IssUe 33 JULY/AUG 2oo9
things to do, places to go, everything for kids & parents on the Sunshine Coast
The challenges of single parenting, and the holidays you deserve
Avoid the sockS and jocks this
Fatherâ€™s day What do you when your baby is sick?
alternatives in your home
Health insurance vs Medicare This and more, including competitions, prizes and reviews
issue 33 CONTENTS 3
Teaching your children the value of giving
11 THE “P” FILES Adjusting to single parenthood
16 NEW TO THE COAST 18 CHECK THIS OUT New and interesting products for kids
19 EDUCATION How can you tell if your child is gifted?
24 WHAT’S ON CALENDAR The Kids on the Coast guide to July/August
26 BABIES ON THE COAST Are you prepared if your baby is unwell?
31 at least you have your health P rivate insurance versus Medicare… do you need it?
Before I became a parent, days like these were a time to buy my mum a bunch of flowers or take my dad out for lunch. BC (before children) I seldom took the time to ponder how parenting might have changed my own parent’s lives: what dreams may have been put aside and what luxuries were forfeited as they supported me through my growing years. Of course, it wasn’t long after I gave birth that it became apparent how much work parenting could be and I confess I spoil my own parents more than I used to. What my daughter doesn’t know (and I didn’t understand at her age) is I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. Giving is like that: usually you get more than you give and our feature looks at ways families can volunteer together. As Father’s Day draws closer we have compiled a list of unusual ways to celebrate – from free activities to jaw-dropping treats. We acknowledge those single parent families out there (both those without a father figure, and those where dad is the centre of the universe) with advice on adjusting to single parenting, and ideas for single parent family holidays. So dads, drop a few hints then put your feet up and enjoy YOUR day! Sarah Pye, Editor P.S. After three years I finally made it – I’m now an MC (no, not a master of ceremonies… Master of Communication).
you choose? Who will
35 HEALTH Autism – what is it?
36 KID COLUMN Staying positive through the financial crisis
37 IT’S ONLY NATURAL Reducing the chemicals in your home
40 LET’S CELEBRATE Ideas for Father’s day
42 HAPPY HOLIDAYS
Have you done your research? are their readers your target market?
Holidays for single parents
IssUe 32 MAY/JU Ne 2oo9
things to do, places e!! to go, everything for kids & parent on the sunshine Coasts
Is It just me, or Is everyone havIng babIe s?
your baby’s arriv al CopIng wIth sleep deprIvatI on
KeepIng your baby
are your othe r
KIds jealou s?
tips to help you first ever holid enjoy your ay together
fun or menace?
PLUS the Kids on the Coast calendar of events, product review and the latest s parenting books
is the publication easily accessible? are they reputable? Will they still be here tomorrow?
44 PARENTVILLE Lou goes camping
45 REVIEWS AND COMPETITIONS
to Kids on the Coast For a parenting magazine there are two very important days each year: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
PUBLISHED BY: THINGS 4 KIDS PTY LTD 101 Memorial Drive, Eumundi, QLD 4562 PO Box 491, Eumundi QLD 4562 PHONE: (07) 5442 8679 FAX: (07) 5442 8709 ABN: 86 473 357 391 All editorial in Kids on the Coast has been written in good faith based on material, verbal or written, provided by contributors. No responsibility is taken for errors or omissions and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. All material in Kids on the Coast is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Feedback/comments/suggestions? Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org We aim to reply to all correspondence but don’t guarantee to do so. Letters to the editor may be edited for length or clarity. PUBLISHER: Toni Eggleston EDITOR: Sarah Pye
EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS: Maxine Arthur, Madonna Hirning, Christine Hobba, Cindy Mayes, Dr Roger Morris, Jane O’Hara, Alison Rodriguez, Sandra Smith. ADVERTISING: For advertising enquiries please phone Tanya Ryan on (07) 5442 8679 or email: email@example.com PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Terri Sanderson, production@ kidsonthecoast.com.au PARENTS’ CHOICE SUPPLIER PROGRAMME: Speak with your advertising co-ordinator or email: firstname.lastname@example.org ADMINISTRATION: Kellie Kruger DISTRIBUTION: Kids on the Coast (Sunshine Coast edition) is a free publication circulating over 15,000 copies from Caloundra to Noosa and through the hinterland. A separate edition covers the Gold Coast. For distribution enquiries please phone: (07) 5442 8679 or email: email@example.com FRONT COVER: Karen Buckle GRAPHIC DESIGN: Michelle Craik
are they affordable and fair to each and every advertiser? will it be thrown away - or is it substantial enough to keep long term?
Your guide to nothing muchHere
today, ow! gone tomorr
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When choosing where to spend your advertising dollar - think carefully. Ask your clients who they know and trust. Choose the publication that will do the right thing for your business.
Produced locally for the past 5 years by parents for parents on the Sunshine Coast. For more information, please email Tanya Ryan firstname.lastname@example.org JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
news SURVIVING YOUR ADOLESCENTS
Lifeline Community Care is offering parents and caregivers of over-12’s a helping hand to learn more about adolescence and their role as a parent of a teenager by running a “Surviving Your Adolescents” parenting course. The four week course is held in Maroochydore and involves practising skills, swapping ideas, gaining support and meeting other parents. Qualified counsellors with over 20 years of experience working with parents, children, and families lead the program. To find out more phone Lifeline on 5443 5366.
SIX, GOING ON 30
Two childhood sweethearts, aged six and seven, eloped from Hanover in northern Germany earlier this year, determined to tie the knot under the African sun. The pair identified as Mika and Anna-Lena "are very much in love and decided to get married in Africa where it is warm, taking with them as a witness Anna-Lena's little sister, aged five", police spokesman Holger Jureczko said. The trio packed all the essentials for the journey, including "sunglasses, swimming trunks, a lilo, summer clothes and provisions". While their parents slept, they left their house in the suburbs of Hanover, walked a kilometre up the road and took a tram for the central station. Waiting for a train to the airport, they aroused the attention and two police officers who managed to convince the young lovers that they would struggle to get to Africa without money or a plane ticket. As a consolation, the children were given a special tour of the police headquarters, where they were especially taken with the detention cells.
GRANTS IMPROVE NAMBOUR KINDY
Kids attending Nambour’s Brookes Street Kindergarten will enjoy a great new backyard area including vegetable gardens, herbs and citrus trees thanks to grants from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund ($15,000) and Sunshine Coast Regional Council ($5000). Spokesperson Emma Harry said the improvements would benefit the children and the kindergarten enormously. “This is a fantastic opportunity for the children to develop their senses of smell and touch. They will learn about nurturing and looking after the plants and they will even have a new friend in the form of a scarecrow lovingly hand-made by ‘budding’ gardeners,” she said. Kindergarten families and staff will celebrate the new backyard area and maintenance shed with an open day on Sunday June 21.
MAGAZINE’S MOTIVATED MUMS SWINE FLU: SCHOOL QUARANTINE INTRODUCED Queensland has adopted the national policy of asking students to stay away from school for seven days if they have recently returned from countries affected by Human Swine Influenza. Premier Anna Bligh said the government’s first priority is to protect students and staff from the risk of this illness and prevent it spreading. Parents have been provided with information about what to do if there is a confirmed case of the illness at their child's school, which could involve school closures. "We are taking these steps now so everyone is prepared and has a plan in case the situation does arise," Ms Bligh said. For more information, visit www.health.qld.gov.au/swineflu
Three years ago, Gold Coast mums Sally and Marissa started a small letterbox drop and magazine delivery company called Motivated Mums. Now, with over a dozen stay-at-home mums on the payroll, they have recently become the distributors of Kids on the Coast. "Stay-at-home mums can earn themselves some pocket money, get some purposeful exercise and help local businesses promote themselves cost effectively!" Sally says. "We love delivering Kids on the Coast, in fact we barely get to the door before we hear - oh good, the Kids on the Coast mags are here.” Environmentally friendly Motivated Mums uses feet and prams instead of motorbikes and provide detailed reports to their customers. For more information visit www.motivatedmums.com.au
Look for this logo for special discounts!
Readers Save money by shopping wherever you see the logo displayed, and mentioning “Kids on the Coast” for special offers and discounts!
KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
Reader discounts available at these places: Mention the KOTC Reader Discount to receive these great offers • Aussie World Up to 25% off limited rides all day • Cooroy Gymnastics First lesson free on presentation of this ad • Go Go Ceramics Childs paint free with kids birthday parties • Gymbaroo Free demo lesson
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giving The value of
by Sandra Smith
Will a new toy or the latest Playstation make our children happy? How can we best guide our children to a meaningful life? These are questions that we, as parents, ask ourselves.
Sunshine Coast psychotherapist Monique Rutherford believes volunteering as a family strengthens relationships and improves communication. She says parents, children and other family members create shared memories as they spend time together contributing. Volunteering also connects and strengthens communities, reduces feelings of social isolation, and fosters respect for different people and conditions. It empowers children and they gain an increased sense of worth and self-esteem, as they see how their contribution can help make a difference.
In our hearts we know happiness can’t be found in money or ‘things’. Our lives have meaning when we help others and give without expecting something in return. Each of us has something to give, and together we can help make the world we live in a better place. When our children are very young, we need to teach them by example, by modeling good behavior and relationships. Giving back to the community is a way of setting a good example for our kids, and many local families are doing just that. Volunteering gives children a greater awareness of the world around them and a growing sense of social responsibility.
Where kids create and learn
Monique considers family volunteering a great way for parents to act as positive role models and to show kids how to help others in need. “Children learn far more from parents’ examples than they do from advice, judgment, blaming or shaming,” Monique says. “When children see their parents actively organising their time to help others and are involved in the process, they will see it as a normal part of life, not just potential, or something they’d like to do one day.” Children can get involved in giving back to the community at any age. “The younger the child, the more likely they will see the contribution as a regular family activity,” Monique explains. “Of course, as they get older their capacity to contribute as well as their interests will change and so their role may change also.”
School Holiday activities in the Food Court.
There are many ways to make a difference, whether it’s fighting global poverty, raising funds to feed and clothe needy children, or helping neglected or injured animals.
Monday 29th June – Friday 3rd July Monday 6th July – Friday 10th July 10am – 2pm daily
Fighting global poverty Gold Coast teenager Naomi Dickson has been helping others less fortunate than herself since, at the age of nine, she participated in her very first 40 Hour Famine. Recently, as World Vision’s Queensland Youth Ambassador, Naomi experienced hardship in third world communities first-hand during a trip to Cambodia. “I met kids who were really starving, I met kids who were homeless, I met kids who had lost both their parents to HIV/AIDS, and I saw a lot of suffering,” Naomi says. “However, there is hope, because these kids are now being supported through World Vision.” Naomi says the upcoming 40 Hour Famine in August is an easy way to get involved and help address the global food crisis. The event is one of Australia’s largest youth fundraisers, with about 350,000 young people expected to participate this year. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
PLUS guest appearances from Wallum Froglet
Visit noosacivic.com.au to download daily Kids Club activities and to join, or visit the Customer Service Desk. 28 Eenie Creek Rd, Noosaville Open 7 days Ph 5440 7900 noosacivic.com.au JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
“You don’t have to give up food, you can give up technology … and for kids of primary age, it’s only eight hours,” Naomi explains. Naomi hasn’t always been a globe-trotting activist. She first started sponsoring an African child when she was in Year 9, using earnings from her part-time job. Her family sponsors a total of nine children through World Vision, and they have made personal connections with the sponsored children, having visited most of them over the years. “Our dream is to one day visit them all, as we see first-hand what a difference it makes,” Naomi’s mum Lenore Dickson, says. A mother of three, Lenore says family volunteering teaches children that they live in a global community and that helping others is rewarding. She believes volunteering brings children a greater understanding and awareness of what’s happening in the world. “There’d be a lot less wars and conflict if everybody cared for one another,” Lenore says. Lenore believes community work and volunteering begin at home, and children look to their parents for guidance. If they see mum and dad being supportive of causes, and having a voice against the injustices of the world, children will follow that example. “Children model what they see in their own home and you can talk your head off, but it’s not going to make any difference,” she says. “If parents can give up their time to support any community outreach, their children will then model that.” Lenore says schools and community organisations are “a wonderful support” for family volunteering. Schools encourage children to participate in a range of activities, develop skills and get involved with the community, while organisations like Guides, Scouts and surf lifesaving clubs build up skills in volunteering because they have an ethos of service. Human rights and social responsibility have always been important to 18-year-old Naomi, who plans to study law and international relations at university, so she can continue to help make a difference. She is determined to continue with her work “giving back to the community that gives me so much every day”.
KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
Caring for animals The RSPCA helps all kinds of animals and they couldn’t do it without the help of foster families who care for more than 3,000 animals in Queensland each year. Sharn and Trevor Gardner, and their two boys Jackson and Lachlan, provide foster care for horses on their property on the Gold Coast hinterland. Mum Sharn Gardner says caring for horses was the perfect choice for her family, because they live on acreage and she has a lot of experience with horses. Some of the horses that come to stay with the Gardner family are obviously mistreated and Sharn says some of them are “skin and bone” and it’s vital that horses are monitored closely so they can have the care and hands-on attention that they need to recover. “Rehabilitation is really important for these animals,” Sharn says. “Some are frightened by people and they need lots of hands-on work, others are just malnourished and need monitoring of their feeds.” Sharn believes animal foster care is a great way for her children to learn how to give back to the community without expecting anything in return. “We thought it was a good way to show our children that you can actually do something and not have to get paid for it,” she says. “We’re teaching them that you don’t necessarily do things in life because you’ll get something back. You do things because it’s the right thing to do.” Sharn says there is an unbelievable wealth of information that comes from caring for the animals and the children learn about boundaries, respect and responsibility.” The boys have a strong sense of right and wrong,” Sharn says. “They know from this experience that if a wrong has been done, in this case to the horses, we can go a long way to making it right.” With supervision and support from their parents, both Lachlan, aged six, and Jackson, aged eight, help with the care and rehabilitation of the horses. Their jobs include checking on the water and throwing hay over the fence. “I help with the feeds and water and give them pats,” Jackson says.
