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October/November 2012 • FREE
Trickor treat Crafty Costumes Goolish Goodies
Car seat safety Is your child properly secured?
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The majority of kids spend an hour or less outside each day
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Why do some babies cry more than others?
By Dr. Danielle Grenier
Healthy babies cry. It’s the way they express their needs and communicate with the people around them. Most of the time you respond with what your baby needs: by offering food, helping your baby sleep, changing a diaper, or just cuddling. Crying is important for babies because they depend on other people to meet all of their needs. But there are times when even the most caring parent can’t soothe a baby’s cries. Remember, it is not your fault. When a baby cries long and hard (without a break) even though he’s been fed, changed, and cuddled, the baby is said to be “colicky.” For a long time, people thought that colic was a condition that some babies had and others didn’t. But new information suggests that what used to be called colic is actually a normal part of a baby’s development. All babies go through a period early in life when they cry more than at any other time. Each baby is different. During this peak period — which is usually some time between three and eight weeks — some babies may cry much more than others. Their crying may seem stronger, and it may be harder (sometimes impossible!) to soothe. There is good news, though. First, it’s normal and there is no lasting effect on your baby. Second, it won’t last forever. This period of strong, intense (and unexplained) crying can end as quickly as it started, or it may gradually decrease over time. Usually, it’s over by the time your baby is three to four months old.
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In the meantime, here are some ideas to help you get through what can be a stressful time. Some experts believe that babies who cry more than others have a more sensitive temperament (their individual nature) and have difficulty controlling their crying. They may have more trouble self-soothing and settling into their natural body rhythms when they are very young. Generally, it hasn’t been shown that there is anything wrong with the bowels of babies who cry long and hard. And there is not strong evidence that the crying is caused by gas, wind or food allergies. In fact, crying causes babies to swallow air, which they burp up or pass as wind. Because they strain and tighten their stomach muscles, this also forces air out of the rectum. Colic happens in both breastfed and bottle fed babies. Changing how you feed your baby (for example switching from breastfeeding to formula feeding, or from one kind of formula to another) probably won’t help your baby. If you think your baby may have an allergy to cows’ milk, speak to your doctor about your options. Each baby is unique, and what helps soothe one baby may not work for another. The challenge is finding what works for you and your baby. Here are some suggestions that might calm your baby or help prevent crying when your child is fussy: • Check to see if your baby needs something — a diaper change, a feeding, relief from being too hot or too cold, or attention for a fever. • Hold your baby. This will not spoil him. However, some babies do not like being passed from person to person. • Turn off the lights and keep surroundings quiet. Too much stimulation can often trigger crying or make it worse. • Soft music, white noise or a gentle shushing noise can soothe some babies. • Many babies are soothed by motion. Try walking with baby in a sling or wrap or in a stroller. Rock or sway with your baby in a gentle, rhythmic motion. Try going for a ride in the car. • Sucking sometimes helps babies to calm and relax. Encourage your baby to breastfeed or offer a pacifier. • Give your baby a warm bath.
Talk to your doctor before using over-the-counter or natural remedies for colic. Whatever you do, it should be gentle and soothing. Never shake your baby. If you are frustrated by the crying, despite your best efforts to help your baby, put her in a safe place (like her crib) and take a moment to calm yourself. Remember: There are times when nothing works even though you tried everything. This doesn’t mean you are a bad parent. Call your doctor to make an appointment if your baby: • isn’t behaving as usual and isn’t eating or sleeping; • has a fever, is vomiting or has diarrhea; • is crying after a fall or injury and could be hurt; • cries excessively for more than three months; or • if you’re afraid you might hurt your baby. The early days of taking care of a new baby can be hard. You’re probably not sleeping much and you’re trying to meet your baby’s needs around the clock. A baby’s constant crying can be stressful. The most important thing to know is that it is not your fault. It will get better. In the meantime, be sure to take care of yourself. Make arrangements for regular child care relief so you can get some rest. Find a friend, family member or someone else you trust who can look after your baby for short periods of time while you get a break. If people offer help, accept it. Remember: • Eating and sleeping well can make a big difference in how well you can cope. Try to get at least three hours of sleep in a row, twice a day. • Mothers need breaks. Take some time to exercise, read, or enjoy a visit with a friend at a local café. • Sometimes you may have negative thoughts. It’s okay, as long as you don’t act on them. If you feel depressed or angry, talk to someone you trust and get help. • There are many community resources that support parents, particularly new mothers. If you’re not sure where to go, talk to your paediatrician, family physician, or public health nurse. Dr. Danielle Grenier is a general paediatrician in the Ottawa area. She is Medical Affairs Director for the Canadian Paediatric Society. For more information on your child’s growth and development, get answers from Canada’s paediatric experts www.caringforkids.cps.ca or www.soinsdenosenfants.cps.ca. You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/caringforkids.cps.ca and on Twitter @CaringforKids.
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Child car seat safety — is your child properly secured?
