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
the 3D issue
coping with twins or triplets living the life island-style are boys and girls different? new cook in the kitchen
plus dealing with difference â€“ an A-Z guide and where to find help
This month we dedicate our magazine to all children who find themselves “outside” of the educational, physical and emotional mainstream. We also acknowledge you, their parents, and your ongoing fight to provide your children with every opportunity to heal, grow and excel. Dealing with difference became very real for me once again when I caught up with a friend I haven’t seen in ages. Her daughter has low-level Asperger’s, sensory processing disorder and ADHD and has been at a school for “educational special needs” for seven years. My friend had just heard that her daughter had been accepted at the mainstream high school of her choice – the look on her daughter’s face, and the excitement and sense of achievement in her voice, will stay with me forever. How did she go from being the little girl who couldn’t socialise with her peers, didn’t look you in the eye and could barely sit still for five minutes to a wonderfully sociable and academically astute pupil? Her mother made it happen. She worked day and night on her daughter’s reading, maths, movement and diet. From beanbag
throwing and ball balancing to extension programmes and wheat and sugar-free diets, she tried it all. She also sought out every professional for advice and supervised hours of extra work each week because this was her child, and she was going to make it better. And she did. So, this issue is for all of you who are living stories of hope, knowing that the sun hides behind the clouds. Until next month.
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
october 2011 health
a note from lisa
6 over to you
10 keep it clean
Vanessa Papas finds ways to fight the spread of infections such as hepatitis A
a mom falls foul of the school car park snobs
8 wins 13 upfront with paul
23 dad’s blog
how to tell if your child’s rash is serious. By Vanessa Papas
12 reader’s blog
10 what’s that dot you’ve got?
Paul Kerton relishes his daughters’ musical prowess
Marc de Chazal wonders if his children’s friendships will stand the test of time
14 dealing with difference
Claire Rencken shares the story of her son who was born with a cleft lip and palate
16 overnight sensation
42 resource – your A-Z guide
L es Aupiais reveals the ups and downs of raising multiples
Tamlyn Vincent compiled a directory of disorders and conditions and where to get support
20 building for the future
Elaine Eksteen highlights the importance of family values
46 a good read
new books for the whole family
24 are girls and boys wired differently?
48 what’s on in october
Sam Wilson’s children have not inherited her dodgy study habits
Glynis Horning investigates gender differences and their impact on learning and development
62 last laugh
27 get cooking
simple, fun recipes for budding cooks. By Annabel Karmel
classified ads 56 family marketplace
Jacqui Tooke gives advice for choosing fun and educational toys
59 let’s party
32 a testing time?
make informed decisions during your pregnancy. By Glynis Horning
36 parenting together apart Child magazine finds out how to co-parent after a divorce
40 the simple life
Nadine Tedder and her family spend four idyllic months at sea
this month’s cover images are supplied by:
magazine cape town
magazine cape town
over to you new school needs numbers a goldfish, a loo and a granny I read your magazine whenever I can get my hands on it and, after reading Paul Kerton’s column “pet symmetry” (Child magazine, August 2011), I have to share this with you. My mom passed away before we had children and we now refer to her as the Angel Granny who watches and protects us in heaven. This obviously sparks a lot of questions, such as: “Where do you go when you die?” When my daughter, Abigail, was about three years old, her beloved goldfish Bubble, was found floating in the fish bowl, lifeless. She was devastated. So, we said a little prayer before we flushed her, or it, down the toilet because “that’s how fish get to heaven”. Abigail seemed satisfied with the sendoff and that was that, or so I thought. About a week later, Abigail had a very confused look on her face. “Mommy,” she said, “you know we flushed Bubble down the toilet so she could go to heaven? Well, then how did Grandad fit Granny down the toilet?” I laughed so much, the tears poured down my cheeks. It just shows you how clever and resilient they are, even at the ripe old age of three. Louise Bickerdike
My son Joshua, now six, was diagnosed with ADHD in 2008. There were several recommendations for his “treatment”, including Ritalin and a remedial school, but after much prayer, my husband and I decided to treat him with omega supplements and occupational therapy sessions. After Grade R, we chose to put him in an independent school because we felt that he would receive the attention he needs. We were so wrong. After the first two weeks, we saw our son’s confidence falter and his character change. We decided to take both our sons out of the independent school and we started home schooling them. What a difference this made. It’s possible for parents to cope when these things are thrown at us, but we must learn to believe in our children’s abilities. Deryn
create TB awareness I am a mom and a doctor who works at a clinic for people with HIV. Many of our patients are domestic workers and nannies. To prevent unnecessary job losses, I wish to point out that I disagree with the author of the article “finding Mary Poppins” (Child magazine, July 2011). The author states that people with tuberculosis (TB) should not work with children. While anyone can get TB, it is important to know that the risk of becoming ill with TB is far lower in well-nourished people with healthy immune systems. After two weeks, most people on treatment will no longer be infectious although they may still be coughing. The national TB guidelines advise that it is safe for patients to return to work after two weeks of treatment. The duration of treatment is not linked to infectiousness and is continued for a minimum of six months to eradicate semi-dormant bacteria. In my experience, many domestic workers are afraid of losing their jobs if they reveal that they are HIV-positive or that they have TB. By law, they are not obliged to disclose this. Employers can make a real difference to less well-off families by simply allowing employees to take sick leave to go to the clinic. Tappie Kitshoff
allow yourself to be distracted When did jealousy, anger and greed stop being cardinal sins? These days, it seems that “distraction” is a worse
vice. With the (very real) phenomenon of ADHD, this is at the back of every parent’s mind when their child shows any signs of not being able to complete a task. During a recent holiday to a wilderness location, the children wondered how they were going to enjoy themselves without being close to entertainment or TV. On the first morning, we walked about a kilometre to the reception area. At first, our eight-year-old was completely goalorientated, trying to guess how long it would take us to walk the distance, and timing our progress. But then his environment distracted him. With sunbirds, early spring flowers, the charming resident cat… the reception building was long forgotten. Are we so busy with school, extramurals, homework and TV that we have demonised distraction, and banished it from our lives? We have decided to be more aware of our expectations of our children, to check whether these are being imposed on us or whether they reflect values we hold dear. Nicky
party pack with a difference Instead of giving party packs each year, we support the Sunflower Fund by wrapping some treats in their bandanas. This supports their brilliant charity, but also teaches my children the value of supporting good causes. They then have their bandanas ready to wear at school on Bandana Day. I feel happier spending money on this than on any toy or gimmick. Anonymous
great newsletter I love the online newsletter. It’s so exciting to print out the tasks suitable for each age group. Juliette Dreyer Rainsford
View the article at childmag.co.za/content/littlehelpers and subscribe to our newsletter
fun to play dress up I enjoyed your article on “high fashion versus child’s play” (Child magazine, September 2011). I have loved dressing up since I was a young girl and I still love it. I am glad that my young daughters of five and seven love fashion too, but they love being children more. I will spend R400 on boots for them, much to my husband’s disgust, but hey, we work hard, so why not? My daughters are always well dressed, even though not all their clothes are expensive, and they still look appropriate for their ages. Little girls will be little girls. They attend a school where they do not wear uniforms, but are not allowed to wear branded clothes either. As long as the parents are responsible and monitor their children, I say let them be. Shamenta
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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
drugs are not the solution
My daughter Amber is on a long waiting list for schools for children with disabilities in the Cape Town area. As we could still be waiting for enrolment for many months (if not years), a friend and I have decided to start our own special needs school in the interim. The class will comprise five children, and the address is the existing Planet Kids’ Play Emporium in Muizenberg. I must say that it’s an outstanding centre, wonderfully geared for Amber and her peers. Now we have to find a suitable teacher, someone who is qualified and experienced, with a background in elementary school teaching. It might even be an option for two teachers to alternate days. It will certainly be a challenging task, as these precious children (ranging from say seven to 12 years) have severe disabilities. Amber is non-verbal, so augmentative communication (learning to communicate via a computer or an iPad) would be part of the curriculum. Teachers, and parents whose children would benefit from this school, can contact me on 021 789 2155 or 082 553 8504. Sandy
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comfortable fit Children’s feet continue to develop until the age of 25, and the soft bones in their feet can be distorted by wearing the incorrect shoes. Green Cross shoes support and conform to the shape of the foot, while allowing freedom for bones and joints to develop naturally. For more information, visit green-cross.com Green Cross is giving away eight vouchers for a pair of children’s shoes valued at R250. Simply email us or post your details and mark it as “Green Cross CT Win”.
young earth Eco.kid is an ecologically responsible and childfriendly range that treats children’s hair, scalp and skin issues. Eco.kid uses certified natural and organic, paraben-, sulphate- and synthetic-free, readily biodegradable ingredients. For more information, contact 011 326 1525, email@example.com or visit ecokid.co.za Two readers stand a chance of winning an Eco. kid hamper valued at R1 055 each. Simply email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org and mark your entry as “Child Mag CT Win”.
The uDraw Game Tablet is a first-of-its-kind, revolutionary game system that provides a fun way for families to play with Wii, with innovative features that allow the imagination to spring to life. Games range from Pictionary to Dood’s Big Adventure. For stockists in your area: 011 445 7992 or for more info, visit worldofudraw.com One reader stands a chance to win a uDraw Game Tablet plus three games valued at R2 000. Simply email us or post your details and mark it as “Ster Kinekor CT Win”.
perfect fit The Tripp Trapp is an ingenious baby chair designed to fit into your table and grow with your child. Be sure to visit Stokke at The Baby Expo MamaMagic, taking place from 14 October. For more information, contact Born Fabulous: 073 251 7147, email@example.com or visit bornfabulous.co.za You could win a Stokke Tripp Trapp Chair valued at R2 000. Simply email your details to competition@ bornfabulous.co.za and mark your entry as “Child Mag CT Win”.
how to enter
congratulations to our August winners
Unless it is otherwise stated, emailed entries go to win@ childmag.co.za and postal entries go to PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. Only one entry per reader is allowed and entries must be received by 31 October 2011.
Liza Morris, Sanet Schoonees and Shumso Abrahams who win in the Cipla giveaway; Lolita Petersen, Margaux Leon, Pat Rontgen who each win a Deluxe Pottery Set from Alex Toys; Farieda Hartley who wins a Monsoon party dress and Marlene Engelbrecht who wins an Ideal Toy hamper.
magazine cape town
magazine cape town
what’s that dot you’ve got? Spots, rashes and welts on your child can cause panic, but the secret is being able to identify the “baddies” from the “not-so-baddies”, says VANESSA PAPAS.
auteng GP Dr Sylvia Guest says viral skin infections, such as measles, rubella Specialist dermatologist Dr Jeanne Louw of the Cape Town Dermatology Clinic & (German measles) and chickenpox, are highly contagious. “Symptoms include a Skin Laser Centre, says heat rash develops as small red or pink pimples on the head, sore throat, high temperature and red eyes before a blotchy, itchy rash starts on neck, and shoulders and is a result of blocked sweat ducts, often caused by parents your child’s torso that changes from red to dark brown in colour. dressing their baby too warmly. “Another common skin disorder is With rubella, children often complain of muscle or joint pain and a hives, which appears as welts that itch, burn or sting and move or vaccinate your headache before a finer, red rash appears on the torso and spreads change shape. Flare-ups can be triggered by an allergic reaction child against: to the rest of the body. In both diseases, a child is contagious one and can be treated with over-the-counter antihistamines.” • measles, at nine and 18 months; week before the rash begins until two weeks after it disappears.” • chickenpox at 12 to 18 months Chickenpox has the longest incubation period, with symptoms treatment and again between the ages of only appearing up to 21 days after exposure to the virus. “It starts While rest, pain medication or calming topical lotions and lots four and six years old, and as red dots that develop into hundreds of blisters. It is spread by of TLC are usually all that’s needed to treat viral skin diseases, • measles, mumps and rubella direct contact with the blister fluid, which contains the varicellabacterial diseases often require a doctor’s visit. “If your child with the MMR vaccine zoster virus, so children are contagious until the last blister has develops scarlet fever or impetigo they will need a course of between 15 to 18 months and scabbed and dried.” antibiotics,” advises Guest. “A classic sign of scarlet fever is a again between the ages of five sore throat and a very red, swollen tongue. A fine rash starts on and seven years old. younger children and infants the face and chest before spreading. The skin on your child’s “The first sign of fifth disease is usually bright red cheeks that look hands and feet may peel. Children with impetigo usually develop as though the child has been ‘slapped’,” says Guest. “The rash then moves to the arms pus-filled, round lesions on the face and then the body. The sores heal slowly and and legs and can last up to 10 days. Hand, foot and mouth disease starts as small red seldom scar.” spots in the mouth that develop into painful ulcers. Blisters also form on the soles of the Parents should be aware of rashes that could be a sign of a serious infection called feet and palms of the hands. Children are contagious during the first week and can remain meningococcemia – a condition where blood starts to clot throughout the body. Symptoms contagious even after symptoms have gone. Roseola is common in children aged six include a very high fever, lethargy and a stiff neck, followed by a tiny rash that looks like months to two years. Often a child will have a high temperature for a few days and once it pin pricks and develops into large purply blotches. Should your child develop any of these drops, patchy, small, pink bumps appear on the back, chest and abdomen.” symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
keep it clean Regular hand washing is one way you can prevent the spread of nasty infections, such as hepatitis A. By VANESSA PAPAS ingesting the virus), it can spread in other ways.” He says your child could pick it up by playing in a puddle of contaminated water, or from eating contaminated food or unwashed fruit and vegetables. If you suspect your child may have hepatitis A, take them to a doctor who will perform a physical examination and a blood test. Treatment is symptomatic and it can take several days, even weeks, before your child will be well again. Bed rest and good nutrition are advised. Fortunately, there is a vaccine against hepatitis A. “The vaccines contain no live virus and therefore have few side effects (apart from soreness at the site of the injection), and can be administered by your doctor or your local chemist,” says Cape Town nursing practitioner Sandy Daynes. “The vaccines must be given before exposure to the virus and won’t help if your child has already become infected.” The vaccine is given in two shots, administered six months apart for maximum protection.
Global Handwashing Day Parents are encouraged to teach their children to be hand-washing champions. Good hygiene could literally mean the difference between life and death for your child. • Wash every inch of their hands, including the backs of their hands, their wrists, under their fingernails and between their fingers. • Rinse and dry your child’s hands properly using a clean towel or let their hands air-dry. 10
good to know • W ashing your child’s hands with soap and water helps reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal disease by more than 40 percent. • Wash your child’s hands before meal times, after they’ve blown their nose, coughed or sneezed, after playing outside, if they’ve been touching animals (including the household pet) and, most importantly, after they’ve been to the toilet. • Establish a hand-washing routine so that it becomes second nature for your child. • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. • When buying unpackaged food, ensure the person serving you is wearing plastic gloves. • Bacteria can grow on towels, so keep them clean, or opt for disposable towels. • Germs and bacteria can grow on soap bars if they’re left to lie in water. Keep soap dry or use a liquid soap.
magazine cape town
hildren are especially curious about the world around them and use their hands to explore everything, often picking up germs that could cause diarrhoeal diseases and acute respiratory infections. Washing your child’s hands often is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of many infections, from colds and influenza to food poisoning, Rotavirus and hepatitis A. “Hepatitis A is a general term that means inflammation of the liver,” explains Johannesburg general practitioner Dr Gavin Zipp. “While it’s the mildest of the common hepatitis virus infections (hepatitis B and hepatitis C), it still packs a nasty punch and can cause your child to suffer fever, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and fatigue. It’s a foodborne viral illness and spreads rapidly where children are in close contact with each other, placing nursery schools at high risk. While the infection is mainly transmitted via the faecal-oral route (going to the toilet and not washing hands, then touching your face or food and accidentally
magazine cape town
surviving the riding boots brigade One small fashion faux pas turned this
ote to self: wear riding boots on the outside of my jeans when attending school functions. I have, unwittingly, committed a fashion faux pas and run foul of the Riding Boots Brigade again at my children’s school. My friend greets me with an apologetic grin as I get out of the car. “What were you thinking?” What indeed. I should know better than to leave my retail-store jeans on the outside of my boots. This is the school car park, after all, where there are strict rules about these things. There are unspoken codes here about what car to drive, what clothes to
wear and, as I have recently discovered, how to wear one’s boots. I try and shrug it off, telling myself that I could start a whole new fashion trend. But alas, one of the perfectly-coiffed moms walks past me, and immediately glances down at my offending footwear. Ashamed and embarrassed, I climb back into the car and start Facebooking in search of some virtual commiseration. A good friend immediately posts a reply. “I personally feel a little too ‘under-plastic surgeried’ when attending sports matches against your school.” I reply promptly, still smarting from my school-run gaffe: “Yip, silly me, I forgot my fake boobs at home today.” Another friend helpfully points out that at least I have the de rigueur car, a gleaming SUV. “But did you remember to hitch the horse box?” she asks. And then someone else admits that she is, in fact, part of the dreaded boot brigade. “I was told it looks cool,” she posts apologetically.
A poor mom who obviously did not make the grade reveals that her pink welly boots “went down a treat” when she dropped her daughter at a netball match earlier in the week. The poor child is still pretending she’s adopted to cope with the shame. I’ve heard of worse sins, though: mothers in slippers, coffee-stained T-shirts and (gasp) even pyjamas, sneaking in through the school gates in the hope that no one will notice. I start to get a few pangs of guilt about my Facebook rant, and I quickly post that I really do like this school, despite the heavy demands it sometimes places on my wardrobe. Besides, I know that there’s a Riding Boots Brigade in all schools…
Readers, this is your column – it’s a space to air your views, share a valuable parenting lesson, vent your frustrations or celebrate your joys. Send your writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
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illustration: shutterstock.com / Alys Suter
mom into a school car park outcast.
upfront with paul
if music be the food of love, play on PAUL KERTON relishes the special moments when he gets to watch his daughters mastering their musical instruments.
PHOTOGRAPH: MARIETTE BARKHUIZEN
was just drifting away, listening to a particularly rousing bit of a Coldplay anthem when Sabina, then aged five and three quarters, announced that she wanted to learn to play the violin. I almost fell off my chair. Great idea. The fact that the violin is one of the most difficult instruments to master, when she had barely mastered the alphabet, still had trouble counting and had the attention span of a gnat, seemed irrelevant. YouTube appears to be bursting with child prodigies still in nappies playing Johann Sebastian Bach’s Violin Concerto in A Minor, so why not her? Music is such a natural way of expressing yourself and there isn’t a person on the planet who doesn’t resonate with some kind of serenade, whether it’s heavy rock, rap, or light water music. So I found a quarter-sized violin (not easy by the way), and a fabulous local violin teacher who is experienced and calm, and doesn’t put up with any of Sabina’s nonsense.
