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Island Parent Celebrating

30 Years

The Resource Publication for Vancouver Island Parents

April 2018

Business Feature

island parent BiZ

Special Needs

Programs & Services

Summer Camp Fun

NEW Jumpscape Fold Away Activity Jumper!

Transforming disability into ability. At Discovery School, learning disabilities are transformed into valuable skills and abilities. Students work at their own pace in small classes, with focused, individualized instruction.

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Across the street from Hillside Centre

• Experienced, highly-qualified teachers • Ongoing assessment, evaluation & feedback • Improves organizational & study skills • Boost confidence, independence & responsibility • Nurturing environment based on Christian values • For students in grades 1 – 12 • Individual Education Plans • Low student/teacher ratio

Enrolment is limited. For more information or to arrange a tour, visit, call Sherri Ko at 250-595-7765 or email principal@


Family ServiceS

Curiosity • Diversity Exploration • Nature Play-Oriented Learning


Half Day & Full Day Early Learning Programs

oF Greater victoria We are now part of Victoria’s New


1004 North Park Street

(Between Cook and Vancouver)

 Individual, Couple and Family Counseling  Parenting Coaching  Relationship Referee  Parent-Teen Mediation  Specialized Children’s Counseling  Caught in the Middle  Divorce and Separation Legal Information and Mediation  Parenting with a New Partner  Parenting After Separation


3905 Haro Road, Victoria BC


I belong here, savouring summer. DON’T MISS OUT! Registration opens at 6 am April 4th, online, telephone & in-person Available online for viewing and planning April 2nd. ACTIVE LIVING GUIDE

Effective July to August 2018

Cedar Hill Recreation Centre G. R. Pearkes Recreation Centre Gordon Head Recreation Centre Saanich Commonwealth Place

250-475-7121 250-475-5400 250-475-7100 250-475-7600


12 Go Visit Garry, Garry Oak

Features Columns 12 Tina Kelly: Go Visit Garry, Garry Oak   5 Sue Fast: Editor’s Note 16 Summer Camp Fun      10 Erin Skillen:   Post-Married Mommy 18 Maxine Fisher:    Helping Kids ‘Feel What They Feel’   50 Emillie Parrish: 19 Special Feature: Island Parent BIZ       Cooking With Kids 52 David Leach: Dadspeak 30 Kelly McQuillan:     Potty (Training) Humour  54 Christina Van Starkenburg: Book Nook 32 Susan Gnucci: Stay-at-Home Mom     56 Sarah Milligan: 34 Julia Mais: Feelings On Infertility   Is There an App for This?   44 Jenny Hyslop: 58 Taryn Coates:     City Family, Country Family    Healthy Families, Happy Families 48 Special Needs Resources     60 Diana Hurschler: In Every Issue Island Parent Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Party Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Family Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Family Services Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62, 63 Preschool & Child Care Directory . . . . . . . . . . . 64, 65 Business & Professional Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

Sue Fast


Island Parent Magazine 830–A Pembroke Street Victoria, BC V8T 1H9 250-388-6905

Linda Frear

   New Parent Pages 66 Laura Trunkey:    Maternity & Beyond 68 Kirsten Dallimore: Nature Notes 70 Allison Rees: Cut It Out!

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Island Parent Magazine, published by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a monthly publication that honours and supports parents by providing information on resources and businesses for Vancouver Island families. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. No material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. Annual mail subscriptions (12 issues) are available for $35 (GST included). Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement 40051398.

On the Cover

Cohen L (4). Photo by Britt Lawrence, The Painted Fox Photography,

4  Island Parent Magazine

The ‘Norwich Way’


hat can parents learn from a town that produced 11 Olympians? That’s the question New York Times sportswriter and author Karen Crouse set out to answer when she wrote Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence (Simon & Schuster, 2018). Having produced more Olympians per capita than any other place in the United States—it’s been represented on almost every U.S. Winter Olympics team since 1984—Norwich has been dubbed “the town that grows Olympians.” With a population of roughly 3,000, the town is now home to three medals, including one gold. For Crouse, what started out as a sports book evolved into what has essentially become a parenting guide, she says in an article for the New York Times. While researching the book, she came to realize that Norwich’s secret to happiness and excellence could be traced to the way the town collectively raises its children. “It is an approach that stresses participation over prowess, a generosity of spirit over a hoarding of resources, and sportsmanship over one-upmanship,” she writes. “Norwich

has sent its kids to the Olympics while largely rejecting the hypercompetitive joy-wringing culture of today’s achievement-oriented parents.” It is possible, she contends, that athletic excellence and a well-balanced childhood can coexist. In Norwich, kids don’t specialize in a single sport, and they even root for their rivals, she adds. “Parents encourage their kids to simply enjoy themselves because they recognize that more than any trophy or record, the life skills sports develop and sharpen are the real payoff.” And it doesn’t hurt that Norwich has poor cellular service, she adds, making its residents less tethered to their tablets and smartphones. The three main principles of the Norwich Way, according to Crouse: Treat your neighbour’s child as your own. Celebrate the success of one child as a victory for everyone. And make sure all children have opportunities to participate—even if, as is the case in Norwich, the “haves” help out the “have nots” by paying recreation league fees or donating equipment.

“In Norwich, it’s not survival of the fittest, it’s survival of all of us,” writes Crouse, quoting two-time Olympic runner Andrew Wheating. Frame sports as fun. “The town’s collective philosophy is that youth sports exist to develop a lasting love for physical activity and

Sue Fast Editor’s Note the outdoors, life skills and friendships that last forever,” writes Crouse. Not only that, but sports also encourage kids to develop skills that will last them a lifetime—discipline, determination, perseverance and goal setting—skills that will serve them on and off the playing field/ski slope/ice rink. Let kids own their activities. In Norwich, the parents of the ski jumpers and snowboarders encourage their children to take risks, engage in horseplay and settle among themselves the conflicts that inevitably arise. When in doubt, adds Crouse, they err on the side of giving their children freedom. Freedom to try. Freedom to fail. Freedom to have fun—one for all and all for one.

Creating beautiful smiles New patients always welcome Call or email us today and our dental team would be happy to assist you with an appointment

Westshore Dental Centre

Mon – Thurs: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm Fri: 7:30 am – 5:00 pm Sat: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

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April 2018  5

Island Parent Notes Daffodil Month

This month, the Canadian Cancer Society is asking British Columbians to join the fight against cancer by making a donation and wearing the symbolic daffodil pin. The mighty daffodil pin lets people fighting the disease know that they are not alone on their cancer journey and that they are supported by friends, family and

Nurturing Self-Esteem in the Child with Learning Difficulties

SING WITH US IN 2018-19!



the Canadian Cancer Society through its support services and commitment to cancer research. The Society delivers programs for individuals seeking cancer information, along with emotional support, and camps for children, youth and families. It also provides accommodations and short-term financial assistance for treatment-related transportation and accommodation as well wigs and prosthesis banks for those who cannot afford them. Volunteers and staff deliver cancer support programs, cancer prevention information and advocate for healthier communities while also fundraising to support the Society’s mission. Buy a pin or make a donation and show those affected by cancer that they are not alone and we are all fighting with them. Visit for more information.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2018

Thank you to our Season 17 sponsors

6  Island Parent Magazine

Victoria’s local agency. The positive impacts of mentoring reach far beyond the individuals BBBS serves, impacting communities long into the future. 100 per cent of funds raised through Bowl for Kids’ Sake go toward the various mentoring programs offered by BBBS. Together, we can help children reach their full potential. BBBS asks that each bowler raises $100—that’s $100 invested in a child’s future. For more information, visit the events page, or contact Eliza Gibb at 250-475-1117 ext. 41 or

Big Brothers and Big Sisters (BBBS) of Victoria’s annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser takes place on Friday, April 20-22 at Langford Lanes in the Westshore. Come on out, lace up your bowling shoes, and join in as local businesses and community members come together, form teams, collect pledges and participate in support of BBBS. Big Brothers Big Sisters’ mission is to help children gain confidence, build resilience, and make better choices as a result of having a dedicated adult role model in their lives. Each year, more than 600 vulnerable children and families seek the support of

Friends matter—a lot. We are social beings and most of us will not thrive unless we can connect with others. How good we feel about ourselves has a lot to do with how others react to us. When people seem glad to see us, we call that a warm welcome, but if no one seems to notice us, let alone welcome us, it can feel very cold. Our child’s self-esteem is directly affected by how successfully he is able to connect with the people he likes. If your child has not been successful when reaching out to others for play dates or joining in with friends on the playground, then it is time to look for strategies that can help him. Every parent wants their child to have friends. This is how we connect with our world, become a part of what is going on around us, and ultimately feel valued. Vancouver Island Montessori Association has invited Amy Kelton to present a parent evening that will delve into the foundations of self-esteem, emotional literacy and navigating relationships. We know that basic knowledge can be learned, but selfesteem and connecting with others benefit from direction and opportunity. Parents will learn strategies to facilitate this important area of human development. Helping Children Navigate Self Esteem and Social Struggles is a workshop for parents led by Amy Kelton, MEd, Assistant head of Early Childhood, 5th grade at Shelton School and Evaluation Centre (shelton. org) in Dallas, Texas. The workshop runs from 7-9 pm, Thursday April 19 at Selkirk Montessori School, 2970 Jutland Rd in Victoria. All parents are welcome. Tickets are $10 through Eventbrite at not-all-great-minds-think-alike-with-amykelton-tickets-43488048925. Sponsored by Vancouver Island Montessori Association,

9th Annual Family Sport & Recreation Festival

Drop by Pacific Institute for Sport Excellencen (PISE) on Saturday, May 5 from 11am-3pm for the Family Sport & Recreation Festival. Fun for the entire family. This free event is your pre-summer destination for introducing kids to new activities and sports, and for parents to learn more about keeping kids engaged in healthy activity. Brought to you by the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame and PISE, this festival features over 30 activities for kids and families to try, including rock climbing, tennis, obstacle courses, adapted sports, golf and much more. There is no cost for organizations to participate or for families to attend. PISE’s primary purpose is to transform lives through healthy activity and sport! The festival is meant to inspire families to be more active and encourage them to play their way to confidence, skill development and more. PISE is located at 4371 Interurban Rd. Visit for more information.

A Fun-Filled Day at BookFest

The 32nd Annual BookFest will take place on Saturday, May 12 in downtown Nanaimo. BookFest is a wonderful, funfilled day for children and adults alike. Renowned authors and illustrators from across Canada will present their work, tell stories about their creations and lives, and inspire youth through literature and art. Presenters include Isabelle Arsenault, Cale Atkinson, Darlene Gait, Kim Soo Goodtrack, Faith Erin Hicks, Qin Leng, Barbara Reid, David Alexander Robertson, Margriet Ruurs, and Robin Stevenson. The day is divided into three sessions of 45 minutes each, starting at 10:15am, 11:15am and 1:30pm. Each child who registers may bring a parent and pick three BookFest presenter sessions of their choice. The presenters use a variety of techniques to inspire creativity and enthusiasm for books in their audience: some use technology, some use story-blankets, and others may leap and bounce about. Audience participation is common, as the presenters ask children to help with future book ideas or assist with a new illustration. Books will be available for purchase on site or bring your own for the book signing following the last session (2:15-3pm). All of the action takes place in downtown Nanaimo on Saturday May 12, from 10am-2:30pm in venues surrounding and including the Diana Krall plaza. Tickets $10/three sessions/per child (accompanying adults are free); Family Pass $25/three sessions/families with 3 or more children. Tickets available through The Port Theatre in Nanaimo, by phoning 250-754-8550, or online at For more information visit or follow Facebook and Twitter @BookFestNanaimo.

The Cridge Respitality Service

The Cridge Respitality Service cares for families raising a child with special needs or a mental health diagnosis by caring for the caregivers. This service has partnered with 25 hotels and 25 businesses to meet the need for caregiver respite by coordinating complimentary overnight hotel stays or complimentary meals, theatre tickets, or gift certificates for parents who cannot leave

their child for an extended period of time. Four hundred families a year are provided with a break from the chronic stresses of raising a child with special needs or mental health diagnosis. Parents return to their parenting responsibilities refreshed and rejuvenated, improving their ability to cope with daily responsibilities and maintain stability during crises. For more information, phone 250-220-8570.

April 2018  7

Wind and Willow Baby Fair

pilot project. Saanich will recruit up to 14 volunteers who will spend a few hours per week in the park from May to September. Mount Douglas Park is Saanich’s largest and busiest park with more than 400,000 visitors annually. The park contains a diverse range of ecosystems from ocean to hilltop, including several species at risk. The park ambassadors will greet visitors, offer information and answer questions about the park and trails to educate visitors about their role in preserving the park. Volunteers will benefit from social connections and the opportunity to more learn about the park’s natural and cultural history. Saanich Parks staff worked with the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society to develop the pilot project and continue to explore opportunities with neighbouring First Nations. The budget for the pilot project is $30,000 and will include program development, volunteer recruitment, supervision and support, supporting materials Mount Doug Park Ambassador and honoraria. If the summer 2018 pilot project proves successful, Saanich staff Pilot Project Visitors to Mount Douglas Park in Saan- will explore the potential expansion of the ich this summer will receive educational op- park ambassador project into other Saanich portunities through a new park ambassador parks. More information about the parks Drop by the first-ever Wind and Willow Children’s Fair, sponsored by Urban Baby Apparel, the Vancouver Island Children’s Health Foundation, and KOOL.FM on Saturday May 5 and Sunday May 6 at the Juan de Fuca curling rink in Colwood, 1767 Island Hwy. This new trade show will feature handmade children and baby clothing, toys and products, as well as kids products and services offered by locally owned, Island run businesses and organizations. There’ll be a kids activities area, shopping totes for attendees, stroller parking, nursing area, parent’s section and silent auction, with auction proceeds supporting The Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island. Also, a local photographer will provide mini sessions for attendees at the event as well as. For more information or to become a vendor, visit windandwillowcf.

Active Arts Camp Join us for a summer of creative, active fun! Exciting camps will engage children in music, art, crafts, cooking and lots of fun and games. v New activities to explore every week v Outdoor fun every day v Field trips to local parks and beaches Camps for ages 3 – 5; 6 – 9; and 10 – 13. Register Online at: For more information: 250.382.3533

8  Island Parent Magazine

ambassador pilot project and volunteer recruitment is available at

Victoria Literacy Connection

Did you know that potential learners can be referred to Victoria Literacy Connection (formerly Literacy Victoria and the READ Society) with a simple phone call or email? The coordinator will be happy to speak with you. Learners come from all walks of life and backgrounds: children, youth and adults wanting to improve their literacy level, embrace learning and increase their self-esteem. Following an initial connection, the coordinator will arrange to meet with the learner to determine their learning needs and match them to the most appropriate volunteer tutor. Programs for Children and Youth include: Noisy Kids Reading Club, Remedial Program for Children and Youth, and Language Arts and Mathematics Diagnostic Assessments. Sometimes learners meet with the coordinator along with the representative from a referring agency. Other learners, who self refer, meet with the coordinator on their own. The Victoria Literacy Connection supports a diverse population of adult learn-

July 3 – 6 Mad Scientist July 9 – 13 Explorers of the World July 16 – 20 “Goin’ Green” July 23 – 27 Wacky and Wonderful July 30 – August 3 Action and Adventure August 7 – 10 Magic and Monsters August 13 – 17 The World at Our Fingertips

ers who have reached a point in their lives when they want to improve their reading, writing, spelling, math or computer literacy. For information, phone 250-382-6315 or email

The Value of Outdoor Education

Studies show that environmental education has a positive impact on child development and learning. A recent review by researchers at Stanford University analyzed studies published over a 20-year period that measured the impacts of environmental education for K-12 students. The review found that environmental education programs provide a variety of tangible benefits. Students taking part in environmental education programming gained not only knowledge about the environment, but also other benefits as well—from improving academic performance to enhancing critical thinking skills and even increasing self esteem and confidence. Participation in outdoor education programs gave students measurable advantages in both their academic and social development. The Raincoast Education Society (RES) is a non-profit organization based in Tofino that views environmental education as a key means of strengthening communities. Since 2000, the RES has set out to educate and engage the public about environmental issues on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Through a number of youth education programs specifically focused on hands-on experiential learning in an outdoor setting, including a summer camp program, RES strives to inform the next generation of scientists, conservationists and citizens about topics important to our communities and way of life on the Island. If you’re looking for an excuse to come and visit the west coast of the Island (or the opportunity to give your child a life-changing summer camp adventure) visit If you’re in Tofino, drop by the office at the Tofino Botanical Gardens.•

SUMMER CAMPS Register for one of two camps offered this summer and travel back in time to discover the ancient world, with the exhibition Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs as our portal.

Egypt: Time Travel

Campers will learn about the ancient world, from pharaohs to everyday people who played an important role in the foundations of the Egyptian civilization.

Egypt: Thinking like an Archaeologist Campers will learn how archaeologists use artifacts and architecture to understand past lives. July and August dates Before and after care available


April 2018  9

When You’re Flat on the Floor

Bleiddyn del Villar Bellis Artistic Director Fellow & Examiner CSC-CICB Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma

Kinder Camps Ages 4-6 July 3-6, 9-12pm July 9-13, 9-12pm BOYS CAN DANCE Ages 7-11 - FREE for boys new to VAB!

Photo credit: David Cooper

July 9-13, 1-2:30pm

2018 Children’s Summer Ballet Camps


t was Day 4 of my daughter’s flu. Four nights of “sleep” broken into 20 or 30-minute increments, thanks to the incessant coughing that kept waking her up through the night. I had been mostly homebound all week, with the exception of picking up and dropping off my son at school. Their dad had taken my daughter for two afternoons so we could take turns getting work done, but now he was out of town for work and I was on my own. I was mostly healthy and it was just a cough/ cold/fever kind of flu, so things could have been much worse. Still, after I put my kids to bed on that fourth night, I lay down on the floor in my living room, too wiped to

I hope that single parents have family, friends and community support but I know that’s not always the case. And I know those supports aren’t always available when needed—especially when you’re at work and get a call that you have to come and pick up your sick child. I have substantial support from family and friends but the moment my kids become little disease vectors, those supports (understandably) go into hiding, sending their best wishes for a quick recovery. The parent is left to figure it out, make it work and hopefully manage to hang onto their job and their health. I like to think I can be pretty tough, but I learned otherwise as I was crying on the

even make it to the couch, and I cried. And cried. And then I wondered—how do actual single parents do this? I don’t call myself a “single mom.” I’m a “mom who’s single,” which sounds like semantics, but it’s a significant difference to me. I am a co-parent, raising my children with an equally capable co-parent who usually has them 50 per cent of the time. True single parents are the ones who are doing it completely alone. For whatever reason the other parent isn’t in the picture and they are the sole adult responsible for feeding, sheltering and caring for their kids. And after seeing how handling it all alone kicked my ass in such a short time, I’m experiencing deep admiration for anyone making it work on their own.

floor from sleep deprivation, cabin fever and plain old exhaustion after only a couple days without my co-parent to help. What the hell would I have done if I was sick too? Some moms and I were discussing how bad it gets when you and your kids drop at the same time, with stomach flu being the worst case scenario. We’ve all taken turns on the toilet while puking into a bucket or bowl, then leaping up to let our child have their turn and ensure they hit their own bucket. Some people say seeing kids acting badly in public is a great form of birth control. I say every sex ed class should be shown what parenting through stomach flu looks like, as a friendly reminder to always use condoms until they’re ready to face just how disgusting having kids can get.



CHILDREN AGED 3-5 YRS Exploring Our World Licensed Preschool At Gordon Head Rec Centre Saturday, April 28th, 10:30am-12pm Full Year French Education Program At Gordon Head Rec Centre Saturday, April 28th,10:30am-12pm ECO Program (Educating Children Outside) At Swan Lake Saturday, May 5th, 10:30am-12pm At Elk/Beaver Lake Saturday, May 12th, 10:30am-12pm

Contact Jen Poitras at 250-475-7113 for more information

10  Island Parent Magazine

I know that as a co-parent I get a lot of judgment, but I believe single parents have it even worse. Parenting one or more kids alone is incredibly hard and there always seems to be someone hanging around with an opinion on what they think you’re doing wrong. There are many different reasons someone can be a single parent. But instead of coming down on them, why don’t we focus on helping them? It’s a lot easier to pass judgment on the parent—usually a mom—struggling to handle things as it’s more visually apparent when things aren’t

Marine Adventure with GNS Looking for a fantastic, adventurous and safe kayak program for your tween or teen? The GNS Marine Adventure Program, which has been offering five- to six-day sea kayak camps for teens and youth for over 20 years, is ready to help your child safely explore some of the most spectacular locations of our BC coastline.