Are your kids needing more room? Do you need your own space?
The boys learn that a mistreated horse will slowly build up trust with them over time. “They can see the correlation between that and their relationships with people as well,” Sharn says. “If you treat some-one with respect and you treat them with dignity, then they’ll respond accordingly.” Part of fostering animals is learning how to let go and say goodbye to the animals at the end of the rehabilitation period. Sharn says the boys get attached to the animals, but she feels it’s important for them to learn to let go. “We’ve done what we can to care for them,” Sharn says. “It’s time for them to move on.” Lachlan feels sad when it’s time to say goodbye to a foster horse “because I like them when they run and play”, but he feels happy that they are going to a new home. “They will have a happy new life and it’s better than their old life,” his brother Jackson says.
Keeping local kids warm Lending a helping hand to struggling local families is another way of giving back to the community. Some kids don’t have warm pyjamas this winter, and Sunshine Coast resident Brooke Neylan launched the Coast’s very own Pyjama Program, to provide winter pyjamas for local children in need.
Expressing on the OUTSIDE what’s happening on the INSIDE!
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This series of workshops is designed for adults who value their parenting journey and wish to connect authentically with their child to enhance their emotional and behavioural well-being. These workshops are a must if you cherish your parent-child experiences and would like to create a peaceful family environment.
Don’t miss this amazing opportunity for selfnurture, discovery and unique ideas that will unlock your natural parenting wisdom and empower you to be the parent you want to be.
Psychotherapist Specialising in Parent-Child Relationships
Next series of workshops beginning 14th August.
BEd/BArts (Psych), MEd (BM), MEd (SGC) Adv Training Expressive Therapies
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P: 5476 8084 • E: email@example.com
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Brooke says she has always wanted to help children in some way and when she saw the US Pyjama Program on television, she thought it would be a great way to help. “When I put on my winter PJ's for this first time this year, it made me think about how many children there are out there that are not as lucky as I am or was as a child,” she says.
The organisations listed here would love to have your family’s support. Alternatively, visit www.govolunteer.com.au for an extensive list of not-for profit organisations seeking volunteers.
Brooke is working in partnership with the Salvation Army, and she says that more than 60 children have already received new winter pyjamas through the program. “Giving teaches children that it's not all about receiving - that there are children out there not as fortunate as them, who don't receive new toys every birthday,” Brooke says. “It's important that children understand helping others brings rewards - rewards of a different kind.
Girl Guides Phone: 07 3252 3061 or visit: www.guidesqld.org Junior Landcare Phone: 07 3211 4413 or visit: www.landcare.org.au Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland Phone: 07 3318 4477 or visit: www.leukemia.org.au Planet Ark Phone: 02 8484 7200 or visit: www.planetark.com National Tree Day Phone: 1300 88 5000 or visit: www.treeday.planetark.org Rotary Club Phone: 02 9635 3537 or visit: www.rotary.org.au RSPCA Phone: 07 3426 9915 or visit: www.rspcaqld.com.au Salvation Army Phone: 13 SALVOS (13 72 58) or visit: www.salvos.org.au Scouts Phone: 1800 SCOUTS or visit: www.scoutsqld.com.au St Vincent de Paul Phone: 07 3010 1000 or visit: www.vinnies.org.au and follow the links to Vinnie’s Youth World Vision Phone: 13 32 40 or visit: www.worldvision.com.au
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The program is supported by individuals and organisations all over the Sunshine Coast, including the Buderim Cub Scouts and the Buderim Rotary Club. Buderim Cub Scout leader Neil Parkinson knew the pyjama program was something the children in his group would want to help with. He spoke with them about how it feels on a cold night hopping into a new pair of PJ’s and feeling snug and warm. After he described to them how some children go to bed cold, with nothing more than their summer pyjamas, he said the young Cubs and Scouts were self-motivated and took it from there. “The children love to help out people who they can relate with,” Neil says. Volunteering – individually or together as a family is a way for children to learn values like kindness, empathy, respect, friendliness and tolerance. Let’s Have your say face it – aren’t these the values we want Comment on this article at for the next generation? www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
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“We have had an amazing amount of interest from local residents and also local community groups who have all vowed to support the campaign and put together fundraising and PJ drives.”
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Time for self esteem Kris Hines of inner Work knows when life throws you challenges it’s often good to enlist an unrelated listening ear. She has been a teacher, counsellor and self development facilitator for over 20 years, and has been on the coast since 2000. It’s not easy being a child these days and Kris sees the frustration of caring parents who witness their children’s self doubt and wonder what to do. Children of all ages can suffer mentally or emotionally and are often not able to express their feelings easily and often want to hide them from others. Kris’s work is about helping kids cope with the rough spots and get their self esteem back on track, enabling parents and children to communicate better and empowering children and adults to take charge of their emotional wellbeing. To contact Kris phone: 5442 3676 or 0408 226 353.
A Time and a Place for… Life can be tough for both kids and adults: Family Separation Learning Pressures Bullying Grief & Loss Rejection Low Self Esteem
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SCHOOL HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT HOLIDAY FUN… It’s not just for the kids… WEEK 1 - PANTASTIC STEELBAND Monday 29 June to Sunday 5 July Riverwalk Stage 11am and 1pm, daily
Pantastic Steelband will be showcasing the uplifting and exciting Caribbean-style music. With the rhythms of Calypso, Soca and Reggae Pantastic’s repertoire is guaranteed to please just about everybody. WEEK 2 - GARFIELD’S ROCKIN’ DINER Tuesday 7 July to Saturday 11 July Riverwalk Stage 11am and 1pm, daily Garﬁeld’s Rockin’ Diner follows the funny adventures of everyone’s favourite feline as he spends his holidays at a groovy, rockin’ pizzeria restaurant famous for its lasagne. © PAWS All Rights Reserved
Horton Parade, Maroochydore QLD 4558 Phone 07 5443 4133 www.sunshineplaza.com
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Family relationship help for separating families Family break-ups are a difficult time for adults and children alike. They come with many challenges and decisions need to be made. The good news is they don’t have to be made alone. The Sunshine Coast Family Relationship Centre is the first point of call for families in the region who are seeking to make their relationships better. It provides family dispute resolution for those who are separating or are wishing to make ongoing parenting arrangements for their children and it can help extended family members adjust to the changes.
Dispute resolution and parenting plans A family dispute resolution session is an opportunity for parents to meet with a family dispute resolution practitioner to discuss and negotiate arrangements which are in the best interests of their children. Together with the practitioner, parents can decide on arrangements and, if appropriate, formulate a parenting plan outside of the court system.
How does the process work? The first step is a confidential interview between each individual parent and the family dispute resolution practitioner to determine whether this process is appropriate in the circumstances. Next, each parent attends a different group session to learn how to get the most from the process. Parents then meet together with the practitioner to discuss arrangements for their children. To complete the process, the practitioner will assist parents in the formulation of a parenting plan.
Child inclusive practice Sometimes when families experience problems it can be difficult to know what is best for the children. The Sunshine Coast Family Relationship Centre encourages parents to include their children in the decision making process and this may include children talking separately with a child consultant. Children often want to please both parents, so talking to somebody outside the family lets them talk about what is happening without feeling ‘caught in the middle’ and afraid of hurting either parent. If children are finding it difficult to express their feelings the Family Relationship Centre child consultant will be able to assist them. After spending time with the child/ren the child consultant provides feedback for the dispute resolution process. This includes an assessment of the child/ren’s needs, how they are coping with any changes and anything they may want the parents to know about their feelings and helps the parents reach agreement on parenting plans with the best interests of the child in mind.
Free information and advice You do not need a booking to get information about programs and available services and referral and individual sessions are also free of charge. This includes meetings to prepare for the dispute resolution process as well as three hours of joint dispute resolution. Charges may apply if further assistance is necessary, but you are under no obligation.
Separating or need help with your relationShip? are you separating or already separated, and need help with family relationships? the Sunshine Coast Family relationship Centre provides a professional and confidential family dispute resolution service. Sessions are free of charge.
The Sunshine Coast Family Relationship Centre • Helps separating families with family dispute resolution interviews and sessions, and formulating parenting plans • Helps families stay together with advice about relationships and information to access other services • Strengthens family relationships by providing information and referrals to other services, and involving children, grandparents, extended family members where appropriate For information and free advice contact the Family relationship advice line on 1800 050 321 between 8am-8pm Monday to Friday. Or visit the Sunshine Coast Family Relationship Centre at 43-45 Primary School Court, Maroochydore, phone 5452 9700. it’s located close to the Sunshine plaza shopping complex and public transport, with car parking available nearby.
alternatively, visit your local Community Hub Caloundra Community Centre, Phone: 5491 4511 Coolum Community Centre, Phone: 5471 6655 Cooroy Family Support Centre, Phone: 5447 7747 Maleny Neighbourhood Centre, Phone: 5499 9345
For more information, contact the Family Relationship Advice Line on 1800 050 321 between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday. Or contact the Sunshine Coast Family Relationship Centre at 43-45 Primary School Court, Maroochydore. Phone: 5452 9700.
KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
THE ‘P’ Files Adjusting to
single by Madonna Hirning
parenthood Heidi Cooper, www.buderimphotography.com.au
“I didn’t know it would be this hard” is a comment made by many separated parents. You might think they are referring to the breakdown of their marriage, but for many, separation from their spouse pales in comparison with the subsequent challenges of parenting plans and co-parenting. Despite a drop in recent years, a report collated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows there were 47,963 divorces recorded in 2007 - almost 7000 more than in 1988. Of those, 49.3% involved children. That’s a lot of people navigating the treacherous waters of separation and shared parenting.
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THE ‘P’ Files
Shared Parenting In 2006 several changes were introduced to the Family Law Act which went from a system which some say favoured the mother, to one where equal responsibility was preferred. Now, magistrates are instructed to “make decisions in the best interests of the child with primary consideration being to protect children from harm”. It is acknowledged that there is a “benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents, equal shared parental responsibility, substantial and significant time with each parent and time with significant others”. The Act now favours compulsory family dispute resolution and improved court processes. On the surface, the shift towards shared parenting arrangements seems a good one aimed at ensuring both parents are involved in key aspects of the child’s life and share responsibility for the child along with time. However, when two people who don’t get along are involved, it comes with enormous challenges. Sunshine Coast Family Relationship Centre manager James Morrissey stresses that shared parenting arrangements do not necessarily need to mean time shared equally between parents. Rather, a shared parenting arrangement is individual to each family and even if time is not split equally, other aspects of care can be adjusted so overall responsibility for parenting is shared. When making a commitment to share parenting arrangements he says “Parents need to consider the proximity of their residence to schools, after school activities and ensure their children have some basic belongings at each residence to make it their own space.” “Both parents need to consider the impact of the arrangement on the children and communicate with the other parent to make it work.”
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… you could come and spend quality time playing with your toddler and baby and help their development at the same time? … Someone could help you peek inside your child’s growing body and brain and understand better how with every song, rhyme, massage, dance, and playtime on special equipment you can unfold your child’s abilities and talents? … everytime you left you took home treasures and inspirations to continue your quality interaction time together everyday?
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Likewise, Lifeline Sunshine Coast families program manager Rosalin Primrose cautions that “when the financial side of separation is addressed, the process can easily become about the money when parents really need to keep the focus on the kids in order to balance what they need”. Rosalin believes that parenting arrangements that share equal time between parents can work well in families where there is good communication and enough support for each parent to manage. Unfortunately those ex-couples that make it to court are seldom those who have good communication. Both James and Rosalin agree that shared parenting arrangements are challenging, and often more difficult for the children in situations where high levels of ongoing conflict between parents is present.
Refocussing anger and frustration While all this parenting negotiation takes place, separating parents are trying to juggle negative, and sometimes overwhelming, emotions. One mum sees the changes as “confronting, challenging and also frightening at times. There is a level of anxiety and panic.” “There is a certain amount of wanting to hold on to the past and wondering how love was not strong enough to get your family through?” she says, “In some ways it is a death of the relationship that needs to be grieved.” Family Relationship Centres provide information and support to separating families and individuals. Services include family dispute resolution and referral to other appropriate services such as relationship counselling and legal advice services. A regular information session called ‘It’s for the Kids’ is held at the Sunshine Coast Family Relationship Centre and each member of the separating couple is encouraged to attend on different evenings. I sat in on one of these sessions recently and was struck by how it repeatedly and gently redirects parents from the common pitfalls of separation such as anger, conflict, blame and financial matters to focus on the priority – the children. Information is provided on the typical issues
Tips for a Smooth Transition Develop a parenting plan and remember to include the needs of all family members. When working out a plan try to be fair. Use a contact book which goes along with the children. Each parent can note important activities or information for the other. Inform the child’s school of the situation and any change of address. Request that duplicates of all information are provided to both parents. Give schools a copy of any agreement or court order. Spend quality time with your children and remind them often how much you love them.
