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If you’re anything like me, I’m on some level always feeling that I’m not spending quality time with my kids like I want to. But at the same time, I’m also somewhat incapacitated. Between work, the stuff on the calendar, and meeting the kids’ basic needs, I often collapse at the end of the day in one exhausted heap.

One thing we’ve started doing as a family is working outdoors together. From planting a garden to landscaping to planting new trees on our property, I’ve found it rewarding.

The nature of gardening and landscaping is that it is an ongoing process, not a one-time thing. You’re planting new life. It needs water, sunlight, and care. So at the outset, you’re committed. You’re going to get out there with the kids on a regular basis.

If you’re like me and can only handle so much (or not any) playing dollhouse or Star Wars light-saber fights or painful “Fine” responses as you try to engage your teen, this is a game-changer. I’m going to lay out 3 important lessons that getting outside as a family instills in your kids.

IMG_0012PATIENCE

Unless you were born with a green thumb, working with plants is going to take patience. You’ll need to learn how to plant and care for plant life.

Getting a garden started takes persistence and patience. It’s not done in an hour. You have to prepare the soil, plant the produce and herbs you are going to grow, and prune and water what you’ve planted.

It can be tedious at times. In a world in which research papers are as easy as a google search and in which 200+ tv shows and movies are at my kids’ fingertips on Netflix at any given moment, working outdoors is a valuable character-builder.

Not everything worth having, can be acquired quickly. Often those things of greatest value take time and patience. It’s not always as easy as Tweeting an acquaintance for a job recommendation. Sometimes it is, but I want my children to be prepared for the times when it’s not. For those times when waiting is required in order to see results.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF FAMILY

Your children know what is most important to you, by how you spend your time. Spending quality time with them will show them that they are important to you.

Working together with your spouse and kids will deepen the bond you all have. It will draw you closer. And this close bond will create trust.

When my girls are in the face of intense peer pressure, this foundation of trust will assure them I will always be there for them. That no matter what, I have been there and will be there for them.

Having a supportive and dependable family structure is vital for kids. These traits are indicators for success down the road. This falls on your shoulders.

HARD WORK

My kids are skilled at finding the path of least resistance. Left to themselves, they would play video games all day, never bathe or change their clothes, and never clean up after themselves. An onlooker may wonder if the chores we subject our kids to our actually physically painful to them, judging from the sighs and grunts that leave their mouths.

All that to say, diligence and hard work do not come naturally. In part, it is up to us as parents to help foster these quality traits in them. They may hate us for it at the time, but in the long-run, they will thank us.

The most effective way to teach your kids to have a good work ethic, is not just to force them to work hard, but to get in there and work with them. Set an example. Get your hands dirty. Show them how it’s done.

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CONCLUSION

Whether you are planting a garden in the spring or taking a Saturday morning to plant a tree to shade your front porch, these are projects that will guarantee family time and teaching opportunities in days to come.

Make the most of your time. Take advantage of those opportunities. You will blink, and these years will be passed. Slow down and determine what you want to instill in your kids now.

How about you? What benefits have you found from working outdoors with your family?

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Fresh back from the 2016 Outdoor Adventure Show in Toronto, I can report the attraction was designed with young families in mind and it really is a great place for Heads-Up Dads to spend Saturday with the kids.  It’s cost effective too. Adults pay $14, and children age eleven and under get in free.

There’s no sandbox, bumper cars or bouncy gyms here, and no food courts either, but the whole show is something of a play zone with every vendor offering up something cool for young people. The three-day exhibition has a wide array of adventure options for all age groups right there on the trade show floor.  Many booths have interactive games for 8-12 year olds, mostly puzzle challenges; smart dealers know they need to tie up young family members so they can talk shop with parents.