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Saskia, Paul and Sabina
Her early attempts at following the music – dressed in purple leggings, red Wellington boots and a skew tea-cosy hat, while barely able to see over the music stand (on its lowest setting), brought a lump to my throat. Watching her pizzicatoing until her fingers were sore had me bursting with pride – my daughter was actually playing (okay learning) the violin! It isn’t as if music runs in the family. I can play a bit of guitar and fiddle on the piano and Gran took piano lessons, but I never had any formal training, apart from
attempting lead guitar in a screeching Hendrix-esque band for a six-week period one summer holiday. Alas, when everybody fell out over who should be the leader, I kissed my budding rock career goodbye. Saskia has been learning piano for a while but, because she started later, I sadly never got to witness her learn. Music is tough for a child, with its minims and crotchets, beats and scales, but it is amazing how it helps with reading and maths. Above all though, it is the discipline that is key. The realisation that you need
to practise, practise, practise to get something right, instead of giving up and disappearing to the comfort of the TV; the usual cop out. Everybody wants to be famous these days but it is better, musically, if you have a good grounding before you audition for X Factor. I remember interviewing the Eurythmics’ Annie Lennox, who started out as a shy, classically trained pianist from Dundee. She told me that she credits those disciplined, formative years for giving her the confidence and ability to complement her talents, and make it to the top. It bears notice. Now that Sabina is using the bow properly – actually reading the music – and has graduated to a half-sized violin, I no longer get to watch her fumble her way through lessons. But watching her practise and expertly handle the violin and its rituals – tightening the bow, setting the rest – are very special moments for me. Paul Kerton is the author of Fab Dad: A Man’s Guide to Fathering.
dealing with difference
About one in 700 children is born with a cleft lip or palate. CLAIRE RENCKEN’s son, Aidan, was one of them.
t all started on June 12, 2008, when I had the 20-week scan where they check for anatomical irregularities. When the sonographer told us she had detected a cleft lip that “appeared to extend into the palate”, I felt as if someone had literally knocked the wind out of me. I was numb, as was my husband who, thankfully, was there with me holding my hand. My gynaecologist put us in touch with Prof Laurence Chait, the plastic surgeon at the helm of the Cleft Lip and Palate Programme at the Netcare Park Lane Hospital in Johannesburg. He works with a team of specialists, including an ENT doctor, an orthodontist, a speech therapist and a social worker. Chait said he could fix the problem, irrespective of whether it was the lip or the lip and the palate. I was relieved that Aidan could be a perfectly happy and healthy child despite this unexpected, yet surprisingly common, birth defect.
prevent him interfering with the stitches), he had to be syringe-fed and couldn’t have the comfort of his dummy for a whole week. He healed beautifully and his scar is now barely visible. At nine months, he had his first palate surgery. The top of his little mouth resembled a road map with all the stitches, and once again we endured the casts on the arms, syringe feeding and no dummy for a week. This time Aidan was more mobile and he missed the use of his arms and the solid foods he’d been enjoying. When the stitches dissolved, I saw a work of art. Chait had not only repaired about 80 percent of the cleft, but he had crafted an uvula out of existing tissue in the mouth. It was amazing. Aidan could now eat with almost no food coming out of his nose. In January this year, my brave little warrior (his resilience never ceases to amaze me) went under the knife again for a second palate surgery. My busy
I’m not saying it has been an easy journey. Aidan’s cleft was a unilateral, complete cleft of the lip and palate on the left hand side of his face. He had to be fed using specialised bottles – soft bottles that you can squeeze – as babies with clefts cannot suckle properly. We also found that Aidan swallowed a lot of air when drinking. But we got through it. Aidan will be three years old this month. He is a handsome, bright and well-adjusted little boy, who attends playschool and gets up to just as much mischief as his peers.
getting it fixed Aidan had his first corrective surgery – the lip repair – when he was not even four months old. His little arms were in casts (to
toddler kept saying “off” as he tugged at the casts on his arms. But we survived, and Aidan now has only a negligible hole just behind his front teeth, which doesn’t interfere with eating or speech development. The gap in the gum is still there and will be reviewed at a later stage by the orthodontist and Chait once Aidan’s permanent teeth are through. Due to the compromised Eustachian tube, which links the pharynx to the middle ear, and is associated with clefts, ear infections can be a problem. So Aidan has had a few sets of grommets and the ENT specialist checks on them regularly. He goes for speech therapy once a week and is making great progress. Thankfully, there is life after a cleft. magazine cape town
PHOTOGRAPH: CLAIRE RENCKEN / ILLUSTRATION: SAMANTHA SUMMERFIELD
In no way did having a cleft palate prevent me from leading a normal, happy life and achieving all that I set out to.
. Incomplete unilateral cleft lip 1 2. Complete unilateral cleft lip 3. Complete bilateral cleft lip idan with his dad, Ross, moments before his lip A repair surgery on 5 February 2009.
living with a repaired cleft Martin Roemer, 35, from the East Rand in Johannesburg, says, “Being born with a cleft lip and palate certainly had an impact on my life. I felt self-conscious about the scar on my lip and the flattened appearance of my nose on the side of the cleft. When I was 18, I had my last operation. It was mainly cosmetic, as the flattened side of my nose was built up using cartilage from my rib cage to make it look more symmetrical. I was very happy with the result and no longer felt self-conscious. Now that I am in my mid-thirties, however, I am becoming more aware of having a cleft palate again because I am struggling to breathe out of the side of my nose that was repaired. My palate seems to be losing its elasticity too, resulting in small gaps opening along the cleft, making it harder to speak as clearly as I used to. My teeth on either side of the cleft are becoming less stable in my mouth and I fear they will eventually fall out and have to be replaced with a bridge. In a few year’s time, I will probably need corrective surgery again, particularly on my nose to help me breathe a bit better and in my mouth to close the palate again. Despite these complications, I have rarely felt compromised by them. In no way did having a cleft palate prevent me from leading a normal, happy life and achieving all that I set out to.”
by one or more of three main factors: an inherited characteristic (gene) from one or both parents, environmental factors such as exposure to a sub-clinical virus in early pregnancy, and genetic syndromes. Clefts in the lip can range from a tiny notch in the upper lip (an incomplete cleft) to a split that extends into the nose (a complete cleft). A cleft palate can range from a small malformation, which results in minimal problems, to a large separation of the palate that interferes with eating and speaking. Clefts are often referred to as unilateral, a split on one side, or bilateral, one split on each side. In 50 percent of cases, the cleft lip and palate occur together; a condition more common in boys. The occurrence of the cleft palate on its own, in 30 percent of cases, is more common in girls. In the remaining 20 percent, the cleft is of the lip only. Dr Paul Skoll, who performs cleft lip and palate repairs at Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town, offers the following advice: “When planning to fall pregnant, women should start taking 5mg folic acid per day, as this has been shown to decrease the incidence of neural tube defects as well as clefts. Usually one only confirms that one is pregnant after several weeks, by which time most facial development may be complete, so it could be too late to only start the supplement at that time.”
what is it and why does it occur? We all start out life with a cleft lip and palate. During normal fetal development, between the sixth and 11th week of pregnancy, the clefts in the lip and palate fuse together. In babies born with a cleft lip and/or palate, one or both of these splits fail to fuse. Specialists are still puzzled about the exact cause, but most believe clefts are caused magazine cape town
get help Cleft lip and palate support group: 021 404 6459 Cleft Friends: visit cleftfriends.co.za Cleft Angels SA: info@cleftangels. co.za or visit cleftangels.co.za
overnight sensation Raising twins or triplets often involves more logistics than the
wenty years ago, falling pregnant with triplets didn’t make headline news. You’d have to produce at least sextuplets, in the Rosenkowitz mould, to crack that – and then you’d be lucky enough to land chain store sponsorship. No, a set of triplets only causes tabloid headlines at home, where it creates ripples in your immediate family circle and changes your life forever.
As a 30-something, committed career woman and, truth be told, not a “baby” person, the arrival of fraternal triplets Paige, James and Christopher in June 1990, 10 weeks premature, was more of a collision in my life than a delivery. “How did you cope?” was the question most asked. The answer was that we sometimes did not. Any couple presented with a set of preemies weighing collectively less than a
single full-term baby faces the following: weeks in neonatal intensive care, the anxiety of nasal tube feeding – and trying to express enough milk to go around, separation anxiety, countless medical complications, and sky-rocketing bills. In 1990, it cost roughly R75 000 to have a set of triplets at a private clinic. Today, this can cost more than R500 000, depending on the duration of neonatal high care.
Triplets seldom last the full 40-week gestation period and, as was the case with my tribe, may suffer apnea and bradycardia attacks (bradycardia is a slowing of the heart rate, usually to less than 80 beats per minute for a premature baby; it often follows apnea, which is very shallow breathing). At 30 weeks, a baby’s lungs are not fully developed and can collapse. With them wired up to
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illustration / PHOTOGRAPHS: shutterstock.com
invasion of a foreign country, says mother-of-three LES AUPIAIS.
monitors, shielded in incubators and too fragile to hold, I could only observe my little miracles as they struggled to survive. Medical science, and their innate will to live, pulled them through.
coming home Five to seven weeks later, when my triplets were discharged a week apart, the “fun” really began. Because of their birth weight differences and characters, they did not sleep in sync. It would be years before all three were lights out and down for six
coping mechanisms Establishing a fairly rigid routine is a priority. A mother of a single baby may be able to waive the rules but with multiples, you’re asking for triple trouble. Janine and Deon van Schalkwyk, of Cape Town, have an eight-and-a-half year-old daughter Dayle and six-year-old triplets, Gia, Kate and India. Born between 900g and 1,1kg, their daughters were in the neonatal ward for six weeks. “We were lucky the Life Kingsbury Hospital had established a good routine, which we
Establishing a fairly rigid routine is a priority. A mother of a single baby may be able to waive the rules but with multiples, you’re asking for triple trouble. hours. Instead it was two up, one down and a combination of that while we snatched a few hours of sleep in between. We went through 600 nappies a month, had 12 bottles of formula on standby, bought a new Kombi (which became a great “camp out” spot for the off-duty parent), prams, clothes, car seats... And all the while, you’re trying to keep your relationship on an even keel. Note to dads: that little TV remote may be stored for a long, long time and it might be an idea to invest in a PVR so you can watch sport later.
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Dayle, who reacted strongly a year after the triplets came home. “I think that it became a problem when Dayle’s friends wanted to play with the triplets rather than with her.” Making each child feel special, and encouraging them to spend “private time” with their mom, is something she believes you should do consciously. “I spend 20 minutes every day with one of the triplets and we do puzzles, read or play.” It helps that the Van Schalkwyks don’t refer to the three as “triplets”, but by their names, to avoid the sense that they are a single entity. The girls, who spent the first five years together at school,
now have their own friends and are in split classes.
together or not? Jill Bosman, a primary school teacher preparing for her Master’s degree in research pathology, believes that while teachers and parents often make that decision, it’s rarely, if ever, posed to the multiples, who may know best whether a split or a classroom buddy system would work for them. The biggest challenge comes when “one child underachieves, and school staff are faced with the decision as to whether or not to hold
managed to keep,” she says. Organised and level-headed, Janine believes she herself has become a lot calmer and accepting of the small hurricane that triplets cause. “I’m a lot better with the mess and I’m less controlling. So what if half the sandpit comes into the house?” The family live on a smallholding in Hout Bay and her mother-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law stay next door. There’s a brilliant support system (including cousins on tap), but Janine says her biggest challenge was her older daughter
only one of the multiples back a year,” she says. Being kept back may help the child academically, but Australian psychologist Dr David Hay noted in his research that the twin left behind will be constantly aware of being “less than the other” and this may even cause a lasting rift. And that’s too high a price to pay for any parent. In my case, James had ADHD and needed tutoring and two years at a top private remedial school, an investment that paid off as all three attended a top Model C high school and matriculated with a solid university entrance pass. The financial cost of James’s private and intense remedial work paled against the sense of achievement the triplets felt at starting tertiary education – albeit in wildly different directions – together. There is no doubt that twins and “trips” have a special bond that seems to strengthen over the years, even though they may be quite different. Twins Colin and Shaun Pitzer, 18, live in Johannesburg
support Apart from routine, support systems play a huge role in coping with multiples. Cape Town-based Estelle and Eben Greyling have three-and-a-half year old triplets; two girls, Charlie and Tessa, and a boy, Ruben; and an older daughter of nine, Leigh. Estelle carried her triplets to 38 weeks and delivered the three at a miraculous average of 2,2kg. Estelle has no parents on her side, but dear family friends (her parents’ age) have become willing and devoted surrogate grandparents. “Joan and Jannie see the triplets often, they fetch and carry, and take them to swimming lessons.” Eben is a helicopter pilot with a packed schedule, but he finds time to play with the children every day. Estelle groans at the noise levels, but she sensibly gives herself a day of “me” time every Saturday from eight to five to recharge her own batteries. She and Eben also make time for coffee and dinners out. Parents can be the weakest link if their relationship isn’t actively nurtured.
Having twins or triplets is about abundant life and an investment in love and nurturing that pays off a hundredfold. and while born an important two minutes apart (Colin is quick to claim “first child” status), they almost mirror each other’s characters and skills. “We excel in different subjects,” says Shaun, “but we always help each other out.” Their parents did dress them identically when they were young (a confession that elicits a collective groan), but today they have different hobbies, different circles of friends and opposite careers planned. Although fiercely bonded, they remain their own people.
double (or triple) trouble Multiples are sometimes naughtier simply because while one child may bore of a game of “search and destroy”, two or three children are likely to combine their energy and momentum. Johannesburg-based Marion Smith, the mother of two-year-old twins, speaks with wry amusement about an entire tea set thrown out the back door “because the sound of breaking cups and saucers was good”. My three “killed” our Kreepy Krauly by pushing cardboard wine sleeves through the pool net and choking the mechanism. But multiples also learn to share quickly among themselves and therefore with other children.
It is no surprise that these parents seem more organised and well-informed. Today, the multiple birth phenomenon is documented, researched and understood better. While no accurate SA statistics are pinpointing how many more multiples are born now as opposed to 20 to 25 years ago, fertility specialists are more successful and there is careful monitoring during pregnancy, which ensures that babies are watched closely and more frequently. The amniocentesis, to detect chromosomal abnormalities and fetal infections, has also improved the chances of a healthy multiple birth. But that’s the science. Having twins or triplets is about abundant life and an investment in love and nurturing that pays off a hundredfold. My triplets have just turned 21. At their celebration, they spoke about each other and the loving circle of family and friends who had collectively raised them. We realised, that amid the sweat and grind of routine, pranks, tantrums, teenage grumpiness and rebellion, celebrations, gifts and groundings, they have quietly, and with great love, logged our every moment of devotion, care and support. We knew then that we are the richer for it all. magazine cape town
tips and short cuts • M arion says she was told about a midwife who made herself a special breastfeeding cushion, placed at the right height, so that she could feed her twins simultaneously. This depends on how much milk you have available and with triplets, it may mean expressing what you can to give them those essential fatty acids and enzymes. But supplement with formula to keep up essential nutrition. • If you’re having trouble expressing milk yourself, Estelle suggests using a mechanical breast pump. • Establish a routine that continues from hospital to home. • Get help for the nights so you can survive the days. • Don’t panic and buy a bigger house before your multiples are born, as trips can share space for some time. There’s too much stress as it is. The extra room can wait. • If you have an older child or children, be careful to spend “special” time with them as they can become angry and resentful at the arrival of a “three-ringed circus” that hogs the spotlight. • Set aside a day or at least a half-day for yourself, or take a night away to reconnect with your husband. It’s not an extravagance, it’s a necessity. A deteriorating sex life can be the last straw in an already stressful home life. • Get expert advice on whether to split the multiples at school. It seems the rule of thumb is that under the age of five, twins and triplets need to be together for support and confidence. After the first five years, they are secure and their characters are established enough for them to make their own way. • Solving sibling rivalry: A mom of twins once told me that establishing a “King of the Week” routine stopped the bickering. This means one child (of twins or triplets) gets to rule the roost for a week – and choose things like sitting next to Mom or having the window seat. Try doing it in birth order. It’s an “official” rule that they understand. • For support and information, contact the South African Multiple Birth Association: 0861 432 432 or visit samultiplebirth.co.za
how it happens Identical twins or multiples are monozygotic, meaning that a single fertilised egg has split into two or more embryos. These twins share the same set of chromosomes and physical features and are the same sex. Non-identical twins or multiples, also known as fraternal, occur when two or more eggs are fertilised. The siblings do not have to be the same sex or share physical attributes. Non-identical twins are usually hereditary and are more common.
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building for the future Are we modelling the values we want our children to take with them into
y parents used to do their monthly shop on a tight budget when we were growing up. I remember, as a young teen, savouring each mouthful of my portion of the biscuit ration. I thought very little about the way we fairly apportioned treats until one day, a visiting friend remarked on how odd she found our having bought just one bar of nougat, which we then divided among us. It never seemed strange to me – that was just the way we did things. We shared, and we were grateful for the bit we got. Sharing was part of our family culture – something we did without thinking. I like the way Tim Stafford talks about family culture in his book Never Mind the
Joneses (Intervarsity Press). He refers to it as simply the “particular, peculiar way” each family does things. Family culture reflects the way our habits turn values into practical living. “You value friendliness? Your family culture will show it. You value money or your extended family? Your family culture will express these values,” says Stafford. “From family culture, children learn values before they can even talk. And they don’t forget them. Habits stick,” Stafford adds. Values might be traits such as being hardworking, generosity, contentment, caring for the environment, courage, creativity, honesty, inclusiveness, a positive attitude, patience, trust, humility or fairness. They provide a road map for our
children and are an inner guide to assist in decision-making. “Values are passed on from parents to children and reveal a parent’s beliefs and attitudes about living and relationships,” says Megan de Beyer, a Cape Town-based psychologist and parenting coach. Values shape both our character and our attitudes towards others and they determine our behaviour. “Values equip children to become the adults we want them to be,” adds Liz Dooley, director of the Family Life Centre in Johannesburg.
getting real with ourselves “I often ask my clients what sort of values they’d like their children to have and they say things like happy, positive, loyal,
responsible, respectful, motivated and hardworking,” says Dooley. “Then I ask them which ones they live out. Answering that is always a lot more challenging.” Each of us would do well to consider this same question. Our families are certain to benefit from a few minutes of self-reflection (I know ours has). Some other questions you might want to answer include: are the values we are modelling the things we are hoping to instil in our children? Are these the values and habits we would like them to take into adulthood? One of the challenges relating to values is that they’re more caught than taught. “A supportive, nourishing and cohesive family, who embraces the growth of their
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adulthood? ELAINE EKSTEEN considers this challenging question.
children, will inspire pro-social behaviour like kindness, sharing, consideration, honesty and loyalty. How they treat each other will transmit these values naturally,” says De Beyer. “Families who try and teach consideration, responsibility and gratitude with reminders and lectures, yet without demonstrating these in the home, will not pass on these values. I have seen many parents who bandy around the word ‘respect’; when they say ‘respect your mother’ they misuse the word. What they really mean is ‘do as you are told’. Children pick up the intentions and underlying message of the parent. A parent can’t expect honesty if they themselves lie or are deceitful,” says De Beyer. Our own behaviour and the things we purport to value need to equate if we are going to be effective in passing on values to our children.
chatting things through Johannesburg parents Molefe and Ntsiki Mputamputa have two daughters, who are 18 and nine years old, and a baby on the way. They believe that practising what
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they preach is a critical part of building values into their family. Equally important is communication. “We talk a lot about what we expect – our children know what we value. Although I have been working full time it’s been possible for me to take the children to school and fetch them again. The time we’ve spent together in the car has been invaluable – with nothing else to do, it’s the perfect opportunity to instil values,” says Ntsiki.
