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FEBRUARY 2020

A U G U S TA

OUR ANNUAL BIRTHDAY GUIDE

TOOTH BRUSHING

HEART TO HEART CONVERSATIONS augustafamily.com


on the cover

F E BRUARY 2020

As shown below: Mary Van (6) and Worth (3) Shingler. Photo by Randy Pace w w w.a u g ust afa m i l y. co m

PUBLISHER

Ashlee Griggs Duren

EDITOR

Aimee Serafin

ART DIRECTOR

Michael Rushbrook

DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Lisa Dorn

ADVERTISING SALES Doressa Hawes Mary Porter Vann

CIRCULATION/MARKETING Kimberly Stewart

PHOTOGRAPHY Randy Pace

CONTRIBUTORS

Kim Beavers, MS, RD, CDE Meredith Flory Paige Tucker Josh Heath Dr. Dana Harris Cammie Jones Dr. Ron Eaker

A Publication of MCC Magazines, LLC A division of Morris Communications Company, LLC | 725 Broad St., Augusta, GA 30901 Morris Communications Company, LLC William S. Morris III, Chairman MCC Magazines Tina Battock, Executive Director Scott Ferguson, Director – Finance & Operations Sherry Brown, Director of Manufacturing & Production Cher Wheeler, Publication Services Manager Veronica Brooks, Accounting Manager Michelle Rowe, Circulation Business Manager

Augusta Family Magazine is published 9 times per year and distributed throughout the Augusta and Aiken area. Send press releases, story ideas or comments to the editor at aimee.serafin@ augustafamily.com or mail to 725 Broad Street, Augusta, Ga., 30901. For advertising information, call (706) 823-3702. For circulation/ distribution, call (706) 828-4391.

Is your child ready for their “close up?” If you think you’ve got a “cover kid,” submit their photo and information on our website or to aimee. serafin@augustamagazine.com and they may grace the cover of Augusta Family Magazine. 4 � AUGUSTA FAMILY | FEBRUARY 2020

Facebook.com/ augustafamilymagazine

@AUGFamilyMag

We look forward to hearing from you; visit our website www.augustafamily.com and on facebook and twitter.


contents www.augustafamily.com

Party Guide Let this Guide be your Personal Birthday Party Planner —Aimee Serafin

25

Heart to Heart

Conversations & Connections that Matter —Dr. Dana Harris

30

6 • AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020

Mom to Mom

L - O - V - E Stories

Ask the Doctor

—Paige Tucker

I was Deceived... and so Were You —Dr. Ron Eaker

11

17


FEBRUARY 2020

Eating Well with Kim

Simple Food Preparation for a Healthy Year —Kim Beavers

18

34

Tooth Brushing

8

Editor’s Page

12

News & Notes

38

Calendar

46

The Modern Perspective

Tips for Infants and Children

—Aimee Serafin

Smart Mom’s Guide

Raising Readers

Inspiration Station

—Cammie Jones

—Meredith Flory

—Josh Heath

20

22

Birthday Party Etiquette & Tips

Celebrating with Books

A Step in the Right Direction

36

AUGUSTA FAMILY | FEBRUARY 2020 � 7


editor’s notes “… a n d th e g r e at est (of th e s e ) is love.” by Ai mee Seraf i n

W

e have arrived in February. It is the month where romantic movies trump action flicks and French cuisine replaces grubhub pizza deliveries. Yes, February 14th is the most popular day of the year when couples and singles in love get to express their inner romance to one another. Onboarding these sentiments at Augusta Family Magazine is Dr. Dana Harris’ article about heart-toheart connections and promoting connectivity with your children. She cites some great insight for raising communicative young adults. Since February is also the birthday issue, Cammie gives readers details about etiquette regarding birthday invitations, budgeting and timing. The Augusta Family Magazine Party Guide is fantastic for finding information on the best places in the region to host memorable birthday parties. You’ll want to be sure to check it out along with the alwaysresourceful calendar. Valentine’s Day is celebrated in different ways across the world. Whether chocolates, spoons, pinned names on sleeves or fresh flowers, we all can express our affections for those we cherish. And while purchased items are nice, the greatest gift we give is love for one another. A Valentine’s Day Worldview (St.GeorgeNews.com) •

Valentine’s Day in Japan has loved ones giving each other their confections of affection.

The small village of St. Valentin in central France celebrates the day with the annual Lovers’ Garden

8 • AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020

Festival and thousands of fresh blooms and floral arrangements. •

Women in South Africa pin the name of their crush on their sleeves to declare to the world who they love.

The custom of carving an ornate spoon by young men as a gift for the girl they love originated in Wales and dates back to the 17th century. If the girl accepts the love-spoon, a relationship ensues.

Aimee Serafin aimee.serafin@augustafamily.com


Warm Water

Water Safety

Small Class Size

Dolphin Team


A CITY ON THE

Move

103 Old Wrightsboro Road Grovetown, GA 30813 | 706-863-4576 www.cityofgrovetown.com


mom to mom

Pai ge Tu c ker

L - O -V - E Stories

I

love a good love story. The ones on the big screen or the Hallmark channel are fun, but I like the ones with real people! It’s a question I love to ask someone new or when I’m learning more about a friend: “How did you two meet?” I enjoy hearing the details of how people came together. My best friend’s late Mema would say in her thick southern drawl to everyone who crossed her path, “Tell me your love story”. She would hang onto every word as the person shared how they met the love of their life. Or to be honest, who they thought was the love of their life at the time in college. Love is the ultimate human connection and at the risk of sounding cliché, it makes the world go ‘round. My husband and I met at the “Last Supper” for dear mutual friends who were having their first baby the next day. My parents were high school sweethearts, and my older brother and sister-in-law were college sweethearts. As a mom of a young child, I know it’s far off, but it’s fun to think about Julia Reynolds falling in love and getting married one day. I certainly pray now for who her spouse will be and that God would bless their union... and that it won’t happen anytime soon! The other day driving home from school, my kindergartener asked if you get married right after college. I told her some people might, but some people don’t. Julia Reynolds said she couldn’t wait until after college so she could get married?! She and her best cradle bud have big matrimony plans, but she also frequently switches out the groom to a few lads on her shortlist. Ahhh, young love! On the other end of the spectrum, the world’s oldest couple celebrated their 80th (!!) wedding anniversary at the end of 2019. Eighty years. Charlotte and John Bissett of Texas are 105 and 106-years-old respectively. They were asked to share their secret to a good life and happy marriage and are quoted as saying to live life in moderation and be cordial to your spouse. It sounds like pretty good advice for all of us from two lovebirds who seem to have figured it out! After twelve years in local news, most recently as evening anchor of NBC 26, Paige Tucker is now a work-at-home mom and freelance journalist. She produces two series for NBC 26 TV, First Responders and 26 Women Today, and you can see those stories on Tuesday nights. Paige and her husband have one daughter, Julia Reynolds, who is five years old.

AUGUSTA FAMILY | FEBRUARY 2020 � 11


news&notes Fe b r u a r y 2 0 2 0

Love might be a little word, but it’s not just something you spell. It’s more a thing that you can Feel, and Give and Share as well!

Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush from Pexels

– Winnie the Pooh, Disney

12 � AUGUSTA FAMILY | FEBRUARY 2020


news&notes

app-tastic!

My Own

Pearl e. White aPP

By Christine Deriso, author and writer for the Dental College of Georgia

by Seran Angelika Let me never forget While you pick tiny flowers for my hair And paint me a picture of yours Let me never forget Your sandy fingers Waving, love-filled from the shore Let me never forget Whose we are or why we are here Skipping rope on the edge of the earth’s equator Let me never forget Any tear you’ve shed Over the harshness of my voice

Dr. Tara Schafer and Jeff Mastromonico with app. Photo by Phil Jones.

Meet Pearl, a gal who really sinks her teeth into oral health. Well, her tooth, that is. Actually, Pearl is a tooth— an animated character who cheerfully and whimsically helps children learn about the importance of good oral hygiene. Pearl is the star of an app unveiled in 2017 by Augusta University, available on iPhone and Android devices, that makes dental care “fun, not boring,” according to Jeff Mastromonico, director of the AU Department of Technology Enhanced Learning and Innovation. The information, he says, is as colorful and eye-catching as anything a kid would watch on a network cartoon. “We wanted to teach kids how to brush and floss in the most engaging way possible,” says Mastromonico. “We even incorporated games that make the app exciting and interactive.” One game, for instance, offers points for helping Pearl gobble up as many nutritious snacks as possible.

