5 Tips to Help Kids Find Inner Peace During the Pandemic This school year looks like nothing we’ve seen before. Among the many challenges teenagers and young adults are facing in their life, a global pandemic is sure to add some stress! Conversations with your child about mindfulness will have immediate benefits to their mental well-being. It will not only help them navigate the unprecedented school year ahead, but it will also introduce healthy habits they can build on for a lifetime of inner peace. Of all the ancient and modern practices designed to wake us up, the simple practice of mindfulness has arrived at the forefront of our cultural sensibility. Over 30 years ago, when Jon Kabat-Zinn began sitting and adapting Zen Buddhist mindfulness practices to the healthcare arena at UMass Medical Center and writing Full Catastrophe Living, no one and certainly not he, could have predicted the Mindful Revolution. While so much is out of our control right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more vital than ever to focus on taking care of our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This must begin with the personal responsibility of mindful living. Here are some proactive everyday tips to help your child maintain his/her mental health and find inner peace during times of unrest and uncertainty: Stay Balanced and Grounded through Self-Care Remember you’re not alone if you’re worried or anxious. Schedule self-care into your day and do at least one thing for yourself. Go for a walk, enjoy a quiet cup of coffee or tea, take a long shower or bath, etc. Tune into your breath and body regularly Simply bring your attention to your breath, noticing each inhale and exhale. At the same time, feel both feet grounded to the earth. Your breath becomes an anchor in the body to the present moment. Bringing our attention to the present helps relax the body and mind and lessen any worried or anxious thoughts you have. Express your feelings to close friends and family, don’t keep them inside Worries or anxious thoughts can seem more difficult if we keep them inside. It helps to share and express your feelings to someone you trust. Make human connection a priority for your mental health several times a week and you’ll feel less alone. Consider limiting time on social media and watching the news You’ve probably heard this before but make some positive choices for yourself about how much time you look at social media

3 Simple Money-Saving Hacks for Families with Teens Raising a teenager while also keeping an eye on your family’s finances can be a tricky balancing act. All parents want to provide their teens with the best possible opportunities and preparation for adulthood, but this can be an expensive undertaking, especially when you’re readying your young adult for college or university. Here are some easy ways for your family to get the most out of your hard-earned money and spend quality time enjoying those unique teenage years. Make higher education more affordable by applying to these easy scholarships It’s one of life’s eternal truths that higher education is expensive — really expensive. And while responsible saving and budgeting can help reduce the costs of tuition, textbooks (see below), and room and board, going to college or university is always going to be a costly decision. Although having a student loan may be inevitable, scholarships are a great way to reduce the cost of higher education. Unfortunately, many students are daunted by the idea of applying for scholarships, especially when there are long application forms and multiple essays involved. However, there are a number of excellent scholarship platforms that offer young people access to thousands of funding opportunities, no matter where they are in their education or what they hope to accomplish. There are numerous little-known scholarships that are just waiting to be awarded to the right applicant. Not only are scholarships available for academic excellence, but there are also scholarships that recognize athletic achievement, extracurricular involvement, community service, hobbies, career interests, family background and much more. Finding these scholarships might sound difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Platforms such as Bold.org have helped a growing number of students locate and apply for funding. Bold.org uses comprehensive student profiles to match applicants with the scholarships that are most relevant to them, and that they are most likely to get. Notably, Bold.org boasts a wide variety of scholarships that aren't found on any other platform. These scholarships have been donated by philanthropists and organizations focused on everything from mental health and chemical engineering to female entrepreneurs and African-American journalists. Bold.org also has a lengthy, frequently-updated list of no-essay scholarships that high school and university students can apply for in a matter of minutes, thus increasing their chances of receiving a scholarship and making their education more affordable. Save hundreds of dollars every semester by renting textbooks Textbooks are a huge expense that

iPhone SE a smart phone for back to school I held out for as long as I could, but I finally got my son his very own cellphone. Sure, he’s had hand-me-downs with no sim card, which was only good for at-home use or places where he could mooch off someone else’s wi-fi. But, until now, he’s not had his very own brand-new phone, complete with his own phone number and data plan. I admit I was worried when hearing friends talk about how their teenagers spent hundreds of dollars a month in data overages or how their kids’ faces were always buried in their phones. Was my son going to ring up a huge bill, while ignoring my pleas to watch Fuller House? Maybe. But now that he’s had a phone for a few months now, I have to admit, I wish I had done it sooner. Once we established some ground rules: no phone in the bedroom on school nights, he always has to pick it up when we call and no going over his data plan, it’s been nice to be able to contact him when he’s out of the house without relying on his friends’ phones. Choosing the right phone There’s no shortage of smartphones on the market, but after careful consideration and research, we chose the new iPhone SE for my son. Because my son is obsessed with Instagram and TikTok, a good camera was a must and the iPhone SE has the same camera as the iPhone 11. The camera includes portrait mode with all of the studio-style lighting effects, next-generation smart HDR and optical image stabilization.  It also takes amazing videos with its cinematic video stabilization in the front and rear cameras, 4K at 60fps video quality (which is broadcast quality) on the rear camera. Basically, this means his TikToks will be lit. In addition to a great camera, this phone also has the same A13 Bionic chip as the iPhone 11. This is the fastest chip in a smartphone and means the iPhone SE will be really fast and will feel fluid, whether he is launching apps, playing graphics-intensive games, or trying new augmented reality experiences. Other perks As a parent on a limited budget, the iPhone SE is one of the most reasonable smartphones on the market, starting at $599 CAD. For that price, you also get access to the Apple ecosystem (family sharing, App Store, security and privacy features, Screen Time). In addition, you’ll get a free

