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complimentary ISSUE #4 MAY 2014

SINGLE

PARENT DATING DRESSING THE BUMP

+10

NATURAL CHILDBIRTH TIPS


C R E D I T S Publisher VIVIAN-ANNE GITTENS Editor TYSON HENRY Advertising Manager PAULETTE JONES Editorial Team TYSON HENRY, NICK NUNES Photography KISHMAR SHEPHERD & DAMIEN PINDER Contributing Writers GAIL JEWEL HUNTE, ANDREA BONITA JORDAN, CHERITH PEDERSEN, ELIZABETH BRADSHAW

Design/Layout BRIAN O’NEALE – IMAGEWORX

Advertising Sales Executives KELLY JOHNALLY TEL: (246) 430-5515 Email: kellyjohnally@nationnews.com

JOYCELYN JOHNSON TEL: (246) 430-5516 Email: joycelynjohnson@nationnews.com YVETTE BERRY TEL: (246) 430-5521 Email: yvetteberry@nationnews.com

Advertising Coordinator WENDEY DELANEY – TEL: 430-5517 Circulation Manager EDMUND HOLDER – TEL: 430-5500 Circulation ADRIAN BOWEN – TEL: 430-5501

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Design and Layout IMAGEWORX – TEL: 430-5419/5557 Printers PRINTWEB CARIBBEAN LTD. (246) 434-6719

EDITOR’S NOTE It has always been a consensus, and rightfully so, that if Barbados is to have better children, we need to have better parents. As you can imagine, the best parents are always the most informed ones. Here at Parenting Today, we appreciate that parenting education is for all ages and demographics, which is why most of our team of contributors are professionals who work with children and their parents. Their work is knowledgeable, heartfelt and supportive of children and parents. In this issue we will be reimagining single-parent dating, a topic that is often placed on the backburner and neglected after our child’s needs take precedence. On page 12 you will learn 3 tips on how to navigate the complications of modern dating, manage your intrinsic desires, and honour them (and your prospective partner) without feeling like you are compromising your parental role.

For expectant mothers, our contributing mid-wife will be revealing her 10 tips for achieving efficient natural births, an act that has recently declined alarmingly in the face of increasing Caesarean section delivery rates worldwide. On a lighter note, prominent fashion blogger and photographer Risée Chaderton shares her advice for dressing the “bump” on page 20, with a few trendy and comfortable ideas that can be emulated regardless of what stage your pregnancy is at. Thank you for picking up this issue of Parenting Today magazine! Enjoy! Tyson Henry EDITOR

Parenting Today is produced by The Nation Publishing Co. Limited; a subsidiary of The Nation Corporation, which is a member of the One Caribbean Media Limited (OCM) group of companies. For general info email: parentingtoday@nationnews.com Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this magazine is accurate, however, The Nation Publishing Co. Limited cannot be held responsible for any consequences that may arise from any errors or omissions. This publication cannot be copied in whole or in part without the explicit permission of the Publisher. ©2014 NATION PUBLISHING CO. LIMITED

Parenting today • MAY 2014


ISSUE #4 MAY 2014

ON THE COVER: CHERRISE MCCLEAN COVER PHOTO BY NUVISUAL MEDIA

Contents

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6

10 Steps to Natural Childbirth

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Aromatherapy Oils with Children

10

Alleviating Exam Stress

12

Single-Parent Dating

14

How to Talk to Your Kids about Sex

16

Vindicating Vaccinations

20

Dressing the “Bump"

22

Puzzles

Parenting today • may 2014


TODAY’S NUTRITION

10 tips for a natural

birth

by Andrea Bonita Jordan

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ecently my children (aged 2 and 4 ½) and I had the privilege of observing a cow give birth in a pasture. Being a midwife, I am always excited to witness birth unfolding so beautifully and naturally. But it felt extra special to bear witness to this everyday miracle with my children. They understood the normality of it, and we were all full of awe and respect for the work that mother cow was putting into birthing her calf. By evolutionary standards one would expect humans today to birth babies even more efficiently than before, but the rates of mothers achieving a natural birth are decreasing alongside an ever-growing caesarean section rate. The World Health Organization

