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Advice & Support

Choosing After-School Activities

As your child continues to grow and develop, you will find they often enjoy exploring more of their own personal interests. Sure, school offers opportunities for children to get involved with different types of educational and social activities, but most of the time these options are more general in nature. After- school programs are excellent because they tend to offer more specific classes that focus on a particular topic. These programs are often led or taught by experts in that particular field, which allows your student to dive deeper and to really improve upon their skills.

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Helping Your Child Resolve Disputes

What do you do if there is a fight at an after-school class or program between your child and another? As a father and a grandfather, I have witnessed my share of disagreements. And as a mediator and a restorative justice counsellor, I ought to have some tools in my toolbox to manage such a situation. Here are my two parenting lessons from a long career of working out children’s conflicts.

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Calming the Butterflies - Ending Performance Fears

Your child may feel ‘butterflies’ in their tummy if they have a big event coming up such as an important test or a piano recital. It is normal to feel nervous when kids are expected to perform or speak in front of a group of people, if they have an upcoming dentist or doctor appointment, or if they have pressure to do well on a test or at a sporting competition. Even though nerves are common, parents can help kids calm the butterflies and be successful.

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Avoid Over-Scheduling

Don’t let your child’s individuality get overlooked because you are keeping your child steadily overbooked. School, sports, after-school activities, birthday parties, and social commitments - all of these things compete for your child’s energy and attention on a daily basis. And now that kids are hopping on social media at increasingly younger ages, the pressure to participate can become fierce early on. All those images of friends playing sports, hanging out at a pool party, or posing together in a gleeful gaggle may cause your child to feel like their schedule doesn’t quite measure up to others.

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