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FR EE

YO UR S

Autumn 2014

What to say? The birds ’n’ bees talk

Activities for kids AFTER SCHOOL

Mother’s Day Craft activity

WIN

How to get a reluctant partner to

tickets to see Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted

COUNSELLING Healthy Lunch recipe books to giveaway! PREGNANC Y

B A BY

TODDLER

TOILET TRAINING when to start & what to do!

2014 Cairns Parenting Companion 1 P R I M A R Y S C H O OAutumn L


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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


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our contributors Deanne Drummond Deanne has been practising family law in Cairns for over 17 years and is also a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer.

Stephanie Palmer Juanita and Bec

editors’ note

Stephanie Palmer from Peppermint Lane Photography strives to frame love and make people smile.

Who else has felt like they hit the floor running in 2014? This edition is jam packed with goodness including some great ideas on the getting the kids moving, whether that’s involving them in an after school activity, a kids club or joining a playgroup.

Naomi Wilson

We also have heaps of giveaways including movie tickets and passes to see some great kids productions coming to Cairns.

Dr Liz Chappell is from Apple Tree Medical (Smithfield, Cairns and Palm Cove) specialising in women’s health

Easter holidays will be here before we know it so check out our school holiday page for some ideas. And for those awkward situations when questions like, “Mum, where do babies come from?” arises, we’ve come to the rescue with ideas on what to say. Read it on page 30. Happy Parenting!

Juanita and Bec contact us PUBLISHER/SALES: Juanita Soper SALES:

Rachel Bradley

EDITORIAL: Rebecca Waqanikalou SUB EDITOR: Kate Wilkinson DESIGN:

Sheryn Bewert

www.engineroom.com.au PHONE: 0438 811 027 (Juanita) EMAIL: info@parentingcompanion.com.au ADDRESS: PO Box 4620 Cairns QLD 4870 www.parentingcompanion.com.au facebook.com/cairnsparentingcompanion

Naomi Wilson from Spectrum Lifestyle Coaching can help you set goals and achieve them.

this issue pregnancy placenta anyone? antenatal smoking the right maternity care

12 22 48

baby baby essentials baby bragboard

11 20

toddler 14 movement, the key to learning 24 toilet training

Dr Liz Chappell

primary school 30 teach your kids to shrug 44 year 7s our new highschoolers 59 what to say

Karen Smith

parents

Counsellor for Relationships Australia, Far North Queensland.

making new adult friend

40

how to get a reluctant partner to counselling

46

cover

win movie tickets mummy makeover

10 51

The lovely Stephanie from Peppermint Lane Photography took some gorgeous pics during one of our monthly playdates at the Cairns Recreation Centre and 2 year old, Cleo made it to the front cover! Read more about Cleo and her mum on page 48.

feature Toilet Training can sometimes be an extremely frustrating journey for both child and parent. This article looks at what is helpful and what we should avoid.

DISCLAIMER: No part of this magazine, including advertisements within it, may be reproduced, in part or in whole without the expressed permission of the editor. Whilst the greatest care is taken to ensure that the information in the magazine is correct at time of publishing, readers are advised to check details before visiting. Cairns Parenting Companion cannot accept responsibilities for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. The expressions expressed within the magazine are not necessarily the views of the Cairns Parenting Companion, but of the individual writers. Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion 5


embracing potential

Did you know your local childcare centre also supports children in Africa?

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


s r e v a s li f e lit tle

Local parents share their favourite tips for making life just that little bit easier.

Top Tip Iron Free! I never iron! Try mixing a teaspoon of lavender oil in a litre of water. Put it into a spray bottle and mist it over the clothes then hang them in the wardrobe. The Lavender oil is a fibre relaxant, so the creases just drop out right before your eyes. Tracey from Yorkeys Knob

Bedtime Training When my daughter was transitioning to night time sleep without a nappy, I would double sheet her bed. I would use a waterproof mattress protector, then place a sheet over the top, then put another waterproof mattress protector with another sheet. If she was sick or wet the bed during the night, I’d simply strip one of the sheets and the mattress protector so no need for making up a bed in the middle of the night. Deanne Johnstone

Water Rings We don’t go anywhere without cold water poppers/bottles for our kids and of course they leave wet rings on car seats, cafe tables etc. I found the best way to tackle this is by putting a small sock on the bottom of the bottle. Anna Feher-Holan of Bungalow

Finding Keys I could never find the right key for the right door - usually when I had a kid on one arm and bags of groceries in the other! I decided to paint the ‘top’ of each key with a different colour nail polish. Voilà no more hassles! Joanna of Smithfield

Boredom Jar A boredom jar is essentially a glass jar filled with bits of paper that have different activities written on them. For example, ‘draw a picture of the dog and colour it in’ or ‘pick a bunch of flowers for mum’. When the kids start complaining that there’s nothing to do I get them to pick an activity from the jar. The novelty of choosing their own activity seems to keep them interested. Sally-Anne of Machans

Left-over Crayons Try glueing any leftover crayons on the top of a canvas then blowdry them until they start melting down the canvas. Makes a great piece of artwork to put on their wall. Katlin of Smithfield

Bed Sheets When washing your children’s bed sheets next, add a few drops of Lavender essential oil to the load and it will deodorize the sheets and have a calming effect on them while they snuggle into bed. Natalie

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Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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A problem for many parents is that their child appears “normal”. The anti social behaviours that these children exhibit are often judged by outsiders to be “naughty”, or due to bad parenting. Neither is true. Neuroscientists have found major physiological reasons for the behaviours of ASD children.

A SD

A Hidden Disability WORDS Claire Hayley Social Skills Resources

APRIL is Autism Awareness month with World Autism Day - April 2nd 8

Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of disorders with difficulties evident in communication, social skills and problem solving. There is a huge range in the abilities of children with ASD, varying from nonverbal children who are ’in their own world’ to highly functioning children with above average intelligence.

New research shows that the brains of ASD children are different to ’neurotypical’ children. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies have shown that the wiring and interconnections between the brains’ hemispheres are different when compared with peers. Connections to other areas of the brain that control emotional regulation are also different to that of ‘neuro-typical’ children. This explains why autistic children perceive and demonstrate emotions differently - the thinking and planning centres of the brain are not well integrated with the thought and feeling centres. ASD children also have problems perceiving experiences from another person’s perspective and may appear selfish. This is not a deliberate act, but a result of their different brain anatomy. In order to be diagnosed, a child must demonstrate, or have a history of issues in two domains: social communication and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, interests and activities. Sensory behaviours are included in the second domain. ASD children often have unusual sensory preferences where they may be over or under sensitive to stimuli like touch, sound or light. This is why some children don’t like being touched or hugged and why some other ASD kids are overzealous in their show of affection, relishing deep pressure and firm body contact. Children with ASD often revert to their preferred sensory activity to calm themselves when anxious (like hand flicking or chewing clothes).

Parents of children with autism may find daily routines such as doing the grocery shopping, or watching a school assembly incredibly challenging. The sights, sounds and smells that are a regular occurrence can be very confronting and distressing for these children.

children to learn to watch and listen for clues about how their listener is feeling in an attempt to increase their awareness of others.

Often strangers will offer parenting advice, as the ASD child proceeds to have a ‘meltdown’. Many outsiders do not understand that no amount of bargaining, explaining, rewarding or punishing can alleviate the situation at the moment of meltdown.

Children with ASD also have difficulty understanding verbal information and often tune out when they have information overload. One of my clients reminded me of this recently in a therapy session by covering my mouth and saying, “Don’t talk, Claire”. This was a timely reminder for me to use visual aids for learning. Pictures, gestures, or showing what is required of a task can be more effective than verbally explaining.

As anxiety levels increase, the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, also escalate in the child’s bloodstream. This results in a ‘fight or flight’ response. At this point, the child is no longer in control of their behaviours, lashing out by yelling, hitting, throwing toys or showing other anti social behaviour. Meanwhile, the distressed parent does their best to employ damage control.

Claire Hayley is a speech pathologist who specialises in ASD treatment and is an Early Intervention Service Provider. Her online store, ‘Social Skills Resources’, provides appropriate resources for parents, teachers and carers of children with ASD or other social- emotional challenges. For more into visit www.socialskillsresources.com.au

Parents of ASD children often feel isolated and marginalised as it is difficult for them to participate in ‘normal activities’ like a play date at the park or a birthday party. It is often easier to avoid these potentially stressful situations. This is a vicious circle, as the more a child practices using their social skills in supported situations, the more socially skilled they become. Families sometimes miss out on potentially rich learning opportunities because it is simply too stressful to take a risk of a meltdown in public. Another common feature of ASD is difficulty interpreting and using appropriate non-verbal behaviours like eye contact and gesture. Those who have ASD may miss important clues about whether their listener is interested in their conversation. Often, they will happily chat about Thomas the Tank Engine, Lego or Minecraft, oblivious to the fact that their partner does not share their passion. Social skills training can help

ASD FACTS: • The prevalence rate of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have increased since the 1980’sand are now approximately 1 in 100 (1%), with more boys affected than girls. • There is no single known cause of ASD. • In about 50% of cases, there is a family history of ASD and a recurrence rate of 1 in 5. That is if you have one child with ASD, chances are 1 in 5 of having another ASD child. • Early identification leads to the best outcomes and children up the age of 7 who are receiving therapy, eligible for resource funding through Disability Care.

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Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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Hits the big screen in Qld

April 7, 2014

Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theatres in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard, and Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon. Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” is directed by James Bobin and produced by David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Bobin co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller, who is also executive producer with John G. Scotti. Featuring music from Academy Award®-winning songwriter Bret McKenzie, “Muppets Most Wanted” hits the big screen April 7, 2014.

www.disney.com.au/muppets © Disney

Win

to se e t icket s ‘Muppet s ’s Disneyt Wa nted ’ s Mo 10

©Disney

WIN thanks to Cairns Parenting Companion CPC is giving you the chance to win family tickets to see Disney’s ‘Muppets Most Wanted’. Just head to our website to find out how. Competition closes Sunday 6th of April with winners announced weekly from the 10th March on our facebook page.

Enter at: www.parentingcompanion.com.au

Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


S L IA T N E SS E Baby

y prospective parents Often, until a baby is on the way, man actually need. Besides don’t realise how much ‘stuff’ babies and clothes, many prams, cribs, cots, car seats, nappies ticular items that parents soon realise that there are par asked five locals to tell they simply cannot live without. We items are. us what their three essential baby

TRAVIS CLARK, obool father of 2, Mooro

SARAH HARDIE, mum of 2 Manduca Baby Carrier - I had a very demanding 18 month old and a very snugly newborn baby. I could feed, rock and snuggle little newbie, while still chasing and catering to the needs of toddler. Organic Paw Paw cream - It fixes everything from cracked nipples to nappy rash, chapped lips to grazed knees. Smart phone - My phone not only came in handy for entertainment during late night feeds, but I had different apps to track feeding, sleeping and nappy changes as well as apps that played white noise to help sooth baby. There were new mum forums for asking advice, sharing stories and showing me that I wasn’t alone. The simplicit y of finding information that I needed to know right then and there was invaluable. I also had the camera readily available to capture every single precious moment, and the convenience of making a phone call without having to leave the comfort of my rocking chair.

KERRY MILLER ,

mum of 1, Forest

Gardens

by up, al for wrapping ba Muslin wraps – ide cy when iva pr of cover, or a bit providing shade or ctly, rre co d de ding. If it’s fol mum is breastfee o. to by ba eat swing for they can make a gr us choice, but an this is a fairly obvio Nappies – I realise too much trouble. nappy can cause s in incorrectly fitted nappies and wipe ergency supply of es cid I also leave an em de your child th those times that the car to help wi it. long to wa in the shops is too that ten minutes husband, wife, k – whether this be A support networ ague, having s, family or a colle friends, neighbour five minutes who can give you someone around one to talk to who to yourself, or some JEMMA PICCO, important. understands is so w Heights

mum of 3, Bayvie

ter - Worth every Digital thermome by’s n take a feverish ba cent when you ca s with ease. couple of second temperature in a le cooler in our nd the old mesh sty s Bouncinette - I fou while you get thing at” for your baby e th climate. Great “se as t en nm tai e is also good enter done. A bouncinett selves. ed to bounce them kids quickly learn t way to steriliser - A grea Electronic steam thout wi es ttl baby bo sterilise, and store, chemicals.

nd, settle ies can bring up wi A dummy - Dumm nothing is d help baby sleep. An a crying baby and mummy. ted an a happy, well res more important th to allow baby’s arm pecially ones that es g, ba ing ep t he sle bu A in muslin wraps, wrapping our baby d rte sta ing We ep up sle be en we started with ja out of them. Th nin s ay ap alw wr a uld wo ey are as tight as ver looked back. Th ne ve ha p d sto an t gs ba they want them bu s to be up where arm eir th ow all d an them up. ving and waking the arms from mo so and I am very little, - I had a big baby ily da Manduca carrier it ed e and I us s going to need on ing hubby thought I wa be ed B. Baby lov getting from A to for shopping, for r had a sore back. ve ne I d nds an close, I had free ha it was going places where It is also good for . hard to take a pram

BRAD RUSSEL, father of 1, Manunda Ergo Carrier - from a father’s perspective, some items that assisted me in connecting with my son in the first year include my Ergo Carrier, which allows me to take him for walks, or out and about, to give

mum a break and so I can enjoy hands free bonding time. Teething pendant - my son loves the Jellystone teething pendant from Earth Toys. It is completely safe for him to chew on and play with. Plus, the release clasp stops him from being choked or having it broken. Natural materials - we use cloth nappies, and wool covers are amazing. Wool is naturally moisture repellent and antibacterial. It also breathes really well, so we found a lot less nappy rash.

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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WORDS Melanie Fogarty and Imogen Carberry

Placenta

? e n o Any

During pregnancy, the placenta acts as a life source to your baby, providing oxygen and nutrients through the umbilical cord, while also producing hormones necessary for the pregnancy to continue. When most people think of the placenta, they may think of it as simply something the hospital takes care of after birth. However, there are actually many families worldwide who take part in many different rituals and practises when it comes to their baby’s placenta, from burying it, to wearing it or consuming it.

