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J O B U R G ’ S

b e s t

gu i d e

f o r

p a r e n t s

education explained what the curriculum changes mean

the digital playground and the bullies who lurk there


why it’s your moral obligation

could your child be a cover star? what to know before the camera rolls


February 2013


when is it really


back to school issue




Hunter House P U B L I S H IN G

Welcome back to the start of a wonderful new year.

Publisher Lisa Mc Namara •

Editorial Managing Editor Marina Zietsman •

By now you will have eased into some kind of routine as your baby starts to sleep through, your toddler settles into crèche or your child looks forward to a new school year. After a three-week break, we at Child magazine are back into our routine at work, feeling refreshed and ready to bring you another year’s worth of great parenting reads and resources. All that starts right here with our “Back to School” issue, which is brimming with updates on health and education, light reads, informative parenting pieces and as always, something topical to get us talking. As we stride into our 10th year of publishing Child magazine,

Features Editor Anél Lewis • Resource Editor Simone Jeffery • Editorial Assistant Lucille Kemp • Copy Editor Debbie Hathway

Art Designers Nikki-leigh Piper • Alys Suter • Mariette Barkhuizen • Mark Vincer •

Advertising Lisa Mc Namara •

Client Relations PUBLISHER’S PHOTOGRAPH: Brooke Fasani

Renee Bruning •

Subscriptions and Circulation

we are even more enthusiastic about parenting and the important role we play, and we know that you share and fuel our passion to bring you a magazine that is relevant, informative and entertaining. Here’s to an amazing 2013. May it bring good health and happiness to you and your family.

If you love the magazine you’ll love our website. Visit us at

Helen Xavier •

Accounts Nicolene Baldy • Tel: 021 465 6093 • Fax: 021 462 2680

Joburg’s Child magazineTM is published monthly by Hunter House Publishing, PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010. Office address: Unit 5, First Floor, Bentley Office Park, cnr Rivonia and Wessel Rd, Rivonia. Tel: 011 807 6449, fax: 011 234 4971, email: Annual subscriptions (for 11 issues) cost R165, including VAT and postage inside SA. Printed by Paarl Web. Copyright subsists in all work published in Joburg’s Child magazineTM.

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We welcome submissions but retain the unrestricted right to change any received copy. We are under no obligation to return unsolicited copy. The magazine, or part thereof, may not be reproduced or adapted without the prior written permission of the publisher. We take care to ensure our articles are accurate and balanced but cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage that may arise from reading them.

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February 2013



february 2013

upfront 3

a note from lisa

6 over to you readers respond 8

reader’s blog

Ammarah Bamath admits that sometimes she loves her toddler a bit more when the little one is asleep

25 dad’s blog Marc de Chazal praises the dads who have joined the nappy- changing brigade



individual treatment

homeopathy can treat a vast range of conditions, says Umm Zakariyya

all you need to know when your child wants to enter the world of modelling and acting. By Jennifer Stastny

12 upfront with paul

22 education 101



18 cover story


Michelle Jones explains the new curriculum and helps you make sense of the terminology

 aul Kerton warns parents against P being “pushy” and having unrealistic dreams for their children

13 pregnancy news – perfect timing

26 positively single

when is the right time to fall pregnant? Lucille Kemp looks at points to consider

14 best for baby – get that shot

 arenting alone need not be p a negative experience, says Helena Kingwill

28 break the cycle  you can boost your child’s immune system to escape the dreaded crèche syndrome. By Kim Maxwell 30 so, you should know... Christina Castle asked a few teachers what useful information they wish they could share with parents 32 get the lead out Donna Cobban finds out what goes into the paint we use on our walls and on our children’s toys 36 pull your weight are we leaving parenting up to the teachers? Glynis Horning finds out 38 hold your head high

L ucille Kemp and Lisa Lazarus offer solutions for all kinds of hair(y) issues

40 when bullying goes viral

s ocial media has made bullying a lot more sinister. By Tori Hoffmann

Glynis Horning says there’s overwhelming evidence that vaccinations save lives

16 dealing with difference

child psychiatrist Brendan Belsham explains the importance of a proper diagnosis for ADHD

44 resource – roots, shoots and muddy boots

Samantha van Riet shows you how to get your children to become keen gardeners

50 a good read

new books for the whole family

56 what’s on in february 74 finishing touch

 nél Lewis gets a lesson in the real A meaning of fun during the holidays

classified ads 67 family marketplace 71 let’s party

this month’s cover images are supplied by:


February 2013


Cape Town



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February 2013



living with a special needs child More than a year ago our lives changed forever when our newborn was rushed to the neonatal ICU. We received the devastating news that he had a genetic condition and as a result had significant medical complications, including a hole in the heart. We were warned that there would be huge developmental delays. I’m writing this letter because before our ordeal I knew a mom who had a special needs child and now, with hindsight, I feel ashamed that I didn’t do more. I wish I had phoned her and insisted on a coffee date to give her an outlet from her daily struggle. I wish I didn’t just ask in passing how her child was doing, but rather showed a genuine interest in her. The truth is that having a child with different needs is devastating to a parent. We learn to celebrate “inch stones” not milestones. In our circle, we use special needs jargon: “Does your child have a Mickey?” Most people would think we’re referring to a Mickey Mouse toy, but we’re talking about a gastrostomy feeding tube. I remember cuddling my baby in the hospital and having such a strong urge to put him to my breast, to let him latch. It is, after all, the most natural instinct for a lactating woman. Instead, feeding had to be done clinically via a nasal gastric tube and later, after the gastrostomy was performed, via a feeding tube. Some of our friends have no idea what we have to endure on a daily basis and their ignorant comments show that they have no intention of finding out. But over the past year we have made new friends. We swap numbers and share information on paediatric surgeons, paediatric cardiologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. We compare the best feeding supplements to get our babies to gain weight. When one of our babies is hospitalised for the umpteenth time, we send messages of comfort; even recommendations of what medical procedure should be considered. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t part of this club, but the reality is that I am.

over to you bullies A learner recently shot and killed another learner because he was being bullied. It had apparently been going on for a long time. Where was the school and where were the teachers? More importantly, did the parents of the shooter not know that he was being bullied? Were the bully’s parents unaware that their child was torturing others? Children spend hours at school every day for most of the year. It’s very important that parents take the initiative to keep the lines of communication open between themselves and the school. More importantly, it’s essential for parents to communicate with their children on a daily basis and to work at building an emotional bond. Children are usually not honest when you ask them directly how their day went. But if you do something relaxing with them, such as playing a game of soccer, they might find it easier to open up. If we encourage a trusting relationship and give them unconditional love, they are far more likely to confide in us than bully someone else, or use a gun to solve a problem. Michele Engelberg

keep your children close There are many child-friendly places with play equipment to keep children busy where parents can relax with friends and enjoy a cuppa. But I have noticed how many parents don’t bother about keeping an eye on their children at these places. Recently a friend and I

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February 2013

I understand why mothers of “normal” children give moms of special needs children a wide berth. It’s an uncomfortable subject. Dealing with the realities of a special needs child is unpleasant. All I ask of you is to try and put yourself in that mom’s shoes. Try to imagine the loss she’s suffered, the dreams she’s had to let go of. All moms are amazing – some just have more challenges than others. Anonymous

what language to choose My 10 year old was given a note from school saying that we must choose her matric second language now. She had one week to decide whether she is going to continue with Afrikaans as a second language or choose Zulu. My book club friends tried to make the decision easier by offering the following advice: 1 Choose Afrikaans – at least you will be able to help with Afrikaans. The children don’t really do any hard work in the second language classes anyway. 2 Zulu is too difficult. It is impossible to get an A or even a B for Zulu and the language is mostly spoken in KwaZulu-Natal. 3 Choose Zulu – it may be challenging, but Afrikaans is the language of the old regime. 4 Learn Zulu because millions of people speak it, and it would be nice to know what everyone’s talking about in the bus. 5 There are no books, DVDs or graded readers available in Zulu and there is little interest or commitment from the school. 6 Why do they have to choose one at all? English, as the international language, is the one that counts. It’s a waste of time to fiddle around with a second language that is of no practical use. And, if you can’t make a decision, opt for sign language instead. Janine

Let us know what’s on your mind. Send your letters or comments to or PO Box 12002, Mill Street, 8010.

visited a popular venue with our children. Unfortunately, the fencing around the play area is low and the play equipment creates a number of blind spots for parents who are seated at the tables. We noticed a man walk up to the fence and watch the children. He took out his cellphone and made a short call, still watching the children. He did not have a child at the play area and alarmed, we pointed this out to the manager, who told the man to leave. The childminders didn’t do anything. Parents, please, don’t expect others to look after your children. Be vigilant all the time. One kidnapping or potential kidnapping is one too many. Susannah Hillman

help for gifted children There is very little educational hope in South Africa for gifted children. In many cases education is even worse than the miserable boredom I experienced in the 1970s and 1980s. At the age of 28, my verbal IQ was assessed at ceiling level and my nonverbal IQ was at 155 on the old Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. Fortunately for me, my mother, who knew nothing about giftedness, bought me every book I asked for, even when money was scarce. At the age of 12 my library at home had in excess of 1 500 books; most of them factual. I’d always have four to eight open. I used to speed-read the storybooks in book stores. That’s how I taught myself. School was too easy, so my spare time was spent expanding my library and eventually visiting other libraries. Now it’s so much easier with the internet.

I have joined Mensa and other societies, but they are a waste of time. My advice to parents of gifted children is to give your child as much love as you can. Be disciplined with them. Challenge them constantly. They should then be fine on their own. Anonymous

thank you We would like to thank Child magazine most sincerely for their support of the Nappy Run campaign. Our main event happened at the Johannesburg Zoo on 3 November and it was a great success. We look forward to growing the campaign in the years to come and hope that the public will continue to show its support. Nadia Rossouw, Nappy Run Team

through the eyes of a child I had the privilege of enjoying a seaside holiday with my five-year-old niece this December. After a very difficult year, which included me almost drowning in lawyers’ bills, and buying a house, I was exhausted and not up to spending time looking after a little girl with loads of energy. But what a revelation it was! For the first time in years I enjoyed a break by seeing it through the eyes of a child. I looked at rock pools with fascination. I had fun with a plastic bucket and spade. I ate ice cream and slept in a “Christmas” bed. There was no time for TV, shopping or fretting. We should all go back to that place again, and allow our children to be in that space for as long as possible. Rachel van Dyke

We reserve the right to edit and shorten submitted letters. The opinions reflected here are those of our readers and are not necessarily held by Hunter House Publishing.

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February 2013


reader’s blog

sweet dreams Her daughter’s bedtime is sometimes her favourite


hey say you make your own happiness and I believe it’s true. All I have to do is look at my beautiful two-year-old daughter to know that. Yes, her father and I did indeed make our happiness, and her name is Hafsa. To describe Hafsa as feisty would be a disservice to the enormity of her personality and the energy of her spirit. A carbon copy of her dad, she fills my days with endless questions and giraffes made out of building blocks.


February 2013

I have been blessed in that I have the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mother. Yes, I was present to witness her first step, her first word and to kiss her first “ouchy”, and yes, I’m there when she simply wants a cuddle or for me to tell her the story of Red Riding Hood. However, I am also witness to the tantrums, hairpulling, toy-throwing and crayon-breaking episodes, of which at least one of the above will happen daily. She has thrown herself onto the floor, kicking and screaming – much like she entered the world – because she wanted a green sweet. The pink one that I had offered her just wasn’t good enough. Like all moms, I’ve come to realise that I have to choose my battles with my daughter and the one about the sweet was not one I was going to win anytime soon. I knew that no amount of words would calm her or make her see reason, so instead I shut out my mind and drifted off to my happy place; a place where little girls really are made of sugar and spice and all things nice. A place where sharing, potty training and cuddling happen naturally.

Secretly I count the hours until its bedtime just so that I can turn off the Barney DVD – I know the words to every song – pack away the toys, mend the broken crayons and collapse on the couch. Of course she has her wonderful moments too. Like the times where she’ll suddenly kiss me or say, “Wow Mommy, you look so pretty”. It’s these gestures that I remember as I watch her sleeping. The soft sighs that part her lips or the way her eyelashes fan her face almost make me wish that she’d wake up and say “Mommy” one more time. Almost. I love Hafsa. She’s the best part of me. Is it wrong though that I love her just a wee bit more when she’s asleep after a busy day?

Readers, this is your column – it’s a space to air your views, share a valuable parenting lesson, vent your frustrations or celebrate your joys. Send your writing to

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illustration: shutterSTOCK.COM

part of the day, admits AMMARAH BAMATH.


individual treatment Homeopathy is becoming an increasingly acceptable way to


treat illness and maintain good health, says Umm Zakariyya.

hould alternative therapies be a parent’s first choice for promoting their child’s health and for healing acute and chronic ailments, or should it be the last recourse after other avenues of treatment have been exhausted? Just a few years ago, the answer would have been a highly controversial and polarised one, but today, with the growing acceptance of alternative health treatments, parents have more choice when it comes to complementary medicine.


homeo what? Homeopathy is a therapeutic medicinal system that restores health by stimulating the body’s own systems of defence and repair. Based on the teachings of German physician Dr Samuel Hahnemann, the central doctrine of homeopathy is that “like treats like”; meaning that a substance that would cause symptoms in a healthy person is able to treat those same symptoms in an ill person. Caffeine, for example, may cause insomnia, but a homeopathic solution of a diluted caffeine compound would act as a sedative and treat the symptoms of insomnia. Homeopathy has gained credibility as a system that not only supports physical health, but also restores emotional and

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cognitive wellbeing and is able to detect and treat subtle signs of illness before they reach a chronic stage.

homeopathy and your child Homeopathy can effectively treat a vast range of health conditions such as allergies, asthma, eczema, frequent colds and coughs, insomnia, recurrent ear infections as well as behavioural problems such as anxiety and fear, childhood depression, excessive anger, bedwetting, concentration difficulties and hyperactivity. “Seeing your child unwell or being subjected to frequent illnesses can often leave a parent feeling helpless,” says Dr Olica Maniram, a Cape Townbased homeopathic doctor. “Equally perturbing is when the parents sense that their child is not quite in balance, because of their clingy behaviour or disrupted sleep patterns, even after the child has been given a clean bill of health.” A first visit to a homeopathic doctor could last up to an hour. Maniram says you will be asked about your pregnancy and child’s birth; your child’s mental and emotional states; their general lifestyle, including sleep patterns, reaction to weather, food preferences and aversions; and your own state of health and family history of chronic illnesses. Because homeopathy acknowledges the uniqueness of

every individual, not only in terms of illness but also in terms of personality, an individualised course of treatment and remedies will be selected. Homeopathic medication is available as a spray, liquid drops, small pills and granules. Children are usually offered the pills or granules as they can be sucked and are sweet and more palatable.

benefits “There is a growing trend towards taking non-chemical or natural preparations before opting for mainstream medication,” says Dr Fatgieya Samsodien, a general practitioner in Cape Town. “Children are also sensitive and may react adversely to certain ingredients in medication. The same medication may cause drowsiness in one child and jitters in another. Homeopathic treatment is a safe and effective alternative.” It is nontoxic and does not have side effects. Samsodien advises parents to start off with a mild dose of any medication, whether homeopathic or allopathic, and then to increase the dose or change the medication if necessary. If you are combining treatments, speak to your practitioners to ensure that it is safe to do so. As with any medication, the safe use of homeopathic treatments requires the guidance of a trained professional.

February 2013


upfront with paul

Encourage your children to try new things and test their skills, but don’t overdo it, says PAUL KERTON.


he phrase “pushy parent” prompts a slight curl of the lip and is used to describe mothers and fathers who are deemed to push their children too hard to achieve a talent or status in life that they never quite achieved themselves. Witness the cliché of a pretty but aging mother hawking her even prettier daughter from beauty pageant to modelling agency to drama audition. It’s the “I could have been a contender” syndrome rearing its ugly head and kicking in with a vengeance. Where the parent feels that they could’ve, would’ve, should’ve been “something” but they threw their opportunity away, and now they will be damned if their child is going to “make the same mistake”. Classic. Meanwhile the child is exhausted from being towed all over town to do extra “work” when all she wants to do is chill and watch iCarly, having put in a day shift already at school. Pushy Wikipedia cofounder, Larry Sanger, started a growing trend of “early reading” when he used PowerPoint


February 2013

Saskia, Paul and Sabina

presentations to teach his two-year-old son to read and inadvertently launched a new “religion” – worshipping the patron saint of precocious children. One devotee, Dana Wilkey, started teaching her son to read from four days old. Yes, you’re right, babies can’t even focus on the book at that age, but her philosophy of “it’s never too early to make your child brilliant” included bombarding her son with flash cards twice a day. “I would

show John words such as “milk”, give him my breast, and then show him the baby sign language for milk.” My English teacher never did that. As we speak, there is an enormous industry exploding in teaching babies to communicate before they can crawl, never mind walk; with “signing” being a big craze. Visit and prepare to be stunned as millions of moms and dads converse with their babies using

sign language. These are the extremes of parental pushiness though. Most parents are not really that forceful, just mildly competitive, as we all want the best for our children in a world where future opportunities for our offspring are diminishing faster than they are opening up. It’s healthy to push our children to some extent to try as many things as possible and recognise what they are good at or interested in sooner rather than later. The classic extramural schedule of one musical instrument, one language, one sport and one of the arts is designed to provide a fully-rounded learning experience, leading to a well-balanced personality. Problems only arise when the child is expected, or pushed, to do too many extra pursuits in one evening or afternoon. You can overdo it, but you know your child and should be perceptible to whether or not they are coping with their workload. If not, lose one or two activities. Research shows time and again that you don’t learn a darn thing when you are tired. Follow Paul on Twitter: @fabdad1

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hey, stop pushing!

pregnancy news

perfect timing You’re emotionally ready for a baby, but how do you know if it’s the right time to fall pregnant? LUCILLE KEMP considers the options.


octors recommend that you start preconception care four months prior to trying to fall pregnant. This may include lifestyle changes, the taking of nutritional supplements such as folic acid, blood tests, iron level checks, a urine test, a pap smear, a blood pressure test and even a dental checkup. Men are also advised to do their bit, by cutting down on alcohol consumption, taking vitamins and avoiding saunas and restrictive underwear. Medical advice is that you should wait at least six months, but preferably longer, after giving birth before trying for the next one.


what is your ideal age? Becoming a mom in your twenties, thirties or forties – each age group has its advantages and risks. While you may be at your most fertile in your early twenties, you are not necessarily financially stable or established yet. Once Alex Wall, 26-year-old mom to two daughters, found out she was pregnant she prepared by joining a good medical aid. “We also started putting money away as I wanted to be at home with the baby for longer than three months.” The risks of miscarriage, Down’s syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities at this age are relatively low, but they increase gradually until the age of 35 when doctors will recommend various tests, including an

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amniocentesis, to help detect any possible defects. Nancy Kerr, 37-year-old Cape Town mother who had her daughter at 35 and son at 36, was conscious that her age would put her into a higher risk category. “It is one of the reasons I won’t have a third baby.”

planting the seed Science tells us that sperm carrying the Y chromosome has a high motility/speed and sperm carrying the X chromosome has a longer lifespan. Knowing this, your cycle and when you ovulate can help you to predict the sex of your baby. If you are hoping for a specific sex you can time intercourse with the help of an ovulation date planner and books such as How to Choose the Sex of your Baby: The Method Best Supported by Scientific Evidence (Random House).

conspiring in your favour You might want to time your pregnancy so that you are at your heaviest in a season that is comfortable for you. Nancy battled through summer the first time round so she hoped for a winter pregnancy with her second baby. “Unfortunately, I lucked out and was again at my biggest in the heart of summer, though I am glad as I did not have to struggle to keep a newborn warm and it was easier to get up at 3am.” Note that giving birth during a holiday period,

such as Christmas or Easter, is often less than ideal. Most hospitals operate with a skeleton staff and your gynae may be on holiday when you go into labour. Extensive research has been done on the effect of the month in which a child is born. Children who are able to start school because of their birth dates may still be physically, emotionally and intellectually younger than their classmates. Parents have therefore become more mindful of when they send their child to school. Alex, who is also a teacher, thinks it’s a very important consideration. “I was born in December and had to repeat a grade in primary school; children born in November or December work at a slower pace and although it is a steady pace you will normally find a December child’s yearend evaluation will be the same as another child’s midyear evaluation.” This developmental difference is such a prevalent issue that Southdowns College in Pretoria has created separate age groups for children born in the first half of the year and those in the second half of the year.