Here are some of the more interesting ‘youth engagement’ strategies I witnessed,

The Adventure Convention Organizers Included Activities for Young People

tradeshow passport for prizesThe show’s organizers had young families in mind when they created the Outdoor Adventurers Passport wherein kids can collect stamps (paw prints) from vendors for prizes at the end of the journey.  A completed passport could be turned in for both short term rewards and a chance of winning a much bigger prize later. The true benefit is for vendors of course as this tactic effortlessly draws in families with young children; this passport is an ice breaker with an easy greeting ritual and friendly exchange that makes it real easy to talk afterwards.

Everywhere I looked there were young people getting their adventure on; they were climbing rock walls, and in one corner of the show kids were zip lining between platforms overhead.  In this respect young people acquired a different perspective on the event than their parents.

Outdoor Adventure Show rock wall climbing

Kids climbing up the rock wall – photo by Rob Campbell

A Spinning Wheel Mesmerizes Kids and Dispenses Coupons to Parents

SpintheWheel1There were a couple Crown & Anchor wheels which had been repurposed into spin-the-wheel games for coupons.  The one on the right was operated by Tourism Toronto and dispensed SUP vouchers, gift certificates, coloring books and there was almost always a crowd of youngsters in front of this rig.

But the real pedestrian crush occurred in the main aisle just inside the front door where it bottle-necked around the Flight Center and a hot deals travel agency. If you were shopping for discount airfare for your next family trip then this was probably a good place to be. Regarding the crowd I think what happened was the new people coming in the door came up against the folks who’d been around once already and everyone jammed up on Main St there in front of Xcitelife.

Xcitelife is a Marketplace for Unique Experiences for the Whole Family

People could not get down the center aisle without encountering a list of fun things to do at Xcitelife; the booth attendants wore black shirts with red X’s. This is the company motif and the X stands for experience and not extreme. Their charismatic greeters stood near their company flags drumming up excitement for their experience marketplace and they signed up many influential new users.

Xcitelife at the Outdoor Adventure Show

Xcitelife asked families to make a Bucket List; their software helps decision makers source travel solutions in the coming months and years. Check out Earth Girl and another great profile from the show is Martin,  The new members wrote their aspirations on red paper X’s which they pinned to a dream board. The board soon displayed the collective vacation fantasies of the entire show and it was from this arena that a prize winner was eventually selected.

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Paul’s own Bucket List – photo by Rob Campbell

“Everyone wants to live an Xciting life, but too often folks get stuck in the ordinary” says Paul Peic. “At Xcitelife we’ve made it our mission to transform lives through experiences.”

There was no food court, but there was protein available at the show.

D&D Meats from Alliston Ontario, venison sausages

Kids love cured meat! D & D Meats were among the only food vendors at the show. There were granola bars and trail mixes in the survival quadrant, but this booth was the only meat option.  This family-owned cured meat shop from Alliston Ontario had a wide corner all to themselves, and were doing a brisk business selling beef jerky, pepperoni, sausages and kielbasa.

All day long people streamed through the crowded event eddying about in open areas of the trade show floor and milling around the central water pool.  This aquatic attraction was also called the Demo Pool and frequently had young performers showing off their skills in the latest model kayaks.

The crowd also collected in front of three live theatres where experts shared stories and advice. This author came upon the Adventures in Paddling stage just as the float plane touched down on Rabbitkettle Lake on the Nahanni River and a flat water paddler unpacked stand-up paddle boards for the whole family.

Rapid Media Best Kayak Reviews 2016 Paddling Buyer’s Guide, also SUPs, Canoe Reviews.

Adventures in Paddling theatre was surrounded by the latest model SUPs or Stand Up Paddle Boards, canoes and kayaks for sale, and on the far side of the opening stood the Rapid Media booth with giant posters displaying their magazine titles.

Kayak buyers guide, rapid media

2016 Paddling Buyers Guide – photo by Rob Campbell

Elijah Liedtke pointed out the 2016 kayak reviews and then he gave me an insider link to the online kayak reviews, paddling buyer’s guide. which is free and considered one of the big secrets of the show.