Life Behind the Ring Light   The Morning Show’s Carolyn Mackenzie on hosting a national show while raising tweens…. all from home By Rachel Naud Pre-pandemic, minutes before the cameras would start rolling on Global’s The Morning Show, Carolyn Mackenzie would surround herself with her team and her co-host, Jeff McArthur, in an energetic pre-show pick-me-up ritual. “Have a great show!” the team would sing together, just moments before the spotlight would shine on Mackenzie and McArthur as they would bring entertainment and news to Canadians from coast-to-coast. Now, most days Mackenzie, 45, broadcasts from her home, alone. There’s no more team to rally behind her, there’s no more makeup artist or hairstylist or pre-show cheer huddle to get those last-minute butterflies stirring. There’s just her, her ring light and a prayer that her two tweens will stay occupied and quiet so she can make it through the one-hour broadcast interruption-free. “I still do my own chant,” says Mackenzie over a phone interview from her home in Toronto. “I pump myself up. I say, ‘Ok, Carolyn. Have a good show!’” Life in the Spotlight More than 20 years ago when Mackenzie started her career as a journalist and a broadcaster, she could never imagine she would end up hosting a national show from her living room. Since graduating with honours from Carleton University and becoming a journalist, she has been awarded accolades for her work as a storyteller and a reporter. In fact, in 2005 she won an Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism for her coverage on transit inaccessibility. Today, as co-host of The Morning Show, Mackenzie produces segments, interviews celebrities, authors and lifestyle experts. She shares good news with Canadians nation-wide and has the tough job of bringing bad news to audiences. Before the pandemic, her and McArthur’s chemistry would orchestrate to create fun and informative segments, whether they were sharing fun stories about their personal life, doing a cooking demo with Chef Massimo, or sitting down for a powerful two-on-one interview with a guest tackling tough topics about racism or abuse. They competed with one another in fun quizzes; their work wife/husband rivalry leading to more laughs than questions. On Fridays, she and McArthur celebrated the end-of-week with a well-timed high five. “There actually is nothing I do not like about being a part of this show,” says Mackenzie. “It is fun. It’s creative. I love the process from beginning to end. In all my years

Teen Activist Hannah Alper Sets Sights on Changing  World Hannah Alper, a 17-year-old advocate and blogger, is out to change the world. Her work has impacted many lives through her insight on climate change, social justice and anti-bullying. She has not only written a book titled Momentus, but she also speaks at conferences and TED Talks around the world. She also recently appeared in a documentary called CitizenKid: Earth Comes First, which raises awareness of climate change issues and empowers kids to take action. “I never thought that I was too young (to become an activist), I just did it,” she said when asked about her many accomplishments as a young teen. INBETWEEN sat down with Alper to talk about her experience as a blogger, activist and motivational speaker and what she plans on doing next. In your blog and in your social media you are able to portray endless positivity. To what do you owe this enviable trait? My parents have always taught me to be a passionate and positive person. I am always called passionate, positive and optimistic. With all of the issues going on today, I could not do what I do without bringing positivity. There are so many things that we can do even though there are a lot of problems in the world. But we can be that change together. What is your biggest motivator? My parents. They have been to Washington and Kenya with me. I can talk to them about the issues I care about and share my experiences with them. I would also say that those young people that make a difference in the world also motivate me. They make me feel as if I am not alone and that there is always something you can do to make a difference. In a world where social media is on the rise and many young people are starting to gain their own voices, what would you say to young bloggers who want to make a difference? Keep going. I truly believe that social media is the biggest and best tool that we can use to change the world. If anyone is struggling with getting people to pay attention and join a movement, you need to keep going. We always need more people to share what they care about and social media is one way that we can begin that change. Social media is a truly incredible place and kids often