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


To some, the placenta symbolises life, spirit and individuality, which is why, in some cultures, the placenta is held in high regards and treated with love and respect. In America, the Navajo Indians bury the placenta within their reservation to honour to their ancestors. Items are also commonly buried with the placenta, such as books or religious items, in the hope that the child will be smart or develop certain skills or traits. In some parts of Africa, the placenta is seen as a twin of the child and given full burial rights.

lack of sleep I was becoming tired and

In Asia, especially China, the placenta is dried and taken as a supplement or added to food dishes for its health and healing benefits. Placentas have been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as long ago as the 1500s, which is longer than modern medicine has existed and continues to be used due to an abundance of properties believed to make a difference to a new mother’s mental health, recovery and well being.

most common printing using materials

Consumption options such as tinctures and encapsulation are also available and gaining popularity in Western society. It is believed that consuming the placenta has many health benefits, such as raising iron levels after birth, preventing post natal depression, increasing breast milk supply, increasing energy levels and balancing out moods. The placenta is also loaded with iron and vitamins B6 and B12, as well as oestrogen and progesterone, both important postpartum hormones.

the very thing that helped grow and

Placenta encapsulation is a becoming a favourable option for women as it is dehydrated, powdered down and placed into capsules to take daily during the post natal period. You can encapsulate your baby’s placenta by yourself, or have a placenta encapsulation specialist do this for you. Other options that are gaining popularity are raw consumption methods or tinctures. All methods are said to have the same health benefits, but come down to personal preference. One woman writes about her experience having her placenta encapsulated. “After experiencing a rough transition into motherhood after my last 2 births, I decided to try placenta encapsulation. Within the week after birth, I was iron deficient and with a

run down. I was advised to begin my capsules and noticed a big difference within three days. My energy levels were amazing and I even had an increase in my breast milk! My iron levels improved dramatically from one week onwards and I never experienced a drop in my moods. Four months post partum I am still taking them and will definitely do this again!” Placenta artistry is also gaining recognition around the world, from the such as paint, organic food products, ink and blood, which is then framed or put away for safe keeping, to the more trending art of placenta keepsake jewellery and other artistic pieces, such as photo frames and dream catchers. “After the birth of my third child I wanted to have a one of a kind piece of art that represented mine and my child’s connection using her placenta, nourish her,” says Melanie, from Beyond the Willow Tree. “From there, a passion was found within creating pieces for other families to represent this special time in a very unique way that will last a life time. I have met every day families desiring a unique piece of art to either wear themselves, or to pass on to their child, representing the connection of a mother and child, sometimes even combining the placentas for three children together.” The placenta has proven to be an amazing and sacred organ, which gives life to our children, holding sentimental,

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spiritual and health value. With so many options available, it’s hard not to think twice about letting the placenta go to

Our kid friendly service includes educating children, installing healthy oral habits and most of all, ensuring their dental visit is a positive experience.

waste after the birth of your baby. For more information on placenta options in Far North Queensland, contact Melanie for artistic keepsakes at www.facebook. com/beyondthewillowtree22 or gentlejourneycbs@hotmail.com For further information on placenta encapsulation you can contact Imogen at www.facebook. com/Cairns-Doula-PlacentaEncapsulation-Services-FNQ

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Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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t e l i To Training

When tnod star t a do what to not when iti’sng! work (Adapted from Childhood Bed-wetting leaflet, National Continence Helpline www.bladderbowel.gov.au, 2010).

Toilet training is a status symbol for children that they are now ‘big’ and the advantages of having a more independent child as well as no longer having to wash or buy nappies are priceless. But the main question seems to be, when do we start? A lot of parents worry that their child is not as well trained as other children and that they will never see the end of puddles and the dreaded pointy undies. Local Cairns mum, Anastasia, mother of four, has used a method of toilet training that is gaining notoriety ‘Elimination Communication’ - to toilet train her youngest son. “Over 7 months ago I started Elimination Communication (EC) with my son and it has been the most amazing experience so far. “ The premise of EC is that babies are born with instincts to not toilet in their clothes or nappy and they have signals and cues, which indicate when they need to relieve themselves. EC involves keeping an eye out for those cues and taking the baby to a place where they can relieve themselves, like a potty. EC is well known in non-westernized societies where it is considered the norm. In these countries, babies are generally full-time toilet trained by the age of one with few of the issues arising in toilet training that are present in our society. I had no intention of doing EC with my son, but during his first few weeks after birth he was very unsettled for no apparent reason. I spoke to a friend who simply said, “It sounds like he needs to wee.” I took his nappy off and watched. Before every single wee

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


or poo, he would wriggle, squirm, and whinge and then the wee would come. Once I was able to differentiate his movements and sounds, his cues to wee or poo became apparent. When he needed to toilet, he made a higher pitched whinging sound than if he was upset, hungry or needing a cuddle. Since he was 4 months, we’ve been going up to a week without an accident and he’s been able to hold his bladder and bowel for up to 2 hours. EC doesn’t have to be full-time. It still works to some degree whether you only do it during the day, or only a few hours a day. When people ask me how to get started with EC, I suggest some nappy free time to watch for signals or to simply put baby on a potty or over a sink when you do a nappy change. It’s surprising what their instincts tell them to do! However, in order to get the most out of EC, it’s recommended to start before the age of 4 months, because by 4 months they’ve been trained to do their toileting in a nappy and to ignore their instincts to some degree. But there is a lot of information for starting EC in older babies. Now that my son is 8 months old, we rarely need to put him in a nappy when we’re out and he only occasionally has an accident, usually when he’s teething or going through a wonder week. EC has been a spectacular experience and has enabled me to feel as though I know him better than I’ve known any of my other babies.” Once toilet training during the day has been achieved, many parents feel confused about how old a child should be before they no longer need a nappy

for bed. Continence Nurse Advisor at the Cairns Base Hospital, Karen Boundy, explains how to deal with bedwetting. “Bedwetting (or Nocturnal Enuresis) is when the bladder empties at night when the child is asleep. This may occur every night or now and then. Bedwetting is common, occurring in 20% of children aged 5 years. However, it occurs most often in boys and can run in families. Bedwetting can be very embarrassing for the child and very stressful for the family.“

THE THREE MAIN CAUSES OF BEDWETTING ARE: • The body does not concentrate urine at night. • The bladder can only store a small amount of urine at night. • The child is unable to fully awake from sleep. It is important to realise that children who wet the bed are not naughty or lazy. Bedwetting can be associated with some illnesses, but most children who wet the bed have no major health problems. Day time bladder or bowel control A child who bedwets may also experience problems with bladder or bowel control during the day. Signs this is happening include if your child goes to the toilet too many times or not often enough; if they have to rush to the toilet or the bladder may not empty completely. They may also experience faecal soiling or become constipated. It is important that new daytime bladder or bowel problems in a child who has been toilet trained be discussed with a doctor.

Bedwetting is common, occurring in 20% of children aged 5 years.

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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ting Bedwet st mo o cc u r s b oy s often i n u n r a nd c a n . ies i n fa m i l THERE ARE A NUMBER OF WAYS TO TREAT BEDWETTING: Many children do stop bedwetting without help. However, if the bedwetting is still very frequent by the age of eight or nine years, it is unlikely to get better without help. The first thing to do is to have your child checked by a doctor to see whether there are any physical causes. The doctor can then refer the child to a Continence Nurse Advisor. Here are a number of ways to help with bed wetting.

BLADDER TRAINING The child is taught good bladder and bowel habits, is shown how the bowel and bladder works and how to train the bladder to hold on or go more often. The child learns the importance of drinking water and emptying the bladder and bowel well when going to the toilet. This will help reduce the bladder urges which can cause wetting.

NIGHT ALARMS Alarms are worn inside the underpants or placed on the bed and work by buzzing or ringing when the child wets. The alarms teach the child to wake up to the feeling of a full bladder. The alarm is used for approximately three months, or until the child becomes DRY (21 DRY nights in a row). The incidence of relapse is also low.

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

MEDICATIONS Medications may be prescribed by a doctor to help the bladder work better at night. These medications work by either reducing the bladder activity or by concentrating the urine produced overnight. These medications are more effective when used along with a bladder training program, otherwise the bedwetting will return once the child comes off the medication.

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO? • Seek help from a health professional a doctor or Continence Nurse Advisor.

5 TOP FRIDAY

What’s On? Every Friday on facebook

• Explain to your child how their body works. • Give praise when the child follows the health professional’s advice. • Encourage your child to drink approximately six to eight glasses of water per day (more in hot weather and/or when active). • Decrease the child’s intake of fizzy or caffeinated drinks. • Be positive about the treatments recommended and support your child to become dry. • Ensure your child has regular soft formed bowel motions and seek help if constipation occurs.

CPC gives you the top 5 local family weekend happenings!

www.facebook.com/ cairnsparentingcompanion

Got a Question?

• If your child is on a bedwetting alarm, wake up with your child and help him change his clothes and bed sheets.

THINGS WHICH DO NOT HELP

every Wednesday you can ...

• DO NOT punish the child for wet beds. • DO NOT embarrass the child in front of friends or family. • DO NOT wake the child at night to take them to the toilet.

Just message or post your question on our facebook page to find out what the locals say. You never know what you'll find out. ASK A LOCAL every Wednesday at

• DO NOT try to cure bedwetting when other family members are going through a stressful time.

www.facebook.com/ cairnsparentingcompanion


Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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s ’ k a t Tik Birth

Monday 5.30am

WORDS Kate Wilkinson WORDS Jessie Bray

I woke up and lay there, tossing and turning. I had a kind of period sensation in my lower belly. I had this feeling before, but it had gone once I shifted position. This time it didn’t seem to go. I told my husband, Geoff about the sensation that I was feeling and told him I would keep him posted if anything came of it.

6 am

7.11 am

8.45 am

midday

3 pm

4.30/5 ish

I went to the loo, got back into bed and listened to the affirmations. ”I give my birth over to my body and my baby….” Geoff and I had listened to them most days. Whilst listening to the CD, I concentrated on my calm breathing and drifted in and out of sleep.

The feeling changed. It was no longer a constant period sensation, but one that would come and go. It seemed to come in a wave roughly every 10 minutes. I continued to lie in bed, breathing and resting. When the waves got a little bit sharper and heavier I manoeuvred myself into the polar bear yoga pose. I was beginning to get excited. I said to myself, “I think this is it!!! Today is Tiktak’s birthday!”

I got up, had a shower and shaved my legs (didn’t want to be too feral for the midwives). I had about 2 or 3 surges whilst in the shower. When they happened, I would just stop what I was doing, relax, breathe and sway.

I had always said that if we were to be in labour during the day that I would like to spend some time down at the beach. So that’s what we did. Afterwards, Mum set up her massage table and did a little energy work on my hips and pelvis. I had another shower to relax and freshen up. My concentration during a surge was much more intense and surges were getting closer and closer, roughly 3 minutes apart and lasting around 40-60 seconds.

In such a short amount of time, the surges started to become a lot faster, longer and stronger. I concentrated more on my surge breathing, which helped me go within my birthing body. Leaning and swaying was still my favourite surge position, but now I added some leg bending, kind of like a squat. The surges were about a minute apart. It was time to make that journey to the hospital. Just before getting in the car, I burst into tears (not the best thing to do when trying to breath and remain calm). It wasn’t a sad, scared or pain cry but a; this is it, it’s all really happening, cry! “Breathe, Jessie. It’s all okay,” my mum said as she gave me a big Mummy hug. Thank God for Mums!

“ I g ive my bir t h over to my body and my baby…” 18

Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

I sat in the back with Mum and listened to the Om music that Gwyneth, my brilliant yoga and Hypnobirthing teacher, had given me. Our birthing room was the same room as the one we had been shown during antenatal classes - the same room I had imagined so many times when thinking about what Tiktak’s birth would be like. I hardly noticed the midwives, but we had Deb, our midwife who we had met during our check-ups - she had been one of my favourites - and a second midwife when the shift changed who had never assisted a water birth before. Apart from them checking my blood pressure and Tiktak’s heart


rate, they left us to it and remained quiet and inconspicuous, just as I had asked in my birth plan, along with minimal interference.

6.30 ish The spa room was also the same one we had been shown during antenatal classes. So far everything had been as I had imagined it would be. It felt so nice to be in the water. It was soothing, warming and relaxing. Mum was behind my head, stroking my hair and keeping my head afloat. Geoff was by my side holding my hand. I would lie in the bath in between surges and get into a squatting position during one. The midwives kept checking the temperature of the water and Tiktak’s heart rate. From then on, time was just a blur. At one stage, I felt like I needed to start pushing, but at the same time I didn’t. So I stared to breathe down rather than up like you do in surge breathing. I don’t know how many surges I had while breathing like that when I heard a huge POP! Evidently the midwives jumped and so did everyone else, including me. “Was that my waters!?”I asked. “Yes,” Deb replied. After that, the surges started to get more intense and I remember looking to Geoff and saying, “It’s beginning to sting now.” Although the surges where stinging, (which is the only word I can think of to describe it, as it wasn’t pain), in between them, the feeling was amazing. It was like complete euphoria, I was just floating in the water, completely limp, relaxed and at ease. I think it was the mixture of the warm water, floating, being so relaxed and breathing. It was almost like an out of body experience, but at the same time I was 100% aware what was happening and going on. During surges I remained lying down in the spa, just floating. I would sway my body from side to side, then up and down (poor Mum having to perform acrobatics around the spa to keep my head above the

water) as well as making sighing noises while breathing down. It felt nice to have the water swirling over my body. I found it helped me concentrate and focus, along with my Mum instructing me to “breathe Tiktak down”. Geoff would say softly and sweetly, “You’re doing brilliantly honey!” The encouragement was so reassuring and comforting. I could feel Tiktak’s head crowning and asked Geoff if he could see it. He could. I really felt the need to push, so I continued to breathe down, but it was a lot more concentrated. The lights were off completely (another thing that was on my plan) and the new midwife was holding a torch.

9.40 pm The next thing I knew, Tiktak’s head was out. With the next surge, the body followed. The feeling of the body coming out was amazing and very different; I could feel all the different body parts, shoulders, arms, hands, legs and feet. Within the next breath, Tiktak was up on my chest. The most surreal and precious moment of my life! I tried to bring Tiktak up higher on my chest, but the umbilical cord was too short. Little did we know, it was wrapped around her neck, but it was still alive and delivering the oxygen that Tiktak needed. As the cord started to stop pulsing, it was unwrapped from Tiktak’s neck. The midwife got me to hold the cord to ensure the pulsating had stopped before they clamped the cord and Geoff cut it. Tiktak was officially no longer a part of me, a bittersweet moment. Tiktak is now our beautiful Sana Jane Harris, who is growing and teaching us new things every day. Not only about herself, but about ourselves; about what is important for us in our life and around us in the world. She brings me joy and happiness every day and the love I feel for her is indescribable. Being a mum is the best and most rewarding job in the world!

