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

e h t g n i t s u b

BODY BLUES IMAGE

happy 6th birthday to US!

Helping kids cope with loss

Check out the latest parenting products, kids’ books and upcoming events


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With the World’s Largest Ginger Factory, The Taste of Ginger Tour, Super Bee Live Bee Show, Ye Olde Ginger Train, Gingertown, the Buderim Ginger Cooking School, The Ginger Shop, Bliss Ice Creamery and our Open fun Overboard attraction you’ll find that there’s something for everyone and tons to do at 7 Days The Ginger Factory so drop in anytime... and go Overboard!

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CONTeNTS March/April 2010 30

18 Welcome to

Kids on the Coast

6 FEATURE All in the looks: body image 3

WELCOME

4

WHAT’S NEWS

11 CHECK THIS OUT New and innovative ideas in parenting

12 THE “P” FILES Helping kids grieve

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

18 EDUCATION Tutors – the way of the future?

24 WHAT’S ON CALENDAR The Kids on the Coast guide to March/April

26 BABIES ON THE COAST

30 IT’S ONLY NATURAL Ethical buying

34 PARENT PROFILE Jason Morris overcomes life’s challenges

37 PARENTVILLE Having kids young

38 LET’S CELEBRATE Your perfect Mother’s Day

41 HAPPY HOLIDAYS A rainy Sydney escape

44 KIDS ON THE COAST DIRECTORY 46 REVIEWS AND COMPETITIONS

Sleep like a baby?

29 HEALTH

24

Parenting advice from a GP

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

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

PUBLISHED BY: THINGS 4 KIDS PTY LTD. PO Box 491, Eumundi QLD 4562 PHONE: 1300 430 320 FAX: 07 5476 6037 WEB: www.kidsonthecoast.com.au ABN: 86 473 357 391. All editorial in Kids on the Coast has been written in good faith based on material, verbal or written, provided by contributors. No responsibility is taken for errors or omissions and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher. All material in Kids on the Coast is subject to copyright provisions. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Feedback/comments/suggestions? Send to: editorial@kidsonthecoast.com.au We aim to reply to all correspondence but don’t guarantee to do so. Letters to the editor may be edited for length or clarity. PUBLISHER: Toni Eggleston EDITOR: Sarah Pye EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS: Kim Lahey, Cindy Mayes, Greg Nash, Jane O’Hara, Dr Scott Parsons, Alison Rodriguez, Sandra Smith, Justine Stewart. ADVERTISING: For advertising enquiries please phone Tanya Ryan on 1300 430 320 or email: advertising@kidsonthecoast.com.au LOCAL BUSINESS DIRECTORY: Speak with your advertising coordinator or email: advertising@kidsonthecoast.com.au PRODUCTION COORDINATOR: Terri Sanderson, email: production@kidsonthecoast.com.au 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: 1300 430 320 or email: admin@kidsonthecoast.com.au FRONT COVER: Simone Bell GRAPHIC DESIGN: Michelle Craik

MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

3


S ' WHAT

NeWS

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

IS ‘BABY BRAIN’ ALL IN THE MIND?

Educating visitors

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

UnderWater World and the Sunshine Coast Council are joining forces to protect our local waterways, with an interactive display highlighting the need to maintain healthy waterways and healthy marine environments. The display targets the most preventable forms of pollution – sediment, littering and rural runoff – and shows visitors what they can do to help clean up the waterways.

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

PARENTS AND POLICE JOIN FORCES

Lifeline Community Care Sunshine Coast is once again hosting the popular four session course called Surviving Your Adolescents, which has already attracted a large number of dedicated parents with 12+ year olds. Parents learn from trained family counsellors how to deal with modern and traditional issues affecting their children. Police will also talk about internet and mobile phone safety, covering issues such as cyber-bullying, sexting and ID fraud. For more information or to book, call Lifeline on 5409 2600. Gold coin donation per session.

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

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Is your child falling behind? ADVERTISEMENT/LOCAL BUSINESS PROFILE

Brad Hutchinson – Audiologist / Speech Pathologist Claire Corbitt – Occupational Therapist

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lex is a seemingly bright nine year old boy who is struggling at school for unexplained reasons. He has a good memory for things that interest him, but can’t seem to remember what he learns in class. It would be easy to label him a lazy student or a selective listener, but Alex just needs a bit of a learning boost. Alex’s parents are at wits’ end because they feel like they’ve tried everything to assist their son, without any real success. Two years of tutoring have helped a little but “it just hasn’t hit the nail on the head” according to Alex’s parents. Alex’s younger sister is quickly catching up and this is beginning to affect his self-esteem. His parents don’t expect him to be a rocket scientist, they just don’t want him to struggle anymore. Most kids like Alex have the potential to do quite well at school but the problem is that they don’t have the necessary ‘tools for learning’. Researchers have found that these tools include a good memory, the ability to pay attention without getting distracted too easily, a quick processing speed, and good reading comprehension and fluency. Unless we can build up Alex’s foundation learning skills, he will continue to struggle in the classroom. The award winning Fast ForWord computer programme is designed to give kids like Alex a significant jump start by developing these tools for learning.

Unlike classroom teaching and tutoring, the Fast ForWord programme involves systematic, intensive, frequent and adaptive mental exercises that have been designed to gradually improve memory, thinking speed, sustained attention, thought organisation and the retention of information. The Fast ForWord programme has been so successful that it has attracted the attention of top researchers from around the world. It has also been recognised by prestigious publications such as Time Magazine, Discovery Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, numerous research journals, and more recently, Dr Norman Doidge’s fascinating book The Brain That Changes Itself. Suitable for almost all primary and high school students, particularly those needing a learning boost, Fast ForWord provides students with something they can’t get through classroom learning or tutoring. Call Sonic Learning now on 1800 188 338 to discuss your child’s learning needs or to book a free Fast ForWord demonstration.

Unlock your child’s full potential Accelerate your child’s learning skills with our unique home-based brain training computer games. Backed by 35 years of research into how the brain learns, the award winning Fast ForWord programme has a proven 95% success rate. In just 12 weeks, see the difference in your child’s ability to learn. Call Sonic Learning’s team of health professionals now to discuss how to change your child’s life.

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FEATURE

looks All in the

What messageS are our kids getting about body image?

by Jane O’Hare

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

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

Donna Farman 0414 674 674

Resiliency building workshops for children - 10 week resiliency program, endorsed by the World Health Organisation. These programs 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 knowledge gained from this workshop further enhances parents understanding of their children and how to bring out the best in them. 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.

WORKSHOPS Sunshine Coast Building Resilience Workshops for children Ages: 4-7 years and 7-12 years And 4 week Parenting Workshops on Building Confident and resilient children

For more information or private consultation please call Donna on 0414 674 674

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

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

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FEATURE Eating disorders are not really about food but indicate emotional, social or developmental concerns. Often those suffering from eating disorders feel their lives are out of control, and feel they gain power over their bodies by controlling food intake, often overexercising and denying themselves food. Causes of eating disorders include personality factors, and social and environmental factors. Some may develop after long periods of illness or dieting attempts while others whose life is in disarray feel controlling their eating is the one thing they can succeed at. Dannielle says it is often the very bright, high achievers who develop eating disorders. “A teenage girl may cling to her eating disorder in the belief that it is the only way she can cope with the stresses of life,” she says. “A quest for perfectionism crosses over into their quest for the perfect body. Our culture, that values outward appearances and the external, can be a dangerous thing.”

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

How can parents help their children have a good body image? “Value yourself more than your looks. You’ve got other things that are really important to you,” Dannielle says. “Being a good role model will help your children feel good about themselves. “Mothers constantly preoccupied with how they look, rushing off for Botox, and trying to be the perfect mother, wife, and career girl, are giving their kids the wrong message.” Dannielle says parents are powerful; they have a lot of capacity to shape their children for the better. “What instinctively we know is right and wrong probably is,” she says. “Listen to your children, before trying to fix their problems, or telling them not to worry. What may seem nothing to you can be a major concern for them. “When he or she realises you are listening, without judging, you will find they will confide more and your bond will be closer.” Dannielle suggests parents take the time to spend time with their children in activities they can both enjoy. Go shopping, coffee, the movies, or go for a walk or a swim, and enjoy some down time. Allow children privacy by not prying too closely into his or her life, unless you have genuine cause for concern, and try not to be critical of friends or wardrobe choices. Dannielle feels it is important to allow your child to make mistakes, and learn from them. “Admit when you are wrong, let her see it is okay to fail, and to find some things really hard, and encourage her to keep trying,” she says (specifically about girls), “Be proud of her achievements, praise is a wonderful boost to everyone’s self esteem. “Let her best be enough and keep expectations of her academic, sporting or musical accomplishments realistic.”

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“Value yourself more than your looks. You’ve got other things that are really important to you…Being a good role model will help your children feel good about themselves.”