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reports caesarean section rates over 30 per cent in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean region and in many other countries, higher still. Though delivery standards have vastly improved in the West, there is still much fear and medicalisation around the natural act of giving birth. These ten tips aid in achieving a natural birth and reduce the need for an emergency caesarean. 1. Diet, nutrition and exercise Eating nutrient-rich foods in pregnancy will ensure that your body has sufficient stores to deal with the challenges of labour. The fitter a woman is prenatally, the bigger the benefit in labour and recovery. Gentle exercise (walking, stretching, and so on) has many benefits, including a relaxed mum and helping the baby settle into an optimum position for birth. 2. Deep-breathing and relaxation exercises Practised prenatally and throughout labour, these exercises relieve discomfort and relax mother and baby, resulting in a shorter process with fewer interventions. They also release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.

empowered, mums are more likely to make decisions that will have a positive effect on their birth process. 8. Avoiding elective induction of labour Inducing labour for reasons of convenience (or other nonmedical reasons) increases the risk of caesarean and fetal distress. Spontaneous labour is associated with more favourable outcomes and normal pregnancy gestation ranges from 37 to 42 weeks. 9. Keeping well nourished and hydrated During birth, women (like athletes) can become dehydrated, and even with an intravenous drip, hunger and exhaustion can reduce endurance. Eat light, nutritious and easy to digest foods in early labour to avoid being in a fasting state when the hard work of active labour begins. 10. Believing in you What you resist persists; if you create resistance in your body towards the contractions and the work of labour, it will undoubtedly take longer to open and allow your baby through. Believe in the power of your body to do this most natural and beautiful work. • Andrea Bonita Jordan is an independent midwife and breastfeeding specialist, advising and assisting families in all aspects of childbearing.

3. Not going to hospital too early Allowing labour to get into an established pattern at home means that it’s less likely to slow down or stop when you arrive at the hospital, avoiding the risk of your contractions being stimulated with the drip.

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4. Active labour and upright pushing Movement during labour has been proven to shorten the process significantly and result in better outcomes. Mums feel more in control, work with gravity and feel less pain than if only lying down. Remember: the birth canal has an upward curve when lying on your back, and pushing uphill is hard and timeconsuming work. 5. Womb nourishing herb teas These are proven to shorten labour and tone and strengthen the uterus. Herbs, raspberry leaf being the most popular, are most commonly used from 34 weeks and are a safe and nutrientrich uterine tonic. 6. Using a midwife and/or hiring a doula Both remain with the mother throughout the birth process and improve the outcome by reducing stress, pain and anxiety. 7. Birth education Knowledge is power and it emboldens any mum-to-be. When

Parenting today • MAY 2014


Aromatherapy essential oils with children by Gail Jewel Hunte

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elcome to the wonderful world of aromatherapy in Barbados. The use of essential oils extracted from plants, trees, flowers, fruits, herbs and grasses that aid the body with healing and restoration. When using essential oils with children, it is important to note to never use the oils directly on the skin or in the bath with children under 12 months. With infants, 12 months and under, use a small amount of the carrier oil (coconut oil and castor oil are good choices) to gently massage your baby, this can help with bonding and inducing deep relaxation. For children, one to seven years, blend one drop of pure essential oil to five millilitres of carrier oil. If you are using the oils for the first time, a patch test can be carried out, whereby a small amount of the essential oil (blended) is dabbed on the skin and covered with a plaster for 24 hours. If any type of rash appears, do not use this oil with your child. The safest oils to use with children are mandarin (Citrus reticulate), Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum noblis) and lavender (Lavandula augustofolia). The safety data for these oils shows them to be non-toxic and non-irritating. These three essential oils are particularly used in skin care, helping with conditions like nappy rash and sore, red skin. The oils can also be utilised for children who are hyperactive or restless due to their relaxing properties. Mandarin is good to use to help stimulate the appetite, as a digestive tonic for upset tummies and as a post-illness tonic. Roman chamomile is particularly good to use for sensitive skin types and for relaxation, while lavender is good for skin injuries because its regenerative properties help to prevent scarring. It is also a relaxant.

