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Island Parent December 2020 / January 2021

Victoria & Vancouver Island Parenting Magazine Top Toys • How to Celebrate the Small Things • 3 Tips to Reduce Stress

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DEC <strong>2020</strong> / JAN <strong>2021</strong><br />

Vancouver <strong>Island</strong>’s <strong>Parent</strong>ing Resource for 33 Years<br />

Top Toys<br />

How to Celebrate<br />

the Small Things<br />

3 Tips to<br />

Reduce Stress


my greatcommunity virTUals<br />

Get Connected, Get Inspired, Get Funded<br />

Looking for inspiration to make your neighbourhood even better?<br />

Join us for a free lunch and learn this winter!<br />

The Great Disconnect<br />

Documentary and Discussion<br />

Wednesday, <strong>December</strong> 9, noon- 1:30<br />

Learn about the health and social impacts<br />

of loneliness and the value of<br />

neighbourhood connections.<br />

Followed by a Q&A with the Director<br />

and Victoria’s own Dr. Trevor Hancock.<br />

Engaging Your Neighbours<br />

Wednesday, <strong>January</strong> 20, noon-1:30<br />

Got a great idea to improve your<br />

neighbourhood, but not sure how to get<br />

feedback and support from your<br />

neighbours? Join this panel to get tips<br />

from City engagement staff and<br />

community groups who have recently<br />

engaged their neighbours in the process<br />

of applying for City funding.<br />

The Power of Community Art<br />

Wednesday, February 17, noon- 1:30<br />

Join our Arts, Culture and Event team and<br />

community art organizations to learn about<br />

what’s possible when thinking about getting<br />

more art popping up in your neighbourhood.<br />

Already have an idea to<br />

improve your neighbourhood?<br />

Apply for a My Great Neighbourhood<br />

Grant of up to $5,000 for a project<br />

and $1,000 for an activity.<br />

Register for your free ticket and learn more about grants:<br />

victoria.ca/neighbourhoods<br />

Info: neighbourhoods@victoria.ca<br />

2 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


Photo<br />

Contest<br />

Submit your favourite photos<br />

and they may be featured in an<br />

upcoming issue. Random photos<br />

will be selected for mystery prizes!<br />

Email<br />

photos@islandparent.ca<br />

or submit through<br />

Instagram or Facebook.<br />

Sign up for a<br />

GRAND Digital<br />

Subscription<br />

and you could win a selection of<br />

children’s books sent to your<br />

grandchild every month<br />

(3-month subscription)<br />

courtesy of Marmalade Books.<br />

Every month they will receive recently<br />

published books appropriate to their age.<br />

These books have been curated by a<br />

trusted children’s bookseller.<br />

Marmalade Books is a monthly book<br />

subscription company located in<br />

Victoria for children aged 0–12.<br />

Subscribe now at<br />

grandmag.ca<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 3


DEC <strong>2020</strong> / JAN <strong>2021</strong><br />

Vancouver <strong>Island</strong>’s <strong>Parent</strong>ing Resource for 33 Years<br />

TABLEOFCONTENTS<br />

Features<br />

10<br />

How to Celebrate<br />

the Small Things<br />

Take time to reset your<br />

creativity, positivity and gratitude<br />

“buttons” over the holidays.<br />

DR. JILLIAN ROBERTS<br />

14<br />

Top Toys<br />

From Pound Puppies to<br />

Blockitecture Mega Sets,<br />

this year’s Top Toys will keep<br />

kids creative for months to come.<br />

In Every<br />

Issue<br />

5<br />

Fast Forward<br />

SUE FAST<br />

6<br />

Need to Know<br />

20<br />

Kids’ Reads<br />

CHRISTINA VAN STARKENBURG<br />

22<br />

Dadspeak<br />

GREG PRATT<br />

24<br />

What’s for Dinner<br />

EMILLIE PARRISH<br />

26<br />

Moms’ POV<br />

SERENA BECK<br />

28<br />

Happy Families, Healthy Families<br />

ALISON LOVE<br />

32<br />

Nature Notes<br />

36<br />

Preschool & Child Care Directory<br />

38<br />

Cut It Out!<br />

DR. ALLISON REES<br />

18<br />

Tantrums & Language Learning<br />

How miscommunications can be at<br />

the root of tantrums more often<br />

than you might think.<br />

DR. CARLA HUDSON KAM<br />

30<br />

3 Tips to Reduce Stress<br />

How to stay cool, calm and collected.<br />

DR. RAZAN KHAN<br />

34<br />

Holiday Happenings<br />

On the<br />

Cover<br />

Alistair Remy V (2)<br />

& Oliver V (7)<br />

Photo by<br />

Nicky-jay Vanjecek<br />

Bluetree Photography<br />

instagram.com/<br />

bluetreephotography<br />

Top Toys<br />

How to Celebrate<br />

the Small Things<br />

3 Tips to<br />

Reduce Stress<br />

Jim Schneider Publisher publisher@islandparent.ca<br />

Sue Fast Editor editor@islandparent.ca<br />

Kristine Wickheim Account Manager kristine@islandparent.ca<br />

RaeLeigh Buchanan Account Manager raeleigh@islandparent.ca<br />

<strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine, published by <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Group Enterprises Ltd., is a<br />

bimonthly publication that honours and supports parents by providing information on<br />

resources and businesses for Vancouver <strong>Island</strong> families. Views expressed are not<br />

necessarily those of the publisher. No material herein may be reproduced without<br />

the permission of the publisher. <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> is distributed free in selected areas.<br />

Annual mail subscriptions (7 issues) are available for $21 (GST included).<br />

Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement 40051398. ISSN 0838-5505.<br />

<strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine<br />

250-388-6905 islandparent.ca<br />

518 Caselton Place, Victoria, BC V8Z 7Y5<br />

A proud member of<br />

BC<br />

4 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


If Life Is an Etch A Sketch…<br />

<strong>2020</strong> turned it upside down and gave it a good, hard shake<br />

It’s doubtful that any of us is sad to say<br />

goodbye to <strong>2020</strong>. It’s been a year<br />

filled with twists, turns, ups,<br />

downs, zigs and zags and it’s finally<br />

coming to an end.<br />

That’s not to say it’s been all bad.<br />

As parents it’s been tough, for sure.<br />

Kids home 24/7. Schools closed, reopened,<br />

closed then opened again.<br />

Homeschooling and online learning.<br />

Staying healthy, staying sane, and staying<br />

socially connected—from a distance.<br />

Calming fears, or trying to, in an<br />

uncertain and scary time.<br />

But amidst it all have been the small<br />

special moments: acts of kindness, more<br />

unscheduled time together, lazy days,<br />

unrushed family dinners, more time outdoors, playing games,<br />

reading lots and starting new hobbies.<br />

Skies are bluer, personal hygiene’s improved, streets are<br />

quieter, and even the dolphins—if you believe the Facebook<br />

myths—have returned to the canals in Venice.<br />

All of that aside, this year has sharpened<br />

the focus on what truly matters:<br />

our children, our families, our friends<br />

and each other. And it’s taught us that<br />

small gestures can have a huge impact.<br />

The holiday season is the perfect<br />

time to pause after making it through<br />

the past year and to celebrate (in<br />

place!) with the small gestures that<br />

mean so much. Set up holiday decorations.<br />

Trim a tree outdoors for all<br />

to see. Create an advent calendar<br />

filled with activities leading up to<br />

Christmas day. Spread some joy by<br />

dropping off treats to friends, neighbours<br />

or at a local senior’s centre.<br />

As <strong>2021</strong> approaches, take a minute to remember what matters<br />

most. Hopefully hugs, playdates, coffee with a friend, big<br />

family get togethers, visiting grandparents, travelling, summer<br />

camp and sleepovers will be the “new normal.”<br />

Season’s Greetings & Happy New Year.<br />

<strong>2020</strong><br />

<strong>2021</strong><br />

Give Wonder!<br />

975 Fort Street, Victoria BC - 250-595-4905 - motheringtouch.ca<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 5


NEEDTOKNOW<br />

Socially-Distant<br />

Santa Photos<br />

If you had photos booked and found<br />

out Santa had to go back to the North<br />

Pole, Nicole Israel Photography has<br />

got you covered!<br />

Send your photo to Nicole at info@<br />

nicoleisraelphotography.com and she<br />

will put it in an image with Santa.<br />

COVID-friendly, a great Christmas gift<br />

and 50 per cent of all proceeds go to<br />

CFAX Santas Anonymous (cfaxsantas.<br />

com) to grant Christmas wishes for<br />

kids in our community.<br />

nicoleisraelphotography.square.site<br />

Ask AI Santa @<br />

Thanks to AskSanta.com, kids can have a free real-time video conversation with Artificial Intelligence (AI) Santa, now<br />

through the new year. StoryFile, the AI startup, brings Santa Claus home this holiday season. The COVID-19 pandemic<br />

is preventing hundreds of thousands of children from meeting Santa in person, but Ask Santa has a solution. StoryFile,<br />

the natural language processor and cloud-based interactive conversational video platform, has created the world’s first<br />

AI Santa. This personal experience with Santa will bring holiday cheer to those near and far, pushing past the<br />

challenges of social distancing. Sign up and visit Santa at asksanta.com.<br />

A Christmas Carol<br />

Blue Bridge Theatre has suspended the sale<br />

of tickets to live performances until at least<br />

<strong>December</strong> 8, but will continue selling<br />

streamed tickets to A Christmas Carol.<br />

This wonderful story, starring Sanjay<br />

Talwar, is an unforgettable experience<br />

for all this holiday season. Even if you<br />

are not a fan of streamed theatre,<br />

consider buying tickets to this show<br />

to help support live theatre. For tickets,<br />

visit bbrt.sales.ticketsearch.com.<br />

6 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


Prose for<br />

the Pandemic<br />

BC Transit’s<br />

Santa Bus is<br />

coming to town!<br />

<strong>December</strong> 11 & 12<br />

} Ride free } Holiday decorations and music<br />

For Santa Bus routes and schedules, visit bctransit.com<br />

Stuff the Bus for Charity!<br />

<strong>December</strong> 19<br />

9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.<br />

Save-On-Foods, Tillicum Centre<br />

CANCELLED<br />

Donations benefit the Stan Hagen Centre<br />

for Families and The Mustard Seed<br />

Recognizing the challenges this year’s holiday season<br />

will bring, A.H. Edelman was inspired to write<br />

Santa in a Snow Globe, an illustrated children’s<br />

book to offer parents, caregivers, and children a<br />

starting point to talk about life’s new realities—explained<br />

by Santa—complete with timeless advice,<br />

inclusive illustrations, and a big dose of Christmas<br />

cheer. Going beyond mask-wearing and social<br />

distancing, Santa in a Snow Globe also touches on<br />

issues the world is facing today, including climate<br />

change and protests— all while sharing a positive<br />

message of hope and the importance of appreciating<br />

the simpler things in life.<br />

Transit Info 250·382·6161<br />

bctransit.com<br />

The Kiddies Store<br />

Dedicated to providing Vancouver <strong>Island</strong> families<br />

with high-quality infant and toddler products<br />

at affordable prices for over 25 years<br />

Bamboo is incredibly soft and<br />

breathable, for comfort in any<br />

temperature. It absorbs and<br />

evaporates humidity better<br />

than any other fabric, and<br />

is hypoallergenic.<br />

The gentle stretchy knit bamboo<br />

has a silky smooth feel that<br />

will keep your little ones cozy<br />

and cool. There are a variety of<br />

colours and styles from sleep<br />

sacks to blankets to clothing.<br />

Remember to Smile is a children’s picture book for<br />

kids ages 2–6 years old describes and illustrates<br />

the different styles of masks, characters that wear<br />

them, when you can wear them, and interesting<br />

ways to use them. Colorful and funny illustrations<br />

bring the book to life and will have kids giggling on<br />

the floor. Remember to Smile proudly supports the<br />

COVID-19 Relief Fund (for Teachers and Students)<br />

through the non-profit organization AdoptAClassroom.org.<br />

Visit remembertosmile.org.<br />

Now Offering Curb-Side Pickups Current Hours: Tues–Sat 10am–5pm<br />

3045–C Douglas St.<br />

Victoria, BC<br />

tjskids.com<br />

250-386-2229<br />

Douglas St.<br />

Finlayson St.<br />

Larch St.<br />

T.J.’s<br />

Entrance off<br />

Larch St.<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 7


#kids2030<br />

Kids Code Jeunesse (KCJ) is challenging you to take a<br />

look at the world, and take action to make it better. In<br />

2015, all of the countries in the United Nations set 17<br />

Goals to build a better world by 2030—they’re called<br />

the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs for<br />

short. We’ve got 10 years left and we all have a<br />

part to play to move towards these goals and<br />

create a better future—for everyone. This<br />

year’s challenge: Preventing Plastic<br />

Pollution. You have until March 26, <strong>2021</strong><br />

to complete the challenge. To find out<br />

more, visit kids2030challenge.org.<br />

Spread Some Holiday Cheer!<br />

Crispy Square Reindeer<br />

MadeGood Vanilla Crispy Squares<br />

Candy-coated chocolate, such as Smarties or M&M’s<br />

Melted milk chocolate<br />

Resealable bag and/or piping bag<br />

Lollipop or craft sticks<br />

Carefully insert the lollipop or craft sticks at the top of each MadeGood Vanilla<br />

