Raising a minorityfriendly child Hints to help your child include others
Cyber safety The dangers of online over-sharing
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ISSN 2324-450X (Print) ISSN 2324-4518 (Online)
DUNEDIN / ISSUE 71 / Autumn 2017
YEAR OF THE ROOSTER
SCHOOL HOLIDAY FUN 15 April – 30 April 2017
Head to the Garden for Year of the Rooster games and crafts, courtyard games, and everyone’s favourite garden hunt. Find all the roosters hidden around the Garden and claim your stamp! Admission: Adult $9 | Under 13 FREE Corner Cumberland and Rattray Streets, Dunedin 03 477 3248 | www.dunedinchinesegarden.com
MYLL ZJOVVS OVSPKH` M\UPU
BOATING AND WATER SAFETY COURSES
Learn practical skills in boat safety, beach and river safety, water survival and rescues in these hands-on, two hour courses for school aged children. Sessions available 26, 27 and 28 April | 10am – 2pm | $15 Spaces limited so bookings essential. Please call 03 471 9659 or email email@example.com to book your session. Moana
WILD DUNEDIN FESTIVAL:
THE FLYING PENGUIN KITE WORKSHOP Pick up a penguin and make him fly! Join us on Saturday for our special Wild Dunedin kite workshop and make your very own kite. Then head up to Larnach Castle’s Camp Estate on Sunday to fly your masterpiece!
WORKSHOP: Saturday 22 April | 11.30am – 3.30pm | 4th Floor | City Library KITE FLYING: Sunday 23 April | 11.00am – 1.00pm | Camp Estate, Larnach Castle (access exclusive to workshop participants and their families)
BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL: Limited numbers 474 3690 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FREE (materials supplied) 2 www.familytimes.co.nz
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Contents Autumn 2017
0 4 Raising a minority-friendly child
Teach your wee ones how to include others who are different.
6 Couch potato
How to motivate your un-athletic child to exercise.
7 Cyber safety
Teach your kids how not to over-share online.
12 Baby blues
How to get help with post-natal depression.
We look at what it’s like to bring another child into your family
14 School discipline
What to do when your child doesn’t fit the mould.
Kids’ Corner Kids’ Time 8 Puzzles and competitions
Resource information 10 11 12 14
Calendar of events Entertainment Help is at Hand School term dates
Welcome! ou may think that Family Times has suddenly gotten political when you read the title of our main feature article this issue: Raising a minority-friendly child. But it wasn’t the American situation or rising immigration figures here that have inspired pen to paper on this article. We’re not taking a position on immigrants or refugees. We just wanted to investigate what being different means through the eyes of a child. That could mean anything from socio-economic variances and learning difficulties to a different colour skin or an unusual accent. One thing that we do know for sure is that kids notice differences from a very young age: different coloured hair, different shaped people and differing abilities. I’ll never forget when my nephew – who has almost no filter on his mouth – shouted to his mum in the supermarket, “Why is that lady fat?” He obviously didn’t learn from that experience. It wasn’t long afterwards that he loudly pointed out, “Look Mum, that man only has one leg!” Every parent wants to avoid that mortifying feeling, but the fact is that we are taught from a young age to categorise everything according to what is “normal” and what is different. So how can parents raise children that can
recognise differences without being afraid or distancing themselves from those differences? To take it a step further, rather than just teaching acceptance of differences, what about inclusion? My heart literally ached recently reading the story of a young autistic boy who invited his whole school class to his birthday party, but nobody turned up. It takes courage and compassion to reach beyond our own comfort zone, but including those who are different from us can be a richly rewarding experience for both parties. We’re also covering a range of other topical stories this issue, from education and health to every-day parenting and technology. However, feel free to email me: email@example.com if there are any issues that you’d really like to see Family Times cover. I’d love to hear from you. In the meantime, don’t forget to make the most of all the competitions, giveaways and kids’ activities. Enjoy!
