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Island Parent Celebrating

29 Years

The Resource Publication for Vancouver Island Parents

April 2017

Special Needs Programs  & Services

Summer Camp Fun

the Fun of one

The Joys of Having an ‘Only’

Experience the precision of customized vision

Do you know your 3 “O’s”? Optician: An Optician is an eye-care professional who is trained to design, fit and sell eyeglasses and contact lenses. Optometrist: An Optometrist is a doctor of optometry who performs comprehensive eye examinations for their patients. They focus on all aspects of vision and overall eye health, including prescription of eyewear.

Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates Doctors of Optometry

Langford: #105–814 Goldstream Ave 250-474-4567 www.langfordoptometrists.com Sooke: #5–6726 West Coast Rd 250-642-4311 www.sookeoptometrists.com

New Patients Welcome

Ophthalmologist: An Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases. Many ophthalmologists are also eye surgeons. They perform surgeries and laser treatments on the eye. You have to be referred to see an Ophthalmologist by either your Doctor of Optometry or Family Physician. Not all diseases and conditions of the eye have symptoms. Full health eye examinations for both children and adults are integral to help solve issues before they happen. All three of these professionals are dedicated to you and your eye health. Book your eye examination today!

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April 2017  3

18 Summer Camp Fun


Columns    5 Sue Fast: Editor’s Note 12 Erin Skillen:

  14 Colleen Davis:       The Fun of One

16 Amalia Colussi:


A Resume Rewrite

18 Summer Camp Fun  22 Elizabeth Stimson:     Kid-friendly Healthy Foods   26 Tax Time & Families    34 Special Needs       Resources

In Every Issue Island Parent Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Party Directory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24, 25 Family Calendar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Around the Island. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Family Services Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46, 47 Preschool & Child Care Directory . . . . . . . . . . . 48, 49 Business & Professional Directory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Sue Fast

Editor editor@islandparent.ca


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

Linda Frear

    Post-Married Mommy  36 Emillie Parrish:         Cooking With Kids     38 Jane Barclay     & Tracy Cullen:   Healthy Families, Happy Families 40 Sarah Milligan: Is There an App for This? 42 Daniel Griffin: Dadspeak   44 Diana Hurschler:    New Parent Pages    50 Laura Trunkey:     Maternity & Beyond    52 Kirsten Dallimore:    Nature Notes   54 Allison Rees: Cut It Out!

RaeLeigh Buchanan

Mark Warner

Office Manager & Sales sales@islandparent.ca

Advertising Consultant raeleigh@islandparent.ca

Publisher/Owner publisher@islandparent.ca

Design & Layout Eacrett Graphic Design

Printed by Black Press

ISSN 0838-5505

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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

Tegan (3). Photo by Rebecca Thompson, Rebecca Joy Studios, rebeccajoystudios.com

4  Island Parent Magazine


‘Laps Not Apps’*


t’s 4:30 p.m. at a seaside café in Oak Bay, half an hour before closing. It’s that time of day when if you’ve been taking care of a new baby or young child since morning—likely early morning—you’re ready for someone else to take over. Seated at two separate tables is a young mom nursing her new baby, and a dad with his sevenor-so-year-old daughter. When the baby is finished nursing, the mom lifts him so he rests against her, his head just peeking over her shoulder. She pats his back with one hand and cradles her cellphone in the other. From where I’m sitting across the room, I can see the baby’s face and tell that he is gazing at the seven-year-old girl who has left her father’s side and is now tiptoeing closer to the baby. They look at each other, each face lit up by their quick connection and the early evening sinking sun. It’s one of those moments that, if you’re lucky enough to catch it, makes you stop. The girl turns to her father, but he doesn’t notice. The mom hasn’t noticed the exchange either. Both are focussed on their phones. And though neither the baby nor the young girl seem to care, the absence of either parent’s acknowledgement or involvement feels sad, like a missed opportunity.


And, according to several studies, it is. Split attention not only keeps communication superficial, but it also discourages conversation, questions, connection, and a deeper understanding and empathy towards those around us. Granted, taking care of small children is often “quite tedious,” as Perri Klass writes in Distracted Parenting, an article for The New York Times. She admits that when she was raising her own three children, she needed “a certain amount of distraction.” But not at the expense of “attention and interaction, conversation and story telling and reading aloud, discussions of what they see and do, silly games and family jokes, and all the other back and forth that goes with family life.” Sure technology and our various devices can help us, as parents, get through the day, says developmental behavioral pediatrician Dr. Jenny Radesky. But we need to be careful how we use it. “It’s a huge source of humour and stress relief…” said Radesky in the Times article. “Technology is a tool; it’s how you use it.” According to a recent report from Media Technology Monitor, Canadians spent, on average, 24.5 hours online per week in 2016, up two hours from the previous year. Respondents between 18 to 34 years old spent even more time online—roughly 34 hours per week, or nearly five hours per day.

Radesky, one of the lead authors in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ new policy statement on media use for children from birth

Sue Fast Editor’s Note to age 5, says we do need to worry about the greater availability of so-called “connectivity,” and how it affects our relationships, especially those between parent and child. We need to keep an eye on our own adult wanderings in the world of electronic media, she adds, and what they do to our mealtimes, bedtimes, family times. As Klass says: “…before you know it, you will be—believe it or not—telling your middle school or high school age children to look away from their screens, so act out the rules of civil discourse that you want your children to learn.” At the café’s closing, the girl is back sitting with her father, the two of them looking at something outside—a boat, maybe, or the birds. She is no worse for her dad’s occasional glances at his phone. But she is better for his full attention. And he for hers. *The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) motto on children and media use.

April 2017  5

Island Parent Notes Daffodil Month

Little girls with dreams become women of vision.

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

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

Looking for an Alternative to Daycare & Preschool? Check out our full-day inquiry-based Junior Kindergarten (age 3 & 4). Contact us to visit our campus & apply for Fall 2017. 1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria admissions@stmarg.ca 250.479.7171

they are supported by friends, family and 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 cancer.ca/daffodil for more information.

Earth Month Events

Think back to when you were growing up, to when you stayed out with your friends playing on the street until it got dark; when you had a favourite climbing tree in a nearby ravine; or when you got soaked playing Capture the Flag in the rain. Tell Earth Day Canada (EDC) what made it memorable, why you had so much fun, or even how it shaped who you are today. If you have an old photo of yourself from this time, even better—EDC will be

6  Island Parent Magazine


sharing some vintage photos of its staff and their play memories, along with some Canadian celebrities who will reveal theirs, too. Just use the hashtag #PLAYmemory and #ED2017. Looking for more ways to get involved this Earth Month? Whether you’re supporting EarthPLAY for Earth Day 2017 campaign by hosting an outdoor play event, joining local activists in a March for Science (on Earth Day, April 22), or hoping to take part in a more traditional tree-planting or river clean-up, EDC has got you covered. Visit the 2017 events page at earthday.ca, where you can upload your own event to the public calendar or search for one happening near you.

The Storytelling Forums

Are you a newcomer to Canada? A recently arrived refugee or immigrant, or one who arrived in the distant past? As part of Canada’s 150 year celebrations, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) invites you to share your story of arrival and settlement in Canada at one of the upcoming Storytelling Forums. The reality of fully embracing a Canadian identity can be daunting and ICA wants to create a healthy space for newcomers and established immigrants to articulate what it means to “belong” and to be “Canadian”—what it feels like to be seen/not seen as “other” because of how one looks, talks or prays. The Storytelling Forums will be part of a larger refugee and immigrant photo essay project centered around the question, “What makes you feel Canadian?” Select stories from the forums will be translated into portraits that give broader meaning to the idea of being Canadian and will be presented at an interactive launch event on November 23 at the Royal BC Museum. The goal is to capture a fuller expression of Canadian identity, one that increases public awareness and facilitates a deeper understanding of our community’s cultural, ethnic and religious diversity. Project Facilitators: theatre director, Lina de Guevara, and photojournalist, Quinton Gordon. Dates and times: Friday, April 7, from 5:30-9pm at ICA, 930 Balmoral Rd and Saturday, May 6, 1-4:30pm at Cedar Hill Rec. Centre, 3220 Cedar Hill Rd. Registration is required. To register (free) and for more information, please contact Paulina Grainger, ICA Arts and Outreach coordinator, pgrainger@icavictoria.org.


Bowl for Kids’ Sake 2017

Big Brothers and Big Sisters (BBBS) of Victoria’s annual Bowl for Kids’ Sake fundraiser takes place on Saturday, April 22 at Miracle Lanes in Sidney and on Sunday, April 23 at Langford Lanes on 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 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 Haley Duke at bigevents. victoria@bigbrothersbigsisters.ca.

Creatively Celebrating Community

Inspired innovation, people making a difference, creativity, live music, displays, connections, informative panels, food and fun describe the 6th Annual Creatively United Sustainability Showcase to be held on Earth Day, April 22, from 10am-5pm, at the Royal BC Museum, 675 Belleville Street. Vancouver Island’s largest electric vehicle show will span the entrance to the museum with electric motorcycles, bikes and cars. University of Victoria Engineering students will showcase new technologies, community groups will share resources and information on topics ranging from A-Z, and workshops include: Net Zero Buildings—Cost Savings and Benefits; Forests and Communities for the Future; The Life of a T-Shirt, a creative, hands-on upcyling and educational workshop; and Understanding Our Salish Sea and All It Can Be. Try an electric bike, a community acupuncture session, make an artsy postcard with a message, play the game Marbles to Megawatts and listen to live music ranging from unique world beat to classic favourites within Carson Hall on the main floor of the Royal BC Museum. To learn more, visit creativelyunited.org.

Yoga, Support and Fun! April 2017 Schedule 975 Fort Street,Victoria | 250-595-4905

We have lots of classes, activities and support groups for Parents, Babies and Toddlers. All classes are drop-in. Come on down and tryy them out!


Prenatal Yoga 10:30am Family Yoga 12 noon

(all ages, all genders)


Songs & Rhymes for Babies & Toddlers10:15am Mommy & Baby Yoga 1pm Baby Massage 2:30pm Yoga for Labour & Birth 5:15pm


Fun in French 10:15am New Baby Group (0-4mos) 11:15am Mom & Baby Strength & Stretch 1:00pm Prenatal Strength & Stretch 5:15pm


Motherhood Circle 10:30am(by registration) Older Baby Group (4-9mo) 1:00pm Prenatal Yoga 5:15pm


Toddler Yoga 10:15am Mom & Baby Yoga 11:30am Mobile Baby Group (9-18mos)1:00pm Prenatal Yoga 5:15pm


Prenatal Yoga 10:15am Sing and Sign with Baby 12 noon Pregnancy Happy Hour 5:00pm

Find more information on all of our classes and groups, on our website at www.motheringtouch.ca.

Are you about to become a Dad? Are you a Dad with a baby under one year? Come and join our Dads’ Workshop A workshop for new fathers and fathers-to-be to discuss new roles, expectations, life changes the joys and woes, challenges and the deep pleasure of being a DAD! Thursday, April 27, 7pm. $35 See our website for more information.

The place for new and expectant parents | www.motheringtouch.ca

April 2017  7

Advertising Feature

Seasonal Allergies in Kids: Nothing to Sneeze At!


nvironmental allergies or hay fever is the body’s immune system overreacting to substances in the environment like tree pollen, mold, cat or dog dander, grass, weeds and mites. They can be seasonal (occurring at certain times of the year) or perennial (year-round). March and April on the Island is typically when people experience seasonal allergies to tree pollen. Grass allergies usually affect people in May, June and July while ragweed shows up in the late summer/early fall. With spring being shy this year, we will likely see these typical times shift. Symptoms of seasonal allergies are similar in children and adults—itchy eyes, nose and throat, chronic cough and/or sneezing, watery nose and eyes, fatigue and puffy eyes with a bluish tinge underneath. Because the symptoms mimic those of a cold, people often think that their child has a spring cold that drags on-and-on.

it daily as drops under the tongue. It’s like the body is slowly getting used to it by seeing low doses of it every day. SLIT has been shown to be safe and effective by the World Health Organization and the Cochraine Collaborative. In fact, it is as effective as the allergy shots you get in a doctor’s the surface. After waiting about 30 minutes, the office; without the needle! skin is observed for a reaction. It does not hurt, it just feels like a scratch. There can also be some How long will it take to see results and how mild itchiness and hives after the test. long does my child need to be on it? Most see a significant improvement in their allergy symptoms in the first 1–2 months. As with all allergy immunotherapy, lasting results require 2–5 years of treatment. You have to stick with it or your allergy symptoms will return. Some people decide to take SLIT seasonally, and others take it year-round. Dr. Leah Hassall is a naturopathic physician at Sage Clinic, Suite 304-852 Fort Street in Victoria, B.C. Dr. Hassall is currently accepting new patients Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. What can we do to alleviate symptoms?

How do we know if your child has seasonal One of the most effective and safe allergy theraallergies? pies for children is sublingual immunotherapy To find out if someone has seasonal allergies, we (SLIT). “Sublingual” means under the tongue and do skin scratch testing in-office. A small drop of “immunotherapy” means that we are treating an allergen is placed on the skin and then the the overactive immune system. SLIT works by skin is pricked to introduce the allergen under desensitizing the body to the allergen(s) by giving

Please call 250-590-7809 or visit sageclinic. com to book your allergy testing appointment or free 15 minute consultation.

Children & Adult Lessons Summer Camps Daily Specials

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A Fun-Filled Day at BookFest

The 31st Annual BookFest will take place on Saturday, May 6 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 Celestine Aleck, Scott Chantler, Eugenie Fernandes, Lee Edward Födi, Suzanne de Montigny, Ruth Ohi, Chieri Uegaki, Richard Van Camp, and Cybèle Young. 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.

All of the action takes place in downtown Nanaimo on Saturday May 6, from 10am to 2:30pm in venues surrounding and including the Diana Krall plaza. Tickets available through The Port Theatre in Nanaimo, by phoning 250-754-8550, or online at porttheatre.com. For more information visit bookfest.ca 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.

8th Annual Family Sport & Recreation Festival

Drop by Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE) on Saturday, May 6 from 11am3pm for the Family Sport & Recreation Festival 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. Celebrate Canada’s 150th by trying some of the activities on the 150 Play List from Participation. 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 inspire families to be more active and encourage the life-long development of physical literacy through healthy activity and sport. PISE is located at 4371 Interurban Rd. Visit PISEworld.com for more information. IslandParent.ca

April 2017  9

Is Your Child’s Face Developing Well? Does your child breathe through his/her mouth? Does your child suffer from allergies? Does your child have any oral habit such as thumb or finger sucking? Does your child have an untreated tongue tie? Does your child have crowded teeth? Does your child have jaws that seem too far forward or back?

Early Intervention can have far reaching benefits.


Myobrace® treatment focuses on addressing the underlying causes of poor facial and dental development and can unlock your child’s healthy growth and development. HOW MYOBRACE® WORKS • Promotes breathing through the nose


• Corrects tongue positioning • Retrains the lips and cheeks • Corrects poor swallowing habits

After 6 months

Saanich Dental Group Free Consultation: 250-477-7321 info@saanichdentalgroup.com (for children under 12)

SMUS Summer Academies Performing arts for youth ages 13–17 in Victoria, BC

SummerBand July 4 – 14 Musical Theatre Aug 17 – Sept 2 Residential and day options available. Visit our website for information on these and other programs: smus.ca/academies or call the Education Extension office at 250-370-6120



Island Parent Magazine


Bridge People to Nature

Did you know: More than 65,000 visitors and over 10,000 school children visit Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary every year? The sensitive wetland ecosystem surrounding Swan Lake is accessible because of the wharves and floating boardwalk that extend out into Swan Lake, linking one edge of the lake to the other. The 1,040 feet of floating boardwalk and wharves are outdoor classrooms and a naturalist’s tool to bridge people to nature. Made of wood in 1991, the boardwalk has been weathered by forces of nature and has aged beyond repair. It has reached the end of its life. This structure that bridges people to nature will be replaced with aluminum—safe, aesthetic, and durable. The north boardwalk through the willows was replaced in 2015 after a successful community campaign having raised $350,000. To span the lake, Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary needs to raise an additional $800,000. The remainder of the boardwalk must be replaced, it is integral to the community, the members and individuals like you, not to mention the various programs that take place out on the boardwalk at the Sanctuary. Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary is a charitable non-profit organization that relies on your generous donations to maintain an oasis that fosters understanding and appreciation of nature through direct experience. For information, phone 250-479-0211.

