence


s every parent and child knows, packed school lunches can get boring very quickly. Carol Dombrow, Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian, offers the following tips to help you pack healthy and delicious lunches will keep eating and enjoying: • Use a variety of whole grain breads such as English muffins, bagels, mini pitas, tortillas, rye bread. • Try some new filling flavours by using roasted peppers, red onions or shredded cheese as garnishes and hummus, tzatziki, chutney or salsa for sandwich spreads. • Try new combos such as egg salad with chopped celery, tuna with apple, salmon with green onion or hummus with grated zucchini and carrots. • Make homemade pizza on whole grain crust or pita. Top with low–fat cheese and lots of vegetables. • Instead of a traditional sandwich, try a lettuce wrap. Send cubed chicken salad and washed Boston lettuce leaves in a separate containers. • Step out of the sandwich routine and try leftover soups, casseroles, chili or pasta in a thermos. • Pack a hard cooked egg or a leftover cold chicken leg with a small mixed salad or cut up vegetables. • Pack a divided container with cut–up chicken, cubes of cheese, crackers, and slices of vegetables and fruit. • Pack popcorn flavoured lightly with parmesan cheese as a fun snack. More tips and healthy recipes can be found online at


Make healthy lunches and snacks all school year long

Back - to - School

Think outside the box: pack lunches kids will love

By Stephanie Lawrence


ealthy eating is key to success at school. Beginning the day with a nutritious breakfast helps kids concentrate better, be more alert and creative, and more physically active. This great start should not stall once they get to school. Carol Dombrow, Heart and Stroke Foundation registered dietitian, stresses the importance of packing healthy lunches and snacks to give kids the energy they need to get through the rest of the day. “Start with Canada’s Food Guide; it outlines the number of servings children should eat from each food group each day. And focus on the food groups they are not getting enough of—for most kids this is vegetables and fruit and milk and alternatives,” says Carol. Carol provides the following tips to help you and your children pack healthy and delicious snacks and lunches: • Encourage kids to help plan and pack their own lunches—this will increase their chances of eating them. • Teach them that a healthy snack should cover two food groups and a healthy lunch should include foods from four food groups. • Encourage fruit for snacks and a vegetable and fruit with their lunch. • Plan ahead and prepare and freeze lunch items such as low fat muffins, breads, and soups. Portion them out and wrap them separately before freezing. • Include milk, yogurt or cheese as part of the lunch or snacks. Check to see if your school has a school milk program. • Read food labels and choose snack foods that are lower in fat, salt and sugar. Check for the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Health Check symbol. • Mix it up. Provide a good variety of snacks and lunches throughout the year so kids don’t get bored. More tips and healthy recipes are available online at OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 21

Ottawa’s Classrooms :: Education

Ottawa Teacher Wins Canadian Wildlife Federation Youth Mentor Award


Michael Léveillé and St-Laurent Academy students were invited to present the Macoun Marsh Project to Jane Goodall.

22 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

r. Michael Leveillé, St-Laurent Academy’s science specialist has been selected as the winner of the Youth Mentor Award, by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. The award honours an individual or group who has made significant contribution in creating or presenting programs that are dedicated toward youth in introducing the importance of conservation, habitat or wildlife. The award is one of many Roland Michener Conservation Awards that celebrate conservation in Canada and honour those that are paving the way for the future of wildlife and habitat in this great nation.


“I wish to express my sincere gratitude to my students for this nomination. It means so much to me. I was soooo excited to discover that the award celebration will be in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories. I have always wanted to see the biodiversity in the North! Protecting nature is a team effort - I wish to share this award with all my students.” “I want to empower my students with a sense of responsibility. Young people need to know that the environmental condition of our planet is not hopeless. We can celebrate one little ecosystem at a time. Wetlands are a key part of our environment, and they are part of what sustainable development is all about. They affect human health, and the overall health of our world. We are proud of what our students are doing.” Mr. Léveillé, Science Teacher, St-Laurent Academy and Executive Director of

Mr. Léveillé was nominated by students at St-Laurent Academy who he has inspired through their project-based learning at Macoun Marsh. The Macoun Marsh is a small urban wetland, located on the property of Beechwood Cemetery, Canada’s National Cemetery. In 2003, Mr. Léveillé and a group of his students successfully convinced the Beechwood Cemetery to preserve this natural habitat, and had it declared an environmentally sensitive area. Since then, St-Laurent Academy students have taken the role of protecting, researching, and documenting this wetland ecosystem. Since 2003 The Macoun Marsh Biodiversity Project, a multifaceted research and education initiative, has studied and preserved this unique inner-city wetland in Ottawa, identifying over 1300 species to date! The Macoun Marsh Project, developed by science teacher Mr. Michael Léveillé, has been tremendously successful, winning awards nationally and internationally. All of the school’s students learn about and contribute to this project, but the senior students take a special interest and have a more direct involvement, becoming stewards of the marsh. Some of them have had the opportunity to present the Macoun Marsh Project to Dr. David Suzuki and renowned scientist Jane Goodall, as well as at international events in Sweden and Norway. Mr. Léveillé is very proud of his students and their work at the marsh. “We have made a conscious decision to protect and celebrate our own Macoun Marsh. We are inspiring other individuals and schools to take a serious look at their own backyards,” says Léveillé. “A key component of this is community awareness; I encourage my students to present their ideas in all kinds of forums. Just recently,

St-Laurent Academy students at the outdoor classroom with teacher Michael Léveillé on International Biodiversity Day (May 22), some of my students presented a section of the Nagoya International Youth Statement on Biodiversity at the Biosphere in Montreal alongside our partners from the United Nations Biodiversity Convention Office and Environment Canada, while our team from teamed up with Ashbury College to promote biodiversity issues with a wonderful collection of speakers and activities." In 2007, Mr. Léveille, founded, a not-for profit environmental organization committed to engaging youth in biodiversity internationally. Since its inception, it has attracted the attention of partners worldwide, and broadens the school’s involvement with environmental groups and projects worldwide. Each year St-Laurent Academy, as a founding partner of, focuses on one key biodiversity related project. In 2008/09,, hosted the Second International Youth Symposium for Biodiversity, here in Ottawa. Youth from 9 countries around the world took part in various environmental workshops and meetings over a five day period. In the 2009/10 school year, students were part of the development of an International Youth Accord for Biodiversity. Along with youth from countries around the world, St-Laurent Academy students shaped a document that was presented to the United Nations at COP 10, in Japan. This year’s focus is the development of an international blog ( where youth groups are encouraged to speak out about the environment, and discuss their environmental projects. OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 23

Ottawa’s Classrooms :: Education

Online education: The way of the future Province of Ontario set to expand online learning opportunities By Michelle Jondreau


nline education is maturing, as with many online activities, and the Ontario government is moving to make this style of learning even more accessible to the growing number of students choosing this option, including parents. The government is set to launch the Ontario Online Institute, an initiative that connects colleges, universities and training networks to increase post-secondary online learning opportunities for Ontario students.