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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Baby BraG Board Eleanor Davies

Chase Butche

Show off your baby and you have the chance to win one of three $120 Twinkle Toes Sienna Van Staveren vouchers. To enter upload your photo at

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Elizabeth Mor

rison

Maliq Wray

www.parentingcompanion.com.au

ceive a re d n a d a is th n o S ONLY! Menti R E D A E R C P C y 31st, 2014. R a M l ti n u s re SPECIAL FO tu lp and feet scu d n a h n o t n u o c is $20 d

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twinkletoescairns@bigpond.com • Ph: 4033 1834 • www.twinkletoes.com.au 20

Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


E mbrac e your inne r c ardboard arc hi te c t! Yorkeys’ Cardboard Challenge

WHERE Yorkeys Knob Community Centre, Wattle St WHEN Monday 24th March 2014 TIME

9.30am – 11:30am

Cairns’ Cardboard Challenge WHERE Cairns PCYC, 91-97 McNamara St, Manunda, Cairns

M or e t ha n Pla y

WHEN Wednesday 26th March TIME

The Importance of Playg roup! According to Playgroup Queensland CEO, Leonie Wallwork, the importance of learning through play with parents and carers is widely recognised as a key ingredient to enabling young children to reach their full potential. “Playgroup is more than play – it is an opportunity for parents and carers to create stronger bonds with their children and other families whilst developing a sense of belonging within the community” says Leonie. Here are a few of the programs available through Playgroup QLD:

HAVE FUN-BE HEALTHY

9.30am – 11:30am

Edmonton Cardboard Challenge WHERE Edmonton Community/Playgroup Hall, Graham St, Edmonton

SING & GROW

WHEN Wednesday 26th March

Sing & Grow is an evidence-based

TIME

9.30am – 11:30am

international music therapy project that provides services within the community for young children and their families.

MYTIME MyTime is a support program for mums, dads, grandparents or anyone caring for a

ABLE TO PLAY ALL ABILITIES CARDBOARD CHALLENGE WHERE St Margaret’s Church Hall, 230 Aumuller Street

child up to 16 years of age with a disability,

WHEN Thursday 27th March

developmental delay or chronic medical

TIME

9.30am – 11:30am

condition. These peer support groups provide the opportunity for participants to make time for themselves, to socialise, hear from others in similar circumstances.

NATIONAL PLAYGROUP WEEK 24TH – 28TH MARCH This is a week-long celebration that pays tribute to the importance of parents, carers

The Have Fun-Be Healthy Project focuses

and children learning and playing together in

on nutrition and physical activity for

those vital early years. Cairns families will be

families with children under school age.

treated to three micro events and a special

This includes play-based cooking and

Able to Play All Abilities Challenge, where

physical activity sessions for families.

families can get creative with cardboard.

For more information about Playgroup Queensland programs and National Playgroup Week visit www.playgroupqld.com.au or contact us on 1800 171 882. Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

21


... for many it’s easier said t han done...

l a t a n e t n A

g n i k Smo

In Cape York and need family support?

Apunipima Cape York Health Council provide comprehensive Maternal and Child Health services including:

22

* Midwifery Services * Child Health

* Speech Therapy

* Women’s Health

* Audiology

* Social Work

Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

CAP E YOR K

HEA LTH COU NCI L

www.apunipima.org.au/family-health


We’ve all heard it – you shouldn’t smoke while pregnant. But for many women it’s easier said than done. Tobacco is a highly addictive, highly social, legal and readily available drug and falling pregnant doesn’t mean the habit will vanish of its own accord. STEP 4

• Poor lung function – breathing problems like asthma making playing sport hard

The social aspect of smoking is particularly tricky, especially for pregnant mums who live in a household of smokers.

If you’ve made the decision to quit, remember:

• Brain and behaviour disorders – trouble learning new things like reading

If you smoke and the people you spend time with smoke, quitting might seem like giving up your mates as well as the smokes. It’s even trickier for pregnant mums who live in someone else’s house.

• Giving up is hard – getting help is smart

• Your baby may have a squint – eye and seeing problems.

• The 4Ds when the craving hits 1 Delay 2 Deep breathing 3 Drink water 4 Do something else!

STEP 3 The trouble is, knowing the facts doesn’t mean that giving up is easy. Some mums wonder whether the stress of giving up smoking might affect their babies. The truth is that while it is stressful giving up, the health benefits more than make up for it. Remember, giving up is hard and that it’s ok to ask for help. There are lots of sites, apps and people to give you a hand with quitting – use them!

Even if you’d like to live smoke free, you can’t very well tell people to go outside to smoke if it’s not your house. So what can pregnant mums who smoke, and live in households of smokers, do? STEP 1 Congratulate yourself for being willing to think about this kind of stuff – it’s confronting and hard which means you’re strong, brave and smart to be willing to deal with it.

• Ask family to help by quitting too • It’s common to quit smoking and then take it up again – don’t give yourself a hard time, just go back to STEP 3 • It is never too late to quit. STEP 5 If you live in a house where everyone smokes, or if your partner smokes, or all your mates smoke it can make it harder to give up.

Where to get help:

STEP 2

• Talk to your Midwife, Health Worker, doctor or nurse

Accept the reality of what smoking (and second hand smoke) means for you and your growing baby. Smoking while pregnant (known as antenatal smoking) can cause: • Miscarriage • Problems with your placenta – smoke causes the placenta to be gritty like sand and can cause trouble with blood flowing from you to your baby • Premature birth (babies born to early) who may have to go the special care nursery • Low birth weight babies (low birth weight babies are more prone to disease like ear infections) • Your baby to become addicted to tobacco and have to go through painful withdrawals • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS, also known as cot death)

Here are some things to think about:

• Ring Quit Line on 13 78 48, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can ask them to call you back if you don’t have much credit. Quit Line will help you put a plan in place to quit smoking and help you when the going gets tough

• Get help (see STEP 3) so you can stay strong, even when everyone around you is smoking

• Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) offer free counselling and support and have centres in Cairns, Mossman, Cooktown and Weipa. Call 1800 177 833 to find the number for your nearest ATOD centre

• Explain this baby belongs to the family and you need their help so it can grow up strong

• Download the ‘Quit for you - Quit for Two’ app free from the Apple iTunes online store or at Google Play store

• Ask family to quit for the sake of the baby

• Explain the effects of smoking on unborn babies and infants

• Explain that second hand smoke can lead to your baby dying • Ask family members to smoke away from you.

• Check out www.quitnow.gov.au and www.nosmokes.com.au

FINALLY

• If you’re on Cape York contact the Apunipima Tackling Smoking Team and the Apunipima Maternal and Child Health team through your local clinic.

Remember you have a role in helping your baby, your nephews and nieces and your mates’ babies grow up strong. Be proud of that.

A NEW BREAK THROUGH SERVICE FOR THE CLEANING AND SERVICING OF NON DUCTED AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS (DOMESTIC & COMMERCIAL)

HYDROKLEENING YOUR AIR CONDITIONER WILL • Give You Cooler Air • Reduce Your Power Bill

• Flush Out The Microbial Contamination • Extend The Life Of Your Air Conditioner

PHONE 1300 608 318

TO TALK TO YOUR LOCAL HYDROKLEEN TECHNICIAN www.hydrokleen.com.au Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

23


WORDS Dr Jane Williams

Movement the key to learning

Do you know that when infants and young children move, thousands of messages are sent to their brains that are important for learning? It is through movement that children can reach out, explore, and interact with their world, and in doing so prepare their brain for later learning success. Movement is an integral of part of learning. If we don’t move how can we learn about the feel of things, how our own body works or how we can best interact with those who love and care for us?

Help you r ld t o mawho family dynamics change. We may find ourselves caring not only for our children, but also those x i m i se t h e i r le a r n i n g nurtured us through our own childhoods. It can be a difficult transition, and it brings with it many p o t en t ia l . responsibilities – which at least one, four-generational Cairns family has discovered, the family cycle As daughters become mothers, and mothers become grandmothers, roles are reversed and the ch i

can bring a world of joy‌

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


Jean Piaget, a famous developmentalist whose work has informed the study of infant and child development for many years, was particularly interested in investigating how infants and children learn to think. Importantly, he determined that moving plays a very important role in learning. His, and many other studies, show that movement experiences lay important pathways in the brain that form the foundations on which higher learning skills are built.

Sunday 4th May

Moving allows the young infant and child to interact with their environment. Learning occurs through these interactions as the brain receives the stimulation necessary for the development of thinking skills. Not only does moving stimulate learning, but learning stimulates the next level of moving, as the brain matures and is able to tackle a more difficult movement task. For example, a ‘cruising’ baby will repeatedly pull up to standing and cruise around the furniture or whatever else is available - taller people’s legs, stationary lounges, bushes, beds etc. Once that learning task is accomplished successfully (over weeks or months) the infant will then attempt first unassisted steps. Once the brain pathways for the first movement are successfully ‘locked in’ the next level of movement are attempted. HELPING YOUR CHILD TO MOVE & LEARN While modern conveniences provide parents with lots of ways to ‘help protect’ their babies, many of them restrict movement, preventing babies from getting the very experiences that promote healthy development. Infants are contained in prams, bouncinettes, lounge seats, cots, high chairs for many hours of a day - rather than being allowed the opportunity to interact with and explore the world around them.

For one day only, Cairns’ premier contemporary arts venue, TANKS ARTS CENTRE, invites you to step into another world & experience the wonder and spectacle of the entire site alive with events & activities just for kids, aged up to 12.

Tickets for ERTH’s DINOSAUR ZOO through - www. .com.au For more information, see the festival page - www.tanksartscentre.com

Tummy time on the floor (or flat surface) is the best for encouraging movement and learning. Babies can kick, wriggle, roll, push up, stretch out, lift up their heads, move eyes from near point to far point, feel the surface with their arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet and toes, body and head. Keep the room warm so clothing can be kept to a minimum. Avoid socks and shoes - a baby learns a lot about the world through his bare feet! If your baby dislikes tummy time, keep it short and then gradually build up as tolerance does. You may find you have to lie on the floor as well! Creepers, crawlers and cruisers need the space to ‘roam’. Be aware of ‘what’s safe’. Put away all your precious ornaments and breakables! Make sure cleaning agents, toiletries and other poisons are safely stored. The kitchen saucepan cupboard is a favourite exploration site! Let your toddler WALK. Go for walks every day. There are so many things to do while walking: stepping into puddles, jumping over lines, picking up leaves and twigs, balancing along fences etc. Go to parks and play on swings, see saws and slides. Run up and down hills. Roll and tumble. Balance along edges. Don’t hurry your child – it takes time for the body to fine-tune its movements. Let them tackle the same task as often as they need to. Every time your child practises a movement they are taking another important step along the pathway to learning.

Join in with Cairns Gymbaroo and have lots of fun with your infant and child while learning about early childhood development. Visit www.gymbaroo.com.au for more info. Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

25


After school s

e iti v ti c A The Athlete

CAIRNS NETBALL ASSOCIATION Supports

netball stars from the age of 4 years old. Starting at Net Set Go to Junior Netball and then progressing to Senior Level. Never played? It’s never to late. They can help you find a team or club. Visit www.cairnsnetball.net.au for more details.

WOREE SPORTS & AQUATIC CENTRE Swim Fit Swim for Fitness or Swim For fun. Classes every afternoon $8 per child. Mini Squad 3.30pm-4.30pm, Senior 4pm-5.30pm, every Day. Swimming a skill for life. 1 Pool Close Woree Ph: 4054 6364 • www.woreepool.com

BARRON VALLEY GYMNASTICS Provides quality gymnastics classes for children of all ages and abilities starting from 2.5 years through to State and National representatives. The unique age based classes allow each child to develop at their own pace. 46 Magazine Street, Stratford Ph: 4055 1711 • www.bvgc.asn.au

NEXUS COMBINED MARTIAL ARTS

The Creator GJ CREATION’S KIDS CRAFT CLUBS Kids get crafty with GJ Creation’s Kids Craft Clubs held every Tuesday from 3.30 - 5pm plus Learn to Sew classes every Wednesday from 3.30- 5pm. Adults and under 8s also catered for. Ph: 40534421 • www.craftnsewing.com.au

LIL SCRIBBLERS Art Jams ART...proven to help children develop in all areas and at Lil Scribblers that’s what we do! Enrol your 2-12 year old into our Art Jam program and watch them shine! from $15. Ph: 4033 0685 or 0400 646 327 www.lilscribblers.com.au

Getting involved in extracurricular activities can help kids learn about time management and prioritizing! 26

Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

Self Defence, Discipline, Respect, Confidence, Improved focus, Teamwork, Physical fitness. Age Specific Classes from Toddler to 12 Years. Family discounts available. Contact us to book your FREE trial lesson. 2-4 Koolmoon St, Smithfield Ph: 4038 3348 • www.nexuscombinedma.com.au


ld do after Lost for ideas on what the kids shou eat ideas. school? Check out some of these gr

The Performer CYCAS Circus Youth and adults are able to learn all circus skills including fire and aerial at the new Cairns Youths Circus Arts School Centre. This is a fun, family venue where all will fall in love with the circus arts! New location 54 Sturt St, Bungalow Ph: Patti 0411 098 901 • www.cycascircus.com

AWESOME CHEERLEADING Learn the art of cheerleading, dance, tumble, acrobatics and aerobics with classes for 2 year olds through to adults. Classes held at Trinity Beach Primary School and Cairns State High School. Ph: Tamara 0402 225 630 www.awesomecheerleading.com

BACKSTREET DANCE is beaming with positivity, CENTRE STAGE DANCE STUDIOS has been operating at Yorkeys Knob since 2001. Centre Stage has a Junior Program offering classical ballet, modern jazz, and tap dancing for children aged 3yrs to 7yrs. 432 Varley St, Yorkeys Knob Ph: 0438 370 681 • www.centrestagedancestudios.com

bubbling over with enthusiasm and booming with high energy funky classes. Ages: 3yo to Adults. The focus here is fun, positivity and confidence. Styles: Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop & Contemporary. Ph: 0407 995 182 • www.backstreetdance.com.au

THE YOUNG COMPANY helps kids discover the world of theatre in a fun and stimulating learning environment. There’s drama courses for ages 5 - 17 plus workshops for those interested in musical theatre. Courses available at the TYC city headquarters, Redlynch and Freshwater. 169 Bunda St, Cairns City • Ph: 4041 4066 • www.theyoungcompany.com.au

The benefits of after-school activities are numerous, so help your child choose a fun way to learn, develop talents and skill, and build confidence!

