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Miscarriage and stillbirth

Talking about it helps, say NZ women


Perfectionist parenting


Why loosening the reins is a good thing

A news magazine and online resource for families

Win Win Win


The cost of a free education

Competitions, giveaways Do we invest enough into our and kids’ games kids?

Win with Us on Facebook

ISSN 2324-4488 (Print) ISSN 2324-4496 (Online)

AUCKLAND / ISSUE 43 / Winter 2015

Sustainable creativity In a world of waste, we are seeing a trend towards converting forgotten junk of old into today’s treasures.


ore and more families are choosing to upcycle old furniture by restoring and recovering it, rather than disposing of it and buying something new. It can be a fun family project. It’s also a fun outing to take the family to your local recycle depot and see what treasures you can find, clean up, and reuse – kitchenware, electronics, old puzzles and much more. Make Like a Tree’s Cath O’Brien is someone

Free standing animal sculpture

who knows all about recycling forgotten items into cool and interesting art projects. Make Like a Tree provides opportunities for “intuitive sustainable creativity for children.” In other words, helping kids to think differently about discarded items and recycling products from the surrounding environment, or from the natural environment. “Fun is a fundamental part of children’s art making, and movement, storytelling, invention and game playing are encouraged as part of the creative process,” Cath said. In Cath’s classes, children are exposed to the work of contemporary artists; particularly artwork that is temporary in nature. Then, after a trip to the recycling

Paper Beads Just roll paper around a pencil and sellotape, then thread through string

station, kids start thinking about how to make a creative art project. This edition, Make Like a Tree’s Cath O’Brien shares with Family Times some of the fun recycling art projects that her students have made, with some tips on how to make them at home.

Cleaning Warrior Mask Someone bought hundreds of unused bleach bottles to the North Shore Resource Centre where I get most of my resources. I thought about cleaning products and the monotonous task of cleaning and designed the cleaning warrior idea as a trigger for the children to make their own masks using the bleach bottles. The patterns are made using stickers found at the North Shore Resource Centre.

Paper leis I had some old calendars with beautiful coloured flower photographs. I remember at the time reading about an organisation that had imported thousands of leis for a fundraising event. Then the idea came to mind that they would be easy to make using recycled card and paper as there is so much of it around. We made a flower template, traced and cut them out of the calendar, made paper beads for the dividing parts and threaded it all together on string to make a lei.

This is very popular with children. Disassemble a strong cardboard box. Draw the body profile of your favourite animal and cut out. Then make two pairs of legs that will slot in at a 90 degree angle. Collage with recycled gift wrap or even junk mail.

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inside this issue

From the editor Contents At Family Times we like to look at the upbeat side of parenting, as well as source the best parenting information that we can for our readers. So deciding to tackle a feature about miscarriage and stillbirth is a bit out-of-the normal for us.

2 Sustainable creativity


Samantha Watkins

eldest heading to intermediate, otherwise that would have been a big shock. I think donations and activity fees are at an okay level. I have three kids and it’s just part of the cost of kids. Certainly cheaper than private school education!

Then we asked you... do you feel pressure to be a perfect parent?

I always have a good chat with good friends who are fellow parents. You soon learn that we all have parenting days where everything’s not sunshine and rainbows. I also like exploring humorous parenting blogs that allow me to laugh at myself, learn from my parenting “mistakes” and to realise I’m far from alone on this tricky parenting journey!

Fiona Stodart

Vicky Jones

Anna Scott

Thankfully we got lots of uniform hand-medowns and second-hand bargains for my

11 DOC Great Walks


12 The cost of a “free” education

So many start out as idealistic new parents, aiming for perfection. I think what’s more important is simply doing your best, on a case by case basis. Learning how to be the parent your child needs - not in competition with other parents at school or on social media, but because that’s where real satisfaction grows from. “Comparison is the thief of joy,” remember? And beauty is so often found in the imperfections.

We catch up with DOC’s Great Walks winners. Why you need to save for your child’s state education.

13 Winter wellness

Tips and tricks to keep your family healthy in winter.

13 Grandparents’ changing roles

They may be working, they may be travelling, they may be half a world away.

14 Hygiene hypothesis 5 The importance of play

Why germs are good for your kids.

What is normal in terms of your child’s language development?

14 From baby language to communication

It’s a child’s work, and crucial to development.


Kids’ Corner 8 Kids’ corner

Competitions, games and reviews.


6 Perfectionist parenting

Pick your battles, and learn when to let it go.

6 Encouraging entrepreneurship Tips on preparing your child for the business world.

7 Childhood obesity

Dairne Woods

Visit us Family Times New Zealand on Facebook to have your say!

It happens more than you’d think, and talking about it helps.

I do find it very expensive; the uniforms, stationery and “donation” sure add up quick with four kids. I cut costs in other places so that the kids have what they need. And also there’s after-school clubs, so it does feel like all our money is going straight to schooling of one kind or another. Personally I don’t have a problem paying school fees. What are frustrating are all the other add-ons during the term. Much as it would be more to outlay at one time, I would prefer to have all the costs itemised at the beginning of year, or even the term, so I can budget and pay for them without surprises. As far as school uniforms go, I think they are a godsend. Ours have lasted really well. So whilst a big outlay, we have saved on lots of other clothes’ costs overall. We have also been able to pick up a lot of the uniforms second-hand but still in excellent condition.

Our Family Times facebook fans tell us what they think about issues.

4 Miscarriage and stillbirth

What works for my family Are the costs of school trips, uniforms, fees and donations too much?

Turn rubbish into a fun and inspiring art project.

3 What works for my family

day. “I can’t, I can’t,” she sobbed. But she did. ut the figures surrounding miscarriage and It took a long time, but the day came when stillbirth are astounding, with one in every she began to smile again, began to laugh again, three New Zealand women experiencing began to live again. But for her, Jasmine will miscarriage during their lifetime, and 400-plus always be a precious part of the family. Her photo sits on the buffet in the front porch of stillbirths in New Zealand each year. That’s a her home, along with photos of her other lot of families affected by the loss of a child. I was a little hesitant to tackle such a sensitive three living children. In generations past, that photo would never have existed. Racheal subject: how is it possible to turn such a would have been told that Jasmine would be sad occurrence into a story of hope? Would best forgotten. But as I learned when I was anyone even want to be interviewed about such a personal and tragic story? The answer, in my friend Kirsten’s home one day, talking about a lost child and acknowledging their to my surprise, was an astounding (and even life is healing. “Would you like to see a photo though I hate to capitalise) YES! album of Freedom?” she asked, referring to Of the two courageous women who shared their stories with me, one is a good friend and her stillborn baby girl. “I would love to,” I the other my sister, Racheal. It’s predominantly responded. And I knew that made her day. Grief isn’t comfortable, but it’s a part of life. For their experiences that convinced me that it’s many, many Kiwi families, it’s a part of being possible to write about a subject that is little a parent. I hope that you’ll read about these talked about in society and to focus on the strength, determination and overcoming spirit amazing families in our main feature this issue. Of course, we’ve still got a bunch of other that has seen them through. great parenting articles, event listings, I’ve seen Racheal at her absolute lowest competitions, and giveaways, so grab a coffee point: in her pyjamas at eight in the morning, and start turning those pages. tear-stained face and bagged-eyed after Enjoy. spending a sleepless night lying on the floor hugging the wee white coffin of her baby girl Jasmine, dreading putting her in the earth that

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The push for greater in-school food education.

