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Island Parent Celebrating

26 Years

The Resource Publication for Vancouver Island Parents

April 2014

Field Trip Etiquette Go Green, Save Green

Summer Camp Fun To Have Kids or Not to Have Kids

Special Needs

The Screen-Time Dilemma

Programs & Services Trusting Intuition

Ants in His Pants: a Rational Look at attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt!

children’s boutique

– Margaret Atwood

Uncommonly cute from head to toe!

Cool Rain Gear

April = Showers Raincoats, Rainboots, Umbrellas

Hatley Hunter • Kamik Kushies • Splashy



624 Fort St 250 360 2570

777 Royal Oak Dr 250 360 2520

Enroll in our NATURE-IMMERSION daycare, allowing, and supporting your child’s holistic right to be outside! We encourage and foster your child’s love for the outdoors in a safe and nurturing forest environment. Watch for our GRAND OPENING coming soon! Wait list being taken for 12 months to 3 years.


Summer Active Living Guide Available April 9, 2014 Reserve your space for our Summer classes and programs. Printed copies available at: • Cedar Hill Recreation Centre • Pearkes Recreation Centre • Gordon Head Recreation Centre • Saanich Commonwealth Place • Pepper’s Foods • Tru-Value Foods Cordova Bay • Any Saanich Thrifty Foods or Public Library

April 2014  1

Contents: April 2014 Feature Ants in His Pants: A Rational Look at ADHD............................................... 12

Articles Go Green, Save Green..................................................................................... 8 Field Trip Etiquette....................................................................................... 14 Screen-Time Dilemma................................................................................... 17 Are You an Innie or an Outie........................................................................ 18 Take Time for the Opera............................................................................... 21 Summer Camp Fun....................................................................................... 22 To Have Kids or Not to Have Kids................................................................ 26 Special Needs Resources................................................................................ 34 Trusting Intuition.......................................................................................... 36

Columns Editor’s Note................................................................................................... 3 Healthy Families; Happy Families................................................................. 38 Just Eat It!..................................................................................................... 40 Book Nook................................................................................................... 42 Is There an App for This?.............................................................................. 44 New Parent Pages.......................................................................................... 48 Dadspeak...................................................................................................... 52 Nature Notes................................................................................................ 54 Cut It Out..................................................................................................... 56

Departments IPM Notes....................................................................................................... 4 Party Directory........................................................................................ 24, 25 Family Calendar............................................................................................ 28 Around the Island......................................................................................... 32 Family Services Directory........................................................................ 46, 47 Preschool & Child Care Directory........................................................... 50, 51 South Island Business Directory.................................................................... 53 Island Parent Magazine, produced by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a monthly publication that honours and supports parents by providing information on resources and businesses for families, and a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. Letters (max 250 words) should be emailed to the Editor at No material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the Editor. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome and should be emailed to Island Parent Magazine is distributed free in selected areas. Subscriptions can be obtained by sending $28.00 (includes GST) with your name and address to the address below. Canada Post: Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement 40051398.

Island Parent Magazine

Suite A-10, 830 Pembroke St, Victoria, BC V8T 1H9 Tel: 250-388-6905  Toll Free: 1-888-372-0862 Websites:,

On the Cover: Photo by Konul Rosario of The Light Within Photography,

2  Island Parent Magazine

President, Publisher: Paul Abra Vice-President: Anna Abra Director: Mada Moilliet Editor: Sue Fast Sales & Marketing: RaeLeigh Buchanan Publisher’s Assistant: Linda Frear Bookkeeping: Elaine Francis Distribution: Anna Abra, Ted Dawe (Mid-Island) Founders: Jim Holland & Selinde Krayenhoff Production: Eacrett Graphic Design Printed at Island Publishers Cover printed at Hillside Printing ISSN 0838-5505

Rewild Your Child

40 activities to get you and your kids outside 1. Decorate your bikes and go for a ride. For an extra effect, tape a playing card to your bike frame, making sure the card just touches the spokes, and you’ll be seen and heard along your route. 2. Go on a neighbourhood photo safari and snap shots of local flora and fauna. 3. Build small-scale ‘debris’ boats, using branches, sticks or driftwood. Launch and race them at the beach or a nearby creek. 4. Start a collection: rocks, beach glass, feathers, shells. Set up a spot at home where kids can display their collections. 5. Plant sweet peas—and support stakes. 6. Pitch a tent and camp in the backyard. 7. Set out on a ‘blindfold walk’ and use sound and touch rather than sight to explore. 8. Gather and have fun with sidewalk chalk, bubbles, skipping ropes, hula hoops. 9. Take tennis racquets and a ball to a local court and play a set a set or two of tennis. 10. Write and hide clues around the neighbourhood for a treasure hunt. If you have older kids, enlist their help in staging the hunt and hiding the treasure. 11. Gather cardboard, spare wood, old blankets and anything else potentially ‘constructive’ and build an outdoor fort. 12. Offer to take a friend’s dog for a walk. 13. Dig. At the beach. Or in the backyard. A child-sized metal spade—if your kids are old enough to manoeuvre one—is ideal. 14. Take a hike. Recruit another family or two to tag along and kids will likely walk the extra kilometre—without noticing any extra effort. A child-friendly favourite: Mystic Beach, with both a fallen-tree bridge and a waterfall.

15. Puddle jump. Splash. Make mudpies. Get dirty. 16. Make nature art: stepping stones out of finishing cement (formed in an aluminum pie plate) and embedded with found objects; pressed-flower greeting cards; leaf prints. 17. Bug watch with a magnifying glass. 18. Set your alarm, pack a picnic, and wake up early to watch the sunrise. 19. Skimboard. Rollerblade. Build and balance on stilts. Set a record on a pogo stick. 20. Make a map of your neighbourhood. Take photos of local landmarks—natural and man-made—and incorporate them into your map. 21. Explore a new neighbourhood. 22. Plan a ‘progressive’ scavenger hunt, stopping along your route to pick up extra players (with ideas of what to add to the list), and watch your team—and your list—grow. 23. Assemble and weatherproof a time capsule and bury it in a safe outdoor spot. 24. Host a water balloon toss at the park. Fill balloons beforehand then partner participants. Each pair stands opposite each other, stepping backward, and further apart, after each successful toss. 25. Build a bird’s nest out of mud and dried grass. Let it dry and harden and then place it on a perch as a potential residence. If no birds show up, you can always fill it with chocolate eggs on Easter morning. 26. Put a sprinkler underneath a trampoline and bounce. 27. ‘Paint’ with dirt, berries, and leaves. Make sure the berries aren’t toxic! 28. Climb a tree. Roll down a grassy slope. Balance on logs. Jump from rock to rock.

29. Create landscape art with twigs, stones, or leaves. Take photos and start a Nature Art Album. 30. Visit an interesting place: a special, yet not-too-faraway park; a nature house; a lake, a cave, a mountain top. 31. String a hammock, stretch out and read stories. 32. Paint a tree trunk with sidewalk chalk soaked in water for a couple hours. Rub the

Editor’s Note Sue Fast chalk on the tree trunk then smooth it and blend colours with a paintbrush and water. 33. Visit a farmer’s market. The Salt Spring Island Saturday Market starts on April 5, and runs from 8:30am-4pm. 34. Have a campfire at Goldstream Park or Elk/Beaver Lake fire pits. S’mores, singa-longs, or skits, anyone? 35. Explore the shore. Bring a bucket, a fish net, a shovel, and a magnifying glass. 36. Make a journey stick. Tie a long piece of string to a stick and go for a walk, collecting items like feathers, branches, and flowers to tie to the stick along the way. 37. Rig up a tire swing to a tree. Or a tether ball to a pole. 38. Develop your aim with target practice. Stack plastic bottles or tin cans into a pyramid and knock them down using your weapon of choice: a rock, or a ball, or an archery set. 39. Make a labyrinth out of sticks, leaves, twigs, rocks, flowers, or grass. 40. Go on a night hike. With flashlights.

April 2014  3

IPM Notes Daffodil Month Throughout April, Daffodil Month, the Canadian Cancer Society is asking British Columbians to join the fight against cancer by making a donation and wearing the iconic daffodil pin. Let people fighting the disease know that they are not alone in their fight against cancer, that they are supported by friends, family and the Society through its support services.

most cases, parents appoint a close family member or friend to be the guardian. Other important decisions include the division of assets, such as property and money. There are a number of options to consider and a lawyer or notary public may assist in determining the best option for your family. For example, you can leave very detailed instructions about how much and when your child should receive their inheritance, or there may be circumstances where it works best to divide assets in equal or specific amounts, knowing that the value of assets will fluctuate over the years. A trust is another option and effective when there are expensive ongoing payments that would be unreasonable for the guardian to bear. No matter what you decide is best for you and your family, now is the perfect time to make your will. A number of organizations throughout B.C. are hosting activities to help people create or update their will. Visit

Actions for Earth Day The Society delivers programs for individuals seeking cancer information, along with emotional support, and camps for children, youth and families. It also provides transportation services, accommodations and short-term financial assistance for treatment-related transportation and accommodation. Help get the Cancer Society’s daffodil onto the lapels of British Columbians. Show those affected by cancer that they are not alone—we are fighting with them. You can find pins at these locations: Pharmasave, Mac’s, LifeLabs, Marketplace IGA, WirelessWave and Tbooth Mobile and Cafe Artigiano, among other locations. For a full list, visit

Make-a-Will Week Making a will has never been simpler. Currently, only about 49 per cent of adult British Columbians have one. But with B.C.’s new Wills, Estates and Succession Act (WESA) and its first-ever Make-a-Will Week, March 31 to April 6, estate planning will be even easier than ever. While it’s important for all adults to have a valid will, it’s particularly important for parents to make decisions about guardianship and distribution of assets that will affect their children’s immediate future, should the parents pass away. Guardianship determines who will care for children after their parents die. In 4  Island Parent Magazine

Earth Day Canada challenges all Canadians (kids, classrooms, groups, businesses, individuals and families) to make positive changes to their daily habits. The challenges run from April 1-30 and encourage participants to take up a new action for 21 days, a period long enough for the action to become a part of their daily routine. For kids, classrooms and schools, the kid-friendly campaign, Act for the Planet, Earth Day Canada’s EcoKids program, with prizes from Sony Canada, is offering kids a chance to get involved on their own terms. Kids will have all month to do something good for the planet (and remind their parents to do their part, too!). Some ideas: build a bug house, grow and eat sprouts, reconnect with nature, swap stuff, start an anti-idling campaign. For adults, lifestyle choices are typically based on convenience, complacency and habit, but these come with a price. Earth Day Canada’s Take It Up for Earth Day campaign can help you make better decisions about what you eat, drink and what resources you use. Try something new that’s good for you and the planet! For example: eat and prepare plantbased foods at home; drink tap water and get water wise; detox your personal care routine; activate your lifestyle with outdoor, unplugged activities. Feel ready? Visit, register your commitment(s) and join other Canadians this spring to make change a habit.

Victoria Children’s Choir Auditions The Victoria Children’s Choir (VCC) invites kids aged eight to 16 to audition for the 2014-2015 season. VCC’s program offers: • opportunities to perform in exclusive events and concerts, and with respected artists • a new singing challenge, and the training to conquer that challenge • a way to develop natural talents • greater self-confidence • social experiences that teach teamwork, respect and motivation The Concert Choir and Apprentice Choir will learn a variety of masterpieces and modern arrangements that teach vocal technique at an international performance level. As the choristers’ abilities grow, so will their knowledge and affection for all music—an appreciation easily shared among families as a whole. Kids and teens who audition should be keen to contribute to the choir, have a good musical ear, pleasant voice in terms of resonance and breath support, and an ability to read language. With numerous rehearsals, performances, camps, and tours, choristers need to be in good physical health to fully participate in choir activities. To reserve an audition on April 5, May 3, or May 31, phone 250-721-0856 or email Find out more about the audition process and the VCC program at

Victoria Kids Consignment Spring Sale The Victoria Kids Consignment Spring 2014 Sale is on April 12-13 at Eagle Ridge Community Centre located at 1089 Langford Parkway. The sale will offer thousands of clothing items, toys, infant gear, shoes, bedding, books, games, sporting equipment and much more. Shop early; the best items will go quickly. Organizers will collect non-perishable food items for the West Shore Food Bank. For every item you bring you will receive a chance to win a Santé Spa prize package valued at $125. VKC Spring 2014 Sale schedule: April 12 from 10am-4pm is the general public sale; April 13 from 9am-noon is the half-price sale, with many items at 50 per cent off. Visa, MasterCard, debit and cash. Admission and parking are free. Let Victoria Kids Consignment help you buy from local

moms and shop with local moms. For details, visit

Mindful Mamas Mindful Mamas is a group of mamas and grand-mamas in Victoria that is interested in developing and maintaining a regular practise of mindfulness meditation. This community of women is committed to cultivating moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental awareness through mindfulness meditation. Practising together regularly in a supportive environment helps to create a wider depth of kindness and compassion towards ourselves and, in turn, we can bring this home to our families. All mothers—including soon-to-be mamas—and levels of experience with meditation are welcome, including those new to meditation. These 60 minutes provide an opportunity for restoration and nurturing yourself. Please leave babies and children at home so you can focus on you. Drop-in sessions are at the Lynn Wylie/ Helga Beer Yoga Studio, 1600 Bay St., near Shelbourne, every Sunday from 9-10am. Please arrive 10-15min early to set up and make yourself comfortable. A $5 donation to help cover costs of room rental is appreciated. No registration is required. Each gathering will begin with a 10-minute guided relaxation followed by a 30-minute sitting and 15-minute audio lecture or reading on mindfulness. Chairs, yoga mats, bolsters and blankets are available for your use, but bring your own sitting gear if you wish. For more information, visit MindfulMamasVictoria or email Stephanie at

Easter Egg Hunt Signs of Hope in Africa is hosting its 6th Annual Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday April 20 at Beckwith Park from 10am-1pm. There will be three bouncy castles, a craft station, carnival games, wandering Super Heroes, face painting, entertainment, African music with DJ Hinga from Uganda, and of course, the Easter Bunny. Saanich police cars and fire trucks will be available for little ones to explore. Ace, the Saanich Police mascot, will be on site for pictures and handshakes. The Easter Egg Hunt starts at 11am, with three age categories. Fuel up at the barbecue, offering burgers/hot dogs/ vegetarian option for $5 combo (burger/ chips/drink). The event runs rain or shine, no pre-registration required. $5/child aged 13 and under; adults free. All proceeds support children and families in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

The Signs of Hope breakfast program feeds 300+ preschool children daily, the Family Sponsorship program provides families with start up costs to establish their own business to help break the cycle of poverty, and the classroom project is helping furnish primary classrooms with desks. Join the hunt on Easter Sunday and know that your participation is helping a family on the other side of the world. Together we can make a difference. Visit

Creatively Celebrating Community Enjoy a fun, free, all-ages community celebration this April 25 and 26 at St. Ann’s Academy, 835 Humboldt St…an experience like no other. The third annual Creatively United for the Planet Festival celebrates where we live, work, eat, play and study with live music, dance, DJs, children’s activities, puppets, displays, lectures, hands-on activities, art-making, documentary films, food, fun and more.  The festival kicks off on Friday, April 25 with two indoor ticketed events starting at 7pm. Other highlights include: Green Party leader Elizabeth May and author of Climate Change for Dummies; best-selling author/collage artist Nick Bantok (Griffin & Sabine series); internationally acclaimed artist/author Robert Bateman; National Geographic wildlife photographer Garth Lenz; the award-winning Vancouver-based documentary “Clean Bin Project”; two international world-changing business owners, Stacey Toews of Level Ground Trading and Dionne Laslo of DeeBee’s Organic Tea Pops; National Team biathlete/medalist turned organic gardener, Jessica Sedlock; permaculturists; a panel discussion led by top educators; and a sumptuous organic green dinner party (DinnerVert). The Earth Walk/ Parade leaves Centennial Square at 12:30pm Saturday, April 26 and makes its way to St. Ann’s to join in the free celebration which will be held outdoors rain or shine from noon to 8:30pm. Costumes are encouraged! For more information please visit

37 Years of Making Tomorrow Conference Come to the 2014 Making Tomorrow Conference on Saturday, April 26 at UVic for keynote speaker Enid Elliot presenting “Lessons from a Nature Kindergarten: In Community with Children.” Plus, sign up for two of over 28 workshops. Join neuroscientists, musicologists, psychologists and other experts in early childhood education April 2014  5

IPM Notes for an exciting day of parental and professional development and networking. In her keynote Enid Elliot, PhD, will be discussing ideas such as: What values and vision do we have when we form a community with children? Children are citizens when they are born but do we support their rights as citizens and how do we create democratic communities that value their voices and viewpoints? How do we support their abilities to choose? Learning to make decisions and take risks is important for children and for adults. The conference is presented by the Vancouver Island Cooperative Preschool Association (VICPA), an advocate for high quality education for young children and professional standards for the adults who work with them. Our parent-run preschools provide high quality playful/ exploratory/investigative environments for young children ‘learning through play’ for over 60 years. Find more information about our preschools For a detailed workshop and speaker list and to register, visit www.

Dental Hygiene Clinic

A Fun-Filled Day at BookFest

Children and young teens (ages 5-15) are invited to participate in Camosun College’s public dental clinics, running for three weeks only, beginning in May. The clinics cost $25 or less and services may include: polishing, X-rays, oral hygiene instructions, fluoride application, and sealants. Personal care is provided by certified dental assistant students and dental hygienists, under the supervision of licensed program faculty as directed by a dentist. Daytime and early evening appointments are available. To book an appointment, phone 250-370-3184. Or visit Camosun’s Dental Hygiene Clinic—for adults and children, from Sept to April—for professional, preventive services that are caring, high quality and low cost. With more than 20 years of service in the community, and a reputation for gentle, professional care, Camosun’s Dental Hygiene students provide personalized treatment under the direction of licensed faculty. Camosun College dental hygiene services are by appointment only, and require a time commitment. Book your 30-minute screening appointment at 250-370-3184.

Saturday May 3 is the 28th annual Vancouver Island Children’s Book Festival! BookFest 2014 is a wonderful opportunity for children aged 5-12 to meet some of Canada’s finest children’s authors, illustrators and storytellers in downtown Nanaimo. The day also offers fun activities for preschoolers.

Send Us Your Stories! Island Parent is looking for articles for upcoming issues. Some of our best content comes from people just like you—Vancouver Island parents who are passionate about their families and are dealing with the day to day issues of raising children in our community. Share your experiences, your thoughts on a particular issue, your ideas on places to see or projects to do—anything related to parenting. Check our Writer’s Guidelines at for specific information on submissions. We’d love to hear from you. Please email submissions to

Open House Forest Saturday, May 10th. 11am – 1pm.


Visit us at our newly added 2nd site at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park (main Beaver Beach). Meet our educators, get program information and enjoy some healthy snacks.

Registration Now Open for Sept 2014 - June 2015 ECO program. 4 yr old M,W,F 9:00am – 12:00pm 3 yr old Tu,Th 9:00am – 12:00pm

Dan Bar-el, Marty Chan, Aubrey Davis, Sarah Ellis, Rachna Gilmore, Cynthia Nugent, Karen Patkau, Kevin Sylvester and Caroline Woodward will share the magic of their books and the secrets of their writing success. Be entertained with wild and silly antics from storytellers extraordinaire. Ever hear of a cat-cophony of noise? What’s a dragon to do when he can’t breathe fire? What are Sasquatch Barnabas and his pals up to? Be charmed by the creative talents of illustrators who bring books to life and just might get you to model. There is something to inspire and awe all ages. All the action takes place in downtown Nanaimo on Saturday May 3, from 10am2:30pm in venues surrounding the Diana Krall plaza. Noon-hour activities include children’s entertainer Graham Walker, face painting, bubbles and more. Books will be available for purchase on site or bring your own for the book signing following the last session. T-shirts with a fun and bookish design by illustrator Ashley Spires will also be on sale. Tickets available through The Port Theatre in Nanaimo, by phoning 250-754-8550, or online at $10 per child for three sessions to a maximum of $25 per family. Preschoolers and caregivers can attend free sessions—musical story time, puppet show and more all at the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library. For more information visit or follow Facebook and Twitter @BookFestNanaimo.

