C a p e
To w n ’ s
b e s t
g u i d e
f o r
pa r e n t s
lost for words
reading breeds brilliance
master those tricky conversations with your children
is frozen really just as good as fresh?
spring into action
fun ways to spring clean – the Mary Poppins way the nanny diaries – things you should know
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She turned to the sunlight and shook her yellow head, And whispered to her neighbour; “Winter is dead.” – A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young
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Booka and Ju lian
I spent many happy hours reading Winnie-the-Pooh to my eldest daughter, Julian. As a toddler she had Tigger-like tendencies, strutting around the garden in bellbottoms and gumboots, happiest when leading a trail of animals. At one stage this included Booka, the Malamute; a pig (whose name escapes me); Phillip, the goat and a pony called Granny Groovy. We used to rent a tiny cottage on a three-acre farm, which had an assortment of creatures. Being surrounded by loving people and the great outdoors may be the reason for Julian’s affinity with the bear of big heart, but little brain. Those were happy days. We planted sunflowers that grew taller
than both of us and when I had to go to work in the morning and Julian was sick, Jenny, the farm owner, would take her up to the main house and tuck her into bed next to Phillip, the goat, who kept his beady eyes on her. Springtime always makes me want to pull out our worn copy of A.A. Milne’s A Treasury of Stories, Hums and Verse and share Pooh’s latest adventure with a freshly bathed, sleepy little tot. Sadly, my girls have moved on from stories of the lovable bear, but I’m glad their love of reading has endured.
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contents september 2013
3 a note from lisa
8 upfront with paul technology
6 over to you readers respond
features 14 difficult conversations to have with your child some discussions are not easy to have with children, but they may be necessary, says Tori Hoffmann
18 spring break get the children in on the spring cleaning action. Anél Lewis shares some ideas
20 sometimes growing up is sore to do Marc de Chazal finds out more about “mysterious” growing pains
22 what your nanny is thinking Anél Lewis asks two domestic helpers to share what’s important to them
24 read to write children that read are better students. By Marina Zietsman
is wonderful, says Paul Kerton, but nothing compares to saying “I love you” face-to-face
10 pregnancy news – shaping up it’s important to keep fit while pregnant, says Lucille Kemp
12 best for baby – probiotics: nature’s recipe good gut health can help fight allergies and eczema. By Vanessa Papas
13 dealing with difference Glynis Horning looks at the alarming rise of eating disorders in children
32 resource – a click away Tamlyn Vincent gives you inspiration for convenient online shopping
34 a good read for the whole family 38 what’s on in september 50 finishing touch Superman has
28 moms who pop pills Françoise Gallet looks at the dangers of abusing prescription medication
entered Anél Lewis’s home; for a good reason it seems
9 frosty bites Tamlyn Vincent
45 family marketplace
looks at the benefits of fresh and frozen vegetables
47 let’s party
this month’s cover images are supplied by: Joburg
Jacqueline Beytel Chipie International facebook.com/ Jelli Children’s Boutique jolijacquelinephotography
magazine cape town
magazine cape town
it’s what you know I am a huge fan of your magazine, and there is a pile of your magazines in my office, almost toppling over. I continuously refer to old issues, which gives me a good excuse to have an extra cup of coffee. I want to thank you for the article “it’s what you know” (August 2013). I am always trying to find ways to increase my eight year old’s general knowledge. I bought a few encyclopaedias and other general knowledge books. Our deal is that every night we read through a random topic and by the end of the year we know at least 300 new facts. Some days we are good, and other days we tend to slip, so I am very grateful for the ideas offered in this article. Kamish
only is there research suggesting that artificial sweeteners can lead to weight gain, there is also evidence that aspartame is linked to damaging brain health. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, it is also responsible for a large majority of adverse food reactions to food additives. Fructose, along with agave and honey (which, although natural and generally perceived as healthy, also contain high levels of fructose), are most readily converted to fat in the body and are linked to obesity, the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Natural sugars such as Stevia and Xylitol seem to be the best alternative to sugar itself. Di Hill
I immensely enjoy reading Child magazine but felt the need to respond to your “like it or lump it” article (August 2013). As a parent and nutritional therapist, I wanted to comment that recommending alternatives [to sugar], such as aspartame and sucralose, should come with some warning. Not
Two years ago, a car hit my little boy in front of his school. A few weeks prior to that terrible day, a dad went to the school and raised his concerns about the roadside safety of that spot and asked the faculty to do something that would help the children. Unfortunately, it was this same dad who hit Nicolas
over to you your responses online My eldest daughter suffered from growing pains when she was four years old. She will be eight this December and still complains about it from time to time. Now, my youngest daughter (6) is suffering from growing pains. She has the body of a nine-year-old girl, and I really feel sorry for her. Whenever she has an attack, I massage her legs with anti-inflammatory cream. It really works. Monette in response to “helping your child with growing pains” The tip on apples is very useful [to place an elastic band around the apple after slicing it, so that it stays in shape]. My little one refuses to eat it when it is cut and a touch of lemon is added to it. Also, I have found that dried fruit and nuts, popcorn and homemade trail mixes are a welcome addition to snack time at school. I would also like to thank you for the great work done by Child magazine. Sharona in response to “lunchbox tips” I often use lettuce for my daughter’s sandwiches. The trick is to use a whole leaf or tear it with your hands into smaller pieces. This way the lettuce remains crisp. I’m not sure why cutting or shredding lettuce with a knife makes it turn brown. Sonia Billson in response to “lunchbox tips”
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with his car. I always park my car in front of the school, so that the children do not have to cross the road. On this specific day, I was chatting to a friend, when I saw Nicolas running past us. It happened so fast. I heard the brakes and the hard thud, and people were screaming. I saw how my little boy was flung into the air. When he hit the ground, he did not move or make any sound. I ran to him and he started to groan. My friend took us to hospital. My son tried to look at me, but his eyes kept closing and I thought he was going to die. At the hospital the doctor examined him and did a brain scan. My son had a concussion and a crack in his skull. Luckily, he healed completely and I treasure every moment with him. Today, together with the schoolpatrol, there are traffic police present when the school day ends. I was very angry because I felt that the accident was unnecessary. But I knew that Nicolas was aware to never run across a street, and then I realised that he is just a small boy and accidents do happen. Parents just need to be very careful. Jeanli Smit
Let us know what’s on your mind. Send your letters or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010.
My son had his tonsils and adenoids removed when he was 18 months old due to recurring tonsillitis. It was the best decision we ever made. That was 16 months ago and he hasn’t even had the flu since. I would recommend having them both out at the same time, which means only one operation and only one recovery period. Anonymous in response to “tonsillitis – the ins and outs”
where can I find back issues? I may have missed it in a previous issue, but have you done any articles about choosing appropriate and beneficial apps for preschoolers and early graders? As an ex-teacher and now a grandmother of three, I spend many hours scouting for good apps and reading what educationalists are saying about touch screen technology. Judy Childmag says All our articles can be found online. We also have back issues (dating back one year) on our website. Visit childmag.co.za
to home baking. Your features on parties in the May issue were well-timed, and I wanted to thank you for recommending the book Easy Party Treats for Children by Janette Mocke (Random House Struik). The ideas she gives are fun and simple to make, and my children enjoyed making their party treats with me. Instead of party packs, I was able to send home edible helicopters and cone princesses – both winners and far more rewarding. Anne Quinlan
devil in blue tracksuit pants I read Paul Kerton’s column in the August issue (“too embarrassing”) and had to laugh out loud. I too had a pair of “ancient” blue tracksuit pants that did not want to get lost. They were just so comfortable, that I sometimes wore them to run quick errands. That was until my 11 year old pointed out to me that I looked like a “bad incarnation of Eminem”. Needless to say, I had to google images of the rapper in order “to get the picture”, and the pants are now history. Rachel
party time made easy I am a busy working mom to four-year-old twins. Their birthday in May always leaves me with a sinking feeling as I try to come up with something different for each of them. My schedule is demanding and time constraints mean that I cannot dedicate hours
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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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magazine cape town
magazine cape town
upfront with paul
i’ll be back… Modern communication tools are useful when you’re away from your family, but nothing beats
Saskia, Paul and Sabina
hey say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, but “they” also say “out of sight, out of mind.” I’m not so sure which “they” to believe. But, whether in a grown-up relationship or the relationship you have with your children, my take is it is better to be with the ones you love and not just loving any old ones you might be with. It’s horrible being away from my daughters; it makes me realise how fast they are growing up, and how much of that I am missing. My eldest is now taller than her mom. The youngest is using big words like “communication.” And I’m missing the enormous amount of fun we used to have together…
Even in this hi-tech age, “communication” can be complicated. Yes, Skype is absolutely brilliant. It’s incredibly reliable and the sound and picture quality, 90 percent of the time, is amazing. It’s like being in the same room. And it’s free. I remember, only a few years ago, travelling to London and needing to phone home in Cape Town, funnelling what felt like hundreds of pound coins into a public phone that seemed more like a one-armed bandit – and that was if you could find one that worked – only to hear a crackly voice at best and a crossed line with some Afrikaans dentist from Bloemfontein. I spent half of each R250 call saying, “pardon?”.
With the proliferation of mobiles, iPads and laptops there are hardly any public phone booths to be found anymore in Greater London, and the internet café has practically disappeared altogether as most coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and snack bars now provide free broadband as a matter of course. They even now have broadband available on the London underground, but that doesn’t help really. It is impossible to Skype when your nose is sticking into somebody else’s armpit. It is so disappointing though, when either party fails to make the promised rendezvous, albeit for a legitimate reason. I’ve found that skyping from a coffee house is extremely hazardous. Waiters barking orders for a “Tall skinny strawberry and cream Frappuccino”, and baristas noisily banging the residual coffee out of the Espresso machine filter, continually
interrupt any intimate conversation. Then there is the time factor, especially if you are two hours behind. Will they be home after “hip-hop” and will they have time before “piano”? Or will they be having supper? Or doing their homework? Can I finish my meeting and get across town in time? Timing is everything. No, the best solution is to return home as soon as possible and get back to a normal routine. I can’t wait to return to Cape Town and give them a big hug and tell them I love them, face-to-face. You can tell your children you love them a thousand times over text and in emails – which is better than not doing it – but you really need to tell them while giving them a hug. So, I’m going to steal Arnold Schwarzenegger’s immortal words in The Terminator: “I’ll be back…” Follow Paul on Twitter: @fabdad1
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PHOTOGRAPH: MARIETTE BARKHUIZEN
talking face-to-face, says PAUL KERTON.
frosty bites If fresh, seasonal vegetables aren’t available, frozen veggies are a healthy alternative if cooked correctly. By Tamlyn Vincent
s a mom, I want what is best for my family, and for years I have thought that this meant steering clear of the frozen foods section in the supermarket. But fresh vegetables and fruit aren’t always easy to find, and as it turns out, frozen vegetables can be a nutritious substitute.
fresh is best Fresh vegetables and fruit are best, says Durban nutritionist Cathy Grundy. They provide us with vitamins and minerals, which help us stay healthy while warding off lifestyle diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, says Toni Smyth, a dietician in Cape Town. Fresh produce also tastes better, and can be eaten raw, something you probably don’t want to try with frozen carrots. But Grundy points out that vegetables and fruit start to lose nutrient value from the moment they are picked. And when we buy them from the supermarket, we have no way of knowing how long produce has been out of the ground, or how long it has been on the shelf. These vegetables are also generally picked before they are ripe, especially
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if they are not in season, and may travel long distances before appearing on the supermarket shelves. Grundy adds that they often have lower nutrient content than vegetables picked at the height of the season, when they are ripe. “By the time vegetables are farmed, packaged, transported and appear on the supermarket shelves, they have been exposed to air and light, which degrades certain nutrients,” says Smyth. We also have no way of knowing what chemicals they have come into contact with to prevent them from spoiling, adds Grundy. The only way to be sure, is to grow your own vegetables.
frozen food But a variety of fresh, seasonal, local produce isn’t always available, especially in winter months. This is where frozen veggies come in handy. Vegetables destined for the freezer are picked at the height of the season when they are ripe, so nutrient value is at its peak, says Grundy. They are blanched, to get rid of any bacteria, and then frozen as quickly as possible. Smyth adds that frozen vegetables
retain their vitamins and minerals, so are often just as good nutritionally, as fresh vegetables. Another plus for frozen produce is that the preparation is already done. Frozen vegetables do need to be stored and cooked correctly to ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients from them. They can usually be stored for eight to 12 months, says Grundy, but should be kept in a freezer at between -5ºC and -18ºC. Take out only the amount you need, to avoid defrosting and refreezing, and store the remaining vegetables in sealed freezer bags or containers. Cook the vegetables from frozen, says Smyth, and go easy on the temperature and cooking time, to avoid losing nutrients. If you’re boiling them, only use a little bit of water. Alternatively, you can try steaming, blanching, grilling or poaching the vegetables. Grundy recommends that you avoid produce that has additives. Sodium, or salt, may be added as a preservative, or food may come crumbed or battered, but these increase the fat content of the vegetables. Some vegetables that freeze well are peas, corn, carrots, beans, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
shaping up Having a conditioned body means being at your best for your child. By LUCILLE KEMP
now that you’re pregnant If you weren’t exercising before you became pregnant, biokineticist Tara-Lee Morton recommends that you get clearance from your gynae or GP before beginning any form of exercise, and thereafter get a biokineticist or personal trainer on board to monitor you during workouts. As a start-up, The American College of Sports Medicine suggests walking and swimming. They also say that ideally you should exercise indoors as it provides protection from extremes in temperature and air pollution. Even though active women, who are pregnant, can exercise as usual, they will need to modify their programme based on how
they feel, and as pregnancy develops, bringing with it joint slackness and weight gain.
