Tag: Mom Blog

Empowering Stay-At-Home Moms Through Job Coaching

Looking for employment is a difficult task to do and, in many cases, it becomes a full-time job in itself. There are many services that are out there that can assist; however, many lack specialized programs for stay-at-home moms in particular.

It’s a group that many forget and luckily one Toronto woman has not forgotten about empowering stay-at-home moms to enter or re-enter the workforce.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you all to Stephanie from SAHM Coaching who I recently met at a mom market. I had the opportunity to sit down with Stephanie to get the inside scope on SAHM Coaching in this exclusive interview.

Tell me a little bit about yourself

I was born and raised in Toronto and love this city. I have a wonderful husband, who supports me unconditionally and two beautiful children, ages 9 and 11. I try to stay active. I’m doing a 10 KM race this May, I love working out and play baseball. I’ve been playing fast-pitch softball since I was 6 years old. I went to Ryerson University where I completed my degree in Human Resources and went on to get my professional designation from the Human Resources Professionals Associations as a Certified HR Leader. My HR career started in the telecom industry. Then I went on to work for a retail company and I’ve spent the last 14 years in the not for profit sector. I love the field of HR; I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. What I love about it is that I get to work with people. When you do that, you rarely get the same problem twice. Circumstances change and it forces you to really understand the subtle differences of each situation. Working side by side with my clients and helping them find the optimal solution is very satisfying.

What type of services do you offer?

SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) Coaching offers job search assistance exclusively to women who want to go back to work after being at home. This group includes women at various life stages. Some of my clients have been at home for a number of years, while others are coming to the end of their maternity leave and want to change jobs. I help them get their heads back into the game with someone who “gets it.” Working with me, women get tailored, one-on-one, insights and HR expertise into things like:

  • What kind of work can/should I do?
  • How do I search for work; make use of the best resources; etc.
  • How to build/refresh a resume (or cover letter) that gets noticed.
  • How to talk about your time off/gap in your resume in a way that employers will understand.
  • How to prepare for and answer questions during an interview.

What is your goal of the services that you provide and can you give us one success story that you can share?

What I’m offering women is a safe place for them to share their concerns, ask questions and get answers quickly. All with the goal of building their confidence and getting rid of the self-doubt, so they can be successful overcoming whatever obstacle it is that they are facing.

Yes, I’d like to tell you about Katie (not her real name). Katie was struggling with her job search. She previously had run her own business (since it gave her more time with her kids) but she and her partner had a falling out. She decided after running her own business for several years, that she was done. Instead she wanted to find a job where she could work Monday to Friday and not have all the demands of being a business owner. Her kids were older and it was a good time to make the transition. When Katie and I connected she told me she was struggling because she wasn’t having much success with her applications. She wanted to work with me on her resume and cover letter. Her resume needed a complete overhaul, so we redesigned it from scratch. During our session we also talked about how to structure her cover letter. That session was on a Wednesday, the following Thursday I followed up with Katie and she told me she applied for a job and they scheduled her for a phone interview. The company told her they were very impressed with her cover letter!

What made you decide to offer these services?

Because they don’t currently exist; at least not in the way I offer them. Sure, you can go to a Service Canada employment centre, and they will give you a general resume or interview information. Or you can go online and find a TON of info, but then what? Everyone is busy, I don’t think your readers have the time to go through it all. I’ve got 20+ years of recruitment experience and I can give women a direct line to the answers they are looking for. Plus, it’s so important for me to work side by side with my clients. It’s so much more effective. I’m not just telling them what to do, I’m also telling them WHY they need to do it. Why when you write a cover letter you format it a certain way. Why you use specific words in a resume. Why when you answer questions using this format it will resonate with employers. It’s only because I’ve been there, that I can offer this type of service.

If someone is interested in your services, how much and how can they get enrolled?

The first thing is to schedule a FREE consultation call. You can do this via my website, email me, or message me via my Facebook page. During the call I ask what they feel they need the most help with and what it is that each woman wants to accomplish. I also share more info about myself and will answer any question that they may have. In most, but not all cases, I ask to see a copy of their resume. After the call, I prepare a written recommendation outlining how we’d work together. In it I include the number of sessions required. Sessions are 45 minutes. You can purchase sessions individually for $60 each or (to save money) you can buy a package of 4 sessions for $200.

