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December 2012

Post-natal depression . Asperger’s awareness . Dealing with scoliosis Raising happy children . Christmas recipes . Websites for youngsters

Y O U R N E W F R E E PA R E N T I N G M A G A Z I N E F O R T H E G E E L O N G R E G I O N


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Summer is here & kids will be kids...

Keep this list of dental Care Tips handy incase your child has a dental emergency.

Dr. Alastair McCallum - Dental Surgeon

Trak Arcade, 73 The Terrace, Ocean Grove Ph: 5255 2584 Dr. Samantha Ho has recently joined us from Wales and has moved to Australia for a new adventure with her husband. She is enjoying the coastal lifestyle and has settled well into the practice.

Dr. Samantha Ho

She has very high standards and enjoys improving people’s smiles. She is a gentle dentist and enjoys treating children as well as adults. Before her move Samantha worked in a dental practice in Wales and also worked in a dental hospital in the children’s clinic.

Dental Emergency Reference Guide TOOTHACHE - Painful tooth with throbbing ache or excessive sensitivity.

Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm water to clean out debris. Use dental floss to remove any food that might be trapped between the teeth. If swelling is present, place cold compresses on the outside of the cheek. (Do not use heat or place aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.) See your dentist as soon as possible.

ORTHODONTIC PROBLEMS - (Braces & Retainers) Painful or loose wires, brackets, or bands.

If a wire is causing irritation, cover the end of the wire with a small cotton ball, beeswax or a piece of gauze. See your dentist as soon as possible. If a wire is embedded in the cheek, tongue, or gum tissue, do not attempt to remove it. Go to your dentist immediately. If an appliance becomes loose or a piece of it breaks off, take the appliance and the broken piece, and go to the dentist.

DISPLACED TOOTH - Tooth out of position with bleeding of the gums. Try to reposition the tooth. Go immediately to the dentist.

KNOCKED-OUT TOOTH - (Permanent teeth only; do not replant baby teeth) Tooth completely out of its socket.

If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently in running water. Do not scrub it. Gently insert and hold tooth in its socket. If it is not possible, place the tooth in a container of milk or cool water. Go immediately to your dentist (within 30 minutes, if possible) Don’t forget to bring the tooth.

BROKEN TOOTH - Fracture of tooth with severe pain or sensitivity.

Gently clean dirt or debris from the injured area with warm water. Place cold compress on the face, in the area of the injured tooth, to minimize swelling. Go to the dentist immediately.


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CONTENTS

Page 7 - A first-hand account of post-natal depression Page 8 - FEATURE Asperger’s and awareness Page 10 - Schools in Focus Page 15 - Top 10 websites for children Page 18 - FEATURE Raising happy and healthy children Page 20 - Being a business woman and a mum Page 21 - Life as a stay-at-home dad Page 22 - Staying safe in the water this summer Page 23 - HEALTH Dealing with scoliosis Page 24 - Some handy advice for new mothers Page 25 - Christmas present cat and mouse Page 26 - Perfect recipes kids can make Page 31 - WHAT’S ON ... events in the region


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PUBLISHING

DETAILS

Kids’ Voice is a monthly publication for parents with children of all ages. Each month the magazine will be jam-packed with news, views, reader stories, feature articles, advice columns as well as product, book, movie and website reviews. There will be somethng for everyone. Experts have joined our team and will provide regular columns to ensure you’re in the know about all sort of issues in the areas of health, education and alternative therapies. EDITOR

Eve Fisher news@kidsvoice.com.au BUSINESS MANAGER

Michele MItten michele@kidsvoice.com.au ADVERTISING SALES

Rob Angus rob@kidsvoice.com.au Phone: 0457 007 463 STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Alan Barber GRAPHICS

Elise Blach

PO Box 54, Ocean Grove Victoria, 3226 Phone; 03 5255 3233 Fax: 03 5255 3255 Find us on Facebook facebook.com/Kids Voice Geelong COVER MODEL

Gabrielle Nutt

No part of this magazine, incudling the advertisements, may be repreoduced without permission of the editor. The opinions expressed within Kids’ Voice magazine are not necessarily the views of the publisher, but those of indiviual writers.


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L A I R O T I ED

Welcome to the future Finally, a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears have culminated in a publication we hope will make parenting a little easier, and whole lot more fun. We’ve tapped into the collective brilliance of a host of experts who are providing insight and inspiration. Alongside those professionals are parents – professionals in their own right – who have written fabulous and heart-warming tales of parenthood. Their stories remind us that everyone looks after their kids in a different way and have their own methods of dealing with the mayhem and mischief. Kids’ Voice has been 18 months in the making and we are hoping parents in Geelong and Lara, and on the Surf Coast and Bellarine, will see what a valuable resource is now available in the region. We are hoping readers will be eager to submit their stories, list their events in What’s On, recommend schools and kindergartens for our Schools in Focus feature and submit photos and news tips. We even have book, toy and video game reviews, plus heaps of giveaways. The most important aspect of this magazine is that it’s content driven and it’s the readers who are going to be driving the content. We are thrilled that so many parents wanted to be part of the launch edition, before they had even seen the finished product. We were overwhelmed with support as people literally gushed that a free parenting magazine was exactly what

the region needed. We are filling a gap and we hope Kids’ Voice will continue to grow as more people realise its necessity as a resource. The editorial, advertising and production team is not afraid to ask for help. You’ll see we have plenty of adverts placed throughout the magazine looking for all sorts of contributions. We want kids to enter our cover photo competition. Missing teeth and bad haircuts are welcome. Parents are always welcome to contribute to our Reader Voice stories – we’re going to run several each edition. Our idea is that we’ll keep the stories short because we know you’re busy. One parent even said: “I never get to finish a story if I have to turn the page.” Most importantly, we want your feedback. What do you like and what doesn’t work? Is there something more you’d like to see? Enjoy reading the first edition of Kids’ Voice. It’s our pride and joy, and we hope you think so too. Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed and helped make this first edition a success. Happy parenting.

EVE FISHER Editor

Illustration - Annalise Mayer


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READER VOICE Post natal depression affects up to 15 per cent of women. Lousia Jones shares her story of the darkness and coming through the other side.

ing... And while we’re at it, look here’s a wonderful sling which you can use to attach your baby to your body for the rest of those daylight hours because 9 months carrying him surely wasn’t enough as well as feeding him 1.5 hourly. And well, why you don’t just take these chains home so you can chain yourself to the nursing chair.”

I wanted to jump out the window.

Yes, thriving on my blood, sweat, and tears. Appropriate, because apparently breast milk is enriched sweat anyway. Tasty stuff. But pray tell me, is there some chromosome in my genes I missed out on that would give me ethereal bliss while feeding my baby? I didn’t get this amazing gift. Awkward, sweaty, and smelly yes it was, but no bliss for me.

That was the thought in my head when I went into my newborn son’s bedroom to try to get him to sleep, or change his third nappy of the hour, or when I was sitting in his room feeding him like the cow I became. I would sit there looking out of the window at a beautiful tree in our garden. My son’s room had the highest window of our house. The window was situated over the carport, which incidentally was probably sliding slowly down the hill on which our house was situated. If I sat in the room long enough, maybe the room would slide down the hill and that would save me from having to jump out the window. Let’s face it, jumping out the window wasn’t really going to do much more than break my legs. Staying in the room and feeding my baby forever seemed a much more likely thing to happen. It was quite possible considering that my huge baby liked to devour my milk within the ‘every two hours’ that the MCHN said was the closest his feeds should be; so I might as well have sat in that chair in that room indefinitely, looking out the window. I loved that tree. I hope the new owners didn’t cut it down. We never drive past the house in case I find out that they did. When I got too bored sitting in my son’s room to feed him, I started feeding him on the couch in the living room. I loved our living room; there was another beautiful tree outside the window there. However the distance to the ground was minimal so unfortunately it provided no inspiration for a quick escape from my melancholy. TV was no refuge, I tried to re-watch the

Illustration - Annalise Mayer entire X-Files seasons in between feeds, but the real life incubus made the demons on the X-Files rather insipid. I would end up back in my son’s bedroom looking out the window and fantasising about leaping out. My fantasy would always involve me hugging my child close to my body as I jumped. He would come with me because despite everything I couldn’t imagine not holding him in that moment. It would be ok; my post-natal deformed body would protect him as I hit the ground. A MCHN wouldn’t approve, but hey - she thought everything was normal. “Your son’s weight gain at a farcical rate a week and your crying in the middle of a mother’s group meeting is perfectly normal. Your son is normal, nine kilos at 10 weeks old, hey that’s normal, look how he’s thriving! So really as long as your son is heavyweight champion of the century all we care about is that you are breast feed-