what to do? Your aim should be to manage your weight, improve your strength and focus on your pelvic muscles. “Your pelvic floor exercises are a variety of “squeeze-and-lift” (or knyping) movements. For fitness and weight management, go for brisk walks, swim, spin or use the elliptical trainer at the gym. You may also use light weights to tone up,” says Tara. Hayley points out that many of the exercises recommended during pregnancy can be performed incidentally. So, pelvic floor exercises can be performed while brushing your teeth, and foot and ankle exercises while sitting at your desk. Hayley also advises practicing squatting and tailor sitting as these exercises will strengthen your thigh muscles and increase circulation to your pelvis, making the joints suppler. Pilates- and yoga-based exercise programmes are great options along with using resistance bands and doing various exercises with a Swiss ball. Kegel exercises can be done on all fours in what is known as the “cat-cow” stretch, which also incorporates breathing techniques.
take care You can start walking today with minimal supervision, but Hayley offers a few important pointers: “walk tall with your buttocks tucked under your spine, your shoulders back and your head up, not hanging down. Ease up towards the end of pregnancy, though, to pre-empt backache.”
there is payoff Exercise relieves you of that clumsy, fat feeling, which rears its head particularly in the last trimester. Staying in condition during pregnancy also means that you should regain your normal shape within a shorter time after your baby’s birth. Tara emphasises: “Exercise will reduce pregnancyrelated high blood pressure and diabetes, and improve muscle strength and fitness, which will help specifically during birth. It also improves flexibility, circulation and sleeping patterns; reduces muscle stiffness and soreness, and relieves stress; minimises lower-back pain and increases endorphin levels in the bloodstream.” The payoff of a toned body continues into everyday life as a mother, remarks Hayley. “You’ll need a strong back and set of arms to carry your baby, push the pram about town and move heavy car seats.”
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ayley Alexander, a specialist in pregnancy and postnatal yoga, actively taught yoga classes until she was eight months pregnant and continued exercising and walking until she was past her due date. Hayley’s children were born naturally, with no pain medication, and she attributes this to having conditioned her body and, in turn, her mind. “For me, getting ready to have a baby is like preparing to run an ultra-marathon; the pre-training is essential if you are going to succeed.”
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probiotics: nature’s recipe
Probiotics can encourage the production of antibodies in babies and children, which can protect them from allergies and eczema, says Vanessa Papas.
here is more to probiotics than stimulating the growth and activity of good bacteria in your child’s digestive system. New research confirms that probiotics are the only form of supplementation proven to benefit allergy sufferers and prevent eczema in babies. “It’s important to understand the difference between probiotics and prebiotics,” says expert allergist Dr Adrian Morris, who specialises in the testing, diagnosis and treatment of allergies at the Allergy Clinic based in Cape Town, Durban and Joburg. “The word ‘probiotics’ literally means ‘for life’, and refers to living organisms that have a number of health benefits. They are ‘good bacteria’ that colonise our bowels and have an impact on gut immunity. If your child is on antibiotics or has diarrhoea, this friendly bacteria is killed along with bad bacteria, so gut flora is depleted and pathogenic bacteria can take over, decreasing your child’s immune system and making them more susceptible to various sicknesses. A probiotic supplement is needed in these cases to restore ‘good bacteria’ in the gut. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are short chain sugars that probiotics feed on, which is why it’s so important that your child has a balance of prebiotics and probiotics.” New research suggests that the use of probiotics may decrease a baby’s risk of getting eczema and reduce the risk of allergic reactions. Baby eczema (also called atopic dermatitis) appears as red, crusty patches on your baby’s skin, often during their first few months. No one really knows what causes eczema, but it’s an immune system reaction that can be triggered by certain things, including allergies. Heredity is a big factor in whether or not an infant gets eczema. If a mom or dad has eczema, a baby is a lot more likely to develop it too. Allergies are triggered by foreign substances called “allergens”, which can be anything from dust and pet hair to foods and pollen. The most
effective probiotics in allergy prevention are acidophilus and bifidobacteria – a group of bacteria that normally live in the intestines, but can be grown outside the body and then taken by mouth as medicine. “Reuteri has the most research done on this group of bacteria (parents should beware of cheap replicas),” says Morris. “However, they have to be taken early to be of benefit in reducing your child’s risk of developing allergies. The pregnant mother should take them throughout pregnancy, so that during vaginal childbirth she actually inoculates her newborn. That’s why Caesarean babies are more prone to allergies as they don’t receive a dose of good bugs going down the birth canal. The probiotic supplements should then also be taken while breast-feeding and given in powder form to the newborn baby at risk of eczema.” Morris adds that while natural yoghurt (labelled “live and active cultures”) and some types of cheeses have lactobacillus, which is considered to also have probiotic characteristics, these foods are derived from milk, which can aggravate allergies. This is why doctors recommend using a probiotic supplement instead.
get it naturally Foods that contain probiotics include live yoghurt and yoghurt drinks; fermented and unfermented milk; miso and tempeh, which are made from fermented soya beans; some juices and soya drinks. Foods that contain prebiotics include onions, bananas, barley, garlic, chicory, asparagus, artichokes, soya beans and oats. Breast milk naturally contains prebiotics, so a breast-fed baby will benefit.
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best for baby
dealing with difference
what’s eating our children? Children as young as seven are presenting with eating disorders. Know the signs and find help fast, writes Glynis Horning.
hile her nine-year-old Joburg classmates romped in the playground, planning playdates at pools and birthday parties, Sarah Taunton* mostly sat alone. “I was always comparing myself to others and I felt fat and ugly,” she says. “I hated wearing a bathing costume or shorts, but I wasn’t even chubby. My mom ran a beauty salon and was always on a diet; she wouldn’t have sweet stuff in the house. I’d buy chocolate at the tuck shop and gorge before I went home, or pig out at my grandmother’s, where I was spoilt. Then I felt gross, so I’d hardly eat. My mom was too busy to notice. By 13 I’d learnt from other girls to stick my fingers down my throat and throw up after bingeing.” Today Sarah is 17 and only recently managed to stop this through an eating disorders programme. “It probably sounds pathetic, but food ruled my childhood.” The secretive nature of eating disorders makes statistics hard to establish, but a growing number of children are being treated. A study by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality showed hospitalisation for eating disorders in under 12s rose 119 percent between 1999 and 2006. Grainne Attwell, consultant dietician at Riverview Manor treatment centre near Underberg, reports that according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 10 percent of eating disorders are diagnosed in children aged 10 or younger. “These are diagnosed eating disorders with psychopathology. ‘Disordered eating’ rates may be higher,” she says.
reasons to digest The reasons are complex, from a history of being overweight in early childhood, to size six models, competition between friends who diet, access to social media at a young age, and the rise of “pro-ana” and “pro-mia” online groups that promote anorexia and bulimia. “It’s estimated that 70 percent of eating disorders are triggered by life events, including death, divorce, abuse, bullying, and parents’ attitudes to body shape, food and weight,” Attwell says. Some children seem more prone to develop eating disorders under such pressures. “Current opinion is that there’s a large genetic predisposition, particularly to developing severe restricting anorexia nervosa and fullblown bulimia nervosa,” says Dr Pam Morris, a Durban clinical psychologist with an interest in eating disorders. This is often linked to a genetic family history of eating disorders, anxiety and depressive disorders, obsessivecompulsive disorder (OCD) or perfectionists and even autism sufferers. It tends to show up around adolescence, when these children have difficulty making the changes required in the transition to adulthood. magazine cape town
“Adolescents with a predisposition to eating disorders are more vulnerable to social pressures towards thinness. They begin to think that ‘fatness’ is the reason for their difficulties, and see ‘thinness’ as a handy and more tangible ‘solution’ for these underlying, complex human difficulties,” Morris says. The problem then “feeds on itself,” as restricting food intake may directly alter neuro chemicals and reduce anxiety. This encourages more food restriction, and eating becomes associated with loss of control or anxiety. Starvation also increases “obsessional focus” and hyperactivity, which “numbs” the brain and may be quite rewarding, so the cycle of restricting food continues. Restricting food also lowers neuro chemicals that control appetite, which commonly results in a massive, physical urge to binge, Morris says. “This elicits extreme anxiety and the urge to compensate for these extra calories by vomiting, using laxatives, exercising or further starving, which perpetuates the cycle in bulimia nervosa.” Vomiting may also increase production of “feel-good” neurochemicals, which can give a sense of relief from unpleasant feelings and anxiety, and may become addictive. “The eating disorder becomes a habitual, dysfunctional way of coping with a variety of life problems.” Personality too may play a part, and youngsters who are driven, disciplined high achievers with low self-esteem seem more at risk. More girls present than boys, though boys are now estimated to account for about one in four cases of disordered eating. “What is sometimes called ‘manorexia’ often starts in primary school, with boys wanting to be big but lean for sport at high school,” says Durban dietician Kathy Krog. “At high school it continues, not only for sport but to attract girls. They cut out fat, bulk up with powders and over exercise.”
unpalatable facts The body needs fat, which contributes 30 percent of its total energy, and a restrictive diet in childhood and adolescence can stunt growth, says Krog. “Girls’ greatest growth potential is age nine to 12. For boys it’s 15 to 17, but they can keep growing to 25.” Eating disorders also bring irreversible, potentially lifethreatening health problems. Anorexia can damage the heart, liver and kidneys, delay or stop menstruation, and lead to hair loss, thin bones, lethargy, headaches, dizziness, concentration problems, moodiness and social withdrawal. Bulimia can damage the stomach and kidneys, and cause heart problems from electrolyte and salt imbalance. Purging expels potassium, the acid in vomit triggers tooth decay, and salivary glands can swell from excessive throwing up, causing “chipmunk cheeks”.
plan of action It’s essential to get help as early as possible, before the disordered eating habit becomes ingrained. “Tell the child you are concerned and are taking them to a professional,” advises Attwell. “They’ll usually be in denial. Remember that someone with an eating disorder is controlled by it and will do anything for it, including manipulating, cheating and hiding. Stay calm and firm, and persevere with a multidisciplinary treatment plan including a psychologist, psychiatrist and family doctor.” Involve teachers or school counsellors too. Treatment can be a long journey, usually centred on cognitive behaviour therapy for eating disorders (CBT-E), where the child learns to identify negative automatic thoughts and replace them with more balanced ones. Family therapy is also important, as the child will spend most of their time at home, and parents or siblings can have a negative or positive influence. After two years of treatment both Sarah and her mother are eating a balanced diet, and their relationship has improved. But when a child is dangerously malnourished or severely depressed, they may need to be hospitalised. * Name has been changed
tips to prevent eating disorders • • • • • • • • • •
ave family meals at the table. H Give healthy food choices. Set an example in your eating. Don’t label food “good” or “bad”. Don’t use food to reward or punish. Don’t put overweight children on diets (they may become obsessed with food). Become an active family and encourage sport. Praise children’s inner qualities rather than appearance. Build self-esteem. Teach ways for them to handle their emotions.
warning signs • • • • • • •
reoccupation with food, weight or diet P Avoiding meals or events where there is food Going to the bathroom after meals (to purge) Scarred knuckles (from using fingers to vomit) Social withdrawal Dramatic weight change Obsessive exercise
conversations to have with your child Six topics most parents dread; TORI HOFFMANN prepares you for those difficult conversations you may have to have with your child.
hen your child acts up, does something wrong, or is going through a tough time – a death in the family, divorce, or failure at school – it’s hard to know how to broach the subject with them. There’s already an issue at hand, and the last thing you want to do is make it worse. So, how do you respond in these tricky situations? And what do you say – depending on the age of the child – to explain the situation?
lying and stealing Anyone who has a toddler will know that they often pick up toys from school and playdates and bring them home, only for you to find them in their pockets later. They’re not stealing, and if you ask them where they got it or whose it is, they won’t lie about it; they probably won’t even know. As a child starts to grow up and out of the toddler phase (under seven) it’s important to remain calm and to not overreact should you catch him lying and stealing, says Cape Town social worker in private practice, and author of the popular Boundaries series of books, Anne Cawood. “Often, if a parent is over-punitive regarding stealing, the child will add a lie to the situation. Avoid direct questions as far as possible – for example, do not say, ‘Did you take the toy?’ because the kneejerk reaction to this will often be ‘No’, so a lie is added,” urges Anne. “Rather say, ‘I see that you have a toy that is not yours – we need to take this back.’ This makes it easier for the child to say something like, ‘I just wanted to play with it’,” she says. Once you have returned what was “stolen”, Anne encourages parents to take the opportunity to give their children a bit of a lesson about what it feels like if things get taken from them and then make the consequence a firm but age-appropriate one. Being over harsh, she says, is only likely to entrench dishonest behaviour. “In the case of an older child, remain calm, but very firm. Make it clear that there will be consequences for dishonest behaviour. Try to give a warning when it happens the first time and tell your child what will happen if it happens again, as problems can escalate when a child gets away with it because the parent is overprotective. When it becomes
an entrenched problem in an older child, seek professional help. Remember that children seldom lie when it’s safe to tell the truth.”
sex, drugs and alcohol In this age of explicit media, such as television, children learn far more about sex than they ever did before. For this reason, Anne maintains that it’s vital to start the “birds and the bees” conversation during the preschool years. She makes the point, though, that it’s not to be a one-off conversation, but one that’s ongoing. “It’s a good idea to begin very simply with a basic book such as Mummy Laid an Egg by Babette Cole (Random House) or Where Did I Come From by Peter Mayle (Carol Publishing Corporation). This will deal with the basics such as babies grow from a seed in Mommy’s tummy. Later the child will ask how it got in there and so it will develop. “Parents need to answer honestly. If you don’t, your child will just ask someone at school who might give her the answers in a way you wouldn’t want. “Some parents wait for the child to ask and they never do. This doesn’t mean that they are not interested – they may simply not feel confident to bring it up with you. In this case, make sure that you do bring it up with them. I tell parents not to allow a child to start Grade 1 without some knowledge.” What’s important to remember is that this is part of your ongoing relationship with your child: to help the child feel safe and secure in asking and discussing these sensitive issues with you. As your child gets older, buy good books such as Teen Guide to Sex and Relationships by Jess C Scott (Createspace) on sex education and allow them to read them when they feel the need. “The same principles apply to drugs and alcohol. Make sure your children have the facts and that you also establish very firm boundaries from a young age. Children will experiment because it’s part of the teen stage. But they will seldom fall prey to ongoing abuse of substances if you remain in touch with them, and ensure that the rules are clear and they know what the consequences of breaking the rules will be.”