February 2013


best for baby

get those shots Put any qualms aside – the overwhelming evidence is that vaccinations are vital for your child’s health. By GLYNIS HORNING


still remember tearing up in sympathy when my sons had their first vaccinations; their cheery, chubby faces crumpling with shock at the unexpected prick of the clinic sister’s needle. Yet it would never have occurred to me not to take them, or to skip any of the shots required by the Department of Health’s Expanded Programme of Immunisation (EPI). “Vaccinating your child means that their body is taught to recognise a pathogen and is able to defend itself against disease caused by it,” explains Professor Jeffrey Mphahlele, head of the South African Vaccination and Immunisation Centre (Savic) at the University of Limpopo’s Medunsa Campus in Pretoria. “Immunisation is one of the greatest breakthroughs in medical history and, according to the World Health Organisation, saves three million lives a year.”

journal The Lancet, and the main author was dropped from the British General Medical Council because, among other things, he was found to have falsified his data and benefited financially from discrediting the MMR.”

have their child vaccinated. But despite this legal requirement, schools may not refuse to accept unvaccinated children, since vaccination is not compulsory.” There is, however, a societal moral obligation to have it done, because the child who is not immunised poses a threat not only to themselves, but to others, he says. “Freeloading, the practice of avoiding vaccinations and depending instead on herd immunity, is not only immoral, it will eventually backfire on parents who do this because they are setting an example which others in their community may follow, resulting in low herd immunity and outbreaks.” Burnett adds, “Unvaccinated children who are eligible for vaccination also pose a threat to those who can’t be vaccinated for various reasons, including being too young, or having a disease of the immune system that precludes them from vaccination. For example, many of the babies who got measles during the recent outbreak were younger than nine months, the age at which babies have their first measles vaccination.” So what to do if to date you have not had your child vaccinated for any reason, or have failed to go for the booster shots needed to sustain adequate levels of protection against the disease? It’s never too late to start, Mphahlele says. “And if the child has had some shots, there’s no need to restart the series. Just continue where you left off.”

Immunisation is one of the greatest breakthroughs in medical history and, according to the World Health Organisation, saves three million lives a year.

So why are some mothers remiss in having it done? “Many factors contribute,” says Mphahlele, citing an article that appeared recently in the journal Vaccine. They range from missed vaccination opportunities to incorrect information provided by clinic staff, unavailability of vaccines and difficulties accessing clinics. “Anti-vaccination lobbyists who argue that vaccinations are unsafe may also have influenced mothers to not vaccinate children,” adds Rosemary Burnett, senior lecturer in epidemiology in the Department of Public Health at the University of Limpopo, and one of the authors of the study. These lobbyists’ most widely publicised argument in recent years has been that there is a link between MMR, a combination vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella, available in the private sector in South Africa, and autism. But this was based on a study of just 12 autistic children with no control group, says Burnett, and many had signs and symptoms of autism before being vaccinated. “Subsequent controlled scientific studies on huge numbers of children have found no link. Ten of the 12 authors retracted their names from the article. It was withdrawn by the medical


February 2013

make an informed decision The choice is surely clear, but it is still your decision to make. “In South Africa, parents are required to submit proof of childhood vaccinations when they enrol their child in school,” says Mphahlele. “If there’s no documentation, school principals are legally obliged to refer the parents to the clinic to

calling the shots Diseases for which vaccines are available in the routine EPI programme are tuberculosis, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough, tetanus, measles, haemophilus influenza infections such as pneumonia and meningitis, hepatitis B, pneumococcal disease, and rotaviral enteritis, a severe and dehydrating form of diarrhoea. Ask about these at your clinic. For the schedule, visit immunisation-schedule

Diseases for which vaccines are currently licensed and available in the private sector as part of the routine immunisation programme are rubella or German measles, varicella (chickenpox), hepatitis A, influenza, mumps and human papilloma virus infection, which is associated with about 60 percent of cervical cancer cases. Ask your doctor about these. Diseases for which vaccines are given only in special situations or for travelling are anthrax, cholera, hepatitis A, meningococcal disease, rabies, tick-borne encephalitis, typhoid fever, yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis. Ask your doctor or travel doctor about them. magazine joburg


weigh up the risks

Others of the anti-vaccination brigade, including a dear misguided friend of mine, argue that multiple simultaneous vaccines can overwhelm a young child’s immature immune system and cause disease and conditions including autism. But Mphahlele and Burnett, and her research colleagues, report that there is absolutely no scientific evidence to support this. My friend eventually took her three children for vaccinations when they reached preschool age, but only because the head of the school she fancied insisted on it. Burnett and her colleagues also point out that the diseases that vaccines prevent can have serious complications, and they were common before vaccination was introduced. Any effects that may occur after immunisation are mostly mild; involving redness, tenderness or mild fever, and they’re usually short-lived, with only one per several thousands or millions being serious, she says. So for example, a child’s risk of a severe reaction to the measles vaccination is one in one million, while having measles carries a one in 20 risk of pneumonia, a one in 2 000 risk of encephalitis, a one in 3 000 risk of death in industrialised countries, and, alarmingly, a one in five chance of death in developing countries such as ours.

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February 2013


dealing with difference

ADHD’s diagnostic dilemma In his book, What’s the fuss about ADHD?, child psychiatrist BRENDAN BELSHAM advises parents to get a proper diagnosis for this complex condition.


he teacher reports that your child is underachieving in the classroom, and suggests an assessment. Like any parent, you will probably respond emotionally. After all, we don’t enjoy receiving criticism about our children, however well-intentioned. It is natural to go on the defensive, and parents often begin by blaming either the teacher or the school. Sometimes feedback about our children awakens issues which we experienced years ago in the classroom. As a practitioner, I have often found myself caught in the middle of a teacher’s concerns and a parent’s denial. Indeed, many families come to see me under duress, having been issued a thinly-veiled ultimatum to have their child assessed, “or else”. This is a far from ideal beginning for a doctor-patient relationship, and I often have to spend a large chunk of

2 a neurodevelopmental paediatrician, with a

special interest in ADHD; or 3 a paediatric neurologist, with expertise in

childhood neurology. For completeness, one should probably also include the general paediatrician and family doctor, although you must do your homework because not all generalists have expertise with this condition. But, in our context of scarce resources, it is only pragmatic that some of the load should be shared by general practitioners.

the appropriate test Many parents are referred specifically to a neurologist because the teacher feels they need to have an electroencephalogram, or EEG, a procedure which records the electrical activity of the brain. However, I must emphasise that you cannot diagnose ADHD with an EEG. Anyone who tells you

the first consultation easing this tense situation. But it doesn’t have to be this way. How the teacher approaches you as a parent can facilitate the process. There is a world of difference between “I think Johnny should go onto Ritalin” and “I have noticed that Johnny often daydreams in class and doesn’t finish his work. How about we ask a specialist to look into this?” I know which approach I would prefer.

who does the diagnosing? Parents are often unsure about this, as there are at least three different medical specialists to whom you might be referred. Schools often refer to these specialists somewhat interchangeably and randomly, further compounding parents’ confusion. The truth is any of the following doctors would be appropriate: 1 a child and adolescent psychiatrist who has specialised in children’s conditions;


February 2013

otherwise is either deluded or practising quackery. There is certainly a place for the EEG, for example if it is suspected that the child has absence or petit mal seizures, a type of epilepsy in which the brain “switches off” for short periods of time. In such instances the EEG is an appropriate diagnostic test. But don’t let anyone tell you that your child has to have an EEG, including the latest fad, the quantitative EEG, known as the qEEG, in order to diagnose the condition. There is something vaguely unsatisfactory about not having a scientific test to diagnose a condition, which no doubt contributes to the proliferation of gimmicks such as the qEEG, but unfortunately that is where we stand. A diagnosis involves a checklist of symptoms which should be evident in the child and that should be causing significant impairment in his or her daily functioning. The latter is particularly important as it guards us against overmagazine joburg


There is something vaguely unsatisfactory about not having a scientific test to diagnose a condition…

diagnosing the condition – we call this “false positives” – or worse, degenerating into perilous cosmetic pharmacology.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM IV, published by the American Psychiatric Association and now in its fourth edition, is the “bible” of psychiatric disorders. It records the diagnostic rules for any condition you care to mention. In the section describing childhood conditions, you will find that the symptoms of ADHD are divided into three clusters: inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

problem is not necessarily an absolute inability to concentrate, as it is an avoidance of tasks that don’t stimulate or are boring. This has to do with the executive system of the brain, which governs higher functions such as prioritising, delay of gratification and time management. DSM IV has decreed that a child should display at least six of these nine symptoms to warrant the ADHD diagnosis. There is nothing magical in this particular threshold, and good studies have shown that children with only four or five symptoms may be as impaired as children with seven or eight criteria.



1 an abnormally short concentration span;

1 constantly on the go, “as if driven by

the DSM IV

2 a frequent resistance to sustained

mental effort, especially with boring or repetitive tasks; 3 easy distractibility; 4 marked forgetfulness; 5 a tendency to lose things frequently; 6 difficulty organising tasks, poor planning; 7 not listening properly to instructions; 8 a tendency to rush work, poor attention to detail, frequent careless mistakes; and 9 inability to complete tasks. Most of these symptoms are selfexplanatory, but it is true that a child with ADHD may concentrate very well in certain situations, even too well at times. It is known that such children often “hyperfocus” on certain tasks, to the exclusion of other, more important or relevant activities. The

2 3 4 5 6

a motor”; runs about or climbs excessively; restless, unable to stay seated; fidgets excessively; excessively talkative; and plays loudly.

impulsivity: 7 often interrupts or intrudes on others; 8 cannot wait his or her turn; and 9 blurts out answers before the question

is completed. In assessing these criteria, the doctor should directly observe the child in the consulting room, usually involving some form of structured activity such as drawing or writing. It is also very important to interview the child directly.

Dr Brendan Belsham has been in private practice as a child psychiatrist for more than 12 years. What’s the fuss about ADHD? (CreateSpace), explores the controversies surrounding this frequently diagnosed condition. It has been written mainly for parents who want the disorder, as well as its diagnosis, possible causes and treatment, explained in an accessible manner. He also discusses the safety of the medications commonly prescribed. To order a copy of the book, email or visit

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February 2013


your child’s life

cover story Understanding how the modelling or acting industry works will go

ou see the child on the cover of this magazine and think “so sweet”. Of course your little one is cuter, even if you say so yourself. So why isn’t she on the cover? She could be. She could also be the cute child with the mini-Afro who struts her stuff in that television ad for nappies. To make the leap from doting mom to momslash-manager of the next baby Heidi Klum, you will need to summon up some time (yours), patience (yours again) and willingness (your child’s). Then it’s a case of following these six steps.

step 1: spawn an extrovert; preferably one that’s attractive Don’t think that sticking a camera in the face of your quiet seven year old will help her blossom. The most likely outcome of such an approach will be tears – the photographer’s, after that camera is thrown at the nearest


February 2013

wall. “Shy, introverted children generally don’t enjoy modelling or acting, and are also less successful,” says Nicky Greyling of Kool Kids Casting Club in Cape Town. “This industry is best suited to children who have an outgoing personality and are confident.” Insider’s tip: Casting agencies need people of all ages on their books. However, it’s probably best to consider your child’s age when deciding to join one. Older babies and toddlers don’t usually take direction well. You’re better off trying to teach a fish to canoe than trying to get your two year old to sit still and look at the birdie. “It gets a little easier after the age of three or four,” says Justine Leary, whose sons Troy, six, and Seth, two, have featured in a number of local and international print and television campaigns. “Before then, you’ll spend a lot of time vying for your child’s attention and keeping them away from the equipment.”

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a long way to protecting your child, says Jennifer Stastny.

Make it clear to your child that if he isn’t chosen, it’s not because he is not good-looking enough or clever enough. Casting directors have very specific ideas on the look and type of performance they want for just that one shoot. step 2: register with a reputable agency Find an agency that belongs to the National Association of Model Agencies (Nama), the Official South African Casting Association (Oscasa) or one that has a proven track record. “If you have to, check the company’s registration documents to make sure they’ve been around a while,” advises Linsay Shuttleworth of Topco Models. “We’ve seen many fly-by-night operations close and the parents never see their money.” You’re also entitled to ask for references, adds Nicky. Once you’ve found a legitimate agency, it’s simply a question of filling in some forms and having a few professional photographs taken of your future face of Baby Gap. For babies under six months, most agents will also accept a supplied photo. The registration process will take an hour or two and shouldn’t cost you more than R500, including the cost of the photographer. Remember to bring

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your child’s birth certificate as your agency’s client will need to use it when applying for permits; a legal requirement for every shoot involving a child (see “law and order”). Insider’s tip: This is the point where you settle on the agency’s commission. “Local agencies typically charge 20 percent of the child’s earnings. For international agencies, that could go up to 30 percent,” says Linsay. Once your child has been cast, his income will depend on the type of job and whether he features in the final campaign. As a rule, stills or photographic shoots pay less than television commercials, but then they also require more time on set. Michelle Danner, a Hollywood film and casting director and acting coach for A-list actors, says, “Like everything else that pertains to the child, there is due diligence to find the right agent. It’s okay to interview the agent as well, and ask questions in terms of what they’re going to do for your child.” Michelle is in South Africa this month to work with aspiring actors.

February 2013


your child’s life

Shy, introverted children generally don’t enjoy modelling or acting, and are also less successful. This industry is best suited to children who have an outgoing personality and are confident.

the industry works like this… Duncan Rice, of the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy, says casting directors or advertising companies will contact a casting agency or model agency with a profile of what they want. The agency will send photos of children on their books who match the profile. If the actor or model is chosen, the agency will contact their parents to advise how much the child will earn, less their commission. If there is agreement, the casting agency will sign the actor’s contract. Some agencies may charge a yearly administration fee to have a child’s profile on their website or to take photographs. Be aware, however, of excessive fees as these could be a scam. There is no need to pay to attend any casting. “The golden rule for casting and model agencies is that you should not have to pay any money upfront.” Read the contract carefully before signing your child, and do your homework. You should find information about the agency on the internet if it’s a scam, for example. Promises of fame and fortune are generally unrealistic. Trust your gut and don’t be hoodwinked by flattery.

step 3: be there to take the call and go to the casting Now, you sit tight. At this point, your child is one of many on the agent’s books, waiting for a brief that calls for a child of just her gender, age and look. When that call comes, be prepared to change your plans on short notice. Insider’s tip: A good casting agency takes care to match the face to the brief rather than throwing everyone on their books at a casting. It’s also important to manage your child’s expectations. “It can be disappointing to get excited about a casting but not get the job,” says Daniel Coetzee, 12, who has been in front of cameras since he was 10. Nicky agrees, adding that parents should try to avoid building up their child’s expectations. “Make it clear to your child that if he isn’t chosen, it’s not because he is not good-looking enough or clever enough,” she says. “Casting directors have very specific ideas on the look and type of performance they want for just that one shoot. The next one will be totally different.”

step 4: work it, baby The Cutest Moppet in the World has finally landed her first commercial. You wake up at 5am to get to the film location, an hour out of town, by 6:30am and arrive just in


February 2013

time for a great flurry of… nothing. Film and photo shoots tend to involve a lot of hurryup-and-wait, which can be frustrating for first-timers and little ones. Although child labour laws state that children under 10 are not allowed to work more than three hours a day, and thereafter not more than four hours, they may still have to be on set from early in the morning until late afternoon. Fortunately, everyone knows an unhappy child is a stubborn child, so they go to great lengths to ensure that little ones are kept well fed and happy. “A day on set includes all meals. And each child is assigned a crew member who keeps them entertained and makes sure they get their make-up done and know where to go,” says Justine. “My six year old is so comfortable with the whole business by now that I just stand back and let them take care of him.” Insider’s tip: “Make sure your child gets a good night’s rest before a shoot. Tired children tend to be uncooperative on set,” says Linsay. “And be sure to bring their favourite toys, blankets and drinks along.” It’s important that you, as the parent, find the right balance between being there for your child and getting out of the way so that the director and photographer can do their jobs. “Sometimes I can see that Troy needs a little time to warm up to the environment. Then I step back and let magazine joburg

law and order The performing arts is one of the few exceptions to the general prohibition on employing children under the age of 15. However, the employer must apply for a permit to do so, and will not receive one if he or she has been convicted of a crime against a child. There are some strict rules around working conditions. • Children under 10 should not work more than three hours a day, or four hours a day for over 10s. • Children under 10 can’t be expected to be on set for longer than eight hours a day, or 10 hours for over 10s. • Children under 10 must get a half-hour break after 90 minutes of work, or after two hours of work for over 10s. • Children can’t be expected to perform at night, after 10pm and before 5am, more than three times a week. • There must be a safe recreational area where children can rest and play. • Parents must be allowed within sight and sound of their children at all times. • No child should be exposed to physical or emotional danger as a result of the performance, based on either the child or the parent’s assessment of the situation. Source: Department of Labour’s “Sectoral Determination 10 for Children in the Performance of Advertising, Artistic and Cultural Activities”

him settle,” says Justine. “However, there was one job when I thought the producer kept him working too long, so I called my agents. They put a stop to it immediately.”

step 5: pace yourself for payment After all the deadline-driven casting and shooting, you’ll have to wait a good few weeks, sometimes months, before your child receives final payment – and even then you won’t be certain of how much the full amount will be until it arrives. This is because payment generally consists of two parts: a guaranteed fee for the time spent on set, which is usually a flat day or half-day rate, plus an additional usage fee if your child features in the final campaign. It is quite possible, especially in television commercials, for your child to be edited out of the final cut. In this case, you will only be paid the guaranteed flat fee. Insider’s tip: Brush up your tax knowledge. Like every other working Joey, child actors and models have to pay PAYE, so you will need an income tax number for your child. The agency will deduct this tax, plus its fee, before handing over final payment. Depending on your child’s annual earnings, you will be able to claim a portion of this tax back when you submit his or her annual tax return. magazine joburg

step 6: rinse and repeat The film and modelling industry is very reputation-driven, and child stars are no different. If your child enjoys what he is doing and is good in front of the camera, and if you have the time and patience to take him to castings and shoots, usually on short notice, word will spread and job offers will follow. Earning their own money is also a boon, and a learning opportunity. “Daniel has opened his own bank account and looks after the money he has earned. That’s a wonderful thing, especially at 12 years of age,” says his mother, Janine. Insider’s tip: Children’s interests change, and the day may come when your little Brad Pitt becomes more interested in computer games than getting his hair slicked back for a shoot. When that happens, let him bow out without a fight. “I told my son from the beginning that this is a great opportunity for him, but if he didn’t enjoy it I would honour that and withdraw him from the agency’s books,” says Grace Adair, whose son Joshua, 14, has been performing since he was 12. “Life is about learning and having fun. Give your child the freedom to love what he does and do what he loves.” Michelle says, “The world of show business can be very cold. Very early on I would have the child understand that they are valuable for who they are, not for booking a part.” February 2013



education 101 Changes to the curriculum make it difficult to keep up with the new terminology our schools use. MICHELLE JONES helps us make sense of it all.


February 2013

for parents to keep up with the new terms and concepts being used. For example, is your child a pupil in Standard 3 being taught by a teacher, or a learner in Grade 5 taught by an educator?

who’s who Learner refers to a child who attends school. Educator is the person in front of the classroom, formerly known as a teacher. Public schools are managed and funded by the Department of Basic Education. Independent schools were previously known as private schools and are privately governed. They operate according to their own regulations and do not receive government funding.

grades The grades and phases of education are broken up as follows: Grade RR The year before Grade R. Children should be three turning four in this year. Grade R This reception year before a learner starts Grade 1 is now compulsory for all learners. Foundation Phase Grades R to 3. Intermediate Phase Grades 4 to 6. Senior Phase Grades 7 to 9. Further Education and Training Phase Grades 10 to 12.

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chooling in South Africa is undergoing a transition with the Department of Basic Education midway through the implementation of a revised curriculum. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the priority of the department is to bring about fundamental changes in schooling outcomes. The comprehensive turnaround plan for schools is called Action Plan to 2014, which forms part of a larger vision called Schooling 2025. This covers all aspects of education, including teacher recruitment, learner enrolment, literacy and numeracy and the overall quality of education. As these changes are introduced, it can be difficult

first day of school

new curriculum Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statements (Caps) provide an in-depth guide for teachers to plan their time and structure lessons, and detail what work they are expected to cover each term. The statements also list which textbooks, workbooks and other media should be used. Every subject in each grade has a single, comprehensive and concise Caps document that will provide details on what educators ought to teach and assess on a grade-bygrade and subject-by-subject basis. The implementation of Caps began in 2011 and is to continue until 2014. It has already been introduced in

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Grades R to 3, and in Grade 10. This year, it will be introduced in Grades 4 to 9 and Grade 11. The number of subjects in Grades 4 to 6 will be reduced from eight to six. Caps will be introduced in Grade 12 in 2014. It is not a new curriculum, but an amendment to the National Curriculum Statement. The National Development Plan aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030, and it includes the goal that all South Africans should have access to education and training of the highest quality, leading to significantly improved learning outcomes.

