D U R B A N ’ S
b e s t
g u i d e
to build your child’s emotional intelligence
the science behind choosing the right desk for your child
p a r e n t s
f o r
bring a basket pick your own summer fruit
what’s on in November
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These schools were ruled with a rod of iron. Many schools today are finding it increasingly difficult to effectively discipline children and there is a renewed call for corporal punishment. Three independent studies have shown that the majority of parents interviewed were not opposed to smacking their children to correct “bad” behaviour. With all the hostility that we deal with in South Africa every day, do we not owe it to our children to find other ways to grow good citizens? Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I wish I’d spent more time working out how to effectively guide my eldest to a calmer, more constructive place during her fiery toddler years.
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I think if you get it right with a toddler; if you model the correct behaviour and reward the positives, this will stand you in much better stead for the teenage years. Managing instant gratification is essential to guiding children from the tricky toddler stage into courageous and compassionate teenagers. It’s up to us as parents to provide the hands-on involvement that experts agree is key to raising children who understand they’re part of, and responsible for, the optimal functioning of their family, their classrooms and ultimately, their community.
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contents november 2013
3 a note from lisa
7 smoke screen Lucille Kemp points
5 over to you readers respond
out why smoking a hubbly bubbly is bad for your health
10 building emotional intelligence
6 upfront with paul screaming
EQ may be more important than IQ to be successful in life, so we should encourage it more in our children, says Glynis Horning
14 learning spaces having a customised place to work and create is important for children. By Tamlyn Vincent
16 a valuable learning tool should cellphones be banned from classrooms, or could they be a helpful educational aid? Janine Dunlop investigates
18 healthy tuck shops by turning the school eatery into a healthy haven, we’re ensuring that our children eat right during the day, says Susan Stos
20 there’s a rat in the kitchen Marina Zietsman examines the home hazards lurking in your fridge and cupboards
22 money savvy don’t only teach your child how to save money, teach them how to invest it too. By Tamlyn Vincent
24 east coast tables we offer you a few recipes from the book East Coast Tables: The Inland Edition. By Erica Platter and Clinton Friedman
and shouting are not conducive to communication, says Paul Kerton
8 pregnancy news – UIF and maternity rights Anél Lewis looks at how the UIF system can work best for pregnant women and new parents
9 best for baby – under the sun the sun is a lot harsher on the skin of babies and toddlers. By Cassandra Shaw
26 resource – grab your bucket! summer’s here, so head out to the farms and pick some fresh fruit. Compiled by Tamlyn Vincent
27 a good read for the whole family 28 what’s on in november 34 finishing touch shopping with two toddlers is reserved for the brave, says Anél Lewis
classified ads 33 family marketplace 33 let’s party
this month’s cover images are supplied by:
Photo: Eugene Claase kidoagency.co.za
Photo: Eugene Claase kidoagency.co.za
Delfina de Faria
over to you fussy eater I have a very fussy grandson, aged four, who just does not have an appetite. From the day he was born, he didn’t want to eat. He just wanted his bottle and a bit of baby food. This has not changed for the last four years. He will eat a small bowl of cereal in the mornings and then he is off to school. At 12:30pm I collect him and his little sister, aged two. Even then all he wants is his bottle, whereas my granddaughter will eat anything that is placed in front of her. He will eat a bowl of pasta for lunch and some pieces of chocolate (only one kind is permitted). Every once in a while he’ll eat some bacon, but even these must not be burnt or “funny looking”. Can someone please give us advice? We are all at wits’ end. Peter Hart
Let us know what’s on your mind. Send your letters or comments to email@example.com or PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010.
And it is especially interesting to see my seven-year-old son imitate him. My son has ADHD and is also on the autism spectrum. It would be really helpful if you could assist with some information on schools that support learners who interact differently, or give information on support groups and social groups for parents and our little angels. And to add to the letter, yes, there would be no choice! Zaheera Childmag says For information and contact details, visit childmag.co.za and search under “resource – dealing with difference”. The contact details for ADHASA (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Support Group of Southern Africa) is also listed. They’re a great source to steer you in the right direction regarding support groups.
one for the girls help with ADHD I want to thank Lindsay Sommer for the honest letter entitled “a letter to an autistic grandson”, (October 2013). It made me smile and cry at the same time, and I cannot wait to show it to my dad who will be visiting soon. With three grandchildren, aged 10, seven and three, he loves visiting.
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I had the opportunity to accompany my seven-year-old daughter to the father-daughter barn dance at her school, as my husband was away on business. I was surprised that I was the only mom there. I am sure that there were other children who wouldn’t have been able to bring a dad to the event. While it is good to have events for specific parents to
share with their children, this should never stop your child from attending a school function. My daughter and I had fantastic fun and I had the chance to teach her a valuable life lesson: never let your gender stop you from doing something you want to do. Sarah Jane Henshall
keep the faith In response to the letter from a mom struggling to find a school for her Down’s syndrome child (October 2013); as a teacher I say “don’t give up”. I had a Down’s syndrome boy in my class who changed our lives. We learnt about unconditional love and acceptance from him. We also learnt not to take ourselves so seriously. There are schools that would be happy to educate your son and they would be blessed. Susan Durandt subscribe to our newsletter and win Our wins have moved online. Please subscribe to our newsletter and enter our weekly competitions. To subscribe, visit childmag.co.za
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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upfront with paul
stop shouting You don’t have to shout to be heard. PAUL KERTON explains why.
PHOTOGRAPH: MARIETTE BARKHUIZEN
went to pick up a soft-spoken writer friend last night – a single mom with three children. When I walked through her front door it was like somebody had maxed the volume on the entire house. The children were at all points – north, south, east and west, upstairs and downstairs, and EVERYBODY, including the mother, was shouting and screaming at each other. Not out of anger or rage, or an attempt to chide or discipline. This was how – as a family – they communicated on a daily basis. Nobody moved from where they were, or left what they were doing, to get faceto-face with the person they wanted to talk to, or even showed themselves at the door to their room to make it easier. All three children expected the mother to run to them. “Mom, where’s my green top?”, “Mom, come and check this drawing”, “Mom, the remote’s not working”. Then the children were shouting at each other from
one room to another. “Jess, what did you do with my beanie?” Mom was screaming too. “Have you done your homework?” to some child; I don’t know which one. “You’d better take a shower tonight and wash your hair.” I hadn’t heard this much shouting since the Springboks won the World Cup at Ellis Park. “Is it always like this?” I asked innocently. “What?” What? The house is a zoo. There’s one adult and three children over the age of nine literally screaming at each other every 10 seconds. The boy is watching television with the volume up, barking orders. It was like a mental hospital except nobody was sedated. In my book, a loud parent means louder children. A loud teacher means a louder class. Once you are over the initial shock to get attention, shouting loses any impact and has no lasting effect. It jars and jangles the brain and raises your stress levels.
Saskia, Paul and Sabina
“What I meant,” I continued, “is do you always communicate through screaming at each other?” Sadly, the answer was yes. Already the teachers had been complaining about her daughter Ellie’s shouting in class. Luckily she was a good enough friend for me to say, “Are you insane? The shouting is out of control and you’ve got to sort it out.” And, over a glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc we did. Problem was, they’d been screaming at each other for so long they didn’t know they were doing it. I suggested she get everyone around a table and talk
quietly about how the screaming was off the chart. First step: find the person you want to talk to and talk to them in a polite, controlled way. Second step: if it isn’t really important or entertaining, don’t talk. “Mom, help! I’ve broken my leg!” Then it’s okay to shout. “Mom it’s raining.” Who cares? She’s just got drenched bringing the toys in from the garden. And cut the laziness: “Mom, how do you spell ‘book’?” Learn to spell “dictionary” – and find out. Best advice though is, if someone shouts at you, ignore them until they show some respect. Follow Paul on Twitter: @fabdad1
smoke screen You may know it as a hookah, hubbly bubbly, water pipe, narghile, shisha or goza, but LUCILLE KEMP points out that you only really need to know that it is dangerous to your health.
false perceptions It has been trendy for some time to smoke a hookah pipe. It’s a social activity, it smells pleasant and the sweet flavour makes inhaling the smoke, without coughing, easier. The experience is made all the more attractive as it is perceived as somehow “better” than cigarette smoking. The bottom line, according to Cansa’s head of health Prof Michael C Herbst, is “hookah and cigarette smoke both contain nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, arsenic and lead.” Dr Richard van Zyl-Smit, head of the Lung Clinical Research Unit at UCT, says, “A single puff of a hookah probably has less toxins in it than a single puff of a cigarette but, when smoking a hookah, you inhale on average 100 times more smoke than you would when smoking a cigarette. Herbst says, “The smoke produced in a typical hookah smoking session can contain about 36 times more tar and about eight times more carbon monoxide, than the smoke from a single cigarette.” As people don’t smoke hookah pipes all day, every day, it is difficult to compare it
with cigarettes, but inhaling any amount of a carcinogen should be avoided at all costs and when smoking a hookah pipe you are doing just that. Add to this the charcoal that is used to “burn the tobacco” and even more toxins and gases are inhaled. “The flavouring makes the tobacco more palatable not less toxic,” says Van ZylSmit. Herbst adds, “The fact that the smoke passes through water doesn’t mean that hookah smoke is “cleaner” and it is just as addictive as cigarettes, with hookah smokers showing signs of addiction.”
health risks Van Zyl-Smit points out that as hookah pipes burn tobacco, the effects are very similar to that of cigarettes. Typically the most vulnerable to the effects of the smoke are children and pregnant women, and studies have shown an increased risk of lung cancer, and respiratory, periodontal and cardiovascular disease, as well as middle ear infections. The lead in smoke can also make children hyperactive, irritable and cause brain damage. The smoke can cause
reduced growth in unborn babies, and increase the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and sudden infant death syndrome as well. Also, the communal nature of sharing a hookah pipe means you can get germs from others, such as the bacteria that cause TB or the virus that causes herpes.
far-reaching effects A hookah smoking session produces a great deal of smoke and often takes place in a public setting, sometimes even in restaurants, greatly affecting those around you. Herbst says the health risks presented by tobacco products apply not only to second-hand smoke, but also to the lesser known third-hand smoke, which is defined by Herbst as, “The gases and small particles in smoke that are deposited on every surface the smoker comes in contact with, which remains for very long periods of time; from the smoker’s hair and clothing to the environment the hookah was smoked in.” Young children may be affected when they crawl on contaminated surfaces and ingest toxins from hand to mouth.
smoking vs hubbly bubbly One typical cigarette session • 5–7 minutes • 8–12 puffs • 40–75ml of smoke per puff
One typical hubbly bubbly session • 20–80 minutes • 20–200 puffs • 0,15–1 litre of smoke per puff (equivalent to inhaling the smoke of 100 or more cigarettes) Information courtesy of Cansa
UIF and maternity rights Although you want to spend as much time as you can with your newborn, before going back to work,
make sure you’re prepared for any possible loss of income while you’re on leave, says ANÉL LEWIS.
here’s so much to think about when you’re pregnant, and top of the list, if you are working, is how much maternity leave you can take and whether you will get paid for the time that you’re at home with your baby.
your rights The Constitution, the Employment Equity Act and the Labour Relations Act stipulate that no person may be discriminated against or dismissed because of pregnancy. According to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), pregnant workers are entitled to at least four months consecutive maternity leave. Your partner is entitled to only three days paid family leave, says Ivan Israelstam of Labour Law Management Consulting in Joburg. You can choose to go on maternity leave a month before your due date, or earlier if there are health concerns, but you can only return to work after six weeks of giving birth. This also applies to a stillbirth. Women who have adopted a baby may only apply for three days’ paid family responsibility leave.
money Ivan says you are not automatically entitled to your full salary while you are on maternity leave. It is up to your company to decide on your salary package during this time, and this may depend on the number of years you have worked.