Erin Skillen Post-Married Mommy going well. It’s a lot harder to recognize and critique the parents who have walked away, died or weren’t in the picture in the first place. And yes, there are those who choose to be single parents even before the baby is conceived. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a little care and support when stuff gets hard. I hope that as parents we can recognize we all share a similar struggle, but to varying degrees of ability, resources and privilege. It’s incredibly easy to dump on other parents to try to make yourself feel better about your own shitshow. But instead of trying to one up each other, I hope we can all identify opportunities to lift each other up, no matter how small. Yes, we all have our own hectic lives, but it can be as easy as offering to hold a baby while you’re on an airplane so the parent can get settled in, picking up a neighbour’s kids when you’re getting your own or even just dropping off a care package when you know a family is sick and homebound. This consideration and generousity is great for anyone, but it’s especially kind when provided to a single parent who’s doing it all on their own. We really are all in this together, especially when illness turns our lives into hazmat zones. Why not take an “all for one and one for all approach” and see what happens?


Erin Skillen is a coffee-addicted mom and media producer in Victoria. To ditch stress she shakes her booty to Beyoncé, spins around in a giant metal hoop and writes romantic comedies with another mom.

April 2018  11

Go Visit Garry,

Garry oak


nchanting, diverse, rare, exquisite, unique, endangered, colourful, and national treasure are just some of the words used to describe Garry oak ecosystems. Based on these descriptors, who wouldn’t want to roam this local habitat? And local it is. Garry oak ecosystems are unique to our region, only existing on a narrow swath of land along southeast Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and two small dots in the Fraser Valley. South of the border these ecosystems exist in Washington, Oregon and California.

Not only are Garry oak ecosystems unique but they are extremely fragmented and increasingly rare. One estimate puts remaining Garry oak ecosystems at less than five per cent of their historical distribution and only a small portion of that number is protected.

Tina Kelly Among the gnarly, Harry Potter-esque Garry oak trees live a wide variety of plants and animals, including many designated Species at Risk. Instead of tip-toeing through the tulips, you’ll meander among native showstoppers blooming in ethereal hues of orange, purple, pink, and yellow. Imagine flowers with imaginative names like chocolate lily, shooting star, sea blush, monkey flower, gummy gooseberry, Pacific bleeding heart, fairy slipper, and satin flow-

Summer Camps!

at the

Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre er. And let’s not forget what some might call the Garry oak poster child flower, camas. These are a small snapshot of flora found in what is called the richest land-based ecosystem in coastal British Columbia. The ecosystem’s vast diversity extends beyond plant life; Garry oak ecosystems attract and support countless insects, butterflies and more than 100 species of birds.

April 2018


Come Sail with us! Discounts for CAF, DND, Families and Early Bird (until June 1st) Open to Everyone... Any Level, All Ages! Racing, Cruising, and Family Programs!

Not all Garry oak ecosystems have be responsible for damaging a rare species. standing oaks, they also exist in the form of Check if Fido is welcome and be mindful meadows, rocky outcrops or coastal bluffs. of where they place their paws and poop. • Bring along a plant identification guide. Look for blooms and critters in (I recommend Plants of Coastal British Columbia by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon) these spots this spring: • Take pictures, not plants. Pictures help Beacon Hill Park you identify plants and wildlife later. Matson Conservation Area • Plants bloom at different times throughPlayfair Park Garry Oak Restoration Area out the spring months. Visit again and again Knockan Hill Park to catch the full variety. Highrock (Cairn) Park Want to protect what you see? Your famJohn Dean Provincial Park ily can get their hands dirty and help out with Summit Park Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctu- habitat restoration. From invasive species pulls to planting native species, many local ary organizations can use some extra heart and Uplands Park muscle. Check in with your municipality Many Capital Regional Parks—Bear Hill and ask them about organizations conductRegional Park, Mill Hill Regional Park, ing stewardship work in your neighbourLone Tree Regional Park— feature Garry hood park. The Greater Victoria Green Team, Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature oak habitat.

Canadian Forces Sailing Association 1001 Maple Bank Rd., Victoria BC, V9A 4M2 WEB: EMAIL:





How Ordinary Women Worked Together to Change the World (And Did)

by Jennifer Wynne Webber directed by David Mann

The rousing true story of women in 1940s Ontario who became the heart and soul of a union organizing drive that eventually changed their lives – and the world.

Wed. to Sat. Apr. 11-14 at 7:30pm Sat. Apr. 14 at 2pm VIU’s Malaspina Theatre

Tickets $29 | We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia

14  Island Parent Magazine

Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site is home to a Garry Oak Learning Meadow. This beautiful well-maintained spot has signage to teach species identification and naturalist-led tours. A small admission fee is charged for adults but youth 17 and younger can visit Parks Canada sites for free. Another great place to ramp up your knowledge of native plants is The Horticultural Centre of the Pacific. Adults pay admission but kids 16 and under are free. Further afield of Greater Victoria, notable Garry oak ecosystems can be found at Salt Spring Island’s Mt. Maxwell Provincial Park and Mt. Tzuhalem Ecological Reserve. A few extra tips for exploring: • Dress for our unpredictable spring weather. • Watch where you step; no one wants to

Sanctuary, Habitat Acquisition Trust, and Garry Oak Ecosystem Recover Team can be great resources for conservation projects. Want to grow what you see? Many garden centres sell native plant species. Saanich Native Plants is also a good bet,—the latter also hosts a variety of tours and workshops. Not only will these plants help you attract birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, you’ll save time maintaining your garden. Once these plants are established, they take care of themselves. You’ll have all the beauty with little to no maintenance. Be enchanted—visit a Garry oak ecosystem this spring.

Tina Kelly is the Director of Learning at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea.

Camp Footholds Summer 2018

Footholds Therapy Center is happy to offer a wide variety of summer programs for all ages. Footholds camps are structured around programming and geared towards children with special needs (Autism, FASD, etc) and other emotional and psychological challenges (Anxiety/Depression). Our camps focus on empowering children and youth by building social skills and self-esteem all while meeting new friends and having fun!

Wacky World of Senses and Science: August 13th to 24th

Come join us for two weeks of wacky science and sensory-based activities. Experience hands-on experiments daily as well as exploring our senses through a variety of sensory experiences in the kitchen, gross motor room, and outdoors! $650.00 (7–10 years 9am–12pm & 12–18 years 12:30–3:30pm)

Nature Buddies: July 3rd to 13th

Nature Buddies introduces learners to the fun of nature and utilizes the learning materials that are readily available in our surroundings. Learners will explore nature through crafts, learning activities, whole body movement, and social thinking development. $550.00 (4–7 years 9am–12pm)

Artworks: August 7th to 17th

This group targets learners age 4 to 7 who could benefit from developing their fine motor abilities. Artworks is about increasing fine motor skills through the creation of art. It is open-ended where children aren’t trying to make something exactly like an example product. This process allows children to explore and create freely and learners can repeat the same project many times, resulting in different creations. Process art reduces the stress associated with trying to make a project exactly like someone else’s. Process art also allows for true creativity to develop. Parents will enjoy receiving art that their child is able to do independently. $650.00 (4–7 years 9am–12pm)

Teen Life: July 16th to 27th

This camp promotes mindfulness through our relationship with nature. Teens will be empowered to further develop their confidence, communication, and social skills in a supportive environment. Campers will participate in a variety of hands-on activities to help them reconnect with the planet, including organic gardening, vegetarian cooking, and outings to Nanaimo parks. $550.00 (11–15 years 10am–2pm)

Minecraft Camp: July 3rd to 13th

Are you a builder, crafter, farmer or miner? This camp provides your Minecrafter with a safe and friendly environment where all skill levels are welcome and will come together to game and interact with others who have similar interests. Camp activities will include lessons from expert Minecrafters, as well as outdoor team-building and social skills exercises. A Minecraft account is required ( Please contact us if you are unable to obtain an account. $490.00 (6–11 years 9am–12pm; 12–18 years 12:30–3:30)

250.585.4411 *Camps can be covered by MCFD Autism Funding. *See our website for detailed camp information.

April 2018  15

Summer Camp Fun

Day camps and overnight summer camps offer children and teens a chance to take a step toward independence in a safe, fun-filled setting. For more information, please refer to the advertising in this issue. Discover fully accessible, Camp Pringle at Shawnigan Lake. Explore a safe, exciting, outdoor community where active and healthy children have fun! Experiential adventure-based activities, develop greater self -awareness and build confidence. Join our Leadership Program or our teen week for an Ultimate Adventure. General Co-Ed, Family Camp 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.

firesides, and of course pure fun! Qwanoes is an ideal place for fun-filled, life-changing adventure. For a free brochure or more info: 1-888-997-9266 or

Camp Qwanoes is a youth-oriented highadventure Christian camp celebrating a 50-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 Byte Camp—Creative Tech Camps for co-ed camps for Juniors, Junior Highs, and Kids! In our Claymation and Tablet Anima- Senior Highs, plus Family Retreats. Seeking tion camps, kids create their own quirky to encourage, challenge, and develop the animated movies. They learn to edit their entire person, our well-rounded programs own songs and videos in Music and Video include over 75 activities, stimulating Production. Our Intro to Coding, 2D Game speakers, music and singing, Bible study, Design and Build an App camps teaches kids the joys of coding! And our 3D Animation camp introduces the next generation of PIXAR artists to the amazing world of 3D character modelling and animation. $250/ wk, 9-14yrs,, 1-888-808BYTE for more info.

Christ Church Cathedral School’s Summer Program, Lux Mundi, provides a safe and exciting summer for your child. We have a high supervision ratio, experienced staff, field trips every day, plus all the facilities of Cathedral School. This program runs from June 25-August 29 and is suitable for ages 5-10. Register early for a spot in this popular program. Friends! Fun! Adventure! Call 250-383-5125 for details or email See

Arts Calibre Academy Active Arts Camp. Join us for a summer of creative, active fun! Exciting camps will engage children in music, art, crafts, cooking and lots of fun and games. New activities to explore every week; outdoor fun every day; field trips to local parks and beaches. Camps for ages 3-5, 6-9, and 10-13. Register online at For more information: 250-382-3533. Summer Camps at Brentwood College School. Join us This summer for an epic experience your children will never forget! Enjoy our 77-acre oceanfront property while attending one of our day or overnight Summer Camps: Senior and Junior Musical Theatre, Tennis, Rugby 7s, Debate, Academic, Rock Band, Ukulele, Rowing and Soccer. Our professional camp leaders have prepared some great training programs combined with fun daily activities and social evening outings. Sign-up today! camps.

Learn To Sail with CF Sailing School at CFSA-Esquimalt. Find 1 and 2 week courses for ages 4 to adult, beginner to advanced. CFSA is a wonderful place to learn with a protected harbour and favourable winds. Questions? Contact our Program Coordinator at or msg us on FB @esquimaltsailing. Details at or Facebook @ esquimaltsailing. Registration opens soon with PSP Online Esquimalt (250-363-1009 or Early Bird Discount until April 30.

Camp Footholds Summer 2018. Footholds Therapy Center is happy to offer a wide variety of summer programs for all ages. Footholds camps are structured around programming and geared towards children with special needs (Autism, FASD, etc) and other emotional and psychological challenges (Anxiety/Depression). Our camps focus on empowering children and youth by building social skills and self-esteem all while meeting new friends and having fun! See our website for detailed camp information. 250-585-4411. 16  Island Parent Magazine

Coastal Bliss Adventure summer camps have been running since 2012 in the Cowichan valley, with inspired children returning annually, or progressing onto leadership rolls as junior instructors. Our camps provide a mixture of water and land-based camps including: kayaking, canoeing, stand-up-paddle-boarding, surfing, backpacking and nature exploration as main focuses, with an assortment of exciting afternoon activities. Register early: programs fill up quickly. Program Ages 9-12; and 13-16. Visit coastalbliss. ca or phone 1-800-896-9525.

The Raincoast Education Society (RES) is a non-profit organization based in Tofino, BC. Since 2000, the RES has been guided by the desire to educate and engage the public about environmental issues on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Through a number of education programs specifically focused on hands-on experiential learning in an outdoor setting, we strive to inform the next generation of scientists, conservationists and citizens about topics important to our communities and way of life on the island. 250-725-2560.

The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre is again offering fun-filled, science-focused summer day camps. Available for ages 5-7 or 8-11, kids will explore local habitats and get an up-close experience with marine life!​ Each 5-day camp includes fun, hands-on science activities, games, and crafts. See our Facebook Page or website for more info.

Royal Soccer Club. With over 100 locations, we’re celebrating our 26th year of running the #1 grassroots soccer day camps in Canada. Operating all weeks in July/ August, we offer a soccer focused morning and a swim and camp games for afternoons. Boys and girls aged 5-13 can register for full day, morning and afternoon sessions with early & late care times available at no extra charge. Call 1-800-427-0536 or visit for more information.

The Glenlyon Norfolk School Marine Adventure Program offers: day camps for ages 11 to 12; combination day and overnight camps for ages 13 to 14; and a full five-day kayak and camping adventure to Barkley Sound for ages 15 to 17. Small groups and experienced leaders create an ideal and safe opportunity to experience sea kayaking and the marine environment, to gain skills in paddling and to explore some of our spectacular BC coastline. Call: 250370-6852 Email Visit: Little Steps. This summer we are hosting both our Little Learners group, designed for teaching preschool children school readiness skills, and our Connections group, designed to expose children to a wellrounded, multi-disciplinary group therapy program. Groups are 3-hours long and run each day for one week. Registration ends April 15. Late registrations may be accepted if space is available. For more information, or to register, please contact our office at 250-386-1171 or Summer fun with the Oak Bay Figure Skating Club! OBFSC has exceptional programs for all levels of skating. The focus is on fun, participation, and basic skill development. With NCCP Level 3 Certified coaches, OBFSC has skaters who compete to podium at Provincial and National levels. Summer Rink Ratz camps take place from

July 3rd to August 10th and are designed for ages 4-10. The Rink Ratz program encompasses all the very best skate training available plus added time for summer fun activities. Programs are half day with flexible weekly registration. Full-day options available when combined with Oak Bay Rec Fun Unlimited. For more information and registration forms visit or email

Girls’ Summer Camps at St. Margaret’s School provide fun activities in a gorgeous natural setting to build confidence, friendships, and skills. Your daughter will love our weekly themes: Art, Games, Sewing, Powerful Youth offers transformative Water Play, Robotics, and more! For grades experience-based youth leadership training 1-4: July 3-Aug 10 (full-day, M-F, minus programs with Junior Leadership Acad- holidays). Check out our Specialty Camps: emies (ages 12-14) and Global Leadership SELF.I.E. girls empowerment (Grades Academies (ages 15-18) in Victoria, BC 5-6), and CodingGirl computer science and Cambridge, England. Hundreds of (Grades 3-6 and 5-6) in partnership with youth from 18 different countries engage Girls Learning Code and Science Venture. in 60+ hours of service leadership to build Details and online registration at lasting confidence, skills, friendships and girls-summer-camp or by emailing jcowie@ impact each summer. Programs run June, or phone 250-727-7163. through August. Special scholarships for BC Residents if they apply before June SMUS Summer Music Academies. Join 30th, 2018. See how youth are powerful students from across North America in this unique summer program with a solid arts at: pedigree. Youth age 11-17 can spend a week Get riding this summer at Queen Marga- of intensive, hands-on learning with expert ret’s School! From the tentative first time instructors exploring and enhancing their rider to the established rider looking to skills in a specific area of the performing further advance their skills, our summer arts. Program areas include: Band (concert camps have something for everyone. This band, jazz band, and switch band), and summer we are offering programs for boys Musical Theatre. For details, visit us at: and girls, 6-18 years of age at our Shirley or call 250-370-6120.• Burr Equestrian Centre that focus on riding skills, stable management and horse psychology. Explore the details at or call us 250-746-4185 ext. 117.

April 2018  17

Helping Kids ‘Feel What They Feel’


e want to shield our children from sadness and grief. How do we even begin to discuss what we ourselves struggle with? Even as adults we are overwhelmed by traumatic events. What can we say to our children when something tragic happens? How do we know when to get them additional support? Culturally, many of us have learned to hide our own sadness and grief. When our children cry and are sad we want to “cheer them up” and “make things better.” We can start by recognizing sadness and grief are healthy responses to pain and tragedy. Instead of trying to change our own sadness and our children’s sadness, we can learn to be with those feelings and soothe ourselves and our children. Virginia Satir, a pioneer in family systems therapy said “We all have the right to feel what we feel when we feel it.” We don’t always like what we feel, but trying to change our healthy responses and feelings often

Talking with a school counsellor or Child and Youth Mental Health professional is a good first step to access community resources. If you are considering a counsellor in private practise, look for a counsellor that your child feels good and comfort-

leads to more stress, anxiety and despair. How do we begin to put these ideas into action? If we are struggling with our own feelings we can get support for ourselves. Then, to help our children, we can talk to them about their feelings. Ask them what they feel and tell them it is okay to be sad, to not know the answers, to move through their pain. By learning this at a young age, they will be more resilient and able to experience their feelings, both sadness and joy and everything in between as they move through life. Knowing when to seek professional help is important to your child’s well-being. For example, when children show noticeable changes after being exposed to trauma such as a change in appetite, nightmares, intrusive recurring thoughts, fear, increased anxiety, ongoing crying, no expression of feelings at all, change in grades, not wanting to participate in activities or any changes that you as a parent are concerned about.

Maxine Fisher able with. Counselling is not regulated in B.C. so make certain that any counsellor you choose is either a registered clinical counsellor, a registered social worker or a registered psychologist. It is possible for us and our children to experience intense sadness and grief and over time to gain strength and live vibrant and healthy lives. Maxine Fisher is a registered clinical counsellor and an accredited music therapist working with individuals, children, couples and families. Phone 250-686-7582 or visit

Register Now for Summer Swim Camps Join Island Swimming’s expert coaches this summer. Learn the four competitive swimming strokes while improving your technique and endurance.

*Full & Half day Camps *Improve your swimming skills *Increase your fitness *Meet new friends *Have FUN doing it!

Camps Run Monday through Friday @ Saanich Commonwealth Place July 9th-13th July 16th-20th July 23rd-27th July 30th-Aug. 3rd For more information: Web: Email: Phone: (250) 744 5536

18  Island Parent Magazine

Island Parent



elcome to the 2018 Island Parent BIZ section, featuring some of Vancouver Island’s top homegrown, family-friendly businesses. Run by people in your community—your neighbours, maybe, your family, your friends—local businesses enhance Island life. When you “Buy Local,” not only do you boost the Island’s economy, but you also help create stronger, betterconnected communities, jobs and a healthier environment. In these pages, you’ll find the stories behind the businesses, the people behind the products, and the reasons why it’s important to support local business and in turn, support and strengthen Island Communities. We hope you enjoy Island Parent BIZ and come away knowing more about our valued advertisers and the businesses in our community.

Nightingale Preschool & Junior Kindergarten Nightingale Preschool and Junior Kindergarten Ltd Our Aim: • To make the early years of your child’s life as enjoyable, rewarding and positive as possible. • To develop children’s natural curiosity and confidence so they leave our preschool as inquisitive explorers who love to learn. Phone or e-mail to book a tour:

Tel: 250-595-7544 E-mail:


t Nightingale we ensure children reach their individual potential and we provide well resourced, stimulating environments where children learn through play, exploration and challenge. Our sensitive individual planning and assessment cycle builds on children’s current interests and fascinations which supports all aspects of their learning and development, encourages their in-built curiosity and desire to make sense of the world around them and helps them to discover that learning is interesting and fun. This is vitally important if children are going to remain keen learners for the rest of their lives. We have experienced and knowledgeable staff who support the children to practice and develop ideas, concepts and skills. Please visit our website for more information on our curriculum.