Kayak1sharablemoment2Rapid Media had some all-ages engagement strategies at play, and in the age of shareable moments the magazine title cardboard cutouts were really busy, especially the ‘Wild Women’ Adventure Kayak magazine cutout seen at right.

Rapid Media has done well in the paddling space with four popular magazines, Adventure Kayak, Canoeroots, Kayak Angler, and Rapid the whitewater magazine. These publications are gorgeous print mags filled with real life travel stories, photos, videos and professional gear reviews from expert paddlers all over the world. At the show the editorial staff were selling half price annual subscriptions.

Each of the three live theatres was sponsored by one magazine or another, and besides the paddling magazine one was dedicated to scuba diving and another to hiking; and the land trekking theatre was sponsored by Outpost Magazine, which is all about getting geared up and making long distance journeys across vast scenic landscapes.

Outpost Magazine at Outdoor Adventure Show

History Exhibits Tell Stories at the Outdoor Adventure Show

Iroqoius Village tribal experience

First Nations storytellers enthralled kids by relating the Voyage of the Iroquois. The area attendants were dressed in native Canadian regalia, and the walls of their particular open attraction were filled with images taken by passengers inside the giant twelve person canoes. These pictures are from summer trips that spend two or three weeks paddling the historic trade routes of the Voyageurs!

Kids could indeed soak up a lot of history from the installations at the show, and at one exhibit in particular there was displayed stone axe heads, arrowheads and spear points from the Stone Age. At noon in the Survival Theatre on Saturday there was an expert from Parks Canada who was able to show crowds how the First Canadians could hunt and kill great beast with primitive weapons. One guy seen below actually assembled arrows and spears in front of a live audience.

collecting arrowheads from native Canadian settlements

Kids of all ages love the Toronto Adventure Show and the best part are experts like this guy who share first hand knowledge.  This is a family show that’s fit for outdoor adventurers of all ages – more information about the 2016 Outdoor Adventure Show on Toronto Guardian.

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As a nanny, you learn to work in less than perfect conditions. Bratty kids, angry parents, broken homes are all par for the course. But what happens when you finally find that perfect family you’ve been looking for, or, in most cases, they find you? What does a perfect family look like?

A perfect family doesn’t mean just well-behaved kids or parents who give you a raise on a regular basis. It is more than that. Perfect families can come with both parents or single parents. They can come with one child or four children. What sets the perfect family apart is one thing: respect. The children have respect for you and for their parents. The parents have respect for you, their children, and each other.

Strangely enough, you’d think love would be the necessary element for a perfect family, but really it isn’t. Of course, working for a loving family is great, but just love isn’t enough. Without respect, the system falls apart. How many single parents have you seen that love their kids so much, but their children hate them? How many times have you seen a parent give into a child’s tantrum because they love them too much to see them suffer? Love isn’t enough.

Respect is an overused and under-utilized word. Many people talk about respect, usually for authorities like police officers and government officials. But everyday respect is important. By respecting those around you, you create a world where everyone can get along. Sure, you still have disagreements, but they can be worked through calmly instead of being turned into all out wars. There is nothing worse than working for a warring family. Inevitably you are stuck right in the middle of it. Worse yet, the children often are forced to pick a side, or choose to rebel and go off in their own direction.

Parents blame the nanny for a lot of things. Rebellion in their children is one of them. But rebellion in children is often a product of fear, and fear a product of feeling out of control, of not being safe. A parent’s job is to make their child feel secure in a dangerous and unpredictable world. A nanny can only do so much. It is up to the parents to create a safe environment for their children and respect is a huge part of that.

In short, a perfect family is not measured by how many children they have, how much money they have, or how much love they have. A perfect family is one in which everyone, inside and outside of the family, is respected. That is the type of family any nanny would be proud to work for.

Author Bio

Sara is an active nanny as well as an active freelance writer. She also helps in providing information on nanny jobs through her writing. Learn more about her Learn more about her here.

