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Issue 38 I January/ February 2014



What's the right age to start school?

7 steps to a smarter child

Cover image © Marks and Spencer

Flexible family working

Confidence Building Fun Try a Free Drama Class

Watch your child’s self-esteem soar with our weekly classes for 4–12s Child development is at the heart of everything we do. So our drama, dance and singing sessions will boost your child’s confidence, improve their concentration and give them an outlet to have fun. Call 0845 400 1304 or visit for a free class at your nearest venue.

Southampton New Forest Winchester Eastleigh Hedge End Botley Warsash Park Gate Chandlers Ford Romsey Totton January/ February 2014 Families Solent West Magazine The really useful magazine for parents with children 0 - 12 years

Award winning music classes for babies & young children WINCHESTER, ROMSEY, CHANDLER’S FORD, HEDGE-END E: T: 02380 900178 The Church Rooms, London Road, Kings Worthy SO23 7JL The Botley Centre, High Street, Botley, SO30 2ES Shawford Parish Hall, Pearson Lane, Winchester, SO21 2AA

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15% Exclusive discount for Families readers on all orders placed during January and February 2014 when you spend £30 or more Quote FamiliesJ14 at the checkout Photography by Erica Mulford Photography. Baby Bonnet Emily & Evelyn


January/ February 2014

Families Solent West Magazine


Cover Image Š Marks and Spencer

Families Solent West Magazine Editor: Rebecca Carr 023 8040 3247 Next issue: March/ April 2014 Booking deadline: 1 February 2014 Copy deadline: 6 February 2014 To book an advert call: 02380 403247 email: 40,000 readers per issue Printed by Bishops




How to choose a nursery


What's the right age to start school


7 Steps to a smarter child


Family heath


Aiming to work flexibly


Working jobs from home


Copyright: Families Solent West, January/ February 2014 Data Protection: if you send us your name and address in order to win a prize in a competition, we may supply your details to the company offering the prize. If you would prefer us not to do this please state this on your entry. Disclaimer: Colour transparencies and any other original materials submitted for publication are sent at the owners risk and whilst every care is taken, neither Families Solent West not its agents accept liability for loss or damage. We take care preparing this magazine but the publishers and distributors cannot be held responsible for the claims of advertisers nor for the accuracy of the contents nor for consequence. Families Solent West is part of a group established in 1990 headed by Families South West London. All magazines are independently owned and operated under licence.

Fareham Swim School


What's on and February half term


Banishing the wet monster

Call us now if you would like to include your business in our biggest issue - March/ April 2014. The booking deadline is 1 February. 02380 403247

Specially designed pre-school classes for your 3-4 year old ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡


January/ February 2014

New pool in Fareha m openin g Jan 201 4

For more info please see our website

Now also taking bookings for adult classes or call

01329 802 208 Families Solent West Magazine


News Children’s yoga for health and well-being

Earth toes yoga is a childrens yoga class that uses a fun and inclusive approach to help develop a healthy body and mind. Classes are designed for little toes and big toes ages 3-12. By combining traditional yoga postures and relaxation techniques with imagination, interaction and storytelling, Earth toes yoga inspires children to nurture their own wellbeing. New toddler classes are starting in Southampton and Chandlers Ford. For more details and if you would like to invite Earth toes yoga into your school or community group go to:

Swing along with Monkey Music

Monkey Music, the award winning pre-school music group for children aged 3 months – 4 years will be opening in Winchester and Botley from 9th January. Monkey Music nurtures a child’s natural love of music lasting a lifetime. Based on an exciting and progressive curriculum, Monkey Music classes are entertaining, educational and taught by specialist teachers who gently encourage social and musical skills within a fun, stimulating and friendly environment. Weekly classes are small, tailor-made, and teachers make full use of the 30 minute classes to captivate children using a winning combination of catchy music, percussion instruments, visual props and boundless energy. Over 300 traditional and original songs, musical games and exciting movement ideas are used throughout the curriculum, with the children grouped in small classes according to their age. To find out more visit the website:

Wear A Hat Day

Please join other families and schools (as well as companies, groups, shops and associations across the country) in supporting Wear A Hat Day on Friday March 28th 2014 - it’s going to be bigger, hattier and more fun than ever! Wear A Hat Day is the UK’s premier brain tumour awareness event, taking place every March during national Brain Tumour Awareness Month. Thousands of families and children in homes and schools across the land take part every year – wearing hats of all shapes, sizes and colours, getting involved in an amazing array of fun and inventive events, making and collecting donations from everyone around, all helping to raise awareness and funds for vital research. Brain tumours are scary – this disease is the biggest cancer killer of both children and adults under 40 yet the science is woefully underfunded, receiving less than 1% of national cancer research spend. Stand out from the crowd and wear a hat for Brain Tumour Research on March 28th. Register today for your Wear A Hat Day event and Don’t forget to share your photos on Facebook and Twitter and let’s celebrate #WearAHatDay together! 01296 733011, visit:

St Mary’s is an exceptional place.

On walking onto the College site there is a special atmosphere that you can see on the faces of the students. You can feel it in their enthusiasm for everything that they do, the students are happy to be here. The pastoral support that we provide encourages and nurtures our students at every step and has built a community that cherishes mutual respect, develops moral values and ensures that every child feels special. These are the values that we continue to pursue and maintain and, with the current financial situation, we recognise the commitment that parents have to make to access this kind of educational provision, but the rewards are self-evident. Although league tables are not our prime concern or driving force, our students continually achieve outstanding results. The small class sizes and personal level of tutoring ensure that every child not just matters but is known.

