Online Resource Helps Parents Talk to Kids about Digital Safety Thorn, a technology non-profit dedicated to defending children from online sexual exploitation, launched Thorn for Parents to help parents have earlier, more frequent and judgment-free conversations with kids about digital safety. The need for these conversations is more critical than ever as kids grow up online, which impacts how they experience transformational phases like puberty and what normative sexual exploration looks like. Thorn’s research shows that digital safety conversations need to start much younger than parents might think, between the ages of seven and nine. Thorn for Parents includes resources, discussion guides, and recommended timelines to help parents address these serious issues in an approachable, digestible, and supportive way. “Kids are growing up online and digital safety is a huge issue. Thorn for Parents will guide parents through these essential conversations by offering topics, conversation starters, timelines and more,” said Thorn Co-Founder Ashton Kutcher. “Developmental behaviours coupled with constant connectivity can be dangerous. We have to educate our kids to keep them safe.” Thorn spent the past three years understanding how kids themselves feel about these issues and what motivates their online behaviors. Thorn developed Thorn for Parents after surveying thousands of youth and parents, and identifying several important findings that all caregivers need to know: Kids report being asked for nudes by strangers online as young as nine years old. Many kids are having online sexual interactions with peers and adults at almost the same rates, and 40% of kids ages 13-17 agreed that “it’s normal for people my age to share nudes with each other.” As many as 1 in 5 nine-to-12-year-olds (26% of girls and 27% of boys) report having had an online sexual interaction where they were asked to send nudes of themselves, “go on cam,” sent sexual messages, or had nudes of an adult or other children shared with them. Online interactions have different boundaries for kids. Children are regularly connecting with people they know only online through mutual friends, shared interests and games — and they don’t consider them strangers. Among kids that had shared nudes, research shows that nearly 40% had shared them with someone they had never met offline. Additionally, 25% of kids report they had experienced a sexual interaction online with someone they believed to be an adult, and these numbers are even higher among vulnerable groups like LGBTQ+ at 32%. Shame is the biggest obstacle to seeking help. Kids are hesitant to disclose online sexual interactions with parents or other trusted adults, especially when the experience was someone they thought was an adult. According to Thorn’s research, while

7 Last-Minute Back-to-School Items They'll Need Whether they’re heading back to class or learning online, every teen and tween likes to have some fresh new gear to start off the school year. From lunchtime must-haves to bedtime routines, we have some suggestions sure to make the grade from elementary school kids to college-bound students. All the Licensed Gear If you want to get your kid really excited about back to school, the best place to head is Toys R Us. They have everything you need to start the year off right, from licensed backpacks, water bottles and lunch boxes to fun school supplies. Grab all these items in-store or online. Suck it up If you love drinking from a straw but hate the sog factor of the paper variety, look no further than The Rice Straw. Perfect for eco-conscious parents and students, alike, this straw is actually made from rice, tapioca and organic dyes. It’s 100% natural and chemical-free. It’s completely bio-degradable, but the best part? It retains its structural integrity for up to three hours! Good To Go If your child is always starving after school, keep these Good to Go Soft-Baked Bars on hand. They have a cake-like texture that kids love, but they are also made with organic ingredients. They’re vegan, gluten-free, peanut-free, kosher and non-GMO Project Verified. They come in double chocolate, vanilla almond or blueberry cashew! Soak the Stress Away Heading back to school this year (especially after a year of being in and out of school) can be a bit stressful and anxiety-filled, which is why this Dr. Teals Melatonin Collection is great for bedtime routines. It’s infused with beneficial vitamins, minerals, essential oils and Melatonin to restore and rejuvenate both mind and body, while promoting a good night’s sleep. Available at Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart. Safely Sanitize For students heading back to class, hand sanitizers are going to be as essential as any supply.  These Spread Love, Not Germs hand sanitizers from Bath & Body Works come in a small PocketBac size, perfect for tossing in their backpacks, desks or lockers. They also come with super cute holders so they can toggle their sanitizer to their bag for easy access. Later in the year, they also make for amazing teacher gifts! On-the-Go For university students on the go, Walmart has great value overall for back to school. With this Hamilton Beach mini-blender, university or college students can quickly whip up a breakfast smoothie straight into