Grade R The child should be four years old turning five by 30 June in the year of admission. Panyaza Lesufi, spokesman for the Basic Education Department, says that education officials are on hand to ensure that children of school-going age are in school. “Any child who has not been admitted at a school should contact the nearest district office for placement. Each district office has dedicated officials to monitor and enforce departmental admission policies as well as the placement of learners in schools.” Grade 1 The age of a child starting Grade 1 is five turning six by 30 June in the year of admission. A child can also be six, turning seven, which is the latest age at which a child may start school, according to the SA Schools Act. School is compulsory for children between the ages of seven and 15. Admissions Each province, and every school, is able to determine their own admissions policy in line with national policies. This means that schools are able to set out, based on their resources and capacity, whether learners will only be accepted from certain areas and how to choose which learners to accept. Lesufi says, “Schools’ governing bodies develop their own admission policies in line with the provincial regulations. The school’s

admission policy must be ratified by the department to ensure compliance with both the provincial and national policy.” Parents are encouraged to apply to more than one school as it is often unlikely their child will be accepted by their first choice. The SA Schools Act says public schools may not charge a registration fee, a deposit, readmission or preadmission fees, or any other fees, at the time of application. When you apply for a school, you need to supply a copy of your child’s ID and immunisation card. Feeder zones The use of feeder zones, which limits admission to learners living within a certain radius of the school, is becomingly increasingly rare. Some schools in Gauteng have feeder zones, so if a parent’s home or work address is within a 5km radius of the school their child’s name will be added to waiting list A. In terms of the Gauteng Department of Education’s admissions policy, those who live or work outside this feeder zone, will have their names placed on waiting list B. KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education head Nkosinathi Sishi, sent a circular to officials, principals and governing bodies last year saying that schools’ admissions policies for 2013 would not be determined by feeder zones.

February 2013



Western Cape schools may in terms of their own admissions policy indicate areas from which children can be accepted, although feeder zones are not determined by provincial policy. Siblings Having a brother or sister in a school won’t guarantee admission for the next sibling that applies. “This issue is not in the national or provincial policy, but some school governing bodies have included it in their admission policies to assist parents in transporting their children to a single school rather than driving from school to school. Other schools do not prioritise the issue of siblings,” says Lesufi. Refusal of admission The national admission policy is clear that the only reason to refuse the admission of a learner is when the school is full. “The principal of the school is expected to provide parents with written reasons if a learner cannot be admitted. Parents can apply to the provincial education minister if they are not satisfied with the reason provided by the school for the nonadmission of a learner.” This issue hit the headlines last year when Rivonia Primary School principal Carol Drysdale was charged with misconduct and insubordination for refusing to enrol a Grade 1 learner. The Supreme Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the school’s governing body, saying


February 2013

that the provincial education department did not have the authority to override their decision on the number of learners the school could admit. Applications Enrolments for the next year begin in March in the Western Cape and in May for Gauteng. Parents in KwaZuluNatal can apply in August.

other changes • Common Task Assessments (CTAs) came to an end for Grade 9 learners. • There has been a reduction in the number of projects for learners and the removal of the requirement for portfolio files of learner assessments. Learners, from the foundation phase, are able to learn in their mother tongue. The department began the process of distributing literacy and numeracy workbooks to all learners from Grades 1 to 6. Each book contains 128 worksheets and students are encouraged to take the books home so parents can be involved in their children’s learning. By the end of each school year learners will have four workbooks, two for mathematics and two for language, which they will be able to use to keep track of their progress. • The annual national assessments (ANA), tests which assess learners’ knowledge in maths and literacy, were implemented for the first time in 2011.

ANA 2012 numeracy and literacy tests for Grades 1 to 6 and Grade 9. What the tests revealed:

7 million the number of learners that wrote the ANA 2012

2 percent the number of Grade 9s who scored more than 50 percent for their numeracy/mathematics test

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga says the ANA helps parents gauge how well their schools are performing and advises teachers of potential weaknesses in their class.

in the classroom The revised curriculum means that the subjects learners need to cover in the classroom will be different. From 2013 the following subjects will be offered in the intermediate phase: • a home language • first additional language • mathematics • life skills • natural sciences and technology • social studies and in the senior phase: • languages • mathematics • natural sciences • life orientation • social studies • technology • arts and culture • economic and management sciences

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dad’s blog

the nappy run Modern dads are doing diapers, and more, observes


MARC DE CHAZAL, who (thankfully) hung up his nappy bag a good few years ago.

appies, I’m happy to say, are a thing of the past in my life. However, I was inadvertently dragged down memory lane at a recent event for dads. The majority of fathers sitting around the breakfast table have children who are either still in nappies or have recently been potty trained, so there was a lot of talk about the challenges of this stage of parenthood. Here’s what I found interesting: these rugby-watching, golf-playing dudes spoke about nappies, because they have actually changed a revolting, gag-inducing diaper. And they are keen to tell the tale, as every heroic survivor of a life-threatening situation is wont to do. I’m sure they’d rather be swinging a golf club any day than slinging a smelly diaper into the refuse bin, but their stories are proof that fathers have evolved. Sure, they tend to approach the whole nappy thing like businessmen who can tell you what each one costs and how this fits into their family budget, but they’re

emotionally in tune as well. They clearly understand that changing a child’s nappy is not merely a disgusting necessity to alleviate discomfort; it’s also a practical way to actively support their partners. It should be a partnership, after all, even if mothers are the ones sending fathers out to dutifully hunt down the last pack of the latest, fanciest slip-on nappy that can soak up a lake without leaking so the little chap can hopefully sleep through the night. It’s harder than it sounds – you need to come home with the right nappy for the right age and weight. Science is involved. How I kept my breakfast down after all this talk of disposable versus cloth nappies remains a mystery, but I’m glad to know that there are fathers out there changing nappies, occasionally waking up at night to feed a hungry baby, and being honest about the hard slog of raising children. Maybe fathers could be doing even more around the house, but diaper slinging is a good start.


Maybe fathers could be doing even more around the house, but diaper slinging is a good start.

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Read more of Marc’s weekly parenting blogs on

February 2013


straight up

positively single Parenting alone is challenging, so make sure you surround


yourself with supportive people. By HELENA KINGWILL

he fear of having to raise children alone is probably as ancient as marriage itself. All through history a woman who is widowed or divorced has faced the risk of discrimination, isolation and poverty. Today, being a single parent is not unusual, but the historical stigma still hovers like a dark cloud. Even with modern conveniences, it’s tough to parent alone. But, as with other challenges, the outcome of your situation is determined by your mental attitude. If you behave like a victim, you will not only become a victim of your circumstances, but so will your children. It is essential that you maintain a positive attitude and get the help you need.

from a group of other single moms she met in a corridor when she realised that they were caught up in complaining about their lives. Celebrated author Eckhart Tolle names this phenomenon “the pain-body” in his book, A New Earth – Awakening

had she joined the conversation, and she didn’t want to go there. Toll’s advice is to observe these things, and be aware of oneself and one’s reaction to them, so as not to be too drawn in emotionally. Thelma Price, a mother of two from Cape Town, has married twice and is again single after experiencing both divorce and the death of her spouse. She says the worst part is feeling unacknowledged for the enormous amount of work one has to do as a single parent. Then there is the struggle with one’s own emotional burdens of grief and disappointment and, in the case of divorce, the awful feeling of having been rejected as a person. She joined a women’s support group to find guidance, but soon left. “The women were fuelling each other’s anger at their ex-husbands. It seems to be an easy trap to fall into.”

the singles’ club This may be why Donna Smith, a single mother from Cape Town, moved away


February 2013

to your Life’s Purpose (Plume Books). The pain-body is the emotionally-charged energy field one carries that is activated when something has hurt or upset you. When two or more people with a pronounced pain-body get together, this energy field becomes more powerful. The huddle of single moms Donna encountered seemed intriguing until she sensed that towering above them was the spectre of their collective pain-body. Donna knew that her equilibrium would have been disturbed

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If you behave like a victim, you will not only become a victim of your circumstances, but so will your children.

Ronnel Rothschild of Cape Town, who has raised her son alone for most of seven years, says, “Although support groups provide a safe space, separate from society, where the common issue is being a single parent, these dynamics make it easy for them to turn into whinge clubs, unless they are well facilitated. Therapy is ideal, if you can afford it.” She advises single parents to enjoy their free time doing something positive, rather than spending it complaining about the difficulty of their situation.

a societal norm According to Statistics SA, only one third of South African children live with both parents. Although a third of these are left with grandparents, the rest usually end up with their mothers. Despite the fact that it is such a common modern phenomenon, single mothers are still not given much social or physical support by the system. Loneliness can be one of the greatest stumbling blocks for a single mother trying to maintain a positive attitude. “You have to do everything on your own, as there is one less set of hands,” says Marana Bosazza, a mother of four who single-handedly runs an organic vegetable farm and food gardens at schools in the Ciskei. She has been a single mother for seven years. “Single dads go through the same thing. It’s a problem caused by the modern nuclear family.”

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Traditional African tribal society is probably the most forgiving environment to be a single parent in, as childcare is shared communally. Marana suggests sharing households with another single parent. “If you both have children, you can help each other and it’s a great way of finding support, short of staying with family.” She admits that single parenting can be relentless. “Burnout is a common problem.” She advises other single parents to get enough sleep and go for regular massages. “Stressed people need to be touched. The stressed single parent doesn’t necessarily get physical touch except with their children. Then they take out their stress on their children. So you must have a physical outlet.” In spite of all this, Marana has no regrets. “Getting divorced was the best thing I have ever done. I am a whole person now. Seven years ago, I hardly knew who I was. Now I am completely transformed. I even look different.” When you start looking, there are plenty of upsides to being a single mom. Ronnel says she is relieved to not have to split her time and energy between her child and her partner. She also doesn’t have to consult someone about decisions. “Being married doesn’t necessarily mean one has more help. Many fathers are absent,” she points out. “I am so grateful to have my son in my life that I never feel hard done by.”

survival kit for single moms (and dads) • Forgive and let go of anger and blame towards your ex. It doesn’t serve you; it just keeps you trapped in negativity and pain and jeopardises your children’s relationship with their other parent. • Don’t sweat the small stuff – prioritise happy children over a perfectly tidy home. • Be organised and plan ahead. Preparing lunchboxes and clothes for school the night before may help prevent panic in the morning. Cook and freeze food ahead for evening mealtimes, or shop online for ready-made evening meals, which may be a lifesaver when you are too tired to cook. • Be realistic about how much you can take on and don’t over-commit. • Get over the guilt factor. Your child will notice if you constantly feel you have to compensate for the other parent’s absence, and will use it as leverage to manipulate you. For example, if you’re a mom and have a son, find him a male mentor you approve of and send them camping, especially if he is in his teens. • Save money where you can: change to a cheaper moisturiser, downscale your DStv or cellphone contract. Good financial planning is the path to true independence and liberation. • Find your new tribe. Make a conscious effort to create a community of people who can relate to your situation, and make them your new family. It takes a village to raise a child. • When you decide to start dating, avoid bringing a new man into your home until you are really sure he is for keeps. This is a hard lesson to learn. Your children want constancy and security, not to be casting agents for the new “dad” character in their movie. • Don’t try to be a supermom. Be honest about the help you need and don’t be afraid to ask for it. • A hobby or a special interest that allows you to express yourself creatively can be an excellent outlet and can even potentially generate a second income.

February 2013



break the cycle Daycare may be a hotbed for germs and infections, so make sure your child has a fighting chance. By KIM MAXWELL


recently visited a crèche in my neighbourhood, with my husband in tow. We were investigating daycare options for our two year old. It was within walking distance of our home and the group was small with the emphasis on play. I’d heard great reports from other parents about its firm but loving environment, yet first impressions put me off. Three children under the age of four had snotty noses and, after we’d looked around for 10 minutes, no one had arrived with tissues to sort out the problem.

children have constantly runny noses; it’s usually clear, sometimes with a mild fever attached. There may be coughing from a postnasal drip. With crèche syndrome it’s about the continuous virus load, one after another, that wears down their health,” she says. Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between crèche syndrome, which is spread through sick children rubbing their noses and then touching their friends and their toys, and allergies caused by pollen or pets. “By the time the virus

not child’s play Crèche syndrome refers to an ongoing cycle of colds, sniffles and more serious illnesses when young children are infected at a crèche or playgroup where they come into contact with other children on a daily basis. After repeated infections their immune systems become compromised. Cape Town paediatrician Dr Hanneke Heyns says crèche syndrome strikes from eight or nine months old, when some babies start daycare, and is prevalent among toddlers. “These


February 2013

has infected the first child and travelled through another 10 children at crèche, it reinfects the original child because its form has changed,” she adds. What about the argument that children infected by germs develop necessary antibodies? Yes and no. Heyns says babies have no immunity at birth aside from their mother’s antibodies, which are transmitted via breast-feeding. Young children need contact with a certain amount of viruses so that if they catch a cold, their bodies can make antibodies to build resistance for a magazine joburg


I have a huge problem with the dishing out of antibiotics without a proven bacterial infection.

healthy immune system, which helps them get better quicker. But crèche syndrome doesn’t build enough resistance because of the unrelenting cycle of illness. Antibiotics that are prescribed frequently and without justification compound the problem. Heyns says antibiotics are rarely the solution because most children’s infections are viral. “I have a huge problem with the dishing out of antibiotics without a proven bacterial infection. Antibiotics are not beneficial due to children’s immune systems being broken down and they have side effects such as teeth problems,” she cautions.

fight it with food Durban paediatric dietician Kerryn Gibson says good nutrition is essential in fighting crèche syndrome. After repeated bouts of illnesses many children battle to catch up the weight they lost. Georgina Crouth of Joburg put her daughter into crèche at four months old. Kalyn has been a poor eater since birth. Now almost two and a half years old, she’s tall for her age but generally underweight and has been

ill often. “Kalyn is always battling upper respiratory and ear infections, gastro and conjunctivitis. She’ll have a snotty nose and within a day or two it will be an infection requiring treatment by a doctor and usually antibiotics. Once she had gastro for four days and we just couldn’t get it under control,” says Georgina. “I’ve been fortunate to be allowed to work from home when she’s sick, and although not ideal for me, it’s better than some of Kalyn’s classmates whose working parents drop them off sick.” Gibson says, “The problem is that many toddlers are fussy eaters and parents fall into the trap of feeding them something they know they’ll eat; often frozen and processed meals instead of nutritious foods. Their immune systems and gut health become impaired so they catch colds frequently and become constipated. This can spiral into a vicious cycle of eating less and catching more infections.” Parents of fussy eaters should examine their own eating habits as toddlers will mimic their behaviour. Setting mealtime boundaries is helpful.

immune-boosting eating Breakfast Toddlers should start the day with high-fibre unsweetened breakfast cereals or porridge with milk. Lunchbox Ideas include sandwiches on brown or whole-wheat bread with chicken, tuna, cheese or peanut butter toppings. Protein This is extremely important for a healthy immune system and children should eat fresh and preferably stewed, grilled, stir-fried or baked chicken, fish, red meat, lentils or legumes daily. Fruit Whole fruit, fruity yoghurt and even drinking yoghurts make better lunchbox treats than biscuits, chips, chocolates and sweets. Aim for three to four portions of fruit and vegetables daily. The fruit and vegetable rule is the more colours the better: red, yellow, green and orange, and eat these fresh if possible. Fruit can be frozen but not tinned. Only give dried fruit occasionally. Added value “A general multivitamin for children younger than five can be beneficial, particularly if your child isn’t eating well. But it isn’t a fail-safe solution to avoid eating properly,” says paediatric dietician Kerryn Gibson. Look for a broad spectrum multivitamin with vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K, and minerals zinc and calcium.

your crèche syndrome checklist 1 Ask questions whenever antibiotics are prescribed. Colds, flu and gastro are caused by a virus, and antibiotics don’t kill a virus; they only kill bacteria. Viruses can cause throat and ear infections but bacterial infections play a bigger role. 2 Give your child an annual influenza vaccine, available from clinics and pharmacies, from the age of six months onwards. Influenza can be life-threatening. 3 Parents can only relieve the symptoms of crèche syndrome. If these danger signs are present, alert your doctor: persistent fever with a temperature above 38°C, fast breathing, a chesty cough and wheezing, green nasal mucus, diminished interest in eating and drinking, and vomiting. 4 Don’t dry out a runny nose. Use a salt-water nose spray to loosen the phlegm. Steam and elevated sleeping also help. Healthy eating and removing a child from crèche for the duration of the illness will allow their immune system to properly recover.

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February 2013



so, you should know… Undercover and in for the truth, CHRISTINA CASTLE gets the low-down on exactly what teachers wish they could tell you straight to your face.


February 2013

co-ed, independent or public, primary or secondary, the teachers’ sentiments were overwhelmingly consistent. So parents, it’s time to face the music. These are the notso-secret seven things teachers wish they could tell you – no holds barred.

their children. Many are overloaded with extramural activities to make them smarter, slicker and faster. At the top of their game? At six? It’s not about being the best. It’s about doing their best. In fact, failing is just part of life’s journey.

Parents have abdicated their responsibility to discipline and to teach manners to the teachers. Stop putting so much pressure on your child to perform. Be realistic about your child’s abilities – in the classroom and on the sports field. Today’s parents are highly competitive and expect unrealistic greatness from


Provide positive and realistic support for your child, whether he is top of the class or last in the swimming pool. First prize is a confident and happy child. So chill a bit, won’t you? And let your child enjoy being a child.

Do you know how hard we work?   actually  You’ve counted just how many weeks make up the school holidays and you’ve noted that school finishes around about mid afternoon. Bit of a cushy job, really. Really? What many parents don’t take into consideration are the hours of lesson preparation that go on behind the scenes (no, teachers don’t just stand up in front of a class and wing it) and all the extracurricula


commitments they sign up for or have assigned to them. Cricket coaches deserve medals and choir masters/mistresses should be knighted. Many put in more hours and dedication than their corporate counterparts. And did we mention the salary? Let’s just not go there.

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ometimes I wish I could be a fly on the wall of the staffroom at my sons’ school. Not only do I want the real skinder on the Castle boys, but I would just love to know exactly what these teachers really think. They are often too polite, diplomatic or intimidated to just come out with it. We parents can be a scary bunch. So instead of donning the wings and digging out my Bono shades, I took the easy electronic route and sent an email to three very different teachers, at three very different schools around the country in the hope that they could get their staffrooms talking and, in turn, spill the beans. Anonymously, of course. And what came back was brutally honest. Regardless of the school, single sex or

Be more involved in your child’s learning process. It’s the most consuming part of your child’s day and requires input and support on all fronts. While the teacher is a vital component in the process, the role of the parent is to provide support at home, interest in what your child is learning and a signature in the homework book each evening. And while the au pair may be on hand to help out, especially with that bit

miss out on important information or a new concept that is often shared first thing in the morning or at the beginning of a class. Catching up on this is tough for even the most tuned-in, assertive learner.


of Grade 6 maths that has you stumped too, understand that it’s just “helping out”. What your child needs is you. Give your child the independence they need to learn. While some parents need to be encouraged to participate more in their child’s education, others need to be told to back off a little. Letting go is tough, but in order for your child to learn, they need to stand on their own two feet, make mistakes and


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Take ownership – stop blaming. Teachers are not miracle workers. There is only so much they can do. There comes a time when learners and parents alike have to wake up and take the blame for poor performance. It’s all too easy to point fingers and suggest inferior teaching. Yes, we all expect good results but when the hard work is not put in from all involved then good results cannot be expected. Teach your child to take responsibility


operate independently. They need to walk from the car to the classroom on their own. They need to leave their lunch or sports kit at home and not have someone deliver it to school. They need to complete a project on their own. The confidence that comes from these simple experiences is enormous and important. Discipline and manners should 5 be taught at home. And supported at school. What has become clear is that as parents are often not able to spend enough time with their children,

they have abdicated their responsibility to discipline and to teach manners to the teachers. They feel that it is up to the school to set the standard. Parents, it’s time to toughen up. Do not drop off your child late. It   is the responsibility of the parents to get the child to school on time. Essentially, lateness shows a lack of respect for the child, those around them and the school. The child generally takes the rap. The child becomes embarrassed, and the parents are to blame. What’s more, the child may


for his work and his property and take ownership of the results. It’s a lesson he will carry with him for life. Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? Relatively pain-free (mostly for my secret sources).