Crispy Square. Fill a resealable plastic bag or piping bag with melted chocolate.<br />

Cut a small hold in the corner. Carefully draw antlers from the midpoint of the<br />

Crispy Square to the top edge. Add a small dot of melted chocolate where you’d<br />

like to place the nose and eyes, and place candy coated chocolate (such as<br />

M&M’s or Smarties) on top.<br />

Light Up the City<br />

The Greater Victoria Festival Society’s (GVFS) “Light Up<br />

The City,” runs through <strong>January</strong> 3, <strong>2021</strong>. Drive through one<br />

of the drop off events, happening every Saturday at various<br />

locations, and donate non-perishable food, new toys and<br />

cash for local food banks, Salvation Army, and toy banks.<br />

Drive through events will feature Santa and Mrs. Claus,<br />

convoy trucks aglow, music, and more to enjoy—safely<br />

from your vehicle. Masks required.<br />

GVFS is also bringing back the Christmas Lighting Contest<br />

for homes, businesses and more, with prizes for the top<br />

three. For locations, dates and times and more<br />

information, visit gvfs.ca.<br />

8 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


How to Choose Good Video Games<br />

• Think about children’s interests when<br />

looking for games. Do they like sports,<br />

fantasy or strategy-style games?<br />

• Talk to other parents for advice and<br />

suggestions of good games.<br />

• Find games that have the appropriate<br />

Entertainment Software<br />

Rating Board (esrb.org) rating for<br />

your child’s age. Keep in mind that<br />

the ratings are guidelines and that<br />

every child is different. Even games<br />

with the “Everyone” rating may<br />

contain content that some children<br />

find frightening. As well as the ratings<br />

and descriptors that appear on game boxes, parents can<br />

read summaries of game content, including warnings about<br />

unrated user-generated content, by browsing the ESRB<br />

website.<br />

• Look for games that are challenging and exciting without<br />

being violent. Video game manufacturers create vio-<br />

lent games to satisfy children’s need to feel powerful and<br />

in control. Try to find games that offer kids thrills and the<br />

chance to experience control in a non-violent way.<br />

• Find games that require strategy and<br />

problem-solving skills. If they have<br />

an educational component, that’s a<br />

bonus.<br />

• Look for games that have strong,<br />

non-sexualized female characters.<br />

• If possible, try the game first by<br />

borrowing or renting it. Ask for an instore<br />

demo and make sure you can<br />

return the game if you are not satisfied<br />

with the content.<br />

• Look for games that involve two players, to encourage<br />

cooperative play and to make game-playing a social activity.<br />

From Media Smarts: Canada’s Centre for Digital & Media Literacy,<br />

mediasmarts.ca.<br />

In-Person &<br />

On-Line Options<br />

STAGES<br />

Performing Arts School<br />

since 1980<br />

Come Dance With Us<br />

• Offering classes for Teens & Pre-Teens in Jazz,<br />

Ballet, Lyrical, Tap. Musical Theatre, Acrobatics &<br />

Hip Hop, in a non-competitive atmosphere.<br />

• Not sure which class to take?<br />

- Try a Drop-In: No hassle, No Obligation.<br />

Daytime Pre-School Classes<br />

for the little angels...<br />

STAGES Performing Arts School<br />

#301 1551 Cedar Hill X Rd<br />

Call 250-384-3267 Email us at: stagesdance@shaw.ca<br />

Or visit our website: www.stagesdance.com<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 9


How to Celebrate<br />

the Small Things<br />

There’s no doubt that <strong>2020</strong>’s holiday<br />

season will look different than in<br />

years past. Not only are we doing our<br />

best to stay healthy during a global<br />

pandemic, we’re also dealing with all of<br />

COVID-19’s cascading effects. The good<br />

news is—this is the time to reset your<br />

creativity, positivity, and gratitude “buttons.”<br />

It’s more important than ever this<br />

year to appreciate the small things in life<br />

that make it magical.<br />

Create a safe space for<br />

emotions<br />

Though we don’t want to be hyperfocused<br />

on what we’re missing out on this<br />

year, it’s equally important not to pretend<br />

everything is okay and normal. Nurture<br />

a psychologically-safe environment at<br />

home. Remind your kids that it’s okay<br />

to feel their feelings and create a nonjudgmental<br />

space where they feel free to<br />

come to you for support. Help them learn<br />

to cope with disappointment and sadness<br />

by encouraging them to talk it out—then<br />

validate their feelings, give them time and<br />

space to acknowledge them, and then<br />

shift their energy to something else—put<br />

on some fun music, dig through the costume<br />

box, or play a game. Help them<br />

transition from a negative mindset into a<br />

positive one.<br />

Find and focus on the upside<br />

Do you usually travel over the holidays?<br />

If so, embrace the extra time you<br />

now have at home to connect as a family<br />

in ways you normally wouldn’t be able<br />

to. Involve your kids in the planning—<br />

ask them what they’re loving about<br />

being home more and what they’d like<br />

to do during their break from school. If<br />

dressing in “fancier” clothes for holiday<br />

dinner or family photos is normally a<br />

request your children detest, maybe this<br />

year allow them to wear whatever they<br />

want—or have a holiday costume theme!<br />

10 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


Invent new traditions<br />

As some family traditions may not be<br />

possible this year, involve your children<br />

in creating new ones. Make sure they<br />

can easily transition with you into future<br />

years. Test out a baking recipe that you<br />

normally wouldn’t have, make holiday<br />

decorations or crafts, or pick a movie<br />

loved by all to watch every year. Don’t<br />

forget to honour your pre-existing traditions<br />

too, but in new ways. Putting a fun<br />

spin on them brings a sense of familiarity<br />

and normality into the season.<br />

Plan ahead<br />

Though it may seem counterintuitive to<br />

plan ahead when you might not actually<br />

be going anywhere or hosting anyone,<br />

remember that the holiday season can get<br />

stressful—fast. Even if you’re not travelling<br />

across the country, you still need to<br />

set your family up for success. Chances<br />

are, you’ll spend more time indoors at<br />

home together than you’re used to in<br />

years past so make sure to have a list of<br />

ready-to-go activities for the younger<br />

members of your family. No one likes<br />

hearing the dreaded, “I’m bored!”<br />

If you’re planning on making a special<br />

meal for your holiday celebration, plan<br />

these in advance and involve the littles.<br />

Engage them in the planning, shopping,<br />

and execution—a well-planned meal will<br />

be much more enjoyable for everyone<br />

than one that wasn’t. This is a better year<br />

than ever to let your kids have fun and<br />

experiment with you in the kitchen when<br />

perhaps the timing isn’t as important.<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 11


Get outside as much as you can<br />

Here on Vancouver <strong>Island</strong> we’re pretty<br />

lucky not to have the harsh winters much<br />

of our country experiences each year.<br />

Don’t take those sunny, crisp winter<br />

days for granted—encourage your kids<br />

to run around and play while you sip a<br />

much-needed cozy drink. If you do live<br />

in a colder climate, take extra care to<br />

be outdoors when you can—if possible,<br />

invest in warmer clothing and outdoor<br />

play gear. If we’re lucky enough to get<br />

some snow, find a sledding hill or throw<br />

around snowballs as a family. Use whatever<br />

opportunities you can to incorporate<br />

joy, physical activity, and fresh air into<br />

your days.<br />

Don’t abandon your healthy<br />

habits<br />

During the holiday season it can feel<br />

like there are no rules. <strong>Parent</strong>s tend to<br />

be lenient with themselves and their kids<br />

around this time, but coupled with an unpredictable<br />

global pandemic, overindulging<br />

and neglecting your healthy habits is<br />

a slippery slope. Stick to the routines that<br />

nourish your mind and body, balancing<br />

relaxation with indulging in moderation.<br />

Nurture your own relationships<br />

In a full household, quality time on<br />

your own may be harder to come by this<br />

winter. Schedule in and commit to your<br />

alone time—this might just be before the<br />

kids wake or after they go to bed. As a<br />

parent, making sure you’re getting time<br />

to do what you want and need to do is<br />

essential for creating a positive holiday<br />

experience for everyone. On the other<br />

hand, if you’re a single co-parent, reach<br />

out to other loved ones if you start to feel<br />

lonely or isolated on days your kids are<br />

with their other parent.<br />

If you have a partner, ensure you’re<br />

scheduling one-on-one time with them.<br />

Regular and dedicated quality time with<br />

your household co-pilot is just as important<br />

for nurturing a happy, loving home.<br />

It’s no secret that we often unintentionally<br />

take out our stress on our partners,<br />

making it even more essential to reconnect<br />

on a regular basis. This could look<br />

like phone-free time together after the<br />

kids go to bed, or aligning their screen<br />

time with your morning coffee together.<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


Go with the flow<br />

Rule number one for this holiday season: be flexible. Celebrations<br />

aren’t going to look the same as last year—and that’s<br />

okay. Maybe this year, our festivities include a virtual baking<br />

party with Grandma, or an ongoing messaging thread with<br />

extended family sharing photos of your smaller celebrations.<br />

Just because we’re physically apart doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy<br />

quality time together. Adjust your expectations as needed to<br />

stay realistic and avoid further disappointments during an already<br />

difficult time.<br />

Finally, be gentle and understanding with yourself and your<br />

family members. While there are many positives to smaller<br />

activities, our world is also coping with immense stress and<br />

trauma. Give yourself and others grace during this time and remember<br />

that some things you simply cannot control. Focus on<br />

the positive and what’s most important—quality time with your<br />

loved ones (whether it’s virtual or from a safe distance).<br />

-<br />

L I G H T S , S T A G E ,<br />

ACTION!<br />

-<br />

Large studio space, small class sizes!<br />

Acting, Film, Improv, Playwriting<br />

and more! Classes for home learners,<br />

after-school and online learners.<br />

250-386-7526 | schooladmin@skam.ca | skam.ca<br />

Dr. Jillian Roberts is a child psychologist, UVic professor and<br />

mother. She is the CEO and Founder of FamilySparks and the author of<br />

Kids, Sex and Screens: Raising Strong, Resilient Children in the Sexualized<br />

Digital Age.<br />

Images: Unsplash.com<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 13


Top Toys<br />

<strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong>’s curated list of this year’s top toys guarantees that your kids<br />

will have more fun with the toys inside the boxes than the boxes themselves!<br />

