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ISSUE 04

February/March 2014 BRISBANE

Before words BABY SIGN LANGUAGE

ACUPUNCTURE: IS IT SAFE FOR CHILDREN?

PLUS

LEARNING AND MUSIC

CONVERSATION | PARTIES WHAT'S ON CALENDAR + LOTS MORE

STRIKE A BALANCE WITH MARTIAL ARTS

www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 – Kids in the City

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Contents FEBRUARYMarch2014

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FROM THE EDITOR THE SOCIAL GATHERING WHAT'S NEWS CHECK THIS OUT FEATURE: Striking a balance: Martial Arts THE ‘P’ FILES: Developing children's communication and social skills

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Find out what’s happening in the City in February and March EDUCATION: Music Matters BABIES IN THE CITY: Sign language PARENTVILLE: Winging It ONLY NATURAL: Acupuncture and Families LET’S CELEBRATE: Red Dinner REVIEWS CONVERSATION: Tiffani Wood

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T hesocialgathering We have been chatting about post baby bellies, and the fitness bloggers under fire for posting 'selfies' of their post baby bodies. Do you think pictures like this add pressure to new mums to get back in shape quickly? Or is it just media sensationalism trying to Jodaveelyssa spark debate? As far as I'm concerned it's

Welcome to

kids in the city

The start of the school year is a wonderful time to reflect on what our children have achieved. Even the smallest comments of recognition from us can make our children feel a million dollars. It can be anything from learning to blow bubbles in the pool to regularly remembering to unpack a lunchbox after school (I wish that we had that one ticked off !). The past six months has been huge for the team at Kids in the City. We have been overwhelmed with the wonderful feedback we have received from you – our new readers! There have been many new milestones for all of the KITC kids too. We would love to hear yours – so make sure you join us on Facebook or our website and let us know! In this edition of Kids in the City we explore why martial arts can make a big difference to children’s confidence, understanding of safety as well as how to choose a martial arts school that is right for you. We also delve into the world of unschooling; look at acupuncture for families; find out why baby sign language has helped so many parents and investigate options to assist in the development of children’s communication and social skills. Have you missed an issue of Kids in the City magazine? All of our articles are online and you can comment and discuss the topics on our website or Facebook page. We add topical news stories daily as well as blogs, new articles and product, app and book reviews. Please feel free to contact me via Facebook. com/kidsinthecitymagazine, our website or email. Don’t forget to sign up for our What’s On eNews that comes out weekly at www. kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au.

Jackie Goldston Editor

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Lyn: I think if they've worked hard and on their own steam done it, why shouldn't they show it off ? I object to the airbrushed photos of celebrities who have nannies and chauffeurs and personal trainers and personal chefs and elective c-sections [with nip and tuck] showing off their bodies 2 minutes after "giving birth". I think we all have time. I just spent 5 minutes reading this and replying to it. That could have been 5 minutes doing squats or star jumps or at least not drinking a coffee. I haven't prioritised it and I feel guilty and so I should - my daughter deserves a fit mum, not someone she has to drag around behind her!

their body to do with as they wish. My third child is almost 2 and I Corinna: was back in a size 8 within a couple I think it has all gone of weeks of having her, not because I waaaaaay too far. If I didn't tried mind you, but because of having have a body like that before thyroid disease. I still have wobbly bits, having a baby then I am damn sure I stretchmarks etc and I don't care. All won't have a body like that AFTER a I can say is worry about yourself and baby. Wish I had the discipline to have a if you don't like what you see either body like that in my younger days...might change it or learn to accept it. be a different story for my body now if I did. What I don't like is them Heidi: I know for me personally it makes me feel guilty because I know that I could have trying to put the average female gotten my pre-baby body back if I had worked at it, but that wasn't my priority, I wanted to down because we don't breastfeed and give my baby the best milk possible and not worry if whether my eating look like that. or exercise was impacting my supply. But I honestly think we should stop focussing on this, because really all mum's should first and foremost be focusing on their child and doing what is best for baby. If you have time to exercise and lose weight, great, but also realise that some don't have that time or even have that as a priority.

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Dream

world

! Win

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ha e heat wit Escaping th book. good

"Can w

e go on At Sea it again?!" world.

Look for this symbol throughout the magazine and hop onto our website for your chance to WIN!

EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS FOR ISSUE 4: Luke Goldston, Sandra

Smith, Maxine Arthur, Belinda Hopper, Mary Eggleston, Mimi B, Dr Kelly Bowers and and Aleney de Winter.

COVER: Photography by Jennifer Oliphant Photography. Rain cloud created by Ligre Ward. Models dressed by eeni meeni miini moh® + e3-M®

Kids in the City magazine is printed with vegetable/soy based inks on paper supplied using pulp sourced from sustainable forests and manufactured to environmentally accredited systems. Kids in the City encourages recycling. Please keep this issue for future reference, pass onto your friends and family, use for craft projects or place into the recycling bin.

PUBLISHED BY: THINGS 4 KIDS PTY LTD. PO Box 491, Eumundi QLD 4562 PHONE: 1300 430 320 FAX: 07 5471 2372 WEB: www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au ABN: 86 473 357 391. All editorial and advertising in Kids in the City is published in good faith based on material, verbal or written, provided by contributors and advertisers. No responsibility is taken for errors or omissions and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. All material in Kids in the City is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Feedback/comments/suggestions? Send to: editorial@ kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au. We aim to reply to all correspondence but don’t guarantee to do so. Letters to the editor may be edited for length or clarity. PUBLISHER: Toni Eggleston ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Simone Bell EDITOR: Jackie Goldston ADVERTISING: For advertising enquiries please phone Joanne 1300 430 320 or email: advertising@kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au Production Department: production@kidsinthecitymagazine. com.au ADMINISTRATION: Kellie Kruger admin@kidsonthecoast.com.au PRINTING BY: Print Works PHONE: 07 3865 4433 DISTRIBUTION: Kids in the City (Brisbane edition) is a free publication circulating over 20,000 copies. Separate edition cover Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. For distribution enquiries please phone: 1300 430 320 or email: admin@kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au GRAPHIC DESIGN: Helen Chapman & Alana Falk www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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Stay up to date with your local community news. If you have any unique news that you’d like to share, please contact our editor at editorial@kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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RISING TEMPS SPARK AMBULANCE ADVICE

St John Ambulance (Qld) is warning all Queenslanders to keep fluids up and know the early signs of heat stroke following the recent early onset of rising temperatures. St John (Qld) Training Manager Darryl Clare said ensuring everyone in the home and workplace is well hydrated can reduce the risk of hospitalisation, but said children and the elderly were most at risk. “With

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APPLE APP REFUNDS

The US Federal Trade Commission announced during January that Apple has agreed to provide refunds of at least $32.5 million to settle charges that it unfairly billed parents for their children's in-app purchases. The FTC has focused on allegations that parents were billed without consent for purchases – specifically looking at in-app purchases that require an account holder to enter a password. The issue that has arisen is that the company saves the password for at least 15 minutes after a purchase, allowing children to make purchases without parents’ consent, according to the FTC’s complaint.

FINANCIAL GRA$P BY 7 By the age of 7 most children’s financial habits have started to be formed, according to a new study done at Cambridge University in England. “The habits of mind, which influence the ways children approach complex problems and decisions, including financial ones, are largely determined in the first years of life,” said David Whitebread, a psychologist and co-author of the study with Sue Bingham. Their study shows that most children by age 7 should know how to recognise the value of money and count it. They should understand how money can be exchanged for products and what it means to earn money. Children by that age understand to some degree the notion of delayed gratification, although they may not have a clear grasp of the difference between wants and needs, the researchers found. temperatures rising across all of Queensland, it is important we look after ourselves as well as our family and friends,” he said. Heat stress can occur within a few minutes and may lead to fatal heat stroke. To avoid heat stroke, keep well hydrated by drinking about 500mL of water every hour. To avoid symptoms of heat stroke, it is best to ensure that you are always protected from the sun.

Signs and symptoms of heat stroke include: • dry skin • confusion • headache • nausea • rapid, shallow breathing

TICKING BIOLOGICAL CLOCK FOR MEN A University of Queensland (UQ) study has found children with older fathers are more susceptible to mental health disorders. Led by the Queensland Brain Institute’s (QBI) Professor John McGrath, an international team of researchers used Danish health registers to examine the maternal and paternal age of 2,894,688 offspring at birth. UQ news reports, “The study followed people with a a broad range of mental disorders including schizophrenia, mood disorders, neurotic, stress-related, eating disorders, personality disorders and a range of developmental and childhood disorders born from 1955 to 2007, for the equivalent of 42.7 million person years,” Professor McGrath said. “We found that the overall risk for psychiatric disorders, in particular mental retardation, autism and schizophrenia, increased for those born to a father over the age of 29 years.” The association between parental age and risk of mental disorders in offspring may be confounded by a range of factors. The study is a reminder that the offspring of older father have an increased risk of a range of disorders. In short, the biological clock ticks for men, as well as women.

TYING UP LATER Recent research has shown that less children are able to tie their own shoelaces before the age of six than 20 or 30 years ago, with many still having trouble tying their own laces when they are nine or ten years old. Gary Kibble, retail director for Littlewoods.com who carried out the study, said: "Today's children now learn how to operate complex technology long before they know how to tie shoe laces. They understand navigation paths and algorithms yet still don't know how to make a knot.”

www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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6 1. SPENCIL LUNCH BAGS: a funky and convenient way to keep your food cold (or hot)! RRP: $11.95 - $12.95 from www.spencil.com.au or selected retailers across the City. Also available are matching library bags ($12.95), school book covers (from $2.50), pencil cases ($9.95), homework bags ($12.95). 2. QUUT BALLO: We know – it doesn’t even look like a bucket. But your kids will use it like one, and that’s what makes the Ballo so unique. Carrying water from the sea to a sandcastle has never been this much fun. RRP $24.95 http://www.tigertribe.com.au 3. SNURK ASTRONAUT SINGLE DOONA SET: let your child’s imagination run free at night with this stunning photographic printed single doona set with a real Astronaut suit from the Space Expo Museum in Holland. RRP$169.95 from www.hardtofind.com.au 4. JUNO EASY RIDER: The Spherovelo helps young children make the connection between their senses (vision, pressure, equilibrium...) and their motor system by being a ride on that’s unstable on the one hand (so that the child is required to effect some control - like with a bike) but safe on the other; a combination never before achieved. http://www.wooden.net.au $120 RRP 5.THE BEDSOK™ IS A SLEEPING BAG FOR BEDS. It features an all-in-one sheet set with child-friendly zips along the sides and stretch ribbing ensuring covers stay on and children stay snug all through the night. Available in Cot, Single and King Single. RRP: $89.90 including matching pillow case and drawstring bag. www.bedsok.com 6. BOOK COVERS: Going back to school has never been so funky with an amazing array of interesting and unique book covers and contact. These are super easy to use and great to look at. Slide on book covers from http://www.classcovers.com (from $2). www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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Feature