Think A1 Secure for every car ride... Parents and caregivers are encouraged to follow three quick steps to increase the safety of their child passengers. By Alexandre Séguin, Project Officer, Ottawa Public Health
This year, OPH launched the A1 Secure campaign with the goal of encouraging parents and caregivers to visit a child car seat inspection clinic, as well as providing practical and easy-to-remember information on how to properly secure children in child car seats. The A1 Secure campaign also focuses on the three most common child car seat installation This year marks the 30th anniversary of child car and fitting mistakes made by parents and caregivers. To reach out to the public, Ottawa Public Health seat legislation in Ontario. Child car seats have come a long way in 30 years and remain the best means has partnered with all mother-baby units at local of protection for child passengers. In fact, when hospitals in Ottawa to distribute information materichildren are properly fitted in a child car seat, the als to new parents. As part of the campaign, over risk of death or serious injury is reduced by nearly 150 nurses from the Queensway Carleton Hospital, Montfort Hospital and the Ottawa Hospital have 75 per cent. Every year, staff from Ottawa Public Health been trained to provide campaign messages to new parents. (OPH) and Ottawa Police Service Also, a new website, www. conduct roadside vehicle checks Roadside checks reveal a1secure.ca, throughout the city. Police officers was created and check to make sure all occupants that at least two out includes multi-lingual resources are wearing seatbelts and that as installation pamphlets of three children were such child car seats are suitable and and videos along with safety properly installed. It is the law for not properly secured tips available in English, French, drivers to ensure that passengers Spanish, Punjabi, Arabic, in vehicles. under the age of 16 are properly Somali and Simplified Chinese. secured in a child car seat, in a OPH has also promoted This is concerning booster seat or with a seatbelt. and partnered with S.E.A.T.S. as car crashes are the for Kids Canada, a local organOttawa Public Health nurses provide information about the ization which offers free child number one cause proper use of child restraints, car seat inspection clinics. how to install child car seats and of death for children This partnership has successrestraints correctly, and where to fully increased the visibility of in Canada. go to have them inspected. S.E.A.T.S. for Kids Canada in the Roadside checks are part of community. Many of the organthe initiatives by Safer Roads Ottawa (SRO) — a ization’s resources were translated for French speakleading community partnership between Ottawa ers, and a larger pool of volunteers was recruited. Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa These accomplishments have allowed S.E.A.T.S. for Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Kids Canada to double the amount of monthly child Works Department. Along with other commun- car seat inspection clinics offered. ity partners, SRO is committed to preventing road Ottawa Public Health encourages parents and deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City caregivers to follow the three quick steps pictured of Ottawa, through community engagement, and here to increase the safety of their child passengers. the development of a sustainable safe transportation Think A1 Secure for every car ride... environment. Unfortunately, in 2011, roadside checks revealed For more information on child passenger safety that at least two out of three children were not prop- and child car seat installation videos, visit www. erly secured in vehicles. This is concerning because a1secure.ca. car crashes are the number one cause of death for To find out where to go to have your child’s car seat children in Canada and one of the leading causes of inspected, visit www.seatsforkidscanada.com or call injury in Ottawa. Ottawa Public Health Information at 613-580-6744.
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PUBLISHER MARK SUTCLIFFE firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR JAYNE ROONEY 613-238-1818 email@example.com CONTRIBUTORS THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL OF EASTERN ONTARIO THE CANADIAN PAEDIATRIC SOCIETY CITY OF OTTAWA PREGNANCY & CHILD HEALTH PROGRAM THE ADLERIAN COUNSELLING & CONSULTING GROUP THE PARENT RESOURCE CENTRE KATHARINE FLETCHER KATE ALEY COPY EDITOR TERRY SHEEHAN GRAPHIC DESIGN and PRODUCTION COVER PHOTO BILLIE MACDONALD ADVERTISING SHIRLEY LANDLES 613-238-1818 Ext. 252 firstname.lastname@example.org V.P. SALES TERRY TYO 613-238-1818 Ext. 268 email@example.com CAPITAL PARENT IS PUBLISHED BY CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER MARK SUTCLIFFE PRESIDENT MICHAEL CURRAN CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER DONNA NEIL OFFICE LOCATION: 250 CITY CENTRE DRIVE SUITE 500, OTTAWA MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. BOX 3814, STATION C OTTAWA, ON K1Y 4J8 4 October/November 2012
Parenting as a team
By Kathryn Zettel, The Adlerian Team
No matter how well we prepare to have children, the amount of time, effort, patience, and pure grit it takes to get through the day is always surprising. We can feel overwhelmed and question how we will manage all the tasks and responsibilities of parenting 24/7. Couples who have learned to work as a team experience more satisfaction than those who choose to parent in independent silos. We become a team when we focus on our common values, share views on child-rearing practices and hold each other mutually accountable for attaining agreed upon goals and practices. When we work as teammates, our workload is less daunting, uncertainties are less worrisome, successes are more meaningful, and the journey is more enjoyable. Research from parenting experts Rick and Jan Hanson and others has been drawn upon to develop the following practical ideas on how to grow as a parenting team. 1. Accept that things are changing As a team, we need to accept that things have changed – the twosome is now a threesome. Skilfully moving through this change with our partner requires us to be aware of three phases: letting go of the past, living in transition, and embracing a new family life. 2. Let go of the past All too often we cause ourselves grief because we haven’t let go of the past. We long for the time we used to spend socializing with friends, relaxing with a good book or enjoying quality time with our partner. Often what we cherish comes clear to us only once it is gone. So it is important to share with our partner our feelings about the past, what we valued and how we will work together to make time to create opportunities to do what matters. 3. Live in transition The second phase of change is like living in a state of limbo. We are letting go of our past lifestyle, however haven’t yet grasped our new way of life. We are no longer just partners; we are suddenly parents but not yet aware of how our roles will play out. We find ourselves struggling to learn new things and to finish the simplest of tasks while managing constant interruptions. When in transition, we may develop feelings of isolation and self-doubt and we would benefit by sharing them with our partner. Consequently, we need to reassure each other that we are not alone, we believe in each other, and we can make sense out of the chaos … one moment at a time. 4. Embrace our new family life In the third phase of change we are no longer imagining but beginning to experience our life as a family. We feel more comfortable in our roles as parents and we feel confident as a couple that we can handle whatever new challenges come our way. In this phase it is beneficial for us to share with our teammate the hopes, dreams and possibilities that we want to make happen. Going
forward, we can expect that continuous change is going to be the reality of our new lives and therefore it is helpful to learn to manage it.
Teammates are always mindful of their partner’s well being and willing to lessen their load when necessary.
5. Align values Our values drive what we think and what we do, although we are not always conscious of them. When we have children our values are sometimes triggered and consequently come to the surface of our consciousness. As our values become clearer, we may find they affirm or clash with those from our childhood families. Teammates share common goals, understand and respect each other’s values and rely on each other to stay accountable to them.
