Mealtimes are a great opportunity to foster discussion and share experiences that bring us closer together.
“Making Meals Meaningful,” a partnership between UNICEF Canada, Maple Leaf Foods and Dr. Karyn Gordon, aims to help Canadian families connect around the dinner table.
The program features themed conversation starter cards that parents can use as a guide to have engaging discussions with their children about important and sometimes hard-to-discuss topics including acceptance, compassion, empathy, generosity and selflessness.
“Parents want their children to be more aware, appreciative and kind to others,” says Gordon, one of North America’s leading authorities on understanding and connecting with youth. “Sitting down as a family over dinner is a great place to teach these important values.”
Mealtimes are precious opportunities for families to nourish their minds and bodies in a hurry-up world, says Lynda Kuhn, senior vice-president of Maple Leaf Foods.
“With the holiday season approaching, this is the perfect time for parents to broaden their children’s empathy for people around them and around the world.”
Making Meals Meaningful cards are complimentary and available through the UNICEF Canada website, unicef.ca, until the end of December. The cards are divided into two sets: one for children aged five to nine and one for teens aged 10 to 16.
“The great thing about these cards is they can be used with your children all year long as a building block to have deep and meaningful conversations about the importance of showing empathy and generosity to those less fortunate,” says Sharon Avery, chief development officer of UNICEF Canada.
As part of the United Nations, UNICEF is active in more countries and saves more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization.
Gordon is one of North America’s leading relationship experts specializing in Gen Y, and her mission is to inspire people to develop exceptional relationships with themselves and others.
For 14 years, she has provided her expertise through national media.
Along with her busy speaking schedule and regular media appearances, Gordon has maintained her thriving consulting practice for families for the last 15 years called ‘dkb coaching & wellness studio’ in Toronto and one in New York City to serve organizations and families.
She has also authored four practical resources for teens and parents. Her latest book (published by Harper Collins) is called “Dr. Karyn’s Guide to the Teen Years.” She has a bachelor in psychology, masters in counselling and a doctorate in marriage and family.
She has also done extensive studies in organizational systems, personality and generational differences and leadership in the workplace.
UNICEF has saved more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. Supported entirely by voluntary donations, UNICEF helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, UNICEF is active in more than 190 countries — more than any other organization.
For updates, follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook or visit unicef.ca.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 27, 2012