Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How Everyone Be An Asset Builder This Week!

These three suggestions come straight from the Search Institute and are some simple ways that we can all be asset builders to young people in our lives.

1. Ask a young person what their opinion is on something. It can be in relation to an important global issue, a recent movie they have seen, or something more personal to their life. Adults and young people alike are more likely to engage in a conversation when someone is interested in what they have to say.

2. Ask them to help you. I know nothing makes me feel better than to know that someone needs my help, young people can gain that same self of empowerment and self confidence from being asked to help out with something. Anytime two or more people work together on a project is a great opportunity to make a meaninful connection!

3. Give them your undivided attention. This one is HUGE and not as easy at it sounds to pull off. Anytime a caring adult can sit down with a young person and give them their undivided attention it sends an important message: You Are Important To Me! In order for this one to be successful it requires, one on one time, no distractions (turn off the tv, radio in the car, and put down that phone!), and a good listening ear!

Enjoy your week and have fun supporting and encouraging the young people in your life!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December is HERE!

We are officially in the countdown to Christmas. Over the next few weeks many families will be enjoying (or enduring) Christmas Concerts, Christmas Parties, Christmas Cookie Exchanges and.... you get the idea. I know our family schedule is quickly filling up! School activities, family get togethers, and extracurricular events as well as work commitments make this probably the busiest time of the year.

My strategy this time of the year is to schedule in time to do absolutely NOTHING! Yes, that's right. I am blocking off afternoons and evenings to simply do NOTHING! How else are we going to have time to recharge, rest, and really enjoy this Christmas season? There are some commitments that we can do without. If you have the opportunity to "opt out" of one or two seasonal celebrations, I say GO FOR IT! Sit down, have a hot chocolate with your family, watch a classic Christmas movie, go outside for a wintery walk, wrap presents or make some cookies just for FUN!

Slow down this Christmas and take the time to ponder what it is about this time of year that is truly special for you and your family!

Enjoy the Holidays!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nice November!

This unseasonably warm November weather has got me in a very good mood! We have a few more days of pleasant weather in which to go for walks, bike rides, barbecue, clean up our yards and even hang Christmas lights if we are really organized! How are you enjoying this stretch of great weather?

How was your Halloween? Our kids didn't even need to hide their cute (or creepy) costumes under a snow suit this year! I hope you enjoyed walking around your neighbourhoodd, talking to your neighbours and enjoying a fun (and spooky) holiday!

As we prepare for the next holiday season reember to make the most of sunny warm days, down time with your family and take the opportunity to connect with your community when the opportunity arises. If you are looking for an opportunity to give back to people within your community who might not be looking forward to the Christmas season, get in touch with Tina at Christmas Elves. In addition to donations of food, baby items and unwrapped Christmas gifts they are always looking for volunteers to make Christmas brighter and more joyful for those less fortunate, right here in Beaumont!

Take care and remember you ARE and ASSET BUILDER!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Building Assets in Our (and other) Kids!

Wow, hard to believe we are almost half way through October! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend! This seems to be perfect timing to talk about Asset #3...Relationships with other Adults.

When we are surrounded by friends and family during a holiday weekend like Thanksgiving, we are keenly aware of the importance of the relationships in our lives. Even if we are involved in a long term committed relationship, the majority of people have a much larger network of friends and support. The same need for more connection, support and relationships holds true for children.

As our children become older and develop interests along with their gifts and ablities, the time is going to come that we as parents are unequipped to be everything that our child needs. We see evidence of this when they have music teachers, coaches or instructors that have expertise more specialized than what we posess. Time spent with these kinds of people can offer more than strictly technical instruction. When young people have the chance to learn from, interact and be listened to by other caring adults in their lives they experience greater self esteem and connection to their community.

We don't have to look very far to see other options for these caring adults for our children to connect with. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbours and family friends are other people that can offer a listening ear or advice to your child. The more people in your child's life that offers unconditional support and some special attention helps build your child into a confident and contributing member of our community.

We can also be that extra support person to other young people in our lives. Take the time to get to know your child's friends, volunteer to coach a sports team or mentor a young person in your community and be that caring adult for other kids in your neighbourhood.

Have a great week and keep helping kids develop, one asset at a time!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Parents as Asset Builders...Positive Family Communication

There is much to be said about Positive Family Communication, this is such an important Developmental Asset. Here are some ideas I want to share with you.

1. Teach your children the language of emotion. Help them to describe how they are feeling, this will help them understand how they are feeling and communicate those feelings to you, their parent.

2. If your child is feeling angry, sad or really excited try to find out why. If they don't want to tell you why, make sure you know that you are there for them and will be ready to listen when they are ready to share. Sometimes pushing your child to share when they are not ready can do exactly the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. Patience is key!