Anyway, let’s get back to my window. And the jumping out of it that I was contemplating. I thought about it - anything to get my mind off the mind-numbing job of being a cow - but I didn’t do it. I had some vestige of rational thought still circulating through my head. That rational spark gave me the ability to hide my true self from most of my friends and acquaintances and most of my relatives. However, whenever someone would visit ‘just to see the baby’ and forget I was in the room, it buried that spark a little deeper. Eventually, a very close friend whom I was able to confide in told me, “No, you aren’t normal.” Best words I ever heard. The window therefore stayed intact. My lovely tree didn’t witness a dramatic leg-breaking incident. My son is now six, my daughter is four and my youngest is a two-year-old boy. My children are the most beautiful children in the world and that’s the truth. We no longer live in that house. However, sometimes I wish I was back there, looking out the window at my trees. LOUISA JONES To talk, phone the Post and Antenatal Depression Association on 1300 726 306


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FEATURE

Take a good look inside It’s easy to pigeonhole people with Asperger’s Syndrome as those who are usually smart in some areas but struggle socially. As a teacher I often had students with Asperger’s or autism in my class and while I was able to work effectively with them, I never really got to know them. That all changed when I started teaching Scott Day. Almost immediately I realised Scott was incredibly high functioning and I was impressed with the way he wrote and the way he spoke. He was funny and quirky, and never any trouble – it was fantastic having him in the class. We got to know each other well and because of his interest in journalism, was more than happy to be the subject of a story. Scott was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was 12. His mother Gabrielle said he was one of the younger ones in the year level and didn’t fit in. “He was our fourth child – we thought he was reading, speaking, doing these things earlier because he had the older ones to follow,” Mrs Day said. “It came to a head in grade 6. Academically he was off the chart, socially he wasn’t.” Scott said primary school was tough and finally being diagnosed made sense of some of the problems. “I couldn’t determine why I was so isolated,” he said. “(Students) were verbally and psychologically abusive. I was being ostracised. I always had older friends and they were off in high school. It was always verbal and psychological. They knew they could do more harm psychologically.” Mrs Day said observing Scott made her realise something was amiss. “There were funny things Scott would say and do that rang a bell with Asperger’s. I once asked him to clean under the table and he grabbed a cloth and started wiping underneath the table,” she said.

“He was taking things very literally. This was him and it was happening more often. We began talking to the school psychologist. Everything is taken personally with Scott. Everything is taken literally and personally.”

Mrs Day said Scott wasn’t concerned with fitting in socially – yet as he is getting older it seems he is fitting in more readily without having to try. “It’s not important for Scott to fit in. And to bend to opinions and social norms,” she said.

And that made things tough when Scott went to high school. “When he first went to (high school) he had a hard time,” Mrs Day said. “We didn’t tell the students about the Asperger’s. After one or two terms we had a meeting and it was suggested he could tell one person. It would be closely monitored.

Scott is particularly interested in film – he would be the first to describe it as his obsession, which is common in people with Asperger’s and autism. He is a film buff and he also likes writing, particularly scripts. When I first met Scott he was determined to become a scriptwriter, although he readily admits he struggles to write dialogue.

“We actually found that the more people knew about the Asperger’s, the more they understood and accepted Scott for being that way. He wasn’t just thought of as a quirky kid or someone different. They started to listen, started to understand his reactions and accept him.” Scott often finds people’s interest in him baffling, even if it is someone simply wanting to know what he is doing. “I don’t seem to understand why others seem to be concerned with the opinion of others,” Scott said. “That’s something I’ve never understood. That’s why I pontificate my opinions so often because I simply want to get my point across. Once, I was sitting in the cafeteria … a student walked in and he asked me what game I was playing. I said I was reading a blog. He smirked and said ‘why are you reading? You’re reading! Who reads?’ “I don’t understand why what I’m doing has any concern about how that affects him as a person, unless I’m inflicting some sort of pain on him, which I wasn’t. I don’t see how that has any effect on that character. My initial reaction is that they have no right to dictate what I do. I didn’t even know this person. It seemed very arbitrary.”

“Ever since I was young I wrote creatively,” he said. “My perception of my work is insipid. I can’t write dialogue because I have no life experience. I can’t empathise with people. I can’t write dialogue that is sincere. I write dialogue that is cheap. It is sentimental and has no value. I target cheap emotions that lack empathy. “The ability to compare the emotions of others and possibly feel them is incomprehensible. Empathy is the ability is comprehend the emotions of others and feel them vicariously.” Scott is similarly critical of himself when he makes simple mistakes. “I often feel very awkward when I pronounce a word incorrectly,” he said. “It’s almost as though I lose respect for myself rather than other people losing respect for me. I’m concerned about my image in regards to myself but I’m not concerned regarding what other people think of me.” “I’m a worrier. I suffer from anxiety. I worry about anything that doesn’t relate to film. I’m very well versed in film. I’m afraid my knowledge of other subjects is not substantial, not researched by myself as extensively as I do film. That’s why I’m frightened. “I can say I understand natural selection and that I’m interested


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FEATURE in natural selection but I’m afraid that one day I’m going to say something that’s going to strip me of my credibility. I don’t want to be wrong. Film is not necessarily correct or incorrect, hence I’m not afraid of asserting my opinion. It’s safer. With everything else, I’m anxious. It’s empirical evidence.” Scott said this was often why he struggled in social situations – because they were in a constant state of flux and unpredictable. “I feel very uncomfortable in social situations. I have no idea what to do,” he said. “I’m not very well versed in social protocol. I don’t understand social protocol. It’s not based on evidence. It’s always so elusive. People are so enigmatic.” Forming emotional connections is one of the hardest aspects of life for Scott. He struggles with it constantly and aware that having Asperger’s is going to make it hard to form meaningful relationships. “Love – I find it a hard emotion to rouse in myself,” Scott said. “I do not intentionally feel love. I love those I feel a connection with. I don’t know if it is earned or simply inherent. I can respect, I can admire, but I can’t love. I can love my mother. I love my cat. I’m very selective. It’s not intentional.” Mrs Day said Scott worried about falling in love, meeting a girl and getting married but the 16-year-old is dismissive. “I know that won’t happen. I’m not concerned about that at all,” he said. “I’m always academically motivated. I have no interest in anything else. I don’t think I can empathise. I don’t think that I can consider the options or preference of someone else before myself. I’m always very self-motivated. That’s why I think I can’t love. “They say I will but I don’t want to hear that because I know it’s not going to happen. It seems predetermined. I have no empathy. I have no consideration for others. I’m self-motivated. I’m very self-centred in that respect.” Scott said he did make connections with people at school and had some friends who were important in his life. “I do have connection with my friends. But it’s not a love. I don’t know about emotional connection. I have a good rapport. I feel fulfilled in their presence. I do have a connection with my family. I have a rapport. I don’t have an emotional basis.” When he was first diagnosed Scott said it took some time before

he realised the full implications of having his condition. “I was relatively indifferent ... I think it was when I decided to research my own condition, I was no longer indifferent as I realised that it was a worthy asset in my academic endeavours.” Despite facing struggles, the future looks bright for Scott and he plans to continue studying once he finishes year 12 next year. “I’ve been reading Kafka recently. I’m going to go to RMIT to study sociology, anthropology, literature, journalism, film theory.

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I want to travel to England, Chicago. I don’t really worry about the future. I will be isolated. I don’t want to become a megalomaniac. I don’t mind if (people) stereotype me as one. I don’t care if they don’t know me unless it gives me an opportunity, I will strive for opportunities. “I hope others realise that regardless of my idiosyncratic nature that I am a human being.” EVE FISHER


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SCHOOLS IN FOCUS - SECONDARY

LARA SECONDARY COLLEGE Principal’s name: Lyn Boyle Public/private/independent: Public Address: Alkara Avenue, Lara Phone: 5282 8988 Number of students: 800 Number of teachers: 63 Year levels: 7 to 12 Why would you recommend your school? Lara Secondary College is a dynamic school community and offers a diverse range of opportunities and programs in an aim to meet the needs of every individual. The continual development and refinement of programs for our students reflects our commitment to adding value to the learning of every child.

Describe the school’s sport program:

We are very proud to see that NAPLAN growth from Year 7 to Year 9 is well above state average as a result of our uniquely individualised programs and we offer an extensive range of pathways opportunities through VET/ VCAL and VCE for senior years students.

At Lara Secondary College we have a rich and vibrant extra-curricular sports program. We currently offer over 15 different interschool sports which are played across years 7 to 12 throughout the year. These sports include: football, athletics, cricket, basketball, soccer, badminton, baseball, swimming, volleyball, softball, hockey, rugby league and tennis.

At Lara Secondary College our school values guide our vision and direction. Excellence, Teamwork, Commitment and Respect. Our focus continues to be on the building and maintenance of strong relationships between students, between students and teachers, and between school and home. The strength in relationships allows us to offer the very best learning opportunity in a safe and secure environment.