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PHOTOGRAPHs / illustrations: shutterSTOCK.COM
Too many families play ‘games’ like the game of ‘lets all pretend that nothing is happening’, which takes emotional and physical energy that would be better utilised for coping with the traumatic event positively.
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Children are far more switched on than we often give them credit for.
death and divorce “Talking about death and divorce is far more challenging,” cautions Cawood, adding that the main principle is to be age appropriate, honest and open because children are far more switched on than we often give them credit for. They pick up the vibes and hear our conversations. “Many parents come to me and find it very hard to actually use the dreaded ‘D’ words. But it’s vital that they hear these words from you, the people they trust most. They do not need to hear all the adult issues or the emotionally laden truth. But they are resilient (more so than we like to think) and benefit from hearing the truth as soon as possible. They may be devastated, but it’s wrong not to tell them in the mistaken belief that they cannot handle it. Too many families play ‘games’ like the game of ‘lets all pretend that nothing is happening’, which takes emotional and physical energy that would be better utilised for coping with the traumatic event positively, openly and honestly.” Families need to learn to keep the channels of communication effective and use empathy and age-appropriate common sense. Always turn to the professionals in cases of indecision, Cawood stresses.
one mom’s story about divorce When Janine Dunlop and her husband split up, they decided not to immediately tell their children that they were going to get divorced. They themselves didn’t know what the future would hold and they didn’t want to give their children too much information. At the time, their children were nine, six and four years old, and old enough to understand what was going on. However, a conversation about Dad moving to a new house was necessary. “We told our children together, over an amicable family picnic on the lounge floor, that their dad was going to live in another house, but that he would visit a lot, and once he found a house to live in permanently, they would be able to go and stay in that house too. It didn’t come as too much of a shock to them. Our older two told me afterwards that they expected it, because my ex-husband and I had been fighting so much. While we expected a lot of tears, they handled it very well and I think they appreciated our honesty, being treated like adults, and that we put them first. Their biggest concerns were practical issues such as how would they get to and from school (their dad doesn’t drive) and where would they put all of their stuff, but that was soon resolved,” explains Janine.
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a family dealing with death Telling your children about the death of anyone they are close to can be an exceptionally hard thing to do. Trying to remain strong while you yourself are falling apart is no easy task. “But what if you don’t have to? What if you grieve with them?” asks Louise de Lucchi, who lost her husband to a heart attack when he was 48 and her children were four, five and seven years old. “My husband passed away suddenly in the middle of the night. In the short time that I was gone to find help, my two older children – who’d woken up – had seen for themselves that their dad had died, and it wasn’t something that I had to sit down and tell them,” says Louise. That said, on the night it happened, Louise’s aunt still took the children downstairs and explained to them right away what had happened. She told them that their dad had gone to heaven. “We didn’t just leave it at that one conversation though to sweep it under the carpet. We kept talking about it; and six years later, we still talk about it. “In that first week, my mother and family members were around us the entire time, and there was a lot of buffering. If I couldn’t handle the situation, then somebody would take the children and talk to them. My aunt, who is a minister, spoke to them about their father being like a dragonfly, watching them all the time. Because she related it to something physical and something they could understand, it helped them. I also let them see me cry and get angry. That way, they knew that it was okay to cry and get angry too. You can’t disguise it, you can’t play it down and you have to be honest with them and let them vent. Children aren’t stupid.”
seek help SA Depression and Anxiety Group Contact: 011 262 6396, 0800 205 026 or visit sadag.co.za for grief support Childline Contact: 0800 055 555 or visit childline.org.za (they have a facility whereby a child can speak to them online via Mxit) Lifeline Contact: 082 231 0805 or visit lifeline.org.za Sanca National Directorate (South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) Contact: 086 147 2622 (SANCA), email@example.com or visit sancanational.org
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spring break It’s time to pack away the winter woollies and spruce up the house. ANÉL LEWIS suggests six ways to get your children in on the cleaning action.
Make a “treasure box” from an old cardboard box or a wash basket and send your child to collect items that have rolled under the couch or behind cupboards. You can offer prizes for the explorer who collects the most items.
Nothing gets children moving like a good tune, so why not clean to music? Let them choose the songs and turn your cleaning into a dance-athon. You could also set a time limit, and give everyone 10 minutes to clean a particular room. The beat will make the race more entertaining.
follow the leader
Give each child an apron, gloves, an old cloth and a bottle filled with non-toxic cleaning fluid. Choose a leader and get that child to walk through the house, stopping once they find something that needs cleaning. The others walking behind must stop and help with the same task. Give each child a turn to be in front.
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t’s never too soon to start teaching children about the importance of a good spring-clean. Get the younger ones started by assigning simpler tasks that can be completed fairly quickly. Remember that while some things may not get done perfectly, your children will enjoy just being part of the big clean-up. And, as Mary Poppins said, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and – SNAP! – the job’s a game.”
put them to the test
Try setting up a detective game for older children. Get them to go through your cupboards and fridge to find items that have expired. They can also be set out on an alphabet challenge. Ask them to arrange your spice rack in alphabetical order, or organise your cereal boxes alphabetically according to their name.
If you have hardwood floors, get your children to don old socks that they can use to “skate” on the surface. They will burn off excess energy while you get your floors shined. Just make sure the area is safe and that they can’t hurt themselves on sharp edges. Maybe even get them to wear head gear. You could also turn your laundry basket or bin into a basketball “hoop”. Your little helpers won’t even realise that each “goal” they score is actually another item that has been picked up off the floor.
five out, one in
Older children may be reluctant to sort through their cupboards, so offer an incentive that will also enable them to give back to a worthy cause. For every box of clothing or toys they collect and donate to a charity, they will get a new item of clothing or some other reward.
safety first It’s not advisable to let younger children work with detergents and other hazardous household cleaners. Instead, opt for everyday items that you can find in your cupboards, such as vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice. Vinegar is a natural deodoriser and can be used as a fabric softener. A vinegar and water spray can be used to clean your countertops and floors, while baking soda can be used instead of chemical scouring agents. Lemon juice is a great cleaner for brass and copper. You could also use non-toxic or green cleaning agents for your spring-clean.
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your child’s life
growing up is sore to do
f your child is younger than 13 and has woken up crying in the middle of the night because of pain in both his legs, he might be suffering from a phenomenon called “growing pains”. Medical science has made remarkable advancements in our lifetime, but we don’t have the answer for everything just yet. Growing pains are a bit of a mystery. Doctors don’t know exactly what causes them or how to cure them. Thankfully, they’re not life-threatening and they generally disappear when children become teenagers. “It’s really a misnomer,” explains Dr Lyall Ashberg, a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon in Cape Town. “There is no medical evidence to suggest that growth causes pain, but we call them ‘growing pains’ because it commonly affects young children. The best we can do is rule out more serious problems and then help parents to manage their children’s pain.”
What’s it all about? MARC DE CHAZAL explores the mystery of growing pains, shin splints, aching legs and rapid growth.
The general consensus is that growing pains usually occur from the ages of two to 12 and are slightly more common in girls. However, Ashberg’s practice sees mostly boys between the ages of five and seven with this complaint. “There are a few theories about what causes growing pains, but the most credible one seems to be the overuse of developing muscles during the day,” he says. “Children of this age are very active, and this is likely the reason why they may experience pain in their legs, especially in the late afternoon and at night. But I would hesitate to say that growing pains are very common or a normal part of growing up. Far fewer children suffer from them than you would think.” Growing pains are different from leg cramps, which tend to be related to a muscle spasm. They are often described by children as an ache or throb in their legs, although children don’t always describe pain accurately. Some children may also complain of headaches and abdominal pain. If there is persistent pain that just won’t let up, your child may have something more serious than growing pains. You should be concerned if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms, such as swelling, redness, or if it’s located in the joints or associated with an injury.
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Poor posture may also cause pain. “Standing, sitting or walking awkwardly puts greater-than-usual strain on the supporting muscles of the body,” explains Brandon Maggen, a Cape Town-based podiatrist. “Sometimes, children whose feet pronate may have more trouble with pain than other children.” Growing pains do not affect how a child walks and runs and they do not make a child sick. “If your child is limping, is complaining of pain during the day, is unwell or if their leg is sore to touch, you need to get your child checked by a doctor or podiatrist,” advises Maggen. Your health-care practitioner may then suggest blood tests and X-rays to get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for growing pains, but gentle massage of a child’s sore legs reportedly helps, as do heating pads. Maggen adds that plenty of hugs and copious amounts of assurance by parents are really important. Pain relief medication such as ibuprofen may be prescribed, but Ashberg cautions against aspirin, which has been known to result in serious childhood diseases such as Reye’s syndrome.
rapid growth Growth spurts can be described as periods of rapid growth, often attributed to middle adolescence when the body produces a large amount of growth hormones. A child’s growth is not always steady and even, but tends to occur in spurts. Ashberg points out that the biggest growth spurt occurs in utero. After a child is born, we then see significant growth spurts taking place until the age of two. A child’s growth tends to plateau between the ages of two and five. “We see children between ages five and 10 maintaining a fairly even growth chart, and then the next big spurt occurs around the 10- and 11-year-old mark,” he says. In between these spurts, growth continues, but less visibly. “During the prepubescent years, the extremities of the body grow faster than the torso, giving children a longlegged appearance,” explains Maggen. “As their bones grow, they pull the tendons and muscles along, and the ligaments to which the bones are attached become stretched.”
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The emphasis to push children of early primary school age into organised sports from a younger age is of more concern to Ashberg. “We are seeing an increase in sports-related injuries in this age group, which should be more of a worry to us than growing pains,” he says. If you are taking your child for regular medical check-ups, you should only be concerned if your child falls off their growth chart in a drastic way. Ashberg points out that there may be various neurological reasons for a child’s delayed growth milestones. There may also be hormonal imbalances resulting in a child being smaller than usual. In these instances you will be referred to a paediatric endocrinologist if your doctor suspects this to be the problem. However, sometimes the slower growth of your child may be quite normal. “The key thing here is obvious, dramatic change. Your child can’t choose his parents; so if your family is generally on the shorter side, this may well be the reason for your child’s seemingly slower growth,” says Ashberg.
shin splints Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), is associated with strenuous activity. Stop-start sports such as squash and tennis and running on hard surfaces are often the cause of shin splints. “What is essentially happening here is irritation where muscle attaches to bone because of too much pressure or impact,” says Dr Lyall Ashberg, a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon. “The pain described is similar to growing pains, but we tend to see this complaint among adolescents far more than younger children.” The best treatment for shin splints is rest. Podiatrist Brandon Maggen also recommends ice packs, supportive shoes for specific sports and physiotherapy. “All children and young athletes recover from an injury at a different rate, and a return to activities is determined by how each particular child’s leg recovers,” he says. “In general, the longer symptoms are present before treatment is started, the longer it will take to get better.”
what your nanny is thinking Your domestic helper probably spends more time with your children than you do, but are you treating her fairly? ANÉL LEWIS speaks to two women about their experiences and asks the experts for advice.
thel*, who works in Joburg, has been looking after her employer’s children for over seven years. When she started, there was just one baby. Now there are three children, including a toddler. As the domestic helper, Ethel must care for the children, drive them to school and to doctors’ appointments and prepare their meals. She also cleans the house, but she says she gets no acknowledgement for the work she does. “They have no respect for me,” says Ethel. She says that despite spending several years looking after her employers’ most precious possessions – their children – they still don’t trust or treat her with the respect she feels she is owed. While there are plenty of courses for domestic helpers to improve their role in the home, there are no similar courses for employers, says Ethel. Cape Town-based Mabel* has also had her fair share of juggling cleaning responsibilities with childminding. In her previous job, she looked after a four-year-old boy who was still in nappies. He was quite a demanding child, but despite this, she tried her best to keep the house tidy. However, her employers were not understanding, and would berate her for not doing her work properly. In her new position, she feels more content. Her employer understands that if the children are needy that day, it may not always be possible to get all the housework done. Mabel feels she can talk to her present employers about her needs, and ask for help if she feels she can’t complete everything.
