J O B U R G â€™ S
b e s t
gu i d e
f o r
p a r e n t s
spirit giving children creative space
sweet sour &
the debate on sugar continues
the box how to raise a young entrepreneur
education how good is your childâ€™s general knowledge? education
In this issue we focus on education; on giving our children the freedom to acquire knowledge and experience in diverse and creative ways. With this freedom comes the responsibility to make the most of the opportunities that come our way. How good is your general knowledge? More importantly, how good is your child’s? Mine isn’t great. And my children have experienced a few embarrassing moments playing Trivial Pursuit. One of them (no names mentioned) described Tokyo Sexwale as “a large mammal, hailing from Japan”. She had no idea that he is a prominent political and business figure. In an attempt to improve their general knowledge, I’ve managed to get both my daughters to read at least one article from the newspaper every day. We may not be ready to enter the next Trivial Pursuit World Series, but our collective general knowledge is steadily improving. We work quite well as a team now. Robyn, having read the entire Percy Jackson series, can answer any question related to Greek mythology; Julian handles the
entertainment side; my husband is a wizz on sport and history; and that leaves me with philosophy and all things literary. I asked Marc, our dad blogger and online guy, to suggest ways to improve children’s general knowledge. In “it’s what you know” (page 22) he gives six fun ways to do this, all of which I plan to explore, as his research confirms that “new information can only be retained when it attaches itself to existing knowledge”. It’s all about making learning fun.
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contents august 2013
3 a note from lisa
12 hormones and your child’s health Vanessa Papas looks at the
6 over to you readers respond 31 r eader’s blog Darren Till realised we should be as vigilant as we can as parents, but don’t beat yourself up if you get it wrong some times
features 16 set them free children learn more while engaging in creative play. By Bianca Wright
18 discipline wars conflict over parenting styles can leave parents feeling frustrated and isolated, says Françoise Gallet
22 it’s what you know improving your child’s general knowledge will benefit them in all walks of life. Marc de Chazal explains why and how
24 scrum-diddily-umptious Kim McCosker’s new book is filled with fun, imaginative and healthy recipes
28 coming to terms with trauma Lisa Lazarus asks the experts for tips on dealing with your child’s fears after a traumatic event
possible health risks
regulars 8 upfront with paul sometimes we’re the ones embarrassing our children, says Paul Kerton
9 pregnancy news – swimming in front Marc de Chazal looks at male infertility
10 best for baby – the latest buzz on BPA Hayley Komen says it’s still the best advice to keep your baby away from products containing BPA
14 dealing with difference Lucille Kemp gives you fun excercises to improve your child’s fine motor skills
38 resource – a business plan Child magazine explores ideas on how to raise a budding entrepreneur
42 good reads for the whole family 48 what’s on in august 66 finishing touch Anél Lewis shares lessons learnt from the time-out corner
32 a first time for everything Marc de Chazal looks at some of the “firsts” parents might dread
34 like it or lump it does sugar have a place in our diet? Françoise Gallet investigates this controversial issue
classified ads 59 family marketplace 63 let’s party
this month’s cover images are supplied by:
St Mary’s School, Waverley grahamdelacy.com
Jean Bourget Photo: Olivier Ribardière Jelli Children’s Boutique
Posh Little Ones poshlittleones.co.za
Jean Bourget Photo: Olivier Ribardière Jelli Children’s Boutique
hold the sugar… I find Child magazine generally very interesting and informative and have found the publication to be socially responsible. However, I was surprised that a full page advertisement by the South African Sugar Association (SASA) was permitted to be published in the May 2013 issue. The advertisement is a very mediocre presentation quoting vague studies and giving the reader the idea that the consumption of sugar is not harmful to our health. Any expert on nutrition will agree that sugar consumption, especially refined sugar, is harmful to our health. I hope that the readers will be discerning when reading this material. Who would you rather believe? The nutrition experts who have no financial interest in the sugar trade and who have health promotion as their motivation? Or SASA and its members who care nothing for our health, especially our children’s health it appears, and are motivated by their bottom line profit? Joann Lugt Childmag says Thanks for your letter. Sugar and our intake of it is an important topic that definitely warrants discussion. Especially since recent research has revealed that a certain amount of sugar is needed for optimal brain functioning. As a result, we need to look at how much sugar we, and more importantly our children require and in what form. Please take a look at our article on page 34 which offers an objective take on this subject.
a mother’s love I read the pub’s note (July 2013) with a sense of familiarity as Lisa shares the challenges of parenting. I too have my youngest of four boys in Matric this year. He is so tuned to making me feel like I am the only mother in the world who is not paving his final school year experience in “gold”. However, having raised three other magnificent young men and being a working mom, I have life experience that proves that a bit of healthy inability to jump to every demand is not only acceptable, it is character building and
over to you a response to “circumcision – cut to the chase” (online) Can we please stop with the “cute” catchphrases like snip, cut and Cat Stevens references? They are deeply insulting to men who resent their circumcision as infants. It is not up to the parents. The parents are not going to be using the organ in question. Trying to imply that it is legal if the doctor suggests it to parents is a violation of the child’s rights and medical fraud. Boys deserve the same treatment as girls for hygiene, health, protection against and treatment of disease. Anonymous
a response to “naming rights” (July 2013) I had a good giggle after reading Paul Kerton’s column. I am a teacher and Paul commented about names that are “trendy.” I go back a few years now and share with you my absurd class list at the time. I had a Mikhale, a Michael, a Michaela, a MacKayla, a Kayla, a Talya and a Taylor. Thank goodness I was younger then so I was able to (most of the time) remember who was who and call them by the correct name. Teacher
thanks Child magazine Glynis Horning did a brilliant, sensitive job with her article, “coping with childhood cancer” (July 2013). We sincerely appreciate the exposure this article has given children with cancer and inadvertently Choc. Agie Govender, Choc KZN
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teaches resilience and self-sufficiency. I have shared with other parents that “guilt” is a really destructive emotion and that as parents we all love our children unconditionally. How we choose to raise them is with our best intentions at the centre of our efforts. We should never judge our efforts, other than constantly reflect each day on how best we can fulfil the role of “mother” with the tools we have within our social context. Communicating this message to our children in a loving way makes for honest, open and appropriate relationships. Jos Horwitz
a response to “beyond the mainstream” (May 2013) There is another alternative to the South African school curriculum which your magazine failed to mention. Thousands of bright, ambitious children from international and local families are studying the Cambridge International Curriculum here in our beautiful country. Based on the British National curriculum but of a higher standard, the Cambridge curriculum is available in South Africa at a variety of international schools at both primary and secondary level as well as via home schooling or distance learning. There are even one or two South African schools who use aspects of it to enhance their teaching. With a focus on English language skills, maths and science, the curriculum leads to high quality qualifications (Checkpoint, IGCSE, AS and A Levels), which are accepted for further study in every country in the world including South Africa. Students with these qualifications excel at university in their professions and in business worldwide, because the curriculum develops students who are skilled, confident and responsible. Teachers working in this curriculum find it stimulating and rewarding and are amazed at the level expected of children studying via the Cambridge curriculum, and at how well they meet these high standards. CM Oshry, Dean of Colleges, British International Colleges
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where can I get a copy? I am 80-years-old, but I love your magazine. Where can I find a regular copy? I want to pass it on to my granddaughter for her baby’s benefit. Yvette Antelme Childmag says Wonderful! We love that you enjoy reading our magazine. Child magazine is free, but if you would like to get your own copy sent straight to your door step, for R165 per annum, just send us your details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
a response to “positively single” (online) Reading this is like a light bulb going on in my head. Thank you so much for posting this. Now I can see where I am going wrong in my day-to-day decisions. It’s tough having to be a single parent and what makes it worse is that there are a lot of judgmental people out there, a fact which just drains you even further. They should be sympathetic towards those of us who have decided to make it on our own. Positive outlook from now on! Anonymous
new donors Thank you Child magazine for the opportunity to increase our donor database by 57 new donors via exposure in your magazine and on your website. Carmen Douglas-Kilfoil, Society for Animals in Distress
cake-making fun I put the cake inspiration in your May issue to use for my boy’s first birthday. Thank you for sharing. I was
looking for an easy cake to make, and this Lamington train worked like a charm! Tammi
your response on facebook and twitter to our “what’s on” section My goodness, I love it! It’s so easy to see what’s on when. Shaista B Nabee via facebook to the magazine in general I’m a very impressed country-living gran and this is the best information for parents, grandmas and grandads on how to educate children, keep them busy and to shop for great products. Claudette Barnes via Facebook to getting a great response I have had very positive feedback from my advertisement in the past few issues of Child magazine. Thanks to the team. They are always friendly and ever helpful. The Ballet Box via Facebook to the letter “chocolate and vanilla” (July 2013) Read your letter in @ChildMag. Loved it! Spirit Dee via twitter subscribe to our newsletter and win Our wins have moved online. Please subscribe to our newsletter and enter our weekly competition. To subscribe, visit childmag.co.za
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upfront with paul
too embarrassing If your children refuse to be seen with you, then maybe you
e honest. Are you an embarrassing parent? Maybe you don’t even know it, having never had the time to scrutinise the handbook of cool parenting, if indeed there is one. Clue: do your children ask to be dropped off in Pretoria when the school is in Joburg? Do they walk behind you – about six kilometres behind – while you’re trying to talk to them? Do they say things like “There’s no way you’re taking me to Suzy’s party dressed like THAT!” And do they cringe and jump out of the car when you sing along to an Elvis Presley song on the radio? They do? Sorry, but we need to talk. Some “experts” think that parents only become embarrassing when children become teenagers. Wrong! Children know as early as three years old whether or not you are a) fun to be around with, b) a stickler for out-dated rules, c) a major fail in the kudos department, or worst of all d) a can’t-stand-to-see-anyone-having-fun killjoy, because the world (well your world) is “oh so serious”. Lighten up, won’t you.
Saskia, Paul and Sabina
Yes, bringing up children is a serious business, fraught with all sorts of potential disaster and domestic danger and yes, there are so many things that can go wrong. Children can get ill and fall over and not do well at school and, and, and… the list is “and-less”. And here comes the big but; relax, because you can cook and wash, ply them with gadgets and drive them all over the place, but a stressed out, miserable, bitter-and-twisted parent is an ineffective parent. Above all, they’re embarrassing.
A recent survey found that dads are the most embarrassing offenders with 80 percent of 13 to 21 year olds claiming their dad embarrassed them all the time by wearing out-of-date and dishevelled clothes, singing loudly to the radio and acting childish in public. Me? I used to be a cool dad until hair started growing out of my ears and nose faster than it was on my head. Thing is, you have to be aware of developments like this that affect your cool cred and find a solution –
I bought a trimmer. That’s nose trimmer not garden Strimmer… The most embarrassing thing about South African dads, I’ve noticed, is their footwear. They rarely get the right shoes to fit the occasion or match their clothes, like clumpy hiking boots with a smart business suit. Or pointy toes that, after a couple of weeks, curl up like Persian slippers. I could write a book. Luckily daughters keep their mothers well in check to avoid wardrobe malfunctions and fashion fails. Don’t wear too bright a shade of lipstick, especially post-box red or too much perfume, strictly no side-boob and don’t do anything considered “whacky” with your hair like putting six chopsticks through a bun. If you’ve already committed sartorial suicide and fallen into the trap of dressing in the same onesie/slop-pants/tracksuit everyday, because you’re “only popping down the road” to pick up the children, and don’t care anymore; think of them. They care very much. Follow Paul on Twitter: @fabdad1
PHOTOGRAPH: MARIETTE BARKHUIZEN
should take a long, hard look in the mirror, says Paul Kerton.
swimming in front Most men suffering from infertility will be able to have children with treatment. By MARC DE CHAZAL
f you’re struggling to conceive, there’s an equal chance that the problem lies with either one of you. It’s a misconception that infertility affects mainly women. Dr Merwyn Jacobson, a specialist in reproductive medicine at Vitalab infertility clinic in Sandton, says male infertility accounts for nearly one half of all infertility cases in South Africa, which has the lowest fertility rate in subSaharan Africa. There are two categories an infertile couple can fall into. Primary infertility is when a couple is unable to conceive after at least one year of frequent, unprotected sex – or for at least six months if the woman is 35 or older. Secondary infertility, on the other hand, is when a couple cannot conceive a second child after 12 months of unprotected sex. Infertility problems can occur at any stage of conception, which includes the release of an egg from a woman’s ovaries, the egg moving through the fallopian tube, a man’s sperm joining with the egg along the way and the fertilised egg attaching itself to the inside of the uterus. A lot needs to happen for conception to be successful, but a low sperm count, or none at all, is still one of the main reasons a couple will fail to fall pregnant.
“Sperm-related problems result from either too much or too little of the hormones required to produce sperm,” explains Dr Herman Netshidzivhani, a fertility specialist who runs the Netcare Park Lane Fertility Centre in Joburg. “Low sperm count can also be triggered by heat exposure, such as hot baths, or by wearing tight underwear and sitting for long periods. Obese men can become sterile because sagging fat layers can overheat the testicles,” he adds. Research also shows that smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day reduces both the sperm count and sperm mobility. Alcohol consumption may inhibit the production of sperm, as will exposure to toxic chemicals and the use of anabolic steroids. Also keep in mind that fertility does gradually decrease in men who are older than 40.
improve your chances “One in four South African couples diagnosed with infertility is eventually able to conceive with treatment,” says Netshidzivhani. In the case of male infertility, a semen analysis will determine the number, activity and shape of the sperm. Your doctor will advise you of the best options to improve your chances of conceiving, which may include
a course of antibiotics to heal infection, fertility drugs to improve sperm production, or surgery in the case of a reverse vasectomy, removing a varicocele or repairing a duct obstruction. More complicated male infertility problems such as reduced sperm mobility can be treated by Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), a procedure which places washed sperm directly into the uterus via a small catheter. “Today, in even the most difficult of male infertility cases, the direct injection of sperm into eggs in a procedure called Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) can now significantly improve the likelihood of pregnancy,” explains Jacobson. Other treatments include electro-ejaculation for patients with spinal cord injuries, epididymal sperm aspiration for men with absent or blocked ducts, and hormone replacement for individuals with pituitary deficiencies.
best for baby
the latest buzz on BPA Plastic food packaging is said to be 100 percent BPA-free in South Africa, but when it comes
wo years ago South Africa placed a ban on the import, export, sale and manufacture of BPA in all baby-feeding containers. Yet, despite the ban, some retailers were exposed for selling baby bottles containing BPA towards the end of 2012. So how can consumers be sure they’re buying BPA-free products, and does it really matter? BPA, or Bisphenol A, is a chemical used to make polycarbonate plastics and epoxy. Once commonly used in food packaging, it has since been found to be toxic, especially to babies. When a BPA baby bottle is steam sterilised or when baby formula is mixed with hot water, the release of BPA could be increased by 50 percent inside the bottle. While it’s clear that BPA is toxic, experts disagree about whether the amount we’re exposed to in our everyday lives is dangerous. The controversy stems from
BPA’s delinquent behaviour. Most toxins have clear effects such as asbestos, which causes lung cancer. But BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which means it changes how our hormones function, specifically oestrogen, and as such the effects are not clear.
We could be setting up breast cancer in a baby before it’s born, then exacerbating the problem by giving milk containing BPA after birth. Dr Carl Albrecht, executive manager of research at Cansa, says new research, predominantly in the field of endocrinology, is using more advanced technology to study extremely low concentrations of BPA. Results show
that the level of BPA that is dangerous could be up to 100 times lower than previously thought. “We could be setting up breast cancer in a baby before it’s born, then exacerbating the problem by giving milk containing BPA after birth,” he says. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a high profile USA environmental health research and advocacy organisation, BPA can alter the behaviour of more than 200 genes. It’s been linked to abnormal foetal development, prostate and breast cancer, miscarriage, immune system dysfunction, diabetes, weight problems, heart disease, anxiety and testicular abnormalities in boys and puberty in girls younger than eight. A February 2013 report from the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health in the USA furthermore showed a link between early childhood exposure to BPA and a higher risk of asthma in young children.
to the health of your baby, it’s still better to take precautions, says HAYLEY KOMEN.
The effects are especially dangerous to babies. Albrecht says children younger than one year do not yet have the enzymes needed to process BPA. What’s more, babies consume about 10 times more food in relation to their body weight than adults do and, unlike adults, their diet is not varied. As such, if there’s BPA in their milk, babies consume lots of it, all day long. This is why the ban, both locally and in other parts of the world, first focused on baby feeding products. However, many people don’t realise that BPA is also found in other everyday products. Monya Vermaak, marketing and communications executive for Plastics SA, says BPA contributes to consumer comfort and has become indispensable. “It is used in safety glasses, visors and lenses, CDs and DVDs, computers, kitchen appliances, power tools and sport equipment, because no other material has the same safety components,” she says. Of particular concern is that it can also be found in thermal invoicing paper (till and ATM slips) and in the epoxy resin linings found inside canned foods, including most baby formula tins. Yet Albrecht believes the “war” on BPA has been won and that now the question is how to deal with its presence in our environment. “Research is already under way in South Africa to find an alternative to BPA for lining canned foods. But it takes about five years to conclude the tests, because they need to see if the alternative formulation will seal the cans effectively over time,” he says. As such, banning BPA across the board can’t be done overnight.