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

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FEATURE

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

The Future The Minister for Youth Kate Ellis accepted an advisory report on October 27, 2009 to help the Federal Government address negative body image. The report encourages advertisers, the media and the fashion industry to promote more positive body image messages. The report includes a Voluntary Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image suggesting healthy weight models, and realistic images of people are used in magazines.

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

Girlfriend magazine, for instance, now informs readers if pictures have been digitally enhanced. It also notes that models have spent hours having hair done and make up applied to achieve the results seen in the magazine. The report also recommends building resilience in young people. It encourages schools, parents and community groups to work with students giving them a more realistic view of their bodies, focusing on health and fitness and not obsessing with perfection. It is important that all groups work together to encourage young people to have a healthy respect for their bodies. It is through the encouragement of influential women, like Sarah Murdoch, Mia Freedman, Kate Ellis, Dannielle Miller and Francesca Kaouta, that hopefully the problem of this constant quest for the perfect body will no longer cause so much anguish for our young women. As Dannielle says, it is important “communities, schools and parents work together to raise amazing young women”.

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Teething fashion Think of a celeb with kids and chances are they have Sophie the teething giraffe. No… really! Sophie has been a French favourite for about 40 years and it doubles as a teething relief and a special toy. Made from natural rubber and non-toxic paints, its size means you are less likely to lose it, and you can show-off knowing you are now only six degrees from the likes of Kate Hudson, Nicole Richie and Naomi Watts. RRP: $34. Available at Rainbow Babies, 21 First Avenue, Maroochydore. Phone: 5475 4499 or visit: www.sophiethegiraffe.com.au

our guide to interesting & essential bits & pieces

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

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

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

Ginger has long been known to contain properties for settling stomachs and for this reason it is often used to combat morning and motion sickness. Buderim Naturals has just launched a new ginger tablet called QueaseEase which also includes calming chamomile. A packet of 30 tablets retails for $24.95. They are available at Chemmart Caloundra and Maroochy Day and Night Pharmacy or visit: www.buderimnaturals.com.au

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

Sustainable building These double-sided blocks are made using maple hardwood off-cuts from a flooring company so they truly are sustainable. Fresh shapes and simple lines allow little imaginations to run riot. City or country themes are available for $35 per set. Available through www.mudkids.com.au MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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goodbye

THE ‘P’ Files

by Sandra Smith

When

is forever helping kids understand

Grief and loss affect all of us at some time in our journey through life. We may have moved house and said goodbye to old friends. Some of us have experienced separation and divorce, or the death of a beloved family pet. Perhaps a grandparent or sibling has died. Whatever the circumstances, the distress caused by loss is very real and very painful, and it’s a difficult time for the whole family. We see our children suffer as they process the painful feelings that follow loss, and we may be unsure how to help them. We may feel especially fragile and vulnerable at a time when our children need us most. Many children feel shock, anger, hurt, guilt or sadness. Some will experience mood swings, lots of tears and loneliness. They may seem withdrawn and devoid of emotion, or they may regress and become clingy or fearful. Sunshine Coast counsellor and arts therapist Juliette Kalifa advises us to pay attention to our children’s feelings and behaviour following bereavement. “If they change their eating pattern, if they start getting in trouble at school when they were not before, or they get really obnoxious at home – connect the things and try to understand what is happening for the child,” she says. Young children may not speak about the death for a long time, but Juliette advises us to keep the lines of communication open and “not close the door to questions and to doubt”. We need to continue talking about the deceased person and we need to encourage our children to express their feelings. “Being real” is important, says Juliette, as it gives children permission to express their own pain and sadness. “Sometimes people feel they want to protect their children, but I think they can interpret that as it’s not okay to feel,” she says. Juliette, who has worked with grieving children at Bloomhill Cancer Help for the past eight years, believes it’s important for children to be able to ask questions, so they can understand what has happened. “Children are quite curious about things,” she explains. “They hear bits and pieces in their house and they can’t always make sense of it.” As parents, we should take into account the child’s age and developmental level when we respond to questions about death. “Of course, if a teenager asks what happened, you will give a different explanation to a five-year-old,” Juliette says. Well-meaning relatives and friends may use metaphors to describe death and by doing so, cover up the truth, but Juliette says this isn’t helpful for children. “People don’t realise that the child will need to unlearn that and may be confused by that,” Juliette says. Euphemisms that romanticise death are deceptive or complicate the situation and are confusing for our children. If they believe their relative or friend has “gone to sleep”

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

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

The healing process

Rituals help our children come to terms with grief and loss and they are an important part of the healing process after bereavement. The type of ritual depends on the family’s cultural background and religious beliefs. Juliette says rituals are especially helpful when the child expresses a need to reconnect with the deceased, and they strengthen the bond with that person. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


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

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

• Create a collage of photos and drawings. The child can choose where to hang the artwork • Construct a boat out of corks, or twigs and bark. Decorate with flowers, leaves or feathers and set it adrift on the river • Plant sunflowers or a rose bush in the garden or in a special pot • Draw a picture of a special day – it could be a trip to the beach or a picnic • Write a poem or a song, a story or a letter for the person or pet • Make a play and perform it for family • Light a candle or incense in front of a favourite photograph • Tell stories and share memories with family and friends • Make a special Christmas decoration that they would love • Start a scrap book containing stories, photos, drawings, pressed flowers and other reminders • Create a memory box – include symbolic personal items like special jewellery, a favourite book or CD, awards, letters and cards

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13


Coping with bereavement

THE ‘P’ Files

Children respond to bereavement very differently according to their age and developmental level, explains Australian psychotherapist and author Dianne McKissop. The characteristics, typical grief responses and remedies are:

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

Age 2-4 – usually self-centred and think concretely, rather than conceptually. They may see death as personal abandonment. Provide love and support, keep to consistent routines and answer questions simply and honestly, making sure explanations are within the realm of the child’s understanding.

FURTHeR ReADING

Age 4-7 – usually adventurous and exploratory, their language skills and autonomy are developing. They may feel personally responsible for the death, and they may feel distressed and confused, or they may regress. Some children react through aggressive play, denial or nightmares. They need reassurance and opportunities to express their feelings through talking, drawing, writing and playing. Age 7-11 – more conceptual and logical thinkers, this age group is more able to mourn and understand the loss. They may regress, change eating and sleeping habits and withdraw from friends. Provide opportunities for physical activity, and allow children to express their feelings through play, stories and art.

Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine Passing On by Mike Dumbleton and Terry Denton This heartwarming picture book is a reminiscence of time with grandparents and how their lessons are passed on to the young.

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

Age 11-18 – capable of abstract thinking and conceptual understanding of death. They may deny their feelings, become depressed or angry. Be supportive, listen without judging and allow them to feel in control, while maintaining clear boundaries and structures. They may benefit from talking to people outside the family or joining a bereavement support group. Children of all ages need lots of hugs, love and reassurance, and the comfort of familiar routines while they are grieving. Create security and understanding by listening to children’s concerns and responding to their questions honestly and openly.

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When they are grieving

Growing up is an ongoing process of change that involves losses as well as gains. One of the losses that children and young people may experience is when their parents separate or their family breaks up. Apart from the separation itself, children may experience the loss of the family home, changes to their schooling and the subsequent loss of friendships. In addition they may only be having limited contact with one or other parent and they may also lose contact with grandparents and extended family. Children do grieve, even at an early age, although not in the same way as adults do. Often children will show their grief in less direct ways and they can move in and out of grief. One day they will appear to be fine and yet another day they will be showing us that they are not managing so well. The child’s age, emotional maturity and the circumstances of the separation are all important factors to be considered when working out how best to help the child. Children often have more needs after a loss like separation and this can lead to demanding behaviour as they attempt to get closeness, care, information, reassurance and support from adults. Each child will experience the loss differently. If parents form new relationships they may not recognise that their child continues to ‘grieve’ the family as it was with its familiar routines, roles and so on. The child may feel ‘responsible’ for a separation and can continue to yearn for their parents to get back together, even long after parents have re-partnered. Often children believe that they are alone in a situation and it is very important for children’s wellbeing that parents acknowledge these often silent and lonely areas of grief. Parents can help children in the following ways: • Understand that children don’t show their grief in the same way as adults. • Keep to family routines as much as you can to give security. • Let the teacher or child care worker know what has happened. • Don’t rely on your child for support. You need to support your child. • Be honest, trustworthy and reliable. • Give your child special times with you to talk about feelings. The biggest need for children and teenagers who have gone through the loss of separation is that they are supported and cared for and have someone to talk to about it.