• G et to know your domestic helper on a personal level. Communication is important. • While you need to point out any problems, try to encourage and motivate your domestic helper. Continuous criticism is bad for morale. • Don’t be unreasonable in the workload you expect her to get through. If you would not be able to cope, understand that she may battle too. • Don’t keep reminding her of all the things you have done for her. • Build a relationship where you can talk about problems and concerns. It is not just about the money you pay her, but about the respect you show her. “Actions speak louder than words,” says Ethel. • If your domestic helper can look after your children, take the time to take an interest in hers. Often domestic helpers are forced to leave their children with other carers in another city or country. Be sensitive to this. “The love that I should be giving to my children, I am giving to theirs,” says Ethel. • Don’t talk to her like a child. Listen to her grievances and respect her as you would others. • Sign a contract at the start to formalise employment conditions and responsibilities, working hours and salary. This will prevent arguments and disappointment later on. * Names have been changed
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Ethel and Mabel offer employers who have domestic helpers the following advice:
what your domestic helper may be too nervous to ask: 1 Nutritious food Food is a basic necessity and domestic helpers don’t always have time to cook decent meals for themselves, says Angela Njazi, owner of Amazing Maids. Try to have accessible nutritious food options available in your kitchen and tell her about them. 2 A break in the day Domestic helpers have long standing hours and they need a chance to rest, says Angela. She also recommends not asking your domestic helper to do all the hard jobs in one day. It’s not easy on their bodies, so take this into consideration, especially if she is 40 or older. 3 A pay increase As an employer you are required to increase your domestic helper’s pay annually. She may be reluctant to ask, because she is worried you’ll replace her or you’ll send your child to daycare, says Angela. For more guidelines read: labour.gov.za/legislation/sectoral-determinations/sectoraldetermination-7-domestic-workers 4 Having her own family Your employee has perhaps sacrificed a lot in order to become a domestic helper, says Angela. For example, they may be worried that they won’t be hired or that you won’t want to keep employing them if they have children of their own, as children come with responsibilities. 5 Working hours and holiday time Be sympathetic about your domestic helper’s day. Take into account the number of hours she is working and how long it takes her to commute, especially if she’s accommodating your work schedule. Discuss with your domestic helper when she would like to take a holiday. If there’s an overlap with your own, come up with a fair compromise. 6 Discipline It’s important that you’re both on the same page, says Karin Thomsen of Super Nannies. If you have not discussed this already, then it’s a good idea that you do. She won’t know what is expected and acceptable if you don’t tell her. 7 General parenting and care-related questions We’re not all doctors. Karin points out that sometimes dealing with colic, hiccups, fevers, and allergies aren’t that straightforward. Provide her with as much information as possible.
Angela and Karin’s advice on how to approach your domestic helper if she seems unhappy 1 Promote an ongoing relationship with communication. 2 Give her time to approach you. 3 Don’t be overly direct by asking her why she’s sulking. 4 Create a calm atmosphere. Ask someone to watch your child, and take your domestic helper out onto the terrace with some tea or coffee so she feels comfortable to open up.
four things you may be nervous to ask your domestic helper and ways to avoid awkwardness 1 Absences For example, if she is consistently late, ask her if she has a backup caregiver when her child is sick, says Karin. 2 Health questions Legally there are certain health issues that you are not allowed to ask about, such as her HIV-status. However, it’s important to ask about her TB-status as it’s an airborne disease, says Karin. You can check if anyone they spend a lot of time with has had it. It’s also okay to ask general health questions about diabetes and allergies. If you feel uncomfortable asking, there are other ways of judging someone’s general health. See how they look physically, says Angela, or ask their previous employer how often they called in sick. 3 Reading level You can ask her if she can read but, if it’s too awkward, ask her what level of education she achieved, says Karin. Another option is to ask her to fill out a form and see how well she does, advises Angela. 4 Tardiness If she is continuously late, ask her how she gets to work. Be understanding and try to come up with alternative options together, says Karin. She also recommends keeping the lines of communication open. Does she have a backup phone she can use to call you? Can you supply her with a cellphone for this purpose? Be accommodating. Angela Njazi started working as a domestic helper at the age of 16. She got her first Cape Town job through a domestic placement agency that she saw advertised in Child magazine. She has since combined her knowledge as a domestic helper and her education in HR to start Amazing Maids, a Cape Town-based domestic placement agency. Karin Thomsen, co-founder and first-aid trainer of Super Nannies, has been in the South African domestic training and placement industry since 2006.
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read to write In the world of technology, it’s not always easy getting our children interested in literature.
arper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird once said: “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.” How do we get today’s techno junkies to read a book and to discover the amazing world of tales in words? Jay Heale, author of Hooked on Books (Metz Press), offers the following advice: start creating a
book-friendly home before your child is born. Heale reminds us that babies learn by seeing, hearing and copying. “They [babies] don’t need formal lessons. They absorb the world around them. They copy your sounds and your actions as best they can. If sitting down with one of those strange book-things looks like fun, then they want to do the same,” writes Heale.
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MARINA ZIETSMAN helps to inspire you.
readers make better students If you are still not convinced about the importance of reading, then maybe this truth will help: students that were fortunate enough to develop an appetite for reading as children are the ones that cope better academically. Elizabeth Wasserman is a pathologist in private practice and extraordinary professor in the Division of Medical Microbiology at the University of Stellenbosch. She is also the author of the very popular series for eight to 11 year olds, Anna Atoom and Speurhond Willem, of which the latter has now been translated into English as Dogtective William. Wasserman says, “Although my specialty is medical microbiology and infectious diseases, I have a keen interest in education and have always been fascinated by whatever it may be that determines the success of my students as undergraduates and postgraduates. My observations are that students who are keen
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readers, and read on a broad variety of subjects, are generally better able to cope with the challenges of higher studies.” “The ability to read with speed and a good grasp of content is of course essential, but some ‘softer’ skills also appear to be enhanced in the well-read student: they are able to integrate new learning into a broad framework of reference, and they are able to transfer skills and knowledge from one topic to another,” Wasserman adds. She says readers solve problems more efficiently, and often more creatively. “Information nowadays is an open commodity, and this makes the mere memorisation of facts obsolete. I have heard it said that the current challenge is to be able to analyse and integrate content to create new knowledge. Talent or so-called ‘intelligence’ helps, but you need a highly trained and very fit brain to master these skills,” she concludes.
reluctant readers Claire Montague-Fryer, a Cape Town mom of three, has worked as a senior children’s bookseller and buyer for leading South African retailers for almost 20 years and is currently the website and content manager for Reader’s Warehouse. She has vast experience in getting reluctant readers interested in books. “The main reason for these children being reluctant readers is a lack of confidence in reading, and it’s a catch-22 situation; the less confident you feel while reading, the less you will read and practice and never improve,” says Claire. The term “reluctant reader” can refer to children who are behind their peers at school on reading level, children who see reading as “uncool”, children who can only focus on one specific activity or sport, and children who are not exposed to reading. “Most reluctant readers are boys,” says Claire, “so the impetus lies with male role
models to encourage reading and you’ll have to show them that books are exciting: make the noises and jump around.” Claire says that today there are amazing series of children and young adult’s books available, far more so than when we were growing up, both in quality and range. Taboo subjects are empathetically handled, without patronising the reader. And the humble comic book has given birth to the underrated genre of the graphic novel, which is perfect for a reluctant reader, as often the content and illustrations are on par with an older reader’s age. “The main problem for reluctant readers is that often the content doesn’t match their age. For example, a 12-year-old boy is now beyond the humour in Captain Underpants, even though the reading level is right for him. The graphic novel, on the other hand, can make up by offering suitable content,” Claire points out.
be patient Your child’s book of choice – “If
Read aloud – Reading aloud to
your child has picked up Why is
your child creates a relaxing
Snot Green?, grit your teeth, and
atmosphere and memories. For
go with it,” says Claire. It might not be
a very new reader, hearing a familiar
great literature, but it is what he has
voice reading the story is also vital. It
chosen and something about it strikes
makes the often daunting process of
a chord. Half the battle is already won,
confronting words less scary.
plus he feels a sense of control about
Reading doesn’t end when
something that he might be dreading.
you close the book – “Keep
Unless it is obviously unsuitable, this
is your cue to show enthusiasm
children wherever you are; read traffic
signs, billboards, street signs or
Repetition of the same book
headlines. Being able to read quickly,
– “You’ll just have to stick it out.
confidently and correctly is one of the
Repetition is soothing and helps
most empowering tools to have in
a child learn about pronunciation and
life,” Claire emphasises.
text. Every time the book is read, they
Lead by example – Have books
often notice something new in the story
in the house and read them
or have a new question, which can
yourself. It doesn’t have to be a
result in a completely silly or meaningful
novel; it can be a magazine, the
conversation,” Claire advises. It also
newspaper or an e-book. You cannot
instils confidence, in that the child will
force a love of literature, but you can
know he is capable of reading it himself
certainly give them a love and
(as he has now heard it often enough).
appreciation of the written word.
it’s never too late If you’ve missed the step of getting your baby or toddler interested in books, says Claire, there is still time to encourage a love of reading. “You need to practice reading at home, without it seeming like homework. This is where the role of the recommended reading list becomes invaluable; where you need to tap into what his interests are.” If you have a reluctant teenage reader, tap into their world, and invest in an appropriate e-book.
Claire’s recommended graphic novels for reluctant readers Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer (from age 12) Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer (from age 12) Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz (from age 10) Tintin by Herge (from age 6) Asterix and Obelix by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo (from age 12) Sandman series by Neil Gaiman (from age 11)
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support and inspiration Nal’ibali This is a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign to spark children’s potential through storytelling and reading. Their goal is to create a general awareness of the critical link between reading for enjoyment and educational achievement through mass media and face-to-face engagement. Visit nalibali.org Reading Association of South Africa Their aim is to bring together individuals and organisations who are committed to the study and teaching of reading and writing. They are affiliated to the International Reading Association (IRA), and are dedicated to promoting teaching and research in reading and writing at all levels of South African society. Visit rasa.uce.ac.za Biblionef SA Their vision is to donate appropriate books to all under-resourced children in their mother tongue. Visit biblionefsa.org.za Early Learning Resource Unit (Elru) This non-profit development and research group is a national organisation working in under-resourced urban and rural areas to increase access to, and improve quality in, early childhood development services and programming. First Words in Print Their aim is to promote a culture of reading among very young children and their caregivers, and contribute towards children’s literacy development. All First Words in Print books are written, illustrated and published by South Africans. They also have numerous other projects. Visit nlsa.ac.za The South African Children’s Book Forum This is an independent, non-profit organisation (NPO) which seeks to publicise and support quality books for young readers, especially in South Africa. Visit sacbf.org.za The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) This is a non-profit organisation that represents an international network of people from all over the world, who are committed to bringing books and children together. Visit ibby.org Puku This is a weekly online literary newspaper focused on children’s literature, education and literacy in southern Africa. Among the aims of this newspaper is to build up a transparent, regularly updated and accurate database of reviews of recreational and educational books and resources for African parents, teachers and librarians in all South African official languages. Visit puku.co.za
To download recommended reading lists for different ages, visit childmag.co.za/ content/reading-lists
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moms who pop pills Juggling the complexities of parenthood, work and social life are far from “child’s play”. FRANÇOISE GALLET investigates prescription drug abuse and how some parents are relying on pills in order to function.
what’s going on? Siphokazi Dada, a scientist from the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Alcohol and Drugs Research Unit, says older females around the age of 40 tend to be the majority of people who report over-the-counter and prescription drug addiction. It seems that some mothers are reaching for a pharmacological solution to cope with the toll taken by the demands of modern living and parenthood. Rozelda Rabie, a Joburg general practitioner, finds that parents are more stressed, especially older women for whom the arrival of the first child is a huge adjustment to their established lifestyle and career. Pretoria psychiatrist Nazmeera Khamissa mentions that it is also the stay-at-home
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hen Shirley Phillips* (42) thinks back over the last 16 years of her parenting she is filled with a sense of loss. “There are so many things that I missed. I felt like I wasn’t there.” Seven months ago, Shirley admitted herself to a drug addiction rehabilitation centre to help battle her addiction to codeine – an addiction that began when she started using Nurofen and Syndol for period-pain relief. Shirley always saw drug addiction involving marijuana, cocaine or heroin abuse. She had no idea how easily she – a mother, designer, sister, daughter, wife – could fall into the trap of addiction to over-the-counter or prescription medicine.