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RAISING A minorityfriendly child e human beings find our identity as part of a group. As much as we want to fiercely believe that we are independent, individual and not led by the crowd, the vast majority of us strive to fit in. We’re a business person, a parent, a certain socio-economic status. We’re a bluecollar worker, a student, the sporty type. It’s comfortable, so we predominantly keep within the social confines of those groups. But what do we do when we encounter someone who is different? Most kiwis like to believe that we’re pretty accepting of people from diverse backgrounds: we’ve embraced ethnic cuisine, we encourage our kids to join a school cultural group or we may donate to charities that support people with disabilities. But CCS Disability Action disability leadership coordinator for the southern region Prudence Walker says that raising kids to go a step further than acceptance and to start to include others who don’t fit the same cookie-cutter mould is essential for them, and for those who need to be included. “I think it’s about realising that we are all different in society. Even if we fit into
see his tears again, so they invited his heroes – the local police department – to his birthday instead. What resulted was a very happy child, according to Today.com. However, Walker says it’s impossible to underestimate the importance of being included by peers. “If you already have a difference that’s judged in society or you are marginalised, then it’s even more important to feel included with your peers because it’s reflecting that you’re okay; you have value.”
Inclusion - it starts early
the mainstream or the norm of society, we are all different anyway. “Having an impairment is just another difference. There’s often a bit of fear that goes around people who have impairments, so it’s really important for kids to realise that it’s just another difference – it’s not a big deal, it’s just people.” The heartbreak of kids who experience
exclusion has been covered in newspaper stories and social media posts in recent times. Take for example the Nicastros’ story: their 8-year-old autistic son insisted on inviting his entire school class to his birthday celebration for the third year in a row, although he had never received a single RSVP. His parents couldn’t bear to
Research shows that 3-month-old babies can notice differences in appearance. Developmental psychologist Kristina Olson said that was completely normal for kids. Her research into race for Yale University deduced that the important thing was how parents taught their children about those differences. A vast majority of parents avoided the subject, according to Psychology Today, so their children were left to determine that meaning on their own. The parents’ objective was usually to model that race and skin colour were not important, but the opposite conclusion was usually
“If you already have a difference that’s judged in society or you are marginalised, then it’s even more important to feel included with your peers because it’s reflecting that you’re okay; you have value.” reached according to Olson. “Children often learn very quickly that simple questions or comments about these observations are shut down, stopped, and hushed with incredible velocity. Children become aware that this topic must be important because unlike their other questions, these ones go unanswered and leave their parents with looks of worry.”
A model for inclusion
Inclusion of others who are different – whether it be a physical or intellectual disability, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status – starts in the home according to Olson’s research. “Four to 5-year-old children of parents who have more diverse friends show less racial bias than the children of parents who have less diverse friends.” she wrote. “What is more, a study done by Bar-Haim and colleagues in 2006 showed that growing up in a multi-racial environment
versus a mono-racial one produced differences in race-based responding in children only 3-months of age.”
Inclusion in education
New Zealand schools are also starting to intently focus on encouraging inclusion. Cobham Intermediate is “very much a multicultural school,” according to international homestay coordinator Bronwyn Shalfoon. The school currently hosts nine fulltime international students and has hosted as many as 25 in the past. They also host short-term international groups and have many migrant children from a range of countries as well as students with Maori and Pasifika backgrounds. Cobham makes sure every international student has a local buddy, and actively facilitates including them into school life. The most important thing for internationals, Shalfoon said, was that they didn’t want to be seen as internationals. They just wanted to belong. Shalfoon believes that hosting international students is beneficial for Kiwi kids and their families. They learned about other cultures and how to assimilate with a range of people. “Students are starting to hear more and more that they are going to grow up to become global citizens. To help prepare our students, we need to ensure that they are effective communicators who care about our planet and display a range of values such as respect and kindness.” Those thoughts are echoed by CCS
Tips on raising minority-friendly kids
Children need to learn about their own backgrounds and get a sense of their own identity. Explain to
them about their family and their family history, with photographs if possible. Actively teach your kids about the backgrounds of people who are different from them; whether it be race, ethnicity, colour, language, ability, or other. Expose your kids to activities, materials and concrete experiences that destroy stereotypes. Take the whole family along to local culture events that differ from your own, and make it your practice to include others who are different from you in your own life. Help your children learn to enjoy, appreciate, and seek out differences rather than to fear them. Teach your children that harassment of others who are different is never acceptable.
Disability Action disability leadership coordinator for the southern region Prudence Walker. “There are always different opinions about inclusion. When you have specific needs there are always plusses and minuses to that. But everybody is a person and everybody has the same value as having human life. Why would we ever think that people should not be
included?” CCS Disability Action recognises that it’s not always easy to include kids with disabilities in schools, but that there is help available. Its philosophy is that it’s good for children and young people to learn together. That way, they can learn to make friends with others who are different and to respect differences, rather than be afraid of them.