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How to financially support your child’s cost of living while attending University

by Daniel Somers February 5, 2012

With tuition fees alone for a three-year undergraduate course expected to reach £24,000 or more in the UK ($30,000 – $75,000 or more in Canada and the US) the cost of a university education for many may prove suffocating without some kind of financial aid provided by us as parents. Tuition fees are only the […]

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on Teaching Gratitude to Children

by Shirelle January 16, 2012

Hi Dads! I am so thrilled and excited to be here with you all, and to be able to write for HeadsUpDad. In fact, I feel so grateful about it that I think I’d like to write about Gratitude. Gratitude and Appreciation are enormously important qualities for parents to instill in their kids, but most […]

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Tips On Safe Toys For Children Under Eight

by Ruth Wilgress September 12, 2011

Canada is a very safe place to live and raise children. And it keeps getting safer and safer. Statistically there are not as many drunk drivers anymore, and hardly anyone I know smokes nowadays.  But that trend toward safety isn’t happening in kid’s toys. Buying toys comes with a lot of choices. There are so […]

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FLOWING WITH THE GOOD GUYS

by Richard Carmichael August 3, 2011

It was with great sadness that I read about the recent Norwegian terrorist attacks. A tragic ordeal for any country to have to experience, yet there was a point in the story where I found one Norwegian’s comment to be equally absurd as the attacks were cruel. A woman’s response to the killings was, “Why […]

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Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

by Christine S July 20, 2011

Waiting in line at the Scotiabank Theatre in downtown Toronto to see the latest (and final) film from the Harry Potter franchise, I was dumbfounded by the number of, well…adults in line to see the summer blockbuster. Granted, I was waiting for the 9:30 PM showing, and you never see too many kids downtown, but […]

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How to save money when having a baby…

by Maria Rainier July 14, 2011

Saving Money on Baby Having children can be expensive. When you’re just starting out with a baby, it can be easy to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on new baby gear, clothing, diapers and other necessities. Fortunately, there are many ways to save money with a little planning. I am expecting my first […]

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How to be “good” at waiting…

by Don Christensen June 29, 2011

  “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.” ~ Paulo Coelho Imagine never waiting for anything again. Ever. For sure, life would never be the same, but not for the reason you think. Realistically, to wait is to suffer. The suffering can come in […]

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Toxic Chemicals in personal skin care products?

by Richard Carmichael June 24, 2011

I have been doing a lot of gardening over the past couple of months and it has been great. Lots of fresh air, hard work and I am learning a lot. It’s killing my hands though. Shovelling, digging, gettting dirty, washing, getting dirty. Washing again has taken its toll. I use a lot of moisturizers […]

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How to: Urban Back Yard Farming for Rookies…

by Richard Carmichael June 24, 2011

What’s this world coming to? I have been thinking for the past few years that the amount of pesticides, herbicides and other toxic chemicals in food is getting out of control. Genetically modified foods, mass enterprise farming and the demise of the small family farm all over the world makes me sad. I read an […]

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Men’s Health : A Decade by Decade Primer

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day to each and every one of you! I sincerely hope that you enjoyed a wonderful day that was all about YOU! How appropriate to reach out to you now with a new post this month, because not only is June representative of Father’s Day, it just so happens to be Men’s Health […]

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8 Super Cool Summer Camp Ideas for Creative kids:

by Richard Carmichael June 16, 2011

Design Camp at the Design Exchange (Dx) in Toronto Every year as parents we scramble to find interesting stuff to engage our kids with over the summer holidays. For the lucky ones, its the trek to the cottage, for others it is a week or two away from the heat of the city up North […]

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How to Motivate Your Child…

by DanielaBaker May 28, 2011

without comparing him or her to others As a father, you have an important role in your children’s development. You can be a strong motivator when it comes to their intellectual, emotional and physical development. Unfortunately, many dads go about motivating their kids in the wrong way. They are excited to help their children grow […]

