What Kind of Future Do You Want for Your Kids? | Toronto Teacher Mom

What Kind of Future Do You Want for Your Kids?

Friday, November 12, 2010

This contest is now closed.
A winner has been selected.

As a French teacher, I often get asked by parents and friends with kids if they should enroll their children in French immersion. I find myself wondering the same thing now that my daughter is in kindergarten. In fact, we nearly enrolled her in a private French school last year but I backed out at the last minute. Did I make a mistake? I'm not sure.

You see, I'm not from Toronto. I never thought that in a million years I would ever live here. But then I met my husband and gave up my hometown. We found out we were pregnant just a couple of months after getting married and bought a house just before she was born. So many things had happened so quickly, I don't feel like I ever really adjusted. I've been living here for over 6 years and I'm still struggling to feel like I fit in, like I belong. I know people who have immediate family and friends overseas, and that it must be really difficult for them not to be able to take a short car ride to visit them. But it still makes me sad that I don't live closer to my family and childhood friends. It makes me sad when I think how very little time my kids get to spend with their only cousin or their maternal grandparents. It makes me so sad that I sometimes burst out into a helpless ball of sobs and seemingly endless tears. And yes, I'm sobbing right now.

As part of the Aquafresh Advanced Futures blog tour with Mom Central Canada, I have been asked to share my hopes and aspirations for my children's future. And as much as I'd like to say that I want to give my son and daughter the best education that money can buy, I won't. That would be too easy. Instead, I want the peace of mind in knowing that my children will be raised and educated in a community where they feel like they belong and with which they have a connection. So while I sometimes wonder if denying my first-born a private and "higher" education was in her best interests, I feel more reassured in my decision when I see the bonds that had been forged in her preschool years are growing stronger as she continues into grade school. I can breathe a sigh of relief as I witness my daughter's emerging personality traits and her definition of self becoming clearer. I feel justified knowing that I didn't disrupt her sense of comfort and belonging by breaking the links of relationships and familiar places.

So, to answer the question, I want more for my kids than to lead long, healthy lives. I want them to have more than a bright future. What I want is for my children to grow up with determination, a strong sense of self-worth and the skills to be critical thinkers. I want them to follow their dreams and let nothing hold them back. Whether it's becoming a teacher like their mother, learning how to trade stocks in the market or join the likes of Craig and Marc Kielburger to help less fortunate kids realize dreams of their own, I want them to not feel rushed or pressured but rather to be one hundred per cent certain that the paths they take are the ones they themselves yearn to follow.

What about you? What kind of future do YOU want for your kids?

Share your wish by visiting www.aquafresh.ca/contest for a chance to WIN a $10,000 RESP, courtesy of new Aquafresh Advanced! Wouldn't that come in handy? I know I'm a little late in sharing this with you but the contest doesn't close until November 30, 2010, so you still have plenty of time to enter.

But wait, I get to give away an Aquafresh Advanced prize pack to one of my readers, too. Up for grabs is a Philips Sonicare for Kids Toothbrush ($70 MSRP) and a sample of Aquafresh Advanced toothpaste. All you need to do to be entered in the giveaway is simple share a toothbrushing tip or trick for kids, such as make it a habit by including it in your routine and brushing for at least two minutes.

Contest is open to Canadian residents and closes on November 22 at 9 pm. Participants can enter on multiple blogs throughout this blog tour but are only eligible to win once.

Disclosure - I am participating in the Aquafresh Advanced Futures program by Mom Central on behalf of GSK. I received a sample of Aquafresh Advanced and gift card as a thank you for my participation. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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  1. If you start when they are really young it just becomes part of the routine. Getting them a toothbrush with one of their favorite characters and a fun kids toothpaste helps too. Read them a story while they brush and if they stop brushing, you stop reading until they start again. I found all of these things worked well when my kids were young.

  2. awwww. Great, great post. It's so hard as adults to move to a new city and figure out where you belong. Building a meaningful circle of friends is tough and it's even harder when you're a busy, busy mom!!

  3. Hi!

    I can understand you're feeling of not being near with your love ones. We migrated here 2 years ago, sometimes I feel sad bec. I missed back home.

    I'm afraid of my kids growing up here, not that it's not good here it's just that it's different back home. So as much as possible, my husband and I tried our very best to teach them values that we learned from our parents.