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THE ‘P’ Files which arise and how things such as passing messages to the other parent through the child, blaming the other parent for lack of money, or refusing to acknowledge the other parent can affect the children. Parents are also provided with information about the stages they may go through following separation and the many different emotions they may experience. Family Relationship Centres in different areas offer similar programs and location specific information can be found at www. familyrelationships.gov.au
Family Dispute Resolution and Parenting Plans Heidi Cooper, www.buderimphotography.com.au
Family dispute resolution is the process of mediation where both partners (either together or separately) meet with a family dispute resolution practitioner to talk about and negotiate arrangements. Generally it starts with an individual premediation session and the aim of the negotiation is to take individual needs into account and to assist both parents to come to an arrangement which will work for them. Once both parents have voiced their needs, a parenting plan can be formulated to reflect the agreements reached. Coming to an agreement with someone you may no longer trust is often a leap of faith, and some don’t manage to do this. However, the Family Relationship Centre believes it is worth a try. The resulting agreement is not legally enforceable but James says the completed parenting plan can be taken to court and formulated into a consent order which is then legally binding. “In a lot of cases a parenting plan, whilst not being a legal document itself, can be quite durable and have the capacity to work well for a lot of families in setting out how the arrangements around the children will work,” he says.
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KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
Then Raw Energy in Noosaville is the place for you. Situated on the beautiful Noosa River with a stunning view and river breezes, Raw Energy has a funky vibe that serves fresh healthy food • Children’s area with DVD’s, chalkboard, toys and much more! • Specially designed menu – healthy selection for the kids and at under $5.00, affordable for Mum and Dad! • Caters for individual diets including gluten free, vegan and vegetarian as well as a traditional menu
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For more information: The Me and My Series is a range of booklets by the Child Support Agency containing detailed information for parents about many different aspects of separation. They are available free. Visit: www.csa.gov.au or phone: 131 272. As a separating parent, it is important to acknowledge that this is a time of change and transition for you as well as your children. Even if you initiated the separation, the process is likely to bring up difficult or unexpected feelings. Small things may suddenly seem incredibly difficult or you may find yourself feeling irritable, angry or easily upset. It is important to remember that a new life is beginning and this may feel strange and unsettling. Try to maintain awareness of your feelings and allow some time for yourself as you adjust to the changes. Don’t be afraid to seek help if you are struggling. For more information visit www.familyrelationships.gov.au
I need help!
rties Birthdbaley. CalPl a for details now availa
Sunshine Coast Family Relationship Centre: 5452 9700 Lifeline Family Dispute Resolution: 5452 9797 Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277 www.familyrelationships.gov.au Family Relationship Advice Line: 1800 050 321
Have your say Comment on this article at www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
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A KIDS ON THE COAST ADVERTISING FEATURE
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‘New to the Coast’ is a way in which Kids on the Coast can support new businesses that cater to Sunshine Coast parents and families. We think local kids and parents deserve just as much choice, style, fun, innovation and value for money as those living anywhere else. So if you agree, please join us in helping these new ventures to get off the ground by taking a look at what they’ve got to offer. And if you’ve got a new business you want to spread the word on, let us know!
Find happiness at home
That special touch Kathy Dickson has worked with children her entire life, but after 16 years of teaching, she was looking for something new, that still kept her working with children. She then discovered Smallprint and found that it touched her for so many different reasons. “It has allowed me to create beautiful keepsakes of not only my children, but my extended family, that can be treasured forever. Even the family pets can have their paws captured for life,” says Kathy. “Not only can these impressions be made into jewellery, but also other items, like personalised Christmas decorations, that will last forever.” With the new range, she is now able to miniaturise and create pure silver keepsakes from hand prints, footprints, writing samples and even treasured children’s drawings, which can be worn close to the heart.
Capture your child’s fingerprint in silver Precious jewellery touched by someone you love Necklaces
New range now available also capturing feet, hands and artwork
To book now or enquire contact Kathy on 0488 778 874 or visit www.smallp.com.au today!
Finding solutions to pool safety
Earn $3000+ a week. See how Jacqui, an everyday single mum on the Gold Coast went from working full time 50 hours a week to 25 hours from home after discovering a new way to create wealth and improve her lifestyle.
Gordon Stevens of Poolwatcher is concerned because too many kids still drown each year in Australia and most of them are under four.
“Life is about working smarter not harder, with this recession-beating home business opportunity you can do exactly that. This is completely different to other home businesses out there. It is not multi level marketing. It has a simple system to follow which has lead to my success, and anyone can do it,” Jacqui says. “I now get more time with my son, we travel interstate, overseas and I get to do everything I want each day. I love my life.”
Pool fences are a great first line of defence, however they are open to human error and pool covers can be taken off while you are distracted.”
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“There only has to be a brief lapse in supervision that allows the children to slip away unnoticed,” Gordon says.
Gordon realises parents are human and suggests an extra level of safety. Available at Poolwatcher, electric monitoring systems automatically sounds an alarm when a child or pet over 5kg falls into your unsupervised pool. Or an infra red beam alarm can automatically sound an alarm when a child or pet moves into the guarded perimeter.
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What makes the difference? From the moment that students walk into an Australian Acting Academy class they know they have found something special. More than just acting skills – Yet the skills you learn will be amongst the best in Australia with the curriculum revised annually. More than just fun – Laughter and enjoyment are only the beginning. More than just performing – Performances for both stage and screen take place three times each year but there is plenty of learning in between. More than just opportunity – Although students are often seen by some of the best casting directors in Australia and some even obtain professional work. So what makes all the difference? The REAL difference lies in not WHAT the Australian Acting Academy does but HOW they do it. So much care and thought has gone into class development over the past 15 years that every person
feels safe to take risks and learn – not just about acting, but about themselves. Regional Manager Mary Eggleston believes that you can’t really play someone else unless you know yourself. “Being an 8-12 or 13-17 year old is sometimes very uncomfortable; we have created a place where everyone feels safe to explore who they are” she says. “We do this under a philosophy we call the ‘safety net’.” The Safety Net stands for “No paying out – No putting down – Just TOTAL SUPPORT FOR YOUR ENSEMBLE or TEAM!” Thanks to this simple philosophy, the Australian Acting Academy has positively enhanced the acting abilities and lives of over 40,000 students since 1994. They don’t just build great characters – they help build great character! In addition to camps and holiday workshops the Acting Academy runs regular classes in Coolum, Sippy Downs and Caloundra for 8-17 year olds. To find out more about their Act For Life program contact Mary on: 0418 795 186.
More than just acting skills. More than just fun. More than just performing. More than just opportunity. Contact Mary Eggleston on mob: 0418 795 186 or email email@example.com
Learn and grow GymbaRoo Early Childhood Learning Programs feature weekly parent and child educational sessions for kids from six weeks to 5 years. Parents and carers enjoy participating together with their children and parents learn techniques they can even use at home. There are several classes including Baby Roo which focuses on massage, mobility and rhythm for babies; Kinder Beat which embraces learning using music and Little Readers which focuses on preparing 3-5 year olds for school. There are even singing lessons! Each activity in the neurologically based movement programs at GymbaRoo is interactive and short which keeps little minds busy and focused. A wide variety of facilitation tools (like bubble makers and parachutes) are used, every class has a theme and all the teachers are engaging, caring and genuinely approachable. During a variety of classes babies and preschoolers can hone their fine motor skills, enjoy language and pre-reading games, listen to stories, play instruments, partake in art and craft or play on specialist gym equipment. New parent groups are invited to book their own sessions by appointment. Learning is meant to be fun and it’s all about fun at GymbaRoo.
GymbaROO School Readiness Little Readers: 3 years - 5 years Toddlers: 12 months - 2 ½ years Parachute & Bubble Play, Specialist Gym equipment, Musical instruments, Neurological programs
BabyROO 6 weeks - 11 months • • • • •
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JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
CHECK THIS OUT! our guide to interesting & essential bits & pieces
A good night’s sleep
They are tiny, and so are their throats and nostrils, which often leads to sniffles and croup in babies. Steam has been used as effective therapy because it helps to open up nasal passages and enables parents to ease discomfort without using medication. By running the Euky Bear Steam Vaporiser during the night in your baby’s nursery, the whole family can avoid sleepless nights. The Euky Bear is available at most pharmacies or visit www.fgb.com.au
Protect and personalise Phone socks, and other mobile phone covers have become quite the rage, and you can take it one step further with these personalised Mocks. Send the company a photo of your kids or pets and they will transfer it onto your mobile phone sock. Makes a great gift for loved ones (especially those overseas because it’s small and easy to post!), and provides you with a lovely reminder of them whenever the phone rings! Visit: www.mocks.com.au, upload your image and wait about five working days! RRP $14.95.
For a chance to win one of three Euky Bear Steam Vaporiser packs (including a steamer and cuddly bear) visit www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
Cool away the blues Sensational sandwiches Getting kids to eat their bread can be a challenge at times - especially the crusts. If you have given up on the latter, but persevere with the former, the Lunch Punch might be just what you need. These handy sandwich cutters put the fun back into lunchtime, enabling little ones to make jigsaw shapes and even build puzzles with their bread. A huge sandwich is a perfect centerpiece for a kid’s party and they double up as biscuit cutters or even playdough tools. A set of four cutters costs around $13. Available at child@play, Caloundra 5491 7307, or visit www.coolthings.com.au
Learning to walk, or run, can be a challenging time for little ones, and the resulting bruises and bumps are par for the course. With the Bump Buddy Elmo Cold Pack tears will disappear quickly and your little one will be back on their feet pushing their physical envelope. Elmo’s smiling face lives in your fridge and is always ready for action. The bright colour is sure to distract, and the pack is reusable, nontoxic and a natural road to pain relief. Available at major pharmacies, Toys R Us and child@play, Caloundra 5491 7307. Visit: www.kidscoldpacks.com
KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
Underwater sculpture Imagine building sandcastles underwater! It’s hard to get your head around the science, but Aqua Sand is made from a unique substance that’s mould-able underwater, and instantly dry when taken out. Guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment for young and old, Aqua Sand comes in several colours, in packages with underwater worlds, or in refill packs. It is suitable for anyone over four and, best of all, it’s reusable… time and time again. Available at all good toy retailers.
Cut the clutter It doesn’t matter how big your garage is, it always seems to bulge at the seams and Gladiator’s mission is to solve the problem. Among other products, the new Gladiator Claw advanced bike storage device can help. This easy-to-use wall or ceiling-mounted rack is new to Australia. It handles bikes up to 22.8kg and, although it might be dangerous for kids to try and lift their bikes, it’s easy to use. Just push the wheel of the bike into the claw which grips and locks with one motion. Made of durable die-cast aluminium, the Gladiator Claw cost around $90. With more retailers coming onboard regularly, visit www.gladiatorgw.com.au for up-to-date stockists or phone: 1800 GLADIATOR.
Intergrated charging Road trips with kids this school holidays are made much easier with this handy family charging system from Bluetek. Plugging straight into the car charger (or with a home adapter and USB connector), it’s five octopus-like tentacles come with a variety of different plug adjustments eg. electronic games, phones, camping lights and mp3 players. Plugs suit iPod, Blackberry, Nokia, Nintendo and most cameras. Available at Dick Smith, Big W and Harvey Norman for around $50.
Rare gift by Alison Rodriguez
What makes a gifted child and how do you know if you have one? Children with high level ability have been given a gift and they also have a gift to give. Generally they revel in their achievements and are proud of who they are but the gift can also be a double edged sword and if it is not recognised and nurtured, it will bite back. Most parents want their kids to do well at school but for gifted children going to school can take all the fun out of learning. A child who starts school already reading may quickly realise they are ‘different’ and stop reading to fit in even ending up in the remedial reading group. Being gifted is not always easy. Nor is it easy to define.
Play Talk Learn
Coolum Beach Christian College Discover why more parents are enrolling their children for 2009 and 2010.
Baby and Toddler Talk Sessions Would you like ideas how to develop your child’s early play and language skills? Information sessions for parents: • Before first words • First words • Combining words Presented by an experienced Speech Pathologist
Phone us on 5452 6030 for more information or to book your place
Day and evening sessions available
Melissa Matthews Speech Pathology for Children
Modern facilities, caring staff and very competitive fee structure including sibling discounts and a bursary program.
If you are interested in finding out more, please contact the school office on 5446 4780 to receive a prospectus, or arrange a school tour. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
education Giftedness can take on many forms. We often think of a gifted child as being one who is profoundly gifted and plays Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony faultlessly on the piano from age three. Some gifted children start school reading, writing and multiplying although many do not. What they do have in common is a propensity to learn rapidly, increased sensitivity and empathy and an awareness and quality of thinking beyond their years when compared with their same age peers. Intelligence has historically been seen as a single, inherent entity. You either had it or you didn’t. In 1983, cognitive psychologist Howard Gardner published his theories of multiple intelligences. Instead of just one, Gardner found seven distinct intelligences: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Today his theory is widely accepted and has changed approaches in education, particularly the approaches for education of gifted children.
The types of gifted students High achiever - well-liked, dependent learners who do not take risks Challenger - usually highly creative, can be prone to rebel if not well supported Underground student - tries to hide gift in order to be accepted, often anxious and insecure Drop out – de-motivated with long history of underachievement Double labelled - may have physical, emotional or learning difficulty that receives attention while the gifted potential is ignored Autonomous learner - independent and self-directed
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A gifted child may demonstrate exceptional ability in just one area of skill or across a range of areas such as general intelligence, visual or performing arts, physical ability and creative or abstract thinking. To be identified as gifted, children are generally ranked in the top 10% of their age-related ability and usually work at a level two years above their chronological age. Gifted children can come from all cultural and socio-economic groups and no two children will exhibit the same gifts or behaviours - each is unique. Gifted children can also have disabilities and are known as Gifted Learning Disabled. A child with exceptional mathematical ability may have severe difficulty with written expression and comprehension or need therapy to be able to hold a pencil and write or draw. The great misconception about gifted children is that because of their high ability they will ‘be all right’ whatever their circumstances. It’s the old adage of “If she’s as smart as you think she is then you don’t need to worry.” In fact, schooling for a gifted or talented child can be a minefield. If they are in an educational program that does not challenge them or allow them to develop their specific talents they suffer low self esteem and lose interest. Without proper encouragement and support, many gifted children become de-motivated and, tragically, underachieve. Classed as average students they simply drift along or become labelled as lazy, disruptive and uncooperative because they lack challenge and stimulation. Sometimes underachieving gifted and talented children are wrongly diagnosed as ADHD. Identification of gifted children usually begins at home as gifts are noticed by parents, extended family, teachers, and even the students themselves. Parents who suspect they have a gifted child should keep examples and records of the child’s activities (art, crafts, writing) and note behaviours, achievements and milestones. Gifted children generally reach milestones significantly earlier than their peers. They show a greater awareness of their surroundings and behaviour at an early age.