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According to the Final Report: Engagement Process for an Ontario Online Institute, the government has set a target of 70 per cent post-secondary attainment for Ontario’s adult population through expanded online learning opportunities. The report says Ontario has about 20,843 courses and 787 programs available online and these have led to some 495,716 course registrations in the system. This makes Ontario the Canadian leader in the volume of courses and program options available for online learning. This is sure to be good news for busy parents who often need the flexibility of online studies. “An online program that is well-designed can be as effective as a classroom program,” said Christian Blanchette, dean of continuing education at the University of Montreal. “The quality can be as high as anything you would find in a university.” In fact, in some cases online learning can be an improvement on the traditional classroom setting. Students will likely find it difficult to slack in an online setting, where every student has to demonstrate success before progress can be made. This is unlike the reality of the classroom, where an instructor will look at the average of the class and move forward, in which case some students may be left behind. “It becomes a form of instruction that is highly singular and adapted to each of the learners, while if you take classroom teaching…you teach to the average of the group,” said Blanchette. However, Blanchette said there are challenges with this, one of them being the use of technology—not everyone feels comfortable keeping up with the mainstream. The second issue relates to affiliation needs, or students who require rich social interaction to feel fulfilled. If these needs are not met, feelings of isolation can crop up, but online courses can be designed to include social events such as videoconferencing. Thirdly, students have to be self-disciplined and that’s not as easy as it sounds. This is especially true of parents who have to juggle parenting with work. “Our daily life is built around multiple media, which leads us to spend as little time concentrating on a given task as

possible,” said Blanchette. Blanchette said a well-designed online course should be interactive; students should be able to engage with each other and the instructor. Learning objectives should be clearly defined and activities should be well-linked to those objectives. It should also be made clear that students can expect to receive prompt feedback from instructors. Finally, students should make sure the course speaks to them on a personal level, said Blanchette. If not, keep shopping. “The design of the course will have a huge impact on you.”


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Ottawa’s Classrooms :: Education

How to Find a Tutor The Importance of Finding the Right Tutor for Your Child By Jennifer Wagaman


t is important to take steps to find the best tutor you can for your child. Once you have decided that hiring a tutor is the right way to go, it is important to find the right tutor. There are two options for you: private tutors, and commercial learning centres. Regardless of your choice, there are several factors that you must look at before hiring someone to work with your child.

Finding a Tutor that is a Good Fit Look for a friendly tutor who clicks with your child. Ask your friends for a recommendation; someone who worked well with your child’s best friend may also work well with your child. A good fit will enable your child to enjoy his tutoring sessions and subsequently will provide a better learning experience, allowing your children to enjoy learning and ultimately learn more. If you chose a learning centre, make sure that your child feels welcome and comfortable in the centre, and that all the staff, including the teachers, are friendly. In a learning centre, your child may

or may not get the same teacher every time, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your child’s personality, so keep that in mind as well.

Finding an Experienced Tutor Finding an experienced tutor is important in order to have a successful experience. The level of experience required is up to you – a college degree in the subject area may be sufficient, or you may want a certified teacher with experience in the classroom. Common levels of experience include: • • • • •

College student College degree Certified teacher Previous/current experience teaching Previous/current tutoring experience

Depending on the level of experience, expect to pay more or less per hour. For example, a tutor with a degree, teaching certification, and both teaching and tutoring experience may cost around $50 an hour, whereas a college student may only

charge $20 an hour. The cost for an hour of tutoring in a commercial learning centre will be $45-$65 depending on the centre, but this usually gets you a certified teacher working with your child and a set program. To find out whether the level of experience is sufficient for your needs, ask questions – especially the hard questions. Tutors cost money – and good tutors cost good money. Even so, you need to make sure that you get what you are paying for. Look for a tutor who is passionate, because that will be the person who will make learning fun for your child. If you are not comfortable with a tutor for any reason, or if your child does not click well with the tutor, then you need to make the effort to find another tutor. Ask around to see what other moms or teachers recommend, and know that although a tutor is not a quick fix to a problem, with the right tutor, it can be a steady fix. Visit Jennifer Wagaman’s website: for credit


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ou will feel stronger, happier and more comfortable if you are physically active while you are pregnant.

• If you were exercising regularly before your pregnancy (30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week) then you can probably continue this throughout your pregnancy. • If you were not very active before pregnancy, then it would be best for you to wait until after your 16th week to start. • It is always a good idea to talk to your health care provider before beginning or changing your physical activity program. Begin gradually and try not to over exert yourself. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends that the best frequency for taking part in an exercise routine (30 minutes of exercise) during pregnancy is between three and five times per week. Exercising more than five times a week may result in chronic fatigue and/or impair the growth of the baby.

Here are a few tips for exercising at home: • Set aside 20 to 30 minutes just for you and make it fun. Invite a friend to join you if that will make it easier. Put on some music you like and get started. • Your workout should include: ›› a warm-up of about five minutes ›› stretching and toning exercises for 10 or 15 minutes ›› aerobics, if desired for 10 or 15 minutes ›› cool-down for five minutes • Breathe normally during your exercise - don’t hold your breath. • Drink plenty of fluids (water is great) before, during and after exercising.

28 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

• Avoid getting over heated. • Avoid activities that involve jerking, sudden twisting or a risk of falling. Current research suggests that after your 16th week, you should avoid exercises that require you to be on your back.