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. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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NeW

TO THE COAST

a Kids on the Coast advertising feature

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

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Climbing the walls Entertaining kids on the Sunshine Coast when it’s raining has always been a challenge but new business Kidzown at Lake Kawana solves the problem. Featuring large inflatable jumping castle, indoor 3 level structure including slides and much more, 3D climbing wall and a toddler’s only area are guaranteed to keep the kids happy and save you from ‘climbing the walls’ at home! Family owned Kidzown says Kidzown provides parents with a great local entertainment facility for a good price and it’s open every day. “We ensure that all of our indoor play equipment is properly sanitized and hygienic for the safety of your children.” Kidzown even organises a range of parties for kids from 0 – 12. Phone 5493 4690 or visit: www.kidzown.net.au

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

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Making Music in Pre-Prep All parents know that children love music. Singing and dancing comes as naturally to most 3 and 4 year olds as talking and walking! What parents may not be aware of is just how beneficial exposure to music can be for a child’s development. At New Leaf Early Learning Centre, Pre-Prep students participate in two music lessons per week with a trained music teacher from Sunshine Coast Grammar School. In these lessons, students hone their listening skills and concentration with aural training. They learn about changes in pitch and tone and how to use their voice. Balance, coordination and motor skills are developed through work with percussion instruments and dance. And, like any group activity, music lessons are a great time to practice sharing, turn taking, cooperation and group participation. Pre-Prep Director, Mrs Anita Corney, says that the children are not the only ones who enjoy the lessons. “Our parents often stay and watch the music sessions,” Mrs Corney said. “They are very pleased when they observe their children being so involved and attentive while having so much fun,” she said. Mrs Corney said that the children’s favourite activities are always the movement experiences and playing with the instruments. If you would like to hear more about the Pre-Prep Program at New Leaf Early Learning Centre, go to www.scgs.qld.edu.au/newleaf or contact the centre on (07) 5453 7077 for a tour. New Leaf’s Pre-Prep program is delivered by Bachelor-qualified teachers specialising in Early Childhood, assisted by qualified teaching assistants. New Leaf is accredited as ‘High Quality’ across all areas of the validation process with the National Childcare Accreditation Council (NCAC).

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Quality childcare and early learning for children from 6 weeks to 5 years old. • Separate Nursery and Pre-Prep wings • Air-conditioned centre • Library, music and sport lessons for Pre-Prep For more information Ph: (07) 5453 7077 • newleaf@scgs.qld.edu.au 372 Mons Road, Forest Glen Qld 4556 www.scgs.qld.edu.au/newleaf

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MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

17


education – the way of the future? by Justine Stewart

While it’s true that many kids will happily breeze through the school system, fitting neatly into teachers’ expectations, enjoying their learning journey, and achieving results which correlate with their career ambitions, they’re the lucky ones. Others will experience the anxieties of struggling to keep up, become apathetic or aggressive due to mind-numbing boredom, or even experience a combination of these, depending on the subjects involved and whether or not they’re what’s now referred to as ‘twice exceptional’ (i.e. academically gifted but with a learning disability). Then there are those who stress about getting the required OP for their chosen profession. If you’ve been reading those report cards a lot more closely, asking more questions at parent-teacher interviews, and becoming increasingly aware of niggling hopes and fears about your child’s progress (or lack thereof) you’ve probably considered extra-curricular tuition. Australian Tutoring Association (ATA) president Chris Druett taught within Australia and internationally before becoming a tutor. “Tutoring has changed since I went to school twenty years ago,” he says. “Back then, it was normally just the lowerachieving students who were receiving tutoring in order to catch up with their classmates… [Now] we’re seeing not only those students continuing to get support, but also students who are preparing for particular exams or in a very competitive environment looking for additional support [in order to get the best result].” The ATA says that recent independently-conducted research shows up to 80% of students preparing for their HSC (or Higher School Certificate, the NSW equivalent of Queensland’s Year 12 OP Score) were receiving tutoring of some kind. Chris says they’re making the most of extra coaching, just as they would in other areas such as sport or music. Some parents say that as well as the actual content of the work, their children benefit from a tutor’s encouragement and support, and increased use of goal-setting and independent learning skills. “People are recognising that with one-on-one attention, you can achieve results that are beyond your imagination when you’re sitting in a classroom full of students,” Chris says. In a way, Leo Blore, another former school teacher (and school principal) who now runs Extended Learning Centres (ELC), on the Sunshine Coast, agrees. “I think parents choose tutoring because there’s a frustration with the system and with what’s going on, especially where their kid is smarter than what’s being taught in class,” he says. Leo says that, unlike many other tuition centres, he doesn’t focus only on kids who are “behind the eight ball”, but is more interested in extending kids and helping them to “go places in the world”. Poor school report cards, says Leo, can be the first indicator of emotional or academic issues and he says that boredom is a huge problem for many students. “Smart kids with Aspergers or ADHD have got what I call a `bumblebee brain’. It’s just buzzing all the time, and at school the neurons are not being stimulated enough. Some kids will turn that outward into behavioural issues; but it depends on the kid. Some will sink inwards [i.e. suffer from depression and anxiety].”

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

Dear Readers Many people ask what makes Karinya Montessori different? How we differ is our prepared environment, as it offers children a choice of activities in the learning areas of practical life, culture, art, sensory education, numeracy and literacy. The first of these areas that will cover in these editorials is practical life. Just as the name suggests, practical life involves foundational life lessons that cover:care of self - such as learning how to button or tie a bow, as well as cooking skills. At Karinya one of our favourite activities is no-cook playdough, our recipe is below. care of environment - packing away, wiping tables, using recycle bins – as we know that caring for our environment helps all living things. care of animals - we have two guinea pigs, spot and cuddlepie – that need food, water, shelter and cuddles to feel happy and healthy. care of plants - planting and watering plants helps us to understand how plants grow. care of movement - we do special exercises that help the children develop gross motor skills and confidence. Kind Regards Kerri NO COOK PLAYDOUGH Ingredients – 2 cups pf plain flour, 1 cup salt, 4tbs of cream of tartar, 2tbs oil, 1 ½ to 2 cups of water – Mix and hey presto no cook playdough! Have fun with this recipe! (optional use seeds like real bread!)

We are currently taking enrolments for 2010. We cater for children 2yrs to 6yrs and have childcare benefit available, our prices are on par with centres in the area. If you would like to find out more about our specialised early childhood environment contact us

11 Kauri Street, Cooroy - 5472 0505 www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


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

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

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MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

19


education

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

Richard’s story* “We realised that our child needed one-on-one instruction that couldn’t be provided by the school. We found a tutor through a recommendation by another parent. Essentially our tutor uses the same methods as the school teacher, although she also presents other, more traditional teaching methods, and our child seems to respond well to this. I would say it’s been beneficial, as Jonathon* is now more able to keep up with his classmates. The only downside is that the school won’t allow the tutor to come into the classroom, which is what we originally wanted, but they have allowed Jonathon to come home earlier on `tute days’.“ * These are real stories but names have been changed.

Extended Learning Centres Mooloolaba

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

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Deborah’s story* Before you start searching for a tutor, you might want to consult your GP, and if necessary get a referral to a paediatrician (ideally one with experience in dealing with kids with learning problems) to establish what medical or other conditions might be contributing to the problem. For example, you wouldn’t want to discover too late that a $200 pair of glasses would have saved you thousands in tuition fees! You should also: • Discuss with your child the reasons why you feel tutoring would be beneficial, and involve them in the process of choosing a tutor. • Be realistic about your expectations, both in terms of results and timeframes. Tutoring is not a magic wand, and there may be other issues such as parenting techniques or family dynamics which need to be addressed. • Stay involved with your child’s learning, and maintain regular communication with both your child’s tutor and school teacher. • Review regularly, and reward successes rather than focusing on negatives. • Consider changing tutors or looking for other causes if things don’t seem to improve.

Over the last few years, consumer affairs organisations have issued warnings about companies selling computer software ‘tutoring’ programs. (www.ocba.sa.gov.au/ assets/medicomms/mrelease_tutorprogram.pdf). Some of these companies use emotional blackmail and high-pressure in-home sales pitches disguised as ‘free assessments’ to push parents into buying on the spot. Online forums report that some families have signed up to pay around $6000, plus thousands of dollars in interest over many years, some of them discovering within a few weeks that the product doesn’t appeal to their children and the promised ‘phone support’ is unsatisfactory.

Coolum Beach Christian College Discover why parents and kids love our excellent Prep facility and program. Book now for 2011. Some places from Prep to Year 12 available.

