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Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 32 Years


Givi ng Than ks H ow to teach gratitude

Family Health & Wellness

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Open Every Day from

Sep 27 - Oct 31 10am-6pm • Hayrides $2.50 ENTRANCE PRICES: • Families $30.00 (2 adults & up to 4 children) • Fire Pits $15.00 for 2 hours (includes hayride) • Children $6.00 Book your birthday party & group outings! • Adults $9.00 email: • 2 years & under free

In season

vegetables available at our roadside stand

Hayrides to the pumpkin patch start on Sep 27


2  Island Parent Magazine

DATE: SEP 2019

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Spookier Fun Nightly 6-10 pm Oct 17th to 20th, t 24 4th to 31st

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Hayrides to the pumpkin patch! • 4150 Blenkinsop Road • 250-477-5713

October 2019  3

In Every Issue

Ta b l e o f C ontents



Fast Forward Sue Fast


Need to Know


Diversabilities Laura Trunkey


Moms’ POV kelly mcquillan


Kids’ Reads christine van starkenburg


Halloween Happenings Ways to celebrate spooky. Serena Beck


Planning the Perfect Party Tips and tricks for a successful celebration.


Party Directory

Dental health from infancy to adulthood.


Oral Health Milestones Dr. F. Edward murdoch



Greg Pratt


Family Cycling

The benefits of biking. Elise Velazquez


The Importance of Inclusivity

Top tips and the importance of laughter. yvonne blomer


Family Calendar



Summer’s Playfulness in Fall

5 Tricks & Treats for Halloween

Slip smiles into the shifting season.

Safe, healthy and fun festivities.

lora mckay

natasha mills


What’s for Dinner Emillie Parrish


Family Services Directory


Preschool & Child Care Directory



Health & Wellness

Happy Families, Healthy Families

Staying healthy throughout the season.

Tia niedjalski


Cut It Out! Allison Rees

On the Cover Ethan M. (3) Photo by Nicole Israel Photography,


Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 31 Years


Givi ng Thanks How to teach gratitude

Family Health & Wellness

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

Fastf o rwa r d

Eat, Drink & Stay Active


hen it comes to family health and wellness, two key ingredients are nutrition and exercise. Add to that a good night’s sleep, lots of fresh air, up-to-date vaccinations, frequent handwashing, plenty of time to play, and opportunities to connect with friends and family and you’ve got a winning formula. Live 5-2-1-0, BC Children’s Hospital’s community-based initiative, helps kids make healthier choices with its two simple goals: eat healthy and be active. It also makes it easier for parents to look for opportunities to achieve a healthier lifestyle for their families. Live 5-2-1-0 provides four simple guidelines for raising healthy children: 5—Eat five or more vegetables and fruits every day. 2—Limit screen time to no more than two hours a day. (The Canadian Paediatric Society suggests limiting screen time to less than one hour a day for children two to

five years old and not allowing any screen time for children under two years old). 1—Play actively for at least one hour a day. 0—Drink zero sugary drinks. To help make it easier for families to access equipment, learn new games, and play outside, Live 5-2-1-0 Playboxes have been scattered throughout different communities across the province, including on Vancouver Island. So far, there are Playboxes in Campbell River, Chemainus, Comox Valley, Cowichan Bay, Crofton, Duncan, Nanaimo, and Port Alberni. The Playboxes contain games, sports equipment and ideas for active play. The hope is that not only will they inspire families to be more active, but the boxes will also foster social connectedness and community involvement. If you’re looking for other ways to get your kids moving this fall, October is a great time to start. Not only is it International Walk to School Month, but October

also marks the start of the Doctors of BC’s Be Active Every Day Challenge. Walk to School month focuses on establishing safe walking routes, healthy behaviours, and environmental conservation. Check to see if your school is participating. And for physical activity info or advice and more on Walk to School month, call HealthLink’s 8-1-1. The Doctors of BC’s Be Active Every Day challenge is an annual public health initiative to encourage kids to be more active and make healthy choices. To participate in this annual month-long challenge to get moving at least an hour a day, kids and teachers can register their class at With Walk to School month, the Be Active Every Day challenge and the kilometres you and/or your kids will walk while trickor-treating on Halloween, you’re all sure to meet your daily activity requirements this month. Not only that, but you’ll walk off any extra calories from all that candy! Happy Halloween.

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October 2019  5

N eedto Know

Whose Land? To find out whose land you’re on, and learn more about how to acknowledge it, check out Whose Land, a web-based app designed to increase knowledge and awareness of Indigenous territories, communities and Treaties. Whose Land maps out traditional territories across Canada, treaties and agreements as outlined by the government, and Indigenous communities. The app will be used as an educational tool to create dialogue around reconciliation. It will be a starting point for conversation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous citizens across this country about land, territorial recognition and land acknowledgement. Available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Behind-the-Scenes at RBCM Parents and care-providers: Have you ever wanted to have a tour just for you, so you can learn more about the galleries and share your learning with your little ones? The “Say Hello” series for members gives you the chance. While you take a tour led by a Learning staff member, themed childminding (designed for kids ages 2–5) will be provided for your kids. You get time up in the galleries to learn, kids are given a chance to play, and you all have lots to talk about on the way home. This month’s focus: Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises on October 15 from 10-11am. $15/family.

MUSEUM TOTS Explore the Maritime Museum through play, crafts, dance, and games at Museum Tots, Saturdays at 11am. This program introduces children ages 3–5 to the fun world of museum learning. Each week’s program revolves around a new theme, allowing children to learn through crafts, play, games, song and dance. Oct 5: Mermaids and Mermen; Oct 19: Dive the Reef; Oct 26: Halloween.


Leisure Assistant Pass

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250 477 7321

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

Saanich residents can now apply for a Leisure Assistant Pass. The pass is for people with disabilities, of all ages, who need the assistance of a support person for leisure activities. The pass allows free or reduced admission for one support person at participating venues. The pass encourages participation while ensuring the person with a disability doesn’t incur extra costs. Passes are valid for three years from the date of issue. Residents may visit any Saanich recreation centre or contact or 250-475-5422 to apply for a Leisure Assistant Pass. Read more about the Leisure Assistant Pass and inclusion services at inclusion-and-accessibility.

975 Fort Street,Victoria

975 Fort Street, Victoria 975 Fort Street, Victoria - 250-595-4905 - 250-595-4905 250-595-4905

October 2019


Fake Blood Recipe This corn syrup–based fake blood recipe is edible, making it useful for wannabe vampires on Halloween. Yields about 1 cup. 3⁄4

cup corn syrup cup water 1⁄2 teaspoon red food coloring 5 drops blue food coloring 2 drops green food coloring 1 tablespoon corn starch 1⁄4

In a small bowl, whisk together the corn syrup and water. Add the red, blue, and green food colorings and whisk until well combined. Whisk in the corn starch and let the liquid sit for 10 minutes to thicken. From

Halloween Candy Strategies Be a last-minute buyer. Wait until the day before (or day of) to buy Halloween candy, so that you don’t have to deal with the “see-food syndrome.” Fuel up. Serve a healthy and balanced dinner before heading out trick-or-treating. This way, your kids won’t be ravenous candy-monsters by the time they come home. Let them enjoy. And let them eat as much as they want on Halloween night. They might surprise you by having a few and then deciding to save the rest, or gorging until they feel sick. Either way, it ultimately teaches self-regulation for down the road and removes the “forbidden-fruit” factor.” Don’t micro-manage. For kids ages four and up, they are likely ready to manage and store their own stash with the expectation that they will adhere to the daily amounts that were negotiated and eat their candy in a designated area (usually the kitchen table where there’s few distractions). Let them make mistakes. Kids learn by making mistakes, and however upsetting it is for us parents to see our kids gorge on treats (and even get sick), ultimately, this will teach our kids to moderate their intake of them. For more ideas, visit Sarah Remmer, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist,


Island Parent Magazine

Easing Halloween Fears Involve your child in picking out their costume, decorating Halloween cookies, cupcakes or have them help design the jack-o-lantern (note I said design, NOT carve). :) [If you are getting dressed up] have your child help you put on your costume, mask or face paint. Having your child see your transformation from parent into a goblin, witch or ghost will help him understand that you are still there and your are the same parent, even when you are dressed up.

Ride the Halloween Express

Stephanie A. Sarkis in Psychology Today

Halloween Safety Tips • Do not use masks. Masks make it hard for children to see what’s around them, including cars. Try a hypoallergenic (less likely to cause an allergic reaction), non-toxic make-up kit instead. • Make or buy costumes in light-coloured material. • Place strips of refl ective tape on the back and front of costumes, so that drivers can better see your child. • Costumes should fi t properly to prevent trips and falls. Avoid items such as oversized shoes, high heels, long dresses and long capes. • Dress your child for the weather. Add layers if needed. • Put your child’s name, address and phone number on his costume. • Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult for trick or treating. • Remember that gum and hard candy can be a choking risk for young children. • Remove make-up before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation. For more tips, visit

All aboard!

Vancouver Island Model Engineers will be operating the Halloween Express from Oct 18–20 from 4:30–8:30pm at Heritage Acres, 7321 Lochside Drive. Board the train and take a ride through the Haunted Tunnel and travel the rails through the Halloween Forest. Stay for games, face painting, a Graveyard Scavenger Hunt and pumpkin carving. October 2019


Halloween Happenings

From family-friendly to fully-fearless, this round-up of Island Halloween events includes something for everyone. Come in costume or as you are and celebrate the spookiest season of all!

Victoria & Area

Bring the family to the Quadra Village Community Centre for their 6th annual Quivering Village Carnival and Corn Maze on Oct 25 from 6-8pm. You’ll find carnival games, a witch’s lair, fortune teller, photo booth and more. Admission is by donation. 901 Kings Rd.


Galey Farms Festival of Fear runs Oct 5 & 6, 12-14, 19 & 20, 26 & 27 from 6-10pm. If you’re brave enough, check out all four of the Festival of Fear’s venues, including: Cornfield of Horror, Crazy Train, Madame Isabella’s Seance and Carnevil Haunted House (PG13). 4150 Blenkinsop Rd.

evening and day tours available. The minimum weight requirement is 60lbs per person. The Halloween Bonfire in Esquimalt is hosted by the Esquimalt Lions at the Archie Browning Sports Centre on Oct 31 from 6-9pm. There is a costume contest for all ages along with hot dogs and hot chocolate by donation, with proceeds


The 5th Annual Wicked Victoria is on Oct 27 from noon-5pm. Celebrate a fun, festive, free, family-friendly and pedestrian-only event on “Boo Boulevard” (Government Street, between Humboldt and Yates). There’ll be live entertainment, games, a kids’ costume parade and a wicked kids’ zone, including pumpkin decorating. Go on a Ghostly Walk. Choose from: Royal Theatre and St. Andrew’s Cathedral Tour, Parliament Building and Pendray Inn Tour, Parrot House and Old Burying Ground Tour. The ghost tours take place in the evening and there is also a special Ghost Bus Tour closer to Halloween.