Thank you so much Stephanie for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Sure, since you asked! Any time you are in transition or making a change, it’s bound to feel icky and uncomfortable. I want your readers to know that going back to work after stepping away is possible, you CAN do it, and with SAHM Coaching you don’t have to do it alone.

An inspiring way to end an interview! With the right coaching, inspiration and motivation, it is possible to enter or re-enter the workforce. I am so honoured to have had this opportunity to inform all of you of a service that is available, especially if it can help you succeed.

I use to be in the Employment industry many years ago (feels like a lifetime ago) and I helped many people find work. I know that with the extra support that my clients got, it helped them get their foot back in the door. Every little bit helps.

If you are interested in learning more about SAHM Coaching, make sure to contact her directly as she has a wealth of information and knowledge to offer.

Thank you again Stephanie for your time and empowering women every day!

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

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Our First Date Night As Parents

I have read many articles on the importance of date night and always encouraged my family and friends to do them. However, I never took my own advice as where was I going to find the time?!

Well, opportunity knocked on our door as we were invited to a comedy event that was attended for a mature audience (due to explicit language). Now as a parent the first thing I had to do was to make babysitting arrangements for our daughter. Since Nikki is a bit older and loves to spend time with my mom, I asked if she could take care of her. Without hesitation, my mom was excited to spend a Saturday night with her granddaughter. So we were set!

I was very excited as it has been hard to find the time to have a date night since my husband has rotational shifts and Nikki use to not want to stay with anyone but us. Therefore, this was a rare opportunity but one that we were going to embrace.

Before date night I was telling one of my best friends how excited I was and then asked, “Does that mean I need to hold his hand?” She burst into laughter and said, “Yes you should Melanie!” I guess this is part of date night as it seems like forever I have gone on a date (hehe).

Date Night

Date night had finally arrived and Nikki was packed for a night with my mom. We dropped her off and we were on our way to eat some dinner before the show. It was really nice as we got to talk about everything and anything (with no kid interruptions). We had a nice dinner together and even held hands as we walked to our destination (Yes I did hold his hand). 😉

We also had nice weather as Spring decided to finally make a presence. It was just so great and relaxing. I guess since we have been together for almost 19 years, it was easy to go on a date again. You almost forget that before you were a parent, you were partners first.

Now it was time for the main event, Porkchops and Comedy.

Porkchops And Comedy Event

This event was presented by Comedy Portuguese and Melo Out Entertainment. It was a stand-up comedy show with Portuguese Comedians which made sense for us as we both come from Portuguese families. It was a packed house with 200 in attendance. Now when I go to events under the Momma Braga name, I bring my A game. This means I critique every single detail to ensure that if I talk about it, it is worthy of it. 😉

The event started with the debut of Ben Fate who performed for the first time and he did a great job. His rap was relatable to many in the audience. After the performance, comedy night was in full swing with comedians: Joe Botelho, Michelle Furtado, and Jeff E. They were all funny comedians bringing their own experiences for a good laugh by all. The next performance was a special cooking segment with Celebrity Chef Danny Raposo who showed us how to cook infused shrimp which was educational. Then it was the main event, comedian Mike Rita. Now I have seen Mike Rita live and he is funny. He brings his life experiences growing up in a Portuguese home which brings a lot of hilarious stories to share. Coming from a traditional Portuguese home, I know a few personal ones myself.

Now Mike Rita outdid himself on this night as he had both my husband and I laugh to tears. Every joke was done to perfection and the audience of 200 couldn’t get enough. It truly ended date night right for us as it has been so long that we have been able to go out and have a good time as a couple.

Momma Braga Event Rating

This wouldn’t be a Momma Braga piece if I didn’t include a rating for this event which I am delighted to say that it got a 6 stars out of 5! It offered a night full of entertainment with unique aspects and out of the box laughs. Special thank you to Jonathan from Melo Out Entertainment for having us attend as we had an amazing time.

From left to right: Melanie from Momma Braga and Jonathan from Melo Out Entertainment.

What I Learned From Date Night

I love it when we get to learn from our daily experiences in life and date night is no exception. Therefore, I feel like I should share what I have learned from having a date night with my husband.