Parenting today • MAY 2014


The oils can be used in gentle massage, in a bath or in a room vaporiser. For scenting a room, I would suggest using an aroma stone vaporiser since you do not need to use candles or hot water. The aroma stone is simply plugged into an electrical socket, and the oil is poured directly on the stone. Once the room is scented, the aroma stone can be removed. If you prefer to massage your child, blend one drop of the essential oil to five millilitres of a carrier oil and gently massage into the chest, back and feet. You can also try a soothing head massage to induce deep relaxation; I would avoid the face, particularly around the eyes and mouth.

Case study Johnathan is a little boy with cerebral palsy. He received aromatherapy massages to help him sleep better at night and to relax his muscles. I used a blend of Roman chamomile, blended with sweet almond carrier oil, to massage Johnathan before bedtime. According to his father: “Johnathan had an accident at birth and now has cerebral palsy [CP]. Johnathan had aromatherapy massages to help with relaxing his muscles and calming him before bedtime; the effects were wonderful not just for him, but to myself. Johnathan really loved being massaged. Because of his CP, his muscles are usually tensed or seem to be always in use, thus he has zero body fat and is very lean. It’s like constantly exercising without weights. “The aromatherapy massages helped to really relax his body and make his muscles supple. The oils further helped with their soothing, calming fragrance which he breathed in and this helped relax him even more.” Disclaimer: The use of aromatherapy essential oils is in no way a substitute for treating medical conditions. A registered general practitioner should be consulted if your child has any health issues that need medical attention. Only purchase oils that have the Latin name clearly labelled on the bottle to ensure authenticity. • Gail Jewel Hunte is a certified aromatherapist.

Parenting today • MAY 2014


Alleviating the pressures of

exams by Elizabeth Bradshaw

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ome parents are more obsessed with their child attaining high academic achievements instead of being supportive of their efforts and, as a result of their actions, this can create anxiety in their child. Some parents pressure their child on the morning of examinations to get great marks, get in to the top schools or make mummy and daddy proud. Is this fair to the child? No, especially since many parents do not check the child’s schoolwork, attend parent-teacher meetings or send their child to the necessary lessons prior to the examination date. Let me make it abundantly clear, if you have not shown interest in your child’s learning over the past few years or even months, showing interest on the morning of the big examination will make no difference to your child’s performance. On the other end of the spectrum, some parents

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Parenting today • may 2014

ensure that their child is always engaged in some form of studying, with little or no relaxation time. Both scenarios are not conducive to your child’s performance. Some parents even try to motivate their child into becoming high achievers through fear of failure tactics. This is very counterproductive and can result in an increase of anxiety in children. Other parents offer bribes to their child to get good grades such as promises of money, trips, clothes and jewellery. Even though this may seem like a great idea, it can also convey the message that the only reward for hard work is materialistic gain. Apart from the negative pressure placed on children by their parents and the schools to perform well on external examinations, children have their own internal pressures


when it comes to these examinations. This is commonly referred to as exam stress. During the period preceding or during the exam, children can experience feelings of fear of failure or incompetence, nausea, headaches, tiredness, frustration, worry and lack of concentration. Additionally, the phenomenon of blanking out sometimes occurs during the examination and this may occur for a few seconds or even hours. If your child is affected by any of these occurrences, this can contribute to them not performing to the best of their ability in the examination. On the day before the examination, it is recommended that your child does not study but rather that they stay in a relaxed atmosphere and get a good night’s sleep. You should also talk to your child about thinking positively, keeping calm and recommend tips to use if they get nervous in the examination and cannot concentrate. Some examples are taking deep breaths, saying a prayer, rereading the questions, remembering that they studied for the test and that they know the work. Additionally, you also need to be relaxed and ensure that you do not transfer any anxiety to your child. After the examination, if you can, please take your child out to get something to eat, to the beach or to a movie so that they can relax. Always show support and love to your child, regardless of

the results. If the outcome is not what you wanted, steps can be taken at a later time to improve your child’s performance, like sending the child to lessons. Keep in mind that primary school examinations primarily measure aptitude for English, mathematics and comprehension, so there are many other subject areas that your child might excel at. While exams have an impact on their paths, they are not the main rudder in your child’s life. Their future is influenced more by the support of you, the parent, and the child’s self-worth and confidence. You are encouraged to show love and support to your child no matter the results of the examination, and if you are disappointed at the results, remember that your child may share these feelings. Help them to overcome this and speak positively into their lives. Regardless of the school to which your child is assigned, encourage them to achieve greatness. PAREDOS (Parent Education for Development in Barbados) wishes all the best for students in the upcoming examinations and commends those parents who support and encourage their child in all areas of life.