The Thinker Kip McGrath Education Centre Step ahead with your education and enroll now for Term 2. We support and complement your school learning helping to improve confidence, skills and knowledge with a multi-sensory approach. Ph: Sari 4033 0016 for your free assessment. www.kipmcgrath.com.au/cairns

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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ENTRE C N IO T A E R C E R S N CAIR

44 Behan Street, Manunda

y a l P s t Tiny To Every parent knows that physical activity is essential for the development of children and that being physically active reduces the risk of a range of chronic diseases, including some cancers. The Cancer Council suggests “a minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day, including muscle and bone strengthening activities on at least three days of the week, because helping our children create healthy, active lifestyles from a young age is imperative in improving their health for the long term.” But with today’s busy lifestyle, it can be a challenge for parents to achieve this. Fortunately, Geoff, from Cairns Recreational Centre, understands the need for parents of young children to be able to involve their children in a variety of physical activities. Already hosting the monthly play date in conjunction with the magazine, Geoff is hoping to host play dates every Tuesday and Thursday. “We wanted to create something for parents and kids,” he explains. “The aim of the play dates is to teach skills and help maintain kids’ physical well-being, but we also want it to be fun. “The activities we can offer provide an opportunity for kids to explore and be creative in play because they can experiment with equipment they may not have access to at home, while teaching the

importance of rules and boundaries to maintain safety. “Each play date will offer different activities that are simple, but structured to help children develop kinetic skills, dexterity, balance, coordination and cooperation. Some activities, like the push carts, will be set up in an area with a road marked out and real signs. The children will learn to give way, obey signs and will hopefully be able to apply these skills in the real world. “We also encourage active supervision from the parents which will help strengthen their bond with their child, while meeting new parents and forming important, supportive relationships. “The activities we offer include push carts, obstacle courses, game exercises to teach coordination skills like hitting balls with hockey sticks and kicking and passing balls, roller skating, as well as art and crafts. “In the future, we hope to develop partnerships with professional organisations that can have representatives attend the play dates for parents to talk to, which will build a sense of community and raise awareness of what assistance is on offer in Cairns for parents. “The play dates will run from 9-11 am and only cost $7 per child (adults are free) and a healthy morning tea, as well as tea and coffee is provided.”

Se e you ther e!

For more information on the play dates, please contact Geoff at the Cairns Rec Centre on 4053 5353.

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014 cairns parenting companion 2014


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Enclosed 32 FISHBURN ST • BENTLEY PARK heated pools year round Call to book 4045 2782

www.swimskills.com.au

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

29


. .. y a s o t t a Wh WORDS Rowena Prentice Family Planning Queensland

lk ta s e e b n s d ir b e h t

Children are wonderfully curious and naturally want to learn all about the world around them. While most adults are comfortable answering questions about how the world works (even if we don’t really know why the sky is blue), when it comes to questions about sexuality, many grown ups find these conversations a little harder to have. In the past, few people felt able to talk to their children about sexual matters. At most, children received ‘The Talk’ or perhaps a strategically placed book just before puberty. It’s not surprising that some adults might find sexuality an embarrassing and difficult subject to talk about. Today, most parents and carers want their children to feel more positive about their sexuality as they grow up. Children live in a world where they receive sexual messages daily from all types of media and sex is often joked about and discussed in a derogatory or stereotyped way. So it’s important that children receive positive messages about sexuality and relationships. Many parents recognize the lifelong benefits of communicating openly and honestly with their children about these matters, but are unsure how and when to start. The good news is you already have! Children start to learn about sexuality from the day they are born by: • observing the way people around them relate to each other • the way they are spoken to • how they are touched • how they are played with

30

Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

It’s important to help your children feel good about their sexuality from the very beginning. This way they will be more likely to ask questions and seek your help or advice. Communicating about sexuality is an ongoing responsibility, not just a ‘one-off’ talk. Information about sexuality should be given in an age appropriate response and needs to be continually reinforced and gradually expanded as your child matures. The earlier you address things, the easier it is! Even with babies we can begin to develop comfort by using correct names for private body parts as we wash, toilet and dress our children (or they see us doing it and point out our different bits!). Talking to your child while you do these things can also help reinforce concepts of privacy and body ownership as your child grows. Saying things like, “Mummy needs to put some cream on your vulva because you have a rash,” helps normalise the use of those terms, as well as providing a starting place for later conversations about personal safety – who can touch their body and the only reasons why. We call an arm an arm and a nose a nose, so it makes sense to call a penis, vulva, vagina or breast


by its correct name as well. By doing this we ‘normalise’ these words and don’t single out these parts of the body as being different, dirty or embarrassing. By using commonly used and accepted words we can also provide our children with a vocabulary they can use in any situation. This will assist them both in childhood and adulthood to communicate about these parts of their body. Whatever age your children are, it’s never too late. Let them know this is an important subject and one that you are happy to talk to them about. If you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable, talk about this with your child. This way your child will not think this subject is an inappropriate one to ask about or that you are trying to ‘opt out’. They will respect you for your honesty. How do I answer their questions? If your child asks a lot of questions about sexuality, answer them simply and honestly and give enough information to adequately answer their question. If they want more information, they will ask another question. Regardless of your child’s age it’s best to keep your answers brief, factual and positive. If you’re asked a question that you’re not sure how to answer (or you need to buy yourself some time to get over embarrassment!), a good strategy is to ask the child a question in return, such as, “What made you think of that?” or“What have you heard about that?” This will give you a little time to think of an answer and to help establish what they already know. Sometimes questions can be quite unclear, so seek clarification whenever necessary. If you don’t know an answer, say so, then you could find out the answer together. Sometimes children ask questions at very awkward times or places, such as the

supermarket, sitting in a crowded bus, in front of their grandparents, or perhaps when you are just too busy. When this happens, tell them their question or comment is very interesting and important, but it is one that is better discussed in a more private place. Always make sure you do follow up when the time is more appropriate. What if they don’t ask questions? Some children just don’t ask a lot of questions, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. If this is the case, you will need to bring up the subject yourself. By doing this you are giving the clear message that this is a subject you are happy and willing to discuss. There are lots of opportunities you can use to get things started. It could be a friend or relative is pregnant, a pet may have babies, or perhaps an older brother or sister is going through puberty. Use the situation to raise the subject. Ask your child what they know already and then build on that. Another way to prompt discussion and provide information is to have a number of books about sexuality for children. Check at bookshops, your local library, school, daycare or family planning organisation for a list of recommended readings. For very young children, providing appropriate puzzles and games or anatomically correct dolls will encourage them to learn while they play. Most of all let your child know how much you love them and that you believe they are capable and worthwhile. Credit them for their talent, personality, appearance and accomplishments. Believing in them will help them believe in themselves and to feel positive and confident about all aspects of their lives, including their sexuality.

1 300 CATH ED

HERE ARE SOME SAMPLE RESPONSES TO GET YOU STARTED: When a 2 to 5 year old asks: Where do babies come from? A Babies come from a grown-up woman’s uterus/womb, an inside part of a woman’s body, near her tummy. If ‘it comes from a woman’s uterus’ isn’t enough, still start small with your responses. Often, ‘It starts as a tiny egg there, and grows inside the mother’s body,’ is enough for a very young child.

OR A Where do you think babies might come from? When they respond, go on with some straight, factual answers.

When a 6 to 8 year old asks: Mummy, what is sex? A “What have you heard/what do you already know about what sex is?”

OR A Sex is a private activity that grownups might do when they like each other a lot. It’s something that is only for grown-ups to do together in a private place, and only if they both want to.

If they want info on how, it’s easiest to start with something like: “Sexual intercourse is when a man’s penis goes into a woman’s vagina.” and also reiterate that it’s only for grown-ups.

www.cns.catholic.edu.au Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

31


er tt e L to my Mu m

ABOVE: Troy Saggers with his daughters Mila (4) and Chili (1).

When we become parents, we often see our parents in a new light and regularly turn to them for advice, especially our mums. Sometimes, her advice can be invaluable and other times, it shows how the generations change. Four locals have written letters to their mums about parenting advice. Dear Mum, When we found out we were havi ng our first daug hter, we were extremely excited, but naïve in our expe ctations of parenting. I can remember sittin g down at dinner and havi ng a chat to you and Dad one night and askin g what the best advice was you could give us. These points have stuck with us ever since: • Spend qual ity time with your kids. Let them know you love them unconditional ly and you will alwa ys be there for them, no matter what.

Dear Mum,

• Persist with discipline, whilst still show

• pick my battles (because there will be many to choose from!) • be a parent first and foremost, even if the kids think I’m mean at times. It’s my job to keep them safe and steer them in the right direction.

ing them love. • Teach them respect for their parents, grandparents, fami ly and friends. • Find what works for you, no two kids are

the same. These have been some of the foundations we have based our parenting arou nd and whilst the end resu lt is still to be seen, it is work ing well for us and I hope that one day I can pass these words of wisdom onto my daug hters. Troy Saggers, dad of two, Freshwater

We have what I would describe as an almost perfect mother/daughter relationship, and I know how lucky that makes me. Yet when asked to be specific about what advice you gave me about parenting, I was stumped. But then I realised that even though you have always been there as ‘Nana’, more than anythi ng, you are always there as my mum and friend. But along the way, you did tell me to:

• someti mes, even in the midst of a tantru m, all they really need is a hug. • always tell the kids that I love them and that they can do anythi ng they put their mind to. Alana Greene, mum of 2, Redlynch

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32

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


th ! 11 ay M y da un S ay D r’s he ot M t e rg fo ’t on D

LEFT: Ann Blakeney with her mum, Jan Carr and daughter, Grace. ABOVE: Nadine Myers with her brother Steve, mother Pauline, dad Geoff and brother Cam

Dea r Mum, You are the best Mum in the wor ld! You have always been my rock and give such great adv ice. But two pieces of adv ice have stayed with me.

When my dau ghter was bor n, it was ver y dau ntin g and I had a lot of trouble breastfeed ing. There were a lot of people who tried to give me the ir adv ice and opin ions and at times it got a bit overwhelm ing. But you just hugged me one day when I was in tears and said, “Remember, Mother always knows best and that’s… you.” It was as though a wei ght lifted off my shoulders and I had con fidence in my abil ity as a parent. Then, when my dau ghter star ted school, you came alon g for her first day. We wer e all ver y proud as she went with her class in her uni form, wav ing back to us with a big smi le. Then you said to me, “There is no greater responsibility, or greater priv ilege, tha n raising the nex t generation.” I will rem ind my own dau ghter of the adv ice her Gra ndma gave to me when she becomes a mother someday too. Ann Bla keney, mum of one, Cai

Dear Mum, There have been lots of bits of helpful advice that you’ve given me since I started this crazy journey, like sleeping when the baby sleeps, never waking a sleeping baby, accepting help with the baby/cleaning/meals whenever it’s offered, putting a bib on my dribbly baby so I wasn’t changing his clothes a million times a day, and not to push your child to start toilet training - they really do start that when they’re ready! One gem of advice once my son started moving around and getting into everything was not to teach him not to touch breakable stuff, but just to resign myself to putting it all away until he was older! Despite all of these very helpful tips, the best advice you’ve ever given me is by your example: your gentle, selfless, calm, hardworking, fair example. I’ve got a long way to go to be anything like the mum you were, but I’m still reminded every time I see you with your grandkids that you really are the best mum! Nadine Myers, mum of two, Mooroobool

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33


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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

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Fa m ily Co u r t Not the on ly optio n! WORDS Deanne Drummond NQ Family Law Centre

The advantage of processes such as collaborative law or mediation is that they can improve communication between parties rather than lead to disharmony and mistrust. They also give parties much more control over the final outcome. In litigation, the outcome is decided by a Judge and neither party may be happy with the result. The end of a relationship can give rise to much fear, uncertainty and confusion. It is common to worry about things such as how your children will cope, whether you will be able to support yourself financially, whether you will still have a good relationship with your children and whether you will ever be able to have a loving and valued relationship with someone else again. There are many important decisions to be made during the separation process and the decisions you make can affect you and your family far into the future. Getting advice from an experienced professional can help ensure that the decisions you make are the best ones for you and your children. It is also important you have a lawyer whose particular manner and style is right for you. There are a number of ways family law disputes can be resolved. At one end of the spectrum, there are informal negotiations with your ex-partner. At the other end, there is the much more formal process of litigation in a family law court. In between, there are processes such as counselling, family dispute resolution, mediation, collaborative law and negotiation with the assistance of legal experts.

In most cases, it is best if parties can resolve their dispute without the need to litigate in an adversarial manner. The way parents handle the family break up will have enormous impact on the way their children cope with the separation, both in the short and long term. It is extremely important that children are not exposed to continuing parental conflict. Further, any agreement reached by parents themselves is likely to have a far greater chance of working than one imposed by a court. Research shows that if parents have effective strategies to help resolve disputes between them, the risk of emotional distress and behavioural problems in their children is greatly reduced. Learning to co-parent with a former partner after separation can be challenging, but going to court should be a last resort. Working with lawyers experienced in family law can help parents work through this difficult period and come up with strategies that meet the needs of their individual circumstances. Reaching agreement without a contested court hearing can save much heartache and stress for you and your children.

Sharing fears and uncertainty with children is not appropriate. It can put them in a position where they feel they need to care for their parent rather than the parent caring for them. Children should be allowed to be children and not be burdened with their parents’ anxiety. When parents are experiencing difficulty, however, a family lawyer can guide them through the post separation maze and discuss all available options open to them. Lawyers can also put clients in contact with other professionals such as doctors or counsellors that may be able to assist. Separating is difficult, but it can also be a new beginning for parties to have the chance to become self-reliant and re-build their self esteem. If parents can work together in a co-operative and respectful manner, they can prevent separation from having long-term negative effects on their children. Living in a co-operative, but separated parenting environment, can be better for children than living in an intact family that is constantly in conflict.

