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Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 32 Years




Books to Inspire the Inner Activist

Avoiding Seasonal Stress

Families in ALL

Shapes & Sizes

Transforming disability into ability. At Discovery School, learning disabilities are transformed into valuable skills and abilities. Students work at their own pace in small classes, with focused, individualized instruction. • Experienced, highly-qualified teachers • Ongoing assessment, evaluation & feedback • Improves organizational & study skills • Boost confidence, independence & responsibility • Nurturing environment based on Christian values • For students in grades 1 – 12 • Individual Education Plans • Low student/teacher ratio STROLLERS • CRIBS • SHOES • BOOKS • TOYS • CLOTHING CAR SEATS • CARRIERS • MATERNITY • SLEEP AIDS DIAPER BAGS • HIGH CHAIRS • SKINCARE • BEDDING

1581 Hillside Ave, Victoria


Across the street from Hillside Centre

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


Don’t miss out!

Online preview available Nov. 6th Registration opens at 6am, Wednesday, November 27.


I belong here, learning skills. IDE ACTIVE LIVING GU WINTER/SPRING June 2020 to ective January Eff



Island Parent Magazine

Swan Lake christmas hill n a t u r e

s a n c t u a r y

November 2019  3

In Every Issue

Ta b l e of C ont e nts


Fast Forward Sue Fast


Need to Know


Moms’ POV kelly mcquillan



Diversabilities Laura Trunkey


Party Directory



Avoiding Seasonal Stress

How to keep the holidays happy.

Christmas Craft Markets


Kate borsato

Navigating ’Tweenland

Life through a different lens.


Dadspeak David leach


Family Calendar



What’s for Dinner

Holiday Gift Guide

Emillie Parrish



Kids’ Reads christine van starkenburg

Families in All Shapes & Sizes


Married, single, divorced and blended.

Family Services Directory

natasha mills


Happy Families, Healthy Families pamela poon


Preschool & Child Care Directory


Nature Notes lauren sherwood


Cut It Out! Allison Rees

On the Cover Alistair Remy V. (3) Photo by Nyck-Jay Vanjecek, Bluetree Photography, bluetreephotography


Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 32 Years




Books to Inspire the Inner Activist

Avoiding Seasonal Stress

Families in ALL

Shapes & Sizes

4  Island Parent Magazine

Jim Schneider  Publisher Sue Fast  Editor Linda Frear  Account Manager/Office Manager Kristine Wickheim  Account Manager 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. ISSN 0838-5505.

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

Fa stfo rwa r d

What We Remember


hat do you remember about your childhood? While there are bound to be the big-ticket memories—like a holiday in Disneyland or a cross-Canada road trip— I’d bet it’s the little things that stand out. For me it’s things like my grandfather letting me pick every last raspberry from the bush in his backyard then sitting with me on his garden swing to devour each berry. It’s neighbourhood walks with my mom and stopping to pat every cat along the way. It’s my dad and his corny jokes—“I’m going to the bat-room; that’s where Batman goes in the morning!”—or addressing a crowded elavator, after the doors closed and it was too late to escape, “So I guess you’re wondering why I gathered you all here…” When it comes to memories, what will make the most important difference in our children’s lives? That’s the question that Krystine I. Batcho, professor and author of Longing for Nostalgia, set out to answer in an article for Psychology Today. “Sometimes the activity is quite distinctive, such as building a tree house together;” writes Batcho. “Often, though, it is as commonplace as playing catch, getting ice cream, or going to lunch after a music lesson or sports practice.”

The most memorable experiences are more about the relationship we have with our kids, she says. “In a world of competing obligations, it can be easy to forget the need a child has to feel special,” writes Batcho. “What activity fills the time together is less important than the fact that the time spent was spent together.” We remember the difficult times as well as the happy ones. “Even during the most difficult of circumstances,” writes Batcho, “parents have the opportunity to give their child the most important gifts—the assurance they are loved, the wisdom to appreciate what is most valuable, a model for coping with adversity with dignity, and understanding that suffering can be meaningful when endured as part of living for loved ones.” The “ordinary” can overshadow the extravagant in memorability and lasting value, she adds. A walk in the rain. Singing together in the car. Playing in the autumn leaves. Each of these things can create lifelong memories. And later on, it will be the small things that evoke these memories. A photo. A song. A scent. As the holiday season approaches, here’s to celebrating the little things, spending time together and making sure each child feels special. Sue Fast

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

Westshore Dental Centre

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

152 – 2945 Jacklin Road  •  250-474-2296  •

November 2019  5

N e e dto Know

Victoria Foundation’s Vital Signs Victoria’s Vital Signs is an annual community check-up that measures the vitality of our region, identifies concerns, and supports action on issues that are critical to our quality of life. Here are a few of the findings: 85 per cent of respondents would describe themselves as happy.

Belfry Theatre’s Free Childcare Performance See Kat Sandler’s Bang Bang at the Belfry while a trained, professional ECE takes care of your kids.

84 per cent of respondents feel supported by loving family, companions and/or friends. 25 per cent feel high or overwhelming stress associated with personal finance. 62 per cent feel they know their neighbours well enough to ask for assistance. 24 per cent feel uncomfortable at least sometimes because of discrimination. Find out where you can get a free copy of the report at

To make it easier for young parents experience the Belfry, inexpensive tickets and free childcare (for children aged 3-10) are available on select weekend afternoons. This month’s dates: November 10 at 2pm and November 23 at 4pm. For information or to reserve your tickets and free childcare, email or call 250-385-6815.

2019 Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s Gingerbread Showcase


he best tasting seasonal family event in Victoria begins on November 16 and continues through to January 5, 2020 at the Parkside Hotel & Spa from 9am–9pm.

Check out this year’s sensational edible creations and donate to vote for your favourite as the volunteer bakers vie for the coveted People’s Choice Award. Gingerbread entries will be designed around this year’s theme: Building a Diverse Community. The Gingerbread Showcase is, as always, free to visit and fun for the entire family.

6  Island Parent Magazine

Legion Youth Remembrance Contest Attention kids and youth in B.C. Are you an artist, or a wordsmith? If so, take those words and pictures in your head and show them to the world. Create a work of art or literature about remembrance and what it means to you and your country and you could win local and national prizes. You can create something that is broadly about remembrance or you can focus on something more specific such as a family member who fought in the war, the poppy, a war memorial in your community or the sacrifice of veterans. Deadline November 15. For more information, visit

November 2019  7


Accepting New Patients Located in Cadboro Bay Village

778-433-1888 3849 B Cadboro Bay Rd. Victoria, BC

CBD_IslandParent.indd 1



2019-05-16 10:09:36 AM

Get Jazzy

for the Single Parent Resource Centre On Saturday November 16 at 7:30pm, the Victoria Jazz Orchestra and Maria Manna are putting on a concert with saxophonist/composer/bandleader Monik Nordine at Alix Goolden Hall. The event is being held to raise funds and awareness for the Single Parent Resource Centre in Victoria. Fifty per cent of children living in single parent homes are living in poverty, and child poverty rates in B.C. remain above the national average. The Single Parent Resource Centre provides free clothing, food, counseling and Christmas gifts for families in need. By helping the folks at the Single Parent Resource Centre, you will be directly and positively impacting the lives of children. For information, visit For ticket information, phone 250-386-5311. 8  Island Parent Magazine

Cloth Diapering 101 New parents today have so many choices when it comes to cloth diapering that it can be overwhelming. Should you choose hemp? Cotton? Fleece? Bamboo? What about closures…snaps or velcro or...? And how do you wash them? Find out at Introduction to Cloth Diapering at Mothering Touch on Monday, November 18 from 6-7pm. $15 +GST/family. Register online at

Booster Buddy

Vancouver Island Health Authority’s BoosterBuddy is a free app designed to help teens and young adults improve their mental health. Manage your personal wellness journey and earn achievements as your sidekick guides you through a series of daily quests designed to establish and sustain positive habits. Booster Buddy will help you: • Check-in with how you are feeling each day • Use coping skills • Keep track of appointments and medications • Get started on tasks • Follow self-care routines • Increase real-life socialization Booster Buddy was created by Island Health in collaboration with teens and young adults with lived experience. Download from the App Store or Google Play.

Kick off the holiday season on November 30 with cookie decorating and hot chocolate at the Empress Hotel on the Veranda from 2-4:30pm. Donation of $10 or one canned good per child. Afterwards join the local celebration on Government Street for Victoria’s Annual Santa Claus Parade. Parade begins at 5pm.

Children’s Christmas Kick-Off

All proceeds go to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Find more Christmas events at

November 2019


Avoiding Seasonal Stress


hen it comes to the holidays, there seems to be a mixed-bag of emotions. Some people are eager to put up their lights and decorations, while others are bracing themselves for the stressstorm that’s brewing. For many of us, it’s a bit of both. Having a “happy holiday” season isn’t such a simple recipe, is it? Especially when our feelings about this time of year are often deeply rooted in our past experiences, expectations, social situations, and the rat-race that we often get swept into. You know the rat-race I’m talking about, right? The non-stop shopping, baking, socializing, spending, wrapping, planning, go-go-going. Sure it can be fun, but it can also be overwhelming.

stressful this time of year will be, guess what you’re most likely to get? Yup, awful stress. Now, there’s a lot more to eliminating stress than simply “thinking it away,” but becoming aware of the thoughts you’re bringing into this season is a good place to start. Begin by taking notice of the way you think and speak about the holidays (like “it’s all too stressful,”…“it’s way too busy,”…“I hate the holidays”) and ask yourself: Do these thoughts serve me well? Is this how I want to continue feeling about this time of year? If not, then take that as a sign that something needs to change. Can you create some thoughts that are more inline with how you truly want

If you’re one of those people who’s slightly apprehensive for what’s to come, you can rest assured knowing there are ways you can create the kind of season that lifts you up rather than drags you down. You don’t have to allow the months to pass over in an uninspiring or otherwise exhausting way! Take control back, starting right now. If you’re ready to experience this season in a new way, then start by looking at your ideas and beliefs about how the holidays typically go. Our thoughts are one of the most powerful tools we have to change our lives (or alternatively, to keep replaying the same storyline over and over again). So if you catch yourself thinking about how awful and

to feel this season? In other words, start talking (or thinking or writing) about what you want to happen, rather than what you don’t want to happen. For example, instead of focusing on the stress and the endless costs of gift-giving, try focusing on what you love about this time of year, what you’re excited about, and what lifts your spirit. Give yourself permission to opt-out of whatever doesn’t feel right for you, or adds more stress than joy. You don’t have to go to every event you’re invited to, to travel if it’s not truly what you want, or to take part in traditions if you don’t agree with them. Sometimes we feel stuck in traditions or routines that aren’t necessarily positive experiences. Instead,

10  Island Parent Magazine

try giving yourself permission to curate a holiday season that is aligned with your values and what you know about yourself and your family. If you’re happier getting cozy and staying in, then feel justified forgoing the party invites. If you’re the kind of person who craves festivities and excitement, then seek it out or organize an event yourself. If a full-on traditional holiday dinner is too stressful, scrap the idea and do something totally different: a potluck, take-out, or get a premade dinner. If all the gift giving adds an unreasonable expense, get creative and find ways to limit this, or opt-out of the consumerism altogether. The point here is that you get to be in the driver’s seat of your own life. We often fall into routines simply because “that’s how we’ve always done things” or “that’s what so-and-so expects from me” but these arguments just aren’t that convincing to me, especially when it compromises you’re well-being. There is certainly no right way to “do” the holidays, and what lights one person up will completely drain another. So, it’s ultimately up to you to ask yourself what you need most, and then to make the brave decision to listen to yourself as you plan and prepare for this season. I’d also challenge you to consider how you’ll take care of your needs, making sure to give yourself some energy too, despite all the pressures coming your way. How can you weave self-care into your holiday planning? Where will you find moments of rest, relaxation, connection, indulgence and also nourishment? How can you balance the love and compassion you send outward with self-love and selfcompassion? I hope you head into this season with a clear vision of how you want to feel, and that you allow events, people, and festivities into you life only if they fit this vision. Self-care is often about saying no, even when it’s hard. And sometimes saying no to others, is actually saying “yes” to yourself. Kate Borsato is a mental health counsellor on Vancouver Island. With her online counselling practice, she supports women during their transitions into motherhood and postpartum stages. Learn more at