“School just wasn’t giving my kids enough mental stimulation. They were starting to `play up’ because they were extremely bored. My 15-year-old had been misdiagnosed with ADHD when he was younger but I had refused to put him on medication. Later both kids were diagnosed as being high-end Aspergers. The school ran IQ tests and although they’re not genius level, they’re close, but both of them were starting to think that there was something wrong with them. Their teachers said they were lazy, not concentrating, not listening. I heard about Extended Learning Centres through word of mouth, but I was very wary because I’d tried one of the home tutorial computer systems, and had been badly burned by that financially. The change in both kids was miraculous. Their behavioural issues just disappeared. Their minds were being fed! Their teachers noticed a huge difference, and it also helped their self-confidence enormously. It took about six months to really be confident that tutoring was the right thing. I was spending a $1000 a term, and it was a real struggle, because I wasn’t working at the time, but the way it benefited the kids and the changes in them, it was obviously the right thing to do. Now, after three years, the kids still get out of the car and run up when we arrive, and when it’s time to go they never want to leave.” If you have purchased one of these products, are unhappy, and would like to dispute your contract, the NSW Consumer Credit Legal Centre website has some great advice (although not all of it may apply to consumers in Queensland): www.cclcnsw.org.au Alternatively, there are many free or reasonably-priced websites which may be helpful where parents are willing to be involved, students are fairly motivated to cover the work at home, and you may not be able to afford other options. For example, visit: www.mathsonline.com.au

Aa is for Amelia Bb is for Bilby Cc is for Cooper Dd is for dinosaur Mm is for me!

Modern facilities, caring staff and very competitive fee structure including sibling discounts and a scholarship 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: enrolments@cbcc.qld.edu.au

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MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

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education

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

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

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

Learn how to reach for the stars Can your kid…

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understand & manage their emotions? communicate thoughts & feelings effectively? deal with peer pressure and stress? think positively and for themselves?

Curious Kids Can!

Curious Kids are…

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inspired to experience personal success empowered to overcome their fears motivated to believe in themselves encouraged to always reach for the stars

Curious Kids Rock! Mentor Elissa Seib

MEd Child Lit, BA Dip Ed, Cert REd, MACE

SUNCOAST CHRISTIAN COLLEGE ACHIEVEMENT WITH VALUES BUILT IN

Visit the website for programs, fees and contact details

Invest in your child’s emotional intelligence 22

KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

23


Special Events CalendaR March 1 - April 9

March 7

Where/when: Immanuel Lutheran College. Closing date for entries April 9; festival May 20-23 This Festival is in its 29th year and promotes visual, creative and performance arts. There will be a prize pool of over $6000. Cost: Entry fee $15 Details: www.immanuel.qld.edu.au

Where/when: Departing Roma Street Station, Brisbane, 10.10am, 11.40am, 1.10pm Run by the Rail Workshops Museum, these trips are a wonderful family adventure, offering grandparents the opportunity to share experiences from the past, and for families to see Brisbane in a new way. Cost: Adults $18.50, children under 15 $10, family $55, bookings essential Details: 3432 5100 or visit www. theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au

IMMANUEL LUTHERAN COLLEGE ARTS FESTIVAL

MARCH March 2-23

STEAM TRAIN SUNDAY

7 March 11

March 6-27

BATTLE GAMES Where/when: Noosa Library, Wallace Drive, Noosaville 11am-2pm every Saturday Come along and you will find the armies of Warhammer. BYO Armies and game books. Kids over 10. Cost: Free Details: 5442 4411 or visit www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au

SUNSHINE COAST GRAMMAR SCHOOL INFORMATION EVENING FOR PREP Where/when: Sunshine Coast Grammar, 372 Mons Road, Forest Glen, 7pm A parents’ information evening about preparing for prep. Cost: Free Details: 5445 4444 or visit www.scgs.qld.edu.au

March 25

Where/when: Maroochydore Library, 44 Sixth Avenue, Cotton Tree, 9.30-10.30am Combine a fun physical activity program and picnic in the park with story-time. For children 2-6 years and their carers. BYO picnic and rug. Cost: Free Details: www.library.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au

Where/when: Nambour Gospel Chapel, Windsor Road, Nambour, 9.30-10.30am Babies to school age develop motor skills, imagination, pre-reading and maths skills through a 30-minute music program. Morning tea provided. Cost: $2 per child or $3 per family Details: 5476 4883

LIVING WELL PARENT’n’TODDLER SPORTS

MAINLY MUSIC

March 14-21

NOOSA FESTIVAL OF SURFING Where/when: First Point, Noosa and Lions Park, Noosa, opening ceremony 5pm, March 14 Competition divisions include Junior Boys (under 15), Boys 15-18, Junior Women (under 18) and a Family Team Challenge. Entries close March 1. Various ticketed events in Surf City. Cost: Junior entries $66, family challenge $88 Details: www.noosafestivalofsurfing.com

line! FIND more events on om.au www.kidsonthecoast.c

March 25

25

Compiled by: Frances Maguire

WIN!

VAALIA YOGURT MUMMY AND ME YOGA CLASSES Where/when: Riverside Green, the Parklands, South Bank, Brisbane, 9.30-10.30am Running every Tuesday, this is a yoga class for mothers and babies up to crawling age. The outdoor classes are in the beautiful Parklands and are led by a qualified instructor. Cost: Free Details: 3867 2051 or visit www.visitsouthbank.com.au

March 17

March 21

Where/when: Australia Zoo, Beerwah. All day Get there early for your free green muffin. Free face painting, colouring competition and an Irish dancing demonstration! Be an eco warrior by signing the petition to save the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve. Cost: Regular admission prices Details: www.australiazoo.com.au

Where/when: South Bank Cultural Forecourt, Brisbane, 7.30am Get out and enjoy the outdoors with the family on this easy 12km bike ride along the scenic Brisbane River. There will be plenty of action and entertainment for the kids (and the adults) in the Cultural Forecourt after the ride. Cost: $10 Details: www.bq.org.au/bike-week

March 25

March 27

ST PATRICK’S DAY AT AUSTRALIA ZOO

Hi-5 SURPRISE Where/when: The Events Centre, Caloundra, 11.30am-12.30pm Hi-5 is planning a surprise party and everyone is invited! Jump up, dance and sing as Hi-5 performs all your favourite songs in this new live stage show. Cost: Premium tickets $42.90, A-reserve $32.90 Details: 5491 4240 or visit www.theeventscentre.com.au

TO WIN ONE OF TWO FAMILY PASSES OF FOUR A-RESERVE TICKETS VALUED AT $131 VISIT WWW.KIDSONTHECOAST.COM.AU

GOLDCROSS FAMILY FUN RIDE

THE COURIER-MAIL MOOLOOLABA SUPERKIDZ TRIATHLON Where/when: Charles Clarke Park, River Esplanade, Mooloolaba, registration 6.30-7.30am Categories include 7-10 years and 11-13 years. All participants will receive a medallion and the first 350 registered participants will receive an official ASICS Mooloolaba Superkidz Triathlon singlet. Cost: Triathlon Australia member $35, nonmember $40 Details: 5449 0711 or visit www.usmevents. com.au/mooltri

Sunday March 28th at 11am: Come along for an Eggcellent adventure at Noosa Civic!

• • •

Free live stage show and Easter gift bag of goodies for every child. Easter Bonnet parade with prizes. Photo’s with the Easter Bunny. PLUS guest appearances from Wallum Froglet

6th - 11th April:

THE EVENTS CENTRE, CALOUNDRA FRIDAY 9 & SATURDAY 10 APRIL HANKSE

BOOK NOW: 5491 4240

www.theeventscentre.com.au GOLD COAST: 26 - 27 March • BRISBANE: 31 March - 3 April il

www.nickjr.com.au © 2010 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved.

24

KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

T SHIN SUN ST S COA HOW S ON NEW

NOWLE! SA

Miss Donna the Clown is coming to town. 11am & 1pm Daily Miss Donna’s Magic Show 10am - 2pm Daily Balloon workshops & Colouring in competitions (except during show times)

28 Eenie Creek Rd, Noosaville Open 7 days Ph 5440 7900 noosacivic.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


APRIL

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

line! FIND more events on om.au www.kidsonthecoast.c

March 27

March 27-28

Where/when: Maroochy RSL Club, Memorial Drive, Maroochydore, 6pm “Shiver your timbers me ‘earties” and put on your best pirate’s outfit to join the fun at Mystery Island. Cost: Mystery Island members $2.50, non-members $4.50 Details: 5443 2211 or visit www.maroochyrsl.com.au

Where/when: The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich, 10am-3pm. Appearances by the Workshops Bunny on the hour, every hour. Cost: General museum day tickets, adults $18.50, children 3-16 $10, under 3s free, family $55 Details: www.theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au

MAROOCHY RSL MYSTERY ISLAND CLUB PIRATE PARTY

April 2

REDCLIFFE FESTIVAL OF SAILS Where/when: Suttons Beach, Marine Parade, Redcliffe, 9am-4pm A colourful seaside carnival including live music, roving entertainment, a sky-diving Easter Bunny (weather permitting), Easter egg hunt on the beach and sand-sculpting workshops. There will be face painting, kite flying demonstrations and kite-making workshops and The Great LEGO Building Challenge. Cost: costs for rides. Details: 3205 0555 or visit www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au

! WIN

April 9-10

DORA THE EXPLORER LIVE!

