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Sleep like a baby: NOT! Are after school tutors for you? Overcoming obstacles: Jason Morris shares his parenting story

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CONTeNTS April/May 2010 26

16 Welcome to

Kids on the Coast

6 FEATURE All in the looks: body image 3

WELCOME

4

WHAT’S NEWS

10 THE “P” FILES Helping kids grieve

14 CHECK THIS OUT New and innovative ideas in parenting

15 NEW TO THE COAST I couldn’t believe it when I was reminded it was our birthday again! I thought time flew when you had kids, but I gotta say, it also flies if you work at something you love, and it seems only yesterday that we published our five-year anniversary edition! The longer in the tooth Kids on the Coast becomes, I think the more relevant it is in our expanding community. The number of people relocating to Southeast Queensland grows each month. The transition is perhaps hardest for families, many of whom flounder, remote from family support and struggling to build local knowledge. Being away from family is difficult, but losing them can be even harder and when we planned an article on kids and grieving, I didn’t realise how personally timely it would be. As my daughter and I travelled around NSW in January, I got the call we all dread and rushed back home to make it in time to say goodbye to my dad. At 82, it was his time to go yet, even so, it can be hard for kids to understand the immediate departure of a loved one or even a family pet. Also timely, we mark the upcoming Mother’s Day by sharing YOUR ideas of a perfect day. The responses will make you smile, and if any of them ring your bell, circle them with a red pen and leave the page open on a coffee table! Sarah Pye, Editor www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

16 EDUCATION Tutors - the way of the future?

20 WHAT’S ON CALENDAR The Kids on the Coast guide to April/May

22 BABIES ON THE COAST

26 IT’S ONLY NATURAL Ethical buying

30 PARENT PROFILE Jason Morris overcomes life’s challenges

32 LET’S CELEBRATE Your perfect Mother’s Day

34 HAPPY HOLIDAYS A rainy Sydney escape

36 HEALTH Parenting advice from a GP

37 REVIEWS AND COMPETITIONS 38 KIDS ON THE COAST DIRECTORY

Sleep like a baby?

25 PARENTVILLE

20 Having kids young

READ MORE ONLINE! om.au www.kidsonthecoast.c

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

PUBLISHED BY: THINGS 4 KIDS PTY LTD. PO Box 491, Eumundi QLD 4562 PHONE: 1300 430 320 FAX: 07 5476 6037 WEB: www.kidsonthecoast.com.au ABN: 86 473 357 391. All editorial in Kids on the Coast has been written in good faith based on material, verbal or written, provided by contributors. 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: editorial@kidsonthecoast.com.au We aim to reply to all correspondence but don’t guarantee to do so. Letters to the editor may be edited for length or clarity. PUBLISHER: Toni Eggleston EDITOR: Sarah Pye EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS: Kim Lahey, Cindy Mayes, Greg Nash, Jane O’Hara, Dr Scott Parsons, Alison Rodriguez, Sandra Smith, Justine Stewart. ADVERTISING: For advertising enquiries please phone Tanya Ryan on 1300 430 320 or email: gc@kidsonthecoast.com.au LOCAL BUSINESS DIRECTORY: Speak with your advertising coordinator or email: gc@kidsonthecoast.com.au PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Terri Sanderson, email: production@kidsonthecoast.com.au ADMINISTRATION: Kellie Kruger DISTRIBUTION: Kids on the Coast (Gold Coast edition) is a free publication circulating over 25,000 copies from Coomera to Coolangatta. A separate edition covers the Sunshine Coast. For distribution enquiries please phone: 1300 430 320 or email: admin@kidsonthecoast.com.au FRONT COVER: Simone Bell GRAPHIC DESIGN: Michelle Craik

APRIL / MAY 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

3


S ' WHAT

NeWS

Claim school expenses on your tax Only half of Australian parents with school-aged children are taking advantage of a tax refund for back-to-school expenses. The Australian Taxation Office figures reveal that tens of thousands of eligible families have not lodged a claim, leaving $500 million in unclaimed benefits. The education tax refund provides parents with refunds of up to $375 for each primary school student and $750 for secondary school students. Parents can claim for expenses such as school textbooks, study guides, stationery, computers, internet connections and educational software. Contact your tax agent or the ATO for more information.

IS ‘BABY BRAIN’ ALL IN THE MIND? Dreamworld comes out on top! A new study has suggested ‘baby brain’ forgetfulness in pregnant women may be a figment of our motherly imaginations. Researchers at the Australian National University say they have evidence pregnant women perform just as well in cognitive testing as they did before becoming pregnant. They say while there’s no evidence humans become smarter during pregnancy, there was no sign of deterioration either. However, University of NSW researchers beg to differ, with Dr Julie Henry saying her 2008 study is the first to confirm that ‘baby brain’ is a real condition and that pregnant women and new mothers really are more forgetful. Me – I can’t remember!

A Current Affair reported families have voted Dreamworld and WhiteWater World as Australia’s best theme parks, with an amazing perfect score. While Dreamworld was voted best theme park, the thrill seekers voted Movieworld’s Superman Escape as the best ride. When it comes to cost, families agreed the water parks were cheaper options because you can take in your own food. And Gold Coasters have all this right in their backyard!

Celebrity baby names get weirder The year 2009 brought with it a few very interesting celebrity offspring name selections. For a baby girl, what about Petal Blossom Rainbow Oliver (daughter of chef Jamie Oliver)? Or perhaps first names like Mars, Bandit, Seraphina, Bardot, Jara, Satyana or Lou would be more your style? The boys didn’t miss out either. Nicole Richie and Joel Madden named their son Sparrow James Midnight Madden, while other celebrities chose Atlas, Gunner, Nakoa-Wolf, Ickhyd, Hayes and Kenzo for their baby boys. Well, at least their kids will stand out in the world!

NO LINK BETWEEN MMR VACCINE AND AUTISM After 12 long years debating the safety of the Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine across the nation, a key paper by an internationally renowned medical journal linking the three-in-one jab with autism has been retracted. The MMR vaccine, usually given to children at 12 months and again at four years, has been given the all clear by a large number of independent researchers from around the world including the World Health Organization. The exact cause of autism remains unknown but brain development, genetics and environmental factors (such as diet) are being investigated.

SEARCH YOUR SCHOOL For the first time, parents can search the profiles of almost 10,000 Australian state and private schools and see how they compare with the rest of the nation. The federally funded My School website (www.myschool.edu.au) allows and encourages comparisons between statistically similar schools, in a bid to encourage transparency and accountability. The site has been hugely popular with recent figures quoting 1.6 million visits. Sharon Brownlee, President of the Federation of P&C Associations said “We are so pleased to be changing the level of conversations from fundraising to education”.

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FEATURE

looks All in the

What messageS are our kids getting about body image?

by Jane O’Hare

What is body image? What are the signs that your children may have poor body image? At what age can body image become a problem? What can parents do to ensure their children have realistic views of themselves and others? What is being done to improve body image in young kids in Australia? These are all questions considered by author Dannielle Miller who recently published The Butterfly Effect. “As an educator, a businesswoman, and a mother, it has long concerned me that while teenage girls are excelling as never before, and may appear to be coping with the demands life throws at them, behind closed doors they are silently imploding,” Dannielle Miller says.

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What is body image? In 2007 Mission Australia conducted a survey of young people and found that body image was the biggest worry of 11-24 year olds. In 2008 they rated it as their third biggest concern. Body image is not just about physical appearance. It includes feelings about yourself; your emotions and what you perceive are other people’s opinions of you. It is affected by several factors including race, age, societal pressures and expectations, and gender. While more girls suffer from a negative body image, this is certainly not exclusive. Dannielle believes body image is “the sense of self that we have. It’s also what society tells us is the ideal shape or form, our family’s expectations, the sense of our own particular shape and attractiveness”. She feels we (more than any other generation) are bombarded with messages about what defines beauty. “That definition is becoming more narrow and artificial, giving unrealistic and unhealthy expectations in our young women,” Dannielle says. This definition struck a cord and reminded me of an incident recently. My daughter was at a party in Brisbane and a young Korean girl wanted to take her photo. My daughter was a little surprised as she did not really know the girl but agreed until the girl said, “I really like your face, so when I go home, I’m going to take your photo to the plastic surgeon so I can look like you.” It seems many Asian girls are trying to look more western because these are the faces depicted in movies and magazines. A young American man working in Japan told me, “The girls in Japan stay out of the sun as much as possible, so they can look whiter.” The irony being, girls in Australia risk skin cancer to get tanned while those blessed with darker skins are trying to look whiter!

What are the signs of body image problems? Childhood Obesity In 2008, 21% of children in Queensland were overweight or obese. This means 36,000 children were obese and 120,000 were overweight. Even more worrying, the rate in other states was found to be 2-3% higher. The Health of Queenslanders, Prevention of Chronic Diseases 2008 report states that childhood obesity often leads to problems such as low self esteem and poor body image. It also affects the health of children and can cause asthma and sleep apnoea. Over a period of time overweight and obese children may also develop cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol. As adults they are more at risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. The report states that while there is some evidence “that Queensland’s investment in prevention programs is starting to have an effect, there is still much to be achieved in terms of preventing overweight and obesity, and promoting good health”. Being an overweight or obese child can also lead to social and emotional problems. Overweight children are more likely to be targeted by bullies, teased, and are less likely to participate in active games. Because of this they often withdraw from lunchtime play, spending more time sitting inside, and missing out on the friendships being forged during play time, alienating themselves further from their peers. Eating Disorders Eating disorders are rare in children under the age of eight. However, there are some signs that should not be ignored. These include weight loss, changes in behaviour with food, and concern about their body shape and size.

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FEATURE

How can parents help their children have a good body image? “Value yourself more than your looks. You’ve got other things that are really important to you,” Dannielle says. “Being a good role model will help your children feel good about themselves.

Eating disorders are not really about food but indicate emotional, social or developmental concerns. Often those suffering from eating disorders feel their lives are out of control, and feel they gain power over their bodies by controlling food intake, often overexercising and denying themselves food.

“Mothers constantly preoccupied with how they look, rushing off for Botox, and trying to be the perfect mother, wife, and career girl, are giving their kids the wrong message.” Dannielle says parents are powerful; they have a lot of capacity to shape their children for the better. “What instinctively we know is right and wrong probably is,” she says. “Listen to your children, before trying to fix their problems, or telling them not to worry. What may seem nothing to you can be a major concern for them.