3. Remember eye contact. We all know how it feels when someone we are talking to seems distracted or not really listening. It is every bit as frustrating and minimizing when we do it to our children. Get down to their level, take the time to really listen and let them know you really care.

4. Careful with jokes and teasing. What might seem like harmless fun from our perspective might feel very different from the perspective of our youngster. Watch carefully for signs that jokes or teasing is making your child uncomfortable or hurting their feelings.

5. Let the emotions of your child come out without judgement or shame. Scolding a child for crying or being angry simply teaches them their feelings are not valid and they should keep them inside. It won't stop them from feeling that way, only prevents them from sharing them freely. Even if you feel the issue is trivial, let them express their sorrow without judgement or feelings of shame.

Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Positive Family Communication. There have been hundres of books written on this very subject. These are some great starting points and ideas for places to start in creating an environment in your home, were communicationis honest and helpful. Have a great week and remember, everyone can be an asset builder!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Parents as Asset Builders....Building Assets in your child, one at a time

Most parents want their kids to succeed....the 40 Developmental Assets have been clearly shown to help kids do just that! Over the next several months I am going to be highlighing an asset or two here on the FCSS Blog. Describe what it is and how these specific assets can be developed in our kids. I'm starting out with the most obvious and straightforward, even though they might seem like commen sense to most parents I think they warrant highlighting. Here are all of the 40 Developmental Assets:

Lets start with #1 Family Support. For a young person to feel like they have family support means they have a safe home and family life. They feel like they are valued as a member of the family and would describe their family as a "safe place". Young people need to be around people that love, care for, appreciate, and accept them. The family unit regardless of what that looks like is the first and most important place a child should feel all of those things. We can all say we love our children...think about how your child knows that to be true. Think about how your child knows they are appreicated and accepted for who they are. Parents really set the tone for how these important components of family life are communicated and more importantly demonstrated. Telling your child you love them, listening to what they have to say about school, interests and life in general, and letting them know you appreciate all that they are and do are all great ways to build Family Support.

Remember, there are no "butts" in the 40 Developmental Assets! Be an Asset Builder Today!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Parents as Asset Builders

The 40 Developmental Assets have been proven to be key indicators of young peoples' success. Some of the indicators of success are lower rates of truancy, more tolerance to others and avoidance of the use of alcohol and drugs. The more developmental assets a young person has, the more likely they are to become a contributing member of their community and more likely to achieve their personal goals. So as a parent, what can I do to be an asset builder for my child?

Check out this video to learn more about Developmental Assets and their importance for youth!

For more information about becoming an Asset Builder for you Child. Come to the Parent Workshop Series on Monday September 20th at 7pm at the Beaumont Community Youth Centre. Phone 780 929 3327 to register or for more information.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Back in the swing of school!

Here is an interesting article that was forwarded to me. Really speaks to the importance of teaching children the importance of building healthy relationships. School is one setting in which this happens, however, Canada ranks in the bottom third of developed countries for bullying behaviors. Give this a read and let me know what YOU think!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Developmental Asset Launch Postponed

As you probably know the Developmental Asset Launch was postponed due to extremely poor air quality on August 19th. A new date has been set for this event with a few slight changes. The Barbecue will begin at 5pm and with the days becoming shorter, the movie will be starting slightly earlier. Everyone is reminded to bring either a lawn chair or blanket to sit on to make your movie viewing experience more enjoyable. Don't miss out on the BBQ, movie and other fun family activities!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More information about the Uncover your Assets Launch


If you would like to check out a trailer for the movie AVATAR click here!

More Summer events with Beaumont FCSS

While summer is the time for relaxation and taking things easy for many, the staff at Beaumont FCSS has been very busy planning and participating in some great family friendly events this summer. Mark your calendars for August 19th as the FCSS staff with the help of other Town of Beaumont Staff and community partners will be launching the Developmental Asset Initiative here in the Town of Beaumont.

The event starts out with a free community Barbecue then a variety of games and activities that the whole family will enjoy. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs because at sundown there will be a viewing of the critically acclaimed movie: AVATAR! Before the movie begins you will be able to enjoy a short film explaining developmental assets and the approach Beaumont FCSS staff will be taking to promote them in your very own community.

Leduc Radio will be broadcasting live on site, there will be a concession open during the movie for yummy snacks, and lots of acivities and games for the whole family to enjoy while learning more about the 40 deveopmental assets. This is an event not to be missed. So tell all your friends and bring the whole family down for this first ever event of its kind right here in Beaumont, Alberta. If you would like more information contact the FCSS office at 780 929 3327.

Add us on Facebook, search Uncover your Assets!

