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Can you tell us a bit about the Where Parents Talk story?

Our company was started when each of us realized that there were no quality visual resources for new and expectant parents available.  That was in 2000 when web video did not exist and DVDs were just becoming popular.  As new and young moms ourselves, we decided to put our thirst for parenting knowledge alongside our professional background as television journalists to produce how-to parenting DVDs, focused on sharing simple nuggets of information in small digestible morsels to support parents with the many challenges and joys of parenthood.

 What are some exciting new developments for Where Parents Talk?

Our portfolio continues to grow, just like our kids! In addition to our how-to parenting DVDs and website, we have a parenting TV show, a monthly column in ParentsCanada magazine and are working on a national parenting radio program.

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Kids socializing on the pier

For many Canadian families, multiculturalism starts at home with a mix of winter traditions and celebrations. first!” He soon eased up and now even enjoys helping with the tree. Jennifer Kolari is a Toronto-based family therapist and the founder of Connected Parenting, an approach that teaches parents the techniques therapists use to change undesirable behaviours. “I think it’s beautiful to be blended,” says Jennifer. In fact in her own household that combines Judaism and Christianity, they joke that they celebrate “Chrismukkah”!

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You want to introduce your kids to the wonders of science, so you plan a trip to your local science centre for a day of exploration. When the day comes to an end, all the fascination and inquisitiveness that the excursion sparked in your children’s minds is put on hold until the next field trip. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We are surrounded by science every day of our lives, and nowhere is that more evident than in the kitchen. Food is one of the most tangible and accessible gateways to the world of science that we can offer our children.

“Everyday stuff is not so every day, it’s really quite wonderful,” says David Sugarman, senior researcher at the Ontario Science Centre. “All cooking involves science.”

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Sometimes they need a little help letting go.

How many times has your mom or mother-in-law uttered the words, “We didn’t have half this amount of gear when I had my babies!” It certainly does seem that babies come with lots of stuff. Fast forward a few years and you’re in the thick of the toy-acquiring phase of your child’s life. Rarely does an event go by that isn’t accompanied by a new toy or trinket.

But what comes in eventually must – or should – go out. As with their clothing, children outgrow toys. It might, however, seem easier to get your child to part with a too-small T-shirt than a toy that might still hold some allure.

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The first day of school can be stressful for both you and your child. Ease the pressure by doing your homework before the big day.

Next is negotiating the back-to-school supply list. As tempting as it may be to stock up on school supplies the minute they hit store shelves, it’s important to wait until your child receives their supply list from the teacher. Teachers can be very specific about the colours of the binders and the quantity of 2HB lead pencils each child must have. However, Carolyn does recommend you start checking items off the school supply list the minute you receive it, as stores can sell out of popular items at the beginning of the school year.

And before you know it, exams will be right around the corner!

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Nothing says summer like a night in a tent and a meal cooked by a campfire. Here’s how to introduce your family to camping. Camping may be more affordable than many other vacations, but there are more reasons to try it than saving money. Many families – parents and kids alike – find camping allows them to spend unique, quality time together.

Just ask Goldie Silverman. The Seattle grandmother still regularly hikes, backpacks and camps with her entire extended family. She wrote her first book on the subject, Backpacking with Babies and Small Children, in 1975.

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Tips for massaging your baby

Follow your baby’s cues. She has a large vocabulary in her body language and in the sounds she makes.

Talk to your baby. Communicating through words, and the tone of your voice develops your baby’s listening skills. And, of course, smile!

Stay encouraged. Even when your baby is not “attuned to interact and massage” at this particular time, try again later that day, or another day.

Create the right atmosphere. You need a warm area and a calm surrounding. Have a baby-friendly oil at hand.

Ask permission. Making small circles around the head or a suitable touch, warm up a little oil in your palms. You can say something like, “Hi Sweetie, are you ready for a massage?”

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How to make grocery shopping with kids, dare we say, fun.

Lianne & Andrea’s Top 5 Grocery Shopping Tips

1. Schedule, people. You know when your kids are happiest… and when they’re nastiest. So don’t think you can whip into the supermarket right before nap time to pick up a few ingredients. Plan to go after the nap, in early morning, or on a full stomach. Whenever you know she’s at her best.

2. Make it snappy! If you’ve done your homework and prepared a list, you won’t be chasing your tail once you get to the store. Make the excursion short and sweet.

3. Get kids involved. We know…

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We know how much kids are supposed to get each day, but in many cases, it’s easier said than done.

Show us a parent who brags their kid will eat everything, and we’ll show you a parent who is, well, not 100% acquainted with the truth. The reality is all children go through a variety of eating phases over time. Whether it’s the growth spurt of an infant, the assertion of independence of a toddler or the insatiable appetite of a teenager, our kids’ young growing bodies and minds can wreak havoc with mom’s menu planning.

We’ve both had our struggles with one or more of our children at different times. One of the most baffling and frustrating challenges as a parent can be having a good eater who suddenly switches her eating habits for no apparent reason.

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From the simple days of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey to lavish car-racing and princess “spa” themes, kids’ birthday parties have swelled to become fodder for reality television. Perhaps because of these tough economic times, or a desire to trim the excess, parents seem to be reverting back to the homespun birthday parties of our youth.

Personally, we are happy to scale back. Not only does it mean less pressure and less expense for us, it means putting everything in perspective for our kids. Do they really need to be king or queen for a day? It can be hard to come back down to earth after.

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