Fareham Swim School is now opening a new private pool in the Fareham area

We provide swimming lessons with a difference for all ages and abilities including: parents and babies, specially designed pre-schooler classes, confidence booster sessions, after school club and adult lessons. We believe small class sizes are the way forward, our teachers are always in the water, our pools are clean and warmed to an average of 32’ & all our office staff are qualified teachers, so when you call us, you can talk to somebody who knows their stuff! Prices start at £9 per lesson. To book a trial lesson or have a chat, please call us on 01329 802 208 or visit our website:

Prep schools - what are they and how to choose the right one? Find out in the next issue of Families Solent West.


SCHOOL HOLIDAYS? For more information on venues and courses visit our website

WWW.SUPERCAMPS.CO.UK or call 01235 467300






January/ February 2014

Families Solent West Magazine

News Little Gems Pre-School celebrates its 20th birthday

On 30th January, Little Gems Pre-School will be celebrating its 20th Birthday. At Chandlers Ford we welcome our new manager Miss Kelly Jarvis to lead our team. Kelly is a qualified teacher specialising in Early Years. The pre-school has undergone exciting changes which include extra resources to the classroom and new staff joining the team. The children are to also star in their first nativity! At West End we celebrate winning best overall float in the West End carnival for the second year running! This year it was with their colourful Finding Nemo float. Preschool visits and viewings are welcome, please call 023 8026 8480 or 023 8047 1070 to make an appointment.

Drama, Dance & Singing for 4-8 year olds with Perform

Perform’s drama, dance and singing weekly workshops are a fun-packed mix of confidence-building games, energetic dances and catchy songs exclusively for 4-8 year olds. From January to April 2014, Perform children will set off on a thrilling Wild West adventure to find The Horse with the Golden Mane. Your child will learn the “Ghost Town” song, dance the “Hip Hop Hoedown”, meet Chief Sitting Bull and take off rafting down Banjo Creek. As well as weekly fun, there’s a sticker poster, a CD of songs and stories and a special script to help your child rehearse for the end of term performance. For a sneak preview of the songs and dances visit Guaranteed to be the best fun that your child has all week! All interested children are entitled to a Free Trial Session. Call 0845 400 4000, email or go to www.perform. Classes in your local area are: Romsey onTuesdays from 4-6pm at United Abbey Reform Church, 1 Abbey Water, Romsey. **SPECIAL READER OFFER** £30 off a block of 10 sessions before 31st January 2014. Just quote SOLW310114

Nursery inspections get tough

Ofsted are to toughen up their inspections of nurseries, day-care facilities and preschools, as figures show that over 150,000 children are enrolled in substandard settings. In future, all nurseries will be expected to achieve an outstanding or good rating, while those with lower ratings will potentially face closure. Nurseries will now be in line with schools, in that there will no longer be a ‘satisfactory’ category. Instead, nurseries considered to be under-performing must improve dramatically within two years, while those rated as inadequate will be re-inspected in a matter of weeks, with the prospect of being de-registered and ultimately closed. ‘I wouldn’t have wanted my child to go to an inadequate nursery and I don’t believe that any other parent would either,’ said Sir Michael Wilshaw, chief executive of Ofsted. ‘So we’re going to be less tolerant. When we go back to re-inspect an inadequate setting and it hasn’t improved, it’s likely that we may take steps to cancel the registration.’ This is all part of Ofsted’s overhaul of the early years inspection system, amid fears that too many young children are languishing in inadequate and substandard care. But is this move as positive as it sounds? Davina Ludlow, director of, said, ‘While we believe that every child deserves the very best education, we are concerned about the impact this ‘downgrade’ could have on nurseries and hard-working staff members. The change being brought in by Ofsted risks adversely impacting staff motivation, resulting in more harm than good.’

Christmas might have passed but give the gift of reading this New Year to your sons! Broadcaster Simon Mayo, author of the Itch series, is supporting a new drive to get boys reading and writing, as National Literacy Trust research shows boys are half as likely to enjoy writing and reading than girls. The trust calls for a renewed focus both at school and at home on ways to get boys into writing. ‘It’s so important for boys to find a topic that interests them before they pick up a pen and start writing,’ says Simon Mayo, whose protagonist is a 14-yearold boy obsessed with science. ‘I wasn’t particularly interested in writing at school but I was hampered by being fantastically slow. When I started writing the first Itch book it was as a short story for my son, but then I was completely captivated by the plot and characters, and the story took over. If you can grab a child’s imagination in the same way, getting them to write about a hobby or something they really enjoy doing then the whole story writing world is open to them.’ January/ February 2014

Stretch Shi ne reathe


Get them writing

Children’s Yoga for 3-5’s Using stories, imagination music & interaction.

New classes starting in Southampton & Chandlers Ford. Contact Beverley 07762 305061 email Creative design by

Families Solent West Magazine


Childcare & Education

How to choose a nursery It’s one of the most important decisions you’ve made for your child in his or her life so far. So which nursery is the right one – and how do you know? Joanna Moorhead shares some tips. There are all sorts of different nurseries out there. Big ones, small ones; ones run by the local council, and ones run by independent companies. There are nurseries attached to primary schools, and there are stand-alone nurseries. When you start out looking for one, the plethora of what’s out there can make it all seem very daunting.

care of the people you’ve met? If the answer is yes, the nursery you’ve just seen is a possible one for you; if you have any doubts whatsoever about this most crucial thing, whether you’re confident about leaving your baby there, cross it off your list at once.

But here’s the first, the most important, and possibly even the only thing you need to know about how to make your choice. Listen to the voice inside your head, heed your instinct about what’s right for your child, and you’ll almost certainly make the ‘correct’ choice. Because the truth, of course, is that there isn’t a ‘right’ nursery or a ‘wrong’ one; there is, however, a nursery that will suit your child best, because it will mesh in with your own and your partner’s ideas about how to raise a child, and what matters most in his or her life. All of which is why what you feel inside you about a nursery will give you the biggest guide as to what to go on.