Striking a balance EXPLORING MARTIAL ARTS

By Luke Goldston

M

artial arts training for children is experiencing a golden age in Australia. The idea of teaching kids to defend themselves is nothing new; it dates back to Ancient Greece and beyond. However, in the last decade, the ABS reports that there has been a 25% growth in children’s participation in martial arts. The reasons for parents or kids to want to get involved can vary. In many cases the motivation may be poorly defined. However at the heart of it is often the desire that most parents have for their kids to be safe. Concerned parents like to know that our children are protected, especially when they’re out of our reach. Renowned philosopher and martial artist (and concerned parent) Sam Harris explains it; “Just as it is prudent to wear your seat belt while driving, it makes sense to know how best to respond to violence.” The problem is that there is often a large knowledge gap for parents when it comes to choosing the right school, the right instructor and the right style. Faced with a variety of confusing sounding names, often outrageous claims and fancy looking uniforms, a parent with no personal experience of martial arts can never be certain what they’re actually paying for. THE RIGHT SCHOOL To choose the right school it’s important to understand what you and your child hope to get out of martial arts. Whether it’s purely for self-defence, for self-discipline, confidence, fitness, fun, sporting competition or the social and even artistic aspects it will affect the kind of school you choose. It’s not unheard of for martial arts teachers to make wild, unsubstantiated claims about the effectiveness of their style. It’s possible some of them even believe these claims themselves. Unfortunately, teaching the average child that they can disarm a knife wielding

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attacker, take on three opponents at once or knock someone out with the force of their chi is an expensive self-delusion at best and dangerous at worst. Daniel Keating has a black belt in Taekwondo and a brown belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu. He trains children, adults and professional fighters. He believes that at least some of the recent surge in popularity can be attributed to televised combat sports and the Mixed Martial Arts explosion, in the same way that the Olympics raised the profile of Taekwondo and Hong Kong cinema raised the profile of Kung Fu; but he also thinks that consumers are a touch more discerning than they used to be and not quite as willing to be taken in by mystical sales pitches. Previously, he says, “people would just walk down to the nearest school and often become indoctrinated. It's natural to assume someone with a black belt knows what they're talking about in the same way one would trust a doctor! It shouldn't be that way but it happens.” Even without any background in martial arts there are some warning signs that anyone should be able to look out for. Firstly make sure the financial arrangements are clear from the very beginning. Discounts for long term membership are normal but be aware if there are penalties for early withdrawal. Also take into account other costs, both compulsory and optional such as mandatory equipment, grading costs and ‘special’ classes before you make a decision. Most schools will give kids tangible encouragement, often in the form of different coloured belts, to signify their advancement in the style. Good schools recognise that to give advancement too quickly or easily makes the process continued on next page... www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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ADVERTISEMENT/LOCAL BUSINESS PROFILE

Infinity Offers More Than Just Martial Arts Infinity Martial Arts teaches kids healthy and active habits from a young age, but we also give every student invaluable lessons for life! All instructors at Infinity are full-time professionals that take pride in teaching quality, kid-friendly martial arts that helps tackle self-confidence, bullying and socialisation issues.

The Infinity Martial Arts 5 Lessons for Life 1. Self Discipline: Research shows that children learning the skills of Martial Arts also develop a high level of discipline that stems through to how they focus and behave on a daily basis, in the classroom and at home. 2. Strength: Physical and mental strength can be one of the most valuable components to carry through life. Children are encouraged to push their limits in both areas, which help them to stay fit, positive and on the right track to reaching their full potential in life. 3. Respect: The instructors at Infinity work with the students to help them learn the art of respect, teaching them to behave appropriately and hold a high regard for teachers, parents and other mentors in their lives.

bullies in and out of the schoolyard. We teach non-violent ways to deal with the

4. Honour: All children will have the opportunity to progress through a coloured belt system. This provides the building blocks for learning how to set and achieve goals. The Honour brings a positive social standing and more importantly improves their overall self-esteem.

bully as well as providing valuable tools to make sure they don’t develop into a

5. Personal Safety: Students are trained to defend themselves against

more details.

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bully themselves. If you want to give your child the best start in life, bring them along for a free trial class and let them see what all the fun is about. Infinity has eight locations to choose from in South-East QLD. Call 1300 INFINITY for

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Feature

Some people are concerned that teaching a kid to fight encourages them to fight, but this is not the case. It channels their natural aggression and competitiveness into something positive. Vice becomes virtue… Daniel Keating

meaningless. Martial arts training should be hard and to achieve any kind of mastery takes more than a couple of years. Other warning signs include schools that seem to run on ‘personality cults’, with the revered master accorded a more than human level of respect. Part of the benefit of martial arts, is learning to respect a role model outside the family but some schools seem to play on that respect to promote a kind of semi-religious awe of the instructor. Finally there are those schools and instructors that, while excellent, just don’t seem to cater well to children. Most schools will offer a trial period or a few free lessons. Take advantage of these and don’t be afraid to look at different places. BUT DOES IT WORK? Most self-defence experts will tell you that the best forms of self-defence are awareness and avoidance. Unfortunately, being able to see a bad situation develop before it gets out of hand is a skill many kids don’t have. On top of that, being able to avoid bad situations can be extremely difficult if that bad situation is locked up in school with you all day. Advice to simply avoid bullies is well meaning, logical and often incites a bullied kid to want to tear their hair out in frustration. Apart from the fact that it’s often impossible to avoid someone, the effort to constantly stay away from a tormentor is very psychologically draining. That’s where martial arts come in. Like the seat belt, they’re a last line of defence for accidents we can’t avoid. To Daniel Keating, one of the main things to look for in a school if you’re concerned about self-defence is well controlled sparring. Whatever style you choose, Keating says, “make sure they have some level of sparring. No-contact sparring doesn't count. Watch the classes and see if the kids are having fun but are being kept under control.” In this sense, sparring means practicing your techniques against a resisting opponent, as opposed to hitting pads or hitting the air or even throwing a compliant partner to the ground.

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While these all have a place in training, they should at some point be supplemented with resisted training. Don’t believe anyone who tries to tell you that they never spar because all their techniques are too deadly to be used, except in a life or death situation. While there should always be some limitations, rules and necessary protective equipment, a technique that is never trained against someone trying to prevent you applying it is probably not going to be useful when you need it most. For this reason, grappling arts like judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and western style wrestling are often a good fit for children. In contrast to styles which focus on striking, the techniques in grappling can be trained at, or close to, full intensity. When a hold or position becomes painful or too difficult, the option is always there to “tap” or submit and restart without injury. As Keating says, “An adult who is interested in martial arts will happily practice techniques repetitively until they can memorise it, kids will not readily do that, but they will wrestle and grapple all day.” Aside from their undoubted effectiveness, grappling arts have the benefit of giving a competent practitioner a means of ending a confrontation without injury and de-escalating a situation by physically controlling a person without actually hurting them. Striking arts such as boxing, kickboxing, taekwondo and karate are more difficult to train at full intensity but can be extremely effective when well taught. They also give a different set of options to resolve a situation when, for instance, rolling around on the ground might be unwise. Many people have begun to cross train in 2 or more different styles, usually a striking and a grappling style. Some schools offer both options under the one roof but be sure that all the instructors are fully qualified in the style they teach and it’s not just a case of shoehorning some extra training in to accommodate the mixed martial arts trend.

ANGER MANAGEMENT One of the ongoing debates around martial arts is whether training actually helps children to control aggression or merely gives aggressive kids better means to hurt somebody. The worry in teaching a child the techniques to potentially hurt someone is that they will lack the maturity to understand when not to hurt people. Troubled boxing champion Mike Tyson is living proof of the fact that you can master a style of fighting perfectly without any actual benefit to self-discipline outside of competition but Keating believes that a good school and good instructor will have the opposite effect. “Some people are concerned that teaching a kid to fight encourages them to fight, but this is not the case. It channels their natural aggression and competitiveness into something positive. Vice becomes virtue. Suppressing this is what really leads to it surfacing in more negative ways. Without self-discipline and self-control the kids learn very little when training.” Martial arts training, at its best, serves to demystify violence. Boys in particular are prone to aggressively escalating confrontations because they don’t fully understand the consequences of a fight. Long hours of bruising, physical training where they are quite often on the losing side of an encounter helps them to understand that there is very little that’s glorious, easy or inconsequential about fighting. It also can reduce any need they have to ‘prove themselves’ for the sake of their own ego. For girls, the demystifying process can be a slightly different one. Less prone to rough and tumble games as part of the normal process of growing up, girls can often be paralysed if violence is used against them in earnest. Through training they can learn not just physical techniques to protect themselves, but the ability to control their emotional reactions to violence. www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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They’re never too young to learn Self-Defence Age specific Kansai Karate for boys & girls 3-4 & 5-8 years old. Also classes for juniors 8-12 years old and separate adult classes. Kansai Cubs and Little Lions teaches children to control their bodies, direct and focus their minds and energize and empower their spirits - all wrapped in games, challenges and fun.

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& others ct for themselves concepts of respe the s ian asp s rd Gr itie ua • bil s/G pa ca want Dear Parent ntal and physical our children. You ctive • Master their me gher than ever for y something produ the ng so rni do lea to ile er Growing up is tou wh ord fun in t ve bu Ha y, re • pp ssu ha pre be d ist negative peer them to succeed an the temptations • Learn how to res dent when facing and fully qualified the ke ma must become confi to w ho highly experienced ng are rni rs lea cto en tru re your wh ins d r Ou ir priority is to ensu them without of peer pressure an how can you help th children; and the So wi . rk e. ies wo nc ilit rie to ab ir o pe ex int the most of enrol them and worthwhile ery move? You can child has a fantastic r classes in your shadowing their ev al Arts School. rti Ma s de Fid ning new beginne tt Ma run y al ntl loc rre ur cu yo at are s in our schools We classe ool special, spaces work with local th our back to sch s Martial Arts, we Febuary and Wi de a. of Fid d are tt to en Ma d the at ke e re lin He w and join befor gramme that is No pro t al Ac gin ly. ori ick on an qu us ll ve fill ild ca schools to bu d life skills. We ha ally free! Please ic achievement an e your uniform tot em iev ad rec , ac ars ’s ye ild 7 ch 12 10 5 st ur yo the pa XT 0428 51 this programme for 1800 840 403 or TE ve their been working on d parents to achie step. an xt ren ne ild the ch e of tak ds d an helping thousan values that Martial le do not realise the goals. Many peop With respect ur child will: or Arts can teach. Yo es against bullying elv ms the t fen de Matt Fiddes, • Learn how to 4-6 YRS CLASSES ontrol Martial Arts Team lf-c abduction se d an th or lf-w se 7-12 YRS CLASSES of e nc rta po ve im • Learn the th others to achie ADULT CLASSES & t they can work wi tha d an rst de Un • LADIES KICK BOXING their goals. cel e at school and ex • Value their tim

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MATT FIDDES MARTIAL ARTS

CALL US ON 1800 840 403 FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 – Kids in the City

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T he P Files

Developing childrens

communication and social skills By Dr Kelly Bowers Youthrive integrated therapy services

IMAGINE NOT HAVING THE NECESSARY SKILLS TO COMMUNICATE AND INTERACT WITH YOUR FRIENDS, FAMILY, CO-WORKERS OR THE CASHIER AT THE SUPERMARKET. HOW WOULD IT IMPACT ON YOUR ABILITY TO ACHIEVE YOUR DAILY OR WEEKLY TASKS? HOW WOULD YOU FEEL?