Values equip children to become the adults we want them to be. Dooley agrees that talking about our values is an important part of the process. “Although we teach our children by modelling what we believe,” says Dooley, “it’s also important to take opportunities to talk about our family values.” Let’s not be shy to name the things we value as a family, and discuss them: if you’re
reading a story to your child or watching a TV programme together, make use of appropriate opportunities to discuss your values.
there’s no one, right way Living out our values is, however, not a one-size-fits-all exercise. Each value can be learnt through dozens of different habits. We need to adopt the approach that works for the sort of people we are, taking into account “our individual personalities – our quirks, our personal preferences, our interests and our temperaments,” says Stafford. Hard work, for instance, can be made part of your family culture in a number of ways. Cape Town parents Tarryn and Anton Badenhorst, who have four boys between the ages of 12 and two, count this as one of their family’s core values. “Anton grew up in a home where if you could fix it or build it yourself that’s what you did, and this understanding about work has carried through into our family,” says Tarryn. “The boys have observed their father and Oupa doing many jobs together. As they’ve
grown older, they’ve been invited to help with various tasks in and around our home. The older three have helped to paint their bedrooms, unload bricks for a garden path, build a tree house and lift kitchen tiles. Their motivation to participate is that the tasks are fun, dirty and interesting, plus it’s time spent with Dad and, very often, Oupa too. Sometimes they earn a bit of money for their effort.” For the Mputamputas, sharing their own stories with their children has reinforced the value of hard work. “We
Our family culture reflects the way our family’s habits turn our values into practical living.
are both naturally hard workers; around the house and at our careers,” says Molefe. “Our children know our stories: they know things didn’t come to us easily and that it took a lot for us to be where we are today in terms of education and career. Our girls have grown to appreciate our journeys. Because of this, we teach them that they can’t have everything they want; they need to earn things. They also know that for the garden to look good, Dad has put in a lot of effort; for the house to look great, Mom has put in a lot of effort.” Chores can also help instil the value of hard work. Tarryn says, “From as young as two years old, we’ve taught our sons the importance of their contribution to family life. To encourage them, I’ve often said that
our family is a team and we all have a part to play. The boys have age-appropriate chores to do in the home – from emptying the dishwasher and picking up dog poo, to setting the table, emptying the kitchen bin and making their beds.” That said, another child might learn a good work ethic through playing a musical instrument. There are many more ways to model and teach the value of hard work. When instilling the value of generosity, for example, you might like to invite your children to help choose the charities you’d like to donate to as a family. Or pop an extra snack into their lunch box so they can share it with someone at school. Caring for the environment might involve your family recycling, picking up
litter, learning the names of birds and trees so as to appreciate them better, starting a vegetable garden… it really is up to you. Helping your child learn values can be a creative, fun process.
said if they save their own money for it they can buy it. Most often the thought of having to spend their own money quickly changes their desperate need for the toy,” she says.
cut yourself some slack
In teaching values you may need to go against the tide. “It’s very challenging to teach contentment to our children in today’s ‘I want, I want more, I want it now’ society. I strongly feel that for our children to learn this value, they need to see it modelled in our lives,” says Tarryn. “Contentment also grows out of an attitude of thankfulness. We encourage our boys to be thankful for the toys, clothes, and other things they do have, rather than focusing on what they don’t. On the few occasions the boys have wanted to get some more Lego or another car, we’ve
Perhaps the issue of imparting family values leaves you feeling a bit daunted. Don’t let it. Parenting is not about being perfect; it’s about being on a journey where we choose to do the best we can today, and then start again tomorrow with the same intention. It’s about being honest about when we get it wrong, which we will, and apologising when we need to. Why not take a look at the list of things you value and start small. Begin with something achievable, and you may find you’ve soon accomplished more than you expected.
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lasting friendships MARC DE CHAZAL wonders if his children’s friendships will stand the test of time.
o you still have a childhood friend, someone you shared marbles and break times with, and now share a beer or glass of wine with over the weekend while you talk about how big little Johnny is and how ridiculously expensive it is to raise children today? Friendship can be quite circumstantial, I agree. We grow up and move on, often far away, and we lose touch with the buddies we played with back in school. But then, we make new friends along the way to share our lives with. Family ties and friendship are integral to the human experience.
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As I’ve watched my children make friends, I often wonder which of their friendships will stand the test of time.
friendships I’m more curious about… the “best friends forever” vibe. One thing I have observed is that friendship tends
If the social media wave has not broken by the time they’re adults, it will be a lot easier for them to maintain ties with their childhood mates. If the social media wave has not broken by the time they’re adults, it will be a lot easier for them to maintain ties with their childhood mates. But it’s the closer
to become less fickle as children grow older. By the time the teenage years roll in, their peers take on a far greater importance. They’re more likely to keep
in touch with their high school buddies later in life. Whether friendship is momentary or lifelong, it seems more important that our children develop quality friendships than try to reflect the long list of Facebook friends they’ve notched up. Or, as the prominent American politician Samuel Johnston put it, “True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in their worth and choice.” Read more of Marc de Chazal’s weekly parenting blogs on childmag.co.za
are girls and boys wired differently? Does your daughter’s bent for Barbies, and your son’s for soccer, reflect biological gender differences, or social expectations and your parenting? By GLYNIS HORNING
developing differently Brain images show that girls’ brains develop more rapidly during early childhood, and boys’ brains are more “lateralised”, indicating that boys make greater use of one hemisphere during early childhood, says Bustin. “Activation in girls’ brains shows they use both hemispheres more – talk about multi-tasking.” At maturity, boys’ brains have a larger mass than girls’, but that doesn’t mean they are cleverer, she says. The differences seem linked to the presence of high levels of testosterone in boy babies. Research indicates that female brains are stronger in the left hemisphere, whereas in males the right hemisphere is generally stronger, bringing developmental differences, says Lameze Abrahams, principal psychologist at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital in Mitchells Plain, and senior lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health at the University of Cape Town. “Girls start using gestures, such as pointing and waving bye-bye, sooner than boys. They also tend to talk sooner (around 12 months versus 13 or 14 for boys), and by 16 months, girls use more words (around 100 versus 30). But the gap narrows, and by two-and-and-half both boys and girls use around 500 words.”
learning differently Studies show that girls and boys learn differently too. It seems the regions of the brain responsible for language and fine motor skills mature earlier in girls, while those responsible for certain cognitive abilities, such as spatial memory and visual-spatial skills, are believed to mature earlier in boys, says Bustin. Schools don’t always cater for these differences, and this can act against the interests of young boys, she says. “Boys learn kinaesthetically – they generally prefer to learn while moving or manipulating things.” Some schools have found that boys perform better academically when given regular short periods of activity between periods of formal learning. “The large motor activity is believed to activate parts of the brain that stimulate neural activity. I know from personal experience that if boys are sent out to complete a circuit of the playground, or the whole class runs on the spot and does star jumps, the boys are energised and return to work with greater industry and focus.”
Girls will be more likely to back down in a confrontation, while boys will experience a surge of testosterone and act out. Girls, on the other hand, are more likely to enjoy sitting, listening, and doing fine motor activities such as drawing and cutting. “This plays to the wishes (and minds) of their predominantly female teachers,” says Bustin. Abrahams says there are also biochemical differences at work: “Boys have less serotonin and oxytocin, hormones that play a role in promoting a sense of calm, than girls. That’s why it’s more likely that young boys will fidget and act impulsively.”
behaving differently Girls and boys express themselves differently, play differently and even throw tantrums differently, say both psychologists. “Because girls’ brains are wired differently, they may be able to talk about feelings and empathise more than boys, and be more aware of changes in tone of voice,” says Abrahams. When it comes to discipline, boys may not be as sensitive to other people’s feelings, and may not respond immediately when asked to stop bad behaviour, she adds.
They may also react differently in stressful situations. “Girls will be more likely to back down in a confrontation, while boys will experience a surge of testosterone and act out. Parents and teachers need to be aware of these differences and adapt their approach accordingly.” But times are changing, and today boys are being encouraged to communicate rather than suppress their emotions, says Bustin. “This is a real challenge for some, though.” And the understanding that boys respond to physical education can translate to physical discipline and a return to corporal punishment. “This would be short-sighted, because aggression begets aggression and retaliation. It’s also very difficult to teach children conflict resolution when they’ve been urged to solve problems physically; they’re no longer focused on the process, but on an instant short-term solution.” Both psychologists are impressed by the readiness of new millennium parents to learn more about child raising, and report that they are “much more enquiring” about different forms of education, learning, communication and discipline. The upshot, says Bustin, is that while there are undoubtedly social pressures about gender expectations, few parents now talk in generalisations. “They talk rather about their child and his or her unique personality and genetic inheritance, which is as it should be.”
do we stereotype girls and boys? Consciously or not, most parents hold certain expectations of each gender and reflect these in their interactions and the choices they make for their children. “Some parents are quite open to toy and play choices,” says Bustin. “Others may be guided by the desire to provide their child with clear boundaries as to gender orientation not from a homophobic point of view, but because of what they consider to be their responsibility to their child to give them direction.” In her experience, many parents find it difficult when boys dress as girls. “But this is a healthy and passing stage many boys enjoy. Boys often see it as a huge joke and show, through their behaviour, that they’re quite sure of their gender activity.” Bustin would prefer parents to relax on issues like this and focus on other stereotypes. “Our failure to develop the ‘feminine side’ of boys by encouraging them to be in touch with their feelings, or to stimulate girls in traditionally ‘male’ fields such as the sciences, is a failure in our duty to develop the whole child and equip them for life in general,” she says. Current research doesn’t show support magazine cape town
anadian couple David Stocker and Kathy Witterick whipped up a storm this year when they declined to disclose the sex of their newborn baby. They announced that they are raising the neutrally, and appropriately, named Storm as “genderless” until the child is old enough to “choose” which gender he or she is most comfortable with, unfettered by “social norms”. But how much do social norms influence gender, and how much is hardwired into a child by nature? It’s an old debate, being given new direction by advances in biological and psychological research. “Both social norms and neuro-physiological differences play a role in gender differentiation, and the relative contribution of each has only recently been understood – and continues to be discovered and to be controversial,” says Durban child and educational psychologist Dr Caron Bustin, a former pre-primary school principal. “This is especially so because these very differences can be manipulated according to our own bias or agenda.” Our opinions as parents are still as likely to be based on our own experiences and inclinations or social group as on our knowledge of medical, technological advances, she says. “Yet these advances have shown a consistent developmental pattern of neurological growth that supports the view that boys’ and girls’ brains do differ.”
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Girls and boys express themselves differently, play differently and even throw tantrums differently. for a “maths gene”, but there’s plenty of evidence that encouragement and practise improves maths and science skills for girls and for boys. Durban hairdresser Claire Graham had no qualms about gender stereotyping when she learnt three years ago that her third child would be a girl. Her sons, Murray and Ross, were then five and four. “And I was ready for something different,” she says. “It’s been such a treat. I did the whole pink thing – pink nursery, pink pram… Sophie knew from the start that pink was her colour, and she loves it.” But the differences between Sophie and her brothers are far deeper than a coat of pink paint, says Claire. “I’d roll a ball at her as I did for the boys, but she just wasn’t interested. I’d offer a doll, and she’d immediately start rocking it. Sophie’s always wanted necklaces and high heels, and she’d rather read books or sit colouring than scrum down with her
sports-mad brothers or tear around with them on bikes.” Johannesburg PA Kim Furweger, on the other hand, has “never been big on gender roles”. Blue, she says, is her favourite colour, and that’s what her daughter Gaby, 10, and her son Cameron, eight, both tend to wear. There are differences between the children, she says, but these are “much more to do with their personality than their gender”. She says, “I was told boys were more active and naughtier, yet Cameron’s easier; he’s a relaxed child and very focused, and he always finishes projects. Gaby rushes on to the next thing.” Kim encourages both children to “try everything”, and they do, sharing any possibly inherent gender strengths. “Cameron asks Gaby to teach him to knit,” she says with satisfaction, “and he gives her criticism when she plays soccer, not that she always appreciates it.”
spot the differences In general:
1 Talk earlier 2 Have better verbal and
1 Walk earlier 2 Have better spatial skills 3 Have better gross motor skills 4 Are attracted to motion 5 Are action-focused 6 Need to be on the move more 7 Are less easily startled by loud
listening skills 3 Have better fine-motor skills 4 Are attracted to faces 5 Are people-focused 6 Are able to sit quietly for longer 7 Are more easily startled by loud noises or voices 8 Are more cautious 9 Are less likely to be injured 10 Are less prone to certain developmental disorders (autism, attention deficit disorder, language disability)
noises and voices 8 Take more risks 9 Are more likely to be injured 10 Are more prone to developmental disorders mentioned under “girls”
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PHOTOGRAPHS: © Dave King, 2011
makes 4 portions • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
350g potatoes, peeled and cubed a generous knob of butter a little milk 30g Cheddar cheese, grated 30g butter 1 egg 1 onion, chopped 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar 30g flour 150ml fish stock 150ml milk 3 tablespoons Parmesan 3 tablespoons double cream 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped 150g cod, skinned and cubed 150g salmon, skinned and cubed 40g frozen peas 1 beaten egg, to glaze carrots to decorate, optional
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Budding MasterChefs will love to experiment with these tasty, simple recipes from ANNABEL KARMEL.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Boil the potatoes in boiling, salted water. Drain and mash them with the butter, milk and cheese and season to taste. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onion for 5-6 minutes, until it is soft. Add the white wine vinegar and boil for 1-2 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the flour to make a roux, stirring continuously. Gradually stir in the fish stock and milk over a medium heat, stirring all the time. Bring to the boil, stirring until it has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, cream and the chopped dill. Season to taste. Divide the fish and peas between 2 or 4 oval-shaped ovenproof dishes and pour over the sauce. Cover with the mashed potato. Brush the potato topping with a little beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes, and then finish off under a pre-heated grill for a few minutes, until it is golden. Decorate with some fish-shaped carrots to serve.
makes 20-24 meatballs tomato sauce • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 red onions, sliced • 1 clove garlic, crushed • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes • 1 tablespoon sun dried tomato purée • 2 teaspoons thyme, chopped • a good pinch of brown sugar meatballs • 250g lean minced beef • 50g apple, grated • 30g fresh breadcrumbs • 25g Parmesan • 1 egg yolk
First make the sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and soften for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and vinegar and gently fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, purée, thyme and sugar. Simmer the tomato sauce for 8-10 minutes before adding the meatballs. Put all the meatball ingredients together in a bowl. Season and mix using your hands to shape the mixture into 20-24 little balls. Drop them gently into the hot sauce. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water, according to the packet’s instructions. Drain and mix it with the tomato sauce. Tip the mixture into an ovenproof dish. Grate over the Cheddar cheese. Place under a hot grill for 3-5 minutes to brown the cheese.
• 250g fusilli pasta • 100g Cheddar cheese
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Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast, honey, cayenne pepper, mustard and just enough of the water to form soft dough. Transfer to a floured surface and knead slightly for about 5 minutes to make a smooth, pliable dough. Gradually knead the grated cheese into the dough (this will produce a slightly streaky effect). Shape the dough into balls or animal shapes and transfer them to a lined baking sheet. Cover them loosely with a tea towel and leave them to rise in a warm place for about an hour. Brush with beaten egg. If you are making buns, sprinkle the tops with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or grated cheese. Add currants for eyes on the animal shapes. Transfer them to an oven pre-heated to 200°C and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. The undersides should sound hollow when you tap them. Leave on a wire rack to cool. makes 6 rolls or animals • 250g strong plain flour • generous pinch of salt • half a teaspoon or half a sachet of fast-action dried yeast • half a teaspoon honey • pinch of cayenne pepper • 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder • 200ml warm water • 60g mature Cheddar cheese, grated • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated to • • • • •
decorate 1 egg, beaten sesame seeds poppy seeds Cheddar cheese, grated currants
about the book Bestselling UK author Annabel Karmel’s latest book, Annabel’s Kitchen: My first cookbook (Ebury, R215) will get even fussy eaters excited about food. With her penguin helpers, Jimmy and Pearl, Annabel shows aspiring cooks how to make nutritious and tasty dishes from around the world. The recipes are easy to follow, with step-by-step instructions and colour photographs. Look out for the handy tips offered with each recipe. The book is available at all good bookshops across the country. Annabel will be in SA this month to promote her books and her range of baby food. Read our interview with her about nutrition on 11 October on childmag.co.za
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Finding a toy that is entertaining and educational is not easy, especially if your
have often walked the aisles of toy stores searching for a plaything that won’t be discarded a few moments after unwrapping, but will instead inspire play. In my case, the recommended age guides on the toy box labels offer little help. My son Matt has a rare genetic condition called Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome. So, when he was younger and I was still struggling to come to terms with his diagnosis, these labels would just remind me of how different he was from other children. Added to this emotional turmoil was the stress of knowing that the right toys are an important part of creating a learning environment. With Matt’s syndrome and developmental delay, I felt pressured to give him all the help possible to reach his
potential. So what should have been a fun outing to the toy shop would turn into a stressful and emotional experience. Now, nearly five years later, I’ve found greater peace with Matt’s diagnosis, and I’ve learnt a few things about choosing toys that make the shopping experience less daunting.