• Elizabeth Bradshaw MSc, PMP Volunteer with Parent Education for Development in Barbados (PAREDOS)

Parenting today • MAY 2014

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3 tips

for single-parent dating by Tyson Henry

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Parenting today • may 2014


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s a single parent, dating, courting, cajoling, or whatever you want to call it, isn’t easy. The process of finding a partner to potentially share your life with is already hard when you only have yourself to think about, so with children added to the equation, being passive about dating is an unfortunate but highly common stance to take. If you’re a single parent who feels it’s time to get back on the dating scene, this story is for you. Although you may be ready for a new relationship, the idea of actually putting yourself out there and meeting new people can be incredibly daunting, particularly if it’s been a while since you last indulged in romance. It is likely that you may not even know where to start, especially as modern romance can be a complicated affair, but with a bit of research and an open mind, you may attain the happiness you are seeking and deserve. No one can disagree with the proclamation that 21st-century people have the proclivity to complicate matters when it comes to romance. Be sure to never stray from believing that there’s someone out there for everyone, and even if the relationship you thought was for life didn’t work out, it’s vital not to lose heart and think you’ve used up your chance for finding true, lasting love. With that said, if you really want to give yourself the opportunity to find a partner, you’ve got to make it happen. Here are three steps to making a go of getting back into dating: Keep an open mind It is daunting meeting new people and along the way you are guaranteed to meet a few duds in your quest for companionship, but it’s important to be open-minded as you re-enter the world of dating. Always remind yourself to refrain from setting any kind of time frame or unrealistic expectations. The beauty of dating is that it can present a win-win scenario, where you will get to meet a broad spectrum of interesting people who, while they may not be the perfect fit for romance, could become lasting friends. Keeping an open, non-judgemental mind will have a positive impact on your dating experiences, whether you end up finding a long-term partner or not. Be happy Being attractive entails more than physical attributes. It is about living a life that feels really good to you. Before making a foray into dating, understand that you will attract good things when you feel attractive to yourself and set up conditions in your life that work best for you. In other words, you won’t easily attract those things that you wish for – instead, you will attract the people and circumstances that match how you’re conducting yourself in the world. Being happy will not only make you feel better about embarking on the singles dating circuit, but your positive vibes will make you much more approachable and a magnet for like-minded individuals. In contrast, if you come across as dour and vapid, you will repel the ideal sort of people after they’re subjected to an endless rant about your past relationship failures or your pessimistic perspective on life.

Be honest When it comes to dating, honesty about your feelings, intentions and personal situation is crucial. Do not lead someone on or let things progress further than they should if you’re really not interested in someone, even if they are nice and you’re trying to save their feelings. Furthermore, it is best to be upfront about your intentions and domestic set-up from the outset, especially if you meet someone you are interested in. It is important that they know you are a parent, whether you’re divorced or separated, and how you think you might go about introducing a new partner into the equation. Finally, make it clear whether you are looking for commitment or a more casual relationship because being on the same page in this regard will limit room for misunderstandings. While this conversation is admittedly heavy for a first date, it is important and fair to share this information soon thereafter if you think a relationship could develop.

