Third Annual CFK Parenting Conference – October 2007

On Saturday, October 20, 2007, Communities for Kids held its Third Annual Parenting Conference at the beautiful Sonora Community Centre in Osoyoos, BC. Forty-five participants enjoyed the opportunity to explore ideas on how to encourage and enhance the development of children from birth to age 6.

The day-long conference gave participants the choice of three workshops from important topics such as Understanding Child Behaviour, Kids Have Stress Too, Family Fun, Healthy Opportunities for Preschoolers, Cultural Values Today, Long Live Kids, B.O.O.K.S. and Healthy Teeth for Life. Linda Millar from Concerned Children’s Advertisers gave the key note address.

Fifteen display tables offered information on many aspects of caring for children, and wonderful door prizes donated by local businesses and agencies were given away throughout the day.

Participants not only enjoyed delicious refreshments and lunch provided by a local caterer, but were also entertained at lunch by Punjabi and First Nations children in their native dances.

Canvas tote bags containing valuable information as well as a book, stickers, crafts ideas, games, songs and activities were presented to each participant to take home.

Comments from the conference evaluation included, “Thank you for such invaluable planning and organizational work and effort”, “Can’t wait for the next conference”, “Fabulous”.

Workshops and Presenters

Key Note Address – Children and Media, Linda Millar

“There has been more technology developed in the last 15 years than the previous 5000, and if present trends continue,
this will double in the next 5 years.” Linda will talk about our changing world and will share ideas to help us guide our
children to make informed, safe and appropriate use of the media they are exposed to daily.

Understanding Child Behaviour, Bob Pushak

Do you wonder why your child acts up? In this session, Bob will help you understand how your child’s personality and
your parenting style may work together to calm down or to escalate a situation. He will also look at how your children’s
siblings, friends, classmates and the neighbourhood children contribute to behaviour. Finally, he will discuss what you can
do to help children be the best they can be.
Bob Pushak is the Director of Training for the Parenting Wisely program and a mental health clinician who specializes in
the treatment of children and youth with behaviour problems. Bob played a key role in the development of the Parenting
Wisely program and the Children in the Middle program. Both programs have been recognized by the Substance Abuse
Mental Health Services Administration as best practice programs in Canada, the United States, and Great Brittan. These
programs are very popular with parents and service providers. Bob received a 2006-2007 Premiers’ Innovation and
Special Achievement Award for achieving a fundamental shift in the way business is conducted that produces substantial
benefits for civil servants and society.

Kids have Stress Too! Susan Foisy

Stress is a normal everyday experience; however, too much stress can interfere with our ability to do normal tasks, and
over time can cause health problems. Children lack the life experience of adults and thus have fewer strategies to cope
with stress. By learning to effectively cope with life’s ups and downs, children will develop healthy strategies which will
help them adapt, be resourceful, feel competent, and become more resilient. Kids Have Stress Too is a program that
supports parents and caregivers of children from preschool to age nine to teach their children ways to effectively deal with
stress. The program is designed to be enjoyed through the sharing of personal experiences and skill practice.
Susan Foisy has been an employee of Okanagan Families Society for 21 years. Her diverse background includes:
Foster Parent Education Program Facilitator for the Central and North Okanagan; Youth and Family Counsellor;
Transition Suite Facilitator (youth gaining skills towards self-sufficiency); Transitions Facilitator (withdrawal management
program for youth); and Master Trainer for Invest in Kids, B.C. Susan believes that parents, as their children’s first
teachers, are very influential in the success of their children’s future lives. Susan is a passionate teacher who believes in
supporting parents to be the best parents they can be for their children.

Family Fun, Kelly Moog

This workshop will give parents the chance to experience arts and crafts from a child’s perspective. It will help parents
understand why the joy of making crafts for children is in the DOING, not the end product. Come and learn some fun and
maybe messy activities for your family to enjoy doing together.
Kelly Moog’s joy in life is children and family. Over the years she has worked with children and families facilitating a
variety of children’s groups and parenting programs. Currently she works with Communities for Kids as a Community
Facilitator, is a CAP-C Family Support Worker, and a Roots of Empathy facilitator.

