The Perspective from Here

Family and Kinship

The third Monday of February marks Family Day (in Ontario), and for some this means a long weekend.

How do you spend this day/weekend? Has it been traditionally a time you organize family events or is it just an opportunity for a day off? Do you take time to explore your family history or just savour time with those that live with you?

Family history has been a big part of my life, but lately I have been exploring the idea of family beyond the family tree and learning about "kinship". We hear the term "next of kin" which typically means closet relative but in studying kinship I have discovered the First Nations perspective of kinship meaning "relations". The Cree see kinship as a community raising a child; everyone is involved. With EarlyON, we are continually building community and recognize how important our relationship is with you in providing support, knowledge and friendship.

Many First Nations believe Kinship is also about belonging in a world of relations, that we are connected with all living things and have relationships with animals and nature. EarlyON is supporting this idea through our outdoor programming. We want to model to children a love and respect for all the nature offers us. We are so fortunate to live in Muskoka with access to nature so close to our homes. Gathering for a trail walk or playing in the park allows us not only to play outdoors but to connect and deepen our kinship with nature.

As for me, the learning continues. I love this idea of kinship and will enjoy spending this Family Day not only with my children but also in and with nature.

That's the perspective from here.

Stay well,
Pam Rennie, BA, BEd, RECE
EarlyON Registration
Although our programs remain free, registration is now required to ensure everyone’s safety. Please visit our website to complete the one time Participation Form. You will then receive a family code to use for all future registrations for our programs.
In-Person Programs
Check out our program schedule to see when and where you can find EarlyON's outdoor, in-person programming.

Playful Park - 9:30 - 11:00
Baby Trails - 10:00 - 11:30
Tobogganing Adventure - 9:30 - 11:00
Family INC. - 9:30 - 11:00 on Saturdays. Special guest, Lori from Arts Jam joins us for art activities in February!

Virtual Programs

Baby Talk - Tuesday's 11:00 - 12:00
Parent Chat - Thursday's 1:00 - 2:00
Mission to Happiness - 5 week parent workshop
Food for Thought - last Tuesday of each month
Little Picasso's - Monday's 11:00 - 11:30
Families must register for this event.
Food for Thought - February 22, 2022
Dr. Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC, IBCLC - breastfeeding specialist

Registration opens February 2
Space is limited. Meals will be provided to the first 25 families registered that live in Muskoka.
Bucket Filling from A to Z by Carol McCloud and Caryn Butzke
February is a month where we often talk about expressing our love and gratitude towards others. Bucket Filling from A to Z is a great book that explains the different ways to show gratitude and appreciation. Teaching children about bucket filling is imperative to teaching about emotional regulation and expressing their needs to feel "full", as well as how to help others feel "full".
EarlyON Team How We Fill Our Buckets
Pam - daily meditation and gratitude, being in nature and time with friends and family.
Caitlyn - feeling the warmth of the sun on my face, embracing nature, Early Gray tea, singing at the top of my lungs and spreading happiness
Sam - going for walks with my dog, listening to music and taking care of my plants.
Jenn - daily devotions and meditations bring peace and serenity. Friends, family, music and coffee bring so much joy
Roberta - spending time participating in intentional movement each day, no matter the struggle or worry movement always makes me feel better
Chris - spending time with my adult children and going for a walk
Christine - sleeping, reading a murder mystery or autobiography and taking a bath
Judith - doing my best each day, being open and curious. Daily meditation and gratitude while spending quality time with family and friends.
Carly - hearing my children's laughter, spending time in nature and trying a new baking recipe
Rachel - spending time outside with my family, being in nature makes me feel more relaxed
Sue - being grateful for the simpler things in life, going for walks, eating an ice cream cone, using a warm towel from the dryer, talking with friends
Top Dietician Tips for Picky Eaters
by Ashley Turner, Paedeatric Dietician
Picky eating for parents can be one of the most challenging and frustrating times. Parents tell me having a picky eater takes the joy out of family meals and the joy out of cooking. I have a lot of parents tell me they are so tired of fighting and fussing with their child at mealtimes it’s just easier to make them something they want. In the short term this seems like a solution but how long do you want to make separate meals? Until they move out of the house? Don’t worry we have you covered! If this all rings true for you, and you’re not sure where to start – read this article!

There is no one definition for picky eating. It is typically referred to as fussy, selective, or choosey eating. This can be an unwillingness to eat family foods or try new foods or very strong taste and food preferences. Long-term picky eating can lead to nutrient deficiencies, fatigue, poor growth, weight trajectory, or excessive weight gain due to inadequate nutrient intake and nutrient composition.

Key takeaways
  • Follow a no pressure and no bribery approach (SO hard, but remember, you decide when and what, they decide how much!)
  • Keep meal times to 20-30 minutes
  • Always offer one food you know they like
  • Get the family to help with grocery lists
  • Teach by example: eat at the table with your child, be adventurous with new foods, try them together!
  • No separate meals for family members
  • Ask for their feedback and include them in some of the meal planning
  • Make it fun!

Check out the rest of this great article here.
The Muskoka Home Child Care Agency is Recruiting Providers!
Are you interested in working with children while operating your own business from home? Would you like to earn a competitive wage, have a flexible schedule, and join a community of home child care providers delivering quality care to children across Muskoka?
If so, the Muskoka Home Child Care Agency (MHCCA) wants to hear from you!
Learn more about this exciting opportunity: www.muskoka.on.ca/mhcca
What parent resource topic would you like to see next?
Ways to provide purposeful play experiences?
Why is play important?
Would you like a copy of our monthly program calendar? Email us at earlyon@muskoka.on.ca and we will send you a PDF version.
EarlyON Muskoka | www.muskoka.on.ca/earlyon