Gift Ideas To help you choose the perfect gift for everyone on your list—from the littles to the bigs—here is a comprehensive guide to this year’s have to haves...all from local businesses, to boot! To find out more about each business, please refer to the ads in this issue. thick but lightweight, extremely warm and Kool & Child (Nanaimo) windproof. Comes in several colours, men’s Preschool: Playmobil 1-2-3 Advent Baby/Preschool: The Gerda Muller Sea- and women’s. (Women’s $200, Children’s Calendar. Open a window every day from December 1-24 so your child can make a sons Gift Boardbooks. This charming gift $148, Men’s $225). Christmas scene to play with. $32.99. box collection are beautifully illustrated Children: Joki. This cozy hanging tent/ with no words, full of seasonal details. A IMAX Victoria best selling favourite for the young featurBaby/Preschool: Squishmallows are the chair is a great place to find solitude and ing four books—spring, summer, autumn softest, cutest, cuddliest plush around. de-stress in your own quiet world. $189.99. Juvenile/Teen: Harry Potter Perplexus. and winter. Illustrator, Gerda Muller. $42. This line of loveable buddies is made from Children: Hoppa Waldorf Doll. This super-soft marshmallow-like texture and is With 70 obstacles to manoeuvre your little metal ball through helps with concentralovely collection of Waldorf dolls are washable. $8.99-$24.99. handmade, fair trade, loving crafted from Children: Honeycombs. Match bumble tion, hand eye co-ordination and patience. organic cotton. Many to choose from, bee-themed symbols on hexagonal tiles $54.99. Adult: Ravensburger “Escape” Puzzle. boys and girls. Other soft dolls and toys and start to build your honeycomb. Work for younger children also available. $60 together to build one huge hive, or go head You need to solve all the mysteries and find for medium dolls, $95 for large. to head and crown the Queen Bee. $29.99. the “last” puzzle piece to escape. $24.99. Juvenile/Teen: D’aulaires Book Of Norse Juvenile/Teen: Pixel Art. Create and Myths. The Norse myths are some of the proudly display eye-catching sequin images greatest stories of all time! A classic award over and over again. The best new creative winning, beautifully illustrated collection pixel art platform since Lite Brite. Insert filled with adventure, struggle and charm pegs and hang sequins to create your own that is suitable for all ages but particularly masterpiece. $55. those approaching their teens. Ingri and Adult: Authentic, licensed NASA equipEdgar Parin D’aulaire. $33.95. ment available for a limited time during Adult: Engel Wool Fleece Jackets. Yes, “Apollo 11s” run at IMAX Victoria. Hoodwool fleece. Not polyester. The most ies, Tees, mugs, keychains, bags, iPad cover beautiful coats ever. So comfortable, and more. $5.99 and up. warm, stylish, and durable—the wool is

Freya Sophia Waldorf Store (Duncan)

Lifestyle Markets

Adult: Gift Cards. Find the best stuff for your body and mind. With a vast selection of supplements, organic grocery and produce, full line of coconut products, non-dairy and meat alternatives, healthy meat and dairy, natural skin and body care and gluten-free products we have something for everyone on your list. We have so much to offer, you’d be crazy not to come check us out. Voted “Best Health Food Store” and “Best Nutrition Store in Victoria” for several years in a row.

November 2019  11

it features a 360-degree rotating seat that turns & stretches for bouncing. Discovery Window lets baby see their feet while they play. As baby grows, activity centre converts for easy cruising—ultimately becoming a clean, sturdy table for colouring, playing and more. $169.99. Toddler: Farm Hoppers Bouncy Toy. Will keep your little one amused for hours—and wear them out for bedtime! These inflatable bouncy animals are whimsically fun, & brightly coloured with soft, easy-to-grip ears or horns for children to hold while they bounce around. Made from a high quality, BPA-free plastic, and can help with core muscle development as well as coordination skills while having fun. Pump included! $35.99. Child: The Hape Toys Gourmet Kitchen. An all-in-one wooden kitchen that inspires mini chefs to cook everywhere and everything. Encouraging collaborative & creative play, the Gourmet Kitchen can be combined with the Hape Gourmet Fridge, food & other cooking accessories for the complete ‘mini chef’ experience! $159.99.

Marmalade Books

Baby/Preschool: Baby Book or Picture Book Box. A selection of recently published books for ages 0-3 or 4-7, sent each month to your favourite little one. Add a personalized note. Curated by a local children’s book expert. From $27.95. Children: Early Reader Book Box. A selection of recently published books for children learning to read, delivered right to their door. Add a personalized note. Curated by a local children’s book expert. From $27.95. Juvenile/Teen: Middle Grade Novel Box. A selection of recently published books for confident readers aged 8-12, delivered right to their door. Add a personalized note. Curated by a local children’s book expert. From $27.95.

The Mothering Touch Centre

Baby: Oli & Carol Fruit and Veggie Teethers. We are really excited by this new line of natural rubber toys. Beautifully designed and look good enough to eat. Use them as teethers, sensory toys or even float them in the bath, there are no holes for water to get into to grow mold. The fruits and veggies are soft and easy for babies to grasp, safe to chew and soothing for sore gums. 4 M +. $24.99. Baby: Fat Brain Toys—Whirly Squigz. Created to spark curiosity and creativity. One of the most popular toys is the Whirly Squigz. Stick’em, spin’em, whirl’em! Whirly

Squigz are big, bright, and full of tactile fun. The suction cups stick to any smooth surface, making them perfect for home, travel, and bath time. Little ones will love taking this toy out for a spin over and over again. 10 M +. $29.99. Baby: Cate & Levi Hand Puppets. Handmade in Toronto from premium reclaimed wool. The hand puppets are carefully crafted to bring you a soft and lovable toy or a gift that is responsibly made and environmentally friendly. No two puppets are identical, as each has a unique color combination. 0+. $24.99. Preschool: Hape Stacking Music Set. Make wonderful music and explore melody and rhythm with this innovative set. Children can stack the differently sized blocks in any way they see fit, exploring music and shapes as they play. 18 M +. $49.99.


Baby: Padraig Cottage Baby Slippers are handmade in BC with pure wool. Dyed and crocheted by hand. Extra soft sheepskin lining and tough leather soles for long lasting comfort. The Baby Slipper has the elasticity to stay put without being overly constrictive on young growing feet. Newborn to toddler sizes. $34.99+. Baby: Skip Hop Explore & More 3-Stage Activity Centre. Easy to assemble, with toys that can be positioned anywhere for baby, 12  Island Parent Magazine

Pumpkin Pie

Baby/Preschool: KicKee Pants Bamboo Sleepers. Celebrate winter in these bamboo sleepers and matching layette. Limited edition prints, featuring their latest Winter Celebrations. The Perfect Christmas pj’s. $38.99. Children: Ambler Wool Hats. Keep your child’s head warm and cozy all winter in these hand knit hats made in Peru. This B.C. brand uses designs inspirted by our outdoor wilderness and cutest animals. $31.99 & up. Juvenile/Teen: Djeco Puzzles. Beautifully illustrated, quality made cardboard puzzles. Sizes suitable for first puzzle makers to adult. $19.99 & up. Adult: Little Blue House Christmas Ornaments Socks. Why give them just plain ol’ socks when you can give these fun Holiday Ornaments socks for adults tucked in a cool tree ornament. $10.99.

Do you have children or grandchildren in high school? Give them a gift that will change their lives. Give them a counselling session with a career and academic planning expert. Jake Humphries has assisted thousands of students to navigate the world of post-secondary education and career planning. Jake’s students have attended top universities and colleges in Canada, USA, UK, Australia and northern Europe.

Call Jake at 250-590-1046 Email: Web site:

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

Victoria Bug Zoo

3045–C Douglas St., Victoria, BC V8T 4N2 250-386-2229

Finlayson St.


G3111 HearthGate

Offering a wide selection of pressure/hardware mount gates and safety locking devices. Douglas

Baby/Preschool: Finger and hand puppets. From one-finger ladybug puppets to whole-hand hermit crabs, our arthropod puppets will make you wish you had more fingers. $4-35. Children: Bug Collecting Kits. Inspire a future field biologist. Various collection kits include nets and other collecting devices, binoculars, magnifying glasses and viewing containers. $5-10. Juvenile/Teen: Starter microscope sets. For the budding young scientist, a first glimpse through a microscope can reveal a world of wonder. $15.99. Adult: Attracting Beneficial Bugs to your Garden by Jessica Walliser. This refreshing book delves into the fascinating relationships between insects and plants and will help you make your own insect-friendly garden. $31.95. 240pgs.•

Larch St.

Entrance off Larch St.


November 2019  13

Families in ALL

Shapes & Sizes


y parents just celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary. What an incredible feat of dedication and love. Their stable marriage has been an inspiration to me and has been a constant and steady foundation in my somewhat turbulent lifetime. I am divorced. I was a single mom for years and am now raising a blended family. It’s complicated. And, complicated seems to be the new normal. When I was growing up, I had one friend who came from a divorced household. When her parents split up, it was scandalous! While she primarily resided with her mother, she spent weekends with her dad and his new girlfriend. None of us understood what she was going through. Everyone else’s parents were married—and stayed married regardless of whether or not they were truly happy. As teens, we were well aware of whose parents were happily married and whose were not. Regardless, the message was clear. Stay loyal to your spouse and your family and honour the commitment that you made.

Ironically, and without sharing our decisions in advance, my sister and I both left our husbands within weeks of each other. This was shocking and highly uncomfortable for my parents. “Where did we go wrong?” they asked. Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that my brother has never married. From a distance, this seems very curious, considering we had a healthy and loving model of marriage to observe. Did my parents truly “go wrong” or are societal expectations of commitment changing? Clearly, I believe in the latter explanation, but empathize with those of my parents’ generation who struggle to understand. Choosing personal happiness over family loyalty seems selfish. My sister and I were nervous to share the news with our grandmother. She married the day after her 18th birthday and stood beside her man until the day he died. Their life was not always easy, but she valued her marital vows.

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After timidly breaking the news to her, we were surprised by her candid reaction. She was proud of us. Her marriage, it seems, was not very happy but she was trapped by financial restraints. As a homemaker in the 1950s and 1960s, she was bound by the fact that her husband controlled all of the money. In fact, she did not have her own bank account or know how to manage money until he passed away. She wished that, in her youth, she would have been strong, brave and independent like we were. She was happy that we had options and were

November 2019  15


In Victoria


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Send your child on an exciting language adventure every week, without having to pay for airfare!!! • Rookie Classes   • Classes for Home Learners • Classes for children with French, Spanish or German Heritage

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Call 250-384-3267 Email us at: Or visit our website: 16  Island Parent Magazine

not constrained by fear of the unknown. Divorce was simply not an option for her and she was glad that we were not trapped as she had been. The aftermath of divorce can be messy. We deal with custody agreements, navigate complicated and emotional relationships with ex-spouses and lose sleep over financial worries. We carry heavy guilt over the massive disruption we have caused to our children’s lives and we suffer moments of great loneliness. However, it can also be empowering. After leaving my husband, I tried to create my new life with intention and purpose. My old life, after all, had been a result of going along with things because they were logical but not necessarily because they brought me joy. I didn’t want to make that mistake again. There were many choices to make, but all of them were within my control and this was exciting (and terrifying). Where did I want to live? Who did I want to spend my time with? How would I occupy my newfound free time when my children were with their dad? Who am I and who do I want to become? Eventually, part of my life remodel involved dating and settling down once again. I also wanted to be mindful in choosing my new partner, so I sat down and made a list of qualities that I desire and need in the person with whom I choose to share my life. I ended up meeting a lovely man and we made the choice to merge our lives and our families. He has one son. I have two. While our love was deep and strong, the blending of two families with distinct experiences, various expectations and different parenting styles proved to be an enormous challenge. In addition to this emotionally confusing situation, my new husband and I both faced the reality of parenting with our ex-spouses and their new partners. Juggling all of these perspectives, opinions and intense feelings often felt overwhelming. On one particularly exhausting day, I called my mom, looking for some advice. Was all of the drama and pain worth it? Even though I met the love of my life, our reality was incredibly difficult and we both had moments when we wanted to walk away. Thinking that my mom could offer some perspective, I was taken back when she replied that she had none to offer. She had never had a similar experience.