8. Offer supportive messages There are times when we don’t have the time or energy to communicate with care to our partner. In those moments we may be able to send messages of support by offering a warm smile, a gentle touch, or an appreciative glance. As teammates, it is important not to underestimate the impact of these simple yet powerful gestures in strengthening our bonds with each other. When we parent as a team we not only lessen the load, but also can remind each other to celebrate the many gifts we receive from our children and the benefits that come from parenting. “A successful team beats with one heart” (anonymous).
6. Build trust Trust is essential for a parenting team to be successful. In a trusting relationship partners are able to share their fears and weaknesses as well as strengths and aspirations … without fear of judgment or rejection. By telling a truth about ourselves such as “I made a mistake,” “I need help” or “I am sorry,” we demonstrate to our partner our willingness to be open and vulnerable. Trust begets trust. Sharing our truth invites our partner to share. We can help create a climate of trust in the relationship by believing our partners will follow through on their commitments and letting ourselves be influenced by their opinions and different ways of being a parent.
References: • Articles by Rick and Jan Hanson at www.nurturemom.com • How to be Good Partners in Parenting, Giving Emotional Support, The Real Gift of Parenting, Sharing the Load • Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn • Positive Discipline for Teens by Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott
7. Share the work Dividing the workload requires both partners to take responsibility for parenting decisions and tasks. In their article Sharing the Load, Rick and Jan Hanson suggest that discussions on sharing of responsibilities are more successful when we have the facts on how much time each partner spends on carrying out his or her tasks. It can also be helpful to ask ourselves if our actions are reflecting our values and whether we are looking after the best interests of our children and our partner?
Kathryn Zettel is an associate with the Adlerian Counselling and Consulting Group. She provides individual and couple counselling. She is also available for presentations, workshops and training on relationships, mindfulness, communications and conflict resolution. Please write to us at The Adlerian Centre at 1729 Bank Street, Suite 205, Ottawa K1V 7Z5, call 7375553 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your reactions or ideas for this column. www.adleriancentre.com
This year’s Halloween costume is in the bag!
By Kate Aley Parents! This year break free of the tyranny of supermarket off-the-rack, over-commercialised, trademarked run-of-themill Halloween costumes! You can make almost any costume you want in an evening of creative family magic, using household items, dollar store paint and one of those giant yard-waste paper bags from the hardware store. Have you ever noticed just how nicely they stand up? The paper is so curiously stiff and crinkly? Haven’t you ever wanted to put one on? Here’s your chance! Open up the bag, smooth it out flat, then get your child to lie down on it to get a general idea of the layout. Mark the approximate length for his or her legs with a pencil, as well as any other useful notations.
Cut a generous hole at the top of the bag and two ovals in the sides for the arms to stick out comfortably. Now you have a basic frame that can be decorated in a million ways. Pumpkin, monster, robot, baseball, chocolate bar ... there certainly won’t be anyone else out there that will look like this! Alternatively, cut a hole for the face in the front of the bag so the top sticks up comically. If you want to exaggerate this ‘head’ bit, cut the hole quite low and stuff the inside of the top with lightly scrunched up paper, holding it in place with a ‘net’ of masking tape. Hello Quasimodo! Perhaps cut a head hole in the top and then slice the front of the bag open to be worn like a giant coat, the tails trailing behind dramatically. Cut up another bag to make oversized sleeves if you are feeling adventurous. Hats, handbags, taped on paper boots. Better get more tape! Hot glue or spray adhesive will help you attach a swath of fabric or wrapping paper for a very easy cover job. Spray cans of metallic colour or “stone look” paint are fast and easy. Better do this outside! How about painting the bag hot pink and then wrapping the entire thing in Saran wrap for that ‘giant candy’ look? Or covering the whole bag in aluminium foil and being a satellite? Or a star! Jiffy Pop! Bubble wrap, duct tape, maple leaves, birch bark, torn up newspaper strips ... the possibilities are limitless. Go for it. Hopefully there’ll be room for a warm coat under the bag, as we know how the weather can get chilly. At all times, consider mobility and vision for your child. Have a tryon session and review the length. Maybe you’ll need to split the
Swamp Creature Toes
½ cup (125 mL) whole skinless salted almonds Green liquid food colouring 1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips 2 cups (500 mL) 1 (6 oz) bag 8-inch pretzel rods (about 12) 1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Blend the almonds with about 10 drops of colouring in a small stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowl (plastic might stain). Stir well until the nuts are coated. Spread the green almonds on a plate to dry. 2. Put the chocolate chips in a microwavesafe bowl and melt the chocolate in the microwave: Heat on high for 60 seconds, and then stir well. If not quite smooth, heat in two or three 10-second bursts, stirring well after each burst. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate, stirring frequently, in a double boiler, over just simmering water. Avoid overheating, which will cause the chocolate to seize up into a stiff mass.) 3. Break each pretzel rod into 3 pieces. Dip a broken piece about three-quarters of the way into the melted chocolate, leaving a broken end visible. (If it’s an end piece of the pretzel, dip the finished end, leaving the broken end showing.)
sides up higher so walking is easier. Fold or pleat the paper back with little strips of tape if the face is getting engulfed. At the end of the event, consider pulling off the decorations and covering up the holes you made with a spot of masking tape in order to fill your paper bag with garden refuse as originally intended. Unless the kids want to wear it again the next day … which is quite possible.