February 2013



get the lead out DONNA COBBAN peels back the layers to reveal what’s really


fter months of wondering if the bubbling paint under the dining room window was rising damp, I grabbed a paint scraper and peeled off the layer of Cabbage White – a colour I had chosen soon after buying the house about seven years ago. The paint I had bought then was definitely lead-free, so I was not too concerned as I furiously scraped away. But there were several layers buried under this one and I soon found myself scraping away three to four layers of unknown paint. In front of me were patches of bare wall surrounded by islands of paint that still clung


February 2013

tight. And covering everything, including me, was a whole lot of paint dust. My house is more than 100 years old and I had no idea what this dust and its airborne articles contained. Did I need to be concerned about possible lead in this paint, or any other painted objects, in our home?

but he listens to my concerns and imparts some useful safety tips: wear a mask and wash your hands thoroughly when you are done. Some protective head covering is also a good idea and I should dampen the wall as I work to prevent the paint dust from becoming airborne. And yes, he agrees that

Lead poisoning could affect children’s IQ scores and contribute to learning difficulties, hyperactivity and poor performance at school. I put the question to Toni Stella, a paint technologist and training manager at Plascon Academy with 41 years of experience in the industry. My call catches him in the middle of a paint and safety class,

I should make sure there are no children in the house, just in case. In many countries, you can pop down to your local hardware store and buy your own lead testing kit for a couple of hundred rand.

In South Africa, lead testing can be done at the National Institute for Occupational Health in Johannesburg, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research or a research laboratory based at Stellenbosch University. But these are units set aside for research, ruling out any possibility of you taking your own suspicious piece of flaking paint there for testing. You could use a hand-held analyser, but an entry-level unit will set you back about R240 000. It seems that trust is all we have to go on when it comes to lead levels in paint.

where we stand legally The Department of Health has upped its offensive and authorised provincial authorities to prosecute paint manufacturers whose products still have lead contents

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going into the paint on some of our walls and children’s toys.

above the legal limit. Regulations controlling the use of lead in paint came into effect in 2010, but recent studies found that hazardous lead-based paints are still freely available on many shop shelves. Professor Angela Mathee of the Medical Research Council (MRC), says that of paint samples collected from retailers, 40 percent still contained illegally high amounts of lead. Labels on paint cans were also misleading, with some not containing proper warnings as required by the new legislation. Mathee said in an MRC report on lead poisoning that there is “irrefutable evidence of the deficits and intellectual behavioural outcomes”, such as shortened concentration spans and hyperactivity, associated with lead exposure in children. There is also a

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growing link between high blood lead levels in childhood and aggressive or violent behaviour in early adulthood. The health department’s Professor Nicky Padayachee has said that lead poisoning could affect children’s IQ scores and contribute to learning difficulties and poor performance at school. So, with this in mind, I wander through the aisles of paint at my local hardware store, hoping to expose a rogue paint manufacturer flouting the law, but everything seems above board. Stella tells me that it’s usually the smaller manufacturers that one needs to be wary of, and doubly so if they do not belong to the South African Paint Manufacturers Association (SAPMA), which is diligent in monitoring manufacturers. SAPMA states that it currently represents 90 percent

lead exposure Lead is a common element that occurs naturally and in various objects and substances, including petrol, paint, old plumbing pipes and some jewellery. A 2005 Medical Research Council screening of painted toys found that some had as much as 1 500 times the accepted levels of lead. The high-risk items included wooden puzzles, building blocks and other toys. According to the South African Paint Manufacturers Association, the problem of lead in paint and the effect on children arose some time ago when white lead was widely used in wood primers. “Children would chew on windowsills in particular and this was exacerbated by the fact that the compound of lead in the paint had a sweet taste.” There has been improvement in lead levels since the phasing out of lead in petrol in 2006. However, an MRC survey in 2007 has shown that far too many young children in South Africa continue to have unacceptably high blood lead concentrations. If the international blood lead action level for children is lowered to five or even two milligrams per decilitre, the vast majority of children in SA, especially those living in urban areas, would be on the wrong side of the accepted amount.

February 2013



While the larger importers and distributors may be above board, there is still lead out there, and vigilance is needed especially when it comes to choosing toys. of the paint manufactured in South Africa, a figure they have worked hard to increase over the years.

self-regulation The whole process clearly needs a little more control and Mathee says the MRC, in partnership with the Department of Health, is buying paint from a range of suppliers to analyse their lead content. This is good news for a country short on watchdog bodies. But it is not only local paint that may be tainted; our children’s toys may also be at risk. A large majority of the toys in our shops are imported and most importers and distributors I speak to tell me they are self-regulatory and choose to comply with

European Union (EU) safety regulations. For this, they can produce a certificate of safety, otherwise known as the EN71 certificate, yet very few wish to go on record. But Mervyn Aires, from Ideal Cycle & Toy Wholesalers, a company started by his father in 1936, says that the only way the toy industry in South Africa will survive is through a process of self-regulation. “If customs insisted on stopping all imports to check them then small businesses would fold.” He is adamant that selfregulation is the only option. “Registering products with the SA Bureau of Standards is a lengthy process and, in the toy world, fads and fancies come and go fast.” It is therefore imperative for importers and distributors to hit the market at the

how dangerous is it? Lead poisoning is not always apparent as its danger lies in its cumulative effect. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, children with high levels of lead in their bodies can suffer from: • damage to the brain and nervous system, • behavioural and learning problems, such as hyperactivity*, • slowed growth, • hearing problems, and • headaches. *Some studies have found that children with ADHD have increased levels of lead in their blood, but further research needs to take place as the amount of lead children are exposed to has been steadily dropping, while cases of ADHD seem to be continually rising.


February 2013

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right time. So, without sufficient watchdog mechanisms in place, the only way to ensure this happens safely, it seems, is through internal checks. Prima Toys, one of the largest importers of toys in South Africa, says their products comply with the standard EU and US health and safety regulations. This offers scant comfort given that so many toys on that side of the world have been, and continue to be, recalled due to excessive amounts of lead in their paint. But locally, Prima can stand proud as their manufacturers, Hasbro and Leap Frog, have a clean track record here. Neither company was affected by the recall of toys during 2007. Hasbro tests the paint prior to application when manufacturing in the US and they employ an independent party to test products imported from China. They have also intensified the frequency of random product testing, stepped up the number of unannounced inspections at factories and implemented additional spot checks of products before they are delivered to retailers.

medical checks While the larger importers and distributors may be above board, there is still lead out there, and vigilance is needed especially when it comes to choosing toys. Although doctors don’t seem to routinely test for levels of lead in children, Mathee says, “Part of the problem is that lead poisoning is much more widespread than many doctors and health workers realise; especially when you consider that scientists from many parts of the globe have called for the blood lead ‘action’ level to be lowered to as little as two micrograms per decilitre

of a child’s blood.” The action level refers to the maximum lead level that is allowed before a child needs medical attention – the internationally accepted action level is 10 milligrams per decilitre. With this in mind, Mathee tells me that, in her opinion, the medical profession is not as vigilant about the prospect of lead poisoning as they ought to be. “One child who contracts lead poisoning by chewing paint coatings with illegally high levels is one too many.”

playgrounds In our local playground, the paint has peeled away to reveal that the slide has been green, blue and red over the years. There are flakes of paint on the ground and I wonder if I need to be concerned. The MRC says lead from playground paint is not generally seen to play a major role in childhood lead poisoning. However they do report that a child in a Canadian playground suffered from lead poisoning after ingesting paint chips. Mathee cautions that there is also the risk “that over time, chipping of lead-based paint may lead to elevated concentrations of lead in soil in the playground, especially if it is bare soil”. She adds, “It is important to discourage children from excessive hand-to-mouth behaviour while playing in playgrounds or other sandy areas, and to encourage handwashing after a visit to the playground.” At particular risk are children with pica, a disorder usually prevalent in pregnant women, small children and those with developmental disabilities, that results in an abnormal craving to ingest objects of a non-nutritive nature, such as metal, paint and sand.

other tips to keep lead levels down in your family • T  he first flow of water in the morning or during the night should not be given to babies or young children as lead can leach into the water from your plumbing pipes. • Vacuum cleaner dust should not be put in the compost bin as this dust can contain high levels of lead. • Pets often show symptoms of lead poisoning before people. If your pet is unwell and a vet diagnoses lead poisoning, you should see that all members of the household have a blood test for lead. • Pets should be kept outside and definitely off children’s beds because they collect lead dust on their coats. Regular washing of the pet and handwashing for the family members is important. Courtesy of the Australian Lead Education and Abatement Design Group (LEAD)

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February 2013



pull your weight Raising children requires the combined effort of parents, caregivers and schools. on our teachers? By Glynis Horning

haping children into healthy, happy, productive members of society is no mean task, and with mounting work pressures and technological distractions, many of us appear to be shifting key responsibilities to our children’s teachers. In a recent survey of the biggest teachers’ union in the United Kingdom, most said they felt let down by the lack of parental support. Two in three believed this to be the main reason for learners misbehaving, and half complained that parents didn’t send children to school with the right equipment, letting them take cellphones and other items that caused distraction and disruption, and allowing too much “negative exposure” to TV and other media. In South Africa, the media officer for the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU), Nomusa Cembi, says teachers have the same problems “and more”. With HIV and Aids leaving many children orphaned, teachers often carry an even greater burden. SADTU is addressing this through a programme that aims to train a teacher in each affected school “to educate children about their rights, sexuality and other things parents should do”. Township and rural schools may be most affected, but teachers at former model C and independent schools, from preprimary to high school, all speak of their growing responsibilities. “I believe parents


February 2013

are leaving more to teachers because they’re working longer hours; many are single, and there’s no time to mentor, monitor, role model and, especially, to discipline,” says Andri Barnes, deputy principal at Glenwood High School in Durban. “Role modelling has become almost nonexistent at home.” “Parents are also too scared to say no to their children, so the teacher must be the ‘baddie’,” adds Diane Berry, headmistress of Rustenburg Junior School in Cape Town. “Many moms say they’re their daughter’s ‘best friend’, but you can’t have a parenting role and be the best friend.” Carol Lottering, principal of Manor Gardens Primary School in Durban, believes, “(They) are parenting to the best of their ability, but they’re not equally successful because of their differing parenting styles, level of personal development and perceptions of their roles. More children have absent parents and are reared by domestic workers or uncommitted extended family members.” At preschool level, however, Sulochnee Nair, principal of Crawford Pre-Primary in Pretoria, reports that “parents are probably not worse than before”. Teachers have always been social workers, counsellors, psychologists and parents too. But she adds that parents could do more “for their children’s sake”. magazine joburg



Are we placing too much of the responsibility

defining our role Parents are children’s first educators, and it’s our responsibility to lay the intellectual and emotional foundation for their lives and help develop their values and attitudes, says Nair, and the other principals agree. It’s the duty of teachers, they say, to build on this and train children to be useful citizens, to give them the basis for lifelong learning and personal development. “Legally, teachers are required to act in place of parents during the school day,” says Lottering. “We don’t only teach to get academic results but to make learners better people, and the curriculum is designed to teach the whole child for their social, moral, personal, spiritual, physical, intellectual and creative development.” By high school, the main role of the teacher is “to extend academically, offer emotional support, provide extramural activities and build on values,” says Barnes. “It’s the parents’ responsibility to provide an environment that is conducive to studying, and to monitor and motivate. This is not happening. Parents also need to track the social lives of their children, give them boundaries and discipline, and teach them to take pride in their appearance and neatness. This too is not happening.”

informed about their policies and vision, projects and practices, and maintain regular contact if children are considered troubled learners, says Barnes. “Teachers should be consistent and diplomatic, they should answer your questions the same day they are received, and offer to meet with you.”

as for parents:

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Get to know your child’s teachers from the start, says Nair. Attend the parents’ evenings held early each year, and arrange a private meeting if your child has any problems they need to know about. Communicate with teachers regularly through emails or messages in homework notebooks. “We need to know anything that may affect a child, from a family health problem to a pet’s death,” says Nair. Pass on compliments as well as criticism, perhaps thanking a teacher for making a subject fun for a child or for encouraging them. “We want feedback; positive and constructively critical,” says Barnes. Arrange a meeting with the teacher if problems arise; don’t just arrive. If you believe the teacher is part of the problem, don’t criticise them in front of the child. Take it up with the


Parents are too scared to say no to their children, so the teacher must be the ‘baddie’. The key is for parents to encourage self-sufficiency before children even start school, says Nair, giving them a sense of security and confidence by making time to talk to and really listen to them, and encouraging them in whatever they try. “We accept children at preschool only when they’re potty trained and can dress themselves, and often prefer to teach skills like writing so that children learn the correct method. But all parents need to engage with children to develop their language, instead of leaving them to watch TV. They need to read with them interactively; ask questions; point out colours and shapes in road signs and adverts; involve them in chores such as cooking so they can grasp quantities and numbers while they chat, and teach them responsibility by having them tidy away their toys. They also need to see that children get enough sleep and healthy nutrition, both of which are vital for optimal development.”

improve our marks The bottom line is that parents need to work closer with teachers if we’re to give our children the best grounding. “We need to be equal partners,” says Lottering, and this requires improving our relationship. For their part, teachers need to keep us magazine joburg

teacher directly in an open, nondefensive way. Only if you don’t get satisfaction should you take it higher, to a head of department or principal. Show an interest in your child by attending sports and cultural events. This also shows teachers you care. So does feeding your child a nutritious breakfast and sending wholesome snacks to keep them alert and able to learn, and seeing they have the correct equipment. Talk about school at home, asking specific questions: “What did you do in art today?” “How is your friend, X?” Be upbeat and positive, stressing the excitement of learning. Get involved in school activities. If you’re busy or cash-strapped, drop off home-made biscuits for a function or waste paper for art projects, or offer to speak about your hobby or career at an open day. Don’t interfere unnecessarily, such as with the selection of teams or when you are unhappy with your child’s marks. Have trust. When you drop your child at school, if you’ve chosen a good one, know that you’re handing them to people who are dedicated to helping them become the best they can be. Just be sure to do your bit too.

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February 2013



hold your head high Finding lice on your child’s scalp, or preparing for that first visit to the salon, can be a hair-raising experience for all involved. The good news


ou may find yourself dealing with a few niggling hair issues as your child grows up, and it can start fairly early.

from the cradle Sister Mary-Ann Alves, who runs a childbirth education and baby clinic in Joburg, says you can identify cradle cap as flaky, dry scalp or thick and oily yellow/ brown crusty patches on a baby’s head and sometimes their eyebrows. It usually appears a few weeks to a few months after birth and can range from mild to severe. It’s harmless, however, and the cause, while unknown, is not related to poor hygiene or allergies. The condition


February 2013

usually clears up on its own in a few months, but there are ways to treat and soothe the area. For mild cradle cap, Alves recommends gently brushing your baby’s hair with a soft bristle brush or comb after washing or lightly rubbing their head with a towel. More stubborn cradle cap may require a gentle rub of olive oil, to be left in for about 15 minutes, followed by lightly brushing it out with a soft bristle baby brush or comb. Afterwards, wash the hair with a mild baby shampoo and rinse well. Do not vigorously brush, comb or scratch the baby’s scalp, as this could irritate the skin. If the cradle cap does not improve or starts spreading to other areas, take your baby to a doctor.

unwanted guests Lice are common among school-going children and spread like wildfire on the playground. Incessant scratching could be a sign that you’re dealing with these bugs. Look closely at your child’s head, paying particular attention to the hair above the ears and above the neck behind the head. You may also see tiny white nits on the hair shaft, which will appear as dandruff. You’ll know that these white specks are lice as they’re difficult to remove and aren’t flaky. You can use a head lice preparation, essentially an insecticide, taking care to follow the directions precisely. Increasing the dosage out of desperation doesn’t make it more effective. A less invasive,

more natural form of treatment is the failsafe recipe of Cape Town paediatrician Dr Harold Pribut: 50ml tea tree shampoo, 50ml tea tree conditioner, as many eucalyptus drops as your child’s eyes can handle; mixed thoroughly and placed on the head with a packet covering the area for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, comb out the preparation with a lice comb. For the best results, spare no expense and buy a good fine-toothed comb designed specifically for lice. Make sure to machine wash bedding, clothing, stuffed toys and other items used by the infected child. However, head lice don’t survive long once off a person, so there is no need to go to any drastic measures to remove them from the house.

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is that there are solutions, say LUCILLE KEMP and LISA LAZARUS.

grown-up issues As your child enters puberty, rampant hormones may affect their hair, adding to their teenage stress and selfconsciousness. Oily hair occurs when the sebaceous glands in the skin become overactive, producing more oil than needed. Teens can manage the condition by washing their hair once a day with a solvent-type shampoo, which has a higher pH balance. Take care to rinse the hair well, avoid using conditioner or use only a small amount on the ends of the hair if they appear dry, and don’t brush too often. Embarrassing dandruff or flakes of dead skin, which can be visible in your child’s hair and on their clothing, can be treated with over-the-counter shampoos containing salicylic acid, zinc, tars or selenium sulphide. If you don’t see an improvement you may need a medicated shampoo, lotion or liquid to rub into their scalp. Noticeable hair loss of more than 100 strands a day must be taken seriously as it points to poor overall health, possibly caused by stress, anxiety, new medication, vaccination, dietary changes, illness, exposure to allergens and toxins or surgery. These factors wreak havoc on a system that is undergoing rapid growth, hormonal shifts and changes in brain chemistry. While hair-growth products and supplements of vitamin B6, or spirulina and chlorella may help, a more holistic approach is advisable.

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This includes reducing stress levels, improving nutrition and getting adequate rest, fresh air and exercise. Your child should also wear loose hairstyles and keep them as untreated and natural as possible.

turn heads Your older child’s positive self-image depends, in huge part, on how good they feel about their hair. Equip yourself with information, either by doing online research or chatting to hairdressers, about ways to best manage their tresses. Hair types that cause particular distress include wavy, blonde, curly, fine and kinky hair. If you live in a humid climate, know that your curly-haired daughter doesn’t have to live with the frizz and there is a product for your blondie whose hair turns green after a weekend in the pool.

conquer the fear Part of the joy of seeing your child grow up is being able to chronicle all of their firsts, and this includes their first haircut. Unfortunately, a child’s first encounter with a hairdresser can be a daunting experience, and understandably so. Imagine being taken to a busy and unfamiliar place, seated in a large chair, sprayed with a “water gun” while restrained in a cape and having a stranger come at you with sharp scissors? There are things you should do to prevent a failed trip to the hairdresser. If not managed correctly,

the fear can create lasting trauma and become a phobia called tonsurephobia (fear of hair cuts) that, according to US therapist Kendra Cherry, can be related to a person’s first haircut as a small child. Because of this, parents should do everything they can to ensure that their child’s haircuts are pleasant by simply making the experience less scary. When you feel it is time to take your child for their first trim, which can be when she is between eight months and two years old, make sure you’ve given them a “head start” by letting them watch you or an older sibling get a haircut and talking them through what they are seeing. Scissors are the scariest part for most children, so use words that are less scary: “snip” or “trim” instead of the not so child-friendly “cut”. Latasha Scholtz, owner of a children’s hair salon, recommends choosing a salon geared to deal with edgy young clients. Take their favourite toy or a surprise treat and don’t give them time to fixate on their own scared expression, or the scissors, in the mirror. Keep them occupied. Be actively involved, even if they’re not willing to participate. If they don’t want to put on the cape, demonstrate to them how it’s done. Get excited – even if you’re not – because otherwise they’ll pick up on your apprehension. Plan the hair appointment at a time when you know your child won’t be tired or hungry. Lastly, as the salon can be a big deal, maybe try giving a few hair cuts at home, if you feel confident to do so.

we asked you on Facebook what interesting cultural practice or tradition you followed for your child’s first haircut: “As a Muslim, we have to shave our





are seven days old. Then we pay any silver coins we have to the person who cuts the baby’s hair.” – Amina Bhikhoo-Khan “When an African baby takes their first step, the mother can cut her baby’s hair for the first time. My daughter had an IV line on her head at five months, so I had to shave her head before she could walk, much to the dismay of her father’s family.” – Bontle Kgake  “I was told to shave off her baby hair after the first week, but my husband and I decided we weren’t going to do that. So, my daughter hasn’t had a haircut yet and she is now five.” – Carol Lengolo 

February 2013



when bullying goes viral The anonymity and accessibility of the internet has changed the tone

hen you give your child a cellphone or allow him onto the internet, you give him the opportunity to explore the online world and communicate with you and his friends. The statistics, however, also indicate that the second you put that smartphone in his hand, a whole new world of potential bullying, known as cyberbullying, opens up, and it doesn’t stop when you pick him up from school in the afternoon. “Preliminary results indicate that while the number of bullying incidents remains high, cyberbullying is on the increase in South Africa and constitutes approximately one third of the total number of reported cases. Home is no longer a haven and cyberbullying among children is very much a problem in our society today,” says deputy headmaster at Western Province Preparatory School in Cape Town, Alister Payne, who has done extensive research on the topic.

the digital playground Cyberbullying can be defined as any behaviour perpetrated though electronic media which repeatedly communicates hostile or aggressive messages intended to inflict harm or cause discomfort. While the three main attributes of bullying are repetition, intention to do harm and an imbalance of

Due to disinhibition and the lack of immediate feedback, offenders are less likely to be aware of the damage being done and they don’t get to see the difference between funny and cruel,” he says. “With playground bullying, a bully sees his victim’s face, reaction and body language.”