Where/when: The Events Centre, Caloundra. 10am-11am Join Dora, Boots the monkey, Diego and their friends on an exciting journey in search of Osito, Dora’s missing teddy bear. Cost: A Reserve $48, B Reserve $38, C Reserve $28 (additional fees and charges may apply) Details: 5491 4240 or visit www.theeventscentre.com.au

TO WIN ONE OF THREE FAMILY PASSES WORTH $150 FOR APRIL 9 VISIT WWW.KIDSONTHECOAST.COM.AU

March 29 - April 1

TOYLAND EXPRESS BUNNY EGGVENTURES

! WIN

KIDZOWN EASTER EGG HUNT

TO WIN ONE OF THREE ONE-DAY FAMILY PASSES VALUED AT $55 EACH FOR TOYLAND EXPRESS EVENTS VISIT WWW.KIDSONTHECOAST.COM.AU

Where/when: Kidzown, Unit 6-7, 10 Capital Place, Lake Kawana, 8.30am For pre-schoolers only. Numbers will be limited and raffle tickets will be available from Kidzown from March 1. The raffle will be drawn March 26-27, winners will be notified by phone. Cost: Entry fee $8.80, Easter egg hunt free for raffle winners Details: 5493 4690

April 2-4

GREAT NOOSA CAMPOUT MUSIC FESTIVAL Where/when: House with no Steps, Fellowship Road, Doonan Community-based event with on site camping. Includes Daryl Braithwaite, Colin Hay and GANGgajang. Children’s activity tent, street performers and an Easter Sunday Great Aussie Bbq. Cost: Pre-sale 3-day tickets including camping, $154, camping $15 per night, children under 12 free with a ticket-holding adult Details: www.thegreatnoosacampout.com

April 3

March 27 (Mama Mia), April 10 (Toy Story)

April 9

Where/when: Kenilworth, all day A day for the whole family including a Cheester Egg Hunt and Cheese Rolling Competition. Cost: Free Details: 5446 0003 or visit www.kenilworthfoodfest.org.au

Where/when: Eumundi Showgrounds, Memorial Drive, Eumundi (north end of town) Affordable family-friendly entertainment for locals and tourists. Recent screenings have been fundraisers for community groups including Eumundi State School P&C and the Eumundi Swimming Club. The team recently organised a ‘dive-in’ screening of Finding Nemo at the Eumundi Aquatic Centre with plans to screen ‘swim and watch’ movies each school holiday. Cost: $8 includes glow stick, popcorn and drink, kids under 3 free Details: 5442 7880 or 0458 128 020 or visit www.flicksinthesticks.org

Where/when: The Workshops Rail Museum, all-day program Bring along your favourite teddy bear and join us for a picnic on the lawn. Share a special teddy bear story with The Workshops Conductor, Henry. Take part in the Teddy Bears’ Parade and hunt for hidden teddy bears. Cost: General museum day tickets, adults $18.50, children 3-16 $10, under 3s free, family $55. Details: www.theworkshops.qm.qld.gov.au

KENILWORTH CHEESE, WINE AND FOOD FEST

FLICKS IN THE STICKS EUMUNDI OUTDOOR CINEMA

TOYLAND EXPRESS TEDDY BEARS’ PICNIC

TO WIN ONE OF FIVE DOUBLE PASSES EACH VALUED AT $16 VISIT WWW.KIDSONTHECOAST.COM.AU

April 10-18

NATIONAL YOUTH WEEK This national event will include a youth festival in Cooroy skate park, an ‘amazing race’ around Gympie and events organised by Redcliffe Area Youth Space. The Live it Now online competition is open to 12-year-olds upwards. Cost: See website Details: 3008 8625 or visit www.youth.qld. gov.au/youthweek

WIN!

APRIL 20

April 25

April 30

Where/when: online challenge starts April 20 Libby Trickett is urging Australians to get fit and help raise money for children with cerebral palsy. Teams of four create online characters for the 10-week challenge. Participants wear pedometers and log their daily progress online on a virtual trek around the world. Cost: $93 per person if not fundraising, $47 per person if a team raises $350 or more. Details: www.cerebralpalsychallenge.com.au

Where/when: Shrine of Remembrance, ANZAC Square and through the CBD The city’s dawn service will take place at exactly 4.28am at the Shrine of Remembrance in ANZAC Square.. Take the kids, grab a flag and cheer on the passing parade as it weaves through the CBD. Details of the march will be available closer to the date. Cost: Free Details: www.ourbrisbane.com/whats-on/ anzac-day-brisbane

Where/when: competitions online Save the Frogs is an international not-forprofit organisation dedicated to amphibian conservation. Events include a Frog Art Contest for under 10s, 10-13 years old and 13-17 years old and a Frog Poetry Contest for under 13s and 13-17 years old entrants. Schools and organisations can register their own events. Cost: Contest entries free Details: www.savethefrogs.com

VARIETY CEREBRAL PALSY AROUND THE WORLD CHALLENGE

ANZAC DAY IN BRISBANE

SAVE THE FROGS DAY

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

Thu 27 May Lake Kawana Community Centre

Cash only sales at Pumpkin Patch Kawana Shopping World or Ph: 1300 788028

Fri 28 May Caboolture Memorial Hall

Bookings Call Kids Promotions 1300 788 028 or online www.kidspromotions.com.au

Sat 29 May Noosa Bicentennial Hall

Cash only sales at Mary Ryans Bookstore Hastings St Noosa Heads or Ph: 1300 788028 Bookings Essential All Tickets *$14.50 First Session 10am

All Tour details & online bookings www.kidspromotions.com.au $5.50 processing fee per booking not per ticket applies for phone & internet bookings

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

25


BABIES ON

the coast

Sleeping like a baby by Alison Rodriguez

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

w nd ol ne e a n in e ng po l l i A ty io nc m hoo m t es a ie swi Sc lif nov r sc our Swim in ate for yland w ater hap M

in

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. Air conditioned waiting room / heated change rooms

W S al at er w o

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Babies - Toddlers - Pre school - School age

Ph 5476 8066 Buderim

Corner Karawatha & Jingellic Drive

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Vacancies in

North lakes, Beerwah, Bli Bli, Buderim, Coolum, Diddilibah, Kuluin, Mapleton, Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Nambour, Pacific Paradise, Tewantin, Caloundra, Currimundi and Yandina. under These vacancies are for . school age and school age

26

 Family Day care offers a safe secure comfortable service which allows children to obtain quality childcare in small groups in the home based environment. Family Day Care Providers C & R Cowling-Scaife are professional, qualified and provided high quality care. Family Day Care Providers C & R Cowling-Scaife scheme promotes the development of the whole child providing opportunities and developmentally appropriate activities and experiences that enhance social emotional, intellectual and physical growth and development. Family Day Care also allows for: Fun and relaxation, opportunities to learn through play and exploration, socialisation with mixed age groups, personalised care, stimulating activities to suit the child’s individual needs and consistency of care.

KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

         

   

  www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


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

Does your baby or child suffer with any of these conditions?

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SALE AND HIRE OF CHILD SAFETY PRODUCTS FOR TRAVELLING AND IN THE HOME

 As a parent it’s important to know that it is now the law for all children up to 7 years of age to be correctly restrained in an approved child restraint according to their size and age. Don’t risk a child’s life, or serious injury to the most precious cargo you will ever carry.

(post graduate of Chiropractic Paediatrics) may be able to help. Dr Scott treats babies from as young as 1 day old, children of all ages & adults too! Very gentle techniques are used and the treatment is extremely safe. Preferred providers with Medibank Private and MBF.

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Sleeping Positions The Australian College of Paediatrics recommends that healthy full term babies be put to sleep on their backs, to lower the risk of SIDs death. Some babies are just not comfortable in this position (babies born OP tend to find it hard) and will sleep better on their sides. To make back sleep easier, start it straight away and if your baby seems uncomfortable in the cot, start with a bassinet for a more cosy fit. Swaddling can also make babies feel more secure and some like a sleeping bag rather than a blanket. Make sure all bedding is securely tucked in and always sleep them at the foot of the cot. Control the temperature – too hot or too cold can make sleep difficult.

EXCEPTIONAL CRASH PROTECTION

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

INFA VARIO-KID

• Colic • Reflux • Ear Infections • Flat Head • Constipation • Headaches • Bed Wetting • Learning Difficulties • Irritable Babies • Feeding/Sleeping/Dressing/Bathing difficulties…

CALOUNDRA

So how do you help a new baby learn to sleep through the night?

Movement After nine months of being rocked to sleep, your baby will be conditioned to respond to movement. Rocking and swaying helps a baby to fall asleep and a brilliant solution is the baby hammock. It keeps the baby feeling snug and their movement will make the hammock gently bounce and swing, helping them back to sleep.

Do you & your child need a good night’s sleep?

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

er!

