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SUPPORTING PARENTS THROUGH THE EARLY YEARS

JUNE 2015 – JULY 2015

266

we are family Same-sex parenting

just do it baby! A Kiwi guide to play

i am that guy

Raising a child with a disability

matariki

Putting family at the heart of celebrations

all you need is love Raising the grandchildren

get your entries in to the 2015 Photo Competition

ALSO INSIDE:

The magazine of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc

Parenting tips • Childbirth • Family finances • Breastfeeding • Lifestyle • Family health


SCHOOL LUNCHES

MFB692/1-KP

MADE EASY

MY

My Lunch Box provides you with four days of simple, healthy & delicious lunches and snacks for your kid’s growing appetite.

BOX

With easy, child-friendly recipes designed by our Head Chef and Dietitian Nadia Lim, you’ll know that your kids are eating a balanced, healthy and delicious lunch at school.

LUNCH

For more information, visit www.myfoodbag.co.nz


kid's lunchboxes

sorted!

If you are worn down by the weekly challenge of finding something tasty and nutritious to fuel your children when they are at school, then this new initiative from My Food Bag home delivery service could be just the thing to make your life easier. They have just introduced a lunchbox option of quick and easy recipes and ingredients for healthy school meals.

My Food Bag co-founder Cecilia Robinson says there has been increasing demand from customers for a lunchbox option. “Families recognise the My Food Bag convenience and healthy food factors can also work brilliantly for school lunchboxes.” Each Sunday afternoon, a large, shiny silver box is delivered to your door packed full of recipes and ingredients for four days of healthy lunches, snacks and baking. The tasty lunch portions are perfect for primary school aged kids – and helping to unpack the box of goodies is great to get children interested in what they will be eating at school! All the recipes are designed to be quick and easy to put together - something every parent knows is especially important on busy school mornings. The first week of options included recipes (and ingredients) for items such as a banger and pasta salad, kumara and chipolata salad and two kinds of wraps for main lunches, accompanied by carrot and banana muffins as a baked treat. There were also plenty of carrots, cucumber and celery to serve as a vegetable snack, as well as popcorn to make up for two of the days.

Lunch meals are provided for only four days based on feedback that many schools do special days for lunch once a week - such as fish and chip Fridays. My Lunch Box options are available in all the places My Food Bag delivers. Customers can select from the following options: One child lunch box for $33.99 (four lunches a week for one child) Two children lunch box for $57.99 (four lunches a week for two children) One child lunch box + four Suckies for $39.99 Two children lunch box + eight Suckies for $69.99 � www.myfoodbag.co.nz

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Photo Credit: Accent photography www.accentphotography.co.nz

Kristal and family

Special Features

Features

We are family

Kid's lunchboxes – sorted!.............................................. 1

Kristal O’Neil................................................................................. 8–12

Letters to the Editor............................................................. 4–5

A Kiwi guide to playing with children Sarah Amy Glensor Best........................................................... 14–19

Every second counts – know the signs of meningitis..................................... 28–29

Product page............................................................................ 6–7 Souper! – My Food Bag kitchen................................... 20–21 Keep allergies at bay............................................................ 22–23 Top tips for labour support people............................. 24–25 I’ve got an itch to scratch................................................. 26

The hardest part is saying goodbye

Conception myths

Amanda Kidman.......................................................................... 34–36

Lisa Manning................................................................................ 30–32

Matariki

Congratulations! You just got a new brother or sister........................... 38

– putting family at the heart of celebrations......... 46–49

Parents Centre Pages........................................................... 39–45

Kiwiparent Photo Competition..................................... 50–53

2015 Big Latch On................................................................ 54 Questions to ask when choosing a midwife.......... 55

Ipu whenua – honouring the uniqueness of the placenta......... 56–57 All you need is love – grandparents raising grandchildren....................... 62–65

Manage motion sickness

Judy Coldicott................................................................................ 58–59

Saving a bundle on your bundle of joy ................... 60–61 Wiinners from the last two issues............................... 73 Find a Centre........................................................................... 74

I am that guy Kelly Dugan................................................................................... 66–69

Help me to focus – understanding ADHD.............. 70–72

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kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Directory page......................................................................... 75 Shopping Cart......................................................................... 76–79 Giveaways.................................................................................. 80


SUPPORTING PARENTS THROUGH THE EARLY YEARS

JUNE 2015 – JULY 2015

What makes us unique

We are family Modern families. Same-sex parents. Donors. Making babies. It all seems a bit confusing, but is the world of same-sex parenting as different as you think? What do you really need to know? Why should you care?

A Kiwi guide to playing with children Play doesn’t have to cost anything. We don’t need to go anywhere special to play. We are playing whenever we decide that we’re playing, no matter what we’re doing. Washing dishes? Playing. Grocery shopping? Playing. Weeding the garden? Yes, you guessed it. Playing!

I am that guy… Kelly Dugan is the public face of SmileDial, the charity that supports families with children with special needs. He also has a child with Cerebral Palsy. Kelly writes candidly and movingly about being that guy, that family. The ones you see at the park and you think, “I wonder what is wrong with that kid”.

Kiwiparent – Since 1954 the magazine of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Editor

Leigh Bredenkamp Ph (04) 472 1193 Fax (04) 938 6242 Mobile (0274) 572 821 leighb@e–borne.co.nz PO Box 28 115, Kelburn, 6150

Editorial Enquiries Ph (04) 233 2022 or (04) 472 1193 info@e–borne.co.nz

Advertising Sales

Taslim Parsons Ph (04) 233 2022 x8804 Mo 021 1860 323 t.parsons@parentscentre.org.nz

Design

Baseline Group

Printer

Image Centre Group

Publisher

Viv Gurrey, Chief Executive Officer, Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Phone (04) 233 2022 Opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher. Advertising in this magazine does not imply endorsement by Parents Centres. Generally material in this publication may be reproduced provided it is used for non–commercial purposes and the source is acknowledged. However, written permission must be sought from the editor. Kiwiparent is proud to support the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981.

Our family life is defined by traditions. They give shape and form to the year and are eagerly marked and watched for by young (children) and old (me!) alike. Whether we are celebrating a birthday, mid-winter, Easter, Waitangi Day or Halloween, each occasion has something special to make it a milestone to look forward to. So this time of year is great! From the depths of a Wellington winter, we look forward to celebrating Matariki and love the fact that it is a uniquely Kiwi festival. A perfect time to look skywards as the long nights and short days mean that there are plenty of opportunities to dress up warmly, head outside and try to spot the star clusters like Rigel (Puanga), Orion’s Belt (Tuatoru) and Sirius (Takurua). I put a big store in recognising and appreciating the many people who help smooth life’s sometimes bumpy path, so we send thank you notes to teachers, sports coaches, colleagues and friends. I believe it is important for the little ones to be involved in this as well. It provides the perfect opportunity to talk about all those who make a difference to our lives and gives them a sense of connection to their community. To celebrate Matariki, we host a large crowd to a midwinter dinner – wha¯nau and friends join us with each family contributing a dish from their country of origin. We insist everyone sits together at the table, no matter how young, this has meant we are pretty squashed at times with over 20 sitting down to eat, but no one minds. We migrated to New Zealand over 30 years ago, and many of our friends also have their roots in other cultures and countries even though Aotearoa is now our home. This means we have a fantastic variety of foods at the table and plenty of opportunity to talk about where we have come from and what has brought us to this corner of the globe. In a world where we are constantly confronted with changes, it is nice to know that family traditions are there to anchor us and provide us with a sense security. Celebrating wha¯nau is an important part of Matariki and in this day and age, families come in all shapes and sizes. Matariki celebrates the diversity of life. It’s a celebration of culture, language, spirit and people. In this issue we are given a glimpse into the lives of same-sex parents, families raising a child with disabilities and grandparents who have taken on the role of primary caregiver for their grandchildren. While family compositions may differ, there is plenty that binds us – love for our children, concern for their welfare, pride in what they are and dreams for what they could one day become. The joys and frustrations of raising children are shared by us all irrespective of family composition or culture.

ISSN 1173–7638

Nga¯ Mihi o Te Tau Hou

www.kiwiparent.co.nz

Leigh Bredenkamp

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letters to the editor Top letter winner Congratulations to the top letter winner D. Parsons who receives a prize pack from Bio Oil.

This prize pack contains a range of Bio-Oil products including a 200ml bottle Bio-Oil, a tranquility lavender candle and a cosmetic bag.

Top letter

A fan of responsive parenting I want to congratulate Kiwiparent magazine for the responsive parenting story. I am a mum of two boys, a 21 year old and a six and a half month old. Back when I was a young 21 year old mother I was given well-meaning advice from all quarters including my dearest mother. This advice was all I knew and I thought it was the best advice considering my mum had bought up five children (with the help of Dad of course) and we all seemed to turn out ok. So, armed with this advice, I started out motherhood with the best of intentions, starting a sleep, bath, change, feed and so on routine, all to be very disappointed and not to mention extremely tired and for the most part stressed out, when my gorgeous little boy wouldn’t comply with my carefully thought out routine! I continued on and eventually after about 3 years it started to pan out, albeit because I think the poor little boy was tired of all the nagging! Not to say I didn’t give him all the love and cuddles because I did. With my youngest I decided I wasn’t going to stress myself out or put another one of my children through the whole routine palava…not saying it’s the worst thing in the world, but that it just did not work for me. So I embarked on another journey that changed my whole life and that in a nutshell is what I now know as responsive parenting! I made sure that

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nothing was going to be a problem. What I mean by this is, if my son needing feeding no matter what time of the day or night he would be fed or any other need taken care of. I would not let him cry in distress as I felt this would not benefit him or me. I kept him very close to me in the first six weeks either in a baby sling or where he could see me which I can say I absolutely loved. The only thing I didn’t do was co sleeping as I was frightened of rolling onto him, so a moses basket next to our bed is where he slept for four months until he moved into his cot in the nursery. Even now he is not very far away if he needs me. I’m not saying this is for every parent as it took me time to learn the different cries and their meaning but my little guy is happy and contented because of what I believe is the responsive parenting way. I think he knows that he is safe and secure that he is able to explore and grow which is what I wanted for my first son but really I had no idea. For me it is now intuitive and I always feel like I know what my son needs and what I’m doing is right which makes me feel so much more in control, stress free and happy being a mum to a little one again. So thanks again for the wonderful and enlightening story.

D. Parsons, via email

0800 600 998


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Our youngest reader! I was collecting up some of the old editions of Kiwiparent for the local book fair. However, Mister 6.5 months had other ideas...and I snapped this. Looks like we may need to keep them for his perusing pleasure. He just loves the photos of all the babies. Thought it might make you smile.

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Sheila Kitzinger – a wise and amazing woman In April, Sheila Kitzinger – a powerful advocate for natural childbirth and home births – died in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom at the age of 86. She dedicated her career to the idea that giving birth should be an exhilarating and rewarding experience, taken out of the hands of obstetricians and medical staff and given back to women.

She wrote more than two dozen books, gaining a global audience as she waged an unrelenting crusade advocating the mother's right to be at the centre of the birthing process. Thanks to her and other like-minded campaigners, it became normal to see partners present at the birth, and to understand the importance of breastfeeding to maternal and infant health.

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Sheila rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s, confronting the medical establishment with her belief that mothers, not clinicians and their rigid procedures, should be the focus during childbirth. In the 1980s she developed the concept of a birth plan aiming to give more choice to pregnant women. With her relentless campaigning she changed traditional attitudes to childbirth, challenging the medical fraternity which expected women to do what they were told and let the experts handle things.

Y EA R S


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Goat Milk skincare range from BabyU BabyU Goat Milk skincare is suitable for babies and toddlers with sensitive skin. It contains no harsh chemicals, parabens, artificial colours or SLS. Available at pharmacies nation wide. www.uslconsumer.co,nz

Introducing … My Lunch Box We're thrilled to announce that we've launched another tasty 'extra' to add to your regular My Food Bag subscription – My Lunch Box. Now you’ll always know the answer when your kids ask “what’s for lunch?” My Lunch Box is packed full of goodness with four days of lunches and snacks so there’s plenty of healthy food to satisfy a growing appetite. With child-friendly recipes designed by our head chef and dietitian Nadia Lim, you'll know that your kids are eating a balanced, healthy and delicious lunch at school! With My Lunch Box you can choose from: One child lunch box for $33.99 (4 lunches per week for one child) Two children lunch box for $57.99 (4 lunches per week for two children) www.myfoodbag.co.nz

Lavender in a tissue It’s just like touching petals. Feel the softness of this new KLEENEX® tissue in your hand, scrunch it a little, and sense the fragrance of real lavender grown in France floating in the air. Yes, aromatherapy has arrived in the tissue aisle. For a pack of 85 tissues, each encapsulating the relaxing, calming scent of French lavender, pick one up for RRP $3.35 at your supermarket or pharmacy and imagine you have a lavender day spa in your own bathroom. www.kleenex.com

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kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


Keep your family safe with Buccaline Just one course of Buccaline tablets gives everyone from young children to the very elderly safe protection for up to three months from the bacterial complications of colds. Available from pharmacies nation wide. Ask your pharmacist if Buccaline is right for you. RRP $14.99 TAPS Approval No: PP3906 www.pharmabroker.co.nz

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Modern families. Same-sex parents. Donors. Making babies. It all seems a bit confusing, but is the world of same-sex parenting as different as you think? What do you really need to know? Why should you care? When you have children people assume you are straight, full-stop. I am always assumed to be straight and in a relationship. You can't 'tell'. We don't carry signs on our heads. (Hmm, now there's an idea....) I'm a sociable woman and like a good chat. I invariably end up inviting mums or dads over for coffee, or hanging out at the park. Then comes the questions regarding my husband, asking about my kid's dad, or when I got married. Sometimes I have to out myself repeatedly in the same day. It's exhausting, and as one woman in my research thesis said, it's really boring. We have to be prepared not just for a reaction, but for any nosey questions that may follow. That person might not want to be friends or might sidle off embarrassed (yes, this happens). I'd think it was a bit weird if someone came up and proclaimed that they were straight. In the same way, it's not always necessary to say that I am gay. Please know – it's not that we are being dishonest; but it can be a nuisance having to tell complete strangers about our sexual orientation unnecessarily. On the flip side, this perpetuates the invisibility factor.