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Environmental Consciousness and Bargain Shopping: Intertwined

by Richard Carmichael March 16, 2011

A marriage of eco and commerce?? or just a more ethical way of doing business? We’ve all heard of Groupon, LivingSocial, Dealicious, Dealfind, Webpiggy, and a host of other deal of the day sites promising terrific savings on restaurants, botox injections and hair removal, but have you heard of ethicalDeal? (affiliate link) Do you think […]

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The Father Study…

by Richard Carmichael March 3, 2011

  Calling all fathers of newborns and children one year old or less… A study out of Loyola University and Erikson Institute in Chicago is looking for fathers of babies under one year of age to complete an online questionnaire about their experience of parenting a baby. This anonymous questionnaire takes about 20 minutes and […]

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Find your Whey to optimum muscle rejuvenation

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D February 16, 2011

Which “Whey” Do I Go? Just enough knowledge to choose the better protein for you! Before I knew any better, nothing was worse than walking into my local nutrition house for protein powder, to be bombarded by a multitude of gargantuan, colorful plastic barrels— all promising variations on the same theme: muscle growth, faster recovery, […]

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Tips to help your kids to the head of the class

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D January 7, 2011

Greetings my favorite Dads! I sincerely hope that you have each enjoyed a fabulous Holiday season and are looking forward to a happy and healthy New Year! You guys are typically the first on my mind when it comes to the various materials I compile to discuss on my blogs, and I know that we […]

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Teach Your Kids About Beauty With Lenzr’s Photography Contests

by Rob Campbell November 29, 2010

We’re often told that it’s not the destination, but the journey. Teach your kids how to find beauty in the unexpected, and it can prove to be an invaluable lesson for them. Growing up, one of the greatest things that my own dad has taught me is that beauty is in the eye of the […]

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Lest we forget…

by Richard Carmichael November 11, 2010

Graves of personnel from the Edmonton Regiment killed in the battle of Ortona, 7 January, 1944. We pause to honour the fallen on Remembrance Day “The lessons learned from these terrible conflicts must never fade from our collective consciousness,” Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell (Retired Colonel) My generation grew up in a world that was oblivious to […]

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ZERO TO HERO… One woman’s tale about male infertility

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D October 21, 2010

Dearest Dads, Well, it has been a while since my last post, and I do apologize. Professionally, I seem to always be busy, I’m sure we have that in common right? While it’s my mission to deliver as much fun and informative fitness chatter as I can to keep you healthy and fit, today I […]

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Fall Harvest – Turn Losses into Gold?

by JamieList October 12, 2010

The bad news is in, and the equity markets are up, but still down from two years ago this fall.  Investors are reeling from constant negative news, and are deeply concerned about the general state of the economy.  Some of these fears are well founded, as the world economy is going through a period where it […]

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When A Highschool Hockey Program Goes Hollywood

by Rob Campbell September 19, 2010

Educators will tell you that having a winning sports team can inject efficacy and enthusiasm into an entire student body. There’s a buzz in the halls, and a new energy in the classroom, because it’s myth making and on some level each school victory makes everyone feel special. Kids remember where they were when it […]

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Lenzr Photo Safari For Kids – 3 new photo contests for iPads

by Rob Campbell August 19, 2010

Challenge your kids with cool photography assignments! A great activity that will engage their creative side, develop new skills and give them something fun to focus on this fall. Visit Lenzr.com and choose a photography assignment. Lenzr challenges people of all ages and skill levels to upload specific images for a safe and friendly web […]

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Cardiovascular Health and You: How to shop for your Heart!

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D August 12, 2010

Hey favorite Dad of mine… I thought I might start this post with a bit of trivia… Most men love their stats right? But I bet you didn’t know that just over 30% of all deaths in Canada are attributed to cardiovascular disease huh? Ok, stop the depressing me Shawna!! (I know… I can hear […]

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Bet the Farm – Or Lock It In?

by JamieList August 4, 2010

I was recently asked by a client whether they should re-finance their mortgage, and if so, how should they do it. Since there is no way to predict the future, that is a difficult question to answer.  However, the most reasonable way to approach that question is to look at it from the perspective of risk.  […]

