C a p e
To w n â€™ s
b e s t
g u i d e
f o r
pa r e n t s
zero tolerance stop the bullying
school rediscover your city
great public spaces to visit
what the experts wish they could tell you
no more madness
tips to beat the rush
Welcome back to a wonderful new year. As I write this, my youngest, Robyn, is covering her books and labelling her stationery in preparation for her first day in Grade 4. Brand new boxes of pastels, paints and coloured pencils lie on the dining room table ready to be delivered to school tomorrow morning. The sight of all the bright and shiny school supplies brings with it the promise of a fresh start and new beginnings – a new curriculum, new friends and, a little scary, a new teacher. “Please don’t let it be Miss X,” she wails, “she’s so strict!” As a parent, the new year allows me a fresh start too. I’ve promised to be more patient, to let go a little and to trust that the foundation my husband and I have laid is strong enough to hold my girls steady as they make and mend friendships, and strive for fulfilment in the classroom and on the sports field. Our job is done for 2011 and a new one lies ahead this year. Here’s to a fabulous, promise-filled 2012. May it be all that you want it to be.
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Cape Town’s Child magazineTM is published monthly by Hunter House Publishing, PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. Office address: Unit 7, Canterbury Studios, 35 Wesley Street, Gardens, Cape Town. Tel: 021 465 6093, fax: 021 462 2680, email: email@example.com. Annual subscriptions (for 11 issues) cost R165, including VAT and postage inside SA. Printed by Paarl Web. Copyright subsists in all work published in Cape Town’s Child magazineTM. We welcome submissions but retain the unrestricted right to change any received copy. We are under no obligation to return unsolicited copy. The magazine, or part thereof, may not be reproduced or adapted without the prior written permission of the publisher. We take care to ensure our articles, and other editorial content, are accurate and balanced, but cannot accept responsibility for loss, damage or inconvenience that may arise from reading them.
a note from lisa
6 over to you
16 dad’s blog
Marc de Chazal remembers how comics got him reading 40 no holds barred
want to know the truth? Paul Kerton tells you what the experts really think
20 be a sport
Jen Crocker emphasises that sport is about more than just winning
health 14 maintain a natural balance a healthy intake of probiotics could mean fewer visits to the doctor. By Lucille Kemp
regulars 8 wins
12 best for baby – no substitutes Anél Lewis explains why nothing beats breast milk 15 upfront with paul Paul Kerton feels strongly that parents need some down-time too
22 learn online
Michelle Jones explains the benefits of making educational material available online
18 dealing with difference
24 bullying – level the playing field
our new guest columnist, Gary Koen, tackles this sensitive issue
28 talk it through
Kim Maxwell says negotiation is key when it comes to parenting
30 all the world’s a stage...
Lucille Kemp compiled this list of family-friendly, cost-effective public spaces to explore
46 a good read
new books for the whole family
62 last laugh if your family wants to take care of you, let them, says Sam Wilson
32 easy lunchbox ideas Ideas suggests some tasty treats to pack for school lunch
36 back to school basics
42 resource – my city
48 what’s on in february
doing drama can improve your child’s self-confidence. By Donna Cobban
Kate Douglas looks at bipolar disorder in children
Child magazine shows you how to have hassle-free school mornings
classified ads 54 family marketplace 58 let’s party
this month’s cover images are supplied by:
Durban Girls’ College www.dgc.co.za
magazine cape town
magazine cape town
over to you
don’t contaminate our children with drugs Numerous professionals suggested that a child
and compulsive (increased submissiveness). These
psychologist should test my son, aged seven, for
drugs cause psychiatric disorders and numerous
ADHD. The one we chose is apparently among the
physiological and psychological problems including
top four psychologists in the country, but it was
convulsions, stunted growth and loss of appetite,
the most disappointing experience. In my son’s
gastrointestinal problems, headaches and blood
presence, she discussed “what’s wrong with him”.
disorders. Research on humans confirms brain
Without making much contact with my child, she
damage from Ritalin – it has almost identical effects
stuffed brochures about ADHD, supplied by a drug
on the brain as cocaine. The main difference is
company, in my hands and said she didn’t need
Ritalin’s long-lasting effects.
to see him again. She has allowed herself to be
ADHD is not a biological disorder; it’s not a
influenced by drug company propaganda and I
“disease” that can be transmitted genetically. The
wish I had rather donated that huge consultation
ADHD diagnosis is nothing more than a list of
fee to a worthy cause. I decided to do my own
types of behaviour that annoy teachers and adults.
research and, as I’ve discovered, the facts are not
The official diagnostic manual of the American
difficult to find.
Psychiatric Association admits that ADHD is largely
I came across a book called The Ritalin Fact
part of a phenomenon that arises when adults aren’t
Book (Da Capo Press) by Dr Peter Breggin. He found
doing their jobs properly. We need classrooms
that the drugs disrupt the connections in the highest
that engage and inspire children. Stimulants don’t
developmental regions of the brain (he likens it to a
correct biochemical imbalances – they cause them.
chemical lobotomy). So the children don’t become
There are more natural ways to treat ADHD.
inactive. Instead, they become narrowly focused
stubborn little angel I really enjoyed the letter “one peaceful night” (Child magazine, December 2011/January 2012). My angel was born in September 2010, and she weighed only 1,4kg and was hospitalised for the first 27 days of her life. I can’t believe how beautifully she has grown. Scarlet Rose still wakes up a couple of times during the night for her bottle. I have tried every trick in the book to get her to sleep through the night, but it has just not worked. I have to comfort her and give her the bottle while she is half asleep, because I am a full-time, working mom. My routine is set around hers and both of us are happy and healthy and that is all that matters. Ruzaan
day my girls will never forget. I will certainly recommend this company to other parents. It is now 363 days and counting until the next party. Jenny Smith
I wanted to say a huge thank you to Fairytale Fantacies for my prize of a pirate party. The weather was fabulous and the children were in their element. One of them even came up to me and said: “Now that was a real party!” Thanks again for helping to make the party a
correct information This is in reply to your health column “managing malaria” (Child magazine, November 2011). I work at a medicines information centre and one of the areas we specialise in is travel health and malaria prevention. Malanil Paediatric is not a new drug – it was introduced into South Africa in 2009. It is also not called Malarone in this country. I disagree that there is conflicting information regarding the use of mefloquine. According to manufacturer data and all other reputable sources, the drug should be continued for four weeks after leaving a high-risk malaria area (use for longer than four weeks is unnecessary, and may lead to side effects in some patients). Leilani Johnston
a stretch too far Your magazine is a true supporter of the SPCA. Thank you so much for not only including the Wiggle Waggle, which was a huge success, in the calendar, but also for including the SPCA Christmas Horse Show. Lamees Martin Your magazine really educates and keeps us well informed. Now I can take care of my little angel because of you. Keep up the good work. Nkosinathi Nomkonwana
a thank you is always appreciated We want to thank you and Child magazine for helping the 17th Cape Town International Kite Festival fly this year, and for supporting the organiser and beneficiary, Cape Mental Health. Although the weather was at times wet and windy, over 17 000 people braved the elements, including children from over 40 schools. The significant funds raised will help Cape Mental Health deliver free mental health services to adults and children in impoverished communities. Cathy and Noelene I would just like to say thank you so much for putting my holiday workshop in Child magazine’s calendar. I had a great response. Publications like yours really are of great value for me as a single parent and working mom wanting to grow my own small business. I get very excited with each new issue of Child magazine. The articles and ideas are interesting, diverse and informative. Georgia
fatigued, intoxicated or after smoking. Safe co-sleeping reduces the risk of Sids as the mother regulates the infant’s body temperature and heartbeat. In the same issue, in the article “one, two, wee!”, the author states that according to an expert, elimination communication “is not recommended”. The practice is not early potty training as many assume, it’s just a matter of giving your child the option of using a toilet instead of soiling themselves. Having tried it since my child was one day old, I can honestly say that a child has an inbuilt awareness of his own toilet needs. If we don’t train it out of them (very unnaturally) with nappies, it’s perfectly straightforward, and there is no potty-training drama. Lisa Greenstein
On behalf of all the baby bottoms at Little Angels, and all of those in our network homes too, I hereby extend the fullest possible extent of my gratitude to Child magazine for what can only be described as a miraculous event. There is no imaginable way to explain what a monumental blessing this donation of over 10 000 Huggies nappies is to us. It’s no exaggeration to say that Phil and Pat, our house-parents, were completely shocked when the nappies were brought in and I’m at a complete loss for superlatives to convey our appreciation for such an enormous show of support. Your kindness and generosity are immense and we are humbled that you chose Little Angels as a beneficiary. J.P. van Rensburg
in disagreement As a parent who has carefully researched some alternative parenting methods, I find myself exasperated by scaremongering warnings that don’t properly present the facts. In “while you were sleeping” (Child magazine, December 2011/January 2012), the writer asserts that “co-sleeping has been proven to increase the risk of Sids”. This is misleading. There is a massive difference between the attentive parent’s choice to co-sleep responsibly and the negligent choice to co-sleep when
This letter is in response to the blog “the naked truth” (Child magazine, December 2011/January 2012). I relate to the author’s plight. When I was a child I also couldn’t stand seams or elastic. An occupational therapist diagnosed me as being tactile defensive and attempted to “remedy” it with exercises. The feelings your child has are very real. I have grown out of it to some extent, although wearing a bra is still an issue. Mel
download your resource Visit childmag.co.za/content/3d-guide and you can download our “dealing with difference A to Z guide”, with contact details of who can help, in A3 or A4 size in colour.
Follow us on twitter.com/ChildMag and facebook.com/childmag.co.za
write to us Let us know what’s on
You can also post a comment online at
your mind. Send your letters or comments
to: marina@childmag. co.za or PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. We reserve
the right to edit and shorten submitted letters. The opinions reflected here are those of our readers and are not necessarily held by Hunter House Publishing.
magazine cape town
magazine cape town
giveaways in february creativity unlocked You can now get a magical Mural Maniac creation on wallpaper. All you need to do is choose your dream mural from the Mural Maniac website and the team will have it delivered and fitted in your home. To view the range and order, visit muralmaniac.co.za One reader stands a chance to win their choice of a Mural Maniac creation on wallpaper (standard size 3m x 2,7m) valued at R2 950 (includes delivery and fitting). Simply enter via childmag.co.za/wins-ct and use the code “Mural Maniac CT”.
for life’s unforgettable moments The feminine, contemporary Pandora bracelet is designed to allow you to create your own look with interchangeable charms. Visit Pandora stores in Sandton, Menlyn, Fourways, Eastgate and La Lucia, selected Edgars stores and specialist jewellers. For more info, contact: 011 706 2377, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit pandora.net to view the entire collection. One reader stands a chance to win a sterling silver Pandora bracelet with four charms and three Murano glass beads valued at R3 000. Simply enter via childmag. co.za/wins-ct and use the code “Pandora CT”.
splash out The all-new Huggies Little Swimmers with its unique, easy-to-open and close sides for convenient changing, is the only nappy of its kind in South Africa. The nappies prevent leakage, and are made from material that does not swell when wet. One reader stands a chance to win Huggies Little Swimmers along with swimming lessons for your baby, a blow-up swimming pool and a branded towel, valued at R1 200. Simply enter via childmag.co.za/wins-ct and use the code “Little Swimmers CT”.
make room The Room manufactures classic, functional and uniquely hand-painted furniture for every room in the house – from the nursery through to the guest room. Their full range of furniture can be viewed at theroom.co.za or contact: 074 843 7666 or email@example.com One reader stands a chance to win a desk valued at R2 400. Simply enter via childmag.co.za/wins-ct and use the code “The Room CT”.
to enter simply visit childmag.co.za
or post your entry to PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. Entries must be received by 29 February 2012.
congratulations to our November winners Yvonne Hitchcock, Ilse Marx, Maud Voyatzoglou, Wilma Mohamed, Donna Bolus, Philippa Notten, Marion Lottring and Carolyn Leih who each win a Nivea Sun hamper; Giselle Petty wins a year’s supply of Weetbix; Koebra Jacobs wins a Le Toy Van Budkins Castle and Linda Kronstrom wins a Le Toy Van 1st Dreamhouse.
magazine cape town
magazine cape town
best for baby
no substitutes As part of its “breast is best” policy, the health department will no longer give formula to mothers
and as adults, are at a lower risk of chronic lifestyle diseases such as obesity, coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Mother-child bonding is also accelerated through breast-feeding. This means that breast-feeding is not just about nutrition.” He says mothers benefit from breast-feeding, as it lowers their risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. The World Health Organisation also confirms that the benefits for HIV-positive mothers far outweigh the risks. The chance of the baby being infected, once put on antiretrovirals, is greatly reduced with exclusive breast-feeding. State hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal have already stopped subsidising formula milk and the other eight provinces are expected to follow suit this year. If a mother does decide to bottle-feed, she will now have to pay for her own breast milk substitute. The state will, however, prescribe formula for the babies of mothers who cannot breast-feed for medical reasons.
so what does that mean for you? Although patients at private hospitals and clinics will still have access to formula, and are able to buy formula if
they choose to bottle-feed, proposed changes to labour legislation will enable all mothers to make a more informed choice when it comes to the feeding of their babies. Motsoaledi says the workplace is one of the many barriers to exclusive breast-feeding. “Most working environments are not supportive of breast-feeding.” There are proposals to extend maternity leave to encourage mothers to breast-feed exclusively for longer than three months. A minimum of six months is considered healthy practice. The workplace needs to be an enabling environment for breast-feeding, and there should be a clean environment where a working mother can express, as well as facilities to store breast milk. Breast-feeding rooms and crèche facilities would help create workplaces more conducive to breast-feeding, says Motsoaledi. Furthermore, the “aggressive” promotion of formula by manufacturers will be restricted by the formal adoption of international marketing guidelines. These will extend to bottles and other products too. Labels should include, for example, information about the importance of breast-feeding and promote cup feeding as the preferred alternative.
magazine cape town
nly about eight percent of South African mothers choose to exclusively breast-feed their babies, despite the health benefits. To change this “unacceptable situation”, the government will stop providing formula, or breast milk substitutes, to mothers at state hospitals and clinics, unless a doctor prescribes it. There will also be formal changes to the way in which formula is marketed. National regulations on the marketing of breast milk substitutes are expected to be finalised and adopted as legislation within the next 12 months. The strong stance, which calls for the active promotion, protection and support of exclusive breast-feeding, has been mostly welcomed by the health care sector. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says South Africa is one of 12 countries worldwide where infant mortality is on the increase. “It is undeniable that breast-feeding is the very best way to nourish babies – there is, literally, no substitute for it.” Motsoaledi is unequivocal about its merits. “Breastfed babies are better protected against infections like diarrhoea, respiratory illnesses, allergies and ear infections; they are at much lower risk of malnutrition
at state hospitals, reports ANÉL LEWIS.
magazine cape town
maintain a natural balance Knowing when to give your family probiotics could mean
robiotics are naturally occurring microorganisms found in the digestive system, the skin and the body’s orifices. They balance out the bad bugs and are needed to build a strong immune system. It only takes one course of antibiotics, which kills off these good bacteria, to make us vulnerable to other disease-causing bacteria such as yeasts, fungi and parasites. Common childhood illnesses and conditions, such as diarrhoea, constipation, eczema, fungal infections or lactose intolerance, have been found to be caused by a lack of probiotics in the body. This is why Cape Town pharmacist Felicia Rubin says, “If you settle the gut, you will settle the child.” She goes on to list the benefits of a probiotic supplement: “It is recommended for counteracting lactose intolerance as it helps the digestive system produce lactase, which in turn breaks down lactose. I have also found that many children suffering from eczema often benefit more from using a probiotic cream than other topical options. But as eczema is an immune deficiency of sorts, give your child probiotic tablets if you want a cure.” The ingested option strengthens the immune system, getting to the real cause of the problem. On this, it is important to take a quality probiotic that contains one billion units per serving of the bacteria bifidobacterium and lactobacillus.
rich food from fermented products with live cultures, such as yoghurt, cheese or milk. Felicia also advises, “Avoid a problem by learning to spot a red flag. If you or your child are deficient in an essential mineral or are allergic to something that you are eating, pay attention to your body; it will speak to you through various symptoms such as a skin reaction or an upset tummy. Flag the allergens and eliminate them from your diet, or do research to find out what mineral you are lacking.”
a new age holistically speaking As probiotics are found naturally in our bodies, we can, for the most part, avoid supplementation if we ensure our family follows a balanced diet and if we breast-feed our babies. Breast milk contains a mix of carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, hormones, immunity-enhancing antibodies, and assorted vitamins, minerals and enzymes that maintain a healthy colony of good bacteria in the digestive tract. If you bottle-feed, you could consider consulting your paediatrician about using a probioticfortified formula. If anyone in the family is on a course of antibiotics, make sure you are all getting a healthy intake of probiotic-
Despite its apparent benefits, scientific research on probiotics is still in its early stages. Consumers, however, are buying into the value of the product. According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a department of the American Institute of Health, sales of probiotics in the USA have tripled from 1994 to 2003. If you asked some doctors why this is, they might say it’s thanks to clever marketing campaigns. Then again, we can’t ignore the fact that taking probiotics while on a course of antibiotics does make us feel better and using probiotics during a nasty bout of gastro brings quick relief. Despite the lack of conclusive evidence, probiotics remain a popular form of self-medication.
magazine cape town
fewer trips to the doctor, says LUCILLE KEMP.
upfront with paul
time for tough love Parents have the right to a life too, says PAUL KERTON, so don’t feel guilty about being a bit selfish occasionally.
