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o go, aces t arents l p , o to d s&p things ing for kid th every

IssUe 32 APR/MAY 2o11


HIP HIP HOORAY! We celebrate our



Food and numbers: why the additives?

Kids behind the wheel?!

Help them grow up to be safer drivers

HOMESCHOOL: parents as educators Does only child = lonely child?


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plus Babies on the Coast, what’s on Calendar and lots more!

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CONTeNTS April/May 2011 14


6 4

FEATURE Kids in the driver’s seat







22 EDUCATION Homeschool: the mainstream alternative

12 CHECK THIS OUT Fabulous finds for parents and kids

26 BABIES ON THE COAST A look at the recent changes to Midwifery

14 THE “P” FILES Discussing the challenges of raising an ‘only’ child

18 HEALTH Eye health for kids


F ind out the places to be and the things to do for April/May


34 HAPPY HOLIDAYS Visit our nation’s capital

36 PARENT PROFILE Be inspired by fitness guru Mireille Ryan

37 REVIEWS The low down on the latest movies and books


Additives: why are they there anyway?

33 LET’S CELEBRATE Fun and (party) games

Renaissance Boy

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


kids Read more @ www.


PUBLISHED BY: THINGS 4 KIDS PTY LTD. PO Box 491, Eumundi QLD 4562 PHONE: 1300 430 320 FAX: 07 5476 6037 WEB: ABN: 86 473 357 391. All editorial and advertising in Kids on the Coast is published in good faith based on material, verbal or written, provided by contributors and advertisers. No responsibility is taken for errors or omissions and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. All material in Kids 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: We aim to reply to all correspondence but don’t guarantee to do so. Letters to the editor may be edited for length or clarity. PUBLISHER: Toni Eggleston ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Simone Bell EDITOR: Belinda Hopper EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS: Sandra Smith, Maxine Arthur, Kim Lahey, Michelle MacFarlane, Sarah Hindle, David Nicolas, Aleney de Winter, Sarah Pye, Belinda Hopper ADVERTISING: For advertising enquiries please phone Tanya Ryan on 1300 430 320 or email: LOCAL BUSINESS DIRECTORY: Speak with your advertising coordinator or email: Production Department: Email: 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@ FRONT COVER: Andrea Sproxton GRAPHIC DESIGN: Leisa Jones, Michelle Craik

APRIL / MAY 2011 – KiDs on tHe CoAst


Welcome to

Kids on the Coast

oAST C e h t n so OUR KId


…and tell your friends!

If you’re a Facebook friend of Kids on the Coast but we seem to have gone all quiet lately, you could be missing out on our latest updates, comments and competitions! Facebook recently changed their settings, so your news feed might now be filtering out anyone you haven’t interacted with recently. Eek! Click on “Most Recent” (twice if you’ve come from “Top News” view) and select “Edit Options” from the menu that appears. Then select “Show posts from: All of your friends and pages” to make sure you don’t lose touch with us (and all your other Facebook friends)! First issue of Kids on the Coast

They say every seventh wave is the biggest, so naturally we’re excited about our seventh birthday. Like every mum, I can scarcely believe how quickly the years have gone. But when I think about the number of times we’ve moved premises (and about to again!), the Kids on the Coast babies who’ve been born in that time, how we’ve expanded and gone from printing 20,000 magazines on the Sunshine Coast to over 60,000 magazines with editions on the Gold Coast, and now Townsville, and the way our team of superstaff keeps growing (and growing!), it’s not so hard to figure out why it’s flown by. (I’m so happy that we’ve come a long way since the `office’ was my hallway and I had to hand-deliver every issue…) Whether you’re just about to have your first baby, or are ushering your kids into the teenage years, we’re very proud and happy to have you along with us, and hope we can continue to be part of your parenting journey. I’d like to thank everyone who’s helped Kids on the Coast come this far, especially our loyal advertisers and readers, and hope you enjoy this issue and many more to come. As always, happy parenting…

Toni Eggleston


KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / MAY 2011

Sneak peek at our next issue: advertiser alert!

• Protecting versus over-protecting – how much is enough? • Middle Schooling • Weird pregnancy cravings • P Files: When parenting styles clash


for this logo


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for special discounts! Reader discounts available at these places: Epic Skate - 2 for 1 Entry (valid April/May)

Got a product or service that has something to do with these issues? Like to tell our readers all about it? Call Tanya Ryan on 1300 430 320 for advertising info.



ader Re

UNVACCINATED GOLD COAST KIDS AT RISK Gold Coast children are at risk because they are not receiving the correct immunisations, according to the local doctors association. General Practice Gold Coast president Dr David Rowlands said four year old children were of most concern to local GPs. He said while parents were often good with their babies, they tended to forget about getting their older children immunised before they started school. Dr Rowlands said immunisation was vital to guard against dangerous diseases such as whooping cough, measles, diphtheria, tetanus, mumps, rubella and polio.

BIG CATS COME TO DREAMWORLD Two rare white lions, a three year old brother and sister duo called Jake and Mischa, are coming to Dreamworld for the April school holidays. With just a handful of white lions in captivity around the world, this will be the first chance for many locals and visitors to view this breed of big cat up close. Dreamworld’s General Manager of Life Sciences, Al Mucci, said the playful pair will provide plenty of enjoyment for observers. “These white lions are still in an adolescent stage and as such are really playful and active. They’re both big cats with Jake weighing in at over 200 kilos, so guests will really be able to see their sheer power as they play together in their new enclosure.”





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KEEP YOUR BACK-TO-SCHOOL RECEIPTS Now the kids are back at school, collect all your receipts for back-toschool costs so you can claim money back at tax time. Receipts for stationery, textbooks and computer equipment are all eligible. Under the $4.4 billion Education Tax Refund scheme, families can claim 50 per cent of eligible education expenses and get a maximum refund of $397 for primary school children and $794 for secondary school children.

Celebrity baby names - too scary! ONLINE SAFETY: BE CYBERSMART

If you’re concerned about how safe your kids are when using the internet, check out the Cybersmart website and free booklet. There’s heaps of practical advice for parents on issues such as children being exposed to inappropriate content, cyberbullying, privacy, spam, scams and sharing information on social networking sites. The website also has online activities for young kids through to teens, as well as school resources. Visit

Celebrities love to stand out in the crowd, and when it comes to naming their offspring, only the most ‘out there’ name will do. Here are some crazy celebrity baby names you won’t believe (what were they thinking?): Egypt – son of Alicia Keys Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo, Blossom Rainbow and Buddy Bear children of chef Jamie Oliver Sage Moonblood - son of Sylvester Stallone Pilot Inspektor - son of actor, Jason Lee (from My Name is Earl) Dweezil, Ahmet, Diva Muffin, and Moon Unit - children of musician Frank Zappa Tu Morrow - son of actor Rob Morrow (from the TV show Numbers).



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behind the

How can you help your child become a safe driver – and just how early should you start? by Michelle MacFarlane

We’ve all seen the news reports: another young driver killed or badly injured in a car crash, often with friends involved. We’ve watched the grieving parents face the television cameras, heard the police plead for safer driving, and seen the crosses and flowers that spring up next to roads across Queensland. Watching your child become a driver is one of the most nerve-wracking rites of passage many parents endure. If you’re the mother or father of an under-12, you’re probably heaving a sigh of relief that this is one issue you don’t need to think about just yet. But the truth is that you can start helping your child become a safer driver long before they’re old enough to get a learner’s licence.



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The riskiest group

According to the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, young drivers in their first year of driving have the highest crash rates on Queensland’s roads. The department says about 100 deaths occur annually as a result of crashes involving drivers aged 17–24 years, with the young driver at fault about 75% of the time. Around 80% of young drivers involved in fatal crashes are males. Frightening statistics, certainly. But how do they relate to you if you’re the parent of a younger child?

Baby on board — in more ways than one

The answer is that you are teaching your children about driving every time you drive with them in the car. Over the last 20 years, studies around the world have found that parents’ attitudes and behaviours when driving influence their children’s eventual performance as drivers. For example, in the 1990s, health researchers in the USA found that college students’ attitudes to wearing seatbelts were likely to be similar to those of their parents, and that “direct modelling” was the major influence. Put simply, if the students had grown up watching parents not wear seatbelts, they tended not to do it themselves. Also in the US, a 2000 study by the Highway Safety Research Center found that young drivers whose parents had three or more crashes were 22% more likely to have a crash themselves. Those whose parents had three or more traffic infringements were 38% more likely to break traffic laws. Closer to home, a 2008 New Zealand study also found an association between parents’ and adolescents’ risky driving behaviours. Most recently, the London Department for Transport commissioned two psychology researchers to consider all the available evidence on this issue. In a study published last year, the researchers concluded that children are “witnesses” to their parents’ driving behaviour for many years, and that: “Parental beliefs about how it is

appropriate to behave as a driver are likely to have become apparent [in children] before adolescents actually start learning to drive.” In other words, when you drive, your children are watching — and learning.

How can you help?

Bridie Scott-Parker is a PhD student in psychology at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety — Queensland (based at Queensland University of Technology). A passionate advocate for road safety, she is investigating how parents and friends influence young drivers in their first year of driving. After interviewing hundreds of young people, Bridie has found that parents’ attitudes, behaviour, and rewards or punishments to encourage safe driving do influence young drivers’ behaviour. She believes that parents should model safe driving from when children are very young. “When we talk to young drivers, they are able to recall mum’s and dad’s driving behaviours,” she says. “And if it’s a behaviour that you’re doing over and over, certainly that’s more likely to be repeated by the young driver. “So we would encourage parents to always ensure that they’re modelling safe driving behaviours from a very early age, and consistently, all the way until the child is licensed and beyond, of course.” It’s not hard to work out that parents (like every other driver) should obey the speed limit, follow the road rules, and be considerate of other road-users. But Bridie says more subtle factors are also at work in forming children’s attitudes to driving. “If they see mum or dad drink and drive and nothing happens, they don’t have a crash, they’re not caught by the police, their licence or vehicle isn’t confiscated, the young person learns that that’s a safe behaviour,” she says. “ Just the same, if the family is driving along and mum and dad are saying ‘Oh, look, the police are just revenue-raising, catching people who are speeding’, the young driver internalises that, and they may end up having very similar attitudes to their parents.”

