Island Parent Magazine Dec-Jan 2023

Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 35 Years • Holiday Gift Guide • Simplifying Your Traditions • 2022 Family Favourites • Holiday Happenings • GRAND: A Special Feature for Grandparents

Vancouver Island’s Parenting Resource for 35 Years • Holiday Gift Guide • Simplifying Your Traditions • 2022 Family Favourites • Holiday Happenings • GRAND: A Special Feature for Grandparents


Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

DEC/JAN <strong>2023</strong><br />

Vancouver <strong>Island</strong>’s <strong>Parent</strong>ing Resource for 35 Years<br />


The 2022<br />

Family<br />

Favourites<br />

Results are Here<br />


GIFT<br />

GUIDE<br />

Inside:<br />

GRAND<br />

A Special Feature<br />

for Grandparents<br />

Simplifying<br />

Your<br />


Licensed child care facility with spots<br />

available for children aged 3-5 years.<br />

Contact us to book a tour today!<br />

Victoria Social Innovation Centre<br />

1004 North Park Street<br />

www.littlephoenixchildcare.ca<br />

director@littlephoenixchildcare.ca<br />

778-269-2273<br />

Delivering RESULTS<br />


Delivering RESULTS<br />


You Don't Have to "Go It Alone"<br />


We know academic results are important to<br />

Sylvan Insight<br />

you, so start the school year on the right foot.<br />



Assessment $49<br />

Sylvan students typically see up to two to three through September 30th<br />

We know academic results are important to you, so start the school year<br />

(regularly<br />

on<br />

$150)<br />


ACE THE NEXT times<br />


REPORT more growth in<br />

THAT<br />

CARD their math<br />


WITH and reading SYLVANCALL NOW<br />

the right foot. Sylvan students scores than typically if they see hadn't up come to two to Sylvan*. to three times Offer more valid at participatingThank you<br />

locations only. Expires<br />

growth * Proven, in their math personal and reading and intensive scores than tutoring if they hadn’t programs, come to Sylvan*. Free 09/30/2021.<br />

Act now to take control of this school year.<br />

Assessment<br />

for voting us<br />

online OR in-person<br />

Value $150 your #1<br />

* Highly customized learning Act now plan to take to ensure control your of this child school year.<br />

Sylvan of Vancouver <strong>Island</strong> Sylvan Insight<br />

Must<br />

Family<br />

mention<br />

Favourite<br />

masters skills in math, reading,<br />

1-800-EDUCATE<br />

writing and more Assessment Education $49<br />

offer at time of<br />

* Live online or in-person attention and learning timethrough September Service! 30th<br />

Sylvan of Vancouver <strong>Island</strong><br />

with expert, caring Sylvan-certified teachers<br />

(regularly booking $150)<br />

Offer valid at participating locations only. Cannot be<br />

*See the complete Sylvan Field Research Results at SylvanResearchInstitute.com.<br />

combined with any other discount or offer. One<br />

* Direct impact in classroom with school-aligned CALL NOW<br />

ow academic results are important to<br />

start the school year on the right foot.<br />

students typically see up to two to three<br />

ore growth in their math and reading<br />

than if they hadn't come to Sylvan*.<br />

*See the complete Sylvan Field Research Results at SylvanResearchInstitute.com<br />

assessment per family. Expires 11/15/20.<br />

curriculum<br />

Offer valid at participating<br />

locations only. Expires<br />

2 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> 09/30/2021.<br />

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

w to take control of this school year.<br />

Sylvan of Vancouver <strong>Island</strong>

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 3

DEC/JAN <strong>2023</strong><br />

Vancouver <strong>Island</strong>’s <strong>Parent</strong>ing Resource for 35 Years<br />



