Student Parent Conference

Building a student parents community


10:00 – 10:10 a.m. Registration

10:10 – 10:30 a.m. Welcome


This session will cover proven discipline strategies that go beyond punishments and rewards and focus on non-violent communication with your children. Learn helpful tips and ideas to make disciplining more effective and your children more cooperative including:

  • How to use natural and logical consequences
  • How to win children’s cooperation
  • The skill of providing respectful motivation

Suitable for parents and caregivers of children 2 – 12 years of age.

Facilitator: Karen Skinulis
Karen Skinulis graduated from York University with a degree in Psychology. She is a Certified Montessori Director and has worked extensively as a teacher and a parent educator. She is a co-author of two parenting books and one teacher’s book on classroom management.

12:00 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch & a Welcome Address from Lucy Fromowitz, Assistant Vice-President, Student Life.


A lunch time informal peer – led discussion. Join other students to discuss tips and strategies on how to sustain your financial stability while being a student and a parent. Share information on the bursary and general financial aid application process; learn how to obtain and fill out forms; and how to maneouvre through the system.

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. SESSION 3: STUCK IN THE MIDDLE

A session on dealing with constant challenges of being a parent and a student. This session is geared towards student parents with multiple responsibilities. It will address feelings of guilt that arise when juggling your role as a student and not always having enough time to spend with your children. It’s for everyone who feels overwhelmed.

This is an interactive session where most of the exercises are done in pairs and within the group. In this session you will discover your patterns of ‘stuckness’ and learn to convert feelings of being overwhelmed into action, energy and change. A list of parent-friendly resources and services that ‘take the load off’ busy schedules will be provided.

Facilitator: Anna Wesolinska
Anna Wesolinska is an Information Officer at the Family Care Office. She has a small psychotherapy practice and has been running workshops at the Gestalt Institute and the North York Women’s Centre.

2:30 – 2:45 p.m. Power Break

2:45 – 3:45 p.m. SESSION 4: JOB SEARCH PANEL

A panel on how to find a job on campus. Most student parents face financial struggles and need to seek employment that fits into their busy lives. Finding a job close to or on campus would save precious time and could make your demanding lives a little more manageable. This panel will discuss options and opportunities for student parents to find employment on campus. The panel will consist of student parents employed on campus and a career counsellor.

Student Panelists: Teresa Biderman, Charity Mwebaze, Linda King
Facilitator: Karen Carrel Rice. Karen Carrel Rice, UofT Career Centre Karen received her Master of Education from OISE/UT and has over 15 years of counseling experience. She enjoys working with the diverse student body at UofT and has experience in helping students from 1st year, through to PhD, as well as career changers

2006 Student Parents Conference

A free conference for University of Toronto student parents.

  • Opening
    Francesca Dobbin, Director of the Family Care Office
  • Time Management Workshop
    For student parents, it often feels as if there are never enough hours in the day. Do you feel like you’re never devoting enough time to either family or school? Come to this workshop and discover tips on how to manage your time and create a balance between your school and home life.
  • Parenting with Humour
    Catherine Lawrence, mother of three and “CLO” (Chief Laughter Officer) of Survival of the Funniest will share her insights on the critical role of laughter and humour to survive and thrive in your parenting role. She will provide some fun, practical techniques to help you SEE funny and access your funny bone at times of unavoidable stress. Don’t miss this laughter-filled workshop!
  • Career Choice and Job Search Tips for Student Parents
    Learn how to find work that will offer you the life-balance you need to develop your career and support you in your role as a parent. This hands-on session will provide an exchange of career information, ideas and
    strategies that will help you with all aspects of the career development
    process such as resume writing and, identifying family-friendly employers.
  • Closing of the Conference.