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APRIL / MAY 2011 – KiDs on tHe CoAst


FEATURE So, in the ideal world, parents would always stay calm when driving, and only display positive attitudes… But nobody’s perfect, and we all know what it’s like when the kids are fighting in the back seat, you’re running late, somebody’s just cut you off, and frustration is bubbling up. What should you do if you’re about to lose your temper and do something you might regret? Bridie, mother of a 10 and a 12-year-old herself, laughs sympathetically. “Certainly that’s a common situation! I myself have been involved in that circumstance, and the best thing is just to stop… pull over if necessary, defuse the situation, calmly look at it like a third person, try to assess what’s going on in that circumstance and reappraise… and come back to the situation and move on from there.” If you do make a mistake in the car in front of your children, Bridie suggests you discuss it honestly afterwards. “Explain to the child what went wrong and what would have been a more appropriate alternative behaviour or attitude at that time, and explain the reasoning behind that,” she says.

Schools can

help too

While you are an important influence on what kind of driver your child becomes, you aren’t the only factor. Research shows that your child’s personality, peers and age also have a major impact. Adolescence is a time for risk-taking, not just on the road but in many parts of life. Dr Lisa Buckley is another researcher at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety. Her work focuses on reducing teenage injuries caused by risky behaviour, including risk-taking on the road. Working mostly with 14 and 15-year-olds, she’s

been trialling a school program to help them become safer passengers, pedestrians and cyclists — and to encourage them not to drive until they’re licensed. Dr Buckley says that the program tries to encourage positive relationships between young people and parents, peers and teachers, and to affect attitudes to risk-taking. “Part of the program is one lesson a week for 8 weeks — which is the school term — looking primarily at messages of safe attitudes to the road and getting them to look out for their mates around the road. First aid has also been a key component, understanding the consequences of key behaviours in terms of injuries,” she says. Teachers are trained beforehand to use role plays, workbooks and discussions to get young people thinking about risks and strategies for staying safe on the road. Dr Buckley says a pilot of the program in six Queensland schools in 2006 produced pleasing results, with participating students reporting a 20% increase in wearing bike helmets and a 15% reduction in cycling injuries. They also had a greater awareness of risk and actions to reduce risk. So successful was the program that it will soon expand to 26 schools with a $330,000 grant from the Commonwealth Government. “The program will run in 2012,” says Dr Buckley. “Then we’ll come back to the schools a year after the program finishes to see if the change in risk-taking behaviour and injury holds.” If the program is eventually introduced more widely, we could see schools playing a key role in helping Queensland students become safer drivers — again, well before they are old enough to get a learner’s licence. Interestingly, there is research to show that emphasising attitudinal programs in schools — rather than emphasising ‘hands-on’ driving skills — is likely to have a bigger impact on creating safe drivers. Bir Co tH St DA uM Ho y e ol P Ho Arty Hire liD PA Ay C wo kAg e rk SH S oP S


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Driveway runovers - Stopping driveway deaths While it’s important to think about safety when children are in the car, you must also know exactly where any children are when you’re reversing out of your driveway and they aren’t with you. Driveway runovers kill an average of one child a week in Australia. • Low-speed run-over is the third most common cause of death by injury for children 1–4 years in Queensland. • Children 1–2 years are the most likely to be killed in home driveways. Young boys are at greatest risk. • Vehicles are usually moving slowly and are often driven by a parent, relative or friend. • Late afternoon is the riskiest time. • A “blind space” means that small children cannot be seen behind many vehicles. 4WDs are over-represented in driveway runovers. • In almost all driveway runovers, there is no clear separation between the driveway, garage and rest of the yard where children play.

Three steps to safety

1 Supervise Know where your children are and hold them close if someone is moving a vehicle. If you are the only adult home and need to move the car, the safest approach is to restrain all children appropriately in the car with you. 2 Separate Separate play areas from driveways. For example, use high handles on garage doors if your house opens directly into your garage, and install self-closing doors and fences to separate the driveway and front lawn. Keep toys away from the garage or driveway. 3 See Walk around your vehicle to check nobody is under or behind it. Install car cameras or sensors but don’t rely on them alone. Source: Kidsafe Qld fact sheet: driveway runovers. For more information, visit and search for “child injury prevention”. To check the “reversing visibility index” of popular cars, visit


Your child’s immune system struggling? Immune disorders such as allergic asthma, hayfever, sinusitis, bronchitis and atopic dermatitis are increasing, and now are the number one cause of chronic childhood disease in developed countries. “Although many things like dust mites, pollen and grasses, can cause an allergic reaction, I’m seeing more and more children whose problems are more related to food intolerance, which can really affect short-term and long-term health,” says Cassi Cowlam, a Naturopath at The Medical Sanctuary. “When assessing a child’s immune system, we use live blood analysis as well as looking at diet and lifestyle. Food intolerances can cause nutritional deficiencies and lower the beneficial bacteria in the gut, which is the `first line of defense’ against infections,” she explains. For appointments, phone (07) 5564 5013 or visit

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APRIL / MAY 2011 – KiDs on tHe CoAst


FEATURE Read more @ www.kidsonthecoa ivers

nsing for young dr

New Queensland lice Stricter licensing laws for young drivers

The Queensland Government has also taken steps to reduce the road toll among young drivers. In July 2007, the government introduced the Graduated Licensing Scheme. The new scheme requires young people to go through a more stringent process to get their licence, and places more restrictions on them during their early years of driving (see box for more details). It’s early years yet, but experts are hopeful that the scheme will lead to a reduction in crashes involving young drivers.

Keep trying to connect with your kids

If all this seems a bit daunting, there is some good news: being a loving, connected parent is one of the best things you can do to help your child grow up safely. Studies the world over have found that children are less likely to engage in highrisk behaviours (including risky driving) if their family communicates, provides appropriate discipline, offers a supportive environment, and takes an interest in what children are doing. So — connect with your kids, keep talking, and try to get them on the right road early on.

-and-a-half to sixteen nce reduced from sixteen • Age to get learner’s lice years. at least 12 months and hold learner’s licence for • Young people must now car. attach an L plate to their rs of supervised driving logbook recording 100 hou • Learners must keep a k is submitted rs of night driving. Logboo practice, including 10 hou ctical test for pra ore bef rt and Main Roads to Department of Transpo provisional licence. visional licence (red P test, they receive a ‘P1’ pro al ctic pra ses pas ner lear • If plate). ard perception test to level, driver must pass a haz • After 12 months at P1 a minimum of two for plate). P2 must be held progress to ‘P2’ (green P . nce gress to open lice years before driver can pro ds-free mobile phones. s under 25 cannot use han • Learners and P1 holder senger under 21 carry no more than one pas • P1 drivers under 25s can between 11pm and 5am. to high-powered vehicles. er 25 have restricted access und ers driv P2 and P1 • t For more information, visi


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THE ‘P’ Files

Is only

lonely? by Sarah Hindle

With single child households fast becoming the nuclear family for the 21st century, parents are beginning to consider the effects of being an ‘only’ child: Is their personality or level of happiness affected? And, are they really lonely? It’s a conversation many adult ‘onlies’ have with each other about their experience as an only child: Some loved it, others loathed it. “I don’t ever remember being lonely. I knew I was massively loved and never doubted I was the centre of my mother’s universe and that’s a very nice place to be,” says Jenny.

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The Myths and the Facts

“After my parent’s divorce my mother had to work and had limited time to be with me and I played by myself a lot… I became an introverted child who didn’t know how to mix with others and developed a fear of social situations, like school,” recalls Cherie.

The late 19th century psychologist Stanley Hall, who knew very little of credible research practices, supervised a study in 1896 entitled “Of Peculiar and Exceptional Children”, which surmised only children to be permanent misfits. “Being an only child is a disease in itself” he claimed. There is also a widely-held misperception that ‘only’ children are usually spoilt, antisocial and lonely.

Clearly the experience of being an only child is as different as one family’s situation from another’s, which means there’s plenty of scope for parents to lay their concerns or anxieties to rest, and focus on nurturing a confident, happy child.

Even today, well meaning advice from strangers can sound something like, “Have another child; it would be the best thing for him/her”. The sub-text of their meaning is obvious: The ‘only’ child MUST be over-privileged, over-indulged and self-centred!

The Rise of the Single-Child Household

But is this really true?

Some of the contributing factors feeding the trend towards single child families are:

The good news is that current research suggests that many popular beliefs about the only child are completely unfounded. ‘Only’ children are no more spoiled, lonely or maladjusted than children with brothers and sisters.

• Delaying parenthood: the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found that the proportion of older mothers aged 35 years and over, has continued to increase from 16.3% in 1999 to 22.9% in 2008. • Divorce rates are higher than ever before, and relationships later in life can be shorter in duration with potentially fewer children. • The majority of women are now employed before they have children, and the benefits of income and career may lead some women to postpone childbirth and bear fewer children. • Financial meltdowns: the Great Depression saw single-child families spike at 23% of all families in the United States. The natural response is to provide for the existing child, without taking on the financial demands of another. • Many couples want to balance the joy of children with the sacrifices made to care for them: All the giggles that go with grooving to the Wiggles, with enough energy leftover for sex, conversation and hobbies.

There are no magic formulas about how to configure your family - it’s all about being the best possible version of yourselves, and there is plenty of help along the way.

The How To and How Not To Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist, Colleen Hirst, describes “helicopter parents” as parents so busy whizzing around their ‘only’ child, they don’t allow authentic peer relationships to develop. The key is to be present but not dominant in social situations, to allow the child to learn and grow. “They need the opportunity to learn invaluable skills of socialisation; such as how to negotiate, compromise, wait their turn and be part of a team”, and play-dates, playgroups and team sports are the way to do it. Colleen describes taking her daughter’s friend (an only child) away on holidays, along with her own children. The friend was great at dealing with older children,

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Now under new management, KOTB Performance Academy strives to be bigger and better than ever before. With various performances throughout the year and an end of year concert, held at The Gold Coast Arts Centre, children are able to showcase their efforts to an extensive audience of 800 parents, friends and relatives. Such opportunities also allow students to develop stage direction, performance skills and enthusiasm for the arts. Located in the Southport Trade Centre, (48/3 Jackman Street, Southport) KOTB can be found beside Abrakidazzle Indoor Play Centre, allowing students to dance, play and grow from day one. Visit the KOTB Performance Academy website,, for more information about classes and news or contact for any questions. APRIL / MAY 2011 – KiDs on tHe CoAst


THE ‘P’ Files

Research shows there are some advantages to being an only child. An only child often: • is more highly motivated to academic achievement • has higher self esteem • has better relationships with parents, than children with siblings.

Only children show signs of being: • verbally advanced • better off in education • more likely to learn to do things by himself and to learn to like to do things that you do alone, than children with siblings.