MORE INFO: Chris Filler 250-475-7100 or visit 6  Island Parent Magazine

5th Annual Family Sport and Recreation Festival The 5th annual Island Savings Family Sport and Recreation Festival—A Celebration of Physical Literacy Fun for the Family, will be at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) on Saturday, May 3 from 11am-3pm. This free event is your pre-summer destination for checking out all the ways to get active and serves to introduce children to a large range of sport and recreation opportunities. Brought to you by the Greater Victoria Hall of Fame and the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, the festival features more than 30 activities, including Adrenaline Zipline, rock climbing, PISE sample classes, and adapted sports. The primary purpose is to inspire families to be more active, and to encourage youngsters to be more physically literate by getting involved in sports and recreational activities. Any donations made will help raise funds for the SportStart Grant. PISE is located at 4371 Interurban Rd. For more information, call 250-220-2510 or visit

The Y Young Moms Program The Y Young Moms Program, formerly the Kiwanis House Program, is a supported independent living and parenting program for young single moms in Victoria. Young Moms provides fully self-contained one- and two- bedroom suites for one year while mothers work towards their goals, such as going to school, or finding work. Tenants in the program have access to weekly counseling, parenting support, advocacy and independent living skills, all while living in a safe and supportive space. Resident moms are between the ages of 16-29, and are parenting one child under the age of five. For non-resident moms, the program offers a variety of no-cost programming. All moms welcome. Each Thursday morning from 10am-noon, there’s a drop-in that includes hot breakfast, a craft and play space for your little one(s), a free store, and an opportunity to connect with other moms. Young Moms also offers programs including Nobody’s Perfect (starting in April), Mother Goose, and Food Skills for Families. Please call us for scheduling details. Also, the Young Moms program needs volunteers. If you enjoy spending time with little ones, and can spare one to two hours per week, phone Volunteer Victoria at 250386-2269. For more information about the Y’s community programming, volunteering, or if you are interested in applying to be a tenant, please call 250-382-1004.•


West-Mont Montessori School offers innovative, personalised Montessori instruction in a beautiful natural environment for students in Preschool to Grade 8. Visit our website for details about our programs, or stop by our campus and feel what it’s like to be part of a community devoted to the development of the whole child. 4075 Metchosin Road - Victoria

Tel: 250.474.2626



Enter Our Online Contests Every month at Island Parent and Kids In Victoria you can enter to win some great prizes!

Prizes include:

• • • •

Family Getaways Gift Certificates IMAX Passes Books, CDs and More

One entry per family per week. Check out the prizes and enter the contests by visiting or

New Kids Dentist

Dr. Anita Gadzinska-Myers

is a Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry and has a Fellowship in Special Needs Dentistry for children • Taking over space from Dr.Luc Magne • Accepting new patients now (infants to teenagers) • Referral not needed • Member of Cleft Lip and Palate Team at Queen Alexander Centre for Children in Victoria Special Services: oral sedation • hospital dentistry • nitrous oxide

Victoria Pediatric Dental Centre 210–3930 Shelbourne St, Victoria  250-383-2133 April 2014  7

Rachel Dunstan Muller

Go Green, Save Green

M The joy of learning - naturally. K-9 Distributed Learning Hands-On Home-Learning for a Sustainable World comparable expense budget unique hands-on learning activities support from a certified teacher

K-12 Bioregional School An Empowering Mulit-age Learning Community empowered learning with choices hands-on/minds-on math & science field trips & nature awareness

Pre-Primary School Connection Based Learning for 3-5 Year Olds nature awareness and respect compassionate communication experience with math and science 250 383 6609 1 888 383 6619 8  Island Parent Magazine

y husband and I started out with almost nothing when we got married two decades ago. But we were young, and felt little anxiety about our financial situation. We’d seen what resourcefulness and hard work could accomplish: my parents were immigrants to Canada, and so was my husband’s father. They’d arrived here with optimism and not much else, but over time they’d established comfortable lives. We were sure we’d find our feet as well. Two years after our wedding, my husband enrolled in university and I gave birth to twins. It was the beginning of an extremely frugal season. I signed up for an early morning paper route—on my bike—to pay for groceries. He took an after school job to cover the rent. We wore secondhand clothes, ate a lot of beans, and drove our ancient Volkswagon as infrequently as possible. If there was a way to stretch a dollar, we found it. Early on I realized that many of our frugal practices were also green ones. Making ends meet on a limited income was enabling us to achieve our goals, but it also meant we’d lightened our impact on the planet. This realization gave those lean years some extra dignity. Whatever your family’s financial situation, the following ideas can help you go green and save money. Food: Eat lower on the food chain—dried beans are a cheap, nutritious and environmentally-friendly source of protein. Hummus, re-fried beans and bean soups are easy to make from scratch, and are all still staples in our house. Get in the habit of cooking double batches, and freezing the leftovers for days you don’t have time to spend in the kitchen. You’ll save time, energy and your reliance on expensive convenience foods and/or restaurant meals. Eating at home more often is a huge money-saver, and gives you more control over packaging and the ingredients your family consumes. Consider a vegetable garden if you have the time and space, or some herb pots in a window. Pick and freeze blackberries and other abundant summer fruits. Make your own jams and

other preserves. Make your food dollars count by avoiding food waste: go through your fridge frequently and consume or freeze foods that would otherwise spoil. (Google “reduce food waste” to find many helpful waste-prevention ideas.) Transportation: The more gas we consume, the more it hurts both our bank accounts and the planet. Walk or cycle when possible to get exercise and save money. A bus pass can be a great investment for you or your kids, and saves the hassle of traffic and parking. If you have to drive, maximize your mileage by ensuring that your car is well-maintained, your tires are properly inflated, and there’s no unnecessary weight in your trunk. Offer to carpool with your neighbours or co-workers, and combine errands whenever possible. If your family has more than one vehicle, save gas and money by taking the most fuel-efficient car when driving longer distances. Heating and Electricity: Put on some “personal insulation,” and lower the temperature a degree or two. A programmable thermostat will pay for itself quickly when used to lower the temperature even further at night and/or when no one is home. Replacing conventional light bulbs with LEDs or compact fluorescents is another investment that will save energy and offer a quick payback. Unplug your spare fridge when not in use—it could be costing you up to $85 a year to run. (When BC Hydro’s Fridge Buy-Back program returns this spring, you can even turn that fridge into cash.) Use smaller appliances like slow cookers and toaster ovens to prepare food. Wash laundry in cold water and hang dry when possible. Standby power can account for as much as 10 per cent of your family’s electricity consumption. To limit standby power use, plug electronic devices like televisions, stereos and computers into power bars, and switch power bars off when not in use. Check that your water heater is set between 55 and 60˚C, and ensure that the heater and hot water pipes are well-insulated. (Gas water heaters should only be wrapped by heating professionals.)

Water: Invest in faucet aerators and lowflow showerheads—they’re inexpensive, easy to install, and will save you both water and the electricity needed to heat it. Take shorter showers or shallower baths. Wash full loads in your dishwasher or washing machine. Fill a jug when waiting for hot water from the tap, and use it to water plants. Build rain barrels for garden irrigation. Stuff: Say no to recreational shopping, and yes to a good de-cluttering session. It costs nothing, can be very satisfying, and may convince you that what your family needs is less rather than more. Look at old clothing or furniture with new eyes. Can an item be refurbished? Deep-cleaned? Mended? Swapped? Welcome hand-medowns, and pass on what you or your kids no longer wear or need. Visit the library for

Say no to recreational shopping, and yes to a good de-cluttering session. It costs nothing, can be very satisfying, and may convince you that what your family needs is less rather than more. free reading materials, music and movies. Consider renting, borrowing, improvising or buying secondhand instead of purchasing new. Invest in quality—it’s cost-effective over the long run if it means you only need to purchase one item instead of two or three. Invest in non-disposables like reusable containers, cloth napkins and cloth diapers. Cloth diapers may be pricey upfront, but they’ll save you a small fortune over time. Use them for a second child or sell them when you’re finished, and the savings will be even greater. Make your own green cleaning products with ingredients like baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice. The Internet has lots of how-to’s. Nature: I’m convinced the best way to teach children to care about the natural environment is to give them lots of exposure to it. This is easy on Vancouver Island. Become a local playground and beach connoisseur with your tots, or go for more rugged adventures with your older children. Tourists travel great distances and pay large sums of money to visit what we can access for free. Let’s enjoy it! Rachel Dunstan Muller is the mother of five, and a children’s author. Her previous articles can be found at

Emmanuel Baptist Church Summer Programs 2014 Register: 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road

at the Cedar Hill Cross Road & Henderson entrance to UVic

Ph 250-592-2418  Fax 250-592-4646



Hours & Fees

July 7–11 July 14–18 July 21–25 July 28 – Aug 1 Aug 5–8 4 days Aug 11–15 Aug 18–22

Amazing Animals Adventure Preschool Camp Ages 3–5 Booster Camp Gr. 1–3 Reading & Recreation African Safari Age 4* – Gr. 1 Science & Soccer Camp Gr. 2–5 Creative Creatures Camp Kind. – Gr. 3 Sonrise National Park Age 4* – Gr. 5 Vacation Bible School Breaking Free Sports Camp Gr. 2–5 Basketball & Soccer

9am–Noon, $50 9am–3pm, $95 9am–Noon, $50 9am–3pm, $95 9am–Noon, $45 9am–Noon, $15 per child 9am–3pm, $95

Please register according to your child’s grade this Fall. *Children must be 4 yrs old by Dec 31, 2014 to attend these camps.

Glenlyon Norfolk School Marine Adventure Program Teen Marine Kayak Camps – Summer 2013 Ph 250-370-6852  Email Day Camps: July 21–25, Aug 11–15

These popular camps (9:00–4:30) for children ages 11 to 12 cover all the basics in sea kayaking, with plenty of fun for the younger paddler. Cost: $255.00

Teen Barkley Sound: June 29–July 4 Teen Johnstone Strait: Aug 17–22 Two exciting sea kayak camping expeditions for teens ages 15–17. Cost: $625.00 + tax

Discovery Camps: July 7–11, Aug 4–8

For ages 13 to 14, sea kayaking basics, rescues, games, and a three-day camping experience on Discovery Island. Cost: $285.00 + tax

Offering marine adventure since 1995!

Your family resource for

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April 2014  9

Tim Collins

Ants Pants in   his


10  Island Parent Magazine

A Rational Look at Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

hen I was in Grade 3, a boy named Gerald and I managed to sneak out of class and make our way to the bell tower of our stately old school where we proceeded to toss crab apples at the children below. We’d raided the crab apples from a tree that morning. It was a well thought-out prank. And it was viewed as exactly that, a prank. Gerald and I suffered the inevitable corporal punishment at the principal’s office with a grinning stoicism, happy in the belief that our latest stunt had made us an instant legend at Principal Sparling School. The whole episode was forgotten, of course, at least by the school staff, long suffering professionals that operated on the classic ‘kids will be kids’ premise. They recognized that their primary job was to stuff some knowledge into our empty little heads and hope for the best.

But Gerald and I weren’t alone in this sort of behaviour. Another boy at the school, Kenny, could never sit still and frequently wandered from our class to check out what was being taught in other classrooms. His was a sort of smorgasbord approach to education that drove all the teachers to distraction. Beryl ate glue, but drew marvelous pictures of horses…usually not during art class. Royal Watson occupied his time by picking fights that he rarely won. A boy named Udo liked to take things apart—including Miss Thorlandson’s desk clock, and later the wall clock—just to see how they worked. (No one ever found out where Udo got the set of little screwdrivers and they weren’t confiscated until he was found taking apart a live wall socket.) Yup, it was a fairly eclectic group of children, but each child was never viewed as anything but that—a child. And no one dreamed of diagnosing any of them with a psychiatric disorder. Back then, childhood was not viewed as a disorder. No, being a kid only started gaining disease status around the time that my own son was discovered reading Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park during a Grade 3 math class. The teacher sternly reported to us that this was typically aberrant behaviour for Stefan and that he likely suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Stefan, the teacher claimed, had an inability to concentrate on the task at hand. It never occurred to the teacher to congratulate my son on his above average reading level, or to find out if he understood the math that he had been ignoring. He did, by the way. This was the first time I’d heard of ADHD, and after a little research, his mother and I decided that, in our son’s case, it was a bunch of nonsense. Despite the repeated urging of the school, Stefan was never placed on drugs to modify his at-times challenging behaviour. Because of this, he was never labeled with a disorder, a label that would have followed him throughout his school years. He completed his education and today holds a responsible position in the Canadian military, a job requiring concentration and strict attention to detail. All of this came to mind recently when Stefan’s son, my grandson, Carter, started kindergarten. Carter is four years old and, to no one’s surprise except the school system’s, tends to have an insatiable curiosity and the attention span of a hummingbird. He is a bright, happy, and intelligent little guy who can admittedly drive an adult soul to distraction. Like his dad at that age, Carter

is a gloriously challenging little person. I wasn’t really surprised when Stefan called to tell me that Carter’s kindergarten teacher had contacted him and, in a very serious professional tone, had informed Stefan that his son should be seen by a doctor regarding his behavior. The teacher suggested that Carter may suffer from ADHD and suggested that my son seek professional help, adding that Carter might need medication to “help him to cope.” Carter, she said, had “ants in his pants” and frequently failed to sit still during circle time. It’s important to recognize that this evaluation was done by a young teacher with

an undergraduate degree in education, but with no training in pediatrics, psychology or psychiatry. She is—and I’m putting this as kindly as I can—a person who had no problem overreaching her knowledge and training base to arrive at a psychological diagnosis and suggest a drug regimen for a four-year-old child. In my opinion, it’s that sort of overreaching that is one of the greatest problems with the whole ADHD phenomenon. I am not going to repeat her mistake and assume a position regarding ADHD. I have no training in that regard and life has taught me to temper my certainties with informa-

April 2014  11






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Island Parent Magazine

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tion. But here’s what I’ve discovered so far: In 2012 the New York Times reported that, in the past 30 years, there has been a twentyfold increase in the number of children who are being prescribed some combination of Ritalin (methylphenidate), Adderall (amphetamine, dextroamphetamine mixed salts) or other psycho-stimulant drugs. Over three million children are being fed these drugs for ADHD, and the number is growing. Exponentially. These drugs can have the effect of calming down active and challenging children and can stimulate laser-like concentration. That might explain why the U.S. military have regularly fed amphetamines to combat pilots, radar technicians and other military personnel. It might also explain why the use of amphetamines is rampant on university campuses where students use them as study aids. In short, these drugs can enhance the concentration levels for anyone—not only children who have “ants in their pants” during their critical circle time. But that concentration comes at a heavy price that can include headaches, personality changes, depression, and even death by heart failure. Regardless, Mental Health Canada reports that one in 10 10-year-olds have been diagnosed with ADHD. They also report that boys are six times more likely to be diagnosed with the disorder than girls. They have no explanation for why this discrepancy between genders exists. I’m taking a moment to heave a heavy sigh here. At the risk of being accused of sexism, I can report that, in my 60 years of experience, little boys tend to represent very different challenges than little girls. Girls just seem to think differently, have a completely different energy, and rarely push toys up their noses to see if they’ll fit. But I digress. Fred Baughman, MD, has published a book called The ADHD Fraud: How Psychiatry Makes ‘Patients’ of Normal Children. In it, Baughman argues that ADHD is simply an amalgamation of behaviors that have always been common to children, and maintains that the inclusion of the “disorder of childhood” should never have been included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR). Baughman also refers to the widely reported fact that the man who played a major role in establishing these behaviors as a psychiatric disorder, Dr. Leon Eisenberg, gave an interview to Der Spiegel Magazine (February 2, 2012) in which he stated that

ADHD was a prime example of a “fictitious disease” that is hugely over-diagnosed and which primarily serves to make pharmaceutical companies and some in the psychiatric community very rich. And he is not alone in questioning the increased use of an ADHD diagnosis to address childhood behaviors. In 2011, the president of the Swiss National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics issued the following statement in reference to the use of Ritalin for ADHD: “The consumption of pharmacological agents altered the child’s behavior without any contribution on his or her part. That amounted to interference in the child’s freedom and personal rights, because pharmacological agents induced behavioral changes but failed to educate the child on how to achieve these behavioral changes independently. The child was thus deprived of an essential learning experience to act autonomously and emphatically which considerably curtails children’s freedom and impairs their personality development.” Of course, there has also been substantial pushback from some educators, psychologists and, not surprisingly, parents of so-called ADHD children. Like most bandwagons, there will always be those who stay on the ride until the end, heedless of the advice to hop off at the next opportunity. Maybe that’s because of a combination of lack of knowledge, frustration, and a desire to find a quick fix to challenging behaviour. And, let’s be fair: it’s possible that, in some cases, the use of drugs is justified. Honestly, I can also say that I can appreciate the desire for a quick fix; at least a little. I recall the time that, at the age of five, Stefan was rearranging ornaments on my in-laws’ Christmas tree and managed to bring the whole thing down in a spectacular crash of lights and tinsel. At that moment, I’m sure that drugging my son to make him sit still might have had a certain allure. But we didn’t drug him. We realized that he was being a child, and that the only way he would learn to manage his impulses was with the application of love, attention and time. We needed to help him develop strategies to channel his curiosity and energy. The process was really hard at times, but it worked. It’s the approach that Stefan is now taking with my grandson, and I’m glad. I have a feeling that Carter will turn out just fine. Tim Collins is a writer and freelance journalist living and working in Victoria.

Vivace Violins Louise Reid B.Mus. M.Mus. 250-884-9574 April 2014  13

Tina Kelly

Field Trip Etiquette I

remember vividly my first job interview with situational questions. As a young university science student, I had no formal or informal training in teaching or interpretation. The summer job I had applied for was to conduct public programs at a local nature house and the question posed was, “You are leading a group of students along the trail and standing at the back of the group are two parents having a conversation loud enough to disrupt the group. What would you do?” The school year may be well on its way, but the majority of field trips are just beginning. Being a chaperone is an important responsibility and can have a huge impact on how positive the experience is for the students, you and the staff and volunteers leading the field trip. These tips aim to help you understand chaperone expectations and prepare you for the role ahead.

14  Island Parent Magazine



Do some research. You won’t be required to submit a book report but taking 10 to 15 minutes to peruse the website of where you’re headed will provide you with a little insight into what the kids will be learning about. Organizations with well-planned programs and the resources often provide information on expectations or tips for a successful field trip. Although these tips are often geared towards teachers, you’ll be able to glean helpful information too. Some sites will also list student expectations.

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Know your timing and directions. The expense of private bus transportation can eat a teacher’s entire annual budget, or even prevent a field trip from happening at all. Parents, grandparents or guardians that are able to be both chaperone and chauffeur can make the difference to whether a field trip happens at all. If driving is part of your responsibilities, review the trip directions including parking and the rendezvous point. Be on time, or better yet, arrive early. Traffic happens but the program has been booked and likely the time can’t be adjusted—due to other bookings or availability of staff and volunteers—so know that delays may result in lost learning or exploring time. • 250.386.5311  


Get to know the students. Taking the time to become familiar with the kids you are tasked with supervising will help tremendously. Field trip leaders love name tags; if teachers haven’t “tagged” the students, the leaders will appreciate your help learning their names.



    


Familiarize yourself with the learning outcomes. Ask the teacher what the kids will be learning about including the name of the program; with the program name, a couple of minutes online (as in #1) can provide you with more information. By knowing a bit about the subject matter you can offer some pre-program preamble by engaging them in conversation about the topic, for example, what is your favourite sea creature, what types of birds do you think will feed on the salmon carcasses, what do you already know about First Nations culture?

     

      

 

  

 


April 2014



Practice polite phone and camera etiquette. Put phones on silent and don’t answer them during the program. Students aren’t usually allowed mobile devices during programs so lead by example and keep yours hidden. If you wish to take photos, ask the field trip leader(s) for permission; there may be limitations on photography or the use of a flash.


Think safety for the students and others. Chances are your class won’t be the only visitors to the field trip location, so your help keeping track of the students will be appreciated. Many organizations have a generous chaperone rate of one to five for elementary classes and this is for good reason. If the program has kids on the move, you’ll be helpful as a caboose. Safety of live animals and/or plants, or delicate specimens and artifacts must also be considered. Follow the leader’s instructions on handling and touching and help ensure the students do, too.