  1.  I am literally very funny on date nights. Or my husband is just awfully sweet to laugh at all my jokes.
  2.  My husband talks a whole lot when our little one isn’t with us which was nice and it wasn’t just sports or work talk.
  3.  I loved being able to spend this quality time with my husband as it reminded both of us of how special we are to one another (I know sappy but true!).
  4.  We need more date nights!
  5.  I love holding my husband’s hand as he is my partner in this wacky journey called life and parenting.

Those were my takeaways and I am truly grateful to have had this date night, even if it was four years in the making. I guess it is true that good things are worth the wait; however, I know that I am not going to wait another four years for my next date.

I do recommend to try and find the time to reconnect with your spouse after having kids. Life gets busy and we can get overwhelmed with all that we are expected to do. That is why we need to get that time inked in. Also night outs don’t need to cost much as the most important part of date night is to spend time with your loved one. That is what mattered the most to me and my husband, that time together could never be bought.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

 

Don’t Let Them Disappear | Book Review

Did you know that blue whales are the largest animals in the world? Or that sea otters wash their paws after every meal?

Both of these amazing species are now on the endangered list, along with many other beloved animals that we all know.

You can learn about them all in a new children’s book, Don’t Let Them Disappear, written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Gianna Marino.

Synopsis

The world is filled with millions of animal species, and all of them are unique and special. Many are on the path to extinction.

In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces young readers to a selection of endangered animals, sharing what makes them special, and also what threatens them. Taking readers through the course of a day, Don’t Let Them Disappear talks about rhinos, tigers, whales, pandas and more, and provides helpful tips on what we all can do to help prevent these animals from disappearing from our world entirely.

With warm and engaging art by Gianna Marino, this book is the perfect read for animal-lovers and anyone who cares about our planet.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Don’t Let Them Disappear pulls on all the heart strings for anyone who cares about the world we live in. I know it sure tugged at my heart as I learned of some of the most beautiful animals who are now on the endangered list.

With each page turn, you learn about an animal, where they live; their endangered status; and why. A child can learn so much through the detailed description given on each animal. My favorite animal is the Sea Otter and it broke my heart to see them on the endangered list. Nikki’s favorite, the Tiger which is also on the endangered list.

It is such an educational book for us all to read and we loved the end of the book where it includes a list of what we can do to help these beautiful creatures and planet. Bravo in including this!

We have read this book several times as there is so much to learn from it. We absolutely loved it and therefore we give this book 6 sea otters out of 5!

“I love all animals and it’s sad that these animals are going away. I hope we all work together to help them all.” – Nikki, Age 4

We recommend this book for readers between the ages of four to eight. If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here.

“Let’s make a pledge as fellow inhabitants of Planet Earth, that we won’t let any of these species disappear.”

About the Author

Chealsea Clinton is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World; She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History; It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!; Start Now!: You Can Make a Difference and, with Devi Sridhar, Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why? She is also the Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, where she works on many initiatives, including those that help empower the next generation of leaders. She lives in New York City with her husband, Marc, their daughter, Charlotte, their son, Aidan, and their dog, Soren.

About the Illustrator

Gianna Marino was born in San Francisco and spent her early years galloping horses through Golden Gate Park. She’s made a living as an apprentice to a muralist, a jewelry designer, a product designer and a horse carriage driver. Addicted to foreign adventure, Gianna has traveled worldwide, including Europe, Asia, Australia and Central and South America. Between explorations, she lives and works in Northern California and still gallops on horses.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Things Every Child Should Learn

When it comes to teaching our children the skills they need to be the best in life, there are a lot to things to teach and many directions which we can go in this year. If you are looking to teach your child the best skills for their lives this year, here are just some of the ones to consider.

Ride a bike

When we look at some of the most iconic skills to teach to kids, we can’t not mention riding a bike. Riding a bike might just be the most obvious of all of the things to teach our kids and it is a huge challenge every step of the way. When you start off teaching your child to ride a bike you will want to think about using stabilisers and as time goes on you will be able to teach them to balance on just two. It could take a long time to teach this to your child but once they have learnt this skill it will stay with them for life!

Swim

Teaching a child how to swim is so important for you to do, and the earlier you can teach them the better. Choose a good swim school and take your child once or twice a week and let them learn how to keep themselves afloat above the water. Children are very adventurous and curious and they are prone to drowning because of this fact. If you can teach your child this essential skill you can let them into the pool and the sea without too much worry.

