C a p e
To w n â€™ s
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g u i d e
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things to get your head around in 2013 vaccinations crĂ¨che syndrome the new curriculum cyberbullying ADHD
back to school
Hunter House PUB L IS H ING
Welcome back to the start of a wonderful new year.
Publisher Lisa Mc Namara • firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial Managing Editor Marina Zietsman • email@example.com
By now you will have eased into some kind of routine as your baby starts to sleep through, your toddler settles into crèche or your child looks forward to a new school year. After a three-week break, we at Child magazine are back into our routine at work, feeling refreshed and ready to bring you another year’s worth of great parenting reads and resources. All that starts right here with our “Back to School” issue, which is brimming with updates on health and education, light reads, informative parenting pieces and as always, something topical to get us talking. As we stride into our 10th
Features Editor Anél Lewis • firstname.lastname@example.org Resource Editor Lucille Kemp • email@example.com Copy Editor Debbie Hathway
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we are even more enthusiastic about parenting and the important role we play, and we know that you share and fuel our passion to bring you a magazine that is relevant, informative and entertaining. Here’s to an amazing 2013. May it bring good health and happiness to you and your family.
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a note from lisa
6 over to you readers respond 8
Ammarah Bamath admits that sometimes she loves her toddler a bit more when the little one is asleep
16 cover story all you need to know when your child wants to enter the world of modelling and acting. By Jennifer Stastny
homeopathy can treat a vast range of conditions, says Umm Zakariyya
20 education 101
Michelle Jones explains the new curriculum and helps you make sense of the terminology
22 positively single
regulars 10 upfront with paul
arenting alone need not be p a negative experience, says Helena Kingwill
24 break the cycle you can boost your child’s immune system to escape the dreaded crèche syndrome. By Kim Maxwell
aul Kerton warns parents against P being “pushy” and having unrealistic dreams for their children
11 pregnancy news – perfect timing when is the right time to fall pregnant? Lucille Kemp looks at points to consider 12 best for baby – get that shot
Glynis Horning says there’s overwhelming evidence that vaccinations save lives
14 dealing with difference
child psychiatrist Brendan Belsham explains the importance of a proper diagnosis for ADHD
36 resource – roots, shoots and muddy boots 26 so, you should know... Christina Castle asked a few teachers what useful information they wish they could share with parents 28 pull your weight are we leaving parenting up to the teachers? Glynis Horning finds out 30 hold your head high
L ucille Kemp and Lisa Lazarus offer solutions for all kinds of hair(y) issues
32 when bullying goes viral
s ocial media has made bullying a lot more sinister. By Tori Hoffmann
Samantha van Riet shows you how to get your children to become keen gardeners
40 a good read
new books for the whole family
44 what’s on in february 58 finishing touch
nél Lewis gets a lesson in the real A meaning of fun during the holidays
classified ads 52 family marketplace 55 let’s party
this month’s cover images are supplied by:
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over to you keep your children close There are many child-friendly places with play equipment to keep children busy where parents can relax with friends and enjoy a cuppa. But I have noticed how many parents don’t bother about keeping an eye on their children at these places. Recently a friend and I visited a popular venue with our children. Unfortunately, the fencing around the play area is low and the play equipment creates a number of blind spots for parents who are seated at the tables. We noticed a man walk up to the fence and watch the children. He took out his cellphone and made a short call, still watching the children. He did not have a child at the play area and alarmed, we pointed this out to the manager, who told the man to leave. The childminders didn’t do anything. Parents, please, don’t expect others to look after your children. Be vigilant all the time. One kidnapping or potential kidnapping is one too many. Susannah Hillman
living with a special needs child More than a year ago our lives changed forever when our newborn was rushed to the neonatal ICU. We received the devastating news that he had a genetic condition and as a result had significant medical complications, including
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a hole in the heart. We were warned that there would be huge developmental delays. I’m writing this letter because before our ordeal I knew a mom who had a special needs child and now, with hindsight, I feel ashamed that I didn’t do more. I wish I had phoned her and insisted on a coffee date to give her an outlet from her daily struggle. I wish I didn’t just ask in passing how her child was doing, but rather showed a genuine interest in her. The truth is that having a child with different needs is devastating to a parent. We learn to celebrate “inch stones” not milestones. In our circle, we use special needs jargon: “Does your child have a Mickey?” Most people would think we’re referring to a Mickey Mouse toy, but we’re talking about a gastrostomy feeding tube. I remember cuddling my baby in the hospital and having such a strong urge to put him to my breast, to let him latch. It is, after all, the most natural instinct for a lactating woman. Instead, feeding had to be done clinically via a nasal gastric tube and later, after the gastrostomy was performed, via a feeding tube. Some of our friends have no idea what we have to endure on a daily basis and their ignorant comments show that they have no intention of finding out. But over the past year we have made new friends. We swap
numbers and share information on paediatric surgeons, paediatric cardiologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. We compare the best feeding supplements to get our babies to gain weight. When one of our babies is hospitalised for the umpteenth time, we send messages of comfort; even recommendations of what medical procedure should be considered. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t part of this club, but the reality is that I am. I understand why mothers of “normal” children give moms of special needs children a wide berth. It’s an uncomfortable subject. Dealing with the realities of a special needs child is unpleasant. All I ask of you is to try and put yourself in that mom’s shoes. Try to imagine the loss she’s suffered, the dreams she’s had to let go of. All moms are amazing – some just have more challenges than others. Anonymous
what language to choose My 10 year old was given a note from school saying that we must choose her matric second language now. She had one week to decide whether she is going to continue with Afrikaans as a second language or choose Zulu. My book club friends tried to make the decision easier by offering the following advice:
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1 C hoose Afrikaans – at least you will be able to help with Afrikaans. The children don’t really do any hard work in the second language classes anyway. 2 Zulu is too difficult. It is impossible to get an A or even a B for Zulu and the language is mostly spoken in KwaZulu-Natal. 3 Choose Zulu – it may be challenging, but Afrikaans is the language of the old regime. 4 Learn Zulu because millions of people speak it, and it would be nice to know what everyone’s talking about in the bus. 5 There are no books, DVDs or graded readers available in Zulu and there is little interest or commitment from the school. 6 Why do they have to choose one at all? English, as the international language, is the one that counts. It’s a waste of time to fiddle around with a second language that is of no practical use. And, if you can’t make a decision, why not opt for sign language instead? Janine
bullies A learner recently shot and killed another learner because he was being bullied. It had apparently been going on for a long time. Where was the school and where were the teachers? More importantly, did the parents of the shooter not know that he was being bullied? Were the bully’s parents unaware that their child was torturing others?
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Children spend hours at school every day for most of the year. It’s very important that parents take the initiative to keep the lines of communication open between themselves and the school. More importantly, it’s essential for parents to communicate with their children on a daily basis and to work at building an emotional bond. Children are usually not honest when you ask them directly how their day went. But if you do something relaxing with them, such as playing a game of soccer, they might find it easier to open up. If we encourage a trusting relationship and give them unconditional love, they are far more likely to confide in us than bully someone else, or use a gun to solve a problem. Michele Engelberg
Fortunately for me, my mother, who knew nothing about giftedness, bought me every book I asked for, even when money was scarce. At the age of 12 my library at home had in excess of 1 500 books; most of them factual. I’d always have four to eight open. I used to speedread the storybooks in book stores. That’s how I taught myself. School was too easy, so my spare time was spent expanding my library and eventually visiting other libraries. Now it’s so much easier with the internet. I have joined Mensa and other societies, but they are a waste of time. My advice to parents of gifted children is to give your child as much love as you can. Be disciplined with them. Challenge them constantly. They should then be fine on their own. Anonymous
thank you We would like to thank Child magazine most sincerely for their support of the Nappy Run campaign. Our main event happened at the Johannesburg Zoo on 3 November and it was a great success. We look forward to growing the campaign in the years to come and hope that the public will continue to show its support. Nadia Rossouw, Nappy Run Team
help for gifted children There is very little educational hope in South Africa for gifted children. In many cases education is even worse than the boredom I experienced in the 1980s. At 28, my verbal IQ was assessed at ceiling level and my nonverbal IQ was at 155 on the old Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale.
through the eyes of a child I had the privilege of enjoying a seaside holiday with my five-year-old niece this December. After a very difficult year, which included me almost drowning in lawyers’ bills, and buying a house, I was exhausted and not up to spending time looking after a little girl with loads of energy. But what a revelation it was! For the first time in years I enjoyed a break by seeing it through the eyes of a child. I looked at rock pools with fascination. I had fun with a plastic bucket and spade. I ate ice cream and slept in a “Christmas” bed. There was no time for TV, shopping or fretting. We should all go back to that place again, and allow our children to be in that space for as long as possible. Rachel van Dyke
We reserve the right to edit and shorten submitted letters. The opinions reflected here are those of our readers and are not necessarily held by Hunter House Publishing.
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sweet dreams Her daughter’s bedtime is sometimes her favourite
hey say you make your own happiness and I believe it’s true. All I have to do is look at my beautiful two-year-old daughter to know that. Yes, her father and I did indeed make our happiness, and her name is Hafsa. To describe Hafsa as feisty would be a disservice to the enormity of her personality and the energy of her spirit. A carbon copy of her dad, she fills my days with endless questions and giraffes made out of building blocks.
I have been blessed in that I have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mother. Yes, I was present to witness her first step, her first word and to kiss her first “ouchy”, and yes, I’m there when she simply wants a cuddle or for me to tell her the story of Red Riding Hood. However, I am also witness to the tantrums, hairpulling, toy-throwing and crayon-breaking episodes, of which at least one of the above will happen daily. She has thrown herself onto the floor, kicking and screaming – much like she entered the world – because she wanted a green sweet. The pink one that I had offered her just wasn’t good enough. Like all moms, I’ve come to realise that I have to choose my battles with my daughter and the one about the sweet was not one I was going to win anytime soon. I knew that no amount of words would calm her or make her see reason, so instead I shut out my mind and drifted off to my happy place; a place where little girls really are made of sugar and spice and all things nice. A place where sharing, potty training and cuddling happen naturally.
Secretly I count the hours until its bedtime just so that I can turn off the Barney DVD – I know the words to every song – pack away the toys, mend the broken crayons and collapse on the couch. Of course she has her wonderful moments too. Like the times where she’ll suddenly kiss me or say, “Wow Mommy, you look so pretty”. It’s these gestures that I remember as I watch her sleeping. The soft sighs that part her lips or the way her eyelashes fan her face almost make me wish that she’d wake up and say “Mommy” one more time. Almost. I love Hafsa. She’s the best part of me. Is it wrong though that I love her just a wee bit more when she’s asleep after a busy day?
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 email@example.com
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part of the day, admits AMMARAH BAMATH.
individual treatment Homeopathy is becoming an increasingly acceptable way to
treat illness and maintain good health, says Umm Zakariyya.
hould alternative therapies be a parent’s first choice for promoting their child’s health and for healing acute and chronic ailments, or should it be the last recourse after other avenues of treatment have been exhausted? Just a few years ago, the answer would have been a highly controversial and polarised one, but today, with the growing acceptance of alternative health treatments, parents have more choice when it comes to complementary medicine.
homeo what? Homeopathy is a therapeutic medicinal system that restores health by stimulating the body’s own systems of defence and repair. Based on the teachings of German physician Dr Samuel Hahnemann, the central doctrine of homeopathy is that “like treats like”; meaning that a substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person is able to treat those same symptoms in an ill person. Caffeine, for example, may cause insomnia, but a homeopathic solution of a diluted caffeine compound would act as a sedative and treat the symptoms of insomnia. Homeopathy has gained credibility as a system that not only supports physical health, but also restores emotional and
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cognitive wellbeing and is able to detect and treat subtle signs of illness before they reach a chronic stage.
homeopathy and your child Homeopathy can effectively treat a vast range of health conditions such as allergies, asthma, eczema, frequent colds and coughs, insomnia, recurrent ear infections as well as behavioural problems such as anxiety and fear, childhood depression, excessive anger, bedwetting, concentration difficulties and hyperactivity. “Seeing your child unwell or being subjected to frequent illnesses can often leave a parent feeling helpless,” says Dr Olica Maniram, a Cape Townbased homeopathic doctor. “Equally perturbing is when the parents sense that their child is not quite in balance, because of their clingy behaviour or disrupted sleep patterns, even after the child has been given a clean bill of health.” A first visit to a homeopathic doctor could last up to an hour. Maniram says you will be asked about your pregnancy and child’s birth; your child’s mental and emotional states; their general lifestyle, including sleep patterns, reaction to weather, food preferences and aversions; and your own state of health and family history of chronic illnesses. Because homeopathy acknowledges the uniqueness of
every individual, not only in terms of illness but also in terms of personality, an individualised course of treatment and remedies will be selected. Homeopathic medication is available as a spray, liquid drops, small pills and granules. Children are usually offered the pills or granules as they can be sucked and are sweet and more palatable.
benefits “There is a growing trend towards taking non-chemical or natural preparations before opting for mainstream medication,” says Dr Fatgieya Samsodien, a general practitioner in Cape Town. “Children are also sensitive and may react adversely to certain ingredients in medication. The same medication may cause drowsiness in one child and jitters in another. Homeopathic treatment is a safe and effective alternative.” It is nontoxic and does not have side effects. Samsodien advises parents to start off with a mild dose of any medication, whether homeopathic or allopathic, and then to increase the dose or change the medication if necessary. If you are combining treatments, speak to your practitioners to ensure that it is safe to do so. As with any medication, the safe use of homeopathic treatments requires the guidance of a trained professional.
upfront with paul
Encourage your children to try new things and test their skills, but don’t overdo it, says PAUL KERTON.
he phrase “pushy parent” prompts a slight curl of the lip and is used to describe mothers and fathers who are deemed to push their children too hard to achieve a talent or status in life that they never quite achieved themselves. Witness the cliché of a pretty but aging mother hawking her even prettier daughter from beauty pageant to modelling agency to drama audition. It’s the “I could have been a contender” syndrome rearing its ugly head and kicking in with a vengeance. Where the parent feels that they could’ve, would’ve, should’ve been “something” but they threw their opportunity away, and now they will be damned if their child is going to “make the same mistake”. Classic. Meanwhile the child is exhausted from being towed all over town to do extra “work” when all she wants to do is chill and watch iCarly, having put in a day shift already at school. Pushy Wikipedia cofounder, Larry Sanger, started a growing trend of “early reading” when he used PowerPoint
Saskia, Paul and Sabina
presentations to teach his two-year-old son to read and inadvertently launched a new “religion” – worshipping the patron saint of precocious children. One devotee, Dana Wilkey, started teaching her son to read from four days old. Yes, you’re right, babies can’t even focus on the book at that age, but her philosophy of “it’s never too early to make your child brilliant” included bombarding her son with flash cards twice a day. “I would
show John words such as “milk”, give him my breast, and then show him the baby sign language for milk.” My English teacher never did that. As we speak, there is an enormous industry exploding in teaching babies to communicate before they can crawl, never mind walk; with “signing” being a big craze. Visit tinytalk.co.uk and prepare to be stunned as millions of moms and dads converse with their babies using
sign language. These are the extremes of parental pushiness though. Most parents are not really that forceful, just mildly competitive, as we all want the best for our children in a world where future opportunities for our offspring are diminishing faster than they are opening up. It’s healthy to push our children to some extent to try as many things as possible and recognise what they are good at or interested in sooner rather than later. The classic extramural schedule of one musical instrument, one language, one sport and one of the arts is designed to provide a fully-rounded learning experience, leading to a well-balanced personality. Problems only arise when the child is expected, or pushed, to do too many extra pursuits in one evening or afternoon. You can overdo it, but you know your child and should be perceptible to whether or not they are coping with their workload. If not, lose one or two activities. Research shows time and again that you don’t learn a darn thing when you are tired. Follow Paul on Twitter: @fabdad1
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PHOTOGRAPH: MARIETTE BARKHUIZEN
hey, stop pushing!
perfect timing You’re emotionally ready for a baby, but how do you know if it’s the right time to fall pregnant? LUCILLE KEMP considers the options.
octors recommend that you start preconception care four months prior to trying to fall pregnant. This may include lifestyle changes, the taking of nutritional supplements such as folic acid, blood tests, iron level checks, a urine test, a pap smear, a blood pressure test and even a dental checkup. Men are also advised to do their bit, by cutting down on alcohol consumption, taking vitamins and avoiding saunas and restrictive underwear. Medical advice is that you should wait at least six months, but preferably longer, after giving birth before trying for the next one.
what is your ideal age? Becoming a mom in your twenties, thirties or forties – each age group has its advantages and risks. While you may be at your most fertile in your early twenties, you are not necessarily financially stable or established yet. Once Alex Wall, 26-year-old mom to two daughters, found out she was pregnant she prepared by joining a good medical aid. “We also started putting money away as I wanted to be at home with the baby for longer than three months.” The risks of miscarriage, Down’s syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities at this age are relatively low, but they increase gradually until the age of 35 when doctors will recommend various tests, including an
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amniocentesis, to help detect any possible defects. Nancy Kerr, 37-year-old Cape Town mother who had her daughter at 35 and son at 36, was conscious that her age would put her into a higher risk category. “It is one of the reasons I won’t have a third baby.”
