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FREE Fall 2013

The Value of Music Lessons The Montessori Mind

12 Killer Tips to Balancing Work and Family Blurring the Homework Lines

Life After Miscarriage In Celebration of Grandparents


Fall 2013

Volume 1, Issue 3


4 12 Killer Tips to Balancing Work & Family 6 The Montessori Mind 8 Business Spotlight - Davison Orchards 10 Blurring the Homework Lines 12 Life After Miscarriage 14 In Celebration of Grandparents 16 Secrets to Healthy School Snacks 18 Ten Halloween Party Games for Teens & Tweens 22 Halloween Craft 23 The Values of Music Lessons - BCRMTA

Cover photo courtesy of


Jeff Hay Malia Jacobson Lara Krupicka Sandi Haustein Sara Dimerman Deb Lowther Pam Molnar Lori Elder 250.689.2475

every issue

3 Editor’s Note

20 Resource Directory

Editor-in-Chief: Creative Director:

Kerri Milton Bev Tiel

Advertising Inquiries: General Inquiries: Web:

Okanagan Child is published four times per year by a couple of busy moms. Please note that this magazine is solely funded through the support of our advertisers and sponsors. Please support our advertisers! Opinions expressed in this publication may not necessarily reflect those of the Publishers. All contents copyrightedŠ. No part of this publication may be reprinted, quoted, copied or reproduced without the express written permission of the Publisher.

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editorial fun

Happy all our readers!! WOW where did that summer go...and now we are all off and running, back to school schedules, sports, music and endless other activities. By the end of summer I think we are all ready for the schedules, the kids are ready to see their friends and their new classrooms and to take on new adventures. So many choices not only for our kids but for us as parents as well. How do we choose which school, which sport, parttime jobs for our teens and of course how to direct them in the right directions? Jeff Hay, gives us some tips to balance our lives, we explore Montessori learning in Malia Jacobsen’s article “Montessori Mind: How Montessori Promotes Mindful Learning” and we learn the tricks of homework in Lara Krupicka’s “Blurring the Homework Lines”. Deborah Lowther, has some great ideas for healthy snacks both during and after school and the BC Registered Music Teachers have great insight into how important music is for our children. We also used this issue of thanksgiving to celebrate the Grandparents in our lives and to include those other little people we might have lost along the way. And to end this issue we wanted to have a fun craft for everyone to do...and what’s better than cute little monsters to help celebrate - reminds us of our own cute little “monsters”, as they choose which character they want to embody for the teen Halloween parties or the little trick or treaters. As we enter into the Autumn season we get to celebrate family with Thanksgiving and endless fun with our little ghosts and goblins over Halloween - as I look at my 4 and Bev looks at her 2, we both know we have a lot to be grateful for. “Bricks and mortar make a house, but the laughter of children makes a home.” Irish Proverb

Kerri Editor

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12 Killer Tips to Better Balance by Jeff Hay

I want to be a great father and I want fulfilling career. Do I have to choose one or the other?

Work & Family text or email within 60 seconds?

Hell no! I have two full-time jobs, one as wage earner and one as nurturing dad.  I want it all!

Can you turn off work and be dad?   Does your company help you do that?  Some do.

Fatherhood, while not always trumpeted in decades past, is now becoming a cool part of men’s identity.  We love this role, but working dads are stressed.

I love hearing about companies like Volkswagen and Pfizer (makers of Viagra) that have programs in place to disable company emails after work hours, so employees cannot send or receive emails, in theory, to turn work off to be with families.  (I guess Pfizer doesn’t want its employees up all night, just their customers!)

Every parent strives to meet the demands of work and family. We are too aware of the opportunity cost of long hours at work versus time bouncing on a trampoline, riding bikes, or playing catch. We know spending time with our children is critically important to everyone’s self esteem but we also know that trampoline bouncing doesn’t pay the bills. I hear you say, “I NEED to work!  Don’t my children know I am doing all of this for US? So we can eat and have nice things?” I want to challenge you — Can you work smarter and have it all? Many progressive companies offer part-time, flex time, job sharing, telecommuting, or a compressed week of longer workdays swapped for a day off.  Home offices and flexible work schedules should be helping make us better parents right?

Fathers are now expected to be more active as parenting partners as well as helping more around the house. That is where the great squeeze happens for the working parent. We need and want to be all these things to all people; great dad, great partner, great worker, but we are tired.  So bloody tired and worn out.   Am I right brothers?  But we have the power to change things!  Today, right now…. Dads need to find a way to manage time so that they can take care of themselves professionally and personally, while also being a good partner and dad. Here are a few ideas to better balance family and work life.    I borrowed the first 2 from Gayle Kaufman, author of “Superdads: How Fathers Balance Work and Family in the 21st Century.”

The problem is that we are working longer hours than ever! These work commitments ooze and slither into our family hours.

1. Evaluate your family’s needs. Make a giant list of all the things you need to do for your family. It may seem overwhelming at first but it’s good to know all of your family responsibilities. Work together with your wife/partner so that you can best coordinate family tasks with work schedules.

This new world of smart phones, laptops, texting, and instant messages adds so much new stress to our lives; we are always connected to the office. Do we really need to be available 24/7?   Am I a bad person or bad worker if I don’t respond to a

2. Act as though your family deserves the same responsibility as your work. You may need to change the way you see your family. A lot of people see work as something they need to do and family as something they want to do, but not you!  Not anymore mister!

