Day in the Life of a Canadian Family


Parenting Around the World: A Canadian Family Profile

“If you want people to like you, put a Canadian Flag on your backpack. “

This was the only piece of advice my dad gave me before one of my backpacking trips abroad in College.

He was right.  Our first family for our Parenting Around the World Project, the Daly’s, were hospitable, fun and incredibly nice.

After trampoline, dinner and dessert (yummy white chocolate cake), I was able to interview each family member on their daily activities:

International Family Profile: The Daly’s

Dad: Tim
Mom: Shonna Daly
Daughter: Sierra, 13
Daughter: Brooklyn, 8
Son: Parker, 5

: St. Catherine’s, Canada

Schools: Private, Catholic

Tim, Business Management Consultant
Shonna, stay at home mom

Average Day for the Kids:
6am:  Dressed, Breakfast (cereal, Miniwheats, bagels, English muffins), lunches
*No electronics in the morning
8am-3:06:  School
3:06-6pm:  Snack, TV, Homework, Internet,
6pm:  Dinner
6pm-8pm:  Bath, TV, and Computer

Average Day for the Parents:
(Tim travels most every weekday, so Shonna is typically alone until the weekends)
6am:  Dressed, Make breakfast (cereal, miniwheats, bagels, English muffins), lunches
*No electronics in the morning
8am:  Take kids to school
9am:  Volunteer at school
10am-3pm:  Errands, Clean, TV, and Emails
3:06-6pm:  Play with kids, pick up kids
6pm:  Dinner
6pm-8pm:  Bathe kids, watch TV with them, and help with homework
8pm-11pm: Watch TV together

Interesting facts about the Daly’s:
Pets: Besides their 1 Dog, 2 Cats, and lots of Fish, they also have a Chinchilla!

: They love to camp as a family and often go for 3-4 weeks in the summer with three tents (one for sleeping, one for cooking and one for playing).

Favorite TV Shows: Suite life of Zach and Cody, Pimp My Ride, Cold Case, CSI, Hannah Montana,
Family Tradition: Homemade Perogies on Easter and Christmas, usually pray before bed, but not always before eating.
Groups: Tim is a member of the Fraternal Order of Knights, a catholic fraternal organization.

How are Canadian Families Different from American Families?

When I asked the family if they watch, listen to or enjoy any international media, they all said no.  Yet, when I asked them if they watch, listen or enjoy any American media, they said they almost exclusively consume American media.  I thought this spoke to their general attitude towards America, in that there is not much separation.  Their family routines, media and schooling was almost exactly the same as an average American family, except that they take the dog ooout, not out.

This is great, because it speaks to the flattening of families, in that Canadian families do not even realize when they are consuming non-Canadian media, but is also a bit difficult because I found that not only the Daly’s, but many Canadian teens I talked to could not separate even when asked.  For example, when I asked them

“Who is your Role Model?”

Many answers came up, such as Richard Branson, Tiger Woods and Maria Sharapova

When I asked,

“Who is your favorite Canadian Role Model?”

I mostly got blank stares or a questioning, “Wayne Gretsky?” or “Is Michael J Fox Canadian?”

I believe this was demonstrative of what we learned from the Daly’s as well; Canadian Families and American Families are very much alike, maybe even too much so.  The Daly’s have also been hit hard by the economy and due to an appearance of a large American electronic store across the street from their family owned computer store a few years ago, they lost their whole business.  These are the same kinds of problems we are all experiencing.  Less individuality, whether it is with media or a family owned computer store, in exchange for mass American media and corporate America.

Thank you so much to the Daly’s for opening their home and hearts to our readers. Check out their webisode!

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