Oioiooi Alphabet Play Block Set<br />

This beautiful alphabet play block set helps promote creative<br />

learning. Each letter has corresponding shapes for kids to find<br />

and match as they learn the alphabet. Whether for decoration,<br />

storytelling, or learning, these blocks are easily heirloom toys<br />

with their timeless beech and walnut wood design.<br />

Trigonos Family<br />

This construction set from Trigonos comes with fabric as one<br />

of construction materials. It has wood blocks and sticks as other<br />

construction kits, but the fabric adds unique design elements<br />

to the final results. The scales of this construction encourage<br />

kids to work as a team to build cool structures for fun.<br />

Aurora Erasable Markers<br />

Create negative space and your own unique designs with 8<br />

erasable markers that have color on one end and a white tip on<br />

the other. Comes in red, pink, orange, yellow, lime, blue, green<br />

and purple.<br />

Cutetitos Pizzaitos<br />

Cutetitos are now cheesier than ever, in brand new series 5<br />

Pizzaitos. These super-soft, stuffed animals wrapped and hidden<br />

in a pizza blanket are ready to be unrolled and discovered.<br />

12 new animalitos, are each wrapped in 1 of 4 pizza wraps:<br />

cheese, pepperoni, spicy, or Hawaiian pizza with ham and pineapple.<br />

From a Turtlito to a Poodlito and even a Ladybugito,<br />

each Cutetito Pizzaoitis is cuter than the next. A pet collector<br />

card is included with details on your new pet including its species,<br />

name, birthday and “hot spot” cheese-o-meter rating.<br />

Ages 3+<br />

Care Bears Magic Interactive Figures<br />

The Care Bears are great friends. Whether you’re feeling<br />

cheerful or grumpy, they are always by your side to make<br />

things better and keep you smiling. Your touch unlocks 50+<br />

reactions and surprises. Care Bears can sing, tell jokes, share<br />

feelings, say funny phrases, move, and light up their signature<br />

14 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


elly badges by touching their paws, nose, or belly. Each includes<br />

a special Care Coin for collecting and sharing—perfect<br />

to give to a friend to show them how much you care or keep it<br />

as a reminder to yourself to always be caring and kind. Ages 4+<br />

Lite-Brite Ultimate Classic<br />

The most fun and nostalgic way to create art with light. New<br />

retro-inspired styling resembles the original Lite-Brite from the<br />

80s and now features a bigger screen, brighter pegs, and more<br />

templates including six retro patterns. Just insert the pegs into<br />

the templates or freestyle an original design—then press the<br />

button to see the creation light-up in four different ways, from<br />

steady to blinking. With an updated stand on the back, kids<br />

can easily create and display their masterpieces…then turn off<br />

the lights for the ultimate effect. Ages 4+<br />

Little Bot Ofie Mats<br />

This soft baby play mat is reversible, durable and developed<br />

with a keen eye for design. Little Bot play mats are easy to<br />

clean and vacuum safe. They complement your home life style<br />

and provide safe and comfortable space for families with little<br />

kids. The play mat is available in three neutral versions and<br />

comes double-sided for when you want to quickly change up<br />

the look of the playroom. Durable, non-toxic, cushy, easy to<br />

clean—what else could you ask for in a baby mat?<br />

The Nugget<br />

Part-furniture, part-toy, and all-around the best thing to happen<br />

to playtime since, well, ever. Kids love Nugget for its interplanetary<br />

possibilities, but parents love it for something else:<br />

saving space. It takes the place of dozens of trinkets and small<br />

toys, allowing for less cleanup and safer play. It also contributes<br />

to another important mission: saving the grown-up couch<br />

from certain destruction.<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 15


Stuffed Animals by CozyMoss<br />

These stuffed animals cannot be any cuter. Each one has its<br />

own name, image and story. CozyMoss also makes additional<br />

toy clothes. These beautiful whimsical dolls will develop kids’<br />

imagination sand creativity in dress up and role play, and are<br />

sure to become their adventure companion and secrets keeper.<br />

Blockitecture Garden City Mega Set<br />

Build the world you want to see with Blockitecture, a set of<br />

architectural building blocks. Cantilever and nest hexagonal<br />

blocks to create towers, cities and dwellings. This set of blocks<br />

can be combined in endless ways to build your own miniature<br />

city. Also included are specialized blocks to add pavilions and<br />

gardens to your buildings.<br />

Pound Puppies<br />

The original Pound Puppies are back with new authentic<br />

reproductions that look and feel just like everyone remembers.<br />

Ready to be adopted and loved, there are a variety of puppies<br />

to choose from, with different facial and eye expressions, ear<br />

lengths and fur colors in an updated soft material. Each comes<br />

in a pet-carrier shaped package and includes a care sheet and<br />

official adoption papers. Ages 3+<br />

Moon Picnic Weather Station<br />

Learn about weather with this fun and educational interactive<br />

toy. There are 4 movable parts and 5 weather symbols<br />

to display so little meteorologists can report and forecast the<br />

weather. Move the weather meter, turn the dials, slide the thermometer.<br />

It’s safely made with non-toxic paint and sustainable<br />

wood so you can feel good about gifting this, too.<br />

Curious Kids Nature Guide<br />

Filled with 100 beautifully accurate, colourful illustrations<br />

and interesting facts (did you know that baby raccoons are<br />

smaller than a bar of soap?)—this nature guide to the Pacific<br />

Northwest is perfect for any “Best Coast” explorer. Not only<br />

an awesome nature guide for kids, it’s also great for adults who<br />

want a quick introduction to the enchanting flora and fauna of<br />

the Pacific Northwest.<br />

Kate & Levi Hand Puppets<br />

Handmade using recycled and repurposed materials, every<br />

product is eco-friendly and one-of-a-kind. Not only is this<br />

process environmentally responsible, but it ensures that each<br />

animal is truly a one of a kind creation never to be duplicated.<br />

With every purchase you make you help send a child fighting<br />

cancer to camp so you can give and give back!<br />

16 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


CurliGirls<br />

CurliGirls dolls feature MagiCurl hair that curls instantly<br />

when you pull it. There’s Bayli, the Birthday Girl; Charli, the<br />

Pop Star; and Hayli, the Ballerina. Collect them all and Express<br />

Your Curl Power. The longer you pull, the tighter the curl. Curl<br />

with your fingers, or easy styling tools, then accessorize with<br />

hair clips and beads. To change it up, dip hair in warm water<br />

and watch it magically straighten. Style and restyle over and<br />

over again. Ages 3+<br />

TONKA Mud Rescue & Mighty Dump<br />

With TONKA Micro Metals all of your favorite vehicles are<br />

now available in miniature. This line from TONKA offers all<br />

the rescue, construction and service vehicles in awesome micro<br />

sized metal versions. Each free-wheeling vehicle is built microsized,<br />

but TONKA tough. Also includes a Toolbox capsule to<br />

store your vehicles. The Tonka Steel Classics Mighty Dump<br />

Truck is built for hauling. This sturdy, steel construction vehicle<br />

is ready for the toughest loading jobs. Move the bed up and<br />

down to trigger its unloading action. Ages 3+<br />

STEINVIK FARMS<br />

Fresh Cut Christmas Trees<br />

OPEN DAILY<br />

Sun–Thurs:<br />

9am–7pm<br />

Fri & Sat:<br />

9am–9pm<br />

Follow Us on<br />

Facebook<br />

for COVID<br />

protocol<br />

5204 Sooke Road<br />

steinvikfarms@shaw.ca 778-679-1114<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 17


