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General articles

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TEACH CHILDREN? What is the best way to teach children? So many theories.... Some say it should be through repetition, while others say hands-on experience is always better. Schools believe kids learn best in a highly structured environment. Kids believe the freedom to experiment works best! Here is what I think. The best way to teach children - is by loving example. Being a good role model is the number 1 teacher! If you want them to be respectful, give them your respect. If you want them to be honest, tell them the truth. If you want them to be good communicators, give them plenty of interest and attention. If you want them to eventually be capable of a good, solid relationship with a spouse, work on your own marriage until it shines. You see, it won't matter what you tell your kids, if your actions don't match up with what you say. You can tell them to be honest, but if they know you cheat on your taxes, lie about being sick to your employer, or say one thing in public and another at home, they will learn from your behaviour - not from your words. So, if you want your children to be happy and competent, don't worry so much about exactly how or what to teach them. Put your energy into living the best life you can filled with ZEAL, giving your kids lots of unconditional love, boundaries, structure and support. Remembering of course that “monkey see, monkey do” should be the driving factor behind what you are teaching your kids!


Courtesy of EQual Zeal® Blouberg

Balancing a Busy Life The life of a single parent can be very busy. In addition to parenting and taking care of your home, you may be working and/or going to school. It’s important to find a way to balance all of the parts of your life. The following are some tips: • Accept help. If friends and family offer their help, take it! This can mean having someone play with your child while you run errands or having someone to call when you need to talk. •

Take advantage of local resources. Many communities offer play groups, after-school activities and parenting classes. These can give you and your child a chance to have fun, learn and make new friends.

If you don’t get enough time with your child, look for creative solutions. For example, find out if your job lets you work flexible hours.

Don’t forget to have fun. Take a break from your busy routine to plan something special for you and your child. For example, take a trip to the zoo or go out for ice cream together.

Make time for yourself. You need to relax once in a while too! This can be as simple as taking 15 minutes to look at a magazine after your child goes to bed.

Family time Work and other responsibilities seem to take up most of your time, we find that we do not have enough time to spend with our loved ones. Family bonding doesn't have to involve huge chunks of time, holidays or you putting more strain on your life. It's the little things that make a world of difference to the bond your family creates. Have dinner as a family, together at the table, sit down and enjoy the meal together. During this time you can discuss your day and have a quick laugh. Cook dinner as a family. Get the kids involved for a bit of fun and a few laughs. Children love spending time with their parents, especially when it comes to helping in the kitchen. Be a good listener. Parents have a tendency to boss their children around but they never have time to listen. It's important hear what your child or partner has to say.. Have a regular family day or evening out. It's important to spend quality time with the people you love, especially when you want to bond with your family. Try new things together. That way you are all learning at the same time. It doesn't always have to be the parents teaching the children, there are many things children can teach parents. We usually only have one family and it's important that this family bonds. You want a healthy relationship with the people you love and so it's important to make time for them, even if it's just a little bit during the day.

The Importance of Grandparents By Dawn Marie Barhyte Regardless of age, children thrive in environments where they are nurtured and loved. They learn about the world around them when those closest to them join in their play, interests and exploration. Grandparents often have the opportunity to spend more relaxed time with children. And they can enjoy children for who they are at the moment. This unconditional love is second only in emotional power to the parent/child bond. It is the glue between grandparents and grandchildren. He adds this “vital connection” between you and your grandchild blossoms fully when the child has your undivided attention in an unhurried atmosphere. The undemanding and loving bond grandparents offer is treasured by grandchildren. Free of the pressure of raising children, grandparents have the freedom to play without the parental worries. Children with strong relationships with their grandparents have a good sense of family and security, do better in school and feel comfortable with older people. Grandparents have a vital role to play in children’s lives. The intergenerational connection reflects a high value for family and tradition. A source of wisdom and stability, they provide families with a sense of who they are. Family life can be greatly enriched by sharing a cultural background, and grandparents can provide the necessary link between cultural heritage and present day customs. Whether grandparents live near or far, they have a vital role in child development and can sweeten a child’s life. It’s crucial to actively promote this intergenerational bond and consider the positive impact it holds for a child’s future.