9 Ways to Recapture Your Teen Spirit in Niagara Falls, Ontario By Rosalind Stefanac-Skugor It has been a long haul for many teens this past year, stuck indoors with their parents—and vice versa. So, to get my son excited to hang out with his mom outside of the house again, I promised him a mid-week adventure he wouldn’t forget—and Ontario’s Niagara Falls did not disappoint. As someone who has been touring this geological wonder since my own youth, even I was impressed by just how much there is to do at the Falls these days. Here are 9 ways to impress your teen traveller in Niagara Falls and have an epic adventure in the process. Rent an e-bike If the thought of nature hikes has your kids rolling their eyes, consider renting a bike with some horsepower (e-bikes can go up to 32 km/hour) to get them excited about exploring nature. We went to Snap E Bike where owner Michael Lucid gave us a training lesson and equipped us with helmets, maps, snacks and water for the day. When my bike got a flat tire, he was quick to come and meet us with a replacement bike so our sightseeing along the beautiful Niagara River Recreational Trail could continue. Riders must be 16 years of age or older. Make like a drone At 3,500 feet above the Niagara Gorge, the Whirlpool Aero Car —an antique cable car suspended from six sturdy cables—provides some pretty magnificent views of the swirling Niagara Whirlpool. The torrent of river rapids coming down the Gorge from the Horseshoe Falls turns abruptly counterclockwise at this point, creating a must-see natural phenomenon. Face the Falls up close Niagara City Cruises will get you a misty front-row view of the Niagara Gorge, American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and awe-inspiring Canadian Horseshoe Falls. Recyclable ponchos are provided for the 20-minute boat ride, but my son picked a perfect spot to soak it all in that got us soaked in the process. We loved it! With reduced capacity onboard, there are plenty of photo ops, provided you don’t mind the mist. Take a journey behind the falls During summer daylight hours, more than 2,800 cubic metres of water crashes down the Falls every second at 65 km/hour. To put that into perspective, the average household uses only 14 cubic meters a month! This self-guided tour took about 30 minutes. To begin, we descended 125 feet by elevator to explore a 130-year-old

Parker Bates from This is Us on His Pandemic and Pearson Life Parker Bates plays young Kevin Pearson in the hit show This Is Us. We caught up with the teen actor to chat about the show, his advice to other teens about coping with pandemic life, and the very Pearson-esque advice he got from his on-screen dad, Milo Ventimiglia. By Julyanna Trickey You have played the character of young Kevin on NBC’s This Is Us for about six years now. What has been your favourite part of working on this show? It’s always fun when I get to work with Milo, just me and him. It’s always super fun because I get to learn a lot from him. Before Covid, I learned a lot about the directing side of things and more of the camera operating stuff so that has been pretty cool. But mostly my favourite has been just being on set and hanging out with my friends. Since I’ve known them for six years now, they’re like my family. Whenever I’m on set I just have so much fun with them. Do you keep in contact with your castmates a lot outside of work? Yes. Me and my siblings on the show have a little group chat called “The Mini Big Three” that we keep in touch with. I see Milo sometimes too just to hang out and chat. What have you noticed is different about your job since the pandemic started? Every other day you have to get tested or sometimes it’s every day. So, it’s been kind of weird going to the city just to get tested. On set, there are these boxes that we get to take our masks off in to eat something. They look a bit like a hockey penalty box so that’s kind of fun. But we have still been working a lot so at least that has been normal. How are you coping with the Covid-19 pandemic? It’s been a rough year! I’ve just been trying to stay busy and get outside as much as I can. I’ll go exercise and I’ll go play golf a lot. It’s been one of my main hobbies that I can do with my dad. I usually play soccer, but I haven't been able to do that because of the pandemic. We’ve also been cooking and baking a lot! I have made A LOT of cookies. So yeah, just trying to stay busy! What is

Long Weekend Fun in Kingston, Ontario Summer is short. We want to soak up all the adventures we can before fall arrives with our busy schedules and our back-to-work/back-to-school routines. For families with teens looking for a great way to spend the August long week, look no further than Kingston, Ontario. With everything from great food and wineries (for mom and dad) to haunted walks and thrill-seeking attractions, this relatively short drive from Toronto is jam-packed with family fun. For the Foodie Bistro on Ontario Street Over the August long weekend, Ontario street will be closed to traffic, allowing foodies to taste their way through the city and lounge in Muskoka chairs under the sun. With expanded patios and bistro dining, foodies can enjoy a variety of cuisines. Ontario Street is home to several notable restaurants including Feast On-certified Dianne’s Fish Shake and Smokehouse (East Coast meets Mexican), Wooden Heads (gourmet wood-fired pizza), Namaste (fine Indian cuisine), Mio Gelato, and White Mountain Homemade Ice Cream.  County Sips Wine Tours This is the ultimate foodie’s day out -- enjoying a variety of wineries and a local market. Hosted by sommelier Ian Nicholls, the tours begin with a scenic drive to Prince Edward County along the shores of Lake Ontario. All wine tours will include wine tastings at four selected wineries and a lunch at the Waupoos Market. Expert Ian will explain the terroir of PEC, winemaking and tasting while showcasing the beauty of The County. The tours run on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sundays with different itineraries offered each day. Each tour departs at 9:15am and returns to Kingston by 5:45pm. Check out hotel packages here. For the Explorer Kingston Penitentiary  Closed less than 10 years ago and now open to the public for tours, the explorers in the family can venture into Canada’s oldest maximum security prison. The facility is now offering two new tours for the season: Architecture Tour, where visitors dive into early history of the buildings and the architects and planners responsible for drafting and building the institution; and a Film Tour, where guests visit various areas of the site and learn about how they were used in film, the different productions that filmed there and learn about how these films were made. For the Thrill-Seeker Kingston Haunted Walk For the family thrill seeker, this ghost tour’s spooky stops include haunted hotels, hidden burial grounds, grave robbings, hangings at the old courthouse and Kingston’s famous haunted courtyard. The Ghosts of Fort Henry Walk explores Kingston’s spooky 19th-century fortress and its many