Balance helping and learning. During the program, is not the time to display all you know about the subject. If you do have knowledge on the topic at hand, use it to help the kids think about the concept or answer, but don’t outright give it to them. If the kids are expected to raise their hand to ask a question, consider it good form to do the same.


Follow up. On the trip home, engage the students in conversation about what they learned, what were their favourite parts and allow them to reflect on their experience. Offer to share your favourite experience or share something new you learned. Teachers are often asked to provide feedback but educators really enjoy knowing what part(s) of the program resonated with the students. Consider having your child draw a picture or write a thank-you note to the leaders of the field trip. Collectively, these help educators improve and update program content and also provide validation to the volunteers

who donate their time to teach. Without volunteers, many programs offered by nonprofits wouldn’t happen—a small thank you can go a long way. (This of course would be in addition to a verbal thank you given at the end of the program!)


Have Fun! Many years have passed and I don’t remember my answer to that interview question. I also, after a few years’ experience, admit that it’s still a difficult situation dealing with disruptions to a program by chaperones, so my final tip… Be respectful and don’t be a chatter-bug. After all, you don’t want to be those two hypothetical troublemakers mentioned during my first job interview, the ones that were having a conversation loud enough to disrupt the group…


Tina Kelly is the Visitor Experience Director at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Center in Sidney, B.C.

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Island Parent Magazine

Camille McFarlane

The Screen-Time Dilemma


he other day my almost four-year-old asked me when she could get her own phone: “When I’m six, seven or eight?” I was a bit flabbergasted and asked her what she would do with it. “Take pictures, text, and look up crafts,” she replied. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on why my daughter would pose such a question. I try not to be on my phone when interacting with her, but it’s always around and often used to take pictures or record videos and send them to family living far away. Texting of pictures and videos, along with Skype, has enabled my daughters and their grandparents to know each other and share in everyday experiences. My daughter has become quite the little photographer and will ask to take a picture of something that sparks her interest and send it to her grandparents. This has allowed her to use her creativity and also to share her interests while experiencing the gratification of “publishing” her work. Our children are surrounded by technology from a young age, even if inadvertently. They see us use technology and become intrigued by its potential. My four-year-old already recognizes the use of a smart-phone as a communication and research tool. She doesn’t understand the mechanics, but has been known to tell me to “just Google it, Mom.” She knows that I use the phone to find her favourite recipes and endless ideas for crafts. She knows we need to check it for the weather and the tide reports before going to the beach. She knows the rec centre schedule is on it and knows that’s how I get in contact with most of her friends’ parents. She knows that’s where we look up the library books we need to return and also how we put books on hold. She also knows there are some special games and activities on the phone that she just might get to do. And this leads me to a dilemma we will face in deciding when she can have her own digital device: Screen Time. Digital safety will always be a primary concern when considering digital devices for children, however the impact screen time has on our children should also be discussed.

There are various recommendations, most recently from the American Academy of Pediatrics, not to allow children to have more that two hours of screen time a day. It is also generally agreed upon by health professionals, including many in Canada, that children under two should not be exposed to screen time. Let’s face it—that’s a tough guideline to follow. Almost all of our pictures are digital and Skype is essential for many families to communicate. Our youngest was taking pictures on the smart-phone before she was one. As children go through school they will be exposed to more and more screen time. They won’t just be watching videos and PowerPoint presentations, but they will also be participating in online courses, interacting with Smartboards, playing educational video games and creating their own digital projects. As a family, we try hard to adhere to the two-hour screen time policy, and many days we hardly have any screen time. There’s a reason that the two-hour guideline is in place. Whether it is to encourage physical activity, social interaction, exploration or creativity, our children need to be exposed to a wide array of experiences. Our family has decided that life is all about balance and it’s a worthwhile skill to teach our children. We try to spend time every day outside. We surround ourselves with books. We build towers. We do puzzles. We explore with all our senses. We play dress up. We sing. We have dance parties. We bake…but we also watch TV, take and look at digital pictures, text, play games online, and Skype. Technology has become a part of my life but it will always just be a part of my children’s lives. As to that elusive phone my daughter asked for. Let’s just say by the time she is old enough and responsible enough to get one, I’m hoping she won’t even remember having asked for it when she was almost four. Camille McFarlane is a stay-at-home mom of two who recently completed a Masters degree in Educational Technology from the University of British Columbia. She can be reached at

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like to navel gaze…yep, most definitely an innie. Apparently, 25 per cent of people are innies, which means the other 75 per cent are outies. I suppose this should come as no surprise to me, as outies are fairly visible. Just pay attention and you’ll notice it, too. Did you think I was referring to belly buttons? No! I am talking about introverts and extroverts and what those terms really mean. “Good student, attentive and listens well BUT…as quiet as a mouse…too shy…Speak up!...Needs to participate more in class.” Going through school, I can’t remember a single report card without some comment to this effect. At the time, not understanding myself as I do now, I was left feeling as though something was wrong with me. Why did I have to speak out? Why wasn’t my “active listening” enough? Maybe I just didn’t have anything to say? My mother blamed herself for my “state,” believing that it was her fault for having enrolled me in kindergarten at the age of four at a French Immersion school. “She was under too much pressure. We should have held her back a year,” she would lament to my father. Coaxing me out of my shell became my mother’s mission, signing me up for speech arts lessons and persuading me to join the debate team in high school. To my surprise, I excelled at both. I began to realize that the question was not “to speak or not to speak,” but instead, a difference in how I processed the world around me. At university, an introduction to the work of Carl Jung and Myers-Briggs led me to a more thorough understanding of myself. Shy, aloof, withdrawn, unsociable, self-centered, I was none of those things. I was—and still am!—an introvert, watching, discerning, conserving my words, happily processing inside my head…learning. As a parent, I hear the same remarks about one of my children and I have to remember my own experience and refrain from judging it as a deficit. Being an introvert or an extrovert reflects a dimension of our temperament, an aspect of

our personality that is innate. Introversionextroversion display along a continuum, with people finding themselves pulled in one direction or the other. It is important to note that while we may be born with a particular temperament, it is entirely possible and some times necessary for us to learn to adapt along the continuum. The biggest misconception when it comes to introversion-extroversion is that it has to do with how social you are. However, an extroverted person can be shy and lack confidence in social situations, just as the most social person that you can think of might in fact be an introvert. This is because the main difference between introverts and extroverts is how they restore their energy. Understanding these concepts in terms of energy level as opposed to sociability can significantly change the way we view the people in the world around us. According to Marti Olsen Laney, author of The Introvert Advantage, introverts can be likened to a rechargeable battery—they need to renew their energy by resting, taking time for themselves and turning to their internal world of reflection, thoughts and ideas. On the first day of kindergarten, we asked my daughter, “What is the best part of starting school?” “No more afternoon quiet time!” she cheered. Unfortunately, her first day in a busy classroom with 23 other students proved to be quite different than what she was used to, being at home with just her two siblings and me. At home after school, she burst into tears, sobbing, “I miss quiet time!” It was the first time I realized that my daughter was an introvert. On the other hand, Laney describes extroverts as solar panels—they become charged up by the external environment and refresh themselves by socializing, talking to people, hashing out ideas with others, and engaging in activities. My son is an extrovert. On that same first day of school, he couldn’t wait for us to pick up my daughter, having been deprived of a level of energy and stimulation that he had grown accustomed to.

ing home, my son poked and prodded my energy-depleted daughter and bombarded her with an incessant stream of chatter. “Stop talking! Be quiet! Don’t touch me!” It was more stimulation than my daughter could handle. My son, on the other hand, was happily revving up his energy stores. The scenario progressed with my daughter gathering up her drawing supplies once we reached home, running up to her room and slamming the door behind her in a desperate attempt to garner some solace. Of course, my son couldn’t help but tag along behind… we all know how the story goes from here. By understanding the concepts of introversion and extroversion, we can help our children to better negotiate their environment. It is also a useful tool for selfreflection. Recognizing our own tendencies, as well as those of our children, can affect our interactions with them as well as the quality of our family experience. As a new mother, I remember how all-consuming my days seemed with a newborn. There were times when I counted the hours, the minutes till my husband would return home from work. “Take Her!”, I would say, handing my daughter over as soon as my husband walked through the door at the end of the day. Often, instead of coming right into the house, my husband would putter around the yard. It was a habit that made for many “barn burners” between the two of us until we stopped to really clarify the challenge— we were both introverts. A long day with a baby who merely catnapped and nursed continually literally sucked me dry, but my husband was also completely drained from having to interact with people and negotiate others’ needs all day long. Once my husband and I recognized and understood our tendencies, we were in a healthier position to better support one another. Giving my husband some self-time at the end of the day to putter on his own, and to replenish his cup meant that he was then able to take over and free some time for me to either go to the gym or for a run. What a difference this appreciation has made to the pace of our family life. How can you tell whether you/your child is an introvert or extrovert? Laney suggests the following cues: If you/your child is primarily introverted you/ they will probably: • Watch and listen before joining an activity • Enjoy alone time in their room • Have a strong sense of personal space

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April 2014  19

• Be private and may need to be asked what they are feeling or thinking • Speak after thinking things through If you/your child is primarily extroverted you/ they will probably: • Be energized by interactions and activities • Often volunteer what they are thinking or feeling • Prefer time with others rather than time alone • Want to tell you about all their experiences and ideas immediately covering lots of topics • Think out loud So, all of those times when our children are either melting down or revving up to an unmanageable state, how do they translate when viewed through the lens of introversion/extroversion? Given this understanding, what strategies do we subsequently require as parents? In our home, afternoon quiet time and a 7 p.m. bedtime for our children are now necessary parts of our lives, meeting the needs of our children as well as mine and my husband’s. As parents, that “recharge time” is the difference between curt, grumpy interactions and connections that are more attentive and loving—with

each other and our children. For our very extroverted son, awareness has been the biggest key, being mindful of where our irritation is stemming from as well as connecting him with other extroverts in our extended family. “Do you want to talk to Nana on the phone?”, I will ask him when the rest of us are running on empty but he still has gas in the tank. We also acknowledge the special gift that extroverts have, as my extroverted mother-in-law would say, of “taking introverts places where they might never go on their own.” Here are some other strategies Laney offers: If you have an introverted child: • Teach them how to recharge their battery. • Build private time into their routine. • Be a mindful mediator—if you are in a social situation and find that your child’s eyes are glazing over or that they are becoming grouchy, entice them off to a more peaceful place. • Honour their need for reflection. If you have an extroverted child: • Make sure they have people with whom they can talk, including relationships outside of the family.

• Talk about personal space. • Let them think out loud. • Strike a balance between keeping them active while helping them to schedule the quiet and unstructured time that is so necessary to anyone. Knowing whether you and/or your child are introverts or extroverts is not about labels, but about shades of meaning and relationships. I often think that the brilliant A.A. Milne wrote about his cast of characters with this point in mind. Winnie the Pooh and Friends are the perfect example of a medley of introverts and extroverts scattered at different places along the continuum, working together to build on each other strengths, solve problems, and better understand the world. I see the same variety within my family and I, too, think that if I can better understand my Pooh, Piglet, Owl, Rabbit and Roo with this knowledge, we could make for a great story. Janine Fernandes-Hayden is an educator and Salt Spring Island mum of four children. She hosts a parent and kids radio show called “The Beanstalk” which can be heard at Green 107.9 FM or online at www. She is also a trained Virtues Project Facilitator.


Maxine Fisher M.Ed., RCC, MTA

Counselling for Children, Families & Adults

Over 19 Years Experience (Music Therapy Also Available) Stress & Trauma (Acting Out) • Parenting • Family Transitions Physical & Learning Disabilities • Relationships • Individuals M.Ed. | Registered Clinical Counsellor | Accredited Music Therapist

Call Today for a Complimentary 10 minute phone consultation Call 250-686-7582 20  Island Parent Magazine

Jerri Carson

Take Time for the Opera K

ids love music and it’s important to introduce them to all genres of music. Folk, rock, jazz, pop, hip-hop…and opera! Opera? Yes! Opera is high musical drama, with impressive sets, strong emotions and grand spectacle. By introducing your child to the opera, you are opening up a world of music, singing, costumes, stage design and excitement. With so many diverse elements in a single production, operas almost guarantee there will be something of interest for everyone. Before attending an opera, be sure to spend some time learning about what you will be seeing on stage. Most operas are in a foreign language, so it’s a good idea to learn the basic storyline first. An excellent book to read with your child is Sing Me a Story, by Jane Rosenberg. The book contains

delightful retellings of the greatest operas, and it gives a clear understanding of plot, scene, and character. It also shares in the magic of a dramatic performance. Operas feature melodic arias—solos— with musical dialogue between the singers. Listen to some opera recordings. The more your child listens to the music, the more he will enjoy the performance. But don’t just sit and listen! Every opera contains music that will make any child want to get up and dance. So get up and move! Flutter like butterflies while listening to The Humming Chorus from “Madame Butterfly.” Or pretend to be a matador while listening to the Toreador Song from “Carmen.” A good opera for children to begin with is “The Magic Flute” by Wolfgang Mozart. It is a magical, fairy tale opera that tells the story of Prince Tamino, who receives a magic

My seven year old son’s self-esteem and confidence has been given a great boost since your assessment. Your passion, expertise, and experience made our family feel that this disability is actually a blessing. We are thrilled to have dozens of things to try to help him with his reading and we are already seeing results. Thank you.  – Mary M, Victoria


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Concerned your child or a child you teach may have Dyslexia and don’t know how to find out? We offer many services to help you understand and work with these amazing students. Call us today for a consultation and learn how Dyslexia is a learning difference and can be managed successfully! We offer: • assessments for Dyslexia and other connected issues • teaching programs, accommodations and resources • workshops for teachers, tutors and parents of Dyslexics • one on one training for people working with Dyslexics • teaching manuals and aids • certified Irlen screenings

flute from the Queen of the Night and sets out to rescue the queen’s daughter, Pamina. Along with the magic flute, there are also magic bells, spirits and wild dancing animals. One favourite character is Papegeno, who is half-man-half-bird and he sings the famous bird catcher song that your kids will be humming for days. An excellent book to read is The Magic Flute by Anne Gatti, complete with colourful illustrations with accompanying audio CD. Another popular opera by Mozart is “The Marriage of Figaro.” This comedy will entrance kids with its beautiful period costumes and the grand set of a palace. This opera has a fascinating plot, featuring disguise, trickery and a wedding. It is a light and humorous opera with a happy ending of love and forgiveness. Its most famous aria “Non Piu Andrai” is another hummable melody. By exploring the world of opera, children receive an enriching experience that will enhance their appreciation for the arts as well as stimule their imaginations. Take time for opera and make it a part of your life!

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(Under Sleep Country in the REAR)

April 2014  21

Summer Camp Fun Residential summer camps offer children and teens a chance to take a step toward independence in a safe, fun-filled setting. Read on for some ideas for your child. Camp Barnard. Are you 9-13 years of age and ready for fun and adventure? Our Summer Camp Team consists of uniquely skilled university/college outdoor enthusiasts who will teach, inspire and make you laugh until your sides hurt. Our camp program specializes in the super cool science behind well-known wilderness skills. With a 6:1 youth-counsellor ratio, you are guaranteed to have an experience perfect for you. If you are looking for excitement and new challenges, register today at www. Camp Imadene. Camp Imadene has been providing successful camping opportunities for children, teens, and adults on Vancouver Island for 85+ years. Our 200-acre property surrounds beautiful Mesachie Lake, just 90 minutes from Victoria. Each year, 1,500

Summer Music at SMUS

Performing arts for youth ages 13–18 in Victoria BC

campers come to enjoy tubing, wakeboarding, our 1000ft BMX track, rock-climbing, rappelling, paddle-boarding, caving, swimming, boating, low-ropes, pickleball, and more. With a 1:2 staff-to-camper ratio, we provide a supportive and encouraging atmosphere that fosters unforgettable experiences and lifelong friendships. 1-800-445-7575. Camp Narnia. Imagination and adventure thrive at Camp Narnia. We are located near Parksville, and are a non-denominational camp whose programs are based on the creative children’s stories The Chronicles of Narnia. Camps are for children ages 6-15. Camp Narnia is centered on storytelling, forest and nature activities, unique crafts, theatre, and so much more. Our purpose is to foster the joys of childhood, respect and community in a unique setting. Come join in the adventure! Camp Pringle. Discover fully accessible, Camp Pringle at Shawnigan Lake. Explore a safe, exciting, outdoor community where

SummerBand July 7–18

SummerVoices July 2–12

Musical Theatre August 14–30

Residential and day options available

Information and registration: or call 250-370-6120



Island Parent Magazine

active and healthy children have fun! Experiential adventure-based activities, develop greater self -awareness and build confidence. Join our Leadership Program or tour the Cowichan on Bikes. Science, Theatre, Family camps and more. Learn to build positive relationships with the environment and your peers. Delicious food. Overnight or Day Camps. New or experienced campers, ALL families welcome, for a week that lasts a lifetime! Camp Qwanoes. Qwanoes is a youthoriented high-adventure Christian camp celebrating a 47-year tradition of excellence in camp ministry on Vancouver Island. We are fully accredited and maintain standards of the highest quality. Choose from week-long co-ed camps for Juniors, Junior Highs, and Senior Highs, plus Family Retreats. Seeking to encourage, challenge, and develop the entire person, our well-rounded programs include over 75 activities, stimulating speakers, music and singing, Bible study, firesides, and of course pure fun! Qwanoes is an ideal

Victoria & Vancouver Island 1-866-518-7287 Nanaimo 250-756-9794 Or online at:

place for fun-filled, life-changing adventure. For a free brochure or more info: 1-888997-9266 or FUN Camps. At FUN Camps, kids and teens become eco-superheroes while having FUN and making new friends. Each week different FUN themes help your child learn about the amazing world around them in a hands-on way. Our trained educators lead FUN Campers on outdoor adventure activities like kayaking or rock-climbing, inspire them to create their own projects and guide them through innovative games that teach through FUN. And that’s just the tip of the FUN iceberg. For more info and to register visit Specialized peer leader program for your teen that wants to make a difference, gain experience and have FUN! Glenlyon Norfolk School. The Marine Adventure Program at Glenlyon Norfolk School is beginning its 20th season providing 5-6 day sea kayak camps for teens and youth. Small groups and experienced leaders create an ideal and safe opportunity to experience sea kayaking and the marine environment while gaining skills in paddling, marine travel, navigation, marine life and more. These active camps are full of games and activities and explore some of the most spectacular locations of our world famous BC coastline. Contact the Marine Adventure Program at 250-370-6852 or email SMUS Summer Music Academies. Join students from across North America in this unique summer program with a solid arts pedigree. Youth age 11-17 can spend a week of intensive, hands-on learning with expert instructors exploring and enhancing their skills in a specific area of the performing arts. Program areas include: voice, band (concert band, jazz band, chamber music and switch band), and musical theatre. For details, visit or call 250-370-6120. YMCA-YWCA Camp Thunderbird. YMCAYWCA Camp Thunderbird builds strong kids, strong families, and strong communities. Our staff members are the best in the business with the perfect blend of training, enthusiasm, care and certification. Our programs are active, dynamic, challenging and creative. We focus on having fun and developing skills. Campers will enjoy swimming, archery, canoeing, rock climbing, kayaking, campfires, music, drama, out-trips and more. 250-413-8853 or www. for more information.•

Le français

au CSF, c’est bien plus qu’une langue !

Inscrivez votre enfant dans une des écoles publiques du CSF ! Depuis sa création en 1995, le Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique offre des programmes et des services éducatifs valorisant le plein épanouissement et l’identité culturelle des apprenantes et apprenants francophones de la province. Le conseil compte aujourd’hui plus de 5 000 élèves, 37 écoles publiques et dessert plus d’une centaine de communautés réparties dans l’ensemble de la province.

N O S É C O L E S P U B L I Q U E S D A N S L’ Î L E D E V A N C O U V E R Campbell River École Mer-et-montagne

250-923-3359 1102 South Alder 250-923-3359 350 Dogwood St.