Home is no longer a haven and cyberbullying among children is very much a problem in our society today.


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power, these lines can become blurred. Payne says the difference between a child being harassed and being bullied depends on the repetition. “A single once-off harassment action, such as posting a message on Facebook or a video clip on YouTube, can easily be copied, shared and distributed broadly, which then constitutes the repetitive element.

why it’s on the rise

In South Africa, with the vast majority of children and teenagers having access to cellphones, such cyberbullying happens on a daily basis. Payne’s research indicates there was no significant difference between time (duration) spent on the internet and cyber victimisation. There was however a statistical significance between frequency and cyber victimisation. The conclusion is that users that check communication frequently are at greater risk. Internet usage statistics show that of the 88 percent of pupils who own a cellphone, 82 percent have internet access via their phone, irrespective of whether they were from low-, middle- or high-income communities.

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of bullying, making it more insidious. By TORI HOFFMANN

“While cellphone ownership in 2009 was high, at about 90 percent, the ability to access the internet almost doubled by 2012 and this is where the problem comes in. Messages sent via WhatsApp or BBM have become the weapon of choice,” he says, adding that increasingly cheaper broadband in SA fuels the problem.

what’s in it for them? Cyberbullies largely do what they do for revenge, entertainment, out of boredom and to get a reaction from their peers and whomever they are victimising. And they often suffer from very low self-esteem too. You’re a cyberbully if you post an embarrassing picture of someone on Facebook and watch it get shared; if you send a series of cruel messages or say something threatening via SMS or you upload an embarrassing or ugly video of someone on YouTube. If you do any of this anonymously, you’re most definitely cyberbullying. Children who might never be mean in the real world sometimes bully online because of the feeling of anonymity that the internet gives them. What’s more, says Payne, is that anonymity also minimises the chances of being caught. Pupils who would not normally engage in traditional schoolyard bullying may be tempted to do so because of the anonymity. “Cyberbullying is a crime of convenience,” he says, adding that preliminary results indicate that in a third of

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reported cases of cyberbullying, the identity of the bully was unknown to the victim. In almost half the cases, the perpetrator/s are from the same school. That said, children often don’t even realise what they’re doing, and according to Heather Hansen from TeenWorx, a company offering antibullying and cybersafety workshops, it’s not always that the cyberbullying is necessarily intentional, but rather that they send SMSes and post things on Facebook without thinking. “We find that children don’t always think about the consequences of their actions. They get caught up in the moment, create a post, and the next thing they know it’s become viral. A lot of the time, they don’t do it to deliberately hurt someone,” she says. “For example, they might make a ‘who’s hot’ list on Facebook, without realising that the person who doesn’t make the list will be completely devastated.”

target practice It’s not just high school children that are at risk. Grade 6s and 7s are definitely vulnerable and Payne’s research shows that the greatest frequency of victimisation occurs among 12 and 13 year olds. He adds that the results also indicate that girls are more likely to be victims than boys. As one would expect, many victims of traditional bullies are also victims of cyberbullying, and many cyberbullies are also traditional bullies. “However, a


the number of South African children who have been cyberbullied – UNISA survey

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number of traditional victims also tend to be perpetrators of cyber harassment, as they use the anonymity to retaliate,” he says.

signs and repercussions The victims of cyberbullying will suffer from many of the same effects as those who experience bullying on the playground or in the classroom: low selfesteem, frustration, anger, depression, loss of friends and exclusion from social activities. Other warning signs include falling behind in schoolwork or becoming very anxious. “If your child starts behaving differently, for example, not wanting to participate in her favourite sports, then

at school and at home. He may not like it, but he’ll thank you later. “While some schools don’t allow smartphones in the classroom and are very strict about it, others do as they are used as research tools, so it’s a very grey area. You can, however, create a technology corner in the home and have a cut-off time,” he says. “Some families get their children to plug in their phones in the evening to charge. Don’t let them use it as an alarm clock; rather buy one.” Hansen agrees and urges parents not to let their children use their computers and laptops in their bedrooms. “Have them work in an open space and take away their devices at least an hour before bedtime,” she says.

Children who might never be mean in the real world sometimes bully online because of the feeling of anonymity that the internet gives them. something might well be up,” says Sandie Johnson of TeenWorx. “If you notice that your child has become angry or depressed, has unexpectedly stopped using his phone or computer, appears nervous or jumpy – especially if the phone beeps – is uneasy about answering the phone, has a sudden change in social behaviour or avoids discussions about online activities, these are all indicators of potential cyberbullying victimisation,” says Payne.

parental guidance is advised Your child may come to view his smartphone with mixed feelings, because as much as he loves having one, once he has it, “he’ll find that there is nowhere to hide”, says Payne. “In the past, home was a haven of protection, but now victims can be targeted anywhere and at any time.” This is why you have to limit the amount of time that your child spends on his phone,


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“What the research shows is that one of the main reasons why your child might not tell you that he’s being bullied is because he’s scared you will take the phone away from him and he’ll lose his internet access, so you need to think carefully before you threaten to confiscate a phone entirely,” says Payne. In a worst-case scenario, take the phone away and provide a cheaper alternative where you can still insert a SIM card so that your child can communicate with you. Be informed and maintain an open relationship with your child so that if he’s being bullied, he will tell you. “It’s also vital that parents investigate thoroughly, find out the identity of the person, keep evidence by never deleting, tell their child to stop responding and take action to become directly involved,” he says. Lastly, Payne stresses that parents need to teach their children the difference between what’s funny and what’s cruel. “In magazine joburg

some cases, it’s clear that the behaviour is intended to hurt. For example, if it’s anonymous, it smacks of the intention to do harm. However, in many cases children don’t realise that they are causing distress,” he says. In other words, the intended message can be misinterpreted because they lack the emotional maturity to interpret tone. The results, as we know, can sometimes be disastrous.

schools’ responsibility They should teach empathy, says Payne, as this is something that’s not easy to feel through a screen. Also, since Grade 6s and 7s may already have phones, it’s crucial that they are educated in antibullying. “What is of concern is the gap that exists between what preteens perceive as cyberbullying behaviour and the reported incidents of cyber victimisation. There are extensive traditional anti-bullying programmes in place, educating children, providing support and coping strategies, but these appear to be ineffective in combating cyberbullying,” he says. Johnson adds that children also need to be taught how to stand up for their friends and to speak up if they spot something offensive online.

for help at your fingertips: • Cybercrime is an awareness portal that provides access to relevant and trusted local and international resources. The site also features help for reporting suspected activities. Visit: • The Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention is a Section 21 company that works to develop, inform and promote evidence-based crime prevention practice, with a particular focus on children and youth. Contact: 021 447 1818 or visit • The Security Association of South Africa or The Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority will provide a list of legitimate private investigators to track sources of bullying. Contact: 031 764 6681 or 012 337 5530 • Eblockwatch might also assist you, and they have in the past traced and put a stop to cyberbullies through their extensive network. Visit: • SA Depression and Anxiety Group Contact: 011 262 6396, 0800 205 026 or visit • Childline Contact: 0800 055 555 or visit (they have a facility whereby a child can speak to them online via Mxit)

keep tabs on their online activities • M  ake sure you know who your child’s friends are on their BBM, WhatsApp, Mxit, Facebook and Twitter accounts. In the same way that you wouldn’t drop off your child at a house where you didn’t know the child or parents, you need to know who your child is talking to online. • Be your child’s friend on Facebook or BBM so that you can keep an eye on him. • Install Mobiflock (; it works on Blackberry, Android and Nokia devices and has a tool that allows you to lock down the usage on your child’s phone. When you give your child a cellphone, you have to explain that it comes with a set of rules and regulations. Mobiflock should be one of them. • Keep a tight rein on your children’s online activities. Parents should only allow their children access to a computer and cellphone on condition that they are able to view the contents of the device at any time. Random checks on the phone are advisable and if you see that your child has been abusing the phone, there should be repercussions. Your responsibility to keep your child safe overrides his right to privacy. Remember that children are not equipped to deal with cyberbullying. Even if they feel that they can cope with it, they can’t. • Check the safety settings on your child’s Facebook account and stick to age limits and requirements. Don’t let your child onto Facebook until he’s 13. Children need emotional maturity to handle such accounts. • If your child is being bullied, you can delete and block the perpetrator. Remember, though, that you can’t delete and block people from real life, so you need to speak to the parents and the school and preferably resolve the issue.

take action • • • • • • • • •

Get counselling for your child if necessary. Speak to the bully’s parents. Don’t meet alone; take a witness. Speak to your child’s class teacher. If the situation does not resolve itself, speak to the grade head. Meet with the principal about your concerns. If there is no solution, consult the Department of Education. Report the cyberbullying incident to the police and get a case number. Consider consulting a lawyer. The last resort would be to remove your child from the school.

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February 2013



roots, shoots and

muddy boots

Children don’t usually associate vegetables and salad with fun, but SAMANTHA VAN RIET shows you in her book how to encourage your children to plant, and eat, their own greens.



Transfer seedlings of winter vegetables to your garden. Carrots, broad beans and beetroot are planted directly in the beds. Peas, spinach and lettuce may be planted now that the worst summer heat has passed. It is the last month to sow winter vegetables on the Highveld and in the interior regions.

Most summer vegetables may now be planted: Sow/plant beans, carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, cucumber and potatoes. Sweet pepper and eggplant seeds need high temperatures to germinate and should not yet be sown. If you are on the Highveld, wait for the last frost to abate before transferring seedlings to the garden.

It is the end of the planting season for the Highveld and other colder interior regions. Seedlings should be strong by now to withstand the cold and frost. In the winter rainfall regions and other more temperate regions; winter vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, peas, carrots and beetroot may still be planted.

may Subtropical climate regions such as Mpumalanga and the coast of KwaZulu-Natal have temperate winters, so those vegetables which grow in summer traditionally, like tomatoes, peppers and eggplant may be planted in these regions. Winter vegetables may still be planted in the winter rainfall regions.


n nature, there is a special time for planting, growing, harvesting and resting. This cycle depends on the sun. When the sun gets hotter and shines longer every day, plants react to it. They start to grow faster and differently.


In most regions it is now too cold to sow/plant. Seedlings of winter vegetables may still be planted in those regions free of frost. Traditional summer vegetables may be planted throughout winter in the regions with a subtropical climate.



Vegetables which grow in a short time can still be planted, but it is too late to plant sweet peppers and eggplant, as they require more time to grow. Sow/plant beans, carrots, spinach, lettuce and beetroot now.

Lettuce, spinach, cabbage, leeks, broccoli and peas may still be planted in regions where no frost occurs. Summer vegetables may still be planted in the subtropical climate regions.



In all the regions, winter vegetables can now be sown in seed trays: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions and peas, so they’ll be ready to be transferred to the garden beds next month. Vegetables which grow quickly may still be planted for a last harvest before winter sets in. However, in the warmer regions the heat of summer is too fierce for planting spinach and lettuce.

Broccoli, asparagus, peas and other winter vegetables may still be planted in regions that experience no frost. Strawberries may be planted now, to give the little plants time to grow stronger before their spring growth season. The Highveld and other interior regions still get frost. Gardeners in these regions should start planning and preparing for the spring planting season.


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october Summer vegetables may be planted in all regions. It is now also warm enough to plant sweet pepper and eggplant. It is a good idea to plant cucumber and pumpkin now, so the harvest will be ready before your garden is overrun by all sorts of bugs during January and February.

november Sow/plant potatoes, beans, carrots, beetroot, sweet corn, tomatoes, sweet pepper and eggplant. It is the last month in which to sow sweet pepper and eggplant, because of their long growing time.

december Tomatoes, beans, cucumber, potatoes, carrots, beetroot, sweet corn and pumpkin may still be planted.

PHOTOGRAPHS and illustrations: A GOOSEN / A BLOM / S VAN RIET /


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February 2013



earthworms are good for your soil • Earthworms make very fertile compost. They eat organic waste and soil. Then they excrete organic material rich in food for plants. This food is very easy for plants’ roots to absorb. • Earthworms dig tunnels through the soil. They mix and turn the soil. This gives the soil a better texture. A certain type of earthworm lives on the ground surface. These earthworms eat plant material. Another type of earthworm lives in the top layer of soil. They eat tunnels through the soil. While they move through the soil, they excrete material. In this way, they fill up the tunnels again. There is also a type of earthworm that lives in permanent tunnels deep under the ground. These earthworms pull organic material down from the surface into their tunnels.

attract birds to your garden with a bird bath Birds Birds eat cicadas, snails, grasshoppers, worms and lice. That’s why it’s good to have birds in your garden. But remember, birds also eat berries and other fruit. You should protect these fruits from birds. Birds also


February 2013

eat seeds. These seeds come out again in the bird’s droppings. In this way, birds spread seeds all over your garden. Put out food for birds in winter, when there is less food for them in nature. Birds like to eat some of your harvest. Here are things you can do to protect your plants from birds: • Put up a net to keep the birds out. • Push sticks into the ground in beds where seeds or small plants are sprouting. The sticks will keep the birds away from the seeds and seedlings. • If you want to protect a tree from birds, hang shiny things, like old CDs, shiny Christmas decorations or tinfoil from the branches.

vermiculture You can farm earthworms in your garden to get fertile earthworm compost. Buy or make an earthworm container. Remember that the worms in worm farms are not the same as the worms in your garden. They do not eat soil or garden waste. They eat soft organic food, like vegetables and fruit. This type of earthworm is not strong enough to survive out in the garden.

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home, sweet home • You can attract helpful insects to your garden by building them a home. You need hollow sticks, for example bamboo sticks. Cut the sticks into short, equal pieces. Put them in a bundle and tie them together with string. • Hang the bundle from a tree branch or a railing in a dry, sheltered part of the garden. • Now the insects can move in. They will think it’s a palace!

make a scarecrow • Be creative. You can make a scarecrow from almost anything. An old broom will work well for the head and body. Tie a stick across the broomstick to make the arms. Find shiny things that will blow around in the wind. Hang them from the scarecrow’s arms. • Put a hat on the scarecrow’s head. Dress him in an old shirt. Use small sticks or stones to make eyes and a mouth on his face.

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February 2013



tomato tart • • • •

1 roll shop-bought puff pastry 1 large handful of small tomatoes basil leaves or basil pesto (see pesto recipe on page 49) 1 small block of cheese: Camembert, mozzarella, or even goat’s cheese

1 Unroll the puff pastry and lay it out flat. Score a line about 2cm from the edge all around the sheet of pastry to make a frame.

2 Prick the part inside the frame with a fork all over, to prevent it from rising as it bakes.

3  Cut the cheese in blocks and sprinkle it over the dough on the inside of the scored line. Sprinkle the basil leaves over the cheese, or spread basil pesto in between the cheese blocks. Now place the tomatoes all over with the cut side up. 4  Bake in the oven at 200 Cº for 20 minutes, until the pastry is golden.

corn fritters • • • • • • •

about 3 cups cooked sweet corn 1 wheel feta cheese, crumbled 2 eggs 1 cup flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ cup milk oil for frying

1 2 3 4 5 *


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 ift the flour and baking powder together. S Beat the eggs and milk in a different bowl and add this to the flour mixture. Now add the corn and feta and stir. Heat oil in a pan. Fry spoonfuls of the mix (4 fritters at a time) until golden on one side, then turn over and fry on the other side. Delicious with a sweet chilli sauce.

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basil pesto

1 Take three cups of basil leaves, one clove of garlic, half a cup of Parmesan cheese and half a cup of nuts (walnuts or pine nuts). Use a hand mixer or a pestle to grind all the ingredients together.

2 Bit by bit, add one cup of olive oil. Keep on mixing the ingredients as you add the oil. The mixture will become a paste. It shouldn’t be too fine. Add salt and pepper. Store the paste in a screw-top container in the fridge. Basil pesto is delicious on pasta, like spaghetti. You can also add a teaspoon of basil pesto to vegetable soup.

about the book This beautiful children’s book, Roots, Shoots and Muddy Boots (Tafelberg Publishers, an imprint of NB Publishers), will inspire budding gardeners between the ages of six and nine to grow their own vegetables, and show them how to use the fruits of their labour in simple, yet tasty, recipes. They will learn about planning a garden, types of soil and preparation, planting and pruning and the all-important task of harvesting. There are also craft projects for them to tackle. Each page offers plenty to do with useful bits of information, photographs and illustrations. Van Riet, an illustrator by profession, came up with the idea when she struggled to find a suitable gardening book for her children. Available at all good bookstores.

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February 2013



for toddlers

a good read Farmer Clegg’s Night Out By Peter Bently and Jim Field

I Like To Learn Numbers – Hungry Chameleon By Alex A. Lluch

The Buttons Family – Going to the Dentist By Vivian French and Sue Heap

(Published by WS Publishing Group, R48) I Like to Learn Numbers teaches numeracy while introducing young children to different types of animals. This durable board book features colourful illustrations with rich textures that young readers will enjoy again and again. Other books in the series include I Like To Learn Alphabet – Zoo Clues, I Like To Learn Opposites – Amazing Bugs and I Like To Learn Colors – Curious Penguins. The author has sold over four million books on topics such as health, fitness, diet and finances, as well as children’s and baby books. He also appeared on many occasions on America’s Fox News as a parenting and relationship expert.

(Published by Walker Books, R72) This book is part of a series of six brilliant new first experiences books about the Buttons family for children from the age of three. Dad’s got toothache and Mom says it’s time all the Buttons go to the dentist for a checkup. The dentist shows Charlie, Cherry and baby Lou how to look after their teeth. In these charming, funny picture books with gentle, nondidactic messages, the Buttons family gives children the reassurance they need to take their first steps in the world – whether it’s going to the doctor, buying new shoes, visiting the dentist, starting school, staying the night at Gran’s or having a babysitter for the first time.


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(Published by Macmillan Children’s Books, R89) The atmosphere in the farmyard is electric. Old Farmer Clegg may be tucked up for the night, but there’s a talent show about to take place and all the animals are desperate to win. Will a break-dancing horse take the top spot? Will the pop-singing sheep twins be offered a recording contract? Competition is fierce, but nobody’s counted on a certain farmer with a sleepwalking habit. Children from the age of three will adore this very funny story and its bright illustrations. Parents might remember the author and illustrator who also collaborated on Cats Ahoy! Bently is also the author of The Shark in the Dark.

Where’s Tumpty? By Polly Dunbar

an old favour ite

(Published by Walker Books, R85) This is another classic story in the Tilly and Friends series for children as young as two. Tumpty is trying his best to hide, but will he ever succeed? “I’m hiding. You can’t see me!” But everyone can see Tumpty and they think it’s hilarious; upside down under a cardboard box, behind a pot plant. But later, when they really can’t find him – not in the cupboard, not behind the curtain or in the biscuit tin – it isn’t funny at all. This is a lovely story about the importance of friendship from the author of Happy Hector, Hello Tilly and Doodle Bites.

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for preschoolers get schoolready

Let’s Leap Ahead – Phonics By Alex A. Lluch (Published by WS Publishing Group, R105) This handy book makes learning fun for children from the age of three. It teaches them the fundamentals of spelling and reading with engaging activities. The notepad format, with its 80 pages of learning fun, makes it easy to use at home or on the go. It comes with a nontoxic dry erase marker and eraser and it has an elastic holder to keep the marker in place. Other books in the Let’s Leap Ahead series include Alphabet, Numbers and Colors & Shapes. Also try the Let’s Leap Ahead apps.

Bongo at Home By Reviva Schermbrucker (Published by Early Learning Resource Unit – ELRU, R35) Set in one of the many colourful townships in Cape Town, this book introduces the concept of sound to the young reader. Bongo explores the sounds of the everyday things he encounters in his environment. The ELRU is a nonprofit development and research organisation with a special focus on vulnerable children. They have several educational publications and tools such as teacher resources, children’s books, books on family and community involvement, posters, games and books on music and movement. Visit for more info and to order.

