Island Parent December 2020 / January 2021


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

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 33 Years

Top Toys

How to Celebrate

the Small Things

3 Tips to

Reduce Stress

my greatcommunity virTUals

Get Connected, Get Inspired, Get Funded

Looking for inspiration to make your neighbourhood even better?

Join us for a free lunch and learn this winter!

The Great Disconnect

Documentary and Discussion

Wednesday, December 9, noon- 1:30

Learn about the health and social impacts

of loneliness and the value of

neighbourhood connections.

Followed by a Q&A with the Director

and Victoria’s own Dr. Trevor Hancock.

Engaging Your Neighbours

Wednesday, January 20, noon-1:30

Got a great idea to improve your

neighbourhood, but not sure how to get

feedback and support from your

neighbours? Join this panel to get tips

from City engagement staff and

community groups who have recently

engaged their neighbours in the process

of applying for City funding.

The Power of Community Art

Wednesday, February 17, noon- 1:30

Join our Arts, Culture and Event team and

community art organizations to learn about

what’s possible when thinking about getting

more art popping up in your neighbourhood.

Already have an idea to

improve your neighbourhood?

Apply for a My Great Neighbourhood

Grant of up to $5,000 for a project

and $1,000 for an activity.

Register for your free ticket and learn more about grants:


2 Island Parent Magazine



Submit your favourite photos

and they may be featured in an

upcoming issue. Random photos

will be selected for mystery prizes!


or submit through

Instagram or Facebook.

Sign up for a

GRAND Digital


and you could win a selection of

children’s books sent to your

grandchild every month

(3-month subscription)

courtesy of Marmalade Books.

Every month they will receive recently

published books appropriate to their age.

These books have been curated by a

trusted children’s bookseller.

Marmalade Books is a monthly book

subscription company located in

Victoria for children aged 0–12.

Subscribe now at

December 2020 / January 2021 3

DEC 2020 / JAN 2021

Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 33 Years




How to Celebrate

the Small Things

Take time to reset your

creativity, positivity and gratitude

“buttons” over the holidays.



Top Toys

From Pound Puppies to

Blockitecture Mega Sets,

this year’s Top Toys will keep

kids creative for months to come.

In Every



Fast Forward



Need to Know


Kids’ Reads






What’s for Dinner



Moms’ POV



Happy Families, Healthy Families



Nature Notes


Preschool & Child Care Directory


Cut It Out!



Tantrums & Language Learning

How miscommunications can be at

the root of tantrums more often

than you might think.



3 Tips to Reduce Stress

How to stay cool, calm and collected.



Holiday Happenings

On the


Alistair Remy V (2)

& Oliver V (7)

Photo by

Nicky-jay Vanjecek

Bluetree Photography


Top Toys

How to Celebrate

the Small Things

3 Tips to

Reduce Stress

Jim Schneider Publisher

Sue Fast Editor

Kristine Wickheim Account Manager

RaeLeigh Buchanan Account Manager

Island Parent Magazine, published by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is a

bimonthly publication that honours and supports parents by providing information on

resources and businesses for Vancouver Island families. Views expressed are not

necessarily those of the publisher. No material herein may be reproduced without

the permission of the publisher. Island Parent is distributed free in selected areas.

Annual mail subscriptions (7 issues) are available for $21 (GST included).

Canadian Publication Mail Product Sales Agreement 40051398. ISSN 0838-5505.

Island Parent Magazine


518 Caselton Place, Victoria, BC V8Z 7Y5

A proud member of


4 Island Parent Magazine

If Life Is an Etch A Sketch…

2020 turned it upside down and gave it a good, hard shake

It’s doubtful that any of us is sad to say

goodbye to 2020. It’s been a year

filled with twists, turns, ups,

downs, zigs and zags and it’s finally

coming to an end.

That’s not to say it’s been all bad.

As parents it’s been tough, for sure.

Kids home 24/7. Schools closed, reopened,

closed then opened again.

Homeschooling and online learning.

Staying healthy, staying sane, and staying

socially connected—from a distance.

Calming fears, or trying to, in an

uncertain and scary time.

But amidst it all have been the small

special moments: acts of kindness, more

unscheduled time together, lazy days,

unrushed family dinners, more time outdoors, playing games,

reading lots and starting new hobbies.

Skies are bluer, personal hygiene’s improved, streets are

quieter, and even the dolphins—if you believe the Facebook

myths—have returned to the canals in Venice.

All of that aside, this year has sharpened

the focus on what truly matters:

our children, our families, our friends

and each other. And it’s taught us that

small gestures can have a huge impact.

The holiday season is the perfect

time to pause after making it through

the past year and to celebrate (in

place!) with the small gestures that

mean so much. Set up holiday decorations.

Trim a tree outdoors for all

to see. Create an advent calendar

filled with activities leading up to

Christmas day. Spread some joy by

dropping off treats to friends, neighbours

or at a local senior’s centre.

As 2021 approaches, take a minute to remember what matters

most. Hopefully hugs, playdates, coffee with a friend, big

family get togethers, visiting grandparents, travelling, summer

camp and sleepovers will be the “new normal.”

Season’s Greetings & Happy New Year.



Give Wonder!

975 Fort Street, Victoria BC - 250-595-4905 -

December 2020 / January 2021 5



Santa Photos

If you had photos booked and found

out Santa had to go back to the North

Pole, Nicole Israel Photography has

got you covered!

Send your photo to Nicole at info@ and she

will put it in an image with Santa.

COVID-friendly, a great Christmas gift

and 50 per cent of all proceeds go to

CFAX Santas Anonymous (cfaxsantas.

com) to grant Christmas wishes for

kids in our community.

Ask AI Santa @

Thanks to, kids can have a free real-time video conversation with Artificial Intelligence (AI) Santa, now

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

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

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

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

challenges of social distancing. Sign up and visit Santa at

A Christmas Carol

Blue Bridge Theatre has suspended the sale

of tickets to live performances until at least

December 8, but will continue selling

streamed tickets to A Christmas Carol.

This wonderful story, starring Sanjay

Talwar, is an unforgettable experience

for all this holiday season. Even if you

are not a fan of streamed theatre,

consider buying tickets to this show

to help support live theatre. For tickets,


6 Island Parent Magazine

Prose for

the Pandemic

BC Transit’s

Santa Bus is

coming to town!

December 11 & 12

} Ride free } Holiday decorations and music

For Santa Bus routes and schedules, visit

Stuff the Bus for Charity!

December 19

9:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Save-On-Foods, Tillicum Centre


Donations benefit the Stan Hagen Centre

for Families and The Mustard Seed

Recognizing the challenges this year’s holiday season

will bring, A.H. Edelman was inspired to write

Santa in a Snow Globe, an illustrated children’s

book to offer parents, caregivers, and children a

starting point to talk about life’s new realities—explained

by Santa—complete with timeless advice,

inclusive illustrations, and a big dose of Christmas

cheer. Going beyond mask-wearing and social

distancing, Santa in a Snow Globe also touches on

issues the world is facing today, including climate

change and protests— all while sharing a positive

message of hope and the importance of appreciating

the simpler things in life.

Transit Info 250·382·6161

The Kiddies Store

Dedicated to providing Vancouver Island families

with high-quality infant and toddler products

at affordable prices for over 25 years

Bamboo is incredibly soft and

breathable, for comfort in any

temperature. It absorbs and

evaporates humidity better

than any other fabric, and

is hypoallergenic.

The gentle stretchy knit bamboo

has a silky smooth feel that

will keep your little ones cozy

and cool. There are a variety of

colours and styles from sleep

sacks to blankets to clothing.

Remember to Smile is a children’s picture book for

kids ages 2–6 years old describes and illustrates

the different styles of masks, characters that wear

them, when you can wear them, and interesting

ways to use them. Colorful and funny illustrations

bring the book to life and will have kids giggling on

the floor. Remember to Smile proudly supports the

COVID-19 Relief Fund (for Teachers and Students)

through the non-profit organization


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

3045–C Douglas St.

Victoria, BC


Douglas St.

Finlayson St.

Larch St.


Entrance off

Larch St.

December 2020 / January 2021 7


Kids Code Jeunesse (KCJ) is challenging you to take a

look at the world, and take action to make it better. In

2015, all of the countries in the United Nations set 17

Goals to build a better world by 2030—they’re called

the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs for

short. We’ve got 10 years left and we all have a

part to play to move towards these goals and

create a better future—for everyone. This

year’s challenge: Preventing Plastic

Pollution. You have until March 26, 2021

to complete the challenge. To find out

more, visit

Spread Some Holiday Cheer!

Crispy Square Reindeer

MadeGood Vanilla Crispy Squares

Candy-coated chocolate, such as Smarties or M&M’s

Melted milk chocolate

Resealable bag and/or piping bag

Lollipop or craft sticks

Carefully insert the lollipop or craft sticks at the top of each MadeGood Vanilla

Crispy Square. Fill a resealable plastic bag or piping bag with melted chocolate.

Cut a small hold in the corner. Carefully draw antlers from the midpoint of the

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

like to place the nose and eyes, and place candy coated chocolate (such as

M&M’s or Smarties) on top.

Light Up the City

The Greater Victoria Festival Society’s (GVFS) “Light Up

The City,” runs through January 3, 2021. Drive through one

of the drop off events, happening every Saturday at various

locations, and donate non-perishable food, new toys and

cash for local food banks, Salvation Army, and toy banks.

Drive through events will feature Santa and Mrs. Claus,

convoy trucks aglow, music, and more to enjoy—safely

from your vehicle. Masks required.