Causes of eating disorders include personality factors, and social and environmental factors. Some may develop after long periods of illness or dieting attempts while others whose life is in disarray feel controlling their eating is the one thing they can succeed at.

“When he or she realises you are listening, without judging, you will find they will confide more and your bond will be closer.”

Dannielle says it is often the very bright, high achievers who develop eating disorders. “A teenage girl may cling to her eating disorder in the belief that it is the only way she can cope with the stresses of life,” she says. “A quest for perfectionism crosses over into their quest for the perfect body.

Dannielle suggests parents take the time to spend time with their children in activities they can both enjoy. Go shopping, coffee, the movies, or go for a walk or a swim, and enjoy some down time. Allow children privacy by not prying too closely into his or her life, unless you have genuine cause for concern, and try not to be critical of friends or wardrobe choices.

Our culture, that values outward appearances and the external, can be a dangerous thing.”

At what age can body image become a problem? Body image problems can begin as early as preparatory school, but this is rare. Dannielle has met worried parents of seven and eight year olds who are asking the questions, “Do you think I look large in this? Am I as pretty as the others?”

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Dannielle feels it is important to allow your child to make mistakes, and learn from them. “Admit when you are wrong, let her see it is okay to fail, and to find some things really hard, and encourage her to keep trying,” she says (specifically about girls), “Be proud of her achievements, praise is a wonderful boost to everyone’s self esteem. “Let her best be enough and keep expectations of her academic, sporting or musical accomplishments realistic.”

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Enlighten Education In 2003, along with Francesca Kaoutal, Dannielle founded Enlighten Education, a program designed to help girls overcome body image and self esteem issues, self doubt and stress. Dannielle, an English teacher who spent a lot of time working with students at risk, saw a need to develop programs to help all girls and young women. The programs aim to partner schools, parents and girls to be proactive in their goal to “raise amazing young girls”. Currently the programs are aimed at girls from years 6-12, but much to Dannielle’s delight schools are adopting the programs right across all years with real commitment in their pastoral care programs to give girls a strong sense of self worth. Dannielle’s blog offers good advice, informative articles for parents, girls and teachers. Visit: www.danniellemiller.com.au or: www.enlighteneducation.edublogs.org

The Butterfly Effect

FURTHeR ReADING

by Dannielle Miller The Butterfly Effect by Dannielle Miller B.Ed is a book designed to help parents raise happy daughters who have confidence, good self esteem, and a good body image. Its aim is to guide parents through many of the issues facing young girls and women in our society seemingly obsessed with creating the perfect body image. The issues of body image, teenage drinking, self harming and suicide, fashion, friendships, and eating disorders are discussed. Dannielle approaches these concerns with commonsense; ensuring girls develop a strong sense of self worth. This well written, thought-provoking and well researched book is a must read for parents of girls.

The Future The Minister for Youth Kate Ellis accepted an advisory report on October 27, 2009 to help the Federal Government address negative body image. The report encourages advertisers, the media and the fashion industry to promote more positive body image messages. The report includes a Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image suggesting healthy weight models, and realistic images of people are used in magazines. Girlfriend magazine, for instance, now informs readers if pictures have been digitally enhanced. It also notes that models have spent hours having hair done and make up applied to achieve the results seen in the magazine. The report also recommends building resilience in young people. It encourages schools, parents and community groups to work with students giving them a more realistic view of their bodies, focusing on health and fitness and not obsessing with perfection. It is important that all groups work together to encourage young people to have a healthy respect for their bodies. It is through the encouragement of influential women, like Sarah Murdoch, Mia Freedman, Kate Ellis, Dannielle Miller and Francesca Kaouta, that hopefully the problem of this constant quest for the perfect body will no longer cause so much anguish for our young women. As Dannielle says, it is important “communities, schools and parents work together to raise amazing young women”.

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goodbye

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Grief and loss affect all of us at some time in our journey through life. We may have moved house and said goodbye to old friends. Some of us have experienced separation and divorce, or the death of a beloved family pet. Perhaps a grandparent or sibling has died. Whatever the circumstances, the distress caused by loss is very real and very painful, and it’s a difficult time for the whole family. We see our children suffer as they process the painful feelings that follow loss, and we may be unsure how to help them. We may feel especially fragile and vulnerable at a time when our children need us most. Many children feel shock, anger, hurt, guilt or sadness. Some will experience mood swings, lots of tears and loneliness. They may seem withdrawn and devoid of emotion, or they may regress and become clingy or fearful.

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Counsellor and arts therapist Juliette Kalifa advises us to pay attention to our children’s feelings and behaviour following bereavement. “If they change their eating pattern, if they start getting in trouble at school when they were not before, or they get really obnoxious at home – connect the things and try to understand what is happening for the child,” she says. Young children may not speak about the death for a long time, but Juliette advises us to keep the lines of communication open and “not close the door to questions and to doubt”. We need to continue talking about the deceased person and we need to encourage our children to express their feelings. “Being real” is important, says Juliette, as it gives children permission to express their own pain and sadness. “Sometimes people feel they want to protect their children, but I think they can interpret that as it’s not okay to feel,” she says. Juliette, who has worked with grieving children at Bloomhill Cancer Help for the past eight years, believes it’s important for children to be able to ask questions, so they can understand what has happened. “Children are quite curious about things,” she explains. “They hear bits and pieces in their house and they can’t always make sense of it.” As parents, we should take into account the child’s age and developmental level when we respond to questions about death. “Of course, if a teenager asks what happened, you will give a different explanation to a five-year-old,” Juliette says. Well-meaning relatives and friends may use metaphors to describe death and by doing so, cover up the truth, but Juliette says this isn’t helpful for children. “People don’t realise that the child will need to unlearn that and may be confused by that,” Juliette says. Euphemisms that romanticise death are deceptive or complicate the situation and are confusing for our children. If they believe their relative or friend has “gone to sleep” or “gone into the sky”, our children may be scared to go to sleep or they may be afraid of flying in a plane, in case they die too. “I think calling death and dying what it is, is really important,” Juliette explains. “It’s a part of a process of life that’s happened around them anyway. They see animals, they see things die and we don’t hide that from them. But of course, when we speak of death, we do it kindly.”

Celebrating a life Rituals and ceremonies are an important part of the healing process after bereavement, allowing children to release their feelings and move on. Suggested activities for your children include:

• Create a collage of photos and drawings. The child can choose where to hang the artwork • Construct a boat out of corks, or twigs and bark. Decorate with flowers, leaves or feathers and set it adrift on the river • Plant sunflowers or a rose bush in the garden or in a special pot • Draw a picture of a special day – it could be a trip to the beach or a picnic • Write a poem or a song, a story or a letter for the person or pet • Make a play and perform it for family • Light a candle or incense in front of a favourite photograph

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APRIL / MAY 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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THE ‘P’ Files Everyone grieves in different ways – some children will become aggressive, some will have delayed reactions that take months to manifest and some will seem unaffected. Grieving children who are sad or angry may not eat or sleep well, so maintaining familiar routines at mealtimes and bedtime help children feel safe and secure. When a loss occurs within the family, whether it is from death or divorce, our children are likely to blame themselves. The death of a loved one may also trigger the child’s fears that they or others who are close to them will die next, or they may mistakenly see death as a punishment for wrongdoing. If a parent dies, children need reassurance that the remaining parent is not likely to die in the near future, though they will die eventually. It is helpful if they understand that death is a natural part of the life cycle, just like birth, and everyone has to die eventually – no-one is immune from death. Funerals are a way for family and friends to say goodbye to the person who has died. Explain honestly to your child what will happen at the funeral, invite questions and give your child freedom of choice on whether they attend or not. Juliette believes that attending the funeral is positive for children as it’s part of the cycle of life. “It’s sharing an important moment and yes, a lot of people will probably cry but that’s okay – there’s nothing wrong with that,” she explains gently. “It’s about being real.” Some children may decide to attend and some may choose to just go to the gettogether after the ceremony. Involve your children in the ceremony, if appropriate – they can help choose the flowers or write a goodbye letter or poem for the deceased person. Losing a much-loved family pet is devastating for children and it may be your child’s first experience of death. Juliette explains that having a ceremony, perhaps in your garden, familiarises children with the process of death and honours their loss.

Coping with bereavement

Children respond to bereavement very differently according to their age and developmental level, explains Australian psychotherapist and author Dianne McKissop. The characteristics, typical grief responses and remedies are: Age 2-4 – usually self-centred and think concretely, rather than conceptually. They may see death as personal abandonment. Provide love and support, keep to consistent routines and answer questions simply and honestly, making sure explanations are within the realm of the child’s understanding. Age 4-7 – usually adventurous and exploratory, their language skills and autonomy are developing. They may feel personally responsible for the death, and they may feel distressed and confused, or they may regress. Some children react through aggressive play, denial or nightmares. They need reassurance and opportunities to express their feelings through talking, drawing, writing and playing. Age 7-11 – more conceptual and logical thinkers, this age group is more able to mourn and understand the loss. They may regress, change eating and sleeping habits and withdraw from friends. Provide opportunities for physical activity, and allow children to express their feelings through play, stories and art. Age 11-18 – capable of abstract thinking and conceptual understanding of death. They may deny their feelings, become depressed or angry. Be supportive, listen without judging and allow them to feel in control, while maintaining clear boundaries and structures. They may benefit from talking to people outside the family or joining a bereavement support group. Children of all ages need lots of hugs, love and reassurance, and the comfort of familiar routines while they are grieving. Create security and understanding by listening to children’s concerns and responding to their questions honestly and openly.

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The healing process

Rituals help our children come to terms with grief and loss and they are an important part of the healing process after bereavement. The type of ritual depends on the family’s cultural background and religious beliefs. Juliette says rituals are especially helpful when the child expresses a need to reconnect with the deceased, and they strengthen the bond with that person. “It can be as simple as having a photograph of the person and lighting a candle occasionally, or some people burn incense or just pick a flower or a leaf,” Juliette says. “You can sit around looking at photographs…and tell stories about the person and the things they did, or what they did together.” Activities that celebrate a person’s life help children make the loss more concrete and facilitate family communication, as we find opportunities to talk about the deceased person with our children through this process. Grief can resurface at odd times and over a long period of time. The deceased person should not just disappear out of your child’s life, and Juliette explains that if communication is open, the biography will be shared and the child will slowly develop an understanding of the person. “At different times you will talk about different things,” she says. “Some bond should be maintained.” Through her work as a grief counsellor, Juliette often engages children in art therapy and she says this gives them an opportunity to say goodbye. “They can simply draw a picture of a time they remember with this person – where the child, for example, went to a movie with Grandad or went to the fair and had some rides, or played at the beach with Dad,” she says. Juliette finds sand play especially helpful for very young children who don’t have a lot of cognitive ability. “They can represent in play some of their experience,” she explains. As parents, we may feel exhausted and overwhelmed by our own grief and we may not have the emotional resources to respond to our grieving children appropriately. If, as a parent, you feel you are not coping, reach out to a friend, relative or bereavement counsellor for help and support. As you learn to manage your own pain and loss, you will slowly be able to provide support for your child. You may feel at first that your family life will never get back on track, but gradually you and your children will process the grief and loss and move onto a new stage, where you feel hope for the future and begin to enjoy life again.