Nosey questions are sometimes upsetting, sometimes rude and almost always irritating. In my experience they fall into two camps: a) plain annoying and intrusive, and b) curious (but still feels intrusive). I get the 'here we go...' feeling, and steel myself with a smile on my face. Put yourself in my shoes. It's not nice to be asked questions about how your children were conceived, who their father is, or any other personal type stuff about your sexual history or relationship. Added to this is the fact that we are not just considering ourselves but what is best for our children and their privacy. Some people go so far as to badger other people who know us (particularly straight friends who they think will spill the beans!) or get the kids on their own and quiz them about who their Daddy is. Wooh. Not cool. Rest assured, people will tell you information like this about themselves and their family when they trust and feel comfortable with you. At the risk of sounding grumpy – until that point, it really is none of your business. Having said that, I really enjoyed educating people from time-to-time. Often people have bizarre misconceptions about same-sex couples with children. Many believe that our children are all conceived in clinics, particularly IVF, when in fact many children are conceived at home using the good old syringe AKA turkey baster method. It only takes a spoonful!

Statistics New Zealand does not collect information about sexual orientation. According to the last census there are somewhere in the range of 3000 children being raised by same-sex couples, with about 80% being female. It’s tricky to collect accurate data though, as solo parents make up approximately 18% of NZ families yet don't have their sexual orientation identified in census data.

10 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


Our family doesn't get all worked up about biological connections either, so people are often puzzled about the role of the other parent who is also female. When we had our second baby, we were asked if they had the same ‘dad’ (as this was important to them). Some assume that we keep our kids in the dark about their biology and whakapapa when in fact it's usually quite the opposite. As are the connections our children have with male role models and donors/fathers/dads themselves. Sometimes the questions can open a can of worms for instance who carried and birthed the baby. Why is this so important to people? Or the classic 'how do you decide who carries?'. That's a complex decision. For us it involved infertility, donors, age, family dynamics, earnings and career progression. People’s language can make all the difference. Many people refer to 'dads', not realising that this term is perhaps not well suited as it implies an active care-giving and parental role. There are questions you can ask that show you care and are interested in a good way. For instance, I don't mind one bit if someone asks me what my children call me and my partner. This shows respect for our family formation. People who ask this are trying to be consistent by calling us by the same names that our children do. Nice.

“Many studies have demonstrated that children’s well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents’ sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents,” Benjamin Siegel, professor of pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine.

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There's a silver lining. There's no denying that parenting really does unite. A sulky teenager is a sulky teenager, a temperamental tot is a temperamental tot, no matter who’s doing the parenting. Same-sex couples cope with these challenges, in addition to the more serious ones like infertility and miscarriage, just as straight couples do. During our infertility struggles my opposite-sex couples support was invaluable and vice versa. Though same-sex led families are fairly new on the scene, research shows that children being raised in lesbian-led families are doing just as well, if not better, than children raised in straight families. Sadly, the biggest difference appears to be that these families experience stigma and discrimination on multiple levels. The good news is that New Zealand has a lot of intelligent and caring individuals who are keen to break down divides in terms of socio-economic status, sexual orientation and cultural background. At the end of the day we all share the same fears and joys for our children. It should go without saying, but we really love our kids. People in same-sex couples are more likely to be working, have higher level occupations and higher earnings than heterosexual couples (Statistics New Zealand, 2010). All our babies are planned for and longed for. No 'woopsies' happen in our neck of the woods. Some of us spend years and years planning, searching for donors, trying to conceive, saving up to pay for clinic services and braving people's disapproval. If kids are saying mean things to other kids about their parents, this is usually a reflection of what they hear at home. Monkey say monkey do and all that. Be careful what you say in earshot of your kids, at any age.

12 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Be brave. It's easy to say things simply and kindly to your children. Be honest and explain things. "Justin has two mums, he has Mama Kelly and Mama Bea. They are his parents" should do to start with. As children grow you can explain things a little more. Remind kids that everyone has different types of families and role model kind and respectful behaviour. As a child, I recall being one of the few children with a divorced parent. Fast forward twenty years and I don't know many people who haven’t experienced some variation to their family configuration. Things change, attitudes change, and people change. Whether you realise it or not, your actions towards others – including children – can make a real positive impact. �

Kristal O’Neill Kristal has a masters (Hons) in nursing, is an RN and has worked in mental health sice 2005 including teaching and clinical education at a university level. Her research relating to the transition to parenthood has been published in magazines and peerreviewed journals. Kristal has travelled to the UK, South America and Europe. She has a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old, two cats, and an amazing partner who does lots around the house and gets up in the night.


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a Kiwi guide to playing

WITH CHILDREN

Step one: find a child Step two: do whatever you’re doing together Step three: experience being in the moment together and appreciate the sanctity of that moment There. You’re playing!

14 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Play doesn’t have to cost anything. We don’t need to go anywhere special to play. We are playing whenever we decide that we’re playing, no matter what we’re doing. Washing dishes? Playing. Grocery shopping? Playing. Weeding the garden? Yes, you guessed it. Playing! Play is what we’re doing all day, every day, whether we’re aware that’s what we are doing or not. However, when we notice an opportunity for play (and every moment can be an opportunity for play) and embrace this as an important part of our day, our children benefit greatly. Oh, and so do we. Play is a beautiful way to delight in being human and, as it so happens, our brains are designed such that we learn about life far more easily while playing.


OK, so this is all very well but isn’t play supposed to be fun? And some of the jobs we have to do each day just aren’t fun! And what’s more, there’s just not enough time to play!

Smile

Hmm, yes, well this is where it gets interesting… Let’s take a look at some of the things we need to do every day.

Sing a song about the weather as it is today, or what you have planned to do

Waking What’s the first thing we do and say to our children once we’re awake? Do they know we’re happy to see them? Are they feeling excited about the day, safe and inspired to get on with the important work of growing their brains? Here are some ideas to support a positive start to a play-full day:

Acknowledge that it is a special moment you are sharing with your child, preparing for the day together

Act out what it could be like wearing something too cold, too hot, too flowing, too tight Create a fun or crazy naked dance to celebrate your beautiful human bodies Enjoy your child’s growing creativity and sense of self as they choose their own clothes Dress yourself in their clothes briefly with a cheeky smile, amazement or other theatrical expression

Smile

Get dressed together while chatting to each other

Acknowledge that it is a special moment you are sharing with your child, the first for this day

Put clothes on different body parts for fun.

Create a morning song or dance together – or even better, do both at the same time Work out a ritual to share every morning celebrating those first moments together such as holding a hug longer than usual, a hand-clapping routine, a little game of peek-a-boo or hide and seek Sit together for a few moments and look out the window or at something beautiful Talk about what you’d really like to enjoy together on this particular day Wish each other a wonder-full day ahead.

Dressing When we dress each morning we have moments of vulnerability, of creativity, of contemplating the outside world, of autonomy. Each stage of dressing can be done such that we feel safe and confident in ourselves, ready to engage with other people and the world. Play can be utilised throughout this process:

Eating Eating food is ideally a very pleasurable experience. Within our families’ boundaries for acceptable eating behaviour we can spice up the mealtimes to support children’s optimal brain development, enhance our relationship with them and generate positive attitudes to food and eating. Smile Take a moment to breathe before eating and appreciate this moment you are about to share with your child Create a song, words of gratitude or a ritual together for the food you’re about to eat Discuss where your food has journeyed from and what it’s experienced to get to your plate Lay out the food in a fun way Have your child serve you Put out an array of food options and allow children to serve themselves

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Tell your child you love eating celery when you’re really eating carrots (or watermelon instead of grapes, desert sand instead of cheese…) Children love a silly game or two here and there. Expand your creativity and theatrics. No limits. Enjoy! Close eyes or use a blindfold and have a tasting session together Pretend you’re a waiter and take your child’s order (and vice versa).

Washing dishes or clothes Water play! What more can I say? Smile Notice the opportunity for another special moment to share with your child Talk about which dishes can be washed without the chance of being broken. Let your child go for it with them (with you nearby as safety around water is of paramount importance) Consider together which dishes could possibly break, separate them out and make a plan for those: Your child washes them especially carefully while you watch closely You wash those items with your child You do the washing of those yourself Work together side by side or both hands in the sink, tub or bucket Stand on towels and swish your bodies around to dry up the water off the floor Sing a happy working song Take a break and dance around together before continuing on Get wet while washing up – splosh!

Driving These days we seem to spend a lot of time in our cars, driving here, going there. How we are behaving while transporting our little ones around is being imprinted on their brains. When we are relaxed and happy our children pick up that energy and can enjoy a period of restoring calm and balance to their bodies – so important within the busyness of our lives. Long journeys can often be a source of bonding and enjoyment. Let’s consider how. Smile (even in the back seat your children can pick up when you are making a conscious effort to relax – and for those who really do have eyes in the back of your heads, your children can feel the sparkling, safe energy emanating from them) Appreciate this time of sitting and breathing together, knowing that you are alive Sing songs about anything, everything Explain what you’re doing with the various knobs and levers and pedals Let your child sit in the driver’s seat while the car is off and use these intriguing devices Create a quiet space. Sometimes children love to look out the window and dream while you focus on smiling and driving safely Play car games such as I Spy, Spotto, What am I?, looking for number plates, looking for colours, or shapes or buildings, or vehicles, or people, anything goes… Ask your child to give you directions to get home (and sometimes go the wrong way on purpose)

16 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


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Housework It’s got to be done. By someone. At some point. Before the rats take over. Since it’s so necessary, let’s support children getting involved from as early as possible. Babies will be taking in all the various household activities we’re doing even from inside the womb – the sounds, the rhythms, the routines and the energy we create within and around us. After a while they’re keen to give it a try too. It’s never too early to have a little apprentice learning the ropes so take my advice and never (ok, hardly ever) say no to their request to help. Let’s also consider how we’re doing these jobs and inject fun and play-fullness into them all. Smile Breathe and notice that you are alive and have a chance to interact with another human being Take on the job very slowly and talk about each stage of what you’re doing Have your child work alongside you and copy your every move Have your child lead the proceedings and you do what you’re asked to do

So, there are several ways to turn but a few of the many things we do on a daily basis into play or, rather, to bring out the play that’s available to us in everything we do. And just in case you’re needing any more to be getting on with today, here are some 'Right Now Play' ideas for creating play-full experiences wherever, whenever, whatever: Smile. Extend the smile right down into your heart and right up into your eyes. Give your eyes a little flash for extra special impact

Set a timer and work together to complete the job within that time

Use big hand, arm and body gestures and theatrical facial expressions to mix it up, no matter what you’re doing together

Dance or sing while doing the work, or if possible do them both together

Pretend to forget what you’re supposed to be doing and ask your child for help

Act as if you’re not sure what is needed and ask your child for help

Look all around the room with big eyes then suddenly lock onto your child’s eyes, do this over and over

18 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


Mmmmoooovvvveeee sssslllloooowwwwllllyyyy Speed up for a few moments before going back to slow or normal speed Twirl around and around just for fun Walk somewhere backwards, or sideways, or using granny-steps Hold hands and dance around Turn whatever you’re doing right now into an adventure utilising wide eyes and an air of mystery and intrigue Use your whisper voice or suddenly lose your voice altogether and try to still communicate Random tickles or cuddles or a spontaneous hand or back massage Stop, drop and roll – just do it baby! Ha, haa, anything goes. These ideas are just the beginning, the tip of an infinite iceberg of play opportunities. To bring our inner playfulness out into our experiences with our children all we really need to do is recall that love of life we have inside of us, appreciate the moments of togetherness with another human being and focus on the present as if it were all that mattered right now. Because it really and truly is.

Happy playing. Arohanui, Sarah x �

Sarah Amy Glensor Best Sarah has just had her first book Changing the World is Child’s Play published by Ako Books, and has plans for many more. Sarah lives in Wellington with her husband Richard and their daughters aged six, nine and eleven. She has been involved in Playcentre over the last decade with learning alongside her children on sessions, running the sessions, participating in national conferences and facilitating adult education programmes. Sarah is a kaiako/educator for Brainwave Trust Aotearoa and has recently established her own business Children Change – www.childrenchange.co.nz – which has a mission to inspire, educate and motivate people such that their choices and interactions support children, themselves and others to reach their potential in life.

Changing the World is Child's Play Inspirations for making everyday moments count By Sarah Amy Glensor Best Published by Ako Books, RRP $34.95 Sarah Amy Glensor Best is a woman with a mission – she wants adults to remember how to play and enjoy every moment they have to spend with their children, often less time than they would like as busy lives nibble away the opportunity to be together as a family. Sarah has written a book packed full of ideas on ways to spend quality time together. Each double opening of the book presents the reader with a new set of ideas for making the most of everyday things. The suggestions transcend all ages and can be adapted depending on the age of your child. And her ideas do not involve spending a fortune either - making musical instruments out of every day items, appreciating the beauty of your surroundings, and having fun dancing and singing together are just a few ideas to help you to be present in the moment. Even something as ordinary as a trip to the park, beach or supermarket can provide a golden opportunity to maximise the time with your child – and help to unlock

your inner child so that you remember that play is learning, and having a laugh together can do a world of good! This book is ideally suited to grazing – flick through the pages to get inspiration. There are helpful hints, encouraging advice and some brilliant ideas for simply having fun on every page, laid out in an inviting and accessible way. In Sarah’s own words: “So, go forth and play! Play with love, play with life and give yourselves a pat on the back for what you are doing: for yourselves, for children and for our world.”

“Play is central to all aspects of human development, and while it's a simple idea, it is one of the most complicated processes of systems integration and cognitive stimulation we know of. Changing the World is Child's Play manages to wrangle all this complexity into a human centred, storytelling approach that all parents can understand.” Nathan Mikaere-Wallis and Miriam McCaleb Renowned Aotearoa educators in child development and parenting practices.

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kiwiparent

19


souper! Soup can be one of the healthiest, most convenient lunches to take to work. Make a big batch, let it cool, and then ladle individual portions into containers or plastic ziplock bags and freeze (it will last for months). Take to work and all you have to do is tip it into a bowl and heat it up in the microwave.

