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EDITOR’S NOTE From the time they enter our lives, our focus is consumed with nurturing, feeding, loving, guiding and protecting them. In this edition of Parenting Today, we offer much food for thought regarding your children’s physical, emotional, and intellectual health, plus so much more. From our discussion on the beneﬁts of breastfeeding, to the suggestions on striking a balance with children’s dietary needs, you will be enlightened. Then, read the story of a ﬁrst time mother whose actual experiences dispelled some of the myths she had heard about becoming a parent. Be inspired by the story of nine-year-old Noelle St PierreCollins and her elder sister Ariella, whose entrepreneurial
spirit, nurtured by their mum, has seen them enjoying marked success in small business ventures. Did you know there is a biological explanation for the terrible twos? Read on to ﬁnd out what it is. In addition, our article on Parenting The Difficult Child offers insights and useful suggestions on discipline. From Tyson Weekes journey into the world of an autistic child, to our feature, Tackling Childhood Obesity, there’s something for everyone inside this edition. Read on, let your journey of discovery begin. Lyle Jones 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. ©2013 NATION PUBLISHING CO. LIMITED
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
ISSUE #3 AUGUST 2013
ON THE COVER: NSOROMMA AND SHARMANYKE COVER PHOTO BY: JABARI CLARKE
8 10 12 14 16 18
20 22 24 25 26 27 28
The Milky Way Five Myths About Parenthood Terrible Twos Parenting The Difficult Child Sisters Mean Business Understanding Autism Faith + Discipline = Success Tackling Childhood Obesity Striking a Banlance Packing Healthy Lunches Budding Green Thumbs Watch What You Let Them See Taking Charge In Emergencies Craft Corner
Parenting today 路 AUGUST 2013
Pictured (from top); Brennan Watson, Ian; Renard Babb, (Bottom) Noelle and Ariela St-Pierre-Collins.
The Milky Way! Successfully breastfeeding in BIM
Story by Andrea Bonita Jordan
Most new parents in Barbados see breast milk as the most natural and preferable nourishment for their new baby but that view and intention, of course, does not always translate into breastfeeding success or ease. his month of August plays host to a little known but very important week: World Breastfeeding Week and from August 1 to 7 every year, it provides us with an opportunity to promote, celebrate and increase awareness about breastfeeding. Most new parents in Barbados see breast milk as the most natural and preferable nourishment for their new baby but that view and intention, of course, does not always translate into breastfeeding success or ease. The countless beneﬁts of breastfeeding, though, are generally well known. Clinical studies show the links with reduced breastfeeding rates and the growing chronic non-communicable diseases we now see so commonly on our island. Diabetes, hypertension, obesity and certain childhood and adult cancers are all reduced by breastfeeding. Take for example diabetes. Research has shown that early introduction of infant formula, solids and cow’s milk are factors known to increase the incidence of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in later life. Results from various studies show that exclusive breastfeeding for longer than ﬁve months is protective against diabetes. That’s all well and good, I hear you say, but what about the real-time issues we breastfeeding mothers have to face every day? Painful, traumatized and bleeding nipples, engorgement, low milk supply, thrush in the breast or baby’s mouth causing painful feeding. This is where the role of the breastfeeding specialist comes into play. It is a vitally important role to improving the health of the nation by helping mothers to breastfeed their babies for longer. Here is a typical scenario from a breastfeeding consultation or home visit. Shonda (ﬁctional character) calls reporting that her ten-day-
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
old baby boy is feeding constantly and she now has sore, cracked and very painful nipples. Shonda doesn’t know what to do, she really wants to breastfeed but it’s become too painful to continue. Baby is “sucking all the time” so obviously she’s not producing enough milk for him. Additionally, close family members strongly believe that baby needs more than mother can give and say so regularly. Shonda learns during her consultation that painful, sore and cracked nipples are almost always the result of an incorrect latch, so she is taught exactly how to position the baby and shape the breast for a good latch. Using this technique, there is no more pain even if the nipples are bleeding. Next, Shonda learns that her son is approaching his growth spurt stage. At around ten to 14 days, he will be doing some extra growing which means an increase in his nutritional requirements, therefore, extra feeding. This is his way of letting the breasts know how much more milk to make. Breastfeeding works on a demandsupply feedback loop. The more a baby sucks, the more milk is made. Shonda now feels armed with vital information and a renewed conﬁdence in her ability to breastfeed her baby successfully. Recommendations from the World Health Organization state that breast milk is all babies need for the ﬁrst six months of life. No water, no food, no formula or other supplements need to be given at all. This consultation and a strong conﬁdence boost of trust is often all it takes to turn things around for a new mother. What a blessing it is to help mothers play their part in improving the health of our great nation. Andrea Bonita Jordan is an independent midwife and breastfeeding specialist, who gives professional assistance to parents in all aspects of childbearing.
Kids in the
Make sure that when you get home, your house is calm andEnsuring empty because you baby will be tired and want is that your latches correctly to a painless breastfeeding experience. some timevital to relax. Keep visitors to a minimum; ...
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Parenthood Story by Aprille Thomas | Photos by Jabari Clarke
f you’re an expectant parent, you have probably read every book, blog, magazine and newspaper article there is about parenting. You're probably also constantly getting tips from friends and family who are well versed in the area. And all of this, coupled with the pressure of body changes and preparing your house and life for your little one has to be overwhelming. Every new parent wants to do a good
job and it's only natural that you would want to get as much information as you can beforehand; but how much is too much? Parenting Today sat down with ﬁrsttime mum Sharmanyke to talk about some of the myths that expectant parents can get suckered into believing and whether or not they’re true. Her daughter Nsoromma is only nine months old so the experience of crossing over to parenthood is still fresh in her mind.