It’s natural for kids to notice differences in a person’s appearance, manner of speaking or ability, and to express curiosity or even fear about them. Most parents can probably share a comparably mortifying moment when their child noticed someone different and expressed it verbally, and loudly: “Look Mum, why does that man only have one leg?” or “Mum, why is that lady so fat?” How parents deal with these occasions can help (or hinder) their child’s preparedness to accept and include others who are different from themselves. Here are a few tips on how to raise a minority/diversity-friendly child.
HOW TO GET YOUR
couch kid to exercise e all know that Ministry of Health guidelines state that your child needs at least 60-minutes of physical activity a day. But what if your child hates exercise? It may be an incredible disappointment to you. You may be a runner, a cyclist, a gym-goer or yoga loving hipster, but your offspring just didn’t seem to receive that gene. Or, you may be a couch potato yourself but don’t want your kids to fall into the same trap. Either way, we’ve got some tips to get your littlies active.
Think outside the playing field Not everyone is drawn to organised sports like rugby or netball. Look for other activities that your child may enjoy: dance, rock climbing, swimming or martial arts. And have patience – sometimes it can take a while to find the right fit. The earlier you start, the better, when it comes to non-athletic kids. That way, you are giving them a chance to develop an appetite for exercise long before they’ve set their mindset that it’s not for them.
Join the game Kids love it when their parents play with them. You can encourage your child’s fitness by taking a family
hike, having a game of back-yard catch, hopscotch, bouncing on the trampoline and much more. You don’t need fancy equipment or special classes to encourage your child to exercise.
Limit screen time Passive pastimes are the nemesis of a fit and healthy kid. That’s why it’s a good idea to limit the amount of time your child spends with screens each day – whether it’s watching television, surfing the Internet or playing video games. Encourage active pastimes instead – shooting hoops at the local playground, walking the dog, or a game of tag. And stick to your guns: one sign of weakness on the tech front and it’s game over!
Lead by example If you vegetate in front of the television every night, the remote control in one hand and a bag of chips in the other, you’re not practicing what you preach. And your kids aren’t likely to respect restrictions you set on their screen time either. So check your own viewing behaviour and serve as a role model by incorporating physical activity into your everyday life. When you can, walk instead of driving. Climb the stairs rather than wait for the elevator. Regularly participate in active pursuits that you enjoy and let your kids see.
Bring a friend along Kids love to hang out with their peers, so get them to invite a buddy along for a bike ride, offer to bring a friend ice-skating, or head to the pool with a group of kids in-tow. Young kids love going to the playground with friends to chase, climb, swing, slide and run. Your child is probably more likely to join a sports team or try a new activity if a friend is involved. Take advantage of that.
Use exercise as a reward Forcing a child to go outside and play may backfire and increase resentment and resistance. For this reason, never make exercise punitive. Don’t make your child run laps or do push-ups as a punishment. Instead, try using physical activity as a reward. For example, your child might be happy to kick a ball around for 20-minutes if it’s a break from homework.
Cyber safety for kids
– HOW NOT TO OVER-SHARE A
s adults, we’re a bit more aware then kids are about the dangers of over-sharing online. But research shows that even though people express serious privacy concerns and fear identity theft, they still tend to reveal their personal details online for small rewards or for the sake of creating their online persona. That danger is multiplied when it comes to kids. NordVPN has some tips on how to school your kids for safety in the online world.
not sharing personal or embarrassing photos with anyone, ever.
Avoid sharing personal data on Facebook. If you allow your child to have a Facebook page, do not allow them to enter their address or phone number where it can be visible to anyone.
It’s not just data - Don’t over-share feelings. According to one study, people who share their feelings on social media often Understand that no one is get bullied, while others look on and allow harassment to happen. That’s doubly an exception from cyberbullying or identity theft. so for kids. Teach them that it’s more advisable to share personal feelings in Research shows that people believe identity theft often takes place online, but close and friendly circles than publicly. they are very sceptical about it happening to them. Protect your location. Set up your home internet using a VPN – a virtual private network. This Realise that everything will hide your IP address and your location. you post online, will By connecting to another country’s server, stay online. you can set your location to virtually any That means tweets or photos that kids place in the world. post and think are funny will still be there when they are a company director down the road. Future proof your kids’ lives by Protect your teaching them not to post anything now passwords. that they might regret later. That includes Teach your kids how to create a
unique password, not using predictable data such as birthdays. Make sure that you have a copy of this password at all times. It’s always advised to change passwords regularly in order to stay safe online, and that means having to use a unique password for each site or account.