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Passing On by Mike Dumbleton and Terry Denton This heartwarming picture book is a reminiscence of time with grandparents and how their lessons are passed on to the young. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

by Diane Crossley and Kate Sheppard This beautifully illustrated activity book aims to help children make sense of their experience by reflecting on the different aspects of their grief. At the same time, the book manages to find a balance between remembering the person who has died and having fun.

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APRIL / MAY 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

smart sHa103445 KOC 03-2010

Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine

held in the Functions Centre. Pay at the door. Children 4 - 12 years

13


K C e CH

THIS OUT

Teething fashion Think of a celeb with kids and chances are they have Sophie the teething giraffe. No… really! Sophie has been a French favourite for about 40 years and it doubles as a teething relief and a special toy. Made from natural rubber and non-toxic paints, its size means you are less likely to lose it, and you can show-off knowing you are now only six degrees from the likes of Kate Hudson, Nicole Richie and Naomi Watts. RRP: $34. Available at Dragonfly: 17 James St, Burleigh Heads, Sparrow Couture for Kids: 36 Quay St, Sanctuary Cove, Tiny People: 76 Musgrave Street, Kirra Beach or visit: www.sophiethegiraffe.com.au

To win your very own Sophie the Giraffe, visit www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

our guide to interesting & essential bits & pieces

Capture the moment Whether it’s a christening, Mother’s Day or a special birthday, sometimes an heirloom-worthy gift is in order. Jewellery from Small Print is just such a memento. Imprinted with your baby’s fingerprint, it will be treasured for ever and because each piece is made of sterling silver, it will last through the years as well. Prices vary depending on style. Visit: www.smallp.com.au

WIN!

Quit queasiness Warm as Toastees Similar to rashies, these lightweight wetsuits offer 50+ sun protection and keep them warm as the water cools. A zip at the back makes them quick to remove and cool colours make them appealing to kids. Designed by parents who found a gap in the market, Toastees are made of ultra light neoprene. On review, we found the sizes snug, but they are designed that way so bear this in mind when ordering. Toastees cost $40-$45 depending on size. They are available at www.toasteeswetsuits.com.au

Feel like nesting? This delightful whimsical fabric birdhouse harps back to another, simpler era. It is handmade by the very talented Fran Timpson of Buderim and no two are the same (they can even be made with your own fabric). They add a divine touch to a child’s room and are sure to be treasured. RRP $99. Available at Petit Enfant, Eumundi. Phone: 5442 7769.

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / MAY 2010

Ginger has long been known to contain properties for settling stomachs and for this reason it is often used to combat morning and motion sickness. Buderim Naturals has just launched a new ginger tablet called QueaseEase which also includes calming cham. Available at Amcal Chemist: Ashmore City, Terry White Chemmart: Pacific Fair, Amcal Chemist: Palm Waters, Terry White: Mermaid Waters or visit: www.buderimnaturals.com.au

Grow your own A family tree is certainly worth cultivating and the Famille Summerbelle Family Tree is delightful framed wall art which you complete. A great way to involve the kids and share a few family skeletons along the way, the Family Tree retails for $99. It is available through www.kidostore.com

Sustainable building These double-sided blocks are made using maple hardwood off-cuts from a flooring company so they truly are sustainable. Fresh shapes and simple lines allow little imaginations to run riot. City or country themes are available for $35 per set. Available through www.mudkids.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


NeW

TO THE COAST

a Kids on the Coast advertising feature

‘New to the Coast’ is a way in which Kids on the Coast can support new businesses that cater to Sunshine Coast parents and families. We think local kids and parents deserve just as much choice, style, fun, innovation and value for money as those living anywhere else. So if you agree, please join us in helping these new ventures to get off the ground by taking a look at what they’ve got to offer.

Banish the bugs Got Nits? No worries! Go home without them after only one hour at Nitpro. Nitpro’s relaxed and interactive salon in Terranora makes kids feel comfortable, while mum and dad sit back and relax with a ‘real’ coffee. As parents, owners David and Kristen dealt with the head lice cycle for years. After the frustration of ineffective products, the couple were recommended a stronger chemical and ended up with their two children in hospital. They decided to find a safe AND effective treatment and their search led them to the exclusive all natural ingredients they use in the Nitpro salon. Don’t have time for the salon? Nitpro products are available in a DIY kit. For bookings phone: 5590 4188 or visit www.nitpro.com.au 86 McAuleys Rd, Terranora.

And if you’ve got a new business you want to spread the word on, let us know!

Lifestyle Business When did paying the bills become more important than following your passion? Imagine being able to work flexible hours and not having to ask for time off. Picture yourself being able to watch your kids grow up and plays sports and attend the important things in their life. Vizualise yourself taking your family away on holidays and visiting places you only ever dreamed of going. “This Lifestyle Business can allow you to do all of this. It gives you the flexibility to run your buisness around you and your everyday life. It can be run around your family, current working situation and because this business is completely portable you can run it on the move aswell. I know this beacuse as a solo parent I built my business whilst working 50 hours week at my ‘every day job’. You get on going training and support and the simplicity of the system really does allow you more time to enjoy the things that matter in life. The thing I love most about this business is how much more time it has allowed me to spend with my little boy” says Jacqui. Contact Jacqui at www.wealthybusinesssecrets.com

Discount Dance Supplies Gold Coast After 9 yrs of fitting and supplying Brisbane’s dance community DDS is pleased to announce that they are expanding their operations to the GC... as a 100% QLD owned & operated business DDS lives & breathes their motto of “Keeping Dance Affordable” by supplying a range of quality dance supplies for budding baby ballerinas to seasoned professional dancers, and everyone in between. From 22nd March the new Gold Coast outlet at Helensvale (opposite the library complex) will have available shoes and dancewear catering for ballet, tap, jazz. hip-hop, cheerleading, gymnastics, flamenco, ballroom and latin. Welcome to the home of affordable dance wear.

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To contact Jacqui and get more information go to www.WealthyBusinessSecrets.com or call 0401 727 509 www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

www.discountdancesupplies.com.au APRIL / MAY 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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education – the way of the future? by Justine Stewart

While it’s true that many kids will happily breeze through the school system, fitting neatly into teachers’ expectations, enjoying their learning journey, and achieving results which correlate with their career ambitions, they’re the lucky ones. Others will experience the anxieties of struggling to keep up, become apathetic or aggressive due to mind-numbing boredom, or even experience a combination of these, depending on the subjects involved and whether or not they’re what’s now referred to as ‘twice exceptional’ (i.e. academically gifted but with a learning disability). Then there are those who stress about getting the required OP for their chosen profession. If you’ve been reading those report cards a lot more closely, asking more questions at parent-teacher interviews, and becoming increasingly aware of niggling hopes and fears about your child’s progress (or lack thereof) you’ve probably considered extra-curricular tuition.

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www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


Australian Tutoring Association (ATA) president Chris Druett taught within Australia and internationally before becoming a tutor. “Tutoring has changed since I went to school twenty years ago,” he says. “Back then, it was normally just the lowerachieving students who were receiving tutoring in order to catch up with their classmates… [Now] we’re seeing not only those students continuing to get support, but also students who are preparing for particular exams or in a very competitive environment looking for additional support [in order to get the best result].” The ATA says that recent independently-conducted research shows up to 80% of students preparing for their HSC (or Higher School Certificate, the NSW equivalent of Queensland’s Year 12 OP Score) were receiving tutoring of some kind. Chris says they’re making the most of extra coaching, just as they would in other areas such as sport or music. Some parents say that as well as the actual content of the work, their children benefit from a tutor’s encouragement and support, and increased use of goal-setting and independent learning skills. “People are recognising that with one-on-one attention, you can achieve results that are beyond your imagination when you’re sitting in a classroom full of students,” Chris says. In a way, Leo Blore, another former school teacher (and school principal) who now runs Extended Learning Centres (ELC), on the Sunshine Coast, agrees. “I think parents choose tutoring because there’s a frustration with the system and with what’s going on, especially where their kid is smarter than what’s being taught in class,” he says. Leo says that, unlike many other tuition centres, he doesn’t focus only on kids who are “behind the eight ball”, but is more interested in extending kids and helping them to “go places in the world”. Poor school report cards, says Leo, can be the first indicator of emotional or academic issues and he says that boredom is a huge problem for many students. “Smart kids with Aspergers or ADHD have got what I call a `bumblebee brain’. It’s just buzzing all the time, and at school the neurons are not being stimulated enough. Some kids will turn that outward into behavioural issues; but it depends on the kid. Some will sink inwards [i.e. suffer from depression and anxiety].”

• Your child appears to have not mastered basic skills by the expected time frame . • You know or suspect that your child has social, emotional, and/or medical problems which may have caused problems at school. • Your child has (or appears to have) learning or other disabilities which may slow down progress at school. • Your child is lacking in confidence and/ or unhappy at school and complains that they are struggling, bored, or both. Watch for comments like “I’m dumb”, “everyone else is better than me”, or “why do I have to go to school?”. • Your child is getting into trouble too much at school. This can be both a cause and a result of learning problems, and a sign that the work is too challenging or not challenging enough. • Your child is having trouble organising their study time or is avoiding homework to the point where it’s a major problem. • Your child is very motivated to achieve and wants to go beyond what school is offering, or has a particular interest in a subject which is not available through the school.