Tantrums &<br />

Language Learning<br />

o! da yewo pwate!” screeched<br />

“N two-year-old Katie as she<br />

knocked the plate off the table, sending<br />

apple slices everywhere, crying so hard<br />

that she was gasping for air.<br />

Jules, her mom, was confused and frustrated<br />

by Katie’s behaviour. The apple<br />

had started out on a blue plate, but when<br />

We see these tantrums as unreasonable<br />

responses from children who are tired or<br />

hungry or not feeling well and so can’t<br />

deal with their emotions.<br />

But Katie wasn’t sick or tired or hungry.<br />

And she had gotten exactly what<br />

she asked for. Or at least, that’s what<br />

her mother thought. It turned out that<br />

Katie asked for the yellow one, Jules<br />

switched them, only to have it rejected<br />

when she put it down in front of her<br />

daughter.<br />

This scene is reminiscent of the tantrum<br />

videos popular on social media: the<br />

child who cries because a broken cracker<br />

can’t be fixed, or because they are told<br />

they can’t do something they didn’t actually<br />

want to do.<br />

what Katie meant by ‘yewo pwate’ was<br />

a multi-coloured plate with no yellow<br />

on it at all. She had the wrong meaning<br />

for “yellow” in her mind. But from her<br />

perspective, she had communicated her<br />

wants to her mother, her mother had said<br />

she was going to give her what she wanted,<br />

and then she was given the wrong<br />

plate. To Katie, it seemed like her mother<br />

was one being unreasonable!<br />

18 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


Miscommunications like this can be at<br />

the root of tantrums more often than you<br />

might think. Figuring out what words<br />

mean is hard, and words that don’t refer<br />

to concrete objects are especially tricky.<br />

To understand yellow, for instance, you<br />

have to understand that the person isn’t<br />

talking about the object, they are talking<br />

about a property of the object, a property<br />

that can look quite different on different<br />

objects (for example, a yellow banana is<br />

a different colour than a yellow bean).<br />

Words that refer to things that you<br />

can’t see at all, like “think” or “sad,”<br />

are even more difficult. In our house,<br />

the word “hungry” was the cause of a<br />

tantrum more than once. The word came<br />

up a lot as my son didn’t much like to<br />

eat—it got in the way of doing more<br />

interesting things. We could often tell<br />

he was hungry because of his mood, but<br />

when we said he was hungry and needed<br />

to eat, he would insist that he wasn’t.<br />

And he would get increasingly upset at<br />

us for saying it, sometimes to the point of<br />

a tantrum—which was of course, made<br />

more likely because of his hunger!<br />

Eventually I figured out that he didn’t<br />

understand what hungry meant and didn’t<br />

want to say he was something he might not<br />

be. When I explained that hungry meant<br />

having a grumbly sore tummy that wanted<br />

food he said “Oh, I feel like that a lot! I<br />

guess I do get hungry.” And with that, our<br />

tussles over “being hungry” ended.<br />

I should have recognized earlier that<br />

language was at the root of our “hungry”<br />

problem. After all, child language development<br />

is my specialization. But you can<br />

learn from my failing.<br />

Try to figure out what your child is trying<br />

to tell you. Tell them you don’t quite<br />

understand, but want to, and ask them to<br />

show you what they want if they can. On<br />

the other side of things, make sure that<br />

they understand what you are saying.<br />

They might think you mean something<br />

you don’t and that might be the issue.<br />

Sorting out a miscommunication might<br />

have to wait until after the tantrum<br />

ends when your child is calm and ready<br />

to talk, but if you’re lucky, you can fix<br />

things before the tantrum starts. And if<br />

you’re not so lucky, the post-tantrum<br />

time is a perfect opportunity to help your<br />

child understand those especially tricky<br />

emotion words. You can explain what<br />

sad or mad or frustrated feel like, tell<br />

them that you feel those things sometimes<br />

too and what you do to deal with your<br />

own negative emotions.<br />

WINTER<br />

STUDIO<br />

Carla Hudson Kam, PhD, is a Professor<br />

of Linguistics at the University of British<br />

Columbia.<br />

Get creative and stay connected to art and each other this winter!<br />

Join the AGGV Studio for a range of virtual offerings as well as<br />

private, in-person art classes.<br />

REGISTER TODAY AT:<br />

aggv.ca/learn/aggv-studio<br />

250.384.4171 or at 1040 Moss St<br />

It might take a while, but these conversations<br />

will help your child learn to deal<br />

with emotions without tantrums. And<br />

you’ll get a chance to see things from<br />

their perspective in the meantime.<br />

FOR MORE INFORMATION,<br />

PLEASE EMAIL:<br />

studio@aggv.ca<br />

aggv.ca<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 19


KIDS’READS<br />

Tales About Winter Traditions<br />

Over the winter holidays many<br />

families get together to decorate<br />

trees, light candles, and eat yummy<br />

foods. While many of us do the same<br />

thing, we each tend to put our own family<br />

spin on it that makes it uniquely ours.<br />

And this holiday season, in the midst of<br />

a pandemic, celebrations are bound to be<br />

even more unique than ever.<br />

Whatever you intend to do this break,<br />

the winter holidays are a great time to<br />

live out family traditions or create some<br />

new ones. Here are some books that<br />

share the author’s or character’s favourite<br />

traditions, maybe one or two of them will<br />

make it into the books you read every<br />

year around this time.<br />

through until the sun is able to step forth<br />

renewed and refreshed. Maybe when you<br />

read it with your family you can all join<br />

into shout “Welcome Yule” like all the<br />

Christmas Revels audience members. For<br />

all ages.<br />

Another book that encourages us to<br />

take a moment this winter to pause and<br />

reflect on the changing seasons around us<br />

is Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter which<br />

is written and illustrated by Kenard Pak<br />

(Henry Holt and Co., 2017). This gorgeous<br />

book follows two children as they<br />

walk through the woods and their town<br />

to say hello to the animals, the pines,<br />

and the quiet night skies of winter and to<br />

say goodbye to the creatures, plants, and<br />

sounds of autumn. For ages 3 to 5.<br />

What Grandma Built by Michelle<br />

Gilman and illustrated Jazmin Sasky<br />

(Harbour, 2013) is a book about families<br />

building their own traditions one year at<br />

a time, all because their grandma had a<br />

dream. She wanted to create a magical<br />

place for her family to enjoy for generations<br />

to come. The bright images help<br />

transform the mundane home into a<br />

castle where you can see the magic the<br />

Grandma’s children and grandchildren<br />

can see. As you read it, maybe you’ll<br />

see who you too are building your own<br />

castles without even realizing it. For ages<br />

3 to 5.<br />

The fourth book is Houndsley and<br />

Catina Through the Seasons by James<br />

Howe and illustrated by Marie-Louise<br />

Gay (Candlewick Sparks, 2018). This<br />

collection of four books looks at the different<br />

traditions Houndsley and Catina<br />

have throughout the different seasons:<br />

canoeing in the spring, listening to the<br />

quiet of the winter, watching fireflies in<br />

the summer, and celebrating their birthdays<br />

in the fall. For ages 5 to 9.<br />

Another thing many of us do as the<br />

year changes from one to the next is we<br />

look back at the previous year and celebrate<br />

all we have accomplished. While<br />

some of our accomplishments are big,<br />

The first book is The Shortest Day<br />

(Candlewick Press, 2019). This is a poem<br />

by Susan Cooper that is already part of<br />

many people’s holiday traditions. Every<br />

year, this poem is preformed live in nine<br />

different cities across the United States as<br />

part of the Christmas Revels. But now,<br />

Cooper has teamed up with Carson Ellis<br />

to illustrate the poem and share it with<br />

even more people.<br />

As you can probably guess from the<br />

title, The Shortest Day celebrates the<br />

shortest day of the year. Ellis’s illustrations<br />

beautifully bring this poem to life<br />

as you watch the tired, old sun lay down<br />

to sleep while the villagers gather candles<br />

and logs to create light the whole night<br />

20 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


they don’t have to be big to be celebrated<br />

as Teddy Bear of the Year by Vikki Van-<br />

Sickle and illustrated by Sydney Hanson<br />

(Tundra, <strong>2020</strong>) demonstrates. This beautifully<br />

illustrated story is about a teddy<br />

bear named Ollie. Ollie loves being a<br />

teddy bear because he gets to listen to his<br />

girl Amena’s stories, cuddle with her at<br />

bedtime, and be there for her when she<br />

falls off her bike and scrapes her knee.<br />

None of what he does is truly heroic, but<br />

he doesn’t realize that until he’s invited<br />

to the Teddy Bear Picnic and bear after<br />

bear is given awards for hospital stays,<br />

surviving dog-nappings, and other brave<br />

adventures. And he wonders if he will<br />

even do anything worthy of celebration.<br />

For ages 3 to 5.<br />

As we come to the close of this year<br />

and the beginning of the new one, I hope<br />

you and your family are able to spend<br />

some time living out the traditions you<br />

have created over the years. But if that<br />

isn’t possible, I hope you’re able to find<br />

a new way to honour those traditions a<br />

different way in our weird and mixed-up<br />

pandemic world.<br />

Christina Van Starkenburg is a freelance<br />

writer and mother of two. Despite all of<br />

the books that flow through the house for this<br />

column, her boys still have their favourites and<br />

she’s read them a million times. Christina finds it<br />

exciting every time something new catches their<br />

eye, and she loves to share those treasures with<br />

all of you.<br />

<strong>Island</strong><br />

Catholic<br />

Schools<br />

Keeps<br />

Christ in<br />

Christmas!<br />

Christ centered<br />

communities of<br />

learning…educating<br />

the “whole” child.<br />

Registrations for <strong>2021</strong>–22<br />

being accepted.<br />

St. John Paul II School, Port Alberni<br />

Queen of Angels School, Duncan<br />

St. Joseph’s School, Victoria<br />

St. Patrick’s School, Victoria<br />

St. Andrew’s Regional High School, Victoria<br />

250-727-6893<br />

www.cisdv.bc.ca<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 21


DADSPEAK<br />

The Takeaway from <strong>2020</strong><br />

One of the toughest things about<br />

homeschooling, at least for me<br />

as the parent who’s not actually<br />

DOING the homeschooling, is dealing<br />

with the people who feel it’s not the best<br />

choice for the kid, as if we’re depriving<br />

them of essential social lifesblood<br />

by not putting them in school. Now,<br />

with COVID-19 making a lot of parents<br />

homeschool, it’s been a bit satisfying to<br />

field a few “So, uh…how is this done?”<br />

questions.<br />

are now at a point where they’re wanting<br />

to go back to school. So while everyone<br />

else is going the homeschool route, we’re<br />

actually looking into different schools<br />

again. What can I say? We’re one step<br />

ahead of the curve. Or maybe one step<br />

behind. Or maybe we’re all just flailing,<br />

making the best choices we can, changing,<br />

adapting, guessing, winging it.<br />

Speaking of winging it, how’s the<br />

Christmas season working out? It’s been<br />

a bit of a sideways year, clearly, and as<br />

I mean, beyond that base-level bit of<br />

revenge-gratification, it’s interesting seeing<br />

such a shift towards interest (forced<br />

interest, mind you, but interest regardless)<br />

in homeschooling. I’m in support of<br />

this; I’ve been talking about how great<br />

homeschooling is for years. It’s not for<br />

everyone, certainly. But if you can and<br />

are able, it’s fantastic.<br />

Because nothing is ever easy, my kids<br />

parents we struggle with facing this most<br />

expensive of seasons while perhaps facing<br />

a layoff due to COVID-19.<br />

No one wants to face a broke Christmas,<br />

and yet here we are, many parents<br />

getting hit hard by the continued economic<br />

fallout from the virus. It’s like<br />

we’re all fumbling in the dark, everyone<br />

nervously asking everyone, “So, uh…<br />

how is this done?” about everything.<br />

22 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


So, how is it done? How can we possibly<br />

continue to be parents while schools<br />

are a zombie flick and Christmas is a mix<br />

of anxiety and depression because we’re<br />

suddenly in a huge recession, one we had<br />

no idea was coming last Christmas? How<br />

do we survive?<br />

I don’t know. With a sense of humour,<br />

I suppose. With a sense of community.<br />

With a strength that no one knew we<br />

had, even during our most difficult parenting<br />

moments.<br />

Let this thought be my Christmas gift<br />

to you: a time in the future where we’re<br />

all together again without worry of a<br />

virus, drinking a drink and laughing, kids<br />

doing their thing, world still turning, life<br />

still going on, all the little problems and<br />

dramas playing out like they always did<br />

before. Somehow, we tell ourselves they<br />

should matter less, but, screw it, we’re<br />

humans, they’ll still matter. And that will<br />

be great. Stressing over the parent-teacher<br />

interview is a lot better than stressing<br />

over a recession, stressing over a virus we<br />

can’t control. And we’re getting there.<br />

We’ll get there.<br />

It’s been a hell of a year. For parents—trying<br />

to navigate the line between<br />

explaining everything to our kids and<br />

keeping them blissfully sheltered. It’s<br />

been more trying than the years usually<br />

are, which is pretty trying in the first<br />

place, if we’re being honest. My daughter<br />

said it best: “It’s like we’re living in<br />

a Dear Canada book,” referencing the<br />

series of books she enjoys reading about<br />

Canadian history. And we are. We’re living<br />

in history, trying to be parents in a super<br />

sketchy <strong>2020</strong>, a year that, yes, books<br />

will be written about and people 50 years<br />

from now will read, and they’ll think,<br />

man, that must have been tough. That’s<br />

the truth: it is tough. It’s interesting that<br />

we’re living through it, and while I know<br />

that doesn’t make the Christmas-finances<br />

stresses any easier, it’s... something.<br />

Look, we’re going to make it, and I’ll<br />

be writing this column next year, and<br />

maybe we can get together and have a<br />

drink and shake our heads and laugh.<br />

Our kids will get educated one way or<br />

another. And we’ll all make it through<br />

this, one way or another.<br />

We are looking for Caregivers<br />

We<br />

in the<br />

are Greater<br />

looking Victoria<br />

for Caregivers<br />

Area.<br />

in the Greater Victoria Area.<br />

Contact Michael Washington, Resource Recruitment | 250.544.1400 |www.niltuo.ca<br />

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION<br />

If your child was born in 2016, it’s time to register them for Kindergarten!<br />

Nature Kindergarten<br />

French Immersion Kindergarten<br />

<strong>January</strong> 11–15, <strong>2021</strong><br />

General Kindergarten Registration<br />

<strong>January</strong> 25–29, <strong>2021</strong><br />

Greg Pratt is the father of three children and<br />

a local journalist and editor. His writing has appeared<br />

in, among other places, Today’s <strong>Parent</strong>,<br />

Wired, Revolver and Douglas.<br />

All registration is online! For more information and to register visit<br />

SD62.bc.ca<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 23


WHAT’SFORDINNER<br />

Connecting<br />

Through<br />

Food<br />

For many of us this holiday season is going to be difficult.<br />

It is a year of keeping our distance, unable to touch<br />

those we feel closest to. While it was easy to pretend that<br />

everything was fine during the warm summer months, Thanksgiving<br />

was hard. And the winter is going to be even harder.<br />

Perhaps the most important family connection is sharing<br />

food. While it might not be possible to sit down to a shared<br />

meal this holiday season, it is still possible to connect over<br />

food.<br />

Here are a few ideas that my mother and I are considering<br />

trying this season. (She is a therapist who is frequently called<br />

into hospitals and care homes to deal with individuals in a<br />

crisis. While she wears PPE for all interactions she also is very<br />

careful about potential COVID exposures outside of work.)<br />

• Get take out coffee and go for a walk along the ocean.<br />

• Order individual take out meals and eat outside.<br />

• Cook a big turkey dinner and deliver portions to local family<br />

members.<br />

• Share a big family meal over Zoom. My mother-in-law’s care<br />

home has set up special computers for family Zoom meetings,<br />

which is great because she wouldn’t be able to figure it<br />

out on her own.<br />

• If your kids are squirrely at the dinner table, then have an<br />

appie hour on Zoom instead. Turn it into a fun event with a<br />

dance party or holiday quiz game.<br />

• Send homemade treats in a care package. It’s like a longdistance<br />

hug.<br />

• Give yourself a break. If it feels like too much to cook a big<br />

dinner, then just make spaghetti or ribollita (see the following<br />

below). As long as you serve it with some holiday music,<br />

your kids won’t notice that it’s not the usual turkey.<br />

Here are two holiday treats that are easy send in the mail,<br />

along with a simple and delicious recipe for ribollita. Turn on<br />

“Jingle Bells” and get your kids to help in the kitchen. It’s the<br />

best way to get into the holiday spirit!<br />

Emillie Parrish writes from Victoria and Saturna <strong>Island</strong>. She is the<br />

author of the Pacific Northwest lifestyle blog BerriesAndBarnacles.com.<br />

Pfeffernusse (German Gingerbread)<br />

Pfeffernusse are deliciously spiced cookies that are fairly similar<br />

to gingerbread. They are ball shaped which means they are super<br />

simple to make and won’t break while shipping across the country.<br />

This recipe makes about 60 small cookies.<br />

Dry Ingredients<br />

1 cup of flour 1 ⁄4 tsp baking powder<br />

1⁄8 tsp baking soda 1 ⁄8 tsp salt<br />

1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 ⁄2 tsp ground cardamon<br />

1 ⁄4 tsp ground cloves 1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg<br />