April 2018


20  Island Parent Magazine

A Vision of Educational Excellence Do you ever wonder what’s happening under the orange roof as you drive by Pacific Christian School on the Pat Bay Highway? Do you know that there is another school building on the same property with great things happening under its roof as well? Perhaps you’ve seen the new construction taking shape and wondered what is emerging. For Pacific Christian School, this new facility is just the most recent development in a nearly sixtyyear story of a school that has, from the beginning, aimed to be a place of formation for the hearts, minds and bodies of all of our students. The vision of Pacific Christian School is Educational Excellence - to the glory of God. This vision of excellence is a holistic vision and one that is inclusive of learners with diverse abilities, talents, and interests. The inclusive culture is underpinned by the school’s pillars: Respect, Accept, Care, Engage - captured in the motto “Pacers RACE together.”

900+ Students 100+ Staff 58 Years 1 Vision 1 Mission AP Academics, Outdoor Ed, Athletics, Mucial Theatre, Fine Arts, Tech Ed, and more. view our story at:

Serving the CRD since 1960

As students, staff, and parents put these pillars into practice, it creates a learning community in which each person can flourish - and a community in which we each contribute to the flourishing of the other. This environment is a natural outflow of Pacific Christian School’s mission: to nurture students in Christ-like living, critical thinking, and joyful service to be faithful citizens in God’s world. This mission captures the holistic nature of an excellent Christian education. We engage the mind (critical thinking), and also the character (Christ-like living) of each learner. And, practicing joyful service engages our actual physical bodies in a way that orients us to be people who love and serve. When we put this mission into practice as we engage subject matter, participate in athletics, create and perform art, plan schedules, set policies, and carry out the full breadth of activities involved in being a school, we embark on an educational project that is truly formative of hearts, minds and bodies – the essence of Educational Excellence – to the glory of God.

Call & visit today to explore Educational Excellence to the Glory of God at PCS

April 2018  21

Play your way through life. s PISE celebrates 10 years of being open, their focus is on community programs that create active communities and families, not just training for high performance athletes as some people believe. PISE’s purpose is to transform lives through healthy activity and sport, and that means all ages and abilities. Not many people know, but PISE is actually a charitable non-profit organization nationally recognized for work in the areas of physical activity programs for kids and inclusive programming for people with a disability. When it comes to children’s programs and summer camps, PISE uses a combination of structured and unstructured play to help children learn to move to the best of their ability. They inspire creative movement exploration to play your way to: confidence, skill development, fun, team work, cooperation, respect and inclusivity. How do they do all that? Well, let’s start with confidence. By modifying games and activities so that they are appropriate for each child’s ability level, they ensure the child has fun and achieves success thus building confidence. With skill development it is important to understand that each person develops at different speeds and in different ways. By providing age appropriate size/type of equipment and space to play, then allowing time to explore movement and skills without the pressure of competition or time constraints, PISE fosters skill development in all kids, whether they are an experienced performer or being introduced to the movements for the first time. Now fun, team work & cooperation naturally go together. How to help these qualities develop? By ensuring that each child contributes to the outcome of the activity, has success and feels valued within the group, by playing games that require a collaborative effort and by

using games and activities as a conduit for problem solving, conflict resolution and cooperation. These same fun games and activities support the understanding of respect. PISE leaders are positive role models that demonstrate respect of each other and anyone in their care. Throughout the activities they teach the children how to respect themselves by understanding personal body cues and acknowledging when others need space or have other boundaries they need to respect. Inclusivity is learned first by experiencing children of all abilities and backgrounds engaging in the same activities. It is also learned through the leaders understanding that each child has a different barometer for success, then teaching and modifying for those differences. This results in each child feeling included and being aware of how to be inclusive. Now, that was a lot to take in but it boils down to this: the people at PISE believe that physical activity improves overall well-being, emotionally, physically and mentally, that everyone, of every age and ability, deserves health and well-being and the best way to achieve this is to play your way through life!

The Fast Fashion Fix


ast Fashion is a term used to describe large discount retailers who have mastered the supply chain to quickly produce and distribute low quality, inexpensive clothing in the current trends. These manufacturers are notorious for poor working conditions and pollution, leading to the question what is the true cost of this clothing beyond the price tag? Fast Fashion is becoming a global problem. When clothes are cheaply made, they fall apart and it’s easy to throw out what was bought last month for a new trend. Landfills are filling with clothing waste and the problem is only getting worse. Even retailers that offer clothing recycling admit that only 1% of clothes donated to recycling efforts are successfully converted to new materials. Vibrant colours and fabric finishes are signatures of trendy garments but many of these are achieved with toxic chemicals. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally. Since the clothing is produced as inexpensively as possible, factory workers are subjected to harsh working conditions and unfair wages. The easiest way to break the Fast Fashion cycle is to ensure that clothing is used for as long as possible. Buy clothes that are made to be used, washed and loved for a long time. Re-sell them second hand or give them to a friend or charity. This is recycling in it’s most basic form and a great way to support friends and family members. For new and expecting moms on Vancouver Island, there’s a local resource. Bellies in Bloom Maternity hand picks brands carefully. Owners Sabrina and Becki are passionate about their customers and offering choices

22  Island Parent Magazine

that focus on Slow Fashion, or garments that are sustainably and ethically made in styles that won’t fall out of trend. There’s more choices than ever when shopping ecofriendly fabrics if you know where to look! Sabrina and Becki have made a mission out of sourcing the best in bamboo, lyocell, organic cotton, and recycled fabrics.

• kids programs • summer camps • inclusive

Shop smarter by looking for garments that can be worn through multiple stages. These multipurpose garments need to be well-made with high quality, durable fabrics so they last. Gone are the days that maternity clothing is only worn during pregnancy! Bellies in Bloom is proud to offer clothing for maternity that also has nursing access and styles that are flattering for postpartum wear. These fashions are available in Victoria or order online at

Fresh spring arrivals for maternity, nursing, baby and moms! Royal Oak Shopping Centre, Victoria

Camp Narnia


f you’re looking for adventure this summer, then look no further. Camp Narnia’s award winning program is unique, exciting and unlike anything your child has tried before. Camp Narnia has a 30 year history of building creative and engaging programs for campers aged 6-15. Using stories and costume, this is a place where children get immersed in imagination. The week-long program explores nature, history, identity, and community through carefully crafted programs and activities. “We keep our camps small,” explains Sam Clinock, the Camp Director, “because we don’t want our campers to feel anonymous.” Based on a community model, Sam’s team

of volunteer staff prioritize personal connection and attention for campers in everything they do. “This is a camp about meaningful connections, more than excitement. About feeling good, and safe to be yourself. Our camp is built on respect, kindness, and taking the time for old-fashioned, simple fun.”

“This camp is our second home,” says Dylan, age 14, “because of all the great people. The staff, campers and Leaders In Progress have grown up with us, and I can’t wait for my chance to be a counsellor someday.” Camp Narnia fills up earlier and earlier each year, but they are still welcoming new campers in 2018. Check them out at and learn more about Not to say that campers aren’t busy! With the fun they have planned this year. a program that includes archery, crafts, cooking, fire building, role playing games, festivals, talent shows, puzzle rooms, field games and a trip to the beach, every child at Camp Narnia comes home with new skills and special memories. In spite of the busy schedule, campers still find the time for quiet times like star gazing, and writing letters home.

Island Montessori


early ten years ago, after over 35 years in public schools in Victoria, Island Montessori moved to our current location in beautiful rural West Saanich. We are surrounded by a magical forest with a lovely walk up to a wooden yurt perched on moss-covered ground. From our classroom windows we can see swans gliding in the wetlands across the road. Deer wander the large lawn in front of the school, rabbits and frogs hop about, and an owl hoots in the early morning hours. We have a large fenced play area and plenty of opportunities for nature walks. We have a small garden where we plant seasonal vegetables and flowers and enjoy watching the apple trees blossom and bear fruit. It is a special place connecting children to nature and their surrounding community. Island Montessori is a non-profit daycare and preschool that has been serving Victoria children and their families for over 40 years. We offer an enriched, inclusive preschool program based on Montessori principles

and practices that meet the needs of the individual child, no matter their developmental level. Our flexible full-time (2, 3 and 5 days/week) preschool programs, a morning-only preschool program, as well as Before- and After-school Care are designed to offer convenience to all families. Our staff provide a warm, nurturing and supportive atmosphere in the classroom and each child is seen as an individual with

their own unique learning style and needs. Our inclusive programs ensure that every child is included and given the support they need and deserve. Our Pre-k program includes additional guided learning for reading, printing, as well as number recognition and competency. Special activities both at school and in the community support learning outcomes and build school spirit providing for a family-type environment where everyone knows everyone. We look forward to welcoming you to our school family.

Preschool Spaces Available

• before and after

Open House

• small class sizes

May 12 from 10am–1pm

school care

• supportive and

caring staff

• excellent academic


• Kodaly music

A local non-profit for all children (Since 1973) 5575 West Saanich Rd 250 592 4411


• lovely rural location

connecting children to nature

April 2018  23

24  Island Parent Magazine

There are over 1,000 children and youth in care on Va V Vancouver ncouverr Island. Island. d.


Imagine being taken from your home and sent to live with people you have never met. Imagine waking up one morning in a strange place, away from your friends, your family, your school, and your neighbourhood. If you can imagine what it would feel like, you can make a difference. Are you ready to take the next step? There are more than a thousand children and youth across Vancouver Island right now who are not able to live with their families. They need a temporary home, a safe haven where they can stay while they and their families heal and become strong again. The children and youth who come into care come from varied backgrounds and family make-ups. They come from two-parent homes and single-parent homes; they are Aboriginal, nonand cultures that make up Canada. We need a diversity of foster homes, so we can find the best fit for each child in care. While we need homes for children and youth of all ages, there are some types of homes that are needed even more than others. These include homes for teens, homes for Safe Babies (infants prenatally exposed to drugs and/or alcohol), and homes for children with complex challenges (medically fragile). If you have the heart and skills to help in any of these areas, you would be especially welcome. Do you have room in your home and in your heart to help one child? Can you include one more in your day at the beach, Saturday movie night, or family dinner? If the answer is, “yes” or even, “maybe”, it’ Foster Parent Support Services provides support and on-going training to foster caregivers on Vancouver Island. If you choose to foster, you won’t be doing it alone. You will be part of a foster community that includes peer support, mentors, local area coordinators, and community resources. Maybe fostering is something you’ve never thought about. Maybe it’s something you’ve thought about It begins with a phone call. If fostering isn’t right for your family right now, maybe you know someone who is ready. Encourage them to take the next step.

Go to today

Together, we CAN make a difference

Call 1-888-922-8437

April 2018  25

Saanich Commonwealth Place


aanich Commonwealth Place is your ‘Place’ for fun! We are Victoria’s only wave pool complete with a 10m waterslide, diving boards, the Wibit inflatable obstacle course, 4 ozone treated pools, steamroom, sauna and swirlpool. We have family change rooms and a family admission rate of $13.75. This world class facility is a must-visit attraction for out of town guests. There’s so much going on in the pools this summer!

We teach swimming lessons to every age and ability from babies to seniors! Choose group lessons, private or semi-private sessions. Summer lesson sets for children are

offered mornings or afternoons and have swimmers attending daily for two weeks at a time. Teen lessons are available for all levels. NEW! Family Lessons, one adult must be in the water with children. Adult and Senior sets are offered at quieter times in the pool and let you work at your own pace to meet your goals. Did you know we offer summer daycamps in the water? Splash Camp for ages 5½ -8 year olds includes daily swim lessons and fun swims along with games, crafts, and lots of fun. It’s offered each week from 9am-4pm. Aqua Adventure Camp offers a week of water activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, and springboard diving for ages 8-11 years. The Wibit inflatable and fun swims are all part of the adventure. This week-long camp is offered 6 times throughout the summer. Bike & Swim Camp has 9-14 year olds exploring local bikes and trails while learning cycling skills from experienced riders. Each day finishes in the pool to cool down! There are 9 weekly options available for this one.

Advanced Aquatic programs including Bronze Star, Bronze Medallion & Bronze Cross, National Lifeguard Pool Option, Water Park Option and Recerts can be completed here as well as Water Safety Instructor Level 1. Even more ways to join us in the water include: Daily Fun Swims daily from 1-4pm all summer long! Evening times also offered Monday through Friday. Our Child Summer Swim Pass is just $35 and valid for unlimited Fun Swims and Family Swim times for ages 5-12. The Wibit inflatable obstacle course adds adventure to your Fun Swim as you run, jump, climb and slide across! Tween Swims every Friday night from 7-9pm, ages 10+ can stay until 10pm. Pop-Up Mermaid Swim on select Sundays during the Family Swim. Birthday packages available. 4636 Elk Lake Drive Victoria, BC V8Z 5M1 24 hour info line: 250-475-7620

Q&A with Dr. Morgan Watson, DC BSc What is something many people may not know about chiropractic care? As chiropractors we have many different approaches to care. This can involve mobilization, soft tissue therapy, manipula-

Wait, chiropractic care for babies? It’s actually quite amazing. Many babies who struggle with feeding on one side, or that have colic, may actually have a musculoskeletal problem. Treatment involves gentle soft-tissue work along with home care. Happy baby, happy family. Do you work with people other than babies? Absolutely. I see mothers during their pregnancy in order to optimize their comfort and biomechanics as the body undergoes great changes. This means moms can be more active and comfortable throughout pregnancy. I also really enjoy working with youth, high performance sport, and anyone looking to improve their quality of life.

tion, exercise, education, ultrasound, laser therapy and more. The most important part is getting to the root of the problem. Many people also don’t realize that chiropractors can treat babies and mothers during pregnancy.

26  Island Parent Magazine

body’s biomechanics and the demands of the sport are important in developing a plan to ensure that a young athlete will not only physically excel at their sport but also avoid injury and enjoy longevity in sport. About Dr. Morgan Watson Dr. Morgan Watson DC, graduated from the University of Western States with honors. She has competed at high levels in biathlon, ballroom dancing, Thai kickboxing, and worked in various environments such as commercial scuba diving. Book an appointment with Dr. Watson to find out more! Rise Health Center  250 381 7473

Is there anything parents of athletes should be aware of? The demands put on a young athlete’s body can be very high and often repetitive in certain sports. Understanding the

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Resting Together

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Artist’s Biography for Shahin Jones, Registered Art Therapist Shahin Jones is a Registered Art Therapist here in Victoria, BC. Most of her artwork captures the remarkable outlooks of magnificent images of animals that represent metaphoric forms of humans in relationship with each other. Each symbolic animal settings-affirms interpersonal relationships human beings go through or need from each other. Coming from a collective society, most art collection has a theme of

sonal relationship stories. Some of the art subjects include her own children, nature scenes and wildlife. See the studio website at gallery for more photos. The artist has an admiration for nature things and loves connecting with people from all around the world. Some of the activities she enjoys doing includes, travelling, hiking, reading, and camping. The symbolic art work inspiration started dur-

ing her Art Therapy training in 2007. The artist tends to use variety of mix mediums such as soft pastel, acrylics, ink, and oil based paints. Most of her art work have been bought privately or given as gifts. Her first art exhibition was held this year with Victoria Arts Council titled: “Many faces of Relationships” and above are some selected paintings that were chosen to demonstrate this theme.

April 2018  27

DID YOU KNOW... ...that when children take part in music classes, their social and cognitive skills are impacted in extremely beneficial ways? Music facilitates learning, instills respect and pride, and increases self-esteem and positive social interactions. At the VCM, we understand the need for flexibility in a busy family’s schedule, so most Early Childhood classes can be joined in progress if there’s room available. Registration is open now for creative and innovative music classes that will begin your child’s lifelong journey with music at our Downtown Victoria and Westhills locations. If you’re an adult who’s always wanted to explore music, it’s never too late to reap the benefits of a musical education later in life.

Studies show that after just six months of music lessons, adult learners show a boost in memory, verbal fluency, and the ability to process information, planning abilities, and other everyday cognitive functions when compared with adults who hadn’t taken lessons. Regardless of your age, level, or instrument, we can find you a teacher who will inspire you to find your creative voice and passion. With over 100 faculty members, we’ll have you playing your best and gaining all the benefits of a musical education in no time! For more information and to register:


DOWNTOWN VICTORIA 900 Johnson Street | 250.386.5311 WESTHILLS, LANGFORD 210 - 1314 Lakepoint Way | 778.265.5355

KATS offers free tennis lessons for kids from families with financial challenges. All equipment is supplied. Below are the programs we will be running through October. Please contact the centres directly for registration. VIC WEST  250-590-8922

CRYSTAL POOL  250-361-0732

BURNSIDE GORGE 250-388-5251 OAKLANDS 250-370-9101

Wednesdays 4–5pm (5–8 yrs) and 5–6pm (9–12 yrs). Program 1 April: 4, 11, 18, 25. May: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30. Program 2 June: 6, 13, 20, 27. July: 4, 11, 18, 25. Program 3 August: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29. September: 5, 12, 19, 26.

Mondays and Thursdays, 4–5pm (5–8 yrs) and 5–6pm (9–13 yrs). Program 1 Mon: Apr 9 – May 28 (no class May 21) Thu: Apr 5 – May 24 Program 2 Mon: June 4 – July 23 Thu: June 7 – July 26 Program 3 Mon: July 30 - Sept. 24 (no class Aug. 6) Thu: Aug. 2 – Sept. 27 (no class Sept. 3 and Oct. 8).

Mondays, 4–5pm (5–8 yrs) and 5–6pm (9–13 yrs). Tennis (5–8 yrs) Program 1 April 2 – May 28 4pm – 5pm 8/Free No class May 21 Program 2 June 4 – July 30 4pm – 5pm 8/Free No class Jul 2 Program 3 Aug 13 – Sept 24 4pm – 5 pm 7/Free Tennis (9–13 yrs) Program 1 April 2 – May 28 5pm – 6pm 8/Free No class May 22 Program 2 June 4 – July 30 5pm – 6pm 8/Free No class Jul 3 Program 3 Aug 13 – Sept 24 5pm – 6 pm 7/Free

ESQUIMALT REC CENTRE 250-412-8500 Saturdays, 5–6pm: 5–8 yrs, 6–7pm: 9–13 yrs Program 1 Jan 13 – Mar 17 No class Feb 10 Program 2 April 7 – June 9 No class May 19

28  Island Parent Magazine

For further information:

Thursdays, 4–5pm (5–8 yrs) and 5–6pm (9–13 yrs). Program 1 April: 19, 26. May: 3, 10, 17, 24, 31. June: 7, 14, 21, 28. July: 5, 12. Program 2 July: 19, 26. August: 2, 9, 16, 23, 30. September: 6, 13, 20, 27. October: 4, 11.

Westshore  250-478-8384 Dates to be determined. Contact Westshore Parks & Recreation for details.

Advertising Feature

Your Child Can Explore Swan Lake Sanctuary A place to explore; a world to discover does indeed describe Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary; and summer 2018 program offerings continue the tradition. There are programs for all ages, from Big & little for three to five-year-olds and their adult friends; Biology Buddies for naturalists four to six years of age; Les Petits Explorateurs for budding French immersion nature enthusiasts aged five to seven, and Nature Explorers offering nature themed adventures for kids aged seven to ten, as well as drop in special events and two amazing evening programs for all ages. New this year is our Junior Naturalist program which will allow eleven to fourteen year olds to discover some hands-on science at Swan Lake.

Swan Lake christmas hill n a t u r e

s a n c t u a r y

Biology Buddies runs Monday through Thursday for four different weeks starting July 9, and wrapping up on August 23. Topics include Meadow Adventures, Searching the Sky, Frolicking in the Forest and Making Memories in the Marsh. Les Petits Explorateurs is a series of four, two-hour classes, for two different weeks, July 23 to 26 and August 27 to 30. Each class features a different nature theme offering discovery, play and lots of outdoor fun all while learning French, ideal for children heading into French immersion school. We’ll be exploring Animal Families and Nature Elements. use to observe and study lake and wetland environments. This hands-on, active class will get students outdoors, collecting data and observing animals in their natural habitats. It’s a perfect fit for young people exploring a career in science.