A good mother always understands her baby
Breastfeeding is natural, so it's easy
Sharmanyke described her second night in the hospital as scary and frustrating. "Nsoromma just wouldn't stop crying." She did everything trying to calm the wailing baby, but to no avail. She kept asking, “what's wrong?” But no answer came. To this day she nor the doctors know why Nsoromma was crying, just that she was glad when she ﬁnally stopped. Now as she has had more time to bond with her baby, Sharmanyke has ﬁgured out what some of the cries mean, for example, "her hungry cry is more like a scream," she laughed. However there are still times when Nsoromma cries for seemingly no reason at all.
This was one of the myths that Sharmanyke busted quite early. Nsoromma did not immediately start breastfeeding properly. It was a learning curve for both mother and daughter as they had to get accustomed to each other. Luckily, she had help. "I would just say 'Mommy, the baby's up' and she would stay up with me and help." Quickly after Nsoromma learned, she decided that she wanted more on her plate and at eight weeks she weaned herself off breast milk. Also deciding that baby food wasn't good enough, Nsoromma now eats everything her mum lets her try.
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
Myth 4 A good mother can do it all herself "I didn't know how hard working and studying and being a mother was until I started doing it. I had to experience it for myself," she admitted. Currently enrolled in the Certiﬁed General Accountants (CGA) programme and working four days a week, her life is all about balance. "It's hard getting up and having to get her ready, then going to work, then coming home and spending time with her, and then I have to wait until she goes to bed to study." But Sharmanyke gets it done and she makes it look easy. Why? Because she said she is loving motherhood.
Nsoromma giving mummy Sharmanyke a loving hug.
Myth 5 New motherhood will be your happiest time "It's lots of fun!" she asserted as Nsoromma started to make a dash for the shoe stash by the door. However, she confessed that in the ﬁnal weeks of her pregnancy, she was scared. "But it's easier than everyone makes it seem. Just follow your instincts; if you think something is wrong then it probably is." She added that even though Nsoromma is almost a year and growing quickly, she isn't looking forward to any particular aspect of it, she's just enjoying the journey.
Myth 3 Babies who don't go to nursery aren't friendly
Nsoromma playing with a lens cover.
Very early in Nsoromma's life, Sharmanyke made the decision not to send her to nursery because she didn't feel comfortable with any of the ones she had seen. So when Sharmanyke isn't at work, Nsoromma spends lots of time bonding with her paternal grandmother. Despite spending most of her time with adults, she is an extremely loving and friendly baby. "Nsoromma loves little children. When she's around other children she's laughing and smiling with them even if they aren't looking at her." Nsoromma loves to dance, sing, wave and blow kisses at people (she spent the entire interview playing and interacting with us). She has also started saying words like “mama” “dada” and “nana”.
There we have it! Five myths and ﬁve truths from someone who is living it. So before you send yourself or an expectant mother into early labour worrying about the future – don't. Your baby will not necessarily conform to any rules you read anywhere. They should merely serve as guidelines. Don't stress about making the right decision, rather make decisions that you feel comfortable with and that you think are in the best interest of your baby. Take all advice with a grain of salt; keep your paediatrician on speed dial and, most importantly, remember to enjoy every moment. Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
Terrible Twos With Good Reason Story by Nick Nunes verything comes down to biology, and the bottom line is genetics. In toddlers, the ﬁrst two years of life constitute rapid growth and development. At this stage we ﬁnd our picky eaters, focused tantrums and demeanour changes. From age two till six, a child’s brain grows from 55 to 90 per cent of its adult size. Dr Sean Bullen, a Barbados-based paediatrician said “this is considered a normal stage that all kids will go through and even 10-20 per cent of four-year-olds experience”. Bullen added that this is the time when toddlers were “learning to negotiate their emotion over their wants”. Though jarring, this change is nothing to worry over. These behavioural changes can be attributed to biology and not necessarily willing disobedience. Studies show that, on average, children’s taste buds begin to change around the second year of development. They desire familiar ﬂavours, leading parents to difficulty in introducing new foods. Flavours are far more acute in the tongues of toddlers than in adults. While bitterness is an evolutionary signiﬁer of poison, sweetness has higher analgesic properties in a child’s biology. Babies are born with this preference for the familiar sweet and salt, over sour and bitter. Healthy eating is a habit that must be learned. Children’s appetites drop during the 12 to 28-month period. At ages two and four, children’s growth rate slows. Their bodies require fewer calories per pound of body weight. They are expending more energy, thus desiring regular snacks rather than full and separate meals. Parents should be aware of making snacks supplement mealtime, rather than spoil it. This is also when children become self-aware. “[There is] an important change at around two years of age when children manifest ‘self-consciousness’, the so-called secondary emotions such as embarrassment or pride in very speciﬁc situations such as mirror exposure or competitive games,” according to child psychologist Philippe Rochat, a professor
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
at Emory University. Two is the time when children typically display egocentric behaviour and are not completely aware of object permanence. To a toddler, when something disappears it is gone forever. Deﬁant behaviour, at this level, comes from new discovery of the self and the battles over their own physical limitations at this age. At two, a child wants to move faster than they can, use more words than they know and express feelings they don’t quite understand. It is good to make sure your child expends physical energy for at least one hour each day to stay healthy and explore their own development. Paediatrician Dr Ranita Jhagroo gave insight saying: “Toddlers become more aware of their surroundings and have limited access to the world. It is frustrating for both children and parents. Sometimes parents can make things worse by punishing when the child needs comfort.” Jhagroo went on to say it is easier for children with older siblings whom they can emulate and more difficult for children who are naturally less expressive at this age. Toddlers begin to desire self-expression and ﬁnd that they do not possess the necessary language and motor skills to fulﬁl all their exploratory needs. Until the ages of 4-5 years, children tend not to completely understand the temporal self, nor do they fully acknowledge the functioning of another’s consciousness, accounting for self-centredness. This is the phase of “me,” “mine,” and the dreaded, “no.” It is good to remember that these acts of non-cooperation are not meant as purposeful rebellion, but frustration with the self. These are the years that they begin to realize how they perceive themselves and begin to note how they are perceived by others. Understanding and comforting or ignoring these outbursts will serve a better purpose than punishment or submission. Remember, they are looking for guidance but unsure how to ask.