W

e often underestimate the importance of our social and communication skills, even though we rely on them heavily to get through our day. While social and communication skills are obviously used to build relationships and bonds with other people, we sometimes forget that they are also important for the growth of other areas of our life as well, including: • • • • • •

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developing our sense of self building self-esteem understanding other people and why they behave the way they do understanding how other people see us and our behaviour developing emotional regulation skills so we can remain calm and in control of ourselves establishing problem solving, conflict management, and team building abilities. continued on next page... www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

3/02/2014 11:15 am


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While there is no hard and fast rule, observing your child and comparing their development to their same-aged peers may give you some indication of how they are progressing.

Early childhood is an important time to develop these skills. Social functioning in childhood often predicts our social ability in later life and has been shown to impact on success at school, finding and maintaining employment, establishing positive social and romantic relationships and achieving a positive quality of life. Sadly, not everyone has the opportunity to adequately develop these important life skills. According to the 2012 Australian Early Developmental Index (AEDI), 10.5% children aged 0–5 years living across the Sunshine Coast region are identified as being “developmentally vulnerable” when it comes to their social skills. That means that they’ve experienced developmental delays or are at risk in future. The national average is 9.3%. There are many reasons why some children experience a delay in their social and/or communication skill development. While delayed social skills are commonly associated with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), social and communication delays may also occur for children and young people who experience symptoms of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and for individuals who have experienced trauma, abuse or neglect, or who have a disability. ARE MY CHILD’S SOCIAL AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS DEVELOPING APPROPRIATELY? While there is no hard and fast rule, observing your child and comparing their development to their same-aged peers may give you some indication of how they are progressing. Often observations and feedback from teachers, other parents, and other children may also help. Information and fact sheets about the developmental milestones children should achieve at certain ages may also help you understand how your child is progressing. You can access this information from various government websites www.qld. gov.au/health/children/babies/milestones or youthrive.com.au During early childhood (0–6 years old), children typically begin to learn how to engage in imaginative play, how to interact with other children their own age, how to share toys or objects, and how to begin describing their own feelings. In later childhood (6–12 years old), skills in negotiation and conflict resolution (without parent support), in addition to the understanding of other people’s points of view, typically begin to develop. If you are concerned about your child’s level of development, you can have a professional assessment of their developmental needs. While

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a visit to your doctor or a child health clinic may be your first port of call, additional support from allied health professionals (i.e. speech pathologists and psychologists) may also be beneficial. Speech pathologists typically assess speech, language and communication skills, while psychologists assess emotional regulation abilities and broader social skill development. Both professional groups are able to provide follow-up support to overcome any barriers to social and communication skill development that may have been identified during the assessment. While this may sometimes seem like a daunting process at first, it doesn’t need to be. Just because your child may experience some delays in their social and communication skills, does not necessarily mean they are going to experience “serious” problems now or in the future. Remember that even if your child develops a little slower than their peers, it is possible for them to catch up. The benefit of addressing some of your child’s difficulties early will most likely mean that they are able to overcome them sooner, and adjust and cope with the demands in social and school environments. HOW CAN I SUPPORT MY CHILD’S SOCIAL AND COMMUNICATION NEEDS? While professionals such as psychologists and speech pathologists may be able to provide some support, the majority of progress is most often made in your family home. The best tools that parents have are themselves. Modelling how to interact with other people in social situations, and indeed how you interact with your child, are your strongest teaching tools. Our children tend to watch and learn from us much more than we realise, so demonstrating good social skills in their presence is beneficial. If you are unsure what this looks like, think about the people who are closest to you and the reasons why they have had such a positive impact on your life. You may find that these people are more likely to be positive, caring, open and empathetic towards you, so aim to model these behaviours. Easier said than done, right? Getting back to the basics of social skills is often the best way to achieve this, for both you and your child. People who are caring, genuine and empathetic towards us generally have all the skills of a good listener. They maintain good eye contact, have an open posture, ask questions about us, and summarise our thoughts and feelings. These same skills need to be demonstrated to your child before they can begin to use them for themselves. It is important to remember that the effectiveness of your communication is often continued on next page... www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

3/02/2014 11:14 am


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get from the person you are communicating with, so if your child doesn’t respond to your communication in the way you hoped, then perhaps the delivery of your message needed to be clearer. EYE CONTACT Get down to your child’s level. Look them directly in the eye when giving them instructions or playing with them. It is hard for children to connect with us when we tower over them, or if we are distracted by other things around us. Show your child that they have your complete attention and that you are there to listen. HAVE AN OPEN POSTURE Position yourself with your shoulders front-on to your child and try to avoid crossing your arms or having obstacles between you and your child when you’re interacting with them. This invites your child to come closer, and tells them that they are welcome to come to you and share their thoughts and feelings. Remember that your body language often speaks louder than your words.

As your child gets older, it may also be beneficial to talk with them about how to make friends and the values of friendship.

the day; use a variety of words to assist with vocabulary development. Enjoy books together; have fun talking about the pictures and ask questions throughout. Link what is happening within the book to your child’s real-life experiences. FACE-TO-FACE INTERACTIONS In general, try not to rely too heavily on telephone or social media to communicate. Engage in as many face-to-face interactions as possible in the presence of your child. It will be hard for them to learn from you if you communicate mainly through other mediums. From your face-to-face interactions with other people, your child will learn that communication is a whole body activity. They will learn to read body language and adjust their behaviour at appropriate times.

LISTENING SKILLS This is more than just sitting silently and waiting for your child to stop talking. Check your understanding of what your child has said by summarising or repeating what has been said. Ask questions if you are unsure about anything, and encourage your child to be more specific where possible.

PROVIDE CLEAR, SIMPLE INSTRUCTIONS AND REMAIN PATIENT. When you are teaching your child any new skill, it is important that you provide them with simple instructions. Focus on one skill at a time and break down each of these behaviours where possible. Remember to be patient while your child develops these skills. Allow them time to work out problems or to explore how things work on their own, before jumping in and doing it for them. Give your children the opportunity and time to respond to your questions or requests.

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE The best way to encourage your child’s speech and language development is simply talking to them! Talk about what you and your child are doing during play and throughout

MODEL AGE APPROPRIATE SOCIAL PLAY Play with your child in a way that you would like them to interact with their peers. This is a free pass to be a ‘big kid’. Get on the ground and play at their level and try to be in the moment, as

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they often are. Be inquisitive. Ask questions. Show that you are interested in what they are doing and why they are doing it. Be sure to demonstrate manners and how to share and take turns. This is also an opportunity to demonstrate problem solving and conflict management skills. In these instances, take turns expressing what your needs are, and allow your child to do the same. Then work on developing a compromise that satisfies the needs of both parties. It is important to be mindful of the developmental milestones during this process, your child may not be expected to develop some of these skills until they reach later childhood or adolescence. Once you have begun modelling and practicing positive social behaviours with your child, it is also important to provide opportunities for them to interact with their peers. This gives them opportunities to practice and develop their skills in other environments. Try to only intervene in your child’s play when needed, allow them the opportunity to attempt to solve any conflicts with their peers before you step in. As your child gets older, it may also be beneficial to talk with them about how to make friends and the values of friendship. Encourage them to think about the type of people who they would like to be friends with, and the type of friend that they would like to be. Although the early development of these skills is beneficial, it is important to note that we are never too old to continue to improve our social and communication skills. With good development of these skills, conflicts are likely to be resolved more efficiently, relationships are likely to grow stronger, and overall quality of life is likely to improve – all important aspects in anyone’s life. www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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CALENDAR

February

Brisbane

A calendar of regular weekly events is available online. For details of playgroups, library activities, weekly sporting events, craft classes, Australian Breastfeeding Association meeting times and much more, visit www.kidsinthecity.com.au

Until March 30

FAIRYTALES AND FABLES

Where: GOMA, Stanley Place, South Bank, Queensland When: See website for session times From fantastical adventures to cautionary tales, ‘Fairytales and Fables’ offers an opportunity to watch some of the genre’s most popular titles on the big screen. Details: Free admission. www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/ cinematheque/current/fairytales_and_ fables#age

Until March 25

SPORTS FOR LITTLE KIDS Feb 3 - Regent Park, Lang Street, Cannon Hill, Australia Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 & Mar 4, 11, 18, 25 Nixon Park, 929 Oxley Road, Oxley When: 3:30pm to 4:30pm Build confidence in sport for three to five year olds through learning basic physical skills (throw, catch etc) while improving their social skills. Details: Free. Bookings not required. Coolsports 3102 5438. www.brisbane.qld.gov.au

February 15

HULA HOOP ACTION

Where: Gregory Park, Milton Baroona and Haig Roads When: 10am to 12noon Make your very own hula hoop, then get active learning how to use your body to bring the hula hoop to life with a range of exciting tricks. Ages three and over. Details: $5 per participant. Bookings essential www.bazilgrumble.com.au.

Until March 1

BRISASIA FESTIVAL

Where: Various locations, times and activities. BrisAsia Festival features a range of traditional and contemporary arts and cultural events across the city. Details: www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/ whats-on

February 8 & 22

February 9 & March 8

ART BITES: PAPER LANTERNS

ART BITES: CHINESE PAPER CUTTING

Where: Feb 8 - Hemmant Community Hall, 69 Hemmant-Tingalpa Road Feb 22 - Weller's Hill and Tarragindi Uniting Church Hall, 28 Pope Street When: 10am to 12noon Participants will be introduced to paper cutting to create traditional Asian paper lanterns. Suitable for all ages. Details: Bookings brisbanebrownowls@gmail.com or 0416 054 342 www.brisbane.qld.gov. au/whats-on

Where: Zillmere Hall, 52 Murphy Rd When: Feb 9 - 10am to 12noon, Mar 8 12:30 to 2:30pm Participants will learn the traditional art of paper cutting and create their own artwork based on traditional Chinese designs. Suitable for all ages and levels Details: Bookings brisbanebrownowls@gmail.com or 0416 054 342 www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/whats-on Part of the BrisAsia Festival.

February 15

JUGGLE-A-RAMA

Where: Robertson Park, Indooroopilly Francis Terrace, Iona Terrace, Lambert and Indooroopilly Roads When: 2pm to 4pm Come and make your very own set of juggling balls that you can keep and then have a ball getting active and healthy while learning the basics of juggling. Details: $5 per participant. Bookings essential www.bazilgrumble.com.au.