SWIM SCHOOL Where Kids Come First We hope you give us the opportunity to show you what we can do for your children. We know you will be happy with our program and the results your children will achieve, irrespective of how nervous or confident your child may be. This is a timely reminder that as parents we have a responsibility to ensure our children Learn To Swim!!
Methods to meet the needs of gifted students Acceleration – allows students to move through the curriculum at a faster rate. This could be moving up a year level or acceleration in just one subject or area. This may happen continuously throughout the schooling of a profoundly gifted child, or just once for a generally gifted child. Curriculum Differentiation – this is a set of structured learning experiences that will provide for students with a diverse range of needs. Even a child whose intellectual ability is accessed as being in the top 1% can have a normal progression through mainstream education. Curriculum compacting - a student is given less repetition and moves through work at an advanced rate. Extension – the child is given extension homework or works within small pullout groups on more challenging material. Self-paced Instruction - students with a mature approach to learning can study independently, online or through research.
It is estimated that, allowing for the many areas in which gifts and talents may manifest, 10% of the population could be considered gifted in one or more ability areas. Catering for the diverse needs of all of these children is not going to be easy. So if you have identified your child as gifted, what are your educational options? Education Queensland (EQ), under the Queensland Government’s Smart State Strategy, has developed a framework for identifying gifted students within Queensland schools, providing learning opportunities that will enable them to develop their abilities. The framework is being rolled out across the state and by advertisement/LOCaL BUsiness PrOFiLe
July 14-18, 2009 voices on the Coast – Youth Literature Festival is now in its 14th year, inviting over 28 leading Australian authors, illustrators and poets to the Sunshine Coast to talk and workshop with 4500 school students from Year 5 to Year 12. Presenters include Morris Gleitzman, Leigh Hobbs, Shaun Tan and Nick Bland. In addition, the festival is bringing Hilary Badger (associate to the author of the Zac Power books!), Peter Carnavas (illustrator) and David Stavanger (poet) to appear free at local public libraries. This community event is a great opportunity for all enthusiastic young readers and writers and is presented by Immanuel Lutheran College and the University of the Sunshine Coast. For tickets and information, phone: 5477 3437 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
December 2010 schools need to be able to identify and cater for gifted students. There has been considerable funding to schools to support the implementation of the framework. Schools will need to have an all-school approach to the policy to provide gifted students with an optimum learning experience. How the framework is implemented will largely be up to schools, their principals and governing bodies, so experiences will vary from school to school. Bev has a gifted son who started prep reading at Year 2 level and able to complete maths tasks closer to Year 3. Their experience of gifted education was frustrating and disappointing. “On the second day of prep the teacher asked us to fill her in on how long he had been reading and writing,” she says. “She had identified Lachlan as ahead of the year level but told us the best course of action was to leave him to continue work with the year cohort. Very quickly Lachlan began to come home angry and agitated saying he hated school, which we couldn’t understand because he had been so keen to start school. “We met with the school when he started Year 1, to discuss options to combat the problem, but were told that they didn’t support extension groups or acceleration, as it would be considered elitist and the best indicator for success is the ability to get on with same age peers.” Bev wondered how Lachlan could get on with children his age if they were reading Thomas the Tank Engine and he was reading Harry Potter. “We had to push and push for them to give him an individual learning plan, which they reluctantly did. He went up for reading for one hour in the morning and then went back to his class. It didn’t have much of an effect because he was gifted for the whole day, not just from 9 to 10am,” she says. “The experience has left us feeling sad and frustrated. Ordinary kids just go off to school and get what they need. We have had to fight to get our son the education he needs, and have been labelled pushy and difficult in the process.
KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
12 characteristics of a gifted child 1. Exceptional memory /rapid pace of learning 2. Ability to ask reflective and probing questions 3. Emotional intensity 4. Well developed sense of justice and fairness 5. Ability to empathise with the feelings of others 6. Unusually mature sense of humour 7. Preference for the companionship of older children 8. Perfectionist tendencies 9. Acute self awareness 10. Vivid imagination 11. Capacity for reflection 12. Early ability to understand symbols/meaning “We eventually changed schools, with all the emotional upheaval and expense that entails, and the new school is trying its best to cater for him. They have assessed his case and agree he needs to be in Year 3, but cannot move him because there are no places.” Queensland Association for Gifted and Talented Children (QAGTC) president Amanda Joske sees the implementation of the EQ Framework as a positive step. “We are beginning to see things happening in both state and private schools, from dedicated full-time gifted classes and extra workshops for gifted kids to a general acceptance of strategies such as acceleration which have often been received with hostility or ambivalence,” she says. “The framework has meant the creation of Gifted Education Mentors (known as GEMs) who are receiving professional development training in gifted education needs and who will then go out and train other educators in their area. “Word is starting to spread and there is an awareness of the existence and needs of gifted kids. Now more than ever gifted students need extra support, as a dumbingdown of the curriculum over time has meant it is even less able to cater for their particular ability levels.” Helen has two children, one and three years old, who both exhibit characteristics of a gifted child. For her, having gifted children is as challenging as it is rewarding. “I feel that other people don’t understand” she says “I get sideways glances in the library when my children won’t sit still and listen to a story. My kids constantly ask ‘why?’ and will not be fobbed off with any old answer. They will not stop asking until they are satisfied with the explanation. “It is exhausting and can seem annoying to others. While they look like they are one and three, I really have a three and a five year old – that can confuse people.” Recognising young children with above average abilities takes careful observation. You can’t teach a child to be gifted but you can give him/her a range of experiences that will help to discover the innate gifts within. Note: Ken Imison tests gifted children on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. Email: email@example.com
For more information Queensland Association for Gifted and Talented Children: www.qagtc.org.au Education Queensland: www.learningplace.com.au Gifted Children Australia: www.giftedchildren.com.au Have your say Australian Association for the Education of the Comment on this article at Gifted and Talented: www.aaegt.net.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
SUNCOAST CHRISTIAN COLLEGE JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
Special Events Calendar A calendar of regular weekly events is available online. For details of playgroups, library activities, weekly sporting events, craft classes, Australian Breastfeeding Association meeting times and much more, visit www.kidsonthecoast.com.au.
PANIYIRI - BRISBANE’S FAMOUS GREEK FESTIVAL When/where: From 2pm Saturday and 10am Sunday, Musgrave Park and The Greek Club, South Brisbane. After being forced to take a raincheck in May due to extreme weather, Paniyiri, Queensland’s signature celebration of all things Greek, is back in a spectacular showcase of Hellenic hospitality. Cost: Children under 13 free Details: www.paniyiri.com.au
When/where: 8am-4pm Saturday and 8am-12pm Sunday. Caloundra Arts Centre, 5 North St, Caloundra. Sort through thousands of books at bargain prices, including new, old, and collector items. Books are generally priced between $1 and $5 and there is a section where you can fill a bag for $3. All proceeds go to Karingal Place for the aged. Cost: Free Contact: 5493 2720
HOME GAREDEN EXPO
June 20-July 19
When/where: 8am-4pm. Maroochy Showgrounds, Nambour With 340 exhibitors, 17 food outlets, 6 major landscaped displays, celebrity guests and entertainment this is Queensland’s premier gardening event. Kids will love the entrants in the scarecrow competition. Cost: under 15 free Details: www.homegardenexpo.com.au
When/where: 9.30am-5pm daily Roll up for all the BIG LOUD FUN of the circus when The Workshops Rail Museum brings the Circus Train to life. Experience the thrill of a travelling circus on a live steam train journey. Travel from Roma Street Station to The Workshops Rail Museum for the event before returning to Roma Street Station by coach. Cost: $22.50 Details: www.theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au
SUNSHINE COAST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
When/where: 2pm, Stella Maris Catholic Church, Mooroochydore Conducted by Adrian King and led by Adam Piechocinski, the orchestra will perform works specifically composed for children including Peter and the Wolf (narrator Bruce Hamilton tells the story and each character is represented by a different animal), Pirates of the Caribbean, The Pink Panther, The Rainbow Connection and Swan Lake. Cost: Adults $12 and children free. Tickets at the door
June 27-July 12
STATE SCHOOLS HOLIDAYS – WINTER BREAK
VOICES ON THE COAST – A YOUTH LITERARY FESTIVAL
When/where: various times, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs Workshops, book-talks, storytelling, poetry and drama. Cost: from $6.50 Details: www.immanuel.qld.edu.au
THE PIED PIPER
OPEN COCKPIT WEEKEND
When/where: 10am-4pm. Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra Aerodrome, 7 Pathfinder Drive, Caloundra. The Open Cockpit Weekend will feature displays from visiting groups and museums to add to the impressive array of historical aircraft on display. Cost: Adults $9, children $6, family $22 Details: www.qam.com.au
When/where: Tuesday July 7 11 and 1pm, Nambour Civic Centre, 5475 7777 Wednesday July 8 11 and 1pm, Lake Kawana, 5455 4455 Thursday July 9 11 and 1pm, The ‘J’ Noosa, 5455 4455 Jally Productions has assembled a fine cast of Sunshine Coast actors for this favourite children’s classic. Make sure you hang around after the show to meet your favourite characters and don’t forget to bring your camera. For further information regarding prices or details contact the venues directly.
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.
ABBEY MEDIEVAL FAIR
When/where: All day, 1-63 The Abbey Place, Caboolture Now in its 20th year this festival is the largest authentic medieval event in Australia. There really is something for everyone. See jousting, knights in armed combat and much more. Cost: varies Details: www.abbeytournament.com
When/where: 7.30pm-9pm, Millwell Road Community Centre, Maroochydore Teacher and counsellor Kris Hines leads this public talk about ‘Effective ways to develop your, and your child’s, self esteem’. Life can be tough on kids and she focuses on things like family separation, learning pressures, bullying, grief and loss, rejection. Details: 0408 226 353 or 5442 3676
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KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
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Over 5000 products at the best prices on the Sunshine Coast! www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
Special Events Calendar July 17-25
When/where: visit website for all details. With $100,000 worth of prizes up for grabs the Rainbow Beach Family Fishing Classic is open to all ages. Cost: varies Details: www.rainbowsportsclub.com.au
When/where: 11am, North Street, North Ipswich The Workshops Rail Museum will run a special steam train to commemorate the first steam train journey taken in Queensland. Passengers on this excursion will recreate the first journey by boarding one of QR’s restored heritage trains for a one and a half hour round trip to Grandchester, followed by a traditional roast lunch in the Museum’s Trackside Café. Cost: from $45.50. Bookings essential Details: www.theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au
When/where: 10am-5pm, Immanuel Lutheran College, 126-142 Wises Road, Buderim. Join the fun of side-show alley, rides, food and much more. Cost: entry is free but rides extra. Details: www.immanuel.qld.edu.au
When/where: Amamoor Creek State Forest, via Gympie As well as traditional and modern country entertainment this festival offers an aural collage ranging from folk, bluegrass, balladeers and gospel, to blues, bush poetry, clogging, line dancing, swing and rock ‘n roll. Cost: pricing varies so check the website. Details: www.muster.com.au
RAINBOW BEACH FISHING CLASSIC
COOLUM PLAYGROUP ANNUAL CAR BOOT SALE
When/where: 8am-12pm, Coolum Playgroup t St Peters Church, Elizabeth St, Coolum Beach. Grab a bargain or set up a stall. There will be second hand toys and clothes for sale and all money raised goes straight back into the playgroup to purchase new equipment and craft supplies. Details: email@example.com
QPAC AUSTRALIAN BUSKING CHAMPIONSHIPS
When/where: 2pm-5pm QPAC, South Brisbane Queensland Performing Arts Centre is making a concerted effort to lure talented buskers from across the nation from the street to the stage as part of the inaugural Australian Busking Competition. With $10,000 in cash and prizes, the competition will be fierce and the audience is the winner. Cost: entry is free Details: www.qpac.com.au
BINDI’S 11th BIRTHDAY – AUSTRALIA ZOO When/where: 8am-4.30pm. Australia Zoo, Steve Irwin Way, Beerwah Australia Zoo’s Wildlife Warrior, Bindi is turning 11 and there will be more activities at Australia Zoo than you can poke a stick at. Woo-hoo! Cost: Kids get in free when accompanied by an adult Details: www.australiazoo.com.au or phone 5436 2000
MUSEUM CELEBRATES RAIL MILESTONE
NATIONAL TREE DAY
Coordinated by Planet Ark, National Tree Day gives all Australians an opportunity to get involved with their local environment at a community level. Details: www.treeday.planetark.org
FRUEHLINGSFEST SPRING FESTIVAL
STELLA MARIS PRIMARY SCHOOL FAIR
When/where: 10am-3pm, via Bliss Lane off Tequar Drive, Maroochydore Five hours of fabulous fun including the traditional stalls and spectacular rides to entertain the whole family. Cost: entry is free Details: www.stellamaris.qld.edu.au
NATIONAL SCIENCE WEEK
Visit www.scienceweek.gov.au for a list of events.