What are the most important things you’re looking for in a nursery? Here are some things you need to think about:

Looking round To kick the process off, you’ll need to put together a list of nurseries in your area (or perhaps in the area where you work, if you’re thinking your child can be cared for at nursery while you work nearby). Comb through the nurseries in your area online; look at the Ofsted reports for any you

Your nursery checklist

think sound promising. Think about what factors matter most to you in a nursery (see our checklist) and then make appointments to look around a selection of those that have, or might have, vacancies. When you look round, don’t be too anxious about all the questions you need to ask or whether you’re going to miss something vital. Instead, switch on all your ‘vibes’ and take in the holistic sense of the place. Does it feel friendly, and welcoming, and a fun place to be, from what you can see of it? Do staff treat you warmly – are you convinced by what they’re telling you? Do you, in a nutshell, feel a sense of confidence about the place; would you feel confident about leaving the most important person in your life, your child, here in the

Food: how important is it to you that food is organic? Do you like the idea of nursery children eating alongside staff – ie, the family model –which some nurseries practice?

Outdoor play space: this varies hugely from nursery to nursery. Think about how important outdoor play is to your child, and decide how much importance you’re going to attach to whether the nursery has a garden, how big it is, and how many activities take place in it

Wifi: do you have worries about wifi and its potential impact on young children? If so, make sure you ask about whether there’s a wifi network at the nursery, and how extensive it is. See www.

For more stories on choosing a nursery see

Need childcare? Then let the Hampshire Childcare and Family Information Team help! For information about childminders, day nurseries, pre-schools, playgroups, out-of-school clubs, holiday play schemes and free part time early years education in Hampshire, contact the Hampshire Childcare and Family Information Team on

0845 603 5620

Monday - Friday: 8.00am - 8.00pm Saturday: 9.30am - 4.00pm or visit

Email: 6

January/ February 2014

Families Solent West Magazine

Childcare & Education

What’s the right age to start school? They point out, too, that prescriptions of Ritalin for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, have quadrupled in the last ten years, and many believe the drug is being used to ‘normalise’ behaviour that may partly have come from having too many expectations heaped on them at too young an age. Mental health disorders among children and young people are also on the rise – again, the question the campaigners ask is whether that could be linked with early pressure at school.

A fierce battle has broken out between the Department of Education and a group of campaigners who say British children are being disadvantaged by going to school aged four. Joanna Moorhead investigates. What is it that children start much too early at four, that stems their creativity and reduces their chance of good exam results further down the line? According to a growing group of educationalists, thinkers, teachers and parents, the blight on the lives of young children Or at least, it’s too much school too soon – and that, according to the backers of a new campaign, is exactly what’s happening to thousands of British four-year-olds each year. The argument put forward by the Save Childhood Movement, which is running the ‘Too Much, Too Soon’ campaign in favour of waiting until children are six before they go to school, is that young children need the chance to play, and should not be shoehorned into ‘learning’ too early. The campaigners say that in other parts of the world, early childhood is recognised as a valuable phase of development in its own right – whereas in Britain, it’s seen solely as preparation for school.

Link with mental health For the Too Much Too Soon lobby, the emphasis on formal education from a young age is part of a mindset that sees testing and academic pressure as good for young people – whereas they believe it’s harmful rather than helpful. They point out, for example, that the now-implemented Year One Phonics Screening Check in English primary schools is unnecessary and say there’s little correlation between the results of the phonics check and a child’s reading achievements at the end of Year 2.

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Misconceptions There’s a misconception in Britain, say the campaigners, that starting early with school means settling down to learn more quickly, and achieving more in the long term. But, they say, that’s not borne out by what happens in other countries. “Children who enter school at six or seven – after several years of high quality nursery education – consistently achieve better educational results as well as higher levels of wellbeing,” said 127

senior educational figures in a letter to the Daily Telegraph in September. “The success of the Scandinavian system suggests that many problems in English education – such as the widening gap in achievement between rich and poor, problems with boys’ literacy, and the ‘summerborns’ issue – could be addressed by fundamentally re-thinking our early years policies.” Specifically, the Too Much Too Soon campaign is calling for; the early years to be re-established as a unique development stage in its own right, protection for the rights of young children to develop naturally and an end to baseline testing a new emphasis on the importance of play

The Department for Education has hit back at the Too Much Too Soon campaign, saying it amounts to a call for dumbing down. Those behind it were a “powerful and badly misguided lobby who are responsible for the devaluation of exams and the culture of low expectations in state schools,” according to a DoE spokesman. “We need a system that aims to prepare pupils to solve hard problems in calculus or be a poet or engineer – a system freed from the grip of those who bleat bogus poppsychology about ‘self image’, which is an excuse for not teaching poor children how to add up.”

Charlton House


St. Mary’s College

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St. Mary’s College Preparatory Dept

Educating Girls & Boys age 3 - 16 in a caring Christian environment

Families Solent West Magazine


Family Health

7 steps to a smarter child School is about to get tougher, but there are many ways you can help boost your child’s brain power. Education Secretary Michael Gove’s plans for a more rigorous school curriculum introduces fractions for five-year-olds, a complete sweep of British history and a comprehensive survey of Shakespeare. But don’t despair - there is plenty you can do to help your children meet these tougher standards.


Keep metal out of their mouths (and everywhere else) Don’t allow your children to have ‘silver’ fillings - ever. Research has found a direct link between levels of mercury in the mother’s hair at the time of birth and the likelihood of the child developing ADHD. Like fluoride, the aluminium sulphate present in our water supply has also been found to cause brain damage. Besides aluminium, children with developmental and behavioural problems may have high blood concentrations of lead. Never cook with aluminium utensils and opt for an under-sink filtration system that removes all heavy metals like lead from the water supply. If your house is old, check what your pipes are made of.