I found great help from Cape Town occupational therapist Mush Perrins. “Play relates to the level of skill that the child has at that time in the various areas of development, or the activity the child wants to learn or perfect, such as wanting to ride a tricycle and then riding it well,”
There is no guarantee, despite the best advice, that your carefully chosen toy will enthral and educate. get professional help I know this sounds a bit extreme. I mean, how hard can it be to choose a toy? But children do much of their developing through play, so it is a crucial decision.
she explains. “So play is not necessarily related to the age of the child.” Once Perrins had assessed Matt, she was able to identify his stage of development, what play and toys would
interest him and more importantly, what he would be able to do. I’m sure Matt is like most children – when he realises that something is too difficult for him, he just gives up. I remember Matt was at first intrigued by balls, but when he realised how tricky it was to catch one, he preferred to play with something else. Perrins recommended that we get a ball attached to elastic that could hang from a beam. That way it would be easier for him to control. She couldn’t have been more right – Matt loved it. He spent hours pushing the ball, then hitting it with a bat before he eventually started throwing and kicking this ball. This built up his skills and confidence to start engaging with all types of balls.
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child has different needs. JACQUI TOOKE offers advice based on her experiences.
learn while you play
choose multi-dimensional toys Opt for the kind of toy that is pitched at the level your child is currently at, so he or she will be confident to play with it from the word go; but make sure it can also be used for more complex play as your child matures and hones his or her skills. Duplo, the largersized Lego blocks, are a great example. At first Matt was happy just to build towers, then he progressed to making and playing with aeroplanes and cars. Now he loves playing “pretend house” with the Duplo people. This toy has really grown with him as his interests and abilities have developed.
test drive toys if possible When we visit friends, sit in doctors’ waiting rooms, or interact with a therapist, I watch to see which toys Matt chooses, and which ones really capture his attention. If possible, I ask if we can borrow the toy
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for a couple of days. I observe his play, trying to understand what exactly intrigues him, and I make a written note of it. When I am next toy shopping, I have some clues to guide me. Often, this has resulted in us choosing a captivating toy. Children with different needs are, at the end of the day, just that – children. And as with all children, they have likes and dislikes. There is no guarantee, despite the best advice, that your carefully chosen toy will enthral and educate. Looking in Matt’s toy boxes, there are definitely a few items that have rejection issues. Don’t be too hard on yourself if some playthings are discarded like stinky socks. Rather spend your energy celebrating the better toy choices you have made. I am left in no doubt when Matt is besotted with a toy because it goes everywhere with him.
Match the toy to the ability of your child so you don’t cause frustration with a too difficult toy or boredom with one that is just too easy. Many toys often enhance more than one area of development. • Gross motor development Big muscles are strengthened by playing with wagons, riding a bike, climbing frames, sweeping a broom and jumping with a skipping rope. • Fine motor development Work the small muscles in hands, and improve hand-eye coordination with puzzles, stacking blocks, balls, threading toys or play dough. • Sensory development Stimulate the five senses with musical instruments, touch-and-feel books and sand or water play toys. • Social development Encourage your child to interact with others, by using dolls, puppets and dress-up clothes. • Intellectual development and creativity Expose your child to various art materials, books and board games that incorporate logic, sequencing, reasoning and eventually problem-solving. • Language development Use any toy that invites conversation.
a testing time The range of tests now available to pregnant moms can seem more daunting than reassuring. Which should you consider? GLYNIS HORNING reports.
hatever your fitness, family history and age, the excitement of pregnancy can come tinged with a quiet concern – will my baby be healthy? Having my first at 39 and second at 42, my concern was less quiet. Risk of a baby with Down’s syndrome (DS) soars from around 1 in 1 400 pregnancies before age 25 to 1 in 350 at 35, and 1 in 32 at 45, and other rarer chromosomal abnormalities also increase with age. Today a slew of non-invasive tests can give early indications of your risk for problems such as these, but only amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) give a definite diagnosis. They also, however, carry a slight risk of miscarriage. The choice can be challenging, especially when you are older: to risk having a special-needs child or no child at all (as fertility plummets with age)? For some,
with DS was not high, and she proceeded with confidence. “When she was born I wanted to hold and feed her immediately to bond, but doctors whisked her away,” says Marcelle. “They spoke to my partner, and an hour later he told me our daughter had DS. Then they sedated me – the hospital has had moms who ducked out and left their babies!” In retrospect, Marcelle believes she should have been offered an amniocentesis after the blood test. “They told me my risk was about one in 2 224, which I learned subsequently was not that low.” Yet she’s not sure what she would have done if an amnio had confirmed a baby with DS. “I like to think we wouldn’t have terminated. It’s been hard with our daughter, but I’m bonding more and more with her, and her dad and I can’t imagine life without her – he’s been amazing with her.”
like my husband and me, it was relatively simple. After many contented years of just the two of us, we wanted a healthy child or no child. I had an amnio, and in due course, thankfully, two healthy boys. But while I’m one of many women grateful for the tests available today, the feeling is not shared by all. Three years ago, Durban school shuttle operator Marcelle Riley was happily pregnant. Just 31, healthy and with no family history of problems, she was unconcerned, and only went for a routine blood test at 19 weeks (the triple blood screening). She was told it showed her chance of having a baby
When Marcelle became pregnant with their second child last year, people expected her to opt for all possible tests. Yet the only one she and her partner chose to have was a scan at 15 weeks. “After our first baby, we knew we wouldn’t terminate, whatever the result,” she explains. “We only had that scan because the GP suggested we see how the pregnancy was progressing. The measurements were all okay, but I was nervous the day I gave birth. Jessica was fine, and she and her sister are both doing well.” “All prospective parents need to know what tests they are going for in pregnancy, magazine cape town
We knew we wouldn’t terminate – Marcelle Riley, whatever the result. mother of a child with Down’s syndrome
be counselled before doing them, and consider what they will do in the event of a positive screen,” says Durban fetal specialist Dr Ismail Bhorat. “Every pregnant woman is at risk of genetic mutation irrespective of age – if age alone is used as a screening test, the detection rate for Down’s syndrome is only 30 percent.” Although substantial research is being done in the area of DS, it is not yet treatable, he says, and a termination will be offered. For those patients who don’t want to terminate, “knowing the diagnosis will give them time to prepare for the outcome,” he says. “All children who have Down’s syndrome are mentally challenged, though severity varies, and all will require special-needs care.” Caroline Willis, who heads Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA) KZN branch, and has a daughter of 18 with DS, agrees. “Our organisation is neither for nor against termination,” she says. “Every parent needs to be equipped to make an informed decision for themselves, because it’s one they must live with for the rest of their lives.”
better on the big screen? Bhorat advocates that two main risk assessments be routinely performed in pregnancy, both non-invasive. First is an 11- to 14-week screen using a combination of nuchal translucency scan and nasal bone determination (both Down’s syndrome markers, see “testing the tests”), with a first trimester maternal blood test for beta human chorionic gonadotropin (BHCG) and papp-a (placental hormones), indicators for DS, Edward’s and Patau syndromes. “This will give you an accuracy of 90 percent for a five percent false positive rate – an exceptionally high accuracy rate for a non-invasive test,” he says. Benoni magazine cape town
gynaecologist Dr Mogi Lingham adds that as well as checking for chromosome abnormalities, the 11- to 14-week screen “also provides the most pertinent maternal and fetal risk assessment”, and allows for the identification of pregnant women at high medical risk. “It provides the possibility to detect adverse pregnancy outcomes, including intrauterine growth retardation, pre-eclampsia, stillbirth and pre-term delivery. These early diagnoses can help doctors to counsel patients and manage potential adverse outcomes.” The second main assessment is an 18- to 20-week congenital anomaly screen, a physical screen of the various organ systems combined with a genetic sonogram, which is a soft marker screen for chromosomal anomalies. The scan and the first trimester screen can be combined for a Down’s syndrome detection rate of around 95 percent, says Bhorat. If a patient misses the 11- to 14-week screen, he says, the triple blood test for alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), unconjugated estriol (uE3) and BHCG is used with an accuracy rate of 60 to 65 percent (see “testing the tests”). “This is the most commonly used screening test, but the 11- to 14-week screen is far superior.” Only if results indicate a high risk of abnormality (greater than one in 300), are invasive procedures recommended to confirm diagnosis – chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis. Some fetal units also offer a noninvasive option. If a patient presents with a high-risk Down’s screen and doesn’t want invasive testing, a genetic sonogram is performed at 18 to 20 weeks looking for markers for DS, says Bhorat. The main ones are nuchal fold (see under “testing the test”), nasal bone, echogenic intracardiac focus (a bright spot seen October 2011
All prospective parents need to know what tests they are going for, be counselled before doing them, and consider what they will do in the event of a positive screen. in the baby’s heart indicating greater density), dilated kidneys, hyperechogenic bowel (a bright spot seen in the bowel), and short humerus and short femur (upper arm and leg bones). “As you can see, there are many options,” he concludes, “and the well-informed patient will choose what suits her.”
testing the tests ultrasound what is it? Sound waves show an image that is used to establish the age and number of fetuses, and their size, position and possible abnormalities, such as spina bifida. when’s it done? All pregnant women are generally offered a dating scan in the first eight weeks, and a congenital anomaly scan around 18 to 20 weeks. Some are also offered a nuchal translucency (NT) scan around 11 to 14 weeks. This assesses the amount of fluid behind the neck of the fetus, an indicator of Down’s syndrome. how safe is it? There’s no hard evidence of scans affecting a baby. how accurate is it? About 90 percent for DS, says Bhorat. alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) screening or triple blood screening what is it? A sample of your blood is taken to test for levels of AFP, a protein produced and excreted by the
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fetus. A baby with an open spine (spina bifida) will excrete more, one with DS will excrete less. The newer triple screen tests for AFP plus two hormones, unconjugated estriol (uE3) and BHCG, are also markers for abnormalities. when’s it done? 16 to 19 weeks how safe is it? Completely how accurate is it? 60 percent for a five percent false positive rate, if the high-risk cutoff is set at one in 300, says Bhorat. “That is, if our patient population is 100 000 and the incidence of DS across the board is one in 1 000 (actually the incidence in the general population is one in 800), then this test will pick up 60 babies with it while some 5 000 women will test falsely positive – meaning healthy babies will be falsely determined to have an abnormality. The false positive readings can result from miscalculated birth dates, carrying multiple fetuses and other benign factors. chorionic villus sampling (CVS) what is it? A needle is inserted through the wall of your uterus or through your vagina and cervix, and a tissue sample taken from the placenta to test for DS and other disorders (though not spina bifida). when’s it done? 11 to 13 weeks (first trimester) how safe is it? There’s a less than two percent risk of miscarriage. Limb reduction defects have been reported, says Bhorat, but only if the test is done before 11 weeks. He
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puts risk of complications at under one percent if done in an experienced unit. how accurate is it? 99,9 percent amniocentesis what is it? An ultrasound scan shows how your baby lies, and a needle is inserted through your abdominal wall and draws fluid from the amniotic sac. It tests for DS, spina bifida and other fetal problems such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. It can establish the sex of your baby; important if you carry a sex-linked genetic disorder. when’s it done? 15 to 20 weeks; results can take two to four weeks by which time you may be mid-pregnancy. how safe is it? A recent study gives risk of miscarriage as less than two percent. Dr Bhorat puts risk of complications at 0,5 percent if performed in an experienced unit. how accurate is it? 99,9 percent cordocentesis what is it? Fetal blood is taken by inserting a needle through your abdominal wall into the umbilical vein, a highly specialised procedure. It can detect DS, infection with diseases such as rubella and toxoplasmosis, and anaemia. when’s it done? After 18 weeks (second trimester) how safe is it? Risk of miscarriage is under two percent how accurate is it? 99,9 percent
questions to consider Depending on where you go, some tests are offered routinely to all pregnant women or those at high risk of genetic problems such as Down’s syndrome and spina bifida, but all tests can be requested. Before deciding on any test, ask yourself and your doctor: • How reliable is it? • How risky is it? • Why am I having it? • If a problem is detected, would it change what I plan to do? (Else, why have it?) • Would I terminate or prepare for raising a special-needs baby? Think through what both options would entail. Speak to your doctor and to support groups such as DSSA on 0861 369 672, email@example.com or visit downsyndrome.org.za.
CHILD MAGAZINE chats to the experts about successful co-parenting and finds out how a parenting plan can help you navigate raising your children with your ex.
a team is to make the switch from being a couple to being apart while still collaborating as parents. The trick lies in separating their personal dispute from the urgent task at hand: co-parenting the children with minimal risk of exposure to conflict.”
mediation before litigation According to section 33 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 (as amended by Act 41 of 2007), promulgated on 1 April 2010, co-parents who are experiencing difficulties in exercising their respective responsibilities and rights must seek mediation through a family advocate, social worker, psychologist or other suitably qualified person in order to agree on a parenting plan, before seeking court intervention or litigation. This applies to parents currently going through a separation or divorce as well as parents who may have been apart for many years but are struggling to co-parent successfully. Johannesburg-based senior family law attorney and former family advocate Ivanda Venter feels that for parents who are not able to find common ground, mediation offers a lower risk of conflict than pitting parents’ lawyers against one another in the once typical courtroom custody battle. She comments, “The adversarial system has the potential to undermine communication magazine cape town
ocus on the children. It seems like such a simple concept. But as any parent who has been through a relationship split will tell you, the reality is that in times of relationship conflict the focus is often taken off parenting as both adults try to deal with their own emotions, frustrations and disappointments. Beth*, a mother of three, has been divorced for six years. She describes the reality of those early months. “You are crazy with grief and turmoil, your children are confused and so sad, often feeling guilty for a divorce that they think is their fault. Throw in a move, shifts in routine and possibly even an insecure new spouse, and it’s an emotional war zone. In our case, parenting was not even discussed. It just barrelled along with every other issue in the tumble dryer of life.” Many children get caught in the crossfire as the relationship between mom and dad deteriorates, eventually leading to a split. Durban-based educational psychologist and co-founder of The Mediation Company, Steve Mack says, “Children are always affected by a relationship breakdown between their parents but the biggest factor that causes lasting damage is any ongoing unresolved parental conflict. Mack’s business partner, mediator and social worker Mark Collett adds, “The greatest challenge for couples who were previously
and to create hostility and rigid position taken by the parties. It causes conflict to escalate and most of the time the children are lost in the process. The courts are pro mediation and the Children’s Act is also for an approach that is conducive to conciliation and problem solving.”
religious upbringing they will have, what schools they will go to and where they will spend holidays. It may even detail what medication the children take, how parents will communicate and how they will introduce new partners to the children. Typical statements in the plan may include
Remember, when one of you tries to win, the children are likely to lose. Counselling and educational psychologist Anne-Marie Rencken-Wentel, vice-chairperson of the South African Association of Mediators (SAAM) and founding member of the Institute of Family Mediators says, “South African research shows that children whose parents agree between themselves cope best; children whose parents mediate do well but children’s whose parents litigate are most negatively affected.
a mediated parenting plan Parenting plans are a relatively new concept in South Africa, but are already popular in countries such as Australia and USA. Collett explains, “With a mediated parenting plan, we are focusing on the best interests of the child and not necessarily on the parent’s rights and wishes. It’s about finding a unique solution that works for your family.” A parenting plan is a written agreement, drafted between both parents with the help of a neutral third party, usually a social worker or psychologist, acting as a mediator. A parenting plan is a tangible co-parenting solution for parents who may be in the middle of a relationship split as well as those who have already been living separately for years but are now dealing with new issues such as the introduction of new spouses, a child wanting to change primary residence or any new cause of conflict in the family. The mediator will explore all aspects of family life with a focus on what is best for the children and, together with the parents, will determine things such as which home will become the primary dwelling, how often and when each parent will see the children, what magazine cape town
“we will encourage our children to phone the other parent each day” or “we agree not to speak negatively about the other parent in front of the children”. Children are required by law to be canvassed whilst drafting the plan so they have opportunity to give their input on who they live with, how much time they spend with each parent, where they spend special occasions as well as any other areas in which they feel they would like their input to be considered. Obviously the age of the child will determine the level of input required. Once the plan is finalised, it is signed and should be reviewed as the children’s developmental needs change. This can range from every three months to every two years.
win-win Mack comments, “Where the whole litigious process is win-lose, the beauty of mediation is that it’s win-win. It’s no longer a case of can my lawyer spit further than yours. It’s about sitting down and getting rid of all the angst and aggression. It’s usually very successful.” Even though parenting plans are mediated out of court, parents can choose to lodge a signed plan with the office of the family advocate or have it made into an order of the court, which then legalises the plan, allowing its contents to be policed and ensuring that any major breach in the agreement could result in prison time. This may sound extreme but for some parents, especially those in high conflict breakups and in cases of domestic violence, having a higher level of accountability is required. “For some parents, lodging with the court is an absolutely necessity whereas for most parents, they will draft a plan, sign it and just stick to it without ever referring to it again,” says Mack.
“Ironically, there is a flip side to these parenting plans,” says Collett. “Often one parent will be bitter that the other parent is now more involved in parenting than they were in the relationship. From that point of view parenting plans are quite transformational. They often make for better parenting after a separation or divorce.” Mack agrees, “I have counselled a few different couples where the mom has said ‘If only you were this involved with the children when we were married, we would not have gotten divorced in the first place’.” Food for thought, indeed.
tips for successful co-parenting It’s not about you. Remember, when one of you tries to win, the children are likely to lose. Put your own feelings aside and make a decision based on what is best for your child, even if that outcome is not best for one parent. Try to look past your broken relationship. The divorce may have ended your marriage but you are still a family, albeit a split one.
Reduce conflict. In every situation, the desired outcome is the one that offers the lowest risk of exposure to conflict for the children. This is a good rule of thumb for co-parenting. Agree not to argue in front of the children. “Children are perceptive of their parents’ emotions. A child can feel tension even if no harsh words are spoken,” says Mack. Know your children. Be sensitive to your children’s fears and concerns. “Be in touch with your children’s emotions,” says Mack. “That does not mean pandering to them, but be conscious of what they are feeling.” Use a businesslike approach to parenting and your ex. Keep communication brief yet polite. Think of yourselves as partners in a business where the primary focus is raising happy, healthy children. Keep your emotions at bay. Communicate. “Develop a style of proper, regular communication. You have to communicate directly with your spouse; don’t talk through lawyers or the children. There has to be dialogue. And it includes listening,” says Mack. Some parents find the use of email or notebooks useful. That’s okay. The main aim is to keep the direct channels of communication open so that the children don’t feel like go-betweens. Be wise about handovers. These are notorious for conflict. “It’s alarming the number of times dads arrive at handovers and the mom is waiting with the sheriff of the court to issue a summons for maintenance. This is unacceptable,” says Collett. “School is an excellent handover point. Dad fetches them on a Friday and drops them back on a Monday.” Negotiate special occasions early. “A week before a wedding or party is the wrong time to negotiate the details.