1 ⁄8 tsp black pepper<br />

Remaining Ingredients<br />

1 ⁄4 cup of butter 1⁄2 cup of sugar<br />

3 Tbsp molasses 1 egg<br />

1⁄4 cup ground almond 1 tsp lemon zest<br />

1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.<br />

2. Melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and molasses.<br />

3. Beat the egg into the melted butter mixture, then add the<br />

ground almond and lemon zest.<br />

4. Mix with the dry ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough.<br />

5. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 1 or 2 days to blend the<br />

flavours.<br />

6. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350˚F and<br />

grease 2 cookie sheets.<br />

7. Either roll individual balls about 2 cm in diameter, or roll the<br />

dough into a long log and use a butter knife to slice off a cookie<br />

every 2 cm.<br />

8. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned.<br />

Let them cool slightly then roll the still-warm cookies in icing sugar<br />

(about 1 ⁄2 cup for the whole batch).<br />

24 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


Ribolita<br />

(Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes)<br />

Christmas Tea<br />

I mailed bags of tea for my sister’s virtual baby shower this year. The<br />

bags are lightweight, flat and fit perfectly in an envelop. It’s also a<br />

great holiday treat for anyone who needs to stay away from sweets.<br />

The zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange<br />

1 vanilla bean<br />

100 g of tea (either black tea or rooibos)<br />

1 tsp cinnamon<br />

1 ⁄2 tsp ground cloves<br />

1. Preheat the oven to 210˚F.<br />

2. Zest the lemon and orange onto a small baking sheet.<br />

3. Dry the zest in the oven for 20 minutes.<br />

4. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, then cut it into 1 cm sections.<br />

5. Mix the dried zest, vanilla bean, tea and spices in a bowl.<br />

6. Use a funnel to fill small packages of tea.<br />

7. Brew for 5 minutes using 1 Tbsp of tea for 1 cup of water.<br />

This Tuscan tomato soup is rich and warming. It is traditionally<br />

served with croutons, but I prefer dipping slices of fresh bread. I<br />

recommend making a double batch because the leftovers are even<br />

more delicious.<br />

2 tbsp olive oil 1 large onion<br />

2 carrots 1 fennel bulb<br />

3 ribs of celery 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes<br />

4 cups of water 1 tbsp oregano<br />

1 tbsp thyme 2 bay leaves<br />

2 tsp sugar 1 1 ⁄2 tsp salt, to taste<br />

14 oz can of chickpeas 4 Tbsp of pesto<br />

4 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese<br />

1. Chop the onion, carrots, celery and fennel into small, bite-sized<br />

pieces.<br />

2. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Saute the onions, until<br />

starting to soften, then add the rest of the vegetables and saute for<br />

another 2 minutes.<br />

3. Add the canned tomatoes, water, herbs, sugar and salt. Bring<br />

everything to a boil.<br />

4. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.<br />

5. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Then place them in a bowl and<br />

crush them slightly with the back of a rolling pin. Stir into the soup<br />

and cook for another 5 minutes.<br />

6. Serve the soup with a spoonful of pesto and a sprinkle of<br />

grated Parmesan cheese.<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 25


MOM’SPOV<br />

Too Much Stuff<br />

When clutter becomes a safety hazard<br />

I<br />

hold the tiny purple earring in between<br />

my thumb and index finger. It<br />

is the fourth time we have crossed paths<br />

this year. I want to save this earring from<br />

becoming an official lost item, destined<br />

for the junk drawer and eventually the<br />

garbage. I rack my brain and a visual<br />

comes. My oldest daughter’s large monster<br />

high doll: this is Elisabat’s earring.<br />

Have I even made a dent? Will it ever<br />

look like any part of our house is organized<br />

and tidy? It is often clean, but<br />

not tidy. My husband grew up in a tidy<br />

house. I grew up in a tidy house, but our<br />

house is anything but tidy. It is a constant<br />

hurricane of stuff shoved in bins, bags to<br />

be sorted, bags to donate, next size up<br />

bins of my oldest daughter’s clothes for<br />

I take the stairs two at a time, descending<br />

to the basement. I pull open the cedar<br />

chest that my father-in-law built. I pull<br />

dolls out one by one and reminisce over<br />

each one. Now that my daughter is nine,<br />

she never plays with dolls anymore. I<br />

played with dolls until age 12, but each<br />

to their own. I find Elisabat at the very<br />

bottom, pull her out and then push her<br />

earring back in her left ear. I sigh a satisfying<br />

relief of success. One item put away<br />

and only 100,000 more to go.<br />

her little sister to wear one day.<br />

My kids’ rooms are tidy and they<br />

keep them that way because they like it.<br />

However, in order to maintain their level<br />

of tidy, the rest of the house becomes a<br />

dumping ground and it’s hard to find the<br />

time to deal with it.<br />

My youngest recently ran into my<br />

office and sliced her toe on a sheet of<br />

glass from a photo frame that has been<br />

propped up against my desk since August<br />

when I had to try to get a lizard out of<br />

26 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


my office (it crawled under the screen on<br />

our back door). Thankfully, her toe was<br />

a bandage fix and not a stitches fix. This<br />

was our wake up call.<br />

We slowly started working as a family<br />

to put items in labelled bins and try<br />

to minimalize our amount of clutter and<br />

toys. The time must be made this winter.<br />

I have high hopes. Cooler and rainy days<br />

equals times to work inside. Our house<br />

has become a hazard. The junk and extra<br />

stuff must go.<br />

My friend has a great strategy, which is<br />

to help each other organize one person’s<br />

house and then the next person’s house.<br />

It’s always easier to get rid of someone<br />

else’s stuff. It’s great to do a purge once<br />

or twice a year. I admit that without<br />

many guests and no parties and family<br />

dinners this year, we have really let our<br />

house go.<br />

Another challenge, is to not get distracted.<br />

I can get a lot done when I’m<br />

home alone versus having three little<br />

helpers. It can be easy to go down the<br />

route of wanting to scrapbook when I<br />

find a set of pictures or for my kids to<br />

play when they find a long lost toy.<br />

Small goals are a great way to start.<br />

Before we know it, little by little, pile by<br />

pile, a few minutes of time here and there<br />

we’ll tackle our clutter shelf by shelf section<br />

by section.<br />

With Christmas coming, it is a great<br />

time to donate outgrown toys, so my<br />

kids can welcome in the new. It’s time to<br />

downsize, donate, and sell all our clutter.<br />

I think we’ll all feel satisfied when we can<br />

walk through our house from one end to<br />

the other and stay injury free. But first,<br />

I need to see if I can find the LEGO set<br />

that this tiny tire goes with.<br />

Serena Beck works full-time as a Technical<br />

Writer. She loves to write, travel and swim at the<br />

beach with family and friends.<br />

Online Christmas Eve Family Service<br />

Dec 24, 4:30 pm<br />

Nativity story—carols<br />

firstmetvictoria.com/pages/live-stream<br />

First Met United Church<br />

Quadra & Balmoral<br />

firstmetvictoria.com<br />

Also online:<br />

Carols in the Candlelight—<br />

Dec 24, 7:30 pm<br />

Christmas Message—Dec 25, 11:00 am<br />

Sunday services—11:00 am<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 27


Healthy Families, Happy Families<br />

Child, Youth<br />

& Family<br />

Public Health<br />

South <strong>Island</strong> Health Units<br />

Esquimalt 250-519-5311<br />

Gulf <strong>Island</strong>s 250-539-3099<br />

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)<br />

Peninsula 250-544-2400<br />

Saanich 250-519-5100<br />

Saltspring <strong>Island</strong> 250-538-4880<br />

Sooke 250-519-3487<br />

Victoria 250-388-2200<br />

West Shore 250-519-3490<br />

Central <strong>Island</strong> Health Units<br />

Duncan 250-709-3050<br />

Ladysmith 250-755-3342<br />

Lake Cowichan 250-749-6878<br />

Nanaimo 250-755-3342<br />

Nanaimo 250-739-5845<br />

Princess Royal<br />

Parksville/Qualicum 250-947-8242<br />

Port Alberni 250-731-1315<br />

Tofino 250-725-4020<br />

North <strong>Island</strong> Health Units<br />

Campbell River 250-850-2110<br />

Courtenay 250-331-8520<br />

Kyuquot Health Ctr 250-332-5289<br />

‘Namgis Health Ctr 250-974-5522<br />

Port Hardy 250-902-6071<br />

islandhealth.ca/our-locations/<br />

health-unit-locations<br />

Changes with BC Medical Services Plan<br />

premiums mean that families eligible for partial<br />

payment of some medical services and access<br />

to some income-based programs now must<br />

apply for Supplementary Benefits through the<br />

Government of BC. Applications can be done<br />

online and take approximately 15 minutes.<br />

Families who previously qualified for MSP<br />

Premium Assistance should not need to re-apply<br />

if taxes are completed yearly. It is advised to<br />

confirm coverage before proceeding with<br />

treatment to avoid paying out of pocket.<br />

For more information, visit gov.bc.ca/gov/<br />

content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/<br />

bc-residents/benefits/services-covered-bymsp/supplementary-benefits<br />

HAPPYFAMILIESHEALTHYFAMILIES<br />

What to Know About<br />

Your Child’s Hearing<br />

Hearing in the first few years of life is essential for social, emotional, and cognitive<br />

development, and is critical for speech and language development. As<br />

a parent or caregiver, there are a few things you can look for when it comes<br />

to your child’s hearing.<br />

The hearing system starts to form around the 18th week of pregnancy, and continues<br />

until a baby is around 5 or 6 months of age. By about 22 to 24 weeks of pregnancy,<br />

a fetus starts to hear low-pitch sounds that are outside the womb, such as a dog<br />

barking. Later in the pregnancy, it can hear music, environmental noises, and voices.<br />

Some studies have shown that babies at birth recognize the patterns and sounds of<br />

their native language!<br />

After birth, a baby’s hearing continues to develop. The following milestones are<br />

useful when observing a baby or young child’s hearing. With older babies and toddlers,<br />

speech and language development can be a clue as to how a child is hearing.<br />