Understand the dangers of free public Wi-Fi. Cafes, shops, and even schools often offer unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Users need to be especially cautious when connecting to these networks as hackers can easily position themselves as a Wi-Fi hotspot or use special software to steal data from unprotected networks. One of
the best ways to safely use public Wi-Fi is by installing a VPN.
Educate children and teens about cyberbullying. Forty-two per cent of teens with access to Internet say they have been victims of cyber-bullying. Besides not sharing their private information online, kids should be taught basic tactics for dealing with a cyber-bully. That includes not responding to bullying messages, blocking the bully and reporting the incident. Schools should have systems in place that allow easy and efficient cyber-bullying reporting.
Ice Skating Social Curling Hockey Learn to Skate Classes Function Room Hire and “Cool As” Birthday Parties! Call us to find out more 03 456 4556 www.dunedinicestadium.co.nz www.familytimes.co.nz 7
KIDS' TIME Welcome to Kidsâ€™ Time at Family Times. Enjoy the fun activities and competitions. For competitions, enter online by visiting www.familytimes.co.nz and click on the competitions link.
Win a Crayola prize pack 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 for creative kiwi kids from Crayola. 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 admin@familytimes. co.nz. Entries close 15 May 2017.
A huge congratulations to the winners of our last issue’s Monster Truck design competition:
Smurfs - The Lost Village 10 prize packs to give away!
Celebrate the release of the latest Smurfs movie and embark on a rollercoaster journey full of action and danger. The Smurfs are on a course that leads to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history! In cinemas from 6 April 2017. To be in to win one of these amazing prize packs (1 x stationary set, 1 x character PVC keychain, 1 x family pass to the movie and a magnet), simply go to www.familytimes.co.nz and enter on our competitions page. Competition closes 9 April 2017.
Roy McPherson Chch (8 years)
There once was a dog with a keen sense of smell. She was known far and wide as Detective Dog Nell. Written by the brilliant Julia Donaldson and stunningly illustrated by the multi-talented illustrator and printmaker Sara Ogilvie, Detective Dog is a fast-paced celebration of books, reading, libraries, and the relationship between a little boy and his rather special dog. To be in to win one of 5 copies of this book, simply visit www.familytimes.co.nz and enter on our competitions page. Competition closes 8 May 2017.
10 Moana DVDs to give away!
Bella Maddaford Chch (4 years)
George Davies Chch (6 years)
From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes Moana, an epic adventure about a spirited teen who sets sail on a daring mission to save her people. Along the way, Moana (Auli‘i Cravalho) meets the once mighty demigod Maui (Dwayne Johnson), and together they cross the ocean on a funfilled, action-packed voyage. Bring home the movie full of heart, humour and oceans of bonus extras! To be in to win one of these awesome DVDs, simply visit www.familytimes.co.nz and enter on our competitions page. Competition closes 8 May 2017.
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Calendar of Events As beautiful autumn colours start to grace our landscape, it’s the perfect time to get out and about and enjoy all the city has to offer. For more event and entertainment ideas, visit www.familytimes.co.nz and enjoy our large, family-friendly resource.
14 to 17 April
● The Original Gypsy Fair. Back for its 29th year with crafts, entertainment, food, handmade jewellery, clothes, embroidery and all the fun of the gypsy fair. From 9am–5pm, The Oval, Princes Street. Visit www.gypsyfair.co.nz.
21 to 25 April
● Wild Dunedin Festival of Nature. Celebrate Wild Dunedin’s beautiful coastline, night skies and incredible wildlife with a myriad of activities and events celebrating nature and conservation. Visit www.wilddunedin.nz for events and locations.
● Sunday Sounds – Mosgiel Brass. Enjoy a lazy Sunday afternoon. Pack a picnic, grab a rug and enjoy live musical offerings from local entertainers at the band rotunda. From 1pm–2.30pm, Dunedin Botanic Garden. Visit www.dunedinbotanicgarden. co.nz.
● Pulse Energy Highlanders vs
For more event and entertainment ideas, visit www.familytimes.co.nz and enjoy our large, familyfriendly resource.
DHL Stormers. Support the Highlanders as they take on the Stormers in what is sure to be a tough battle. Cost: $7–$42.50. At 7.35pm, Forsyth Barr Stadium. Visit www.thehighlanders.co.nz.
● Swan Lake Moscow Ballet La Classique. This Russian ballet company returns to Dunedin with its spectacular performance of this spellbinding classical romance. Tickets $50–$85. From 7.30pm–9.30pm, Regent Theatre. Visit www.regenttheatre.co.nz.