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feature story

Miscarriage and stillbirth A miscarriage or stillbirth are far more than the death of an expectation, hope or dream. They are the loss of a much anticipated family member, as Vanessa O’Brien reports. It was the 24th of February 2008 when the induced labour pains started to wrack Racheal O’Brien’s body at the Garden Room of Christchurch Hospital’s maternity ward. In theory, it was no different than the much anticipated births of her first two children, Justis (now 11-years-old) and Joshua (now 9-years-old). But this time, as the contractions beat out their accelerated rhythm towards inevitable delivery, there was no hopeful expectation: only a deep, gutwrenching agony, as Jasmine Grace’s fragile body slipped into the world just hours after her heart beat for the last time. Ironically, Jasmine’s death meant Racheal’s life: Racheal refused to induce labour until Jasmine’s heartbeat failed, even though every minute she continued the pregnancy, her spiralling blood pressure threatened to kill them both. Racheal hadn’t anticipated the pregnancy: with Justis about to start school and Joshua soon to be in longer preschool hours, she was toying with the idea of a part-time job. But even if the timing was off, she says she had a sense of excitement about the pending addition to the family. “Yes, I was definitely excited, but at the same time I think I intrinsically knew that something wasn’t right, right from the beginning,” Racheal said. A scan at 11 weeks indicated there was a problem with the pregnancy, and that the baby was possibly Down Syndrome. But the real shock came at her 18-week-scan. Medical staff noticed deformities; a missing heart ventricle, underdeveloped kidneys and extra digits. An amniocentesis determined that Jasmine had Trisomy 13 - a chromosomal abnormality in which some or all of the cells of the body contain extra genetic material from chromosome 13. “It was surreal. It was like it wasn’t really happening, but it was happening. It’s like you’re walking through it, but you’re not. Like you’re outside of your own body.” Racheal continued with the pregnancy knowing that she was unlikely to carry Jasmine to term, and that if she did, Jasmine wouldn’t survive more than a few hours. “Every day you wondered, “is this the day?” Yet I could feel her moving.” Jasmine weighed a tiny 3 pound 2 when she was born at 28 weeks’ gestation. Racheal and her husband stayed in the Garden Room overnight, holding Jasmine’s fragile wee body in a Moses basket. Then they took her to the funeral home, and left with a tiny white coffin for the funeral two days later. As traumatic as that was, the hardest part by far, Racheal said, was yet to come: after the burial and everybody went home, and the silence set in. “I think for the first few weeks, people are quite understanding. But after that, they’ve forgotten. I found that really hard, and very isolating.”

Breaking the silence

That’s something that SANDS NZ, a network of parent-run, non-profit groups supporting families who have experienced the death of a baby, is aiming to turn around says SANDS former chairperson Cathy Buntting. “I think the best thing – the most helpful – is to acknowledge the significance of the loss. It’s a huge gift to families that others continue to acknowledge the life of the baby over the


weeks and months and years.” Rewind to a generation ago and miscarriage and stillbirth were very hush hush. Even today, with all our claims of progression and modernity, we don’t like to talk about it, said Cathy. Conversely, that’s often the one thing that can bring healing. “A generation ago, it was believed that women should just move on, and to forget the baby, not talk about the baby. Often the baby was buried in an unmarked grave. And now, a generation on, those parents – now grandmothers – can find it very difficult to embrace a different way of approaching a baby’s death. “Within SANDS NZ we are very clear that we do not distinguish between levels of grief. A parent who has lost a baby, no matter what age or gestation, is entitled – and should be encouraged – to grieve. They need to be allowed to grieve in order to once again find life that is meaningful.”

“I think I intrinsically knew that something wasn’t right, right from the beginning,” Racheal said.

Life after losing a baby

discomfort with the situation. But ignoring it only made them feel better, rather than her, she Kirsten Te Momo says the hardest thing about life after losing a baby, is the fact that it goes on. said. However, sometimes relief came from the “After we’d done her funeral, and we had her most unexpected quarters: for example, friends Miscarriage and stillbirth of her then 6-year-old son Hosea. What is startling is just how many families are ashes, life went on. And I remember a week “I got some of the most amazing comments later going for my first hair appointment since affected by miscarriage and stillbirth. from some of the little girls in his class. One I lost her and I just remember sitting on a New Zealand’s leading expert, Professor couch bawling my eyes out thinking “how can little girl came up to me and said, “Mrs Te Lesley McCowan of Auckland University’s anyone live still? How can everyone just carry Momo, I am so sorry that your baby died,” gynaecology and obstetrics department, and she gave me a card that she’d made. And on?” It was like having empty arms – I gave stated in a 2012 article that three million baI remember thinking, that child had more bies worldwide are stillborn every year. That’s birth, but where’s my baby?” Kirsten’s baby girl Freedom died at 22-weeks compassion and wisdom than more than half more deaths than from HIV. Yet according of the adults I know.” gestation in 2013. Kirsten was induced and to the World Health Organisation, stillbirth gave birth naturally in the same Garden Room Both Racheal and Kirsten went on to have is seriously underfunded. It sits behind other another child: Racheal’s son Shiloh is now as Racheal, at Christchurch hospital, after health priorities such as diarrhoea, HIV/Aids, 6-years-old, and Kirsten’s daughter Harmony complications with the pregnancy. tuberculosis, traffic accidents, and any form People’s response to her grief was the hardest is now 1-year-old. of cancer. Back on home turf, a large New thing to deal with, she said. There were a few Racheal said that going on to have another Zealand population-based study established child was an incredibly important part of the key people who were great, but a lot more that one in three New Zealand women have healing process for her, but nothing could that she “wanted to slap.” experienced miscarriage, and an estimated replace Jasmine. “Even today, with our family “I felt that there were times when people’s one in every four pregnancies end in miscar– even for Shiloh, who wasn’t even born – lack of ability to have anything to say just riage. It’s an estimate because miscarriage is Jasmine is very much a part of our family. blew my mind. They didn’t even have the not a notifiable event in New Zealand, and no compassion to say, “I’m so sorry for what has He’ll sometimes ask to go and see her grave. national research has been conducted into the happened.” I had so many people completely I just think it’s really important to be natural occurrence per known pregnancy. However, about the way that we acknowledge her and and utterly ignore that it had happened and statistics from other Western countries such remember her in our family.” talk about the weather.” as Australia and the UK are on par. She put that down to ignorance, or people’s Miscarriage in Australia and New Zealand is defined as a pregnancy that ends spontaneously before 20 weeks gestation. The parameters of stillbirth vary around the world; the international measure is 28 weeks gestation, but New Zealand registers babies from 20 of people visiting or they may not – It’s so hard to know the right thing to say to weeks into the pregnancy, or from when the everyone is different. Ask them. someone who has experienced miscarriage babies weigh 400g. Statistics New Zealand or a stillbirth. That’s why a lot of people figures say 420 of 2011’s 61,403 pregnancies 5 Grandparents and siblings grieve too – don’t say anything at all. However, there were stillborn, dying at between 20 and 40 they may need some support. are lots of things that you can do to support weeks of pregnancy. 6 Be practical – organise a roster to bring them in their grief. Cathy has experienced both miscarriage and around dinners, arrange childcare for stillbirth, and says that while it’s impossible to 1 Acknowledge their loss, and don’t siblings, and offer to help clean the distinguish any difference in the level of grief, pretend it never happened. Even an house or run errands. the process is very different. early miscarriage can cause significant 7 Help them to find a pregnancy and “A woman who loses a baby in early and lasting grief: don’t ignore or neonatal loss support group. Talking stages of pregnancy will sometimes deliver minimise that. to others who have had a similar normally or will sometimes have a D&C. 2 Be there for them. Grieving people experience can be very comforting. A woman who has a stillbirth will deliver tend to retreat – keep calling, visiting, naturally or have a caesarean. A natural 8 Refer to their baby by name, if they had and letting them know you are there. birth is very much encouraged, and my own chosen and announced a name. This is 3 Listen to them. They may need to talk personal experience was that that was very a great way to acknowledge their child about their baby and show you photos. traumatic. But for most women to deliver existed, if only for a short time. This may not be comfortable for you, their babies, it is one of the few acts of but remember: this is their baby, and a 9 Never, ever say “it was for the best,” parenting that they can have.” or “you can always have another baby.” precious member of their family. A stillborn baby is also required to be 10 If you’re really stuck, just say “I am so registered, and the body either buried or 4 Offer to field phone calls or answer sorry about the loss of your baby,” cremated. “That means that the experience letters and cards until they feel up to and this will mean the world to can be different in terms of farewelling the it. The parents may be open to lots grieving parents. baby,” Cathy said.