While her heart broke for me, she had no wisdom to share. “I don’t know what I would do, if I were you,” she said. In that moment, I realized, within a single generation, we have blown up the idea of a traditional family. Of course my mom could not relate to my situation. Her parents were married until death. My dad’s parents were married for 50 years. All of their friends were married and the occasional divorce was swept under the rug as an embarrassing failure. I began to look around at my own group of friends. Yes, some are lucky enough to have met their spouse at an early age and have formed a lovely life together. Yet, many of my girlfriends are single parents. Some are actively dating and others are quite content to focus on themselves and their children. Among the ones who date, some of them do so for the enjoyment and ease of entertainment. Some are looking for another to share their lives. And yet others enjoy a relationship without the complication of cohabitating. I have friends who are committed to a new marriage and are navigating the blended family to the best of their abilities.

All of us are making choices that feel right for ourselves and our children. All of us act with the best of intentions, and at times, lack the grace and wisdom we need. While my mom (bless her supportive and empathetic heart) could not offer advice from a place of true understanding, my girlfriends could.

In that moment, I re“alized, within a single generation, we have blown up the idea of a traditional family.

My final thought is this: Society no longer holds a concrete definition of family. Families now come in many variations. While to some, this may seem uncomfortable and sad, even, I choose to see it as empowering. There are no rules to constrain us. We get to write our own stories. As long as the family we choose to create brings us joy and our children feel supported and loved, society is open and accepting to all of us. That’s an incredible realization.

So, when times get tough (as they inevitably will), look to those around you and see what you can learn. From my grandmother, I learned to appreciate my options and recognize my bravery. I learned to push through my fears and make the difficult choices. From my mother, I learned what true love looks like. I learned the value of enjoying your partner, being best friends with them. I learned to give my partner room to be who they need to be and to stand on my own and be my authentic self. I learned what unconditional loyalty, acceptance and support looks like. From my girlfriends, I learned that it’s okay to make choices that fulfill my own happiness, whatever that may look like. So, whether you are happily married, single or in a struggling relationship, embrace your reality for what it is. Make your own rules and pursue your own happiness. Love yourself and your kids. Everything else will fall into place. Kelly Cleeve is a passionate educator with 14 years experience. She is a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, a wife and a mother of two beautiful boys.

Photo Contest

Send us your most memorable special event photos! birthdays, easter, Halloween, Weddings, Christmas & Holiday Festivities.

all photos received will be entered into a draw to win a pair of tickets to see Cirque Du Soleil’s luZIa in Vancouver at Concord Pacific Place! Only digital submissions will be accepted. Send a maximum of three photos, medium or high resolution (preferably 2–3MB). Photos must be colour. Contest is open to Vancouver Island Residents only. No professional photographers please. Entry deadline is November 15, 2019. Winning photos become the property of Island Parent Magazine.

Send entries to

November 2019


M om ’ s P OV

Dialing Down my Side Eye A refresher in compassion


y son’s first “Ninja Warrior” class was a bit disorganized, with energetic preschoolers running amok. Truth be told, it was absolute chaos, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the two program leaders went for a stiff drink afterwards. I wanted to, and I was just watching! One child in particular was having a really hard time sticking with the group—he disregarded instructions and ran around doing whatever he wanted, including whipping a large ball dangerously close to my son’s head. His mom just sat there. The one or two times she did intervene seemed unassertive and ineffective. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, she brought her son out of the play area to sit next to her on the bench for the rest of the class. My husband and I gave each other “the look” and inwardly congratulated ourselves on how our son had cooperated so well in the midst of so much misbehavior. However, on the way home I started to feel ashamed of myself for my smugness. I remembered the many occasions on which I have felt like there is a huge spotlight on me while my son loudly expresses his strong opinions, argues, or has a meltdown in a public place. I started wondering about all of the circumstances that might have contributed to the behaviour of the boy who was acting out and his mother’s apparent lack of response. Maybe he resists an assertive style of direction, maybe he is on the autism spectrum, maybe he was expressing anxiety and his mom knew she had to be gentle with him—the maybes could go on forever. Unless we are that parent, we don’t know the whole story. I’m usually an empathetic and compassionate person, so it upset me to see how easily I could slip into judging another parent, who, like me, is probably doing the best she can. It could just as easily have been my son going wild with all the gym equipment, and I know how deeply embarrassed I would have felt. It rattled me so much that I did some research. It turns out, these judgments— 18  Island Parent Magazine

“attributions”—we make about others are part of how we navigate the world. Our brain uses two types of attributions in order to explain people’s behaviour: situational and personality.

Conversely, personality attributions are quicker ways to explain people’s behaviour, requiring less energy and depth of thought. This is when you make a “snap” judgment about someone’s fixed traits

Making a situational attribution means that you consider the contributing factors. For example, if someone is consistently late you might consider that they are a single parent juggling a lot of extra responsibility, or if someone doesn’t return your greeting, it could be that they are caught up in their own thoughts, or that they didn’t hear you because their hearing aids aren’t working. It requires extra thought and empathy to consider situational factors.

(for example, that person is always late because they are inconsiderate). These are the most common types of judgements we make about others, particularly strangers. They make sense from a survival perspective (that person is really loud and looks threatening = they must be dangerous and I will keep my distance); however, using this protective, instinctual response all the

time drastically limits our ability for connection and understanding. As Mother Teresa said: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Criticism of others also often springs from our own insecurity—when we judge others and find them wanting, our egos feel better. Honestly, I was terrified my son would not handle the new low-structure situation as well as he did and that this would cause others to judge me. When someone else’s kid went rogue, it made me feel (temporarily) better about my own parenting skill. Now, when I feel the urge to make a personality judgment, I look inward and try to pinpoint how I’m feeling. Then I think of something positive about my parenting. I also make a point of noticing great things that other parents do, rather than jumping to negative assessments of their character and ability.

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I’m usually an “empathetic and compassionate person, so it upset me to see how easily I could slip into judging another parent, who, like me, is probably doing the best she can.

So to any mama, any parent, feeling judged as you try to wrangle your wayward child, I would like to say: you’ve got this! Anyone making you feel like a subpar parent is probably (if they are honest) feeling like a bit of a failure themselves. And let’s be gentle with each other. This is a rough gig at times, and the support of community goes a long way.

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

November 2019  19

Divers A b i liti e s

Party Problems


Community Board Civic Orchestra of Victoria

Lindsay Trowell, Counsellor & Parenting Specialist

Kaleidoscope Theatre

Merit Travel

Mothering Touch

Royal BC Museum

his morning I had a conversation with a group of moms about birthday parties—namely party invites, handed out in the hallway to a select group of kids, in front of others. About a friend’s child who barely receives any. About how difficult that is as a parent, and about what possible solutions there might be. If you have a Facebook account, you’ll have seen countless shared news stories about kids with disabilities having heartbreaking birthday parties. Google “autism birthday party” and pages of these stories will appear: parents who posted their kids’ parties on community group platforms, pleading for strangers to come since all the invited kids declined, a high school football team making a surprise appearance at a boy’s birthday party since only one classmate RSVPed, an 18-year-old waiting all night in a bowling alley for guests who never came. You can guarantee that the kids whose parties are unattended don’t receive handfuls of invites either. Birthday parties—throwing them, attending them—are one of those childhood minefields. Should you invite the whole class? Just a handful of kids? When and where should you deliver invitations? What if your kid comes home crying about a party they weren’t invited to? We are lucky with Angus. He has a small group of good friends and is generally unconcerned about the goings on of kids outside that group. I have seen invitations handed out in front of him, but he has either not noticed or not cared about this. Parties are hard for him—all that unbridled excitement can be overwhelming. He’s as aware of this as we are, so is selective about the parties he attends. Angus’s own birthday is in June, so he’s had nine months to get to know his classmates before his party. The first year of preschool, we invited his whole class to an afternoon of bouncy castle chaos in a rented gym. In the second year of preschool, there were a group of boys who called him names and ran away whenever he tried to play with them. We were more selective that year. In kindergarten there were similar dynamics, and we invited a tiny group, throwing him a party at the horse stables so the equine guests rounded out the attendee list. Grade one, when he was at a small inclusive school, we invited his whole class to a party at the beach. Then we watched in amazement as the kids spent two hours playing cooperatively in the sand. Now Angus is in public school, and with friends from previous schools added to the list there is no way I’m willing to invite all his classmates to his party. Even a party at the beach or at a playground, with minimal organization required, is stressful: making sure all the kids are accounted for, are not being excluded, got a cupcake, didn’t lose their shoes, are in one piece when returned to their parents. But winnowing down the class list is relatively easy. Last year, I wrote a list of names and Angus circled kids who were “nice to him.” All this to say, for me the minefield is easy to navigate. I’ve not had to worry about whether or not the “different” kid is invited, because generally Angus is that kid, and his friends with autism are always included. Also, because he’s a summer baby, we can be outside,

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where there is enough space for movement to satisfy kids, like my own, who can’t handle sitting for two hours watching a movie or following instructions at an art studio. Maybe for you this minefield is trickier, so—based on my morning convergence of moms—here’s a list of suggestions: 1. If you’re a party-throwing pro, definitely invite the whole class. There will be kids who don’t get any other invites, and you’ll receive undying gratitude from them and their parents. 2. If you’re afraid to invite a particular kid because you’ve seen them melting down in the hallway and you expect they’ll make things uncomfortable and hard, ask how to accommodate them. I guarantee that no parent will be insulted by that question. 3. If you have a phobia of large groups of kids, invite a select group—but do it by email. Better yet, ask for addresses so your guests experience the thrill of mail. 4. If your child has thrown, or attended, a party with a small guest list, encourage them not to discuss the party at school. Talk to them about how they would feel if they overheard their friends discussing a party they hadn’t been invited to. Empathy is a life skill. 5. Having food or drinks for parents will encourage more of them to stay. You know what they say about many hands… 6. Try a toonie party. Gifts add a whole different set of issues: when to open them, how to ensure expressions of pleasure when no genuine pleasure is felt. Not to mention what they require from parents in terms of money and time, both time shopping and time digging around for ideas from kids who believe that other children like exactly what they like. Illustrated dictionaries, anyone? 7. Be grateful they only occur once every 365 days.

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S November 2019  21


A Family’s Life in Exile I write this column not from my usual perch: a cramped corner desk in our kids’ playroom, atop an inflated Swiss ball to ease my middle-aged back, overlooking our backyard trampoline and weed collection. Instead, my laptop sits on a balcony on the Island of Elba in Italy. I can see a huge steel cross atop a craggy red ridge. The sounds and smells of Porto Azzurro waft up the street on the warm Mediterranean air. I could get used to this. Before we caught the ferry here, all I knew about Elba was that Napoleon had been exiled to the Italian island after one of his defeats. Nine months later, he escaped to try to regain control of France. Why he wanted to leave is beyond me. Our family is here in “exile” of our own. In early September, we abandoned the routines of home and work and school. Elba is one stop on a seven-week jaunt through Italy, France and Spain. We have been living out of carry-on suitcases as we hopscotch our way, from Rome to Barcelona, around the northern rim of Europe’s Mediterranean coast. As a teacher, I usually can’t travel in the fall—my favourite time to hit the road—but this autumn we had a unique window of opportunity: a study leave, a job hiatus for my wife, and our kids both in those malleable middle-school years when they are old enough to remember the trip and young

22  Island Parent Magazine

enough to want to spend two months with their parents 247. A few years from now, their increasingly independent lives will leave us behind. Immediately after I booked the flights, though, I had second thoughts. Would our extended time away from Victoria disrupt the kids’ progress in school and music and sports? (Their teachers all agreed: go forth and learn on the road!) How could we justify the expense of seven weeks travelling through Europe? Think of what we could buy with the money we’d blow on train fares and museum tickets. A new-ish car! A weedless backyard! (But psychologists all agree: spending money on experiences, rather than things, is the key to happiness.) And would we all get along? How would we react as a family when scrambling to catch connections or squeezing into hobbit-sized rental suites? When we were cut off from friends and the comforts of home? When nobody can escape daddy’s snoring—ever? Those are questions we’re still working out. But as we enter week four of our travels together, the trip feels less like an extended vacation and more like something different—a formative experience that is deepening our relationships in ways we won’t understand until we’re home. Exile can give you a new perspective on life.