claiming your benefits If you are receiving less than your full salary, or none at all, and your employer has contributed to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) on your behalf, you may claim benefits. You can also claim if you resign during your maternity leave. Members of close corporations or proprietary limited companies may also claim, but as a sole proprietor you may not. You may also claim UIF if you are adopting a baby under the age of two. Submit your UIF claim as soon as you start your maternity leave or within six months of the birth of your child. According to the Department of Labour, the amount paid is subject to the number of credit days you have accumulated, with the maximum being 121 days or 17 weeks. You get 60 credits for each year worked and you can expect to earn between 38–58% of your salary. The credits are calculated from the last four years of your employment record. If you should miscarry in the third trimester or have a stillbirth, you can still claim UIF, but you will only get paid for a maximum of six weeks. You may claim more than once for maternity benefits within a four-year period.
what to do when You can download the application forms from the Department of Labour’s website (labour.gov.za) or from the
website of an agency specialising in maternity UIF claims. Your employer will forward a declaration of employment, a U-19, to the labour centre and you will need to submit your completed forms, copy of your ID and a medical certificate confirming the pregnancy. But note that you can only do this when you start your maternity leave. If you do decide to claim from the labour centre, make sure you have all the supporting documents and forms ready to avoid further time-consuming visits. You may also send someone to hand in the forms for you. Once the application is approved, the non-taxable benefits will be paid into your bank account. This usually takes about five weeks so make sure you are prepared financially for any shortfall in income.
a helping hand As queues at the labour centre can be long and daunting, many women prefer to leave the legwork to an agency with expertise in UIF claims. Helene Vermaak, of a Cape Town-based agency, says mothers want the help of a company that can get the claim submitted quickly and with minimal fuss. These agencies usually charge a once-off fee of between R400 and R700 depending on the services you require. Use a reputable agency that will only submit forms that are correct. The company should also keep you updated and help with any problems that may arise.
best for baby
under the sun PHOTOGRAPH: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Ensure the safety of your baby and toddler’s skin this summer. By CASSANDRA SHAW
t’s time to unpack your bathing suit, sandals and hats. The hot summer months are finally here, and although you’ve been looking forward to spending them outside with your new young family, there are some important skin safety facts to consider before heading out the door.
a thin skin We all know that the sun can have damaging effects on our skin, but for babies and toddlers the sun can be quite dangerous. Baby skin is different to older children and
adult skin and is extremely sensitive to the sun. “It has not yet acclimatised to UV rays, and the outermost layer of their skin is thinner and more delicate. The pigment cells that naturally protect from UV rays are also still immature and not fully functional,” says Dr Imraan Jhetam, a dermatologist based in Durban. If a baby is exposed to the sun without proper sun protection, damages that happen early on in life can cause serious effects later on. Dr Dagmar Whitaker, a Cape Town dermatologist, says that a baby’s immune system is “not fully developed and when our skin is growing, the cells are particularly vulnerable to DNA damage.” She goes on to say that “When the genetic information (DNA) gets damaged [from sunburn], it changes a normal cell into a cancer cell which remains in your skin forever – although the cancer as such only develops later; 80% of all your UV damage occurs in the first 20 years of your life.”
combating the sun Babies younger than six months old should not use sunscreen. Instead, they should be kept out of the sun or be in the shade as much as possible, in addition to wearing long sleeves, pants and a wide-brimmed hat, says Durban based dermatologist Dr Ishaan Ramkisson. Also, make sure that they don’t overheat and that they drink plenty of fluids, he adds. For babies and toddlers, apply and reapply sunscreen to exposed areas of the skin, not already covered by protective clothing, every two to three hours or when they come out of the water. Sensitive areas like ears, the neck and cheeks should be covered by a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protective sunscreen of at least SPF 30, and other areas should be covered with an SPF of at least 15 to 30, says Ramkisson.
It’s best if babies use a product that is free of hypoallergenics, fragrances and added chemicals found in adult sunscreens, such as para-aminobenzoic and retinyl palmitate, and benzephenones like dioxybenzone, oxybenzone or sulisobenzone. Find products that include ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide or special sunscreens made for infants and toddlers as they may be less irritating to their skin and may offer more protection.
sun safety tips • Try to stay out of the sun between 10am–4pm. • Dress your child in SPF-rated clothing and use protective sunglasses. • Wet or stretched clothing can decrease your child’s protection against the sun. • Use an age-appropriate sunscreen and coat skin generously. • Do not use expired sunscreens – they may deteriorate and become harmful to the skin. • When walking or driving use a window mesh, or a cover for your pram.
when to have your moles looked at • If you have moles that change shape, colour and size; moles that itch, bleed, cause any kind of sensation or develop a white halo around them • If your family has a strong history of melanoma • If it has been a year since your last checkup with a dermatologist
building emotional intelligence EQ may be more important than IQ for success in life, but are we doing enough to encourage it in both our sons and daughters? By GLYNIS HORNING
be taught to make responsible choices for how they will stand up for themselves and their values and opinions in life – this is healthy assertiveness.” But, there’s much parents can do to help sons and daughters develop EQ.
Encourage children to speak about their emotions, Steyn says: “You look upset, would you like to talk about it?” Reassure teens that it’s okay to feel awkward and anxious, and encourage discussions about relationships with their teachers, friends or “flames”.
Be attentive – respond quickly and consistently to your child’s emotional needs from the start so they develop a sense of security and self-esteem. This is the foundation of EQ, says Kidd. “Just don’t confuse responding with pandering.”
Try side-by-side communication instead of face-toface – chat while doing something with them, such as driving or working on a project; teenage boys, especially, will often open up more this way.
Accept their emotions and teach them to name them. Ask how they’re feeling, suggests Steyn. For example, “I see you frowning and hiding your face from me – are you feeling angry because you can’t get what you want right now?”
Use life moments, books, movies, even commercials to help children recognise the cues to what others may be feeling: “How would you feel if that was you?” Empathy is critical for building enduring relationships, says Kidd.
Children who have a higher EQ are more likely to be cooperative, sociable and optimistic.
If they act aggressively, look behind the anger for anxiety, hurt or sadness: “You seem upset, are you feeling scared, hurt or sad?” But still explain the negative consequences of their actions, Kidd says.
Name your own emotions and model how to deal with them: “I’m feeling angry, so I’m going to count to 10, take a bath or go for a walk until I feel calm, then we’ll talk about it.” There should be no screaming and shouting in front of children, says Steyn, “but let them see healthy disagreement and resolution later.” Constantly tell sons as well as daughters that you love them, and hug them, and encourage Dad to do this too. It won’t spoil them or make boys “sissies”; it will make them more secure and confident. “Unconditional love and affection is vital so the child feels worthy and accepted for who they are, and not just when they do something amazing,” says Steyn. “It leads to feeling ‘good enough’ and worthy of love.”
Teach other ways to express anger from when children are very young, says Steyn: “I don’t hear you when you shout, hit or throw things. If you have a problem or want something, you need to tell me another way. How would it be if you did X?” Help children be aware of when they are stressed, and what causes it, says children’s life coach Julie Keating of Magic Blox in Joburg: “I see you’re biting your nails, or your fists are clenched. Is changing school or our family getting a new baby making you tense?” Listen well – don’t interrupt or jump in with solutions unless they ask, she says. It can undermine their confidence in being able to find these for themselves. Often children just need to feel heard, and talking about a problem dissipates it or delivers answers. magazine durban
nowing how to get on with others and move smoothly through social situations is an invaluable life skill, and the key is emotional intelligence – the ability to understand our feelings and those of others, and deal with them. “Children who have a higher EQ (emotional intelligence quotient) are more likely to be cooperative, sociable and optimistic,” says Avril Kidd, Durban EQ practitioner and representative of the Six Seconds EQ network in South Africa. They tend to be less impulsive and better behaved, and to have more friends and do better academically, helping them to grow into rounded, happy and successful adults. It’s still unclear what role DNA and genes play in EQ, and while there has been considerable research suggesting that girls are more emotionally intelligent than boys, this may stem less from inherited gender differences than from us raising them, however subconsciously, with different social expectations. “EQ is not just a trait you are born with or determined by your genes, but is very much also determined by interaction with other beings and the environment,” says Joburg-based psychologist Karin Steyn. Studies have shown that among other things, mothers use a greater range of emotions when playing with daughters and discuss emotions with them more, while boys are raised to repress their emotions, but this is changing: “I know many parents today are trying to avoid this sort of thing,” says Steyn. The danger with repressed emotions, she says, is that they can fester, causing anxiety, depression and aggression, and eventually erupt when triggered by disproportionately minor events. In his bestseller Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood (Owl Books), Dr William Pollack writes that boys were given an “emotional funnel” to express all their emotions – anxiety, fear, sadness and frustration were transformed into one emotion, anger. “Both boys and girls need to be taught to acknowledge their feelings and give appropriate expression to them,” says Steyn. “They should
Acknowledge their perspective and give empathy, even if you don’t agree: “I know it’s hard to stop playing, but it’s time for dinner.” Feeling understood helps children control negative emotions, says Steyn. Give them ways to cope: “Come, let’s tell X how you feel about what he did”; “How about kicking a ball or going for a run so you feel better?” Teach them soothing catch-phrases: “It was an accident”, “Everyone makes mistakes”, and positive self-talk: “I can do this” or “I tried my best”. Teach them how to problem-solve: “You’re fedup with X because she won’t give you a turn, what could you say to her?” Teach them to use “I” messages: “I feel X when you do Y”, and to compromise: “What can we do so we’re both happy? Share? Take turns?” Notice when they show kindness: “I love how gentle you are with the new baby”. Any behaviour rewarded with your time and attention will continue, says Steyn. Above all, model kindness and empathy – let them see you identify with the plights and feelings of others, especially during the season of giving. Whether you’re helping in a soup kitchen or donating toys for orphans, involve your children too.
EQ vs IQ
mothers’ views on gender and EQ
American psychologist and EQ research pioneer Daniel Goleman estimates that IQ contributes only about 20% to the factors that determine how successful you will be in life, and the other 80% is made up of other forces. EQ is important in how you: • are able to motivate yourself • persevere, especially with challenges • delay the need for immediate gratification and have good impulse control • regulate your moods and control your ability to think in spite of stress • have empathy for others • manage your relationships • maintain hopefulness. It seems that it’s the balance between IQ and EQ that determines success. “Even someone with a very high IQ may achieve nothing without the ability to believe in themselves and create their own opportunities or sell themselves to others,” says Steyn. “IQ without EQ means nothing.” A study in the Harvard Business Review found that leaders with more warmth outstripped peers who might have been better qualified. “People with warmth tend to manage their relationships better, are more able to be people that others would want to follow, and inspire others,” she says. “You can help children lead happy, successful and fulfilled lives,” concludes Keating.
• K aren Monk Klijnstra, Durban fashion designer and mother of Anouk (10), Maia (8), Lola (6) and Rudi (4): “Each of my children has a very different temperament, but I think my girls were more inherently empathetic at Rudi’s age. He’s very affectionate, but the girls tease that it’s more cupboard love – when he wants a treat in the cupboard!” • Sharlene Khan, is a biological scientist turned Durban stay-at-home mom to her son Amaan Azgar (30 months) and her daughter Azhara Laila (15 months): “It’s shocking to me how different they are already. My son’s a little fighter – if he wants something his sister has, he’ll simply grab it, and pull her hair if she resists, or try to smack her. She’s emotional and cries, but plans her revenge when he’s distracted, and takes the toy back with the cutest, most devious smile.” • Ridza Beattie, runs Rondebosch Moms and Tots and is the mother of Saskia (10), Kayla (9), Meera (7) and Joshua (6): “I think my children’s EQs are more linked to birth order and personalities than to gender. I’ve raised them all to be loving, empathetic and strong, irrespective of gender or anything else, and they are.”
your child’s life
learning spaces Growing minds and bodies mean that our children’s needs for desks and learning space change as they get older. By TAMLYN VINCENT
hen it comes to “colouring” time, my son plants himself on the bedroom floor with books, crayons, stickers, the odd pine cone and glue, spread outwards. But I was taken by surprise when I saw his friend’s very neat little table, with a stack of drawings on one side and a tub of crayons on the other.