Greater Victoria Community Literacy Initiative

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 community literacy coordinator will be happy to speak with you. Following this 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. 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 highly diverse population of adult learners 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 coordinator@literacyvictoria.org. IslandParent.ca

Scouts Canada’s Good Turn Week

Potential good deeds are all around us just waiting to happen! Scouts from across the country are challenging Canadians of all ages to help spread goodwill during Good Turn Week, April 29 - May 7, by doing a Good Turn for a friend, family member, neighbour or the community, and encouraging the recipient to pay it forward. A simple gesture of kindness can be as easy as giving up your seat on the bus or helping a neighbour carry their groceries, or as ambitious as organizing a clean-up of a local park

Join us for an unforgettable summer at Brentwood!

s 7 y b Rug One good deed is all it takes to make a difference and inspire others, creating a cycle of goodwill that will spread across Canada! Plus, the benefits extend beyond the recipient. They include happier, friendlier and stronger communities; youth empowerment and improved mental health. Five easy good turns for the whole family: 1. Bake a special treat to share with classmates. 2. Take a neighbour’s dog for a walk. 3. Donate gently used books and toys to a local children’s hospital for others kids to enjoy. 4. Make thank you cards and deliver them to the local police or fire station. 5. Help an elderly neighbour with yard work. Share your Good Turns at Scouts.ca/ goodturnweek, or on social media by using #GoodTurnWeek and by tagging @ScoutsCanada. To learn more about Good Turn Week and to participate, visit scouts.ca/goodturn.•


Junior & Senior Musical T heatre

Soccemrp Ca

Register for Summer Camps online today!


KATE RUBIN NOW at THEATRE SKAM Studios (250) 386-7526 www.skam.ca

Unmasking creativity

Register for Camps and Spring Programs Today April 2017  11

Community Board Making our Community a Better Place to Live

1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre 1-up.ca Art Gallery of Greater Victoria aggv.ca Child Care Resource & Referral childcarevictoria.ca Kaleidoscope Theatre kaleidoscope.bc.ca Royal BC Museum royalbcmuseum.bc.ca TriStars Training tristarstraining.com Victoria Children’s Choir VictoriaChildrensChoir.ca Victoria Conservatory of Music vcm.bc.ca Enquire about non-profit brochure or magazine distribution in Greater Victoria:

publisher@islandparent.ca 12  Island Parent Magazine

#sorrynotsorry D

eciding to end your marriage is insanely difficult. It usually doesn’t happen just once. You question if it’s the right choice. You change your mind. You change your mind back. You drive your estranged spouse nuts with all your waffling. It’s painful. And that’s just when it’s between the two of you. At some point your separation goes from being an idea to becoming a living, breathing fact. And that’s when the chorus starts up. I can’t remember the first time, or first person, I told about my separation. I was sleep deprived, anxiety-ridden and fueled by caffeine. It was all a haze. But I remember hearing “I’m sorry” and seeing a pained expression nearly every time I told someone. And I was sorry the marriage was likely over, but I wasn’t sorry that we were ending it because it meant we were trying to find a way to be happily unmarried. After hearing “I’m sorry” enough times, I developed a standard reply. “Don’t be sorry. It’s all for the best.” Most people weren’t sure how to process that, but at least it killed the awkward tension and allowed us to move ahead into conversation. As time went on and the “big admission” became a more regular occurrence, I started to notice a pattern. While the responses typically varied depending on the age, gender and marital status of the person, and my relationship with them, they usually fell into one or more of the following categories:

suming they can take it because, well, we take it from them. As we navigate the gauntlet of our lives we may not notice just how bad things have gotten until they’re really, really bad. But we’re not alone. Facebook and Christmas newsletters and infrequent dinner parties may paint a happy picture, but the reality I discovered was that many, many of us are pretending things are better than they are and scared to admit we’re not keeping every area of our lives as healthy as we’d like others to think. And pretending is exhausting.

2. My Relationship is Awesome So Keep Your Distance

The flipside to the “me too” response is the one where people feel the need to tell you just how awesome their relationship is; things are absolutely amazing and it’s unfortunate you haven’t been able to cultivate the same result in your own marriage. In some cases this came along with a bonus layer of avoidance from that point on, because apparently separation and divorce are contagious. Husbands worried their wives would get similar ideas about separation and wives worried this newly-separated woman was on the prowl. Neither was the case, but the heart isn’t always rational. So some of my friendships quietly changed as a direct result of my separation. I suspect this reaction is actually rooted in the fear that when “bad” things happen to others that we relate to, then they can easily 1. My Marriage is Falling Apart happen to us. Surely perception plays into this. We looked happy, seemed to have it Too Maybe this one’s more about misery together and weren’t blatantly on the road loving company than anything else, but I to divorce. If it happened to them, why not prefer to think my vulnerability was attract- us? I totally get why this could be startling ing authenticity from others. Relationships or uncomfortable for some people, but in the are hard, damn hard, and as time went on end it takes a whole lot more than someone and people opened up to me, I saw just how you know getting a divorce to bring your many of us are struggling to stay afloat as own relationship to an end. partners, parents and professionals. We’re all pulled in multiple directions 3. All the Good Ones are Taken on a daily basis and all too often it’s our Oh, the fear mongers. They mean well, relationships that take the brunt of our but they are so far from being helpful that stress. We take our partners for granted, you wish they’d just said “I’m sorry.” Often unloading on the one closest to us and as- they package it as a compliment—“Oh IslandParent.ca

you’re so brave! I could never start over. And with two young kids! All the good ones are taken and the ones that are left, well, you know.” No, I don’t know. Please tell me more about how I will end up dying alone or as the house wench to a psychopath. Because fearing change within my own mind isn’t enough, I prefer to have all of my insecurities vocalized and validated as legitimate concerns by others.

Erin Skillen Post-Married Mommy 4. Now’s My Chance

©2016 Kumon Canada, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Though it may be well-intentioned, there’s nothing quite like someone confessing their feelings for you immediately after they find out you’re separated to add further confusion and awkwardness to a mind-boggling life transition. The influence of pop culture romances combined with a “strike while the iron’s hot” mentality may make it seem like this is a good idea, but no. No, no, no. Just don’t do it. Life’s short, but not that short. The best thing you can do is calm down and be a good friend.

5. I Love You—What Can I Do?

The best response to pretty much any situation applies with separation, too. Those people—those amazing friends and family members—who don’t judge, don’t project their own fears, don’t allow you to wallow in your fears and just do whatever you need to feel human again. They listen, they hold you up, they check in and remind you they’re always around whenever you need them. These are the people who keep you going. Because while it’s generally great to commiserate, to think ahead or to express romantic feelings, when you’re parting ways with someone who has been your world for years it’s okay to be selfish and focused on your own problems. And it’s most certainly okay to allow those who love you to carry you for awhile as you may have carried them.

Give your child an academic advantage in school and beyond! Schedule a Parent Orientation today. Kumon Math & Reading Centres of West Shore - Langford 115-963 Langford Pkwy, Victoria 250-516-2991 westshore@ikumon.com

Saanich 204-3965 Quadra St, Victoria 250-479-1800 • 250-216-2142(c) lindabirley@ikumon.com

Sidney 10091 Resthaven Dr, Sidney 250-896-8879 sidney_bc@ikumon.com

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. IslandParent.ca

April 2017  13

The Fun of One The joys of having an ‘only’


tudy after study has shown that only children are just as likely to grow up to be happy, successful, socially adept adults as kids from larger families. This is why I find the archaic but surprisingly prevalent “only child” stigma a bit puzzling. I’ve received looks of pity when I tell people our daughter is going to be our only kid. When I clear up the confusion and tell them it’s by choice, the expression turns slowly to dismay. There are a lot of misconceptions about what it’s like to be or raise an only child. If you’re a fulfilled parent of one child, that’s great! Welcome to the club. Let’s bust some myths: Only children are lonely. Let’s face it: loneliness isn’t about being physically alone. Loneliness is the result of not feeling connected to others, specifically your peers. I know plenty of people with multiple siblings who experienced extreme loneliness as a child. And the kind of loneliness you feel when you are surrounded by others is by far the worst kind. My parents must have felt like they had a litter, because my friends never left. Okay, this is an exaggeration, but my point is that my parents welcomed friend after friend into our home for sometimes totally insane lengths of time, because they were allowing me to take the time to build meaningful connections with my peers. I was even allowed to take a friend on a road trip to California during the summer between the ninth and tenth grades. Mum and Dad got from point A to point Z and everywhere in between, safely, and calmly, with two star-struck, boy-crazy, Cheeto-dust-covered 14-year-old girls in the backseat. Let that sink in for a minute. Yeah. Only children are spoiled. Being spoiled is an attitude, not a circumstance. It’s true that only-children don’t need to share attention or resources with anyone, but that does not mean they are getting everything they ask for. Many families have one child because they can’t afford more. If there isn’t

14  Island Parent Magazine

any money for the new toy, the only child is going to hear “not today” just as often as the kid with three siblings. Only children are not spoiled, but they do sometimes have access to more opportunities. If parents want their child to go to private school, there is only one tuition fee. Same with summer camps, field trips and extracurricular activities. Engagement in these activities just goes further in fostering self-esteem and healthy relationships with others. Only children are selfish. Because only children don’t have siblings to cling to or torment when they’re bored, they must put in the effort of making close friends early. Kids have an extraordinary sense of justice and fairness—being selfish isn’t going to fly! Making friends during childhood—as in adulthood—relies on kindness and loyalty. The only child knows that to make and keep a friend, she has to share her things and not blab secrets. She learns selflessness from an early age because she has to. Siblings can’t leave, but friends can. Only children are too dependent. Parents with only one kid are busy people too. They simply don’t have time to do everything for their special snowflake. With parental guidance and support, the only child learns new skills and completes tasks on their own. This results in early independence and self-reliance. Only children are burdened with looking after aging parents all alone. Yep, it’s hard to think about. But you know what? Chances are the only child will be an adult at this point, one with a supportive partner and a kid or two of their own. I know it’s not the same as having a sibling to lean on. But there is a reason we call our partner’s parents “father-in-law” and/or “motherin-law”: they are family. This is going to be a hard time for practically everyone, regardless of family size or marital status. The up-side? There will be no bickering between siblings to get in the way of choosing the best care for parents. IslandParent.ca

Only children don’t grow up to be “successful” adults. What do Anthony Hopkins, Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Chelsea Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Thomas Edison, John Lennon, John the Baptist, Leonardo da Vinci and Mahatma Gandhi all have in common? You guessed it: each one is an only child. Now, I suppose it depends on your definition of successful, but I would venture to say that all these people align with pretty

Colleen Davis much everyone’s idea of success in one way or another. Numerous birth-order studies covering the topic of only children have found that their parents’ undivided attention and a lack of sibling rivalry gives “onlies” the confidence to freely explore their natural aptitudes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. Parents of one experience many of the same struggles as parents of more. Some nights I get so little sleep that I look for the cereal in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard and get angry that they’re not where they’re supposed to be. My toddler heckles and throws food at me like I’m the worst stand up comedian she’s ever seen. My husband and I only have two functioning ears between us because of that weird pterodactyl noise she makes. Knowing we’ll only go through these little phases once puts everything in perspective, and somehow makes us a little more patient when we’re wiping snot off our shoulders at 2 a.m. If you’re currently of the “one and done” mindset and feeling societal pressure to have another baby, keep the above mentioned points in mind. I prefer to call our choice “one and fun,” because it is. Our family feels complete and happy and cozy. Our hearts are full. It’s a one-derful life. Don’t worry, your only child will be okay. I mean, I turned out just fine. Just ask my imaginary friend.

Colleen Davis is a mother and only child who is still learning how to share pie. IslandParent.ca

April 2017  15

St. Joseph’s Elementary School

For 2017

A Resumé Rewrite O

St. Joseph’s Traditional Values Elementary School - CHEMAINUS


250-246-3191 www.stjosephselem.ca Four Seasons Musical Theatre Presents

June 2017 Check online for details

Sign Up for Summer Camps!  www.fsmtheatre.ca Visit our website and join our email list to receive the latest news about classes, camps, auditions, shows and more!

Ask us about our 10% off program

16  Island Parent Magazine

ne of my least favourite adult tasks is updating my resumé. I have scrupulously honed my ability to concoct other, much more pressing tasks than massaging my CV: hauling out the fridge to vacuum behind it; wiping away that annoying cobweb hanging from the ceiling; organizing my Visa statements; re-organizing my books.

Amalia Colussi I disliked the task when I didn’t have kids and my time was much more my own. Now I writhe at just the thought of it. I’m currently on maternity leave and the truth is, I feel intimidated about going back to work at all, let alone having to perform reasonably well. Just the other night I managed to leave the house, alone, to go to a yoga class. Once there I discovered my sweater was artfully smeared with my toddler’s current media of choice: cream cheese and snot. That devil-may-care approach to dressing is just not going to fly under the bright fluorescent lights and decidedly un-Zen setting of my cubicle. Today I don’t absolutely have to ensure my hair is in order or my skirt is facing front. In just a few months, I’ll have to look presentable. Since mulling over going “back” to work—as if I’m not working my pants off during maternity leave—I’ve gotten to thinking that a significant number of my skills are under-represented on my resumé. More and more I find the mundane is monumental. I can plan the week’s entire menu during my 72-second child-free nip to the lobby to check my mailbox in the evening. My pre-parenting self would wonder why I would want to plan a week’s worth of lunches and dinners anyway, but now that I’m child-rearing it’s an important part of


my life. Household management—ensuring too, can update your resumé and make it we have healthy meals, an adequate supply more representative of the many talents of toilet paper and the crayons are sharp— you have to offer. actually offers a wealth of transferable skills. In this spirit, then, of recognizing the Amalia Colussi thanks her lucky stars she has unique, under-recognized and undeniably a permanent position to return to when her critical set of skills that parenting requires, maternity leave ends because it means she I offer this handy phrase converter so you, technically doesn’t need to spring clean her resumé.

Parenting Skill

Resumé-friendly Wording

Put on own pants correctly (fly facing front, done up)

Excellent attention to detail and drive for perfection

Leave the house with child/ren, arrive at desired location (not necessarily on time)

Experience with motivating others, encouraging teamwork and group goal setting

Stir soup to keep it from sticking, while nursing infant, without burning infant

Able to multi-task, experience working in a fast-paced environment

Stir soup to keep it from sticking while nursing infant, without burning infant, and also phoning spouse to pick up more yogurt for kindergartener

Able to multi-task, experience working in a fast-paced environment, dedication to getting the job done

Smile and calmly get rags to help clean up third glass of milk spilled by kindergartener in under 20 minutes

Extremely patient and understanding, compassionate and always willing to give others a second chance

Summer Camps

Highland Pacific Junior & Bantam Summer Camps Introduction to the FUNdamentals of the game and proper etiquette. On course play, games and contests keep things fun!

Camp will be running most weeks in July and August. 3 Day Camp (choose your days) $79 for Bantam and $99 for Junior Full 5 Day Camp $119 for Bantam and $139 for Junior


highlandpacificgolf.com 450 Creed Road, Victoria

Family Growth Centre Inc.

