June 2021

5 Grad Gifts They'll Love Graduation is a milestone that should be celebrated! Sure, some celebrations might be cancelled due to Covid, but parents can still make their graduate feel special with some curated gift ideas sure to inspire any new scholar! Whether your graduate is about to embark on their post-secondary life, taking a gap year, about to move into their very first apartment or starting their first job, we have an array of gift ideas sure to garner top marks! By Rachel Naud A great gift for any new graduate whether they’re getting primed for more online learning or starting a new adventure or job, is tech that will help them stay connected. We're loving these items from Samsung because they all work together to create a great user experience. To stay connected, the Galaxy S21 5G has amazing cameras with 8K Video Snap and Portrait Mode so they can snap images of their new adventures and send them to you! It also works awesome with the headphones that have noise cancellation and the Book Pro 360, which actually has an AMOLED screen that lets you work inside or in direct sunlight. No matter where your teen is headed next, you want to make sure they do it with confidence. Whether they’re about to embark on a new school or test the waters applying for jobs, a good smile can go a long way. We have to tell you, we have been using this ToothWave toothbrush by Silk’n and it’s a game-changer. It actually uses radio frequency energy to clean your teeth and these charged molecules work to reduce tartar, prevent and reduce gingivitis and reduce stains and improves discolouration. It gives you that just-left-the-dentist feeling. We love it. Speaking of confidence, they might be sweating the next stage of life, but they can’t show it! Slip this aluminum-free deodorant from Secret in their backpack or workbag and it will keep them fresh for up to 48-hours. We like this one because it’s free of aluminum, parabens, dyes and talc and it’s certified cruelty-free so it’s gentle on your skin while still offering some tough protection from odor and sweat. Shopping for your teen can be hard. But we're stuck on gift ideas, the first place we turn to is Winners, Marshalls and HomeSense because we can always find something! With new graduates, whether they’re starting a new job or moving into a new apartment, we found these awesome

3 Ways To Help Your Teen Cope with the Pandemic By Julyanna Trickey This pandemic sucks, we all know it. But how has it affected our teenagers and their mental health? How well are they coping with not seeing friends regularly, not playing sports and not getting to just live a normal teenage life? Everyone is feeling the stress of this pandemic but it has affected our teens immensely. In a recent survey by the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health and the CHEO Research Institute of 1,341 young kids, 61 per cent of teenagers have reported a worsening of their mental health since Covid-19 started. We chat with Dr. Mario Cappelli, a clinical psychologist with 25 years’ experience specializing in youth mental health, about our teenagers and how they are coping through Covid-19. This pandemic is hard on everyone but especially for teenagers. How has this pandemic affected teenager mental health overall? Overall, we’ve seen a decrease in the general mental health of teens. I think there is lots of well-documented evidence that Canadian, American and international teenagers are experiencing increases in anxiety, mood problems like sadness and withdrawal, and more recently we are starting to see an increase in more serious illnesses like some of the major eating disorders. I think that, without a doubt, there has been a substantial impact on mental health. But I don’t want to say all kids are equally affected because that isn’t true. And despite the impact on mental health, a lot of kids are able to do a lot of the things they normally do. This is an important statement because it tells us that there is a lot of resiliency amongst our young people. They have still managed to get through the challenges they have had to face and have managed to cope. But there are levels to it. There have been differential effects on young people who had a prior mental illness versus those who were healthy before, so you start to see some differences. Are teenagers who haven’t experienced anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems at risk now? In our own research, we have found that kids with no prior history of mental health concerns have reported increased stress, increased worry about the future, and an overall negative effect on their mental health because of the pandemic. But what they wanted for support wasn’t necessarily seeing a therapist or seeing a psychologist,

5 Tips to Avoid Virtual Learning Burnout By Rayyan El-Baf We’re in the final stretch of the school year! While the end of this year’s virtual learning is coming to an end, it’s still the primary method of schooling. Both parents and teens would agree that being online all the time is taxing, which is why we spoke to Alicia Cuzner, a teacher and course developer at Ontario Virtual School, about how students can avoid burnout. Although online learning can be challenging, it can actually be beneficial for teens because it provides them with a more flexible schedule, helps them practice time management, and gives them experience for post-secondary school, which operates in-class and virtually. While it can be frustrating for parents, Cuzner says you can support your teen by not hovering over them too much and instead, motivate them by keeping a schedule of important dates and assisting them in making a long-term plan to achieve realistic and manageable goals. While we don’t know what next year will look like in terms of online and in-class learning, Cuzner offers these five tips to help your teen get through this year and avoid burnout. Create a work schedule to break up tasks throughout the day. “Some schools have live classes, but generally the teacher’s lessons are around 30 minutes and then you have independent work. Independent work can sometimes make a student feel overwhelmed because they don’t know how to start or need motivation. If you break up the work into little chunks, it’s easier to complete the tasks on time. At OVS, all our lessons are pre-recorded so you can watch them whenever you like. Student’s use this to their advantage to schedule a time to watch the lessons in the evenings or weekends when they have more free time.” Set up a proper workstation - like a home office! “You don’t always have to work at a desk but try to keep all your work in one location. This way everything is set up and ready to go when you are starting your day.” Incorporate mini movements into your day “With the pandemic, the general population is not moving enough. This can directly impact your learning because your mind is working too hard and your body can cramp up. If you have a dog you can take it for a walk or do a five-minute stretch or do a quick circuit of active moments.” Don’t be afraid to take