● Regent Collection Day. Each year, the Regent Theatre holds the Star Regent 24Hour Book Sale and the Anything But Books Sale. Donated items can be dropped off or collected. Visit www.regenttheatre. co.nz for collection times and locations.
● Alpaca Open Day. Feed and cuddle an alpaca as part of National Alpaca Day. Free. From 10.30am–3.30pm, Flagstaff Alpacas, 136 Three Mile Hill Road, RD1. Visit www.flagstaffalpacas.co.nz.
COME EXPLORE DUNEDIN’S VERY OWN RIVER, THE WATER OF LEITH! THE SMALL BUT MIGHTY RIVER FLOWS THROUGH THE HEART OF THE CITY. THE #LOVETHELEITH RIVER TRAIL GETS KIDS AND FAMILIES OUT INTO LOCAL NATURE AND CONNECTING WITH THE LEITH. FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT WWW.ORC.GOVT.NZ/LOVETHELEITH.
● Mend and Make Awesome. Get inspiration and practical help to turn flaws into favourite features. Bring any item to mend, make-over or upcycle. All ages. Koha. From 2–5pm, Trident House, 88 Vogel Street. Visit justatelier.weebly.com.
● Jennian Homes Mother’s Day Fun Run/ Walk. Join the 5km run, walk or leisurely stroll and support the Heart Foundation for Women campaign. Cost $14–$20. From 10am–12pm, Hancock Park. Visit www. jennianmothersday.com.
● Mother’s Day Larnach Castle special event. A memorable tour of the castle followed by high tea on the veranda with mum. Tours at 12pm and 2pm. Cost $65. Visit www.larnachcastle.co.nz.
18 to 27 May
● Mary Poppins—The Broadway Musical. Join Mary Poppins, Jane, Michael, Mr and Mrs Banks and a cast of other colourful characters. From $44.50. Regent Theatre, 17 the Octagon. Visit www.regenttheatre.co.nz.
OTAGO MUSEUM SCIENCE | NATURE | CULTURE
The Water of Leith has heaps of stories to tell you. Come explore Dunedin’s little river with help from the #lovetheleith river trail map — and you could be in to win! Share a photo of your adventure on social media using #lovetheleith between 18 March – 30 April, and go in the draw to win weekly spot prizes from Orokonui Ecosanctuary, and the grand prize, a kid’s bike sponsored by local bike gurus, Bike Otago.
Showcasing the fascinating and the unique, the biggest and the best, with eight free galleries, Discovery World science centre, Tropical Forest butterfly house and Perpetual Guardian Planetarium.
Grand prize winner will be announced 1 May. 419 Great King Street, Dunedin Open 10am–5pm daily. Museum entry free. Ph 03 474 7474 www.otagomuseum.nz To get a map or find out more visit: www.orc.govt.nz/lovetheleith or call 0800 474 082
ENTERTAINMENT Autumn is here, and it’s a great time to get out and explore the 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 www.familytimes.co.nz. ● Leap Indoor Trampoline Park A great family activity that’s fun for all ages! Visit www.leapdunedin.nz. ● Otago Museum Discover science and experience a living, tropical habitat in Otago Museum’s Discovery World Tropical Forest – your destination for hours of family fun. Visit otagomuseum.nz for more information and tickets. ● Combat Zone Paintball Come and play a safe, fun and highadrenalin game for all ages, supervised by experienced staff who know the game
inside and out. Barbecues also available. ● Dunedin Art Gallery There’s always a lot to do at Dunedin Art Gallery. Bring the kids and come to explore art and culture. Visit dunedin.art. museum for exhibition, workshop and kids’ activity details. ● Dunedin Botanic Garden There’s always so much to see and do at Dunedin Botanic Garden. Explore the botanical collections, visit the aviary, and listen to the songs of wild native bellbirds, wood pigeons and tui. Visit www. dunedinbotanicgarden.co.nz for details. ● Dunedin Chinese Garden The Dunedin Chinese Garden takes you on a journey to a greater understanding of history, culture, heritage and tradition. Its origins celebrate the city’s Chinese heritage and its valuable sister city relationship with Shanghai. Visit www. dunedinchinesegarden.com for details.
Here are some great holiday ideas designed to keep you and your little ones entertained during the school break. ● Basketball Otago Basketball Otago offers a full range of term and school holiday programmes. For details and registration, visit our website, email development@basketballotago. co.nz or phone 03-456-4063.