EDUCATIONTODAY DISCIPLINE TODAY
Difficult Story by Cherith Pedersen
You may spend countless hours trying to understand where it all went wrong. Did you create this or was he or she born this way? A bit of both, a bit of nature and a bit of nurture.
ifficult children make parenting exasperating. Their disruptive, unruly, stubborn, destructive and or out-of-control behaviour is often a deep source of shame and frustration Raising a child who is so demanding is often physically and mentally taxing. Worst of all, it can be socially isolating. Friends and family are equally as burned out or at their witts’ end and politely avoid both you and your child. It is hard to believe that this child is not hell-bent on ruining everything – your relationships, your family, your career and even your life. You may spend countless hours trying to understand where it all went wrong. Did you create this or was he or she born this way? A bit of both, a bit of nature and a bit of nurture. Your difficult child is the product of your genes and the environment they were born into; the environment being your socio-economic status, the resources you have available, for example, family support and your style of parenting. It would seem logical enough that a child with this disposition requires a hard hand and a harsher punishment. After all, “talking ain’t making no difference” so they must be doing it on purpose. Furthermore, any child so indifferent
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
and wilful must be trying to test you. Sadly enough, it is found that parents who have a higher tendency to ill-treat their children often share this kind of thinking. Their ﬁrst response is to blame the child and overreact to the smallest misdeed. If your child is showing signs of not being able to function appropriately at home, at school and with friends, it should sound an alarm to seek professional help. One of your ﬁrst steps, though, is to look at your response to your child’s behaviour. Ultimately, if your ﬁrst and only line of action is to strike out at your child, it’s time to start upgrading your parenting toolkit. Lashing out may work over the short term but if you are really invested in building a close relationship with your child, one where they feel comfortable and not fearful of you, then your parenting skills need to go beyond threatening, bullying, intimidating and humiliating acts. This type of coercive parenting style is said to do more developmental harm than good, especially in a chaotic and hostile home environment. The superhuman demands and pressures placed on modern parents should make us into better stewards of the little quality time we actually spend with our children. In these
Punishing your child using threatening, intimidating and humiliating methods is believed to do more developmental harm than good.
times, we have to strive to show even more compassion, warmth and understanding than our foreparents. Our children are coming of age in a world rife with combat, carnage and violence. The war has entered our homes and ﬁltered into their music, cartoons, video games, the social media and on and on. Our communities have become more violent. Our interpersonal relations more pressured and compressed. It really makes you ask: where is the love? Punishing your difficult child with violence in these times will serve to put them at future risk for low self-esteem, violent and aggressive behaviour or underperform in school. Also notice, in your own body, how ineffective and out of control you feel whenever you resort to lashing out at your child. When the only touch you give is a beating or the only word you utter is unkind. Then where is the love? There is mounting evidence that children who do not receive adequate and appropriate touch are unable to form important neural connections. Such children are likely to develop into people lacking in empathy, emotional warmth and the basic ability to engage in normal human adult relationships. Physical and emotional closeness needs to start early and continue throughout a child’s life. Over time your difficult child will respond more positively to your own self-control, empathy and warmth. Through positive parenting you can begin to turn things around. So take a short break when your temper is ﬂaring, change the scene and then return; change what you say to yourself about this child; lower your voice and continue to lower your voice then separate out your emotions don’t take it personally and target the behaviour you want to change in the moment. Take good care of yourself. Parenting a difficult child can take its toll. Try to eat, exercise and rest well plus ﬁnd activities that replenish your spirit. Cherith Pedersen is an expert in clinical counselling and expressive arts therapy with years of teaching experience.
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
Business Story by Cheryl Harewood | Photos by Jabari Clarke
hey are not exactly two peas in a pod, but sisters 16-year-old Ariela St-Pierre-Collins and nine-year-old Noelle St-Pierre-Collins are two young entrepreneurs who are steadfastly carving a name out for themselves in the business world. For Ariela, the ability to further the cause of education in Barbados and beyond our shores is something she fulﬁls in earnest through her non-proﬁt corporation Youth For Epic Change. Her younger sister, on the other hand, has skilfully mastered the art of producing decorative body soaps and is now on her way to becoming a fashion designer with a difference. Ensuring that they maintain their entrepreneurship skills are mum Danielle and dad Roger – two supportive, driving forces. Ariela founded her non-proﬁt corporation at the age of 15. According to her: “It was my dream to get young people involved with other young people, especially where education is concerned, even though we’ve been able to broaden our vision beyond education. For me, it’s all about helping young people become social entrepreneurs and helping the society to move forward.” Before setting up her corporation with the help of her parents and other directors, Ariela had been the winner of the 2011 Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation Award. She copped this for having started a social entrepreneurship business called Boobie Cakes. She explained: “My business partner and I baked cookies and cake balls which we frosted to look like breasts.
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
Proceeds from the sale of these went towards the Little Pink Gift Foundation – which helps breast cancer patients.” However, raising funds for local and global educational institutions is Ariela’s main thrust. Her ﬁrst of two successful initiatives towards this goal involved presenting the St Bernard’s Primary School in St Joseph with funds that went towards the purchase of a public address system. “By helping the school acquire something they needed, we were helping them with their growth,” Ariela affirmed. Her biggest fund-raiser to date was the staging of A Night In Bollywood last April at Holders House, St James. This entrepreneur was set on staging this event after viewing Dr Seema Sharma of the television show Secret Slumdog Millionaire, which airs on Channel 4 in Britain. Interestingly enough, following an initial meeting through Facebook, Ariela was given the opportunity of meeting Dr Sharma face to face when she arrived in Barbados to be part of Ariela’s major fund-raiser. “I was moved by the television programme and wanted to raise funds to help the children in Mumbai, India. A Night In Bollywood was a sit-down dinner, silent auction and Indian entertainment which attracted 300 persons,” She said. “I came up with the idea of the silent auction and my mom had great ideas for the entertainment and dinner. Ideas grew as we listened to the comments and suggestions of others,” added Ariela, who is also a communications correspondent on www.yourcommonwealth.org. This involves her writing articles on “world issue” subjects such as reparations for slavery the spirit of the Olympian and manufacturing –
Noelle at work on
Noelle and Ariela
her sewing mach
making decorative d te ar st t rs fi le el o N s the form of penguin in s ap so as m st ri h C e reindeers. as well as candy can St-Pierre-Collins.
