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ISSUE 57 July/August 2015 GOLD COAST

Âť take me home


Talking about the news

A spark for science

When mind & body don't match

Trusting your teen

57 Contents ISSUE

July/August 2015

» Make our Steampunk

science costumes

Tavis, 13yrs

Visit our website for instructions







10 FEATURE: Talking to kids about the news 16 CHECK THIS OUT 18 PARENTS TALK: Sending sick kids to school 22 C  ALENDAR OF EVENTS: Find out what’s happening on the Coast during July & August 24 THE P FILES: Gender identity: Born this way

Bow ties and shirts from Bardot Kids

28 EDUCATION: Scientific thinking 34 BABIES: Having a baby with special needs

Girls cardigan from Cotton On Kids

36 TEENS: Trusting our teens 38 YOU: Father's Day – Celebrating Dads 40 CONVERSATION: Annie Love 42 REVIEWS

Costume created by the fabulous Ligre from STORKSNESTDESIGNS

Talise, 7yrs


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

JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast





kids on the coast | in th

MEDIA PUBLISHED BY Mother Goose Media PTY LTD PO Box 491, Eumundi QLD 4562 PHONE: 1300 430 320 FAX: 07 5442 7253 ABN: 86 473 357 391 WEB:

In the midst of the chilly months here in Queensland, we’ve put together a great selection of thoughtprovoking articles to help warm you up. Our education section focuses on science and how it can enrich your child's life through the right sort of encouragement at school and at home. In celebration of National Science Week this August, we’ve included some fun experiments for you to try with your kids at home. My daughters are looking forward to some science fun and we’d love you to share a photo of your child’s very own CO2 film canister rocket! Another important issue that all parents should give some thought to is talking about the news with their kids. When should you let your child watch the news? And how do you handle their concerns over the often negative news stories they may see? We find out what parents and experts think in our feature article. Speaking of news, one controversial subject that seems to have become more prevalent in modern times is gender dysphoria…when a child’s gender identity does not match their biological sex. We discuss what children with this condition experience and why more parents are seeking treatment than ever before. There is so much more to absorb in this issue, from trusting your teens and preparing for a baby with special needs through to selective eating disorders and eastern medicine for kids, so grab a cuppa and enjoy the read. As always, we have a mountain of content online including topical news stories, blog posts, new articles and reviews on products, books, movies and more. Please do stop by and have a read. We’d love to hear from you on our Facebook page too. Feel free to contact our team via our website or email, and don’t forget to sign up for our weekly What’s On eNews at Natasha Higgins, Editor

EDITORIAL / PRODUCTION PUBLISHER: Toni Eggleston PRINT EDITOR: Natasha Higgins GROUP EDITOR - DIGITAL: Eva Lewis ADMIN: SOCIAL MEDIA: Eva Lewis PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT: Phoebe Browning DESIGN: Michelle Craik & Phoebe Browning PRINTING: Print Works, 07 3865 4433 All editorial and advertising in Kids on the Coast and Kids in the City publications are 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 on the Coast is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Feedback/ comments/suggestions? Send to: publications@ 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.

DISTRIBUTION Distributed directly to parenting hotspots across South East Queensland. Kids on the Coast (Gold Coast edition) is a free publication circulating over 18,000 copies from Tweed Heads to Coomera, including hinterland.


Separate editions cover the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.


- on the coast

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JULY 2015



BEHIND THE SCENES … at our Verve Portraits cover shoot

Kids on the Coast (Sunshine Coast edition) is a free publication circulating over 20,000 copies from Caloundra to Noosa, including hinterland. Kids in the City (Brisbane edition) is a free publication circulating over 20,000 copies from North Lakes to Springwood and covering all suburbs to Jindalee. For distribution enquiries phone: 1300 430 320 or email:

ADVERTISING Call 1300 430 320 or email your Business Development Manager. GOLD COAST Joanne - SUNSHINE COAST Tanya - BRISBANE Kerri -

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Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015




Steampunk scien tists!

- on the coast

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JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast


The social gathering Daily conversation, inspiration and information

We want to meet you so let's get social


{Blogger Fast 5} You may have seen her on our Parents Talk panel and so in this issue we are introducing Emily from Have a Laugh on Me


Describe your blog in 25 words or less… An honest and often humorous take on my life as a working mum of three who isn’t afraid to tackle the big, or small, issues.



A happy little PRIZE WINNER enjoying her stash of Cocobella Kids Coconut Water & Juice! WHY NOT CHECK OUT THE OTHER COOL COMPETITIONS WE HAVE RUNNING ON OUR WEBSITE!





My top sanity saver is… My husband. As soon as he walks in the door my stress levels drop and I know that reinforcements have arrived. It’s for this reason I adore weekends.


If I could have any other job it would be… Being a millionaire. That’s a job right? Honestly I wouldn’t change my job. I’m a professional writer and I love every second of it.


The hardest lesson I've learnt is… That you never know how long or short a person’s life is so treasure every minute and never leave things unsaid. The three things that make me happy are… I love the beach, the sound of my children giggling and actually crossing off all the things on my to-do list!


Teaming up with the girls from Underwater World SEA LIF E at the Green Heart Fair

Turtle about Crush the Educating kids can be in his environment and how rubbish his health detrimental to

What fun things have you been getting up to around Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast? Tag us and let us know! @kidsinthecitymagazine @kidsonthecoastmagazine


to receive our DOUBLE, DOUBLE weekly eNews! TOIL AND TROUBLE Join with us online – we are more than a magazine! 6

Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

Having fun makin g crazy hats at the Ipswich Art Gallery

Visit our website

For fun science experiments visit science-discovery-for-kids

JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast


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

Whats news » Visit our website for more news,



Children will have a Giggle and Hoot of a time at Dreamworld’s newest world, ABC KIDS WORLD!

Australia’s favourite characters have come to life in this interactive and colourful world of fun, rides and games. Featuring Giggle and Hoot, The Wiggles, Play School and Bananas in Pyjamas, ABC KIDS WORLD is the only one of its kind giving kids and carers a whole world of happiness. Giggle & Hoot: Play on the Giggle and Hoot Pirate Ship, try the new Hop and Hoot ride, and mingle with Hoot and Hootabelle. Play School: Come inside, it’s PLAY SCHOOL! ABC KIDS WORLD features a Play School Art Room where children can get lost in their imagination as they make, play and do. The Wiggles: It’s a wiggly wonderful time where the family can all ride The Big Red Car, Dorothy’s Teacup ride and The Big Red Boat, with special guest appearances by Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, Wags the Dog and Captain Feathersword. Bananas in Pyjamas: Pre-schoolers will enjoy making their way through the Bananas in Pyjamas Fun Maze as well as meeting the famous residents of Cuddlestown, B1 and B2! Are you thinking what I’m thinking B1? I think I am B2… It’s ABC KIDS WORLD time!


Welcoming spaces, diverse services and a health lounge to replace clinical uninspiring doctors’ offices is what you’ll find at Haan Health’s new medical centre at Broadbeach. Too often illness is treated by a pill or formula without seeing the body as a whole and Haan Health wants to change this approach. Owner Dr Sonu Haikerwal explained, “We believe that General Practice should be delivered in a warm, friendly, caring and personalised environment.” Haan Health prides themselves on a whole-body health approach with one goal – to help you “be you again.” The multidisciplinary practice includes in-house physiotherapy, exercise physiology, nutrition and dietetics, pathology, podiatry and psychology. There is also a health-lounge facility where yoga classes and support groups are run for patients with chronic diseases. Dr Sonu Haikerwal is also the principal GP and is trained to deal with issues the traditional clinical health system puts in the ‘too hard basket’, like complex physical and mental healthcare needs. For more information visit


Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

© Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2015



An individual banana is called a finger, a bunch of bananas is called a hand. The Gold Coast is home to the largest subtropical rainforest remnant in the world.

Based on the International Year of Light, the 2015 National Science Week has been aptly themed ‘Making waves – the science of light’ and will run from the 15th to 23rd of August. National Science Week events will be held right throughout Australia offering an array of activities with everything from science festivals, music and comedy shows, interactive hands-on displays, open days and online activities. The festival is proudly supported by the Australian Government, as well as partners CSIRO, Australian Science Teachers Association and the ABC. Resources and event details can be found at

BLUE MOON FUNDRAISER – SUPPORTING CHILDHOOD CANCER Led by the charity Braver Stronger Smarter Incorporated, the Blue Moon Fundraiser is asking people to walk/ row/run/swim/canoe/cycle/crawl/exercise-bike/roll/skip/ dog-walk or hop all the way to the moon and back – a distance of 739,494km. The fundraiser is to take place during the month of the blue moon from July 2nd to July 31st. It is anticipated that each kilometre of a dedicated training or excercise session will be sponsored $1 and you can fund your own efforts or find others to sponsor you. Braver Stronger Smarter Inc was inspired by 6-year-old Eva Wheatley who lost her life to metastatic embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer. Eva showed an extraordinary happiness and enjoyment of life despite extreme adversity. The primary aim of Braver Stronger Smarter Inc is to promote childhood cancer awareness, support translational research into high risk childhood cancers and to assist children with high risk cancers to obtain personalised medical expertise where all other treatment options have failed. To be part of the first Australian-led intergenerational, international SPACE MISSION visit To help encourage support on the Gold Coast, there will be a 1km “I love you to the moon and back” mission happening at 11am every Sunday in July for friends and family of the charity. The ‘Blue Moon Sundays’ walk will be held the Gold Coast Botanic Gardens, Ashmore Rd, Benowa, and participants are asked to meet at the Sensory garden. It’s a scenic and easy stroll around the boardwalk and pathways with a gold coin donation accepted on the day. If you are interested in participating, please contact Leanne 0408 677 138 or email


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JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast


teaching • challenging • transforming


Talking to


kids about the 10

Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015


by Megan Blandford


These days, that reality is so much larger than it used to be. For many parents, the memory of news is a morning newspaper and a half-hour block of headlines at 6pm. In our children’s generation, however, news is everywhere: on our television screens, radios, newspapers, on the internet and in our conversations. By the time they reach their late teenage years and into adulthood, they’ll be expected to understand not just the communities surrounding them, but also the world on a wider scale. And, as the issues that come with that grow more complex, parents feel an urgency to keep one step ahead to help arm this connected generation with the skills to understand and cope with modern life. The key to helping our kids deal with what’s happening on the news begins at home. Parents need to know what issues their children can be exposed to, when they’re ready for more and how to help them deal with any concerns. Martine Oglethorpe, child psychologist at The Modern Parent, says the first step is to grasp the developmental needs of our kids. “Toddlers, pre-schoolers and lower primary aged children don’t understand context, and it’s all about the here and now,” she explains. “As they get older, though, they are beginning to understand their place in the world and they’ll become more curious about what these things mean.” To Martine, that younger age group up to primary school – for whom the world is still revolving around themselves – simply don’t need to be exposed to any news. “When they’re little, we should shield them from it because they’re very insular,” Martine advises. “They don’t need to know, because they don’t have the maturity to process it or to understand what it means for them.” Elizabeth Handsley, president of the Australian Council on Children and the Media, believes that when you do think it’s time to start introducing the ideas of the news, it’s best to take a controlled approach. She suggests using newspaper clippings or other media exposure that is known to you ahead of time as a way of introducing the ideas covered in the media. “You never know what’s going to come onto the news,” she says. “It’s very unpredictable, and what parents might not realise is there are no classification restrictions on the news. Instead, watch the news later at night when the kids are in bed if you have younger children.”

JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast



The key to helping our kids deal with what’s happening on begins at home

the news

As they grow older, the lines become blurrier. Kids can no longer be completely shielded from the news, but parents do need to be careful how they handle what their children are now exposed to. One parent taking a proactive approach to this is Eva Lane, who watches the news each evening with her husband and their five-year-old son. She says, “It’s really drawing him in, but he doesn’t have much of a filter between what’s an illusion and what’s a reality at this age.” Watching the evening news is a family decision that works in with their lives. “We watch the news while we eat dinner,” Eva explains, “because we have a very busy lifestyle and we multi-task when we can.” As they watch the broadcast, Eva is careful to talk about what’s happening on the screen, in a way that she describes as direct, calm and succinct. “I have to explain that some of these things are very far away and that they aren’t going to happen to us.” At this age, Eva believes it’s best to stick with that black and white approach. “He’ll see a plane flying over us and ask if it’s going to crash, and although there’s a slight chance of something like that happening, there’s a massive chance that it won’t happen. I’d rather he believes it’s impossible.” Martine agrees with this idea of reassurance and not giving away too much too soon. “During primary school, they’re still at an age where we need to protect them from thinking these things are going to affect them,” she says. She adds that during this stage, most children aren’t yet thinking too much about strangers, because their world still feels small. “Put it in a context they can understand,” Martine suggests, “and reassure them that it won’t happen to them or the people they love.” While it’s tricky to place clear age guidelines on when it’s safe for children to be exposed to the news, the Raising Children Network has some ideas around this. They suggest that watching the television news under the age of five is too scary and may lead to kids copying violent behaviour as they can’t comprehend it as separate from their reality. School aged children are more able to determine that what they’re seeing is real, which can in turn be confronting and frightening for them. The trick is to know your child; their maturity level, development and curiosity will help guide you to the next stage. “Let your child lead, and listen to them and what they are actually concerned about,” says Elizabeth. She adds that it’s important to


Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

not add to the drama of the issue. “Address that one thing directly, rather than bringing in a whole lot of other issues that the child might not have thought about. It’s important to be honest with children without giving them unnecessary information, which can take a bit of creative thinking.” Susan Sohn has three older children aged 16, 13 and 10, and says that because information is so readily available to them, she has taken every chance to be on the front foot. “I don’t think we can shield them from it, so we’ve embraced talking to our kids about what’s happening in the world,” Susan says. “We need to prepare them for the world they’re living in.” This approach has made communication more open in their family and, interestingly, Susan has noticed less fear as a result. “We’ve taken the mystery away from it.” She adds that she doesn’t always get it right. “We watched a news story about paedophilia recently and, in hindsight, it was a bit too much for them.” In those cases, Susan tries to talk through it. She says, “My 13-year-old likes to play online games and this opened the door to explaining to him why I ask him to be aware. Don’t be scared, but be wise.” Susan also believes that being aware of what’s happening in the world is important in order to help children be more empathetic and consider giving back. “We talk about what our response is to a difficult issue and how we can live our lives to make the world a better place,” she says. “We need to help our kids become engaged citizens rather than being scared.” Seeing and talking about the news can help turn children’s focus as they grow to these older ages from tragedy to potential positive action. Elianor Gerrard, Development Education Officer for CARE Australia, says that when she does school talks, she needs to tell older primary school children difficult facts, such as a child under five dies in the world every 20 seconds. “It’s really confronting,” she says, “and some might take the reality of that on board more than others.” Turning that back around to a positive can be challenging, however it’s the aim every time she talks to kids. She explains, “To help equip children with the necessary coping mechanisms to deal with that, we tell them about the positive things we’re doing to overcome it. Whenever I present a problem, I always present a solution, so that children are instilled with a sense of optimism and achievement.”


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“We want them to not take everything at face value,” Martine explains. “In the media, we’re exposed to a lot of people’s opinions so it’s a good opportunity to talk about those sorts of things.” It’s this positive focus that is so important from a big picture perspective. “There are a lot of things that need fixing in the world, and our best hope is to instil that optimism, innovation and thought in young students,” Elianor says, adding that this can make it easier for them in the long term. “If we introduce these concepts and solutions early, then they won’t be overwhelmed by it. As adults, they’ll feel confident that they can tackle these big global issues and be part of creating a better future. That’s the ultimate outcome.” Another issue at play when considering whether to let your children watch, read or listen to the news is one of values. Talking about issues around the world is a good way to help encourage (and, importantly, to discourage) certain ideas seeping into your child’s value system. The vital part of that equation, however, is to consistently communicate with your child. “Just sitting there with your child isn’t enough,” Elizabeth explains. “If it’s material that’s violent or shows disrespect to people and you just sit and watch it with them, then your child can interpret that as your endorsement of what’s happening on the screen.” Communication is the key to ensuring the values you believe are important stay in your child’s mind. “Always talk to them, even if it’s just to say that what you’re seeing makes you feel really uncomfortable and perhaps explaining why that is,” Elizabeth says. “You want them to hear your values, and not just the values that are coming from the media content.” Martine adds that it’s also a good time to think about instilling some critical thinking into your older child’s skills base. “Ask them questions about what they think,” she says. Some questions she suggests include: • What are some of the things we could do if that happens to us? • What are some of the decisions we could make to prevent it from happening? • What could you do if you feel uncomfortable with someone? • What do you believe about that issue?

Sometimes, you might feel an issue that’s come up in the news has affected your child in a negative way. They might appear worried or anxious about it, express some fear or become clingy. In that case, Martine says, “Acknowledge their feelings and give them the space to express themselves. Reassure them that this isn’t going to happen to them or, if it is likely, then talk through the things you can do to deal with it or prevent it from happening.” She warns that your role is to create a safe environment rather than hassling them. “Don’t harp on about it,” she adds. Watching your child for such adverse reactions – or even positive reactions that could open communication pathways – is important, and you can do that in a number of ways. “Listen to what they’re talking about,” Martine suggests. “For example, if your child says in conversation ‘That sounds like something a terrorist might do’, you might ask them what they understand about terrorists. Take those opportunities to give them some age-appropriate information. Be on the lookout for those situations and cues: the things that come up in their lives and in their play.” All experts agree that communication is the most important aspect of parenting in many ways, including in tackling these bigger world issues as your children grow older. Observing, reassuring and taking an active role in discussing the constant news cycle and the confusing and worrisome news – and, of course, the sometimes really good news – that we hear and see is only becoming a more important part of parenting as time goes on. Each child is different and each parent’s approach is different too. By being tuned in to your offspring you’ll know the best way to help them through this. Although discussing and making some sense of the bad news is important and can’t be shielded from your child forever, a rule of thumb that is good to remember for all children and parents is to always try to end on a positive note. Martine says, “When your child goes to bed at night, try to make sure that the last conversation you have is positive so that they go to bed with good thoughts.”

As adults, they’ll feel confident that they cantackle these big global issues and be part of creating a 14

Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

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TALK Parents

Some of the best-loved parenting bloggers in South East Queensland join Kids on the Coast and Kids in the City to discuss the topics that matter to you.

How do you feel about sending sick kids to school? Do you feel there are any exceptions?

ADAM CLEMENTS RACHEL YOUNG Our Town Brisbane This is a tricky one because in an ideal world no parent would ever send a sick child to school or kindy under ANY circumstances. However, the reality of most parents’ lives – especially parents that work outside the home – is far from the ideal world and so inevitably it does happen. In defence of these parents though I’d like to make a couple of points. Firstly there seems to be a period between 2 to about 4 years old where kids are just on a never-ending roundabout of colds and viruses. When my kids were this age I remember having to constantly keep an eye on how many sick days I’d used, hoping that I had enough saved up for when the next lurgy struck. I was terrified of ‘wasting’ a sick day on myself and went to work sick myself on too many occasions to count. So when sick leave got low and one of the kids had a runny nose but seemed otherwise happy I’d send them to kindy or school and hope for the best. On the other hand if they were obviously upset, had a fever or were otherwise miserable I’d keep them home no matter what. I think as a parent you just have to accept that a certain amount of sickness is going to be par for the course in those toddler/preschooler and even early school aged years. Trying to work out who gave who the germs is kind of like asking “which came first, the chicken or the egg?” You can debate it forever and never really solve the problem!

Cook and Kid


What are we worried about here?

Cooker and a Looker

Is the concern that other kids and teachers are then at risk of catching said illness? Do we just find the idea of the sick kid a bit annoying to our sweet dispositions, all that sniffling and nose blowing?

Years ago, when we started swimming, the girls’ instructor told me to bring them to lessons if I thought they were well enough to enjoy them. I’m now using this rule as a guide for when to send my daughter to school. If she’s well enough to actively participate without affecting the wellbeing or enjoyment of others, I send her.

Are we talking a bit of a sniffle, or something irksome like gastro? Measles? Where is the line drawn? Perhaps there could be a section at school for sick kids, where they can read stories and sip Lucozade. How many resources does our schooling system have to deal with this? Probably not enough. But who would be admitted anyway… kids with doctor’s certificates? You would need to take time out yourself to obtain this, so you may be better off just staying home with the child. I like staying at home with my daughter sometimes. I don’t want her to be sick, but if we get to hang on the couch for the day and watch DVDs, then I’m all in. It’s hard economically for a lot of parents. Do you have the flexibility to work from home if needs be? Is it easier and cheaper than taking time off work and going to the doctor? What of the child? Perhaps another angle also is that if kids aren’t allowed to rest and recover properly, they take longer to recover, so let them stay home for a bit. Is there an argument for everyone getting stronger for being exposed a little? We all get a little flu, maybe we don’t get that monster flu down the track. BTW - Did you know there is such a thing as whale flu? And people who are paid to monitor it? They use a little toy helicopter to gather ‘specimens’ from over the whales’ blowhole. Should flu vaccinations be mandatory like other vaccinations? (Can you imagine the outrage?) Like most questions of this nature, I feel it comes down to the individual situation, using some common sense and fact-finding (fact that is, not strong opinion) and having a little compassion for those who may struggle in these situations. These positions make it hard to offer a blanket solution. But maybe that is the solution, a hot chicken soup and warm blanket.