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3. Leave work at work. Turn off your damn company phone.  You already put enough hours in at work.  When you leave work, don’t bring a stack of proposals or your laptop with you. Stop checking email every 15 minutes.  Throw your company phone in a basket by the door; only pick it up on the way back to work. 4. Take care of yourself!   Go to the doctor.  Get regular checkups, ask tough questions (I had a colonoscopy this past January, while quite an experience, I know it’s the mature, responsible thing to do). 5. Sleep.  How many good hours before midnight are you getting?  It’s amazing what an extra hour will do for my creativity and patience.  Who do you see last before bed?  Your partner or your computer?  If the last thing you do before bed is close your laptop, you are in trouble.  Turn that sucker off well before bed so you are not tempted to ‘jiggle the mouse’ to see if anyone needs you. 6. Do something for yourself guilt-free.  Dad needs some dad time.  Whatever that looks like, do something for you.  Have some guy time, hunt, thrift store shop, play poker, golf, read, play lawn dart tag with your beer buddies, whatever.  Do something to recharge yourself. 7. Take ALL of your VACATION days.  ‘Nuff said.  The world will keep turning while you are at Wally World.  You will come back recharged and ready to rock.   That is balance and bosses like employees that are aware of being in balance. 8. Simplify your life.  Start saying NO to things that are not priorities.   It’s amazing how much family time can be “made” but saying NO. 9. Have one meal a day together.   Whether its family dinner or even family breakfast, make that a top priority that cannot be broken or missed by  anyone (including you!)

claim to be family friendly, but in reality are not. While this is another article for another day, some dads report feeling “penalized” or “passed over” if they take advantage of family initiatives. They are afraid to be seen as “not pulling their weight”.  It’s unfair that if you want to climb up the corporate ladder successfully, you have to sacrifice your family! 12. And FINALLY, start having family night.  Set aside one night a week to be together, no interruptions, no phones, and no excuses.  Recharge your relationships with time!  Modified work schedules, say NO to things, and set aside other demands and spend the evening together as a family. I always think of the dad that shared this story, “One day, my wife dropped me off at work and my three-year-old son said, ‘This is where Daddy lives.’  It broke my heart.” The key to being a good father is putting your family first and let your actions speak louder than your words.  Maybe you should turn down that promotion or a higher paying job for better hours and less travel.   Paternity leave is an amazing idea!  DO it! Dads need to be aware of the stress and cost of an unbalanced life and make changes. It’s hard work having it all. But it can be done. Many dads in your neighbourhood are living the dream of family and life being in balance, but they understand the one key motto; Let your family influence your work life rather than the other way around. Until next time! Jeff Hay…

10. Reach out to other dads.  A much underused resource.  Other dads (and moms) are likely struggling with the same things you are.  Be brave and vulnerable you old sissy! 11. Find a family friendly workplace.  You need an employer which understands and will be friendly to your family commitments and support your work life balance priorities.   Some companies

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The Montessori Mind:


Montessori Promotes Mindful Learning by Malia Jacobson Young children aren’t usually known for intense concentration. To the contrary, kids are expected to bounce from one activity to another with the attention span of a gnat. That’s why parents are surprised by what they see when they tour Eton Montessori School in Bellevue, Washington: Children as young as three happily engaged in independent, focused work for long stretches. Parents are just as surprised by what they don’t see—no lecturing teachers prodding reluctant kids to complete assigned work. “Our children are

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self-motivated. Our teachers don’t stand over them, telling them to be quiet and get back to work,” says Patricia Feltin, Ph.D., who founded Eton School in 1978. This ability to focus at a young age is a hallmark of Montessori education, but it’s revolutionary to parents who haven’t seen a Montessori classroom in action. Montessori learning is hardly novel—Maria Montessori’s first school opened its doors in 1907. But a trend toward mindfulness in education is sparking new interest in this century-old style of education, and new science is showing how this type of learning benefits today’s young minds. Mastering Mindfulness Over the past decade, organizations like Mindfulness in Education Network, Association for Mindfulness in Education, and Mindful Schools have sprung up, training teachers, hosting conferences, and producing research aimed at helping children become more focused, motivated, and intentional in the classroom. Just what is mindfulness, exactly, and why does it matter? paints mindfulness as a deep, in-the-moment focus, characterized by self-awareness and internal motivation. In a world filled with chaotic distraction, advocates of mindfulness say it can be a salve for the conflict, impulsiveness, and stress plaguing modern students and schools.