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Wipe-clean Learning – Fun with Words and Fun with Numbers By Brenda Apsley and Marie Allan (Published by Human & Rousseau, R120 each) Children from as young as three have fun and learn to write the letters of the alphabet and simple words and learn to write the numbers from 1 to 20. They can use the pens, which come in three different colours, to complete the activities, and then wipe the pages clean with the pen’s sponge and start again. The books have fun, colourful illustrations printed on sturdy gloss pages for durability.

iThemba in Where There’s Life There’s Hope By Lulu and Tee (Published by Linda Fellowes, R65) With poaching a serious threat to our rhino populations, it is up to our two-ton heroine iThemba, and her game ranger friend Joe, to save her skin when poachers call. Children will love reading about how iThemba and Joe foiled the wicked horn hunters one dark night in this exciting tale, while learning about these magnificent creatures. This book is loosely based on the real-life arrest of rhino poachers in the Kruger Park and teaches children about our endangered rhino, and that their future, and the future of our planet, is in their hands. To order a copy, visit

February 2013



for preschoolers Am I Ready for School? Editor Jenny Neethling (Published by Pearson Education South Africa, R113) Written and reviewed by a team of experienced South African teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists and physiotherapists, Smart-Kid’s Am I Ready for School? is perfect for making sure your child is ready for primary school. Helpful ideas and advice combined with colourful and stimulating activities test emotional, physical and mental readiness. The notes with activities explain the concepts and suggest extension activities for extra practice. There is also a detailed glossary of words used to describe children’s development; valuable information about choosing the right school; and a list of the organisations that provide help and support for parents and children.

for early graders

Southern African Sea Life – A Guide for Young Explorers By Sophie von der Heyden and Guido Zsilavecz (Published by Random House Struik, R100) This guide for young explorers combines scientific facts, fascinating titbits, fullcolour photography and illustrations to bring a wonderful variety of ocean creatures vibrantly to life. Children can read about marine habitats, discover plants and animal groups, learn to identify important species from each group, study the helpful guides to find out what sea life to look out for along the shore, find out why the ocean is vital to us, how it may be harmed by human activities and some of the ways in which we can help. Children can also get insight into the valuable work marine scientists do.

Really, Really Big Questions about Me By Stephen Law (Published by Kingfisher Books, R183) Have you ever thought about what makes you, you? Or asked yourself how your body works? Have you ever pondered your existence or wondered if the world and everything in it is just a dream? Do you ask: Where did I come from? How does my brain work? Why do I love chocolate? Switch on your common sense and explore these mind-boggling ideas and many more on a trip into the wonderful world of you. Funky illustrations, mind teasers and quirky quotations add to the simple questionand-answer format. The book, whose content was approved by the Science Museum in London, gives suggestions for further reading and websites to explore.

In the Mountains, In the Garden, In the City, A Museum Visit, Along the River, On the Road and By the Sea By Reviva Schermbrucker

take t he classro om outsid e

(Published by Early Learning Resource Unit – ELRU, R55 each) This series encourages children to see their environment through different eyes and takes them to different locations to experience maths and science outside the classroom. Through the books they follow groups of school children to the ocean, on a road trip, along the river, to the museum, to the city, into the garden and into the mountains. All the books are written in English, Afrikaans and isiXhosa. Ideas and information for parents and teachers are provided at the back. To order, visit


February 2013

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for early graders Big Questions from Little People Compiled by Gemma Elwin Harris (Published by Ecco Press, R265) Children have the knack of asking great but challenging questions such as: Why is the sea salty? How far away is space? Why can’t I tickle myself? What makes me, me? This book gathers over 100 real questions from children and puts them to knowledgeable experts. Alain de Botton explores how dreams are made. Kate Humble explains why lions roar. Heston Blumenthal answers the question about why we cook food. Their answers to the big questions; some complex, some searching, some surreal and some just plain cute; make this an essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand the complexities of life, the universe and why cake tastes so nice.

for preteens and teens

The Girl who could Silence the Wind By Meg Medina (Published by Walker Books, R100) This is a poignant and passionate tale about the risks people will take for a new and better life, and the sacrifices they will make to protect the ones they love. On the night Sonia Ocampo is born, the village folk of Tres Montes survive the most horrific storm they have ever seen. Immediately they believe Sonia must possess a special gift to heal and protect. But when a young boy dies despite her prayers, 16-year-old Sonia is filled with shame and a sense of powerlessness. Then her brother goes missing and she must now risk everything to find him, and a way to bring him home. The book is recommended for children from the age of 12.

Where Things Come Back By John Corey Whaley

Olivia’s Enchanted Summer and Olivia’s Winter Wonderland By Lyn Gardner (Published by Nosy Crow, R105 each) The fourth and fifth books in this very popular series for girls from the age of nine are now available. In the first book, school is out for summer and Olivia and her friends are going to be spending August in Edinburgh, home to the world-famous Fringe Festival. With such passion and good friendships, and the summer stretching out before them, what could possibly go wrong? In the second book it’s winter and Olivia is spending a lot of time working on her skating skills. It’s also panto season, so when Olivia has hung up her skates, she finds herself on stage as the back end of a pantomime horse. Whoever said showbiz was glamorous?

double award winne r

(Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, R95) The winner of the 2012 Michael L. Printz and William C. Morris Awards is a poignant and hilarious story of loss and redemption. In the remarkable, bizarre, and heartrending summer before Cullen Witter’s senior year of high school, he is forced to examine everything he thinks he understands about his small, dull Arkansas town. His cousin overdoses; the town becomes absurdly obsessed with the alleged reappearance of an extinct woodpecker; and most troubling of all, his sensitive, gifted 15-yearold brother, Gabriel, suddenly and inexplicably disappears. Meanwhile, the crisis of faith spawned by a young missionary’s disillusion in Africa prompts a frantic search for meaning that has far-reaching consequences. This extraordinary tale is for children from the age of 12.

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February 2013



for us for preteens and teens No Time Like the Present By Nadine Gordimer a hear twarm ing tale

A Dog called Homeless By Sarah Lean (Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, R180) When Cally Fisher says she sees her dead mother, no one believes her. The only other living soul who does see Cally’s mom is a mysterious wolfhound that always seems to be there when her mom appears. And when Cally stops talking – what’s the point if no one is listening? – how will she convince anyone that her mom is still with them or persuade her dad that the huge silver-grey dog is their last link with her? A Dog Called Homeless is the gentle and touching story of how one girl’s friendship with a homeless dog can mend a family.


February 2013

1000+ Hints for the Home By Solet Scheeres (Published by Human & Rousseau, R250) 1000+ Hints for the Home is a treasure trove of household ideas to help you deal with cleaning, mending and maintenance in next to no time. Not only is it a handy reference guide, but it also provides plenty of inspiration. It covers a range of subjects, from home safety to beauty tips, maintaining electronics and gardening. The hints are short and easy to read with stepby-step instructions where needed. All the chapters are colour-coded according to subject, and have space at the end for your notes. Find tips on how a little planning in and around the home can go a long way towards saving you money while encouraging you to enjoy a greener life.

(Published by Picador Africa, R263) Nadine Gordimer is one of our most adventurous contemporary writers. In No Time Like the Present, Gordimer brings the reader into the lives of Steven Reed and Jabulile Gumede, a “mixed” couple, who had been combatants in the struggle for freedom against apartheid. Once clandestine lovers living under a racist law forbidding sexual relations between white and black, they are now in the new South Africa; where freedom is being created but also challenged by worldwide political and racial tension. It is a place where the hangover of moral ambiguities and the vast and growing gap between affluence and mass poverty continue to haunt the present. The subject is current, but Gordimer’s treatment of it is timeless.

Around Iceland on Inspiration By Riaan Manser (Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers SA, R175) This is the unvarnished story of Riaan Manser’s toughest challenge yet: circumnavigating Iceland by kayak, accompanied by Dan Skinstad, who suffers from mild cerebral palsy. On his previous journeys Riaan was a solo adventurer, but this one requires him to take responsibility for another person’s life. Riaan and Dan must confront icy seas, harsh and unpredictable weather and physical exhaustion. The demands of the journey, and the life-threatening situations in which they find themselves, test the boundaries of their friendship, while logistical trials and the mental and emotional drama of tense team dynamics push the expedition to the brink of disaster. This is a story of inspiration, courage and determination.

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for us

parenting books

Make Give Sell By Callie Maritz and Mari-Louis Guy (Published by Human & Rousseau, R250) Food markets are exciting places: from trendy urban markets to slow-food or organic markets, food stalls at sporting events or a fundraiser for a good cause. This book invites you to step out of the processed-food aisles of large grocery chains and go on a journey through colourful markets. It is filled with new, wonderful and creative recipes you can either make to enjoy at home, give as a present or sell to supplement your income. With lots of surprises, such as watermelon cake, macadamia nut bobotie, chocolate thumbprints, open-faced Aloo pies, Ouma’s milk tart and marshmallow rainbow cake, this visual feast will inspire you to set up a stand when the next market takes place in your neighbourhood.

Conversations with my Sons and Daughters By Mamphela Ramphele (Published by The Penguin Group, R233) Ramphele is a leading South African academic, businesswoman, medical doctor and a former anti-apartheid activist. In these conversations with people of a younger generation, she responds to the growing despair among young South Africans about the cracks appearing in our system of governance that threaten the idealism of the country that reinvented itself in 1994. She shows how successive post-apartheid ANC governments have betrayed the nation by fostering a culture of impunity among those close to the seat of power, where corruption goes unremarked and accountability has been swept aside. She encourages the youth to overcome their fears and to take control of their rights and responsibilities as citizens.

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Baby Book By Brenda Apsley

a new life be gin


(Published by Human & Rousseau, R89,95) From the moment they are born babies are unique individuals with their own distinctive personalities. Complete this book to create a special record of your baby’s first year. It is something you – and your child – will value and treasure in the years to come. This beautifully designed book has space for photos, starting with the pregnancy where there is a page for your scans. You can record everything about the birth on “The Big Day” section, as well as your baby’s vital statistics. Also document your baby’s first birthday, including the first party, and chronicle your baby’s growth and milestones in this keepsake.

Learning with Scrap By Denise Berman and Susan Connolly (Published by Early Learning Resource Unit – ELRU, R95) This book was compiled in response to a growing need for ideas and patterns for making inexpensive educational toys for young children. There are 60 ideas for making preschool equipment for each activity area, with instructions illustrated through step-by-step drawings. Where needed, patterns to size are provided. No expensive tools are required. The book also describes how the toy or game should be used and what children learn by playing with it. Preschool and preprimary teachers, parents, childminders and others who care for young children will find the suggestions useful. To order, visit

February 2013



what’s on in february

You can also access the calendar online at

Here’s your guide for what to do, where to go and who to see. Compiled by SIMONE JEFFERY




Loving my environment Show your love for the environment and take part in an array of activities.

Melt your heart Enjoy an evening with a glass-blowing demonstration on Valentine’s Day.

bump, baby & tot in tow – p68

how to help – p70

Little kickers open day Introduce your child to soccer skills through exciting group-play activities.

Eagles, birdies and bogeys The 6th annual golf day in support of Jo’burg Child Welfare.

SPECIAL EVENTS – p58 Don Quixote open day Catch a glimpse behind the scenes as preparations for this major ballet production take place.


February 2013

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February 2013



SPECIAL EVENTS 2 saturday Artists Under the Sun An open-air exhibition of artwork by various artists spread out on the lawns and under the trees at Zoo Lake. Also 3 February. Time: 9am–4:30pm. Venue: Zoo Lake, cnr Jan Smuts Ave and Westwold Way, Saxonwold. Cost: free entry. Contact Val: 083 470 1998 or visit Creepy Crawlies Bring a torch so that you can explore the reserve looking for spiders with Astri Leroy, a spider buff and one of the authors of Spiders of Southern Africa. Booking essential. Time: 6pm–8pm. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena

2 February – Creepy Crawlies


February 2013

Ave, between Topaz and Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R50, children R25. Contact Karin: 079 693 5608 or visit Year of the Snake Celebrate the Chinese New Year with a host of traditional Chinese activities, authentic food, martial art demonstrations and vibrant dance shows. Time: 11pm–5pm. Venue: Brightwater Commons, Republic Rd, Randburg. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 789 5052 or visit

Dads’ and lads’ night golf Night golf is played without lights, but by inserting a glow stick in the ball, you aim for the only visible target on the green, a glow-in-the-dark marker. This format of golf guarantees laughs and is a great way to spend time with your children. For children 12 years and older. Time: 6pm. Venue: Protea Hotel Ranch Resort, Limpopo. Cost: adults R225, children R175. Contact Sean: 015 290 5000, or visit

3 sunday Askari Lodge Farmers Market An authentic boeremark where you can browse through the craft and food stalls, which are set up among the ox wagons and the heritage museum. Enjoy old favourites such as koeksisters, melktert, potjiekos, mampoer and ginger beer and watch the elephants play in the dam over the lunch hour. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Askari Game Lodge, Plumari Private Game Reserve, Doornhoek, Magaliesberg. Cost: free entry. Contact Pat: 014 577 2658/9, info@askarilodge. or visit Maragon Platinum Mile Swim Experienced swimmers set off for the 3km swim at 8:30am; thereafter beginners from respective age groups have their turn. Disabled swimmers and those interested in taking part in a fun 600m swim set off at 2pm. Time: 7:30am–2pm. Venue: Buffelspoort Dam, North West Province.

8 fri

Cost: R112 per swimmer, fun swim R56. Contact Kevin: 083 679 2473 or Di: 083 254 3628, or visit Vintage and classic car show View a collection of the finest motor vehicles and bring your picnic baskets and swimming gear for a day of fun in the countryside. Time: 8am–6pm. Venue: Lovers Rock Family Resort, Rustenburg Rd (R24), Magaliesburg. Cost: adults R60, children

R30, R30 per vehicle. Contact: 014 577 1328, 081 522 5878, or visit

9 saturday Water insect adventure What insects choose to spend their time on and in water? Join entomologist Bernice Aspoas to find out. Booking essential. Time: 9am–11am. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena Ave, between Topaz and

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Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R50, children R25. Contact Karin: 079 693 5608 or visit

10 sunday Loving my environment Show your love for the environment and take part in an array of activities, such as keeper talks, meet the ambassador animals, face painting and a jumping castle. There are prizes for the best Loving My Environment drawing. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Lory Park Zoo, 181 Kruger Rd, President Park, Midrand. Cost: adults R60, children R40. Contact Marina or Nicole: 011 315 7307, or visit

13 wednesday Spar Lantern Night Race The 10km and 5km routes are lined with dazzling lanterns to guide you through the scenic farmlands to the finish line. The 10km is only for individuals 15 years and older. You can enter online or at The Sweat Shop and Run-a-Way Sport stores near you. Time: 6:15pm. Venue: Agricultural Research Council, Olifantsfontein Rd, Irene. Cost: 10km R40; 5km R30; temporary license for the 10km R30. Contact: 012 654 0005 or visit

14 thursday SAMB’s Valentine’s Day Catch a few enticing snippets of the upcoming ballet, Don Quixote, performed by South African

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Mzansi Ballet. The production is on at The Joburg Theatre at the beginning of March. Time: 7pm. Venue: Hyde Park Corner, Jan Smuts Ave, Sandton. Cost: free. Contact: 011 325 4340 or visit The dance of love Enjoy a romantic evening with your partner as the magnificent white Lipizzaner stallions dance to love songs. Time: 7pm. Venue: Lipizzaner Centre, 1 Dahlia Rd, Kyalami. Cost: R150. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

15 friday Beeld Holiday Show Stroll around the leisure and lifestyle show that offers solutions to all your holiday needs, whether you’re going away or planning an outdoor activity. Ends 17 February. Time: 9am–6pm, Friday; 8am–5pm, Saturday; 8am–3pm, Sunday. Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, 19 Richards Dr, Midrand. Cost: adults R60, students and pensioners R30, children under 7 free. Contact: 083 488 8986 or visit Nicholas McCarthy in Concert Nicholas, who was born with one hand, is an accomplished pianist at age 23 and will be touring South Africa. He graduated from of the Royal College of Music and performed at the closing ceremony of the Paralympics, alongside the British Paraorchestra and Coldplay. Time: 7:30pm. Venue: Linder Auditorium at Wits University, 27 St

Andrews Rd, Parktown. Cost: R330. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

16 saturday Art from nature Walk around the reserve and collect various items from nature for the art class, led by an expert in the KD Ecological Centre. Children must wear old clothes, bring scissors, cold glue and a plastic ice tray to mix paints in, as well as lunch and refreshments. Space is limited. For children 8 years and older. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena Ave, between Topaz and Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: R120 per child. Contact Karin: 079 693 5608 Brescia House School This is the chance for children to write the entrance and

scholarship examinations for the school. Time: 8am–12pm. Venue: 14 Sloane St, Bryanston. Cost: free. Contact: 011 706 7404 or visit Don Quixote open day Open days at the theatre are a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes preparations for a major ballet production like Don Quixote. For children 3 years and older. Time: 10am–1pm. Venue: SAMB Studios, Hoofd St, Braamfontein. Cost: R80. Contact: 011 877 6898, or visit

17 sunday Walk through Albert’s Farm Join the guided walk on the network of paths which snake through the park and take you to the dam and wetland area.

15 February – Nicholas McCarthy in Concert

February 2013



24 February – Hike through the Koppies

Dogs are welcome. There is plenty of space for families to enjoy a picnic after the walk. Time: 8am. Venue: meet in the car park of Albert’s Farm, 8th St, Greymont, Northcliff. Cost: R20. Contact Susaar: 082 674 6912

23 saturday Teddy Bears on Parade Collectible teddy bears, plush teddies and bear-making supplies are on show in hall 5. Time: 9:30am–1pm. Venue: Edenvale Community Centre, cnr Van Riebeeck Ave and 2nd St, Edenvale. Cost: free entry. Contact Victoria: 011 828 7901 or Fourways Phoenix FC fun day Boys and girls with an interest in soccer can meet the coaches of this football club and register for the year. During the day they can also practise their shooting skills and take part in fun games like Wellington boot throwing. For children 6–12 years old. Time: 11am–4pm. Venue: Crawford Preparatory Fourways, 16 Campbell Rd, Craigavon. Cost: free. Contact Ryan: 076 858 8078 or Westleigh: 082 559 2259

24 sunday Hike through the Koppies Join a threehour hike through the beautiful indigenous reserve in Melville, with a 10-minute stop so that you can enjoy your own snack or breakfast. For children 6 years and older. Time: 8:30am–11:30am. Venue: park at Marks Park Sports Club, Judith Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: adults R30, children R10. Contact Wendy: 011 482 4797 or visit

28 thursday Homemakers Expo At this home interest expo, you can do a bit of research, speak to experts and satisfy a myriad of homerelated needs, all under one roof. Find out the latest trends for 2013 and join the experts at the interactive Builder’s DIY Theatre for a few tips and tricks. Ends 3 March. Time: 10am–7pm, Thursday–Friday; 9am–6pm, Saturday–Sunday. Venue: Coca-Cola Dome, cnr Northumberland Rd and Olievenhout Ave, Northriding. Cost: adults R80, pensioners R50, children free. Contact: 0861 114 663, or visit

the development of humans and their ancestors over the past million years. Time: 9am–5pm, daily. Venue: Maropeng, The Cradle of Humankind. Cost: adults R125, pensioners and students R85, children 4–14 years old R70, children under 4 free. Contact: 014 577 9000, childmag@ or visit I Collect Gingers A solo exhibition by Anthea Pokroy, who has been collecting photos of gingers (505 to date) since 2010. 17 January–2 March. Time: 9am–6pm, Tuesday–Friday; 9am–1pm, Saturday. Venue: CIRCA on Jellicoe, 2 Jellicoe Ave, Rosebank. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 788 4805, or visit Lindfield House Tours and tea are the order of the day at this restored, Herbert Baker-designed house. Your guide, a “Victorian parlour maid” who lives there permanently, shows you around. Tours by appointment only. Time: 9am–5pm, daily. Venue: 72 Richmond Ave, Auckland Park. Cost: tour R40, additional R20 for refreshments. Contact: 011 726 2932 or visit Prehistory: the investigation Roughly 7 400 years ago, two people were buried along with shells, animal bones and reindeer antlers. Was it a ritual execution or a murder? Take part in the investigation of this prehistoric mystery and come to your own conclusions. Ends 29 March. Time: 9am–5pm, Monday–Friday; 9am–1pm, Saturday. Venue: Origins Centre, Wits University, cnr Yale Rd and Enoch Sontonga Ave, Braamfontein. Cost: R75 to tour the Origins Centre, walkabouts R50. Contact: 011 717 4700, or visit The French connection Works of art from the romantic artists, impressionists and post-impressionists from 18th-, 19thand 20th-century France are on display. Find inspiration in the brush strokes of Claude Monet, Jean-Francois Millet, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and more. Tours for groups of 10 or more can be booked. Ends 3 March. Time: 10am–5pm, Tuesday–Sunday. Venue: Johannesburg Art Gallery, Joubert Park Gardens, King George St, Joubert Park. Cost: free. Contact: 011 725 3130, za or visit