Throw a ball

Playing sports and games is one of those things which is great for the development of a child and it can be a wonderful skill for them to learn. Being able to accurately throw a ball and join in with games and open them up to a whole world of different sports and this could even become a hobby or career for them later on in life. It might take them a while to learn but it is the ideal excuse for some garden play dates on sunny days!

Look after animals

Looking after and being responsible for another living thing has to be the best way to prepare a child for their future. If you want to make sure that your child is able to live a great life and look after themselves, teaching them how to look after a pet can be a wonderful thing. You can get a pet hamster, fish or rabbit and let your child be the one responsible for looking after the animal. You can show them the importance of caring for another living thing and this will help them become more independent as they grow older.

Be kind

A smile, a hello, a please and thank you… to teach your child to be kind and respectful to other people is a skill in itself and one which you should definitely consider trying out this year!

The Nature Girls | Book Review

We are surrounded by nature and it is truly a beautiful sight when we take it all in.

It is also important for children to learn about  nature and what better way then through a book. We are delighted to introduce you all to, The Nature Girlsby Aki.

Synopsis

Aki’s The Nature Girls is a picture book starring an adorable troupe of girls exploring different biomes – the ocean, the dessert, the tundra, the grasslands, the forest – and meeting all the cute animals that inhabit them.

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Nature Girls is a delightfully charming art showcases the girls in scenes outdoors with bright, vivid colors. Aki’s simple lines bring this world of nature fully to life!

We absolutely loved this adorable book! It flows beautifully and the illustrations are simply perfect. The book is written in rhyme which is our favorite type of books to read. At the end of the book you get a brief description of each biomes which is very educational for all, including parents. 🙂

We have read this book several times as Nikki can’t get enough of it. She loved it so much that she wanted to tell everyone herself in this exclusive #MelAndNikkiReview video. You will need to click and watch to hear what we give The Nature Girls. 😉  

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book, click here.

About the Author

Aki, whose real name is Delphine Mach, has been writing and illustrating since 2008. When she is not illustrating, Aki maintains a culinary blog (The 3 Sisters) that she shares with her sisters (who are equally passionate about cooking). She is the author of The Nature Girls.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Borrowing Bunnies | Book Review

Ever thought about adopting or fostering a rabbit?

Then you will love reading this new children’s book, Borrowing Bunnieswritten by Cynthia Lord; photographs by John Bald; and illustrated by Hazel Mitchell.

Synopsis

Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord likes fostering rabbits—or, as she fondly calls it, “borrowing bunnies.” This is the heartwarming true story of the author’s own journey with two very special rabbits.

In the spring of 2016, Peggotty and Benjamin were saved by Maine’s Cottontail Cottage Rabbit Rescue after their previous owners had neglected them. But before the two Netherland Dwarf rabbits could be adopted, Cynthia had to help them learn to trust people and feel safe inside a home. The bunnies slowly settled in, enjoying their clean pens, nibbling new foods, and playing with fun toys, while Cindy’s husband, John Bald, photographed Benjamin and Peggotty’s every step toward adoption. At that time, hundreds of viewers were drawn to Cindy’s Facebook page to watch their progress. Now, she has adapted the rabbits’ true story into a picture book that explores love, responsibility, empathy, and letting go—along with fostering’s many surprises, both big and small.

#MelAndNikkiReview

Borrowing Bunnies is a heart-warming story about one person’s personal experience in fostering bunnies. It is full of great information for anyone considering to get a rabbit.

Young readers will delight in watching these bunnies thrive while also learning a few fun animal facts. With Cindy’s pitch-perfect blend of warmth and real-life experience, Borrowing Bunnies is a new classic in narrative nonfiction.

The photos and illustrations will make you fall in love with each bunny as you go through their journey to adoption. The tips and personal story written will provide the deep appreciation of the amazing people who open up their homes and hearts to foster. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 6 Bunnies out of 5! 

We recommend this book for children ages three to six. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

“Bunnies are SO cute! It’s important that we know how to take care of them.” – Nikki, Age 4

About the Author

Cynthia Lord is the Newbery Honor author of Rules and other middle-grade novels. Her first picture book, Hot Rod Hamster, inspired a bestselling series about a speed-loving hamster that also includes four early readers. Her chapter-book series, Shelter Pet Squad, appeared on the American Booksellers Association’s ABC Best Books for Children list. Cindy lives in Maine with her husband, John Bald, their children, and a collection of beloved animals, including three rabbites (so far!).