planting the seed Science tells us that sperm carrying the Y chromosome has a high motility/speed and sperm carrying the X chromosome has a longer lifespan. Knowing this, your cycle and when you ovulate can help you to predict the sex of your baby. If you are hoping for a specific sex you can time intercourse with the help of an ovulation date planner and books such as How to Choose the Sex of your Baby: The Method Best Supported by Scientific Evidence (Random House).
conspiring in your favour You might want to time your pregnancy so that you are at your heaviest in a season that is comfortable for you. Nancy battled through summer the first time round so she hoped for a winter pregnancy with her second baby. “Unfortunately, I lucked out and was again at my biggest in the heart of summer, though I am glad as I did not have to struggle to keep a newborn warm and it was easier to get up at 3am.” Note that giving birth during a holiday period,
such as Christmas or Easter, is often less than ideal. Most hospitals operate with a skeleton staff and your gynae may be on holiday when you go into labour. Extensive research has been done on the effect of the month in which a child is born. Children who are able to start school because of their birth dates may still be physically, emotionally and intellectually younger than their classmates. Parents have therefore become more mindful of when they send their child to school. Alex, who is also a teacher, thinks it’s a very important consideration. “I was born in December and had to repeat a grade in primary school; children born in November or December work at a slower pace and although it is a steady pace you will normally find a December child’s yearend evaluation will be the same as another child’s midyear evaluation.” This developmental difference is such a prevalent issue that Southdowns College in Pretoria has created separate age groups for children born in the first half of the year and those in the second half of the year.
best for baby
get those shots Put any qualms aside – the overwhelming evidence is that vaccinations are vital for your child’s health. By GLYNIS HORNING
still remember tearing up in sympathy when my sons had their first vaccinations; their cheery, chubby faces crumpling with shock at the unexpected prick of the clinic sister’s needle. Yet it would never have occurred to me not to take them, or to skip any of the shots required by the Department of Health’s Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI). “Vaccinating your child means that their body is taught to recognise a pathogen and is able to defend itself against disease caused by it,” explains Professor Jeffrey Mphahlele, head of the South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre (Savic) at the University of Limpopo’s Medunsa Campus in Pretoria. “Immunisation is one of the greatest breakthroughs in medical history and, according to the World Health Organisation, saves three million lives a year.”
journal The Lancet, and the main author was dropped from the British General Medical Council because, among other things, he was found to have falsified his data and benefited financially from discrediting the MMR.”
have their child vaccinated. But despite this legal requirement, schools may not refuse to accept unvaccinated children, since vaccination is not compulsory.” There is, however, a societal moral obligation to have it done, because the child who is not immunised poses a threat not only to themselves, but to others, he says. “Freeloading, the practice of avoiding vaccinations and depending instead on herd immunity, is not only immoral, it will eventually backfire on parents who do this because they are setting an example which others in their community may follow, resulting in low herd immunity and outbreaks.” Burnett adds, “Unvaccinated children who are eligible for vaccination also pose a threat to those who can’t be vaccinated for various reasons, including being too young, or having a disease of the immune system that precludes them from vaccination. For example, many of the babies who got measles during the recent outbreak were younger than nine months, the age at which babies have their first measles vaccination.” So what to do if to date you have not had your child vaccinated for any reason, or have failed to go for the booster shots needed to sustain adequate levels of protection against the disease? It’s never too late to start, Mphahlele says. “And if the child has had some shots, there’s no need to restart the series. Just continue where you left off.”
Immunisation is one of the greatest breakthroughs in medical history and, according to the World Health Organisation, saves three million lives a year.
So why are some mothers remiss in having it done? “Many factors contribute,” says Mphahlele, citing an article that appeared recently in the journal Vaccine. They range from missed vaccination opportunities to incorrect information provided by clinic staff, unavailability of vaccines and difficulties accessing clinics. “Anti-vaccination lobbyists who argue that vaccinations are unsafe may also have influenced mothers to not vaccinate children,” adds Rosemary Burnett, senior lecturer in epidemiology in the Department of Public Health at the University of Limpopo, and one of the authors of the study. These lobbyists’ most widely publicised argument in recent years has been that there is a link between MMR, a combination vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, available in the private sector in South Africa, and autism. But this was based on a study of just 12 autistic children with no control group, says Burnett, and many had signs and symptoms of autism before being vaccinated. “Subsequent controlled scientific studies on huge numbers of children have found no link. Ten of the 12 authors retracted their names from the article. It was withdrawn by the medical
make an informed decision The choice is surely clear, but it is still your decision to make. “In South Africa, parents are required to submit proof of childhood vaccinations when they enrol their child in school,” says Mphahlele. “If there’s no documentation, school principals are legally obliged to refer the parents to the clinic to
calling the shots Diseases for which vaccines are available in the routine EPI programme are tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough, tetanus, measles, haemophilus influenza infections such as pneumonia and meningitis, hepatitis B, pneumococcal disease, and rotaviral enteritis, a severe and dehydrating form of diarrhoea. Ask about these at your clinic. For the schedule, visit childmag.co.za/content/ immunisation-schedule
Diseases for which vaccines are currently licensed and available in the private sector as part of the routine immunisation programme are rubella or German measles, varicella (chickenpox), hepatitis A, influenza, mumps and human papilloma virus infection, which is associated with about 60 percent of cervical cancer cases. Ask your doctor about these. Diseases for which vaccines are given only in special situations or for travelling are anthrax, cholera, hepatitis A, meningococcal disease, rabies, tick-borne encephalitis, typhoid fever, yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis. Ask your doctor or travel doctor about them. magazine cape town
weigh up the risks
Others of the anti-vaccination brigade, including a dear misguided friend of mine, argue that multiple simultaneous vaccines can overwhelm a young child’s immature immune system and cause disease and conditions including autism. But Mphahlele and Burnett, and her research colleagues, report that there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this. My friend eventually took her three children for vaccinations when they reached preschool age, but only because the head of the school she fancied insisted on it. Burnett and her colleagues also point out that the diseases that vaccines prevent can have serious complications, and they were common before vaccination was introduced. Any effects that may occur after immunisation are mostly mild; involving redness, tenderness or mild fever, and they’re usually short-lived, with only one per several thousands or millions being serious, she says. So for example, a child’s risk of a severe reaction to the measles vaccination is one in one million, while having measles carries a one in 20 risk of pneumonia, a one in 2 000 risk of encephalitis, a one in 3 000 risk of death in industrialised countries, and, alarmingly, a one in five chance of death in developing countries such as ours.
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dealing with difference
ADHD’s diagnostic dilemma In his book, What’s the fuss about ADHD?, child psychiatrist BRENDAN BELSHAM advises parents to get a proper diagnosis for this complex condition.
he teacher reports that your child is underachieving in the classroom, and suggests an assessment. Like any parent, you will probably respond emotionally. After all, we don’t enjoy receiving criticism about our children, however well-intentioned. It is natural to go on the defensive, and parents often begin by blaming either the teacher or the school. Sometimes feedback about our children awakens issues which we experienced years ago in the classroom. As a practitioner, I have often found myself caught in the middle of a teacher’s concerns and a parent’s denial. Indeed, many families come to see me under duress, having been issued a thinly-veiled ultimatum to have their child assessed, “or else”. This is a far from ideal beginning for a doctor-patient relationship, and I often have to spend a large chunk of
2 a neurodevelopmental paediatrician, with a
special interest in ADHD; or 3 a paediatric neurologist, with expertise in
childhood neurology. For completeness, one should probably also include the general paediatrician and family doctor, although you must do your homework because not all generalists have expertise with this condition. But, in our context of scarce resources, it is only pragmatic that some of the load should be shared by general practitioners.
the appropriate test Many parents are referred specifically to a neurologist because the teacher feels they need to have an electroencephalogram, or EEG, a procedure which records the electrical activity of the brain. However, I must emphasise that you cannot diagnose ADHD with an EEG. Anyone who tells you
the first consultation easing this tense situation. But it doesn’t have to be this way. How the teacher approaches you as a parent can facilitate the process. There is a world of difference between “I think Johnny should go onto Ritalin” and “I have noticed that Johnny often daydreams in class and doesn’t finish his work. How about we ask a specialist to look into this?” I know which approach I would prefer.
who does the diagnosing? Parents are often unsure about this, as there are at least three different medical specialists to whom you might be referred. Schools often refer to these specialists somewhat interchangeably and randomly, further compounding parents’ confusion. The truth is any of the following doctors would be appropriate: 1 a child and adolescent psychiatrist who has specialised in children’s conditions;
otherwise is either deluded or practising quackery. There is certainly a place for the EEG, for example if it is suspected that the child has absence or petit mal seizures, a type of epilepsy in which the brain “switches off” for short periods of time. In such instances the EEG is an appropriate diagnostic test. But don’t let anyone tell you that your child has to have an EEG, including the latest fad, the quantitative EEG, known as the qEEG, in order to diagnose the condition. There is something vaguely unsatisfactory about not having a scientific test to diagnose a condition, which no doubt contributes to the proliferation of gimmicks such as the qEEG, but unfortunately that is where we stand. A diagnosis involves a checklist of symptoms which should be evident in the child and that should be causing significant impairment in his or her daily functioning. The latter is particularly important as it guards us against overmagazine cape town
There is something vaguely unsatisfactory about not having a scientific test to diagnose a condition…
diagnosing the condition – we call this “false positives” – or worse, degenerating into perilous cosmetic pharmacology.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM IV, published by the American Psychiatric Association and now in its fourth edition, is the “bible” of psychiatric disorders. It records the diagnostic rules for any condition you care to mention. In the section describing childhood conditions, you will find that the symptoms of ADHD are divided into three clusters: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.
problem is not necessarily an absolute inability to concentrate, as it is an avoidance of tasks that don’t stimulate or are boring. This has to do with the executive system of the brain, which governs higher functions such as prioritising, delay of gratification and time management. DSM IV has decreed that a child should display at least six of these nine symptoms to warrant the ADHD diagnosis. There is nothing magical in this particular threshold, and good studies have shown that children with only four or five symptoms may be as impaired as children with seven or eight criteria.
1 an abnormally short concentration span;
1 constantly on the go, “as if driven by
the DSM IV
2 a frequent resistance to sustained
mental effort, especially with boring or repetitive tasks; 3 easy distractibility; 4 marked forgetfulness; 5 a tendency to lose things frequently; 6 difficulty organising tasks, poor planning; 7 not listening properly to instructions; 8 a tendency to rush work, poor attention to detail, frequent careless mistakes; and 9 inability to complete tasks. Most of these symptoms are selfexplanatory, but it is true that a child with ADHD may concentrate very well in certain situations, even too well at times. It is known that such children often “hyperfocus” on certain tasks, to the exclusion of other, more important or relevant activities. The
2 3 4 5 6
a motor”; runs about or climbs excessively; restless, unable to stay seated; fidgets excessively; excessively talkative; and plays loudly.
impulsivity: 7 often interrupts or intrudes on others; 8 cannot wait his or her turn; and 9 blurts out answers before the question
is completed. In assessing these criteria, the doctor should directly observe the child in the consulting room, usually involving some form of structured activity such as drawing or writing. It is also very important to interview the child directly.
Dr Brendan Belsham has been in private practice as a child psychiatrist for more than 12 years. What’s the fuss about ADHD? (CreateSpace), explores the controversies surrounding this frequently diagnosed condition. It has been written mainly for parents who want the disorder, as well as its diagnosis, possible causes and treatment, explained in an accessible manner. He also discusses the safety of the medications commonly prescribed. To order a copy of the book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit drbelsham.com
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your child’s life
cover story Understanding how the modelling or acting industry works will go
ou see the child on the cover of this magazine and think “so sweet”. Of course your little one is cuter, even if you say so yourself. So why isn’t she on the cover? She could be. She could also be the cute child with the mini-Afro who struts her stuff in that television ad for nappies. To make the leap from doting mom to momslash-manager of the next baby Heidi Klum, you will need to summon up some time (yours), patience (yours again) and willingness (your child’s). Then it’s a case of following these six steps.
step 1: spawn an extrovert; preferably one that’s attractive Don’t think that sticking a camera in the face of your quiet seven year old will help her blossom. The most likely outcome of such an approach will be tears – the photographer’s, after that camera is thrown at the nearest
wall. “Shy, introverted children generally don’t enjoy modelling or acting, and are also less successful,” says Nicky Greyling of Kool Kids Casting Club in Cape Town. “This industry is best suited to children who have an outgoing personality and are confident.” Insider’s tip: Casting agencies need people of all ages on their books. However, it’s probably best to consider your child’s age when deciding to join one. Older babies and toddlers don’t usually take direction well. You’re better off trying to teach a fish to canoe than trying to get your two year old to sit still and look at the birdie. “It gets a little easier after the age of three or four,” says Justine Leary, whose sons Troy, six, and Seth, two, have featured in a number of local and international print and television campaigns. “Before then, you’ll spend a lot of time vying for your child’s attention and keeping them away from the equipment.”
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PHOTOGRAPHS AND ILLUSTRATIONS: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
a long way to protecting your child, says Jennifer Stastny.
Make it clear to your child that if he isn’t chosen, it’s not because he is not good-looking enough or clever enough. Casting directors have very specific ideas on the look and type of performance they want for just that one shoot. step 2: register with a reputable agency Find an agency that belongs to the National Association of Model Agencies (Nama), the Official South African Casting Association (Oscasa) or one that has a proven track record. “If you have to, check the company’s registration documents to make sure they’ve been around a while,” advises Linsay Shuttleworth of Topco Models. “We’ve seen many fly-by-night operations close and the parents never see their money.” You’re also entitled to ask for references, adds Nicky. Once you’ve found a legitimate agency, it’s simply a question of filling in some forms and having a few professional photographs taken of your future face of Baby Gap. For babies under six months, most agents will also accept a supplied photo. The registration process will take an hour or two and shouldn’t cost you more than R500, including the cost of the photographer. Remember to bring
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your child’s birth certificate as your agency’s client will need to use it when applying for permits; a legal requirement for every shoot involving a child (see “law and order”). Insider’s tip: This is the point where you settle on the agency’s commission. “Local agencies typically charge 20 percent of the child’s earnings. For international agencies, that could go up to 30 percent,” says Linsay. Once your child has been cast, his income will depend on the type of job and whether he features in the final campaign. As a rule, stills or photographic shoots pay less than television commercials, but then they also require more time on set. Michelle Danner, a Hollywood film and casting director and acting coach for A-list actors, says, “Like everything else that pertains to the child, there is due diligence to find the right agent. It’s okay to interview the agent as well, and ask questions in terms of what they’re going to do for your child.” Michelle is in South Africa this month to work with aspiring actors.
your child’s life
Shy, introverted children generally don’t enjoy modelling or acting, and are also less successful. This industry is best suited to children who have an outgoing personality and are confident.
the industry works like this… Duncan Rice, of the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy, says casting directors or advertising companies will contact a casting agency or model agency with a profile of what they want. The agency will send photos of children on their books who match the profile. If the actor or model is chosen, the agency will contact their parents to advise how much the child will earn, less their commission. If there is agreement, the casting agency will sign the actor’s contract. Some agencies may charge a yearly administration fee to have a child’s profile on their website or to take photographs. Be aware, however, of excessive fees as these could be a scam. There is no need to pay to attend any casting. “The golden rule for casting and model agencies is that you should not have to pay any money upfront.” Read the contract carefully before signing your child, and do your homework. You should find information about the agency on the internet if it’s a scam, for example. Promises of fame and fortune are generally unrealistic. Trust your gut and don’t be hoodwinked by flattery.
step 3: be there to take the call and go to the casting Now, you sit tight. At this point, your child is one of many on the agent’s books, waiting for a brief that calls for a child of just her gender, age and look. When that call comes, be prepared to change your plans on short notice. Insider’s tip: A good casting agency takes care to match the face to the brief rather than throwing everyone on their books at a casting. It’s also important to manage your child’s expectations. “It can be disappointing to get excited about a casting but not get the job,” says Daniel Coetzee, 12, who has been in front of cameras since he was 10. Nicky agrees, adding that parents should try to avoid building up their child’s expectations. “Make it clear to your child that if he isn’t chosen, it’s not because he is not good-looking enough or clever enough,” she says. “Casting directors have very specific ideas on the look and type of performance they want for just that one shoot. The next one will be totally different.”
step 4: work it, baby The Cutest Moppet in the World has finally landed her first commercial. You wake up at 5am to get to the film location, an hour out of town, by 6:30am and arrive just in
time for a great flurry of… nothing. Film and photo shoots tend to involve a lot of hurryup-and-wait, which can be frustrating for first-timers and little ones. Although child labour laws state that children under 10 are not allowed to work more than three hours a day, and thereafter not more than four hours, they may still have to be on set from early in the morning until late afternoon. Fortunately, everyone knows an unhappy child is a stubborn child, so they go to great lengths to ensure that little ones are kept well fed and happy. “A day on set includes all meals. And each child is assigned a crew member who keeps them entertained and makes sure they get their make-up done and know where to go,” says Justine. “My six year old is so comfortable with the whole business by now that I just stand back and let them take care of him.” Insider’s tip: “Make sure your child gets a good night’s rest before a shoot. Tired children tend to be uncooperative on set,” says Linsay. “And be sure to bring their favourite toys, blankets and drinks along.” It’s important that you, as the parent, find the right balance between being there for your child and getting out of the way so that the director and photographer can do their jobs. “Sometimes I can see that Troy needs a little time to warm up to the environment. Then I step back and let magazine cape town
law and order The performing arts is one of the few exceptions to the general prohibition on employing children under the age of 15. However, the employer must apply for a permit to do so, and will not receive one if he or she has been convicted of a crime against a child. There are some strict rules around working conditions. • Children under 10 should not work more than three hours a day, or four hours a day for over 10s. • Children under 10 can’t be expected to be on set for longer than eight hours a day, or 10 hours for over 10s. • Children under 10 must get a half-hour break after 90 minutes of work, or after two hours of work for over 10s. • Children can’t be expected to perform at night, after 10pm and before 5am, more than three times a week. • There must be a safe recreational area where children can rest and play. • Parents must be allowed within sight and sound of their children at all times. • No child should be exposed to physical or emotional danger as a result of the performance, based on either the child or the parent’s assessment of the situation. Source: Department of Labour’s “Sectoral Determination 10 for Children in the Performance of Advertising, Artistic and Cultural Activities”
him settle,” says Justine. “However, there was one job when I thought the producer kept him working too long, so I called my agents. They put a stop to it immediately.”