Lara Secondary currently competes in the Division 1 of the School Sport Victoria – Geelong Division Athletics and Swimming tournaments. This Division 1 of competition is fiercely competed for by the largest of the Geelong Secondary Schools. As a college we have progressively become more competitive with the larger schools and in recent years Lara Secondary won the

highly prestigious Division 1 Athletics competition. In our short time competing in the Geelong Division, we have had many successes with teams representing the college at all levels of Barwon South West, Western Zone and State Championships. Lara Secondary has also had many students represent the college on an individual level at both state and national championships in athletics, swimming and softball. Describe the school’s music program: Instrumental music lessons are provided to all interested students who are then involved in ensemble and/or college bands. Participation gives students an opportunity to share their passion and present their skills to a wide range of audiences both within the college and in the wider community. At the same time students of like


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SCHOOLS IN FOCUS - SECONDARY What extra-curricular programs are available?

minds can meet to share their interests and improve their skills. Music enables students to develop a broader educational experience and develop artistic and creative talents. Involvement in the instrumental music program provides students with co-operative learning opportunities and enhances their personal and social development. Private lessons, classroom music, musical productions and ensemble & band participation are part of the broader social importance of the college. A wide range of instruments are available for tuition including: • Voice (singing,) • Guitar/bass guitar • Piano/keyboard • Drums • Percussion • Trumpet • Trombone • Flute • Clarinet • Saxophone Describe the school’s drama/arts program: The performing arts program is recognised as one of the best in the region. Lara Secondary College offers many performance opportunities both within and beyond the curriculum. Some of the major events include: • The Take Over Short Play Festival at Geelong Performing Arts Centre. This is a program involving students in years 9 to 12 that allows them an opportunity to create original short ensemble pieces as well as ‘take over’ the Blakiston theatre in all backstage areas such as lighting, sound design and stage management. • The Melbourne Fringe Festival - Melbourne Fringe. This is the leading organisation for the independent arts in Victoria. It facilitates the presentation of contemporary work across all art forms. Their artistic program gives

We are a very fortunate school to have a dedicated group of teachers who provide a wide range of engaging and challenging extra curricula programs. These include such as Buskers Day, Literacy & Numeracy week lunchtime challenges for staff and students, music evenings, Alpine School program, Stress Free Day, Under Construction Arts evening, Are You OK mental health day, Creating Conversations drug education evening, Kevin Hoffman walk partnership as well as our interschool sporting programs which have produced some elite athletes with brilliant results, In addition we offer chess club and debating club. The LEO’s club has developed as a result of our strong association with the Lions Club of Lara. Lara Youth Agency includes students across a range of year levels working in conjunction with COGG to promote health and well being for youth. What kind of camps and outdoor programs are offered? both emerging and established artists opportunities to gain diverse professional skills and present new work.

Outdoor education is in high demand and we offer a program from years 10 to 12 including VCAL and VCE.

• Whole school productions. Be it the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge or musicals, Lara Secondary College has delivered high quality performance opportunities available to all students through an audition process for the last five years. In 2008 & 2011 the college participated in the Rock Eisteddfod challenge – the first year in the Open division, coming second place and then, in 2011, again securing second place in the prestigious Premier division.

Camps and trips are important aspect of our program, offering many students opportunities that they may not otherwise experience outside the school setting. Whole year level camps at years 7 & 8 are focused on building resilience and team spirit through outdoor programs across two or three days.

Describe the school’s ITC program: Lara Secondary College is highly innovative in its approach to curriculum through the incorporation of ICT. As one of two regional ultranet lighthouse schools we have been recognised for our extensive work in ensuring that ICT is at the forefront of our planning and delivery of curriculum. We boast a one to one program in Years 7 to 10 with the introduction of an iPad program in 2013.

At Year 9 our Connections program is an applied learning program where in term one students are challenged to develop their individual strength and belief in themselves through physical challenges in a range of adventurous activities plus a range of trips and camps within this one day per week program – specifically designed to meet the needs of Year 9 students. At year 10 students are offered the opportunity to ski in New Zealand, or visit Queensland, Tasmania and /or Central Australia. A range of international tours have and will be offered including Nepal, Malaysia, Japan and Indonesia.


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SCHOOLS IN FOCUS - PRIMARY

OUR LADY STAR OF THE SEA Principal’s name: Rhonda J Boyd Public/private/independent: Independent Address: 13-29 John Dory Drive, Ocean Grove Phone: 5255 4308 Number of students: 356 Number of teachers: 24 Year levels: Prep to Year 6 Why would you recommend your school? The core business of a school is learning and teaching where developing relationships and connectedness is paramount. Our Lady Star of the Sea is a quality Catholic school, a school that champions the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, calls all members of the school community to act as Christians to make the world a better place. Families who want this ethos for their children are welcome to seek out the school as the option for them. 2013 is the 30th anniversary year. As a result of a growing need for a Catholic primary school in Ocean Grove, Our Lady Star of the Sea opened in 1982 with an enrolment of 84 students. Currently there are 350 students. Students come from Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads and surrounding areas. The school owns a bus, which conducts bus runs before and after school to the catchment areas of Wallington and Barwon Heads. The majority of the exiting Year 6 students attend St Ignatius College, Drysdale, Sacred Heart College or St Joseph’s College, Geelong. The school nurtures a welcoming and respectful atmos-

phere and promotes a spirit of co-operation. The ethos of Star of the Sea is one that is modelled on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the traditions of the Catholic Church. The Religious Education program co-exists with and compliments the school program based on the recommended state curriculum. The school participates in community activities which help to promote a sense of identity and belonging. The annual Mission Fete is a huge highlight for the students who plan the day to raise funds for others and promotes social justice awareness. Funds are raised for Catholic

Missions and Caritas. Activities to promote family values are promoted through recognition of the Mums and Dads on their special days and the Family Week Catholic Care activities. Students respond in prayer and kind to worthy causes. Participation in local community activities includes the ANZAC day parade, visits to local aged care homes, local sustainability projects, Christmas Carols in the Ocean Grove park and Relay for Life. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to be learning and teaching partners by contributing to class and school activities and to join the various parent groups such as the


SCHOOLS IN FOCUS - PRIMARY

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School Education Board and the Parents and Friends Association. What extra-curricular programs are available? Participation in the school leadership program and student action groups builds students skills and understanding to be responsible and active citizens. Class leaders, Sports Captains, Social Justice, Green Thumbs. Kids Safety Club and Travelsmart are established groups which are mentored by teachers. Incursions and excursions are important for supporting student engagement and learning. Incursions include performances by professional actors or entertainers and often relate to student wellbeing and the performing arts. The Life Education Van visits biannually. Guest speakers, including parents, share their stories about their work or hobbies to connect to student learning. Excursions to local places, Geelong or Melbourne, are planned to support the integrated inquiry big ideas; wellbeing, the environment and sustainability, the changing world and community. Students in years three to six participate in annual camps that focus on outdoor activities or support the learning and teaching focus. Describe the school’s music program: Students who are interested in playing musical instruments and singing have opportunities to join the school choir as well as receive private lessons from Oxygen Music School teachers. The school choir performs at local kindergartens, homes for the aged and other local schools. Parents with expertise volunteer their time to conduct the choir. Through the performing arts program the students are given opportunities to perform. The Year 6 Music Night is a favourite as the students entertain their parents, their extended families and teachers. The weekly assemblies give students an opportunity to also perform as well as share aspects of their learning. Visual arts are important for the students and displays of permanent art work created by the students with support from teachers and the Artist in

School Program are a visual highlight of the school. Describe the school’s sport program: Physical education is integral to school life with regular weekly sessions held for all classes. Students are very keen participants in various sports and have opportunities as an individual or as a team, in school, zone, regional, state and national level competitions. Soccer, basketball, football, netball, softball, tennis and water sports including swimming are played. The school conducts the Active After School Sports, which is funded by the Federal Government and offers students participation in a broad range of sports conducted by local community groups. Students have access to private tennis lessons. Other features of the school include child friendly play grounds with climbing equipment and passive play areas, sun shade areas, shared learning areas, an indoor physical educational facility & assembly area and a well-resourced library. Technology, including smartboards, computers,

iPads, cameras and the internet are situated in each learning area as learning tools across the curriculum to support twenty first century learning. Gardens are available for children to participate in activities to learn about and grow vegetables. The Travelsmart program and Nude Food and Carry In and Carry Out strategies support the vision for sustainability. Sunsmart behaviours are promoted. In recent years the school engaged in building programs, new works and refurbishments, to totally rejuvenate the school buildings. The Opening and Blessing of the Building Program, December 2011, acknowledged the Building the Educational Revolution program, The National School Pride Project, the Supplementary Capital Funding project and the school’s financial contribution as a true celebration. The challenge to complete a significant grounds development and planting program is currently being taken on by the parent community. Great work is being accomplished by very supportive parents.