Deanne Drummond is principal of NQ Family Law Centre - a boutique law firm specializing in family law. Deanne has been practising family law in Cairns for over 17 years and is also a trained mediator and collaborative lawyer.

Phone 4080 7361

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Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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n e r e p Wu c h o p

Children and Family Centre 36

Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


The Wuchopperen Children and Family Centre is an important new initiative which aims to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders by providing a range of services targeting children aged between 0 to 8 years and their families. It’s a significant service that adds favourably to the range of useful programs already being run by Wuchopperen Health Services. One popular service provided by the Centre is a Child Health service. Children can undertake basic health and development screening, to ensure that any issues are identified and that relevant advice is provided to parents, or that children are then referred on to access relevant assistance. Staff specialise in working with children and are able to quickly and efficiently identify health concerns within this age group. Another of the services provided is Early Childhood Education and Care. Children can access playgroup and education programs and enjoy learning and spending time with other kids, whilst being supervised by qualified staff and while parents are participating in other programs. It’s a useful service, particularly when parents may want to access other services run by the Centre, and want to ensure their kids are being well looked after. La-Donna Ballangarry-Kearins Marketing and Communication Manager at Wuchopperen Health Service, explains families can access adjunct care while they are accessing the Family Support Services, also provided by the Centre. The Family Support Services includes parenting programs and resources, where parents can learn how best to manage their children’s behaviour to ensure positive outcomes. Other programs offered include the Tenancy Skills Program, and assistance with engaging in other community

programs. In fact, there’s a broad range of services offered, dependent on a family’s needs.Specific issues may be addressed through the Family Support Services. For instance, problematic behaviour in children such as issues with anger can be addressed. Families are provided with advice and strategies to best manage such difficult behaviour, which staff understand can be challenging and stressful on parents. Providing assistance in this area can help parents feel supported during sometimes difficult situations. Having knowledgeable, friendly staff on hand helps. La-Donna notes the Centre is supported by seven staff, including family support workers, early childhood workers and a child health worker. Staff operate within the principles and values of Wuchopperen Health Service with an emphasis on culturally appropriate interventions, community engagement and respect. Funded by the Department of Education, Training and Employment, the Centre targets children within the catchment areas of Parramatta Park, Earlville, Manunda, Bungalow, Moorobool, Portsmith, Westcourt and Manoora. Families are able to access the services on a walk-in basis, or by obtaining a referral from other health services within Wuchopperen Health Service. The service has been running since early 2013, although was previously running off-site. The Centre has now moved to the main Wuchopperen facility which provides easy access for local families possibly already accessing services at Wuchopperen. Having the Centre on-site is proving beneficial as more people are accessing the service in its new location. If you think the Children and Family Centre might be relevant to you and your family, why not drop in and have a chat with the friendly staff next time you’re in the area, and see what assistance they might be able to offer.

For more information on Wuchopperen’s services

PHONE 4080 1000 Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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See Australia’s favourite fairies, LIVE on stage! Sat April 5 • Cairns Civic Theatre

‘JUMP JUMP STAR’, the brand new live show from much-loved Australian children’s entertainment phenomenon, THE FAIRIES, will kick off the Queensland leg of its national tour with a performance at the Cairns Civic Theatre on Saturday, April 5. Best fairy friends Harmony and Rhapsody are stretching their wings and warming up their wands, getting ready to laugh, dance and sing with Barnaby, Elf and Wizzy, and explore what it takes to become a real, true fairy! This one hour show promises to deliver a magical stage twinkling with

fairy lights, sparkling songs and beautiful dancing en pointe by classically trained ballet dancers, Harmony and Rhapsody. Plus three new songs the kids will love! Since The Fairies were created by Jen Watts in 1996, they’ve grown to become one of the top five most recognised pre-

school children’s entertainment brands in Australia with three TV series, four Aria nominations, ten DVD’s, nine music CDs, countless books and an extensive range of merchandise. Look out for a surprise appearance by a special character when Wizzy’s magic goes wonky!

Keep an eye on the CPC facebook page in March for your chance to win merchandise packs valued at $100! Don’t miss out on this one show only event Saturday April 5 at the Cairns Civic Theatre. For more information and booking enquiries visit www.thefairies.com 38

Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


16-25 May 2014

carnivale.com.au

Port Douglas Carnivale celebrates everything wonderful about Tropical North Australia. With music, arts, sports, cuisine, culture and entertainment, there is every reason to head for a ‘taste of paradise’. Carnivale is held over two weekends from May 16 to 25 – kicking off with a vibrant street parade that winds through the centre of Port Douglas. Don’t miss the traditional Japanese horseback archery tournament, Yabusame, which has never before been seen in Australia and will be a highlight of the Family Beach Day, along with a medieval jousting tournament and the popular annual sandcastle competition. Foodies will love Taste Port Douglas, featuring celebrity chefs including Colin Fassnidge of MKR fame, Massimo Mele and Ian Curley, food demonstrations, sampling and great wines. Macrossan Street will also come to life with the Port Village Shopping Centre Street Art and Music Festival throughout the week culminating in an overall Carnivale 2014 Street Performer of the Year at the finale of the festival.

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w e n g n i k Ma

s d n e i fr Adult

at school WORDS Naomi Wilson Spectrum Lifestyle Coach

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

PICTURED Local mums from St Francis Xavier school catch up before school’s out. (l-r: Natalie, Vikki, Di, Anna and Katrina).


Having been a parent of two (now grown) children, I reflect back and see just how important having parents as friends at school. Once your child starts kindy, day care, playgroup or school, you as their parent are part of a community in which the common interest is the children. Many parents remain through kindy, day care, playgroup and school and what a solid help and support block that becomes School parenting friendships are part of the school community sharing the same interests, ideals and values. And so, meeting other parents and striking up a friendship can be a very positive way of getting to know other families , as well as ensuring that your child has the best schooling experience they possibly canespecially if you are new to the school, and perhaps in need of support. In our society, so many families do not have immediate family close by, which makes school parent friendships vital as they provide support in times of need. How many parents sometimes cannot collect their child on time? A good parent friend could step in on odd occasions, thus lessening the stress placed on busy working parents. A caring community is a supportive community, and observant caring parents can see if a new parent (or child) needs some help. How proud are children when parents (or grandparents) attend functions, or assist in the classroom? If a child who has working parents and no grandparents nearby recognises the members of another family who can include them, the lack of immediate family is not felt as keenly in these situations. Friendships with other parents in your child’s group can also provide a social link for many. Helping each other on the P&C, or volunteering for school fetes, or in class reading all provide an opportunity for parents to come together.

Many strong adult friendships have developed as school parents. It is well recognised that parents play a major role in the development of their children, particularly in the early years. The reality is however, that not all parents get along together and some parents can feel isolated and alone and separated from the school community and its resources. This sense of separation can impact more than just parents. If there are no friendships or connections with other parents, children often miss out. They may be excluded from birthdays, weekend outings, or sports if there is no parental communication, which can impact their developing self esteem. This can impact greatly on a child who may not be included in extra-curricular activities. Were you an isolated child – can you see how that could have changed for you? By engaging parents in a caring school community, children benefit from being surrounded by people who care about and accept them, which is vital for their wellbeing. They feel safe, valued and connected. Because children learn through experience, those who are included in school activities with their parents become more socially aware and are able to mix and interact well if they see their parents doing the same. This can help develop self-esteem, social skills and ability to interact with both their peers and adults.

A school community in which parents are engaged is a supportive community. If everyone is on the same page, children know the rules and the consequences, and learn to believe in their own selfworth with encouragement from teachers, parents and children in their class. Bullies are also ousted from a caring sharing parent community within a school as they have nowhere to hide. How many parents sometimes cannot collect their child on time? A good parent friend could step in on odd occasions thus lessening the stress placed on busy working parents. How proud are children when parents (or grandparents) attend functions, or assist in the classroom? Children recognise their mate’s family members and so these relationships develop. Rather like a pebble in the pond, the ripple of friendship and caring gradually spreads out into the school community. As parents in our broader community wrestle with settling in the broader community, how many parents reach out their hand of friendship in support for the parents and child. We all know how hard it is sometimes to feel included and accepted, so it is vital that we reach out to others to find support and friendship for the sake of our children. After all, a settled and accepted child is generally a happy, functioning child.

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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Craft ity activ

y a D ’ s r e oth MAKE A

M necklace

Ph: 40321259

Materials:

Method:

1.

• Wooden beads (various sizes is best) • Long strips of material (various patterns and colours) • Various coloured paints and a paint brush • Apples • Toothpicks • Sticky tape

For younger children, secure the beads feed a bead through the toothpick and secure each end of the toothpicks into an apple (this will enable children to paint the bead without painting their fingers or the table. Paint the beads using various colours and leave to dry.

2.

Max

Choose a strip of material. Using the sticky tape, tape one end of the material so that it makes a pointy shape. Thread the beads through the pointy end. Thread 5 beads , spacing out as desired.

3.

Remove the sticky tape and tie the ends of the material together to the desired length.

Kyah and Sophia

you many For a neater finish material want to sew the nning to edges before begi g. prevent any frayin

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

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Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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Teach your kids to SH R U G It was so irritating, yet so effective! I’m talking about my boyhood mate Terry’s habit of shrugging his shoulders whenever anyone teased him or tried to persuade him to their way of thinking.

“Hey, Terry, &&E@@!” you’re a **& Shrug! veryone “Hey, Terry, e &TR!” ..*& says your…… Shrug! m going “Hey, Terry, I’ !” u to tell on yo Shrug!

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


WORDS Michael Grose

Terry’s nonchalance used to drive everyone nuts! So much so that he was rarely targeted for teasing, despite the fact that he wasn’t sporty, wasn’t cool and he was a late bloomer, all of which back then (and still now) put a boy in the “to be picked on” category. I thought of Terry recently when I was coaching a young person about how to respond to some schoolyard taunts. This young person wore his heart on his sleeve, taking taunts and even witticisms too seriously for his own good. Unfortunately, some of his so-called mates enjoyed seeing him become angry. The best way to break this toxic cycle of taunt-react-taunt was for him to change his reaction. So we did some coaching in the art of shrugging, where my young charge would shrug his shoulders, as if to say “Whatever!” and walk away at the first sign of taunt. He was channelling Terry so well that his nonchalance began to irritate me. SOME THINGS CAN’T BE IGNORED Don’t get me wrong, kids should not and cannot ignore all negative comments directed at them. There are times when they need to stand up and be counted. Not necessarily in an aggressive way, but kids do need to be assertive from time to time. Sticking up for a friend; rescuing someone who is being taunted; or even looking out for a sibling’s best interests at school are all times when a child needs to stand up and be counted. KIDS PRACTISE ON THEIR SIBLINGS Socially savvy kids know that some negative peer comments directed at them need to be ignored. But knowing which to ignore and which to respond to is quite a skill. Ignoring comments and choosing your arguments is something many kids learn in their battles with siblings.

Those noisy sibling skirmishes that annoy the hell out parents actually toughen kids up for the less than pleasant social interactions that happen in the schoolyard. Interestingly, my boyhood mate Terry was the youngest of four brothers. I guess he would have perfected the art of shrugging out of sheer necessity. So, if you have a sensitive child who wears his or her heart on their sleeve, or child who reacts impulsively to both taunts and witticisms, you may wish to introduce the art of shrugging into their repertoire of responses. Kids can practise shrugging in front of the mirror so that they can see what it looks like. THERE ARE 4 INGREDIENTS TO A GOOD SHRUG: 1 A ‘whatever’ look, 2 A shrug of the shoulders, 3 A simple, non-combative, nonsarcastic line such as “You may be right!”, “Whatever!”, “I hadn’t thought of that!” 4 They then break eye contact, indicating that they are in control. A WORD OF WARNING If you teach your kids to shrug, you need to be prepared for them to use this technique against you when you direct some criticism or constructive feedback their way. If they do, you’ll find out how damn infuriating nonchalance (even when it’s fake) can be! Oh, and you’ll be seeing a child or young person who is exercising a degree of personal power that, when smartly used, will increase their overall social effectiveness.

Parenting just got easier! Michael’s NEW Parentingideas Club has all advice and answers you need. There are 100s of articles, videos, guides, how to’s, book reviews to help you at every stage of your parenting journey. Become a member today at:

www.parentingideas.com.au Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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How to get a

r e n t r a P t n a t c u Rel to counselling WORDS Karen Smith Relationships Australia

“Honey, we need to go to relationship counselling.” Cringe. Scowl. Silence... Partners can shut down and look for the nearest escape route when they hear those words. Your partner may be unwilling to go to counselling as getting help means that problems have to be faced and dealt with. Some partners may have already tried counselling with mixed results, or they may not see counselling as an option. It is not uncommon for one person to be interested in relationship counselling while their partner refuses to go. Relationship counselling can assist almost all couples as even in the best relationships there can be rocky patches and good relationship counselling can provide guidance and useful tools for maintaining and deepening a healthy relationship. Life’s demands such as raising kids, playing bills, careers, and other pressures unfortunately can take precedence over a couple’s ability to nurture their relationship.

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

SO HOW DO YOU GET YOUR RELUCTANT PARTNER TO COUNSELLING? 1) First, tell your partner you want to talk about your relationship and ask him or her if it is a good time to chat for 10 minutes. If it is NOT a good time then suggest a specific time within the next 24 hours such as, “Can we chat after the footy?” or “How about tonight after the kids are in bed?” This helps them not feel ambushed. 2) When you sit down to talk, tell your partner that your relationship is very important to you and even though some things are going well (give at least one example), there are also some things bothering you that you would like to fix so that you, and perhaps they, can be happier and more fulfilled in the relationship.


4) If you have tried to make things better, let them know and maybe they have tried too, in their own way, but you want your relationship to be more fun, alive, connected, fulfilling. You would like the two of you to go to relationship counselling to learn more tools and skills to help both of you make the relationship better for both of you. You don’t want to feel disconnected or feel like you both have to walk on eggshells (or whatever is true for you). 5) Assure them this is not about blaming or shaming or who’s right or wrong. It’s about how to make the relationship better for both of you. They also are more likely to attend when they realise that you want to help the marriage or relationship because you value them and your life together, and that it needs to be more of what you BOTH want – even if you want different things. LISTEN TO THEIR CONCERNS: When your partner objects or says they don’t want to go, do not interrupt or defend. Instead, be curious. Ask what their concerns are about getting some help. If they just blurt out something like, “I’m not wasting time and money on that” (or whatever the objection is), take a breath and try to step into their shoes. Try to imagine why it makes perfect sense that they think or feel the way they do. Example: “It makes sense that you don’t want to waste time and money – we both work hard and with the economy the way it is, it goes out quicker than it comes in. It also makes sense that you don’t want to just throw it at something that you’re not even sure would help. Is that right?”