Happy East KULUIN

(Maroochydore) Shop 3, 2-4 Melaleuca Street, Kuluin

• Mobile, clear sided hospital bassinets. • Accredited Child Restraint Fitting Service • Medala Symphony breast pump hire PLUS Unique gifts for Mums, Bubs and Home Complimentary gift wrapping Shop 2, 21 First Avenue, Cnr Aerodrome Road, Maroochydore Customer parking at rear of store. 07 5451 1744

www.maroochydorehomehealthcare.com.au MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

27


BABIES ON

the coast

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

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

FURTHeR ReADING

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

Save our sleep

Taste it

WIN!

by Jan Murray Jan Murray from Settle Petal has just published this guide to healthy eating for toddlers. Packed with easy recipes and health advice, it inspires food creativity. To win one of three copies visit www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

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

SUNSHINE COAST

FAMILY DAY

CARE SCHEME Your Child Care Choice since 1980

• Licensed child care service

Call and enrol • Servicing the Coast & Hinterland today! • Vacancies for children birth to 12 years • Child Care Benefit available

• Experienced carers • Small mixed age groups in a family environment • Play based learning • New carers welcome

Phone - 5491 1414

mon - fri 9.30am – 4.30pm

sat & sun 9am – 1pm

www.sunshinecoastfamilydaycare.com.au email: scfdc@ozemail.com.au

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


health

good

• Be sceptical – we are an inherently successful species having survived millions of years. Children need nutrition, shelter and attachment. There is no need to complicate this with therapies and treatments that have no science, basis, or evidence. • Monitor the toddler’s development – language delay and their associated problems respond much better to early intervention.

DR. SCOTT PARSONS

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

Advice from a GP

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

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

Restoring your confidence with bladder control

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

        

          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

           

   

MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst 29  

 


ONLY

natural

ethical

buying Teaching kids to think about their purchases

by Kim Lahey

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

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

Buderim Naturals. Combining nature with healthcare.

Feeling queasy? NEW

Proudly Australian

Anti-nausea formula for helping relieve TRAVEL NAUSEA and MORNING SICKNESS No-one should be without QueaseEaseTM from Buderim Naturals. An easy to swallow and gentle on the stomach capsule containing Ginger, Chamomile and Vitamin B6, QueaseEaseTM has been formulated to help relieve the symptoms of nausea.

BGL1539

Available at leading pharmacies

Visit www.buderimnaturals.com or phone 1300 389 229 for stockists. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. 30

KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

Proudly Australian CHC41025-09/09

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


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

Waste not, want not Did you know each Australian family contributes enough rubbish yearly to fill up their house from floor to ceiling? Right from the moment they spot their first cicada shell we chat to our children about the lifecycle of animals, so why aren’t we so open about the lifecycle of our products? Council’s Waste 2 Resource Education Program is an educational service provided free to schools in the Sunshine Coast Region. It teaches students, parents and

Explaining fair trade to kids Fairtrade Labelling Australia and New Zealand marketing and communications officer Laura Wise, says for 5-8-year-olds the fair trade message can simply be “all about making sure the people that grow or make the things we buy get a fair price for what they do”. She says older children can handle more detail like “fair trade means that the people from a developing country get paid a fair price for the products they produce. The price paid for work is enough for families to buy food, buy clothes, keep their house warm, pay for school books and school fees and pay for doctors and medicine”. teachers to reduce, reuse and recycle, sustainable living and alternative energies. Education coordinator Sandie Johnston says kids are “absolutely embracing” the workshops because they have the power in their hands. “They might only be really young, even kindy age, but for once…this is a decision they can make,” Sandie says. After a workshop, which includes a visit to the council’s Waste and Resource Recovery Centre, Sandy says they can go home and decide how their lunch is packed or show their parents which packages to buy because they are recyclable. The ‘smart shopping’ part of the program shows kids how to look for the ‘secret code’ (the triangle with or without a number) so they know which plastic containers can be recycled. “Avoidance is at the top of the waste hierarchy,” Sandie explains. “We show how everything you buy becomes the rubbish, so if you don’t buy it, it doesn’t become rubbish. “Parents are blown away by how much the kids can learn,” Sandie says.

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The art of delegation Oh, how I would love to have more time for those things I enjoy, and less time slaving over a vacuum cleaner. If someone asked me what I wanted for my birthday the response would be instantaneous: “A cleaner”, I would shout! Imagine my surprise then, to find that Style Marshall only charges $35 per hour (with a two hour minimum) to take away the tedium of keeping up with the mess my kids seem to leave behind. That seems like such a small price to pay for sanity. What’s more, they bring their own cleaning supplies with them and that alone is destined to save on groceries. Owner Natasha Marshall says she chooses to use sustainable products that are safe for the environment and kids and pets. “We use citrus products made from natural renewable resources, biodegradable cleaners and micro fibre cleaning cloths rather than paper towels,” she explains. “We even bring our own high powered Wertheim Vacuum cleaner with Hepa filtration. It boasts that the air is cleaner coming out than it was going in!” All Natasha’s team members hold current police certificates and sign confidentially agreements so you can rest assured your home (and your secrets) are safe. “Our mission is to provide a reliable high quality dependable cleaning service to the residents of the Sunshine Coast,” she says. “The friendly cooperative staff and smiles you will receive are free of charge!” So why not delegate those jobs you slave over in favour of spending quality time with the kids this summer? Phone Natasha on 0449 697 161.

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31


ONLY

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Sowing the seed Most families want to eat more fresh produce and non-processed food. Maybe that’s why there’s an ever increasing throng seeking their food from farmer’s markets around the country. Noosa Valley Market Garden’s Susan has sold produce at the Noosa Farmers Markets for five years. She believes people shop at the market for the quality, but they are also prompted by an eagerness to know more about how their food is grown.

Crafty garbage

Mother-of-three and part of the fourth-generation-farming Dipple family, Susan sees the kids’ curiosity come to the fore when they help mum and dad pick out the weekly groceries. “They’re definitely taking it all in and getting more of an idea about where the food comes from,” she says.

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

And there are plenty of questions from first-time market shoppers. “We are often asked ‘Is it grown in the ground?’ (she says this is quite a legitimate question given they farm in soil, not hydroponically) and ‘Did you pick it this morning?’,” Susan says. The harvest and packing takes around 80 hours, usually on the Friday before the weekend market. Shopping at the market also gives people an understanding of why products can look different. “The reality is bugs like them, so they don’t look perfect,” Susan says. The Dipples’ seedling vegetables and herbs are sold with the added bonus of Susan’s growing tips and composting ideas. “The demand for our plants is huge now,” she says. “There are kids who come and see us each week to add another few plants to their vege patch.” Holistic Healing | Yin Yoga | Pre and Post-Natal Yoga | Mother’s Group & Education

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Easy ways to send the message to your kids: • Look for the Fairtrade logo or the fair trade information on the label

Egg-actly right

• Buy fair trade goods and gifts through Oxfam

A few stalls down, free-range egg farmers Andrea and Terry Small may have been out of bed since 2am most market mornings, but there’s a lively two-way buzz going on at their till.

• Strive for low-or-no packaging

• Select goods or gifts from charities like UNICEF or from companies who donate a portion of the purchase price to a charity • Find the recycle symbol on packaging

“People ask lots of questions, but they also share heaps of information with us about their feelings on free-range,” Andrea says. She’s proud to declare that at their Traveston farm her chooks roam around a paddock, having dust baths and scratching under the trees, returning to a shed to rest at night, away from predators. Kids often get involved stacking their own supply of eggs into the recycled cartons and bring the cartons back each week to Andrea and Terry’s stall. Andrea believes it goes beyond the taste for many of her customers. “Most people here are passionate about the fact the eggs are ethically farmed,” she says. “It’s been Jamie Oliver’s TV programs and the like which have really opened their eyes to the welfare of the bird.” Socially positive purchasing is all about asking questions, reading labels and being curious and aware. After all, when kids see half a story they want to know the rest. Consumption might be our way of life, but it’s pretty easy to do it more responsibly. Asking the questions – where did it come from, where does the money go to – helps remind us of the values we (as parents) hope to emulate, and helps us keep these values.

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

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Zena Fatrouni I lived a comfortable life until I found myself a single mother with three children, one with special needs. My part time job wasn’t making enough money and I needed to make a change. I saw an ad in Kids on the Coast and decided there was nothing to lose in calling. Ten months later I work around my children’s schedules and earn far more than I did before.

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PARENT

profile

Doing it tough

Jason Morris overcomes life’s challenges

Smile with a

by Sandra Smith

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

Jason lives at Mountain Creek with his new wife Topaz, and his teenage children – Jazzi (16) and Izzak (14). He is a motivational speaker, a didgeridoo performer, a life coach, an artist and writer. Helping people realise their dreams is Jason’s passion, and he visits schools, sporting clubs and hospitals around South-East Queensland, speaking to troubled youth, sports professionals, employees and parents. Jason’s educational didgeridoo show, Didge for Kids, visits childcare centres and schools in Southeast Queensland performing for over 10,000 children each year.