Everyone learns differently, and because of this everyone needs their own space in which to learn. While this space may be part of a communal area, or in a child’s bedroom, having an individualised space is important. “Every child is different and is stimulated in a different way,” agrees Andrea Kellerman, a Durban-based educational psychologist and Neurofeedback practitioner. She points out that some children need a cosy, comfortable place in which to learn. Others may not like lots of bright colours, as this may be overstimulating. Dr Joanne Hardman, an educational psychologist at UCT, adds that from about two to seven years old, children only really focus on one idea at a time. The presence of other children, or a disorderly space, can be overwhelming. “Having their own individual space makes learning more possible,” says Hardman. And if the space appeals to the child, he will feel good, which will translate into a positive learning experience. Children also need to know that they can go to this space, says Kellerman. This may be so that they can finish their homework without distractions, or perhaps this is where they feel comfortable. A table in a communal part of the house can work for a young or only child, who feels more comfortable sitting near his parents. As Hardman says, “A four year old wants you to watch him achieve his goals.” But this may change as children get older or if there are several children in the family, says Kellerman. For these children, a more individual space may work better, where there are less distractions. Children take in about 40–50% of what they hear and read, says Kellerman. Distractions and interruptions means they will take in less. But Hardman says “learning – true cognitive change – cannot happen in isolation”. So even teenagers need to learn through discussion, with peers or a knowledgeable adult.
room to think
growing needs Finding the right table, and placing it where children will learn best, allows them to get into the right headspace. But choosing a desk also means thinking about physical development. Joburg physiotherapist Nicole Hilburn says “A desk, which encourages a poor position can result in postural problems leading to back pain, headaches and muscle strain”. An uncomfortable desk also means children may avoid sitting in it. Hilburn adds that young children may sit poorly because of low muscle tone or weak muscles. Desks that don’t fit the child are more likely to cause postural problems in older children and teenagers. Danielle Grobicki, an orthopaedic physiotherapist in Joburg, says that this can cause tension-type headaches, lower back pain and weakened postural muscles. Repetitive strain injuries from using a mouse for extended periods of time, can also become a problem, as can postural scoliosis, a reversible curvature of the spine caused by incorrect sitting postures. Grobicki says this discomfort means that teenagers can’t concentrate for long.
every child is different As children grow, they need a desk and a learning space that grows with them. “There is no such thing as a standard size. Every child grows at a different rate, so it is vital that a desk be chosen with the child present,” says Grobicki. Changing needs may also impact on the learning space. Younger children need more room for art supplies, while increased homework for older children requires more bookshelf or drawer space. Those who prefer bright colours may want posters, or those who may need visual reminders may need a pinboard.
A desk, which encourages a poor position can result in postural problems leading to back pain, headaches and muscle strain. Computers, tablets and phones are also becoming more integrated into the sphere of learning. With technology on hand, children can access the internet as they learn. While this is a useful tool, it can be distracting. Kellerman advises some parental guidance or limiting the time for which they are allowed online, as well as the amount of time they watch TV. If children do need to do research for homework, Kellerman suggests that parents monitor what their children are reading. If children have their own computer on their desk, ensure that there is still space for other work, and that the computer is not the focal point. As our children change, so too will their needs for a desk and their own learning space. With my son starting “big school” next year, he’ll probably have to relocate from the bedroom floor to a table in the dining room. Hopefully I can also fit in several baskets and a bookshelf to accommodate for the inevitable spread.
tips for choosing the right desk toddlers and preschoolers Young children would mainly use a table for mealtimes and play, so they don’t need anything elaborate, says Hilburn. A small table and chairs in a corner of the communal space should work. Keep necessary supplies in a basket or caddy for ease of access and tidiness. prep schoolers As children get more homework, they’ll be spending more time at a desk. At this stage, the height of the desk and chair become important, advises Hilburn. Children need to be able to sit comfortably, with knees at a 90 degree angle, feet flat on the floor and elbows resting on the table. Look for a sturdy desk that encourages this position. Make sure there is enough room for books and stationery, either in desk draws or nearby, to avoid clutter. “An adjustable desk is handy as children grow taller,” says Hilburn. teenagers Teenagers will be spending plenty of time at their desks. They also need to be able to sit in the correct posture, and if they are very short, Grobicki suggests using a foot stool. Look for a supportive chair and ensure the desk isn’t too low, to prevent slouching. A novel idea is alternating the chair with a Pilates ball to encourage the correct posture, says Grobicki. If your teenager uses a computer, he should be eye level with the top of the screen. You can use a laptop raise, or even a telephone book, to lift up the screen. The desk should also be able to fit in books, stationery and a computer, without causing clutter.
a valuable learning JANINE DUNLOP uncovers the advantages of using cellphones in the classroom.
y 13 year old says to me via instant messaging: “lolwksf”. “Pardon me?”, I reply. I have no idea if what he said is supposed to mean something. “Laugh out loud while keeping a straight face,” he replies. “Like this: .” Text-speak, while vernacular to teenagers, is a foreign language to the older generation. But, like it or not, teenagers are fluent in this language. Their fingers fly over the tiny cellphone keyboard, their heads are filled with the online world of instant messaging, gaming and social networking. But does this world have any place in our schools?
girls lured to meet with online paedophiles masquerading as peers, photos and videos of children in compromising situations sent to entire schools and children exposed to pornographic content by accidentally accessing it while searching for something innocuous. It’s understandable that there is concern over the safety of children using the internet on their smartphones. The NASGB, however, is quoted in the News24 article as saying that not only do these images “pollute children’s thoughts”, they also “prevent them from learning anything”. But, does exposure to questionable content really affect children’s learning ability?
ban the cellphone
teenagers and cellphones
The National Association of School Governing Bodies (NASGB) called for a ban on the use of cellphones in South African schools. Quoted in a News24 article of May last year, they argued that learners need to focus on their schoolwork and the ban would “protect them against irregularities on social networks”. Many of us assume that all school-age children are using smartphones for recreational purposes only, or that they are vulnerable to abuse on social networks. The latter is not an insignificant issue. Horror stories abound and have taken on the flavour of urban myth:
South African teenagers use cellphones extensively. A 2011 report from the Yoza project’s website showed that 90–100% of urban youth had cellphones, with 70% of those teenagers owning smartphones. Some use their cellphones purely for pleasure, while others use them for educational purposes as well. After their four-phase study conducted in 2011, Marion Walton and Jonathan Donner published a paper entitled “Your phone has internet – why are you at a library PC? Reimagining public access in the mobile internet era” and found that MXit
and Facebook were the most popular among teenagers using their mobile phones for internet access. Some of the teenagers they interviewed saw their phones as tools for pleasure rather than learning and viewed MXit as a completely separate space to the learning environment. On the other hand, some teenagers used the platform extensively as a homework aid by discussing their homework assignments and getting help from their peers.
schools do allow cellphones While researching this article, the most common answer received from a handful of South African schools in response to the question of whether cellphones were allowed in the classroom, was a resounding “No”. Not everyone is against it though. A teacher at a Cape Town high school, who wished to remain anonymous, says she “would love to use cellphones in the classroom,” but school policy prohibits her from doing so. Lately, however, some South African schools are not only allowing cellphones to be brought to school by learners, but also including them in lessons. Norman Henshilwood High in Constantia, Cape Town, is one such school. The principal, David Millar, is adamant
that cellphones are an integral part of a teenager’s life and their potential should be harnessed, not quashed. Norman Henshilwood teachers allow cellphone use during lessons primarily for access to the internet and to enhance learning. Millar believes that schools should go along with technology trends to make learning relevant and argues that with the inclusion of cellphones in the classroom, he gets far more engagement from learners than without. Learning, he says, has become more dynamic. Similarly, Robyn Clark, a maths teacher at Sekolo Sa Borokgo, a private school in Joburg, has embraced the use of cellphones in the classroom. “If I ever need to find information, I just say to my students, ‘Get out your phones and google it’,” she says. At Sun Valley Primary near Cape Town, Mathew Philips, the digital learning director, says that cellphones are used to enhance the curriculum and not as a replacement for the content. Learners are encouraged to use their cellphones during structured lessons.
The Yoza project grew out of this initial phase (www. yoza.mobi). Here, more stories in the Kontax series have been published. By late 2011, the stories on Yoza had been read 300 000 times, proving that South African teenagers want to read and cellphones are a valuable tool for making this happen. Not only are teenagers reading on their cellphones, they’re also getting help with school subjects, like mathematics. Also on MXit, a project called Dr Math, was initiated by Laurie Butgereit, who started using MXit to help her son, Chris, with his maths. Soon Chris’ friends were contacting Dr Math, as Laurie calls herself, for help
cellphones as learning tools
with their homework. Dr Math now takes the form of a group of undergraduates from the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Engineering, who log on every day after school and help some 30 000 subscribers with maths problems.
The M4Lit (mobile phones for literacy) project set out to explore the idea that cellphones could be used to support reading and writing by youth in South Africa. The premise, according to another report by Walton entitled, “Mobile literacies and South African Teens: Leisure reading, writing, and MXit chatting for teens in Langa and Guguletu”, was that teenagers were not reading for pleasure. During the pilot phase, a novel written and published in English and isiXhosa was distributed on a mobisite and on MXit. Readers could interact with each other about the story, make comments, participate in polls and enter writing competitions. The project was a resounding success and a second story was distributed. Both stories were read over 34 000 times.
Cellphones are an integral part of a teenager’s life and their potential should be harnessed, not quashed.
pros and cons As with any debate about the usefulness of cellphones among teenagers, the issue comes with pros and cons. We can’t all afford to provide cellphones for our teenagers. Millar recognises that this could become an issue should more educators in South Africa adopt cellphones as teaching aids. He finds at Norman Henshilwood, however, that learners who don’t have cellphones are assisted by their peers. Not every learner has the same kind of cellphone,
says Philips and devices vary in their functionality. Teachers should try to use generic apps or ones that can be used across many different devices, like WhatsApp and BBM. Both Millar and Clark understand that cellphones can be a distraction for teenagers, but have found that policing their use is largely unnecessary. Use is self-regulated at Millar’s school: “If I walk past a student who is texting,” he says, “the phone gets put away immediately.” Clark’s students understand that if they are found to be doing anything other than schoolwork on their phone during class, it will be confiscated. Text-speak is an issue identified by researchers for the Yoza project. The argument goes that teenagers using MXit adopt their own texting language and that their use of the English language is deteriorating. Interestingly, however, following some grammar and spelling errors in the Kontax stories that mistakenly slipped through the editing process, teenagers submitted responses to correct these.
get involved If use of the cellphone is to be seen as more than a leisure activity, then parents would do well to show an interest in it: • Ensure that a younger teenager’s browsing is controlled. Set a time limit and install parental control software or apps. • Familiarise yourself with the latest educational apps so that you can recommend them to your teenager. • Find out what your teenager’s school cellphone policy is: do they allow it or not? • Find out about safety measures at school so that your teenager’s cellphone isn’t at risk.
t’s Monday morning. You cobble together some kind of lunch for your children, hoping it’s enough to sustain them for the day. But what if the tuck shop were a healthy viability?
a healthy break
tuck shops A child’s nutrition should be top priority. SUSAN STOS describes how we can improve our children’s overall health and wellbeing by focusing on their school tuck shops.