10<br />

Give Presents and Presence<br />


14<br />

Take Back Your Health<br />


16<br />

Raising Kids with<br />

a Healthy Body Image<br />


Features<br />

24<br />

Nobody’s Perfect<br />


26<br />

Family Favourites<br />

28<br />

Holiday Gift Guide<br />


32<br />

Holiday Happenings<br />

36<br />

The Reality of<br />

Adopting a Pet<br />


In Every<br />

Issue<br />

5<br />

Fast Forward<br />

SUE FAST<br />

6<br />

Need to Know<br />

12<br />

Moms’ POV<br />


13<br />

Businesses You<br />

Need to Know<br />

18<br />

What’s for Dinner<br />


20<br />

Kids’ Reads<br />


22<br />

Cut It Out!<br />


30<br />

Dadspeak<br />


GRAND<br />

A Special Feature<br />

for Grandparents<br />

40<br />

Smart Kids &<br />

Smart Phones<br />


42<br />

Setting Up a Meal Train<br />


44<br />

Connecting with<br />

Teenage Grandkids<br />


46<br />

Sunday Crafternoon<br />


33<br />

Preschool &<br />

Child Care Directory<br />

34<br />

Nature Notes<br />


37<br />

Family Resource Directory<br />

On the<br />

Cover<br />

Amelia T (2)<br />

Photo by<br />

Kimberley Kufaas<br />

kimberleykufaas.com<br />

The 2022<br />

Family<br />

Favourites<br />

Results are Here<br />

Inside:<br />

GRAND<br />

A Special Feature<br />

for Grandparents<br />


GIFT<br />

GUIDE<br />

Simplifying<br />

Your<br />

Traditions<br />

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A proud member of<br />

BC<br />

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


Getting Hygge With It<br />

Okay, so it’s pronounced “hooga”—not higgy—and it’s<br />

nothing new (unless you’ve been busy raising kids for<br />

the past few years!), hygge, that state of cozy contentment,<br />

can feel near impossible when it comes to parenting.<br />

Meltdown on aisle four? Not feeling it.<br />

Food flinging across the kitchen and sliding down the wall?<br />

Nope, still no warm and fuzzies.<br />

Three-sailing wait? Can’t say the car is feeling so cozy or<br />

comfortable right about now.<br />

But don’t stress says Iben Sandahl, parenting expert and author<br />

of The Danish Way of <strong>Parent</strong>ing: A Guide to Raising the<br />

Happiest Kids in the World, getting hygge is as easy as lighting<br />

a candle, making some hot chocolate, sitting down with your<br />

kids and giving them your full attention.<br />

At the risk of adding stress to the process, here’s a list of Dos<br />

and Don’ts that Sandahl recommends to help you set the mood:<br />

Don’t say “Now we’re really going to hygge”—there will be<br />

too many expectations that can block the mere presence of it.<br />

Hygge is an intangible concept, something that occurs in the<br />

moment and is therefore difficult to stage.<br />

Do leave personal drama at the door. There are other times<br />

to focus on any problems you may be having. Hygge is about<br />

creating a safe place to relax with your family.<br />

Don’t use iPhones or devices. Turn them off or put them<br />

away. By giving children our full attention, we make the time<br />

afterwards much easier as they are then usually ready to do<br />

something without our interacting.<br />

Do make it a daily/weekly routine. It makes kids feel safe and<br />

they will know that it is associated with something nice and<br />

comfortable.<br />

Do make an effort to create a nice cozy atmosphere. Light<br />

some candles, play a game or bake, for example. Part of the<br />

process is the preparations you do together.<br />

So no matter what you call it—hygge, hibernating or just<br />

plain hanging out at home—here’s to finding comfort and joy<br />

this holiday season with those you love.<br />

Happy Holidays and all the best in <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

Thanks for voting us a Family Favourite Childcare!<br />

Happy Holidays<br />

from the educators at<br />

Lexie’s Little Bears Child Care!<br />

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer<br />

is singing loud for all to hear!” – Elf<br />

lexieslittlebears.ca<br />

Waitlist: 250-590-3603<br />

Programs for Infants/Toddlers/Pre-school Age.<br />

BC Award of Excellence in Childcare & Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence in Early Childhood Education.<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 5


Kids Write<br />

4 Kids<br />

National youth education charity, Ripple Foundation,<br />

is calling Canadian children and youth in grades four<br />

to eight to put pen to paper and submit their literary<br />

creations to its 11th annual Kids Write 4 Kids contest,<br />

a one-of-a-kind national competition that sees winners<br />

become published authors before high school. Winner(s)<br />

will see their works published in ebook and paperback<br />

editions, with 100% of book sale proceeds benefitting<br />

a charity of their choice. This is a great opportunity<br />

for aspiring young writers to put their work in front of<br />

a panel of accomplished authors, editors and publishers.<br />

Winners announced in Summer <strong>2023</strong>.<br />

ripplefoundation.ca<br />

The Gift of<br />

The Nutcracker<br />

This Victoria family tradition has everything you<br />

expect from a Ballet Victoria production. An original<br />

Christmas tale danced to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score<br />