STOP EXERCISING and consult your health care provider if you notice: • any gush of water or bleeding from the vagina • contractions of the uterus that do not go away after a couple of minutes • increased back pain or pubic pain • sudden swelling of the ankles, feet or face • swelling, pain or redness in the calf of your legs • headaches, dizziness • high pulse rate or heart pounding for a long time • extreme fatigue or shortness of breath • you do not feel the baby move within the first 30 minutes after the exercise session is over

Here are a few suggestions for fun activities to get you (and baby) moving. Remember: Consult your health care professional before starting an exercise program. Aquafitness: Exercises in a pool. Special prenatal classes are available. Yoga: Yoga works your heart and muscles while clearing your mind. Prenatal classes are offered by several yoga instructors in Ottawa. Walking: Easy and free. Join an organized group or go with your partner, on your own or with your pet. Source:


Feature :: Maternity

Staying active means a happier pregnancy


Shining a light on night waking The debate about whether to let baby ‘cry it out’ continues By Michelle Jondreau


t’s a question that looms large in the minds of parents struggling to cope with night waking. Should you let baby cry it out for a little while? Or rush into baby’s room for immediate cuddle therapy? Security and comfort are essential to soothing a child to sleep, experts say, and strong communication is important. “It’s amazing how much communication is so vital for all children,” said early childhood educator Paula Milbradt. “Even as infants, babies communicate with signals and cues and it is all about responding.” Yet many parents are confused about how to respond. There are two schools of thought on how to soothe a baby after waking in the night: The Dr. Ferber method and the Dr. Sears method. The Dr. Ferber method, which has been revised over the past few decades because of controversy, suggests parents should let infants “cry it out” for a short period of time. The end goal is to encourage infants to become less dependent on parents. Milbradt said this doesn’t mean that parents should ignore a suffering infant, but be more subtle in their comfort. Instead of coddling, parents are encouraged to make their presence known by going into the baby’s room to rub their back or making reassuring noises (not picking them up or rocking them). But the Dr. Sears method says parents should support a crying baby immediately. This is because infants typically cry because they have a need that must be met. They could be hungry, too hot or cold, sick, or a multitude of other issues. According to the Dr. Sears method, it’s okay to pick up the infant to offer emotional support. This method also encourages parents to implement a routine to allow infants to self-soothe. Having a set bedtime routine is key, as infants are comforted by consistency. So parents are encouraged to put infants to bed at the same time every night, read a story or listen to soft music, and steer away from breaking up that routine. “So actually you can use both [methods],” said Milbradt. “They both have merit because you don’t want to be conditioned by your child but you also want to offer them security. “It’s about understanding brain development and understanding what the baby needs.” No one understands what a baby needs more than a

caring parent. Emily Myre, mother of a four-month-old son, has developed a strong enough bond that she can tell what his cries mean. “It’s really about getting to know your child,” said Myre. “I know when he is getting up because he is hungry or when he is getting up because he has gas. His cry is different, I can tell.” Myre has had no problems with night waking, but supports the Ferber method. Meanwhile, Milbradt said children should be sleeping without help at 12 months of age, but parents should be supporting infants to sleep alone from three months onward. Steady communication with an infant, even if just a touch or humming a tune, helps infants to self-soothe, making night waking a much easier experience.

Multiple Births: Prenatal Education & Bereavement Support Lynda P. Haddon Multiple Birth Educator Resources and in depth information for parents and grandparents expecting and with twins, triplets or more.

Great Baby Shower Gift or from Grandparents!!!

Multiple Birth Prenatal classes available on DVD. For more information and a video preview, go to

OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 29

Feature :: Maternity

New book explains “assisted conception” to children


child benefits greatly when told how he or she was brought into this world, or when they get the answer to “where do babies come from?” Parents of children born through natural conception have books to assist them with this critical conversation and adoptive parents too have many resources to explain how their families were formed. Now, as a sign of the times, parents of children born with the help of “assisted reproductive technology” are also getting support in this area. It’s only natural one might say, given the fact this technology has become so widespread it’s helped to create more than 3.7 million success stories around the world. Closer to home, a recently published book, I LoVe My Family gives Canadian parents a thoughtfully planned storyline to discuss the many forms of assisted conception (including In–Vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donor, sperm donor, and surrogacy) with children three to five years old. The book’s use of diverse pictures, inclusive language, accurate anatomy and family activities provide a tool to explain all manners of assisted conception. The book offers parents information on how to prepare, set the stage, and answer questions. “I LoVe My Family was inspired by my own experiences and those of the many families I have seen helped through the use of assisted conception,”

Workshops that help parents become more confident and successful with: • FRIENDS for Life – an anxiety prevention program for children 8-10 years of age

says Tammy Troute–Wood, the book’s author and reproductive health specialist, who has worked as a labour and delivery nurse, family planning clinic nurse and at an IVF clinic, and is the mother of two children conceived by IVF.” In addition, Dr. Christine Korol, the child psychologist who wrote the Forward for the book says: “Children conceived through assisted reproductive technologies need a clear understanding of how they were brought into this world and should feel terrific about the many ways that families are created.” Here is a little guidance for parents on how to tackle these often difficult conversations from Heather Cobb, the sexual health promotion specialist who also contributed the tips to I LoVe My Family: • Even though this is a special conversation, it will likely be the first of many. Try to avoid making it the “big talk.” • Prepare for the questions your child may ask. Take time to familiarize yourself with the content of the book, including the glossary which puts medical terms into plain language. • Questions often arise when you least expect them. Be prepared for this ‘teachable moment’ so you can answer in an age–appropriate and direct way. • Love, hope, and wishes surround the storyline to keep children engaged. This is a chance to talk with your child about their own wishes and hopes.

ommyc www.ottawam

Wednesdays, Sept. 21 – Nov. 16 6:00-7:30 • Anger Management…especially for parents: Tuesdays, Oct. 4 - Nov. 8 6:30-8:30 • Parenting your Anxious Child: Mondays, Nov. 7, 14 and 21 6:30-8:30 • Discipline that Doesn’t Hurt…anyone: Mondays, October 17 – November 21 (Oct. 31 excluded) 6:30-8:30 • On Middle Ground…parenting 6-12 year olds: Tuesdays, Nov. 22 – Dec. 20 6:30-8:30