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4. Lay the dipped pretzels on a prepared baking sheet and lay a green almond on the top of the dipped end. If the almond won’t stick, dip the underside in a bit more chocolate. When the toes are decorated, place the baking sheets in the refrigerator or freezer to firm the chocolate. Serve cool. (Makes about 36 toes) Recipe from Goulish Goodies by Sharon Bowers (sc $17.95 ISBN: 978-1-60342-146-1, Stoney Publishing). October/November 2012 5
Take a hike: Getting back to nature By Jayne Rooney
How much time do your children spend outside each day? A recent survey conducted for The David Suzuki Foundation asked kids aged 13 to 20 to talk about their outdoor experiences. The results that were released in late September may surprise many parents: Seventy per cent of the youth who participated reported spending an hour or less outdoors each day. Over a six-week period, young people from across Canada were asked to share their views in four areas: Why they may or may not get involved in outdoor activities, the types of outdoor programming they enjoy, the types of programs that they feel would foster a long-term connection with the outdoors, and which environmental issues they are interested in. The key findings of the report indicated that nearly half of the youth surveyed feel that they don’t have enough time to join programs that get them out into nature. School, jobs and chores make it difficult for them to participate in outdoor programs. “Our survey shows that as a society we don’t put a priority on spending time outside,” says Leanne Clare from the David Suzuki Foundation. “If parents and the school system are putting a greater emphasis on indoor tasks and activities, this will translate into how young people spend their time and where.” Adding to the problem, the amount of time young people spend with some form of entertainment media has risen dramatically, creating a huge gap between the amount of screen time young people are getting with the amount of time spent outside. A survey conducted by the American Kaiser Family Foundation found that youth spend an average of seven-and-a-half hours a day on some form of entertainment media. Of the young people who participated in this survey, only about three in ten said they have rules about how much time they can spend watching TV or playing video games and 36 per cent said the same about using the computer. But when parents do set limits, children spend less time with media – those with any media rules consume nearly three hours less media per day than those with no rules.
When they are outside, youth spend much of their time in and around their own neighbourhoods with their friends. According to the Suzuki Foundation survey, this finding supports the importance of creating and maintaining natural areas in our urban environments. The 16 and older crowd were more likely to spend time outdoors on their own … most likely due to the fact that most parents tend to relax restrictions on their children’s movements as they get older. Those under the age of 16 felt that outdoor activities with their family helped them to connect with nature best … reinforcing the important role parents and families play in getting younger teens to spend time outside. The good news is that over half of the youth surveyed admitted that they usually do some sort of unstructured outdoor activity that allows them to observe wildlife, hike or enjoy simple pleasures like catching bugs. And parents are encouraged to foster their children’s natural curiosity about the world around them. “Getting outside as a family can help create a nature habit,” says Clare. “We found that if youth spend time outside when they’re young, they’re 20 per cent more likely to take part in outdoor programs or to explore nature on their own when they’re older.” The findings also showed differences based on age, gender and locale. Kids who live in the city and urban areas want to spend more time outside and to be physically active, but showed less interest in learning about wildlife and ecosystems. The rural, farm and small town youth on the other hand are interested in learning more about the environment as well as new skills and ways to improve existing skills. Boys and girls? Yes, there were differences among the sexes as well. Boys showed a desire to learn skills such as hunting, fishing and swimming. They also had more interest in learning about alternative energy. The girls want to become involved in the environmental movement and learn how to protect plants and animals. Age also proved to be a factor. The 13- to 15-year-olds are more interested in joining school and after-school programs, as well as going to summer camps. These kids are looking for fun, adventure and excitement, as well as an opportunity to learn new skills.
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The motivation is different for the older crowd. They’re looking for programs offered by community organizations as well as mentorship opportunities. This group wants to learn leadership skills and how to take action for the environment. They also seem keener on spending time outside and being physically active than their younger counterparts. So let’s get our kids – and ourselves – outside. For full Youth Engagement with Nature and The Outdoors survey results visit www.davidsuzuki.org
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Starry, starry nights
By Katharine Fletcher Exploring the heavens is as easy as bundling up in warm clothes, then walking outside – and looking up. On a clear night you might observe the twinkling pathway of stars snaking through the heavens, which is home galaxy, the Milky Way. You might spy craters on the moon which, although being visible to the naked eye, are magnificent wonders if you’re using a set of binoculars or, better still, a telescope. And, while gazing at the moon, you and your kids can imagine being an astronaut, walking on the lunar surface! So, where to go in or close to Ottawa to view the night sky where artificial light doesn’t obscure our night vision? Are there special family-oriented activities celebrating and explaining astronomy here in Ottawa? And, what can we see in mid-October through November?
you can attend family astronomy workshops and night-sky viewing. Best places to see the night sky at The Farm? Try the Arboretum and the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, east of Prince of Wales Drive. Both locations have less ambient light than the more built-up complex of buildings immediately south of Carling Avenue.