February 21

CLUBLINK

Where: Nixon Park, 929 Oxley Rd, Oxley When: 3:30pm to 4:30pm Not sure what local sports club your child should join? Come along and experience a different sport each week. Parents are encouraged to join in. Details: Free. Ages six to 12 years. Coolsports 3102 5438. www.brisbane.qld.gov.au

February 11 February 9

DIVE-IN MOVIE PARANORMAN (PG) Where: Centenary Aquatic Centre, 400 Gregory Terrace, Springhill When: Inflatable from 5:30pm, Movie from twilight. Keep cool in the pool while watching one of the latest movies. Details: http://cityaquatics.com.au/ movie-nights/

CLEM JONES CONCERTS: HOUGAKU KIKOU Where: Brisbane City Hall, 64 Adelaide Street When: 12noon to 1pm Experience a musical journey to Japan featuring Takako Nishibori and Phill Wilson (Koto and Guitar), Shigeru Yomei Nakajima (Shakuhachi) and Toko-Ton (Taiko). Details: www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/ whats-on Part of the BrisAsia Festival.

February 21

ART BITES: ORIGAMI BOOKS

February 15 & 16

TRAVEL EXPO

Where: Kenmore Library, Kenmore Village, 9 Brookfield Road When: 10am to 12noon Make a selection of fabulous books, in which the pages are folded paper squares joined in various ways – great for storing your photos or recording your thoughts. Details: Bookings - brisbanebrownowls@ gmail.com or 0416 054 342 Part of the BrisAsia Festival

BOONDALL WETLANDS SHOREBIRD DISCOVERY

Where: Reddacliff Place, 266 George St, Brisbane When: 4pm to 9pm Be inspired by a local celebrity chef as they host two free open-air masterclasses. Relax at a long table with a culinary feast of Asian cuisine to choose from. A Friday night not to be missed. Details: Free. Food available for purchase. www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/whats-on Part of the BrisAsia Festival.

Where: Nudgee Beach Reserve, 18 Fortitude Street When: 7:30am to 9:30am Learn about the incredible inter-continental journey of migratory shorebirds along the East Asian-Australasian flyway. Details: Free. Bookings essential 07 3403 8888. http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/ whats-on Part of the BrisAsia Festival.

February 28 to March 2 February 27

MALTESERS MOONLIGHT CINEMA - LABYRINTH (G) When: 7pm - 1 hr 41 mins Fifteen-year-old Sarah accidentally wishes her baby half-brother, Toby, away to the Goblin King Jareth who will keep Toby if Sarah does not complete his Labyrinth in thirteen hours. Details: http://www.moonlight.com.au/

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Where: ARC Hill Park, Goss Road, Virginia When: 8am to 9am Learn the discipline of self-defence including confidence, goal setting and personal fitness. Details: Bookings required - Australian Goju Kai Karate on 0409 474 494 or www.agkk.com.au Part of the BrisAsia Festival

Feb 4, 11, 18, 25, Mar 4, 11, 18, 25

Where: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Merivale Street, South Brisbane When: 9am to 4pm All your travel needs under one roof: airfares, accommodation, cruises, coach tours, travel insurance and much more. Details: http://www.travelexpo.net.au

February 23

TASTE OF ASIA

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February 1, 8, 15 & 22

KARATE AND SELF DEFENCE FOR ALL

MIND BODY SPIRIT FESTIVAL Where: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Merivale Street, South Brisbane When: 9am - 6pm Daily Learn to conquer stress in minutes, discover the latest herbal supplements or realise your psychic powers. There is something for everyone searching for a healthier lifestyle. Details: Adults $18, Concession/Student $16, Children under 14 free. www. mbsfestival.com.au

February 23

ART BITES: PAPER FANS

Where: Sandgate Community Centre, 153 Rainbow St When: 10am to 12noon Make a Chinese paper fan with patterned paper or decorate your own. In China fans are used to cool down, swat insects and as a kung-fu weapon! Details: Bookings (07) 3403 8888 Part of the BrisAsia Festival.

February 23

BANDS IN PARKS BRISASIA MUSIC

Where: New Farm Park, 1042 Brunswick Street When: 2pm to 4:30pm Celebrate BrisAsia Festival with an Asian inspired Bands in Parks concert program alongside a Japanese drumming showcase by Toko-ton. Details: Free. http://www.brisbane.qld. gov.au/whats-on/featured/brisasiafestival/index.htm Part of the BrisAsia Festival.

February 27

GAMES NIGHT

Where: Albert Street, Brisbane When: 5pm to 8pm This month Games Night takes on an Asian flavour with a focus on Mahjong, table tennis and dance battle arcade games. No experience is required. Details: Free. www.brisbane.qld.gov. au/whats-on Part of the BrisAsia Festival.

www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

31/01/2014 4:30 pm


March

* We publish information based on what is supplied to us - to the best of our knowlege all details are correct at the time of printing, however we do recommend you check event details with the organisers

THE HANDMADE EXPO MARKET - MORAYFIELD February 27 to March 2

COURIER MAIL HOME SHOW

March 1

KICK ARTS

Where: Albert Street, Brisbane (between Mary and Charlotte Streets) When: 10am to 4pm Experience hip hop, live music, street performers, dance and visual arts and much more when Albert Street transforms into a colourful visual extravaganza. Ideal for 3-16 years of age. Details: Free. www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/whats-on

Where: Brisbane Convention Centre, Merivale St, South Brisbane When: 9am - 5pm Hundreds of home renovating and building ideas, inspiration and home innovations. It’s a great day out for the whole family. Details: Online tickets: $16, At show $18, Concession $16, Children FREE (under 18) www.brisbanehomeshow.com.au

WALK AND WHIMSY! ART IN THE PARK Where: Oriel Park, Ascot - Corner of Alexandra Road and Lancaster Road When: 10am to 12noon Experience the wonder of a nature walk in the beautiful gardens. Then make a whimsical artist book using papers and fabrics reminiscent of the textures and patterns within the gardens. Details: Details: $5 per participant. Bookings essential www.bazilgrumble.com.au. March 2

Clean Up Australia Day is a simple way you can take action to clean up, fix up and conserve our prized Australian environment. Get involved by registering your own Clean Up Site or by volunteering at a site near you. http://www.cleanupaustraliaday.org. au/register http://www.cleanupaustraliaday.org. au/join

Where: Brisbane Convention Centre, South Bank When: 9:15am The program consists of keynote talks, multimedia presentations and interactive learning for young people who aspire to lead themselves & others well. Details: (02) 9894 4561 www.halogen.org.au/event/brisbaneprimary

March 11

I’M A LITTLE TEAPOT Where: Dutton Park, Dutton Park Annerley and Gladstone Roads and T. J. Doyle Memorial Drive Get physical while acting out a range of fun characters, then learn how to make them from clay with the help of an experienced potter. Details: $5 per participant. Bookings essential www.bazilgrumble.com.au.

March 22 to 23

March 20 to 23

THE BRISBANE HOLIDAY AND TRAVEL SHOW

THE STITCHES AND CRAFT SHOW

Where: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank When: 10am to 4pm Listen to the experts and find out more about your favourite destinations, find new holiday ideas and book your next trip. Details: Free entry. http://travelxpo.com. au/Brisbane/faq/

Where: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Merivale Street, South Brisbane When: 10am – 4.30pm Find heaps of ideas for quilting, papercraft, beading, knitting and much more! Details: http://stitchesandcraft.net.au/ Brisbane/

BRISSTYLE INDIE MARKET - February 8 & March 8 Where: Ground Floor, Brisbane City Hall, Ann St When: 9am to 4pm Support local indie artisans and shop ethically at Brisbane’s most gorgeous destination for everything handmade. Details: www.brisstyle.com.au BRISSTYLE INDIE TWILIGHT MARKET February 21 Where: King George Square, Brisbane When: 5pm to 9pm With over 80 stalls, enjoy a lantern lit celebration of local independent art, craft and design. Details: www.brisstyle.com.au/indie-twilight-market

BABY & KIDS MARKET - March 23 Where: St Joseph Nudgee College, 2199 Sandgate Rd, Boondall. Inside the McKennariey Centre. When: 9am to 12noon This Baby & Kids Market is for preloved goods for boys & girls from birth to 7 yrs. Details: $4 (kids free).There is plenty of free parking around the Centre.No EFTPOS, cash only. Details: http://babykidsmarket.com.au

March 3

THE NATIONAL YOUNG LEADERS DAY FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS

February 2 & March 2 Where: Leisure Centre, Morayfield Road (behind Bunnings) When: 9am to 2pm A wonderful indoor market with up to 100 stallholders selling everything handmade, handbaked and handgrown. A great family day out with something for everyone. Details: www.thehandmadeexpo.com.au

THE HANDMADE EXPO MARKET - REDLANDS February 23 & March 23 Where: Capalaba PCYC, Cnr Mt Cotton & Degen Roads When: 9am to 2pm A wonderful indoor market with up to 80 stallholders selling everything handmade, handbaked and handgrown. A great family day out with something for everyone. Details: www.thehandmadeexpo.com.au

March 1

CLEAN UP AUSTRALIA DAY

MARKETS

VALLEY MARKETS - Every Saturday and Sunday Where: Chinatown Mall & Brunswick Street Mall, Fortitude Valley When: 8am to 4pm Showcasing various stalls selling vintage items, fashion, bric-a-brac, natural organic produce, and an eclectic range of arts and crafts. Details: Free. Contact 07 3403 3740. THE COLLECTIVE MARKETS (SOUTH BANK MARKETS) Every weekend Where: South Bank Plaza, Stanley Street, South Brisbane When: Saturdays from 10am to 9pm, Sundays from 9am to 4pm The new Collective Markets includes arts and crafts, homewares, object design, photography, furniture, food, fashion, jewellery, vintage and pre-loved clothing, unique wares and accessories. Details: www.southbankmarket.com.au

REGULAR EVENTS CHILDREN'S HIGH TEA Where: Vintaged Bar + Grill, Hilton Brisbane, 190 Elizabeth St When: 11am - 4pm daily Now the littlest of socialites can enjoy a High Tea Experience including dainty sandwiches and colourful fairy bread, vanilla cupcakes and tiny hot chocolates to finish. Details: $25 per little person. Reservations essential on 3231 3265. http://vintagedbarandgrill.com/high-tea-menu/

LOST CREATURES: STORIES FROM ANCIENT QUEENSLAND Where: Qld Museum, Grey & Melbourne Streets, South Bank When: 9:30am to 5pm Meet some of our state’s inhabitants from millions of years ago, including significant fossil finds, a Muttaburrasaurus reconstruction and new 3D modelling of Queensland dinosaurs! Details: Free admission. http://www.southbank.qm.qld.gov.au/Events+and+Exhibitions

SCIENCE FICTION, SCIENCE FUTURE March 28 to October 6

DEEP OCEANS

Where: Queensland Museum, Grey Street, South Bank When: 9:30am This new exhibition showcases strange real-life creatures as well as myths and legends about fearsome monsters of the deep. Children can learn as they follow characters from the Octonauts on their journey through the exhibition. Details: (07) 3840 7555 southbank.qm.qld.gov.au