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SCHOOLS IN FOCUS - KINDER LARA LAKE COMMUNITY PRE-SCHOOL Lara Lake Community Pre-School has been offering families and their children in the Lara area an introduction into early years education for the last 20 years. Families can be actively involved and make a valued contribution to their child’s experience in both our 3 and 4 year old programs. Our duplicated facility allows your child to experience a learning environment that is state of the art and has an abundance of modern teaching aides. This will allow your child to gain the skills and confidence they require to prepare for their school years. Our highly educated staff will guide you and your child through the exciting journey that is kinder and ensure the experience is a positive one. Debra, our Director is an experienced educator in the early years framework and works closely with our teaching staff to formulate a program that incorporates the Being, Belonging and Becoming framework. 2012 has been an exciting year of change for Lara Lake Community Pre-School. We participated in the pilot of The Universal Access Program which has extended the federally funded program of kindergarten from 10.75 hours to 15 hours. This model will be adopted by all Pre-Schools in 2013. Lara Lake Community Pre-School was one of only a few Pre-Schools that had the opportunity to take part in this pilot program, a fabulous experience for our staff, students and families. The pilot also gave us extra funding which has allowed us to purchase updated resources and newer materials for everyone. Our outdoor area has also been extended in 2012 and allows further exploration for the inquisitive personali-

ties that make up a room of 25 pre-school aged children. A large sandpit, a fairy garden, a dry creek bed, swings, a mud pit, a veggie patch, a covered veranda area and an assortment of outside toys make up some of our interactive yard. The positioning of the pre-school, behind Lara Lake Primary School gives our students a sense of community as they see the older children in the school yard and builds to the excitement of transitioning to school. Along with the duplication of room and yard we also have the added bonus of a Community Room added to our facility. This allows extra space for the children when the weather doesn’t allow for outside play and for special day parades such as Easter Bonnet, Book Week. We have been able to facilitate numerous incursions in this room such as Dinosaur Dave from Museum Victoria, Brave Hearts, African Drumming and Thingle

Toddle just to name a few. A weekly visit from the Lara Librarian also occurs in this room. Our pre-school is a local and much loved endeavour, originally founded by local parents, keen for a kinder garten that could reflect the needs of the Lara community. We are proud of the achievements made by our staff, students and committee of management in 2012 and we eagerly look forward the challenges of 2013. More information regarding our service can be located on our website laralakepreschool.vic.edu.au

To feature your high school, primary school or kindergarten email news@kidsvoice.com.au


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TOP 10 WEBSITES FOR KIDS Aren’t children wonderful? Their developing brains are like sponges and absorb so much information. With each generation, technology usage increases and it is amazing to watch a toddler navigate their way around an iPhone or iPad. There are some great websites out there that are both fun and exciting and provide learning opportunities at the same time.

pottermore.com

funbrain.com

This one is for all of the Harry Potter enthusiasts and was co-created by J.K Rowling. The site is easy to move around and offers things like the history of the characters, some magical spell recipes, and gives you a real online experience of the Harry Potter world.

Fun Brain is organised into a reading section, a maths arcade and games. This site is often used in primary schools as it encourages children to learn maths, vocabulary and keyboard skills without them even noticing!

abc.net.au/abcforkids

bbc.co.uk/schools/typing

ABC 4 Kids is a site that represents all of those favourite programs that most of us grew up with, such as Playschool, Blinky Bill and Sesame Street. This website is aimed at the younger generation and is an easy to use, colourful site that even parents will find easy to navigate. There are games to play, craft activities and your children can even watch their favourite program on the computer again and again and again.

Way back when I was in school, we learnt to touch type using a heavy old industrial type writer. It took all my strength to type an ‘A’ with my left hand pinkie. Now keyboards are much easier to use and there is less of a reason for only using two pointer fingers to type. This website offers a fun set of tutorials to learn how to touch type - something that is becoming far more important than getting your pen licence. The website talks you through step by step in a system called Dance Map Typing.

readwritethink.org

barbie.com

This great website provides something for all children right from kindergarten through to year 12. There are fun activities, book suggestions, projects, games and even podcasts. Teachers will find research based lessons with detailed instructional plan and worksheets. The site is colourful and easy to navigate with a great search functionality.

It is claimed that one Barbara Millicent Roberts (aka Barbie Doll) is sold every three seconds, with an estimated one Billion Barbies being sold across 150 countries since 1959. Needless to say, this website needs no introduction. It is what you imagine with all the glitz and glamour that you could imagine.

readingeggs.com.au Reading Eggs is another ABC initiative. There are some great reading games and activities that are engaging for children. The site is divided into sections based on ages as young as three and right up to 13. There are however charges associated with this site. but it offers a 14 day free trial so you can try before you buy.

thewiggles.com.au Another family favourite, The Wiggles website is as professional as their world tour. It offers a great range of games and activities. Become a Wiggle Time member and you will get access to even more including a Parent Resource Centre with a Parent Message Board and Forum. The kids can even personalise your own Wiggles website, just like a real web developer!

spellingcity.com With auto-correct and spell check readily available, spelling seems to be something that is often neglected. Spelling City has some great tools for helping children learn spelling techniques.

skoodle.com/d Skoodle, formerly known as Super Clubs Plus, is a safe social network. Think Facebook without the face. Users are carefully monitored and learn first-hand how to keep themselves safe online. Skoodle is used in a number of schools and is aimed at children aged six to 14. In fact, only four years after it was launched there are over 180,000 Australian primary school children actively participating from 2200 Australian schools and together with 300,000 children worldwide. This list only just touches the surface. There are so many wonderful sites available. Some other sites my own children explore are kids.nationalgeographic.com.au, kidcyber.com.au, global2.vic.edu.au, mathletics.com.au and yepi.com.

SHELLEY GROSS is director at Wonderful

Websites. Visit wonderfulwebsites.com.au, email sales@wonderfulwebsites.com.au or phone 0447 353 033.


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HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU KID

Gala Day in Geelong is always a hit with the youngsters, while the Christian College Art Show attracted a huge number of visitors keen to check out the students’ work.


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HERE’S LOOKING AT YOU KID

Our Lady Star of the Sea students were busy working hard when Kids’ Voice visited the Ocean Grove primary school. If you’d like us to run photos from your school, community group or child-friendly event, email high-res images and captions to news@kidsvoice.com.au


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FEATURE

Nurturing for the best How best to raise happy, healthy children is an age-old parenting question. Much of what we learned about parenting from previous generations is no longer adequate or optimal when it comes to raising and nurturing children in today’s complex society. Today’s parents need additional skills— specifically emotional skills—to support their children, which often go beyond what we have learnt ourselves. Children’s wellbeing is now being recognised as a vital priority in giving children the best start in life. Children’s wellbeing is not just about eating a proper breakfast or wearing a bicycle helmet. As important as these things are, there are many unseen dimensions of your child’s life that are calling for attention more than ever before. Wellbeing is recognised largely by how well children deal with the many day-to-day demands they encounter at home, school and the wider social world. High levels of wellbeing mean that a child is able to respond to difficult circumstances, to innovate and to constructively engage with other people and the world around them in positive, constructive ways . On the other end of the spectrum, low levels of wellbeing often see children struggle to respond to life, themselves, and others positively. When children do not feel well they act in ways that are detrimental to themselves and others, and are often perceived negatively by others. Wellbeing is now identified in both education and psychology as a necessary part of a child’s life and learning experience . The most accurate definitions of children’s wellbeing encompass the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of children’s lives— those needs that are both material and immaterial. Many models of children’s

health in the past have focused on the physical and mental (cognitive) needs of children, and less on the emotional and spiritual needs, because the importance of nurturing these aspects of a child’s growth has not been known to the degree it is today. Research shows that adult emotional difficulties are, to a significant extent, rooted in, or at the very least influenced by, their own childhood experience. It seems very important then that parents and adult-caregivers pay particular attention to the nature of childhood experience, essentially so they can do what is in their power to increase levels of wellbeing in the children they influence . What one child needs to maintain wellbeing is often very different to another. There are, however, some very important needs that all children share, which when nurtured, allow children to bring forth their best in all they do. When the needs of your child are met they set up a strong foundation for wellbeing in all they do, which just continues across the remainder of their lifespan. Yet, if as parents we have not had our own needs met as children, we will then find it more difficult to support our children in this endeavour. As a parent you perhaps intuitively know that the examples, representations and reflections you give your children shape how they feel and think about themselves and the world around them. The word parent actually comes from the Latin root parere, meaning to bring forth. Bringing forth implies that your child already has within them all they need to be the best they can be. Plato, a philosopher who wrote 2500 years ago, said that

just as a plant grows in accordance to the soil and atmosphere it is surrounded by, so it is with the child’s soul. Plato says bringing forth the latent potential of the child is achieved by surrounding children with the right objects, which he says are Good, Truth and Beauty. A child that is surrounded by these ideals would unfold in its entirety and become the greatest they can be. Our children need adult guidance, protection and help, and when they are very little a parent needs to make decisions based on what they feel is best for the child. But as children grow, and today it is happening faster than ever before, they need much less of this way of relating and much more space to unfold, ultimately so they may learn to feel and know what is best for them, according to them. Children have their own inner direction (we all do) and your child inherently knows what is best for their growth. They are actually giving us clues and indications about this every day. All of a child’s responses, behaviours and what we often call ‘symptoms’ actually contain a message that is specific to your child’s growth and wellbeing. Accepting the many dimensions of your child’s inner and outer life requires that you see everything that arises for them as purposeful and meaningful, even those things that may initially be judged as bad, or simply just different to what you desire for them. If, for example, a child doesn’t feel safe at daycare they may resist by screaming, crying, or saying they feel sick. If the child’s response is not acknowledged as purposeful and meaningful (every child needs to feel safe and secure), the child may develop a symptom such as ‘separation anxiety’. The child cannot consciously rationalise or verbalise