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3) Tell him or her that you aren’t finger pointing and that you know that the quality of the relationship is created by everything both of you do, say, or fail to do. It’s not just one person (this is true even if you think it is just your partner’s fault!). If there is something you do that is probably not helpful to the quality of the relationship, own it For example, “I know that one of the things I do is nag, criticise, don’t always show appreciation, get stressed at work and bring it home.”.

Work to make sense of what they are saying, whether or not you agree. Then, after you make sense, say why it is important to you and to your relationship with this person you love – and if you have any ideas about how to meet both your concern and theirs, suggest it. Sample response to Example above: “I respect your concerns and I know the economy is tough right now. I don’t want to waste money either. At the same time, I want us to be closer and happier and we have tried what we know but it hasn’t worked. And I agree that we shouldn’t just throw money at something that might not work. I think we should both discuss it after the first session to decide if we think it can help us, discuss with the counsellor about how long and then make our decision. Our marriage/relationship is too important to both of us not to try to learn some tools to help us. It’s like hearing a noise in the car. You might ignore it a little while, but if it continues or gets worse, we spend the money to fix it. I think our marriage is making some noises (even if it is silence!).” Often when a partner realises that it is not about fingerpointing and making each other the ‘bad’ one, they are more willing to go to counselling. They also are more likely to attend when they realise that you want to help the marriage or relationship because you value them and your life together, and that it needs to be more of what you BOTH want – even if you want different things. Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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s n o ti p O Birth in FNQ

WORDS Michelle Dryburgh MLD Media PICTURED Bec and her special girl Cleo. PHOTO Thanks to Talia Picture Box Photography

When you fall pregnant, there are some big decisions to make. How you are going to announce the exciting news to family and friends? Should you find out the gender of your bundle, or wait for the surprise? But one of the biggest decisions which, unfortunately, many expectant parents do little research on is: What maternity care options are available to me and what will be best for me and my baby?

“we had an instant connect ion”

Here in Cairns and surrounds, we have multiple options available and making a decision is more involved than simply increasing your private health insurance. Evidence tells us the best care for any woman and her baby is continuous care with a known provider for the duration of her pregnancy, labour, birth and up to the first six weeks of life. Having the same caregiver not only provides positive physical outcomes, but also positive psychological outcomes too. This gives new mums the best start for the lifelong role of motherhood. It is important to take into consideration what your preferences and beliefs are around birth and choose a care provider that also has a similar philosophy as you, and the statistics to support this. Based on the evidence, midwifery-led care that is continuous certainly has the best outcomes no matter the risk factors and preferences of the mother. But outcomes also depend on who the woman feels safe with. For some, an obstetrician is the only choice, for others their GP is someone they already know and trust. One Cairns mother urges all expectant mums to research and consider all of the options available to them. With three children under six and a fourth on the way, she has experienced both Caesarean Section and natural deliveries, along with differing levels of medical intervention. She describes the experience of her first birth as a ‘cascade of interventions’ which she felt to be unnecessary after a normal, healthy pregnancy and spontaneous labour. “I have always believed childbirth is a normal and natural process and I believed my body would do what it needed to do,” she said. “I planned on a very natural birth, preferably drug free depending on how well I went, but above all, I just wanted be given some space and supported.” Despite her beliefs, hospital policy suggests routine vaginal exams, which can be invasive, uncomfortable and not always necessary. She was also bedridden for portions of the labour whilst fetal monitoring was undertaken when she could have been given the opportunity to at least stay upright while this was done, and told by a midwife not to push even though her body was telling her to do exactly that. Progress slowed following an epidural and the baby was delivered by Caesarean. With baby number two, Bec felt the best choice for her and her baby was to have a VBAC - vaginal birth after Caesarean. She educated herself on all of the risks and benefits associated with the delivery and doctors and midwives confirmed she was a perfect candidate. The labour started well. She remained upright and was able to move around. But at some point, despite initially requesting

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


no pain relief be mentioned, she was offered pethidine, and soon after a fetal scalp probe was attached to monitor her baby’s heart rate. The baby heart rate dipped and it was recommended that a second C-section was the only option.

and Innisfail Hospitals currently offer this service. Women of Cairns and surrounds can access these services, but numbers depend on availability. Cairns Hospital has not implemented the program and has no clear date for it to start.

During her third pregnancy, Bec learnt everything she could about the alternative options available to her. “I knew my rights, and I knew the statistics. I was very well informed about my maternity care options,” she said. “As a result, I chose care not necessarily within hospital policies, but it was right for me. I had an easy, unmedicated, quick vaginal delivery, and a very happy, healthy, newborn baby.”

PRIVATE PRACTICING MIDWIVES: Private midwives also offer this service whilst supporting you to birth at home or in hospital. There are a small number of privately practicing midwives currently servicing Cairns and the Tablelands. You can find out more about the private midwifes by contacting the FNQ Birth Network on www.fnqbirth.com.

Bec said being educated and making choices based on evidence and her own personal factors; getting second and even third medical opinions and negotiating her care preferences, which meant for her minimising interventions, eased her tension and created a private, secure and calming environment to give birth. “For the first time, I was the first to touch and hold my baby,” she said. “We had an instant connection, something which took me quite a while longer to build with my first two because I was so groggy for the first 12-24 hours. “I felt confident, supported, loved and able to make decisions for myself and my family with the support of those around me, instead of feeling like I was being forced to accept interventions simply because they were routine or policy.” Bec plans to have her fourth child at Mareeba through the midwifery-led unit. The centre’s care match her own beliefs and provide continuous care between a primary midwife and mum during the pregnancy, labour, birth and up to six weeks postpartum. “People often say it’s just one day of pain, but for a first-time mum it’s the first day of your rest of your life as a mother,” Bec said. “The experience of labour and childbirth can have a very dramatic effect on you both physically and mentally, so it’s really important mothers are informed of their choices, and surround themselves with people and care providers who support their wishes and towards the best outcome for them personally.” CARE OPTIONS AVAILABLE IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND MIDWIFERY GROUP PRACTICE: Some public hospitals offer what is known as Midwifery Group Practice or Caseload Midwifery, which means you have your own midwife for the entire duration, pregnancy through to six weeks postpartum. In our region, only Mareeba

PRIVATE OBSTETRICIANS: This option offers some continuity. They will be your main carer for your antenatal care, but when you are in labour you may only see them for a small portion of that time and will be attended by a private hospital midwife until your obstetrician is available, usually just to attend the birth and third stage of delivery. You will also have post birth check up with your obstetrician whilst you are in hospital and then the scheduled six week postnatal check up. You can find more info at the Cairns Private Hospital website www.cairnsph.com.au. GP/PUBLIC HOSPITAL SHARE CARE: This also offers some continuity. Your GP completes all antenatal visits and also offers good postnatal support for mum and baby. Your GP will arrange referral to your preferred public hospital and you will be required to meet with hospital staff (usually a midwife) to complete a booking appointment and to discuss any considerations they and you may have about the birth. A public hospital midwife, and obstetrician if necessary, will then attend you during labour and birth. You will then have home visits (usually 2-4) from the public hospital community midwives and then be referred back to your GP for further care and your six week postnatal check up. CAIRNS HOSPITAL: Depending on health factors you will be allocated to either midwifery care or obstetric care, or a combination of both. You will see a number of different midwives and obstetricians at the different appointments and there is a possibility you may be cared for by a midwife you met during your antenatal appointments, but it is not guaranteed. After you are discharged from hospital, the community midwives will then do home visits (usually 2-4) and then refer you to see your GP for your six- week postnatal check up.

Tiny Tots

playdate

2ND TUESDAY OF EACH MONTH at Cairns Recreation Centre, 44 Behan St, Manunda.

9.30 - 11.30AM MAR 11th • APRIL 8th • MAY 13th Children FREE, Adults $7 includes Coffee and Morning Tea. All weather venue. Bring some socks! Bookings are essential for catering purposes. Please email playdate@ parentingcompanion.com.au Bring your mothers group or meet some new people.

Fun activities for all ages including an obstacle course, ball games, skating and more!

Cairns Recreation Centre is your ultimate venue for Family entertainment in Cairns. Fun for young and old. Also providing school holidays programs and a great place for birthday parties! For more information phone 4053 5353 or visit

www.cairnsrecreationcentre.com.au

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

49


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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

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! g n i m m i Sw Just keep

PICTURED Janet Evans and her students

Janet Evans still teaching in Cairns 37 years on

With so many swimming schools now operating in Far North Queensland, it’s wonderful to see one of the originals still going strong. Janet Evans has a passion for keeping kids safe in the water and has been involved in aquatic activities since 1977. You’ll even find some students at her small swimming school in Manoora whose parents were also once students. CPC thought it was about time to find out what has kept her going in such a competitive industry. Have techniques changed much since you began teaching kids how to swim all those years ago? I think it’s the children who have changed more then anything and so we have to change to suit them. The basic skills remain the same and are very necessary for children to become good, strong swimmers. However, the frequency of lessons has decreased. With today’s busy lifestyle, it is very difficult for most families to commit to more than 1 lesson per week.

When I first started learn to swim teaching at the end of 1976, children attended for 1 and 1/2 hours per week. Baby classes were held every Saturday morning and there was not a father in sight. It has surely changed! Do you have any suggestions for those frustrated parents whose kids just don’t want to get into the water?

In my experience, most children will love the water if given the right introduction to the environment. Children can and do feed off their parents’ fears and concerns, but water experience is a great way for children to enjoy time with their parents. What age do you believe kids should start learning how to swim? The latest research from Griffith University in Queensland shows children under five who have swimming lessons develop better language, literacy and numeracy skills and are more likely to be prepared for school. Milestones are achieved earlier and these children are often more confident in all aspects of their early learning skills.

As well as teaching vital skills, swimming offers physical, social and intellectual stimulation for babies and young children. All children should be exposed to water at an early age. Living in the tropics and having the water all around us, it is necessary to properly educate our children about the pleasures and advantages of being comfortable water. It is also very important for them to develop a healthy respect for the water and to have an awareness of the dangers associated with the lack of familiarity of the aquatic world. There are many things you can do to prepare your young baby before they begin lessons, but formal lessons should commence around the age of 5 to 6 months. What keeps you going? I love swimming, I love the water, I love seeing babies develop into little fish, I love watching them become comfortable and aware and enjoying swimming as much as I do. It’s a great job.

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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www.parentingcompanion.com.au Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

55


y h p a r g o t o Family Ph THE SUBJECT Kids are relatively easy to photograph, provided they are content at the time. If they are tired, hungry or upset, then it just won’t work. The best time of day for outdoor portraits is late afternoon, for the softer light. However, this can also be the worst time for a 2 year old! Try your luck. One solution is to get them doing something that they love and capture them doing that rather than trying to get them to pose as they will give more genuine emotions and reactions. SOME IDEAS ARE: • making cupcakes, • playing with lego or their favourite toy • taking toys outside and playing with them in a new environment, such as the garden.

BLURRED IMAGES are usually

MY PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS • Move your subject away from backlighting • Shoot in the later, softer light of the day • Involve your subject in some fun activities • Get out of Auto mode and experiment with your camera’s Aperture, Shutter and ISO settings Once you learn the capabilities of your equipment, better photos will surely follow!

How high you can push the ISO will depend on your camera. Most modern cameras will produce acceptable results to ISO 1000. Professional cameras can go a lot higher whilst maintaining low noise levels.

BACKLIGHTING is a common problem and happens because the subject is being captured in front of a brightly lit background, like a window. The camera exposes for the window, as it is the majority of the image, and therefore the subject appears dark.

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

You can also let more light in by using ‘Aperture Priority’ mode instead and opening the aperture (lower f-stop number). The more light coming in, the higher the shutter speed will need to be to maintain correct exposure. If there is not enough light to get the shutter speed you need, increase the ISO (sensitivity) setting of the camera. You will get better exposure/ higher shutter speeds, but at the possible expense of some digital ‘noise’ in the picture.

Try getting down and playing with them at their level and shooting from there, rather than from above. Once, with my own kids, I let them loose in the yard with jars of body paint under a shady tree and got some great laughing shots.

Try to photograph with the window behind you so the outside light falls on the subject’s face, or change your camera settings to use ‘spot’ metering to get the correct exposure for the face. Fill flash is another option, but I prefer to photograph with only natural light wherever possible.

caused by movement of the subject or of the camera. Generally for portraits you don’t need super fast shutter speeds, (unless you have a 2 year old that has just had a big sleep and red cordial). 1/60th of a second should be sufficient, but 1/100th or faster is preferable for sharp images. To ensure a fast enough shutter speed, turn off Auto mode and use Shutter Priority mode (also termed ‘TV’ mode) and dial in whatever shutter speed you want.

Aperture, shutter speeds, and ISO are your main functions to experiment with. PHOTO Flynn Spannenburg circa 2010. Shaz took this photo from the same level as Flynn with a nicely blurred out background, catching the light in his eyes and focusing on them

www.spannenburg.com.au

BACKGROUNDS Keep it simple! A small f-stop number creates a small depth of field which will naturally blur out your background for you and keep the focal plane on the subjects face, though it is still good to keep away from distracting background elements.