Some other benefits of being an only child are: • enjoying solitude and peace, with no other kids at home to make noise • living in a calm household that lacks the chaos of larger households • developing escape strategies such as reading • having the undivided attention of parents. but struggled to relate to the younger members of the family, not understanding why events didn’t happen according to her preferences, and why she couldn’t choose the TV channel she wanted to watch. “It wasn’t her fault and she wasn’t being difficult, but it was outside of her experience.” Some relationship lessons are learnt more easily by virtue of having siblings: having to share favourite toys or clothing with a sister, or finding your new lego broken into bits on the floor at the hands of your toddler brother! The usual squabbles that rear their heads in the family home most days are actually teaching kids how to negotiate, to stand up for themselves, and when to walk away, all in a safe family context.

KindyROO and


INFANTS (10wks to 12mths) TODDLERS (1-3yrs) PRESCHOOLERS (3-5yrs)


Come and Learn through play! 45min x 10wk sessions Discovery and Playtime in the Gym, small equipment, balance/vestibular activities, musical instruments and parachute time. KindyROO is an established research-based educational program for children between 6 weeks and 4 years old KindyROO is designed and taught by professionally qualified instructors

Robina Centre OPENING TERM 2! Taking bookings now

Robina or Helensvale: 0411 109 853 Tweed Heads: 0439 761 177

check our website for details! email: email:


KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / MAY 2011

Gold Coast

PCYC operates • Before School Care • After School Care and • Vacation Care from its premises at Broadbeach

PCYC Social group for Under 5’s


Cost $4 per child or $5 per family for members

Monday 9am-12 noon (excluding school holid


A bus service operates to and from Miami, Caningeraba, Surfers Paradise, Benowa, St Kevin’s and Bellevue Park schools

180 Monaco Street, Broadbeach Waters P: 07 5538 5201 E:


Read more @ www.

‘Only’ children can be sheltered from this behaviour and might not cope as well when they’re inevitably faced with it. Parents can help prepare their child by taking a step back and allowing them to learn to make and keep friends on their own. An important aspect is learning to not always take the lead, and how friendships are affected if they don’t allow others to lead sometimes.

their child in an activity such as football, or a youth group” advises Colleen. Regular contact in this way reduces the tendency of the child to become apprehensive or fearful of relating to the opposite sex.

Entitlement and Attachment

Can I have a brother? Please?

‘Entitlement’ is a pattern of indulgence many parents can easily fall into, particularly with an ‘only’ child. It is well-meaning, and stems from the parents’ ability to provide for and protect their one child without divided attention or resources. ‘Only’ children enjoy greater financial resources, and may never learn to graciously accept hand-me-downs, or wait and save for a significant item, like a DS or computer. Starting a saving plan with your child towards a goal is a great way to delay gratification and help your child to plan ahead. Buying second hand goods is one way to teach children about the responsible recycling of valuable resources.

What if your only child longs for a sibling and it’s just not going to happen? When a child expresses a strong desire for a sibling, the response of parents is important. Acknowledge the feeling without indulging it, pointing out the very different compositions of ‘family’. Just think Buzz, Woody, Bo Peep and the gang!

The best thing we can give our child in the early years is ourselves. “Attachment in the form of a secure bond with parents in a predictable and loving environment is what builds self-esteem and self-worth into children”, Colleen says. Feeling secure in their bond with their parents ensures a child doesn’t develop issues stemming from a sense of abandonment.

A Balanced Approach With balance, a high level of parental involvement and attention can be a source of great self-esteem, as well as academic and artistic achievement; Condoleezza Rice, Jean Paul Satre, Elvis Presley and Leonardo Da Vinci are all inspiring examples of ‘only’ children shining.

But everything is double-edged.

Some boys will never have a sister, some sisters will never have a little brother, and some women will never mother a biological child - this is the diversity of families. The life lesson for everyone is to treasure who they can call family - and for many ‘onlies’, this includes an ‘enhanced’ extended family with cousins and aunts and uncles.

Looking to the long-term Wise parents, who consider the long-term well-being of their child, know the most important gift they can give them is the opportunity to nurture solid and lifelong friends who will be there when their parents are gone. It’s up to the parents to ensure that their child (‘only’ or not) feels understood, has a sense of belonging, and maintains good relationships with close family friends. In the end, there’s a big difference between being ‘only’ and being lonely! For more information visit:

Further reading

High levels of parental involvement are often accompanied by expectation, and can be part of the pressure only children feel. Large amounts of their time spent interacting with parents can turn them into peers; suddenly the child is comparing their own performance with that of an adult. Parents need to communicate that it is okay to fail, and what’s important is what we do next.

Only Child Experience and Adulthood Stories of adult only-children’s experience with a focus on interpersonal relationships and self-image. For all who live, parent or work with them professionally. RRP $112.95.

Parents of ‘only’ children need to remember the age of their child, and adjust their expectations accordingly. Many ‘only’ children feel great pressure to be everything to their parents, and sustain a level of guilt for enjoying themselves away from home, particularly if they come from a single parent family. Comments like, “What would I do without you?” or “you’re all I’ve got” are best avoided entirely!

The Future of Your Only Child: How to Guide Your Child to a Happy and Successful Life A practical book aimed at parents of ‘only’ children, and ‘only’ children as adults, with a focus on how parents can positively influence their only child’s development. RRP $ 23.95.

The biggest trap for single parents of only children is the pressure they might place upon themselves to try and make up for the missing role model of the opposite sex. “Single parents cannot be both a Mum and a Dad, but they can provide contact with a role model of the opposite sex in a formal, safe environment by involving

Traditional Educational Toys Stylish Clothing Room Decor & Manchester Gift, Skincare & Accessories Bamboo &Organic Products

APRIL / MAY 2011 – KiDs on tHe CoAst




By David Nicloas, Optometrist Glamour Eyes, Paradise Point

Kids need 17 visual skills for reading Hundreds of thousands of children have started the school year without the visual skills required to succeed in school. One of the reasons for this is that most people assume if you can see the letters on the eye chart, your vision is fine. Yet being able to see the letters on the eye chart is just one of 17 visual skills necessary for academic success. The myth that ‘20/20’ means you have perfect vision started in the 19th century, when the eye chart was created. As a Behavioural Optometrist, I am joining the campaign this year to share my experience with some young patients in the hope it will help other families with children who are struggling to learn.

Members Number: 455

Date: January 2009

It wasn’t until so many of my patients had problems with reading that I discovered that my medical training was missing a very valuable piece of information which turned out to be the key to helping more patients. We often hear from parents who have taken their children to optometrists and learning specialists, desperate to understand why their very bright child still could not read well. They always got the same answer: ‘their vision’s fine; they’re dyslexic.’ It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that if a child is seeing double, ghostly or unstable texts, it will be hard to read. Yet if you assume vision is fine, the only possible conclusion you can reach is the child has a learning disability such as ADHD or dyslexia.

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / MAY 2011

If a student understands the lesson when it is read to them, yet struggles to read it (silently or aloud), this can be a very strong sign that a vision problem may be contributing to their difficulties. Optometric vision therapy treats vision problems that make reading and learning difficult. While vision therapy does not treat dyslexia, vision problems can often be misdiagnosed as learning disabilities such as dyslexia or even ADHD. Not all Optometrists test for learning-related vision problems, so it is important for parents to ask the right questions: Does my optometrist test for learning-related vision problems? And, do they provide any vision therapy program when indicated, or refer me to someone who does? The list of visual skills that Behavioural Optometrists test for includes: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Central Vision (Visual Acuity) Eye Movement Control Focusing skills at far and near Eye Alignment at far and near Depth Awareness ( 3D Vision) Color Perception Gross and Fine Visual-Motor skills Retention of Primitive Reflexes Visual Memory (short term)

10. Visual Discrimination 11. Visual Sequential capture 12. Spatial Awareness 13. Speed of naming 14. Visual-auditory Integration 15. Visual simultaneous capture 16. Visualization 17. Visual Memory(long term)

According to the Australian Optometrist Association, studies indicate that 60 percent of children identified as “problem learners” actually suffer from undetected vision problems and in some cases have been inaccurately diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). So it is worth having your child’s vision properly checked. 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.



by Aleney de Winter

Renaissance Boy Devilboy awoke at 5am this morning. This in itself is, unfortunately, not an unusual occurrence. Devilboy’s mummy chugged back the best part of a bottle of red wine last night. These days this is, also unfortunately, a very unusual occurrence. Ergo, Devilboy’s mummy was in no fit state to; a) Attempt to soothe him back to sleep, or b) Get up and help him plot the downfall of whichever of his Little People have earned his ire today. Desperate for another hour or two of sleep - and bad mummy hat firmly in place Devilboy was promptly tossed into our bed and we all snuggled happily back to sleep until I was woken by a raspy and quite sinister voice chanting, “tiiiickkkllle”. Weighted down, I realised that a freakishly small demon was slowly attempting to strangle me. I momentarily feared for my life but as consciousness returned to my wine saturated brain, I realised that my attacker wasn’t a hound from hell, just a fluey Devilboy prising open my eyes, so I’d join his pre-dawn party. Shouting “Tickle mammy” at the top of his enviable lungs he vigorously attacked me with his scratchy little fingers, giggling himself silly. My hangover was almost entirely obliterated in that joyous instant. Tickle is another new word for Devilboy. Smiling, I was rewarded with a deluge of proud ‘tickle, tickle, tickles.’ Wave after wave of love (and alcohol induced nausea) washed over me for my clever little man. “What a distressing contrast there is between the radiant intelligence of the child and the feeble mentality of the average adult.” So said Sigmund Freud, someone I’d mostly thought of as a sad mummy’s boy but who, it would seem, occasionally belted out some wise words. Devilboy’s capacity for learning really is a thing of shiny, sparkling wonder. At 15 months, it appears his vocabulary is already superior to that of many fully-grown footy players. Over the last week some kind of brain explosion has occurred and he spurts out new words and sounds every time he opens his mouth, which is often... so very, very often. He is an adorable blue-eyed sponge sucking up everything around him and then spitting it out in an excited flurry of non-stop noise. Devilboy’s non-verbal skills also continue to develop at warp speed. Engineer, artist, historian, musician, athlete, raconteur… he’s a veritable Renaissance boy. His creative engineering skills are easily observed as he constructs beautiful towers from exotic combinations of wooden blocks, sippy-cups and a plastic walrus. As an artist he can recreate the entire back catalogue of Jackson Pollock using only breakfast cereal. He cleverly combines his skills as a historian with his artistic talents, which extend to interior decorating, to turn a tidy room into a scale model of Hiroshima in seconds. Musically, I am unable to convince him that the Wiggles are where it’s at for hip and happening 15 month olds, but I delight as he bops to Bob Marley, head bangs to Hendrix and pogos to Placebo. He plays along on a drum kit of his own design, generally consisting of a plastic tambourine, an upside down box and the cat. The cat is also key in the development of his athleticism as he ‘pats’ him in a style best utilised by professional boxers. At the sudden sound of inhuman screeching I look up from writing this missive on his great genius and observe my delightful devil throwing his lunch across the room and demonstrating all the intellectual capacities of a socially inept gibbon. As he grows bored of throwing his sandwich and instead attempts to grind it in to the cat, I feel it’s time to break from boasting about his ‘alleged’ intellect and attend to my little primate before he starts flinging his own poo...