PHOTOGRAPH: MARIETTE BARKHUIZEN
Saskia, Paul and Sabina
rgent notice to all parents – be more selfish. Lift up your head from that cluttered floor full of scattered toys and wet towels long enough to think about yourself and grab some me time before you hit 50, the children scoot the nest and you are left wondering where your life went. That’s right. You have a right to a life too! It sounds obvious, but in the middle of parent overload we forget and it often takes some interfering outsider – like me – to point it out. Yes, modern life is more exacting than before. We have a thousand more decisions a day to make than our parents did, technology has made more work rather than less (how many phone numbers and email addresses do you have for one person?) and money really
magazine cape town
is too tight to mention. Children have always ruled any loving family to a certain degree, but today, more than ever before, children dominate our lives morning, noon and night. Our generation of children is a demanding, mollycoddled lot where the child often dictates the pace. Talking about the tail wagging the dog, I was watching a group of parents the other day at a function, fussing over their young children and it was as if the children were disabled. Here were healthy, bouncing children with strong legs and arms, and inquisitive minds, who were too lazy to get off the couch to fetch their own sauce from the table. There is something very wrong here. It seems like every day is National Children’s Day. Okay, we all want our children to be happy and
will do everything in our power to make sure they get the best start, but they also need to take responsibility for their own life – or some of it at least. A warning to all parents – the consequences of not being selfish are catastrophic. First you lose self-respect, secondly you forget to have fun and thirdly you no longer have a marriage, you merely have a domestic home help agency with demanding but non-paying clients. Also the children don’t get to practise their skills. We all have the illusion that it is quicker for us to do things for our children than it is to take the extra time needed to train them to do it themselves, which is why we always have the monkey on our back. If you find yourself losing patience and
saying “Don’t worry, I’ll do it”, you may as well draw a target on your forehead and give your child an assault rifle. Stop right there. Think. Crikey, if someone can train a Labrador to cross the road, I’m sure you can train your child to put his shoes on the correct feet. Children love merit charts and rewards but we parents are terrible at docking off points for clothing left on the floor, bedrooms that resemble post-war Libya and general clumsiness. Stop being so soft and cuddly. Take away the TV, the computer, the Nintendo and the MP3 player – the things that they love. And don’t just threaten, do it. You’ll feel so much better. Paul Kerton is the author of Fab Dad 2: from walking to talking… and beyond.
MARC DE CHAZAL says his early fascination with comic characters and superheroes inspired his love of reading.
fuelled my childhood imagination. But I didn’t just read about superheroes. I also loved the Archie comics about teenagers in Middle America. Their lives were far removed from my pre-teen existence in late-70s South Africa, but I devoured these comic tales nonetheless (it’s not as if
The comics I pored over as a boy were a far cry from literary masterpieces, but they got me reading. we had South African alternatives). I remember, with a tinge of embarrassment, insisting that my parents call me Jughead at one point. He was Archie’s best mate and a bit of an oddball who wore a weird felt crown-hat and could consume unusually large quantities of food without getting sick or gaining weight. That’s almost a superpower, come to think of it. The comics I pored over as a boy were a far cry from literary masterpieces, but they
to express themselves through imaginative play. Apparently, this can boost their brain power and help them concentrate for longer. I didn’t quite make it to rocket scientist level, but at least I still love to read. Read more of Marc de Chazal’s weekly parenting blogs on childmag.co.za/dad-blog
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suspect my father thought I was wasting my time – and pocket money – reading comics. I mean, what on earth can one learn from Spider-Man, other than don’t get bitten by a radioactive spider unless you want to spend the rest of your life wearing tight Spidey PJs under your work clothes? But Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, would stash his clothes in a web somewhere high up on a building, then swing around in his tight PJs on nifty webs he shot from his wrists while beating the living daylights out of the baddies. I thought that was pretty cool. Comics
got me reading. And I was never bored. It was also really easy to buy birthday and Christmas presents for me – you could just throw in an annual and I’d be over the moon. Comics are not nearly as prolific today – we have TV now, but our children still have a wonderful ability
magazine cape town
dealing with difference
highs and lows Medical experts are divided about the diagnosis and treatment of children with bipolar disorder, says KATE DOUGLAS.
ore children worldwide are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder (also known as manic-depression), a severe mental illness that can be fatal if not treated properly. While medical professionals seem to disagree on just about everything to do with bipolar disorder in children, it is recognised as a serious condition that requires proper diagnosis. According to global statistics, 25 to 50 percent of people diagnosed with the disorder will, at some time in their lives, attempt suicide and about 15 percent will succeed.
what is bipolar disorder? While local statistics are in short supply, the SA Bipolar Site estimates that about one percent of the population suffers from bipolar disorder. It is categorised by mood
bipolar II has been described as being “milder” than bipolar I, the suicide rate is higher in those suffering from bipolar II. Freelance writer and academic, Shellique Carby, 26, from Durban, suffers from rapid-cycling bipolar I, where she has four or more episodes of mania and depression in a year. “The highs and lows would last for about a week. I had extreme mood swings that I couldn’t control, which hindered my functioning in daily life and made me want to do dangerous things.”
causes and symptoms Cape Town-based child psychiatrist, Dr Bev Edwards, believes that the most common and likely cause is genetics. “When a patient has a family history of it, their chance of becoming bipolar increases.” Other theories suggest that a stressful
swings from “high” episodes of mania to “low” periods of depression that differ in severity and frequency depending on the individual. Based on their symptoms, bipolar sufferers are usually diagnosed as having bipolar I or bipolar II disorder. Bipolar I usually involves episodes of both depression and mania and is distinguished from bipolar II by the experience of delusions and the severity and duration of the manic phase, which can last from a week to several months. Bipolar II is more common and is characterised by episodes of severe depression with occasional episodes of “mild” mania, called hypomania. This differs from mania in that no delusions are experienced. While
environment and childhood post-traumatic stress can play a large role. The severity of symptoms varies between individuals but bipolar disorder is usually identified by cycles of emotional highs and lows, which may differ in frequency. The highs of mania can include rapid speech, feelings of supremacy, insomnia, disconnected thoughts, grandiose ideas, hallucinations, extreme irritability, paranoia, aggressive behaviour, an increase in strength and energy and openly promiscuous activity. For 24-year-old Matt von Abo, of Cape Town, his behaviour during his manic stages contributed to many of his successes during high school. “I became more creative with art and music and became obsessed with learning things that interested me. I was magazine cape town
When a patient has a family history of it, their chance of becoming bipolar increases.
also popular as I was always the loudest, sharpest, wittiest, most impulsive and outthere person. People love you when you are like that, even teachers. But I always took it too far; it damaged relationships and got me into a lot of trouble at school.”
symptoms in children “Children don’t present symptoms like adults,” explains Edwards. “In adults, you typically get manic, then depressed, followed by a break, then manic again and so on. In children, you often get the mixed-mood episode, where a child experiences depression and mania at the same time.” Children with early-onset bipolar can often experience rapid cycling. “Their mood changes rapidly,” says Edwards. “They don’t see clear happiness and sadness and this usually results in them becoming extremely irritable and often aggressive.” It is because of this that
health profession, but I still think it may be a bit over-diagnosed.” Johannesburg clinical psychologist Adele Romanis thinks that it may be the new flavour of the month. “We saw it in the 90s with the surge of children being diagnosed with ADHD. Now they are beginning to realise that the problem wasn’t ADHD and that we have been incorrectly medicating these children. Misdiagnosis can be damaging to mental health.”
is your child bipolar? A diagnosis is usually made when a crisis is reached and alternative medication has failed to work in the long run. Edwards believes that it takes about eight years to make an accurate diagnosis of bipolar, as a history of mood cycles needs to be identified. But for Cape Town mother of two, Melissa*, it was when her daughter started behaving in a manner that “scared the heck out of her” that she knew something
I had extreme mood swings that I couldn’t control... and it made me want to do dangerous things. bipolar in children is often misdiagnosed as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or interpreted as attention seeking or acting-out. It also explains why it is commonly diagnosed during a person’s 20s, when their moods can no longer be dismissed as typical teenage behaviour. While most sufferers are only diagnosed as adults, the symptoms can often be traced back to their pre-teenage years. “When I was about 10 years old, I was so angry at our dog that I threw her down a hill,” says Shellique. “I started showing signs of clinical depression around the age of 12. I could never control my emotions and when they were intense, I couldn’t understand why.” Bipolar usually manifests between the ages of 20 and 30 and lasts for life.
is there a rise in child diagnoses? The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry says the number of children aged two to five who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and prescribed powerful medication has doubled in recent years. Although there is no research to support this trend in SA, there has been some rise in the number of diagnoses. “This has a lot to do with an increase in awareness of bipolar,” says Edwards. “It has become more accepted by the mental
was wrong. Her daughter, Kirsty*, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder two years ago at the age of 15. Melissa also suffers from the disorder. Before you go to the child psychiatrist, keep a mood diary or calendar so that they will be able to identify any mood patterns that could help make a diagnosis. Research your family’s medical history for any occurrence of the condition.
treatment Mood stabilisers are the most common form of treatment and Shellique, Matt, Melissa and Kirsty have all noticed a considerable change since taking them. Antidepressants alone won’t help someone with bipolar and many psychiatrists believe that the right dosage is the key to treatment. “I think that the right medication in adults is important but in children it is difficult, making it even more important for the child and parents to attend family therapy,” says Romanis. After diagnosis, Melissa advises parents to inform their child’s school and make sure they know what bipolar is. *Names have been changed. For support groups visit childmag. co.za/resources/3D
five steps for parents suffering from bipolar disorder • M ake sure that your medication is organised simply and stored in childproof containers. • Maintain a family mood diary to monitor both your moods and your children’s, so you can recognise any signs of the disorder. • Attend family therapy. Talk about the condition as a family. Make sure that you know how it’s affecting your children and that they understand what it is. • Tell your children’s teachers so if there are any crises, they will know how to deal with them. • Reduced stress can decrease your chances of manic attacks.
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be a sport Playing on the team is not just about winning; it’s about getting exercise, having fun and meeting new people, says JEN CROCKER.
degrees in sports science and education, says, “I would not suggest sport specialisation at a very young age. It’s important that children are exposed to a variety of sports that challenge them and develop various gross and perceptual motor skills. Saying that, I would not overload their schedules; balance is the key. If you notice your child has special ability or has been identified as talented in a certain field, keep the training hours under check and make sure they still have a chance to be a child and have fun.”
play the field
So, after spending a lot of money on cricket gear, he gave it up, and here is a handy tip: don’t lay out a month’s worth of grocery money on pricey sports gear until you are sure your child is going to love the sport. Go to a second-hand sports shop or visit your school clothing exchange if they have one and you will find plenty of gear in decent shape that other parents have sold because their child took up a sport and hated it. In fact, Jeanne Forcioli, who heads sport at Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School in Cape Town and holds
My daughters Hannah, 14, and Grace, 13, were not sports fans at junior school. Hannah enjoyed being in the swimming team and played social netball. Grace plays social netball, but wishes she had taken up cross-country running. Note that children’s sporting skills and interests may change when they go to high school. While they may have been captain of the under-12 netball team in junior school, they will be up against new talent at high school. This can work in their favour or against them, but either way, you do need to chat to them about it.
professional coaching Be aware that there may come a stage when your child decides they want to move up the sporting ladder. That is when it’s a good time to consider professional coaching if they need it. Divvie Maritz, the first team coach at Rondebosch Boys’ High School in Cape Town and a trainer of children from primary to senior level says, “Your child should decide for themselves if they really want to achieve. Sometimes confidence is low, but that happens to everyone in sport, so support from parents is always good. Intervention or being hard on your child because they have failed to live up to your expectations is never the best way to approach the problem, and ends up with the child feeling as if they’ve failed. To achieve in sport involves hard work and determination and that must come from the sports person themselves.”
get insured Have good medical cover, because although Maritz points out that fitness plays a part in preventing injuries, they do happen and they can be expensive. Many schools offer top-up medical insurance for sport at very reasonable rates.
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port is a vital part of our lives. We get behind our national teams, although we whinge when they lose, and if you have children at school, even if you are the least sport-loving person in the world, you are at some stage going to find yourself watching a game you may not even understand. But if approached properly, playing sport can be a way for your child to shine on the field while getting some exercise, and an opportunity for you to meet other parents. The policy at most schools is that your child needs to take part in at least one summer and one winter sport (and, no, playing computer games is not one of them). I am not the sporty type but the late father of my children was. He was involved in organised cricket and loved anything that included a ball. So when we had a son, it seemed as though he too would play cricket. But Alex, now 16, did not inherit his father’s skill. In fact, he sucked. And it was while watching a game where my son had just gone out for a golden duck, that I learned one of the first lessons of watching sport: do not assume that the rest of the parents are as peeved about watching their darlings playing in the F team. “Crikey”, I said to a father as I watched my son picking his nose on the outfield, “this is worse than watching paint dry.” He gave me a hard stare, moved several steps away from me and said, “You should be proud of him for representing his school.” I slunk off to drink lukewarm tea.
game rules – for you You can be a cheering, vocal parent, and I am, but there are boundaries. Ask your child from the outset whether they want you to be a vocal parent or not. Hannah informed me that I could only watch her matches if I kept my mouth firmly shut. Maritz says, “Manners around the field are very important as you set the example for your children. Never swear or bad-mouth the referee or coach. But the coach should always be available for discussion or to offer help for your child.” Although coaches should be accountable and approachable, there are some no-go areas as far as I am concerned. They know the group of children, or the pool of talent they have to work with. Don’t go to them and demand that your child be moved up to a higher team. I have seen it happen and invariably the child is ridiculed by team-mates. Remember, at the end of the day, sport might be important, but winning is not always the most important thing. Being a good sport, learning how to work with a team and learning how to deal with frustration and defeat are all good life lessons. There is also an etiquette that exists around the field for parents. Try not to embarrass your child by shouting out their name when you think they have done something stupid. Be polite to the parents of visiting teams, clap when the visitors score, even if you can only manage a lukewarm flap, and cheer like crazy when your team does something amazing.
and after the game? There are golden rules for being a good, sport-supporting parent. I don’t get them right all the time, and your children may all require different responses from you. I have learnt that my son does not want me to talk to him when he comes off the field after a game. He wants to be handed money for a burger and a drink, and be left to decompress with his friends. Wait to hear how your child feels about their performance before you tell them what you think. Forciolli has the following advice: “Being honest with your child is always the best. They will learn to trust you and your opinion. If you are honest about the small stuff, they will trust your judgement when it really counts
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and come to you for advice on the big things. Children know when they haven’t played or performed to their best. Be open and talk frankly, but sensitively, about how they are feeling.” The advice from the coaches is pretty clear. It isn’t as important as you might think that your child plays in the first team. The important thing is that
they are playing sport and they can be proud of playing at whatever that level is. Most of all, know this, you will never ever watch a game as closely or with as much passion as you will when your child is on the field doing their best, getting exercise and learning how to be part of a team.
what if your child doesn’t want to play sport? Jeanne Forciolli, head of sport at Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School in Cape Town, has the following advice: • Sport should not only be seen in the formal context of organised, competitive sport. Get your child a bike, skateboard, rollerblades or a skipping rope. Put up a pull-up bar in the passage, get a Pilates ball for them to balance on, let them climb trees and get a trampoline for the garden or take them swimming or boogie boarding at the beach. Even walking the dog is good exercise. • Exercise can be a family affair. If you’ve ever taken your children to the supertube you’ll know what a good workout climbing the stairs and going down the slides can be. You can also take cricket bats to the beach or park. Put up a mini soccer net or get a croquet or boulles set. • Make sure your children are properly equipped. They are not going to enjoy the family hike if they are wearing the wrong shoes. • Make sure children are hydrated and not hungry or tired. Energy drinks or bars are not needed; a piece of fruit and a bottle of water are sufficient. • The Department of Education has finally recognised the importance of physical exercise and has reintroduced compulsory physical education in schools. From this year, these hours have been lengthened with Grade R to Grade 3 learners now needing to do two hours a week.
learn online Schools can bridge the digital divide by making textbooks and educational material accessible to all pupils, via their cellphones or school computers. By MICHELLE JONES
a digital classroom In a country where learning resources are scarce, literacy and numeracy test results are dismal and not every child has access to a textbook, it has become important for school teachers to use new and interesting ways to challenge learners. Because of this, the rollout of information and communication technology (ICT) into schools is an important priority of the Department of Basic Education (DBE), particularly in previously disadvantaged schools. The White Paper on e-Education has the goal of ensuring that every learner is ICT-capable by 2013, a target which is proving increasingly difficult to meet. “The relevance and quality of education coexist with the need to expand educational opportunities to communities that were previously marginalised,” says department spokesman Panyaza Lesufi. “It is therefore imperative that the implementation of ICT in education is constantly monitored and supported, especially on aspects that are impeding progress.” The department describes e-learning as a flexible form of education, using ICT tools such as the internet,
CD-ROMs, software and other media. Teachers use different technology options for learners in different age groups. These range from simply using computers to complete assignments, researching projects online, making use of online textbooks and playing educational games. But while the rollout of technology into classrooms has been prioritised, it is the more well-resourced provinces, the Western Cape and Gauteng, which are making the most progress. It is only in the Western Cape that the majority of schools (86 percent) have access to the internet. Coming up next are Gauteng (38 percent) and Mpumalanga (30 percent), with the rest of the provinces trailing behind.