10  Island Parent Magazine


Westshore Town Centre’s Annual Trick-or-Treating event is on Oct 31 from 3:30-5pm. Treats are available at participating retailers, while supplies last. There is also a retailer pumpkin decorating contest, and visitors can vote for their favourite. 2945 Jacklin Rd. Langford Fire Hall Halloween Station Number 1 has free hot dogs, hot chocolate, and candy on Halloween from 5:308:30pm. 2625 Peatt Rd. Haunted Zipline Tours at Adrena LINE run from Oct 25-27and are both scary and fun. See strange creatures running amok and hear spooky tales. Ghosts, monsters and tall tales are all a part of this interactive experience. Book in advance as space is limited. There are

going to the Esquimalt Lions’ community fundraising efforts. 1151 Esquimalt Rd.

Duncan & Area

Take part in BC Forest Discovery Centre’s Halloween, but beware of the Halloween Train! Ride the Green Hornet through ghostly scenes and past scary Halloween characters at the museum. Enjoy trick or treating and making Halloween crafts, and tour the haunted houses if you dare. Rain or shine.Oct 18-20 and Oct 25-30 3:30-9pm. The Big Shop of Horrors is for big kids only—ages 8 and older. It’s back and twice as scary. The Big Shop of Horrors grew from a little haunted room for the neighbours into a big haunted house.

Proceeds go to local charities. 7305 Bell McKinnon Rd. Trick-or-Treat at Chemainus at Waterwheel Park in this fun Halloween family event. There will be a Halloween scavenger hunt, safe trick or treating, horse and trolley rides, costume contest, a spooky touch and feel guessing game, treats, colouring station and so much more. Oct 27 from 11am-2pm.

Nanaimo & Area

Nanoose Bay Halloween Walk runs on Oct 25 and 26 from 6:30-10pm. Choose from two sections of the Halloween Walk: Spooky and Scary. The Spooky walk is suitable for everyone, while the scary one is not suitable for children under the age of 6. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The walk is located on a 10-acre property and takes approximately 20-35 minutes to complete. Join the Nanaimo Science and Sustainable Society (NS3) for its 7th annual Spooktacular Science Challenge in Bowen Park (lower picnic area) on Oct 27. Take a walk through Bowen Park and participate in several spooky science stations along the way. Stations include Spooky Slime, Creepy Chemistry Cauldron, and a Haunted House. VI Symphony’s Soundbites Happy Halloween is on Oct 31 at 5:30pm and 7:15pm. Come in costume or wear orange and candy is included. Some of the music include Dukas, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Berlioz, The Witches’ Sabbath.

Courtenay & Comox

The LINC Haunted House runs from 6-8pm on Oct 23-26 and 29-31 with the 31st being less scary for little kids. Admission is $2 per person or $5 per family. 300 Old Island Highway, near the Ryan Rd intersection. 250-334-8138. Coastal Black Pumpkin Fest in Black Creek is on Sept 28-29 and Oct 5-27 from 10am-4pm Saturdays and Sundays. There’s a pumpkin patch, corn maze, Corn Cannons, pumpkin bowling, and a sunflower field, among other activities. 2186 Endall Rd.• Serena Beck works full-time as a technical writer. She loves to write, travel and swim at the beach with family and friends.

Looking for a Fall Activity? Low Cardio? The Victoria Horseshoe Club is here for you. Everyone welcome—all ages—horseshoes provided. 620 Kenneth St. (Glanford Park behind Soccer Field)

Fall League start up is Sunday, Sept 29 | 9:45 am | $5 for 8 weeks Best courts in Canada, where Champs have been spawned. Easier than you think, lots of fun, come give it a try! We also host Thursday Night Cribbage September thru March | 6:45pm | $3 to play Top 5 High Scores payouts plus mystery score, 24’s, 28’s & 29’s. Enquiries to Sante (Text/Phone): 250-889-0166

s n o i t s e u q y n a Too m from your kids?

Get all the answers at Hello Exhibition!, an exclusive members-only program. You’ll learn about the galleries to answer your little ones’ questions on your next visit while your kids partake in themed childminding. Offered on select dates through the fall.

Learn more and register at HOW DOES GOLD PANNING WORK?







October 2019  11

D ive rs A b i lities

Well-Regulated Revelry


alloween is an exciting time, but it can also be dysregulating for round-peg children. Holidays in general are a challenge for kids who require consistency and routine, but Halloween—with the costumes and scary decorations and past-bedtime fun—is especially overwhelming for some children. This month, I asked parents of round-peg kids for ideas on how they ensure Halloween is successful for their children.

your neighbourhood amp up the fear-factor, make sure your route bypasses them. Make note of when your neighbourhood fills with kids, and try to go out early and be home before the crowds. Laura avoided the neighbourhood walk altogether, choosing instead a door-to-door trick-ortreat at a nearby church (Lambrick Park), which is kept bright and free of scary decorations. Afterwards they visited houses of a couple of close friends.

1. Prepare and Practice. Megan gets her son’s costume weeks in advance and they play dress-up with it at home. They also practice with face paint. Elise reads her son books about Halloween and they have lots of conversations before the big day about what to expect. Last year Shelley’s son was particularly worried about the school Halloween dance so they had their own practice dance party the weekend prior and invited his friends. They pulled out the dress-up box for those whose costumes weren’t quite finished and roasted marshmallows over a propane firepit.

3. Communicate with your Neighbours. Yvonne’s son can’t have candy or be given food, so she pre-visits her neighbours with small books, stickers, and other toys for them to give her son. If her son wants to go to more houses, he trades his candy for toys once they get home. Angus leaves most of his candy for the Halloween fairy, who delivers him a book. If you’re handing out Halloween loot at your house, having things other than candy for kids with food allergies and sensitivities is always appreciated. One of Angus’s favourite Halloween treats was the orange and black playdough he received. Fun pencils, stickers, and tattoos are also exciting.

2. Route Plan. Elise suggests planning a route where there is a park nearby so your kiddo has space to calm down. If you know in advance which houses in 12  Island Parent Magazine

4. Touch Base with the School. Some schools don’t do much for Halloween,

some have orange and black day and low-key classroom parties, and some embrace costumes and large-scale celebrations. Talk to your classroom teacher so you and your child know what to expect. Jenn remembers school Halloween celebrations being crippling for her daughter, who was terrified of masks and anything scary, particularly unexpected noises. She would attend with her daughter, and they would go late—after the initial excitement had worn off a bit. They would often leave before the day was over. At her request, the school stopped playing spooky music over the speakers. 5. Support your Kid One-on-One. If possible, Elise suggests taking your children separately if one of them will have more stamina and will require less support. That way, you can tailor the experience to each child. If this isn’t possible, you could plan to go with another family that your children are comfortable with. If your round-peg kid needs to leave early, your other child can continue on with their friends. 6. Have a Contingency Plan. Elise suggests bringing a cool distractor you can use if your child gets overstimulated. Jane suggests taking along a wagon to give your kid a place to chill. You can also use it to wheel them home if they run out of steam mid-way. 7. Have your Child be the Giver. Nicole’s daughter likes to dress up but isn’t comfortable going door to door or being around groups of people with masks. She stays at home and passes out treats. She gets to dress up, eat some candy and admire the costumes of her visitors. No matter what you do, make time for recovery. Many parents agree that the day after Halloween is guaranteed to be a write-off for your round-peg kid regardless of how hard you work to keep them regulated. If possible, schedule all or part of it off so you can give your child a lowkey November 1 at home if they need it, or at least a leisurely start the next morning.

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

Even the littlest angel can dance

Call 250-384-3267 Email us at Or visit our website:

October 2019  13

5 Tricks & Treats for Halloween


ctober is a fascinating time of year. Fall is here along with a flurry of seasonal traditions and a progressive build up of spooky delights. Leading up to Halloween, some choose to buy firecrackers and light up the night, others will hit the town or host parties, but for those with young kiddos at home, the 31st takes on a whole new form. A celebration of tiny monsters in the day, and for some, an early start to trick or treating before forfeiting the candy and heading to bed. (That simple, right?) Being a parent can make you think back to when you were a kid and what certain things were special to you. As such, I feel that it’s important to celebrate the season with more festivities that are safe, healthy and fun. Have fun with costumes. As soon as they are able to, let your child decide what they want to dress up as. Get them involved and even have them help make it! Consider dressing up with them—you’re never too old to stop having fun so try and opt for a family theme and roll with it. Celebrate with community events. Check your neighbourhood well in advance for fun events and activities taking place on the weekend or during the day on Halloween. Having options is always a great idea and allows you to branch out and meet new families. When it comes time for trick or treating, see if you can link up with others close by to make for a fun and safe neighbourhood walk. Don’t forget reflectors.

Now Playing

Manage the candy. A bucket of chocolate and candies is undoubtedly a highlight of your child’s year, but once you get home, it’s time to play bad cop and come up with ways to distribute/regulate the sugar most productively. Use the candy as a reward system, for example, for helping with small chores or for good behaviour during the day. Set the standard ahead of time that one or two per day is all they can have. Cook and bake for the season. Buy some candles that smell of pumpkin spice and get creative in the kitchen with healthy treats and wholesome meals that bring the senses in alignment with fall. Think hearty stews, spaghetti squash, whole grain muffins and pecan caramel cookies. Create new traditions. Going to the pumpkin patch is obligatory, but what you do with those things at home is what makes your family unique. If they’re old enough, try letting your child draw the face on the pumpkin and then carve away at whatever masterpiece they come up with. Add some gourds to the mix and get playful and creative with your kids. These are the memories that will last a lifetime, and these will be the traditions to get passed down again. Happy October!

Located inside the Royal BC Museum • 250-480-4887 • IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation.

14  Island Parent Magazine

Natasha Mills, an Islander of 25 years, enjoys sharing the journey of parenthood and all Vancouver Island has to offer on her lifestyle blog. @mommamillsblog,

Family Health & Wellness From oral hygiene and dental health, to nutrition and craniosacral therapy—and everything in between—our community offers many health and wellness resources and services for families. For more details on the following listings, please refer to the ads in this issue of Island Parent. Cowichan Valley Craniosacral offers free newborn ATLFF™ screenings to assess breastfeeding challenges. Suck, swallow and breathe physiology is carefully examined when checking seven lingual frenulum functions and five appearance items. It is also a tool that differentiates true-tongue tie from faux tongue-tie. The session is informative and provides parents with resources regarding strategies and if needed, a treatment plan towards optimal success for both mother and baby in their breastfeeding relationship. It is recommended that newborns get assessed within the first week of birth because “what fires together wires together.” To book your complimentary session, visit or call Christina Hamill RCST® at 250-748-5551.

types of milk, butter, yogurt, and cheese substitutes. We also have the largest selection of natural skin and body care products made from natural ingredients.

