Connecting Families provides practical parenting skills that can be put into immediate action to help build the bond between parent and child/teen.

Using role plays, anecdotes and dialogues within the group, Connecting Families creates an atmosphere that allows parents to share with each other and draw from their experience to attune their parenting approach.

Connecting Families is grounded in attachment and neuroscience research, and closely follows the trends and challenges our child/teen face.

Our Objectives

  • For parents to share, learn, build trust and understanding with other parents.
  • Build stronger community support and address issues identified by parents.
  • Help parents understand their own parenting practice based on self-identified goals and philosophy.
  • Introduce techniques, strategies, tips and ideas for discussion.

Who is it for

Our program is for parents, caregivers, blended families, grandparents and family members who have toddlers to teens.

We offer

Connecting Families offers workshops or a group series to schools, agencies or community centres located primarily in central and west Toronto.

We also collaborate and build partnerships with agencies to develop a specific program or need in a community.

Fee

Fees are charged on a sliding scale.

Possible Topics for Workshops and Series

We also customize and work with you to build a workshop or series that suits parents’ needs.

Communication: Building Trust and Openness with Your Teen/ Child

  • Using attachment theory and neuroscience to understand the ages and stages of development and needs of your child/teen
  • Use effective communication skills and strategies that develop connection with your child/teen
  • Teaching your child’s/teen’s emotional intelligence

Positive Discipline Strategies: Routine and Structure

  • Set a consistent and positive routine that works for everybody in the household.
  • Express clear expectations and set limits with family rules that are in harmony with your family values

How to Say “Yes” with Limits

  • How to handle power struggles and attention-seeking behaviour
  • Be firm with behaviour – but permissive with feelings.
  • Set limits and follow through without empty threats, bribing, nagging and yelling
  • Encourage family cooperation with strategies by teaching boundaries and problem-solving skills

How to Manage Your Child’s/Teen’s Stress and Anxiety

  • Signs of stress in your child/teen
  • Understand and manage both yours and your child’s/teen’s frustration, anger, disappointment, helplessness to stay on a positive healthy course
  • Learn helpful coping strategies you can teach them
  • Help your child/teen when they seem depressed and lonely
  • Learn when and where seek outside support

Lowering the Sibling Conflict in the Home

  • Simple stress-free rules that strengthen caring sibling relationships and constructively deal with arguments, tempers, sibling conflicts and bad habits
  • Avoid taking sides and how to get out of the ‘fairness trap” and respond to their “it’s not fair” complaints
  • Teach your child/teen how to deal with conflicts, arguments, opinions, squabbles and differences
  • Bring collaborative problem-solving to your family and teach negotiable skills

Success at School 

  • Help your child to succeed academically and socially
  • Build a bridge to their school, their teachers and learn how to advocate for your child
  • Homework help and routine
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of how to support and direct your child
  • Encourage your child/teen to take initiative: how to support them to clarify their goals, define a purpose, and help them follow-through

Anti-Bulling Strategies: Encourage Responsibility, Confidence and Independence

  • Recognize when your child is bullying or being bullied
  • What to do, how to talk to your child about it and take action
  • Teach strong healthy character traits and healthy social skills
  • Teach your child to manage peer pressure, cliques and bullying
  • Nurture their independence and resilience and resourcefulness
  • How to get help when you need it

Raising Sexually Health Children/Teens

  • Learn about the different phases of  child’s/teen’s growth and sexual development
  • Ability to answer children/teen’s questions
  • Ability to deal comfortably with challenging situations and behaviours

Understanding Tween and Teen Behaviour Part 1

  • Understanding the psychological changes and stages at puberty and their impact on them and your family
  • How to manage the loss of power and influence with an adolescent and how to still maintain boundaries and parent
  • Signs of depression and anxiety and how to help or  get help
  • How to recognize the difference between healthy rebellion and assertiveness of voice vs avoidance, stone walling or peer pressures

Surviving Skills for Parenting Tweens and Teens: Strategies  Part 2

  • Tween/teen ages and stages of development and how to help them meet their developmental tasks
  • Techniques that will help you “respond” and not “react” to resisting rules, questioning your judgement, claims about distrust and wrecking their lives
  • Manage difficult and high-risk behaviours and environments such as peer pressure,  arguing, drugs, alcohol, moodiness, disdain,  or verbal put-downs
  • Set limits and rules on safety and responsibility, and know when to back off such as chores, curfews, driving, hanging out, home alone, messy room, parties, phones, privacy, screen time, social networking, poor grades
  • How to manage your own stress, resentment, disappointments, frustration, fears and being unpopular with your teen/tween

Resources

Selected Parenting Books we would like to suggest:

  • Hold on To Your Kids, Dr Gabor Mat© and Dr Gordon Neufeld
  • How to Talk to Your Kids So They Will Listen and Listen So They Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich
  • How to Talk to Your Teens So They Will Listen and Listen So They Will Talk, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich
  • Parenting From The Inside Out, Daniel J. Siegel
  • Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason, Alfie Kohn
  • Aint Misbehavin: Tactics for Tantrums, Meltdowns, Bedtime Blues and Other Perfectly Normal Kid Behaviors, Alyson Schafer
  • Kids Are Worth It!: Raising Resilient, Responsible, Compassionate Kids, Barbara Coloroso
  • Survival Guide For Kids With ADD Or ADHD, John Taylor
  • Siblings without Rivalry, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich

Contact

To collaborate or have us come to your school, agency or community centre, email gillianfr@familyservicetoronto.org

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