When/where: Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills. For 131 years the city and country have come together for Queensland’s biggest and best loved annual family event. From the dazzling lights of Sideshow Alley to the unique sight of cattle in the CBD Brisbane, Brisbane turns on its charm. Cost: TBA Details: www.ekka.com.au
MONTESSORI INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE OPEN DAY AND CULTURAL FESTIVAL
When/where: 189 Stringybark Road, Buderim. Ever wondered what the Montessori way of teaching involves? Now is the chance to find out and ask all your questions at the College’s open day. Cost: free Details: www.montessori.qld.edu.au
SeRvIng THe CoAST FoR 30 yeARS
Saturday 8th August 2009 10am - 5pm
NATIONAL COUNTRY MUSIC MUSTER
August 29-September 13
FESTIVAL OF THE WALKS
When/where: Maleny, Mapleton, Montville, Kenilworth and Conondale The Festival of the Walks is a two-week long celebration. Information and organised tours will be available at key locations. The celebration will also feature music, food, art and wine events at Montville and Maleny. Cost: check website Details: www.festivalofthewalks.com.au
FESTURI-A MULTICUTLURAL CELEBRATION
THE WIZARD OF OZ
When/where: various times and venues 2009 is the 10th Anniversary of this annual Sunshine Coast Multicultural Festival. The festival culminates in a free daylong event at University of the Sunshine Coast. Activities from 10am-5pm. Cost: varies Details: www.festuri.org.au
MARY VALLEY SHOW AND RODEO
When/where: 8am, Imbil Showgrounds The Rodeo starts at 8am and the Pavilion opens at 8:30am. This year’s attractions include laser tag, a mechanical bucking bull, bungee trampoline side-shows and much more. Cost: from $5 Details: www.maryvalleyshow.com
When/where: 7pm, Nambour Civic Centre St Andrew’s Anglican Collage primary school is presenting a production of this much loved classic. Follow the yellow brick road as the young cast sing and dance its way through the magical musical. It promises to be a great show complete with live band, lights and over 200 costumes. Cost: Adults $15, children and pensioners $10 Details: Tickets on sale from August 24. Phone: 5475 7777 For your chance to win a family pass (2 adults and 2 children) to the Wizard of Oz, visit www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
List your event for FREE! Preference is given to community and non-profit organisations and businesses which support Kids on the Coast. Email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org as far in advance as you can!
The pirates have arrived!
Check www.maroochyrsl.com.au for information and times Side Show Alley, Awesome Rides, Kids Korner, Fashion Parades, Dance Dynamics, Rock Climbing Wall, Street Theatre, Silent Auction, Music, Lucky Dips and lots more!
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation in asccociation with Kids Promotions present
Songs Stories and Songs. It’s Play School
Featuring two presenters plus the toys from the ever popular TV show.
Thursday 27th July Bokarina
1.00pm session now on sale International Food, Kaffeehaus, Home Made Sweets, Pre-loved clothes, Books and many more stalls. 126 - 142 Wises Rd, Buderim Qld 4556 www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
ly Bid for a Helicopter F
All Tickets *$13.20
infants under 12 months on the day of the concert are free
Bookings Essential Phone 1300 788 028
Book online kidspromotions.com.au
*$5.50 processing fee per booking not per ticket applies
JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
by Sandra Smith
Childhood illnesses and mishaps are a regular occurrence, and learning basic health care and first aid gives you the confidence and skills to handle most situations. This knowledge, combined with a well-stocked first aid kit, regular health checks and an immunisation plan, provide the tools you need to manage your baby’s health care effectively. Sometimes, too, it’s worth thinking outside the square. Your GP might be able to help alleviate most childhood medical issues but Sunshine Coast osteopath Dr Matthew Barrett says osteopathy is a holistic treatment that is particularly safe and effective for preventing and treating many childhood illnesses. “We use very gentle techniques to improve nerve function, blood supply, lymphatic drainage and joint movement,” he says.
Bites and Stings
Keep babies safe from bites and stings by using mosquito nets and protective clothing. Pharmacy Self Care principal advisor John Bell says insect repellents should not be used at all on children under 12 months of age, and he recommends only a non-DEET insect repellent for older children. Most bites and stings are harmless, but the child must be monitored closely for swelling or breathing difficulties. If the child suffers a severe allergic reaction, practice CPR and seek urgent medical help.
Are you prepared if your
baby is unwell?
You’ve survived the birth and now you have a young baby at home. But it’s not all plain sailing. There are times when you are not quite sure why your baby is crying and what to do about it.
TAKE SOME SOUND ADVICE PLAN AHEAD FOR YOUR CHILD’S EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE
There is a high demand for C&K places so now is the time to put your child’s name down on a C&K kindergarten or C&K childcare waiting list. C&K also offers family day care and in-home care. 14 Edmondstone St Newmarket 4051 Phone 3552 5333 Toll free 1800 177 092 Fax: 3356 7976 Email email@example.com www.candk.asn.au
Bumps and Bruises
Bumping into furniture and walls, and falling on hard surfaces often results in bruising and swelling. Apply a cold compress to the affected area for a few minutes, and seek medical help for any significant falls. Bumps and bruises to the head and eyes require medical attention, in case of a skull fracture or eye damage. Osteopath Dr Barrett says bumps can do more than bring up a bruise. He treats trauma by ensuring that the child has proper alignment of the spine and limbs and that muscle tensions are balanced. “This reduces swelling, speeds the healing process and ensures that growth and development of that area is not affected,” he says.
Baby & Kids Market
Over 70 stalls • Quality preloved • Gorgeous new baby + kids gear • Never pay retail price again!
Saturday 15 August 2009
Lake Kawana Community Centre, Sportsman’s Parade, Bokarina
From 9am to 12noon. Book a stall and have some fun!
KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
Cuts and Abrasions
When babies start to explore, they often fall and graze their elbows, knees and ankles. Clean and rinse the wound with a sterile saline solution, apply an antiseptic and cover the area with a non-adhesive dressing. For slightly more serious cuts, apply pressure to stop the bleeding and cover with a sterile dressing. For severe injuries, call an ambulance.
Burns and scalds are a major source of injury for children. They are often caused by ordinary household items like a cup of misplaced coffee and under-four’s are most at risk. Prevent burns and scalds by keeping hot drinks and pot handles out of reach of children and reducing the temperature of your hot water. Treat burns by cooling the skin under running water for 20 minutes. Urgency is paramount here, so if it takes jumping into a cold shower together, don’t hesitate. Seek urgent medical help for all second and third degree burns, where the skin is damaged, red and blistered. Burns have a high risk of infection and serious burns require medical care.
Colds and Flu
Symptoms of the common cold include a runny nose, sore throat, loss of appetite, cough and headache. Babies will feel distressed and irritable, and have problems feeding due to nasal congestion. A cold usually clears naturally after three or four days, but take your child to the doctor if there is no improvement after 48 hours. Flu symptoms last up to a week and can include fever, sore throats, aches and pains. If you have traveled interstate recently, in our present Swine Flu environment, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor with any flu symptoms. Fever is the body’s natural response to infection, and a child with fever will feel hot and look flushed. See your doctor if your baby’s temperature is over 38° C, if your baby is breathing abnormally or is drowsy and unwilling to feed.
Pharmacy advisor John Bell says cold and flu symptoms in children up to the age of two years can be treated with paracetamol, saline nose drops or spray, or steam inhalation, depending on the symptoms. He warns that decongestants, antihistamine mixtures and cough medicines are not recommended for under-two’s.
A young baby with colic cries frequently in the afternoons and cannot be soothed. The baby will often draw up its legs and arch its back, as it suffers abdominal pain. Although the symptoms are distressing, colic usually clears up by the time your baby is three months old. Avoid overfeeding and burp your baby after feeds. John says colic caused by wind can be relieved by drops containing simethicone. He adds that there is no evidence that herbal medicines help colic.
Constipation is characterised by straining to pass stools that may be hard in consistency. Relieve constipation in babies by increasing fluids and make sure toddlers and older children have plenty of fluid and a healthy balanced diet. John recommends Coloxyl oral drops or glycerol infant suppositories for babies, and chocolate-flavoured paraffin for children aged over 12 months. Seek medical help if the child’s constipation persists or there is swelling and pain in the abdomen.
It’s not until you become a parent that you realise how many products in your home are poisonous. Children aged one to three are most at risk of poisoning because (as I am sure you are aware) they will put ANYTHING in their mouths. Most poisonings occur when the child is at home and an everyday substance is left unattended, so make sure all household products, from dishwashing powder through to cosmetics and medicines, are stored safely and securely. If you suspect your child has ingested a poison, call the 24-hour Poison Information Centre on 131 126, and if your child has severe symptoms call 000 immediately.
Excel with reading, spelling and handwriting! Specialised programs for children in Pre-Prep, Prep and Yr 1 developing underlying skills essential for success with reading, spelling and handwriting • Eight weekly group sessions on Saturdays during term time • Run by experienced Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist • Health fund rebates available
Book your child’s place now on 5452 6030
Julie Creen Occupational Therapist
0423 638 660
Melissa Matthews Speech Pathology for Children
Babies learn to Swim three only in a class
Mums and babies are taught aqua life skills in a warm private environment. An easy monthly payment system, continuous program and a free make up system is provided. Babies - Toddlers - Pre school - School age
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JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
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Reflux occurs when the valve at the top of the stomach opens and the baby regurgitates the feed. Most babies grow out of it in their first year. Reflux can often be treated by holding your baby upright for 20 minutes after a feed, and by giving smaller, more frequent feeds. See a doctor if your baby is failing to gain weight and the reflux is not improving. “Non-prescription medicine (Gaviscon Infant) is available to help prevent reflux,” John says. “If the problem persists, the doctor can prescribe a more potent product.”
Vomiting and diarrhoea Vomiting is common in babies and young children, and it can be harmless or it can indicate a more serious illness, such as a bowel obstruction or gastroenteritis. Babies often regurgitate a little milk after a feed and if your baby is otherwise well, you don’t need to worry. Diarrhoea is often caused by gastroenteritis. The first signs may be tummy rumbling and vomiting, and there may be cramping and abdominal pain. Ensure everyone in your family washes their hands frequently to prevent the spread of gastro. John recommends oral rehydration solutions such as Gastrolyte or Hydralyte, and he says to avoid juice, cordial or soft drinks, as they can sometimes aggravate the condition. Dehydration may occur when vomiting and diarrhoea are severe. Signs of dehydration include a dry mouth and tongue, sunken eyes and decreased urination. Babies under six months can become ill very quickly and must be carefully monitored if they are vomiting or have diarrhoea. Take your baby to a doctor or the hospital if he/she vomits persistently, is not drinking and is becoming dehydrated. John urges parents to seek medical attention if an episode of diarrhoea lasts for more than 48 hours.
“Hello, I need a babysitter!”
the environment, the pocket and precious skin.
Planning a night out? Going to work? Last-minute change of plans? Don’t have willing relatives nearby? Need a reliable and trustworthy carer for your children? Relax – and just call Super Nannies Sunshine Coast. • We specialise in providing first-class nannies and babysitters at competitive rates. • We’ll match you and your family with the ideal carer. Government rebates available. • All carers are first aid certified and blue card approved. • All are fully qualified and/or very experienced. • All are highly recommended and thoroughly resume checked.
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Teach your child to become a positive thinker Resiliency building workshops for children - Growing Early Childhood facilitate a 10 week resiliency program, endorsed by the World Health Organisation. They give children the’ life long’ skills to be able to cope with life’s challenges, to change thoughts into positives, to understand feelings, to develop positive friendships and more. Age grouping 4-7 years and 7-12 years. Parenting Workshops - 2 hours a week for 4 weeks. A comprehensive look at children’s behaviours and how parents can promote resilient, happy and confident children. The workshops are for parents who want to understand their children and bring out the best in them by focussing on strengths and positive strategies. In-home consultancy - Our consultants come to you, to work with your family and their individual needs. Children’s behaviours of all kinds are considered and practical strategies are suggested to encourage positive and strength based learning and development. Follow up visits can be arranged or one off visits are available.
KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
Nannies from Noosa to Caloundra
Telephone: 0406 448 572 Email: email@example.com www.supernannies.com.au
Growing Early Childhood Workshops and consultations
Give your kids a head start in life by teaching them confidence and how to be positive thinkers!
Growing Early Childhood’s specialised workshops for parents and children have been designed to build your child’s self-esteem, encourage social and emotional success and strengthen family relationships • Resiliency building for children • Workshops for parents • In-home consultancy for families Donna Farman 0414 674 674
Sue Inglis 0408 393 965
For more information go to www.growingearlychildhood.com.au or call us today! www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
First Aid and CPR courses An understanding of first aid and CPR gives parents important emergency care skills that can save lives. Some organisations have specialised first aid courses that train parents and carers in managing medical emergencies for babies and children. Organisations that conduct nationally accredited first aid and CPR courses in South East Queensland include: Australian Red Cross
Phone: 1300 367 428 or visit: www.redcross.org.au
First Aid International
Phone: 1300 365 675 or visit: www.firstaidinternational.com.au
First Aid Action
Phone: 07 3389 2056 or visit: www.firstaidaction.com.au
Queensland Ambulance Service Phone: 1300 369 003 or visit: www.ambulance.qld.gov.au St John Ambulance Queensland Phone: 1300 360 455 or visit: www.stjohnqld.com.au
Immunisation There’s a lot of controversy surrounding immunisation, but without it we would still face deaths from things like rubella, measles and polio. Immunisation starts at birth, with regular vaccines through the first year and early childhood. Vaccines have been thoroughly tested and are considered safe and effective in preventing many diseases. Most vaccines have mild, adverse effects, such as low-grade fever, pain or redness at the site. Fever symptoms can be managed with a recommended dose of paracetamol and extra fluid. Serious adverse effects are rare, but parents are Have your say advised to keep a close eye on children after Comment on this article at immunisation, and to seek immediate www.kidsonthecoast.com.au medical help if they have concerns.
