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FREE Spring 2016

okanaganchild


Spring 2016

Volume 4, Issue 1

articles

4 12 Ways to Take Literacy on Vacation with You 6 Book Review: The Smooch 7 Kids in the Kitchen: After School Munch 9 Overnight Blueberry French Toast 10 Helping with Homework, When Does Help Become a Hindrance 12 “At Least...” When Good Intentions Can Go Wrong 14 Safety Cords 16 Craft: St Patrick’s Day Leprechaun 17 Montessori Learning 18 Spring Cleaning for Your Head: Mental De-cluttering for Happier Parents 22 How To Be in the Moment and Be Happy

Cover photo courtesy of

every issue

3 Editor’s Note

21 Resource Directory

Contributors:

Sue LeBreton Sandra Wiebe Leah Perrier Sara Dimerman Susan Kast Laura Zottmann 30 Min Hit Lois Leonard/Stephanie Griffiths

Editor-in-Chief: Creative Director: Distribution

Kerri Milton Bev Tiel Kathie O’Gorman

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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 copyrighted©. 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 note As my Marm used to always say....”spring is sprung and the grass is ris”...not proper English, but fun to say nonetheless! Tis the season of leprechauns, Easter eggs and lots of warm weather. Whether you do a 'staycation', you hit the slopes for the last bit of snow or you run to the south in search of sun, spring break is around the corner. We want to keep our little monkey's reading so Sue LeBreton has a great article on how to keep literacy up during any holiday season.  During this time we need to look at our own Mental Health as parents, so Laurie Zottmann has a great article on “de-cluttering our minds”, parents need a spring break as much as our little ones do.  And what is spring without a great St Patrick’s Day craft and a reminder to all the little people that Mother’s Day is around the corner and a little brunch treat is a must!  If you are in the sad situation of dealing with grief Susan Kast’s article on “Good Intentions” is very much worth the read.  As someone who recently helped a close friend through the loss of their parent these are tough situations and we really do mean well, but a little guidance on what not to say is also incredibly helpful.  The hardest thing to believe, is after spring break we are in the homestretch of another school year.  I always feel like we run at breakneck speed during this final windup, so make

MAY YOUR DAY be touched by a bit of

IRISH LUCK brightened by a song IN YOUR HEART (and warmed by the smiles)

OF THE PEOPLE YOU

LOVE

sure you rest up, so you can hit the ground running and help everyone through the last bit of exams, papers, crafts, school plays, dance recitals, tournaments and the endless list of “must do’s”. I find spring such a great time to reflect on how the winter went and how we want the summer to go, what changes we can make and what chances we need to take. With that said me and my 4 little people (I say this facetiously as my “little people” all tower over me with the exception of the youngest and it gets pointed out daily that he’s not far behind) are in search of sun, sand, fun and beach weather - we need that extra Vitamin D to get through the last of the winter and run headlong into spring! Whatever and however you celebrate your holidays have a safe and happy spring, stop - smell those flowers, have a look around at our beautiful Okanagan Valley and make the changes you want to make. Happy Spring to everyone. Kerri Editor-in-Chief

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12 Ways to Take Literacy on Vacation with You by Sue LeBreton School may be the farthest thing from your mind when packing for a family vacation but that doesn’t mean learning and literacy need to be left at home. Follow these 12 simple steps and your family will strengthen their literacy skills throughout your journey. 1. If you are planning a family vacation, involve your children in the planning and research stages. This can be especially fun for older children. They can use on line resources to discover interesting facts about the destination and cool things to do when you get there. When we went to Disney I had my son research the various rides so we would have a must do list. 2. Research books set in the destination and consider reading one or two as a family. It may offer you a glimpse into the differences between your holiday destination and your home and can lead to some interesting discussion before and after vacation. Try both fiction and non-fiction books as fiction may give you a real sense of a place. (If you have ever read Stephen King and driven through northern Maine you will see his inspiration). For younger children picture or photo books can help them prepare for a trip to a new place.