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Yes, our family still has difficult negotiations: how many museums and galleries the kids are willing to visit, how many gelatos we will let them eat in a week. But our collective curiosity deepens with each day. To keep up with school, the kids are researching our different stops and writing a travel blog. They are picking up bits of Italian, learning heaps of history and experiencing a culture distinct from their own. Their highlight so far has been a four-hour cooking lesson, in which they made fresh pasta and pesto and tiramisu, while listening to the complex history and philosophy of the Chianti region from our garrulous guru in a kitchen that overlooked her family’s olive groves. Their jaws dropped when they learned that many Italian middle-schoolers socialized over an hour-long, three-course lunch every day. Yum! And after my pre-departure jitters, I feel more relaxed than in years. It’s a such a pleasure to slow down and watch closely as these suddenly-not-so-little people—at 13, our son no longer qualifies for the bambino discounts in Italy—absorb the world around them and develop distinct passions and opinions. I’ll miss our life in exile. But I look forward to returning home so I can listen to what new stories our kids will tell from their time on the road.

David Leach is a professor in UVic’s Department of Writing. You can read about his family’s travels at

November 2019  23

NovemberFamilyCalendar For more information and calendar updates throughout the month visit

1 Friday

Fairy Gardens – Grandparent & Child V V

Fantastic Fridays

4:30 pm at St. Luke’s Hall Cedar Hill Cross Road at Cedar Hill Road Featuring Messy Church. A family-friendly time of fun, games, food, crafts, music, and stories. Dinner provided. Come when you can, come as you are. Free.

Everyone Welcome Swim & Skate

Annual Market Bazaar N 10am at St. Aidan’s United Church

1:30pm at Oceanside Place Arena & Ravensong Aquatic Centre Stay active on your day off from school. Swim: 1-2:30pm; skate: 1:30-3pm. Reduced rate admission.


Pro D Day Camp

10am at Gordon Head Middle School 1671 Kenmore Road Join us for a magical day! Spend quality time with your grandchild learning how to design and create an indoor fairy garden. All materials and supplies provided. Cost includes one fairy garden to bring home. $30.

8:30am at Qualicum Commons Experienced play leaders will provide a great day off school filled with creative art, active games and swimming. Pre-registration required. $39/person.


Richmond Rd at Cedar Hill X-Rd Jewellery, linen and lace, books, silent auction, baking, preserves, sewing, knitting, “nice and new,” toys, international treasures, Christmas store, plants, art, home decor, crafty things, vintage/retro and collectibles and green zone. Thrift shop open. Drop-in hot dog lunch $5 (10:30am2:30pm). Free admission.

JMG Garden Club


9:45am at the Gardens at HCP 505 Quayle Rd An open concept learning opportunity for children of all ages who enjoy gardening and exploring the out of doors. Each month we meet to assess Saturday our plot and participate in seasonable gardening Strawberry Vale Christmas Craft Fair V with lots of hands-on activities. $10/child. 10 am at Strawberry Vale & District Community Club 11 High St (Corner of High and Burnside rd West) Tis the season to check out what’s new and exciting from your favourite exhibitors. Come and visit the creators of gifts for you and others at the 35th V Victoria & Area D Duncan & Area annual Strawberry Vale Christmas Craft Show. $2. P Peninsula N Nanaimo & Area W Westshore C Courtenay/Comox



3 Sunday V

Marvelous Mushrooms

1pm at Francis/King Regional Park Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to discover more about fungi in the forest. For the novice mushroom explorer. There is no fee for this program, but you must pre-register by October 30 as space is limited. 5+ years. Free.

Babysitters Certification Program


9am at Qualicum Commons Become a Red Cross certified babysitter. Course introduces basic first aid, how to respond to emergency situations, explains baby and child care, offers advice on becoming a responsible babysitter, and tips for finding babysitting jobs. Includes manual and certificate. Pre-registration required. $49/person.

5 Tuesday Early Years Healthy Start Fair N 10am at Boys & Girls Club 1400 Cranberry Ave Family resources & services, stories and activities, Triple P Positive Parenting Program, vision screening, early learning and development supports, pregnancy supports, healthy eating, snacks, games, activities, giveaways and more. Free.


Glow in the Dark Skate 6:30pm at Frank Crane Arena Skate in an atmosphere of dimmed lighting and special effects. Regular admission. recreation.

For only $15, you receive 5 drop-in admissions to use in the pool, weight room or skating rink. And, if you redeem your pass by January 31st you’ll to receive $15 off your next West Shore Parks & Recreation pass!

Max 2 voucher purchases per person

250-478-8384 24  Island Parent Magazine


Dad’s Night Out Skate


6:45pm at Oceanside Place Arena Dads, bring the kids and enjoy a skate together on the pond. Sponsored by Building Learning Together. Free.

Hoo Hoo’s Hooting?

6 Wednesday Cooking for Fun: Thai-tastic


6pm at Gordon Head Middle School 1671 Kenmore Road Tap into your inner chef with an evening of handson culinary creation. Introduces basic cooking skills and nutrition tips while learning exciting dishes that can easily be recreated at home. All ingredients and supplies provided. $20.

Childhood Stress & Anxiety: Building Resilience Workshop


6pm at Arbutus Global Middle School Presentation by Julie-Anne Richards, Clinical Counsellor, for parents, caregivers and educators supporting young children experiencing stress and anxiety. Register at Free.

7 Thursday Emergency Preparedness Workshop V 1pm at Silver Threads Senior Centre 2340 Richmond Rd Are you and your family prepared for an emergency such as a power outage, winter storm, earthquake or tsunami? Learn about the hazards that can affect Victoria, what to include in your emergency kits, what you can do to protect your home from an earthquake, and how to reunite with your loved ones after a disaster. Free. 250-920-3373 |

Childhood Stress & Anxiety: Building Resilience Workshop

9 Saturday

11 Monday V Everyone Welcome Skate

10am at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to learn about what makes these night hunters so amazing. Bring your little ones for a walk in the forest and a story all about these birds. No fee, but you must preregister by Nov 5 as space is limited. 5 years and under. BC Transit #70, #42 or #75. Free.

Indoor Fairy Gardens


1pm at the Gardens at HCP 505 Quayle Rd, Victoria, BC V9E 2J7 These sweet little gardens include a miniature plant to keep warm indoors. Learn to create a fun garden, safe for a wee tropical plant and the perfect place for fairies to visit! We will include a tiny area for sitting, signs, and more! $15/Child.

Splish Splash Swim

16 Saturday N

Wiggling Worms

10am at Bowen Park Lower Picnic Shelter Are worms really slimy? Have you ever wondered what a worm eats or which end is their head? Learn through games, crafts and stories. 3-6 year olds. Parent participation required. $8/person.

Star Wars Dive-in Movie


3pm at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre Feel the force while you watch a Star Wars movie in the warm waters of NAC. Regular admission. N

10am at Ravensong Aquatic Centre A water adventure you don’t want to miss. Lifeguards will bring out the pool toys for you to enjoy. From the rope swing to the snake, there will be water play for everyone. Regular admission.

10 Sunday


2:20pm at Panorama Recreation Bring your family and friends for a skate. Helmets available free of charge.

Starlight Skate


7pm at Nanaimo Ice Centre Enjoy soft light “stars” and passive LED glow lights. Great for families after dinner. Regular admission.

Family Fun Walk


1pm at East Sooke Regional Park Salmon Sensation W Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist for fun kidfriendly activities on a lovely walk in the park with 11am at Charters Interpretive Centre your family. Bring a snack and water, and wear Salmon have returned to the rivers. Drop in anysturdy footwear. Meet at the kiosk in Aylard Farm time for fishy-fun activities, a craft, and guided parking lot off Beecher Bay Rd. All ages. Free. walks with CRD Regional Parks naturalists along Charters River. Meet at Charters Interpretive Cen- tre off Sooke River Rd. All ages. Free.


6pm at Hillcrest Elementary School Presentation by Julie-Anne Richards, Clinical Counsellor, for parents, caregivers and educators supporting young children experiencing stress and anxiety. Register at Free.

Canvas Art for Kids


4pm at Oceanside Art Studio Jenny Hughes will guide you through how to paint a Fun in the Jungle acrylic painting. No experience necessary. All supplies provided. 7-11 years. $25/person.

November 2019  25

Matinees for KIDS! NOV 2 & 3 – 12:45 PM


Saturdays & Sundays All Seats $4.75

NOV 9 & 10  12:45 PM


17 SunDAy V

Who’s Hooting?

10am at Mill Hill Regional Park The owls are hooting! Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to learn about these excellent night hunters. Meet at information kiosk in parking lot off Atkins Ave. 5+ years. BC Transit #53. Free.

Family Drumming Discovery

NOV 16 & 17  1:00 PM


NOV 30 & DEC 1  12:45 PM


.com Student Union Building, UVIC | 250-721-8365


11am at Gordon Head Recreation Centre 4100 Lambrick Way Explore rhythm and drumming together! Interactive session combines listening, hands-on bucket drumming and a relay course incorporating varied instruments. Children and parents/caregivers must each preregister. $10.


Family Sunday

2pm at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria An afternoon exploring hands-on art-making and ideas for all ages.

18 MonDAy V

Stories at Fern

7:15pm at Quaker Meeting House 1831 Fern St Come lend your ear for tales told in the oral tradition by members of Victoria Storytellers Guild. Refreshments served. $5/person.

21 thuRSDAy Prehistoric Pals @ Kindergym


11:30am at Greenglade Community Centre Prehistoric crafting along with free-play fun. A limited number of admissions may be reserved in advance online. Regular drop-in admission.

22 FRIDAy Jan Thomas’s Silly Stories


10:30am at Nellie McClung Branch Library If your little one loves giggling along to silly stories, come for a Jan Thomas storytime and craft. Ages 3-5. Registered. Free.

Marshmallow STEM Challenge


2pm at Nellie McClung Branch Library How many marshmallows can you stack? Explore how gravity impacts balance by building a marshmallow wobble device. Ages 6-9. Presented by Science Venture. Registered. Free. 26

Island Parent Magazine



Stories in the Garden

V Habitat for Humanity Victoria Gingerbread Showcase

Mondays 10am at the Gardens at HCP 505 Quayle Rd Seasonal and entertaining stories and garden wanders for preschoolers. Each week a new theme and story is planned around a garden adventure to explore and discover the many wonders in our gardens. $5/participating child.

Kindergym Drop-In

Good Morning Storytime

9am at The Parkside Hotel & Spa The Parkside Hotel & Spa, 810 Humboldt St The ultimate holiday treat. View the sensational edible creations and donate to vote for your favourite. November 16–January 5, 2020. Free.

Tiny Tykes Drop in Playgroup V 9:30am at Oaklands Community Centre

Tuesdays 9:30am at Gordon Head Recreation Centre 4100 Lambrick Way A movement program designed for children and their caregiver to play together. Balls, hoops, ride-on toys, climbers and mats allow children to creatively explore. Staff will lead songs and circle time. Get active together for life. $3.25/child.


Tuesdays 10:30am at Sidney All Care 2269 Mills Rd Bring your littlest ones for stories, songs, rhymes and movement. Ages 0-5. Everyone welcome.