Cansa’s concern about thermal invoicing paper is mostly for pregnant women working at tills and who are exposed to more BPA than the average person. The organisation is planning research to determine the amount of BPA in till workers’ bodies compared to other staff. If the levels turn out to be of concern, they will explore effective hygiene measures with supermarket managers. This could include till workers washing their hands more frequently or even wearing gloves.
recognising BPA products In 1988 the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) developed an international coding system for the identification of different types of plastic polymers. The main purpose was to support recycling initiatives, but it’s also a useful pointer for consumers who are trying to avoid BPA. Plastic products should feature a triangular symbol with a number between 1 and 7, together with letters identifying the type of polymer. It’s the number 7 combined with the letters “PC” in particular that indicate the presence of BPA, since PC refers to polycarbonate. If there’s no symbol one should assume that the plastic contains BPA or other risky chemicals.
avoiding BPA in baby products Vermaak says that while the National Regulator screens certain products for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) or South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that baby products do not contain BPA lies with the retailer.
make sure While Monya Vermaak, marketing and communications executive for Plastics SA assures consumers that plastic food packaging in South Africa, including baby bottles, is 100 percent BPA free, parents can further ensure their baby’s exposure is limited by following a few guidelines: • Breast-feed your baby for as long as possible, if possible. • Avoid canned foods when feeding your older baby. • Use glass feeding and storage bottles or polypropylene bottles that are labelled “5” and contain the letters “PP”. • If a baby product contains a triangle with the number “7” and letters “PC”, avoid it. • Even if the label says “BPA free”, check the product itself to make sure it does not contain polycarbonate. Baby bottles that are crystal clear and hard are likely to contain BPA. Rather choose a more pliable, slightly opaque bottle. • If there is no triangular symbol on the product, again check that it is slightly pliable and opaque, otherwise rather avoid it. • Don’t microwave foods in plastic containers except for those specifically made for microwave use. These should again contain the triangular symbol with “5” and “PP”.
hormones and your child’s health
hen one hears the words “growth hormones in food”, it’s easy to visualise giant cows, towering corn and rivers of milk. While hormones occur naturally in plants, animals and humans, it’s concerning when synthetic hormones are added to the foods our children eat. According to Cape Town nutritional therapist, Megan Bosman, studies have shown growth hormones added to certain foods can affect your child’s development and wellbeing. “One of the biggest concerns is that synthetic hormones can bring on early puberty in children. This is especially evident in girls as they are starting to menstruate at a much younger age,” says Bosman. “Other studies have shown certain growth hormones can also cause breast enlargement in boys. Synthetic
hormones are the centre of concern when it comes to illnesses linked to high oestrogen levels, like breast cancer, fibroids, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Oestrogen in excess can also cause weight gain, as growth in oestrogen-sensitive tissue leads to increased fat tissue. What some parents may not realise is that in addition to synthetic hormones added to meat and milk, soya contains high amounts of oestrogen, and there are also chemicals that mimic oestrogen in food called xenoestrogens, which are found in plastics, chemical sprays and fertilisers.” The majority of meat consumed in South Africa has added hormones, which are given to animals to make them gain weight faster, thus producing meat products for consumers at a faster rate.
“For decades in South Africa, almost all abattoir meat has been produced with the aid of hormones, and it is known to be a completely safe practice,” says the Food Advisory Consumer Service (FACS), a resource that provides consumers with scientifically correct information on food and nutrition issues. FACS is administered by the South African Association for Food Science and Technology – a non-profit organisation for food scientists and other technical food professionals. FACS explains that there are four anabolic steroids (hormones) commonly used in promoting the growth of animals – two naturally occurring and two synthetic hormones. When used as recommended, these hormones are safe for both the animal and the final consumer. “In the meat industry, hormones are used only for a short period
Synthetic hormones added to the foods we eat have always been a sensitive topic. Vanessa Papas explores the possible health risks and ways to minimise your child’s exposure to them.
while the animal is being fattened on a feedlot. In feedlots, for example, a 10-month-old steer or heifer of 200kg receives an ear implant that contains hormones. After about 100 days of feeding, the animal has grown to 400kg, when it is ready for slaughter. The implants promote improved conversion of feed into muscle by up to 20 percent and also ensure that our abattoir meat has a low fat content. Without the use of hormones, bovines require about three years to achieve slaughter weight, whereas here the aim is to slaughter animals at 18 to 24 months old for improved farming efficiency. In most cases, our legislation has set the allowed limits lower than those required internationally. The use of hormones in red meat production is permitted and controlled by the Department of Agriculture, which means that products and usage levels are known and residues can be monitored.” Nathalie Mat, associate dietician at MME Dietitians in Bryanston, Gauteng, says one of the most frequently asked questions is whether eating meat from hormone-treated animals increases the risk of girls developing breast cancer as adults. “While some studies have found certain synthetic hormones in meat may exert some effects on health issues like breast cancer, testicular cancer, obesity, diabetes, glucose intolerance and high cholesterol, one should be wary of attributing blame to the chemicals in the food chain. Considering two thirds of South Africans are overweight or obese, and this is one of the main contributing factors to the above-listed conditions, one should first address the likely calorie imbalance that leads to weight gain before pointing fingers at the miniscule input that any contaminants are likely to have.”
In addition to meat production, hormones are also used to increase milk production in animals. As milk is an important part of your child’s diet, providing them with calcium and muscle-building proteins, should parents worry about the added hormones in milk and milk products? Cows naturally produce a hormone called Bovine Somatotropin (BST) that helps them produce milk. In order to increase milk production, some farmers inject their dairy cows with a genetically engineered drug called Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin (rBST). Although legal in South Africa, rBST is banned in Japan, Canada, Australia and the European Union, and has been linked to increased rates in colon, breast and prostate cancer. “We believe that raw milk should not contain any added hormones,” says Anneke Smalman, senior liaison officer at Clover, a company that produces milk that is free of any hormones or traces of antibiotics. “We do more than 60 tests on our fresh milk before it reaches the consumer to ensure that it’s safe for human consumption. Clean raw milk from organic grass-fed cows contains only the precisely balanced trace amounts that are naturally occurring, providing your child with the best source of nutrients nature has to offer.”
did you know? Hormone compounds are not just found in food, but are also present in water, soil, cosmetics, cleaning products and food packaging.
guide for parents By avoiding hormone-treated meat and dairy products, you can limit your child’s exposure to synthetic hormone chemicals. • S tart your own vegetable garden using organic seeds. • Choose lean meat cuts and remove any visible fat before cooking. • Choose wholegrain foods. • C hoose products labelled “no hormones administered”. • C ook meats well, without burning or charring them. • Choose free range/organic meats that have not been treated with hormones. • Avoid processed foods as they often contain synthetic hormones. • Avoid the use of plastics, especially when heating and freezing food as these contain xenoestrogens. • Wash fruit and vegetables before eating them as some chemical sprays and fertilisers contain xenoestrogens. • Larger containers reduce the surface-to-volume ratio, which means less food comes into contact with the container. This also reduces the migration of chemicals in packaging to food. * Above tips provided by Gauteng dietician Careen Geldenhuys
dealing with difference
the primary work of a child is play
you have them doing exercises that encourage these skills before they start schooling. By LUCILLE KEMP
tereotypically, occupational therapist (OT) Ingrid C King has found, children’s fine motor skills – small coordinated movements, of the hands and fingers, which control tools and materials – develop consistently from birth through to mid-primary school. King realised, however, that many Grade R children can’t perform the most basic of fine motor functions such as cutting with scissors or opening a clothes peg. So what is hindering this otherwise typical development? As we by now know, in the space of six decades, technology overall has allowed a child’s lifestyle to become rather sedentary – playing on smartphones and gaming has replaced tree climbing and ball-playing, and lift clubs have replaced bicycle riding and walking to friends’ houses. As a result of these lifestyle changes, many more children today
do not have sufficient opportunities to optimally develop their motor skills before they begin formal schooling. “I am sure you would see a different picture if you visited the townships and rural areas, where children are very active and have greater freedom to run, climb and play outdoors,” says Sheva Messias, principal of King David Pre-Primary School in Linksfield, Joburg.
effects on learning “Studies have shown that fine motor abilities are forecasters for later academic achievement and one particular study in 2013 found that four year olds who demonstrated good scores on fine motor writing tasks are more likely to excel academically in primary school,” says King. This affirms that the importance of having children with well-honed fine
motor skills goes beyond being able to proficiently perform everyday tasks such as fastening buttons, tying shoelaces and using cutlery. A little girl in Grade 1 named Julia* paid weekly OT visits over three terms as she wasn’t keeping up with the rest of her class in handwriting, cutting and colouring. Presumably due to the anxiety brought on by falling behind and not coping, Julia also complained often of a sore stomach and didn’t want to go to school. “We worked together on strengthening the muscles in her hand, fingers and wrist as well as improving the coordination of her writing fingers and her letter formation. Julia’s confidence was eventually restored; she was keeping up with her peers and enjoying going to school with no more tummy troubles,” says King.
PHOTOGRAPHS: ST JOHN’S COLLEGE / Ingrid C King / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
In a world where efficient fine motor functions are no longer incidental in a child’s development, ensure
From as early on as infancy, a child’s fine motor skills help their interactions with the world and, as they get older, provide building blocks to developing early literacy, numeracy and self-help skills such as independent dressing and going to the toilet – especially important by the time they’re attending “big school”. In their early primary school years, children continue to use their fine motor skills to assist in developing literacy and numeracy as well as to help perform more complex functions such as art, craft and construction activities using computers, playing musical instruments, drawing, writing and typing. Referring to research King notes, “Children in Grades 2, 4 and 6 are required to spend up to 60 percent of their school day performing fine motor tasks, and 85 percent of these tasks involve paper-and-penciltype fine motor functions.” Fine motor skills proficiency greatly affects a child’s everyday experience in the classroom with one such area being handwriting. And before you jump up and yell “Relevance in the age of the iPad?”, King points out that there is still value in having handwriting skills. Research has revealed that four year olds who spent time copying letters using a writing utensil made significant gains on a letter recognition assessment compared to four year olds who used a touchscreen or keyboard to type the letters. James*, a boy in Grade 2, found handwriting so difficult that he would often tune out and stare into space and seldom wrote more than a sentence on his own. He also lacked good postural control, due to low muscle tone, and often supported the side of his head with his hand. He worked on prescribed activities at home and after four months of OT, his mom and teacher are happy with the progress. He holds his pencil in a more functional grip and is writing more on his own; he even spontaneously wrote
neatly in a Mother’s Day card. The results from the sessions also mean James won’t need to repeat Grade 2.
the best intervention is prevention King notes, “According to theories of motor learning, to acquire a new skill, daily practise is needed and to refine a skill, practise three times a week is ideal.” Parents with preschool children should aim to spend 15 minutes a day doing fun fine motor tasks with their child, which includes drawing, colouring and cutting using scissors. King concludes, “Your child needs you to go outside and fly a kite with you. They want you to sing and play games with them and they want your eye contact and attention. Your child needs your help to develop their minds and bodies.” Here are a few ways to start:
fun that develops Get them to hold a spray bottle in their first three fingers and get them to spray off shaving foam patterns, which have been drawn onto the shower walls; children also like cleaning windows and popping bubbles. Collect a variety of squeeze toys such as soft balls, koosh balls and animal toys with tongues that “pop out when you squeeze them”. Don’t forget the good oldfashioned, jointed wooden animals, whose body parts move when children depress the base with their thumbs. They also love good-quality balloons filled with play dough with funny faces drawn on. Encourage your child to squeeze and manipulate them until their hands are tired. Use them in the car to make travel times more productive and fun. Use clothes pegs (the kind with a spring) and teach your child to hold the peg between the pads of their thumb and index fingers (add in the middle finger if it will fit) and tuck the other fingers into their palm. Once they
have got this grip, they can play “singing peg” (opening and closing the peg while they sing along to a song. They can also sing the ABC. Use the pegs to pick up plastic items that float and sink in the bath, for example bottle lids. You can also draw letters or numbers inside with a permanent marker to add to the educational value of the activity. Cut strips of different coloured crepe paper into pieces (7cm by 3cm). Hold both ends of a strip between the thumb, index and middle fingers, then scrunch the strip as small as possible (you can also get them to roll it further using the first three fingers of the dominant hand). *Names have been changed Information courtesy of Ingrid C King
resource OTs in your area visit childmag.co.za/resources/healthcarepractitioners online assistance • love2learnandgrow.com • ot-mom-learning-activities.com • loveplayandlearn.com recommended reading • Play Learn Know by Dr Melodie de Jager and Liz Victor (Metz Press) • Sensible Stimulation by Marga Grey (Metz Press) • Time2Play by Leana Weideman Matodes (Crink Publishing Consultant) • Am I Ready for School? Smartkids (Pearson)
your child’s life
oo often the screen or other structured activities replace the free play that is the potting soil of creativity in young children. Instead of taking time to play with our children, we direct them to the TV or computer to keep them busy. Made-up games, hours spent building vehicles and structures, fantasy stories acted out with dolls and action figures – all of these are the building blocks for a child’s imagination. Yet, while for most of us creativity and childhood go hand in hand, alarming evidence has shown that children are less creative today than they were a generation ago.
free Don’t stifle your children’s creative play, as this is when they are doing most of their learning. By BIANCA WRIGHT
An American study by Kyung-Hee Kim, a professor of education at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, noted a continuous decline in creativity among schoolchildren over the last two or three decades. Kim compared scores on a creative-thinking test collected from normative samples of kindergarten children up to twelfth grade over several decades. Her analyses show that the scores on these tests at all grade levels began to decline somewhere between 1984 and 1990 and have continued to decline ever since. While South African studies are lacking, similar results have been found in studies in other parts of the globe. The main culprit seems to be technology. A study commissioned by Hobbycraft in 2012 found that a third of parents in the United Kingdom who were surveyed regret giving their children game consoles, cellphones and computers, yet 43 percent admit they often give in and let them play or watch what they want for the sake of peace. In an article in the Daily Mail, Emma Kenny, a media psychologist, warns of the impact of these techno-babysitters. “It is important to consider the longer-term effects a lack of creative activities in childhood can have, with lack of concentration, and patience becoming increasingly evident as well as a lack of problem-solving skills which creative activity helps develop.” In a review of 17 studies about the link between watching television and creative thought in children, researchers concluded that watching TV reduced creative imagination among children of a wide range of ages, most of whom were older than age six.
a downward trend
creative play Children are creative because they are not bound by the constraints of reality and logic. Psychologist Alison Kuit, now based in the UK, says, “This allows the lounge carpet to become a flying carpet that takes them to magical places, or a tea towel to become a bright and beautiful butterfly coming to rest on a lovely flower. Play and creativity are not just ways to pass the time; they are how children learn, make sense of their world, learn to solve problems and even to find (their) identity.” She emphasises the importance of nurturing creativity within children and allowing them to explore the possibilities around them. It’s not that television or computer use is all bad; rather it’s a matter of moderation and ensuring that children have the freedom and the desire to use their imaginations and be creative. Creativity comes in many forms, from creative approaches to baking and art to free play that encourages the development of problem-solving skills. Parents play a vital role in shaping a child’s experience of the world and by consequence of the way they play. Too much monitoring, evaluation and direction from a parent can stifle creativity. The point of creative play is that there is no right way to do it.
pressure points The intense pressure that parents feel to ensure that their child is developing at appropriate levels can actually negatively impact on a child’s creative intuition. “Our society and culture has become obsessed with education,” Kuit warns. “We measure success by how quickly our children move through developmental stages. Parents compare how early their child walked, talked and could name colours and shapes.” The result, she says, is that play has to be “educational”, with parents and caregivers governing the play to meet the educational outcomes. “This means that from early on, children learn that there is a right and a wrong way to do something, to see something, to play with something. We correct our children when they ‘incorrectly’ name a lemon a ball. We have them watch DVDs that promise to lay down the early foundations for reading and writing at the age of six months. Encouraging creativity is encouraging self-exploration.” Port Elizabeth-based psychologist, Kerry Phillips White, adds that there really is a need for creativity to come from a place of stillness. “Our children have to be encouraged to find their own creativity in a place of quiet without TV, music, computer games and cellphones. Children need to learn to discern their own creative voice amid the constant bombardment of ideas.” The key is balance. Education is important, but so is freedom, flexibility and creative thought. Providing children with different kinds of stimuli to encourage all aspects of the child’s development, including creativity, is one way that parents can ensure that they nourish the whole child. As Kuit says, “Turn off the TV, silence the adult logic, get down on the floor or into the sandpit and play.”
creating creativity UK teacher, Sarah Boone, offers these tips for nurturing creativity in your child: • Play “what if”. Children of all ages love to imagine possibilities. The questions can be as silly as “What if the moon really was made of green cheese?” or as serious as “What if apartheid did not come to an end in 1994?”. There are no wrong answers, and the responses often lead to further “what ifs”. • Learn to look. Go beyond the adjectives commonly used to describe people, places and things. Ask your children what they associate with such things. • Introduce new experiences. Breaking down stereotypes involves comparing preconceived notions with actual experiences. Have your children describe what they think a certain culture’s religion or food might be like, then allow them to experience it in some way, comparing their expectations with their discoveries. New experiences suggest different questions and lead to more possibilities. • Experiment. Be willing to tolerate a little messiness while family members experiment with new flavours and original recipes, create new designs from old favourite clothes, personalise letterheads and stationery, or try out various paint or colour schemes. • Find creative art opportunities that do not come with any academic or performance pressure. Be guided by your child’s choices and not what you want them to learn. The emphasis is on the creative process, not the final product. • Insist on some quiet time. Creativity requires reflection away from distractions. Activities such as keeping a journal, hiking, cycling, walking the dog, and doing chores lend themselves to introspection, even when they are done as a family. • Remain nonjudgmental. Ideas and creations can be flawed. To be creative, your children need the freedom to experiment and to make mistakes so that they can try again.
Conflicting parenting styles can play havoc on your relationship with your partner and confuse your children. By Françoise Gallet
race Shaw*, 43, mother to three boys of eight, 11 and 15, loved what she saw of her husband with other people’s children. But when their first son was born, she saw another side to him, which left her hurt, disappointed and angry. “When I first met Gary he was very playful with his friend’s children, so I imagined he would be playful and involved with our own children. This illusion was shattered when, two weeks after our firstborn arrived, Gary left us to go away on a boys’ weekend in Joburg.” Coming face-to-face with your partner’s take on parenting while in the throes of actual parenting can be stressful. Most of this stress stems from unconscious and conscious expectations parents have of themselves and their partners, explains Carol-Ann Dixon, a counselling psychologist and relationship therapist in Durban. Amanda Joseph, 32, and Bradley Whittington, 31, parents to three children also struggled with similar disillusionment. Amanda’s idea of who Bradley would be as a parent differed substantially from who he really is. “I realised only in hindsight that my unconscious expectation was based on how my father had parented me,” she says. Cristine Scolari, a Joburg clinical psychologist, says few individuals enter parenthood with a clear sense of what they consider to be their role, responsibilities and parental values. Our ideas about how our children should be raised are shaped “by a variety of factors, such as how we were parented, the individual’s own temperament and personality, personal values, experiences from childhood, emotional factors and trial and error,” explains Scolari.