GVFS is also bringing back the Christmas Lighting Contest

for homes, businesses and more, with prizes for the top

three. For locations, dates and times and more

information, visit

8 Island Parent Magazine

How to Choose Good Video Games

• Think about children’s interests when

looking for games. Do they like sports,

fantasy or strategy-style games?

• Talk to other parents for advice and

suggestions of good games.

• Find games that have the appropriate

Entertainment Software

Rating Board ( rating for

your child’s age. Keep in mind that

the ratings are guidelines and that

every child is different. Even games

with the “Everyone” rating may

contain content that some children

find frightening. As well as the ratings

and descriptors that appear on game boxes, parents can

read summaries of game content, including warnings about

unrated user-generated content, by browsing the ESRB


• Look for games that are challenging and exciting without

being violent. Video game manufacturers create vio-

lent games to satisfy children’s need to feel powerful and

in control. Try to find games that offer kids thrills and the

chance to experience control in a non-violent way.

• Find games that require strategy and

problem-solving skills. If they have

an educational component, that’s a


• Look for games that have strong,

non-sexualized female characters.

• If possible, try the game first by

borrowing or renting it. Ask for an instore

demo and make sure you can

return the game if you are not satisfied

with the content.

• Look for games that involve two players, to encourage

cooperative play and to make game-playing a social activity.

From Media Smarts: Canada’s Centre for Digital & Media Literacy,

In-Person &

On-Line Options


Performing Arts School

since 1980

Come Dance With Us

• Offering classes for Teens & Pre-Teens in Jazz,

Ballet, Lyrical, Tap. Musical Theatre, Acrobatics &

Hip Hop, in a non-competitive atmosphere.

• Not sure which class to take?

- Try a Drop-In: No hassle, No Obligation.

Daytime Pre-School Classes

for the little angels...

STAGES Performing Arts School

#301 1551 Cedar Hill X Rd

Call 250-384-3267 Email us at:

Or visit our website:

December 2020 / January 2021 9

How to Celebrate

the Small Things

There’s no doubt that 2020’s holiday

season will look different than in

years past. Not only are we doing our

best to stay healthy during a global

pandemic, we’re also dealing with all of

COVID-19’s cascading effects. The good

news is—this is the time to reset your

creativity, positivity, and gratitude “buttons.”

It’s more important than ever this

year to appreciate the small things in life

that make it magical.

Create a safe space for


Though we don’t want to be hyperfocused

on what we’re missing out on this

year, it’s equally important not to pretend

everything is okay and normal. Nurture

a psychologically-safe environment at

home. Remind your kids that it’s okay

to feel their feelings and create a nonjudgmental

space where they feel free to

come to you for support. Help them learn

to cope with disappointment and sadness

by encouraging them to talk it out—then

validate their feelings, give them time and

space to acknowledge them, and then

shift their energy to something else—put

on some fun music, dig through the costume

box, or play a game. Help them

transition from a negative mindset into a

positive one.

Find and focus on the upside

Do you usually travel over the holidays?

If so, embrace the extra time you

now have at home to connect as a family

in ways you normally wouldn’t be able

to. Involve your kids in the planning—

ask them what they’re loving about

being home more and what they’d like

to do during their break from school. If

dressing in “fancier” clothes for holiday

dinner or family photos is normally a

request your children detest, maybe this

year allow them to wear whatever they

want—or have a holiday costume theme!

10 Island Parent Magazine

Invent new traditions

As some family traditions may not be

possible this year, involve your children

in creating new ones. Make sure they

can easily transition with you into future

years. Test out a baking recipe that you

normally wouldn’t have, make holiday

decorations or crafts, or pick a movie

loved by all to watch every year. Don’t

forget to honour your pre-existing traditions

too, but in new ways. Putting a fun

spin on them brings a sense of familiarity

and normality into the season.

Plan ahead

Though it may seem counterintuitive to

plan ahead when you might not actually

be going anywhere or hosting anyone,

remember that the holiday season can get

stressful—fast. Even if you’re not travelling

across the country, you still need to

set your family up for success. Chances

are, you’ll spend more time indoors at

home together than you’re used to in

years past so make sure to have a list of

ready-to-go activities for the younger

members of your family. No one likes

hearing the dreaded, “I’m bored!”

If you’re planning on making a special

meal for your holiday celebration, plan

these in advance and involve the littles.

Engage them in the planning, shopping,

and execution—a well-planned meal will

be much more enjoyable for everyone

than one that wasn’t. This is a better year

than ever to let your kids have fun and

experiment with you in the kitchen when

perhaps the timing isn’t as important.

December 2020 / January 2021 11

Get outside as much as you can

Here on Vancouver Island we’re pretty

lucky not to have the harsh winters much

of our country experiences each year.

Don’t take those sunny, crisp winter

days for granted—encourage your kids

to run around and play while you sip a

much-needed cozy drink. If you do live

in a colder climate, take extra care to

be outdoors when you can—if possible,

invest in warmer clothing and outdoor

play gear. If we’re lucky enough to get

some snow, find a sledding hill or throw

around snowballs as a family. Use whatever

opportunities you can to incorporate

joy, physical activity, and fresh air into

your days.

Don’t abandon your healthy


During the holiday season it can feel

like there are no rules. Parents tend to

be lenient with themselves and their kids

around this time, but coupled with an unpredictable

global pandemic, overindulging

and neglecting your healthy habits is

a slippery slope. Stick to the routines that

nourish your mind and body, balancing

relaxation with indulging in moderation.

Nurture your own relationships

In a full household, quality time on

your own may be harder to come by this

winter. Schedule in and commit to your

alone time—this might just be before the

kids wake or after they go to bed. As a

parent, making sure you’re getting time

to do what you want and need to do is

essential for creating a positive holiday

experience for everyone. On the other

hand, if you’re a single co-parent, reach

out to other loved ones if you start to feel

lonely or isolated on days your kids are

with their other parent.

If you have a partner, ensure you’re

scheduling one-on-one time with them.

Regular and dedicated quality time with

your household co-pilot is just as important

for nurturing a happy, loving home.

It’s no secret that we often unintentionally

take out our stress on our partners,

making it even more essential to reconnect

on a regular basis. This could look

like phone-free time together after the

kids go to bed, or aligning their screen

time with your morning coffee together.

Go with the flow

Rule number one for this holiday season: be flexible. Celebrations

aren’t going to look the same as last year—and that’s

okay. Maybe this year, our festivities include a virtual baking

party with Grandma, or an ongoing messaging thread with

extended family sharing photos of your smaller celebrations.

Just because we’re physically apart doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy

quality time together. Adjust your expectations as needed to

stay realistic and avoid further disappointments during an already

difficult time.

Finally, be gentle and understanding with yourself and your

family members. While there are many positives to smaller

activities, our world is also coping with immense stress and

trauma. Give yourself and others grace during this time and remember

that some things you simply cannot control. Focus on

the positive and what’s most important—quality time with your

loved ones (whether it’s virtual or from a safe distance).


L I G H T S , S T A G E ,



Large studio space, small class sizes!

Acting, Film, Improv, Playwriting

and more! Classes for home learners,

after-school and online learners.

250-386-7526 | |

Dr. Jillian Roberts is a child psychologist, UVic professor and

mother. She is the CEO and Founder of FamilySparks and the author of

Kids, Sex and Screens: Raising Strong, Resilient Children in the Sexualized

Digital Age.


December 2020 / January 2021 13

Top Toys

Island Parent’s curated list of this year’s top toys guarantees that your kids

will have more fun with the toys inside the boxes than the boxes themselves!

Oioiooi Alphabet Play Block Set

This beautiful alphabet play block set helps promote creative

learning. Each letter has corresponding shapes for kids to find

and match as they learn the alphabet. Whether for decoration,

storytelling, or learning, these blocks are easily heirloom toys

with their timeless beech and walnut wood design.

Trigonos Family

This construction set from Trigonos comes with fabric as one

of construction materials. It has wood blocks and sticks as other

construction kits, but the fabric adds unique design elements

to the final results. The scales of this construction encourage

kids to work as a team to build cool structures for fun.

Aurora Erasable Markers

Create negative space and your own unique designs with 8

erasable markers that have color on one end and a white tip on

the other. Comes in red, pink, orange, yellow, lime, blue, green

and purple.

Cutetitos Pizzaitos

Cutetitos are now cheesier than ever, in brand new series 5

Pizzaitos. These super-soft, stuffed animals wrapped and hidden

in a pizza blanket are ready to be unrolled and discovered.

12 new animalitos, are each wrapped in 1 of 4 pizza wraps:

cheese, pepperoni, spicy, or Hawaiian pizza with ham and pineapple.

From a Turtlito to a Poodlito and even a Ladybugito,

each Cutetito Pizzaoitis is cuter than the next. A pet collector

card is included with details on your new pet including its species,

name, birthday and “hot spot” cheese-o-meter rating.

