Meet our host
Tenille Lafontaine says leading discussions on topics like walking to school and risky play has been a learning experience.
Tenille Lafontaine, host of our monthly Mom2Mom podcast, says leading discussions about topics like walking to school and risky play has been a real learning experience.
“Both are unfamiliar topics to me and my family. I’m sort of opposite of the guests, which means I’m learning” she says. “If I’m learning something as host, no doubt listeners are learning too.”
Unsupervised play is one of the areas where Mom2Mom has inspired Lafontaine to look at things a little differently.
“With our 11-year old, we’ve come a long way in the past year, giving him more freedom. A year ago he was only allowed to go to the park and back. This past summer, we gave him the ability to check out the walking paths and bike a bit more.”
As for her 8 and 4-year old girls, Lafontaine says “They travel together, so I won’t leave them unsupervised right now.”
But that doesn’t mean she hovers over them. “I want to be there if they need me, but not an arm’s length away. You might see me on my phone or reading a book.”
Lafontaine takes issue with parents who judge others who aren’t right behind their kids on the monkey bars.
“You don’t know what I do at home or how much we engaged all day. Sometimes the park is a break for everybody. It gives mom some breathing time too.”
Biking to school is another topic that’s up for discussion in the Lafontaine house. Their son has been lobbying hard for the privilege, and episode one of the podcast, got his parents rethinking their position.
“We’ve talked about the possibility come spring,” says Lafontaine. “He will be almost 12.”
Lafontaine is a strong believer in avoiding over-scheduling. The family typically sticks to one activity per kid per season. Her 11-year-old son plays minor football (tackle and flag). The girls are involved in synchronized swimming and gymnastics. Everyone is learning to swim.
“It’s one of the non-negotiable activities in our family. Everyone needs to know how to swim,” she says.
Like many of us, Lafontaine says screen time is the biggest challenge when it comes to keeping her kids active.
“Absolutely! We’re an unapologetic tech family. Technology is a part of our lives and something we all use. Who am I to tell them to put down their ipads, when I work from home on the computer all day? It’s about balance.”
She also admits to being a bit of a hibernator and says it’s difficult for her to get excited about going outside when it’s cold.
“We try to take advantage of family swim times, but I hate the cold. I don’t like skating or tobogganing – notice if mom doesn’t like it we don’t do it!”
The family’s Labradoodle Callie is the one thing that gets Lafontaine outside in the winter.
“Having a dog definitely adds to the family chaos, but it’s a great way to get families active.”
Lafontaine has been blogging since 2008. What started out as a way to share great deals with friends and family, has evolved into one of the country’s top mom blogs. Feisty, Frugal and Fabulous covers everything from parenthood and product reviews to travel and lifestyle. Lafontaine also fills in regularly on a local talk radio station and is a regular contributor on Global Regina.