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The ideal time to negotiate big holidays and birthdays is at separation, even if you don’t anticipate conflict,” says Collett. Seek mediation. If you find your conflict levels rising, seek professional mediation from a family advocate, social worker or psychologist. “The exposure to conflict is what leaves the
and they may be very upset once they realise they have forgotten to acknowledge the special occasion. Respect mutually agreed upon boundaries. These include times to call and who will go to school meetings. Changing the rules without discussing will cause conflict.
The greatest challenge for couples who were previously a team is to make the switch from being a couple to being apart while still collaborating as parents. long-term scars,” says Collett. “When there is strong risk of exposing children to conflict, you need to re-evaluate.” Routines and discipline should be similar. It is expected that each home will have variances in routine and rules but try and stick to mutually agreed upon guidelines. “When you have a completely different set of rules in the two homes it is harmful to the child,” says Mack. “Set broad-based boundaries and rules for the children. You can’t force people to parent a certain way but a level of consistency between parents is desirable.” Respect your children by respecting each other. Your children love you both. Respect each other’s privacy. Don’t speak negatively about the other parent in front of your children. This puts the child in the awkward position of feeling as though they have to choose – and they don’t. Remember birthdays and special holidays. Help your children to choose gifts for your ex. This may be difficult but, remember, the gift is not from you, it is from your child
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Compromise and pick your battles. You won’t always agree with your ex so try to find the middle ground. Raise the issues that really count and let the smaller ones go. Chances are you will need your ex to overlook a few things as well, so be flexible where you can. Discuss financial issues when the children are not around. “Money can be addressed in a parenting plan by focusing on the child’s needs and the ability of the respective parents to meet those needs,” says RenckenWentel. She cautions against establishing a good parentbad parent situation when it comes to finances. Handle the issue of new partners sensitively. Introducing a new partner can leave children feeling betrayed or anxious and can upset the balance of a family who are managing to co-parent successfully. Be sensitive to your child’s feelings, keep the communication open between all parties and as soon as conflict levels rise, seek mediation. *Name has been changed
helpful sites For more information visit FAMSA (Family And Marriage Society of South Africa): famsa.org.za The Children’s Institute: ci.org.za SAAM (South African Association of Mediators): saam.org.za Office of The Family Advocate: justice.gov.za Centre for Child Law: centreforchildlaw.co.za
the simple life NADINE TEDDER and her family packed one bag each and set sail for a four-month cruise in Madagascan waters. In these emails home, she describes what it’s like to “live the dream”.
Pioneer, our home anchored at Vezo Island Bruce, Nadine, Tristen and Tadzio at “Nim’s Island” beach camp at sunset
We give soccer balls to local children
The children sailing with a friend in a pirogue PHOTOGRAPHS: Nadine tedder / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
e ean – with pearly-whit adrift in the Indian Oc Ark ’s ah No a – r sca ga n to go ge island of Mada ing the dream”. The pla Ahoy there, from the lar . Yes, here we are “liv sea ue -bl ice s an d an r s nut palm white, with ou friend beaches, swaying coco glass or two of crispy a er ov nt, me mo lb ar-old son hatched in a light bu Tristen and their 10-ye on a cruise was first take our seven-year-old o als uld wo last we ed We decid istics were left to the Blossom and Wojek. nature, most of the log n ma hu is As ay. yw of this kind. ter and brother an eded for an adventure Tadzio, who are like sis preparation that was ne of k tas oth mm ma ated the m Durban a few days minute. We underestim ers who had set sail fro oth the et me to r sca d us, across r way to Madaga to take our baggage, an d Tristy and I winged ou he ac att rt ca a h wit cow) ge s a zebu (Madagascan Safari Vezo beach lod earlier. Waiting for us wa was to transfer us to ich wh t, oa db ee sp h to our awaiting the very low-tide beac we aughter quality time as at Anakao. red special mommy-d sha I d an ty Tris l. iva ”, anchored off the yacht’s arr board our new “home Here we were to await en. Soon we were on ildr ch al loc the h wit d played soaked up the sun an rgeous snorkel. seafood: over the side for a go fting past, selling their Vezo Island, flopping -catching pirogues wa eye the at l nt. rve ma e We gun! wns for the sam amou The simple life has be six and 2kgs of big pra d fee to gh ou en is t with the ht Dorado fish tha boat, usually at sunset R20 for a freshly caug ens off the stern of the pp ha It d. she se eri ch be n ch to g into the ocea to rin Our bath routine is mu bodies, before jumpin d me ea -cr sun r ou lesson for the ckdrop. We scrub ly. It has been a great fiery red ball as the ba , but we use it sparing ard bo on ji ker ma ter tion wa balls, Tristen and Tad off. We have a desalina ool to donate soccer sch al loc the it vis we community. nserve water. When good about helping the children on how to co d facilities. We all feel ite lim d an ms oo ssr artan cla are amazed at their Sp day. , far outweigh on board, briefly, each ne ling in a foreign country vel Our schoolwork is do tra of art the d an , ng g the children are learni route, at Nosy (meanin Frankly, the life skills our way up north. En ng rki wo wly slo are h four children, ademic work. We repid French family wit int the importance of ac an h wit up et me d an me humpback whales island) Hao, we spot so ote island. rem t en times we ge on this magnific lod a ng ildi their country and at all bu are o wh It’s a pleasure to be in ly. nd frie d an e ntl ge tting our plo le are navigation, The Madagascan peop ally try their hand at stic sia thu en en ildr ch private tropical overnight sail, the their own “base” on a ild feel safe. On our first bu o als ey Th e. urs co d and steering a compass fronds, wood, shells an position on the chart the children use palm ts, hu ir the t ruc nst co ys, as we drop the local fishermen n flows for a full two da tio island. After watching ina ag im eir Th le. ger sca nd. the structures on a lar a scene from Nim’s Isla fishing line to replicate sunset. It really is like at m the t llec co d an d technology at in the morning ildren have not misse ch them off on their island e Th . Be sy No of not Island just off the coast from shells, they have Home is now Sakatia les and other objects ng ba , rks ma ok bo es, to create necklac all. With plenty of time nute. been bored for one mi nders” e Loads of love, “th isla
Jonty Wright and DJ, a French friend, jumping off the bow at Sakatia Island
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Tristen on her surfboard
Michaela Wright and Tristy on the bow A local Malagasy girl embroidering
Ahoy there. It is the beginn ing of August wrenching go and we have odbye to our had to say a sh very tearful, he ip m at es Blossom, have a very un artWojtek and Ta ique friendshi dj i. p A s mentioned, an d life on boar We needed to we d together fo get into a be r so long was tter routine w just fabulous had largely be ith Tr is . ten’s schoolw en neglected ork once they for the last fe ha d with Tadji on le w ft. It weeks, as th board. The da ere was just ys have evolve too much ac generally hang d tion in to quality time th ing out. Bruce at is spent re does the scho ad in navigation an g, creating, lear olwork with he d knots. ning and r twice a wee k, and part of We visit seve their curriculum ral reserves, in is cluding Nosy a graceful turt Tanikely Marin le. At Lokobe e R es er ve, where I ge Nature Reser creepy to see t to glide unde ve we do a ju a Madagasca ngle walk and rwater with r tr spot a noctur ee boa curled ar of course ther nal spor tive le ound a branch e are the cham mur. It is that we are ab eleons and gr out to walk un bananas, muc een lizards. B de h to Tristen’s r, an la d then ck lemurs jump delight. Our fri out at us and letters, magaz ends, the Wrig w e ines and post hts, have com feed them from home. A e to visit and rushing to sign fter all, there we are thrilled is not one En off now as th to receive glish publicat ey are flying ho ion here of an We plan to he me tomorrow y sort. I am ad north to a . new area, the Look forward Mitsio Archipel to seeing you ago, and we w all when we ge ill keep you po Loads of love t home. sted. Deenie, Bruce and Tristy
When we return to Nosy Sakatia, we find many more boats anchored there. Tristy befriends Millie from Australia, Zoe and Arthur from France, and Nadine and Devon from Durban. They meet up on the beach or paddle over to each other’s boats once the schoolwork is completed for the day. The pressure is on for Tristy to finish the term’s curriculum and the Madagascan project she has embarked on. It’s not so easy to apply oneself when turtles are popping up to gasp some air alongside you and pleasure boats are whizzing past at high speeds. We then up anchor again to
Tristen and Bruce at Tsarabajina
visit the Mitsio group of islands. Nosy Ankarea thrills us with its pristine beaches smothered in shells. Snorkelling the turquoise waters of Nosy Tsarabajina is unforgettable. And so, with our time in Madagascar marching on, we have to face the fact that our “dream” is coming to an end. It makes me emotional to think that this simple, uncluttered life will soon be over. On our last day we awake to stunning weather, windless conditions and clear water. We soak
up every bit of water sports activity and fun we can handle and, of course, sneak in a final snorkel with a fabulous lionfish and giant manta ray sighting. We finish off our adventure with a candlelit dinner in the cockpit. I have a huge lump in my throat as we wave goodbye to the Pioneer; she has given us a truly good time. Reality hits when we are pulled aside at the airport – our visas have expired. We play dumb and after much Malagasy mumbling, we are stamped out. Phew, a close call. At the same time, we are excited to be heading back to our beautiful home and our muchloved cats. It feels good to have accomplished our mission, most of all it has gone smoothly and without a hitch. The last time Bruce and I had lived the life on boats was 1994. Now that we have a child, the emphasis is so different, with worries about safety at sea and staying healthy. But the quality family time we have enjoyed was more than anyone could wish for. Tristy fast became a
natural sailor and an enthusiastic crew member. Schoolwork was a breeze; she did the term’s curriculum with ease and learnt so much in every other way. All in all it was a huge success, which will hopefully be repeated. Next time, it will be a oneyear round-the-world trip. We sleep soundly on our first night home, even though we miss the water lapping on the hull. And it is weird to open up the fresh water tap, liberally run a deep, hot bath and flush a toilet with a quick push of a handle. Bonne nuit, thank you Madagascar for your awesome country and wonderful people. We will be back. Loads of love, the newly arrived landlubbers
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Schoolwork on board
Tristy arriving at Nosy Tsarabajina
quick facts • M adagascar lies off the southeast coast of Africa, and is the fourth largest island in the world. • It is home to five percent of the world’s plant and animal life. • Cyclone season is from January to March. • The official languages are Malagasy, French and English. • There has been political unrest since 2009, so visitors are urged to be cautious. • South Africans need a visa to visit.
dealing with difference – your A-Z guide A directory of conditions and disorders, and where to find help and support. Compiled by TAMLYN VINCENT.
727 9558 or Johann: 082 461 2985, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit angelkids. webs.com Angelman Syndrome in South Africa Facebook group The Angelman Syndrome Forum visit angelmanforum.org Apert Syndrome Children born with this congenital disorder usually have a malformed skull, face, hands and feet. Contact Cranio Kids Robyn Rondi: 082 601 8585, email@example.com or visit craniokids.co.za Online community forum visit aboutface.ca Children’s Craniofacial Facebook group Apraxia This disorder affects the ability of children to communicate and control fine and gross motor movements. Contact Apraxia Kids visit apraxiakids.org
Asperger’s syndrome This condition falls into the autism spectrum and affects children’s ability to socialise and communicate. Contact ASCON Support Group (Asperger Connections) Avril: 021 715 5255 or firstname.lastname@example.org Auditory Processing Disorder Children have difficulty processing and interpreting the sounds they hear, rather than having difficulty with their hearing. Contact I Can Development Centre (for telephonic advice on block therapy and inclusive education) Ali Smeeton: 084 605 0821 or visit ican-sa.co.za Autism A developmental disorder that affects the brain’s development of social and communication skills. Contact Autism South Africa 011 484 9909, email@example.com or visit autismsouthafrica.org
Autism Western Cape 021 557 3573, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit autismwesterncape.org.za Bipolar disorder Children experience moods, feelings, thoughts and behaviour that range from extreme highs to extreme lows. Contact Western Cape Bipolar Support Association southern suburbs Jay: 072 424 1812 or Michelle 082 412 4448 Western Cape Bipolar Support Association northern suburbs Jay: 072 424 1812 or Michelle 082 412 4448, info@ bipolar.co.za or visit bipolar.co.za Online support group bipolarsa.org Central Auditory Processing Disorder See Auditory Processing Disorder
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ADHD Children experience difficulties in certain behaviour, including inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Contact Adhasa 011 888 7655, info@ adhasa.co.za or visit adhasa.co.za Eversdal Primary School ADHD support group 021 976 8134 or email@example.com Durbanville ADHD Support Group firstname.lastname@example.org Angelman syndrome This genetic disorder causes a variety of neurological problems, including delays in development, speech problems, and jerky or trembling movements, seizures and trouble with balancing. Contact Shawn or Alida for telephonic support: 039 737 4613 or phiz@mweb. co.za Angelkids (Angelman Syndrome Families in South Africa) Ronel: 082
Cerebral Palsy This is an umbrella term that refers to conditions where the brain has been injured, affecting the child’s movement, motor control, muscle control, perception and communication. Contact Western Cape Cerebral Palsy Association 021 685 4150, secretary@ wccpa.org.za or visit cerebralpalsybaby. blogspot.com, galliringo.blogspot.com or cpblogs.org.au/heydad Cleft lip and palate This occurs when the lip and/or palate don’t join together before birth, leaving a gap. Contact Cleft Friends Heléna and Matthew: 082 393 1206, 079 527 1504, email@example.com or Madge: 084 517 9914, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit cleftfriends.co.za Cranio Kids Robyn Rondi: 082 601 8585 or email@example.com Congenital heart defects These are structural defects present in the heart at birth. Children may exhibit poor development or growth, a heart murmur, shortness of breath or develop various respiratory infections. Contact Child Care Information Centre (based at Red Cross Children’s Hospital) Val Hoy: 021 689 1519 Cornelia de Lange disorder A genetic disorder that affects children’s physical and intellectual development. They may experience various heart problems, speech delays, mental difficulties and other behavioural problems.
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Contact CdLS-Kids Yahoo group online international support Cystic Fibrosis Children with this condition develop a build up of thick, sticky mucous in their lungs, digestive tract and other parts of the body, causing breathing problems, lung infections, poor growth, infertility and other problems. Contact Cystic Fibrosis Association Support Group Ruth Ireland: 021 557 0323, Cheryl Vermeulen: 021 790 8833 or visit sacfa.org.za Dandy-Walker syndrome This congenital disorder causes a brain malformation. Symptoms may include slow development of motor skills, an enlargement of the skull, particularly at the back, and increased intracranial pressure. Contact For information visit dandywalker.org, dandykidsdocumentary.com or dandywalker.net Deafness/hearing loss Hearing loss occurs when a part or parts of the ear do not function properly. Contact Deaf Federation of SA 021 683 4665 or visit deafsa.co.za Deaf Community of Cape Town Amanda: 021 671 6385 Developmental delays This is when a child is consistently late in reaching developmental milestones, including language and fine and gross motor skills. Contact I Can Development Centre Ali
Smeeton (for telephonic advice): 084 605 0821 or visit ican-sa.co.za Down’s syndrome This condition occurs when children are born with an extra chromosome, causing differences in how their bodies develop and giving them a distinctive appearance. Contact Down syndrome Support Cape (based at Red Cross Children’s Hospital) Fazia Saban or Val Hoy: 021 658 5610 or firstname.lastname@example.org Dwarfism Dwarfism refers to people who are short in stature as a result of any number of medical conditions. Contact Little People of South Africa 072 077 2318 Raising Leah online support group Charmaine: 072 374 6233 or visit raisingleah.wordpress.com Dysfunction of Sensory Integration (Sensory Integration Dysfunction) This is the inability of the brain to organise sensory information as it comes through from the senses. This dysfunction can impact on a child’s ability to function and learn. Contact SAISI Aletta Kietzmann: 012 362 5457, email@example.com or visit instsi.co.za Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Children who suffer from this condition have a defect in the collagen of their connective tissue, resulting in joints that are loose or unstable, skin that is fragile, muscle or joint pain, poor muscle tone and other problems.