step 5: pace yourself for payment After all the deadline-driven casting and shooting, you’ll have to wait a good few weeks, sometimes months, before your child receives final payment – and even then you won’t be certain of how much the full amount will be until it arrives. This is because payment generally consists of two parts: a guaranteed fee for the time spent on set, which is usually a flat day or half-day rate, plus an additional usage fee if your child features in the final campaign. It is quite possible, especially in television commercials, for your child to be edited out of the final cut. In this case, you will only be paid the guaranteed flat fee. Insider’s tip: Brush up your tax knowledge. Like every other working Joey, child actors and models have to pay PAYE, so you will need an income tax number for your child. The agency will deduct this tax, plus its fee, before handing over final payment. Depending on your child’s annual earnings, you will be able to claim a portion of this tax back when you submit his or her annual tax return. magazine cape town
step 6: rinse and repeat The film and modelling industry is very reputation-driven, and child stars are no different. If your child enjoys what he is doing and is good in front of the camera, and if you have the time and patience to take him to castings and shoots, usually on short notice, word will spread and job offers will follow. Earning their own money is also a boon, and a learning opportunity. “Daniel has opened his own bank account and looks after the money he has earned. That’s a wonderful thing, especially at 12 years of age,” says his mother, Janine. Insider’s tip: Children’s interests change, and the day may come when your little Brad Pitt becomes more interested in computer games than getting his hair slicked back for a shoot. When that happens, let him bow out without a fight. “I told my son from the beginning that this is a great opportunity for him, but if he didn’t enjoy it I would honour that and withdraw him from the agency’s books,” says Grace Adair, whose son Joshua, 14, has been performing since he was 12. “Life is about learning and having fun. Give your child the freedom to love what he does and do what he loves.” Michelle says, “The world of show business can be very cold. Very early on I would have the child understand that they are valuable for who they are, not for booking a part.” February 2013
education 101 Changes to the curriculum make it difficult to keep up with the new terminology our schools use. MICHELLE JONES helps us make sense of it all.
for parents to keep up with the new terms and concepts being used. For example, is your child a pupil in Standard 3 being taught by a teacher, or a learner in Grade 5 taught by an educator?
whoâ€™s who Learner refers to a child who attends school. Educator is the person in front of the classroom, formerly known as a teacher. Public schools are managed and funded by the Department of Basic Education. Independent schools were previously known as private schools and are privately governed. They operate according to their own regulations and do not receive government funding.
grades The grades and phases of education are broken up as follows: Grade RR The year before Grade R. Children should be three turning four in this year. Grade R This reception year before a learner starts Grade 1 is now compulsory for all learners. Foundation Phase Grades R to 3. Intermediate Phase Grades 4 to 6. Senior Phase Grades 7 to 9. Further Education and Training Phase Grades 10 to 12.
new curriculum Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (Caps) provide an in-depth guide for teachers to plan their time and structure lessons, and detail what work they are expected to cover each term. The statements also list which textbooks, workbooks and other media should be used. Every subject in each grade has a single, comprehensive and concise Caps document that will provide details on what educators ought to teach and assess on a grade-bygrade and subject-by-subject basis. The implementation of Caps began in 2011 and is to continue until 2014. It has already been introduced in
Grades R to 3, and in Grade 10. This year, it will be introduced in Grades 4 to 9 and Grade 11. The number of subjects in Grades 4 to 6 will be reduced from eight to six. Caps will be introduced in Grade 12 in 2014. It is not a new curriculum, but an amendment to the National Curriculum Statement. The National Development Plan aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030, and it includes the goal that all South Africans should have access to education and training of the highest quality, leading to significantly improved learning outcomes.
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chooling in South Africa is undergoing a transition with the Department of Basic Education midway through the implementation of a revised curriculum. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the priority of the department is to bring about fundamental changes in schooling outcomes. The comprehensive turnaround plan for schools is called Action Plan to 2014, which forms part of a larger vision called Schooling 2025. This covers all aspects of education, including teacher recruitment, learner enrolment, literacy and numeracy and the overall quality of education. As these changes are introduced, it can be difficult
first day of school Grade R The child should be four years old turning five by 30 June in the year of admission. Panyaza Lesufi, spokesman for the Basic Education Department, says that education officials are on hand to ensure that children of school-going age are in school. “Any child who has not been admitted at a school should contact the nearest district office for placement. Each district office has dedicated officials to monitor and enforce departmental admission policies as well as the placement of learners in schools.” Grade 1 The age of a child starting Grade 1 is five turning six by 30 June in the year of admission. A child can also be six, turning seven, which is the latest age at which a child may start school, according to the SA Schools Act. School is compulsory for children between the ages of seven and 15. Admissions Each province, and every school, is able to determine their own admissions policy in line with national policies. This means that schools are able to set out, based on their resources and capacity, whether learners will only be accepted from certain areas and how to choose which learners to accept. Lesufi says, “Schools’ governing bodies develop their own admission policies in line with the provincial regulations. The school’s admission policy must be ratified by the department to ensure compliance with both the provincial and national policy.” Parents are encouraged to apply to more than one school as it is often unlikely their child will be accepted by their first choice. The SA Schools Act says public schools may not charge a registration fee, a deposit, readmission or preadmission fees, or any other fees, at the time of application. When you apply for a school, you need to supply a copy of your child’s ID and immunisation card. Feeder zones The use of feeder zones, which limits admission to learners living within a certain radius of the school, is
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becomingly increasingly rare. Some schools in Gauteng have feeder zones, so if a parent’s home or work address is within a 5km radius of the school their child’s name will be added to waiting list A. In terms of the Gauteng Department of Education’s admissions policy, those who live or work outside this feeder zone, will have their names placed on waiting list B. KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education head Nkosinathi Sishi, sent a circular to officials, principals and governing bodies last year saying that schools’ admissions policies for 2013 would not be determined by feeder zones. Western Cape schools may in terms of their own admissions policy indicate areas from which children can be accepted, although feeder zones are not determined by provincial policy. Siblings Having a brother or sister in a school won’t guarantee admission for the next sibling that applies. “This issue is not in the national or provincial policy, but some school governing bodies have included it in their admission policies to assist parents in transporting their children to a single school rather than driving from school to school. Other schools do not prioritise the issue of siblings,” says Lesufi. Refusal of admission The national admission policy is clear that the only reason to refuse the admission of a learner is when the school is full. “The principal of the school is expected to provide parents with written reasons if a learner cannot be admitted. Parents can apply to the provincial education minister if they are not satisfied with the reason provided by the school for the nonadmission of a learner.” This issue hit the headlines last year when Rivonia Primary School principal Carol Drysdale was charged with misconduct and insubordination for refusing to enrol a Grade 1 learner. The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the school’s governing body, saying that the provincial education department
did not have the authority to override their decision on the number of learners the school could admit. Applications Enrolments for the next year begin in March in the Western Cape and in May for Gauteng. Parents in KwaZuluNatal can apply in August.
other changes • Common Task Assessments (CTAs) came to an end for Grade 9 learners. • There has been a reduction in the number of projects for learners and the removal of the requirement for portfolio files of learner assessments. Learners, from the foundation phase,
ANA 2012 numeracy and literacy tests for Grades 1 to 6 and Grade 9. What the tests revealed:
7 million the number of learners that wrote the ANA 2012
2 percent the number of Grade 9s who scored more than 50 percent for their numeracy/mathematics test
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the ANA helps parents gauge how well their schools are performing and advises teachers of potential weaknesses in their class.
are able to learn in their mother tongue. The department began the process of distributing literacy and numeracy workbooks to all learners from Grades 1 to 6. Each book contains 128 worksheets and students are encouraged to take the books home so parents can be involved in their children’s learning. By the end of each school year learners will have four workbooks, two for mathematics and two for language, which they will be able to use to keep track of their progress. • The annual national assessments (ANA), tests which assess learners’ knowledge in maths and literacy, were implemented for the first time in 2011.
in the classroom The revised curriculum means that the subjects learners need to cover in the classroom will be different. From 2013 the following subjects will be offered in the intermediate phase: • a home language • first additional language • mathematics • life skills • natural sciences and technology • social studies and in the senior phase: • languages • mathematics • natural sciences • life orientation • social studies • technology • arts and culture • economic and management sciences
positively single Parenting alone is challenging, so make sure you surround
yourself with supportive people. By HELENA KINGWILL
he fear of having to raise children alone is probably as ancient as marriage itself. All through history a woman who is widowed or divorced has faced the risk of discrimination, isolation and poverty. Today, being a single parent is not unusual, but the historical stigma still hovers like a dark cloud. Even with modern conveniences, it’s tough to parent alone. But, as with other challenges, the outcome of your situation is determined by your mental attitude. If you behave like a victim, you will not only become a victim of your circumstances, but so will your children. It is essential that you maintain a positive attitude and get the help you need.
from a group of other single moms she met in a corridor when she realised that they were caught up in complaining about their lives. Celebrated author Eckhart Tolle names this phenomenon “the pain-body” in his book, A New Earth – Awakening
had she joined the conversation, and she didn’t want to go there. Toll’s advice is to observe these things, and be aware of oneself and one’s reaction to them, so as not to be too drawn in emotionally. Thelma Price, a mother of two from Cape Town, has married twice and is again single after experiencing both divorce and the death of her spouse. She says the worst part is feeling unacknowledged for the enormous amount of work one has to do as a single parent. Then there is the struggle with one’s own emotional burdens of grief and disappointment and, in the case of divorce, the awful feeling of having been rejected as a person. She joined a women’s support group to find guidance, but soon left. “The women were fuelling each other’s anger at their ex-husbands. It seems to be an easy trap to fall into.”
the singles’ club This may be why Donna Smith, a single mother from Cape Town, moved away
to your Life’s Purpose (Plume Books). The pain-body is the emotionally-charged energy field one carries that is activated when something has hurt or upset you. When two or more people with a pronounced pain-body get together, this energy field becomes more powerful. The huddle of single moms Donna encountered seemed intriguing until she sensed that towering above them was the spectre of their collective pain-body. Donna knew that her equilibrium would have been disturbed
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If you behave like a victim, you will not only become a victim of your circumstances, but so will your children.
Ronnel Rothschild of Cape Town, who has raised her son alone for most of seven years, says, “Although support groups provide a safe space, separate from society, where the common issue is being a single parent, these dynamics make it easy for them to turn into whinge clubs, unless they are well facilitated. Therapy is ideal, if you can afford it.” She advises single parents to enjoy their free time doing something positive, rather than spending it complaining about the difficulty of their situation.
a societal norm According to Statistics SA, only one third of South African children live with both parents. Although a third of these are left with grandparents, the rest usually end up with their mothers. Despite the fact that it is such a common modern phenomenon, single mothers are still not given much social or physical support by the system. Loneliness can be one of the greatest stumbling blocks for a single mother trying to maintain a positive attitude. “You have to do everything on your own, as there is one less set of hands,” says Marana Bosazza, a mother of four who single-handedly runs an organic vegetable farm and food gardens at schools in the Ciskei. She has been a single mother for seven years. “Single dads go through the same thing. It’s a problem caused by the modern nuclear family.”
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Traditional African tribal society is probably the most forgiving environment to be a single parent in, as childcare is shared communally. Marana suggests sharing households with another single parent. “If you both have children, you can help each other and it’s a great way of finding support, short of staying with family.” She admits that single parenting can be relentless. “Burnout is a common problem.” She advises other single parents to get enough sleep and go for regular massages. “Stressed people need to be touched. The stressed single parent doesn’t necessarily get physical touch except with their children. Then they take out their stress on their children. So you must have a physical outlet.” In spite of all this, Marana has no regrets. “Getting divorced was the best thing I have ever done. I am a whole person now. Seven years ago, I hardly knew who I was. Now I am completely transformed. I even look different.” When you start looking, there are plenty of upsides to being a single mom. Ronnel says she is relieved to not have to split her time and energy between her child and her partner. She also doesn’t have to consult someone about decisions. “Being married doesn’t necessarily mean one has more help. Many fathers are absent,” she points out. “I am so grateful to have my son in my life that I never feel hard done by.”
survival kit for single moms (and dads) • Forgive and let go of anger and blame towards your ex. It doesn’t serve you; it just keeps you trapped in negativity and pain and jeopardises your children’s relationship with their other parent. • Don’t sweat the small stuff – prioritise happy children over a perfectly tidy home. • Be organised and plan ahead. Preparing lunchboxes and clothes for school the night before may help prevent panic in the morning. Cook and freeze food ahead for evening mealtimes, or shop online for ready-made evening meals, which may be a lifesaver when you are too tired to cook. • Be realistic about how much you can take on and don’t over-commit. • Get over the guilt factor. Your child will notice if you constantly feel you have to compensate for the other parent’s absence, and will use it as leverage to manipulate you. For example, if you’re a mom and have a son, find him a male mentor you approve of and send them camping, especially if he is in his teens. • Save money where you can: change to a cheaper moisturiser, downscale your DStv or cellphone contract. Good financial planning is the path to true independence and liberation. • Find your new tribe. Make a conscious effort to create a community of people who can relate to your situation, and make them your new family. It takes a village to raise a child. • When you decide to start dating, avoid bringing a new man into your home until you are really sure he is for keeps. This is a hard lesson to learn. Your children want constancy and security, not to be casting agents for the new “dad” character in their movie. • Don’t try to be a supermom. Be honest about the help you need and don’t be afraid to ask for it. • A hobby or a special interest that allows you to express yourself creatively can be an excellent outlet and can even potentially generate a second income.
break the cycle Daycare may be a hotbed for germs and infections, so make sure your child has a fighting chance. By KIM MAXWELL
recently visited a crèche in my neighbourhood, with my husband in tow. We were investigating daycare options for our two year old. It was within walking distance of our home and the group was small with the emphasis on play. I’d heard great reports from other parents about its firm but loving environment, yet first impressions put me off. Three children under the age of four had snotty noses and, after we’d looked around for 10 minutes, no one had arrived with tissues to sort out the problem.
children have constantly runny noses; it’s usually clear, sometimes with a mild fever attached. There may be coughing from a postnasal drip. With crèche syndrome it’s about the continuous virus load, one after another, that wears down their health,” she says. Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between crèche syndrome, which is spread through sick children rubbing their noses and then touching their friends and their toys, and allergies caused by pollen or pets. “By the time the virus
not child’s play Crèche syndrome refers to an ongoing cycle of colds, sniffles and more serious illnesses when young children are infected at a crèche or playgroup where they come into contact with other children on a daily basis. After repeated infections their immune systems become compromised. Cape Town paediatrician Dr Hanneke Heyns says crèche syndrome strikes from eight or nine months old, when some babies start daycare, and is prevalent among toddlers. “These
has infected the first child and travelled through another 10 children at crèche, it reinfects the original child because its form has changed,” she adds. What about the argument that children infected by germs develop necessary antibodies? Yes and no. Heyns says babies have no immunity at birth aside from their mother’s antibodies, which are transmitted via breast-feeding. Young children need contact with a certain amount of viruses so that if they catch a cold, their bodies can make antibodies to build resistance for a magazine cape town
I have a huge problem with the dishing out of antibiotics without a proven bacterial infection.
healthy immune system, which helps them get better quicker. But crèche syndrome doesn’t build enough resistance because of the unrelenting cycle of illness. Antibiotics that are prescribed frequently and without justification compound the problem. Heyns says antibiotics are rarely the solution because most children’s infections are viral. “I have a huge problem with the dishing out of antibiotics without a proven bacterial infection. Antibiotics are not beneficial due to children’s immune systems being broken down and they have side effects such as teeth problems,” she cautions.
fight it with food Durban paediatric dietician Kerryn Gibson says good nutrition is essential in fighting crèche syndrome. After repeated bouts of illnesses many children battle to catch up the weight they lost. Georgina Crouth of Joburg put her daughter into crèche at four months old. Kalyn has been a poor eater since birth. Now almost two and a half years old, she’s tall for her age but generally underweight and has been
ill often. “Kalyn is always battling upper respiratory and ear infections, gastro and conjunctivitis. She’ll have a snotty nose and within a day or two it will be an infection requiring treatment by a doctor and usually antibiotics. Once she had gastro for four days and we just couldn’t get it under control,” says Georgina. “I’ve been fortunate to be allowed to work from home when she’s sick, and although not ideal for me, it’s better than some of Kalyn’s classmates whose working parents drop them off sick.” Gibson says, “The problem is that many toddlers are fussy eaters and parents fall into the trap of feeding them something they know they’ll eat; often frozen and processed meals instead of nutritious foods. Their immune systems and gut health become impaired so they catch colds frequently and become constipated. This can spiral into a vicious cycle of eating less and catching more infections.” Parents of fussy eaters should examine their own eating habits as toddlers will mimic their behaviour. Setting mealtime boundaries is helpful.
immune-boosting eating Breakfast Toddlers should start the day with high-fibre unsweetened breakfast cereals or porridge with milk. Lunchbox Ideas include sandwiches on brown or whole-wheat bread with chicken, tuna, cheese or peanut butter toppings. Protein This is extremely important for a healthy immune system and children should eat fresh and preferably stewed, grilled, stir-fried or baked chicken, fish, red meat, lentils or legumes daily. Fruit Whole fruit, fruity yoghurt and even drinking yoghurts make better lunchbox treats than biscuits, chips, chocolates and sweets. Aim for three to four portions of fruit and vegetables daily. The fruit and vegetable rule is the more colours the better: red, yellow, green and orange, and eat these fresh if possible. Fruit can be frozen but not tinned. Only give dried fruit occasionally. Added value “A general multivitamin for children younger than five can be beneficial, particularly if your child isn’t eating well. But it isn’t a fail-safe solution to avoid eating properly,” says paediatric dietician Kerryn Gibson. Look for a broad spectrum multivitamin with vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K, and minerals zinc and calcium.
your crèche syndrome checklist 1 Ask questions whenever antibiotics are prescribed. Colds, flu and gastro are caused by a virus, and antibiotics don’t kill a virus; they only kill bacteria. Viruses can cause throat and ear infections but bacterial infections play a bigger role. 2 Give your child an annual influenza vaccine, available from clinics and pharmacies, from the age of six months onwards. Influenza can be life-threatening. 3 Parents can only relieve the symptoms of crèche syndrome. If these danger signs are present, alert your doctor: persistent fever with a temperature above 38°C, fast breathing, a chesty cough and wheezing, green nasal mucus, diminished interest in eating and drinking, and vomiting. 4 Don’t dry out a runny nose. Use a salt-water nose spray to loosen the phlegm. Steam and elevated sleeping also help. Healthy eating and removing a child from crèche for the duration of the illness will allow their immune system to properly recover.