“It’s exciting to explore the potential of technology to help our children be as healthy as possible,” says Dr. Tara Schafer, interim chairperson of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, who worked with Mastromonico’s team to develop the app. “It’s never too early to start teaching them about good oral hygiene and helping them develop habits that will enhance their health throughout their whole lives.” Regular brushing, for instance, is the most important deterrent to cavities, and flossing cleans the 35 percent of the tooth surface that a toothbrush can’t reach. “Oral hygiene has never been more important,” Schafer says, “because people are living longer than ever, and we want kids to keep teeth throughout their whole lives.” She is gratified that the app helps educate parents as well and serves as a timely reminder about healthy daily habits. To purchase the app, visit com/pearl.html.

Let me never forget The choice to which I rose When life chose me as your mother What love formed to bring you close So I could find out more about myself through another And because it carries a higher, more powerful, greater than exceptional tone Than any other phrase aloud, Let me never forget These words and their song in my heart: “Mom, I love you.”

http://jaguware.

AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020 • 13


news&notes

national Children’s dental health month Fluoride in the Water Prevents Cavities! Get it From the taP!

February is NatioNal ChildreN’s deNtal health MoNth, and 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of community water fluoridation. this year’s slogan is “Fluoride in the water prevents cavities! Get it from the tap!” this month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, health care providers and educators to promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others. the ada (american dental association) and dentists across the country remind parents that leading by example is the best way to establish healthy dental habits with young children. drinking fluoridated tap water is one way to support proper hydration and cavity prevention. Community water fluoridation is one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century, and what better way to celebrate together than by going to the tap in February!

14 • AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020


news&notes

SAFE KIDS FAST FACTS PLAYING IT SAFE: TOY SAFETY TIPS Parents don’t always read the age label of a toy before purchasing it. In fact, according to a 2018 national survey by the Toy Association, 94% admit that they still purchase toys even when the label indicates their child is under the recommended toy age. “Remember, the age grading isn’t about how smart your child is, but it is safety guidance based on the developmental skills and abilities of children at a given age, and the specific features of the toy,” said Renée McCabe, RN, BSN, Injury Prevention and Safety Program Manager at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. WAYS TO PLAY IT SAFE: • At parties and other festive events, be sure to supervise children around latex balloons. Uninflated balloons or popped pieces can be a choking hazard. Play it safe and use Mylar balloons. • Parents or adults should always supervise play, especially for younger children. • Be sure to check and follow age guidelines and other safety information on toy packaging.

• Avoid toys with small parts when shopping for children under age three (3) and especially for children who tend to put toys in their mouths. Test the size of toys and other objects around the home with a Small Parts Tester (may be purchased in the childproofing aisle of most retailers). • Check to see that plush (stuffed) toys have ageappropriate features like well secured eyes and noses, and that seams are reinforced. Never place stuffed animals or other toys in an infant’s crib. • Toys are subject to safety standards that limit the sound level and potential impact on children’s hearing— but other electronics found around the home are not. Be mindful of the noise in a child’s environment and limit the volume. When it comes to toys, pick ones that have a volume control. • Shop at a retailer you know and trust. Flea markets, garage sales, second-hand/thrift stores, etc., are most likely vendors that are not monitoring for recalled products. Check for recalls at www.cpsc.gov.

• Dispose of unnecessary toy packaging and gift-wrap as soon as possible. (They can present a choking hazard). • Read carefully and save the instructions. • Demonstrate for your child the correct way to play with or use a toy so to properly enjoy it. • Store toys securely in an easily accessible storage bin. Lidded toy storage bins should be non-locking and have special safety features like air holes, spring-loaded hinges and clearances at the hinges to make sure little fingers won’t get caught. • Keep a separate toy chest for older kids whose toys may contain small parts. • Throw away broken toys. • Speak to grandparents and other caregivers about the importance of choosing safe toys. Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children ages 1 to 19. Safe Kids Greater Augusta is a member of the Safe Kids Worldwide network. To find out more about local Safe Kids programs, call 706-7217606, or visit augustahealth.org/safekids. Check out more safety tips, the Ultimate Car Seat Guide and “Parent Pep Talk” at SafeKids.org.

AUGUSTA FAMILY | FEBRUARY 2020 � 15


ask the doctor J. Ro n Ea ker, M. D.

16 • AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020


I was Deceived... and so Were You

A

t first I was mad. Then I was embarrassed. Then I was plain old frustrated. I had just come from a lecture where my world was upended. Maybe that’s a bit melodramatic, but, what I discovered was disturbing. For the last 40 years of conscious adult life, (I consider myself brain dead and uninformed until I was at least 20) I had been indoctrinated by the concept that eating fat and meat was tantamount to gorging on pork drippings. I thought my proclivity towards vegetarianism was based on science and common sense. After all, have you ever seen a fat vegan? I was focused on the 2% body fat that these meat-shunners tended to espouse. I equated skinny with healthy. I know now that this is somewhat like corresponding an English accent with a high-level education, which ain’t necessarily so! Granted, there are a lot of skinny folks who are fairly healthy and there are a lot of fat folks who are very sick. But there are also some thin people who are sick as colicky sheep and various plump people who are healthier than a hound dog with a pork chop collar. So fact number one that blew through my narrow preconceptions: what we look like on the outside has very little correlation to what we look like on the inside. It’s way more complicated than that. Statistically, it is more likely for you to have diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and a wide range of other illnesses if you are seriously overweight. So, I am not advocating being heavy. It’s just that moderation from both ends seems to be the ideal. It’s not healthy to be normal weight and “over-fat” on the inside. Fact number two is that sugar along with his devil twin insulin is the root of all evil, not money. Too much money makes you suffer from exuberant luxury and terminal opulence. Too much sugar? You die. We have been bamboozled by years of false teachings regarding nutrition. And unfortunately, the overlords of the medical/ nutritional/industrial complex are largely responsible for perpetuating the myth. I have swallowed this gospel hook, line and lard and have preached for thirty years that

a low-fat diet is the holy grail of health. I have since come to understand that this is simply hubristic gobbledygook. Firstly, it is astonishingly simplistic. The mechanics of metabolism would make a Swiss watchmaker jealous. And limiting one class of nutrients as the cure to world ills is dangerously dogmatic and simply wrong. When momma said to eat a balanced diet those many years ago, she was right. Moderation in all and nothing in excess… except maybe more Star Wars sequels. Secondly, sometimes something thought of as good can actually turn out to be bad. There was an old Greek philosopher— it’s hard to remember which— who said “everything in moderation, nothing in excess”. It was known as the Greek Ideal. In this case, it refers to our old friend insulin. This pancreatic hormone does a lot of good when present in small quantities. It regulates blood sugar and prevents your serum from becoming molasses. But when there is too much over a long time, bad things happen. Insulin resistance, like the French resistance, leads to death and destruction. The insulin problem is at the root of many maladies such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension and impotence. So, if you control the sugar then you control the insulin. And in this particular sense sugar is synonymous with carbohydrates. You can’t lump all carbohydrates together, just as you can’t lump all college professors together. Some are good, some are bad and some just smell funny (it is the same for carbohydrates). The key is identifying which carbs elevate insulin most and to avoid those as you would a multi-level marketer. Increase your protein and even your unsaturated fat, but limit carbs if you want to have a long and happy life. Thus, my new, simplistic nutritional mantra: eat balanced meals, lower your trans-fats and sugar intakes, and load up on fiber. Dr. Eaker is an Augusta Ob/GYN and author. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters in college.

AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020 • 17


eating well with kim

Photo by Adonyi Gรกbor from Pexels

K i m Be avers

18 โ€ข AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020


Simple Food Preparation for a Healthy Year

A

great habit or tradition to start in the kitchen and continue through the year is food preparation. A onehour weekend food prep session yields multiple positive outcomes. First and foremost, it is time spent together, and in case you have not noticed, your children really do want to be with YOU. Secondly, it exposes kids to healthy food options and increases longevity. When compared to other high-income countries America cooks the least and lags in life expectancy. Cooking skills correlate positively with vegetable consumption and negatively with convenience food consumption, which re-emphasizes cooking and food prep as important life skills. Lastly, once a food-prep habit becomes established it is helpful for everyone because it takes the pressure off weeknight meals through kitchen collaboration. Weekend food prep ideas: pick one to three of these to start a 1-hour weekend food prep habit. •

• • •

• • • • • • • • • •

Peel and slice carrots. Place these in bags for lunches or in a large container to use as needed. Slice cucumbers (these will not keep as long as celery, or carrots— eat them first). Slice celery and bell peppers (if not using the bell peppers within a few day throw them in the freezer for later). Cut up broccoli (store this in a large zip-top bag with a paper towel inside— the paper towel absorbs extra moisture, helping the broccoli last longer). Wash fruit for easy grab-and-go options (apples, grapes). Cut melons for easy snacking. Boil eggs. Make yogurt parfaits. Make smoothie bags for healthy morning smoothies. Make a pan of baked oatmeal to use for a quick breakfast. Make snack bags of trail mix for on-the-go snacks. Make a simple slaw. Clean lettuce for salads (store in a zip-top bag with a paper towel). Roast tomatoes (slice grape tomatoes in half and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 300º for 30 minutes). Mix these into other veggies, or use on toast or rice. Make a big batch of rice or quinoa. Keep some in the refrigerator for this week and package some in the freezer for later. Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for University Health Care System. She is the co-host of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/eatingwellwithkim.

• • • •

Marinate some meat for use in a couple of days (or freeze for use later). Cook a double batch of taco meat (use half for dinner on prep night and package the rest to freeze). Cook up some soup for tomorrow’s dinner. Make a batch of muffins.

Stewed Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes

Dress up meatloaf or grilled chicken breast with this classy side dish. 2 medium zucchinis (about 8 ounces) 1 teaspoon canola oil 4 medium garlic cloves 2 tablespoons fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves, or 1 tsp. dried 1/8 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons shredded or grated Romano cheese

Cut the zucchini into 1/2-inch slices, preferably with a crinklecutter. Pour the oil into a pan over medium heat and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring occasionally. Toss in the zucchini. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender-crisp. Pour in the broth. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or until the zucchini is tender, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, basil and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the tomatoes are warmed through. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with Romano cheese. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: ½ cup) Nutrient Breakdown: Calories 42, Fat 2g (0.5g sat. fat, 0.5g mono fat); Cholesterol 1mg, Sodium 32mg, Carbohydrates 6g, Fiber 2g, Protein 2g Diabetes Plate Plan: 1 Vegetable Cook’s tip on crinkle-cutters: You can find crinkle-cutters at gourmet shops and some supermarkets. They are easy-to-use gadgets that make attractive wavy cuts on vegetable and fruits. Reprinted with permission from the American Heart Association’s No-Fad Diet, A personalized Plan for Healthy Weight Loss © 2005

AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020 • 19


smart mom’s guide C a m m i e Jo n es

20 • AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020


Birthday Party Etiquette & Tips

W

hen it comes to planning your child’s birthday party, a fun experience can quickly turn stressful. Birthday parties have changed over the years— throwing out a grocery store sheet cake with ice cream and paper party hats has morphed into elaborate bakery-themed cakes, hired entertainment and detailed goodie bags. So, how can you keep the party special without breaking the bank? Is there a way to manage the invitation list without hurting anyone’s feelings? There is no perfect way to do this, but there are some reasonable guidelines to keep all of the above in check. InvItatIon LIst A rule of thumb, especially for younger children, is to invite one guest per year of your child’s age plus one. A four-year-old’s party, therefore, would include 5 people other than the birthday child. As your child gets older, it is important to decide if he/she would like to invite the entire class or just keep it to a few key friends. Once a child starts school, things can become tricky. It is best to distribute invitations away from school unless the whole class is invited. If you invite less than half the class, that is fine. However, if you invite half or more, you should include the entire class, or feelings will get hurt,” according to the website spruce.com. One idea is to do something at school that includes the entire class. Bring a few dozen doughnuts in the morning or send cupcakes with your child for snack time. Then, if you still want to have a party, you can invite your child’s closest friends. As children get into their preteen and teen years, parties can become smaller. This is a great age to begin having a friend or two over to spend the night, go to dinner or a movie or do something that works with smaller groups. However, now you run the risk of social media posts getting out. With FOMA (fear of missing out) central to a teen’s confidence level, it is a good idea to stress social media etiquette with your child. Talk to your child about how Instagram posts or Snapchats can hurt other classmates. A good idea is to encourage a “no posting” policy to avoid someone feeling left out. If you allow guests to post a photo, make sure you have not left any invitee out who may be negatively affected. Though parents would prefer to include every friend or classmate, there are many times when it is not logical to invite everyone. Make time to talk to your child, especially if they are on the receiving end of not being invited, and

explain that sometimes feelings are hurt and it is not fair. Life lessons and disappointments are part of life. Use them as teachable experiences. BudgetIng Including everyone on the invitation list can result in a party that can get expensive. To keep money in check, set a budget before you begin planning. I feel a smaller party allows parents to splurge a little more. Maybe order a special cake from a local bakery or get themed goodie bags that each guest can take home. A larger party calls for the basics. Cake, icecream and a game or two will work and the children will be just as happy. Throw on some party music and let the kids dance. Plan an outdoor party in the backyard with a soccer ball or football, divide into teams and challenge each other to a fun competition. Or set up a table and let kids do art projects. As for invitations, online ones work great. There are plenty of free downloadable birthday party invitations (Evite, Paperless Post). Collect email addresses, pick a template and send out invitations. Instant communication has its benefits! One way to help the budget is to go in with a friend who may have a birthday around the same time of year. If they have similar friend groups, the families can split the cost of a nicer space or have a “destination” birthday party. And if there is concern about guests feeling obligated to bring two gifts, opt for the “no gifts, please” on the invitation. tImIng Children’s attention spans get longer as they get older. Tip: the younger the child, the shorter the party. Be mindful of nap times as well as meal times. If the soiree is near lunch or dinner, you may choose to provide pizza and waters to avoid any “hangry” meltdowns. If not, a simple snack of goldfish in addition to cake and ice cream will do. Enjoy this time of planning your child’s special day and don’t get caught up in the details of trying to make everyone happy. Getting another adult helper or your child to assist with the party is a sure way to have a party that all will enjoy. Take a lot of pictures and don’t forget the candles! Cammie Jones is an Augusta freelance writer and mother of three.

AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020 • 21


raising readers Me re di t h Fl ory

22 • AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020


Celebrating with Books

T

his column begins my fifth year of writing Raising Readers for Augusta Family Magazine. Days filled with diapers and board books have morphed into basketball practice, scouting and comic book interests. My family celebrated many personal milestones over the years, both happy and sad: a 10th anniversary trip to Scotland, military relocations, the death of my grandmother, and the introduction of a new family cat to name a few. I never imagined after leaving the teaching profession to stay at home that freelance writing would afford me so many adventures. Writing this column for you, on my favorite subject of reading, is a highlight each month. As a lover of books, I cherish bookstores, libraries and other places where I can search through stacks of things to read old and new, and a thoughtful book purchase is always an outstanding gift. So, whatever milestone your little one is celebrating, consider marking their accomplishments through the gift of books. Potty Training: When toddlers begin to use the potty, a book can be a great way to celebrate and explain what is happening with their body. My children both received books to go in a little basket in the bathroom to “read” while they were sitting on their potties, and Usborne’s What is Poop lift-the-flap book was a purchase that led to both learning and giggles. Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi is another classic for the toilet. Alternatively, you could purchase a storybook with their favorite cartoon characters and matching underwear as a present for moving out of diapers. Dental Work: The first visit to a dentist can be a little scary, as well as losing a tooth or getting braces. Several classic picture book series have dentist stories, such as Little Critter Just Going to the Dentist, The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist, and Dr. Seuss’s The Tooth Book. For older children, Smile, by Raina Telgemeirer and available through Scholastic, is a memoir about trials of needing a lot of dental work. An accompanying diary is available for purchase so kids can record their own experiences. A Major Move: As a military spouse with children, I know that moving or having a close friend move can be