1. Give them a good breakfast

4. Feed them the good fats

A high-protein diet can feed those little grey cells, increasing the size of the brain’s caudate nucleus, associated with higher intelligence. Add nuts to cereal to boost protein content of their cereals. If your child refuses to eat much, make a high-protein smoothie with yoghurt or tofu.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) in fish oils can dramatically accelerate learning, as well as protecting the brains of your children from the worst effects of junk food.


Make sure they eat their greens (and yellows, reds and oranges) Children who eat a diet high in fruit and veg have higher IQs than those who subsist on processed and sugary foods. Start early if you want maximum benefits, although it’s never too late to turn a bad diet around.

3. Ditch dental fluorides Fluoride is a neurotoxin accumulating in brain tissue and affecting brain development. Yet on average we ingest up to 1,000 times more fluoride than any other heavy metal through fluoridated water, food and dental products. Choose toothpastes free of fluoride and if you’re worried about your child’s teeth, get an electric toothbrush and teach them how to floss properly. 8

January/ February 2014

Don’t shy away from fish. Although concerns have been raised about mercury levels and other pollutants, the goodness in fish outweighs any dangers. Don’t overlook saturated fats Although received wisdom has it that saturated fats are bad for children and contribute to ADHD, they actually assist in the conversion of EFAs into the longchain forms the body needs. Always choose butter over margarine and full-fat milk over skimmed.

5. Outdoor play Children stay indoors so much these days that many of them are low in vitamin D, which can lead to high blood pressure, rickets and unhealthy bones. Vitamin D is also crucial for the development of the nervous system, including the brain. Make sure children are outside for at least 15 minutes a day, and unless they burn easily, don’t put sunscreen on them until they’ve been out in the sun for at least 10 minutes.

7. Encourage them to meditate Meditation appears to permanently enhance brain receptivity. Besides increasing mental ability, meditation also seems to integrate emotional and cognitive processes, so aiding intuitive learning. The 5 Kiddy Brain Killers: 1- Junk food A diet heavy on fish fingers and fastfood burgers prevents the brain from generating new nerve cells. Aside from lowering your child’s IQ, fast food increases the risk of severe asthma by a whopping 39 per cent in teens and 27 per cent in younger children. Researchers have found a clear association between eating fast food and immune-related diseases like asthma and eczema. 2. Fizzy drinks Keep soft drinks out of the kitchen. A can of drink contains 10 teaspoons full of sugar! 3. Wheat Wheat (as well as soy, barley and rye) has high levels of glutamic and aspartic acids, which can affect the brain’s neurons, causing overactivation of nervecell receptors. The antioxidant agents in wheat called ‘phytates’ interfere with vital minerals that are essential for the growing brain.

Families Solent West Magazine

Family Health

No more BPA 4. Chinese takeaways and kiddy sweeteners The flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the artificial sweetener aspartame are both lethal to children’s brains and can disrupt certain brain pathways, causing memory loss. They can also cause hyperactivity, low intelligence, poor school performance and irritability.

By Susan Tomlinson

and has been linked with diabetes, obesity, cancer and even behavioural problems in children. But the jury’s not out yet. Other research shows that the small amounts of the chemical that leach into our food and drink are of an acceptable level and at present that’s where the UK’s Food Standards Agency sits. But the EFSA is presently reassessing all the data and is due to report back in 2014. In the meantime, if you’ve got you’re doubts, here’s how to avoid it:

Watch out for sweetened items like kiddy vitamins, gum or juice drinks. And whenever you order a Chinese, ask them to hold the MSG. 5. Mobile phones Some 200 studies confirm the damage to the growing brain caused by mobile phones. In addition to facing a greater risk of brain tumours children who grow up using mobile phones can suffer from learning difficulties, attention deficits and sleep problems. Try to limit the use of phones and never let your child keep one next to them when they are sleeping. Inform yourselves: read our Special section on the topic It’s well worth reading the full-length version of this article. It can be found on This story was first published in the magazine What Doctors Don’t Tell You, available in selected retailers like WHSmith or by subscription. It is a real eye opener! See

Banned in plastic baby's bottles across the EU, Canada and the US, yet the UK government is convinced the chemical Bisphenol A, or BPA is entirely safe. Is it? From tins, and plastic bottles, to boxes, dental fillings and even shopping receipts, the chemical is present in a huge range of objects. It's main job is to make plastic shatterproof, so, in the world of packaging and manufacturing, it's crucial. The trouble is, since the 1930's, it's been associated with all sorts of health problems. It’s what’s known as a suspected endocrine disruptor, meaning it mimics the body’s hormone system,

More and more BPA-free products are coming onto market. In fact, many food companies are beating government policy by using alternatives. If a product isn’t labeled BPA free, you can avoid the chemical by looking at the plastic recycling code on the side of the container. Anything marked with the recycle code 7 (as above) or 3, may contain BPA.

Cut back on using cans, as most of them are lined with a BPA resin.

Avoid heating plastic containers in the microwave or the dishwasher, as they may break down over time and allow the BPA to seep into food or drink.

Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel wherever possible.

Join the Breast Cancer UK, in their "No More BPA" campaign.

Genetically Modified Food GM. It’s a bit of an experiment really – and that’s the problem. The research simply isn’t conclusive. But GM seeds already dominate the US corn, cotton and soya market; the Indian cotton market and the South American soya bean crop. As our population increases, there is much debate about how we’re going to feed ourselves. And scientists, researchers and environmentalists are split between believing GM is the best option for increasing our food supply, while others believe the answer lies in altering the politics around food wastage and logistics and are deeply concerned about the effects that GM may have upon our

January/ February 2014

By Susan Tomlinson

ecology and health. But one of the most contentious and little known issues around GM is that of intellectual property. The companies manufacturing these seeds own the patent and won’t allow farmers to save seeds for the next year, as they have done for thousands of years. The farmer is forced to buy them again every year, or bear the brunt of the legal-eagles who watch out for anyone in breach of their seed contract.

can persist after harvesting. This means some farmers claim they’ve been forced to use GM seeds or face being sued for a potential patency theft.