For more information about Leduc Radio click here! And for all your questions about the Town of Beaumont...you can link with them here!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Developmental Assets Approach

Happy Canada Day Everyone! I hope you have all been enjoying the fabulous summer weather in and around the town of Beaumont. There are some exciting events happening this summer. The FCSS department is hosting an outdoor summer BBQ and movie presentation of AVATAR! We will also be showin a locally filmed and produced documentary that explains what developmental assets mean to some people right here in our own town. Be sure to check out a variety of asset building acitivites that are also set to take place on August 19th!

If you would like a sneak peek of the actual list of developmental assets, here it is! Check back here over the summer for interesting ideas on how to promote developmental assets in your family, neighbourhood and community! Stay cool out there everyone! And be sure to Uncover you Assets!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Summer Time Fun!

It's official...Summer is here. With only a few days of school left, we are facing another season of summer! There are many family friendly programs and events planned in Beaumont this year, so stay local and have some fun this summer! If you are looking for some fun at the S&D Aquafit Centre this summer check out their brochure. There are a variety of events happening on Canada Day, check out the Triathalon being held at the S&D Aquafut Centre. For a full listing of events on Canada and their location check out the Google Map special Website! Throughout the summer the Parks and Recreation Department will be running a variety of programs to entertain and engage youth of all ages!

Later in the summer the Family and Community Support Services will be holding a very special event to help inform Beaumont residents about the Developmental Asset Survey Results! A fun filled day of family events, an evening showing of a movie in addition to other activities is planned for August 19th, so mark your calendar and be sure to check back here for more information leading up to this event!

Have a great week everyone and see you back here in July!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Spring Everyone!

Well the weather is warming up...things are starting to get green. I think it's safe to say that spring is here!

It has been a really hectic couple weeks for me doing, learning and sharing FCSS stuff over the last few weeks.

I attended a training session developed and facilitated by the Impact Society. H2 is the next phase in the HEROES curriculum that we (the Beaumont HEROES team) is currently delivering to grade seven students at J.E. la Pointe school. The feedback from the HEROES program has been overwhelmingly positive. Students and teachers alike are seeing the difference this program is making in the lives of students and in the school community at J.E. Very exciting stuff. If you would like more information about how to become a HEROES instructor contact the Impact Society in Calgary, more volunteer instructors would allow us to deliver the program to more students throughout the year right here in Beaumont. To discuss the possiblity of becoming a part of the Beaumont HEROES team call Kim or Jenny at 780 929-3322 or email jenny.kash@town.beamont.ab.ca

Next up was a two day workshop on the topic of Solution Focused Therapy. I have always utilized some of the concepts of solution focused therapy in my work with youth and families. However, I have a new understanding and respect for its usefulness not only working with individuals, families and youth, but also the potential in working with different groups as well. If you are at all interested in learing about Solution Focused Therapy, check out Solution Talk and Nancy MConkey who I have had the privelege of studying under for two separate workshops. Fantasitc facilitator, highly skilled and knowledgeable in the area of family counseling and working with school boards and so much more. Check out her link (provided) for more information.

The end of last week wrapped up on a high note. I had the great opportunity to attend (along with several others from the Town of Beaumont FCSS, local teachers and students) Thrive Canada's National Conference out in St. Albert. St. Albert has really shown themselves to be leaders in the areas of positive youth developemt and helping to build kids 40 Developmental Assets. The two days that I was able to attend were filled with valuable programming ideas, inspiring stories and dynamic speakers who are leaders in the area of child and youth work. Check out the links to learn more about this area of research and keep it here at the FCSS blog to keep informed about the upcoming programs, events and community development ideas to help Beaumont become a town that celebrates the success of its youth and offers many opportunities for its young citizens to thrive!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What's Happening in Beaumont?

Have you heard about concern over the "PATH" near EBCHS? If you would like more information check out this article recently published in Beaumont News. If you would like to voice your ideas for a solution to this problem the topic will be discussed at tonight's Council Meeting at Beaumont Town Office. Check out the town's website for more information.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Upcoming Child and Family Fun Fair

Mark this date down in your calendar! Check out all the fun activities for your family to enjoy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Is it Spring or Winter?

Sometimes I wish Mother Nature would just make up her mind. It starts to feel like spring and then wham...we get more snow and cold! I'm thankful for the moisture that this late snow brings, but would be equally happy if it came down as a nice gentle rain! Regardless, its March and this means the end for some sports; hockey, ringette, figure skating, indoor soccer, gymnastics etc. are wrapping up for the season.

What are you most looking forward to this spring? Getting out in the yard, going for family walks, outdoor soccer season, or maybe it's getting back out on your bike that gets you excited at this time of year. I'm thankful for the longer daylight hours, warmer weather(on the days we get some), and the knowledge that this spring, my family is opting out of organized activities. I am really looking forward to family walks with our dogs, bike riding, and doing activities like swimming, playing soccer, foot ball etc. as a family and on our own timetable. If you're like me and are looking forward to some "down-time" as the weather warms up drop me a line or share a story of how it has impacted your family in a positive way!