Birth to 3 months<br />

4–6 months<br />

7–12 months<br />

12–18 months<br />

18–24 months<br />

2–3 years<br />

• Startles to loud sounds (coughing, door slamming)<br />

• Soothed by soft sounds (singing, familiar voice)<br />

• Turns eyes towards a sound or their name<br />

• Responds to “no” and changes in tone of voice<br />

• Begins to make different vocal noises (“ooh,” “ba-ba”)<br />

• Gets scared by a loud voice or noise<br />

• Enjoys toys that make noise (e.g. rattles)<br />

• Responds to their name and environmental sounds (e.g. phone<br />

ringing)<br />

• Turns head correctly to direction that sound is coming from<br />

• Knows common sayings (“bye-bye”) and words for common<br />

things (ball, cup)<br />

• Begins to respond to simple requests and questions (“Come<br />

here,”…“Where’s the toy?”)<br />

• Makes more babbling sounds<br />

• Pays attention when spoken to<br />

• Starts using common and meaningful words and putting words<br />

together<br />

• Points to some body parts and pictures in books<br />

• Looks at your face when talking and listening to you<br />

• Follows one-step commands (“Show Daddy”)<br />

• Understands simple yes/no questions (“Are you hungry?”)<br />

• Understands more words than they can say<br />

• Asks simple questions (“What’s that?”)<br />

• Takes turns in a conversation<br />

• Says two words together (“More milk,”… “Mommy up”)<br />

• Asks questions and answers simple questions (“Where is the<br />

ball?”)<br />

• Follows two-step directions (“Get the cup and put it on the<br />

table”)<br />

• Says sentences of three or more words<br />

• Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time<br />

• Enjoys music, television, etc at a normal level<br />

• Responds to speech at a typical conversational level<br />

28 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


There are many reasons why infants<br />

and children can have hearing loss.<br />

Temporary hearing loss can be caused<br />

by fluid in the middle ear (the space behind<br />

the eardrum), or wax build up in the<br />

ear canal. Most of the time, these resolve<br />

on their own or with medical help, and<br />

hearing returns to normal.<br />

Some causes of permanent hearing loss<br />

that is present from birth include:<br />

• Genetics (e.g. gene for hearing loss<br />

inherited from a parent, or a syndrome<br />

such as Pendred or Down Syndrome)<br />

• Cleft palate<br />

• Infection during pregnancy or delivery<br />

(e.g. cytomegalovirus)<br />

• Birth complications (e.g. lack of oxygen<br />

at birth)<br />

• Very low birth weight<br />

Some causes of permanent hearing<br />

loss that is acquired during childhood<br />

include:<br />

• Diseases (e.g. meningitis, mumps)<br />

• Some medications (e.g. chemotherapy)<br />

• Noise exposure<br />

Some hearing issues can develop even<br />

without risk factors. Middle ear infections<br />

are one of the most common health<br />

conditions of young children. More than<br />

75 per cent of children experience at<br />

least one ear infection by age three. Signs<br />

younger children may show are tugging/<br />

pulling at their ears, fussiness, changes in<br />

appetite and sleeping patterns, fever, fluid<br />

draining from the ear, and/or a noticeable<br />

change in hearing ability. It is important<br />

to protect little ears from loud noise exposure,<br />

which can cause permanent hearing<br />

damage. Be careful when choosing<br />

toys for young children. Some batterypowered<br />

toys for babies and toddlers<br />

can make sound loud enough to damage<br />

hearing, especially as young children may<br />

hold a toy close to their ear. Look for onoff<br />

switches and volume controls if the<br />

toy does create sound.<br />

With more time spent at home during<br />

Covid-19, many of us find ourselves using<br />

devices and watching movies with our<br />

children. It is important to model good<br />

listening behaviour for our children by<br />

keeping our televisions, sound systems,<br />

and personal listening devices at a comfortable<br />

level. Talk to your children from<br />

a young age about protecting their ears.<br />

Wear hearing protection when using loud<br />

tools at home and when going to loud<br />

environments, such as sporting events or<br />

concerts. Get a pair of child-sized, noisereducing<br />

earmuffs that you can help your<br />

child put on when at loud events.<br />

Children may appear to have difficulty<br />

hearing when listening to someone<br />

wearing a mask. This may be normal,<br />

as speech can sound muffled through<br />

a mask and we cannot see someone’s<br />

mouth to get lipreading cues. However, if<br />

you feel that your child is having excessive<br />

difficulty, you should arrange for<br />

your child’s hearing to be tested.<br />

All babies born in BC get a newborn<br />

hearing screening shortly after birth as<br />

part of the BC Early Hearing Program.<br />

Babies on Vancouver <strong>Island</strong> who do not<br />

pass the first screening will be referred for<br />

a hearing assessment at an <strong>Island</strong> Health<br />

Hearing Clinic. Babies with risk factors<br />

for hearing loss are also monitored at<br />

these clinics.<br />

Children on Vancouver <strong>Island</strong> will also<br />

get a hearing screening at school during<br />

their kindergarten year. Your child will<br />

receive further assessment at an <strong>Island</strong><br />

Health Hearing Clinic if hearing is not<br />

within normal limits.<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>s and caregivers are the best<br />

people to look for signs of hearing loss in<br />

their child. If you have any concern about<br />

your child’s hearing, arrange a hearing<br />

assessment through your physician or by<br />

contacting your local <strong>Island</strong> Health Hearing<br />

Clinic:<br />

Victoria 250-388-2250<br />

West Shore 250-519-3490<br />

Nanaimo 250-755-6269<br />

Courtenay 250-331-8526<br />

Alison Love, M.Sc.,<br />

RAUD, RHIP, is an audiologist<br />

with the Vancouver<br />

<strong>Island</strong> Health Authority.<br />

CHILD YOUTH & FAMILY<br />

PUBLIC HEALTH<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 29


3 Tips to Reduce Stress<br />

Pandemic life with the whole family<br />

These days, life is anything but normal. It feels like no one<br />

ever leaves the house because of COVID-19. Living in a<br />

multi-generational South Asian home, the kids are running<br />

around, and the parents are ranting about something. It comes<br />

to a point where your stress level at home is so high that you<br />

want to run an errand just to escape to the silence of your car.<br />

That and you need a break from the classical music your parents<br />

have on repeat. They say it reminds them of back home<br />

but right now, it reminds you how much you’d rather not hear<br />

it ever again. Take a deep breath and turn up “Years In The<br />

Making” by Arkells—it’s going to be okay.<br />

Now, it’s one thing to be home with your kids during a<br />

school break and your parents are living with you, too, but this<br />

whole pandemic life has really turned an innocent break into<br />

a lengthy television-worthy drama. The only thing is, it’s real<br />

life and there isn’t a remote to turn it off. Stress is actually a<br />

reaction to a situation; it isn’t about the actual situation. This<br />

means there are ways to help yourself reduce stress at home.<br />

While the pandemic probably isn’t a permanent thing, the<br />

way you live your life is going to change for the time being.<br />

Even though everyone is around you 24/7, there are ways to<br />

make sure you keep yourself mentally fit and level-headed.<br />

It’s up to you to take care of the stress you’re feeling because<br />

you’re the one who can actually do something about it.<br />

3 tips to keep you cool, calm, and collected:<br />

1. Make time to get some fresh air and exercise. Playing a<br />

quick game of basketball outdoors can be refreshing for everyone<br />

in your family.<br />

The gym may be closed but outside isn’t! Exercise doesn’t<br />

have to be lifting weights and running on the treadmill until<br />

you sweat ladoo drops. How about you be your own Serge<br />

Ibaka and play some driveway b-ball?<br />

Fresh air paired with activity is a recipe for better health.<br />

That in turn reduces stress and improves mental health. The<br />

best part about outdoor activities is that you can do it alone<br />

or you can include your family so everyone can get a chance<br />

to destress. The Build Your Best Day tool, by Participaction,<br />

is a great way to find awesome ideas on how to get you and<br />

your family moving. Dupatta waving in the wind, beards in the<br />

breeze, and kids smiling—get that fresh air flow going!<br />

2. Having a new routine is essential. Creating a new routine<br />

is easier than you think. Just start writing things down that<br />

need to get done and soon you’ll have a list of things that need<br />

to be scheduled for the week.<br />

Even if you can avoid Zoom video calls and roam around<br />

in a mismatched kurta and pajama (no judgement here) that<br />

doesn’t mean you need to let your schedule get too comfort-<br />

30 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


Summer Programs<br />

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Through these times<br />

let’s be careful &<br />

kind out there<br />

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able. Without an already defined schedule, you and your family I know this is a lot to ask but hear me out. No one is going<br />

Come have less to Dance<br />

do and more to argue about.<br />

to understand why you do what you do unless you tell them<br />

Papa’s coffee shop circle no longer meets up for 3 hours every<br />

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why it’s important to you. Sure, they might leave you alone<br />

0) 384-3267, With Us<br />

stagesdance@shaw.ca,or authentic Call (250) and 384-3267, legitimate” visit WhatsApp us at theories www.stagesdance.com<br />

out there about dried. You may be used to taking a lunch break alone at work<br />

Email: stagesdance@shaw.ca,<br />

COVID-19 or visit and us at miracle neem powder tinctures. Yeah, you’re with your favourite podcast, but does Mummy know that?<br />

not www.stagesdance.com<br />

the only one, trust me!<br />

Probably not. I mean, she tells people you work “in computers”<br />

even though you work in logistics management for a com-<br />

Creating a family calendar with a schedule can really help<br />

everyone have a sense of responsibility and action for each day. puter company. Good effort, but still wrong Mummy.<br />

Maybe find ways to connect your dad to his friends over a video<br />

chat in the morning so he can sip his chai on the back deck derstands each other’s needs. It’s really important to let people<br />

Open communication is one way to make sure everyone un-<br />

while you’re finishing up your 9 a.m. team huddle.<br />

in your family know why you need to listen to your favourite<br />

Ask your kids to help with a specific chore around the house podcast or why “alone time” is essential in helping you decompress<br />

and chill out for a bit. Don’t assume your family will<br />

each day. Your spouse will really thank you and you can thank<br />

me later for that pro tip! While you’re at it, ask your spouse understand why certain things are important to you unless you<br />

how you can make their day easier. They’ll be happier because<br />

you want to schedule some quiet time for them, and it Remember, you’re not alone in this and you’re doing the best<br />

tell them why.<br />

will make you feel at ease because it’s one less thing someone you can with what you’ve got. It’s okay to feel whatever you’re<br />

may argue about. It’s important to check on what your family feeling as long as you do something productive to get you back<br />

would like to get done if you want them to respect what’s on to your best self!<br />

your agenda for the day.<br />

3. Tell your family what you’re doing and why it’s important<br />

to you. Relaxing at home can be effective if your family<br />

understands how important it is to you.<br />

Dr. Razan Khan is a Toronto-based pharmacist with experiences in<br />

numerous settings caring for diverse patient populations, both in Canada<br />

and the United States. For more information, visit dontchangemuch.ca.<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 31


NATURENOTES<br />

Place-based Learning & Traditions<br />

We’ve all experienced the power of place, the moments<br />

when we’re immersed in the world around us and<br />

what’s happening there. This type of experience<br />

can have a lasting impact. As we transition from fall to winter,<br />

Sierra Club BC challenges you to connect deeper to place by<br />

reflecting on your experiences in nature and taking action to<br />

show respect and reciprocity in your relationships with the<br />

natural places in your life.<br />

Place-based learning—the act of immersing into local heritage,<br />

cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences—can<br />

happen in any environment from urban to rural and anywhere<br />

in between. Engaging in community and nature close to home<br />

helps to put down roots and strengthen your connection to the<br />

world directly around you and your family.<br />

opportunity to take your families outside to explore the signs<br />

of the winter. Identifying a nature space near your home and<br />

returning every few days or even every week allows your children<br />

to observe the changes taking place in the environment<br />

and gives them a set time in a familiar nature place to look forward<br />

to. Introduce these nature connection practices the next<br />

time you are at your local park, forest, backyard, schoolyard<br />

or walkways. These place-based traditions leverage local places<br />

as a learning ecosystem. Through this approach, you and your<br />

family begin to develop an understanding of communities and<br />

your role in impacting and improving local places.<br />

Taking time to build your family’s connections with nature<br />

can move beyond nature connection practices and into specific<br />

actions during the winter season that will build reciprocity and<br />

respect into your family’s relationships with the natural world.<br />

Share with your children the things you do to care for the environment<br />

during the holiday season.<br />

The WSÁNEC´ calendar has 13 moons that each mark<br />

changes in environment and daily activities, the WSÁNEC´ (Saanich)<br />

People use these changing moons to guide their seasons.<br />

This season belongs to the “NINENE—Moon of the Child,”<br />

which celebrates youthful energy and new beginnings. For the<br />

WSÁNEC´ People and in many other cultures, winter marks a<br />

time for storytelling. So, it’s no coincidence, that the NINENE<br />

moon focuses on sharing teachings with young people through<br />

storytelling and tradition to pass long winter days.<br />

The practice of storytelling is an engaging way to share lessons<br />

and connect with people and place in meaningful ways.<br />

Share and reflect on the nature experiences you and your family<br />

have had throughout the year and strengthen your place-based<br />

connections through storytelling. Giving children the opportunity<br />

to share their own nature stories can solidify these experiences<br />

in their memory and build connections to the outdoor<br />

spaces they visit. Storytelling is also an exciting way to bring<br />

the outdoors into your home. Prompt your children with questions<br />

to get them going. You might be surprised to hear their<br />

answers! What stands out in your child’s mind can be a helpful<br />

guide for planning future activities. Gather your family and<br />

create a space for sharing and listening. And try some favourite<br />

storytelling prompts at the end of this article.<br />

As our environment transforms during the winter, this is an<br />

Ideas for being a steward for the natural world<br />

this winter:<br />

• Make holiday gifts out of recycled or reused materials<br />

(rather than buying highly packaged gifts).<br />

• Use newspaper or other reused packaging as gift wrap. Add<br />

a decorative touch with paint or markers.<br />

• Buy and gift local products. Winter markets are a great<br />

way to track down cool local products.<br />

Get creative with meal planning. Focus on buying food<br />

products that are local and in season.<br />

This winter, we hope that engaging in meaningful reflection<br />

on our place in the environment continues to strengthen you<br />

and your family’s relationship with place. A strong connection<br />

to nature can help secure respect and reciprocity with the natural<br />

world.<br />

Storytelling prompts:<br />

• What’s your favourite outside place and why?<br />

• If you could be a being in nature other than a human, what<br />

would you be?<br />

• When you go outside, which of your senses are you most<br />

thankful to have?<br />

• If you could experience any new part of nature, which one<br />

would you choose? Why?<br />

• What part of nature are you most thankful for? Why?<br />

• Tell me about a gift that nature has given you. Tell me<br />

about a gift that you could give nature.<br />

Read more about The Saanich (WSÁNEC´) Year, including<br />

activity sheets: sites.google.com/sd63.bc.ca/sd63indigenoused/<br />

saanich-moons.<br />

For more free resources and activities: sierraclub.bc.ca/onlineclassroom.<br />

Sierra Club BC works to support people stewarding abundant ecosystems<br />

and a stable climate, while building resilient, equitable communities.<br />

sierraclub.bc.ca.<br />

32 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


Winter Programs<br />

From art classes to engineering—and everything in between—our community offers an<br />

array of programs, resources and services for families. To find out what’s available, read on.<br />