(Dads) Use age-appropriate language after child pounces on groin

Exceptional aplomb in difficult situations

In darkness, successfully navigate piranhalike Lego pieces to help ailing child

Physically fit and agile

Remain calm when total stranger comments on your decision to breast/bottle/formula feed your child

Superior skills in diplomacy, tact and non-violent communication

Juggle work schedules around school start time, school end time, and school breaks (including summer break) so you can work enough to afford to feed your child

A creative problem-solver, flexible and accommodating; available for non-standard work hours and split shifts

After working 4 night shifts in a row, still manage to prepare breakfasts and lunches in the morning without major damage to self or abode

Noteworthy endurance and stamina


Learning Centres Inc.

Pivot Point provides behavioural, educational, and mental health services to children, youth, and adults from Victoria to Duncan… and throughout B.C. We specialize in tailoring services to individuals with diverse abilities including Autism and other conditions at all levels.

Contact us today and speak directly with our team! Phone: 778.410.2319 Visit: www.pivotpoint.ca April 2017  17

Send Summer Camp Fun Us Your Stories! 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.

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 islandparent.ca for specific information on submissions. We’d love to hear from you. Please email submissions to editor@islandparent.ca.

18  Island Parent Magazine

Summer Camps at Brentwood College School. Join us July 3-14 for an epic experience your children will never forget. Enjoy one incredible week on our 77-acre oceanfront property while attending one of our day or overnight Summer Camps: Senior and Junior Musical Theatre Camps, Rugby 7s Camp, and Soccer Camp. Our professional camp leaders have prepared 5-day training programs combined with fun daily activities and social evening outings. Sign-up today. camps.brentwood.bc.ca

Byte Camp—Creative Tech Camps for Kids. In our Claymation and Tablet Animation camps, kids create their own quirky animated movies. They learn to edit their own songs and videos in Music and Video Production. Our Intro to Coding, 2D Game 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, bytecamp.ca, 1-888-808BYTE for more info. 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! camppringle.com

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 co-ed camps for Juniors, Junior Highs, and Senior Highs, plus Family Retreats. Seeking to encourage, challenge, and develop the entire person, our well-rounded programs include over 75 activities, stimulating speakers, music and singing, Bible study, firesides, and of course pure fun. Qwanoes is an ideal place for fun-filled, life-changing adventure. For a free brochure or more info: 1-888-997-9266 or qwanoes.ca. This summer learn to sail at the Canadian Forces Sailing Association, Esquimalt Harbour. We offer 1 and 2 week courses for ages 4yrs to adult, beginner to advanced. CFSA is a wonderful place to learn sailing with a protected harbour and favourable winds. Questions about the program? Contact our Program Manager Ryan at sailinginstructor@cfsaesq.ca or leave a message at 250-385-8873. Details at cfsaesq.ca/ training/summer_training_program.html or Facebook @esquimaltsailing. To register call 250-363-1009 or PSP Online—CFB Esquimalt at bk.cfpsa.com/esquimaltpub/ index.asp. IslandParent.ca

Christ Church Cathedral School’s Summer Program provides a safe and exciting summer for your child. We have a high supervision ratio, experienced staff, excursions every day, plus all the facilities of Cathedral School. This program runs from June 26-August 30 and is suitable for ages 5-10. Technology Camps are also running throughout the summer. Robotics, Minecraft and Programming themed camps for ages 8-12. Call 250-383-5125 for details or email cathedralschool@cathedralschool.ca. See cathedralschool.ca.

youth 8-12 offer kayaking, rock climbing, hiking and more. Campers experience the spectacular Gulf Islands and Coastal Vancouver Island during an action-packed 5-7 days of activities. Our certified staff are keen to share their love for the environment and outdoor adventures. Toll free: 1-888-5292567. adventurecampbc.ca. escapades@ saltspring.com. Kate Rubin Theatre & Drama Studio offers young people with a dramatic interest or passion special programs. Courses and camps run fall, winter, spring and summer. The studio is highly regarded in Victoria for running quality theatre programming for youth. We offer something for all levels. At the end of each term, students will have an opportunity to perform their work for an audience! Groups are small for quality instruction. For more information, call 250-386-7536 or email kathleen@skam.ca. skam.ca.

At FUN Camps, kids and teens become ecosuperheroes while having fun and making new friends. Each week, different hands-on FUN themes connect your child with the amazing world around them. Our trained educators lead FUN Campers on outdoor adventure activities like kayaking or rockclimbing, inspire them to create their own projects, and guide them through innovative games and explorations that teach through fun. For more info and to register visit Little Steps will be offering weekly themed therapeutic groups this summer designed to funsociety.ca. Let’s have FUN! engage your child’s interests while workThe Glenlyon Norfolk School Marine ing on therapeutic goals. Past themes have Adventure Program offers: day camps included Lego™, Sports, Robotics and Mefor ages 11 to 12; combination day and chanics, and more. Little Steps also offers a overnight camps for ages 13 to 14; and a full- or half-day summer camp designed for full five-day kayak and camping adventure children of all ages and needs. One on one to Barkley Sound for ages 15 to 17. Small support is available for groups and summer groups and experienced leaders create an camp. For more information, or to register, ideal and safe opportunity to experience sea please contact our office at 250-386-1171 kayaking and the marine environment, to or admin@mylittlesteps.net. gain skills in paddling and to explore some of our spectacular BC coastline. Call: 250- Summer fun with the Oak Bay Figure 370-6852 Email dtyrrell@mygns.ca Visit: Skating Club. OBFSC has exceptional mygns.ca/marine-adventure. programs for all levels of skating. The focus is on fun, participation, and basic skill Highland Pacific Junior and Bantam Sum- development. With NCCP Level 3 Certified mer Camps. Combine outdoor exercise coaches, OBFSC has skaters who compete with golf instruction and learn the game in to podium at Provincial and National leva fun, exciting way. Includes professional els. Summer Rink Ratz camps take place coaching and on-course play daily. Camp from July 3-August 11 and are designed will be running most weeks in July and for ages 4-10. The Rink Ratz program August. 3-day camp (choose your days) $79 encompasses all the very best skate training for Bantam and $99 for Junior. Full 5-day available plus added time for summer fun camp $119 for Bantam and $139 for Junior. activities. Programs are half day with flex250-478-4653. highlandpacificgolf.com. ible weekly registration. Full day options available when combined with Oak Bay Island Escapades has offered small, Rec Fun Unlimited. For more information accredited wilderness adventure camps and registration forms visit oakbayfsc.ca or emphasizing fun, friendship and skill ac- email jamiemcgrigor@gmail.com. quisition, since 1991. One week Kayak and Surf Programs teach campers 12-18 fundamental skills prior to heading out on camping excursions. Day Camps for


Recreation Oak Bay’s Henderson Par 3 Golf Course is fun for the whole family. Henderson Park is a short but challenging course, a great intro for beginners and juniors and great practice for those who want to work on their short game. Bring the family for a round, sign up for lessons (all ages), or register the kids for golf camps (5-12yrs). Visit recreation.oakbay.ca or call 250-370-7200 for details. Royal Soccer Club. With over 100 locations, we’re celebrating our 25th 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 to 13 can register for full day, morning and afternoon sessions with early and late care times available at no extra charge. Call 1-800-427-0536 or visit royalsoccer.com for more information.

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, Musical Theatre, Cooking, Sewing, Robotics and more. For Grade 1-5: Jul 4-Aug 11 (full-day, Monday to Friday, minus holidays), or register week-by-week. Check out our new Specialty Camps: SELF.I.E. girls empowerment (Gr 5–6), and CoderGirl computer science (Gr 3–6) in partnership with Girls Learning Code and Science Venture. Details and registration: stmarg.ca/girls-summer-camp. jcowie@stmarg.ca. 250-727-7163. SMUS Summer Music Academies. Join students from across North America in this unique summer program with a solid arts pedigree. Youth age 11-17 can spend a week of intensive, hands-on learning with expert instructors exploring and enhancing their skills in a specific area of the performing arts. Program areas include: Band (concert band, jazz band, and switch band), and Musical Theatre. For details, visit us at: smus.ca/academies or call 250-370-6120.•

April 2017  19

R   B M’ G, T,  B C

Our Academy Programs are the perfect combination of outdoor fun and professional instruction. From private instruction to group camps, our programs are tailor-made for all-ages and abilities. Choose from golf, tennis, or cycling. B E A R M O U N TA I N . C A | 2 5 0 . 7 4 4 . 2 3 2 7

1 9 9 9 CO U N T RY C L U B WAY, V I C TO R I A B C

20  Island Parent Magazine


GIVE-A-$HEET You Can “Bridge People to Nature”

DID YOU KNOW... Your donation to Phase II of the

“Bridges to Nature” Floating Boardwalk Campaign Will ~ no matter the size ~

* Each $heet of fiberglass decking will cost aprox $500 * Each $ection of the Phase II floating Boardwalk Project will cost aprox $5,000 $800,000 is required to span the lake

Make a Difference

Call 250.479.0211 or visit swanlake.bc.ca to donate

“Give-a-$HEET” and help Bridge People to Nature Today! IslandParent.ca

April 2017  21


NEW! rainwear

e c a l Wal


Driving School.com Lesson Packages (large and small)


Graduated Licensing Program

*mention this ad to waive your registration fee Free trials available on our website:

Kidfriendly Healthy Foods

250-38DRIVE 250-383-7483

etting children to eat healthy foods is an age-old problem. When they are young, most kids will eat pretty much everything we give them. Those little mouths just keep opening for every spoonful and it is tempting to say to yourself “this is easy.” Foods like raisins or apple sauce are the special treats. Some of their favourite foods may be avocado or yogurt or even seaweed. Those are the days!

All Ages All Reasons

But then they start school. Friends have a variety of foods and, especially if your child has been eating healthy foods, you may find they are now dreaming of what their friends have in their lunch and asking you to buy the same foods. You may think to yourself that fruit roll-ups don’t sound so bad. So the next time when you are in the store, you find the item and peruse the ingredients: high fructose, corn syrup, and blue dye number whatever. Sure, it tastes good to your child and that is all that matters to them. Fortunately, you have a choice to buy it or not and so you don’t…or do you? Children need nutrients to go, grow and thrive; not having them is like trying 22  Island Parent Magazine


to start your car without spark plugs or trying to build a Lego structure with only ½ the pieces in the box—you are not going to get the desired end result until you have the necessary pieces. We all need nutrients—proteins, carbohydrates, and fats—in the right proportions to keep our bodies going. Proper nutrition helps us make antibodies to fight infection and enzymes to digest our food. They feed the brain, give us energy and keep our cells healthy. That is pretty important. With this in mind, it makes sense to set a few parameters early on to keep to stay healthy. Morning smoothies are one way to start kids off on a healthy note. Here are a few healthy additions:

Elizabeth Stimson • avocado • yogurt • greens (ones suitable for children) • protein powder (one suitable for children) • organic berries (frozen is fine) Blend and serve. And have lots on hand— if your kids are anything like mine, they’ll ask for seconds! You can use the same strategy with pasta sauce and thick soups—add veggies and blend. Dips and spreads such as hummus can be made even healthier by adding ingredients such as flax oil, offering an extra brain boost. Add nutrients anywhere you can. You may find your children still eat seaweed at home, even request it sometimes. A burger on a whole grain or gluten-free bun with mashed avocado may be a favourite. Try different healthy recipes—there are lots online. The occasional “Mom, that was great” makes it all worth it. One day, our kids will hopefully make good choices for themselves. Until then, make sure they have goodness at home to counter all that is available at school and elsewhere. Hopefully they notice how much better they feel eating the “good stuff.”

Elizabeth Stimson, ND, has 2 children. She currently practices at Sage Naturopathic Clinic in Victoria and focuses on helping parents manage stress and anxiety and healthy eating in children. IslandParent.ca

COMPREHENSIVE FAMILY DENTISTRY family centered practice extended hours evenings and weekends the latest equipment and caring staff request an appointment online

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Victoria’s favourite dentists believe a healthy smile starts early. Free first visit for children under 5.

Hands-On Home-Learning for a Sustainable World

Get Inspired by Inquiry!

• K-12 distributed learning inquiry and interest-based

We are a certified independent school offering a free activity based home learning program. Our goal is to inspire, support and challenge children to learn, without pressure.

• hands-on learning activities offered but not mandatory • certified teacher available for support, ideas and inspiration

A program of Oak and Orca Bioregional School

For more information: http://oakandorca.ca (250) 383 6619/1 888 383 6619 April 2017


Monday, April 10th

Saseenos Elementary

Wednesday, April 12th

Millstream Elementary


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. Activities take place in the school gym, 6 – 7pm. Running shoes suggested, wear pajamas if you like.

GYMNASTICS Birthday Parties


N Celebrate your birthday with us!


Our great instructors will treat you to an action packed two hours of fun and fitness in our great facility!



Join Us!  6–7 pm




r Annive 2016 1973–

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24  Island Parent Magazine

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ctoria Gymnastics

Mind Blowing Magic for Kids and Families by a Master Magician



Birthday Parties

Book your Par-T-Pet Party! Adorable AND affordable. Exclusively made for Par-T-Perfect

Create and stuff a deluxe plush 8" pet to take home! · Choose from 5 pets to adopt · Unique Par-T-Themes available or add on to any party · An amazing goody bag replacement and activity · Ask about our DIY Par-T-Box option—shipped directly to your door!

Call Par-T-Perfect today 250-386-5867 or visit www.par-t-pets.com


Come Fly With Us! Party sizes up to 18 kids Spa Parties • Rockin’ Pop-star • Spa-Jamma My Pick ‘n’ Mix Party • Neon Lights Dance Party Enchanted Fairy • Princess Party • Magical Mermaids BFF Mini Parties & more

birthday parties for all ages!


Two certified instructors and a host Optional character

Gymnastics games and music

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2 Great Locations!

Swim bounce , cook golf, create & more!

Henderson Recreation Centre Call 250-370-7200 Oak Bay Recreation Centre Call 250-595-SWIM (7946) recreation.oakbay.ca

2051 Store St, Victoria


520 Mt View Ave, Colwood


victoriagymnastics.com April 2017


Tax Time & Families

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


oday’s families come in all shapes and sizes. While every family tree may grow in a different direction, most families will agree that daily expenses like groceries and new clothes for school can really add up. Here, from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), are a variety of services, credits, and benefits to support families at tax time and throughout the year.

2017 Children’s Summer Camps

Apply for child benefits

Storybook Ballet Programs for ages 4-10 Kinder Camp Ages 4-6

July 4-7 or July 24-28

Children’s Camp Ages 6-10

July 10-14 or July 17-21

250-590-6752 admin@victoriaacademyofballet.ca victoriaacademyofballet.ca

r e m Sum g o r p g n i n i a tr


Canadian Forces Sailing Association


Courses for all ages, from beginner level to Advanced.

Maplebank Rd

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1001 Maple Bank Road



R Colville




CFB Esquimalt Dockyard








To registerADULT call: COURSES


Tues & Thurs. DND NON- Adult Colwood Activity COST DNDCentre CANSail

June 2 June 25

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June 30 July 23

courseIntro information: Tues For & Thurs. to the sport of sailing & seamanship. Covers a range to cfsaesq.ca/training/summer_training_program.html, July 28 Tues & Thurs. suit all experience levels. Aug 20

email sailinginstructor@cfsaesq.ca, phone 250-385-8873 Fri. eve. and We follow of instruction Aug the Sail Canada CANSail curriculum Adult CANSail 7, 8, 9

Sat. & Sun. daytime

Look for CFSA



Filing your income tax and benefit return each year ensures you continue receiving certain benefits and credits, such as the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), a tax-free, monthly payment to help with the costs of raising children under the age of 18, and related provincial and territorial benefits and credits. The CCB replaced the former Canada Child tax benefit, national child care supplement, and universal child care benefit. You can apply for the CCB using the Automated Benefits Application for newborns, by choosing the “Apply for child benefits” option in My Account at cra.gc.ca/ myaccount or by completing Form RC66, Canada Child Benefits Application. You may also be eligible to receive the goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax (GST/ HST) credit, a tax-free, quarterly payment, which may include a payment under related provincial or territorial programs that helps cover the GST or HST that you pay. For more information, go to cra.gc.ca/benefits. Low-income individuals and families who are in the workforce may be able to get further tax relief through the working income tax benefit (WITB). Eligible individuals and families may be able to apply for advance payments. For more information on calculating the amount of your WITB and determining eligibility, go to cra.gc.ca/witb.