Many pupils don’t have the finance or the resources, but almost every child in the country has a cellphone. There’s no excuse – education is now open to everyone. Khanya, an initiative of the Western Cape Education Department, was established 10 years ago with one simple aim – to put computers in every school in the province. The project, which is extremely close to its goal, has won international awards and is recognised as the most successful of its kind in the country. “Schools are currently connected through various uncoordinated and sometimes incoherent initiatives that are mostly donated by the private sector, except in the Western Cape, North West and Gauteng provinces where centrally-coordinated, provincial initiatives have been implemented,” says Lesufi.
The same provinces with the higher number of schools connected to the internet also have the most computers available in schools for pupils’ use. “The low percentage of schools with computers for teaching and learning is alarming considering the time frames set for the attainment of the goals of the White Paper on e-Education (2004) and the Action Plan to 2014,” says Lesufi.
have cellphone, can learn While it is the schools in more affluent areas that are able to provide the extra funding needed to make use of technology, it is the schools in previously disadvantaged areas that need this technology to improve their shocking numeracy and literacy scores. This is where a change in thinking is needed. Instead of banning cellphones as most schools have done, some forward-thinking teachers have taken the step of allowing these devices into classrooms. Almost every learner has one, some sneak them into school and most are able to access the internet. This suddenly allows pupils to complete research, ask questions and stay in touch with teachers and fellow pupils. Siyavula makes maths and science textbooks freely available on the internet to download. These can also be downloaded onto cellphones, so that pupils have them on hand at all times – in class, the taxi or at home. “In cases where schools don’t have textbooks, anyone can print them at a fraction of the cost of a traditional book. The open copyright license allows educators to legally copy, change, print and distribute them as they need,” says Horner. “Learners will get better resources put in front of them, ones that have been changed for their needs. The books will be more readily and immediately available on their cellphones. They are cutting through the digital divide. That’s quite revolutionary. We’re really excited about making these resources available to all pupils and teachers.” Michelle Jones is the Cape Times education writer.
benefits of e-learning According to the Department of Basic Education, the use of technology in the classroom is “potentially powerful” in its numerous benefits for pupils. These include: • expanding access to education; • strengthening the relevance of education to the increasingly digital workplace; • transforming teaching and learning into an engaging and active process connected to real life; • increasing learner motivation and engagement through the use of videos, television and multimedia computer software that combine text, sound and colourful moving images to provide engaging, challenging and authentic content; • facilitating the acquisition of basic skills and concepts that are the foundation of higher order thinking skills and creativity through drill and practice. This is achieved through the use of educational software and television programmes that use repetition and reinforcement to teach the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes and other basic concepts; • enhancing teacher training by improving access to and the quality of teacher training through self-directed, self-paced online and television broadcasts and, • transforming the learning environment from teacher-centred to learner-centred.
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group of teachers and post-graduate university students from around the country gathered in Cape Town recently with one aim: to create a new curriculum-aligned Grade 10 life science textbook that would be available to download from the internet. The weekend was organised by Siyavula, the Shuttleworth Foundation-incubated project that aims to provide free and open access to textbooks and learning resources. Mari Clark, from Westville Girls’ High School in Durban, who was one of the syllabus writers for the new curriculum and assessment policy statement documents, says she is thrilled to be part of a project that makes more resources available for children, free of charge. “The curriculum changes so fast that textbooks can’t keep up. The poorer schools especially can’t keep buying new textbooks, so most of the children don’t get them. This is a most exciting project.” Clark says she hopes learners will be able to access information that will inspire them. Erica Makings, from La Salle College in Johannesburg, says every child in the country will (eventually) be able to access this textbook on their cellphone. “Many pupils don’t have the finance or the resources, but almost every child in the country has a cellphone. There’s no excuse – education is now open to everyone. They can educate themselves, if their teacher is not in the class. These learners can now get into university. Every learner now has equal access to education.” Siyavula founder Mark Horner says the weekend was a great success and the textbook was expected to be in classrooms this year. He says in terms of quality, the textbook fell between teachers’ class notes and a higherend textbook. “We’ll have a book that most teachers will be able to teach from for the next year.” Horner says a Grade 11 textbook will be created this month.
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level the playing field New guest columnist, GARY KOEN, says a zero-tolerance approach
hen you hear that your child is being bullied, your first question will probably be, “Why is this happening to my child?” Your child, as the victim, is likely asking the same thing. But these are the very questions a bully wants you to ask. Bullies rely on doubt, confusion, deception and intimidation to get away with what they are doing. But they also need an environment that, either tacitly or implicitly, allows what is happening to continue.
what is bullying? Betrayal and secrecy form the cornerstones of all successful abuse, and a culture of silence generally
protects bullies, even encouraging them. A bully’s actions are usually covert, and they will go all out to discredit their victims, even portraying themselves as the ones who have been maligned. This is particularly the case with a bully who is highly regarded by the school. Parents are often discouraged to learn that, after notifying their child’s school of a bullying incident, their child is now also regarded as a snitch for disclosing what happened. Bullies feel a sense of triumph and perverted fulfilment in inflicting pain and suffering on others. Their perception is that, because they are so far above this other person, they are allowed to say and do whatever they want without the other being allowed to react. It is very seldom that
the victim possesses the power or has the support to withstand the bully. In fact, the violent bully often provokes the victim to get a reaction, relishing the opportunity to “justifiably” attack them by claiming that they started it.
types of bullying Boys live in an external world, with the focus on the physical, so they are more prone to physical bullying where size, a desire and propensity for violence and the sense of satisfaction that comes from the suffering of others make for a cruel and frightening combination. Girls are naturally more inclined towards the internal, making them more adept at psychological bullying. This is a
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to bullying will help eradicate this scourge from our schools.
more seditious type of abuse, where the constant verbal barrage of putdowns, insults, and attacks on a person’s character, colour or class, gradually erodes their selfconfidence and self-worth, leaving them feeling demoralised and worthless. A type of sexual bullying is also happening in some schools. This is where a group of boys targets lessdeveloped classmates, taunting them and at times groping them, making the experience more akin to a prison rape than an adolescent joke. Cyberbullying is a new and destructive form of technological bullying that children, parents, teachers and the justice system are still coming to grips with. While
and consequences of all forms of bullying, for both the victim and the perpetrator. One of the main reasons the justice system would rather these issues be resolved in a restorative fashion is because the legal consequences could result in children being criminally charged, giving them criminal records. This highlights the seriousness of bullying behaviour – a message which does not seem to be getting through to a lot of children.
when can it start? While bullying is not a normal part of human development, it can, and does, often occur during the first few years of school. During pre-primary and early primary school, it
The simple solution to the problem of bullies is to try and create environments in which bullies cannot thrive, and the only way that you can do that is to change the way our schools operate. South Africa does not have any specific laws that deal with cyberbullying, the forms it takes are covered by other criminal offences. These include crimen injuria, which refers to the serious and intentional violation of another person’s privacy or dignity and assault, where a person receives a threatening or frightening message from another person. While parents are entitled to follow a legal route to redress some of these attacks, they need to know that these issues are far from clear-cut, and generally the justice system would rather they be resolved through diversion programmes and other social agencies. Schools need to educate parents and pupils only about the dangers
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would not be uncommon for boys and girls to mock and tease a child with some basic difference. Yet, as cruel as it is, they don’t know any better. If parents and teachers are able to intervene during this stage, they can usually change this form of behaviour and instil a sense of empathy. Most children are able to learn this fairly quickly. However, it becomes abnormal when bullying behaviour continues beyond these early years. As children become teenagers, there is a real developmental need for power or, rather, to feel empowered and to feel a sense of achievement for doing things that they are good at. The frightening thing about bullies is that their sense of control and achievement
is gained through victimisation and humiliation, and what makes them so dangerous is that their bullying behaviour does indeed gratify this fundamental need.
what the schools are doing Schools have an ongoing responsibility to confront and expose this culture and to communicate in no uncertain terms the consequences for offenders. According to the constitution, schools have a statutory obligation to provide an environment for their learners that is “not harmful to their health or wellbeing, and which guarantees their physical, emotional and cultural safety”.
This means that all forms of bullying behaviour are considered serious offences. The parents of children who have been bullied have the right to press charges against the offenders. Many admirable anti-bullying policies and programmes are offered by organisations such as the Children’s Resource Centre, and the Western Cape Education Department, encouraging children to empower themselves, to become aware and accepting of each other’s differences, and to confront and object to all forms of bullying and abuse. However,
advice for parents We are not going to be able to eradicate bullies completely. Bullies are a fact of life; there are too many developmental factors for any single school to control. Parenting is difficult to get right all the time, and there will always be nasty and destructive individuals. Therefore, parents who discover that their child is being bullied, need to go directly to the principal. Concerns about your child’s safety have to be heard at the highest level. You will also soon find out whether
Bullies feel a sense of triumph and perverted fulfilment in inflicting pain and suffering on others. for such programmes to truly succeed, our children also need to trust that their schools will support them. They need to have faith that their teachers will take a clear stand against bullies and their behaviour. The responsibility for the eradication of bullies from schools has to rest mainly with those who are in charge – it has to begin with the principal. The simple solution to the problem of bullies is to try and create environments in which bullies cannot thrive, and the only way that you can do that is to change the way our schools operate.
the school is committed to upholding and implementing their bullying policies. While an uncompromising stance against bullying should be the priority of every school, parents need to weigh up the value of fighting against a system reluctant to take responsibility or proper action against bullying behaviour. In one case, the parents of a Grade 8 boy only discovered that their son was being bullied at the boarding school he attended after they were contacted by a housemaster who grew concerned
books about bullying for children from the age of three
Chester Raccoon and the Big Bad Bully (Tanglewood Press) By Audrey Penn
Little Lucky Lolo and the Very Big Boy (Giraffe Books) By Adrian Varkel
From the author of the New York Times bestseller The Kissing Hand, beautifully illustrated by Barbara L. Gibson, comes the story of Chester Raccoon as he learns how to change a bully into a friend.
In this delightful local tale, Little Lucky Lolo learns that he should speak up when dealing with a bully and that sometimes it helps if you show the bully that kindness and team work are more important than being nasty.
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about the boy’s behaviour. They were shocked to discover that their son had been relentlessly and continuously bullied for several months. This came to light after he developed symptoms consistent with severe anxiety. After an investigation, the bully was identified and given counselling and a warning to stop what he was doing. But the victim’s parents decided that this did not constitute an effective response and didn’t afford their son sufficient protection from the bully, so they removed him from the school. It took him almost two years of therapy to recover from his ordeal.
dealing with the bully Schools often try to understand and counsel the bully. On some level, bullies are also victims and they may also need compassion and understanding, but schools need to make it clear that understanding is not going to be the first thing that happens. The bully must be stopped first and then it must be seen whether they can learn a different way of behaving. Parents of bullies must realise that the risk their children pose to others in their immediate environment, and to society in the future, is far greater than their individual need for understanding.
consequences for the victim There is a tendency to view the victims of bullies as being too sensitive, overprotected or immature. While some of this may be true, there is still no reason for anyone to gang up against them and abuse them. No-one has the right to harm someone else in any way. Not many people appreciate the difficulty and complexity of dealing with someone who has been bullied. In many ways, it is similar to dealing with someone who is suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. The victim feels shame for being bullied and tainted by what has happened to them. They fear that they have been contaminated by their trauma, which will now separate them from society. This is often combined with an entrenched
belief that they must have done something to deserve what happened to them. These children have to be reminded that they have suffered the equivalent of a crime, and the bullies are no different from someone who breaks into your house and assaults you. The message has to be that what happened was wrong, and that they are not at fault. While many schools have counsellors who are able to offer support to bullied children, parents need to know that sometimes these children need an intervention from a skilled clinical psychologist. Parents also need to educate themselves about their rights, and the responsibility of the school, when it comes to preventing bullying from occurring.
Gary Koen is a clinical psychologist in private practice with over 20 years’ experience, working mainly with adults and adolescents. He also does presentations at schools on a range of teenage-related topics. These include all the general aspects of normal adolescent development. He developed and successfully runs a course, “An introduction to adolescence”, aimed at parents. He is also working on a book that deals with the challenges facing parents and teenagers and, as a father of three, he is heavily invested in everything he says. For more information, visit garykoen.co.za
Dear Bully (HarperCollins Publishers) Edited by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones Top authors for teens share their stories about bullying – as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators. This collection is at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.