• O ther styles of parenting include helicopter parenting, where parents constantly control and interfere in their children’s lives. • Attachment parenting is where parents believe that creating a strong bond with their child is paramount. • Dixon describes another style of parenting, coined “conscious parenting”, which is “about seeing the child as a separate and unique being that needs to be nurtured, guided and coached into adulthood. It is very skills-based with specific tools being taught and the parent-child relationship at the core of the method.”
to some of the rituals at a traditional Zulu wedding, such as the slaughtering of animals; whereas her husband wanted his son to be taught about the meanings behind these practices. He did not see anything wrong with his son sleeping in the same room when they made love; she was aghast!” Conflict over parenting styles can leave parents feeling frustrated, annoyed, misunderstood, isolated and angry. Other common emotions include mistrust and insecurity. Conflicting parenting styles may also impact children. “To avoid conflict, one partner may abdicate parenting to the other,” points out Dixon. “One parent may also over-compensate and so overdiscipline or over-protect the child. Arguing continually about who is right and who is the better parent is common.” When “ganging up with the children” against the other parent becomes pathological, it is known as Parent Alienation Syndrome. “Deliberate attempts to alienate a parent from the children have a very adverse effect on them and creates deep hurt,” says Dixon.
There is a saying: ‘You can either be right or you can be in a relationship’. Parents may have to learn how to integrate their differences – sometimes through compromise or through expanding boundaries to be more inclusive.
Although each parent is uniquely influenced by a number of factors, mainline research has identified three distinct parenting styles: authoritarian, laissez faire or permissive and more recently a style known as authoritative. • “Authoritarian parenting is a regimental parenting style with many rules and strict boundaries. Children are not expected to have an opinion or have any input,” Scolari explains. • Parents with a permissive style “allow their children to do whatever they like with not much structure or boundaries,” continues Scolari. • In authoritative parenting, parents set rules and have boundaries, but they are more flexible and listen to their children’s input.
The conscious and attachment parenting styles have informed the way Amanda raises her children. While she and Bradley generally share these ideals, Amanda admits that differences are most pronounced when it comes to discipline and boundaries. “Where he sees me being inconsistent, I see me choosing my battles,” explains Amanda. “When I feel he’s being too harsh, he feels he is keeping the children accountable to their agreements.” Anne Cawood, a Cape Town social worker in private practice and author of five parenting books, agrees that the most common area of disagreement between parents is that of discipline. Grace, who describes her early parenting style as permissive, is a good example. “Gary brought an authoritarian approach into his parenting, and, boy, did we clash,” she says. “I would ask him for help and his only solution was corporal punishment. I would then interfere in my attempt to shield or protect the boys, and he would feel undermined and the boys learnt to play us off against each other. I considered my parenting approach ‘far better’ than his and vice versa. The result was further alienation from each other and children who were confused.” Differences in parenting styles may be exacerbated by religious and cultural beliefs. Dixon describes some of the issues faced by an American married to a Zulu South African: “She did not want her son to be exposed
respecting the other “Some people find it difficult to separate being able to love their partner as an individual and integrate their parenting style, so they begin to disrespect and experience contempt for their partner,” says Dixon. “There is a saying: ‘You can either be right or you can be in a relationship’. Parents may have to learn how to integrate their differences – sometimes through compromise or through expanding boundaries to be more inclusive.” Dixon had a client where the Hindu mother wanted her children to learn the Bhagavad Gita, and her Christian husband wanted them to learn the Bible. The couple decided to expose themselves first to the different beliefs before deciding. “The result was healthy, rigorous debate, a decision to respect all paths and to offer the children a choice when they grew older,” she says. For Cawood, successfully managing differences in parenting styles comes down to the couple’s communication skills. “It is all a matter of how the couple learns to communicate. No two parents will view parenting in exactly the same way. The issue is to find effective skills to communicate about the differences.” Kobus van der Merwe, a Pretoria-based clinical relationship therapist, also highlights the importance of constructive dialogue between couples. For Van der Merwe, who has been running relationship workshops magazine joburg
useful reading • • • •
Boundaries With Kids by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend (Zondervan Publishing Company) The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary D Chapman (Moody Publishers) Parenting from the inside out by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell (Jeremy P Tarcher) Toddlers Need Boundaries and Children Need Boundaries by Anne Cawood (Metz Press)
for 17 years, when couples are able to dialogue skilfully, different parenting styles can be richly valuable. He gives an example from his own marriage: “My perspective is discipline; my wife comes from a playful space. I need to be aware of this and keep it in mind. She needs to be open to when I can see that a pattern in the children’s behaviour needs to change.” Difference can be advantageous to the emotional wellbeing of the family when parents are able to confront their own belief and value systems and discuss them with mutual respect. “Children can manage quite a high degree of conflict, especially when they witness resolution of that conflict,” says Dixon. Cawood agrees. “Children will not be adversely affected by parents who have divergent styles – but they will be negatively affected if their parents allow these differences to impact the emotional atmosphere of the home. With open, positive communication, being a parent can become an amazing, challenging and exciting experience with opportunities for ongoing personal growth.” *Names have been changed
Anne Cawood shares some of the skills and strategies of effective communication: • Be empathetic and put yourself in the shoes of your partner. • See the perspective of the other parent by being an active listener. • Be assertive and express your opinions non-judgmentally. • Avoid criticising each other’s extended families. • Don’t bottle up as this leads to explosions later. • Learn to compromise. • See your partner as the other part of your child’s life.
tips from The Family Life Centre Educational psychologist, Claudia Abelheim, gives tips for navigating this territory: • Your golden rule: make your children’s best interests your priority. • Develop a joint parenting plan that puts boundaries and systems in place. • Attend a parent education course – it can help parents find a more cohesive style that suits both parties’ needs.
it’s what you know Being up to date on general knowledge can be of great advantage to your child’s academic and social life. MARC DE CHAZAL offers fun ideas to boost the brain power.
ou can Google almost anything on a smartphone, but we are not necessarily smarter when it comes to general knowledge. A 2008 poll showed that 37 percent of Americans were unable to locate their home country on a world map. There’s a good chance our collective general knowledge is also a bit shoddy. According to the World Economic Forum, the South African education system is ranked near the very bottom in a survey of 144 countries. Research has shown that new information can only be retained when it attaches itself to existing knowledge, so expanding your child’s core knowledge can only benefit him. The key is to make it fun. This will not only make them more interested in the world, but will also give them practical information that may be really useful in life. Here are some things you can do with your child to improve their general knowledge.
read everything One of my favourite authors, the genial and humorous Bill Bryson, is a fountain of knowledge. If you read his hilarious memoir, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, you’ll understand why. Bryson’s parents owned a broad collection of books, and young Bill was given free rein to read whatever he wanted to, which he did. He grew up to become a celebrated travel writer, and wrote the award-winning general science book, A Short History of Nearly Everything. Incidentally, he also wrote the child-friendly A Really Short History of Nearly Everything. To get your child into the habit of reading widely, you can start by taking her to the local library from a young age. Also include books as birthday and Christmas presents that will especially build their general knowledge, such as Big Questions from Little People Answered by Some Very Big People, compiled by Gemma Elwin Harris. In it, Bear Grylls explains if it’s OK to eat a worm, Dr Richard Fortey tells children why dinosaurs became extinct and other animals didn’t, and many others weigh-in on questions even adults would like answered. Expose your child to other media as well. Think National Geographic Kids, which has an interactive website that offers numerous activities that will expand their knowledge in a fun way (visit kids.nationalgeographic.com). Newspapers are another powerful teaching tool, as there is something new to read, look at, think about and discuss every day.
“Children love to play – and general knowledge is best developed by engaging your child in games and quizzes,” says Jamie Miller, author of How to Become a Quizzing Genius. There are myriad board games and online quizzes you can choose from. Trivial Pursuit, 30 Seconds and Cranium are perennial favourites. I remember playing a simple game as a child that tests and improves general knowledge – the board game equivalent is Scattergories. The objective of the game is to score points by uniquely naming objects within a set of categories, given an initial letter, within a time limit. So your chosen categories could be cities, sports, music and movies. If the letter is C, players write down a city, sport, song and movie beginning with the letter.
All you need is paper, something to write with and your brain. A dictionary may be useful as well. I recall an adult family friend giving 12-year-old me a hard time when I insisted my spelling of “Yugoslavia” with a Y was correct. I was finally awarded the point, so I guess the game also taught me the value of perseverance. If you want to improve your geography knowledge, a fun online game takes you on a journey around the world and challenges your ability to recognise your surroundings. You can spend hours guessing the locations of mysterious landscapes on geoguessr.com.
google it Thanks to search engines and the speed of computerised devices, facts are literally at our finger tips. Your child will be encouraged by his teachers to safely use the internet for research, but you can help on the general knowledge front too. You’ll find many quiz ideas for children online. You can also set up your own quiz that involves using the internet to find the answers. Ensure that the search settings on your home computer are child friendly.
write it down There is a proven neurological connection between long-term memory and mental manipulation. One way to improve a child’s memory is to ask them to write summaries of new information in their own words, says Dr Judy Willis, a US-based neurologist and former school teacher. If you’ve just come back from a family holiday, get your children to write about their experiences. “To make these even more personally meaningful the summaries can be in forms that suit their learning style preferences, including sketches, skits, songs, dances, comic strips or drawings,” says Willis.
leave home Your child will never be truly exposed to the world by staying at home and watching TV. Visiting interesting places, such as museums and aquariums, will do wonders for his general knowledge. Also visit more unusual places to discover how things are made, such as a chocolate factory or goat farm. If you have the means, take your child abroad to see and experience, first hand, the rich diversity of life on our fascinating planet. Don’t underestimate the humble road trip that takes in the quieter corners of our country. You can garner the above practical suggestions over a weekend road trip. Read up about your destination in advance, set up fun quizzes to do en route and when you’re back home, and get your child to summarise his memories of the trip.
make the circle bigger The grown-up friends and extended family of my parents also taught me a thing or two about “life, the universe and everything”. Around the dinner table, I heard about the interesting countries they had visited, the professions they were in and their opinions about current affairs. Of course, you may need to censor the stream of adult conversations your child is exposed to, especially when alcohol is also flowing. magazine joburg
scrum-diddily-umptious With ideas and tips from “foodie-families” all over the world, KIM McCOSKER compiled 4 Ingredients Kids, a cookbook with fun, imaginative and healthy recipes.
volcanic eggs makes 4 • 4 eggs, separated • 4 slices wholemeal bread, crusts removed • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese Preheat the oven to 180°C. In a bowl, with an electric beater, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the bread on the baking tray. Spoon a mound of egg white onto each slice, then make a little crevice on the very top and gently place the egg yolk in it. Sprinkle with Parmesan and a grind of black pepper (the volcanic ash). Bake until the egg white is firm, the cheese melted, and the egg yolk runny when you cut into it (molten lava); 8 to 12 minutes.
edible veggie bowl and dip serves 4 • 1 red capsicum (pepper) • 450g butternut pumpkin, peeled • ½ cup (80g) cashews • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
PHOTOGRAPHS: STUART QUINN PHOTOGRAPHY
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the pumpkin into 4cm cubes, place onto a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes or until golden in colour and soft in texture. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then place the roasted pumpkin, cashew nuts and Parmesan cheese into a food processor and blend until combined. Season to taste. While chilling in the fridge, halve the capsicum and remove its seeds and membrane. Keeping one half as your “edible bowl” cut the other half into dipping sticks. Spoon the dip into the bowls, and then add the dippers to decorate. I chose to use them to create a thick sweep of eyelashes (I used some carrot and celery too). My little boys were mighty impressed! Tip: Keep nutrition fun so children will enjoy being healthy. Try to be creative, for example, a slice of carrot may be met with more enthusiasm when called a “carrot chip”.
baby blts makes 12 • 12 dinner rolls • 6 slices bacon, halved • ¼ head iceberg lettuce, shredded • 2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the rolls on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cut horizontally without cutting all the way through. Bake for 5 minutes or until just crunchy. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Just before serving, fill the rolls with bacon, lettuce and tomato. Optional: Brush inside the rolls with mayonnaise or barbecue sauce before filling. And to create your own “blat” add a fresh slice of creamy avocado.
4-minute strawberry soft serve serves 4 • 275g frozen strawberries • ¼ cup (50g) caster sugar •
/3 cup (160ml) cream
• ¼ teaspoon vanilla Combine the frozen strawberries and sugar in a food processor or blender. Process until the fruit is roughly chopped. Add the cream and vanilla and blend until combined. Serve immediately as a delectable soft serve, or freeze for at least 4 hours for a nice firm ice-cream. Optional: The flavours for this are endless; raspberry, mango, blueberries and for a lighter version, substitute cream for your child’s favourite yoghurt.
about the book 4 Ingredients Kids is published by Simon & Schuster Australia and locally distributed by Jonathan Ball Publishers. 4 Ingredients is an Australian recipe book series, television programme and social media platform, run by Kim McCosker. This book came about after Kim realised that children learn visually through images, pictures, colours, light and shade. She decided on a cookbook not with hundreds of recipes, but the best recipes with images to inspire. She turned to social media and asked parents what their children love to eat, which recipes are part of their regular repertoire, and what their children made themselves. Eighty of the most popular recipes were chosen, which will introduce children to lots of different ingredients and help your child develop a love of food. For more recipes and handy tips, visit 4ingredients.com.au
coming to terms with trauma Help your child overcome an emotional or terrifying experience by
hen Amanda Barnes*, 38, of Cape Town, broke the news to her children that she was getting divorced, they reacted very differently. Her little boy, aged seven, became hysterical. “He was like a wild animal,” she says, “clinging to both of us, screaming, running between his dad and me. From then on, he had these desperate bouts regularly. My girl, aged nine, walked away from the drama in the room. All I got from her was a cold, quiet silence, and one or two tears.” Lynne Cawood, director of Childline in Joburg, explains that children react to trauma in their own way. “The response is dependent on the child’s personality, the degree of support in the family and, of course, the nature of the trauma itself.” Although trauma can encompass a wide range of events – from the death of a parent, to a violent
crime, to sexual assault – the effects of trauma on the mind of the child have some common features.
breaking the mental shield In their book, How Children Experience Trauma And How Parents Can Help Them
This is a normal daily process for healthy mental functioning. However, they say, “When a trauma occurs, the mental shield is broken and unbearable anxiety enters the person’s conscious mind, and the person is traumatised.” These primitive anxieties are reactivated and, as a result,
is not ready to face this reality, he uses the defence of denial, thus keeping this memory unconscious. In time, with healing, the child may be able to integrate this memory – that in spite of the gun to his head, he didn’t die – into his conscious mind.
the traumatised child
A supportive and stable family unit assists in helping a child deal with a traumatic event. Cope (Penguin), Meg Fargher and Helen Dooley explain that we have a “mental shield” that acts “as a protective membrane to allow some thoughts and feelings into the mind while preventing others from gaining entry and so protecting people from thoughts that may be too unbearable.
the mind will try to protect itself from this unbearable anxiety by triggering various defence mechanisms. They give the example of a child claiming that no guns were used in an armed robbery, despite the parent knowing that a gun was held to the child’s head. Because the child
Amanda explains that when she moved in with her new partner a short time after leaving her husband, her children began acting up. “My little boy started wetting his bed almost immediately, and my girl started eating more than ever. She even changed the way she dressed, wearing inappropriate clothes. Both children had regular and uncharacteristic outbursts; almost overnight they stopped telling me they loved me. They were not the same children. Although I was in love with my new partner, I eventually returned to my husband.”
making them feel loved and safe again, says LISA LAZARUS.
The way trauma manifests, as one would expect, is partly age dependent. Tumi Tsekoa-Monapathi, the intake officer at The Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture based in Cape Town, explains the key differences between younger and older children’s responses to trauma. “Younger children often exhibit separation anxiety – they become frightened of strangers, clingy, and reluctant to part from their parents. Sleep disturbances, either sleeping too much or too little, are common, as well as nightmares. There might be somatic complaints, where emotional issues are turned into physical symptoms, such as stomach aches. Because issues are dealt with through play, the trauma could be re-enacted in this way. A parent should also expect the child to regress to earlier developmental stages, such as bed-
wetting or thumb-sucking. New fears may also present themselves.” Tsekoa-Monapathi says that with older children and teenagers, one may well see a loss of interest in normal activities, feelings of depression, anger, irritability and/or aggressive behaviour, acting out, anxiety, reduced concentration, a decline in school work, and the use and abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs. Regardless of a victim’s age, certain traumas are likely to provoke a severe psychological response, even if mitigating factors, such as a stable family unit, or a
child that exhibited strong coping skills prior to the trauma, are present. Violent crime, where a child might see someone murdered or violently attacked, is one such example. Under these circumstances, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), initially a diagnosis given to soldiers who had endured combat situations, might occur. Fargher and Dooley explain that in order to make a diagnosis of PTSD, the event must be such that there was “a real terror of being killed”. Significantly, this would include being a witness to such an event.
