Children and Stress

Growing up can be stressful particularly during the pre-teen and teen ages. A certain degree of healthy stress can be good for our lives. However, too much stress can cause many physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioural problems. With the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us are affected negatively by stress. This workshop will talk about stress in general, but also the effects on children’s mental health. We will explore different ways children react to stress and how different protective factors can help them build resillience. We will conclude the workshop with strategies that adults can use to help children cope with stress and come out of the COVID-19 crisis even stronger.

Recommended for parents whose children are tweens and teens (11+ years and older).

Facilitator: Nana Gulic is an Education Doctorate student at OISE’s Social Justice Education Department. She is a Child and Youth Worker with 16 years of experience in working with youth in Canada and internationally. With youth empowerment and engagement as the guiding premise, she worked in residential group homes, community development programs, elementary schools and international organizations. Her academic and professional passions are social and emotional skill development and democratic education. Nana is also a mother to a 9-year old boy for whom she wishes to become a caring, empathic and engaged citizen.

COVID-19: Communication in Family Life

Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Location: The webinar link will be shared with you via email prior to the session start time.

The challenges and uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming: social isolation, worry over family and friends, concern for our own well-being, and changes to work and home routines. These added levels of stress are likely to put a strain on family relationships. This session describes some fundamental aspects of communication that apply to interactions within families. Participants will review communication strategies and skills that allow for healthy and open communication to enhance the quality of their relationships during these challenging times.

During this one-hour wellness session participants will:

  • Discuss common issues related to family communication that may be heightened during the COVID-19 crisis
  • Gain an overview of some effective strategies for improving communication in the family during this challenging time
  • Develop self-expression and listening skills

Facilitator: Marla Warner is a speaker, consultant and coach who focuses on resilience, well-being, and supporting organizations and individuals to flourish.

Marla previously held the position of Stress Management Therapist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto for over 13 years and she is currently a program leader at Toronto’s Wellspring Cancer Support Centres.

Marla’s professional qualifications include a B.SC. in Kinesiology, she is a Certified Positive Psychology Coach, a Certified Wellness Coach, a practitioner in Applied Positive Psychology, and she and brings extensive background and experience in Applied Mindfulness practices. Marla has produced two Relaxation/Meditation CD’s available on iTunes.

COVID-19 Grief & Loss

Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Location: The webinar link will be shared with you via email prior to the session start time.

Grief is a natural response to loss. During the current global pandemic many people are experiencing a comprehensive spectrum of loss: the loss of loved ones, going to the office, social connections, a sense of normalcy, physical and financial security etc. This session will help participants understand grief and loss and equip them with strategies to respond to and cope with the particular losses brought about by the pandemic.

Objectives

  • Understand what grief is within the context of COVID-19
  •  Recognize how grief and loss manifest themselves
  • Learn about healthy ways of coping with grief
  • Recognize barriers to grieving
  • Learn how to support a grieving person

Facilitator: Rensia Melles has over 20 years of experience in the EAP field. Early in her career she worked as a counsellor and has held progressive positions as a clinical supervisor, director of operations and senior consultant for global EAPs. Rensia is passionate about fostering workplace mental health. She also has a specialized interest in the impact of culture on mental health and relationships, as well as cross cultural adaptation and relocation. Currently she works as a workplace psychological health and safety advisor and facilitator. Rensia has a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Amsterdam and is a Canadian Mental Health Association certified Psychological Health and Safety Advisor.

Consent for Families

Consent For Families is a dynamic, engaging virtual workshop +Q+A with Sexuality Educator, Dr. Nadine Thornhill. Nadine will take you through the concepts introduced in the Teaching About Consent, webinar series to help you discover real-world ways of creating consent culture in your home!

During this 60 minute session, attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • Explore consent concepts more deeply
  • Learn practical ways to implement consent practices in their relationship with youth

Following the workshop, there will be a 30 minute Q+A segment with Nadine.

Facilitator:  Dr. Nadine Thornhill, Ed.D is a sexuality educator, speaker, and content creator based in Toronto, Ontario.  For over a decade, she has been helping folks have honest, open conversations with their kids and teens about bodies, relationships, and more!

This workshop is a collaboration between the Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre  and the Family Care Office.

Caring for Children with Disabilities while Social Distancing (Webinar)

Date: Friday, April 3, 2020
Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Location: Webinar (link will be provided prior to the session)

Are you a parent who has a child with a disability? We recognize that it may not be an easy transition for you and your child to self isolate.