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education

At this point, you’ll probably talk to your child’s teacher. However, some schools, and teachers, are reluctant to agree with parents that a child may need tutoring. This may be because they are genuinely concerned that: • The tutor might not be as well-qualified as they are to teach • The tutor’s methods may be different to the school’s and therefore confuse the child • The child will be overloaded and end up hating any kind of schoolwork • The child has problems which tutoring will not fix. However, you should be aware that some schools/teachers will be inclined to think that “if we can’t help your child, no-one can”. “Some schools feel it’s a reflection that they’re not doing their job properly,” Chris Druett says. Indeed, one Year 7 teacher I spoke to, on the condition of anonymity, said he felt that some kids could benefit from a tutor, but he would never say so to a parent, in case it would be inviting legal action. “It’s a shame because tutors and schools working together can be so effective, so we definitely encourage it,” Chris continues. At least, he says, the situation is improving. Meanwhile, Leo Blore’s extensive experience within the school system has left him frustrated with what he sees as the failure of the curriculum to reflect changes in society. “The core content of the maths curriculum is [basically] the same as it was in the 1930s,” he says. “But kids today are smarter, they’re exposed to so much more, through technology, through travel, through their parents. They’re being dragged down by not being allowed to do anything above their so-called `year level’. “At ELC, we get kids working on interesting maths [books] and we actually find that their reading improves automatically through that. We have a huge array of resources, and we teach other skills, everything from electronics and robotics, to typing, to exploring different writing genres. We make it interesting, and extend the kids into different areas and say, `go for your life’.“

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / MAY 2010

Chris says the ‘premium’ form of tutoring is a fully qualified one-on-one tutor who comes to your home: “Depending on the subject and year level, that can cost anywhere from $30 - $100 per hour. Online tuition (where you are interacting in real time with an online tutor) might cost around $40 per hour, again depending on subject and level,” he says. “At the other end of the scale you might go to a `homework help centre’ which might be with 10 other students, and that might cost around $20 per hour. “We have a blanket fee of $49.50 per 75 minute session,” Leo says. “Some kids can cover 15 or 20 maths concepts in one session, some are flat out doing that much in a term at school.” But as part of his holistic, “big picture” approach, Leo says he ends up spending a lot of time outside paid sessions working with parents, and that his students end up becoming “like family”. “If I can see that something’s worrying a kid, I’ll say `what’s up’ and we’ll talk about it. This might be a simple thing that we can speak about and resolve in ten minutes, which will free up their brain to take in information,“ he says.

Before you start searching for a tutor, you might want to consult your GP, and if necessary get a referral to a paediatrician (ideally one with experience in dealing with kids with learning problems) to establish what medical or other conditions might be contributing to the problem. For example, you wouldn’t want to discover too late that a $200 pair of glasses would have saved you thousands in tuition fees!

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


You should also: • Discuss with your child the reasons why you feel tutoring would be beneficial, and involve them in the process of choosing a tutor.

HAVE YOUR SAY, COMMENT AT www.kidsonthecoast. com.au

• Be realistic about your expectations, both in terms of results and timeframes. Tutoring is not a magic wand, and there may be other issues such as parenting techniques or family dynamics which need to be addressed. • Stay involved with your child’s learning, and maintain regular communication with both your child’s tutor and school teacher. • Review regularly, and reward successes rather than focusing on negatives. • Consider changing tutors or looking for other causes if things don’t seem to improve.

Over the last few years, consumer affairs organisations have issued warnings about companies selling computer software ‘tutoring’ programs. (www.ocba.sa.gov.au/ assets/medicomms/mrelease_tutorprogram.pdf). Some of these companies use emotional blackmail and high-pressure in-home sales pitches disguised as ‘free assessments’ to push parents into buying on the spot. Online forums report that some families have signed up to pay around $6000, plus thousands of dollars in interest over many years, some of them discovering within a few weeks that the product doesn’t appeal to their children and the promised ‘phone support’ is unsatisfactory. If you have purchased one of these products, are unhappy, and would like to dispute your contract, the NSW Consumer Credit Legal Centre website has some great advice (although not all of it may apply to consumers in Queensland): www.cclcnsw.org.au Alternatively, there are many free or reasonably-priced websites which may be helpful where parents are willing to be involved, students are fairly motivated to cover the work at home, and you may not be able to afford other options. For example, visit: www.mathsonline.com.au

Discover the spirit of Rivermount Enrolling now for 2011 - Prep to Year 12 enrolments welcome

Rivermount College is a non-denominational co-educational Christian school for students from Prep to Year 12. We are proud to offer your family an idylic learning environment that provides: a Christian community with a strong focus on values based education a seamless transition through three specialist schools: Junior (P-6), Middle (7-9) and Senior (10-12), all on one campus a dynamic curriculum with a myriad of academic and co-curricular opportunities for students

You can find a tutor by asking around, checking the Yellow Pages or through online search sites such as www.findatutor.com.au or www.tutorfinder.com.au. The Australian Tutoring Association (ATA) website, www.ata.edu.au, will show you who is a member of their organisation, which is important as it means they have agreed to follow the ATA’s Code of Conduct. All three of these sites also include great general advice and tips for parents about how to choose a tutor. For example, the ATA website gives an excellent checklist of the questions you should ask a potential tutor, covering issues such as qualifications, child protection clearance, costs, refunds and contracts, methods and materials, progress reports, dispute resolution procedures and more.

Good tutoring does not use a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, and the tutoring program should be individually tailored to your child’s abilities. Shop around before you make a decision. Whatever form of tutoring you decide upon, children will usually attend for around one hour per week, and they may also have some specific `homework’ to do before the next session. Make sure your kids are also getting plenty of outdoor exercise and free time to play, even if you have to cut back on something else for a while. And don’t put yourself under too much financial pressure, because in the long run that’s not going to help your child. You might find that your local community centre or library even has a free homework help service.

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PH: 5596 2266 www.silkwood.qld.edu.au APRIL / MAY 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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APRIL

Special Events CalendaR March 27-April 18

April 3

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES SHARED AT TOYLAND EXPRESS

EASTER FAMILY FUN RACEDAY When/where: From 10am-5pm, Gold Coast Turf Club, Racecourse Drive, Bundall A day at the races for the whole family with lots of eggs and a visit from the Easter bunny himself! There will be the usual fashions on the field and also pony rides, a petting zoo, jumping castle, face painting, craft tent and more for the kids! Cost: Adults $10 and kids free Details: 5538 1599 or www.goldcoastturf.com.au

When/where: The Workshops Rail Museum, Queensland Museum, North St, Ipswich Children have been playing with trains for centuries through music, books and toys and a walk down memory lane is on display at the Rail Museum. Enjoy storytelling, artwork and toys. Check the website for details on special events like the teddy bear picnic. Details: 3432 5190 or www.theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au

To win one of two tickets to this event visit www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

April 18

April 8

QUEENS PARK TENNIS CENTRE OPEN DAY FOR KIDS

PHOTO FRAME FUN When/where: From 10am-11am, Robina Library, Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina Craft fun at the local library for kids 6-12 years. They can share their favourite holiday photos in their very own hand crafted, decorated frame. Cost: Free Details: 5581 1600 to book

When/where: From 10am-2pm at Queens Park Tennis Centre, 19 Queen Street, Southport If you child has never picked up a racquet or stepped onto a tennis court, get on down to the Queens Park Tennis Centre Open Day for Kids. Free introduction to tennis any age and ability. Great prizes, free coaching, fun and games, tennis celebrities, barbecue and lots more. Cost: Free Details: 5531 2725 or www.queensparktennis.com.au

8

April 19

When/where: From 6pm at Snippetty Haircuts for Kids, Gooding Dr, Carrara Would you know how to save your child from injury or drowning? Three local Mama-run businesses are working together to bring ‘Mama First Aid Tips’ to GC Mums including basic first aid tips from CPR to poisons, bites and more, in a comfortable, open environment. Cost: $50 if you reserve before the night Details: Book online ‘Friends’ page on www.savvymama.com.au

April 18

When/where: From 7am-11am, Palm Beach Parklands, Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach Adults take to the street for a road run and the ocean for a swim. Kids partake in an ocean swim and a beach run – cheer on the competitors and make some noise! Cost: $20 to enter or free for spectators Details: 5522 5534 or www.easport.info

When/where: From 9am-1pm, Bischof Park, 48 Nerang Street, Nerang Are you brave enough to conquer an 11m wall? There are eight different climbs and kids from the age of six are sure to have a ball with this challenge. Cost: Free Details: 0403 293 534. No bookings required

BEACH FESTIVAL

April 3

HI-5 PERFORMS When/where: 11:30am, Gold Coast Arts Centre, Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise Catch the new Hi-5 crew as they plan a surprise party for their friend Chats and everyone is invited! There will be heaps of singing, dancing and party games and fun for the kids as they listen to their Hi-5 favourites. Cost: Premium tickets $49.50, A Reserve $35.90 Details: 5588 4000 or www.gcac.com.au

ROCK CLIMBING

FIND more e vents onlin e! www.kidson thecoast.com .au

MUMZ WITH BUBZ MOVIE

21

WIN!

April 18

April 21

MAMA FIRST AID TIPS

3

Calendar compiled by www. savvymama.com.au. Sign up for weekly updates on their website.

When/where: Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinema, Australia Fair, Marine Pde, Southport Join other Mums for a cuppa and enjoy a presentation by Fe Taylor of Leaps and Bounds Children’s Fitness Centre. Then settle in for the movie Nanny McPhee. Cost: Cost of a movie for members. Details: Register at www.australiafair.com.au and RSVP to Corrine 5556 6600 or email claw@retailfirst.com.au

April 25

MAKE AND FLY A KITE WORKSHOP When/where: From 10am-12noon, Central Park, Hotham Drive, Pacific Pines Won’t the kids think you’re cool if you can make a kite that can actually fly! A great activity for the whole family to do together. Cost: Free Details: 1300 780 447

3 April 11 or May 9

STAND-UP PADDLING When/where: From 10am-12pm, Palm Beach Parklands, Gold Coast Hwy (meets Thrower Drive) This activity is taking the Gold Coast by storm. The workshop offers tips and know how, that will have you paddle boarding in no time. Children are welcome. Cost: Free Details: Bookings are required. Email Jamie on jmitcho81@hotmail.com

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The biggest free family fun day - 11th Anniversary Celebration Now in its eleventh year, no wonder the Free Family Fun Day is now synonymous with Carrara Markets and school holiday fun with Gold Coast families. On the last Sunday of each Queensland school holiday, families flock to Carrara Markets for a big family day out. The kids are pumped and ready to hit the activities and the parents couldn’t be happier for their kids to take advantage of the Free Pony Ride, Free Merry-Go-Round, Free Entertainment and Giveaways. There’s plenty of quality family time to be found at Carrara Markets, so make a day of it and call in early for our famous breakfast. In between the family fun the Market offers an abundance of delicious light snacks, café meals & beverages, and lots of seating in the shade. Young ones, or the “young at heart” will be entertained for hours by the puppies

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& fish on display at the Pet Shop, remote control cars, boats & helicopters at the Toy Shop and see the colourful range of kids’ fancy dress costumes. While exploring the market, you won’t miss the Face Painting Fairy, Flying Witches, Buskers, Educational Toys, Kids Bags & Sunglasses, latest Caps & T-shirts and many unique and interesting stalls at Carrara Markets. You can expect each member of the family to have plenty of fun on the day. Carrara Markets Free Family Fun Day is a must for all parents who need inspiration to keep the kids happy before going back to school. The day is especially good for families on a tight budget plus there is FREE entry and ample parking. Free Family Fun - Entertainment – Giveaways. 11th April, 2010 FREE FAMI LY FUN DAYS INCLUDE: Free Pony

Rides, Free kid’s en Merry-go-round. tert Clown & Give ainment, aways for kids.