Child care

You may be able to claim child care costs if you paid for someone to look after your child so you could earn income, carry on a business, go to school, or do research. This may also include payments you made to a day nursery school, daycare centre, boarding school, sports school, day camp,

or other camp where lodging is involved. To be eligible, your child must have been under 16 years of age at some time in 2016. However, there is no age limit if the child is dependent on you or your spouse or common-law partner and has a physical or mental impairment. For more information, see Form T778, Child Care Expenses Deduction, which you can find online at cra.gc.ca/forms.

Tax credits for children

Save your receipts to claim the fees you have paid for lessons of up to $500 per child under the children’s fitness tax credit. If your child attends programs that contribute to their development, like learning a second language or private tutoring, you may also be able to claim up to $250 in eligible fees per child under the children’s arts tax credit. Two parents can claim the credits for the same child, as long as they do not claim the same fees and the total claim is not more than the maximum allowed. Whether by choice or circumstance, there’s no debating that raising a child on your own, as a single parent, is hard work. To help with this, you may be able to claim the amount for an eligible dependant. You may also be able to claim a provincial or territorial tax credit for additional funds for you and your family. For more information, go to cra.gc.ca and enter amount for an eligible dependant in the search function.

Completing your tax return

The deadline to file your tax return is April 30. However, since that day is a Sunday this year, the CRA will consider your return as filed on time and your payment to be made if the CRA receives your submission or it is postmarked no later than May 1. Selfemployed individuals have until June 15 to file their income tax and benefit returns. But if those individuals have a balance owing, the CRA still has to be paid no later than May 1. Last year, more than 84 per cent of individuals filed their returns online. To file your return online, you have to prepare your return using certified tax preparation software or a certified web application. The


Progress to Advanced sailing skills.

26on Facebook! Island Parent Magazine Basics course prerequisite.


CRA has a list of certified tax preparation software on its website, including some that are free. To find out more, go to cra. gc.ca/netfile. If you are registered with the CRA’s My Account and use certain tax preparation software, you can save time when you use the CRA’s Auto-fill my return feature. Auto-fill makes doing your taxes faster by automatically filling in certain parts of your tax return. If you have modest income and a simple tax situation, you may be eligible for help filing your return through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program. As part of this program, community organizations host free volunteer tax clinics across the country. To find a volunteer tax preparation clinic near you, use the MyCRA mobile app at cra.gc.ca/mobileapps or go to cra. gc.ca/volunteer. If there has been a change to your marital status, it is easy to update it online through the CRA’s My Account service or the MyCRA or MyBenefits CRA mobile app. You could also send the CRA a completed Form RC65, Marital Status Change (which you can find online at cra.gc.ca/forms) or call 1-800-959-8281. Your family net income is used to calculate your benefits and credits (like the Canada child benefit), so you may see an adjustment to these payment amounts once your marital status changes.

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As tax season approaches, protect yourself and your family from phishing, as well as fraudulent scams that could lead to identity or financial theft. The CRA will not send an email with a link, ask for personal or financial information of any kind by email or text message, or ask for payments by prepaid credit card. For examples of current scams and for information on how to detect and avoid them, go to cra.gc.ca/ fraudprevention. If you receive a call saying you owe money to the CRA, you can check this through My Account. You can also sign up for account alerts in My Account or use the MyCRA mobile app and provide your email address. As a fraud prevention measure, this new service will notify you by email when direct deposit information and home or mailing address has changed, or if mail sent to you by the CRA was returned to the CRA. To get started on your income tax and benefit return, go to cra.gc.ca/getready. For the latest CRA news and tax tips, follow the CRA on Twitter @CanRevAgency.

Larch St.

Entrance off Larch St.


April 2017


Family Calendar

For calendar updates throughout the month visit IslandParent.ca


Our Generous Sponsors SATURDAY



increased cognitive and language development. For parents, educators, and children aged 0-24 Family Forest Tea Party at Francis/King Regional months. 10:30-11:30am. Register at gvpl.ca or call Park. Here’s an opportunity to bring the whole fam- 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. ily along for a tea party in the woods. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist for an interpretive tea Coast Capital Free Swim at Panorama Recreation. tasting featuring some of our local plants. A short Bring the whole family for a night of active fun. The guided walk to see some of the plants growing in waterslide and climbing wall will be open for the their native habitat will precede the tea-sampling. free, everyone welcome, swim sponsored by Coast 5 years+. 1-3pm. $10/family + GST. Pre-registration Capital Savings. 6-7:30pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. required by March 29. Space is limited. 250-478- 250-656-7271. panoramarecreation.ca. 3344. crd.bc.ca/parks.


Easter at the Pool at Panorama Recreation. Come for a fun, and chocolate-filled, Easter egg hunt, and many more themed games and activities. Prizes. 1:30-3pm. 1885 Forest Park Dr. 250-656-7271. panoramarecreation.ca.



Sensory Storytime: Deep Blue Sea at Nellie McClung Branch Library. This program features sensoryrich stories, movement and songs appropriate for preschoolers with autism or sensory processing issues, and preschoolers who thrive on routine. Parent and caregiver participation is required. For Monday rd ages 3-5; maximum of 2 children per accompanying Story Club at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Join adult. 10:30-11:15am. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250Story Club and engage with other kids over books, 940-GVPL (4875) for more information. games and crafts. Listen to stories, share your thoughts and experiences, and enjoy group activi- Teen Council at Sidney/North Saanich Branch ties. Snacks included. For ages 6-9. 3:30-4:30pm. Library. New! Teens ages 13-18 years looking for Visit gvpl.ca to register, or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) an interesting volunteer opportunity are invited to join the Sidney/North Saanich Library Teen Council. for more information. Work on special library and community projects, meet other teens, have fun, boost your resume, WEDNESDAY th and earn volunteer hours. 3:30-4:30pm. Baby Sign Language at Central Branch Library. Learn the basics of the Baby Signs® Program. The Stuffed Animal Storytime at Esquimalt Branch benefits of signing with young children include Library. When the cat’s away, mice play—is the same improved communication, fewer tantrums and true for stuffies? Bring your favourite stuffed animal



28  Island Parent Magazine

for a pyjama storytime, then leave the stuffie at the library for a sleepover. We’ll have cameras set up to record any monkey business overnight. Come by the library after 1pm the following day to pick up your furry friend and see the pictures. For ages 4-6. 6:30-7pm. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. DigiLab: Maker Night at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Create, build and fabricate with DigiLab’s maker tools and supplies, including Perler beads, a button maker and a 3D printer. 6:30-8:30pm. For ages 13-18. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. Easter Scavenger Hunt at Brentwood Teen Lounge. Includes plenty of egg-citing prizes. 6-8pm. 1233 Clarke Rd. 250-656-7271. panoramarecreation.ca.




English Language Learner Storytime at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Fun-filled stories, songs, rhymes and puppets for young English language learners and their families. For young children and accompanying adult. 10:30-11am drop in. 250-940GVPL (4875). gvpl.ca. This Little Piggie at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. If you’re a fan of Olivia, Peppa and other literary pigs, come for this entertaining piggie storytime and craft. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.


Ukrainian Easter Egg Demonstration at Sidney/ North Saanich Branch Library. Learn about how beautiful pysanka, decorated Ukrainian Easter Eggs, are created. Everyone welcome. 10:30am-12:30pm.




Up the Booming Hill at Lone Tree Hill Regional Park. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist for a hike to the summit of Lone Tree Hill. Take a look at what’s blooming and other signs of spring. The view from the summit is spectacular and well worth the climb. Meet at the parking lot off Millstream Rd at 1pm. 8+ years. 250-478-3344. crd.bc.ca/parks.

stories about springtime and hatching. Make a craft to take home, too. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:30am. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. This Little Piggie at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library. See SAT 8 for details. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.




Kindergym Bunny Love Easter Egg Hunt at Greenglade Community Centre. Come for an eggciting morning of Easter egg hunting and fun Easter TUESDAY th crafts. 9:30-11:30am. 2151 Lannon Way. 250-656- TUESDAY TH Emergency Preparedness Workshop at Victoria 7271. panoramarecreation.ca. City Hall Antechamber. Learn about the hazards that Paws 4 Tales at Nellie McClung Branch Library. SEE can affect Victoria, what to include in your emergency SATURDAY TUES 11 for details. For grades 2-4. 3:30-4:30pm. TH kits, what you can do to protect your home from an Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for earthquake, and how to reunite with your loved ones Easter Scavenger Hunt at Greenglade Teen Lounge. more information. after a disaster. Free. 1-3pm. Register at emvic@ An Easter egg hunt like you have never seen before. victoria.ca, or call 250-920-3373. VictoriaReady.ca. Includes plenty of egg-citing prizes. 6-8pm. 2151 WEDNESDAY TH Lannon Way. 250-656-7271. panoramarecreation.ca. Paws 4 Tales at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Symphony Storytime at Oak Bay Branch Library. Read aloud to a friendly dog and enjoy games and SUNDAY Listen to stories told through music with two Victoria TH activities to boost reading skills. Volunteers from Symphony musicians and their puppet friend, Kathy St. John’s Ambulance will be on hand to help. For Easter Egg Hunt at Dominion Brook Park. Hop on Cadence. Sing along and try some child-sized instrugrades 2-4. 3:30-4:30pm. Register at gvpl.ca or call over to the park for an Easter Egg Hunt with the ments. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register at gvpl. 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. Peninsula Celebrations Society. Panorama will be ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. onsite with some egg-citing children’s activities and face painting. Parents and grandparents are THURSDAY WEDNESDAY th TH welcome to take part in the fun. 1-2pm. 250-656Calling all Cottontails at Goudy Branch Library. Hop, 7271. panoramarecreation.ca. 18th Annual Silent Auction Fundraiser at Lakehill hop, hop on over to the library for stories and songs Coop Preschool. Bid on dozens of goods and about bunnies, chicks and everything that makes MONDAY services generously donated by local businesses, TH spring so egg-citing. Make a craft to take home, engage in the fun, and donate to a great cause. too. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register at gvpl.ca Stories on Fern The Victoria Storytellers Guild Multi-family community yard sale from 10am-1pm. or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. welcomes you to hear and tell stories. Tea and good- Hot dog barbecue, kids activities, and open house ies. Doors open at 7:15pm, stories start at 7:30pm. for the preschool. 10am-2pm. 3821 Cedar Hill X-Rd. Happy Egg Day at Central Branch Library. Cheep, 1831 Fern St (park on Begbie). $5; $3/students. 250-477-4141. lakehillpreschool.org. cheep, cheep. Come to the library for egg-cellent victoriastorytellers.org.










April 2017  29

Giggles & Wiggles at Nellie McClung Branch. Little listeners with extra energy will enjoy action-filled stories, songs and rhymes followed by free play and stations. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11am drop-in. 250-940-GVPL (4875). gvpl.ca.

Rd. All ages. 11am-2pm drop-in. 250-478-3344. crd.bc.ca/parks.








Paws 4 Tales at Nellie McClung Branch Library. SEE TUES 11 for details. For grades 2 to 4. 3:30-4:30pm. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875).


Tracks and Traces! at Francis/King Regional Park. Become a nature super sleuth. Join a CRD Regional Story Club at Langford Heritage Branch Library. Parks naturalist to explore the evidence and inSee MON 3 for details. For ages 6-9. 3:30-4:30pm. vestigate clues left behind by animals. There is no Register at gvpl.ca, or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for fee, but you must pre-register by April 20 as space more information. is limited. 5+ years. 10-11:30am. 250-478-3344. crd.bc.ca/parks.





Lego Stories at Sidney/North Saanich Library. Listen to stories while you create Lego masterpieces to Spanish Storytime at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. display in the library windows. Ages 5 years and Enjoy a fun and interactive storytime in Spanish and up. 3:30-4:30pm. make a craft. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:15am. Register at gvpl.ca, or call 250-940SATURDAY ND GVPL (4875) for more information. Explore Island View Beach at Island View Beach Regional Park. Come with your curiosity to explore Fractured Fairytales at Oak Bay Branch Library. Island View Beach on Earth Day! Drop in anytime Once upon a time, the fairytales and folktales you to celebrate this Regional Park. Join CRD Regional know and love took an unexpected twist. Who will Parks’ naturalist for fun activities and guided walks live happily ever after? Come to the library and find to explore the fascinating creatures that live here. out. You’ll make a craft to take home, to. For ages Look for the CRD tent by the picnic area off Homathko 6-9. 3:30-4:30pm. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250940-GVPL (4875) for more information.





Giggles & Wiggles at Juan de Fuca Branch. See THURS 20 for details. For young children and their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11am drop-in. 250-940-GVPL (4875). gvpl.ca. Emergency Preparedness Workshop at Victoria City Hall Antechamber. See MON 6 for details. Free. 7-9pm. Register at emvic@victoria.ca, or call 250-920-3373. VictoriaReady.ca.




Fractured Fairytales at Esquimalt Branch Library. See MON 24 for details. For ages 6-9. 3:30-4:30pm. Register at gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875). Story Club at Central Branch Library. See MON 3 for details. For ages 6-9. 3:30-4:30pm. Visit gvpl. ca to register, or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.

Your Community’s Best Source of Child Care Information & Resources

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Child care information & referrals Child care subsidy information & applications Lending libraries Workshops & training Drop-in programs Newsletters Computer access



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*Check out our new regional CCRR website to connect with your local CCRR office for more information: vancouverislandccrr.ca

30  Island Parent Magazine


DigiLab: Spheros at Juan de Fuca Branch Library. Learn to code with DigiLab’s Sphero SPRKs, robotic spheres you can program with an app to roll, spin, flip and change colours. These rolling robots teach the principles of robotics and coding through play. For ages 13-18. 4-6pm. Register at gvpl.ca, or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.




their families; children under 3 must be accompanied by an adult. 10:30-11:15am. Register at gvpl.ca, or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Circles: A safe supportive place to meet others Silver Swans Spring Craft Fair at Swan Lake in a similar situation and to share information and Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary. All proceeds resources. For information about groups near you, benefit the sanctuary. Noon-4pm. 3873 Swan Lake please call 250-384-8042. We also offer a province Rd. 250-479-0211. wide toll free information and support line for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren. Call 1-855-474-9777 or email grgline@parentsupportbc.ca.

O n g oin g

Brown Bear, Brown Bear Everywhere at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? with an interactive storytime and craft in honour of this BABIES, TODDLERS & PRESCHOOL iconic picture book and other works by author Eric Carle. For ages 3-5. 10:30-11:30am. Register at gvpl. Baby Times, Toddler Time & Family Storytime ca, or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information. at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Parents and caregivers are welcome and encouraged to particiPro-D Day Swim at Panorama Recreation. A fun- pate with their children. Drop in; space is limited. filled Pro-D Day swim. $2. 1885 Forest Park Dr. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. For a 250-656-7271. panoramarecreation.ca. complete schedule of drop-in programs, visit gvpl.ca or call 250-940-GVPL (4875) for more information.