Parent & Baby Group


Tuesdays 9:30am at Oaklands Chapel For parents and babies up to 9 months old. Topics include nutrition, health, baby growth and development, family health and wellness and the joys and challenges of parenthood. Childcare provided for older children. Registered. Free.

Kindergym Drop-In


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Meet your neighbours and enjoy the informal family play space. Activity tables, circle time with instruments, and large toy collection. Coffee, tea and snack provided. No playgroup on holidays. For 0-5 years. $3/suggested donation.

10am at Gordon Head Recreation Centre 4100 Lambrick Way Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. A movement program designed for children and their caregiver to play together. Balls, hoops, ride-on toys, climbers and mats allow children to creatively explore. Songs and circle time. Get active together for life. $3/child.

Parent & Child Drop-in Art

LaFF Mornings


9:30am Tuesdays at Oaklands Community Centre An introduction to art techniques, tools and materials. Enjoy a sensory exploration into the world of art. Supplies included. Please dress in clothes you can get messy in. For 2-5 year olds. $10/family.


Mondays 9:30am–noon at Aggie Hall, Ladysmith Play-based learning stations to explore and enjoy, including a reading centre, craft area, Brio train table, snack table and more. Meet other parents, health and social service providers. 250-210-0870

WINTER HOLIDAY PROGRAMS December 16 to January 3, 2020 A wide range of full and half-day programs for all kids in Victoria ages 5-15, including:

Passion Sports Elite Winter Camp

Four days of intensive basketball competition and skill development

SISA Indoor Winter Soccer Camp Fine-tune your soccer skills for the New Year

Wild and Wacky Winter Adventures

Join us for some crazy adventures with Minions, pirates and bunnies

Nature at New Year’s Indoor and outdoor adventures to help ring in the new decade

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

November 2019


Harry Potter 3D Printed Glasses


2pm at Juan de Fuca Branch Library Learn to use the 3Doodler Start pen and create your own Harry Potter glasses. Ages 10-12. Presented by Engineering for Kids. Registered. Free.


Detective Science

2pm at Central Branch Library Discover how science is used to solve real crimes. Watch how a room is transformed into a crime lab for exploring fundamental forensics and take home your own Child Identification Kit. Ages 6-10. Presented by Mad Science. Registered. Free.


Children V

Museum Tots

Saturdays 11am at Maritime Museum 634 Humboldt St, Victoria A weekly program introducing children 2-5 to the fun world of museum learning. New theme each week, allowing children to learn through crafts, play, games, song, and dance.

2pm at Esquimalt Branch Library This spellbinding show introduces the principles of air and pressure. Understand how pressure affects the world around you as a pop bottle is crushed before your very eyes and a hot air balloon is made from a dry-cleaning bag. Ages 5-12. Presented by Mad Science. Registered. Free.

12:15pm Sundays at Oceanside Place Arena Pond hockey not available. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free admission and skate rentals.

Lego. Ages 4-6; parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend. Registered. Free.

V Pro-D Day Camp

Up, Up and Away Show

Skate: 1-2:20pm; swim: 1:30-3:30pm. $2/person.


9am at the Gardens at HCP 505 Quayle Rd Do you know a child who enjoys gardening? Our gardens are perfect for learning about growing plants, food and building natural support systems. Have them spend their next Pro-D Day with us! $38/child.

V Pro D Day Swim & Skate

Little Lego at the Library 3:30pm at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library Listen to stories and have fun with the library’s


1pm at Panorama Recreation Bring your family and friends for a swim or skate.


PRESENT Winner of 50 international awards including 4 Tony Awards ® and a record-breaking 7 Olivier Awards ® including Best Musical

STARRING Samantha Madill as MATILDA Matt Paxman as MISS TRUNCHBULL Jessica Paxman as MISS HONEY Jim Goodman as MR. WORMWOOD

NOVEMBER 14TH - 23RD, 2019 7:00 & 2:00 PM SHOWS

The Ridge Playhouse

(Claremont Secondary) 4980 Wesley Road Victoria BC

Jennifer Wilde as MRS. WORMWOOD

Oliver Paxman as MICHAEL WORMWOOD Tenyjah McKenna as MRS. PHELPS Kate Niedjalski as LAVENDER Hayden Paxman as BRUCE

Produced By: TONY JAMES Stage Direction by: SARAH & BRET NEWTON Musical Direction by: KATHY MIDDLETON Lead Choreography by: MARY ALICE JENKINS

28  Island Parent Magazine

Tickets: $12.00 - $25.00 + s/c Group Rates Available ROYAL & MCPHERSON BOX OFFICE #3 Centennial Square Online: Tel: 250.386.6121

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Parksville Lion’s & Save-On-Foods N Family Skate

23 Saturday V

Little Elves Shoppe at the Christmas Bazaar

10am at St. Luke’s Hall Cedar Hill Cross Road at Cedar Hill Road, An opportunity for children to shop for members of their families. They can shop, wrap and tag their gifts, all in one stop for just $1 per item. Free Admission; Little Elves Shoppe $1 per item.


Going Squirrelly 1pm at Francis/King Regional Park What does it take to survive as a squirrel? With a CRD Regional Parks naturalist, discover what keeps these furry creatures busy at this time of year. Meet at the Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd. All ages. Free.

Musical Open House


9am at Christ Church Cathedral 930 Burdett Ave Hear bellringers, choirs and musicians give short concerts in this inspiring music-filled day in honour of St. Cecelia, patron saint of music. Kid’s organ-building workshops that integrate science, engineering and music as kids build a wooden tabletop organ. Small group sessions, so sign up in advance.

Red Cross AED/CPR C


9am at Qualicum Commons Save a life when only seconds count. Get trained. This course is required for lifeguards and health care professionals. Topics covered are CPR and blocked airways for adults, children and infants and an introduction to automated external defibrillators (AED). $75/person.

Red Cross Emergency First Aid with AED/CPR


9am at Qualicum Commons Be prepared and get trained in first aid skills. Training includes home hazards, accident prevention, safety education, CPR, first aid skills for common emergencies and automated external defibrillators (AED). Retraining is recommended every three years. $89/person.

Free Skate


Gymnastics P

1pm at Panorama Recreation Bring your family and friends. Sponsored by Peninsula Co-op. Skate rental included. Free.

Boys & girls, ages 2 through adult, beginner through advanced Morning, afternoon & evening classes seven days a week Start anyOptional time – continuous character enrollment


6pm at Greenglade Teen Lounge It’s music bingo night. For grades 6-9.

8:1 class ratio guaranteed Trial classes available Make-ups for missed classes

Optional character Optional character

Optional character

Music Bingo

Monthly payments with no further obligation—cancel any time

Downtown Victoria

2051 Store St Optional character


Optional character

Two Great Locations

Celebrating 39 Years of Excellence!

New In Westshore

520 Mt View Ave


23 Saturday & 24 Sunday Red Cross Standard First Aid with AED/CPR


9am at Qualicum Commons Be prepared; get trained with a two-day course in first aid and cardiopulmonary (CPR C) skills. Training includes home hazards, accident prevention, safety education, CPR level C, first aid skills for common emergencies and automated external defibrillators (AED). Retraining is recommended every three years. $163/person.

24 Sunday Bats: Facts or Fiction


Noon at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary 3873 Swan Lake Rd Fearsome flyers or pest control experts? Come for some hands-on discovery, games and crafts featuring the only true flying mammal on earth. All ages welcome. $5/person suggested donation.

26 Tuesday TO Dec 4 Wednesday Annual Nativity Exhibit “Come Let Us Adore Him”


2pm at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints 2210 Eastleigh Way Hundreds of nativity exhibits on display. Nativities from around the world, some by local artists. New ones added each year. Free crafts for children. Free.

November 2019  29

27 Wednesday O Christmas Tea: A British Comedy

28 Thursday C Youth Life Skills Cooking: Chili & Cornbread

7:30pm at Sid Williams Theatre 442 Cliffe Ave When catastrophe strikes at James and Jamesy’s Christmas tea party, flooding the world with tea, the friends leap into acting, finding innovative and hilarious solutions to keep them afloat.

29 Friday V Coast Capital Free Swim

6pm at Gordon Head Recreation Centre 4100 Lambrick Way Learn safe knife skills and meal planning and gain hands-on experience cooking with fresh, local ingredients creating mealtime favourites. $10.

Add your upcoming family events at


7pm at Beban Pool Admission to pool; weight room not included. Free.

30 Saturday V

Connecting to Nature

1pm at Devonian Regional Park A guided walk from forest to wetland to beach. Meet at information kiosk in parking lot off William Head Rd. 5+ years. BC Transit #54 or #55. Free.


Family V


Tuesdays 6:30pm at Central Baptist Church 833 Pandora Ave. DivorceCare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. Free. Cost for workbook.


Vic West Toy Library

9:30am at HighPoint Community Church 949 Fullerton Ave Every other Saturday. Borrow toys, games and play materials on a regular basis. Current stock for ages 6 mos-12 years. 250-383-6290 |

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Circles A safe, supportive place to meet others in a similar situation and to share information and resources. 250-384-8042 |

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, they believe that every parent is the expert of her/ his own family. 250-384-8042 |

Family Frolics


Tuesdays 5:45pm at Frank Jameson Community Centre 810 6th Ave, Ladysmith Drop in after work to burn off some energy and get ready for bed. Play with balls and tunnels, run around and meet a new friend. 0-6 years. 250-210-0870

30  Island Parent Magazine


Craft Markets Esquimalt

Saturday, Dec. 7 10 am – 4:30 pm @ the James Bay Community Centre 140 Oswego St

Holiday Gifts Galore Traditional Arts & Crafts Sale St. Joseph’s School Gym, 757 Burnside Road West. Sat, November 9, 9am to 4:30pm and Sun, November 10, 1pm to 4:30pm. Free entry, live music, door prize. Quilting, baking, mosaics, woodwork, gifts for all.

Our 39th Juried Show

Featuring: All locally made one of a kind crafts, Artisan Foods, a Children’s Area, Café, Door Prizes, ATM.

Admission is $2. Children under 12 Free



the owl designer fair N O V E M B E R

2 2

6 - 1 0


2 3

1 0 - 5


little owl kids fair fernwood NRG


SA TUR DA Y NOV EMBER 16, 2019 | 10A M - 3 P M

2 4

1 0 - 4

1 2 4 0 G L A D S TO N E AV E




November 20 & December 4 5:30–8:30pm

40 + +


Rain, Sun or Snow! Langford Legion

761 Station Avenue, Langford, BC Nov 20: Free Admission Dec 4: Food bank and monetary donations


Gingerbread Playhouse! Live Animal Display! Sidney


Christmas Vintage, Retro & Collectible Craft Fair

Christmas in the Manger Annual Christmas Craft Fair

Saturday, November 23 Sunday, November 24

Sunday, November 18

10 am – 4 pm | Admission $2 a day

at Mary Winspear Centre, Beacon Ave, Sidney

Saanich Fairground

Contact or 250-220-1645

(children 12 & under free)

$5 at 9:30am (show closes at 4pm) Earlybirds $20 at 8:30am


The Nerdy Days of Christmas Cra Fair

November 30 & December 1

11am - 4pm - Market Square - 560 Johnson Street Local Nerdy Crafters and Artists Entry by donation ~ 100% Door Proceeds benefit Victoria Hospitals Foundation


Christmas at the Lodge

& Holiday Market November 30th & December 1st 10am - 4pm | Filberg Park

November 2019  31

W h at’ sfo r D inn e r

Sheet Pan Dinners


heet pan dinners are quick and easy meals that involve combining vegetables and protein on a cookie sheet and roasting them all at the same time.They are perfect for cold winter nights, when it’s nice to have the oven on to warm up the house. Best of all sheet pan dinners are so adaptable that they can be made to work with whatever you have in your fridge. Here’s everything you need to know to design your own sheet pan dinners.