Tips for helping friends and family who have lost a baby

Taking play seriously 5 Games with rules – tag, duck duck goose etc. Play: consider it a child’s Each type of play supports a range of work. Because it’s in times cognitive and emotional developments, and a of wild imagination, creativity good balance of play experience is regarded as a healthy play diet for children. This is and fun that kids can learn something that parents can get involved in the most. – parents; it’s a great opportunity to spend


ut it’s more than that too. What is increasingly being recognised is that the one vital ingredient in supporting healthy intellectual, emotional and social development in children is the opportunity to just enjoy being a kid through unstructured playtime. Dr David Whitebread from the University of Cambridge argues in a 2012 report supporting play time that people as a whole have essentially become too serious, and too focused on achievement. So while a focus on and investment in a high quality early childhood education has increased, the definition of high quality seems to be on introducing literacy and numeracy as soon as possible, and preparation for school years, rather than on opportunities for rich play.

There are five kinds of play that are important for kids: 1 Physical play – rough-and-tumble, skipping etc. 2 Playing with objects – building blocks, sand, cars, dolls etc. 3 Symbolic play - this is the ability of children to use objects, actions or ideas to represent other objects, actions, or ideas as play. A child may push a block around the floor as a car or put it to his ear as a cell phone. 4 Pretend play – using imagination, i.e. pretending to shop, mow the lawns, build a space rocket etc.

some quality time with your kids, even if you have to schedule it. Set the oven timer for half-an-hour, and make that transition from work into playtime – maybe even change into relaxed play clothes if it helps. Then enter your child’s magical world, and during this time, give your child 100 percent of your attention – no phone calls, no preparing dinner.

“A good balance of play experience is regarded as a healthy play diet for children.” 3 Here are some ideas to expand on play time for your kids: 4 1 Pillow fight. This is a pretty straightforward, rough-and-tumble game that lets out a bunch of energy and laughter. No prep or forward-thinking required. 2 Lego or other building games/toys. These games are great object games, but can also be symbolic or pretend games. You can make a pretend piece of fruit out of Lego, or perhaps build a pretend village with shops and little people. You can add to it over each playtime.

Glow-stick tag. This is a great one for winter, with early sunsets. As dusk settles, hand out the glow-sticks – with one in a different colour for the person who is “it.” Online or technology-based games. While it’s great to get outdoors and release some of that energy, your digital native will appreciate it just as much if you sit down with them for a game of Minecraft and enter their tech-based world. 5 What’s on my butt? This is a winner-of-agame that you won’t have to even move for. Lie face down on the couch and try to guess what object you child has perched on your tush. “Is that a cement mixer on my butt?” Just getting to hear you say

the word “butt” is the best thing that will happen to your kid all day. 6 Built a “tent.” Let them drag the blankets and the sheets out of the cupboards, then use whatever surrounding furniture you can find to build a “tent.” Pretend camp can be fun, especially with snacks inside the new structure. 7 Sock puppets. Drag that pile of odd socks into the middle of the room with some stickers that can be used for eyes, mouth, ears etc, and get creative with sock puppet characters. If your kids are a bit older, they may be able to stitch on buttons.

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Perfectionist parenting Pushing you kids to be perfect may backfire, according to a report by the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

sometimes unintentionally model perfectionism for their children by the way they keep their home, their career efforts, their competitiveness in sports or games, and how they respond when things don’t go their way. These parents unwittingly communicate to their children that anything less than perfection will not be tolerated in the family. These parents tend to over-discipline – every small indiscretion is blown out of proportion and “corrected.”


he report, published in 2013, says that parents who practice perfectionist parenting did make their child strive to be more perfect, but also increased their child’s anxiety. Also, children who were not subjected to perfectionist parenting actually performed better than children who were.

3 Non-perfectionists. The final type of parent who strives for perfectionism are those who are not perfectionists at all – in fact, they may be the antithesis of perfect. But they want to make sure that they correct all of their mistakes in their children. They usually revert to the withdrawing love and affection model (as in #1), and use a perfectionist model to try and absolve their own imperfections, to no avail.

What is perfectionist parenting?

Every parent wants the best for their child – they want them to succeed in life. But pushing a child towards perfection, even with the best of intentions, can have dramatic consequences. Dr Jim Taylor says that parents pass on perfectionism to their children in three ways:

1 Intentional: Some perfectionist parents

deliberately raise their children to be perfectionists by actively praising and rewarding success and punishing failure. These parents offer or withdraw their love based on whether their children meet their expectations. When they succeed, their parents lavish them with love, attention and gifts. But when they fail, their parents either withdraw their love and become cold and distance, or express anger and resentment toward their children. The children then get the message that they must be perfect to receive their parents’ love.

2 Unintentional: Most perfectionist

parenting is unintentional. Parents

What’s wrong with perfection?

to rebellion – they give up trying to please their parents, since they can never achieve perfection. In the end, kids with perfectionist parents often end up modelling the same parenting methods with their own kids.

There’s nothing wrong with perfection in itself, except that it is unobtainable. This constant reaching for unobtainable perfection, and fear of disappointing parents, can have far-reaching consequences for kids How can you change your as they mature. perfectionist parenting? One of those consequences is anxiety. The good news is, it’s not too late to change Children might link being loved with being some of your perfectionist habits and relax a perfect, and that message can make a bit more in your parenting style. routine maths test or rugby game a cause for 1 Remove yourself from all the pressure sleepless nights and sore tummies. around you making you feel like you have Another outcome is that children become less to be a perfect parent with perfect kids, playful, less creative, and more risk-adverse. whether it’s external (perhaps from your They stick to games and projects they know own parents’ expectations) or the internal are safe to avoid the anxiety over possible voice in your head. There is no perfect failure. parent. Let the washing build up, sit down Some kids with perfectionist parents result and read a book. The world won’t end.

2 There’s a world of difference between

demanding perfection and striving for excellence. Encourage your kids to strive for excellence, and support them even when they fail. If your child knows that you love him even when he fails, he’ll feel free to take chances and pursue his goals without anxiety. It’s okay to tell him you are disappointed if he didn’t put in his best effort – this is different than failure, and can encourage him to try harder without making him feel like a failure.

3 Relax the rules. Living in a world where

there is a rule for everything is souldestroying to kids. Instead, pick a few really important rules and stick to them like glue. That way, your child has the security of knowing boundaries without feeling like he’s in a prison.

Encouraging a young entrepreneur New Zealand is ranked as the 2 easiest place in the world to start a business, according to a 2012 World Bank survey. So how do you get your kids on board?


hile there is a push to teach more financial literacy in New Zealand schools thanks to initiatives such as ASB’s Get Wise programme, there appears to be a gap in teaching business skills, at least at a young age. The traditional model of a university degree followed by a stable job and a steady progression up the career ladder has become out-dated says entrepreneur Lindy Abittan. A lot of students who graduate from top universities struggle for months to find a decent job, and often end up with one outside of their field of study. But if children are taught from a young age how to create their own opportunities, they can make their own way in the world.


Studies show that written goals are more than 80 per cent more likely to be achieved. Help your kids learn how to identify their goals and write them down. It could be to earn enough money to buy a new tablet, or to raise start-up money for a small business. Get your kids to use the S.M.A.R.T system to organise their goals – they should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Lots of people in life never live to their full potential because they see only problems, not opportunities. Teaching your kids to turn a problem into an opportunity will 4 Financial literacy not only help them to build resilience, Once your little munchkin has made a but also to have a mindset compatible few dollars towards their goal, they are with entrepreneurship. When your child going to quickly learn a lesson or two has a problem, help them come up with about the value of money. This is a great creative, positive solutions. How can they opportunity to teach them more about reach items on the high shelf? What can money, and a solid grasp of financial they do about the homework that they management is essential to successful lost? At the very least, life’s problems entrepreneurship. Educate them about are learning opportunities. This will help how to invest to grow their savings, your kids to see that every problem has a and how that money can be used in the solution, and that they can have an impact future. Let them set up a bank account rather than accepting the negative as fact. and learn how to budget their income. Help them to think creatively about ways to build their income.

“If children are taught from a young age how to create their own opportunities, they can make their own way in the world.”

1 Goal setting

3 Trade is a part of everyday life

offering pet washing services. They’ll need to work out what is a fair price for their service or product, and how to convince people to buy.