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3. For a road trip, download an audio book you can listen to as a family. It is also a great way to “read” if you get car sick.  Persevere through the process as it may take many suggestions before you find a book everyone is happy with. Who knows what gems you may find for reading later when researching? Keep a list. 4. If you don’t get car sick and are keen to read aloud, you can read to your children and the driver while on a road trip. It can be easier with a print book to pause and comment about the story. Joke books provide an engaging, distraction on long trips. Caution: it may also lead to family members trying to compose their own jokes. 5. Think about packing some MadLibs books. They are stories with blanks so that you can take turns filling in the missing nouns, verbs and adjectives. Results are silly and hysterical. Your children will be too busy laughing to realize they are learning. 6. If you are travelling by plane you might download an audio book and you can each listen individually. If you cannot agree on a book, have each person pick their own title and then see who can convince other family members to read or listen to their choice on the way home. It is great fun to watch children get fired up over “their” book. www.okanaganchild.com


7. Keep reading to your children on vacation. Think reading around a camp fire-who doesn’t love a scary story? 8. If you are in a hotel on a travel vacation, read the guide book aloud at night so you can all prepare for the next day’s adventure. 9. Writing is essential to developing reading skills so consider keeping a family journal on vacation with each person making a daily entry. The younger children can draw the best part of their day. This will make a great memento

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or you can use it as the inspirational spark for a silly family story post vacation. 10. Pack a bag of books for the trip or destination. If you need to pack lightly consider e books, they are great for travel. 11. Model that reading behaviour on vacation; make sure there’s some downtime every day. 12. Keep a book with you at all times so you can read to the kids while waiting in line (another time where e books come in handy- you can switch from one book to another). There’s never a reason to hear “I’m bored” when a book is in hand! Sue LeBreton is a freelance writer and avid reader who uses family vacations as another method to spark her children’s interest in literacy.

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Book Review: The Smooch When acclaimed children’s author Robert Munsch saw Karon’s illustrations he told her: “You’re good, get going” and she took it to heart - in spite of Type 1 diabetes, blindness and a kidney transplant. The Smooch is the story of a sad and lonely, green little frog named Tad who gets some much-needed support from his friends to act on his life’s desire. This delightful and colourful hand-illustrated book is quite an accomplishment considering that Karon is not only the author but also illustrator and book designer. Like Tad, Karon knows that we cannot get through life and reach our goals without a lot of support from those who love us most.

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by Sandra Wiebe

Karon has endured much in her 43 years due to complications from Type 1 diabetes including vision loss that has left her with only 20 per cent vision in one eye. In 2015 illness had her bed ridden again but with the help of a generous friend, she has made a remarkable recovery from a kidney transplant and able to start on her passion to create stories for children. Her story and her absolute resilience continually inspires others to carry on with their dreams, despite whatever lemons life has thrown at them. Talk about making lemonade! This is what the zest for life is all about - sink or swim! This is Argue’s first book. available online at www.karonargue.com

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Kids in the Kitchen: After School Munch by Leah Perrier, Registered Dietition AltaVie Family Integrated Health If your kids are anything like mine, the first thing they ask for on the car ride home from school is a snack… but the last thing you want to do is prepare another meal before having to get dinner ready. Start encouraging your kids to be independent in the kitchen by teaching them to prepare their own after school munch.

Kids in full time school have a long day. Adding an after school activity can make snack time even more essential. A quick snack when they get home can ward off crabby behavior and give them an energy boost to make it to their dinner meal. Also, letting the little ones take charge of snack time is one step closer to preparing and cooking meals for themselves! Imagine that?

Label the portion size- use an old set of measuring cups and spoons to guide serving sizes. Label the portion size that you recommend on the container of trail mix, yogurt, or mixed nuts. That way they know that they know how much to dish out for themselves. Clean up – the last thing you need is extra dishes and crumbs to clean up. Show them how you expect them to clean up their dishes and wipe down the table. So here are some snack ideas: Yogurt and fruit cups – have them scoop out ½ cup yogurt and add ½ cup fruit. I usually buy the larger containers of plain yogurt to avoid all that added sugar! Greek yogurt will give them a protein boost. For the fruit, my kids like the frozen berries, but any fruit will do. My kids require a squirt of honey with their plain yogurt for a little sweetness. One “scoop” from the trail mix container – a quick mix of dried fruit (without the added sugar), plain cereals, nuts/seeds, coconut flakes into an airtight container and voila! Add a ½ cupmeasuring cup so that they can measure out their own too.