What are fevers, exactly? Why do kids get them? Why do parents and doctors care so much about them? And once you have one, how do you get rid of it? To really understand what a fever is, you need to say hello to the hypothalamus, this is in the center of your brain. Think of it as your body's thermostat. Your hypothalamus knows what temperature your body should be and will send messages to your body to keep it that way. Most human beings have a body temperature of around 37° Celsius. For most kids, their body temperature stays pretty much the same from day to day — until germs enter the picture. Infections are caused by germs that make their way into your body, usually in the form of bacteria or viruses. Once these germs march in and make you sick, they can sometimes cause certain chemicals to flow into your blood. When your hypothalamus gets word that these chemicals are on the scene, it automatically sets your body's thermostat higher. Your body's thermostat might then go up to 38.9° Celsius. A Fever is the body's way of fighting the germs A Fever is also a good signal to you, your parents, and your doctor that you are sick. Without fever, it would be much more difficult to tell if a person had an infection and how severe it was. For almost all kids, fevers aren't a big problem. Once the cause of the fever is treated or goes away on its own, your body temperature comes back down to normal and you feel like your old self again. Most doctors say that kids with a fever less than 38.9° Celsius don't need to take any special medication unless their fevers are making them uncomfortable. It's a different story for newborns and very young infants, though. They should be evaluated by a doctor for any fever that reaches 38° Celsius or higher. If you have a fever, your mom or dad will probably ask you to drink fluids. That's important because as your body heats up, it's easy for it to get dehydrated, which means there isn't enough water in your body. You have a lot of choices when it comes to fluids. Before you know it, your mom or dad will pull the thermometer out of your mouth and say, "Your temperature is normal. No more fever!"

50 reasons why it's fun to be a parent When your baby is crying at three in the morning or your toddler's just thrown his lunch all over your newly mopped floor, it's easy to forget the good bits about being a parent. To help you through the tough times, here's our round up of the things that make parenting fun. 1. Panicking because you've been given this newborn baby to take home and you haven't even got the manual - then realising how much fun it is learning on the job. 2. Feeling a tiny fist curl around your finger when you touch his palm. 3. Gazing into your baby's eyes and knowing he trusts you totally. 4. Breathing in the best smell in the world: sleepy baby! 5. Being amazed the first time you wrap him up in his blanket, put him against your shoulder, pat him gently and incredibly the yelling stops! 6. Being the most tired you've ever been in your whole life - and the most happy. 7. Sitting up in bed feeding your baby in the middle of the night, and knowing that all over the world other mothers are doing just the same. 8. Watching your partner show his son or daughter off to all the visitors. 9. Finding out, at your antenatal class reunion, that no one gets bored of your birth story, no matter how many times you tell it. 10. Overhearing your partner at a party talking earnestly about the best brand of nappy. 11. Watching your baby's sleeping face and wondering what the future holds for him. 12. Discovering how lovely the dawn chorus can be!

13. Taking him out for the first time and discovering that everyone wants to stop and talk. 14. Experiencing that amazing feeling of tenderness when your baby falls asleep in your arms.

15. Buying that Scalextric set/Batman costume/Sylvanian family you always wanted (even though your baby is only one week old). 16. Discovering how infectious a baby's giggles can be. 17. Having someone to leave the family heirlooms to, even if they're only some love letters that baby's father once wrote to you and your grandmother's china puppy dog. 18. Exchanging a smile with other pram-pushing mothers. 19. Dreaming up fantastic food combinations for your baby: avocado and banana, chicken and grapes or sweet potato and broccoli. 20. Laughing when your baby starts waving at everyone on the bus or in the supermarket. 21. Discovering all the little characteristics that make your baby unique: fat toes, sticky-out ears, hair that sticks up no matter how much it's brushed. 22. Taking millions of photographs, which you keep meaning to put into an album, but never quite get round to it. 23. Developing a new family language as your toddler talks about scissoring the lawn or asks for a bikkit. 24. Having little pairs of pink wellies lined up in the hall and/or Action Man underpants scattered on the floor. 25. Knowing the right things to say and the best way to help when your friends have a baby. 26. Watching Nana and Granddad spoil their little treasure rotten. 27. Joining in tactile toddler pleasures like squeezing play dough in your hands, scrunching through autumn leaves or jumping in puddles. 28. Discovering that he's inherited your love of music or his dad's interest in racing cars. 29. or, even better, discovering he has totally different talents, like dancing or painting - where

did that come from? 30. Waking up to a sloppy kiss from your toddler.

31. Rediscovering the simple pleasures in life: brightly coloured flowers, the softness of a cat's fur or the feel of sand between your toes, with your little one. 32. Getting used to being known as Jack's mum or Emily's dad. 33. Crying when you see a baby born on TV, understanding how mothers feel everywhere from Beijing to Belfast. 34. Discovering the pleasures of three in a bed - even if you and your partner only have a few inches of space while your baby lies sideways across middle. 35. Enjoying the chance to be really silly again - walking around quacking like a duck or sitting at the table wearing a bib and silly hat to encourage your baby to eat. 36. Trying to answer those awkward questions: Do fish sleep? Why is the sky blue? How do cows have babies if they can't get married? 37. Relishing the moment when he first says, "I love you, Mummy". 38. Re-discovering how brilliant children's books are, even if you do sometimes have to "lose" the one he's wanted every night for the last three weeks! 39. Having one big bubble bath together: and squabbling over who gets the end with the taps. 40. Running up a quick cat costume out of a piece of string, an egg-box and an eye-liner pencil for a party. 41. Multi-tasking: learning how to mix up a bowl of cake mix with one hand while you stick a plaster on a toddler's knee with the other, breastfeed a baby and phone your mum to ask her what she wants for her birthday. 42. Discovering the world through your toddler's eyes: seeing him gaze at a caterpillar or stare transfixed into a rock pool. 43. Making a whole new circle of friends, who just happen to be parents, too. 44. Seeing your values: trying to be straight, kind, honest, hard-working and treat others like