Soup is a great way to boost your vegetable intake – pumpkin, carrot, broccoli, parsnip – you can use almost any vegetable in a soup! Stir through some chopped spinach until it wilts for extra vegetables. On top of that, more vitamins and minerals are retained from the vegetables in soup as you aren’t throwing away the cooking water (when you boil vegetables, water-soluble vitamins leach out into the water which then gets drained away).


If you are trying to cut down on the portion size of food you eat at dinner time (i.e. for people wanting to lose weight), having a bowl of vegetable soup before dinner can be a great way to get lots of nutrients in and help fill you up, so you’re not so ravenous at dinner time and eat less. Did you know that chicken soup has actually been proven to help combat flus and colds? This isn’t down to any magic reason though, but simply because it helps keep people hydrated (you need lots of fluid when you’re sick, and the salt in the soup also helps you retain the fluid), it is easy to eat (when people may not feel that hungry), and the steam from a piping hot bowl of soup can help relieve congestion. Roasting vegetables – e.g. pumpkin, kumara or parsnip – before blending them creates a soup with a more intense flavour, as opposed to boiling the vegetables. - My Food Bag Test Kitchen

Creamy chicken and veggie soup with soft dinner rolls SOUP

½ cup long grain rice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups chicken stock (made from powder)

1 brown onion, finely diced 1 butternut, peeled and grated (about 1 cup grated) 2 sticks celery, finely diced ½ leek, thinly sliced 450g chicken thighs 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme

2 cups water ¼ cup sour cream

TO SERVE ¼ cup sour cream 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley (optional, adults) Packet of small dinner rolls

METHOD

1 2 3

Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add onion, butternut, celery and leeks, cover and fry for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are starting to become tender.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt.

Add thyme, rice, chicken thighs, chicken stock and water to pot and bring to the boil while stirring. Reduce heat, cover and simmer gently for 15 –20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and rice is soft.

4

Reduce heat to very low, remove chicken, finely dice and return to pot. Stir in the sour cream and season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

TO SERVE, Ladle soup into bowls, add an extra dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with fresh parsley (if using). Serve with dinner rolls on the side.

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kiwiparent

21


at bay

keep allergies A well-ventilated house with circulating fresh air is a powerful weapon in the fight against allergies. In the past decade New Zealand has experienced a five-fold increase in people suffering from allergies, says Allergy New Zealand. This worrying statistic is further exacerbated by a lack of public health immunologists, particularly in the South Island. With only 10 such specialists nationwide, none are based south of Wellington. While food allergies are the most life-threatening, airborne allergies can also have a serious effect on people’s day-to-day wellbeing, particularly in the winter months. After a long, hot summer, the ills and chills of winter are easily forgotten. But many school, work days or special events are missed in Kiwi households because of allergies and their complications. With the cold season on us, it’s time to see how healthy your home environment is for your family. Traditionally, New Zealand’s approach to home health has been single room heating and opening windows for ventilation. Compared to countries with similar climates, Kiwis have lower expectations for indoor comfort levels during the colder months. Fortunately, this mindset is rapidly changing as more people now understand that a warm, dry home is essential for maintaining good health.

Did you know? When you control excess moisture and condensation in your home, you significantly reduce two well-known asthma triggers:

22 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Dust Mites and their droppings

Because dust mites thrive in warm, moist places, one of the best ways to prevent this type of allergen is to make the home dry, so the mites find it hard to survive. But in reality, showers, cooking and just people breathing can produce up to 12 litres of water per day for a typical household. Mould, mildew and airborne mould spores When condensation and dampness are present, fungal spore counts skyrocket. However, by controlling condensation and excess moisture in the home, the growth of mould and mildew can be halted, the amount of airborne mould spores are greatly reduced.

Filter air that comes into the home from outside Filtering external air reduces exposure to dust, pollen, plant spores and other inhaled triggers. This means that people who are allergic to such triggers can stay inside their ventilated homes and ease their symptoms. Another advantage is that you push out airborne irritants that originate inside the home - things like smoke, perfumes, paint, common household cleaners, pet hair, formaldehyde from furniture, carpet, building materials as well as chemicals and gases. Ventilating the home ensures that any contaminated air inside is continually pushed out and replaced by drier, fresher, filtered air instead.


snuggle in for winter As the nights draw in, it is important to make sure that your baby is warm and cosy when sleeping, especially during winter. It can be tricky to know if your little one is too cold – or too hot. Plunket recommends that you slip two fingers down the back of their neck, if they are warm that’s fine, even if their little hands and feet feel a bit cool. IF they feel a bit too hot, take off some blankets and this will help reduce their temperature. As a general rule, babies usually need one or more layer of bedding than an adult to keep nicely warm.

Heating your baby’s room Make sure to keep the room well ventilated and if you use a heater keep the door open, not shut tight. An electric heater with a thermostat is best, as it helps regulate the temperature and prevent baby’s room becoming too hot. It is best to place the heater away from the bassinet or cot, not too close to it.

Blankets that are cotton or made from wool are best for baby, natural fibres breathe and help prevent baby overheating. You can also place a wool or cotton blanket under the bottom sheet as the extra insulation will help keep baby warm. Polar fleece blankets are not made with natural fibres and can cause your little one to overheat, so it is best to avoid using them in baby’s cot or bassinet – or anywhere that your little one will sleep. By positioning baby’s bassinet or cot away from windows and drafts, you will help keep their temperature nice and constant. Of course, the cot should also be away from curtain and blind cords, power points and heaters. Clever fingers and enquiring minds can get into all kinds of mischief. It is also a good idea to air the cot mattress at every opportunity - when baby is out of bed, place the mattress on its edge, in the sun when possible, to prevent it becoming damp.

Fan heaters can overheat a room and gas heaters can give off fumes and are best avoided.


TOP TIPS

for labour support people (…yes, that’s you – partner, parent, grandparent, friend…)

24 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

1

Exhale…

2

Trying different positions in labour

3 4 5

Visit the ladies

6

How do I know?

Breathing through the contractions with her as they get stronger will help slow the pace. Remember what you've both practised.

Encourage moving around as much as she can, helping her get into different positions – but don't be surprised if she wants to change again.

Encourage visits to the toilet at least every hour, and be a chaperone!

Lip service Encourage sipping a little water or sucking some ice between every contraction.

Back rub time Use firm circular motions over the lower back, use the heel of the hand, add a little oil or talcum powder and you'll be providing much needed relief during labour.

Is she in labour? If she starts to get considerable pain in her lower tummy, even it is not coming and going... talk to your LMC about when to call for labour support. They'll often advise to try and stay put at home for the early stages of labour.


7 8 9 10

Have I got my keys…? Does the hospital have parking arrangements? Do you have your cell phone (and charger)? Or money for the hospital pay phone. Who will look after the kids during labour? It's worth planning ahead!

100% commitment Once you've committed to support her, make sure you're providing unwavering support, encouragement and practical help.

Keep talking! Good communication about the impending birth is key to playing an active role – learn some technical terms (like cervix, transition, perineum) so you're not baffled by science on the day.

Contribute to pregnancy and parenting education classes Around 30–38 weeks, you'll get lots of practical info like how baby's developing, the birth process and breastfeeding. Check out www. parentscentre.org.nz or a District Health Board funded class in your area. Visit The New Zealand Pregnancy Book online at www.nzpregnancybook.co.nz The website includes a searchable preview of the book, fantastic photos and feedback from the NZPB community, links to friends and Facebook and much more!

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11/04/14 10:15 AM kiwiparent 25


Head lice – the myths and facts

i’ve got an itch to scratch … No sight is as heart-warming as that of busy preschoolers playing together – bending intently over a puzzle, wrestling, or cuddling up close to read books. Unless you’re a parent battling head lice who’s aware of how easily these pesky critters are passed between little heads! Head lice are small insects that live on the scalp. They feed off the blood from the scalp and will normally feed 2–3 times a day. They can be found at the base of the hair follicle and normally latch onto the hair strands. The size varies depending on their maturity and the largest louse is normally the size of a sesame seed. They are a greyish brown colour.

prevalent in children aged between four and 11 years of age. It is a good idea to check weekly to see if your child has nits (eggs) or louse. Use a bright light and part the hair. Check the scalp, especially at the front, nape of the neck, behind the ears and at the base of a pony tail or plaits. Small red dots behind the ears and on the nape of the neck may be bites. Eggs are usually easier to see than headlice. If you find nits or lice in your child’s hair, it is important to treat them quickly before the nasties settle in for the long haul. Use a treatment that is specifically designed to get rid of lice and nits, and invest in a fine toothed nit comb which is used to get rid of eggs before they hatch. �

Lice don’t have wings so they can not jump, hop or fly but are easily spread by head to head contact – in fact it only takes 30 seconds to transfer from one head to another. They are most

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26 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Myth: Lice and nits are just part of childhood – they’re not a real health issue Head lice feed at night for ten minutes every hour – so an infestation will give your child a disturbed sleep, affecting mood, energy levels, and concentration. They can be very uncomfortable and a blow to self-esteem, particularly for school children.

Myth: Dense, crinkly or curly hair is more likely to attract and hold nits Head lice and nits are attracted to all hair types equally and can be more difficult to remove from very fine wispy hair because it is too fine for some combs to ‘catch’. It can also be harder to spot nits (eggs) on blonde hair.

Myth: Head lice couldn’t stay in my child’s hair because we bathe or swim so often Lice have a ‘gill-like’ breathing structure, so can survive being submerged for several hours. They don’t swim but do float – you can pick them up from the swimming pool.

Myth: I wash bedding frequently so lice and nits won’t stay in our house very long Heat, not water, kills nits and head lice. If you’ve had an infestation and want to be sure there are no loose eggs on your child’s bedding, pop sheets and pillowcases into a hot tumble dryer for 30 minutes.

Myth: Head lice jump, and can be caught from pets as well as humans Unlike fleas, lice have absolutely no jumping ability – and they do not live on animals, just human scalps.


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every second counts Meningitis is serious. If you think your child may have meningitis, don’t wait. See your doctor right away, or, if it is after hours, go to your nearest hospital accident and emergency centre. Insist on medical help, day or night. Babies and children with meningitis can get sick very quickly. You need to seek medical help urgently even if you have seen a doctor within the last hour or two. Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial meningitis and save lives, but they do need to be administered quickly.

What is meningitis? Meningitis is when the lining of the brain and spinal cord are infected and become swollen. Different types of meningitis are caused by bacterial or viral infection. There are many types of meningitis and while the symptoms are similar for each, the causes, treatments and outcomes do vary. If you suspect meningitis, seek medical advice immediately. www.meningitis.org.nz Several vaccines are available which protect against different groups of meningococcal disease – A, C, Y and W135. These vaccines aren’t free (except for some special exceptions), but they’re available for private purchase through general practices if people want them. Separate conjugate meningococcal C vaccines, which protect against group C meningococcal bacteria alone, are also available. These vaccines can be used for children under two. These days, parents are turning to smartphone technology to help them manage their children’s busy schedules with everything from birthday parties to doctor’s appointments being tapped into calendars. A recent survey conducted of 576 parents with young children revealed that 46% of participants use their smartphone to help manage their children’s activities.

28 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

This insight to parents’ use of smartphones is good news for a healthcare app launched in March by the Meningitis Foundation. VaxiMate, an immunisation reminder app, will support parents to manage their child’s scheduled immunisations. VaxiMate lets parents know via their smartphone that their child’s immunisation is due. Parents can be alerted to the due date, check their child’s immunisation record and read up on the vaccines available on the National Immunisation Schedule. By syncing VaxiMate with the smartphone calendar, immunisation dates simply appear with other day-today commitments. Parents are also able to receive alerts regarding changes to the National Immunisation Schedule. VaxiMate is also able to record other agerelated milestones such as weight and height – and even has a game to keep toddlers occupied or distracted while being immunised. Director of the Meningitis Foundation, Paul Gilberd, explains: “Parents are under significant time pressures and increasingly use smartphone technology to manage family health. The Meningitis Foundation proudly supports initiatives to achieve better health outcomes and welcomes initiatives such as VaxiMate that promote the prevention of disease through immunisation. Paediatrician and Senior Clinician at Kidz First Children’s Hospital in Auckland, Dr Adrian Trenholme, comments: “While overall immunisation rates in New Zealand are high, there is still work to be done to ensure kids are immunised on time, every time. We know from previous research that some parents still wait months beyond the recommended due date to get their child immunised. “Parents and carers need relevant tools that make it easy for them to get their infants and children immunised on time. In many instances, the smartphone is the tool of choice for parents in helping to manage the family’s timetable. It’s appropriate that we utilise technology including text message, alerts, and apps as a way of communicating with parents about their child’s immunisation status,” added Dr Trenholme. VaxiMate is available via the App Store and Google Play and is free for both Android and iPhones. �



conception

myths


A very good Kiwi friend of mine living overseas has recently welcomed baby number five into the family. When Katie (I’ll call her that to save any embarrassment since I’m going to talk about her private life!) told me she was pregnant again I was not surprised; she comes from a large family and has always wanted lots of children. What is interesting though, in relation to her conceptions, is that she is a breastfeeding mother. Most of her brood fed way past one year, day and night as requested, and yet she now has five children under seven.