4 Grad Gift Ideas They'll Love Whether your son or daughter is graduating from high school or university/college, you'll want to mark and celebrate the occasion with the perfect gift! Since we’re all staying close to home these days, here are some great grad gift ideas that your teen and young adult will love and enjoy while at home. 55-inch TCL Roku TV If there’s anything we’re all doing these days, it’s binge-watching our favourite shows. I think your graduate would be thrilled with their own 55-inch TCL Roku TV! It’s super easy to set up. You just create a Roku account and set it up with your Internet and then you have all the popular streaming apps like Netflix, Prime, Disney+ and Crave, etc at your fingertips. It’s powered by the Roku OS system and actually provides access to more than 150,000 movies and TV shows from top free and paid channels, so it is easier than ever to binge-watch your favourites! And, if they’re night owls, they can watch without disturbing you because the Roku mobile app enables you to use private listening when you connect a pair of headphones to your phone! The picture itself is 4K so it’s very crisp and clear and makes binge-watching a picture-perfect experience! $400, roku.com Hamilton Beach DrinkMaster While you’re watching your favourite show, why not enjoy a homemade milkshake?! This DrinkMaster Chrome Classic from Hamilton Beach has a cool, 50s diner vibe that I love and it whips up serious delicious drinks in no time flat. You can make your favourite milkshake, but you can also make smoothies or malts too! It has two speeds and comes with this 28-ounce mixing up, which gives you plenty of room without worrying about it spilling all over.  And it looks neat on your counter too! $70, hamiltonbeach.ca 10.2-inch iPad An iPad is always a great gift, especially for graduates. This is the 10.2-inch iPad and it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and family with Facetime and now, of course, Zoom. They can also use it to download their favourite apps, watch TV and movies, listen to music, and even use it as a portable tablet if they’re planning on continuing their studies in the fall. It’s great because you can easily add a Smart Keyboard, Apple Pencil and use your iCloud account to transfer work between a student’s Mac and iPhone. $429+, apple.ca The Knot Dr.

How to Teach Your Teen the Art of Face-to-Face Connections   Here’s a question for you to ponder:  Are we as parents doing all we can to prepare our teens for high school, college or the workplace? Are we doing all we can to best support the next generation so they can function in the best way possible in the real world?  Are we supporting the next generation by way of offering them pivotal life skills?  What I’m talking about is developing face-to-face communication skills, in an age where it is becoming a lost art. We are all experiencing a unique time in history, no doubt about it. We are also searching to create a new sense of normalcy as well.  It’s more about physical distancing than social distancing.  We need to connect and interact socially now more than ever. And when it’s safe to connect face-to-face, that’s even better! Here are some tips on how to teach your teens the art of face-to-face interaction and become better communicators. Have mutually beneficial conversations I will make a basic assumption that we all like to be understood.  One main factor to really understanding someone is by listening.  Some quick tips on how to fully engage are to ask clarifying questions.  It is always OK to ask questions of anyone you are talking with, such as, “I really want to understand your point, would you mind saying it again for me?”  Or perhaps you can ask them to rephrase it in a different way so that you understand.  Instead of offering (pretend) nods of understanding, ask for clarity!  Don’t interrupt, listen more and talk less.  It’s easy to talk. When we talk, we are sharing what we already know, but when you truly listen, you may learn something. One quick tip I’ve used with teens to work on listening skills is creating a for-fun mock TV or radio interview.  I have my clients create a short list of three questions to ask, but I always stress one key point to them.  I emphasize for them to listen to the answers very carefully instead of thinking about the next question to ask on their list.  This small adjustment tends to bring big results.  By doing this, you truly put a focus on actively listening to someone and this small habit can be applied to real-life job interviews. How to have hard conversations Most of us, not just today’s youth, will inevitably need to