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Drug free treatment for kids Most of us have experienced stiff muscles, sore necks or irritating injuries, and kids are no exception. The difference is kids aren’t always able to explain the pain. Your baby might regurgitate his milk between feeds or have bouts of prolonged crying for no apparent reason. Your child might prefer to be rocked to sleep and wakes as soon as you put her down. Kids might suffer recurring ear, sinus, throat or chest infections or take a long time recovering from a sprain or head bang.
Osteopathy for kids The body absorbs many stresses and strains during its lifetime from the birth process to trauma and illness and in some cases the body doesn’t fully recover. This affects normal growth and development, leading to many common childhood symptoms. Often these conditions are perceived as normal and, when their intuition tells them to seek medical advice, parents are told their kids will “grow out of it”. Unfortunately this leads to irritable kids and parents who feel they may have over-reacted. Your child may not be able to tell you what’s wrong but, with over 30 years of combined training and experience, Blueprint Osteopathy can identify the cause of your child’s symptoms. Using a very gentle form of treatment called ‘cranial osteopathy’ Blueprint focuses on restoring normal physiology of the body – not covering up the symptoms with medications. Before too long, your baby or child could be sleeping through the night, laughing in the playground or breathing easy. No harsh manipulations, no need to undress, no expensive supplements. They restore the body’s natural ability to self correct and self maintain. For an appointment or more info ph 5329 8029 or visit www.blueprintosteopathy.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
Don't wait for your child to 'grow out of it' Call now to receive $15 off your initial consultation
• Reflux, colic and irritability • Recurrent infections • Pain due to trauma Health fund rebates apply • And more… Safe effective treatment Dr. Matthew Barrett B.App.Sc(Clin).B.Ost.Sc
Dr. Maria Barrett B.App.Sc(Clin).B.Ost.Sc
6/4 Kingfisher Drive, Peregian Beach
(07) 5329 8029 www.blueprintosteopathy.com.au
JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
ADVERTISEMENT/LOCAL BUSINESS PROFILE
New Leaf Early Learning Centre at Forest Glen continues to set the bar higher for early childhood education.
True to the centre slogan, â€˜begin your journey earlierâ€™, Pre-Prep Director Anita Corney has devised a program which means specialist lessons are available every day of the week to Pre-Prep students as young as 3 Â˝. â€œChildren learn better when their teachers have a passion and expertise for what they are teaching,â€? Mrs Corney said. â€œWe are thrilled to be able to offer specialist lessons in sport and music as part of our Pre-Prep program at no extra cost to parents, as well as access to the facilities at the Grammar school.â€? A regular week in Pre-Prep at New Leaf Early Learning Centre includes two music lessons with a specialist music teacher, two sessions of Sporty Tots, rostered computer time for every student and a visit every Thursday to the Junior School Library at Sunshine Coast Grammar School. All of this is in addition to daily numeracy and literacy sessions and, of course, plenty of time for play, as Mrs Corney explains.
â€œChildren learn through play, and the majority of our Pre-Prep day is still devoted to opportunities for the children to develop their bodies, minds and imaginations through play.â€?
â€œThe specialist lessons are another way in which we prepare our students for the more structured school environment,â€? Mrs Corney said.
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New Leaf is turning 3 this year, and they want you to help celebrate. Tour the centre during the month of July, and New Leaf will give YOU the present, thanks to www.developyourkids.com.au. Contact New Leaf on (07) 5453 7077 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book your tour.
0SP8CCI?R/CU-C?D Monday â€“ Music Tuesday â€“ Sporty Tots Wednesday â€“ Sporty Tots Thursday â€“ Library Visit Friday â€“ Music
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New Leaf Early Learning Centre New Leaf Early Learning Centre is turning 3 this year, and we would like you to help us celebrate! Tour with us in the month of July, and weâ€™ll give YOU the present, thanks to â€˜Develop Your Kidsâ€™. Book a tour today. Come and see why you should begin your childâ€™s journey earlier at New Leaf.
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For more information Ph: (07) 5453 7077 email@example.com 372 Mons Road Forest Glen Qld 4556 www.scgs.qld.edu.au/newleaf
At least you have your
health by Jane O’Hare
Australia certainly is the lucky country. Unlike the US, when Australians get sick, there’s no question about their eligibility for health care. Under a national health system (like ours, Britain’s and Canada’s) all we have to do is show up at a hospital for treatment. Yet, recent developments in the health care industry like gap payments, and long waiting lists are eating away at our universal health care and even staunch believers in social medicine are considering private health cover. Most of us don’t really think about health insurance until we get sick, or are planning to have a baby. Becoming responsible for another life can often frighten people into believing private health insurance is something they need. Is it irresponsible to live without it, or is our government funded Medicare able to meet all our medical needs?
We love you Scotty! Does your baby or child suffer with any of these conditions? Do you need a good night’s sleep? • Colic • Reflux • Ear Infections • Flat Head • Constipation • Headaches • Bed Wetting • Learning Difficulties • Irritable Babies • Feeding/Sleeping/Dressing/Bathing difficulties…
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How does Medicare work?
Medicare is designed to ensure all eligible Australian residents receive free or low cost medical, and hospital care, and access to optometrists with the option of private health services. Your contribution to Medicare depends on your income, and is made through taxes, and the Medicare levy.
Where it began It is interesting to look back in history to find our how our government and private health systems evolved. The government has been concerned with the health of its people since Federation, introducing quarantine measures, and believe it or not, a baby bonus of £5 in 1912. Health departments have been evolving over the years, and in 1975, government funded Medibank introduced health cover to all Australians. Understandably, the private health funds resisted change, so Medibank Private was introduced to compete with private funds. Medicare, introduced in 1984, was a modified version of Medibank. It was funded in part by a taxable levy. Doctors were not happy with the new laws, and began to withdraw services from public hospitals, so the government devised remuneration incentives for doctors treating patients in public hospitals. By 1995 Australia was spending $42 billion a year on health and from 1984 to 1997 the percentage of people paying private health insurance dropped form 50% to 32%. This caused more concern, so the government offered 30% tax rebate on private health insurance premiums and, in 2000, a new lifetime cover policy was introduced, to encourage people to buy private health insurance. Proposals for this year’s budget include means testing the rebate. This means single people who earn more than $75,000 and couples $150,000 will receive a 20% rebate; singles earning more than $90,000 and couples $180,000 will receive a 10% rebate; and for those earning more than $120,000 as singles or $240,000 as couples will receive no rebate.
Medicare provides a range of benefits. Upon sighting your Medicare card, some doctors bulk bill but if your doctor does not you will pay a fee, some of which is reimbursed. In some cases, if you take your bank details you can have your rebate paid directly into your account. If not you can claim your rebate from Medicare offices. Eye tests are bulk billed so there will not be a charge, however, you will have to pay for any glasses you may need. Look for specials advertised by optometrists. Visits to specialists are more expensive, but there is a generous rebate, and all x-rays, MRIs, and pathology tests are also eligible for a rebate. Some dental procedures are covered by Medicare but you will need to check with your dentist to see if you qualify. A public patient in a hospital receives treatment from doctors nominated by the hospital, but is not charged for care and treatment. A private patient in hospital is able to choose his or her doctor, and Medicare will pay 75% of the schedule fee for services and procedures. Enrolling in Medicare involves completing an application form and parents of new babies will receive forms in hospital to add their offspring. Babies enrolled in Medicare are also registered on the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register. A Medicare safety net is designed for people who have regular high medical costs but families and couples need to register as each family member needs to be identified. Medicare pays 75% of the schedule fee for in hospital services and 85% of out of hospital services. It also pays a scheduled fee to your GP, but some GPs add extra onto that amount and you pay the difference. If you aren’t happy doing this, shop around for a doctor that bulk bills.
Child and Adolescent Counselling
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KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
Choosing a doctor that is right for you and your family is also important so you feel comfortable talking about your health problems. Some doctors are great with babies and children, but you may prefer to have a different doctor to discuss your own medical issues. Before visiting the doctor ask what the fees are, so you know in advance what the costs will be. If you are new to the area, ask other parents of young children who their GPs are.
Child and Adolescent Oral Health Services This program offers Queensland children from Prep to Grade 10 publicly funded dental care. Children under four who are dependants of current concession card holders are also eligible. The program operates from fixed and mobile dental clinics which visit schools. You will be notified by the clinics when they will be at your child’s school, but don’t be afraid to ask. Your children will be given permission forms for you to sign before the dentists examine their teeth and if your children need dental work you will be notified before the work is carried out. Oral health staff includes dentists, oral health therapists, dental therapists, and dental assistants. Specialist services are means tested, and prioritised on severity criteria. For further information visit www.qld.gov.au/health
Why choose private health insurance? Private health insurance, like any insurance cover, is aimed at giving you reassurance that if things go wrong you will have access to your choice of doctors, and hospital care. Waiting lists for patients at public hospitals are often very long, and patients are usually unsure when they will actually be going into hospital. It can be very difficult for families to organise child care, time off work, and perhaps transport to major hospitals. To have a baby at a private hospital, for instance, without private health insurance can cost over $6000. advertisement/LOCaL BUsiness PrOFiLe
Restoring your with bladder control
Dr Petra Ladwig from suncoast Women’s Centre understands the problems most women face after giving birth. One of the most embarrassing side effects is often incontinence which can occur due to weakened pelvic floor muscles. A lot of women simply put up with this as the natural course of being a woman after child birth but this need not be the case. If addressed early these problems can be managed, improved and even cured by something as simple and painless as sitting in a chair, fully clothed for 20 minutes!
The pelvic floor controls your urinary, bowel and sexual functions yet these muscles are your most neglected. The new ‘Wave Brilliance’ Magnetic Pelvic Floor Stimulation chair (magnetic chair) uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve impulses which rapidly flex and tighten your pelvic floor muscles. This is the equivalent of approximately 200 pelvic floor contractions every minute at 20 times greater the intensity than the patient can do themselves! It is the ideal way to kick start or regenerate the pelvic floor and surrounding muscles to restore strength, endurance and continence.
Treatments are tailored to individual patients but a typical therapy program consists of two 20 minute treatments per week for eight weeks. Of course children are most welcome to attend with you and can simply sit and play whilst you undergo your treatment. For more information about the new Wave Brilliance magnetic chair treatment phone the suncoast Women’s Centre on 5437 7244 or visit Suite 5, 5 Innovation Parkway, Birtinya (Kawana). Medicare rebates available. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
Mix and match health care
FEATURE MBF Health: For 60 years MBF has been providing health insurance. Over 1.5 million people take advantage of its insurance schemes. To be able to benefit from MBF you must be an Australian resident eligible for full Medicare benefits. It is possible to choose from a number of different levels of cover, both hospital and extras, depending on your family situation, and need for medical attention. The budget hospital cover is most suited to young, healthy people, with or without children, but does not cover pregnancy and birth related services. MBF Standard Hospital cover includes pregnancy and related services, but not chronic illnesses like renal dialysis. MBF Advantage Hospital gives you the flexibility of paying either a co-payment, (amount you agree to pay towards the cost of hospital treatment), or excess, (the amount you agree to pay each time a person is admitted to hospital). MBF Premium Hospital entitles you to a number of benefits, and does not require an excess payment. The costs of these benefits for families range from about $125$250 per month depending on the cover, and amount of excess you choose to pay. These premiums include the 30% Federal Government Rebate. MBF has four levels of Extras Cover which include a range of benefits including dental, optical, physiotherapy, pharmaceutical, chiropractic, osteopathy, and orthodontics. The costs of these extras range from around $15 - $100 per month per person so it’s important to choose wisely. For more information visit www.mbf.com.au Medibank Private: Medibank private is the largest health insurer in Australia with over three million members. Medibank Private has special packages to suit all family groups, offering basic, intermediate, and comprehensive cover. It also has extras, and bonuses for its members. Just like MBF, there are basic and not so basic options. From a parenting perspective, Basic First Choice Hospital allows you to choose your doctor and hospital, some obstetrics related services and assisted reproductive services. Intermediate hospital cover includes obstetrics services and Comprehensive
There are many different health funds to choose from, and each offers different benefits, so it is advisable to decide what’s important to you, and then select the fund that most meets your needs. Do you want: Choice of doctor; Choice of hospital; Physiotherapy; Orthodontic treatment; School accident treatment; Naturopathy; Optical items; Pharmaceutical prescriptions; General dental; Speech therapy. Blue Ribbon Hospital goes even further with things like major eye surgery, and hip and knee joint replacement. Prices range from about $200 to $300 for a family, or from around $150 to $250 for single parent families. Medibank too, has extra cover options like dental, endodontic services, optical items, physiotherapy, pharmaceutical prescriptions, orthodontic treatment, chiropractic, naturopathy therapies, podiatry and speech therapy. Medibank offers family rates for extras cover. For more information phone 132 331 or visit online www.medibank.com.au
Is health insurance the answer? Suffice to say, it’s a good idea to decide what’s important before you look, so you don’t get completely confused, and shop around. Like any other insurance, make sure you read the fine print. Will it cover you overseas? How long do you have to be a member before you can claim? Are your premiums going to go up if you claim? Do benefits vary in different states? It’s a minefield at times, and many families stick with the national health system out of convenience. The good news is, Australians are covered and won’t be turned away when they need help. Aren’t we lucky to have the safety net! For further information: If you have just arrived in Australia and wish to find out your eligibility for Medicare, call: 132 011 or visit: www.medicareaustralia.gov.au
Pre and Post Natal
Pilates and Yoga Call 5442 2255 for class times and to book
Our services include • Women’s Health - advice on family planning, menopause, sexual health, yearly check ups including pap smears and breast examinations • Men’s Health - prostate checks, vasectomies and lifestyle counseling • Children’s health – immunizations and baby care • Prenatal and pregnancy care • Complimentary and nutritional and vitamin therapies • Skin Cancer checks • Travel Medicine FEMALE AND • Management of chronic disease MALE DOCTORS • Minor surgical procedures AVAILABLE • Allergy Clinics • Dive medicals
Maroochydore 50 Second Avenue Maroochydore Tel 5443 9455 Open from 6pm-10pm Tues & Wed Close to Chemist
A full list of our services are available via our web site
KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
• Qualified womens’ health physiotherapist that specialises in pelvic floor issues • Improve abdominal and pelvic floor control • Assist in healthy pregnancy, labour and recovery • Prevent back problems from increasing demands • Maintain overall strength and stability • Get back to regular weight afterwards • Mat & equipment pilates • Pregnancy massages • Kids play area • Claimable on most health funds ader Re Di
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DR. ROGER MORRIS www.doc4kidz.com.au Dr. Roger Morris is a General Practitioner in Maroochydore, who has a special interest in Child and Adolescent Health
Autism – what is it? Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which includes Autism and Aspergers syndrome, is a neuro-biological disorder that has severe impacts on how a person communicates, socialises with others, processes information from his/her senses and adapts to his/ her environment. These deficits often lead to behaviours such as rigid adherence to routines, fixation on objects or topics, withdrawal, aggression and bizarre or repetitive body movements. ASD can have a profound and complicated impact on everyday life for affected people. The condition affects about one in every 250 people and affects four boys for every girl. People with ASD may present with a range of intellectual abilities, from profound intellectual disability to normal intellect and, in some cases, gifted. The underlying cause is not fully understood and there is, as yet, no cure. There is no link with childhood immunisation, in particular no link with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) immunisation. One excellent and reassuring study to support this was published in the well-regarded international medical journal, The Lancet, in 1999 (Vol. 353, 12/06/1999, 2026-2029). The emphasis in treatment is on early diagnosis which then allows early, individualised, highly-structured therapy. ASD involves a severe communication deficit, which can manifest in troubles in using or understanding verbal language, body language, facial expression, tone of voice and gestures. The disorder also involves a severe socialisation deficit, making it difficult for others to interact with autistic people in meaningful ways, due to their reluctance to
give eye contact, their apparent lack of desire to share activities with others and their appearance of extreme isolation. People with ASD may appear to have great difficulty in processing sensory information – their sensory organs are usually normal, but the information is not able to be processed normally by the brain. Due to the impact of these three areas of deficit already described, ASD also involves a severe deficit in adaptation to the environment, resulting in extreme difficulties in interpreting and processing new information. Thus these people find it less stressful and more comfortable to maintain a constant, predictable and unchanging environment. The first step in the diagnostic process is to see your local doctor for initial assessment and possible referral to a consultant paediatrician, child psychiatrist or paediatric neurologist. Assessments can take the form of either a brief screening assessment or a more detailed comprehensive assessment which involves in-depth assessment of particular aspects of development and interactions. If your child is diagnosed with ASD, you can apply for the child to become a client of Autism Queensland, which provides full access to Autism Queensland’s full range of services. Autism Queensland has been providing targeted early intervention programs for ASD for over 25 years. Autism Queensland now provides a range of services to support young children with ASD and their families. These services include therapy and education input, advisory support, information, training and family support. For more information see www.autismqld.com.au/index.html THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS ARTICLE IS NOT INTENDED NOR IMPLIED TO BE A SUBSTITUTE FOR INDIVIDUAL PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE FROM YOUR PHYSICIAN OR QUALIFIED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.