Two years ago Stellenbosch Primary School decided to get serious about health education. Their journey is a blueprint for conversion. Dr Yasmine Celliers spearheaded the project. She is a medical doctor with an interest in children’s nutrition; specifically how food affects their learning, behaviour and mood, and she’s a mom at the school. The first step was to get the headmaster on board. When presented with the facts about a healthy diet he granted his full support. She gave seminars to the teachers who passed the knowledge on to the students in an age-appropriate manner. It was important to involve the parents. Upon realising how easily they could contribute to their children’s health and academic success, they were sold, says Celliers. “We do our children an injustice by feeding them incorrectly. We must take action against obesity. A child who is eating well can achieve optimally.” Once everyone was included, healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle became a point of pride for the school and they wrote health policies and a mission statement. Interested parents came to the party and formed committees to source better-quality food, some of it from the parents themselves. The tuck shop underwent a physical transformation as well with bright colours and posters so the children would associate healthy eating with vibrancy and fun.
a need for something different According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation and their South Africa’s Healthy Tuckshop programme 2013, 17%
of South African children under 10 are overweight. One of the main problems is their diet. Things like excessively sweetened foods put many children on a physical and emotional roller coaster all day. A sugary cereal in the morning spikes blood sugar levels, after which there is a slump as the amount of glucose in the body drops, leaving children irritable, moody and unable to concentrate. This lasts until break when sweets and sweetened drinks precipitate another spike and slump until they get to lunch. And so the pattern continues. A low GI breakfast of oats, for example, prevents those peaks and troughs by slowly releasing glucose. Snacks like fruit and nuts avert the drastic highs and lows that excessive sugar produces. At the 2013 Sugar and Health Symposium, Dr Louise van den Berg, a registered dietician and senior lecturer at the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics Faculty of Medicine at the University of the Free State said that sugar, if eaten in moderation, can be part of a balanced diet. However she warns about the ease of drinking nutritive sweetened beverages such as fizzy drinks, low-fat drinking yogurt, and flavoured water as some of these products contain up to 11 teaspoons of added sugar. Research has shown that our consumption of them should be limited. According to the Food Based Dietary Guidelines for South Africa from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) we should “use food and drinks containing sugar sparingly and not between meals.” The American Heart Association (AHA) states that “Sweetened beverages and naturally sweet beverages, such as fruit juice, should be limited to 118ml to 177ml per day for children one to six years old, and to 236ml to 354ml per day for children seven to 18 years old.” They also recommend limiting the amount of added sugars consumed to no more than half of a person’s daily discretionary
calories allowance. For women, “that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about six teaspoons of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day, or about nine teaspoons.” However, sugar and our consumption of it, has now become a highly discussed topic. In a recent National Geographic feature on the subject, Richard Johnson, an American kidney specialist, says, “It seems like every time I study an illness and trace a path to the first cause, I find my way back to sugar.” He points to overwhelming global statistics where one-third of adults have high blood pressure now whereas 5% had it a century ago. The incidence of diabetes has more than doubled in 30 years. In the 1980s fat was blamed for making us fat and there were fat-free products galore. Despite eating less fat,
provider, and if parents are not happy they should do something about it. Meyer concurs that the first step is education. “Knowing what’s in a product is important.” Like Stellenbosch Primary, their biggest concern was sugar and additives, such as colourants, flavour enhancers, preservatives and artificial sweeteners, all of which have the most effect on children’s behaviour. However, labels are meaningless without knowledge. Every additive is given an E number, some as benign as E300, E162 and E601 – vitamin C, beetroot juice and carotene respectively. E951, on the other hand, is aspartame, which Dr Celliers says, forms formaldehyde during its metabolism in the body. Several nutritionists state that if one has to choose the lesser of evils, rather
e-numbers E-numbers (E stands for Europe) are codes for the additives, natural and otherwise, that have been approved by the European Union and Switzerland. However, several countries have banned a number of them. E100 – E199 colourants E200 – E299 preservatives E300 – E399 antioxidants E400 – E499 thickeners, stabilisers, emulsifiers E500 – E599 acidity regulators, anti-caking agents E600 – E699 flavour enhancers
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation 17% of South African children under 10 are overweight. people continued to get fatter because more and more salt and sugar were used to flavour the fat-free foods. It is common knowledge now that fat is essential in a diet but there are good fats and bad fats. Good fats are those found in natural products, such as avocados, olives, nuts and seeds. The bad fats are the trans fats, which have been completely eliminated at Stellenbosch Primary.
change for the better The parents at another government primary school, Jan van Riebeeck in Cape Town, are also concerned and have collectively decided that they want healthier food for their children. Heleen Meyer, parent at the school and food consultant, points out that a tuck shop is a service
allow your children to drink a sugary cool drink than the sugar-free version with aspartame. Other additives to avoid include E102, E104, E110, E122, E125, E129, E211, which are found to cause allergic reactions and/or hyperactivity in normal children. And then there’s the perennial baddie E625 or monosodium glutamate. So what is on offer at Stellenbosch Primary? The list is long and delicious, from nuts and seeds to crunchies and fruit. Meals include quiche, homemade sandwiches on whole-wheat bread and wraps with avo, good-quality meats, chicken and uncoloured cheeses. Not only are the fares healthy, so is the bottom line. Once parents understood the connection between a healthy diet, behaviour and academic performance, they wanted to support the tuck shop.
E700 – E799 antibiotics E900 – E999 glazing agents and sweeteners E1000 – E1599
help on hand Discover Vitality has a healthy tuck shop school challenge, with downloadable posters, lesson plans and a substantial cash prize for the winning school. For more info: visit vitalityschools.co.za The Heart and Stroke Foundation healthy tuck shop programme. For more info: visit heartfoundation.co.za/tuckshops Jamie Oliver has done a lot for school meals in the UK by reacquainting children with real food. For more info: visit jamieoliver.com
there’s a rat in the kitchen Avoid these common household hazards and you’ll spare yourself a trip to the emergency room, says Marina Zietsman.
The expiry date on food containers is there for a reason. If something has expired, chuck it.
eggs These can be kept in the refrigerator for up to five weeks after purchase, but keep in mind that eggs drop in grades the longer they are kept. If you’re unsure, put the egg in a bowl of water. If it floats, it’s bad.
cheese Your normal varieties of block cheese can get mouldy and it’s okay to cut off the mould and still use the cheese. But if the cheese smells bad as well, bin it. Once there is mould in a container of cottage cheese or spreading cheese, it must be thrown out. If you love the pungent variety and don’t know if it’s gone off, stick to the expiry date.
other dairy The expiry date on milk, yoghurt and other dairy products is a good indicator, but sometimes these can still be consumed a day or two later. If your milk starts looking like your yoghurt and your yoghurt resembles your cottage cheese, get rid of them.
Don’t store cleaning fluids under your sink. Rather keep them on a higher shelf that children can’t reach, even when standing on a chair. Store flammable and combustable liquids away from ignition points like electrical panels and plugs, in cool, well-ventilated areas, as they are a fuel source.
Judging any kind of meat (red, chicken, pork) by its colour can be misleading. Meat from older animals, for example, will most likely be darker in texture. Meat can also turn redder when exposed to fresh air. Trust your nose. If there is even a hint of an odour, do not eat it. The same goes for fish.
fruit and veggies
Mushy and mouldy fruit and veggies should be thrown out. Keep fruit and veg separate as fruit releases ethylene, which speeds up the ripening process of vegetables.
Many household cleaners contain ammonia. This gas has highly bothersome fumes, which can irritate the eyes and lungs and may cause a rash or burn when spilt onto the skin. Never mix a product that contains ammonia with another substance, especially not with products that contain bleach as this can create a potentially deadly gas.
other refrigeration tips • Don’t store raw and cooked foods together. Put raw meats on the bottom shelf of the fridge so that none of the juices can spill onto the other foods. • Food and drinks stored in the door of the fridge get the most heat, because of the closing and opening of the door. November 2013
in your cupboard
Many of these products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, limonene, esters and alcohols. In an article by Bryan Walsh in Time Magazine (November 2011), Dr Stanley Fineman of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology says, “Air-freshener fragrances can trigger allergy symptoms, aggravate existing allergies and worsen asthma.”
• Cooked food should be stored in the fridge no more than two hours after cooking. Rice, especially, is a haven for bacteria. Cool down the warm rice with cold water immediately after eating, and place it in the fridge or freeze it. • Don’t over-stock your fridge. Cool air needs to circulate to keep food cold. • Clean your fridge regularly. • Leftovers should be eaten within three to four days. • Don’t put open canned food in the fridge. Acidic foods can interact with the metal. • Don’t wash fruit and vegetables before you store them. It speeds up spoilage.
bleach Standard household bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, a toxic skin irritant that is highly corrosive to the lungs and magazine durban
in the fridge
eyes. It can cause pulmonary oedema (fluid in the lungs) or vomiting and may induce a coma if ingested.
carpet and upholstery shampoo Some carpet cleaners contain the same chemical solvents that dry-cleaners use. They produce fumes from formaldehyde, acids, pesticides, disinfectants and lye. As this process does not dissolve the dirt, the particles evaporate causing indoor air pollution. Poor indoor air quality can worsen asthma; cause headaches, dry eyes, nausea and fatigue; and can contribute to the development of respiratory conditions.
dishwashing detergent Automatic dishwashing detergents are harsher than other detergents. They can cause skin irritation and burns, and may be poisonous when swallowed. Handwashing detergents are not fatal, but can cause irritation in the mouth and throat.
drain cleaner This normally contains sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide or sulphuric acid. The latter is a very strong, corrosive chemical. Depending on the concentration, sulphuric acid can cause severe burns on the skin and, if in contact with the eyes it can lead to blindness.
furniture polish This product typically contains naphtha, the main ingredient in lighter fluid; nitrobenzene, a substance used to make oil for cars and machines; pesticides and rubber and petroleum distillates.
laundry detergents and softeners Most laundry detergents contain bleach; fragrance – artificial fragrances are believed to consist of more than 3 000 synthetic chemicals; phenols; synthetic surfactants, which can be carcinogenic.
mould and mildew cleaners Swallowing and breathing in these product or spraying them in the eyes is potentially dangerous. It can harm airways and lungs, eyes, ears, nose, throat, gastrointestinal organs, heart, blood, the nervous system and the skin.
oven cleaner Many oven cleaners contain sodium hydroxide (caustic soda). These can remove paint and corrode certain metals. The variety of active ingredients, found within household products, each have the potential to cause harm. Therefore, it’s advised that you immediately call a poison centre for advice, when an incident occurs.
five golden rules of home safety 1 Teach everyone emergency telephone numbers and keep them next to the phone. 2 Read and follow all package inserts, labels and instructions. 3 Attend a first-aid course and ensure that childminders do the same. 4 Identify and eliminate potentially unsafe objects, products and situations. 5 Never reprimand your child for reporting potential dangers. Courtesy of Childsafe – childsafe.org.za
Tygerberg Poison Info Centre
Poison Hotline 0800 33 3444 Red Cross Children’s Hospital 021 689 5227
021 931 6129 Johannesburg Anti-Poison Centre 011 642 2417 or 011 488 3108
Concoct your own chemical-free household cleaners; for recipes go to childmag.co.za/content/ natural-cleaning-products
money savvy Children who have financial know-how can make their money work for them.
egan’s children had been asking for a chocolate and when they were on special she explained that it was a good day to buy one. They were a reasonable price and wouldn’t use up all the children’s pocket money. Megan is a mom of two. Both children get pocket money regularly, which they put into two piggy banks; a silver one for saving and another for spending. “Having pocket money helps them know how much they’ve saved and how much things cost,” says Megan. “They learn to value and appreciate money.”
under 16, the bank will require consent from a parent or guardian. Parents will also need their ID, their children’s birth certificates and proof of residence. The Banks Act of 1990 says that once children turn 16, they can control their bank accounts without consent from a parent or guardian. They also become liable for the account. So if children have saved up a tidy sum, encourage them to look at moving some of it to a fixed deposit account or an investment.