We’ve come from a family day care background where my daughters were cared for by their day care mother in her own home. I’m conscious of sending germs into her home and respectful of her own family’s health. We both have a copy of the federal government publication “Staying Healthy - Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services”. The book contains factsheets about common childhood illnesses and we use the information as a guide for when my girls are well enough to return to care. Regardless of whether they should go to school, often times my girls bounce back much faster after a day off to convalesce. They hate to miss out on the fun of going to school, but they’re better off home with me to snuggle on the couch and turn their noses up at the chicken soup that I spend too long making for them.

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Look for Parents Talk topics at 18

Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015


The Cycle Of Life

Fertility Acupuncture Specialists

The Benefits of Acupuncture & IVF The Cycle of Life is a unique acupuncture fertility clinic located on the Gold Coast (Robina) which supports couples undergoing IVF. Since IVF acupuncture has gained more and more credibility for its use for fertility treatment and IVF, it is believed acupuncture can enhance the outcome of IVF in many ways. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can improve the success rate of IVF by increasing the number of follicles, improving ovarian function and increasing blood flow to the uterus. In addition, patients are less likely to experience side effects from Western drugs and feel less stressed, coping better with the emotional stages of IVF. IVF acupuncture can also strengthen the immune system, which can be related to implantation failure.

Pre conception planning Fertility for Men & Women • IVF Pregnancy • Post Natal Support • Pediatrics Book your next appointment • (07) 5689 1777 63/2 Arbour Avenue, Robina

The organs located in the pelvis, specifically the ovaries and the uterine lining, depend on a good blood supply. By increasing the blood flow to the reproductive system it maximises the supply of oxygen and nutrients, making the ovaries and uterus function optimally and respond better to an IVF cycle. Acupuncture can boost your chances for a successful IVF Cycle by: • Producing a larger number of follicles. • Increasing blood flow to the uterus and increasing the thickness of the uterine lining. • Improving ovarian function to produce better quality egg. • Decreasing chances of miscarriage. • Preventing the uterus from contracting. JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast



Voted Best Family Resort in Australia cannons and jets to entertain and engage the whole family, topped off with a giant bucket that fills with 600 litres of water before dumping it on the kids below in one enormous splash! And in what can only be described as the ultimate family holiday amenity, the resort offers Zone 4 Kids Club – a fully supervised kids club offering separate play spaces ensuring age appropriate care and activities for kids aged 0-12. Unlike any other kids club in Australia, every accommodation package includes up to four hours of supervised care each day in the famous Zone 4 Kids Club for all kids 0-12 years, which allows parents time to escape the daily routine and indulge in some holiday sightseeing or precious down time.

For the ultimate in Gold Coast family fun, Paradise Resort Gold Coast has it all. Voted ‘Best Family Resort in Australia’, it’s been described as a mini theme park or a cruise ship on land. The resort offers a range of accommodation options throughout its 358 guest rooms, with family comfort paramount, including themed King and Junior Bunkhouse rooms with gaming consoles and free game hire. The entire central resort area features a giant lagoon pool, large heated spa and two enormous Zone for Kids (Z4K) water park attractions. Both the 0-5 year and 5-12 year water park attractions sport a myriad of slides, water

Paradise Resort Gold Coast also has its own ice-skating rink, PLANET CHILL – the only permanent ice skating rink within a resort in the southern hemisphere. Designed to thrill and chill resort guests of all ages, PLANET CHILL is a unique drawcard for families travelling to the Gold Coast. A memorable holiday is never complete without good food at economical prices, and to help the holiday budget the resort offers a ‘Kids Eat for $8’ offer valid at Bistro Zagame’s, the Poolside Café and Bar or the Zone 4 Kids Club. With an indoor and outdoor playground, a range of free daily activities and entertainment, and an exclusive adults only bar and spa area, Paradise Resort is the perfect choice for your next family holiday. Packages start from only $179* per room per night for travel on selected dates until 31 March 2016. Visit for full details. *Conditions apply


Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015


Pre-Orthodontic Treatment: Straight teeth the natural way It does not require an exhaustive study to conclude the majority of our children these days have incorrectly developing jaws and crowded teeth. Any cursory examination will highlight this, and although indications of incorrect development can be obvious from when they are as young as five years old, almost universally the professional recommendation is to hold off orthodontic treatment until the child is older. This traditional orthodontic treatment often involves extracting teeth to create more room in underdeveloped jaws, mechanically forcing teeth into an aesthetic position with braces or, when all else fails, for the most severe cases, surgically breaking then realigning the jaws. While these treatment techniques are, in the short term at least, the most effective means of patching over orthodontic problems they do not encourage correct natural facial development and they are subject to limitations as well as health risks. In fact, parents are routinely required to consent to the knowledge our children’s teeth may be damaged during orthodontic treatment. Damage to teeth is cause enough for concern, however perhaps the greatest limiting factor to viable orthodontic treatment is the almost certain post-treatment relapse. Unless our children commit to lifelong maintenance with permanent retainers, the teeth will inevitably return to their previous crowded position. With shortcomings like these, the long-term benefit and viability of these 20th century ways of straightening teeth must be questioned. Unfortunately, even if we do question long-term benefits of traditional orthodontic methods, most parents will not be offered or even informed of any alternative treatment options. Alternative options do exist though and they are becoming increasingly popular with parents who, often because of their own traditional orthodontic treatment experience, are looking for a more natural treatment option for their children with more permanent results. With the backing of 25 years of

research and the satisfaction of countless children in more than 100 countries, Myobrace® pre-orthodontic treatment provides a viable treatment option. Rather than rely on extractions to create extra space, braces to force teeth into alignment or surgery to reshape the face, The Myobrace System™ addresses the causes that inhibit a child’s natural facial development. While the Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends children visit an orthodontist between the ages of eight and ten, traditional orthodontic treatment is typically delayed until later in a child’s life once the majority of (often incorrect) facial growth is complete. Myobrace® treatment on the other hand enables developmental problems to be addressed as soon as they become evident. Using a series of removable appliances, worn for just one hour during the day and overnight while sleeping, in combination with a range of Myobrace Activities™, which can be likened to physiotherapy exercises for the face. Myobrace® treatment helps developing children alter the incorrect myofunctional habits that inhibit their natural growth, such as mouth breathing, thumb sucking and incorrect swallowing. This early, preventive pre-orthodontic treatment means while many of their peers are only just starting traditional mechanical treatments with questionable long-term benefits, Myobrace® children will have undergone a modern treatment designed to naturally unlock their full genetic growth potential and straighten teeth naturally. Myobrace Pre-Orthodontic Centres™ lead the world in providing effective early preorthodontic treatment, and with good patient compliance, The Myobrace System™ can achieve outstanding results prior to traditional orthodontic techniques even becoming an option. To find out more about early pre-orthodontic treatment, visit or connect with a Myobrace Pre-Othodontic Centre™ on Facebook.

Straight teeth the natural way

Are you concerned about your child’s crooked teeth? Do you know there are options other than waiting for braces?

Myobrace Pre-Orthodontic Center® offers treatment that can straighten your child’s teeth, much sooner and without braces. This involves wearing a removable Myobrace® appliance for just a few hours a day and while sleeping. It’s a more ‘Natural Approach’ to straightening teeth, while your child is still growing. Suitable for children from 5 to 15. Contact us today for your free consultation.*

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Upper Coomera • Robina • Brunswick Heads *Conditions apply, contact Myobrace Pre-Orthodontic Center® for details.


JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast 14/05/2014 4:43 pm


- in the city



World breastfeeding week aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

A fun day to highlight the importance of education and to help raise funds to stop the cycle of disadvantage often experienced by children in foster care.






Each year, many schools and public libraries all over Australia spend a week celebrating books and Australian authors and illustrators.



Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology with more than 1000 science events taking place across the country. Science Week is designed for everyone – it’s definitely not restricted to schools and universities – with events and activities and talks and shows for every age group. The 2015 schools theme is Making waves – the science of light.






The week aims to educate Australians about the risk factors for type 2 diabetes and how simple lifestyle choices can help prevention.

Each year this Planet Ark event sees millions of native trees, shrubs and grasses planted right around Australia with the aim of building a better environment for all Australians.

NAIDOC is a celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and an opportunity to recognise the contributions of Indigenous Australians in various fields.




JULY 5 TO 18


JULY 5 TO 12



Where: Outback Jacks Bar & Grill, Southport Kids eat free all day everyday during Queensland school holidays. One free child meal with every adult meal – for children under 12 only.




June/July 2015

to do, “ Thingses to go!” plac

| www.kidsi



- on the coast


Sunshine Coast

Being active is a fun and positive experience for teenagers and there are lots of great weekly activities just perfect for teenagers on offer in this program. There are a heap of cool events on offer from skate, craft, stand up paddle boarding and more. Details: Phone 5581 5233 or email


Where: Gold Coast Sailing Club Time: From 9am A perfect introduction to sailing for kids and their parents. Stay on for a BBQ breakfast. Details: From $20 for 1.5 hour session and basic sail training.






Gold Coast

Where: Event Cinemas Relax and catch a movie at the Bring Your Baby sessions.



Where: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 28 Tomewin St, Currumbin Time: Check website for times Blinky Bill and his friends have a new home at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Australia’s favourite koala is bringing the Sanctuary to life with two shows daily, and appearances throughout the park. Details: Adults $49. Child $35. Family $133.



Where: Draculas, Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach Time: Midday See live rock music, special effects, comedy, puppetry, dancing, interactive games and an amazing aerial circus!

Where: Westfield Garden City, Upper Mt Gravatt Check out this new simulator ride for kids and adults. You will enjoy the effects and action of this ride like you have never before! Details: Family $40. EVERY SATURDAY






Where: Paradise Point Parklands, Cnr of The Esplanade & Ephraim Island Pde, Paradise Point Time: 8am – 1pm Market showcasing up to 100 fashion, arts and creative stalls as well as live local music and delicious gourmet food.



Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Lower Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads Time: 8am – 1pm Market showcasing up to 100 fashion, arts and creative stalls as well as live local music and delicious gourmet food.


JULY 5 & 19 / AUGUST 2 & 16

Where: The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise Time: 5pm – 10pm If you're looking for an unusual gift or one-off piece, the beachfront night markets are your one-stop shop. beachfront-markets



Where: Sanctuary Cove, Off Mast-Head Way Time: 9am – 1pm A boutique family market providing quality, unique products and services, which are not mass-produced or easily found in shops.



Where: Upper Coomera State College, Upper Coomera Time: 9am – 12pm The ultimate market for your children’s needs with quality pre-loved and new products.



Where: Chinatown Precinct, Gold Coast Time: 4pm – 10pm Taste your way through Asia without leaving the Gold Coast. Chinatown will transform into a vibrant and colourful marketplace as the Asian inspired food market takes over the streets of Southport.








s Coa

PREHISTORIC PLAYGROUND Where: Westfield Helensvale, Millaroo Dr, Helensvale Time: 10am – 2pm FREE children’s dinosaur activities & crafts these school holidays with a different life size dinosaur in every centre. Details: Free. JUNE 29 – JULY 5


Where: Gold Coast Circus Arts, 7027 Southport-Nerang Rd, Nerang Holiday fun with a circus twist! Check out the three workshops available – Mega Mix Circus, Flying Trapeze or Advanced Flying Trapeze. Details: For ages 5 – 17 years.