EXPERIENCE A LIVING, TROPICAL HABITAT IN OTAGO MUSEUM’S DISCOVERY WORLD TROPICAL FOREST. ● Rialto Save with a family pass at Rialto Cinemas to see the latest movies including Beauty & the Beast and Smurfs 3 3. ● Wild Dunedin Festival More than 30 family-friendly events are packed into five days (21-25 April). Kids can earn Kiwi Guardian Explorer medals by attending events that take them and their families into the natural world of Wild Dunedin. Visit www.wilddunedin.nz. ● Dunedin Ice Stadium The Dunedin Ice Stadium is open daily throughout the holidays. No matter the weather, it’s always a great day out with the whole family! Visit www. dunedinicestadium.co.nz or phone 03456-4556 for more information and opening times. ● The Playhouse Theatre - Vanished! The Story of a missing princess. The elves and wizard are fighting. Who will win? Will
they find the princess? The Playhouse Theatre, 15-23 April. ● Chipmunks Join us for school holiday fun at Chipmunks Dunedin. We offer school holiday programmes for children aged 5 to 11-years-old. Contact Dunedin@ chipmunks.co.nz to start planning a fantastic school holiday! ● M*A*S*H Dunedin central - WINZ subsidy available. Enrol for our exciting holiday programme - “The best fun your kids can have!” Phone 0800-420-520, admin@mashkids. co.nz, www.mashkids.co.nz. ● Silver stream horses Is your child crazy about horses? We still have spaces remaining in our Easter school holiday programme! Cost $50 a day from 11am - 3 pm. Check out silver stream horses on Facebook or phone 022-108-5006. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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BABY AND TODDLER
When it’s more than
the baby blues ell, sometimes. Plunket says that women often experience a range of emotions – from elation and excitement to times of feeling low, anxious, confused and tearful – in the early days of motherhood. And that’s normal. What’s not normal is when the baby blues last longer than a few weeks. When that low feeling lasts, it can develop into postnatal depression. Post-natal depression affects about 13 per cent of new mothers, according to Plunket, and new mothers often ignore the signs out of guilt. It can affect a firsttime mum or a mother of five within the first year post-partum. One Kiwi mother, Erin, told her story to mothersmatter.co.nz. She put her tearfulness and anxiety down to being tired all of the time. She disliked being stuck at home alone, and although her baby brought her joy, she struggled with resentfulness over loss of freedom. When her doctor diagnosed her with post-natal depression, she didn’t believe it. “What have I got to cry about? How could I have PND?” she said. Mothers often ignore the signs of post-natal depression due to incorrectly
associating it with failure as a mother. But ignoring and suppressing post-natal depression is dangerous. In worst-case scenarios, it can affect how you feel about and care for your new baby and other children. The good news is that post-natal depression is not a life sentence. Treatment can be as simple as talk-therapy through to doctor prescribed medication depending on the severity of symptoms. The most important thing is to seek professional help and to not try to manage it alone. Some tips:
Try to get lots of rest
Sleep or rest whenever possible. If someone is able look after your baby for a couple of hours, put on some soothing music, have a warm drink, and relax. Try to nap when your baby is sleeping and forget your to-do list for a while.
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
Try not to go for long periods without eating, to avoid a dip in your blood sugar levels. A balanced diet will prevent you from becoming tired and feeling run down.
It may be the last thing you feel like doing, but exercise will help you to feel better in mind and body. There are plenty of YouTube clips with home-based exercise for mums, or taking baby out for a walk can lift your mood and get you out of the house.
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SIGNS OF POST-NATAL DEPRESSION • •
Meet other mums
Having a baby can be isolating and postnatal depression can really make you feel alone. Join a Plunket group or other mums’ group in your local area and make connections with other mums.
Be kind to yourself
Taking care of yourself and your baby are the most important things. Try not to load yourself up with tasks that aren’t essential. Leave any big decisions for when you’re better, and be realistic about what you can achieve. Oh, and treat yourself once in a while.
• • •
Experience feelings of hopelessness Experience depression during pregnancy Believe they just can’t cope Feel angry and irritated but not sure why Feel overly anxious about their baby Tearful, alone, guilty, and unsupported. Have difficulty sleeping even when their baby sleeps Have thoughts of harming themselves or their baby Feel that they are being a bad mother and that somehow they have to cope Not realise they are suffering from postnatal depression
Talk with your Plunket nurse or GP if you think you may have post-natal depression symptoms.
HELP IS @ HAND
You’ve just given birth to a bouncing, beautiful, bundle of joy. You should be over the moon, right?