Big & little runs on Mondays from July 9, through to August 27, from 10 a.m. to 11:30a.m. These fun and interactive programs include hands-on discovery, an outside ramble, a story and a craft. Session topics this summer include: Terrific Turtles, Beaming Butterflies, Rambunctious Raccoons, Splendid Snakes and many more. Nature Explorers is a drop off program that offers two hour classes on Thursdays throughout July, from 1 to 3 pm. Each class offers a different nature theme through activities, hikes, experiments and more. Topics this summer include Miraculous Metamorphosis, Wild for Water, Remarkable Reptiles and Great Garry Oak Ecosystems.

A full listing of summer programs may be found at Spots fill up quickly, so call and book early so that the budding young naturalist in your life is not disappointed. Register after May 1st by calling 250-479-0211 or stopping by in-person to the Nature house at 3873 Swan Lake Road.

Junior Naturalists is a new program on Tuesdays in July, designed for budding scientists interested in the fields of biology, ecology and field research. This four part program will explore real research techniques that scientists

April 2018  29

fully trained yet, he’s halved his diaper consumption—our wallets are happier—and he is feeling pretty darned proud of himself. But this new stage, perhaps more so than other seasons of parenting so far, has also come with some naivety-meets-reality surprises and tear-my-hair-out challenges that I’m guessing no amount of research could truly have prepared me for.

ingly. I did not consider that there can be an awkward phase in-between diapers/ pull-ups and underwear when this new connection can be a little hit and miss. I was unprepared for, and slightly traumatized by the sheer amount of urine that can come out of a toddler in the blink of an eye, and definitely surprised and impressed by how quickly I can grab towels and rescue the hardwood floors. Our couch cushions are now stylishly wrapped in black garbage bags. We were housebound for a few days because I didn’t want to discourage him from wearing his underwear, but I was terrified about the carseat getting soaked. We’ve made a new rule, pull-ups for outings,

First, I did not expect, after three triumphant poops on his potty last summer, that my son would suddenly develop a fear of pooping and hold it in for several days. Apparently, this is not uncommon. When this happened, we realized it was probably too early to start training him and backed off, but this heralded a couple of months of him running into my arms in a panic every time he had to poop. It is an odd mix of adorable, humorous, and downright uncomfortable to have your child holding on to you for dear life as you are fixed in the high beams of his poo face. Somehow I assumed that once he finally made the urge-potty connection, that meant he would feel it every time and act accord-

but that can’t last forever. At some point I need to muster up the courage to let him try going diaper-free in the car. Eventually. Most of the time, he’s getting really good at telling us when he has to go. This is definitely cause for celebration, but I’ve realized that potty declarations can and will happen anytime, anywhere, and are delivered with an unfathomable urgency, at full volume, in conspicuous and blush-inducing locations, some of which I haven’t even dreamt of yet. Time to work on amping up my social embarrassment threshold! Lastly, I did not anticipate that potty training would dramatically impact bedtime, delaying it by an hour or more and completely sabotaging naps on some days.

Potty (Training) Humour


otty training. It loomed on the seemingly far-away horizon, darkly alluded to by those who had already survived it with their kids. I brushed off their veiled warnings, determined not to research and fret the topic to death—ike I’ve been known to do in the past. After some cursory skimming, I figured I had a pretty firm handle on how the experience would go and didn’t think much more about it, focussing instead on the milestones and successes my son was experiencing in the moment. How hard could it be? When he showed all the signs of potty “readiness,” we jumped into action with enthusiasm, introducing books, songs, and his own potty. We made a much-hyped shopping trip to pick out underwear. This would be fun! And there have been lots of moments of celebration. Although he’s not

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There’s nothing quite like starting to unwind after a long day, thinking your darling is well on his way to dreamland, and then having that feeling of relaxation shattered with, “Mommy! Peeeeepeeeeeee!” A couple of days ago my crafty little guy made the connection that, since we bring him to the potty when he has to pee, this can

Kelly McQuillan

also be used as a handy bedtime-stalling technique. Just pretend you have to pee, and you can while away the minutes sitting in the bathroom with Mom or Dad singing songs and listening to the taps run until it’s way past your bedtime. Added to this challenge is his newfound love of early wake-ups. The shortage of sleep all around is definitely making for some grumpiness in our household. I’ve had many frustrating moments when I’ve wished we could throw in the towel, but he can’t stay in diapers forever. There are countless experts who offer up strategies. However, as they are quick to point out, every child is different. Potty training marks a huge transition towards independence for our little ones, it’s a rite of passage. It stands to reason that, as with all big changes, there are going to be ups and downs, tribulations and setbacks. I can’t control this. But I can choose how I’m going to let it affect me. I could choose to drown my sorrows in fermented grapes, or I can choose to laugh (and write) about it. After all, rites of passage make for excellent stories. My mom still tells the story of the time my brother flushed his training pants down the toilet. In the big picture, I think it’s a fair tradeoff; we go through the “crappy” time now, and then we get to laugh about it for a lifetime. I remind myself that this, too, shall pass. It is but a blip in the timeline, a temporary state that will resolve. Our lives will once again settle into a comfortable status quo, until the next milestone—transitioning him into a bed. Cue Beethoven’s 5th.

Kelly McQuillan is a writer, musician, teacher, and fledgling mother living in Comox, BC.

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Stay-at-Home Mom W

hen my kids were young, I made the choice to be a stay-at-home mom until my two sons were both in grade school. I look back on that decision now, nearly 30 years later, and realize my decision had less to do with what was best for my children, and more to do with my own personal insecurities. I was young when I had my first child—I had just turned 24. Being a stay-at-home mother filled a need

in me in a way I knew a career never would. And so, I spent a total of eight years out of the workforce. Because of that decision, we were forced to tighten our belts, but we managed by living very simply: we rented rather than owned; we seldom ate out (and when we

32  Island Parent Magazine

guilt at being a stay-at-home mom. I didn’t feel as if I was contributing, at least not financially, so I went out of my way to compensate by keeping a spotlessly clean

did, it was usually at a family restaurant); and our “date nights” were those rare occasions when we spent a quiet evening watching a rented movie. Back then, it was possible to live on one income. It was still a challenge, however, so I became adept at couponing, cooking on a shoestring budget, and scouring second-hand stores. And we managed with one family car—a house, by always serving dinner on time, trusty Volvo station wagon that I lovingly and by providing a busy, interesting life for my children no matter that it ran me ragged. In other words, I tried to be all things to all people. And I ended up putting tremendous pressure on myself to raise perfect children. After all, I was their sole caregiver during the day, so I couldn’t very well blame anyone else if they displayed bad habits or behaviour. I was forever lecturing them on manners and behaviour in public for fear their actions would be a reflection of my parenting skills. Along with the guilt, I often felt that being a stay-at-home mom was a thankless job. For one thing, my self-esteem really took a hit. Running around after two active little boys all the time, I fell into the habit of wearing shapeless jogging suits for eight years straight. And then there were those days when I sent lunch kits off to school with my kids only to discover afterwards the wrappers from store-bought cookies that had been traded for the homemade muffins and cookies I had slaved over. To make matters worse, I also had to contend with referred to as “the tank.” We juggled our people who gave me that “must be nice” schedules around that car, catching rides look, or even worse, the one that implied, with friends, if need be, when we couldn’t “but what do you do all day?” when they be in two places at the same time. We took learned I was a stay-at-home mom. The last straw was when my older son countless road trips in that car because flying a family of four simply wasn’t an option. asked after the start of grade school if it For me, there was a pervasive sense of was okay if he loved his teacher more than

Susan Gnucci

me. I had dedicated six years of my life to that child by that point only to have him question my worth after less than a week at school. I assured him it was okay—that I was pleased he liked his teacher so much— but inside, I was crushed. When I ran into his teacher many years later and told her the story, we both had a good laugh. But I didn’t at the time. Being a stay-at-home mom often means there’s little opportunity for down time. Both my sons gave up naps by their second birthdays, so I still had to find time during the day to do all the necessary chores of running a household: copious loads of laundry, picking up after everyone else, cleaning of sticky hand prints, and of course, meal preparation—all the while, trying to keep half an eye on my sons. There really is some truth to the old saying that moms have eyes in the backs of their heads; they have to! And it’s no wonder stay-at-home moms often launch their kids at their hubbies the minute they walk in the door at the end of a day. If I had to do it all over again, I would still make the same choice. For me, being a stay-at-home mom was the right decision even though there were sacrifices. I don’t have any regrets; those years were some of the best of my life. But it’s only now that I realize just how fortunate I was to be able to stay at home with my children in the first place. The stark reality these days is that many couples—let alone single parents— don’t have the choice. Unfortunately, it is an economic reality that a dual-income household is often necessary just to make ends meet. My heart goes out to parents who struggle with balancing their work and daycare schedules, having to deal with the looming fear of covering the inevitable childhood illnesses and summer holidays, or getting a decent meal on the table after a long day at work, or squeezing in some quality time with their children when they are dog-tired at the end of the day. I have no doubt working mothers struggle with many of the same issues of guilt and selfesteem that I grappled with while being a stay-at-home mom. I have enormous respect for mothers who work outside of the home in addition to being a chauffeur, referee, manager, teacher, and chief bottle washer—aka “Mom.” Susan Gnucci is a local author and a proud “nonna” to an adorable three-year-old grandson. She enjoys sharing her experiences as a first-time grandparent.

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April 2018


Community Feelings On Infertility Board “I Making our Community a Better Place to Live

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Camp Pringle Caregiver Support Sessions Child Care Resource & Referral Oxford Learning Royal BC Museum Victoria Children’s Choir Victoria Conservatory of Music Enquire about non-profit brochure or magazine distribution in Greater Victoria: 34  Island Parent Magazine

s there anything we should be doing?” I asked the fertility doctor as she scheduled our initial tests. I expected her to tell us to lose weight, eat healthier, take vitamins or partake in a slew of other self-improvement activities. I wanted to be able to do something to get us closer to having a baby—to have some control over the process. Yet, her answer surprised me: “Take time to do things you enjoy. This can be stressful.” Our doctor’s comments about stress certainly turned out to be true. They also proved to be one of the few validations I received on how difficult fertility challenges can be on your mental health. Because of the stigma and silence surrounding infertility, the emotional rollercoaster I experienced during testing and treatments came as a surprise to me. Beyond generic “stress,” I rotated through the following feelings: Isolation. Understandably, fertility is a very private matter. Yet going through something so emotionally draining while keeping it from most people in our lives felt very lonely. This was particularly the case at work, where I was worried that my colleagues would somehow figure out why I had to leave for so many appointments and take private phone calls in the lunchroom. We did end up confiding in some close friends which generally proved to be cathartic. However, some of the friends we opened up to never asked us about it again, which was hurtful as we had trusted so few people with our story and were looking for support. Self-loathing. When someone tells me about a physical ailment they have, like asthma or diabetes, I would never assume it was “their fault.” Yet, in this case, even before we received the specifics or our diagnosis, I felt somehow deficient. Since I was a child, having children always seemed like the most obvious life course for heterosexual couples. It almost seemed inevitable. Now in my thirties, it seems like everyone I know is having kids and Facebook is full of pregnancy announcements. The fact that we couldn’t do something so “natural” made me feel inferior to my peers who were effortlessly procreating. Grief. I felt a sadness that was so hollow and complete that it felt like I had lost someone or something. Yet, I hadn’t suffered

a loss; I had never been pregnant to begin with. I hadn’t suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth. Somehow this emotion still crept up though. My therapist suggested that I was mourning the loss of a story that I had been telling myself, the story that once I fell in

Julia Mais love, my partner and I would conceive after a romantic date or a night out at the pub, rather than through a series of impersonal and invasive medical procedures. Spite. I felt angry with people who had children and often avoided them inevitably adding to my feelings of loneliness and isolation. I bypassed the desk of the pregnant woman at work. I hated hearing about my friends’ pregnancy pains. I felt that my friends with kids who complained about sleepless nights and over-packed schedules were showing off. I knew that nobody was trying to hurt me and that these feelings were less than admirable, but I still harboured an anger towards the rest of the world, particularly towards parents. If I were to go back to that first visit at the fertility clinic and give myself advice it would be to be gentle with myself. Trying to create a family when nature isn’t on your side is an emotional and exhausting journey. It was only made worse by the fact that I didn’t feel entitled to fully experience this range of emotions. I didn’t feel that I deserved to grieve as I hadn’t experienced a loss and I felt bad for resenting my well-meaning friends who had gotten pregnant quickly. Emotions aren’t always logical—and that’s okay. Allowing yourself to experience an array of feelings with self-compassion rather than judgment can make a difficult journey just a bit smoother. Julia Mais is a communications professional with an interest in social justice. She recently joined the ranks of motherhood where she has found exhaustion, love and hilarity in equal measure. You can learn more about her work at

Party Directory

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CIRCUS BIRTHDAY PARTIES! Celebrate your special day in a CIRCUS WAY! Experience life Under The Big Top!

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Free t-shirt Foam landing pit and 40' long trampoline

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Circus Birthday Parties for ages 4 and up • party size up to 14 participants • 60 min FUN circus class in circus warehouse • Beautiful Circus Tent Party Room available for cake/presents • aerial silk, hoop, trapeze, and more! • circus treat for all kids

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Swim bounce , cook golf, create & more!

Henderson Recreation Centre Call 250-370-7200 Oak Bay Recreation Centre Call 250-595-SWIM (7946)

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778-265-6414 April 2018  35

Family Calendar

For calendar updates throughout the month visit

A p r i l

Our Generous Sponsors SUNDAY



Victoria & CRD

Nanaimo & Area

Nanaimo & Area

Starlight Skate 6:30pm at Nanaimo Ice Centre An opportunity to come out and enjoy the soft light “stars” and passive LED glow lights. A great time for families before dinner. Regular admission. 250-756-5200.

Home Learners Monthly Meetup 1pm at Oliver Woods Community Centre Resource library, gym time, parent support, special events throughout the year. $5/family drop in fee; $20/year-long membership.

Vintage, Retro & Collectible Show and Sale 9:30am at Mary Winspear Centre Collectible toys, games, dolls, teddy bears, books, furniture, fabrics, typewriters, cameras, china, post-war attire, and much, much more! $5/general admission; $20/early birds (8:30am). 250-744-1807. FRIDAY Easter Egg Hunt 1pm at Dominion Brook Park Hop on over to the park for an Easter Egg Hunt with the Peninsula Celebration Society. Children’s activities and face painting. Parents and grandparents welcome to take part in the fun. 250-656-7271.



Victoria & CRD

Emergency Preparedness Workshop 1pm at Victoria City Hall Antechamber Are you and your family prepared for an emergency such as a power outage, winter storm, earthquake or tsunami? Your family needs enough food, water and Child Friendly Celebrate Easter Service supplies to cope for at least seven days without out2:30pm at St. Luke Cedar Hill Anglican Church side assistance, depending on the emergency. Learn Cedar Hill Cross Rd. at Cedar Hill Rd. Free. the hazards that can affect Victoria, what to include 250-477-6741. in your emergency kits, what you can do to protect your home from an earthquake, and how to reunite with your loved ones after a disaster. Free. 250-920-3373. WEDNESDAY th





Victoria & CRD Vic West Toy Library 9:30am at HighPoint Community Church 949 Fullerton Ave $15/6 months or $30/year. 250-383-6290. dawn@ Spring at Francis/King 1pm at Francis/King Regional Park Check out what spring has to offer. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist and take a roll/stroll along the universally accessible Elsie King trail. Meet at Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd. All ages. Free. 250-478-3344.

Victoria & CRD

Pyjama Storytime 6:30pm at Nellie McClung Branch Library Put on your pjs, and cuddle up for bedtime stories at Calling all Cottontails the library. Bring your favourite stuffie. For young chil10:30am at Goudy Branch Library Hop, hop, hop on over to the library for stories and dren and their families; children under 3 must be acsongs about bunnies, chicks and everything that companied by an adult. Register online or call for more makes spring so egg-citing. Make a craft, too. For information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875). ages 3-5. Register online or call for more information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875).

36  Island Parent Magazine

Nanaimo & Area Hiding in Plain Sight 9:30am at Colliery Dam Park Have you ever wondered why we can’t always see the wildlife that is around us? Explore how critters disguise where they are hiding. For 3-6 year olds. Parent participation required. $8/person. 250-756-5200.

Splish Splash Swim 10am at Ravensong Aquatic Centre 737 James St. A water adventure you don’t want to miss. Lifeguards are going to bring out all the pool toys for you to enjoy. From the rope swing to the snake to the dino ribs, there will be water play for everyone. Regular admission. 250-248-3252.




Victoria & CRD Up the Blooming Hill 1pm at Lone Tree Hill Regional Park Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist for a guided hike to the top of the peak at Lone Tree Regional Park. There will be lots of stops and the views are spectacular. Bring a snack, water, and wear sturdy footwear. Meet in the parking lot off Millstream Rd. 8+ years. Free. 250-478-3344.




Cowichan Valley Chow Down Family Cooking Class 4pm at Cowichan Green Community 360 Duncan St Have you always heard the term seasonal cooking but have no idea what that means? Are you looking for a way for your family to bond, gain life skills and create healthy habits together? These classes are geared to families who face challenges accessing and preparing healthy meals and connecting with their community. The classes aim to share inexpensive meal plans that yield high nutritional value all while offering participants the opportunity to gain confidence in the kitchen and to connect with other families and resources in the Cowichan Region.

Free. 250748-8506.




Victoria & CRD Discovery Lab 10:30am at Esquimalt Branch Library Imagine, create and build using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) learning. Listen to stories and apply your knowledge in handson activities. For ages 3-5. Register online or call for information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875).







Victoria & CRD

Victoria & CRD

Discovery Lab 10:30am at Oak Bay Branch Library See TUES 10 for details. For ages 3-5. Register online or call for more information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875).

Digital Art 7pm at Nellie McClung Branch Library Bring your tablet or iPad and explore free art creation apps. Or make virtual art with DigiLab’s Tilt Brush, which lets you paint a 3D space using virtual reality. For ages 13-18. Register online or call for information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875).




Nanaimo & Area

Nanaimo & Area

Night Walk/Hike 7:30pm at Englishman Ricer Regional Park Night time is a very special time to be out in the parks and on the trails. When our sight is limited, our other senses step up to compensate. You’ll be amazed at the sounds and smells you notice when your sight isn’t overpowering your brain. A special nocturnal snack is included. Children six years and older can register and attend with an adult. Led by RLC Park Services and staff. $17/person. recreation. 250-248-3252.

Freaky Friday Youth Swim 8pm at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre Watch a movie, play games and more. A great way to spend Friday the 13th. Regular admission. 250-756-5200.




Victoria & CRD Grow Your Own Story 10:30am at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library Enjoy a garden-themed storytime and make a

April 2018  37

Serving the Families of Vancouver Island for Over 23 Years The Kiddies Store

craft. For ages 3-5. Register online or call for more information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875).




Victoria & CRD

Water Baby is designed for safety with an adjustable neck opening, premium snap closures, dual air chambers, and an extra thick casing. With the softest, highest-grade, toxin-free and latex-free plastic, with printing on the inside, Water Baby is made for safety. Features smooth edges, a cushioned chin rest, an expandable opening, and soft material, Water Baby provides premium comfort. For ages 2 to 18 months or 12 to 29 lbs. Finlayson St. Douglas St.

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Larch St.


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Teen Lounge: PJ Party 6pm at Brentwood Teen Lounge Grab a blanket or sleeping bag and pull on your favourite pajamas for a pj party complete with sleepover games, activities, movies, and treats. 250-656-7271. Stories at Fern 7:15pm at 1831 Fern St Come for stories told in the oral tradition by members of Victoria Storyteller’s Guild and friends. $5; $3/ members. 250-381-0124. Cowichan Valley Chow Down Family Cooking Class 4pm at Cowichan Green Community 360 Duncan St See MON 9 for details. Free. chow-cooking-classes. 250-748-8506. jennifer@ Nanaimo & Area Hiking Information Session 6:30pm at Oceanside Place Arena 830 W. Island Hwy Have you ever wanted to explore some of the area’s beautiful mountains? 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. This course is mandatory for all new participants in the Alpine Hikes. $10/person. 250-248-3252.