At Lifestyle Markets, we offer fresh, organic grocery and produce, over 100 brands of quality vitamins and supplements, healthy meat and dairy plus we also have the largest selection of dairy alternatives on Vancouver Island. Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, lactose-intolerant or health-conscious, we have several

Ocean’s Edge Orthodontics. Dr. F. Edward Murdoch and his team at Ocean’s Edge Orthodontics love to create beautiful, confident smiles using the latest technology and processes. Practicing in our community since 1996, Dr. Murdoch is passionate about orthodontics and preventative dentistry, and is now excited to

Mothering Touch Centre is the comprehensive resource centre for new and expectant parents. We offer support through every stage of pregnancy and early parenthood: childbirth preparation, pre-and post-natal yoga, breastfeeding support, parenting classes, parent-andbaby groups, and baby massage. Our friendly staff inform and support parents and grandparents as they select cloth diapers, nursing bras, breastpumps and breastfeeding accessories and much more. Drop in for a chat, nurse your baby in our lounge, and experience the warmth of the Mothering Touch. 975 Fort St. 250-595-4905.

be the top ranked provider of Invisalign on Vancouver Island! Saanich Dental. Your children’s dental health and hygiene impacts their overall health. By teaching good habits early on, you set the tone for your children’s healthcare experience. Hand in hand, we work with parents to create healthy and beautiful smiles for children. We know that childhood is an especially influential time. For this reason, we teach our young patients the importance of oral hygiene. Our services also benefit individual patients of all ages. Westshore Dental. Whether your dental needs are a complete exam and cleaning, orthodontic treatment, a full mouth restoration, or cosmetic dentistry in Victoria, we promise to provide you with excellent care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile. It all begins with a thorough exam. At Westshore Dental Centre, we use state-of-the-art technology like our intra-oral cameras, so that you see what we see when we look inside your mouth. This enables us to work with you from the beginning to set common goals and priorities in your overall dental care.• October 2019  15

M o m ’ s P OV

Giving Thanks

Building a lifelong habit of gratitude


ama! Mama! MAAAAMAAAAA!!!” My three-year-old son summons me to the couch.

“Yes?” “Water!” He shakes his empty sippy cup at me, continuing to watch his show. It’s his much-coveted “TV-time” and I am in the midst of preparing dinner. An image pops into my mind—my son in 30 years, lounging on a couch in a white undershirt, demanding another beer. Nope. I’m not going to enable that sort of behaviour. “Um, are you forgetting something?” He sighs audibly, rolls his eyes, and adds, “Now!” Uh oh. Gratitude. Not only does cultivating a sense of gratitude bring more happiness into your life (and the lives of those around you), but it can help you stay healthier by influencing you to make positive choices, and can also lower your stress levels. Who wouldn’t want their kids to lead happy, positive, healthy lives?

If only it were so easy to simply teach kids to “Be grateful,” like we say, “Don’t touch the stove.” But no, it—like so much in parenting—is more complicated, and more of a process than a single learning event. Sometimes it can take people years to truly understand the concept of gratitude. I started a personal practice of mindful gratitude just over a decade ago, but I would love for my son to reap the benefits of one sooner. Thanksgiving is an opportune, once-a-year occasion to talk about what we are thankful for, but there are some things that parents can do on a regular basis to model and help our kids to build an “attitude of gratitude.”

Time for Reflection

It’s easy to lose track of things that happen in the blur of day-to-day busy-ness, so it’s important to carve out daily, designated chunks of time for reflection, even if it’s just a few precious minutes. Every night before bed my son and I ask each other: “What made you happy today?” which leads very naturally into a little discussion of what we are grateful for. 16  Island Parent Magazine

Saying It When We Feel It

Throughout the day, when I feel grateful for something I make a point of verbalizing it in front of my son. This can be as simple as, “What a beautiful morning! I’m so grateful the sun is shining!” When someone gives of themselves or their time, I point that out: “Wow, that was so kind of the cashier to give you a sticker and ask you how your day was going!” Despite occasional backward slides, like the little scene I opened with (not his finest hour), my son constantly surprises and delights me with random expressions of gratitude. Just the other day we were on our daily circuit of the neighbourhood, me walking the dog and him on his strider bike. After coming to a particularly drawn-out stop (gravel and pinecones flying) at an intersection, he turned to me and said, “Mama, I wuv my shoes. Tank you for my shoes!” These amazing moments eclipse the apparent lapses in gratitude that occur when he is tired, hungry, distracted, or simply peopled-out (it happens to the best of us). I make sure to reinforce his heartfelt expressions: “I’m so happy to hear you are grateful for your shoes. They really help you to stop quickly!”

Focus on What We Have

We live in a materialistic culture based on decades of marketers telling us we “need” more, more, more, in order to be happy. When my son starts saying he needs a certain toy, for example, I get him to think about what it really means to “need” something: does he require it for food, shelter, or safety? Slowly, but surely, he’s starting to learn the difference between “need” and “want,” which takes some of the urgency out of these requests. They still happen regularly, but it’s getting easier to redirect him to what he already has.

Marie Kondo Is Onto Something

I’ve been watching Tidying Up on Netflix and applying the KonMari principles to my own collections—namely, books

and music. My son is right by my side as I empty things onto the floor and go through them one by one, deciding which “spark joy” and thanking the others for their service before I put them in the donation box. It’s a bit of a game to him right now, but hopefully he’ll absorb some of the message that possessing more things does not equal more happiness, and that clearing away the extra helps us to notice and be more thankful for what we truly cherish. Wish me luck, as I plan to go through his room with him this way sometime soon!

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The Power of “Thank You”

My son knows he is expected to say thank you. If he forgets (just like all kids), I remind him. I don’t do it loudly or in a way that shames or embarrasses him, but I have been known to give a little nudge or whisper in his ear to prompt him, which is almost always followed by an enthusiastic, “TANK YOU!” Increasingly he remembers on his own, because we’ve made it a habit and because we model it for him. It’s the simplest expression of gratitude—someone does something for you and you say thank you.

Literature to the Rescue…Again! There are many fabulous children’s books which explore the idea of gratitude through the narratives of engaging characters and everyday circumstances that your kids can relate to. Here are a few we’ve recently read and enjoyed: Splat Says Thank You! by Rob Scotton Lucky Me by Lora Rozler The Thankful Book by Todd Parr Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson Ten Thank-You Letters by Daniel Kirk Parenting is hard, and exhausting, and there is never enough time to do everything you want. I find it helps to think of teaching gratitude not as an “extra,” on top of everything else, but as an ongoing process that is embedded in the everyday. And so, as we move into this darker, cooler time of year I admire the colourful leaves, inhale the crisp Autumn air, snuggle up under a cozy blanket with my son, the cats, and a good book, and I am grateful.

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

October 2019  17


Letting Reconciliation Into Our Hearts


econciliation is a word that has been thrown around a lot lately, but it can be hard to explain it to our children. We can give them the dictionary definition about “the restoration of friendly relations,” or the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s version, which is “establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country.” While the Commission’s definition goes onto call for acknowledgement, atonement, and action, neither definition really explains what that looks like. This is where books, like You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith or Residential Schools: The Devastating Impact on Canada’s Indigenous Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Findings and Calls for Action by Melanie Florence.

Residential Schools by Melanie Florence (James Lorimer, 2016) is filled with pictures, facts, and personal stories about the schools. The book goes into detail about life before the schools, the way children were taken from their parents, what happened at the schools, and the residual effects these individuals and communities experience. It’s a great book for anyone who wants to learn about our country’s history, because the only way for us to acknowledge the harm that was caused is to know what actually took place. For ages 12 to 17. 18

Island Parent Magazine

Encounter by Brittany Luby and illustrated by Michaela Goade (Tundra, 2019) is a fictional story about a meeting between an Aboriginal man and a sailor from Jacques Cartier’s expedition. These two men notice their differences—especially the difference in languages—but all of creation reminds them that they both share many similarities too.

Luby wrote Encounter to create a new way of looking at the arrival of Cartier— a version where he did not discover North America, but visited it. She does not want her story to forgive Cartier for his actions, but to remind us that there were friendly meetings and that our actions (good or bad) are a choice. For ages 2 to 6. Dragonfly Kites by Tomson Highway and illustrated by Julie Flett (Fifth House, 2016) is a bilingual book that is written in both English and Cree. The story is about two Cree brothers and their summer trips in Northern Manitoba. Cody and Joe don’t have access to electronics while they are exploring so they make up their own games and choose different animals to be their pets, including dragonflies. For ages 4 to 7.

Another bilingual book is A Day with Yayah by Nicola I. Campbell and Julie Flett (Tradewind, 2017). In this book a family gathers mushrooms and other plants. Along the way their Yayah or grandmother teaches them and her readers to speak Nłeʔkepmxcín, which is one of the languages of the Interior Salish peoples. For 4 to 7.

There are other ways we can help heal the wounds of the past. We can learn about and appreciate Indigenous art and culture, and we can change our own actions to hold each other up. You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Danielle Daniel (Orca, 2017) breathes life into the ways we can change our behaviours. It shows children how they can stand with other people by singing with them, being kind to them, listening to them and more. But it also reminds us that this is a cyclical relationship, because by doing these things we actually hold each other up. For ages 2 to 6.

Nurturing young minds. Keeping the spirit free.

International Montessori Academies of Canada

Sockeye Silver, Saltchuck Blue by Roy Henry Vickers with words by Robert Budd (Harbour, 2019) teaches children the colours of the West Coast. This book is filled with magnificent illustrations by Indigenous artist Roy Henry Vickers, that will cause children to pause on every page to look at all of the details on the pages that seem quite simple at first glance until the light catches the pages just right and reveals the hidden images. For ages 0 to 2.

I Am Dreaming Of…Animals of the Native Northwest by Melaney Gleeson-Lyall and illustrated by many First Nations and Native artists (Native Northwest, 2017) introduces children to different animals of the Northwest like ravens, otters, and eagles with stunning traditional images. For ages 0 to 2. I hope these books help you and your children learn about and appreciate Indigenous art, history, languages and cultures. And for those of you who are curious, almost every author and illustrator in this month’s list are Aboriginal. 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.