A Quick Week Night Meal

Sheet pan dinners are perfect for busy week nights when you don’t really feel like cooking. Most of the ingredients can be either chopped up and prepared in advance, or quickly chopped up in just a few minutes. Here’s how to turn a sheet pan dinner into a quick weeknight meal: 1. Wash and chop the vegetables in advance. Most vegetables, including onions, carrots, squash and greens can be chopped up and left in a container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The only exception is potatoes. Potatoes can be pre-chopped, but they will

need to be stored in water in the fridge to prevent browning. 2. Sheet pan dinners take about 40 minutes to cook, so to save time, you might want to preset your oven to turn on and preheat to 400˚F before you leave the house. That way all you will need to do when you get home is put everything on a baking sheet and pop it in the oven. Most ovens with a digital clock have a preset feature, but if you’ve never set your oven to automatically turn on, then check the manual for instructions. 3. Make the spice or herb mixes ahead of time, then you will have everything ready to go.

4. Sheet pan dinners are very adaptable. Make a large amount or just a small serving. The trick is to only salt lightly before cooking, then add more salt after cooking.

The Four Parts of A Sheet Pan Dinner

Sheet pan dinners are made up of a few basic parts: protein, vegetables, carbohydrates, and seasoning/sauces. Protein. For a straight-forward sheet pan dinner, use a protein option that can withstand being cooked for a long time without needing too much attention. Some possibilities: • Chickpeas or butter beans drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with seasonings • Sausages chopped into bite-sized pieces • Marinated chicken thighs and legs Vegetables. All vegetables are delicious when roasted in the oven. The only trick is to add soft, quick cooking vegetables towards the end of baking. Firm vegetables that can be cooked for 30–40 minutes include: • Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips or beets • Winter squash (peeled and cubed or sliced) • Eggplant Vegetables that are best cooked for 15–20 minutes include: • Broccoli • Cabbage • Cauliflower • Cherry tomatoes • Green beans • Sliced onions • Coloured peppers

32  Island Parent Magazine

Greens will only need about 5–10 minutes in a hot oven: • Kale • Spinach • Chard Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are always popular with kids. They don’t necessarily have to be added to the sheet pan. Depending on the type of meal, serve sheet pan dinners with cooked rice, bread or tortillas. Carbs that can be added to the sheet pan include: • Potatoes • Sweet potatoes • Shelf stable gnocchi Seasonings and Sauces. Flavours are what make sheet pan meals amazing. The vegetables and carbs can be tossed in seasonings or cooked with herbs. Sauces and dressings can be drizzled on top. Here are a few flavour options: • Fresh diced garlic tossed with salt, pepper and olive oil is simple and delicious

• Spice mixes like Cajun spice or taco seasoning. • Fresh rosemary, thyme or oregano, either as whole sprigs or finely chopped • Cooked vegetables drizzled with your favourite salad dressing • Grated Parmesan or feta cheese • Ketchup or mayonnaise for dipping

How to prepare a sheet pan meal:

1. Have all the vegetables washed and chopped up in advance. 2. Toss all firm vegetables and protein (meat or beans) in oil. Then toss with any herbs or seasonings. 3. Spread everything out in a single layer on a baking sheet (or several baking sheets.) Keep the softer vegetables aside, to be added towards the end of cooking. 4. Bake at 400˚F for 40-50 minutes. Stir at least once during the cooking time. Add softer vegetables 20 minutes before the end of cooking, and greens 5 minutes before the end of cooking. 5. Dinner is ready when everything (particularly the meat) is well cooked.

6. Taste before serving, then add salt as needed.

Sheet pan meals to inspire you:

1. Make a taco filling by roasting chicken (or tofu) with onions and peppers tossed in sunflower seed oil and taco seasonings. Serve in corn tortillas with grated cheese, salsa and sour cream. 2. Try a Cajun veggie dinner. Roast chickpeas, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower tossed in Cajun seasoning. Serve with a creamy ranch salad dressing. 3. A simple oven roasted pasta dinner can be made with Italian sausage, gnocchi and kale, tossed with garlic and olive oil. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. 4. Kids love crispy potato wedges. Try roasting potatoes with butter beans, carrots and squash. Season with diced garlic and rosemary, then served with crumbled feta. Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog

Join us on November 14 to experience the joy of learning and culture of excellence at our Junior School (Kindergarten to Grade 5). Learn why so many parents are choosing SMUS for their child’s education. We advise an early application to Kindergarten. Visit our website or email to find out how to apply online.

Junior School Information Evening

Register at:

for Prospective Parents NOVEMBER 14, 2019 | 6:30 PM JUNIOR SCHOOL | 820 VICTORIA AVENUE

November 2019  33

K I dS ’ R e a DS

Books to Inspire the Inner Activist


s I write this, hundreds of thousands of children, teenagers, and adults are marching through various cities across the country. Many are inspired by teen activist Greta Thunberg. Together they are saying enough is enough, we need to start putting the environment ahead of our pocketbooks, and our politicians and leaders need to make a stand. A few days after the march, another teen activist, Autumn Peltier, will stand before the United Nations. She will speak at their Global Landscapes Forum about the importance of water. Both young women are encouraging others to follow their lead, speak up about the injustices that surround us, and do something to make them right. This month’s books look the inspiration needed to make things right, and then give some ideas—some easy, some hard—on how our own children can change the world around them.

The first book is Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel and illustrated by Shane W. Evans (Dial, 2019). This story follows Viv through her life and highlights all of the times that she raises her hands: grabbing juice off of the high table, getting dressed, and dancing. While the start of the book focuses on moments that build connection with friends, family, and fun times, the book ends on a more serious note when Viv throws her hands up to raise a sign at a protest to remind us to “Lift Every Voice,” “Love Your Neighbour,” and that “Black Lives Matter.” For ages 4 to 7. 34

Island Parent Magazine

Fox decides that he is going to set out in the morning to find this flower and add it to his collection. But along the way he learns that there are more ways to enjoy the beauty of nature than just having them growing in pots all around him. For ages 4 to 7.

Attending protests is not for everyone, and that is fine. There are still other ways to help support causes you and your children believe in. For starters, you can take time to learn about different issues, and one book that can help with that is Don’t Let Them Disappear: 12 Endangered Species Across the Globe by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Gianna Marino (Philomel, 2019). This book is filled with facts about different endangered species, such as pandas, giraffes and sea otters. It explains what the different terms like “nearly vulnerable,” “endangered,” and “extinct in the wild” mean. With your new-found knowledge, you can start conversations with your family, friends, and neighbours about conservation. For ages 5 to 8. Fox finds a way to protect the world around him in The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw (Tundra, 2018). Fox is a botanist and he loves to spend his evenings leafing through his botany books to discover new flowers to add to his collection. One evening, when he is perusing the books, he discovers a page without a picture. The flower in question is called “The Golden Glow.”

If your child wants to delve into a more public manner of activism, then like Mya in Mya’s Strategy to Save the World by Tanya Lloyd Kyi (Puffin, 2019) they will need a multi-pronged strategy. Twelve-year-old Mya wants to work at the UN when she grows up. As the president and founder of the Kids for Social Justice club at her school, she is doing everything she can to make her dream come true. But she knows things would be so much easier if only she had a cell phone. For ages 8 to 12.

Maybe your child is interested in becoming a Member of Parliament or a Member of the Legislative Assembly so they can propose and vote for the changes themselves. If that’s the case they may enjoy Lambslide by Ann Patchett and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (Harper, 2019). In this beautifully illustrated tale, a few lambs think they hear the farmers tell their daughter they’re getting a lambslide when they say she’ll win the student election by a landslide.

and an elephant are trying to get your vote, and they resort to all of the usual tactics—including mud-slinging. Although, for them the mud-slinging is a bit more literal than what our politicians usually get up to. But the book doesn’t stop there. It also explains that there is a better way that doesn’t involve hurting the other candidates, which is a good lesson for anyone to learn. For ages 4 to 7.

A lambslide sounds like a great idea to these three lambs, so they set out to figure out exactly where this slide should go. But first, they need to figure out if the other animals even want a lambslide, what concerns the other animals have about the accessibility and location of the lambslide, and how to create a lambslide that will appease everyone’s needs. For ages 4 to 7. Another great book for a budding politician is Vote for Me! by Ben Clanton (Tundra, 2012). In this story a donkey

Nothing will ever happen if we don’t believe change is possible. Believe by Robert Sabuda (Candlewick, 2019) is a gorgeous pop-up book filled with images and written reminders about what can happen if we let ourselves dream. For ages 2 to 5 with help, and up to age 8. Christina Van Starkenburg lives in Victoria with her husband, their two little boys and their cat Phillip. Her first children’s book One Tiny Turtle: A Story You Can Colour was published recently and quickly rose to its spot as a #1 new release on Amazon.

We’re Passionate About Inspiring Children to Read • The perfect gift for children 0–12 • Monthly Book Boxes featuring the best books being published today in Canada, Great Britain, Australia and the US • Includes a personal note to the child receiving the box • Free delivery in Victoria • Curated by a local children’s book expert with 20 years experience “Quality, age-appropriate children's books picked monthly by a respected expert in the field and delivered with a personal note from Grandma! It's a win for my grandchildren, for their super-busy working mom and for me!”

Your 1st Month Free* Use Code 1MTHFREE

*based on a 12 month Subscription

November 2019


FamilyServicesDirectory The Family Services Directory features not for profit agencies and organizations serving children, youth and families 1Up, Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre ( provides support, education and resources for parents in the Greater Victoria area through free counselling, volunteer training, a mentoring program for single moms, and a support group for dads, as well as a variety of integrated life skills and parenting courses which are open to the whole community, with fees on a sliding scale. For single parent members, the Centre provides free toys and books, a clothing room and bread pantry. Donations of gently-used clothing, small household items, and toys are welcome. Hours: Mon., Tue., Thu., Fri.: 9–4, & Wednesdays: 12–7. Location: 602 Gorge Road East. Phone: 250-385-1114.

Home Support, please call 250-658-6407. For other programs: 250-656-0134.

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

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

Beacon Community Services Employment Programs. Beacon Community Services offers a full menu of employment services on the Saanich Peninsula and Gulf Islands. We’ve been helping people find work since 1982! Our programs build on a person’s strengths and resolve barriers to finding and keeping employment. We also work with our employer network to support job seekers. Need help finding a job? Need employees? Contact us for FREE assistance! 9860 Third St. Sidney. 250-656-0134.


Beacon Community Services Beacon Community Services is a communitybased, not-for-profit agency. We provide care and support to thousands of people on southern Vancouver Island and the outer Gulf Islands, through a wide range of programs and services including health, children and family, training and employment, adult recreation, housing, and volunteer services. We dedicate ourselves to: • Helping keep children, youth and families healthy, strong and connected • Sheltering seniors and people with disabilities in safe, affordable housing • Supporting seniors to stay social, active, healthy and energized • Equipping people to develop skills and find opportunities in the world of work • Supporting the bereaved and mentally ill • Connecting volunteers with our community • Caring for those in need • And more

36  Island Parent Magazine

Our charity is proud to have ‘grown up’ in the communities we serve. In 1974, a small group of volunteers formed the Citizens’ Advisory Committee to help address social issues in Saanich Peninsula communities. There were a few people, offering a few programs. Over the years, our not-for-profit group evolved, expanded, and changed its name a few times. Eventually, we became Beacon Community Services. Today, Beacon is one of BC’s largest social services organizations. Serving Southern Vancouver Island and the outer Gulf Islands, our family includes more than 1,000 employees and hundreds of volunteers. And we look forward to serving YOU!