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FEATURE press how they feel and what they think, in any moment, as they are discovering for themselves, not just what they need, but further how they might communicate this. ‘Being in the Question’ with your child is a term I use to speak about the mindfulness and wonder that allows parents to really see, hear and feel their children. This state of being is about asking questions framed by the energy of ‘please show me what is occurring for you’. This practice allows you to discover the meaning of any experience your child might be having without your assumptions or projections about their experience. Without reacting to the triggers your child may bring forth in you (usually unresolved issues from your own childhood or something that you don’t have time to deal with) you can remain present and aware of your own internal responses – those stories, feelings and thoughts that arise within you about what your child is experiencing— and at the same time support your child to thrive. Exploring what might lie beneath the surface of any challenge your child is facing will allow them to discover what they need and then communicate it. . When children can express what they feel they find creative solutions to their life challenges for themselves and carry this positive character trait forward in all they do.

‘I don’t feel safe’ or ‘each time you leave me I feel insecure’, but the child’s body response or ‘symptom’ speaks for them. By being aware of your child’s responses, however, you can observe if your child does not feel secure or safe in certain environments and you can affirm to them “I am here and I want to understand what you are feeling’. But if we judge our child’s feelings, thoughts and actions as wrong or inappropriate they will be given a clear message that their inner experiences and emotional life are not important. Parents have many demands and often do not have the time

to reassure their children in a moment-to-moment way, especially if what the parent needs and the child needs are at odds. In the example above the parent may need to go to work and thus the child’s experience can be seen to hinder what the adult has to do. In situations like this, especially when they happen regularly, the impact is very detrimental to a child’s wellbeing, because not making the space to be emotionally aware of your child’s needs merely forces the resulting issues ‘under the rug’ and makes them worse over time. As a parent you can begin to make space for your child to ex-

Wellbeing is such an important aim to encourage in our children’s lives. In fact, many experts have suggested it may be the ‘ultimate goal’ of our human experience. Nurturing a foundation for your child to maintain wellbeing in all that they do— to feel good about themselves and the world they live in— leads to the most positive outcomes. When your child feels, sees and knows that their needs matter it will be reflected in everything they do, and this is one of the greatest gifts we can give to our children. MAXINE THERESE is a childhood well-being specialist and founder of the Cosmos Child system. Visit cosmoschild.com


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READER VOICE Rachel Kinscher runs her own business and prides herself on knowing exactly where she’s at. Then she fell pregnant. I am a business owner, I have a passion for my business, I am out and about networking and working late into the night, I spend weekends behind the laptop – and that is ok. Well it used to be – until a pregnancy test indicated that my life was about to change – MEGA change! Today I find myself trying to juggle a busy business together with a baby who loves to be challenged, at the same time keeping a house ticking over – and they tell me I need a work/life balance, me time, quality time with bubs AND ‘us’ time with my very supportive life and business partner! Trying to live up to the expectation of ‘superwomen’ – managing business, domestic and baby duties with absolute ease and giving the outlook that it is all so easy – and never asking for help. Women can have it all – or so they say – and maybe we can but we can’t do it without support. Without support we put ourselves and the people we love under too much pressure. We need to learn to be better at asking for help and even better at giving help to each other. Having felt the ‘pressure-cooker’ feeling more than once over the last 10 months, I continue to try and find solutions that make life easier for my partner, baby and of course myself – having a regular babysitter has been the best decision for all of us. To be pregnant and to watch and feel my little girl growing and changing was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, better than any success in business. To have had amazing support people part of her birth, for my labour to be natural and for my partner and I to

be both totally present and together. To have worked through all my fears and surrender totally and wholly to her birth is one of the most powerful and empowering experiences I have ever had, better than any success in business. To learn to live each day as a new day, to be totally in the here and now, to watch and be amazed and inspired by the development of a little person has been one of my biggest learning’s in life. More important than any degree or other qualification. The role of mothers in Western Society is not valued with any importance, this leaves many women feeling under-valued. More importantly the significance of more active fathers in the family role is also not given the rec-

ognition it should. My partner is very active, I am one of the lucky ones. I adore my mum days when I hang out with my baby girl, I also enjoy getting my head into work – as time progresses and through asking for help it is all becoming a little more controlled and easier to manage. I am learning to ignore what society and the business world expects, if I need to my baby comes to meetings, and that has to be ok! RACHEL KINSCHER is a director at Visionary Group. Visit visionary-group.com.au or phone 5331 8036.


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READER VOICE Fatigue and isolation were part of the daddy day care experience for Jamie Duncan – but he got to spend time with his girls most blokes never get. There were moments I thought I had bitten off more than I could chew when I took over caring for my daughters Sophie and Eloise five years ago. It wasn’t just the struggle of working nights and caring for the girls in a drowsy fog during the day, or the feeling my wife Caroline and I were ships in the night. It was the hair. A dad with very little of his own could never do justice to the flowing locks of two very fashion-conscious little girls. Caroline worked from home after our girls were born but, when her circumstances changed and she returned to the office, the dizzying cost of childcare wasn’t an option for us. The company I worked for was flexible and let me work nights, so for four years Caroline worked days and I worked nights to make sure our girls got the best care. Most days started at 8am and ended at 2.30am or so. I dressed and fed the girls, cooked the family dinner to reheat later and did some cleaning. I bundled the girls into the car about 4.20pm and drove for 45 minutes to the city to meet Caroline. We would swap cars (easier than moving the car seats). She would head for home and I drove to the office for my lone nightshift. I realised early on that daddy day care was still relatively uncommon. At the supermarket, with the girls in tow, I used to get the strangest looks. Some were surprised to see a domestic dad. Some women found the domestic dad a little bit alluring (and certainly not for his good looks). Older shoppers asked curious questions or, worse, their inevitable comment:

Photo - Caroline Duncan Photography “You’ve got your hands full today”. No, that’s every day. The attention made me uncomfortable, so much so that I avoided outings where I could. Instead, the girls and I tried to make the most of days in. The girls and I read stories and played games. They invited me to lounge room tea parties where Soph, a MasterChef addict, would whip up invisible scones with jam and cream. We dressed dolls, played in the back yard and shared dishes from the local noodle shop. I took them to play group (I was quite the hit at Eloise’s play

group story time sessions) and sometimes watched them play at kinder. On weekends, Caroline and I made up for all the days apart with family outings and cosy days at home. I spent four years on day care duty. I got to watch my toddlers grow to become precociously bright preschoolers. Eloise started school this year and, unlike many working dads, I was a big part of their development. I’ll treasure that. JAMIE DUNCAN


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WATER SAFETY Children are our most precious resource, but did you know that an entire kindergarten drowns every year in Australia. Sadly each week one child under the age of five drowns. It is disturbing to note that even though swimming is the largest participation sport in Australia, statistics show that the most common form of toddler and childhood deaths, both in rural areas with easy access to water and in urban areas with a high proportion of backyard pools, is drowning. For every drowning death it is estimated that approximately six children are admitted to hospital as a result of an immersion incident. A child’s life is not a material thing, it cannot be replaced. Children slip out of sight so quickly and silently, and incidents can occur in a matter of seconds. Take a long look at your children and realise just how precious they are. These are preventable deaths and parents can do something to stop this from happening. They can KEEP WATCH and ensure both their children, and they, learn to swim and resuscitate. Week 10 each school term, at Geelong Aquatic Centre, is water safety week where children take part in survival activities in their classes. This is a great opportunity for children and their parents to learn safety and rescue techniques from a very young age. Nothing takes the place of continuous swimming lessons throughout the year to ensure that children are confident and capable in the water and able to react positively in an unsafe situation. Intensive programs are offered in each term break and over the summer break. Safety & Survival programs are also offered to children from level five and above as part of their school intensive program. AT THE BEACH • Always swim between the flags • If caught in a rip, do not try to swim against it – swim parallel with the shore