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Playground (Quercus) By 50 Cent Inspired by 50 Cent’s own adolescence, and the mostly true story of a former bully, this book is a hard-hitting and inspirational story of the redemption of a bully. 50 Cent (his real name is Curtis Jackson III), admits that writing this book was a personal journey for him.
talk it through How do once-independent people, with active social lives, make the transition to being selfless parents? It’s about negotiation, says KIM MAXWELL.
didn’t expect to be doing the bath, bottle and bed routine solo for the first couple of nights after my husband’s return from a three-week trip in New Zealand. He was delighted to see our 14-month-old son, Daniel, after the long separation, but was severely jetlagged and nursing a chest infection after a succession of aeroplane journeys. Usually this “my turn/your turn” situation would spark an argument, but I silently let him ease into our domestic routine and keep the germs to himself. It worked. On the second night, supper was put together with no urging on my part. And a few days later, my husband orchestrated an early pram walk to buy croissants so I could have a rare lie-in. Bliss. I’d felt quite virtuous about playing single working parent to our busy boy for such a long stretch. Our weekday nanny also played her part, but I hadn’t predicted being called into an office fulltime for a few days at short notice, while simultaneously managing grocery shops, meals and my toddler’s frequent waking in the night. Yet, if I’d moaned, my husband would’ve retorted that I’d encouraged his overseas trip.
feeling resentful or worse, placing the child in the middle of their fights?
be honest about who’s doing what Louise Roos, 40, of Cape Town, put her career on hold to spend quality time with her baby, Elli, now 10 months. But after starting a practice as a women’s trauma counsellor at her Blouberg home, Louise realised she needed to apply her own professional advice. “One day my husband mentioned he’d like to get to gym more often and I went off about his ‘inconsiderate’ comment. I was spending a lot of isolated time at home and felt resentful. It seemed like I was making most of the sacrifices, around the house and with childcare, and his life didn’t seem to have changed as significantly,” says Louise. “Eventually, I did what I advise my young mother clients to do: I compiled a list of ‘who does what’ and looked at the underlying reasons for why I felt irritated. I started understanding that it was unrealistic for him to play an equal part in the household and childcare, as well as working full time and providing for us.” Georgina Crouth, 37, a newspaper journalist in Johannesburg, drops her
Comparing notes with friends, it struck me that the stormier aspects of our parenting relationship were mirrored by the experiences of other couples with babies or toddlers under the age of four. There is so much emphasis on the changes for parents of newborns, yet after a year on the job we were all still negotiating tasks or time with our partners as we adjusted to the everchanging demands of our little ones. Daycare and childminders lessen the load for working parents during the week. But after hours and over weekends, whose turn is it to stimulate your child with books or games in the park, to change the dirty nappy, prepare and supervise mealtimes and keep up with the dishes, garden or laundry? And how do very independent partners on an equal footing, with active personal interests and social lives, maturely make the transition to selfless parents, without bargaining endlessly,
15-month-old daughter at daycare each morning. “My husband leaves home before I do and often gets in late, so I also cook and get Kalyn ready for bed. I sometimes finish extra work at midnight, get up a few times at night to tend to Kalyn, and rise at 5:30am. We have a domestic worker, but not a livein carer,” she says. Georgina’s husband is actively involved over weekends, happily entertaining their toddler, which allows Georgina time for other pursuits. But her lack of sleep puts stress on their weekday relationship. “I get very grumpy when I’m tired, and moan about everything from my husband’s snoring to his failure to wake up for Kalyn.” Georgina and her husband recently reached a compromise that helps. He now provides dinner – home-made or takeaway – twice a week. “Some of our arguments are about differences in opinion about parenting styles,” adds Louise. “As couples we need to discuss and agree upon magazine cape town
PHOTOGRAPHs and Illustrations: shutterstock.com
Mothers often feel like they’re spread in too many ways. Fathers often don’t step up enough. Roles often need to be redefined.
parenting methods, but also have a back-up alternative for when things are unpredictable. That’s often easier said than done.”
have realistic expectations Cape Town clinical psychologist Janet Bytheway says mothers should set realistic limits and partners shouldn’t automatically expect dinner on the table. “Maybe the partner needs to lend a hand. Instead of using expressions such as, ‘I’m lucky my husband offered to grocery shop’, rather say, ‘These are the tasks that need sharing between us’. Mothers often feel like they’re spread too thin. Fathers often don’t step up enough. Roles often need to be redefined.” Leigh Weir-Smith, 37, of Johannesburg, was juggling too much after the birth of her first child. This work-from-home business owner is mother to four-year-old Isabella and nine-month-old John. Back-to-back meetings and weeklong business trips used to be par for the course. But after having her second child, Leigh decided the additional income wasn’t worth the strain on her marriage and family. “I’m fortunate to have an incredibly hands-on husband, but being away puts pressure on your home environment, and on you,” says Leigh. So she scaled down significantly.
“No more travelling and I only work halfdays so that my children get the attention they deserve. It makes my life more pleasant as the stress of trying to be Super Mom is removed.” Time out for parents also helps. “I’m learning that young children are so allconsuming that it’s important for partners to give one another some ‘me’ time, or they end up feeling resentful,” says Louise. “I have a monthly girls’ dinner out that I’ve attended for years. My husband loves kitesurfing, so most weekends I drop him off with his gear. It’s only two hours, but it means so much to him. He always comes back with a big smile, feeling more ready to handle a challenging night if Elli isn’t in the mood for sleeping. Ultimately, that helps me.” Leigh says regular date nights boost their relationship. “It requires effort to get off the couch and go out, but it helps us reconnect without being interrupted.” Talking without interruptions – or interrupting – lessens the negotiating we’re inclined to do as life partners. Bytheway says couples also need to have conversations about their values, especially when it comes to discipline. “When couples start to have that conversation – and most of us don’t because we bumble into it – we make progress.”
tips to smooth the way • D urban clinical psychologist Sumayyah Khan suggests that parents schedule tasks. “It may seem tedious but a schedule helps a home run smoothly. Visible lists also lessen arguments because tasks can’t be refuted,” she says. • Parents should delay discussing big issues for later. Children are sensitive and where too young to understand harsh words, can sense the tone of an argument. • But arguing isn’t always bad. Children can benefit from watching their parents negotiate in a mature, respectful manner, according to Khan. “Allow your partner to voice their opinion, stay calm, don’t name-call, sulk or use physical aggression. Be constructive, not destructive. Your child will observe healthy problem-solving techniques.” • Cape Town clinical psychologist Janet Bytheway says parents shouldn’t underestimate the challenges of parenting. “Eighteen months after childbirth we expect a return to normal routines and usually it doesn’t happen. Understand that the first three years are hectic as your children are incredibly dependent on you.” Golf may have to wait. • Keeping score isn’t helpful. There should be frank conversations about what each brings to the partnership, but not in the heat of an argument. Acknowledge financial contributions, childcare roles, chores and, perhaps, one partner travelling frequently and the other slipping more frequently into a childcaring role because a babysitter seems extravagant. • Sometimes drawing up a spreadsheet of expenditure – particularly for a parttime earner who spends frequently on smaller items such as gifts and school fêtes – can be important to show their worth in the relationship.
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all the world’s a stage… Drama is about more than just bright lights and costumes, says DONNA COBBAN. It can also help
rowing up there was no greater joy than staging a play for my parents’ friends and visitors. With drinks and peanuts in hand, they were herded through to the seating area while we hid behind a curtain in joyful anticipation of what was to come. I have no recollection of the madeup scripts and only a dim memory of the cast, all pulled from neighbouring houses, but what I do remember is the darkened seating, the illuminated acting area… and the curtain. Fifteen years later as a postgraduate drama student, the same magical effect was felt, just on a slightly different scale. While drama may have received cutbacks in schools and garnered disdain from parents wanting their children to
pursue engineering degrees, we need to remind ourselves that along with sport, drama is part of who we are. When I talk to drama experts about its benefits, there are a number that come up repeatedly, such as “communication,
Johannesburg South. “By giving children opportunities to succeed in drama, they start to believe in themselves instead of believing they can’t do things.” Tim says this is intrinsically linked to the teaching of drama in the formative years.
Through the medium of drama, children can find ways of expressing emotions in a safe and contained way. self-esteem and confidence”, all essential skills children will need to have happy and contented lives, says Tim Hulse, principal at the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy in
Gill Brunings, director of the Rising Star Performing Arts Academy in Durban, says that children start discovering the performing arts, not just drama, as soon as
they are born, through music, rhythm and role-playing. “Formal tuition can start from the age of three. However, training should not be too structured and pigeon-holed as a child needs to explore and discover their own self and space around them. This is one of the foundations of developing selfconfidence,” she advises. And while there are numerous life skills that come with doing drama, there are also the less obvious ones. Gill tells of how a class of Grade 7 students was working towards a performance for the South African speech and drama festival. “One lesson covered breathing techniques and most of the students thought it was silly to learn how to breathe, saying sarcastically,
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PHOTOGRAPHS: Igor Bulgarin / Shutterstock.com
your child develop self-confidence and discipline.
‘we have been breathing for 13 years’.” The lesson progressed nevertheless and after the festival, one of the students came to Gill and said, “This is the first time I have been able to stand on the stage and talk without needing my asthma pump.” The breathing techniques enabled him to control his nerves and breathe steadily. “Even if this child never stands on the stage again, he now knows that he can control his breathing and reduce the risk of a potentially lifethreatening situation,” says Gill. School plays, I was once told, are the best way to judge a school. If all the children are having fun, and are involved in the process, then the school is likely to be a good one. But if only a few children are chosen to shine and the costumes look as if they were borrowed from Broadway, then it might be best to steer clear. Deborah Gildenhuys, who runs the Spotlight Drama Studio in Cape Town, believes passionately in the power of live performance. “It improves confidence, encourages team building, teaches time management and develops attributes like perseverance, commitment, discipline and self-awareness.” However, those rehearsals you drive to for weeks on end are, in Deborah’s opinion, of more benefit than the performance itself, as it is within this creative process that problem solving and teamwork are learnt.
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While we encourage our children to excel at sports, we don’t necessarily do the same for their minds. Little minds, as with grown ones, are often the most crowded of places and here, drama therapy can be “an effective tool for self growth and development in healthy children, as well as an excellent medium for healing for those who have experienced trauma, loss or difficulty with coping with life’s challenges”, says The South African Association of Drama Therapists. “Through the medium of drama, children can find ways of expressing emotions in a safe and contained way. This not only allows them some distance from their own lives but gives them access to feelings that would otherwise feel dangerous and overwhelming.” For example, a child who plays with a witch puppet can safely express strong feelings of anger and rage in that role. Through drama, they can also try out different ways of responding to a situation and thus learn that there are more effective types of behaviour. Children are able to develop a stronger sense of self, more confidence and improve their ability to relate to others. So whether upfront on stage under the bright lights, backstage in the dark helping to put together a donkey costume or at home with a dressup box and a borrowed pair of heels, drama has the power to transform and heal.
why drama should take centre stage • It develops the ability to deal with emotions, understand their own values and make sense of their life. Exploring what life means enables them to shape their own lives. • It allows for the integration of cultural experiences. Sharing and enjoying values from across cultures promotes understanding, tolerance and cooperation. • It helps young people develop their capacity for empathy, which requires imagination and maturity. • It encourages risk-taking. This pushes young people to overcome obstacles and be flexible and tolerant. Risk-competent people are more able to cope with the uncertainties and challenges of the future. Courtesy of Rising Star Performing Arts Academy
drama programmes in your area Helen O’Grady Drama Academy For branches nationwide visit dramaafrica.com Spotlight Drama Studio 021 794 0243, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit spotlightdramastudio.co.za Rising Star Performing Arts Academy (Durban) 083 326 3257, gillian@ risingstaracademy.co.za or visit risingstaracademy.co.za
easy lunchbox ideas These tasty recipes from IDEAS take the hassle out of deciding what to make for dinner or pack for school lunch. beef and sweet-chilli sarmie
• 30ml olive oil • 8 beef minute steaks • 120ml sweet-chilli sauce • 40ml freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice • 1 cucumber, peeled into ribbons • 1 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced • 60ml plain yoghurt • 30ml low-fat mayonnaise • sliced bread or rolls • coriander to garnish
1 Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan over a high heat. Fry the steaks in batches for a minute on each side until cooked through. Remove from the heat and drizzle half of the sweet-chili sauce and 10ml lemon juice over the steaks. 2 Place the steaks on top of sliced bread or rolls. Top with cucumber ribbons and avocado slices and season to taste. 3 Mix together the remaining sweet-chilli sauce and lemon juice with the yoghurt and mayonnaise. Spoon on top of the salad ingredients. Add some fresh coriander to garnish.
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PHOTOGRAPHS: Ideas / shutterstock.com
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 4 minutes
pita breads with spicy beef and rosa tomatoes
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes • • • • • • •
15ml oil 15ml Cajun spice 30ml flour 400g steak, sliced 4 pita breads 250g mixed lettuce 1 small punnet rosa tomatoes, halved
1 Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Mix the Cajun spice with the flour, dust the steak with the flour mixture, and fry until the slices are just cooked.
2 Heat a griddle pan. Grill the pita breads, one at a time, until they start to puff up. Turn each one over to brown both sides. 3 Stuff each pita bread with steak, lettuce and rosa tomatoes, and serve.
citrus chicken kebabs
Preparation time: 10 minutes plus 2 hours marinating time | Cooking time: 10 minutes • 4 chicken breast fillets, cut into large cubes • 100ml olive oil • 125ml fresh orange juice • 60ml fresh lemon juice • 20ml lemon or lime zest • 2 cloves garlic, crushed • 50ml chopped origanum • 3ml salt • 8 kebab sticks • 1 onion, cut into wedges • 1 lemon, cut into small wedges
1 Place the chicken cubes in a sealable plastic bag.
2 Mix the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice and zest, garlic, origanum and salt thoroughly. Pour the mixture over the chicken in the bag and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken for approximately two minutes. Refrigerate for two hours or overnight. 3 Thread the chicken cubes onto the kebab sticks, alternating the meat with onion and citrus wedges. 4 Grill or braai the kebabs until just done.
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couscous with chickpeas
Preparation time: 10 minutes • • • • • •
150ml couscous 200ml vegetable stock, hot 1 can chickpeas, drained ½ yellow pepper, diced ½ red pepper, diced 30ml chopped coriander
1 Place the couscous in a large bowl and pour the hot stock over it until it is just covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to stand for five minutes.
2 Once all the liquid is absorbed, use a fork to separate the couscous. Add the remaining ingredients and stir through.
Preparation time: 15 minutes | Baking time: 5 minutes | Oven temperature: 200 °C • • • • • • • • •
4 tortillas (flour wraps) 10ml tahini 90ml good-quality mayonnaise baby spinach leaves 1 avocado, sliced 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced 100ml sprouts 250ml grated Cheddar
1 Put the tortillas on a baking tray and place in the oven to warm. 2 Mix the tahini and mayonnaise together and spread onto the tortillas. 3 Arrange the remaining ingredients on the tortillas. Roll up and secure with a toothpick.
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spicy sweet potato and vegetable burgers
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus refrigeration time | Cooking time: 30 minutes • 300g sweet potato, peeled and cubed • 20-30ml curry paste • 125ml frozen diced vegetables, defrosted • 3 slices bread, crumbed • 50ml chopped fresh coriander • cake flour, for dusting • 125ml natural yoghurt • sunflower oil, for frying • bread rolls and a salad, to serve
1 Boil the potatoes until soft. Drain and mash. Return to the heat and fry until most of the excess liquid has evaporated. Mix in the curry paste and add the vegetables, breadcrumbs and half the coriander. Season to taste.
2 Shape into burger patties. Dust with flour. Chill on a lined baking tray for half an hour or until ready to cook.
3 Heat a layer of oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers on both sides until golden. Mix the yoghurt with the remaining coriander. Serve the burgers on rolls 4 topped with the yoghurt dressing. Serve with a salad.
about the book It can be somewhat of a challenge to come up with exciting yet nutritious meals for the family each night. This fullcolour cookbook, Ideas: 365 Recipes for every day of the year (Human & Rousseau), takes the guesswork out of meal planning. With a recipe for each day of the year, you will never again have to wonder what to cook for dinner. They are also organised into months, making it easier to cook something with the ingredients that are in season. The dishes are varied, with everything from honey, mustard and rosemary pork chops to salmon fish cakes, spicy vegetable dhal and Moroccan burgers. The quick recipes will appeal to harried working parents, busy housewives and even the novice cook. It is available at good bookstores nationwide.
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back to school basics Getting the family ready for school or other activities often requires military-like precision. CHILD MAGAZINE offers these tips to make your mornings hassle-free.
Get a whiteboard or a pin board where you can organise everything from the weekâ€™s menu plan to extramural activities. Get your children to write in what they would like to have for supper and school lunch on each day of the week. On the side or at the bottom, draw up a shopping list of items you will need to get for the meals. This makes weekly shopping a cinch. You can also include a list of things that need to be done for that week. This could include reminders of people who need to be contacted about play dates or lift club schedules. Assign each person in the family a colour to make the board easier to read at a glance.
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flip for art Children collect a lot of art, and while you would love to exhibit every papier-mâché dinosaur and every finger-painted sun, you will soon run out of wall space. At the beginning of each term, invest in two files with plastic sleeves for each child. Use an A3 file to store art and photographs of larger, three-dimensional artworks and projects. You can also turn your child’s art into funky gifts or decorations. Trace the design from a painting onto fabric and use it to make a unique doorstopper, cushion cover or wall hanging. Artworks can also be given a new lease on life by transforming them into jewellery boxes, letter sets or wrapping paper. An A4 file can be used to store school notices and other important information from your child’s teachers. You could also use a file or binder, with colour-coded tabs for each child, to store these papers. Place the file or folder in a central place, such as on the kitchen counter or on the desk in the study, so that everyone knows this is where notices must be stored.