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Eyebrow Grooming: to pluck or not to pluck…

by Sean Beckingham July 25, 2010

Every day when you get up in the morning and every day before you go to bed, you look in the mirror and you don’t notice it. With each new day, like the great Glaciers, the two bushy areas above your eyes have been creeping ever so slowly towards mayhem. Then you see it. For  […]

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Management Fees – Are you paying for Bondage or Advice?

by JamieList July 15, 2010

Each year, Canadians decide how and where they will invest.  Other than asset allocation, the fees that are paid will likely have the largest impact on their account.  For some, fees will be paid to an advisor involved at some point in the process.  That advisor might be a planner or a broker who takes […]

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Eat Often—Lose Weight!

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D July 13, 2010

show it in, in messy fist-fulls, originally uploaded by mufftycub. Eat often and watch the pounds drop off… Sound too good to be true? Hi guys! I hope you’ve missed me! This busy trainer of yours has been flying by the seat of her pants! That’s not to say that I have not been thinking […]

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Yay—Summer is here!

by Richard Carmichael July 7, 2010

Yay—Summer is here!, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. Well, if you haven’t already noticed, summer is in full swing. Heat waves, power outages, traffic jams, highway construction, air conditioners, cold beer on the patio, burgers on the barbeque, weekends up at the cottage, beach time, camping trips, outdoor adventure, family fun, summer holidays! We have been […]

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Daughters gone wild—Tilt: The Movie

by Richard Carmichael July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day! And now for something completely different… Basically we’re looking for opinions (or information, or personal, real life experiences) about how fathers can connect with teenage daughters, especially when those teenage daughters are starting to get into things like drinking, drugs, or sex—daughters who have gone ‘a little wild. ‘Specifically, we’re hoping to […]

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Watch a Movie, Send a Kid to Camp

by Richard Carmichael June 25, 2010

At Hospice Toronto, where I was doing my original hospice and paliative care training, one of the presenters mentioned that the movie “Departures” would be really good for us to see in order to get more insight into the kind of work that Hospice is trying to do in our communities all across Canada. While […]

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Letters to my Father: Just a Word of Love

by AngelDavies June 20, 2010

On January 25, 2007 I lost my father, Christopher Davies, to spinal cancer. I think about him often, usually at times in my life when I don’t know what to do in a difficult situation and at times when I’d normally turn to him for his help and wise advice. Times like now. He was […]

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Fathers Day Tribute: Sunday Morning Rock Star

by Julie Keck June 17, 2010

Every Sunday morning at the Keck house, an epic battle was waged. No, it wasn’t my parents trying to drag my sister and me out of bed; we were up at the crack of dawn eating generic puffed rice (gag) and sitting in front of the TV watching the Three Stooges and wrestling. You know, […]

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This father’s day, we’re going fishing!

by Kim Samuelsen June 10, 2010

Do you remember when I’d write you poems like these for Father’s Day? And I was probably about 7 years old Dancing around when you’d come home from work… Ever since I was young, I have loved going on fishing trips with my dad, even if it meant getting up at 6AM. It’s been a […]

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Letters to my Father, a Fathers Day Tribute

by Richard Carmichael June 10, 2010

Greetings to you a week from Father’s Day: Love your Dad? Despise him? Miss him? Want to reach out and say something in a public place to reward his greatness, let him know what’s on your mind or even the score? Have something to say but can’t because he is gone? This month, we wonder […]

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Lenzr Celebrates 50 Year Old Dads In Time For Father’s Day

by Rob Campbell May 29, 2010

The 50 Going On 15 photo contest on Lenzr is set to collect, display and eventually grade a wide selection of photos of people, mostly men over 50 years old doing outrageous things like they were still teenagers. Is your father or anyone you know between the age of fifty and sixty years old? Do […]

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3 Fat traps to avoid on the job…

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D May 29, 2010

You may not believe it, but your job may be weighing you down. Learn how to master these Fat Traps and you will thank yourself for it. Hello Handsome! I hope this post finds you and all of my favorite dads well and happy! Maybe you guys have noticed that my previous posts all had […]