PTSD has far-reaching consequences, including the realignment of the child’s entire belief system. Children no longer take for granted that the world is “benign and predictable”. Their daily experience is also substantially altered, as reliving the trauma no longer falls under the child’s control. “A child might describe trying to concentrate in the classroom, (yet) their mind keeps taking them back to the sight of the gun at their mother’s head,” say Fargher and Dooley. Other changes include an increase in physical arousal, so that the child switches easily to a fight, flight or freeze mode. Because the child now experiences flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive bodily sensations, day-to-day life is hampered. Stimuli that remind the child of the trauma, including smells, visuals and sounds, are perceived as the event happening again, rather than memories of the event.
what should parents do? After trauma, some symptoms are to be expected and, with the passage of time, the child should manage once more to erect her mental shield. However, if the child’s functionality has been severely disrupted and there is no improvement despite support, reassurance and the other traits of a healing environment, then Tsekoa-Monapathi would advise that a parent seeks help. Also, she explains that a parent should seek immediate help if the type of traumatic experience is of an especially serious nature, such as sexual or physical abuse, neglect, or exposure to an unsafe environment. There are factors that make recovery easier or more difficult. “A supportive and stable family unit assists in helping a child deal with a traumatic event,” says Cawood. Fargher and Dooley add that if the child had physical or emotional difficulties before the trauma, if there were multiple traumas, or if the child is frequently exposed to violence, healing could be hindered. If a parent does decide to take a child for therapy, different options are available. Young children often benefit from play therapy, where communication with a therapist occurs through play. Therapy for older children could be long
term, such as analytic psychotherapy, which works predominantly with the unconscious, or more short-term, such as cognitive behaviour therapy, which challenges distorted belief systems and teaches behavioural techniques such as relaxation. For trauma, a short-term debriefing intervention, which is usually performed by counsellors, may be useful in offering support. A parent can also help by consulting with a professional and getting advice, known as psycho-education, on how best to intervene rather than bringing the child in for sessions. Even if we want to believe that childhood is a time of joy and innocent pleasure, this is often not the case. Unfortunately, many children are exposed to painful traumas that are invariably accompanied by loss. Not only is the child’s mind and body flooded with unbearable and often overwhelming emotions, but the child’s belief that the world is safe and reliable is shattered. It is important to remember that adults can help children after such events, especially if adults acknowledge the child’s loss, while maintaining a sense of hope. It is to be expected that some scarring will remain, but there can also be a great deal of healing. * Name has been changed.
making your child feel safe again after experiencing trauma • Create a comforting and supportive experience, so your child feels loved. • Allow them to talk freely about the experience. Some children will want to talk a lot; others won’t want to talk much. Allowing the child to talk and cry freely about the situation can help lessen its long-term impact. • Explain to the child that fewer than five percent of people will prey on others. Here you are trying to ensure that your child doesn’t get a distorted impression of the world. This is especially important when the child has witnessed a violent crime, such as a hijacking or a robbery. Children need to strike a balance between keeping themselves safe, and going out into the world. • Restore normal family routines as quickly as possible. You want to stop the trauma from dominating family life. Try and not link everything in the child’s life back to the trauma. • Provide the Childline number if your child wants to speak to someone privately and, if necessary, take the child to see a professional for counselling.
seek help Childline South Africa A 24-hour toll-free helpline. Contact: 0800 055 555 Child Welfare South Africa Contact: 011 452 4110 Johannesburg Child Welfare Society Contact: 011 298 8500, director@ jhbchildwelfare.org.za or visit jhbchildwelfare.org.za Cape Town Child Welfare Society Contact: 0800 435 754, information@ helpkids.org.za or visit helpkids.org.za Child Welfare Durban and District Contact: 031 312 9313, email@example.com. za or visit cwdd.org.za Child Welfare Tshwane Contact: 012 460 9236, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit childwelfare.co.za
coffee chaos Even “daddymoms” aren’t perfect, but, as DARREN TILL learnt, we should strive to be vigilant at all times when it comes to the safety of our children.
t happened so fast. It started out as a normal, but hectic morning: change child’s nappy, give child juice with morning poop medicine, feed dogs, entertain child, change child again, dress child, and so forth. Somewhere in between, I find time to hastily gulp down lukewarm coffee, get dressed, brush my teeth and hair and wolf down some breakfast. It was during the getting dressed part that it all started to go awry this particular morning. I had just finished dressing and my son was in his walker in the bedroom entertaining himself with his favourite spoons (I don’t get it either). I nipped into the bathroom to put on some deodorant and brush my hair… couldn’t have taken me more than 60 seconds. When I emerged, there was my son with the empty coffee mug clutched between his tiny hands, the contents of which had already been poured into his lap, on the carpet and all over the walker. He had a huge smug grin on his face
as if he had accomplished something very challenging. Had it not been potentially life-threatening I would have praised him for his resourcefulness and lateral thinking. What he’d managed to do was pull the fabric throw off the top of the wooden chest where we keep extra blankets and pillows. He had obviously carefully pulled the throw until the object of interest (daddy’s coffee mug) was within reach. A truly ingenious feat for a 17 month old with Down’s syndrome. Along with the throw and coffee mug came his two new outfits and a few other non-hazardous odds and ends... all also covered in coffee. My first reaction was panic. Then I remembered the coffee was cold and my thoughts turned to anger and frustration at the mess I now had to clean up. But what if it hadn’t been cold? The thought is too terrifying to dwell on. How many of us would really know what to do? I’m fortunate to have some basic first-aid training, common
sense and a level head in a crisis. Accidents happen so quickly. It’s not like we’re careless. We try so hard to think of everything, but we’re only human after all and sometimes things slip through the cracks. What have I learnt from this experience? Be as vigilant as you can, view everything as a potential hazard, but don’t beat yourself up when you sometimes get it wrong. Even “daddymoms” aren’t perfect. So I stopped being angry, gave him a long hug and was very grateful that this time I got a second chance because sometimes, sadly, you don’t.
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your child’s life
a first time for
We dread some of them, and celebrate others – MARC DE CHAZAL considers some of the “firsts” that leave parents with mixed feelings.
hen is the right age to allow your child to experience rite-of-passage milestones, such as sleepovers or going to the movies without parental supervision, for the first time? As every child is different, there is no one-sizefits-all answer. Here are some things to consider when you make what will often be a very subjective decision.
first cellphone Only five percent of Child magazine readers polled in 2012 said they would allow their child to use a cellphone from Grade R; the majority said from Grade 7. Brace yourself for the inevitable “but Mom, everyone has one!” and further lobbying, whining and begging for her alleged right to use a cellphone, if she doesn’t already have one. Bronwyn Thompson, whose son was the only child in his Grade 3 class without a phone (two of his classmates had iPhones), says: “I don’t think he needs one as I’m a stay-athome mom and do all the ferrying around.” Other parents, whose children use public transport to get to and from school and extramurals, understandably think a cellphone is necessary for emergency situations. You may feel that your child is responsible enough to use a cellphone, but does she really need a smartphone with access to the internet, myriad apps and other advanced functions? Mobile phones today are powerful communication tools, which can create text, images and videos, and broadcast your location. Whenever you decide the time is right for your child to use one, establish some ground rules for appropriate use and consider installing an app to keep an eye on your child’s smartphone activities. Aderyn Exley, a counselling psychologist in Joburg, suggests parents approach cellphone use as a bargaining tool based on trust. “When a child proves trustworthy, a parent may slowly withdraw. But check in daily so you can stay on top of any weird stuff,” she says.
first sleepover Assess whether your child is emotionally ready to spend a night away from home before packing him off to his best friend’s house. He may be ready for his first sleepover at five or only when he’s 10. It’s normal for a child not to stay the entire night on his first few attempts at a sleepover, so be prepared to help him build his confidence. Also, let your child help pack his overnight bag and make sure he includes a favourite book, blanket or toy. You may want to reconsider a sleepover arrangement if there is an older sibling in the house or if you’re not entirely comfortable with the dynamics of the host family.
According to The Basic Conditions of Employment Act, you may not employ a child who is younger than 15. This doesn’t apply to voluntary charity work, however, so that’s always an option. If your teenager is ready for the rigours of a working environment, a part-time job over weekends or during school holidays is a great way to learn valuable work skills that he will need in his adult life. Consider limiting the number of hours he works to ensure his grades and extracurricular activities don’t suffer.
first time at a party with boys and girls Jane Davies allowed her daughter to attend mixed dancing parties from Grade 6, but always with parental supervision. “I would meet and chat to the host parents first to ensure
first part-time job
I was comfortable with the setup, and we’d always drop her off and fetch her afterwards at a designated time,” she says.
first flight alone Not all airlines offer an unaccompanied minors’ service, but if they do it’s usually for a child between the ages of five and 11 travelling without the supervision of a parent or guardian who is 16 years or older. Once again, emotional readiness is an important consideration with this one. You should also prepare your child for what to expect well in advance of the flight, but it’s pretty safe and airline personnel generally take good care of unaccompanied minors.
first trip to the movies without supervision The 12- to 14-year-old age group is a popular stage for going to a movie without mom or dad. Consider dropping your child off at the entrance to the cinema and collecting him there again as soon as the movie is finished. You may be prepared to allow a younger child to be accompanied by an older sibling, but what if the older child needs to go to the toilet during the movie? You should also consider possible harassment of unaccompanied younger children by older ones in a cinema.
first time home alone Cindy Perry, a single mother, will not leave her 13-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son home alone just yet, even to pop out to the shops. “If I had an au pair or childminder it would be a different story, but I’m not prepared to risk leaving them home alone yet,” she says. The safety of the child rather than their trustworthiness is the biggest issue here. Parents tend to be more relaxed leaving older teenagers home alone.
first time using make-up Lots of little girls like to play with toy make-up, but the time will come when she wants to wear the real stuff. With this first-time experience, the message you teach about beauty is probably more important than the age at which you allow her to start using make-up. Nevertheless, you can offer recommendations about what is age appropriate.
first time getting ears pierced We’ve all seen babies sporting shiny studs in their ears, but many parents hold out until Grade 5 or even older. It’s prudent to have your child’s ears pierced at a reputable piercing stand and to take proper care of the holes to prevent possible infection. Also ensure you abide by your child’s school regulations for body piercings.
first date Some parents allow their child to date from the age of 12, others only when they’re 16. My 18-year-old daughter went to her farewell primary school dance in Grade 7 with a “date”, but her first “proper” date was around 16 – she wasn’t very interested in boys before this point. Consider a chaperone for younger children and insist on meeting your child’s date, setting ground rules and a curfew. You may even consider a double date, as some parents have, for first-timers. “If the boy won’t spend time with us, then he can’t be alone with our daughter,” says one mom. magazine joburg
like it or lump it? Does this controversial sweetener have a place in
our diet? Françoise Gallet investigates.
ugar is a much-maligned part of our diet. It’s blamed for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), obesity and sometimes even diabetes. A closer look at sugar’s rap sheet shows that not all the charges are fully warranted. But those that do stick offer cause for re-examining how much sugar we let our children eat.
Research from the Department of Medicine at Stanford University in California released in February, shows “conclusively that sugar intake, independent of calorie intake”, excess weight or a sedentary lifestyle, increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, cautions Dr David Segal, a Joburg-based paediatric endocrine and diabetes specialist. Prior to the release of this study, it was believed “that sugar had very little risk (of causing diabetes) apart from its caloric value and the tendency to mould eating patterns around sweet carbohydrates,” explains Segal. “The picture has changed significantly.” The Stanford study shows that increased sugar in a population’s food supply is directly and independently linked with higher type 2 diabetes rates. For every 150 kilojoules of sugar consumed per day the risk of developing diabetes increases by 1,1 percent. “One fizzy drink a day increases your risk of developing diabetes and increases your risk of heart disease by 20 percent,” cautions Segal. Dr Daksha Jivan, a Joburg-based endocrinologist, also cautions her patients on the links between excessive sugar intake and the development of type 2 diabetes. “The strongest evidence base is from studies that associate the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and type 2 diabetes.”
sugar and diabetes
But she points out, “It is important to note that type 2 diabetes is a multifactorial disease – genetics plays an important role as does environment and lifestyle.” There is another health concern associated with excessive intake of sugar. A 2009 scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) warns of risks associated with excessive sugar intake and heart disease. Sugar intake “appears to be associated with increased triglyceride levels, a known risk factor for coronary heart disease.” It goes on to say that there is some indication that “higher consumption of high-sugar beverages and foods is associated with increased inflammation and oxidative stress.” Joburg dietician, and spokesperson for the Association for Dietetics in South Africa, Claire Julsing Strydom explains, “Oxidative stress occurs when one eats a large amount of sugar or refined carbohydrates at one time. The excess glucose from the meal then floods cells in the body and causes the formation of free radicals, which damage the cells. This cell damage then leads to inflammation.” Such chronic resultant inflammation can lay the foundation for the development, in adult years, of lifestyle conditions like cardiovascular disease. However, “it is virtually impossible for glucose levels in healthy people to go high enough to cause this complication,” says Duduzile Mthuli, registered dietician and nutrition manager at the South African Sugar Association (SASA). Mthuli also points out that “sugar, like bread, rice, cereal and potatoes is a carbohydrate. All carbohydrates are converted by the body into glucose. Once glucose enters the blood, the body is unable to detect if the glucose has come from bread, rice or sugar.” However, what the AHA is raising flags about is the added sugars we find in soft drinks, sweets, cakes, biscuits, fruit juices, dairy desserts and sweetened milk products. And, they are unequivocal in their statement that the “excessive consumption of sugars is linked with “adverse health conditions”.
sugar and a healthy diet Even if you think you are being careful with how much sugar your child is eating, you may be in for a shock. Joburg-based dietician Michelle Orlando, who advises on a scientificallyformulated nutrition programme, shares the AHA’s guidelines for sugar intake:
Children: under 4 years of age Two and a half teaspoons a day
4–8 years of age Three teaspoons a day
9+ years of age five to six teaspoons a day
While acknowledging this as a reasonable recommendation, Jivan comments that it is “likely that this is excessive for the obese and those otherwise predisposed to develop diabetes.” Orlando sketches a worrying probable scenario for many children: “Three teaspoons of sugar in cereal (the amount of sugar in already sweetened cereals and some add even more sugar to it); two teaspoons of sugar in breakfast tea or hot chocolate; a further two teaspoons of sugar in the jam on the sandwich; eight to nine teaspoons of sugar in the tin of sweetened cold drink; 12 teaspoons of sugar in the small bag of jelly beans the child buys at the tuck shop; another seven teaspoons of sugar in the energy drink that is consumed at afternoon sport; two teaspoons of sugar in the sweetened veggies for supper equals 36 teaspoons of sugar for the day.” The National Food Consumption Survey undertaken in 1999 interrogated South African children’s sugar intake and found evidence that corroborates such a scenario. The average intake of sugar among six to nine year olds was 42 grams (approximately 12 teaspoons) in urban areas and 26 grams (six teaspoons) in rural areas. Also of concern is how the consumption of “hollow calories” in something like a sugary white bun with limited nutritive value can “crowd out nutrient-dense food” from the diet, explains Elsmari Nel, a registered dietician working at the Centre of Excellence for Nutrition at North-West University. “Most added sugars are in energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods,
In nutrition there are no good or bad foods, just good or bad eating habits. Sugar can be enjoyed in moderation in a healthy diet. whereas naturally occurring sugars are primarily found in fruits, milk and dairy products that contain essential micronutrients. A report from the AHA’s Added Sugar Conference 2010 states that nutrient dilution can occur if you substitute nutrient-dense foods with foods with added sugars.
obesity and ADHD “Weight gain and obesity occur when we eat more calories or energy than our body can use. The excess calories are stored as fat. As sugar is an ingredient to many favourite foods such as ice cream and chocolate, it is natural to suspect that sugar causes weight gain,” explains Mthuli. However, “obesity isn’t caused by one key food, like sugar,” says Julsing Strydom. Rather, it needs to be seen as a “multifactorial condition” fuelled by “high-risk dietary practices such as the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, the over consumption of saturated fats and trans-fats, energy-dense foods, and the lack of fruit and vegetables in our diets coupled with a sedentary lifestyle.” Pretoria medical doctor Hein Badenhorst, also father to a son diagnosed with ADHD, is quite clear that the condition, like obesity, is a multifactorial diagnosis and sugar cannot be attributed as a single causal factor. It does, however, have a “medically documented link with the signs and symptoms of ADHD”, such as “inattentiveness”. He says, “The brain can only function on glucose, not complex carbohydrates and fat. The secret to concentration is dependent on a constant supply of sugar to the brain. It is very difficult to concentrate and endure when your (blood) sugar levels go up and down.” When refined sugar foods are consumed on empty stomachs, like the first school break when children rush to the tuck shop, they get 30 minutes of energy and then are left “out of their game for hours”. Jeske Wellmann, a Joburg-based dietician and coauthor of Sustained Energy for Kids and Snacks and Treats for Sustained Energy Recipe Book (Tafelberg Publishers), agrees. “If blood glucose is not controlled it will influence brain function and thus our ability to function optimally. It would also have a negative effect on the growth and development of children. Children need a constant supply of glucose to learn and observe their environment.”
She demonstrates this with a practical example: “A small packet of wine gums or jelly babies will give you 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrates. The main ingredient is glucose and this will be immediately available in the body as it’s a ‘simple’ sugar. If you eat two to three slices of low-GI bread, which will also give you 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrates, it will release over a period of two to three hours. The same amounts of carbohydrates are given, but over different time periods.” If parents are concerned with fuelling sustained concentration they need to ensure their children are nourished by a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruit, wholegrain carbohydrates and protein. “Vegetables and wholegrain foods, compared to refined glucose-dense carbohydrates, are slower-release carbohydrates, also called lower-glycaemic index (GI) foods and they “ensure a slower, steadier stream of glucose being released into the bloodstream,” says Wellmann.
good food, bad food Nonetheless, it’s time to stop “labelling food as good and bad”, counsels Orlando. Children who experience food in this way can grow up to believe that “good” foods like vegetables and fruit, are “yucky” and “bad” food, like chocolate and sweets, are “nice”. The sweet taste of sugar adds to our enjoyment of meals and snacks. Indeed, the 2009 AHA statement states that when sugars are “added to otherwise nutrient-rich foods, such as sugar-sweetened dairy products like flavoured milk and yogurt and sugar-sweetened cereals, the quality of children’s and adolescents’ diets improve”. “In nutrition there are no good or bad foods, just good or bad eating habits. Sugar can be enjoyed in moderation in a healthy diet,” says Mthuli. The key for most parents is examining our perceptions of moderation.
artificial sweeteners why use them: They taste much sweeter than sugar yet contain very few kilojoules and are useful for those who need to control blood-glucose levels, such as those with diabetes or those trying to lose weight. If foods and drinks sweetened with artificial sweeteners are replacing foods that contain essential nutrients, “their lack of sugar does not necessarily make them a better choice,” says Wellmann. are they safe? • The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ view is that they are safe to use at levels that are within the acceptable daily intake (ADI). • Joburg dietician Ria Catsicas upholds this view but warns that “the long-term safety of artificial sweeteners has never been tested”. • Cape Town paediatric dietician Katherine Megaw counsels against replacing sugars with artificial sweeteners for children. what are they? • Aspartame is made from two amino acids (L-aspartyl and L-phenylalanine methyl ester). • Sucralose is manufactured from sugar. A small amount of chlorine is added and that changes its properties so that the body does not recognise it as a carbohydrate. how much can we consume? Children Manufacturers of aspartame and sucralose, do not “particularly recommend” these artificial sweeteners “for infants or very young children, up to the age of three years old”. Adults The ADI for sucralose, as recommended by the American Food and Drug Administration, is 5mg/kg of body weight and for aspartame 50mg/kg of body weight.
natural sweeteners • Honey is broken down to glucose and fructose in the body and has the same GI effect as sugar. • Fructose has a low GI, but an over-consumption of fructose can cause gastrointestinal discomfort, cautions Wellmann. • Xylitol is a sugar molecule bound to an alcohol molecule. “This makes it more difficult to digest, which means that the sugar is released into the bloodstream more slowly. However, it can cause gastric discomfort,” warns Wellmann. • Agave and stevia Both are intensely sweet, plant-derived sweeteners. “One needs to use less compared to sugar to get the same level of sweetness,” says Catsicas. “Agave also has a low-GI value and does not affect the blood-glucose levels as significantly as sugar.”
a business plan Create a young entrepreneur by encouraging your children to use their basic skills and turn their creativity into a business. CHILD MAGAZINE gives you some ideas. projects to do at home fruit and veg
together, such as tomatoes and basil, or carrots and plants from the onion family. • If you have a lemon tree, avo tree, chilli bush or other food-producing plant in your garden, children can sell extra produce in season. • Help your child source wooden boxes to grow vegetables or get them to make their own. Place trays of seedlings, plant food for the seedlings and instructions in the boxes. To ensure repeat business, children can put together refill packs, depending on the time of year.