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What’s your greatest achievement so far? After losing my hand, my greatest achievement would be turning an obstacle into an opportunity. My mother and father were a great inspiration. They basically told me – you’ve got another hand, don’t worry about it…get out there and do something with your life. Mum made me peel my own mango when I first got out of hospital, with one hand. Also, I was a young parent at the time, with Jazzi. I had to bathe her, I had to clothe her and I had to feed her and do all the things that come with a newborn and the challenge was I only had one hand. When I first had my hand amputated most of my mates told me to go on the dole – take the government’s money – sit back, relax and never work again. I didn’t take their advice because I had a life to live, and ever since that accident, I’ve lived my life to the fullest. I’ve had some of the best times in my life since I lost my hand. So many doors have opened for me. I’ve met some fascinating people and I’ve helped thousands of people to stay positive, to keep going. What do you enjoy most about being a motivational speaker? Seeing people’s reactions after I give a talk and having them come up to me and say that their son or daughter has been going through a hard time (whether it’s drugs or alcohol or depression), and seeing that I’ve made a little bit of a difference. That’s what I like about it – that I’ve given them some hope. Don’t give up on your kids, or don’t give up on yourself. It doesn’t matter how big the problem or hurdle is, you can overcome anything that you set your mind to. How did it all start? My dad died seven years ago and I gave a talk at my dad’s funeral about his life. People came up to me and were inspired and said I should be a motivational speaker. So I thought, if I can inspire someone at a funeral, I’m going to give this a go. So then I started advertising myself as a motivational speaker. I’ve lost a part of my body, I’ve got over it, I’ve set up three successful businesses by myself, I’ve lost a brother, I’ve lost a father, I’ve come through a marriage breakup,

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

and I’m raising teenage kids. That’s all you need. You have to have that life experience. What does a typical day involve? A typical day would involve interviews with people like Anthony Mundine, Alan Langer or Ian Thorpe, and when I’m not interviewing, I’m driving down to Brisbane or the Gold Coast and doing didgeridoos shows or speaking shows. I’m usually home by 1-2pm so I’ve got the afternoon to myself. If I’m not working, I’m around the kids. It’s a bit different now they’re a bit older – I don’t see them as much, because they’re out with their friends. Who inspires you and why? Ordinary people that have been through hard times and risen above it. Tell us about your family. Jazzi’s left school and now she’s working two jobs until she works out what she wants to do. It might be modelling or fashion – she’s naturally beautiful, but she doesn’t believe it. I’m trying to encourage her to do things that you love. Izzak’s a real scholar at school – he’s a very, very smart kid. He gets As and Bs in most subjects. He’s got a really good reputation at school… he’s good at sports and he’s a positive kid. Soon after my marriage broke up (three years ago), Topaz and I got together and we’ve been together ever since. It’s been a big change for her because she had no kids herself, so there’s been a lot of adjusting…but she’s helped stabilise the family. The kids really bonded with Topaz and it has helped out. She cares for them like a mother which has helped in keeping that family atmosphere going with a new partner.

MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

35


PARENT

profile

Jason’s favourite things

Rainy day activity: Having a home day and watching a box office movie, playing a game of pool, making some nice nibblies and just hanging around. Fine day activity: The beach or a bushwalk – if I can get Jazzi to do that! Holiday destination: The kids always like going back to my home town of Scone, NSW. It’s a country town where they go out to the dam and go out in a boat, or go to barbeques with family. Restaurant: Thai Frenzy at Buderim – we like Thai food. Beach: Mooloolaba, because it’s so handy and it’s beautiful, relaxed and laid back. Food: Anything that Topaz cooks because she’s the best cook ever! She cooks a lot of spicy foods. Thai’s our favourite: anything with lots of flavour and spice. How did you end up with a shared parenting situation? At first it was three days on, three days off, because the kids really couldn’t handle any more than three. It wasn’t working – living between the two houses and going to school at different times. It got a little bit hard so we thought, if we can handle it, let’s do it for seven on and seven off. It’s Monday to Monday, which works really well. It’s a good routine – they know what’s going on. They know they get their bags ready on a Sunday night, they get dropped off and there are no issues for the week, which makes it really good – a stable routine for everyone.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of shared parenting? The kids have had to learn to adjust to new sets of rules and new standards and new ideas, and they’ve had to accept that. People would say it’s a disadvantage not having their natural mother and father, but I think that Jazzi and Izzak have responded just as well to Topaz as they have for their own mother. The kids like it because they get two different ways of life, two different birthdays from two families, two different Christmases. They both get twice what they’d normally get from one family, which is a good thing, for them to view it that way. What has been your biggest parenting challenge and why? Probably with Jazzi, because she’s a girl and she’s beautiful. I reckon it all starts in Grade 9 – I’ve noticed that’s when they start to get a bit rebellious. They’re out of your control and they’re out of your house and you don’t know what they’re doing 100%. You don’t know what the parties are like or if they’re looked after, or if they’re allowed to do what they want. That’s probably the hardest thing to deal with – knowing what’s going on. What leisure activities do you enjoy most as a family, and why? We like just going down to the beach and hanging out, and getting a bit of sun. We go for picnics. Topaz makes special little baskets up, and we go out and talk, laugh and just hang around together and spend a bit of time. Where do you see yourself in 10 years – personally and professionally? Hopefully, travelling around Australia with my wife and manager, Topaz, and giving talks at different venues. Seeing Australia and also making money while I’m doing it. Having a leisure lifestyle, but also paying my way as well. What advice can you share with our readers about parenting? My kids are my best friends. I’m a father, but also their mate. Even today, they will both come up and give big cuddles and talk to me as a best friend. Being their best friend has worked for me so far. Deal with the little things along the way and as a parent, try not to be too full-on with them. Give them a little bit of leeway but try to keep a balance. To find about more about Jason’s programs phone: 5477 6861 or 0401 607 463.

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


PARENT

ville

GREG NASH

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

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

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

Alison Butler – Mum to Brooke, Hannah and Joel

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

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

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


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

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

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

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

Call today for more information on 07 5409 7222 MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

39


celebrate

LET’S

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

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

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

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

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holidays

HAPPY

Sydney A rainy

by Sarah Pye

Adventure abounds in NSW

escape

As I squashed against other sweaty bodies under the Sydney Harbour Bridge the atmosphere was electric. We had all journeyed like moths to a flame to bring in the new decade in style. I had miraculously found friends from home who had also made the pilgrimage and we strained our neck and smile muscles watching explosions of red, orange, purple and green in an awesome display of pure celebration. Swept up in the throng of excitement, there was just one thing missing: my nineyear-old daughter Amber was somewhere above me, celebrating the turning calendar with her dad on a flight back from San Francisco. A few short hours later my neck strained again to mark the moment her plane touched down and soon after we were hugging and swapping stories of snow boarding cousins, American accents and in-flight movies. It didn’t take long to start planning our next few days together and after a day to recoup from jet-lag we were off and running. ADVERTISEMENT/LOCAL BUSINESS PROFILE

Yearning for some quality family time? In our overly hectic lives, we often yearn to slow down, reconnect with the kids and live a life less complicated. Living on the coast is fantastic, but sometimes it’s nice to escape for a temporary “tree-change”. It might not be possible to run for the hills permanently, but at Cedar Glen Farmstay you can at least escape for a little while. Cedar Glen has been in the Stephen’s family since 1882. Located at the foot of World Heritage Lamington National Park, this spectacular 1050 acre property is home to beef cattle, Arabian horses, milking cows, sheep, pigs, kangaroos and poultry. With clear mountain views, cooler nights, and crackling fires, Autumn and Winter are great times to visit. A real highlight of Cedar Glen is the activities they have to offer. Imagine the kids’ excitement as they get to feed the animals twice daily, or try their hand at milking the house cow each morning. Don’t miss the opportunity to embark on a horse ride through some of South East Qld’s most spectacular country – riders of all ages and experience are catered for. You can also learn how to throw a returning boomerang and crack the Australian stock whip while enjoying a cup of billy tea and freshly made damper. Guests can stay in the original 1901 homestead, or choose one of three historic cottages which have been renovated to maintain the charm and authenticity of a bygone era. All buildings are surrounded by wide verandas perfect for soaking up the country views. Mums in particular will love the optional fully catered holiday. Imagine leaving even the cooking behind! If watching Discovery channel is the closest you’ve been to nature in a while, do something for yourself and the kids, and visit Cedar Glen. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au

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Winner Scenic Rim Tourism Awards 2009 ‘Cultural and Heritage Tourism’ MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