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The Child Care Expense Derby

by JamieList May 18, 2010

My wife and I earn similar (but variable) incomes, and so each year we engage in what we call the “Child Care Expense Derby.”  We have the government to thank for that.  Every year I am a bit suprised by who it goes to (“and the winner is…”), but I am glad for the opportunity to […]

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3 safe and healthy ways to decrease body fat

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D May 17, 2010

Do you want a tight and ripped body? Read on to learn 3 Safe and Healthy ways to Increase Muscle Mass and Decrease Body Fat I purposefully did not include these “muscle builders” in my discussion of healthy supplement options for you, because talking about muscular performance, endurance and muscle repair truly deserves undivided attention. […]

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Mothers Day Gift Ideas at HeadsUpDad

by Richard Carmichael May 7, 2010

MothersDay.at.headsupdad, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. With Mother’s Day bearing down hard (this coming Sunday fellas) many of us busy Dads cringe at the thought of it. Not that we don’t love our moms and significant others, we all do, but the fear that grips us as we start to think about what to get is […]

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Sustainable Family Fun in Toronto: The Evergreen Brickworks

by Richard Carmichael May 3, 2010

Brickworks_DV107, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. The weatherman was not so sure about how the day was going to unfold, but this gang of boys and one girl was not to be dissuaded by the weather map’s ambiguity. It was Saturday afterall, and the weekend warrior’s eco-adventure awaits. Another opportunity to seek out a deeper connection […]

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Protecting your Estate: Where there’s a Will…

by JamieList April 28, 2010

To love what is lovely, but will not last There are a variety of things that we don’t like to do. Taking out the garbage comes to mind, as a task that is unpleasant, but absolutely necessary to the proper functioning of a household. So it is with a legal Will. Many families, particularly young families, put […]

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Technology makes Private Schools better than Public Schools

by Rob Campbell April 24, 2010

New technology like iPads, smart blackboards and sophisticated social networking applications have made Ontario private schools into awesome educational facilities.  I recently attended a theatre performance at a private school north of Toronto that was preceded by a walking tour of the facilities.  As many of you know from reading my posts here, I’m a […]

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Where can your kids play soccer or baseball?

by Richard Carmichael April 23, 2010

Thinking of getting your son or daughter involved in an active summer, playing Soccer or Baseball in an organized community league? Not sure where to go or where to sign up? Heads Up Dad spotted this today and wanted to pass it along to you. The good people in the marketing department at Canadian Tire […]

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How Evergreen is Rehabilitating our Cities—Brick by Brick

by Richard Carmichael April 21, 2010

Evergreen Brickworks Toronto, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. Happy Earth day Everyone! In the spirit of tipping our hat to the place that gives us everything we need to sustain life, today’s post is going to relate to Environmental Stewardship of our planet. Specifically, the essential role we play as parents, cultivators and influencers of future […]

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Brandkarma – Social media on a mission

by Richard Carmichael April 15, 2010

Brand Karma was started in an attempt to help answer two basic questions – what kind of a world do you want to live in and what kind of a world do you want to leave your kids?  They’re important questions, far too important to leave to governments, regulators, experts and business leaders to answer […]

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Vitamins and Supplements for Optimal Health and Vitality

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D April 11, 2010

Are you looking to optimize your Health and Vitality? I’m sure you have heard it. There are those that believe that taking any extra nutritional supplement is a very quick way to flush down expensive urine, and that all that our bodies nutritional requirements can come from the food we eat. But vitamins and minerals […]

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Arts and Crafts: How to make coffee filter flowers

by AngelDavies March 26, 2010

dancing the breeze, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. Hello Dad! At last, spring is finally here and what a great time to enjoy everything about it – the warmth, the sound of birds singing, and buds appearing on the trees. It won’t be long before you see the colours of flowers appearing in your neighbours’ gardens […]

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Debunking 3 common myths about physical fitness