• Show your child how to grow herbs and veggies in pots or in the garden. Choose herbs that grow well and quickly, and that will keep producing for most of the year. Peas grow in winter, while most herbs flourish in spring and summer. Citrus will be available into winter, and berries do well in summer. • Children can research easy-to-grow veggies and herbs, and then make seed packs. They can also include instructions such as the season in which to plant these seeds, the amount of sunshine required, and what type of soil to use. Put companion plants
home and garden help
• Pet services Children who are good with animals can offer a dog walking service, if it is in a safe neighbourhood. Make sure you know what dogs your child will be walking, and that they are safe to be around. It is also important that you know the route your child will be taking, and that there is sufficient pavement space, so she won’t need to walk on the road. • Garden services Mow the grass, do weeding and water the plants. Children can do this at home for a fee, or offer the service to neighbours you know well and trust. • DIY Painting, fixing things around the house, hanging pictures and doing odd jobs is a good way for children to earn some income. If they are old enough, they may like to offer this service to neighbours or even an old age home. • Beauty Girls may like to offer nail treatments to local moms. If there are a few girls working together, they could set up a Saturday morning session for neighbourhood ladies. This service can be offered at your home, where you are nearby to supervise. Alternatively, they may like to offer it at a local retirement village. • Functions Get your child to offer to help out at school fundraisers and birthday parties, entertaining children with games, face painting and painting tattoos (a big hit with boys).
• Biscuits, cakes, rusks, cupcakes and other baked goodies can be made to order or sell at markets. Your child can also help to cater for your friends’ or family’s parties and special occasions. • Homemade chilli sauce, pickled onions, tomato relish, mayonnaise, pesto and other sauces can be made in big batches and sold at school or to friends and family. Children can experiment with dressing up ordinary goodies as a tasty treat. One idea is to place olives and feta into a bottle together, and add some olive oil and rosemary sprigs.
computers • Designing Tech-savvy children can set up websites using tools such as WordPress. Other options include designing business cards, flyers, invitations and posters. Photo calendars are also easy to design and would appeal to parents and grandparents. These services can be offered online or to people you know. • Keeping in touch Children can offer to write emails for people in old age homes, or set up Skype sessions for them on an iPad or a laptop. Alternatively, they can teach people how to set up their own email and Skype accounts, either in individual sessions or in groups, if there are enough computers. • Hardware Children with a head for hardware can fix computers or put them together for people. They can even offer basic computer literacy sessions at nearby retirement villages.
• Quiches, tarts and pies can be made to order. • Ready-made meals are a big plus for busy moms. Children can make items for lunchboxes or make healthy baby and toddler meals. These could be picked up from your house, or you could help deliver them once a week. A good time would be a Sunday night, so moms are stocked up for the week ahead. • Homemade muesli, premade biscuit or bread dough, and ready-to-use bread crumbs are easy to make and it can be done once a week and sold to neighbours, teachers or family.
be safe • If your child will be unsupervised, make sure you know who they will be selling to, or with whom they will be working. Teachers or staff at school, neighbours that you know, and family friends are safe bets. Also make sure they have a charged cellphone with them at all times. • Don’t send your child out to knock on doors unless you are very familiar with your neighbours. • Make sure children are old enough for the task they are undertaking, especially if you may not be there to supervise. • Whenever possible, see if children can run their enterprises from the safety of your own home or office, where you can keep an eye on them.
art and crafts • Thrift Photo frames can be made out of driftwood, old wood from around the house, or from reclaimed junk like old wire or wine corks. • Being creative Make trendy wooden hearts to hang on the wall, material hearts and heart frames. Children can build or make their own and sell them at a local craft market or to a decor shop. • Interior design Small blocks of mounted canvas can be painted to match room themes. These can be bought at a craft shop and children with artistic flair can paint them to order. Set up a portfolio so people can order what they like or clients can provide an idea or picture of what they want. Making items to order ensures that overheads aren’t excessive. • Fashion and design If children can knit, scarves, hats and soft toys are a good option. Crocheted items, beaded jewellery, hair accessories and handbags are all items that children with a creative streak can make.
projects to do at school sports day • Tournaments Children can organise different sports tournaments so as to include everyone, such as hockey, soccer or athletics. They can register teams beforehand, and draw up rosters or pools for teams. On the day, scorekeepers will have to keep track of which teams move through to the final rounds. • Oddball Olympics These sports days can include fun games for children, especially if they are little, with activities like three-legged races, sack races, wheelbarrow races, Frisbee golf, egg-and-spoon races or tug of war. Other ideas are getting sumo wrestling suits, riding a mechanical bull, playing largescale foosball where teams are tied together by ropes, having an inflatable climbing wall, or building an obstacle course. • Behind the scenes Children not taking part in the sports events can sell tickets, or set up food stalls and sell refreshments.
science fair • Science experiments Children can set up a science fair, where parents and other children pay a small entry fee to view the experiments. These include anything from building volcanoes and lava lamps, to experimenting with how sound travels through objects, or demonstrating what happens when you mix a carbonated beverage and Mentos. • Ecofriendly projects Classes can come up with ideas that can be used to help others, either at home or in disadvantaged communities. Some ideas include how to grow grass to stop soil erosion, easy ways to make compost from kitchen scraps, demonstrating unusual ways of household cleaning such as using lemon juice, coke, or tomato sauce to clean items, or designing a solar cooker. • How it’s made Children can demonstrate how things are constructed, either by using models or by building their own. Rockets, steam engines, gliders, planes, or a compass are a few ideas. • Biology Classes can put together demonstrations that show how things in nature work, such as worm or ant farms (made with glass, so you can see inside them), or a solar system model.
market day • Recycled and upcycled Children can find old things around the house and turn them into toys, decor, storage containers and anything else inspirational. Use old jewellery to make decor, or revamp old boxes into unique storage units. • Fun and games Children can offer activities for others to buy, such as wooden puzzles, DIY kits (for example, a make-your-own-kite kit), or have a stall where children can play games, such as a treasure hunt, fishing for magnet fish, or popping a balloon for a prize. • Food Baked goods, such as cakes, biscuits, cupcakes, toffee apples, chocolate clusters or homemade muesli, will appeal to children shopping for snacks and parents looking for items to take home. For food on-the-go, hamburgers, hotdogs, popcorn, pancakes, samoosas, soft drinks and juices are good options. • Smellies Children can make soaps, bath salts, scented candles, linen sachets, or lavender garlands for the clothes’ cupboard. • Handmade items These can include clothes, decor, blankets, knitted or crocheted items, and handbags. • Festive season If your market is held towards the end of the year, Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, cards, tree ornaments and other festive goodies will go down well. • Services Face painting, hair spraying, nail art, and temporary or henna tattoos can be offered as well. • Entertainment Children with a flair for performing can run a karaoke contest or dance-offs. Other children can try busking, blowing balloon animals or stilt walking.
dash for trash
Jonathan is a 12-year-old budding
• e ntrepreneurship.co.za – the South African Institute for Entrepreneurship promotes a positive mindset in youth and adults, and assists in the eradication of poverty through the creation of effective entrepreneurs and enterprises. • entrepreneurmag.co.za – gives sample business plans and tips on how to start a business. • teenentrepreneur.co.za – they cultivate and promote the entrepreneurial spirit in teenagers through seminars and workshops. • gibs.co.za – The Gordon Institute of Business Science aims to create a new generation of leaders, armed with the capacity and insights to lead their businesses, public institutions and social enterprises.
entrepreneur from Cape Town. He came up with this idea to make extra pocket money over weekends.
a good read for toddlers Cars Galore By Peter Stein and Bob Staake
First 100 Numbers By Roger Priddy
(Published by Walker Books, R120) Children from the age of three can buckle up for an exciting ride, humming with energetic rhymes and whimsical, retro art from this masterful team. “Black car, green car, nice car, mean car. Near car, far car. Whoa! Bizarre car! Ready to hit the road?” Gear up for a non-stop parade of shapes, sizes, sounds and even smells in an array of cars packed with big personalities, interesting features and eccentric passengers. Driven by Peter Stein’s bouncing verse, Bob Staake’s high-powered artwork merges vibrant colours and crisp, dynamic design with humour and warmth. This excursion is sure to thrill all fans of things that go.
Knock! Knock! Open the Door By Michaela Morgan and David Walker
a surp r on ev ise ery page
(Published by MacMillan Children’s Books, R120) Where is that special person Mom and Dad promised to bring home? There are lots of knocks at the door as new animal friends come calling, but none of them are quite sure who this little toddler is expecting. She’s waiting for someone cuddly like the polar bear, funny like the spotty cat, cute like the penguin, bouncy like the kangaroo, smelly like the skunk and noisy like the dinosaur. This is a lovely introduction for toddlers to a new brother or sister arriving home.
The Game of Red, Yellow and Blue By Hervé Tullet (Published by Phaidon Press, R84) This is a fun way of learning the basics of colour-mixing for young children aged two to four years old. It is part of a bright and lively series of board books that work like a game in a vibrant riot of colours and shapes from bestselling illustrator Hervé Tullet. Purple square, green circle and orange triangle are looking for their parents. Children help them find their families and learn all about what happens when red, yellow and blue get mixed up. Other titles in the series include The Game in the Dark and The Game of Finger Worms.
(Published by Priddy Books, R29) This is a first numbers book for babies and toddlers. It is a great resource to encourage sharing, with bright pictures of recognisable objects. It focuses on lots of different areas such as body parts, animals and fruit. The book features over 100 clear, sharp photographs with text labels to help develop children’s number recognition and counting skills. It starts with the human body (one body, two eyes), and there is a red fire engine, 11 swimming fish, ending with 100 fluffy chicks. The book is a fantastic addition to Priddy’s bestselling First 100 Board Books series; a simple, timeless design in a durable format.
for preschoolers What is in the Yellow Envelope? By Leoni Webster and Annelie Sdralis
a valuable lesson
(Published by Money is Childsplay CC, R80, postage excluded) Today is Simon’s birthday and Grandpa gives him a yellow envelope with money. In this book, Grandpa explains to Simon how he can earn money, where it comes from and how to look after it. The authors, a financial manager and teacher, developed this series specifically for children and adults to explain money matters. It contains loads of fun – with brainteasers, games and money-related field trip ideas. Visit money4kids.co.za to order.
Agha the Eight-Mile Monster By Karen Wilson-Timmons and Marie Therese Dubois (Published by Mandala Publishing, R194) In this acclaimed retelling of a story from India’s ancient Bhagavata Purana, children emerge victorious over a serpent that haunts their landscape. When the eightmile-long Agha monster threatens the pastoral life of young Krishna and his cowherd friends, the youngsters join forces. Not only do they defeat their serpentine foe but, in an act of empowerment and imagination, they transform his body into a playground. Brilliant colours, imagery and lyrical text come together to create an adventure that nurtures the inner resources needed by young minds to cope with life’s difficult problems. This picture book achieves the rare balance of entertainment coupled with meaning, while telling a tale from one of the world’s oldest cultures.
Oh, What a Tangle! By Anita Pouroulis and Monika Filipina Tzrpil (Published by Digital Leaf, R80) Kiki is an artistic little girl who’d prefer to do anything other than brush her hair every day. There are simply so many other, better things to do. So it comes as no surprise when Kiki’s hair develops a tiny, tangled knot. But rather than wish it gone, Kiki nurtures that knot until it becomes something grand, something worthy of an incredible story. David Orme, children’s writer and poet, calls the artwork outstanding and the story powerfully imaginative and great fun while the author and performer of Spill the Beans, David Harmer, describes this book as very funny, and a treat for the eye and ear.
Butterfly Blessings By Kim Witkin and Jesse de Freitas (Published by Get Published, R192) This book was inspired by the tragic loss of the author’s sister, who passed away from breast cancer. It is written for young children and aims to help them cope with death and dying. The story focuses on the special bond between two sisters who are separated first by great distance and finally through death. Despite this, their bond is very strong, transcending the physical and spiritual worlds. The magic of their relationship is captured beautifully by young Cape Town artist Jesse de Freitas. The illustrations are whimsical, colourful and enchanting in their detail, and they bring Butterfly Blessings to life.
for early graders
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race against Time By Frank Cottrell Boyce
Explorers – Ancient Egypt By Jinny Johnson
(Published by Candlewick Press, R183) When the Tootings return to Zobrowski Terrace at the end of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, they find that home is looking a lot like Jurassic Park. But this is no theme park – a very real and very hungry T. Rex is charging them. Thanks to Dad’s inadvertent yanking of Chitty’s “Chronojuster” lever, the spirited car has ushered them back to prehistoric times. But Chitty has a mind of her own, and the Tootings will get an unexpected tour of exciting times and places from Prohibitionera New York, where Chitty wants to compete in the famous Prix d’Esmerelda’s Birthday Cake race, to the lost city of El Dorado and back again.
(Published by Kingfisher, R125) Bursting with colour and drama, lively artwork scenes draw children into subjects and provide a wealth of information. Written in a clear, friendly style and full of fascinating facts, Explorers is a fresh and fun first-reference series for inquisitive young readers. In this edition, children can explore the busy fields beside the river Nile, meet pyramid builders, mighty gods and warlike Pharaohs, and discover the amazing history of ancient Egypt. Other subjects in the series include weather, rainforests, reptiles, robots, dinosaurs, planet earth, whales and dolphins, stars and planets, and more. The series is recommended for children from the age of six years old.
Color and Play – Dinosaurs By Paul Beck (Published by Silver Dolphin, R194) Children can journey to the age of dinosaurs and come face to face with 15 of the most intriguing animals that ever lived. They can read about these creatures, then colour the model pieces, punch them out, and fit them together to build a coelophysis, a triceratops and a T. Rex. A removable diorama sets the scene for hours of fun with dinosaurs. The set includes 29 model pieces to build the dinosaurs, 10 coloured pencils and the diorama.
I Wonder Why the Dodo is Dead & I Wonder Why Soap Makes Bubbles By Andrew Charman and Barbara Taylor
build y own li our brary
(Published by Kingfisher, R104 each) Colourful, surprising and full of information, the I Wonder Why books have set thousands of young minds buzzing. I Wonder Why the Dodo is Dead is the perfect introduction to extinct and endangered animals, featuring polar bears in peril, right whales at risk, rhinos and much more. I Wonder Why Soap Makes Bubbles introduces children to science, featuring rainbows, fizzy drinks, musical instruments and more. Clear, lively text answers all those tricky questions about how the world works, while friendly, funny cartoons add interest. With more than 35 titles across a mind-expanding range of subjects, this series will amaze and amuse young children.
for preteens and teens a book you won’t forget
The Child’s Elephant By Rachel Campbell-Johnston (Published by Random House, R174) When a baby elephant is left orphaned on the African savannah, Bat, a young herd boy, takes her home and cares for her. But Bat’s grandmother knows that Meya cannot stay with them forever; the call of the wild will always be sounding in her soul. And there are rumours borne on the wind; frightening stories of war. Bat and his closest friend, Muka, are catapulted into a new life of unimaginable terror. Now memories of their village world feel so far away. Will the bond between elephant and child remain strong enough to save them? This is a thrilling new novel, which tells a heartbreaking, lifelike tale.
Doll Bones By Holly Black (Published by Random House, R194) Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her. But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up makebelieve, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the queen, and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave. Zach, Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the queen’s ghost to rest, but nothing goes according to plan.
Winterling & Summerkin By Sarah Prineas
The Windvale Sprites By Mackenzie Crook (Published by Faber Children’s Books, R107) When a storm sweeps through the country, Asa wakes up the next day to find that his town is almost unrecognisable. Trees have fallen down, roofs have collapsed and debris lies everywhere. But among the mess in his back garden Asa makes an astounding discovery – the body of a small winged creature – a creature that looks very much like a fairy. Do fairies really exist? Asa embarks on a mission to find out, a mission that leads him to the lost journals of local eccentric Benjamin Tooth who, 200 years earlier, claimed to have discovered the existence of fairies. What Asa reads in those journals takes him on a secret trip to Windvale Moor, where he discovers much more than he’d hoped to. magazine joburg
(Published by Quercus, R107 each) In Winterling, Fer always feels that she doesn’t belong. She hears the call of the wild wood; the secrets it whispers. When her grandmother reveals clues about the disappearance of her father and his mystical bond to her mother, Fer begins to unlock secrets about the parents she never knew. Led to a reflecting pool, which uncovers The Way, Fer finds an enchanting and dangerous land. Summerkin is the second book in the series, and to prove herself, Fer must face the toughest contest of her life against leaders with powers far greater than her own. And if she loses, she risks plunging her beloved lands back into a terrible darkness.
for us A Bantu in my Bathroom By Eusebius McKaiser
a wake-up call
(Published by Bookstorm, R181) Why are South Africans so uncomfortable with deep disagreement? Why do we lash out at people with opposing views without taking the time to engage logically with their arguments? Eusebius McKaiser is on a mission to raise the level of debate in South Africa. He provokes us from our comfort zones and lures us into the debates that shape our opinions and our society. With surprising candour and intensely personal examples, McKaiser examines our deepest-felt prejudices and ingrained assumptions. Don’t expect to read this book and escape with your defences intact. Immensely readable and completely engaging, McKaiser tackles deeply South African questions of race, sexuality and culture. The foreword of the book is written by the rector and vice-chancellor of the University of the Free State, Jonathan Jansen.
