DEC 2020 / JAN 2021
Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 33 Years
How to Celebrate
the Small Things
3 Tips to
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
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 IslandParent.ca
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
and you could win a selection of
children’s books sent to your
grandchild every month
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.
DR. JILLIAN ROBERTS
From Pound Puppies to
Blockitecture Mega Sets,
this year’s Top Toys will keep
kids creative for months to come.
Need to Know
CHRISTINA VAN STARKENBURG
What’s for Dinner
Happy Families, Healthy Families
Preschool & Child Care Directory
Cut It Out!
DR. ALLISON REES
Tantrums & Language Learning
How miscommunications can be at
the root of tantrums more often
than you might think.
DR. CARLA HUDSON KAM
3 Tips to Reduce Stress
How to stay cool, calm and collected.
DR. RAZAN KHAN
Alistair Remy V (2)
& Oliver V (7)
How to Celebrate
the Small Things
3 Tips to
Jim Schneider Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Fast Editor email@example.com
Kristine Wickheim Account Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
RaeLeigh Buchanan Account Manager email@example.com
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 IslandParent.ca
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.
975 Fort Street, Victoria BC - 250-595-4905 - motheringtouch.ca
December 2020 / January 2021 5
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@
nicoleisraelphotography.com 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 AskSanta.com, 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 asksanta.com.
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 IslandParent.ca
Santa Bus is
coming to town!
December 11 & 12
} Ride free } Holiday decorations and music
For Santa Bus routes and schedules, visit bctransit.com
Stuff the Bus for Charity!
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
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 AdoptAClassroom.org.
Now Offering Curb-Side Pickups Current Hours: Tues–Sat 10am–5pm
3045–C Douglas 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 kids2030challenge.org.
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 gvfs.ca.
8 Island Parent Magazine IslandParent.ca
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
Rating Board (esrb.org) 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,
Performing Arts School
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit our website: www.stagesdance.com
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
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 IslandParent.ca
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.
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
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
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 | email@example.com | skam.ca
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
December 2020 / January 2021 13
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.
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
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.
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 IslandParent.ca
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?
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.
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 IslandParent.ca
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
Fri & Sat:
Follow Us on
5204 Sooke Road
December 2020 / January 2021 17
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 IslandParent.ca
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.
REGISTER TODAY AT:
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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION,
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
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 IslandParent.ca
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
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.
the “whole” child.
Registrations for 2021–22
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 IslandParent.ca
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 Greater Victoria Area.
Contact Michael Washington, Resource Recruitment | 250.544.1400 |www.niltuo.ca
If your child was born in 2016, it’s time to register them for 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 BerriesAndBarnacles.com.
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.
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
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 IslandParent.ca
(Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes)
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
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 IslandParent.ca
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
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
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
First Met United Church
Quadra & Balmoral
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
South Island Health Units
Gulf Islands 250-539-3099
(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)
Saltspring Island 250-538-4880
West Shore 250-519-3490
Central Island Health Units
Lake Cowichan 250-749-6878
Port Alberni 250-731-1315
North Island Health Units
Campbell River 250-850-2110
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 gov.bc.ca/gov/
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
• 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 IslandParent.ca
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
• Birth complications (e.g. lack of oxygen
• 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
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
West Shore 250-519-3490
Alison Love, M.Sc.,
RAUD, RHIP, is an audiologist
with the Vancouver
Island Health Authority.
CHILD YOUTH & FAMILY
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 IslandParent.ca
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
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
Running This July & August
Call (250) 384-3267, email: firstname.lastname@example.org,
Running or visit This us July at & www.stagesdance.com
Through these times
let’s be careful &
kind out there
Running This July & August
Through these times
let’s be careful &
kind out there
Call (250) 384-3267,
or visit us at
Through these times
let’s be careful &
kind out there
AN EXCITING NEW PROGRAM IS STARTING IN JANUARY 2021
AT THE HORTICULTURE CENTRE OF THE PACIFIC!
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
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!
Want to know more? Contact us at:
email@example.com or 778-679-4953
Welcome to our
Garden Nature Academy
for Pre-K Learners
Visit the Gardens at HCP, 505 Quayle Road, www.hcp.ca or firstname.lastname@example.org
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
email@example.com,or authentic Call (250) and 384-3267, legitimate” visit WhatsApp us at theories www.stagesdance.com
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 dontchangemuch.ca.
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
• 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
• 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: sites.google.com/sd63.bc.ca/sd63indigenoused/
For more free resources and activities: sierraclub.bc.ca/onlineclassroom.
Sierra Club BC works to support people stewarding abundant ecosystems
and a stable climate, while building resilient, equitable communities.
32 Island Parent Magazine IslandParent.ca
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
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. quadraticsound.com
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 stmarg.ca 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 stmarg.ca.
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. sd62.bc.ca
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’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 gvfs.ca.
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 bcchf.ca/event/
The Q’s Feed the Need, Mayfair Mall, corner of
Blanshard and Finlayson; 6am-9pm
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 ;
Esquimalt Recreation Centre Parking Lot, next
to Water/Adventure park, 3-5:30pm; Charity: Rainbow
Kitchen and TLC Fund for Kids
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:
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:
Galey Farms, 4150 Blenkinsop, Victoria; noon-
8pm; Charity: Saanich Food Bank and C-FAX
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
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 habitatvictoria.com.
34 Island Parent Magazine IslandParent.ca
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
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.
Appletree Preschool....................... 250-479-0292
French immersion preschool. Group child care programs.
30 months to school age. Christian centre.
Play Explore Learn and Grow in beautiful rural Metchosin.
Morning programs available for 3 and 4 year olds.
Contact our ECEs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or call for more
Camosun College Child Care
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
Fullobeans.ca 250-360-1148 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Educational Excellence to the Glory of God
If you’d like to be listed
in the Preschool &
Child Care Directory,
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. email@example.com.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. Wisewaysvictoria.com.
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! sidneypreschool.com.
Resource & Referral
Funded by the Province of BC
Your community’s best source
of child care information
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 IslandParent.ca
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
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. email@example.com.
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.
nightingalepreschool.com. 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
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. qms.bc.ca.
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 AspengroveSchool.ca
NANAIMO’ S JK–12 INTERNATIONAL
BACCALAUREATE WORLD SCHOOL
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. littlestardaycare.ca.
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
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
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
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…
“I ASKED YOU NICELY, HOW MANY TIMES TO I HAVE
TO REPEAT MYSELF?”
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), lifeseminars.com.
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38 Island Parent Magazine IslandParent.ca
St. Margaret's School
Lucas Ave, Victoria BC
1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria BC
1080 Lucas Ave, Victoria BC