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Nurturing the Joy of Discovery and the Love of Learning 6 l Fall 2013

Steven J. Hughes, Ph.D., a pediatric neuropsychologist specializing in attention, concentration, planning, and organizing—a set of traits known as executive functions—defines mindfulness as “sustained positive engagement.” Other scientists refer to a “flow” state of prolonged, energized work that produces both calm satisfaction and profound joy in learning. Whole Body, Whole Mind Maria Montessori didn’t coin the term “mindfulness,” but she was an early advocate for sustained focus and internal motivation. Her methods deliberately encourage intense concentration as the best context for early learning. Montessori’s approach to motor development actually stimulates cognitive development and deep concentration, says Hughes. When children begin Montessori education at 3 or 4, they work on motor-skills activities like sweeping, polishing silverware, and pouring. These aptlynamed “Practical Life” activities prepare kids for greater independence and self-reliance in daily tasks, but there’s something bigger going on— the development of higher cognitive functions essential to concentration and attention. Montessori tasks like wiping a table or washing dishes develop fine motor control, but they also activate areas of the pre-frontal cortex essential to executive function, which paves the way for greater concentration and focus, he says. “Dr. Montessori wrote about the close relationship between cognitive development and motor development in 1949. 50 years later, scientists made the same connection.” This whole-body approach is part of the reason numerous studies show that Montessori- educated children have an academic edge over children educated in traditional classrooms, he says.

Happy Work: Environment, Schedule, and Shared Focus One way Montessori promotes focus is through a carefully-prepared environment, a key component of Montessori learning. In Montessoriclassrooms, specially-designed materials—from child-size brooms to lacing cards to counting beads — are prepared to be aesthetically appealing and accessible for young children; simplicity, beauty, and order are paramount. “Montessori environments are designed to be attractive and appealing, and to allow children to make a choice. Children get to look around and choose what they want to do,” says Feltin. This important act of choosing one’s own activity promotes sustained engagement, says Dee Hirsch, president of the Pacific NorthwestMontessori Association and director of Discovery Montessori School in Seattle. Montessori-taught children choose their own work from a palette of developmentally-appropriate options that grow progressively more complex and challenging. Montessori schools incorporate concrete learning goals into a child’s educational plan, but children are free to choose when and how to complete their work within a specified time frame. “That act of choosing is what allows a child to make a wholehearted commitment to their work. It’s what makes Montessori education child-centered,” says Hirsch. When children are motivated by their own interests, deep concentration is a natural result, she says: “Kids are choosing what they want to focus on.” During a 90-minute work period, children can take their work through its beginning, middle, and end. Working through this natural sequence promotes competence and mastery; children can repeat the activity as many times as they want, without being told to hurry up and move on to something else. (continued on Page 9)

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Business Spotlight Celebrating Fall at Davison Orchards- A Kid’s Heaen! The Okanagan is a glorious place in the fall. The weather is spectacular, an already beautiful place is that much better in brilliant fall colors. Fall is also the season of the harvest, a time of year when it is impossible to ignore our Okanagan Bounty. Davison Orchards in Vernon, BC is a fantastic place to celebrate all that our Okanagan harvest has to offer. This working family farm has opened its doors and invited families right on to the farm to see how their food is grown. There is loads for families to do together including farm animals to visit, a free

kids playground, the Crazy Cow Kids Corral (a large pay-to-play area with 15+ attractions), and farm tours with Pick-your-Own Apples or Pumpkins. Along the way there are awesome fall displays to enjoy including pumpkin minions, new this year. Davison Orchards is beyond kid-friendly; it’s kid heaven! But there are lots of reasons for mom and dad to want to be there too. The bakery is known for fantastic made-from-scratch pies. The farm market is a showcase of the season, with over 25 varieties of apples as well as pears, plums, and seasonal preserves and gifts. The cafÊ offers specialty coffee and a lunch menu with many ingredients grown right on the farm. There is even a Parent Room with cozy spots for nursing or changing. No matter what you chose

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to do on the farm, you can enjoy gorgeous views of the valley and will be surrounded by everything autumn: apples, pumpkins, gourds and more! The kids will play, but they will be playing with purpose you can’t help but learn about food production and gain a new appreciation for all that can be grown here in our beautiful Okanagan.

(continued from Page 7) Though the terms focus and concentration conjure up images of a child working alone, mindfulness is not always a solo pursuit. Montessori-style learning helps kids learn the fine art of shared concentration by encouraging them to engage in tasks with a classmate or two—a critical skill in the age of teamwork. Mindful Together How does this Montessori-style mindfulness benefit children? Greater confidence, longer attention spans, and natural self-motivation are a few of the rich rewards, according to Feltin. “What’s so wonderful is the confidence they gain. Their attention spans have been lengthened. They’re going to meet their academic goals, but they’ll do it more naturally because their motivation comes from within.” But mindfulness isn’t something teachers can achieve for students—like every other outcome in Montessori learning, students have to work toward it themselves. They’re not going to reach that state of mindfulness unless they get there themselves,” says Hirsch. “We can’t take them there, but we can go there with them.”

Malia Jacobson is a nationally published freelance writer specializing in parenting. She’s working on adopting Montessori-inspired principles of mindfulness at home.