To Register for Parenting Edge Workshops: call: 613•725•3601 | fax: 613•725•5651 e-mail:

30 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011



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Les enfants dans la cuisine

By Sonia Morin

Par Sonia Morin


orget kindergarten—for kids, learning starts in the kitchen. Spending time with your kids in the kitchen can actually be beneficial in more ways than one. Heidi Gagné, who introduced her three-year-old daughter Amiee, to the joys of cooking and baking, said it teaches her daughter many important skills and lessons. “She learns to count as we pour flour in cups,” said Gagné. “She practices her fine motor skills when she levels off the measuring spoon and about patience when I tell her she has to wait for the cookies to bake. We’re currently working on reading recipes.” Restaurants in the Ottawa region are starting to realize the importance of introducing and educating children to the culinary arts by offering cooking workshops. Chef Marc Miron, owner of Cuisine & Passion in Orléans, teaches Saturday afternoon cooking classes for kids ages eight to 12. “It’s a fun way for them to learn organization skills and how to eat healthy,” he said. “They also learn where the ingredients come from.” The 90-minute lessons are a hit with parents and kids alike. “Often, the families return to buy the ingredients to make the recipes at home,” said Miron. “When kids help prepare a meal, they’re more likely to eat it.” However, it’s the quality time spent together and not the educational side that matters most for parents. “It’s nice to know she’s sharing that fun time with her mother,” said Gagné. “I remember baking with my mom as a kid. I want her to have those memories too.”

ubliez la maternelle, pour les enfants, l’apprentissage débute dans la cuisine. Vos enfants peuvent bénéficier grandement de passer du temps dans la cuisine. Heidi Gagné a introduit sa fille de trois ans, Amiee, au plaisir de cuisiner et croit que ça lui permet de développer plusieurs habilités et d’apprendre d’importantes leçons. « Elle apprend à compter quand on vide de la farine dans les tasses à mesurer. Elle pratique ses capacités motrices fines quand elle remplit une cuillère à mesurer, et la patience quand je lui dis d’attendre avant que les biscuits soient prêts, » explique-t-elle. « Ces temps-ci, je lui apprends à lire les recettes. » Les restaurants dans la région d’Ottawa commencent à réaliser l’importance d’introduire et d’éduquer les enfants en bas âges aux arts culinaires, en leur offrant des ateliers de cuisine spécialement taillés à leurs besoins. Le Chef Marc Miron, propriétaire de Cuisine et Passion à Orléans, tient les samedis aprèsmidis, un atelier pour les enfants de huit à 12 ans. « C’est une bonne manière pour les enfants d’apprendre l’organisation et Chef Marc Miron l’importance de manger santé. Ils apprennent aussi d’où viennent les ingrédients qu’on utilise, » dit-il. Les leçons de cuisine d’une durée d’une heure et demie sont un succès autant chez les parents que les enfants. « Souvent, ils reviennent acheter les ingrédients pour refaire les recettes chez eux, » dit M. Miron. « Lorsque les enfants aident à préparer un repas, ils ont plus tendance à le manger. » Par contre, c’est d’être avec leur enfant, et non le côté éducatif de la cuisine, qui compte pour les parents. “C’est bien de savoir que ma fille passe du temps de qualité avec moi. Je me souviens des moments passés à cuisiner avec ma mère. Je veux qu’Amiee ait ces souvenirs-là, elle aussi,» dit Mme Gagné.

Cuisine & Passion, Orléans


Kids Zone :: 5+ years

Kids in the Kitchen

OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 31

Fall Registration Guide

At the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre -

We Teach Children, Not Skills Why Gymnastics?

Why the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre?


t’s one of the core activities in Physical Literacy. Gymnastics teaches the ABC's of athleticism: Agility, Balance and Coordination. It also: • brightens healthy minds and bodies for an active lifestyle at any age • develops strength and trains the body for life's challenges • improves agility and coordination, allowing the body to move quickly • teaches posture and positive body image • challenges the body and mind to set and reach goals • prepares the body and mind for other sport endeavours

• 50 Years of Excellence in Servicing the City of Ottawa • Programs for all ages and abilities (8 months to adult) • Low Coach/Child Ratio • Trained, Professional Staff (through the National Coaching Certification Program – the recognized training standard in Canada) with over 350 years of experience • Professional Operations • Active in the Community – WestFest, Children’s Festival • Registered HighFive Organization – adhering to the principles of healthy child development • Strong Developmental and Competitive Programs • Large Membership Base (over 3,000 members per year)

We Teach Fun, Fitness and Fundamentals!

32 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

Fall Registration Guide WAKE UP YOUR


Ottawa School of Art ByWard campus: 613.241.7471 Orleans campus: 613.580.2765


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Make the Nepean Hotspurs Soccer Club your choice this winter! The Hotspurs are pleased to offer programs for all ages and skill levels. For more information phone 613.723.5762, email visit our website at or drop into the club house, Unit 6, 200 Colonnade Road (South)

The Nepean Hotspurs Soccer Club 1970 – 2011 41 Years of Community Service OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 33

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Fall Registration Guide


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Dance Studio


For children aged 12 months to professional. 613-692-0520 "Dance should be fun!"

Accepting Registration Online at



Check out our



on page 43

34 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011


August 17th & 18th 5:30pm to 8:30pm

September 6th to 9th 5:30pm to 8:30pm

Saturday Sept 10th 11am to 2pm

613-823-1605 |

Fall Registration Guide

Join the ACTing School that’s right for you!

Something for everyone age

s 4 to adult French Theatre Classes



Theatre skills equal LIFE


The Shenkman Arts Centre 245 Centrum Blvd. 613-580-2764

Join us for day a of FREE family fun!

• Fun Activities for the Whole Family • Access/Tours of Facilities • Try New Kids, Youth, and Family Zones • Free BBQ

Ruddy Family Y

Taggart Family Y

Sunday, September 11

Saturday, September 17

Opening Ceremony at 11:30 am

Opening Ceremony at 11:30 am

265 Centrum Blvd | 613.830.4199

11:00 am – 2:00 pm

180 Argyle Ave | 613.788.5000

11:00 am – 2:00 pm

The Orleans Ride for the Y takes place September 11 from the Ruddy Family Y. Take part:

Open House | September 11 to 17 Week

Visit any of our seven facilities and try some of our most popular classes for FREE!

OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 35

Fall Registration Guide Organized Basketball Gaining Popularity in Ottawa Advertorial There is also a lesser-known network that is rapidly gaining popularity in the Ottawa area. Traditionally a sport that children begin in junior high school or high school, basketball clubs are becoming a popular way for children to get involved in basketball, to develop skills and learn the game. The Ottawa Shooting Stars are an example of a basketball club in the city. They have house league teams as well as competitive teams for boys and girls from age 7-17. The objective is to teach children the game of basketball and help Ottawa Shooting Star Julia them develop basketball skills. Chadwick takes a jump shot The Shooting Stars organization participates in many basketball tournaments throughout the province and also hosts tournaments during the season in Ottawa. Registration for the 2011-2012 season will be held on September 8th, 2011. Additional information on the Ottawa Shooting Stars can be obtained by visiting

Queenswood Stables We focus on safety, fun and respect Come ride with us!!! English horseback riding lessons for children and adults All levels ages 4 and up Riding club/ Activity days Over 30 years of riding excellence 20 min east of downtown Ottawa (5 min from Orleans)

518 Smith Rd. Navan, ON K4B 1H8 (613) 835 2085 New Star Children's Theatre A unique program where children ages 7-15 are taught singing, dancing, and acting through Musical Theatre in both Original and Broadway musicals. Every child is accepted who auditions Every child is given a role and no experience is necessary 613-523-3264

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Fall Registration Guide Growing Musicians!



Music lessons, courses and workshops for children, students & adults. We are relocating September 1st to 953 Gladstone with more teaching studios and lots of free parking. 613-729-0693

953 Gladstone Ave., Ottawa

Gloria Jean Nagy M.Mus, B.Mus A., R.M.T., A.R.C.T., N.A.T.S. Singer*Vocal Teacher*Adjudicator*Examiner*Conductor


Teaching Musical Theatre, Popular Songs, Classical, Conservatory and Operatic Arias in West End Ottawa


Youth Orchestra

Where the Music Begins!


The parent-run Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy provides a variety of affordable and high-quality music programs for children ages 3 years old and up. Led by music director John Gomez, our conductors and teachers are some of the region’s top professional musicians. Classes for 3 to 6 year olds introduce singing, listening, percussion instruments and body movement. If your child takes private lessons on a string, wind, brass, or percussion instrument, the Academy offers the opportunity to play in ensembles with other young musicians, from beginner to advanced. Two full symphony orchestras provide experienced players the chance to learn more difficult repertoire. All ensembles perform in at least two public concerts each year. Programs run September through May. See our website for more information. Or email

Register For Music Lessons Today. Guitar, Piano, Drums, Bass, Voice, Violin, Sax, Flute,Trumpet, and more.

Why Choose Long & McQuade? Music lessons for all ages, stages and styles. Professional instructors make learning fun. Convenient lesson times for busy families. No Registration Fees. Affordable Instrument Rentals.

2631 Alta Vista Drive


OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 37

Fall Registration Guide         


                

 38 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

Fall Registration Guide

Fit Parent


For Women Only, Get in Great Shape. Early morning workouts, fun, quick and tough. Camps starting in September, they fill fast.


Come Play with Ottawa Rec Soccer! Ottawa's Longest running Recreational Coed League

We’re soccer for the masses but catered to individuals For more information or to register go to

OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 39

Gatineau Park, scenic bike paths and fall fairs just a few of the city’s autumn delights By Samantha Bayard


mid the crisp weather and colourful leaves of autumn, you’ll find plenty of inspiring familyfriendly activities in the Ottawa area. Whether for a day trip or weekend getaway, there’s much fun to be had in the National Capital region, indoors and out. Jantine Van Kregten of Ottawa Tourism suggested hiking and exploring the hills of the picturesque Gatineau Park. “It’s a great way to explore the outdoors in a safe and secure way, just 15 minutes from Parliament Hill.” Gatineau Park consists of 32.5 kilometres of scenic parkways and its forests contain more than 40 species of trees, abundant wildlife and numerous lakes typical of the hills of the Canadian Shield. Along the hike, Van Kregten recommends families discover Lusk Cave in the Philippe Lake sector, take part in some of the park’s free educational programs, such as “Follies of the Fall Forest,” a twohour program which includes a short introduction at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre, followed by a guided walk on the Sugarbush Trail. The program runs every weekend, from September to October. And Gatineau Park’s challenging

Pink Lake Lookout in Gatineau Park

Fall Fun & Destinations Guide

Fall family fun around Ottawa mountain biking trails are another appealing attraction. “The fall is a great time for cycling, especially with the cooler weather,” said Van Kregten. More ideas for cycling families include the Ottawa River and Rideau Canal pathways. “So much of Ottawa is nice and flat and easy to cycle, even in groups with varying ability levels.” For those inevitable rainy fall days, Van Kregten said families should visit the city’s many museums, which offer plenty of hands-on activities for kids of all ages. “Our museums are one big advantage in Ottawa,” she said. “It is as if we are in a much larger city.” At the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s Children’s Museum, kids are given a “passport” to visit different countries and cultures represented at various stations. “They are able to experience crafts, climbing, farming and costumes at a smaller scale,” she said. “It’s very cool, even for adults.” And the newly-renovated Canadian Museum of Nature, with spectacular exhibits, is a must-see, said Van Kregten. Fall fairs are a classic way to savour the season, and there will



Mazes, Farm Animals Farm Fresh Products Haunted Season Horse-Drawn Wagon/Sleigh Rides Pumpkin Patch & More!

Hallowe’en Fun! Haunted North – 6 Nights Only Limited discounted tickets available online


40 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

be more than 75 fairs throughout Ontario, with many Ottawa-area highlights. Fairs such as those in Perth, Carp, Renfrew and Russell host activities for the whole family that include parades, markets and demonstrations and many more kidfriendly events. For animal lovers, there are livestock shows such as horse and cattle shows, pet shows and horse and sheep pulls. For adventure seekers, there are midway rides and demolition derbys. Some offer activities such as a teddy bear contest and antique machinery display, as well as antique car shows and a step dancing class and demonstration. For more information, visit

History repeats itself Mom, can we go to another one?