emotionally difficult for everyone. Entering a new school or other activity group can also be emotionally hard. Consider purchasing an age-appropriate non-fiction book about the new city, a nearby national monument, or about the landscape and animals in the area to pique the child’s interest. Fiction stories like Alexander, Who’s Not (I Mean It, Do You Hear Me?) Going to Move by Judith Viorst or A Kiss Goodbye by Audrey Penn are perfect for younger children. Many chapter books and young adult novels with coming of age stories include moving or entering a new school as part of the conflict. Choose one of your favorites, along with stationary or a gift card for apps to help them keep in touch with their friends. Author Sara Elizabeth Boehm has several journals for pre-teens and teens to help them work through feelings and tackle suggestions for getting settled. Graduation or Coming of Age Celebrations: When I graduated from high school, my mother gave me two lovely personalized gifts that I still cherish. She had purchased a mother-daughter journal that gave her prompts to write about my childhood, things she was proud of me for, and thoughts she wanted me to know about her as I entered womanhood. She also gave me a binder filled with all the programs she had saved over the years from various productions such as my school musicals, orchestra concerts and church programs. Even if you do not consider yourself a writer, there’s a variety of prompted journals you can purchase appropriate for different genders, family relations and religious backgrounds. Use handwritten words to create a cherished book filled with family memories and wise tidbits for a young adult. Or if you do not feel comfortable writing your own words, ask your local bookstore assistant to help you find an appropriate novel with a character that is celebrating the same event: graduation, quinceanera, driver’s license, going to college, religious ceremony, coming out or other coming of age event. Meredith Flory is a freelance writer, military spouse and mother of two. She has a master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Kansas State University and has taught high school and college English.

AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020 • 23


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Celebrate the magic of play and adventure while creating lifelong memories. Let this guide be your personal birthday party planner. Whether providing a thrilling location or supplying services in your home, these party pros offer a wealth of choices to suit all ages and interests.

Party G U I DE By Aimee Serafin Food Styling by Anslie Thorp

AUGUSTA FAMILY | FEBRUARY 2020 ďż˝ 25


Party GUIDE MO OV E A N D G RO OV E ACTIVE CLIMBING 643 s. Old belair rd. 706-922-1054 www.activeclimbing.com the Climbing Party package costs $250 and includes: • One hour and 45 minutes • twelve kids– add more for $10 each • rope climbing • bouldering cave • 20 foot slide • rental harnesses • Free birthday shirt the Ninja Party package costs $350 and includes: • One hour and 45 minutes • twelve kids– add more for $10 each • Warped wall • Cliff hanger • Jumping spider • salmon ladder • Free birthday shirt

DEFY (PREVIOUSLY AIRSTRIKE EXTREME AIR SPORTS) 1249 Augusta West Pkwy. 706-510-0010 www.defy.com/info@defy.com Party package pricing begins at $22/guest for the basic package and up to $32/guest for the legendary package. Packages include: • birthday child jumps for free • Pizza and soda (epic and legendary bookings only) • Party hostess to assist with setup and cleanup • Private party room • t-shirt for guest of honor (epic and legendary bookings only) • grip socks

AUGUSTA JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER 898 Weinberger Way 706-228-3636 www.augustajcc.org rent a banquet room starting at $400 for six+ hours, the pool for $225 for two hours ($75 for each additional hour) or the entire facility, including tennis courts, baseball fields, soccer fields and the basketball court for $1600 for 10 hours.

CITY OF AIKEN— CITIZENS PARK 945 barry Johnson blvd. 803-642-7761 www.cityofaikensc.gov Call for details and rental pricing of spray ground, fields or track.

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JUMP CITY 4446 Washington rd., suite 7 706-262-4653 www.jumpcity.us, www.augustamoonwalks.com or email at jumpcityrentals@gmail.com rent inflatable slides, bounce houses, moonwalks, obstacle courses and water slides beginning at $140. up the fun with plenty of extra options as seen on the website.

JUMP’N JITTERBUGS, NORTH AUGUSTA 803-571-9001 www.facebook.com/JumpinJitterbugs inflatable bounce houses, water slides and combo units. Free delivery and set up. Call for pricing.

FAMILY Y OF AIKEN COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA 621 trolley line rd. 803-349-8080 www.thefamilyy.org Call for pricing, guest size and party details. Parents supply cake, ice cream and decorations.

THE FAMILY Y OF GREATER AUGUSTA WILSON BRANCH 3570 Wheeler rd. 706-922-9623 www.thefamilyy.org Call for pricing, guest size and party details. Parents supply cake, ice cream and decorations.

NEPTUNE DIVE AND SKI 2305 redwood Dr. 706-737-7900 www.neptunediveandski.com, email at neptunedivenski@aol.com Party package is $125 for two hours and up to 15 children, one lifeguard; $150 for up to 25 children, two lifeguards.

THE SALVATION ARMY KROC CENTER 1833 broad st. 706-364-5762 www.augustakroc.org Call for pricing, guest size and party details.

SPLASH IN THE BORO, STATESBORO 1388 Highway 24 912-489-3000 www.splashintheboro.com summer birthday parties: available memorial through labor Day. under the Dome parties: dome-covered lanes, late October through the end of April.

PL E N T Y OF PA M PE R I NG WARDROBE OF WISHES 706-825-8259 www.wardrobeofwishes.com invite a Disney princess to light up your little one’s perfect day. Prices start at $95 and include choice of princess character, story time, photos and games. see website for availability and options.

THE PRINCESS PARTY COMPANY 888-590-1934 www.princessparty.com Package options include a 60-minute (Enchanted) event or a 90-minute (Grand Gala) event. Photos, dramatic entrance, magic wishes and interactive games. Prices start at $125. see website for availability and options.

HAPPILY EVER AFTER PRINCESS PARTIES 253-651-9473 www.happilyeverafterprincessparties.weebly.com Packages start at $60 for a princess appearance lasting 30 minutes. Fun and Games, Pretty as a Princess and Arts and Crafts are 60-minute packages. see website for availability and options.

FAIRY TALE DREAMS, AUGUSTA 210-317-0788 www.facebook.com/fairytaledreamsaugusta/ located in grovetown. Princess appearances start at $70 and include story time, games and songs. see website for availability and options.

HOR S E A ROU N D ALMOST HEAVEN STABLES, SOUTH CAROLINA 220 golf Course rd. 803-663-3001 www.almostheavenstables.com Price starts at $150. includes: picnic area, grill, fire pit, ping pong, basketball, volleyball, horseshoes, sand box and restroom and 2 staff members to assist.

EDEN FARMS HORSE CAMP, APPLING 2763 Allenwood Farm Dr. 706-231-7013 www.facebook.com/eDeNFArmsllC/ Horse and pony rides available for $400 to include up to 8 children. $50/additional child. One hour of riding time. guests bring food/cupcakes and drinks for the party.


Party GUIDE HILLTOP RIDING STABLES, AUGUSTA N. Range Rd., Building 508, Fort Gordon 706-791-4864 www.gordon.armymwr.com/promos/hilltop-birthday-parties Party fees are $250-sponsored or $275-unsponsored. Available party times are 10:00am and 2:00pm. Reservations must be made in advance. Age and weight restrictions. Extra horses available for additional cost.

MAKE AND CREATE A DOLL’S WORLD. 3309 Washington Rd. 706-723-9659 www.securedsslsite.com/adollsworld.com Beautifully decorated, private party room with fancy table setting and elegant dishes. Make a skincare product take home. Guests will enjoy making a craft for her doll and playing games with friends.

BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP Augusta Mall, 3450 Wrightsboro Rd. 706-736-0895 www.buildabear.com Each guest makes his or her stuffed animal friend. The party leader makes sure kids have fun while staying within your pre-set budget. Parties last 45 minutes to an hour and start at $18/person up to $45/person. Five guest minimum.

MY BEST FRIEND’S SEWING ROOM 3850 Washington Rd., Suite 4C 706-993-8819 www.facebook.com/mybestfriendssewingroom Kid birthday parties for ages 8 and up only. They include 2.5 hours of sewing projects to take home as favors. Eight kids for $264. Please call for additional pricing and information.