Contact: Arboretum: www.friendsofthefarm.ca/ location.htm; Fletcher Wildlife Garden: www.ofnc. ca/fletcher/location.php Vincent Massey Park/Hog’s Back Park/ Mooney’s Bay Park: These three downtown parks form a triple-play of opportunities for night-sky watching, where you can find some protection from bright city lights. They are interconnected,
so in theory you could walk from the north end of Vincent Massey, through Hog’s Back, to Mooney’s Bay. Why not take several evening excursions here in the heart of the city and discover your family’s favourite location? Contact: www.canadascapital.gc.ca/placesto-visit/parks-paths/hog’s-back-park
Continued on page 11
Central Experimental Farm: “The Farm” is a fantastic place to go to observe the night sky because it’s here where you can see the Dominion Observatory, with its massive copper dome constructed in 1903-04. Tip: the telescope once housed here is now located, and still used, at the Canada Science and Technology Museum, where
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First term check-up
By Edmond J. Dixon Schools everywhere will soon be in “report card season,” when you find out formally how your child has been doing in school. This can be a stressful time at home. Despite the efforts in many schools to avoid having parents just tally up marks as a scorecard (“Jimmy’s doing great he got five A’s!”), busy parents often default to that. If the tally is not good, parents often feel inadequate and may think they’re being judged in some way, since success in school is still a marker of social standing in our For more than 50 years, Kumon has provided children with more than society. a quick academic fix - we’ve provided a methodology for learning that Ironically, my experience is that teachers often feel the same way! The transforms lives. Let Kumon help your child gain a mastery of reading weeks before reporting time are often miserable ones for teachers as they and math and the motivation to learn for a lifetime. try to express what they understand about your child’s learning, within the limited structure of the report card, because despite all of our educational This ad is brought to you by the following Kumon Centres: advancement, we still do not have foolproof or highly accurate tools for Alta Vista 613-852-4573 assessing how children learn. Human beings are complex and our traditional Carlingwood 613-852-4573 testing methods may tell us very little about what a child knows – and even less about his or her potential in the future. Yet, finding and fostering that potential is what school should be about! Stittsville 613-831-2577 Brain research has some things to offer that might help at report card time. The most important St-Laurent 613-440-2480 one is that engagement is necessary for learning to take place, and this applies to everyone involved – Phone 1-800-222-6284 for a location near you. parents, teachers and students! Secondly, effective learning takes place through neural connections in the engaged learner – your child. Finally, emotional connections foster neural connections and thus higher achievement. What this means for you and your child as you look at the report card can be summed up in a few practical points: Remember, it’s not a scorecard, it’s a snapshot – and a prescription: You are getting your teacher’s best estimate of how well your child has been learning for a very narrow period of time. In the same way, a picture can tell a lot, but it can’t predict what will happen next. But it can be used as a way to highlight the strengths and weaknesses the teacher sees in your child’s learning and can help to make a plan to build on the strengths and minimize the weaknesses. Used this way, the report Academic Enrichment card is truly serving a useful purpose for your child. Pre-K – 12th Grade If you don’t understand, ask: Parents – especially those who may have struggled in school themselves – may feel like they’re eight years old and in the Principal’s office when they don’t 800.ABC.MATH | www.kumon.ca understand what the report card marks and comments mean. In my 30 years in education, I have found that the way academic achievement and teachers’ comments are presented can range from crystalline clarity to outrageously unreadable! It is the school’s responsibility to make your child’s academic progress understandable to you, so asking for clarification when you don’t understand is crucial. Remember, brain research supports the belief that asking questions is a sign of intelligence and higher order thinking! Talk to your teacher in person – along with your child: Go to the parent interviews but don’t leave your child at home. While there may be some aspects of your child that you may need to discuss privately with your teacher, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have your children – even at the youngest age – engaged in the process of understanding and taking ownership of their learning. We live in an era where they already take tremendous initiative of what they learn in their use of the internet and interactive technologies at home. To avoid that at school is foolish. How it’s done is also important. It should not be an interrogation about their poor performance, but a chance for students to think about their learning and how their teachers and parents can help them do it better. Pick three and build on strengths: After looking at the report card and dialoguing with the teacher, have your children pick three things they would like to focus on next term. It’s best to identify what strengths they are showing in an area (“I am good at answering the questions in class”) and see how they can build on them to improve their classroom performance. (“I can now work on being just as good at writing answers to those questions on my assignments.”) Then they develop a Preschool, Kindergarten, Elementary Grades plan of action that helps them get there. Whatever the plan of action is, it is most powerful for brain learning if students personally identify what Before & after school supervision To register or arrange a school three things they will focus on and how their teachers and parents can Extended French program tour, please call or email help. Independent, non-profit co-ed school This fosters the all-important skills of initiative, responsibility and organization – qualities that research indicates the most successful people have Extracurricular programs including: skating, gymnastics, in abundance, no matter what their report card was like in grade 5! It helps dance, science, jiu jitsu & violin to remember that we’re in this for the long haul and a report card is just one firstname.lastname@example.org Low student-to-teacher ratio snapshot in the album of life-long learning. www.fernhillottawa.com Advanced preschool literacy program Edmond J. Dixon Ph.D, is an educator with 30 years’ experience as a Diverse international student community teacher, principal, university researcher – and parent! He is director of 50 Vaughan Street, Flexible full & half day programs the KEEN Learning Institute, an organization dedicated to helping every Ottawa, ON K1M 1X1 Enriched curriculum: Music, Art, IT, French, Spanish child succeed in school. Questions/comments can be forwarded to him at email@example.com