Mandarin Seeds: Farm Animals at Nellie McClung Branch Library. Enjoy a fun and interactive storytime in Mandarin and make a craft. For young children and



Parent Support Circles: Parenting isn’t always easy. Sometimes it helps to talk things through with other parents. At the Parent Support Services Society of BC we believe that every parent is the expert of her/ his own family. For more information about groups near you please call 250-384-8042 or 1-877-3459777 or visit us online at www.parentsupportbc.ca

Monthly Dyslexia Information Sessions. Ending dyslexia is now possible. Learn about the latest developments in neuroscience and programs to end dyslexia quickly and with lasting results. Free Good Morning Storytime at Sidney/North Saanich information sessions held monthly with Marlene Branch Library. Bring your littlest ones to the library Lewis, award-winning registered speech patholofor stories, songs, rhymes and movement. Ages 0-5. gist. Please phone 250-474-6368 for details, or visit Thursdays 10:15-11am April 6-May 25. 250-656-0944. end-dyslexia.com.•

April 2017  31



The Island A pril

Visit IslandParent.ca for these and other events and resources for families from Cowichan Valley north to Campbell River and west to Tofino








Brant in the Bay at Parksville Community Park. Join the Arrowhead Naturalists to view Brant geese and other birds through spotting scopes. Have all your nature questions answered. Free. 11am-3pm. brantfestival.bc.ca.







Nature’s Recyclers at Colliery Dam Park. What would happen if no dead trees or animals rotted? What causes rot? Have you ever looked at a new fallen tree and compared it to one that has been down for years? Look at decomposers. This is a parent-participation class. $8/person. 3-6 years old: 9:30-10:30am; 6-12 years old: 10:30am-noon. 250-752-5200.

Glow in the Dark Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Skate in the atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special Eagle Release at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre. Come and see a wide variety of birds and effects. 6:30-8pm. displays, and see a rehabilitated eagle released at 2pm. 11am-3pm. $5 suggested donation; children friday th 12 and under free. brantfestival.bc.ca. The Sights and Sounds of Spring at Englishman River Estuary. Biologist Karen Barry will lead a walk to Dive-in Movie at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Come explore springtime biodiversity in the estuary. Bring and celebrate our beautiful earth and appreciate binoculars if you have them. Wear outdoor clothing the importance of water by watching “Finding and good walking shoes. Meet at the gate at the Nemo” as you gently float on a pool noodle. 7-9pm. end of Shelley Rd at 10am. Free. brantfestival.bc.ca. 250-756-5200.


Spring on the Farm at Coombs Farmer’s Institute. Come see what is “springing” to life on local farms. Meet the farmers, see how food is produced, ask questions, sample real food, enjoy nature at its finest. Co-hosted by Coombs Farmers’ Institute and Qualicum Community Education and Wellness Society. Free. Find up-to-date schedule and directions at Nanaimo Community Home Learners Monthly Meet-up at Oliver Woods Community Centre. coombsfarmersinstitute.weebly.com. Resource library, gym time, parent support, special events throughout the year. 1-4pm. $5/drop-in fee per family or $20 year-long membership. nanaimocommunityhomelearners.org.




Fishing Family Fun Swim at Ravensong Aquatic Centre. Have a whale of a time diving like dolphins, splashing like sea lions and hiding like an octopus.

Cover Photo Contest For the 2017 Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide to Victoria & Vancouver Island Send us a colourful, clear photo of your kids or family enjoying a summer moment on Vancouver Island, and it may end up on the cover of this year’s Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide. 1st Prize: Main cover photo on the Family Summer Guide and $100 Gift Certificate to the business of your choice on Vancouver Island. Runners up: five or more runners up will receive two IMAX tickets and their photos will be featured on the cover of either the Family Summer Guide or Kids’ Guide. Only digital submissions will be accepted. Send a maximum of three photos of medium or higher resolution (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 Thursday, April 13, 2017; winners will be notified by email by Monday, May 15. Winning photos become the property of Island Parent Magazine.

Send entries to: editor@islandparent.ca 32  Island Parent Magazine


10am-noon. Regular admission. 250-248-3252. rdn.bc.ca/recreation. Water Survival Day at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre. Bring the family for an afternoon of fun events and activities that promote water safety survival. 1-3pm. 250-756-5200.




Incredible Journey: The Water Cycle at Bowen Park Lower Picnic Shelter. Did you know your body is 65% water and the earth 71%? Explore how water travels and how the water you drink today could end up in the ocean tomorrow or in the clouds in another country. The water cycle is not as simple as you think. Stay to enjoy Earth Water and Wildfoods Day at Bowen Complex. 10-11:30am. 6+ years. $12/ person. 250-756-5200.




Pickleball Drop-in 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 drop-in session. Check it out for free from 9am-3:30pm. 250-248-3252. rdn.bc.ca/recreation.




For the Bats at Diver Lake Park. Did you know a single little brown bat can eat more than 1,000 mosquitos in an hour? Learn about local bat species and build bat houses to place in the park to help protect their habitat. 10-11:30am. 6+ years. $12/ person. 250-756-5200.

FAMILY Drop-In Science Studio 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. Thursdays and Saturdays 10amnoon. Schedule subject to change, so please check nanaimoscience.org for most current schedule. 4355 Jingle Pot Rd. 778-971-6893. Family Pool Party Fridays at Beban Pool. End the hard work week with a party at the pool. 7-9pm Friday until June 30. 250-756-5200. Lions Free Skate at Frank Crane Arena. Every Sunday 2-3:30pm. 250-756-5200.

Golden Shoe Hunt in Oceanside. This year, celebrate the RDN’s 50th anniversary by exploring some of our oldest and most historical regional and Starlight Skate at Nanaimo Ice Centre. An opporcommunity parks in electoral areas A to H. Clues tunity to come out and enjoy the soft light “stars” and instructions for the locations of the shoes will and passive LED glow lights. This is a great night Preschool be posted weekly to rdn.bc.ca/recreation, RDN out for families after dinner. Regular admission rates. 7-9pm. 250-756-5200. Family Storytime at Cowichan Library, Duncan. Facebook, and RDN Twitter starting April 13.• Bring the whole family for stories, songs, rhymes and fun. For ages 0-5. Tuesdays 10:30-11:30am. 2687 James St. krumohr@virl.bc.ca.

O n g oin g

Advertising Feature

Island Montessori


ight 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!

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• lovely rural location

connecting children to nature

April 2017  33

Special Needs Resources how to join, donate, or volunteer, please email info@canucksautism.ca, call 604685-4049 or visit canucksautism.ca.

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. preschool@emmanuelvictoria.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; oakandorca.ca.

BeConnected Support Services. BeConnected supports children, youth and adults with diverse abilities to lead rich lives in community. BeConnected’s services have expanded over the years, and include options 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 Funding (IF) through CLBC to help you create the future you desire. BeConnected serves the communities of Greater Victoria, Sidney, Sooke, Salt Spring Island, the Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo, the Comox Valley, and Campbell River. Contact BeConnected in Victoria at 250-727-3891; and BeConnected in Duncan at 250-7483858. Visit BeConnected on the web at beconnectedsupport.ca/. Find us on Facebook and Twitter! BeConnected: the supports you need for the life you want.

Community Living Victoria’s Autism Services offers dynamic community-based programs for children and youth (6-18 yrs) with Autism. We offer 1:1 Behaviour Intervention, Social Skills Groups and spring, summer and winter Day Camps. Our skilled and caring team draws from various behaviour support models to customize programming for each youth. Fun programming within safe, supportive environments motivate youth to expand their interests, gain confidence, strengthen social and communication skills, and build friendships. 250-477-7231. communitylivingvictoria.ca.

The Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides high-quality, adaptive sports, recreational, social and arts programs for children, teens, young adults and families living with autism, while increasing awareness and providing autism training in communities across British Columbia. The CAN team consists of a diverse group of trained staff, experienced support workers, and dedicated volunteers, allowing for each participant with autism to receive 1:1 support. Individuals across the autism spectrum are welcome. To see all CAN programs offered on Vancouver Island, please visit:canucksautism .ca/VancouverIsland. For information on

Lifetime Friendships… Lifetime Supports… At Lifetime Networks, we understand the importance of relationships. We build Networks of Friends, provide continuing education, community engagement support, employment preparation and more… all within inclusive, safe, welcoming settings. Through the many services of Lifetime Networks the goal is to increase the number of relationships in the lives of people with Emmanuel Preschool is a welcoming disabilities. Lifetime Networks is an orgaand inclusive Christian preschool, where nization we are proud of and that makes students with special needs have the sup- a difference in our community. info@lnv. port of an additional teacher. Our morning ca. 250-477-4112. lifetimenetworks.org. classes are offered either two or three days

34  Island Parent Magazine

The Cridge Centre for the Family has a rich heritage and an even richer future. Founded in 1873, The Cridge Centre provides diverse services to children, adults and families to maximize their opportunities and enjoyment of family life and loving relationships, and to achieve their potential. The Cridge Respite Resource Service and the Cridge Respitality Service work together. Where Respite Resource helps parents of children with a special need find qualified caregivers, Respitality provides a free overnight stay at one of 25 area accommodation partners for parents while their children are cared for at home. To learn more about these services, please visit cridge.org. The Cridge Centre for the Family…because love is the bottom line.

Island Montessori offers individualized programs for all children, including those with special needs and/or behavioural challenges, in an integrated, inclusive setting. Our highly trained and experienced staff work closely with the child’s family and involved professionals to develop and deliver a program designed to meet the developmental needs of the child. We believe that every child has a natural desire to learn, and that they do so best in atmosphere of warmth, caring and respect. 5575 West Saanich Rd (across from Red Barn Market). 250-592-4411, info@islandmontessori. com, 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 mylittlesteps.net or give our offices a call at 250-386-1171; email: admin@mylittlesteps.net. Pivot Point makes a difference! Our behavioural, educational, and mental health services to children, youth, and adults use proven and fun methods to create change and growth. All services are tailored to the unique needs of each family, building a strong team of service providers clearly focused on each family’s personal goals. We offer 1:1 and group services for individuals with autism and other diverse abilities throughout BC. Van Island 778-410-2319. Visit pivotpoint.ca.•

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Licenced group childcare for children 1 to 5 years Open 6:30am – 5:30pm 2758 Peatt Road, Langford  250-818-9225 or 778-265-5955 www.leapforwardlangford.com info@leapforwardlangford.com

If You Are

Moving Expecting a Baby Planning a Wedding A Grandparent A New Business/Executive Interested In a New Career

Contact Welcome Wagon Today! Victoria & Vancouver Island 1-866-518-7287 Nanaimo 250-756-9794 Or online at: welcomewagon.ca

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. Connections therapeutic groups for children who are homeschooled. Clinical services including behaviour consulting, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech-language therapy, art therapy and feeding therapy. Contact our offices at 250-386-1171 or by emailing admin@mylittlesteps.net


April 2017  35


• A great selection of books • Dress-up for girls and boys • Shoes…Pedipeds, Stride Rite…and More • Rainwear and rainboots…TUFFO – MUDDYBUDDY, now up to size 5 • Children’s clothing up to age 12

Car Seats, Cribs, Play-n-Pak, High Chairs available for short term rentals Now Accepting Maternity & Spring Consignment New & Used Toys, Clothing & Furniture Visit our new location: 2005 Oak Bay Ave • 778 265 5430

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GOD is a Scottish Drag Queen

starring comedian Mike Delamont Fri. and Sat. April 21 & 22 - 7:30pm VIU’s Malaspina Theatre TICKETS: $29 adults | $15 students

theatreone.org | 250-754-7587

36  Island Parent Magazine

Local Eating in the Spring


aster truly marks the start of spring. By this point I am done with soups, stews and hearty meals. I’m ready for salads and sunshine. However, despite my enthusiasm, I just can’t find all the summer fruits and vegetables that I am craving. The tomatoes in my local grocery store seem more like flavourless rubber balls than the juicy, sweet tomatoes of summer. Coloured peppers are dishearteningly expensive, and all the fruit seems to have been flown in, like they were returning from a tropical vacation. Somehow it feels wrong to eat an apple that has more passport stamps than I do. And our stodgy locally-grown winter vegetables are still available. Though I’m tired of eating carrots, beets and cabbages, they are at least grown by a B.C. farmer, and that is something I appreciate. Here is a list of some B.C.-grown produce that you might be able to find in your grocery store. Some of the produce was picked last fall and have been waiting in cool storage all winter for their moment to shine, while some of these are growing in the cool, fresh soil of spring. Greens (kale, chard, sprouting broccoli, cabbage tops, lettuces, spinach and herbs). Roots (beets, carrots, potatoes, sunchokes, turnips, parsnips). Hot house (cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes). Spring crops (asparagus, radishes, rhubarb). Garlic, onions, leeks. Winter squash. Apples. The following recipes have a distinct spring-like feeling to them. So shake off the cobwebs of winter and imagine that you’re basking in the bright fresh sunshine that is surely hiding behind all the rain. As always, I like to encourage parents to cook with their kids. So, these recipes are designed to be easy enough for an older kid to make on their own.

Ukrainian Vinaigrette Salad

This colourful salad is perfect for the spring. My kids love anything with pickles and potatoes so this is always a hit. Younger children can help with peeling and dicing the cooked vegetables.

Emillie Parrish Cooking With Kids 1 lb beets 1 lb carrots 1 lb waxy potatoes 2 large dill pickles, diced 1 minced onion 1 cup sweet peas (fresh or frozen) 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp parsley (fresh or dried) 1⁄2 tsp salt (to taste) 1⁄2 tsp black pepper 1. Cook all of the root vegetables first. Place the beets in a pot of water. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Add carrots and potatoes and boil for another 10 minutes (until potatoes are cooked). Drain and leave to cool thoroughly. 2. Peel the cooked root vegetables and dice them into small bite-sized cubes. 3. Toss the prepared root vegetables in a salad bowl with the rest of the ingredients. If raw onions are too intense for your taste buds, then microwave the minced onions for 60 seconds. You don’t want to cook them too much, just enough to make them less pungent.

Potato Salad

Easter and hard-boiled eggs just seem to go together. My kids love making deviled eggs, egg salad, and a good old-fashioned potato salad. I’ve added a few extra vegetables into this potato salad recipe because it makes it more colourful and crunchy— and because I’m always looking for ways


to get more vegetables on our plates. Young children can help with the measuring and mixing for this salad. 2 lbs of small waxy potatoes 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 cup mayonnaise 1 tsp mustard powder 1⁄4 cup fresh parsley 5 hard-boiled eggs 3 Tbsp chopped pickles 1⁄2 cup minced onion 1⁄4 cup celery thinly sliced 1⁄4 cup carrots thinly sliced 1⁄4 cup of sweet peas (fresh or frozen) 1 tsp salt (to taste) 1⁄2 tsp black pepper 1. Put the potatoes into a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer until they are cooked (about 10 minutes). 2. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and toss with the cider vinegar. 3. Peel the eggs and dice into bite-sized pieces. 4. When the potatoes are completely cool, mix all the ingredients together. If raw onion is too intense, microwave it for 60 seconds to soften it before adding it to the salad.

5. Taste and add more mayonnaise, salt 1 cup honey 1⁄2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter) and pepper as needed. 6. Refrigerate the salad, and allow the 1⁄2 cup milk flavours to mingle for at least 1 hour be- 6 Tbsp cocoa powder (or carob powder) 1⁄2 tsp salt fore eating. 21⁄2 cups oats 1 cup coconut (+ more for coating) Bunnie Munchies Bunnie Munchies are a high-energy snack 1 tsp vanilla extract that is perfect take along to the park. If you 1. Mix honey, peanut butter, milk, salt, and cocoa powder in a large pot. 2. Bring to a boil and stir for 5 minutes. 3. Take it off the heat and quickly stir in the remaining ingredients. 4. Allow to cool slightly then roll into balls and coat with more coconut. Coloured coconut flakes 1 cup coconut A few drops of food colour Shake in a ziploc bag until well coated. want to make a more Easter-y snack, then roll the munchies into an egg-like shape and use coloured coconut flakes. Small children can help with shaping the bunnie munchies. Get creative! Eggs in nests, snowmen and snakes are all delicious when you follow this recipe.