KICK OFF 2014 WITH A CELEBRATION OF STORIES! Where: State Library of Queensland, Cultural Precinct, Stanley Place, South Bank When: Various times, check program on website Through workshops, performances and play, experience the wonder of stories brought to life and create and animate stories of your own. Details: Checkout the daily calendar: www.slq.qld.gov.au/whats-on/events/ holiday-fun-celebrating-stories

CHECK OUT YOUR

March 29

EARTH HOUR

When: 8:30pm Join millions of people in 7,001 cities and towns across 152 countries and territories and turn off your lights for an hour at 8:30pm to show your concern for the environment. Get involved: www.earthhour.org www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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LOCAL LIBRARY! Did you know that Council libraries have free events, classes, workshops and activities for kids? Find out what's on in Council libraries for the school holidays. Details: www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/whats-on/venue/library-events/index.htm

Where: Sciencecentre, Level 1, Corner of Grey & Melbourne Streets, South Bank When: 9:30am to 5pm Move objects with your mind, turn invisible right before your eyes, be mimicked by a life-like robot and see augmented reality in action. Details: Admission charges apply. http://www.southbank.qm.qld.gov.au/Events+and+Exhibitions

CAI GUO-QIANG KIDS: Let’s Create an Exhibition with a Boy Named Cai Where: GOMA, Stanley Place, Cultural Precinct, South Bank When: Until May 11 - 10am to 5pm Make and display objects in miniature gallery spaces, create spectacular multimedia gunpowder drawings and watch a short animated film. Details: Free admission http://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/kids/exhibitions

SHOW TIME THE GREAT FAIRYTALE ROBBERY January 21 to March 29 Brisbane Arts Theatre http://www.artstheatre.com.au/ thegreatfairytalerobbery DANNY THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD April 5 to May 31 Brisbane Arts Theatre http://www.artstheatre.com.au/ dannythechampionoftheworld

BARBIE LIVE! THE MUSICAL April 11 Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/ show.aspx?sh=BARBIE14

DON QUIXOTE Imperial Russian Ballet Company April 11 & 12 The Arts Centre, Gold Coast http://www.theartscentregc.com.au

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Education

Reconsidering ARTS education By Mary Eggleston Learning and music have been bedfellows for eons. Cast your mind back to your first educational experiences and I’m sure that the alphabet song was instrumental (pun intended) in learning the ABCs: “abcdefg-hijklmnopqrs-tuv-wx-y&z”

M

usic and songs are clearly fabulous learning tools but what are the benefits of children becoming involved in arts education from a young age? As a parent, the chief goals are to love, protect and help to prepare children for the challenges that will inevitably come their way, by imparting important life skills. As an acting coach I see drama as a natural vehicle for explorative and experiential learning. The skills I’m teaching young people within creative participation such as confidence, effective communication and empathy are all life skills. Creative learning experiences leave a lasting impression on children, nurturing a sense of empowerment and a notion of the joy of autonomy, which enables children to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Through arts education, children learn to be more open not only with others, but with themselves. Cultivating essential qualities

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like collaboration and self-confidence, children are able to express themselves individually and collectively. Experience in arts education essentially covers a broad number of skills useful in everyday situations; problem solving, focus, perseverance, accountability and dedication just to name a few. Let’s take problem solving as an example; any and all artistic endeavors begin with problem solving. How would my character react? What will my sculpture need to be able to stand up? How would anger look if I was to dance the emotion? Drama, music and visual arts have the abil-

ity to train our brain for a higher level of thinking - the kind of thinking needed for problem solving, analysing, comparing and contrasting the similarities and difference between objects, reaching conclusions and evaluating information. Greek philosopher, Pythagoras said, "Music is mathematics made audible". In 1994, scientists at the University of California, Doctors’ Gordon Shaw and Frances Rauscher, conducted an experiment to find a link between spatial reasoning and music. Seventy-nine college students were divided into three groups and each group was given a www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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cutting and folding task. In just ten minutes, the group who had had listened to the music of Mozart during the cutting and folding tasks experienced an increase in their spatial IQ of eight to nine points. The scientists believed that the particular composition of elements in the music caused the (temporary) improvement in their spatial-temporal reasoning. This phenomenon is now commonly known as the "Mozart Effect". “Spatial-temporal reasoning is the ability to perceive the visual world accurately and form mental images of objects. It is the mind's ability to see in very detailed images and to recognize, compare and find relationships among the patterns and details on an object. The temporal element involves a child's ability to think ahead.” (Alvin Poh) Once Shaw and Rauscher had discovered music could temporally increase the special-temporal reasoning in adults, scientists become interested in the potential prolonged effects gained from studying a musical instrument from a young age. Another test was undertaken, this time on a group of three-year-old pre-schoolers in Los Angeles to observe the effects music education might have on their immature cortex and developing brains. The children were divided into two groups. The first group were provided with eight months of keyboard and singing lessons. The remaining children belonged to the control group and as such received no musical training. The first group had weekly, ten to fifteen-minute private keyboard lessons, daily practice times and a thirtyminute singing lesson each day. Eight months later the children were required to perform five tasks to test their spatial reasoning: - Arranging pieces of a puzzle to form a complete picture - Matching depicted pattern using flat, two-coloured blocks - Placing correct colour pegs into holes under a series of pictured animals - Performing a geometric design task - Describing what was "wrong" or "silly" about a picture. The spatial-temporal reasoning of the children

Arts education can have an unfathomable effect on growth and development in children in the control group increased by 6% only; children from the group carrying out music education showed an enormous 46% improvement in their spatial-temporal reasoning. Arts education can have an unfathomable effect on growth and development in children as well as academic achievement and once we widen this investigation past the topic of music education we can see that the benefits of creative learning in subjects such as drama and theatre are virtually unlimited. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career but how is arts training translating into the workforce and boosting the local economy? “Although it can hardly be an exact figure, some economists have estimated that between 60 and 80 per cent of economic growth comes from innovation and new knowledge.” The Business Council of Australia’s recent report speaks of the need for ‘communication, team work, problem solving, ongoing learning,

creativity, cultural understanding, entrepreneurship, and leadership’. Similarly, the Pathways to Technological Innovation report makes the comment that ‘there is a need to foster an entrepreneurial culture in Australia, starting in the early school years and continued through into public and private enterprises’. The Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) recently made the statement that ‘there is potential for creative achievement in many fields of human activity including science, mathematics, technology and the arts’. The skills sets developed across creative education and practice are increasingly in demand. Collaboration, communication and presentation skills are highly developed in many creative industries, particularly the performing arts. The ways of working and attitudes that are said to be characteristic of these sectors are also prerequisite. More and more people, both in the arts and education worlds, suggest that the major benefits of arts education lie in what are occasioncontinued on next page...

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Education

Creativity is good for the mind, body and soul and who doesn’t want that for their child? ally called ‘soft skills’ or ‘non-cognitive skills’ and that these skills and attitudes are desirable in the creative workforce. “Perhaps it is not skills at all that art courses develop; perhaps it is the promotion of certain attitudes that promote risk taking and hard work.” (Elliot Eisner, 1999) Managing with what’s on hand, calculated risk taking and thinking on your feet are skills we all need in everyday life and it is precisely these skills that are at the heart of improvisation or theatre sports. For those of you unfamiliar with theatre sports and improvisation, the emphasis is on building characters and on spontaneous, collaborative storytelling. To act spontaneously, we need to be “in the moment”. In improvisation and in life, staying with the present moment has the potential to arouse anxiety and this needs to be endured for creative movement to occur. Within the safe and clear framework of theatre sports, being “in the present” or “in the moment” allows the space to freely express and develop ideas without fear of ridicule. This freedom is crucial for fostering selfesteem and confidence in children (and adults too!). We all know first-hand how important it is for children to develop a sense of themselves; how to understand social clues and to interact with other people using a bank of words that can help advocate for themselves in either positive social situations or in conflict resolution. As a coach I feel a precedency to bring about an awareness and knowing in young people that they have the power and the voice to speak up in any situation. Regulating emotions, responding appropriately and responding to the emotions of others are all important aspect of emotional management and through the role play opportunities that exists

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in theatre there is a chance to make mistakes and understand others in a controlled and safe way. Not only in a theatre context but also generally speaking throughout arts education, there is scope to foster resilience and a willingness to put one’s work on show, to accept constructive criticism and to let that feed the development of future ideas. Receiving constructive feedback about a performance or a visual art piece is a normal part of any arts tuition. It’s helpful and children can learn that feedback is part of the learning process, not something to be offended by or to take personally. Evaluation is built-in at every level and its part of the target to improve skills. When a child picks up a violin for the first time, they know that playing Bach right away is not likely to be possible but, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance and discipline are essential to achieving success. Successful people consistently display competence in these ever-important life skills. Of course life skills are picked up along the way in any case but I firmly believe in the enormous benefits that come from creative play and arts education. Fortunately, there is a growing amount of empirical research that can provide support for some of the ideas and statements in this article. One thing I think we would all agree on is that creativity is good for the mind, body and soul and who doesn’t want that for their child? www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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Babies in the City

Before Words SIGNING WITH YOUR BABY By Maxine Arthur

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e rely heavily on words to communicate and when our words are misunderstood and we fail to connect, we feel frustrated. Try communicating for a whole day without using words and you will understand why babies cry and toddlers throw tantrums! Babies are born with the instinct to communicate and be understood. Switched-on parents give their baby lots of positive attention, through eye contact, smiling, talking, singing and touching. Babies respond by gesturing, smiling and making sounds, including crying, to communicate their needs, feelings and discoveries about the world. As hard as parents try, and as hard as baby tries, sometimes we just don’t know what baby is trying to tell us. Perhaps we should try another language. SIGNING FOR HEARING BABIES Baby sign language builds on baby’s instinctive use of gesture and the desire to communicate by teaching the precise signs of, for example, Auslan (Australian Sign Language) as a second language to facilitate communication with your pre-verbal child. It works because hand-eye coordination develops sooner than verbal skills, meaning that babies can learn simple signs for common words such as ‘eat’, ‘dad’, ‘cat’ and ‘book’ before they can speak them. Sign language has been used by the deaf community as a means of communication since the 17th century but about 25 years ago American researchers identified the many benefits of teaching signing to hearing children from an early age. This has led to the widespread development of baby sign language programs in America and the UK. There are now programs and some classes available in Australia. In the mid 80s Dr Joseph Garcia, an American researcher, noticed that children of his deaf friends were communicating with their parents as early as six months old and acquired substantial vocabularies as early as

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nine months. He began researching the use of American Sign Language with hearing babies of hearing parents and found similar results. Babies consistently exposed to sign from six months began to respond around nine months of age. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BABY SIGNING? Researchers have identified many long-term benefits for signing babies. Professor Linda Acredolo, after noticing her daughter making simple signs, paired with Professor Susan Goodwyn to conduct extensive baby sign language research at the University of California. They concluded that there were substantial language and cognitive benefits in teaching baby signing. Their research found that three year olds who were signing babies were talking like average four year olds. Cognitively, the same signing babies scored significantly higher on IQ tests than non baby signing children. Dr Marilyn Daniels, author of Dancing with Words: Signing for Hearing Children’s Literacy, has done extensive research on the benefits of signing with verbal children in the US and UK. Dr Daniels found: • Children who were exposed to sign language had larger English-language vocabularies than non-signing children. • Children who learn sign language are more able to recognise letters and words and are better spellers. • Children who learn sign language are generally more self-confident and have increased self-esteem. • Using sign language from infancy through to sixth grade increases your child’s interest in books and results in improved literacy. • Using sign language with your child stimulates whole brain development and memory skills as it uses both left and right hemispheres of the brain. Learning a spoken language uses only the brain’s left hemisphere and visual information the

right hemisphere. When sign language is incorporated into learning activities, children are learning visually, verbally and kinesthetically (through movement) all at the same time. Sign language can strengthen fine motor skills. When babies begin to use signs they are usually not precise but with practice and repetition they begin to improve. This practice stimulates the parts of the brain responsible for fine motor skill development.