15 among others. Her A Night In Bollywood, which took her four months to plan and execute, raised £8 000 and went to the Door Step School in Mumbai, India – a project which allows children to receive education by means of a special bus that transports teachers to various villages a few hours on selected days. Ariela’s donation of £8 000 will allow the bus to carry out its mandate for at least 18 months. A former student of The Codrington School and gold award winner in the Royal Commonwealth Society Essay Competition in Canada, Ariela enters Lakeﬁeld College (a boarding school in Canada) in a few weeks’ time. However, she hopes to continue her fund-raising efforts on a much smaller scale as she places more emphasis on her own education. She disclosed: “Right now there are not any more large events planned, but I’ve had people who donate items for charity and we’ve been selling items at garage sales to assist with fund-raising. We will make a donation to Mustard Seed Productions as they seek to raise $25 000 to fund ﬁve-minute segment ﬁlms on CBC TV8”. With plans to pursue a degree in commerce, Ariela said: “We’ve done two substantial projects and now we are willing to spread our funds further aﬁeld. I am intrigued with business from the social entrepreneurship viewpoint – businesses which give back and help to solve some of the world’s
pressing issues. “Sometimes it’s not just about giving back and making donations. It’s about addressing issues which affect society.” Noelle is just as happy and pleased about her up-andcoming projects. Like her sister who started three years ago making soaps, selling potted plants, chocolates, coated marshmallows, pretzels, lollipops and chutneys – among other creations, Noelle ﬁrst started making decorative Christmas soaps in the form of penguins as well as candy cane reindeers. Lately, her focus has shifted to fashion and with the help of a “clothes dummy” and fashion designer books, she, too, is set on carving a name in the entrepreneurship world. This year she will make high-fashion pencil cases, together with designer clothes, thanks to a new sewing machine which mum Danielle purchased for her. A student of Providence Elementary School, Noelle also hopes to create soap cupcakes and sell her items at craft fairs. These sisters no doubt are set to take the business world by storm. They are proof that young people can be inspired to become entrepreneurs at an early age. However, in the words of their mum: “It does not happen overnight and it’s not for everybody. I think people should know that Ariela and Noelle started small. Roger and I want them to continue to come up with creative ideas to sell their creations.”
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
CHILDRENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S HEALTH TODAY
Story by Tyson Weekes | Photos by Jabari Clarke
was forewarned: â&#x20AC;&#x153;You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know when you are standing face to face with an autistic person â&#x20AC;&#x201C; there are no physically distinguishing traitsâ&#x20AC;?. Heeding this, I scheduled a visit to the Autism Association of Barbadosâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Respite Care Centre with an open mind, free of stigmatic stereotypes. After researching various accounts about the disorder, my curiosity was piqued about interacting with someone autistic. As a result of what he described as an â&#x20AC;&#x153;imbalance of sensesâ&#x20AC;?, Dr Stephen Shore, an assistant professor at Adelphi University in New York, said that data was distorted as it entered an autistic individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brain. Shore, himself diagnosed with autism at age 2, added that this made it hard for them to assess their environment accurately. Cognizant of this, I was conďŹ dent upon arriving at the centre that I was equipped to understand the gamut of autistic behavioural characteristics. Then I met Nicholas. When someone is autistic, it means that their brain functions differently to other peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brains. Autism causes them to behave differently and may lead you to think that autistic people are rude, difficult or, as Bajans say, hard ears. They can have a hard time understanding what other people are saying and may not ďŹ nd the correct words to properly explain themselves. When we met, Nicholas was captivated by the learning exercise he was assigned. After greeting him by touching
Parenting today Âˇ AUGUST 2013
ďŹ sts (in Bajan terms â&#x20AC;&#x153;giving him a knockâ&#x20AC;?), my photographer and I proceeded to speak with Michelle, the centreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s caretaker, to discuss photo opportunities. With our backs turned to him, Nicholas sprang towards us with his ďŹ sts clenched as if seething with anger. After comforting him, Michelle clariďŹ ed what we incorrectly interpreted as a random, delayed outburst. We were informed that he interpreted our greeting as an attack and was customarily unreceptive of affection from strangers. We were so quick to fear Nicholas that we never considered his thought process. In the past, when looked at from a mental health as well as social perspective, this kind of behaviour was often incorrectly diagnosed as being part of the behavioural characteristics of someone with a mental disorder. It is now understood by experts that this and similar behaviours are actually: t 'PSNT PG FYQSFTTJPO VTVBMMZ XJUIPVU NBMJDJPVT JOUFOU
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nature of the disorder. The boy who needed coaching (and a little coaxing) to write the word autism suddenly began scribbling calculations until the sheet of paper was literally ďŹ lled and the word was hard to discern. It may have looked like a muddled mess but Ian was inadvertently revealing the way his brain worked. Not many of us can honestly boast the ability to add, multiply, subtract and divide anything (and I mean anything) without the aid of a calculator. Ian can and he is not alone. Unfortunately, along with his academic prowess, he also shares another common characteristic with others who are autistic â&#x20AC;&#x201C; he lacks the ability to assimilate into the societal mainstream. Experts say that when interacting with autistic individuals, empathy is key. It is counterproductive to encourage or expect someone with autism to assimilate into society and embrace cultural norms. More emphasis should be placed on trying to
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Parenting today Âˇ AUGUST 2013
=Success Photos by Reco Moore
he credits her unwavering faith in God, her prayer life and the support of her close-knit and loving family for her success in this year’s Common Entrance Examination. When the results were made public on June 12, 11-year-old Brianna Williams emerged as Barbados’ top student and top girl in this keenly competitive examination. The excitement on her face as seen on the front pages of the island’s newspapers and on television hours after the results were revealed, spoke of her child-like faith in God as she openly thanked Him. Her dedication and commitment to studying also played a key role in her success. Parents Paul and Kavita Williams, her older sister Whitney and younger brother Micah, together with each family member, including her granddad Reverend Holmes Williams (founder of The People’s Cathedral Primary School, where Brianna was a student, and The People’s Cathedral Church, where she is a member) also shared in her success. By copping the No.1 spot, Brianna gained a place at Harrison College, her dad’s alma mater and the same school her sister attends.