Look for opportunities

The ability to sell is an invaluable life skill. Whether your child is a natural-born sales person or not, the ability to build a case for an idea, a service, or a product will set them up well for life. Maybe they can start by selling their old toys on TradeMe – what would they write to sell Big Ted? There’s the classic lemonade stand in summer time, or perhaps

5 Failure is not a bad thing

We’re schooled to avoid failure at all costs – unfortunately, that leads to riskadverse tendencies, which is a death blow to entrepreneurship. In actuality, you can learn more through failure than you ever will through success. Napoleon Hill, author of Think And Grow Rich, believes that, “Every failure carries with it a seed of equal or greater benefit.” Allowing your children to fail will force them to create new ways to accomplish their goals. Just don’t let them give up – it’s essential that they “get back on the horse.” This will lead to confident children who know how to persevere when times are tough.

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Teaching kids food literacy Every parent wants to raise a healthy, happy child. But with busy lifestyles, healthy eating can easily take a back seat to convenience.

childhood obesity as “one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century,” with more than 42 million children under the age of five categorised as obese. Closer to home, New Zealand’s Ministry of Health figures show that childhood obesity in New Zealand is on the rise. According to fter all, it’s easier to pick up fish and 2013 figures, one in every nine children (11 chips for dinner than to prepare a hearty per cent) is categorised as obese, up from 8% casserole or salad. But the result, according to in 2007. A further one in five children (22%) is Garden to Table founding trustee Catherine overweight. Bell, is a lack of “food literacy” in today’s generation, with many children having no clue “Bell wants the New where their food comes from, let alone how Zealand Government to to cook it. invest in a curriculumWith parents having less time to teach food based food skills literacy, and possibly not the same food programme.” knowledge as previous generations, food literacy should ideally be taught in schools to back-up home-based learning says Bell. The question is how to tackle the issue. That’s where she sees organisations such as Lots of schools have gardens, but the Garden to Table playing a role. Garden to difference with Garden to Table according Table is a charitable trust established in 2009 to Garden to Table executive officer Anne to facilitate a programme of food education Barrowclough, is that it is more than growing for children aged 7 to 10-years. vegetables or just understanding how to make Bell wants the New Zealand Government good food choices. to invest in a curriculum-based food skills “It’s actually about empowering children programme. She’s taking her cue from with a hands-on lesson, full of practical skill others overseas, such as celebrity chef Jamie development focused on how to action those Oliver, who is petitioning the governments of choices – what you need to grow your own G20 countries to introduce food education tomatoes, how you follow a recipe, how programmes in their nations’ schools in the to cook from fresh ingredients. It also adds wake of a global obesity epidemic. immediacy and relevance to science and The World Health Organisation rates


Breakfast is sustaining and important “We are what we eat,” and children who consume a balanced and sustaining breakfast that maintains normal blood sugar levels are likely to have a more successful day. Consumption of carbohydrate provides glucose for the body to convert into energy. Carbohydrates can be measured by how quickly the energy is absorbed into the body: white sugar (glucose) is quickly absorbed providing a fast glycemic response. Oats (complex carbohydrate) are slowly absorbed providing a medium to low glycemic response. Over consumption of carbohydrates causes high blood sugar levels with the excess energy stored as fat

and a long term pattern that may lead to type 2 diabetes. We all need carbohydrates and we need to stay aware of fast and slow glycemic response to maintain even blood sugar levels through the day. • Eat more whole grains, porridge oats, low sugar muesli, eggs with wholemeal toast. • Drink water to help obtain the benefits of a diet higher in fibre (wholegrains). • Stay active – 20 minutes of exercise. • Maintain regular meals including sustaining carbohydrates such as oats, barley, brown rice, pasta and wholemeal bread.

maths concepts. “Learning is about more than telling, it is about experiencing, active engagement and interaction.” The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, which runs a similar programme in Australia, recently evaluated how well its food literacy programme worked. As well as more children taking initiative to start home veggie gardens and to cook at home, there were unexpected spin-off benefits. These included improvements in students’ social behaviours; improvement in students’ teamwork skills, modifying of previous bullying behaviour,

improvement in managing difficult behaviour, interacting with people of many ages, and development of leadership skills. Bell says with this in mind, food education programmes in schools have the potential to change the attitudes and habits of whole future generations. “It enables children to learn skills and have experiences that will influence and inform the rest of their lives and positively impact outcomes across their education, health and social development as well as give them respect for others and the natural world.

spy kid alert! join us up the sky tower for spy games including a laser maze 165 metres above ground level and new zealand’s highest game of i–spy! plus there are great prizes to be won. secret mission daily from 10am-3pm 4-19 July 2015. Visit for more details. Sky Tower admission fees apply. Prizes will be drawn at 12pm on 24 July 2015.



win win win Disney Pixar’s Inside Out

Welcome to Kids’ Time at Family Times. Enjoy the fun activities and competitions. For competitions, enter online by visiting and click on the competitions link.

To celebrate the much anticipated release on 25 June of the Disney•Pixar film Inside Out we have five fantastic prize packs to give away. Each prize pack contains: 1 Inside Out umbrella 1 Inside Out cap 1 Inside Out bag Competition closes 17 July 2015, enter at

Looking for some rainy day activities for your children? Click on the For Kids section on our website for answers and for further activities your children can print out and complete.


win win win SUBWAY Disney•Pixar themed KidsPak™ To celebrate the launch of the new SUBWAY Disney•Pixar themed KidsPak™, we’re giving away a Disney•Pixar Inside Out gift pack valued at more than $140 for four lucky winners. To win, simply visit www. Competition closes 5 July 2015.

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6 Polaris Pl, East Tamaki, Auckland. Ph: 09-272 9165 Open 6 days Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm Shop Online:

Lions Clubs throughout New Zealand are raising funds to assist our young people by collecting old NZ money and foreign currency. So dig out your old money and take it to your local Resene Color Store or ring 0800 OLD MONEY (0800 653 666). For more information about the project email our national coordinator: or visit our website: money



Cookie Bear Snap ‘n’ Play biscuits


Griffins’ new Cookie Bear Snap ‘n’ Play biscuits are themed packets of bikkies each with their own set of fun-loving characters – from pirates to pop stars and astronauts – that kids can snap off and eat, making them not only yum but so much fun! Available in three delicious flavours and free from artificial flavours or colours, Cookie Bear Snap ‘n’ Play biscuits are available now from supermarkets nationwide. We have three prize packs to give away, each including 20 packets of biscuits plus a pirate and a pop star re-usable colouring placemat. Competition closes 17 July 2015, enter at

Minions We have five fantastic prize packs from our friends at Paramount Pictures to celebrate the release of the new Minions’ film. To enter, visit Competition closes 17 July 2015. First prize winner: - 1 x Minions family in-season movie pass (two adults, two children) - 1 x Minions suitcase - 1 x Minions shopper bag - 1 x Despicable Me DVD box set – Despicable Me 1 and Despicable Me 2 - 1 x Minions toy: Interactive Talking Stuart with Guitar (RRP$100) Four runner-up prizes - 1 x Minions family in-season movie pass (two adults, two children) - 1 x Minions shopper bag - 1 x Despicable Me mini-movies series DVD

Connect the Dots


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Desig n competition This issue we would love you to draw your favourite winter scene. Maybe it’s one of your favourite places to go in winter or your favourite winter activity. Then tell us all about it. Send us your picture (either via post or email) and you will be in to win a wonderful prize pack forparamountnz creative kiwi kids from Crayola. paramountnz There are three entry age groups: 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12.

Don’t forget to write your name, age, description and postal address (so we can send you your prize if you win!) Post to PO Box 36,004 Christchurch 8146 or email: Entries close 17 July 2015. A huge congratulations to the winners of our last issue’s design competition: 1-4 Zara Quinn (4) 5-8 Sarah Aitken 9-12 Max Breingan (10) Visit to view the winning entries.

#minions #minions

Now 100% NZ FREE FARMED Look for the new packs in store now!


cool activities

Calendar of Events Get out and about and make 4 July Child to Champion for Coaches, Athletes the most of winter days with & Parents. Leading physical preparation the following family-friendly coach Ian King gives optimal training strategies for young athletes. Get Strength Gym, events. For more event and 385B Neilson Street, Auckland, 4-6pm, 0800entertainment ideas, visit www. 289-849 for tickets. and enjoy our 10 - 12 July large, family-friendly resource. SENZ 2015 – The New Zealand Scrapbooking and Craft Expo. Tons of shopping 22 June – 19 July for craft supplies, classes seminars and workAotea Square Ice Rink. Skate rain or shine in the fully covered rink, get your confidence up in the Penguin Kids Zone, or sign up for lessons to skate like a pro. Tickets: adult $20, children $15, family pass $55. From 12-10pm.