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides year-round sports and recreation programs for children, youth, young adults, and families living with autism, while increasing awareness and providing training in communities across BC. Stay up-to-date on programs, registration dates and events in Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley, and Victoria by signing up for CAN’s Vancouver Island newsletter: newsletter. CAN also provides training and accessibility resources for many sectors, including sport, recreation, first responders, schools, and community spaces. Learn about customized training solutions: Dialogue and Resolution Services (DRS) helps people improve relationships through facilitating empathic communication in a safe, impartial and collaborative manner. We work with individuals, families, parents, co-workers, neighbours, community organizations, governments and those leaving incarceration. We continue to strive for equity and increased cultural competency, through life-long learning. DRS assists diverse clients to create lasting, effective solutions that support healthy connection and build community. For affordable, ethical, professional service, find us at 250-383-4412 or Family Services of Greater Victoria helps children, youth, and adults manage the challenges of separation, Family Services of Greater Victoria divorce, or transition to a new family structure. Our highly qualified staff, working with other community agencies, provide information and practical or emotional support so people facing these challenges can make the decisions that are best for everyone. FSGV believes all individuals can find ways to move forward in their lives when family relationships have changed or are changing. Call us at 250-386-4331 or visit We can help. 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, KidCareCanada supports new parents and professionals with trustworthy information, videos and resources that explain the importance of early nurturing and show how to support social and emotional development in infants and toddlers. Babies don’t come with a manual. That’s why KidCareCanada has produced a collection of carefully-crafted resources that takes the science of Early Childhood Development and brings it to new parents in a visual format that is easy-to-understand and quick to watch. Access all resource for free at

Vancouver Island’s Largest Independent Toy Store

LDABC The Learning Curve (previously The Learning Disabilities Assn.) supports, educates and advocates for children with learning and behavior challenges. Individual and group support, education and consultation is available for children, youth, parents, caregivers and professionals. Please visit our website ldasvi. or call us for more information 250-370-9513. Linday Trowell—Creating Calm Within the Chaos. 18+ years experience as a behaviour support professional for caregivers and parents of children and adults with special needs. I understand the struggle that families face just to get out the door in the morning. I am trained in working with individuals with FASD, attachment difficulties, anxiety, trauma, autism, and much more. Individual and family counselling. Relaxed, non-judgmental support tailored for your individual needs. I help strengthen families and empower individuals. #102-3212 Jacklin Rd (located in Stillpoint Acupuncture Clinic). 250-217-4536. Sooke Family Resource Society (SFRS) provides Family Resource Programs including: Prenatal Education and Outreach, Parent-Tot Drop-In Groups, Parent Discussion Groups, Family Support Groups and Outreach, a Toy and Book Lending Library and Kingfisher Preschool. Sooke-Westshore Child Care Resource and Referral services, as well as all-ages counselling services are also provided by SFRS. Services are provided from the Child, Youth and Family Centres in Sooke and Westshore. Call 250-642-5152 for more information or visit our website at Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living in Greater Victoria. Services are free and include oneon-one counselling, parent education workshops, youth life skills classes, a preschool program, art therapy, language classes and academic support, employment help, computer classes and fun community events like free yoga, tai chi, dance and cooking classes. Visit us online at or phone 250-361-9433.

Toys, games and puzzles for all ages

#102 – 2517 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo 888.390.1775

COMPREHENSIVE FAMILY DENTISTRY family centered practice extended hours evenings and weekends the latest equipment and caring staff request an appointment online 119–1591 McKenzie Ave, Victoria

250 477 7321

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

November 2019


H a ppyFamilies H e a lth yFamilies

Healthy Families, Happy Families

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

250-519-5311 250-539-3099

COHI: The Children’s Oral Health Initiative


he Children’s Oral Health Initiative (COHI) is an oral health program for children aged 0-7, their parents and caregivers and pregnant women. The program is provided in 76 First Nations communities across British Columbia. COHI supports and encourages families in making oral health and oral care a regular part of family life, and in making healthy choices when caring for their young children.

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

Peninsula 250-544-2400 Saanich 250-519-5100 Saltspring Island 250-538-4880 Sooke 250-519-3487 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 250-739-5845

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 health-unit-locations 38  Island Parent Magazine

Island Health Community Dental Hygienists work in partnership with the First Nations Health Authority to deliver COHI in 12 communities on Vancouver Island: Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum, Pauquachin, Malahat, Halalt, Campbell River, Homolco, Quatsino, Cape Mudge, and Kwakiutl, Gwa’sala’Nakwaxda’xw. The COHI program is also available in Cowichan, Dididaht, Hupacasath, Kyuquot, Ucluelet, Mowachaht/Muchalaht, Penelakut and Dzawada’enuxw. A community member is hired by the community to be the COHI Aide who supports the dental professional and provides some COHI services independently. COHI Aides are an essential link between the dental professional and the community; they play a vital role in the success of the program by helping to ensure that cultural and local factors are considered in the delivery of COHI education, prevention and treatment services. COHI services include annual dental screenings and fluoride varnish applications, as well as sealants and temporary fillings provided by a dental therapist. COHI focuses on disease prevention and health promotion activities including information sessions and presentations to groups such as Aboriginal Head Starts,

baby groups, daycares and preschools. COHI also offers information at community events such as health and career fairs and Elder lunches. Starting good oral health habits early is important because baby teeth play a big role in helping children learn how to eat, speak and to grow. Cavities in children can lead to serious infections, chewing problems, poor nutrition, oral surgery and decreased self-esteem. It can also lead to misalignment and crowding of permanent teeth. Pain

related to cavities can affect children’s ability to sleep, as well as their ability to concentrate and learn. COHI aims to educate families on the importance of oral health and to provide skill building and support to help establish healthy dental habits at home to help prevent these dental complications. An easy way to start taking care of young teeth is to brush two times a day with fluoride toothpaste as soon as baby teeth come in, offering whole fruits and veggies to eat instead of juices, and making water the drink of choice more often than other beverages. Regular dental visits will also help monitor children’s teeth as they grow. The Canadian Dental Association recommends that a first dental visit should be around six months after a baby’s first tooth comes in, or around a baby’s 1st birthday. Making the first dental visit a positive experience is important, so starting dental visits early before any problems develop can be helpful. If your family dentist does not see kids at one year of age, ask them to recommend you to a dentist who is willing to see young children.

Dental Tips • Water sources on Vancouver Island do not have fluoride so it is important to use fluoride toothpaste as soon as baby teeth come in. Baby teeth are soft when they first come in and need fluoride to get stronger to protect themselves from cavities. • Brush teeth 2x/day with a grain-ofrice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste as soon as teeth appear. As kids get more teeth, it is safe to use up to a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste 2x/day.

• Cavities are contagious. Babies are not born with the germs in their mouth to get cavities. Siblings and caregivers with cavities can pass these germs along to healthy babies so it is important for the whole family to take care of their oral health by brushing 2x/day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing and seeing the dentist for regular check ups. • Bedtime bottles can cause cavities. Enjoy a cuddle while feeding baby their last bottle before bed, then brush their teeth before sleep-time. If baby is nursing throughout the night or falls

Island Health Child, Youth and Family Community Health Dental Programs Esquimalt: 250-519-5311 Peninsula: 250-544-2400 Saanich: 250-519-5100 West Shore: 250-519-3490 Duncan: 250-709-3050

Nanaimo: 250-739-5845 Port Alberni: 250-731-1315 Courtenay: 250-331-8520 Campbell River: 250-850-2110 Port Hardy: 250-902-6071

asleep with a bottle, milk or formula can pool around the teeth putting them at high risk for cavities. Oral health is essential to overall health and wellness. Starting oral care early helps set up little ones to grow up happy and healthy. Contact your community health centre or band office to find out how to get connected with the COHI program in your community. For other dental questions and support for children under 3 years old, contact your local health unit and ask to speak to a community dental hygienist.

Pamela Poon, RDH, BDSc., is an Island Health Community Dental Hygienist based out of Victoria, BC and a COHI Dental Hygienist in Pauquachin First Nation.

C hild Youth & Fa mily P u b l ic H ealt h

November 2019  39

Preschool&ChildcareDirectory Central Saanich

Music, Art and Nature. Stop by and experience what it is like to be part of a community devoted to the development of the whole child. Open House: Thursdays 9-11 am.

North SAANICH • one of the few parent participation preschools on the Peninsula • learning through play philosophy • a large, beautiful indoor and outdoor space • offering flexible 4 hour programs 1–4 days a week • a great community to join • visit us at


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.


Cordova Bay Preschool......................250-658-3441 A bright and cheerful parent participation preschool with a philosophy of learning through play. 4 yr olds - M/W/F 9:151:15; 3 yr olds - T/Th 9:15-12:15.

ESQUIMALT Ciara Early Childhood Centre............. 250-386-7369 Education and Fun Hand in Hand! Exceptional care for ages 1-5yrs. Inclusive nature inspired kindergarten readiness program with Christian values. CiaraEarlyChildhoodCentre.

METCHOSIN Metchosin Cooperative Preschool............................ Play Explore Learn and Grow in beautiful rural Metchosin. Morning programs available for 3 and 4 year olds. Contact our ECEs at West-Mont Montessori School........... 250-474-2626 Exceptional preschool Montessori instruction in a beautiful natural environment. Ages 30 months and up. Providing a balanced approach to incorporating French,

Island Montessori House................250-592-4411 Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool and Before/After School Care programs. Lovely rural setting with a focus on nature and outdoor environmental activities.

Oak Bay Preschool.............................250-592-1922 Oak Bay Preschool is a co-op preschool, using a play-based curriculum with qualified ECE and ECEA. We use a balance of indoor and outdoor classrooms to enrich your child’s preschool experience. Learn more at

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.

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

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


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. Wait list being taken. La Pré-Maternelle Appletree Preschool.............................250-479-0292 A French Immersion Preschool Program. 30 months to school age. Licensed Christian centre.

• Licensed 3 hr and 4 hr programs, flexible part-time classes • Qualified ECEs offer play-based programs that stimulate curiosity and imagination and support optimum growth and development. Supported spaces available. • Indoor and outdoor programming, community visitors and special activities provide opportunities for learning through play and exploration. 250-360-1148

Pre-School Junior Kindergarten 250-479-4532

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

250-477-3731 Camosun College Child Care Services.. 250-370-4880 Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning experiences in a learn through play environment. Carrot Seed Preschool........................250-658-2331 Where children can discover, imagine, construct and learn through play. Wondrous natural playground.

Educational Excellence to the Glory of God Ready Set Grow Preschool..................250-472-1530 Inside Hillcrest Elm. in Gordon Head, we help children transition to Kindergarten. Licensed Preschool with highly qualified, warm ECE. St. Joseph’s Early Learning Centre........ 250-479-1237 A Christian childcare centre offering daycare and preschool programs for 3-5 year olds. Children learn through play-based and emergent curriculum in a warm and nurturing environment. St. Margaret’s School Jr. Kindergarten... 250-479-7171 Apply now for our Early Learning (JK and Kindergarten) Programs. Early learning at SMS is a curriculum-based program for 3 and 4 year olds.

Looking for child care? Need help with the Affordable Child Care Benefit? Taking care of children? Need child care training?

Child Care

Resource & Referral Funded by the Province of BC

Your community’s best source of child care information and resources.

40  Island Parent Magazine

Call your local Child Care Resource & Referral for free referrals and resources. Victoria & Gulf Islands: 250-382-7000 or 1-800-750-1868 Sooke: 250-642-5152  West Shore: 250-940-4882 Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231 PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273

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.

Wiseways Child Care Centre.......... 250-477-1312 Established, quality, licensed, Christian centre for 3-5 year olds. Experienced ECEs, cheerful spacious facilities, large playground. Subsidized fees welcome. Call for a tour.

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

VICtoRIA ❖ Comprehensive programs for Preschool through Grade 9 ❖ Delivering academic excellence through music, dance, drama and visual arts ❖ Outstanding educators, locations and facilities

Queen of Angels Early Learning Centre 250-701-0433 Our Centre is a lively, happy place for 3-5 year olds where children are encouraged to be confident, independent learners in a nurturing and safe environment. Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool ....... 250-743-7253 In a warm environment, this nature and play-based program enlivens and nurtures the growing child.



St. Joseph’s Preschool ....................... 250-246-3191 Island Kids Academy View Royal ...... 250-727-2929 An enriching preschool program allowing children to High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum. grow as individuals in a safe and nurturing Christian Includes music Classes and Character Development using environment. the Virtues Project. Wait list being taken. 250.382.3533 Castleview Child Care.......................250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, ECE staff . Since 1958. Morning or full-time care.