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Fruit & Veg Bakeries Butcher & Seafood Plants & Flowers Pets & Toys Kids Clothing & Shoes Mens & Ladies Wear Furniture & Handcrafts Jewellery & Watches Bags & Luggage Hair & Beauty Fashion Accessories

Corner of Gooding Drive and Market Street, Carrara (4km from Pacific Fair). 07 5579 9388 www.carraramarkets.com.au 20

KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / MAY 2010

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


MAY

May 9

SANCTUARY COVE INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW 2010 When/where: From 9am-5pm, Sanctuary Cove Have the kids twisted your arm to get them a boat and adventure the beautiful waterways of the Gold Coast? This might be the place to start your search or if not have fun dreaming… Cost: TBA Details: www.sanctuarycoveboatshow.com.au

20

May 8-9

May 10, 17, 24 and 31

WIGGLY CIRCUS TOUR

INFANT MASSAGE COURSE

Do we need to say more? Today is your day to shine, put your feet up, be spoiled and be thankful for the brilliant family you are raising. Spoil your Mum too!

When/where: 12pm and 4pm on Saturday, 10am and 2pm on Sunday at the Gold Coast Convention Centre, Broadbeach Enjoy the latest show from the Wiggles as they somersault their way to the Gold Coast and perform along with acrobats, clowns, gymnasts, dancers and more! All your old friends will be there and a lot of circus fun! Cost: TBA (on sale May 8) Details: www.ticketek.com.au

May 26

May 27-30

May 15

May 19

When/where: Birch Carroll and Coyle Cinema, Australia Fair, Marine Pde, Southport Join other Mums for a cuppa and enjoy a presentation. This month Adrienne Bright will share her expertise as a dietician/nutritionist and infant massage specialist. Then settle in for the movie Robin Hood. Cost: Cost of a movie for members. Details: Register at www.australiafair.com.au and RSVP to Corrine 5556 6600 or email claw@retailfirst.com.au

When/where: From 10am-4pm at Currumbin RSL Enjoy a fun outdoor carnivale at the beautiful edge of Currumbin Creek with circus acts, street performers, chalk artists, storytelling, music and more! Cost: Free daily events and tickets for night time events Details: www.currumbinrsl.com.au

When/where: From 9am-11am at Colman Road Boat Ramp, Coomera Kayak your way through the beautiful mangrove-lined shores of Moreton Bay. Enjoy a guided adventure in a two-person kayak including some help with your skills and safety equipment. You must be 10 years old to do it alone or 6 years old with an adult. Cost: $5 Details: 0403 293 534

When/where: From 9:30am-11:30am at Queen Elizabeth Park, Cnr Marine Pde and McLean Street, Coolangatta Burn some energy and have some fun with the little ones! Two hours of fun (they say parents can relax) while The Fun Team keeps them busy including a jumping castle and free drink and healthy snack. Cost: Free Details: 5559 0957 Bookings are required

May 27-30

May 30

Seven Nights a week

When/where: Daily around Broadbeach The streets and parks around Broadbeach will be a grooving to the Blues as this festival welcomes talent from around the world. Grab a picnic rug and head to the park or walk the streets with a dance in your step! Cost: Free Details: www.bluesonbroadbeach.com

When/where: From 9am-12noon, Upper Coomera State College, 137 Reserve Rd, Upper Coomera The ultimate market for your children’s needs! A huge range of pre-loved baby, maternity and kids’ goods from prams to cots and toys and books to clothes and shoes. Cost: Entry $3. Kids free Details: www.zero2five.com.au

When/where: Seven nights per week - Buffet from 5:30pm & walk starts at 6:45pm. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 28 Tomewin Rd, Currumbin Take a walk on the wild side and get close up to Australian animals at Currumbin. See Koalas, Crocodiles, Kangaroos and more all in their natural habitat. Enjoy Aboriginal dance and a dinner buffet too! Cost: From $49 for children, $79 for adults, under three are free Details: www.currumbin-sanctuary.org.au

MOTHER’S DAY

May 20-23

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

line! FIND more events on .au om t.c www.kidsonthecoas

MUMZ WITH BUBZ MOVIE

May 20

PLAYSCHOOL IN CONCERT When/where: 10am at Albert Waterways Community Centre, Mermaid Waters Take the kids to see two presenters plus their favourite toys from the popular ABC children’s show Playschool. There will be songs, games and stories that will sure to entertain the preschool audience. Cost: $14.50 Details: 1300 788 028 or www.kidspromotions.com.au

D’ALLIANCE FESTIVAL

8-9 KAYAKING ADVENTURE – COOMERA ECO TOUR

BLUES ON BROADBEACH MUSIC FESTIVAL

When/where: 12:30pm, Parkwood Arundel Community Centre, Napper Rd, Arundel Learn how to relax your baby, gain more confidence and feel empowered to help your little one with sleeping, teething, reflux, colic, constipation and more. Course led by a certified IMS infant massage instructor with eight years experience. Cost: $29 per session (tell them you are a KOTC reader and get 20% off!) Details: 0414 270 930 or www.footprintsinthesand.com.au

FREE FUN IN THE PARK WITH THE FUN TEAM

ZERO TO FIVE MARKETS

WILDNIGHT ADVENTURE

Songs, stories and games. It’s Play School live in concert.

Wed 19 May Tweed Heads Civic Centre Tweed Heads

Thu 20 May Albert Waterways Community Centre Mermaid Waters

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Bookings Call Kids Promotions on 1300 788 028 Book online www.kidspromotions.com.au $5.50 processing fee per booking applies for phone & internet bookings

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APRIL / MAY 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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BABIES ON

the coast

Sleeping like a baby by Alison Rodriguez

You’ve survived the ordeal of birth and you are exhausted. Luckily the books say newborns sleep more than they are awake and you are looking forward to the rest. Unfortunately, YOUR baby doesn’t seem to have read the manual. Of my kids, one slept, one couldn’t and one didn’t, but then inexplicably changed his mind. Somehow every time I mentioned that my new baby wasn’t sleeping to someone whose baby was, I would get ‘that look’ that said “you obviously aren’t doing it right”. While parenting manuals can give you lots of good ideas, I discovered finding what works for you is really down to trial and error.

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Child health consultant and director of Settle Petal Jan Murray says there are many variables for getting babies to sleep and therefore there is no blanket rule. “A mother has a special bond with her baby and often instinctively knows best,” she says, “These days parents aren’t encouraged or supported enough to go with their instincts.” Our mothers and grandmothers might recommend early establishment of routines, favour controlled crying and not ‘spoiling’, but the tide has turned somewhat on those issues. “I would never recommend leaving babies to cry for long periods of time without giving cuddles and reassurance intermittently, even if it gets them more frustrated when you leave the room,” Jan says. She suggests a small baby needs comfort, security and the reassurance of knowing you’ll be there at anytime of the day or night. The 16-18 hours sleep your newborn is ‘supposed’ to be having might turn out to be more like 8, or if you are exceptionally lucky, 23. Typically a breastfed baby will be feeding every two hours at first, which means you won’t be getting much sleep till around 3-4 months and surely won’t be sleeping through the night until at least 6-8. Just as some adults can get by on very little sleep, so do some babies. In the adult world, a grown-up getting by without much sleep is considered a high achiever; while a baby needing little sleep is simply high maintenance. Unfortunately babies who are wakeful grow into children who sleep very little, with parents who sleep even less. Controlled crying seems to be the most contentious issue in the battle for sleep. Known as the technique for those with nerves of steel (or as desperate as they are fatigued), some child health professionals assert that this is the best way to teach a child to learn to fall asleep on their own. The method includes waiting 15 minutes before going to your baby when they cry and increasing the length in small increments. Alternatively, using Systematic Awakening, you work out their usual waking times and wake them 30 mins before that time, then put them back to

sleep – gradually lengthening the time between these systematic awakenings. Jan believes it isn’t advisable to try this method before four months, and then only after addressing any underlying sleep-effecting conditions.

So how do you help a new baby learn to sleep through the night? Distinguish Day from Night Try helping them to differentiate day from night by having clear day and night routines, maybe sleeping them in a different place during the day, not making it too dark or too quiet. At night try soothing music, only speak in a whisper, stay inside the room but avoid playing with your child. Keep the room dark – with just enough light so that you can see each other and they know where they are when they wake.

Sleeping Positions The Australian College of Paediatrics recommends that healthy full term babies be put to sleep on their backs, to lower the risk of SIDs death. Some babies are just not comfortable in this position (babies born OP tend to find it hard) and will sleep better on their sides. To make back sleep easier, start it straight away and if your baby seems uncomfortable in the cot, start with a bassinet for a more cosy fit. Swaddling can also make babies feel more secure and some like a sleeping bag rather than a blanket. Make sure all bedding is securely tucked in and always sleep them at the foot of the cot. Control the temperature – too hot or too cold can make sleep difficult. Movement After nine months of being rocked to sleep, your baby will be conditioned to respond to movement. Rocking and swaying helps a baby to fall asleep and a brilliant solution is the baby hammock. It keeps the baby feeling snug and their movement will make the hammock gently bounce and swing, helping them back to sleep.

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APRIL / MAY 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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BABIES ON

the coast

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Routine Following the same routine every night can help them feel secure. A warm bath, followed by a massage, for instance, relaxes them for sleep. Find a routine that works for you and stick to it. It will stand you in good stead through teething, weaning and in unusual places.