you'd like to be treated, rub off on him. 45. Enjoying making up with a hug and kiss once a tantrum is over.

46. Going to a Disney film and no longer being the only unaccompanied adult in the queue! 47. Finding out that bringing up children gives your life a new sense of focus. 48. Crying when you drop him off at playgroup for the first time, then bursting with pride when you pick him up and realise he hasn't missed you at all. 49. Keeping all his best artwork from playgroup and turning your kitchen into your own Tate Modern. 50. Hearing your child say "mum" and wondering who that is, then realising - it's YOU!

Passive music listening & anxiety By Elizabeth Oosthuizen “Music is the essence of humanness, not only because man creates it, but because he creates his relationship to it. Music is an essential and necessary function of man. It influences his behaviour and condition and has done so for thousands of years” – Gaston Some elements of music:  Rhythm: Man is essentially a rhythmic being. There is rhythm in his breathing, speech, movement, heartbeat, and brain activity. By man living in a rhythmic world it improves his response to the rhythm in music.  Tempo: The speed of a composition or a section thereof, ranging from vary slow to very fast, as indicated by tempo marks such as largo, adagio, andante, moderato, allegro, presto & prestissimo. – Apel. This is the most important factor to bring forth emotion to man.  Pitch: High pitch – can result in emotional irritation. Medium pitch – result in feelings of vitality and excitement. Low pitch – result in feelings of relaxation and calmness. Regulatative (adjusting) music therapy (a specific form of passive music listening) This type of music therapy focuses on psychophysical self-regulation. The individual will teach himself to relax while listening to music. Concentration therefore is focused on the music and not the physical experiences. Some results are as follows:  Various mental conditions can be created  Alleviate internal anxiety/stress  Facilitate self expression Although an individual will sit passively listening to specific music, the holistic process is in actual fact not passive. The individual does react to the music, because elements of music such as rhythm, tempo and pitch influence the listener. (Altshuler). It can change the listeners’ frame of mind, improve concentration, and can bring forth physical changes. Physical changes such as breathing rhythm, heartbeat, and pulse, is directly influenced by the type of music the listener, is listening to. The relaxed state that a certain type of music, will bring to the person that are experiencing anxiety, results naturally, through the physical rhythm of the body (pulse, heartbeat) that naturally follows the rhythm of the music.

Characteristics of music to be used by individuals experiencing anxiety for relaxation:  Largo tempo (slow)  60 beats per minute  Simple harmonies Examples of music: Vivaldi (largo from “winter” – Four Seasons); Mozart (Eine Kleine Nachtmuzik); Beethoven (Simphony Nr. 8); Tschaikowsky (Symphony Nr. 6) & any Baroque Music. In general: Structured music experiences do improve the level of functioning of client e.g. music can be used to become more relaxed, lift your depressive mood, can help you to concentrate better. “There is no doubt that music is one of the best means of getting rid of your anxieties. It certainly requires no complicated measures to listen to good music. It is the most pleasant way to keep your emotions untroubled.” – Podolsky “It can speak to us in deeper ways, that words can feel” – Bonny. ===================********================== Elizabeth Oosthuizen

The building blocks for letting my child blossom – self image Our children are born into our lives as special gifts. It is our task to guide and parent them into becoming those unique individuals they are intended to be. A seed for growth are received the day we meet them for the first time. Our task as parents is to nurture, water and give nutrients to this seed, so it will grow into a beautiful blossoming tree. While it is growing we must sometimes give extra minerals, or less water, or prune a bit = this is all part of parenting with the goal to let our child becoming the individual they are born to become. What an overwhelming task this can be sometimes?! As parents we do realize that parenting our child is an extremely important task. We all hope that the way we parent and guide our children will assist them into developing emotional wellness and that they will have a true image about who they are. In this article I am therefore giving guidance and ideas on how to build your unique child’s self-image and confidence:

Acceptance: Firstly and most importantly is for you as parent to accept your child unconditionally. All children present with characteristics and behaviours we love and appreciate about them, but also with some that we detest. Embracing all these flowers and thorns in their beings will make them feel loved and accepted. During the growing up years especially, we as parents must try and focus and give positive motivation towards those beautiful characteristics. The thornbehaviours we must try and prune, but not prune it in such a way that the negative behaviour

does not exist anymore. Sometimes these difficult behaviours will assist them in their interactions as adults. Love and attention do not spoil babies or toddlers. The more warmth and acceptance, the better. Children should be allowed to say ‘no’ to situations where they can exercise choice. In this way, their autonomy is respected, and they do not feel rejected if they do not agree with you. Statements like “children should be seen and not heard’ should be avoided. Children feel loved and wanted and secure when they experience unconditional positive regard. We must try and communicate basic acceptance of them as individuals even if we don’t like certain behaviours.