MICHAELS 211 Robert C Daniel Pkwy. 706-738-9330 www.michaels.com/classes/birthday-parties Book a themed party package for $120 (up to 8 guests), or design your own party package for $50 if you bring your own craft supplies. The party includes a decorated room, drawstring bag for the guest of honor and the assistance of a store associate.

AR WORKSHOP 3116 William Few Pkwy., #2 www.arworkshop.com

DIY project parties for ages 7 and up. $35-45/person. See website for options.

SMOCKS ART PARTIES 742 McClure Dr. 706-833-9696 jennifer@smocksaugusta.com Let Smocks take care of all of the planning, prep, entertaining and clean up while your child and their friends have a blast creating their own painting. Birthday parties are scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays for children turning six or older and are two and a half to three hours. Call for pricing.

ARTSY ME, DOWNTOWN 4275-B Washington Rd. 706-432-6396 www.artsymestudio.com Birthday parties for kids ages five and up. Parents bring food, drinks and paper products. Party room holds up to 20 people. Choose from an Artsy Party for $18/person, or an Extra Artsy Party with boxes, plaques or banks for $20/person. May book online or over the phone.

ARTY PARTY OF AUGUSTA 706-267-8453 www.artypartyfun.com/packages Plan an Arty Party at your home or the venue of your choice. Professional, artistic face painting, Henna parties; great for teens and adults. Call for pricing or view options online.

GET IN THE GAME AUGUSTA GREENJACKETS Lake Olmstead Stadium, 78 Milledge Rd. 706-922-9467 www.milb.com/augusta/ballpark/gj-birthdaycelebrations Little Caesar’s Birthday Party costs $150 and includes: ● 1-hour pre-game party (and unlimited access all night) in the Augusta University Health Kids Zone with a personal birthday attendant. ● 2 Little Caesars Pizzas for your group and 10 cupcakes from A Piece of Cake Bakery. ● Special Visit from Auggie, GreenJackets mascot, during pre-game party. ● First pitch for birthday boy or girl & an autographed baseball for the special kid! ● 10 reserved tickets ($8 per additional ticket on non-firework night). ● Special customized birthday pin. ● Pre-game group picture on the field!

● Happy Birthday sung on the dugout in the middle of the 5th inning and recognition on the Video Board during groups read.

SKATELAND OF AUGUSTA 2451 Windsor Spring Rd. 706-796-4048 www.skatelandofaugusta.com Several party package options during public session, on a weekend or night or for private parties. See website for details. Basic parties start at $150 and range to $295. Minimum of 10 kids.

BOWLERO AUGUSTA (PREVIOUSLY BRUNSWICK NATIONAL LANES) 3067 Washington Rd. 706-860-1667 www.bowlero.com/location/bowlero-augusta/parties/kids-parties#packages Three levels of party fun: Legend, Superstar, or A-list packages ranging from $15.99/person to $22.99/person. Ages 4 - 12. Teen birthday party options: The All Star and the Varsity packages are $27.95 and $25.45, respectively. Ages 13+. Options includes bowling time, menu items and arcade time for host and guests.

GORDON LANES BOWLING CENTER Ft. Gordon, Bldg. 33200, 3rd Ave. 706-791-3446 www.gordon.armymwr.com/gordon-lanes Bowlopolis Birthday Parties includes one hour of bowling and one hour in the party room, shoe rental, choice of three meals and treat bag. Call for pricing and availability.

AUGUSTA AQUATICS CENTER 3157 Damascus Rd. 706-261-0424 www.augustaga.gov/391/Aquatic-Center Parties are held on Saturdays from 10:00am to 12:00pm for children ages 12 and under. $150 fee includes admission for up to 20 swimmers. Call to make reservations.

CHARLES H.EVANS CENTER AND WOOD PARK 1898 Highland Ave. 706-261-0424 Call for details.

PREMIERE MARTIAL ARTS 4460 Suite 1 Washington Rd., Evans 706-426-6339 701 Devika Drive, Grovetown 706-432-6963 AUGUSTA FAMILY | FEBRUARY 2020 � 27


Party gUIDE www.premiermartialarts.com/birthday-parties Qualified martial arts instructors will lead the children in games, activities and a safe karate lesson. A free karate uniform and a birthday black belt to wear for the day. they accommodate any size party from five guests to 25. Call for details.

HAYDENS GYMNASTICS AND CHEER ACADEMY 4300 evans to locks rd. 706-868-0608 www.haydensgym.com/birthday-parties.cfm Haydens keeps their birthday party kids moving and smiling with their favorite themed birthday package: gymnastics, ninja or “raw”. Party packages are $250 for 90 minutes with 10 children. Additional guests are $5/person. Professional instructors, invitations, Hayden drawstring bags and a special gift for the guest of honor!

GYMNASTICS GOLD 124 Cedar lane 706-650-2111 www.gymnasticsgold.com/specialprograms-birthdays.htm Kids enjoy age-appropriate games using a variety of gymnastics equipment. Party packages for ages four and up. Prices are $150 for members, $175 for non-members. Parties last 1.5 hours and are held on saturdays. No parties scheduled June August.

PLATINUM SPORTS AND COMPLETE GAME 3855 Washington rd. 706-814-5916 www.playpscg.com birthday specials include: Full facility– $250 for two hours. Pizza and drinks for up to 12 kids; cosmic lights, soccer, dodgeball, volleyball, basketball, flag football, lacrosse and more.

PUTT-PUTT FUN CENTER 3763 martinez blvd. 706-868-0083 www.augustabirthday.com/birthday-party-packages Classic, deluxe and premium packages include Puttputt, laser tag, bumper boats and indoor play area. All ages.

SEIGLER’S KARATE 4471 Columbia rd., Augusta 706-855-5685 370 Furys Ferry rd., ste 1, evans 706-364-3535 www.goskc.com the perfect party for active kids! Karate and games.

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SOUTHERN TANG SOO DO MARTIAL ARTS STUDIO 2007 tobacco rd. 706-793-6603 www.stsdkarate.com two-hour parties cost $225 for up to 12 children. Additional children are $8.50 each. Parents are welcome to bring food and snacks. A CD with party pictures is available for $15.

STARS AND STRIKES 3238 Wrightsboro rd. 678-965-5707 www.starsandstrikes.com/planning-your-kidsbirthday-party Voted the 2019 best Family entertainment Venue in Augusta by the Augusta Chronicle! We sweeten the deal with our special birthday offer, so you can have an amazing party filled with laughter and fun. MVP Party and Teen Dream Packages include bowling, food options and bumper cars. see website for prices and info.

EATS AND TREATS CHUCK E CHEESE 3435 Wrightsboro rd. 706-737-4557 www.chuckecheese.com. birthday party packages to fit all ages, party sizes and budgets. upgrades available.

VERY VERA PARTIES 2708 Wheeler rd. 706-922-4646 www.veryveracamp.com/birthday-party-packges Cooking class parties for all ages, starting at $425. see website for package details.

OUTSIDE ADVENTURES AUGUSTA CANAL INTERPRETIVE CENTER 1450 greene st. 706-823-0440, ext. 7 www.augustacanal.com explore the Augusta Canal with your birthday guests by hiking, biking, paddling or floating on a guided boar tour.

STEED’S DAIRY 4635 Wrightsboro rd. 706-496-4769 Alison mcPeake: alison@steedsdairy.com www.steedsdairy.com/birthday-parties-and-events

birthday parties are usually scheduled on saturdays starting at 10am or 2pm or on sundays starting at 12:30 or 4:30pm. Friday evening parties are available as well. Download the birthday party package online.

MISTLETOE STATE PARK 3725 mistletoe rd., Appling www.gastateparks.org/sites/default/files/parks/ pdf/mistletoe/mistletoe_birthdaybrochure.pdf A variety of birthday party packages are available featuring ranger-led programs and activities. Program themes vary from lake ecology to carnival games. Check out the birthday brochure online. Camping birthday package includes: • two campsites overnight and picnic shelter rental • 45 minute program • Five park passes • Party decorations

PATRIOTS PARK 5445 Columbia rd. 706-863-7523 www.columbiacountyga.gov A variety of facilities are available to rent from a multi-purpose room to gyms and pavilions. see website for details.