About the Photographer

John Bald is best known for his stunning photographs of landscapes and seascapes throughout New England, particularly along Maine’s rocky coastline. When he and Cindy fostered the family of rabbits featured in this book, he couldn’t resist documenting each precious moment – happy, sad, or silly – with his camera.

About the Illustrator

Hazel Mitchell is the author and illustrator of Toby, as well as the illustrator of several other picture books. When Fezzi and Dodger were old enough to have visitors, Cindy invited Hazel and other artists over to sketch and handle them. Hazel used those early drawings as inspirations in Borrowing Bunnies. She is originally from Yorkshire, England, and currently resides in Maine.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

My Easter Basket | Book Review

For many an Easter tradition is egg hunting and it truly is a fun activity. Imagine all that excitement in a children’s books?!

We are delighted to introduce My Easter Basket, written by Roger Priddy and illustrated by Jennie Bradley.

Synopsis

My Easter Basket is an illustrated board book basket, with colorful, foiled Easter egg tabs and search-and-find scenes of busy animals on an Easter egg hunt.

#MelAndNikkiReview

My Easter Basket brings Easter fun in a book format and we love it! Nikki loved searching for the Easter eggs right along with the animals in the story. She has even promised that she will help her little cousin on Easter to find the eggs in the book at Easter time. Family bonding over a book is just perfect for this special holiday.

We absolutely love the cute basket-shape format which makes it easy for a child to carry the book around with them to enjoy. It is a colorful story of spotting all the eggs that the Easter Bunny has hidden on his rounds. It also provides learning about color, counting and matching through play. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 6 Eggs out of 5! 

We know this would be an egg-errific book for a child for Easter and the best part is that it is sugar free. 😉 It is recommended for children between the ages of 0 to two years of age; however, a 4-year-old can appreciate it too as our daughter did. If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

“Finding Easter eggs in a book is so much fun Momma! I was very good at finding them all too.” – Nikki, Age 4

About the Author

Roger Priddy’s passion for educating children through fun, informative and engaging books has led him to create some of publishing’s most enduring and successful non-fiction early learning books. Roger lives in London and has three children, who have been the inspiration behind many of his best publishing ideas.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

The Night Before Easter | Book Review

Easter is quickly approaching and it is a holiday that we love celebrating in our home. We also just love the Easter bunny and this is why we are delighted to share a great Easter book with all of you.

Introducing The Night Before Easterwritten by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Kathy Couri.

Synopsis

“Twas the night before Easter, just before dawn, Not a creature was stirring out on the lawn.” Follow the Easter Bunny and his adorable chick assistant as they fill baskets with jelly beans and marshmallow chicks, hide colorful eggs, and get ready for one of the most festive days of the year!

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Night Before Easter would make a perfect addition to any child’s reading line-up and just in time for Easter. The Easter bunny takes center stage in this delightful spin on Clement C. Moore’s beloved poem which will have children hopping for joy.

We absolutely loved this adorable book! It flows beautifully and the poem adds that extra touch to make it special. The illustrations are super cute and they are perfect for this story. We also love how the book came with over 30 Easter stickers inside and Nikki was excited about this feature at the end. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 6 Eggs out of 5! 

We know this would be an egg-errific book for a child for Easter and the best part is that it is sugar free. 😉 If you would like to purchase a copy, click here.

“I love this book so much and I can’t wait to see the Easter bunny for Easter!” – Nikki, Age 4

About the Author

Natasha Wing was born in Milford, Connecticut, in 1960. At the age of 20 she moved to Arizona where she finished college at Arizona State University in 1982 with a BS in advertising. In 1991 she decided to write children’s books. She sold her first book, Hippity HopFrog on Top, within six months and has been writing children’s books and articles ever since. The Night Before series began with The Night Before Easter and has grown into a best-selling series of more than 25 titles. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.

 

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed here are my own.

The Condo Kids | The Case Of The Disappearing Pool Monster

The Condo Kids are back in a whole new adventure and I can’t contain my excitement! I have been waiting for the next book to arrive and it finally has.

In case you missed our “The Condo Kids” reviews on Adventures with Bob the Barbary Sheep and Project Haunted Condo, feel free to click and check them out.

We are delighted to introduce you to the next book in the series, The Case of The Disappearing Pool Monsterwritten by Jackie Burns and illustrated by Ana Patankar.