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Vallée de Comox École Au-cœur-de-l'île

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École Océane École secondaire de Nanaimo

250-714-0761 1951 Estevan Rd. M - 7 250-714-0761 355 Wakesiah Ave. 8 - 12

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École Victor-Brodeur

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M - 12

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April 2014  23

Party Directory Funtime Inflatables #1 choice for party inflatables

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24  Island Parent Magazine

Party Directory

ctoria Gymnastics

Birthday Parties Come Fly With Us! Party sizes up to 18 kids We supply table top cover, napkins, hats, streamers and balloons Optional character

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Fired UP! Paint your own ceramics

1801 Fort Street @ Richmond

Now Offering Full-week and one day camps! Ages 6 and up. See website for details!

Now Offering Full-week and one day camps! Ages 6 and up. See website for details!

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Go to for schedules & information Call us: 250 590 4625  Email:

April 2014  25

Katie Warfield

To Have Kids or Not to Have Kids


hould I have kids?” This is a question I’ve been asked twice recently. In both cases, two different close friends asked the question publicly, at two different small dinner parties. In both cases, my partner and I halted what we were doing, locked eyes and drooled out the word “uhhhhhh…” It was if our brains had suddenly flat-lined, devoting all reserve energy to number crunching the benefits and drawbacks in search of the answer to this fundamental human query. This is a ‘fork in the road’ question of adulthood: if you do choose to have kids, your life will go down one path, and if you choose not to have kids, your life will take a very different direction. And so at this crossroads, my two friends somehow oddly thought I might provide insight into which direction they should go. The truth is, after 11 years with my partner

and with two kids, I have no freaking idea if anyone should have kids. In my opinion, there’s no ‘right’ answer to this question. If your life situation is such that you have a choice to have kids or not, then that choice is not a question of ethics, or what’s right or wrong. If you are privileged enough to have the choice to have kids—and I should emphasize that not even a smidgen of the world’s population is this privileged—then to me, the question “Should I have kids?” is a question more akin to “Should I go backpacking around Europe?” or “Should I get my nose pierced?” than it’s like the question, “Should I steal my neighbour’s car?” If the question of whether or not to procreate were an ethical one, then at this point in the world’s trajectory, the unwavering answer would be “no.” Or at least, “Maybe have one, but you, ya you, the next guy in line, maybe you should hold off.” Using utilitarian ethics,

Hampton Little League Challengers “Where everyone is a winner”

The Challenger Program was established in 1989 as a division of Little League to enable boys and girls with special needs, ages 4–18, or up to age 22 if still enrolled in high school, to enjoy the game of baseball along with the millions of other children who participate in this sport worldwide. Today, more than 30,000 children participate in more than 900 Challenger Divisions worldwide. Each player will receive a ball cap, team picture, free Hampton “Funday” BBQ meal, and a year end award. Games will be 90 minutes in length, every Saturday with the exception of the long weekends and “Funday”– June 14, and the season runs from April 12 to June 22, 2014. Cost is FREE. For more information about Hampton Little League, please visit Registration for the Challenger Program is currently being accepted online at OR In Person on Saturdays from 1 to 4pm at the clubhouse on Tillicum Road. For more information about the Hampton Little League Challenger Program, contact Kristen Kay at 26  Island Parent Magazine

which says the morally right course of action in any situation is the one that produces the greatest balance of benefits over harms for everyone affected, the answer to “Should I have kids?” is no. A 2013 Oxfam report states that if we continue at our current rate of growth, the world will reach what many scientists estimate to be maximum capacity by about 2100, at which point the earth’s population will surpass its food production ability. There’s a pragmatic point for not having kids. (Excuse me while I head out for a just a sec to pick me up a few spare cans of SPAM.) The financial argument—“You should have kids so someone will support you in old age”—holds about as much water as my five-year-old son’s bladder. According to an article in Moneysense Magazine, the average cost of raising kids from birth to 18 in Canada is $243,660. Assuming you put 1/18 of this total in a low-yielding mutual fund, averaging three per cent over that period, an individual without kids would have a bank account of $316, 937—and that’s the surplus! And at no point in that investment period would any bank require you to change a single diaper or soothe a crying baby. So far the scales are tipping on the side of no kids. But I’m also certain that if you are a parent, at this point in my article you have: a) stopped reading all together b) decided to tear out a page to use as a substitute to toilet paper, or are currently using it to wipe away your tears, or c) started boiling under the surface at my words You have kids. They are awesome. There is more to the argument than money and the fate of our environment. So true. And yet, all the arguments so far have been based entirely on reason, rationality, and number crunching. The truth is, we humans are not whole-heartedly reasonable, rational and number-crunching robots. We are soft, squishy, emotional and intuitive sacks of love. There are more reasons to do things in life than can be reasoned and rationalized. And since having kids myself, I thought I would compile a list for those two friends of mine. But before I elaborate, I want to make it clear: none of what I am about to list makes an argument FOR or AGAINST having kids. My list won’t tell you ‘Why you should have kids.’ Instead, it says ‘Dude, if you do choose to have kids, these are qualities you will very likely experience’: 1. Having kids won’t necessarily make you happier, but having kids will likely make you feel more. I explained it to my friends this way:

since having kids, I’ve definitely felt happiness like I’ve never experienced, but I’ve also experienced rage to the depths I never knew humanly possible, and I’ve felt utter sadness like I never knew existed. Having kids doesn’t make you feel better or happier, necessarily, it just stretches your emotional spectrum. 2. Speaking of the emotional spectrum, having kids makes you realize your emotions are weirdly interdependent. Like when my son graduated from preschool and I laughed and cried at the same time and my son was totally confused: “Why are you crying if you are happy?” Excellent question! I have no idea. Or the time that my son asked if he could go to sleep with a little pot of Vaseline (uh, sure, what could go wrong?) and five minutes later, I returned to his room contemplating maybe that was a bad idea because the Vaseline could get on the sheets. When I cracked open the door, the light from the hallway was cast upon a glistening, not only his face, but his entire naked torso. His reaction to my dumbfounded stare? “I’m sticky.” My emotional reaction? Rage, hilarity, frustration, fatigue? Hold it while I wipe away the tears and grab the camera. 3. Having kids forces you to revisit everything within yourself. Kids are like a mirror. Since you are their first point of contact

with the world, they will model you back to yourself—the good qualities and the bad. Having kids will either push you to become hardened in your ways, or with humility and patience, you might emerge stronger and possibly healed in small ways. 4. Kids force you to give up control. Your house will never be entirely clean. You dinner will rarely be served warm. Your kids will rarely be squeaky clean. You will often have snot on some part of your body. Sometimes your mom or babysitter or nanny will do things better than you. Giving up control over everything not does make your weak or vulnerable, it forces you to recognize the necessary reciprocal relationship of people in the world. 5. Kids are hard on your relationship. Yes, if you are on top of it you will continue to have sex and go on dates but you have to work at it now. When you go on dates, you will voraciously catch each other up on thoughts, ideas and activities you haven’t had time to talk about. And once that is done, you will spend the rest of the time talking about how cute your kids are. 6. Kids force you to be a kid again. I’m kind of naturally a child so I love kid dance parties but nothing makes me smile more than watching my partner, who does not like

to dance publicly, negotiate a non-sexy hip thrust to Gangnam Style. If you are contemplating having kids, recognize that there is a whole mindset and industry out there that teaches us from day one that a man is not complete without sowing his seeds, and a woman is not complete until she becomes a mother. These beliefs are reinforced by stereotypes like TV character June Cleaver and super-moms like Angelina Jolie. They are also reinforced by images like Bill Cosby and Howard Cunningham. We embody and believe these myths through adulthood. We hear them, accept them as truths, and then expect that an essential sign post of our lives is our moment or moments of procreation. So to my two friends and to others who are contemplating the to-have-or-not-to-have question, I say: recognize that the “necessity” of having kids is a myth not a truth, a culturally-rooted convention. Does having kids make your life more complete or valuable than the life of someone without kids? No. Should you have kids? Thankfully, it’s up to you. Katie Warfield is a mom of two who commutes to Vancouver weekly from Victoria to teach at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

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J u s t

Kidding! For Kids presents

• Adventurous, Self Discovery, Experiential Fun!

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Malaspina Theatre “The play, a true gem, resolves with a nugget of wisdom as useful for adults as it is for children ... ”

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April 2014  27

April 2014

Generously Sponsored by     and

Family Calendar For calendar updates throughout the month visit MARCH 28 – APRIL 1 April Fool’s Weekend Scavenger Hunt at Royal BC Museum. Don’t let the Royal BC Museum dupe you. Museum staff will place unusual objects next to artifacts and specimens in displays throughout the museum galleries. One of these things is not like the other, and it’s your job to identify the objects that don’t belong. 10am-5pm. Included with admission or membership. 675 Belleville St.

TUES 1 Guys’ Night Out Baby Time at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Calling all babies and the men who love them. Join staff for fingerplays, puppets, stories and songs. For dads, stepdads, fosterdads, granddads, uncles and male caregivers with babies 0-15 months. 6:30-7pm. Register online at or call 250-477-9030 for more information.

WED 2 Coast Capital Free Swim at Panorama Recreation. Bring the whole family for a night of action-packed fun. The waterslide and rope swing will be open during this free, everyone welcome swim. 6:30-8pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr.

SAT 5 Children Count: An Early Childhood Resource Fair at Brentwood Elementary. Don’t miss this great opportunity to bring your children

(0-6 years) and have fun together at the fair. Parents can gather information on local services, supports and opportunities offered for children around the Peninsula, while kids can enjoy face painting, storytime, arts and crafts, music, a bouncy castle and lots more. If you’re lucky, you will also get to meet Slider, along with his friend Cooper, from Peninsula Co-op. Each child will receive a free children’s book, a goody bag, and a snack. Free. 10am-1pm. 7085 Wallace Dr. Family Orienteering at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park. Orienteering is a great way to be active with the whole family. CRD Regional Parks’ naturalists will have maps on hand and a beginner level orienteering course set up at Beaver Lake. Get active as a family today. Meet at the information kiosk in the Beaver Lake parking lot. 11am-2pm. All ages. BC Transit #70 or #72. 250-478-3344. www. Family Theme Fairy Tales Swim at Panorama Leisure. Come to the pool for an everyone welcome swim. Slip down the slide, ride the lazy river, or join the Fun Leader for lots of games and prizes. You never know what you adventure you will have in the pool. 1-3pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr.

SUN 6 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition at Royal BC Museum. 100 winning images from the annual worldwide competition. Family-friendly self-guided activity stations.

Included with admission or membership; free for children 5 and under. 10am-5pm. 675 Belleville St. Kid’s Buddhist Meditation Class at Bodhichitta Buddhist Centre. Meditation and Buddhist philosophy specially suited for kids 8-14. Learn to calm your mind through guided meditation and use Buddhist teachings in everyday life through stories and games. 11am-noon. $5 drop-in per child; $10 maximum per family. The Flying Birds at Francis/King Regional Park. A CRD Regional Parks’ naturalist will guide your young ones through the tall trees. Fly like birds through the forest and play a game under the trees, then head to the nature centre to make a bird craft. Meet at the Francis/ King Nature Centre off Munn Rd at 1pm. 8 years and under. 250-478-3344. www.crd.

MON 7 School’s Out Skate at Panorama Leisure. Stay active during your day off from school. Enjoy music, games and great prizes during this fun afternoon skate. 1-2:20pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. School’s Out Swim at Panorama Leisure. Stay active and have fun at the pool during this year’s non-instructional days. The waterslide will be open and a Fun Leader will be on deck providing games, prizes and more. 1-3pm. $2. 1885 Forest Park Dr.

1 0 0 % N a t u ra l I n g r e d i e n t s


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Snack Healthy No Gelatin • No Preservatives • No Artificial Flavour • No Artificial Colour 28  Island Parent Magazine

TUES 8 Rockin’ Rhythm and Rhyme Time with Nejama at Saanich Centennial Branch Library. Are you ready to shake, rattle and roll? Move and groove with music therapist Nejama Ferstman and explore stories and songs through rhythms, movements and fingerplays in this active musical program. For ages 3-5. 2:303:15pm. Register online at or call 250-477-9030 for more information.

WED 9 Grow Your Own Story at Central Saanich Branch Library. Join us for a celebration of gardens and growing things with rollicking rhymes, songs and stories. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:30am. Register online at or call 250652-2013 for more information.

SAT 12 Victoria Symphony Storytime at Oak Bay Branch Library. Join two musicians from the Victoria Symphony and their puppet friend, Kathy Cadence, for a musical performance that matches music to words and feelings. Presentation includes an instrument petting zoo. Parents and caregivers are welcome to participate. For ages 3-4. 10:30-11:15am. Register online at or call 250592-2489 for more information. The Healing Land at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. A rich storehouse of natural medicines grows all around us. Join CRD Regional Parks’ guest naturalist Joe Percival to explore this vital botanical heritage used by First Nations people, European settlers and others. Meet at the Witty’s Lagoon Nature Centre off Metchosin Rd at 1pm. 8+ years. BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344.

SUN 13 Mystery Creature at Coles Bay Regional Park. Solve the riddles to find the clues hidden along the trail with a CRD Regional Parks’ naturalist. Then piece the puzzle together to discover who

the mystery creature is. Meet at the information kiosk in the parking lot off Inverness Rd and Ardmore Dr at 1pm. 5+ years. 250-478-3344.

MON 14 Victoria Children’s Literature Roundtable Meeting at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Kari Jones, author of So Much for Democracy, Out of Season and Storm Tide, and creative writing teacher at Camosun College, will present a Writing Workshop for members, writers and other interested adults. Have you got an idea for a story, but are not sure how to start writing? This workshop is for you. In this hour and a half session, Kari will lead participants in exploring ideas for building a story out of a concept and shaping a compelling plot. Doors open at 7pm so you can browse the Schoolhouse Teaching Supplies and Children’s Bookstore tables before the meeting begins at 7:30pm. VCLR is open to the public. New members and drop-ins welcome. Members free; $5/drop-in; $4/student. For more information, call 250-598-3694.

SUN 20 6th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Beckwith Park. Come on out, rain or shine, and enjoy Bouncy Castles, face painting, crafts, carnival games, fire trucks, police cars, super heroes, BBQ ($5 combo), entertainment, music and, of course, a visit from the Easter Bunny. Egg hunt at 11am with three age categories. Fun for the whole family. 10am-1pm. $5/child aged 13 and under, free for adults. Coffee/tea station on site. Event hosted by Signs of Hope in Africa, supporting children and families in Zanzibar, Tanzania. BC Transit #6. www. Easter Egg Hunt Swim at Panorama Leisure. The Easter Bunny is coming to the pool. Bring the whole family for this exciting afternoon of adventure and fun. Children of all ages can make an Easter basket, meet the Easter Bunny, and even get their faces painted. A schedule will be posted and announcements will be made to specify different ages for each

Up SOUp YOUR MEALS with savvy shortcuts that get you to a home-cooked meal in minutes.


hunt. 1-3pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. www.

THURS 24 Lego at the Library at Esquimalt Branch Library. Like stories and Lego? Then this is the program for you. We’ll supply the Lego, and you will use your imagination to construct your own crazy creation to display at the library. For a project to take home, bring your own Lego. For ages 7-10. 3:30-4:30pm. Register online at or call 250-414-7198 for more information.

FRI 25 & SAT 26 Creatively United for the Planet Festival at St. Ann’s Academy. Celebrates where we live, work, eat, play and study with live music, dance, DJs, children’s activities, displays, lectures, hands-on activities, art-making, documentary films, food, fun and more. Ticketed events Friday night; free outdoor events Saturday, noon-6:30pm. 250-383-0206.

SAT 26 Princess Power at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Listen to stories, talk about your favourite books, and enjoy fun activities. Snacks included. This club is for kids who love stories, regardless of reading ability. For ages 5-8. 3:30-4:30pm. Register online at or call 250-477-7111 for more information.

No Spoon Required Our soups enhance tender steaks, saucy prawn pasta, Thai curry and Moroccan-style lamb. We hope our soups inspire you to use them in other taste-filled, creative ways.

1.800.667.8280 April 2014  29

SUN 27



13th Ultimate Hobby & Toy Fair at Pearkes Arena. Over 200 tables with action figures, vintage toys, models, trains, comics, Barbie, dolls, bears, Lego, video games, Star Wars and much more. Silent auction for the MS Society. Charity Carnival Games with all proceeds to the BC Children’s Hospital. General admission 9am-3pm: $5/adults, kids free. Early Bird entry for the serious collector: 8am, $15. Early Bird Tickets available at Cherry Bomb Toys, $7. Free door prize entry with admission. Dress in costume for extra door prize entry. www.

Sensory Storytime at Nellie McClung Branch Library. During this program, preschoolers will discover storytime fun and routine through a sensory-rich mix of songs, movement, a story and a special book-related activity. Fun for all children, and appropriate for preschoolers with autism or sensory processing issues. Parent or caregivers are required to participate. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:15am. Register online at or call 250-477-7111 for more information.

Sea-Shirt Sundays at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre. On the first Sunday of each month, create your own fish fashion. Be sure to bring a pillow case, cloth bag or t-shirt (or purchase a t-shirt from the centre) and your creativity. $2 donation for fabric paint. 1-3pm. 250-665-7511.

Beginners Birding Basics at Witty’s Lagoon Regional Park. Ever wanted to bird watch? This is a great time of year for birding, with courtship and territory disputes filling the air with song. Join guest naturalist Geoffrey Newell to learn what to look for, and how to use binoculars and field guides. Bring binoculars if you have them. A spotting scope is provided. Meet at the Witty’s Lagoon Nature Centre off Metchosin Rd 9-11am. 9+ years. BC Transit #54 or #55. 250-478-3344. www.

Camosun College Dental Program at Camosun College. CDA students only see children between the ages of 5-15. Children require an initial 10-minute screening appointment to be booked first, as a dentist has to recommend the treatment plan. Siblings can be booked together (the same appointment time), which is helpful for the busy and parent—and kids! After the screening appointment, children are booked for their prescribed preventive care appointment between May 5-15. Preventive appointments are 2.5 hours. 1-2:45pm and 4-5:45pm. Cost of treatment: Ages 11 and under, $15; Ages 12-15, $20. Call 250-3703184 to book an appointment.

Kid’s Buddhist Meditation Class at Bodhichitta Buddhist Centre. See SUN 6 for details. 11amnoon. $5 drop-in per child; $10 maximum per family. kids-class. Wildflower Weekend at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. Spring has sprung, and Swan Lake and Christmas Hill have never looked better. Celebrate the wonderful world of wildflowers with guided tours of the native plant garden, hikes to Christmas Hill, crafts for the kids, and the wildflower review. Noon-3pm. Admission by donation. For more information, call 250-479-0211 or visit www. Blooming Fawn Lilies at Uplands Park. Join Kathleen Matthew, Co-chair of the Friends of Uplands Park on a nature ramble. Uplands Park springs awake with lovely Indian Plum blossoms, Satin flowers and Fawn Lilies. Emily Carr’s Easter Lilies follow soon after, and the trails in Uplands Park are delightful as puddles recede and blooms of other wildflowers appear. The rocky outcrops are alive with green moss, and the Nootka rose and Garry oaks start to swell their buds. Wear gumboots, bring your camera and a smile to greet the spring. Free. 1-3pm. Wonder Sunday: Meadows at Royal BC Museum. This month, wonder about the ecosystem of Garry oak meadows. What’s hiding just out of view and what makes it all so remarkable? Wonder Sunday is an interactive, learningbased event for families. Included with admission or membership. 1-3pm. 675 Belleville St.

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WED 30

ONGOING BABIES, TODDLERS & PRESCHOOL Drop-in Storytimes for Babies, Toddlers & Families at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Caregivers are welcome and encouraged to participate. Storytimes are free and drop-in. Please come early to find a space. For a complete list of drop-in programs, call your local library, or visit Parent/Tot Drop-in at Gordon Head United Church. A safe place where young children can play while parents in the community connect with each other. Lots of space and toys. Tea or coffee is available for caregivers, and a healthy snack for the children. Parents are responsible for the care of their own children. Mondays 10am-noon. More info call the church office at 250-477-4142, or Maisie at 250-477-0388. Kindergym Parent and Tot at Burnside Community Campus Gym. Ride-on toys, climbers, slides, balls, hoops and various sports equipment. The program includes free play, organized games and circle time. Best suited for ages 2-4 years, yet all children under 5 years are welcome. Parent participation required. Tuesdays 9:30-10:45am. Free. 3130 Jutland Rd.

