savvymom finding dory review
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On Wednesday night, we were lucky enough to be treated to a special advanced screening of Finding Dory. Since then, everyone has had the same question for us: ‘Is it as good as the first?’

We’re so happy to report that yes, yes it is. It’s wonderful. Finding Dory is funny and sad, serious and goofy—just like the first. As the title suggests, this time it is Dory who has gotten lost, so there is (once again) a big adventure/rescue mission at the centre of the story. However, the plot is otherwise fresh and original. 

We loved that, just as in Finding Nemo, the movie’s message is all about family, love, friendship, ability and bravery. Instead of focusing on what makes Nemo different (his ‘lucky fin’) the focus is on what makes Dory different—her short term memory loss. We loved that the first film was all about a dad’s unwavering love and contained such a positive father-son relationship, and Dory expands on this, teaching the audience that family comes in all shapes and sizes.

The visuals pop, the jokes are funny, the kids had a great time, and so did we. If your kids are small, be warned that once again the film does deal with the heady subject of death. (In the first, Nemo’s mom dies in the opening scene. Here, the unknown whereabouts of Dory’s family makes for a few scary/ sad moments.)

Go see Finding Dory with your kids. You won’t regret it.

CAMH to open 3 youth mental health walk-in clinics in Toronto

In other news, we were pleased to hear that Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (better known as CAMH) is opening three mental health walk-in clinics for young people in the city. This is fantastic news. It makes perfect sense that we need accessible, convenient, walk-in services for both physical and mental health to make it easier for everyone to get the help they need, when they need it.

The clinics, aimed at people aged 11 to 25, provide access to brief solution-focused therapy, peer support, system navigation, access to Internet-based tools, and onsite access to psychiatric services.

Here’s hoping we see similar clinics spring up all across the country.

What a terrible, tragic week it has been. The news out of Orlando has been especially unbearable. The Pulse nightclub shooting has got us at the office thinking about how we raise our children and the values we instill in them. Our writer Leslie Kennedy has written a powerful piece on how the Orlando nightclub shooting serves as a wakeup call to parents. It’s worth a read.


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What Orlando Teaches Us About our Duty As Parents
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There is so much to say about what happened in Orlando this week. So many questions are left unanswered and so many issues raised—from mental illness, to gun control, to religious fanaticism, to politics, to everything in between.

I am a citizen of this world. I am a Canadian living just across from the border where atrocities like these seem to be increasing in number every single year. But more than that, I am a mom. I am a parent of two young, impressionable children, and I am raising them in this new reality.

I’m sure many of us are questioning how to talk about what happened in Orlando with our kids, how to teach them about what goes on in the real world, without making them petrified of it. We want to teach them to be diligent and safe. We want to protect them.

But there is so much more to our role as parents beyond teaching them how to be safe in the world. We are raising citizens of the world. We are charged with teaching them right from wrong. We teach them, whether intentionally or not, how to feel about themselves, about others and about the world around them.

When the new sex ed curriculum for Ontario was announced and people FA-REAKED out over it, one of the sticking points was that in the proposed curriculum children would be taught that men sometimes love men, and women sometimes love women. That is true. That is reality. There are people in the world who are gay. You can like it, you can hate it, but none of that changes the fact that some people—actually many, many people—love people who are the same gender as they are. The sex ed curriculum is teaching only that. It isn’t a lesson in morality. It’s a lesson in reality.

And yet, whether or not rumours are true that the gunman in Orlando was in fact homosexual is kind of beside the point. Because either he hates gay people, or hates himself for being one. Any way you slice it, this was a person for whom the reality that men can love men and women can love women was so diametrically opposed to his moral compass that he snapped. We do know, at the very least, that he was certainly not enlightened to that reality.

We can be religious. We can hold tight to our beliefs and raise our children in our faith. That is our inalienable right as parents in this amazingly free society in which we are fortunate enough to live. But it is our job, no, it is our duty, to teach our kids tolerance, acceptance, and love. Because no greater power, if you believe one exists, wants a world full of hate. And no right-minded citizen of the planet wants that either.
If we all raise our children to know that there are people out there with different skin colours, different body types, different incomes, different abilities, different hopes and dreams and loves and dislikes and on and on and on, if we teach them that there is not a single person on the planet who is the exact same as they are, and some people are completely different in every way, and there is a world full of people in between, if we teach them that different isn’t bad, it’s just different, then we can all go about our business being who we are and not thinking twice when we see someone who is different than we are.

My children know that some kids have two mommies, others have two daddies, some have a mommy and daddy, some have just one or just the other and some have step parents. That’s not because I’m some super liberal parent. It’s because some kids have two mommies, others have two daddies, some have a mommy and daddy, some have just one or just the other and some have step parents. Whether or not any of those scenarios are against my person beliefs (they’re not) is irrelevant. My children know it because it’s true.

We don’t know why what happened in Orlando happened, though any right thinking person knows there really is no real ‘reason.’ There is just an excuse for hate. There is a lack of tolerance and a lack of awareness that, combined with mental illness and accessibility to high-powered guns, created the perfect storm that night in Orlando.

You don’t have to teach your kids that you approve, (though you should. But I’m not going to attempt to change people’s minds on that) but you do need to face the reality that like it or not, there are men out there who love men and women who love women. Once we all get a grip on reality, we can accept that not every person on the planet sees things the way we do or loves the way we do. Deal with it.

Leslie blogs about the good, the bad and the ugly of being a parent and about how real-world stories impact or speak to what is going on in homes across the country. Her current pastimes include shaking it up at Zumba and chasing her 5 and 7 year old.
Comments | Tagged under blogs, orlando, tragedy, news
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