Victoria & CRD

Pick up your copy of Island Parent at any Serious Coffee cafÊ 5PÜOEPOFOFBSZPVHPUPTFSJPVTDPòFFDPN

38  Island Parent Magazine

Childhood Stress & Anxiety: Building Resilience Presentation 6pm at Quadra Elementary Tailored for parents, caregivers and educators supporting children ages 5-11 (K-Grade 5) who are experiencing stress and anxiety. All adults welcome. Free. 250-888-5735. Individual and Family Emergency Preparedness 7pm at Saanich Commonwealth Place

4636 Elk Lake Drive Emergency preparedness session for individuals and families. Free. 250-475-7140.




Victoria & CRD Story Club 3:30pm at Central Branch Library Join Story Club and engage with other kids over books, games and crafts. In this series, kids will listen to stories, share their thoughts and experiences, and enjoy group activities. Snacks provided. For ages 6-9. Register online or call for more information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875).




Victoria & CRD Fantastic Structures At Nellie McClung and Oak Bay Branch Libraries Join artist April Caverhill to construct a 3D structure using paper, tape, glue, and tons of imagination. For ages 7-10. Register online or call for information. Free. 10:30am, Nellie McClung Branch; 3pm, Oak Bay Branch 250-940-GVPL (4875).

Little Steps Therapy Services offers the following services for all children: Little Learners therapeutic program for school readiness. Connections therapeutic groups for school-aged children. Clinical services including behaviour consulting, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, physiotherapy, art therapy, music therapy, and feeding therapy. Contact our offices at 250-386-1171 or by emailing

School’s Out Swim & Skate 1pm at Panorama Recreation Come for a fun-filled Pro-D Day swim and skate. Skate: 1-2:20pm; Swim, 1:30-3:30pm. 250-656-7271. Colour Me Ozobots 2pm at Saanich Centennial Branch Library Join the Science Venture team for a Codemakers workshop and explore the science of light and colour by programming mini Ozobot robots. For ages 8-12. Register online or call for more information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875). Origami: The Art of Paper Folding 2pm at Esquimalt Branch Library Discover the joyful art of origami with local origami enthusiast Stephen Tran. No cutting or gluing, just paper folding pure and simple. For ages 7-12. Register online or call for more information. Free. gvpl. ca. 250-940-GVPL (4875). Lumberjanes: Library to the Max 2:30pm at Central Branch Library Calling all Lumber Jumbies! Solve a puzzle or two, celebrate with a camp snack and make a scout badge, while listening to awesome mixtapes made by your favourite Janes. Ages 10-12. Register online or call for information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875).

April 2018  39

Little Lego at the Library 3:30pm at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library Listen to stories and have fun with the library’s Lego. For ages 4-6; parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend. Register online or call for more information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875).




Victoria & CRD Annual Native Plant Sale 9am at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary 3873 Swan Lake Rd. Over 4,000 plants and more than a hundred species available. Please visit website for pre-ordering details, plant list, and additional parking places. Parking is limited; please carpool if possible. swanlake. 250-479-0211. Esquimalt Clothing & Toy Exchange 10am at Wheeley Hall, Esquimalt United Church 500 Admirals Rd Esquimalt Clothing & Toy Exchange is a nonjudgemental, non-stressful, wheelchair & stroller friendly clothing exchange. Please bring a bag and take as much or as little as you want. Kids grow out of clothing so quickly! All sizes, all styles! Free.

40  Island Parent Magazine esquimaltex- Regional Parks naturalists for exhibits, crafts, and activities. Fun for the entire family. There will be guided walks at 11:15am and 1pm. Meet at the Francis/ Animal Adventures King Nature Centre off Mun Rd. Drop in event. All 10am at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park ages. Free. 250-478-3344. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist on a family adventure as you learn animal skills. Creep like a Cowichan Valley deer, jump like a cougar, and feel like a raccoon as you wind through the forest. Free, but you must Happy B’Earth Day Party pre-register by April 18 as space is limited. 5 years Noon at Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre and under. BC Transit #70 or #72. 1845 Cowichan Bay Rd 250-478-3344. The Nature Centre is turning six this Earth Day weekend and are having a birthday party. There will Ready, Set, Grow! be cake, games and activities, and live music. All 2:30pm at Esquimalt Branch Library welcome. Free. 250-597-2288. Celebrate Earth Day with stories about peace, nature and Earth. Make a green pet to take home and watch Sounds of Springtime: Camerata Ochestra Fundits hair grow. For ages 5-8. Register online or call for raiser For Nature information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875). 7pm at Sylvan United Church 985 Shawnigan Mill Bay Rd Come celebrate springtime and support local nature education. The Camerata Orchestra will be sharing SUNDAY ND their talents. $15/advance; $20/door; kids under 12 free. 250-597-2288. Victoria & CRD


Spring Fling 11am at Francis/King Regional Park Come and explore the sights, sounds and smells of spring. Join in this Earth Day celebration with CRD

Nanaimo & Area Glow in the Dark Skate 3pm at Cliff McNabb Arena

Skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission. 250-756-5200.


Wednesday, April 4: Wishart Elementary



Monday, April 9: Saseenos

Cowichan Valley Chow Down Family Cooking Class 4pm at Cowichan Green Community 360 Duncan St See MON 9 for details. Free. chow-cooking-classes. 250-748-8506. jennifer@

Wednesday, April 11: Millstream

Nanaimo & Area Pickleball 9am at Oceanside Place Arena Pickleball is a game for all ages. From beginner to competitive player, everyone can play. Nine courts are available. No attendants on duty during this drop-in session. Free. 250-248-3252.




Previously named Bedtime Shenanigans

Ready, Set, Read Children ages 0 to 5 years

Join us for pre-bedtime fun! We will be playing games, enjoying snacks, and listening to a few delightful stories and songs. This FREE evening is for children aged 0 to 5 years and their parents/caregivers. Running shoes suggested, wear pajamas if you like. For more info contact

Victoria & CRD

Peguin Palooza 9:30am at Greenglade Community Centre Penguin-inspired treat and craft, plus a visit from Slider. 1-5 years with parent. Regular admission. 250-656-7271.


Join Us!  6–7 pm

Are you a teacher?

School presentation at 10 am



Victoria & CRD Emergency Preparedness Workshop 7pm at Victoria City Hall Antechamber See FRI 6 for details. Free. 250920-3373.



Victoria & CRD Esquimalt Farmers Market Pop Up 4:30pm at Esquimalt Rec Centre 527 Fraser St Produce, prepared foods, homemade items, live music and a food truck! events/158249958289021. Free. esquimaltmarket. com.

Storytelling at its best, up close and live at the Royal Theatre

Davide Bonadonna


Nizar Ibrahim: Spinosaurus, Lost Giant of the Cretaceous 7 pm, Wednesday, May 2, 2018

McPherson Box Office • (250) 386-6121 •

April 2018  41

Grandparent I S L A N D

W I N T E R 2 0 1 8

nanaimo & area Fireside Stories & Songs 6:30pm at Living Forest Campground 6 Maki rd. Come for a traditional campfire and marshmallow roast. Learn to share and remember traditional campfire stories and songs. Bring your flashlight. $10/person; $25/family. 250-756-5200.




victoria & CrD

Sharing Our Family Stories Here & There 10 Things to Do with Your Grandkids

Teen Lounge: Lip Sync Battle 6pm at Greenglade Community Centre Channel your inner pop star, rapper, or rocker for a lip sync battle. Solo or with a few friends and backup dancers, choose your song, get in costume, and hit the stage. Awesome prizes to be won. 250-656-7271. nanaimo & area

On newstands now, wherever you pick up Island Parent. Island Grandparent is a bi-annual publication that honours and supports grandparents by providing information on resources and businesses for families, and a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions . 42

Island Parent Magazine

School’s Out Swim 1pm at ravensong Aquatic Centre Stay active on your day off from school with a swim. The lifeguards will have the inflatable toys out for a splashing good time. reduced rate admission. rdn. 250-248-3252.




victoria & CrD Kids Corner at St. Luke’s Spring Fair 10am at St. Luke’s Hall Cedar Hill Cross rd at Cedar Hill rd Free. 250-477-6741. st.lukes@

Grossology 2:30pm at Esquimalt Branch Library Get gross! Learn about things that are slippery, smelly and green, and take home something that’s very gross. For ages 6-9. register online or call for more information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875). Star Wars Droids 3:30pm at Juan de Fuca Branch Library Build or program a Star Wars droid using DigiLab’s Littlebits and Spheros. Snacks included. For ages 13-18. register online or call for more information. Free. 250-940-GVPL (4875). nanaimo & area Walk & Bounce for Autism 9:30am at Caledonia Park, Nanaimo Bouncy castles, mascots, music, face painting, Autism providers on location. Lots of family fun. To print your registration and pledge forms or give a donation, visit or call 250-7166110 for more information.

ONGOING PresCHool victoria & CrD Baby Time At Greater Victoria Public Library Locations Learn songs, rhymes and fingerplays to use with your baby every day. Drop in. For babies 0-15 months and parents or caregiver. Check for dates, times and locations.

Baby’s First Year Mondays 11:15am-12:45pm until June 25 at Saanich Commonwealth Place A drop-in community support for families with babies. Discuss, share and connect with other new parents. Traditional Indigenous Storytime Chat about infant feeding, babywearing, safety, 10am at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library Join Surrounded by Cedar Children and Family postpartum adjustment, sleep and more. Drop in at Services for a monthly storytelling group featuring any point. Bring a blanket for your baby to lie on, or traditional storytellers, art and songs. For families. for tummy time. $2. 250-475-7600. register online or call for more information. Free. Family Storytime 250-940-GVPL (4875). At Greater Victoria Public Library Locations Fun-filled stories, songs, rhymes and puppets. DropHorth Hill Highlights in. For young children and their families; children 1pm at Horth Hill regional Park Check out this delightful park at the tip of Saanich under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. Check Peninsula with a CrD regional Parks naturalist. Dis- for dates, times and locations. cover the plants at your feet, the birds over your head and great views from the top. Wear sturdy footwear. Young Parent Weekly Drop-in Meet at information kiosks in parking lot off Tatlow Thursdays 10am-noon at Kiwanis Family Centre. rd. 8+ years. Free. 250-478-3344. Come and enjoy a hot meal, socialize with other young parents, enjoy a kids’ craft, let your little one explore the fully equipped playroom, or have a look

in the ‘free’ store for gently used children’s items and household supplies. Staff available to help with information about relevant local resources, advocacy and counselling support, help with paperwork, and parenting support. 250-382-1004. Cowichan Valley

Cowichan Valley

Parent Support Circles Parenting isn’t always easy. Sometimes it helps to talk Family Storytime at Cowichan Library, Duncan. Bring things through with other parents. At the Parent Supthe whole family for stories, songs, rhymes and fun. port Services Society of BC, they believe that every For ages 0-5. Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am. 2687 James parent is the expert of her/his own family. For more information about groups near you, call 250-384St. 8042 or 1-877-345-9444 or visit


Family Storytime at Cowichan Library, Duncan. Bring the whole family for stories, songs, rhymes and fun. Victoria & CRD For ages 0-5. Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am. 2687 James St. Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival April 4-May 12 Various locations Students of music, dance and dramatic arts are on CHILDREN stages throughout the city receiving adjudications from renowned experts in the arts. 250Victoria & Area 386-9223. Spring Break Pet-actular Until April 2 at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library Family Dinner Your library is the purr-fect place to spend Spring 4pm at James Bay Community Project Break. Come for a howling, yowling good time. 547 Michigan St. Family Dinner program every Tuesday 4-6pm. Free. Programs and activities to get your tail wagging. 250-415-0814. Museum Tots Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Circles Saturdays 11am at Maritime Museum A weekly program introducing children 2-5 to the A safe, supportive place to meet others in a similar fun world of museum learning. New theme each situation and to share information and resources. For week, allowing children to learn through crafts, play, groups near you, call 250-384-8042. Province-wide games, song, and dance. $5/child. 250-385-4222. toll free line at 1-855-474-9777 or email grgline@

Nanaimo & Area Drop-In Science Studio Thursdays and Saturdays 10am-noon at NS3 Science Studio. Children can explore the many features of the Science Studio including KEVA blocks, marble wall, air field, wind tunnel and a variety of discovery boxes. $4/child; adults free. Schedule subject to change, so please check for most current schedule. 4355 Jingle Pot Rd. 778-971-6893. Lions Free Swim Sundays noon-1:30pm at Beban Pool, Nanaimo. April 1 to June 24. 250-756-5200. Golden Shoe Hunt In Oceanside Explore regional and community parks in the electoral area A to H to find the hidden shoe. Clues and instructions for the locations of the shoes will be posted weekly to starting April 13.•

Cover Photo Contest For the 2018 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 in 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 (preferably 2–3MB). Photos must be colour shots of children or families in Vancouver Island locations. Contest is open to Vancouver Island residents only. No professional photographers, please. Entry deadline is Tuesday, April 9, 2018; winners will be notified by email by Monday, May 14. Winning photos become the property of Island Parent Magazine.

Send entries to:

April 2018  43

City Family,

Country Family


h hey there, city and suburb-dwelling parents. Wise choice to settle your family in an urban zone. On those nights when the idea of making dinner seems impossible, you can have a hot Chinese, Indian or Italian dinner delivered to your door. You’ve got a cornucopia of extra-curricular activities to choose from for your kids. There are parks and museums and theatres for family outings or date nights. Makes a whole lot of sense. And howdy to the rest of you, the country-dwellers, island denizens, and townies. It’s a smart decision to live in a place with a smaller population. You’ve got plenty of nature around you, a close-knit community to help out, and a safe space for your children to independently roam. Makes a whole lot of sense.

Wherever you choose to live with your family, there will be opportunities, and there will be drawbacks. Maybe it doesn’t have to be one versus the other: cabins, campfires, and cabbage versus condos, culture, and curry. You can make the most out of wherever you live by taking full advantage of the pros, mitigating the cons, and doing your best to mimic the experiences that aren’t readily available.

Jenny Hyslop As for my family, we chose rural. But only relatively recently, and only after years of debate and puzzling over the where and the how and the what. About two years ago, an opportunity suddenly arose and we decided to take the plunge: we moved from an apartment near downtown Victoria to a house in an island community with a population less than half that of the high school I attended. What do we love about living here? Nature is everywhere. We can walk from our front door to a rainforest ravine in 10 minutes. Our family can identify 10 times more trees, plants and birds than we could as city-dwellers. We rent a whole house with a full ocean view on a half-acre lot where we’re working little by little to create a productive food garden. I won’t tell you what we pay for it; that’s crass, and the number will cause you Victorians to spit your almond milk matcha lattés all over this page. Everyday interactions with folks at the grocery store and post office and library are authentic. I’m not saying “Hi. How are you” in that automated generic way, where all you expect back from the vaguely familiar person working the till is a “Fine, thanks” as she continues to scan your noodles and weigh your produce. I’d actually like to know what’s up with Lisa and the deck she’s building and her new puppy. Oh, and people are thrilled to have children on the island. This is a village with a declining population, so new young families are practically met down at the ferry with a welcoming brigade. Kids are treated like celebrities here. There are very few places or events where they aren’t welcome.

ASPENGROVE SCHOOL inspires Academic Excellence Innovative Thinking Global Citizenship

Nanaimo’s JrK-Grade 12 IB World School

Matinees for KIDS! April 7 & 8 – 1:00 PM

  The Iron Giant


April 14 & 15 – 12:30 pm


  Jumanji: Welcome   to The Jungle


April 21 & 22 – 1:00 pm

All Seats

  Early Man


April 28 & 29 – 12:30 pm

  Paddington 2

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April 2018  45

When we first moved, I was out and about with the kids while my husband was at work. When he got home, I started to tell him about the day’s adventures: “Oh, I know everything you guys did today,” he interrupted with a laugh. “I stopped by the Co-op on the way home and everyone you ran into earlier filled me in on what you got up to.” Do we miss some things about the city? Damn skippy, we do. Mainly we miss our friends and family members we left behind. But we also sometimes pine for our favourite restaurants and specific products that can’t be found up here. I do occasionally wish there were a few more options for outings, hobbies, and entertainment. And once in a while I miss living in a place where you can exist in an echo chamber. My city friends came from a big enough pool that I found people who were more or less on the same page when it came to politics and personal ethics. The pool is smaller here, so there’s a bigger range of ideas among the people I interact with on a daily basis, many with contrary opinions to my own. But over the last several months, I’ve realized that we can work our way around those cons, and maybe even see some of

them as potential pros. I’ve always enjoyed cooking a variety of foods from different cultures, but I find I do so even more often here when I can’t just order in or eat out. We’re getting way better at coming up with quick dinners with whatever we’ve got on hand on those tricky busy nights with a rather bare fridge. There is an obvious money-saving advantage there, too. Believe it or not, I think our family actually goes to more events and takes part in more activities than when we lived in the city. I used to get overwhelmed by the scope of happenings in the city, and so more often than not, we didn’t seek them out, and we stuck to our usual routine. But here, there aren’t a whole lot of special events or activities, so you can take them or leave them. And usually I take them. The community theatre is putting on a murder mystery? Sure! Saturday night karaoke? Go for it! After-school soccer? Why not! But what if, at some point in the not-too-distant future one of my kids has a burning desire to take up salsa dancing or jazz drumming lessons? Well, we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it. With many lessons these days, there’s the option of learning via Skype, as one 12-year-old here does with his bagpipes.

And if that burning desire turns into fullon “this is what I need to do for the rest of my life” passion, we can reassess our living situation. As for that echo chamber, I’m realizing that interacting with people from different ends of the political or philosophical spectrum can be a very good thing. It’s so easy to get stuck in the idea that those who don’t believe the same things as I do are the clear-cut (pun intended) Bad Guys. When I chat with that guy on the ferry who loves to talk about his grand kids, and then see the sign on his lawn for a political party that I’d certainly never vote for, I’m reminded that there are usually plenty of shades of grey. It’s a lot harder to villainize someone whom you see all the time and appreciate certain qualities about them. Back to you city folk. You can certainly find ways to enjoy some of the best bits of country living without actually moving. Get out into nature as often as you can. Become involved with some kind of community beyond your job: volunteer somewhere or get to know your neighbours. Spend time with people of all ages, with different backgrounds and ideas. And hang out with your close friends and family more often. Have

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46  Island Parent Magazine

potlucks and board game nights, even if it means courageously showing people what your house really looks like most of the time. Give the toilet bowl a quick scrub, toss half a dozen of the most embarrassing odds and ends in the closet, and you’re good to go.

The support you need for the life you want. BeConnected supports children, youth and adults to lead rich lives in community.

If your brain short-circuits when you check out the seemingly endless options for entertainment or lessons, fake the simplicity. Back when I went to art school, some of my fellow pink-haired, pierced students would whine and complain about restrictions on projects. But I loved having boundaries. Sometimes confining myself in one area freed me up to try something that hadn’t previously occurred to me in a different area. So maybe you tell your kids (or yourself) to choose one or two activities within walking or biking distance only. Or seek out only activities that are free. You might find something that you wouldn’t otherwise have thought to try. So to all you parents on this big, beautiful hunk of rock: Get outside your comfort zone when you’re feeling bored or stuck where you are. Create a boundary when you feel overwhelmed by your options. Find ways to take the best of both city and country living and create your own sweet spot for your family, one where you can have your cake and eat it too.

· · · · · · · · ·

Residential Services for children, youth and adults Home Share Services Supported Living Options Respite Services for children, youth and adults Community Inclusion Services Employment Services Host Agency Services Personalized Supports Initiative Other Services and Supports for Individuals and Families Victoria and surrounding communities, the Southern Gulf Islands, the Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo, the Comox Valley and Campbell River. We’ve          Contact Us! Moved!