YOUTH Friday Nights are Alright at Flipside Youth Activity Centre, Pearkes Recreation Centre. Play pool, ping-pong, dome hockey, foosball and two different video game systems while partaking in refreshments. Drop by Flipside between 3-6pm Fridays to pick up a free admission ticket to the Junior Braves, and show your student ID to the Receptionists to gain free access to skating and rentals. For more information, contact Gaileen Flaman at 250475-5462 or email

FAMILIES Mindful Mamas at Lynn Wylie/Helga Beer Yoga Studio. All mothers (including soonto-be mamas) and levels of experience with meditation are welcome. An opportunity for restoration and nurturing yourself; please leave babies and children at home so that your attention can be focused on you. Each gathering will include a short guided instruction to meditation followed by a 30 minute sitting, 10-15 minute audio lecture or reading on mindfulness, and 45 minutes for check-ins and sharing reflection. Chairs, yoga mats, bolsters and blankets are available, but bring your own sitting gear if desired. No registration required. Sundays, 8:30-10am. $5 donation to help cover room rental. For information, visit Ready to Rent BC offers a free course to help find and keep a rental home. Six-week courses run at different times, days and locations. We help renters identify and deal with any barriers they may have to housing. Includes bus tickets, child minding and a healthy snack. To sign up, call 250-388-7171. Parent Sports Drop-in at James Bay Community School Centre. Parents need time to have fun and get back in touch with their inner child. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursday, 7-9pm. $3.50/person. Weekly Bird Walk at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary (meet in the parking lot). Every Wednesday and Sunday noon-3pm. Metchosin School Museum is open Saturdays 1:30-4:30pm and Sundays 11am-4:30pm. An original, one-room school house built in 1871, it is set up as a classroom with old wooden desks. Families can enjoy perusing the hundreds of artifacts on display. Free. 4475 Happy Valley Rd.•

Around the Island

Visit for these and other events and resources for families from Cowichan Valley north to Campbell River and west to Tofino tues 2

SAT 12

Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena, Nanaimo. Skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission rates; glow necklaces $2. 6:30pm. 250-756-5200.

Tidal Pools at Piper’s Lagoon Park. Join the Nanaimo Science & Sustainability Society (NS3) to explore the amazing life that lives in the tidal pools left exposed during low tide. Parent participation required. 10-11:30am. $15. 250-756-5200.

WED 2 Lifeguard Seminar at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. Working as a lifeguard/swim instructor is a great job. Find out more at a free info session from 4-5pm. For 13+ years. Pre-register by calling 250-752-5014.

SAT 5 Cowichan Valley Volunteer and Community Resources Fair at Volunteer Cowichan. Display booths to connect with Valley non-profits and volunteer driven organizations. Access community resources available to youth, families and seniors locally. Free. Door prizes and cake. 10am-2pm. 1 Kenneth Place. anne-marie@ Vancouver Island Symphony Days at Port Theatre. Bring along your sleuthing friends and family, and anyone who loves solving mysteries. Musical petting zoo (11am-noon), Noteworthy Kids Family Event (11:45am12:15pm), Symphony rehearsal (12:301:30pm). Free tickets must be reserved for the Symphony Rehearsal by calling 250-754-8550. Free, but donations for the NoteworthyKids Music Fan Club are welcome. Super Saturdays at the Campbell River Art Gallery. Drop-in art making program. All materials provided. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. 1-3pm. Admission by donation. 250-287-2261.

SAT 5 & SUN 6 Fish Hatchery Open House at Marion Baker Fish Hatchery. Take a free tour of the Fish Hatchery. 10am-2pm.

wed 9 Silly About Spiders at Bowen Park, Lower Picnic Shelter. Spiders are amazing and unusual creatures. Come explore the wonders of the spider and the webs it makes through crafts, games, and songs. Parent participation required. 10:30-11:30am. $8. 250-756-5200.

32  Island Parent Magazine

Freedom Flight: Eagle Release at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. See glove-trained birds, wildlife booths and a rehabilitated eagle released into the wild. By donation. 11am-3pm.

SUN 13 Kids Clothing & Toy Sale/Swap at Parksville community and Conference Centre. New and gently used clothing, toys, baby essentials and equipment, diaper services, local support groups and information booths. Concession and silent auction hosted by Sunrise Preschool. 10am-2pm. Entry by donation. 132 E. Jensen Ave.

MON 14 Hiking Information Session at Oceanside Place Arena. A local alpine guide shares tips and resources for family adventures and avid hikers. Get advice on clothing, equipment and route planning to help you stay safe and enjoy the outdoors. 6:30-8:30pm. $10/person. Pre-register by calling 250-248-3252. www.

TUES 16 Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena, Nanaimo. See TUES 2 for details. Regular admission rates; glow necklaces $2. 6:30pm. 250-756-5200.

fri 18 – mon 21 Bunny Trail at Milner Gardens. Bring the children or grandchildren for a children’s Easter Bunny search. At the Welcome & Interpretive Centre, children can pick up maps for clues to find the bunnies, and then return the map to the Pool House Gift Shop to receive an Easter treat. Free for children under 12 accompanied by an adult. 10am-4:30pm. Garden closes at 5pm.

SAT 19 Super Hero Family Fun Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. Calling all super heros! Wear a cape and mask and come for an action-packed superhero training session from 10am-noon.

Regular admission. 250-752-5014. www.rdn. Super Saturdays at the Campbell River Art Gallery. See SAT 5 for details. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. 1-3pm. Admission by donation. 250-287-2261. 4th Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Mountain View Elementary School, Nanaimo. Play big games, play on the playground, and jump in the bouncy castle. Be sure to bring a bag for all of the eggs you find. There will be a special prize given to the child that finds the golden egg, and each child leaves with a goody bag. For children 3-11. 2-4pm. 2480 Wellington Rd.

SUN 20 Hamilton Marsh Tour at Hamilton Marsh. Explore this amazing marsh outside Qualicum beach and learn about the interesting plants and wildlife. Hosted by Friends of French Creek. 10am-2pm. By donation.

FRI 25 – SUN 27 Cowichan Valley Artisans Open Studio Tour from Mill Bay to Ladysmith. Potters, jewellers, painters, woodworkers and more. Brochures available at AGGV, Duncan Garage or download from the website,

ONGOING PRESCHOOL Parent and Tot Drop-in at the HUB at Cowichan Station. Songs, organized games, and free play with balls, parachutes and more. A wonderful opportunity for parents and young children to connect with other families in the community. Free. For more information, email LaFF at the Aggie. A safe play-based learning environment for families and caregivers with children newborn to age 6. Reading centre, craft area, Brio train station, and snack table. Indoor car and toy riding area. Monday to Friday, 9:30am-noon and Thursdays 12:151:45pm. $2 suggested donation per family (punch cards available). 250-210-0870,, Adventures in Early Literacy at the Ladysmith Resource Centre. A parent-child, fun-filled program designed for children ages 3-5 years. Participants learn and have fun doing crafts, games and singing. A book is read, lunch and snacks are provided. 9:45am-noon. Space is limited, so call 250-245-3079 to get on the list. 630 2nd Ave.

CHILDREN After-school Recreation Drop-in at the HUB at Cowichan Station. A fun, safe space to

get active and have fun with friends. Lots of great sports equipment and organized games and activities, outdoor education activities as well as time for free play. For children 6-12. Free. For more information, email kids@ Homelearners Recreation Drop-in at the HUB at Cowichan Station. A fun morning of outdoor education activities, organized games, and free play with lots of great sports equipment. For ages 5-12. Free. For more information, email Junior Lifeguard Club at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Build lifeguarding skills, shadow lifeguards, participate in competitions, learn about first aid, participate in community events, develop leadership and more. $3.50. Ideal for 8-13 years old. Runs until mid-June. Noon-1:30pm. 250-756-5200.


Catch the Kye Bay Spirit • • • •

miles of safe sandy beaches warm and safe swimming may–oct. explore the reef and tidepools comfy seaside cottages

KYE BAY GUEST LODGE & COTTAGES Comox, BC, Vancouver Island 1-866-658-6131

The Youth Zone in Ladysmith. A fun and safe place to meet new friends and enjoy games tables, internet kiosk, TV, movies, board games, karaoke and more. Play sports in the gym, do homework. Energized leaders will challenge you to try new activities. Mondays, 3-6pm in the Rec Room (girls only); Wednesdays, 3-5pm in the gym; Fridays 6-10pm in the Rec Room or gym. Free. 250-245-6424. Youth Drop-in in Nanaimo. The ultimate place to be. This is a supervised space for youth to hang out and chill. Regular gymnasium activities and more. Program is free, but please register using barcode 124915. 7-9pm until May 14. Monday: Nanaimo District Secondary School; Tuesday: Oliver Woods Community Centre; Wednesday: John Barsby Community School. Toonie Teen Water Works at Ladysmith Parks Recreation & Culture. Come and enjoy a relaxing start to your evening and weekend—in the pool. Hang out, or learn and play water games, sports and activities. For 12 to 18-year-olds. Fridays 6:30-9pm until June 27. $2.

For an experience you’ll never forget!

Tribute to Mothers and Daughters Colleen Boak of Roy’s Photography is looking for 30–50 mothers and daughters who would like to participate in this year’s Tribute to Mothers and Daughters portrait exhibit. The show opens May 11 at the Westin Bear Mountain Hotel and Spa and will be up for approximately one week. We are doing the sessions now through the end of April. We would love to include a variety of age groups as well as multi-generational portraits. If this is something you have always wanted to do, please call us immediately. There will be no session fee for the participants and the portraits done for the exhibit will be offered at special one time only prices.

Please call Colleen for more information 250-590-3506 Visit our website

FAMILY Family Frolics at the Community Centre, Ladysmith. Bring your parent or caregiver for open gym fun. Burn off some energy with soft toys (balls and nerf-type games), mini-trampoline, ride-on toys, hula hoops and more. Tuesdays, 5:45-6:45pm. $2 suggested donation/family. 250-245-6424. 8th Annual Golden Shoe Hunt in Oceanside. Find the Golden Shoe! Clues and instructions for the locations of both the shoe and geocache will be posted weekly to and on the RDN Facebook and Twitter pages starting April 11.•

April 2014  33

Special Needs Resources Becon Support Services is changing its name to BeConnected! BeConnected supports children, youth and adults with disabilities to lead rich lives in community. BeConnected’s services have expanded over the years, and now include options for residential services, shared living, respite, community inclusion, employment, and other individual-centred options for children, adults and families. BeConnected is a Host Agency. We work in partnership with individuals and families who receive Individualized Funding (IF) through CLBC to help you create the future you desire. BeConnected has opened a second office in Duncan. BeConnected in Victoria 250727-3891. BeConnected in Duncan 250748-3858. Community Living Victoria’s Autism Services Program is designed for children and youth between the ages of 6-18, along with their families, who live with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We help families to manage and designate their funds, navigate the system, plan for success as well as coordinate with contractors to provide direct services like behaviour intervention, social groups, day camps and family support. We draw from a variety of behaviour intervention models to create a customized plan for each child. 250-477-7231. The Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association (CTRA) provides equine-based services for people with disabilities. Through the power of the human/equine bond, CTRA brings together individuals, families and the community in the spirit of healing, inclusion and human growth. We provide year-round therapeutic riding, recreational and sport opportunity, vocational stable management programs, as well as summer horse camps. We also have many volunteer opportunities. 250-746-1028. The Cridge Centre for the Family has a rich heritage and an even richer future. Founded in 1873, the Cridge Centre provides diverse services to children, adults and families to maximize their opportunities and enjoyment of family life and loving relationships, and to achieve their potential. The Cridge Respite Resource Service and the Cridge 34  Island Parent Magazine

Respitality Service work together. Where Respite Resource helps parents of children with a special need find qualified caregivers, Respitality provides a free overnight stay at one of 25 area accommodations partners for parents while their children are cared for at home. To learn more about these services, please visit The Cridge Centre for the Family…because love is the bottom line. Dyslexia Victoria Online. We believe dyslexia is a learning difference and doesn’t become a disability until a child has experienced years of inappropriate teaching. We provide dyslexia awareness and understanding through screenings, workshops, teaching plans, one-on-one training with parents and teachers, accommodations such as computer programs, tutoring and manuals. We also focus on dysgraphia, learning style (auditory, visual or kinesthetic), and Irlen Syndrome, which are often connected to dyslexia. Our methods come from successful school practices for dyslexics in New Zealand, the UK, and from Neil MacKay, world-renowned dyslexia expert. www. Emmanuel Preschool is a welcoming and inclusive Christian preschool, where students with special needs have the support of an additional teacher. Our morning classes are offered either two or three days per week. Both programs are for three- and four-yearolds, and include stories, games, singing, arts and crafts, science activities, free play outdoors or indoors in our gym, and some field trips. We are a safe and caring place! 250-598-0573, www.emmanuelpreschool. ca, or Hampton Little League Challengers— “Where Everyone’s a Winner!” Free. Enables boys and girls ages 4-18 (up to age 22, if in school), with special needs (physical or cognitive) to participate and enjoy the game of baseball. Each player will receive a ball cap, team picture, Hampton “Funday” BBQ meal, and a year-end award. Games are 90 minutes long, every Saturday (except for the May long weekend) and “Funday” and the season runs from April 12-June 22. www., email Challenger Director Kristen Kay at

Hands-On Home-Learning, offered through Oak and Orca School, provides flexible learning opportunities, making it easy to meet your child’s needs while learning at home. Our program acknowledges that every child is unique, and endeavours to support families to help their children learn at their own pace and in their own way. Our program provides you with options to hire educational assistants, seek alternative therapies, and choose your own workers and therapists. Working with a certified teacher, you are empowered to help create the team that will care for and support your child. Necessary supplies, technology and equipment can also be provided within a budget that you are able to control. 250-383-6609; HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre supports children and families living with seizure disorders through a number of programs and services. We can provide parents with strategies and resources so they feel prepared to meet challenges and reduce anxiety about living with seizures. We offer one-on-one consultations, parent workshops three times a year, tutoring for children who have seizures, as well as education in schools and community organizations. Our newsletter keeps you up-to-date with what’s happening at HeadWay and elsewhere. Visit our webpage at for more information, or contact HeadWay at 250-475-6677 or Island Montessori offers individualized programs for all children, including those with special needs and/or behavioural challenges, in an integrated, inclusive setting. Our highly trained and experienced staff work closely with the child’s family and involved professionals to develop and deliver a program designed to meet the developmental needs of the child. We believe that every child has a natural desire to learn, and that they do so best in an atmosphere of warmth, caring and respect. 5575 West Saanich Rd (across from Red Barn Market). 250-592-4411,, www. Lifetime Friendships… Lifetime Supports…At Lifetime Networks we understand the importance of relationships. We build Networks of Friends, provide Continuing Education, Community Engagement Support, Employment Preparation and more…all within inclusive, safe, welcoming settings. Through the many services of Lifetime Networks the goal is to increase the number of relationships in the lives of people with disabilities. Lifetime Networks

is an organization we are proud of and that makes a difference in our community. info@ Little Steps Therapy Services Ltd. The perfect union of therapy and education for students Kindergarten to grade 6 who have special needs. This therapeutic learning program has extremely small class size (3-4 students per class), certified teachers with a high degree of training and support in the area of special needs instruction, ongoing support from Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist and Behavioral Consultants. Students can earn their graduation diploma in the same way as they can through the traditional school system or participate in a modified or adapted curriculum if appropriate. For information phone Linda Amy at 250 386-1171. Maxine Fisher M. Ed., MTA, RCC Music Therapy & Special Needs: Music Therapy has been successfully used with children who have special needs. Maxine has worked extensively with families and their children who have special needs. Maxine has experience with children who have been diagnosed with Downs Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder ( Including Asperger’s and Rhett’s Syndrome), Cerebral Palsy, Brain Injuries, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders. Maxine also works with people who have physical disabilities. The Music Therapy sessions are focused on the individual needs of each child as well as alleviating the stresses for family members including siblings and caregivers. 250-686-7582or Monarch House offers an interdisciplinary approach to treating individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, from infancy to adulthood. Providing individual and group treatment, transition planning for the different life phases, and recreational drop-in programs; our coordinated care and streamlined services ensure individuals reach their full potential. All our clinicians are under one roof which means no wait lists and faster access to services and available funding. No waiting for diagnostic assessments—Monarch House provides timely access to professionals who are qualified to diagnose ASD and other developmental disabilities. 250-220-8999 or Operation Trackshoes (June 13–15) is a weekend-long provincial sports festival for people with developmental disabilities. It includes a full-length competitive track and field meet, events for people in

chairs, and fun and recreational events. We offer a range of activities appropriate for people of all levels of ability and ages. Building relationships between people with and without developmental disabilities is a key component. Volunteers are needed to provide support, assistance and friendship to the competitors throughout the weekend (similar to a summer-camp counsellor). The number of volunteers determines how many competitors are accepted. To volunteer: 250-721-2233. Perfect Day Store is an online store serving families with special needs children in Greater Victoria, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Lower Mainland, and the Sunshine Coast. The products in our catalog are guided by parents, occupational therapists, and sleep consultants, as well as thorough research. We offer reasonable shipping rates, and delivery is free in the Greater Victoria area. We carry time management and organizational tools, fidgets and chewelery, pretend play, educational toys and games, weighted products, books, writing aids, and sleep solutions. 250-2162445., hello@ Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Association of BC. Something so small can make such

a big difference. Folic acid is known to help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida. To be effective, folic acid must be taken at least three months before pregnancy. Since only 50 per cent of pregnancies are planned, any woman who could become pregnant should make sure she is getting enough folic acid. Folic acid is found in leafy green vegetables, orange juice, and enriched grains. For most women, though, eating food is not enough. To reach the recommended daily level, you will probably need a vitamin supplement. Help portect your baby before they are born by getting enough folic acid daily. www. The Vitamin Shop. Is your child sleepdeprived due to ADHD or Hyperactivity? Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone and is the master hormone that controls sleep patterns. Many parents whose children are challenged with ADHD or hyperactivity find that melatonin will induce sleep while it helps to alleviate their insomnia and sleep disturbances. This may result in sleeping longer with less night-time disturbances, enabling them to function better during the day. Please check with your health professional before administering melatonin to your child. The Vitamin Shop, 1212 Broad St. 250-386-1212.•

April 2014  35

Mechthild Maczewski

Trusting Intuition W

hen it comes to personal health issues, what and who do we trust? How do we assimilate all the information out there and have it make sense to us? Which treatments do we choose for our children? What advice from which professional do we follow? Last year, when my daughter had a concussion, we visited many professionals. Her symptoms and experiences were relatively mild, yet she had a headache that persisted for months, rendering her unable to fully participate in school and social activities. Various medical professionals gave us their recommendations: wait, rest, massage, re-alignment, counselling, yoga, pain and anti-depressant medications. Nothing we tried changed the headaches. The MRI—taken after four months to rule out any missed physical issues, and in itself an anxious and stressful experience— revealed a brain with no visible issues, a healthy brain. On the one hand, we were relieved. On the other, with no answers

through traditional medical diagnostics, we were frustrated. The most prevalent opinion was that with time, she would be just fine. But what could I, as a mother, do when I saw her struggle every day? Should I really trust that waiting would alleviate her symptoms? I had an overwhelming sense that we were missing something. After weeks of exploration, a friend recommended we see a cranio-sacral therapist. I instantaneously felt a glimmer of hope. During my telephone conversation with the practitioner, I knew that we were on the right track. I booked an appointment and, to make a long story short, an hour after our only session with the cranio-sacral therapist, my daughter’s headaches were gone. Where did that sense of knowing come from that seeing this cranio-sacral practitioner was the right way to go? Why did I feel so sure that this was the right treatment option for my daughter? Was it because the practitioners’ language and behaviour fit

with my beliefs of medical practice? Was it because she seemed so kind, knowledgeable and approachable on the phone? I have only felt that sense of knowing twice before and that was in regards to how my children were going to be born. I remember, when I was pregnant with my daughter, suddenly knowing that her birth would be slow and steady. Before my son was born, I sensed that his birth would be quick. And indeed, my daughter had a slow and steady eight-hour birth, and with my son, we never made it to the hospital. At those times—before each birth, and on the phone to the craneo-sacral therapist—I did not understand what I was sensing, where it originated from, and I couldn’t trust this feeling. I am still trying to understand what that sense of knowing, that intuitive sense is. How could I possibly have known? Maybe it was just my imagination or pure coincidence. But what if it wasn’t? Wouldn’t relying on our intuition be helpful in helping us make decisions, like the ones I had to make regarding my daughter’s health? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines intuition as “a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence: a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way

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Island Parent Magazine

without fully understanding why.” This definition leaves me curious about the roots of intuitive knowledge. My doctor says when deciding on treatment options, he always takes the opinion of mothers into account, because they know their child the best and often have that sense of knowing. Yet, in our western knowledge paradigm, in which words such as ‘evidence-based,’ ‘scientific validation’ and ‘quantitative research’ abound, different ways of knowing are often treated with skepticism, if not dismissal. I often find myself being defensive when I talk about a more intuitive sense of knowing something and I can end up, myself, questioning that inner way of knowing. When I was growing up, I was taught, foremost, to use my intellect. I was taught to be a rational human being, to consider the pros and cons of a situation, to consider scientific evidence. I was not taught to develop, what I would now call an intuitive sense of knowing. Now, as a 47-year-old parent, I find that my most confidently made decisions are the ones I made when I felt a ‘click,’ one seemingly emerging from gathered scientific knowledge and an intuitive sense of what hits the target. I always seek other sources, such as theories, experiences, stories that back this sense up, that validate my experience, my thoughts, my feelings. ‘Just knowing’ still isn’t quite enough, but often there is a time when things all of a sudden just feel right, congruent, aligned, in-sync, whatever words you want to use to reflect that more holistic sense of knowing. It’s that point when I can say to myself “I just know.” At the time of my daughter’s concussion, my inner sense of knowing is what propelled me to keep looking for treatment options for my daughter and not to trust that the headaches from the concussion would diminish with time. I am glad I listened. The more deeply I explore intuition, the more I am able to tap into this knowledge and use it as a helpful complement to traditional, western scientific methods. If we could better understand intuition, and learn when and how to trust it, we could gain valuable perspectives for evaluating health treatment options, among other things, and make better-informed decisions. Mechthild Maczewski, PhD, is interested in understanding holistic health practices and intuitive ways of knowing. She has two kids and enjoys life with them in Victoria, B.C.