22 June

shops, free demos, competitions to enter, make’n’takes, displays and ideas, and much more. From 9.30am – 5pm, Ellerslie Events Centre, 0800-289-849.

10 - 12 July

Science Road Show. Greenmeadows Intermediate, 29 Greenmeadows Avenue, Auckland, from 9.30am. Explore various science and technology concepts by touch and feel. School students $8.

Rotary Northcote Glenfield Annual Charity Book Fair. Northcote College, Kauri Glen Road, Auckland. There are thousands of second hand books to choose from at very competitive prices. From 11am Friday, and 9am Saturday/Sunday.

22 June

11 - 12 July

Kids’ Space with Cath O’Brien. Studio One Toi Tu, 1 Ponsonby Road, Auckland, 4-5.30pm. Images, sounds and a diverse range of materials and tools will be used to provide inspiration for art-making. Visit

27 - 28 June

Green Living Show. ASB Showgrounds, 217 Greenlane West, Auckland. Certified organics and natural products, sustainable lifestyle, non-stop free seminars. Green Kiwi Kids’ Zone. Tickets: 0800-289-849.

28 June

Magnetic Fishing Game. Central City Library, 44-46 Lorne St, Auckland. Make a magnetic fishing game featuring the fish species of New Zealand as part of our celebration of Matariki. Materials provided, 1-2pm.

3 - 5 July Drury Antique and Collectables Fair. Drury School, Young Crescent, Auckland. A large range of antiques and collectables. General admission $5. Friday from 7.30pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am.

4 July Matariki Massive Garage Sale. Nga Tapuwae Community Centre, 253 Buckland Road, Auckland, 7am-12pm. Bric-a-brac and food stalls including face painting, bouncy castles, music and a great atmosphere are all on the agenda.


Model Rail Show. Whangaparaoa Hall, The Plaza, 719 Whangaparaoa Road, Auckland, from 9.30am. Model trains operating all day on a variety of scenic backdrops. One train available for kids to operate themselves.

24 July Schools’ Trash to Fashion. Judges selection show. Mangare Arts Centre, 5-9pm, free. Hundreds of fashion and wearable art garments will be unveiled to the public and the judges for the first time.

Escape to Paradice with outdoor skating this winter.

21 - 23 August

The Baby Show. ASB Showgrounds, 217 Greenlane West, Auckland, 9am – 5pm. A jam-packed one-stop shop with just about everything people need to navigate the journey from pregnancy to preschool. Tickets 09-376-4603.

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25 July

Howick Kids’ Market. Picton Centre, 120 Picton Street, Auckland. A market for kids, run by kids. Children run their own stall with parent help - ages 5 to 16-years. From 9-11am.

30 July The Food Show. There’ll be thousands of delicious morsels to try and new things to buy, plus world-class cooking demonstrations from an all-star chef line-up. ASB Showgrounds, 10am – 5pm. Tickets at www.

13 August

Unwrap the Music: Stravinsky’s Firebird. Listen, laugh, learn and enjoy as Richard Gill introduces a great orchestral work and demonstrates what makes it tick. Auckland Town Hall, 6.30-7.30pm. Visit

2015/2016 primary and intermediate school term dates Term 3, 2015


Monday 20 July to Friday 25 September

Term 4, 2015

Monday 12 October to no later than Friday 18 December

Term 1, 2016

Between Monday 1 February and Friday 5 February to Friday 15 April

Term 2, 2016

Monday 2 May to Friday 8 July

2015 and 2016 secondary and composite school term dates Term 3, 2015

Monday 20 July to Friday 25 September

Term 4, 2015

Monday 12 October to no later than Wednesday 16 December

Term 1, 2016

Between Monday 1 February and Friday 5 February to Friday 15 April

Term 2, 2016

Monday 2 May to Friday 8 July

Remaining public holidays 2015 26 October 25 December 26 December

Labour Day Christmas Day Boxing Day

cool activities

Entertainment Need a fun activity to beat the winter blues? The weather may be chilly but there are still a plethora of exciting events and entertainment destinations around the city. Here are a few ideas to get you started, and we’ve got heaps more at Artz on Show

Enrol in the performing arts workshop for students aged five to 15-years. There is a variety of classes, and the week concludes with a show highlighting the drama, dance and vocal classes. Visit

Rainbows End

Super family fun all day with more than 20 rides and attractions, an amazing illusionist act on centre stage and the all-weather Kidz Kingdom. One price and unlimited rides all day. Visit

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Holiday specials

Here are some great holiday ideas designed to keep you and your little ones entertained during the school break. Rainbow’s End

Fantastic fun for all ages these school holidays, also night rides every Saturday night of the holidays. All rides as many times as you like for one price, visit

Sky Tower

These school holidays the Sky Tower, or should we say Spy Tower, has some awesome activities for kids including a laser maze 165m above ground level! Open 10am-3pm daily, 4-19 July 2015. Visit Normal Sky Tower admission applies.

Kumgang Taekwondo

Do you want to get fit, lose weight, get stronger and more flexible, increase coordination, learn to defend yourself and become bully safe? Or learn selfcontrol, respect, get confidence and find new friends? At Kumgang Taekwondo you can get it all and much more. Kumgang Taekwondo has classes for five to seven-year-olds, children, teens, adults, ladies only, families, beginners and advanced. Check out www.kumgang. for more information or phone 09-479-9180.

Kiwi kids experience DOC’s Great Walks At Family Times, we’re excited about the great outdoors and DOC’s Virtual Great Walker competition. Last summer we put out DOC’s challenge to New Zealand kids to get walking and win a trip for their class to one of DOC’s Great Walk sites. Thousands of Kiwi kids spent the first school term of 2015 walking in their school grounds, local tracks and nature reserves, all in the hopes of chalking up enough kilometres to qualify for the Virtual Great Walker grand prize. The DOC competition, supported by Air New Zealand, was open to groups of five or more students aged 5 to 13-years. To be eligible for the grand prize, groups explored their local area until they had walked at least half the total distance of a Great Walk of their choice. They then submitted a creative presentation on what they learned about conservation and nature in their local area. Last week, Hamilton’s Hillcrest Normal School was judged as having the best entry out of 153 registrations from schools and community groups across the country. They created a dedicated website about their Virtual Great Walker journey. The secondary prize winners were an enthusiastic community group, Mangere Bridge. They created an amazing scrapbook of their discovery of local places and species. They are receiving $500 worth of vouchers. “The competition has been a real success with an enormous amount of effort put into

videos, posters, websites and scrapbooks by children around the country,” says DOC outreach and education manager Sarah Murray. “It’s heartening to see conservation being incorporated into the curriculum in this way and the impact it’s had on Kiwi kids. We hope as a result more families will consider getting out and experiencing a Great Walk for themselves.” Sarah says it was also great to see that Hillcrest School, members of the Enviroschools programme, had taken the message of conservation and sustainability firmly on board. As first place winners, the group of 32 very excited Hillcrest students will head to Abel Tasman Coast Track during Conservation Week in early November to experience a Great Walk in real life. Hillcrest Normal School’s room seven teacher Stacey Vowles says the class is very excited at the prospect of experiencing a Great Walk. “The Virtual Great Walker was an amazing competition that excited the kids. It gave us a purpose to go outside and learn more about the living world around us. The kids learnt to appreciate their community and notice things they wouldn’t normally. It was also special to get families involved in our learning journey.” Stacey says the prize will provide a unique learning opportunity for many of the kids. “Over half of the class haven’t been to the South Island before and a third have never been on a plane - so they are all incredibly excited about their upcoming trip as you can imagine.” A panel of DOC and Air New Zealand staff judged the entries and chose the winner.

Head into the Sky Tower – oops, Spy Tower, these school holiday.