Synopsis

Excitement is just an elevator ride away for brothers Noah and Michael, who are best friends with all the other Condo Kids in their building. This tight-knit group of pals just want to have fun, but always wind up in hilarious, sticky situations.

The latest adventure finds the Condo Kids on the hunt for a mysterious underwater monster rumoured to be living in the condo pool.

They investigate the situation and immediately realize something strange is going on, but how can they prove it? Every time adults are around, the mysterious creature disappears. To make matters worse, the parents think the Condo Kids are just causing mischief and threaten to break them up once and for all.

Will the Condo Kids manage to reveal what’s lurking below the water before their parents put an end to all of their fun? The pool monster’s life may depend on it!

#MelAndNikkiReview

The Case of the Disappearing Pool Monster is a perfect addition to The Condo Kids series. It will not disappoint especially if you are a fan of the adventures of The Condo Kids.

Absolutely loved the whole story and it had me laughing out loud as we just love the Condo Kids. All the amazing characters are back at it again with a whole new adventure of finding the pool monster and helping the “monster” live. It makes you realize how much fun condo living can be for kids as the adventures can be endless. Therefore, for this #MelAndNikkiReview we give it 6 monsters out of 5! You will be hooked on this series as I know we surely are!

Wonder what adventures they will have next?!

Special thank you to the author, Jackie, for signing our book with a personalized message for Nikki. We will treasure it!

About the Author

Jackie Burns lives in a Toronto condo with her husband Anthony and their two adventure-seeking boys, Nathaniel and Benjamin.

She has spent more than 20 years working in the Toronto media as a reporter, online writer/editor and TV producer. She currently divides her time between freelance writing and baking for the many condo kids who are in and out of her kitchen.

About the Illustrator

Ana Patankar lives and works out of her beautiful cabin, surrounded by live volcanoes, in the evergreen forests of Patagonia, Chile, along with her web-designer partner, Mukul, and their talkative cat, Joshi.

She has spent almost 20 years illustrating children’s books, comics and graphic novels, many of which are circulating in the digital universe

We recommend this book for readers six to nine. If you would like to purchase this great book, please click here.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

* The book was provided to Momma Braga in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed her

Spring Forward with Swimming Skills at Aqua-Tots Burlington

Many parents will agree that we are all just tired of Winter and are ready to embrace Spring with open arms. I know that I sure am!

Summer is not too far behind from Spring and many parents may start thinking of summer activities and vacation. These plans may often involve swimming or water so why not use Spring to get ahead and start or hone your child’s swimming skills? We took this question to the experts themselves to see the benefits of “Spring Training.”

We chatted with Nikki, General Manager at Aqua-Tots in Burlington to get the inside scope on having a child enrolled in multiple swim lessons per week.

Spring is in the air and that means Summer isn’t too far behind. What types of programs are available in the Spring to help children get ready for Summer?

We offer lessons 6 days a week here at Aqua-Tots! We usually recommend a 2 day-per-week plan for your child to really excel in their swimming. We see swimming as riding a bike – the more you practice the quicker you will learn. In addition to swim lessons, all of our members have access to our Family Swims every Sunday from 1 PM to 2 PM. Family swim is a great way for you to bring your children into the pool to practice skills they have learned in class, or just to have fun and splash around!

What are the benefits of taking multiple swim lessons per week?

There are many benefits to swimming multiple times per week – especially with Summer coming up! To name a few:

Muscle Memory

The more you practice a skill, the more your body begins to get comfortable and confident with the movements and it soon becomes second nature. Once you learn how to swim – it is impossible to forget, just like riding a bike!

Confidence

If you are looking to grow your child’s confidence around the water, exposing them to lessons multiple times per week will help them to understand the importance of lessons, it will also help them to gain trust with the instructor and the skills they are being taught in their class. When I first did a swimming lesson, I was eight years old! I felt nervous as I had never been in a structured swim setting. Once I realized I was capable of doing the skills the instructor was teaching, my confidence sky-rocketed and it became my passion. I went to become a Lifeguard and Swim Instructor and I cannot imagine my life without the pool.

Skill Progression

If you have your child enrolled in swimming lessons but feel as if they are reaching a plateau this is okay! Instead of taking a break from the lessons, this is a sign that it is time for more exposure to the water. By signing up for multiple lessons per week, you are giving your child more of a challenge and a new excitement for lessons.