• Read and obey signs • If the beach is unpatrolled, check for hazards particularly rips • Always swim with a friend • Join a nippers program INLAND WATERWAYS • Check with the locals that it’s okay to swim • Inland waters can be very cold. If you are cold get out of the water as hypothermia can occur • Watch for crumbling banks • Always enter feet first and be aware of submerged objects • Be aware of currents HOME POOL • Supervise children at all times when in or near the water • Install a fence around your pool or spa that meets the Australian Standards act • Ensure the gate is self closing and latching • Familiarise children with water and build confidence at an early age PUBLIC POOL • Always obey the pool’s safety rules and listen to the instructions of the lifeguards • Check the depth of the pool before diving in • Always check for others before entering the water USING WATERCRAFT • Make sure there is an approved lifejacket (PFD) for every person on board and it is worn • Ensure all required safety equipment is on board and in working order • Have a chart or map of where you are going

• Do not overload the boat • Always tell someone where you are going and when you will return • Keep careful watch on the weather and tides • Carry sufficient water, fuel and a first aid kit SUNSMART Most aquatic activities are outdoors and are an environment where participants can be exposed to high levels of ultraviolet radiation, and face an increased risk of skin cancer. Even when it is cool or cloudy, the sun’s radiation is at its strongest. So cover up and apply sunscreen during the day. Geelong Aquatic Centre offers a wide range of swimming and water safety programs ranging from infant to mature age learn to swim, squads, all Royal Life courses, Austswim teacher training courses, holiday intensive and school intensive courses. Phone the centre on 5222 5530 and enrol in the January holiday intensive programs. To get maximum benefit, enrol in weekly classes beginning in February. DEBBIE GILL, Geelong Aquatic Centre

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Sponser a pet by advertising on this page. Phone Rob on 0457 007 463 or email rob@kidsvoice.com.au


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HEALTH Dealing with scoliosis as a teenager put Elicia Crook on a path to helping others understand and treat their condition. Teenage years are a time of exploring, pushing boundaries and discovering who we are and where we fit in life. It’s a time where we tend not to think about our health and often take it for granted. For me this was not the case at all. At the age of just 13 I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I had no idea what it was or what it meant, all I did know was that I had been in pain and was embarrassed by my curved back hiding under clothes. There was relief knowing they could fix it and I was prepared to do anything to be normal and be able to do what all my friends were doing. I soon learnt that scoliosis is a spinal condition most common in late childhood, particularly in girls. It is a curvature of the spine that can cause back pain, twisted posture, hunchback lumps and in extreme cases can affect the lungs and internal organs. I was diagnosed by a myotherapist who saw me after I had been having back pain on and off for a few months. She did some simple tests, looked at my spine and referred me on to a doctor for x-rays. Scoliosis is most often diagnosed by a GP when a young person presents with back or torso pain or notices a large difference, for example one shoulder being much higher than the other. Like in my case, X-rays are usually taken to confirm the curvature of the spine, at which point the severity of the scoliosis can be determined. Commonly a back brace is fitted if the curvature is less than 30 degrees and the person has less than 18 months of growing still to be done. The brace is designed to stop the curvature getting any worse by halting the growth in the spine. If the curvature is higher than 30 degrees, or if it is progressing rapidly, surgery is considered. The purpose of surgery is to stabilise the spine through fusion so that it

cannot progress any further and to straighten the majority of the curve. Usually one or two metal rods are surgically implanted to straighten and align the patient’s spine. For me the X-rays showed a 27 degree curvature at the top and a 32 degree curvature down the bottom, making my case quite severe. I was referred to a specialist in Melbourne and put on a waiting list for corrective surgery. In the 2 years that I waited before the surgery, the condition progressed so far that the last x-rays showed I had an 85 degree curvature at the top and 72 at the bottom. It had gone from severe to extreme. Waiting for the operation I had to manage my pain, so on advice from my myotherapist I did strengthening exercises, had regular massages and swam weekly. These combined all made my life easier and helped me manage the pain. I learnt a lot about scoliosis in this time and discovered that the most common form of scoliosis is ‘idiopathic scoliosis’ which has an unknown cause and can appear at any age from infant to adult, generally affecting around 2 per cent of all females and 0.5 per cent of males, and is most common in adolescent girls – so I was somewhat the text book case of severe scoliosis. At age 15 it was surgery time. The doctor said they would be doing two operations within 2 weeks. The first operation removed one full rib and with five thorasic discs, and took around four hours.

able to go back to all my normal activities. Since that time I have had a full and active life. Over the years starting at age 13 when I was first diagnosed, I have developed a passion for helping people identify that they may have scoliosis and also manage their pain. My passion led me to train 12 years ago as a remedial massage and Bowen therapist. In our massage practice we treat a number of clients with scoliosis. Some are pre-teens and teens who describe similar pain to what I had, others are adults who have known they have the condition but it was never severe enough to have it corrected by surgery or brace when they were younger. There are also a significant number of people with some sort of curve in their back and have no idea it’s there. In my experience both personally and professionally, the most effective treatments to manage the pain is to start with remedial massage and Bowen therapy. As therapists we also get to have a good look at people’s backs while in treatment. So if we notice any change we discuss this and refer where necessary. Scoliosis can be managed or treated but early detection can make all the difference. Does your child have scoliosis? • Do they experience regular back or torso pain?

As painful as this time was, two weeks later I had the second operation which involved the removal of half of three more ribs to use for bone grafting, and as an added bonus this took away the hump on my back. The surgeons inserted two metal rods either side of my spine that were anchored by hooks and screws to become the framework for the ribs to be bone-grafted into my spine in order to fuse it.

• Is there a large difference between the heights of their shoulders?

This second surgery took 4-5 hours, but after it was complete I couldn’t believe it – I was 5 centimetres taller and no longer had any pain. It was all worth it!

ELICIA CROOK is a therapist at Ocean Grove

For about 12 months I had to limit physical activity while the bone graft healed and strengthened, but then I was

scoliosis visit ogmassage.com/scoliosis

• Is there a noticeable lump on their back when they bend over? If you suspect scoliosis or another back condition consult your health practitioner.

Remedial Massage. For tips to safely manage


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READER VOICE Rebekah Fraser always knew it was going to be tough with her first baby. She just wishes she had a list of handy hints. Now she’s got one . . . 1. Newborns to 3 months need to sleep for much longer time than they spend awake. Tired cues to look for in babies are: • Clenched fists (No.1 tired cue!) • Jerky movements • Staring eyes - avoids eye contact with you! Babies are born either a good or not-so-good-sleeper. Hooray if you’ve managed to get a good sleeper, but if you haven’t there is plenty of help out there. I highly recommend a day stay centre. It saved my sanity when Harry was a newborn. If bub isn’t a big dreamer, book into day stay as soon as possible. I also recommend booking your child into a chiropractor or osteopath. 2. Sleep deprivation is the root of all evil. Don’t ever underestimate its power to overrule your life. Napping whenever you can will do wonders for your sanity! 3. It’s ok to say no to visitors. 4. Never to be too proud to accept help from someone when it’s offered. You’ve always helped others when they’ve needed it so now it’s your turn to be looked after. 5. Breastfeeding really is a learnt skill for both you and your baby and comes much easier to some than to others. Don’t be disheartened if either of you don’t work it out straight away and seek help advice from friends and/or health professionals. At the end of the day, breastfeeding is not for everyone. No-one else has the right to judge you if or when you may choose to formula feed your child. The only person who really knows what’s best for you and your baby at the time is

you, so trust your gut instinct whenever you can. 6. No mother (first timer or not) manages to keep it together all of the time. Everyone has bad days, even if they never tell you about them. Housework should always come second to cuddles & kisses. 7. If you need to be somewhere on time, start getting ready at least half an hour earlier than you would have pre-motherhood days. 8. The best way to stop yourself feeling isolated from the world is to plan at least one activity out of the house to do every day. It could be as simple as a walk to the shops, catchup with a friend, mothers group, baby gym, playgroups, window shopping.

• Nice toilet paper. You’ll never appreciate soft toilet paper as much as you will after bub is born. • Thongs. The last thing you’d want to leave hospital with is tinea from the shower so thongs are recommended. • Notepad and pen. In those first few days, it’s very easy to lose track of which visitors gave you what gift, phone calls received or to simply jot down some of the special moments. When packing your hospital bags, have a last minute items list sitting on top so if you find yourself in a rush to the hospital, you know that you won’t forget your camera.

9. Pyjama’s become acceptable daywear dress once there’s a baby in the house.

12. Easiest way to store supplies of pureed veggies and fruit once bubs starts on solids is to steam cook each item separately in the microwave then freeze portions into ice-cube trays. Once frozen, cubes can be removed from trays and stored in labelled zip-sealed air tight bags.

10. Baby brain is only a temporary disability. It’s the body’s way of freeing up valuable energy and space to care for your new baby.