mother who puts herself under pressure to fulfil the role of perfect mother that she has a higher tendency to resort to over-the-counter medication or abuse prescription drugs as a means to cope. According to Pretoria-based clinical psychologist Dr Colinda Linde there seems to be a trend among women facing these sorts of pressures toward using pain medication or anything containing codeine. “They say it takes the edge off, when they are having a rough day,” she says. Linde also finds that many of the women she sees, who selfmedicate, are quite open about using medicine as a quick fix as they haven’t got time to sit and deal with the stress and pressures of their situation. Sharing and word of mouth play a role too. “People share medication – someone who has found a medicine useful will share it with a family member or friend with similar symptoms,” adds Sorika de Swart, marketing and training consultant at Elim Clinic Professional Addiction Treatment Centre in Joburg. As a mother, and woman in her forties, Shirley can relate. She believes that women of her generation have a lot to deal with and that she has noticed how a number of her friends are self-medicating. Because it is all too easy to fall into the trap of addiction, Shirley has taken to informing her doctor of her addiction and blacklisting herself at pharmacies. Dr Johann Kruger, president of the Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa, explains just why Shirley’s efforts are important. “Unfortunately, there is currently no central registry system linking all pharmacists and doctors, and giving all these professionals access to an individual’s medication history. There is therefore nothing to stop them from going from pharmacy to pharmacy, or from doctor to doctor, to get either supplies or prescriptions.” Dr Brendan Belsham, a child psychiatrist and author elaborates, “Each doctor might prescribe a painkiller in good faith, completely unaware of how many colleagues have been consulted that very week. I have had several instances of
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mothers abusing their child’s Ritalin medication, repeatedly requesting new scripts under the guise that the script was lost or the medication mislaid.”
the numbers While Cathy Karassellos, a clinical psychologist and manager of the Cape Town Drug Counselling Centre, agrees that “we live in a society that puts a lot of trust in medication to solve problems”, she believes over-the-counter and prescription drug abuse is an ongoing phenomenon. “There is no sudden increase,” she says. Findings from the MRC’s research into alcohol and drug abuse in 2006 and again in 2012 offers support for this. “About four percent of people, who are admitted for substance abuse treatment including other drugs, are primarily dependent on over-the-counter or prescription medication. The figures remain fairly the same even today,” explains
signs that you or a loved one may be abusing medication • • • • • •
The use of medication is becoming a focal point in your life. You lie about how much or how regularly you use medication. You make sure that you always have this medication at hand, just in case. You take higher doses than the label says. You experience severe mood swings. You pretend to lose medication or prescriptions to be able to get more scripts. • You seek scripts from various doctors or various pharmacies to hide the extent of your use. • You’ve tried to stop or use less but found it to be too difficult.
Dada of the MRC. However, she adds that the only data available is solely from those who access specialist addiction treatment centres. And so, while it may seem that “there are few people who abuse or depend on over-the-counter or prescription medication, many people may not be aware that they are dependent on them and therefore do not seek help,” she explains.
dangers and effects on family De Swart explains how the use of medicine, such as sedatives and tranquilisers; opioid painkillers and stimulants, such as diet pills, can become problematic. “Using over-thecounter and prescription medicine is perfectly okay and necessary for our health, but only if used by the person it was prescribed for, for the recommended duration only and in the right dosage and frequency. The moment you use more, or for a longer period, you are entering a danger zone.” As a social worker with 15 years of experience in the field of addiction, she has found that because medication is accessible and people think it is safe and legal, this form of addiction is particularly insidious. “Many who are addicted to painkillers were prescribed this for a valid physical health reason. They may still have chronic pain and because they build up a tolerance, they need to continue to take more and more of the same medication,” she says. By the time Shirley sought professional help, she was moving from over-the-counter “uppers” to “downers” just to get through the day. “You think you are doing everyone a favour by taking a pill because you are ‘coping’ but you are not really emotionally present,” she says. “I thought I was docile and in control but I was really on an emotional rollercoaster. It created huge insecurity and uncertainty in my children.” Shirley is determined to reclaim her life, but it isn’t easy. She has had to work hard on regaining her family’s trust. De Swart elaborates further on the impact of medication abuse on the family. “Parents who misuse medication are often not very involved in the lives of their children. They may sleep a lot, neglect to cook or nurture their children. The physical and emotional absence can have a severe effect on the attachment between parent and child. This in turn may lead to serious problems for the child in later life,” she says.
underlying issues Prescribed painkillers and sleeping tablets helped businessman and father Dominic Moore* (46) cope with debilitating back pain, and this was how he slipped into addiction. Insomnia and chronic back pain kept driving him to seek a repeat for his prescription until he had built up a dependency. And then the traumatic and premature birth of his son was the “seed” for the onset of an undiagnosed depression – a factor that increased his vulnerability to addiction. Likewise, Shirley also battled an undiagnosed depression. Despite the stress that parenthood brings with it, Karassellos cautions against attributing a cause-and-effect link between the stress of parenting and a tendency towards the abuse of prescription or over-the-counter drugs. With 28 years experience in drug addiction, her view is that most people take various pills occasionally and handle this well. “Those with a tendency towards addictive disorders will be the ones to develop
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are you down? The South African Depression and Anxiety Support Group (sadag.org) shares some common symptoms of depression: • Persistent sad, or an “empty” mood • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, including sex • Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness and self-reproach • Insomnia or hypersomnia, early morning awakening or oversleeping • Decreased energy, fatigue and feeling run down • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain
dependency on the pills,” she says. Khamissa agrees and stresses that the challenges of parenting don’t imply a blanket vulnerability to substance abuse, as everyone’s perception of stress differs. She suggests that a predisposition for developing emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression, is a factor that makes someone more vulnerable to selfmedicating and hence abuse. “Mental illness can lead to substance misuse and substance use in turn, worsens or alters the course of a person’s mental state,” adds De Swart. Ironically, in instances where there is an underlying anxiety or depression, the correct and appropriate use of medication, monitored by a professional, could make a world of difference. “There are times when it is appropriate for a parent to take prescriptions to address debilitating symptoms in order to become a better parent or spouse, to the benefit of everyone in the home. I have often recommended just this,” explains Belsham. Both Dominic and Shirley are zealous that others, who might be in similar situations, understand that a pill will never “fix” what they are trying to cope with. Joburg child psychiatrist David Benn adds, “Anxiety or depression can never possibly have one cause. Therefore it follows that there is never only one solution. Thus, if medication is used, it should be used for specific conditions that are known to respond to those medications and then almost always with other interventions like counselling and psychotherapy.” Shirley and Dominic cite the diagnosis of an underlying mental illness as being the starting point in their journey to recovery. Finding their way to coping drug-free with stress has meant seeking professional psychiatric help and regular counselling. For Dominic it has also meant professionally managing the medication for his anxiety and depression. Rabie urges parents – overly stressed or not – to look to support each other. We need to understand the complex emotional and physical factors that topple individuals, vulnerable to addiction, into dependence. We need to see pill popping as a cry for help. “It’s not about judging; it’s about standing together,” she counsels. * Names have been changed.
drugs commonly misused or abused From Sorika de Swart (Elim Clinic Professional Addiction Treatment Centre) • Opioids or painkillers – prescribed for pain relief including hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl and codeine • Central nervous system depressants – barbiturates and benzodiazepines prescribed for anxiety or sleep problems, often referred to as sedatives and tranquilisers, such as Xanax Valium, and Librium • Stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall and Dexedrine. Appetite suppressants containing ephedrine are also often misused.
serotonin Child psychiatrist David Benn sheds some light on serotonin “Serotonin is a neurotransmitter substance found in the central nervous system. It is one of a large number of substances that transmit messages between nerve cells via a microscopic space called the synapse. It is well known that there are deficiencies of Serotonin in these tiny post-synaptic spaces, particularly in mood disorders like depression and anxiety. In anxiety, other substances are also implicated like noradrenaline and norepinephrine. Anti-depressants, which are not addiction-forming substances, restore the normal levels of these substances in those post-synaptic spaces.”
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a click away Online shopping is fast, convenient and helps you stay on top of life,
getting organised ilovestuff.co.za They offer products for the home, mom, dad, children, which include toys and decor, and the pets. If you’re stuck for ideas on what to buy someone, you’ll also find gift suggestions. neatfreakshop.co.za Organise your home spaces and your life, with products for the office, kitchen, children’s rooms and more. Diaries, planners and bags also help make life a little easier. You can also shop for gifts and get gift inspiration. thegreenshop.co.za The focus is on green home products, including solar and LED lighting, green pet products, cleaning products and items for the garden. Gift ideas and toys are available. yuppiechef.com Whether you’re mixing, grating, baking or chopping, you’ll find the right tool for the job here. Plus you’ll find appliances, crockery, cutlery and more, and special children’s kitchen utensils.
groceries freshearth.co.za Organic groceries and other eco-friendly products are delivered to major centres around South Africa. Find everything from baby foods to sugar alternatives and pet-care products. gourmetfoodshop.co.za Get deli type foods and condiments delivered. They offer a wide range of cheeses, meats, sweets,
coffees and more. Based in Joburg, they deliver fresh foods in this city, but anything else can be delivered nationwide. pnponline.co.za Buy fresh and frozen products, items from the bakery or butchery, and other groceries. Additional categories include “health”, “stationery” and “home”. thrupps.co.za Account holders can order online from the selection of poultry, meats,
cheeses, fruit and veg, flowers, hampers for different occasions and more. toddlertastes.co.za and babytastes.co.za Order premade toddler meals and baby food that is balanced and wholesome. wellnesswarehouse.com The focus is on healthy and green living. Shop online for healthy and organic foods, supplements, eco-friendly household products, and beauty, baby and fitness products. woolworths.co.za Find all of your groceries here, as well as baked goods and ready-prepared meals. You’ll also find clothes, stationery and homeware.
holidays budget-getaways.co.za Find different accommodation options in the Western Cape, from child- and pet-friendly spots, getaways for groups, chalets, camping and caravanning, and romantic getaways. Some of the getaways offer online booking.
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but there are some precautions you should take. By Tamlyn Vincent
clubmed.co.za Book your Club Med holiday online. Choose from global locations that will suit your needs, whether you’re travelling with young children, or looking for something to keep teens busy. holidays.mtbeds.co.za Find special offers around South Africa, at the last minute, and book your holiday online. kulula.com Book and pay for flights and accommodation online. There are various packages available for around southern Africa. luxresorts.com Book an island holiday, with a choice of hotels on Mauritius, Reunion Island or the Maldives. pentravel.co.za Whether you’re going somewhere local or international, you can book your whole holiday online, including flights, accommodation, cruises and tours. Packages are available for different holiday types and destinations. safarinow.com They offer a variety of accommodation options in South Africa and nearby countries. Get a quote or book online.
school supplies and textbooks bookshelf.co.za Textbooks are available for specific schools or for individual orders. They also stock study aids, fiction and many other titles. cna.co.za Find stationery, school bags, diaries, flash drives and books. Files, art and craft items, labels and more available.
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jutaonline.co.za They sell textbooks online, with for Grade R and upwards. They also have books on prescribed lists for some schools. myschoolstationery.co.za Shop for stationery from lists supplied by registered schools, or place an individual order. You can also request that a school be listed. They offer a wide range of stationery and school supplies. redpepperbooks.co.za Buy textbooks and other books online. You can search by ISBN, title or author. They do have partner schools, which list prescribed books. valuestationery.co.za They sell stationery online, including art and craft supplies, maths sets, book covers and more. vanschaikschoolbooks.com Booklists are provided for some schools and the site allows individuals to search for specific books and study guides. waltons.co.za Buy your stationery online, including pens, files, books, calculators and more. writeleft.co.za They sell and distribute stationery for left-handed people, including pens, rulers and scissors. They also stock writing skills books for those who are left-handed. zabooks.co.za This online digital book store allows users to buy and download textbooks and other books directly onto their iPad. Schools can add booklists, or individuals can find the books they need.
a good read for toddlers
Mister King’s Incredible Journey Activity Book By David du Plessis
a delightf ul visual feast
Mrs Vickers’ Knickers By Kara Lebihan and Deborah Allwright
A Squash and a Squeeze By Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
(Published by Egmont Children’s Books, R126) Mrs Vickers is just pegging out her favourite knickers when, “whoosh”, they are caught in a gust of wind and fly away. Mrs Vickers’ knickers are whisked and whirled on the breeze; on and on they sail, over the building site and through the town. Will she ever be united with her favourite pair of knickers? This story about a pair of pink frilly knickers causes a hilarious journey for children from the age of two years old.
(Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R112) Celebrating 20 years of a classic picturebook pairing, this laugh-out-loud story was the first to be created by the awardwinning team of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Two decades after it was originally published, this classic tale of a little old lady, a wise old man and a chaotic collection of larder-raiding, curtain-chewing, jig-dancing animals is as fresh and as funny as ever. This anniversary edition comes complete with early drawings from Axel’s sketchbook and a specially written foreword from Julia herself.
(Published by Random House Struik, R45) David du Plessis has produced an activity book that addresses the importance of childhood education. The activity book can be used as a companion to the storybook or as a standalone project for early learners. With 32 pages of pictures to colour and puzzles to solve, the activities will keep children entertained for hours. The book promotes recognition of shapes, patterns and sequences; develops hand-eye coordination; introduces numbers and letters; offers an assemble-it-yourself paper toy; imparts basics about penguins and other sea life, and fosters an awareness of, and regard for, nature. There are also links to a website where further puzzles can be downloaded to prolong the fun.