Tell us a memorable moment of a child who has benefited from multiple swim lessons per week.

When we first opened here in Burlington, we had a student in our Level 3 Younger Leapfrog Class (2.5 years old) who was apprehensive about the water. During their first few lessons, she would cry for nearly the whole class only stopping when she knew it was time to go and see Mom at the end of class. As their parents grew concerned about whether or not they would able to overcome this obstacle, they decided to switch to a 2 day-per-week plan. What a difference 2 days-per-week made for this child! Within a week of the new plan, the once nervous swimmer was doing full submersions and completed many advanced skills. Now to this day, this swimmer comes into our facility with a big smile and can barely contain their excitement when Coach calls their name to enter the water.

What can parents do to help prepare their child for multiple swim lessons? For example, any worries they may have of the child being too tired.

There are a few things a parent can do to prep their children for multiple swim lessons. Here are a few we suggest:

Talk About It

Remember swimming is an essential life skill that your child absolutely needs to learn. As a parent, if you emphasize the importance of swimming, your child will grow to appreciate how special this skill is to daily life. Throughout the week, talk about how exciting it is that they get to swim at Aqua-Tots on Monday AND Wednesday now, for example. If they are with two different Coaches, talk about how fun it will be to see Coach A on Monday and then Coach B on Wednesday. If they are nervous to enter the water without you, remind them that “Mommy/Daddy watch swim class from the red chair and they come in the pool for Family Swim on Sunday.” Instead of saying “Mommy/Daddy forgot their bathing suit and cannot go in,” remind them of why you do not go in for lessons. Otherwise, they will have an expectation that you are allowed to go in for lessons.

Flexibility

We pride ourselves in our non-seasonal school and our ongoing schedule. You can utilize your 2 day-per-week plan in many ways. The first is a back-to-back lesson option. This is where you would have your child enrolled in two consecutive half hour lessons. If this is not an option for you, or you feel your child is too tired, try two different days of the week. For example, Tuesday evening and Saturday morning. When you’re in the water, you are invigorated by the splashing and the enthusiasm of the instructor! Your child might be a little tired AFTER their sim class but this is totally normal and a sign they worked hard and learned a lot in the water.

Family Swim

If you are still undecided about a multiple day-per-week plan, try to incorporate our Family Swim into your routine first. That way, you will be here once during the week for your lesson, and once for a Family Swim.

Any special promos for parents who want to take advantage of Spring time for more swim lessons?

This Spring we encourage everyone to take advantage of our Ollie the Otter package. Sign up for 5 months of swim lessons and receive your 6-month free, plus 10% off all retail and priority access to all special events. For maximum progression we also recommend that children swim multiple times a week and when upgrading your plan from 1 to 2 days per week or 2 days to 3 days, we provide a discount on the additional day being added!

Any other tips or advice you would like to provide to parents or children who want to be better swimmers?

The best piece of advice I would give to parents and children as a swim instructor and Lifeguard is to remember how important swimming is to daily life. There is so much water in the world and it is important to know how to swim not only for safety, but for individual confidence as well. Talk about how exciting the water is and make a big deal for every new swimming milestone. We say, “Turn Tears Into Cheers” – if your child does a submersion or gets the ring from the bottom of the pool, throw your hands in the air and cheer! This will show them that tackling your fears is something to be celebrated! Talk about how fun swimming is as much as you can and always try to provide your child with opportunity to take swimming lessons or come to a Family Swim.

Your child might not master all of the skills in their level within the first few weeks and that is totally normal. All it takes is continuous exposure and positive verbal reinforcement from parents/guardians and the coaches.

Always remember our Aqua-Tots motto, “Safety First, Fun Ever Second!” See you at the pool!

Special thank you to Nikki for taking the time to offer her expertise and we hope this information has enlighten you all to think about “Spring Training” with your little one for the upcoming water season.

We love Aqua-Tots Swim Schools as their programs and facilities are absolutely wonderful with families always in mind.

If you would like to enroll at the Burlington location, please contact them at 905.331.3393 or visit them online to learn more about their amazing programs.

Until next time…Happy Parenting!

-Momma Braga

 

– Momma Braga

 


This article is a paid partnership with Aqua-Tots Swim Schools. Views and opinions expressed here belong to Momma Braga.