JLC Victoria Japanese Preschool The only Japanese Immersion Preschool on the Island opens at Craigflower Schoolhouse. Offering the best environment for preschoolers to learn Japanese language and culture as natural as possible.



Centennial Day Care ......................... 250-386-6832 Exceptional childcare and education 35+ years. Nature DunCAn inspired, play based program. NEW central, “green” building. Christ Church Cathedral Childcare .....250-383-5132 ECE and specialist teachers provide an outstanding all day licensed program for 2.5–5 year olds at our Fairfi eld and NEW Gordon Head (Fall 2019) locations. Nightingale Preschool and Junior Kindergarten Ltd................250-595-7544 We offer education through creativity and play, providing rich learning experiences through a well sourced and stimulating indoor and outdoor environment. Early years reading programme. Arts/Drama programme.

The River Preschool

at St. Barnabas Church is accepting registrations for September 2019. We are a Waldorf inspired and faith based new preschool in Victoria.

Please visit our website at or email us at

You are welcome to visit us at The River Drop-in Playgroup on Wednesdays 10–11:30am at St. Barnabas Church Hall.

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

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

The first steps in your child’s education

quALICuM BEACh Call for more information today: 250.746.3654

Children’s Discovery Centre.............. 250-752-4343 A nurturing, safe and creative learning environment. Licensed preschool, group care and out of school care. Early Childhood Educators. childrensdiscovery

International Montessori Academy of Canada ........................................... 250-737-1119 Elementary K–12. Off ers an enriching environment for Little Star Children’s Centre .............. 250-752-4554 preschool children 2-4.9 years with potty training. Nurtur- Little Gems Infant and Toddler Care .. 250-228-5437 ing young minds, keeping the spirit free. Mother, Daughter owned and operated. Earth friendly preschool education inspired by nature. Infused with Parkside Academy ............................... 250-746-1711 fun and creative daily yoga practices! Licensed group Providing high quality early learning and care from care. Enthusiastic ECE instructors. infancy to 12 years of age, in a stimulating, respectful, nurturing, nature based environment with fully educated and passionate early childhood educators. Visit parkside- PoRt ALBERnI or find us on Facebook. John Paul II Catholic School .............. 250-723-0637 Queen Margaret’s School ....................250-746-4185 “Where children grow and learn through play.” We proEarly Childhood Education Program. Co-ed nurturing vide a program that will inspire development physically, curriculum to develop the whole child. Healthy snacks socially, emotionally, cognitively, creatively and spiritually. and lunch provided.

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

Award of Excellence in Child Care 250-590-3603

November 2019


N atu r e N otes

Screen Time in Green Time W hen I was 16 years old and earned my Novice (N) driver’s license, I got my first cell phone. With an N, you can drive by yourself and my parents wanted to make sure I had a way to contact them

42  Island Parent Magazine

if something happened or to let them know where I was (definitely never at a party!). It was a flip phone and I would take it out randomly to flip it open and then close it with a flourish. Nowadays, I have a smart phone,

which just doesn’t have that same flair. But I still have my phone with me whether driving or out walking at a regional park. As a Park Naturalist with the Capital Regional District, I hear people say they want to escape from technology when they go out for a walk. They want to be free from constantly checking their phones. I enjoy that freedom also but I believe there’s a place for technology in nature as well. Using the airplane mode setting means you won’t get that call from your partner about what to grab from the grocery store or from your teenager asking if they can borrow the car or from constant social media notifications. While airplane mode allows you to avoid interruptions, there are still plenty of ways you can use your phone without Wi-Fi or data to explore nature. There are numerous apps for identification of plants and animals. You can narrow down the species through size, colour, location, or date of sighting. There are apps for butterflies, trees, mushrooms, mammals, and birds. There are even apps for animal tracks and scat so if you don’t see the animal itself, you can still figure out what it might be. If you find a print without claw marks, for example, it might be a cougar since wolves and bears have claw marks in their tracks. There are countless apps for bird identification. Most include pictures of the male and female birds, their calls or songs, and maps of their breeding or migratory range. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Merlin Bird ID app is currently on my phone because it’s free, easy to use, and can focus on the birds in the northwest region of North America. It’s super handy to have on your phone while out on the beach or in the forest. If you’re out on the water or on a beach, there are even apps for cetaceans (whales, porpoises and dolphins) and sea turtles. There are 23 species

of cetaceans and four species of sea turtles in the waters off B.C.’s coast, 12 of which are under the Species at Risk Act. When you see a blow, or a fin, or a tail fluke, you can (try to) take a picture and record the observation in the app. When back in Wi-Fi or data mode, you can post pictures and ask experts for help in identification, such as with the iNaturalist app. Some apps report your sightings to the naturalist community and you can see where biodiversity hotspots may be, such as Island View Beach Regional Park. Others, such as the BC Cetacean Sightings Network’s Whale Report app, report the sightings to scientists and researchers, letting them know where and when these animals are travelling, enabling them to identify areas for further protection. Before you head out to explore a regional park, downloading a map is a smart idea. The CRD website has maps for all the regional parks and trails and identifies parking, shelters, washrooms, viewpoints, and accessible trails. These maps are also geo-referenced and show colour coded trails, trail distances and designated uses. They also offer optional content. This feature allows layers showing individual trails and trail designated uses to be turned on and off, and thereby enhance the map’s functionality. By downloading maps to your phone in advance, you will have easy access when you need it in the park without using data. This is very helpful in not getting lost! As with many things, cell phones can be good or bad depending on how you use them. I used my first flip phone for emergencies (is pizza considered an emergency?) and use my current phone for much more. When walking in nature, putting away your phone can be a good thing. Bringing out your cell phone to help enhance your nature experience? Also a good thing. Lauren Sherwood is a Park Naturalist with the Capital Regional District. Use your phone to find us at and to follow us on social media:, CapitalRegionalDistrict.

November 2019  43

Navigating ’Tweenland I was working in my home office when I noticed that my 10-year-old granddaughter had slipped into the room and was standing there, a big, silly grin on her face. “How do you like my make-up, Grampa?” she asked. Engrossed in what I was doing I muttered something like, “That’s nice sweetie, I’m a little busy right now.” Then, after the few seconds that it took to sink into my conscious mind… “Wait! What? Get back here!” Sure enough, the cherubic face that I’ve loved since she was a baby now sported pink lip gloss and some sort of colour that gave her cheeks a decidedly flushed appearance. “Um, does your mom know you’re wearing make-up? When did that start?” She giggled and, with an indulgent eye roll and a “Yes, Grampa, but I don’t wear it out,” she was gone. It left me wondering when the little girl I’d played princess doll adventures with had become, well, I’m not entirely sure what she is now. Don’t get me wrong, I still love her to bits, but I have to acknowledge that she’s changed. A few days later my daughter advised me that Randi had begged to go to the mall and that she’d finally managed to convince her mother to allow the excursion. “What’s the big deal, take her to the mall,” I said.

That’s when I learned that little Randi didn’t want to go to the mall with her mother, she wanted to go with a group of friends.

My daughter had finally agreed but had imposed planning and conditions that rivaled an excursion into the Amazon basin. “I’m taking them there, but she’s got her phone and I’m going to be in the food court,” my daughter said. “I’ve told her to check in regularly and call me if there are any problems and



BOOK YOUR PARTY 250-381-8444 | 703 Douglas St.

44  Island Parent Magazine

to be back in two hours…I’ve also given her a long talk about what she can and can’t do.” The mall adventure went reasonably well, with only a few bumps along the way, but it was an indicator that things will never be the same. My little sweetheart is growing up. But the truth is that, while preteens may seem to be on their way to their teenage years, they are still children. Sure, they’re peeking through the doorway at their teenage years and want to be more independent while instinctively knowing that they still need the support of parents and grandparents. It’s a tough time and a scary world, after all. And it’s a time when the body issues, self-image, social pressures, relationships, critical thinking and judgment, bullying and, well, you get the picture. Just about everything is being viewed through a different lens. By the way, boys of the same age have some of those challenges but seem to remain blissfully goofy a lot longer. I’m not sure why, but I have a grandson of the same age who is more concerned with video games and riding his scooter than what his peers think of whatever outfit he’s chosen to wear to school. His criteria for that choice seems to be, “whatever is clean—or mostly clean”. But ’tween girls are different, and it’s a difference that now has me paying a lot more attention to what Randi tells me about friends, school, and life in general. I know that I can’t entirely protect her from the dangers of the world, but I can work at maintaining the connection that we’ve always had because losing that connection, I think, might be the greatest danger of all. My fears were somewhat allayed last night when Randi found me back in my office. “Grampa? I think we should go out on another ‘date night.’ You know, we can go for dinner and maybe go see the new abominable snowman movie,” she said. “I like it when we do that. It’s kind of nice just talking to you and stuff.” I agreed and we set a day. That’s when it occurred to me that all those hours of play with the princess dolls might have just paid off. Tim Collins is a writer and freelance journalist living and working in Victoria.

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AdvertisersDirectory Bluetree Photography.....................................25

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Cirque Du Soleil.......................................... 17, 43

Royal BC Museum........................................ 8, 19

City of Victoria................................................. IBC

Saanich Dental Group..................................... 37

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Saanich Parks & Recreation........................ IFC

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Serious Coffee..................................................45

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Freya-Sophia Waldorf Store...........................15

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Island Circus Space........................................ 20

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Island Health......................................................38

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Kaleidoscope Theatre................................... IBC

Victoria Bug Zoo...............................................29

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Westshore Dental Centre......................... BC, 5

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and Recreation..............................................24

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Oak and Orca School...............................23, 44

November 2019  45


The Art of Listening


ou never listen to me! Have you heard one word that I have said? We have all had the experience of being in a conversation where we are dying to be heard, but neither we nor the other person listens. We have something to say, which we consider very important. While the other person is speaking, we are waiting impatiently, rehearsing what we are going to say so that we don’t forget it, and reacting emotionally to parts of what the other person says. When we get our turn to speak, we are not heard because the other person is doing the same thing that we are. So we end up in a repetitive conversation, where both members speak but no one is listening. The need to be heard is the need to be recognized and validated for who we are. Being listened to helps us get clarity with how we feel and what we really want. When this happens, we are comforted by the other person’s warm presence as we let go of our hurts and clarify our concerns. To be supported like this is one of the most important reasons we get into relationships. There are many ways to listen: 1. sharing information 2. brainstorming and problem-solving 3. listening fully with empathy

46  Island Parent Magazine

Children can’t do this for us, they aren’t supposed to, but we do seek this in our adult relationships. The problem is that many adults don’t know how to do this. They can do the sharing and problem-solving types of communication but simply don’t know how to listen fully with empathy. To add to this, even if they do know, they might not know when to use this style of listening. To be heard, try these: 1. Recognize when you need understanding and ask for it rather than expect it. Make it a loving invitation rather than a demand. 2. Be specific. “I’d like you to listen and repeat back what I say until I know you understand what I’m feeling and why.” If you talk too long, put the other person down or blame them for your feelings, it will be harder for them to listen. So keep it brief and clean. Take responsibility for your needs and ask for what you want. Don’t forget to take turns and do the same when it is your turn to listen.

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

It’s Arena Season! • Flexible Registration • Learn to Skate Lessons for ages 2–12 years • Everyone Welcome Skates • Family Skate • Parent and Child Ice Play • Power skating for youth and adults • Parent and Tot Skate

Lets get back on the ice and get active! | 250.361.0732

November 2019  47

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

We Offer: • All general dentistry for the whole family (fillings, root canals, extractions and implants) • Extended hours and free parking • IV sedation and free oral sedation for our patients’ comfort • One-appointment CEREC (ceramic) crowns • Zoom bleaching • Invisilign • Orthodontics

Westshore Dental Centre

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

152 – 2945 Jacklin Road  •  250-474-2296  •

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November 2019 Island Parent  

Holiday Gift Guide

November 2019 Island Parent  

Holiday Gift Guide