FUN FOR CHILDREN art, culture and science Humanity’s past and origins Visitors can enjoy an interactive, self-guided tour around the Maropeng Centre to learn about the formation of the earth’s continents and


February 2013

17 January–2 March – I Collect Gingers exhibition

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18 mon

Hollywood 2 SA Meet and workshop with one of Hollywood’s finest film and casting directors, and an acting coach to A-list Hollywood actors, Michelle Danner. A talent show takes place on the Sunday, with Michelle as the head judge. For children 6 years and older, teens and young adults. 18–24 February. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Old Mutual Theatre on the Square, Sandton. Cost: varies per workshop. Contact: or visit

classes, talks and workshops Buzz drama, dance and singing Weekly interactive drama, dance and singing workshops are custom designed to develop your child’s confidence, communication skills, concentration and coordination as they take part in improvised play, learn fun dance routines and sing original songs. Booking is essential. For children 5–9 years old. Time: 2:30pm–3:30pm, Monday–Friday. Venues: Fourways, Roosevelt Park, Parktown North, Sandton, Northcliff. Cost: tbc. Contact Hanneke: 011 025 2525, or visit Creative Valentine’s gifts Make a personalised gift and mosaic two coasters or paint three fridge magnets. Coasters: 1, 3 and 8 February; fridge magnets: 2 and 11 February. Time: 1, 3 and 8 February: 9:30am–12pm; 2 and 11 February: 2pm–3pm. Venue: Seedpod Studio, Broadacres Garden Centre, Cedar Rd, Fourways. Cost: coasters R195; fridge magnets R110. Contact: 011 465 0375, or visit NCT Theatre Workshops Enrol your child in innovative and stimulating theatre workshop classes, covering topics such as dance, drama, improvisation, script reading, singing, musical appreciation and mime. For children 7–17 years old. 26 January–16 March. Time: 9:30am–12pm, every Saturday. Venue: National Children’s Theatre, 3 Junction Ave, Parktown. Cost: R100 per day. Contact: 011 484 1584, or visit The Crafters Den Children learn how to weave cloth with a loom, improve a white T-shirt with fabric paint or tiedye, create magnets using Perler beads and shrink Shrinkles to make earrings, pencil toppers and more. For children 6–12 years old. 9 and 23 February. Time: 9am–1pm. Venue: The Crafters Den, 37 Voortrekker Ave, Edenvale. Cost: from R50. magazine joburg

Contact Denise or Lizzy: 011 453 9291, or visit Tots n Pots term one Children create a healthy, packed lunchbox recipe every week over the six-week period. Booking essential. For children 3–12 years old. Starts 7 February. Time: 3:30pm–4:30pm, every Thursday. Venue: VoVo Telo, Lonehill Shopping Centre, Lonehill Boulevard, Lonehill. Cost: tbc. Contact Jotika: 083 265 5515, or visit Valentine’s Day baking Children can spend the morning making delicious cake pops, Valentine’s chocolates and a Bar One cheesecake. Space is limited. For children 6–12 years old. 2 and 9 February. Time: 9am–11:30am. Venue: Little Cooks Club at Memories Corner, cnr Whisken Rd and Neptune Rd, Crowthorne, Midrand. Cost: R220 per child. Contact Dominique: 082 303 7227 or visit

family outings All Things Bike Besides an exhibition to cater for all your motorcycling needs, there is also a demo area, product launches, live entertainment and a Sunday charity bike run from Gallagher Convention Centre to The New Jerusalem Children’s Home in Midrand. 15–17 February. Time: 9am–6pm. Venue: Gallagher Convention Centre, 19 Richards Dr, Midrand. Cost: adults R60, students and pensioners R30, children under 7 free. Contact: 011 266 3283 or visit Passion for Speed Historic motor-racing vehicles and motorcycles from the ’50s and ’60s battle it out for supreme honours. 9 and 10 February. Time: 9am. Venue: Kyalami Racetrack, 7 Kyalami Rd, Midrand. Cost: adults R130, students R80, children under 12 free. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit South African Airways Museum View a collection of historic aircraft and aviation artefacts. They have several open days where they encourage the youth to take an interest in aviation as a possible career choice. Time: 9:30am–2pm, Saturday–Sunday; weekdays by appointment. School tours welcome. Venue: Aviation Museum complex, Dakota Crescent, Rand Airport, Germiston. Cost: adults R25, children R15. Contact: 083 459 7802, or visit

finding nature and outdoor play Bush food and drink walk A guided walk enables you to pick and taste various edible fruits, collect leaves for tea, coffee beans, and fruit for mampoer. 24 February. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena Ave, between Topaz and Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R60, children R30. Contact Karin: 079 693 5608 or visit Douglasdale Dairy tours Children can learn about Douglasdale’s milk products and the process the milk goes through from beginning to end. Booking essential. For children 4 years and older. Time: 9am–12pm, Monday–Friday. Venue: Douglasdale Dairy, Waterloo Rd, February 2013


calendar Bryanston. Cost: free. Contact Debbie: or visit Most a-maize-ing Get lost in the maize that follows a new theme every year, complete with fresh quizzes and brainteasers to keep you challenged. This year’s theme is sharks. Time: 10am–5pm, Saturday–Sunday. Venue: Honeydew Mazes, Boland St, off Beyers Naudé Dr, Honeydew. Cost: adults R90, children R65, family ticket (two adults and two children) R280. Contact: 073 795 2174, or visit Permanent orienteering course Aided by a map and a compass, traverse Oriel Park in search of a number of features,

Douglasdale Dairy tours


February 2013

termed “controls”, marked in the terrain and on the map. A map of the course is available on the Orienteering website or the PostNet store in Bedford Centre has the map saved on their system. Time: 9am–6pm, daily. Venue: Oriel Park, Kloof Rd, Bedfordview. Cost: free. Contact: lisa@ or visit oriel-park-Bedfordview Spider walk Keep your eyes peeled as you trek through the reserve, looking under bushes and in crevices for spiders. Booking essential. 23 February. Time: 9am–11am. Venue: Kloofendal Nature Reserve, Galena Ave, between Topaz and Argent Ave, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R50, children R25. Contact Karin: 079 693 5608 or visit

markets Art and craft fair Search for special, handcrafted Valentine’s gifts and let your children take part in mini craft workshops in candle painting, drawing, fabric creations, sculpting with clay and making toys out of waste products. Vintage motor bikes are on display and light refreshments are available. 8–10 February. Time: 10am–4pm. Venue: Out of the Box, cnr Refinery Rd and Power St, Germiston. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 673 6592, 083 583 5383, or visit Bamboo Farmers’ Market Buy homegrown produce, fresh farm milk and butter, free-range eggs and chickens, and preservative-free bread at this quaint weekly market. Time: 8am–1pm, every Saturday. Venue: Bamboo Lifestyle Centre, 53 Rustenburg Rd, Melville. Cost: free entry. Contact Carla: 082 042 2001 or visit Blubird Wholefood Market A host of new traders, confections and food is now available. Time: 9am–2pm, every Sunday. Venue: Blubird Shopping Centre, Athol Oaklands Rd, cnr Fort St, off Corlett Dr, Birnam. Cost: free entry. Contact Robyn: 083 311 4768, wholefoodmarket@gmail. com or visit Fordsburg Night Market Mint Road comes alive on weekends as spicy aromas and Pakistani and Indian bhangra beats invite passers-by to peruse the numerous stalls

Blubird Wholefood Market

selling costume jewellery, Eastern clothing, sweets and spices. The main attraction is the market food. Time: tbc. Venue: Mint Rd, Fordsburg. Cost: free entry. Contact Joburg Tourism: 011 214 0700 Organic and Craft Market Find exclusive home-made and organic products, from mosaics, pewter products, beading and local art to fresh produce, fabric and flowers. 24 February. Time: 9am–2pm. Venue: Ramkietjie Country Estate, 35 Peter Rd, Honeydew. Cost: free entry. Contact: 087 940 9920, or visit

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Paulshof Food Market Bring your family and friends and enjoy some fine cuisine in the forest. Products on offer range from quality cheeses, freshly baked breads and coffee to delicious cakes, treats and more. Relax among the trees in the picnic area or sit at one of the many tables. Time: 8am–2pm, every Saturday. Venue: Holkham Rd, Paulshof (next to the German Country Club). Cost: free entry. Contact: or visit

on stage and screen A magical time at Kinderspiel The talented puppet masters from Untangled Marionettes bring the inanimate to life to perform in various puppet shows throughout February, alongside story and craft sessions and magic shows. 2, 6, 9, 12, 16, 19, 23, 26 and 27 February. Time: varies. Venue: Kinderspiel, 39 Greenhill Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: varies. Contact: 011 646 7457 or Crash and Bernstein Catch this new comedy series, which combines live action with puppetry. Follow 12-year-old Wyatt Bernstein, the only son of four children, as his new puppet, Crash, comes to life. Starts 9 February. Time: 9:20am, on Disney XD, channel 304 on DStv. For more info: visit Fantasy Beijing Welcome the Year of the Snake and celebrate Chinese New Year with a stunning variety show presented by

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the China National Acrobatic Troupe. The show presents acrobatics, combined with other arts such as magic, martial arts and folk music. 23 January–3 February. Time: 8pm, Wednesday–Friday; 3pm, Thursday– Saturday; 1pm and 6pm, Sunday. Venue: Emperor’s Palace, 64 Jones Rd, Kempton Park. Cost: R150. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Festival of Fame The talented children from the National School of the Arts perform various productions in drama, dance, art and music. 25 February–2 March. Time: 9am–10pm. Venue: various venues around Braamfontein. Cost: from R70. Contact: 011 339 3941, festivaloffame@artschool. or visit Opera for Everyone This is the first of a series of concerts aimed at making opera accessible to everyone from the connoisseur to the first-time listeners. Internationally acclaimed tenor Stefan Louw performs with other local opera singers, accompanied on piano by Eugene Joubert. 8 February. Time: 8pm. Venue: Joburg Pro Musica Theatre, 100 Christiaan de Wet Rd, Florida Park, Roodepoort. Cost: adults R120, students R90, children R50. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Tap Dogs This is a sexy, stomping tap dance show. 12 February–10 March. Time: 8pm, Tuesday–Saturday; 3pm, Saturday; 2pm and 6pm, Sunday. Venue: Teatro at Montecasino, cnr Witkoppen Rd and William

16 wed

Nicol Dr, Fourways. Cost: R100–R275. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit Visage Prepare to be puzzled by mentalist Michael Abrahamson as he performs classic tricks. The show uses mathematics, memory skills, body language, psychology and eye movement in an interactive and fun way. 16 and 17 February. Time: 4pm, Saturday; 3pm, Sunday. (7:30am, 12–15 February). Venue: UJ Arts Centre, cnr Kingsway Rd and University Rd, Auckland Park. Cost: R140– R160. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit

playtime and story time Fun in Flora Farm Parents can enjoy a cappuccino while children play on the jungle gym situated within the garden centre. Time: 9am–5pm, daily. Venue:

André the Hypnotist In this interactive show, André gets members of the audience to perform eccentric stunts while under his “spell”. 16 January–10 March. Time: 8pm, Wednesday–Friday; 5:15pm and 8:15pm, Saturday; 3:15pm, Sunday. Venue: Studio Theatre at Montecasino Bird Gardens, cnr Witkoppen Rd and William Nicol Dr, Fourways. Cost: R100. Contact: 011 728 9603 or visit

Flora Farm Garden Centre, 11 North Rand Rd, Bartlett, Boksburg. Cost: free entry. Contact: 011 894 2377, info@florafarm. or visit Moyo Kids While you make the most of the restaurant fare, children listen to stories, and learn traditional African games and dances. Time: 10:30am–3:30pm, Saturday and Sunday. Venue: Moyo Zoo Lake, 1 Prince of Wales Dr, Parkview. Cost: free. Contact Yvonne: 011 646 0058, or visit Story time at National Children’s Theatre Fiona Budd tells stories to the little ones. While you wait, pop into the Courtyard Tea Shoppe and enjoy a cup of tea under the trees. Space is limited. For children 4–7 years old. 2 February– 16 March. Time: 9am–10am, every Saturday. Venue: National Children’s

February 2013


calendar Theatre, 3 Junction Ave, Parktown. Cost: free; donations welcome. Contact Cindy: 011 484 1584, or visit

sport and physical activities aQuellé Midmar Mile Swim the Midmar Mile in pink and raise awareness for breast cancer. You still need to register on the website. 9 and 10 February. Time: 8:30am. Venue: Midmar Dam, Pietermaritzburg. Cost: R300 (includes a pink swimming costume, pink towel, wet pack, sunscreen, water bottle and energy bars). Contact: 011 998 8022, or visit Delta Park night racing Bring your mountain bike and head torch and do as many laps as you can during an hour of night racing. All ages. Time: registration 6pm, start 6:45pm, every Wednesday. Venue: Delta Scout Hall in Delta Park, off Craighall Rd, Victory Park. Cost: R20. Contact Richard: 083 400 0620 or visit Introductory fly fishing clinic Snare a sought-after yellowfish, bass or trout during your introductory fly fishing clinic and release it back into the river. Time: 6am–6pm, Saturday–Sunday. Venue: Magalies Barbus Haven, Steenkoppies, R24, Magaliesburg. Cost: varies. Contact: 011 315 4503, 083 414 0391, or visit Pick n Pay half-marathon Little ones 4–10 years old can take part in the 420m mini-marathon that is taking place at 9:30am, while older more experienced runners can push themselves on a 42,2km and 21,1km road race, or a 4,8km fun run around the school. All ages. 10 February. Time: 6am. Venue: main sports field at Saheti School, Senderwood. Cost: 42,2km R90; 21,1km R70; 4,8km fun run R40; 4,8km mini-marathon R30. Contact: 011 017 2700, or visit Yoga for children Children learn how to move gracefully, breathe smoothly and deeply, and sustain their focus and concentration. Booking essential. Time: 3:30pm–4:15pm, every Monday. Venue: Ladybird Corner, on the grounds of Linksfield Hospital, 24 12th Ave. Cost: R960 per term, second child R840 per term. Contact Suzie: 083 299 6555

only for parents classes, talks and workshops Cake decorating class Learn to create roses and peonies under the guidance of Grace Stevens. Booking essential. 17 February. Time: rose class, 9:30am–1:30pm; peony class, 2pm–6pm. Venue: Greenhill Centre, cnr Barry Hertzog Ave and Greenhill Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: R550 each class. Contact Bianca: classes@cupcakesbydesign. or visit DIY Divas Career Workshop Learn useful tips, tricks and techniques on various DIY topics, including furniture design, how to use power tools, upholstery and furniture design. You can tackle various fun projects throughout the six workshops. Book via the website. 2 February–9 March. Time: varies. Venue: Randpark Ridge Workshop, 14 Jatinga Lodge, Kitaar St (just off Elsie Rd), Radiokop. Cost: tbc. For more info: visit First aid for parents This first aid and CPR course is geared specifically to babies and children, which will leave you confident to deal with any emergency situation. 2 February. Time: 8:30am–3:30pm. Venue: Hammets Crossing Office Park, 2 Selbourne Rd, Fourways. Cost: R500. Contact Colette: 011 462 3139, 083 625 8033, or visit First Aid Level 1 Take an interactive, funfilled, basic first aid and CPR course to learn how to deal with an emergency situation. For individuals 10 years and older. 4, 22 and 23 February. Time: 8:30am–2pm. Venue: 4 February: Carmi Baby Clinic Training Room, Life St Mary’s Woman’s Clinic, 15 Middlesex St, Springs; 22 February: Dot Z Education Centre, cnr 68 Club and Protea St, Linksfield; 23 February: St John’s Congregational Church Hall, 32 Main Rd, Farrarmere, Benoni. Cost: R450. Contact Yolanda: 083 655 3808, or visit Foundation drawing course This structured course teaches the basic techniques of drawing figures and objects in charcoal, pencil and ink. For teenagers from Grades 10–12 and adults. 12 February. Time: 6pm–9pm, every Tuesday

Rumble in the Jungle A large indoor playground with ball ponds, trampolines, coinoperated rides and an intricate web of jungle gyms. There is a baby area, colouring-in area and a coffee shop on-site. Time: 9am–5pm. Venue: Panorama Shopping Centre, cnr Klipriver Dr and Jordi Rd, Mulbarton. Cost: first hour R40, second hour R55, third hour R65. Contact: 011 432 0403, info@junglerumble. or visit


February 2013

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glass. Wine and snacks are provided. Space is limited. 14 and 16 February. Time: 7pm. Venue: The Crucible, 3 8th Rd, Rynfield Ah,

17 February – Cake decorating class at Greenhill Centre

for seven weeks. Venue: The Fine Arts Studio, Rivonia. Cost: R2 700. Contact Taryn: or visit Foundation oil painting course This structured course teaches the basic techniques of painting figures and objects in oil paint. For teenagers from Grades 10–12 and adults. 9 February. Time: 9am–1pm, every Saturday for 10 weeks. Venue: The Fine Arts Studio, Rivonia. Cost: R3 200. Contact: Taryn: taryn@thefineartsstudio. or visit Healthy eating course Have your domestic worker trained to cook the healthy way and enjoy a selection of delicious contemporary, easy-to-prepare meals, using fresh, seasonal ingredients. This course runs over four weeks – the first two sessions include vegetarian dishes, the third session focuses on fish dishes, and the last session on chicken. 7 February. Time: 8:45am–1pm. Venue: Domestic Bliss, 235 Jan Smuts Ave, Parktown North. Cost: from R1 820 depending on selection. Contact: 011 447 5517, 083 525 4992 or visit How to talk so children will listen The goal of this five-session course is to give parents practical, effective methods of communication to enhance your relationship with your children. Starts 11 February. Venue: Jabula Recreation Centre. Time: 7:30pm–9pm. Cost: R1 500. Contact Wendy: 011 454 1709 or 082 292 7999 Magical Love A talk by Natalie Abrahams, motivational speaker and relationship advisor. Get away from the hustle and bustle of life; live simply and love generously. 9 February Time: 10am. Venue: Ngwenya Glass Village; take the R114 off Beyers Naudé Dr, Muldersdrift. Cost: R80, includes tea, coffee, cake and a contribution to a charity. Contact Athalie: 083 285 8383 Manifest a masterful you Tap into your authentic self and refuel your inspiration to get going in 2013. You will be introduced to visualisation, vision boards, the gift of gratitude, play and movement. Booking essential. 9 February. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: PsychMatters Family Therapy Centre, 9 Park St, Bedfordview. Cost: R800. Contact Lin: 011 450 3576, info@psychmatters. or visit Melt your heart Take your sweetheart on a glass-blowing date for Valentine’s Day or meet your valentine at The Crucible’s evening demonstration. You have the opportunity to create your own hot glass float, flower or paperweight out of molten magazine joburg

Benoni. Cost: R500 per couple. Contact: 011 969 6105, or visit Motherhood demystified Understand the actual role that parents and caregivers play and explore motherhood in our lineage and how that has shaped our understanding. 16 February. Time: 9am–4:30pm. Venue: Rivonia. Cost: R800. Contact Lea: 076 737 0337 or Nutrition and your child’s brain A practical talk by Dr Hein Badenhorst on the pivotal role that nutrition plays in brain development, from before conception until full brain development and beyond. 6 February. Time: 7pm–8pm. Venue: Bellavista School Hall, 35 Wingfield Ave, Birdhaven. Cost: R80. Contact Imogen: 011 788 5454 or visit Redirecting children’s behaviour Learn how to build mutual respect, resolve conflicts and create effective teamwork at home and at work. 6–27 February. Time: 6:30pm–9:30pm, every Wednesday. Venue: Ladybird Corner, on the grounds of Linksfield Hospital. Cost: tbc. Contact Natalie: 082 525 7941 Teachers ADHD Conference A conference designed for teachers, practitioners, professionals and parents. Listen to expert speakers in the field of ADHD, including medical specialists, therapists, psychologists and educationalists in a variety of fields. There is a choice of lectures to attend on the Saturday afternoon. 9 and 10 February. Time: varies. Venue: Wits University Education Campus, next to the Linder Auditorium. Cost: from R790, students R390. Contact: 011 888 7655, or visit The Bridge Transformational Workshop Based on Louise Hay’s book Love Yourself, Heal Your Life, these interactive workshops help you look at numerous issues or blockages you may have. Booking essential. 9 and 10, 23 and 24 February. Time: 8:30am–5pm. Venue: Buccleuch, Sandton. Cost: R850 for the weekend. Contact Laurinda: 076 135 7501, or visit Topsy turvy farmyard cake During a two-day workshop, you carve a sponge cake, cover and decorate it with all the necessary animals, flowers and details needed for a topsy turvy farmyard cake. Booking essential. 18 and 19 February. Time: 9am–4:30pm. Venue: Greenhill Centre,