New Zealand An invitation to all girls aged 5 to 18... Come join the fun & friendship at any of our nationwide locations. E-mail:

Visit & Experience


Take a free tour with a professional tour guide who will show you the historic buildings, stunning art collection and talk you through the parliamentary process. Parliament Tours run daily, private and art focused tours for groups are run on request and need to be booked in advance.

For bookings and tour information: P: 04 817 9503 E:


The cost of a “free” education The right to a free education is a benefit of living in a country like New Zealand, with taxpayer funder privileges. Crown-funded education in New Zealand cost tax payers $12.3 billion in the 2013/14 financial year, with forecasts suggesting that the 2014/2015 year will top $12.8 billion. Additionally, education received a $244 million boost in the 2015/2016 budget. But it’s getting tougher and tougher for schools to operate within the budgets set by the Ministry of Education according to New Zealand Educational Institute national president Louise Green. The current budget reflected a 1 per cent increase in operational funding, she said, and that was not enough to keep administration wages in line with

the cost of living, or to account for rises in expenses such as electricity bills. “It’s just a real struggle to keep up with all of the things that need to be paid for and at the same time, deliver to the children what parents increasingly expect from schools.” New Zealand spends less on education than the OECD average; about NZ$9372 per primary student per year, compared to the OECD average of NZ$10,620. That means that schools resort to fundraising, sponsorship and grant applications, as well as requesting school donations from parents. Then there are ongoing costs that parents pay for, with the biggest by far being technology, said Green. Children increasingly use devices to learn and to present their learning with, and that cost was not often able to be absorbed by the school. Add to that the costs of extras – uniforms,

Time to nominate outstanding teachers and leaders Teachers are top-of-mind for families as nominations open for the 2015 ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards (NEiTA). Boards of Trustees, parent associations, secondary student councils and community organisations can nominate the outstanding teachers and leaders who inspire learning in their school community. These awards are an opportunity for education consumers to acknowledge those teachers and leaders whose inspirational approach stimulates student learning and success. “ASG is proud of NEiTA because

it provides the community with an avenue to nominate teachers and give them recognition they so richly deserve. These teachers are dedicated to ensuring that all of our children are receiving a world-class education and are equipped with tools for lifelong learning,” says ASG NEiTA chief executive officer John Velegrinis. Nominations for early childhood, primary and secondary educators, teachers and leaders can be made at nominate until 30 September 2015.

2015 ASG National Excellence in Teaching Awards

trips, stationery – and the cost to parents of a “free” education (up to year 13) in a statefunded public school for a child starting this year is $35,000, according to the Planning for Education Index.

“It’s just a real struggle to keep up with all of the things that need to be paid for and at the same time, deliver to the children what parents increasingly expect from schools.” The peer-reviewed Planning for Education Index was compiled from a survey of more than 1000 members of ASG Education Programmes, who were asked about the cost of school fees, transport, uniforms, computers and school and sports trips. The survey also found that for a child born in 2015, 13 years of private school education in New Zealand is estimated to cost $323,814. State integrated schooling could cost up to $107,962, almost a third of the cost of private education, with state education costing up to $37,676. That’s a cost of more than $50 per week for each child in the state education system – an amount that some New Zealand families are struggling to meet. ASG Education Programmes CEO John Velegrinis said that regardless of whether choosing to educate a child in a state, state integrated or private school, parents need to start planning financially for education from the time their child is born. And school fees are only one component of total education costs.

“There is a myriad of other costs involved including transport, uniforms and school books, excursions – which can create financial headaches if they’re not planned for.” On the plus side, state education in New Zealand is more than 40 per cent cheaper than in Australia, costing families about $37,676 for a 13-year education, in comparison to $67,894 across the Tasman. But that’s still a hefty bill if parents don’t start planning early, according to Velegrinis. “Education is one of life’s major investments – in some instances it’s an even bigger investment than the family home. What we’re advocating is that by putting a little bit away, parents are more likely to achieve the goals and aspirations they have for their children.”

Ecostore Win one of eight ecostore Healthy Skin Kits, valued at RRP$24.99: a luxurious assortment of ecostore hand and body care products to pamper you or a loved one from head to toe! The ecostore Healthy Skin Kit contains: · Extra Moisturising Body Lotion · Extra Moisturising Hand Cream · Fragrance Free Hand Wash · Fragrance Free Goats’ Milk Soap · Lemongrass Soap · Beeswax Lip balm It’s all packed in a sturdy gift box made from recycled cardboard, featuring artwork by John Reynolds. To enter, visit Competition closes 17 July 2015.

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Nominate an inspirational teacher or educator now Nominate online at by 30 September 2015

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To request a promotional kit visit For general enquiries call 09 308 0576

National Excellence in Teaching Awards

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Winter wellness tips and tricks Staying warm, well and safe in winter takes a bit more effort than in sunny summer months. We’ve got some tips to keep your family on track during winter’s icy grip. Family health

 Vitamin C – during winter, when vegetables and fruits high in the immune-boosting vitamin are scarce, you may need to take regular vitamin C supplements to support body tissue growth, healthy blood vessels, strong bones and teeth, and to ward off winter influenza.  Flu injection - if you haven’t already, consider getting flu injections for you and your family. It may even be free – enquire with your local GP.  Dress warm – kids will fight it and swear they’re not cold, but make sure they’re wrapped up snug even inside the house to help prevent the onset of coughs and colds.  Hand sanitiser – give the kids small bottles for school, and make sure they use it – this will help stop the spread of germs that result in winter illnesses.

Family home

 Insulation: A snug, cosy and warm environment is crucial for winter wellness.

Consider insulating your home if you haven’t already. Check out EECA Energywise grants – you may be eligible for a subsidy towards insulation and an energy efficient heatpump.  Open windows. It’s important to do this regularly – every day – to prevent dampness and mould that create an unhealthy environment.  Draught stoppers. Invest in door sausages for internal doors, v-seal around windows and doors, and draught stops for under external doors to stop heat escaping.

Winter driving

 Driver slower. Drive slower than you normal would. It only takes a split second to lose control in wet or icy conditions.  Avoid quick movements. Avoid sudden braking or turning movements that could cause you to skid. Instead, accelerate slowly and brake gently.  Safe distance. Drive at a safe travelling distance because it takes longer to stop on a slippery road, especially in poor weather. Double the two-second-rule.  Drive to conditions. When travelling in fog, rain or snow, drive with your lights dipped for increased safety.  Plan your journey. Consider if you really need to travel, especially if the weather is very poor. Always check the weather forecasts and road conditions, and think about which route to take. Choose safety over convenience.

Community minded

or trip to the movies.  Winter sports. Encourage your kids to  Don’t hibernate. We all have tendencies get involved in a winter sport, or even get to snuggle up in our homes in front of our involved yourself. Keeping moving in winter is televisions until spring temperatures start to kick in. But getting out and about has benefits. crucial to health. When the sun is shining, wrap up warm and Me time take the kids out for a bike ride to the park.  Schedule in personal time. It can be tricky They’ll get rid of excess energy, and you’ll all to do when the kids are inside, but try to find feel better for the excursion. a quiet corner, read a book, draw a bath or  Invite people over. If you really don’t have a nap. want to leave the safe haven of your snug win Start a hobby. Winter is the perfect time ter home, invite family members or friends to take up a new personal interest. What over for a potluck lunch or dinner. Company about scrapbooking, knitting/crochet or exhas a way of lifting our moods and a warm ploring some new hearty and healthy winter winter meal is always a winner. recipes? You could even take an online lan Plan activities. Make a concerted effort to guage course or explore learning about topics plan things to do outside of the house, wheththat are of interest to you. er it’s a simple Saturday morning grocery shop

Grandparents changing with the times Families today are changing, and grandparents are changing with it.

Grandparents working

n one hand, greater mobility means that families are spread across the country (and the world) and many children aren’t able to see their grandparents regularly. Life is hectic for all generations and even families who live near each other often don’t spend as much time together as in the past. On the other hand, people are having fewer children and living longer. With fewer family members in each generation, intergenerational relationships can take on added significance. The great news is that with a longer life expectancy, grandparents are likely to be around for longer to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives. But how they define the role of grandparent is changing according to Age Concern CEO Robyn Scott.