h fun Exercise wit ren for all child CLASSES FOR 2-4 YEARS, 4-6 YEARS, 6-8 YEARS, 8 YEARS AND OVER Character building • Fitness • Courtesy • Respect • Self Control • Discipline

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Tel: 55 711 999 Mob: 0417 750 969 Email:


APRIL / MAY 2011 – KiDs on tHe CoAst


Compiled by: Jessica Chaplin

What’s on CalendaR April 6 and May 12

All April until May 8


Where: Jupiters Theatre, Jupiters Casino, Broadbeach Island Gold Coast When: Check website for full show times Be taken on a mystical journey into a world that transcends the boundaries of the imagination, where the unbelievable transpires. This show delivers entertainment for all, with a cast and crew of professionals that will mesmerise you. The sheer scale of theatrical artistry, through the use of audience interaction, memorable scenes and breathtaking imagery will captivate and enchant you. Cost: Dinner and Show from $69 ea or ticket only $59 ea Details:

Where: Paradise Point Parklands, The Esplanade, Paradise Point When: 9.30am - 11.30am A fun and energetic morning activity perfect for the little ones. Come and enjoy two hours of fun while the kids bounce around on the jumping castles. Free drink and healthy snack provided. Cost: Free Details: Bookings required 5559 0957

APRIL Every Saturday in April and May


RIOT ART AND CRAFT FREE WORKSHOPS Where: Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach When: 11am - 2pm The team at Riot Art and Craft invite you to join them for FREE workshops, every Saturday. Activities will include scrapbooking, invitation making, Easter EGGScitement, the art of Mosaic, Mothers Day special and so many more! Don’t miss this one! Cost: Free Details:


April 10

April 8-10



Where: RNA Showgrounds, Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills, Brisbane When: 9am - 6pm Fishing, four wheel drives, campervans, trailers, big and small boats, bait, tents and sleeping bags…..what more could a family want? Cost: Adults $12 Kids under 15 Free Details:


April 13

April 14 and 28 and May 12 and 26

Where: Fig Tree Food Court, Australia Fair Shopping Centre When: From 9am Need a bit of time away from the household? Come and join other mums for a cuppa, drop ‘n’ shop activity centre and craft workshop at the next Mumz with Bubz morning tea. Cost: Free Details:

Where: Nerang RSL, 69 Nerang Street, Nerang When: 6pm It’s a Dog, It’s a Plane – It’s AMAZING! Think outside the balloon dog with the Balloon Kings. Never seen before twisted creations. With up to 20 varieties of balloons, anything is possible. Suitable for all demographics…. Everyone loves balloons! Cost: Costs may apply Details:





Cash sales only No EFTPOS


$3 per adult Kids FREE


% of our proceeds go to Queensland Children’s Charities

BRISBANE – Sunday May 22 Quality Pre-Loved, and New Products

9.00am – 12 noon

Buy or Sell Brand Name Quality Clothing, Toys, Prams, Car Seats, Books, Nursery Furniture and so much more at a fraction of retail prices

TRADITIONAL THEATRE AT THE ARTS CENTRE GOLD COAST Where: The Arts Centre Gold Coast, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise When: Check website for show times If you’ve ever endured restless nights and tortured days wondering who really wrote Shakespeare’s plays (or even if you haven’t) then worry no more! Ensemble Theatre Group offers a laughter-filled antidote to your dilemma. Battering the Bard is a contemporary comedy with a traditional theatre twist. It will make you laugh, think and be inspired! Cost: Adult $22 Student $18 Details:

Where: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin When: 9am - 3.30pm Wild Island is both an outdoor adventure playground and interactive science activity zone, combining fun-filled entertainment with fascinating wildlife education for young visitors to the park. Eco Rangers is open to children aged 6 15yrs. Bookings are essential, and food is provided. Cost: $49 for a single child $44 for additional children Details:


Clem Jones Centre, Zahel St, Carina

UPPER COOMERA – Sunday April 10 Upper Coomera State College, Gate 1, Reserve Road

GOLD COAST – Sunday April 3

Runaway Bay Indoor Stadium, Sports Dve, Runaway Bay

TOOWOOMBA – Sunday May 15

Indoor Bowls Association, Annand Street, Toowoomba Please check the website for the release of 2011 dates

Stallholder enquiries contact Karren 0433 831 140 or email KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / may 2011

Where: Upper Coomera State College, Reserve Road, Upper Coomera When: 9am - 12pm The Ultimate Market for your children’s needs. At Zero 2 Five Markets you can buy or sell quality pre-loved and new products such as clothing, toys, books, prams, car seats and nursery furniture all at amazing prices. Cost: $3 per adult, children Free Details:

April 12-14


Where: The Arts Centre Gold Coast, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise When: 9am - 2pm The Butterfly Tree is a unique boutique market for families with children aged from newborn to teen years. It offers an impressive collection of specially selected vendors with stunning handcrafted pieces including clothing, toys, bedding, decorator items and accessories. Find one-of-akind stylish items for the kids in a spacious family-friendly indoor venue Cost: Free Details:


Where: The Workshops Rail Museum, North Street, North Ipswich When: From 10am Hop to it and bring the family along for a day of Bunny fun! With appearances by The Workshops Bunny every hour, free Easter treat, face painting and many other activities, it’s guaranteed to be a day of fun for the whole family. Cost: General Admission Adult-$19, Child $11, under 3 Free Details:

April 12-21

April 10

Find more @


April 9-10

April 16 and 17

April 16 - 26

THE MUMMY TREE MARKETS Where: Colin Meagher Pavilion, Parklands Gold Coast (Southport) When: 9am - 1pm Chic-inspired, unique gorgeous boutique and designer products and services for the family, as well as children’s entertainment, food, coffee, easy parking and more! Cost: Free Details:

School Holiday Pizza Making Workshops!

Where: The Pines, Elanora Team Pelican Kids Club is open to kids aged 3 to 11 years. Members who participate will receive a free cap for joining and a gift on their birthday! Plus all new members before 29th April have the chance to win 1 of 2 unlimited entry passes to Currumbin Sanctuary for 6 months! Details: for more conditions and to register

BABY BOOT CAMP Bring Your Baby With You & Get Fit














Group Personal Training Sessions for Mums & Bubs • Classes at Burleigh Heads and Broadbeach • Join Our Next Course - Starts May 2 • Courses Run for 6 Weeks • We Only Take 20 Ladies! • Get Your Body Back Today!

Call Kate Now 0438 614 619

MAY April 17


Where: Macintosh Park, Gold Coast Highway When: 9.30am - 11am Creative, energetic workshops for the whole family combining art and craft making with active play. Activities can include painting, drawing, art and crafts, stamping, kit-making and much more - all combined with fun games and activities. A great way to enjoy the outdoors with your whole family. Suitable for kids under 12. Cost: Free Details: Bookings essential

April 30 and May 28

JUNIOR SHARKS COOKING CLASSES Where: Southport Sharks, Cnr Musgrave and Olsen Avenues, Southport When: 9am - 11am Calling all aspiring junior chefs! Learn…create, then…. eat! YUM Cost: $34 Jnr Sharks members $40 Non-members. Jnr Sharks Membership $5 Details: Bookings essential on 5532 1155

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

April 24

PLAYSCHOOL CONCERTS Where: Tweed Heads, Mermaid Waters, Lismore Workers Club Songs, stories and games. It’s Play School, live in concert. Featuring two presenters plus the toys from the ever popular television show, it’s 40minutes of interactive fun. Cost: $14.50 Details: or phone 1300 788 028


Where: Carrara Markets, Cnr Gooding Drive and Manchester Road, Carrara. Exit 77 off the M1 When: 7am - 4pm People of all ages will be entertained for hours with free pony rides, free merry-go-round, free entertainment and giveaways. Don’t miss the face painting fairy, flying witches, snake handler, animal farm, buskers and many unique and interesting stalls. Cost: Free Details:

May 8

GOLD COAST MOTHER’S DAY CLASSIC Where: Hollindale Park, Main Beach When: From 6am The Gold Coast event involves a 4km and 8km walk along the beautiful beachfront and the Esplanade. If running and walking isn’t your thing, you can still join in the fun of the day by volunteering to help out. Alternatively, support all walkers and runners and join in the entertainment and activities taking place around the course. Registration essential. Check website for cut off dates and further costs. Cost: From $30 for an individual Details:

May 14

May 13, 23 and 25

April 30



Where: Laguna Park, Laguna Avenue, Palm Beach When: 1pm - 3pm Super special fitness class for disabled kids with super powers. Join in the fun and have a laugh while being active. Great games and activities for kids provided by friendly and qualified instructors. Cost: Free Details: Bookings required 0412 798 316

May 15


Where: Gold Coast Botanic Gardens, 258 Ashmore Road When: 10am - 11.30am Join in this fun and energetic family-based activity program. Mad Sports will have you laughing and enjoying an extensive range of unique games including soft rockets, scoop ball, parachute, vortex, tug-of-war, novelty relays, water soakers and balls, balls and more balls of different shapes and sizes. Cost: Free Details: Bookings essential or phone 0431 323 076


May 14-15

May 15

Where: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Cnr Merivale Road and Glenelg Street, Brisbane When: 9am - 4pm With information sessions, cooking classes, product and service displays and more, this is the perfect opportunity to plan a healthier lifestyle – from shopping for gluten free products to cooking gluten free meals. Discover hundreds of prepared gluten free foods from breads and pasta to ice-cream and confectionary. No other event provides more information covering coeliac disease and gluten intolerance. Cost: TBA Details:

Where: The Arts Centre Gold Coast, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise When: 11.30am and 1.30pm Hi-5 has a brand new show called Turn the Music Up! The Hi-5 team of Casey, Fely, Lauren, Stevie and Tim are very excited to be joining all their friends for this fabulous new live show. Join the Hi-5 team, along with Chats, as they sing, dance and share a great fun time! If you enjoy watching Hi-5 on television you’ll love seeing them in person as they share their favourite songs and dances at this very special concert. Cost: $34.90 Details:



Find more @


Where: Harley Park, Marine Parade, Labrador A fun and energetic multi-cultural games program designed to help improve hand/eye co-ordination. This is a great introduction to active living for the whole family. Discover cultural games from around the world including Africa, Polynesia, Egypt, Germany, Sweden, England, Japan and Australia. Cost: Free Details: Bookings required or phone 0403 221 676


May 8

May 26-29


The Arts Centre Gold Coast


Where: The Arts Centre Gold Coast, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise When: 7.30pm Dazzling footwork, compelling rhythms, stirring songs – Primavera Mia evokes the exotic roots of the sensual and mesmerising art form that is the Flamenco. With a stunning mix of traditional and contemporary dance, music and song, Primavera Mia will transport audiences across continents to Spain’s ritual celebrations of the new spring. Cost: Single ticket $42 Details:

Where: Broadbeach Precinct When: From 5.30pm Thursday and 10am Fri/Sat/Sun The Annual Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival transcends the barriers of age, gender and culture and is one of Australia’s iconic Blues Festivals. Blues music is food for the soul and this festival combines the best of blues with the cream of Gold Coast cuisine in a guaranteed recipe for success. Cost: Free Details:

All April and May


Where: Queensland Museum, Southbank Cultural Precinct, Cnr Grey and Melbourne Streets, Southbank This show will get things shaking and vibrating, from balloons to tuning forks to even the audience. Straws, cups, coat-hangers, buckets and many more objects will be used to explore sound and music. Cost: Free with admission. Admission costs Adult $12 Concession $10, Child $9, Under 3 Free Details:

A uniquely Australian show with a worthy moral to boot…be sure to give it a go. CAnberrA TiMes

A magical theatrical experience The AGe, Melbourne

Mon 6 Jun, 6.00pm Tue 7 Jun, 10.00am & 11.45am AGe Grades 1 - 3 CosT Adult $20.00 (concessions apply) Child $15.00 DATe

From international bestselling author, Graeme base and producer Garry Ginivan

The Arts Centre Gold Coast Children’s Series is proudly sponsored by McDonalds Gold Coast

APRIL / may 2011 – KiDs on tHe CoAst



educators Parents as

The homeschool alternative by Sandra Smith

Most Queensland families are satisfied with our state and independent schools, but for some families, conventional school is not the best option and they turn to home education, or homeschooling, as a viable alternative. Among the benefits of homeschooling is the flexibility that comes with a learning program tailored to the individual child and delivered in a supportive home environment. Homeschoolers say their children’s natural creativity, curiosity and enthusiasm for learning are nurtured by those who know them best – their immediate family. Home Education Australia (HEA) spokesperson Lindy Hadges believes that the conventional school system works well for some children but not for others, and she says many families decide to educate their children at home due to “a general dissatisfaction with the education system and the kind of results it produces.” A pioneer of the home education movement in Australia, Lindy started homeschooling when her firstborn child reached pre-school age and over the last 18 years she has taught all of her children at home. “None of our five children have ever been to school, and they still look quite normal,” she laughs.

“We have always believed that there are a variety of ways to teach children - no system is perfect and each one has its own set of benefits and challenges,” she says. “It is healthy for a society to be tolerant of different ways of doing things. There are disadvantages in teaching everyone the same things the same way - a likely casualty being diversity of thoughts and ideas and different forms of expression.” The close-knit family lives on an acreage property and Sarah says they enjoy the flexibility of homeschooling. The learning is tailored to suit each individual child’s needs, interests and talents, and Sarah can incorporate “real world situations” into their academic learning. She says her children are thriving and she believes that learning is not just a “school event” but a “lifelong, lifetime event”.

A growing sector

Lindy and her husband are both in fulltime Christian ministry, and she says this was only one of their reasons for choosing to educate their children at home. “Some people do choose to homeschool on the basis of faith, but for me, it wasn’t the only reason why,” she says. “It was part of a more complex exploration.”

Over the last three years, the number of Queensland children registered for home education has more than doubled. In 2007, there were 558 children registered with Education Queensland (EQ) for home education, and this number increased to 1,228 in 2010.

Parents decide to homeschool for a variety of reasons, including personal values, religious ideology, location or health. Some families begin homeschooling after their children have suffered from the emotional and psychological trauma of bullying in schools, explains Lindy.

Hundreds of families are turning to homeschooling as a means of giving their children what they believe is the best education. However, it remains a very small niche in the education sector in comparison with almost half a million student enrolments in Queensland state schools in 2010.

“When parents attempt to have that resolved through the normal processes and for whatever reason that fails, I guess they feel quite disempowered to support their children in those settings, and home schooling becomes an alternative,” she says. Sunshine Coast mum Sarah is another veteran homeschooler, with 10 years’ experience in home educating her four children, now aged from 10 to 16. “For us, homeschooling is more than just a style of education, it really is a lifestyle,” she says. Sarah began homeschooling because she and her husband didn’t agree with a lot of the pressures to conform within the mainstream school culture, and they wanted their children to have the opportunity for extended learning in certain subjects.


KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / may 2011

Legal issues

In Australia, it is legally acceptable for parents to homeschool their children if certain educational criteria are met, however, procedures and guidelines vary from state to state. Education Queensland (EQ) recognises home education as an alternative to classroom education or distance education, under the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006. Parents must register with EQ’s Home Education Unit, which is responsible for the regulation and support of all home education in Queensland.

EQ’s acting assistant director-general for Tertiary and Non-State Education, Ian Kimber, says that to maintain registration, a parent is required to submit an annual written report that demonstrates the child’s educational progress and shows that the child is receiving a high-quality education. This annual report is the primary way that EQ monitors the home-educated children’s progress, and there are no home visits from the Home Education Unit in Queensland. Homeschool parents create their own curriculum and learning program tailored to their child, but they are not required to be registered teachers. Mr Kimber also advises that all parents have free online access to Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) syllabus documents.

Homeschooled children are now emerging as well-adjusted young adults and Lindy says people can now see the positive outcomes of home education, and this helps to remove some fears and uncertainties around homeschooling. “It generally does produce very mature, quite strong, sensible sort of kids,” Lindy says. Children educated at home usually do very well academically, according to Lindy, and some go on to tertiary education. “The amount of work that they would cover in school, they can cover much more quickly in a short time at home,” Lindy explains. “It gives them a lot more time to explore other passions and interests in life, and I think it makes them more wellrounded children who’ve got more life experiences under their belt.”

“Generally speaking, this type of education is only able to be conducted in the child’s home and must be taught by one, or both, of the child’s parents, or by a registered teacher,” Mr Kimber says. “Parents who home educate their child can develop a program to suit the individual needs of the child. Many parents base the child’s program on the state’s curriculum as taught in schools.” EQ requirements for home education include: • a summary of the educational program to be used or learning philosophy to be followed, • details of how that program or philosophy is adapted to meet the educational needs of the individual child.

Dispelling the myths

Public perception of homeschooling has changed over the last 20 years and HEA spokesperson Lindy says there is now more acceptance and understanding. “We had to put up with a lot of flack years ago,” she says. “There was a lot less acceptance - even my family, for example, nearly had heart failure. They were horrified that we were going to absolutely destroy or damage them irreparably in some way.”

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education Approaches to home educatio n Teaching styles commonly used by the homeschool community include a structured approach, natural learning, unschooling and distance education. As parents gain experience and confidence, they tend to develop their own unique homeschooling style that may combine more than one method.

Structured learning


This style of learning is measured and controlled, with achievable levels and goals for students. There is a set curriculum, with lesson plans and a structured daily schedule. The materials are often purchased from an educational institution, and there may be correspondence courses or a selection of texts and workbooks from various sources.

Unschooling negates the idea of “one size fits all” schooling and aims to avoid the rigidity of school. Childdriven education is activated and children are encouraged to develop independence, self-reliance and responsibility. They can develop their own learning style and pursue their passions at their own pace, while learning through everyday tasks like; cooking, shopping or gardening.

Natural learning

Distance Education

Natural learning is based on the principle that children learn by absorbing what is going on around them, and that they will learn naturally, just as they learn to walk and talk. This approach, which is similar to unschooling, is characterised by imagination, enthusiasm, mutual respect and curiosity about the world.

Distance education schools provide a service for home-based learners that parents may find helpful. Parents are provided with lesson plans and they can create a daily schedule that is similar to regular school. The structured curriculum of a distance education school can be supplemented with other compatible materials and subjects.

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Going the distance

“There is the potential for homeschooling to be isolating, but parents can avoid this by keeping up contact with friends and extended family, and by joining community groups and clubs."

Homeschooling has its own unique challenges, and parents who choose to homeschool their children need courage, lots of time and commitment, innovative thinking, and above all, love and respect for their children. Lindy advises homeschool parents to look after their own health and energy. “You can suffer from burnout, so you’ve really got to pace yourself and make sure you’re looking after yourself,” she says. “Your relationship with your husband and girlfriends is really important.”

Social integratio n There is the potential for homeschooling to be isolating, but parents can avoid this by keeping up contact with friends and extended family, and by joining community groups and clubs. Regional Queensland has an active homeschool community, with parents often starting to network through Yahoo homeschool newsgroups, and making connections with other families from there.

Housework may have to take a lower priority and Lindy had to give up her expectations of a “picture-perfect house” as her children engaged in creative activities at various times. “It strengthens me in a way, to be less controlling and uptight,” she says. “I think it’s made me more accessible.” Like most homeschoolers, Lindy doesn’t have a separate school room. “It goes against the grain, for what is probably the common approach to homeschooling in Australia, which is that our life is our learning,” she says.

Homeschoolers invariably report that their children have a wide social circle, and homeschool mum Sarah says the choice of activities is enormous.

Resources and support

“There are all the regular sports, music and activities that kids participate in available after school hours,” Sarah says. “The older boys have casual employment, go to annual camps and there are many other Homeschool Association or Distance Education events available to choose from, incorporating sporting activities, creative art classes and excursions.”

Home Education Association. Phone: 1300 729 991 or visit:

Homeschool parents say their children become excellent communicators because they engage with people of diverse ages and interests, whereas the communication in mainstream schools is restricted to a narrow group of peers and adults.