SNOW4KIDS FESTIVAL Where: Pacific Fair, Outside Myer Time: 10am – 2pm Under the creative direction of Aspiral Design, children will learn how to tie-dye a pillowcase or face washer they can take home and keep. Details: Free. Bookings essential.

Where: Southport Yacht Club, Hollywell Time: 9am – 3pm each day Looking for a fun way to kick off your holidays? Check out this camp with three days of fun and games both on and off the water. Details: From $210 for ages 7 – 17 all abilities.



Where: Pacific Fair, Riverwalk Time: 10am – 2pm daily Check out this awesome collection of activities and games suitable for all ages. Try duck fishing, stilt walking, ninja tennis and more! Details: Free.



Where: Pacific Fair, Outside Coles Time: Four workshops daily – 10am, 11am, 12pm & 1pm Mona from the Lunchbox Revolution will guide kids to make healthy chocolate balls that they can eat right there or take away for later. Details: Free. Bookings essential.

Where: Surfers Paradise Foreshore Running over ten days, there’s plenty of time to check out great music, classic dancing and all the old school fun with the whole family. Details: Free.


JULY 10 TO 19

Where: The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Bundall Time: 10am & 1pm Book now to see Nickleby the Magician in his award winning magic show. This action packed show combines world record escapes, illusions, comedy & a special guest appearance from his latest assistant 'The Xtreme Illusionist’. Details: $15 per ticket.



Where: Pacific Fair (outside Myer) Kids will get their hands dirty and create their very own terrarium using an air plant that they can take home to hang and care for. Details: Free. Bookings required.

Where: Lionel Perry Park, Surfers Paradise Time: 11am – 6pm Foodies and funseekers unite for an indulgent weekend on the banks of the Nerang River. Guests can grab a table or roll out a blanket for a day of great food, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment culminating in a sunset riverside concert. Details: Free.


AUGUST 8 & 9

Where: Southport Sharks Health + Fitness Time: 2 – 5 years 2:30pm / 6 – 12 years 3pm Yoga can improve a child’s balance and focus, reduce stress and so much more. Details: Registration is essential. Call 5591 5800 for prices and info.



Where: Broadbeach Broadbeach delivers another free music weekend – this time with jazz! Chill out to the sounds of some of the finest jazz musos around. Details: Free.

Where: Currumbin RSL, Currumbin Time: 9:30am – 5:30pm Get set to see a gardening expo like no other! Botanical Bazaar is a must experience, fully interactive green event that will educate and inspire. Details: Pre-purchase to receive a living gift. $10 per ticket. Children free.



Where: Gold Coast Turf Club, Bundall Now in its 109th Year the Gold Coast Show is better than ever! Take a day and support your local show.



AUGUST 15 & 16


Where: Broadwater Parklands, Southport Join in an interactive and fun program of free activities for the whole family as part of National Science Week. Details: Free.


Where: PCYC Gold Coast, Broadbeach Time: 6:30pm – 9pm Fully supervised safe and fun evening for Prep to 14 years. Includes a free sausage sizzle. Details: $7 per ticket.



Where: Brisbane Showgrounds, Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills Join in the excitement of Queensland's largest annual event. Held over ten full days, the Ekka showcases life and achievements in the Sunshine State. And of course rides, showbags and dagwood dogs! Details: Adult $30. Child $19. Child 4 and under free.




Sign up at for our weekly What’s On guide. We also have a special comprehensive activity and event eGuide every school holidays, covering all of South East Queensland. You can sign up online to be notified when the guide is launched and to receive the link to download your personal copy.

Don’t miss out on any events!

Where: The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich Time: 9:30am – 4pm Explore the museum for a fun family day out and discover how this historic site contributed to the development of the state. Get active with hands-on exhibits, let off some steam at the indoor adventure playground or keep busy at the creation station. Details: Family $63. Adults $21. Child 3–15yrs $12.



Where: Queensland Raceway, Willowbank Time: Disney Zone 10am – 4pm on the weekend Keep the kids entertained at the Disney Zone while the race is on. Heaps of fun to be had with an inflatable obstacle course, Cars Ice Racers Ice Rink, a cinema, craft activities, iPad zone and the chance to get up close with Lightning McQueen and Mack the Transporter! Details: Trackside one-day ticket from $29. Kids 12 and under free.




Visit for more events

Where: Brisbane Riverstage / The Courier-Mail Piazza, South Bank Time: 9am – 5pm The snow is back! Snow4Kids is transforming the winter school holidays into a magical snow experience for children and adults alike. Details: From $15.


JUNE 29 – JULY 10



Where: The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich Create a LEGO masterpiece and get the family to help too! Including a DUPLO area for the under threes. Search the model railway layout for hidden LEGO pieces and enjoy LEGO inspired craft. Details: Adult $20. Child $11.50. Family $59.

Where: Ipswich Art Gallery Time: Two shows daily – see website for times Sneaky chickens, brain transplant surgery and flying ninjas! Award-winning shadow puppetry made from bits of rubbish! Come play in the dark. Recommended for 7 years and over. Details: $7 per ticket.

Concert Hall, QPAC, South Bank JULY 16 & 17


Spotlight Theatre JULY 7


- on the coast

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

The Arts Centre Gold Coast



The Arts Centre Gold Coast

JULY 7 & 8

JULY 1 TO 11


Check out your local library! Did you know that council libraries have free events, classes, workshops and activities for babies and children?


Where: 23 Hillcrest Pde, Miami Time: Friday 5pm – 10pm & Saturday 4pm – 10pm Marketta street food market with authentic, traditional, global foods. Don’t miss the dessert hall, boutique beer plus wine and cocktail bar. You can also find fashion, arts, design and homewares.



Where: Cnr Gooding Dr, and Manchester Rd, Carrara Time: 7am – 4pm Every weekend you will find an abundance of activities for the kids in the Family Fun Lane.



Where: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Time: 4pm – 9pm With a focus on local and international food as well as crafts. Why not eat on site and enjoy the live local music.




BORN THIS WAY by Kerryn Anker A CHILD DEVELOPS THEIR GENDER IDENTITY BY THE AGE OF FIVE DUE TO THE INFLUENCE OF BIOLOGICAL, SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS. IT IS BY THIS AGE THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THE PERMANENCE OF THEIR GENDER, IDENTIFYING AS EITHER MALE OR FEMALE. IN MOST INSTANCES, A CHILD’S GENDER ROLE, GENDER IDENTITY AND SEX ALIGN. BUT WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEIR EXPERIENCED GENDER IS NOT CONGRUENT WITH THEIR BIRTH GENDER? DEVELOPING OUR GENDER IDENTITY In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children presenting with a condition known as gender dysphoria, with parents four times more likely to present boys rather than girls for treatment. Gender dysphoria occurs when a person’s subjectively felt gender is different to their biological sex, causing great confusion and inner conflict. Dr Stephen Stathis, Director of Child and Youth Mental Health Services at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, runs Queensland’s first child gender clinic in conjunction with paediatric endocrinologist Professor Jennifer Batch. In recent times, the clinic has seen an influx in children as young as four presenting with gender dysphoria, waiting up to six months for treatment.


Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

Dr Stathis believes the increase isn’t reflective of the prevalence of gender dysphoria but that parents are more open to discussing their concerns and seeking treatment. “We are seeing more and more parents presenting children, especially boys, with gender dysphoria after witnessing their child displaying gender variant (atypical) behaviours,” he says. “Of the children presenting with gender dysphoria, 50% will grow out of it or their gender variant behaviours will desist by adolescence. “In society, we are more likely to accept a girl playing with trucks and getting dirty outside, stating that she is a ‘tomboy’. But when a young boy wants to try on a dress and dance around, we start to become concerned.”


Dr Stathis says there is a big difference between a child exploring and stepping outside the stereotypical model society as set for their gender and a child suffering internal conflict due to gender dysphoria. In some cases, a boy will identify himself as a boy, see himself as a boy, but like to do girly things. This is not gender dysphoria. Gender dysphoria also has no link with sexual orientation, as a person’s sexual identity starts in adolescence and continues into adulthood. But there are signs that parents can keep an eye on if they are concerned that their child has gender issues, although these can vary depending on the individual. If a child appears to be distressed, hates wearing clothes suited to their biological sex and wears underwear of the opposite sex, it can be a sign that they do not like who they are. A young boy may not like going to the toilet standing up and become disgusted with their genitalia. Sadly, 40% of children diagnosed with gender dysphoria are also treated for mental health issues. By adolescence this increases to 90%. “There is still a stigma in society that surrounds gender dysphoria, but it is important that parents support their child, listen to their concerns and assure them that what they feel is real,” says Dr Stathis. “In many cases, a child is just exploring the world around them and does not want to live their life as the opposite sex. But if parents are concerned, they should seek help and advice to better support their child through what can be an extremely confusing and confronting time.”

TREATMENT FOR GENDER DYSPHORIA There are two stages of treatment for a person presenting with gender dysphoria. The first stage is being diagnosed with the condition, before receiving a hormone treatment known as puberty blockers. This treatment stops pubertal development and is administered when a child is around 10 or 11 years old. This treatment is reversible but can alleviate any stress or anxiety felt by a child who is finding it hard to cope with the dramatic changes to their body. During this time, the child is also receiving physiological support. This process allows a child time to think about whether they want to enter into stage two of treatment, which is permanent.

seriousness and irreversibility of stage two of treatment, authorisation by the court for this second stage must still be sought and granted. In December 2014, a transgender boy was the first child in Australia to be deemed competent by the Family Court to make his own medical decisions without requiring any parental consent. It was ruled that the 17-year-old boy, who was born biologically female, could override his parents’ wishes to prevent him from receiving testosterone treatment, puberty suppressants and any form of surgery related to his gender. Dr Malcolm Smith, Queensland University of Technology senior lecturer and researcher for the Australian Centre for Health Law Research, says despite the recent changes to the laws concerning treatment for gender dysphoria, there had only been 16 cases of gender dysphoria determined by the Family Court. His concern is that as referral rates to specialists of childhood gender dysphoria continue to rise, the burden of the legal process, as well as the costs, may restrict some families from accessing treatment. “There is an extremely high risk that not treating a child with gender dysphoria will impact on their psychological well-being,” he says. “Early intervention and ongoing psychological support provide a better longterm outcome for a child with this condition. There is also a concern that due to the legal burden, people are now accessing hormones over the internet and overseas, and then self-administering them.” Previously there were limited services and treatment readily available to children with gender dysphoria and limited awareness that specialist health professionals can offer treatment. Malcolm says despite social attitudes having changed in recent years and a wider range of specialists treating the condition, there is still a need for an ongoing review of the current laws.