This webinar will help provide you with resources and tips to help you and your child adapt to the new routine as a result of social distancing.

Facilitator: Sukaina Dada is an Occupational Therapist currently pursuing her PhD in Critical Disabilities Studies and the Founder and Executive Director of SMILE, a not-for-profit organization on a mission to provide support to children and youth with disabilities and their families.

Communicating with Teens (U of T Scarborough)

Learn the ins and outs of communicating effectively with your teen. In this workshop, we will discuss the following themes:

  • What is Communication and why is it so important to have it with your teen
  • How is communicating with a teen different from a younger child
  • How to really listen to your teen
  • Common Communication Blocks
  • Specific communication strategies to enhance the parent/teen relationship
  • Keeping the lines of communication open when you’re teen is off to university/college

This workshop is designed for parents of teens ages 12 and up.

Facilitator: Ferne is a long standing Family Life Educator with Jewish Family & Child. Ferne has facilitated numerous groups and workshops for children, teens and adults, these include: Living with Teens Parenting, One Family, Two Homes for families experiencing separation and divorce, Social Skills for both the parents and children, Family Life for grade 6, 7 & 8 students in the public and day schools, Tobacco Education, Teen Programs. Ferne is a certified facilitator in the Triple P Parenting Program which focuses on Positive Parenting strategies and has a background in Adlerian philosophies. In Ferne’s non-professional life she is the mother of 2 adult boys and a grandmother who enjoys numerous hobbies. Ferne brings a wonderful sense of humour and knowledge to everything she does.

Communicating with Teens (U of T Mississauga)

Learn the ins and outs of communicating effectively with your teen. In this workshop, we will discuss the following themes:

  • What is Communication and why is it so important to have it with your teen
  • How is communicating with a teen different from a younger child
  • How to really listen to your teen
  • Common Communication Blocks
  • Specific communication strategies to enhance the parent/teen relationship
  • Keeping the lines of communication open when you’re teen is off to university/college

This workshop is designed for parents of teens ages 12 and up.

Facilitator: Ferne is a long standing Family Life Educator with Jewish Family & Child. Ferne has facilitated numerous groups and workshops for children, teens and adults, these include: Living with Teens Parenting, One Family, Two Homes for families experiencing separation and divorce, Social Skills for both the parents and children, Family Life for grade 6, 7 & 8 students in the public and day schools, Tobacco Education, Teen Programs. Ferne is a certified facilitator in the Triple P Parenting Program which focuses on Positive Parenting strategies and has a background in Adlerian philosophies. In Ferne’s non-professional life she is the mother of 2 adult boys and a grandmother who enjoys numerous hobbies. Ferne brings a wonderful sense of humour and knowledge to everything she does.

Coping after a Recent Separation & Divorce Support Group

Have you recently separated or divorced from your partner? Come meet and join other students, staff or faculty at U of T to offer and share support in this difficult time. Topics to be explored will include:

  • the grieving and separation process and the difficult emotions that may arise”
  • regaining and developing your self-esteem
  • relationships with family, friends, and your former partner
  • setting new goals for your future as a single person

Coping after a Recent Separation & Divorce Discussion Group

An educational discussion group designed to help people deal positively with separation and divorce. Topics are driven by the need of its participants. They might include:

  • Grief and letting go (being realistic of self and others)
  • Coping with children and co-parenting
  • Anger and resentment
  • Resources for surviving the separation and moving on
  • Strengthening support systems (loneliness)
  • Exploring what is ahead

This group will be open to both parents with children and individuals without children.

Facilitator: Michael Saini is an Associate Professor, holds the endowed Chair in Law and Social Work at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto and is the Co-Director of the Combined J.D. and M.S.W. Program with the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. He conducts custody evaluations, he is a parent coach for separated families and he provides parent education workshops on issues related to separation and divorce.

Co-Parenting: Making it Work

Child wellbeing is supported when parents establish a co-parenting relationship with clear roles and boundaries. This provides an important way to meet the needs of children while managing parenting responsibilities. In this session discussion will focus on:

  • Types of co-parenting relationships
  • What co-parents must do but may not want to
  • What co-parents should avoid.

Facilitator: David Abel, MSW/RSW, Counsellor, Families in Transition (FST).