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Blurring the Homework Lines: One Mom’s Confession by Lara Krupicka During open house at my children’s school I secretly cringe at my girls’ handmade posters next to the projects with multi-color graphs and computer-printed illustrations with neat, precise captions under each one. The creations with my girls’ names on them look amateur in comparison. But at least my kids complete their homework independently, I think. It’s obvious an adult contributed more than a little to these others. Okay, so I’ve always been a bit judgmental of parents who insert themselves into their kids’ schoolwork. I’m a rule follower. It’s a matter of principle. But I also have to admit: I once completed my daughter’s homework for her myself. It was 9 o’clock at night - past bedtime for my seventh-grader. Yet her light remained on. I poked my head around her door to see her sitting on her bed, colored pencil in hand, lips pursed. “Why are you up?” I asked. I plunked beside her on the bed and looked down at the page on her lap desk. Graph paper. She was coloring it in a geometric pattern of orange and blue. “It’s my math homework,” she replied. And then she looked up at me, tears pooling in her eyes. “I 10 l Fall 2013

still have reading to do for language arts,” she moaned. “And I have to fill this whole paper.” I peered closer at the page. It was only half completed. “What is this math homework about?” I asked. “What are you supposed to be learning?” Between sniffles she muttered about patterning and trapezoids. “Do you understand patterns and trapezoids now?” I asked, rubbing my hand up and down on her back. She nodded. It wasn’t the first time she stayed up late working on homework that year. Not because she was a slow worker or procrastinator (although she can be both at times). But because the work she got often required intense amounts of manual effort - usually lots of coloring, like this one. And it frequently resulted in her becoming overwhelmed and falling apart. But with each one she rejected my offers to talk to her teachers about the workload. And she turned down my suggestions to turn in an incomplete project. I could see this wasn’t going to go well without my intervention. I needed to try something different. Even as the conformist in me cried “foul,” I knew what I had to do. I stopped rubbing and held out both hands. “Give me your homework,” I instructed. “And go get ready for bed.”

“But...” she started to protest. Then her shoulders slumped and she handed me the pencil and paper, and tucked the lap desk beside her bed. She sleepily dragged herself away to the bathroom.

In the end the assignment was turned in on time and the reading got done. Even better, my daughter woke up relaxed and more confident about school than she had been in weeks.

I can’t believe I’m doing this, I thought as I situated myself at her desk, armed with two colored pencils. My children’s work was their own. They earned their grades fair and square. And yet there I was about to not only help, but actually complete a portion of my daughter’s homework. Or as it appeared to me, ‘busy work.’

We never spoke of the coloring incident after that day. And I haven’t done anyone else’s homework since.

Yet in that moment I also knew I was being the best parent to her that I could. This rebel mother had a cause - a bigger picture of her daughter’s school performance and what was in her best interest. In my mind I had to weigh which mattered most: an assignment completed by a diligent child who the following day would be drowsy and irritable (and not at all focused in any class)? Or a project done with some “help” allowing the sleep-sensitive girl to have a good night’s rest and a productive school day after? Her previous objections to my offers for other kinds of assistance told me she was learning about school and the importance of owning her assignments and being conscientious. She also did well at grasping concepts quickly. In this case I figured she didn’t need to color 48 trapezoids when 24 would suffice. In my mind she had finished her homework - enough to comprehend the lesson. So I attacked the grid with vigor - four squares across orange, then three blue, four orange. I lost myself in the repetition of the work - more like coloring than math. And never mind that I lack artistic skill. Coloring like a seventh-grader was coming in handy, for once. I completed several rows before she returned to the room in her pajamas, looking much more settled. I reassured her as I tucked her in that her math homework would be ready in the morning and I would wake her early enough to finish her reading.

But I learned sometimes it’s better to bend the rules for the sake of the bigger picture. And now I try not to judge parents who contribute to their children’s schoolwork (at least not so much - there are rules after all). I just hope they won’t judge my kid’s projects for looking amateur. Lara Krupicka is mom to three girls, ages 14, 12, and 10. Which probably explains even more why she doesn’t do their homework for them - who has the time?

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Life After Miscarriage

by Sandi Haustein

The day that you miscarry, you become part of a club that no one wants to belong to. It’s

a club shrouded with secrecy, pain, and even misplaced shame. You’re no longer pregnant, but everywhere you look, there are reminders of the baby that you had already loved and been preparing for. The box of maternity clothes you had just brought up from the garage. Your What to Expect When You’re Expecting book sitting on the nightstand. The e-mails reminding you of your baby’s progress. Those looking in from the outside think your miscarriage is something that you can quickly “get over,” as if it’s a sickness to recover from instead of a loss that takes time to heal. Erin Peirce, a mother who’s miscarried, says, “To the people around me, my miscarriage isn’t a tangible loss. While I might be thinking, ‘I would have been 20 weeks pregnant today’ or ‘I’d be able to feel the baby move by now,’ others see me as clearly not pregnant. They’re not aware of the baby I still hold in my mind’s eye.” How do you move forward towards healing when on the outside you look okay but on the inside you’re still hurting? Allow yourself to grieve. You know the children’s story about going on a bear hunt? Grief is like going through that tall, tall grass. You can’t go under it, and you can’t go over it. As painful as it is, you have to go through it to heal. Susan Killeen, a family therapist, says that while you can’t push a pause button on your life to process grief, it’s important to set aside regular small chunks of time to get quiet and be honest with yourself. “Ask yourself what you’re feeling, what you wish had happened, what you’re angry about. Give voice to the places where you are hurting,” Killeen says. Journal, listen to music, meditate, or pray. Lean into your grief instead of running away from it.