Hot Hippo By Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway (Published by Hodder Children’s Books, R89) This is the story of how Hippo came to live in the river instead of on dry land. Hippo was hot and thought how wonderful it would be to live in the water. He pleads with the Ngai, the god of Everything and Everywhere, to let him live in the rivers and streams. Finally Ngai agrees that Hippo can live in the water, but only if he promises not to eat the little fishes. Ngai decides that Hippo can live in the water during the day, but at night he must come out of the water to eat grass. Hippo is very happy with this arrangement, but because Hippo can’t swim, he walks on the river bed to this day, and for extra assurance, comes out of the water with his mouth wide open to show Ngai that he doesn’t eat the fish.
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Mum’s Cronky Car By Anita Pouroulis and Jon Lycett-Smith
wonderfu l, bright and funny
(Published by Digital Leaf, R80) Unloved and unappreciated, mom’s cronky car is on the verge of being scrapped and abandoned. Then one morning, on the school run, the Cronk lives up to her name by being overtaken by a disability scooter! And out of nowhere, mom’s cronky car does something she’s never done before, something unbelievable – she goes into aeroplane mode. From that moment on she is the family favourite and their adventures begin. Your seven year old will enjoy reading Mum’s Cronky Car, but this hilarious story, with its absolutely stunning illustrations, is also a great one to read out loud to children as young as four. Mum’s Cronky Car is truly a modern Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
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for early graders
Flip the Flaps: Animal Homes and Seashore By Judy Allen, Hannah Wilson and Simon Mendez (Published by Kingfisher, R96 each) From watery places to deep, dark caves, young readers will satisfy their curious minds as they flip the flaps to uncover animal homes both expected and unexpected. Observing a tailorbird construct an elaborate nest and rolling over stones to see the creepy-crawly residents underneath, Animal Homes gives children the perfect peek into all creatures’ natural habitats. In Seashore the questions uncover essential and extraordinary facts about the wonderful things that live in and around the seashore, from penguins diving into the sea to turtles burrowing in the sand. Other books in the series are: Dinosaurs, Farm Animals, Jungle Animals, Minibeasts, Pets and more.
Lula & Lebo – Head and Shoulders, Washing Day and Shopping Day By Ellen Aaku, Blain van Rooyen, Mandy Collins, Anton Brand and NT Mofokeng (Published by Puo Publishing, R90 each) Puo Educational Products is addressing the language issue by creating relevant content that educates, entertains and empowers children. Their aim is to inspire children while developing a culture of reading. Approved by the Department of Education, their books reach children through parents, teachers and corporate social investment projects. In these three bilingual books, Lula and Lebo learn about their head and shoulders in English and Sesotho, experience wash day in English and isiXhosa and go shopping in English and Afrikaans. To order, visit puo.co.za
Just So Stories By Rudyard Kipling and Alex Latimer
(Published by Penguin SA, R126) How did the leopard get his spots? Why do cats act as though they own the place? What does a crocodile like best for lunch? Why are rhinos so cranky? What causes the ocean tides to rise and fall? Who wrote the alphabet? Generations of children have grown up with Just So Stories and have been captivated by Kipling’s wonderful insights into the world around us – all delivered in his mesmerising, read-aloud prose. Now these classic gems have been given a fresh look for a new generation. Illustrated by children’s book author Alex Latimer, each story comes alive with his own insights and humour.
for preteens and teens Dear Scarlett By Fleur Hitchcock
Sorrowline By Niel Bushnell (Published by Andersen Press, R117) Twelve-year-old Jack Morrow is used to life being complicated. His mother died five years ago, and his father is now headed for prison. But then Jack discovers he’s a Yard Boy, someone with the ability to travel through Sorrowlines, the channels that connect every gravestone with the date of the person’s death. He is quickly pulled into an adventure beyond anything he could have possibly imagined. Finding himself in 1940s war-torn London, with his then-teenage grandfather, Davey, Jack soon realises that his arrival in the past has not gone unnoticed. The evil forces of a secret world are determined to find him and to find out all he knows. This terrific time-travel thriller is recommended for children from the age of nine.
(Published by Nosy Crow, R112) This is a funny, moving and absorbing story about a young girl’s attempts to learn more about her dead father through the objects she finds in a cardboard box he’s left her. The box is full of clues. Scarlett and her friend, Ellie, go on a sometimes hilarious, sometimes scary, journey of discovery, following the clues and always remembering to “keep looking up”; even though they’re not sure what “keep looking up” means. Was Scarlett’s dad a thief? Was he a spy? And what does it mean to be his daughter? Fleur Hitchcock is a great new voice in children’s literature, and Dear Scarlett is an excellent book recommended for children from the age of nine to 11.
for th reluct e an reade t r
Stormbreaker – The Graphic Novel By Anthony Horowitz
(Published by Walker Books, R149) This is a bold and stylish reissue of the groundbreaking and hugely popular adaptation of Alex Rider’s very first mission in graphic novel form. Forcibly recruited into MI6 after the mysterious death of his guardian, 14-year-old Alex is sent to infiltrate the organisation of a sinister billionaire. Within days he’s gone from schoolboy to superspy, and it looks like his first assignment may be his last. This novel is suited for children from the age of seven, but it’s a great start to get your older reluctant reader interested in books. The Alex Rider series comprises nine novels, which include four graphic novels, and this book has been adapted into a film starring Alex Pettyfer, Mickey Rourke and Bill Nighy.
parenting books Fantastic First-Time Father: 50 Things You Really Need to Know By Tim Mungeam (Published by Quercus Publishing, R129) Finding out you’re going to be a father for the first time is an incredible feeling; your life will never be the same again. Though, biologically speaking, your job is done, the real work is yet to come: supporting the mother of your child through all the highs and lows of her pregnancy, and preparing for your new role as a father. Most dads-to-be feel underprepared and overawed, but this book has all the expert advice you need for every step of the journey, from receiving the news to functioning on two hours of sleep a night. Along the way you’ll get insider tips and expert advice.
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for us a treat to read
Capital By John Lanchester (Published by Faber and Faber, R199) Pepys Road: an ordinary street in the capital. Today, through each letterbox drops a card with a message: We Want What You Have. At 40, Roger Yount is blessed with an expensively groomed wife, two sons and a powerful job. Zbigniew has come from Warsaw to indulge the super-rich in their interior-decoration whims. Freddy, teenage football sensation, has left Senegal to follow his dream. Quentina has exchanged the violence of Zimbabwe for that of the enraged middle classes. For them all, this city offers the chance of a different kind of life.
Making Finn By Susan Newham-Blake
The Chemistry of Tears By Peter Carey (Published by Faber and Faber, R129) It’s London 2010, and Catherine Gehrig, conservator at the Swinburne Museum, learns of the unexpected death of her colleague and lover of 13 years. As the mistress of a married man, she has to grieve in private. Her boss at the museum, aware of Catherine’s grief, gives her a special project: to piece together both the mechanics and the story of an extraordinary, eerie automaton. The mechanical creature is a clockwork puzzle, commissioned in 19th-century Germany by an English man, Henry Brandling. Linked by the mysterious automata, Catherine and Henry’s stories intertwine across time to explore the mysteries of life and death, the miracle and catastrophe of human invention and the body’s astonishing chemistry of love and feeling.
(Published by Penguin SA, R171) Susan’s childhood dream of becoming a mother has not diminished with the revelation, alarming both to herself and her bewildered family, that she does, in fact, “bat for the other team”. Having made peace with her identity and having finally found a beloved partner, she is now faced with a daunting problem: with no man around, how do you make babies? Time is of the essence: at 34 years old, Susan cannot afford to waste another moment. And so begins an unconventional journey to parenthood with some agonising decisions to be made along the way. Told with disarming honesty, Making Finn is a warm, witty and moving first-person account of two women’s quest to create a family.
Breastfeed Your Baby By Marie-Louise Steyn (Published by Metz Press, R144) Breast-feeding is the natural, healthy way to nourish your baby, but it is not always easy or instinctive. Mothers often lack the knowledge and support they need for trouble-free breastfeeding. Breastfeed Your Baby is a complete but concise, practical guide for nursing mothers. The information is based on the most recent research in the field and, since it is evidence based, it will also be invaluable to doctors, nursing staff, antenatal professionals and doulas. The information is authoritative and presented in such a way that the book can be read in one or two sittings before the baby’s birth, yet detailed enough to remain an essential companion throughout the breast-feeding process. The content is enhanced throughout with practical hints and tips.
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what’s on in september
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
Award-winning Felix premieres Fourteen year-old Felix Xaba dreams of becoming a saxophonist like his late father, but his mother thinks jazz is the devil’s music.
ONLY FOR PARENTS
School sports talk with Prof Tim Noakes Prof Noakes of the Sports Science Institute speaks about the negative effects of over-competitive sports in primary school.
bump, baby & tot in tow
how to help
Babies Read Books puppet show and storytelling For babies and toddlers every Tuesday. Professional storyteller Sharon Geffen is in attendance every second Tuesday.
Bless a Baby Spring Charity Drive Pop into a Baby Boom or Toys R Us store this month to purchase and donate new baby items for the Robin Hood Foundation for underprivileged mothers in Aids-affected communities.
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Open Book Festival Along with a stellar line-up of authors, teens will be joined by international superstar, Michael Grant, while the little ones get award-winning author and illustrator, Polly Dunbar.
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SPECIAL EVENTS 5 thursday Chefs who share Celebrate the rare culinary showcase of 14 acclaimed South African chefs, seven skilled sommeliers and seven celebrated artists in aid of youth development. The chefs will be divided into teams of two to share their customised menus, paired with top South African wines, with a limited group of guests. Time: tbc. Venue: Cape Town City Hall. Cost: R3 000 per person. Contact: 021 433 1699, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit chefswhoshare.com
6 friday Darling’s Voorkamerfest Each route takes you on an unforgettable journey to three different Darling homes, at which
three varied 25-minute performances are showcased. There are four different time slots during the weekend. Each slot has seven routes, with 21 performances in total, offering an exciting mix of theatre genres catering for all tastes. Transport between venues is managed by Darling‘s local taxis, adding another measure of fun and excitement. Ends 8 September. Time: 6pm, Friday; 12pm and 5pm, Saturday; 12pm and 4pm, Sunday. Venue: Evita se Perron. Cost: R195 Friday, R225 Saturday and Sunday. Contact Chanda: 082 321 7542, bookings@voorkamerfest-darling. co.za or visit voorkamerfest-darling.co.za
7 saturday Franschhoek Uncorked There are cellar and vineyard tours, barrel tastings, food and wine pairings, art exhibitions and a fresh food market, to name a few.
Tru-Cape Windgat Festival This festival for the whole family includes the Kogelberg Challenge race in Pringle Bay and a host of children’s activities by the eco-school, Pringle House. Childminding for very young and activities for 4–8 year olds and 9–12 year olds. Time: 6am–4pm. Venue: Pringle House School, Central Rd, Pringle Bay. Cost: activities free. Contact Jacques: 079 038 3916 or visit tru-cape.co.za
As an added extra each farm will have one varietal available for purchase at a discounted price, for the duration of the weekend only. Some of the themed offerings include Italian, Spanish and Latin. Cost: R120. Book through webtickets.co.za and for more info, contact: 021 876 2861 or visit franschhoekuncorked.co.za Imhoff Waldorf School Spring Fair This offers a broad selection of food, books, crafts, games and toys. There will be a fun run, live music, a hula hoop workshop, pony rides and more. Time: 10am–4pm; fun run starts at 9am. Venue: Imhoff Waldorf School, Imhoff Farm, Kommetjie Rd, Kommetjie. Cost: free entry. Contact: 021 783 4237 or email@example.com Open Book Festival The confirmed list of authors is reason enough to book. Teens are joined by international star Michael Grant, while the little ones are delighted by awardwinning author and illustrator Polly Dunbar. For a complete listing of the authors who will be attending, visit the website. Ends 11 September. Time: varies. Venues: Fugard Theatre and The Book Lounge. Cost: varies. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit openbookfestival.co.za Smackdown at The Small In preparation for National Braai Day, celebrity chef Reuben Riffel and the hotel’s executive chef, Tiaan van Greunen, are sharing braai secrets and guide foodies through the art of gourmet grilling. Time: 12pm. Venue: The Robertson Small Hotel, 58 Van Reenen
7 August – Smackdown at The Small
St, Robertson. Cost: R485 per person, which includes the four-course lunch and wine on the day. Contact: 023 626 7200 or email@example.com
14 saturday International Food Fair A fun-filled day of pony rides, games, delicious goodies and more. Time: 10am–3pm. Venue: CBC St John’s Parklands, cnr Dorchester Dr and Parklands Main Rd, Parklands. Cost: adults R5, children free. Contact Cathy: 021 556 5969 or firstname.lastname@example.org The Fork & Cork Wellington Wine Festival Wine, food, live entertainment and a fresh goods market, as well as a cook-off between a celebrity and local chef
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promises a day of fun and entertainment at the first Wellington Wine Festival. The Radio Kalahari Orkes and Bottomless Coffee entertain patrons, while they lounge on the terraced lawns, sipping award-winning wines, or enjoy the signature delicacies of six local restaurants. Time: 10am–5pm. Venue: Kleinevalleij, Wellington. Cost: R120. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or for more info: 021 873 4604/8 or visit wellington.co.za Wynberg Girls’ Junior School food and fun fair Lots of delicious food is on sale as well as rides and games. Time: 10am–2:30pm. Venue: Wynberg Girls’ Junior School, Aliwal Rd, Wynberg. Cost: free. Contact: email@example.com Tafelberg Spring Carnival The carnival is hosting a soccer tournament, rides, games and food stalls. There will also be plants, fresh fruit and veg. Time: 9am–4pm. Venue: Tafelberg School, 2 Swellengrebel Ave, Bothasig. Cost: free entry. Contact: 021 558 2405, 076 164 4669 or laverne@ itec-cpt.co.za
18 wednesday Inclusive education open day Information on Early Impact, the project for children with Down’s syndrome and a tour of the school. Applications are taken for 2014. There is limited space available for children with Down’s syndrome. The Noah’s Ark Project enables children with Down’s syndrome to develop in a mainstream educational
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Contact: 021 809 1100, reservations@ spier.co.za or visit spier.co.za The Cape Town 5km fun run Time: 4pm. Venue: Green Point Athletics Stadium. Cost: tbc. Contact: 087 700 8263 or visit capetowncitymarathon.com
21 August – Nestlé Ice Cream Strawberry Festival
environment. Time: 9:30am. Venue: Noah’s Ark Nursery School, Olivia Rd, Meadowridge. Cost: free. Contact: 021 712 1218 or visit mbc.org.za/NoahsArk.aspx
20 friday Two Oceans Hermanus Whale Festival This enviro-arts festival celebrates the arrival of the Southern Right whales with entertainment, food and wine. On Saturday and Sunday evening some of South Africa’s top artists are performing. Ends 24 September. Time: varies. Venue: varies around town. Cost: varies. Contact: 028 313 0928, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit whalefestival.co.za
21 saturday Nestlé Ice Cream Strawberry Festival A wide variety of stall holders exhibit good
food, local wines and cheeses, fresh veggies, herbs, and art and crafts. Entertainment includes strawberry picking, strawberry and ice-cream eating competitions, the strawberry-themed maze, strawberry food demonstrations, two trail runs (4km and 8km), live music, dance performances, miniature steam trains, bubble ball on the dam, pony rides, SPCA dog walk and a large inflatable children’s area. Also 22 September. Time: 9am–5pm, Saturday; 10am–4pm, Sunday. Venue: Redberry Farm, Geelhoutboom Rd, Blanco, George. Cost: entry tbc. Contact: 044 870 7123 or email@example.com Spier 21 Gables Heritage Dinner Savour a delicious, traditional Cape-Dutch dinner prepared by Chef Lolli. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: Spier Old Manor House. Cost: R295 for a three-course menu, paired with wine.