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
‘I just pray, thank God for everything I can think of at the time – like my family, friends, health and schoolwork, thank Him in advance for answering what I’m praying for and believe that He will do the rest.’
However, for young Brianna, it was her prayers that mattered most. “It’s really simple!” she stressed, “I just pray, thank God for everything I can think of at the time – like my family, friends, health and schoolwork, thank Him in advance for answering what I’m praying for and believe that He will do the rest. I try not to worry or doubt God. . . no matter how long He takes to answer my prayers. “I know He has a great plan for me and works things out in unusual ways. . . like when my dad, teachers and the Barbados media simultaneously broke the top student/top girl Common Entrance news to me live on public television for all to see me scream and jump for joy and scream again! How crazy was that?” Brianna asked, placing her hands over her face with a bit of embarrassment. Brianna credits her knowledge of prayer from
BriannaWilliams is grateful for the challenges that motivated her to study harder and strengthened her faith. “observing her parents pray about almost everything and letting God have His way”. “We call our daily journey from St Philip to St Michael, our highway to heaven,” she said, adding: “Whitney, Micah and I each take turns in the car praying aloud for ourselves and others, our upcoming tests, our teachers and any foreseeable challenges. It reminds us that God is in charge and that we are not alone. “On our way home, my mum often reminds us to thank God for answering our prayer requests for that day. She is always teaching us to be grateful for all things and for not taking God or people for granted. We are not fanatics. We are just mindful of who our true source is,” Brianna stressed. She admits that while her parents and church may have taught her a lot about her Christian faith, it was her own trying journey over the past year in Class 4 that led her to develop and build her personal relationship with Jesus Christ. “As head girl I had to balance my daily school duties with the Common Entrance school work and extra-curricular activities like swimming and playing the piano. “I am so glad I knew how to pray. Many moments in between classes, I had to stop and ask God for strength, the ability to forgive quickly and to help me stay focused on my
schoolwork. Prayer worked! It has taken me all the way to the top!” smiled Brianna victoriously. Healthy competition for Brianna, especially as part of her preparation for the Common Examination meant challenging herself to be disciplined by working hard to get better and better each time at a speciﬁc task. She believes that competition should never be the type that pulls others down, but it should be healthy “so long as we respect and honour each other’s gifts rather than be envious of those who possess them”. The A student noted: “I am always excited for those who work hard and win medals at swimming, singing or whatever their gifts may be, especially those who work with others to accomplish their goals.” Admitting that she is not the shy, introverted student that entered Class 4 a year ago, Brianna is grateful for the challenges that motivated her to study harder and strengthened her faith. “I know even though I may not always be in control of my circumstances. . . with prayer, I can control my reactions to them. I still have much to learn in life but my lesson on the victorious power of prayer in the midst of my challenges cannot be found in any text book,” she concluded.
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
Childhood OBESITY Story by David Hinkson
20 igger is better – that’s something we have been told for a long time. Over the years, excess weight was often seen as a sign of prosperity, hence the term “manager belly” to describe a man with a large stomach. Our young women have also developed the belief that if they are bigger and have more “junk in the trunk” men will ﬁnd them more attractive. However, this is not always the case. We have also followed our counterparts around the world in consuming more processed fatty foods and adopting a more sedentary lifestyle, where we don’t get the amount of exercise our bodies need to function adequately. Sadly, these trends are beginning to affect the future of our society – our children – and according to one local specialist in the medical profession, Dr Carlisle Goddard, “Childhood obesity is almost at epidemic levels in Barbados and we have to engage it or end up paying for it.” Statistics conﬁrm what he is saying as well. In a survey carried out in 2011 by the University of the West Indies School of Clinical Medicine and Research, aimed at studying physical education practices in children between the ages of 11 and 16, it was discovered that 15 per cent of
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
‘We have come from a mentality where children can’t be seen as too skinny. And all too often, mothers move from breastfeeding to formula too quickly, claiming that breastfeeding is painful.’