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

Rosemarie Colterman& Tom Oak Your Homeward Bound Real Estate Team!

With our daughters, Nicolia, Rhea & Alexis!

Providing exceptional residential real estate services since 2003:  Professional  Informative  Client-customized  Trustworthy & reassuring  Celebratory!



a rd

W in


o: 250.592.4422 e: info@homeward.team w: homewardbound.team April 2017  37

Nutrition Information 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

viha.ca/prevention_services/ 38  Island Parent Magazine

Sifting fact from fiction


ave you ever googled “how do I manage a health condition with food,” “how do I avoid stress eating,” “how do I improve my digestive health,” or “how do I get my children to eat better?” The sheer volume of material about food and nutrition available online and on social media can be mind-boggling. And it can often be difficult to tell fact from fiction. Knowing a few simple tricks can help you take the fight out of finding credible information about food online. To that end, here are a few tricks: Check to see who wrote the article. Reliable nutrition websites will use qualified writers who base their comments and recommendations on science. Information will be reviewed and verified by medical experts. Look for regulated health professionals with credentials such as RD (Registered Dietitian) or MD after their name. Be wary if the website promises a quick fix or a miracle cure. Websites promoting a product that claims to “cure” a long list of conditions are suspect. Many of these websites rely on testimonials or “stories” from consumers who have tried the product and found it helpful. They may rely on personal opinion rather than scientific evidence. Managing health concerns takes time and patience. No product is a cure-all for everything, and any website claiming to have a miracle cure should raise a red flag. Consider the possibility of bias. What is the source of the information? Is it coming from someone likely to benefit from the sale of a product, such as a supplement? If the website suggests that you replace food with an herbal or mineral supplement, this can be a red flag. The best source of complete nutrients is from foods as they offer a variety of them. Supplements should be used in addition to foods not in place of them.

Beware of websites that take a one-sizefits-all approach to managing health conditions. Advice should be geared to your specific needs and goals. If you have, or suspect you have, diabetes, heart disease, food allergies or intolerances, digestive issues or other conditions that may be affected by your food intake, talk to your health care provider first. Once a diagnosis has been made, referrals can be made to other health professionals who can help you to manage your condition. Are the claims made by the website based on a single study? Nutrition experts look at the body of research over a period of time before making or changing their practice. Credible information will be supported by scientific findings that include a list of references or links to the scientific studies or other data mentioned in the article. Good nutrition research involves well-designed studies with a large numbers of subjects. Nutrition recommendations made by Health Canada, for example, are made only when the evidence is credible and substantive. Consider the sponsor of the information. In general, federal or provincial government-sponsored websites (ending in gc.ca, gov.ca, or gov.bc.ca) tend to be the most credible sources of nutrition information. Websites ending in .org (meaning organizations, often non-profit) can also be a good source of information. Websites ending in .com may be credible but it’s important to look for content that has been verified by medical experts. If in doubt, ask a Registered Dietitian or other health provider to help you evaluate a website before you put too much value on the information it provides. Don’t self-diagnose or rely solely on advice from the internet or wellmeaning friends to answer important medical questions. Always talk to your doctor about your symptoms. IslandParent.ca

Where can you go for reliable, credible nutrition and food information? A good place to start your nutrition research is at the HealthLinkBC website, where you’ll find information on a broad range of health and nutrition-related topics. Dietitian Services at HealthLinkBC can be accessed by dialing 8-1-1. Registered Dietitians are available by phone or email Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to answer your questions and offer support for eating and nutrition issues. This is a free service available to all British Columbia residents and no referral is necessary.

Jane Barclay & Tracy Cullen CH I LD YO UT H & FA MILY P U B L IC H E A LT H

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

Email your cover letter, resume and references to gturner@cridge.org

Happy Families, Healthy Families

Reliable nutrition websites: healthlinkbc.ca dietitians.ca healthyfamiliesbc.ca HealthLinkBC also offers a Physical Activity Service which provides general physical activity information and professional guidance with the goal of helping B.C. residents become more physically active and lead a healthier lifestyle. You can read more about the topic on the Dietitians of Canada website at dietitians.ca

Find your adventure today Join us at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club

Take the Fight out of Food! If you find that you are fighting with the information you are finding on the internet about food and nutrition, try this three-step approach: 1. Spot the problem Define what food or nutrition related problem you are experiencing . 2. Get the facts Use facts from credible sources to decide what needs to be done to solve the problem . 3. Seek support Put the plan into action with support from a dietitian, doctor, family and friends

Jane Barclay and Tracy Cullen are Community Dietitians with Island Health. IslandParent.ca

ASPENGROVE SCHOOL inspires Academic Excellence Innovative Thinking Global Citizenship

Nanaimo’s JrK-Grade 12 IB World School April 2017


nice Kitty t n e r a P d Islan on for Vancouver Island


29 Years

The Resource Publicati


April 2017

Special Needs

The Fun of One

The Joys of Having an ‘Only’

Programs & Services

Summer Camp Fun

Please visit any of our valued partners to pick up your latest copy of Island Parent. GREATER VICTORIA Thrifty Foods Fairway Market Peninsula Co-op Grocery Real Canadian Superstore Save-On-Foods (except Westside) Lifestyle Market Country Grocer (Esquimalt & Royal Oak) Quality Foods Market on Yates & Millstream Western Foods Recreation Centres Public Libraries Serious Coffee Victoria Gymnastics SOOKE Western Foods Village Foods Seaparc Recreation DUNCAN Thrifty Foods Save-On-Foods Real Canadian Superstore 49th Parallel Public Library

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For a complete list of where you can find a copy of Island Parent Magazine, go to

islandparent.ca 250-388-6905 40

Island Parent Magazine


he cat wakes me up at 5:52 a.m., as she does every morning. I am conditioned to rouse from sleep as I hear her coming, a soft ‘thunk’ as she pushes the door open with her head, then shuffles across the floor, around the end of my bed, and to my bedside. Then the rude awakening as she jumps onto my feet, clambers her way up to my head, plants her paws on my pillow, and ‘mews’ loudly into my ear. As I drift towards being awake, I reflect for a moment on how normal this morning routine has become when, really, it should seem very odd indeed, given that we don’t own a cat. “Wake up. Kitty wants you to give her some bweakfast.” I crawl out of bed immediately. Arguing with the cat, or protesting her wishes is futile. I use the flashlight from my phone to make sure I don’t trip on the cat while descending the stairs. True to form, she likes to remain just underfoot at all times, especially around stairs. I fumble for the kitchen light and the coffee grinder, while the cat rubs against my legs and mews, pestering me for food. I set out her preferred dishes—pink for food, green for water—and pour in the requisite imaginary contents. Cats do not eat cereal, I’ve been informed sternly; they eat, exclusively, a particularly expensive brand of invisible cat food. As the coffee brews I refill the cat’s dishes— twice. Then I pour the coffee and shuffle over to the couch, where the cat curls up on my lap. I drink the coffee, awkwardly, while petting the very large, purring cat on my lap. After awhile, she will hop off my lap and use my leg as a scratching post. And this is how each day begins, in the strange but inescapable Feline Phase. It is my hope, in writing this, that I will encounter other parents whose children have also experienced the Feline Phase. My three have passed through it as predictably as they did teething and crawling. Sometime around age five-and-one-third, they develop a powerful belief that they are in fact part cat, and behave accordingly for a period of time ranging from weeks to months. By the third go-round, I have accepted that it must be a normal biological process; either that, or my kids are just weirdos. There are strange and complex rules to the Feline Phase, and my children like to see them carried out properly. The cats must have names, for example, and pity to the parent who forgets one. In the current Feline Phase as demonstrated by my five-year-old, we started with Clementine, a well-mannered cat who is

helpful with the housework. But Clementine sometimes becomes Marigold, an exotic Persian-type who prefers a purple dish and spends an excessive amount of time grooming herself. And one day she turned into ChewChew, a wild cat who was apparently very hungry and demanded three sausages along with her cat food one morning. Occasionally Chew-Chew morphs into Fluffy, a mischievous kitten who viciously scratches everything in

Sarah Milligan Is There an App for This? her path, particularly pant legs. Sometimes, the cat is simply Kitty. It is unclear whether these are multiple personalities belonging to one schizophrenic cat, or if in fact these are all completely separate cats, but generally we are expected to keep them straight and address them correctly. There are also rules for communicating with the cats. One meow means yes, two meows mean no; three meows mean I don’t know. This simple system is, fortunately, easy to remember, even in the early hours of the morning. I am allowed to address the cat in human words, but all responses are given in meows, which I must interpret using my own wits. The cats/cat—I don’t really know anymore—refer to themselves in the third person throughout the day: “Cwementine doesn’t wike to eat bananas!” “Chew-Chew wants to go outside!” “Fwuffy wants you to find her a mouse to chase!” The cat(s) also inject their opinions, where they see fit, into the daily conversations they overhear around the house, resulting in occasional proclamations such as: “Kitty doesn’t want to hear about Twump anymore!” Eventually, I presume, the cat(s) will wander off for good and a human child will return in their place. In the meantime, the Feline Phase seems to demand the same things from me as any other parenting phase does: food, water, nurturing, and a good sense of humour. Meows aside, it’s still basic parenting—only with a few more scratches, and expensive cat food.

Sarah Milligan lives on Vancouver Island. She is grateful to her children for the joy they inspire, not to mention the endless writing fodder. IslandParent.ca

2016 Child Care Award of Excellence for Leadership: Lexie Biegun

Come to our

OPEN House!

Sunday, May 21  1 to 3pm Are you on our waitlist? Looking for childcare in the future? Please RSVP to lexieslittlebears@gmail.com

Meet the educators, walk through our property! Visit all 3 centres. See what everyone is talking about! Newly renovated and always EXPANDING! Reggio-Influenced, Nature Based Daycare Infant/Toddler and Preschool Programs

www.lexieslittlebears.ca IslandParent.ca

Waitlist: 250-590-3603 April 2017  41

Glenlyon Norfolk School Marine Adventure Program Looking for a fantastic, adventurous and safe kayak program for your tween or teen? The GNS Marine Adventure Program is beginning its 22nd season offering five- to six-day sea kayak camps for teens and youth. To register, visit http://www.mygns.ca/marine-adventure.

Ready or Not

Kids leaving home

O dtyrrell@mygns.ca



ur middle daughter, Tessa, went on a week-long school trip to Quebec last month. There were about 40 kids in the group and the airport was crowded the morning they left—the whole departure area packed with parents and siblings up early to see the kids off. It’s always lonely to return to a house with one less child. We still had our two other girls at home, but Tessa left a gap in the family—one less place setting at dinner, one less voice in the conversation, one less child sprawled on the floor doing homework. It

It’s not just that I don’t want to be getting older, it’s the thought of losing this phase of life I’ve loved so much— having a crowd of kids in the house, a boisterous and busy family life, and of course, being needed by my children.

Kids’ Dentist

Dr. Anita Gadzinska-Myers

is a Board Certified Specialist in Pediatric Dentistry and has a Fellowship in Special Needs Dentistry for children • Accepting new patients now (infants to teenagers) • Referral not needed • Member of Cleft Lip and Palate Team

Special Services:

short wait list • intravenous sedation • hospital dentistry • nitrous oxide

Victoria Pediatric Dental Centre 206–1830 Oak Bay Ave

www.victoriapediatricdentalcentre.ca 42  Island Parent Magazine


was a taste of what it’ll be like when our kids start leaving for real, and I’ll be completely honest here: it’s a future that frightens me. It’s not just that I don’t want to be getting older, it’s the thought of losing this phase of life I’ve loved so much—having a crowd of kids in the house, a boisterous and busy family life, and of course, being needed by my children. Our oldest daughter, Evelyn, is in Grade 11 now and is determined to go away for university. I tell her that’s fine with me, and on one level, it is. But I can already feel just how much I’ll miss her, even though in many ways I know she’s already grown up and ready for life. Last year when I returned home from a business trip, the taxi parked half in our drive to drop me off. While I dug around for a credit card, a woman turned the corner and headed our way, and I felt bad that we were blocking her path. Then I realized it IslandParent.ca

was Evelyn, my own 16-year-old daughter. For a moment I’d seen her as anyone else might—a woman walking down the street— and I knew that adulthood was just around the corner for her. This week with Tessa in Quebec, I found myself standing in front of the house with a neighbour telling this story, and talking about how quickly this magical time is over. Plenty of people warned me about how short this phase of life would seem. When our kids

Daniel Griffin Dadspeak were really young, strangers used to stop us to say enjoy it, this time goes quick. We were on our own raising kids, no grandparents in town to help, and sometimes that sort of advice was hard to hear. There were days it felt like I was bent double under the strain of three young children. What I wanted most back then was an hour or two to myself. The best birthday present was a babysitter so my wife and I could go out just the two of us. For Father’s Day I wanted a little time to write or to read. That equation flipped pretty quickly. Once all the kids were in school, life was easier and time to myself wasn’t so important. More recently the equation shifted again. What’s special now is spending time with my kids. For the past few years, my wish for Fathers Day has been to go out for a meal with each of my daughters, breakfast with one, lunch with another, dinner with the third. These days I’m wishing time would slow down, wanting more of exactly what I have now. Maybe Tessa’s trip to Quebec, and our week without her, was practice—a chance for my wife and I to get ready for life with fewer bodies in the house. Without a doubt it was also a reminder: enjoy what you have now to it’s fullest because it’s not going to last. Which is exactly the advice strangers used to give me back when I was toting around babies and toddlers.

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

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.

         Contact Us! Victoria 1—3891 Douglas St Duncan 202—321 Festubert St Phone 250-727-3891 Phone 250-748-3858 www.beconnectedsupport.ca Find us on facebook! EXCITING CAMPS FOR ALL AGES AND FAMILIES

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Daniel Griffin is the father of three children and the author of Stopping for Strangers (Vehicule Press, 2012), a collection of short stories about parents, children, brothers and sisters. His new novel, Two Roads Home, is coming out this fall. IslandParent.ca

IMADENE.COM April 2017  43

take Care of Yourself


A Wildlife Experience for the Whole Family!

Eagles • Owls • Bears Hawks • Falcons • Ferrets Turkey Vultures • and More

Open to Public Viewing 9am–5pm, 7 Days a Week from March Spring Break to Mid-December

Wildlife Adoptions Make Great Gifts! Support your favourite NIWRA resident: visit us for more information or go to www.niwra.org

Guided Tours available for groups of 15 or more. Advanced booking required.

1240 Leffler Road, Errington 250.248.8534 niwra.org 44

Island Parent Magazine

Diana Hurschler New Parent Pages actions, not our words. Child development experts tell us that modeling self-love and self-acceptance is the most effective way to influence our children’s self-esteem and how they view themselves. Ultimately, we want to teach our children that we value who they are rather than what they do. To successfully implement a self-care practice, you must ask yourself, “What is my personal motivation for self-care? Why does this matter to me, and how will it positively impact my relationship to myself and my family?” The answers will be different for

Autism Services

If your son or daughter has autism and is 6 to 18 years old, we can help. • 1:1 Behaviour Intervention • Year-Round Social Skills Groups and Day Camps • Autism Funds Management

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Community Living Victoria

North Island Wildlife

level, they insidiously impact the way we view our roles today as women and mothers. Because of these embedded beliefs, you may find it foreign and difficult to embrace the concept of self-care. What is self-care? Self-care will look vastly different for each of us. More than anything, it is about cultivating a new mindset in which we slow down, tune inward, and respond to what we need most in the moment. So that could mean that self-care to you would be asking for help, doing less, taking a nap, or having lunch with a friend. As new parents, even taking a shower or going to the bathroom when you need to is a form of self-care. Certainly, physical care is a big part of the overall self-care picture, but total self-care also includes eliminating self-criticism, not overscheduling, releasing the need to be perfect, saying no, refusing to do things out of guilt and giving yourself rest and down time to refuel.