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make storage bins your friends Use plastic containers or wooden crates to collect toys, books and other items that may be left around the house. Have one in each room and get your children to pack all their things into these containers at the end of the day. That way, nothing will go missing and you will have a tidy house. Use small containers, or even ice trays, to store hair accessories like clips and elastics. When it comes to getting ready in the morning, everything will be in one place. Place an attractive basket near the front door with a collection of towels that your children can grab on their way to the pool – no more wet footprints in the house. Also put sunscreen and sun hats in the basket. Use another container at the front door for sporting equipment, such as hockey sticks and tennis rackets. Transparent shoe holders make nifty storage pouches for other odds and ends, and can be hung behind each child’s bedroom door.
be prepared There’s nothing worse than finding out at the last minute that your child has a party on the weekend and you don’t have a gift. Avoid running to the shops like a mad person by having a well-stocked gift and wrapping paper drawer. Throughout the year, buy things that could make good emergency gifts. Store these in the drawer, along with pretty wrapping paper, labels, cards for various occasions and other decorative items. Also keep a supply of basics, such as Cellotape, glue, string, brown paper, stamps and adhesive labels, in case you need to cover books or send a parcel. If you use drawer dividers, you could also have a section for buttons and thread that match your children’s school uniforms, should you have to repair something in a hurry.
school readiness Get your child into the habit of packing their case and laying out their uniform the night before. This will make mornings less frenetic, and you will also be able to see if any buttons are missing or if any items need to be ironed. Shoes should also be polished the night before. You can help ease the morning rush by setting the breakfast table and packing most of their lunchboxes after dinner. Encourage your child to keep an updated diary of tests, projects and extramurals. Most schools require parents to sign these homework books each day, so that you are aware of their work. By keeping an updated diary, they will also know what to pack for the next day and what they can keep at home. Many children lug weighty bags to school because they don’t know what books or items they will need. In the last week of the school holidays, ease them into the school routine by waking them up earlier and enforcing stricter bedtimes.
respect School rules exist to instil respect for your child’s school, for himself and for others. • Make sure your child’s hair is neat and tidy, that uniforms are ironed and presentable and that shoes are polished. A neat uniform shows that your child respects his school and himself. • Make sure clothing is well-marked and don’t take valuables to school. Teachers cannot accept responsibility for items that are lost or stolen. • Don’t be late for school or other school activities without a valid excuse. Late children miss out on the start of the school day, and possibly vital information. It also shows a lack of respect for their teachers and classmates’ time. • Make sure your child has lunch and other necessary items for the day. Many schools frown upon parents bringing the lunch to school during the day, as they want children to learn responsibility and time management.
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how to avoid the morning madness what you said on Facebook The evening before – check that the school bags are packed with all the materials and books necessary for that school day, lie out the school uniform and pack sports clothes if needed. Children are to do this on their own, with their parents’ supervision, depending on the age of the child. Mom or the family should prepare lunchboxes the night before. The children can wake up, get dressed, have breakfast, grab lunch and off they go. Nicole Panzer
Prepare the day before, and allocate age-appropriate tasks for children to help themselves get ready. Have patience, give guidance and repeat (instructions) – children learn fast without stress. Veronica Vieira Jardim Get up early and stick to a consistent schedule. Paula Pinto We get everything ready the night before. If we don’t, it’s a mad dash with frayed tempers and it’s just not worth it. Anabela Cruz Ferreira Even with the best intentions, the mornings can be hectic and you can leave home with yoghurt-stained clothes. Our aim is to remain calm no matter what, because the way we react can impact on our children for the rest of their school day. Yes it’s chaotic, but we have fun in the morning. It gets the day off to a great start irrespective of what happens. So, if we get lemons in the morning, we make lemonade. Anthea Brinkman Pack the bags the night before and set the clothes out. Only the lunches stay in the fridge if they need to keep cool. In the morning, I just put the lunches in the bags, a change of clothes and off we go. Sharlene Kearns Prepare most things the night before: set the table with the sugar, tea bags or coffee in the cups, put cereal in bowls and fill the kettle and milk jug. Shaida Rawoot
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no holds barred
PAUL KERTON gets the experts to spill the beans, anonymously, about the things they wish they could tell you.
s parents, we rely on various professionals to look after and educate our children. But these people also have to put up with our irritating demands and quirks. What would they tell us, if they could speak to us honestly?
the preschool teacher What annoys you? I hate Mondays because the children have been spoilt rotten all weekend with their parents and now they have to come back to school and be disciplined (by us). What is the worst thing us parents, do? The worst thing that happens daily, and that clearly upsets the children (and annoys us), is parents who insist on coming into the classroom, supposedly to try to settle their child. It doesn’t work, it makes things worse and the separation is ultimately more traumatic for the child and disruptive for the others. Not believing the teacher Most parents think their children are perfect, or they are in denial. We may say, “We feel there may be an issue with Johnny’s social skills because he keeps hitting and biting other children”. The parent replies, “Nonsense, there’s nothing
wrong with Johnny, it must be the other children”. As professionals, we just want to get the child the support they need as that helps everyone concerned. But parents often won’t accept what the education professionals are trying to tell them. Always wanting to bend the rules We have school rules so that a) the school doesn’t fall apart and b) the children develop some sort of moral code. Parents want special treatment for their child even if it means breaking the rules. They say it won’t matter if Johnny is late, comes to school with flu, wears the wrong clothes, has sweets in his lunchbox or brings very expensive toys to school. “Just this once” is their pet phrase. It does matter.
the children’s entertainer Pushy parents When we are face painting, there is always one parent who pushes her child to the front of the queue and blatantly demands her child be done first. This upsets everybody and is so unnecessary. Everybody gets a turn and children queue nicely. If you’re late, get to the back. Taking over I hate it when the birthday child’s parents insist on changing the rules of the games
There isn’t a person alive who enjoys a trip to the dentist. However, modern dentists do make an effort to help children feel comfortable. Give them a break. If only their parents wouldn’t interfere The biggest mistake parents make is to pass on their own fear of the dentist. Phrases such as, “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt that much” and “If you survive this we can go to a movie”, create anxiety where there probably was none. Dentists can be fun people and can teach the children about their teeth in an engaging way. Sitting in with the child and directing proceedings The worst thing is when the mother is in the room and she keeps leaping up out of her seat at the slightest murmur or grimace from her loved one. Dentistry is quite a complex procedure, with drills and sharp tools operating inside small sensitive mouths. We don’t need parents spooking us halfway through a root canal. My dental nurse once got such a fright that she almost leapt out of the window. Preparing your child Don’t lie and tell them they “won’t feel a thing” or they “won’t have to have an injection”, because that puts pressure on me.
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the doctor Today’s parents are all annoying, internet health experts Parents often bring in their child with certain symptoms but before I can ask any pertinent questions, they offer up a dozen amateur diagnoses gleaned from the internet. If I suggest something different, they sit there and start arguing with me. I feel like saying, “With respect Mr Smith, you are a plumber, if you want to be a doctor, go and do seven years at medical school!” How sick is sick? It’s annoying when a parent calls me at 6:45pm (when I have just sat down for dinner) simply because she has to bring her (it’s usually a mother, I’m afraid) snottynosed daughter to the clinic. You would think the child is almost dying, but the child then arrives in her hockey gear after being to practice all afternoon. If your child is well enough to play sport, don’t waste my time. Parents generally overreact to the slightest sniffle. Desperate for medication Nine times out of 10, the child doesn’t need anything apart from rest, love and careful monitoring. Yet the parents aren’t happy unless you give them a prescription for a raft of tablets and potions. They literally won’t leave my surgery until they have a script in their hand.
or the order of things. We do things in a set order that works for us, and the children. There is often great method in our perceived madness. Parents should be seen and not heard The worst thing is when I have the children quiet and paying attention to a story, and the parents start laughing, joking or talking on their cellphones really loudly in the next room. This happens all the time. Then there are parents who bring (noisy) babies to a child’s party.
sports coach Not everybody can be captain Unfortunately there are only so many positions on a team and most sports have specialised positions. So while we try to accommodate everyone, it really is impossible. Dads and rugby teams are the worst. I’ve almost had a fist fight because one son wasn’t the standoff half and the kicker. Not everybody can be captain, yet dads will argue for hours and follow up with phone calls about why their son should be playing in this or that position. Don’t be late So many children are late for practice or for the team bus on match day. If somebody is consistently late then I’m sorry – no excuses – they don’t play. magazine cape town
the babysitter or carer If you don’t need a babysitter, don’t hire one I hate it when the mother hangs about and starts dictating what I do. We have our own methods that are often very different from the parents’. That’s usually why the child likes being with us. If the parent stays and interrupts everything we do, she kills the special relationship and bond between the child and myself. Don’t say “help yourself to anything in the fridge” if you don’t mean it I made myself a cheese and tomato sarmie once and the father went insane. Yet on the way out, he had said I could help myself to something to eat. Being treated as a general slave and dogsbody My absolute worst is when you’re hired to look after the baby or toddler, but you have to wash up and sweep the outside deck. One woman wanted me to help paint the baby’s room. I’m a babysitter, not an odd-job man.
my city Fall in love with your city by exploring these family-friendly public spaces in your area. Compiled by LUCILLE KEMP.
museums These museums are considered the most child-friendly; offering information about astronomy, history or geography in a fun and palatable way.
The secret of Cape Town’s beauty is its proximity to nature. These two walks are an extract from Helen Sparrow’s Walking the Cape blog site. For an A–Z of her Cape explorations, visit walkthecape. blogspot.com
District Six Museum
Koeberg Grysbok Trail, Melkbos Gold of Africa Museum
The land surrounding the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station is a private nature reserve with two hiking trails; the Grysbok Trail
Gold of Africa Museum This is the only museum of its kind on the African continent, and it is housed in a 231-year-old building, with one of the last remaining dakkamers in Cape Town. The school programmes are curriculum based for Grades 4 to 10. Martin Melck House, Strand St. Contact: 021 405 1540 or email@example.com
Iziko Planetarium The planetarium is a circular theatre where the night sky is recreated using a sophisticated star machine. This, together with multiple slide projectors and audio visual equipment, transports the audience into the fascinating world of astronomy. The children’s shows between February and June are Davy Dragon’s Guide to the Night Sky and Silly Solly and the Shooting Stars. Shows are ideal for children aged five to 12. 25 Queen Victoria St, Gardens. Contact: 021 481 3900 or visit iziko.org.za
Devil’s Peak Quarry to Deer Park
PHOTOGRAPHS: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM / Cape Town Bicycle Maps – © Gail Jennings
The museum, located in a historical Methodist church, honours those who were affected by the Group Areas Act through a range of public holiday programmes, workshops and exhibitions. The museum holds a Heritage Ambassador Programme for high school pupils and primary school visits are hosted by storytellers Noor Ebrahim and Joe Schaffers. There is a coffee shop decorated in the 1960s District Six-style, with traditional snacks and sweets on sale. 25A Buitenkant Street. Contact: 021 466 7200, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit districtsix.co.za
is the shorter of the two trails. Your first impression may be of how strange this environment feels. Nevertheless, explore the well signposted route, and discover various points of interest marked along the way. The first section will take you along the dune crest with a view of Table Mountain in the background. From the dunes, join the old road for a stretch. The road takes a turn towards the coast, giving you a view of the Atlantic Ocean. Walk onto the wooden viewing platform and climb up to get a view over the dunes of Melkbos Beach.
Take an afternoon stroll on the lower slopes of Devil’s Peak – from the quarry, walk towards Table Mountain on the main cycle track, which is well-trafficked by cyclists and dog-walkers. Walk for a way on the winding road, and as you head towards Deer Park you’ll notice that fauna and flora abound. The walking is easy on the wide jeep tracks so perhaps pack the children’s bicycles. Continue to follow the path through to the pines trees of Deer Park. At this point, lunch at Deer Park Café and then make your way back to the start via Frank Avenue and Chelmsford Road.
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parks and gardens Centrally located, these parks provide a time-out from urban living.
Arderne Gardens This family park has green lawns, shady nooks and ponds with ducks, which children love feeding. There are plenty of benches and there is 24-hour security at the main gate. Explore the winding paths following the trail of the Champion Tree map, which you can get at Scala Pharmacy across the road from the park’s entrance. Claremont. For more info: visit ardernegardens.org.za
De Waal Park This community park in the heart of the City Bowl has a wide variety of trees and is loved by families and their dogs. On weekday mornings a massive nanny contingent arrives with toddlers in tow to play on the swings and roundabouts, while at the same time, morning boot camp is underway. Development of the park is ongoing and is to include more picnic tables and benches, a boules court and a 5m-long French luncheon table built around a tree. Music is on offer as part of De Waal Park’s new summer concert series. Molteno Rd, Oranjezicht. For more info: visit dewaalpark.co.za
Liesbeek Parkway green corridor Spend a day ambling along the trail next to the 8km Liesbeek River, which starts up near Kirstenbosch. Further down in Fernwood there is a paved path for prams; on the opposite bank of the river you’ll find Bishopscourt Village Park, which is a landscaped open-air park, popular for picnics. On the other side of the Paradise Road intersection you’ll find the old-school Paradise Park equipped with a children’s playground. Ride a bike or push a pram until the path ends on Buckburn Road. The next section suitable for walking is on the other side of Sans Souci Bridge near the Newlands Swimming Pool. This rehabilitated stretch of the river runs until Dean Street bridge. Go under Main Road to merge with the river again. The path continues past Josephine Mill. There are benches to sit on along an open stretch of the river. A path continues past Albion Spring. Crossing Rouwkoop Road and over a bridge, through Roslyn Park there are benches and a grassy area. The next suitable stretch is quite far down along Liesbeek Parkway, at the Alma Road intersection, where there is a wellmaintained path and lawns. For more info: visit fol.org.za
Durbanville Rose Garden
cycling your city Table View Cycle Path From Dolphin Beach there is a dedicated, separate path to Woodbridge Island. The path stays on the seaward side of the road until Lagoon Beach Hotel. It then moves inland to meander through Paarden Eiland, before going underneath the freeway to follow the railway line into town. Also try out these cycle paths in Cape Town:
Delight in this 3,5 hectare garden, which houses 500 rose varieties and thousands of rose bushes. There are beds of miniatures, a gazebo that displays the “Fairest Cape” roses, a tea garden, beds of award-winning and antique roses, and other fauna. Contact Western Cape Rose Society: 021 979 3775 or 082 332 0545
Green Point Park Families can set up a cricket game on the lawns, exercise on the outdoor “green circuit” machines or wander through the grounds to spot animal sculptures. The educational boards throughout the garden are entertaining and clear, and there are picnic tables, benches, drinking fountains, and shady spots. Dogs on leads are welcome, just not in the biodiversity garden. Cnr Beach Rd and Bill Peters Dr. For more info: visit capetown.gov.za
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Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve
Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve The reserve, situated in the northern area, offers a jetty, bird hides, picnic sites, boating, walking and windsurfing. The western side of Zandvlei, with its braai and picnic area, is great for a family day. Coniston Ave, Marina Da Gama. Contact: 021 701 7542 or zandvlei.naturereserve@ capetown.gov.za
cycle lanes cycle ways recommended routes
river trail ride slowly and give way to walkers and dogs
For more information on how to get these maps: visit capetownbicyclemap.co.za
Remember what it was like living an offline existence – one where you discovered a connection with books as you whiled away the after-school hours in a library? Whether or not you did, if you ignite a love for reading in your children you will have created a whole new world for them.
