We can't begin to tell you how excited we are that we're coming back for year two! I've produced more than 500 events in my career, but never one like this. I still vividly remember Friday, February 10, 2017. That's when the idea hit. Lisa and I were at our wit's end, sitting... err, rather collapsed on the living room floor after what felt like a 27-hour day raising our three kids under the age of 2, when the comment was made, "We need help! We need a book, or a manual on what to do... and how!" As I said that, I began getting online notifications from this event called Dad 2.0. I had never heard of it before, but quickly discovered it was a Dad Conference in the southern states. That lead us down the path of searching for local parenting conferences or events. We discovered, and I am still TO THIS DAY, astonished that there are none. So, Lisa looked at me and said, "You're an event planner, why don't you build one!". And with that, Canada's Premier Parenting Conference: Parenting 101 was born.
Exactly a year later (to the day) we hosted the first ever "Parenting 101 Conference" in Kelowna, BC at the Coast Capri Hotel. We brought in two, nationally recognized keynote speakers: Alyson Schafer and Casey Palmer. Then, we put together a schedule of breakout sessions second to none. We found 12 presenters who each specialized in one specific area of parenting and featured them. Topics like sleep training, discipline, food and nutrition, online safety, special needs, and ages and stages were some of the more popular sessions.
On Friday evening, we showcased a stand-up comedian who is a father to four boys and gathered all of his content from experiences he has had with his kids. Just ask him about his road trip from Los Angeles to Calgary sometime.
We played games together, we ate food together, we laughed together, we learned together and we slowly realized we were all on the same journey of raising kids together. We were all struggling with similar issues. We all wanted the same outcomes. We all were looking for "the village" that they say it takes to raise a child.
Do you remember it, from when we were kids? How neighbours looked after us if our parents had to leave suddenly? How we all had 5 or 6 different sets of "grandparents" or "aunts and uncles"? How we didn't have to set up play dates, we just dragged our hockey nets out into the street and within 10 minutes the whole neighbourhood had gathered to enjoy the spontaneous sporting event? Where did that village go? What happened? What changed?
We don't have the answers, but, we have the passion and the drive and the skills needed to attempt to rebuild it. Remember, technically we built "Parenting 101" for ourselves out of our desperation... and we're inviting you in to learn and grow with us! We're all in this together.
That is why we're extremely excited that this idea... this event... this village continues to grow. Once again, we have invited two keynote speakers to lead our conference in Kelowna, BC on February 8 & 9, 2019. Trisha Miltimore, mother of four, public speaker, and entrepreneur, will share her number one focus: to ignite (or re-ignite) YOUR passion. She is going to challenge you to change the world. Complementing Trisha's keynotes will be Daniel Patterson, father of three and a seasoned high school educator. Daniel has spent his life working with teenagers and their parents in a professional counselling and coaching role. Most recently he has added author to his credentials, having written the book, "The Assertive Parent". We couldn't be more excited to bring Daniel up to Kelowna from his home in California. If you have teens or even pre-teens, you can't afford to miss hearing him talk in February.
Just like last year we're going to have a lot of fun, eat a lot of food and this year we have formed our breakout sessions into three tracks. The first track is: "The Core of Parenting". These sessions are the basics- the foundation which we all need. Then we've set up a "Mental Health" track. It's no secret that there are endless struggles for parents as well as kids, and most, in fact are mental struggles. In the past year and a half, we've heard loud and clear from people in our community, especially from parents, that these issues are not being addressed. So, we're accepting the challenge to address them. Finally, the third track is very unique and special because it opens the doors of our conference a little wider this year. We are setting up an "Early Childhood Education" track. Now, while this track is open to anyone, it was designed especially for those working in childcare, preschools, daycares, etc. You don't have to be a parent to glean immense value from these sessions or the conference in general, and we want to show ECE's just how valuable and important they are, by including them in Parenting 101.
Have we convinced you yet? Will we be seeing you at Parenting 101 in February? One more thing to mention about this year: we've got on-site child care for ages 0 - 12 included in your registration. Nannysitters will be setting up a pop-up day care in one of the large conference rooms to host your kids all weekend while you enjoy the conference down the hall.
It doesn't get any better than this! Alyson Schafer said it herself that,
"Of all the investments parents make in their child’s upbringing, parent education is one of the most important".
The Parenting 101 conference is your one-stop shop. The manual you never received. The reassembling of the village. An opportunity for you to add tools to your parenting toolbox. If you are a parent, an early childhood educator or anyone raising a child, Parenting 101 is where you need to be. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to receive updates on the conference as they happen, and also note that our early bird registration rate ends October 31st! We can't wait to see you there!