Like all seeds, GM seeds spread too, meaning that some farmers have discovered unwanted GM seeds contaminating their land and as the World Health Organisation explains, the seeds

It’s tricky with both sides claiming they have the answer; so to find out more, visit:

It is for these reasons that some environmentalists accuse biotech companies of wanting to own the world’s seed supply. And yet the biotech companies claim they just want to provide a clean, green option for feeding the world.

Families Solent West Magazine


Flexible Working

Aiming to work flexibly?

Think carefully before you ask your employer your employer's perspective and prepare a compromise solution. Give yourself plenty of time for negotiations. It is best, for instance, to at least open conversations on flexible working before you go on maternity leave rather than a week before you return, even if your situation or ideas about working patterns might alter after the birth. 4. Talk to other people in your company and elsewhere who have negotiated flexible working and ask them about their experiences and tips. 5. Put your request in writing to your line manager and sign and date the letter.

This year the right to request flexible working will extend to all employees, but currently it applies to parents and carers. Although Labour is reported to be looking into plans to make the right to request

flexible working for parents of young children, currently employers can turn down a request on any of eight grounds, so think carefully before you lodge a request. Below are some tips which might get you the flexibility you need. 1. Check out what your company’s policy is on flexible working. All companies are obliged to consider flexible working, but they are not obliged to agree to every request. However, some companies are more innovative in their policy on flexible working and may already have trialled different forms of flexible working from the usual ones of working different shift patterns or cutting your hours. For instance, they might offer term-time only working or working from home or annualised hours.

SALES OPPORTUNITY Families Solent West and Families Solent East Magazine has an opportunity for an experienced sales person to work with our magazines. The position is part-time, working from home. Experience of sales is essential as well as good presentation and negotiating skills. To find our more or to apply, please send your CV and covering letter: 10

January/ February 2014

2. Be clear about the hours you want to work and how you want to work them, for instance, could you do some of your work at home in order to cut down on travelling time? Look at your childcare options too and ensure they fit with your working hours. Can you afford to work part time? Or does working full-time and paying full-time childcare work out to be uneconomical? 3. Once you know the hours you want to work and how, make a business plan which emphasises the advantages for both you and the company of working this way. For example, you could say there are aspects of your job – research, reading, data input – that could be done better at home with no other distractions. Think through the logistics from both your and

6. Your employer then has 28 days to arrange a meeting with you to discuss your request. Be calm and business-like in your negotiations. Don’t lose your calm if they turn you down flat [this is actually proof that they are not abiding by the legislation as they should at least consider your case properly and give you reasonable grounds for turning you down]. Similarly if they do not reply to your request, this goes against the legislation. Try to pre-empt any concerns they have and suggest ways that you would address them. This is where a compromise suggestion may come in handy or you could propose that you work the new pattern for a trial period, subject to review. Your employer should reply in writing within 14 days of the meeting. 7. If you suspect your manager has not followed procedures properly or has not given due attention to your case, make an appeal to his or her line manager within 14 days of receipt of their decision. Reasonable grounds for dismissing requests for flexible working include that it would have a detrimental effect on other staff or on the company’s ability to meet customer need, but these need to be fleshed out. 8. If this appeal is not successful, you could lodge a claim with an employment tribunal on the grounds of sex discrimination, particularly if the decision forces you to leave your job. Mandy Garner is editor of, Jobsite and community for working mums. Visit the site to search for flexible jobs, or to find advice on flexible working or starting your own business.

Families Solent West Magazine

Flexible Working

A new year, new start and opportunities to work from home Usborne Books Usborne Books is a major, independent, award winning British company, in 2013 we celebrated our 40th Birthday. Usborne has developed a huge fan base that is now second generation. Children who grew up on Usborne are now parents themselves introducing their children to the books they loved when young. With over 2500 titles, expanding with around 20 new titles each month there is always something to show and excite your customers and schools. If you would like to find out how you can build a flexible, full or part time income with us, please contact Tracy Hickson 02 8041 0917 or email via quoting reference FSOL.

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We are looking for party people to promote the challenge for fantastic rewards. Call us now on 07595953223

Build your business – with Forever! I am a single mother of 3 lovely children, and my background was as PA in the City, which I thoroughly enjoyed, however, I didn’t get any of the benefits or bonuses my colleagues were receiving! I realised that there had to be something better out there. There was, I was introduced to a way of working and a company that inspired and excited me. I now work alongside Forever, an international company with a $2.6 bn turnover. The products that Forever offers fit into many market places including, skincare, health and nutrition, weight management and animal care. Forever is the only team marketing company to achieve the Gold and champion award Investors in People, and gives you all the support and training you need to succeed. I work from home around my 3 children, in the nooks and crannies of a very hectic family life. I work approximately 10-15 hour per week, yet despite this I have an extremely good income, which increases month on month. I am now looking for people who also want to take a serious look at an opportunity which does not need to compromise their current jobs or careers, that has unlimited potential, does not require investment, is flexible and can be worked from home. If you would like to find out more, please telephone me, Hesione Waugh, on: O1329 232 084 or 07794127732

Body Shop at Home I joined the Body Shop At Home in 2010 after the birth of my first child. I went back to work part time but also so needed something extra that would have the flexibility to fit around work and my family! I've always loved the Body Shop products and decided to try to sell them and earn at the same time. I tried it for Christmas but decided I loved the company, their values, confidence building ,social and flexibility of the role so much I stayed permanently and never looked back! I am now an area manager receiving full training and support, won some unforgettable experiences and made some life long friends. It's a fun, social and flexible working opportunity that really fits in with your family life. Contact me today for an informal chat on how you can join my team: Rebecca Fouch call: 07765403827 email:

The Work & Family Show 21 - 22 February

2014 sees the first ever Work and Family Show at London’s ExCeL. The event will give working parents and career break women access to practical advice, inspiration and ideas to help you create a happy and healthy work/ life balance. Plus, if you’re considering starting up your own business venture, you can chat through your ideas with industry experts and gain valuable career advice.