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Find your safe people. Build a strong support system, starting with your husband. He can care for you best when you communicate clearly what you need most from him, whether it’s validating your feelings, holding you, or doing the dishes. Melanie Evans, a mother who’s experienced the pain of two miscarriages, suggests reaching out to friends who have miscarried or finding a support group, either at a hospital, a church, or online. Talking to someone who understands what you’ve been through can help you feel less alone. Be kind to yourself. Instead of feeling pressured by deadlines or social activities, give yourself permission to step back from responsibilities or to withdraw for a season. Make time for the things that help you feel taken care of, whether it’s listening to music, gardening, exercise, reading, or playing with your children. Let friends make meals or take your kids for a morning. Prepare for insensitive comments. “You’re young -- you can have more kids…There must have been something wrong with the baby...It was God’s will.” Sometimes, when people don’t know what to say, they unintentionally make statements that bring pain instead of comfort. When that happens, Killeen recommends cutting the conversation short to protect your heart from being further hurt. If you don’t know the person well, say something simple like, “I appreciate your compassion.” If it’s a close friend or family member, tell them that while you’re sure they’re well-meaning, what they’ve said isn’t helpful. Follow up with specific ways that they can help (just listening or helping out with your kids, for example). In a perfect world, everyone would know the exact right things to say, but by having a response ready, you can keep an awkward situation from deteriorating into something even more hurtful.

Find ways to honor your baby. Without a gravestone to visit or a body to bury, miscarriage can feel like an ambiguous loss. Finding something tangible to represent your baby can help

validate her existence. Give her a name, release balloons, or buy a plant, a figurine, or a piece of jewelry to remind you of her. Make a scrapbook or a memory box and fill it with ultrasound pictures, cards, and other mementos. Spend time as a family making a list of what you will miss about not having a new baby; then make another list of things you can look forward to in the future. No matter what you choose to do, finding a way to honor your baby will help give some closure to your loss.

You can’t force a timeline on your grief, but eventually, your good days will start to outweigh your bad ones. Until then, when you open that baby shower invitation or see that pregnant woman in the grocery store, don’t be ashamed of your tears. Those tears water a seed in your heart that will, one day, grow into hope. And when it’s your turn to reach out to others who become part of this painful club of miscarriage, you’ll find that you’re a braver, stronger you.

Sandi Haustein is a freelance writer and the mom of three boys. Her fourth and fifth pregnancies ended in miscarriage.

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In Celebration of Grandparents by Sara Dimerman In 2013, Sunday September 8th is National Grandparents Day. Like Mother’s and Father’s Day, this is an opportunity to give grandparents an extra hug and tell them how much they are appreciated.

think there’s a silent code between children and their grandparents which says that just because they may be willing to give more, that it’s only them that will occasionally be the exception to the rule.

Unfortunately, my grandparents are no longer with me, but my memories of them will live on for as long and I do.

Grandparents often take on the role of second parents and some even become the primary caregivers. Many grandparents pick their grandchildren up from school while mom or dad are at work, come to their grandchildren’s home in the morning to help get the kids ready for school or watch younger children on certain days of the week. Some grandparents are retired or semi retired and therefore have more time to devote to their grandchildren while their parents are working. Many grandparents, my parents included, take on the role of full time caregivers when their adult children choose not or do not take on the responsibility of parenting their own. My nephew was only months old when my parents adopted him and so my mom and I were in the unique position of raising my daughter and her grandchild at the same time.

For those of you who are fortunate enough to have grandparents still living, and especially for your children who are more likely than you even, here are some reasons to celebrate grandparents. Grandchildren love being “spoiled” by their grandparents and it’s a grandparent’s privilege to do so. I remember my grandparents sneaking me an extra chocolate behind my parents back. I’m not saying that this is an ideal dynamic, but I

A new TVO documentary, created by award winning filmmaker Karen Shopsowitz, (will air on October 16th, 2013) explores the role of grandparents raising their grandchildren. In these situations, grandparents do not take on the traditional grandparenting role and should be celebrated for many reasons including the 14 l Fall 2013

opportunity they have given their grandchildren to be raised in a secure, potentially healthier environment. Grandparents enrich their grandchildren’s lives with stories that create deeper roots. When grandchildren have the opportunity to create family trees alongside their grandparents or even audio or video record conversations of what life was like when they were born and growing up, grandchildren have a better appreciation of the history that runs through their veins. Even children who are adopted can benefit by knowing more about their grandparent’s experiences because this too allows them a deeper understanding of their adoptive parents. Sitting with grandparents and listening to their stories offers an interesting history lesson to be shared with future generations. Even though grandchildren may think that grandparent’s views are out dated, they can often benefit from their wisdom founded on many years of living. In addition, grandchildren

can be wonderful teachers to their grandparents – especially when it comes to things that are foreign to them, like programming their cell phones or using a computer. And by the way, consider using the computer as a means of communication (Skype, for example) to stay in touch if physical distance divides grandchildren from their grandparents. I know that not everyone is fortunate to have grandparents still living or even to have grandparents who are physically or emotionally available. Consider then the benefit of connecting children with older adults – friends of the family or seniors in a retirement home, for example. These adults can potentially take on a grandparenting role by offering extra attention and nurturing as well as lifetime of rich and valuable experiences to children. Sara Dimerman is a Psychologist, Author and mom to two daughters. For more advice, connect at or on Twitter @helpmesara.