The Leisure Books Book Festival Enjoy the food stalls, community expo and music performances by local artists as well as a Lollos show and launch of their latest DVD. Ends 28 September. Time: 10am–7pm, Monday–Friday; 9am–6pm, Saturday. Venue: Tygerberg High School, Parow. Cost: R10 entry per person per day or R100 for a VIP ticket. Contact: bookfestival@ leisurebooks.com or visit http://boeke. aboutticketz.co.za
21 August – The Cape Town 5km fun run
24 tuesday Heritage Day celebrations at Iziko Museums The day is packed with discovery, dance, exploration and free entry to all Iziko Museums of South Africa. Time: 10am. Venue: Amphitheatre at the Iziko South African Museum. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit iziko.org.za
28 saturday National Cupcake Day 4 Kids with Cancer Support Cupcake Day at a mall closest to you. Send an email if you would like to bake and donate 48 cupcakes. Time: varies. Venues: Canal Walk, Blue Route Mall, Tygervalley, N1 City Mall, Somerset Mall, Cape Gate and Bayside Mall. For more info: visit cupcakesofhope.org
FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science Davy Dragon’s Guide to the Night Sky Join the planetarium’s famous space explorer, and learn all about the sky above. Join him as he fulfils his dream of becoming the world’s best flying dragon. This is a playful introduction to astronomy. Ends 15 September. Time: 12pm, Saturday and Sunday. Venue: Iziko South African Museum, Planetarium. Cost: adults R40, children 18 years and under R15, R100 family ticket. Contact: 021 481 3900 or visit iziko.org.za/museums/planetarium Junior historian workshop This outdoor amble with an educator and photographer involves an appreciation of historical attractions, their architecture and other characteristics. For 7–14 year olds. Parents must accompany children. Please bring a cellphone and a camera. Advise them regarding special dietary requirements. 15 September. Time: 1pm–4pm. Venue: outside Simon’s Town Pharmacy, 102 St George’s St, Simon’s Town. Cost: free. Contact Alan: 079 391 2105 or firstname.lastname@example.org Sue Nepgen’s children’s art classes The current programme consists of a variety of creative 2-D and 3-D work with different mediums and themes, including drawing and painting techniques, clay sculpture, chalk pastel and charcoal work, sketching,
28 September - National Cupcake Day
painting on canvas, as well as colour work using a technique with wax and artists’ turpentine. For 4–13 years old. Time: weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Venue: Michael Oak Waldorf School, Kenilworth or 28 Klaasenbosch Dr, Constantia. Cost: R590 a term, including materials and firing. Pro rata fees for late joiners. Contact Sue: 021 794 6609/4723, 083 237 7242 or email@example.com Tick Tock – The Mouse and the Clock Join Morris Mouse when he goes to visit his cousin on the other side of the overgrown garden. Once there, time flies and he has a most amazing adventure. For 5–12 year olds. 21–30 September. Time: 11am, 12pm and 3pm, Monday–Friday. Venue: Iziko South African Museum, Planetarium. Cost: R40 adults, children 18 years and under R15, R100 family ticket (2 adults and 2 children, 6 years and older). Contact: 021 481 3900 or visit iziko.org.za/ museums/planetarium
classes, talks and workshops Chocolate factory school outing The outing at Rococoa consists of a story or an age-appropriate educational movie on chocolate, a walk through a cocoa plantation and 17th century chocolate production kitchen. Each child receives a wafer cone filled with liquid chocolate, and they get to decorate a teddy biscuit, mould a chocolate or do a cocoa finger painting to take home. Time: arranged on booking. Venue: 145 Sir Lowry Rd, Palms Centre. Cost: R40. Contact Gabi: 021 461 2301 Kids cooking class Children learn new and exciting kitchen skills, life skills, and how to prepare savoury and sweet dishes
Chocolate factory school outing
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at home. For 6–12 years old. 4, 11, 18 and 30 September. Time: 1pm–3pm except 30 September, which is 9:30am–11:30am. Cost: R150 per two-hour session or purchase five sessions at R600 and get the fifth session free. Contact Noleen: 021 447 0323, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit stircrazycookingschool.co.za Teens cooking class Teaching teens how to handle themselves in the kitchen teaches them confidence as well as life skills. Savoury and sweet dishes are covered. From 13 years old. Time: 9:30am–11:30am, every Saturday. Venue: Observatory. Cost: R150 per session or purchase five sessions at R600 and get the fifth session free. Contact Noleen: 021 447 0323, email@example.com or visit stircrazycookingschool.co.za
family outings Diabetes SA Family Camp This is recommended for newly diagnosed children within the last 18 months. 13–15 September. Time: supplied on booking. Venue: De Hollandsche Molen, between Franschhoek and Paarl. Cost: R120 (includes accommodation and catering). Contact: 021 425 4440 or firstname.lastname@example.org
finding nature and outdoor play Botanical art at the Kirstenbosch Biennale A highlight at the biennale is the paintings of Cape-based Margaret de Villiers, who won a gold medal at the annual Royal Horticultural Society’s Botanical Art Show in London. 30 August–15 September. Time: 9am–5pm daily. Venue: Old Mutual Conference Centre, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit sanbi.org.za SANParks week The week grants free access to most of the 21 national parks for day visitors. 9–13 September. Time: varies. Venue: all SANParks excluding Namaqua, Boulders and Tankwa Karoo National Park. Cost: free entry for South African day visitors. For more info: visit sanparks.co.za Table Mountain Cableway Kidz season special Two children under 18 years old ride free when an adult return ticket is purchased over weekends, public holidays and the September school holidays. Ends 31 October. Time: 8:30am. Venue: Tafelberg Rd. Cost: R205 per adult return ticket, which includes two children under 18 years old. Valid on return fares only. Contact: 021 424 8181 or visit tablemountain.net
23–26 September – Aunty K’s Holiday School: Modelling and Grooming
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Teens cooking class
Two Oceans Aquarium Family Sleepover Enjoy a treasure hunt, a puppet show, art and crafts and more. For Solemate members of the Aquarium only. 21 September. Time: 6:30pm Saturday night till 8am Sunday morning. Venue: Two Oceans Aquarium. Cost: adults R220, children 4–13 years R180, children under 4 years R140. Contact: 021 418 3823 or email@example.com
holiday activities Aunty K’s Holiday School: Modelling and Grooming 23 September: personal grooming and hygiene. 24 September: make-up choice and application, and photo shoot. 25 September: introduction to ramp modelling. 26 September: fashion show. Suitable for 5–12 years old. Time 10am–12:30pm. Venue: Aunty K’s Party Centre, Littlewoods, Ottery. Cost: R30 per child per day. Contact: 021 704 1462, 074 106 0713 or firstname.lastname@example.org Brackenfell Library holiday programme 25 September: make a heart bag. Venue: Brackenfell Library. Cost: free. Contact: 021 980 1261 or brackenfell.library@ capetown.gov.za Cricket School of Excellence preseason holiday clinic Coaching clinics for 4–14 years old. 25–27 September. Time: 9am–2pm. Venues: Rondebosch Boys’ High, Herzlia Constantia, Hout Bay International, Jan van Riebeeck Primary School, Parklands College Senior Prep, Durbanville Cricket Club and Van der Stel Cricket Club. Cost: R500. Contact: 0861 123 273, info@cricketschool. co.za or visit cricketschool.co.za Cupcake delight workshops Shop in peace while the children enjoy the free shopand-drop zone with fun activities including cupcake decorating. For 4–12 years old. 21–24 September. Time: 11am–2pm. Venue: N1 City Mall, Food Court, Louwtjie Rothman St, Goodwood. Cost: free. For more info: visit n1citymall.co.za Free Zip Zap Circus performance See their acrobats, jugglers and flying trapeze artists. 24–30 September. Time: 3pm–4pm. Venue: V&A Amphitheatre. Cost: free. For more info: visit waterfront.co.za Holiday swimming clinics Learn to swim, stroke correction and fitness swimming clinics for beginners and mini-squads at their indoor, heated pools. One-on-one and group lessons available. For 12 months–7 year olds. Time: varies. Venues: 104 Queen Victoria Rd and 36 Franklin Rd, Claremont. Cost: from R210. Contact: 021 674 7681 or email@example.com September 2013
calendar enclosed eco-park. Time: 10am–3pm, every Saturday. Venue: 38 Sasmeer Rd, Retreat. Cost: free entry. Contact: 021 761 5411, 074 302 3254 or firstname.lastname@example.org Platteland Market This market brings farm-fresh produce and stylish platteland cuisine to city tables. Also their monthly sister market, The Lock Stock, is a showcase of authentic designs and collectibles. Time: 9am–2pm, every Saturday. Venue: The Palms Centre, 145 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock. Cost: free. For more info: visit palms.co.za
on stage and screen Jolly Carp organic market
Kids on Cloud 9 Explore and Experience Club The holiday club covers visiting some of Cape Town’s favourite children’s locations as well as clinics in soccer, cricket and hip hop. For 4–13 years old. 21–29 September. For time, venue and cost, contact: coachgrant@kidsoncloud9. co.za or visit kidsoncloud9.co.za Kronendal School holiday club Activities include art and crafts, drumming, baking, a mountain hike, a walk to the beach and swimming. 23 September– 2 October. Time: 8am–6pm. Venue: Kronendal Primary School, Andrews Rd, Hout Bay. Cost: half-day R80 (bring your own snack), three-quarter day R110 (including lunch and snack), full day R140 (including lunch and snack). Contact: 076
402 2333 or email@example.com Sparklz makeovers This covers hair, nails and make-up. The rock star, diva or princess can take their hair accessories home. For 5–12 year olds. Rides are open during weekends, public holidays and school holidays. 21–30 September. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Bugz Playpark, 56 Tarentaal St, Joostenbergvlakte, Kraaifontein. Cost: R70 per child. Contact: 021 988 8836, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit bugzplaypark.co.za
markets Jolly Carp organic market An ecofriendly, child-centred organic market offers various healing treatments, fresh organic farm produce and products and comfort foods. Children can play safely in an
Felix premieres on 13 September Fourteen-year-old Felix Xaba dreams of becoming a saxophonist like his late father, but his mother thinks jazz is the devil’s music. At the 34th Durban International Film Festival, audiences voted this feelgood South African family movie, Best Film. Venues: Cavendish, V&A Waterfront, Canal Walk, Blue Route Mall, Cape Gate and Promenade Mall. For more info: visit felixthemovie.com Goldilocks and the Three Bears This delightful children’s classic follows the adventure of Goldilocks in the forest. 23–28 September. Time: 10:30am, Monday–Saturday. Venue: Nassau Theatre Centre, Palmyra Rd, Newlands. Cost: R45. Contact Elton: 021 558 2650, 083 364 8284, email@example.com or visit lilliputplayers.co.za
Nickleodeon – New Kung Fu Panda episode starts 9 September. Time: 12:35pm, Monday–Thursday (repeats Sundays 10:55am). New Victorious episode starts 13 September. Time: 5:45pm (repeats weekends
V&A Market on the Wharf Shop for fish and chips, cheese and olives and enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations, ice cream and craft beer. During the school holidays visit the V&A Craft and Wellness Centre for the petting zoo and an array of holiday workshops for the children. Time: 9:30am–6pm, Wednesday–Sunday. Venue: V&A Food Market, Dock Rd. Cost: free entry. For more info: visit marketonthewharf.co.za
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1pm). New Marvin, Marvin episode starts 4 September. Time: 5:45pm (repeats weekends 10pm). DStv channel 305 Swoop This is the story of a young boy who embarks on an adventure, discovering how the world is part of a designed eco-system and how we as humans are connected to it and to each other. It is presented using a blend of puppetry, audio-visual material, live music and a narrative. 21–30 September. Time: 11am. Venue: Kalk Bay Theatre. Cost: R60. For more info: visit kbt.co.za Vallende Maan This predominantly Afrikaans production is an adventurous romp through the Karoo with a team of misfits. Suitable for 7–12 year olds. 25–28 September. Time: 10:30am. Venue: Artscape Arena. Cost: R50. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000
playtime and story time Brackenfell Library story hour 4 September: make a butterfly out of paper. 11 September: children learn about senses
21–30 September – Swoop
through pictures. 18 September: landscape collage with big and small things. Time: tbc. Venue: Brackenfell Library. Cost: free. Contact: 021 980 1261 or brackenfell. firstname.lastname@example.org
