Knock knock… who’s there?

                        As you think, so shall you become.   ·  Bruce Lee

The mind is very powerful and can effect our behavior and outcomes. We can choose to think in a positive way that will build our character and enhance our potential OR think negatively and feel like we are not good enough and unlikely achieve our dreams.

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Happiness is inside you!

Every time we turn on the TV or check our social media feeds, we are exposed to so many images of what our dream life, body, career,  should be.

We take these images and messages in and then we doubt ourselves. We may even believe (especially our kids) that without these things, we will never be happy. But the truth is that this is all a lie that brands have paid a lot of money to promote. As parents, teachers and caregivers it is our responsibility to counter balance this with a sense of reality and help manage our kids (and even our own) expectations of what happiness is.

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Technology to help report bullying

We live in an age where everything is swipe away. Virtually, there are countless apps (some useful and others not so much) to assist you in whatever you can think of. Thanks to the TCDSB, there is one more app to download, but this one can be a life saver for many youth. Bullying ranges from physical to virtual, but most often youth feel unsafe or uneasy to report a problem. Continue reading

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Thank you Edmonton Public Teachers Local 37!

Thank you Edmonton Public Teachers Local 37!  Your renewed support of the Kids Now self-esteem and leadership programs has helped Kids Now deliver 20 programs in the fall/winter of 2016/2017, and another 20 programs this spring. Our programs this school year will empower over 400 Edmonton middle school teens with important life-skills.  Your support directly helps youth to build their self-confidence, deal with peer pressures and bullying, manage everyday stress and set goals for a great future ahead! Continue reading

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Kids Now in Edmonton hearts Federated Co-Operatives Limited

Federated Co-Operatives Limited is, once again, supporting the Kids Now after-school self-esteem and leadership programs in Edmonton during this school year in the Fall and again this spring. Thanks to their support, the youth participants in all programs are receiving snacks during each of their 12 sessionPrograms.

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Community Matters Teaming up with Kids Now to Help Youth

CIBC’s culture is deeply rooted in a strong tradition of coming 
together for causes that impact all of us, especially, Kids, Cures and Community.

And just like Kids Now, CIBC cares about nurturing, educating and investing in the health and well-being of Canada’s children and young adults so they can build a better future.

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Kids Now at TIFF!!

Thanks to our wonderful partners Icon Vision Media and xocial, Kids Now is following the path to the Red Carpet at TIFF.

Kids Now and xocial (pronounced soh-shuhl) have created a 15-second campaign ad that will play on huge mobile digital screens in various locations at TIFF during the entire festival (September 8 to 18, 2016). We’ll be in front of thousands of film goers as they wait in line to buy tickets or stake out celebrities!

TIFF attendees and people following TIFF in the media (both social and traditional) can join the Kids Now #LoveThySelfie TIFF campaign and complete simple, fun and meaningful challenges that encourage positive self-image and earn them “social points”.

The campaign is hosted online at xocial .

Check out our fun 15 second spot now.

The campaign ad “You’re a star. Just the way you are.” builds on the success of the hugely popular #LoveThySelfie Campaign, launched by Kids Now in the summer of 2015 that inspired thousands of people and celebrities across North America to post a selfie, share it and encourage others to join in.  By teaming up with xocial, Kids Now is rewarding the efforts of the “everyday stars” who earn points in our #LoveThySelfie TIFF campaign.

This campaign will then be promoted in our Kids Now Fall mentorship programs, where our young teens will also join in on the fun as one of the many ways to build self-esteem, self-awareness and confidence.

About xocial – xocial is an online community that connects people and organizations to causes they care about, then inspires them to take action.  It’s a simple and fun way to make a difference in our communities. Using xocial, you can measure the impact of your efforts. Build your XO score and show off your good side!




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Arbonne Empowers Young Teens

Arbonne logobest

THANK YOU to the Arbonne Charitable Foundation for their grant to support the Kids Now self-esteem and leadership mentorship programs for young teens. Their grant was used specifically to support the costs to reprint the Mentor Manuals.

Since 1999, the Kids Now free after-school program for middle school youth has been designed as a turnkey operation. The Mentor Manual is a comprehensive binder that each mentor uses to guide them step-by-step through each of the 12 weekly modules.

Led by our trained volunteer mentors and in collaboration with school boards and participating school principals, each of the 12 modules run immediately after school and are comprised of:

– Module 1 Introduction

– Module 2/3 Building self-confidence and self-esteem

– Module 4/5 Goal setting

– Module 6/7 Developing communication & relationship skills

– Module 8/9 Resolving conflicts, dealing with bullying, harassment and peer pressure

– Module 10/11 Managing stress and improving mental well-being

– Module 12 Conclusion, certificates and celebration

The Arbonne Charitable Foundation’s mission is to provide support for programs and opportunities that promote the development of confidence and self‑esteem in teenage girls and boys.  Arbonne is empowering the next generation to live confidently, dream big, and to believe that ‘Change Starts With Me”

On behalf of our youth participants, mentors, volunteers, staff and Board of Directors, THANK YOU again.  Read more about the Arbonne Charitable Foundation here.