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JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
by Brooke Tunbridge
Staying positive through tough times Everyday, whether you realise it or not, you are being bombarded with negativity. From the moment you read the paper or switch on Kochie and Mel in the morning, ‘til the moment you go to bed. You may seem unaffected by it, but those images soak into your mind. Negativity is contagious and can have disastrous effects on our health and happiness. A bit like a virus, negativity spreads quickly from person to person and can affect a whole family, classroom, school, country or even the world. We all experience moments of negativity, we get up late one morning, can’t find our shoes or miss the bus and end up late for school with a negative attitude. Encountering someone who is negative can be easier to deal with. Adding a humorous comment such as “Well at least you’re having a good hair day!” can have a positive effect on your happiness and theirs. Trying to change a negative person’s outlook can be exhausting. Deciding that you are not going to let anyone’s negative mood effect you emotionally is a good strategy. Accentuating or focusing on being positive is a great way to diffuse negativity. Positivity is contagious. I don’t know about you but I would certainly prefer to pass on a positive bug than a negative one! Have you ever heard the saying that it takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown? Smiling and thinking in a
Further reading: I am gr8ful for life by Kim Serafini and Mel Boulton. Full of warm fuzzy feelings, this book carries a powerful message: take time to be thankful. Allowing pictures to do the talking, it is an album of the human experience and each page focuses on a different reason to be thankful and positive. By the time you reach the back cover negativity is long gone, making this pocket size inspiration a meaningful gift to give to loved ones. Books are available at leading Sunshine Coast retailers for $19.95 or online at www.iamgr8ful.com
positive way is not only better for our mental and physical health, but it will help us to focus on the things that make us truly happy. A recent example of negativity in the news and one that affects all of us is of course the global financial crisis. We hear about it daily, and not all of us really understand it. In one of my classes at school the other day a teacher asked the class if anyone knew what the word ‘recession’ meant. Someone put up their hand and said “It means that I can’t get a new iPod Miss”. Unfortunately to a lot of kids it does mean that mum and dad are having a really hard time financially and we kids have to learn to go without for a while. Something that feels more like punishment than anything else! With all of the pressure put on our parents that flows down to us kids it is more important than ever for us to remain positive. The effect of us remaining positive is going to help our parents through a very turbulent time, whilst teaching us to be grateful for what we do actually have. So help spread the positivity bug – Think. Do. Be. Positive! P.S. If you are interested in finding out more about the financial crisis – ask your parents or teachers to explain it to you.
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y in ou r St ay fo r a p la r p oo l he ated to dd le on ! afte r you r le ss • Indoor, heated pool • Learn to Swim classes for all ages (babies from 6mths) • Small classes • New improved school holiday intensive program!! • Friendly, fully qualified and very experienced staff • Enjoy a cappuccino (or tea or hot chocolate) and yummy biscuits
Australian designed and handcrafted, exclusive by Loving Touch Jewellery.
For further details or to order, call 07 5476 7390 or visit our website at www.lovingtouch.com.au 36
KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
We also have a Heated 25m pool (10 x lane) for kids and adults squad training
Mountain Creek Aquatic Complex Lady Musgrave Drive, Mountain Creek (between TAFE and High School)
Ph: 5457 8399 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
chemicals in your home by Maxine Arthur
Kitchen cupboards all over Australia are overflowing with a multitude of cleaning products designed to wash, scrub, de-mould and disinfect, waging war on all bacteria in the family home. Never mind that we are gagging on the fumes, eyes watering, trying not to breathe. Stronger is better, right? There is mounting evidence that this ‘extreme clean’ mindset is not only unnecessary and expensive, but may be harmful to our health. Prominent US research facility The Mount Sinai Children’s Health Centre says there is “strong and growing evidence that exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment contributes to many diseases in children, among them asthma, learning disabilities, certain birth defects and childhood cancer”.
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Coast Chiropractic Kawana chiropractor Alison Archer notes that children also have “a high surface area to volume ratio, which means the chemicals they absorb into their bodies via the skin have a greater impact on them, as compared with adults”. Alison says chemicals can impact on the nerve system. “My goal as a chiro is to improve the health of children’s bodies by healing from the inside out, so that chemicals have a lesser impact on the body, however, it is always sensible to minimise the amount of chemical contact,” she says.
But surely products that we buy in our local supermarkets must be safe? Australian environmental scientist Jo Immig thinks not. In her book How the chemical cocktail inside our homes is poisoning our children Jo says that government authorities and industry claim that chemicals are rigorously assessed and residues are kept at safe levels. However, she says, the assessment methods and criteria are inadequate to protect children’s health. In a parallel to the tobacco industry, it is not surprising that Jo says some chemical companies “have been withholding information about the dangers their chemicals pose to our health and the environment”. Children are particularly vulnerable as chemicals increasingly pollute the air they breathe, the surfaces they touch, things they put in their mouths and the food and water they ingest. Significantly, their ability to detoxify chemicals is limited because their bodies and immune systems are still developing.
Marcia Rodgers is part of the family business, Tensens Cleaning Supplies, based in Kunda Park. Her company makes Citrus Resources products which Marcia says are “manufactured from renewable resources and have little impact on the environment or on the user”. Marcia describes them as “an effective alternative to many petroleum and chlorine based products”. The products are highly concentrated, extremely economical and versatile in application. Cathy Galbraith (below) also sells a range of products to help alleviate your chemical dependency. Her lofty goal is to “reduce household toxins by 10% over the next two years”. Products used on the garden, like lawn feed and pest sprays are also quite toxic. Just reading the labels can be scary. ABC Gardening Australia presenter and organic gardening expert, Jerry Coleby-Williams, says prevention is the key to controlling pests and diseases in the garden .He says “healthy, compost-rich, well-nourished soil and growing plants in the right spot will halve gardening problems”. He recommends a combination of home-made remedies, organic products and new approaches to gardening. Jerry suggests cleaning regularly, keeping pests out with screens and door seals and using simple traps. Consider biological controls such as companion planting (planting things together that act as a pest repellent like marigolds, rosemary, garlic and lavender) and if you do use chemical controls as a last resort, read and follow directions, target the pest, wear protective clothing and use only as much as you need.
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We need your houses help! Cathy Galbraith is in search of mums who are looking for ways to cut the costs of their monthly bills, while reducing the household toxins in the home by 10% over the next two years. She can help save you money and time by purchasing directly from the manufacturer, over 300 healthier choices for the home, personal care and health, and have your products home delivered. If you want an environmentally friendlier house without the extra cost involved in being ‘green’, Cathy can help. “You will love the product range we have, and once you start using them, will have no hesitation recommending to all your friends and family” says Cathy. “And if you do refer us on to friends and family, we will pay for each referral.” To find out more about this exciting offer, contact Cathy on 0418 718 513.
MUMS ON A MISSION WE NEED YOUR HELP A group of mums are on a mission to reduce the toxins used in households on the Sunshine Coast by 10% over the next 2 years! the r part to save
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KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
Chemical culprits Antibacterials and antimicrobials - Excessive use may increase the likelihood of auto-immune diseases like asthma and other allergic responses. Bleach and ammonium compounds - Contact will burn the skin, swallowing will cause vomiting and when mixed with acids, as in some toilet cleaners, highly toxic gas can be generated. Detergents - All synthetic detergents are extremely dangerous if ingested or splashed in the eyes, especially dishwashing machine detergent. Fragrances in products - Once made from plant and animal-based essential oils, but now from cheaper petro-chemicals, some of these ingredients are linked to cancer, birth defects, central nervous system disorders, asthma and allergic reactions.
Green cleaning recipes The five basic ingredients for many home cleaning recipes are borax, baking soda, pure soap, washing soda and white vinegar. Lavender or other essential oils can add a fresh, natural perfume. All-Purpose cleaner ½ cup (125 ml) pure soap 4L hot water For a clean scent and to help cut grease add ¼ cup (60 ml) of lemon juice. This solution is safe for all surfaces, should be rinsed with water, and is very effective for most jobs. For a stronger cleaner, double the amounts of soap and lemon juice. Recipe from www.greenpeace.org
Solvents - occur in many household cleaners and personal care products. Can cause short and long term health problems. Insecticides, fungicides and fertilisers - Applied topically or added to soil, the chemical residue can cause short and long-term health problems. Chemicals used in building materials, furnishings and appliances Maintenance and renovations can introduce many hazardous chemicals into the air. Benzene - Petrol exhaust fumes have been linked to childhood leukemia. For more information: www.safersolutions.org.au www.livingthing.net.au www.abc.net.au/gardening/factsheets/recipes.htm www.ecocycle.org/hazwaste/recipes.cfm Have your say www.care2.com Comment on this article at www.safersolutions.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au www.womenandenvironment.org
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JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
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KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
Thanks for having me, dad! Believe it or not, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated in 2006/07, there were 4,569,000 men in Australia aged 18 years and over who reported having one or more natural children living either with them or elsewhere. That’s a lot of dads who will be celebrating on September 6! Talk to most dads and what they really want for their special day is to spend time with family. Gifts are secondary but, never-the-less, it’s sometimes hard to decide on something to mark the occasion and, as the mum, it often comes down to you to make things happen. From free to luxurious, we have compiled a few ideas to make it a memorable day – for your partner or your own dad!