Another reason toScheme smile!... Child Dental Benefits The Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS) will commence on 1st January 2014 and will provide access to benefits for basic dental services to around 3.4 million children aged 2-17 years. It will replace the existing Medicare Teen Dental Plan (MTDP). The total benefit entitlement will be capped at $1,000 per child over a two calendar year period. The CDBS will have a means test, which requires receipt of Family Tax Benefit Part A (FTB-A) or a relevant Australian Government payment. The CDBS will provide individual benefits for a range of services including examinations, x-rays, cleaning, fissure sealing, fillings, root canals and extractions. Benefits will not be available for orthodontic or cosmetic dental work and will not be paid for any services provided in a hospital. Cairns Family and Cosmetic Dental Group will be accepting these vouchers and bulk billing Medicare. All you will need to do is bring your child in!

cairns family & cosmetic dental group

OPEN: Mon - Fri 8am-5pm; Thurs 8am-8pm; Sat 8am-4pm Stockland Ph: 4054 4338 • Mount Sheridan Ph: 4036 4391 www.cairnsdental.com.au

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


Year 7s OUR NEW HIGHSCHOOLERS

WORDS Michelle Dryburgh

Gordonvale State High School has rolled out the welcome mat for its youngest ever students. It was the only secondary school in Far North Queensland selected to pilot the first intake of year seven students ahead of the state-wide rollout next year. The move follows other major changes to Queensland’s education system, including raising the school start age by six months in 2008 and the introduction of prep in 2007. As a result, next year’s year seven students will be on average six months older than current year seven students, and in their eighth year of schooling. The changes bring Queensland in line with most other Australian states and territories, easing the transition for students who move interstate during their school years. It also comes 50 years after year eight was introduced as the first year of highschool at Gordonvale State High. To accommodate the extra students, the Gordonvale school has welcomed the addition of a $3.3 million state-of-the-art learning facility. The two-storey building has four general learning areas, one flexible learning zone, a project development area, two drama rooms, a music room and a staff module. Four existing classrooms were also refurbished at a cost of $166,000. Principal Jan Carr said it was hoped a new amphitheatre would become a creative hub for the entire school, providing a platform for music and drama performances.“These changes are really beneficial for the whole school, and we are all very excited about the year ahead,” she said. “A lot of planning has gone into this program since the expression of interest was submitted under the previous

principal in 2011. There have been so many considerations to factor in, right down to hiring extra traffic controllers for the increased traffic. There will probably be a few little surprises that pop up throughout the year but the upside of that is other schools can watch and learn from us ahead of 2015.”

“They have been great with keeping us up to date all the way through,” she said. “They’ve even thought of getting teachers from the primary school so the students have a familiar face around. They’re a really great bunch of kids and the staff are so lovely, I know there’s nothing to be worried about.”

A total of 76 year seven students are enrolled at Gordonvale this year, along with 170 new year-eight students. The year seven students wear different uniforms to the other grades and their classes are based on interests rather than abilities.

Adam Black, Deputy Director-General of Corporate Services for the Department of Education, Training and Employment said infrastructure upgrades would create an optimal learning environment to better meet the needs of each school.

We really want parents to be part of our school community... Head of Junior Secondary Davida Laney said the involvement and co-operation of both teachers and parents was key to the program’s success. “We have brought our families with us every step of the way,” she said. “There’s been a great deal of emphasis placed on communicating with parents and this will continue right throughout the year. They have been given an opportunity to see the classrooms and work spaces and we have talked to them about the future direction of the school. We really want parents to be part of our school community and to reassure them their children are more resilient and ready than they probably realise.” Mother of two Susan O’Reilly has praised the school for keeping families well informed. She said she had concerns about her son starting highschool at the tender age of 12, but the teachers had put her mind at ease.

“A total capital investment of $328 million is being spent across Queensland to ensure state schools have the appropriate facilities to support the move of year seven to secondary school in 2015,” he said. “Around 365 infrastructure projects will be delivered at 288 state schools across Queensland, with 240 projects having reached completion to date.” Mr Black said educators believe young teenagers of today are better prepared for greater independence and the depth of learning that highschool provides. “In high school, year seven students will have access to specialist teachers and resources so that they can take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the Australian Curriculum,” he said. “Much work is being done right across the state to ensure a smooth transition, including piloting the move of Year 7 in 20 state secondary schools before 2015.” For more information about the introduction of year seven to high school, visit flyingstart.qld.gov.au/getting-ready-highschool/Pages/home.aspx

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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LYNLEY DODD | A RETROSPECTIVE

CREATOR OF HAIRY MACLARY AND FRIENDS 14 MARCH - 18 MAY 2014

COMMUNITY DAY | SATURDAY 5 APRIL • ART ACTIVITIES • BOOK SIGNING • BOOK READINGS• •DRESS UP COMPETITION• AUTHOR IN CONVERSATION• •ACTIVITIES THROUGHOUT EXHIBITION•

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visit our website for exhibition details - www.cairnsregionalgallery.com.au

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


Teacher feature

Brinsmead mother, Dee Fry nominated Bill Spooner from Bill Spooners Coaching Academy. “I have a 10yr old son who has struggled throughout his early schooling years and until we met Bill no one could figure out what the problem was. We initially saw Bill in December 2012 who after a very thorough consultation diagnosed Avean with Developmental Dyslexia and Irlens Syndrome. Once Avean received his Irlens glasses we then enrolled him in Bill’s Coaching Academy who tutors Avean once a week for an hour. Bill also supplied teaching aide/guidelines to Avean’s Grade 5 teacher that has been implemented at the school level with Bill continually monitoring his results, homework and assignments. My child has now embraced learning and has turned his results around in the last 2 terms. There are no more tears, tantrums and depression but just an enthusiastic, happy child who adores Bill and loves to learn. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to both Bill and Noeline for their support, assistance and guidance through this very troublesome time.” Dee Fry.

WI N WHO WILL BE OUR NEXT

There are two forms of dyslexia, one is Irlen

TEACHER FEATURE?

Syndrome (ISS). This is a perceptual problem

THANKS TO:

that prevents an estimated 15-20% of the population from being able to learn, read or study efficiently. It is an inherited physical disability resulting in a range of symptoms including reading difficulties, attention deficit, light sensitivity, headaches, strain or

and

fatigue. Individuals with ISS may be viewed as underachievers or as having behaviour, attitude or motivational problems. The problem can coexist with other learning difficulties and many of these children are wrongly diagnosed as having ADHD. The other form of dyslexia, general dyslexia, is quite simply just a different way of thinking. These children think in pictures as Einstein did and this disadvantages them in the normal left brain, word oriented classroom. They work extremely hard at school but continual under achievement has a very negative effect on their self esteem and self image. By understanding

CPC CAUGHT UP WITH BILL: What sets you apart from other education centres?

their learning and by showing them how to

BILL: We are not a franchise, therefore we are not bound by any particular teaching method, which allows us to meet the individual learning needs of our students as we see fit. Ours is not a “one size fits all” approach to learning.

Dyslexia is a learning difference, which becomes

Why have you chosen to focus on helping kids with dyslexia and other learning difficulties?

BILL: We cater for students from year 1 to year

BILL: A significant number of students who find school difficult do so because they are dyslexic and the education system does not always understand or support it.

but also those high achieving students who

They could be an educator, mentor, coach or day carer. Just by nominating you could WIN one of three $30 iTunes cards from Talk to the Mac. PLUS our ‘Teacher Feature’ receives a $50 voucher from Officeworks.

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succeed, their self esteem returns and they carry this back to the classroom. a learning difficulty when it is not recognised or understood. What ages can benefit from your services? 12, not just those who are having difficulty are wishing to gain better results, for instance those students chasing a high OP for university entrance.

Get your business set for the best year yet at Officeworks!

PICTURED Avean Fry and Bill Spooner

13-15 Water Street, Cairns Ph: 4052 9400 Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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l Holidays o o h c S Saturday 5th April - Tuesday 22nd April

EASTER ON WHEELS! Come on a dramatic adventure these school holidays as participants create their own unique character or take on their favourite film/T V/stor ybook character and bring them to life on the stage with lights, sound, projections, costumes and props! Term programs also available.

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LIVING NURSERY TALE S

Cairns Central presen ts ‘Living Nursery Tal es’ at their Easter Anim al Farm these schoo l holidays. Three huge ly popular nursery tal es bought to life from the pages of popular children’s book s an d don’t forget the cu te and cuddly animals for kids to hold. Plus the KidTastic pro gram brings fun family enter tainmen t with ‘Yo Gabba Ga bba!’ shows, craft and mu ch more. Cairns Centr al has it all these Schoo l Holidays!

Visit cairnscentral.c om.au for more informatio n.

Saturday 12th April 6 - 9pm. Come skate with the Easter Bunny at the Cairns Recreation Centre. $12 entry, $4 skate hire and prizes for best dressed, family of 4 $36. Family entertainment including a jumping castle, slip n slide, bungy trampoline, rock wall and soft play area. Tickets available at the door.

Ph: 4053 5353 44 Behan St, Manunda

www.cairnsrecreationcentre.com.au

EASTER CRAFT FUN !! Hop on

THE CRYSTAL CAVE Welcome to the ne wly renovated Cr ystal Caves thes e Easter Holidays! With chickens in th e window and Geodes in need of cracking, a trip to Atherton will be we ll worth your while

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KIDS SKI CLUB

Cable Ski Cairns is running a school holiday kids club for ages 6 - 12yo. Sessions run from 8.30-10am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the Easter Holidays (except Public Holidays). Cost is $35 per session and all equipment is provided.

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It’s easy, affordable & convenient Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

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down to Lil Scrib blers and join in the Easter fun! The Lil Scribbler s team will be hosting sc hool holiday craf t jams. Make, create an d decorate your way through 50 minutes of fun! From just $17 Su itable 2-12 yr olds . All materials supp lied.

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Su nday 4th May

! G N I M O C E R A S R U A THE DINOS Let’s play! ERTH’S DINOSAUR ZOO is a jaw dropping family show that takes spectators on a journey through prehistoric Australia, with the use of giant, animated dinosaur puppets – and is the feature event of the Cairns Children’s Festival being held at Tanks Arts Centre, Sunday 4th May.

You’ll meet a menagerie of insects, mammals and dinosaurs that once roamed free around the southern hemisphere and are now in residence at Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo – and you can pet, feed and interact with them in a once in a lifetime imaginative experience. Children can watch wide-eyed from a safe distance or dare to get right up close to the creatures. Suitable for ages 4+.

The show features a dazzling cast of largescale Australian dinosaur puppets brought to life by sophisticated design, electronics and theatrical presentation.

The inaugural CAIRNS CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL is the exciting new event from Tanks Arts Centre. For one day only, the city’s premier contemporary arts centre is inviting families to step into another world, and witness the spectacle of the entire site alive with events & activities just for kids of all ages. (NOTE: though some ticketed shows within the festival will have an age limit)

In this show, children get to meet Erth’s awesome prehistoric creatures, from cute baby dinos to teeth-gnashing giants. Ancient life-like dinosaurs are alive and mostly friendly, in this fun, educational and unique performance event that will delight children of all ages.

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

Tickets to the ERTH DINOSAUR SHOW now available – see www.ticketlink.com.au

Tank 3 will house Erth’s “Dinosaur Zoo”, a ticketed, must-see family show. Things will

get super messy with construction and artbased play in Tank 4, the “Tinkering Tank”, a space that will be alive with workshops and activities for parents & children to engage in together – and Tank 5 will be the playacting space, where there will be laughs and entertainment all day with theatre for children. Additionally, throughout the lush, tropical site, it is planned that families will enjoy roving entertainers, music and performance, exhibitions and activities at every turn. Family focused market stalls, with healthy food & refreshments will also be available. Most of the day is a FREE family fun day, with some events ticketed at a low price. For more information please go to the festival page on Tanks Arts Centre website www.tanksartscentre.com – and watch this space for coming updates!


Cost

CAIRNS RECREATION CENTRE

! n O s ’ t a Wh IKES

Children $7.00 Supervision FREE ENTRY

TI NY SKAT TOT ’ S E AN D FU N SESS ION

Tues 4th March, Thurs 6th March Every Tues / Thurs Thereafter (Excluding School Holidays)

R PUSH T - All new kate rafts to s arts & c d n - Learn a g paintin rea - Finger mbing a li c & y - Soft pla ea provided gt s - Mornin d tea for parent n a - Coffee es le cours c re a t s b O es & mo m a g e iv t - Interac

9:00AM - 11:30AM

Cairns Recreation Centre: 44 Behan Street, Manunda 4870 / 4053 5353 www.cairnsrecreationcentre.com.au / info@cairnsrecreationcentre.com.au Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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Let t he

WORDS Dr Liz Chappel MBBS BSC FRACGP Apple Tree Medical Smithfield, and Apple Tree Medical Cairns

Fever F IGHT!

The vast majority of fevers are self-limiting viral infections. It is, however, essential to be aware that there are some very serious illnesses that may first present as a fever in a child. This is especially so of a child under 3 months of age. Fever is generally defined as an increase in core body temperature above 37.5c. When dealing with a fever, the first step is to check body temperature and there are several devices available on the market to measure this. For a child less than 4 weeks old the best way to measure temperature is to use an electronic thermometer under the arm. But this may read up to 1c lower than the true core body temperature. For a child older than 4 weeks, measuring the temperature under the arm or using an infrared thermometer in the ear is acceptable. You should seek medical advice for a fever in your child in the following circumstances: 1 You are worried (parents know their children better than anyone). 2 Your child is less than 6 months old. 3 The fever has persisted for more than 48hrs. 4 Your child has a rash, vomiting and diarrhoea or earache. 5 Your child has problems swallowing fluids. 6 Your child has markedly less wet nappies than normal. 7 Your child’s symptoms don’t improve in between fevers. You should seek urgent medical attention if: 1 Your child seems very sick. 2 Your child has problems breathing. 3 Your child has a stiff neck, a non-blanching rash, or light hurts their eyes.

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4 Your child has a bulging fontanel (soft spot). 5 Your child is unusually sleepy or you can’t wake them. 6 They have had a fit/seizure for the first time or a fit /seizure lasting more than 5 minutes. To help your child with a fever, it is best to let them rest, while monitoring them on a regular basis. Dress them lightly, but ensure that they don’t get to cold. Encourage regular fluid intake, little and often. Under 6 months, this ideally should be breast milk; otherwise pre boiled water (cooled), or bottles of formula. Older children should be encouraged to drink clear fluids. Don’t be concerned about them lacking an appetite for food. They will begin to eat again when they are well. Ensure as best you can that they are isolated from other children and vulnerable people such as pregnant ladies, the elderly or those who are immuno-compromised. It is no longer advised to sponge children with tepid / cold water. This is now thought to have a deleterious effect on fever. There is no need to routinely treat a child with antipyretics such as paracetamol or ibuprofen unless the fever is making them miserable or uncomfortable. The aim is not to normalise the temperature as this is the body’s natural defence to fight infection. It is to alleviate the child’s symptoms or discomfort. (Ibuprofen should never be given to children less than 3 months old or weighing less than 6kg). Antipyretics are generally not recommended to prevent fevers from vaccinations, and indeed may prevent the vaccinations from being as effective. It is also evidence to suggest that antipyretics are not going to prevent a febrile convulsion from happening.