boys and 17 per cent of girls were considered overweight. And while some of the cultural standards are changing, our society still maintains a few traditions that, when left unchecked, lead to children becoming overweight from an early age. According to Goddard: “We have come from a mentality where children can’t be seen as too skinny. And all too often, mothers move from breastfeeding to formula too quickly, claiming that breastfeeding is painful. However, they often make the error of overfeeding their babies on the formula.” He added that “people are often happy to say their children are chubby when they are babies but overweight children often face health challenges as they grow older”. One such challenge is the fact that their chest becomes heavy due to mucus build-up, which can lead to respiratory tract infections. Environmental factors such as Sahara
dust, increased road traffic and dust generated from construction projects and other activities can affect conditions such as asthma andthe effects are worse in overweight children. In fact, some parents actually write letters to schools asking for children to be exempted from physical education classes when they have asthma or other respiratory tract ailments. According to Goddard, this is not a good idea as exercise, even lighter forms such as walking or swimming can relieve some of the chest congestion these children experience. The survey done in Barbados recognized that the likelihood of children with obese mothers becoming obese themselves increased by 5.25 per cent. While studies are ongoing to determine whether genetics plays a role, most experts believe the problem is based on the environment in which the children grow up. In Goddard’s words: “Children mirror their parents; if their parents are overweight, children accept this as the norm and this can go according to gender. For example, if the father is overweight, his son tends to be fat and likewise for mothers and daughters.” So how do we go about ensuring that our children become less prone to obesity? One method is to divide the plate according to the various food groups. Here, half the plate is dedicated to fruits and vegetables, while one quarter should contain a lean protein and the remaining quarter for carbohydrates. In order to get the most out of this system, however, avoid overcooking the vegetables and using butter or salad dressing on them. In terms of protein, it is better to grill, bake or roast any meat, remove the skin from poultry and avoid using gravy. With regard to carbohydrates, use whole grains such as brown rice since not only is it healthier, but it will help us stay full longer than reﬁned carbs such as white rice. Goddard also noted that children generally eat when they are hungry and do not overeat unless they are force-fed. Another effective method of controlling our children’s eating habits is to ensure that families eat together at dinner time, as the quality time spent in conversation with their parents and siblings was good for their overall growth and the children would witness ﬁrst-hand a hierarchy in terms of portion sizes. Moreover, “when you see people around you stop eating, you are more likely to stop yourself”. The specialist added that it was important for parents to go back to cooking from “single pots”, that is, where everyone in the house ate the same food. He said this was beneﬁcial in other respects, in that if someone in the family was diabetic and required food that was low in salt or sugar, the children would ultimately learn to eat healthier. Based on the statistics, Barbados is taking some measures to tackle this issue head-on, as a pilot study was launched earlier this year in ﬁve of the island’s secondary schools to take a closer look at the incidence of obesity among our children, with the aim of developing methods with which to combat it. Once successful, the programme will eventually be introduced throughout the secondary school system.
Another effective method of controlling our children’s eating habits is to ensure that families eat together at dinner time, as the quality time spent in conversation with their parents and siblings was good for their overall growth and the children would witness firsthand a hierarchy in terms of portion sizes.
‘People are often happy to say their children are chubby when they are babies but overweight children often face health challenges as they grow older’.
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
PERSONAL NUTRITION SONAL DEVELOPMENT TODAY TODAY
Balance Key To The Battle
Story by David Hinkson
Dietary requirements for children (some elements adapted from Child Nutrition Basics by Vincent Iannelli, MD, sourced from About.com)
s there a special diet we can put our children on to avoid them becoming obese or to help them maintain a healthy weight? According to nutritionist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Michelle Carrington, every individual case is different so there is no â&#x20AC;&#x153;one size ďŹ ts allâ&#x20AC;? diet for patients who need assistance in that regard. Below are some guidelines we can follow to keep our children on the right track.
t t t t t t
Parenting today Âˇ AUGUST 2013
&BU B WBSJFUZ PG GPPET #BMBODF UIF GPPE UIFZ FBU XJUI QIZTJDBM activity. $IPPTF B EJFU XJUI QMFOUZ PG HSBJO products, vegetables and fruits $IPPTF B EJFU MPX JO GBU TBUVSBUFE GBU and cholesterol. "WPJE GPPET XJUI B MPU PG BEEFE TVHBS and high salt content. $IPPTF B EJFU UIBU QSPWJEFT FOPVHI calcium and iron to meet their growing bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s requirements. "WPJE GBTU GPPE DBĘšFJOF KVJDFT IJHI JO sugar and soda.
Learning to read nutritional labels on food is also an important element in ensuring that we make healthier dietary choices for PVS DIJMESFO )FSF JT B TUFQ CZ TUFQ HVJEF UP VOEFSTUBOEJOH UIFTF labels.
4FSWJOH TJ[F â&#x20AC;&#x201C; This is your real key in knowing how many calories and other nutrients are in the food. For example, a food with 40 calories per serving is low in calories; one with 100 is moderate while another with 400 calories is considered high in calories. However, bear in mind that many packages contain more than one serving and a typical serving is not necessarily the amount you can eat at one time.
5PUBM GBU â&#x20AC;&#x201C; This is important if you want to provide your children with a low fat diet. Solid fats contain a lot of saturated fats and/or trans fats. These include many animal products and hydrogenated vegetable oils, including butter, beef fat, chicken fat, pork fat (lard), stick margarine and shortening. Most vegetable oils (except coconut and palm kernel oil) contain more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Carbohydrates â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) states that after infancy, children should get about half their daily calories from carbohydrates. Whole grain foods are recommended in this regard such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole wheat pasta and whole grain cereals. These are healthier than their reďŹ ned alternatives such as white rice, white pasta and so on.
Fibre is an important part of a healthy diet. It is especially important in preventing and treating constipation in children. The general recommendation is that the amount of ďŹ bre a child eats each day should be equal to their age in years plus ďŹ ve. For example, a ďŹ ve-year-old child would need ten grams of ďŹ bre each day, while a 12-year-old would need about 17 grams. Foods high in ďŹ bre include fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals and breads.
Vitamins and minerals â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Five per cent Daily Value (DV) or less is low and 20 per cent DV or more is high for a food component (this DV ďŹ gure also applies to items such as cholesterol, sodium and protein). Foods that are a good source for a particular vitamin contain between ten per cent to 19 per cent DV of that nutrient per serving.
Cholesterol and sodium â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A good way to ďŹ nd foods low in sodium is to read labels and choose foods with less than 140 milligrams (mg) of sodium per serving or those labelled â&#x20AC;&#x153;low in sodiumâ&#x20AC;?. In terms of cholesterol, look for foods with less than 20 mg of cholesterol per serving.
Reading the labels will help you to make wiser choices for your children. 7.
Protein â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Protein should only make up about ten to 12 per cent of each dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s calories, according to the AAP. And most children get more protein than they need in their diet, especially if they eat meat, eggs, milk products and plant-based foods such as nuts, beans and soy products.
Ingredients list â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Reviewing this list is important, especially if your children have food allergies. This list can also help you identify hidden ingredients such as added sugars, whole grains and trans fats.
Added sugars These include corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, honey, molasses and so on. Other names you may see for added sugars include the following: brown sugar; corn sweetener, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, raw sugar, sucrose, sugar and syrup.