FURTHeR ReADING

Co-sleeping Sending shivers down the spine of some, co-sleeping has fuelled many heated parenting debates. “Co-sleeping is a great way to help babies sleep,” Jan says, “but both parents need to be able to sleep as well. Research shows that sharing a room in the first 12 months can even reduce the incidence of SIDS.” Newborns have very restless sleep. Most of their sleep is REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep – an active phase where they dream and move a lot, sometimes letting out a cry but not necessarily waking. This can affect parents’ quality of sleep when cosleeping. These periods become less frequent as babies mature, alternating with longer periods of deep sleep where they appear completely ‘out’. Sharing a room is a step down from co-sleeping, but has many of the same benefits – closeness, security and being on hand for feeding. The risk is you respond too quickly and it’s a good idea to see if your baby can resettle before jumping to their side. The demands of a non-sleeping baby can play havoc with the rest of your lives and a tired, stressed parent will find it hard to summon the necessary patience to deal with a crying baby. Perhaps the best advice is, do whatever works for YOU, because every baby is different and at times it’s all about survival.

Save our sleep

Taste it by Jan Murray Jan Murray from Settle Petal has just published this guide to healthy eating for toddlers. Packed with easy recipes and health advice, it inspires food creativity.

by Tizzie Hall If you haven’t overcome the sleep issues by the end of the first year, (or your toddler’s sleep patterns go haywire), this book contains handy hints for getting on top of the issue. It includes ideas on bedtime routines, comfort aids, and adjustments to feeding. With personal stories and answers to many parenting questions, it just may help settle your toddler.

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PARENT

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GREG NASH

Young parents No one was really surprised when they found out Jenni was pregnant. We were high school sweethearts, young, crazy, and in love. At the time Jenni fell pregnant I had left school and was a first year baker’s apprentice, while Jenni was in her final month of grade 12. There was definitely some disappointment from the family and more than a few disapproving looks as we walked down the street, but then again, we’ve never cared what anyone else thought. Yes, we are a little crazy. So what do you get when you cross a boy who nearly knocked himself out when he ran up the back of Mr Whippy while chasing the van on a scooter, and a girl who got her tongue stuck to the element in the back of the freezer for trying to lick some frozen cordial? You get three gorgeous kids who are definitely a bit nuts as well. Jenni and I are now in our thirties with our two girls who are turning 17 and 14, and our son who is going on 9. In contrast, my three best mates and their partners surprisingly all had their first child within two months of us having our last. So how exactly does our experience of parenthood differ to that of our friends? The biggest issue was money. We struggled to achieve the financial stability that our friends had because they only had to look after themselves. Some people might say we missed out on being young and all that jazz, but the truth is if we did want a night out, my mother-in-law was always willing to look after the kids, and my mother came to the party as well when they were a bit older.

On the other hand, our friends have entered parenting after years of doing what they want when they want. I would argue it’s a lot harder for them. They have less patience, they are more irritable, they don’t have as much energy, and they seem to long for those days when the only person they had to worry about was them. As their freedom becomes more and more limited with each child they have, Jenni and I are gaining a new lease on life, not that it wasn’t great before. In ten days time while they’re at home wiping snotty noses, changing nappies and watching The Wiggles on TV, Jenni and I will be at the Soundwave festival in Brisbane living it up with our eldest daughter and her boyfriend. There are the added bonuses as well. Jenni loves it when our daughter’s friends come over and ask her if she is their sister, and everywhere I go I’ve got one of my beautiful girls with me (Jenni included!). We’ve had a great time and it’s only getting better. Our kids went everywhere with us. They grew up with us and we grew up with them. It wasn’t always easy, but let’s face it, life by yourself isn’t always easy. As young parents we were never lonely. Last month Jenni and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. We’re still crazy, and crazy in love. Things have changed a bit. The kids are growing up, I’ve traded bakery ovens for the life of an academic, and Jenni’s doing a Uni degree and trying her hand at different jobs, but you’ll still find us on any given Friday night dancing around the lounge room with the kids having a Singstar competition. So if you happen to see a big fella walking by with three beautiful girls and a boy who will be singing out loud for the simple fact he likes nothing better than to hear his own voice, say hello. Chances are you’re walking past the luckiest man in the world.

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natural

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buying Teaching kids to think about their purchases

by Kim Lahey

Kids are fresh-eyed consumers, so how do we help them see buying is not just about money, it’s about responsibility? Our desire to support public good presents itself daily in our purchasing habits but it’s tricky to know what’s an ethically better buy when you’re staring at labels.

Playing Fair Silenced by the sight of the handcrafted delicacies before their eyes, those who walk into Eumundi’s Cocoa Chocolat for the first time can barely whisper “wow”. But actions speak louder than words and when these first-timers bite into their jawdropping treats, they give a fair-go to a farmer in Africa. Cocoa Chocolat owner Louisa Raven explains the chocolate comes from 100% fair trade cocoa grown on farms in Ghana and cocoa represents the main source of income for thousands of farms around small African villages. ADVERTISEMENT/LOCAL BUSINESS PROFILE

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“I wanted to design a piece which, like a compass, will guide a mother through life by keeping her family close,” Kate says. “As a mum I always want my family near and this necklace ensures my family is with me, wherever I may be.” The Family Compass is available in gold, silver or both. Each Uberkate piece is handcrafted and personalised with embossed initials of loved ones. Purchases can be made online at www.uberkate.com.au or through selected retailers from a RRP of $395.

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Sydney-based silversmith Kate Sutton knows how important it is to keep her kids close to her heart. So for Mother’s Day she has created a necklace that does just that.

The Uberkate “Family Compass” is the perfect gift to spoil your mum with this year. Each Uberkate piece is handcrafted and personalised with embossed initials of the mother’s loved ones. Uberkate designs are for people who desire to wear unique and personalised pieces that ‘mean something’. To purchase your very own Uberkate piece visit www.uberkate.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


Cocoa is just one of the products grown or produced in developing countries which may be sold for such low prices workers cannot be paid. But the fair trade system unlocks the chain so people growing or making the product have a wage to live on. “It’s a different world there, so their money goes so much further – to food, to education and more,” Louisa says, “The main thing is the cocoa beans keep people employed,” she says. Fair trade cocoa production supports employment way beyond the harvest, winnowing, drying, grinding and roasting. “Older women also hand pollinate the cacao flowers because world demand is increasing,” Louisa explains. “Then these few dollars go far.” It’s not that Louisa expects people to register interest in the issue she is passionate about. “When I tell people (about fair trade), some people are infused some are not,” she says. Louisa explains younger children probably don’t feel the fair trade message (it’s far too distracting for them looking at the green chocolate frogs, white chocolate lollipops and giant chocolate truffles) “but the mums and dads are and this must filter through,” Louisa says. Cocoa Chocolat is only a year old so Louisa is yet to go through the international fairtrade labelling assessment process for her chocolates and truffles, so they can carry the fairtrade logo. For now Louisa says she just wants people to “savour the taste – the rest will follow.”

Waste not, want not Did you know each Australian family contributes enough rubbish yearly to fill up their house from floor to ceiling? Right from the moment they spot their first cicada shell we chat to our children about the lifecycle of animals, so why aren’t we so open about the lifecycle of our products? Gold Coast City Council Wipe out Waste Program is an educational service provided free to schools in the Gold Coast region. It teaches students, parents and teachers to reduce, reuse and recycle and sustainable living.

Explaining fair trade to kids Fairtrade Labelling Australia and New Zealand marketing and communications officer Laura Wise, says for 5-8-year-olds the fair trade message can simply be “all about making sure the people that grow or make the things we buy get a fair price for what they do”. She says older children can handle more detail like “fair trade means that the people from a developing country get paid a fair price for the products they produce. The price paid for work is enough for families to buy food, buy clothes, keep their house warm, pay for school books and school fees and pay for doctors and medicine”. Education consultant Toni Lee says kids are taking the power of recycling into their own hands. After attending a lunchbox litter challenge workshop, one prep student took it upon herself to become the lunch inspector. “Each lunchtime she would inspect children’s lunch boxes, giving them high fives and stickers if they had containers for their lunch,” she says, “If a student had packaging she would ‘teach’ them how to change by using lunchboxes and drink bottles.” The kids aren’t only passing the message on to each other. Toni says parents tell her how their children have shown them to recycle properly, particularly by avoiding placing plastic bags (even if they are full of recyclables) in their recyclable bin. But there are other bonuses from the program too. One mum mentioned to Toni how much she liked the program because her son became so frustrated at the recycling ‘mistakes’ she was making, he told her he would look after the recycling himself. “Which means he takes out the garbage every time now,” Toni says. Now that’s an idea worth recycling!

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Easy ways to send the message to your kids: • Look for the Fairtrade logo or the fair trade information on the label • Buy fair trade goods and gifts through Oxfam • Select goods or gifts from charities like UNICEF or from companies who donate a portion of the purchase price to a charity • Strive for low-or-no packaging

Crafty garbage

• Find the recycle symbol on packaging

At West End’s Reverse Garbage not-for-profit shop, there’s a huge array of material families can use for art and craft, school projects, home renovations and even theatre productions. And it’s all garbage – high-quality industrial discards rescued from landfill. Reverse Garbage public relations co-ordinator Eleanor Smith explains reducing consumption and reusing materials is the key, because recycling is a last resort. Reverse Garbage runs creative workshops in schools, Mini Monday workshops for preschoolers and school holiday programs to teach students to make salvaged materials into just about anything – musical instruments, masks, finger puppets, pencil holders, desk tidies, jewellery, fantasy creatures, junk robots, toys and mobiles. “Next holidays our Easter Bilbies are on again,” Eleanor says. In this program, children make use of the huge supply of factory fleece off-cuts to create rare take-home bandicoot masterpieces. Eleanor is in wonder of students’ imaginations. “During the workshops we grab random items from the floor – hunks of plastic, tops of containers – and from the moment we ask them where they think it has come from, they have an idea how to recycle it,” she says.