12 February – Foundation drawing course February 2013


calendar focaccia bread starter, to a main meal of caraway roast pork belly with a baby spinach salad and red velvet cupcakes. Booking essential. 2 and 9 February. Time: 2pm–4pm. Venue: Little Cooks Club at Memories Corner, cnr Whisken Ave and Neptune Rd, Crowthorne, Midrand. Cost: R280 per person. Contact Dominique: 082 303 7227 or visit

on stage and screen

9 February – Manifest a masterful you

cnr Barry Hertzog Ave and Greenhill Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: R1 200 for both days. Contact Bianca: classes@cupcakesbydesign. or visit Two-tier parcel cake Learn how to construct and decorate a creative, square, two-tier parcel cake under the guidance of cake expert Grace Stevens. Booking essential. 20 February. Time: 9am–6pm. Venue: Greenhill Centre, cnr Barry Hertzog Ave and Greenhill Rd, Emmarentia. Cost: R800. Contact Bianca: or visit Valentine’s Day dinner Learn to cook the perfect Valentine’s Day meal for your sweetheart, from the mussel soup and


February 2013

Johannesburg International Mozart Festival (JIMF) The JIMF is an annual classical music event that starts on 27 January to commemorate the birth date of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This year’s theme is Se Vuol Ballare (if you wish to dance). 27 January–10 February. Time: varies. Venue: venues across Joburg. Cost: from R100. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000, 011 447 9264 (JIMF) or visit Michael Jackson HIStory ll Together with a live band of talented musicians, fully choreographed dancers, authentic costumes and high production values, HIStory II brings fans what they want but can never again see… a Michael Jackson concert. 17 January–10 February. Time: 8pm, Thursday–Saturday; 3pm, Sunday. Venue: The Mandela at Joburg Theatre, cnr Simmonds St and Stiemens Rd. Cost: R100–R295. Book through The Joburg Theatre: 011 877 6800 or visit

Mies Julie The Baxter Theatre Centre’s smash hit play, written and directed by Yael Farber, takes you to a post-apartheid kitchen for a single night, that is shared by a black farm labourer, the daughter of his “master” and the woman who has raised them both. 17 January–24 February. Time: 8:15pm, Tuesday–Saturday; 3:15pm, Sunday. Venue: Barney Simon Theatre at The Market Theatre complex, 56 Margaret Mcingana St, Newtown. Cost: R75–R150. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit One Man Committee of Comedy Enter into the wacky world of Alan Committie

17 January–10 February – Michael Jackson HIStory ll

for an evening of stand-up comedy. 30 January–1 March. Time: 8pm, Wednesday– Saturday; 5pm, Saturday; 3pm, Sunday. Venue: Pieter Toerien Main Theatre at Montecasino, cnr William Nicol Dr and Witkoppen Rd, Fourways. Cost: R75–R150. Book through Computicket: 0861 915 8000 or visit The Magistrate Arthur Wing Pinero’s uproarious Victorian farce stars John Lithgow as the amiable magistrate, Posket. He marries Agatha but little does he realise that she’s dropped five years from her age and her son’s. When her deception looks set to be revealed, it sparks a series of hilarious indignities and outrageous mishaps. 23 February. Time: tbc. Venue: Cinema Nouveau, The Mall of Rosebank, Jan Smuts Ave, Rosebank. Cost: R58. Contact: 082 16789 or visit The Zappa-Mainolfi Duo The visiting Italian cello and piano duo, Mattia Zappa and Massimiliano Mainolfi, perform works of Luigi Boccherini, Ennio Morricone and Robert Schumann to name a few. 16, 17 and 22 February. Time: 8pm, Saturday; 4pm, Sunday; 7pm, Friday. Venue: 16 February: JMS, Linder Auditorium, 27 St Andrews Rd, Parktown; 17 February: Glenshiel, Westcliff, 19 Woolston Rd, Westcliff; 22 February: UJ Arts Centre, cnr Kingsway Ave and University Rd, Auckland Park. Cost: tbc. Contact Hannie: 011 793 2334, or visit

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out and about Around the World Dinner Each month the talented chefs create a delicious menu, based on a different theme or country. Tonight’s gastronomic theme is “Caribbean islands”. Booking essential. 21 February. Time: 6pm. Venue: The Forum, first floor, Wanderers Building, The Campus Office Park, 57 Sloane St, Bryanston. Cost: R295, including a welcome drink and a fourcourse meal. Contact Greg: 011 575 6319, or visit Brescia House School open day Interested parents can meet the teachers and view the school’s facilities. 9 February. Time: 9am–12pm. Venue: 14 Sloane St,

Bryanston. Cost: free. Contact: 011 706 7404 or visit Dainfern College open day Meet the teachers and enjoy a tour of the facilities of this co-educational college for children in Grade 0–10. 7 February. Time: 9am–10am. Venue: Dainfern College’s media centre, Broadacres Dr, Dainfern. Cost: free. Contact Tracey: 011 469 0635 or visit Equal Zeal’s networking event Zelna Lauwrens, child behaviour expert and founder of Equal Zeal-Life Studio for Kids, shares her insights on how the modern world is impacting on our children’s abilities to think, learn and behave. 28 February. Time: 6:30pm–8:30pm. Venue: The Field

The Queen Experience

13 wed

This is a powerful interpretation of British rock band Queen’s legendary music, performed by Joseph Clark and his 12-piece band. 13–17 February. Time: 8pm, Wednesday–Saturday; 6pm, Sunday. Venue: Joburg Theatre, cnr Simmonds St and Stiemens Rd. Cost: R100–R300. Contact: 011 877 6800 or visit

and Study Recreation Centre, studio 1, Louise Ave, Parkmore. Cost: R100, includes a goodie bag and refreshments. Contact Zelna: 082 447 3343, zelna@equalzeal. com or visit Kingsmead College open day A chance for interested parents to get more information about the school as they visit the junior school or the senior school. For parents of children from Grade 000–Grade 12. 7 February. Time: 8am–1pm, junior school; 3pm–5pm senior school. Venue: Kingsmead College, 132 Oxford Rd, entrance in Tottenham Ave, Melrose. Cost: free. Contact: 011 731 7400 or visit Kumon Franchise information session Get the information you need to know when applying to become a Kumon franchisee. After the presentation you have the opportunity to complete the Kumon maths and English assessments. 7 and 23 February. Time: 10:30am–1pm and 6:30pm–8pm, 7 February; 9am–12pm and 2pm–5pm, 23 February. Venue: tbc. Cost: free. Contact: 011 459 2600, or visit Learning Point High School Options Expo Have all your questions regarding your child’s future education answered by the high schools (state and independent). 31 January and 6, 13, 20, 26 and 27 February. Time: 2pm–6pm. Venue: various primary schools across Joburg. Cost: free. Contact Donna: 083 552 8778 or

Love at De Hoek Enjoy a romantic weekend with bubble baths, candlelit dinners, secluded picnics and country walks. Booking essential. 15 and 16 February. Time: varies. Venue: De Hoek Country Hotel, off the R563, Hekpoort, Magaliesburg. Cost: varies. Contact: 014 577 9600, reservations@ or visit Valentines at the Vaal Spoil your loved one with a romantic picnic and a sunset or starlight cruise. 14 February. Time: 8am–11pm. Venue: Stonehaven on Vaal, Vaal River, Vanderbijlpark. Cost: picnic R134 per person; cruise R50 per person. Contact: 016 982 2951, info@stonehaven. or visit Valentine’s Day picnic Order an alfresco picnic for two, and enjoy the spoils on the lush lawns of the riverbank. Booking

14, 16 and 17 February – Valentine’s Day picnic

family marketplace

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February 2013



14 thu

Not-so-Valentine’s dinner Whether you are head over heels in love, happily single or just feel like a night out you can celebrate Valentine’s Day in style, minus all the hearts, red roses and cheesy accordions. Booking essential. Time: 6pm. Venue: Turbine Hall, 65 Ntemi Piliso St, Newtown. Cost: R330 per person, includes a threecourse meal. Contact Hazel: 087 310 3888 or turbinebookings@

essential. 14, 16 and 17 February. Time: 11:30am–5pm. Venue: Toadbury Hall, Beyers Naudé Dr Ext, Elandsdrift. Cost: varies. Contact: 079 512 0554, enquiries@ or visit

support groups Bereavement support Emotional support for individuals who have lost a loved one. Contact Arlene: 011 483 9100 or Kidz Clinics A clinic that offers support to abused children. The staff members reduce the fear and anxiety and promote healing after conducting a thorough assessment of each child. Venue: 99 Market St, Boksburg. Contact: 011 892 0404 or visit The Teddy Bear Clinic Provides therapy, counselling, assistance and support to children and parents who have been abused. Venue: 13 Joubert St Ext, cnr Empire Rd, Parktown. Contact head office: 011 484 4554 or visit

bump, baby & Tot in tow

classes, talks and workshops Antenatal crash course Get advice and tips on how to have a healthy pregnancy, learn about what to expect from the hospital, get tips on looking after your newborn and more. 3 February. Time: 8:30am–4pm. Venue: Ladybird Corner, on the grounds of Linksfield Hospital, 24 12th Ave. Cost: R1 000. Contact Lerato: 011 485 3057 or


February 2013

Baby and toddler care course This course teaches your nanny how to handle your baby or toddler (including safety and hygiene) and how to balance housework while looking after your child. 5 and 12; 21 and 28; 9 and 16 February. Time: 8:30am–4pm. Venue: Hammets Crossing Office Park, 2 Selbourne Rd, Fourways. Cost: R1 400. Contact Colette: 011 462 3139, 083 625 8033, or visit BabyGym A five-week course that teaches you how to stimulate your baby and ensure whole-brain development. For parents with babies 2 weeks–1 year old. 11 February– 11 March. Time: 9:30am–10:45am. Venue: The Children’s Therapy Centre, Petervale. Cost: R630. Contact: 083 303 1190, or visit Baby massage course Learn how to massage your baby to aid physical discomforts, promote sleep, and stimulate and exercise the body and brain. The classes take place over a four-week period. For parents with babies 4 weeks–9 months old. 13 February–6 March. Time: 10am–11:30am, for four Wednesdays. Venue: Family and Child Centre, 4 Jack St, Robinhills, Randburg. Cost: R600. Contact Tina or Natasha: 011 782 5790 or Baby massage group Learn how to massage your baby and what creams are safe to use. Practise on your baby while you learn. Booking essential. Time: 9am–10am, every Monday. Venue: Ladybird Corner, Linksfield Hospital. Cost: R70. Contact Lerato: 011 485 3057 or

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Brainbooster and stimulation course Your nanny is taught how to play with your child so that your child subconsciously learns to read, count, name colours and more. 13 and 20 February. Time: 9:30am–3:30pm. Venue: Hammets Crossing Office Park, 2 Selbourne Rd, Fourways. Cost: R1 400 (includes a parent pack). Contact Colette: 011 462 3139, 083 625 8033, or visit Emerging readers course Understand the importance of reading to your children from a very young age and the link between reading bedtime stories and school success later. For parents of children 0–6 years old. 1 February. Time: 9am–11am. Venue: Rivonia. Cost: R450. Contact Marian: 082 780 8546, or visit Essential birth preparation These interactive half-day workshops inform and prepare you for the birth of your child. You learn about birthing methods, what to expect during labour, guidance for your partner and more. 22–24 February. Time: 6:30pm–9:30pm, Friday; 8:30am–1pm, Saturday; 8:30am–12pm, Sunday. Venue: Genesis Clinic, cnr Jan Smuts Ave and Northwold Dr, Saxonwold. Cost: R1 400, includes refreshments and lunch or breakfast. Contact: 083 738 7439, info@motherinstinct. or visit HypnoBirthing The relaxation techniques of HypnoBirthing allow you to let go of fear and other harmful emotions. It teaches you how to release all prior programming about birth and how to trust your body and work with it. For mothers-to-be between 20–38 weeks pregnant. 6, 13, 20 and 27 February. Time: 7pm–10pm. Venue: Genesis Clinic, 5 Northwold Dr, off Jan Smuts Ave, Saxonwold. Cost: R1 700 per couple (includes book, two CDs and notes). Contact Theoni: 083 229 3253, or visit Introduction to solids Get helpful advice on introducing solids, the importance of textures, a feeding guide, and information on kitchen and seating equipment for your baby. 6 February. Time: 10am–12pm. Venue: Ladybird Corner, on the grounds of Linksfield Hospital, 24 12th Ave. Cost: R200. Contact Lerato: 011 485 3057 or info@

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Learn to talk to baby Learn more about the benefits of baby sign language (BSL), when to start doing sign language, and why it makes such a difference to your baby’s long-term intellectual and emotional development. 1, 2, 15 and 16 February. Time: 2pm–3pm, Friday; 9:30am–10:30am, Saturday. Venue: Ladybird Corner, on the grounds of Linksfield Hospital. Cost: R170 per class, R850 per term. Contact Lerato: 011 485 3057 or Moms and babes yoga Gentle yoga playtime that keeps moms fit and helps babies explore their bodies through a special bonding experience. Time: 11am–12:30pm, every Monday. Venue: Ladybird Corner, on the grounds of Linksfield Hospital, 24 12th Ave. Cost: R120 for a drop-in class, R400 per month. Contact: 011 485 3057, or visit

playtime and story time Grannies Garden Children can take part in fun, imaginative play in the beach room, fantasy room and dress-up room, and let off a bit of steam running, climbing and hiding in the outdoor play area. Time: 10am–5pm, Monday–Friday; 9am– 5pm, Saturday–Sunday. Venue: Grannies Garden, 138 Barkston Dr, Blairgowrie. Cost: R15 per hour, Monday–Thursday; R30 per hour, Friday–Sunday (max R90 per child). Contact: 011 326 4265 or visit Little Kickers open day The classes introduce your child to soccer skills through exciting group play activities. For children 18 months–8 years old. Time: 8:30am–12pm, every Saturday. Venue: Benoni, Boksburg, Kempton Park, Bedfordview, Meyersdal, Fordsburg, Greenside, Parkmore, Rand Park Ridge, Fourways and Midrand. Cost: free trial session. Contact Head Office: 0861 088 888, or visit Toddler art workshop Being creative is a great way for your child to discover who they are, learn another form of communication and develop their self-esteem while having fun. Time: 2:15pm–3:15pm, every Monday. Venue: Ladybird Corner, on the grounds of Linksfield Hospital, 24 12th Ave. Cost: varies. Contact Michelle: 082 330 9887

February 2013



support groups Life Link Pregnancy Crisis Centre A nonprofit Christian organisation that provides positive alternatives to abortion. Venue: 19 Maxwell St, Kempton Park. Contact Sharon: 011 394 8560 or visit Muscular Dystrophy Support System Emotional support and advice for parents of children affected by muscular dystrophy. Contact: 011 907 5057 or visit Postnatal Depression Support Association (PNDSA) Get guidance, a compassionate ear and a helping hand from the trained counsellors. Family members can also contact them for help in identifying the symptoms. Contact: 082 882 0072, or visit South African Multiple Births Association (Samba) Offers practical support and advice to parents of multiple births, multiples with special needs as well as bereavement support to families who have lost a child, or children. Contact: 011 615 7666, 082 602 1828, or visit Thirsty Tuesdays A support group for any new mom wanting to get breastfeeding advice and share their experiences with other moms. Time: 10am–12pm, every Tuesday. Venue: Ladybird Corner, on the grounds of Linksfield Hospital, 24 12th Ave. Cost: R60. Contact Lerato: 011 485 3057 or


February 2013

Pregnancy yoga and birth preparation Connect with your partner and baby through yoga. Partners are shown tricks on how to support and nurture their pregnant partner during pregnancy and in birthing. Time: 4:45pm–6:15pm, every Monday; 10am–11:30am, every Tuesday. Venue: Ishta Yoga Studio, 121 Atholl Rd, Atholl. Cost: R100 per class; R330 for four classes. Contact Theoni: 083 229 3253, or visit

how to help Eagles, birdies and bogeys Keep your balls out of the rough during a day on the greens and fairways with WSP Africa, in support of Jo’burg Child Welfare. 26 February. Time: 10am. Venue: Killarney Country Club. Cost: R3 500 per four-ball. Contact Tracey: 011 298 8567, or visit

Look Forward Creativity Centre A nonprofit organisation that provides quality care, education, counselling and support to abandoned, orphaned, neglected and abused children in South Hills. You can volunteer time or goods. Contact Violet: 011 613 4490, 073 454 1697, info@ or visit Mothers of South Africa in Community (Mosaic Kids) A community project for the upliftment of unemployed mothers with

children under 6 years of age. The mothers are taught to sew as well as basic business skills. Venue: 19 Barbara Ave, Morehill, Benoni. Contact Cassandra: 011 425 5685, 083 604 0817, or visit National Sea Rescue Institute The NSRI is run by unpaid volunteers around the country, who give up their time to save the lives of people in danger along our coastline. They also conduct a WaterWise Academy to teach children what to do in an emergency. Various avenues of support. For more info: visit Share the Lovy story Lovy is a fun little character made for all children aged 5–10 years old, especially for those in children’s homes and orphanages. Its purpose is to bring more love into their lives, to increase their self-esteem and to show them how loveable they are. Contact: or visit

don’t miss out! For a free listing, email your event to or fax it to 011 234 4971. Information must be received by 1 February for the March issue, and must include all relevant details. No guarantee can be given that it will be published. To post an event online, visit

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it’s party time For more help planning your child’s party visit


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February 2013


it’s party time



February 2013

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February 2013


finishing touch

unexpected epiphanies ANÉL LEWIS spends some quality time with her children,


Erin, Anél and Conor

here are some things in life that just can’t be bought, or even exchanged for a token. I learnt this, and several other surprising lessons, during my recent three-week break from work. I also discovered that much as I love my children, the only way to get through 48 minutes (and yes, I counted) of sitting cross-legged in a sandpit at the end of a long day, is with a small gin and tonic. And no, I am not advocating that you hit the bottle when you do things with your children. But there is nothing wrong with a genteel G & T at the end of an exhausting parenting day. I also discovered that the maximum lifespan of a fist-sized ball of playdough is about two hours. Try as you might to


February 2013

keep it in its original form – malleable and slightly moist – it will eventually end up cracked and desiccated, squashed into the couch or smeared onto the floor. After just one afternoon of Erin “baking” with the noxious stuff, there was playdough stomped into the carpet, some rammed into the crevices of Conor’s fire truck and a few errant pieces embedded in her hair. The blobs that did survive were carefully, or so I thought, stowed away for another day. But alas, I woke up the next morning to find the dogs lying prostrate in the backyard. Erin, bored with making butterfly shapes, had decided to create playdough “sausage rolls” for the dogs to snack on. And clearly they didn’t go down too well. If you are planning to go out in the morning, do not ask your two year old what she would like to wear. We were treated to an assortment of outfits each day, ranging from her swimming costume paired with gumboots, to an oversized T-shirt with an equine theme and the question “why the

long face?” emblazoned on the back. Yes, why indeed, I asked myself, as I realised that the show we were due to see had already started and Erin was no closer to choosing her ensemble for the day. You can lead the toddler to the toilet… but after that, you have no control over what happens. I smugly thought that I would be able to potty train Erin during my stint at home. But my plan was derailed on day one, when I suggested that we exchange her nappy for pants, and she promptly replied, “No, I’ve tried that.” Right, okay then. I guess sitting on the toilet seat is not going to happen any time soon either? But the most notable lesson learnt was that the best activities are usually those that come free, and often in unexpected forms. As I work away from home, I looked forward to entertaining Erin at a play park during the holidays. But, she was unimpressed by the undulating snails; she turned up her nose at the indoor jungle

gym and would not be cajoled into riding a tractor. And so, after an excruciating hour in the blazing sun, mostly spent explaining to her that the neon armband clipped to her wrist entitled her to go on any ride she desired, we admitted defeat and headed for the parking lot. And this was where Erin’s eyes lit up. She spotted a silver trolley; one of those unwieldy ones used to move heavy planttype things like cycads, around the nursery. “Mom, Mom, pick up,” she instructed. I obliged and pushed my delighted daughter around the parking lot while her brother squealed in amusement from his pram. And there we had it, unfettered joy, no tokens required. Anél Lewis is Child magazine’s features editor. She thoroughly enjoyed the 21 full days spent with her children during the holidays, but was also quite grateful to return to work, where she can once again do tasks that don’t involve playdough. Follow her on Twitter:@ChildMagParent

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and learns a few surprising lessons along the way.

Child Magazine | Joburg Feb 2013  

Joburg's best guide for parents

Child Magazine | Joburg Feb 2013  

Joburg's best guide for parents