(For more details on the following listings, please refer to the ads in this issue of <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong>).<br />

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria<br />

Get creative and stay connected to<br />

art and each other this winter! Join the<br />

AGGV Studio for a range of virtual offerings<br />

as well as private, in-person art<br />

classes. aggv.ca<br />

First Met United Church<br />

Join us for our traditional family Christmas<br />

Eve Service. We’re a little different<br />

this year—because of the covid pandemic<br />

we are presenting our service online<br />

through our Livestream and YouTube<br />

pages. But we think you’ll still enjoy it.<br />

We will also present our traditional Carols<br />

in the Candlelight service at 7:30pm<br />

and a special Christmas morning message<br />

“We Have Seen His Glory,” Dec. 25,<br />

at 11am—again via Livestream and You-<br />

Tube. firstmetvictoria.com<br />

Kaleidoscope<br />

As the premier school for young actors<br />

in Victoria, Kaleidoscope focuses<br />

on a single mission: training the best<br />

and brightest students to become highly<br />

skilled, confident and well-rounded<br />

young performers. Kaleidoscope’s programs<br />

nurture young performers’ creativity<br />

and build skills that benefit them on<br />

the stage and in everyday life. Registration<br />

is now open for classes beginning<br />

<strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong>! Discover our programs at<br />

kaleidoscope.bc.ca.<br />

Quadratic Sound<br />

Children aged 7-14 dive into the basics<br />

of engineering with a teammate and use<br />

LEGO ® construction kits to build and program<br />

exciting interactive machines that<br />

move, react and make sounds! Covid<br />

protocols in place. quadraticsound.com<br />

Royal BC Museum<br />

The Royal BC Museum is a place for<br />

exploration, learning and play—for visitors<br />

of all ages. Engage with us through<br />

our Digital Fieldtrips and online programs<br />

through our Learning Portal or book one<br />

of our Outreach Kits. royalbcmuseum.<br />

bc.ca<br />

St. Margaret’s School<br />

It’s time to register for Kindergarten!<br />

Visit stmarg.ca and take a virtual tour and<br />

learn about the all-girls advantage. Our<br />

elementary school program is a small,<br />

family-like community where teachers<br />

develop strong relationships with their<br />

students and their families. Classroom<br />

activities are designed to extend students’<br />

natural curiosity and actively engage<br />

them in the learning process. Apply<br />

online at stmarg.ca.<br />

Sooke Schools 62<br />

All SD62 elementary schools offer full<br />

day Kindergarten for our youngest learners.<br />

Kindergarten students will begin<br />

school in the September of the year<br />

that they turn five. <strong>2021</strong>/22 Registration:<br />

French Immersion and Nature Kindergarten,<br />

<strong>January</strong> 11-15; Regular Kindergarten,<br />

<strong>January</strong> 25-29. sd62.bc.ca<br />

Stages<br />

Since 1980 STAGES has held a tradition<br />

of providing dancers of all ages<br />

and levels of experience the very best<br />

training possible in a a supportive, noncompetitive<br />

and caring environment.<br />

For more information please visit us at<br />

stagesdance.com.<br />

Theatre SKAM<br />

Theatre SKAM’s School of Performing<br />

Arts offers a variety of professional<br />

film and performance classes/camps for<br />

homelearners, children, youth and teens<br />

year-round. Winter registration is now<br />

open! skam.ca<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 33


HOLIDAYHAPPENINGS<br />

Light Up the City<br />

The Greater Victoria Festival Society is hosting the “Light Up The City” campaign every Saturday<br />

when you can drop off donations at a set of drive-through events in the ‘core’ municipalities of Greater<br />

Victoria until <strong>January</strong> 3, <strong>2021</strong>. Non-perishable food, new toys, and cash donations will help support<br />

local food banks, Salvation Army, and Toy Banks. Drive-through events will have Santa and Mrs. Claus<br />

on hand, Convoy trucks aglow, music, and more to enjoy as you drive through and drop off your donations.<br />

Social distancing practices will be in place at all drop-off locations.<br />

A new Christmas lighting competition welcomes entries in five separate categories: homes, apartment/condos,<br />

local businesses, community organizations and First Nations communities. The five winners<br />

receive a prize worth more than $1,000 and 15 prizes in all are up for grabs. Entrants must email<br />

photos of their displays, along with their street address. To enter and for more dates, times and drop<br />

off locations, visit gvfs.ca.<br />

The 29th Annual<br />

Festival of Trees<br />

The Bay Centre will be transformed into a lush<br />

forest of beautifully decorated trees to raise funds<br />

for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, all thanks<br />

to sponsors, local businesses, organizations and<br />

individuals. Guests can bring their loved ones,<br />

marvel in the magic of Victoria’s community spirit<br />

and vote for their favourite tree until <strong>January</strong> 5,<br />

<strong>2021</strong>.<br />

Your support will help provide the best care<br />

imaginable for sick and injured kids from across<br />

the province, including the 3,300 kids from Vancouver<br />

<strong>Island</strong> who visit BC Children’s Hospital<br />

each year for specialized care they often can’t<br />

get anywhere else. Visit bcchf.ca/event/<br />

festival-of-trees.<br />

<strong>December</strong> 4:<br />

The Q’s Feed the Need, Mayfair Mall, corner of<br />

Blanshard and Finlayson; 6am-9pm<br />

<strong>December</strong> 5:<br />

The Bay Centre Lower Guest Services, 1-6pm;<br />

masks mandatory; Charity: Mustard Seed Food<br />

Bank and CFax Santa’s Anonymous<br />

Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress, 4900 Uplands<br />

Drive, Nanaimo; 10am-2pm; Charity: Salvation<br />

Army—wave to Santa from a safe social distance!<br />

Sunbelt Rentals, 2994 Jacklin Road, Langford;<br />

402 Garbally Road, Victoria; 10115 McDonald Park<br />

Road, Sidney; 9am-3pm<br />

Fan Tan Home and Style, 541 Fisgard Street ;<br />

10am-3pm<br />

<strong>December</strong> 6:<br />

Esquimalt Recreation Centre Parking Lot, next<br />

to Water/Adventure park, 3-5:30pm; Charity: Rainbow<br />

Kitchen and TLC Fund for Kids<br />

<strong>December</strong> 11:<br />

The Zone’s Toy Drive for Christmas Giving,<br />

Mayfair Mall, corner of Blanshard and Finlayson;<br />

6-9am<br />

Salvation Army Citadel, 4300 Douglas Street,<br />

Victoria; 5-7pm; Stream by Chek on the Go; Charity:<br />

Salvation Army<br />

Thrifty Foods, Belmont Market, Langford;<br />

5-7pm; Stream by Chek on the Go; Charity: Salvation<br />

Army<br />

Steve Marshall Ford, 3851 Shenton Road, Nanaimo;<br />

5-7pm; Stream by Chek on the Go; Charity:<br />

Salvation Army<br />

Galey Farms, 4150 Blenkinsop, Victoria; noon-<br />

8pm; Charity: Saanich Food Bank and C-FAX<br />

Santa’s Anonymous<br />

<strong>December</strong> 12:<br />

The Bay Center Lower Guest Services; 1-6pm;<br />

masks mandatory; Charity: Mustard Seed Food<br />

Bank and CFax Santa’s Anonymous<br />

Sunbelt Rentals, 2994 Jacklin Road, Langford;<br />

402 Garbally Road, Victoria; 10115 McDonald Park<br />

Road, Sidney 9am-3pm<br />

Fan Tan Home and Style, 541 Fisgard Street,<br />

10am-3pm<br />

Mount Newton Center Society, 2158 Mount<br />

Newton X Road; Central Saanich; 5-7pm; Mount<br />

Newton Centre Society drive thru; accepting cash<br />

donations or online<br />

Luxton Fair Grounds, 1040 Marwood Avenue,<br />

Langford; 5-7pm; Charity: Goldstream Food Bank<br />

and TLC Fund for Kids<br />

Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress, 825-12 Avenue,<br />

Campbell River; 1-4pm; Charity: Campbell River<br />

Food Bank and Salvation Army Toy Fund<br />

Habitat for Humanity’s<br />

Gingerbread Build<br />

It may look a little different this year, but Habitat<br />

for Humanity Victoria’s premier fundraiser the<br />

Gingerbread Showcase, sponsored by Revera,<br />

launched its 12th season in November.<br />

Thirty three bakers have answered the call to<br />

take part in this year’s event. These amazingly<br />

talented people who volunteer their time to create<br />

works of edible art, together with community<br />

hosts, are ensuring we are able to continue this<br />

must-see seasonal attraction—all to help raise<br />

funds for its current build project in North Saanich.<br />

“Coastal Living” is the theme for <strong>2020</strong>, our<br />

volunteer bakers have been invited to create<br />

beautiful pieces which reflect the incredible environment<br />

that we as a community are so privileged<br />

to share. Come and see what they create.<br />

Download your host map and take the tour<br />

through downtown Victoria and Sidney. Each<br />

creation is available for viewing from outside. To<br />

maintain social distance please stay within your<br />

bubble and remain 6ft (2m) from others. For a<br />

map, visit habitatvictoria.com.<br />

34 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


The tastiest family event in town! Visit our ten<br />

hosts on a tour through Downtown Victoria &<br />

Sidney to view these sensational gingerbread<br />

creations!<br />

Donate and vote online for your favourite.<br />

Every donation will help build ten affordable<br />

homes for local familes in North Saanich.<br />

Download your Showcase<br />

visitors map today!<br />

Our thanks to<br />

media sponsor<br />

Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s<br />

Nov. 21 , <strong>2020</strong> – Jan. 3, <strong>2021</strong> I donate and vote for your favourite<br />

www.habitatvictoria.com/<br />

gingerbread<strong>2020</strong><br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 35


