• Encouragement is the process of focusing on your child’s assets and strengths in order to build their self-confidence and feelings of worth.
  • Focus on what is good about the child or situation.  See the positive.
  • Accept your children as they are.  Don’t make your love or acceptance dependent on their behaviour.
  • Have faith in your children so they can come to believe in themselves.
  • Let your child know their worth.  Recognize improvement and effort, not just accomplishments.
  • Respect your children.  It will lay the foundation of self-respect.
  • Praise is reserved for things well done.  It implies a spirit of competition.  Encouragement is given for effort and improvement.  It implies a spirit of co-operation.
  • The most powerful forces in human relationships are expectations.  We can influence a person’s behaviour by changing our expectations of the person.
  • Lack of faith in children helps them anticipate failure.
  • Standards that are too high invite failure and discouragement.
  • Avoid subtle encouragement of competitions between brothers and sisters.
  • Avoid using discouraging words and actions.
  • Avoid tacking qualifiers to your words of encouragement.  Don’t “give with one hand and “take” away with another”.
  • The sounds of encouragement are words that build feelings of adequacy:
    • “I like the way you handled that.”
    • “I know you can handle that.”
    • “I appreciate what you did.”
    • “You’re improving.”
    • “It looks as if you worked very hard on that.”
Stranger Awareness
The term "stranger" is often a difficult one for children to understand.  It is a simple case of if the person(s) is not a family member or trusted friend, or, neighbour; they are a stranger. To many children, strangers are people they do not know, whose appearance is frightening, ugly, or dirty.  They also think strangers are men.  It is important to explain to the child that a woman and even another child (teen) can be a stranger.
Many children are abducted every day by "nice clean looking people" or "harmless looking" people without whom they are acquainted with. Parents should be ever vigilant in warning their children about strangers in general terms and not in some descriptive category. They should teach their children to recognize potentially dangerous situations and avoiding them at all costs. The following are some rules for safety you should be sure your child understands and follows regularly:

[bullet] Teach your child to be aware of his, or her, surroundings and the behaviour of the people around him or her.

[bullet] Teach your child not to be too trusting. Strangers who tell your child they were sent by his parents are not to be believed. You might consider setting up a "secret code word, password, or phrase" with your child to ensure they go with someone who has been authorized by you in the event you need someone to pick up your child. It is also your responsibility to call the school, or daycare, if you are sending someone else to pick up your child. Make sure your child knows to go back to the school office if the person picking them up does not know the password.

[bullet] Teach your child not to accept gifts from strangers and to avoid being alone with overly friendly adults who try to touch him or her in any way. One ploy is for the offender to seek the assistance of a child to find a lost puppy. Teach your child not to go with anyone no matter what the reason.

[bullet] Teach your child to avoid playing alone in deserted areas.

[bullet] Teach your child to report any suspicious behaviours he witnesses or experiences.

[bullet] Teach your child to use the buddy system when using public facilities such as the restroom.

[bullet] Teach your child to run in the opposite direction if a car is following him or her.

[bullet] Teach your child to seek help from "helpful strangers" such as Safe Parents, store clerks, police officers in uniform, firemen in uniform, bus drivers, or other reliable authorities when in danger.
Answering the Phone or Door
All the rules about strangers hold for answering the phone or the door when your child is at home. It is most important when your child is at home alone. Here are some safety tips that should be followed:

[bullet] Lock all doors and windows when you leave.

[bullet] Never answer the phone by saying your first or last name.

[bullet] If a caller asks your name, ask them who they wish to speak with, if they cannot name someone in your family, hang up.

[bullet] If a caller asks, "What number is this?" ask him what number he is looking for.

[bullet] Never let a caller know you are alone. Tell him your parents are unavailable to come to the phone and take a message.

[bullet] Never give your address over the phone.

[bullet] If you receive a rude, or, obscene phone call, hang up right away and push star (*) 69 to find out where the call came from. When the operator tells you the number, write it down.

[bullet] Never agree to purchase anything over the phone.

[bullet] Always ask, "Who is it?" before answering the door. If you do not know the person, do not open the door. If the person does not leave, call the police at 780 423-4567.

[bullet] Be sure all emergency numbers, including a reliable relative or friend are listed directly by the phone. Make sure you know how to use the emergency buttons on the phone for 911, but, remember only use it in an emergency.

Street proofing is an important lesson for children at all times. It is up to parents, educators and service providers to make sure our children are safe.