WHO USES BABY SIGNING? Apart from parents who want to learn to communicate with their hearing baby, signing is used by parents to communicate with their deaf baby or a special needs child. Baby signing has been shown to be beneficial with children with Down Syndrome, Autism, Verbal Dyspraxia or any communication problem. Teachers and childcare professionals have also found sign useful. Baby Sensory Director at Tumbletastic, Dr Lin Day explained: "There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that teaching formal signs at an early age enhances brain development and IQ, increases social skills and decreases frustration. Some researchers have also found that signing babies engage in more sophisticated play than non-signing babies. Others claim that signing children have a larger vocabulary and a higher literacy level than their non-signing peers. Signing children also demonstrate better recognition of letters and sounds and spelling. What is certain is that signing parents spend more time interacting with their children, which ultimately enhances the overall communication process." Parents and teachers may also consider baby signing an introduction to a second language. Language skills are most continued on next page... www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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Babies on the Coast

TOP TIPS THINGS A PARENT/CARER NEEDS TO KNOW IN BABY SIGNING

• • easily acquired in the first years of a baby’s life. If you introduce Auslan to your baby and continue with it through school years your child will have the social advantage of being able to communicate with the Australian deaf and hard of hearing community. WHERE DO I START? In Queensland baby sign classes are hard to find. If you are lucky enough to be able to access them, classes are available at Conversation On in Auchenflower, Baby Sensory classes are held at Tumbletastics in Hawthorne or there is a Sing and Sign Playgroup Course at Honeybee Creations on the Sunshine Coast. The face to face teaching will get you off to a flying start. Honeybee Creations director, Lisa Mills, met with me recently to discuss baby signing. Lisa says you can start teaching baby to sign at six months or as soon as he can point. “Baby signing is primarily about bonding with your child and communicating with your child. They can communicate with you through sign and you can understand what they are saying to you”, Lisa said. The Honeybee baby signing courses are based on the work of Dr Joseph Garcia and his Sign with your baby program. The advantage of a class is that the teacher provides a model of effective delivery. Lisa teaches parents to be expressive in teaching the signs, but receptive skills are also important for two-way communication. Hearing people are used to listening for words but are not so used to watching for gesture and body language. “Baby signing is also about teaching parents to be visually aware of their baby’s gestures, to be visually aware of baby trying to sign. If you are not reading baby’s cues, you will not be successful.” Sometimes parents are concerned that teaching a baby to sign will delay a child’s

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Start with just a few signs Always use the baby sign and spoken word together (repeat several times) Point when possible When necessary, gently guide your child’s hands Make baby signing a regular part of your day Watch for opportunities to model the signs (Make eye contact before modelling the signs with the spoken word) Be flexible and watch for your baby’s creations Be patient Remember, make learning fun

speech. In fact it does the opposite. Lisa talked about how signing can be used to promote language development. Once a baby can speak a single word that he has been signing, parents can start combining two signs, and so on. Lisa uses singing, toys and puppets to help teach signs. ‘If you can’t engage young children, you can’t teach them. You need to make good eye contact. Singing is absolutely the best way to teach signs.” For this reason Lisa has produced a video “Sing and Sign with Lisa”. Some baby sign programs teach signs based on a baby’s natural gestures, on the assumption that proper sign language is too difficult for babies. Lisa prefers to teach Auslan signs. “We underestimate how much is going on in children’s minds. We don’t need to dumb down either sign or verbal language. They just need time to learn the signs to express it.” Patience and consistent signing are needed to succeed. If you start signing at six months you may not see baby’s first signing until nine months. Lisa said her playgroup course gives parents all they need to teach baby sign. If parents want to extend their Auslan skills there are community programs available.

The product range includes videos, books, a signing toy and educator resources. (Baby Signs Australia website) Baby signing is not just a gimmick. Signing with your baby is easy, fun, and strengthens the bond between you. If it also fast tracks your baby’s language and general intellectual development as the research suggests, that’s even better.

NOT ABLE TO ACCESS A BABY SIGN CLASS? There are excellent, well-researched programs and resources available online. Australian Baby Hands is a program developed by Jackie Durnin about communicating with your baby using simple sign language based on Auslan. Products include books, flashcards, posters and videos. Baby Signs Australia is a program based on the work of Acredelo and Goodwyn at the University of California. Baby Signs says that it uses ‘natural, simple baby friendly’ signs that are easier for babies to use ‘rather than complex signs developed for adults’. They also say “Our program is also very flexible, encouraging you to incorporate your own signs and Auslan”.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.conversationson.com.au for general information about Auslan and details about baby sing and sign classes and resources. www.tumbletastics.com.au www.australianbabyhands.com for general information on baby signing and resources. www.babysignsaustralia.com.au www.bilby.net for resources for teaching sign to infants and toddlers http://raisingchildren.net.au offers excellent advice on communicating with your baby. Baby signing uses the same principles of attending to your baby’s attempts to communicate and reflecting these back, but is an additional tool which allows earlier and more precise communication.

• • • •

• • •

(Source: Honeybee Creations website)

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PARENTville

By Aleney de Winter

Winging it...

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ometimes it feels like my children are raising me with bright flashes of pre-school wisdom and fearlessness. And you know, they aren’t doing too bad a job, as I have just had acutely demonstrated. You see, I’m afraid of flying. Actually I’m not so much afraid of flying as I am of crashing, but let’s not split hairs, either way it proves a little awkward given I spend quite a bit of time on airplanes. In the actual sky. You’d think that with several hundred flights under my belt I’d be able to fly one by myself by now. But no, my phobia hasn’t abated. The in-flight safety demonstration never helps. The seat belt? Farcical! My two-year old daughter has a better restraint in her stroller and we’re lucky if that goes faster than 2kph, let alone 900! And the life jacket with the light and whistle, what’s that for… entertaining the kids with a song and dance routine on the way down? If you should ever find yourself sitting next to me on a flight can I ask a favour? Please don’t start on all that “statistically speaking” mumbo jumbo because I’ll raise your rational argument with an irrational spleenful of venting! I get the statistics. I know that the likelihood of me dying in a plane crash is about as likely as Brad Pitt popping by with his brood for a play date this afternoon. With the assistance of a litre or two of chamomile tea and focusing all my energy on maintaining a faux-calm face for my kids, I get there. I may be a card-carrying flight phobic but I haven’t allowed my anxiety to keep me from flitting around the world on big planes. And here comes the but! Just writing about small ones is enough for me to call for smelling

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salts. And I have said no when confronted with the reality of having to hit the sky in one. Show me a Cessna and I’ll show you a hysterical loon who pretty much takes the “joy” out of a joy flight for everyone. But we’re in the Whitsundays and there really is no better way to see the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef than with a bird’s eye perspective and my five-year old son is so excited at the prospect I can’t say no. Gulp! And it’s not any old little plane… this one has an identity crisis and thinks it’s a boat! My family peel me off the tarmac and forcibly stuff me into the aircraft. We’re then briefed and given headsets to hear our captain above the noise of the teensy tiny plane. Soon enough we’re in the air and I’m turning a fetching shade of blue from holding my breath. Until my five-year old son gently takes my hand, smiles reassuring me and signals that I should look down. I exhale as I take in the view of the water below us peppered with islands to the left and right. It’s amazing. And in that moment I realise that I have no fear. In fact, with the fresh air flowing through the small plane and my little wingman beaming at me and signing that he loves me in encouragement, I’m positively euphoric. Literally hundreds of flights, pages of safety statistics and even an end-your-fear class couldn’t put a dent in my flying phobia but a very small boy who simply wanted to share something beautiful with his mama has obliterated it in one moment. Back on terra firma I can’t believe that I nearly talked myself out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience and thank my lucky stars I gave in to the pleas of my fearless fly baby!

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Only Natural

ACUPUNCTURE and families

HEALTH, HARMONY & MERIDIANS, IS ACUPUNCTURE A SAFE TREATMENT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY? By Belinda Hopper

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n the West we tend to think of acupuncture as ‘alternative’ medical treatment: alternative to mainstream or conventional medical practice. Its ‘alternative’ status precludes it from Medicare rebates and it resides in the ‘extras’ category of Additional Therapies for health insurers. Yet conventional, science-based medical practice was in its embryonic stages a mere two hundred years ago, with the first New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery published as late as 1812. By contrast, acupuncture has been an established medical practice in China for at least four thousand years. The meridian pathways and pressure points used today were already established by 161 BC. Given the historical context, it is interesting that we give acupuncture the label ‘alternative’ and mainstream medical practice the term ‘conventional’. So what, exactly, is acupuncture? What does it treat, and is it safe for children and pregnant women? THE PHILOSOPHY The philosophy behind acupuncture is that the body’s natural state is in harmony: when the flow of energy or life force, called Qi (pronounced Chee) moves freely through the body. This is the state of health. Sickness results from imbalance: when an action or force interrupts the flow of Qi through the body, whether by physical,