Once the kids are in school, they are old enough to prepare some simple snacks, but they will need to learn from you. Here are a few teaching tips: Make a plan– sit down with them and decide on 5 healthy after school snacks together. They are more likely to follow instructions if they have a say in the process. Practice makes perfect – handing over the snack responsibility will not set you free just yet! Teaching them some skills in the kitchen will save you time in the long run. On the weekends, older kids can help cut the vegetables, while the younger ones can stir the vegetable dip or prepare the trail mix. www.okanaganchild.com

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Healthy snack bars – I’m a fan of healthy homemade snacks bars. If you have a tasty, healthy recipe, then great, but if you need to reach for the packaged snack bars, make sure to read the nutrition label. Quick tip: choose a bar with at least 2 grams of fibre, less than 2 grams of saturated fat, and less than 8 grams of sugar per serving. Easier said than done! Keep in mind that 8 grams of sugar is 2 teaspoons worth. Cheese and fruit – pick up one of those non-sharp cheese cutters with the wire across the top. You can teach them how much to use it. Add a piece of fruit to go with it! Smoothie popsicles – my son is getting right into making smoothies with his dad in the morning. Lucky me! They make a large batch and if there are leftovers, we pour it into homemade popsicle molds and into the freezer. This makes for a super easy after school snack that pleases everyone.

Happy Granola Ingredients: 2 cups oats ½ cup nuts (any*) - slivered almonds, cashews, pecan pieces, and pistachios work well. ¼ cup sesame or sunflower seeds 1 tablespoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon salt 3 egg whites Directions: Preheat oven to 235 degrees F In a large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. This will take several minutes. Fold egg whites into dry mixture. Stir gently until dry mixture is coated. Turn oat and egg white mixture onto a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper) Bake in pre-heated oven for 60 minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes. Store in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks. Nutrition Facts: ~ 216 calories, 12 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre per serving (1/2 cup) * nutrition facts will vary depending on the type of nuts and seeds used in recipe.

You’ll get to know that I’m not anti-sugar, or antianything really when it comes to food, however, so many delicious recipes can be made without adding sugar. In fact, you can cut the sugar by 30-50% in most recipes and the end product will likely turn out just as well. Truth be told though, when we let too much sugar creep into our diets, it can often replace healthy foods. Same rule applies when feeding our kiddo’s. Here’s a tasty sugar free granola recipe that I have success with. Give it a try! Added bonus – the recipe is gluten free if you use gluten free oats! Add it to yogurt or cut up fruit for added protein, fibre and staying power! 8 l Spring 2016

Leah Perrier is a Registered Dietitian (RD) who uses her knowledge, passion, enthusiasm, and acquired skills to be a fundamental contributor in the promotion of your health and well being. She has over a decade of experience working as a pediatric dietitian and specializes in providing nutrition counselling for children and families. She helps families with picky eaters, problem eaters, allergies/intolerances, introduction to solids, prenatal and postnatal nutrition, weight management, and nutrition for chronic diseases such as diabetes. Mindsets matter. Leah’s nutrition philosophy focuses on selfempowerment, positive relationships with food, balance, moderation, and mindful eating. The goal is permanent and sustainable lifestyle changes. She is thrilled to have moved to Kelowna with her husband and two young children this past summer for a change in lifestyle and to settle in the beautiful Okanagan. She works with the team at the AltaVie Family Integrated Health Clinic in Kelowna

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Overnight Blueberry French Toast

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2016 Allrecipes.com Printed From Allrecipes.com 3/6/2016

Prep: 15 m

Cook: 1 h 15 m Ready in: 10 h

Recipe By: KARAN1946 “This a very unique breakfast dish. Good for any holiday breakfast or brunch, it’s filled with the fresh taste of blueberries, and covered with a rich blueberry sauce to make it a one of a kind.” Ingredients -12 slices day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes -2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes -1 cup fresh blueberries -12 eggs, beaten -2 cups milk -1 teaspoon vanilla extract -1/3 cup maple syrup -1 cup white sugar -2 tablespoons cornstarch -1 cup water -1 cup fresh blueberries -1 tablespoon butter

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Directions 1. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes in the dish, and top with cream cheese cubes. Sprinkle 1 cup blueberries over the cream cheese, and top with remaining bread cubes. 2. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and syrup. Pour over the bread cubes. Cover, and refrigerate overnight. 3. Remove the bread cube mixture from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 4. Cover, and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned. 5. In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, cook 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in the remaining 1 cup blueberries. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until the blueberries burst. Stir in the butter, and pour over the baked French toast Spring 2016 l