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Immunization & Your Family Healthy Families, Happy Families

Child, Youth & Family Public Health South Island Health Units Esquimalt 250-519-5311 Gulf Islands 250-539-3099 (toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

Peninsula 250-544-2400 Saanich 250-519-5100 Saltspring Island 250-538-4880 Sooke 250-642-5464 Victoria 250-388-2200 West Shore 250-519-3490

Central Island Health Units Duncan 250-709-3050 Ladysmith 250-755-3342 Lake Cowichan 250-749-6878 Nanaimo 250-755-3342 Nanaimo Princess Royal 250-755-3342 Parksville/Qualicum 250-947-8242 Port Alberni 250-731-1315 Tofino 250-725-4020

North Island Health Units Campbell River 250-850-2110 Courtenay 250-331-8520 Kyuquot Health Ctr 250-332-5289 ‘Namgis Health Ctr 250-974-5522 Port Hardy 250-902-6071

38  Island Parent Magazine


hinking about starting a family? You might be asking, “When should I start thinking about immunizations for my baby?” The answer is before you even get pregnant. It’s a good idea to check your immunization status with your doctor or midwife before getting pregnant because your immunity helps to protect you and your unborn baby during pregnancy. Timing of immunizations prior to pregnancy can be important so it’s best to review the information ahead of time. If you’re already pregnant and require some immunizations, check with your health professional as some types will have to wait until after your baby is born. One of the few exceptions is the influenza (flu) vaccine. “Your Child’s Best Shot”, a guide by the Canadian Paediatric Society, says the influenza vaccine is safe for pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy, and for breastfeeding mothers. Being pregnant puts you at higher risk for flu-related illness and problems. Research shows that infants born during the flu season to women who have had the flu vaccine are less likely to be born early (prematurely) or have a low birth weight. So by getting immunized, you are not only helping to protect yourself, you are also protecting your unborn baby. Again, it’s best to check with your health care professional to make sure this immunization is right for you. They may advise against it if you have experienced a previous reaction or severe allergy to something in the vaccine.

Your Child’s First Immunizations Infants and toddlers are at much higher risk for serious health issues related to vaccine-preventable diseases. This is why it is important to immunize your child on time. To provide children with the best possible protection, immunizations are offered at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months of age. These shots provide protection against diphtheria, whooping cough (pertussis), tetanus, polio, rotavirus, measles, mumps, hepatitis B, German measles (rubella), Haemophilus influenza b (Hib), meningitis (meningococcal C),

pneumococcal disease, flu and chickenpox (varicella). Recent outbreaks of whooping cough, mumps and measles in British Columbia have highlighted the importance of keeping your family’s immunizations up to date. When immunization rates fall in the community, diseases can make a comeback. Apart from smallpox, which has been wiped out, all other vaccine-preventable diseases continue to appear in many areas.

Healthy Families, Happy Families C hild Y ou th & Family Pu b lic Health


Preparing for Immunization Some parents may be nervous about their child’s first immunization appointment. HealthLink BC File 50e “A Better Immunization Experience for Your Child” provides some helpful tips on preparing for your child’s immunizations. Here are other suggestions to prepare a child at any age. Infants & Toddlers: Research shows that breastfeeding during immunization may reduce pain and distress through the combined effect of: • The presence of a comforting person • Diverting attention (sucking and distraction) • Physical sensation of skin-to-skin contact with mother • Sweet taste of breast milk and other substances in the milk produce relaxation and calming effect With infants you can also try using toys, bubbles, singing, or directing the infant’s attention to something that may be of interest to them. Children Over Three: A child over the age of three may find it helpful to do some deep breathing/blowing. Simple breathing exercises can help reduce immunization pain and discomfort. Examples include:

• Telling children to take a deep breath at the time of injection • Having the child blow a party blower, pinwheel, or bubbles • Asking the child to “show me how you blow out candles on a birthday cake” School–age: • Toys, stories, videos, books, joking, music, counting, or directing the child’s attention to something in the room Teens: • Games, videos, joking, or music (personal headphones) As a parent, it’s important to remember that children can be very aware of your emotions. Staying calm and supportive will help your child through these visits.

Where to Get Information As a new parent, you may have questions about immunizing your baby. You can connect with your local public health office or family doctor to review your questions prior to your immunization visit. Another great place for information is HealthLink BC’s Child Immunization Series. This information can be found at www.HealthLinkBC. ca/healthfiles/ and includes the following topics related to immunization:

• #50a Your Baby’s Immune System and Vaccines • #50b The Benefits of Vaccinating Your Child • #50c Childhood Vaccines are Safe • #50d Childhood Vaccines: What is in the Vaccines and Why

Still have questions… Sometimes as a parent it is difficult to wade through all of the information that is available in print and online. Here are some reliable resources with information on immunization and vaccines. You can also contact your local public health unit, family doctor, or pharmacist for more information or to make an appointment. In Print: Your Child’s Best Shot: A Parent’s Guide to Vaccinations, Third Edition. Produced by the Canadian Pediatric Society, Ottawa, Ontario, 2006. Available at your local health unit and several public libraries A Parent’s Guide to Immunization, by the Public Health Agency of Canada©, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2009. The Guide has been translated into 11 different languages in addition to English

and French. To obtain a free copy, please contact 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232) or download a copy at im/iyc-vve/pgi-gpv/pdf/brochure-eng.pdf. On the Web: • ImmunizeBC • BC Centre for Disease Control • Public Health Agency of Canada, Immunization and Vaccines • Immunize Canada And remember, 100 years ago, infectious diseases were the leading cause of death worldwide—many children never lived to see their fifth birthday. Today, almost all the same diseases still exist, but we are protected by immunization. And, immunizations are not just for kids—they provide effective protection against disease at every age. Carly Westwood is a Public Health Nurse and provides support to the South Island Immunization program for Island Health.

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250 383 6609 April 2014  39

Waldorf education in a vibrant island community, abundant with the arts, surrounded by organic farms and endless outdoor adventures.

50 Ways to Love Your Greens


o paraphrase Paul Simon, loosely: The problem is all inside your heads, I say to you. The answer is easy if you take it logically. I’d like to help you in your struggle to eat greens—there must be 50 ways to cook your kale. Please know, it’s really not my habit to intrude, and I hope my meaning won’t be lost or misconstrued (side note, when I say “cook” I mean “prepare!”). At the risk of being crude, there must be 50 ways to cook your kale. Just get out a pan, Stan, hop on the anti-oxidant bus, Gus, and listen to me.

Kale & Brussels Sprouts Salad 1 bunch kale 12 large Brussels sprouts 1 green apple 1⁄2 cup whole roasted almonds, roughly chopped 1⁄2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling over when serving 1⁄2 cup olive oil 1⁄4 cup lemon juice 1 clove garlic, finely minced 2 tsp sugar freshly ground pepper

Mixed Age Kindergartens Grades 1-8|Preschool|Parent & Child Island Oak High School nearby Founded in 1980, located on Vancouver Island in Canada.

40  Island Parent Magazine

(Please note: This salad is better when prepared a few hours, or even a day, in advance, so that the kale can soften and cure in the dressing.) Cut stems from kale and discard. Stack and finely slice kale leaves. Cut the thick stem end from the sprouts and remove the outer few leaves. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise, and, laying flat side on chopping board with fingers on stem end, cut into very thin slices, discarding stem end. Combine kale and sprouts in large bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients together and

drizzle over vegetables. Massage dressing ingredients into the vegetables to allow the kale to absorb the lemon juice, and soften. When ready to serve, chop the apple, add to the salad along with the almonds, and serve with the reserved Parmesan. Kale has so much it wants to give us, like big doses of both Vitamins A and C. So when you need to boost your fibre and phytonutrients, there must be 50 ways to cook your kale. You need the Vitamin K, Jay, so start blending today!

Kale Smoothie 2 cups kale, loosely packed 1⁄2 tart apple 1 banana 1⁄2 cup ice cubes 1⁄2 cup almond milk (can substitute coconut milk) Wash kale leaves, and roughly chop. Chop and seed apple (peel if desired). Cut banana into chunks. Add all ingredients to blender and whir until smooth, adding more almond milk if desired for a smoother consistency. It grieves me when kale causes you mealtime pain, and I wish there was something I could do to put it on your menu again. I think it’s best if we just sleep on it tonight, and re-think cruciferous veggies in the morning light. Get a fresh menu plan, Stan, one you know you’ll enjoy, Roy. Hop on the green bus, Gus—you don’t need to discuss much! Lots of Vitamin C, Lee—just listen to me.

Sauteed Kale 1 bunch kale 2 cloves garlic

2 Tbsp coconut oil pinch red pepper flakes salt and pepper, to taste

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Wash kale. Cut spine out, and discard. Roughly chop leaves; set aside. Heat skillet over medium-high flame. Add coconut oil to pan and swirl around until evenly spread. Add kale leaves to pan and stir well. Add garlic, and red pepper flakes if using. Continue to stir for another few minutes, or until kale has wilted and is tender. Season with generous pinch of coarse salt, and pepper, to taste.

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Braised Kale 1 bunch kale 2 cloves garlic 2 Tbsp olive oil 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar salt and pepper, to taste 1⁄2 small log of chevre, optional 3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts, if desired Prepare kale (remove leaves from spine, rinse well, and finely chop. You can include some smaller pieces of the centre, if you like). Preheat medium-sized skillet, add olive oil and garlic to pan. Add kale leaves, with some droplets of water from the rinsing still on it. Stir well, to mix all the flavours. Pour the vinegar over, and stir it in. Continue to cook, for about five minutes, or until kale is wilted and thoroughly imbued with all of the flavours. Remove from heat. Crumble chevre over; stir in to kale. Sprinkle pine nuts over top, and serve. I think you’ll see how very smooth it all can be, when you open up your mind and your cooking, to more greens. I believe that it’s all very clear, there must be fifty ways to cook your greens.

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April 2014  41

Celebrate Poetry


his April is Canada’s 16th annual poetry month. What may come as a surprise to you is how many children love poetry. Sadly, most of us lose practice reading poetry as we get older. As a result, we forget that poetry is something that is enjoyable on an almost instinctual level, and that kids seem to adore it. Why? On the one hand, kids just seem to enjoy the rhythm and flow of language, without being too concerned with the meaning. It connects them to the lullabies, the nurseryrhymes, the cooing of their infancy. On the other hand, they seem to love poetry’s lack of boundaries. In poetry, language is often flexible and playful. The content is expressive, creative and isn’t confined by ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ Poetry can just explore an emotion or a single idea, and with children’s poetry, that idea is often delightfully absurd. Another benefit for emerging readers is that poems aren’t intimidating to read. They are short but satisfying and may be a great way to fulfill your homereading requirements. The following are some of the best, wellknown poets who are sure to make fans out of any kids who love to giggle. The reigning king of children’s poetry is Shel Silverstein. Silverstein, who illustrated for Playboy and wrote songs for Johnny Cash, is an unlikely candidate to be the world’s leading children’s poet, but that he is and anyone who has read his work will understand why. Somehow he understands the way kids think and he relates to them magically. Silverstein’s bestselling book, The Giving Tree, isn’t his personal favourite and, in my experience, kids prefer the sillier selections in his poetry collections. I am reluctant to recommend a particular title, but any Shel book of poetry will make a wonderful gift to a child. As Shel says: “Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me…Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” One of Canada’s poetry champions is Dennis Lee, who is famous for his books such as Alligator Pie, Garbage Delight and Bubblegum Delicious. Lee is also the lyrist for the Fraggle Rock theme song. Lee started writing poetry after having his own children. He enjoyed reading them nursery rhymes

but thought it was time for something fresh and began to make up his own verse. Alligator Pie will feel nostalgic to most of us and the nonsensical ludicrious poems will still delight readers. Here is one of his most famous—if you aren’t already familiar with it, it is time you were! Alligator Pie Alligator pie, alligator pie, If I don’t get some I think I’m gonna die. Give away the green grass, give away the sky, But don’t give away my alligator pie. Alligator stew, alligator stew, If I don’t get some I don’t know what I’ll do. Give away my furry hat, give away my shoe, But don’t give away my alligator stew. Alligator soup, alligator soup, If I don’t get some I think I’m gonna droop. Give away my hockey stick, give away my hoop, But don’t give away my alligator soup. Jeff Foxworthy is often hilarious, at times endearing, and even occasionally reflective. Poems such as “What Do You See?” can easily encourage kids to start creating poems of their very own. What do they see when they look in the sky? Foxworthy also plays with family relations, celebrating the different roles they play in life. These are great poems for younger children. A personal favourite is “Grandma.” Grandma (From Dirt on My Shirt) My grandma puts on lipstick It’s bright red like a rose Because she cannot see too well It ends up on her nose! Bruce Lansky is another prominent children’s poet. Of his many published books, some are filled with poems selected by kids. Lansky’s primary motivation is to get kids excited to read and write, which he does! His website,, helps achieves this purpose. Pigs In Space (From If Pigs Could Fly and Other Deep Thoughts) If pigs could fly around in space, The world would be a stinky place To go outside you’d have to bring Your piggy-pooper-scooping thing.

With over 70 books of poetry published and named as the first U.S. children’s poet laureate, Jack Prelutsky is no newcomer to the poetry stage. But his play with language, along with his whimsical and carefree style

Book Nook Paisley Aiken will delight most kids. Rumour has it that Prelutsky didn’t like poetry as a child. But he did like sketching imaginary creatures and, sometime in his twenties, he started to write verse alongside his drawings. A poet emerged as he discovered the new twists and liberties that poetry allows. The Average Hippopotomus (From My Dog May Be Genius) The average hippopotamus is big from top to bottomus, It travels at a trotamus, And swims when days are hotamus. Because it eats a lotamus, It’s practically a yachtamus, So it’s a cinch to spotamus The average hippopotamus.

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Robert Heidbreder lives in Vancouver and was a primary school teacher for over 30 years. He was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, has published over 10 books of poetry, and has won several prominent awards. Heidbreder began to write because he wanted to give his students access to language that matched his students’ energy and imagination. His newest collection, Noisy Poems for a Busy Day, is a great read for preschool-aged kids. Somersaults (From Noisy Poems for a Busy Day) Tipsy-topsy Turvy-curve Swirly-curly Tumble-swerve Cool! Paisley Aiken reads extensively to her three energetic young boys. She is founder of The Story Studio Writing Society, a charity that grows kids’ relationship with literacy.

April 2014  43

Lost & Found


e were returning home from vacation. I was struggling to wrap a grimy airplane seatbelt around my pregnant girth. When finally it clicked into place, I mentally scanned my checklist: one mama, check; one daddy, check; two children present, buckled, and occupied, check, check, and check. Then on to crucial items, in order of priority: passports, Gravol, wallets, security blankets…Wait. Security blankets—I only saw one. Two kids, one blankie. With a wave of panic, I realized Heartsie was MIA. Okay, stay calm, I told myself, using my foot to awkwardly drag the diaper bag within reach. Fourteen Hot Wheels cars, three board books, one box of Lightning McQueen band-aids, 10 boxes of raisins, two halfempty bottles of Tylenol, three socks, and a pink plastic slinky later—still no Heartsie. I searched my memory—dodgy at best, completely unreliable during pregnancy—and realized I had last seen Heartsie clutched in Zoe’s pudgy hands…in the security line-up. Oh crap. Around us, the plane was bustling in pre-takeoff mode. A trendy teenage girl sat across the aisle, playing Beyoncé so loud I could make out the chorus of ‘Single Ladies’ through her earbuds. I prodded the ‘help’ button repeatedly until a ponytailed stewardess appeared, regarding me warily as I explained in an incoherent rush why I Must Get Off This Plane NOW. She smiled, more than a tad brightly, and stated that she Would Not Let Me Off The Plane, but given my apparent level of distress—read: hyperventilating—she would get someone else to check for the blanket. I waited miserably, berating myself for being so phenomenally stupid as to let this happen. I mean, what kind of idiot lets their child wander through an airport carry-

Mother Ever. How would Zoe ever get over this? I’d destroyed her sense of safety and trust. I’d proven myself completely incompetent as a parent. Years from now she would

ing an irreplaceable security blankie? Total rookie mistake. Ponytailed Stewardess returned with the unwelcome news that Heartsie was ‘un-locatable’ by airport staff. I restrained myself from screaming: Tiny airport! White blanket with hearts! How hard can it be? And are YOU going to come over tonight and convince this kid to sleep without it? And while we’re on the topic, how ridiculous is it to put a four-year-old’s blanket through security anyway?! Fortunately, I managed to keep these thoughts to myself and settled for seething rage. I forced a deep breath and reviewed my options. I could barge my way off the plane. Being this pregnant, I’d take out Ponytailed Stewardess with no trouble. My rational side argued that in that scenario, assuming I found Heartsie, they likely wouldn’t let me back on the plane, which would be an equally catastrophic problem. I could fake going into labour! Who would launch a plane carrying a woman having contractions? We would have to deplane, and in the chaos my husband could find Heartsie, and we could catch a later flight, and probably get to ride around in one of those airport car thingies, and then…and then the door latched closed and the plane began to creep away from the terminal. In times such as these, one can always count on pregnancy hormones to kick in, thus I found myself in hysterical, blotchyeyed sobs. Ponytailed Stewardess very carefully avoided our row. Trendy Teenage Girl looked positively horrified. Somehow they did not seem to grasp that a lost blankie is pretty much a national emergency. During the long and miserable trip home, I wallowed in my new status as Canada’s Worst

Is There an App for This? SARAH MILLIGAN be paying a shrink to figure out just how and when things started to go wrong. Let’s face it, I’d probably ruined her life completely. Later that night, after a complex bedtime routine involving many tears and refusals of Heartsie substitutes, I realized there was only one solution to this crisis. The only way to redeem myself and pretend this never happened was to launch mission: Retrieve Heartsie. So at 5:00 the next morning I found myself speed-dialing the airport like my life depended on it, forgoing morning caffeine, throwing international long-distance rates to the wind, and crying all over the phone—darn pregnancy hormones again! But at long last, I reached an airport staffer who understood the importance of tiny blankets to tiny people: a grandma. Hope was on the horizon. The following week, a small box arrived in the mail with Heartsie nestled inside, unscathed and no dirtier than before. Peace and full nights of sleep were restored to our household. And I had dodged my Worst Mother Ever award, at least for the time being. One small triumph. And at least 17 years to go. Sarah Milligan lives on Vancouver Island. She is grateful to her children for the joy they bring—not to mention the endless writing fodder. Stay tuned for Chapter Two: Kitty’s Escape.