Exciting business opportunity for an organised mum or dad! Families Dorset Magazine is looking for a new Editor, could it be you? If you are looking for a fun, creative and worthwhile business opportunity with flexibility to work hours that fit around your family then this could be your perfect opportunity. You don’t have to be a great writer, as you will receive editorial support from Families Head Office, you just need to be confident and enthusiastic with good computer skills. If you would like to discuss this unique opportunity call Sarah on 07876 761623 or email

January/ February 2014

Families Solent West Magazine


What's on

Event Listings

MAGMA at Paultons Park

Spinnaker Tower

5 January

18 January

Manor Farm Country Park Hampshire Wassail & Mummers Play Normal farm admission applies 12 noon Join 'The Madding Crowd' for a day of Hampshire traditions including Wassailing the Manor Farm apple trees and an eventful Mummers Play featuring characters such as St George, the Doctor and Olde Father Christmas.

Kings Theatre Open Day Kings Theatre, Albert Road, Southsea, PO5 2QJ, 02392 828282, 10 am - 5 pm Experience the Kings Theatre as you have never seen it before as they open their doors for an action-packed day of tours, activities and workshops - take a trip backstage and up to the fly floor (not normally accessible to the public) Get involved in producing your own arts and crafts, dress up in costumes from different eras, explore the world of puppetry. Pre-book for all workshops and tours to avoid disappointment. Early Bird £4.00, On the Day £5.00, Family Early Bird £10.00, Family on the Day £12.00

18 January Royal Victoria Country Park The Hospital during World War 1, 1:30pm Talk £5pp, tower tour £4/adult, £2/child In this 100th anniversary year, find out about life at Royal Victoria Military Hospital during the busiest period of its lifetime. A talk and slide show by the well-loved author and historian, Philip Hoare. In the Heritage Centre. Please book in advance. Optional tower tour at approx 3.30pm (only 12 spaces). Normal parking charges apply.

18 January & 1 February Saturday Storytime The Berry Theatre, Hedge End Tickets £3, 10.30am to 11.15am Join our musical storytellers for enchanted tales bold old and new and be transported to a magical indoor story garden where music, laugher and fun abound. The sessions are aimed at children aged three to seven and children must be accompanied by an adult. Visit for more information. 12 January/ February 2014

Please always check with the venue before attending the event listed in case details have changed since we went to press.

19 January Wall-E (U) Kings Theatre Main Auditorium, Albert Road, Southsea The Theatre becomes a cinema fo a screening of Wall-E 2pm

9 February How to Catch a Star Winchester Discovery Centre 11.30am £6 or four for £20 For ages 3-7 Based on the bestselling children's book by Oliver Jeffers. Once there was a boy and he loved stars very much. Every night he watched stars from his bedroom window and wished he had one of his own. One day, he decided he would try to catch a star. But first he had to think of a plan. This clever new show comes to life with an irresistible blend of music, puppetry and storytelling


15 February Tea Time The Berry Theatre, Hedge End Tickets are 8 for adults and £6 for children with four tickets £34 and five for £28. 11.30am Oxford Playhouse Productions presents a wonderfully silly and colourful celebration of meal times in words, song, music and dance, inspired by the games we all play around the kitchen table. Devised and directed by Toby Hulse, Tea Time is the perfect show for anyone who has ever made an island out of mash with a sea of gravy, pretended a spoon of yoghurt was a steam train.

15 - 23 February Royal Victoria Country Park The Elves and the Shoemaker Trail Cost: £1.50 per trail, 10am Follow our self-guided trail around the Park. Help the Elves find the clothes the shoemaker and his wife have made them. There's a prize if you get all the way round. Trails available form the shop betwen 10am 3.30pm. £1.50 per trail. Normal Parking charges apply. Welcome to the wonderful world of plants! Marwell Wildlife Take part in our themed crafts and enjoy our animal talks. Half Term Trail Itchen Valley Country Park £1.75 per trail pack Take part in our trail – get all the answers right and win a prize. Any time between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

15 - 23 February ‘Hands On’ Half Term Beaulieu For admission prices please see their website or call in advance. Opening times: 10am – 5pm Get ‘hands-on’ at Beaulieu this February Half Term with lots of interactive activities for all the family to take part in! Enjoy show and tell sessions in the museum, where you can learn about and handle historic motoring objects and see if you can get to the top of the leader board on the giant Scalextric track. In Palace House, find out about cooking in a Victorian country house during a Victorian Kitchen Talk, and join the monk in Beaulieu Abbey to discover what life was like for the monks that lived there. The Spinnaker Tower Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, PO1 3TT Special Half-Term prices Adult: £6.95, Concession: £6.95, Child: £6.95 It’s all about the kids this February half term so we’re treating ALL our adult visitors to kids prices*! Try out the brand new children’s trail across the view decks, challenging families to follow the clues throughout the tower and within the views to complete the interactive trail sheets. Plus, meet the Spinnaker Tower’s new mascot, who will be introducing himself for the very first time! *Adult or senior will pay child rate when accompanied by a full paying child. Child admission price is £6.95. For more details please visit:

Families Solent West Magazine

What's on

16 February

17 - 21 February

19 February

21 February

Helen Keen’s Space Race 1.30pm £6 or four for £20 For ages 7-12 Winchester Discovery Centre Helen Keen’s Space Race is a new spacetacular show for discerning younger space fans. Arrive in your space costume or whip one up out of free tinfoil before the show starts! See how rockets fly, learn how they stay in orbit and find out about the intrepid animals who have travelled into space.