6 Things You Need for a Backyard Family Fun Day While the world is slowly opening up, you can still have a great day outside right in the comfort of your backyard where there are no crowds and no travel time! Here are some items you need to create your own backyard fun with the whole family. You can’t have a great day without some delicious food. To prep snacks for the day, cut up fruit and veggies and keep them fresh using the FoodSaver® Cordless Handheld Sealer and FoodSaver® Vacuum Seal Zipper Bags. Vacuum sealers can save you food, time and space – especially since this device is hand-held and compact. It will keep all your food like deli meats, cheese, fruits and veggies fresh and dry all day even if you’re tossing it into an icy cooler for your picnic. Afterward, because it’s sealed tight, any leftovers can be tossed in your fridge and freezer, and it won’t take up a lot of space! Available at all major retailers. There’s nothing better than a cool cocktail in the sun like these Matt & Steve’s ready-to-drink lightly spiced and hot & spicy caesars. They are the perfect drink to bring backyard entertainment to a new level. It’s a Canadian company and they only use quality ingredients to make all the pickled snacks that go great with Caesars like the Asparagoos and Extreme Bean. Layout all the goodies so the adults can customize their own drinks so you're out of the kitchen and into the sun where all the fun is! Obviously, sun protection is a must – especially if we’re going to be outside for hours. One of our favourites is this natural mineral sunscreen from The Green Beaver Company with SPF 40 broad-spectrum protection. It’s made in Canada and it’s part of the Thoughtful Choices at Shoppers Drug Mart lineup. Shoppers Drug Mart offers a wide assortment of beauty and personal care products that are mindful of our plant, cruelty-free and ingredient-conscious. This biodegradable sunscreen uses safe active ingredients like mineral zinc oxide to provide a barrier of protection against harmful UV rays while maintaining your skin’s moisture. If there’s one way to ruin your time outdoors, it’s when you’re burdened with the buzz of mosquitoes! Summer is short, and we want to get outside as much as possible and enjoy our time! Set up your backyard with Thermacell mosquito repellents! They’re mess-free,

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

10 Last-Minute Mother's Day Gifts Calling all procrastinators, Mother’s Day is this Sunday! Yes, even though it feels like we only just turned our calendars to May, we are approaching Mom’s weekend already. Not sure what to get the amazing women in your life? Read on for some ideas from our last-minute Mother’s Day gift guide that will really make your mom feel special and appreciated on her day this year. SkinGear LED Face Shield Give Mom a glow-up with this LED Face Shield and experience all the benefits that LED light has to offer, right in the comfort of your home. This cordless, hands-free technology is designed with efficiency and convenience in mind. LED light therapy has multiple health benefits and this face shield features three different light modes! BLUE light: to kill bacteria, treat acne and regulate natural oil production. AMBER light: to reduce dark spots, hyperpigmentation and promote even skin tone. RED light: to stimulate collagen and elastin, and to minimize redness and wrinkles. Price: $138.50 on sale Where to Buy: Shop for the LED Face Shield online SkinGear BESO Lip Mask & AMOUR Eye Mask (10 Pack) Introduce Mom to the newest duo to join the SkinGear squad. The Besos Hydra-gel Lip Mask is ultra-hydrating and is infused with nourishing ingredients designed to soften, smooth and restore lips for a visibly plump effect. Pair it with Amour Eye - the ultimate eye treatment! Formulated to instantly refresh the under-eye area, reduce dark circles, and soften fine lines and wrinkles to reveal a luminous youthful glow. Price: $33.74 Where to Buy: Shop SkinGear online Dr Teal’s Melatonin Collection Treat Mom to ultimate relaxation with Dr Teal’s NEW Pure Epsom Salt Melatonin Sleep Soak and Foaming Bath. Infused with beneficial vitamins, minerals, essential oils and Melatonin to restore and rejuvenate both mind and body while promoting a better night’s sleep. Price: $9.99 each Where to Buy: Shoppers Drug Mart BRÜMATE Winesulator Gift Set This is the go-to giftset for wine lovers! Summer weather is approaching and what could be better for your Mom than sipping some wine and relaxing by the pool? Great to travel with to the beach or on camping trips. BRÜMATE’s winesulator holds a full bottle of wine and will keep your Mom’s favourite Pinot Grigio at the right temperature for 24 hours. This giftset comes with two matching Uncork’d XL wine tumblers for easy sharing. With so many different colours and designs to choose from (you can even customize your own giftset!),