Get the whole Ottawa story by visiting our 10 community museums. They’re affordable, easy to find, fun to visit and offer hands-on activities that kids love.

Start your trip at

As the kids head back to school and the weather begins to cool, we try to hold on to that summer feeling. Come to Play in Ottawa’ Countryside and celebrate some early fall fun...

Country Fairs; A Family Affair South Mountain Fair ~ August 18-21, 2011. “A Fair To Remember.” One price includes admission to dances, unlimited midway rides, musical entertainment, agricultural shows, and exhibits. August 20th features DEAN BRODY/Ambush and August 21st Gail Gavan & the Ryan Brother Party Band/LORRIE MORGAN. Cheer on the competitors in one of the largest Demolition Derbies in Eastern Ontario on the night of the 19th. 613.989.3815 Russell Fair ~ September 8-11, 2011. Harvesting Excitement since 1858. Enjoy live entertainment, fall cutting horse competition, Demolition Derby, thrill to the midway, petting zoo, classic auto show, Celebrity Cow Milking Contest, pancake breakfast, truck and tractor pulls, antique equipment, home crafts and agricultural exhibits, and much more. What Fair is complete without Fair Factor and Deal or No Deal! Don’t miss out! 613.445.2155 Spencerville Fair ~ September 8-11, 2011. Fun for the whole Family! Experience exciting midway rides, petting zoo, camel rides to horse & cattle shows, crafts, trade shows and wandering entertainers throughout the grounds. Lots for adults to enjoy as top performers entertain in the licensed entertainment tent. Kids under 7 are free! 613.658.3333 Richmond Fair ~September 15-18, 2011. “A Country Fair – Where Town & Country Meet.” You will thrill to the demolition derby, lumberjack & acrobatic shows, midway, antiques and of course live entertainment complete with Bavarian gardens. Browse the home craft exhibits; enjoy livestock shows featuring sheep, cattle and horses. Kids will delight in the petting farm, pony rides and kiddyland, great kid friendly fun! 613.838.3420 Carp Fair ~ September 22-25, 2011. “Best Little Fair in Canada.” Join in the fun from the midway, Family Circle Tent, Storybook Farm, antique displays, strongman competition to wonderful agricultural shows and exhibits. Entertainer sensations Tanya Tucker, Joe Diffie, Gord Bamford, Mick Armitage Band, The original Stampeders and Prairie Oyster are all lined up to delight one and all. 613.839.2172 Metcalfe Fair ~ September 29-October 2, 2011 celebrates its 155th Anniversary where rural tradition meets modern family entertainment! Prepared to enjoy everything Metcalfe has to offer. Your Fair experience won’t be complete without a visit to this fun festivity. From educational and craft displays, agricultural and livestock competitions to great musical entertainment and a midway full of thrills and chills, you won’t be disappointed! 613.821.0591

Ottawa’s Countryside, a Fair Delight! OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 41


o see Stowe and the over the world to see nature’s most surrounding countryside impressive show. at its most dazzling, bring the Warm days and cool nights make family to visit this fall. Frosty an ideal fall vacation in Stowe. mornings give way to cool, Enjoy fall skiing in the morning, crisp days that are perfect for then play an afternoon round of enjoying the outdoors. The golf at a Stowe golf course. Or go colourful hillsides - ablaze with fly fishing and end the day with red, orange, and gold - are truly a hearty Vermont dinner at one of breathtaking, a treat for the the many nearby restaurants. There senses and the soul. are many great options for family When will the leaves will be at activities during your stay in Stowe. their peak? The timing depends Stowe ski mountain is the perfect Stowe Village brightens up a little on temperature, sunlight and size for all skiers and riders, from rainfall amounts. Count on more during foliage season novice to master. For the kids, there seeing these brilliant colours is a family centre that caters to your from the last week of September through the first family’s needs with kids’ clinics, rentals, ticket sales, a food two weeks of October (with some isolated colours court and restaurants. before and after). Be sure to reserve early, as visitors There are also plenty of lodging choices available to enjoy Parenting Times 1 8/5/11 10:57 AM Page 1 from all while your family visits scenic Stowe, Vermont this fall. flock toCA_Layout this picturesque Vermont village

h it w e v li A e r a ls il H r Ou ! e r tu a N f o d n u the So Revel in the natural setting; refresh, relax and rejuvenate… do everything or nothing at all.

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By Rebecca Steffan Adirondack Region, New York


Sunrise over Saranac Lake

s the dog days of summer begin to wane, there is an almost imperceptible shift in the air. A brisk breeze travels down from the mountains, filling the valleys with a delicate morning mist. Tendrils of vapour travel through silver birch trees, across lakes – glimmering under a rising sun. Autumn in the Adirondacks showcases the region’s six million acres at their finest, from mountain summits, to wooded nature paths and tranquil lakes. Harvests are celebrated, festivals anticipated – and leaf peepers from all over the world come to enjoy the region’s long foliage season. Enjoy the crisp scent of ripening apples at pick-yourown orchards, or search for the perfect pumpkin at a local pumpkin patch. Usher in a new season at a special Adirondack fall festival, or simply curl up next to a fire and enjoy a good book. In Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, autumn happens to be a favourite time of the year for residents and visitors alike. Families escape from the city to enjoy special events like the Hobofest 2011, which kicks off on September 4 and features a series of free concerts at the Saranac Lake Train Depot. In Wilmington, near Whiteface Mountain Ski Centre, the village’s 8th Annual Festival of the Colours arts and crafts fair offers free children’s activities, live entertainment and more on September 10. With a longer foliage season than anywhere in the east, the fun continues throughout October, starting with Oktoberfest at Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington. For two days starting October 1, try authentic Bavarian cuisine, take

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Kayaker enjoying a beautiful view 44 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

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Fall Fun & Destinations Guide