Manor Farm Country Park Half Term Fun on the Farm 10:00am On the farm join in a week of activities for children including farmhouse arts and crafts, Victorian school lessons, guided farmyard walks and 'Meet the Animals'.

Royal Victoria Country Park There's a Monster in My Piano 2:00pm, Cost: £5 per person Adults and children alike will be delighted by this offbeat, jazzy tale with puppets, clowning, animation and a very highly strung monster indeed! In the Chapel. Suitable for over 4 yr olds. Please book in advance. Supported by 'Hog the Limelight' £5pp. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Normal parking charges apply.

Little Foresters’ Woodland Stories Itchen Valley Country Park £3.50 per child An outdoor session for children aged 2 to 5 and their parents including a campfire. Runs from 10.30am to 12.00noon. Booking is essential.

Featuring Helen’s trademark unique mix of fascinating facts and space-based silliness along with plenty of audience participation, come and join her for a joyful exploration of stargazing, space-racing and the boundless opportunities of an infinite universe - with shadow puppets.

Taking off from her popular BBC Radio 4 series It Is Rocket Science, this show is aimed at children aged 7-12.

17 February Royal Victoria Country Park Juggling Jake's Circus Workshop 11:00am Come and 'Have a Go'. Great fun for the whole family. Just pop in to the Empire Room/ tearoom anytime between 11am - 3pm. Supported by 'Hog the Limelight'. Indoors - so no need to worry about the weather!! Cost: Free. Normal parking charges apply.

18 February Lepe Country Park Bird Box Bonanza Tues 18 Feb, 10am – 3pm An event for all the family – build a bird box or rustic feeder for your garden. If the weather is bad the event will be held indoors. Bird box £6.50, Bird feeders £2.00, no need to book

18 February 16 - 24 February Paultons Park open for February half term Entry Price and times: Please check the website for details Contact: 023 8081 4442 Paultons Park, home to the UK exclusive Peppa Pig World, is open for February Half Term! Peppa Pig World is set in nearly 3 acres of fully themed fun with 7 fantastic rides, magical attractions and indoor and outdoor play areas! Paultons Park has over 60 wonderful rides and attractions to discover, such as the awesome volcano-themed ride MAGMA, the fabulous EDGE and not forgetting the exhilarating Cobra!

January/ February 2014

Woodland Activity Day Itchen Valley Country Park £20.00 per child per day. Come along and take part in activities like den building and campfire cookery in the woods from 9.30am to 3.30pm. For 6 to 11 year olds. Please bring a packed lunch. Booking is essential.

18 February Winter Craft Itchen Valley Country Park £1.50 per item made Come along and take part in an indoor craft session and make an item to take home. Any time between 10.30am and 12.30pm

19 February Woodland Activity Day Itchen Valley Country Park £20.00 per child per day. Come along and take part in activities like den building and campfire cookery in the woods from 9.30am to 3.30pm. For 6 to 11 year olds. Please bring a packed lunch. Booking needed.

Nobody Rides the Unicorn The Berry Theatre, Hedge End Tickets are 8 for adults and £6 for children with four tickets £34 and five for £28. 2pm Puppet Craft presents a puppet show for the whole family which is perfect for everyone ages four and above. The greedy King of Joppardy and cunning Doctor Slythe trick an innocent young girl, Zoe, into helping them capture the Unicorn. When she realises that they plan to take the Unicorn's magical horn, Zoe knows she must set the Unicorn free. But will she be putting herself in terrible danger? Visit for more information.

Cookie Decorating Itchen Valley Country Park £2.00 per cookie Why not come and get messy decorating a cookie. Any time between 10.30am and 12.30pm To include your event in our bumper March/ April issue, please contact us by 1st February as space is limited.

The Family & Work Show Excel, London

Taking place beside the hugely successful Baby Show. The event will give working parents and career break women all the practical advice, whilst giving the chance to speak with experts about creating an ideal work-life balance, mix with family friendly companies.

22 February

19 February

19 February

21 - 22 February

Saturday Storytime The Berry Theatre, Hedge End Tickets are £3 10.30am to 11.15am Join our musical storytellers for enchanted tales bold old and new and be transported to a magical indoor story garden where music, laugher and fun abound. The sessions are aimed at children aged three to seven and children must be accompanied by an adult.

1 March

Baby and Children's Market The Romsey School Main Hall, Greatbridge, Romsey SO51 8ZB 2pm to 4pm A large range stalls selling excellent quality pre loved and new items for boys and girls aged from 0 to 8 years. Entrance : Adults: £1, Kids: Free.Cakes and Refreshments are served in the cafe. Parking is free. For further information call 07580 410594. To find our about further events in the area or to book a stall please visit the website.

Families Solent West Magazine



Banishing the wet monster: How to help your child overcome wetting the bed By Elisabeth Dolton

Wetting the bed has been the hardest childhood ailment for my children to grow out of. Banishing that wet monster did not come easy and we are not alone. Although all children eventually gain bladder control at night, they do so at different ages, and many children over the age of five still frequently wet the bed. In fact, around 1 in 7 children aged five, and 1 in 20 children aged ten, are frequent bedwetters. Why children wet the bed is hotly debated. The majority of bedwetting is inherited. For three out of four kids, either a parent or close relative also wet the bed in childhood. Other causes are overactive bladder syndrome (involuntary passing of urine), or not enough hormone that regulates urine production. Researchers have found that deep sleepers are more likely to wet the bed, as the brain doesn't get the signal that the bladder is full. Children sometimes don’t go to the toilet due to fears such as being scared of the dark. Starting to wet the bed especially after being dry can be due to emotional problems such as stress and anxiety. Although rare, constipation, diabetes, or an infection can cause bedwetting. Experts agree there is no one single cause of bed-wetting, and there are a number of methods that can help.