PHINIZY SWAMP & NATURE PARK 1858 lock and Dam rd. 706-828-2109 www.phinizycenter.org/park-rentals Nature Explorer’s Birthday Party package includes: • guided explorative nature hike (approximately one hour) • Activities and games • reusable kid’s sports water bottle for every guest • Nature explorer kit’s t-shirt for birthday child • 4-hour educational meeting room reservation

REED CREEK PARK AND WETLAND interpretive Center 3820 Park lane 706-210-4027 www.columbiacountyga.gov/Home/Components/ FacilityDirectory/FacilityDirectory/39/4823 birthday parties for explorers in nature and the great outdoors. Call for more details.

MOVIE TIME REGAL CINEMAS AUGUSTA 1144 Agerton lane 706-667-9713 www.regmovies.com make your birthday child (ages 3-11) a star for a


Party GUIDE day with their own party at the movies. Call for pricing. Adults responsible for their own admission. Party room rental includes paper products and beverages. Movie Party package includes: • Admission and game tokens • Reserved seating • Zap Pack (child-size popcorn, drink and Welch’s fruit snack)

RIVERWATCH LUXURY CINEMAS 832 Cabela Dr. 706-664-0925 www.gtcmovies.com/showtimes/riverwatch12-cinemas Free movie ticket for your birthday. Ages 3–11. Call for additional details on special birthday packages.

THE SALVATION ARMY KROC CENTER 1833 Broad St. 706-922-1533 www.augustakroc.org/parties-rentals/#birthday We have indoor waterpark and a full size gym. Get ready to swim, jump and bounce your way into a fun-filled day at the Kroc Center!

GO HIGH TECH BOUNCE 2 GAMEZ 706- 564-3105 www.bounce2gamez.com The mobile gaming truck is climate-controlled, has PS-4, Xbox One, WII and Xbox 360 consoles. It is equipped with four 39” flat-screen TVs, and has a variety of popular games for each console. Bring the party to your curb!

LEVEL UP GAME CENTER 3837 Martinez Blvd. 706-305-3780 www.level-up-augusta.com Be sure to call ahead. Three party options to choose: private party, group party or a private all-night party event. Prices range from around $20/person for group parties up to $1000 for a private all-night birthday event. Call for reservation and details.

THE PLAYHOUSE 4107 Riverwatch Pkwy. 706-426-8493 www.theplayhouse-ga.com/parties/ A great destination for fun! Indoor facilities include a large jungle gym, party rooms, a slot car track, arcade games and snack bar. In our newly renovated paintball room, you can also

schedule an epic nerf battle or futuristic laser tag game with your friends. Visit website for prices and party options.

GAME ROVER MOBILE GAME THEATER 706-925-7531 or GameRoverGR@gmail.com www.gamerovergr.com/contact-game-rover-videogame-truck-augusta/ Birthday package includes: • Up to 24 players at one time • A game coach to assist with your party • Use of our extensive video game library– or bring your own • Use of our gaming consoles and 6 HighDefinition TVs • Stadium seating with surround sound and amazing lighting Pricing: Weekends, Friday - Sunday 2-Hour Parties: $299 Additional Time $100/hour Weekdays, Monday - Thursday 2-Hour Parties: $249 Additional Time $100/hour

BRING IN THE CLOWNS AND MAGIC TMT PRODUCTIONS www.facebook.com/tmtdj21 706-825-1041 DJ entertainment with over 10 years of experience providing entertainment for birthday parties, weddings, dances, proms and other events.

THE CLUBHOUSE KIDS PUPPET THEATER 350 Marshall St. 706-951-7938. Call for more information.

character costumes also available. Come in a week before rental date and get fitted. Offers costumes only.

UNCLE SAM’S MAGIC SHOW 706-945-2053 (text is best) www.unclesamsmagicshow.com Uncle Sam’s Magic and Balloon Show has been entertaining families and children throughout Georgia and South Carolina since 2005. The most popular birthday option is the combo party that includes both a magic show and balloon twisting creations. Uncle Sam is a balloon entertainer! Sam does all the favorite regulars– animals, swords, flowers, but most fun of all are the funky, silly crazy hats.

MAGIC WITH A TWIST! 4128 Fair Oaks Rd. 706-855-9177 www.magicwithatwist.com Call for pricing, a large variety of party options and availability. Hocus-Pocus Party Package • Magic show • Magic set, wand and booklet for the birthday child • Inflatable 7’ birthday cake yard display • Goodie bags for 12 children Abracadabra Party Package • Magic show • Magic set, wand and booklet for the birthday child • Inflatable 7’ birthday cake yard display • Goody bags, balloon party hats and candy wands for 12 children Mumbo-Jumbo Party Package • Magic show • Magic set, wand and booklet for the birthday child • Inflatable 7’ birthday cake yard display • Goody bags, balloon party hats and candy wands for 12 children • Face painting by Lolli Pop the Clown • 4-hour bounce rental

ACME FUN FACTORY, SOUTH CAROLINA 120 Good Hope Farms Rd. 706-294-5910 or 803-652-8335 www.jinglesandcrew.com A large selection of unique and new inflatables, obstacle courses, inside jump area, basketball hoop, tunnel and large slide. See website for options and pricing.

VINTAGE OOOLLEE 1121 Broad St. 706-724-2591 Let mom or dad pose as a friendly character at your birthday party. Available costumes of kitty, teddy bears, bunny rabbits, puppy dogs and more. Popular storybook AUGUSTA FAMILY | FEBRUARY 2020 � 29


HEART HEART TO

CONVERSATIONS & CONNECTIONS THAT MATTER BY DA N A H A RRIS

O

nce upon a time when my daughter was little, I heard a phrase that I have never forgotten: The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. Children pick up on the words and behaviors modeled by the adults in their lives. They hopefully learn about love, integrity, humility, sharing, self-control and how to get help when needed. If these types of behaviors are learned, your child will most likely handle their daily interactions in the same fashion. They will also probably grow up to be parents who model the same behaviors with their children. Let’s face it, parenting is challenging. Few of us enter the sacred journey of parenthood with the tools necessary for success. We do, however, enter the adventure with visions of what it will be. It takes a lot of effort to fully attend to another human being, but when we are present with our children, we often find that it energizes us and makes us feel more alive. Being close to another human takes work. It may come as a surprise but 90% of people on their deathbed say

that their biggest regret is that they didn’t get closer to the people in their lives. And almost all parents whose children are grown say they wish they had spent more time with their kids. We all have our days when we wish we had a rewind opportunity. And if you happen to be the parent of a toddler and/or a teenager, you will find that they have a lot in common. During both stages, they are doing exciting new things, but they’re also pushing boundaries (and buttons) and throwing tantrums. The major developmental task facing both age groups is also the same: kids must pull away from parents and begin to assert their independence. No wonder they sometimes act as if they think they’re the center of the universe. Because teens carry a blueprint within them, they are often already in touch with who they are and what they want to be in this world. We are chosen as their parent to help them actualize this. It isn’t enough that we simply tell our children we love them. We need to put our love into action every day for them to feel it.


AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020 • 31


That means that having a healthy and trusting parent-child relationship during the teenage years is more important than ever. Being a great parent doesn’t involve doing extraordinary things. It’s the little things you do every day that are most valuable. Here are some steps that I think can go a long way to assure a healthy and happy relationship with your child. •

Be Here Now. It’s more about quantity than quality. If you are curious about what’s going on in your teen’s life, asking direct questions might not be as effective as simply sitting back and listening. Kids are more likely to be open with their parents if they don’t feel pressured to share information. Spend one-on-one time with your child doing something you both enjoy. Prioritize time with your child. Take an active (but not intrusive) interest in your child’s hobbies and activities. Set aside 20-30 minutes each day for reading. Read to your child, and look for those teachable moments. For example, if there’s a storm, talk about what causes thunder and lightning. If you don’t know, try to find the answer together. Promote the idea that learning is a lifelong process. Be your cHild’s greatest cHeerleader. Parents tend to praise children more when they are younger, but adolescents need the self-esteem boost just as much. Teenagers might act like they’re too cool to care about what their parents think, but the truth is they still want your approval. Show him/her that they are valued and validated. This will encourage them to reach new horizons, building self-assurance, self-reliance and the positive reinforcement of being prized and loved. Success is the greatest motivation. Recognize, reinforce and celebrate your child’s success and progress— even the smallest of victories. coNsisteNcy is crucial. Mean what you say and say what you mean. This principle helps young people gain a stable sense of how to interact with others. Although your child will eventually encounter people who will be emotionally or behaviorally inconsistent with them, they need you to offer them the ongoing consistency that creates a positive standard. Be oBservaNt aNd listeN. Acknowledge your child’s feelings. Empathy is one of the most powerful and comforting responses we can give to another person, especially a child. When you acknowledge those feelings, you validate them. When you validate a child’s emotion, you sensitize them to that emotion and give them

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permission to feel it and acknowledge it in other people. •

coNtrol your emotioNs. Don’t take it personally. Your teenager may slam the door to her bedroom. Your eleven-year-old huffs, “Mom, you never understand!” Your five-year-old screams, “I hate you, Daddy!” What’s the most important thing to remember? DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY! This isn’t primarily about you. It’s about them: their tangled-up feelings, their difficulty to control themselves, their immature ability to understand and express their emotions. When this occurs, take a deep breath, remind yourself that your child does love you but can’t get in touch with it now. You may want to take time to respond calmly and constructively. As the parent, you can still set limits, but do it from as calm a place as you can muster. Your child will be deeply grateful, even if he/she can’t acknowledge it now.

eNcourage, eNcourage, eNcourage. Kids form their view of themselves and the world every day. They need your encouragement to see themselves as good people who are capable of good things. And they need to know you’re on their side. If most of what comes out of your mouth is correction or criticism, they won’t feel good about themselves, and they won’t feel like you’re their ally. You lose your only leverage with them, and they lose something every kid needs: to know they have an adult who thinks the world of them.

Our children won’t stay around us forever. They will soon move on to their own lives. It’s during the few short years we have them to ourselves that we can help them awaken to the fullness within them. How fulfilling our children’s lives will be is so very much affected by their relationship with us. Remember that all relationships take work. Good parent-child connections don’t spring out of nowhere, any more than good marriages do. So, create a home that your children want to come home to. Build a relationship that will only continue to grow with time. Parenting isn’t about perfection— it is about intention. Identify your parenting intentions— and take it one day at a time. That is what heart-to-heart parenting is all about! Dr. Dana Harris is a former Richmond County public school educator, elementary school teacher, professional staff development consultant & principal. She is a public speaker & freelance writer with more than 37 professional years in the educational arena. Currently she is retired, a wife of 41 years, a mother and grandmother of two beautiful grandkids, London & Bryce.


TOOTH BRUSHING TIPS FOR INFANTS AND CHILDREN

SHOULD I HELP BRUSH MY CHILD’S TEETH?

YOUR CHILD’S FIRST DENTAL VISIT

Tooth brushing should begin soon after tooth eruption, starting with parents wiping the first teeth with a soft washcloth. After several teeth have come in, a soft bristled brush can be used to clean baby’s teeth. The parent or guardian should be involved in dispensing toothpaste and brushing up until age six or seven. At this age, children should be able to brush their teeth for two minutes twice a day, but do still require supervision. While supervising, make sure the child is not swallowing the toothpaste.

What is the recommended time for a child’s first exam? Ideally, your baby should have a dental exam by 6 months of age and parents should establish a dental home by the child’s first birthday. How do you prepare your child for their first dental visit? •

By the age of 10 or 11, children should be able to brush their teeth on their own without supervision. However, as a parent/guardian, you should make sure that your child continues their oral hygiene daily.

What if he/she doesn’t like tooth brushing? • •

Fun toothbrush and toothpaste: Let your child choose his/her favorite characters toothbrush and toothpaste. Make tooth brushing a group activity: Let your child pretend to brush the teeth of a favorite stuffed animal or doll as you brush his/her teeth. Sing a tooth brushing song: this will make brushing fun and it will give your child an idea of how long to brush each time. Brushing apps, such as Pearl E. White are also available to keep your child entertained and enthusiastic about brushing. Tooth brushing chart with prizes: Every time your child brushes his/her teeth according to your expectations (ex: full 2 minutes without complaints), offer a sticker to put on the chart. After the chart is full, offer a small prize for good oral hygiene.

Tell your child about their dental visit in advance, so you both have time to prepare for the visit. Just like adults, children do not like surprises. Answer your child’s questions about the dentist and the upcoming dental visit positively. Avoid words like “hurt”, “drill”, and “needle” that he may find frightening. Try role-playing with your child. Take turns playing “dentist” either on each other or on a favorite stuffed animal or doll. Role-playing can help your child learn about their upcoming dental visit in a fun and relaxing manner.

What if my child is anxious at the dentist? We want your child to have the safest and best treatment possible while in the dental chair, but this can sometimes be difficult if the child is nervous about receiving dental treatment. Your dentist may recommend an option like those listed below on an individual basis so that your child can have the best possible experience. • •

Nitrous Oxide sedation (“laughing gas”)– has a calming effect Oral Sedation– a liquid medication taken before the appointment that makes the child sleepy.

– Information Courtesy of the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University

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inspiration station Jo sh Heat h

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A Step in the Right Direction

K

aren Brown has lived a life most people can only imagine. She has traveled the world, met celebrities, such as Maya Angelou and Michael Jackson, and performed as a principal ballerina with the Dance Theatre of Harlem for 22 years. She has even performed for Queen Elizabeth and former President Ronald Reagan. Now she shares her time and talents with the local Savannah River Region community. Since 2018, she has directed a summer program for about 50 local children at the Sand Hills Community Center. The program is based on leadership skills taken from the movie “Black Panther,” and includes listening, taking responsibility and respecting everyone. One of the major goals of the program is to improve the children’s self-esteem by teaching them social skills, such as how to overcome shyness and interact with others in a variety of social situations. Brown says she trains kids to become what she calls border crossers, a term that refers to people who can adapt their behavior to any environment. The program is held for two weeks in the summer, and the kids receive only nutritious meals and snacks, not Cheetos. The community center is a cellphone free zone, which some kids find challenging at first. One of the activities for the children is called “Meeting our Neighbors under the Trees,” which involves interviewing men and women who gather to talk, play cards and listen to music at the end of Fleming Avenue near Wheeler Road. The children then share a presentation on what they learned about their new friend. Brown and the other children vote on which one has the most interesting story. She said when the program starts, some of the children can barely introduce themselves, but by the end, they can speak at length about the people they interviewed. The group also goes on field trips to local sites, such as the Laney Museum and the Augusta Riverkeepers. Brown, born in Oklahoma, grew up in Augusta. Her father, Dr. Allen Brown, established his family medicine practice here, and her mother previously

worked as a registered nurse. Brown and her brother integrated Episcopal Day School in the 1960s, and she graduated from Aquinas High School. Brown’s parents encouraged her and her six siblings to pursue their interests, and they had the financial resources to pay for those pursuits. “My parents exposed us to everything,” she said. As a young girl, she began taking ballet classes with Ron Colton. Brown enjoyed the physical and mental challenges of ballet and trained at the Joffrey Ballet School as a teenager. Her dance skills didn’t go unnoticed. She was invited by Arthur Mitchell and Karel Shook, founders of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, to join the company. Later, she also had the opportunity to work as a dancer on tour with Aretha Franklin. Brown enjoys teaching at the Boys and Girls Club of the CSRA where she helps children develop a love for ballet. She has even found a way to get boys interested in ballet, explaining to them that the skills learned in ballet can help them improve on the basketball court. Through her business, En Pointe Plus Dance Mastery Institute, she teaches adult students. “I don’t have a building and don’t want one,” she says. Some of her clients meet her in person, but more often, she trains them through computerized motion analysis, which uses high-speed video to show them how to improve their steps. While no longer a principal ballerina, Brown has no intention of slowing down. She is currently refurbishing the house where she grew up in North Augusta, traveling frequently and preparing for future ballet performances. This busy schedule keeps Brown on her toes. For more information about Brown or her summer program, please visit her website, www.thekarenbrown.com or give her a call at 302-722-5538. Josh Heath is a freelance writer and contributor of Augusta Family Magazine.