sport and physical activities Free Yoga class for parents and children For 3–12 year olds. 7 September. Time: 10am–10:45am. Venue: Lila, 201 Bree St. Cost: free. Contact Nicole: 083 377 9248 or email@example.com Kids yoga For 8–12 year olds. Time: 3pm–3:45pm, every Thursday. Venue: Yo Yoga, Cavendish Close, Claremont. Cost: first class is free, thereafter R300 for five classes. Contact Yo Yoga: 021 671 0888, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit yoyoga.co.za Sunflower Fund fun walk/run All profits from the fun run assist The Sunflower Fund in building their bone marrow registry. 15 September. Time: 10am. Venue: Mouille Point Lighthouse. Cost: R80 registration, which includes a Sunflower bandana. Contact Shelley, Adi or Chris: 021 701 0661 or email@example.com Teddy Tennis at The Glen Country Club Tennis for children aged 2–8 years old, accompanied by music. Time: Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Venue: The Glen Country Club, Clifton. For costs and more info, contact: 083 679 0731, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit teddytennis.com
25–28 September – Vallende Maan
only for parents classes, talks and workshops Family and Friends CPR 7 September. Time: 9am–12:30pm. Venue: Constantiaberg Mediclinic, Burnham Rd, Plumstead. Cost: R250. Contact Kathy: 021 705 6459, email@example.com or visit pec.co.za Montessori training 2014 Information evening. 10 September. Time: 6pm. Venue: Auburn House School, Kenilworth. Cost: free. Contact: 021 797 7872 or capetown@ montessorisa.co.za School Sports with Tim Noakes Prof Noakes of the Sports Science Institute speaks about the negative effects of overcompetitive sports in primary school, recommending that junior school sport focuses on skills and enjoyment. 3 September. Time: 7pm. Venue: The Vine
School Hall, 37 Denver Rd, Lansdowne. Cost: free. Contact Charlene: 021 696 3220, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit thevineschool.org.za The Mommy Club The weekly, two-hour sessions offer expert guest speakers and once-a-month pamper sessions. Date and time: call to enquire. Venue: tbc. Cost: R100 per single session and R80 per session if you take out a 3 month club membership. Contact: email@example.com
on stage and screen Johnny Clegg at the Baxter This intimate show sees Clegg talk about what inspired his music. 18–22 September. Time: 8pm, Wednesday–Friday; 6pm and 9pm, Saturday; 3pm, Sunday. Venue: Baxter Theatre. Cost: R257–R390. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 and for more info: visit realsa.co.za
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Madama Butterfly East and west collide with tragic results in Puccini’s devastating opera about a trusting young Japanese bride and the callous American naval officer who weds and abandons her. 19, 21, 25 and 27 September. Time: 7:30pm, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 6pm, Saturday. Venue: Artscape Opera House. Cost: R125–R550. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com
SJMC Jazz Band at The Crypt Jazz Restaurant The famous historic meeting place beneath St George’s Cathedral is where international and African jazz, cultures and cuisine fuse. Now a jazz restaurant, The Crypt serves lunch and dinner in a setting that retains a sense of its history and charm. 10 September. Time: 7pm–10pm. Venue: 1 Wale St. Cost: adults R30. Contact Diane: 082 515 7051, 079 683 4658 (bookings), thecryptjazz@gmail. com or visit thecryptjazz.com
out and about Chefs who share 5 September. Time: tbc. Venue: Cape Town City Hall. Cost: R3 000 per person. Contact: 021 433 1699, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit chefswhoshare.com
support groups Working with males of sexual abuse A one-day professional development workshop for people working with abused men in both the professional and voluntary sector. 25 September. Time: tbc. Venue: Backsberg Estate. Cost: R895, which includes all refreshments, lunch and notes. Contact: email@example.com
bump, baby & Tot in tow
classes, talks and workshops Baby and toddler mother and child groups Age-appropriate classes for babies 3 months–5 years old. Time: call to enquire. Venue: The Drive, Camps Bay. Cost: call to enquire. Contact Kathy: 083 654 2494, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit kidzdiscovery.co.za
Gentle pregnancy and birth support group Gathering of moms-to-be, moms and birth workers to discuss various topics, share, laugh and love your pregnancy and beyond in a trusting environment. 8 September. Time: 10am–12pm. Venue: Guest House at Sustainability Institute, Lynedoch, Baden Powell Rd (R310). Cost: R80. Contact Gauri: 083 295 2630 or email@example.com Infant massage classes Caregivers learn the skill of massaging their infant. Classes are once a week for five weeks, for an hour. The appropriate age group is from 2½ months up to 1 year old. Time: morning and afternoon classes, Monday–Friday. Venue: 13 Hockey Close, Pinelands or at your house. Cost: R600 for a five-week course, excluding travelling costs. Contact Jean: 021 531 5413, 084 575 3444 or firstname.lastname@example.org Moms and Babes Join these mom and baby stimulation classes for moms with babies 2–12 month olds. Time: 10am and 3pm, Monday–Saturday. Venue: 36 Water St, Claremont. Cost: call to enquire. Contact: 021 671 8690, 082 746 3223 or email@example.com Motherhood Matters baby massage classes A four-week baby massage course where moms learn to massage their babies and understand the many benefits. Ideal for moms with babies from 4 weeks to 6 months. 28 August–18 September. Time: 10am–11:30am, every Wednesday. Venue: 13 Nederburg Rd, Kirstenhof. Cost: R500. Contact Megan: 071 875 2668 or visit motherhoodmatters.co.za Preparation for parenting Parenting classes for expectant parents to experience an antenatal class with a difference. 3, 4,
Parent Centre Moms Circle Group These groups are suitable for moms with babies up to 1 year old. Mediclinic Cape Town, Hof St. Time: 10:30am–12:30pm, every Tuesday. Mediclinic Constantiaberg. Time: 10am–12pm, every Thursday. Cost: R50, which includes refreshments. Contact: 021 762 0116, reception@theparentcentre. org.za or visit the Facebook pages: Tuesday Moms Group (Parent Centre) and Thursday Moms Group (Parent Centre) for the monthly programme. Also visit The Parent Centre Facebook fan page and theparentcentre.org.za for regular updates
10 and 11 September. Time: 6:30pm–9pm. Venue: Kids Clinic, Camps Bay. Cost: R1 350 per couple. Contact: 021 438 0020 for bookings or firstname.lastname@example.org The Natural Pregnancy Event There will be talks on nutrition, homeopathy, biology of birth and demos of yoga, bellydancing, relaxation, as well as belly art, pregnancy massage, giveaways and more. 28 September. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Alive Café, Muizenberg. Cost: R150, which includes lunch and birth circle (4:30pm–6:30pm). Contact Gauri: 083 295 2630 or email@example.com
playtime and story time Babies Read Books puppet show and storytelling For babies and toddlers every Tuesday. Professional storyteller Sharon Geffen is in attendance every second Tuesday. Time: 9:30am. Venue: Kloof Street Library, 122B Kloof St. Cost: call to enquire. Contact: 021 424 3308
support groups La Leche League’s Breast-feeding Support Groups Kenridge: 3 September. Contact Marna: 072 453 2471. Durbanville: 17 September. Contact Trudy: 021 913 2816 or Tiffany: 021 913 3586. Parklands: 14 September. Contact Kim: 082 330 5352. Parow: 18 September. Contact Dilshaad: 021 930 2475. Milnerton Mediclinic: 16 September (at 9:30am). Contact Juliet: 021 556 0693. Parklands Intercare: 25 September. Contact Simela: 021 553 1664. Rondebosch: 10 September. Contact Natashia: 082 814 7210. Stellenbosch: 10 September. Contact Olga: 082 062 0206 or Francia: 082 940 9685. Malmesbury, for telephonic help. Contact Selma: 083 265 5458. Hermanus, for telephonic help. Contact Emma: 082 696 3584. Paarl: 3 September. Contact Jonette: 021 872 5297. Fish Hoek, for telephonic help. Contact Tammy: 021 782 9240. Time: 10am, unless otherwise stated. Cost: free. For more info: visit llli.org or join their Facebook page: La Leche League South Africa
how to help Bless a Baby spring charity drive Pop into a Baby Boom or Toys R Us store this month to purchase and donate new baby items such as blankets, towelling and disposable nappies, baby-gros, bibs, booties, jerseys and toys. All items are donated to the Robin Hood Foundation for underprivileged mothers from Aids-affected communities. Contact Emma: 083 707 0531 or visit robinhoodfoundation.co.za Fundraising dinner-dance for Tears Animal Rescue The dinner seeks to bring awareness into homes about the need to help our local communities and their long-suffering pets. 14 September. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: Jakes in the Village, Steenberg Lifestyle Centre, Tokai. Cost: R500. Contact Pier: 021 785 4482 or firstname.lastname@example.org HOPE Playgroups The playgroups were started due to the devastation caused by HIV/Aids and poverty where an increasing number of children live in households run by older siblings. When their siblings are at school, there is no one to take care of the little ones. There are currently about 70 children under 6 years of age attending weekly HOPE playgroups run by five local volunteers. HOPE playgroups sit within a wider project called Uzwelo Rural Orphan Care (UROC). UROC childcare workers distribute food parcels and clothing, oversee medical needs and supervise the HOPE volunteers. HOPE playgroups do not have funding and the teachers are volunteers. To donate, contact: ingrid@ love2learnandgrow.com Santa Shoebox Project pledges open 1 September Visit the website and sign up as a new donor or if you’re already registered simply make a pledge for the child who will receive your shoebox. The start of the drop-off period is in October. For more info, drop-off points and to learn what needs to go in your shoebox, visit santashoebox.co.za
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 30 August for the October 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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this looks like a job for Superman!
rin is obsessed with a certain superhero who has a penchant for wearing tight pants and a red cape. At first, I thought it was just a fleeting crush. But it’s been more than a month already and her whole life revolves around Superman. She wants Superman socks, Superman bubbles and a Superman cake for her birthday, although I’m hoping she will have forgotten about him by December. She has also watched the movie about 17 times and can even hum the darn theme song. I have to admit to being a bit concerned. Is it really healthy for a two year old to show so much interest in a comic character with superpowers? She likes Winnie-the-Pooh, and she is a fan of Mister Maker, but it’s the man in red and blue that really gets her animated. I asked her what it was about this aerodynamic man in spandex that intrigued her, and she informed me that it was his “big red boots” and his ability to fly to the moon.
Erin, Anél and Conor
But I think the thing that impresses her most is his ability to save the day. When I struggled to load some parcels into the car recently, she told me, “Don’t worry, Superman can do it for you.” And I suppose there is something in all of us that wants to believe in a superhero; in someone who can rescue us when things go awry.
We adults are, of course, somewhat jaded. Many of us have given up on makebelieve and the notion that good can triumph over evil. But if Erin still believes that a man with a funky “S” emblazoned on his shirt can stop an aeroplane in midflight, who am I to shatter the illusion? There is plenty of time for her to discover that things are not always as they seem,
and that sometimes the baddie will win. I hope she believes in the tooth fairy too, and Father Christmas. She’s not so keen on the Easter bunny, but maybe that will change before it’s time to hide the eggs next year. For now, it’s enough for her to know that there’s someone out there who’s fighting the good fight, with his big boots and flowing cape. When she faces a difficult task, I remind her that Superman would tackle it with all his might and this motivates her to try again. “I’m supersonic too,” she tells me. It even helped when I needed her to take some medication recently. Yes, I hauled out the old “Superman would take his medicine” card. But you know, it could have been much worse. At least she’s not infatuated with Justin Bieber; not yet anyway. Anél Lewis is a political writer for the Cape Argus. She has to accept the fact that her daughter prefers wearing a red towel around her neck, as a makeshift Superman cape, to pretty jerseys with kitty patterns.
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PHOTOGRAPH: STEPHANIE VELDMAN
Someone to look up to; red boots and all, AnÉl LEWIS uncovers the value of believing in superheroes.