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Katie is a very fertile woman. And one for whom breastfeeding day and night does not seem to prevent conception. Fortunately her husband (who does not come from a large family) is very happy about that. So, what is the truth about breastfeeding as a means of contraception? How does it work? What are the odds? And what do you do if you want to breastfeed and want another baby? This form of contraception is called the Lactational Amenorrhea Method or LAM for short. It is 98 to 99 percent effective, which is about the same as the pill, when all three of the following apply: Your baby is under six months old AND Your periods have not resumed AND Your baby is exclusively breastfed freely day and night According to The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding there’s strong logic behind this method:

“The baby who’s getting all his food, day and night, from his mother, isn’t ready to share her. His mother’s body isn’t ready to take on a second intense job.” Protection using LAM continues during the first six months if your periods don’t return and if you are frequently breastfeeding but efficacy does decline and many women chose to add another method. It is also worth noting that LAM appears to be slightly less effective in working mums expressing milk. This is because it is stimulation of the nipples which directly affects suppression of ovulation. If you chose another form of contraception entirely it’s probably best to avoid hormonal ones like the pill or implants for the first six months because it’s possible they could affect your milk supply. The possibility of this after six months is much less likely. You can consider yourself fertile once menstruation resumes (although Katie’s experience proves it is possible to conceive before your period returns). Recognition that breastfeeding can significantly impact on the gaps between children was particularly evident during colonial times. In some colonial communities where larger families are needed, attempts to limit family size can cause a lot of trouble! In colonial America “the staunch Puritan Cotton Mather, worried that mothers were nursing their babies to delay conception. An eighteenth century grandfather criticised his daughter-in-law for nursing so she would ‘not breed too fast’. On the other hand a colonial grandmother wrote of advising her 39-year-old daughter to keep nursing ‘that this might possibly be the last trial of this sort’, if she could suckle her baby for two years to come, as she had done several times before.”1 J.D. Wray, in Breastfeeding: An international and historical review, explains that in Bangladesh extended breastfeeding reduces a mother’s risk of dying by as much as 50% by reducing her exposure to the risks of pregnancy and childbirth in a dangerous environment

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“The baby who’s getting all his food, day and night, from his mother, isn’t ready to share her. His mother’s body isn’t ready to take on a second intense job.”

In Mothering Your Nursing Toddler Norma Jane Bumgarner states:

“For families in the industrialised world, breastfeeding’s birth-spacing effects are less profound, but they still matter, if only in reducing the bother and expense, to say nothing of any possible risk, of contraception in the first months after childbirth. Mothers also enjoy freedom from the mood cycles associated with ovulation.” If, on the other hand, you really want to get pregnant again and it hasn’t happened it may be that frequent breastfeeding is suppressing your fertility. If your periods haven’t returned then you might want to think about weaning at night, refrain from pumping during the day or perhaps generally cutting back which might kick start things. This from Mothering Your Nursing Toddler again:

“A long stretch without nursing every day may do the trick, provided you can keep your toddler content during that time. A long stretch at night could be even better, because the hormonal mix that prolongs infertility seems to be more dependent on nighttime nursing.” Whatever choices you make, one thing is certain: there are no certainties when it comes to contraception or

32 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

conception. Clearly the process of suppression and resumption of fertility is complex and very individual. If you want to read more on the subject, try Toni Weschler’s Taking Charge of Your Fertility or check out her website www.tcoyf.com. For individualised information Natural Fertility New Zealand offers a service (for a fee) - www.naturalfertility.co.nz �

References: 1. Norma Jane Bumgarner Mothering Your Nursing Toddler

Lisa Manning is a former TV journalist and presenter. She is married to the British actor John RhysDavies with whom she has an eight-year-old daughter Maia. Lisa is an at-home mum and La Leche League Leader in Pukekohe. If you’d like to get in touch with Lisa in response to this article with ideas, suggestions or feedback about La Leche League, she can be reached at media@ lalecheleague.org.nz �


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the hardest part is

saying goodbye

34 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


Au pairs quickly become part of the family It’s really hard to begin noting all the positives about having an au pair look after our child for the past two and a half years. As I write this, I am about to go on maternity leave and our world at home is about to change dramatically. We are saying goodbye to someone that nine months ago became a part of our family. I hate to start with a negative, but the hardest part of having an au pair is definitely the goodbyes… those drop offs to the airport are the worst! Our daughter, Lucia, is about to turn three, and all of who she is today is not only a credit to my husband and I, it’s a credit to the three wonderful au pairs who have come to a new country on the other side of the world to spend their time caring for her. They have supported her learning and development when we haven’t been able to, played with her, loved her, and made sure she is loved when we’re not there. Lucia, or Lulu, has had a primary caregiver her whole life and many would think this would come with a huge list of disadvantages, because she hasn’t had time in social settings with other young children by herself away from people who know her. Some would think that this

would have created a ‘needy’ sensitive child, but to be honest, anyone that knows our Lulu would tell you that she is the most confident (nearly) kid on the planet! I can take her into group settings anywhere because of the love, care and attention she has had from her au pairs. Her home has always been secure, warm and reliable. Lucia has been loved by our au pairs who have looked after her while we‘ve been at work. They have given her love and undivided attention. Lucia has begun transition visits to kindy recently. This has been incredibly smooth for us so far, and I certainly believe that is because Lulu has a strong sense of self from having always been cared for by people that know her so well, in her own home environment, during the first three years. There have been so many great things that having an au pair live with us has done for our family that do not only impact Lulu. It’s given us more of an appreciation for our beautiful country, seeing all the travel adventures our girls have been up to in their weekends! It has inspired us to make sure we get out and make the most of our lovely country and to ensure Lulu sees it all too! We have made a connection with another culture, all of our au pairs have come from Germany and we now feel

From left: Pauline from Germany, Lulu and Amanda

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Why choose an au pair? Help and support – An au pair provides a world-class learning experience for your kids, as well as help with a range of other tasks related to the children. They also offer help and support for children who don't fit into the box of mainstream childcare, for example families in rural communities or families with special education needs children. Convenience and flexibility – Your au pair is there when you need them. As a live-in caregiver and educator, your au pair is there to make life easier, so there is no need to pressure children to fit into your work schedule, removing some of the stress from daily life. Affordability – Because an au pair is paid a weekly wage (supplemented by room and board), host families find that it can be a more cost-effective form of childcare than the pay-per-child-perhour model. Families may also be eligible for other financial support, such as the 20 Hours ECE government subsidy for children between 3–5 years, WINZ childcare subsidies and OSCAR subsidy. Cultural experience – Having someone from a different culture caring for your children can be a great experience. Au pairs become a cherished member of the family, sharing their culture, language and values, and encouraging children to develop a well-rounded world view early in life.

Some things to consider when choosing an au pair Cultural fit and personality – is the au pair going to be a good fit with your family? Experience – has the au pair had experience working with children the same ages as your children? Philosophy – is the au pair ‘parenting’ philosophy or style going to be the same as yours or will she be open-minded about how you want your children to be raised? �

a huge ache to get to Europe as a family one day to see our girls again and meet their families! Even my parents have loved getting to know our au pairs and enjoyed hosting them down in the South Island when they’ve been exploring the country. As grandparents they have loved being able to sit down with our au pairs and hear about how amazing their granddaughter is! Having a primary caregiver with English as a second language certainly hasn’t impacted Lulu’s English development, she has a really wide vocabulary and often blows us away with the conversations we have! We feel really lucky that Lulu has been exposed to another language from an early age. In fact, research conducted overseas suggests children who are exposed to a second language early in life have an advantage in learning than those who don’t! As a working mum, I really couldn’t have had it better. I have been able to head off to work knowing my little girl had the undivided attention of someone I trust and an uninterrupted routine at home while I needed to be away. Lulu was really young when I started back at work and I certainly had my reservations about leaving her with someone I had only known for a short amount of time. The great thing about Au Pair Link and the service that it provides is that you know the person you are leaving your child with has been through a major interview process, including police vetting, multiple interviews and reference checking that all ensure your au pair has a passion for working with young children and the skills required. A three-day orientation course ensures they have the basic skills they need when they first start caring for your child and an understanding of how we as a culture raise our children. Au pairs also complete a child first aid course with St John specifically which is more training in this area than many parents even have! Once you are enrolled in Au Pairs Link’s service, you also have the ongoing support of a trained early childhood teacher, who gives guidance on your child’s development to you and your au pair throughout the placement term. We have found this care really crucial to all of our placements as the au pairs are empowered as educators, and we as host parents feel we have an expert on hand to help us with any queries along the way on our parenting journey. We have access to multiple playgroups running in Auckland for Lulu through Au Pair Link which are free of charge. She always has so much fun at these and loves the network of little friends (and their au pairs!) she has made. Our au pairs have always organised play dates in conjunction with the playgroups so connections between home and the local community are really strong for Lulu. All in all, I can’t speak highly enough about the young women who have shared our family life and Au Pair Link for having made the process stress free and positive for us all – especially Lulu!

Amanda Kidman, Auckland

36 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


Share your home. Gain the world. If you’re searching for quality, affordable, inhome early childhood care and education, we’d love to hear from you. With hundreds of au pairs to browse through and speak with using our online matching system, it’s never been faster (or easier) to find the perfect au pair or live-in nanny for your little prince

or princess! With Au Pair Link, you’ll receive a monthly visit from your own qualified early childhood teacher, as well as access to our local weekly playgroups, child activities and events, childcare training, free educational resources, 20 Hours ECE, WINZ subsidies, and of course... fresh flavours at the table!

Join the

Au Pair Link family. Find your perfect match at aupairlink.co.nz or call us on 0800 AU PAIR (287 247)

25% placement fee discount for Parent Centre members.

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congratulations! You just got a new brother or sister!

Older children might find it hard when a new baby arrives. With all the focus on the baby they might feel left out or ignored. You might notice a change in their behaviour. They may be more clingy or grizzly, or test the boundaries more. This is normal, but there are some things you can do to prepare your child for the arrival of a new brother or sister.

Younger children Start talking about ‘our’ baby only when your pregnancy is starting to show – nine months can be a long wait for little people. Show them their baby photos and talk about their birth, where it was and if Mum had to stay in hospital for a few days. Make any changes well before baby comes. Things like moving from cot to bed, or car seat to booster.

When the new baby is born Focus on the older kids when they first visit – maybe someone else could hold the new baby so Mum’s arms are free for hugging. Help them to hold the new baby as soon as possible and take photos. If they want to, ask them to help, e.g. getting things ready for bath time, choosing baby’s clothes. But don’t push it or worry if they’re not interested. Have something planned for them to do while your focus is on baby. Sitting down to an activity they enjoy, having a snack, or watching a favourite DVD will distract while you are busy. Make time each day to read a book together or just cuddle and talk with your child. If they’re upset or angry, talk with them about their feelings. But be firm about always being gentle towards the baby. Tell them stories about when they were born – show them photos. �

Older children

Parent Tip

Read books on babies together and answer their questions honestly.

“It’s important for them to feel a part of everything. They need to feel important and responsible.”

Involve them in choosing things for the baby, let them feel included not excluded from the process. Talk with them about different ways they will be able to help out and welcome baby to the family.

38 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


Parents Centre

In this section

Volunteer Networks

Parting words of wisdom for volunteers from Joan Hay

Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer!

Q&A with Belinda Barnett, President with Manukau Parents Centre

A volunteer is an exceptional person. They are someone who is socially conscious and well aware of the benefits that go with giving something of themselves and their time without needing payment as a reward.

‘Baby and You’ parent education programme

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Parents Centres around the country. We wouldn’t exist without the extraordinary enthusiasm and energy of so many generous and proactive people nationwide.

Centre News

Volunteering is rewarding, skill-building, good for communities and, let’s not forget, it can be great fun! It fosters a strong sense of belonging and community connection. Time and again our volunteers are people who are fulltime parents, have paid jobs to undertake as well as other commitments, yet who still manage to find time to volunteer for their Centres within their communities.

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Words of wisdom for volunteers Parents Centre stalwart of over three decades, Joan Hay moves into semi-retirement and leaves some parting words of wisdom for our volunteer committees. I never tire of acknowledging the tremendous efforts and successes made by the founders of Parents Centre. The climate was extraordinarily difficult and the journey they embarked on in the 1950’s was tough. I believe what has been achieved by so many volunteers and the wider organisation across the years is nothing short of incredible. I count myself extremely privileged to have worked alongside some of our founding mothers over the years and it was through watching them and listening to them that my true passion for the organisation was cemented. The 'roadblocks' that might be placed before volunteers are not insurmountable. With a positive attitude, a work ethos that involves working in a true team environment and sound communication, many of the roadblocks can become simply perceived and not so real. A common question can often be “how can we motivate the unmotivated?” People would say to me “how can you be so passionate about the organisation after so long?” I have an easy answer to this, it’s because I got involved. I took hold of opportunities that came my way; I read information, I talked to other volunteers and I got involved. What tremendous rewards come your way when you get involved! It’s a great way to become motivated. Parents Centre has always been an organisation that opens doors for people and when you see a door open, take a hold of that opportunity! Remember though, self-motivation is short-lived if you don’t have a goal or a plan. I encourage all volunteers to think about your vision for your Centre as well as your own involvement within the Centre. What is 'your' plan? Do you have a plan and do other people know about it? Perhaps key questions I would ask of a struggling volunteer committee would start with “how well do you truly know each other?” I mean really know each other – for example, do you know: Why do I want to be involved in this committee? What attracted me to work on this committee? What rewards am I looking for (these are not monetary), how much time can I give? What skills do I bring to the team? What new skills would I like to learn? All of these are key questions which form the makings of a committee who are committed to each other, to the work of your Centre and to the wider organisation. This is more than having a BBQ together, this is about giving each person on the committee team the time to talk about themselves, for others to listen and

40 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


truly understand what drives that person as a volunteer for your Centre. We all need a place to start and before the Centre Plan is actioned or even compiled, I would encourage all committees to try this activity. People will feel valued and respected and most importantly listened to. There’s a saying…”passion differentiates the ‘want to’ from the ‘have to’ ”. If you 'want to' as opposed to 'have to' you will be more likely to be motivated, have a clearer understanding and a desire to be involved! Parents Centre is about people. Listening to people, providing services for people and working with people. Getting the people skills right can lead to some truly positive outcomes! Sound leadership is required to make this happen well. Many leaders across our Centres often find themselves unexpectedly placed in the President’s position. They may not have asked for it or even really wanted it but there you are – in it! Leaders don’t always come to a role knowing it all. They learn, they utilise skills of others, they make mistakes and they learn from them. All roles within a committee could be seen as leadership roles. That’s what a committee is – a team of leaders. You are a leader in the particular job you have on committee and these roles are overseen by a President or co-Presidents. Always remember to listen to others, communicate well, share ideas collectively, read information that comes to your Centre – each ‘leader’ (committee member) has a responsibility to do this. My ‘gem of advice’ that many of you have heard me say is “step outside the comfort zone” (your hoola hoop!) Give it a go, don’t be afraid of making a mistake, don’t dwell on the mistake, learn from it and go forward! The rewards, both personal and professional, from volunteering are immense. My Parents Centre life started as a volunteer some 33 years ago and I am extremely grateful for the doors that opened for me over the years. While it was disconcerting walking through some of those doors I am glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone and the rewards have been worth it. The friends I have made, the learning that I have been part of, what I have been able to give and what has come back to me are all rewards. I hope you too will take a hold of opportunities that come your way and I wish you all the very best in your volunteer endeavours!