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Secrets to Healthy School Snacks by Deb Lowther Secrets to Healthy School Snacks - Home Made Gets Top Grade Kids love snacks. Parents love convenience. This usually means store bought cookies, bars and muffins fill kids lunch boxes once we return to the ritual of packing school lunches! Unfortunately, most of the snacks now available in the aisles of the grocery store are full of sugar, preservatives, artificial ingredients and very little nutritional value. How do we give our kids healthy options while still enjoying the convenience of pre made snacks for school? We get baking! Healthy Snack Secrets

Modify Favorite Recipes Baking spinach, beet, cauliflower, hemp seed all grain veggie bars will likely not have many fans in your house, but adding just a bit of spinach to a brownie recipe <LINK brownie recipe : http:// > that also includes whole wheat flour and chocolate chips, just might become a snack favorite. Take recipes they love like oatmeal cookies <LINK oatmeal cookies http:// > and substitute or cut back on the unhealthy ingredients and add in more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Bake I know, you are busy, it takes too long and you probably don’t have all the ingredients. It can seem too daunting a task when you first get started, but baking for just a couple hours every 3 weeks can provide enough healthy options for 3 kids to take two snacks to school everyday. Make it family time and get the kids to help you bake. They will learn the importance of nutritious ingredients and you will be teaching them that healthier choices can taste great!

Replace This with That Instead of all purpose flour, use mostly or all whole wheat flour. Replace half of the butter with apple sauce. Use agave syrup <LINK agave syrup http://www. > instead of refined sugars. Subtract ¼ cup of the flour and use ground flax, oat bran, wheat germ, or bran instead. Add shredded apples, carrots and zucchini or mashed bananas to everything. Puree cooked carrots, zucchini or apples in place of shredded if ingredients must be hidden.

Freeze EVERYTHING Invest in some freezer safe containers that you can store your baked goods in for 3 weeks. Separate the rows with wax paper so the muffins and cookies don’t freeze together and store in your freezer where the kids can reach. Each school morning have them pick 2 snacks to put in their reusable containers. Convenient and healthy!

Top With Chocolate Chips Mini muffins <LINK mini muffins http://www. aspx > topped with just a few chocolate chips can make carrots and zucchini almost disappear! Brightly coloured M&M’s added to spinach brownies make them fun and more of a treat than a healthy snack!

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Recipes to get you started: Spinach Brownies spinach-in-brownies.aspx Whole Wheat Carrot, Zucchini, Apple Muffins kids-can-help.aspx Apple Cheddar bars healthy-snacks-apple-cheddar-bars.aspx Apple Oatmeal Flax Cookies healthy-baked-snacks-apple-oatmeal-flax-cookies. aspx

Fruit is a Snack Apple slices with a little cinnamon, banana with soy nut butter and berries with granola are all healthy no bake snacks. Add fruit to everything you bake for moister cakes and fibre packed whole grain bars <LINK whole grain bars http://www. >. Get kids to re think snacks! Purge the packages and provide homemade & whole fruits!

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active. To read more articles you can visit her websites & www. adultgummies.comor visit her on Facebook at IronKids.Health and Adult Essentials.

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Ten Halloween Party Games for Teens or Tweens by Pam Molnar Halloween has always been an exciting holiday for kids. They get dressed up, hang out with friends and know that a simple “Trick or Treat” means free candy. As our kids hit middle school, costumes are no longer cool and their days of trick or treating reluctantly come to an end. In an effort to keep the holiday fun for teens, why not throw a party? I know what you thinking – “How am I going to come up with entertainment that is not lame and that will keep everyone amused?” Simple! Check out these ten teen approved party games that will challenge, gross out and deliver hours of good times and laughter. But beware, if the kids have too much fun at your party, they will want you to host again next year! Go Fishing – Fill a small swimming pool with water and live goldfish. On the bottom of the pool, place several marbles. Set as many chairs around the pool as will fit. Ask your guests to sit in the chairs and remove their shoes and socks. That’s right, they are going fishing for marbles with their feet. Add a little fear and anticipation by blindfolding the participants or turning off the lights. Pumpkin Face – Have the kids put a layer of Vaseline on their face. Pour several cheeseballs on a long table. On go, each person has to cover their face with cheese balls without using their hands. Set the timer for one minute and the person with 18 l Fall 2013

the most cheeseballs wins. This is a great photo opportunity! Plastic Wrap Mummy Race – Break the group into teams. Choose one person from each team to wrap in plastic wrap (from the neck down). As soon as the mummy is wrapped, the team has to gently lower him to the ground and roll him down the race course. When he gets to the finish line, you need to stand him back up and completely unwrap him. For a longer race, rewrap the next person and race back down to the other end. Coins and Crickets – Fill a large jar (like a sun tea jar) with 20 crickets from the pet store. Place several coins on the bottom of the jar and have each player try to pick up 5 coins. Make it more challenging by having the kids pick up only dimes or choose the winner based on the least amount of money (not coins) collected. Create a Crime Scene – Create a bag of things found at a mock crime scene but don’t include obvious murder weapons like knives or rope. Instead, find silly things like an apple, wooden spoon, stuffed animal, a children’s book and a magnet. Break everyone up into groups of 4 or 5. Each group has to create a crime scene based on the items in the bag and present it to the group. This is a great activity to do while you are serving dinner. Halloween Egg Hunt – Fill plastic eggs or plastic pumpkins with candy and hide around the room or outdoors. Take advantage of the early setting sun and search for the eggs with flashlights. Try adding a few tricks instead of treats and fill some of the eggs with worms, crickets or cow eyes from the local butcher shop. (Be sure to open the eggs outside!)