By the age of 16, stage two can commence. This involves further hormone treatment that blocks the biological hormones as well as the administration of cross-gender hormones. This treatment encourages the body to physically change and develop to align with a child’s experienced gender.

THE NEW LEGAL, ETHICAL AND CLINICAL LANDSCAPE Previously, only a court could authorise both stages of hormone treatment for a child with gender dysphoria, classifying them as special medical procedures. In 2013, however, the landmark case of Re Jamie was delivered by the Full Court of the Family Court, stating that stage one of treatment would no longer require court approval and that authorisation falls within the “wide ambit of parental responsibility”. Due to the

JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast



A PERSONAL JOURNEY OF TRANSITIONING Australian Transgender Support Association of Queensland (ATSAQ) spokesperson Kristine Johnson knows all too well how a supportive, nurturing and loving family can help a person with gender dysphoria transition. Kristine says she always knew she was a girl despite being born a boy. “I was one of the lucky ones as I was surrounded by a very supportive family, who despite their hesitations at first, accepted me and went on my journey of transitioning with me,” she says. “I always knew I wanted to be a girl. I liked dressing up in girl’s clothes and had a dress up box to play with. Most of my confusion came when I started high school at an all-boys school. It was just horrid. But without the support and love from my mum, dad and siblings, I really wouldn’t be here today.” Kristine uses her personal experience and journey to educate and inspire others with gender dysphoria. ATSAQ provides emotional and moral support for people with gender dysphoria as well as their family and friends. The organisation looks at educating and dispelling misunderstandings about the transgender community and standing up for their rights so that they are treated as equal within society. This is achieved through open forums and monthly luncheons as well as linking parents with medical professionals. In recent years, ATSAQ has seen an increase in parents and children seeking advice and information on gender dysphoria, many who are desperately looking for support and guidance to help transition not only physically but emotionally and mentality. Having an outlet to voice their concerns, as well as being able to speak directly to people within the transgender community, has helped many of these parents come to terms with what their child is going through.

ATSAQ says there are many ways in which a parent can help their child who presents with the condition, starting with letting their child know that they are supported and loved. Secondly, it is important to keep the lines of communication flowing so that the child feels that they can speak openly about their feelings and the confusion and angst they are experiencing. Parents should also not feel guilt when they realise that their child is transgender, as it is not something that the child chooses or a result of bad parenting.

HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILD THROUGH THE CONFUSION Parents and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) national spokesperson Shelley Argent says it is important that families of transgender children educate themselves in order to better understand what their child is going through. “We provide parents with insight and tips for dealing with the confusion and conflict their transgender child may be feeling, as well as a helpline so they have someone to talk to,” she says. “I originally joined this organisation to better understand my son, who is gay. I wanted to understand his life and find ways to better support him. In the last two years we have seen an increase in parents asking us for support, with their children as young as six years old presenting with gender dysphoria.” Shelley’s advice for parents with a transgender child is to believe what the child is telling you and the feelings and experiences they are having. A child who openly discusses their feelings and concerns with their parents is showing a deep level of trust. She says the early years of life for a child are about discovery, learning who they are and about the world around them. As parents, it is important for them to feel loved, to encourage open conversation without judgment and to support them through any difficult experiences they may have.

AVENUES OF SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN WITH GENDER DYSPHORIA AND THEIR FAMILIES: • Australian Transgender Support Association of Queensland – Contact: 3843 5024 / Visit: • Brisbane Gender Clinic – Contact: 3017 1777 (Wednesday only) • Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital – Child and Youth Mental Health Service – Contact: 3310 9408 / Visit: • Queensland Paediatric Endocrinology – Visit: • Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays – Visit: • Queensland AIDS Council – Visit: • The Gender Centre – Visit: • Open Doors Youth Service – Visit: • Kids Helpline (24 hours) – Contact: 1800 55 1800 • Transcendence (therapeutic support group run by Relationships Australia) – Contact 1300 364 277


Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

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JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast




Thinking by Adele Graves

WHEN THE WORLD APPEARS TO SEEMINGLY WORK AT THE PUSH OF A BUTTON, THE FLICK OF A SWITCH OR THE TURN OF A KEY, IT CAN BE EASY TO GO ABOUT DAILY LIFE WITHOUT GIVING MUCH THOUGHT, IF ANY AT ALL, TO THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT. Yet science, be it gravity, motion or energy, universally unites us all. And when it comes to learning about science at school, developing an understanding in the early years is vital. Aside from the hands-on, dirt under the fingernails and slime on the face type fun that science naturally engenders, the knowledge acquired from this subject is both foundational and invaluable to children as they progress through their schooling and life. Brisbane Boys’ College science teacher Colin Noy says that exploring science enables children to become much more acutely aware of the world around them as they start to contextualise their inherent understanding of science which accumulates from the day they are born.


Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

Colin explains, “You see children naturally experimenting with science from a very early age, exploring physics as they learn to walk, or projectile motion as they throw their spaghetti from the highchair, watching the food intensely as it falls to the floor. I’m sure every parent has no doubt seen this experiment in action numerous times.” Colin believes that it is key for educators to provide science experiences which relate to everyday life and enable students to connect with the content. “Science is everywhere,” he says, “and tapping into the children’s interests and drawing on real world examples that they can relate to in some way, shape or form greatly assists with the learning process.


If a child is interested in sailing, for example, this opens up a window to talk about low pressure systems and wind. If they are interested in rowing, then friction and the property of fluids can apply.” Colin knows from firsthand experience, having worked in collaboration with early childhood specialists at the college, that teaching science concepts to early years learners in particular can present some challenges. He explains, “A lot of the time, Prep students are quite set in their understanding of the world and need physical proof in order to change their perceptions. When I begin teaching Prep students about matter and particles I start by cutting up a Mars Bar, explaining that even though the pieces become smaller as we continue to make cuts, each piece remains a Mars Bar – they can then start to think about this principle when playing with play doh or sand.” “As educators, we want children to see science as a vehicle for solving problems,” says Colin. “We don’t just want them to be proficient in using all that modern science affords, but rather to know how it works, how to fix it and even enhance its application. When science plays a part in virtually everything we do, increasing science literacy amongst children sits at the core of fostering innovation and critical thinking.” But science doesn’t have to only start and stop in the laboratory at school. Parents can play an active role in increasing science literacy in their children simply by taking the time to explain how things work. Although it’s important to provide children with basic knowledge which can help them piece together puzzles, it is equally important to let them explore the problem on their own first and then show them how they can improve so they can apply this to the next situation they come across. So when it comes to children learning and enjoying science the benefits are undeniable, with a sound knowledge base undoubtedly the foundation for future learning and innovation. And when you start to look at the world through a scientific lens, the real question to challenge the avid learner becomes, “How can science not be a part of your daily life?”

Double, Double Toil and Trouble! Science Experiments from Pinterest!

Wizard's Brew

Crystal Egg Geodes

Dancing Worms

Blow Up a Balloon

Adele Graves is Director of Communications at Brisbane Boys’ College (BBC), a Prep to 12 school based in the inner western suburb of Toowong. Just like science itself, opportunities to explore this exciting field are everywhere at Brisbane Boys’ College. In the Junior years (Prep to Year 6), senior science staff work alongside Early Childhood specialists to combine their subject knowledge and understanding of early childhood development to deliver a dynamic and engaging science program. As boys progress through their schooling, they can also opt to participate in the school’s Science Club, Robotics Club and a Student Scientist Partnership program which sees seniors work with leading researchers at the University of Queensland to assist with industry projects. To find out more about Brisbane Boys’ College and their approach to boys’ education visit

For these and more cool science experiments, head to our Science & Discovery for Kids board on Pinterest

JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast



Sparking your child’s interest in science


M & M & S’s Common sweets can be used to explore a number of properties associated with everyday substances. This simple SCIENCE ACTIVITY shows how science is involved in even the SIMPLEST things that we take for granted. You will need: • A pack of M&M’s or Skittles • A plastic cup or bowl • Water Place a couple of M&M’s or Skittles with the letter facing up into the bowl or cup of water. After a minute or two you will start to notice that the sugar coating has begun to dissolve and some food colouring is dispersing into the water. If you look closely, you’ll also notice that the letters (M or S) have come free from the lolly and are floating on the surface of the water. QUESTION TIME…

Q. What is the science involved? A. The white letters on M&Ms and Skittles are printed with edible ink that doesn't dissolve in water. When the rest of the candy shell dissolves, the letters peel off and float. Some of the letters break into pieces, but a few should survive intact.


Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

MAKE A THUNDERSTRAW! Use science to turn a simple drinking straw into a wacky musical THUNDERSTRAW! Make your thunderstraw STEP 1: Flatten the last 3-4 cm of your straw, using your thumb and finger to squeeze it flat. STEP 2: Cut a V shape at the tip of the flat section of straw using scissors. STEP 3: That’s it! Your THUNDERSTRAW is ready to play. Play your thunderstraw Seal your lips around the straw about 1cm past the V-cut. Then just blow through the straw, increasing your speed, until you hear a buzzing sound. QUESTION TIME…

Q. How is this small straw making such a loud and wacky sound? A. Sound is simply a vibration which travels through the stuff (eg. air, water) around us. It is sensed in our ears and signalled to the brain. Air rushing over the V-cut makes the plastic of the straw vibrate, or resonate, at a frequency which we can hear. Sounds cool hey! Can you feel the vibrations tickling your lips and mouth?!? Advanced scientists: try changing the pitch by shortening the THUNDERSTRAW with scissors while blowing!

Counselling & Intervention Services

Are you a parent of a toddler or young child? We conduct FREE evidence1. parents of children aged 2.5 to 6 years who have challenging behaviours (e.g. tantrums, defiance). 2. children aged 12 months to 6 years. The program aims to foster nurturing parent-child relationships.

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YLO (Counselling & Intervention Services) located at Underwood provides support and intervention to children, young people and families. Services can be delivered within the following areas: • Individual therapeutic intervention with children and adolescents Family Therapy Parenting Support Group Therapy Program Assessments Cognitive Assessments

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JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast



BUILD A CO2 FILM CANISTER ROCKET Part 1: Build your own CO2 rocket

STEP 6: Slowly tip the cup upside down over a piece of paper and gently tap the bottom to dislodge the capsule. Leave this to dry for up to an hour. Each fuel capsule will provide at least 6 launches!

You will need: • An empty film canister • A strip of foam / cardboard • Double sided tape STEP 1: Using permanent markers colour in the canister in your favourite colours. The brighter the better! Try stripes, dots and lots of different colours.

STEP 2: Cut the foam into 4 fins and use the tape to attach these near the bottom. This will help your rocket fly straight! STEP 3: STOP & THINK – How do the fins assist your rocket to fly? Are there other ways to fit the fins that will cause it to spin or fly differently? Part 2: Make your own rocket fuel You will need: • Safety glasses • 2 plastic cups (one large, one small) • 2 flat teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate) • 1 flat teaspoon of citric acid • 1 flat teaspoon of corn flour • Icy-pole stick • Pipette or eye dropper • Cooking oil • Food colouring (optional) • Water

STEP 7: To store your fuel capsule for later use, wrap it in cling wrap or put it in a sealed container (eg. zip lock bag). The large cup is for mixing, the small cup is for pressing the fuel capsule.