• Wake him up with a hug, lots of kisses and breakfast in bed • Grab the picnic basket, cricket ball and bat, head off to your favourite beach or park for a lazy day in the sun • Head to the hills and take a walk at Mary Cairncross Park • Kids - draw a picture of doing something with dad then cut out you heads from a picture taken recently and glue the heads onto the drawing.(This one works well for granddads too!) • Kids – write a story about a special time you had with your dad and give it to him • Hook up the bait and go fishing together at Chamber’s Island
• Moonpig personalised cards ($5.95) allow you to create a completely unique card. Place your order by 2pm and your card will be posted by 5pm the same day. They also offer an overseas service. Visit www.moonpig.com.au/ for more details • Frame one of the kid’s masterpieces • Oxfam Unwrapped from $12. Purchase from the Oxfam Unwrapped catalogue and you will be helping to save people around the world from poverty. With every item you purchase, you will receive a card that explains the role the gift plays in fighting poverty. Visit www.oxfamunwrapped.com.au for details
• Laser Target Alarm Clock $39.95– this is for the dad who takes a while to get going in the morning. To turn the alarm off you actually have to aim and fire a laser at a target to switch it off. Visit www.coolthings.com.au • Growing Gifts by Miller & Brown from $39.95. Growing Gifts offer a number of unique eco-friendly plant & tree gifts which can even be posted to selected destinations in Australia. Visit www.growinggifts.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
Our children give us the opportunity to become the Fathers we always wished we had. N. Samalis
Over $50 • Abseiling in the Glasshouse Mountains - $95. Enjoy the thrill of climbing down cliffs in the Glasshouse Mountains. The views are awesome! Visit www.bcl.com.au/shop/fathersday • Gift Hampers from as little as $55. Hampers can be made up of beer, wine, chocolate just about anything you can imagine. For details try either www.alittleluxury.com.au or www.baskits.com.au • Desk Top Commando $59.95. This is at the forefront of desk top combat. Equipped with a motion sensor the commando will call out to co-workers as they approach. If he is ignored he will fire mini missiles. Visit www.coolthings.com.au • Holden Driving Centre from $50. Strap yourself in and hang on to a great experience! Enjoy the thrill of Four Hot Laps in a V8 SS Commodore while a professional instructor takes you for the ride of your life. Visit www.thedrivingcentre.com.au • Remote Controlled Drinks Cooler - $119.95. This gadget is ideal for the ‘Homer Simpson’ in every dad. If he’s busy watching the footy and feeling a little thirsty he can send for the R/C Drinks Cooler with a full load of beverages without ever leaving the lounge. Visit www.coolthings.com.au
Once in a lifetime
Learn to Fly (Sunshine Coast) from $190. This is a 30-minute introductory trial flight in a Texan light sport aircraft. Visit www.freemanx.com.au Tiger Moth Acrobatic Flight (Gold Coast) from $395. If you think your dad doesn’t scare easily book him in for the highest thrill ride on the Gold Coast. Visit www.freemanx.com.au Walk with a Tiger Australia Zoo Sunshine Coast $650 for up to four people over 15 years of age. This price includes the walk and photos. Visit www.australiazoo.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
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JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
holidays by Sarah Pye
Single parenthood is a challenge at the best of times. Juggling work, home, friends, family and kids can be difficult and no-one deserves a break more than a single parent. The challenges don’t disappear on holiday but with a little forward thinking, and by working together with your kids, you can create a memorable holiday experience for the entire family. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) found that 15% of all children in 1992 were living in single parent families, and that number was growing. During the 10 year period between 1986-1996 “the number of one parent families in Australia increased by almost 50% from 311,800 to 467,200”. “Over this period, one parent families as a proportion of all families with dependent children increased from 14% to 19%,” it reports. Although the balance between money and time is always tenuous, when it comes to single parent family holidays, getting the right mix is crucial. The ABS says single parent families are statistically surviving on much lower incomes which means your holiday budget might be tight. It may be difficult to juggle between getting time off work, squeezing your vacation into half the school holidays and coordinating
KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
with the other parent. Throw in travel logistics and it’s no wonder that many single parents find it all too hard and opt to stay at home. Unfortunately, as the number of single parent families increases, the travel industry struggles to keep up with most family holiday packages based on ‘twin share’ rooms and are designed to meet the needs of two parents travelling with two children. Just look at the majority of family entrance fees at attractions and you will see how they lean towards the traditional family unit. Holidays with Kids says the most common mistake made by the travel industry is assuming that the travel needs and desires of single parents are exactly the same as those of two parent families. “Single parents often seek different agendas and must be twice as organised, twice as patient, and twice as creative to have a successful and fun trip with their kids,” it says. If your last holiday was taken as a traditional family, it came with inbuilt companionship. One of the biggest things to decide before booking a single parent
family is the level of social interaction required. Taking the kids to a Fijian resort may sound fine and dandy, but if you end up glued to your room after 8pm bedtime, and the bar is full of honeymoon couples, you may regret the decision. Kids, also, may need a little space. Remember, they don’t often spend 24 hours a day with you and, even though you love time with them, it might be good to plan a little time apart at a kid’s club or make sure there’s in-room entertainment available. Single dad, Greg Brennan recently signed up for one of the few packaged single parent family holidays available (to Fiji with BYO Kids) “I wanted to go on holiday where there was a chance for social interaction for me and the kids,” he says “and since I have a hectic lifestyle, I chose a holiday where it was organised for me.” Organised packages are a wonderful way to meet the social needs of both single parents and children but Greg was dubious at first. “There were only two men and six women,” he says, “I was concerned that perhaps single parents would get together and complain about their situation but they were a great bunch of guys and I really recommend it. “I think those people who go on these type of holidays are those who are moving on with their lives.” You don’t have to sign up for a package holiday to interact with others. Go on holiday with the grandparents, visit other relatives, enlist another family or, if you only have one child, take along one of their school friends. Two kids are far more easily entertained than one, but make sure you discuss the division of holiday costs with the parents of the other child first. Making a single parent holiday work starts with good planning and organisation. Do your research. Get on the web and find out about your intended destination, talk to travel agents dedicated to family travel and, if your kids are older, enlist them in surfing the web. Find out what is important to your kids. Do they want time by a pool? Do they want to be really active? Do they want time by themselves, or prefer more quality time with you? Do they like cold climates or hot ones? Would they like to join with others or go it alone? By getting the kids involved you become a team
and the end result is more likely to meet all your needs. There’s another positive side effect too – your kids feel more responsible for the holiday and you might just find they are willing to carry bags, read maps or even help cook meals in your self contained holiday apartment. It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of planning a holiday and forget the legal logistics. If you have a family court order, make sure your plans fit within its requirements. If you are planning to go overseas for the first time, the kids will need a passport, which needs to be ordered well in advance because Australian Law requires both parents to sign the passport application. Leah Squires is the director of BYO Kids and has dealt with many disappointed parents. “Unfortunately we have had to cancel quite a few holidays at the last minute when the other parent refuses to let the kids go,” she says. Organising single parent family travel can be challenging yet we could all use a break from time to time, and creating quality memories with your kids might be just what you need. Where there’s a will (and a little forward planning) there’s a way!
BYO Kids top holiday picks for single parent families Drive a campervan around New Zealand – distances are short and your home is self contained Learn to ski together – lodge packages are all inclusive and you’ll meet other skiers Cruise the South Pacific – many cruise ships charge a price per cabin not per person Club Med inclusive holidays have 168 locations to choose from and fun family activities Paradise Resort, Gold Coast – join in the next single family holiday package Cabins in holiday parks where you can interact with other campers For teens, learn to dive together in the Whitsundays or sail on a live-aboard boat Join a cycling tour in Europe together For more advice on single parent travel options phone BYO Kids on 1300 296 543 or visit www.byokids.com.au
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JULY / AUGUST 2009 – KiDs on tHe CoAst
Parentville by Louise Duggan
Camping Diva Why is it that everything seems like a good idea after three or four glasses of wine? I don’t know whether it’s simply the loss of all inhibition or the inevitable slide into temporary insanity - perhaps it’s a bit of both! But what I do know is, the last time I had too much to drink, I, Louise Duggan, religious wearer of stilettos and vain to a fault, naively agreed to go camping! The morning after that fatal bottle of wine, I dumped my sorry excuse for a body in front of my inbox to find new messages from my new-found camping buddy. Clicking on the link I found the Blue Dolphin Resort, Yamba, seemed really nice. Perusing the accommodation section I eyed the luxury riverside villas, “perfect”, I thought to myself! I could just see myself sunning on the balcony, sipping champagne and waving to the kids splashing on the river bank below. Relieved, I reached for my phone and sent her a text. “Looks great, can’t wait! Which type of accommodation should I book?” Bright and breezy as ever, she casually replied, “unpowered site for tents”. Suddenly realising the true consequences of my binge drinking, the reality sank in and I watched my champagne glass fall off the balcony of that luxury villa and float off down the river to oblivion! “C’mon Lou! You’ll be fine, you know you will.” I told myself reassuringly. The reality was (‘though I may have morphed into ‘resort girl’ over the last 10 years),
I spent many a good holiday camping, in my youth. My father was a scout leader and I was the ‘primrose’ patrol leader at Girl Guides, so I felt sure there must be a wealth of camping knowledge and survival skills hidden somewhere underneath my facade of Cue corporate wear. Of course my friends didn’t help the matter! “You, camping”, they scoffed “are you joking?” “Where will you plug in your straighteners and what about your stilettos?” “Very funny” I retorted, slightly annoyed by their lack of confidence in my ability to rough it! “I might have a pair of thongs to match every sundress I own, but I’ll have you know, my father was a scout leader, I’m not all shoes and handbags you know!” Staunchly defiant and determined to prove to the world that I could leave Nine West behind me, I gave camping my best shot. The weather was glorious, so I swam with the kids, forgot about my hair, ignored my mascara strewn panda eyes, yabbied, face painted, rode scooters, consumed endless sausages, slept on the floor (I hated the air beds) allowed the sand flies their pound of flesh and even managed to rescue a bottle or twelve of that champagne I told you about from floating down the river. It was heaven! By day four I was convinced I had this camping thing down pat, I felt proud that I had risen to the occasion and placed my vanity on the shelf. But then, that night, the storm came. We had just settled into our first glass of champers for the day when it hit! With the first gust of wind our tarp blew loose scattering the contents of our pantry shelf into the mud and picking up anything else not tied down. Terrified we clung to the tarp for dear life, screaming as the wild wind tried to carry us off like virgin parachutists. Above the noise of the storm we could hear our poor children screaming in the tent, but much worse was the sound of our neighbours’ laughter as they enjoyed the spectacle from their luxury riverside villas! And then came my undoing, perhaps it was fate or perhaps those camping god’s have a very sick sense of humour, but from my friend’s iPod came the haunting tones of Celine Dion’s, Theme from Titanic! The irony was all too much for my dry sense of humour and as uncontrollable laughter set in, not even six months of pilates and a ‘Tena Lady’ could prevent my vanity or my dignity from running down my inside leg!
* Must be 14 years or under & accompanied by a paying adult. Offer Valid only for the 24th July 2009.
KiDs on tHe CoAst – JULY / AUGUST 2009
FOR YOUR CHANCE TO GREAT PRIZES ENTER ONLINE @ www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
Book reviews are kindly provided by Annie’s Books on Peregian, 8 Kingfisher Drive, Peregian Beach. Phone: 5448 2053
THREE CUPS OF TEA
BATS AT THE LIBRARY
SOMETIMES I FEEL
WHERE RAINBOWS LIVE
Greg Mortensen In 1993 Greg Mortensen, a mountaineer, attempted to scale K2, the second highest mountain in the world. His attempt failed and he was lost in the mountains, where he stumbled into a Pakistani village where the villagers nursed Greg back to health. In return he promised to build a school for the village children. What started as one man’s vision to build one school, turned into Greg building more than 55 schools for the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan. (Available in adult and young adult editions).
Writer and illustrator Brian Lies “Another inky evening’s here – the air is cool and calm and clear.
B.J. Anderson This is no ordinary fairy tale! Knife is the feisty heroine with a dark side, fighting to save her people and bring back their magic. In this tale there are humans at the bottom of the garden, and the fairies are forbidden to even glimpse into their home. Knife strikes up a very unusual relationship with a weird creature – a human male. This book is a gripping, magical adventure, but don’t expect sparkles and fairy dust!
Dr Samantha Seymour How can a parent help a child who feels sad, shy, worried or angry? Clinical psychologist Dr Samantha Seymour has created a storybook resource for parents to read with their young children (aged 2-7) to help both parent and child discuss these difficult emotions. The book contains simple stories and photos of children, and each story contains ideas for how a child might deal with overwhelming emotions.
Denise Vanderlugt This beautifully crafted, self published book was written and illustrated using small hand-stitched quilts (even the words are stitched!). The award-winning book tells the story of Denise’s magical rainbow baskets where rainbows live (when they are not making the sky look beautiful). It is one of those books guaranteed to become a family heirloom, and it is available at Annie’s Books on Peregian.
We’ve feasted and fluttered, swooped and soared, and yet....we’re still a little bored.” A window has been left open at the library, resulting in a rare opportunity for the local bats. They find a world of fun and entertainment in the library and between the pages of the books, and are so engrossed that they don’t see the sky turning pale.
CD and DVD REVIEWS
Hello Music Land book and DVD www.kids.nationalgeographic.com
Smart Cookie Kids DVD
This is a colourful, easy to read site for kids. The home page has four main categories, Cool Clicks, Videos, Activities and Games. All are fun to explore but there is quite a lot of downloading so it may take time. The games engage children in grasping ‘green’ concepts. There are book reviews, travel blogs, and suggestions for help with charity donations. Parents may like to check donations being pledged by children. A suitable site for primary school children.
This site claims to be the “ultimate resource empowering women who work from home”. It costs $19.95 pr month or $199.95 per year to join. There are free articles though. Member resources include tips on marketing, technology, getting started. The concept was founded by Sue Papadoulis, and if you are planning on starting your own business it is certainly worth a look.
Get ready to dance and sing along with the Smart Cookie gang – a group of delightful Aussie puppets. There’s Flossy the Emu, JJ the Kangaroo, Squeak the Echidna and Ted the Koala. Not only can your preschoolers sing along, there’s a karaoke section to test their memories. Perhaps one of the best features is Aussie accents! This series of four is a guaranteed hit. It is available at www.smartcookiekids.com or select retailers.
Dimmie Drum and the Beanstalk is the first DVD book in a planned series. It is based on the old “Jack” story retold in comic book style and comes with the book and animation DVD mini movie. This is the latest endeavour for the Hello Music Studio which created a show of the same name that aired on pay TV and won an award as the best children’s TV show. A live show followed. The book and DVD package will be available in late July in major bookstores and throughout the country soon after. Pocket size, the book makes a good travel companion – especially if you have a DVD player in the car because the DVD will read the story to your preschoolers while they follow along.
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Kids on the Coast Magazine, Sunshine Coast, Issue 33 AlTernATives FATher’s dAy in your home What do you when your baby is sick? Avoid The so...