HOP (Healthy Opportunities for Preschoolers), Jen Westnedge

HOP is based on the belief that all children benefit from daily physical activity that promotes health-related fitness and
movement skills. In this 2 ½ hour workshop, you will experience a blend of theory, discussion, and practical, interactive,
hands-on activities that integrate physical activity, literacy, and healthy eating concepts for children 3-5 years old. Come
ready to learn and play! Please note: This workshop will be presented over two sessions in the afternoon.
Jen Westnedge
is a Master HOP Trainer for the University of Victoria and for Literacy, Education, Activity and Play BC
(LEAP BC). As a trained teacher, she has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the areas of physical activity and
literacy. In her dynamic workshop, Jen will demonstrate how several areas of children’s development (such as physical,
social, language, creative, and intellectual) can be integrated to create powerful learning experiences.

Cultural Values Today, Kelly Terbasket

Have you wondered about how to help children understand and appreciate their cultural background? Kelly will ask
questions and lead discussion to help you talk with children and show them who they are and where they came from. No
matter what your cultural background, this session will help you think about how past and present experiences, language,
and other factors work together to form our identity.
Kelly Terbasket, the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Regional Coordinator for the Aboriginal Peoples Family Accord
(APFA), is from the Lower Similkameen Indian Band and currently resides in Cawston, BC. Kelly is responsible for
developing an ECD plan in preparation for the transfer to Aboriginal management of programs that are currently delivered
by the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). Prior to this position Kelly was provincial ECD coordinator
for the BC First Nations Head Start program where her primary role was to support communities in their program
development and implementation. Kelly received her Degree in Social Work from the University of Victoria and recently
completed the Executive Coaching Certificate from Royal Roads University. The bulk of Kelly’s 20 year work experience
has been in the community development field with an emphasis on health, education and early childhood development.

Long Live Kids, Linda Millar

“If present trends continue, we could be the first generation of parents whose children’s life expectancies may be shorter
than our own.” If this statement concerns you, it should. This session will look at childhood obesity and related, chronic,
preventable disease as participants are introduced to tips, tools and strategies to help children eat smart, move more and
be media wise.
Linda Millar is an international writer and speaker, and is presently the Educational Consultant for Concerned Children’s
Advertisers. As a retired educator with over 30 years of classroom experience (and as a parent for almost as long) Linda
recognizes the challenges facing educators and parents today as they help children navigate their way through their
growing years. With over 20 years in the positive prevention field, Linda has an interest in the issues that affect children
today and in the future. As a former “Teacher of the Year” award winner, Linda has a true passion for children and is
always excited and enthusiastic about sharing appropriate, solution-oriented tools to help kids be media and life wise.

Books Offer Our Kids Success (B.O.O.K.S.), Pat Buckland

Parents and care providers are encouraged to use BOOKS ideas to make reading even more enjoyable for children. It is
the best way to ensure a love of reading that will last a lifetime. Pat will showcase books that are fun for children ages 0-6
and participants will complete a craft relating to one book.
Pat Buckland has been involved in adult and family literacy since 1987 and with Communities for Kids since 2003. She
believes reading is the best activity in the world and encourages parents to read to their children from a very early age.

Healthy Teeth for Life, Karl Gunderson

Tooth decay remains five times more common than asthma in children and adolescents. Only the common cold, the flu,
and ear infections occur more often among toddlers and young children. This presentation will provide an opportunity for
participants to learn about early childhood tooth decay and how it can be prevented through nutrition and oral care. The
Public Health Dental Program will also be discussed.
Karl Gunderson has been in the dental field for the last 10 years. He has worked throughout British Columbia, but has
made Penticton home since 2002. As a public health dental hygienist, Karl’s primary focus is on prevention of decay in
young children by focussing on the actions of parents and caregivers. He has two children and is married to his dental
hygienist wife.