    I don't have friends or group that I belong here. As much as possible I avoid it. I have acquaintances nothing more. Maybe bec. I'm still adjusting considering time and I rather spend my extra time with my family.

    And blogging helps.

    You said it all, "What I want is for my children to grow up with determination, a strong sense of self-worth and the skills to be critical thinkers. I want them to follow their dreams and let nothing hold them back."

  4. to get my daughter to brush her teeth we sing the brush your teeth song and i let my daughter brush her teeth by herself.

  5. Let your child pick out their own "cool" toothbrush & toothpaste! That will make them want to brush their teeth more often then if they have a "boring" toothbrush & toothpaste!

  6. My daughter lets my granddaughter brush her own teeth while listening to the Brush Your Teeth song.

  7. We have a routine of brushing after every meal because I think it is the best habit to have for a lifetime!

    charmtime at gmail dot com

  8. I started my son at 5 months so he'll keep his mouth open for short times so I just have to be really fast and when I'm done I let him chew on the toothbrush.

    carrie_dodd at hotmail dot com

  9. I let my little guy apply his toothpaste to his toothbrush by himself. That way he’s more encourages to brush his teeth. Usually he does just that! With a bit of my help of course.
    jenyasha87 at hotmail dot com

  10. Wow! What a wonderful, wonderful post. I can appreciate your wish for your children, as I am an educator as well.

    As for my toothbrush tips, I have to say that I started Little One early. I got her used to the toothbrush even before her teeth were fully out! She actually liked the sensation of the toothbrush on her gums when she was teething! LOL! Now, she is the one who comes to ME and asks for her toothbrush. The kid LOVES brushing her teeth...and she only just turned 2!

    cg_lee121875 at hotmail dot com

  11. P.S. I thought I'd tell you that I'm from Toronto, but have left for a small rural community about 6 years ago! I'm starting to feel like I'm planting some roots here, but it doesn't totally feel like home yet. This post really hit home. Like you, I want my little one to follow her dreams and not let anything hold her back. Thanks for posting this.

  12. I found that the kids would always brush their teeth but it still didn't seem clean enough. They never brushed long enough. So a quick little tip I decided to try was I got a little magnetic timer that plays music. Stuck it on the cabinet and now when they brush they turn on the timer and brush untill the music stops. Since this the last 3 visits to the dentist for each of them have been cavity free. Even once the dentist said that one of them almost didn't even need a cleaning. I think it's great...

  13. I started early with my son as part of out routine. He watches Mommy brush so he WANTS To brush too (usually, he's a temperamental toddler). When he doesn't want to use his toothbrush it's normally because he's interested in mine. Having a second 'twin' toothbrush to my own has done the trick. I also taught him to spit recently (yes, only into the sink) and he things that is pretty cool. We made it a fun part to our day!

    arctic_teacher AT yahoo DOT ca

  14. I found that reminding them of the visits to the dentist and how well the dentist said they have been doing with their teeth seems to motivate them. now that they are getting older reminding them that brushing sure beats cavities lol helps, and these types of brushes makes it fun and they dont complain, and if you have a steady routine it becomes such a habit that no one really minds
    staceyx at telus dot net

  15. Have a favourite song playing in the background, and have the child brush to the beat of the song for the duration of the song!

    kstark9 at hotmail dot com

  16. To encourage my kidos to brush I purchase flavor friendly toothpaste and kid friendly toothbrushes. Using a timer helps them brush for the recommended time and floss picks are a hit in my house too. It is often hard to slow them down to brush so any new products for kids I generally try out. Keeping it interesting is a must for proper dental care in our house.

  17. I sing "Old McDonald had a farm" and create funny noises for the animals while the little ones brush. Routine is important and giggles are contagious.

  18. Brushing time is always a headache for some reason so these tips are great! Our trick is not really a trick nor is it fun, but being honest with your kids about what could happen if they do NOT brush their teeth always gets their attention.. We also have a fun little area for their teeth tools - funky colored flossers (that actually get used) and fun battery powered toothbrushes.. I would LOVE one of these for the kids..

  19. My kids, aged 4 and 2 want to brush their teeth constantly. We usually sing a song I made up when brushing but the best way we found to make it a habit was to make it fun (like, we GET to go brush our teeth, YAY!) and to do it all together, yes that means 4 of us standing around the same sink spitting at the same time. Luckily, no one has ever gotten spit on and our kids think brushing our teeth is almost as much fun as watching a movie and eating popcorn together!


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