Victoria 240—4243 Glanford Ave Duncan 202—321 Festubert St Phone 250-727-3891 Phone 250-748-3858 Find us on facebook!

Jenny Hyslop is a yoga instructor/preschool teacher/artist/writer/comedian/collector and seller of vintage odds/mama of two. She lives in a wee island community and loves to continuously add titles to her bio.

April 2018  47

Special Needs Resources

and families living with autism, while raising awareness and providing training in communities across B.C. Our programs in Victoria, Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley include Intro to Physical Activity, Intro to BeConnected Support Services. BeCon- Soccer and Basketball, Swim, Skate and nected supports children, youth and adults Social Events (fall, winter and spring), with diverse abilities to lead rich lives in Overnight Camp (summer), and Family community. BeConnected’s services have Events (year-round). For more information, expanded over the years, and include op- visit tions for Employment, Residential Services, Shared Living, Respite, Community Inclusion, and other individual-centred options for children, youth and adults. Also, BeConnected is a Host Agency which means we will work in partnership with individuals and families who receive Individualized The Cridge Centre for the Family has Funding (IF) through CLBC to help you a rich heritage and an even richer future. create the future you desire. BeConnected Founded in 1873, The Cridge Centre proserves the communities of Greater Victo- vides diverse services to children, adults ria, Sidney, Sooke, Salt Spring Island, the and families to maximize their opportuCowichan Valley, Nanaimo, the Comox nities and enjoyment of family life and Valley, and Campbell River. Contact Be- loving relationships, and to achieve their Connected in Victoria at 250-727-3891; potential. The Cridge Respite Resource and BeConnected in Duncan at 250-748- Service and the Cridge Respitality Service 3858. Visit BeConnected on the web at work together. Where Respite Resource Find us on Face- helps parents of children with a special book and Twitter! BeConnected: the sup- need find qualified caregivers, Respitality provides a free overnight stay at one of 25 ports you need for the life you want. area accommodation partners for parents Camp Footholds Summer 2018. Foot- while their children are cared for at home. holds Therapy Center is happy to offer To learn more about these services, please a wide variety of summer programs for visit The Cridge Centre for the all ages. Footholds camps are structured Family…because love is the bottom line. around programming and geared towards children with special needs (Autism, FASD, Discovery School. Is your child bright, etc) and other emotional and psychologi- yet struggling in school? Would your child cal challenges (Anxiety/Depression). Our work best in a classroom of 10 students camps focus on empowering children with a 1:3 staff to student support ratio? and youth by building social skills and Perhaps your child requires an individual self-esteem all while meeting new friends program with adaptations/modifications. and having fun! See our website for de- Are you looking for a quiet, nurturing tailed camp information. 250-585-4411. school with a Christian atmosphere that encourages academic development, verance, responsibility, and organizational skills? Look no further. For over 40 years, Discovery School has been providing these services for struggling students. Discovery follows B.C. curriculum, is Ministry inspected, and provides this special education Canucks Autism Network (CAN) pro- from the early grades to graduation. More vides year-round sports and recreation information found at programs for children, youth, young adults or call 250-595-7765. 48  Island Parent Magazine

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 3 and 4 year olds 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! Phone: 250-598-0573 emmanuelpreschool. ca. At Hands-On Home-Learning, we believe in an education that nurtures the whole child. We support children to learn at their own pace, in their own way. Our Special Education team applies this philosophy to help meet your child’s unique learning and developmental needs. We offer a flexible program with a desire to work collaboratively with you; as a parent, you are your child’s best advocate. We can work with any existing professionals as well as help locate additional services to support your goals. 250-383-6619; 1-888-383-6619; 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 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 atmosphere of warmth, caring and respect. 5575 West Saanich Rd (across from Red Barn Market). 250-592-4411, info@, islandmontessori. com. Little Steps provides therapy services for children with developmental and learning delays. Our multi-disciplinary teams work to address the needs of the individual and can help with communication, selfregulation, motor, and social skills. We also offer group therapy specifically designed for preschool-aged children, school-aged children, and children who are homeschooled. For more information, please visit our website or give our offices a call at 250-386-1171; email:•

How to Succeed at Failing


ear of failure not only plagues adults, but it also weighs down our children and prevents them from reaching their full potential. Fear is a detrimental mindset, formed in early childhood—around five to nine years of age—and affects both genders equally, regardless of actual or perceived ability. Being afraid to make a mistake has a profound effect on our children, and can cause depression, anxiety, self-shaming and embarrassment. And we, their loving parents, are partially responsible for this affliction. I know your parent-guilt is kicking in because I have it, too. My oldest son is terrified to make mistakes. He is hard on himself, self-punishing, and it can, at times, affect his self-esteem. He says that he is afraid to disappoint me. Ouch! I have been searching for answers, wondering how I could have caused such anxiety in my own child. Fear of failure affects many of our children and is causing stress at home and at school. Why is this happening? Most of us have our children’s best interests in mind and would never cause intentional harm. Out of our desire to protect our kids, we try to prevent them from failing. We remind them to complete their homework. We help them study for a test. We talk to their coaches and their teachers. We intervene in their social squabbles and we bring their lunches to school when they are forgotten at home. In the era of social media and projections of the perfect family, many of us see our children’s failures as a reflection of our parenting. We are worried about judgement and we have created an atmosphere in which mistakes are painted with negativity. Have you ever thought about how you react when your child makes a mistake? Perhaps he fails a test at school. Maybe she doesn’t make the team. If your child loses his homework, how do you respond? Research shows that fear of failure is directly linked to both the quality of parentchild communication and to parental high expectations. Cue overwhelming guilt once again. I have high expectations for myself and admit that those expectations trickle

down to my eldest. Sometimes, I forget that he is just a kid. Is it possible that parents and teachers expect too much from our children? Are we putting too much pressure on them? We need to ask ourselves what is developmentally appropriate. When a child makes a mistake, how a parent responds can be crucial to the development of that child’s self-esteem. If a parent reacts with harsh criticism, punishment or uses withdrawal of love, that child may develop a fear of failure. Have you ever chastised your child’s mistakes out of frustration? Maybe you believe tough love will inspire your child to work harder. Some of us respond with disappointment and give the cold shoulder. Punitive action damages a child’s self-worth and creates a threat to the parent-child bond. Imagine the pressure of thinking your parent only loves you when you are successful. What a burden to carry.

problems often arise, causing friction both at school and in social situations. A child who has a low sense of self-worth may take his frustration out on others or may be inattentive at school. I have seen these results in my son. His performance at school is a rollercoaster of effort and lack thereof and has direct implications on his self-esteem.

Kelly Cleeve

How do we reverse and prevent this fear of making mistakes? After all, we want to raise children who are resilient and willing to take risks. We want them to be happy, confident and brave. Start by allowing your children to see you making mistakes! Children are often privy to the stress levels of the adults in their lives. They witness our overwhelming schedules, the hectic pace of our day, the relationship challenges. However, they may be less likely to witness the skills we use to cope with adversity. We all fail at some point. Let your child hear the positive self-affirmations you may whisper. Explain to them the restorative actions that you will take to correct a mistake. Share the lessons that you have learned as a result of your failures. Talk to your children about making mistakes and encourage them to see value in the learning opportunities failure provides. Teach them to calculate risk and provide them with positive feedback. Never dismiss an idea, but advise your child to make adjustments when things don’t go as expected. Value your child’s opinions, validate their emotions and let them know you appreciate them for who they are and what they offer. I know that I can do this. So can you. As parents, most of us have a fear of failing our children. Without a doubt, we will make mistakes along the way. Be kind Fear of failure has social and academic to yourself and look for opportunities to implications as well. Depression and anxiety improve. Share your failures and set a good can affect friendships and a child’s desire example for your children. Then, provide to participate fully in life. When you are enough room for them to take risk, to fail afraid to make a mistake, you may be and to pick themselves back up again. less willing to take social risks, make new friends, or try new things. Fear of failure Kelly Cleeve is a passionate educator with 14 affects engagement in school, as children years experience. She is a graduate student at may be hesitant to think outside of the box, the University of British Columbia, a wife and a to think critically or creatively. Behaviour mother of 2 beautiful boys. April 2018  49

Chia seed Fun t n e r a P d n Isla on for Vancouver Island


30 Years

The Resource Publicati



April 2018

Business Feature

Island Parent BIZ

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Island Parent Magazine

o you know what chia seeds are? Chia seeds are a versatile seed that you can find in most grocery stores. It comes as a black seed or a white seed. It also comes whole or ground. If you have never bought chia seeds, here are a few reasons why you might want to add them to your shopping list: • Like most seeds, chia seeds are high in fibre, Omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. • Chia seed sprouts are a healthy and delicious way to get some greens into your diet. • Chia seeds are great at absorbing and gelling liquids. So they are often used as a thickener or a binder in gluten-free or vegan baking. • I like to add them to smoothies or juice to make a simple and healthy bubble tea. Here are a few of my favourite ways to use chia seeds. Get your kids involved so that the whole family can have fun exploring this interesting and nutritious seed.

then use carob powder instead. It won’t be the same, but usually kids don’t notice as long as it’s the right colour.

1⁄2 cup of chia seeds 21⁄2 cups of milk 3 Tbsp sweetener (honey or sugar) 1 tsp vanilla 3 Tbsp cocoa powder

1. Put all of the ingredients into a blender or a food processor and blend them until they are fully combined. 2. Pour into a lidded container and refrigerate. 3. Stir your pudding after the first 30 minutes and again after 60 minutes. The cocoa powder and the chia seeds will settle to the bottom of the jar and you want to keep them combined. 4. After about 3 hours the chia seeds will have fully absorbed all the liquid and the pudding will be thick.

Berry Chia Sauce

This is a fun sauce that can be made sugar free depending on how tart your berries are. Whether you use strawberries, raspberries, blueberries or cherries, the result is a delicious thickened berry sauce. Serve it over pancakes, mixed into yogurt or just eat it on its own like a whole-fruit J-ello. 2 cups of berries 1⁄4 cup of water 1⁄4 cup of chia seeds. 1. Mix the berries and the water in a small sauce pan. 2. Bring to a boil. 3. Once it’s boiling, remove from the heat and mash the berries to the desired Chia Seed Puddings & Sauces I like to use chia seeds to thicken fruit consistency. 4. Stir in 1⁄4 cup chia seeds and sweetener sauces and make delicious puddings. Ground chia seeds will make a smoother (you could use up to 2 Tbsp of sugar or pudding, but I like the look and texture of honey). whole chia seeds, which results in a tapioca5. Pour into a jar and leave it out on the style pudding. counter to cool and thicken. 6. Store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks. Chocolate Chia Pudding This is a perfect no-cook dessert that even the youngest chefs can make at home—with Black Forest Chia Pudding a little supervision of course. So have your What could be tastier than a black forest kids help you measure and make this deli- pudding? This is a simple and fancy dessert cious and healthy chocolate pudding. If you that builds upon the two recipes above. want to avoid chocolate before bedtime,

! !

1 recipe of chocolate chia seed pudding ! 1 recipe of berry sauce made with cherries 1⁄2 cup of whipping cream !

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Emillie Parrish


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Make Your Own Chia Pet

Chia pets are really easy to make. And it’s a great way to get your kids excited to eat their greens. All pets need hair cuts, and it’s even better if you can eat the hair. These instructions are for growing chia seed “hair” in a container, but feel free to google instructions for turning an old nylon stocking into a 1980s style chia pet. You’ll need: A growing container (plastic cup, eggshells, clay pots) Googly eyes and other craft supplies to make faces for your pet. Potting soil A little bit of whole chia seeds (about 1 tsp for an eggshell head) 1. Decorate your chia pet container with eyes, nose and a mouth. Use either a permanent marker or a glue gun to prevent the features from accidentally washing off during your watering. 2. Fill the container with potting soil. 3. Sprinkle on about 1 tsp of chia seeds. 4. Keep the chia seeds moist by lightly watering every day. You don’t want to drown your seeds, but you also don’t want them to dry out. 5. After about 5 days your chia pet’s luscious green hair will start to grow. 6. Give your pet a haircut after 10 days and eat the greens!

Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog

Day Programs & Overnight Camps


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Gr 1–5


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Science & Soccer 9:00–3:00

Gr 1–5


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Emmanuel Summer Camps 2018 Please register according to your child’s grade this Fall. Children must be 4 yrs old by Dec. 31, 2018 to attend the camps.

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Gr 1–5


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Gr 1–5


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Gr 1–5


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Register: 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road

at the Cedar Hill Cross Road & Henderson entrance to UVic

Phone 250-592-2418 | Fax 250-592-4646 | April 2018  51

The Sound of Music

Get Riding this Summer! Explore a variety of riding camps tailored for boys and girls of all skill levels ages 6-18.


usic has charms,” an English poet and playwright once wrote, “to soothe a savage

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250-246-3191 52  Island Parent Magazine

breast.” I’m likely not the only person who misremembers that quote as “beast” instead of “breast.” Or who thought Shakespeare penned it, until Google reminds me it was by a less-famous William, Congreve. And I’m definitely not the first parent who has tried to charm his own beasts with music when they’ve turned savage: a sing-a-long dose of Fred Penner or Raffi; a lullaby of light classical or nature sounds; or a surgical cranking of the stereo to drown out brother-sister blow-ups. Music weaves together the years of family life, track by track, the highs and the lows, from in-utero sessions of Baby Mozart to the day our children—suddenly, no longer children—dance to their own wedding songs. (And when we become the cranky oldsters who complain about the tuneless noise enjoyed by “kids these days”…) Music has a mysterious attraction. It adds to our collective experiences as families in ways that can’t be distilled into dollars or sense. There’s a reason we enroll our kids in lessons and protect endangered band programs at their schools, even if they won’t ever play in a concert hall filled with anything other than a captive audience of parents and relatives. I marvel at young prodigies destined for bigger venues, who can master the piano or violin before the age of 10. I envy dads and moms who can strum an impromptu campfire singalong or tinkle a medley of holiday tunes. I’d like to say that’s our family. But we’re in no danger of being named the Most Musical Clan in Canada. We don’t rank with the Rankins. Tegan & Sara have no rivals in our house. Still, we love music in our own way, even if the sounds we make are more likely to empty stadiums than fill them. My son tried out violin in Grade 5, and we watched his first recital in a growing panic as his wild bowing threatened to blind a nearby friend—and felt relieved when he dropped

his deadly weapon mid-concert and prelawsuit. He switched to the trumpet this year but spends most of the time emptying it of saliva or forgetting it at school. Both our kids do piano, and I recall just enough from long-ago organ lessons to help them stumble through the tough bits—until we get distracted by the funky sounds on our cheap digital keyboard. Last

David Leach Dadspeak

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summer, when I returned my son’s rental violin, I picked up a discount bass guitar and amp. In high school, back when I had big hair and bigger dreams, I played in a series of bad bands (pop, punk, heavy metal) before pawning my gear to go travelling. Now the kids and I can practice together in a “unique” bass-keyboard-trumpet trio. They are starting to develop their own musical tastes, too. Both return from school humming new ear worms, mostly teenypop stars, anthem rockers and novelty songs gone viral on YouTube. (I shouldn’t complain: my first musical crush were The Monkees.) Then they hijack our stereo with their personal playlists. Recently, our 11-year-old son announced he wanted to listen to Simon & Garfunkel. I have no clue where he picked up that fancy, but their Greatest Hits have been on heavy rotation for weeks. His delight was tarnished a little when he heard the “news” that Paul and Art had broken up. Our house is now filled with “The Sound of Silence,” if not the sounds of silence. Arguments erupt about whose turn it is to play whose music and how loud for how long and whether trumpet takes priority over piano and if daddy’s guitar thumping counts as a mid-life crisis or not. Soothing? Rarely. Savage? Sometimes. Music? I’ll leave that for other ears to decide. We’re like most families. We’re not about to land a recording contract. But we plan to keep making our joyful noise together.

250 592 6113


L TI UN H! F T OF 0 % IL 3 0 R 1 P A


David Leach is the Chair of the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria and the former bassist of Slötterhäus.

April 2018  53

earth Day: Please no more Plastics


very year on April 22, people from all around the world pick up litter, plant trees, and go for walks along the water in celebration of Earth Day. This year’s theme—End Plastic Pollution—focuses on the ways we can protect the earth and the creatures who live on it from plastics. There are tons of different ways to do this, such as picking it up, lobbying for change at the municipal, provincial and federal levels, or reducing the ways you use plastics in your own home. Here on the West Coast, protecting our waters and lands from plastics is incredibly important because of how prevalent plastics are. A couple of studies from 2015 discovered that 90 per cent of seabirds—such as gulls, loons and cormorants—have eaten plastic and that 50 per cent of sea turtles have eaten plastics—which is nothing to say about the amount of plastics that fish are consuming. In honour of this year’s Earth Day, this month’s books focus on the plants and animals that live in the water and along our coast. The first book, Peanut Butter and Jelly, A Narwhal and Jelly Book, is a graphic novel by Ben Clanton (Tundra Books, 2018). In it are four hilarious stories about Narwhal, a.k.a. Peanut Butter, and his friend Jelly. In the first story Jelly introduces Narwhal to peanut butter after learning that he only ate waffles. The rest of the stories progress from there. Clanton also includes an illustrated fact sheet about different sea creatures, including a few of the crazy things that tiger sharks have been known to eat. The simplistic pictures and easy-to-follow format are a great introduction to graphic novels. For ages 6-9. Little Royal: A Fish Tale is both written and illustrated by Chelo Manchego (Shambhala, 2017). In the beginning of this quaint tale Little Royal likes to boss around the smaller fish in his pond. Then one day a frog hops by, and with his help—and that of some other aquatic animals—Little Royal

learns about the world he lives in and what it means to be someone’s friend. The lush green and vibrant yellow images will engage your children as they learn those lessons along with Little Royal. For ages 4-8. In Ocean Animals from Head to Tail by Stacey Roderick and illustrated by Kwanchai Moriya (Kids Can Press, 2016), readers learn about ocean animals as they play a fun guessing game. The bright illustrations, which are edited versions of actual photographs and textures, work with the text to teach kids about ocean animals. So, as children read about how the colossal squid has the largest eye of any animal, they will also get to see where this amazing creature lives. For ages 3-7. Do Fish Fart? Answers to Kids’ Questions About Lakes by Keltie Thomas and illustrated by Deryk Ouseley (Firefly Books, 2016) will answer all of your children’s burning questions about the unique ecosystem of lakes and rivers—from how rivers were formed, to whether or not fish can survive in ice-covered water, to how long it takes for a lake to become polluted. The 200 questions in this book that Thomas, with the help of over 40 experts, answers were asked by actual children. The photographs and illustrations guide readers through fresh water lakes and introduce them to the fish and other animals that make lakes and rivers their home. For ages 8-12. West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet by Deborah Hodge (Groundwood Books, 2015), brings the messages about the importance of caring for plants and animals home to the West Coast. As she works her way through the alphabet, Hodge teaches children about many of the different animals, plants, and environmental features that they might find along the Pacific Coast such as cougars, kelp and intercostal tidal zones. Alongside these tidbits Karen Reczuch’s almost lifelike watercolour and pencil illustrations will draw you and your children in, and make you feel like you are stepping over kelp at French Beach or walk-

ing among the towering Douglas fir trees in Cathedral Grove. For ages 4-7. If your child isn’t quite old enough for West Coast Wild, but you still want to introduce them to some of the creatures that live along the Pacific Coast there is One Eagle Soaring by Robert Budd and illustrated by the famed First Nations artist Roy Henry Vickers (Harbour Publishing, 2018). This award-winning duo delivers an amazing

Christina Van Starkenburg Book Nook book once again in this beautifully illustrated board book teaching children about numbers and counting while introducting them to some of the animals that live on the west coast. For ages 0-3. This Earth Day is a great time for you and your family to reconsider your use of plastics. So take some time to pause from the business of life and head to the beach to pick up some of the plastic and other litter you see. Then spread out a picnic blanket and read a couple of books with your kids about fish and the other creatures and plants that live along our beautiful West Coast.