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Helping with Homework, When Does Help become a Hindrance ? by Sara Dimerman I was an independent, motivated student and so my parents never felt the need to watch over me to make sure my school work was done. They trusted that I knew what I was doing and so long as I continued to prove them right, they left me alone. I understand that not every student is motivated or eager to do well. So parents often ask my advice about how much intervention is appropriate, and where/ how to draw the line when it comes to helping with school work. My answer is not the same for everyone. I take several things into account before responding. First, I want to know the age of the child. I also want to know about his or her academic history. Has there been a diagnosis of a learning disability,

for example? Is the child generally organized and motivated but then suddenly sloppy and uninterested? Have the parents set a pattern that is hard to change? For example, if parents always sit with their children to do homework and maybe even given then answers to the more difficult questions, then it will be hard to go from 100 percent involvement to none. I also want to know about what is going on at home? Are there any family dynamics that may be affecting the child’s ability to focus? Depending on the situation, I adjust my advice accordingly. My core belief, under ‘normal’ circumstances, is that it’s best for parents to stay within reach, but not on top of their children. In other words, be on hand whenever your children ask for homework support, but if you are working harder and are more worried than them about end results, then there’s something wrong with this picture. I have spoken to many parents who have become resentful over time as a result of dropping their own work to be available to their child right away, only to feel that they are doing the lion’s share of the work. For example, a child may leave the room to watch TV or may stay but begin texting back

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and forth with friends while a parent pores over a chapter in the textbook looking for the answer to a question her child has been unable to find on his own. It’s no wonder that a parent resents doing the work while her child does something leisurely. Other parents have shared their hurt or anger with me because their child is rude or disrespectful after asking for help. This may be in the form of eye rolling or yelling that “you dont know what you’re saying” or “we didn’t learn it that way” or even worse, “you’re stupid!” When a parent shares that she is being treated this way I ask what she thinks a co-worker or employee might do when spoken to in this manner. The answer is usually “she would quit.” “Exactly,” I say, “and you can quit too!” Not meanly or abruptly, but as a consequence for the child’s behaviour.

While understandable, this way of thinking keeps you working harder than your child and continues to perpetuate the negative cycle between you. Besides the obvious concerns with this dynamic, a child cannot feel proud of his or her accomplishments when you have done most of the work. In addition, a teacher will not be able to identify gaps in knowledge if a child gets the entire worksheets answers correct because of your knowledge and in the future, even if your child does get into that College of choice, how will he manage without you by his side? Along with taking a step back, only helping when your child requests it and even then, remaining true to what you are willing to tolerate, it is imperative that you not spoon feed the answers. Rather determine where your child is stuck and help him through the process so that he can understand more about how to get to the correct answer rather just what it is. When homework hassles are getting in the way of your relationship and the levels of stress in the household are way higher because of it, I often recommend hiring a tutor who can take this off your plate and a discussion with the teacher so that he or she understands more about what your child needs.

Presented in advance, its best for a parent to create boundaries as in “when you ask for my help, I need you to remain in the room – either attending to what I am reading or doing other homework. I also need you to ask for my help with enough notice that I don’t have to drop what I am doing immediately and not after (fill in the blank yourself)pm at night. If you call me names or yell at me, I will put the work aside and you will need to do it on your own.” Despite the script, quitting is not so easy especially if you’re worried about what will happen if you don’t stay to help, even after being treated poorly. You may worry that without help, your child’s grades will decline and in the future, may not be accepted into their University of choice. www.okanaganchild.com

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“At Least...” Where Good Intentions Can Go Wrong Susan Kast Bereavement Resource Centre I once received very sage advice about what not to say to a grieving person. “Anything that begins with ‘At least…’ is not likely to be helpful and is quite possibly going to be hurtful to a grieving person,” said my friend. “At least he isn’t suffering anymore, at least it was quick, or at least you can have more children are not choice words to share.” With the best of intentions we may say these things hoping to give some comfort by acknowledging how in some way it could have been worse. This intention of easing someone’s grief by somehow minimizing it and giving the message “perhaps you should be grateful it wasn’t worse” is poor comfort to someone who has had the bottom fall out of their world.

“Bill isn’t suffering anymore but it doesn’t make missing him any easier.” “He didn’t suffer, but I can only imagine the shock of losing him so suddenly.” “I’m so sorry to hear of your pregnancy loss, your baby would have been blessed to have you as a mom.” And sometimes the best support comes without words but with a presence that doesn’t shy away from the pain of their loss, and a willingness and openness to listen and hear the expression of the pain without giving advice or trying to make it feel better. When children experience the pain of loss it can be particularly difficult to hold back from messages that suggest they look on the bright side, because it is simply so hard to see a child in pain and our instinct is to put a stop to the pain. We also may not recognize the many losses that children experience that are not directly related to death.