Ages 3+

Care Bears Magic Interactive Figures

The Care Bears are great friends. Whether you’re feeling

cheerful or grumpy, they are always by your side to make

things better and keep you smiling. Your touch unlocks 50+

reactions and surprises. Care Bears can sing, tell jokes, share

feelings, say funny phrases, move, and light up their signature

14 Island Parent Magazine

elly badges by touching their paws, nose, or belly. Each includes

a special Care Coin for collecting and sharing—perfect

to give to a friend to show them how much you care or keep it

as a reminder to yourself to always be caring and kind. Ages 4+

Lite-Brite Ultimate Classic

The most fun and nostalgic way to create art with light. New

retro-inspired styling resembles the original Lite-Brite from the

80s and now features a bigger screen, brighter pegs, and more

templates including six retro patterns. Just insert the pegs into

the templates or freestyle an original design—then press the

button to see the creation light-up in four different ways, from

steady to blinking. With an updated stand on the back, kids

can easily create and display their masterpieces…then turn off

the lights for the ultimate effect. Ages 4+

Little Bot Ofie Mats

This soft baby play mat is reversible, durable and developed

with a keen eye for design. Little Bot play mats are easy to

clean and vacuum safe. They complement your home life style

and provide safe and comfortable space for families with little

kids. The play mat is available in three neutral versions and

comes double-sided for when you want to quickly change up

the look of the playroom. Durable, non-toxic, cushy, easy to

clean—what else could you ask for in a baby mat?

The Nugget

Part-furniture, part-toy, and all-around the best thing to happen

to playtime since, well, ever. Kids love Nugget for its interplanetary

possibilities, but parents love it for something else:

saving space. It takes the place of dozens of trinkets and small

toys, allowing for less cleanup and safer play. It also contributes

to another important mission: saving the grown-up couch

from certain destruction.

December 2020 / January 2021 15

Stuffed Animals by CozyMoss

These stuffed animals cannot be any cuter. Each one has its

own name, image and story. CozyMoss also makes additional

toy clothes. These beautiful whimsical dolls will develop kids’

imagination sand creativity in dress up and role play, and are

sure to become their adventure companion and secrets keeper.

Blockitecture Garden City Mega Set

Build the world you want to see with Blockitecture, a set of

architectural building blocks. Cantilever and nest hexagonal

blocks to create towers, cities and dwellings. This set of blocks

can be combined in endless ways to build your own miniature

city. Also included are specialized blocks to add pavilions and

gardens to your buildings.

Pound Puppies

The original Pound Puppies are back with new authentic

reproductions that look and feel just like everyone remembers.

Ready to be adopted and loved, there are a variety of puppies

to choose from, with different facial and eye expressions, ear

lengths and fur colors in an updated soft material. Each comes

in a pet-carrier shaped package and includes a care sheet and

official adoption papers. Ages 3+

Moon Picnic Weather Station

Learn about weather with this fun and educational interactive

toy. There are 4 movable parts and 5 weather symbols

to display so little meteorologists can report and forecast the

weather. Move the weather meter, turn the dials, slide the thermometer.

It’s safely made with non-toxic paint and sustainable

wood so you can feel good about gifting this, too.

Curious Kids Nature Guide

Filled with 100 beautifully accurate, colourful illustrations

and interesting facts (did you know that baby raccoons are

smaller than a bar of soap?)—this nature guide to the Pacific

Northwest is perfect for any “Best Coast” explorer. Not only

an awesome nature guide for kids, it’s also great for adults who

want a quick introduction to the enchanting flora and fauna of

the Pacific Northwest.

Kate & Levi Hand Puppets

Handmade using recycled and repurposed materials, every

product is eco-friendly and one-of-a-kind. Not only is this

process environmentally responsible, but it ensures that each

animal is truly a one of a kind creation never to be duplicated.

With every purchase you make you help send a child fighting

cancer to camp so you can give and give back!

16 Island Parent Magazine


CurliGirls dolls feature MagiCurl hair that curls instantly

when you pull it. There’s Bayli, the Birthday Girl; Charli, the

Pop Star; and Hayli, the Ballerina. Collect them all and Express

Your Curl Power. The longer you pull, the tighter the curl. Curl

with your fingers, or easy styling tools, then accessorize with

hair clips and beads. To change it up, dip hair in warm water

and watch it magically straighten. Style and restyle over and

over again. Ages 3+

TONKA Mud Rescue & Mighty Dump

With TONKA Micro Metals all of your favorite vehicles are

now available in miniature. This line from TONKA offers all

the rescue, construction and service vehicles in awesome micro

sized metal versions. Each free-wheeling vehicle is built microsized,

but TONKA tough. Also includes a Toolbox capsule to

store your vehicles. The Tonka Steel Classics Mighty Dump

Truck is built for hauling. This sturdy, steel construction vehicle

is ready for the toughest loading jobs. Move the bed up and

down to trigger its unloading action. Ages 3+


Fresh Cut Christmas Trees




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December 2020 / January 2021 17

Tantrums &

Language Learning

o! da yewo pwate!” screeched

“N two-year-old Katie as she

knocked the plate off the table, sending

apple slices everywhere, crying so hard

that she was gasping for air.

Jules, her mom, was confused and frustrated

by Katie’s behaviour. The apple

had started out on a blue plate, but when

We see these tantrums as unreasonable

responses from children who are tired or

hungry or not feeling well and so can’t

deal with their emotions.

But Katie wasn’t sick or tired or hungry.

And she had gotten exactly what

she asked for. Or at least, that’s what

her mother thought. It turned out that

Katie asked for the yellow one, Jules

switched them, only to have it rejected

when she put it down in front of her


This scene is reminiscent of the tantrum

videos popular on social media: the

child who cries because a broken cracker

can’t be fixed, or because they are told

they can’t do something they didn’t actually

want to do.

what Katie meant by ‘yewo pwate’ was

a multi-coloured plate with no yellow

on it at all. She had the wrong meaning

for “yellow” in her mind. But from her

perspective, she had communicated her

wants to her mother, her mother had said

she was going to give her what she wanted,

and then she was given the wrong

plate. To Katie, it seemed like her mother

was one being unreasonable!

18 Island Parent Magazine

Miscommunications like this can be at

the root of tantrums more often than you

might think. Figuring out what words

mean is hard, and words that don’t refer

to concrete objects are especially tricky.

To understand yellow, for instance, you

have to understand that the person isn’t

talking about the object, they are talking

about a property of the object, a property

that can look quite different on different

objects (for example, a yellow banana is

a different colour than a yellow bean).

Words that refer to things that you

can’t see at all, like “think” or “sad,”

are even more difficult. In our house,

the word “hungry” was the cause of a

tantrum more than once. The word came

up a lot as my son didn’t much like to

eat—it got in the way of doing more

interesting things. We could often tell

he was hungry because of his mood, but

when we said he was hungry and needed

to eat, he would insist that he wasn’t.

And he would get increasingly upset at

us for saying it, sometimes to the point of

a tantrum—which was of course, made

more likely because of his hunger!

Eventually I figured out that he didn’t

understand what hungry meant and didn’t

want to say he was something he might not

be. When I explained that hungry meant

having a grumbly sore tummy that wanted

food he said “Oh, I feel like that a lot! I

guess I do get hungry.” And with that, our

tussles over “being hungry” ended.

I should have recognized earlier that

language was at the root of our “hungry”

problem. After all, child language development

is my specialization. But you can

learn from my failing.

Try to figure out what your child is trying

to tell you. Tell them you don’t quite

understand, but want to, and ask them to

show you what they want if they can. On

the other side of things, make sure that

they understand what you are saying.

They might think you mean something

you don’t and that might be the issue.

Sorting out a miscommunication might

have to wait until after the tantrum

ends when your child is calm and ready

to talk, but if you’re lucky, you can fix

things before the tantrum starts. And if

you’re not so lucky, the post-tantrum

time is a perfect opportunity to help your

child understand those especially tricky

emotion words. You can explain what

sad or mad or frustrated feel like, tell

them that you feel those things sometimes

too and what you do to deal with your

own negative emotions.



Carla Hudson Kam, PhD, is a Professor

of Linguistics at the University of British


Get creative and stay connected to art and each other this winter!

Join the AGGV Studio for a range of virtual offerings as well as

private, in-person art classes.


250.384.4171 or at 1040 Moss St

It might take a while, but these conversations

will help your child learn to deal

with emotions without tantrums. And

you’ll get a chance to see things from

their perspective in the meantime.



December 2020 / January 2021 19


Tales About Winter Traditions

Over the winter holidays many

families get together to decorate

trees, light candles, and eat yummy

foods. While many of us do the same

thing, we each tend to put our own family

spin on it that makes it uniquely ours.

And this holiday season, in the midst of

a pandemic, celebrations are bound to be

even more unique than ever.

Whatever you intend to do this break,

the winter holidays are a great time to

live out family traditions or create some

new ones. Here are some books that

share the author’s or character’s favourite

traditions, maybe one or two of them will

make it into the books you read every

year around this time.

through until the sun is able to step forth

renewed and refreshed. Maybe when you

read it with your family you can all join

into shout “Welcome Yule” like all the

Christmas Revels audience members. For

all ages.

Another book that encourages us to

take a moment this winter to pause and

reflect on the changing seasons around us

is Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter which

is written and illustrated by Kenard Pak

(Henry Holt and Co., 2017). This gorgeous

book follows two children as they

walk through the woods and their town

to say hello to the animals, the pines,

and the quiet night skies of winter and to

say goodbye to the creatures, plants, and

sounds of autumn. For ages 3 to 5.

What Grandma Built by Michelle

Gilman and illustrated Jazmin Sasky

(Harbour, 2013) is a book about families

building their own traditions one year at

a time, all because their grandma had a

dream. She wanted to create a magical

place for her family to enjoy for generations

to come. The bright images help

transform the mundane home into a

castle where you can see the magic the

Grandma’s children and grandchildren

can see. As you read it, maybe you’ll

see who you too are building your own

castles without even realizing it. For ages

3 to 5.