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Q&A with Belinda Barnett, President of Manukau Parents Centre When did you first join Parents Centre?

What benefits/growth have you gained from volunteering?

I first heard about Parents Centre when I saw a notice for a Toilet Training seminar pinned up at the swim school where I went with my daughter. After enjoying that event, offered by AEPC, I thought there must be a more local crew I could join so I checked them out online. By that stage my second baby had been born and I was keen to meet other mums with kids the same age. I was also missing having something non-baby-related to do as I’d previously worked as an HR Manager.

I connected straight away with the core ladies in the Manukau committee and really enjoyed their friendship in that first crazy year with two children at home. To continue my personal development I enrolled in some communication/web writing/public relations papers and was able to test out the theory I was learning straight away by applying it to our Centre communications. I also attended a Making the Most of Facebook for Non-profits course paid for by the Centre. As my children are now older I’ve been seeking part-time work and have just secured a role using my social media and web communication skills. I’m

What volunteer roles have you held? I initially offered to help with the newsletter but quickly got involved with the Facebook page and website. By the time the first AGM rolled around I was officially appointed as the Marketing Officer and Vice President. Since then I’ve also helped run the weekly walking and music groups, been the Parent Education (Hot Topics) Co-ordinator and project managed our Annual Children’s Market. At the moment I’m President, Baby & You Co-ordinator and turn my hand to whatever else needs doing…

very excited about taking my career in this new direction. I believe my volunteering has been an important part of keeping my skills fresh while making the most of my time as a full-time mum and has helped me be ready to step back into the paid workforce.

What are your Centre's plans for the future? We’re going to have a bit of a quiet year as half of our team are about to have a second baby. We’re focusing on keeping our core courses –Antenatal and Baby & You – and our weekly music group running well. We’re also keen to bring on some new volunteers and make sure we apply for more grants in the coming year.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining in their Parents Centre committee? Give it a go! I found the team really welcoming and there has been plenty of freedom to work on things which interested me. So much of what needs doing to keep a Centre running is quite simple – it just needs someone to spend some time and energy to get it done. There’s also lots of fun and personal satisfaction to be enjoyed as part of your local committee.

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Each edition of Kiwiparent profiles one of Parents Centre’s renowned parent education programmes.

This month: Spotlight on

‘Baby and You’

‘Early parenthood is a life-changing experience into which we all go unrehearsed.’

Discussion topics include issues around postnatal realities,

The ‘Baby and You’ programme follows on from antenatal classes and offers sound tips and strategies as you begin your remarkable journey into parenthood.

discovering that other new parents experience similar

In your newborn child, you have a very special little individual who will grow and develop with your care and guidance. Contributing to the growth and development of your child can be hugely rewarding. To see your baby smile, play and grow can be an extraordinary experience. You will have feelings of tenderness, closeness and a sense of awe at the miracles of ‘first milestones’ – smiling, crawling, steps and games.

Babies grow quickly and they go through a variety of

But with a new baby comes uncharted waters. Your tiny bundle may well rule the entire household through his routines, sleep patterns and behaviours. This can be very challenging. Many parents, particularly new ones, find the information and support in the ‘Baby and You’ programme extremely helpful in managing the challenges, and making the most of the rewards, that a new baby brings into their life.

identifying physical, emotional and relationship changes. There are often very simple strategies for coping. Further, difficulties or have the same questions can be hugely supportive.

stages. ‘Baby and You’ explores the first three months of your baby’s life and gives practical information about stimulation for babies, age-appropriate toys and the key milestones of your baby’s growth. The programme also recognises the heavy demands babies have on parents’ time and attention. It is common for parents to feel a real loss of independence, a huge lack of sleep and worries around employment and financial changes. It’s important for parents to look after themselves – although it’s a challenging time, let’s not forget to meet the needs of mum – and dad! Participating in the ‘Baby and You’ programme will give you the much-needed tools over those first uncertain months to enable you to grow in confidence. Your baby, and you, will

Parents Centre believes strongly in the strength of support networks in getting through – and enjoying! – those early months. Firm friendships are often formed between course participants, through shared experiences and understandings.

benefit enormously. Visit www.parentscentre.org.nz to find out about booking into this programme at a Centre near you.

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PARENTS CENTRE’S NEWS n Dunedin Parents Centre has recently established a new

n In March Manukau and Papakura Parents Centres

fortnightly support group for Mums. Called Mums4Mums, it

held an event ‘Celebrating Under 5’s’ to mark Children’s

was set up when a need was identified in the community for

Day. Activities included a bouncy castle, Gymsport circuit,

a support group for Mums who are finding it hard to cope, or

facepainting, heuristic play area (provided by our local

struggling with anxiety and depression, peri-natally. It is run

PORSE team), KindyRock music sessions, crafts (crowns and

as a peer-to-peer type of support group, facilitated by one

necklaces), colouring station and more.

of the Centre’s dedicated volunteers, with others involved to help with the running of the group as required. It will have regular guest speakers and is also supported once a month by the local Plunket Maternal Wellness Nurse.

n Onewa Parents Centre is providing free room hire to Cherish Trust who run a support group for mums with Postnatal depression. Spokesperson Stacey Francis said, “Rather than try and do everything ourselves we are actively looking at ways we can link into other community groups to provide a variety of services to our members and the wider community. More than ever with families being spread over the country and the world, our mums need support and we want to be able help so they know who they can go to.” The members already have their childbirth education classes in these rooms, “so to have this support for postnatal depression and La Leche League they are always going to a familiar place to get help which we hope helps to break down a barrier.”

n Taupo Parents Centre worked collaboratively with Central Paletau REAP, Taupo Violence Intervention Network and Four Seasons Kindergarten to bring Nathan MikaereWallis to Taupo for three different events. There were two parent evenings one aimed at ‘what the 0-7 year old needs to learn’ and the other at ‘unravelling the teenage brain’, as

n Joan Hay, Capability and Development Manager, and

well as a professionals day. Centre President Leah White said,

Eleanor Cater, Brand Manager, recently went on a road trip

“Spread over these three separate events, we had almost

to a number of North Island Centres including Wairarapa,

500 people attend to learn about how the brain develops

Whakatane, Tauranga, Rotorua and Taupo Parents

for our tamariki and how to strengthen the relationships

Centres. Eleanor Cater said, “It was really inspiring meeting

between children, parents, teachers and wha¯nau. People

such great groups of committees all with such commitment

came from Turangi, Mangakino, Tokoroa and Taupo. We feel

and passion for what they do. While many are facing

overwhelmed with the amount of positive feedback and

recruitment challenges they also have the solutions within

people asking for more. Such a successful group of events to

their reach. We look forward to seeing these committees

benefit our community!”

take off over the coming year.”

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PARENTS CENTRE’S NEWS

Top tip of the month! Recruitment of volunteers. Centres are always looking at innovative ways to increase their volunteer pool. Two Centres in Wellington have done just that, one recruiting a retiree as Vice-President and the other recruiting an experienced Treasurer (who has no children), both wanting to give back to the community.

(Left) Joan Hay with members of the Taupo Parents Centre committee

Have you considered recruiting outside of your membership pool – e.g. your local Volunteer New Zealand office, Rotary or Zonta or by promotion in your local newspaper or on local radio station? Centre volunteers do not have to come from membership; there are many others in the community who are willing to help and sometimes only need to be asked!

(Back left) Eleanor Cater and Joan Hay with members of the Wairarapa committee

Joan Hay (front left with farewell gift) with members of the Tauranga Parents Centre committee

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matariki putting family at the

heart of celebrations

The time of Matariki has always been important to Ma¯ori, but has grown in popularity amongst other New Zealanders and is rapidly becoming a high point of the winter calendar. It is rightly appreciated as a uniquely New Zealand festival, celebrating our common values – love of family, love of land, love of community.

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Traditionally, Matariki is a time to prepare; to learn, to share ideas, and to celebrate the future. Just as the Northern Hemisphere prepares for spring and growth on the 1st of January, during its New Year celebrations, Matariki is our time. Traditionally, a lookout was posted to watch for the predawn rise of Matariki. This marked the start of Matariki and the New Year celebrations began on the sighting of the next new moon. There are many different celebrations for Matariki, usually with key themes of traditional Matariki celebrations.


What is Matariki During Matariki we celebrate our unique place in the world. We give respect to the whenua on which we live, and admiration to our mother earth Papatu-a-nuku. Throughout Matariki we learn about those who came before us. Our history. Our family. Our bones.

During Matariki we acknowledge what we have and what we have to give. Matariki celebrates the diversity of life. It’s a celebration of culture, language, spirit and people. Matariki is our Aotearoa Pacific New Year.

Matariki signals growth. It’s a time of change. It’s a time to prepare, and a time of action.

- a-nuku (earth mother Papatu and wife to Ranginui) Matariki is a time to prepare the whenua (land) on which we live. In the middle of winter during Matariki, the land is in its most inactive phase and traditionally, certain vegetables were planted to appease the land based gods Rongo, Uenuku and Whiro. These days, Matariki is the perfect time to make plans for the land and for the new spring garden. It’s also a good time to learn about the land and the forest.

Family activities: Develop a recycling plan for your home, school or local area.

Learn the names of the trees and plants in local forests and reserves. Learn which plants you can eat and which help to heal. Draw out a plan for a spring garden and start to gather the seed and seedlings. Plant native trees and shrubs.

Whakapapa (genealogy) Because Matariki was a relatively inactive period of the year, this allowed for extra time for study and learning. For some iwi the stars form the first house of learning – a whare wa-nanga in the sky.

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Matariki is a time to learn about your wha-nau (family), and a time to remember those who have passed on from this world to the next. Whakapapa is an important part of Matariki celebrations. A focus on our whakapapa gives us a better understanding of who we are, where we have come from and where we are going. It is also a great way to bring wha-nau together to share stories and knowledge.

Family activities: Start your own whakapapa chart or book. Organise time to bring grandparents and grandchildren together to share stories. Record oral histories on tape or video. Create something to remember those who have recently passed on. Clear the weeds from wha-nau graves and tidy up the cemetery. Organise an iwi, hapu- or wha-nau gathering to learn whakapapa.

Ranginui (ancestor or god of the sky and husband to - a-nuku) Papatu Matariki is one of many significant stars in the southern skies. Puanga (Rigel) is also a key signal for the coming of the New Year. The night sky contains massive numbers of stars, which were used by Ma-ori as a way to calculate time and seasons, to navigate oceans, to preserve knowledge and stories, to maintain customary practices, and to inspire action and achievement. One story tells of Ranginui literally lifting out of the eastern horizon with the start of the New Year, marked out by the stars of Matariki, Puanga and others. Matariki at his right shoulder; Puanga at his forehead, Tautoru (Orion’s Belt) at his neck and Takurua (Sirius) on his left shoulder. Other stars show Ma-ui’s fish hook drawn across the sky by the stars of Scorpius. Matariki is the perfect time to look towards Ranginui, at the many star patterns in our skies. If you haven’t seen Matariki before, then get up before dawn and take a look. It’s also a good time to dream, and to set goals for the future.

48 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Family activities: Look for Matariki in our north-east skies just before dawn. See if you can find Ranginui at the same time, mapped out by Matariki, Puanga, Tautoru and Takurua. Find shapes in the stars and map them out on your own star chart. Make up your own story using the shapes in the stars. See if you can find a story from your people about particular stars and record them. Visit an observatory or find a local astronomer to learn more about the stars. Paint or craft some artwork, as an image for the year ahead. Start something new – use the opportunity to set new goals for the New Year.

Takoha (gift or donation) Matariki falls at the end of the harvest and was therefore a time of plenty. The kumara and other root foods had been gathered. With the migration of fish such as moki and korokoro, Matariki was a time for bountiful catches. Native berries and pikopiko (fern fronds) were gathered. Other foods had been preserved and the stores were full, visitors were often showered with gifts of specially preserved eel, birds and other delicacies. Matariki was a time to share and present offerings to others. Giving is a key part of many cultural celebrations all around the world. Matariki is no exception – it is a time to give what you have to spare to those who need it. It’s about finding something of your self to offer others. Find a gift for the needy or elderly in your community. Find something you have to spare, and give it away to somebody who needs it. Give your time to a project. Gift something to your community or to a stranger.


The Stars of Matariki Matariki is a small cluster of tiny stars, also known as the Pleiades. The Matariki constellation twinkles on and off in such a way that one second you’ll see them, and another they’ll be gone. There are two translations mata riki, tiny eyes; and mata ariki, eyes of god. Towards the end of May each year, Matariki rises on the North East horizon on the same spot as the rising sun, around half an hour before dawn. This signals the beginning of Matariki celebrations. The new year celebrations are held on the sighting of the next new moon. As the year moves from autumn towards its shortest winter day, the sunrise moves north along the eastern horizon. When the sunrise reaches Matariki, it turns around and starts moving south again. This effect can be seen everywhere on the planet and makes the Matariki stars famous world wide. In Greece, several important temples face straight towards Matariki.

Do something for somebody who will not be able to do it for themselves. Gather together food from your garden and give some of it away. Call together some people in your wha-nau or neighbourhood, and develop a gifting plan for your marae or community group. Give to a charity organisation or a local sports club. Gift some food from your shopping to the foodbank.