What I have learned through my experience as a grief counsellor is that we tend to do better when we can recognize the full impact of our experience and allow expression for how it impacts our lives. We can be more helpful with words that express a willingness to understand the depth and breadth of the loss, such as: 12 l Spring 2016

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Children who are adopted or living in foster care have loss as a central experience in their lives. Central to their story is the experience of not being parented by the parents of their birth. For some children it may hold less emotional weight and for others it may be an unresolved source of pain. Questions like “What’s that like for you?” and being open to anything they have to say, can allow expression of their experience. Whereas, “At least you have a loving family that cares for you,” diminishes the significance of their grief and shuts down the opportunity to express themselves.

Other experiences of loss that may hold hidden grief for children include child refugees, children with an incarcerated parent, children of divorced parents, children whose parents are not emotionally available to them because of addictions or mental health struggles. While it is true that a positive attitude goes a long way in helping us through hard times, and there are always things we can be grateful for, grieving people (adults and children) need the opportunity to express themselves in their own time and in their own way. They may in time be able to express what they are grateful for amidst their tragedy, if they have the compassionate presence of a person willing to listen to the expression of their pain.

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For more information or to find out more about our programs please contact the Bereavement Resource Centre, a program of the Penticton and District Hospice Society at 250-490-1107 or email youthsupport@ pentictonhospice.com. We offer grief counselling for children, youth, and adults, either individually or in groups. Our child and youth counsellor is available to parents, teachers, and community agencies who are looking for more information on how to support grieving children and our lending library is well-stocked with resource material.

®

hautemama www.hautemama.c a

Ottawa (Kanata, ON) 1(866) 615-3800

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Safety cords Issue: Every year, Health Canada receives reports of children getting tangled in blind cords, which can quickly lead to strangulation and even death. Strangulation can occur when children: •

place their heads through a cord loop;

wrap a single long cord around their neck; or,

pull inner cords out of the window covering.

Health Canada continues to remind Canadians that the safest window coverings are ones that have no cords that you can see or touch. Removing corded window coverings is the best way to keep children safe.

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What you should do: In homes where children live or visit, it is recommended that any corded window coverings be replaced with cordless ones, especially in children’s rooms and places where children play. Strangulation can happen even when children are in places where parents think they are safe, such as in a crib or in a bedroom. Any type of blind cord, including cords on the side, inside, or on the back of a window covering, is a strangulation risk for children. Never put a crib, bed, highchair, or playpen near corded window coverings. If you cannot replace your corded window coverings, it is important to always keep cords up high and out of the reach of children and to follow Health Canada’s blind cord safety tips.

What Health Canada is doing: Health Canada is working in collaboration with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (U.S. CPSC) to educate consumers about the hazards of corded window coverings. The Department is also working with the Retail Council of Canada and its retail members across Canada to provide information about these hazards and what consumers can do to mitigate these risks when making purchasing decisions. www.okanaganchild.com


Health Canada regularly carries out market surveys to assess compliance of consumer products in Canada and to take appropriate enforcement actions. Since 2009, the Department has published 34 recall notices for corded window coverings. On August 1, 2015, Health Canada published a Notice to Interested Parties for consultation in Canada Gazette regarding possible amendments to the Corded Window Covering Products Regulations to help reduce the risk of strangulation posed by corded window covering products to children in Canada. The Department continues to analyze the comments received from industry and the public.

Report health or safety concerns If you experience a safety-related incident relating to a corded window covering or another consumer product, report it to Health Canada as well as the establishment where the product was purchased. Media enquiries Health Canada 613-957-2983 Public enquiries (613) 957-2991 1-866 225-0709

On October 1, 2015, Ikea Canada announced that its stores would only sell window blinds and coverings with no cords or non-accessible cords. Health Canada congratulates Ikea Canada for this voluntary action, and encourages other Canadian retailers to do the same. Today in Washington, D.C., Health Canada and the U.S. CPSC made clear our expectations for a strengthened standard that would eliminate the risk of strangulation from the vast majority of corded window covering products. The Department is hopeful that window covering manufacturers will publicly commit to do the right thing and quickly finalize a new standard for blinds that will eliminate the problem. However, Health Canada will move forward with a strong regulatory solution in the months ahead if a protective standard is not forthcoming. www.okanaganchild.com