budgeting Pocket money is a useful way to teach children about saving, says Thembeka Ngugi, a senior marketing manager at Old Mutual. Once children are old enough to understand budgeting, parents can use a spreadsheet to draw up a budget and work out how much pocket money to give. Outline the items you think your children should buy for themselves, such as airtime, clothes and toiletries. Plus, include a little extra for saving. Go over the budget with your children. Show them what they’re expected to pay for and explain that if they overspend on extras, they may have to go without essentials. But if they spend carefully, they can save. When it comes to saving, teach children to pay themselves first by putting away a portion of their pocket money, as part of their budget. From there they can work out their saving goals. Introduce the concept of short-, medium- and long-term goals, explaining that saving up for a toy won’t take as long as saving for a bike, but they can do both at the same time, and have money left over. Draw up a savings chart, showing how much they have saved, what they still need, and how long it will take to reach their goals.
saving When Megan’s children have saved enough money, she’ll take them to open a bank account. “Fostering financial literacy through age-specific savings initiatives from a young age is crucial,” says Lezanne Human, CEO of Investment Product House from FNB. Having a bank account allows children to watch their savings grow, and to understand financial concepts such as interest and compound growth. Ngugi explains that “with compound interest you earn interest on the money you save and on
the interest that money earns.” Show children how interest works by offering to add a percentage of their savings to their account, says Human. A bank account also means children learn how to go about banking, whether this is at the branch, online or through cellphone banking. Talk to children about how it is safer to keep their money in a bank account, says Angelique Ruzicka, editor at Just Money. But also explain that having a debit card means they need to be responsible, and keep financial details and pins a secret. Banks offer various products for different age groups and goals. Most banks don’t need parents to be a member to open an account for their children, but for children
“There are a whole host of savings options to consider, including endowments, bonds, shares, educational policies and unit trusts,” says Ruzicka. Get children interested by giving them a choice about where they’d like to invest. One dad, Chris, says his daughter wanted to invest in something she knew, and chose the National Geographic Kids magazine, which is a publication of Naspers. Chris and his daughter now keep a regular eye on their Naspers investment, and have watched it grow over the years. The type of investment you choose will depend on your savings goals, how long you can save for, the risk you can take and when you need to access the money, notes Ruzicka. Low risk investments mean you are less likely to lose some or all of your money. But you get less interest, so you’re less likely to beat inflation. If you have more time to invest, and you’re comfortable with some risk, try a riskier investment, such as shares or unit trusts.
financial phrases for money savvy children • C ompound interest Interest earned on the initial amount plus any interest earned • Drawing up a budget Establishing income (money coming in) and costs (money going out) for a set period of time, such as a month • Inflation An increase in the general price of services and goods over a period of time • Investment risk The chance that you may lose some or all of your investment. Less risk usually means a safer investment, but more risk often yields bigger returns. • Rule of 72 Lets you work out approximately how long it will take you to double your money. Divide 72 by the given interest rate. If this is 12, for example, then it will take six years to double your money. • Shares When you buy shares you purchase a unit of ownership in a company or asset. This doesn’t give you control in the company, but entitles you to a share of the profits. If the company loses value, so will your shares. • Using a spreadsheet Lets you use a grid to outline financial data, such as your budget. Electronic versions calculate amounts automatically.
TAMLYN VINCENT explores some money-making options.
“The higher the returns, the more likely you are to beat inflation. But, generally, with higher returns come more risk,” says Ruzicka. When deciding where to invest, speak to a financial advisor. Find out about the costs and fees involved, and when you will be able to access the money. Help your children keep track of their investments by going through the statements or brochures provided by financial institutions. Ruzicka suggests making it a monthly family event, where you discuss budget, check finances and monitor investments. Turn it into a game by awarding prizes to whoever’s saved the most.
building a business Children can also invest in a small business of their own. Bruce Wade, from the Entrepreneur Incubator Academy in Cape Town, says that if children work in an area in which they’re naturally talented, they can turn this into a business model that can make money for them. Children with entrepreneurial inclinations will need to draw up a budget, so they can get a clear understanding of the costs of running a company. Items to factor in could include rent, supplies and marketing. Wade advises that children keep a realistic view of their finances, and
realise that what they earn belongs to the business. If they reinvest the money back into the business, they can create more opportunities, which they can turn into more money. However children choose to build their money and let their savings grow, understanding how finances work teaches them how to handle their own money and what pitfalls there may be. Megan’s children are young, but she hopes that they will learn a sense of responsibility, to have a long-term saving plan and to put money away for their future.
children’s banking possibilities
online tools • N edbank’s MyMoneyMap helps you manage money, as it allows parents and children to work together to set goals, budget and track savings. • N edbank’s budget spreadsheet can be downloaded from their website and covers income and expenses for the month. • Old Mutual’s Budget Tool is a downloadable spreadsheet that allows you to factor in your projected and actual monthly expenses and income.
Banking options for under 18s
The MegaU is a transactional account, which is debit-card based.
The Fluid Account is a transactional and savings account.
Nedbank 4me is a transactional account with 4saving, 4spending, 4growing and 4good.
What these accounts offer you
Free debit card purchases, airtime top-ups, and there are no monthly fees. Access the account through internet and cellphone banking. Get free email and SMS notifications, plus earn interest on savings.
No opening balance required, no fees charged on balances R500 and over, and no bank fees charged on card swipes. For balances under R500, there is a R5,80 monthly fee. Earn interest on the savings balance. Access savings at ATMs, online or on cellphones. Parents with a linked account get extra eBucks.
A R10 opening deposit is required. There are no monthly fees, free initial transactions and thereafter reduced pay-as-you-use pricing. Nedbank adds R2 per month for transactions into the Save4me account, plus you can support a cause at no extra cost and earn competitive interest rates. Free self-service banking available.
Standard Bank The (sum)¹ account, for children 0–16 years old.
R20 opening balance fee, no monthly management fees and four free electronic transactions per month. A bundle fee of R20 is charged for more than this. Access the account online or through cellphone banking and buy airtime via cellphone. The Puresave savings account offers between 1,50% and 2,27% interest.
Note: pricing was correct at time of going to print, and may be subject to change.
east coast tables Try these recipes from East Coast Tables: The Inland Edition, featuring some of your favourite KZN celebrities. By Erica Platter and Clinton Friedman
John van de Ruit and his partner and manager Julia Clarence, made it for us (they like to use Swissland goat cheese). These potatoes make an excellent side for braais, and are brilliant (Spud should know) for a midnight feast. • 6 potatoes (the bigger the better) • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
our famous ginger biscuits Valley Bakery in the Berg grows its own wheat, makes its own flour, and bakes its own gingerbread men (and women) from this recipe: perfect for children to ice for parties, for Christmas (hang them on the tree) or for fun. • 1¼ cups butter • 4 eggs • 2 cups brown sugar • 1¼ cups golden syrup • 3½ cups flour • 1 tsp bicarb • 1 tsp ground ginger • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 1 tsp mixed spice Mix the first four ingredients until creamy. Sift remaining ingredients four times. Mix all together to make a
soft dough. Roll out. Use a biscuit or gingerbread man or any other cookiecutter to cut out shapes. Bake at 180°C for 12 to 15 minutes.
PHOTOGRAPHS: CLINTON FRIEDMAN
• Salt and black pepper • 1 log ash-coated goat cheese, crumbled • 2 Tbsp rosemary, chopped • 1 Tbsp chives, chopped • 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds • Olive oil Bake the 6 potatoes at 200°C for an hour, turning once. (Cunning trick: if you place the potatoes on a baking tray on a bed of rock salt, they turn out better. I know it looks weird, but my grandmother, Wombat, assured me this wouldn’t blow up the oven.) Remove from the oven. When cool enough, slice the potatoes in half and scoop insides into a bowl. Take care not to tear the skins. Add the rest of the ingredients to a bowl. Mix well, but don’t lose the rustic look. Scoop the mixture back into the skins. Return to a 180°C oven for 25 minutes, or until warm and crispy.
pat lambie’s big match pasta They’re both brilliant, Sharks and Bok rugby prodigy Pat Lambie and this, his favourite quick meal – chicken pasta with red pepper and cashew pesto. It’s his first choice on the eve of a big game, for that important “night before” meal. And it was what, as a schoolboy, he always requested as his “last supper” at home, before the drive from Durban back to Michaelhouse after the holidays. He teams this chicken sauce with fresh tagliatelle. • 6–8 skinless, deboned chicken breasts • Dash of olive oil • 1 onion, chopped • Heaped tsp crushed garlic • Heaped tsp crushed chilli • 2 chillies, finely sliced • Salt and pepper • 2 tubs red pepper and cashew nut pesto* • ½ small carton reduced-fat cream • Coriander leaves to garnish Cube the chicken breasts. Heat a small dash of olive oil in a pan, and gently fry the onion, garlic and chilli. Add the chicken seasoned with salt and pepper. Stir-fry
until just cooked. Drain the excess oil from the pesto. Add the pesto to the chicken in a pan. Mix gently. When simmering, add cream. Reduce the heat, and simmer gently while cooking the pasta. When done, stir the pasta into sauce, toss well, and serve with ciabatta and a green salad. *You can buy or make your own red pepper pesto (see below). red pepper pesto • 6 red peppers, halved, de-seeded • 6 cloves garlic, sliced • 1 cup olive oil • Juice of 2 lemons • Zest of 1 lemon • ½ medium onion, sliced • ½ cup pecans • 1 slice bread • 2 tsp ground cumin • 1 red chilli, sliced • 1 tsp 5-spice • Salt and pepper
about the book East Coast Tables: The Inland Edition, by Erica Platter and photographer Clinton Friedman, is the second recipe book published by East Coast Radio. It highlights foods and ingredients from KwaZulu-Natal’s inland region and offers recipes from local heroes like former
Fill the cavities of red peppers with garlic and a splash of olive oil. Roast at 220°C until blackening at the edges. Cut up roughly. Put into processor with the remaining ingredients. Whizz to a smooth paste (add more oil if necessary). Adjust seasoning – salt will be needed.
Springbok rugby player Stefan Terblanche and South Africa’s first MasterChef winner Deena Naidoo. East Coast Tables: The Inland Edition can be purchased at all bookstores nationwide for R295.
grab your bucket! Fruit picking is a fun activity for families of all ages and a great way for children to learn about where fruit comes from. Compiled by TAMLYN VINCENT
This festival is held every year in Ficksburg. Take a tour of the local farms, enjoy a stroll down the orchards and pick a punnet of the ruby-red fruit. The cherry picking tours run throughout the festival, as do the cherry workshops. The children’s area offers a variety of entertainment from face painting, crafts sessions and cupcake decorating to target shooting and an inflatable circus. Older children may prefer to take up the challenge of cherry pip-spitting, the obstacle course or the talent competition. Sporting events and a potjiekos competition are also available. The Cherry Jazz Festival, along with other performers on the main stage, provides entertainment. Other reasons to visit At any time of the year, you can sample local cheeses, take a river cruise through a game reserve, or visit nearby Lesotho and the Maluti Mountains. The small town of Clarens, known as the “Jewel of the Free State” is around the corner, or take the time to view the magnificent rock formations in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. When to go The annual Ficksburg Cherry Festival takes place 21 to 23 November. The cherry season occurs from October to November. Guesthouses, B&Bs, guest farms, camping and lodges are available in Ficksburg. There are also hotels and guest lodges in Lesotho, just over the border from the town. Cost Activities at the festival vary in cost. Cherry picking tours run from the festival to a farm, and a seat costs R150, which allows you to pick and eat cherries, and take home a punnet, depending on weather conditions. Directions Take the N5 ramp to N1/Harrismith/Bethlehem/Bloemfontein. Keep right at the fork to continue toward the N5. Turn left onto the R74, continue onto the R712, turn left onto the R711, and turn left onto the R26 toward Ficksburg. Contact 051 933 6486 or visit cherryfestival.co.za
Cane Cutters for litchi picking The litchi trees are bursting with fruit every December, and families are taken to the orchards on a tractor ride to pick their own litchis. In addition, Cane Cutters is a working sugar cane farm that offers a variety of activities to entertain the whole family. There is a playground for little ones, with a jungle gym, swings, a trampoline and a swimming pool. For teenagers and adults, there is live entertainment, as well as fishing, golf and micro lighting nearby. The resort is also close to the beach and shopping centres. There is a restaurant on site that is open daily from 7am to 9pm. There is also a fully licensed bar on site. The original cane cutters’ cottages have been refurbished to create a relaxing, rustic atmosphere. Choose from nine family units, each with two bedrooms, an interleading door and a private bathroom. There are also nine rooms and 12 rondavels, with communal ablutions. Other reasons to visit The Litchi Orchard market is held on the second Saturday of every month. Flag Animal Farm and Crocodile Creek are also nearby and offer a range of fun activities for young and old. When to go The Litchi Picking Festival runs from 16 December and finishes when there is no fruit left. The resort is open all year round.