- kari – Te Whakangahau Ha (banquet or feast) The first new moon after the rise of Matariki, signalled the start of the New Year celebrations. Traditionally these celebrations could last for up to three days. Action songs, karanga and prayers would be directed at Matariki throughout the celebrations. With the food stores full, feasts were held and attended by prominent visitors. Everyone gathered together to see in the New Year. Make a wish for the new year when you see the new moon. Call wha-nau and friends together to see the new moon and celebrate the new year. Organise a concert for the Matariki new year. Hold a dance or throw a party. Prepare a feast to farewell the old year and see in the new one. Build a kite and fly it on the first day of the new year. �

Leigh Bredenkamp

Matariki is celebrated during June and July with a huge range of activities nationwide. Most cities have festivals, performances and exhibitions so check out your local city council to discover what is happening in your community. Matariki is all about getting involved, so join in the celebrations – or start one of your own. Happy new year! www.newzealand.com/int/ event/matariki

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2015 photo

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rules & conditions of entry 1. The contest is open to all Kiwiparent magazine and website readers. 2. Photos must be submitted to: photo.competition@parentscentre.org.nz or you can enter via Instagram, by following us on Instagram and posting your picture with #kiwiparent and #thecategory you are entering (eg.#categoryone) 3. Each email must contain only one photo. Any number of photos may be entered. 4. Photos or videos submitted via Instagram must include #kiwiparent #thecategory (e.g. #categoryone). If you are submitting a video clip it should be no longer than 12 seconds duration. 5. The category must be clearly stated in the subject line of the email or with a hashtag on social media. All contact details (name, address, phone number) must be in the body of the email. 6. The name on the file submitted should contain the surname of the person who took the photo (e.g. smith1.jpg).

7. Photos submitted should be no larger than 1mb. Please advise the file size of the original photo as winning photos may be eligible to be reproduced in the magazine. 8. Only photos with the following file types will be accepted: .jpg, tif, png, pdf, gif. 9. Please refrain from including brand shots in your submissions. 10. Entries for all categories will become the property of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc and PCNZ reserves the right to use any photos for publicity and promotion purposes. 11. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. 12. Prizes are not exchangeable or transferable for cash. 13. Entries must be received by 4pm on Friday, 2 October 2015. Winners will be notified by email or by phone, and the results of the competition will be published in the December/January issue of Kiwiparent magazine. photo.competition@parentscentre.org.nz #kiwiparent

Continued overleaf...


Category 1 Cover Page Cuteness

Calling all artistic home photographers! Send in an artistic shot of your child looking super cute and not only will you be eligible to win a photographic session with iconic photographer Jo Frances, but your image could also be considered for a future Kiwiparent cover! The two winning photographers will receive a $300 credits towards a photographic session and products with Jo Frances Photography. This can be redeemed in Auckland or Wellington. Prize package worth $300 each

Category 3 Pregnancy and Birth

Photograph your family’s treasured moments during your pregnancy and in those very early weeks with your precious new baby. The winning photo in this category will win a fantastic prize pack from Philps AVENT containing:

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Category 2 First Steps Video

Category 4 Feed Me!

We all know what an amazing milestone your baby’s first steps are. Capture this special moment and submit your First Steps Video (no longer than twelve seconds duration) to Instagram #kiwiparent and you could win one of two Bright Starts Bounce Bounce Baby saucers from the Baby Factory.

Kiwi kids love their food! They love to eat and to feed themselves with sometimes unpredictable results. Next time your little one starts feeding themselves yoghurt, or mashed pumpkin, or tries eating an ice cream cone or anything messy, make sure you capture the moment! The six winning entries will each receive a prize pack from Kai Carrier.

Suitable from four months to 11kg, this Exersaucer will keep your little one entertained for a long time! It comes complete with a height adjustable bungee, jumping platform to maximise your child’s fun. Also equipped with a 360 degree swivel seat so your child can access all three of the fun character toys! The triangular shape is designed to save space in your home.

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52 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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Category 5 Kids in the Kitchen

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Do you have a little helper in the kitchen? Is your little one happy kneading and rolling or decorating up a storm? Grab your camera and capture the moment forever – and you could also win one of two My Family Food Bag vouchers as well!

Are your children budding artists? Do they love experimenting with colours and textures? If this sounds like your family, grab your camera and send in photos of your little Picassos in the midst of creation and you could be you could be in to win one of three fantastic gift vouchers from Resene Paints. Get creative with paint with the Resene KidzColour range, with all the colours you need to decorate children’s rooms or for your children to create masterpieces.

Every week Nadia and her Test Chefs dream up exciting and nutritious dinner recipes just for you. We deliver the ingredients and recipes right to your door – just open your food bag and discover what tasty meals you get to cook and enjoy. Food bags are loaded with fresh, local ingredients and include delicious easy to cook dinner recipes. You’ll find something to tickle your fancy, whether you're a gourmet foodie couple or family with growing kids. Simple. Healthy. Delicious.

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Category 8 Mini Me

Category 6 Travel Time Kiwi families love getting out and about to enjoy our amazing scenery – we would love to see photos of your children exploring the great outdoors and having fun! Send in photos of your adventures and your future travels could become a lot more enjoyable with the super light phil&teds traveller cot and parade carrier. Both are easy to use and compact, making light work of travelling with kids. Prize package worth $299 www.phil&teds.com

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2015

big latch on

The 2015 Big Latch On dates have been set! Join with a community group near you to celebrate the 11th annual Big Latch On on Friday the 31st of July and Saturday the 1st of August. “We were thrilled with the success of last year’s Big Latch On and are looking at ways to make the event even more inclusive and accessible in 2015,” says Isis McKay, Women’s Health Action’s National Big Latch On Coordinator. The Big Latch On is a truly Kiwi imitative. The idea was conceived by Women’s Health Action in 2005 as part of World Breastfeeding Week. Each year, they have seen a growth in the numbers of breastfeeding women attending and an increase in the support for breastfeeding in public. The Big Latch On has also taken off globally - last year an impressive 14,536 babies (and their mums) took part in the Big Latch On across 31 countries. � Find out more from www.womens-health.org.nz www.facebook.com/BigLatchOnNZ

54 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


questions to ask when choosing your midwife Learn about the person:

Learn about the caseload

Do you have a current practising certificate?

What is your caseload? The New Zealand College of Midwives recommends a caseload of 40 –50 births per year.

What are your qualifications and experience? How many births have you attended? Are you practising under any restrictions (e.g. under supervision, practice type, prescribing)? What are your basic beliefs about birth e.g. attitudes to pain relief, home births, antenatal tests, ultrasounds (scans)? What is the range of services I can expect e.g. how many antenatal and postnatal visits? Who do you work in co-operation with?

Other issues What is your intervention rate? e.g what % of the women you care for have inductions, epidurals, episiotomies etc. What will happen if I require specialist care? If I chose to have a home birth, what equipment will you provide for emergency use?

What choice will I have in selecting these alternative providers?

Know your entitlements

If your LMC is not a midwife, what options do you have for midwifery care in labour and after the birth of the baby?

You are entitled to a minimum of seven postnatal visits including a visit within 24 hours of discharge from hospital. Postnatal care extends to six weeks after the birth of your baby

Attending me during labour: Will you assess me at my home? Will you be there for the whole labour? How can you be contacted? What are the back-up arrangements if you are on holiday or not available? What arrangements do you have for back-up in labour?

You can change your LMC at any stage if you are unhappy for any reason and if you can find a replacement. �

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ipu whenua Honouring the uniqueness of the placenta Imagine walking out in your backyard every summer to pick fruit off your child's tree. An increasing number of families have cottoned on to the idea of making life-long memories for their children by planting a tree on top of their placenta. Placenta burial is common among many cultures. In a number of places, such as Kenya, Malaysia, and Nigeria, the placenta is considered the baby’s twin, or thought to have its own spirit, and is buried with the appropriate rites. In Mexico, Nepal, and New Zealand, the placenta is honoured as the companion or friend of the baby, and is placed in the earth reverently, but is not thought to have a spirit of its own. Specific burial rites vary by culture, but all the families are wanting to acknowledge the important role it played in nurturing and the first nutritional support of their baby. To also capture and honour the uniqueness of the placenta, as it's the only organ that grows inside another organ. Here in New Zealand, the tradition of burying your placenta in the earth is believed to reinforce the relationship between your baby and the land of your baby's birth. In modern Western culture placental burial is usually highly personal. It may be based on the tradition of other cultures, or their own interpretation of those traditions, and can be altered depending on the families wishes. It can be planted at the base of an established tree or bush, buried at a special site especially for placentas, or some families choose a special plant for each placenta they bury.

56 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

A busy Hawke's Bay business called Earth Friendly Ketes is filling that demand. Owner Janine Gard creates beautiful unique, hand crafted and individually designed biodegradable kete called Ipu Whenua, ipu meaning vessel or container and whenua meaning placenta and land. Each kete comes with a biodegradable (cornstarch) bag, a white plastic bag – for safe travel home, which needs to be removed upon burial, instructions to ensure the biodegradable burial and a lovely poem that families may like to read as they bury the placenta kete. The kete can be adorned with natural items that link our New Zealand heritage – polished paua pieces, small paua shells, flax flowers or natural coloured feathers. Janine started Earth Friendly Ketes two years ago and is very busy with orders coming in from all around New Zealand and also around the world. One mum, Tania, has a beautiful space on a local farm in Canada where there are plans to create a communal orchard where families can plant a fruit tree to commemorate the birth of their child. As the placenta returns to the earth it will nourish the tree and give it a fantastic start to produce fruit that the families can pick and enjoy for generations to come. Janine is excited to see her unique kete travel to other countries. She loves that it's not only our Ma¯ori and Pa¯keha¯ culture here in New Zealand that honour the placenta and treat it with reverence but many other cultures around the world have similar burial ceremonies to honour the bond between mother and baby.


Janine Gard is a Childbirth Educator, facilitating antenatal classes within her community. She and her partner Andrew have three children between them so understand the vast amount of information available regarding labour and birthing options and bringing up kids in New Zealand. Janine saw an Ipu Whenua a few years ago and loved the idea. She spoke with class members and had a lot of support from other parents too. She knew that many parents didn't have the skills or the time to create their own kete, and so, Earth Friendly Ketes was born. Feedback from parents has been overwhelming, and often say ''its too lovely to bury''. New ketes have been added to the burial options, Janine also creates ketes for cremated remains of people and treasured pets.

Janine recommends that orders are made when you find out you're pregnant, that way you can have the Ipu Whenua to take with you to the hospital or have it on hand for your home birth. The placenta needs to be buried within two to three days after your baby is born at about a depth of two to three feet (60–90cm). Discuss with your midwife before you are in labour that you would like to keep your placenta to ensure it's not disposed of. Check out www.earthfriendlyketes.com – you can order from their website. You can also take a look at their Facebook page – Janine posts many photos of the kete she creates, although not all as she doesn't always have time to take pictures in her busy days. �


Homeopathic remedies

manage motion sickness Setting off on holiday with the family can be a chore for the parents in the house. By the time you’ve emptied the fridge and packed for everyone, then made sure that the pets are taken care of, the last load of washing is done and on a rack somewhere, the house secure and all the toys and cuddlies attached to the various children, you begin to wonder if it was such a good idea after all! Then there’s the travel sickness. It can take the gloss off any holiday. Homeopathic remedies can be effective in keeping the nausea and other symptoms that accompany long trips at bay. If you can learn to observe the particular pattern of your family members, travel sickness may be a thing of the past. Whether a long drive, a boat journey or a flight and an overseas trip, there are a variety of remedies suitable for different needs.

Arnica A remedy suitable for any occasion, Arnica can be extremely useful for travel, especially on a long journey. Typically used for jetlag, Arnica can help in alleviating the restless, cramped feeling that goes with being jammed in a small space without being able to stretch or move. If given for a few doses, it can relax the body enough to enable the traveler to get to sleep. Often

58 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

there is a level of exhaustion in the person needing Arnica – they have worked hard to get organised for the holiday and then cannot relax enough to have a sleep along the way. Physical symptoms accompany the mental overtiredness too – aching back, legs and sometimes head can be symptoms needing a prescription of Arnica.

Cocculus This is a great remedy for motion sickness and can be used in car journeys where there are winding roads to negotiate. The nausea they feel can be accompanied by vertigo and faintness. The sufferer becomes slow and quiet and may be faint and weak, stumbling and looking awkward when they get out of the car. They are worse for any movement of the boat or vehicle they are in and must sit still with eyes on the road or journey ahead. They can lie down in the car as long as they keep very still and the car is not on a windy road, but are much worse if they try to sit up again. There may be a background history of not enough sleep and the smells of food or eating fatty or rich food will aggravate them, making them feel sick. They have an empty feeling with the nausea and increased salivation. Cocculus is one of the main remedies we think of and use to help re-establish the body clock for overseas travel (or shift workers and feeding mothers). Many of these symptoms apply – vertigo, nausea and tiredness and Cocculus assists in getting the rhythm back to an even keel.


Petroleum Just as the smell of petrol can make you feel nauseous, the homeopathic remedy Petroleum, made from the substance, can assist with the symptoms of travel sickness. Indicated in nausea that is worse from motion of the boat or vehicle, the patient is irritable and reactive. They feel better lying but with head propped up and feel worse for the smell of petrol/petroleum products – like when you are filling up the vehicle, or experience the smell of avgas at an airport or boat fumes. Sufferers have vertigo felt in the back of the head sometimes with a small dull headache and tend to perspire with the nausea, especially if they vomit. Often the they will have a sense of emptiness in the stomach and the nausea is relieved from eating something.

Nux vomica This works well for patients who usually feel worse in the early morning so prefer to travel later in the day. Their nausea, too, is worse from motion and they will try to sit up to improve how they feel. They are very irritable, blaming and argumentative. They will avoid bright sunlight and tight clothing, both of which make them feel worse. They find it difficult to vomit and often state that they would feel better if only they could. Fresh air to the head and face may make them feel slightly better although they can be otherwise cold. Smells of food or cooking will aggravate their nausea.

and usually feel much better sitting up front with lots of fresh air or hanging their head out of an open window. They respond well to some jollying along and sympathy and feel better if moving more slowly. They can become motion sick after eating too many rich foods or sweets and are better from cold drinks and food. Lying on their backs or being rubbed can also make them feel better.

Sepia Last but certainly not least is Sepia, a wonderful remedy for nausea and often indicated for the overtired, overworked mother or father! Those needing Sepia may feel dull, indifferent and sluggish or faint, tired and heavy, especially the eyelids. Momentarily, their nausea and weakness will go if they can get out in the open air for a brisk walk or keep busy with their eyes moving around. In children, a game of eye spy might help them to forget how they feel. They have a heavy, sinking feeling in the stomach with nausea and don’t want to eat, but are actually better eating as long as it is not heavy, fat, rich food.