Bubble Gum Pie – Fill a pie plate with whipped cream and bury a couple pieces of bubble inside. Using only their face, the first kid to find the bubble gum, chew it and blow a bubble, wins. Guess the Candy Bar – Melt 5 different candy bars in the microwave. Be sure to crush up any large pieces. Place the melted mess inside a clean disposable diaper and place on the table. Have the kids smell or taste what’s in the diaper to determine what candy bar it is. Fear Factor - Egg Roulette – Hard boil 12 eggs and let cool in refrigerator. Place eggs on a table in front of your guests. Tell the kids that there is one raw egg among the hardboiled eggs. Challenge them to find it by choosing an egg and smashing it on their forehead. Get your cameras ready. Their expressions will be priceless! LCR – This is a great way to end the night. LCR is a popular dice game that can be played with any size group. You can either purchase the LCR dice or use regular dice and determine which number is L, C and R. Normally you would play with chips or coins, but since it is Halloween, let’s use candy. Every player starts with three candies. As you roll, the candy goes to the left, right or into a bowl in the center. The winner is the person holding the last piece of candy!

Pam Molnar is a freelance writer and mom of two teens and a tween. All of their parties include good food, lots of laughter and of course, games!

Tired of pizza? Try these dinner options for teen parties.


Hot dogs on a stick – Leave the mess outside and let the kids roast their own hotdogs over the fire pit.


Taco Bar - Make your own tacos with meat, shells and all the fixings.


Spaghetti and Meatballs - Whether they like red sauce or plain with butter, pasta is always a hit!


Comfort food – Fried or baked chicken, mac and cheese and baked beans.


Soup, Salad and Bread sticks - Great make ahead meal that is perfect for a fall evening!


Pizza Fondue – Warm pizza sauce in a pot and use pepperoni sticks, mozzarella cheese cubes and bread for dippers.


Sliders – Pulled pork, chicken or mini burgers. Serve with a side of coleslaw or fruit salad.


Sub Sandwiches and Chips – Order from your favorite deli or make your own, this quick meal is a crowd pleaser!


Baked Potato Bar – Serve bakers with sour cream, cheese, bacon, broccoli or chili. Yum!

10. Breakfast for dinner – Serve up trays of breakfast casserole, bacon or silver dollar pancakes.

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Resource Directory Attractions, Recreation BCRMTA BC Registered Music Teacher Bricks 4 Kidz South Okanagan: 778.516.1505 Salmon Arm/Vernon 250.558.5437 After school programs, preschool classes, birthday parties, in-school field trips, day camps City of Kelowna - Recreation City of Kelowna, Recreation and Cultural Services offers programs and activities for individuals of all ages and abilities in neighbourhoods throughout Kelowna, including swimming, dance, karate, sports, Mom & Baby programs and more. Creator’s Arts Centre Ages 3-23 Spring Break Dance Intensive Davison Orchards Country Village Open everyday until October 31 250.549.3266 Okanagan Region Skate Canada Summerland Community Arts Council 250.494.4494 Let your child explore the wonderful ways of the arts through music, art and drama using imagination and creativity. Year Round Programs for Children

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YMCA-YWCA of the Central Okanagan The YMCA-YWCA is a trusted charity committed to building strong kids, strong families, and strong communities. The Y proudly operates the Kelowna Family Y, the H20 Adventure and Fitness Centre, 3 out of school care centres, a childcare and preschool, and the Y Career Contact Centre for Youth. The Okanagan Regional Library Parent & Tot Storytimes The ORL is your most economical, sustainable and relevant source for information and entertainment in the BC Southern Interior. Visit us at one of our 29 branches or at We Teach Swimming We Teach Soccer 250.470.7496 Private swim lessons, private soccer school for children ages 4-12 with small class sizes Breastfeeding Clinics / Support Okanagan Breastfeeding Coalition 330 Ellis St., Penticton, BC Child Care - preschools, daycares, nannies, Out of School Care International Nannies and Homecare Make your life easier with a nanny. 250.862.4949 Kelowna Waldorf School - Main School 429 Collett Road Kelowna, BC, Canada V1W 1K6 Phone: 250.764.4130 Fax: 250.764.4139 Little Owl Academy 250.764.0122 Infant/Toddler Care, Daycare, Preschool, Out of School Care

Okanagan Montessori We provide a prepared environment where children are guided through activities by trained Montessori teachers. Children learn as they experiment with and actively participate in activities. Prairie Valley Preschool at the Summerland Montessori School 10317 Prairie Valley Road Summerland B.C. 250.494.7266 Childcare Resource & Referral Penticton Child Care Resource & Referral
 330 Ellis St.,
Penticton, BC 250.492.2926
 Vernon Child Care Resource & Referral
 3300- 37th Avenue,
Vernon, BC 250.542.3121 
 Cloth Diapering New & Green Baby Co. 1.888.373.5566