10. Whole grains â&#x20AC;&#x201C; These should have one of the following ingredients listed as their ďŹ rst ingredient: whole wheat, whole oats, brown rice; graham ďŹ&#x201A;our, oatmeal, whole grain corn, whole rye and wild rice. On the other hand, a food is not made with whole grains if it is labelled multigrain, seven-grain; stone ground, bran or cracked wheat.
5SBOT GBUT o If you see the words â&#x20AC;&#x153;partially hydrogenated vegetable oilâ&#x20AC;? on the list of ingredients, this usually indicates the presence of trans fats. Parenting today Âˇ AUGUST 2013
Lunches Story by Cheryl Harewood
n a few weeks school will restart and once again parents will be faced with making that all important decision – will it be school meals, a packed lunch or allowing the children to purchase their own lunch? Whether your child is entering school for the ﬁrst time or moving on to a higher level, nothing beats packing a nutritious lunch to ensure they eat healthily. However, when you are competing with the pizza, nuggets and other enticing offerings on the canteen’s menu, how can you ensure the lunch you packed is not tossed in the trash? Here is how you can make those packed lunches more fun and interesting. Not only can home-made lunches be healthier for your children, they can be more exciting too.
Get them involved First get the children involved by letting them choose from a selection of healthy favourite options. It’s always great to involve them in the packing as well since this gives them a sense of ownership of the process. 'JOHFS GPPE JT HSFBU Grapes, crackers, cheese cubes and carrots are but a few of the options you can offer your child. Not only will they be eating more healthy, bite-sized pieces but this will encourage them to eat foods that might not normally be of interest. -FGUPWFST DBO CF GVO Remember that you can also do wonders with leftover
Parenting today · AUGUST 2013
food. So what if the bread is not as fresh as before? You can whip up a bread pudding and pack that as his or her snack for the day. And what about that left over baked chicken? Place slices in bread, garnished with lettuce and tomato to give your child a chicken sandwich or you can make a stew and serve it with peas and rice or creamed potatoes. Let them indulge in cake Providing some form of dessert for lunch is a brilliant idea since you get to control the type of sweet treats he or she eats. Like adults, many children crave a sweet treat after a meal so give them something to satisfy that craving. A cupcake every now and then won’t hurt, neither would a slice of freshly baked sweetbread or dried fruits. When you control your children’s diet, you reduce their chance of eating unhealthy foods. Eating healthily prepares children to better cope with their studies and examinations. Believe it or not, a poor diet can rob them of a proper education. Sick days away from school, the inability to concentrate, agitation and depression are sometimes the result of poor eating habits. Make it a point to familiarize yourself with the foods that help in your child’s development, especially those considered as brain food. If you doubt they are getting their daily requirement of essential vitamins, there are a number of supplements – both in liquid and tablet form – available. You can consult their paediatrician, nutritionist or pharmacist for recommendations.
Brennan Watson BOE GSJFOE "WB 8IJUF excitedly checking on UIF QSPHSFTT PG UIJT pumpkin in the garden.
Green Thumbs Story by Lyle Jones
25 here are myriad beneďŹ ts to getting your young ones interested in gardening, but the teaching and developmental opportunities it offers often rank the highest with me. Consensus holds that among other things they can learn new skills and develop: t UIFJS TFOTF PG SFTQPOTJCJMJUZ t TFMG DPOmEFODF t VOEFSTUBOEJOH t B MPWF PG OBUVSF BOE t UIFJS TFOTF PG SFBTPOJOH BOE EJTDPWFSZ The fact that it involves digging and getting dirty (activities many little young children enjoy) is a plus. Toddlers, preschoolers, primary school-aged and older children will all have different expectations and will likely learn different things in the garden, so the challenge will be to tailor your approach according to your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s age, interests and abilities. For example, roles for younger children could include watering plants, harvesting produce and planting seeds. Meanwhile, older children are physically capable of handling a greater variety of activities like digging, carrying, planting, mulching and pruning. Of course your approach and the rewards reaped will depend on your focus. Should you decide to go for a
Planting flowers that attract butterflies, ladybirds and other interesting insects or birds offers many teachable moments as they learn about science and nature.
kitchen garden, for example, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll likely be exploring new and exciting ways to grow foodalong with teaching the budding green thumbs about nutrition and so much more. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also celebrate their achievement while enjoying the corn, carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes, watermelons or cucumbers they have grown, or share the produce of fruit trees they have planted. Imagine their excitement as they prepare their school lunches and garnish their sandwiches with the produce of their own gardens. In the same way, gardening with a focus on developing beautiful landscapes using ďŹ&#x201A;owering plants and shrubs can be creatively stimulating, exciting and educational for children. Planting ďŹ&#x201A;owers that attract butterďŹ&#x201A;ies, ladybirds and other interesting insects or birds offer many teachable moments as they learn about science and nature. While gardening can bring joy to people of all ages, children in particular can have lots of fun and gain special beneďŹ ts from it.
Parenting today Âˇ AUGUST 2013
Watch What You Let Them See Story S Sto St tory ory by b Ty Tyson T son n Weekes Weeke Week ek kes es
ost children become engaged in the world of television and ďŹ lm long before they enter school. Because of this, you must acknowledge that your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind and personality will be inďŹ&#x201A;uenced by what you allow them to watch. Research from Princeton University shows that a childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst three years of life are extremely critical to its brainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s development. Studies reveal that this period is when a child develops language skills, emotions and emotional management, memory retention and thinking ability. With this in mind, you must be very wary of what content they consume. Frequent, unsupervised exposure to violent and/or sexual material can cause your child to become insensitive when interacting with others. In worst-case scenarios, some children imitate what they see on television, so it is imperative to ďŹ lter what you allow them to view.