PRESCHOOL&CHILDCAREDIRECTORY<br />

ESQUIMALT<br />

<strong>Island</strong> Kids Academy Esquimalt.....250-381-2929<br />

High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum.<br />

Includes Music Classes and Character Development<br />

using the Virtues Project. Wait list being taken.<br />

<strong>Island</strong>kids.ca.<br />

La Pré-Maternelle<br />

Appletree Preschool....................... 250-479-0292<br />

French immersion preschool. Group child care programs.<br />

30 months to school age. Christian centre.<br />

prematernelleappletree.com.<br />

METCHOSIN<br />

Metchosin Cooperative<br />

Preschool...................................... 250-478-9241<br />

Play Explore Learn and Grow in beautiful rural Metchosin.<br />

Morning programs available for 3 and 4 year olds.<br />

Contact our ECEs at metchosinpreschool@gmail.com.<br />

OAK BAY<br />

Oak Bay Preschool........................250-592-1922<br />

Oak Bay Preschool is a co-op preschool, using a playbased<br />

curriculum with qualified ECE and ECEA. We<br />

use a balance of indoor and outdoor classrooms to<br />

enrich your child’s preschool experience. Learn more<br />

at oakbaypreschool.com.<br />

Recreation Oak Bay.......................250-370-7200<br />

Offers full day Daycare and half day Preschool for<br />

children ages 3-5 years old. Before and after school<br />

care for Willows Elementary and afterschool care<br />

for Campus View Elementary is also offered.<br />

Please contact childcare@oakbay.ca or call for more<br />

information.<br />

SAANICH<br />

Camosun College Child Care<br />

Services.......................................... 250-370-4880<br />

Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing<br />

children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning<br />

experiences in a learn through play environment.<br />

camosun.ca/childcare.<br />

Carrot Seed Preschool...................250-658-2331<br />

Where children can discover, imagine, construct and<br />

learn through play. Wondrous natural playground.<br />

carrotseedpreschool.com.<br />

• Licensed programs, for children 3–5 years<br />

• Flexible part-time schedules<br />

• Supported spaces available<br />

• 2, 3 and 4 hour morning or afternoon classes<br />

Encouraging your child’s development and<br />

learning through play and exploration<br />

Fullobeans.ca 250-360-1148 E: fullobeans@snplace.org<br />

<strong>Island</strong> Montessori House........... 250-592-4411<br />

Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool<br />

and Before/After School Care programs.<br />

Lovely rural setting with a focus on<br />

nature and outdoor environmental activities.<br />

islandmontessori.com.<br />

Pre-School<br />

Junior Kindergarten<br />

PacificChristian.ca<br />

250-479-4532<br />

Educational Excellence to the Glory of God<br />

If you’d like to be listed<br />

in the Preschool &<br />

Child Care Directory,<br />

please email<br />

sales@islandparent.ca<br />

Ready Set Grow Preschool............. 250-472-1530<br />

Join our learning through play preschool located in<br />

Hillcrest Elem. Our caring ECEs offer an enriched<br />

Program for 3-4 hour, 2-5 days a week and help with<br />

kindergarten transition. heoscmanager@gmail.com.<br />

St. Joseph’s Early Learning Centre... 250-479-1237<br />

A Christian childcare centre offering daycare and<br />

preschool programs for 3-5 year olds. Children learn<br />

through play-based and emergent curriculum in a<br />

warm and nurturing environment.<br />

St. Margaret’s School<br />

Jr. Kindergarten................................. 250-479-7171<br />

Apply now for our Early Learning (JK and Kindergarten)<br />

Programs. Early learning at SMS is a curriculum-based<br />

program for 3 and 4 year olds. admissions@stmarg.ca.<br />

Wiseways Child Care Centre.......250-477-1312<br />

Established, quality, licensed, Christian centre for<br />

3-5 year olds. Experienced ECEs, cheerful spacious<br />

facilities, large playground. Subsidized fees<br />

welcome. Call for a tour. Wisewaysvictoria.com.<br />

SIDNEY<br />

Sidney Preschool............................. 250-655-3333<br />

We are a licensed co-operative preschool with a<br />

philosophy of learning through play! Four and six<br />

hour programs available for children ages 2.5-5.<br />

Celebrating 48 years! sidneypreschool.com.<br />

Child Care<br />

Resource & Referral<br />

Funded by the Province of BC<br />

Your community’s best source<br />

of child care information<br />

and resources.<br />

Looking for child care?<br />

Need help with the Affordable Child Care Benefit?<br />

Taking care of children?<br />

Need child care training?<br />

Call your local Child Care Resource & Referral for free referrals and resources.<br />

Victoria & Gulf <strong>Island</strong>s: 250-382-7000 or 1-800-750-1868<br />

Sooke: 250-642-5152 West Shore: 250-217-7479<br />

Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231<br />

PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273<br />

gov.bc.ca/ChildCareResourceReferralCentres<br />

36 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


VICTORIA<br />

v Comprehensive programs for<br />

Preschool through Grade 10<br />

v Delivering academic excellence through<br />

music, dance, drama and visual arts<br />

v Outstanding educators,<br />

locations and facilities<br />

www.ArtsCalibre.ca 250.382.3533<br />

Castleview Child Care................... 250-595-5355<br />

Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed nonprofit,<br />

ECE staff. Since 1958. Morning or full-time care.<br />

castleviewchildcarecentre.com.<br />

Centennial Day Care..................... 250-386-6832<br />

Exceptional childcare and education 35+ years. Nature<br />

inspired, play based program. NEW central, “green”<br />

building. centennialdaycare.ca.<br />

Christ Church Cathedral<br />

Childcare.......................................250-383-5132<br />

ECE and specialist teachers provide an outstanding<br />

all day licensed program for 2.5–5 year olds at our<br />

Fairfield and NEW Gordon Head (Fall 2019) locations.<br />

cathedralschool.ca.<br />

Cloverdale Child Care....................250-995-1766<br />

Come join us in our preschool programs for fun and<br />

learning. Classes 9:30 to 1:30, we offer 3 and 4 year<br />

old classes and a Mon to Fri multiage preschool class.<br />

Flexible schedule available. Located at Quadra and<br />

Cloverdale streets. cloverdalechildcare@shawbiz.ca.<br />

Nightingale Preschool and<br />

Junior Kindergarten Ltd............ 250-595-7544<br />

We offer education through creativity and play,<br />

providing rich learning experiences through a<br />

well sourced and stimulating indoor and outdoor<br />

environment. Early years reading programme.<br />

nightingalepreschool.com. Arts/Drama programme.<br />

kidsworks.ca.<br />

Sir James Douglas Preschool....250-389-0500<br />

Fun, creative and educational ECE program<br />

for 3-5 year olds to grow and develop<br />

life long skills. Come play and learn in<br />

our bright and modern centre in Fairfield.<br />

sjdoutofschoolclub.com.<br />

Victoria Montessori...................... 250-380-0534<br />

Unique, innovative learning environment<br />

combining the best of Montessori and Learning<br />

Through Play. Open year round. 30mths–K.<br />

victoriamontessori.com.<br />

VIEW ROYAL<br />

<strong>Island</strong> Kids Academy View Royal...250-727-2929<br />

High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum.<br />

Includes Music Classes and Character Development<br />

using the Virtues Project. Wait list being taken.<br />

<strong>Island</strong>kids.ca.<br />

JLC Victoria Japanese Preschool<br />

The only Japanese Immersion Preschool on the<br />

<strong>Island</strong> opens at Craigflower Schoolhouse. Offering<br />

the best environment for preschoolers to learn<br />

Japanese language and culture as natural as possible.<br />

jlcvictoria.com.<br />

DUNCAN<br />

Duncan Christian School<br />

Early Learning Centre.....................250-746-3654<br />

The first step in providing your child with everything<br />

they need to become a confident, capable<br />

learner in a Christ-centered, community focussed<br />

environment.<br />

International Montessori<br />

Academy of Canada......................... 250-737-1119<br />

Elementary K–12. Offers an enriching environment<br />

for preschool children 2-4.9 years with potty training.<br />

Nurturing young minds, keeping the spirit free.<br />

intmontessori.ca.<br />

Queen Margaret’s School................ 250-746-4185<br />

Early Childhood Education Program. Co-ed nurturing<br />

curriculum to develop the whole child. Healthy snacks<br />

and lunch provided. qms.bc.ca.<br />

Queen of Angels<br />

Early Learning Centre..................... 250-701-0433<br />

Our Centre is a lively, happy place for 3-5 year olds<br />

where children are encouraged to be confident, independent<br />

learners in a nurturing and safe environment.<br />

Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool....250-743-7253<br />

In a warm environment, this nature and play-based<br />

program enlivens and nurtures the growing child.<br />

sunrisewaldorfschool.org.<br />

NANAIMO<br />

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12<br />

Learn more today! 250-390-2201 AspengroveSchool.ca<br />

NANAIMO’ S JK–12 INTERNATIONAL<br />

BACCALAUREATE WORLD SCHOOL<br />

QUALICUM BEACH<br />

Little Star Children’s Centre.......... 250-752-4554<br />

Little Gems Infant & Toddler Care..250-228-5437<br />

Mother, Daughter owned and operated. Earth friendly<br />

preschool education inspired by nature. Infused with<br />

fun and creative daily yoga practices! Licensed group<br />

care. Enthusiastic ECE instructors. littlestardaycare.ca.<br />

PORT ALBERNI<br />

John Paul II Catholic School...........250-723-0637<br />

“Where children grow and learn through play.” We<br />

provide a program that will inspire development<br />

physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, creatively<br />

and spiritually.<br />

Nestled on 4 acres of lush west coast forest, our Award<br />

winning, Nature based program will not disappoint!<br />

While firmly embracing the Reggio-Emila (Italy) Philosophy<br />

our dedicated team of educators use the environment<br />

as the third teacher as we encourage your child<br />

throughout their day.<br />

Our purpose built facilities have been handmade using<br />

the trees from our forest. We have recently expanded to<br />

our new Spirit Bear Lodge located right next door!<br />

Programs for Infants/Toddlers/Pre-school Age.<br />

BC Award of Excellence in Childcare & Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence in Early Childhood Education.<br />

lexieslittlebears.ca<br />

250-590-3603<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca<br />

<strong>December</strong> <strong>2020</strong> / <strong>January</strong> <strong>2021</strong> 37


CUTITOUT!<br />

Teaching Resistance<br />

Nagging stops children from taking initiative. This anxious<br />

micro-managing only teaches kids to dawdle and resist<br />

requests. Children want to be in charge of their own lives.<br />

So when the parent gives the reminder, they resist. They are so used<br />

to getting reminders that they wait for another reminder to do the<br />

task—and besides, once they have been reminded, they feel that<br />

doing the task is no longer their responsibility; it is the parents.<br />

“I was just about to empty the dishwasher, but now that you<br />

have asked me, I DON’T WANT TO.”<br />

Nagging also teaches children not to listen to the parent’s pleasant<br />

tone of voice. Children become conditioned to wait for the<br />

angry tone by their frustrated parents. “Why don’t you ever listen<br />

to me?!”<br />

When parents lose their tempers, they often feel guilty. So, they<br />

work hard at a softer, kind approach the next time.<br />

“Hey, Sweetie, would you mind emptying the dishwasher?”<br />

Sweetie, sensing the guilt and uncertainty, doesn’t respond.<br />

Oops, here we go…<br />

“I ASKED YOU NICELY, HOW MANY TIMES TO I HAVE<br />

TO REPEAT MYSELF?”<br />

Well, probably 55 times per day per child, and if you are married,<br />

double that figure. You, dear parent, have fallen into a trap,<br />

and you are training your child to blame you when things go<br />

wrong.<br />

What to do?<br />

First of all, notice how many times you go to remind, direct<br />

and take over before your children have a chance to think. Stop<br />

yourself from doing this.<br />

Second, if it is a family issue such as emptying the dishwasher,<br />

it helps if the agreement of time was in place beforehand. Stand in<br />

front of said child, smile, say “dishwasher.” Stay there, still smiling.<br />

“It’s five o’clock, you said you would do it before four.” Tone<br />

serious, face pleasant to neutral still standing there. Your body<br />

language gets to say, I mean this, I’m here, it matters.<br />

If it is a child’s responsibility that only really impacts the child,<br />

why are you nagging? Your child will learn more from the natural<br />

consequences if the consequences aren’t devastating. When the<br />

natural consequence happens, don’t teach your child a lesson or<br />

say, “I told you so.” That is another reason kids don’t listen.<br />

Give your child true empathy, not the manipulative kind! “You<br />

sound disappointed about your mark for the paper.” If you can<br />

see that this is part of learning, you won’t be tempted to take the<br />

problem over or feel sympathy. Sympathy makes kids feel incapable.<br />

It also causes said parent to rescue.<br />

Dr. Allison Rees is a parent educator, counsellor and coach at LIFE<br />

Seminars (Living in Families Effectively), lifeseminars.com.<br />

Members receive unlimited access<br />

to galleries and feature exhibitions<br />

PURCHASE TODAY AT<br />

rbcm.ca/join<br />

38 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Magazine <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca


St. Margaret's School<br />

www.stmarg.ca<br />

St. Margaret's<br />

St. Margaret's<br />

School<br />

School<br />

1080 www.stmarg.ca<br />

Lucas Ave, Victoria BC<br />

www.stmarg.ca<br />

1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria BC<br />

1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria BC

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