Cost For the festival: adults R100, children 6 to 12 years old R50, children under 6 R20. Directions Drive on the N2 and take the Salt Rock/Umhlali off-ramp (exit 214). Turn towards the beach. Take the first road left at the Sheffield Beach 3 sign. Keep going for about 3km on the dirt road (loops over the N2), then turn right into Cane Cutters Resort. Contact 032 947 0851, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit canecuttersresort.co.za
Mac Banana’s banana tours Mac Banana is a lifestyle centre, featuring a food emporium, restaurant and over 20 activities for the whole family to enjoy. In addition to the banana tour, which includes a light snack, young children can see farmyard animals, take a pony ride, and play on the jungle gym and the giant trampoline. Older children can experience adventure golf, the butterfly dome, quad biking and paintball games. The Banana Café and Pancake Bar serves breakfast. Their speciality pancakes and light meals can be enjoyed under the banana trees or in the more formal interior. There is a variety of guest houses, beach cottages and lodges in the area, as well as camp sites and holiday estates. Other reasons to visit You are also close to a number of shopping centres, beaches and Mpenjati Nature Reserve. When to go Mac Banana is open from 8am to 5pm daily, with extended hours during the December holiday season. Cost Banana tour R25–R45; animal farm free; feed packets R5; adventure golf R30–R50; butterfly dome R25–R45; giant trampoline R12 for 10 minutes; paintball R50 per game; pony ride R12; mini quads ride R12; quad bikes R60–R320. Directions: Mac Banana is located on the R61 between Palm Beach and Munster on the KZN South Coast. Contact details: 039 319 1454 or visit macbanana.co.za
Bananas, apples and pears produce ethylene gas, which accelerates ripening in other fruits.
fruit picking tips • B efore heading out to a farm, call ahead. The farms are subject to weather conditions and may not have ripe fruit available for picking. Note that some farms do not have credit card facilities. • Be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen – you may be in the full sun for a while. • If you plan to take fruit home, bring a container or cooler box to prevent it from spoiling. A container with a large surface area will prevent bruising. • Respect the farmers and other fruit pickers by gently picking the fruit and not damaging the plants.
Ficksburg Cherry Festival
a good read for toddlers
Teeny Weeny looks for his Mummy! By Jannie Ho
The Magic of Kirstenbosch By Donnaleen Coue
(Published by Nosy Crow, R76) Teeny Weeny is a little bit worried: he can’t find his mommy anywhere. Still, she can’t have gone far. Perhaps mommy is behind the tree? No, that’s Cat. Is she busy on the playground? No – only Crocodile, Dog and Pig are there. Perhaps she’s in the house? But it’s only Giraffe, Zebra and Leopard in there. Maybe Mom is sitting behind the wall, but it’s only Bear with a very nice looking ice cream. Mom’s also not in the tree – there are only birds and Monkey. Is she in the flowers? No, that’s Elephant and Panda. All little readers from the age of one will enjoy pulling the sturdy tabs to help Teeny Weeny in his search, and they will identify with the story’s sweet, happy resolution.
(Published by TD Harry Advertising, R120) Join Ami, and her best friend, Ziggy, as they embark on a magical journey through one of Cape Town’s most beautiful sites, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Once in the garden they set up a picnic, and then enjoy playing hide and seek and “I spy”, trying to spot all the different birds. But then Ami hears someone crying. It is a nature fairy called Sihle, and her friend Sally the squirrel is in trouble. Ami and Ziggy manage to save the day and with the help of Sihle, they encounter all of the garden’s secrets, transport to a magical fairy village and learn an important lesson about protecting and caring for our environment.
for early graders Britannica Junior: Encyclopedia for Southern Africa Publisher: Mike Jacklin (Published by Jacklin Enterprises, R7 200 for the set of 10) Britannica Junior is a treasure chest of facts. The 10 volumes introduce young readers to interesting people, places and concepts. The articles help students think about the world around them, from the ocean depths to the furthest parts of the universe. Numerous colour photographs, maps and tables keep students engaged and add to their understanding of the contents. The 10 volumes of the Britannica Encyclopedia contain articles on more than 2 300 relevant topics. In the front are clear instructions of how to make the best use of each volume and tips on tracking multiple-name tricky subjects. Order the set from 011 265 4200 or email@example.com
for preteens and teens Rooftoppers By Katherine Rundell (Published by Faber and Faber, R113) Everyone tells Sophie she was orphaned in a shipwreck, but Sophie is convinced her mother also survived. When no one believes her, she sets out to prove them wrong. On the run from the authorities, Sophie finds Matteo and the other rooftoppers – children who live in the sky. In a race across the rooftops of Paris, will they help her find her mother, before it’s too late? This is a beautiful story about pursuing your dreams, written for children between the ages of nine and 11 years old. Rundell was also the author of The Girl Savage, about a young girl that spent most her life on an African farm, but is eventually sent to boarding school in England.
parenting book The Honest Toddler By Bunmi Laditan (Published by Orion Publishing, R122) The internet’s most infamous toddler, whose unchecked sense of entitlement and undeniable charm on the Honest Toddler blog and on Twitter, has captivated hundreds of thousands of fans online. Are you a confused parent to a toddler? Are you constantly disappointing the small child in your life? This book can help you become a better servant/parent to the toddler at the heart of your world. You’ll learn about everything from meal preparation (hint: just put the crackers on a plate), play date etiquette (Don’t touch. Just don’t.), to how time-outs make you look like a fool. The book says a firm “no” to fashionable parenting trends and instead embraces the big questions.
for us Occasion for Loving By Nadine Gordimer (Published by Bloomsbury Publishing, R143) Jessie and Tom Stilwell keep an open house. Their code is one of people determined to maintain the integrity of personal relations against the distortions of law and society. The impact on the home of Boaz Davis and his wife Ann, arrived from England, and Gideon Shibalo, the Stilwells’ black friend, with whom Ann starts a love affair, is dramatically concurrent with events involving Jessie’s strange relationship with her mother and stepfather and her son from a previous marriage. Telling their story against the background of South Africa in the sixties, Nadine Gordimer speaks with unsurpassed subtlety and poignancy of individuals and the society in which they live.
what’s on in november
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 TAMLYN VINCENT
FUN FOR CHILDREN – p30
ONLY FOR PARENTS – p32
Flag Animal Farm Children get the chance to interact with animals, and watch a milking show.
Banksrupt Mark Banks goes for broke in his new one–man, stand–up comedy show.
bump, baby & tot in tow – p32
how to help – p33
Prenatal yoga Moms-to-be stay healthy, while reducing stress with relaxation techniques.
East Coast Radio’s Toy Story Donate new toys, or fund a food parcel, for children in need.
SPECIAL EVENTS – p29 West Side Story Rival New York gangs battle each other in this musical adaptation of the Romeo and Juliet story.
PHOTOGRAPHS: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM / Abhi Indrarajan
Montessori School, 32 Oxford Dr, Durban North. Cost: tbc. Contact: 082 900 3192 or firstname.lastname@example.org
numbers. Time: 7pm. Venue: The Barnyard Theatre, Gateway. Cost: R150. Contact Ashvina or Natasha: 031 201 4682 or visit feedthebabiesfund.org.za The Christmas Country Fair Over 70 stall holders sell interesting, mostly handcrafted products, including pottery, jewellery, decor, clothing and Christmas cakes and mince pies. Funds raised go to individuals, organisations and schools on KZN’s North Coast. Also 7 November. Time: 9am–6pm, Wednesday; 9am–5pm, Thursday. Venue: Collisheen Estate, outside Ballito. Cost: R30. Contact Michelle: email@example.com
Lake Eland Mile An open water swim in Lake Eland Game Reserve. Time: 8am–4pm. Venue: Oribi Gorge. Cost: swimmer fee varies, gate entry R20, children 2–5 years old R10. Contact: 082 978 7962, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit lakeeland. margateswimmingclub.co.za
Bollywood Comedy Nite Get insight into the backbiting, back-stabbing and backslapping of the film industry and how Bollywood movies have influenced us. Also 9 November. Time: 8pm. Venue: iZulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino, Umdloti. Cost: R100–R120. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Daredevil Run Brave Speedo-clad men and boys run for the fight against cancer. Time: 4pm. Venue: Collegians, Durban. Cost: R100. For more info: visit daredevilrun.com Durban Motor Show See a 2014 Mustang, test a Harley Davidson and enter show competitions. You can also see drifting, or visit the Suicide Ride arena for non-stop action. Ends 10 November. Time: 10am–9pm, Friday and Saturday; 10am–6pm, Sunday.