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so, you should know… Undercover and in for the truth, CHRISTINA CASTLE gets the low-down on exactly what teachers wish they could tell you straight to your face.
co-ed, independent or public, primary or secondary, the teachers’ sentiments were overwhelmingly consistent. So parents, it’s time to face the music. These are the notso-secret seven things teachers wish they could tell you – no holds barred.
their children. Many are overloaded with extramural activities to make them smarter, slicker and faster. At the top of their game? At six? It’s not about being the best. It’s about doing their best. In fact, failing is just part of life’s journey.
Parents have abdicated their responsibility to discipline and to teach manners to the teachers. Stop putting so much pressure on your child to perform. Be realistic about your child’s abilities – in the classroom and on the sports field. Today’s parents are highly competitive and expect unrealistic greatness from
Provide positive and realistic support for your child, whether he is top of the class or last in the swimming pool. First prize is a confident and happy child. So chill a bit, won’t you? And let your child enjoy being a child.
Do you know how hard we work? actually You’ve counted just how many weeks make up the school holidays and you’ve noted that school finishes around about mid afternoon. Bit of a cushy job, really. Really? What many parents don’t take into consideration are the hours of lesson preparation that go on behind the scenes (no, teachers don’t just stand up in front of a class and wing it) and all the extracurricula
commitments they sign up for or have assigned to them. Cricket coaches deserve medals and choir masters/mistresses should be knighted. Many put in more hours and dedication than their corporate counterparts. And did we mention the salary? Let’s just not go there.
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PHOTOGRAPHS AND ILLUSTRATIONS: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
ometimes I wish I could be a fly on the wall of the staffroom at my sons’ school. Not only do I want the real skinder on the Castle boys, but I would just love to know exactly what these teachers really think. They are often too polite, diplomatic or intimidated to just come out with it. We parents can be a scary bunch. So instead of donning the wings and digging out my Bono shades, I took the easy electronic route and sent an email to three very different teachers, at three very different schools around the country in the hope that they could get their staffrooms talking and, in turn, spill the beans. Anonymously, of course. And what came back was brutally honest. Regardless of the school, single sex or
Be more involved in your child’s learning process. It’s the most consuming part of your child’s day and requires input and support on all fronts. While the teacher is a vital component in the process, the role of the parent is to provide support at home, interest in what your child is learning and a signature in the homework book each evening. And while the au pair may be on hand to help out, especially with that bit
miss out on important information or a new concept that is often shared first thing in the morning or at the beginning of a class. Catching up on this is tough for even the most tuned-in, assertive learner.
of Grade 6 maths that has you stumped too, understand that it’s just “helping out”. What your child needs is you. Give your child the independence they need to learn. While some parents need to be encouraged to participate more in their child’s education, others need to be told to back off a little. Letting go is tough, but in order for your child to learn, they need to stand on their own two feet, make mistakes and
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Take ownership – stop blaming. Teachers are not miracle workers. There is only so much they can do. There comes a time when learners and parents alike have to wake up and take the blame for poor performance. It’s all too easy to point fingers and suggest inferior teaching. Yes, we all expect good results but when the hard work is not put in from all involved then good results cannot be expected. Teach your child to take responsibility
operate independently. They need to walk from the car to the classroom on their own. They need to leave their lunch or sports kit at home and not have someone deliver it to school. They need to complete a project on their own. The confidence that comes from these simple experiences is enormous and important. Discipline and manners should 5 be taught at home. And supported at school. What has become clear is that as parents are often not able to spend enough time with their children,
they have abdicated their responsibility to discipline and to teach manners to the teachers. They feel that it is up to the school to set the standard. Parents, it’s time to toughen up. Do not drop off your child late. It is the responsibility of the parents to get the child to school on time. Essentially, lateness shows a lack of respect for the child, those around them and the school. The child generally takes the rap. The child becomes embarrassed, and the parents are to blame. What’s more, the child may
for his work and his property and take ownership of the results. It’s a lesson he will carry with him for life. Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? Relatively pain-free (mostly for my secret sources).
pull your weight Raising children requires the combined effort of parents, caregivers and schools. on our teachers? By Glynis Horning
haping children into healthy, happy, productive members of society is no mean task, and with mounting work pressures and technological distractions, many of us appear to be shifting key responsibilities to our children’s teachers. In a recent survey of the biggest teachers’ union in the United Kingdom, most said they felt let down by the lack of parental support. Two in three believed this to be the main reason for learners misbehaving, and half complained that parents didn’t send children to school with the right equipment, letting them take cellphones and other items that caused distraction and disruption, and allowing too much “negative exposure” to TV and other media. In South Africa, the media officer for the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU), Nomusa Cembi, says teachers have the same problems “and more”. With HIV and Aids leaving many children orphaned, teachers often carry an even greater burden. SADTU is addressing this through a programme that aims to train a teacher in each affected school “to educate children about their rights, sexuality and other things parents should do”. Township and rural schools may be most affected, but teachers at former model C and independent schools, from preprimary to high school, all speak of their growing responsibilities. “I believe parents
are leaving more to teachers because they’re working longer hours; many are single, and there’s no time to mentor, monitor, role model and, especially, to discipline,” says Andri Barnes, deputy principal at Glenwood High School in Durban. “Role modelling has become almost nonexistent at home.” “Parents are also too scared to say no to their children, so the teacher must be the ‘baddie’,” adds Diane Berry, headmistress of Rustenburg Junior School in Cape Town. “Many moms say they’re their daughter’s ‘best friend’, but you can’t have a parenting role and be the best friend.” Carol Lottering, principal of Manor Gardens Primary School in Durban, believes, “(They) are parenting to the best of their ability, but they’re not equally successful because of their differing parenting styles, level of personal development and perceptions of their roles. More children have absent parents and are reared by domestic workers or uncommitted extended family members.” At preschool level, however, Sulochnee Nair, principal of Crawford Pre-Primary in Pretoria, reports that “parents are probably not worse than before”. Teachers have always been social workers, counsellors, psychologists and parents too. But she adds that parents could do more “for their children’s sake”. magazine cape town
Are we placing too much of the responsibility
defining our role Parents are children’s first educators, and it’s our responsibility to lay the intellectual and emotional foundation for their lives and help develop their values and attitudes, says Nair, and the other principals agree. It’s the duty of teachers, they say, to build on this and train children to be useful citizens, to give them the basis for lifelong learning and personal development. “Legally, teachers are required to act in place of parents during the school day,” says Lottering. “We don’t only teach to get academic results but to make learners better people, and the curriculum is designed to teach the whole child for their social, moral, personal, spiritual, physical, intellectual and creative development.” By high school, the main role of the teacher is “to extend academically, offer emotional support, provide extramural activities and build on values,” says Barnes. “It’s the parents’ responsibility to provide an environment that is conducive to studying, and to monitor and motivate. This is not happening. Parents also need to track the social lives of their children, give them boundaries and discipline, and teach them to take pride in their appearance and neatness. This too is not happening.”
informed about their policies and vision, projects and practices, and maintain regular contact if children are considered troubled learners, says Barnes. “Teachers should be consistent and diplomatic, they should answer your questions the same day they are received, and offer to meet with you.”
as for parents:
Get to know your child’s teachers from the start, says Nair. Attend the parents’ evenings held early each year, and arrange a private meeting if your child has any problems they need to know about. Communicate with teachers regularly through emails or messages in homework notebooks. “We need to know anything that may affect a child, from a family health problem to a pet’s death,” says Nair. Pass on compliments as well as criticism, perhaps thanking a teacher for making a subject fun for a child or for encouraging them. “We want feedback; positive and constructively critical,” says Barnes. Arrange a meeting with the teacher if problems arise; don’t just arrive. If you believe the teacher is part of the problem, don’t criticise them in front of the child. Take it up with the
Parents are too scared to say no to their children, so the teacher must be the ‘baddie’. The key is for parents to encourage self-sufficiency before children even start school, says Nair, giving them a sense of security and confidence by making time to talk to and really listen to them, and encouraging them in whatever they try. “We accept children at preschool only when they’re potty trained and can dress themselves, and often prefer to teach skills like writing so that children learn the correct method. But all parents need to engage with children to develop their language, instead of leaving them to watch TV. They need to read with them interactively; ask questions; point out colours and shapes in road signs and adverts; involve them in chores such as cooking so they can grasp quantities and numbers while they chat, and teach them responsibility by having them tidy away their toys. They also need to see that children get enough sleep and healthy nutrition, both of which are vital for optimal development.”
improve our marks The bottom line is that parents need to work closer with teachers if we’re to give our children the best grounding. “We need to be equal partners,” says Lottering, and this requires improving our relationship. For their part, teachers need to keep us magazine cape town
teacher directly in an open, nondefensive way. Only if you don’t get satisfaction should you take it higher, to a head of department or principal. Show an interest in your child by attending sports and cultural events. This also shows teachers you care. So does feeding your child a nutritious breakfast and sending wholesome snacks to keep them alert and able to learn, and seeing they have the correct equipment. Talk about school at home, asking specific questions: “What did you do in art today?” “How is your friend, X?” Be upbeat and positive, stressing the excitement of learning. Get involved in school activities. If you’re busy or cash-strapped, drop off home-made biscuits for a function or waste paper for art projects, or offer to speak about your hobby or career at an open day. Don’t interfere unnecessarily, such as with the selection of teams or when you are unhappy with your child’s marks. Have trust. When you drop your child at school, if you’ve chosen a good one, know that you’re handing them to people who are dedicated to helping them become the best they can be. Just be sure to do your bit too.
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hold your head high Finding lice on your child’s scalp, or preparing for that first visit to the salon, can be a hair-raising experience for all involved. The good news
ou may find yourself dealing with a few niggling hair issues as your child grows up, and it can start fairly early.
from the cradle Sister Mary-Ann Alves, who runs a childbirth education and baby clinic in Joburg, says you can identify cradle cap as flaky, dry scalp or thick and oily yellow/ brown crusty patches on a baby’s head and sometimes their eyebrows. It usually appears a few weeks to a few months after birth and can range from mild to severe. It’s harmless, however, and the cause, while unknown, is not related to poor hygiene or allergies. The condition
usually clears up on its own in a few months, but there are ways to treat and soothe the area. For mild cradle cap, Alves recommends gently brushing your baby’s hair with a soft bristle brush or comb after washing or lightly rubbing their head with a towel. More stubborn cradle cap may require a gentle rub of olive oil, to be left in for about 15 minutes, followed by lightly brushing it out with a soft bristle baby brush or comb. Afterwards, wash the hair with a mild baby shampoo and rinse well. Do not vigorously brush, comb or scratch the baby’s scalp, as this could irritate the skin. If the cradle cap does not improve or starts spreading to other areas, take your baby to a doctor.
unwanted guests Lice are common among school-going children and spread like wildfire on the playground. Incessant scratching could be a sign that you’re dealing with these bugs. Look closely at your child’s head, paying particular attention to the hair above the ears and above the neck behind the head. You may also see tiny white nits on the hair shaft, which will appear as dandruff. You’ll know that these white specks are lice as they’re difficult to remove and aren’t flaky. You can use a head lice preparation, essentially an insecticide, taking care to follow the directions precisely. Increasing the dosage out of desperation doesn’t make it more effective. A less invasive,
more natural form of treatment is the failsafe recipe of Cape Town paediatrician Dr Harold Pribut: 50ml tea tree shampoo, 50ml tea tree conditioner, as many eucalyptus drops as your child’s eyes can handle; mixed thoroughly and placed on the head with a packet covering the area for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, comb out the preparation with a lice comb. For the best results, spare no expense and buy a good fine-toothed comb designed specifically for lice. Make sure to machine wash bedding, clothing, stuffed toys and other items used by the infected child. However, head lice don’t survive long once off a person, so there is no need to go to any drastic measures to remove them from the house.
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is that there are solutions, say LUCILLE KEMP and LISA LAZARUS.
grown-up issues As your child enters puberty, rampant hormones may affect their hair, adding to their teenage stress and selfconsciousness. Oily hair occurs when the sebaceous glands in the skin become overactive, producing more oil than needed. Teens can manage the condition by washing their hair once a day with a solvent-type shampoo, which has a higher pH balance. Take care to rinse the hair well, avoid using conditioner or use only a small amount on the ends of the hair if they appear dry, and don’t brush too often. Embarrassing dandruff or flakes of dead skin, which can be visible in your child’s hair and on their clothing, can be treated with over-the-counter shampoos containing salicylic acid, zinc, tars or selenium sulphide. If you don’t see an improvement you may need a medicated shampoo, lotion or liquid to rub into their scalp. Noticeable hair loss of more than 100 strands a day must be taken seriously as it points to poor overall health, possibly caused by stress, anxiety, new medication, vaccination, dietary changes, illness, exposure to allergens and toxins or surgery. These factors wreak havoc on a system that is undergoing rapid growth, hormonal shifts and changes in brain chemistry. While hair-growth products and supplements of vitamin B6, or spirulina and chlorella may help, a more holistic approach is advisable.
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This includes reducing stress levels, improving nutrition and getting adequate rest, fresh air and exercise. Your child should also wear loose hairstyles and keep them as untreated and natural as possible.
turn heads Your older child’s positive self-image depends, in huge part, on how good they feel about their hair. Equip yourself with information, either by doing online research or chatting to hairdressers, about ways to best manage their tresses. Hair types that cause particular distress include wavy, blonde, curly, fine and kinky hair. If you live in a humid climate, know that your curly-haired daughter doesn’t have to live with the frizz and there is a product for your blondie whose hair turns green after a weekend in the pool.
conquer the fear Part of the joy of seeing your child grow up is being able to chronicle all of their firsts, and this includes their first haircut. Unfortunately, a child’s first encounter with a hairdresser can be a daunting experience, and understandably so. Imagine being taken to a busy and unfamiliar place, seated in a large chair, sprayed with a “water gun” while restrained in a cape and having a stranger come at you with sharp scissors? There are things you should do to prevent a failed trip to the hairdresser. If not managed correctly,
the fear can create lasting trauma and become a phobia called tonsurephobia (fear of hair cuts) that, according to US therapist Kendra Cherry, can be related to a person’s first haircut as a small child. Because of this, parents should do everything they can to ensure that their child’s haircuts are pleasant by simply making the experience less scary. When you feel it is time to take your child for their first trim, which can be when she is between eight months and two years old, make sure you’ve given them a “head start” by letting them watch you or an older sibling get a haircut and talking them through what they are seeing. Scissors are the scariest part for most children, so use words that are less scary: “snip” or “trim” instead of the not so child-friendly “cut”. Latasha Scholtz, owner of a children’s hair salon, recommends choosing a salon geared to deal with edgy young clients. Take their favourite toy or a surprise treat and don’t give them time to fixate on their own scared expression, or the scissors, in the mirror. Keep them occupied. Be actively involved, even if they’re not willing to participate. If they don’t want to put on the cape, demonstrate to them how it’s done. Get excited – even if you’re not – because otherwise they’ll pick up on your apprehension. Plan the hair appointment at a time when you know your child won’t be tired or hungry. Lastly, as the salon can be a big deal, maybe try giving a few hair cuts at home, if you feel confident to do so.
we asked you on Facebook what interesting cultural practice or tradition you followed for your child’s first haircut: “As a Muslim, we have to shave our
are seven days old. Then we pay any silver coins we have to the person who cuts the baby’s hair.” – Amina Bhikhoo-Khan “When an African baby takes their first step, the mother can cut her baby’s hair for the first time. My daughter had an IV line on her head at five months, so I had to shave her head before she could walk, much to the dismay of her father’s family.” – Bontle Kgake “I was told to shave off her baby hair after the first week, but my husband and I decided we weren’t going to do that. So, my daughter hasn’t had a haircut yet and she is now five.” – Carol Lengolo
when bullying goes viral The anonymity and accessibility of the internet has changed the tone
hen you give your child a cellphone or allow him onto the internet, you give him the opportunity to explore the online world and communicate with you and his friends. The statistics, however, also indicate that the second you put that smartphone in his hand, a whole new world of potential bullying, known as cyberbullying, opens up, and it doesn’t stop when you pick him up from school in the afternoon. “Preliminary results indicate that while the number of bullying incidents remains high, cyberbullying is on the increase in South Africa and constitutes approximately one third of the total number of reported cases. Home is no longer a haven and cyberbullying among children is very much a problem in our society today,” says deputy headmaster at Western Province Preparatory School in Cape Town, Alister Payne, who has done extensive research on the topic.
the digital playground Cyberbullying can be defined as any behaviour perpetrated though electronic media which repeatedly communicates hostile or aggressive messages intended to inflict harm or cause discomfort. While the three main attributes of bullying are repetition, intention to do harm and an imbalance of
Due to disinhibition and the lack of immediate feedback, offenders are less likely to be aware of the damage being done and they don’t get to see the difference between funny and cruel,” he says. “With playground bullying, a bully sees his victim’s face, reaction and body language.”