REBEKAH FRASER runs Tell Us About It. Cards

11. Must-have items to pack for hospital that won’t be on the standard packing lists:

and Design. Visit tellusaboutit.com.au or email rebekah@tellusaboutit.com.au


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READER VOICE Kerstin Lindros loves the cat and mouse games familes play when it comes to being surprising with Christmas presents. Christmas Eve, when Santa visits our German–Australian household in the evening, is the highlight of our festive season. However, preserving these customs from my past has become increasingly difficult during the past years, and I am beginning to believe that perhaps an Aussie Christmas morning would be less stressful to produce. Even though the children are growing up we are still a bunch of believers. Nobody talks about the cat-andmouse game we play. We just marvel at each other’s wit and resourcefulness used to either hide or expose the truth, depending on whose point of view it is. Only, to our surprise, this year my husband and I ended up as mice. As usual we left the house. Santa always comes when it’s quiet, right? The children had insisted that I’d come straight away this year, that is, not go to the bathroom or stir the cabbage on the stove and then catch up. Okay. No problem. I pressed the send button in my pocket while looking at our heavy pregnant cows. We checked how much water was in the dam. Until a few years ago we had searched the sky, full of anticipation, for something red, and listened out for the swoosh of the speedy sleigh up above, the bells and the hooves on the tin roof. The children used to hear at least one of these. When I mentioned the sky now, the children smiled cooperatively. They nodded and looked at me briefly, full of empathy. Then my mobile phone beeped. ‘Who is that, Mum?’ Oh no. What now? I looked at the screen and reported: ‘Hey. It’s Oma and Opa, wishing us a merry Christmas.

They want to know if Santa’s already been in Australia. Well, I’ll tell them we don’t know yet.’ Phew. Saved. Back at the house our daughter, 12, stormed up the steps, opened the door and peaked around the corner. She gasped when she couldn’t detect any presents. At first she looked stunned, trying to comprehend the extent of my dilemma, but soon amused, expecting an entertaining evening with me desperately trying to hold onto Christmas Eve with my bare teeth. Our son, 9, stepped in a bit further and found that Santa had in fact been. He was relieved. After opening a few packages the daughter joined me

in the kitchen and whispered there was only one thing she did not understand: how I had managed to call our neighbour without her noticing. I said I did not know what she was talking about. Honestly. There was no way... She took me by the hand, and, without speaking a word, showed me footage of the delivery she’s captured on her iPod. I didn’t even know iPods could capture film. Well, iPods are something to look out for next time — must sharpen observation. KERSTIN LINDROS


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CHRISTMAS CREATIONS Caramel Reindeer This is an easy recipe I have used for years to make caramel cups for my kids’ birthday parties. Kids should have no trouble, but definitely need supervision for the hot parts. The decorating was inspired by a recipe I saw in Super Food Ideas magazine. In terms of quantity, I usually make a full packet of biscuits worth, but there is always left over caramel so you may want to make more. Or you can put the leftover caramel into a tin lined with baking paper to cool in the fridge. Then you can cut it into squares for an extra treat. BASE 1 packet Butternut Snap biscuits CARAMEL FILLING 1 ½ cups of brown sugar 1 tin condensed milk 125g butter, cut into pieces 1 tablespoon golden syrup 1 tablespoon liquid glucose (glucose syrup) 1 teaspoon vanilla essence DECORATIONS Marshmallows (cut in half) Mini marshmallows (cut in half) Jaffas Pretzels (cut to shape) Melted chocolate (or decorating pen) MORE STUFF YOU WILL NEED Measuring cups and spoons Tartlet tray (I don’t have one, I use two soup spoons to squeeze the biscuits into shape)

Microwave safe dish (I use a microwave rice cooker, as it has high sides and less chance of burning yourself on the caramel) HOW TO … Base – Preheat oven to 180C. Put each butternut snap biscuit on top of a hole on the tartlet tray. Place the tray into the oven for three minutes to heat the biscuits. Take out the tray and, using a metal spoon, press the middle of each biscuit so they line each tartlet hole. The biscuits are very bendy when hot, but may crack if they’re not hot enough. One more minute in the oven will help. Small cracks won’t matter as the caramel is thick and not likely to ooze through. Let them cool. Caramel – Put all of the ingredients into your microwave safe dish. Mix it up (It will be lumpy and thick). Pop into the microwave for 2½ minutes. Give it another good stir. Then pop it back into the microwave for another 2½ minutes. When it comes out, the caramel will be very hot. Give it a careful stir to combine the ingredients well. Building – Spoon one teaspoon of caramel into each butternut snap biscuit base and set aside to cool. Once almost set, decorate as you see in the pictures. Use some melted chocolate to stick the Jaffa nose on, and to dot the eyes.

Turkey Baguettes This is for the little or inexperienced ones. It’s mostly a building exercise so they can be involved in Christmas preparations too. It can also be tweaked based on what they will or won’t eat. Amazing how quickly a turkey baguette can become a Nutella baguette. This is very flexible.


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CHRISTMAS CREATIONS INGREDIENTS

dispenser in the fridge overnight.

1 pack of bake at home rolls

INGREDIENTS

Slices of turkey

3 litres dry ginger ale

Slices of Camembert cheese

3 litres lemonade

Cranberry sauce

1 litre pineapple juice

Salad greens and halved cherry tomatoes

1 litre fruit cup cordial

HOW TO …

Cherries (halved and pitted)

Mum’s job is to prepare the bake at home rolls as described on the pack, and then to slice them open (not completely in half though). And to slice the various bits to go in the rolls.

Bananas (slightly under-ripe and cut into 1-2 cm chunks)

The kids’ job is to build these. A layer of salad greens, a layer of cherry tomatoes, a layer of turkey, some cranberry sauce and then a layer of cheese. That’s it! Plate up and your little one can carry it around to offer up as finger food. ALTERNATIVES You can always leave the salad greens out, and pop these baguettes back in the oven for three minutes to create warm turkey melts

HOW TO … Very easy. Tip all the liquids into the drink dispenser. Cut your fruits and pop into the drink dispenser too. The quantity of fruit is up to you. I like to have a complete layer floating on the top of the punch. Chill overnight and serve cold. MEGAN BROOKS is an award-winning cook who runs a home-based food business specialising in handmade fudge. Visit fudgalicious.com.au

Christmas fruit punch

PS: I have to include my own Christmas hot chocolate - mix two tablespoons of Fudgalicious chocolate fudge sauce with 200ml boiling water, stir until combined. Very easy, and the best darn hot chocolate I have ever had.

This is the most amazing fruit punch I have ever tried, and it will always be at our Christmas gatherings (and any other time I can make an excuse). I stole this recipe from my mother-in-law, Mary Brooks, who has always made the tastiest food I could possibly eat. This can be done by the kids, saving you a job. When we make it, we put it into a round esky drink dispenser (the ones with the tap at the bottom). Best made the day before so the flavours can mix, just store your

I’m blowing the Fudgalicious trumpet a bit on that, but this delight is an accidental discovery by Jason Brooks, my husband and chief taste tester. So I take no credit. This mix also works using the chilli chocolate fudge sauce if you like it spicy and, if you’re feeling brave, you may even want to try it using the white chocolate fudge sauce. It can be done with any of the fudge sauce flavours, although some do get very rich in this format. Enjoy!


Page 28

REVIEWS FATHERS WHO DARE WIN

By Ian Grant Fathers Who Dare Win is a parenting manual aimed at men, written by Ian Grant, with 30 easy ways to help men become an awesome dad. It’s set out in an easy-to-read way with the author getting to the point quickly. Dads want to be good dads but unfortunately there are no instruction manuals to go with the job title. Mums have inbuilt mothering hormones but for dads this can be quite a difficult task to master.

Grant gives men a practical, straightforward book which helps them to keep building their relationships with their kids through communication and easy-to-follow strategies and tips. He stresses how important it is to make time for your children and to play with them. There are many step-by-step activities suggested in the book to help implement this. My husband doesn’t have enough time to trawl through books, yet it was easy for him to have a glance at the main ideas and to read further when he felt the need. As a woman reader, I found the book interesting as well, as it allowed me to understand better how men’s techniques will be different with their kids. It also made me realise that I had better step back and let dad take over sometimes. The main point he took from this book was tips on how better to communicate with his teenage son as well as how important it is to still be the hero. Grant also has a website fatherswhodarewin.com which has more tips and advice.

LYREBIRD By Jackie Kern It’s summer 1930 in the Dandenongs, Melbourne, when an unlikely friendship is formed. A friendship between a young lyrebird dubbed James and an older widow Edith. This true story was documented far and wide and people travelled from all over to film and record James. The most recent account of this unusual tale has been attractively printed in a 30 page bound book, written wonderfully by Jackie Kern and illustrated in beautiful earth and pastel tones. Overall an interesting read for any age. To win a copy of this beautiful book LIKE our Facebook page facebook. com/KidsVoiceGeelong and send us a message telling us why you’d like to win.

WIN

Ian Grant says: “Men are such a necessary part of the parenting team because they believe in the three Rs: Rules, Routines, Ridiculousness.”