Respite Care Providers offer short-term care for children with special needs GET HIRED: List your skills and availability on Cridge Respite Connection

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Emmanuel Preschool 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road (by entrance to UVic) Children learn through play in our all inclusive, non-denominational Christian preschool. Great facility; outdoor play area and a gym for rainy day play! Two teachers with ECE certifi cation plus an assistant teacher to help with special needs children. A competent and caring teaching team!

Class Opportunities for 2018–2019: Mon/Wed/Fri morning class Tues/Thurs morning class 5 mornings a week

Phone 250-598-0573

Kay Melbye, Partner Kay has a background in civil litigation and has been practicing exclusively family law since 2001. Kay is a founding member of the collaborative family law group in Victoria, is trained to prepare Hear the Child Reports, has extensive court experience and is qualified as a family law mediator and arbitrator. Kay is a member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and is secretary on the Board of the Vancouver Island Children’s Health Foundation. Christina Van Starkenburg is a freelance writer and mother of two young boys. You can read about their adventures at thebookandbaby. com. • 250 595 2220 217 - 2187 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria

April 2018


most part; but also, and more glaringly, they are a band of attention-seeking, audience-hungry, performance-obsessed egomaniacs. It’s the only way to describe them. I mean, what else can I call them when all day long I hear a constant, and I mean constant, refrain of: “Mom, look what I c an do. ”…



ometimes, our best-intentioned parenting tactics can nevertheless result in disaster. And the longer I observe my children, the more it becomes clear to me that while some aspects of my parenting seem to be having the desired effect, others are going terribly, terribly wrong. Case in point: the issue of my paying attention to them. It seems simple enough—one of those natural maternal instincts. That is what we’re supposed to do, after all, isn’t it? All the parenting books say things like this: look at them when they do things. Answer them when they ask questions. Encourage them. Cheer them on. Affirm their very existence; the theory being, of course, that this will produce

56  Island Parent Magazine

humans who are well-rounded, who are confident, who believe in their own selfworth and their place in the world. And so, I followed these instructions carefully. From the day they were born, I made a particular point of paying attention to my children. In fact, I did such a good job of it that if the Olympics committee ever decide to make Paying Attention To One’s Children a competitive sport, I’d be a frontrunner for gold. And yet, despite my commitment to excellence in the field, and my diligence, this entire strategy seems to have backfired horribly. Lately, to my dismay, I look around my household and see children who appear mostly normal: happy, yes; confident, certainly; well-rounded, for the

Sarah Milligan Is There an App for This? “Mama! Are you watching?” “Mama, lookit!”…“Mom? Are you looking?”… “Mom, watch this time! You didn’t look.”…“Look at this, mama!”…“Look at me!” “Mama, watch.”…“No wait, that wasn’t it. Watch again.”…“Mama! Come look at this!”…“Look at this, Mom!”…“Mom.”…“Hey, Mom, are you watching?”…“Look what I can do now!”…“Mom.”…“Mama?”… “MOMMEEEEE, WOOK!”

They want me to watch when they balance a sock on their head. They want me to look when they are hopping up the stairs on one foot—and back down the stairs on the other foot. They demand that I observe—for the 170th time, mind you—how fast they can run from one end of the kitchen to the other. And these orders come with absolutely no regard for my own schedule; whether I am trying to feed them, or use the bathroom, or make a Very Important Phone Call, or simply brush my teeth, or even if I am clearly asleep, they insist on my full attention, immediately, at all times. Relentlessly. And the strangest thing of all? The more attention I give, the more attention they demand. But when I attempt to offer less attention, they fight even harder to gain my attention again. And this in turn leads to a variety of complex and challenging situations, such as the time my son lit the deck on fire—but that’s another story. The point is, NOT paying attention is not the solution, and CONTINUING to pay attention is not the solution either. So I’m left with: • develop an app that will watch the children’s tricks for me, download the information into my brain and memory, and dispense appropriate praise when required, while allowing me to continue my daily tasks; or • convince the children to be less interesting. And I admit, option 1 sounds more feasible than option 2, because despite my annoyance at having to “lookit” every blessed minute of my day, I will admit that looking is always worth it—because they are in fact always doing something interesting. Imaginative. Exciting. Inspiring. Terrifying. Sometimes ridiculous. Sometimes amazing. Most of the time adorable. And so, I guess the only answer is this: I’m just going to have to keep watching.

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The Fuss About Flouride

Healthy Families, Happy Families

Child, Youth & Family Public Health South Island Health Units Esquimalt Gulf Islands

250-519-5311 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 Ladysmith Lake Cowichan Nanaimo Nanaimo Princess Royal Parksville/ Qualicum

250-709-3050 250-755-3342 250-749-6878 250-755-3342 250-755-3342

Port Alberni Tofino

250-731-1315 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 58  Island Parent Magazine


hat is all the fuss about fluoride? Fluoride. This word often leads to the debate of “is this safe for my child?” The short answer is yes, but it’s important to look at the recommendations on how to use fluoride safely, specifically, to review the most effective ways it can be used to help prevent dental cavities in young children. Fluoride naturally occurs in water, food, and tea and can also be found in dental products such as toothpaste. Fluoride helps strengthen the outer surface of the tooth, adding strength to areas that may already be weak as well as slow down cavity-causing bacteria.

Fluoride in Water

Fluoride contained in drinking water allows every person in a community to have equal access to its protective benefits, regardless of what other fluorides they have access to.

Fluoride Toothpaste:

The use of fluoride toothpaste is important in preventing cavities in early childhood, especially in areas where no fluoride is present in the water. Less than one per cent of people living in B.C. have access to fluoridated water, including Vancouver Island. Brushing two times a day with fluoride toothpaste is recommended for children as soon as their first baby tooth erupts. The Canadian Dental Association has a list of items that put children at risk for developing cavities. To be at risk, children only need to have one item on this list, one of them being “Living in an area with no fluoride in the water.” Because of this, the recommendation is to brush your child’s teeth twice a day using the following amounts of toothpaste: • A grain of rice-size amount of fluoride toothpaste for children 0-3 years of age.

If you search water fluoridation on the internet, some negative information will come up. Much of the information available has adequate proof to support the claims of negative health effects from fluoride. In reality, fluoride in water is a safe and effective way to make the outer surface of teeth stronger before they appear in the mouth. In Canada, there are criteria to be met for treating a community’s water. Fluoride is added to water in a small amount that will be best for preventing cavities. One of the main concerns about water fluoridation is fluorosis. Fluorosis is the appearance of discoloration on the teeth; it usually appears white and sometimes appears yellow or brown. Most cases of fluorosis are mild where the only effect on teeth is the appearance—white spots—and not the function. Health Canada reported that the number of children with moderate or severe fluorosis was so small, it is too low to report. Fluoride • A green-pea sized amount for 3 years is added to drinking water at a level where and older. it can provide the best dental benefits while reducing the risk of developing white spots on the teeth. The amount of fluoride put into water is low enough that it is safe to also use toothpaste with fluoride as part of a child’s daily mouth care. The fluoride makes it harder for cavities to form because the teeth are stronger. This effect also carries into the adult teeth when water containing fluoride is consumed as a child.

180320 SMUS_Ed_Ext-IslandParent_ad-4.75x3.pdf 1 3/20/2018 3:13:30 PM

Young children often swallow toothpaste when they are having their teeth brushed. Many children like the sweet taste of toothpaste, for this reason, it is important to treat it like a medicine. Toothpaste should be stored out of reach of children and put onto the toothbrush by an adult. By using the recommended amounts of toothpaste

Taryn Coates Ch ild Yo u t h & Family P u blic Healt h

Happy Families, Healthy Families

your child will get all the benefits of fluoride without swallowing too much. Having guidelines on the use of fluoride toothpaste helps take the guesswork out of how much is enough. It can be overwhelming when shopping for toothpaste for children. You may see items labeled “children’s first toothpaste” “training toothpaste” or “safe to swallow.” These toothpastes contain no fluoride and are recommended only for communities that have fluoride in the water. When choosing toothpaste look for sodium fluoride 0.243 per cent listed in the medical ingredients. Children’s and adult toothpastes contain the same amount of fluoride and it is safe to use adult toothpaste on children as long as there are no added ingredients such as, desensitizing, whitening, and antibacterial agents in the toothpaste. There are many different opinions around this topic and the amount of information can be overwhelming. Understanding the risks and benefits of fluoride use and the current recommendations can help individuals make informed choices that are right for their families. Sorting through all the information available is overwhelming so if you are looking to find more information on this topic, visit websites such as: • BC Dental Association: • Health Link BC: healthlinkbc-files/water-fluoridation These websites have the most up-to-date information on what the recommendations are when it comes to using fluoride for preventing dental cavities.

Taryn Coates, RDH, Community Dental Hygienist for Port Alberni/West Coast with Island Health. Photos: Dawn Moon


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Visit our website for information on these and other programs:, or call the Education Extension office at 250-370-6120.

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April 2018  59

Are You A new business owner?

The Days Crawl, But the Years Fly…

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New to the community? A new parent?

Nanaimo 250-756-9794 Or online at:

y youngest child has just entered kindergarten this past fall and I am in disbelief about how fast his first five years flew by. I am reminded of the advice which I am sure all parents have heard at some point: “appreciate these moments with your children, they go so fast.” This is heartfelt and well-intentioned advice, but sometimes it can leave a parent with a feeling of unease. Enjoying the moment seems simple in theory, but not

truly present with our children, it lays the foundation of security and love and, in turn, allows the child to feel understood and cared for. To really appreciate moments with our children, we need to practice mindful parenting: the practice of being present, of being right here, right now. We may think we are “here” but many times our mind is elsewhere. If we are not open to these little moments, we often miss these opportunities to experience the magic in our children’s world.

necessarily easy to do for an exhausted or over-extended parent. In the seemingly constant daily rush, the nurturing aspects of parenting can easily disappear. Yet one of the most important gifts we can give our children is our undivided attention. When we are

Play: Play is an amazing way to connect with your children. Have fun. Be silly. Listen to the giggles and laugh with your children. Play outside as much as you can. The fresh air and sunshine can be rejuvenating and connecting. Take time to play with your kids and you’ll

CIRCUS! 3 - 625 Hillside ave, Victoria BC 250-532-8282

60  Island Parent Magazine

be creating a special bond that will last a lifetime. The greatest gift that you can give your child is you. Remember to be present in the moment with them and enjoy the world as they see it. Turn off your computer, TV and your phone to allow you to be fully present with your child. This may be difficult to do at first, but email and social media outlets will only pull you away from your play date

Diana Hurschler New Parent Pages with your precious little one. While you are spending focused time with your child, nothing brings you in tune to the present moment quite like a full, deep breath. Breathe: Our body can breathe without our attention (just like our heart can beat without our attention), but when we bring attention to the breath, it connects body and mind and allows us to be aware of the moment. It also allows us to let go of fear and worry. If a situation frustrates us, we can take a deep breath before we respond. If we are late, we can take a deep breath in the car so we drive more consciously. We can take a deep breath as we look at our kids so we fully experience who they are in that moment—their curiosity, their beauty, their sweet voice and everything else we love about them. Reduce noise: We are constantly bombarded by noise, ringing telephones, music or anything that can take our attention away from ourselves and our children, so finding quiet has to be a decision to be a priority. Having quiet time even for five minutes a day can bring you back to a state of calm. You can enjoy quiet for yourself and you can practice being quiet with your children. When you are together, resist the urge to fill up the space with chatter or noise—just be quiet and enjoy the stillness. For some, this initially feels uncomfortable because it’s uncommon, but eventually it becomes a comfortable space. Smile: Smiling as simple practice is a mood shifter and it easily brings you back to centre. You may be about to scream at the top of your lungs, but a smile can push the energy into laughing. You may be ready to throw something, but a smile

allows you to release what you are feeling in a less aggressive way. Smiling is a confidence booster and it reminds you to reconnect with your joy. And smiling is a simple gift you can offer your children. Smile at them when they walk into the room, smile and look at them as they speak so they know you are listening, smile at them as they attempt something difficult so they feel supported. Smile so they know you really see them and appreciate who they are. It is astonishing how many parents walk around with a scowl on their face when they are with their children (start looking, you will see). Acceptance: Make the conscious decision to reduce what you do and spend time on what really matters. Every additional task you take on means more time away from your kids. Don’t worry about everything being perfect—nothing ever is. Simply make progress towards what you need to accomplish and be happy with that. There are some days I look around and think “What did I do today?” when my house is still a mess. Instead of getting uptight about it, try accepting it. Let the laundry sit, let the dishes sit. Your children are only this little once. The number one rule to enjoying your kids and being in the moment more: Slow down. With a busy schedule and so much “stuff” to do and deadlines to meet, we may miss out on the beauty of the journey with our kids. By relaxing and going at your child’s pace, you can sit back and watch how they try and figure things out and see their little face light up with pride when they discover something for themselves. By slowing down and being more conscious of how you spend your time, you may also find you are less frustrated, irritable and stressed. By incorporating some or all of these tips into your daily life, you will begin the path toward enjoying the everyday blessings that parenting has to offer. You’ll have a happier, more fulfilling and loving relationship with your children. Be in the moment. Moments make up the days that make the years of your lives.

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


The Resource Publication for

Parents with Teenagers

Your Not-SoStereotypical Teen Teen Resumés 101

Teen Resources

On newstands now, wherever you pick up Island Parent. Island Parent Teens is an annual 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. April 2018  61

Family Services Directory

to provide opportunity for participants to share in a comfortable and safe environment. For further info call 250-380-6363 or

This directory, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, features not for profit agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families.

Dialogue and Resolution Services (DRS) is the South Island’s only non-profit specializing in alternative conflict resolution for both civil and family matters. Offering quality, professional mediation, coaching and parent coordination in a supportive environment for families, co-parents, co-workers and neighbours, DRS works with clients to help them create lasting, effective solutions. DRS also offers its flagship “Communicating through Conflict” workshop series quarterly both days and evenings throughout the year. Find us at 250-383-4412 or

1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre ( provides support, education and resources for parents in the Greater Victoria area through free counselling, volunteer training, a mentoring program for single moms, and a support group for dads, as well as a variety of integrated life skills and parenting courses which are open to the whole community, with fees on a sliding scale. For single parent members, the Centre provides free toys and books, a clothing room and bread pantry. Donations of gently-used clothing, small household items, and toys are welcome. Hours: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri.: 9–4, & Wednesdays: 12–7. Location: 602 Gorge Road East. Phone: 250-385-1114.

Beacon Community Services is a communitybased, non-profit agency dedicated to helping people and improving lives on southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. Beacon thrift shops fund important LOCAL community services and programs. Beacon also offers: child, youth and family services (including the Peninsula Early Years Centre and child care); counselling; employment services and training for people of all ages; home support care; volunteer services and opportunities; affordable housing/care/supports for seniors and people with disabilities. For Home Support, please call 250-658-6407. For other programs: 250-6560134.

Beacon Community Services Employment Programs. Beacon Community Services offers a full menu of employment services on the Saanich Peninsula and Gulf Islands. We’ve been helping people find work since 1982! Our programs build on a person’s strengths and resolve barriers to finding and keeping employment. We also work with our employer network to support job seekers. Need help finding a job? Need employees? Contact us for FREE assistance! 9860 Third St. Sidney. 250656-0134.

62  Island Parent Magazine

Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school and evening social, educational and recreational programming for children and youth at 5 locations (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also offer support to parents through our Parents Together program and parent workshops. For more information on all programs and services visit or call 250-384-9133.

Family Services of Greater Victoria

Family Services of Greater Victoria (formerly BC Families in Transition) is a non profit agency that has been serving families since 1978. We provide a full range of services to the whole family in supporting their relationship and through separation and divorce. Counseling, mediation, legal information and a range of group programs are available for children, youth and adults on a sliding fee scale. Call us at 250-386-4331 or visit We can help.

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides yearround sports and recreation programs for children, youth, young adults and families living with autism. Programs in Victoria, Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley include Intro to Physical Activity, Intro to Soccer & Basketball, Swim, Skate, Social Events (fall, winter and spring), Overnight Camp (summer), and Family Events (year-round). For more information, visit HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families ate healthy sleep habits in babies and children so everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is a licensed, M.Ed., has worked with hundreds of families locally professional, non-profit agency that provides in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered services to adoptive parents, birth-parents, and Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultaadoptees. CHOICES arranges adoptions domesti- tion may be covered under your extended medical cally and internationally. We are committed to pro- plan. For more information visit happybabysleepviding a comprehensive, client-centered adoption or call 250-857-1408 for a FREE service which best meets the needs of everyone evaluation. Let’s get started! in the adoption constellation. Please contact us at, or call 250-479-9811 HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre for further information. supports families living with seizures by offering parent workshops three times a year, educational Community Options for Children and Families presentations in schools and community groups as offers recreational support groups for Children and well as providing tutoring sessions and one-to-one Youth age 6-18 who have a brother or sister with a professional consultations to help your child live disability. The Sibshop Program allows children and up to their highest potential. Keep up to date with youth to connect with peers who understand what the latest research about treatments, lifestyle, and it is like to be a Sib. Sibkids (age 6-12) and Sibteens (age 13-18) are play and activity based designed

safety issues for your child. We can be reached at, or you can reach the Epilepsy Program Coordinator directly at 250-475-6677.

Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is a registered charity and nonprofit helping individuals and organizations to connect across cultures. Programs offered include immigrant and refugee services, parenting programs, employment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, English language training, volunteer placements, youth programs and tutoring, seniors groups, and inter-cultural arts programming. Located at 930 Balmoral Road, 250-388-4728 info@,

LDABC The Learning Curve (previously The Learning Disabilities Assn.) supports, educates and advocates for children with learning disabilities and related challenges. Individual and group support, education and consultation is available for children, youth, parents, caregivers and professionals. Please visit our website @ or call us for more information or to book an appointment: 250 370 9513.

Sooke-West Shore Early Years Centres provide information to families about children and family services, supports, child development and parenting. The Early Years Navigator will assist families with referral information for local early years programming, child care, public health, special needs intervention services, and social supports. The Sooke-West Shore Early Years Centres are hosted by Sooke Family Resource Society and located at the Child, Youth, and Family Centres in both Sooke and the West Shore and can be reached at 250217-9243. Additional information can be accessed at

Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living in Greater Victoria. Services are free and include oneon-one counselling, parent education workshops, youth life skills classes, a preschool program, art therapy, language classes and academic support, employment help, computer classes and fun community events like free yoga, tai chi, dance and cooking classes. Visit us online at or phone 250-361-9433.

Kindergarten is where little girls with big dreams get their start Girl-centered since 1908 Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12: unparalleled continuum of learning Nature-inspired JK and Kindergarten Empowering girls’ leadership program embedded at all levels Small school benefits: safe, supportive, high engagement Canada’s first girls’ STEM school: an inquiry-based, interdisciplinary approach to learning

Check out our full-day inquiry based Junior Kindergarten (Ages 3 & 4) and Kindergarten programs. Contact us to visit our campus & apply for Fall 2018. 1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria 250.479.7171

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

April 2018  63

Preschool & Child Care Directory Colwood/LANGFORD

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.


Licenced group childcare for children ages 12 months to 5 years old. Open 6:30am-5:30pm. Leap Forward Dance School offers weekday and Saturday dance classes for children ages 2 and up. 2758 Peatt Road, Langford


Coastline Montessori Childcare............... 250-881-6318 Experience an educational hands on learning environment for infants, toddlers and preschool age. Half-day program offered. Located in Langford off Latoria Rd.

CORDOVA BAY Carrot Seed Preschool.............................250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground. Cordova Bay Preschool........................... 250-658-3441 A bright and cheerful parent participation preschool with a philosophy of learning through play. 4 yr olds - M/W/F 9:151:15; 3 yr olds - T/Th 9:15-12:15.

ESQUIMALT Ciara Early Childhood Centre...................250-386-7369 Education and Fun Hand in Hand! Exceptional care for ages 1-5yrs. Inclusive nature inspired kindergarten readiness program with Christian values. CiaraEarlyChildhoodCentre. Island Kids Academy Esquimalt...............250-381-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum. Includes Music Classes and Character Development using the Virtues Project. Part -time spaces available. La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool......250-479-0292 A French Immersion Preschool Program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre.