The fourth book is Houndsley and

Catina Through the Seasons by James

Howe and illustrated by Marie-Louise

Gay (Candlewick Sparks, 2018). This

collection of four books looks at the different

traditions Houndsley and Catina

have throughout the different seasons:

canoeing in the spring, listening to the

quiet of the winter, watching fireflies in

the summer, and celebrating their birthdays

in the fall. For ages 5 to 9.

Another thing many of us do as the

year changes from one to the next is we

look back at the previous year and celebrate

all we have accomplished. While

some of our accomplishments are big,

The first book is The Shortest Day

(Candlewick Press, 2019). This is a poem

by Susan Cooper that is already part of

many people’s holiday traditions. Every

year, this poem is preformed live in nine

different cities across the United States as

part of the Christmas Revels. But now,

Cooper has teamed up with Carson Ellis

to illustrate the poem and share it with

even more people.

As you can probably guess from the

title, The Shortest Day celebrates the

shortest day of the year. Ellis’s illustrations

beautifully bring this poem to life

as you watch the tired, old sun lay down

to sleep while the villagers gather candles

and logs to create light the whole night

20 Island Parent Magazine

they don’t have to be big to be celebrated

as Teddy Bear of the Year by Vikki Van-

Sickle and illustrated by Sydney Hanson

(Tundra, 2020) demonstrates. This beautifully

illustrated story is about a teddy

bear named Ollie. Ollie loves being a

teddy bear because he gets to listen to his

girl Amena’s stories, cuddle with her at

bedtime, and be there for her when she

falls off her bike and scrapes her knee.

None of what he does is truly heroic, but

he doesn’t realize that until he’s invited

to the Teddy Bear Picnic and bear after

bear is given awards for hospital stays,

surviving dog-nappings, and other brave

adventures. And he wonders if he will

even do anything worthy of celebration.

For ages 3 to 5.

As we come to the close of this year

and the beginning of the new one, I hope

you and your family are able to spend

some time living out the traditions you

have created over the years. But if that

isn’t possible, I hope you’re able to find

a new way to honour those traditions a

different way in our weird and mixed-up

pandemic world.

Christina Van Starkenburg is a freelance

writer and mother of two. Despite all of

the books that flow through the house for this

column, her boys still have their favourites and

she’s read them a million times. Christina finds it

exciting every time something new catches their

eye, and she loves to share those treasures with

all of you.





Christ in


Christ centered

communities of


the “whole” child.

Registrations for 2021–22

being accepted.

St. John Paul II School, Port Alberni

Queen of Angels School, Duncan

St. Joseph’s School, Victoria

St. Patrick’s School, Victoria

St. Andrew’s Regional High School, Victoria


December 2020 / January 2021 21


The Takeaway from 2020

One of the toughest things about

homeschooling, at least for me

as the parent who’s not actually

DOING the homeschooling, is dealing

with the people who feel it’s not the best

choice for the kid, as if we’re depriving

them of essential social lifesblood

by not putting them in school. Now,

with COVID-19 making a lot of parents

homeschool, it’s been a bit satisfying to

field a few “So, uh…how is this done?”


are now at a point where they’re wanting

to go back to school. So while everyone

else is going the homeschool route, we’re

actually looking into different schools

again. What can I say? We’re one step

ahead of the curve. Or maybe one step

behind. Or maybe we’re all just flailing,

making the best choices we can, changing,

adapting, guessing, winging it.

Speaking of winging it, how’s the

Christmas season working out? It’s been

a bit of a sideways year, clearly, and as

I mean, beyond that base-level bit of

revenge-gratification, it’s interesting seeing

such a shift towards interest (forced

interest, mind you, but interest regardless)

in homeschooling. I’m in support of

this; I’ve been talking about how great

homeschooling is for years. It’s not for

everyone, certainly. But if you can and

are able, it’s fantastic.

Because nothing is ever easy, my kids

parents we struggle with facing this most

expensive of seasons while perhaps facing

a layoff due to COVID-19.

No one wants to face a broke Christmas,

and yet here we are, many parents

getting hit hard by the continued economic

fallout from the virus. It’s like

we’re all fumbling in the dark, everyone

nervously asking everyone, “So, uh…

how is this done?” about everything.

22 Island Parent Magazine

So, how is it done? How can we possibly

continue to be parents while schools

are a zombie flick and Christmas is a mix

of anxiety and depression because we’re

suddenly in a huge recession, one we had

no idea was coming last Christmas? How

do we survive?

I don’t know. With a sense of humour,

I suppose. With a sense of community.

With a strength that no one knew we

had, even during our most difficult parenting


Let this thought be my Christmas gift

to you: a time in the future where we’re

all together again without worry of a

virus, drinking a drink and laughing, kids

doing their thing, world still turning, life

still going on, all the little problems and

dramas playing out like they always did

before. Somehow, we tell ourselves they

should matter less, but, screw it, we’re

humans, they’ll still matter. And that will

be great. Stressing over the parent-teacher

interview is a lot better than stressing

over a recession, stressing over a virus we

can’t control. And we’re getting there.

We’ll get there.

It’s been a hell of a year. For parents—trying

to navigate the line between

explaining everything to our kids and

keeping them blissfully sheltered. It’s

been more trying than the years usually

are, which is pretty trying in the first

place, if we’re being honest. My daughter

said it best: “It’s like we’re living in

a Dear Canada book,” referencing the

series of books she enjoys reading about

Canadian history. And we are. We’re living

in history, trying to be parents in a super

sketchy 2020, a year that, yes, books

will be written about and people 50 years

from now will read, and they’ll think,

man, that must have been tough. That’s

the truth: it is tough. It’s interesting that

we’re living through it, and while I know

that doesn’t make the Christmas-finances

stresses any easier, it’s... something.

Look, we’re going to make it, and I’ll

be writing this column next year, and

maybe we can get together and have a

drink and shake our heads and laugh.

Our kids will get educated one way or

another. And we’ll all make it through

this, one way or another.

We are looking for Caregivers


in the

are Greater

looking Victoria

for Caregivers


in the Greater Victoria Area.

Contact Michael Washington, Resource Recruitment | 250.544.1400 |


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

Nature Kindergarten

French Immersion Kindergarten

January 11–15, 2021

General Kindergarten Registration

January 25–29, 2021

Greg Pratt is the father of three children and

a local journalist and editor. His writing has appeared

in, among other places, Today’s Parent,

Wired, Revolver and Douglas.

All registration is online! For more information and to register visit

December 2020 / January 2021 23





For many of us this holiday season is going to be difficult.

It is a year of keeping our distance, unable to touch

those we feel closest to. While it was easy to pretend that

everything was fine during the warm summer months, Thanksgiving

was hard. And the winter is going to be even harder.

Perhaps the most important family connection is sharing

food. While it might not be possible to sit down to a shared

meal this holiday season, it is still possible to connect over


Here are a few ideas that my mother and I are considering

trying this season. (She is a therapist who is frequently called

into hospitals and care homes to deal with individuals in a

crisis. While she wears PPE for all interactions she also is very

careful about potential COVID exposures outside of work.)

• Get take out coffee and go for a walk along the ocean.

• Order individual take out meals and eat outside.

• Cook a big turkey dinner and deliver portions to local family


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

home has set up special computers for family Zoom meetings,

which is great because she wouldn’t be able to figure it

out on her own.

• If your kids are squirrely at the dinner table, then have an

appie hour on Zoom instead. Turn it into a fun event with a

dance party or holiday quiz game.

• Send homemade treats in a care package. It’s like a longdistance


• Give yourself a break. If it feels like too much to cook a big

dinner, then just make spaghetti or ribollita (see the following

below). As long as you serve it with some holiday music,

your kids won’t notice that it’s not the usual turkey.

Here are two holiday treats that are easy send in the mail,

along with a simple and delicious recipe for ribollita. Turn on

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

best way to get into the holiday spirit!

Emillie Parrish writes from Victoria and Saturna Island. She is the

author of the Pacific Northwest lifestyle blog

Pfeffernusse (German Gingerbread)

Pfeffernusse are deliciously spiced cookies that are fairly similar

to gingerbread. They are ball shaped which means they are super

simple to make and won’t break while shipping across the country.

This recipe makes about 60 small cookies.

Dry Ingredients

1 cup of flour 1 ⁄4 tsp baking powder

1⁄8 tsp baking soda 1 ⁄8 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon 1 ⁄2 tsp ground cardamon

1 ⁄4 tsp ground cloves 1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 ⁄8 tsp black pepper

Remaining Ingredients

1 ⁄4 cup of butter 1⁄2 cup of sugar

3 Tbsp molasses 1 egg

1⁄4 cup ground almond 1 tsp lemon zest

1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and molasses.

3. Beat the egg into the melted butter mixture, then add the

ground almond and lemon zest.

4. Mix with the dry ingredients, kneading to form a smooth dough.

5. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 1 or 2 days to blend the


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

grease 2 cookie sheets.

7. Either roll individual balls about 2 cm in diameter, or roll the

dough into a long log and use a butter knife to slice off a cookie

every 2 cm.

8. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned.

Let them cool slightly then roll the still-warm cookies in icing sugar

(about 1 ⁄2 cup for the whole batch).

24 Island Parent Magazine


(Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes)

Christmas Tea

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

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

great holiday treat for anyone who needs to stay away from sweets.

The zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

1 vanilla bean

100 g of tea (either black tea or rooibos)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 ⁄2 tsp ground cloves

1. Preheat the oven to 210˚F.

2. Zest the lemon and orange onto a small baking sheet.

3. Dry the zest in the oven for 20 minutes.

4. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, then cut it into 1 cm sections.

5. Mix the dried zest, vanilla bean, tea and spices in a bowl.

6. Use a funnel to fill small packages of tea.

7. Brew for 5 minutes using 1 Tbsp of tea for 1 cup of water.

This Tuscan tomato soup is rich and warming. It is traditionally

served with croutons, but I prefer dipping slices of fresh bread. I

recommend making a double batch because the leftovers are even

more delicious.

2 tbsp olive oil 1 large onion

2 carrots 1 fennel bulb

3 ribs of celery 28 oz can of chopped tomatoes

4 cups of water 1 tbsp oregano

1 tbsp thyme 2 bay leaves

2 tsp sugar 1 1 ⁄2 tsp salt, to taste

14 oz can of chickpeas 4 Tbsp of pesto

4 Tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese

1. Chop the onion, carrots, celery and fennel into small, bite-sized


2. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot. Saute the onions, until

starting to soften, then add the rest of the vegetables and saute for

another 2 minutes.

3. Add the canned tomatoes, water, herbs, sugar and salt. Bring

everything to a boil.

4. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Then place them in a bowl and

crush them slightly with the back of a rolling pin. Stir into the soup

and cook for another 5 minutes.

6. Serve the soup with a spoonful of pesto and a sprinkle of

grated Parmesan cheese.

December 2020 / January 2021 25


Too Much Stuff

When clutter becomes a safety hazard


hold the tiny purple earring in between

my thumb and index finger. It

is the fourth time we have crossed paths

this year. I want to save this earring from

becoming an official lost item, destined

for the junk drawer and eventually the

garbage. I rack my brain and a visual

comes. My oldest daughter’s large monster

high doll: this is Elisabat’s earring.

Have I even made a dent? Will it ever

look like any part of our house is organized

and tidy? It is often clean, but

not tidy. My husband grew up in a tidy

house. I grew up in a tidy house, but our

house is anything but tidy. It is a constant

hurricane of stuff shoved in bins, bags to

be sorted, bags to donate, next size up

bins of my oldest daughter’s clothes for

I take the stairs two at a time, descending

to the basement. I pull open the cedar

chest that my father-in-law built. I pull

dolls out one by one and reminisce over

each one. Now that my daughter is nine,

she never plays with dolls anymore. I

played with dolls until age 12, but each

to their own. I find Elisabat at the very

bottom, pull her out and then push her

earring back in her left ear. I sigh a satisfying

relief of success. One item put away

and only 100,000 more to go.

her little sister to wear one day.

My kids’ rooms are tidy and they

keep them that way because they like it.

However, in order to maintain their level

of tidy, the rest of the house becomes a

dumping ground and it’s hard to find the

time to deal with it.

My youngest recently ran into my

office and sliced her toe on a sheet of

glass from a photo frame that has been

propped up against my desk since August

when I had to try to get a lizard out of

26 Island Parent Magazine

my office (it crawled under the screen on

our back door). Thankfully, her toe was

a bandage fix and not a stitches fix. This

was our wake up call.

We slowly started working as a family

to put items in labelled bins and try

to minimalize our amount of clutter and

toys. The time must be made this winter.

I have high hopes. Cooler and rainy days

equals times to work inside. Our house

has become a hazard. The junk and extra

stuff must go.

My friend has a great strategy, which is

to help each other organize one person’s

house and then the next person’s house.

It’s always easier to get rid of someone

else’s stuff. It’s great to do a purge once

or twice a year. I admit that without

many guests and no parties and family

dinners this year, we have really let our

house go.

Another challenge, is to not get distracted.

I can get a lot done when I’m

home alone versus having three little

helpers. It can be easy to go down the

route of wanting to scrapbook when I

find a set of pictures or for my kids to

play when they find a long lost toy.

Small goals are a great way to start.

Before we know it, little by little, pile by

pile, a few minutes of time here and there

we’ll tackle our clutter shelf by shelf section

by section.

With Christmas coming, it is a great

time to donate outgrown toys, so my

kids can welcome in the new. It’s time to

downsize, donate, and sell all our clutter.

I think we’ll all feel satisfied when we can

walk through our house from one end to

the other and stay injury free. But first,

I need to see if I can find the LEGO set

that this tiny tire goes with.

Serena Beck works full-time as a Technical

Writer. She loves to write, travel and swim at the

beach with family and friends.

Online Christmas Eve Family Service

Dec 24, 4:30 pm

Nativity story—carols

First Met United Church

Quadra & Balmoral

Also online:

Carols in the Candlelight—

Dec 24, 7:30 pm

Christmas Message—Dec 25, 11:00 am

Sunday services—11:00 am

December 2020 / January 2021 27

Healthy Families, Happy Families

Child, Youth

& Family

Public Health

South Island Health Units

Esquimalt 250-519-5311

Gulf Islands 250-539-3099

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

Peninsula 250-544-2400

Saanich 250-519-5100

Saltspring Island 250-538-4880

Sooke 250-519-3487

Victoria 250-388-2200

West Shore 250-519-3490

Central Island Health Units

Duncan 250-709-3050

Ladysmith 250-755-3342

Lake Cowichan 250-749-6878

Nanaimo 250-755-3342

Nanaimo 250-739-5845

Princess Royal

Parksville/Qualicum 250-947-8242

Port Alberni 250-731-1315

Tofino 250-725-4020

North Island Health Units

Campbell River 250-850-2110

Courtenay 250-331-8520

Kyuquot Health Ctr 250-332-5289

‘Namgis Health Ctr 250-974-5522

Port Hardy 250-902-6071


Changes with BC Medical Services Plan

premiums mean that families eligible for partial

payment of some medical services and access

to some income-based programs now must

apply for Supplementary Benefits through the

Government of BC. Applications can be done

online and take approximately 15 minutes.

Families who previously qualified for MSP

Premium Assistance should not need to re-apply

if taxes are completed yearly. It is advised to

confirm coverage before proceeding with

treatment to avoid paying out of pocket.

For more information, visit




What to Know About

Your Child’s Hearing

Hearing in the first few years of life is essential for social, emotional, and cognitive

development, and is critical for speech and language development. As

a parent or caregiver, there are a few things you can look for when it comes

to your child’s hearing.

The hearing system starts to form around the 18th week of pregnancy, and continues

until a baby is around 5 or 6 months of age. By about 22 to 24 weeks of pregnancy,

a fetus starts to hear low-pitch sounds that are outside the womb, such as a dog

barking. Later in the pregnancy, it can hear music, environmental noises, and voices.

Some studies have shown that babies at birth recognize the patterns and sounds of

their native language!

After birth, a baby’s hearing continues to develop. The following milestones are

useful when observing a baby or young child’s hearing. With older babies and toddlers,

speech and language development can be a clue as to how a child is hearing.

Birth to 3 months

4–6 months

7–12 months

12–18 months

18–24 months

2–3 years

• Startles to loud sounds (coughing, door slamming)

• Soothed by soft sounds (singing, familiar voice)

• Turns eyes towards a sound or their name

• Responds to “no” and changes in tone of voice

• Begins to make different vocal noises (“ooh,” “ba-ba”)

• Gets scared by a loud voice or noise

• Enjoys toys that make noise (e.g. rattles)

• Responds to their name and environmental sounds (e.g. phone


• Turns head correctly to direction that sound is coming from

• Knows common sayings (“bye-bye”) and words for common

things (ball, cup)

• Begins to respond to simple requests and questions (“Come

here,”…“Where’s the toy?”)

• Makes more babbling sounds

• Pays attention when spoken to

• Starts using common and meaningful words and putting words


• Points to some body parts and pictures in books

• Looks at your face when talking and listening to you

• Follows one-step commands (“Show Daddy”)

• Understands simple yes/no questions (“Are you hungry?”)

• Understands more words than they can say

• Asks simple questions (“What’s that?”)

• Takes turns in a conversation

• Says two words together (“More milk,”… “Mommy up”)

• Asks questions and answers simple questions (“Where is the


• Follows two-step directions (“Get the cup and put it on the


• Says sentences of three or more words

• Speech is understood by familiar listeners most of the time

• Enjoys music, television, etc at a normal level

• Responds to speech at a typical conversational level

28 Island Parent Magazine

There are many reasons why infants

and children can have hearing loss.

Temporary hearing loss can be caused

by fluid in the middle ear (the space behind

the eardrum), or wax build up in the

ear canal. Most of the time, these resolve

on their own or with medical help, and

hearing returns to normal.

Some causes of permanent hearing loss

that is present from birth include:

• Genetics (e.g. gene for hearing loss

inherited from a parent, or a syndrome

such as Pendred or Down Syndrome)

• Cleft palate

• Infection during pregnancy or delivery

(e.g. cytomegalovirus)

• Birth complications (e.g. lack of oxygen

at birth)

• Very low birth weight

Some causes of permanent hearing

loss that is acquired during childhood


• Diseases (e.g. meningitis, mumps)

• Some medications (e.g. chemotherapy)

• Noise exposure

Some hearing issues can develop even

without risk factors. Middle ear infections

are one of the most common health

conditions of young children. More than

75 per cent of children experience at

least one ear infection by age three. Signs

younger children may show are tugging/

pulling at their ears, fussiness, changes in

appetite and sleeping patterns, fever, fluid

draining from the ear, and/or a noticeable

change in hearing ability. It is important

to protect little ears from loud noise exposure,

which can cause permanent hearing

damage. Be careful when choosing

toys for young children. Some batterypowered

toys for babies and toddlers

can make sound loud enough to damage

hearing, especially as young children may

hold a toy close to their ear. Look for onoff

switches and volume controls if the

toy does create sound.