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emotional, psychological, or environmental stress. Acupuncture is a treatment that involves the insertion of single use, sterile, disposable needles into acupuncture points to bring balance back to the flow of energy or Qi, to heal and maintain wellness. The most common needles used are stainless steel and range in length from 8 mm to 7 cm. They are usually inserted 2.3 mm to 2.5 cm into the body and are between 0.12 mm to 0.35 mm in diameter. Each session lasts between half an hour, to an hour. And, according to Waveny Holland, an experienced practitioner and Board Member of the Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medical Association (AACMA), some treatments bring healing after just one session. WHAT IT TREATS As acupuncture has gained wider acceptance, acupuncturists are treating a variety of health issues: musculo-skeletal and joint problems including arthritis and fibromyalgia, as support during chemotherapy, and as treatment for gastro-intestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome, constipation/diarrhoea and nausea/ vomiting. It can also treat a wide range of ailments such as headaches, pain, rashes, chronic fatigue syndrome, respiratory infections, asthma, sinus, hay fever, and bladder infections. Women’s

health is another area of treatment: fertility issues, menopause, menstrual disorders. It is also used in post stroke and weight loss therapy. And perhaps surprisingly, acupuncture is used to treat mental health issues such as depression, and anxiety/panic attacks. Since the late nineties, a host of academic research has been conducted into the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating the ailments practitioners claim it heals, and assessing the safety of the therapy, particularly for children. IS IT SAFE FOR KIDS? The AACMA states that, “acupuncture is safe at any age if performed by a qualified acupuncturist”. Children may be too young to understand what the word ‘puncture’ means. But they quickly learn to fear needles! If it’s hard enough to coerce them to co-operate for immunisation needles, you may wonder if there are enough jellybabies in the world to convince them to lay very still so the nice practitioner can stick multiple long needles into various parts of their body—and leave them there for half an hour? But Holland explains that for very young children or babies, needles aren’t retained, “they are a quick in out insertion. Or, laser acupuncture or acupressure on the points can be used instead of needles.” The most common ailments children are www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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treated for are reflux, teething, colds, gastro intestinal problems, eczema and rashes, and respiratory problems like asthma. Holland says even babies can benefit from a gentle acupuncture treatment, “to help with settling, feeding, wind and reflux”. Is it safe for pregnant women? A 2002 study by Adelaide University found that “no serious adverse effects arise from acupuncture administered in early pregnancy”. And the AACMA asserts that, “acupuncture is very safe at any stage of pregnancy if delivered by properly trained, qualified acupuncturists who are registered by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA)”. The most common reason pregnant women are treated is for morning sickness and Holland explains that there is no risk to the baby as the general points that needles are likely to be inserted are bilaterally on the inner forearm, a couple of finger widths above the wrist crease and on the outer aspect of the lower leg, below the knee. Holland explains that post-birth acupuncture is also very useful for new mums to get their bodies rebalanced after delivery and claims it can help to improve breast milk supply. She says, “Treatments can also help mums through those early weeks where lack of sleep and exhaustion is common. Acupuncture can help replenish their depleted energy stores.” Neck, back and shoulder pain are common complaints for new mums, with the constant handling of their baby, which are also treated by acupuncture. Are there side effects? Holland says that side effects are rare, especially if the practitioner is properly trained and is skilled. “Some side effects may be local bruising, soreness at the needle site, light headedness, sometimes there may be a short period of time post treatment that the person feels worse before feeling better, but that is fleeting.” However, a 2004 UK study by Adrian White, a Clinical Senior Lecturer at Plymouth Medical School, concluded that worldwide there had been 715 significant or serious adverse events reported in association with acupuncture. Fourfifths of cases were due to trauma or infection, in approximately equal numbers. There were 12 primary reports of deaths and 39 secondary reports. Yet, the overall risk of acupuncture treatment was classified as ‘very low’ with the risk for any individual patient varying with the qualification and experience of the practitioner. A 2011 study published in Pediatrics, The www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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The overall risk of acupuncture treatment was classified as ‘very low’ with the risk for any individual patient varying with the qualification and experience of the practitioner. official journal for the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that of the adverse events associated with paediatric needle acupuncture, a majority of them were mild in severity and that any serious problems might have been caused by substandard practice. Is it effective? A double blind study, published in Pediatrics, in 2004, compared active acupuncture with sham acupuncture for the treatment of persistent allergic rhinitis among children. The study showed that active acupuncture was more effective than sham acupuncture in decreasing the symptom scores for persistent allergic rhinitis and increasing the symptomfree days, and no serious adverse effect was identified. Australians and Acupuncture A Bio Med Central (BMC) Public Health report published in 2008, suggests of the Australians who used acupuncture, a majority did so to treat a specific condition, the most common being problems relating to back and shoulder pain. As of October this year, Holland claims there were, “3509 Chinese medicine practitioners registered with the CMBA, 1,568 practising solely as acupuncturists and 1,941 combining the practice of acupuncture and Chinese herbalism.” The growing number of practitioners suggests a growing number of people seeking treatments. Acupuncture is transitioning

from ‘alternative’ to ‘complementary,’ to be administered alongside ‘conventional’ medical treatment. For Linda, a Queensland mother of four, it was her GP who recommended acupuncture as treatment for knee pain. She says, “I hadn’t thought of having acupuncture. At my GP’s suggestion, I had weekly treatments for a few weeks.” Does she believe that acupuncture healed her knee? She says, “It’s hard to know whether it was a direct result of acupuncture, or whether it would have improved over that timeframe, but it certainly didn’t hurt.” Queensland mum of two, Michelle, is another whose GP recommended acupuncture, as treatment for a head flu. Michelle felt under pressure juggling family and assignments, with looming deadlines and persistent flu symptoms. She says, “I went to my GP because I just couldn’t concentrate and she suggested I have acupuncture to help clear my head and have to say I felt much more clear-headed afterwards.” It seems Australians are becoming more open to ‘alternative’ or natural therapies, with a holistic approach to health. Where conventional medical practice treats presenting disease, with the aim of curing the ailment, or at least suppressing the physical symptoms; acupuncture is of the philosophy that if our life force flows through the meridian pathways of our body freely, our bodies will be in a state of harmonious health. FEBRUARY / MARCH 2014 – Kids in the City

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Let's Celebrate

f thor o com u A , B mi use. By Mi ejustbeca rat celeb . w w w

O

nce a month surprise (and shock!) your children with a random, crazy, yet meaningful meal time. Why not try an imaginative meal together, designed for families (young at heart parents and kids between the ages of 5 - 12 years) to celebrate anything and everything…just because, the family dinner table becomes the centre of laughter, conversations and silliness! There’s no need to spend money on entertainment and fun, your family will create it, love it and remember it – forever. In this busy, expensive, chaotic world we live in, now is the time to gather the family around the dinner table, create amazing memories and celebrate…just because! Here is an idea for your family to try:

plates or bowls, red candles, red ribbons tying cutlery together, a bunch of red straws in a glass, red vases etc, etc. You will be surprised how many red things you have in your home that you could use as funky decorations on your table.

What you will need · A piece of cardboard or paper with the word RED printed on it · One piece of paper and pen for the family to share

THE FOOD This is when your children are gob-smacked! Offer your children red soft drink, strawberry milk, red cordial or plain water with red ice cubes (make ice cubes ahead of time, adding a drop of red food colouring into each ice cube tray). Serve red spaghetti bolognaise (again, put a few drops of red food colouring into the pot of boiling water when cooking the spaghetti) and be prepared for squeals of delight! For dessert, dish up red jelly and ice-cream with red coated chocolates smashed through it! (Smashing the red chocolate is the fun part!) Simply place the red chocolates in a plastic zip-lock bag, grab a rolling pin and bash away! When the chocolates have broken into pieces, mix them through the ice-cream. Instant red speckled ice-cream! As a final thrill for your children, display in the centre of the table a cake (doesn’t matter if it is homemade or store bought) that is covered in red lollies. To have a cake decorated entirely in red lollies is breathtaking for a child, but to make it fun, have everyone guess how many red sweets are on the cake! (Take note: as you are decorating the cake, you need to keep count of how many lollies you put on so you know the final number). It is phenomenal how many little red treats can fit on a cake and your children will be ecstatic when they hear the answer. The person who guesses closest to the answer gets the first slice!

THE TABLE Your red-themed table will scream to your family – ‘Let’s have some fun!’ Let everything be red and display it! Red placemats, red napkins, red

THE CONVERSATION To keep your children’s brains busy throughout dinner, have on display the piece of cardboard with the word RED written on it. While they are

RED! The Red Dinner has the WOW factor! It is probably one of the most visually stimulating dinners your kids will remember and not because it is glamorous and extravagant, but because everything from the food to the drinks to the table is RED! As they sit down amongst a haze of red, explain to your children that dinner will not be served unless they adhere to the appropriate dress code – something red! Watch them scoot off and find that all important piece of red clothing! Once everyone is back at the table and blending in with the decor, ask your kids, “Are you REDDY for Dinner?” They will be more than ready and willing!

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eating, anyone can randomly say words that start with either R, E or D e.g. Roof, Egg, Doctor etc. At the end of the dinner, count how many words altogether were written down. You will all be amazed! Also, talk about foods that are red e.g. apples, cherries, frankfurts, chillis, lobster, capsicum etc and food that could easily turn red with food colouring e.g. cake, biscuits, pancakes, rice, mashed potato etc. Encourage your kids to be imaginative little chefs and together brainstorm a whole range of colourful meals! This dinner is an explosion of RED! It is bright, it is bold and it is brilliantly shocking! It is a party for the eyes as everything on the table will have you seeing red... in a good way! The RED dinner is all about eating, drinking, wearing and thinking the colour red... Just Because!

For more fantastic family meal ideas check out Celebrate…Just Because!. A book for any parent who wants to bring FUN to the dinner table! Purchase your print copy (which has amazing images, is beautifully written and has so many very clever and quirky ideas - Ed) for only $19.95 or download for $9.95 at www.celebratejustbecause.com

www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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Books | APPS | Movies

REVIEWS BOOKS TOM GATES: EXTRA SPECIAL TREATS, by L. Pichon, Scholastic Australia, RRP $12.99 “It's really cold outside and we're all hoping it's going to snow. Yeah! Derek and I could make a snow Rooster and have a snowball fight (look out, Delia!). Granny Mavis has started to knit me a new winter jumper, but by the looks of things I'm not sure it's going to fit...” For ages 6 – 10.

THERE, THERE, by Sam McBrathney, Koala Books, RRP $14.99 A beautiful soft cover picture book with a very sweet story from the author of Guess How Much I Love You. “There, there, Hansie Bear. You’ll be better soon.” That’s what Hansie’s dad says whenever he hurts himself. And he always has the perfect remedy. So when Dad gets a thorn in his foot, little Hansie knows just what to do… For ages 0 – 5.

KID’S APP BIG NATE: COMIX BY U! (USD$2.99, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)

MOVIES: FOR KIDS FREE BIRDS In Cinemas January 9 Rated: G Two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history - and get turkey off the holiday menu for good. Featuring the voices of Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson, Free Birds is a hilarious movie for all of the family.

MOVIES: FOR THE FAMILY SAVING MR. BANKS In Cinemas January 9 Rated: PG Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks star in Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” inspired by the untold backstory of how “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen. When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favourite book, he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine.