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250.479.0803 44  Island Parent Magazine

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April 2014  45

Family Services Directory This directory, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, features not for profit agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families. BC Families in Transition (formerly the Separation and Divorce Resource Centre) is one of three non-profit agencies in North America that offers professional counselling, legal support and education for people who are having problems in their relationships. Each year we help 10,000 adults, children and youth through family changes, separations and divorces, remarriages, and complex family situations. Whether you wish to separate or remain together, call us at 250-386-4331 or visit to see how we can help. Some evening and weekend appointments available. Beacon Community Services is a community-based non-profit agency providing social, employment, and health services to Saanich Peninsula, Greater Victoria, and Southern Gulf Islands residents. Beacon offers: child, youth, and family services; a drop-in family resource centre; counselling; employment services for adults, youth, and people with disabilities; home support; volunteer services and opportunities; community events; affordable assisted living for seniors; referrals, information, and resources; thrift shops. For Home Support information call 250-658-6407; for all other inquiries call 250-656-0134, or visit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria is a non-profit organization that provides mentoring programs for children and youth between the ages of 7 - 17. Adult volunteers (“Bigs”) are matched with children (“Littles”) based on shared interests, respect and trust. No special skills or experience are needed to be a mentor to a child, just a willingness to be a friend and commit to being a

support groups and a resource library. Please call 250-477-7231 ext 233.


consistent, positive adult role model. Make a BIG difference in the life of a child in as little as 1 hr./ week. Contact us at 250-475-1117 or visit www. or ‘LIKE’ our page at facebook. com/bbbsvictoria. Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school and evening social, educational and recreational programming for children and youth at 4 locations. We also offer support to parents (Parents Together) and programs at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. For more information on all programs and services visit or call 250.384.9133. The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides year-round, innovative, high quality sports, recreational, social and employment related programs for individuals and families living with autism, while building awareness and capacity through community networks across British Columbia. The Canucks Autism Network currently offers the following programs on Vancouver Island: Soccer (ages 5-15), Swim (ages 4-15), Family Events and Camps. To learn how you can become a member, please or call (604) 685-4049. Community Living Victoria supports people with developmental disabilities and their families by providing residential services, day and community supports (supported employment, parent support and independent living). Our Host agency provides direct supports for those with Individualized Funding and Home Share service. We also provide Autism Services for youth between 13 and 19. Our family support program offers advocacy, conflict resolution, education, newsletters, workshops,

Esquimalt Neighbourhood House Society. Our Family Services offer family resource programs with a focus on early childhood development and learning, parenting education and pre and post-natal services. Our Counselling Services are free to adults and youth (12-18 years); adult and short term clinical counselling is offered for acute mental health problems. For more information call 250-385-2635 or visit 511 Constance Ave. in Esquimalt. HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre supports families living with seizures by providing tutoring and one-on-one professional consultations to help your child live up to their full potential. We offer a parent workshop three times a year as well as education presentations in schools and community groups. Keep up to date with the latest research about treatments, lifestyle, and safety issues for your child. We can be reached at, or you can contact our Epilepsy Program Coordinator directly at 250-475-6677. Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is a service agency for immigrants and refugees. Programs offered include cross-cultural counseling, parenting programs (child care available), family violence programs, employment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, ESL instruction, volunteering, youth programs and tutoring, as well as intercultural arts programming. 930 Balmoral Rd, 250-388-4728,, www. Learning Disabilities Association of BC, SVI Chapter, educates, supports and advocates for children and youth with learning disabilities and related conditions. Services include a public lending library, individual/

Writing for Island Parent Many of the articles in Island Parent are written by people just like you: parents who want to share their experiences, knowledge and ideas with other parents. We’re always happy to consider your submission, whether you’re a published writer or not. If you’re itching to express yourself but need a few pointers or a friendly nudge, come out for an evening of inspiration. We’re holding a Writing for Island Parent workshop on Wednesday May 21, 7:30-9:00pm, at 830 Pembroke St, Ste B (across from the north side of Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena). The workshop is free, but space is limited. If you’d like to attend, please e-mail Sue Fast at

Come on out and get those creative juices flowing! 46  Island Parent Magazine

group support for parents and children, professional/educational workshops for parents and professionals. Child and youth programs include: reading/writing, academic skills, social/emotional skill development and Fast ForWord. 1652 Fort Street, Victoria, BC V8S 5J2. Ph 250.370.9513. Fax. 250.370.9421. www. Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) provides programs and services to the military family community including: 24-Hour Information Line; Deployment Information and Workshops; Short Term Counselling, Crisis Support or Intervention; Welcome/Relocation Services; Childcare and Family Support Services; Assistance for Families with Special Needs and Responsibilities. Exciting Volunteer opportunities available! Call the MFRC: 250-363-2640 (1-800-353-3329) for information or visit Parent Support Services Society (www. provides support circles, parenting resources and referrals to all in a parenting role including grandparents raising grandchildren. Our training in peer group facilitation is open to the community. Support circles are free with child minding and transportation assistance available. Volunteers are always needed. Call 250-3848042; email

• preschool to grade 2

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We’re here to


1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre ( provides support, education and resources for parents in the Greater Victoria area through free counselling, volunteer training for reception and peer helper positions, a mentoring program for single moms, and a support group for dads. The Centre also offers over 20 integrated life skills and parenting courses which are open to the whole community (fees are on a sliding scale). Child care assistance is available based on financial need. The Centre provides a bread pantry and free clothing for single parents. Donations of gently-used clothing, small household items, books, and toys are very welcome every Monday and Wednesday. Centre hours are 9–4 weekdays. 602 Gorge Rd. East; call 250-385-1114 or South Island Centre for Counselling & Training is an affordable, non-profit, counselling and training agency serving individuals and families from all social, ethnic, and financial backgrounds. We help people with a wide range of issues including low self-esteem, depression, grief, marital and family conflict, abuse and spiritual direction. We also offer helpful “life” courses. For more information contact us at 250-472-2851; or visit

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April 2014


Getting Out with Baby


here is nothing more precious than the first fuzzy, glorious days you spend at home with your new baby. But once the visitors have gone and your partner is back at work, there comes a time when you realize you cannot stay behind closed doors forever. Yet, suddenly the outside world seems like a very intimidating place. You decide to take an excursion with your little one and it looks like this: you try on your pre-pregnancy jeans but they don’t quite fit yet. So you settle on sweat pants—they’re filthy, but they fit. Any unstained T-shirts? Hmmm. Has anyone seen those sunglasses? Shoes? Keys? Purse? Now to pack the diaper bag—gather diapers, wipes, change pad and a plethora of other baby-related gear. Your wee one is starting to fuss. Quick, get the stroller to the front door, grab that baby carrier! Pack extra change of clothes, hat, and sweater. Wow, baby is really crying now! This whole routine has just taken an hour, and your newborn needs nursing and changing…again. But wait! Why leave the house at all? Resist the urge to think that staying home

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all day is a better idea. Escaping the house with a newborn can be daunting, especially if you are venturing out alone, but it is vitally important. Physical activity is known to help with depression, and some studies have shown that moderate exercise, such as walking outdoors, can alleviate symptoms of postpartum depression. Socializing with other parents also helps to normalize the experience—you are not the only one walking around in public with spit-up in your hair. Personally, I know I can feel cooped up very easily by the routine that comes with the feed/diaper change/sleep pattern of a baby. It is important to for me to get out when I can to get a sense of still being part of a life that includes a wider community. Most new parents I know struggle with getting out of the house. They worry if their baby will need to feed while out and about or whether the baby will cry inconsolably. Is it possible that you, who used to manage an entire office of adults with one hand tied behind your back, cannot manage a simple outing with your baby? Take a deep breath, you can do this. Getting out minus the stress

and overwhelm can be tough when you are dealing with a baby. Those cute little creatures are known for pooping at the worst times! While you will not be traveling quite as lightly as before, with a bit of planning and the right

New Parent Pages Diana Hurschler, BScN equipment, trips out are both possible and enjoyable. So, to ease you across the threshold, here are a few tips on to how to cope—and thrive—with a baby in tow: 1. Do not be too ambitious on your first outings. Start instead with a small trip such as a walk around the block with your baby in a stroller or sling or even just in your arms. You will get some fresh air, reconnect with your surroundings, and gradually you will become more adventurous. Congratulate yourself with each new step you take, whether it is up and down the driveway or around the block. As you get to know your baby’s temperament, preferences, and schedule, the best routine will emerge. A 20-minute, after-breakfast stroll, an

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hour-long afternoon excursion, or a quick jog at dusk might make your day. Be flexible, even if you want to go the new parent group but your baby is screaming, it is time to go home and try again another time. Please be gentle with yourself, and do not feel as though you are a failure because you have not managed to make it to a new parent group on time, or if you have not managed to get there at all. On those days that we have not managed to get out the door (and believe me, we have ALL had them), inviting a friend or neighbour to come to you can alleviate the frustration. 2. Feeding in public. As a breastfeeding counsellor, I have found that most new mamas are often nervous about the first few times they feed in public, and find it hard to believe they will ever feel confident. In the early days each feed can seem like a marathon, with the baby bobbing on and off, and the need to sit in the right chair and have the right pillows. But eventually everything will settle into place. If you feel like you need space or privacy, find a quiet corner or bench at the park or in the shopping centre or even in a change room of a quiet store. Some centres have great, clean, comfortable feeding and baby change rooms. The Breastfeeding Matters group has a directory of breastfeeding-friendly locations in Victoria that provide clean facilities and a welcoming attitude to breastfeeding mums. Visit Best_Places_to_Breastfeed_Victoria_Directory.pdf. 3. Repack the diaper bag AFTER each outing. Restock the diaper bag when you get home instead of the next day when you are trying to get out the door. If you used two diapers and a change of clothes, replace them right away and put the bag by the door, ready to grab next time you are outwards bound. Be sure to include two diapers, travel wipes and ointment, a light blanket (doubles as changing pad), and a light sweater. Don’t forget a weather-appropriate hat. And tuck in a few energy snacks for you, a protein bar, a piece of fruit, and a bottle of water. Oh the places you’ll go! Check out your local library, coffee shop, park, drop-in baby groups, neighbourhood houses, the toy store, and any places where the other moms are hanging out. Soon, you will be managing outings like a pro! Diana Hurschler, RN BscN, childbirth educator, certified breastfeeding counselor, has been helping families in their childbearing years and beyond since 1998. Diana is the proud mama of four little ones. Email diana@

& The place online where parents and grandparents get information about their community for their family: Read current and past issues of Island Parent Magazine. Visit our Marketplace to find businesses, programs and services that cater to the little person in your life. Looking for that special something you had when you were a kid? Check out our classified ads. Want to see what’s up today or this weekend? View our calendar of events. Whether it’s dance lessons, parenting workshops, fun days and festivals, what’s happening at your local rec centre or community events—Kids In Victoria has it all! Maybe you are looking for something to engage your mind or perhaps need a little bit of advice. Well we have that too on our community forum. Receive Island Parent & Kids In Victoria e-newsletter for updates and exclusive contests. You can also enter our monthly and photo contests.

Come be part of our community at

April 2014  49

Preschool & Child Care Directory CENTRAL SAANICH Almosthome Childcare/Preschool...250-590-7666 Quality childcare with a preschool curriculum/kindergarten readiness program. Experienced Early Childhood Educators. Nurturing environment for ages 21⁄2 to 5 years old. Chrysalis Child Care..........................250-652-0815 A nurturing and stimulating environment for a small group of 3–5 year olds. Qualified ECE promotes learning through play.

Colwood/LANGFORD Almosthome Childcare/Preschool...250-590-7666 Quality childcare with a preschool curriculum/kindergarten readiness program. Experienced Early Childhood Educators. Nurturing environment for ages 10 months to 5 years old. Caring Touch Daycare.......................250-478-4886 A warm, loving, fun family daycare in a safe, nurturing environment. Infant/toddler care for ages 1–5 years. Goldstream Co-op Preschool.................................. Learning Through Play for 3 and 4yr olds! For registration information go to our website: www.goldstream Jenn’s Little Bears.............................250-478-8999 A safe nurturing environment for children from infancy to kindergarten. Our Infant and Toddler Program enriches each child’s development while our 3-5 Program prepares children for kindergarten. Two separate buildings allow each age group space to grow! Leap Forward Childcare...................250-818-9225 2758 Peatt RD. Licenced group childcare for children ages 6 months to 5 years old. Offering full-time and part-time care. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. For more information please contact Amber: info@leap, Miles of Smiles Nature Junior Kindergarten..............778-265-4374 Come see why learning in nature rocks! Reggio Influenced Philosophy for ages 3-5. Have your child become a nature detective today!

La Pre-Maternelle Appletree Preschool..........................250-479-0292 French immersion program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre. Simply Fun Childcare Centre............250-881-3958 A warm, loving, fun and nurturing place for children to grow and learn. We have spaces available for registration ages 2.5 to 12 in our Licensed Group Facility. We offer extraordinary childcare, before and after school programs and a preschool. Our teachers are extremely qualified with ECE training and have lots of experience. Call Brenda to set up a tour. Let your child’s light shine bright with us!

Highlands Lexie’s Little Bears Child Care Inc...250-590-3603 Welcome to Forest Daycare! Our OUTDOOR nature program provides your child with an experience like no the elements! Our Nature-lovers program boasts our own 2 acre forest, outdoor gardens and handmade playgrounds; strongly influenced by Reggio Emilia! New Infant/Toddler centre this spring! Wait list being taken NOW! Visit our facebook page for ongoing photos and news!

METCHOSIN A Growing Place................................250-391-1133 Half day program (AM or PM) for 2.5-5 yrs. ECE educator, small class size. Our own petting farm. Summer program for July. Metchosin Co-op Preschool.............250-478-9241 Come visit our stunning natural outdoor playspace, and see how our inclusive, play-based program allows parents to grow and learn alongside their children. Exceptional ECE staff provide a warm and enriching experience for 2.5–5 yr. olds. Come Grow With Us! EST. 1960. Reg. begins March 1 @ 9am.

North SAANICH In The Garden Childcare Centre.......250-654-0306 A GREAT PLACE TO GROW. Offering preschool, full day care, before and after school care for children aged 2.5 to 12 years old. Open all year.



Carrot Seed Preschool......................250-652-2311 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground.

Creative Child....................................778-679-0076 At Creative Child, you will find a place of quality learning and care for a small group of young children in a beautiful Montessori-inspired setting. www.

ESQUIMALT CIARA Early Childhood Centre.........250-386-7369 Education and fun hand in hand. Exceptional care for little ones ages 12 month-5yrs in an inclusive centre with Christian values. ChildhoodCentre. Island Kids Academy Esquimalt.......250-381-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum offered within a warm, caring all-day program. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available.

Emmanuel Preschool........................250-598-0573 Children learn through play in our non-denominational Christian preschool near UVic. Bright attractive setting. Gonzales Co-op Preschool...............250-727-1003 Children use imaginations in a Learning through Play classroom and natural playground. Reggio-Emilia inspired, focus is on art, nature and music. Nurturing, highly qualified ECE and ECE assistant. Parent participation options. Allergy aware.

Kindred Spirits Children’s House........250-590-6966 Now accepting registration for a small group of 2.5–5 year olds in a purpose built Montessori classroom. The prepared environment stimulates and engages the children at their own pace with hands on, size, age and developmentally appropriate materials. Oak Bay Co-op Preschool..................250-592-1922 Children Learn Through Play in this parent participation school. Our bright facility is allergy-free with a large outdoor playground. Recreation Oak Bay..........................250-370-7200 Fully licensed, qualified ECE Daycare and Preschool with play based learning. After school care also available. St. Christopher’s Montessori School............................250-595-3213 A beautiful, warm environment, steps from beach and park in Oak Bay. We offer an enriched Montessori program – half days for 3 and 4 year olds and half or full day Kindergarten.

SAANICH Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre.....250-477-3731 Formerly known as Goosey Gander Kindergarten. Half Day and Full Day Preschool Programs. Children’s learning is supported and nurtured through inquiry, exploration, play and creative expression. Cloverdale Child Care.......................... 250-995-1766 Preschool for 3 & 4 year olds, Come grow with us and learn through play. Full o’ Beans Preschool........................ 250.360.1148 Opening September 2013. We offer ‘learn through play’ programming designed to foster your child’s natural curiosity and imagination. Flexible scheduling, 2.5 and 4 hour programs, qualified staff. Registration is ongoing! Island Montessori House..................250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing preschool, kindergarten, Grade 1/2 program. Located in a lovely rural setting. Extended day available. Lakehill Co-op Preschool.................250-477-4141 Where children’s development is nurtured through a child centered inclusive, play based program. Come visit our out natural outdoor playground and meet our loving qualified ECE team. Multiple Levels of participation available, please enquire. Lambrick Park Preschool & Childcare............................................250-477-8131 Gordon Head’s only parent-participation preschool and childcare centre. Flexible options, play-based learning and outdoor play. Allergy friendly. Celebrating 40+ years. Little Readers Academy....................250-477-5550 An enriched learn-to-read program for your 3-6 yearold! Reading, Writing and Math. Half-day, weekend and evening sessions available.

Looking for child care? Taking care of children?

Call your local Child Care Resource & Referral for free referrals and resources.

Child Care

Resource & Referral Your community’s best source of child care information and resources. 50  Island Parent Magazine

Victoria & Gulf Islands: 250-382-7000 or 1-800-750-1868 Sooke: 250-642-5152  Westshore: 250-391-4324 Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231 PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273 Funded by the Province of BC

Preschool & Child Care Directory Montessori Educare..........................250-881-8666 Beautiful learning environments in Broadmead and Saanichton. 30 months – 5 years. Summer program available. Special needs are welcome. Neighbourhood Junior Kindergarten..250-479-4410 Offering an early literacy program 4 mornings/wk. (TF) for 4 year olds in an attractive, culturally-sensitive learning environment in Lake Hill School. Oakcrest Preschool...........................250-472-0668 A welcoming, nurturing environment with a large, bright facility. Learn through play with 2 caring ECEs. Playtime Preschool...........................250-383-3101 AM or PM preschool classes up to 20 hrs/wk. Tillicum. Spacious facility, qualified ECEs. Let’s Talk About Touching Program. Puddles & Paints (Nature Daycare).. 250-658-6573 Introduce your children to the natural world around them! Surrounding them with nature and animals, we build on their curiosity while exploring the outdoors! On 10 acres of parkland the children lead the way towards environmental awareness! With a new ART STUDIO, and weekly lessons from the Vic. Academy of Music... your child’s day will be FULL of wonder and NATURE. Strongly influenced by Reggio. Visit our facebook page for pics of our studio, and handmade toys! Quails’ Nest Daycare.........................250-721-2342 At-home licensed daycare near VGH; multi-aged; all families welcome. Play-based environment promoting social, emotional, physical growth. Art, songs, story-telling, puppet shows, daily walks. $800.00 Rainbows & Dreams Preschool........250-479-1966 Small classes for 3-5 yr olds in a safe nurturing environment. Children learn through play and fun–developing a sense of confidence, independence and creativity. Highly qualified ECE teacher. Ready Set Grow Preschool...............250-472-1530 Caring, quality licensed Learning Through Play environment. In Hillcrest School, Gordon Head. Highly qualified, warm ECE. Rogers Child Care Centre.................250-744-2343 Trusted High Quality Programs since 1991. Early Learning and Out of School Care. St. Joseph’s Catholic Preschool..............................250-479-1232 ext 120 • A Christian child centre for 3–5 year olds. • A warm nurturing and challenging program • Offered by St. Joseph’s Catholic School. St. Margaret’s School Early Learning Centre.......................250-479-7171 Junior Kindergarten for girls age 3 and 4. Nurturing, play-based curriculum with art, STEM and outdoor exploration. Specialist teachers.­New LEED-certified facilities on 22-acre parkland near Quadra and McKenzie. Half or full day options. Strawberry Vale Preschool...............250-479-4213

Programs for 3 or 4 year olds at “The Little Red Schoolhouse.” Choose between full or partial parent participation. Wiseways Preschool & Daycare.......250-477-1312

Fully licensed Christian preschool for 3 and 4 year olds. Designed to meet the needs of the whole child. Subsidized fees welcome. www.wiseways.

