Friday, October 30, 2009

Upcoming Events sponsored by the Beaumont FCSS

Beaumont FCSS has been a flurry of activity (sorry about the reference to snow). On October 20th students in Beaumont from grade 5-11 participated in the Search Institute's Developmental Asset Survey. While participation rates were somewhat lower than expected, we are looking forward to getting the results from these surveys to see how youth in our community rate themselves in terms of the 40 developmental assets. This information will help our FCSS team develop and deliver programming to specifically meet the needs of the youth within our community and ensure our work provides the most impact.

October 27th was the Meditation for Parents workshop, the attendance to this event was much lower than anticipated as calls into the FCSS office were numerous and community members seemed extremely interested in learning how meditation can help them as parents and their children. If you are interested in this topic please call Jenny at the FCSS office and she will be able to direct you to the facilitator for this informative workshop.

Kids and Drugs: The Power of Parents began this week at the Beaumont Community Church. Jenny and I (Linda) are co-facilitating this group and our first session was informative, and sparked much conversation. If you are interested in learning how you as a parent, or caregiver can help prevent the use of drugs in your children please come out to the next three sessions. November 4th, 18th, and 25th. Space is still available in these sessions. On November 25th our group will be lead by Cpl. Dave Wilkinson from the Beaumont RCMP detatchment to help us learn to spot the warning signs of specific drug use, drug paraphenalia, and what kinds of drugs are most prevalent in our Beaumont and surrounding community. This session is essential for parents to attend in order to be better informed about drug scene here in Beaumont, Alberta.

Our next Parent Workshop Series has been set: Sibling Rivalry, on November 16th at 7pm at the Beaumont Community Youth Centre. This informative workshop will be lead by psychologist Joanne Koopmans of Karunia Counselling and co-facilitated by myself, Linda Mix-Kondratski. We will touch on the causes of sibling rivalry, tips on prevention and what to do if sibling rivalry is getting out of hand in your home. Please join us for an informal evening of learning, discussion and ideas on how to deal with this important and sometimes volatile situation.

For questions about these or any other FCSS programs or services, please post here or email me at or phone 780 504-5969

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Welcome Back to Fall

With the weather warming up (for a few days anyway) this might be our last chance to enjoy what is usually my favorite season: FALL! I love the crisp air, vibrant colors, warm and cozy sweaters and spending time out side without having to be completely bundled up! I have my fingers crossed that we can enjoy a few days of warmer weather and enjoy what is usually a very beautiful season. How do you like to enjoy this time of year? I'm curious what other people think about this season of change, new beginnings, and preparation for winter. So please post a comment here about how you like to enjoy fall.

Also, don't forget about our upcoming workshop series: Kids and Drugs:The Power of Parents which begins on October 28th. Phone Jenny at 780 929-9271 to register. The four part workshop series is free and being held at Beaumont Community Church from 7-9 pm, upstairs in the Fire Side Room. We have some families registered and still can take some more registrations.

Also in the lineup for fall programming on October 27th is a free workshop about meditation and parenting. There has been a lot of interest in this presentation so be sure to come out and join in what is going to be a very informative and engaging evening.

Friday, October 9, 2009

So Much To Be Thankful For

As we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving this weekend, it is the perfect opportunity to reflect on those things in our life that we have to be thankful for. Sometimes the busyness of the holiday weekend or general relief for an extra day off, distracts us from the many wonderful things we have to truly be grateful for.

Approaching life with an attitude of gratitude is something I try to do and is something I've tried to teach my children as well. We are we, as parents are to celebrate the good things in our lives, the more likely our children are to develp the same habit.

Here are some ways to demonstrate and teach thankfulness as outlines by

  • Appreciating one another's health, abilities and accomplishments is an excellent way to reflect on all the reasons to be thankful from the past year. You'll all get great ideas for your Turkey day grace and you'll be thankful for the time spent relaxing together during the busy season.

  • Thankful time as a family presents a great opportunity to take family holiday photos, or watch family movies to further reiterate everything you are all thankful for. Pass around a bowl of popcorn, grapes or snack mix and with every handful say something nice to the person to your right. Play charades with a thankful theme. Any time spent together that stimulates a thankful state of mind will be beneficial to your family.

  • Start a Turkey day diary. Purchase a notebook or journal for your family to pass around the weeks before Thanksgiving. Having each member take the time to jot down what they're thankful for gives each one of you a quiet time to reflect on the past year. Letting younger family members dictate their thoughts, and giving teens colored pens to add their personal flair add other elements to your family's 'Thankful Time Capsule'. Year after year, you all can add your thankful thoughts to the diary and recollect what you noted the year before.

  • Have the entire family hand sign the holiday cards that you'll send to friends, neighbors and family. You'll show the card recipients that they are appreciated since you each took the time to sign the cards and add a personal note or a smiley face.

  • Many parents take the time to notice the paper delivery person, mail carrier, hair stylist, and household assistants during the holidays. Involving your children in this act helps them appreciate all the subtle support and services they receive throughout the year. Enlisting your kids to help shop for gifts, bake cookies, or put together baskets of bread and spreads lets them know you're proud to show your respectful thanks. Your child will feel honored to deliver gifts he has helped to create, and will learn it is important to show thanks in many different settings.

  • Hearts aren't just for February. • Gather up your family and bake a batch of heart-shaped sugar cookies. Decorating the cookies with fall-colored frosting, sprinkles, and the word 'Thanks' painted with frosting gel sends a thank you that's straight from the heart. Send the thank you cookie in wax paper bags adorned with your child's message of 'Thanks from the bottom of my heart' to coaches, teachers, bus drivers, and mentors. Reserve some cookies for your family to pass to one another to recognize acts of kindness among siblings.

  • Trace your child's handprints (fingers pointed up and slanted) opposing each other on a piece of letter-sized paper. Their thumbs and index fingers form a heart in the middle of the page to write a thankful message to a teacher, such as, 'Thanks for helping me to read" or 'Your math class was the best.’ Add thankful words and phrases on each of the fingers to strengthen the heartfelt message.

I hope your Thanksgiving Holiday is meaningful and restful and provides you the opportunity to reflect on all that you have to give thanks for this season.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kids and Drugs Workshop Coming to Beaumont!

We've been talking about the Kids and Drugs program for many months and finally the dates, time and location have been set. This engaging parent workshop series developed by AADAC and the RCMP will be delivered right here in Beaumont by our very own FCSS Staff. Linda Mix-Kondratski (Youth Outreach Worker) and Jenny Cash (FCSS Liasion) will be co-facilitating these interactive and informative sessions. Plans are under way for Cpl. Dave Wilkonson (Town of Beaumont Detachment Commander) to provide his expertise about different types of drugs that are available to our youth, signs and symtoms of their use and will be taking individual questions regarding these drugs. All parents are encouraged to participate in this valuable workshop series. Phone 780-929-9271 to register or for more information about the workshops.