Home Education Unit, Education Queensland. Phone: 07 3405 3916 or 1800 677 176. Visit: or email: Homeschool Australia. Visit: or join the Homeschool Australia Yahoo group at: HomeschoolAustraliaFAQ/ Gold Coast: Phone Valma: 0408 715 139 or email:

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Overdue for review The need for a new approach to maternal care became obvious around ten years ago. With the number of births rising rapidly, shortages in the maternity workforce, concerns about high rates of intervention in hospital births and urgent calls for improved maternity services, particularly for rural and indigenous mothers, the government decided to act. A Government Discussion Paper (2008) set the agenda: “Women and their babies must be the focus of maternity care. They should be able to feel they are in control of what is happening during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period, based on their individual needs and having discussed issues fully with their care providers. In order for women to feel this control, we must recognise that pregnancy and childbirth, while requiring quick and highly specialised responses to complications, are normal physiological processes, not an illness or disease.” The Maternity Services Review that followed in 2010 made a number of recommendations, one of which was to expand the role of midwives in a collaborative team model. Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer Rosemary Bryant, who led the review, identified the major problem in working “collaboratively” in hospitals.

professional development are now able to access the Medical Benefits Scheme, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and enter into a “collaborative” arrangement with a Doctor. This means that women are able to claim Medicare benefits for specific midwifery services and an authorised midwife may order and interpret tests, prescribe medications on a client’s behalf, and access visiting rights to hospitals. Mary Young is the founder of Know Your Midwife and a Medicare-eligible private midwife, one of two currently practising on the Sunshine Coast. Mary believes the care that a midwife can provide for a woman through antenatal, labour, birth and post-natal periods leads to the best possible outcomes for mother and child. Research shows that continuity of midwifery care can lead to reduced intervention in labour and higher satisfaction with the birthing experience, breastfeeding and a reduction in post-natal depression. “We have to swing the culture of birth around so that women see that birth is a natural process. Doctors and obstetricians are there for the abnormal. Midwives are the experts when it comes to a normal pregnancy and birth. Women have to take back their power,” Mary says. Women become empowered when they can make an informed choice but too often the first person the mum-to-be goes to for help presents a very limited range of options.

“There is a lack of unanimity within and between some groups of the medical and midwifery professions on the issue of how to deal with risk and consumer preferences. While it is acknowledged that safety and quality of care is an overarching goal, it would be remiss to always use it as an excuse not to change practice.”

“GPs are the gatekeepers,” Mary says. “The doctor asks if the woman has private medical insurance. If so, she is referred on to an obstetrician. If the answer is no, she is referred directly to a public hospital. Other options, such as private midwifery care are not presented.”

Things look better now

Under the new legislation expectant mothers can claim some midwifery services from Medicare. Some private health insurance funds also allow claims for private midwifery services. “Cost is no longer such a barrier to helping mothers-to-be experience the benefits of continuity of care with a private midwife, and the impact this has on their birthing experience if they are birthing in a hospital,” Mary says.

As a result of the review the Australian Government announced a package of reforms to improve maternity care in November 2010. Midwives who meet advanced requirements in regard to experience, competence and continuing ADVERTISEMENT/LOCAL BUSINESS PROFILE

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the coast The home birth debate Not everyone is happy with the new provisions. Home birth midwives and the women who choose to birth in their own homes have missed out on government support. It is a requirement for registration that health practitioners hold professional indemnity insurance. No insurance is available to cover birth care at home, though insurers will cover midwives for ante-natal and post-natal care. Home birth advocates want the government to provide appropriate funding and insurance protection for private midwife homebirth care. The decision has reignited debate about quality and safety issues in a long-running ‘turf war’ between midwives and obstetricians. The Spokesperson for Homebirth Australia and mother of eight home birthed children Justine Caines OAM rejects the suggestion that mothers are gambling with the health of their babies by choosing a home birth, and the presumption that a hospital birth equals a safe birth. “There is no reliable evidence to demonstrate that hospital is safer than home. There is (strong) evidence that shows intervention is taking place for no clinical reason especially if a woman is a private patient in a private hospital.” Justine says that any evaluation of homebirth versus hospital birth safety should include data on the considerable number of women and babies who suffer poor health outcomes as a consequence of intervention, especially in private hospitals which are known to have higher rates of intervention than public hospitals. Interventions include caesarean section, epidurals and episiotomies.

“Homebirth keeps birth normal unless absolutely clinically necessary. Hospital birth intervenes and schedules birth according to the needs of the organisation and the practitioners,” Justine says. Continuity of care is known to increase the chances of a normal birth. “The vast majority of homebirth women receive care from one known midwife while the vast majority of hospital birthing women receive care from a number of providers including some they have never met. Birth is intimate (like sex) so it is no wonder that when women are forced to share this intimacy with total strangers, things don’t work. Imagine ‘performing’ while being watched.” In an interview on Radio 2GB in August 2010 Justine told listeners that the Australian Medical Association (AMA) ‘has a gun to the head of government’. The AMA has certainly been very influential in setting the framework for maternity reform. In the same interview obstetrician and gynaecologist, and President of the AMA, Doctor Andrew Pesce explained the AMA’s position. He pointed out that less than 1% of women in Australia choose a home birth.

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“If we are going to consider home birth within the maternity care system we have to consider it within the hospital system,” Doctor Pesce said.

care options to. Check what your private medical insurance will cover as substantial costs are involved. Public hospital facilities - If you choose to use a public hospital you will need a referral from your local GP. There are usually no costs to you if you have valid Medicare cover. The following options may be available for continuing care, provided yours is a low-risk pregnancy: • maternity clinic at a hospital • midwife managed ‘birthing centre’ at a hospital

• community based ante-natal clinic with a hospital birth

Making the best maternity care choices for you There are many things to consider when deciding where to have your baby and who should care for you. What facilities and types of care are available in your area? What is important to you in your pregnancy and birth? What costs are involved and what rebates can you claim? The majority of Australian women still opt for pregnancy care by a GP or obstetrician and a hospital birth (98%). This may change substantially as women come to understand the services that private midwives can provide and as costs of such care become more affordable under government subsidy. At present the main choices are: Private hospital - If you wish to have your baby as a private patient you can either choose your hospital first and find out which obstetricians work there or choose your obstetrician first and find out which hospitals he has admitting rights

Done your homework?

• community based midwifery program • shared care with your local GP (some costs involved)

Private Midwifery Care - As a primary carer your midwife works to provide normal maternity care from early pregnancy through birth and early parenting. She is trained to detect complications or illness in mother or baby and will refer and collaborate with specialist medical and nursing providers as needed. Contact your choice of private practice midwife to enquire about services and costs. For more detailed information on care choices see, pregnancy tab, look under pregnancy info sheets and articles. Need help? National Pregnancy Support Helpline 1800 422 213 is an integrated national pregnancy and perinatal support helpline. It is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-daya-week telephone helpline that women can use during pregnancy and for up to 12 months after the birth of a child. Helpful websites:, and (Information by topic dropdown box)

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Dr Pesce said that rather than allowing midwives and obstetricians ‘to go their own way and do what they want’ as he says has happened in New Zealand over the past ten years, the AMA has insisted that obstetricians and midwives need to work together and agree on how care will be shared.

Affordable maternity

• The Govern ment is making changes to the MBS and PBS so that maternity ca re options are more afford able. • From 1 Nove mber 2010, eligib le midwives in Australia will be able to access th e MBS and PBS. • For the first time, you can cla im Medicare rebates for spec ific services prov ided by an eligible privately practicing midw ife. • You will have more choice in th e type of care you wish to rece ive when havin g a baby Source: http://ww w.heal


“We should be focussing on improving hospital-based maternity units rather than going outside the hospital system.”

Matthew Watson




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Food and numbers: why the additives? 951





by Kim Lahey

They surround us. They protect us. There’s a mind-numbing amount of them. And one was once traded ounce-for-ounce for gold. Mammoth-tasked with keeping our food fresh and helping out its colour, taste or texture, these remedy-giants can hardly hide. In the label-jungle out there, additives still must obey rules. They must sit in descending weight-order (like other wellbehaved ingredients) and they must state their (functional) name and code number. At the very least, who hasn’t checked out a wine bottle label and noticed Preservative (220)? But we would hardly have felt gratitude - to the sulphur dioxide for prolonging the life of wine – or attributed its presence to our own demands!

Having our cake… Our pressure for our food to be tasty, well priced and look good is additives’ lifeblood. Think of sliced apple yelling to oxygen - “Stop! You’re turning me brown!” Prevention of this ‘demise-by-oxygen’ in hundreds of our processed foods gives the antioxidant additives the lions’ share of additives’ work. And without another of our most widely used additives – Ascorbic acid (aka Vitamin C) - a good dose of scurvy may have rendered us extinct long ago. But do we really need the 1400 of them? And what’s natural and what’s not? Who watched SBS’s Food Additives - An Incredible Adventure late last year? The presenter went to quite ‘personal’ lengths to prove many additives are made of naturally occurring chemicals like those found in our bodies, by making a cake with …..Read on if you’re game. He offered his tear drops (Lysozyme - a preservative which prevents bacterial infection), sweat (Propionic acid - a mould suppressant), hair strands (L-Cysteine – a flour improvement agent), digestive juices (Hydrochloric acid –an acidity regulator) and endured liposuction to provide the glycerol component to the recipe – the magic ingredient that keeps cakes and icing moist…. Downing the cake, he made his point “Just because it’s made in a lab doesn’t mean it’s not natural.”

Hyper or Hype? Screaming, crying, running: Birthday party. Host pours the kids red cordial. Scathing glances at host by other parents. “My 3-year-old goes berserk within minutes of downing red-colouring stuff, and he’s a pretty calm kid in the scheme of things,” mum Fi says. So are the food-colouring glares justified? In 2006 FSANZ commissioned the most detailed survey of added colours in food and beverages ever undertaken in Australia. It concluded; “current exposure levels (of added colours) – do not pose a public health and safety concern for Australians.” Not surprisingly the biggest contributors to under 12s’ dietary exposure (of added colours) were; confectionary and sugar, sweet biscuits, flavoured milk, cordial, soft drink, ice-cream/ice confection, margarine/table spread, cakes, muffins and pastries, savoury sauces and yogurt, jelly and savoury snack foods. But recent UK studies showed a link between artificial food colours, a preservative and hyperactivity in children. In their sample of 3-year-old and 8 to 9-year-olds, they found that consuming food or drinks which contained certain artificial food colours, together with the preservative sodium benzoate, produced hyperactive behaviour in the children. Interestingly, the food colours and preservative used in the study are approved as safe in Australia.