Gloria By Kerry Young (Published by Bloomsbury, R195) It is Jamaica, 1938 and Gloria Campbell is 16 years old when a single violent act changes her life forever. She and her younger sister flee their hometown to forge a new life in Kingston. As all around them the city convulses with political change, Gloria’s desperation and striking beauty lead her to Sybil and Beryl, and a house of ill-repute where she meets Yang Pao, a Kingston racketeer whose destiny becomes irresistibly bound with her own. Sybil kindles in Gloria a fire of social justice, which will propel her to Cuba and a personal and political awakening that she must reconcile with the realities of her life, her love of Jamaica and a past that is never far behind her.
Memory of Bones By Alex Connor (Published by Quercus, R120) The head of Francisco Goya was stolen from his tomb in the wake of his death. No one has ever known what happened to it, until now. Leon Golding has always been ignored by the art world he loves, but he’s finally going to make his name as the man who found the skull of Goya. But he asked the wrong people to help him. Now everyone wants to own the most prized piece of art history ever to come to light, and they’re ready to kill for it. The author is also known as Alexandra Connor, the writer of Rembrandt’s Monkey, Private View and Midnight’s Smiling.
I’m Missing News By Katy Katopodis (Published by Pan Macmillan South Africa, R180) Any working mother can identify with the constant juggle of career and children, but when your business is bringing breaking news to the world, the pressures you find yourself under can be extreme. Katy Katopodis, head of Eyewitness News, shares the stories and pressures that see her attempting to balance her dual roles as “Editor Katy” and “Mommy Katerina”, often with distinctly entertaining and stressful results. She has also canvassed the views and perspectives of other women who work in the media spotlight and includes their anecdotes and often moving commentary in the course of her own story.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff for Moms By Kristine Carlson (Published by Hyperion Books, R175) In the first new Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff book in nine years, Kristine Carlson shows how moms can live with less stress and more happiness. Carlson gives mothers tried-and-true advice that will empower them to find greater joy, and harmony within themselves and their homes. The book looks at how to be a mom, and not a friend. It gives advice on how mothers can balance being a woman and a mom. It gives you pointers on how to pursue your passion, but not at the expense of your children, and shows you how to reclaim your family.
Prematurity – Adjusting your Dream By Welma Lubbe
Toddler Sense By Ann Richardson
(Published by Little Steps, Pretoria, R300) Becoming a parent must be the single most exciting experience in the life of a mother and father, and the premature arrival of a baby is the least wanted and most feared. This book was written and designed to guide parents on their journey of learning to understand and cope with the realities and challenges of having a premature baby. It gives you the information you need to understand the activities in the neonatal intensive care unit and its personnel. You can learn to understand and interact with your tiny baby, and the book shows you how to cope with your baby’s emotional, physical and health-related needs. Also learn to understand and cope with your own and each others’ emotions and needs. To order, visit littlesteps.co.za
(Published by Metz Press, R160) Now fully updated and expanded to include the latest relevant research, this ever popular book tells you how to recognise and understand your toddler’s unique sensory profile. Learn how to manage stimulation to avoid overload and solve bedtime battles with age-appropriate sleeptraining. It shows you how to discipline with love and a sense of humour and gives a sensible approach to toilet training and more. The term “picky eating” has recently been re-classified as an “eating disorder of early childhood”. The book has been updated to include a dedicated chapter on managing the picky eater.
Why French Children Don’t Talk Back By Catherine Crawford
(Published by Hodder & Stoughton, R135) Catherine Crawford, a mother of two young daughters, is tired of the indulgent brand of parenting so popular in her trendy Brooklyn neighbourhood. All of the negotiating and bargaining has done scant more than to create a generation of little tyrants. After being exposed to the well-behaved, respectful children of her French friends, she wanted to find out why French children don’t talk back. This book is a witty and insightful look at how the French manage to bring up obedient, well-adjusted children. It occupies a pragmatic place on the bookshelf and in life and gives you an anti-Tiger Mother approach to parenting.
what’s on in august
You can also access the calendar online at
Your guide on where to go and what to see in your city. Compiled by SIMONE JEFFERY.
FUN FOR CHILDREN – p53
ONLY FOR PARENTS – p59
Cirque de la Symphonie Carefully choreographed acrobatic routines are performed to music by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sunset Boulevard Catch Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, based on the 1950s Billy Wilder film that starred William Holden and Gloria Swanson.
bump, baby & tot in tow – p62
how to help – p63
National Adoption Coalition Guidance is offered to couples faced with unplanned pregnancies or considering adoption as an option.
Chance Children’s Home They provide a safe, secure home for children from families in crisis.
SPECIAL EVENTS – p50 BMW International Polo Series South Africa takes on Chile in a polo match, preceded by a motorcycle and car parade, static car display and a stick-andball demonstration.
SPECIAL EVENTS 1 thursday Dainfern College’s open day An informal opportunity for you to meet the principals, staff and pupils, and see the school in action. For parents of children from Grade 0–12. Time: 9am–10am. Venue: Dainfern College School, Broadacres Dr, Dainfern. Cost: free. Contact: 011 469 0635, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit dainferncollege.co.za
2 friday The Home and Aquarium Expo Exhibitors are showcasing everything from kitchens and bathrooms to electronics and swimming pools. Get advice from professionals, source gadgets and gizmos for your DIY projects, and go green with various ecofriendly, sustainable solutions. Ends 4 August. Time: 10am–6pm. Venue: Centre Court of Emperors Palace, 64 Jones Rd, Kempton Park. Cost: adults R50, children free. Contact: 0860 383 689 or visit thehomeexpo.co.za Reach for your Slippers Purchase your R10 sticker and wear your fluffy slippers with pride as you go to school, work or pop into the shops. Proceeds will benefit children faced with lifethreatening illnesses. Contact: 011 781 0133, email@example.com or visit reachforadream.org.za
3 saturday Squash Fest Get family and friends together for an afternoon of music with the electro-hop brothers, Locnville, followed by DJ Euphonic in the evening. Bring a picnic blanket and purchase food and drinks from the available stalls. Time: 3pm–9pm. Venue: St Andrews School for GIrls, St Andrew’s Ave, Senderwood. Cost: R120, children under 6 free. Contact Caterina: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit standrews.co.za
Holy Rosary School carnival This is a popular annual event for the whole family, with a tea garden and market stalls, games and rides in the children’s fun zone, a primary schools’ “cook-off” challenge, potjie competition and live entertainment. Time: 10am–5pm. Venue: Holy Rosary School, 113 Horwood St, Edenvale. Cost: adults free, children R100 (non-stop access to fun rides). Contact Deidre: 011 457 0900, email@example.com or visit holyrosaryschool.co.za International Marimba and Steelpan Festival As the marimba and steelpan bands compete for top honours you can take part in workshops, and admire the works of art and photography. Also 4 August. Time: 8am–5pm, Saturday; 9am–5pm, Sunday. Venue: St Benedict’s College, Harcus Rd, Bedfordview. Cost: weekend pass R100, day pass R60. Contact Joan: 082 266 6229 or visit internationalmarimbafestival.org Kloofzicht Cansa fun run Take out the running shorts and tekkies and head out to the country for a 5km or 10km fun run. Prams are welcome as the route is tarred. There is a jumping castle, pancakes, candy floss and live music. You can enter on the day at the lodge, but you won’t receive a snack pack. All funds raised go to Cansa. Time: registration 7am; race starts 9am. Venue: Kloofzicht Lodge & Spa, Kromdraai Rd, Muldersdrift. Cost: 5km R70, 10km R100 (includes a snack pack).
3 August – Holy Rosary School Carnival
Contact Christo: 011 317 0600, 083 282 2101, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit kloofzicht.co.za Robertson Wine Valley Festival Meet the Robertson Wine Valley’s winemakers who have come up to Gauteng for a funfilled outing in the tranquil country estate of Kievits Kroon, with its beautiful rose beds, landscaped gardens and Cape Dutch-style Manor House. In addition to the wines, there will be food and entertainment for the whole family. Also 4 August. Time: 10am–5pm. Venue: Kievits Kroon Country Estate, plot 41, Reier Rd, Kameeldrift-East, Pretoria. Cost: R180 per person per day,
R320 for a weekend pass, children under 18 free. Tickets are available at the gate or book through Webtickets: 0861 225 598 or visit webtickets.co.za SACDG Day of demonstrations A chocolate and sugar-art day of demonstrations is presented by the South African Cake Decorators Guild. Lots of shopping opportunities are available at the cake-decorating stalls. Booking essential. Time: from 7am. Venue: AFM Church, 88 Libertas St, Noordheuwel, Krugersdorp. Cost: non-members R120, members R100 (includes a light breakfast and lunch). Contact Gillian: 082 926 3363 or gillian@ gillscakes.co.za
4 sunday Miss Rivonia A beauty pageant staged in the fight against crime. During her reign, Miss Rivonia will have to decide on a project to tackle, such as creating awareness around missing and abducted
children. For contestants 13–28 years old. Time: 9:30am–6pm. Venue: Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre, William Nicol Dr, Fourways. Cost: R350 per contestant, R100 per spectator. Contact Valria: 072 626 4042, email@example.com or visit eventsbyhanlery.weebly.com World Ranger Day This is a family day hosted by the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA), where rangers and the public can learn more about the work rangers do. The GRAA has game rangers on hand to answer all your questions about this exciting career and give educational talks. Time: 9am. Venue: Joburg Zoo, cnr Jan Smuts Ave and Upper Park Dr, Parkview. Cost: adults R58, children R36. Book through Webtickets: 0861 225 598 or visit webtickets.co.za
Unity College’s family day Unity College, a non-profit, special-needs school in Fourways, is celebrating its 23rd birthday with scrumptious food and cake on sale for parents and the public, and an informative talk for parents. The annual school concert takes place 29 August and 3 September. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Unity College, 126 Cedar Rd, Witkoppen, Fourways. Cost: free. Contact Debbie: 011 465 2422/3, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit unity-college.org.za
6 tuesday Open day at Footprints Preparatory School An open day for therapists, principals, teachers and other professionals to find out more about the school. Time: 9am or 11:30am. Venue: 24 Jan K Marais Ave, Malanshof, Randburg. Cost: free. Contact: 011 791 0062, sharon@footprintschool. co.za or visit footprintschool.co.za
4 August – World Ranger Day
Decorex Joburg A design and lifestyle exhibition with 700 exhibitors. The theme of this year’s expo is “bliss”, which aims to inspire visitors to turn their home into a peaceful sanctuary. Tickets available at the
door. Ends 11 August. Time: 10am–6pm. Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand. Cost: adults R85, pensioners and students R75, children R10. Contact: 011 549 8300 or visit decorex.co.za
9 friday Totalsports Ladies Race Join the PinkDrive for a 5km or 10km fun run (or walk) to celebrate Women’s Day and raise awareness and funds for the PinkDrive’s
10 and 11 August – Muldersdrift Sheepdog Trial
mobile mammography and educational unit. No entries will be accepted on the day. Time: race starts 8am. Venue: Roosevelt High School, 1 Thibault St, Roosevelt Park Ext. Cost: R57–R69. For more info and to enter: visit totalsports.co.za/events Wine, women and chilli Treat your taste buds to the diverse flavours of the MiddleEastern cuisine that is being prepared by top SA chefs, cheer on your favourite contestant during the inter-school culinary competition and browse the numerous stalls for something special for the women in your life. Ends 11 August. Time: 11am–6pm. Venue: The Glen Shopping Centre, cnr Orpen St and Letaba St, Oakdene. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 435 9252 or visit theglenshopping.co.za
10 saturday Jacaranda Pops Enjoy the tunes of Dr Victor, Karen Zoid, Karlien van Jaarsveld, Khaya, Lilly Million, Nicholis Louw and the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Picnic baskets are welcome but food and drinks are on sale. There is a children’s entertainment area. Time: gates open 12pm; music starts 2pm–5pm. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena Ave, between Topaz Ave and Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R180, pensioners and children under 16 R30. For more info: visit jacarandafm.com Muldersdrift Sheepdog Trial Bring chairs, blankets, umbrellas and refreshments for a relaxing day in the countryside watching the SASDA sheepdog trials. Also 11 August. Time: 7am–4:30pm. Venue: 25 Driefontein/Kromdraai Rd, Muldersdrift. Cost: adults R30, pensioners and children R15, children under 5 free. Contact Carol or Elsie: 072 288 1558, 082 441 9646 or visit sasda.za.net/Trials.aspx
proceeds raised from the entrance fee go towards the beneficiaries of the Childhood Cancer Foundation SA (Choc). The walk is wheelchair-, pram- and dog-friendly. Time: registration 6am; walk starts 8:30am. Venue: Zoo Lake, cnr Jan Smuts Ave and Westwold Way, Saxonwold. Cost: adults R60–R70, children R30, children under 2 free. Contact: 086 722 7006, bdu@choc. org.za or visit choc.org.za
24 saturday Discovery The Kings School West Rand 10km race People over the age of 15 years can take part in the 10km race, with children of all ages taking part in the 5km or 3km race. Time: registration 6am; races start 7am. Venue: The Kings School West Rand, Malcolm Rd, Poortview. Cost: 10km R45, 5km R15, 3km R10. Contact Andrew: 083 236 9275, email@example.com or visit entrytime.com The Wedding Expo Wedding gowns, inspirational table settings, venues, cakes and DIY ideas are on show. Also 25 August. Time: 9am–5pm; fashion show at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm. Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, North Riding. Cost: R100. Contact: 086 111 3997 or visit wedding-expo.co.za
25 sunday al Fiume family fun day On the last Sunday of every month, families can enjoy
14 wedensday Open day at the Faraway Tree Parents and toddlers can view the school and make use of their facilities while enjoying a muffin and juice. For children 1–4 years old. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: The Faraway Tree Educational Play School, 7 Condor Rd, Douglasdale. Cost: free. Contact: 083 234 4120 or firstname.lastname@example.org
18 sunday Revlon Choc Celebration of Life fun walk An easy 4km or 8km walk down the tree-lined streets of Parkwood. All the
24 August – The Wedding Expo
a day of wine tasting and jazz bands, face painting, jumping castles and cupcake decorating. Time: 12pm–3:30pm. Venue: al Fiume Italian Riverside Restaurant, no 18 R511, Hennops River Valley. Cost: adults R295, children R125 (includes a buffet lunch). Contact: 079 886 9827, info@ riverplace.co.za or visit riverplace.co.za BMW International Polo Series South Africa takes on Chile in a polo match, preceded by a motorcycle and car parade, static car display and a stick-andball demonstration. You can bring your own picnic, umbrellas or gazebos. Time: 11:30am–5pm. Venue: Waterfall Estates, off Maxwell Dr, Sunninghill. Cost: adults from R100, children free. For more info: visit sapolo.org.za/bmw-polo-series-august
26 monday Emara Wellness Week Take part in the free trial week and try out Pilates, boxing, Muay Thai and X-fit classes. Ends 30 August. Time: varies. Venue: Emara Life Wellness and Remedial Centre, 15 Wessels Rd, Rivonia. Cost: free. Contact: 011 326 0716 or visit emaralife.co.za
9:30am–1pm. Venue: hall 5v, Edenvale Community Centre, cnr Van Riebeeck Rd and 2nd St, Edenvale. Cost: free (complimentary refreshments). Contact Victoria: 011 828 7901 or email@example.com Living Montessori open day Find out more about the school’s unique outdoor activities and meet the dedicated teachers and staff. For parents of children 18 months–6 years old. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: 354 Spionkop Ave, North Riding. Cost: free. Contact Sabashni: 082 494 2335, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit livingmontessori.co.za Open day at Treverton Schools This independent school in the Midlands caters to day scholars as well as boarders from Grade 000–12. Time: tba. Venue: Treverton School, R103, Mooi River, KwaZulu–Natal. Cost: free. Contact: 033 263 1251, nmorris@ treverton.co.za or visit treverton.co.za
30 friday Baba Indaba A baby, toddler and parenting expo that brings the manufacturers, suppliers and retailers of baby care products together for parents and pregnant moms. The characters of Takalani Sesame will be on stage three times a day. Ends 1 September. Time: 9:30am–5pm. Venue: Nasrec Expo Centre, cnr Randshow Rd and Nasrec Rd. Cost: adults R50, children free, parking R20. Contact: 021 689 3262, info@babaindaba. co.za or visit babaindaba.co.za 30 August – Baba Indaba
31 saturday Sandspruit River Trail Enjoy the first days of spring with a walk along this secure, well-tended, 8km section of the Sandspruit River. Boerewors rolls and refreshments are available. Dogs on leads welcome. Also 1 September. Time: 10am–5pm. Venue: from Kelvin Dr, turn left into Stighling Rd, right into 1st Ave, look for the bright yellow signboards, Edenburg. Cost: adults R20, children free. Contact Lynne: 082 689 0930 or visit gardensofthegoldencity.co.za Teddy Bears on Parade See the display and sale of plush teddy bears, collector bears and bear-making supplies. Time:
FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science Artists Under the Sun spring exhibition A selection of fine art and sculpture in all mediums, styles and subjects is exhibited. Monthly exhibit: 3 and 4 August; spring exhibition: 24 and 25 August. Time: 9am–4pm. Venue: Zoo Lake, cnr Jan Smuts Ave and Westwold Way, Saxonwold. Cost: free entry. Contact: 083 470 1998 or visit artistsunderthesun.co.za
Black Like Us exhibition Established over a decade ago to empower emerging black visual artists, the exhibition features close to 60 artists, all of whom have been carefully selected by judges to ensure a consistent high standard. 4 August–7 September; children’s programme 14 August–7 September. Time: 10am–4pm, Tuesday– Friday; 10am–2pm, Saturday. Venue: Manor Gallery, Norscot Manor Recreation Centre, Penguin Dr, Fourways. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 465 7934
calendar Simon Stone: A Retrospective See this comprehensive review, including a selection of his most definitive paintings. 10 July–14 September. Time: 8am–4:30pm, Monday– Friday; 9am–1pm, Saturday. Venue: Standard Bank Gallery, cnr Simmonds St and Frederick St, Joburg CBD. Cost: free. Contact: 011 631 4467 or visit simonstone.co.za Unremembered Memories & Unconscious Consciousnesses This is an exhibition of works by Jonathon Kassel that deals with fleeting images of things perhaps unnoticed at first, but that linger in the background of the mind. The artist works with different mediums on diverse pieces. 19–28 August. Time: 9am–4pm, Monday–Saturday; 10am–4pm, Sunday. Venue: Upstairs @
3 August – Sand-art workshop
Bamboo, cnr 9th St and Rustenburg Rd, Melville. Cost: free entry. Contact Jonathon: 083 776 7222 or visit bamboo-online.co.za
classes, talks and workshops Children’s photography workshop Children learn the basics of photography and complete projects, including one on an excursion to the Johannesburg Zoo. Bring your own camera. For children 8 years and older. 12–14 August. Time: 8:30am–12:30pm. Venue: 21 Oaklands Rd, Orchards. Cost: R850 for the three days. Contact Colette: 083 779 7005, colette@ cbphotos.co.za or visit cbphotos.co.za Children’s rights workshop An informative workshop is designed to empower your children and educate them about their rights in South Africa. This workshop is suitable for children with learning disabilities. For children 6 years and older. 24 August. (Peer pressure talk: 3 August). Time: 6–13 year olds 9am–10:30am. Venue: The Academy of Light, 160 Coleraine Dr, Rivonia, Morningside. Cost: R100. Contact Julie: 083 677 1402, email@example.com or visit madpups.co.za Life skills workshop This workshop will help children to develop their self-esteem, confidence and emotional life skills through the use of fun games, activities and relaxation techniques. For children 6–12 years old. 10 August. Time: 9:30am–1:30pm. Venue: Good Vibrations, 9A 11th Ave, Rivonia. Cost:
26 July–1 September – Garden World Spring Festival
R500 per child, R250 per sibling. Contact Caryn: 082 602 7689, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit yoga4kids.co.za Sand-art workshop Children can create their own sand-art craft followed by a tractor ride. 3 August. Time: 9:30am. Venue: Garden World, Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: R65 per child. Contact: 011 957 2545, 011 956 3003 or visit gardenworld.co.za
family outings Explore the Milky Way A dark, clear, moonless winter evening is the best time
to explore the billions of stars that make up the Milky Way. After dinner, you’re invited to participate in a laser-guided binocular tour. Bring your own binoculars. For children 4 years and older. 3 August. Time: 6pm. Venue: Tumulus Restaurant, Maropeng, Cradle of Humankind. Cost: adults R230, children R145 (includes the presentation and buffet dinner). Contact: 014 577 9000 or visit maropeng.co.za Joburg’s Red Bus Hop on board the red, double-decker, open-topped sightseeing bus and explore Joburg, with eight stops in the inner city and four stops in the
south. Until the end of October, two children under 18 years can travel free of charge with any full-paying adult in possession of a valid GeePee card. Time: 10:05am–5pm. Venue: departs from Gold Reef City, Northern Park Way, Ormonde.