SIDNEY Adel’s Play N Discovery House........250-655-4888

Licensed childcare, 3-5 years, Reggio Emilia inspired. Mon–Fri, 7:30am–5:30pm. 2146 Beacon Avenue W., Positive Path Early Learning............250-655-7244

Year-round quality child care where preschoolers explore and learn in a culture of Christian values and virtues.

VICTORIA ArtsCalibre Academy........................250-382-3533 Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 5, delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts. Outstanding educators, locations and facilities. Babies to Big Kids Childcare............... 250-590-2722 949 Fullerton Ave. Licenced group childcare for children ages 6 months to 11 years old. Offering full-time and part-time care. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. info@babies, Castleview Child Care.......................250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed nonprofit, qual. ECE staff. Since 1958. Preschool and full-time care. Cedar Daycare...................................250-479-2032 Community oriented, NFP Child Care facility. Wide variety of activities offered including the use of a private outdoor pool during the summer months. Licensed ECE educators devoted to nurturing children aged 30 months – 5 years. Christ Church Cathedral Childcare and Junior Kindergarten...................250-383-5132 ECE and specialist teachers provide an outstanding all day licensed program for 3–5 year olds in our spacious and welcoming facility in James Bay. Downtown Y Child Care Centre.......250-413-8869 Enriched program, for children ages 3-5 years, supporting healthy child development and future school success. Lansdowne Co-op Preschool...........250-370-5392 An extraordinary learning environment for families with young children. Parent participation. Nightingale Preschool and Junior Kindergarten...................250-595-7544 – Taking children’s learning forward – One of Victoria’s leading preschools and Junior Kindergartens. Balanced approach to play and education. Programme supports literacy, numeracy. Visit www. Fernwood. Parkdale Early Childhood Centre.....250-382-0512 ECEs offer the highest quality care and positive learning experiences in our daycare and preschool. Full time or part time. Call for a tour or visit us at

Little Friends Childcare Center........250-479-8423 For a creative learning environment. Licensed group facility. Infants/Toddlers/Preschool. www.littlefriends Little Wonders Preschool (View Royal OSC)...............................250-744-2718 A creative and supportive program that will prepare your child for a lifetime of learning! Out of School Care is also available for school aged children. View Royal Preschool........................250-479-8067 An exciting inclusive program in an exceptional care environment. Licensed 3–5 year olds. Outside play and themes enrich this program. viewroyalpreschool@

Mill Bay / Cobble Hill Starchild Centre..................................250-929-3240 Unique infant/toddler daycare, combines the best of Montessori and Waldorf. Our 9 acre hobby farm enables each child to have a garden plot, participate in planting trees, picking fruit, feeding animals, and other outside adventures.

DUNCAN Maple Tree Play House Licensed Family Childcare...............250-746-5060 A daycare program that provides enriched outdoor play time and activities that build on a child’s intrinsic love of nature. Healthy meals and snacks are provided. Queen Margaret’s Preschool/Junior Kindergarten..........250-746-4185 Offering a co-ed enriched curriculum in a friendly atmosphere. Morning ECE/afternoon daycare. Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre.........................250-701-0433 We believe that the development of the whole child (physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually) encourages each individual to develop to their full potential. We offer an enriched full day program for 3–5 year olds based on Kindergarten readiness. Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool.....250-743-7253 A warm, nature-based rhythm where wonder is nurtured.


Rainbow Express Daycare................250-382-2314 Enriched preschool style program in a daycare setting. Visit our website at

Cherry Tree Child Care Centre.........250-246-9195 Preschool program nurturing creative play and engaging learning activity. 30 months to age five. Qualified and experienced Early Childhood Educator.

The Sir James Douglas Playschool.250-389-0500 Fun, creative and educational ECE program for 3-5 year olds to grow and develop life long skills. Come play and learn in our bright and modern centre in Fairfield.

St. Joseph’s Preschool.....................250-246-3191 An enriching preschool program allowing children to grow as individuals in a safe and nurturing Christian environment.

Victoria Montessori...........................250-380-0534 Unique, innovative learning environment combining the best of Montessori and Learning Through Play. Open yr. round. 30mths–grade 1.

VIEW ROYAL A Secret Garden Preschool..............250-380-8293 Program built on Christian values. Monthly themes, weekly topics and daily activities. Island Kids Academy View Royal.....250-727-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum offered within a warm, caring child care environment. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available.

Qualicum Beach Children’s Discovery Centre.............250-752-4343 Our program recognizes the uniqueness of each child and provides a nurturing, safe and creative learning environment. Preschool, Groupcare, Out of School care. ECE qualified staff. childrensdiscoverycentre@ Little Star Children’s Centre.............250-752-4554 Earth friendly preschool education inspired by nature. Kinder-Prep classes. Licensed group care. ECE instructors.

Port Alberni John Paul II Catholic School............250-723-0637 “Where children grow and learn through play.” We provide a program that will inspire development physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, creatively and spiritually.

April 2014  51

Ad Directory The OCEAN 98.5........ 31 Maria Montessori........ 15 Beacon Community

Maxine Fisher............. 20

Services.................. 54 Monarch House.......... 41 Bellies in Bloom.......... 44 Mothering Touch........... 5 Camp Imadene........... 45 Oak & Orca............. 8, 39 Camp Narnia.............. 41 Operation Camp Pringle.............. 27

Track Shoes............ 36

Camp Qwanoes....BC, 54 Panorama Camp Thunderbird...... 47

Recreation.............. 54

Campus Honda.......... IBC Restart Computers...... 47 Cinecenta................... 37 Roy’s Photography...... 33 Community Living....... 18 Royal BC Museum...... 17 Conseil Scolaire.......... 23 Royal Victoria Cowichan Theraputic

Yacht Club.............. 19

Riding..................... 45 Saanich Dental........... 36 Creatively United for the

Saanich Recreation.... IFC

Planet Festival........... 1 Scallywags................ IFC Cridge........................ 55 School House Discovery School........ 16 Dr. Shannon

Teaching Supplies... 48 Scouts Canada........... 41

Barnsley................. 45 Serious Coffee............ 48 Duncan & Faber.......... 55 Spina Bifida.................. 2 Dwight School............ 45 St. Margaret’s Dyslexia Victoria.......... 21 Emmanuel Baptist Church..................... 9 Emmanuel

School.................... 11 St. Michaels University School..... 22 Sunrise Waldorf.......... 40

Preschool................ 37 The Children’s Fun Society................ 18 GNS Marine

Treehouse............... 43 Theatre ONE............... 27

Adventure................. 9 Thrifty Foods............... 29 Gordon Head Recreation................ 6 Hampton Little

TJ’s The Kiddies Store...................... 21 Tom Lee Music........... 55

League................... 26 Tumblebums............... 19 IMAX.......................... 20 UVic Vikes.................. 13 Island Farms............... 28 Victoria Children’s Island Montessori........ 47

Choir...................... 33

Kaleidoscope.............. 12 Victoria Conservatory Kye Bay...................... 33 Lansdowne

of Music................. 15 Victoria Epilepsy.......... 47

Preschool................ 19 Victoria Pediatric Leap Forward

Dental....................... 7

Childcare................ 12 VIHA........................... 38 Lexie’s Little Bears..... IFC Vitamin Shop................ 3 Lifestyle Markets......... 39 Vivace Violins.............. 13 Lifetime Networks....... 37 Welcome Wagon......... 22 Little Steps................. 35 West-Mont School........ 7 Making Tomorrow

Westshore Zumba......... 9

Conference............. 43

52  Island Parent Magazine

The Deafening Silence of an Empty House


rom what I understand, the silence is deafening. The silence that descends once your kids grow up and move out and you’re left wondering what to do with yourselves when you suddenly aren’t picking up after them and doing a million dishes every day. This phenomenon of deafening silence also explains a grandparent’s urge to buy grandkids as many toys as humanly possible and to let them watch television and eat ice cream. I suddenly understood all this the other day. And it made me choke up just a little. I’ll admit it: sometimes the chaos drives me nuts. When it’s 5:30 p.m. and the house is kinda crazy and my oldest is relentlessly counting in English, counting in French, eeney-meeney-miney-moe-ing everything in sight. When my youngest is playing his toy drums and asking a thousand unanswerable questions. When I’m just so tired it drives me nuts and I tend to have a shorter fuse with the kiddos. But, knowing the alternative—the silence—makes me realize I should be appreciating every minute of the chaos. It’s not easy, and I slip all the time. Sometimes I feel like I will lose my mind when things are hectic and the kids are fighting over ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and then, “Daddy, why is taller taller?” and then a crash of plastic hitting the ground and crayons all over the place and I’m still holding on, hanging in there, and then another glass of milk hits the ground and I just lose it. I’m a dad, after all, not a robot. But the point is to hang in there as long as you can before losing it. We’re all going to lose it from time to time. But, man, enjoy that chaos. I’ve spent too much of the past five years not embracing it. Now I just want to love it. I’m not saying your house should be a zoo. Keep the little rascals under control, of course. But don’t let your own stresses get in the way of what really should be a great sound—the sound of life. Not to sound too much like a cheeseball commercial that’s about to sell you some garbage you don’t

need, but it really is a special time and we should enjoy it as much as we can. All of which is fine and dandy, but back to reality. It’s been a long day at work and you get home and the energy levels are so through-the-roof before you can even get your shoes off that you feel like you need

Dadspeak GREG PRATT a stiff drink. The mental strength it takes to push that exhaustion aside and step into the chaos at that time of day, on those days that threaten to break you, is almost unattainable. Almost. But I’m starting to think that on all but the worst of the worst days, we can do it. We can enjoy the gibberish flowing out of their mouths at decibel levels previously unimaginable; we can enjoy answering questions that have no answers when we’ve been answering tiring questions all day at work; we can enjoy life again, because that’s what the little rascals are doing right in front of us. And if it seems like it’s too much, if you just want to clasp your hands over your ears and close your eyes and wish for it to end, just think of the alternative. Think of the horrible, sobering fact that it will all end one day. One day that will come all too soon. Think of the silence, and think of how incredibly quiet and lonely the sound of the clock ticking and the tap dripping and the house settling will be one day. I’m in no rush to get there, and I suspect deep down inside, you’re not either. So bring on the chaos. Bring on the life. Greg Pratt is the father of two children and a local journalist and editor. His writing has appeared in, among other places, Today’s Parent, Wired, Revolver, and Douglas.

South Island Business Directory

AB Mack

Immigration Canada

Move to the head of the class.

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Art Classes

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The original mixed-age Family music class for children from birth to 5! and the grownups who love them!! Making sweet Music Together! with over 1800 Victoria area families since 2004!! - please contact us to try a class!

Music Together Victoria 250-217-2477 April 2014  53

Mommy TRX

This class is a fresh new way to stay in shape without having to worry about childcare. Bring your baby (1.5-18 months) to socialize while you get your workout! Mommy TRX is a new, effective and fun way to get back to pre-pregnancy shape. It combines TRX suspension training with specific exercises to increase energy, muscle tone and strengthen the core. Come see the benefits of TRX, meet other moms, and optimize your hour workout. Daddy’s also welcome! Location: Panorama Recreation Pool Mezzanine 82622 Tu 9:30am - 10:30am Apr 15 - May 20 82625 F 10:15am - 11:15am Apr 25 - May 23

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54  Island Parent Magazine


Wacky, Wonderful, & Talented Turtles


have just started working at Swan Lake and it turns out I have a lot to learn! Spending my first few weeks at the centre, shadowing the naturalists, I have been amazed at all the things I don’t know about the ecological community in which I live. The best part about it is that almost all the information I am absorbing is interesting to children and adults alike. I know this because as I recount stories of my day at work, my friends sit up and listen, regardless of their backgrounds, wide eyed and curious. Nature, I have been reminded, is not just child’s play. One of the creatures that has amazed me over the last week is the painted turtle, North America’s only turtle found naturally across the continent. As I tagged along behind a group of enthusiastic elementary school explorers, the question was posed to the group, “What do turtles do in the winter to avoid freezing?” To understand fully how interesting the answer to this question is, I think it’s important to understand some of the differences between an amphibian and a reptile. One of the biggest and most interesting differences lies in their skin. Reptiles, such as snakes, turtles and lizards, have scales. Those beautiful patterns on the turtle’s shells are their unusual scales, acting as a protective layer that shed and re-grow as the reptile grows. While beautiful, scales also inhibit reptiles from doing something amphibians are able to do, breathe through their skin! This amazing adaptation enables amphibians to dive deep while looking for food or avoiding a predator. It also allows them to burrow into the mud to survive the cold winter months where the top layer of soil around Swan Lake occasionally freezes. Though it seems like the turtle should be an amphibian, since it spends a lot of time both in water and on land, our scaly friend shares other reptilian features. Turtles lay their leathery eggs on land, have a more expanded respiratory system, and are not

at risk when their skin dries out since they don’t have the thin, sensitive skin of an amphibian. Without a superpower suit of breathable skin like a frog’s, turtles have to spend much more time at the surface to meet their oxygen needs during the warm months. When the winter months come, however, turtles separate themselves from the reptiles pack in a very weird way. Though it would seem a logical solution, turtles don’t have the energy during their hibernating months to constantly be surfacing in order to breathe. Being cold blooded, they need the warmth of the sun to provide

Nature Notes FRANCIE MORGAN their body heat, which sadly, is not strong and warm enough during our Victoria winter. Finding themselves needing to be buried under the mud and marsh for months on end, aquatic turtles have adapted by developing two very special organs. Located near the turtle’s cloaca (basically the opening on their behind) are two air sacs covered in specialized gill-like tissue. They suck the water into the two small sacks in their rump and the water flow pulls small amounts of oxygen into their bodies. Indeed much to the amazement of 10 year olds, turtles are bum breathers! Sadly, the Painted turtle is at risk. The wetlands which it inhabits and the uplands where it nests are both areas loved equally by humans for habitation. In our quest for more ideally located housing and recreation areas, we humans have filled in many marsh and wetland areas, leaving little for our turtle friends. With less habitat and more risks from increased traffic, turtle populations on Vancouver Island are in real need of attention. There has been a real effort in the last couple years to improve conditions for our beautiful reptile friends around the Swan Lake. Come down to the centre and meet our resident Painted turtle, Wrinkles, or walk along the board walk to check out if you can spot any wild ones sunning their backs on our many marsh logs. Turtles love Swan Lake, we love them, and we’d love to share them with you! Francie Morgan is the newest member of the Naturalist team at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

. . . because love is the bottom line The Cridge Centre for the Family supports individuals and families in maximizing the opportunities and meeting the challenges of life. Children of all abilities, survivors of brain injury, women and children escaping violence, seniors, young parents, and families with children with special needs will all find support at The Cridge Centre. Call (250) 384-8058 or visit to learn more. • Like us on • Follow us on •

Focusing on your future, rather than the fight Resolving your family law case through mediation is the sensible and affordable decision for the future of your family. I provide legal information and practical guidance to simplify the process of separation and divorce, so you can focus on what really matters.

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302 - 852 Fort Street ! 250-383-8038 ! April 2014  55

Cut It Out!

Tips from Parent Educator Allison Rees of LIFE Seminars

The Guilt Trip


re you feeling guilty because your child’s behaviour is off? Are you convinced it’s because of something you did? It’s easy to feel guilty about things like going back to work, sending your child to daycare too early, kids having too much screen time…the list goes on. So if you go there often, you better CUT IT OUT! It’s not helpful. The stories we tell ourselves can keep us stuck and usually don’t point us in the right direction. Guilt can be a chronic emotion that often starts in childhood when we were told our feelings of frustration, irritation and annoyances were wrong. Feeling guilty was much more acceptable. Those subtle feelings went underground and guilt took a front seat. Now we just feel guilty about everything! Yet, guilt is an important feeling. Feeling guilty can mean that we may have hurt somebody, and if that is the case, apologizing and making amends is the right thing to

do. Healthy guilt usually points to a specific event where we can see that our behaviour is out of line. The guilt gives us a signal to take a look and make a change that really needs to happen. If the guilt is just an automatic default based on a fear, it most likely isn’t helpful or even true. Who do you become when you feel unhealthy guilt? Most likely a doormat! You lose sight of your boundaries when you don’t allow yourself to feel irritated, annoyed or frustrated. Guilt can create overindulgence, overprotection and wishy-washy parenting. You might bend over backward and that never works out well because before you know it, you are in full blown resentment. Guilt stops you from meeting your needs, then…you blow your stack. Oops. Now you really do have

something to feel guilty about. However, the way out of this cycle isn’t more guilt. It is paying attention to the subtle feelings and addressing issues early before they pile up again. No child needs to be on the receiving end of guilty parenting. It doesn’t feel very reassuring and it doesn’t usually point to useful solutions. When you can get over your guilt you might actually see things more clearly. At least you’ll feel better and you will be much more pleasant to be around. LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See

Cover Photo Contest For the 2014 Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide to Victoria & Vancouver Island Send us a colourful, clear photo of your kids or family enjoying a summer moment on Vancouver Island, and it may end up on the cover of this year’s Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide. 1st Prize: Main cover photo on the Family Summer Guide and $100 Gift Certificate to the business of your choice on Vancouver Island. Runners up: Five or more runners up will receive two IMAX tickets and their photos will be featured on the cover of either the Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide. Only digital submissions will be accepted. Send a maximum of three photos of medium or higher resolution. Photos must be colour shots of children or families in Vancouver Island locations. Contest is open to Vancouver Island residents only. Entry deadline is Tuesday, April 22, 2014; winners will be notified by email by May 20. Winning photos become the property of Island Parent Magazine. Send entries to:

56  Island Parent Magazine

Raising the Bar Introducing the re-featured 2014 Honda Civic

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506 Finlayson Street • 250-388-6921 Limited time lease offer based on a new 2014 Civic DX, model FB2E2EEX, 2.99% lease APR for 60 months O.A.C. Bi-weekly payment, including freight and PDI is $87.64. Down payment of # Limitedfirst timebi-weekly lease offer payment, based on aenvironmental new 2014 Civic fees DX model FB2E2EEX. lease 60 months O.A.C. *Bi-weekly payment, including freight and PDI,license, is $84.63insurance based on applying $600 leaseare dollars. $0.00, and $0 security 1.99% deposit dueAPR at for lease inception. Total lease obligations is $11,393.20 Taxes and registration extra. Down payment of $0.00, first bi-weekly feeskilometer. and $0 security due at lease inception. Total leasesubject obligation $11,001.90. Taxes, license, insurance and registration extra. 120,000 120,000 kilometer allowance, chargepayment, of $0.12environmental /km for excess Offerdeposit valid thru January 31, 2014. Offers toischange or cancellation without notice. Terms andare conditions apply. kilometre allowance; $0.12/km for excess kilometer. **MSRP is $17,185 including freight and PDI of $1,495 based on a new 2014 Civic DX model FB2E2EEX. PPSA, license, insurance, taxes, and other See Campus Hondacharge for fullofdetails. dealer charges are extra and may be required at the time of purchase. Prices and/or payments shown do not include a PPSA lien registration fee of $30.31 and lien registering agent’s fee of $5.25, which are both due at time of delivery. Offer valid from March 1st through 31st, 2014. Offers subject to change or cancellation without notice. Terms and conditions apply. See Campus Honda for full details.

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April 2014 Island Parent