Don't forget our Family Parent Workshop Series is still going strong. Our next installment is April 19th at 7pm at the Beaumont Community Youth Centre. The topic in April is Learning Disabilities and your Child. Come out for an informative evening, enjoy some time with other parents from your community, and have your questions answered about this important topic.

Till next time,


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Parent Workshop Series: Healthy Anger

Be sure to mark March 15th on your calendar, in your day planner or enter it into your electronic "brain" aka Blackberry or digital organizer. Beaumont FCSS will be offering the next installment of the Parent Workshop Series. We head back to the Beaumont Community Youth Center and our regular day: the third Monday of the month. The presenation will be facilitated by talented staff from the Early Childhood Resource Program. The purpose of this workshop will be helping your children channel their anger in healthy ways. Don't miss out on this valuable learning experience that will impact everyone in your family. Child minding can be made available. Please call to register and come out to this informative and helpful session.

Monday, February 22, 2010

February has been Fun! (and Fast!)

Here we are in our final week of February. Where has the time gone? We have celebrated Valentine's Day and Family Day. And last week FCSS hosted a very informative parent information session about preventing eating disorders and promoting a healthy body image in our children. For more information about this topic check out Me Without Measure an Edmonton agency committed to promoting healthy eating and body image in young people. The guest speaker Michelle had so much valuable information for all of us parents and community members in attendance.

Tonight is the next installment of Parents Empowering Parents. A support group aimed at helping parents of youth and young adults that are struggling with addictions and or drug abuse. Even if you are concerned that your youth might be using alcohol or drugs, please come out for an informative and supportive evening. I have included a poster with some more information and the most current meeting dates for 2010.

Enjoy what's left of February and like always if you would like more information about programming for youth and families within the Town of Beaumont, please drop me a line or give me a call. 780 504-5969. Have a great week!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Next installment in the Parent Workshop Series

Are you interested in your child developing a healthy self body image? Worried about images in the media and the overwhelming pressure to be thin in our society? Join us on February 17th for a Parent Workshop that will discuss and explore these concerns and more. (Take note of the new location: S&D Aqua Fit Meeting Room.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Images from Haiti

Helping in Haiti

I can't seem to get Haiti out of my mind. It's more than coverage on TV and radio. It just seems unreal, the devastation, the loss, the chaos. While nearly 1/3rd of the entire population is reported to being affected by this earthquake, there are stories that provide hope. Assistance, supplies and people have been arriving in Haiti since the earthquake last tuesday. Even here in Canada, where many of us may seem insulated form this terrible situation, we can help in very important ways. The need for help is great and diverse. In addition to the immediate situation of life and death, long term assistance and rebuilding will also be needed. I have included links to a variety of information links and sites to organizations that are providing aid. If you are able, please help in whatever way you can.

The Red Cross: This link to the Canadian Red Cross provides information about how to help and the current status of the situation in Haiti.

World Vision: A humanitarian organization that has been doing incredible work in all parts of the developing world. This organization has been in Haiti for many years and is working hard to help with the devastation in the aftermath of the earthquake. This group of dedicated individuals will be staying in Haiti on a long-term basis and helping with the rebuilding of homes, schools and communities.

Eight things to keep in mind about Haiti: This is an interesting blog post that explains botht the current situation in Haiti as well as some interesting information about their history and their future needs as a country.

Partners in Health: This organization has been working in Haiti for over 20 years. Check ou their link for more information on the current crisis and ideas on how to best help the people in this country.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Next installment in the Parent Workshop Series

With the start of the New Year, comes Beaumont FCSS's next installment in the Parent Workshop Series. Please join us on January 18th for what will be an informative session for parents with children of all ages. Check out the poster here and phone Jenny @ 929-9271 to register for this event.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010: What kind of year are you going to have?

Isn't January great?! I know for many the weather leaves something to be desired and the excitement of Christmas leaves some people leaving flat at this time of year, but I like to think of January as a blank slate. We get to start fresh again have a "do-over" so to speak. What we do with this blank slate is entirely up to each of us. We can use the enthusiasm and potential of a new year to shed that feeling of being tied up in commitments, and busyness that has us going around and around in circles. In January we have the opportunity to make a conscious decision to change some of those patterns and habits. We can do this in small or big ways. Even if we can't completely re-organize our life, we can take on a completely new outlook or approach to doing the things that we do. When we focus on the many postitive things in our lives, we are more likely to truly appreciate them, cherish them and worry less about all the things we don't have. Like they say "attitude is everything" and lets make it a great one in 2010.

Happy New Year Everyone!