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CPparenteducation For Parents Jumpin’ Jitter Bugs: Each class is 45 minutes long that includes high intensity movement, parachutes games, streamer fun, pretend play, ball play, and much more. Children aged 18 months to three years. Mondays, Oct. 22 to Nov. 5, 10:30-11:15 am, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC), 1365 Richmond Road. Contact: Michelle Crogie 613-820-4922 x 3323 Happy Reading, Happy Kids: Join us for this engaging workshop in which adults have the opportunity to make homemade books. Mon., Oct. 22, 2-3:30 pm, Mothercraft Ottawa, 475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0 1-2-3 Magic: Easy to follow steps for disciplining children aged two to 12. Thurs., Oct. 25, 6:30-9 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way, Nepean. Fee: $20 for book, subsidy available. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819 From Baby Food to Table Food: Learn strategies to successfully transition children from baby food to table food. Talk with our dietitian! For parents of babies aged 10-18 months. Tues., Oct. 30, 1:30-3:30 pm, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC), 1365 Richmond Road. Contact: Registration 613-820-4922 x 3640 Getting Ready for Kindergarten: Sat., Nov. 3, 10 am-12 pm, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC), 1365 Richmond Road. Contact: Registration 613-820-4922 x 3640 Healthy Eating for Toddlers and Preschoolers: For parents of children aged 18 months to four years. Mon., Nov. 5, 1-3 pm, Katimavik Preschool Resource Centre, 180 Katimavik Road (entrance on McGibbon). Info: www.ottawakids.ca/katimavik Contact: Judy 613-591-6030 Raising a Spirited Child: This workshop will look at strategies on coping with the spirited child. Tuesdays, Nov. 6 to 27, 7-9 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819 Good Discipline, Better Behaviour: What to do when children’s unacceptable behaviour causes a problem for parents? Thurs., Nov. 8, 6:30-8:30 pm, Mothercraft Ottawa, 475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0
Active Parent Now – The Middle Years: For parents with children aged six to 12 years, Tuesdays, Nov. 20 to Dec. 4, 6:30-8:30 pm, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC), 1365 Richmond Road. Contact: Registration 613-820-4922 x 3640 Parenting with Confidence: For parents who are involved with the Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa with children between the ages of six to 12. Wednesdays, Nov. 21 to Jan. 30 (Dec. 26 excluded), 6:30-8:30 pm, Family Services Ottawa, 312 Parkdale Avenue. Info: www.familyservicesottawa.org Contact: Intake 613-725-3601 x 207 Caring for a Sick Baby: Ideal for parents of children aged less than two years. Wed., Nov. 21, Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre (PQCHC), 1365 Richmond Road Contact: Registration 613-820-4922 x 3640 Boys and Learning: Boys learn differently from girls. This workshop is perfect for both men and women. Thurs., Nov. 22, 6:30-8:00 pm, Mothercraft Ottawa, 475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0 Parenting your Anxious Child: Mondays, Nov. 26 to Dec. 10, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, Family Services Ottawa, 312 Parkdale Avenue. Fee: $75. Info: www.familyservicesottawa.org Contact: Intake 613-725-3601 x 207
For Parents/Caregivers (children aged birth to 6) Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre Playgroup: For families with children (birth to six years) who are referred to and/or are receiving service from Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (OCTC), or who may have language, and/or motor, and/or social delay in their development. Group is offered in both French and English. Mondays until Dec 17, 9-11 am, 270 Marier Ave. Info: www.cscvanier.com/en/family Contact: 613-742-4400 x 1432 Parachutes, Bubbles and Fun, Oh My! Please join us for a fun interactive and informative workshop. You will learn a variety of different songs and parachute and bubble games which can improve children’s language development, fine motor skills and gross motor skills. Thurs., Oct. 18, 6:30-8:30 pm, CCPRN, 30 Colonnade Rd., Unit 275. Info: www.ccprn.com Contact: Doreen Cowin 613-749-5211 x 23
Talk To Your Child In Your First Language: First language use and bilingualism is discussed in this workshop. For children birth to five years; and information on how to access free First Words services. Thurs., Nov. 8, 6:30-8:00 pm, Mothercraft Ottawa, 475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839
Potty Training: A City of Ottawa Public Health Nurse will provide information on potty training your child. A healthy snack and limited free child care will be provided. Must pre-register and indicate if child care is needed. Mon., Oct. 22, 12:45-2:15 pm, Carlington Community Health Centre, 900 Merivale Road (2 blocks south of Carling Ave.). Contact: Kathy to Register: 613-722-4000 x 423
On Middle Ground … parenting 6-12 year olds: Tuesdays, Nov. 13 to Dec. 18, 6:30-8:30 pm, Family Services Ottawa, 312 Parkdale Avenue. Fee: $150, subsidies available. Info: www.familyservicesottawa.org Contact: Intake 613-725-3601 x 207
Nutrition: Prevention of Childhood Obesity: Carlington Community Health Centre Registered Dietician will address prevention of childhood obesity in children 0-six. A healthy snack and limited free child care will be provided. Must pre-register and indicate if child care is
needed. Fri., Nov. 9, 12:45-2:15 pm, Carlington Community Health Centre, 900 Merivale Road (2 blocks south of Carling Ave.). Contact: 613-722-4000 x 423
way communication and helping your baby learn. Tuesdays, Oct. 23 to Dec. 11, 1:30-3:30 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Fee: $5 for supplies. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819
Healthy Eating For Young Children: Come and join a community dietician in discussing ways to help your child to develop a healthy relationship with food. Wed., Nov. 21, 6:30-8:30 pm, OEYC Ottawa South, 2330 Don Reid Drive. Info: www.afchildcare.on.ca Contact: 613-737-6369
Prenatal Breastfeeding: Wed., Oct 24, 6-8:30 pm, PQCHC, 1365 Richmond Road. Info: www.pqchc.com Registration: 613-820-4922 x 3640
Talking Kids: This workshop is useful for families who have specific concerns about their child’s language development. Childcare can be provided if needed, please inquire when registering. Wed., Nov. 28, 6-8 pm, OEYC Ottawa South, 2330 Don Reid Drive. Info: www.afchildcare.on.ca Contact: 613-737-6369
For Parents/Caregivers and their Children Parent and Baby (0-12 months) Playgroup: Join us for an infant only playgroup. Thursdays, 1:30-3:00 pm, Parent Resource Centre, 300 Goulburn Private. Info: www.parentresource.ca Contact: Susan 613-565-2467 x 222 Infant Massage: Fridays, Oct. 12 to Nov 2, 1:302:30 pm, OEYC Carleton, 2 MacNeil Court. Info: www.wocrc.ca Contact: 613-591-3686 x 545 Infant Massage: Saturdays, Nov. 3 to 17, 10-11am, Mothercraft Ottawa, 475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0 YOGA: Our multimedia yoga class provides a fun and uplifting space for parents and children to enjoy a new and relaxing activity together. For children aged two to six years. Mon., Nov. 19, 2-3 pm, Mothercraft Ottawa, 475 Evered Avenue. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0 Zumba With Kids: This workshop is for moms, dads and children aged two to six years. Wed., Nov 21, 2:15 to 3:15 pm, Mothercraft Ottawa, 475 Evered Ave. Info: www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0