With more time spent at home during

Covid-19, many of us find ourselves using

devices and watching movies with our

children. It is important to model good

listening behaviour for our children by

keeping our televisions, sound systems,

and personal listening devices at a comfortable

level. Talk to your children from

a young age about protecting their ears.

Wear hearing protection when using loud

tools at home and when going to loud

environments, such as sporting events or

concerts. Get a pair of child-sized, noisereducing

earmuffs that you can help your

child put on when at loud events.

Children may appear to have difficulty

hearing when listening to someone

wearing a mask. This may be normal,

as speech can sound muffled through

a mask and we cannot see someone’s

mouth to get lipreading cues. However, if

you feel that your child is having excessive

difficulty, you should arrange for

your child’s hearing to be tested.

All babies born in BC get a newborn

hearing screening shortly after birth as

part of the BC Early Hearing Program.

Babies on Vancouver Island who do not

pass the first screening will be referred for

a hearing assessment at an Island Health

Hearing Clinic. Babies with risk factors

for hearing loss are also monitored at

these clinics.

Children on Vancouver Island will also

get a hearing screening at school during

their kindergarten year. Your child will

receive further assessment at an Island

Health Hearing Clinic if hearing is not

within normal limits.

Parents and caregivers are the best

people to look for signs of hearing loss in

their child. If you have any concern about

your child’s hearing, arrange a hearing

assessment through your physician or by

contacting your local Island Health Hearing


Victoria 250-388-2250

West Shore 250-519-3490

Nanaimo 250-755-6269

Courtenay 250-331-8526

Alison Love, M.Sc.,

RAUD, RHIP, is an audiologist

with the Vancouver

Island Health Authority.



December 2020 / January 2021 29

3 Tips to Reduce Stress

Pandemic life with the whole family

These days, life is anything but normal. It feels like no one

ever leaves the house because of COVID-19. Living in a

multi-generational South Asian home, the kids are running

around, and the parents are ranting about something. It comes

to a point where your stress level at home is so high that you

want to run an errand just to escape to the silence of your car.

That and you need a break from the classical music your parents

have on repeat. They say it reminds them of back home

but right now, it reminds you how much you’d rather not hear

it ever again. Take a deep breath and turn up “Years In The

Making” by Arkells—it’s going to be okay.

Now, it’s one thing to be home with your kids during a

school break and your parents are living with you, too, but this

whole pandemic life has really turned an innocent break into

a lengthy television-worthy drama. The only thing is, it’s real

life and there isn’t a remote to turn it off. Stress is actually a

reaction to a situation; it isn’t about the actual situation. This

means there are ways to help yourself reduce stress at home.

While the pandemic probably isn’t a permanent thing, the

way you live your life is going to change for the time being.

Even though everyone is around you 24/7, there are ways to

make sure you keep yourself mentally fit and level-headed.

It’s up to you to take care of the stress you’re feeling because

you’re the one who can actually do something about it.

3 tips to keep you cool, calm, and collected:

1. Make time to get some fresh air and exercise. Playing a

quick game of basketball outdoors can be refreshing for everyone

in your family.

The gym may be closed but outside isn’t! Exercise doesn’t

have to be lifting weights and running on the treadmill until

you sweat ladoo drops. How about you be your own Serge

Ibaka and play some driveway b-ball?

Fresh air paired with activity is a recipe for better health.

That in turn reduces stress and improves mental health. The

best part about outdoor activities is that you can do it alone

or you can include your family so everyone can get a chance

to destress. The Build Your Best Day tool, by Participaction,

is a great way to find awesome ideas on how to get you and

your family moving. Dupatta waving in the wind, beards in the

breeze, and kids smiling—get that fresh air flow going!

2. Having a new routine is essential. Creating a new routine

is easier than you think. Just start writing things down that

need to get done and soon you’ll have a list of things that need

to be scheduled for the week.

Even if you can avoid Zoom video calls and roam around

in a mismatched kurta and pajama (no judgement here) that

doesn’t mean you need to let your schedule get too comfort-

30 Island Parent Magazine

Summer Programs



Running This July & August

ms will be running (hopefully) in

person, These or online... local businesses are family-focused and committed to our community and helping you.

eschool Dance Camps

or 3-5 year olds in Ballet, Jazz,

Musical Theatre & Tap

h Dance Camps

ncers 6-12 years old in

Hip Hop & Acrobatics

Dance Intensive

For dancers 11 years old & up with

Jazz, Ballet, Hip Hop & Acrobatics

Little Dancers Classes

Are running through the summer for

those 18 months to 3 years old

STAGES Summer Programs

Come Dance With Us

Summer Programs

Running This July & August

Call (250) 384-3267, email:,

Running or visit This us July at &


Come Dance

With Us

Through these times

let’s be careful &

kind out there


Summer Programs

Running This July & August

Through these times

let’s be careful &

kind out there


Come Dance

With Us

Call (250) 384-3267,


or visit us at

Through these times

let’s be careful &

kind out there



Register for Tuesday AM or PM,

starting January 19th, for 8 weeks

• Learn in our nurturing outdoor garden setting

• Outcomes to explore:

~ Ecosystems and you

~ Friendly foods to grow

~ Habitats and friends

OSM Fencing

Looking for a new sports adventure?

Get started with fencing!

OSM Fencing provides structured lessons,

personal training, club membership, tournaments

and lots and lots of fun for all ages!

Register Now!

Want to know more? Contact us at: or 778-679-4953

Welcome to our

Garden Nature Academy

for Pre-K Learners

Visit the Gardens at HCP, 505 Quayle Road, or

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

Come have less to Dance

do and more to argue about.

to understand why you do what you do unless you tell them

Papa’s coffee shop circle no longer meets up for 3 hours every

morning. Now you get to hear all about the “completely while you’re on a work call, but not everything is that cut and

why it’s important to you. Sure, they might leave you alone

0) 384-3267, With Us,or authentic Call (250) and 384-3267, legitimate” visit WhatsApp us at theories

out there about dried. You may be used to taking a lunch break alone at work


COVID-19 or visit and us at miracle neem powder tinctures. Yeah, you’re with your favourite podcast, but does Mummy know that?


the only one, trust me!

Probably not. I mean, she tells people you work “in computers”

even though you work in logistics management for a com-

Creating a family calendar with a schedule can really help

everyone have a sense of responsibility and action for each day. puter company. Good effort, but still wrong Mummy.

Maybe find ways to connect your dad to his friends over a video

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

Open communication is one way to make sure everyone un-

while you’re finishing up your 9 a.m. team huddle.

in your family know why you need to listen to your favourite

Ask your kids to help with a specific chore around the house podcast or why “alone time” is essential in helping you decompress

and chill out for a bit. Don’t assume your family will

each day. Your spouse will really thank you and you can thank

me later for that pro tip! While you’re at it, ask your spouse understand why certain things are important to you unless you

how you can make their day easier. They’ll be happier because

you want to schedule some quiet time for them, and it Remember, you’re not alone in this and you’re doing the best

tell them why.

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

may argue about. It’s important to check on what your family feeling as long as you do something productive to get you back

would like to get done if you want them to respect what’s on to your best self!

your agenda for the day.

3. Tell your family what you’re doing and why it’s important

to you. Relaxing at home can be effective if your family

understands how important it is to you.

Dr. Razan Khan is a Toronto-based pharmacist with experiences in

numerous settings caring for diverse patient populations, both in Canada

and the United States. For more information, visit

December 2020 / January 2021 31


Place-based Learning & Traditions

We’ve all experienced the power of place, the moments

when we’re immersed in the world around us and

what’s happening there. This type of experience

can have a lasting impact. As we transition from fall to winter,

Sierra Club BC challenges you to connect deeper to place by

reflecting on your experiences in nature and taking action to

show respect and reciprocity in your relationships with the

natural places in your life.

Place-based learning—the act of immersing into local heritage,

cultures, landscapes, opportunities and experiences—can

happen in any environment from urban to rural and anywhere

in between. Engaging in community and nature close to home

helps to put down roots and strengthen your connection to the

world directly around you and your family.

opportunity to take your families outside to explore the signs

of the winter. Identifying a nature space near your home and

returning every few days or even every week allows your children

to observe the changes taking place in the environment

and gives them a set time in a familiar nature place to look forward

to. Introduce these nature connection practices the next

time you are at your local park, forest, backyard, schoolyard

or walkways. These place-based traditions leverage local places

as a learning ecosystem. Through this approach, you and your

family begin to develop an understanding of communities and

your role in impacting and improving local places.

Taking time to build your family’s connections with nature

can move beyond nature connection practices and into specific

actions during the winter season that will build reciprocity and

respect into your family’s relationships with the natural world.

Share with your children the things you do to care for the environment

during the holiday season.

The WSÁNEC´ calendar has 13 moons that each mark

changes in environment and daily activities, the WSÁNEC´ (Saanich)

People use these changing moons to guide their seasons.

This season belongs to the “NINENE—Moon of the Child,”

which celebrates youthful energy and new beginnings. For the

WSÁNEC´ People and in many other cultures, winter marks a

time for storytelling. So, it’s no coincidence, that the NINENE

moon focuses on sharing teachings with young people through

storytelling and tradition to pass long winter days.