1 November – Christmas Market
SPECIAL EVENTS 1 friday Christmas Market Find decorations, cards, crafts, books, jewellery and more, and taste German treats, cakes and cookies. Time: 5pm–9pm. Venue: Deutsche Schule Durban, 34 Stafford Rd, Cowies Hill. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 267 1307
2 saturday Akimbo Kids activities Play with water on splash day, 2 November; join toddler messy play, 9 November; Christmas cookie baking, 16 November or Christmas story bracelet making, 23 November. Time: varies. Venue: 40 Meadway Rd, Drummond. Cost: R20– R40, depending on activity. Contact: info@ akimbo.co.za or visit akimbo.co.za Montessori information session Find out what courses are offered. Time: 10am–11am. Venue: Ocean View
6 wednesday Banksrupt Mark Banks presents his one man show. Ends 24 November. Time: 7:30pm, Wednesday–Saturday; 2:30pm, Saturday; 6pm, Sunday. Venue: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UKZN, Glenwood. Cost: R100. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Strictly No.1s Fundraiser Feed the Babies Fund hosts an evening of hit musical
Venue: Durban Exhibition Centre, Durban CBD. Cost: R80. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Rising Star Performing Arts Auditions RSPA is holding auditions for their entry into the May 2014 National Shakespeare competition. Auditions are for a strong, committed cast of learners who will be in Grades 7–12 in 2014. Time:
Sugar Bay Colour War A day of adventure, with exciting activities. The main event starts at 11am. Colour bombs on sale. Time: 9am–3pm. Venue: Sugar Bay Holiday Camp, Zinkwazi. Cost: free entry. Contact: 032 485 3778, email@example.com or visit sugarbay.co.za
calendar 2:30pm–4:30pm. Venue: Westville Theatre Club. Cost: participation fee R600 per term for two terms. Contact Gill: firstname.lastname@example.org
10 sunday Return of the swallows See masses of barn swallows gather together before evening roosting. Time: 5pm, or arrive half an hour before sunset. Venue: Mount Moreland barn swallow viewing site. Cost: R10. For more info: visit barnswallow.co.za
15 friday Curry and Comedy with Joe Parker South African-born comedian Joe Parker headlines the evening, which includes a three-course curry dinner. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: The Pearl Room, The Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga. Cost: R350. Contact: 031 514 5018 or email@example.com Master Builders KwaZulu-Natal Exhibition Weekend This building exhibition features the latest products and trends in the building and allied industry. Ends 17 November. Time: 12pm–9pm, Friday; 9am–9pm, Saturday; 9am–4pm, Sunday. Venue: 40 Essex Terrace, Westville. Cost: R10. Contact Tanya: 031 831 3228, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit masterbuilders.co.za Highbury Christmas Fair Find Christmas gifts, goodies and treats and lots of entertainemnt for the children. Time: 2pm–8pm. Venue: Highbury Rd, Hillcrest. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 765 8943 or email@example.com
16 saturday Durban Pops Dress up in your feathers, pearls and fascinators for this Great Gatsbythemed charity event, featuring the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. Proceeds of the evening go to the Smile foundation and other rotary charities. Time: 6:30pm. Venue: Durban City Hall. Cost: table of 10 R5 000; upstairs circle seating R200–R220. Contact Ian: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit webtickets.co.za
Book Fair Discover hundreds of books; fiction and non-fiction. Time: 10am– 3:30pm, 11 November; 7:30am–2pm, 12 November. Venue: Cygnet Prep, Westville. Also at Atholton Primary and Highway College, 18 and 19 November. Cost: free entry. Contact Kathy: 031 705 7744
Ageless Grace workshops Learn movement sequences that promote a healthy mind and body. Free introductory workshop, 6 and 7 November; personal practice seminar, 8 November; educator certification, 9 and 10 November; Ageless Grace for Kidz, 10 November. Time: varies. Venue: The Breathing Space, 98 Bulwer Rd, Glenwood; 6 November at Kloof Hall; 7 November at Berea Congregational. Cost: varies. Contact Lorraine: 031 767 1690, email@example.com or Charisse: 083 631 0889, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit agelessgrace.com Babes in the Wood Children 1–5 years old learn about nature. Adults must accompany children. Time: 9am–11am, every Thursday. Venue: Stainbank Nature Reserve. Cost: donations welcome. Contact: 031 462 8642, kathryn@ wildernessleadershipschool.co.za or visit wildernesstrails.org.za Computers 4 Kids Equip children with computer skills for assignments and projects. Time: varies. Venue: suite 124 Ridgeton Towers, 6 Aurora Dr, Umhlanga Ridge. Cost: R470 per month. Contact: 031 566 1110, 073 966 0983 or umhlanga@ computers4kids.co.za Exam revision lessons Children in Grades 1–11 prepare for year-end exams. Ends 16 November. Time: varies, Monday– Saturday. Venue: suite 125 Ridgeton Towers, 6 Aurora Dr, Umhlanga Ridge. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 566 1110, 082 042 2556 or email@example.com French lessons Children can learn French in a fun, interactive environment. Time: 3:30pm–4:30pm, every Tuesday and Thursday, for children 7–12 years old; 8:30am–9:30am, every Saturday, for children 4–7 years old. Venue: Alliance Française, 22 Sutton Crescent, Morningside. Cost: R650 per term, excluding books. Contact: 031 312 9582 or firstname.lastname@example.org Get ready for school programme A gentle introduction to formal learning for Grade R learners. Time: 1:30pm, Monday– Friday; 11am, every Saturday. Venue: suite 125 Ridgeton Towers, 6 Aurora Dr, Umhlanga Ridge. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 566 1110, 082 042 2556 or tracy@ kipumhlanga.co.za
Girls’ Night Out Join Reach for a Dream for a Great Gatsby-themed evening of comedy, food, entertainment and giveaways. Time: 6:30pm. Venue: Imbizo Conference Centre, Sibaya Casino. Cost: R375. Contact Anna: 031 566 2220 or email@example.com
28 thursday Uncle Jumbo’s Christmas Party Kloof Round Table’s Christmas pantomime features Father Christmas, Uncle Jumbo, Noddy and their friends. Parents must bring a wrapped, labelled present for Santa to present to their children. Donations accepted each night. Ends 7 December. Time: 7pm, Monday–Saturday. Venue: Kloof Civic Centre Field, off Old Main Rd, Kloof. Cost: R40. Contact: 071 871 3272 or visit kloof190.co.za
Blast from the Past Some of South Africa’s most beloved musicians of yesteryear take Durban by storm as they gather for a musical reunion. Get nostalgic with music from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Time: 2pm and 6pm. Venue: iZulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino, Umdloti. Cost: R120. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Diabetes Global Walk Take up the healthy lifestyle challenge and join the Durban leg of this global 5km walk. The Wellness Expo also offers free glucose and blood pressure tests, and more. Time: 8am. Venue: Marine Parade Amphitheatre, on the Durban beachfront. Cost: R50. Contact Pat: 082 499 5222 or visit globaldiabetesrunwalkdurban. blogspot.com
Doctor’s Orders Dr Riaad Moosa provides a healthy dose of laughter. Ends 30 November. Time: 8pm, Friday–Saturday; 5pm, Saturday. Venue: iZulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino, Umdloti. Cost: R120–R200. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Jack and the Beanstalk Go on a magical romp up the famous fairytale beanstalk. Ends 5 January. Time: varies. Venue: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UKZN, Glenwood. Cost: R100–R200. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com
20 wednesday Denim and Diamond ladies breakfast Help raise funds for The Sunflower Fund while enjoying a two-course breakfast. Time: 9am. Venue: Lagoon Room, Breakers Hotel, Umhlanga. Cost: R200. Contact: 083 387 7913 or firstname.lastname@example.org
30 saturday Midlands Ultra Triathlon The triathlon caters for the whole family, with the Kiddies Splash and Dash events on Saturday and the corporate team relay, sprint triathlon and ultra half-ironman triathlon on Sunday. Ends 1 December. Time: varies. Venue: Midmar Dam. Cost: varies. For more info: visit midlandsultra.com
FUN FOR CHILDREN
art, culture and science
From West End to Broadway and Beyond Cat Simoni, also known as “the girl with the golden voice” performs a selection of musical showstoppers at this dinnertheatre experience. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: The Pearl Room, The Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga. Cost: R350. Contact: 031 514 5018 or visit email@example.com
Art lessons Learn fine art, and painting and drawing methods. For children 9 years and older. Time: 9am–11am, every Saturday. Venue: Manfred Dr, Rose Hill, Durban North. Cost: R115 per lesson, including materials. Contact Suzette: 074 178 9388 or firstname.lastname@example.org Arty Stars Art and craft lessons for children 18 months–5 years old and their moms. Time: 2:30pm–3:30pm, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Venue: Westville. Cost: R650 per term. Contact: 083 777 4578 or email@example.com KZN Science Centre Look at science in a fun, interesting way. Time: varies. Venue: upper level, Gateway. Cost: adults R30, children R35. Contact: 031 566 8040 or visit kznsc.org
30 November – Midlands Ultra Triathlon
classes, talks and workshops
Kloof Christmas Market Find quality, assorted Christmas gifts. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Kloof Civic Hall. Cost: free entry. Contact Marge: 072 317 5418
13 wednesday Romeo and Juliet – an East Side Story This adults-only pantomime offers them a fun night out with irreverent humour, familiar songs, and plenty of glitz and glamour. Ends 31 December. Time: 7:30pm, Tuesday–Saturday; 2pm, Sunday. Venue: Sunzone, Suncoast Casino, Durban beachfront. Cost: R150–R550. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com
West Side Story This musical adaptation of Romeo and Juliet sees rival New York street gangs battle for territory and respect. Ends 29 December. Time: 7:30pm, Wednesday– Saturday; 2:30pm, Saturday; 3pm, Sunday. Venue: Playhouse Opera Theatre, Anton Lembede Rd, Durban CBD. Cost: R100– R170. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com
family outings Inchanga Choo Choo Travel by steam train from Kloof to Inchanga. 24 November. Time: departs 8:30am and 12:30pm. Venue: departs from Kloof Station, Stoker’s Arms. Cost: adults R170, children R130. Contact Bruce: 082 353 6003, bookings@ umgenisteamrailway. co.za or visit umgenisteamrailway.co.za uShaka Marine World Visit Wet ’n Wild, walk through the aquarium and see a dolphin show. Visit the Fun Stuff section to colour and play. Time: varies. Venue: Point, Durban beachfront. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 328 8000 or visit ushakamarineworld.co.za
finding nature and outdoor play 1000 Hills Bird Park Meet exotic birds and reptiles or enjoy a meal at the restaurant. Time: 9am–3:30pm, Tuesday– magazine durban
Winsome View There is a play area, farm animals and pony rides. Time: 9am–3pm, Tuesday–Sunday. Venue: Hamilton Way, Shongweni. Cost: varies. Contact: 082 892 1615 or visit winsomeview.co.za
Shongweni Farmer’s and Craft Market
Sunday. Venue: 1 Clement Stott Rd, Botha’s Hill. Cost: adults R65, children under 10 R40. Contact: 072 927 8242 or visit birdpark.co.za Akimbo Kids An indoor and outdoor family coffee shop with spacious play areas for children. Time: 9am–4pm, Thursday–Sunday. Venue: 40 Meadway Rd, Drummond. Cost: children R20. Contact: 031 783 7892 or visit akimbo.co.za Flag Animal Farm With rescued animals, a milking show, indoor play centre, coffee shop and more. Time: milking show, 12pm and 3pm. Venue: Sheffield Beach. Cost: R33 entry. Contact: 032 947 2018 The Animal Farmyard A chance to bottlefeed newborn animals. Time: 9am–4:30pm, daily; milking demonstrations 10:30am and 3:30pm. Venue: 3 Lello Rd, Botha’s Hill. Cost: R15 entry, R5 rides. Contact: 031 765 2240 or visit animalfarmyard.co.za
Bergtheil Museum Craft Market Craft market, museum and tea garden available. 9 November. Time: 8:30am–12pm. Venue: 16 Queens Ave, Westville. Cost: free entry. Contact: 074 890 2289 or 083 657 1259 Essenwood Market Time: 9am–2pm, every Saturday. Venue: Essenwood Rd. Cost: free entry. Contact: 031 208 1264 or visit essenwoodmarket.com Golden Hours Family Market Fundraising initiative of Golden Hours Special School. Time: 10am–3:30pm, every Sunday. Venue: Uitsig Rd, Durban North. Cost: free entry. Contact Lyn: 083 262 3693 Go to Play Market Food, children’s entertainment, decor and more. 16 November. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Giba Gorge MTB Park. Cost: R10 park entry. Contact: 071 307 0823 or 072 402 6689, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit facebook.com/gotoplaymarket I Heart market Foodies and designers showcase products. 2 November. Time: 9am– 2pm. Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium. For more info: visit iheartmarket.blogspot.com Shongweni Farmer’s and Craft Market Organic and local produce and crafts. Enjoy a host of delicious breakfast