Kindergarten to Grade 6 BC Curriculum Strong Montessori academics/small classes French immersion/art and science

IMAC Montessori Academy

2375 Koksilah Road, Duncan 250-737-1119

Big Play Saturday Morning: Ya Little Animal A new Saturday-morning workshop series for early and young learners! Venture into the world of small animals and explore our connections to them through hands-on activities in the galleries. Join us each week for a new adventure. November 16, 23, 30 I 9:00–9:45 am Ages 3–5 November 16, 23, 30 I 10:00–11:00 am Ages 6–8

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Planning the Perfect Party

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How Long Should the Party Last? The answer helps you to set a time frame for the party. Most small children can’t concentrate very long and get tired soon. So a party for them should not last longer than a couple of hours in the afternoon, or even an hour and a half is great. Older children might want the party to last a little longer, and might also require less parental supervision.


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This often depends on the age of the children. If you’re going for a party without parents, make sure that every kid gets home safely by the end of the party. If your party is at a venue like a kids’ play area where there is lots of staff supervision, you might be able to drop your child off and pick them up later.

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This question is important for your shopping list and raises some more: How much food/drinks do you need? Does the party fit into the living room or do you need to rent a place? One rule of thumb: aim for the same number of friends as your child’s age. So a one-year-old really just needs one guest (if you have a party at all) and a 5-yearold can handle 5. Other people like to include lots of friends and neighbours.


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S October 2019  21


Homeschool Is in Session


ell, September has come and gone, which means you’re drowning in reams of paperwork associated with your kids’ school. At least a couple trees bit the dust for little Johnny’s class alone. It’s completely overwhelming: emergency contact info, (avoid listing people who live out of province and would have to hop on the next flight and grab the kids if you’ve got a rumbly tummy and can’t make it to after-school pickup); a list of vaccines that you may or may not be caught up on regardless of what side of that debate you’ve been bickering about

22  Island Parent Magazine

online; and, hey, mind if we just get the emergency contact info one more time? This year, I’m really, really, really relieved that we’re not involved in all that. Yup, I got out of the paperwork, parents. There’s a whole other ton of work to do, but we got out of the paperwork! How did we do it? Well, we’ve got a whole lot of other work to deal with instead, because we made the choice to pull the kids out of the system and homeschool them. This was by no means an easy decision; it was actually one of the more agonizing ones we’ve had to make as parents. (I mean, slightly less agoniz-

ing than dealing with all that back-toschool paperwork, but still agonizing.) After much consideration, every argument for keeping them in school could be met pretty easily with a better argument to homeschool. So why not give it a shot? I can sound pretty brave and wellrested about all this because it’s my incredible wife who is creating the curriculum and teaching the kiddos (while dealing with a four-month-old baby! I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Someone get me a beer, this is tiring!). And, man, in all seriousness, is it ever inspiring watching her do all this. We

made the decision that she would be a stay-at-home mom, and she’s knocking this out of the park, not just being a mom but also being a teacher. Speaking of teachers, I want to say we have had some incredible ones so far. I’ve had my share of curriculum concerns—I mean, I’ll fight until my dying breath that schools in Canada need to teach Canadian, not American, spelling, for example—but I hope I’ve let all the great teachers we’ve had know just how great they are. My main point here isn’t to consider the merits of homeschooling compared to the public system; it’s not a shout-out to the amazing teachers out there (but, shout-out to them); it’s not about my ongoing horror about American spelling being taught in Canadian schools (but here’s a super good passive-aggressive chance to complain about that in print). It’s a reminder that parents have control. It’s easy to feel like we don’t have control of so many aspects of our kids’ lives. “That’s just the way it is,” people lament to me on the regular with a sort of thespian eye-roll. “Kids these days, they have no attention span. They won’t go outside.” But just as none of that is true (super great excuse for lazy parenting though, so I might circle back to that once I’m feeling fully beat down), it’s also not true that you can’t take control of your kids’ education if you want to. You absolutely can. Who knows? It might not work out, and our kids might end up back in the system next year, or in a few years, or in Grade 12 for a year. That will be just fine, too. But for now, they can get through the day’s work much quicker than they would at school, they get to be building serious bonds with their family, and we get to be in control of the curriculum (hello, Latin, where you been?). No matter which path you take, always remember that, as parents, you have control. And, if you’re in the school system this year, have fun with that paperwork. Greg Pratt is the father of two children and a local journalist and editor. His writing has appeared in, among other places, Today’s Parent, Wired, Revolver, and Douglas.

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The Freya-Sophia Waldorf Store Beautiful selection of books, organic wool clothing, wooden toys, silks, dolls, cards, prints, painting and handwork supplies.

STEINER BOOKSTORE: Extensive Selection of Inspiring Books and Resources ~ For Children, Parents, Teachers, Carers , Homeschoolers and Students of Life (SOL) 250-597-4763 ~ Located in the Sol-Centre, 5380 Hwy. 1, Duncan, BC CALL OR CHECK ONLINE FOR OUR SUMMER HOURS Find us on Facebook@freyasophiawaldorfstore - Follow us on Instagram

October 2019  23

OctoberFamilyCalendar For more information and calendar updates throughout the month visit

1 Tuesday Mini Golf for Youth & Adults

Childhood Stress & Anxiety: Building Resilience Workshop

N 6pm at Cinnabar Valley Elementary

Tailored for parents, caregivers and educators supporting young children experiencing stress and anxiety. Register through Free.

4pm at Paradise Adventure Mini Golf Youth 11-18 and adults are invited to this annual mini-golf event. Space is limited; registration required. Free.

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

2 Wednesday Cooking for Fun: Sushi


10am at Moorcroft Regional Park An RLC Park Naturalist will show you the trails, unique aspects, and opportunities in some of the region’s best areas. Great for newcomers. Registration required. Free.

4 Friday


5 Saturday V

10:30am at James Bay Branch Library Join Katelynne Herchak for stories and myths from the North. Katelynne is an Indigenous education leader and was both the 2015 Miss Vancouver Island and 2019 National Canadian Miss Coastal British Columbia. She is Inuk from Kuujjuaq, Quebec, and has been a visitor on Kewungen territory for 23 years. For children and their families. Registered. Free.

D Duncan & Area N Nanaimo & Area C Courtenay/Comox


505 Quayle Rd An open concept learning opportunity for children of all ages who enjoy gardening and exploring the out of doors. Meet to assess our plot and participate in seasonable gardening with lots of hands-on activities. $10/child.

Youth Rock Curling Mini Intro

Indigenous Stories for Families with Miss Vancouver Island

V Victoria & Area P Peninsula W Westshore

2:30pm at Nellie McClung Branch Library Join a Tswawout First Nation Cultural Elder in Residence for an afternoon of Indigenous storytelling and traditional crafts. Learn words and phrases in SENCOTEN, the language of the Saanich People. For children and their families. Registered. Free.

JMG Garden Club V 9:45am at the Gardens at HCP

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. V

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

Parks 101 Tour

N Tsawout First Nation Stories & Crafts V


10am at Nanaimo Curling Club Meet some junior curlers and other youth who are trying it for the first time. Dress warm, bring gloves and a clean pair of running shoes. All equipment provided. 9-16 years. $5/person.

Birds of Beechey Head


9am at East Sooke Regional Park Join CRD Regional Parks guest naturalist, Geoffrey Newell, and walk to Beechey Head to observe raptors during their fall migration. The hike up to the viewpoint requires sturdy footwear and includes a 15-minute trek up a steep and rocky trail. Meet at the kiosk in the Aylard Farm parking lot off Beecher Bay Rd. 8+ years. Free.

A��n�i�� P���nt�! WE ARE OFFERING A WIDE RANGE OF PARENTING CLASSES THIS FALL. Check out our Infant CPR and First aid, Positive Parenting Drop-In, Transitions: Navigating your way through Change and Love Your Relationship workshops. Brush up your skills with our Small Talk workshop and Public Speaking Boot Camp.

Re�is��� a� 250-478-8384 | 24  Island Parent Magazine

6 Sunday Peck Peck? Who’s There?


10am at Francis/King Regional Park A noisy woodpecker! Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist to learn about what makes woodpeckers so good at what they do through activities and a story. Search for signs of woodpeckers along the trail. No fee, but you must pre-register by October 2 as space is limited. 5 years and under. Free.

Eco Crafts


1pm at the Gardens at HCP 505 Quayle Rd Explore ways to reuse household items and use natural materials to save on waste while making great personal products to use at home and school. Participants are asked to bring along an old tee shirt to make a shopping tote. $20/youth.

Blessing of the Animals Service


2:30 pm at St. Lukes Church Cedar Hill Cross Road at Cedar Hill Road, A short service geared towards children, families and their pets with a blessing of the animals at the end. You may also bring a picture of a pet (living or deceased) so that the pet can be blessed or remembered. Free. |

Amazing Race in the Parks


Rathtrevor Provincial Park Discover roadblocks and detours that will put your team dynamics to the test. Fun challenges will leave you inspired to be in the outdoors. $15/ person; $40/group.

9 Wednesday

10 Thursday

7pm at Nanaimo Ice Centre Geology Tour N Enjoy the soft light “stars” and passive LED glow lights. Great for families after dinner. Regular 9am at Nanoose Bay admission. Join Dr. Steven Earle for an interpretive geology tour on the beach. Learn simple identification techniques and a bit about the island’s geological history. Transportation from Oceanside Place Arena Free Swim P at 9am or Nanoose Place at 9:30am. $29/person. 1:30pm at Panorama Recreation Bring your family and friends for a swim sponsored by Peninsula Co-op. Free. Saturday


Indigenous Stories for Families with Miss Vancouver Island


2:30pm at James Bay Branch Library

Emergency Preparedness Workshop V See SAT 5 for details. For children and their fami1pm at Burnside Gorge Community Centre 471 Cecelia Rd Are you and your family prepared for an emergency such as a power outage, winter storm, earthquake or tsunami? Learn about hazards that can affect Victoria, what to include in emergency kits, how protect your home from an earthquake, and how to reunite with loved ones after a disaster. Free. 250-920-3373 |

Childhood Stress & Anxiety: Building Resilience Workshop


6pm at Queneesh Elementary Tailored for parents, caregivers and educators supporting young children experiencing stress and anxiety. Register through Free.


Starlight Skate

lies. Registered. Free.

Kids Mega Sale 9:30am at Pearkes Rec Centre 3100 Tillicum Rd Gently used baby and children’s clothing, toys, equipment and maternity.