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St Patrick’s Day craft activityvillage.co.uk Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick(Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick ( c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Paper Cup Leprechaun You will need: Polystyrene ball Paper cup Pink paint Green paint Wiggle eyes Green, black, yellow, orange, red and pink craft foam Black pen Glue

Instructions: Paint the ball pink and the cup green and leave to dry. Glue the ball to the bottom of the cup. Cut two arms from green foam and two hands from pink. Glue one hand to the end of each arm and the other ends of the arms to the body. Cut a strip of black foam and glue it around the middle of the cup as a belt. Add a buckle from a circle of yellow foam. Make a hat by cutting two hat shapes from green foam. Glue one either side of the head, sticking the edges together. Add a strip of black foam and a yellow foam buckle. From orange foam cut a beard and some hair. Glue these on. Finally, add two eyes, a red circle of foam for the the nose and draw on a mouth.

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Montessori Learning Lois Leonard/Stephanie Griffiths

The Montessori Method sets the foundation for the joy of exploring, discovery, and the love of learning through experienced based learning and guided play. These methods support both academic learning and development of self regulation skills. What is guided play, you may ask. Guided play is child directed – when children explore, discover, and learn by commenting on their discoveries, the teacher will ask open-ended questions about what children are finding. The small class sizes allow for more teacher-student interaction and experiences. With these practices the children are able to learn and perform well with the New BC Curriculum. *Registration Open Now*

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“The child should be nurtured to have a joy of discovery and a love of learning.”

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Spring Cleaning for your Head: Mental De-cluttering for Happier Parents by Laurie Zottmann Spring is an exciting time of year, full of sweet anticipation. The days are getting longer, brighter and warmer as nature shakes off her winter sleep and comes back to life. For many, it is a time to feel energized and tackle new goals with the family. However, if a long winter has left you drained, you may feel too bogged down by stress and fatigue to enjoy the season. Parenting is demanding work, and we can hit the wall at any time of year.   Take heart, it doesn’t take much to make a shift. Just committing to a few simple changes will help you shed that heavy overwhelm. Picture your stress like a dark, cluttered basement. A little tidying-up will create breathing space and free up energy. Your daily jobs will get easier, and you’ll ave more room for fun.

Step One: Take Out the Trash Like any cleaning project, a good mental cleanup starts with getting rid of the things you don’t need. Mostly, this includes self-criticism and unrealistic expectations. Being hard on yourself drains your energy, but it can be hard to notice. Pay attention to the voice in your head when you are feeling overwhelmed. Is it saying you are incompetent, or inferior to other people? Tell that voice to stop; it is not helping. 18 l Spring 2016

Action: Do something that helps quiet the mental chatter. Try walking, yoga, or mindfulness meditation. Just focus on what you are doing and keep gently pushing all other thoughts away. If you need some help getting still, try a class, online video, or cd. Listen as the instructor talks about releasing the urge to be critical. Notice your breath rolling in and out, your heart beating, and your whole body doing exactly what it should. Give yourself permission to just exist in your quiet, perfect body. Step Two: Define Your Purpose   A pleasant, well-organized space has a clear purpose, and so can your thoughts. One way to keep your headspace clear is to focus on a positive target. Your goal doesn’t have to be lofty or overwhelming, just something concrete that would make you feel good. What would make your load lighter? Maybe you want to make your weeknights stress-free by planning meals in advance, or letting your husband and kids take this on. Maybe you want to arrange babysitting and take yourself on a date once a week, or get your family out for a nightly after-dinner walk. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, it just needs to feel good.   www.okanaganchild.com


Action: Pick a feel-good goal and celebrate it. Share it with a friend, write it in a journal, or stick up inspiring pictures. Keep it in sight, work toward it, and remind yourself that you deserve it. Step Three: Organize   Ever drooled over a really great walk-in closet? The appeal isn’t just about largeness, it is about functional arrangement. When there is a place for everything, it is easy to use what you need, get your jobs done, and appreciate what you have. It also helps you notice when something doesn’t belong and get rid of it.   The best way to organize your brain is to externalize – get all those thoughts out where you can see them. Then, sort them into the time and place where they belong. Use a to-do list, calendar, or schedule to help you focus on one thing at a time. This frees your mind to do its easiest and best work. When intruding thoughts creep in, jot them onto your list and give yourself time to address them later.   Action: Find whatever “external brain” format works best for you. Paper lists and sticky notes are great if you like to hold your thoughts in your hand and rearrange them. If your smart phone is always nearby, try apps with to-do lists, reminders, and timers. For a nerdy thrill, savor the satisfaction of a white board, as you wipe away each completed task and watch your obligations get lighter.   The best thing about spring cleaning your head is that it doesn’t matter how you approach it. By simply taking the first step, you’re already shifting your focus towards feeling better. This spring, you owe it to yourself and your family to take care of your mind so you have the energy to enjoy this lively season.   Laurie is the mom of a four-year-old future litigator, and an eighteen month-old who is training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Her mental décor currently features a gym with great babysitting, where the sound of her breath bubbling in the pool fills her with calm clarity. www.okanaganchild.com