Falling Down Staircases

Stairs are among of the most frequent places for falls, but with a little preparation, these accidents are mostly preventable. It’s easy to restrict young children’s access to staircases through the use of fences or baby gates at the top and bottom entrances, but you should never leave a small child unattended around stairs — even gated ones.
  • Install staircase safety gates to prevent accidental falls for young children and pets. Do not use pressure-mounted gates on stairs, as they can slip under too much pressure.
  • Use safety gates at the doors of the children’s rooms to keep them from the stairs.
  • Attach a clear barrier such as plexiglass along banisters and railings.
  • Avoid accordion gates, which can trap a child’s head.
Secure heavy objects to your wall or remove them altogether. Every three weeks, a child dies from a TV Tip over. This should be a major area of concern around the house, especially if you live in an area at risk of earthquakes.
  • Attach furniture such as cabinets to the studs in your walls with furniture straps.
  • Utilize museum putty underneath all shelved items such as ornamental keepsakes to reduce the likelihood of those objects falling and breaking when bumped or shaken.
  • If you have a flat screen TV, consider a wall mount instead of a basic stand.
Electrical Safety Rules and Tips
Take inventory of your electrical landscape.  Locate all the reachable outlets and wires.  You’ll find many dangers if you crawl around in every room like a small curious child. 
Evaluate electrical safety product options.  Compare the pros and cons of various electrical safety solutions for your home.
Bloc outlets with sliding plate covers.  These covers are preferable to the plug in type, they may loosen, or fallout, and present a choking hazard.  Sliding plate covers screw into the wall and you can plug and unplug appliances as needed.
Conceal cords, there are many cable management products help keep wires as bundled, controlled and hidden as possible.  This will help to protect against wire entanglements.  Create an untangled, organized system using a mix of cable ties, wraps, covers and sleeves.
Hide your surge proctors and avoid the shock hazard of open outlets by utilizing power safety covers.
Unplug your electrical appliances when they are not in use.  This is particularly important in bathrooms, especially with hair dryers, curlers and electric razors.  Store them in a cabinet away from the water, with a safety lock, when they are not in use.  Installing ground fault circuits will lessen the likelihood of electrical injury if an appliance falls into the sink.
Always emphasize electrical safety and set a good example.  Babies will learn to stay away from loose wires and outlets if you are consistent and stern when necessary.  Make sure toddlers understand to never touch, or stick fingers, pens, etc., into outlets.
Automobiles and garages can both be extremely dangerous for children. In fact, vehicle-related injuries are the leading cause of preventable deaths and injuries to children in the United States. You can reduce the risk of child death and injury by as much as 71% by correctly installing and using child safety seats.  Here are some tips to avoid the many hazards in your garage and on the road:
  • Install mirrors in your garage to eliminate blind spots.
  • Do not leave sharp or dangerous tools lying around.
  • Unplug power tools and devices when they are not in use.
  • Use safety guards on all tools and if possible, lock them up and store them out of the reach of children.
  • Store paints, chemicals, poisons and cleaning products on high shelves and secure them in so they can’t fall off.

  • Get your car seat checked for proper installation by a certified child passenger safety technician. Some local fire and police stations provide free car seat checks. Also make sure it’s appropriate for your child’s age, weight and height.
  • Buckle up every time you drive! Lead by example by buckling your seat belt before you even start the car.
  • Do not allow your child to play in the car unattended.
  • Never allow your child to sit on your lap in a moving vehicle.
  • Kids should sit in the back seat until about age 13. This significantly reduces their chance of serious injury.
  • Never leave a child unattended in a car. Without exception, always take children with you no matter how quick a stop you’re making.
  • Keep loose items stored safely in compartments or pockets in your car to prevent them from becoming projectiles in the event of a car accident.

Sunlight and outdoor activity are both important for children and adults’ mental and physical health. Here are a few helpful tips to keep the smiles and laughter coming and minimize the risks and your worries.
  • When spending longer periods of time outdoors, be sure to regularly apply sunscreen. Even cloudy skies can cause sunburns.
  • Backyards are generally safer than front yards due to being more controlled environments and usually distanced from moving vehicles.
  • Fenced in yards offer increased privacy and protection from traffic, strangers and wild animals.
  • Keep a watchful eye on children, especially smaller children who tend to put everything in their mouths.
  • Having a secure, gated or fenced in yard to play in ensures that if children temporarily get away from your line of sight you still know they are in a contained space.

Agency warning of aggressive tax scam, millions stolen
The Canada Revenue Agency is warning taxpayers not to be fall victim to what has
become a popular and aggressive scam resulting in millions of dollars being stolen.

Representatives from multiple law enforcement agencies, banks and insurance
companies gathered on Thursday at CRA offices in downtown Toronto to send out a
clear message during tax time that if the phone rings, taxpayers should be on guard.
Read More
Organizing Financial Paperwork
Getting Organized
We’ve likely all thought about what we would grab should a tornado strike, a flood or fire threaten our home; favourite photos, the family pet or any number of nostalgia items. But what would be the most helpful as you try to reorganize once the emergency is over? What information do you need to have at hand if a disaster or emergency arises and your home becomes inaccessible?

The following document provides an outline of what information you should save and where it should be stored. A financial binder is a starting place for what documents you should have at home and what will be easily taken when you leave your home in an emergency.
Organizing Financial Paperwork