This friendly and enthusiastic team has great activity ideas, often using recycling principles in their crafting projects. Friends of the Edgemead library hosts monthly car boot sales, two annual craft markets and art exhibitions, and themed Friday coffee mornings with speakers. They also run story times on request. Contact: 021 558 2842
Fish Hoek Public Library
This bright and modern library in Elizabeth Park boasts an art gallery, a community art centre, coffee shop, free internet work stations as well as Wi-Fi facilities. On Wednesday mornings, children’s librarian, Lona Gericke, runs a “Born to Read” programme for babies and toddlers to instil an early love for reading through stories, finger-rhymes and songs. The library hosts monthly senior and community markets. Carel van Aswegen St. Contact: 021 918 2300 or bellville. email@example.com
The library, run by enthusiastic, knowledgeable staff and volunteers, has a large open children’s area, which is decorated with a variety of interesting work, such as a scene from Alice in Wonderland, and monthly art displays from local schools. Story times with related handcraft sessions are on Fridays at 11am. Other activities include films on Tuesdays at 2pm, and special events, such as a pyjama party or a reptile petting zoo, are often planned at the library. Confirmed details are available from the library. Contact: 021 784 2030/1 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Brackenfell Library This award-winning library is centrally located and prides itself on its up-to-date collection covering a variety of subjects. A garden at the back plays host to story hours and game days for children. Enjoy the tea garden under the trees, market days, reading circle and holiday programmes. There is also free internet access for library members. The weekly story hours for preschoolers are every Wednesday at 10:30am. Paradys Rd. Contact: 021 980 1261 or brackenfell. email@example.com
Hout Bay Library This small community library has a warm, relaxing and friendly atmosphere and hosts story times, holiday craft programmes, school visits, and offers free internet. They have a teen section with everything from graphic novels to the popular vampire stories, and there is a children’s section with picture books, and easy-reader, puzzle and quest books. The library runs story time every Friday at 10am, where children can also colour in and watch a movie. Contact: 021 790 2150 or houtbay. firstname.lastname@example.org
Meadowridge Library The library runs story times, class visits and holiday programmes where they feature craft activities, and bird and snake shows. The library has a separate children’s section and a beautiful courtyard. Children’s story times, ideal for ages three to six, are on Wednesday mornings during the school term from 10:15am. Contact: 021 712 9360 or email@example.com
Muizenberg Library This library originally housed the first fire station. Their children’s story times run every Tuesday at 3pm and are ideal for two to seven year olds. Contact: 021 788 5263 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Claremont Library The library, housed in a light and airy building, has a large collection of adult and children’s books, and audio-visual material. A toddler story time, which incorporates singing and movement, is held on Wednesdays at 10am. Library Square, Wilderness Rd. Contact: 021 674 4195/6 or claremont.library@ capetown.gov.za
This library building dates back to the 1890s. The children’s section is in a separate room and has a good selection of picture books in English, Afrikaans and Xhosa. Craft activities are held regularly during the school holidays with special events organised occasionally. Their regular Wednesday morning story time sessions with babies and toddlers are held at 11am. Station Rd. Contact: 021 447 9017 or email@example.com
Plumstead Library This is a small, friendly library that runs story times on Thursdays at 10:30am. Contact: 021 797 7240 or plumstead. firstname.lastname@example.org magazine cape town
public swimming pools Here is a comprehensive guide of public swimming pools, all of which have ablution facilities, a children’s pool and lifeguards.
Belville Swimming Pool There is a diving pool, grassed area and a volley ball pit. Voortrekker Rd. Contact: 021 945 2705 or 084 474 6059
Long Street Swimming Pool Simon’s Town Library One of the smallest but busiest facilities of its kind, the library, built in 1896, holds regular art exhibitions in the library hall. Main Rd (opposite the police station). Contact: 021 786 1553 or simonstown.library@ capetown.gov.za
There is a first aid room, heat unit room, sun deck, and a Turkish baths section with a sauna and plunge pool. Upper Long St. Contact: 021 400 3302
Morningstar Swimming Pool There is a main pool, children’s pool and a grassed area. Pikkewyn St, Durbanville. Contact: 021 970 3607
Muizenberg Swimming Pool Table View Library There are regular displays in the library foyer. The library focuses on being a useful source of information for its members and they arrange holiday programmes and occasionally authors visit the library. Children’s storytelling sessions, for two to three year olds, run every Tuesday morning at 10:15am. This is followed by a short, simple activity relating to the story. Stories are also read at crèches and aftercare facilities in the community. Contact: 021 557 8995/2086 or tableview. email@example.com
A water slide, children’s pool, kiosk and grassed area are highlights. Beach Rd. Contact: 021 788 1929
Newlands Swimming Pool The pool features a diving pool, spectators’ stand, kiosk and grassed area. Main Rd. Contact: 021 674 4197 or 021 671 2729
Observatory Swimming Pool There is a main pool, separate children’s pool and grassed areas. Willow Rd. Contact: 021 689 4578
Sea Point Pavilion Swimming Pool Wynberg Public Library The helpful and knowledgeable librarians hold book sales once a month and the proceeds are pumped back into the library. They have special storytelling sessions for local crèches on request. Contact: 021 797 6492 or wynberg.library@ capetown.gov.za
They offer an Olympic-sized pool, splash pools, and a springboard diving pool. Lower Beach Rd. Contact: 021 434 3341
Wynberg Swimming Pool They have a main pool, children’s pool and a play park. Rosmead Ave, Wynberg. Contact: 021 797 0747
public transport The 2010 World Cup fast-tracked public transport upgrades in the city. We witnessed a transformation of the Cape Town Station and we can now boast an effective, world-class bus service.
MyCiti buses Cape Town’s rapid bus service operates along the West Coast travelling between the Civic Centre in the CBD to Table View, Parklands and the Big Bay area. The inner city feeder buses currently run between the Gardens shopping centre, the Civic Centre and the V&A Waterfront. A wider variety of routes extending throughout the inner city area are to be introduced over the next year, including a route to Camps Bay and Hout Bay. MyCiTi bus trips cost R5 and R10, and the airport service costs R50 per trip, while children aged four to 11 pay R25. Over the next few months, the fare system will change to a cashless system. Contact: 0800 65 64 63 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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a good read for toddlers
Bizzy Bear: Off We Go! By Benji Davies
Splish, Splash, Splat! By Rob Scotton Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books (R77) In this delightful story for children between the ages of three and five, Splat does not want to have a play date with Spike. Spike will break his toys and eat all of his fish sweets. And he does not want to learn how to swim, because water is scary and wet. He’s sure that this is going to be the worst day ever. But when the rest of their classmates rush straight into the pool, Splat and Spike find that they may have more in common than they thought. Will Splat overcome his fear of water and get into the pool? And will Spike do the same?
Published by Nosy Crow (R72) This is the ideal first book for children from as young as one and up to the age of three. Bizzy Bear’s off on holiday, but he has to take a taxi, a train and then a plane before he arrives at the beach and can set sail on his boat. This is another fun little slider book and is perfect for vehicle-mad toddlers. Rich in visual detail and with touches of humour, this book is set to become a firm favourite in the family library. Moms and dads might remember the illustrator, Benji Davies, from the Farm Parade and Dino Parade books.
The Adventures of Bomani the Meerkat & Other Stories By Ewald van Rensburg Published by CMP Kids (R60) Choosing this book, which is the first in the Brave Bomani Series, is the beginning of an adventure for you and your child. The antics of Bomani and his friends will provide hours of entertainment and this is a wonderful opportunity to teach lasting life lessons to your children. As you read Bomani the Meerkat & Other Stories, you will be reminded of the classic stories of your youth. The book also comes with a picture activity after every story, as well as a short prayer.
Hubble Bubble Granny Trouble By Tracey Corderoy and Joe Berger Published by Nosy Crow (R110) If your granny was a little bit, well, different from other grannies, would you want to change her? Or would you end up thinking you love her just the way she is? In rhyming text, a little girl whose granny is (whisper it) “a witch”, gets fed up with dealing with the problems she creates, so she tries to reform her. But a reformed granny is bored and boring, and maybe it’s more fun to cook up a big pot of gloop with granny’s witchy friends after all.
for early graders
The Roald Dahl Treasury By Roald Dahl
Kingfisher First Encyclopedia By Anne Civardi and Ruth Thomson
Published by Puffin Books (R163) The Roald Dahl Treasury is a delightful collection of stories for children seven and older, by and about Dahl. Four themed sections – Animals; Magic; Family; Friends and Foes and Matters of Importance – introduce some of Dahl’s best-loved characters, including Willy Wonka and Matilda. You will find complete stories, poems, memoirs and letters, as well as some unpublished poetry and letters.
Published by Kingfisher Books (R190) With more than 90 entries, organised in alphabetical order, this encyclopaedia is a handy tool for inquisitive children. It covers a wide variety of topics, from animals and cars to prehistoric life and sport. All entries have vibrant colour artwork and photographs and it has been laid out in such a fashion that it is fun to use. With bite-size chunks of information children can learn about history, geography, literature and other topics.
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for preteens and teens 100 Most Important Science Ideas By Mark Henderson, Joanne Baker and Tony Crilly Published by Quercus Publishing (R205) Compelling, informative and thoughtprovoking, this book unravels the fundamental concepts at the heart of three of the most ground-breaking disciplines of science: genetics, physics and mathematics. In a series of 100 concise and accessible essays, the authors explain the answers to the most exciting and important scientific questions that have had a profound influence on our way of life and the world around us. Packed with helpful diagrams, everyday examples and enlightening quotations, this indispensable overview is ideal for anyone who wants to understand these often daunting but increasingly essential topics.
Top 10 of Everything 2012 By Caroline Ash and Alexander Ash
e scienc and maths 50 Amazing Things Kids Need to Know About: Science and Mathematics By Penny Johnson and Anne Rooney Published by Quercus Publishing (R100 each) Specifically written by educational experts, these books are suitable for children aged seven to 11 years. Science reveals 50 of the most amazing things that science can do. Find out what keeps planes in the air, how explorers survive in the South Pole, and how to make your own zoo. Mathematics breaks down number crunching in a way that won’t bore you to tears. Learn how to speak in outer space, how to break out of jail and how lottery numbers work.
African Reptiles & Frogs By Sally MacLarty Published by Random House Struik (R45) In the fourth book of the series, children can enjoy many hours of fun colouring in this selection of Africa’s fascinating reptiles and frogs. There are more than 40 images to colour in, each accompanied by an interesting caption to help young naturalists learn as they work through this book. In the middle of the publication is a gallery of all the creatures in full colour, providing a clear guide as to which crayons or paints to use when colouring in the outlined images.
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Published by Hamlyn (R235) The bestselling book of lists is back, packed with fascinating facts that will astound, amuse and intrigue you. There are lists covering topics ranging from the universe and earth, music, life on earth, entertainment, the human world, the commercial world, town and country, things that move, culture and learning and sport. This is a fun book the whole family can enjoy.
for us When Your Blessings Don’t Count By Linda Lewis Published by Metz Press (R130) Written with profound empathy by a research psychologist, who not only specialises in postnatal distress (PND), but has also suffered from it, this book tells it like it is. PND is becoming more prevalent and it is estimated that one in three women may suffer from it. But PND can be overcome. In this book, Lewis shows you how to bring back the joy and happiness you thought you had lost forever. She helps you recognise the symptoms and gain an understanding of what is happening to you. She explains how you can deal with the misunderstanding and how to avoid longterm difficulties. Filled with positive suggestions based on personal experience, this book is an indispensable tool for recovery.
Great South African Teachers By Jonathan Jansen, with Nangamso Koza and inspi ratio nal Lihlumelo Toyana read Published by Bookstorm (R159) This book is a celebration of teachers who have struggled against great odds to give their students a chance of success. It’s a collection of tributes from people whose lives were changed by these remarkable teachers. The stories were sent in by South Africans in response to a call in the Sunday Times. They honour teachers who have changed lives through their passion for their subject, their dedication to the dignity of the teaching profession and, above all their determination to see the children in their classes succeed. Jansen, assisted by Koza and Toyana, introduces the stories with thought-provoking commentary on the lessons to be learnt from the tributes.
whatâ€™s on in february
You can also access the calendar online at
Hereâ€™s your guide for what to do, where to go and who to see. Compiled by LUCILLE KEMP.
FUN for children
only for parents
bump, baby & tot in tow
how to help
FUN FOR CHILDREN
ONLY FOR PARENTS
bump, baby & tot in tow
how to help
Mural art workshops for children Your child learns how to create her own mural and then take it home with her.
Ashtanga yoga retreat The retreat offers breathtaking mountain views, tranquil cottages, hikes, a serene lake, a river and waterfalls.
Nanny and au pair certificate training workshop Learn to care for newborns to toddlers during an intensive one-day, hands-on and interactive childcare learning session.
Shake the World campaign Buy a Shake the World bracelet from Edgars in support of a UN-led project.
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Up the Creek Music Festival This annual festival is packed with the cream of African music.
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3 February – Darling Music Experience
Darling Music Experience Expect dynamically packaged music, ranging from classical solo recitals to a jazzed up gig by a brass quintet. Furthermore, the recorder teams up with a guitar, the cello with a piano, the marimba with a penny whistle, the lute with a piano and a most talented soprano with a festival choir. A baroque ensemble completes the diverse programme. There are a number of 30-minute talks/discussions and workshops for children. Ends 12 February. For more info: visit darlingmusic.org Up the Creek Music Festival This annual three-day event features the cream of African music. Indulge in sunshine, swimming and partying in a fantastic setting on the banks of the Breede River. Limited tickets are available, making this an intimate event. It’s one river, three stages, four days, loads of music and comedy, and festival goers sharing a passion for some of South Africa’s best music. Ends 5 February. For more info: visit upthecreek.co.za
Information morning at Rustenburg Girls’ Junior School Prospective parents interested in enrolling their daughters for 2013 are invited to an information morning and tour of the school. Also 16 February. Time: 9:30am. Venue: Rondebosch. Contact: 021 689 1981 or visit rgjs.co.za
Opera in a Convent Garden The Rotary Club of Kromboom, Springfield Convent School and the Past Pupils’ Union invite you to enjoy extracts from the world of opera, operetta and musicals compiled by Aviva Pelham. Proceeds go to community projects supported by the organisers. Bring your
own picnic. Time: 5pm (gates open 3pm). Venue: Springfield Convent School gardens. Contact: 021 797 9637 ext 200, 076 696 4630 or email@example.com
11 saturday Riesling Rocks at Hartenberg Head down to the Riesling Rocks festival at Hartenberg Wine Estate and enjoy some of the finest flagship Weisser Rieslings from top estates paired with superb deli fare. Time: 12pm–5pm. Venue: Bottelary Rd, off the R304 to Stellenbosch. Cost: R150. Contact: 021 865 2541, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit hartenbergestate.com. To book: visit webtickets.co.za
18 saturday St Joseph’s Marist College Montessori open morning Bring your 3-year-old to experience the Montessori Grade 1–3 and Grade 4–6 classrooms in action. Time: 9:30am–10:30am. Venue: Rondebosch. Cost: free. Contact Helen: 021 685 6715
21 tuesday Springfield Convent School open day Arrange a tour of the school to view their
13 monday Herschel Girls School information evening Parents of Grade 6 and 7 girls are invited to attend this evening. Time: 6pm–7:30pm. Venue: Claremont. Cost: free. Contact Madeleen: 021 670 7517/8, email@example.com or visit herschel.org.za
15 wednesday St George’s Grammar School information evening Learn about the school’s various programmes and facilities. Time: 7pm. Venue: Richmond Road, Mowbray. Cost: free Contact: 021 689 9354 or visit sggs.co.za
24 February – Hands-On Harvest
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facilities. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: St John’s Rd, Wynberg. Cost: free. Contact: 021 797 6169 or visit springfieldconvent.co.za