13 Sunday Thanksgiving Services


8:30 am and 10:30 am at St. Luke’s Church 3821 Cedar Hill Cross Road A celebration of Harvest Thanksgiving, October 13, 2019 at St. Luke Cedar Hill Anglican Church. A time to give thanks for our many blessings. Free.

Trees and Leaves


10am at Bowen Park Upper Picnic Shelter Fall is a wonderful time to drink in the beauty of trees—especially those whose leaves change Splish Splash Swim N colour. Come for fall crafts and learn why trees have leaves and why they change colours in the 10am at Ravensong Aquatic Centre fall. 3-6 years. Parent participation required. $8/ A water adventure you don’t want to miss. Lifeperson. guards will bring out the pool toys for you to joy. From the rope swing to the snake, there will be water play for everyone. Regular admission. October 2019  25


A Salmon Story

Vancouver Island’s Largest Independent Toy Store

1pm at Sooke Potholes Regional Park The journey a salmon takes is an amazing one— their story is filled with adventure, wonder and danger. Join a CRD Regional Parks naturalist as you walk along the river learning about the salmon’s story and the challenges they face. Meet at the CRD parking lot #2 off Sooke River Rd. 5+ years. Free.

Toys, games and puzzles for all ages #102 – 2517 Bowen Road Nanaimo 888.390.1775


Thanksgiving Skate 1pm at Panorama Recreation Bring your family and friends for a skate. Free helmet rental.

Youth Life Skills Cooking: Tacos


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.


DigiLab: Sew What?!

4pm at Nellie McClung Branch Library Combine simple hand sewing with technology to make gloves you can use with a smartphone. This program is by teens, for teens. Supplies provided. Beginners welcome. For ages 13-18. Registered. Free.

Halloween Dive-in Movie


7pm at Nanaimo Aquatic Centre Enjoy a Halloween-themed movie in the pool. Regular admission.

Coast Capital Free Swim


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


Lego Stories 3:30pm at Sidney/North Saanich Branch Library Listen to stories while you use the library’s Lego to create a masterpiece to put on display at the library. 5 years and up. Free.


Island Parent Magazine



Community Board Civic Orchestra of Victoria

Stories in the Garden


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. Starts September 9th.

Kindergym Drop-In


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.

Good Morning Storytime


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

Tiny Tykes Drop in Playgroup


9:30am at Oaklands Community Centre Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and 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.

Parent & Child Drop-in Art


Lindsay Trowell, Counsellor & Parenting Specialist

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

Parent & Baby Group


Tuesdays 9:30am at Oaklands Chapel For parents and babies up to 9 months old. Discuss topics including 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


10am at Gordon Head Recreation Centre 4100 Lambrick Way Tuesday, Thursdays & Saturdays. 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.

LaFF Mornings


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

Mothering Touch

Phoenix Theatre Royal BC Museum

Via Choralis

Victoria Children’s Choir

Victoria Conservatory of Music Enquire about brochure or magazine distribution in Greater Victoria: October 2019  27

19 Saturday Indigenous Stories for Families with Miss Vancouver Island


10:30am at James Bay Branch Library See SAT 5 for details. For children and their families. Registered. Free.

Forest Spook-tacular

video games, Star Wars, GI Joe, Transformers, diecast cars, Hot Wheels, vinyl records and more. Local food vendors. Door prizes every half hour! Dress in costume for extra door prize entry. Adults $5 per day and kids are free.

20 Sunday

V Forest Spook-tacular

11am at Francis/King Regional Park Drop by between 11am and 2pm with family and friends for this spook-tacular day of Halloween fun with CRD Regional Parks naturalists.


11am at Francis/King Regional Park See SAT 19 for details. Drop by anytime between 11am and 2pm. All ages. Free.

24 Thursday Everyone Welcome Swim & Skate


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

25 Friday V

Pro-D Day: Grossology 2:30pm at Nellie McClung Branch Library Get gross! Learn about things that are slippery, green and smelly, and take home something gross. For ages 6-9. Registered. Free.

Pro-D Day: Marshmallow STEM Challenge


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

Pro-D Day: Reach for the Stars

At 11:15am and 1:15pm, join the guided walks if you dare. The cauldron will be filled with spooky treasures from the natural world. Displays, activities, and Halloween crafts await. Wear a costume and win a prize. Meet at the Francis/King Nature Centre off Munn Rd. All ages. Free.

Tsawout First Nation Stories & Crafts P 2:30pm at Central Saanich Branch Library See SAT 5 for details. For children and their families. Registered. Free.

19/20 Saturday & Sunday Victoria’s Ultimate Toy Fair


9am-3pm at Pearkes Arena 3100 Tillicum Road Vancouver Island’s awesome toy show boasts over 200 tables with action figures, vintage toys, models, trains, comics, Barbie, dolls, bears, LEGO,

Slider’s Surprise Birthday Party

Slider’s Birthday Stroll


Noon at Panorama Recreation After his morning birthday party, Slider heads over to Panorama to share his cake with everybody.

22 Tuesday Emergency Preparedness Workshop V 7pm at Victoria City Hall, Antechamber Douglas St and Pandora Ave See WED 9 for details. Free.

Add your upcoming family events at 28  Island Parent Magazine


10am at Greenglade Community Centre Surprise Slider at a secret Kindergym birthday party. Make birthday cards and decorations, and when the birthday boy arrives, yell surprise. Party games and cupcakes to follow. Ages 0-5 with a parent. Limited spaces.


2pm at Bruce Hutchison Branch Library Build a custom moon lander that will ensure your space cadets land saftely on the moon and learn about the importance of weight distribution in aircraft design. Presented by Engineering for Kids. For ages 10-12. Registered. Free.

Pro-D Day: Science Exploration of Harry Potter’s World


2pm at Central Branch Library Learn wizarding skills: make water disappear, explore a secret map, play with a magic wand and experiment with amazing potions. Presented by Mad Science. For ages 5-9. Registered. Free.

Pro-D Day: Fall Forest


2pm at Oak Bay Branch Library Join art teacher Sandi Henrich for a hands-on art workshop using drawing, painting and collage to create your own unique artwork inspired by autumn trees and your imagination. For ages 6-12. Registered. Free.

Pro-D Day Camp


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.


Halloween Howl

4pm at Beban Pool Howl at the moon at the Halloween extravaganza. Regular admission.


Museum Tots


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

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.

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

26 Saturday

DigiLab: VR Poetry Lounge


5th Annual Dinner & Silent Auction Fundraiser 5pm at Nanaimo Yacht Club 400 Newcastle Ave An evening of food, entertainment, and auction items and the opportunity to meet our Afghan refugee family. Help raise money to provide for their needs during their first year. $35/person.

Pro D Day Swim & Skate


Forest Spook-tacular


11am at Francis/King Regional Park See SAT 19 for details. Drop by anytime between 11am and 2pm. All ages. Free.

P Indigenous Stories for Families with Miss Vancouver Island

1pm at Panorama Recreation Bring your family and friends for swimming and skating fun, games and prizes. Free helmet rentals. Skate: 1-2:20pm; swim: 1:30-3:30pm. $2/ person.


2:30pm at James Bay Branch Library See SAT 5 for details. For children and their families. Registered. Free.


4pm at Central Branch Library Get creative with DigiLab teen volunteers and the City of Victoria’s 2019 Youth Poet Laureate, Aziza Moqia Sealey-Qaylow, for an inspiring session combining poetry with virtual reality using our HTC Vive VR headset. This program is by teens, for teens. For ages 13-18. Registered. Free.


Halloween Fun Fest

Noon at Victoria West Community Centre 521 Craigflower Rd. Crafts, games, pumpkin carving and lots of treats. For children up to 9 years of age. $3/person.

New this season! Student and Family Previews Experience the splendour of opera with your family.


Great Kids WANTED!

We invite you to visit our two campuses during our OPEN HOUSE on October 25 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2 p.m. Visit with staff, students and parents and ask them all your questions, and learn about our Financial Support options. Register today: Meet in Denford Hall at the Middle and Senior School Campus at 801 Bank Street with parking off Richmond or Maddison, or in the library at the Junior School Campus at 1701 Beach Drive.




Carmen TUESDAY, APRIL 14 All previews 7:00 pm | Royal Theatre Adults $25 | Students $15

(At least 1 student ticket must be purchased with each adult ticket.)

PACIFICOPERA.CA | 250.385.0222

October 2019  29

N legged, and even no legged creatures and find

Disco Light Skate

out about their amazing adaptations and how many of them help us out. You might even meet Aunt Nancy, the tarantula. By donation.

7:30pm at Oceanside Place Arena Catch dance fever under the disco lights. The flashing lights and pumping music will take you back in time. Regular admission.

Calling all ghosts, goblins and other Halloween favourites. Take your costume for a spin on the ice. Ghoulish staff, ghostly music, and don’t forget to bring your trick or treat bag.

1:30pm at Panorama Recreation Come for some tricks and some treats. Themed crafts and games with yummy prizes, plus the witbit and slide will be open.


Extreme Halloween Party 6pm at Greenglade Teen Lounge A fun-filled evening of spooky games and activities. Don’t forget your costume. For grades 6-9.

27 Sunday Forest Spook-tacular


6pm at Ravensong Aquatic Centre Ghosts and goblins will be seen with a few tricks and games for the children. The howl will finish off with a pinata bash. Parents free when accompanied by their children. Regular admission. V


Creepy Crawlies

30 Wednesday Halloween Howl Swim

11am at Francis/King Regional Park See SAT 19 for details. Drop by anytime between 11am and 2pm. All ages. Free.



Spooky Sunday Skate P 1pm at Panorama Recreation

Halloween in the Pool

Noon at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary 3873 Swan Lake Rd They creep, they crawl, they may even give you the willies. Meet a variety of six-legged, eight-

31 Thursday P

Once Upon a Pumpkin Halloween

9:30am at Panorama Recreation Kindergym is celebrating Halloween with decrations, costumes and more. Get ready for a spooktacular good time. Limited space; please reserve online. Regular drop-in admission.


Ongoing: DivorceCare

free family event


12 - 5PM








30  Island Parent Magazine


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

Summer’s Playfulness in Fall


he hectic school schedule is in full swing. The days are getting shorter, darker and cooler. There is a general sense of sadness for the loss of summer freedom: from parents and children alike. When we move from one season to another, it often changes the way that we engage with one another. In the summer, it is easy to pack a picnic and head to the beach for dinner or to enjoy the extra hours of evening light playing at the park.