Sometimes you need some information or an answer to a curly question. Why not pick up the phone and call the relative support agency? You’ll find professional caring people ready to assist you.
➜ Citizens Advice Bureau Dunedin Phone: 0800-367 222 or 03-471 6166 For free information and advice. Not sure? Ask us ➜ Sudden Infant Death Support Phone: 0800 164 455 www.sids.org.nz
➜ Dunedin Budget Advisory Service Phone: 03-471 6158 Free confidential advice on household budgets, how to manage your money, options and plans for debt repayment.
Plunket offers FREE services to families • • • •
Well Child assessments Family Support services Parent education Playgroups and coffee groups
Plunket Area Office (03)474 0490 PlunketLine 24 hours 0800-933-922 OtagoPlunket | www.plunket.org.nz
NZ needs more
he Vulnerable Children’s Ministry wants to recruit 1000 more foster parents for children who need temporary and long-term care. Foster Care Awareness Week (511 March) highlighted the 6 per cent increase in the number of out-of-home placements for vulnerable children (from 4203 to 4435) during the period 30 September 2015 to 30 September 2016. Family Times talked with Fostering Kids New Zealand communications advisor Alistair Wilkinson – who is also a foster parent – about the challenges and rewards of foster parenting.
What difference can a foster parent make in a child’s life? A Foster parents make a profound impact in the lives of New Zealand’s most vulnerable children. Sometimes, foster parents provide care for just a few nights - in other cases they take permanent care of children. Whatever the situation, the best foster parents provide homes that heal; a haven from the chaos that has usually preceded their transition into care.
How rewarding/ demanding is it? I can tell you from personal
experience as a permanent (home for life) caregiver - it is the most challenging and the most rewarding role. To be successful as a caregiver, you need to understand the impact that trauma has on the brain. Traumatic experiences change our behaviour, and can lead to negative labels. The thing to grasp is that kids in care who act out are not bad kids; they are kids who’ve been hurt. Children in care have all the same hopes and dreams as other kids, but too often society puts up barriers to their success. When they do succeed, it is all the sweeter. There is no such thing as an ordinary day when you’re caregiver - because extraordinary things happen all the time.
What makes a good foster parent? Good foster caregivers understand the impact that trauma has on a child’s ability to function, and they make a commitment to continue learning about how to care for vulnerable children. We’re big on training at Fostering Kids NZ, because we believe in creating therapeutic home environments where children can heal. Caring for a child who has been hurt can be tough - sometimes they take their anger out on caregivers so you need to have a lot of patience and you can’t get rattled easily.
How can you prepare to be foster parents? A You need to think carefully about the impact it will have on your family. If you already have children, you need to understand the impact it may have on them. It can also put pressure on couples - so you need to have a very strong relationship. Good foster caregivers maintain strong support networks - not just
family members but also friends and neighbours. You need to have people to call on when challenging situations arise. If you’re interested, seek out someone who is already doing it and talk to them. Also, it’s a rigorous process to become an approved caregiver, and it gives prospective foster parents the opportunity to think about what they really want.
KIDS SAY THE
FUNNIEST things Just when you’re not expecting it, kids say the funniest things. Here are a few wee tidbits to tickle your funny bone. “Hey Mum, this Scottish tape isn’t sticky. Do we have any Irish tape?” Erik, age 5. “Do they look after the Pokemon?” City kid, when asked what a gamekeeper does. “There’s no one in there.” – 6-year-old son, in response to seeing his father hanging pictures and tapping on the walls to find the support beams. “Well, sometimes I say something mean to my brother, but I feel really good inside. Does that mean I’m a hypocrite?” – 7-year-old girl, after a Sunday School teacher explained that a hypocrite was someone who says one thing but feels something else.
“Daddy, did your hair slip?” – 3-year-old son, to his bald but longbearded father.
“Daddy picked them up and looked underneath. I think it’s printed on the bottom.” – 3-year-old son, when his mother asked how his father knew the genders of four new baby kittens.
“How will that help?” Kindergarten student, when the class was instructed to hold up two fingers if any of them had to go to the bathroom.
“Mommy, you said it would be a shot; instead it was a needle!” – Boy, overheard at the hospital. “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us some email.” – 4-year-old girl, misquoting the Lord’s Prayer. My young grandson called the other day to wish me Happy Birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, “62.” He was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, “Did you start at 1?”
“Tell me when you’re asleep, okay?” – 7-year-old son, overheard talking to his 5-year-old brother.