Cape Town Science Centre is open Challenge your mind with Puzzling Things; experience weightlessness similar to that of space with a spin on the Human Gyroscope; play Mindball (the game where you control the ball with your brain waves); see and hear science in the Audio Kinetic Sculpture; see a display of South Africa’s electric car, the Joule, and more. Time: 9am–4:30pm, daily. Venue: 370B Main Rd, Observatory (just below Groote Schuur Hospital). Look out for their brightly coloured flags in the parking lot. Cost: R38 for adults, youths and students, R15 for pensioners, R132 for a family package (4 people). Contact: 021 300 3200, 083 276 9501 or visit ctsc.org.za
23 thursday The Hollies 50th Anniversary World Tour These legends perform all their hits in a magic ride of almost two hours including “Air that I Breathe”, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother” and more. Time: 7pm. Venue: GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, Goodwood. Cost: R160–R460. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 Herschel Girls School Grade 7 open day Grade 7 girls and their parents are invited to learn more about the school’s facilities. Time: starts 6pm. Venue: Claremont. Cost: free. Contact Madeleen: 021 670 7517/8, firstname.lastname@example.org. za or visit herschel.org.za
24 friday Canal Walk Annual Bridal Fair The fair is all about your dream day and helping you create the perfect fairy-tale wedding. Ends 26 February. Time: 9am–9pm, daily. Venue: throughout Canal Walk shopping centre. Cost: free. Contact: 021 914 2852, 083 456 2879 or email@example.com Hands-On Harvest This boutique event offers wine aficionados and budding vintners the chance to experience the magic of a harvest, without giving up their day jobs. All
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ages. Ends 26 February. Time: programme varies. Venue: wineries of the Robertson Wine Valley. Cost: varies. Contact Elizma: 023 626 3167, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit handsonharvest.com
FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science Amelia’s Artworks children’s art workshops Children explore their imagination through creativity in a fun and
stimulating environment, while learning basic techniques and exploring various media. For 5–10 year olds. 3, 10, 17 and 24 February. Time: 2:30pm–4pm, every Friday. Venue: 7 Capel Rd, Highlands Estate, Oranjezicht. Cost: call to enquire. Contact: 082 864 6769 or email@example.com Artjamming art classes Experienced art teachers are available. For 5–13 year olds. Time: 3pm–4pm and 4pm–5pm. Venue: Cape Quarter, Shop 14, Somerset Rd, Green Point. Cost: R150 per class. Contact: 021 421 6129 or visit artjamming.co.za
Doodle Creative art classes An experienced art teacher focuses on developing your child’s individual creativity through pottery, painting, mosaic, drawing and mixed media in a fun, friendly and comfortable environment. Time: 2:30pm–3:30pm, Monday or Wednesday for ages 5–6 and 4pm–5pm for ages 7–8; 2:30pm–3:30pm, Tuesday or Thursday for ages 9–10 and 4pm–5pm for ages 11–12. Venue: Vredehoek, Cape Town. Cost: R100 per class or R380 per month; includes all materials. Contact: 084 533 3569, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit doodlecreative.co.za Free two-hour introductory fabric painting workshop This is offered to adults and children. 25 February. Time: 8:45am–10:45am. Venue: Pinelands. Cost: R30 per kit. Weekday classes also offered for adults at Frank Joubert Art Centre. Contact Wendy: 021 531 8076, 082 391 4954 or email@example.com Sue Nepgen children’s art tuition This term’s programme consists of marine clay sculptures, sketching using pencils and inks as well as personal artworks depicting significant life moments. For 4–13 year olds. Starts 2, 3 or 4 February. Time: afternoons and Saturday morning; phone to enquire. Venue: Michael Oak Waldorf School, Kenilworth or 28 Klaasenbosch Dr, Constantia. Cost: R550 for a full term,
including materials, firing and outings. Pro rata fees for late joiners. Contact Sue: 021 794 6609, 083 237 7242 or snepgen@ xsinet.co.za
classes, talks and workshops Drumkidz Each child gets the chance to drum along to a variety of stories, songs and fun games. Each lesson is 30 minutes long. For 3–8 year olds. Wednesday lessons start 1 February. Time: 1:30pm. Venue: Crazee Daisee Play Centre, Seaside Village Shopping Centre, Big Bay. Thursday lessons start 2 February. Time: 2:30pm. Venue: Little Picasso’s Café, Parklands. Cost: R310 for eight lessons and a once-off registration fee of R95. Contact Melanie: 079 161 3999 or firstname.lastname@example.org Eight-week Zeal for Life extramural programme Build your child’s emotional intelligence and self-esteem so they can cope with the demands and challenges of today’s modern world. For Grades R–11. 22 February. Time: age dependent. Venue: Helderberg Life Studio for Kids (opposite Somerset Mall). Cost: R880, normal price is R1 600. Contact Lize: 084 226 2040, lize@ equalzeal.com or visit equalzeal.com Kindermusik Early childhood music therapy and movement classes for ages 0–7 years. Enjoy a free preview class. Time: age dependent, call to enquire. Venue: Bergsig Church, Boland Way, Vierlanden. Cost: R380–R400 per term. Contact Louise: 074 102 5617 or email@example.com Mural art workshops for children Inspire your natural creativity and learn how to create your own mural and then take it home with you. Three-hour workshops on a theme for the day presented by Mural Maniac. For 10–16 year olds. Time: 9am–12pm, every Saturday. Venue: 1 General Schalk Burger Close, Welgelegen. Cost: R750 per person, which includes paints, materials, mural board and light refreshments. Contact Theo: 021 559 6090, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit muralmaniac.co.za School readiness playgroup The group focuses on different themes every term to enhance gross and fine motor skills,
11 February – Riesling Rocks
emotional and social development, and language and concept development. Term one 16 January–23 March. Time: 9am–12pm, every Tuesday and Thursday for 18 month–3 year olds; Monday and Friday for 3–5 year olds. Cost: R570 per month, R1 520 per term or R5 700 per year. Contact: 021 418 1573, 082 491 0389 or visit me-time.co
family outings Atlantic Rail train trip The train ride follows the scenic False Bay coast to SImon’s Town. 12 and 26 February. Time and venue: departs Cape Town at 10:30am, arrives in Simon’s Town at 12pm, departs Simon’s Town at 3pm and arrives in Cape Town at 4:40pm. Cost: R220 for adults, R110 for children 3–12 years. Contact: 021 556 1012 or email@example.com Hands-On Harvest This boutique event offers wine aficionados and budding vintners the chance to experience the magic of harvest. 24–26 February. Time: programme varies. Venue: wineries of the Robertson Wine Valley. Cost: varies. Contact Elizma: 023 626 3167, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit handsonharvest.com Old Mutual Summer Sunset Concerts 5 February: Flash Republic and Foto Na
Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards The exhibition offers an extraordinary insight into the beauty, drama and diversity of the natural world. Natural History Unit Africa hosts a collection of the year’s best wildlife photography. Ends 7 March. Time: 10am–5pm, daily. Venue: Iziko South African Museum, 25 Victoria St, Gardens. Cost: R25 for adults, R10 for students and pensioners. All visitors under 18 years old free. For more info: visit nhm.ac.uk/wildphoto
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Dans. 12 February: Going Back to the Crossroads. 19 February: Taxi Violence and Machineri. 26 February: Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. Time: gates open at 4pm. Venue: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Cost: R80–R125 for adults, R55–R95 for children. To book: visit webtickets.co.za Riesling Rocks Enjoy some of Hartenberg Wine Valley’s finest flagship Weisser Rieslings paired with deli fare at this inaugural festival. 11 February. Time: 12pm–5pm. Venue: Bottelary Rd, off the R304 to Stellenbosch. Cost: R150. To book tickets: visit webtickets. co.za or hartenbergestate.com Summer concerts in De Waal Park The Rudimentals: 5 February. This African Ska band is a group of six talented, entertaining musicians. The Gugulethu Tenors: 19 February. They are also described as “Pavarotti’s Children”. time: 3pm–4:30pm. Venue: De Waal Park, Oranjezicht. Cost: free. For more info: visit dewaalpark.co.za
Sunset special This is the last month to enjoy the special, which allows you to take a half-price ride on the Cableway to the top of Table Mountain. Ends 29 February. Time: from 6pm daily. Venue: lower cable station, Tafelberg Rd. Cost: R97,50 adults and R47,50 children. Contact: 021 424 8181 or visit tablemountain.net
finding nature and outdoor play
4 February – Baby and Kids Lifestyle Market
Kirstenbosch Craft Market A laidback, genuine craft market selling beautiful garments for children and adults, as well as stationery, jewellery, glassware, ceramics, children’s dress-up clothing, knitwear, plants and hanging baskets. 26 February. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Three Stone Cottage Grounds, cnr Kirstenbosch Dr and Rhodes Ave, Newlands. Contact Tessa or Nic: 021 697 2853 or 079 436 6091 Nitida Farmers’ Market Shop for freerange eggs and chickens, fresh veggies, organic nuts, dried fruit, olives and oils. Time: 5pm–9:30pm, Friday; 8am–12:30pm, Saturday. Venue: Nitida Cellars, M13/ Old Tygervalley Rd, Durbanville. Cost: free entry. Contact Getha: 083 651 0699, email@example.com or visit nitida.co.za Porter Estate Produce Market This wellestablished outdoor market has 70 vendors for fresh produce. Fill up on a farm-style breakfast, and get some choice deli items while the children are kept busy with various activities. Time: 9am–1pm, every Saturday. Venue: Tokai. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit outdoormarket.co.za
City Sightseeing Canal Cruise Take a 35-minute long boat cruise on the Shosholoza or Bonamanzi boats. Time: 9am–5pm, daily, on the hour, every half an hour. Venue: starts at the jetty behind the One&Only hotel. Cost: R20 adults, R10 children. For more info: visit citysightseeing.co.za
markets Baby and Kids Lifestyle Market A new holistic baby and children’s market that features over 60 stalls selling quality preloved baby and children’s clothing, toys, books and equipment, as well as bespoke and handcrafted designer clothing, toys and décor for babies and children. There are also various activities for children, two play areas and pony rides. Time: 9am–1pm, first Saturday of every month. Venue: Observatory Recreation Centre, Rawson St, Observatory Village. Cost: free entry. Contact: 021 788 8088, holistikids@mweb. co.za or visit holistikids.yolasite.com magazine cape town
The Nutcracker on Ice The Imperial Ice Stars present the world premiere of the new production of The Nutcracker on Ice. 1–5 and 7–12 February. Time: varies. Venue: Artscape Theatre. Cost: R100–R380. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or Artscape Dial-a-Seat: 021 421 7695
on stage and screen Cape Town International Ballet Competition Professional and nonprofessional dancers from South Africa and around the world are in the Mother City to participate in the third Cape Town International Ballet Competition. 27 February–4 March. Time: varies. Venue: Artscape Opera House. Cost: R40–R300 per person. For more info: visit ctibc.com and book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or Artscape Dial-A-Seat: 021 421 7695 The Comedy of Errors The latest Maynardville offering is a Shakespeare production with a twist – laced with 1970s Kung Fu cinema. As the wellknown, farcical Shakespeare comedy goes, two pairs of twins, separated at birth, unintentionally find themselves in the same city, which unleashes a series of hysterical misunderstandings. The stage is transformed into a busy Chinatown by an award-winning director-designer team. 10 January–18 February. School performances: 1, 6, 7 and 8 February. Time: 7:45pm. Venue: Maynardville Open-Air Theatre. Cost: R60. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or Artscape Dial-a-Seat: 021 421 7695
activity relating to the story. Time: 10:15am. Venue: Birkenhead Rd. Contact: 021 557 8995 or firstname.lastname@example.org Wynberg Public Library They have special storytelling sessions for local crèches on request. Venue: Maynardville, Wynberg. Cost: free. Contact: 021 797 6492 or email@example.com
sport and physical activities
Beach Tennis Games are played on beaches such as Clifton, Camps Bay, Muizenberg, Llandudno, Fish Hoek, Long Beach and Milnerton. Contact Grant: 083 309 3833 or grant@ capetowntennis.com
playtime and story time Brackenfell Library Weekly story hours for preschoolers. Time: 10:30am, every Wednesday. Venue: Paradys Rd. Contact: 021 980 1261 or brackenfell.library@ capetown.gov.za Claremont Library Toddler story time with singing and movement. Time: 10am, every Wednesday. Venue: Library Square, Wilderness Rd. Contact: 021 674 4195/6 or firstname.lastname@example.org Fish Hoek Public Library Story times take place with related handcraft sessions every Friday. Other activities include films on Tuesday at 2pm, and special events, such as a pyjama party or a reptile petting zoo are often planned at the library. Time: 11am for story time. Venue: Central Circle, Fish Hoek. Cost: free. Contact: 021 784 2030/1 or email@example.com Hout Bay Library The library runs story time where children read stories, colour in and watch a movie. Time: 10am, every Friday. Contact: 021 790 2150 or houtbay. firstname.lastname@example.org Meadowridge Library Children’s story times are on Wednesday morning during school term. Ideal for ages 3–6 years. Time: 10:15am. Venue: 30 Howard Dr. Contact: 021 712 9360 or meadowridge.library@ capetown.gov.za
Me-Time Saturday play day Takes place once a month. 4 February. Time: 10am–12pm. Venue: Me-time Centre, 8 Somerset Lane, Somerset Square, Green Point. Cost: R60 per child, which includes painting, puppet show and two hours of play time. Contact: 021 418 1573, info@ me-time.co or visit me-time.co Muizenberg Library This library runs children’s story time every Tuesday. Ideal for 2–7 year olds. Time: 3pm. Venue: cnr Atlantic Rd and Alexander Rd. Contact: 021 788 5263 or muizenberg.library@ capetown.gov.za Paddle Pop Adventures Get your child in on the fun at the mall for a day of playing the popular Paddle Pop online games. 11 and 12 February. Time: all day. Venue: Canal Walk. Cost: free. For more info: visit paddlepop.co.za Plumstead Library story time Time: 10:30am, every Thursday. Venue: Southfield Rd, Wynberg. Contact: 021 797 7240 or email@example.com Simon’s Town Library The library holds regular art exhibitions in their hall. Venue: Main Rd. Contact: 021 786 1553 or firstname.lastname@example.org Table View Library Children’s storytelling sessions run every Tuesday morning for 2–3 year olds. This is followed by a short simple
Delvera Hi-Tec full-moon hike Enjoy the sunset over Table Mountain with views of the winelands on top of Klapmutskoppie. This hiking trail through the Renosterveld Conservancy is ideal for children from 6 years old. 7 February. Time: from 6pm. Venue: Dirtopia Trail Centre, Delvera Farm, R44, Stellenbosch. Cost: R50 for adults and R20 for children 9 years and younger. Contact Nicolene: 021 884 4752, theteam@ dirtopia.co.za or visit dirtopia.co.za
Little Champions Kids Golf
Little Champions Kids Golf Children play golf on a nine-hole chip-and-putt SNAG course after a lesson in basic golf shots. Small groups of eight. Booking essential. For children 5–9 years. Time: call to enquire. Venue: False Bay College, Fish Hoek. Cost: R100. Contact Dave: 083 418 8866, email@example.com or visit funsports4kids.com
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only for parents classes, talks and workshops Amelia’s adult art workshops Adults can benefit enormously from art as a form of meditation and healing. Time: 7:30pm–9:30pm, every Tuesday. Venue: 7 Capel Rd, Highlands Estate, Oranjezicht. Cost: tbc. For more info: visit ameliasartworks.co.za Art-inspired life coaching workshop for adults Through discussion, reflection, drawing, painting and the making of collages you discover, free, heal and learn the inner motivations of the real you. Time: 9am–2pm, Monday–Thursday. Venue: 1 General Schalk Burger Close, Welgelegen. Cost: R4 800 for a four-day workshop. Led by a qualified facilitator and coach, it includes a workbook, art materials and refreshments. Contact Lisa: 072 972 5568 or firstname.lastname@example.org Education workshops for parents and au pairs 6 February. Time: 10am–11:30am. Venue: Durbanville Library. Literacy ideas for 3–8 year olds. Play games using what you have at home. 6 February. Time: 2:30pm–4pm. Venue: Durbanville Library. Card games for 3–8 year olds. Reinforce and support literacy, numeracy and much more through play. Bring any pack of cards you have. 11 February. Time: 10am–11:30am. Venue: Milnerton Library. Numeracy ideas for 3–8 year olds. Use what you have at home to encourage a love of numbers. 16 February. Time: 10am–11:30am. Venue: Somerset West Library. Numeracy ideas for 3–8 year olds. Also 16 February. Time: 2:30pm–4pm. Venue: Somerset West
9 February – Solutions to lasting lifestyle changes
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Library. Card games for 3–8 year olds. Reinforce and support literacy, numeracy and much more through play. Bring any pack of cards you have. 18 February. Time: 10am–11:30am. Venue: Durbanville Library. Life coaching group session for ladies. Set yourself up for success in 2012. This workshop deals with goal setting. Cost R80 per person per workshop. Contact: 082 714 4356, email@example.com or visit reneelighton.co.za Introductory belly dance classes Strengthen your core muscles and increase overall flexibility and fitness. The classes are run by Surika Walters, the first South African to take part in the Egyptian Ahlan wa Sahlan dance competition. Time: 11am–12pm, every Saturday. Venue: Ambiente Skin & Body, 56 1st Ave, Harfield Village, Claremont. Cost: R280 per person for 4 lessons. Contact: 082 505 4309 or firstname.lastname@example.org
25 February – Learn CPR and save a life
Learn CPR and save a life Paediatric nursing sister Lee-Ann White runs this course for parents, childminders and au pairs. Discovery Health members earn Vitality Points for attending. 25 February. Time: 10am–12pm. Venue: Pinelands. Cost: R220. Contact: 021 531 4182 or 072 283 7132
begins with a 45-minute Pilates class, followed by a group life coaching session. 9 February. Time: 5:30pm–9pm. Venue: Ambiente Spa, 56 1st Ave, Harfield Village. Cost: R1 500 per four-week module or R2 800 per eight-week module, which includes unlimited access to Pilates classes within the studio timetable for the duration of the course plus a free one-on-one life coaching session. Contact Alison: 082 709 2026, alison@ paintingyourwings.com or visit paintingyourwings.com