Summer Day Camps 


n my prenatal classes, I let expectant parents know that newborns demand attention at all hours, and there is nothing more stressful than a crying baby. This is very exhausting—especially right after labour and delivery. A self-care strategy is necessary or serious physical and emotional burnout is inevitable. Just as a flight attendant will instruct us to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first so that we can then take care of others around us, we need to take care of ourselves before we can care for our babies. As a rule, our society typically does not honour or do a good job of promoting self-care. Mothers often buy into ideals such as “Good mothers always put their families first,” “You just have to let your body/career/social life go when you become a mom” and “Good mothers are completely selfless.” These beliefs run deep, and even if you do not accept them on a conscious

Nurturing yourself is not selfish, it is essential to your survival and well-being. The same love, gentle care and compassion we offer so generously to our little ones should be extended to ourselves as well. Regardless of what we tell our children, we teach them about self-worth through our


each of us. But if you want to experience a shift in your behaviour and perspective, the motivation should come from the inside out. Take a moment to think about some of the reasons that self-care is important to you. The following are a few benefits you may notice once you implement a self-care program; you will: • feel more generous with time and therefore avoid resenting others who demand your energy and your time • restore energy and even create energy reserves so that you can roll with unforeseen events more easily • be more present and calm with your family and loved ones • be able to respond wisely and effectively instead of with reactionary responses One of the biggest benefits of a self-care practice is that it supports us in being more present with our partner and children. When we are present with those around us, we are more able to experience openness, connection, joy, playfulness and spontaneity, compassion, empathy, gratitude and enhanced communication. Once you taste the benefits of self-care you will begin to appreciate the payoffs. Eventually, self-care will be something that is scheduled into your daily life, just as any other appointment would be. You will discover that self-care is integral to your emotional survival, and that you are wiser and more effective in all areas of your life when you take time to fill up your cup first. Making self-care a priority on my calendar has been a long process, and one that is still evolving. Learning to nurture myself has helped me to relax, accept help and go with the flow a little more—that way, the little things stay little (like my two youngest making a big mess) and it does not become front page news. I have found I have more space around my thoughts and I am more present and less reactive; I am more patient and compassionate to those around me. When these things are not flowing in the right direction, it is an indicator that I have not had enough time for myself. Please, take some time to have a break from your family and from being a parent, whether it is for 30 minutes or an afternoon. Our When was the last time you did something nice for yourself?

Emmanuel Summer Camps 2017

Please register according to your child’s grade this Fall. Children must be 4 yrs old by Dec. 31, 2017 to attend the camps.


Camp Theme



July 3–7

Aloha Adventures with Sand & Water, 9:00–Noon

4–6 yrs


(Must be 4 by Dec 31)

July 10–14

Everything About Water 9:00–3:00

Gr 2–5


July 17–21

Badminton & Bugs 9:00–3:00

Gr 2–5


July 24–28

Oopy Goopy Science Adventure, 9:00–3:00

Gr 2–5


July 31 – Aug 4

VBS: Maker Fun Factory 9:00–Noon

4 yrs–Gr 5


Aug 8–11 (4 days)

Movie Makers! 9:00–3:00

Gr 2–5


Aug 14–18

Around the World with Crafts & Games! 9:00–Noon

K–Gr 3


REGISTER: 2121 Cedar Hill Cross Road

at the Cedar Hill Cross Road & Henderson entrance to UVic

Phone 250-592-2418 | Fax 250-592-4646 office@emmanuelvictoria.ca | emmanuelvictoria.ca



‘RnIingNJuKly 3Rto Aug 11


Learn and improve your skating skills! Age 4 to 10.

Half day camps, full day options. For more information and registration forms visit www.oakbayfsc.ca or email jamiemcgrigor@gmail.com

We wrote the book on Family Law. We wrote the book on Family Law. WeFamily wrote the book on Family Law. Family Law. It’s ALL we do. Law.Really. It’s ALL we do. Really.

Diana Hurschler, RN BscN, childbirth educator, certified breastfeeding counselor, has been helping families in their childbearing years and beyond since 1998. Diana is the proud mama of four little ones. Email diana@hurschler.com. IslandParent.ca


services include separation and divorce, and divorce services Our include elder law, mediation, separation mediation and elder law

bhmlawyers.ca • • 217 217--2187 2187 Oak Oak Bay Bay Avenue, 595 2220 bhmlawyers.ca Avenue,Victoria Victoria • •Phone Phone250 250•595•2220 bhmlawyers.ca • 217 - 2187 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria • Phone 250•595•2220

bhmlawyers.ca • 217 - 2187 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria • Phone 250•595•2220 April 2017 45

Family Services Directory

Community Options for Children and Families offers recreational support groups for Children and Youth age 6-18 who have a brother or sister with a disability. The Sibshop Program allows children and youth to connect with peers who understand what This directory, sponsored by Thrifty Foods, features not for profit it is like to be a Sib. Sibkids (age 6-12) and Sibteens agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families. (age 13-18) are play and activity based designed to provide opportunity for participants to share in a comfortable and safe environment. For further 1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre (1- help finding a job? Need employees? Contact us info call 250-380-6363 or communityoptions.bc.ca. up.ca) provides support, education and resources for FREE assistance! 9860 Third St. Sidney. 250for parents in the Greater Victoria area through 656-0134. beaconcs.ca. End Dyslexia provides a qualified speaker to share free counselling, volunteer training, a mentoring information about advances in neuroscience and program for single moms, and a support group for Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school technology that are now making it possible to end dads, as well as a variety of integrated life skills and evening social, educational and recreational dyslexia relatively quickly, affordably and with lasting and parenting courses which are open to the whole programming for children and youth at 5 locations results. Award-winning speech language pathologist community, with fees on a sliding scale. For single (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and Marlene Lewis is donating her time and expertise parent members, the Centre provides free toys and Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt to deliver research-based presentations that clearly books, a clothing room and bread pantry. Donations and at our Outdoor Centre in Metchosin. We also of- show what steps need to be taken to do this. If you of gently-used clothing, small household items, and fer support to parents through our Parents Together would like Marlene to speak to your group, find toys are welcome. Hours: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri.: 9–4, program and parent workshops. For more informa- out when her next free public talk is or learn more, & Wednesdays: 12–7. Location: 602 Gorge Road tion on all programs and services visit bgcvic.org or please visit end-dyslexia.com or call 250-474-6368. East. Phone: 250-385-1114. call 250-384-9133. Family Services of Greater Victoria (formerly BC Beacon Community Services is a community- Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides high- Families in Transition) is a non profit agency that has based, non-profit agency dedicated to helping quality, adapted sports, recreational and social been serving families since 1978. We provide a full people and improving lives on southern Vancouver programs for kids, teens and young adults living range of services to the whole family in supportIsland and the southern Gulf Islands. Beacon thrift with autism on Vancouver Island. Shawnigan Lake: ing their relationship and through separation and shops fund important LOCAL community services Multisport day camp, bike clinics and family camp. divorce. Counseling, mediation, legal information and programs. Beacon also offers: child, youth and Victoria: Swim, soccer, skate and physical literacy. and a range of group programs are available for family services (including the Peninsula Early Years Nanaimo: Swim and physical literacy. Family events children, youth and adults on a sliding fee scale. Call Centre and child care); counselling; employment take place throughout the year! Become a member us at 250-386-4331 or visit fsgv.org. We can help. services and training for people of all ages; home for only $25/year at canucksautism.ca/join. Call support care; volunteer services and opportunities; 604-685-4049, email info@canucksautism.ca or HappyBaby Sleep Solutions helps families creaffordable housing/care/supports for seniors and visit canucksautism.ca/VancouverIsland for more ate healthy sleep habits in babies and children so people with disabilities. For Home Support, please information. everyone is well rested and happy. Sukkie Sandhu, call 250-658-6407. For other programs: 250-656M.Ed., has worked with hundreds of families locally 0134. beaconcs.ca. CHOICES Adoption & Counselling is a licensed, in Victoria and worldwide. Sukkie is a Registered professional, non-profit agency that provides Clinical Counsellor so the cost of a sleep consultaBeacon Community Services Employment services to adoptive parents, birth-parents, and tion may be covered under your extended medical Programs. Beacon Community Services offers a adoptees. CHOICES arranges adoptions domesti- plan. For more information visit happybabysleepfull menu of employment services on the Saanich cally and internationally. We are committed to pro- solutions.com or call 250-857-1408 for a FREE Peninsula and Gulf Islands. We’ve been helping viding a comprehensive, client-centered adoption evaluation. Let’s get started! people find work since 1982! Our programs build on service which best meets the needs of everyone a person’s strengths and resolve barriers to finding in the adoption constellation. Please contact us at HeadWay Victoria Epilepsy & Parkinson’s Centre and keeping employment. We also work with our choices@choicesadoption.ca, or call 250-479-9811 supports families living with seizures by offering employer network to support job seekers. Need for further information. parent workshops three times a year, educational

46  Island Parent Magazine


Westmont Ad_MAR_Island Parent_film1_OUTLINES.pdf



11:18 AM

presentations in schools and community groups as well as providing tutoring sessions and one-to-one professional consultations to help your child live up to their highest potential. Keep up to date with the latest research about treatments, lifestyle, and safety issues for your child. We can be reached at headwayvictoria.com, or you can reach the Epilepsy Program Coordinator directly at 250-475-6677. C



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@ icavictoria.org, icavictoria.org. CM





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 @ ldasvi.bc.ca or call us for more information or to book an appointment: 250 370 9513. Power To Be inspires people living with barriers or disabilities to explore their limitless abilities through inclusive adventures rooted in nature. With programs for children, youth and adults, year-round adventures include kayaking, canoeing, camping, hiking and more. Visit powertobe.ca or call 250385-2363 to learn more. 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 sfrs.ca/early-years-centre. 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 vircs.bc.ca or phone 250-361-9433. IslandParent.ca

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 Options for 2017–2018: Mon/Wed/Fri morning class Tues/Thurs morning class 5 mornings a week

Phone 250-598-0573 preschool@emmanuelvictoria.ca


Matinees for KIDS! APRIL 1 & 2 – 12:30 PM


Saturdays & Sundays All Seats $4.75

APRIL 8 & 9 – 1:00 PM


APRIL 15 & 16 – 1:00 PM


APRIL 22 & 23 – 1:00 PM


APRIL 29 & 30 – 12:45 PM

LEGO BATMAN MOVIE .com Student Union Building, UVIC | 250-721-8365 April 2017


PresChool & ChIlD Care Directory Central saanICh


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

Chrysalis Child Care ...............................250-652-0815 A nurturing and stimulating environment for a small group of 21⁄2–5 year old children . Qualified ECE promotes learning through play . chrysalischildcare .ca .


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

250-818-9225 info@leapforwardlangford.com


Miles of Smiles Nature Junior Kindergarten .......................................... 778-265-4374 Come See Why Learning In Nature Rocks! Reggio Influenced Philosophy ages 3-5 . Have Your Child Become a Nature Detective Today! Email mosnjk@hotmail .com .

CorDova BaY Carrot Seed Preschool ............................250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play . Wondrous natural playground . carrotseedpreschool .com . 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 . cordovabaypreschool .org .

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 . Facebook .com/ 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 . Islandkids .ca . La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool .....250-479-0292 A French Immersion Program. 30 months to school age . Licensed Christian centre . prematernelleappletree .com .

Child Care

Resource & Referral vancouverislandccrr.ca ccrr.bc.ca 48

Island Parent Magazine

saanICh Only seconds past luxurious Bear Mountain our highly respected outdoor program will not disappoint! Our “Nurture through Nature” facility is rooted from the Reggio-Emilia philosophies, allowing the children to use their environment as the “third teacher.” Located on 2 acres of forest land, your child will learn and grow in a natural surrounding of tress and wildlife! Newly expanded, we NOW have more spaces available for your Infant/ Toddlers and Pre-Kindergarten aged children. We use the trees from our own property to build the furniture and some of the toys in all three centres. The children enjoy yoga, music, Spanish, signlanguage and an outdoor classroom. In 2016, Lexie Biegun won the BC Provincial Gov’t award of Excellence for Child Care Providers. Please visit our Facebook page for current info and pics.


250-590-3603 Cub House waitlist: 778-432-3600

metChosIn 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 . west-mont .ca .

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

• 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 arbutusgrove.ca 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 . camosun .ca/childcare . Full o’ Beans Preschool .............................. 250-360-1148 We offer ‘learn through play’ programming designed to foster your child’s natural curiosity and imagination . Flexible scheduling, 2 .5 and 4 hour programs, qualified staff . Registration is ongoing! saanichneighbourhoodplace .com . 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 . islandmontessori .com . 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 . lambrickparkpreschool .ca . Montessori Educare ................................250-881-8666 Beautiful learning environment in Broadmead and Saanichton . 30 months to 5 years . All year round . montessorieducare@shaw .ca . montessorieducare .com .

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

Neighbourhood Junior Kindergarten ...... 250-479-4410 Welcoming, culturally sensitive parent participation program in Lakehill School . Morning and afternoon . For 3s and 4s . See website for details . neighbourhood juniorkindergarten .com

Gonzales Co-op Preschool ...................... 250-727-1003 An imaginative Reggio Emilia inspired Learning-Through-Play community that focuses on nature, music, and arts . gonzalescooppreschool .com .

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

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 Westshore: 250-391-4324 Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231 PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273 Funded by the Province of BC


Pre-School Junior Kindergarten PacificChristian.ca 250-479-4532 Educational Excellence to the Glory of God Rainbows & Dreams Preschool................ 250-479-1966 Small classes for 3-5 yr olds in a safe nurturing environment. Children learn through play and fun–developing a sense of confidence, independence and creativity. Highly qualified ECE teacher. Ready Set Grow Preschool....................... 250-472-1530 Inside Hillcrest Elm. in Gordon Head, we help children transition to Kindergarten. Licensed Preschool with highly qualified, warm ECE. heoscmanager@gmail.com. St. Joseph’s Catholic Preschool................... 250-479-1237 • A Christian child centre for 3–5 year olds. • A warm nurturing and challenging program • Offered by St. Joseph’s Catholic School. Wiseways Preschool & Daycare................ 250-477-1312 Quality, fully licensed, Christian preschool/daycare for 3–4 year olds. Experienced team of ECEs. Spacious facilities include large playground and indoor gym. Subsidized fees welcome. Call for a tour. wisewaysvictoria.com.

Castleview Child Care............................. 250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, ECE staff. Since 1958. Morning or full-time care. castleviewchildcarecentre.com. Centennial Day Care............................... 250-386-6832 Exceptional childcare and education 35+ years. Nature inspired, play based program. NEW central, “green” building. centennialdaycare.ca. 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. cathedralschool.ca. Little Paws Preschool...............................250-384-3211 A program designed to enhance children’s creativity, interdependence, independence and to expand self-expression. Website: vnfc.ca. 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. nightingalepreschool.com. Arts/Drama programme. kidsworks.ca. 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. rainbowexpressdaycare.com. Close to city centre.

Storyoga Preschool................................. 778-679-4004 Embracing and empowering children exactly as they are. Storyoga Preschool is a nature and yoga based program located in Sidney, BC. storyoga.com.


Positive and supportive program motivating children to learn, discover and grow through play. Kindness Curriculum, Jolly Phonics and Active Outdoor Play!

250-383-7445  rossbaypreschool@shaw.ca 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. victoriamontessori.com.