If you are planning a family holiday or are prone to motion sickness when travelling, then arm yourself with one or two of the best indicated remedies and see if you can allay the nausea, without the drowsiness often experienced from other drugs, and arrive feeling more refreshed. �

Tabacum Tabacum is useful for nausea made worse from the motion of the boat or vehicle.

Judy Coldicott RC Hom

The patient looks anxious and drained and feels better lying down with eyes closed but much worse being enclosed with no air – sufferers may even flap their t-shirt to get cold air on the abdomen. They feel constant acute severe nausea and will be deathly pale, almost green in some cases, with sweating and dizziness. Their vomiting will come in paroxysms and they feel better for cold air and being uncovered.

Judy practices as both a homeopath and reflexologist from Pleasant Point in South Island’s rural heartland. She is a senior staff member for the College of Natural Health and Homeopathy, primarily involved in curriculum matters and student support. Judy’s passion is to make homeopathy user-friendly and accessible to the general public and she loves to inspire people of all ages to feel confident in its use.

Pulsatilla One of the good remedies for children when travelling is Pulsatilla. Along with their nausea, they are often weeping, crying and wanting attention


saving a bundle on your bundle of joy Pregnancy yoga, doing the baby’s room and dealing with water retention – just some of the many and varied things you have to think about when you are pregnant. Without a doubt, having a baby is a life-changing event but it doesn’t have to become a financial crisis. With a bit of consideration and planning, you can save a bundle on your bundle of joy – a couple of helpful websites are: www.plunket.org.nz/your-child/welcome-toparenting/family-and-whanau/finances-for-families/ www.sorted.org.nz/life-events/having-a-baby

And here are some other ideas: Get your financial house in order Once you learn that you’re pregnant, start tying down the financial loose ends in your life. It may be that you have credit card debt to get on top of or your mortgage may be up for refinancing.

If possible, try to build a financial cushion – one smart way to do this is to arrange automatic savings; even a small amount, as it all adds up.

The ‘b’ word Now’s the ideal time to work through a realistic budget, or to fine-tune the one you’ve got. Consider those all-important baby costs like nappies, changes to your income, and any financial assistance you may be entitled too. With the numbers in front of you, you may be able to see where you can make adjustments to bring your income and expenses into balance. Assuming you’re in paid work, don’t forget about parental leave – it might not be much but it all helps. Your employer may offer additional support so make sure you check this out. Also, if you live with your partner and you’re thinking about having some time off work with your baby, it’s a good idea to give a single income a trial run and try to live on just one salary for a few months while you’re still pregnant. No doubt some lifestyle adjustments will have to be made but it’s helpful to get an idea of how you’re going financially.


Spend wisely We’ve all seen the articles about how much money it takes to raise a child from newborn to a young adult – and it’s scary! However, the reality is we don’t need the Rolls Royce version of every baby product on the market. It’s important to keep safety top of mind when purchasing items like car seats, prams and bedding – and perhaps compromise on items that look good but outlive their usefulness almost as soon as you’ve taken the tags off. One idea is to take an experienced parent with you on your shopping trips to help you separate what’s necessary from what’s nonsensical. You can also keep costs down by looking out for deals, doing your research, and borrowing from friends and family.

Consider the costs Some of the major expenses to think about when financially planning for a baby are: Cost of the birth – are you going through the public system or privately?

Childcare – there are different childcare options available if you intend to return to work after having your baby, for example childcare centres, in-home childcare and nannies. Again, research is key. There are also a number of payments and services available to support parents with the costs of babies and children. Have a look into what financial assistance is available and if any are relevant to your situation.

The pitter patter of next steps Early preparation and budgeting will help you adjust to your new lifestyle and focus on the new little person in your life. As so many people say, life is never the same with a baby – so make a budget, research your options, take stock financially on a regular basis, and spend more time enjoying your wee one than worrying about bills. There’s no doubt that children are a big investment; but the returns are immeasurable. � Visit www.westpac.co.nz and click on the ‘Your Money and Tailored Packs' tab for helpful tools including saving and budgeting calculators and online tutorials. You can also check out if there is a workshop coming up near you. There’s even an online ‘Kids’ space’ seminar that includes some cool online games to get kids thinking about money and how to save.

Essentials like cot, pram, car seat, bedding, clothing and nappies – it’s worthwhile making a list and doing your research. Items like car seats can be hired, and Trade Me may be worth checking out. Key questions to ask sellers include ‘do they own This information is a guide only and doesn’t take into pets?’ and ‘do they smoke?’ Also, consider going WE S 1 4 4 4 K unisex i w i _on p abig r ticket e n t items A. p d f P aplanning g e 1 on2 9 / 0 6 / 1 account 2 , 1 your 1 : 4personal 4 A M financial situation or goals. if you’re having more children

Getting back to work? We can help it work for you. Now you can balance your career with your family and help them both grow. We’ve got a variety of exciting career opportunities available, including roles with flexible hours to suit your busy lifestyle. With positions available on a casual, part time or full time basis, there’s sure to be something to suit you. If you have the drive and passion to deliver a great customer experience, and want to join a team of people that are passionate about helping Kiwi’s get ahead, then we want to hear from you.

Interested? Check out westpac.co.nz/careers for all your options.

Westpac New Zealand Limited


all you need

is love

62 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


“All you need is love.” Such noble and idealistic words from The Beatles song, first broadcast on June 25th, 1967. Love is immensely important in the life of a child – they need to be loved as this supports their care and their nurturing and their development and their ability to achieve to their full potential. It supports them to be taonga (treasured). For one group of people that we at Pregnancy Help have contact with, there is an immense amount of love for a child (or children), but there can also be a lot of other factors which can complicate family life and make it challenging. This group of people are grandparents who are raising their grandchildren (or other family members raising family members).

It is hard to pinpoint the exact numbers of grandparents raising grandchildren in New Zealand. Besides the portion of families where there is a cultural expectation that the grandparent will take on the bulk, of not all the care, there is a large group of grandparents who have had to take over after their child has not been able to parent. Over eight thousand families are receiving the Unsupported Child Benefit, given to a child who is not with their parents. There would also be a portion of families on other types of benefits, and those who choose not to be on anything at all, or are perhaps unaware of them. The national organisation Grandparents Raising Grandchildren (GRG) has over four and a half thousand caregivers on their database. Whatever the exact numbers, there is no doubt that there are more out there than perhaps we are aware of. Diane Vivian from GRG says the there is no specific cultural, economic status, or age divide when it comes to grandparents being caregivers. Many are still working, and range in age from late thirties to people in their eighties. Some have multiple numbers of children to raise, and not all are from the same parent.

They have often taken on the care of these children because of difficult circumstances and they have an immense amount of love for them and a strong belief that the children should stay surrounded by the care and the love of their own family/ wha¯nau. Taking on the care of these children though can bring challenges. At a time in these grandparents' lives when their own children have often grown and left the nest, they are all of a sudden back to sleepless nights with babies, busy days running around after toddlers, and little people demanding their time and attention. It’s not as easy to have the energy to keep up with energetic little people when you are in your 50’s, 60’s or beyond. Finances can be stretched because of changes in circumstances and the support that they had bringing up their own children may not be there anymore. So how can Pregnancy Help support these grandparents or other family members who are raising their kin? If they want to talk, we listen (we’re good at that). We provide some practical support if needed – a bassinet to sleep baby in, some bedding, clothes and nappies. Some of the very basics to give a helping hand. We provide information about supports available in the community (it can be isolating when circumstances change) – Well Child providers, family support services, the assistance provided by the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust. We provide information about playgroups and toy libraries. We help to make connections. We respect the love for the children, the diversity of the family unit, families doing their best. For further details of support visit – Pregnancy Help www.pregnancyhelp.org.nz Mission Statement/ Te Whakatakanga To provide free and client focused practical assistance, information and advice during pregnancy and early childhood. To provide educational and support services that protects, preserves and promotes the well being and stability of children and their grandparents/ kin carers in circumstances where they cannot be raised by their parent/s.

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“There is not enough recognition of the role this group of people have in stopping child abuse or even death by taking children on. They are largely invisible in our society, and there is little support for them apart from our organisation,” says Diane. For grandparents, one of the biggest struggles is to find out what sort of support structures there are for grandparents who are both primary caregivers and still working. “We've found there are a group of other grandparents who are caregivers, but they can meet and network during the day. We're both working so that doesn't really help us.” The cost of becoming the primary caregiver is a huge undertaking at a stage of people's lives where they are often winding work down a little, and looking to retirement. Some have already retired and have limited sources for extra funds. Diane Vivian believes there should be financial support beyond the assettested legal aid offered to grandparents needing to gain guardianship over their grandchildren. “Many end up using their nest eggs, that they'd saved for retirement, depleting their resources. It can be an expensive process.”

Support structures You will need external help. Besides using friends and family, you may find the following contacts can help: SUPPORT FOR YOU Grandparents Raising Grandchildren www.raisinggrandchildren.org.nz PARENTING AND CAREGIVING If you need to update your parenting skills, these organisations can help. www.parentscentre.org.nz www.barnardos.org.nz www.caregivertraining.org.nz www.skylight.org.nz www.pregnancyhelp.org.nz You can also talk to a Caregiver Liaison Social Worker through Child, Youth & Family (even if grandchildren are not under them) who can help talk through caregiver courses run by them. CRISIS POINTS If you do not yet have custody, or are concerned about the well being of your grandchild, you can talk to Child, Youth & Family about what can be done. If you suspect abuse and have not been able to discuss it with your child (this should be your first step), then they can help 0508 326 459.

“It certainly wasn't something I ever expected, or chose. I'm glad I've been able to give my grandchildren a home, and a place they feel safe. As far as we are concerned, we are both their parents and grandparents. And will be until they are old enough to live independently.” The decision to go for guardianship and full custody, effectively stripping the biological parent of their parental rights is a huge decision for a grandparent to make. Most families go down this costly and emotionally damaging process to ensure the grandchildren's best interests are considered. As one grandfather explained: “My daughter has ongoing addiction issues, so it is a risk to have the children with her unsupervised. She has also had partners who have been violent, so our first response has been to ensure the children are safe.” There are also other safety issues to take into account. Another grandparent says that soon after they began looking after their granddaughter, she was ill enough to be hospitalised and they needed to make important calls on her care. “From a legal stance that was problematic. We wanted to make sure if something like that happened again we would know we were able to make important calls on her care. We also wanted to giver her stability. She deserves that.” Some find they do not need a legal arrangement. One grandmother says she was never her granddaughter’s legal guardian. “We slipped into being her custodial parents after my daughter had her unexpectedly at seventeen. We had them all under the roof at first, then


took on the parenting role for our grandchild when our daughter left for university. It's always been a shared role, and that's worked for us.” In terms of the practical side of care, many find it's a struggle to juggle childcare and work. Each family has to find a way around the grandchildren's childcare and school schedules. One grandmother says the biggest issue was the struggle to keep up. “I did feel older and more tired. But I also felt I had resources and experience up my sleeve that perhaps younger or new mums don't have.” Others find the biggest issue is the balance between being a parent and a grandparent. “We act like grandparents, doing things we know are

indulgent. We know we are doing it, but it's hard to turn off that button and change gear to a more straight parenting role. It's hard to balance the two, especially when there are other grandchildren to consider as well.” Most grandparents never expected they'd be in a parenting role at this stage of life but most are pleased they can help out. “There are certainly days when I think I'm way to old for this. I'm not a knitting and cup of tea sort of person, but there are days I have thought about getting to sit in a rocking chair with a blanket over my knees and rest! I just shake that feeling off and go play with the kids. On one hand they exhaust me. On the other, I'm pretty sure they keep me young.”

Tips for grandparent caregivers

1

Find out your rights and responsibilities If the child is sick while under your care, who has the right to make decisions on his or her care? You may need to apply for guardianship, especially if the parent/s have drug and alcohol problems or have indicated they are unable to look after the child. Applying for guardianship can be a costly exercise but ensures you have a legal backing. It's a good idea to plan for worst-case scenarios. Have a back up plan for care should you become ill or die. Is your partner on the Parenting Order? If not, the parent of the child can re-apply for custody.

2

Investigate any financial assistance Unless you look after your grandchild due to cultural reasons, you are eligible to apply for the Unsupported Child's Benefit from WINZ. This is given to caregivers and guardians when it is proven that family breakdown has caused the child to be in your care. This also enables your child to receive a Community Services card. If you need help with after school and childcare subsidies you can also apply for these. If your grandchild is disabled or needs special care, you may also be able to apply for a Disability Allowance.

3

Look after yourself Looking after grandchildren full-time can put a strain on your health, your other core relationships and your finances. Make sure you take time to regenerate yourself, and look after your health.

All parents get tired and worn out. Being a parent at a more advanced age can be even more exhausting. Give yourself time, put in time for your partner, and ensure you also keep a good reign on your finances.

4

Seek out help Regardless of how much people say the world has changed, children are still invariably the same as they were ten or twenty years ago. However there are new issues involving technology, and expectations that may not feel very familiar. Seek the advice from families where you see great kids in action, from organisations such as Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, and from parenting coaches. This is even more important if your grandchild comes into the home with severe behaviour problems.

5

Define your role Many grandparents struggle with the balance between parent and grandparent. You want to indulge them as a grandparent, and set boundaries as a parent. If you have other grandchildren you may feel it's important to treat them all the same. It's a good idea to be aware that full-time care will change the dynamic. Explaining that to the rest of the grandchildren, and seeing your role change for that child from grandparent to more of a parenting role will make your job easier in the long run. You will not be able to treat all grandchildren the same. �

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i am

that guy‌


I have a child with special needs. I am that guy, we are that family. The ones you see at the park and you think, 'I wonder what is wrong with that kid'. That is us. I knew nothing about people with special needs until I had one, a child with brain injuries, a 'special needs' kid. I hate all these terms: special needs, disabled, brain damaged. All these terms seem like dirty labels and the words fall out of my mouth like chewing on dry sand. It seems stupid that we have to label anything that is different with a term deemed politically correct, yet each term is nothing but another way to let people know my daughter is 'different'. I like the term 'a different kind of perfect'. My daughter has cerebral palsy and she is a different type of perfect. People tell us we are amazing for what we do for our daughter. They say we are strong and she came to the right place.