Part 3: Launch your rocket

STEP 1: Put on some safety glasses. Carefully measure the bicarbonate of soda, citric acid and corn flour into a plastic cup

STEP 1: MAKE SURE SAFETY GLASSES ARE WORN! Take the lid off the canister and fill it ¼ full of water.

Note: Citric Acid is a common household grade chemical. If it causes irritation on the skin clean the affected area with soapy water.

STEP 2: Place a small chunk of solid rocket fuel into the body. Quickly replace the cap nice and tight onto the base and stand your rocket upright on a flat surface. Stand back!

STEP 2: Using an icy-pole stick, mix these substances together REALLY WELL. The key to quality rocket fuel is mixing this continuously for at least 3 minutes!


STEP 3: Carefully transfer 30 drops of cooking oil into your mixture. Use a pipette or eye dropper. You may want to ask an adult for assistance to do this if needed. If you wish to colour your fuel, add 2 drops of food dye as well.

A. Notice that when your rocket fuel comes in contact with water it starts to fizz? This is because bicarbonate of soda and citric acid react in the presence of water. It produces a gas called carbon dioxide. As the fuel fizzes away gas starts to build up which increases the pressure inside the rocket. When there is too much gas inside the rocket it finally releases the lid and the rocket flies! BLAST OFF!

STEP 4: Add 10 drops of water to the mixture and QUICKLY stir to stop the bubbling. Continue stirring the oil and water through for another 1-2 minutes or until the mixture feels like soft wet sand. STEP 5: Carefully transfer about half of the mixture into the small plastic cup. Compress the mixture with a second small cup (or spoon / flat object), producing a hard, compressed fuel capsule.


Q. What actually makes my CO2 rocket fly?

Why not try other fuel types…sherbet lollies in water, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar, and even washing powder and lemon juice have been used by some of our junior rocket scientists.

STREET SCIENCE provides educational services to excite and engage Queensland kids at home, at school and in the community. Invite Street Science to run your next kids’ party where Science Steve and his team present a full range of explosive, entertaining and educational demonstrations and workshops for kids aged 5 and up. Kids and adults alike are fascinated by these shows and hands-on workshops which are creative, fun and unique! Imagine having a party host roll up, amaze the kids with a live science show before letting them get hands-on with a unique science workshop. If this sounds like the perfect party to excite your ‘little scientist’, call the Street Science team on 0410 550 481, email or check out their website Street Science also performs a number of free shows throughout the year at local libraries, local markets, shopping centres, the EKKA and numerous community events. Check out their Facebook page to see when they’re performing in your local area.


Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

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What are your plans for the school holidays? Are you looking for something to keep your kids entertained? Well, look no further. The Kids on the Coast & Kids in the City team have pulled together the ultimate online holiday eGuide to what’s happening in South East Queensland during the winter school holiday period.



JULY 2015 |

Talking about the news

A spark for science

When mind & body don't match



Trusting your teen


Inspired by end of financial year tax time and the recent 2015 Federal Budget, our Family Finances eGuide is all about being money savvy. From meal planning, energy saving and making your own food to shopping on a budget, saving on entertainment and clothing, learning how to be money savvy and growing your own food, it’s sure to be a valuable resource to help all families get their budget back on track.



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Receiving the diagnosis

Prenatal screening tests are routinely offered during pregnancy to check the health of both mother and baby, and to screen for certain conditions. There are blood tests to check the mother’s health and a maternal serum screening test that helps determine the risk of a condition for the baby.

Parents can choose whether to have the diagnostic tests or not, and if they decide to have the tests, they need to be prepared for the diagnosis of a condition. Receiving the diagnosis can be a distressing time for parents, who have to process the news that their baby may have a birth defect and then find a way to tell family and friends. It’s crucial to seek out support to get through this difficult time.

The ultrasound, which is done at least once during the pregnancy, is a safe, non-invasive test that checks the baby’s development. The nuchal translucency scan, during the first trimester of pregnancy, assesses the likelihood of Down syndrome or other defect. The fluid at the nape of the baby’s neck is measured and an increased amount of fluid may indicate a chromosomal abnormality, but more tests are needed to confirm any initial findings. Seeing the tiny embryo’s beating heart and growing limbs for the first time at the ultrasound appointment is a wonderful moment for expectant parents. For some families, however, the results are not what they hope for and the doctor may advise of an increased risk of a condition. The doctor will also look at the mother’s risk profile – her age, medical history and family history – to assess any risks of a disorder. When there are indications of an increased risk, the doctor may recommend further tests to confirm a diagnosis.

Diagnostic tests The amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling are diagnostic tests that can help determine whether a baby has a serious health condition, or a genetic or chromosomal abnormality. The amniocentesis is invasive and there is a small risk of miscarriage, so this needs to be considered and discussed. Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a new blood test that screens for certain chromosomal abnormalities including Down syndrome, however, it doesn’t detect physical or genetic problems like spina bifida or cystic fibrosis. The NIPT is now available in Australia but is not covered by Medicare.


Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

Pregnancy, Birth and Baby clinical lead Dianne Zalitis says a gamut of emotions will cascade and cycle around parents when they receive the diagnosis of a disorder, no matter how much they prepare themselves for it. There may be feelings of guilt and selfblame, and an immense sense of loss. There could also be anger and an element of denial, hoping that there has been a mistake. “From the minute you’re pregnant you have this dream for your child, and you can see their life right up to their wedding,” she says. “That dream is gone [for parents who find out their baby has special needs], but they don’t really have a clear picture of what it means for their baby. There’ll be confusion around not understanding, but also fear of what it really means.” In some cases, parents may be counselled to terminate if a serious condition is diagnosed early in the pregnancy. Dianne says if termination is out of the question, it’s worthwhile for parents to think about why they want to be tested and what they are going to do when they get the test results. “If termination isn’t something you would actually consider, do you really want to know? Why do you want to know? If you want to know so you can prepare, that’s a very good idea, but you also will be faced with an element of pressure associated with the recommendation to terminate,” she says.

BABIES Photos by Kathy Corcoran of Lilly Kate Photography

“When you look back on the journey, that period of finding out, it’s quite horrendous and heart-wrenching, but if I knew then what I know now, about what a light in my life this boy is, I wouldn’t change him for the world.”

Annie’s story Brisbane mum Annie was pregnant with her third child when her doctor suggested she have an amniocentesis. Annie was just 33 years old but after some number crunching, the doctor revealed that she had a one in fourteen chance of having a baby with Down syndrome. Annie says she and her partner Ben agonised for a few weeks over whether to have the test or to wait until the baby was born to find out. Eventually, when Annie was 18 weeks pregnant, they decided to have the amnio so they could prepare accordingly. After the test, they had a distressing 48-hour wait for the results. “I think by that stage we probably knew in our hearts what the answer was going to be, but it was pretty devastating news at the time to receive,” she says. Annie remembers that they had a difficult time processing the news and they grieved in different ways. While Annie gathered information about Down syndrome and read a lot, choosing mainly family stories, Ben coped without reading much. The couple talked it through with each other and with a counsellor, who they saw together and separately. They have also been supported on their journey by the Down syndrome community, which Annie says is “an amazing place to be”.

Preparing for the birth After adjusting to the diagnosis, parents need to sit down and plan what life will be like with the baby and who will be helping them. Dianne advises parents to make sure that they have a really good support team around them. This could include other families in a similar situation, your own family and friends, and health professionals. It’s important to ask others for help and to let people help, says Dianne. “Lots of people will get into the picture who will be able to explain what to expect,” she says. “The good thing about finding those support groups is they’re going to be there for you after the baby is born, and they’re the people who will really understand what your life is like with a baby with special needs.” Dianne says getting knowledge will help address some of the unknowns and she recommends talking to a genetic counsellor and to your doctor. While it’s helpful having information about the condition, that won’t help parents deal with their feelings and emotions. Counselling can provide much-needed emotional support because parents can express their feelings without being judged and without the platitudes, says Dianne. “You need to be okay to say that you’re angry and you don’t want this, and you’re unhappy and all that negative stuff,” she says. “The world still expects mums to be excruciatingly happy about having a baby, regardless of how it is.” Even though the baby will have special needs, Dianne advises parents to remember that this baby will enrich their lives and will bring so much to the family. “We get so focused on the disorder and the abnormality that we miss the person, and they are still a really unique and beautiful person,” she says.

The immediate family was informed of the diagnosis right after the test results were received; however, Annie and Ben began sharing the news with others only after they’d had time to process it themselves. “We didn’t shout it from the rooftops at any stage. It was very planned,” Annie says. “I tended to email people rather than talk to them in person, because it was all pretty raw emotionally still and I wanted to give that positive approach.” By receiving a diagnosis during the pregnancy, Annie and Ben could prepare their family and friends, and their medical team for the birth. They wanted the baby’s arrival to be a positive experience and they asked people to focus on the excitement of that new life. “When you have a prenatal diagnosis you don’t have that baby in your arms to outweigh the negative input, but I wouldn’t change it,” Annie says. “I’m actually really glad we knew, because we did do a lot of our grieving and processing before he arrived, so we were ready for him.” It was an emotional pregnancy, Annie writes on her blog, but when baby Nicholas arrived there was just pure joy and no tears or sadness. They felt blessed to welcome such a strong and healthy baby boy into the world. “When you look back on the journey, that period of finding out, it’s quite horrendous and heart-wrenching, but if I knew then what I know now, about what a light in my life this boy is, I wouldn’t change him for the world,” Annie says. “Honestly, as gushy as it sounds, I feel really lucky that we lived through the darkness.” Head to our website to read our full interview with Annie where she shares more of her family's journey and health challenges, from Nicholas' Down syndrome diagnosis and birth to her oldest son Sam's leukaemia diagnosis in 2013 when he was 5 years old.

Resources: Children’s health, parenting and pregnancy (Queensland Government) pregnancy/index.html Contact: 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) to speak to a registered nurse. Down Syndrome Association of Queensland (DSAQ) Contact: 07 3356 6655 Genetic Alliance Australia (formerly AGSA) Contact: 02 9295 8359 Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Contact: 1800 882 436 for free telephone counselling and support.