41


holidays

HAPPY

Of course there are many ‘must-do’s’ in Sydney with kids: from a walk around the Opera House to the Oceanworld at Manly and from Taronga Zoo to the Powerhouse Museum. ‘Been there, done that’, and this time we were looking for something outside the square. Sydney Olympic Park was just the ticket. It was here the 2000 Olympics were held and the precinct plays host to numerous sporting events. We had heard the Aquatic Centre also had a wonderful indoor water park, and since it was raining heavily, this seemed like a good option. A little deeper investigation and we found a ticket on any public transport on a Sunday costs only $2.50 each and this includes trains, buses and ferries. There’s a ferry terminal right at Sydney Park so we plied our way through the waters upstream from Circular Quay arriving at the Park about half an hour later. This is where plans went slightly awry: you would think there would be regular public transport options from the ferry dock to the main stadiums but that wasn’t the case so we found ourselves walking the 2km in pouring rain making up games to keep our spirits high. The Aquatic Centre was worth the effort. For only $6.80 for adults and $5.50 for children (4-15), we donned our togs and took off through water climbing frames, inflatables, a whirlpool rapid and a huge enclosed water slide. Every few minutes a crowd gathered under a huge bucket which unceremoniously dumped on the waiting squealers below. Thumbs up for Sydney Aquatic Centre; just take a different type of public transport! Day two it was still raining and a ferry ride to Manly was not appealing. When you come from a country area, where most activities are outside, it’s hard to remember what city people do for entertainment, but I remembered how I used to love the

theatre! Amber had never seen a major production and we decided to splurge and attend the record-breaking Wicked at the Capitol Theatre. Even with my wallet severely damaged, seeing Amber poised at the edge of her seat as the stage came alive with a mechanical dragon, and REAL performers entrancing her with every word was worth every dollar. When she chose to spend her own money and buy the CD of the musical, it validated the decision and the next few days were spent repetitiously learning all the words as we drove! As we woke the next morning to more rain our planned few days in the Blue Mountains looked bleak. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Only 1.5 hours drive from the centre of the city, the Blue Mountains are a magical destination in almost any weather. First stop was Scenic World in Katoomba where the Skyway spans between two cliffs and a hair-raising 415m railway plummets down the mountainside. We arrived just as the mist cleared and saw the Three Sisters rock formation peeping from the haze with an ethereal, Lord of the Rings, feel. Below us, through the glass bottom cable car, Katoomba Falls disappeared into nothingness. Beauty aside, it was the steepest railway in the world that struck a cord with Amber. The ride is over before you know it and much of your stomach remains at the top. The rainforest at the bottom is exemplary and a history about mining, a mine entrance and self guided audio tour are features I hadn’t expected, making this attraction far more than just a thrill. Ensconced in our caravan park that night, we reminisced about the day and looked forward to the next. We had chosen to stay at Jenolan Caravan Park which is the nearest camp spot to the famous Jenolan Caves. Owners Aiden and Benita could not have been more welcoming and the council pool right next door, skate park next to that, and cabins make it a fabulous family friendly resting place. What can I say about Jenolan Caves, except I think we saved the best to last. I had pictured one or two caves with a visitors’ centre and guided walks. What we discovered, as we rounded the last bend and drove through the hillside, was a huge Swiss-chalet-

ADVERTISEMENT/LOCAL BUSINESS PROFILE

Keep kids active over Easter As the school holidays quickly roll around again Coolabah Early Childhood Development Centres in Yandina have unveiled a new holiday program to keep children active and give parents a helping hand during the Easter holidays. Running from 6-12 April for children aged 6 to 12 years, the Centres’ support manager Melanie Crawford says Holiday Club was designed to give parents some time to themselves over the school holidays or keep children entertained while parents were at work. “Although children go on holidays during the Easter period, we know that a lot of parents still have to work. Holiday Club is an opportunity for us at Coolabah Early Childhood Centres to help out local families and keep boredom at bay for the children,” she says. “This year the centres have got a schedule packed full of fun, age appropriate activities, including parties, outdoor adventures, sausage sizzles, hiking and excursions to local attractions.” In addition to Holiday Club, the centres also provide before and after school care and long day care services catering for children aged 6 weeks to 6 years. Both centres now provide all meals each day and a second courtesy bus service offering pick up and drop off. Tailored educational and developmental programs are based on each individual child’s strengths, abilities and needs. Staff also run an extensive school readiness program for children aged 4-5 years. For more information please contact 5472 7000 or 5472 8011, or visit www.earlylearningservices.com.au

Child Care Vacancies Coolabah Early Childhood Development Centres

A wonderful place to learn and grow! If you are currently considering your child care options, we welcome you to visit us at Coolabah Early Childhood Centres. , Care for ages 6 weeks to 6 years , Open 6:00am to 6:00pm, Monday to Friday , Nutritious morning tea, lunch & afternoon tea provided , Qualified, caring staff offering individualised programs , Courtesy bus service to Nambour, Bli Bli & surrounds , Before & after school care (6-12 years) , Holiday Club program (6-12 years) , Extensive school readiness program (4-5 years)

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42

KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

www.kidsonthecoast.com.au


stalactites and ‘mites as she went. Along the way Ann told stories of the original explorers of the cave and we even sat cross-legged on the cave floor for a round of the ‘memory game’ matching up photos of the explorers and learning their stories. When it was time to turn around, it was the kids’ turns to lead the way using their maps! Innovative programs abound at Jenolan Caves and this was but one. Adventure caving (crawling through tight spaces with a helmet) is a great way to bond with your teen, or if they want a little independence, the caves have just introduced 2.5 hour ‘Pushing the boundaries’ and ‘Breaking the boundaries’ tours just for teens. For those from 6-12 (in addition to the Junior Explorers) the Stones and Bones tour investigates fossils and the Animal Discovery follows the lives of creatures within the caves. like hotel and mini-village rising from the chasm. This extensive cave system was first discovered by Europeans in 1838 making it one of Australia’s oldest tourist attractions. Yes, there were guided cave tours to each of the 11 show caves, but that wasn’t all. During NSW school holiday periods Jenolan Caves runs special tours just for kids and they don’t need to be accompanied. Amber decided the Junior Explorers was right up her alley and I didn’t want Amber to have all the fun, so I followed behind.

As we flopped into bed that evening (after cooling off at the swimming pool next door), it was hard to imagine our holiday had taken less time than a long weekend. The next day we would unexpectedly head home, but we had racked up enough memories to keep us reminiscing for a long time. Even more than that, the rain in Sydney had forced us to think outside the square, and we wouldn’t have changed it for the world!

Guide Ann is one of Australia’s leading experts in platypus fossils and also works at the Australian Museum. We met her and the other young explorers, clipped our miner’s helmets, turned on the lights and entered the labyrinth for a three-hour exploration. Each child was given a clipboard with a mud-map of the cave system and their mission was to name the caves and create a legend of features as we went. ‘Bone Cave’ led to ‘Thumb Cave’ on Amber’s map and she diligently drew

Jenolan Caravan Park: 02 6336 0344 or www.jenolancaravanpark.com.au

For more information: Jenolan Caves: 1300 763 311 or www.jenolancaves.org.au Scenic World: 1300 SKYWAY or www.scenicworld.com.au Wicked: 1300 723 038 or www.wickedthemusical.com.a Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre: 02 9752 3666 or www.sydneyolympicpark.com.au

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DIRECTORY Attractions

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

Cleaning

Kids’ Haircuts

DISCOVER  HOW FABULOUS 

IT FEELS 

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Cafe

Café Now Open Children’s playground Open Monday-Friday 9.30-3.00pm 186 Wises Road, North Buderim

5443 1582

Child Care Centres

Chiropractors Dr Ian Baker Dr Bronwyn  McNamara 193 Maroochydore Rd Maroochydore

A wellness approach to  health for the whole family

Natasha 0449 69 7161 www.stylemarshall.com.au 

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ALANA VANEY

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Gift Services

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

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DIRECTORY

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

Markets Noosa

KID’S & BABY MARKET Everything for baby and kid’s, pre-loved & new! Last Sunday of each month

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Sunshine Beach Bicentennial Hall

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Medical Practitioners

• Prenatal & Pregnancy Care • Child & Adolescent Health • Women’s Health • Vasectomies & Family Planning • Complementary & Nutritional Therapies

Restaurants Est 1995

Sunshine Coast Speech Therapy

Same Day Appointments Dr Michael Ryan Dr Roger Morris Dr Peter Hodgkinson Dr Glen Atwal Dr Scott Powell Dr Nanu Grewal Dr Tim Bradshaw Dr Tim Craven Dr Maree Lindsay Dr Sundeep Gupta T ASK US ABOU ining st Aid Tra Accredited Fir

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MARCH / APRIL 2010 – KiDs on tHe CoAst

45


WS e i REV

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

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

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

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

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

CD

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

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

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KiDs on tHe CoAst – MARCH / APRIL 2010

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Kids on the Coast Magazine - Sunshine Coast - Issue 37