On the flipside, in previous generations, even if the grandfather worked until retirement age, the grandmother would be at home. However, Scott says that’s changing. “The concept of retirement – whatever retirement is – has definitely changed. New Zealand has a very high percentage of over 65s in the workforce, so there are a lot of grandparents working either part-time or full-time, particularly between the ages of 65 and 75. When I was a child, my grandparents were in their late 70s early 80s, and there was nobody working in that age group at that time. They were grandparenting – that’s what they did. They were at home. “The other thing that has changed is that it is more difficult to generalise on these things than 50 years ago – there is more variation on what a person later in their life is likely to be doing today.”

Grandparents as caregivers

Connecting with grandparents


A Families’ Commission report from 2010 estimates that as many as 10,000 children in New Zealand are cared for fulltime by their grandparents. This is for a variety of reasons, such as parents being unable or unwilling to raise their children, or shared accommodation within the family. Then, according to Scott, there are a whole lot more grandparents who take on a part-time caregiver role with their grandchildren due to their parents’ work commitments. “There are lots of grandparents that are full-time or part-time caregivers to their grandchildren. The impact of that on them depends on whether that is out of necessity or choice – is it because of the need for unpaid childcare because of economic implications, or out of choice, out of love, because they want to be a full-time caregiver?”

Grandparents today are much more likely to have grandchildren living in a different city or a different country than they were 50 years ago, and that does have an impact on intergenerational relationships, Scott said. “If your grandchildren are living on the other side of the world, you can’t travel to them every weekend, so your relationship with them is going to vary from what it would be if they were living around the corner. It’s more difficult to be close. But the bonus that’s come along in the last 20-years is the value of technology. Grandparents Skype grandchildren all over the world every day of the week. “I don’t think relationships are necessarily better or worse – I just think they’re different.”


baby & toddler

From baby language to communication One of the most exciting developmental stages in infants and toddlers is their growing ability to communicate.


By the end of 3 months

rom their first word – usually Mum or Dad – or a variation of those terms, to when they start school, their brains are hard-wired for learning words and their meanings at a staggering rate. One of the greatest stages of development hits at about 18-months, with a language explosion that will see your toddler’s vocabulary grow from a few words at age one to 1000-2000 by his third birthday. It’s usually around this time too, that he will start to make simple combinations of words to form short sentences, i.e, “go car,” or “no bath.” You probably won’t understand everything they say for some time – after all, some consonants are tricky, and words with blended sounds (such as pl, or br) can take some time. What is important, and worth celebrating, is your toddler’s efforts to make himself understood. If you are a first-time parent, you may have some questions or concerns about your child’s language development. Plunket clinical advisor Marg Bigsby says this is normal. “Language development is a topic that often comes up. First time parents often have more questions, and this is exactly the kind of topic to discuss with your Plunket nurse, who can in most cases offer reassurance that your child’s language is developing just fine or, if required, refer to a specialist.” Here are some general guidelines for language development in little ones:

By the end of three months, your child might: • Smile when you appear. • Startle upon hearing loud sounds. • Make “cooing” sounds. • Quiet or smile when spoken to. • Seem to recognise your voice. • Cry differently for different needs.

By the end of 6 months

By the end of six months, your child might: • Make gurgling sounds when playing with you or left alone. • Babble and make a variety of sounds. • Use his or her voice to express pleasure and displeasure. • Move his or her eyes in the direction of sounds. • Respond to changes in the tone of your voice. • Notice that some toys make sounds. • Pay attention to music.

“What is important, and worth celebrating, is your toddler’s efforts to make himself understood.” By the end of 12 months

By the end of 12 months, your child might: • Try imitating words. • Say a few words, such as “dada,” “mama” and “uh-oh.” • Understand simple instructions, such as “Come here.” • Recognise words for common items, such as shoe. • Turn and look in the direction of sounds. • Respond to “no.”

New Zealand Health Shop

Breastfeeding support in many ways Meet breastfeeding mothers ContaCt a trained breastfeeding counsellor Read a book from our library BRowse our website Join and receive aroha magazine Buy books and leaflets donate to help La Leche League help more mums like you.

CONTACT US: (03) 476 6579 or 467 5599 EMAIL:

Looking for an all-in-one family-friendly supplement to support quality sleep and optimal health? Try our SleepDrops powder! Suitable for ages 2 and above, this product contains a comprehensive blend of key vitamins, minerals and fruit extracts to support optimal sleep, immune response, nervous and adrenal system function, energy levels, and cardiovascular wellbeing. Mix the powder into a delicious drink for the whole family! Prioritise your family’s sleep and get on top of your wellness strategy this winter with SleepDrops’ Essential Sleep and Stress Nutrients. Available at 1100 health stores and pharmacies nationwide and from www. Always read the label and take as directed.

“When young bears go to bed, a few SleepDrops before the story is read”

Always read the label and take as directed.

CALL NOW to talk to our Naturopaths about helping your child get a great nights sleep and receive a free information booklet.


0800 345 999

By the end of 18 months

By the end of 18 months, your child might: • Point to an object or picture when it’s named. • Recognise names of familiar people, objects and body parts. • Follow simple directions accompanied by gestures. • Say as many as eight to 10 words.

By the end of 24 months

By the end of 24 months, your child might: • Use simple phrases, such as “more milk.” • Ask one- to two-word questions, such as “Go bye-bye?”

• Follow simple commands without the help

of gestures.

• Speak at least 50 words.

When to check with your child’s doctor

Talk to your child’s doctor or a Plunket nurse if your child hasn’t mastered most of the speech and language development milestones for his or her age or you’re concerned about any aspect of your child’s development. Speech delays occur for many reasons, and it’s important to tackle them quickly in order to prepare your child for school.

Are you too clean for your kids’ good? Want to sanitise that baby toy? Think again...

a rural to an urban environment. As such, we’ve moved from a situation in which we are exposed to microbes to a more sterile environment without those exposures. A Parents worry about their kids’ health from good example is with asthma – most people before they are even born. But overprotecting are no longer exposed to endotoxins that kids from germs can have the opposite effect are a byproduct of livestock and farms that from the one intended. It is the basic nature can help build resistance. On top of the of young children to touch everything within reduction in exposure to microbes, we tend their reach – whether it’s your pet’s food, the to treat every symptom with antibiotics, and dish cloth or the dust in the vacuum cleaner our gut microflora has changed with the type bag. And it’s the basic nature of parents to of diet we eat. Studies show that kids with seize that month-old raisin that’s been hiding older siblings, who grew up on a farm, or who under the couch from their little one’s hand attended day care early in life seem to show before it inevitably makes it into their mouth. lower rates of allergies, at least in some part But have parents gone overboard in trying to due to exposure to germs. That’s because a protect their kids’ health? young immune system strengthens itself and Studies show that it may pay to think twice learns to adapt and regulate when exposed before reaching for the hand sanitizer every to those germs. Exposure trains the infant five minutes. immune system to attack bad bugs and ignore harmless things like pollen. Hygiene hypothesis In a recent study, a team from the NorthIn fact, a mounting body of research suggests Western University in America discovered that exposing infants to germs may offer them that children who were exposed to more greater protection from illnesses such as animal faeces and had more cases of allergies and asthma later in life. This theory is diarrhoea before the age of 2 had less called “hygiene hypothesis.” incidence of inflammation in the body as they Hygiene hypothesis theorises that when grew into adulthood. Inflammation is linked exposure to parasites, bacteria and viruses to many chronic adulthood illnesses such as is limited in early life, that children face a heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimers. greater chance of having allergies, asthma Balance is the key, according to experts. and other auto-immune diseases during Hygiene hypothesis doesn’t mean that you adulthood. Essentially, human society has should cancel your cleaning routine, but morphed and there have been radical changes instead take a common sense approach: not to our environment; changes associated everything in sight (or out of sight for that with the size of families, and moving from matter) needs to be washed or sanitised.

market place

Have you tried? ViBeri blackcurrants are the perfect mid-winter snack. Packed full of immune boosting health benefits, they offer a great tasting way to help fight off the chills this winter. ViBeri organic blackcurrants are grown on our certified organic farm in South Canterbury. Our goal is to deliver uncompromised organic blackcurrant products suitable for the whole family!