VIEW ROYAL 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

www.ArtsCalibre.ca 250.382.3533 Licenced group childcare for children ages 1 to 12 years old Offering Before & After school care for Vic West Elementary School Open 6:30am–5:30pm

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. intmontessori.ca. 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 parksideacademy.ca or find us on Facebook. 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. qms.bc.ca. Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre...... 250-701-0433 We believe that the development of the whole child (physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, and spiritually) encourages each individual to develop to their full potential. We offer an enriched full day program for 3–5 year olds based on Kindergarten readiness. Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool..............250-743-7253 In a warm environment, this nature and play-based program enlivens and nurtures the growing child. sunrisewaldorfschool.org.

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.

SIDNEY Positive Path Early Learning....................250-655-7244 Located near the library and Sidney School, our program has earned a stellar reputation for quality child care and is growing as fast as the children we care for. Space is available for your child to embark on a journey of active exploration and discovery, enjoying a natural outdoor playground and an expansive indoor learning space. Experienced educators foster a lifelong quest for knowledge and guide children with Christian values and virtues. positivepath@shaw.ca.


Nanaimo Aspengrove School.................................. 250-618-2201 Aspengrove School in Nanaimo, an independent school offering Junior Kindergarten for 3 & 4 year olds. Play-based learning, rooted in the same International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum taught in our Kindergarten-Grade 12 classes.

Qualicum Beach Children’s Discovery Centre.....................250-752-4343 Our program recognizes the uniqueness of each child and provides a nurturing, safe and creative learning environment. Licensed preschool, group care and out of school care. Early Childhood Educators. childrensdiscovery centre.ca. childrensdiscoverycentre@hotmail.com.

Island Kids Academy View Royal.............250-727-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Preschool curriculum offered within a warm, caring child care environment. Character development using the Virtues Project. Access to community programs including swimming, skating, Victoria Conservatory of Music. Part-time spaces available. islandkids.ca.

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. littlestardaycare.ca

View Royal Childcare...............................250-479-8067 Preschool structured, high quality childcare. Victoria Conservatory of Music classes. Part time spaces available. 2.5-5year olds. viewroyalpreschool@live.com.

Port Alberni

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. viewroyalpreschool.com.

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.

babiestobigkids.com 250-590-2722 info@babiestobigkids.com


949 Fullerton Ave

April 2017  49

‘What is Autism?’


e were sitting at the edge of the hot tub at Nicholas Sheran swimming pool in Lethbridge. We had fled the grandparents’ house so they could nap off their exhaustion, not realizing that schools across the city get out at noon on Fridays. The pool was a writhing mass of splashing, shrieking children. Not a location in any way acceptable to Angus. I was the one who said the word, in an offhand comment to Mike. I had been watching a teenage boy hand-flapping in the shallow end of main pool. He seemed to be alone. I have developed a radar for teenage boys with autistic tendencies. In a few years Angus will be one of them, and I consider these observations preparation for the inevitable. “What is autism?” I glanced at Angus, the submerged part of his legs now bright pink. Sometimes he asks a question and then his thoughts drift onto another subject. It is possible to leave these questions unanswered. But his eyes were darting between Mike and I; this wasn’t one of those times.

I wasn’t sure if this was a disaster or an opportunity. Mike and I had wanted to have this conversation with Angus, we just hadn’t figured out how exactly to stage it. What words to lead with. What time and location was most conducive. In preschool, in the large field of grass the kids played in after dismissal, Angus has been picked on by a trio of boys. They called him names and ran away when he tried to play with them. This happened a handful of times, until I talked to their parents, wrote a description about what autism was for them to share with their sons. Things that Angus struggled with, things he was great at, ways he was just like them, ways they could help. It solved two thirds of the problem. Then I started parking on the other side of the building and Angus forgot the grass was there, and that he wanted to run in it. I was certain these problems would repeat in kindergarten, that I would need to talk to Angus’s class about the way my son’s brain works—or his teacher would, or his interventionist would. And that first we

would need to have the conversation with Angus. You have autism. But Angus has nine other kids in his kindergarten class, and more than half he knew before September. These are kind kids,

Laura Trunkey Maternity & Beyond accepting kids, and the problems he’s had with friendships are no more significant than what other kids experience. Or less, since he doesn’t particularly mind being left out. He doesn’t feel lonely when he plays by himself; he often prefers it that way. He’ll drift into a game and then out, and still recount that at recess he was with his friends. Because “the talk” wasn’t a necessity, Mike and I delayed it. I asked other moms how they had done it, but in most cases they were delaying it also. Or they had it, but then the content was forgotten and they had to have it again and again. Or it didn’t seem necessary because their child

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Registration opens April 3


50  Island Parent Magazine


already instinctively appeared to know. I had begun to assume that Angus knew also. He had heard the word many times, we never filtered it from our conversation. He has an assistant at school, an autism intervention worker, social skills groups, an equine therapist. Mike and I use the word autism a lot, but I suppose we hadn’t really used it with Angus. “You have autism,” I told Angus. “It means your brain works a little bit differently than most people’s brains. That’s why some things are really hard for you. Like listening to loud noises, or writing your name. But why some things that are hard for other people are easy for you. Like how great your memory is, for one thing. How you know the words to so many songs.” “I have autism,” Angus said. He smiled. “I have autism.” Every so often Angus brings it up again. He wants to know if this particular person has autism, or that one. Do any of his teachers have autism? Do any of his friends? Last week he said, “I wanted to tell my friends that I have autism, but then I forgot what it was called.” “That’s okay,” I said. “It means that my brain is different from their brains.” “Yep,” I said. “But everyone’s different, right? Because if we were all the same that would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it.” Angus laughed. And then he climbed onto the stool to see what I was cooking for dinner, made a face, and wandered away. Laura Trunkey is mother to the amazing Angus and the author of a forthcoming short fiction collection from House of Anansi. Email laurajtrunkey@gmail.com.

Business & professional Directory Does your child have difficulty reading?

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Emmanuel Baptist Church.... 45 Emmanuel Preschool.............47 Family Services of Greater Victoria...............IFC Four Seasons Musical Theatre.................16 Fun Society............................ 14 GNS Marine Adventure......... 42 Gordon Head Recreation......52 Highland Pacific Golf............. 17 Horne Lake Caves................ 36 Island Escapades..................52 Island Montessori................. 33 Dr. Joslin, Dr. Morin & Associates....................IFC Kate Rubin Theatre.................11 Kool & Child........................... 27 Kumon....................................13 Leap Forward Childcare....... 36 Lexie’s Little Bears................. 41 Lifestyles................................31 Lifetime Networks................. 53

I offer an effective program that works! Call for more information or to arrange your individualized one-on-one tutoring solution.

Brenda Osadchy  778-440-0997 totallearningservices2014@gmail.com

Stressed? Anxious kids? Your Community Employment Centre

Job Search Program Worklink is offering a Job Search program for eligible Non EI adults living in Westshore, Sooke and Greater Victoria areas (excluding the Peninsula).

4 week in-class program Starting May 15th Email neyre@worklink.bc.ca Call 250-478-9525

Advertisers Directory Abra-Kid-Abra....................... 36 Arbutus Grove......................IFC Aspengrove........................... 39 Ballet Victoria.........................15 Bear Mountain......................20 BeConnected........................ 43 Brentwood College School....11 Brown Henderson Melbye.... 45 Byte Camp............................... 9 Camp Imadene..................... 43 Camp Pringle.......................IBC Camp Qwanoes....................BC Canadian Forces Sailing Association.......................26 Canucks Autism..................... 14 Child Care Resource & Referral.........................30 Christ Church Cathedral....... 53 Cinecenta...............................47 Community Living................. 44 Cridge Centre....................... 39

• can’t read words just read earlier • letter reversal • symptoms of dyslexia • “sounds out” words but can not blend them correctly • confuses similar sounding words • avoids reading/poor speller

Little Steps............................ 35 Momease.............................IFC Mothering Touch......................7 Music for Young Children.....22 North Island Wildlife Recovery.......................... 44 Oak & Orca.......... 23, 28, 31, 46 Oak Bay Figure Skating........ 45 Oyaco.................................... 54 Pacific Coast Swimming......... 6 Pivot Point.............................. 17 Pumpkin Pie..........................22 Rebecca Joy Photography... 53 Recreation Oak Bay................ 8 Red Balloon............................16 Rosemarie Colterman........... 37 Royal BC Museum..................13 Royal Soccer Camp................15 Royal Victoria Yacht Club...... 39 Saanich Dental.................10, 23 Saanich Recreation................. 3

Sage Clinic.............................. 8 SD #62.................................. 24 Serious Coffee...................... 24 St. Joseph’s Chemainus........16 St. Margaret’s.......................... 6 St. Michaels University School................................10 Swan Lake..............................21 TheatreOne........................... 36 Thrifty Foods.........................29 TJ’s The Kiddies Store.......... 27 Tom Lee Music...................... 43 UVic Vikes.............................50 Victoria Academy of Ballet...26 Victoria Bug Zoo................... 42 Victoria Children’s Choir......... 4 Victoria Pediatric Dental....... 42 VIHA...................................... 38 Wallace Driving School.........22 Welcome Wagon................... 34 Westmont Montessori............47 Westcoast Ballet..................... 5

Get back to calm!

Dr. Elizabeth Stimson Naturopathic Doctor Helping women and children thrive in today’s busy world

Victoria, BC 250-590-7809 drstimson@sageclinic.com

Where we draw for the fun of it! We offer drawing, cartooning and sketching classes for children and adults. · Daytime, after school and evening programs · Spring and Summer Camps

2325 Central Ave, Victoria 778-265-2261 info@playfulpencil.ca


April 2017  51

Connecting to Nature in the Modern World

T • Wilderness Youth Camps since 1991

here are two worlds: the modern world of science and technology, and the ancient world where we use our wild instincts to survive and understand what is happening around us. In our modern world, many of us have lost the deep nature connection our ancestors had. It’s time to ignite our wild instincts once again.

actively learn it from a young age. So how can we humans living in the modern world integrate a deep nature connection into our lives and our children’s lives through education? “Coyote mentoring” is a unique educational approach that has been developed over the past 25 years by Jon Young at the

In his book Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv wrote about nature deficit disorder. Louv expresses concern about our quality of life in the modern world on all levels—emotional, spiritual, mental, physical, cultural, and ecological. We are starting to understand that nature is fundamental to our overall well-being—and so we should all be getting some daily Vitamin (N)ature. However, in our busy modern lives, it is difficult to fully understand that deep nature connection is more than just a walk in the forest. Although this is a start, a deep nature connection must take place over the long term. Deep nature connection is about how we humans connect to nature, to other people, and to ourselves. It is about the knowledge and connection to place that is ingrained into a culture. Deep nature connection is not on the radar for many of us because we don’t

Wilderness Awareness School in Washington State. It uses children’s passion and excitement for nature as a catalyst to actively engage them in their learning process. Deep nature connection through coyote mentoring is an approach I have started to incorporate into my nature teachings at Sierra Club BC. Deep nature connection through coyote mentoring is full of storytelling and music. It follows a child’s passion, incites awareness, and follows a natural cycle. Experimentation and play encourage adventure and fun. Children stretch their curiosity to the edge of nature learning—and through this comes healing and empowerment. When there is a bird or an animal in the forest, do you hear it? Do you see it? Or are you too distracted and disconnected by the modern world to even notice it? Do you know what is happening around you? Are

• Kayak & Surf Overnight Expeditions for ages 12–18 • Multi Adventure Day Camps for ages 8–12 • Small Group Camps taught by certified instructors • Customized Kayak Expeditions for Families adventurecampbc.ca 1 888 529 2567



Exploring Our World Licensed Preschool At Gordon Head Rec Centre Saturday, May 13th,10am-12pm Full Year French Education Program At Gordon Head Rec Centre Saturday, May 13th,10am-12pm ECO Program (Educating Children Outside) At Swan Lake Saturday, April 22nd, 10am-12pm At Elk/Beaver Lake Saturday, April 29th, 10am-12pm

Contact Alison Sheehan at 250-475-7113 for more information

52  Island Parent Magazine


we so disconnected in the modern world that we are missing out on the natural things that surround us in our lives? Coyote mentoring calls on us to stretch our awareness and become trained to see what is happening all around us each time we are in nature. As a mentor, my role is

Kirsten Dallimore Nature Notes to help train kids how to listen and observe nature. I provide them with the support they need to break from old habits and create a fresh awareness about nature. As Jon Young explains, our ecological footprint tells us we can’t afford not to be aware of things that are happening around us in nature. It’s quite simple: if people don’t connect with nature, they won’t love it. If they don’t love it, then they likely won’t support conservation efforts. If we don’t have a population of people who care about the earth, then we don’t have the capacity to create change. Coyote mentoring is a journey of selfknowledge and a bond between humans and nature. We meet people where they are on their journey. When my students are afraid of experiencing something in nature, I do not push them. I wait until they are ready to explore. Kinship with the land must be established first—then first-hand experiences with the natural world will happen. People break out of their comfort zones and old habits and begin to have a fresh awareness. Much happens below the surface through this type of mentoring. This is called the invisible school. The invisible school is a place where mentors pass on knowledge and provide a place for deep connection. It enables that connection to become ingrained into a culture to the point where people connect with nature without even thinking about it. Deep nature connection was a feature of ancient societies for thousands of years. It can still take place in our modern world. I believe this journey is a very valuable one if we want to see a bright, healthy future in our modern world. Kirsten Dallimore is a Sierra Club BC Environmental Educator. IslandParent.ca

Lifetime Friendships… Lifetime Supports… Lifetime Networks. At Lifetime Networks we understand the importance of relationships. We build Networks of Friends, provide Continuing Education, Community Engagement Support, and Employment Preparation to enhance the lives of people with disabilities. Within inclusive, safe, welcoming settings we also offer groups for social opportunities, cooking, music and art. Lifetime Networks is an organization we are proud of and that makes a difference in our community.

Wendy-Sue Andrew, Executive Director  #102–4090 Shelbourne St, Victoria BC

info@Lnv.ca www.lifetimenetworks.org

Christ Church Cathedral School

now in its 23rd year!

A field trip every day, sports, arts & crafts, and much more! See website for details

250-383-5125 | 912 Vancouver Street | www.cathedralschool.ca

April 2017  53

Sabotaging Chores


hen it comes to getting kids to help around the house there are many useful strategies that parent education outlines. Certainly listing chores and giving them some choices works well. Also, kids tend to prefer to do chores with the parents, so family clean up time helps get them onboard. “When/then” is useful: “When you empty the dishwasher, I’ll drive you to your friend’s house.” What a lot of parent education doesn’t consider is the parent’s attitude. We parents often sabotage our kid’s willingness

54  Island Parent Magazine

to contribute. If you are doing any of these things, you need to Cut it Out! • We nag. Nagging stops kids from taking action because they learn to tune us out until we get frustrated and angry. This creates a pattern of resistance and negativity in the child. Instead of nagging, change your approach to a positive, direct approach. Using very few words, give your child a smile or a pat on the back and point toward the dishes in the dishwasher or to the recycling. If you have pre-planned with your child and you keep your emotions in check and even positive, you are much more likely to get co-operation. • We bend over backwards and don’t ask for help. Sometimes it just seems easier to do it ourselves, but then we feel resentful and out comes the contempt. Once again, our child is reacting to our negativity. Most people, including adults, would prefer to pull their own weight as opposed to being on the receiving end of a martyr’s wrath. • We micro-manage responsibility that belongs to our kids. We don’t give them room to experience not being responsible. We rescue

and control when natural consequences could teach life lessons. • Perfectionism is when we hold the bar too high. We put up standards that the child

Allison Rees Cut It Out! can’t meet because of immaturity or abilities and then the child feels discouraged. If you are a perfectionist it is important to be aware of this and see how it discourages people around you. It is also hard on you! • We judge our kids as being lazy and irresponsible instead of understanding that it isn’t natural for kids to care about dust on the coffee table or a dirty sink. Did you have a messy bedroom when you were a kid? Maturity and brain development kicked in around your early 20s that helped you sort and organize. You weren’t lazy after all, you were just a kid!

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


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