Home is no longer a haven and cyberbullying among children is very much a problem in our society today.
power, these lines can become blurred. Payne says the difference between a child being harassed and being bullied depends on the repetition. “A single once-off harassment action, such as posting a message on Facebook or a video clip on YouTube, can easily be copied, shared and distributed broadly, which then constitutes the repetitive element.
why it’s on the rise
In South Africa, with the vast majority of children and teenagers having access to cellphones, such cyberbullying happens on a daily basis. Payne’s research indicates there was no significant difference between time (duration) spent on the internet and cyber victimisation. There was however a statistical significance between frequency and cyber victimisation. The conclusion is that users that check communication frequently are at greater risk. Internet usage statistics show that of the 88 percent of pupils who own a cellphone, 82 percent have internet access via their phone, irrespective of whether they were from low-, middle- or high-income communities.
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of bullying, making it more insidious. By TORI HOFFMANN
“While cellphone ownership in 2009 was high, at about 90 percent, the ability to access the internet almost doubled by 2012 and this is where the problem comes in. Messages sent via WhatsApp or BBM have become the weapon of choice,” he says, adding that increasingly cheaper broadband in SA fuels the problem.
what’s in it for them? Cyberbullies largely do what they do for revenge, entertainment, out of boredom and to get a reaction from their peers and whomever they are victimising. And they often suffer from very low self-esteem too. You’re a cyberbully if you post an embarrassing picture of someone on Facebook and watch it get shared; if you send a series of cruel messages or say something threatening via SMS or you upload an embarrassing or ugly video of someone on YouTube. If you do any of this anonymously, you’re most definitely cyberbullying. Children who might never be mean in the real world sometimes bully online because of the feeling of anonymity that the internet gives them. What’s more, says Payne, is that anonymity also minimises the chances of being caught. Pupils who would not normally engage in traditional schoolyard bullying may be tempted to do so because of the anonymity. “Cyberbullying is a crime of convenience,” he says, adding that preliminary results indicate that in a third of
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reported cases of cyberbullying, the identity of the bully was unknown to the victim. In almost half the cases, the perpetrator/s are from the same school. That said, children often don’t even realise what they’re doing, and according to Heather Hansen from TeenWorx, a company offering antibullying and cybersafety workshops, it’s not always that the cyberbullying is necessarily intentional, but rather that they send SMSes and post things on Facebook without thinking. “We find that children don’t always think about the consequences of their actions. They get caught up in the moment, create a post, and the next thing they know it’s become viral. A lot of the time, they don’t do it to deliberately hurt someone,” she says. “For example, they might make a ‘who’s hot’ list on Facebook, without realising that the person who doesn’t make the list will be completely devastated.”
target practice It’s not just high school children that are at risk. Grade 6s and 7s are definitely vulnerable and Payne’s research shows that the greatest frequency of victimisation occurs among 12 and 13 year olds. He adds that the results also indicate that girls are more likely to be victims than boys. As one would expect, many victims of traditional bullies are also victims of cyberbullying, and many cyberbullies are also traditional bullies. “However, a
the number of South African children who have been cyberbullied – UNISA survey
number of traditional victims also tend to be perpetrators of cyber harassment, as they use the anonymity to retaliate,” he says.
signs and repercussions The victims of cyberbullying will suffer from many of the same effects as those who experience bullying on the playground or in the classroom: low selfesteem, frustration, anger, depression, loss of friends and exclusion from social activities. Other warning signs include falling behind in schoolwork or becoming very anxious. “If your child starts behaving differently, for example, not wanting to participate in her favourite sports, then
at school and at home. He may not like it, but he’ll thank you later. “While some schools don’t allow smartphones in the classroom and are very strict about it, others do as they are used as research tools, so it’s a very grey area. You can, however, create a technology corner in the home and have a cut-off time,” he says. “Some families get their children to plug in their phones in the evening to charge. Don’t let them use it as an alarm clock; rather buy one.” Hansen agrees and urges parents not to let their children use their computers and laptops in their bedrooms. “Have them work in an open space and take away their devices at least an hour before bedtime,” she says.
Children who might never be mean in the real world sometimes bully online because of the feeling of anonymity that the internet gives them. something might well be up,” says Sandie Johnson of TeenWorx. “If you notice that your child has become angry or depressed, has unexpectedly stopped using his phone or computer, appears nervous or jumpy – especially if the phone beeps – is uneasy about answering the phone, has a sudden change in social behaviour or avoids discussions about online activities, these are all indicators of potential cyberbullying victimisation,” says Payne.
parental guidance is advised Your child may come to view his smartphone with mixed feelings, because as much as he loves having one, once he has it, “he’ll find that there is nowhere to hide”, says Payne. “In the past, home was a haven of protection, but now victims can be targeted anywhere and at any time.” This is why you have to limit the amount of time that your child spends on his phone,
“What the research shows is that one of the main reasons why your child might not tell you that he’s being bullied is because he’s scared you will take the phone away from him and he’ll lose his internet access, so you need to think carefully before you threaten to confiscate a phone entirely,” says Payne. In a worst-case scenario, take the phone away and provide a cheaper alternative where you can still insert a SIM card so that your child can communicate with you. Be informed and maintain an open relationship with your child so that if he’s being bullied, he will tell you. “It’s also vital that parents investigate thoroughly, find out the identity of the person, keep evidence by never deleting, tell their child to stop responding and take action to become directly involved,” he says. Lastly, Payne stresses that parents need to teach their children the difference between what’s funny and what’s cruel. “In magazine cape town
some cases, it’s clear that the behaviour is intended to hurt. For example, if it’s anonymous, it smacks of the intention to do harm. However, in many cases children don’t realise that they are causing distress,” he says. In other words, the intended message can be misinterpreted because they lack the emotional maturity to interpret tone. The results, as we know, can sometimes be disastrous.
schools’ responsibility They should teach empathy, says Payne, as this is something that’s not easy to feel through a screen. Also, since Grade 6s and 7s may already have phones, it’s crucial that they are educated in antibullying. “What is of concern is the gap that exists between what preteens perceive as cyberbullying behaviour and the reported incidents of cyber victimisation. There are extensive traditional anti-bullying programmes in place, educating children, providing support and coping strategies, but these appear to be ineffective in combating cyberbullying,” he says. Johnson adds that children also need to be taught how to stand up for their friends and to speak up if they spot something offensive online.
for help at your fingertips: • Cybercrime is an awareness portal that provides access to relevant and trusted local and international resources. The site also features help for reporting suspected activities. Visit: cybercrime.org.za • The Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention is a Section 21 company that works to develop, inform and promote evidence-based crime prevention practice, with a particular focus on children and youth. Contact: 021 447 1818 or visit cjcp.org.za • The Security Association of South Africa or The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority will provide a list of legitimate private investigators to track sources of bullying. Contact: 031 764 6681 or 012 337 5530 • Eblockwatch might also assist you, and they have in the past traced and put a stop to cyberbullies through their extensive network. Visit: eblockwatch.co.za • SA Depression and Anxiety Group Contact: 011 262 6396, 0800 205 026 or visit sadag.co.za • Childline Contact: 0800 055 555 or visit childline.org.za (they have a facility whereby a child can speak to them online via Mxit)
keep tabs on their online activities • M ake sure you know who your child’s friends are on their BBM, WhatsApp, Mxit, Facebook and Twitter accounts. In the same way that you wouldn’t drop off your child at a house where you didn’t know the child or parents, you need to know who your child is talking to online. • Be your child’s friend on Facebook or BBM so that you can keep an eye on him. • Install Mobiflock (mobiflock.com); it works on Blackberry, Android and Nokia devices and has a tool that allows you to lock down the usage on your child’s phone. When you give your child a cellphone, you have to explain that it comes with a set of rules and regulations. Mobiflock should be one of them. • Keep a tight rein on your children’s online activities. Parents should only allow their children access to a computer and cellphone on condition that they are able to view the contents of the device at any time. Random checks on the phone are advisable and if you see that your child has been abusing the phone, there should be repercussions. Your responsibility to keep your child safe overrides his right to privacy. Remember that children are not equipped to deal with cyberbullying. Even if they feel that they can cope with it, they can’t. • Check the safety settings on your child’s Facebook account and stick to age limits and requirements. Don’t let your child onto Facebook until he’s 13. Children need emotional maturity to handle such accounts. • If your child is being bullied, you can delete and block the perpetrator. Remember, though, that you can’t delete and block people from real life, so you need to speak to the parents and the school and preferably resolve the issue.
take action • • • • • • • • •
Get counselling for your child if necessary. Speak to the bully’s parents. Don’t meet alone; take a witness. Speak to your child’s class teacher. If the situation does not resolve itself, speak to the grade head. Meet with the principal about your concerns. If there is no solution, consult the Department of Education. Report the cyberbullying incident to the police and get a case number. Consider consulting a lawyer. The last resort would be to remove your child from the school.
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roots, shoots and muddy boots Children donâ€™t usually associate vegetables and salad with fun, but SAMANTHA VAN RIET shows you in her book how to
n nature, there is a special time for planting, growing, harvesting and resting. This cycle depends on the sun. When the sun gets hotter and shines longer every day, plants react to it. They start to grow faster and differently.
january Vegetables which grow in a short time can still be planted, but it is too late to plant sweet peppers and eggplant, as they require more time to grow. Sow/plant beans, carrots, spinach, lettuce and beetroot now.
february In all the regions, winter vegetables can now be sown in seed trays: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions
and peas, so theyâ€™ll be ready to be transferred to the garden beds next month. Vegetables which grow quickly may still be planted for a last harvest before winter sets in. However, in the warmer regions the heat of summer is too fierce for planting spinach and lettuce.
march Transfer seedlings of winter vegetables to your garden. Carrots, broad beans and beetroot are planted directly in the beds. Peas, spinach and lettuce may be planted now that the worst summer heat has passed. It is the last month to sow winter vegetables on the Highveld and in the interior regions.
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PHOTOGRAPHS: A GOOSEN / A BLOM / S VAN RIET / shutterstock.com
encourage your children to plant, and eat, their own greens.
Summer vegetables may still be planted in the subtropical climate regions.
It is the end of the planting season for the Highveld and other colder interior regions. Seedlings should be strong by now to withstand the cold and frost. In the winter rainfall regions and other more temperate regions; winter vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, peas, carrots and beetroot may still be planted.
may Subtropical climate regions such as Mpumalanga and the coast of KwaZulu-Natal have temperate winters, so those vegetables which grow in summer traditionally, like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant may be planted in these regions. Winter vegetables may still be planted in the winter rainfall regions.
june In most regions it is now too cold to sow/plant. Seedlings of winter vegetables may still be planted in those regions free of frost. Traditional summer vegetables may be planted throughout winter in the regions with a subtropical climate.
july Lettuce, spinach, cabbage, leeks, broccoli and peas may still be planted in regions where no frost occurs.
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august Broccoli, asparagus, peas and other winter vegetables may still be planted in regions that experience no frost. Strawberries may be planted now, to give the little plants time to grow stronger before their spring growth season. The Highveld and other interior regions still get frost. Gardeners in these regions should start planning and preparing for the spring planting season.
september Most summer vegetables may now be planted: Sow/plant beans, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, cucumber and potatoes. Sweet pepper and eggplant seeds need high temperatures to germinate and should not yet be sown. If you are on the Highveld, wait for the last frost to abate before transferring seedlings to the garden.
october Summer vegetables may be planted in all regions. It is now also warm enough to plant sweet pepper and eggplant. It is a good idea to plant cucumber and pumpkin now, so the harvest will be ready before your garden is overrun by all sorts of bugs during January and February.
november Sow/plant potatoes, beans, carrots, beetroot, sweet corn, tomatoes, sweet pepper and eggplant. It is the last month in which to sow sweet pepper and eggplant, because of their long growing time.
december Tomatoes, beans, cucumber, potatoes, carrots, beetroot, sweet corn and pumpkin may still be planted.
tomato tart • • • •
1 roll shop-bought puff pastry 1 large handful of small tomatoes basil leaves or basil pesto (see pesto recipe on page 39) 1 small block of cheese: Camembert, mozzarella, or even goat’s cheese
1 Unroll the puff pastry and lay it out flat. Score a line about 2cm from the edge all around the sheet of pastry to make a frame.
2 Prick the part inside the frame with a fork all over, to prevent it from rising as it bakes.
3 Cut the cheese in blocks and sprinkle it over the dough on the inside of the scored line. Sprinkle the basil leaves over the cheese, or spread basil pesto in between the cheese blocks. Now place the tomatoes all over with the cut side up. 4 Bake in the oven at 200 Cº for 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
corn fritters • • • • • • •
about 3 cups cooked sweet corn 1 wheel feta cheese, crumbled 2 eggs 1 cup flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ cup milk oil for frying
1 2 3 4 5 *
ift the flour and baking powder together. S Beat the eggs and milk in a different bowl and add this to the flour mixture. Now add the corn and feta and stir. Heat oil in a pan. Fry spoonfuls of the mix (4 fritters at a time) until golden on one side, then turn over and fry on the other side. Delicious with a sweet chilli sauce.
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1 Take three cups of basil leaves, one clove of garlic, half a cup of Parmesan cheese and half a cup of nuts (walnuts or pine nuts). Use a hand mixer or a pestle to grind all the ingredients together.
2 Bit by bit, add one cup of olive oil. Keep on mixing the ingredients as you add the oil. The mixture will become a paste. It shouldnâ€™t be too fine. Add salt and pepper. Store the paste in a screw-top container in the fridge. Basil pesto is delicious on pasta, like spaghetti. You can also add a teaspoon of basil pesto to vegetable soup.
about the book This beautiful childrenâ€™s book, Roots, Shoots and Muddy Boots (Tafelberg Publishers, an imprint of NB Publishers), will inspire budding gardeners between the ages of six and nine to grow their own vegetables, and show them how to use the fruits of their labour in simple, yet tasty, recipes. They will learn about planning a garden, types of soil and preparation, planting and pruning and the all-important task of harvesting. There are also craft projects for them to tackle. Each page offers plenty to do with useful bits of information, photographs and illustrations. Van Riet, an illustrator by profession, came up with the idea when she struggled to find a suitable gardening book for her children. Available at all good bookstores.
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a good read for toddlers
The Buttons Family – Going to the Dentist By Vivian French and Sue Heap (Published by Walker Books, R72) This book is part of a series of six brilliant new first experiences books about the Buttons family for children from the age of three. Dad’s got toothache and Mom says it’s time all the Buttons go to the dentist for a checkup. The dentist shows Charlie, Cherry and baby Lou how to look after their teeth. In these charming, funny picture books with gentle, nondidactic messages, the Buttons family gives children the reassurance they need to take their first steps in the world – whether it’s going to the doctor, buying new shoes, visiting the dentist, starting school, staying the night at Gran’s or having a babysitter for the first time.
Farmer Clegg’s Night Out By Peter Bently and Jim Field
Let’s Leap Ahead – Phonics By Alex A. Lluch
(Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R89) The atmosphere in the farmyard is electric. Old Farmer Clegg may be tucked up for the night, but there’s a talent show about to take place and all the animals are desperate to win. Will a break-dancing horse take the top spot? Will the popsinging sheep twins be offered a recording contract? Competition is fierce, but nobody’s counted on a certain farmer with a sleepwalking habit. Children from the age of three will adore this very funny story and its bright illustrations. Parents might remember the author and illustrator who also collaborated on Cats Ahoy! Bently is also the author of The Shark in the Dark.