Education School is Easy Tutoring 1.877.ITS.EASY One on one tutoring for Grad 1-12 in the comfort of your own home Summerland Montessori School 10317 Prairie Valley Road Summerland B.C. V0H 1Z5 250.494.7266

Resource Directory Midwives and doulas Doula Services Association, BC 604.515.5588 Midwives Asscoation of BC 604.736.5976 OnLine Parenting Sites Kelowna New Parent Kelowna New Parent is Kelowna’s best resource for all things baby! Check out information on activities, play groups, dining, daycares and much more. Photography & Portraits

Aviva Studios 250.317.4395 3rd Edition of “Children of the Okanagan” kicks off to raise funds for the Emergency Ward at the Kelowna General Hospital Bobbi Sloan Photography 250.689.2475 Public Health Services/Nurses Kelowna Health Unit 1340 Ellis Street 250.868.7700 Penticton Health Unit 740 Carmi Avenue 250.770.3434 Rutland Health Unit 155 Gray Road 250.980.4825 Summerland Health Unit 12815 Atkinson Road 250.404.8050

West Kelowna Health Unit 160 – 2300 Carrington Road 250.980.5150 Vernon Health Unit 1440 – 14th Avenue 250.549.5700 Salmon Arm Health Unit 851-16th Street NE Salmon Arm BC 250.833.4100 Sicamous Health Unit #10 1133 Eaglepass Way Sicamous BC 250.836.4835 Revelstoke Health Unit 1200 Newlands Rd Revelstoke BC 250.814.2244 Armstrong Health Unit 3800 Patten Drive Retail Chicken Little 4407 - 29th Street, Vernon BC Chicken Little is a great place to shop for your kids, grandkids, family and friends. For shopping 24 hrs/day, visit us online at Felt Fantasia Decorate your little one’s nursery with fantastic felt wall art or canvas art. hautemama 1.866.615.3800 For pregnant & nursing women who love clothes lalabee bathworks 250.508.8495 100% natural skincare for Mommy & Baby Support Services Aboriginal Infant Development Program 442 Leon Ave , Kelowna, BC 250.763.4905

ACHIEVE BC Toll Free: 1.800.514.0554 Website: Advice on prenatal care, nutrition and developmental guides. Parenting tips and information on stimulating your child’s mind and body through reading and play. Learn more about the services offered through the Government of British Columbia by calling the toll free number or visiting the website. Association for the Benefit of Children with Disabilities 250.763.4663 BC 24- HOUR Nurse Line Call: 8-1-1 Website: BC Nurseline gives you 24 hour, 7 day toll-free access to registered nursed specially trained to provide confidential help on the telephone. Available to answer medical enquiries free of charge - carecard required BC Council for Families 204-2590 Granville St, Vancouver, BC 1.800.663.5638 The BC Council for Families works to help create healthy families in a healthy society. Our goal is to empower families. We provide educational resources on topics such as parenting, childhood development, parentteen relationships, work-life balance, suicide awareness and more. BC Lions Society for Children with Disabilities 250.763.0899 Big Brothers and Sisters - Okanagan 151 Commercial Dr, Kelowna, BC Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Okanagan provides children and youth ages 7 - 12 (‘Littles’) with volunteer adult mentors (‘Bigs’) who provide a positive influence in their lives. Welcome Wagon 1.866.856.8442 It’s time to call your Welcome Wagon representative. She will bring new congratulations and gifts for the new baby and family. Fall 2013 l


Halloween Crafty Monsters

These cute Halloween recycled bottle monsters are perfect for holding candy at your next Halloween party. Materials: 2 liter plastic drink bottles(washed and dried) magic marker acrylic paints construction paper exacto knife imagination

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Directions: Beforehand, decide what kind of monster you want to make and what colors you need. Sketch a face on paper first. Draw the face on the bottle with a marker. Cut out the mouth with an exacto knife. Cut off the top of the bottle, too to fill with candy. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t recommend making pointy teeth as they are sharp and can prick a finger. Paint your bottle and make the eyes. Add hair or hands with construction paper. Fill with candy for your Halloween party or put a light inside and watch them glow These are soooo super cute!!!

Not-for-Profit Practice, Play, Perform: The Values of Music Lessons are Off the Chart Music lessons are a great activity for kids of all ages. Piano, violin and guitar are popular choices, but actually, any instrument will do. Learning outcomes and life lessons are huge and the funfactor is high too. Here are some benefits for your child from studying music: Improves concentration and memory. Playing music uses many parts of the brain, which leads to higher achievement in school. Builds perseverance and discipline. In an age of instant gratification studying music teaches patience. You have to stick with it to see results.

Goal setting. There are many small learning tasks in studying music and students must constantly set new goals. Learning to break big jobs into small manageable tasks is a useful skill. Practicing requires scheduling. Kids are busy these days, and learning to budget time and prioritize are important. Performances build courage and confidence. Playing for an audience is a pressure-filled but valuable experience. Trains students for other musical pursuits. Many students play in school bands, churches and other settings, resulting in friendships and team building skills. Less screen time. Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; any activity NOT done on a screen is valuable. So pick an instrument you like and go for it! Lori Elder (M.Mus. B.Mus. ARTC RMT) is a piano teacher, music festival adjudicator and workshop presenter. She is a member of BC Registered Music Teachers Association, and she lives in Prince George, BC.

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