• Check out second-hand shops or trading websites for recycled goods before you buy new • Select free-range eggs • Choose products that are not tested on animals. Visit: www.choosecrueltyfree.org.au • Support local farmers and locally made products For more information: Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand: www.fta.org.au Oxfam Australia: www.oxfam.org.au/fairtrade Gold Coast City Council Wipe Out Waste program: www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au Reverse Garbage: www.reversegarbage.com.au Free-range Egg and Poultry Australia Ltd: www.frepa.com.au Animal Health Australia: www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au Choose Cruelty Free: www.choosecrueltyfree.org.au AT The Body Shop: www.thebodyshop.com , COMMENT

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PARENT

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When Jason Morris lost his hand in an industrial accident at the age of 19, his life changed overnight. His dream of being a professional footballer was over, and his future was uncertain. He had to learn to cope with one hand quickly, because three months after the hand amputation his firstborn child, Jazzi, was born. Despite the odds, Jason turned the situation around, and the challenge has made him a stronger, more determined person, who looks for ways of saying “I can” instead of “I can’t”. ALL OUR VENUES ARE INDOORS

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times. It got a little bit hard so we thought, if we can handle it, let’s do it for seven on and seven off. It’s Monday to Monday, which works really well. It’s a good routine – they know what’s going on. They know they get their bags ready on a Sunday night, they get dropped off and there are no issues for the week, which makes it really good – a stable routine for everyone.

take the government’s money – sit back, relax and never work again. I didn’t take their advice because I had a life to live, and ever since that accident, I’ve lived my life to the fullest. I’ve had some of the best times in my life since I lost my hand. So many doors have opened for me. I’ve met some fascinating people and I’ve helped thousands of people to stay positive, to keep going. What do you enjoy most about being a motivational speaker? Seeing people’s reactions after I give a talk and having them come up to me and say that their son or daughter has been going through a hard time (whether it’s drugs or alcohol or depression), and seeing that I’ve made a little bit of a difference. That’s what I like about it – that I’ve given them some hope. Don’t give up on your kids, or don’t give up on yourself. It doesn’t matter how big the problem or hurdle is, you can overcome anything that you set your mind to. Tell us about your family. Jazzi’s left school and now she’s working two jobs until she works out what she wants to do. It might be modelling or fashion – she’s naturally beautiful, but she doesn’t believe it. I’m trying to encourage her to do things that you love. Izzak’s a real scholar at school – he’s a very, very smart kid. He gets As and Bs in most subjects. He’s got a really good reputation at school… he’s good at sports and he’s a positive kid. Soon after my marriage broke up (three years ago), Topaz and I got together and we’ve been together ever since. It’s been a big change for her because she had no kids herself, so there’s been a lot of adjusting…but she’s helped stabilise the family. The kids really bonded with Topaz and it has helped out. She cares for them like a mother which has helped in keeping that family atmosphere going with a new partner. How did you end up with a shared parenting situation? At first it was three days on, three days off, because the kids really couldn’t handle any more than three. It wasn’t working – living between the two houses and going to school at different

What are the advantages and disadvantages of shared parenting? The kids have had to learn to adjust to new sets of rules and new standards and new ideas, and they’ve had to accept that. People would say it’s a disadvantage not having their natural mother and father, but I think that Jazzi and Izzak have responded just as well to Topaz as they have for their own mother. The kids like it because they get two different ways of life, two different birthdays from two families, two different Christmases. They both get twice what they’d normally get from one family, which is a good thing, for them to view it that way. What has been your biggest parenting challenge and why? Probably with Jazzi, because she’s a girl and she’s beautiful. I reckon it all starts in Grade 9 – I’ve noticed that’s when they start to get a bit rebellious. They’re out of your control and they’re out of your house and you don’t know what they’re doing 100%. You don’t know what the parties are like or if they’re looked after, or if they’re allowed to do what they want. That’s probably the hardest thing to deal with – knowing what’s going on. What advice can you share with our readers about parenting? My kids are my best friends. I’m a father, but also their mate. Even today, they will both come up and give big cuddles and talk to me as a best friend. Being their best friend has worked for me so far. Deal with the little things along the way and as a parent, try not to be too full-on with them. Give them a little bit of leeway but try to keep a balance. Who inspires you and why? Ordinary people that have been through hard times and risen above it. To find about more about Jason’s programs phone: 5477 6861 or 0401 607 463.

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Mother’s Day… that one special day of the year where mums are (supposedly) rewarded for all the love and care they have distributed to their families over the previous 12 months. Feeding, cleaning and cuddling children on demand will be more than enough to guarantee a homemade card, right? And, surely the infinite visits to the doctor’s office or selling 62 cases of fundraising chocolate bars to plant a tree on the school playground would guarantee at least one bunch of half dead flowers from the supermarket? Of course, mums deserve to be spoiled on their special day, but the question is: What do mums REALLY want? I would settle for enough time to go to the toilet, or fingerprintresistant windows but this is what YOU had to say… What I would REALLY like for Mother’s Day is to be pampered by my family and not lift a finger all day. I would have my breakfast made and then be left alone for a while to read or watch an old movie while the rest of the family prepared a picnic lunch. We would have our picnic then return for an afternoon rest. I would wake up to a cuppa and relax while the family prepared me a delicious dinner.

Alison Butler – Mum to Brooke, Hannah and Joel I would wake up (not too early) to my beautiful, cheerful family serving me a hot coffee and then telling me to get dressed . . . “We’re going out for brunch.” Not the McDonalds variety, but a real brunch with table service and cutlery! My family would sit beaming and chatting, relishing every moment of the experience, each ordering a delicious meal from the menu WHICH THEY WOULD THEN EAT. No one would fuss about the food on their plate or need the toilet while we are eating. The scene is harmonious and serene. Ahh!

Angela Ehmer – Mum to Adrienne, Benjamin and Ashley I would really like a digital photo frame so I can see all the lovely pics of my gorgeous children whizzing past. I never get to see them as they are trapped in a computer, and the few I do print get “filed” in the cupboard awaiting their time in an album! .....SO perhaps, what I really want is the TIME to be able to do something as frivolous as look at my cherub’s baby pics or spend time with friends scrapbooking them into beautiful albums. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


Sarah Esbensen – Mum to Joanna and Andrew

Why card it when you can stick it!

Let’s start the day with the longest ever family cuddle for four in our king-size bed (a rarity as they get older). Now, the newspapers and a cup of tea to savour while watching the ocean waves. Inspired by watching other families in the great outdoors, we would head out for a run along the oceanfront followed by morning coffee at a seaside cafe. A quick shower and brunch followed by an afternoon by the pool and a leisurely family bike ride. Finally, a dinner cooked by my three men whilst I lounge on the sofa before a long bath and an early night. No presents please – just a whole lot of love!

Mary Sanderson – Mum to William and Isaac

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I would start with breakfast in bed (eggs Benedict AND pancakes) then I would be whisked off in a limo to a day spa for a half day of facial, spas, scrubs, a pedicure and to top it all off, a full body massage. Then, I’d meet my family at a peaceful park by the water for a lovely picnic lunch together and the kids would all play and have fun. We’d then all go home together, get takeout for dinner and watch DVDs.

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Cherie Jackson – Mum to Tayla, Cooper and Hannah I would love a live-in housekeeper (preferably robotic) to do all the mundane tasks of washing and putting away clothes and dishes so I could give my children my full attention. The other gift (a bit more realistic) would be my two favourite soaps. When my children were born, I took a beautiful soap with me to hospital. The scents of those soaps are now so evocative of that special time when they first came into the world. A lovely rose-scented soap from Evie and frangipani soap from Joseph would make me very happy.

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Maria Becconsall – Mum to Evie and Joseph My ideal Mother’s Day present would be a day of luxury with my family. It would start with a sleep-in, followed by breakfast in bed prepared by the chef we had hired for the day, cuddles and kisses from my lovely family with the kids’ gorgeous hand-made pressies and cards. Then a pampering session at the local beauty salon followed by catching up with my mum and mum-in-law in the afternoon for more delicious food prepared by the males of the household! OK, and maybe some storebought pressies from my wonderful hubby somewhere in there too!

Sharon Thorndike – Mum of Jack, Casey and Josiah A day of ‘no duty’ is what I would love! If there is one day I could be COMPLETELY relieved of ALL motherly duties, then Mother’s Day should be it. I yearn for a day where I get up when I feel like it, feed only myself, clean and dress only myself, go wherever I want to go whenever I want without having to consider any other person (or pet)!

Sarah Henderson – Mum to Lisa and Sophie What I’d love most on Mother’s Day is a nice sleep in, at least until after 6am. Our family of five could then enjoy a nice breakfast together before opening the precious gifts my beautiful daughters have so lovingly made for me. We would take a photo together as a memento before a family picnic and a nice relaxing afternoon out (where I would be waited on hand and foot). No fighting, no bickering over who has which cup or plate – just a lovely day together that everyone can enjoy.

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Lisa Nesbitt – Mum to Georgia, Lucy and Jack My ideal Mother’s Day would be to attend a beautiful high tea hosted by my two grown daughters who are good cooks and coffee makers! I’d enjoy watching my grandchildren laugh and play with their own tea sets, but only after they finished showering me with kisses, cuddles and homemade cards! www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

APRIL / MAY 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

33


holidays

HAPPY

Sydney A rainy

by Sarah Pye

Adventure abounds in NSW

escape

As I squashed against other sweaty bodies under the Sydney Harbour Bridge the atmosphere was electric. We had all journeyed like moths to a flame to bring in the new decade in style. I had miraculously found friends from home who had also made the pilgrimage and we strained our neck and smile muscles watching explosions of red, orange, purple and green in an awesome display of pure celebration.

Of course there are many ‘must-do’s’ in Sydney with kids: from a walk around the Opera House to the Oceanworld at Manly and from Taronga Zoo to the Powerhouse Museum. ‘Been there, done that’, and this time we were looking for something slightly further afield.

The Blue Mountains looked interesting. Only 1.5 hours drive from the centre of the city, the Blue Mountains are a magical destination in almost any weather. First stop was Scenic World in Katoomba where the Skyway spans between two cliffs and a hair-raising 415m railway plummets down the mountainside. We arrived just as the mist cleared and saw the Three Sisters rock formation peeping from the haze with an ethereal, Lord of the Rings, feel. Below us, through the glass bottom cable car, Katoomba Falls disappeared into nothingness. Beauty aside, it was the steepest railway in the world that struck a cord with Amber. The ride is over before you know it and much of your stomach remains at the top. The rainforest at the bottom is exemplary and a history about mining, a mine entrance and self guided audio tour are features I hadn’t expected, making this attraction far more than just a thrill.

A few short hours later my neck strained again to mark the moment her plane touched down and soon after we were hugging and swapping stories of snow boarding cousins, American accents and in-flight movies. It didn’t take long to start planning our next few days together and after a day to recoup from jet-lag we were off and running.

What can I say about Jenolan Caves, except I think we saved the best to last. I had pictured one or two caves with a visitors’ centre and guided walks. What we discovered, as we rounded the last bend and drove through the hillside, was a huge Swiss-chaletlike hotel and mini-village rising from the chasm. This extensive cave system was first

130310

Swept up in the throng of excitement, there was just one thing missing: my nineyear-old daughter Amber was somewhere above me, celebrating the turning calendar with her dad on a flight back from San Francisco.