(Published by WS Publishing Group, R105) This handy book makes learning fun for children from the age of three. It teaches them the fundamentals of spelling and reading with engaging activities. The notepad format, with its 80 pages of learning fun, makes it easy to use at home or on the go. It comes with a nontoxic dry erase marker and eraser and it has an elastic holder to keep the marker in place. Other books in the Let’s Leap Ahead series include Alphabet, Numbers and Colors & Shapes. Also try the Let’s Leap Ahead apps.
Am I Ready for School? Editor Jenny Neethling (Published by Pearson Education South Africa, R113) Written and reviewed by a team of experienced South African teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists and physiotherapists, Smart-Kid’s Am I Ready for School? is perfect for making sure your child is ready for primary school. Helpful ideas and advice combined with colourful and stimulating activities test emotional, physical and mental readiness. The notes with activities explain the concepts and suggest extension activities for extra practice. There is also a detailed glossary of words used to describe children’s development; valuable information about choosing the right school; and a list of the organisations that provide help and support for parents and children.
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for early graders iThemba in Where There’s Life There’s Hope By Lulu and Tee (Published by Linda Fellowes, R65) With poaching a serious threat to our rhino populations, it is up to our two-ton heroine iThemba, and her game ranger friend Joe, to save her skin when poachers call. Children will love reading about how iThemba and Joe foiled the wicked horn hunters one dark night in this exciting tale, while learning about these magnificent creatures. This book is loosely based on the real-life arrest of rhino poachers in the Kruger Park and teaches children about our endangered rhino, and that their future, and the future of our planet, is in their hands. To order a copy, visit africanpenguin.co.za
Wipe-clean Learning – Fun with Words and Fun with Numbers By Brenda Apsley and Marie Allan
(Published by Human & Rousseau, R120 each) Children from as young as three have fun and learn to write the letters of the alphabet and simple words and learn to write the numbers from 1 to 20. They can use the pens, which come in three different colours, to complete the activities, and then wipe the pages clean with the pen’s sponge and start again. The books have fun, colourful illustrations printed on sturdy gloss pages for durability.
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Southern African Sea Life – A Guide for Young Explorers By Sophie von der Heyden and Guido Zsilavecz (Published by Random House Struik, R100) This guide for young explorers combines scientific facts, fascinating titbits, fullcolour photography and illustrations to bring a wonderful variety of ocean creatures vibrantly to life. Children can read about marine habitats, discover plants and animal groups, learn to identify important species from each group, study the helpful guides to find out what sea life to look out for along the shore, find out why the ocean is vital to us, how it may be harmed by human activities and some of the ways in which we can help. Children can also get insight into the valuable work marine scientists do.
Really, Really Big Questions about Me By Stephen Law (Published by Kingfisher Books, R183) Have you ever thought about what makes you, you? Or asked yourself how your body works? Have you ever pondered your existence or wondered if the world and everything in it is just a dream? Do you ask: Where did I come from? How does my brain work? Why do I love chocolate? Switch on your common sense and explore these mind-boggling ideas and many more on a trip into the wonderful world of you. Funky illustrations, mind teasers and quirky quotations add to the simple question-andanswer format. The book, whose content was approved by the Science Museum in London, gives suggestions for further reading and websites to explore.
for early graders Big Questions from Little People Compiled by Gemma Elwin Harris (Published by Ecco Press, R265) Children have the knack of asking great but challenging questions such as: Why is the sea salty? How far away is space? Why can’t I tickle myself? What makes me, me? This book gathers over 100 real questions from children and puts them to knowledgeable experts. Alain de Botton explores how dreams are made. Kate Humble explains why lions roar. Heston Blumenthal answers the question about why we cook food. Their answers to the big questions; some complex, some searching, some surreal and some just plain cute; make this an essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand the complexities of life, the universe and why cake tastes so nice.
for preteens and teens Where Things Come Back By John Corey Whaley
A Dog called Homeless By Sarah Lean (Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, R180) When Cally Fisher says she sees her dead mother, no one believes her. The only other living soul who does see Cally’s mom is a mysterious wolfhound that always seems to be there when her mom appears. And when Cally stops talking – what’s the point if no one is listening? – how will she convince anyone that her mom is still with them or persuade her dad that the huge silver-grey dog is their last link with her? A Dog Called Homeless is the gentle and touching story of how one girl’s friendship with a homeless dog can mend a family.
double award winne r
(Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, R95) This is a poignant and hilarious story of loss and redemption. In the bizarre summer before Cullen Witter’s senior year of high school, he is forced to examine everything he thinks he understands. His cousin overdoses; the town becomes obsessed with an extinct woodpecker, and his 15-yearold brother disappears. Meanwhile, the crisis of faith spawned by a young missionary’s disillusion in Africa prompts a frantic search for meaning of life.
for us Around Iceland on Inspiration By Riaan Manser (Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers SA, R175) This is the unvarnished story of Riaan Manser’s toughest challenge yet: circumnavigating Iceland by kayak, accompanied by Dan Skinstad, who suffers from mild cerebral palsy. On his previous journeys Riaan was a solo adventurer, but this one requires him to take responsibility for another person’s life. Riaan and Dan must confront icy seas, harsh and unpredictable weather and physical exhaustion. The demands of the journey, and the life-threatening situations in which they find themselves, test the boundaries of their friendship, while logistical trials and the mental and emotional drama of tense team dynamics push the expedition to the brink of disaster. This is a story of inspiration, courage and determination.
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for us Make Give Sell By Callie Maritz and Mari-Louis Guy (Published by Human & Rousseau, R250) Food markets are exciting places: from trendy urban markets to slow-food or organic markets, food stalls at sporting events or a fundraiser for a good cause. This book invites you to step out of the processed-food aisles of large grocery chains and go on a journey through colourful markets. It is filled with new, wonderful and creative recipes you can either make to enjoy at home, give as a present or sell to supplement your income. With lots of surprises, such as watermelon cake, macadamia nut bobotie, chocolate thumbprints, open-faced Aloo pies, Ouma’s milk tart and marshmallow rainbow cake, this visual feast will inspire you to set up a stand when the next market takes place in your neighbourhood.
Conversations with my Sons and Daughters By Mamphela Ramphele (Published by The Penguin Group, R233) Ramphele is a leading South African academic, businesswoman, medical doctor and a former anti-apartheid activist. In these conversations with people of a younger generation, she responds to the growing despair among young South Africans about the cracks appearing in our system of governance that threaten the idealism of the country that reinvented itself in 1994. She shows how successive post-apartheid ANC governments have betrayed the nation by fostering a culture of impunity among those close to the seat of power, where corruption goes unremarked and accountability has been swept aside. She encourages the youth to overcome their fears and to take control of their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
Baby Book By Brenda Apsley
a new (Published by Human life be gins & Rousseau, R89,95) From the moment they are born babies are unique individuals with their own distinctive personalities. Complete this book to create a special record of your baby’s first year. It is something you – and your child – will value and treasure in the years to come. This beautifully designed book has space for photos, starting with the pregnancy where there is a page for your scans. You can record everything about the birth on “The Big Day” section, as well as your baby’s vital statistics. Also document your baby’s first birthday, including the first party, and chronicle your baby’s growth and milestones in this keepsake.
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Learning with Scrap By Denise Berman and Susan Connolly (Published by Early Learning Resource Unit – ELRU, R95) This book was compiled in response to a growing need for ideas and patterns for making inexpensive educational toys for young children. There are 60 ideas for making preschool equipment for each activity area, with instructions illustrated through step-by-step drawings. Where needed, patterns to size are provided. No expensive tools are required. The book also describes how the toy or game should be used and what children learn by playing with it. Preschool and preprimary teachers, parents, childminders and others who care for young children will find the suggestions useful. To order, visit elru.co.za February 2013
what’s on in february
You can also access the calendar online at
Here’s your guide for what to do, where to go and who to see. Compiled by LUCILLE KEMP
FUN for children
only for parents
bump, baby & tot in tow
how to help
FUN FOR CHILDREN
ONLY FOR PARENTS
bump, baby & tot in tow
how to help
Hollywood 2 SA workshops and talent contest Join in a workshop with Michelle Danner, a Hollywood film and casting director and acting coach to A-list Hollywood stars.
Rodriguez in concert See the iconic Rodriguez live in South Africa performing his classic hits in support of Searching for Sugarman.
Birth and Midwifery Conference The conference draws on the ideas and experience of the local birthing community to share and collaborate, and to discuss birth in South Africa.
Help build a new radiology complex at Red Cross Children’s Hospital Buy any one of Sea Harvest’s crumbed products, and 10 cents will go towards a R500 000 commitment.
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Music prodigy Nicholas McCarthy in concert Be sure not to miss British-born Nicholas McCarthy, who was born with only one hand and is an accomplished pianist at the age of 23.
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SPECIAL EVENTS 1 friday Body Worlds and the Cycle of Life Exhibition The run of the internationally renowned anatomical exhibition is being extended in Cape Town. Developed by acclaimed, albeit controversial, anatomist Dr Gunther von Hagens, the ground-breaking showcase displays real human bodies, individual organs, organ configurations and transparent body slices flawlessly preserved thanks to a revolutionary method known as plastination. Ends 10 March. Time: 9am–7:30pm daily. Venue: Breakwater Boulevard, next to Toy Kingdom, V&A Waterfront, Breakwater Boulevard. Cost: adults R140, 6–17 year olds R90, under 5 year olds free, family ticket R400. For more info: visit bodyworlds.co.za
3 sunday Epic Kayaks Glen McGregor Finale This is the final in a series of 10 races. The course is a 6km or 12km route around Fisherman’s Rock and Barker’s Rock (weather dependent), with the day’s proceedings happening at the Clifton Surf Lifesaving Club. It promises to be a great family day on the beach. Time: 8am registration; 9am race starts. Venue: Clifton 4th Beach. For cost and more info, contact: 021 782 4311, 084 251 5555 or visit surfski.co.za or paddlingcentre.com
4 monday Kidz Discovery Bridging BrightStart School enrolment day Register your 2,5–4 year old for this nurturing, small, safe morning school. By appointment. Time: 2pm–5pm. Venue: The Drive, Camps Bay. Cost: free entry into the enrolment day. Contact Kathy: 083 654 2494 or info@ kidzdiscovery.co.za
9 saturday Music prodigy Nicholas McCarthy in concert British-born McCarthy, who only has one hand, is an accomplished pianist at the age of 23. He is currently shaking up the international classical music scene as one of a few left-handed pianists worldwide. Nicholas discovered his talent for piano as late as age 14, but his perseverance and determination to succeed as a teenager when others thought he’d fail paid off when it won him a place at the Royal College of Music in London. He graduated in 2012, making history as the only left-handed pianist to ever graduate from the prestigious 100-year-old institution. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: Cape Town International Convention Centre. Cost: R330. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000
10 sunday Rhebokskloof summer concerts 10 February: Mel Botes’ tribute to Dire Straits. 17 February: Clint & Co’s tribute
3 February – Epic Kayaks Glen McGregor FInale
to Creedence Clearwater Revival. 24 February: DNA Strings, Reunion Show. You may bring a picnic, but not your own alcoholic beverages. Food, beverages and Rhebokskloof wine are sold at concerts. Time: 5pm, gates open. Venue: Rhebokskloof Wine Estate, Wine Route Number 8, Windmeul, Agter Paarl. Cost: adults R130–R180 per person, children under 15 years old half-price. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000
14 thursday Valentine’s sunset hike Celebrate this special night with friends, family and loved ones by being active and adventurous and hiking to the top of Klapmutskop to view the sunset. Children under three
can be carried by an adult and use the halfway shuttle. Time: arrival by 5pm, no later than 6:30pm to start hike, sunset is at 7:40pm. Venue: Dirtopia, on Delvera Farm between Stellenbosch and Klapmuts on the R44. Cost: permits R60 per person, R25 for children under 10. Cost includes a glass of bubbly and juice for children. Contact: 021 884 4752 or info@ dirtopia.co.za
16 saturday Parklands College open day The college opens its doors for the public to view its facilities. Time: 10am–1pm. Venue: 91 Raats Dr and 50 Wood Dr, Parklands and 1 College Ave, Sandown. Cost: free. Contact: 0861-EDUCATE (338228)
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18 monday Hollywood 2 SA workshops and talent contest Meet and workshop with Michelle Danner, a Hollywood film and casting director and acting coach to A-list Hollywood actors. Enter your children into the talent contest, with Michelle as head judge. For children over 6; children to be accompanied by parents. Ends 24 February. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: on request. Cost: varies according to type of workshop. Contact: hollywood2sa@gmail. com or follow @hollywood2sa on Twitter and join the Hollywood2sa Facebook page
20 wednesday Herschel Girls Senior School open evening Parents and daughters are welcome to visit the campus and see lessons and sport as they happen. For parents with
girls in Grades 6 and 7. Time: 6pm–8pm. Venue: 21 Herschel Rd, Claremont. Cost: free. Contact Madeleen or Vanessa: 021 670 7500 or email@example.com Somerset College open day Explore the facilities of this co-ed independent school, which also has boarding facilities. For more info: visit somersetcollege.org
4 February – Kidz Discovery Bridging
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Springfield Convent School open day Pupils and parents, who may be considering Springfield for 2014 and beyond, are invited to visit the campus and see the excellent facilities and beautiful gardens. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: St John’s Rd, Wynberg. Cost: free. Contact: 021 797 6169 or 021 797 9637 ext 248
Hands-on Harvest Experience the magic of harvest at this boutique, fun-filled family event that appeals to wine lovers and budding vintners. Visit the website for the programme of activities, which includes contact details for participating wineries. Ends 24 February. Time: varies. Venue: participating wine farms in the Robertson Wine Valley. Cost: varies. Contact: 023 626 3167, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit robertsonwinevalley.com
BrightStart School enrolment day
Grande Provence Harvest Festival The day starts with coffee and fresh muffins served on arrival, followed by a tractor ride to the award-winning vineyards for the grape picking. Guests move to the cellar for a tour, wine tasting and a presentation, followed by stomping the freshly picked grapes in their barrels and a traditional hose down of your feet. Guests then gather in the garden under the old oak tree for a braai with live music throughout the afternoon.