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ots? Who calls the dsh ia New Zealand by Food Standards Austral

Additives must be approve ted level), there are itive is safe (at the reques (FSANZ). They check the add sumer will be clearly con for its use, and that the good technological reasons be consumed and to unt amo ly like estimates the informed about it. FSANZ ADI is the amount of able daily intake (ADI). The compares it to the accept without adverse effect. ime lifet a n every day in the additive that can be eate itive allowed in that a maximum level of the add FSANZ then recommends to 1521!) only 300 100 es 1400 additives (cod particular food. And out of use. 400 qualify for Australian

FSANZ communication adviser Lydia Buchtmann explains Sodium benzoate (211) is a preservative found naturally in fruit, including berries. “It plays an important role in preventing food poisoning,” she says. “We’ve been working with the food industry to reduce levels of sodium benzoate since an Australian Total Diet Study in 2005, and [because of] concerns about Sodium benzoate reacting with vitamin C in some soft drinks to form benzene,” Lydia says. New studies are underway to check level reductions. What about natural colours? Nutritionist and dietitian Catherine Saxelby says the orange-yellow food colour - Carotene (160a) - derived from plant pigments (think pumpkin, carrots, mango and apricots) functions as an antioxidant so this one is actually good for you. And what about the not-so-red part of that cordial? Cyclamates are one type of artificial sweetener added to foods and drinks. FSANZ’s 2004 research showed Australian kids under 12 were having close to the ADI (the amount considered safe to have per day) - of cyclamate. FSANZ successfully recommended the maximum level of cyclamate permitted in water-based flavoured drinks (like soft drinks and fruit and vegetable juice products) be reduced from 600 mg/kg to 350 mg/kg.

Recent studies using MRI scans demonstrated the brain can detect a difference between sugar and artificial sweeteners. It registers the missing calories and may go in search of them later on. Ah, a whole new jungle to explore!

Reactions and reasons Nutrition Australia nutrition program manager Aloysa Hourigan says a minority of children are affected by additives. But it is a “very important issue for some families”, she says. Additives’ impacts will vary with different children. Symptoms can be physical like eczema, asthma or bowel symptoms, or behavioural, she says. “Not all additives are an issue.” “The best way to avoid them is to prepare food from fresh – but this can be difficult for parents from a time perspective,” Aloysa says. The Victorian Government’s Better Health Channel advises that additives aren’t a problem for most people, but 50 of the 400 Australian-approved additives have been linked with adverse reactions in some people. “It is often the additives that are used to give a food a marketable quality, such as colour, that most commonly cause allergic

NEWS FLASH A just-released report - Labelling Logic - commissioned by the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council, aims to improve food labelling laws. Two of the report’s 61 recommendations include dropping mandatory “per serve” columns (explicitly stating the trans-fats and salt content instead) and voluntary use of a front-of-pack traffic light system. A traffic light system (a nutritionistcalculated rating system for nutrients, salt and sugar in a product) like the one adopted by Western Australian schools, would include five lights for more detail. The report was prepared by a panel of independent experts, led by former federal health minister Neal Blewett. If the food is changed in any way, whether by colour, taste or genetic modification, it must be labelled, Dr Blewett said. The Government has until December this year to respond to the report.

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Further reading Low to No Additives – Family Favourites sets out what’s in processed food, what additives to avoid and provides diverse recipes. RRP $24.95. Choosing the Right Stuff- the official shoppers’ guide teaches you how to read labels and understand food additives, kilojoules and fat content. It includes the official list of additives by number, name and use RRP $14.95.

Additives answers at your fingertips Former nurse, IT expert and now-new-mum of twins, Sandy Abram’s latest business venture helps shoppers check out what’s in their food while they shop. “Reading labels is a minefield,” says Sandy. “And I thought; why not make use of our phones, which we have with us anyway.” Tapping into a phone app, the shopper will be able to uncover all there is to know about the additive code while the packet’s still half-way into the trolley. “It will include a list of the top 10 nasties of additives and colours which emerge from research,” she says. The app will also include tailored shopping requirements for those with special dietary needs. Sandy says subscribers will have access to additive information at their fingertips when the app is launched mid-year.

reactions,” they advise. The possible problem-causing common additives are listed as the flavour enhancer Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) plus the food colourings and preservatives – benzoates, nitrates and sulphites. The code numbers and the types of reactions they can cause are detailed on the Channel’s website. “Many people with food allergies/intolerances will have a certain level of tolerance to the offending agent – but in young children this threshold can be very low,” Aloysa says If parents suspect their child is additive-sensitive it’s best to seek advice from an accredited practising dietitian, Aloysa says. She points out that people who are food intolerant can react to naturally occurring chemicals already in food like salicylates and amines – so there may be a need to consider even the fresh food content of the diet. For more information: Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) provides a list of all additives and their code numbers, advice about what additives do, and fact sheets about the effects of artificial colours (which includes the official list of additives by number, name and use). Visit:

cooking classes saturday 30th april 9am – 11am saturday 28th May 9am – 11am Calling all aspiring junior chefs! Learn…create then…eat! YUm.

$34 Jnr Sharks Members $40 Non-members Jnr Sharks Membership $5 Bookings essential, dates subject to change. Phone 07 5532 1155 to book.

ph 5532 1155 Cnr. Musgrave & Olsen Aves, Southport QLD. Follow us on Facebook & Twitter


KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / may 2011

SMART SHA114898 Kids Apr/May

Back populBy deManar d!



Fun and

party games

by Belinda Hopper

Crocs, Snakes, Lizards, Frogs & Turtles Birthday Parties | Schools | Childcare | Shopping Centres | Film | And More!

Phone Brian 07 5501 5964 or mob. 0439 738 025 email:

Just Clowning

Kids really know how to have fun, don’t they? That’s the beauty of the backyard birthday party—some friends, some yummy food, a cake, a few games, and they’re happy. A couple of things I’ve learnt in my years of throwing kids’ parties are; a quick game’s a good game, and you always need to prepare more games than you think you’ll need. I had a running list written out for one party (a tip I gleaned from a super organised friend), only to find I had been through the whole list of games twenty minutes into a 2 hour party!


Fun Kids Parties! Comedy Magic Show with Pixie the magical rabbit

There are the old favourites everyone loves, like pass the parcel, musical chairs and what’s the time Mr Wolf? But we thought we’d find a few more you can add to your repertoire of party games.

Cool Balloon Art, Bubbles, Music Face Painting, Games, and Smiles

Call Damian Bryant Mob: 0419 677 665

For the younger kids

E. W.

Try a new twist on the old faithful treasure hunt. This is a game to get dad involved; it’s called CATCH THE PIRATE. Dad has stolen all of the hidden treasure and the kids have to chase him to get it back. Just get an old flannelette shirt and tape minties (or other individually wrapped lollies) all over it. Get dad to put it on and run around the backyard with the kids trying to catch him to redeem their treasure. The younger kids absolutely love it. As for dad… you might need to get a cold drink ready for him, for when he’s done. Water play is a great theme for Queensland birthday parties nine months of the year. Invite the kids to turn up in their swimmers for fun with water bombs, a slip and slide, or those super-powered water squirters. ROB THE NEST is a game that keeps them running. All you need is a bag of balls and a few chairs. Divide the kids into teams of at least 3 and set up a chair for each team, a few metres apart. Tip all the balls on the ground and watch the kids swoop on them! The aim of the game is to gather as many ‘eggs’ for your own nest, and if that means robbing someone else’s, then so be it. The key is; they can only carry one ball at a time. Whichever team has the most eggs in their nest by the time they’re all worn out, wins.

Awesome kids

Epic Birthday party FULLY CATERED! Includes:

• Rollerblade/rollerskate hire • Epic Birthday boy/girl gets their own announcement and Birthday song on the skating rink • Each Epic Birthday receives special attention from one of our Party Hosts and they will look after all your Birthday Party requirements y

For the older kids You could have a race to build the tallest MARSHMALLOW TOWER. It can be played individually or in teams. All you need to do is hand out toothpicks and mini marshmallows, set the timer for 5 minutes and watch them race the clock and each other to build the sweetest, stickiest tower possible. Older kids love playing BALLOON STOMP. Everyone blows up two balloons, ties a large rubber band around the balloon and slips it over their foot, so it rests on their ankles. Then everyone has to run around with an inflated balloon attached to each ankle, trying to stomp on everyone else’s balloons, while protecting their own from bursting. The last person left with an inflated balloon, wins. It takes a bit of planning to run some creative party games, but think of the absolute delight on your child’s face, as they run around having a ball with their friends – and how worthwhile the effort when you consider they’ll never celebrate turning this age again!

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A capital adventure A family holiday to Canberra by Sarah Pye It’s one of those places people either rave about, or shrug their shoulders. Canberra, our nation’s capital is abuzz with politics, memorials and museums. As an imported Aussie, I had always wanted to see what all the fuss was about and last spring the opportunity arose to join Amber’s Scout group on a driving tour to the capital. It didn’t disappoint and this is one family safari I can certainly recommend.