If you do use paracetamol or ibuprofen, it is important that you adhere closely to the dosing guidelines on the bottle. Clarify with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure as risk of overdosing is quite high and this may cause serious, if not life threatening, illness. Ibuprofen should also never be given to children less than 3 months old or weighing less than 6kg. To ensure accurate dosing: 1 Weigh you child to establish exactly what dose they should receive. Do not be tempted to under or overdose them. 2 Choose a flavour/brand that your child finds palatable so that they don’t spit it/vomit it out leaving uncertainty as to how much they have ingested. 3 Administer slowly with a syringe into your child’s cheek. 4 Ensure that any other medications (herbal supplements or vitamins) that you may have given your child don’t interact with the medication. 5 Ensure that your child is not allergic to or has had a bad reaction, such as an asthmatic attack, to the medications in the past. If they have poor liver or kidney function they should only be given these medications on the advice of their doctor. 6 Beware of “double dosing”. This can occur accidently by using two different products that contain the same active ingredient. 7 Write down the time you administered the medication so that you can calculate when their next dose is due.

Remember, if you are concerned always seek medical attention.


15th ANNUAL

Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland Š

3-4 MAY 2014 Cairns to Chillagoe Get behind the wheel for a full day of fun and fundraising as you navigate this beautiful region via clues and checkpoints.

Open to the public To find out more or to register a team, contact Sunny Tan on 07 4046 1644 or stan@leukaemia.org.au

th

Cairns Nor

Aeroglen

Manunda

Whitfield ch Redlinyn

ta

Paramat Park

Edge Hill Manoora

ty Cairns Ci Bungalow

rt

Westcou ool Mooroob

h

Portsmit

Earlville Bayview Hieghts

Woree k

White Roc

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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The Fairies are coming to CAIRNS!

BRAND NEW LIVE SHOW Sat, April 5 at 11am cairnscivictheatre.com.au

ny, mo lf, r a H E Join psody, izzy Rha by & W o be t na Bar rn how IRY! a A & le EAL F R a

all ticket details at thefairies.com phone 07 4036 8111

PO Box 110E, Earlville Queensland 4870 email tas@tas.qld.edu.au | fax 07 4036 8222 TAS White Rock, Progress Road TAS Kewarra Beach, Poolwood Road

They grow up so fasT.

a Tas educaTion keeps up. Tas kindergarTen

Tas ‘JuMp sTarT’ prep

Building on over 20 years experience in delivering leading Early Years Learning programmes, TAS White Rock runs Kindergarten classes over a five-day fortnight. The classes are focused on developing your children’s skills and confidence – preparing them for a smooth transition into Prep.

The first years of school set a vital platform for your child’s future education. When you enrol your child in the TAS Prep Programme – Jump Start – you can be assured of an enjoyable and nurturing environment with a stimulating curriculum that sets your child up for a prosperous TAS education, from Jump Start to graduation.

To find out what sets TAS apart from the rest, please visit www.tas.qld.edu.au or email admissions@tas.qld.edu.au to make an appointment with one of our Early Learning Specialists.

www.tas.qld.edu.au

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

Tas white rock kindy to year 12 Tas kewarra Beach prep to year 7


g n i r e t s o F

WORDS Richard Valentine

L

VE

ly roud a i r p 4ye a r h s ’ na ir 1 Kristi d by the child. e r l e y t t s os old f

The number of notifications of child abuse and neglect continue to rise each year in Queensland and the child protection system is struggling to provide adequate protection and support for those most in need. Alarmingly, this increase in notifications coincides with a drop in foster carer recruitment numbers, which is creating a gap between carer resignation and recruitment rates. One of the reasons being offered for this decline is that the wider community may still perceive that carers must fit a certain type of traditional Anglo-Australian family stereotype to be considered eligible. Even though recent recruitment campaigns are now overtly targeting non-traditional families, people from diverse cultural, religious and economic backgrounds are still not realising that these campaigns are actually being directed at them and that they may well more than qualify as carers. Two carers who have been part of the system for the last 15 years are Kristina and Tony Jones from Gordonvale. Throughout their time as carers they have seen 52 children and young people, ranging in age from ten days to 17 years, living as part of their family.

Kristina and Tony Jones of Gordonvale who have fostered over 150 kids.

Being from Great Britain where Samantha believes that diversity amongst foster carers has never been an issue, she also sees our continuing shift away from the traditional definitions of an appropriate carer as being a positive step forward. “ Kristina has seen the foster care system change first hand and believes that the steps being taken over recent years to look further afield for carers is a good thing. “As far as I’m concerned, I have always thought that as long as people want to genuinely and unconditionally care for children, it shouldn’t matter who they are,” she says. Kristina believes that the key to be being a good foster carer is simply having the capacity to be open minded, patient and non-judgemental. She says that when we wake up to the fact that there is no single strata in society that has a monopoly on these modest attributes, the problem of finding carers will be overcome. Samantha Harrison from Innisfail, with husband Daniel, has only been a carer for a few months; however, Samantha is no novice to fostering, having come into the child protection system as a baby herself. She was eventually adopted and raised in a family that took on numerous foster children over the years.

“If you believe that you could offer a child a loving and supportive environment, but for some reason you don’t think you fit the mould - make enquiries anyway. You might be surprised at just how suitable you really are!” For over a decade, Integrated Family and Youth Service (IFYS), through its ’It Takes All Kinds‘ foster carer recruitment campaigns, has been one agency attempting to challenge the community to rethink what makes a good foster carer. As a consequence, IFYS now arguably has one of the most diverse group of carers in Australia. So if you are someone who in the past thought that you would not make a suitable carer because of your circumstances, it may well be time to contact IFYS. You could be the exact person they’re looking for. For further information on becoming a foster carer, contact IFYS Foster Care Cairns on 4032 9000 or www.fostercare.com.au Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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Dear Dave How do I get my husband to finish all the odd jobs around the house he keeps promising to get to every holiday, including the very long break we just had? Anonymous from Whiterock

G’day, It takes a thief to catch a thief, and boy, have you come to the right courthouse. Guilty as charged, your Honour.

Dave DEAR

wa r ner

Parenting advice dished out, Dave style!

From one ‘time thief’ to the partner of another; the thing about most blokes is that we’re massive procrastinators. (After finishing that sentence, I went and boiled an egg, and I don’t even want one. Anyway, I’m back now.) And years of procrastination has sharpened the skill of self-justification. (Eggs are a symbol of fertility and I find boiling an egg helps me provide fertile solutions to people’s problems.) The other thing about most blokes is that we don’t like being told what to do, especially when it comes to blokey stuff around the house. So here’s a really important tip: don’t make a list for him. Subtly plant the seeds of what needs to be done and let him make his own list, because if he thinks he came up with the idea he’s much more likely to do it. This also works for teenagers. To give you an insight in to the mind of a time-thief, here’s my modus operandi when it comes to list management over the holiday period: When making a list of jobs to do, it’s wise to include simple everyday stuff that you do anyway, which makes the list appear longer and more impressive. But what’s most impressive is the number of ticks you’ll see quickly appear next to items, which demonstrates hard work and progress. I include things like put pants on, buy Corona, drink Corona, take out empty Coronas. There’s 4 ticks right there.

102.7 www.radiozinc.com.au 70

Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

This is a numbers game, so keep the list growing with simple stuff so that when your partner wants to add something like build, sand and stain a 200 square meter back deck, it sits down the bottom of a long list you’re working through from top to bottom. The man is the master of the list so it’s also important not to let the wife get too good a look at it, just let her peek long enough to see all the ticks without the pesky detail. Like former Labor MP Craig Thomson, try to keep things a bit blurry. But ultimately, if you really want him to get stuck in to something, get his tools out and start doing it yourself. Nothing gets a man off the couch quicker than watching his wife double his workload. Dave

Dear Dave My good friend is dating a guy who isn’t interested in having kids even though she is desperate too. I’m worried she is wasting her time (being in her late 30s) and will live to regret it. What should I do?” Anonymous from Bayview

Hi, This is going to sound really harsh, but if having kids is the only thing your friend is interested in with this guy, then she’s also wasting his time. And what should you do? Absolutely nothing. If your friend is that desperate to have kids, give her one of yours. I’m sorry to be so blunt, but with respect, she’s a big girl and ultimately only she can make life decisions about her future. If you stick your nose in too far the regret may be all yours. Actually, there is something you can do, but it sounds like you’re already doing it: love her and support her, whatever decisions she makes. Dave


• school holiday activities • local regular events • top 5 friday • enter some great competitions • local ‘test it, try it’ reviews • on-line family directory • view our magazine editions • join the cpc playdate

Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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DON’T BE A

BUNNY! Choose the right tyres to protect your family this Easter! For your family’s safety, hop into our store for: Premium quality tyres Tyre safety checks Brake & safety checks Car seat & harness fitting Cargo barrier fitting Lyons St, Westcourt 4870 4051 9375 180 cairns@tyrepower.com.au www.cairnstyrepower.com.au

Cairns Tyrepower and 4 x 4 Superstore

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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014


Ma n

e! s u o h e h t t u o ab

None of the following is representative of the views of Cairns Parenting Companion and for reasons of personal safety the author wishes to remain anonymous. Yep! He’s a bloke and he’s confused.

It’s all a matter of PRIORITIES Recently, a young mum visiting us mentioned that her five year old was giving her a bit of grief. Sure enough, as we watched, he seemed completely oblivious to the world with his face stuck in an iPad. He was playing a game, ignoring all conversation and excluded everyone else to the point of being rude. Sound familiar? The truth is, even at my age, I’m not much different to this preoccupied little fellow. Sometimes I get lost in my own world and become so single minded I don’t notice the effect my behaviour is having on those around me. Just the other day, I was mowing the lawn and I took the quickest route from A to B with the Victor 125, which was through the garden and over the top of the dwarf crepe myrtle plant. According to the wife, I do it every time I mow and never seem to learn. I don’t actually hate the weedy bit of front yard flotsam; it’s just

that I’m too preoccupied with the job at hand to maintain an appropriate exclusion zone around it. When kids display this behaviour, we end up with toys left lying around, chores not done, rooms untidy, power tools left in the rain, screen doors left open and worse, all to the point where it drives you nuts. But I don’t think it’s always laziness that’s the cause. When they get preoccupied, things like putting toys away don’t even enter their minds. They’re not deliberately forgetting for the 50th time not to stand there, holding the fridge door open for four and a half minutes, while they decide if they’d like a slice of cheese or a swig from the milk bottle. It’s simply that four and a half minutes is enough time during the commercial break of their favourite afternoon TV program to decide on what to snack on from the fridge. It’s all about priorities. For them, priorities run: watching cartoons, need food, wait for ads, satisfy hunger. For me they run: cricket on television, got to

finish lawn, that’s not a flower, it’s a weed, shortcut through garden, back to cricket! Getting back to the five year old playing World of Minecraft on the iPad, I can understand why he just grunts when you ask if he’d like something to eat, then throws an Olympic standard “tanty” half an hour later when he realises he actually is hungry and needs food to sustain another session on the computer. I’m not excusing his rude behaviour, I’m simply identifying the cause. It’s all a matter of priorities. His priorities are digging a virtual computer game hole in a virtual mountain and nothing else matters at that moment. At least until he realises he is hungry. I guess our job is to observe and understand what is actually going on. We are the mature and experienced ones in the relationship, so with compassion and understanding we can diplomatically show the children how to reassess their priorities. And if that doesn’t work, just accidently leave the iPad next to the dwarf crepe myrtle next time I’m mowing.

Could you save your chid’s life? SWIMMING POOLS ACCOUNT FOR 60% OF ALL DROWNING DEATHS IN KIDS UNDER 5 Brush up on your CPR and a book a First Aid Course today - weekly courses available.

Phone 4039 1715 Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion

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“O ut of the ga te and off for a wal k went Ha ir y Macla ry fr om Dona ld son’s Da ir y”

ry ac’s la HafroirmyDonM aldson Dairy and the stor y of Dame Lynley Dodd

Hairy Maclary and some of his famous friends will be seen at Cairns Regional Gallery in Lynley Dodd: A Retrospective from the 14th March – 18th May 2014. With a career spanning four decades, the exhibition shows a cross-section of New Zealand-based Dame Lynley Dodd’s life’s work, including early life studies from her time at Elam, the University of Auckland’s School of Fine Arts, right up to works from her latest books. For many, Dame Lynley Dodd is a household name. Her name is synonymous with that frisky little dog, Hairy Maclary. However, the exhibition is not just about Hairy Maclary, it is the story of the artist. During the exhibition, the Gallery is teaming up with Young Animal Protection Society (YAPS) to provide much needed donations to Hairy Maclary’s friends. Bring a donation of goods to the Gallery and receive a ticket in the “Moggys and Mongrels Mega Draw” with prizes from Cairns ZOOm, Raging Thunder, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, Birdworld Kuranda and Quicksilver. Lynley Dodd: A Retrospective runs until 18 May 2014, and is toured by Tauranga Art Gallery.

Kids Art Activities Art materials will be available for children throughout the exhibition with an exciting Community Day of activities on Saturday, April 5. Activities will include book readings, a book signing, and a Dress-up Competition to be judged by special guest Dame Lynley Dodd. Information and booking enquiries can be directed to the Gallery on 4046 4800.

Cair ns Regional Gallery 14th March – 18th May 2014

IMAGES © & ™ Hairy Maclary and Friends, Lynley Dodd, 2012. Reproduced courtesy of Penguin Group [NZ] and the artist.

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Do you have a concern about your child’s development? We work with parents and carers of children from birth to six years.

Talking with someone early is the best place to start. Contact:

At Parent Connect we know that every child is unique, growing and learning at their own pace. If you are concerned or have questions about your baby or child’s development – talk with us.

Your local General Practitioner or Cairns Early Years Centre T: 07 4034 6800 North end of Bentley Park College or Child Development Service (CDS) T: 07 4226 4323 381 Sheridan Street

We can give you information and support.

www.earlyyearscentre.org.au CS0131D_1113 Autumn 2014 Cairns Parenting Companion 75


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Cairns Parenting Companion Autumn 2014

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