Time: 9am. Venue: Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate, Franschhoek. Cost: adults R295 and children under 12 R130. Included in the price is a bottle of Angels Tears wine per adult, to be collected on departure. For more info: visit grandeprovence.co.za
FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science Iris House Children’s Hospice family fun day There are live bands, dancers, magicians, lawn games and plenty of fun for children of all ages. Support Iris House, which provides community care for special needs children with a limited life expectancy and for their families. Time: 9am–4pm. Venue: Nitida Wine Farm. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit iris-house.org
A Little Bit Dramatic Workshops The programme combines games, improvisational skills – mimed and imaginary, devised theatre-making, role-play, props, movement, music and dramatic scenes. Age groups: 3–4 year olds, 5–6 year olds, 7–9 year olds, 10–12 year olds and teens. Term starts: 23, 24 or 25 January. Time: 2:30pm–4:30pm. Venue: UCT Hiddingh Campus, Orange St, Gardens. Cost: R240–R400 per term. Contact Natasha after 4:30pm: 076 480 6024 or email@example.com
calendar Annual International Letter Writing Competition The SA Post Office is once again offering young learners across South Africa, up to the age of 15 years, the opportunity to take part in the Annual International Letter Writing Competition. The topic for this year is “Why water is a precious resource” and ties in with the International Decade for Action: Water for Life 2005 to 2015. For entry details and more info contact Nobuhle: 031 336 3306 or firstname.lastname@example.org Clay Pot Café Enjoy a cup of coffee while painting your own ceramic item. There is a play park where younger and older children can swing and climb rope. Time: 9:30am–4pm, Tuesday–Friday; 9am–3pm, Saturday; Sunday-bookings only. Venue: Little Stream, Klein Constantia Rd, Constantia. Cost: enquire about potter painting charges. Contact Svenska: 079 562 5257 or email@example.com Free two-hour introductory fabric painting workshop Classes for adults and children. 23 February. Time: 8:45am–10:45am. Venue: Pinelands. Cost: R30 per kit. Contact: 021 531 8076, 082 391 4954 or firstname.lastname@example.org Italian cooking course Children learn in a fun-filled class how to manipulate ingredients in order to create fancy shaped pasta, pizza, chocolate or ice-cream in Italian style. For 3–12 year olds. Starts 9 February. Time: 11am–12pm, every Saturday. Venue: 1st Floor, The Grimley, 14 Tuin Plein, Gardens. Cost R430 per term or R80 per single lesson. Contact Società Dante Alighieri: 021 465 8261 or visit ladante.co.za Italian language course Children learn Italian by having fun. Lessons are based on an interactive approach that encourages singing, storytelling and drama. For 3–6 years old. Starts 30 January. Time: 3pm–4pm or 4pm–5pm, every Wednesday. Venue: 1st Floor, The Grimley, 14 Tuin Plein, Gardens. Cost R660 per term. Contact Società Dante Alighieri: 021 465 8261 or visit ladante.co.za Kidz Discovery Age-appropriate baby and toddler, mother and child groups that engage children in fun learning, art and tactile exploration, language, fine and gross motor development, visual motor play, experiments, and culture and science. In addition to the BrightStart programme, Kidz Discovery offers art and craft classes. Time and cost: varies depending on the programme. Venue: The Drive, Camps Bay. Contact: 083 654 2494, info@kidzdiscovery. co.za or visit kidzdiscovery.co.za
Kindermusik with Louise Whole-brain development programme for 0–7 year olds with the use of musical instruments, movement, props and rhythm. Time and cost: varies, Monday–Friday. Venue: Durbanville. Cost: varies according to age group. Contact: 074 102 5617 Sue Nepgen’s art classes The first term programme includes mixed-media collages on a marine theme. It incorporates inks and includes drawing, sketching, watercolour work, clay sculptures, etching in oils, as well as drawing and painting techniques linked to personal themes. Term starts 24 January. Children may join in at any stage after that date. For 4–13 years old. Time: held in the afternoons and Saturday morning. Venue: Michael Oak Waldorf School, Kenilworth or 28 Klaasenbosch Dr, Constantia. Cost: R590 a term, including materials and firing. Prorata fees for late joiners. Contact Sue: 021 794 6609, 021 794 4723, 083 237 7242 or email@example.com Valley Farmstall Children are invited to join in the Pots of Love Campaign this February where they paint a clay pot and plant their own flower in it. Time: 9am–4pm, every Saturday and Sunday. Venue: Valley Farmstall and Nursery, Valley Rd, Hout Bay. Cost: R50, which includes all materials. Ten percent is donated to a school feeding programme in Atlantis. Contact Tami: 021 790 3803, 079 323 6290 or firstname.lastname@example.org
classes, talks and workshops Nice Touch cooking classes Time: 1pm–2:30pm, Monday for 3–7 year olds: recipes based on themes such as colours, numbers, shapes, nursery rhymes and seasons. 3pm–4:30pm, Friday for 7–12 year olds: allow children to be creative and to use all ingredients to enjoy all the food groups. 3:30pm–5pm, Thursday for 13–19 year olds: these classes are to teach young adults how to prepare meals and set them up with cooking skills for life. Venue: Montana Rd, Camps Bay. Cost: from R690, this includes ingredients, recipe folders and use of an apron. Contact: 021 437 1150, 082 319 9215, janis@ nicetouch.co.za or visit nicetouch.co.za Tots n Pots cooking and baking workshop Children cook a variety of healthy snacks, meals and yummy treats such as apple cranberry muffins, “mac n cheese” and Valentine’s surprises. Starts 23 January. Time: 3pm, Wednesday and 2pm, Thursday for 2–6 year olds; 9:30am, Friday for 2–3 year olds; 10am, Saturday for 2–10 year olds. Venue: Constantia Tots n Pots. Cost: R720 per term or R90 per class if space available. Contact Hannah: 082 569 8666, constantia@ totsnpots.com or visit totsnpots.com
Sue Nepgen’s art classes
The Red Table gourmet braai at Nederburg The braai comprises a fourcourse set menu on a huge lawn, making it a great venue for family dining. Wines are sold at a little more than cellar-door prices, and a large selection is available by the glass. Time: 11am–4pm. Venue: Nederburg Wines, Sonstraal Rd, Daljosafat, Paarl. Cost: R220 or R195 for online bookings with prepayment. Contact: 021 862 3104 or visit nederburg.com magazine cape town
City Sightseeing Canal Cruise The hop-on, hop-off cruise offers a fun nautical adventure that adults and children. Cruise along and experience the views of Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront from a completely different angle. Learn about the significance of this canal, which once again joins the Central Business District to the harbour. You are welcome to bring your own sundowners to enjoy. Time: 9am–8pm daily. Venue: starts at the jetty behind the One&Only, situated close to the Two Oceans Aquarium. Cost: adults R30, children R10. Contact: 021 511 6000 or visit citysightseeing.co.za
finding nature and outdoor play Epic Kayaks Glen McGregor Finale 3 February. Time: 8am registration, 9am race starts. Venue: Clifton 4th Beach. For cost and more info, contact: 021 782 4311, 084 251 5555 or visit surfski.co.za or paddlingcentre.com Kirstenbosch walks The Botanical Society volunteer guides offer themed walks through the garden. Explore everything from pollination, trees, fynbos and restios to culinary herbs, Proteas and Ericas through 12 different walks. 9 and 23 February. Time: 10am. Venue: Kirstenbosch Gardens. Cost: walks are free, but entry to the garden is charged. Booking is essential. Contact: 021 799 8783 or visit sanbi.org.za Stellenbosch Street Soirees Biweekly food and wine gatherings in the oak-lined streets of Stellenbosch. There are complimentary wine tastings offered by various estates on South Africa’s oldest and foremost wine route. Adding taste to these balmy evenings, participating restaurants in and around Stellenbosch sell some of their unique dishes right there on the street, while live music gets the vibe going. Each soiree features a different selection of cellars and caterers. 25 January–3 February (Stellenbosch Wine Festival), 13 and 27 February. Time: 5pm–7:30pm. Cost: free entry, R20 deposit for a wine glass and a ticket to taste unlimited wines on the evening. Contact: 021 886 8275, 021 886 4310 or visit wineroute.co.za
Valiant Swart at Durbanville Hills Winery Enjoy a balmy summer evening with one of the leading Afrikaans songwriters from the last two decades. Valiant has gained a reputation as a first-class entertainer, locally and internationally, with performances in the US, the UK and the Netherlands. Bring a blanket and picnic or buy one of the delicious Durbanville Hills picnic baskets. No chairs are permitted. Durbanville Hills wines are on sale along with soft drinks, hot chocolate, tea and coffee. 8 February. Time: 6pm, gates open. Venue: Durbanville Hills Winery, Tygerberg Rd, Durbanville. Cost: R100 per person pre-booked or R120 at the gate, children under 12 free. R295 for a picnic hamper per couple, with a complimentary bottle of Merlot Rosé. Book through Webtickets: visit webtickets.co.za or for more info and to pre-book a picnic basket, contact Simone: 021 558 1300 or sibrown@ durbanvillehills.co.za
markets Camphill Country Market The market has freshly baked breads, cheese from their dairy, garden fresh organic veggies, and clothing and bric-a-brac from the charity shop. The Camphill Coffee Bar sells homebaked cakes with coffee or tea, bacon-andegg rolls, and freshly made paninis. There is a performance by Camphill’s marimba band. 3 February. Time: 11am–4pm. Venue: Camphill Village, West Coast. From the N1 take the N7 towards Malmesbury; travel for approximately 35km. At the sign “Camphill Village” turn left, drive another 4,5km, the market is on the left. Cost: free entry. Contact Lee: 021 571 8651 or info@ camphill.org.za magazine cape town
calendar Constantia Waldorf Night Market With about 115 stalls selling food, art and crafts, as well as live music and fun and entertainment for adults and children alike, this market on the last Friday of each month, is a must. Join the Facebook group Constantia Waldorf Night
Crash & Bernstein This live-action, “bro-comedy” series follows 12-year-old Wyatt Bernstein, the only son of four children, whose new puppet, Crash, comes to life and becomes his loud-mouthed surrogate brother who knows no limits. Starts on 9 February at 9:20am and is showing on Disney XD DStv Channel 304
Market. 22 February. Time: 5pm–9pm. Venue: Constantia Waldorf School, Spaanschemat River Rd, Constantia. Cost: R5 entry and secure parking available at R20 per car. Contact: info@ constantiawaldorfnightmarket.co.za or visit constantiawaldorfnightmarket.co.za Earth Fair Market Tokai Saturday activities 2 February: creative writing club. Time: 10am. 9 February: face day. Time: 9am. 16 February: cupcakes and games. Time: 9am. 23 February: creative recycling workshop. Time: 9am. Venue: Earth Fair Market Tokai. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit earthfairmarket.co.za Kids’ Valentine’s Market Children 7–13 years old exhibit their home-baked or homemade wares at this market for children by children. 9 February. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Our Place, Oxford St, Durbanville. Cost: free entry. Contact Lenore: 083 703 7617, email@example.com or visit ourplaceon46.co.za
on stage and screen
Hollywood 2 SA workshops and talent contest 18–24 February. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: on request. Cost: varies according to type of workshop. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @ hollywood2sa on Twitter and join the Hollywood2sa Facebook page Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts 3 February: Freshlyground 5:30pm, R80– R110; 10 February: Folk ’n Acoustic Music
Festival 5:30pm, R60–R85; 17 February: Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse 5:30pm, R80–R110; 24 February: Cape Philharmonic Orchestra 5:30pm, R80–R110. Venue: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Book through Webtickets: visit webtickets.co.za
playtime and story time Bouncy Balls at Plinka Plonka Play Time: 9am–5pm, Monday–Friday; 9am–1pm, Saturday. Venue: Plinka Plonka Play, Buitenkant St, Gardens. Cost: call to enquire. Contact: 021 465 0503, email@example.com or visit bouncyballs.co.za CapeGators Kids Club Join the club for monthly activities such as face painting, colouring-in competitions, themed arts and crafts, competitions and prizes. For 3–13 year olds. Time: 11am. Venue: Cape Gate Centre, Okavango Rd, Brackenfell. For more info: visit capegatecentre.co.za Planet Kids Valentine’s special Wear red and play for half-price. For 10 months–12 year olds. 14 February. Time: 10am–6pm. Venue: Planet Kids, 3 Wherry Rd, Muizenberg. Cost: R15 per hour for children two years and older (10–23 months pay according to their age). Contact Andy: 021 788 3070, info@ planetkids.co.za or visit planetkids.co.za
sport and physical activities Children’s integral yoga day The day offers children the opportunity to participate
in spiritually based activities such as hatha yoga, music and gardening. For 3–14 year olds. 24 February. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Ananda Kutir Ashrama, 24 Sprigg Rd, Rondebosch. Cost: donation. Contact Mala: 084 919 4864 or firstname.lastname@example.org En Garde fencing classes Fencing groups are offered for children from 6 years old with the help of a fight choreographer and swords master. Time: call to enquire. Venue: southern suburbs. Cost: call to enquire. Contact David: 072 194 1926, email@example.com or visit http:// fencingschool.wordpress.com Kirstenhof Dance and Pilates Studio Offers ballet, modern, hip-hop dancing and Pilates classes. Time: classes offered daily, call to enquire. Venue: 14 Windhover St, Kirstenhof (close to Blue Route Mall). Cost: varies for group or private sessions. Contact Liane: 021 701 2750, 082 739 0100 or firstname.lastname@example.org Little Kickers free trial session The programme, developed by FA-qualified coaches and nursery school teachers with input from child health specialists, introduces football skills through group play activities. Valuable concepts like sharing; taking turns, teamwork and listening to instructions are incorporated in the activities. The classes also enable children to develop coordination, agility and balance and early learning concepts such as colours and numbers are gently introduced. The football equipment used is age-appropriate
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and child-friendly. For 18 month–2 year olds, (2–4 years, 4–6 years and 6–8 years). Time: subject to availability. Venue: southern and northern suburbs. Cost: free for trial session. Contact: 0861 088 888, admin@ littlekickers.co.za or visit littlekickers.co.za Mega Putt The course is split into three, colour-coded nine-hole courses, which are ranked from easy to difficult. The first nine holes are perfect for little ones, who like a bit of a challenge and have grown tired of the local nine-hole course. There is also a driving range and golf academy on the premises for parents who’d rather work on their golf swing while the children putt away. Time: 8am–5pm, daily. Venue: Mega
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Enjoy the sunset over Table Mountain with stunning views of the Winelands and even a picnic as the full moon rises over Klapmutskop. Children under 3 can be carried by an adult and use the halfway shuttle. Time: arrive by 5pm, no later than 6:30pm to start hike. 24 February: sunset 7:27pm, moonrise 6:25pm. 25 February: sunset 7:27pm, moonrise 7pm. Venue: Dirtopia, on Delvera Farm between Stellenbosch and Klapmuts on the R44. Cost: R60 per person and R25 for children under 10 years old. Contact: 021 884 4752 or email@example.com
Putt, Carl Cronjé Dr (next to Tygervalley Waterfront). Cost: adults R35, children R30. Contact: 021 948 5673 Ride the Rock three-day MTB race This is a full-service individual MTB stage race that offers riders the opportunity to ride on the most spectacular routes in the heart of South Africa’s Cederberg Conservancy. Each stage’s route is challenging yet rewarding, while encapsulating the pristine beauty of the Cederberg. 8–10 February. Time: call to enquire. Venue: Sanddrif, Cederberg. Cost: call to enquire or visit the website. Contact: 086 138 3591, entries@ stillwatersports.com or visit stillwatersports. com or to enter visit cederbergevents.co.za
Ryan Maron’s Southern Junior Club The Cricket School of Excellence continues with group coaching every Friday afternoon in February. For 4–13 year olds. Time: 3:30pm–5:30pm. Venue: Rondebosch Boys’ High School. Cost: R500 per student. Contact William: 021 671 9460 or william@ cricketschool.co.za Teddy Tennis Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons. For ages 2–8 years old. Sessions are accompanied by music. Time: varies in the afternoons. Venue: The Glen Country Club, Clifton. For costs and more info, contact: 083 679 0731, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit teddytennis.com The Cricket and Soccer School of Cape Town Grade 1–7 coaching. They also offer fun group classes and coaching for Grade R–Grade 12 pupils. Time: 1:30pm–6pm, Friday. Venue: Newlands. Cost: R390 per term. Contact: 084 777 1212 or email@example.com Totalsports Xterra Grabouw 23 February: New Balance trail run format: 5km and 10km trail run. Time: 7am. Totalsports Xterra Lite race format: 400m swim, 12,5km mountain bike and 5km trail run. Time: 9am. 24 February: Totalsports Xterra Full race format: 1,5km swim, 25km mountain bike and 10km trail run. Time: 8:30am. Venue: Grabouw Country Club. Cost: call to enquire. Contact: 086 138 3591, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit stillwatersports.com
only for parents classes, talks and workshops American Heart Association family and friends programme The course focuses on CPR for adults, children and infants and the first aid content is geared specifically towards paediatric emergencies. The course is accredited through the American Heart Association and is valid for two years. 9 and 23 February. Time: 9am–3pm. Venue: 9 February, Mediclinic Milnerton; 23 February, Mediclinic Constantiaberg. Cost: R300 per person, which includes a manual. Contact: email@example.com Become a Montessori teacher Register at ELF Montessori for teacher training. Dates vary. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: suite 101, 28 Main Rd, Mowbray.