Recreation Oak Bay.................................250-370-7200 Fully licensed, ECE Daycare, Preschool and Nature Preschool. Play based, child led learning. Afterschool care available.

Nestled on 4 acres of lush west Coast forest ,our Award winning, Nature based program will not disappoint! While firmly embracing the Reggio-Emila (Italy) Philosophy our dedicated team of educators use the environment as the third teacher as we encourage your child throughout their day. Our purpose built facilities have been handmade using the trees from our forest. We have recently expanded to our new Spirit bear Lodge located right next door! Programs for Infants/Toddlers and PreKindergarten children.


Award of Excellence in Child Care 250-590-3603

METCHOSIN Metchosin Cooperative Preschool................................. Play Explore Learn and Grow in beautiful rural Metchosin. Morning programs available for 3 and 4 year olds. Contact our ECEs at West-Mont Montessori School.................250-474-2626 Exceptional preschool Montessori instruction in a beautiful natural environment. Ages 30 months and up. Providing a balanced approach to incorporating French, Music, Art and Nature. Stop by and experience what it is like to be part of a community devoted to the development of the whole child. Open House: Thursdays 9-11 am.

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. Now offering Infant and Toddler Care.

OAK BAY Emmanuel Preschool.............................. 250-598-0573 Children learn through play in our non-denominational Christian preschool near UVic. Bright attractive setting.

Child Care

Resource & Referral 64  Island Parent Magazine

• Half day and Full day Preschool Programs • Children’s learning is nurtured and supported through exploration, discovery, play and creative expression 3905 Haro Road, Victoria BC

250-477-3731 Camosun College Child Care Services........250-370-4880 Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning experiences in a learn through play environment.

• Licensed 2.5 hr and 4 hr programs, flexible part-time classes • Qualified ECEs offer play-based programs that stimulate curiosity and imagination and support optimum growth and development. Supported spaces available. • Indoor and outdoor programming, community visitors and special activities provide opportunities for learning through play and exploration. 250-360-1148

Island Montessori House.....................250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool and After School Care programs. Lovely rural setting with a focus on nature and outdoor environmental activities. Lambrick Park Preschool & Childcare........ 250-477-8131 Gordon Head’s parent-participation preschool and childcare center. Flexible hours M-F 9am-3pm & drop-ins offered. Play based learning and outdoor play. Allergy friendly. Celebrating 40 years.

Looking for child care? Need help with subsidy forms? Taking care of children? Need child care training? Your community’s best source of child care information and resources. Victoria & Gulf Islands: 250-382-7000 or 1-800-750-1868 Sooke: 250-642-5152  West Shore: 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

Oakcrest Preschool................................ 250-472-0668 A welcoming, nurturing environment with a large, bright facility. Learn through play with 2 caring ECEs.

Pre-School Junior Kindergarten 250-479-4532 Educational Excellence to the Glory of God Ready Set Grow Preschool....................... 250-472-1530 Inside Hillcrest Elm. in Gordon Head, we help children transition to Kindergarten. Licensed Preschool with highly qualified, warm ECE. St. Joseph’s Early Learning Centre.............. 250-479-1237 A Christian childcare centre offering daycare and preschool programs for 3-5 year olds. Children learn through playbased and emergent curriculum in a warm and nurturing environment. Wiseways Preschool & Daycare........... 250-477-1312 Established, quality, licensed, Christian centre for 3-5 year olds. Experienced ECEs, cheerful spacious facilities, large playground. Subsidized fees welcome. Call for a tour.

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. Spacious, renovated facility with a huge backyard in Fairfield.

Parkside Academy..................................... 250-746-1711 Providing high quality early learning and care from infancy to 12 years of age, in a stimulating, respectful, nurturing, nature based environment with fully educated and passionate early childhood educators. Visit or find us on Facebook.

Nightingale Preschool and Junior Kindergarten Ltd.....................250-595-7544 We offer education through creativity and play, providing rich learning experiences through a well sourced and stimulating indoor and outdoor environment. Early years reading programme. Arts/ Drama programme.

Queen Margaret’s School.......................... 250-746-4185 Early Childhood Education Program. Co-ed nurturing curriculum to develop the whole child. Healthy snacks and lunch provided.

Rainbow Express Daycare....................... 250-382-2314 A nurturing environment for children to learn through play and discovery in a natural setting. ECEs and specialist teachers. Close to city centre. Ross Bay Preschool.................................250-383-7445 Our positive and supportive program motivates children to learn, discover and grow through play. Contact us for a tour of our little blue school! 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. Victoria Montessori................................ 250-380-0534 Unique, innovative learning environment combining the best of Montessori and Learning Through Play. Open yr. round. 30mths–K.



v Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 8 v Delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts v Outstanding educators, locations and facilities 250.382.3533 Licenced group childcare for children ages 1 to 12 years old Offering Before & After school care for Vic West Elementary School

Island Kids Academy View Royal.............250-727-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum. Includes Music Classes and Character Development using the Virtues Project. Part -time spaces available. View Royal Childcare...............................250-479-8067 Preschool structured, high quality childcare. Victoria Conservatory of Music classes. Part time spaces available. 2.5-5year olds. View Royal Preschool..............................250-479-8067 Exciting inclusive program in a safe and exceptional care environment. 3-5 year olds. Outside play and themes enrich this program. Full/part-time spaces available.


Open 6:30am–5:30pm 250-590-2722

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



Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12 Learn more today! 250-390-2201

N A N A I M O ’ S J K -12 I N T E R N AT I O N A L B ACC A L AU R E AT E W O R L D S C H O O L

Qualicum Beach Children’s Discovery Centre.....................250-752-4343 A nurturing, safe and creative learning environment. Licensed preschool, group care and out of school care. Early Childhood Educators. childrensdiscovery Little Star Children’s Centre.....................250-752-4554 Mother, Daughter owned and operated. Earth friendly preschool education inspired by nature. Infused with fun and creative daily yoga practices! Licensed group care. Enthusiastic ECE instructors.

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.

Castleview Child Care............................. 250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, ECE staff. Since 1958. Morning or full-time care.

Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool..............250-743-7253 In a warm environment, this nature and play-based program enlivens and nurtures the growing child.

Port Alberni

949 Fullerton Ave

Centennial Day Care............................... 250-386-6832 Exceptional childcare and education 35+ years. Nature inspired, play based program. NEW central, “green” building.

Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre...... 250-701-0433 Our Centre is a lively, happy place for 3-5 year olds where children are encouraged to be confident, independent learners in a nurturing and safe environment.

International Montessori Academy of Canada................................................. 250-737-1119 Offers an enriching environment for preschool children 2-4.9 years with potty training. Nurturing young minds, keeping the spirit free.

April 2018  65

Advertisers Directory Arbutus Grove............ IFC Arts Calibre Academy....8 Aspengrove..................45 Ballet Victoria............... 31 BC Families in Transition................ IFC BeConnected...............47 Bellies in Bloom.......... 22 Brentwood School....... 13 Brown Henderson Melbye..................... 55 Browne & Associates.. 59 Byte Camp......................4 Camp Footholds.......... 15 Camp Narnia................23 Camp Pringle............. IBC Camp Qwanoes.......... BC Canadian Forces Sailing........................14 Canucks Autism...........53 Cathedral School.........57 Child Care Resource & Referral.................46 Cinecenta.....................45 Coastal Bliss Adventures............... 51 Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre.......... 13 Cridge.......................... 55 Discovery School....... IFC Emmanuel Baptist Church...................... 51 Emmanuel Preschool.. 55 Fort Rodd Hill...............24 Foster Parent Support Services..... 25 Glenlyon Norfolk School....................... 11 GNS Marine Adventure.................57 Gordon Head Recreation................ 10 Humeira Studios..........27 Island Circus Space.... 60 Island Montessori........23 Island Swimming.......... 18 Kool & Child.................. 31 Lifestyles..................... 56 Little Steps...................39 MacDonald Realty....... 30 Momease .................. IFC Mothering Touch............7 Nightingale Preschool................. 19

Oak & Orca............ 32, 56 Oak Bay Figure Skating..................... 51 Pacific Christian.....20, 21 Pacific Coast Swimming...................9 PISE............................. 22 Queen Margaret’s....... 52 Raincoast Education....47 Rise Health, Dr. Morgan Watson.................... 26 Royal BC Museum..........9 Royal Soccer Camp......39 Royal Theatre................41 Royal Victoria Yacht Club................53 Saanich Commonwealth....... 26 Saanich Dental.............33 Saanich Recreation........3 School District #62.......41 Serious Coffee.............38 Smart Tutor...................45 St. Joseph’s Chemainus.............. 52 St. Margaret’s...............63 St. Michael’s University School.... 59 Swan Lake................... 29 Tennis Kids...................28 Theatre One..................14 Thrifty Foods................37 TJ’s The Kiddie Store...38 Tom Lee Music............ 52 UBACH Method............. 11 UVic Farquhar..............33 UVic Vikes....................70 Van Isl Psychological Services....................40 Victoria Academy of Ballet........................ 10 Victoria Bug Zoo..........47 Victoria Children’s Choir...........................6 Victoria Conservatory of Music....................28 Victoria Gymnastics.....57 VIHA.............................58 Welcome Wagon......... 60 Westmont Montessori...............53 Westshore Dental..........5 Westshore Parks and Recreation................36

66  Island Parent Magazine

Finding What Fits


hen I worked as an educational assistant in a public school before Angus was born, I saw children with learning challenges achieve great success. I also saw others who didn’t—kids who needed more than what their teachers, or their school, could offer them. Kids who just didn’t fit. Angus is only six, but his educational journey already feels long and arduous. In preschool, though he had not received a formal Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) designation, he qualified for an assistant, but it is hard to entice someone to accept a job that’s only three hours a day, three days a week. The turnover rate was high. Most days I wrote in the coffee shop beside the preschool, on-call in case I was needed. I got a lot of phone calls. For kindergarten, Mike and I picked a small school where Angus knew some of the kids and a couple of the staff members. He had a ready-built support system, and the school seemed a perfect fit for us and our values. Though we felt some trepidation, we were optimistic. Maybe the school would have been perfect for me and Mike, but it certainly wasn’t a fit for our son. It is heartbreaking to lift your wailing five-year-old off the cloakroom floor, and carry him to the car. To do this not once, or twice, but day after day. To have to sit on the couch with him for an hour, simply holding him, before he is able to shake off his day and move on from it. It is heart breaking to walk past the school playground and see your child sitting alone with a book as other kids play around him. Not once, or twice, but day after day. Sometimes Angus came home happy, but still most mornings were a fight. He would run away from me when I tried to get him dressed. The good-bye routine was multi-stepped, and often I needed to sit outside the classroom, only leaving when he seemed engaged enough not to put up a fight, hoping this wouldn’t be a day he ran into the parking lot after me. Some days I was asked to keep him home. And again, I got a lot of phone calls.

By the end of kindergarten Mike and I knew that even this school—this place we had seen as a perfect oasis—was not right for our child. Though Angus had an assistant, Angus’s granny paid our behaviour interventionist to spend the last six weeks at the school so that at least the year would end on a positive note. I doubted I had the patience to homeschool, and yet it felt like the only option. I imagined us trying school after school after school and never getting it right. How damaging would that be? I researched every school in Victoria. I read testimonials on web forums: about public schools and independent schools, and by homeschooling parents who claimed doing it oneself was the only way to achieve success. We set up our first meeting at Elizabeth Buckley School (EBS). When we got home from that meeting we did what we had promised each other we wouldn’t do: we threw all of our eggs in one basket. I consider EBS to be one of the best secrets in Victoria, secret because whenever I tell people that Angus goes to school there, they have no idea what I’m talking about. I have to explain that in the bottom floor of the Cridge Centre there is a magical universe, a small, non-denominational STEaM school, where my child spends Monday through Friday feeling supported, feeling accepted, feeling valued. In order to be accepted, Angus needed to spend a day there. Mike and I had learned the hard way that our optimism doesn’t always produce results. We were hopeful, but we weren’t holding our breath. Angus needed to like the school, and on top of that, the school needed to like Angus—or at least decide they had enough resources to support him. That day when I picked him up he ran from the K/1 classroom and into my arms. “I had a great day!” he said. The school agreed. And they had room. Not every day of Grade 1 has been a great day in Angus’s opinion, but mostly they are. Even if he recounts something that upset him, by the time we reach the car he has usually shaken it off. He’s happy to leave home every morning, and usually by Sunday afternoon he’s ready to trade the weekend for a return to school. Though

he’s above grade level in some areas, and below in others, his learning is tailored so he’s challenged, but successful. The noise cancelling headphones that were part of his daily kindergarten wardrobe are gathering dust in his cubby.

Business & professional Directory

Laura Trunkey Maternity & Beyond

Humeira Studios

There is a palpable sense of community in his small classroom—and in the school as a whole—which is fostered by the teachers and educational assistants even during recess time. Inclusivity is modelled, and demonstrated by the kids. I have walked by the schoolyard at recess time, and not once have I seen Angus sitting alone. I have never been called during school because my child is melting down and uncontrollable. Grooming • Food • Supplies Slowly my body has adjusted to daytime telephone calls; they are no longer the heart-pounding, slick-palmed experiences they once were. This isn’t the best climate for independent schools. Public schools are desperate for teachers, and it’s hard for a small school to compete with the public system’s pay scale and pension plan. Private schools charge enough to offer comparable compensation, but small independent schools have to juggle being affordable with pay250-590-4460 ing staff competitive wages. It’s not easy. Phone: Grooming: 250-590-5803 Many independent schools are losing staff #106–751 Goldstream Avenue to the public system. My younger self wouldn’t have worried; send them all to public school, she would have declared. But it is impossible to create a place that’s the perfect fit for everyone. No school—public or otherwise—is an exception. No matter how much the hole is reshaped to accommodate both the round and square pegs, there will always be kids like mine who are triangles, or octagons. And just as Mike’s and my optimism doesn’t always produce results, neither does my wilfulness. Angus is the expert on what’s best for him. Every day I’m grateful that he found a place he fits.

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Laura Trunkey is the mother of the amazing Angus, and the author of the story collection Double Dutch (House of Anansi, 2016). Find her at

Call 250-388-6905 April 2018  67

Nature Through Enter the Generations Our T Online Contests Every month at you can enter to win great prizes!

here is a special generation of people that might just hold a magical key in helping to get kids connected with nature. The people I’m thinking about are your child’s grandparents. Yes, that’s right—a grandparent has a unique opportunity to be that amazing person in a child’s life that enables them to get out into the natural world. Recognizing the role that our older generation plays in mentoring deep nature connection within our communities is something I think we need to place greater value on.

There is a world of adventure outside waiting to be explored and that sometimes requires intergenerational support to find. Wisdom, patience and time to play in nature is what children need for full nature connection, and grandparents can often play that role. Here are some ideas for the grandparents in your child’s life: Grandparents, why not start by creating a special place in the garden for your grandchildren to start exploring? A new nature nook could be anything from a small garden

For some families, it is the time that children spend with their grandparents that provides them the space to explore in a less structured free play environment. Free play in nature is where deep nature connection is rooted. Free play allows for greater opportunities to explore and experience on our own the things that interest us in nature. A child can form a significant connection to a place during free nature play. When children visit the home of a grandparent, they often find themselves without their usual weekly activities and with fewer distractions from the types of technology devices they access at home. Some kids may say they are bored, but little do they know what is waiting for them in the garden or down a nearby trail.

to some new bird feeders in the backyard that will invite some feathered creatures in for bird watching opportunities. Planting a garden or digging a hole for a new tree in the yard provides a chance for kids to become active and immersed in a project that is natural and in a familiar place. Taking the grandkids to a local park or the beach for exploration and play is always fun and exciting. If you are looking for an organized event, I recommend attending a CRD Regional Parks event for an educational guided outing. Taking your grandkids outside might just be the key to unlocking a new passion. Growing up, I had a wonderful opportunity to connect to a special nature spot with my Nana. I don’t think she ever considered

Prizes include:

• Family Getaways • Gift Certificates • IMAX Passes • Books, CDs & More One entry per family per week. Check out the prizes and enter the contests by visiting 68  Island Parent Magazine

herself be much of a nature person, but she undoubtedly was. Although my Nana was not by any means a seasoned camper, she loved going for walks along the river where she lived. I always loved going for walks and swimming in wild places, and so did my dog. Our deep nature connection grew in that place we shared along the banks

Kirsten Dallimore Nature Notes of the Credit River in Glen Williams, Ontario. Many hot summer days were spent splashing around in the river and climbing over rocks. A few years ago when I returned home after a long journey away, we went to our nature spot along the river together one more time. My Nana sat on a bench by the bank and watched as my golden retriever and I ran into the cold rushing water. I always loved sitting on the rocks in the middle of the river and letting the rapids come up and swirl all around me, imagining they might just carry me away. The role of elders in a community is to take on the role of storyteller and guide for the younger generation. Nature often sparks stories of our own time spent out in the wild that can be shared with the younger generation. One of the best places to share your own nature stories is when you are out together embracing and creating a new nature adventure story. I encourage you to share with your children and grandchildren your own stories about spending time in nature when you were younger. This is a wonderful way to bond and develop a common interest while inspiring kids to create their own adventures. It doesn’t have to be complicated or take place far away. Just be ready to go out and discover something new and exciting together with your grandkids. So, what are you waiting for? This spring could be the perfect time for grandparents to invite their grandchildren out for an adventure into the wild.

Attention Non-ProďŹ t Organizations Would you like your informational brochures or magazines professionally distributed to 16 high traffic areas in Greater Victoria?

Victoria Community Information Services (VCIS), an Island Parent Group subsidiary, services these locations on a weekly basis to ensure your brochures and magazines are highly visible for pickup by walk-by traffic. Our wall-mounted distribution boards are outside partnering grocery stores and inside many recreation centres. Space is available for either brochures (approx. 4" x 9") or magazines (approx. 8.5" x 11"). For distribution rates or additional information, please contact: Mark Warner 250-388-6905

Kirsten Dallimore is an Environmental Educator with Sierra Club B.C.

April 2018


Struggling for Independence


hildren grow up by taking two steps forward and one step back. This is the path to individuating, becoming their own unique person apart from family. When their need is to experience more autonomy and independence, they become “allergic” to parents telling them what to do. They argue about things that parents are interested in like: brushing teeth, sitting at the table, practicing music lessons, homework, contributing to chores. Older kids become more private, shutting out their parents and perceiving questions as totally intrusive! While your childless friends or in-laws may tell you that you need to show children who’s boss, it actually means the opposite. Kids are designed by nature, if they are healthy, to strive to become a ME. Not allowing independence messes with a child’s growing sense of self.

ally stops a pattern of giving negative attention to a behavior that is a misdirected attempt to engage with you. Spend one-on-one time together when you can. This doesn’t have to be long stretches of time—even short periods of time can be

What to do:

Avoid anticipating a child’s needs or jumping in to help when they are trying to do something on their own. Give them space to struggle. See it as a loving act to step back rather than being neglectful. If your child needs help, it is a life skill to ask for it. Minimize the rules. Sweating the small stuff only teaches your child to argue. Instead, think about the rules that really matter and be consistent with those. Those rules will apply to everyone: safety, respect for privacy, space, possessions and contributing to the neutral area of the home including cleaning up after yourself. Don’t take it personally. Older kids going through this can become critical of how you dress, what you say, your breathing! Hang onto your self-esteem, this too shall pass. A sense of humour helps a lot, too. Ignore the verbal flak and cheekiness. While this might seem permissive, it actu-

presented by

Allison Rees Cut It Out! meaningful when you are fully present. Clear your mind and give your child your undivided attention through periods of play, conversation or taking an interest in what they are up to. Have some time away from the rest of the family. Have you ever noticed how a child’s behavior changes when you do this? Look under your child’s prickly behaviour. What is it communicating to you? Next month we will look at the Fear of Independence.

LIFE Seminars has two books available, Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See

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April 2018 Island Parent  

Special Need, Summer Camp Fun, Island Parent BIZ

April 2018 Island Parent  

Special Need, Summer Camp Fun, Island Parent BIZ