Here are some ideas for bringing the playfulness of summer into your fall routine. Dance. Start the day with laughter and movement. As part of your morning routine, put on some music and dance with your child. Take a few minutes to express yourself and move your body. Be silly and let loose. It’s guaranteed to make you smile. Eat. Enjoying a meal together is proven to provide a wide range of social and health

Explore. Be a tourist in your own town on the weekend and explore local parks and sites. There are great walks at Mt. Doug Park and Thetis Lake and fun monthly events at galleries and museums, such as the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Royal BC Museum. Rest. Try not to over schedule your down time. Make time for rest and unstructured activity. Follow the summer time freedom model. It is too easy to fill up every

In the fall, there is a shift into the “all business mode” of school and organized activities. We are suddenly confined by a rigid schedule and our time is spent shuttling family to school and from activity to activity. There is little room for unstructured time, play and exploration. This fall, I am trying to make a conscious effort to do things differently. The seasons will continue to evolve, and our family schedule with it, but there is an opportunity to be more intentional about how our time is spent together once this change occurs. It just requires time, attention and practice.

benefits for the whole family. It is so important to take the time to connect and communicate. To add a bit of fun, try hosting a picnic dinner on the floor of your living room once a week. Let everyone choose something to bring. Play. It is easy for the evenings to become dominated by homework or TV. Try to schedule a screen-free family night at least once a week. Take turns choosing activities that you can enjoy together, such as puzzles, board games or taking the dog for a walk.

moment with activities and chores. Leave a few hours during the evenings and weekends to read, play or nap. Seasons change without a lot of thought for how it impacts your family. With a little bit of effort and practice, you can bring some summer fun with you as you transition into fall this year.

Lora McKay is a Victoria writer and mother to an amazing nine-year-old daughter and a rescue dog named Lucky. You can read more of her work at October 2019  31

Oral Health Milestones


evelopmental milestones will affect your child’s dental health from infancy to adulthood. As parents, it is important to observe these milestones and provide proper dental care at each step of the way to lay the foundation for good oral health habits throughout life.

Baby Teeth. Baby teeth can erupt in early infancy; in fact, some babies are born with teeth! The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommends that baby’s first dental exam be as soon as the first tooth erupts or by the first year of age, to ensure that the jaws are properly developed to support dentition. Once your child is a toddler, it’s time for regular dental checkups. At this stage, parents should be teaching children proper brushing and flossing techniques and gently guiding them to curb such habits as thumb sucking and use of a pacifier or a bottle. Kids and Cavities. Tooth decay and cavities may affect baby teeth when kids don’t practice proper dental hygiene, or if their diet contains lots of sugary foods. Since young children may not always brush effectively, fluoride treatments and dental sealants may be recommended to prevent tooth decay and protect those young pearly whites from cavities.

The Mixed-up Mouth. Once baby teeth start falling out and permanent teeth start coming in, children enter a period of “mixed dentition” during which they become more independent, and may begin to assert their independence by making poor food choices. The presence of permanent teeth alongside baby teeth may also cause crowding in the mouth, making teeth harder to clean properly. Kids may also take up sports at this age, becoming more prone to accidents and injuries. These reasons stress the importance of proper care and protection for children’s teeth during this period. Always use a mouth guard to protect the teeth and jaw when practicing impact sports. If the new permanent teeth are growing in crowded or crooked, your child should see an orthodontist. Children who make poor food choices can benefit from nutritional counseling. Fluoride treatments and dental sealants may also be recom-

mended during this stage to help prevent tooth decay and cavities. Adolescence. During the teen years, kids take more of an interest in their appearance. Many teens begin orthodontic treatment at this stage, and must learn to take proper care of their teeth while wearing braces. As teens get older, the next major milestone is the eruption of the wisdom teeth, which in many cases may need to be extracted as the majority of people don’t have the room in their mouths for these molars. By observing and being attentive to each of these developmental milestones, you can teach your children to care for their dental health properly as they grow into adulthood, and set them up to enjoy healthy smiles for a lifetime.

Dr. F. Edward Murdoch and his team at Ocean’s Edge Orthodontics love to create beautiful, confident smiles using the latest technology and processes.

Island Parent Group Is Looking for Busy Moms & Dads Like you!

We are looking for people who can ily find time between getting the fam , hes lunc king ready for school, pac off p dro s, form filling out permission , at school, volunteering for the PAC to ing driv ool, picking up from sch soccer and starting supper. If you have skills in Advertising Sales, Social Media, Photography or Blogging, the Island Parent Group may have a family-friendly position waiting for you.

Send me your resume: Jim Schneider | 32

Island Parent Magazine

Swan Lake christmas hill n a t u r e

s a n c t u a r y

October 2019  33

W H AT’ SF o r D I N N E R

A Bowlful of Fall

October marks the beginning of the cozy season. The nights grow long. The sky takes on a constant shade of grey, and even the sunshine seems faint. It is the perfect time to embrace warm and comforting foods. Soup is quick, easy and warm. Exactly the right sort of food for a cool fall night. While there are endless options for healthy and delicious soups, here are three recipes that feature one of the stars of October: The pumpkin!

Posh Pumpkin Soup blue cheese for a This pumpkin soup has bacon and slices of buttered with ious posh pub-style soup. It is delic your children for ng stro too bit a bread. If blue cheese is cheese or crumbled then replace it with grated cheddar feta. pkin purée 1 small pumpkin or 2 cans of pum n) onio ll sma 2 shallots (or 1 2 Tbsp butter 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 pinch ground ginger 1 pinch ground nutmeg 4 cups of broth 1⁄2 tsp salt, to taste 6 pieces of bacon 1 cup crumbled blue cheese pumpkin, prepare as 1. Dice the shallot. If using whole in the butter until the es tabl vege the é described above. Saut shallot is soft, about 2 minutes. the vegetables. 2. Add the spices, and toss to coat . Simmer until the boil a to 3. Add the broth and bring . utes min 15 ut pumpkin is cooked, abo n blender. Add salt, 4. Purée the soup with an immersio . and adjust seasonings as required bacon over medium 5. While the soup is cooking, fry the n. baco the e mbl heat until crispy. Cru n and blue cheese. 6. Top each bowl with crumbled baco

Preparing pumpkin for soup:

All of these recipes can be made with either whole pumpkin or cans of pumpkin purée. Feel free to replace the pumpkin with either butternut squash or kabocha squash. Both will give the soup a pumpkin-like flavour that is actually more flavourful than using real pumpkin. It’s easy to prepare pumpkin for soup. All that is required is a really good, heavy duty knife and a peeler. 1. Using a strong, sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half. If you are using butternut squash, this might require some hammering. 2. Scoop out the seeds and take off the top and tail ends. 3. Using an ordinary peeler, peel the pumpkin. You don’t need to take off a thick layer of skin—it is perfectly edible, so don’t worry about any small remnants. Remove any rough-patches, because they aren’t tasty. 4. Chop the pumpkin as indicated in each recipe. For these, large chunks, about as thick as a carrot, are fine. 34

Island Parent Magazine

Mexican Bean & Pumpkin Soup (total time: 40 minutes) This soup has a rich, sweet pumpkin base that is complimented by the addition of a Mexican flavour. The toppings are optional, but I recommend having all of them! Serve with corn chips and sour cream. Soup Base: 1 onion 4 cloves of garlic 1 small pumpkin (or 2 cans of pumpkin purée) 2 Tbsp oil 1 Tbsp smoked paprika (or chili powder) 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin 4 cups of broth 1 Tbsp oregano 1 can of black beans 1⁄3 cup of cream 1⁄2 tsp salt, to taste Toppings: 1 red pepper, finely diced 2 tomatoes, chopped 3 spring onions, chopped 1⁄4 cup of cilantro 1. Peel the garlic. Coarsely chop the onion. If using whole pumpkin, prepare as described above. 2. Sauté vegetables until the onions are sweating. 3. Add the spices and toss to coat the vegetables. 4. Add the broth and the oregano. 5. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft. 6. Purée the soup using an immersion blender. 7. Add the black beans, cream and salt. Taste, and adjust the salt as needed. 8. Allow the soup to simmer for another 5 minutes to make sure the beans are warm. 9. Serve with your choice of toppings.

Curried Pumpkin Soup Curried pumpkin soup is a sweet, creamy and flavourful soup. Make it as spicy as you want. Serve the soup over rice or with a piece of naan bread, for a complete meal that is warm and filling. 2 Tbsp oil 4 medium carrots 1 small pumpkin or 2 cans of pumpkin purée 1 onion 3 cloves of garlic 2 Tbsp fresh ginger 1 tsp curry powder (omit for a non-spicy soup) 8 cups of broth 2 cups of red lentils 1⁄2 cup soy sauce 1 can coconut milk Toppings: Cilantro Chopped red pepper Toasted pumpkin seeds Sriracha 1. Coarsely chop the vegetables. If using whole pumpkin, prepare as described above. 2. Heat the oil and sauté the vegetables until the onion starts to sweat, about 5 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, peel and grate the ginger. 4. Add the curry powder and ginger, and toss to coat. 5. Add the broth and the lentils. 6. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the lentils are cooked. 7. Use an immersion blender to purée the vegetables. 8. Add the soy sauce and the coconut cream. 9. Serve with the toppings. This soup isn’t very spicy, even with the curry powder, so adults will probably enjoy a dash of sriracha.

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

October 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.

support care; volunteer services and opportunities; affordable housing/care/supports for seniors and people with disabilities. For Home Support, please call 250-658-6407. For other programs: 250-6560134.

Beacon Community Services Employment Programs. Beacon Community Services offers a full menu of employment services on the Saanich Peninsula and Gulf Islands. We’ve been helping people find work since 1982! Our programs build on a person’s strengths and resolve barriers to finding and keeping employment. We also work with our employer network to support job seekers. Need help finding a job? Need employees? Contact us Beacon Community Services is a community- for FREE assistance! 9860 Third St. Sidney. 250based, non-profit agency dedicated to helping 656-0134. people and improving lives on southern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf Islands. Beacon thrift Boys & Girls Club Services offer after-school shops fund important LOCAL community services and evening social, educational and recreational and programs. Beacon also offers: child, youth and programming for children and youth at 5 locations family services (including the Peninsula Early Years (Colwood, Langford, VicWest, Central Saanich and Centre and child care); counselling; employment Esquimalt) and summer camps both in Esquimalt services and training for people of all ages; home 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.