The beauty of dating is that it can present a win-win scenario, where you will get to meet a broad spectrum of interesting people who, while they may not be the perfect fit for romance, could become lasting friends. Keeping an open, non-judgemental mind will have a positive impact on your dating experiences, whether you end up finding a long-term partner or not. Parenting today • MAY 2014

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how to talk to your kids about

SEX by byCherith CherithPedersen Pedersen

Is touch the first sex talk? Of all the senses, touch is undeniably the most important for our survival. Countless studies on infants have shown that without touch infants perish and die. Being touched and held lovingly are our first experiences of connection to another human being. Touch is actually the primary vehicle through which we understand our bodies and how we wish to be cared for by others. Consequently, it is then easier to understand why the way we make love can mimic some of our most tender moments during infancy. There is therefore good reason to believe that our conversations about love, sex and sexuality perhaps begin much sooner than we think.

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The sex talk needs to be paced to suit what the child is ready to handle, since we don’t all develop at the same rate sexually.

Parenting today • may 2014


Parents must be the first to communicate about sex Talking to our children about sex can be awkward, but it is necessary. As parents we have to be the first to talk to them, since their friends, social media or even their schools cannot instil the values, expectations and beliefs that our families hold. Follow your child’s own sexual development, from the time he or she asks about the body all the way to setting clear rules about the where, why, how, when and with whom to have sex. For children aged four and under, the parent needs to label body parts correctly, talk about good versus bad touch and very simply explain where babies come from and that private parts are private! In the 5 to 12 age group, keep the conversation age appropriate, allowing your child to know that sex is a natural and pleasurable part of life, keeping your answers simple and accurate while setting rules about your expectations of them having sex. There are lots of good books and other resources out there that you can read with your children about sex. The material must be suitable to your child’s age. Sharing this experience can in some ways tell a lot about what your child already knows about sex. Parent-child relationship sets tone Parents play a key role and can definitely help their children to think twice about having sex too early or engaging in risky sexual behaviour. In these times, children are in constant contact with heavy sexualised media content and can quite innocently stumble on porn during a simple Google search. Parents need to monitor and be extra vigilant about what is out there and what is happening within their child’s circle of friends. Pre-teen exposure to porn can seriously alter perceptions of healthy sex said a University of East London study, not to mention increase the possibility of addiction. Today’s parent needs to be savvy to the risks as well as opportunities to openly communicate with their children in a way that is warm, attentive and shows approachability. A child should feel that their parents are available to talk to them about any one of their concerns and that their parents are always ready to provide loving support and guidance. In fact, cultivating such a relationship was very beneficial said a 2010 study in Perspectives On Sexual And Reproductive Health, which showed that children were more likely to talk to their parents about sex if the relationship was close with good communication.

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The sex talk The sex talk needs to be paced to suit what the child is ready to handle, since we don’t all develop at the same rate sexually. Parents can look for cues and use everyday opportunities to inculcate family values about sex. We can all become better informed about the sexual risks our children are facing whether on the Internet, via STDs or the sexual predators out there. Not only is talking to our kids about sex important, but also leading by example, monitoring them, continually instilling values, setting rules as well as enforcing them. By spending good quality time with our children and building strong relationships, the sex talk has the possibility to grow with them, at their pace and better meet their individual sexual development needs. • Cherith Pedersen is a clinical mental health counsellor and expressive arts therapist.

Parenting today • MAY 2014


As a parent, it should be one’s duty to do the diligent work in researching what is best for the livelihood of offspring.

Vindication of

vaccines by Nick Nunes

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Parenting today • may 2014


A tastier way to a healthier day

Give your child a head start for healthy growth & development

Parenting today • AUGUST 2013


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he nurturing tie between parent and child is one of great power. Whether the relationship is biological or chosen through adoption, the bonds between parents and their children are solidified through a long-established line of the instinct to protect the vulnerable of our species. At a certain time in the lives of the majority, one becomes strongly endeared towards children as a result of the biological desire to further your specific genes and traits. Not all that is inherited from a parent comes from biology. Adopted children also inherit mannerism and personality traits that make them grow to be more akin to their parents, who have grown to become their guide to the vast world. This is the reason that the protective nature takes over within a parent. In our times, we have come to a debate on the safety of vaccination; where there should be none. The human body, itself, learns to inoculate against harmful intruders to the system. Just think about chickenpox. Once the body is weakened and terrorised by the illness, it learns the means to recover and fend off another bout. This is how immunisation works. The story of vaccines did not begin with the first vaccination. Evidence exists that the Chinese employed smallpox inoculation (or variolation, as such use of smallpox material was called) as early as 1,000 CE. It was practised in Africa and Turkey as well, before it spread to Europe and the Americas. Today, we know that snake venom can be used to cure the effects of snake bites. Scientific progress, most recently, has shown that there are people in the world that are completely immune to HIV and that their bone marrow and blood can be synthesised to inoculate others or even cure them against this dreadful malady.