8–10 February – Ride the Rock three-day MTB race
Valentine cupcake class Make six beautifully decorated, Valentine-themed cupcakes. 9 February. Time: 9:30am–2pm. Venue: Constantia. Cost: R550, all materials included. Contact Bianca: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: email for details. Contact: 021 685 8119, email@example.com or visit elfmontessori.co.za Bride-and-groom modelling class Learn how to model a bride-and-groom topper from fondant. A little experience is needed. 7 and 8 February. Time: 9:30am–4pm. Venue: Constantia. Cost: R800 for both days, materials included. Contact Bianca: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cake-decorating classes with Grace Stevens For beginners and intermediate in the mornings, evenings and Saturdays. For more info: classes@cupcakesbydesign. co.za or visit cupcakesbydesign.co.za Capriccio! Arts Powered Pre-school parent info week View the facilities and learn more about the school, and how they apply the Montessori approach as well as what arts powered learning is all about. For parents of 2–5 year olds. 4–8 February. Time: by appointment. Venue: 10A Ascot Rd, Milnerton. Cost: free. Contact Elbe: 021 551 7008, 081 271 0572, info@artspreschool. co.za or visit artspreschool.co.za Delicious and Divine cooking classes Week one: Italian; week two: Indian; week three: Moroccan; week four: Asian. Time: 7pm–9pm. Venue: Constantia or client’s house when travel costs are incurred. R200 per two-hour class, which includes two takehome recipes. Contact Aisha: 021 794 1324, 076 129 9192 or email@example.com EMT – Emergency Medical Training This is an accredited training institution offering up-to-date, internationally recognised, first aid courses. They are presented by a team of qualified, emergency care professionals. Times: contact office. Venue: unit B, 1st floor, Plum Park, Plumstead. Cost: dependent on numbers. Contact: 0860 368 368, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Family and friends CPR course and paediatric first aid course 3 February. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Constantiaberg
Mediclinic, Plumstead. Cost: R250 per person (family and friends CPR), R300 per person (paediatric first aid). Contact: 021 705 6459 or firstname.lastname@example.org Fun, weight-loss challenge Join this fun challenge with support from your personal wellness coach and get information on good nutrition, be inspired and have fun in a group environment. There are weekly prizes. Take a friend to qualify for a free gift. Time: morning and evening classes. Venue: Lakeside Fit Club & Wellness Centre, Main Rd, Lakeside. Cost: R400 plus free fit class. Contact Samantha: 078 257 1415 Kumon Franchise information sessions Attend a session so that you can make an informed decision when applying to become a Kumon franchisee. The presentation lasts 90 minutes, followed by refreshments and a Q and A session with the recruitment team. 19 February. Time: 10:30am–1pm. Venue: to be advised. Cost: free. Contact Laura: 011 459 2600, email@example.com or visit kumon.co.za Monterey walk n talk tours Every second Wednesday Monterey Preprimary School has tours of the school. 6 and 20 February. Time: 9am–9:45am. Venue: Main Rd, Diep River. Cost: free. For more info: visit monterey.org.za Nice Touch nanny cooking and baking course The fee includes ingredients, a recipe folder and a certificate on completion. See the website for more info and testimonials. Email for more information and booking
forms. Time: 9am–1pm, every Tuesday or Thursday. Venue: Montana Rd, Camps Bay. Cost: R1 450. Contact: 021 437 1150, 082 319 9215, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit nicetouch.co.za Numeracy ideas course This workshop is for parents, educators, au pairs, grannies and nannies. Glean fabulous numeracy ideas for 3–8 year olds by using what you have at home. 13 February. Time: 10am–11:30am or 3pm–4:30pm. Venue: 11 Middleton Rd, Claremont. Cost: R80 per person. Contact Renee: 082 714 4356 or visit reneelighton.co.za Parent sensory intelligence training Understand and manage sensation, attention, emotion and behaviour for learning and development at a full-day parent workshop. 23 February. Time: 8:30am–4pm. Venue: Century City Clubhouse, Century City. Cost: R995 per person or R1 499 per couple. Early bird tickets by 1 February: R750 per person; R1 250 per couple. Contact: esme@ sensoryintelligence.co.za Planet Kids info Fridays A variety of therapists and other service providers host a short presentation and question-andanswer session about their services. Check the website or call for more details. Starts 1 February. Time: 10am–12pm (babies and toddlers); 3pm–5pm (primary school children). Venue: Planet Kids, 3 Wherry Rd, Muizenberg. Cost: R30 per hour for two years and older or R50 for two hours. Under 2 year olds pay according to their
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age. Contact Andy: 021 788 3070, info@ planetkids.co.za or visit planetkids.co.za Sensory Intelligence training for teachers Tips and tools to overcome sensory challenges in schools, which includes a Sensory Survival toolkit (practical booklet with ideas and strategies) and classroom child-screening. 22 February. Time: 2pm–5pm. Venue: tbc. Cost: R385 per person. Contact: romy@ sensoryintelligence.co.za Sew Much Fun They teach people how to sew, using easy-to-understand methods and techniques, thereby empowering them to make things with their hands without having to attend long, often expensive courses. Time: call to enquire. Venue: Main Rd, Sea Point. Cost: call to enquire, depending on course. Contact: 081 408 3912 or sew. email@example.com
Delicious and Divine cooking classes
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Teacher Tools Training: language development workshop This workshop is facilitated by a speech and language therapist for carers and educators of children under 5 years old. It aims to help them understand and facilitate language development in children under 5 years old. 23 February. Time: 8:30am–4pm. Venue: Paarl Historium Conference Venue, 11 Pastorie Ave, Paarl. Cost: R650 per person. Contact Karen: 082 573 6290 or firstname.lastname@example.org
on stage and screen From the Dark Side of the Moon featuring Alan Day Alan performs music from the Pink Floyd album, The Dark Side of the Moon, with solo electric and acoustic guitars. He is a walking encyclopaedia on the band and has many anecdotes and historical footnotes to share. 24 February–24 March. Time: 8pm, every Sunday. Venue: Kalk Bay Theatre. Cost: R85 for the show only. For more info: visit kbt.co.za Galileo open-air cinema 6 February: Food Inc (documentary). 13 February: La Vita è Bella (foreign film). 21 February: Step into Liquid (adventure sport film). 27 February: ET the Extra-Terrestrial (all-time classic). Time: 5pm. Venue: The Galileo open-air cinema, Gate 2, marquee lawn, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Newlands. Cost: R60–R85. Book through Webtickets: visit webtickets. co.za or for more info, visit thegalileo.co.za Improv Festival There is a completely improvised show happening every night
with themes such as Wednesday Westerns and Friday Family Musicals. 29 January– 9 February. Time: 8:30pm. Venue: Kalk Bay Theatre. Cost: R60 with a family special of R180 for a family of four. Contact: 072 939 3351 or visit kbt.co.za Matt Woosey in Concert During the last eight years Matt has toured the UK and Europe non-stop. Matt is a contemporary blues artist from the UK, who combines an explosive slap-and-pick, right-hand guitar technique with big-range blues vocals. Following his success at the world-famous Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, he has played some of the largest blues festivals in Belgium, France and Holland. 13–17 February. Time: 8:30pm, Wednesday–Saturday; 8pm, Sunday. Venue: Kalk Bay Theatre. Cost: R80. For more info: visit kbt.co.za Rodriguez in concert Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see the iconic Rodriguez live in South Africa performing his classic hits in support of Searching for Sugarman. 20 February. Time: 8pm. Venue: Grand West Casino. Cost: R310–R520. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 The Godfrey Johnson Showcase Godfrey Johnson has performed over 20 one-man shows nationally and internationally. He has worked for many years as a musician, director and composer and accompanied Pieter-Dirk Uys in his various cabarets. Godfrey won the 2007 Fleur du Cap award for Best Performance in a Cabaret for his work in Kissed by Brel. Spend an evening in the
14 February – Midsummer’s Night Dream date
company of this extraordinary artist, as each night he presents a different selection from his acclaimed repertoire. 20–23 February. Time: 8:30pm, Wednesday–Saturday. Venue: Kalk Bay Theatre. Cost: R75 for the show only. For more info: visit kbt.co.za
out and about Midsummer’s Night Dream date Savour a sensory, five-course food-andwine feast in the Robertson Small Hotel’s mystical garden. Couples and groups of friends are seated at their own private tables for a romantic moonlit affair, featuring subtle delights and surprises for the senses. 14 February. Time: 7pm. Venue: The Robertson Small Hotel, 58 Van Reenen St, Robertson. Cost: R240 per person, which includes the wine/beverage pairing per
calendar course. Contact: 023 626 7200 or info@ therobertsonsmallhotel.com. Shades of Rosé Bergkelder tasting Head to the beautiful mountain cellar for an early Valentine’s Day evening celebration, spent tasting some of the country’s flavourful rosé wines. The tasting is led by winemaker Wilhelm Coetzee and promises to delight wine drinkers, from the casual to the connoisseur. The Bergkelder tastings take place on the first Thursday of every month and feature a selection of premium wines, brandies and whiskies. 7 February. Time: 5:30pm for 6pm. Venue: The Bergkelder Cellar, Stellenbosch. Cost: R80 per person, which includes a complimentary arrival drink, wine tasting and light supper. Contact Karine: 021 809 8025
support groups LGBTI parents support group Every six weeks there are meetings run with children at 2pm and for parents only at 7pm. Venue: Rainbow Centre; call to enquire. Contact Heather: 021 448 3812, health2@ triangle.org.za or visit triangle.org.za or visit their Facebook page Proud 2B – LGBTI Parents Turning Point Support Turning Point, which provides supportive assistance to battered women and survivors of domestic violence by accompanying the women to court, securing referrals to safe houses and legal advice, sourcing clothing for women and children, hygiene packs and school uniforms as well as counselling (one-onone) and group sharing sessions. They also have annual parties and raise awareness around dealing with these issues among women. Contact: 021 762 7774, 072 197 3808 or turningpoint.wozaonline.co.za
Ncedolwethu Crèche, Mfuleni Vital was introduced to Florence Dodovu, a housewife, mother, granny and foster mother, who ably manages the Ncedolwethu Crèche. Florence, whose crèche hosts more than 47 children, has single-handedly been providing care for nine abandoned children, and also offers a variety of afterschool activities designed to keep children off the streets. In order to facilitate further development of the Ncedolwethu Crèche, Vital would like to open this initiative to the public. If you are interested in contributing, contact Wilmarié: email@example.com or Nadine: firstname.lastname@example.org
3808 or turningpoint.wozaonline.co.za
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classes, talks and workshops Birth and Midwifery Conference The conference draws on the ideas, talents and experience of the local birthing community; to share and collaborate, and to discuss birth in South Africa. It is open to all birthing professionals and the interested public. The programme consists of panel topics with speakers, opportunities for discussion, questions sessions and debate, and screenings of relevant films. Speakers include local doctors, midwives, doulas, childbirth educators, childbirth activists, lactation consultants, health professionals and mothers. 8 and 9 February. Time: 6pm–9pm, Friday 8 February; 8:30am–5pm, Saturday 9 February. Venue: Erin Hall, 8–10 Erin Rd, Rondebosch. Cost: R350. Contact: 081 753 7746, info@ midwiferyandbirthconference.co.za or visit midwiferyandbirthconference.co.za Italian language course for tots Children are taught Italian through relaxed and fun preschool activities that develop fundamental skills such as self-confidence, imagination, listening, creativity and motor coordination. Parents’ attendance is required. For children aged 12–36 months. Starts 1 February. Time: from 9:30am–11am or 11am–12:30pm, every Friday. Venue: 1st Floor, The Grimley, 14 Tuin Plein, Gardens. Cost R660 per term. Contact Società Dante Alighieri: 021 465 8261 or visit ladante.co.za Moms and Babes Claremont classes Join these mom and baby stimulation classes for 2–12 month olds. Time: 10am and 3pm. Venue: 36 Water St, Claremont. Cost: call to enquire. Contact: 021 671 8690 or 082 746 3223 Motherhood Matters baby massage classes A four-week baby massage course helps moms learn to communicate with their babies through loving touch and understand the benefits of massage. You’ll also get ongoing breast-feeding and baby care advice from Motherhood Matters’ registered midwives. Small groups of six to eight moms and their babies. Ideal for babies 4 weeks up to 6 months. 6 and 13 February. Time: 10am–11:30am. Venue: Kirstenhof. Cost: R500. Contact Megan: 071 875 2668 or visit motherhoodmatters.co.za Nice Touch tots and moms cooking classes Activities include mixing, rolling dough and stirring. Time: 10am–11:30am, every Wednesday. Venue: Montana Rd, Camps Bay. Cost: from R690 inclusive of ingredients, recipe folders and use of apron. Contact: 021 437 1150 or 082 319 9215, email@example.com or visit nicetouch.co.za
playtime and story time School for toddlers – creative learning Make Islamic learning fun and creative for young minds with a full madrasah programme according to school terms. June and November progress reports provided. End of year graduation and party. For 4–7 year olds. Only 10 children per age group. Orientation Day 2 February. Time: 9:30am–12:30pm, every Saturday. Venue: Littlewoods, Ottery (opposite China Town). Directions upon registration. Cost:
registration R200 per child, fees R200 per child per month. Contact: 021 704 1462, 074 106 0713, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit stageslifestyle.co.za Wriggle and Rhyme Moms and babies or toddlers enjoy music and movement together. They use props, puppets, movement and instruments to engage and stimulate the children around a different, fun theme each term. Time: varies. Venue: groups run in Claremont, Constantiaberg and Fish Hoek. Cost: call to enquire. For more info: visit wriggleandrhyme.co.za
support groups La Leche League’s breast-feeding support groups Panorama: 4 February. Contact Carol: 021 558 5319. Durbanville: 19 February. Contact Trudy: 021 913 2816 or Tiffany: 021 913 3586. Parow: 20 February. Contact Dilshaad: 021 930 2475. Milnerton Mediclinic: 18 February at 9:30am. Contact Juliet: 021 556 0693. Parklands Intercare: 27 February. Contact Simela: 021 553 1664. Paarl: 5 February. Contact Jonette: 021 872 5297. Rondebosch: 12 February. Contact Becky: 021 531 2485. Fish Hoek: 5 February. Contact Tammy: 021 782 9240. Stellenbosch: 12 February. Contact Olga: 082 062 0206 or Francia: 082 940 9685. Malmesbury. Contact Selma: 083 265 5458 for telephonic help. Napier. Contact Emma: 082 696 3584 for telephonic help. Unless otherwise stated meetings start at 10am, entry is free and pregnant and nursing mothers are welcome to attend. Moms First therapeutic group A safe supportive space to look at the challenges of being a mother. Time: 10am–11:30am, Wednesday. Venue: 3 Prospect Hill Rd, Wynberg. Cost: R200 per group. Contact Penelope: 073 786 6781 or visit momsfirst.co.za Parent Centre moms-to-be and moms and babies support groups These groups are suitable for moms with babies up to 1 year old. Mediclinic Cape Town: 10:30am–12:30pm, every Tuesday. Mediclinic Constantiaberg: 10am–12pm, every Thursday. Cost: R50 per morning, including refreshments. Contact: 021 762 0116, email@example.com. za or visit theparentcentre.org.za and visit the Facebook pages: Tuesday Moms Group (Parent Centre) and Thursday Moms Group (Parent Centre) for the monthly programme.
how to help Collect-a-Can’s National Schools Competition starts Have fun while helping your school to raise funds and take care of the environment by collecting as many empty cans as possible. Prizes are up for grabs for the most cans collected
Jungle One Hour Project
every month as well as grand prizes at the end of the year for the most cans collected throughout the year and the most cans collected per learner. For 7–18 year olds. 1 February–31 October. Contact Janette: 011 466 2939 or for more info visit: collectacan.co.za Colour Africa Buy a colouring book of African proverbs, which is donated to an underprivileged school. The proverbs are printed in the language of origin and translated into English. Cost: from R30 per colouring-in book. For more info: visit http://colourafrica.co.za/shop/ Help build a new radiology complex at Red Cross Children’s Hospital When you purchase any one of Sea Harvest’s crumbed products, 10 cents goes towards a R500 000 commitment to help build and equip a R40 million radiology complex for the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. Last year they sponsored the upgrade of the general medical ward, in 2010 a new surgical skills unit. The campaign ends 28 February. Contact: 021 686 7860 or visit seaharvest. co.za or childrenshospitaltrust.org.za Jungle One Hour Project People can start their own campaigns such as raising money for a library or painting a school. Assign a start and end date and link it to Facebook so your friends can see what you’re up to. For more info: visit onehourproject.co.za Kidz2Kidz LOVY Project With your help, Lovy can share a story of self-love with children, teaching them that no matter what their circumstances are they can always find a little love within themselves. To read how you can help and make a difference in a child’s life, visit lovylovesyou.com NSRI lucky draw Sign up with NSRI and help to save lives as well as stand a chance to win. For only R50 per month, you get two tickets in the draw for one of five monthly prizes to the value of R10 000 each as well as entry into the grand annual draw of R100 000. Contact Jackie: 021 430 4701 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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 1 February for the March issue, and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published. To post an event online, visit childmag.co.za
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itâ€™s party time For more help planning your childâ€™s party visit
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itâ€™s party time
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magazine cape town
unexpected epiphanies ANÉL LEWIS spends some quality time with her children,
Erin, Anél and Conor
here are some things in life that just can’t be bought, or even exchanged for a token. I learnt this, and several other surprising lessons, during my recent three-week break from work. I also discovered that much as I love my children, the only way to get through 48 minutes (and yes, I counted) of sitting cross-legged in a sandpit at the end of a long day, is with a small gin and tonic. And no, I am not advocating that you hit the bottle when you do things with your children. But there is nothing wrong with a genteel G & T at the end of an exhausting parenting day. I also discovered that the maximum lifespan of a fist-sized ball of playdough is about two hours. Try as you might to
keep it in its original form – malleable and slightly moist – it will eventually end up cracked and desiccated, squashed into the couch or smeared onto the floor. After just one afternoon of Erin “baking” with the noxious stuff, there was playdough stomped into the carpet, some rammed into the crevices of Conor’s fire truck and a few errant pieces embedded in her hair. The blobs that did survive were carefully, or so I thought, stowed away for another day. But alas, I woke up the next morning to find the dogs lying prostrate in the backyard. Erin, bored with making butterfly shapes, had decided to create playdough “sausage rolls” for the dogs to snack on. And clearly they didn’t go down too well. If you are planning to go out in the morning, do not ask your two year old what she would like to wear. We were treated to an assortment of outfits each day, ranging from her swimming costume paired with gumboots, to an oversized T-shirt with an equine theme and the question “why the
long face?” emblazoned on the back. Yes, why indeed, I asked myself, as I realised that the show we were due to see had already started and Erin was no closer to choosing her ensemble for the day. You can lead the toddler to the toilet… but after that, you have no control over what happens. I smugly thought that I would be able to potty train Erin during my stint at home. But my plan was derailed on day one, when I suggested that we exchange her nappy for pants, and she promptly replied, “No, I’ve tried that.” Right, okay then. I guess sitting on the toilet seat is not going to happen any time soon either? But the most notable lesson learnt was that the best activities are usually those that come free, and often in unexpected forms. As I work away from home, I looked forward to entertaining Erin at a play park during the holidays. But, she was unimpressed by the undulating snails; she turned up her nose at the indoor jungle
gym and would not be cajoled into riding a tractor. And so, after an excruciating hour in the blazing sun, mostly spent explaining to her that the neon armband clipped to her wrist entitled her to go on any ride she desired, we admitted defeat and headed for the parking lot. And this was where Erin’s eyes lit up. She spotted a silver trolley; one of those unwieldy ones used to move heavy planttype things like cycads, around the nursery. “Mom, Mom, pick up,” she instructed. I obliged and pushed my delighted daughter around the parking lot while her brother squealed in amusement from his pram. And there we had it, unfettered joy, no tokens required. Anél Lewis is Child magazine’s features editor. She thoroughly enjoyed the 21 full days spent with her children during the holidays, but was also quite grateful to return to work, where she can once again do tasks that don’t involve playdough. Follow her on Twitter:@ChildMagParent
magazine cape town
PHOTOGRAPH: STEPHANIE VELDMAN
and learns a few surprising lessons along the way.