KID’S WEBSITE

Create your own comix with art from BIG NATE! Big Nate, aka 6th grader Nate Wright, is a self-described genius, hilarious “king of detention” and cartoonist extraordinaire. Now just like Nate, your child can create their own comix, using Lincoln Peirce’s art from the bestselling Big Nate book series. Ages 4+

GOOSEBUMPS: FLEECAMP JELLY JAM http://www.scholastic.com.au/kids/ Free online games For families that prefer their kids to play games on a computer, Scholastic has a range of free online games that are advertising free and do not link to signups or requests for money. They are simple, yet fun. Typically for ages 4+

To see more visit www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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Conversation Conversatio C onversation onversation

family giggles BRIGHT LIGHTS &

WITH TIFFANI WOOD

Interview by Jackie Goldston

T

iffani Wood is a positive happy mum of two. As she shares, her little family consists of “Daddy Luke (32), our beautiful Lillian (7), baby Harley (6 months) and myself (36). We hope to be adding to our growing family in the near future.” Tiffani wanted to be a singer for as long as she can remember. She started out around the age of three performing in front of all her mum and dad's friends whenever they had gatherings and entering talent quests. At the age of 12 she started singing lessons at school and the Johnny Young Talent School where she was a member of the "Young stars talent team" in Newcastle. At 17 Tiffani was “spotted” singing in a modelling comp and became a singer for a number of cover bands before attending the Australian Institute of music in Sydney. This is where she auditioned for Australia's first talent based reality show, "Popstars". In the 2000, she became a member of girl group Bardot and the rest, as they say is history. BARDOT So what was it like to have been a member of Australia’s first girl bands? “Being a part of Bardot was one of the most memorable times in my life. It was a complete dream come true. I used to say to this boy in my art class for 2 years straight during every class, "You watch I'll be in a girl group with a number 1 single and album by the year 2000 and be really famous". I'm now a firm believer that what you put out into the world you get so I always try

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to think and say positive things. Looking back at my time in Bardot I sometimes can't believe it was me who was living the dream. Being able to wake up each day doing what I loved and having people sing my songs, scream my name, ask for autographs, travel the world, record albums, attend amazing parties, receive free gifts and mix with people I looked up to. It seems like it was a complete dream, even now to this very day and there isn't a moment I would take back.” BECOMING A COACH Tiffani came to a cross roads in 2010 when she wasn't working, had a three year old daughter to support and was a single mum in a different state, moving from Sydney to the Gold Coast. She explains, “I looked around at all my awards and 21 folders full of articles from my time in Bardot and thought to myself I must have been a part of this amazing experience for a reason, surely all that hard work can't go to waste. And as I looked around and thought about what I wanted to do with my life I realised not only could I pass on my 21 years of knowledge performing, singing and being a part of the Aussie music industry to up and coming singers but being a teacher means I can help shape someone else's dream since I had the amazing opportunity of living mine. And so Tiffani Wood Private Vocal Coaching was born.” Since becoming a parent, her perception of the music industry, and music videos has changed. “It's funny in the beginning, when www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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My kids are the very best teachers I could ever have and I am constantly learning things about life, myself, my family and my relationship through them.

my daughter was younger I started to see how graphic some of the video clips were, where she would be imitating adult moves, something I never really thought about until I had kids. My daughter sings now and loves performing and it does get me thinking about the entertainment industry in general and how competitive and judgemental it can be. So I'm hoping from my experience of being there and having done that, I will be able to guide her the best way I know how, from an insider’s perspective and as a caring mum.” Big Moments Tiffani has experienced so much in her life and feels there have been many defining moments. “Getting into Bardot definitely defined me as far as singing success, reaching the height of my career at such a young age and a having a public profile but what the public saw and read about me was either a very small part of my real persona or a made up one via the media. For me, once I stepped away from the spotlight, it was then that I had the best life defining moment where, after the birth of my daughter, I realised that life wasn't about self anymore but getting the chance to share my life and dreams with my children and partner and those I love. It wasn't about bright lights and my name in lights but about the giggles and unconditional love and that to me is what life is all about.” Having children has changed every aspect of her life, and even more so now with two. www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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Tiffani explains, “The way I went about life, the way I viewed things, why I go to work, the real meaning of innocence, laughter and unconditional love. My kids are the very best teachers I could ever have and I am constantly learning things about life, myself, my family and my relationship through them.” Finding balance Like many working mums, what she wants her typical day to be like and what it is can be very different. She shares, “In general it's wake up when bub does (usually 6.30/7am), get Lillian ready for school, she's in year 2. Once the school thing is done my days vary immensely depending on my mood and what work has to be done. In 2014 I'm aiming to get back into yoga, meditation, healthier eating and creating a better balance between work, family and fun. My vocal coaching business's main teaching times are Mon-Fri/ 3-7pm so dinner isn't usually until 7.30. The kids are off to bed by 8.30 at the very latest, followed by a glass of red, chocolate covered goji berries and time with my man until sleepy time.” Because she likes balance and structure, Tiffani finds she is pretty good and separating work from family time. She explains, “Although my mind is always thinking of how to improve the business and other business ideas, at the same time I can stop what I'm doing and bath bub, help with homework or do other things that need to be done. I think that was one of the benefits of being a single mummy. You become a complete genius at multitasking.”

Life lessons Tiffani has received really great advice throughout the years. She reveals, “Regarding a public profile a well-known comedian said to me, ‘Darling I love you but you need to remember if you're going to say something negative say it with a smile because it comes across so much nicer.’ I've never forgotten that. On a relationship level my mum once said "Tiffani, every man is going to have things that annoy you or cause problems, so if you leave one and meet another they will have different problems you need to deal with so the best thing to decide is which problems you can live with and which problems you can live without." So what life message does she most want her children to learn? “The same message that my man and I try to live by and teach our kids: That kindness, giving, smiles and love make the world go round not money." “I'm a bit of a control freak but to put it simply we don't live by mottos we live by morals and that's honesty, trust, loyalty, unconditional love, respect and giving to others in need.”

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KINDYROO: FUN, NATURAL MOVEMENT & MUSIC FOR BABIES, TODDLERS AND PRESCHOOLERS = GREAT SCHOOL OUTCOMES.

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“KindyROO! I love I T!” “I have shared KindyROO with three grandchildren over eight years. We have had the best time. I loved the excitement on Tuesday morning when I arrived at their house to pick them up. Smiley faces would run out to greet me with treasure bag item held tightly in hand, clamber into my car and then off we go singing loudly to ‘Hello Everyone’ on the latest KindyROO CD. KindyROO for me was a very special time where a real bond was built between my grandchildren and myself. KindyROO – fun with grandma, grandma - fun at KindyROO. The developmental skills learnt at KindyROO I believe are unmatched. There is such an assortment of learning activities that encourages individuality in each child whilst learning basic skills such as sharing and listening. Then there is the climbing, swinging, parachuting, crocodiling, dancing, and singing that mums, dads, grandmas and carers can join in on. Fun for everyone! Who really enjoys it the most? Thank you to the KindyROO team.”

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diatr

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KindyROO is a home-grown Australian early childhood development program for families that has led the world with its innovative approach to learning for over 30 years. There are now 30,000 weekly attendees Australia wide and it is still growing mainly by word of mouth.….WHY so successful? Keep reading. Wanting to be the best parents possible is the aim of most parents, yet, no matter how skilled you may be in your professional life, you are rarely prepared for the most important task you will ever undertake: the part you play in the early years of your child’s development. The KindyROO program is especially designed to help parents help their children get a great start in life so that later school learning is the best it can possibly be! The first five years of a child’s life are the most important for brain development. Scientific research has shown that a child’s brain develops fastest in the earliest years of life. We now know how crucially important the correct stimulation during this period is in improving a child’s development intellectually, physically and emotionally. There is a direct relationship between activities and the stimulation children receive when they are babies and young children and their ability to do well at school. Extensive research has shown that the better a young child’s brain development, the better will be their ability to behave, read and learn. Movement, in combination with music, has been found to be particularly stimulating to the growing brain. At KindyROO parents learn the best activities for their child’s age group and have fun trying them out! Babies

and children just love the singing, dancing, and moving games that are part of every session. Young children who have lots of movement and music experiences are found to have improved motor function and coordination; improved concentration, memory, perception and objectivity and improved communication and socialisation skills. KindyROO brings fun ‘natural play’ back to the forefront of development and learning. Times have changed. Many of the key opportunities that in the past encouraged ‘natural’ development are no longer available to children. As a result of interferences that our modern society brings, babies and children of today have much reduced opportunities to move, play and develop, all of which is having an impact on the developing child’s brain. In our natural evolutionary past, nature provided much of the necessary stimuli, and we evolved to imbed these into our natural developmental processes. A simple analogy: it is accepted as basic knowledge that play in baby animals is about developing later survival skills for when they are adults. So is it reasonable to take the “natural” out of life and still expect our children to maximise their future learning abilities? KindyROO shows parents lots of fun activities that stimulate healthy brain development for babies and children from 6 weeks to 5 years. Every game played and every song sung is designed to help children reach their full learning potential while having fun! The many thousands of parents who have attended KindyROO over the past 30 years can attest to the program’s success. Here are just 2 testimonials (you can read many more online at www.kindyroo.com.au/mod.testimonials www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au

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“In our house, KindyROO is not just a weekly advent ure, it has become a major part of al l our lives.”

to be kids good-books if we get “We know we are in the n we play KindyROO whe ff) sta ly love the of Miss Louise (or any songs from the -trips we can sing all the at home, and after long car regular visitors and s toy t . Most of our sof most recent KindyROO CD it is something t tha love we and g, hello son (of all ages) can sing the nt people are orta imp er arents and any oth where mums, dads, grandp gives the girls - t it tha ce den onfi e c g th y seein equally welcome. We enjo sical activities phy ng doi fun nds and just have us to try new things, make frie tion for parents also helps and rhythm. The informa ommend rec hly hig with a sense of purpose ld wou I . why what is important and to keep up to speed with with their child’. wants to do something fun who one any to KindyROO

Australian wide 30,000 children & parents attend this program every week

Structured program supported by current research

Movement, music & specially designed equipment

Encourages critical skills for early learning and literacy

BabyRoo From 6 weeks

• Professional qualified instructors / educators •

Parent information & home activities

Find a oo KindyR ou oy close t ol r and en today!

Toddlers Brisbane (Erin) .................................... 0450 684 081 NORTH Chermside, Carseldine SOUTH Mt Gravatt WEST Middle Park Helensvale (Rosalie) ................................ 5503 0937 Robina (Rosalie) ....................................... 5503 0937 Sunshine Coast (Rachel) .................... 0403 897 842

1 - 3 years

Preschoolers 3 - 4 years

School Readiness 3 - 4 years

Program approved by institute of Neuro-Physiological Psychology - UK Accepted as sole major platinum sponsor AAMCFHN (Maternal Child and Family Health Nurses) National Conference 2005/7/9/11/13

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www.kindyroo.com.au

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So I was googling healthy lunchbox recipes, which took me to slices, which took me to this. Well, just... yum.

COME ON OVER,

we’d love you to join the conversation...

What’s your favourite slice? Healthy... or not.

www.facebook.com/KidsInTheCityMagazine A school in New Zealand has banned playground rules and says the result is less bullying and vandalism. What do you think? Do you think we have too many schoolyard rules?

{READER QUESTION} “My daughter has started grade 3, and in two days the ‘bully’ has already started being mean. I want to nip it in the bud as quickly as I can, but not sure how. I feel like I’ve spent the last 6 weeks building up her confidence, to have one child bring it all crashing down again. Any advice would be great”

Black jubes should be in their own packet - and replaced with red ones.

www.kidsinthecitymagazine.com.au | www.pinterest.com/kidsonthecoast

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Agree?

- in the city -

31/01/2014 4:48 pm


Kids in the City Magazine - Brisbane - Issue 04