Contact Ehlers-Danlos Parental Support Group Facebook page or visit ednf.org Epilepsy A neurological disorder that causes seizures or fits as a result of unusual electrical energy in the brain. Contact Epilepsy South Africa (the Western Cape branch: Lansdowne) 021 703 9420, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit epilepsy.org.za Foetal Alcohol syndrome This condition occurs when mental and physical defects develop as a result of alcohol crossing the placenta. Contact Sanca (Regional office: Bellville) 021 945 4080/1, email@example.com or visit sancawc.co.za Fragile X syndrome This genetic disorder is a result of changes in the X chromosome and causes mental retardation. As boys only have one X chromosome, it tends to affect them more severely. Contact 011 624 0655, 076 514 3553 or firstname.lastname@example.org (Please call if your doctor cannot recommend anyone else) Guillain-Barre syndrome A disorder that affects the peripheral nervous system, which controls muscle movement and communicates sensory information to the brain. The disorder and its symptoms are usually temporary. Contact Guillain-Barre Syndrome Support: 084 944 4488, email@example.com or visit guillainbarresindroom.co.za
resource Hypotonia This describes a state of low muscle tone (different to muscle weakness) and can be caused by a variety of other disorders. Symptoms include floppiness in babies, delays in reaching developmental milestones and difficulty in feeding or breathing. Contact Hypotonia Awareness online support Facebook page Jacobsen syndrome A rare congenital disorder caused by loss of genetic material. Children with this condition usually display distinctive facial features, such as wide set eyes and low set small ears. Contact Jacobsen Syndrome Awareness visit jacobsenssyndromeawareness.com Juvenile diabetes (Diabetes mellitus type 1) Children with this form of diabetes can’t produce insulin, which is responsible for getting glucose into the cells to create energy. Symptoms can include thirst, hunger, frequent urination, weight loss and feeling tired. Contact Sugarbabes Foundation Eldice Ngcobo (the foundation organises camps): 031 266 1280, 072 695 3416 or firstname.lastname@example.org The Dia Bear Club diabear1@absamail. co.za or visit diabear.co.za SweetkidsSA Yahoo group online support Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis This autoimmune condition is characterised by joint pain and swelling in children under the age of 16 years. The immune system attacks healthy cells, causing the pain and swelling. Children may show signs of stiffness or limping, have sore joints, experience a fever or rash and may have eye inflammation. Contact Arthritis Kids SA Di Crossman: 071 888 1682, email@example.com Arthritis Kids SA Facebook page Kawasaki disease This is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the blood vessels, affecting the body’s organs as well as the hands, feet, eyes, mouth and throat. Contact Kawasaki Disease Foundation of South Africa Mark Satiya: 031 539 3023, 084 231 3418, marksatiya@yahoo. com or visit kdfoundation.org.au Klinefelter syndrome In this disorder, boys are born with an additional X chromosome, so while most males are XY, males with this condition are XXY. Some symptoms include reduced fertility or infertility, irregular testicular function, overly-developed breast tissue and psychosocial problems. Contact 47xxy Klinefelters Syndrome Support Facebook page Krabbe disease This is a rare degenerative disorder where the myelin sheath that surrounds the nervous system starts to break down and brain cells are destroyed. This disease is inherited, and its symptoms can include rigidity, fever and irritability, a slowing of the development of fine and gross motor skills, as well as hearing loss, difficulty eating and blindness. Contact Krabbe’s Kids visit krabbes.com
Landau-Kleffner syndrome (Acquired epileptic aphasia) Children with this neurological disorder suddenly or gradually lose the ability to understand or express language (aphasia), often accompanied by seizures. Contact Landau-Kleffner Information and Support Facebook group Laryngomalacia This is a common congenital defect where the soft, underdeveloped cartilage of the larynx collapses when the baby inhales. This causes a narrowing of the air passage, which results in a squeaky sound when the baby breathes. Contact Laryngomalacia Support Group Facebook page Mental retardation This occurs in children under 18 years of age, when they have a below average Intelligence Quotient. Children may present with delays in language and motor development, difficulty in learning social norms, and difficulty in developing memory and problem solving skills. Contact Cape Mental Health 021 447 9040 or visit capementalhealth.co.za Metachromatic leukodystrophy An inherited disorder caused by a deficiency of the enzyme arylsulfatase A, which results in a toxic build-up of sulfatides and damages the nervous system, liver, kidneys and other organs. Symptoms include loss of muscle tone and control, rigidity, delays in development, loss of vision, decreased mental ability, seizures and paralysis. Contact Families & their children with Leukodystrophy Facebook page Missing limbs This occurs when a child is born without a limb, or loses a limb due to trauma or for medical reasons. Contact Western Cape Association for Persons with Disabilities visit apd-wc.org.za Muscular Dystrophy This group of hereditary disorders affects the muscles of the body, causing them to lose tissue and get weaker over time. There are many different forms, so symptoms will differ. Contact Muscular Dystrophy Foundation of SA Maxine Strydom (Parent Project SA): 083 290 6695, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or visit mdsa.org.za Neurofibromatosis In this condition, non-cancerous tumours grow from the nerve tissue, affecting the spinal cord, brain, skin and other parts of the body. A defining sign is café-au-lait coloured spots on the body, while other symptoms can include seizures, blindness, freckling in the underarm or groin area, tumours on or under the skin and pain from affected nerves. Contact Neurofibromatosis Support Facebook page Obesity Someone is considered obese when their body fat has become excessive and will impact on their health, often reducing their lifespan. Contact Overeaters Anonymous Muizenberg – Benita: 021 788 3070 or 084 645 2474; Kenilworth – Sarah: 083 556 5057; City Bowl – Sharon: 021 790 0268 or 082 973 3099; Fish Hoek – Ainsley: 083 518 6680 magazine cape town
Paediatric Primary Immune Deficiency A congenital disorder in which children are born with defects in the cells that prevents the immune system from functioning properly, impacting on the body’s ability to prevent infection. Contact Primary Immunodeficiency Network of South Africa (Pinsa) 082 365 4663, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit pinsa.org.za Pierre Robin syndrome This congenital condition causes babies to be born with malformed facial features, including a smaller lower jaw, a tongue that falls back into the throat and often a cleft soft palate. They are likely to experience breathing and feeding difficulties, and ear infections. Contact Pierre Robin Foundation Leigh Parkes: 082 410 3197, info@pierrerobin. org.za or visit pierrerobin.org.za Pierre Robin Sequence Foundation Facebook page Prader-Willi syndrome A genetic congenital condition that causes decreased muscle tone, a continuous feeling of hunger and underdeveloped genitals. Contact Prader-Willi Syndrome Association of South Africa Rika du Plooy: 012 344 0421 or email@example.com Primary Immune Deficiency Disorder See Paediatric Primary Immune Deficiency Reye’s syndrome A rare disease affecting the organs of the body, most specifically the liver and brain, and most commonly occurring after a viral infection. Contact Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Facebook page Rett syndrome A neurodevelopmental disorder that affects girls more frequently than boys. It presents with a decrease in the rate of development and growth, as well as the loss of purposeful hand movements, verbal skills and balance and coordination. Contact My Daughter Has Rett Syndrome: A Family Forum for Rett Syndrome Support Facebook page or visit rettsyndromesouthafrica.com Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome This genetic disorder is characterised by distinctive facial features, broad thumbs and toes, short stature and degrees of learning disabilities. Contact RTS South Africa Jacqui Tooke: 084 666 9566, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit rts-southafrica.weebly.com or visit the Our Sonshine blog site matthewtooke. blogspot.com Sjogren’s syndrome This autoimmune disorder causes the body to attack the cells that produce tears and saliva, with the main symptoms being dry mouth and dry eyes, although other areas needing moisture may also be affected. Contact Sjorgen’s World online support group community visit sjsworld.org Spina Bifida A congenital condition in which the spinal cord and backbone do not fuse, leaving an opening in the spine. Some other problems that could be experienced include poor bladder control, weakness in the feet and legs, or paralysis in the legs. magazine cape town
Contact Child Care Information Centre Val Hoy: 021 689 1519 at Red Cross Children’s Hospital Tourette syndrome TS is a neurological condition where people experience repetitive, involuntary movements and vocal sounds called tics. In severe cases, the tics may result in the person hurting himself, uttering swear words or repeating phrases. Contact Dystonia Association of South Africa Karin Willemse: 011 326 2112 or email@example.com Mental Health Information Centre 021 938 9229, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit mentalhealthsa.org.za Tourette Syndrome Association online support visit tsa-usa.org Turner syndrome This condition occurs when a female is missing part or all of the second X chromosome. Symptoms include small stature, puffy hands or feet, webbing at the neck and heart defects. Girls may also have problems with fertility and hearing. Contact The Turner Syndrome Contact Group of South Africa Jo-Anne Richards: 082 453 2591 or email@example.com Visual impairments – blindness Low vision, legally blind and blindness are degrees of visual impairment, and may be congenital or the effect of various disorders or injury to the eyes. Contact visit Retinitis Pigmentosa Support Group on dailystrength.org Retina SA Claudette Medefindt: 011 622 4904 or 083 306 5262. National helpline: 0860 59 59 59 or visit retinasa.org.za Waardenburg syndrome An inherited genetic disorder that may cause hearing loss and changes in the pigmentation of hair and eyes. Contact Cranio Kids Robyn Rondi: 082 601 8585 or firstname.lastname@example.org Williams syndrome This congenital disorder typically causes an elfin appearance in children, as well as heart defects and mental disability. Contact Williams Syndrome Support Group in South Africa Magda Coetzee: 084 574 2926 (South African number) or 00264 632 25927, 00264 8147 07362 (Namibian numbers) or Tanya Holtzhausen: 082 778 8429, email@example.com
general support Autoimmune Illness Support Forum Facebook page Child Care Information Centre based at Red Cross Children’s Hospital Rondebosch 021 689 1519 Daily Strength dailystrength.org Kindness Inspired Dedicated Support kidsgroup.blogspot.com Silver Ribbon Coalition silverribbon.org South African Inherited Disorders Association saida. org.za Special Needs Support Group Facebook page
a good read for toddlers
for early graders
ehom n grow hit
Quick, Slow, Mango! By Anik McGrory
Flip, Flippie and Friends series By Charlotte Ewins and Riaan Retief
(Bloomsbury Publishing, R85) Baby elephant Kidogo is off with his mom to find breakfast. She’s always telling him to hurry, but Kidogo loves to take his time and wants to do everything slowly. Meanwhile, up in the trees, a mischievous monkey named PolePole is always in a rush, trying to grab all the mangoes he can. Fast and slow, these two adorable critters meet up in the luckiest way – and it’s mangoes for breakfast for everyone. This is a charming story, with stunning illustrations, about taking one’s sweet time. McGrory is also the illustrator and author of Desmond and the Naughtybugs and Animals Asleep.
(CopyCat Communications, R29,95 each) Flip, Flippie and Friends is a series of early-learning children’s books that will delight, entertain and educate. Flip, the mother or teacher figure, takes Flippie, the child kangaroo, and his friends through entertaining twists and turns as they learn about numbers, the A-B-C and shapes and colours. The series has been designed to enchant children with fun stories. Learning is part-and-parcel of the experience. As we know, children learn through enthusiastic repetition and participation. Visit flipflippieandfriends.co.za for further product information.
award winne r FArTHER By Grahame Baker-Smith (Templar Publishing, R114) When a father who dreams of flying goes off to war and does not return, his son decides to make the dream come true. Grahame Baker-Smith’s moving story, with stunning illustrations, shows how, with love and a bit of ambition, you can reach seemingly impossible goals. It’s filled with magical imagery and is a powerful read that conveys dark emotions, storms of war and weather, and a powerful sense of loss and bereavement. This clever picture book with a dream-like quality was also the winner of the 2011 CILIP Kate Greenaway award.
Abby’s Aquarium Adventures – Predators By Heidi de Maine and Keli Hazelton (Creda Communications, R95) Join Abby on her adventures in the aquarium world and you’ll soon discover that sharks aren’t the only predators in the sea. You will find out more about some other sneaky, cute, beautiful and even strange-looking predators. It’s an amazing world down below where scuba divers love to go. This is the second book of a series that looks at marine life, animal careers, life in the aquarium and conservation. Book one in the Abby’s Aquarium Adventures series was listed as one of the Argus Top 10 Best SA Children’s Books for 2010. For more info on the series, visit abby.co.za
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for preteens and teens
ell eat w
Shimmer By Alyson Noël (Macmillan Children’s Books, R74) The number one New York Times bestselling author of The Immortals continues her new middle-grade series about Ever’s younger sister, Riley. Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a young ghost named Rebecca, Riley soon learns that she is not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories?
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What to Cook & How to Cook it By Jane Hornby (Phaidon Press, R369) This is the ultimate step-by-step cookbook for anyone who wants to make their favourite meal to perfection. The carefully explained recipes are simple to follow and perfect for beginners. Clear colour photographs showing you what to buy accompany every recipe and illustrations guide you through each step. From breakfast pancakes to roast chicken, from a quick pad Thai to a classic lemon tart, this book takes 100 tried-and-tested dishes back to basics and shows how simple it can be to cook good food.
Mending a Broken Heart By Nadine Raal (Jacana, R180) You carry your baby for nine months, give birth and then you get to bring your healthy baby home. This is how it should be, but for Nadine Raal and her husband, Stewart, the birth of their son is the start of a heartwrenching medical journey. Zack is born with life-threatening congenital heart defects, and he has to undergo immediate openheart surgery that will be the first of many hospitalisations and treatments. Nadine shares her family’s experience of Zack’s condition, and the challenges it poses, in an honest and vivid way that, despite its seriousness, offers an inspiring message for all parents: cherish each moment of your child’s life. Written with warmth and humour, this is a must-read for any parent.
Disconnected Kids By Dr Robert Melillo (Penguin Books, R160) This book introduces you to a groundbreaking new home-based programme to treat autism, ADHD, dyslexia and other disorders. Based on years of scientific research and used to treat approximately 1 000 children, Dr Robert Melillo’s Brain Balance Programme addresses not only the symptoms of what’s affecting our children, but also the cause. He presents an individualised programme that allows parents to assess, address and even correct their child’s neurological disconnects with simple physical, sensory and academic exercises. This book offers a visionary new approach to helping many children with brain-related problems.
You can also access the calendar online at
what’s on in october
Here’s this month’s 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
SPECIAL EVENTS Cape Town Diwali Festival Celebrate the treasures of India with spectacular dance and music, mouth-watering food, exotic fashion, traditional goods and a lifestyle fair.
FUN FOR CHILDREN
ONLY FOR PARENTS
Hout Bay Green Faire An ecoexpo for the whole family, featuring the Planet Warriors Festival for the children.
Kaapse vonkel turns 40 Exclusive celebrations pay tribute to the iconic Cap Classique.
bump, baby & tot in tow
how to help
Baby water awareness class Try a free, introductory baby swim class.
Chic Mamas charity golf day The day raises funds for the Chic Mamas projects, which support education in underprivileged areas.
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calendar more. Time: 10am–1pm. Contact: 028 273 8853, 076 492 9463, info@pringlehouse. org or visit pringlehouse.org
5 wednesday Coldplay performs in South Africa The “yellow parachute” lands in Cape Town today and there are still VIP tickets available. Time: 8pm. Venue: Cape Town Stadium. Cost: R665 for the VIP area. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000
7 friday 7 October – Cook Franschhoek
SPECIAL EVENTS 1 saturday 25th annual Freshpak Fitness Festival For outdoor enthusiasts of all ages, this year includes an event for teens with the Fitness Challenge consisting of a 2,5km run, 450m swim and 1km run. Younger fitness fanatics can participate in the FitKids 1km run, 200m swim and 1km run. Venue: Clanwilliam. Cost: tbc. Contact Clare: firstname.lastname@example.org or Colleen: csjacka@ mweb.co.za or visit entrytime.com Pringle House Eco Primary school open day Meet with members of the school, enjoy puppet shows, make the most of spray tattoos, jumping castles and
Cook Franschhoek, The Summer Edition Join some of the Valley’s highly acclaimed chefs and winemakers as they present hands-on cooking demonstration kitchens. To keep the weekend exclusive, each demonstration ranges from 8 to 30 people and costs differ among establishments. Ends 9 October. Time: 12pm–6pm, Friday; 10am–6pm, Saturday; 10am–4pm, Sunday. Venue and cost: varies. Book through Webtickets: visit webtickets.co.za
8 saturday Toddler Sense seminar Join baby and toddler expert Sister Ann Richardson and her guest speakers for a morning of shared knowledge on feeding, potty training, managing discipline, development, stimulation, and more. There are goodie bags, prizes are up for grabs and tea is served. Booking is essential. Time: 8am–1pm.
Venue: Kenilworth Racecourse. Cost: R290. Contact Debbie: 031 262 4962, 082 467 8236, email@example.com or visit toddlersense.co.za
12 wednesday National Bandana Day Buy a bandana from your nearest Pick n Pay or BP Express store and show your solidarity with the brave fight that leukaemia sufferers face daily. All money raised goes towards helping The Sunflower Fund in increasing the
John Cleese is in town Comedian John Cleese brings his unique comedic perspective to audiences across South Africa as part of his Alimony Tour. Ends 23 October. Time: 8pm. Venue: CTICC Auditiorium 1. Cost: R350, R425 or R500. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.co.za
South African Bone Marrow Registry. Cost: R20 per bandana. For more info: visit sunflowerfund.org.za
14 friday Cape Outdoor Adventure and Travel Expo Expect a prime indoor and outdoor exhibition with a food market, whisky and wine tasting and TV screens for the rugby semi-final. Ends 16 October. Time: 10am–7pm, Friday and Saturday; 9am–6pm, Sunday. Venue: The Lookout and Granger Bay Outdoor, V&A Waterfront. Cost: adults R50, children 7–16 years R15, children under 7 years free. Contact Shirley: 082 443 2277 or visit outdoorexpo.co.za Robertson Wine on the River An outdoor wine festival with children’s activities, boat cruises, food and more. Ends 16 October. Time: 11am–9pm, Friday; 10am–6pm, Saturday; 11am–3pm, Sunday. Venue: Goudmyn Farm, R317 between Robertson and Bonnievale. Cost: adults R100–R220, children under 18 free. Contact Elizma: 023 626 3167, manager@robertsonwinevalley. com or visit wineonriver.com The Baby Expo Features include the pram park, the Nestlé nutritional centre, Netcare Stork’s Nest baby clinic, preggy lounge, breast-feeding rooms, Woodward’s experts’ lounge and Barney. Ends 16 October. Time: 9am–6pm, daily. Venue: CTICC. Cost: R60 per person. Children under 10 years are free, maximum two children per adult. For more info: visit mamamagic.co.za
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The Fairmont Community Festival Big attractions are carnival rides, dancing, music, activities, stalls, a festival of food, an all-day wine tasting and a major new snow event. Time: 9am–6pm. Venue: Fairmont High School, Durban Rd. Cost: adults R15, scholars R10, under five R5, child in a pram free. Contact Audrey: 083 629 7919
22 October – Cape Town International Kite Festival
15 saturday Cape Town Diwali Festival Celebrate the treasures of India with spectacular dance and music, mouth-watering food, exotic fashion, traditional goods and a lifestyle fair. Be dazzled at the legendary Bhangra Bash and round off the experience with an awe-inspiring fireworks display. Time: 11am–midnight. Venue: Ratanga Junction. Cost: adults R40, children under 5 years free. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.co.za Parklands College open day An opportunity for the public to view the school’s facilities. Time: 10:30am–1:30pm. Venue: 91 Raats Dr and 50 Wood Dr, Parklands. Cost: free entry. Contact: 021 521 2700 or visit parklands.co.za
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Cape Town International Kite Festival “One Sky One World − Mental Health for All” is the theme for this year. The skies are filled with magnificent kiting creations with a highlight being The Boomerang Edu-Kite Schools’ Competition. Also 23 October. Time: 10am–6pm daily. Venue: on the lawns surrounding Zandvlei, Muizenberg. Cost: adults R15, children R5. Contact: 021 447 9040, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit capementalhealth.co.za. To download easy instructions to make your own kite, go to childmag.co.za/content/make-kite
29 saturday Bay Primary School Spring Fair The children cook up some magic and good oldfashioned family fun at their annual Spring Fair. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: 10th Ave, Fish Hoek. Cost: R5 entry. Contact: 021 782 2065 or visit bayprimary.co.za Duck Race The school’s annual fundraiser where plastic bath ducks are raced down Elsie’s Kraal Canal in Pinelands. There is also a craft market and lots of fun
For the love of Art and Heart
A child-friendly art and craft benefit and auction is held for Natalie’s sun Circle of Love Trust. The afternoon includes food and drinks bars, children’s entertainment, art and crafts and an exciting live auction of special artworks by SA artists in a variety of price ranges. All proceeds go towards Natalie’s Circle of Love for her cancer treatment (see the article on page 45). Time: starts 12:30pm with live art auction at 4pm. Venue: Kismet Studio, Hout Bay, 27 Forest Hill Rd, Longkloof. Cost: free entry. Bring cash for eats, drinks and crafts. Contact Celeste: 072 391 3244, email@example.com or visit nataliescircleoflove.org
activities. Time: 10am, the race starts at 1:30pm. Venue: La Gratitude Pre-Primary School, La Gratitude Rd, Pinelands. Cost: R10 per duck for the public race, R50 per duck for the corporate race. Contact Lynda: 021 531 4961 Family fun day Live entertainment, jumping castle, face painting, mini flea market and cash bar. 29 October. Time: 10am. Venue: Durbanville. Cost: adults R20, children R5. For more info: visit rettsyndromesouthafrica.com, iris-house. org or rettsyndrome.org Oriental dance festival Belly dancing hosted by Palace of the Winds and other international dancing schools. Also 30 October. Time: 10am–6pm, performances 2pm–3:30pm daily. Venue: V&A Waterfront Craft Market & Wellness Centre, workshop 17. Cost: free. Contact Martin: 021 408 7621 or visit waterfront.co.za. Enquire about other events in October.