Scarecrows and Seedlings workshop Parents are welcome to tag along as their children prepare a vegetable garden, plant seeds, make soup, and create scarecrows. For children 5 years and older. 10 August. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Random Harvest Nursery, plot 57, College Rd, Muldersdrift. Cost: R180. Contact David: 082 553 0598, cottages@ rhn.co.za or visit rhn.co.za
Cost: adults R150, children R70, children under 5 free. Contact: 0861 733 287 or visit citysightseeing.co.za Pretville’s film set Visitors are welcome to walk around the original film set of the Afrikaans musical, of the same name, set in the late 50s. You are able to dress-up in the studio and have your photos taken, pop into the diner for a hotdog, and watch the movie. Time: 8am–5pm, Saturday–Sunday; movie screening: 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Venue: Pretville in Hartiwood, off the R511, passed Xanadu Shopping Centre, Hartbeespoort Dam. Cost: adults R40, pensioners and children R20, pensioners over 75 and children under 2 free; movie ticket R40. Contact: 083 266 8567 or visit pretville.co.za
finding nature and outdoor play Garden World Spring Festival The annual spring festival offers 10 ways to celebrate the new season and inspires you to throw out the old and bring in the new. There are 12 new designer gardens on display as well as the Chelsea Flower Show exhibit, and Rand Water’s display has loads of ideas on water conservation. 26 July–1 September. Time: 8am–5pm. Venue: Garden World, Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: adults R20, children free. Contact Magriet or Corné: 011 957 2545, 011 956 3003 or visit gardenworld.co.za
20, 22, 27 and 29 August – Chlo Lo holiday baking
Geological mountain hike Join Ella and John Roberts (Sanpark Honorary Rangers) for a walk along the 2,2km geological trail. The trail takes you above the waterfall and over the ridge. For children 9 years and older. 24 August. Time: 8am. Venue: meet at the main entrance, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, end of Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort. Cost: members R30, non-members R60. Contact Karen: botsoc@ sisulugarden.co.za or visit sanbi.org
A stitch in time The Sew and Grow holiday programme teaches girls and boys how to make their own sewing bag, and denim skirt or backpack, using a sewing machine. Booking essential as space is limited. For children 8 years and older. 14 August– 2 September. Time: 10:30am–12:30pm, every Monday and Wednesday. Venue: Sew and Grow, 17 2nd Ave, Melville. Cost: R500 for two slots (inclusive of all fabrics). Contact Fatima: 011 482 6542, 082 568 7408, email@example.com or visit sewandgrow.co.za Chlo Lo holiday baking Moms are welcome to stay and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while the budding bakers make and decorate cupcakes, biscuits and cake pops on the respective days. For children 5 years and older. 20, 22, 27 and 29 August. Time: 10am–12pm. Venue: Chlo Lo Catering and Cupcakes, Parkhurst. Cost: R150 per workshop (includes all ingredients and tools). Contact Robyn: 072 659 8919, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit chlolo.co.za Crafty minds and sticky fingers Children take part in one art and one baking activity, with a break for juice and a run around outside in between. For children 4–6 years old. Time: 2pm–3:30pm, every Monday and Thursday. Venue: 23 Martha Rd South, Robin Hills. Cost: R120 per child (includes materials). Contact Mandy: 083 678 5605, mandy@ mandysart.co.za or visit mandysart.co.za
Young Makers Under the supervision of the instructors, children are able to get their hands dirty in the workshop as they make practical wood or metal crafts, such as a wooden guitar, lamp, bird feeder, wind chime or a treasure box. For children 5–7 years old and 8–13 years old. 12–16 August and 26–30 August. Time: 10am–1pm or 1pm–3:30pm. Venue: Tool Share Studio, unit 6, Ferndale Commercial Park, cnr Hylauma St and Struik St, Randburg. Cost: R350 per child (includes materials). Contact: 011 791 7790, email@example.com or visit toolshare.co.za
Dance Café’s theatre camp A four-day workshop that puts children in the spotlight while exposing them to scriptwriting, performing, producing and the running of a full production. Bookings essential. For children 5–11 years old. 12–15 August. Time: 10am–3pm. Venue: Dance Café, cnr Main Rd and Witkoppen Rd, Bryanston. Cost: R950. Contact Dexter: 011 465 5113, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit dancecafe. wozaonline.co.za Domestic Bliss’s holiday programme Have your children develop a love of cooking, explore the great outdoors as a junior ranger or learn about dangers in the home and basic first aid. For children 7–13 years old. Cooking programme: 12–16 August and 27 August–1 September; junior ranger: 14 or 28 August; first aid: 26 August. Time: cooking programme: 9am–12:30pm (excluding Wednesdays); junior ranger: 8am–2pm; first aid: 8am–2pm. Venue: 235 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North. Cost: R275–R320 per day (includes refreshments). Contact: 011 447 5517, db@domesticbliss. co.za or visit domesticbliss.co.za Get Creative art and crafts A three-day art workshop that teaches children how to paint and create a mixed-media artwork on
canvas, and fashion a snack bowl out of old music records. For children 6–12 years old. Booking essential. 12–14 August. Time: 1pm–4pm. Venue: 86 16th St, Parkhurst. Cost: R700 all inclusive. Contact Gabby: 083 357 0800 Kings Sports holiday programme Children are kept active with dancing, cricket, soccer and more, and children are also exposed to new games and activities. Booking essential. For children 4–17 years old. 12–16 and 19–23 August. Time: 8am–4pm. Venue: Kingsmead College, Oxford Rd, Melrose. Cost: from R450. Contact Ali: email@example.com or visit kingssports.co.za Little Cooks Club Boksburg Children have fun by spending a couple of hours learning to make dishes like macaroni and cheese, cookies and cupcakes, and even a chocolate cake in a mug. Booking essential. For children 2–15 years old. 12–30 August. Time: 9am–12pm or 1pm–5pm. Venue: Little Cooks Club Boksburg, 231 Trichardts Rd, Cinderella, Boksburg. Cost: children 2–6 years old R160, children 7–15 years old R240. Contact Erika: 072 271 8904, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit littlecooksclub.co.za
3 August – Bokkie Craft Market
My World holiday programme A schedule jam-packed with creative projects, themed activities and active challenges keeps your little ones entertained during the holidays. Activities include sand art, yoga, a jumping castle and balloon fun. For children 2–5 years old. 12–31 August. Time: 7am–5:30pm, Monday–Friday. Venue: My World Integrated Enrichment Family Centre, 78 Worcester Rd, Parkwood. Cost: R4 320 for the entire three-week programme (includes meals and snacks). Contact Natalie: 011 447 9014, 084 711 7899, email@example.com or visit thisismyworld.co.za
markets Bokkie Craft Market Children can try their hand at ceramic painting, or ride a camel or pony, while you find art and crafts, aromatherapy soaps and candles, knives, metalwork, embroidery, handmade jewellery, toys and more. Grab a snack from the stalls or bring a picnic hamper to munch on in the park. 3 August. Time: 9am–2:30pm. Venue: Southvale Rd, Parkdene, Boksburg. Cost: free entry. Contact Janine: 083 294 1817 or visit craftsinthepark.blogspot.com Chef and the Fatman market While you browse the market stalls for homemade jams, pickles and fresh vegetables your children can play on the jumping castle, take part in sand-art, play Xbox and scramble over the jungle gyms. Time: 9am–3pm, Saturday and Sunday. Venue: plot 4 Witkoppen Rd, North Riding. Cost: free entry; Xbox: R20 for 30min. Contact: 011 029 4820, info@chefandthefatman. co.za or visit chefandthefatman.co.za Farmer John’s Sunday Market A morning market where you can get your fresh veggies and meat straight from the farm, interesting crafts and other goodies. Time: 9:30am–2:30pm, every Sunday. Venue: Newton House School, 118 CR Swart Dr, Bush Hill Estates, Randburg. Cost: free entry. Contact: 078 099 7295, info@ farmerjohn.co.za or visit farmerjohn.co.za Morningside Artisan Market A weekly market that brings together the crafts, jewellery and clothing of local crafters and artisans, alongside patisseries and organic produce. Time: 9:30am–4pm, every Saturday. Venue: Morningside Shopping Centre, 235 Rivonia Rd, Sandton. Cost: free entry. Contact: 087 940 3833 or visit morningsideshops.co.za Ramkietjie Country Market Find homemade and organic products, decor items, mosaics, art, children’s clothing, toys and more. A jumping castle and face painters keep little ones entertained. 3 and 4 August. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Ramkietjie Country Estate, 35 Peter Rd, Honeydew. Cost: free entry. Contact: 087 940 9920, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ramkietjie.co.za
on stage and screen Cirque de la Symphonie Aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers and strongmen, including worldrecord holders, perform routines that have been choreographed to classical masterpieces and contemporary music performed by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. magazine joburg
Goodies for the garden Children learn how to make their own bird feeder to attract feathered friends into their garden, and to paint their own spring pot. Miss Earth will be there to teach them how to care for the earth. Booking essential. 17 August. Time: 9:30am. Venue: Garden World, Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: R80 per child (includes a tractor ride). Contact Magriet or Corné: 011 957 2545, 011 956 3003 or visit gardenworld.co.za
All ages. 17 and 18 August. Time: 8pm, Saturday; 2pm, Sunday. Venue: The Teatro at Montecasino, Fourways. Cost: R250– R450. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com JYB’s Hansel and Gretel Ballerinas from the Johannesburg Youth Ballet are bringing the fairy-tale to life. No children under 2. 14–18 August. Time: 7:30pm, Wednesday–Friday; 11am and 3pm, Saturday and Sunday; 6:30pm, Saturday. Venue: UJ Arts Centre Theatre, Kingsway Campus, cnr Kingsway Ave and University Rd, Auckland Park. Cost: R80. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.co.za Knights of the Grail The learners of St James Senior School put on a production of The Knight of the Grail. 7 August. Time: 5:45pm. Venue: Jeppe School for Boys, cnr Roberts Ave and Hope St, Kensington. Cost: R25. Contact: 011 618 4191 or visit stjamesschool.co.za Pick-A-Toon Children can vote for their favourite cartoon, out of three contenders, and if their “toon” wins they can enjoy a super marathon of their show on one Saturday morning in August. Time: super marathon 10am, every Saturday on Cartoon Network, channel 301 on DStv. To pick your “toon” visit cartoonnetworkafrica.com/pick Robin Hood and his Merry Adventures A hilarious new take on the old classic that is suitable for the whole family. You are able to order pizzas from the in-theatre deli or bring your own food. 3, 10, 24 and 31 August. Time: varies. Venue: Barnyard Theatres: Cresta, 3 and 31 August; Rivonia, 10 August; Boksburg, 24 August. Cost: R60. For more info: visit barnyardtheatres.co.za August 2013
calendar Starlight Express Andrew Lloyd Webber’s electrifying production tells of a child’s dream in which his toy train set comes to life. All the actors wear roller-skates and entertain audience members with highenergy daredevil stunts. The play is directed by Janice Honeyman and choreographed by Karen Bruce. 3 July–1 September. Time: 8pm, Tuesday–Saturday; 3pm, Saturday; 2pm, Sunday. Venue: Joburg Theatre, 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein. Cost: R100– R280. Book through the Joburg Theatre: 0861 670 670 or visit joburgtheatre.com The Pirate & the Mermaid A charming puppet show, by Margaret Auerbach, about a pirate who rescues a mermaid. For children 3 years and older. Enquire about the puppet shows taking place throughout the month. 3 and 24 August. Time: 10am.
Quiet on the court
Venue: Kinderspiel, 39 Greenhill Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: R50. Contact: 011 646 7457, email@example.com or visit kinderspiel.co.za Umoja This is a celebration of South African music and dance, which takes you from the potent rhythms of tribal music to the intricate beats of gumboot dancing. All ages. Time: 8pm–10:30pm, Tuesday– Saturday. Venue: Victory Theatre, 105 Louis Botha Ave, Houghton Estate. Cost: R67– R224; R336 inclusive of dinner. Contact: 011 728 9603, victorytheatre.za@gmail. com or visit umojatheshow.com
playtime and story time Trevor Duffy’s Magic Show Laugh and gasp with Trevor as he bewilders the children with his magic tricks. For children
3 years and older. 22 August. Time: 10am. Venue: Kinderspiel, 39 Greenhill Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: R50. Contact: 011 646 7457, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit kinderspiel.co.za
sport and physical activities Capoeria classes This Brazilian martialart form combines rhythm, music, acrobatics and self-defence. The classes are suitable for beginners through to advanced participants. Bookings essential. Time: children: 10am, every Saturday; adults: 6pm–8pm, every Tuesday and Thursday. Venue: Emara Life Wellness and Remedial Centre, 15 Wessels Rd, Rivonia. Cost: R540 per month. Contact Amilcar: 084 810 1959 Children’s meditation class Classes help to develop and nurture the positive qualities in children through meditation and positive thinking. Draw out your child’s inner peace with fun activities, games and art based on Buddhist philosophies. No need to book. For children 5–12 years old. 4 August. Time: 9:30am–10:45am. Venue: Vajrapani Kadampa Buddhist Centre, 4 Francis Rd, Blairgowrie. Cost: R15 per child. Contact: 011 326 1982 or info@ meditation.org.za Introducing polo to beginners Polo is an exciting horse sport that can be played and enjoyed by children and adults on the tranquil farmland environment just east of Joburg. You start with an hour-long private
Dinner in a dash
lesson to master the basics, until you feel confident enough to join a group. All ages. Time: 9am–5pm, daily. Venue: Gunsmoke Polo ranch, Polo Dr, off the R25 (13km from Serengeti Golf Estate), Ekurhuleni AH. Cost: R300. Contact Jim: 083 233 9097, email@example.com or visit gunsmokepolo.com Quiet on the court Children learn the rules and skills needed for tennis. Children 3–6 years old take part in mini tennis. 12–16 or 26–30 August. Time: 8:30am–1:30pm. Venue: Craighall Park Tennis Club, St Alban’s Rd, off Jan Smuts Ave, Craighall Park. Cost: R80–R900. Contact: 083 443 3391, info@ itatennis.co.za or visit itatennis.co.za
only for parents classes, talks and workshops 50 Shades of Grey Matter An insightful talk by various therapists and psychologists that sheds light on how your children learn, how a learning style can affect your child’s self-esteem, the future of iPad learning, and a discussion on THRASS versus Letterland. Booking recommended. 3 August. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Little Tuscany Boutique Hotel, 48 Queens Rd,
Bryanston. Cost: R800–R1 250. Contact Sarah: 082 828 0645 or Frances: 079 196 4912 or firstname.lastname@example.org Bokwa fitness classes A new cardio workout that uses elements of boxing and kwaito. Hand signals cue each step and get participants of all ages to draw the L, 3, J, square and dozens of other steps while moving to the rhythmic beats of popular dance music. For adults and children 8 years and older. They also offer beginner salsa classes. Time: 6pm–7pm, every Monday; 9:30am–10:30am, every
Beat the Bullying Whether your child is bullied or the bully, this is a problem that affects us all. In this talk you learn about the types of bullying, signs, rights and responsibilities, and how to teach your child to be assertive. Booking essential. Time: 9am–11am. Venue: Psychmatters, 9 Park St, Bedfordview. Cost: R500. Contact: 011 450 3576, email@example.com or visit psychmatters.co.za
Wednesday. Venue: Dance Café, cnr of Main Rd and Witkoppen Rd, Bryanston. Cost: adults R70, children R35; monthly package: adults R250, children R120. Contact: 084 834 8736 or sallysmithfreelancedance@ hotmail.co.uk Courses with domestics Have your domestic worker trained on an accredited cooking, childcare or housekeeping course. The courses take place over five weeks. Cooking course: starts 14 August; childcare course: starts 15 August; housekeeping course: starts 20 August. Time: 8:30am–2pm. Venue: Domestic Bliss, 235 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North. Cost: cooking course: R2 250; childcare course: R1 950; housekeeping course: R1 950. Contact: 011 447 5517, 083 525 4992 or visit domesticbliss.co.za Dinner in a dash Hands-on workshops and informative demonstrations help you to whip up hearty meals in minutes. Time: 6:30pm–9:30pm, every Wednesday. Venue: Taste Bud Cooking Studio, 3 Waterford Place (near St Peters), Witkoppen Rd, Paulshof. Cost: from R290 per workshop. Contact: 011 465 9904, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit tastebudstudio.co.za Emerging readers Get practical tips and valuable skills to use when reading to your children. This course helps you realise the part you play in getting your child ready for reading. For parents of preschoolers. 7 August. Time: 9am–11am. Venue: Rivonia.