Ensconced in our caravan park that night, we reminisced about the day and looked forward to the next. We had chosen to stay at Jenolan Caravan Park which is the nearest camp spot to the famous Jenolan Caves. Owners Aiden and Benita could not have been more welcoming and the council pool right next door, skate park next to that, and cabins make it a fabulous family friendly resting place.

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / MAY 2010

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discovered by Europeans in 1838 making it one of Australia’s oldest tourist attractions. Yes, there were guided cave tours to each of the 11 show caves, but that wasn’t all. During NSW school holiday periods Jenolan Caves runs special tours just for kids and they don’t need to be accompanied. Amber decided the Junior Explorers was right up her alley and I didn’t want Amber to have all the fun, so I followed behind. Guide Ann is one of Australia’s leading experts in platypus fossils and also works at the Australian Museum. We met her and the other young explorers, clipped our miner’s helmets, turned on the lights and entered the labyrinth for a three-hour exploration. Each child was given a clipboard with a mud-map of the cave system and their mission was to name the caves and create a legend of features as we went. ‘Bone Cave’ led to ‘Thumb Cave’ on Amber’s map and she diligently drew stalactites and ‘mites as she went. Along the way Ann told stories of the original explorers of the cave and we even sat cross-legged on the cave floor for a round of the ‘memory game’ matching up photos of the explorers and learning their stories. When it was time to turn around, it was the kids’ turns to lead the way using their maps! Innovative programs abound at Jenolan Caves and this was but one. Adventure caving (crawling through tight spaces with a helmet) is a great way to bond with your teen, or if they want a little independence, the caves have just introduced 2.5 hour ‘Pushing the boundaries’ and ‘Breaking the boundaries’ tours just for teens. For those from 6-12 (in addition to the Junior Explorers) the Stones and Bones tour investigates fossils and the Animal Discovery follows the lives of creatures within the caves.

As we flopped into bed that evening (after cooling off at the swimming pool next door), it was hard to imagine our holiday had taken less time than a long weekend. The next day we would unexpectedly head home, but we had racked up enough memories to keep us reminiscing for a long time. Even more than that, the rain in Sydney had forced us to think outside the square, and we wouldn’t have changed it for the world! For more information: Jenolan Caravan Park: 02 6336 0344 or www.jenolancaravanpark.com.au Jenolan Caves: 1300 763 311 or www.jenolancaves.org.au Scenic World: 1300 SKYWAY or www.scenicworld.com.au Olympic Park Aquatic Centre: 02 9752 3666 or www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au

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35


health

• Be sceptical – we are an inherently successful species having survived millions of years. Children need nutrition, shelter and attachment. There is no need to complicate this with therapies and treatments that have no science, basis, or evidence.

good

• Monitor the toddler’s development – language delay and their associated problems respond much better to early intervention.

DR. SCOTT PARSONS

• If parenting is stressful then get help. Current parenting courses will make life much easier. Both parents will benefit from attending.

Advice from a GP

• Look after your marriage. The infant and toddler years can be stressful on relationships. Don’t hesitate to book a babysitter and spend some time together.

Working as a GP who predominantly sees children for the last twenty years has allowed me to observe the changes that have occurred in raising children. You would think it would have become easier, but the opposite probably applies. For those of us who actually remember the 1970s (as a child – not that old yet) life was uncomplicated. We had little choice in meals, a couple of television channels, and we went to the doctor a couple of times for shots. My parents just sort of let us grow up with support and help from extended family. This has changed. Today there appears to be a constant campaign to make what is supposed to be a natural process, complicated. There are books, helplines, magazines, websites, television shows, advertisements, and opinions which often contradict each other. What information should you take on board and which should you ignore? Suddenly this child rearing is not so easy. And the changing face of society has not helped. As people choose to live and work interstate, or overseas, friends become the new support network but trusting advice from them is not the same as family. Finally, the area of health has become complicated. Medicine has been divided into conventional medicine and alternative medicine. The former includes general practitioners, hospitals and specialists, and the health structure surrounding them. The latter include a list that can vary from the slightly dubious to the downright dangerous. So this is a list of stuff I find myself repeating to parents who have otherwise healthy children. It is in no particular order.

• Guilt over bottle feeding, having to use daycare, going back to work, perhaps being a single parent is more damaging than the issues themselves. Toddlers and children prefer a happy parent who has had to compromise than one who puts themselves under unrealistic pressure. • If attending daycare your toddler will be constantly fighting viruses. There is absolutely no evidence that anything you do can ‘boost the immune system’. This is a marketing term not a medical term and there is profit to be made from sleep deprived parents of sick children. • Iron deficiency in late infancy and the early toddler period is common, sometimes resulting in anaemia and developmental concerns. It is often due to too much cow’s milk (the milkaholics). Iron is essential in the production of the neurochemicals serotonin and noradrenaline. • Going off wheat and dairy is only of benefit if you truly have either coeliac disease (gluten intolerance) or cow’s milk protein intolerance. There is no benefit otherwise. • There are doctors who are well trained in kids’ illnesses and then there are doctors who should not see kids. If your child or children are healthy and functioning you are doing a great job! For more information: If you do want more information, Dr Scott suggests the best and most up to date resource is www.raisingchildren.net.au THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR INDIVIDUAL PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE FROM YOUR PHYSICIAN OR QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.

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WS e i REV

The Surfing Scientist series Ruben Meerman ABC’s Surfing Scientist turns kids on to science on the small screen, and his books are just as engaging. 40 Cool Science Tricks is guaranteed to amaze their friends with easy to complete tricks while 40 DIY Science Gizmos teaches them how to make things like juggling balls or lava lamps.

The Tomorrow Book Jackie French Environmental issues are constantly in the news at the moment which can have the effect of making kids feel helpless. This picture book is the story of a little prince whose parents leave him in charge and take off in their royal campervan. While they are gone he starts introducing sustainable practices and the future looks a little more hopeful.

Edie Amelia and the Monkey Shoe Mystery Sophie Lee Edie is a neat girl with very messy parents. As her ninth birthday approaches her favourite red shoe is missing. With the help of her unusual dog, and best friend, Edie follows the trail of the missing shoe. Written by someone known more for her acting skill (The Castle, Muriel’s Wedding) this is a debut story and the first in a series. It suits those from seven up.

Are these my basombas I see before me? Louise Rennison This is the tenth installment in Georgia’s diary and I can’t say I understand a word of it, but tweens and early teens love Georgia’s irreverent writing, made up words and adventures and apparently Georgia has built quite a following. Make sure you check your child’s comprehension before buying this one!

The Great Australian Songbook Volume 1 and 2 The Long Way Home Andrew Klavan A year ago, Charlie West went to sleep a normal schoolboy. He woke a convicted criminal with amnesia. Now he’s on the run and heading back to Spring Hill in an attempt to clear his name. The problem is getting home might be more difficult than he imagined. The author is the winner of two Edgar awards and also wrote True Crime which Clint Eastwood adapted for the screen.

CD

Every possible Australian song is represented here, from Road to Gundagai to the song Men at Work ripped off… If you ever wanted to know the words to I’ve Been Everywhere (of Big Pond fame) the accompanying song book is just the ticket. Arrangements are simple and clear. Volumes 1 and 2 are available and sometimes sold together. Songs on the first volume (as you might expect) are more common, but if you desperately need Jake the Peg, go for both!

website www.family.go.com This extensive website offers parents and children a one-stop entertainment and information site. Parenting articles cover subjects like food, travel, pregnancy and sleep. Family fun includes recipes, crafts and print outs perfect for wet days and the computer games section has free games suitable for all ages. This website was voted the Webby (website Oscar’s) award winner in 2009 but I have to say the annoying pop up survey put me off.

! N I W

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COMPS

FOR YOUR CHANCE TO GREAT PRIZES ENTER ONLINE @ www.kidsonthecoast.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

APRIL / MAY 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

37


DIRECTORY Activities

Jazz Tap Ballet Singing Acting Acrobatics Adagio Performance Unit 18 “SPOTLIGHT” 359 Southport-Nerang Rd, Ashmore Q 4214 p: 5597 7101 or 0414 633 802 www.sheridansstudio1.com.au

Childrens Parties

this direct ory IS ONLINE AT www.kidson thecoast.com .au

Infant Massage

‘Magical, Wonderful, Delig h tful’

ader Re

Di

s c o u nt

20% off Course fees

Optometrists

Looking for answers?

Behind in school? Bright child, but trouble learning? Concentration difficulties? Learning difficulties? ADD/ADHD?

High Tea parties designed especially for kids & mums too! You don’t have to do a thing…we do it all for you!

Tickle Pink Tea Party Dress Ups, Fun Fine Foods, Games, Prizes, Craft

Your child may have a hidden vision problem. We understand the link between vision and learning.

For inquiries and bookings phone 0431 245 338 ticklepink@isage.net.au

www.ticklepinkteaparty.com.au

Labels

Optometry & Vision Therapy

Call 5520 5900 Harmony Vision Care Varsity Lakes www.harmonyvisioncare.com.au

Speech Therapy

Learning to Talk, Talking to Learn

Do you have a Wild Child?

Kids’

Creative Corner

Why not give them a wild party to remember? Be entertained and educated by having our stunning native animals at your event.

Story Writing es and Art Cours for Children

We can bring: • Crocodile • Snakes • Lizards • Turtles • Birds • Mammals • Frogs • Insects

4/43 Tallebudgera Creek Rd, West Burleigh

Also available for Child Care Centres, Schools, Parties, Corporate Events, Film/TV

Phone 07 5520 7860

www.kidscreativecorner.com.au

Call Dionne on 0403 029 351

Tuition

Inspiring Young Imaginations

Email: info@kidscreativecorner.com.au

Call: Sarah 0415 221 500

Chemists

E: fun@wildrangers.com.au

www.wildrangers.com.au

Childrens Products Making school lunches fun and cool!

Caring for you

Del Knight Child Health Nurse Includes 10 years on the Gold Coast and working on Pharmacies & Child Health Clinics.

38

KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / MAY 2010

Web - www.freemind.com.au Email - info@freemind.com.au Phone - 0410 531 710

1300 430 320

Registered Nurse/Midwife. Over 30 years experience

Robina Town Centre Ph: 5578 9099

To advertise in Kids on the Coast call

Let us assist your child in achieving amazing results through personalised one on one educational tuition!

Products are BPA, Lead, Phtalates free and eco friendly!

or email: gc@ kidsonthecoast.com.au

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


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Kids on the Coast Magazine - Gold Coast - Issue 26