The practice of storytelling is an engaging way to share lessons

and connect with people and place in meaningful ways.

Share and reflect on the nature experiences you and your family

have had throughout the year and strengthen your place-based

connections through storytelling. Giving children the opportunity

to share their own nature stories can solidify these experiences

in their memory and build connections to the outdoor

spaces they visit. Storytelling is also an exciting way to bring

the outdoors into your home. Prompt your children with questions

to get them going. You might be surprised to hear their

answers! What stands out in your child’s mind can be a helpful

guide for planning future activities. Gather your family and

create a space for sharing and listening. And try some favourite

storytelling prompts at the end of this article.

As our environment transforms during the winter, this is an

Ideas for being a steward for the natural world

this winter:

• Make holiday gifts out of recycled or reused materials

(rather than buying highly packaged gifts).

• Use newspaper or other reused packaging as gift wrap. Add

a decorative touch with paint or markers.

• Buy and gift local products. Winter markets are a great

way to track down cool local products.

Get creative with meal planning. Focus on buying food

products that are local and in season.

This winter, we hope that engaging in meaningful reflection

on our place in the environment continues to strengthen you

and your family’s relationship with place. A strong connection

to nature can help secure respect and reciprocity with the natural


Storytelling prompts:

• What’s your favourite outside place and why?

• If you could be a being in nature other than a human, what

would you be?

• When you go outside, which of your senses are you most

thankful to have?

• If you could experience any new part of nature, which one

would you choose? Why?

• What part of nature are you most thankful for? Why?

• Tell me about a gift that nature has given you. Tell me

about a gift that you could give nature.

Read more about The Saanich (WSÁNEC´) Year, including

activity sheets:


For more free resources and activities:

Sierra Club BC works to support people stewarding abundant ecosystems

and a stable climate, while building resilient, equitable communities.

32 Island Parent Magazine

Winter Programs

From art classes to engineering—and everything in between—our community offers an

array of programs, resources and services for families. To find out what’s available, read on.

(For more details on the following listings, please refer to the ads in this issue of Island Parent).

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Get creative and stay connected to

art and each other this winter! Join the

AGGV Studio for a range of virtual offerings

as well as private, in-person art


First Met United Church

Join us for our traditional family Christmas

Eve Service. We’re a little different

this year—because of the covid pandemic

we are presenting our service online

through our Livestream and YouTube

pages. But we think you’ll still enjoy it.

We will also present our traditional Carols

in the Candlelight service at 7:30pm

and a special Christmas morning message

“We Have Seen His Glory,” Dec. 25,

at 11am—again via Livestream and You-



As the premier school for young actors

in Victoria, Kaleidoscope focuses

on a single mission: training the best

and brightest students to become highly

skilled, confident and well-rounded

young performers. Kaleidoscope’s programs

nurture young performers’ creativity

and build skills that benefit them on

the stage and in everyday life. Registration

is now open for classes beginning

January 2021! Discover our programs at

Quadratic Sound

Children aged 7-14 dive into the basics

of engineering with a teammate and use

LEGO ® construction kits to build and program

exciting interactive machines that

move, react and make sounds! Covid

protocols in place.

Royal BC Museum

The Royal BC Museum is a place for

exploration, learning and play—for visitors

of all ages. Engage with us through

our Digital Fieldtrips and online programs

through our Learning Portal or book one

of our Outreach Kits. royalbcmuseum.

St. Margaret’s School

It’s time to register for Kindergarten!

Visit and take a virtual tour and

learn about the all-girls advantage. Our

elementary school program is a small,

family-like community where teachers

develop strong relationships with their

students and their families. Classroom

activities are designed to extend students’

natural curiosity and actively engage

them in the learning process. Apply

online at

Sooke Schools 62

All SD62 elementary schools offer full

day Kindergarten for our youngest learners.

Kindergarten students will begin

school in the September of the year

that they turn five. 2021/22 Registration:

French Immersion and Nature Kindergarten,

January 11-15; Regular Kindergarten,

January 25-29.


Since 1980 STAGES has held a tradition

of providing dancers of all ages

and levels of experience the very best

training possible in a a supportive, noncompetitive

and caring environment.

For more information please visit us at

Theatre SKAM

Theatre SKAM’s School of Performing

Arts offers a variety of professional

film and performance classes/camps for

homelearners, children, youth and teens

year-round. Winter registration is now


December 2020 / January 2021 33


Light Up the City

The Greater Victoria Festival Society is hosting the “Light Up The City” campaign every Saturday

when you can drop off donations at a set of drive-through events in the ‘core’ municipalities of Greater

Victoria until January 3, 2021. Non-perishable food, new toys, and cash donations will help support

local food banks, Salvation Army, and Toy Banks. Drive-through events will have Santa and Mrs. Claus

on hand, Convoy trucks aglow, music, and more to enjoy as you drive through and drop off your donations.

Social distancing practices will be in place at all drop-off locations.

A new Christmas lighting competition welcomes entries in five separate categories: homes, apartment/condos,

local businesses, community organizations and First Nations communities. The five winners

receive a prize worth more than $1,000 and 15 prizes in all are up for grabs. Entrants must email

photos of their displays, along with their street address. To enter and for more dates, times and drop

off locations, visit

The 29th Annual

Festival of Trees

The Bay Centre will be transformed into a lush

forest of beautifully decorated trees to raise funds

for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, all thanks

to sponsors, local businesses, organizations and

individuals. Guests can bring their loved ones,

marvel in the magic of Victoria’s community spirit

and vote for their favourite tree until January 5,


Your support will help provide the best care

imaginable for sick and injured kids from across

the province, including the 3,300 kids from Vancouver

Island who visit BC Children’s Hospital

each year for specialized care they often can’t

get anywhere else. Visit


December 4:

The Q’s Feed the Need, Mayfair Mall, corner of

Blanshard and Finlayson; 6am-9pm

December 5:

The Bay Centre Lower Guest Services, 1-6pm;

masks mandatory; Charity: Mustard Seed Food

Bank and CFax Santa’s Anonymous

Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress, 4900 Uplands

Drive, Nanaimo; 10am-2pm; Charity: Salvation

Army—wave to Santa from a safe social distance!

Sunbelt Rentals, 2994 Jacklin Road, Langford;

402 Garbally Road, Victoria; 10115 McDonald Park

Road, Sidney; 9am-3pm

Fan Tan Home and Style, 541 Fisgard Street ;


December 6:

Esquimalt Recreation Centre Parking Lot, next

to Water/Adventure park, 3-5:30pm; Charity: Rainbow

Kitchen and TLC Fund for Kids

December 11:

The Zone’s Toy Drive for Christmas Giving,

Mayfair Mall, corner of Blanshard and Finlayson;


Salvation Army Citadel, 4300 Douglas Street,

Victoria; 5-7pm; Stream by Chek on the Go; Charity:

Salvation Army

Thrifty Foods, Belmont Market, Langford;

5-7pm; Stream by Chek on the Go; Charity: Salvation


Steve Marshall Ford, 3851 Shenton Road, Nanaimo;

5-7pm; Stream by Chek on the Go; Charity:

Salvation Army

Galey Farms, 4150 Blenkinsop, Victoria; noon-

8pm; Charity: Saanich Food Bank and C-FAX

Santa’s Anonymous

December 12:

The Bay Center Lower Guest Services; 1-6pm;

masks mandatory; Charity: Mustard Seed Food

Bank and CFax Santa’s Anonymous

Sunbelt Rentals, 2994 Jacklin Road, Langford;

402 Garbally Road, Victoria; 10115 McDonald Park

Road, Sidney 9am-3pm

Fan Tan Home and Style, 541 Fisgard Street,


Mount Newton Center Society, 2158 Mount

Newton X Road; Central Saanich; 5-7pm; Mount

Newton Centre Society drive thru; accepting cash

donations or online

Luxton Fair Grounds, 1040 Marwood Avenue,

Langford; 5-7pm; Charity: Goldstream Food Bank

and TLC Fund for Kids

Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress, 825-12 Avenue,

Campbell River; 1-4pm; Charity: Campbell River

Food Bank and Salvation Army Toy Fund

Habitat for Humanity’s

Gingerbread Build

It may look a little different this year, but Habitat

for Humanity Victoria’s premier fundraiser the

Gingerbread Showcase, sponsored by Revera,

launched its 12th season in November.

Thirty three bakers have answered the call to

take part in this year’s event. These amazingly

talented people who volunteer their time to create

works of edible art, together with community

hosts, are ensuring we are able to continue this

must-see seasonal attraction—all to help raise

funds for its current build project in North Saanich.

“Coastal Living” is the theme for 2020, our

volunteer bakers have been invited to create

beautiful pieces which reflect the incredible environment

that we as a community are so privileged

to share. Come and see what they create.

Download your host map and take the tour

through downtown Victoria and Sidney. Each

creation is available for viewing from outside. To

maintain social distance please stay within your

bubble and remain 6ft (2m) from others. For a

map, visit

34 Island Parent Magazine

The tastiest family event in town! Visit our ten

hosts on a tour through Downtown Victoria &

Sidney to view these sensational gingerbread


Donate and vote online for your favourite.

Every donation will help build ten affordable

homes for local familes in North Saanich.

Download your Showcase

visitors map today!

Our thanks to

media sponsor

Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s

Nov. 21 , 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021 I donate and vote for your favourite


December 2020 / January 2021 35



Island Kids Academy Esquimalt.....250-381-2929

High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum.

Includes Music Classes and Character Development

using the Virtues Project. Wait list being taken.