Did You Know? Mindfulness is Medicine More and more hospitals and universities are using mindfulness-based programs to treat medical conditions. This approach was pioneered in 1979 by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, who created the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Mainstream medicine began to embrace MBSR after the publication of a study in 2004 by Paul Grossman and colleagues, which proved that structured mindfulness programs improve outcomes with heart disease, cancer, pain, depression, and anxiety. Today, MBSR programs are offered by certified psychological and medical professionals all over the world. (continued on page 20)

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(continued from page 19)

10 Scripts to Ease Self-Criticism Having a script in mind makes it easier to speak up when you need to set a boundary. This applies when you need to stand up to your own critical voice. Try these phrases to quiet your inner nitpicker.   1. I do not have to convince anyone that I am good enough. I just am. 2. No one is perfect, but we can all do great work. 3. I care about my work, and I can do it well. 4. I do not need shame or fear to perform well. 5. I do my best work when I feel calm. 6. I deserve to feel good and be gentle with myself. 7. Everyone has their own struggles, and we all do our best to cope. 8. No approach works for everyone, but everyone can find something that works for them. 9. I am happy and successful when I do what works for me. 10. I can acknowledge my weaknesses without forgetting my goodness.

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Resources to Clear Your Head   palousemindfulness.com Online free MBSR   Visit Palouse mindfulness to participate in a structured Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. You will find articles, video seminars and guided exercises to develop mindfulness, a physical and emotional state that makes stress feel lighter and problem-solving come more easily.   The Way of the Wizard by Deepak Chopra Book and audio book   The Way of the Wizard is a comforting read, describing the spiritual education of the young King Arthur. Before he pulled the sword from the stone, Arthur studied with the wizard Merlin and learned that we can all experience the wizard’s peace and limitless potential by seeing our connection to all things and the perfection in every moment.   larakrupicka.com Family bucket list expert, living the bucket list life   Visit Krupicka’s site for inspiration to turn the drudge of family life into exciting, purposeful work. Set feel-good goals for you and your family and work toward them as a team.   YouTube.com   Search YouTube for free resources, such as guided meditations, soundtracks for meditation, relaxation, focusing, or sleep, and instructional videos for yoga and other workouts.

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Resource Directory This Issue Brightpath Early Learning & Child Care brightpathkids.com 250.860.9788 Kelowna 250.452.6866 Westbank

Breastfeeding Clinics / Support

hautemama hautemama.ca 1.866.615.3800 Maternity, nursing and beyond

Childcare Resource & Referral Kelowna Child Care Resource & Referral
 #4 - 1890 Ambrosi Rd.
Kelowna, BC 250.762.3536 www.childcarechoices.ca

Kelowna & District Safety Council kdsc.bc.ca info@kdsc.bc.ca 250.765.3163 FB 888.580.7233

Okanagan Breastfeeding Coalition 330 Ellis St., Penticton, BC www.okanaganbreastfeeding.org

Kelowna Breastfeeding Cafe kelownabreastfeedingcafe.com facebook.com/KelownaBreastfeedingCafe

Penticton Child Care Resource & Referral
 330 Ellis St.,
Penticton, BC 250.492.2926
 www.kelownachildcare.com

Kelowna Resource Centre Family Friendly familyfriendly@kcr.ca 250.763.8008 ext 136

Vernon Child Care Resource & Referral
 3300- 37th Avenue,
Vernon, BC 250.542.3121 
 www.ccrrvernon@boysandgirlsclubs.ca

Music & Movement janharveymusic.com facebook.com/musicandmovement4children Oyaco grobag by oyaco facebook.com/oyacoproducts oyaco.com Penticton Bereavement Resource Centre pentictonbereavementresources.com 250.490.1107 Royal Soccer Club royalsoccer.com 1.800.427.0536 Silly of the Valley www.sillyofthevalley.com 250.899.8300/250.899.5341 Starlight Drive In starlightdrivein.ca 250.838.6757 Front Cover Photographer