options. Time: 6:30am–10:30am, every Saturday. Venue: cnr Kassier Rd and Alverstone Rd, Assagay. Contact: 083 777 1674, email@example.com or visit shongwenimarket.co.za The food market With over 40 food stalls. 30 November. Time: 8am–1pm. Venue: The Hellenic Community Centre. Cost: free entry. Contact: 084 505 0113, info@thefoodmarket. co.za or visit thefoodmarket.co.za The Litchi Orchard Market This market features live music, a children’s playground and stalls. 9 November. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Seaforth Ave, Foxhill. Cost: free entry. Contact: 032 525 5118 or visit litchiorchard.co.za
on stage and screen Bollywood Comedy Nite 8 and 9 November. Time: 8pm. Venue: iZulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino. Cost: R100–R120. Book through Computicket: visit computicket.com Jack and the Beanstalk An adventure story with songs, jokes and fantasy costumes. 29 November–5 January. Time: varies. Venue: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UKZN. Cost: R100–R200. Book through Computicket: visit computicket.com Uncle Jumbo’s Christmas Party They raise funds for the community. Parents must bring a wrapped present for their children. Donations welcome. 28 November–7 December. Time: 7pm, Monday–Saturday. Venue: Kloof Civic Centre Field. Cost: R40. Contact: 071 871 3272 or visit kloof190.co.za
West Side Story A love affair adds to the tension as rival street gangs battle it out. 22 November–29 December. Time: varies. Venue: Playhouse Opera Theatre, Anton Lembede Rd. Cost: R100–R170. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com
playtime and story time Books and Books story time Time: 10am, every Saturday. Venue: shop 42 Kensington Square, 53 Kensington Dr, Durban North. Cost: free. Contact: 031 563 6288 or firstname.lastname@example.org French and English story time Children up to the age of 8 listen to stories in both languages while parents enjoy a coffee at Café Saint Germain. Time: 3pm–4pm, every Friday. Venue: Alliance Française, 22 Sutton Crescent, Morningside. Cost: free. Contact Denise: 031 312 9582 or afdbn@ global.co.za Jimmy Jungles An indoor playground with different play areas per age group and a restaurant area. Time: 9am–6pm, Monday–Saturday; 9am–4pm, Sunday. Venue: Perry Yamaha Building, Tetford Circle, Umhlanga. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 566 2000 or visit jimmyjungles.co.za Lucky Bean Children can play safely while parents relax in the coffee shop. Time: 9am–4pm, Tuesday–Sunday. Venue: 10 Cadmoor Rd, Assagay. Cost: R15–R20 entry. Contact: 082 216 3892 or visit luckybean.co (no .za)
calendar Steam train rides Ride a miniature steam engine at the Durban Society of Model Engineers. 10 and 24 November. Time: 11am–4pm. Venue: 4 Hinton Grove, Virginia. Cost: R5 per ride. Contact Gerald: 031 205 1089 or 082 569 1383
sport and physical activities Horseback beach adventures Along the beach or through the bush. Time: 3pm, Friday–Wednesday. Venue: Durban South, directions sent on confirmation of booking. Cost: from R500. Contact: 081 477 9348, email@example.com or visit horsebeachrides.co.za Taekwondo Tornados Children get exercise, develop core strength and have fun. Time and venue: from 3:30pm, every Wednesday, Westville Library; from 2pm, every Tuesday, Hillcrest Library. Cost: R130 per month. Contact: 082 876 0628 or firstname.lastname@example.org
only for parents classes, talks and workshops e-Learner computer course Become computer literate in eight weeks. Time: 9am–12pm, Tuesday and Thursday. Venue: suite 124 Ridgeton Towers, 6 Aurora Dr, Umhlanga Ridge. Cost: certified course R3 120. Contact: 031 566 1110, 074 113 8364 or email@example.com Meditation for moms Learn to develop harmony and a balanced attitude. Time: 9am–10am, every Friday. Venue: 6 Hamilton Crescent, Gillitts. Cost: R30. Contact: 031 764 6193 or firstname.lastname@example.org Pilates Precision Strengthen, tone and lose weight. Preggie Pilates available by appointment. Time: 5:30pm–6:30pm, Tuesday and Thursday. Venue: The School of Modern Montessori, 9 Anthony Dr, Gillitts. Cost: four classes R280, eight classes R480. Contact: 071 183 4161 or email@example.com
on stage and screen Banksrupt Stand-up comedy with Mark Banks. 6–24 November. Time: varies. Venue: Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, UKZN, Glenwood. Cost: R100. Book through
Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Blast from the Past 17 November. Time: 2pm and 6pm. Venue: iZulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino, Umdloti. Cost: R120. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Doctor’s Orders A comedy with Riaad Moosa. 29 and 30 November. Time: 8pm, Friday and Saturday, 5pm Saturday. Venue: iZulu Theatre, Sibaya Casino, Umdloti. Cost: R120–R200. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Romeo and Juliet – an East Side Story Set in Durban in the late 50s, this pantomime tells the naughty side of a well-known story. 13 November–31 December. Time: 7:30pm, Tuesday–Saturday; 2pm, Sunday. Venue: Sunzone, Suncoast Casino, Durban beachfront. Cost: R150–R550. Book through Computicket: visit computicket.com
support groups Born Sleeping Parents bereaved by stillbirths, miscarriages or neonatal death share experiences. Contact: 084 524 1541/2, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page: Born Sleeping Choc – Childhood Cancer Foundation KZN For support and more info, contact: 086 111 2182, email@example.com or visit choc.org.za Durban Autism Support Group For mothers of children with ASD. Informal coffee mornings are held four times a year. Contact Di: 083 443 8385 or dimaitland@ tiscali.co.za Famsa They offer family and relationship counselling. Contact: 031 202 8987 or visit 30 Bulwer Rd, Glenwood Hi Hopes Home intervention programme for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Contact: 082 897 1632, dianne.goring@ hihopes.co.za or visit hihopes.co.za Sadag For those suffering from depression or drug abuse or who may be suicidal. For more info or referral to a support group: visit sadag.org Speak Easy Support group for those who stutter and their family. Contact Imraan: 082 786 3718 or visit speakeasy.org.za
bump, baby & Tot in tow
classes, talks and workshops
29 and 30 November – Doctor’s Orders
Edubabe Childminder training, first aid workshops and cooking classes. Time: varies. Venue: Glenwood. Cost: varies. Contact Kate: 071 968 1007 or firstname.lastname@example.org Holistic Baby-care Classes Couples learn about conscious parenting. 2 and 3 November. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Westville. Cost: R750. Contact Melissa: 082 601 4108 or email@example.com
Preggi Bellies fitness classes Designed for all levels of fitness. Time: 5:30pm–6:30pm, every Tuesday and Thursday. Venue: Umhlanga Muscle and Fitness Xpress. Cost: R80 per class. Contact: 073 162 3710, 0860 723 559 (head office), firstname.lastname@example.org or visit preggibellies.co.za Pregnancy yoga Learn beneficial postures, breathing techniques and relaxation through yoga postures. Time: 3:45pm, every Wednesday; 9:30am, every Saturday. Venue: Centre for Wellbeing, 16 Canberra Ave, Durban North. Cost: R50. Contact Angela: 076 410 1410 or angela@ rautenbach.co.za Prenatal yoga Blissful Bellies offers relaxed, nurturing pregnancy classes. Time and venue: 4pm–5pm, Tuesday, Bodyology, Hillcrest, and 8am–9am, Friday, Wirikuta, Assagay. Cost: four classes R220. Contact Isabel: 083 560 5390, isabel@blissfulbellies. co.za or visit blissfulbellies.co.za
playtime and story time Baby Bright Stars Interactive classes for moms and babies. Time: varies. Venue: Westville. Cost: R750. Contact Kelly: 083 777 4578, email@example.com or visit babybrightstars.co.za Clamber Club Movement and stimulation classes for children 1–4 years old. Time: varies. Venues: Ballito, Hillcrest and Kloof. Cost: varies. Contact Ballito: 076 222 2946, Hillcrest: 084 577 7630 or Kloof: 083 259 2746 or visit clamberclub.com Little Me Moms and Toddlers workshops Fun, educational workshops for toddlers 1–3½ years old and moms. Mothers’ groups welcome. Time: varies. Venue: Sunningdale. Cost: R75 per session. Contact Eleanor: 084 821 6668 or visit littleme.yolasite.com
Celebrate Plaster Day Buy your Plaster Day sticker for R10 and wear your civvies to work or school on 29 November to show your support for The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. The hospital gives thousands of children a second chance to live a healthy life. To order stickers, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or for more info: 021 686 7860 or visit childrenshospitaltrust.org.za
Moms and Babes and Moms and Tots workshops Programmes stimulate, develop skills and promote bonding. Venues: Amanzimtoti, Ballito, Berea, Durban North, Umhlanga and Westville. Cost: varies. Contact PJ: 082 907 0905 or Karen: 083 785 1323 (Westville) or visit momsandbabes. co.za or momsandtots.co.za Toptots Children 8 weeks–4 years old learn and play. Time: varies. Venue: branches in Durban North, Ballito, Glenwood, Kloof, Hillcrest, Westville and Hilton. Cost: varies. Contact: 031 266 4910, 082 876 7791, email@example.com or visit toptots.co.za
it’s party time For more help planning your child’s party visit
support groups La Leche Worldwide breast-feeding support organisation. Contact Jane: 031 309 1801 or visit llli.org/southafrica Mothers 2 Baby For new and more experienced moms who find motherhood challenging. Time: 10am–11:30am, every third Thursday. Venue: Hillcrest Private Hospital, Kassier Rd. Cost: free. Contact Hayley: 078 640 7949
how to help Durban Children’s Home Provides care for orphans, destitute children, and children whose parents are unable to care for them. You can assist by making donations, volunteering time, sponsoring a child, or sponsoring a room. Contact: 031 202 1330, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit dch.org.za East Coast Radio’s Toy Story This campaign collects money for food parcels to feed child-headed families and new toys for children at government hospitals, crèches and orphanages. Make toy donations at any KZN Game stores, or donate cash at Game till points or online at ecr.co.za
don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to email@example.com or fax it to 031 207 3429. Information must be received by 1 November for the December 2013/ January 2014 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
“help, please – aisle four…” ANÉL LEWIS explains how painful a quick trip to the grocery
outstretched. Time for the first trick of the day – I hand out fruit sticks for each child. This buys me enough time to get both children mobile and into the first aisle. Everything is calm until Conor spots the toys. He starts flailing his legs, while simultaneously making the universal gesture for “give it to me” with his hands. I try to ignore him, but he’s starting to look like one of those painted mime artists you see at tourist spots. People start to stare. I take a sharp left into the dairy aisle to get each child a yoghurt. Conor is easily distracted by food, and calm ensues. My saving grace on shopping expeditions are those ladies handing out samples. This usually buys me some extra time to shop as each child munches on a meatball, piece of steamed fish or whatever else is being dished out. But there are none on duty today and I have to rely on my own skills of distraction. With three aisles to go, the wheels start to fall off. Erin gets antsy, and tries to climb
out of the trolley. Conor goes blood red and resumes his very vocal chorus of “no” while I try to manoeuvre him as quickly as possible through the queues so that I can pay and escape. I’ve got no more snacks or distractions to come to my rescue. So, I am forced to break into a shaky rendition of “Annie Apple” in the chips’ aisle. We leave the store, but I have forgotten about the mechanical bus outside. Both children start gesticulating madly. Feeling guilty that my attempts to keep them entertained during this ordeal have been a bit hit-and-miss, I agree to a few minutes in the bus. But it seems my showmanship is still in demand. Erin is petrified of the moving bus, yet she insists that I insert a coin to make the thing shudder and beep. Almost on cue she starts crying, while Conor hides behind the trolley. And me? I’m half way inside in the gyrating bus, singing about a bus conductor and wheels that go round in an
attempt to calm her down. Suddenly that medication-free root canal doesn’t seem so bad. Anél Lewis is a mother of two, who has finally realised that until her children are old enough to drive themselves to the shops, online shopping may be the only way to preserve her sanity and spare other shoppers from further renditions of “The Wheels on the Bus”.
PHOTOGRAPH: STEPHANIE VELDMAN
oing shopping with two toddlers is a bit like having a root canal without the happy gas. You’ll probably survive the ordeal, but why put yourself through the pain? Ask any mother who braves a supermarket on a Saturday morning – you dare not venture forth without an arsenal of tricks. It starts pretty much as soon as you walk into the shop. In my case, Erin insists on sitting in a blue trolley. This is fine and dandy if there is one at hand. But what happens if there are four or more trolleys stacked in front of the blue one she has spotted? Yes, that’s right. You find yourself pushing trolleys apart and away in all directions, much to the chagrin of the hapless shoppers behind you. Once Erin is settled, it’s Conor’s turn. He can’t say “blue” yet, but he can shout “no” at the top of his lungs. And if he’s not in the mood to ride in the trolley that morning, he does a wonderful interpretation of someone “planking” with arms and legs
store can be with two small children in tow.
Erin, Anél and Conor