Drinking and eating Avoid or limit foods that that are spicy, or high in sugar or fat, including fizzy drinks,” says Alyson Carter, a Registered Nutritional Therapy Council Practitioner. “These foods can irritate or inflame the bladder, loosening the muscles, making it harder for a child to keep control.” Fresh foods, and calming foods such as oats, are recommended. Alyson also advises restricting fluids from around 1 ½ hours before bedtime. Support Parents may be embarrassed to broach the subject, but your GP can 14 January/ February 2014

take blood and urine tests to rule out any illness or infection, or refer you to a clinic. “We went to see our child’s teacher,” said Sarah, with 7 year old Isabella “and discussed how children asked and went to the toilet. We asked her to help ensure our daughter went to the toilet regularly.”

Exercises There are specific exercises that can strengthen or expand a child’s bladder. “Our doctor suggested that when my son needed to toilet, I make him wait at least 10–20 minutes longer. This helped his bladder expand,” said Lisa, mum to three boys. Another exercise is when they are on the toilet have them go, then stop for a few seconds, then go again, so that they are strengthening the muscles.

Lifting and night pants Waking your child to go to the toilet, and wearing night pants can increase confidence and help for sleepovers. However some believe these should be avoided because they interfere with the child’s individual motivation to wake up and use the toilet.

Medical treatment In persistent cases, desmopressin, a manufactured form of the hormone that decreases urine production, can be prescribed. The effects are short term

and the problem likely to reoccur when treatment is stopped. Complementary and alternative therapies Several complementary and alternative therapies have been tried including acupuncture, chiropractic care, and hypnosis. While some parents have reported great improvements it is not a fix all.

Behaviour therapy For younger children motivating them with a sticker chart and rewards is effective. Self-awakening therapy helps older kids recognise when their bladder is full. A simple self-awakening routine may be just before they go to the toilet during the daytime, they lie down in their bedroom, pretend to sleep and think about their full bladder and needing to go.

Re-training Bedwetting alarms specifically help train your child to wake when they have a full bladder. The alarm’s sensor detects dampness and eventually, the child’s brain learns to pay attention to bladder signals and wakes up naturally before wetting the bed. “They have been so easy to use, the girls had no problem with them and the message really got through,” said Kim, mum of two daughters. “The results were amazing. Not every child will react so Families Solent West Magazine

Parenting quickly, but I would highly recommend giving it a try,” Sam. There is no doubt bedwetting feels embarrassing to talk about and it can be stressful, but every year 15 percent of children who wet the bed, become dry, with no intervention. They will all outgrow it eventually, but if you and your child are motivated to get dry, choose your method and stay positive. It worked for us. Thanks to Alyson Carter, Registered Nutritional Therapy Council Practitioner, You can contact her on 07816 981858.

Top Tips •

Make the bed in several layers, alternating a fitted sheet with a waterproof pad. This allows you to quickly and easily remove the wet items and avoids the need to re-make the bed Leave dry pyjamas and towels out. So that a child can find them easily

Make sure there are no hidden fears or problems about getting up at night. For example, fear of the dark or spiders, getting up from a top bunk, etc. Try leaving the bathroom light on and keep a clear path to the bathroom. Protection. Use waterproof covers for the mattress and duvet, and use absorbent quilted sheets. A moisturiser cream is useful to rub on the skin that is likely to become wet, to prevent chaffing and soreness. Set a reward for your child of getting up at night to use the toilet. Instead of focusing on making it through the night dry, help your child understand that it is just as important to wake up in the night to use the toilet Bedwetting can damage the child's self-image and confidence. Prevent this by being supportive and reassure them that bedwetting is common and that they will overcome it.

WIN a family ticket to Beaulieu for February Half Term

Try to be sensitive to any family or school disruption that might be stressful to your child. Do not tease or allow siblings to tease a child who has wet the bed

Encourage your child's cooperation to be dry at night. Give simple explanations about what is happening and the bladder works. Go to the toilet before going to bed. Encourage your child to help change any wet sheets. This will increase their awareness and may give them extra motivation for them to get out of bed and go to the toilet to avoid the chore of changing the sheets.

Further information and help ERIC - Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence


Solent West Magazine

To enter, go to our website

Entries close 17 February, only one entry per household. Winners will receive tickets by Friday 21 February.

Your LOCAL guide for information and events for parents with children 0 - 12 years in Hampshire

Let our 40,000 + readers know about your business or service. Why not advertise with us in 2014, prices start from as little as £78 Features for our March 2014 Issue Childcare I Pre-schools I Family breaks Mother's day I Easter Activities and much more 07896 009651

January/ February 2014

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Manor Farm

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Manor Farm

Manor Farm

A new discovery every day

Country Park

Half Term Fun on the Farm

Bird Box Bonanza

Mon 17 to Fri 21 Feb, 10am – 4pm

An event for all the family – build a bird box or rustic feeder for your garden. If the weather is bad the event will be held indoors.

Tues 18 Feb, 10am – 3pm

Manor Farm

A week of activities for children including farmhouse arts and crafts,Victorian school lessons, a guided farmyard walk and ‘Meet the Animals’.

Open everyda y througho ut the year!

The hospital during World War 1 Sat 18 Jan, 1.30pm Find out about life at Royal Victoria Military Hospital during the busiest period of its lifetime.

Stargazing for Beginners At Gang Warily Sports Centre Fri 7 March, 7.30pm – 10pm An evening looking at the stars with talks from experts, a telescope display and indoor planetarium. Suitable for adults and families with older children.

Half Term Fun! The Elves and the Shoemaker Trail Sat 15 to Sun 23 Feb, 10am – 3.30pm

Juggling Jake’s Circus Workshop Mon 17 Feb, 11am – 3pm

There’s a Monster in My Piano Wed 19 Feb, 2pm

January/ February 2014

Families Solent West Magazine

Families Solent West Magazine  

Issue 38: January- February 2014