DANCE CENTRAL 3 Reviewer - Jodie Mitten

Dance Central 3 is a game for Kinect. How you play it is up to you, you can play perform mode, rehearse mode, battle mode, party time mode and crew throw-down mode. You can change songs and there are some good songs, but it would be better if you could upload your own songs. If you haven’t played before it might be hard to get used to the moves, but after a while you get the hang of it. When watching new beginners it may be funny looking at them trying to do the dance moves, but just wait until you try it! You are able to change venue and outfits on your character, which looks great. I don’t usually use the Kinect, but this has made me use the Kinect more often. The good: Fun trying new moves and songs. There are lots of songs you can choose from (even if you don’t know them all) The not-so-good:Really hard to use for a first timer SCORE: 7/10


Page 29

REVIEWS

Interactive Patch

Interactive Patch is a rather cute & cuddly pup that also happens to be a hands free speaker.

WIN

Suitable for use with mobile phones, Ipod & MP3’s by simply plugging into the standard jack on the side of the device as you would with a pair of headphones. Patch may look like a cuddly plush animal but his mouth syncing and dancing abilities soon became evident. Interactive patch had us all in stitches when attached to a colleague’s phone. As soon as the music played the cute plush dog started dancing along and as the words started he sang along and it was really impressive how the timing was so close it looked like he was actually singing the song as he danced Connect patch to a mobile phone and when you answer a call the callers voice is played through patch and again his mouth opens and closes as they speakwhich we found hysterical. To win this toy LIKE our Patch makes a great gift for all Facebook page facebook.com/ ages and especially those who KidsVoiceGeelong and send us love their music or are difficult a message telling us why you’d to buy for. like to win.

LEAPPAD

The No. 1 Children’s Learning Tablet Just Got Better LeapPad 2™ Introducing the next generation LeapPad – the LeapPad 2!

HOBBIT LEGO

Suitable for kids aged 3-9 years, the LeapFrog’s LeapPad2 is available from major department stores and independent toy retailers across Australia, in green and pink, for RRP $229.99ea*.

The best thing about this set is undoubtedly the minifigures. Although not really a very big set, you get six minifigures which is great news. So you have Gandalf with staff and hat, Bilbo with his cute curly hair, Dwalin with cape, beard and also an impressive looking hammer, Bombur with a brilliant platted beard, Balin with white beard and red cape and then finally Bofur with his hat on. These figures really are wonderful and make the set that little bit special.

LeapFrog’s LeapPad2 is the next generation of its popular children’s tablet designed to deliver entertainment, creative exploration and fun.... packed full of education.

DUO Purse - Littlewrapbag Primrose DUO Purse RRP $24.95

WIN

Eye-catching in it’s rich red and cream design, Primrose DUO Purse is a favourite. In a cotton lined, canvas it features a carabiner clip, plastic card holder and pouch for your iPod, iPhone, camera or like-sized necessity. Print and product To win this toy LIKE our designed here in Australia, the Facebook page facebook.com/ littlewrapbag DUO Purse is produced KidsVoiceGeelong and send us in a 12 oz canvas. Makes an excellent a message telling us why you’d gift and is easy to post. Dimensions: like to win. 95mm(d) x 130mm(w)

Since its launch last year, LeapFrog has experienced huge demand for the original LeapPad, making it one of the hottest, most sought after children’s products both here in Australia and across the world. With the introduction of the innovative LeapPad2 platform, LeapFrog is again leading the kids’ tablets category with engaging entertainment experiences filled with life-changing education that helps children reach their potential.

NEED FOR SPEED MOST WANTED: A CRITERION GAME Reviewer - Robbie Mitten Need for Speed Most Wanted is a car racing game not to be confused with Need for Speed Most Wanted which came out in 2005. The story is about you, the driver, who wants to be the most wanted and respected driver and have the best cars in the city Fairhaven as you avoid the police. This is the most realistic open world car racing game to date. Races give you a rush of adrenaline as you race to come first. Laugh or feel really powerful as you ram the back of another car to send them spiralling into a corner or a building and seeing them fly and then rejoin the race; cry as you see cars overtake you at the last second and take first or just yell in triumph as you win the race. I never really liked open world car racing games before, but playing this made me reconsider my opinion.

To win a copy of this game LIKE our Facebook page facebook. com/KidsVoiceGeelong and send us a message telling us why you’d like to win.

WIN

The good: 
Fun
adrenaline rush as you race or just avoid the cops. Wide, open city, car customisation in game The not-so-good:
No multiplayer on the same Xbox, have to play online. Other features: Rated PG - Players able to play online with friends Voice commands with Kinect - Recommended for people who love car racing games. SCORE: 8/10


Page 30

TOP20

1

S M A S I T R H C TOYS 2

FIJIT

3

FURBY HASBRO

MONSUNO

- HUNTERS PRODUCTS

7

FUR REAL BUTTERSCOTCH PONY - HASBRO

10

MICRO CHARGERS

LEGO DEATH STAR LEGO

MATTEL

BARBIE SISTERS CRUISE SHIP MOOSE

14

15

GIGGLE & HOOT - JASNOR

OCTONAUTS MATTEL

16

MODERN BRANDS

MONSTER HIGH DOLLS

12

GELEEZ - MOOSE

13

SYLVANIAN

9

11

- MOOSE

MOOSE

MOOSE

8

LEGO FRIENDS RANGE - LEGO

BLINGLES

TRASH PACKS

HEADSTART

BIG BALLOON

6

5

LA LA LOOPSY

BEANIE BOOS

- MATTEL

4

17

SWAP CARDS FOREVER CLOVER

19

NERF GUNS

HASBRO

18

CABBAGE PATCH DOLL FUNTASTIC

20


Page 31

WHAT’S ON EDUCATION December 3: Road to Reading, age-group sessions between 9am and 3pm, Uniting Church, Anderson Street, Torquay. December 4: Road to Reading, age-group sessions between 9am and 1pm, Western Heights Uniting Church, Douglass Street, Herne Hill. December 10: Road to Reading, age-group sessions between 9am and 3pm, Uniting Church, Anderson Street, Torquay. December 11: Road to Reading, age-group sessions between 9am and 1pm, Western Heights Uniting Church, Douglass Street, Herne Hill. December 17: Road to Reading, age-group sessions between 9am and 3pm, Uniting Church, Anderson Street, Torquay. December 18: Road to Reading, age-group sessions between 9am and 1pm, Western Heights Uniting Church, Douglass Street, Herne Hill.

HEALTH & FITNESS December 3: Parent & Toddler Group Fitness, 9-10am, Barwon Heads Community Hall, corner of Hitchcock Avenue and Ozone Street.

December 5: Yoga and Dance, 9.30-10.30am, Barwon Heads Community Hall, Corner Hitchcock Avenue and Ozone Street. December 7: Parent & Toddler Group Fitness,910am, Barwon Heads Community Hall, corner of Hitchcock Avenue and Ozone Street.

YOUNG MUMS December 12: Pregnant Young Mums Club, 2-4pm, Newcomb Community Health Centre, 104-108 Bellarine Highway. Phone 0423603633 or 5260 3333.

December 12: Yoga and Dance, 9.3010.30am, Barwon Heads Community Hall, Corner Hitchcock Avenue and Ozone Street.

December 19: Pregnant Young Mums Club, 2-4pm, Newcomb Community Health Centre, 104-108 Bellarine Highway. Phone 0423603633 or 5260 3333.

December 17: Parent & Toddler Group Fitness,9-10am, Barwon Heads Community Hall, corner of Hitchcock Avenue and Ozone Street.

YOUTH

December 19: Yoga and Dance, 9.3010.30am, Barwon Heads Community Hall, Corner Hitchcock Avenue and Ozone Street. Kids Dance Classes, Tuesday to Friday evenings, 4/22-26 Essington Street, Grovedale. Phone 0420998596. Koombahla Park Equestrian Centre school holiday program. Phone 5256 2742.

The fOrT Drop In youth centre, St Georges Rd, Corio (Old Tourist Information Centre - Stead Park), open Monday, Thursday and Friday, from 4pm, for anyone aged 12 to 25. Mondays: Food for fOrT, 4-6pm. Thursdays: Movie Night, 4-7pm. Music lessons – guitar and drums – bookings 0488 443 778. December 9: Artery at Lara Library, 4-6pm. Take part in international postal art projects and see your art travel overseas. Book online at geelonglibraries.vic.gov.au or visit your local library.

PERSONAL January 2: PFLAG Geelong, 6pm, support group for parents, carers, family and friends of same sex attracted and gender diverse people. Phone 5272 4688.

Submit your listings for What’s On at news@kidsvoice.com.au

TRADE DIRECTORY Children’s wear

Newsagencies

IT support

Parties

Pregnancy

BITS

IT SERV

ICES

List your business in the Kids’ Voice

trade directory. Phone 0457 007 463 or

email rob@kidsvoice.com.au


Page 32


Page 33

KIDS & THEIR PETS


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Page 36


Kids' Voice December 2012  

Free parenting publication covering ages 0 - 18, for the Geelong, Bellarine, Surf Coast and Lara regions.

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