La Pré-Maternelle

Appletree Preschool....................... 250-479-0292

French immersion preschool. Group child care programs.

30 months to school age. Christian centre.


Metchosin Cooperative

Preschool...................................... 250-478-9241

Play Explore Learn and Grow in beautiful rural Metchosin.

Morning programs available for 3 and 4 year olds.

Contact our ECEs at


Oak Bay Preschool........................250-592-1922

Oak Bay Preschool is a co-op preschool, using a playbased

curriculum with qualified ECE and ECEA. We

use a balance of indoor and outdoor classrooms to

enrich your child’s preschool experience. Learn more


Recreation Oak Bay.......................250-370-7200

Offers full day Daycare and half day Preschool for

children ages 3-5 years old. Before and after school

care for Willows Elementary and afterschool care

for Campus View Elementary is also offered.

Please contact or call for more



Camosun College Child Care

Services.......................................... 250-370-4880

Quality licensed facilities on both campuses providing

children, newborn to 5 years, with rich early learning

experiences in a learn through play environment.

Carrot Seed Preschool...................250-658-2331

Where children can discover, imagine, construct and

learn through play. Wondrous natural playground.

• Licensed programs, for children 3–5 years

• Flexible part-time schedules

• Supported spaces available

• 2, 3 and 4 hour morning or afternoon classes

Encouraging your child’s development and

learning through play and exploration 250-360-1148 E:

Island Montessori House........... 250-592-4411

Inclusive, integrated and nurturing Preschool

and Before/After School Care programs.

Lovely rural setting with a focus on

nature and outdoor environmental activities.


Junior Kindergarten


Educational Excellence to the Glory of God

If you’d like to be listed

in the Preschool &

Child Care Directory,

please email

Ready Set Grow Preschool............. 250-472-1530

Join our learning through play preschool located in

Hillcrest Elem. Our caring ECEs offer an enriched

Program for 3-4 hour, 2-5 days a week and help with

kindergarten transition.

St. Joseph’s Early Learning Centre... 250-479-1237

A Christian childcare centre offering daycare and

preschool programs for 3-5 year olds. Children learn

through play-based and emergent curriculum in a

warm and nurturing environment.

St. Margaret’s School

Jr. Kindergarten................................. 250-479-7171

Apply now for our Early Learning (JK and Kindergarten)

Programs. Early learning at SMS is a curriculum-based

program for 3 and 4 year olds.

Wiseways Child Care Centre.......250-477-1312

Established, quality, licensed, Christian centre for

3-5 year olds. Experienced ECEs, cheerful spacious

facilities, large playground. Subsidized fees

welcome. Call for a tour.


Sidney Preschool............................. 250-655-3333

We are a licensed co-operative preschool with a

philosophy of learning through play! Four and six

hour programs available for children ages 2.5-5.

Celebrating 48 years!

Child Care

Resource & Referral

Funded by the Province of BC

Your community’s best source

of child care information

and resources.

Looking for child care?

Need help with the Affordable Child Care Benefit?

Taking care of children?

Need child care training?

Call your local Child Care Resource & Referral for free referrals and resources.

Victoria & Gulf Islands: 250-382-7000 or 1-800-750-1868

Sooke: 250-642-5152 West Shore: 250-217-7479

Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231

PacificCare (Ladysmith north): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273

36 Island Parent Magazine


v Comprehensive programs for

Preschool through Grade 10

v Delivering academic excellence through

music, dance, drama and visual arts

v Outstanding educators,

locations and facilities 250.382.3533

Castleview Child Care................... 250-595-5355

Learning Through Play & Discovery. Licensed nonprofit,

ECE staff. Since 1958. Morning or full-time care.

Centennial Day Care..................... 250-386-6832

Exceptional childcare and education 35+ years. Nature

inspired, play based program. NEW central, “green”


Christ Church Cathedral


ECE and specialist teachers provide an outstanding

all day licensed program for 2.5–5 year olds at our

Fairfield and NEW Gordon Head (Fall 2019) locations.

Cloverdale Child Care....................250-995-1766

Come join us in our preschool programs for fun and

learning. Classes 9:30 to 1:30, we offer 3 and 4 year

old classes and a Mon to Fri multiage preschool class.

Flexible schedule available. Located at Quadra and

Cloverdale streets.

Nightingale Preschool and

Junior Kindergarten Ltd............ 250-595-7544

We offer education through creativity and play,

providing rich learning experiences through a

well sourced and stimulating indoor and outdoor

environment. Early years reading programme. Arts/Drama programme.

Sir James Douglas Preschool....250-389-0500

Fun, creative and educational ECE program

for 3-5 year olds to grow and develop

life long skills. Come play and learn in

our bright and modern centre in Fairfield.

Victoria Montessori...................... 250-380-0534

Unique, innovative learning environment

combining the best of Montessori and Learning

Through Play. Open year round. 30mths–K.


Island Kids Academy View Royal...250-727-2929

High quality child care (ages 1-5). Enriched Curriculum.

Includes Music Classes and Character Development

using the Virtues Project. Wait list being taken.

JLC Victoria Japanese Preschool

The only Japanese Immersion Preschool on the

Island opens at Craigflower Schoolhouse. Offering

the best environment for preschoolers to learn

Japanese language and culture as natural as possible.


Duncan Christian School

Early Learning Centre.....................250-746-3654

The first step in providing your child with everything

they need to become a confident, capable

learner in a Christ-centered, community focussed


International Montessori

Academy of Canada......................... 250-737-1119

Elementary K–12. Offers an enriching environment

for preschool children 2-4.9 years with potty training.

Nurturing young minds, keeping the spirit free.

Queen Margaret’s School................ 250-746-4185

Early Childhood Education Program. Co-ed nurturing

curriculum to develop the whole child. Healthy snacks

and lunch provided.

Queen of Angels

Early Learning Centre..................... 250-701-0433

Our Centre is a lively, happy place for 3-5 year olds

where children are encouraged to be confident, independent

learners in a nurturing and safe environment.

Sunrise Waldorf School Preschool....250-743-7253

In a warm environment, this nature and play-based

program enlivens and nurtures the growing child.


Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12

Learn more today! 250-390-2201




Little Star Children’s Centre.......... 250-752-4554

Little Gems Infant & Toddler Care..250-228-5437

Mother, Daughter owned and operated. Earth friendly

preschool education inspired by nature. Infused with

fun and creative daily yoga practices! Licensed group

care. Enthusiastic ECE instructors.


John Paul II Catholic School...........250-723-0637

“Where children grow and learn through play.” We

provide a program that will inspire development

physically, socially, emotionally, cognitively, creatively

and spiritually.

Nestled on 4 acres of lush west coast forest, our Award

winning, Nature based program will not disappoint!

While firmly embracing the Reggio-Emila (Italy) Philosophy

our dedicated team of educators use the environment

as the third teacher as we encourage your child

throughout their day.

Our purpose built facilities have been handmade using

the trees from our forest. We have recently expanded to

our new Spirit Bear Lodge located right next door!

Programs for Infants/Toddlers/Pre-school Age.

BC Award of Excellence in Childcare & Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence in Early Childhood Education.


December 2020 / January 2021 37


Teaching Resistance

Nagging stops children from taking initiative. This anxious

micro-managing only teaches kids to dawdle and resist

requests. Children want to be in charge of their own lives.

So when the parent gives the reminder, they resist. They are so used

to getting reminders that they wait for another reminder to do the

task—and besides, once they have been reminded, they feel that

doing the task is no longer their responsibility; it is the parents.

“I was just about to empty the dishwasher, but now that you

have asked me, I DON’T WANT TO.”

Nagging also teaches children not to listen to the parent’s pleasant

tone of voice. Children become conditioned to wait for the

angry tone by their frustrated parents. “Why don’t you ever listen

to me?!”

When parents lose their tempers, they often feel guilty. So, they

work hard at a softer, kind approach the next time.

“Hey, Sweetie, would you mind emptying the dishwasher?”

Sweetie, sensing the guilt and uncertainty, doesn’t respond.

Oops, here we go…



Well, probably 55 times per day per child, and if you are married,

double that figure. You, dear parent, have fallen into a trap,

and you are training your child to blame you when things go


What to do?

First of all, notice how many times you go to remind, direct

and take over before your children have a chance to think. Stop

yourself from doing this.

Second, if it is a family issue such as emptying the dishwasher,

it helps if the agreement of time was in place beforehand. Stand in

front of said child, smile, say “dishwasher.” Stay there, still smiling.

“It’s five o’clock, you said you would do it before four.” Tone

serious, face pleasant to neutral still standing there. Your body

language gets to say, I mean this, I’m here, it matters.

If it is a child’s responsibility that only really impacts the child,

why are you nagging? Your child will learn more from the natural

consequences if the consequences aren’t devastating. When the

natural consequence happens, don’t teach your child a lesson or

say, “I told you so.” That is another reason kids don’t listen.

Give your child true empathy, not the manipulative kind! “You

sound disappointed about your mark for the paper.” If you can

see that this is part of learning, you won’t be tempted to take the

problem over or feel sympathy. Sympathy makes kids feel incapable.

It also causes said parent to rescue.

Dr. Allison Rees is a parent educator, counsellor and coach at LIFE

Seminars (Living in Families Effectively),

Members receive unlimited access

to galleries and feature exhibitions


38 Island Parent Magazine

St. Margaret's School

St. Margaret's

St. Margaret's




Lucas Ave, Victoria BC

1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria BC

1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria BC

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