Here are a few tips for you to protect your child from viewing and being inďŹ&#x201A;uenced by unsuitable material: t 6OEFSTUBOE UIF mMN DPOUFOU SBUJOH TZTUFN t 'PSCJE BMM 3 SBUFE NPWJFT VOUJM ZPVS DIJME JT ZFBST PME t %PO U MFU ZPVS DIJME TFF NBUFSJBM CFGPSF ZPV LOPX UIF SBUJOH read a review and/or watch a trailer. t .POJUPS XIBU ZPVS DIJME JT XBUDIJOH PO DBCMF UFMFWJTJPO BOE the computer. t 8BSO ZPVS DIJME BCPVU WJPMFOU NPWJFT PVUTJEF UIF IPNF Understanding ratings In Barbados, the Films Act, Chapter 299 stipulates that the Barbados Film Censorship Board (BFCB) censors what material is viewable in public, but the onus is on you to decide what your children can watch at home by using the following ratings:
Parenting today Âˇ AUGUST 2013
According to the BFCB, Adult material should be restricted to adults aged 18 and over, since it contains graphic violence, strong sexual situations or full-frontal nudity.
This material sometimes contains some adult themes, adult activity, offensive language, intense or persistent violence, nudity, drug abuse or other elements. It is suggested for people 18 years and older
PG-13 (Parents: A PG-13 rating is recommended for children Strongly 13 years and older. It warns that material will Cautioned): likely be unsuitable for preteens, but parents are advised to use their discretion when permitting their teenagers to view this material as well. PG (Parental Guidance Suggested):
Some material rated PG may not be suitable for children. Parents should research material before allowing their younger children to view and consume it.
G (General Audiences):
Material with this rating contains nothing offensive in theme, language, nudity, sex or violence, in the view of the Censorship Board.
These ratings are similar but not identical to those stipulated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the entity responsible for rating in the United States. Due to the advent of cable television, the Internet and DVDs, parents must also be cognizant of the MPAA rating scale because its ratings have often been far more lenient than BFCB ratings. Just two years ago for example, the award-winning movie Black Swan (rated R in America) was initially banned in Barbados. The decision showed the disparity between the BFCB and the MPAA rating scales. The MPAAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s R rating allows 17-year-olds to publicly view rated-R material when accompanied with a parent or guardian. In contrast, the BFCB limits rated-R viewership to people 18 years and older. It is also important to note that the MPAA does not have an Adult rating. Their most restrictive rating is instead NC-17 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; No One 17 and Under Admitted. The next time you allow your children to watch television or stream a show via the computer, sit with them and be sure to check the content rating either in the television guide or as it appears on screen at the beginning of the show. You will be surprised at the ratings and content of some of the shows you may have regarded as innocuous.
What To Do When
Trouble Bites GUIDE hildren will routinely place themselves in predicaments that result in injury, requiring parents, guardians or caregivers to take emergency medical action. The challenge for many parents or guardians is to know what to do when such situations arise. In this Taking Charge series, we will share tips to help you manage various non-life-threatening emergency situations. You will learn how to treat and position your child on the road to recovery, or stabilize his or her condition until he or she can safely be delivered to the doctor or hospital as necessary. It is important to note that after handling any emergency, you are advised to have your child assessed by a trained medical professional to ensure he or she enjoys a full recovery. In this edition our focus covers bites from animals (be they pets, strays or those in the wild).
*G ZPVS DIJME TVĘšFST BO BOJNBM CJUF GPMMPX UIFTF TUFQT t 'JSTU BQQMZ EJSFDU QSFTTVSF UP UIF BSFB VOUJM CMFFEJOH TUPQT t /FYU HFOUMZ DMFBO UIF XPVOE PS TVQFSmDJBM TDSBUDI XJUI TPBQ and warm water. Rinse it for several minutes after cleaning. t "QQMZ BOUJCJPUJD DSFBN UP SFEVDF SJTL PG JOGFDUJPO BOE DPWFS JU with a sterile bandage. t 4FFL NFEJDBM IFMQ JNNFEJBUFMZ FTQFDJBMMZ JG UIF JOKVSZ JT NPSF than a superďŹ cial scratch or if the animal is a stray (like a dog) or wild (like a rat). In the case of a domesticated animal whose owner you know, check whether its shots are up to date so you can inform your doctor. If the animal was a stray, notify the health authorities immediately. Your doctor will ensure that the wound is thoroughly clean and advise or perform any further treatment deemed necessary.
Parenting today Âˇ AUGUST 2013
e k a M s l a i V
Story by Dawn Morgan
hildren can make caddies for themselves â&#x20AC;&#x201C; or as gifts for mum, dad or other relatives â&#x20AC;&#x201C; to hold desktop items, cosmetics and any suitable small items. People who take medication regularly will have empty pill containers in various sizes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ask family and neighbours. :PV DBO TUJDL UIFN UPHFUIFS XJUI UXP TJEFE UBQF PS B CJU PG plasticine. Add a few stickers and you have made a useful caddy. It can be used as an unusual vase â&#x20AC;&#x201C; just put a few silk ďŹ&#x201A;owers of various heights in it. Older or more adventurous children can use glue and glitter to cover the vials. Have fun being creative!
Parenting today Âˇ AUGUST 2013
The / ./$ - way to a # '/#$ - day a delicious way to healthy growth and development
Haliborange Fruit Softies A delicious range of supplements, speciďŹ cally formulated for children to help provide them with their daily requirement of important nutrients: Ä&#x2026;Ĺ&#x2014; ) Ä&#x2022; Ä&#x2022; 4Ĺ&#x2014; # 2 ' Ĺ&#x2014;.*!/$ . Ä&#x2026;Ĺ&#x2014; '$ $*0.Ĺ&#x2014;!-0$/Ĺ&#x2014;Ă˛ 1*0-. Ä&#x2026;Ĺ&#x2014; 'Ĺ&#x2014;!*-Ĺ&#x2014;!0..4Ĺ&#x2014; / -.Ĺ&#x2014;2#*Ĺ&#x2014; *)Äť/Ĺ&#x2014;" /Ĺ&#x2014; )*0"# Ĺ&#x2014; .. )/$ 'Ĺ&#x2014;1$/ ($).Ĺ&#x2014;$)Ĺ&#x2014;/# $-Ĺ&#x2014; $ /