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: CAN also provides training and accessibility resources for many sectors, including sport, recreation, first responders, schools, and community spaces. Learn about customized training solutions:


The Learning Curve The Learning Curve (previously The Learning Disabilities Association) supports, educates and advocates in partnership with families and caregivers on behalf of children and youth who experience learning and behavior challenges. We believe the greatest personal growth and learning occurs when children are provided with safe, nurturing environments that recognize and celebrate their strengths. Current research and an expansive theoretical base reinforce how emotions impact brain development, belief in one’s capacity to learn, and sense of hope for future success in learning. These understandings inform all aspects of our work. We also believe that parents who recognize that learning can be a struggle and honour the learning journey of their child or youth, with compassion, are crucial to the processes of development and learning. Our approach is twofold: Parents and caregivers must also have their strengths acknowledged and nurtured for potential to be reached. The results are life changing for the children, youth and families we serve. Programs and services available include:

36  Island Parent Magazine

For children and youth: • Individualized programs are developed in partnership with parents, children and youth and designed to increase confidence, resilience and the skills necessary to be an effective learner. • Individualized programs to address reading and writing development. For parents and care providers: • Individual parenting consultation. • Support groups. • Formal education workshops. For professionals and community members: • Resource and Referral Centre. • Professional development opportunities. • Education and awareness workshops. • Individual and care setting consultations. Visit for more information.

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

Family Services of Greater Victoria helps children, youth, and adults manage the challenges of separation, 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.

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 #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 LDABC The Learning Curve (previously The and Outreach, a Toy and Book Lending Library Learning Disabilities Assn.) supports, educates and and Kingfisher Preschool. Sooke-Westshore Child advocates for children with learning and behavior Care Resource and Referral services, as well as Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria challenges. Individual and group support, educa- all-ages counselling services are also provided by (ICA) is a registered charity and nonprofit helping tion and consultation is available for children, youth, SFRS. Services are provided from the Child, Youth individuals and organizations to connect across parents, caregivers and professionals. Please and Family Centres in Sooke and Westshore. Call cultures. Programs offered include immigrant visit our website or call us for more 250-642-5152 for more information or visit our website at and refugee services, parenting programs, em- information 250-370-9513. ployment services, interpretation and translation, diversity workshops and training, English language Linday Trowell—Creating Calm Within the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society training, volunteer placements, youth programs Chaos. 18+ years experience as a behaviour (VIRCS) supports immigrants and refugees living and tutoring, seniors groups, and inter-cultural support professional for caregivers and parents in Greater Victoria. Services are free and include arts programming. Located at 930 Balmoral Road, of children and adults with special needs. I under- one-on-one counselling, parent education workstand the struggle that families face just to get out shops, youth life skills classes, a preschool pro250-388-4728, the door in the morning. I am trained in working gram, art therapy, language classes and academic KidCareCanada supports new parents and pro- with individuals with FASD, attachment difficulties, support, employment help, computer classes and fessionals with trustworthy information, videos anxiety, trauma, autism, and much more. Individual fun community events like free yoga, tai chi, dance and resources that explain the importance of and family counselling. Relaxed, non-judgmental and cooking classes. Visit us online at early nurturing and show how to support social support tailored for your individual needs. I help or phone 250-361-9433. and emotional development in infants and tod- strengthen families and empower individuals. dlers. Babies don’t come with a manual. That’s

S T A G E S Performing Art School since1980

Come Dance With Us

ses Clas l o o S ch ls... Pre- le ange e t im itt • Offering classes for Teens and Pre-Teens in Jazz, Day or the l f Ballet, Lyrical, Tap. Musical Theatre, Acrobatics

& Hip Hop, in a non-competitive atmosphere.

• Not sure which class to take? Try a Drop-In: No hassle, No Obligation.

Even the littlest angel can dance

Call 250-384-3267 Email us at: Or visit our website: October 2019  37

Family Cycling V

ancouver Island is home to an increasing number of families who are choosing to commute by bicycle. Many are concerned about climate change and want to reduce their carbon footprint. With European style cargo bikes becoming more readily available in Canada, people are taking advantage of our region’s bike-friendly climate to hop out of their cars and onto bikes—kids, pets, grocery bags, and all. In the quest to reduce their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, some families are ditching their minivans entirely for family cargo bikes. Parents of young children tend to feel the urgency of the climate crisis acutely, and many are looking for both political and personal changes to happen quickly, in order to avoid locking in runaway climate change. In British Columbia, 28 per cent of our total emissions come from road transportation, according to the Provincial Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory. In some Island communities, such as Saanich, that number is closer to 50 per cent. This means that transportation is the low hanging fruit—something that young parents who are concerned about their children’s future have the ability to change and in doing so see a meaningful reduction in their carbon footprint. But cycling is about much more than reducing GHG emissions—it comes with significant health benefits. In fact, a UK study found that cycling to work rather than driving reduces the likelihood of cancer or heart disease by half. Many cyclists also report a feeling of joy while riding their bikes, and families


Island Parent Magazine

who bike with their kids often talk about how much more fun their commute is since they started cycling. Electric cargo bikes are becoming an attractive and practical option for families looking to reduce their GHG emissions. As European-style cargo bikes such as longtails (where the rear end of the bike is longer than normal) and bakfiets (meanig “box bikes”) become more readily available in North America (and many of them coming equipped with e-assist), families are finding that they can ride comfortably with their children and stuff aboard their bikes. Commuting by bike with kids has become a practical option, and electric bikes far outstrip their larger cousins—electric vehicles—when it comes to reduction in energy use, GHG emissions, and pollution from the breakdown of tires and brakes over time, while allowing their riders to get exercise as they commute. Infrastructure changes are taking shape in communities all over Vancouver Island, from all ages and abilities protected bikes lanes in Victoria to new trails and cycling routes cropping up in Nanaimo, Courtenay, and beyond. Even rural areas and Gulf Islands are reporting an increased interest in cycling, as our rural roads are updated to include wider shoulders, allowing folks to cycle safely. Recent reports from Vancouver show us that the line from Field of Dreams—“If you build it, they will come”—is true for bike lanes: 10 years on, the Burrard Street bike lane is North America’s busiest, according to city

officials, with more than a million cyclists using it every year. While Vancouver Island has some catching up to do, cycling advocacy groups are working in many communities on our island, making sure that local governments make cycling infrastructure a priority. Cost can still be a barrier for some families, but market pressures and government support have begun to respond to the demand for this clean transportation mode. Cargo bikes remain costly, as they are often imported from Europe, but more affordable cargo bikes such as Radwagons and Bunch bikes are entering the North American market and making family cycling more accessible. Some families are also realizing that financing an e-bike makes financial sense, as the savings in gas, parking, and maintenance quickly add up. Additionally, the BC Government recently introduced a scrap-it rebate, offering a credit of $850 towards the purchase of an e-bike for those who have a car to scrap. E-cargo bikes are still an investment, but one that is becoming more accessible and making more sense than ever for many families. There has never been a better time to swap your minivan for a bike, get in shape, and reduce your family’s carbon footprint. Let’s change our culture, not our climate!

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

Elise Velazquez lives in Gorge Tillicum with her husband and two children. She loves riding bikes, writing poetry, looking for solutions to climate change, and swimming in the Gorge Waterway. Find her on twitter at @EliseVelaz9 and Instagram at @elise.velaz.

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

October 2019


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

Island Kids Academy View Royal ...... 250-727-2929 High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum. Includes Music Classes and Character Development using the Virtues Project. Wait list being taken.

Castleview Child Care.......................250-595-5355 Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed non-profit, ECE staff. Since 1958. Morning or full-time care. Centennial Day Care ......................... 250-386-6832 Exceptional childcare and education 35+ years. Nature 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 Fairfield 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

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.

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.

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




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

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

The first steps in your child’s education

QuALICuM BEACH Call for more information today: 250.746.3654

International Montessori Academy of Canada ........................................... 250-737-1119 Elementary K–12. Offers an enriching environment for preschool children 2-4.9 years with potty training. Nurturing young minds, keeping the spirit free. Parkside Academy ............................... 250-746-1711 Providing high quality early learning and care from infancy to 12 years of age, in a stimulating, respectful, nurturing, nature based environment with fully educated and passionate early childhood educators. Visit or find us on Facebook.

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

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


VIEW ROyAL 250.382.3533

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.

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

Children’s Discovery Centre.............. 250-752-4343 A nurturing, safe and creative learning environment. Licensed preschool, group care and out of school care. Early Childhood Educators. childrensdiscovery Little Star Children’s Centre .............. 250-752-4554 Little Gems Infant and Toddler Care .. 250-228-5437 Mother, Daughter owned and operated. Earth friendly preschool education inspired by nature. Infused with fun and creative daily yoga practices! Licensed group care. Enthusiastic ECE instructors.

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

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

October 2019


The Importance of Inclusivity Top tips and laughter


e are a month back into the school year and perhaps already used to early mornings and packing lunches. New kids and new teachers are getting used to my atypical, neurodiverse, different, unusual, quirky, non-verbal, highly sensitive, curious, funny (as in ha ha and strange) goof ball of a special kid. According to the National Symposium on Neurodiversity, “neurological differences are to be recognized and respected as any other human variation.” So this means that Autism and ADHD or Tourette Syndrome and also Prader-Willi Syndrome create diverse individuals who vary from the norm, but are still within human variation. People who are neurodiverse, in other words, are not weird, though they may be rare. My son, Colwyn, is neurodiverse. He has a dual diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Prader-Willi Syndrome(PWS). He’s also just a kid. He

is quirky, like we all are. He has interests and passions. He can be fickle, and he can be steadfast. The list of behaviours or characteristics of Autism and PWS are useful tools, but they do not define Colwyn. For those who teach him, or are in class with him, it’s important not to make assumptions based on labels or even behaviours, but look at and listen to the kid who is standing before them. Colwyn is good at teaching people to be open and accepting. He loves it when people get him right away especially if he can show off his goofy sense of humour and be truly accepted. So here are a few reminders to help us work toward being open and easy with nuerodiverse kids: 1. Slow down and listen. Colwyn does speak but he is quiet, he often whispers, and he only speaks part of the word. He also signs and uses an iPad to communi-

cate as well as his whole self: eyes, hands, smile. If you meet a kid who is quiet, try to stop and listen; slow down a little, give them time to say what they want to say. When someone takes the time to understand him, he’s so elated he literally skips down the street. 2. Remember that processing speeds are different, so avoid repeating instructions and wait. By repeating “Please go and get your iPad from the living room,” I reset Colwyn’s processing and so we wait longer while he decodes the request. 3. Allow for more time. A friend, Noelle Allen, recounts a time when she told her son Samuel, who has Down Syndrome, to be “Quick as a bunny,” when getting ready for school and he responded, “No, slow like a snail.” Not only is Samuel letting his mom know his preference, he’s using his sense of humour to make his point. 4. Recognize the unique needs of neurodiverse kids. Just as cyclists ben-

er 25

tob Visit us Oc

Join us at our Junior, Middle and Senior Schools on Friday, October 25. Discover why so many parents trust St. Michaels University School for their children’s education, making this year our highest enrolment ever.

ore Learn m l inancia about F s rtunitie o p p o d i A

Take a tour, see hands-on learning in action and ask all the important questions before you apply. Find out more and register at: 42  Island Parent Magazine

Yvonne Blomer is a Victoria writer and the past Poet Laureate of Victoria. Her most recent books are Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur and Refugium: Poems for the Pacific.