Prenatal and Postnatal Making Your Home Safe for Baby (Me and My Baby aged up to 12 months): Find out how to make your home safer for your baby. Mon., Oct. 22, 2-4 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819 Make the Connection (Me and My Baby aged up to 8 months): Learn skills to establish loving relationships, foster two
Infant CPR (Me and My Baby aged to 12 months): Mon., Oct. 29, 2-4 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819 Power of Play & Toys for Baby (Me and My Baby aged to 12 months): What to expect through the stages of development. Mon., Nov. 5, 2-4 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819 Health Care for Baby and Mom (Me and My Baby aged to 12 months): Mon., Nov. 12, 2-4 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819 Yoga for Mom and Baby (Me and My Baby aged six weeks to creeping stage): Mon., Nov. 19, 2-4 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819 Comfort Measures Refresher: Come join an experienced Doula as you go over all the tips, tools and strategies to provide comfort and support during your labour. Thurs., Nov. 22, 6:30 to 8:30 pm, Mothercraft Ottawa, 475 Evered Avenue. www.mothercraft.com Contact: Cathy Cadieux 613-728-1839 x 0 Baby Talk (Me and My Baby aged to 12 months): Learn about speech and language milestones. Mon., Nov. 26, 2-4 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819 Prenatal Breastfeeding: Wed., Nov. 28, 6-8:30 pm, PQCHC, 1365 Richmond Road. Info: www.pqchc.com Contact: Michelle Crogie 613-820-4922 x 640
Parent/caregiver training Home Child Care Training Level 1 Unit 6&7 Food Safety & Nutrition & Health Eating Habits: Thurs., Nov. 22, 7-9 pm, 75 Hemmingwood Way. Contact: Gudrun 613-225-4819
20 Harrison Street
Wednesday, October 24 Wednesday, November 7th Wednesday, November 21st th
Nepean, Ontario Accepting Registrations for 2012/2013
For information call (613) 828-5612 or visit www.carletonmontessori.com October/November 2012 9
Bullying: How to break the cycle When seven-year-old Jasper changed schools he wasn’t feeling very confident because he didn’t know anyone at the new school. Although he was a happy, well-rounded child, a bully at school quickly targeted him – just for being new and often alone. After a few episodes, Jasper started complaining of stomach aches every Monday morning and saying that he hated his new school. Jasper’s parents contacted the school, which was unaware of any issues with their son. Nothing was done and Jasper’s self-esteem began to crumble and his schoolwork began to suffer. What could his parents have done differently? What could the school officials have done? How can we, as parents and as a society, help children get out of the vicious cycle that bullying creates? There are parents who consider bullying among kids to be a normal part of growing up, but Dr. Neil Gottheil, a psychologist at the Children’s Hospital for Eastern Ontario (CHEO) says that it’s not only a real issue, but it can actually be quite harmful. “This is a dangerous use of the word ‘normal’. Bullies will survey the school ground (or baseball diamond or school bus) for easy targets. They are looking for someone who will provide them with the pain cues, or reaction, that will help them feel dominant and powerful.” In other words, bullying involves a person or a group repeatedly harming someone for their own satisfaction and entertainment. Children who have few friends, are sensitive, anxious,
and provide a strong reaction to being picked on, are at greater risk of being targeted. The acts of bullying may take various forms, including hitting, name calling or taunting; it can also involve spreading rumours or making others reject someone. The bully’s target does not fit a single profile — they may be physically weaker than their classmates, they may appear more anxious or insecure, they may already suffer from low selfesteem or, as in Jasper’s case, they may simply be the new kid at school. Bullies thrive on showing their aggression. They often need witnesses … a crowd to display their power. According to Dr. Gottheil, one solution is to involve the bystanders. “One of the bigger disappointments for children being bullied is that there is an audience of peers watching it happen and being entertained by it,” he adds. “But if the other children band together and show that bullying is not an acceptable behaviour, then they remove the bully’s search for respect and approval through aggression.” Dr. Gottheil says that the best thing parents can do is create an environment that lets their child know that it’s always safe to talk to them. Parents should let their child know that they will not simply jump in and immediately call the school principal, as this can actually make things worse. If the bully gets called into the principal’s office and accused of something specific, he will know who spilled the beans and may look to retaliate against his victim. On the other hand, planning the approach to take with your child and then with the school is more likely to lead to positive outcomes.
Spooky ways to learn while having fun!
Halloween isn’t just about dressing up and trick-or-treating – it’s also a great opportunity to learn. ABC Life Literacy Canada offers 10 tips, tricks and treats for the whole family to enjoy this Halloween – all in the name of learning! Tell ghost stories. Make up your own stories or read a classic scary book together, like a mystery by Nancy Drew or The Hardy Boys. Reading with a child is one of the most valuable learning experiences. Bake a pumpkin pie. Teaching children how to follow a recipe is a great way to improve both reading and math skills. Let them read the instructions out loud to help measure the ingredients while making a treat for the family. Research the history of Halloween and share spooky statistics! Carve a pumpkin. Let the kids trace a design in marker on the side of a pumpkin (make sure they get creative!) Then let them watch while you make the spooky carving come to life. Make your own Halloween costumes. Use material from around the house to dress up in something spooky. Create a list of things you’ll need and then have a scavenger hunt to find them all. Fill your house with Halloween decorations. Check out these do-it-yourself ideas: tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/halloween-decorations.htm 10 October/November 2012
Sing Halloween songs together. Five Little Pumpkins and Jack-O-Lantern are always favourites. Check out this website for tunes and lyrics: www.spookyfun.com Map out your trick-or-treating route before you go. Highlight your route on a map and show kids where your home is located. Organize Halloween candy in different ways. Sort candy by shape, size, name, or even candy type, and then trade. This activity helps to reinforce basic math along with association and matching skills (and also slows down the sugar rush). Watch a scary (and kid-friendly) Halloween flick to end the night. Monsters Inc., Casper the Friendly Ghost and It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown are all family favourites. Literacy benefits the entire family – practising together for just 15 minutes a day has tremendous benefits for both children and parents. Whether you’re reading the newspaper or baking a cake, learning can happen at any time. Have 15 Minutes of Fun together this Family Literacy Day®, taking place on January 27, 2013. For more information, visit www.FamilyLiteracy Day.ca.