The 10th annual Reach for a Dream Gala Dinner The evening includes a threecourse dinner with complimentary wine and a glass of champagne on arrival as well as raffles, prizes, an auction and comedy entertainment by Riaad Moosa. Dress code is formal. Time: 6pm for 6:30pm. Venue: The Rotunda, The Bay Hotel, Camps
29 October – Bay Primary School Spring Fair
Sue Nepgen’s children’s art tuition
Bay. Cost: R800 per person or R8 000 for a table of 10. Contact: 021 555 3013 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science Fabric painting A free two-hour introductory fabric painting workshop for adults and children. 29 October. Time: 8:45am–10:45am. Venue: Pinelands. Cost: R30 per kit. Contact Wendy: 021 531 8076, 082 391 4954 or wendyadriaan@ telkomsa.net Mural art classes for adults and children Time: 9am–12pm, every Saturday. Venue: 1 General Schalk Burger Close, cnr
General Chris Muller Rd, Welgelegen. Cost: R800 per person, which includes a threehour mural lesson, refreshments, paints, material, and a mural board. Contact Lisa or Theo: 072 972 5568 or 072 359 7958 Student art exhibition Hosted by Creative Arts art shop and Friends of the Library. Paintings are for sale. 24–29 October. Time: 10am–7pm; Saturday 9am–1pm. Venue: 44 Oxford St, Durbanville. Cost: free. Contact Ansie or Melinda: 021 975 5373, info@creative-arts. co.za or visit creative-arts.co.za Sue Nepgen’s children’s art tuition Children attend classes once a week. There are also environmental art classes. Ideal for ages 4–13 years. Term starts 13, 14 or 15 October. Time: held in the afternoons and Saturday morning. Venue: Michael Oak Waldorf School, Kenilworth or 28 Klaasenbosch Dr, Constantia. Cost: R520 a term, including materials, firing and outings. Contact Sue: 021 794 6609, 083 237 7242 or email@example.com
classes, talks and workshops Eight-week Zeal for Life social and emotional training programme Provides the foundation for a sound emotional intelligence and aids the development of social skills. Ideal for ages 12–14 years. Starts 19 October. Please book before 12 October. Time: 3:30pm–4:30pm, every Wednesday. Venue: Equal Zeal Life Studio, 16 Stepney Rd, Parklands. Cost:
R150 per session plus R400 for the Zeal Kit. Contact Angelique: 021 553 5858, 082 453 4313, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit equalzeal.com Nice Touch children’s holiday cooking They learn to make sushi, pizza, cupcakes, milkshakes, pancakes, chocolate muffins and more. 3–6 October. From age 4 and older. Time: 3–4 October: 11am–12:30pm, 5 October: 11:30am–1pm, 6 October: 9am–10:30am and 2pm–3:30pm. Venue: St James Church Hall, Sea Point. Cost: R85 per child. Contact Janis: 021 434 1721, 082 319 9215 or visit nicetouch.co.za Tots n Pots cooking and baking workshop Join in and cook a variety of healthy snacks, meals and yummy treats. Starts 17 October. Time: “I can do it myself” programme for 6–10 year olds, every Tuesday 3pm–4pm. Little Chefs for 3–6 year olds, every Wednesday 1pm–2pm and 3pm–4pm. Little Chefs for 3–6 year olds, every Thursday 3pm–4pm. 2–10 year olds every Saturday 10am–11am. Venue: Constantia Tots n Pots. Cost: R680 per term (eight weeks) or R90 per class if space available. Contact Chene: 083 649 7405, email@example.com or visit totsnpots.com Weekly drumming workshop Children get drumming and singing to stories and songs. They also play loads of exciting drumming games in the action-packed, high-energy workshop. For ages 3–10 years. Time: 1:30pm or 2:30pm, every Thursday during school term. Venue: Church of
1 and 2 October – Earthwave Beach Festival
Christ, cnr Irene Ave and Lourensford Rd, Somerset West. Cost: R40 for 30 minutes of high-energy drumming or R120 for four consecutive weeks. Contact Lana: 071 871 5839 or firstname.lastname@example.org
finding nature and outdoor play Earthwave Beach Festival Featuring a Guinness World Record attempt for the most surfers on the same wave, exhibits and talks on sustainable lifestyle choices and prizes and giveaways. 1 and 2 October. Time: 10am–4pm daily. Venue: Surfers’ Corner, Muizenberg Beach. Cost: free for spectators, R50 donation to participate in GWR attempt. Contact Paul: 021 783 4965 or email@example.com Elgin Open Gardens There are 23 gardens to view and all gardens are giving a portion of their takings to charities of their choice.
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29 and 30 October. Time: 10am–5pm. Venue: Grabouw and surrounds. Cost: tbc. Contact Barbara: 021 844 0154, Jessie: 083 458 3790, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit elginopengardens.co.za Inaugural Blossom Festival An ecofriendly festive experience in harmony with nature. 8 and 9 October. Time: varies. Venue: Green Mountain Eco Route. Cost: priced per individual activity. Contact Ina: 083 229 4630, email@example.com or visit greenmountain.co.za
family outings Bot River Barrel Race Challenge The Bot River Station is the centre of attraction with relay-style races, food stalls, live music, prizes and lots of local wine plus the thrill of watching your team make the mad dash to the finish line. 29 October. Time: 11:30am–3pm (participating teams to arrive at 11am). Venue: Bot River Train Station, next to the Shuntin’ Shed. Cost:
3–7 October – Me-time holiday programme
magazine cape town
R500 per team of four, if you book before 20 October. For more info and entry forms: visit botriverwines.co.za Family fun at Nitida during Season of Sauvignon Start the weekend festivities with a food and wine evening on Friday. On Saturday, families can relax on the lawns while children canoe around the dam and play ball games. On Sunday, cheer the end of the 255km mountain bike race. 1 and 2 October. Time: 11am–4pm, Saturday and Sunday. Venue: Durbanville Wine Valley. Cost: R300 per person for the Friday evening. R200 per picnic basket for two and R50 for a children’s basket. Entry on Saturday and Sunday is free but booking for the food and wine evening and picnic baskets is essential. Contact Kerry: 021 976 1467 or info@ nitida.co.za or Cassia: 021 976 0640, info@ cassiarestaurant.co.za or visit nitida.co.za For the love of Art and Heart A childfriendly art and craft benefit and auction is held for the Natalie’s Circle of Love Trust.
The afternoon includes food and drinks bars, children’s entertainment, arts and crafts and an exciting live auction of special artworks by SA artists in a variety of price ranges. All proceeds go towards Natalie’s Circle of Love for her cancer treatment (see the article on page 45). 23 October. Time: starts 12:30pm with live art auction at 4pm. Venue: Kismet Studio, Hout Bay, 27 Forest Hill Rd, Longkloof. Cost: free entry. Bring cash for eats, drinks and to buy crafts. Contact Celeste: 072 391 3244, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit nataliescircleoflove.org
holiday activities Children’s art and crafts Ideal for ages 4 and older. 3–7 October and every Saturday. Time: 10am and 12pm. Venue: Plumstead. Cost: R60 per session. Contact Ray: 021 712 8809 or 083 383 3405 DSK Me-time holiday programme Highlights include art, sport, a puppet show and cooking. 26 September–7 October. Time: 8am–2:30pm. Venue: DSK School hall, Tamboerskloof. Cost: from R150 per day. Contact: 021 418 1573, email@example.com or visit me-time.co Flipper Swim School holiday swimming programme For children from 2 years old. 4–7 October. Time: 15-minute slots between 10am and 5pm. Venue: Flippers Swim School, Observatory. Cost: R220. Contact Nikki: 083 747 9196, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit flippersswimschool.co.za
4–7 October – Flipper Swim School holiday swimming programme
Headstart Swim School holiday booster clinics Beginner and stroke lessons are taught in a two-, three- or fiveday clinic. 3–7 October. Time: 15-minute one-on-one lessons and 30-minute group lessons are available between 8:30am and 5pm. Venue: heated indoor pool, 128 Belvedere Rd with entrance on Queen Victoria Rd, Claremont. Cost: R70 per lesson. Contact Rochelle: 021 674 7681, email@example.com or visit headstartswim.co.za Kidz Discovery spring holiday club A fun-filled, semi-structured morning including funky art and crafts, baking, face painting, crazy dancing, dress-up and role play, clambering on climbing walls and a jungle gym, and story time. For 2–7 year olds. 3 and 4 October. Time: 9:30am–12:30pm. Early drop offs from
1 October – Favourite Things Spring Fair
8:30am for a small fee. Venue: The Drive, Camps Bay. Cost: R120 per morning, including a full snack, baking and craft materials. Under 3-year-olds R110, to be accompanied by an adult. Contact Kathy: 083 654 2494, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit kidzdiscovery.co.za Kidz Playzone holiday programme 30 September and 3–9 October. Time: 9am–4:30pm, Tuesday–Saturday; 9:30am –2pm, Sunday. Venue: 10 Pastorale St, Durbanville Business Park, off Klipheuwel Rd. Cost: play rates apply, no extra cost for the programme and shows. Contact: 021 979 4872, 084 575 2546, email@example.com or visit kidzplayzone.co.za Kronendal aftercare holiday club Activities include art and crafts, drumming, baking, mountain hikes, walks to the beach and swimming. 3–7 October. Time and cost: half-day (7:30am–1pm): R60, bring own snack; three-quarter day (7:30am –3pm): R90, including lunch and snack; full day (7:30am–6pm): R120, including lunch and snack. Venue: Kronendal Primary School, Hout Bay. Contact Joanne: 076 402 2333 or firstname.lastname@example.org Me-time holiday programme Activity highlights include making mobiles and mosaics, painting, ceramics and a puppet
Sunshine holiday workshop A one-day workshop in drama, puppetry, storytelling, and art and crafts. The workshop is run by a drama teacher and Waldorf teacher and puppeteer. Time: 8:30am–11:30am or 8:30am–3pm. Venue: Bergvliet Guide Hall, Ladies Mile Service Rd, Bergvliet. Cost: R90 half-day or R150 full day. Contact Georgia: 076 481 5305 or email@example.com
show on 6 October. 3–7 October. Time: morning sessions 9am–1pm (drop-off can be from 8am), afternoon sessions 2pm–5pm. Arrangements can be made for full day. Venue: Me-time Centre, Somerset Square, Green Point. Cost: one hour R80, two hours R100, three hours R130 and four hours R150. Contact: 021 418 1573 or Lara: 082 491 0389 Rock climbing and sand boarding 3–5 October. Time: 9am–12pm daily. Venue: Table Mountain region for abseiling, Muizenberg for surfing, Atlantis for sandboarding. Cost: R250 per day or R700 for all three days. Contact 021 696 3631, 083 356 5591 or visit adventure4u.co.za Sporting Chance holiday programme Cricket, soccer and astro-hockey clinic. 3–7 October. Time: 9am. Venue: Kelvin Grove, Newlands; Constantia Sports Complex; Kenridge Primary School, Belville/ Durbanville. Cost: R340–R500 per week, R120–R160 per day. Contact: 021 683 7299 or visit sportingchance.co.za
markets City Bowl Market on Hope This foodie market stocks everything from oysters and champagne to sushi and vegetarian dishes. A fashion section has been added. Time: 9am–2pm, every Saturday. Venue: 14 Hope St, Gardens. Cost: free entry. Contact: 073 270 8043, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit citybowlmarket.co.za Constantia Gift Fair Handpicked, quality exhibitors showcasing clothing, jewellery, decorative accessories, body essentials, children’s gifts and sensational gourmet delights. 19–23 October. Time: 19–21 October 9am–6pm; 22 and 23 October 9am–4pm. Venue: SARDA, Brommersvlei Rd, Constantia. Cost: R20 entry, which is donated to SARDA. For more info: visit thechristmasgiftfair.co.za Constantia Waldorf Night Market There is set to be over 120 indoor and outdoor stalls and an open-air stage. There are also swings, roundabouts and games. Time: 5pm–9pm. Venue: Spaanschemat River Rd, Constantia. Cost: free entry and secure parking is available at R20 per car. No alcohol is sold on the premises, but you may bring that special bottle of wine to share with friends in the outdoor entertainment area. For more info: visit constantiawaldorfnightmarket.co.za Favourite Things Spring Fair The fair is hosted by Favourite Things, who is showcasing the work of local artists. Favourite Things creates employment for magazine cape town
African women in art and crafts. 1 October. Time: 10am–3pm. Venue: Unit 7, Wembley Studios, 15 Wembley Rd, Gardens. Cost: free entry. Contact: Kerry: 082 458 6063 or visit collectionoffavouritethings.co.za Hout Bay Green Faire An eco-expo for the whole family featuring alternative technology such as wind, solar and pedal power, and the Planet Warriors Festival where children take part in an eco-fashion show, talent contest and turn trash into treasure at the recycle market. There is also live music on the solar stage, inspiring talks and interactive eco-house building demos. 29 October. Time: 10am–6pm. Venue: Kronendal Primary School, Andrews Rd, Hout Bay. Cost: adults R20, children under 12 R10. For more info: visit houtbaygreenfaire.org Milnerton High School market day Enjoy rugby and other school sports, eats, music, a beer tent, children’s entertainment, jumping castles, a tea garden, pancakes, and art and crafts stalls. 1 October. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Milnerton High School, Pienaar Rd, Milnerton. Cost: adults R10, learners R5, per car R20. Contact Lara: 082 417 6610 or email@example.com. Porter Estate Produce Market A great outdoor market with loads of fresh produce and plenty of activities for the children to do. Time: 9am–1pm, every Saturday. Venue: Tokai. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit outdoormarket.co.za Spring kids’ market day Get your children to bring their wares to sell at under R10. There are only 20 stalls so ensure you get one before the day. 16 October. Time: 10am–12pm. Venue: Scout hall, Upper Orange Street, Oranjezicht. Cost: R20 per stall. For more info: visit kidsdecor.co.za Swartland Wine and Olive Route Farmers’ Market Join more than 20 of the region’s winemakers and local foodies as they show off their robust, fullbodied wines, free-range eggs, crisp olives, mouth-watering breads, jams and fresh produce. 8 October. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Kirstenbosch Stone Cottages. Cost: free entry. Contact: 022 487 1133 or firstname.lastname@example.org The Hathersage Festive Fair An exhibition of specialised gifts, décor items, clothing, accessories and jewellery. Hathersage House is hosting an exhibition with a jeweller, events coordinator, florist, make-up artist, dressmaker, photographer and stationer who offer advice for anyone planning an important event. 7–9 October. Time: 10am–6pm, Friday and Saturday; 10am–4pm, Sunday. Venue: Hathersage
Farm, Gordon Rd, Somerset West. Contact: email@example.com or visit hathersage.co.za or tomarketwithlove.co.za WPPS Christmas Market Western Province Preparatory School invites you to their market for Christmas presents and year-end gifts, featuring ladies’ and children’s clothing, jewellery, toys, handcrafted Christmas decorations, a scrumptious deli and more. 29 October. Time: 10am–3pm. Venue: WPPS, 49 Newlands Rd, Claremont. Cost: free entry. Contact Caron: 021 761 8074
on stage and screen Genée International Ballet Competition A very prestigious competition for young non-professional ballet dancers. 6–9 October. Time: 10:30am, 3pm, 5pm or 7:30pm. Venue: Artscape Theatre. Cost: from R120. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 Red Riding Hood This delightful fairytale follows the well-loved story of the little girl who goes into the wood where she encounters a big bad wolf. 1–8 October. Time: 11am, Monday–Saturday. Venue: The Masque Theatre, Muizenberg. Cost: R40 per person. Contact: Elton: 083 364 8284 or firstname.lastname@example.org Snow White and Rose Red Ideal for children aged 4 and older. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29 October. Time: 10am and 11:15am, every Saturday. Venue: The Rainbow Puppet Theatre, Constantia Waldorf School, Spaanschemat River Rd, Constantia. Cost: R20 for adults and children. Contact Alison: 021 783 2063 or email@example.com
playtime and story time Bugz A great place to be as Cape Town warms up again. Time: 9am–5pm, Monday– Sunday. Venue: Bugz Playpark, Kraaifontein. Cost: R20; babies that can’t yet walk and pensioners enter free. Contact: 021 988 8836 or firstname.lastname@example.org Kidz Discovery open registration and play day As well as an open day for parents of babies and toddlers, registration takes place for the highly-rated BrightStart Preschool Preparedness Programme, as well as crafts and art classes for the older ones. Pop in for some free play, snacks and tea. Also, it is the last day for new enrolments to register for term four. 3 October. Time: 3pm–4:30pm. Venue: Kidz Discovery, The Drive, Camps Bay. Cost: free. Contact Kathy: 083 654 2494, email@example.com or visit kidzdiscovery.co.za
29 October – WPPS Christmas Market
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calendar movements in a playful and fun way that children enjoy. There are no religious or spiritual connotations in this programme. Ideal for children aged 3–6 years. 15 and 29 October. Time: 9:15am–10:15am. Venue: Karen Freeman Dance Studio, Panorama. Cost: R45 per child per lesson. Contact Charne: 082 15 and 29 October – Holistic Kids Saturday Yoga 466 7925 or visit holistickids. yolasite.com Playshed birthday celebration Every Ithemba Walkathon Join in the crusade child coming to play gets a free balloon and against breast cancer. 5km or 10km. a party bag. While stocks last. 28 October. 30 October. Time: 8am. Venue: Green Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Pinelands. Cost: Point Park. Cost: adults R65, children call to enquire. Contact: 021 801 0141/2 under 12 years R45. For more info: visit Roly Polyz Play Park This undercover ithembawalkathon.co.za play venue has a huge jungle gym, light Spur Lourensford MTB Classic The event snacks, painting, sand art, “Danceheads” forms part of the International Mountain and Barney toys. Time: 10am–5pm, Bike Association’s “Take a kid mountain Wednesday–Sunday. Venue: 8 Bree St. Cost: biking day”, to provide parents with the call to enquire. Contact Heidi: 021 418 1818 opportunity to ride with their children. There is a variety of events for children or toddlers. sport and physical activities 1 October. Time: 9am. Venue: Lourensford Cansa Relay for Life West Coast A Wine Estate, Somerset West. Cost: from R25. festive, family camp-out where teams take Contact Nicolene: 021 884 4752, theteam@ part in activities designed to keep them dirtopia.co.za or visit dirtopia.co.za awake from sunset to sunrise. 29 October. Time: 6pm–6am. Venue: Mamre Sports only for parents Ground. Cost: adults R15, children R7 (entry fee to the venue). Contact Lala: 021 689 5347 or 071 501 2926 classes, talks and workshops Holistic Kids Saturday Yoga The Equal Zeal Parenting Workshop programme incorporates traditional yoga Parents or caregivers are asked to objectively