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D March 24, 2010

BeerBelly171, originally uploaded by Heavy Duty Bear. Time to get fit? Confused by bombarding fitness information? What’s truth and what is myth? I never knew my life as a trainer could be so rewarding and so much fun. I have incredible passion for my work, and after several years in the business, I can honestly […]

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Creative Frugal – Try a Lenzr Photo Safari with Kids

by Rob Campbell March 21, 2010

Sophisticated kids need stimulation. Some parents tell me their oldest boys and girls will ask ‘whats in it for me?’ when you propose family fun activities that don’t include shopping malls or Playdium type amusement centers. Nature is becoming an increasing tough sell as kids resent being unplugged for any length of time. I know […]

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Three Easy Steps to Put Your Fitness Routine in Gear!

by Shawna Hamilton B.A., BKin, H.D March 17, 2010

Spring has sprung, time to get in shape!, originally uploaded by HeadsUp_Dad. Spring has sprung! and with it, come the shorts, t-shirts and the bulges that have taken over since last summer… Do you want to get fit and in better shape but are not sure where to start? I’m not only an experienced, professional […]

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A natural approach to treating seasonal allergies

by DrErin March 11, 2010

318/365 Sneeze, originally uploaded by mek22. SPRING HAS SPRUNG!!! (gulp) While most of us are quite happy to wave farewell to Old Man Winter, for those who struggle with seasonal allergies or hay fever, the coming of spring is likely to bring anxiety and perhaps even dread.  Over the past few decades, allergies are on […]

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Timeraiser: Social Call for Social Purpose

by Richard Carmichael February 18, 2010

When times get tough, they get tough for us all. When money is tight and people just can’t scrape together cash to donate to their favourite charity, Non profits, NGO’s and local community support organizations who depend on donations from good people like you, fall short on their obligations or have to cut back on the […]

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Your RRSP and Long Term Wealth

by JamieList February 17, 2010

Maximizing Your RRSP RRSP’s are the central planning tool for many Canadians’ retirement objectives.  Say what you like, but the tax advantages of the deductible contribution are a powerful incentive to add to this tax-deferred investment vehicle. It is important to note that the RRSP is just that – a tax deferral.  Most Canadians understand […]

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115 things to do in New York with your kids

by Richard Carmichael February 16, 2010

Muppet WhatNot Workshop, originally uploaded by SummerSadie. I love New York. I have promised my almost six year old daughter that I will take her on an adventure there some day soon. I love the idea of the two of us hanging out in Central Park, shopping just for fun in a marvellous toy store, […]

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Kids, Residential Garage Doors and Home Security

by Rob Campbell April 4, 2016

Sometimes even the most agile Heads-Up Dads discover they can’t have nice things stored out in their garage anymore because with so many kids playing on the property, they can’t keep their storage areas locked and safe from thieves. Its a hard decision to tell kids they can’t play with the neighbors on the home […]

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Five Best Franchises for Familypreneurs

by Rob Campbell October 28, 2014

A familypreneur is an entrepreneur who runs a business with his family.  This means their business decisions are made while considering their family’s needs, and by considering how their enterprise affects their loved ones. A familypreneurship is born from a deep consideration of the opportunity available, and what limitations or expansion of the family dynamic […]

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Five Reasons To Plant a Fruit Tree With Your Family

by Rob Campbell March 24, 2014

There are probably a hundred or more good reasons to plant a fruit tree with your family, here are five.  Familial aspects aside, all of this falls into a greater green world order and general coming-of-age by an environmentally apologetic humanity.  The greenest people of earth are the children; they’re part of a hyper carbon […]

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Teaching Children about Arthritis in Dogs

by Ruth Wilgress November 14, 2013

Heads up Dad if you have a senior dog in your family’s home, you may wish to read up on these helpful tips to managing arthritis in dogs to make everyone’s lives a little easier. Raising awareness in children for a dog’s deteriorating physical state will help parents explain and hopefully prevent troubling behaviour. It […]

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