Parents must also reassure their children by telling them that they are not at fault and that they are not alone in this any more. Then parents must involve their child in the solution. “Tell your child that you’ll help him or her figure this out and try to find out as much information as you can, such as the bully’s name, when and where this happens, and how your child reacts. By being informed, you can then try and strategically involve the school,” says Dr. Gottheil. Let your child’s teacher and school principal know who is bullying your child and provide them with all the details. “The objective is to try to catch the bully in the act, so an informed teacher may simply happen to walk by at a certain time when she knows the attacks take place and can witness the bullying. Then your child isn’t the tattletale and the bully will have to deal with the consequences of his or her actions,” adds Dr. Gottheil. Since each bullying scenario is unique, a school must create a culture which strongly states that bullying is not tolerated. It will be important to encourage anyone witnessing an act of bullying to report it to a teacher, suggests Dr. Gottheil. “It is only by shining the light on this issue that we will really help the targets of bullying. For bullies, finding ways to redirect their need for power and control towards more socially acceptable forms is also a major part of the solution.” Jasper eventually talked to his parents and they were able, along with school officials and the help of a professional, to provide him with the tools to get out of the cycle of bullying. He now
feels more confident and has recently started to make new friends. To learn more about bullying, how you can help your child and when to seek professional help, visit www.cheo.on.ca and submit your questions to our mental health experts at www.cheo.on.ca/en/ glad-you-asked
Busy parents, organized kids: How much homework help should you give?
How involved should parents be in their children’s homework? A survey conducted by Ipsos-Reid found that 51 percent of Canadian parents spend fewer than 10 minutes a day helping their children with homework. If you are a parent in this situation, don’t let guilt overcome you. It’s important to consider that it’s not necessarily the amount of time, but the quality of time spent helping your children with assignments. Making yourself available for homework help on a regular basis rather than intermittently is essential. Kumon Math and Reading Centres offer these tips on how parents can help provide homework support: • Set up a homework routine with a regular time in a distraction-free environment. • Make sure your child has all of the tools and resources at hand to complete his or her homework, such as pens, pencils, paper, ruler, scissors, and a dictionary. • Once your child is organized and ready to begin, start coaching. Rather than telling your child what to do, guide him or her through the task with questions such as “Can you explain
what you do know how to do?” and “Where are you having trouble?” • If your child is having trouble getting started, try answering the first question, filling in the first blank or reading the first paragraph together. Ask if he or she can complete the second problem alone and reassure your child that you’ll be available to help if there are any further stumbling blocks. Remember, the amount of time a parent spends giving homework support depends on the individual child. Ten minutes definitely isn’t enough time for a child who’s not organized, is struggling at school, has poor study habits, doesn’t understand the assignment or can’t figure out how to get started. But it may be enough time for a child who is organized, understands the concept of the homework or has just one or two questions. For more educational tips and hints to help your child make the most of their learning experience, visit www.facebook.com/kumon. To learn more about Kumon’s reading program, visit www.kumon.ca.
where, on clear sky nights, you will find a bunch of keeners with telescopes … join in and see what they’re looking at! Contact: www.oafs.ca/index.php?title=When_ do_OAFs_do_Astronomy_Events
Photo: Billie MacDonald
What to see?
Adventure Zone continued from page 7 Gatineau Park, Quebec: Driving twenty minutes north of the Parliament Buildings, north of the City of Gatineau, you’ll come to Gatineau Park. Here you can find many places to gaze at the night sky because the further you explore inside the park, the less artificial light. Note: the parkway networks are closed for the winter season between Sunday, October 28 through Friday, May 3, 2013. Contact: www.canadascapital.gc.ca/placesto-visit/gatineau-park/visitor-information
Family-oriented Astronomy Activities
Canada Science and Technology Museum: With their Astronomy for Everyone program, this Ottawa museum offers Family Astronomy Workshops, plus free astronomy activities such as stargazing, where youngsters are welcome to view the night sky at the on-site Helen Sawyer Hogg Observatory. From 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 24 and Friday, December 21 (the winter
solstice – the longest night of the year), you’ll be able to observe the sky. Special tip: Dress warmly even when in the observatory, because when looking through the telescopes, the large doors of the dome are open to the night sky. Contact: www.sciencetech.technomuses.ca/english/ whatson/astronomy-programs.cfm#FamilyAstronomy Workshops Royal Astro-nomical Society of Canada (RASC): RASC’s Ottawa Chapter holds public dark-sky star parties, held in two different locations in the city: one in the west end of the parking lot of the Carp branch of the Ottawa Public Library, adjacent to the Diefenbunker. The second is at the Cumberland Museum in the city’s east end. Your children will meet real astronomers who bring telescopes, binoculars, plus their know edge and enthusiasm about the night sky. Contact: ottawa-rasc.ca/wiki/index.php? title=Free_Evening_Public_Star_Parties_for_2012 Ottawa Astronomy Friends (OAF): This group meets at some Ottawa Chapters locations,
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Wherever you go, however you view the starry nights this mid-October and throughout November, watch the southeast sky where perhaps you’ll spy the planet Jupiter and its four moons. As well, watch for meteor showers: the Leonids (November 17) and Geminids (December 13) are times when Earth passes through streams of meteor debris in the universe. (Check stardate.org/nightsky/meteors.)
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With your kids, check out AuroraMax Facebook site (www.facebook.com/ AuroraMAX) and the Canadian Space Agency’s live AuroraMax site, which depicts live feeds of Northern Lights activity throughout the world (www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/astronomy/auroramax/connect.asp). And, stay connected and informed by getting one of these apps, which interpret the night sky (even in daytime some show constellations you would see during nighttime: www.brighthub.com/mobile/iphone/articles/72289.aspx) So bundle up and have fun ... stargazing!
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