on stage and screen Ashtanga yoga retreat The retreat offers breathtaking mountain views, hikes, tranquil cottages, a serene lake, a river and waterfalls. Rest, renew and rejuvenate. 3–5 February. Time: 2pm Friday–4pm Sunday. Venue: Somerset Gift Getaway Farm. Cost: R1 600, which includes accommodation, meals and yoga. Contact Marlien: email@example.com or visit somersetgift.co.za
Mural art workshops for adults Inspire your natural creativity by learning how to create your own mural and take it home with you. Three-hour workshops on a theme for the day are presented by Mural Maniac. Time: 9am–12pm, every Saturday. Venue: 1 General Schalk Burger Close, Welgelegen. Cost: R750, includes paints, materials, mural board and refreshments. Contact Theo: 021 559 6090, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit muralmaniac.co.za Solutions to lasting lifestyle changes The programme is divided into two fourweek modules. In the first four weeks you focus on getting organised. You clarify your vision for 2012 and create a detailed personal development and action plan to get you moving towards your goals. The second four-week programme works with your strengths and on letting go of regrets that may be holding you back. The weekly evening workshop
Cape Town Concert Series GermanJapanese violinist Mirjam Contzen has performed as soloist with a host of European orchestras and in most of the important concert halls across Europe and Japan. For the Cape Town Concert Series, accompanied by Bryan Wallick, she performs sonatas by Mendelssohn, Debussy and Schumann, finishing off with Siete Canciones Populares Españolas by Falla. 18 February. Time: 8pm. Venue: Baxter Concert Hall. Cost: R125. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 The Divine Oscar Peter Gilchrist’s oneman show introduces us to Oscar Wilde, the man − but with great humour. He plays seven different characters, bringing to life scenes from The Importance of Being Earnest and An Ideal Husband. 12, 19 and 26 February. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: Kalk Bay Theatre. Cost: R100 for the show only. For more info: visit kbt.co.za
12, 19 and 26 February – The Divine Oscar
Soul Sisters Craft Club Attend six craft workshops per year, learning two new crafts in each workshop. Learn 12 new crafts by year end. Time: 8:30am–2:30pm. Venue: D’Olyfboom Estate, Paarl. Cost: R295 per month; your place is booked at six workshops per year. Contact Monean: 021 919 9325, 083 657 1618 or monean@ soulsisters.co.za
out and about Edgemead Library Friends of the library host monthly car boot sales, two annual craft markets and art exhibitions, and themed Friday coffee mornings with speakers. Dates and times vary. Contact: 021 558 2842 Half-day sailing course A four-hour introduction that focuses on practical offshore sailing while having fun. Candidates learn how to become active crew members and learn basic sailing skills. They experience being a deckhand, assist in steering the yacht, handle and trim the sails, and learn to tie a number of knots. Venue: Victoria&Alfred Waterfront Marina or Mykonos Marina, Langebaan. Cost: R495; maximum six crew per yacht; 10% discount on booking of two or more persons. Price includes a Try Yachting training manual and R200 discount voucher off any Ocean Sailing Academy course. For more info: visit oceansailing. co.za/content/try-yachting Long Legs Fridays Experience a vibey, after-work summer spot. Each week presents a different band. Time: music starts at 7pm. Venue: 134 Long St. Cost: free entry. Contact: 021 422 3074 or visit daddylonglegs.co.za Mount Nelson Wine & Dine Series Executive chef Rudi Liebenberg and sommelier Carl Habel have teamed up with some of the most talented winemakers in
South Africa to create the Wine & Dine Series. At each event you can sample wines produced in a specific region. 17 February is with Cederberg Vineyards. Time: pre-dinner drinks around the Lord Kitchener Fountain at 7pm, followed by an introduction to the menu by the chef and an overview of the wines to be served. Venue: Planet Restaurant, Mount Nelson Hotel. Cost: R395, which includes a seven-course dinner with matching wines. Contact: 021 483 1948 or restaurantreservations@ mountnelson.co.za Old Cape Wine Shop wine tasting With just under 1 000 bottles on the shelves, only the best wine and bubbly make the grade. Time: 11am–2pm, every Saturday. Venue: Old Cape Wine Shop, Imhoff Farm. Cost: free. Contact: 021 783 5054, info@ ocws.co.za and for details of February’s tasting calendar: visit imhofffarm.co.za The Tallest Man on Earth performs Kristian Matsson, the Swedish singer songwriter who fronts the Tallest Man on Earth, has taken indie folk music to new heights with his latest album and upcoming tour, The Wild Hunt. Matsson entertains with his unmistakable, gravelly voice and timeless melodies. 10 February. Time: 8pm. Venue: CTICC Auditorium One. Cost: R275–R350. To book: visit webtickets.co.za Valentine’s sunset hike Order a delicious picnic and be active and adventurous by hiking to the top of Klapmutskop to view the sunset. Friends and family also welcome. A glass of bubbly is served at the top of the mountain. 14 February. Time: from 6pm. Venue: Dirtopia Trail Centre, Delvera Farm, R44, Stellenbosch. Cost: R50 for adults and R20 for children 9 years old and younger. Contact Nicolene: 021 884 4752, theteam@ dirtopia.co.za or visit dirtopia.co.za
support groups Cape Town Counselling Drug Centre For outpatient treatment: Observatory 021 447 8026 or Mitchell’s Plain: 021 391 0216, email@example.com or visit drugcentre.org.za Cleft Friends South Africa Aims to be a friend to parents and children with cleft lips and palates by meeting them as soon as possible after birth, supporting them emotionally through the various operations, and connecting them with healthcare professionals in their area. Contact Madge: 084 517 9914, madge@ cleftfriends.co.za or visit cleftfriends.co.za
10 February – The Tallest Man on Earth performs
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14 February – Valentine’s sunset hike
Overeaters Anonymous (OA) Members seek recovery on all three levels by following a 12-step programme patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. The goal is to abstain from compulsive overeating by attending regular OA meetings. Contact Sharon: 082 973 3099 or Lisa: 074 143 1306 or visit oa.org.za Pierre Robin Sequence Foundation A non-profit organisation that raises awareness of the condition. Contact Leigh: 082 410 3197, firstname.lastname@example.org, visit pierrerobin.org.za or visit the Pierre Robin Sequence Foundation Facebook group RTS South Africa This website brings together SA parents who have children with Rubinstein Taybi syndrome. For more info: visit rts-southafrica.weebly.com Williams Syndrome Association of South Africa Contact Magda: 084 574 2926 (only when in SA), +264 63 225 926 or +264 81 4707 362. Contact Tanja: 082 778 8429, email@example.com and cc Magda Coetzee: williamsyndromesa@ gmail.com or visit williams-syndrome.co.za
bump, baby & Tot in tow
classes, talks and workshops Mothersmilk breast-feeding workshops Comprehensive workshops providing everything you need to know for successful breast-feeding, facilitated by a clinical midwife specialist from the UK. Topics covered include the anatomy and physiology
of breast-feeding, the benefits and practical tips to ensure success whether it is your first time or if you have experienced breastfeeding challenges previously. Time: by appointment. Venue: varies. Cost: call to enquire. Contact: 083 445 0664, katherine@ mothersmilk.co.za or visit mothersmilk.co.za Nanny and au pair certificate training workshop Learn to care for newborns to toddlers during an intensive one-day, handson and interactive childcare learning session. Students learn baby/toddler care essentials including newborn care, nutrition, handling tantrums, professionalism, developing routines and healthy habits, and more. Time: 9am–3pm, every second Saturday. Cost: R700. Contact Laeeqah: 073 387 7381 or firstname.lastname@example.org Parent Centre moms-to-be and momsand-babies group Time: 10am–12pm, every Thursday. Venue: Kingsbury Maternity Hospital, Maternity Section, 2nd Floor, Wilderness Rd, Claremont. Cost: R40, including refreshments. Contact: 021 762 0116 or email@example.com The Mama Bamba Way antenatal weekend workshop Birth preparation classes for creating an empowering and transformative birth experience for women, their partners and their babies. 18 and 19 February. Time: 10am–5pm every day. Venue: Constantia. Cost: R1 500 per couple. The course consists of 15 hours of group instruction. R300 for a copy of the book The Mama Bamba Way: Inner Pathways Back to the Power and Pleasure of Birth and a copy of the CD, The Mama Bamba Way: Guided Relaxation for Birth. Maximum five couples per class. Contact Robyn: 021 461 8257, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit mamabamba.com
playtime and story time Bellville Library On Wednesday morning, children’s librarian Lona Gericke runs a “Born to Read” programme for babies and toddlers to instil an early love for reading through stories, finger rhymes and songs. Time: call to enquire. Venue: Carel van Aswegen St. Contact: 021 918 2300 or email@example.com
Sugar and Spice Nanny Training Empower your nanny with all the skills, knowledge and confidence she needs to care for your baby. Panorama classes start on 7 February and run for four Tuesday afternoons. Time: 2pm–5pm. Blaauwberg classes start 12 February and run for four Thursday afternoons. Time: 1:30pm–4:30pm. Contact: 071 366 4725, caithe@ nannytraining.co.za or visit nannytraining.co.za. Claremont classes start 22 February and run for four Wednesday afternoons. Time: 2pm–5pm. Cost: call to enquire. Contact 083 406 0028, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit nannytraining.co.za
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Wriggle and Rhyme A relaxed, fun group where you and your baby or toddler can enjoy music and movement together. Classes combine singing, movement and rhythm using percussion instruments. Time: 9am or 10:30am. Venues: Bergvliet (Tuesday and Thursday), Constantia (Wednesday), Wynberg (Thursday), Fish Hoek (Tuesday), Sun Valley (Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) and Claremont (Tuesday). Cost: R430 per term, plus a once-off registration fee of R120 that includes a welcome pack with a T-shirt and CD. Contact Kirsty: 079 740 4561, info@wriggleandrhyme. co.za or visit wriggleandrhyme.co.za
Moms Club This one’s for moms and babies. At least once a month there is a speaker on a baby-related topic. Time: 10am–11:30am, every Tuesday during term. Venue: Medway Youth Centre, cnr Medway Rd and Milford Rd, Plumstead. Cost: free. Contact Barbara: 074 580 4480 or email@example.com Musisize classes for babies and toddlers Music and movement for children 6 months–3 years through action songs, singing, movement, nursery rhymes, playing instruments, hand puppets and bubbles. The classes develop a sense of rhythm and timing, aid movement and coordination, help with social skills and build vocabulary. Time: call to enquire. Venue: 1 Mount Nelson Rd, Sea Point. Cost: R350 per month. Contact: 084 409 1683, debbyjam@gmail. com or visit debbydoo.co.za Observatory Library Craft activities are held regularly during the school holidays with special events organised occasionally. Their regular Wednesday morning story time sessions with babies and toddlers are held at 11am. Venue: Station Rd. Cost: free. Contact: 021 447 9017 or observatory. firstname.lastname@example.org
support groups Cape Town Adoption Support movie club At each event they collect a nominal donation, which is used to cover costs, and excess money raised at each event is donated to an organisation involved in
placement and care of children eligible for adoption. Movie tbc. 21 February. Time: 8:30pm–11:30pm. Venue: UCT Upper Campus. Cost: donations welcome. Contact: join the Cape Town Adoption Support movie club on Facebook La Leche League Breast-feeding support groups Pregnant and nursing mothers are welcome to attend. Panorama: 6 February. Contact Carol: 021 558 5319 or Irma: 084 258 8203. Durbanville: 21 February. Contact Trudy: 021 913 2816 or Tiffany: 021 913 3586. Parow: 15 February. Contact Dilshaad: 021 930 2475. Milnerton Medi-Clinic: 7 February (9:30am). Contact Juliet: 021 556 0693. Parklands Intercare: 22 February (10:30am). Contact Simela: 021 553 1664. Rondebosch: 22 February: Contact: Becky 021 531 2485. Fish Hoek and Malmesbury: 22 February: Contact: Juliet 021 556 0693. Time: unless otherwise stated, groups meet at 10am. Cost: free. For more info on the organisation, visit llli. org and join LLLSA on Facebook Moms of prems and high-risk pregnancies group A support group for moms of prems and expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies. Every second week a guest speaker gives a short presentation on topics such as breast-feeding, developmental stimulation and baby massage. Time: 10am–12pm, every Tuesday. Venue: Kingsbury Hospital maternity ward waiting lounge. Cost: R40, including refreshments. Contact: email@example.com
how to help
La Leche League Breast-feeding support group
Home from Home This organisation provides community-based foster care for orphaned, abused, neglected and vulnerable children. Home from Home urgently needs school stationery, school uniforms and school shoes – with 150 children going back to school it is a feat to get them all equipped for the new year. They always welcome clothes,
shoes, raincoats and jackets. They will also appreciate a video player and DVD player for the children. Contact: 021 761 7251, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit homefromhome.org.za Lovy – Loves You Charity Coaching Project Launching on 14 February, this project has been created to increase orphaned children’s self-esteem through group therapy. On Lovy Day, workshops and group story times are held at various children’s homes and orphanages, and each child is given a Lovy Kit, which contains a book, toy and mirrors. Support the project with a minimum donation of R97. For more info and account details: visit lovy-lovesyou. email@example.com Shake the World campaign This campaign raises awareness of the eight Millennium Development Goals set by the UN in the year 2000 to halve the world’s poverty by the year 2015. Buy a Shake the World bracelet from Edgars in support of this cause. For more info: visit shaketheworld.org
it’s party time For more help planning your child’s party visit
World Doctors Orchestra The World Doctors Orchestra (WDO) combines the pleasure of fine music with charity. Two to three times a year, about 100 physicians from over 30 nations exchange their white coats for evening attire and perform a benefit concert for people in need of healthcare. The proceeds from each concert go to selected nonprofit medical aid organisations. 9 February. Time: 8pm. Venue: Baxter Concert Hall. Cost: R90. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000
don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to 021 462 2680. Information must be received by 3 February for the March issue, and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published. To post an event online, visit childmag.co.za
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itâ€™s party time
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magazine cape town
lessons from an anti-stoic SAM WILSON says there’s no need for a stiff upper lip when you’re bedridden and have family around to perform random acts of kindness.
have a dodgy lower back and every so often a particularly problematic disc herniates and I find myself confined to bed for a week, looking like an acupuncturist’s pincushion. Yes I know, I need to get serious about Pilates... and I will, okay? As soon as I stop being defensive. I have a bag of frozen peas on my back and two solicitous sons reading next to me as I write this. I’ve been here all week. They come and go. Working through the five stages of whininess (faked bravery, low moaning, why me’ing, light sobbing and violent cabin fever), I feel I have come to an important parenting realisation. Actually, I don’t know if it’s important, it just works for me, so I’m going to say it in print with some gravitas and hope you buy it. There is no need to be stoic in front of your
children. In fact, stoicism may be bad for your children. I informed my very own sons of this theory not two minutes ago, when I came up with it. “I thought Stoicism was a Greek school of guys who believed in self-control above all else,” said Josef puzzled. “I don’t see how that fits here.” I retorted, “And I thought that the schooling system was supposed to be slipping, which clearly doesn’t fit here.” Benj, as ever, jumped to the rescue. “I see what she means. Mom is like the opposite of a stoic. She has no self-control. Every time we come to see how she is, she’s moaning about something new: her back hurts, her pills aren’t working, her water is too far away, why don’t we have any chocolate...” I would have bristled, but that may have hurt, or disturbed my intricate pillow
arrangement. “There is such a thing as over-proving a point, Benj, but hold that thought about the chocolate; I want you to take it up with Dad later.” He had the gist of it, of course. I get really cranky when I am bedridden, as I can’t stand not being in control, or at least at the centre of things, in my family. In these prone weeks, the power dynamics shift, and the boys are soon performing random acts of awesomeness without even noticing. They bring toast, tea, Nik Nak sandwiches (don’t knock them till you’ve tried them), ice packs and fresh-faced, smiley company. And it shines up my heart no end. While stoicism may be a good trait to have in the army, it’s not necessarily a good one to have in a family. Families are about pooling your resources – physical and emotional – and helping the ones who are having trouble. It’s about learning
to let people know how you feel, and knowing how to listen. It’s about learning how to ask, when loved ones have to give, and understanding the importance of that underlying balance. I usually emerge from these weeks of enforced bed rest with not only my sheepish Pilates resolutions, but energy and strength drawn from the tender way my family treats me when I am in need; and clear of any resentment, because I got to be just as needy as I needed to be. I think more children, especially sons, should learn first-hand – preferably in small doses – that moms can also need kid gloves sometimes, and chocolate. Now, where did Benj go? Sam Wilson is the digital editor at Woolworths. She was lying when she said she’d finished with the five stages of whininess. She’s still in stage three.
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PHOTOGRAPH: Andreas SpÄth
Joe, Sam and Benj