Parenting today • may 2014


Chickenpox

The human body, itself, learns to inoculate against harmful intruders to the system. Just think about chickenpox. Once the body is weakened and terrorised by the illness, it learns the means to recover and fend off another bout. This is how immunisation works. In 1796, Edward Jenner began his successful endeavours in using cowpox to create immunity to smallpox. Over the next two hundred years, his ingenuity has gone under technological scrutiny and refinement to eradicate the virus smallpox from human fears. In 1885, Louis Pasteur developed a rabies vaccine to next impact the progress and control that humanity has upon our own environment. Antitoxins and vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, anthrax, cholera, plague, typhoid, tuberculosis, and more were developed through the 1930s. The long history of vaccination has immeasurably enhanced the ability for humanity to survive and endure while evolving to greater potentials. Unfortunately, since 2007, people have been following a hive mind that is leading them in the direction of misinformation. Anti-vaccination proponents, such as Jenny McCarthy, have been spouting myths about the wonders of vaccines for many years. The most notable falsehood is a link with autism, which has never been found. The MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination has been a life-saving immunisation that has been administered to children for many decades. Since the anti-vaccination slander began in 2007, the number of preventable diseases in children has skyrocketed to over 130 000 and deaths in the 2 000 range. As a parent, it should be one’s duty to do the diligent work in researching what is best for the livelihood of offspring. Protecting progenies has gone beyond safeguarding them from the visible physical world. Now, we have the technology to make humanity better and stronger. Isn’t a better, more fulfilling life what you would want for your children? Parenting today • MAY 2014


Dressing the

Bump

20

By Risée Chaderton

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ressing your changing shape when you are pregnant can be one of the biggest challenges a woman who loves fashion will face. In the first trimester, your clothes can feel oddly tight but getting a bigger size just makes you look like you are swimming in fabric. In the second trimester, you go through that awkward stage when you are too small for maternity clothes and too big for your regular clothes and in the third trimester clothing stores seem to think you’d like to look like a potato sack in HORIZONTAL stripes! Who thinks horizontal stripes are a good idea for an expanding waistline? Not I! Some of the ways I’ve been managing have included sizing up my regular clothing and avoiding anything that was originally designed to sit at the waistline. Adding a bit of volume on the bottom in the form of cargo pants is great too, anything to avoid the dreaded maxi dresses that can make short women like me just feel wide and unsexy. (If you are tall you can kill those maxi dresses; me, I just look like a pregnant hobbit.)

Parenting today • may 2014

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Outfit 1 I wore this to the hair salon and to run errands in the city, from the front you can’t even tell that I’m pregnant, far less that I’ve got just a little over three months to go! The secret? This jumper has always been roomy and I was able to belt it above the belly and pull the top section over the bump. The wedges add height and give me stability. When you’re feeling blah a little height can make you feel fabulous… as long as your feet haven’t started to swell.

Outfit 2 I was so excited when I was still able to fit into this one sleeved romper. I had to pull the waistband over the bump and that, of course, made it much shorter; but since I’m only 5’3” this wasn’t a problem and had the effect of making my legs look longer–I’ll take that! I love this thing so much, it is cute and comfy and I feel great in it! So folks this is how I’m managing, with clothes that are a little bigger than my regular size, basic tanks, clothes with a baggy shape, wedges, platforms and flowy shirts. Stick to your regular style and just upsize it a bit. It can work for many items. I hope this helps any pregnant girls out there!

Some of the ways I’ve been managing have included sizing up my regular clothing and avoiding anything that was originally designed to sit at the waistline.

Parenting today • MAY 2014

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CROSS

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Parenting Today Magazine - Issue #4 May 2014