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Helping Young Teens Deal with Stress 


Article By Joanne Foster, EdD


Adolescence can be both challenging and complicated, a time of possibility and peril. Indeed, it can be a stressful time of life.

Through the early and mid-adolescent years—from eleven to eighteen—changes are happening all at once, in every area of a person’s life. Teens are dealing with confusing and often conflicting worries about peer pressure, integrity, family demands, popularity, their unique identity, sexuality, academic decision-making, career ambitions, and more. *

There are many ways parents can help kids navigate the teen years. In an earlier post at Kids Now (where I discuss various tips that align directly with Kids Now program elements), I list three key strategies for stress management: creating a healthy and balanced lifestyle; learning to recognize and appreciate one’s own capabilities; and connecting with trustworthy supporters.

In The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Happy Children in a Stressful World (2015), parenting expert Katie Hurley discusses the symptoms and triggers of stress. She also offers several solutions. For example, some of her suggestions for helping kids reduce stress include the following: revisit schedules; prioritize sleep; increase quality time: step away from the news; practice breathing techniques and body mapping (to understand how stress affects the body); and help kids create a stress-free zone.

There are many ways parents can offer support, and provide the encouragement kids need to develop the necessary coping skills when life is stressful. Here are some additional tips that I have for parents.

  • Show your support. Be available to chat, answer questions, and offer reassurance.  Don’t hover or intrude, but recognize that kids may not always ask for help as they move toward independence. Parents who are accessible provide a comfort zone in what might otherwise be a complex emotional and social whirlwind.
  • Help during times of change. New school, friends, or program? Holiday or event-related stress? Changes within the family circle? Children don’t have a lot of experience navigating life’s transitions or ups and downs—or the sense of vulnerability that can ensue. Kids may feel pressure, anger, disappointment, elation, nervousness, and more—and these emotional responses may be in flux. Help children understand what they’re feeling, and why.
  • Be patient. Early adolescence is a sensitive period when the brain is changing dramatically and kids are trying to figure things out. Day-to-day life may trip them up, offer surprises, or seem overly demanding. Parents can encourage kids to pace themselves, and to find adults they can trust (for example, a teacher, mentor, or guidance counselor) who can provide additional support and direction, especially when things get rocky.
  • Look after yourself And then share your strengths!  Parents who show that they’re hardy—that is, parents who are resilient, and who demonstrate how they overcome stressors that occur in their own lives—send a strong, positive message to their kids.
  • Believe in your child.  Reassure kids that they have what it takes to keep on learning, growing, and succeeding. Help them appreciate that obstacles and failures are inevitable; that they can still move forward and even benefit from setbacks; that it’s okay to be upset but it’s also important for them to try and develop and adopt a “can-do” attitude and approach when things get difficult. Have faith in their abilities and reinforce their efforts.


Helping kids now means being attuned and responsive to their needs, using resources wisely, working cooperatively with others who can offer assistance, and modeling some of the strategies that will ease life’s complexities so as to make each day a resounding success.

Author’s Note: This article on tips for managing stress is part of a series focusing on each of the five modules that comprise the Kids Now program. Here are the links to the other four program-related articles posted on the Kids Now site:

Building self-confidence:

Setting goals:

 Strengthening relationships:

Developing conflict resolution skills:


For further information on the topic of stress management and more, see Beyond Intelligence: Secrets for Raising Happily Productive Kids by Dona Matthews and Joanne Foster (House of Anansi Press, 2014).  (* The introductory quote above was extracted from p. 72.) For kids who have difficulty dealing with pressures and task completion, see Not Now, Maybe Later: Helping Kids Overcome Procrastination by Joanne Foster (Great Potential Press, 2015.) Additional resources at


Links and Further References 


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RBC Helps Youth Confidently Navigate Path To Success


RBC youth image

RBC believes in the power of communities and the people who live in them.


THANK YOU once again to the RBC Foundation for the generous support of our self-esteem and leadership programs at Kids Now, as part of the RBC Kids Pledge. The RBC Kids Pledge is to improve the well-being of 1 million youth. They support a wide range of programs that address the needs of the ‘whole’ child – mind, body and spirit—so that all youth have a chance to reach their someday. By the end of this year, RBC will have delivered on its RBC Kids Pledge, successfully honouring its $100 million commitment two years ahead of schedule.


RBC youth image #2RBC recently announced another new commitment aimed at helping Canadian youth reach their potential. RBC’s commitment to youth will focus on supporting young people to ensure future generations have the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to thrive and prosper in a rapidly-changing world.



“Canada’s future prosperity depends on our ability to harness the energy and optimism of young people, but too many are feeling uncertain and anxious about their future, and are worried about their job prospects. With this commitment to youth, we are demonstrating our dedication to helping young people reach their full potential and to foster a new generation equipped to succeed in the changing workplace of the future.” said Dave McKay, President and CEO, RBC.


Read more about RBC’s commitment to youth.


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