Getting there Depending on where you live, actually getting to Canberra can be a marathon in its own right. From North Queensland a plane is by far the easiest way and you can either fly into Canberra or fly to Sydney and rent a car from there. It takes about three hours to drive from Sydney which is manageable, and with regular sale fares, this could save heaps. From southern parts of the state, getting there can be half the fun. To avoid frayed nerves and loud backseat arguments, I would recommend three or four nights on the road. Tenterfield, Moree, Dubbo and Cowra would be my recommendations as places to stop for a night, because each offers attractions along the way. If you arrive in Canberra after a long drive, the last thing you want to do is be on your best behavior in a museum, so I recommend letting off steam at Questacon ( This is one of the few paid attractions in Canberra but well worth the admission. Questacon boasts several floors of science experiments divided into seven different galleries. Each is themed so you can watch tornadoes form, experience an earthquake, learn the science of music and laugh at yourself in the funny mirrors. The bottom floor is just like a mini fairground and I dare you to try Freefall when you hang from a metal bar 6m in the air and will yourself to let go! Most of these galleries are best suited to school-aged kids, but a separate area called Mini Q is just perfect for preschoolers and Quiet Space offers a little time out when they reach sensory overload. A trip to Canberra wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Houses of Parliament ( From the moment you climb the marble steps and cross the dot-painting tiles, you know you are entering a special place. Regular tours are conducted here but, if you make contact with your local member of parliament before you arrive (which we did), you might be able to arrange to visit their rooms and get an insight into the workings of this amazing building. Did you know, for


KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / may 2011

Australian Capital Tourism

instance, that all clocks in this building are synchronised and members are given four minutes to get to the chamber at voting time before they are locked out? If the pollies are sitting, it’s free to visit at Question Time, but book ahead by calling the Sergeant-at-Arm’s Office on 02 6277 4889 (there’s no need to book ahead for Question Time in the Senate). Another must is the Australia War Memorial ( It has rooms dedicated to each of the wars in which Australia has participated. This brings the history of Australia alive for school-age kids. The surrounding grounds are also a great picnic spot. Next on our agenda was the Royal Australian Mint, where we watched shiny currency being scrupulously checked before release (

Road trip to Canberra

way is home to a multi-storey Kirby Park, Moree on the Newell High s a wonderful picnic spot. rocket ship climbing frame which make Follow this scale model Virtual Solar System (www.solarsyst of our planets as you drive. dir Caravan Park, the hot springs are Moree Hot Springs: If you stay at Gwy free ( make sure you time your Old Dubbo Gaol (www.olddubbogaol. visit for the re-enactment. u): I suggest touring the zoo on Western Plains Zoo ( ent. elem bikes, it adds another exciting An integral part of the Parkes Observatory ( edge in space exploration. ng Moon landing, this facility is still cutti Watch the hologram Cowra POW Theatre (www.cowrareg Info Centre for free. story of the POW escape at the Visitor

Australian Capital Tourism

It’s easy to reach overload in Canberra, so make sure you don’t squeeze too much in each day. When you need time off your feet, a drive around the embassies is a wonderful activity (between Empire Circuit and Forster Circuit). Unlike other capitals which evolved over time, Canberra was strategically designed and this meant that all the embassies are close to each other. Driving around these streets is like travelling around the world at break-neck speed. The architecture of Thailand neighbours colonial mansions of the US and the colours of PNG. Why not print out a map of the world before you go and play a version of bingo as you cross off different nations? The attractions in this beautiful city are endless, and our three days flew by in seconds. We could have easily filled twice that time, and I urge you to spend as long as you can. Me, I’ve started a Canberra Bucket List for next time…

Sarah’s Canberra Attractions Bucket List Australian Institute of Sport: Australian Reptile Sanctuary: Canberra Glass Works: Cockington Green miniature village: CSIRO Discovery Centre: Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House: National Dinosaur Museum:


Yearning for some quality family time? In our overly hectic lives, we often yearn to slow down, reconnect with the kids and live a life less complicated. Especially in summer when the beaches are packed with tourists and the crowds are unrelenting. It might not be possible to run for the hills permanently, but at Cedar Glen Farmstay it’s possible to escape for a little while. Cedar Glen has been in the Stephen’s family since 1882. Located at the foot of World Heritage Lamington National Park, this spectacular 1050 acre property is home to beef cattle, Arabian horses, milking cows, sheep, pigs and poultry. With private swimming holes, shady 100-year-old trees and cool summer breezes, Autumn and Winter are great times to visit. Imagine the kids’ excitement as they get to feed the animals twice daily, or try their hand at milking the house cow each morning.

Escape to

A real highlight of Cedar Glen is the activities they have to offer. Don’t miss the opportunity to embark on a horse ride through some of South East Qld’s most spectacular country – riders of all ages and experience are catered for. You can also learn how to throw a returning boomerang and crack the Australian stock whip while enjoying a cup of billy tea and freshly made damper. Guests can stay in the stately 1901 homestead, or choose one of three historic cottages which have been renovated to maintain the charm and authenticity of a bygone era. All buildings are surrounded by wide breezy verandas perfect for a summer siesta. Mums in particular will love the optional fully catered holiday. Imagine leaving even the cooking behind!

Contact us now for great rates on your Autumn or Winter getaway | (07) 5544 8170 | Lost World Valley, Qld

If watching Discovery channel is the closest you’ve been to nature in a while, do something for yourself and the kids, and visit Cedar Glen Farmstay.

APRIL / may 2011 – KiDs on tHe CoAst




Inspirational! Fitness Guru Mireille Ryan inspires thousands of mums, but believes we all have the power to inspire

by Belinda Hopper

She says she lives by two mottos – “Thoughts become your words and words become your actions” and “if you can dream it, you can do it”. And when you learn Mireille Ryan is Australia’s leading fitness expert for mums who runs not one, but two businesses from home, you realise she means it—she actually does live by them! Mireille was named 2010 Australian Exercise Professional of the Year representing QLD. She owns Health Guru Boot Camp and co-founded The Busy Mums Fitness Club, a free online fitness club for mums. She has been in the fitness industry for 10 years and gave regular fitness tips to 30,000 listeners as the 107.3FM Life FM Fitness Guru. Despite all of her professional achievements, Mireille says, “Being a mother is my biggest achievement in life.” Where do you live and why? I live on The Gold Coast. We choose to live here because of the lifestyle. I always want to feel like I’m on holidays. Can you give our readers a little snapshot of your family? I’ve been married to my best friend and husband, Shannon, for almost 14 years. We have three beautiful kids; Harrison, 11, Taylor, 8, and Cierra, 5. We all love to get outside and go to the beach together. We keep very active. Is the journey of motherhood what you expected? I love being a mum. Every day brings some special moment. What I never realised was how tired you feel as a mum. I also didn’t appreciate all the spare time I had before kids! How has motherhood changed you? Motherhood has taught me patience. It’s also taught me to appreciate the simple things in life. Motherhood definitely changes your priorities. What qualities do you most admire in each of your children? My son, Harrison, is friends with everyone. He’s so easy to be around and is inclusive of everyone. With my daughter Taylor, it’s her determination I admire most. She wants to be the best at everything she does and works to achieve that. And with Cierra, I admire her unconditional love and kindness for everyone, including animals.

Mireille’s favourite things:

What are your biggest parenting frustrations? I guess my biggest frustrations are when my kids disagree. I don’t enjoy being the referee. What delights you most about motherhood? I love talking with my kids, I love swimming at the beach with them and seeing their laughter and happiness. I also enjoy the cuddles and kisses. Who do you find inspiring? I’m inspired by people who dream big and follow their passions. I love reading biographies – like Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Li Cuxin. Each of us has the power to inspire others. What advice has had the biggest impact on you? Never give up! The only time you fail is when you give up. If I do something and it doesn’t work, I look at what I can learn from that experience and move forward. I know I will always reach my goal if I never give up and move forward step by step. What does a typical day look like at your place? It’s a day of organisation and routine. I find life gets easier when you’re organised. The kids have their routine before school, I drop the kids at school and hubby rides his bike to work, then I see clients, or work from my office, pick the kids up from school and go to after school sport. We come home and eat dinner together with my husband, read stories to the kids, they go to bed and my husband and I generally talk or plan and then go to bed by 9:30pm. What would be an ideal day for you? Get up early and exercise, work until lunch, catch up with friends, then pick up the kids and do something with them and then spend the evening with my husband. How do you balance family and work demands? Running two businesses from home makes setting boundaries really important. I work from 9am to 3pm and then finish for the day. I used to be always answering calls after hours and checking emails. It never truly allowed me to switch off. So I made some changes. I find planning and organisation are the key. I plan each day out so I can be realistic about what I can achieve. I only look at my email twice a day. We have a second telephone line, so if the phone rings I know whether it’s a work or personal call. After hours and weekends is family time. I also take a half-day off on Friday for some “me” time.

Book: Twilight series – I read the first one and it sucked me in

If you have any spare time, what do you like to do with it? I love to read. I devour biographies of people who inspire me.

Music: Anything that makes me want to dance

Where do you see yourself in five years – personally and professionally? I want to travel with my family and cherish our time together because my kids are getting older and I want to make the most of our time together before they move out. Professionally, I will have even more success with my two businesses, have written a successful book, have my own TV show and help over 100,000 mums to reclaim their yummy mummy bodies.

Food: Sushi – healthy and yummy! Holiday destination: Europe – went there with my husband and we loved it! Rainy Day activity: Reading


KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / may 2011

WS e i REV ks to

with than

To hear about our latest comps!

MOVieS Hop

RIO 3D Release: April 7, Rating: TBA From the creators of Ice Age comes Rio, the story of Blu, a macaw of a rare species who is brought up as a pet in a small-town home in Minnesota. He worries he might be the last of his kind until he learns about another one in his species in Brazil. He leaves his perfect life to go for an unsure trip through the lush tropical forests of Brazil and the high-energy, busy streets of Rio de Janeiro.

Release: April 7, Rating:TBA Hop tells the comic tale of Fred, an out-of-work slacker who accidentally injures the Easter Bunny and must take him in as he recovers. As Fred struggles with the world’s worst houseguest, both will learn what it takes to finally grow up. The film is helmed by Tim Hill, director of the blockbuster Alvin and the Chipmunks and produced by Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me).

MOZZIE AND MIDGIE Mars needs Moms Release: April 7, rated: TBA When Martians steal nine-year-old Milo’s mum for their own young, he realises how much he needs her. Produced by the team behind Disney’s A Christmas Carol and The Polar Express, Mars Needs Moms showcases Milo’s quest to save his mum—a wild adventure in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX®

BOOKS BILLY B BROWN: THE SECOND-BEST FRIEND by Sally Rippin. P/B $7.95 This is one of the latest in a recent series written for early readers. The main character in these stories is a girl who deals with many of the same issues that children experience in early primary years. She plays soccer but also does ballet, a well-rounded girl. In this book Billy learns that making a new friend doesn’t mean that you have to lose an old one. Ages 5-7

by Doug MacLeod. Illustrated by Sandy Okalyi. H/B $24.95 This is quite a quirky book for its illustrations but the storyline is familiar. Two spoonbills see themselves as very boring compared to other animals and proceed to try to dress themselves up to be more interesting like other creatures. Finally they realise that they are special just as they are but they do still like to dress up at times. This is a good book for reminding children of the importance of being themselves and celebrating their uniqueness. Ages 3-5

The Secret of the Lonely Isles by Joanne Van Os. P/B $15.95 This is a well-written Australian story about a group of children setting out on an adventure with their great-aunt. It is set around the north of Australia and some of the islands as they are sailing on her boat, trying to find a lost artefact. The children vary in age and the story deals with a few issues the different children are facing. A respect for history and for indigenous culture pervades the writing. Ages 9-13.

APRIL / may 2011 – KiDs on tHe CoAst


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KiDs on tHe CoAst – APRIL / may 2011

Kids on the Coast Magazine - Gold Coast - Issue 32  

Kids on the Coast Magazine, Gold Coast, Issue 32 Birthday gold coast kids behind the wheel?! food and numBers: why...