We are that family Hi Kiwi Parents, Early this year, I wrote an article about raising my daughter who is a different type of perfect talking about what it is like for me (us) parents. When I wrote this I had no intention for it to become anything more than a message of support for the families that are members of my charity SmileDial. The story has gone viral and has been shared all over the world. I am so pleased to have it printed in this issue of Kiwiparent magazine and I hope you enjoy reading it. If you are a family raising a child with special needs please join our SmileDialers family, we are here to offer support in many ways but the most important is that it is a huge community of people who understand how you feel. You are not alone and there are people who understand. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, we are here to help. Kelly "Boy" Dugan

They say these things when we catch up with friends or family, usually on a day when we are having a good day. That is the only reason we left the house (could leave the house). They see her when she is okay, when the pain is under control and she is happy and smiling. When she is like this we have a moment to catch our breath, be normal. What they do not see is the times when I am not strong, when it is all too much and I want to scream at her to stop: “Please can you just stop and be normal, please.” They do not see her when she has screamed for hours, days or sometimes weeks. They do not see the times when we can just hold ourselves together and we are not strong. I wonder if they notice how we have changed. Do they see that behind our eyes there is a deep sorrow? A sorrow that has been there so long it is impossible to comprehend being the people we once were. Sometimes it feels like the light inside us has gone and we just stumble from one day to the next waiting to see what type of day awaits us. I worry about her, I worry about my partner and I worry about me. How long can we do this, is this forever? How can people do what we do and not go insane? Years and years facing the impossible and fighting to get through today knowing the same awaits tomorrow. We cling to the good moments as much as we can. These moments are sometimes so fleeting and rare but when we have them we see a glimpse of what could or should have been.

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When she smiles or laughs, when we can open the windows in our house on a hot day – on bad days the screams are so loud we are scared the neighbours will hear. No-one understands the pain and the sorrow we have for our children, they will never understand what challenges we face everyday. We are not strong or awesome, we are just people who have to do whatever it takes to get through today. We yell, we say awful things in whispers or under our breath, too scared to say them out loud. Moments when we just wish our kids were normal and we are not those people with the special needs kid.

I wonder what today will bring. Will we have a good day? I hope we have a good day. One good day can carry me through a week of bad days. As long as we have a good day I can regather myself, take a deep breath and start again. Who knows what we will face today, tomorrow or forever, only time will tell. I am that guy at the park with the daughter with special needs. I am the parent to a beautiful daughter who is a different type of perfect.

Kelly Dugan

I try to forget she is different. At home, in our own space it is easy to believe this. As soon as we venture out past our gate these illusions are shattered. Every time we see other kids, other families doing normal things, a little part of me aches and I wish that we were not the ones with a child with special needs. Our daughter has taught us many things. It is important to keep positive and seek for the joy when you can find it, that can be the only thing keeping your head above the water.

I am the parent to a beautiful daughter who is a different type of perfect. Kelly Dugan I am tired, I am having a bad patch and I am unsure if I want to scream, get drunk or most likely just pull myself together and get on with it. That is why people think we are strong, because we just get on with it, we have no other choice. Keep going, just keep going. If I was strong, I would not have bad days. If I was strong, I could deal with the emotions in my life. I don’t. I bury them and pretend they are not there. I have no time for self-pity and I do not have the luxury of having time out. I have no choice but to take a deep breath and keep going. I am not amazing, I am grumpy, I am tired, I am scraping through one day to the next. I am just a person that became the parent to a different type of perfect child and sometimes I wish I wasn’t. Sometimes I wish things were different, my life was how it was supposed to be (or is this how it is supposed to be for me?). People say God has a plan and he never gives you anything you are not strong enough to deal with. If there is a God, I want to talk to him as I have a few things to tell him about his plan.

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Kelly is the founder and CEO of a Christchurch-based charity called SmileDial that supports families who have a child with an ongoing medical condition and/ or disability. As it says on its website “we put Smiles on the Dials of mums, dads and siblings (rather than focusing on the family member with special needs)". “I understand that the ripple effect of having a child with special needs which flows through the entire family unit, mums, dads and other siblings. SmileDial has helped families smile through weekend escapes for families, weekend escapes for dads, champagne breakfasts for mums, movie days for teenaged siblings of special children, support person flights to Starship Hospital, financial assistance, grocery vouchers,and so much more,” reveals Kelly. SmileDial has been involved in many amazing projects such as flying a dad from the lower South Island to be at his daughter’s side in Starship hospital where she had been with her unwell child for months. SmileDial distributed 600 Christmas presents to families who have a child with special needs and organised local artists to transform a drab area in Christchurch Hospital into 'The Butterfly' room with a huge mural, artworks and lighting. SmileDial even surprised a dad with a 45 minute ride in a 1957 Vampire Jet, just to put a Smile on his Dial. Go to the SmileDial website www.smiledial.co.nz. to register for membership promotions and be in with a chance to receive a SmileDial random act of kindness.


NOT infectious NOT a disease, it is a disorder. Children can have problems such as weakness, stiffness, awkwardness, slowness, shakiness and difficulty with balance. In mild cerebral palsy, the child may be slightly affected in one arm or leg, and the problem may be barely noticeable. In severe cerebral palsy, the child may have a lot of difficulties, with the whole body affected. The complexity of cerebral palsy and its effects vary from one person to another. It is often difficult to classify precisely which type of cerebral palsy a child has. The physical effects range from very mild to severe. What is often overlooked are the effects that it can have on the family. Grief, anxiety, resentment and anger are often experienced when a child is diagnosed as having cerebral palsy. Each family is unique in its interrelationships, its coping mechanisms and its ability to encourage the child with cerebral palsy to achieve full potential.

I like the term a different kind of perfect

An understanding of the different types of cerebral palsy makes it easier to appreciate the childs’ development and how the child learns to move. Cerebral palsy is a complex condition and it is hard to understand all the aspects of it. As new research is published our perception of cerebral palsy changes all the time. �

The Cerebral Palsy Society is a national support organisation which aims to enhance the lives of people with cerebral palsy in New Zealand, by empowering them to make their own choices. They run programmes

What is cerebral palsy? Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a group of disabling conditions, which affect movement and posture. It is caused by a defect or lesion to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during foetal development before, during or shortly following birth or during infancy.

to help get people with cerebral palsy out engaging with their community, to enable members to maintain or improve their fitness and to look at legal structures around people with cerebral palsy. They run national events and provide support and advice to individuals and their families who live with the daily challenges of Cerebral Palsy.

Cerebral refers to the brain and Palsy to muscle weakness and poor control. Cerebral palsy itself is not progressive – it does not get worse, the damage to the brain is a one-time event and does not continue. Damaged brain cells cannot be repaired but undamaged brain cells will continue to develop and mature. Cerebral palsy is not communicable. It is not a disease and should not be referred to as such. Although it is not curable in the accepted sense, training and therapy can help improve function.

Cerebral Palsy is: A one-time event brain damage Complex, with varying effects

www.cerebralpalsy.org.nz 0800503603

Difficult to classify NOT progressive – it does not get worse

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help me focus

All parents know what it is like to have a child that never seems to stop running… or talking, or moving… But for some families, things go further and their children are diagnosed as having ADHD. ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is the official name of this condition which used to be known as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).

ADHD are often described as having a short attention span, are impulsive and in many cases, but not all, restless or hyperactive. As a general guide, at least eight of the following behaviours must be present for at least six months before the age of seven:

If you are concerned that your child is overly fidgety, can’t concentrate and is having trouble socialising, you may want to consider having them properly assessed to see if they could have ADHD. Children with ADD or

Has difficulty awaiting turns.

70 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Butts into other children's games, interrupts often and doesn't listen. Has difficulty remaining seated and is easily distracted.

Fidgets with hands or feet. Has difficulty playing quietly.


What is ADHD? Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological disorder. It is characterised by developmentally inappropriate impulsivity, inattention, and in some cases, hyperactivity. Although individuals with ADHD can be very successful in life, without appropriate identification and treatment, it can have serious life consequences. Early identification and treatment are extremely important. Often talks excessively. Has difficulty following through instructions. Often blurts out answers to questions before they have been asked. Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities. At pre-school, supervisors may notice a child's short attention span, hyperactivity or inappropriate behaviour.

At primary school, teachers often describe children as restless, inattentive, easily distracted, overly impulsive, sometimes lazy, unmotivated and naughty. Of course, not all children who exhibit these symptoms have ADHD. Emotional difficulties within the child or a lack of motivation can cause similar behaviour. The significant difference for ADHD children is that under normal conditions, they lack the physical ability to control their behaviour.

Ask the experts If you are worried that your child may have ADHD, it is best to get them checked out by a specialist. An initial assessment can typically be undertaken in an hour and most patients will be reviewed as required by the specialist throughout the year. This assessment process generally begins by referral to the ADD Assessment and Family Support Centre by someone like your doctor, Plunket nurse, teacher or a family member. A paediatrician will carry out a physical and developmental assessment of your child with input from you as parent and or caregiver. Sometimes other documentation may be also required such as cognitive assessments. The specialist could also ask for further information from school, other specialists, or your GP. In some instances, further medical investigations may also be required or your child may need a referral to


mental health services. Generally, a tentative or even a reasonably definite diagnosis of ADHD, Asperger's syndrome, or autism may be made. It is important to remember ADHD is nobody's fault. Nothing you or your child has done has caused it. Too much television, too much sugar or poor schools do not cause ADHD. The truth is, nobody knows exactly what causes ADHD, although it is probably caused by a combination of many things. Many parents wonder if ADHD could be linked to what their child eats. The British Medical Journal states there isn't enough good research to be certain whether changing your child's diet can improve the symptoms of ADHD. But there is some evidence that children with ADHD may not be eating enough essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are found in foods such as meat, fish and eggs. There is also some evidence that, for a small number of children, ADHD may be linked to an allergy to food additives, such as artificial colours and preservatives.

Treatment There is no 'quick fix' when treating ADHD, although multimodal treatment is generally considered the most effective way to treat children and adolescents. This approach includes multiple elements which work best together and support each other. These various modes of treatment reinforce each other and produce the best outcomes for the whole family. This approach includes:

How long will my child need to have treatment? What will happen if my child has no treatment? Is there anything I can do to improve my child's behaviour? Can changing my child's diet help? Should my child have any special help at school? What kind of help is available? Should my child see a specialist? Do you have any handouts on ADHD that I can take home? Is there anything else I can do to help my child? Find out more from: www.adhd.org.nz �

“Help me to focus” Please teach me through my sense of "touch". I need "hands-on" and body movement.

“I need to know what comes next” Please give me a structured environment when there is a dependable routine. Give me an advanced warning if there will be changes.

“Wait for me, I'm still thinking” Please allow me to go at my own pace. If I rush, I get confused and upset.

parent and child education about diagnosis and treatment

“I'm stuck, I can't do it”

specific behaviour management techniques

Please offer me options for problem-solving. I need to know the detours when the road is blocked.

stimulant medication, and appropriate educational programme and supports. It is unrealistic to think that one intervention, by itself, is sufficient. Although an individual child might respond to one intervention more fully than other, these should not be considered as 'either/or' options. Working closely with health care providers and school personnel, treatment should be tailored to the unique needs of each child and family. Learning that your child has ADHD can be distressing, but it can be treated. And the right treatment and support can help your child behave better, so that he or she can develop and learn normally. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, you may want to talk to your doctor to find out more about the condition. Here are some questions that you might want to ask.

“Is it right? I need to know now” Please give me rich and immediate feedback on how I'm doing.

“I didn't forget, I didn't 'hear' it in the first place” Please give me directions one step at a time and ask me to say back what I think you said.

“I didn't know I WASN'T in my seat!” Please remind me to stop, think and act.

“Am I almost done now?” Please give me short work periods with short-term goals.

“I know, it's ALL wrong, isn't it?”

How do you know my child has ADHD?

Please give me praise for partial success. Reward me for self-improvement, not just perfection.

Could my child's symptoms be caused by something else?

“But why do I always get yelled at?”

How will ADHD affect my child as he or she grows up? What are the best treatments for my child? Do these treatments have side effects?

72 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Please catch me doing something right and praise me for my specific positive behaviour. Remind me (and yourself) about my good points, when I'm having a bad day. Source: Newsletter of the Delaware Association for the Education of Young Children


winners Huggies Nappies Nina Hayman Auckland Kelly Munro, Ashurst

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Find a Centre near you Parents Centres span the entire country with 50 locations around New Zealand. Contact your local Centre for details of programmes and support available in your area or go to

www.parentscentre.org.nz

North Island Auckland Region 1

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South Island Northern South Island Nelson Marlborough Greymouth Canterbury Region Ashburton Christchurch Christchurch South Timaru Oamaru Southern Region Alexandra Balclutha Dunedin Gore Invercargill Taieri


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Win a Wicked nightie from Hotmilk The perfect gift for a new mother! The ultimate nursing nightie offering support, comfort and fabulousness throughout the nights.

RRP $99.90 www.hotmilklingerie.com

Be in to win one of FOUR Breastfeeding Bras valued at $49 each from Egg Maternity Lightly padded, non-wire cup with 4 row hooks this bra will give you the smoothest silhouette without compromising your comfort. Wear from 6 months pregnant until after birth when it is ideal for feeding your gorgeous wee miracle. www.egg.co.nz

Win one of THREE airlight carriers from Phil&Ted Meet the airlight front and back carrier from phil&teds. Ultra-compact and stored within its own padded belt, airlight is ingeniously easy to use. Available in red, green and black. Perfect for the leaving in your bag, car or when travelling.

RRP $79

80 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years



GOAT MILK SKINCARE RANGE

NEW!

✓ Made with natural Goats Milk ✓ Suitable for babies and toddlers with sensitive skin ✓ No harsh chemicals

✓ No Parabens ✓ No Artificial Colours ✓ No SLS

Available at pharmacies nationwide USL Consumer toll free 0800 658 814 or Email us at enquiries@uslmedical.co.nz or visit www.uslconsumer.co.nz


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