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I joined Colwyn and his dad and after we talked about his teeth, he gave his dentist an epic high five and with the tiny mirror gripped in Colwyn’s hand, the dentist had a look. The appointment ended with Colwyn wearing the dentist’s magnifying specs to look at his hands, followed by him visiting all the other cubicles. At worst, we are disruptive and silly. At best, Colwyn makes people laugh, gets his teeth cleaned and builds on existing relationships. Most days I’m living in the moment with Colwyn whose favourite song, activity or person is always the song, activity or person right in front of him. He keeps us grounded in the present. Big shifts like the start of school rattle my nerves but Colwyn soothes them with his delight. Sure, he struggles a lot and must work hard for every milestone and that will likely never change, but his struggles are eased by good people, supportive spaces and his awesome attitude.


efit from bike lanes because they create a unique and designated space for the cyclist, so too do neurodiverse kids benefit from special programs and adaptations to accommodate their needs and lifestyles. The school system, teachers and helpers, classmates, people at parks and in stores now recognize that Colwyn is different. Most guess Autism. This recognition is great, because most people know how to adjust their behaviour, rather than expect Colwyn to. Beyond recognition we also need to provide access and support to the environments in which neurodiverse people learn, work, and live. 5. Recognition is an important step. We also must implement changes. To return to my bike lane metaphor, the increase in cycling traffic in areas with bike lanes can improve the lives of city and street users. Lorne Daniel, founder of Greater Victoria Placemaking Network says, when speaking of city infrastructure that, “Streets with protected bike lanes, wide sidewalks, mid-block street crossings and such are more inclusive and create a more equitable street.” His view of city planning can work as a metaphor for how to be equitable and inclusive of neurodiverse people. Curb cuts are another example. A curb cut is a wedge cut out of the elevated curb to allow smooth passage to the street. It was meant to benefit people in wheelchairs but helps people who are visually impaired, carrying heavy bags, pushing strollers or walkers, people who are drunk, movers and delivery people. It’s important to allow for more equitable access at every level of society—from shopping (Thrifty Foods now offers sensory friendly shopping days); to schools (SD61 has protected

the special ed program at Arbutus Middle School), and movie theatres (some now offer sensory friendly screenings). The hope is we will continue to move forward in creating a liveable world for all diversities including my dancing, stomping, skipping, neurodiverse kiddo. 6. My last major tip is to see the person and let them be who they are. I fall into the mom trap of taking everything too seriously and letting every little anxious screech feel like the end of the world. The more seriously I take everything, the more serious it becomes. The more I laugh, and dance, and teach my son to accept himself, the happier and more relaxed we all are. If someone is a bit surprised or uncomfortable when Colwyn is too close, I say something like, “Hi, this is Colwyn. He’s interested in your…moustache, bald head, dog, leash, curly hair, face…etc.” At the dentist recently Cowlyn wore sunglasses, had Van Morrison on the iPad, held his own tiny mirror and entertained his hygienist. I heard a few quiet “a booos” come from his cubical, as well as lots of laughter, goofy gasps, a relatively quiet howl and the repetition of the name Angus. When the dentist came to see him,

Larch St.

Entrance off Larch St.


October 2019  43

H appyFami lies H ea lth yFami lies

Healthy Families, Happy Families

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

250-519-5311 250-539-3099

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

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


Your Baby’s Immunizations Ways parents can help


nfants are at a much higher risk for serious health issues from diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. This is why it is important to immunize your child according to the schedule recommended by the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control. To provide your child with the best possible protection, immunizations are routinely offered at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 18 months of age. Immunizations can be stressful for both infant and parent but there are many things parents can do to decrease this stress. One important thing to remember for parents or caregivers is to remain calm. There are a number of reasons why parents might feel nervous about their baby’s immunizations and these feelings are normal. Reasons for feeling nervous could include not knowing what is going to happen during the appointment, worrying about the pain the immunization may cause, seeing their baby upset and, finally, concerns about immunization safety. A baby can sense when a parent is upset or nervous and this may cause the baby to get upset as well. If you are nervous or unsure about the appointment, discuss this with your primary health care provider or a public health nurse prior to the appointment and they will be able to discuss your concerns with you.

What’s going to happen during the immunization appointment at your local health unit?

Knowing what is going to happen during the appointment can help relieve some of the nervous feelings that parents might have. Here is an example of what typically happens at the first immunization appointment at your local health unit. • Your baby will be weighed and measured, usually in the waiting area. This will be done by a nurse or a volunteer • You will be asked to complete a Child Health Checklist. The checklist contains simple questions about your baby’s development. You are welcome to ask any questions you may have about your baby’s development at this time. • The nurse will then tell you about the vaccines your baby is due for, what diseases they will be protected against, and the usual side effects such as a mild fever or a bit of soreness where the injection was given. • You will have a chance to ask any questions you may have about the vaccines at this time. • When you feel you have enough information about the vaccine, you will be asked to give your consent to proceed with immunizations to the nurse.

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 44  Island Parent Magazine

Want more information ahead of time? Call your local health unit or see the below websites: • Immunize BC: • BC Centre for Disease Control: • Public Health Agency of Canada, Immunization and Vaccines: • Immunize Canada:

• The nurse will let you know how to best hold your baby so the immunizations are done safely. • At the first appointment most babies get one oral vaccine (to protect against the rotavirus), which is done first and has a sweet taste to help lessen the pain response. • The injections will be done in your baby’s legs, so you will be asked to undress your baby so that their legs are showing. • You will be asked to wait for 15 minutes after your baby receives the immunizations just in case of the very rare chance they have an allergic reaction. The chance of this happening is 1 in 1 million.

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How can I help comfort my baby?

Research has also shown there are ways a parent can help reduce pain for their baby during the immunization. Here are some suggestions: Presence of a parent or caregiver • Have a familiar person hold the baby during the immunizations • Use a cradle hold exposing the legs (immunizations for babies under one year of age are usually done in the legs) • Change the baby’s position once the immunizations are finished • Cuddle your baby Diverting Attention • Bring a toy, rattle, or book from home • Sing a familiar song • Blow bubbles • Talk to your baby, tell them a story Infant Feeding • Breastfeeding or feeding by another method (expressed breastmilk or formula by bottle) comforts your baby and can be done before, during and/ or after immunizations • If feeding at the time of appointment is not an option for you, you can still comfort your baby by placing them close to you before, during and after the immunizations. Tia Niedjalski is a Clinical Coordinator at the Victoria Health Unit.

Starts September 3, 2019

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

AdvertisersDirectory Cinecenta...........................................................23

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St. Michaels University School......................42


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Victoria Academy of Ballet............................46

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Mad Science.................................................... IFC

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Pacific Christian.............................................. IBC

Wicked Victoria.................................................30

C hild Youth & Family Public Health

October 2019  45


Beyond Reflective Listening


hen a child feels upset and possibly angry with something you have done, reflective listening may not be enough. You want to attempt to understand the false, self-limiting beliefs that create the feelings. When you are listening reflectively and notice that your child remains defensive and upset, it might be time to ask some questions. Children can have mistaken ideas about the world, especially about relationships. They can misread social cues, think you love their sibling more than you love them, and believe that they are being treated unfairly because they don’t fully understand the circumstances. You can ask such things as, “Does it seem like I’m judging you or making you wrong?” or “What are some of the things I have done or said that make you feel upset?” This can only work if the parent’s true intent is to be open to learning about what is going on for their child. It is the loving nature of the parent during exploration that helps a child move out of a protective state. Protective states keep all of us stuck into being closed to solving issues or learning something that we can’t see in that moment. For everyone, if emotions are strong, it might require time before going into exploration; this requires some patience. The essence of this process can open up deep pain and fear, allowing

those feelings to be healed. If we want our children to be loving, caring human beings, we need to be there for them when they are in pain. Being present in this way allows negative emotions to pass rather than staying stored and unresolved. It is also important to know that you can listen to a child’s feelings without agreeing with their perceptions. If thoughts aren’t corrected or if situations aren’t fully understood, the negative feelings will persist.

What to do:

• Start by listening to your child’s feelings, naming them and allowing your child to express them. • When you see that your child can’t move forward you can give it time or you can move into asking questions. • Repeat the child’s perceptions so that he or she knows you understand them. • Respectfully, hold up a more realistic, neutral or loving explanation. • Now give the child time to digest and ask questions of his or her own. Allison Rees has two LIFE Seminars books available: Sidestepping the Power Struggle and The Parent Child Connection. See

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

2019/20 Children’s Ballet Classes September to June Including a FREE dance class for boys 7-11. Now in its 4th year, BOYS CAN DANCE is a positive way for boys to get interested in dance! Register now—this class always becomes waitlisted!

250-590-6752 46  Island Parent Magazine

Still accepting registration for Children’s Classes as well as Teen Ballet and our special Boys Can Dance program.

Educational Excellence to the Glory of God

Pre-School & J.K. to Grade 12 Partnering with Parents since 1960 250-479-4532 Come and See

October 2019  47

Victoria’s tics nas only gym rmitted e facility p poline m to use tra s for e surfac birthday parties!



Why Victoria Gymnastics? Unlike other gymnastics clubs, our priority is non-competitive gymnastics where all students are treated equally. Boys and girls, ages 2 through adult, beginner through advanced Morning, afternoon and evening classes seven days a week

Unlimited make-ups for missed classes Our ratio guarantee of a maximum of 8 students per instructor will provide your child with the individualized attention he or she deserves

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Trial classes available—start any time Monthly payments with no further obligation—cancel any time

Birthday Parties & Holiday Camps

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Proudly 100% Canadian owned and operated since 1980

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Your child’s progress is monitored daily, and every 3 months, each student is awarded a medal indicating his or her progress in our new proprietary 14 level, 1400 skill program. We are a family oriented business. Classes are scheduled so that varying ages and genders can take part in different classes at the same time. Our in ground foam pits are the safest in Victoria—foam cubes are suspended on top of a sprung net! Consistent, safe and experienced coaching in a well structured, safe and fun environment— NCCP certification coaches and First Aid.

Downtown Victoria

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Celebrating 39 Years of Excellence!

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Profile for Island Parent Group

Island Parent October 2019  

Family Health & Wellness

Island Parent October 2019  

Family Health & Wellness