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Parenting in Muskoka


“Parenting in Muskoka” is a place where you can come and gather tips and strategies to help you raise kind, caring, resilient little people.

Bloggers will include MFF Parent Education Facilitators who bring a variety of experience to this role, and staff from our community partner agencies who will share information about the services available to families in Muskoka.

This blog is made possible through a grant from the Muskoka Community Foundation.  We appreciate the work they do to increase programming available for families in Muskoka.

What Can You Expect?

Parenting is the hardest job you will ever have.  All the clichés are true – time flies, the days are long but the years are short, it takes a village – our goal is to be a part of your village.

There will be bi-monthly posts that will address current issues in parenting.  You might have questions about typical childhood development, when to start feeding your infant or how to keep kids busy during summer vacation.

You might be wondering what supports local agencies provide or what programs are available for families in Muskoka.

Parenting in Muskoka will give you another forum to gather information and find resources.  You will also have an opportunity to ask questions and influence the content of future posts.

I Didn’t Know What I Didn’t Know

Parenting is also the only job you will ever have that involves no training.  I remember going home from the hospital and thinking “why are they letting me take this little being home with me?”

There was an expectation that after the baby arrived in the world, I would know exactly what to do.  I would know how to satisfy the baby’s needs and make her stop crying.  And that my knowledge would grow with her; somehow I would know all about the needs of a toddler, preschooler, school-age child and a teenager.  And somehow I would know what behaviours require discipline and what behaviours I could just overlook or enjoy…for the next 20 years!

Parent Education Then

Thankfully, I happened upon Barbara Coloroso, Faber and Mazlish, Debra DeWitz, and Mary Sheedy Kurcinka!  One thing I know for sure is that they helped me to be a better parent.  The skills I learned from courses offered by Muskoka Family Focus and based on the teachings of these gurus, shaped who I became and how I performed this most important job.

When I was a young mom, the challenge was finding parenting information.  Now, I think the challenge has shifted.  There are so many different “experts” on every topic under the sun.  There is so much pressure on parents to be “perfect” and to live the lives they see others living on social media.

The “Perfect Family”

Facebook and Instagram show the perfect children in the perfect families in the ever so clean homes.  Pinterest shows all the crafts and activities parents should be doing with their children, as well as the amazing dinners and celebratory cakes you should be preparing.

When my children were young, I was looking at the house “across the street” and wondering how come that mom had it all together and my life was so messy.  I think social media has amplified that feeling, because parents are now looking at photos from inside people’s homes and on vacations and from their activity-filled weekends.

Every picture shows a happy family full of laughter and adventures, not the mornings when you can’t get your kids out of the house or the days when lunch has gone flying across the kitchen or the laundry pile and living room full of toys.

Parent Education Now

One thing that hasn’t changed is that when parents gather, they quickly learn that they are not alone.  The “perfect family” does not exist and while other families may not be experiencing the same challenges at the same time you are, there is great value in sharing stories and learning from each other.

There are new parenting gurus and courses now.  In fact, Muskoka Family Focus is currently offering Bounce Back and Thrive for the first time in Muskoka.  The facilitators and I are so excited after completing the training, that we couldn’t wait to offer families this 10-week course on building resiliency.

Parenting in Muskoka Blog

Parenting in Muskoka will help parents navigate through all of the information available to find evidence-based resources to help you make informed decisions about what works best for your family.

We will have a section for resources and supports.  We will share our stories and help you navigate through all of the information available.  You will have space to ask questions and make suggestions for future posts.

Check back often to see what’s new!