Being themselves: Children should be encouraged and praised for being who they are, for being self-reliant and acting in a natural way. Compliment and name the behaviours or actions you are proud of as a parent. We are sometimes so good at seeing all the things our children does ‘wrong’, make it your goal as a parent to find those behaviours and actions you child does present which are positive and compliment them immediately. At times ignoring the negative behaviours can also work very well during parenting. Research has shown that children present with those behaviours that seem to receive attention from important adults around them. Children should not be overprotected and told ‘no’ or ‘stop’ frequently. Self-confidence is not built by making all decisions for children, being too strict, having overly high expectations, or teasing and belittling them. Strengths and achievements should be frequently pointed out to them, with pride.

Emotional Intelligence: For our children to experience a truthful self-worth, it is important that we develop their emotional intelligence. The following are examples of emotional intelligent skills: • Awareness of own and others feelings; • Being able to express inner feelings; • Sensitivity towards the thoughts and feelings of others; • Ability to cope with difficult emotional situations in an age-appropriate way; • To know that they are in control of their feelings and can choose how to respond to a given situation; • Have the courage to take a risk, to be unique, to love themselves; and • The ability to experience failures as a learning curve. Children learn about expressing or suppressing feelings in the family. The way, we as parents, react to them when they experience intense emotions will determine whether or not they are comfortable with feelings in general. Here are some ideas how to develop your child’s emotional intelligence:

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Know yourself as an individual. Respect the others at home as individuals. Celebrate each person’s uniqueness. Talk about what each family member likes and dislikes, what they aim for, what are their goals, what are they afraid about, what are they proud of? Start talking about feelings at home. Teach your child feeling words and look for situations that elicit feelings and talk about it. Accept and acknowledge your child’s feelings. Teach them that all feelings are acceptable but not all behaviour. Teach your child acceptable reactions to the feelings that they are experiencing. E.g. we are allowed to be angry, but not to hurt others, so we can rather jump to get angry out, or go to a safe place to let anger subside. Be honest about your own feelings, and be an good example of emotional control. Children look and learn from us. Teach your children to find joy in the little things. Encourage an attitude of caring at home and towards other. Empathy, respect and people skills are some of the gifts you can teach them for their life journey.

We as parents need to realize that our own emotional awareness and ability to cope with feelings will determine the success and happiness in family relationships. I hope that above has given you as parents, some ideas on how to build your unique child selfimage and confidence. In the next article we will look at and discuss what not to do when we are trying to build our child confidence. Elizabeth Oosthuizen Psychologist

Benefits of Recycling • Whatever we don't recycle just gets dumped and lands up on a landfill • Recycling saves landfill space, as less waste needs to be dumped. • It reduces the negative impact of landfills on our environment. • Recycling saves natural resources. • We conserve natural resources like plants, minerals and water when we use materials

from products more than once. • E.g. recycling paper saves trees, water and the energy needed to cut down, transport the trees, and grind them into paper pulp. • Recycling reduces the need for new raw materials. • Raw materials from recycled sources generally cost less than virgin materials. • Recycling saves energy. • E.g. glass cullet melts at a lower temperature, so less energy is needed melt the same quantity of new material. • Recycling can reduce water and air pollution. • Recycling reduces waste disposal costs. • Locally produced products using recycled material reduces the need for imported products and the costs involved (like exchange rate fluctuations, transport costs and increased emissions). • (Local is lekker is not just about job creation it also saves our environment as the less transport required means less carbon emissions) • Recycling creates formal and informal jobs.

How Can I Make a Difference? • Choose products that are reusable rather than disposable. • Choose products that have recyclable packaging rather than disposable packaging. • Choose products that have less packaging. • Check if the packaging is made from recycled material. • Make wise purchasing decisions. Ask yourself "Is it recyclable?" • Feed stale bread and scraps to the birds

• Put fruit that's no longer fresh out for the birds. • Create compost to recycle food waste, like fruit, vegetables (leftovers and peels), bread. (Don't put meat and dairy into it) See our section on creating compost. Courtesy:

May 2011 Articles  

Informative information for Parents

May 2011 Articles  

Informative information for Parents