9 Mother’s Day Gifts She’ll Love So, this is a weird Mother’s Day, right? Instead of brunch out or a big family dinner, you might have to send your love over a Zoom call. The good news? You can still show how much you appreciate and adore Mom with these gifts that can be easily ordered online and delivered straight to her home —and her heart.   Conair Unbound Auto Curler Just because she may not be going out, doesn’t mean she won’t want to look her best. This cordless hair curler creates luxurious curls and beautiful beachy waves anytime, anywhere. It’s rechargeable so Mom can pack it in her purse when she’s finally able to hop a plane and come visit you! $129.99, conaircanada.ca Belif Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask Bring the spa experience home to Mom with this innovative jelly-pudding mask that replenishes and revives dull, dry skin with explosive hydration. She can put her best face forward on Mother’s Day when she wakes up with a radiant and dewy glow, just in time for your family’s Zoom call! $45, sephora.com/ca Quo Beauty Flash Dry Nail Colour Perfect for the DIY mani-pedi, this two-coat, fast dry nail polish is long-wearing and creates a smooth, hard finish on nails. It comes in 30 gorgeous shades. $11, beauty.shoppersdrugmart.ca/ Google Nest Hub Max Perfect for the home chef or video call queen, the Google Nest Hub Max is perfect for catching up with the family, finding new recipes or even just displaying family photos. All she has to do to get started is say, “Hey Google.”  $299+, store.google.com/ca/product/google_nest_hub_max  Roku® Streaming Stick™+ Perfect for binge-watching her favourite show, the Roku Streaming Stick sets Mom up for streaming free TV, live news, sports, music, movies and more! She’ll not only love the picture-perfect quality, but she’ll also adore the feature where she can search her show of choice via the voice remote! $70, roku.ca iRobot Braava jet m6 Bid adieu to the mop and broom! This Wi-Fi-connected Braava jet m6 robot mop delivers fresh, clean floors throughout the entire home – learning, mapping, and adapting from room to room. Using Imprint Link Technology, the Braava jet m6 also teams with Roomba s, i and 900 series, and automatically starts mopping after vacuuming is finished. $550, shop.irobot.ca/ Vivier Anti-Aging Program Give Mom the gift of glowing skin with Vivier’s Anti-Aging Program. The program reduces fine lines and wrinkles, aging and expression lines, while at the same time improving your skin’s moisture,

Foster Fail Julie Benz from Foster Boy talks about how the film exposes abuse, corruption in the foster-care system in the U.S. Tell us a little about the movie Foster Boy. Foster Boy is a legal drama about corruption in the for-profit foster care system. It is based on true events. Foster Boy was written by an attorney and is based on his experience as a top litigator in Chicago. How do you think his first-hand knowledge and experience really lends to the credibility of this film? Jay Paul Deratany was able to bring his real-life experience as a top litigator to the page. It adds an incredible richness to the film. As a litigator, he prosecuted numerous child welfare cases against for-profit foster-care companies and won. His screenplay pulls together a number of the cases he has prosecuted in order to tell an extremely compelling story and illuminate the bigger issue of corruption in the for-profit foster-care system. Foster Boy has been described as “Art Activism.” What does that mean to you? Wow. That’s a powerful and accurate description of Foster Boy. To me, ‘Art Activism’ means the ability to inspire change through art. And that’s exactly what this movie does. It holds up a mirror to a very corrupt system in our country and forces you to look at it. It leaves you wanting to make a difference for these innocent children and to fight for reform. Why do you think it’s so important to highlight the abuses within the foster-care system in the U.S.? Foster children are the forgotten children in our country. There are 430,000 children in the foster-care system at any one time. The statistics show that the majority of foster children are abused, neglected and denied basic services.  And over half end up homeless, unemployable or incarcerated after aging out of the foster-care system. What’s your take on for-profit foster care? It doesn’t work. Profits are frequently prioritized over a child’s well-being. These companies are hard to regulate and are not always transparent with their data. It’s heartbreaking because it’s the children that suffer at the hands of these greedy companies. There’s an incentive to make the placements for these kids to intentionally fail so the company can make more money. It’s criminal. You play Pamela Dupree in the movie. Can you tell us about your character? Pamela Dupree is a representation of what it’s like to be a social worker in a for-profit foster-care system. Through

5 Tips to Help Your Teen Learn at Home The shift to remote learning has been a challenge for everyone – teachers, parents and students, alike. No one has mastered it, so don’t be too hard on yourself and expect that you should have this figured out. This might be helpful advice to share with your teen too. Here are five tips to make the transition a little easier on you and your teen: Set a routine and create a plan for success together. It’s important that you and your teen sit down and map out a schedule and goals for learning. Make sure to get their input rather than impose a schedule on them. They are likely already feeling anxious, so this is an opportunity to give them a sense of control over something. Your teen will feel empowered and motivated when they feel they have a voice in the decision-making. Be clear that the schedule can be changed in the future as you both learn more about their school’s approach to remote learning. The environment at home is very different than school, so it may be hard for your teen to get motivated. Help your teen set up a space at home to mimic the school day. Setting up a designated area for learning will help them transition into a mindset for learning. Using a timer like the bell at school can help your teen know when to move on to a different subject or assignment. If your teen struggles with attention, try setting a timer for 15-minute increments (to start) to help them focus. Teach your child how to be an independent learner. Staying focused, organized and on-task are skills that are crucial to be a successful learner remotely. Look at the assignments and schedule online (if their school has switched to distance education) and show them how to create a weekly or monthly calendar for any upcoming deadlines. Discuss how they can break each project down and plan their time accordingly. The calendar is a great guide to create daily to-do lists as well. Encourage your teen to reach out to their teacher if/when they have questions versus you doing it for them. Connect your teen with a tutor online. If the change from parent/child to teacher/student is causing any stress or frustration, sometimes it’s best to call in a third party to support your child with their