Hello, meet Pineapple Heads – an all-natural hair and bath care range for kids aged 10 months-10 years, made in NZ with buckets of love and scrum-diddly-umptious smells.

Our blackcurrant range includes: Freeze or soft dried berries, along with snap frozen fresh from the farm. Or our indulgent dark chocolate covered blackcurrants.

Our products don’t have any dumb stuff like silicones, PEGs, petrochemicals, parabens... no baddies allowed! Our super duper products are fully kid tested and approved. Come say ‘Hi’ at or PM us on Facebook and quote FamilyTimes for a FREE SAMPLE.


New Oki-Doki Fun Bars are new FUN treat for kids' lunch boxes. They are made in The Netherlands with NO artificial colours, NO artificial flavours, NO preservatives unlike many other products. Oki-Doki Fun Bars are totally natural!! Only the finest Belgium milk chocolate is used in the production of Oki-Doki bars. The best thing about them – they are so Yummy! Kids absolutely love them!! Available from all good supermarkets.Try one today! For more information visit:



We specialise in fun birthday cakes for kids (and adults) of all ages – christening, baby shower, novelty cakes for every occasion. Ph: 021-128 4998

For Baby

Turn old money into opportunities with NZ Lions Did you know that there’s a large amount of unwanted money out there? Apparently, there’s approximately $80m in old coins and some $36m in bank notes plus loads of foreign cash. The Lions’ HU4K project collects everything from pre/old decimal currency and bank notes through to any foreign currency. The magic of this collection is taking something that doesn’t have much use and turning it into something really positive

– life changing opportunities for Kiwi teens. Please take your old NZ/ foreign money to any Resene ColorShop or selected New World Supermarkets. It’s as easy as that!

Tuition Pre-Teens & Teens Mat & Equipment classes start from 20th July

Strengthen core, improve confidence, breathing, posture, strength & flexibility


contact us for details

09 965 3011 17 Dilworth Ave, Remuera

Pre-packed bag filled with essential items to help mums (and dads!) through labour, delivery and those first special days with their new bundle of joy!

Lions Clubs throughout New Zealand are raising funds to assist our young people by collecting old NZ money and foreign currency. So dig out your old money and take it to your local Resene Color Store or ring 0800 OLD MONEY (0800 653 666). For more information about the project email our national coordinator: or visit our website: money

09 294 8606


Crissi Blair lives with her family in west Auckland and spends her time reading and writing, mostly about children’s books. Crissi organised the Storylines Festival of New Zealand Children’s Writers and Illustrators for three years and publishes the useful guide New Zealand Children’s Books in Print which is updated every year. Visit for more information.


Junior Fiction

Picture Books Marmaduke Duck on the Wide Blue Seas

When I am Happiest

By Juliette MacIver Illustrated by Sarah Davis Scholastic Paperback $19.50 Marmaduke Duck has a longing for the high seas so leaves the shop he shares with Bernadette Bear, taking a store of his wonderful marmalade jam with him, which he trades for a ship with an incredible crew of animals. It’s all great fun until pirates get involved. The tale is told in rollicking rhyme, the pages richly coloured with action-packed scenes. Ages 4 to 8-years.

By Rose Lagercrantz Illustrated by Eva Eriksson Gecko Press Hardback $33.50 Paperback $19.99 This is the third book about Dani, who prides herself on being happy, so much so that she is writing a book about it. However, when her father is in an accident, she doesn’t know how she can possibly be happy again. Somehow she always finds her way back to happiness, particularly with a good friend to depend on. Ages 6 to 10-years.

If You Were a Dog

Dragon Knight: Fire!

By Jamie A Swenson Illustrated by Chris Raschka Farrar Straus Giroux Hardback $25 This story asks, “What sort of dog/cat/fish/bird/ dinosaur would you be?” with deliciously tongue-twisting, hyphenated and often onomatopoeic options like “stomping-roarer earthquaker, tree-shaker, sharp-pointed toothy-grinner” (dinosaur). The word play is reflected in the exciting colourcombinations of the watercolour illustrations and loosely-drawn range of expressive animals. A marvellous romp of word play and imagination. Ages 3 to 8-years.

By Kyle Mewburn Scholastic Paperback $12 Merek and his family are shape-shifting dragons and they must keep it a secret, but Merek keeps setting fires with his sneezes. He gets into the trials to become a trainee knight but his swordsmanship isn’t up to scratch so he doesn’t get in, until he gets to show how brave he really is. Ages 6 to 10-years.

Travels of an Extraordinary Hamster

By Astrid Desbordes Illustrated by Pauline Martin Translator Linda Burgess Gecko Press Paperback $24.99 Hamster is not the nicest of friends; he’s so self-centred, but you’ve got to admire his determination and his honesty. In this precisely crafted graphic novel about Hamster and his friends, Mole writes a novel, Hamster wants to fly to the moon, they all go on holiday to the North Pole to visit Bear’s cousin Polar Bear. Hilarious and easy reading. Ages 7 to 10-years.

The Adventures of Beekle the Unimaginary Friend

By Dan Santat Little Brown Hardback $29.99 There’s a magical island where imaginary friends wait for someone in the real world to imagine them. But Beekle is tired of waiting so goes in search of his real child. Beekle makes his way through the real world of grey people who don’t eat cake and want to nap all the time, until he discovers his person. Caldecott Medal winner. Ages 4 to 10-years.

Intermediate Fiction Run Pip, Run

J C Jones Allen & Unwin Paperback $15.99 On Pip’s 10th birthday her life suddenly changes when old Sully, the man who took her in as an abandoned baby, goes to hospital, leaving her with no-one to care for her. A policewoman is on her case and expects her to stay with a foster family but Pip has other ideas and takes to the streets of Sydney. She has a plan, lot of determination, and finds some unexpected allies. Ages 8 to 12-years.

Friday Barnes Under Suspicion

R A Spratt Random House Paperback $19.99 Friday Barnes is feisty and smart. She’s 11, a boarder at Highcrest Academy, and the go-to girl if there’s a mystery to solve - from a missing calculator to the holes appearing in the school grounds. Then there’s the new boy who seems to like her. Everything combines to make one major puzzle, and a great cliff-hanger ending. Ages 8 to 10-years.

How I Alienated my Grandma

By Suzanne Main Scholastic Paperback $17 Michael’s best friend Elvis lends him a metal detector that hones in on a mysterious object. When Michael points it at his grandmother she freakily transforms into a lizard-like creature, later regaining her original appearance but definitely not her old self. Aliens have plans, via Grandma, to take over Earth. The boys must find the hidden spaceship if they’re going to save the world. Ages 8-plus.

Knowledge books Animalium: Welcome to the Museum

By Jenny Broom Illustrated by Katie Scott The Five Mile Press Hardback $50 This book thrills from the moment you see it, with its large size and meticulous illustrations. Organised like a museum, the collections of animal specimens are ordered like galleries, by classification, with detailed full-colour illustrations throughout. Content ranges from the simple sponge to the mighty whale, with everything in between. The accompanying text is easyto-read and ideal for grazing rather than reading from beginning to end, making many new discoveries. Ages 10-plus.

Shackleton’s Journey

By William Grill Flying Eye Books Hardback $41.50 The blues, whites and earth colours of this stunner reflect the environment Ernest Shackleton and his men endured on their 1914 expedition to Antarctica. Here they are visually catalogued, along with the dogs and equipment, in detailed colour pencil illustrations, along with maps and dramatic spreads capturing the enthralling adventure, told in concise text, making this a rich reading experience. Ages 8-plus.

Maori Art for Kids

By Julie Noanoa Photography by Norm Heke Craig Potton Publishing Paperback $19.99 A beautifully designed array of crafty things for kids to make based on real pieces by Maori artists. They range from the very simple and quickly made items such as a decorated hair comb, to the more complex such as the maro wall hanging. Complete with simple instructions and photographs of the process, the finished item, and the original artwork. Ages 8+.

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Family times auck winter 2015 page issuu  

Welcome to the Winter 15 issue of Family Times Magazine for Auckland, New Zealand's #1 Free Parenting publication.

Family times auck winter 2015 page issuu  

Welcome to the Winter 15 issue of Family Times Magazine for Auckland, New Zealand's #1 Free Parenting publication.