Annie writes about family life on her blog

JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast





TEENS by James McManis Psychologist. BA Psych. (Hons). Assoc. MAPS

TRUST…A WORD WE ALL HAVE A RELATIONSHIP WITH, BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE. TRUST IS CENTRAL TO DAY-TO-DAY LIFE, RELATIONSHIPS, WORK ENDEAVOURS, FRIENDSHIPS AND FAMILY. WHEN TRUST IS LACKING, LIFE TENDS TO GRIND TO A HALT – PEOPLE GO IN THEIR OWN DIRECTIONS, CONCERN FOR OTHERS DIMINISHES, AND HURT AND RESENTMENT PROSPER. YET, WHEN TRUST FLOURISHES, WE HAVE TEAMWORK, COMMUNICATION, CARE AND PEOPLE WORKING TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF THOSE AROUND THEM. But what about teenagers? Can they be trusted…and more to the point, should they be? Through our own teenage experience we know that our parents had no idea about most of the things we got up to, a lot of which involved elements of risk. What we also know is that, thanks to technology, teenagers today have a world of risk taking and mischief available to watch on YouTube, 24/7 access to peer influences through social media, online access to synthetic or real drugs, and more disposable income than ever before. This endless connectivity also means predators have 24/7 access to them. Yet, teenagers need freedom if they are to develop independence and grow into responsible adults. Many parents struggle with balancing a teenager’s need for independence and the need for protection and guidance. Trust is a key mediator in this balance. Trust works when we trust trustworthy people. Parents who have a good foundation of trust in their trustworthy teen are a lot less stressed about letting them explore the world. Parents who don’t trust a trustworthy teen have ongoing conflict and can be overly restrictive, while parents who trust their untrustworthy teen end up placing that teenager at greater risk of harm.

MODELLING TRUSTWORTHINESS AS A PARENT Trust starts with you as a parent. Teenagers, as much as they may argue this point, look to adults for guidance about how to be and how to act. UCLA professor of psychiatry Dr Daniel Siegel says


Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

cultivating healthy relationships means to be Present, Attune, Resonate and create Trust (PART). Being present means being aware of your surroundings and mindful of the person you are relating to, listening to what they’re saying without getting lost in thinking. Attune means to be attuned to the emotion of the situation and person you are relating to. Resonating means to reflect that emotion back to the person you are relating to. Trust is created when this process is translated into reliable interactions. Dr Siegel calls this being a PART of another’s life; being present to attune and resonate your emotion, and build trust through understanding. This may sound a bit idealistic, a level of perfection beyond daily life. However, we don’t actually want perfection because perfection is unattainable. This is about practising as adults, practising being aware when we deviate from this PART approach and then making an effort to return to it. This is important, because this is what we want our teenagers to do when they stray from the clear path we set for them…which they will. We want them to acknowledge it and make every effort to get back on track. This is trustworthy behaviour. This process is important as the seeds of whom we blossom into as adults are sewn in our teenage years. Teenagers need freedom to seek out new experiences and discover themselves apart from their parents. And parents also need to begin letting go of their teenagers in order for them to do this successfully. This is how teenagers grow into healthy independent adults. If either process


is not completed, we end up with unhealthy dependency and resentment in adulthood. So, how do we navigate this balance between allowing freedom and giving direction? Trust. Trust is the compass that tells us how much freedom to give and how much direction to provide. When two trustworthy people trust each other, decisions about freedom and independence are much simpler.

BUILDING A PATHWAY TO TRUST FOR YOUR TEEN So now that we are modelling trustworthiness as a parent, how do we instil this in our teenager? We need to build a pathway to trust. There are four basic parts in building a pathway to trust: identify your family values, develop some house rules based on these values, guide your teenager toward your expectation and refine their efforts when they make a mistake. FAMILY VALUES

Discovering your family values begins with taking the time to sit down and answer the following questions:

What do about th I want my child eir child hood wh ren to rememb er en they What do are adu lts? I want m y ch ildre learn fr om me? n to What are What go m verns m y values? y decisio n makin What did g? I like about m , or not like, y childho od?

Write these up and discuss them as a family when developing the house rules.

HOUSE RULES House rules are drawn from family values and are, therefore, different for each family. As parents, start by answering the following questions: there is conflict? How do I want my family to operate when there is work to be done? How do I want my family to operate when there is someone hurt? How do I want my family to operate when is someone in trouble? there How do I want my family to operate when there is failure? How do I want my family to operate when

From this, develop a skeleton of house rules to be discussed and decided upon as a family. Teenagers must be involved, to varying degrees, in household decisions, of which rule making is one. This gives the whole family ownership and reduces conflict later on. House rules need to include what the expected behaviour is, what constitutes breaking the rule, what the response will be once a rule is

broken and how one can rectify the situation after breaking a rule. It is important that once this process is complete and the person who broke the rule has rectified the situation satisfactorily that it is not brought up again in the future. House rules allow us to let go and move on. GUIDANCE

Guidance begins with the development of house rules. Guidance is where you as a parent provide instruction and positive influence on your teenager’s behaviour through development of clear expectations. Guidance also involves providing advice, modelling desired behaviour and attitudes, and sharing challenges to find solutions. Guidance can be obvious or very subtle, but it all involves proactive and supportive involvement in the teen’s life in an effort to make them successful. Guidance relies on relationship. As a parent of a teenager, your relationship with them is an essential tool for influence. If you have no relationship with them, you essentially have no influence over them. Take the time to know them, revisit what they like and their strengths. Talk to them and make time to spend with them. Develop a special ritual that only the two of you share. It is through the conduit of this relationship that they will ask your advice and, more importantly, ask for your help. REFINEMENT

When something is refined the impurities are removed, generally through the application of extreme heat. Refinement in this context is when a negative part of our attitude or behaviour (the impurity) creates hurt or suffering for ourselves or someone else (the heat). Refinement is the way you respond when rules are broken or trust is lost. Good refinement is essential because, as noted earlier, perfection is unattainable and teenagers will stray. If a teenager strays a little, house rules should be sufficient to provide a clear response and get the teen back on track. But what if the teenager strays a lot? What if trust has been violated over and over? Then greater refinement is necessary and a detailed pathway back to trust needs to be developed. A basic pathway back to trust involves: do A (the responsibility) and get Z (the privilege). The less trustworthy a person is, the more steps required. For example: do A (a little responsibility) to get some of Z, do B (a little more responsibility) to get some more of Z, and do C (total responsibility) to get the rest of Z. A pathway back to trust allows for errors to be made, such that if we fail to meet a certain level of responsibility then we lose access to that level of privilege. These errors can then be corrected, the privilege reinstated and trust earned back. Everyone arrives at parenthood with different experiences of trust based on their experiences of life. However, we all know the importance of trust and how essential it is to life and relationship. So it is worth the extra effort to repair it if it has been broken and build on it for the future. Remember, set reasonable expectations, be firm, and be ‘all in’. When a teen has done the hard yards and earned trust, then trust them. Do not bring up the past, and give them the freedom promised to them unreservedly. This is being a trustworthy parent who trusts their trustworthy teenager.

James McManis is a psychologist at All Abilities Psychology in Noosa & Gympie. All Abilities Psychology work with children and adolescents as well as their families/carers to develop skills and facilitate positive change. They work from a developmental model and firmly believe that all individuals, regardless of age or ability, have the capacity to learn new skills and fully engage in everyday life. All Abilities Psychology believe that all clients' needs are unique and individually important, and they are committed to meeting those needs by offering individual programs tailored to individual needs. For more information visit

JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast


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JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast



Annie Love by Natasha Higgins

WE ALL EXPERIENCE CHALLENGES IN OUR LIVES BUT ANNIE LOVE FROM BRISBANE HAS HAD MORE THAN HER FAIR SHARE OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. ANNIE AND HER HUSBAND BEN, TOGETHER WITH THEIR BEAUTIFUL SONS SAM (7), CHARLIE (5) AND NICHOLAS (3), HAVE BEEN ON A LIFE JOURNEY OF HEALTH CHALLENGES AND EMOTIONAL HIGHS AND LOWS THAT VERY FEW WOULD ENVY BUT MANY WOULD RESPECT. Annie opens up her family life to us to share the experiences that have affected them all, ultimately in a positive way through love, sharing and caring as a family unit. Thank you for sharing the journey of your third pregnancy in our Babies section article this issue when you discovered your youngest son has Down syndrome. Since then your oldest son has had some health challenges. Please tell us more about that. Sam was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in September 2013, when he was five years old. The combination of a swollen lymph node and sore knee, which were seemingly unrelated at the time, led us to further investigations via ultrasounds, blood tests and x-rays over the space of five weeks, which all came back with results in ‘normal’ ranges. With the help of a wonderful GP and a healthy dose of parental intuition, we kept persisting and it was finally discovered that Sam had Leukaemia. We then commenced intensive chemotherapy. How is Sam now? Sam is doing really well now and, in fact, you probably wouldn’t guess he has Leukaemia to look at him. After nine months of intensive chemotherapy, Sam entered into the ‘Maintenance’ phase of his treatment and we are now just over half way through the threeyear treatment program. He is due to finish chemotherapy treatment in November 2016. How have both Sam’s and Nicholas’ conditions affected your immediate family – both when initially diagnosed and on a day-to-day basis? While I consider each condition to be very different, the process of diagnosis definitely had similarities. When we first received the Down syndrome diagnosis, about 18 weeks into the pregnancy with Nicholas, we experienced very intense grief for the elusive ‘perfect’ 40

Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

baby we weren’t going to have. It was very difficult to have a diagnosis without the baby in our arms to fall in love with, and Ben and I grieved in different ways. We were heartbroken and had many difficult conversations. By the time Nicholas arrived, we had processed the diagnosis as best we could and just wanted to meet our newest addition. When Sam was first diagnosed, we were devastated by the news but we went into action mode. Sam needed to spend the first three weeks in hospital, which was very disruptive for our family, and we were all physically and emotionally drained trying to keep it all together. Some days I needed to remind myself to eat and breathe. Ben and I spent alternate nights with him in hospital so that we could share our time between Sam and the two little ones, who were only 3.5 and 18 months at the time, and try to catch up on some sleep at home. Thankfully we have our own business and a wonderful team who was able to manage without Ben for a few weeks so we could focus on our family. I went into organisational overdrive, working out timetables and packing bags and finding babysitters and everything else required as we juggled. Over the next nine months, we spent lots of time at the Royal Children’s Hospital, either as inpatients or at scheduled appointments, which changed week to week based on the phase of treatment. Thankfully the hospital was quite close to our home, which made the juggle slightly easier. We had to be very careful about Sam’s exposure to illness, as his immunity was compromised by the treatment and any fever over 38 degrees would mean a hospital stay. We learnt some very big medical terms very quickly. But, as heart wrenching as it all was, we very quickly adjusted to our ‘new normal’ and tried to be consoled by the fact that 95% of children diagnosed with ALL are cured.