When your child doesn’t fit
the school mould he beginning of the school year is a period of great anticipation and anxiety for parents, especially if your kid is heading off to school for the first time. For many families, that anxiety quickly dispels, as your kid settles in with a new teacher, new or returning friends, and a routine that offers a mix of stability and challenge. For other families, however — families like ours — that settling in never happens. You have a child whose particular combination of gifts, challenges and personality simply don’t fit their school. If you’ve been struggling with school challenges for a while, as we have — perhaps some of these suggestions can help:
not put up with a situation that doesn’t work for him: if he’s bored or frustrated he brings the whole classroom to a grinding halt. That makes life difficult for his teachers, classmates and family, but it also ensures he gets his needs met. Advocate vociferously for your child. Ask for a support worker to come in and develop a plan to work with your kid, and insist that the teacher actually follow it. Meet with the teacher every week, and the principal once or twice a month.
Remember that school issues are harder for your kid than they are for you If you’re getting emergency calls from school that force you to leave work, or facing daily battles over getting to school in the first place, it can feel like the school struggle is your struggle. But if your kid is having such a tough time with school that it’s disrupting your work or family life, then your kid is probably having an even harder time than you are. Approach this with empathy, but believe me, that will be incredibly hard to remember at the moment that you are dragging a screaming 7-year-old to class so that you can make your urgent, 9am client meeting.
Recognise the differences between school and life One of the things we really struggled with was the sense that we had to make Peanut fit into school — instead of vice versa — because in the real world, you have to be able to follow the rules. But the truth of the matter is that school requires a lot more rule-following than life does. Kids who have a hard time in school aren’t necessarily going to have a hard time in life.
Be the squeaky wheel Part of what has made our guy so challenging is that he absolutely will
BY ALEXANDRA SAMUEL
2017/2018 primary and intermediate school term dates
Term 3, 2017 Monday 24 July to Friday 29 September
Term 3, 2017 Monday 24 July to Friday 29 September
Term 1, 2018 Between Monday 29 January and Wednesday 7 February to Friday 13 April
Term 2, 2017 Monday 1 May to Friday 7 July
Term 1, 2018 Between Monday 29 January and Wednesday 7 February to Friday 13 April
2017 - 2018 secondary and composite school term dates
Find other challenged parents When you’re parenting a challenging child, it can be incredibly painful to be part of the everyday conversations that parents have, comparing notes on their kids. So I sought out parents who were having atypical parenting experiences: friends with kids who had learning or behavioural issues, parents I met through home-school programmes, other mums I met on Facebook groups.
SCHOOL TERM DATES
Term 4, 2017 Monday 16 October to no later than Wednesday 20 December
Tell us on Facebook
Go with your gut on who to trust Schools, psychiatrists and other experts love to tell you that they know how to handle kids like yours. Maybe they do…and maybe they don’t. Over time, I’ve learned to trust my gut on who to work with, but I wish I’d spent less time working with people who never felt right to me, and just followed my instinct to find and work with the people who clicked.
Get assessed If your kid is having issues, get in line for an assessment as soon as possible, with the best person you can get in to see. If you’re relying on the public school system to provide that assessment, it may take some time before you get an appointment; if you have the means to pay for it, it may be worth having a private assessment sooner.
Term 2, 2017 Monday 1 May to Friday 7 July
Term 4, 2017 Monday 16 October to no later than Thursday 14 December
Remaining public holidays 2017 14 April 17 April 25 April 5 June 23 October 25 December 26 December
Easter Friday Easter Monday ANZAC Day Queen’s Birthday Labour Day Christmas Day Boxing Day
Counselling Free counselling
Relationship, parenting, child and family counselling available At the Kowhai Centre, our Bachelor of Social Services (Counselling) students are supported by lecturers and experienced counsellors to provide you with a free service which is professional, respectful and accessible.
www.op.ac.nz/ kowhai-centre 14 www.familytimes.co.nz
Home-based educators with PORSE provide a loving, family-orientated environment for your children, where fun, learning and exploration are encourage and nurtured. We offer low-ratio childcare, flexible hours and 20 hours ECE for 3-5 year olds. Work and Income subsidies may also apply.
Family challenges > Relationships Parenting > Grief and loss > Stress Self-esteem > Planning and goal setting Life changes Services on campus or weekly in East Otago. Phone 03 479 6198 (please leave a message) Email Kowhai.Centre@op.ac.nz
Why PORSE? Because little minds grow best at home
For more information, please call Fiona Jenks ph 021 779 9875.
0800 023 456