reflect on their own behaviour and how this influences their child’s behaviour. 20 October. Time: 6:30pm–9:30pm. Venue: Equal Zeal Life Studio, 16 Stepney Rd, Parklands. Cost: R600 per parenting couple, which includes Zeal parenting journal and light refreshments. Contact Angelique: 021 553 5858, 082 453 4313, angelique@ equalzeal.com or visit equalzeal.com Goldsmith Studio basic jewellerymaking skills course The workshop runs over 10 weeks, three hours a week. Time: 9am–12pm, every Friday; 9:30am–12:30pm and 1pm–4pm, every Saturday. Venue: Gold of Africa Museum, Strand St. Cost: R2 200 for 30 hours. Contact Heidi: 082 770 9788 or visit goldofafrica.com Learn CPR and save a life For parents, childminders and au pairs. 22 and 29 October. Time: 10am–12pm. Venue: Pinelands. Cost R220 per person. Contact Lee-Ann: 021 531 4182 or 072 283 7132 Mixed media art classes Explores basic techniques and mixed media and the use of different techniques and media such as pencil, ink and jik, pen and ink, acrylic ink, gouache, acrylic paint and silicone rubber. Time: 9:30am–12:30pm, every Tuesday. Venue: Kirstenhof. Cost: call to enquire. Contact: 021 702 0510, 083 472 8368 or visit art.co.za My nanny and me creative workshop Your au pair, childminder or nanny will learn new and creative ways of spending time with your child. Ideal for children aged 10 months–5 years. 12 October and
9 November. Time: 9am–11am. Venue: Me-time centre, Somerset Square, Green Point. Cost: R150 for child carer and child. Contact: 021 418 1573 or visit me-time.co Nice Touch nanny cooking course They learn how to cook several dishes, and about hygiene and safety. Included are lunch box ideas, table setting and more. 11, 18 and 25 October and 1 November. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: St James Church hall, Sea Point. Cost: R1 250, including ingredients. Contact: 021 434 1721, 082 319 9215 or visit nicetouch.co.za Parent workshops for school issues 1 October: Language Enrichment and Mathematical Literacy workshop: for parents of 1–8 year olds. Teachers welcome. 15 October: Parent and teacher workshop: How to motivate the struggling child, linked to intelligence types and learning styles. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Union Rd, Milnerton. Cost: R300, including refreshments and handouts. Contact: 071 892 2192 Time to Think workshop for parents Shows you how to create a thinking environment for your family. Knowing how to be with your children in a way that encourages and ignites their ability to think well for themselves will help them clearly and courageously manifest a vision for their lives. 15 October. Time: 9am–3pm, including lunch. Venue: Limoncello Ristorante, 8 Breda St, Oranjezicht. Cost: R550. Contact Cecilia: 082 296 8197 or Heather: 083 627 9222
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Time for Blessings workshop A creative, self empowerment workshop. 21 October. Time: 8:30am–1pm, including a snack and coffee or tea. Venue: Limoncello Ristorante, 8 Breda St, Oranjezicht. Cost: R350. Contact Cecilia: 082 296 8197 or Kim: 076 405 1353 Weekday personal mastery art workshops for adults Eight people per class. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: No 1 General Schalk Burger Close, cnr General Chris Muller Rd, Welgelegen. Cost: R580, includes expert facilitation, refreshments, workbook and materials. Contact Lisa or Theo: 072 972 5568 or 072 359 7958
on stage and screen Catch with Shirley Kirchmann Meet Tallulah, she’s 32 and single, and all her married friends keep trying to hook her up – not because they care about her, just because they don’t like to suffer alone. Join her on this tale of love, dreams, passion and revenge. 12 October–5 November. Time: 8:30pm, Wednesday–Saturday. Venue: Kalk Bay Theatre. Cost: R115. Contact: 073 220 5430 or visit kbt.co.za Some Like It Vrot! Comedian Marc Lottering and songwriter David Kramer again join forces to bring a brand new musical comedy to the stage. Starts 21 October. Time: 8pm, Monday–Friday; 5pm and 8:30pm, Saturday. Venue: Baxter Theatre. Cost: from R90. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.co.za
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The Volume and Cape Town’s Flat Stanley. 1 October. Time: 8pm. Venue: Grand Arena, Grand West Casino, Goodwood. Cost: R225. For more info: visit symphonicrocks.co.za
out and about
5–8 October – Stuperstition
Stuperstition In this award winning show, sleight-of-hand expert Stuart Lightbody takes an entertaining look at superstitious and magical thinking, from broken mirrors and bad luck to homeopathy and astrology. It’s occasionally controversial and always entertaining, filled with impossible feats and thought-provoking demonstrations. 5–8 October. Time: 8:30pm. Venue: Kalk Bay Theatre. Cost: R115. Contact: 073 220 5430 or visit kbt.co.za Symphonic Rocks 2011 A mixture of contemporary and classical music featuring a cross-genre mix of some of South Africa’s most popular artists. These include Arno Carstens, Loyiso, Ard Matthews of Just Jinjer, CrashCarBurn and Zebra and Giraffe, critically acclaimed hip-hop outfit, Tumi &
Kaapse Vonkel turns 40 Exclusive celebrations at one of four evenings pay tribute to SA’s iconic Cap Classique. 8, 15, 22 and 29 October. Time: tbc. Venue: Simonsig, Kromme Rhee Rd between the R44 and the R304. Cost: R400 per head or R350 per head for group booking of six or more. The ticket includes a degorged bottle of Kaapse Vonkel for you to take home as a memento. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or through Simonsig: 021 888 4915 or firstname.lastname@example.org Pinotage on Tap (Pot) Festival Cape Town Be sure to book as soon as possible as this event is a sell out and no tickets will be sold at the door. Take the bus to Pot Cape Town this year, see diemersfontein. co.za for collection points and times. 22 October. Time: 1pm. Venue: Diemersfontein Farm, Wellington. Cost: R285 or R680, which includes six bottles of Diemersfontein Pinotage. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.co.za
support groups Cleft Friends South Africa Aims to be a friend to parents and children affected by cleft lip and palate by meeting them as soon as possible after birth, supporting
them emotionally through the various operations, and connecting them with health care professionals in their area. Contact Madge: 084 517 9914, madge@ cleftfriends.co.za or visit cleftfriends.co.za Overeaters Anonymous OA views compulsive overeating as a threefold disease: physical, emotional and spiritual. Members seek recovery on all three levels by following a 12-step programme
Public tasting of Veritas winners Your opportunity to taste the Veritas achievers of the year. 18 October. Time: 5pm–8pm. Venue: VOC Room, Southern Sun Cape Sun, Strand St. Cost R130 per person. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com or for more information visit veritas.co.za
calendar patterned after that of Alcoholics Anonymous. The goal is to abstain from compulsive overeating one day at a time, which is done by attending regular OA meetings. Contact Sharon: 082 973 3099, Lisa: 074 143 1306 or visit oa.org.za Pierre Robin Sequence Foundation A non-profit organisation raising awareness of the condition. Contact Leigh Parkes: 082 410 3197, email@example.com, visit pierrerobin.org.za or visit the Pierre Robin Sequence Foundation Facebook group RTS South Africa This website brings together South African parents who have children with Rubinstein Taybi syndrome. Contact Jacqui Tooke: 084 666 9566, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit rtssouthafrica.weebly.com Williams Syndrome Association of South Africa Contact Magda Coetzee: 084 574 2926 (only when in SA), +264 63 225 926 or +264 81 4707 362. Contact Tanja Holtzhausen: 082 778 8429, email@example.com and cc Magda Coetzee: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit williams-syndrome.co.za
bump, baby & Tot in tow
classes, talks and workshops Accredited child and infant CPR and basic first aid courses Presented by a paramedic and mom. Venues: Blaauwberg: 15 October, 1pm–4pm; 20 October 6:30pm–9:30pm. Claremont: 12 October, 6pm–9pm; 15 October, 9am–12pm. Camps Bay: 4 October, 2:30pm–5:30pm. Fresnaye: 4 October, 6pm–9pm; 5 October, 9:30am–12:30pm and 1pm–4pm. Contact Carolyn: 084 800 0157, carolyn.roode@ gmail.com or visit safe-kids.co.za Baby water awareness class Try an introductory, free baby swim class. 6 months–2 years. 4 October. Time: 9am or 9:30am. Venue: Flippers Swim School, Observatory. Cost: free. Contact Nikki: 083 747 9196, email@example.com or visit flippersswimschool.co.za Parent Centre moms to be and moms and babies group Time: 10am –12pm, every Thursday. Venue: Kingsbury Maternity Hospital, second floor, Wilderness Rd, Claremont. Cost: R40, including refreshments. Contact: 021 762 0116 or firstname.lastname@example.org Sophia Family Centre coffee mornings Time: 10.30am: tea, 10:50am–12pm: talk and discussion. Venue: Puppet Theatre, Constantia Waldorf School. Cost: R30 suggested donation towards tea and speaker. Contact Yvonne: 021 794 1492
3 October – Kidz Discovery open registration and play day
feeding, developmental stimulation, nesting and positioning, speech and language 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 SPCA Ani-pal education programme The SPCA plays an important role in teaching young learners about the importance of responsible pet ownership through interactive and fun puppet shows designed to speak to learners from different socio-economic backgrounds. It is delivered by three experienced, full-time education officers, with classroom activity booklets in English and Xhosa. There are other fun, interactive elements to the programme, which have been approved as curriculum-based for Foundation phase learners by the Western Cape Department of Education. The project needs funding for ongoing expansion. For more info: visit spca-ct.co.za
The Baby Expo Features include the pram park, Nestlé nutritional centre, Netcare Stork’s Nest baby clinic, preggy lounge, breast-feeding rooms, Woodward’s experts’ lounge and an appearance from Barney. 14–16 October. Time: 9am–6pm daily. Venue: CTICC. Cost: R60 per person. Children under 10 years free, maximum two children per adult. For more info: visit mamamagic.co.za Tiny Handz training Basic sign language workshops and classes for parents, family members and caregivers of hearing babies and toddlers. Also those involved with babies or toddlers in the special needs spectrum. 28 October. Time: 8:15am–2:30pm. Venue: Durbanville Medi-Clinic. Cost: R725 for two workshops. Contact Monita: 082 218 7339, contact@ tinyhandz.co.za or visit tinyhandz.co.za Toddler Sense seminar Join Sister Ann Richardson, baby and toddler expert, and her guest speakers for a morning where they share their knowledge on toddler feeding, potty training, managing discipline, development, stimulation and more. 8 October. Time: 8am–1pm. Venue: Kenilworth Racecourse. Cost: R290. Contact Debbie: 031 262 4962, 082 467 8236, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit toddlersense.co.za
playtime and story time Jimmy Jungles Secure facilities for toddlers and children from 6 months of age. Branches in Claremont and Tyger Valley. Contact head office: 021 914 1705 or email@example.com Kidz Discovery open registration and play day For parents of babies and toddlers 3 months–5 years looking for professionally run early development classes by child development specialist, Kathy Rautenbach. 3 October. Time: 3pm–4:30pm. Venue: Kidz Discovery, The Drive, Camps Bay. Cost: free. Contact Kathy: 083 654 2494, info@kidzdiscovery. co.za or visit kidzdiscovery.co.za Kloof St Library toddler story time Tuesday 9:30am–10am (0–2 years), with a little Afrikaans thrown in. Contact: 021 424 3308 Observatory Library story time Every Wednesday for children 1–4 years. Time:
11am–11:30am. Venue: Station Rd. Cost: free. Contact: 021 447 9017 Planet Kids baby play date For moms and dads with 6- to 12-montholds to socialise. Time: Friday mornings 10am–12pm. As they only charge from 10 months old, the younger babies and their parents can enter free. Venue: 3 Wherry Rd, Muizenberg. Cost: 6–9 months free, 10- to 12-month-olds charged R20–R22 for a once-off session (depending on their age) or R67–R86 for a monthly card of four two-hour sessions. Contact: 021 788 3070 or visit planetkids.co.za
support groups Cape Town Adoption Support movie club After the screening of a movie, the group discusses the adoption themes emerging from the film. Parking on upper campus P5. Booking is essential. 18 October. Time: 5:30pm–8pm. Venue: Lecture Theatre LS1A, Leslie Social Science Building, UCT. Cost: R50. Contact Jean: firstname.lastname@example.org La Leche League’s breast-feeding support groups Panorama: 3 October. Contact Carol: 021 558 5319 or Irma: 084 258 8203. Durbanville: 18 October. Contact Trudy: 021 913 2816 or Tiffany: 021 913 3586. Parow: 19 October. Contact Dilshaad: 021 930 2475. Milnerton Medi-Clinic: 4 October. Contact Juliet: 021 556 0693. Parklands Intercare: 26 October. Contact Elaine: 021 976 8537. Rondebosch: 26 October. Contact Becky: 021 532 485. Meetings in Paarl, Fish Hoek and Malmesbury. Contact Juliet: 021 556 0693. Entry is free and pregnant and nursing mothers are welcome to attend. 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-
Chic Mamas charity golf day The day raises funds for the Chic Mamas projects, which support education in underprivileged areas. 12 October. Time: tee-off tbc. Venue: Erinvale Golf Course. Cost: R600 per person or R2 400 for four-ball. Contact Abigel: 083 715 9308, email@example.com or visit chicmamasdocare.org Collect-a-Can Guinness World Records Competition Register for Collect-a-Can’s national schools competition, collect as many beverage cans, food cans, aerosol cans and paint cans as you can and bring them to your nearest Collect-a-Can branch to help them break the Guinness World Record again. Stand a chance to win great prizes. Contact Janette: 011 466 2939 or visit collectacan.co.za Help2Read benefit dinner The dinner is being held to raise funds for Help2Read who work to support child literacy. Your host for the evening is Jeannie D from Top Billing. 22 October. Time: 7pm. Venue: Pigalle Restaurant, Green Point. Cost: R400 per person or R4 000 per table of 10. Contact Marc: 021 685 8085, marc@ help2read.org or visit help2read.org Register online for Santa Shoebox Project The shoeboxes for underprivileged children need to be dropped off at central distribution points across the country between 20 October and 4 November. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit santashoebox.co.za The Canal Walk Foundation Book Drive 30 September–9 October. You can make a difference by dropping off old or new books in the collection boxes provided. Venue: collection boxes at Canal Walk Shopping Centre entrances 1–4. The books will be distributed to Du Noon Primary and Marconi Beam Primary.
Santa Shoebox Project
don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to email@example.com or fax it to 021 462 2680. Information must be received by 5 October for the November 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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itâ€™s party time continued...
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learning: a tale of two techniques SAM WILSON is forced to revise her last-minute study
Joe, Sam and Benj
oth of our sons are now old enough to write exams and this development has thrown up a few of our family foibles. A typical night before an exam goes something like this: “How’s the studying going?” I’ll ask, slinging my laptop bag down in the hall after work. “Did you find your notebooks okay? Did your teachers drop any hints as to what you should spot?” Andreas will look up appalled from the couch. “What do you mean by spot?” he asks, suspiciously. “Do you mean learn certain bits and... (hushed intake of breath)
just leave others out? Is that what you are suggesting to your sons? Seriously?” The boys will look up from their books expectantly, because this is not an unfamiliar altercation and – I am told – it’s rather an amusing one. You see, I am a procrastinator married to an organised person. I don’t think Andreas has ever procrastinated in his whole life. He’s never heard the whoosh of a deadline whizzing by, or broken into that cold, 3am sweat before an exam when you realize that you are going to have to start spotting from your already narrow spot topics. The first week we met, we were hanging out in his university flat, drinking cheap white wine and eating Nik Naks (impromptu gifts have always been my forte), when the doorbell rang. “Can I borrow your chemistry notes?” asked a flustered-looking person. “Absolutely, they’re in that file,” said
Andreas, nonchalantly. “See you in the exam tomorrow.” I was gobsmacked. Never, in the history of revision, could this have ever happened before. “You’re writing chemistry tomorrow?” I asked. “And you’re fine with failing? You don’t need me to leave instantly?” Andreas looked perplexed as he closed the door. “I won’t fail,” he explained, as if to a small child, “because I’ve finished studying for that exam.” Again, this was unheard of. Who finishes studying? One studies until the adjudicator rips the sweaty notes from your grasp and hands you the exam paper. And you don’t entertain your new beau the night before. You study absolutely all night, with all the concentration you can muster, occasionally stopping to flagellate yourself with the whips of your own inadequacy. I explained this to Dreas as patiently as I could, before offering to run out and tackle the note-borrower. And it was in a
series of such mutually puzzled moments that we fell in love. So you can understand our sons’ amusement. Many’s the night I have praised them for simply remembering that they have exams the next day, while Andreas has been horrified that there should be any need to revise the night before at all. Luckily, our boys have once again appeared to escape our best efforts at botching up their upbringing. “You and Dad aren’t so different,” said Joe to me conspiratorially after one of these interchanges. “At least together you’ve taught us that while you may study a bit each day, or study all in one go, there’s never any question of not studying at all.” I thought that was a perfectly lovely thing to say. Sam Wilson is the Editor-in-Chief of Women24.com, Parent24.com and Food24.com. She just made the deadline for this column.
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PHOTOGRAPH: Andreas SpÄth
methods when her sons start writing exams.