SJ Photography facebook.com/sheila.jayson 250.718.1528 Last Issue Photographer

Midwives and doulas Doula Services Association, BC 604.515.5588 www.bcdoulas.org Midwives Asscoation of BC 604.736.5976 www.bcmidwives.com Alternative Schooling

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 Osoyoos Health Centre 4816 89th Street Osoyoos, BC 250.495.6433 Oliver Health Centre 930 Spillway Road Oliver, BC 250.498.5080

Cedar Bridge www.whywaldorfworks.com 250.547.9212

Pleasant Valley Health Centre 3800 Patten Drive Armstrong BC 250.546.4700

Kelowna Waldorf School www.KelownaWaldorf.org 250.764.4130

Photography & Portraits

Mind Over Learning www.mindoverlearning.com 250.860.0084

Bobbi Sloan Photography www.bobbisloanphotography.com

Summerland Montessori School www.summerlandmontessori.com 250.494.7266

Captured by Kelsey www.capturedbykelsey.ca

Everyday Little Moments www.everydaylittlemoments.com Carly Blake Photography carlyblakephotography@live.ca

Shantelle Lynn Photography shantellelynnphotography@hotmail.com www.okanaganchild.com

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How To Be in the Moment and Be Happy 30 Minute Hit Penticton When it comes to being in the best possible place with our health and fitness, there’s two things we need to achieve. We need to be happy where we are. Pretty obvious, right?  If we’re not happy with our day to day, focused on the positives, grateful for the good, the strengths, abilities and freedoms we have right now, our lives are sad and uninspired.   We have to be cool with our current reality even if sometimes we wish our jeans were just a little looser.

We need to have a vision for the future. Happiness is all well and good but humans are wired to progress, to get better, to achieve goals all in the name of fulfillment.  We need to have something to shoot for, a reason to work as hard we do. It can be difficult to achieve these two things.  Often we find ourselves in a few other places first.  Maybe we’re….

2. Happy in the moment and no vision for the future. This seems like it might be ok.  Sure, you’re la dee da happy right now BUT without a plan for the future you may find yourself one day in a rough place.  Maybe overweight, really out of shape and with serious health issues.  What we pay attention to grows, so we have to pay attention to our health and fitness.  It’s important to take charge of the direction of your life and that requires some foresight, a plan and some goal-setting! 3. Vision for the future but unhappy in the moment.  This is so common for women.  It’s that dangerous state of always believing if you lose 5 lbs, you’ll be happy.  But that never happens so you think ‘if I just lose 10 or fit in a size two or look like Cameron Diaz, then it’ll all be good’.  It’s completely hinging your happiness on ‘when I get there.’  Whether you achieve the ideals or not,

1. Not happy in the moment and no vision for the future. This is the worst place to be.  It means you are unhappy with your health, your body and those negative feelings affect you every day.  You lack self confidence, energy and passion.  It also means you have no plan of action, no motivation and no real desire to affect change.  If you find yourself here, you need help!

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you’re still never happy because you’re always focused on the future. It’s good to have goals (healthy ones, thank you very much) but it’ll be a pretty miserable existence if you can’t be joyful and grateful for what you have right now.

Think about it. Which version of YOU is more likely to go for a tough workout and choose healthier food options?  Bummed out, hating yourself OR happy, pumped on your life and who you are?  Easy answer. So make a conscious effort to be happy where you are.  Focus on all the things you are doing right and the great changes you’ve made.  Don’t compare yourself to others.  Be truly thankful for the health you have.  Then set a goal or have a vision for where you want to be in the future.  Maybe you want to be fit enough to take on a new sport, healthy enough to outrun your kids or confident enough to rock a bikini.  Be in the moment and be happy. Fix your gaze on your goal and go get it!

4. Happy in the moment and a vision for the future.  Like mentioned before, this is the optimal state to function from.  It’s being proud of how far you’ve come, how much you’ve accomplished and you feel truly grateful for your journey.  You feel only positive emotions towards yourself

and you never berate yourself. All this positive energy will propel you like a rocket towards your future goals.  No negativity to hold you back.  Sometimes we worry that if we stop being hard on ourselves we’ll start slacking.  That is rarely true!  Negative self talk will only sap your energy. 

www.okanaganchild.com

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Okanagan Child Spring 2016  
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