These days, Leukaemia and Down syndrome affect our family in different ways. Sam has to take daily oral chemotherapy medication, which he copes with really well, and his appointments are now only once per month, so much easier to plan around. He is generally pretty healthy and rarely misses school, but we try to be as proactive as possible in boosting his immunity to avoid unnecessary stays in hospital and, without wrapping him in cotton wool, we do try to limit exposure to environments where shared bugs are more likely. While we try not to let Leukaemia dictate our lifestyle, we are pretty adept at changing plans quickly as required! I still battle anxiety over Sam’s condition, which seems to increase as his treatment continues, but it is just something I have to learn to manage. With regard to Down syndrome, we are forever changed because of the diagnosis but, to be completely honest, I feel like almost all of these are positive. We have met an amazing community of people, and we have made lifestyle changes to promote Nicholas’ health and development, which I believe are of benefit to the whole family. We probably have more appointments than the average family (between physio, speech therapy, occupational therapy, osteopathy, biomedical GP and chiropractic care!), but we also think lots of home time is important, so we balance out appointments and don’t overschedule our lives. Nicholas is not yet talking like an average three year old, but is a great communicator and has possibly made us slow down and be more purposeful in our communication. We celebrate every little milestone. The realist in me wants to throw in a ‘things may get more difficult as he gets older’, but we just take each day as it comes. We are learning every day and just feel lucky that we have Nicholas in our lives, 47 chromosomes or not.


Sam Have you found you parent Nicholas differently than you did your other sons at a similar age? It’s funny how quickly you forget what your older children were actually like at each age! When Sam was three, we were expecting our third child and I definitely had very high expectations of him from a very young age – poor first child! Each of my children is very different, so I definitely have parented each of them in different ways. Third time around, and with the bigger boys now at school, I think I am a more present parent to Nicholas and we are probably more purposeful in our play together. I have the same expectations of him than I do of the other two (maybe even more so!) and he helps with jobs such as unpacking the dishwasher, watering plants, tidying up, and bringing dishes to the kitchen after meals. I think there is an innate sense of preparing him to be as independent as possible. He’ll probably want to move out before the other two do! In your day-to-day life, have you experienced any negativity towards Nicholas? I can honestly say that I haven’t experienced any negativity towards Nicholas in the past three years. On occasion, people may have asked questions that weren’t completely considered, made a comment that doesn’t use people-first language or appeared to stare, for example, but my motto is always “hear the love”. I know that most people are just curious or don’t know the politically correct terms, but I always assume they have good intentions and I try to educate in a friendly way, if required. Nicholas is a social butterfly and loves to engage people by saying hello or giving them a high five, and most people respond with a big beaming smile! What have been the most helpful avenues of support for your family? With regard to the Down syndrome diagnosis, our main source of support has been other families in the DS community. Through internet forums and social media, we have connected with new friends all over the world and learnt so much through other parents who also have a holistic approach to their child’s health and development. In dealing with the Leukaemia, we have an amazing Oncology team (and associated support services) at


the Children’s hospital. The Leukaemia Foundation and Camp Quality have also been fabulous in assisting us in different ways over the past two years. What advice can you share with other parents whose children are experiencing health issues? Ask for help, and accept help from those who offer – don’t try to do it alone – and be specific about what you need. Communicate openly with your partner or support person. Take moments when you can to look after yourself and get a little breathing space. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if you need assistance processing the emotions involved in seeing your child face health challenges. You share many of your family’s personal experiences in your blog Mummalove. What inspired you to start your blog? I always enjoyed writing, but after experiencing the prenatal diagnosis with Nicholas, starting the Mummalove blog ( became a form of therapy and my way of processing all the emotions involved. I shared our story because I wanted other people to know that it was possible to live through intense darkness, to be completely terrified and get to the other side. Whether or not you face a significant health challenge like we have, parenthood is tough, and I think we can all learn from each other. Where do you draw inspiration from on a daily basis? Mainly the ups and downs of life with my little family, and the other parents we meet along the journey. Your blog has such an uplifting vibe. How do you maintain your positivity during more challenging times? I definitely have my non-positive moments, believe me! I am pretty lucky to have grown up with very supportive and eternally optimistic parents, so I definitely credit them for giving me, and my three brothers and three sisters, the tools to face challenges with a positive outlook. My husband thinks I have a supernatural ability to live in the moment and be happy where I am. Over time, I have become better at acknowledging the ‘down’ phases when they arise too, but I always manage

Nicholas to find things to be grateful for in my life, even if some days that’s harder than others. How has having children changed your life? How has it NOT changed my life?? The moment I delivered our first, 9lb 3oz baby boy into the world and we officially became parents, it completely changed life as we knew it and began the hardest but most rewarding job I had ever known. As the quote by Elizabeth Stone says, the decision to have children is momentous and “it is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Becoming a mother is something I always wanted, for as long as I can remember, but nothing can prepare you for the sheer love and sacrifice involved. But I can’t imagine living without any of the gorgeous boys in my life. What has been your most life-defining moment? After we received Nicholas’ Down syndrome diagnosis and then Sam’s Leukaemia diagnosis, we were shattered. Life changed in an instant. But after we fell apart following each diagnosis, we slowly began rebuilding and somehow we were a little stronger and loved each other more and we were able to find meaning in the chaos. They have been very tough lessons to live through, but we are thankful for the perspective both experiences given us. What life message do you most want your children to learn? We really want our children to live with empathy, and to treat everyone they meet with love and respect. What is the motto you live by regarding your family and being a parent? The quote by Mother Theresa has always resonated with me – “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” I think all those small acts of love added together IS actually a great thing and we underestimate what an impact they can make. We want our children to know how it feels to be loved beyond measure in their own family, so they can go out into the world and continue doing small things with great love. To read more of our interview with Annie, please head to our website. JULY / AUGUST 2015 – Kids on the Coast


» To see more reviews visit






Lola Berry, Plum, RRP $34.99 To be quite honest, my diet hasn’t been overly ‘happy’ of late and it’s been difficult to kick the habit of unhealthy eating, until I received The Happy Cookbook that is. The bright colours, flowers, birds and butterflies on the front cover of the book are enough to inspire happy cooking and a healthier lifestyle, but I’m never one to judge a book by its cover (ahem) and was pleasantly surprised to see that the happiness continued inside. Leading Australian nutritionist Lola Berry, a regular on television shows such as The Project, Mornings and A Current Affair, is the creator of this book. You may have heard of her 20/20 Diet which she based around her own personal weight journey. I love the vision she sets out at the beginning of the book – “... good health isn’t about being on a crazy detox, it’s about honouring yourself and being the best you can be.” Yes! The 200+ pages of gluten-free recipes, based on nutritious wholefoods that mostly contain little dairy and include no refined sugar, paired with gorgeous food photography, take healthy eating to a whole new and exciting level. Sweet potato gnocchi with kale pesto and pine nuts is definitely something I could make (and inhale in an instant) and I’m definitely going to ditch the Jatz and dip for zucchini chippies with vegan chilli and lime aioli! One of my favourite things about this cookbook is that it doesn't forget about those with a sweet tooth like me – the cookie dough cake batter smoothies, raw vanilla and passionfruit tart, and paleo chocolate cake make me very happy. This isn’t just a cookbook; it’s a book about wellbeing, it’s about celebrating happiness and wellness through exercise, mindfulness, sleep, mental health and, of course, nutritious foods. Cooking from this book will make you glow! Review by Eva Lewis

By Australian Broadcasting Corporation, iPad, FREE ABC Splash is making digital learning even more accessible with the launch of three new tablet apps - Best of ABC Splash primary, Best of ABC Splash secondary and Gobbling Goblins. Splash was developed by ABC Digital Network in conjunction with Education Services Australia, supported by the Department of Communications and the Department of Education. It is one of the largest digital projects ever undertaken by the ABC and delivers world-class interactive educational resources for primary and secondary school students, their teachers and parents. We had a closer look at the Best of ABC Splash Primary app, an app that has been designed for primary school teachers, parents and students and allows children to explore topics including Antarctica, Dinosaurs and the Australian Wilderness, along with national history themes such as Convicts and Colonial Australia. Under each of the 10 topics there were numerous educational video clips to watch and clip extras for parents and teachers including lesson starters and transcripts. Once a child has finished watching a video clip, they can take a quiz which earns them a percentage towards a badge. If you’re going to let your kids sit down and use an app on the iPad, this is certainly one to consider. It’s online learning that goes beyond the typical entertainment offered by other applications. You never know, if you join in with your child, you might just learn something too! To find out more about the ABC Splash apps and for more resources, visit

PEAS IN A POD Tania McCartney, Exisle Publishing, RRP $24.99 Perfect for kids aged 3 – 7 years Meet Pippa, Poppy, Polly and Peg – quintuplets who do everything the same … eat, sleep, cry and sit … everything. But one day the girls decide that they don’t like being the same. Will they be able to break the mould and let their true personalities shine? Peas in a Pod follows the story of five little girls growing up, as they each try to find their own unique character, while causing all sorts of mischief and mayhem along the way! This fun-filled story by award-winning author Tania McCartney combines exquisite illustrations by Tina Snerling with a text full of humour to gently guide children towards being true to themselves. It’s a charming story that parents and kids everywhere will be able to identify with, as well as a great tool for teaching young children about uniqueness and why being you is the best thing ever!


Kids on the Coast – JULY / AUGUST 2015

MOVIES * Movies for Teens *

PAPERTOWNS In cinemas 16 July. Rating: TBC Adapted from the bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars by author John Green, Papertowns is a coming-of-age story centred on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbour Margo. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears – leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship – and true love.

THE FANTASTIC FOUR In Cinemas 30 July. Rating: TBC The Fantastic Four, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centres on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

Reviews by Eva Lewis

DINNERTIME+ PARENTAL APP By ZeroDesktop (iPhone & Android) FREE (in-app purchase available) When we were kids, all mum and dad had to do was turn off the television to get us to come to the dinner table because that’s all we had. These days it’s not the battle over the television, but the various gadgets that seem to divert our children’s attentions when they need to be focused elsewhere. The DinnerTime+ app was created with a goal to help families enjoy more quality time together, especially at dinner time, by allowing parents to remotely lock up to two children’s Android phones or tablets at a time. The app can even give parents the ability to disable certain apps and pre-set ‘dinner time’ which will automatically lock devices during meal time. The app also has an option where a countdown clock can be activated so children can see when their gadget will be available again. If you want to get really serious, you can upgrade the DinnerTime Plus app to allow you to set time limits on devices, view usage reports and disallow certain apps. You may have your dinner time routine down pat and find it easier to simply tell your kids to put down their gadget and come to the dinner table, but for many it can be a challenge and perhaps this app is the next best solution. Who knows, it could even work on adults that find it hard to give up their tech too!

om t frn’s c e r Di LondoEnd! t Wes

“Enjoyably inventive” Time Out “A rollicking, all singing, dancing interactive puppet adventure” Daily Telegraph


SUN 25 OCTOBER Arts Centre Gold Coast (07) 5588 4000 Peppa Pig © Astley Baker Davies Ltd/Entertainment One UK Ltd 2003. | |


Kids on the Coast Magazine - Gold Coast - Issue 57. July/August 2015  

Kids on the Coast Magazine Gold Coast. Issue 57. July/August 2015 Talking to kids about the news A spark for science When mind and body don'...

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