An Adirondack Autumn

a fall foliage gondola ride to the top of Little Whiteface and enjoy Bavarian dancing performances and artisan vendors. If your family likes to barbecue, lawn games and ski jumping - the Flaming Leaves Festival in Lake Placid October 8-9 is a must. You can even take a chairlift and elevator to the top of the 120-metre ski jump for an incredible view of the surrounding foliage and mountains. While in Wilmington, check out Santa’s Workshop, Christmas-themed family amusement park open yearround. Nearby, High Falls Gorge is a natural park, offering cliff walks along the Ausable River, panning for gemstones and nature-based activities. Get outside and hike one of the numerous trails that make

the Adirondack Park such a draw for nature lovers. From the top of Floodwood Mountain near Lake Clear, to the winding forest paths of the Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretation Centre (VIC) - adventure awaits. Check out the 250-foot-long floating bridge and view wildlife at the VIC, offering families a wonderful opportunity to interact with the Adirondack wilderness. With events and opportunities that make the most of Northern New York’s premier wilderness park – not to mention your precious time together as a family – enjoy a weekend getaway to the Adirondack Region this autumn. Visit for more information on fall festivals and Adirondack lodging packages.

Visit the Whiteface Region this Fall…. The Whiteface Region offers a pure wilderness retreat without the frills and price tags of crowded tourist centres. You can drive to the top of Whiteface on the Veterans Memorial Highway for striking views of the mountains, visit Santas's Workshop at the North Pole — one of the original theme parks in the United States, hike or bike our miles of wilderness trails — or simply relax and have a leisurely dinner at one of our many restaurants. GET Close to Family fun, breathtaking views and local attractions less than 4-hours from Ottawa 8th Annual Festival of the Colors – Saturday, September 10th – Free Family Festival


5753 NYS Rte 86, PO Box 277, Wilmington, NY 12997 1-888-Whiteface

OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 45

By Teri Clifton photo:

Grandparents Connection

Grandparent Relationships


hen grandparents bring love and joy to the family dynamic, everyone benefits. Creating beautiful moments between generations is cherished for years to come. Grandparents have a magical essence that allows them to love, truly unconditionally, their grandchildren. This is the reward for the years of hard work raising their grandchildren’s parents. Following some simple guidelines and exploring creative activities makes for a winning situation for everyone involved.

Parents and Grandparents and the Rules No matter the side of the fence, it is common for grandparents and parents to disagree on parenting style. Times change, new ideas are introduced and often a divide occurs. It is helpful when parents are clear about issues of importance and equally helpful when they relax on issues that are not as pressing. Good, pleasant communication is key and expressing love and a sense of humor can save the day. Phrasing and tone often influence outcomes, so speak with respect.

Grandparenting Difficulties, Arguments and Solutions When moments arise that cause strife, try and keep in mind that finding a solution is the goal. Too often past grievances, frequently having nothing to do with the present problem, are brought to the table and rehashed. Stay on topic and address only the present challenge. Be polite, respectful and out of earshot of the kids. Parents should realize that one day they too will be grandparents and may face disagreements with their own children. They need to ask themselves if the problem is truly serious and if it is ongoing or a onetime occurrence. 46 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

Activities for Multi-generational Fun Grandparents generally love spending time with the grandkids, but at times a chasm appears. A lack of common ground often due to the onset of teen years can screech to a halt previous fun time with grandkids. Knowing how to bridge a gap can be as easy as exploring new activities. The lists below, spanning diverse ages, offers ideas.

Preschoolers • Make homemade play dough • Cook simple dishes • Read and attend the library • Wash windows or the car • Sing silly songs • Play Go Fish • Walk around the neighborhood • Garden

Teens • Take the teen and a friend to a movie • Ice cream • Fishing • A play, opera, ballet • Ball game • Shopping and lunch • Charity work • Church or Temple

Teens are notorious for their connectedness to their friends, so including a buddy on some outings can be fun. Following common sense and not bringing up potentially embarrassing memories is wise, as is stepping back and allowing space. Privacy is important to teens and keeping a distance from their Facebook or texting is as simple as the privacy grandparents clung to in their teen years.

Successful Grandparenting The presence of encouraging and supporting grandparents is a great help to families and even when grandchildren grow, connectedness can be maintained. With a comfortable respect, understanding of space and commitment to the relationship, multigenerational moments are created. This article originally appeared at

Founder of successful Babies “R” Us Baby Boom Show imparts entrepreneurial lessons to her children By Jessica Hinds


hen Jody Taylor was ordered to remain on bed rest for six weeks during her pregnancy, she began to educate herself about what was available in Ottawa for new parents. “That led to wanting a forum where other parents could benefit from the information I was gathering,” said Taylor, who worked for a Member of Parliament at the time. Turning her bed rest and subsequent maternity leave into a business opportunity, Taylor left the Hill and began working from home. She started the Baby Boom Show – a consumer show for new and expectant parents of children from prenatal to preschool. In its tenth year, the Baby Boom Show takes place at the Nepean Sportsplex annually. For the last four years, Babies “R” Us has been the show’s corporate sponsor and signed a three-year title deal last year. The Babies “R” Us Baby Boom Show attracts about 100 vendors who promote products and services as well as non-profit groups that provide information and resources for new and expectant parents, and is so successful that Taylor maintains a vendor waiting list. For Taylor, one of the best parts of her job is seeing moms gain the opportunity to be with their kids, as many of her vendors are also work-at-home moms. As the show has grown from its initial 60-vendor format, and has an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 visitors, Taylor has also had the opportunity to watch some of her vendors businesses grow along with hers. “A lot of the vendors that I have, that have been

Mom the Entrepreneur

Work-at-home mom creates ‘booming’ business

with me since the beginning, have now become bigger businesses,” she said. “Some of them started in their basement, and now they have storefronts.“ As a mother of two children ages 8 and 10, Taylor said being a work-at-home mom takes balance, and suggested moms consider the pros and cons of working from home before launching their own business. “If it’s not what you want, it’s not worth it,” said Taylor. She credits the freedom of being able to stay home with her children as one of the best aspects of her job. Working from home has allowed Taylor’s children to watch their mother succeed at her business. Like other “mompreneurs,” she said the valuable lessons that she has passed on to her children has been one the biggest rewards of starting her own business. “I’ve instilled in them that you can be self-reliant, you don’t need to depend on somebody else to earn an income. You can create a job if you need to,” she said. “I think it’s a really great lesson.” The 2011 Babies “R” Us Baby Boom Show will be held at the Nepean Sportsplex from Sept. 10-11. Visit

OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 47

Teach Kids to Be Kind to the Environment By Charlina Stewart


Teach Children to Recycle Teaching kids to be environmentally conscious can start with getting them excited about recycling by explaining the benefits that come from reducing waste, and reusing old materials. Start by setting up recycle bins for plastic, glass, metal, and paper. Clearly label each bin so that children know where the materials belong. If kids are not able to read -- simply add pictures to the labels. Parents should let children take charge of things that are not breakable such as plastic, and paper items. Even your youngest kids can learn how to sort containers and put them in the recycling bins. Instead of throwing away toys and clothes that children no longer use, help them sort through their things and donate them to local charities. If some of the old clothes are in no condition to give away, consider cutting them up and turning them into reusable cleaning cloths.

Encourage Children to Conserve Resources Children can learn to conserve resources by doing simple things like turning the water off while they’re brushing their teeth or washing dishes, taking shorter showers, and reducing the amount of water that fills the bathtub. Encourage the conservation of electricity by having kids limit their television time, and getting them into the habit of turning off lights when they are not in use. Parents can also reiterate the importance of saving energy by utilizing natural light sources in the home during daylight hours.

Buy Organic Fruits and Vegetables Take children to the farmer's market and explain to them why it’s important to buy produce that’s environmentally friendly and grown without chemicals and pesticides that can be harmful the planet. 48 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

Grow a Vegetable Garden Letting children assist with growing a small vegetable garden can teach them how much we rely on the planet’s resources for survival -- including dirt and insects.

Encourage Children to Reuse Items Before Throwing Them Away Help kids find other ways to reuse parts of items before throwing them away. For instance, buttons from old clothes can be used for various art projects, and old shoe laces can be used to string beads or lacing cards. Raising kids to go green will teach them to respect the environment’s resources, and enable them to develop important habits that can be carried into adulthood.


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Raising Children to Go Green


Reduce waste around the home


hen it comes to going “green,” one of the simplest ways you can make a difference is by examining the everyday actions you take in and around your home. From laundry to electronics, making small changes in your life can add up to a real difference for the environment. “Laundry is a chore, and doing the washing can have a bigger impact on the planet than one might think,” said Kathy Buckworth, award-winning parenting writer and television personality. “Many people already know that water and the energy used to run the machine affects the environment, but many don’t think twice about the impact of packaging as well.” We have to use laundry detergent, but choosing brands with less packaging can help your family not only produce

less waste, but consume less water too. Look for concentrated detergents and softeners like new concentrated Tide powder that gives you the same loads with less packaging, and Ultra Downy April Fresh that uses 15 per cent less water versus the next leading national brand’s non–ultra. Additionally, many of the electronics and portable devices in our homes require batteries. Switching from disposable to rechargeable batteries, such as Duracell pre–charged batteries reduces waste and still provides long–lasting power to electronics such as MP3 players, remote controls and digital cameras. In fact, these batteries stay charged up to five times longer while not in use, versus Duracell 2450mAH.

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We carry a large variety of modern cloth diapers for every budget. We offer a diaper trial program, free information sessions at our local showroom and package deals. We also offer a bilingual service. 1-866-60-CLOTH OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011| 49

Closing Notes


L ADD 110 Laurie R r Avenue W E S S e st Ottawa COMM , ON K1P UN 1J1 1065 Ramse I T Y O F F I C E y Crescent Ottawa, ON K2B 8A1

As the prou d parents o f two wond and I know erful daugh of the joys ters, Sasha a n d challenge both bless and Emily, s that toda ed to be my wife y’s parents w ork ourselves w face. While ishing for m ing in careers that we are w ore free tim e love, we is sitting aro e to spend regularly fi und the din w ith our fam nd ner table c school day, ily. Whethe atching up helping wit r that on the excit h homewo a soccer g ement follo rk assignm ame, we st wing a ents, or ch rive to ach happy and eering the ieve that fi healthy ho g ir ls ne balance on at me life, a fu each other’ between h lfilling care s company. aving a er, and tim e to spend enjoying The City of Ottawa is fu lly engaged servicing th in the proc en ess of ensu and the futu eeds of our residents ring that w in providin re, and I am e are g fo a healthy a and Chair o nd positive f the Comm rtunate to be a part o envir f th u nity and Pro Ward resid is ents, I rece tective Serv evolution in my role a onment for both tod n tl ay s an Ottawa ices comm y opened a that life is ittee. As pa n office insi City Counc busy with rt il w d lo e of the Fo ork, schoo of my com r Saturday o ster Farm C l and play, mitment to f every mo ommunity we are ope nth as well B a y Centre. Rec n on Thurs as during th ognizing day e day to ass In closing, ist residents s in the evening and I would inv th c e first lo ser to hom ite an out to me th e. rough the fo y resident from our c ity who be llowing cha lieves that nnels: I can be of Phone: assistance 613-580-24 to reach Email: 77 M a rk.Taylor@ Facebook: www.faceb Twitter: @Go_Taylo r Sincerely,

Mark Taylo

r, Ottawa C

ity Councillo


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Do you want to win cool prizes and help a deserving family get into a home? Submit a short essay or poem that explains what you “love” most about your home and YOU COULD WIN! FIRST PLACE WINNER WILL: Take part in the ultimate gift - A new Habitat for Humanity home for a deserving family. Genworth Financial Canada will donate $60,000 towards the building of a new Habitat home in a community of the winner’s choice.* Teachers can incorporate the contest into their classroom curriculum! Find a full education module at * The winner will select from a list of eligible locations.

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FIVE RUNNER UPS WILL EACH: AND Get a Pizza Party for their whole class.

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52 | OTTAWA PARENTING TIMES |September-October 2011

Ottawa Parenting Times Magazine  

Parenting magazine for Ottawa parents featuring the article on museums, education, fall registration guide, and exciting travel destinations...

Ottawa Parenting Times Magazine  

Parenting magazine for Ottawa parents featuring the article on museums, education, fall registration guide, and exciting travel destinations...