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calendar February 2020

SeuSSical the MuSical, Jr. February 20 – 29

2pm Aiken Community Theatre $15 – $25, military discounts www.aikencommunitytheatre.org/shows-1 The themes of friendship, family and community in the Seussical musical come to song and stage at the Aiken Community Theater. The most beloved Dr. Seuss storybook characters like Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Lazy Mayzie and Jojo come alive in the magical settings of the Jungle of Nool, the Circus McGurkus and the underground world of the Whos. Bring the entire family and celebrate Dr. Seuss Day (March 2, Read Across America) early this year!

We’d love to hear from you. If you have an event you’d like to add to our next issue, send an email to aimee. serafin@augustamagazine.com.

AugustA FAmily | FebruAry 2020 • 39


Puddle duck: kids and caregivers club February 11 10 – 11:30am Phinizy Swamp Nature Park $5 706.828.2109 (Recurring each month on the second Tuesday) Toddlers and caregivers can participate in the wonders of exploring our world through hands-on fun in nature, stories and crafts time. Children up to age 5 and caregivers are welcome to join!

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February 1

Storyland Theatre’s Rapunzel 3pm Maxwell Theater, August University www.augusta.edu/maxwelltheatre/

February 3

Two-ddlers Class 10:15 – 10:45am Columbia County Library www.gchrl.org/branches/columbia-countylibrary/ Free interactive program for two and threeyear-olds building early literacy skills.

February 8

Daddy Daughter Dinner and Dance 5:30 – 7:30pm Kroc Center Augusta $35 For more info, call 706.364.5762. (Registration closes 2/6/20).

February 8

Tony Howard’s Motown Review 7pm Imperial Theatre $12 – $50 www.imperialtheatre.com

February 8

Dr. Seuss on the Loose Run/Walk 1-mile walk, 5K, 10K 9am Free for all participants. Call, 706.791.1142.

Photo courtesy of visitaugusta.com

February 9

Artrageous Family Sunday: Say it Loud! 2 – 4pm Morris Museum of Art FREE www.themorris.org Belair K – 8 School Chorus will celebrate African American History Month with a concert.

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Rhonda Vincent and the Rage with special guest Nu-Blu February 14

Photo courtesy of visitaugusta.com

7:30pm Imperial Theatre $15 ¬ $45 www.imperialtheatre.com “A firecracker of talent that powers one of the hottest shows in any genre of music!” The Queen of Bluegrass, as deemed by the Wall Street Journal, Rhonda Vincent is nothing but bluegrass in dress or stage presence. The band hopes the non-traditional frontrunner voice behind its music is breaking bluegrass music stereotypes. The show’s energy, experience and excitement are what make it the “most awardwinning band in bluegrass music history!”

February 13

February 21 – 23

February 28

February 14

February 21

February 28

The Music of Billy Joel 7:30pm The Miller Theater $38 – $100 www.millertheateraugusta.com

Coffee House – featuring Weston and Preston 7 – 9pm Aiken Community Theatre www.aikencommunitytheatre.org/shows-1 R&B classics, beach and pop music, jazz, reggae and country mixes.

February 15 – 16

Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Farewell 3pm, 4pm and 8pm shows James Brown Arena Starts at $50 www.augustaentertainmentcomplex.com

Augusta Players Presents Mamma Mia 3pm and 8pm shows Imperial Theatre $22 – $49 www.imperialtheatre.com

AU Jazz Ensemble: “Within These Gates of Mine” 7:30pm Augusta University 706.667.4100, or www.augusta.edu/ maxwelltheatre/schedule.php

February 22

Augusta University Half Marathon, 10K and 5k 7:15am Augusta Common www.halfmarathons.net/georgia-gruaugusta-half-marathon-10k/

Family Movie Events at the Kroc Center Mary Poppins Returns 6:30 – 9:30pm Kroc Center of Augusta 706.364.5762

Collective Soul 7:30pm Bell Auditorium www.augustaentertainmentcomplex. com/aec_events/collective-soul/

February 29

Ongoing Living History Demonstrations 299 West Spring Grove Ave., North Augusta 10:30am – 4pm The Living History Park www.visitaikensc.com/calendar/event/ ongoing_living_history_demonstrations/

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15th AnnuAl AugustA home And gArden show February 28 – March 1

Photo by Paul Streltsov on Unsplash

Friday: 2 – 6pm Saturday: 10am – 6pm Sunday: 11am – 5pm James Brown Arena See website for tickets and pricing, www.augustahomeandgardenshow.com Find your entire garden and home needs from deck projects to pool and spa consultation at the Home and Garden Show downtown. Whether you are looking for builders, remodeling companies, storage solutions, kitchen accessories or plant varieties you can find it all within steps from one another. Come out and enjoy all the dreamy ways to improve your home’s curb appeal!

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RECURRING TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND SATURDAYS Aiken County Farmers Market Sunrise to noon 115 Williamsburg Street, Aiken www.visitaikensc.com/calendar/

RECURRING EVERY SATURDAY IN FEBRUARY Archery at Mistletoe State Park 1 – 3pm Mistletoe State Park $10, must be 7 years old 706.541.0321 One-hour time frame with certified instructor leading the program. Space is limited.

FAMILY, FAITH AND FELLOWSHIP

Call or visit websites for information on youth and teen programs.

AUGUSTA

Aldersgate United Methodist Church 3185 Wheeler Rd. 706.733.4416 3 years – 5th grade: children’s church and activities. Grades 6 – 12: student gathering, playing games and Bible lesson. www.aldersgateum.com

NORTH AUGUSTA

Fairview Presbyterian Church 1101 Carolina Avenue 803.279.6441 Sunday nights: 6 –12 grade www.fairviewpreschurch.org/youth-1

AIKEN

Millbrook Baptist Church 223 South Aiken Blvd. SE 803.648.4167 Birth to high school ministries and youth groups. www.millbrook.cc/children/

EVANS

West Acres Baptist Church 555 Gibbs Road 706.860.6573 Youth/student ministries, disciple groups and Wednesday nights. www.westacres.org/childrens-ministry.html

AUGUSTA FAMILY | FEBRUARY 2020 � 45


t h e

Modern p e r s p e c t i v e

When did your interest in modern dance start? I began training at a modern-based dance school early in my dance career. Growing up in the south heavily influenced my development as a modern dancer. The organic characteristics and endless possibilities of modern dance sparked my interest at a young age and allowed me to soar.

What do you enjoy about modern? What is most challenging? Modern dance allows me to practice and execute the art of precision, discipline and accuracy, which translates into everyday life. As I advance in my dance career, I am learning that “discipline is freedom” in terms of how to move, when to move, and whether to be structured or freeform. Personally, though, continuing to develop my artistic abilities has been difficult at times. I am extremely dedicated to my craft, which causes occasional frustration if progress takes longer than I expect. Nevertheless, with the help of my mentor, my hard work never stops as I continue to achieve anything I put my mind to.

Describe one of your favorite performances and why? In the winter of 2017, the Skepple Mayfield Dance Company collaborated with GMT RealX at a Jazz Soiree in Downtown Augusta. It was my first time performing to and with a live band. Although we practiced leading up to the show, I have never experienced a feeling as natural and unrehearsed as when I danced alongside the band. The energy of the musicians, dancers and audience members created a certain magic that I have never forgotten.

De’Anya Ezahni Bell, Dancer

Is there a particular dancewear or dance equipment that you like or use? On a normal day, you can catch me in the studio in all black,

De’Anya Ezahni Bell is a senior at Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School. She has been studying dance for twelve years, receiving training in ballet, jazz, tap, flamenco, hiphop, and musical theatre. Currently, Bell concentrates on the modern dance technique as a student and assistant to Sharon Skepple Mayfield at Skepple Mayfield Dance in Augusta, Georgia.

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wearing a leotard and tights. I have been trained to stick to the basics, straying away from adornments that may potentially draw attention away from my work’s substance. And recently, I have developed an interest in unitards. I love the sleek look they provide. My favorite one is designed by Capezio and I got it from Tutus and Dance Shoes: Augusta’s local dancewear store where I have the best job ever!


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