7 August – Emerging readers
Cost: R450. Contact: marian@raisingreaders. co.za or visit raisingreaders.co.za Emotional intelligence workshop Research psychologist Wanda Roos looks at how everyday life stretches our coping resources and often pushes us to behave in self-defeating ways. 3 August. Time: 10am. Venue: Vulindlela Restaurant, Ngwenya Glass Village, Muldersdrift. Cost: R80 (includes the talk, tea/coffee and cake). Contact Norma: 083 655 3237
calendar History of the gardens The landscape of the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden was strongly influenced and shaped by the discovery of gold in the late 18th century. Historian Rod Kruger is very knowledgeable on the topic and brings a presentation of interesting facts to light. 10 August. Time: 9am–10:30am. Venue: Nestlé Environmental Education Centre, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, end of Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort. Cost: members R30, non-members R60. Contact: email@example.com or visit sanbi.org Kaleidoscope of colour Lizette Jonker, decor and garden writer, inspires you to create a beautiful garden with plants and DIY ideas. She recently returned from the Chelsea Flower Show and is eager to share the latest gardening trends with you. Workshops and talks take place throughout August. 10 August. Time: 9:30am. Venue: Garden World, Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: R100 per person (includes the talk, a goodie bag, refreshments and giveaways). Contact: 011 957 2545 or visit gardenworld.co.za
Puppetry workshop Learn the basics of good puppetry during a fun, creative, yet challenging activity in which you discover how to make a puppet come alive with a “zany voice” and believable actions. Children younger than 13 years old must be accompanied by an adult. 2 and 3 August. Time: 6:30pm– 9pm, Friday; 9am–4:30pm, Saturday. Venue: Orban School, Winchester St, Westdene. Cost: R300 for two days (includes a light lunch and dinner, tea/ coffee). Contact: 072 296 6494 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Fridjhon wine experience Wellknown wine authority Michael Fridjhon, and The Louis Roederer Awards International Wine Columnist for 2012 winner, takes guests on a taste discovery of some of the world’s most celebrated wines, presented in collaboration with extraordinary menus (gala dinner or champagne brunch) crafted by the Hyatt Regency. 31 August and 1 September. Time: 8:30pm, Saturday; 10:15am, Sunday. Venue: The Hyatt Regency, 191 Oxford Rd, Rosebank. Cost: varies. Contact: 011 482 5936, email@example.com or visit outsorceress.co.za Montessori information session Find out more about the accredited training programmes on offer in 2014. 17 August. Time: 10:30am–11:30am. Venue: Buccleuch Montessori School, 35 Muller St North, Buccleuch, Sandton. Cost: free. Contact: 082 900 3192, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit montessorisa.co.za Reusing everyday items This practical workshop with its innovative ideas will inspire you to use what you have around your home for stimulating play with your little ones. For parents of children 0–6 years old. 22 August. Time: 9:30am–11:30am. Venue: Olivedale Library, Fouche Dr, Olivedale. Cost: R150. Contact: 082 714 4356, email@example.com or visit reneelighton.co.za START workshop for parents This practical five-day course, developed by the Sunshine Association, is appropriate for parents and persons with an educational level below Level 4. The course will enable you to identify developmental delays in children 0–7 years old and show you how to take care of and work with them. 12–16 August. Time: 8:30am–3pm. Venue: TMI Building, 3rd floor, Joubert St Ext, Braamfontein. Cost: R2 500. Contact: 011 642 2005, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit sunshine.org.za Teenage hardships This talk by child and adolescent psychologist Michael Benn covers the hardships faced by teenagers such as depression, bullying and cutting. Book by 15 August. 24 August. Time: 10am–12pm. Venue: Akeso Crescent Clinic, cnr President Fouche Ave and Hawkin Ave, Bromhof, Randburg. Cost: R50. Contact Bronwyne: email@example.com
Woodwork classes Unleash your inner carpenter and make your own bookcase, trestle table, standing lamp or shoe rack. No experience necessary as they will teach you the basics. Time: 7pm–9pm, Monday–Friday. Venue: Tool Share Studio, unit 6, Ferndale Commercial Park, cnr Hylauma St and Struik St, Randburg. Cost: R450 (includes all materials). Contact: 011 791 7790, megan@ toolshare.co.za or visit toolshare.co.za Working with clay and mosaics You choose your board size and design, then create your own clay pieces to incorporate into your mosaic. 3, 17 and 31 August. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Broadacres Garden Centre, Cedar Rd, Fourways. Cost: R300 per morning, R1 000 for four mornings (excludes paint and certain underglazes). Contact: 011 465 0375, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit seedpodstudio.co.za
on stage and screen Standard Bank Joy of Jazz A fantastic lineup of top local jazz artists and international acts from America, Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands. 22–25 August. Time: 7pm. Venue: five venues around Newtown. Cost: varies. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit computicket.com Sunset Boulevard In Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, based on the Billy Wilder film, silent-movie star Norma Desmond longs for a return to the big screen, having been discarded by Tinseltown with the advent of “talkies”. When she meets struggling Hollywood screenwriter Joe Gillis, their subsequent
22–25 August – Standard Bank Joy of Jazz
passionate and volatile relationship leads to an unforeseen and tragic conclusion. 21 August–20 October. Time: 8pm, Tuesday–Saturday; 4pm, Saturday; 2pm and 6pm, Sunday. Venue: Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R100–R325. Contact: 011 511 1818 or visit montecasinotheatre.co.za The Rise of The Insanity League This is a sketch comedy show that pokes, provokes and tickles all the right places and promises to be more than just a random selection of sketches. The team is preparing a comic study on insanity unlike anything ever seen on stage in South Africa before. 17 July– 11 August. Time: 8pm, Wednesday– Saturday; 5pm, Saturday; 3pm, Sunday. Venue: Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre, cnr Witkoppen Rd and William Nicol Dr, Fourways. Cost: R100–R160. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit facebook.com/TheInsanityLeague
Classical lunch hour Break from the day’s activities with a performance by young Russian violinist Yury Revich, accompanied by Pieter Jacobs. Time: 12:45pm. Venue: Auto & General Theatre on the Square, Nelson Mandela Square, cnr Maude St and 5th St, Sandton. Cost: R350 (includes coffee and biscuits). Contact: 011 883 8606 or visit theatreonthesquare.co.za
calendar Third annual SA Comic’s Choice Awards Comedians let it all hang out at the biggest gathering of comedians of the year. The annual awards ceremony presents the top six comedians with a coveted Waldo statuette, the highest accolade that South Africa’s talented comedians can achieve. 24 August. Time: 8pm. Venue: The Teatro at Montecasino, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R230–R270. Book through the Montecasino Box Office: 011 511 1818 or visit montecasino.co.za Those Indian Guys Sans Moonsamy and Kaseran Pillay explore Indian identity and culture in a witty and very naughty sketch comedy show. 21–30 August. Time: 8:15pm. Venue: Auto & General Theatre on the Square, Nelson Mandela Square, cnr Maude St and 5th St, Sandton. Cost: tbc. Book through Strictly Tickets: 082 553 5901 or visit strictlytickets.com
activities once a month. 31 August. Time: 1pm. Venue: varies. Cost: free membership. Contact Jean-Marie: 076 054 5510 or visit soloparenting.weebly.com The South African Depression and Anxiety Group A mental health support group that provides trained counsellors to help and guide individuals suffering from anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, trauma and more. Contact: 011 262 6396 or visit sadag.org The Super B Foundation Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a connective tissue disorder, caused by a defect in the synthesis of collagen. This support group gives hope and support to EDS sufferers, and gives you space to express your concerns and joys, and to learn from fellow parents. For more info: visit superbfoundation.com
out and about
classes, talks and workshops
Bird walk At the break of dawn, André Marx from the North Gauteng Bird Club takes you on a walk to identify the birds of Random Harvest (the list exceeds 120 species) and regales you with his bird knowledge. Booking essential. For children 12 years old and older. 10 August. Time: 6:45am (includes breakfast). Venue: Random Harvest Nursery, plot 57, College Rd, Muldersdrift. Cost: R95. Contact: 082 553 0598, email@example.com or visit rhn.co.za Dinner with a bone detective After a sumptuous dinner, guests gather in the lounge to enjoy a discussion with young scientist Brendon Billings. Get to grips with some amazing fossil and bone casts, and enjoy a historical review of pioneers in the field of palaeontology. Booking essential. 24 August. Time: 6pm. Venue: Maropeng Boutique Hotel, Cradle of Humankind. Cost: R375 (includes welcome drinks, a three-course set menu and the presentation). Contact: 014 577 9000 or visit maropeng.co.za LinguaMites Multilingual Preschool Parents interested in exploring the benefits of a trilingual education (Chinese, English and isiZulu) can find out more during an information session. For parents of children 1–5 years old. 15 August. Time: 9am. Venue: LinguaMites Multilingual Preschool, behind the Buzz Shopping Centre, cnr Witkoppen Rd and Douglas Ave, Fourways. Cost: free. Contact: 072 561 3113, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit linguamites.co.za Vaal River Meander Wine Route Sip wine at 16 different venues, on and around the banks of the Vaal River, which have been selected to showcase wines from over 34 premier South African wine estates. Each venue has something different to offer, from roaring fires to river cruises. 13 July– 18 August. Time: 12pm–6pm. Venue: Vaal River, Vanderbijlpark. Cost: varies. Contact Sean: 016 933 4821, info@vaalwineroute. co.za or visit vaalwineroute.co.za
Brainbooster parent workshop This one-hour workshop instructs parents how to play with their children while teaching them at the same time. During the workshop, parents receive a few basic pointers on how the brain works, and learn how best to use the games and toys to enhance their child’s learning and developmental experience. For parents of children 0–6 years old. 3 August. Time: 9am–10am. Venue: Hammets Crossing Office Park, 2 Selbourne Rd, Fourways. Cost: R100. Contact Marinda: 0861 077 777, email@example.com or visit nanniesintraining.co.za Pregnancy yoga These classes offers you a starting point to relax, connect with your baby and the changes in your body. Learn deeper breathing techniques and practise different postures to help you develop strength and flexibility. Time: 4:30pm, every Tuesday and Thursday; 7am, every Wednesday. Venue: Yoga Warrior Studio, Design District Building, Tyrwhitt Ave, Lower Rosebank. Cost: from R80 per class. Contact: 082 840 4349, vlabuschagne@ ymail.com or visit yogawarrior.co.za
support groups Single Parents support group A social club for single parents and their children that meets up and takes part in various
bump, baby & Tot in tow
playtime and story time Grannies House and Garden Children can dress up, create crafts, bake, run around outside or play Nintendo Wii. Time: 10am–5pm, Monday–Friday; 9am– 5pm, Saturday and Sunday. Venue: 138 Barkston Dr, Blairgowrie. Cost: R15 per hour, Monday–Thursday; R30 per hour, Friday–Sunday. Contact Lettie: 011 326 4265, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit granniesgarden.co.za Parkhurst Library’s story time Children from 6 months old are welcome to take part in the library’s weekly story reading. Time: 3:30pm, every Monday. Venue: cnr 5th Ave and 13th St, Parkhurst. Cost: free. Contact: 011 788 4510 or email@example.com Story time at Serendipity Children can get lost in a world of words with weekly story time. Time: 3:30pm, every Wednesday. Venue: Serendipity, 48 Keyes Ave, Rosebank. Cost: R45 for the first child. Contact: 011 447 7386, serendipityplay@ gmail.com or visit serendipityplay.co.za magazine joburg
it’s party time For more help planning your child’s party visit
Parkhurst Library’s story time
support groups Deaf Federation of South Africa For assistance for parents, as well as consultancy and advice on deaf education. Contact: 011 482 1610, deafeducation@ deafsa.co.za or visit deafsa.co.za La Leche League Krugersdorp An informal discussion on breast-feeding for new moms. 3 August. Time: 2pm. Venue: tbc in Krugersdorp. Cost: free. Contact Ena: 011 476 3439 or visit llli.org National Adoption Coalition For couples faced with unplanned pregnancies or considering adoption as an option, the coalition answers all your questions objectively. They look at the pros and cons to help you make the right decisions that suits your needs. Contact: 0800 864 658 or visit adoption.org.za Postnatal Support Group An informal get-together for moms suffering from postnatal depression. Enjoy a cup of coffee and share your experiences with a mom who has experienced PND. Time: 10am–12pm, every Wednesday. Venue: near Northgate. Cost: free. Contact Nicky: 083 469 5454
how to help Chance Children’s Home A non-profit organisation that provides a safe, secure home and therapeutic environment for children from families in crisis, with the aim of working towards the reconstruction and reunification of family units. They need sports equipment, kitchen equipment (large 10/20 litre pots), bed linen, towels and toiletries. Volunteers are also welcome to give their time to assist in various projects. Venue: Springs. For more information on how you can help contact: 011 734 2319, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit chancechildrenshome.co.za
Rockstarz Foundation This registered NPO promotes social welfare in the form of assistance to under-resourced, schoolgoing children from primary school level. You can help by donating funds, your skills in the areas of web design and development, auditing and legal advice or by offering career guidance and mentorship, and donating educational supplies. Contact Nsiko: 083 534 3186, email@example.com or visit rockstarzfoundation.org.za Route 66 fundraising performance This is an afternoon of song, dance and musical history, and it is in aid of The Society for Animals in Distress. This is a non-profit organisation that cares for animals in need. Hear the the rock sounds of Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Eagles, The Doobie Brothers, Shania Twain, The Dixie Chicks, ZZ Top, Guns N’ Roses, Kid Rock, John Denver, Dolly Parton and Bon Jovi. 25 August. Time: 2pm. Venue: Barnyard Theatre Rivonia, Rivonia Crossing 2, cnr Witkoppen Rd and Achter Rd, Paulshof. Cost: R150. Contact: 083 640 8824, fundraiser@animalsindistress. org.za or visit animalsindistress.ws or barnyardtheatre.co.za Sunlight Safe House’s Blingest Baby Shower Wear your boldest, bravest, most inventive “baby bling” and mingle with Joburg’s beautiful people to help raise funds for a worthy cause. There are games, prizes and an auction of valuable artwork. All the proceeds go towards Sunlight Safe House, established by Childline Gauteng to serve as a sanctuary for abused, abandoned or neglected children. Booking essential. 2 August. Time: 7pm. Venue: The Hyatt Hotel, 191 Oxford Rd, Rosebank. Cost: from R650 per person, R6 000 per table. Contact: 011 645 2000, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit childlinegauteng.co.za
don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to email@example.com or fax it to 011 234 4971. Information must be received by 2 August for the September 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
itâ€™s party time
it’s time-out AnÉl Lewis had plenty of time to think about her behaviour in the punishment corner, and now agrees that children learn by
Erin, Anél and Conor
rin is at that wonderful age where she understands the difference between right and wrong, but still blithely ignores it to do her own thing. To avoid complete anarchy, we have had to quickly firm up our approach to discipline. First off, we decided that as the parents, we must show a united front. This sounds simple enough, but trust me, the lines of responsibility can get a bit murky. You see, I think its perfectly fine to let Erin “bake” with a bag of flour and a cup
of water, just so that I can have 15 minutes of quiet time to boil some pasta for supper. But Craig struggles to see the value in this, and the puddle of gloop that is usually left on the floor after her baking session, means we both get shouted at for making a mess in the kitchen. Conor’s new obsession is switching on lights. Unfortunately, switching them off again doesn’t have the same appeal. This means that Craig will come home to find the house lit up like the Palace of Versailles during Bastille celebrations. This is not quite in line with Eskom’s energy-saving message, but as Conor is too young to really know right from wrong, or his “on” from his “off”, it’s the adults that look after him during the day, who get the blame. But with Erin we can mete out some form of punishment if she misbehaves,
so we have also had to decide on how to discipline her. I used to think that I could reason with her. But you try explaining to a bleary-eyed two year old, at 7am on a Monday morning, why she cannot wear her Spider-Man slippers to school. During one particularly trying engagement about acceptable school attire, I lost my temper and stormed out of her room leaving her in just her vest and with only one leg of her trousers on. I carried on with my morning business and after a few minutes, she came to me and said, “Sorry, Mommy, let’s try these socks instead?” My heart broke, but I was pleased that she had apologised and accepted that she had pushed me too far. But the funny and rather unfortunate thing about teaching children discipline, is that they don’t have double standards. If you break the rules, you must be chastised
too, as I found out recently when I threw something onto the table. I can’t even remember why I was irritated, but my fit of pique did not escape Erin’s beady eyes. “Mommy,” she said sternly, “don’t you do that. You must go to time-out.” And there was our third lesson about discipline – children learn by observing what you do, not by what you say. So I had no choice but to go and sit in “time-out” in her bedroom as punishment. At least I didn’t have to suffer in darkness – Conor had been there before me and all the lights were on. Anél Lewis is the mother of two active toddlers. She’s working on her anger management, and stockpiling glossy magazines under Erin’s bed, just in case she has to serve more time in her daughter’s bedroom for poor behaviour.
PHOTOGRAPH: STEPHANIE VELDMAN
watching what we do, and not what we say.