of The Nutcracker played by the Victoria Symphony.<br />

The production boasts lively dance, hilarious pantomime,<br />

beautiful costumes, magic and as always,<br />

surprises for the whole family. The live music drives<br />

the imaginative choreography for the company<br />

dancers as well as over 30 local young ballet<br />

students. Watch the story come alive and enthral<br />

the whole family with Holiday Cheer. <strong>Dec</strong>ember 28<br />

and 29 at 7:30pm, and <strong>Dec</strong>ember 30 at 2pm.<br />

balletvictoria.ca<br />

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

Backpack<br />

Project<br />

To help those living on the streets<br />

in the capital region, drop off warm<br />

clothing, sleeping bags, tents and food<br />

at 12 of the region’s municipal halls.<br />

Donation boxes are accessible<br />

Monday to Friday during business<br />

hours until <strong>Dec</strong>ember 23. Participating<br />

municipalities include: Central<br />

Saanich, North Saanich, Sidney,<br />

Langford, Colwood, Victoria, Highlands,<br />

Metchosin, Oak Bay, Esquimalt,<br />

Re/Max in Langford, Saanich, View<br />

Royal and Sooke. Accessible 24/7:<br />

Fairfield Gonzales Community Centre.<br />

For a list of needed items or ways<br />

to donate cash and gift cards, visit<br />

instagram.com/p/<br />

CkmhRwULcfW/?hl=en.<br />

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

Catholic<br />

Schools<br />

Keeps<br />

Christ in<br />

Christmas!<br />

Christ centered<br />

communities of<br />

learning…educating<br />

the “whole” child.<br />

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

Queen of Angels School, Duncan<br />

St. Joseph’s School, Victoria<br />

St. Patrick’s School, Victoria<br />

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

Registrations for <strong>2023</strong>–24 being accepted.<br />

250-727-6893<br />

www.cisdv.bc.ca<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 7

Even the Odds<br />

Staples Canada has partnered with MAP to “Even the Odds,” helping<br />

eliminate inequities in communities across Canada. Household income,<br />

education and experiences of discrimination strongly affect our odds<br />

of staying healthy. Even the Odds will fund research and solutions to<br />

make the future fair for everyone. This year, Staples has created a Pep<br />

Rally “Inspiration Pack,” available in-store now for $7.98. All proceeds<br />

from Inspiration Pack sales will support MAP initiatives.<br />

staples.ca/a/content/even-the-odds<br />

Home Energy<br />

Navigator<br />

Program<br />

The Capital Regional District (CRD) has launched<br />

the Home Energy Navigator program, designed to<br />

streamline home energy upgrades in the region’s<br />

single-family homes. The Home Energy Navigator<br />

Program helps residents undertake low carbon<br />

home energy retrofits and take advantage of government<br />

and utility incentives. Connect with an Energy<br />

Concierge, who is then available throughout<br />

a retrofit to answer questions, provide support and<br />

give local, expert advice and guidance to navigate<br />

the complex world of home energy retrofits.<br />

homeenergynav.ca<br />

Hansel & Gretel<br />

The wicked witch Belladonna Nightshade LOVES<br />

children…but only when they’re cooked! She’s got<br />

her eye on sweet Hansel and Gretel. Can Fairy Willow<br />

Wonder Wand and the good people of PantoLand save<br />

the children before they become her dinner? Hansel<br />

and Gretel by Helen Gard runs select evenings and<br />

matinees from <strong>Dec</strong> 16–31. All tickets $18 available<br />

at nanaimotheatregroup.ca.<br />

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

LEGO<br />

Annual<br />

Art Show<br />

“What Goes Around” is<br />

the theme at this year’s<br />

show, featuring artful<br />

creations made by local<br />

youth, students and families.<br />

Presented by the Cowichan<br />

Valley Arts Council<br />

Cowichan Community<br />

Council and Red Balloon<br />

Toyshop, this Christmas<br />

time LEGO show will captivate<br />

young and old imaginations<br />

alike and inspire<br />

attendees to “think outside<br />

the box” when they’re<br />

building their own LEGO<br />

creations.<br />

cowichanvalleyartscouncil.ca<br />

Thank you for<br />

voting us your #1<br />

Family Favourite<br />

Toy Store!<br />

I am proud<br />

to continue<br />

my support<br />

of parents,<br />

families and<br />

youth in<br />

Oak Bay-<br />

Gordon Head.<br />

2494 Beacon Avenue<br />

Sidney<br />

www.buddiestoys.ca<br />

MLA Murray Rankin<br />

Oak Bay – Gordon Head<br />

Murray.Rankin.MLA@leg.bc.ca 250-472-8528<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 9

SHOP<br />

Give Presents and Presence<br />

Gift giving is not about the gift. It is an expression of love,<br />

gratitude, appreciation and generosity. Material items are<br />

often the “go to” but we underestimate gifts of presence, calm,<br />

time and energy.<br />

This year, thoughtfully combine gifts of experience with<br />

something to enrich it! Enjoy these seven ideas for all ages:<br />

Owl prowl. When darkness falls early and you can protect<br />

bedtime, go outside! Gift kids the experience of a neighbourhood<br />

walk at dusk. Listen for owls like the more common<br />

Barred and Great Horned species. You don’t need to be an expert.<br />

Enjoy the chance to experience your senses at night. You’ll<br />

probably notice bats and other nocturnal creatures!<br />

Gift item: Reflective vest, armband light, or head lamp. Give<br />

a membership to organizations like the Rocky Point Observatory<br />

and enjoy an event together like owl banding at night.<br />

Throw in a thermos and hot chocolate with marshmallows,<br />

too.<br />

Pebble hunt. Gift a rock hunting experience! A beach day<br />

or two is plenty of time to collect volcanic rock, basalt, chert,<br />

mica schist, quartz and more. You’ll learn to identify rocks and<br />

look at stones, rocks and pebbles in a whole new way.<br />

Gift item: A Field Guide to the Identification of Pebbles by<br />

Eileen Van der Flier Keller, a magnifying glass or pocket scope,<br />

and decorative treasure box. Also consider a Rock and Mineral<br />

Test Kit. The University of Victoria bookstore sells a kit with<br />

basic tools for hands-on rock, mineral and fossil identification.<br />

The kit includes “a streak plate, glass plate, hand lens, dropper<br />

bottle, magnet, nail, penny (from more recent decades) and<br />

a harness scale in a resealable transparent pouch.” Might as<br />

well also throw in a copy of Everybody Need a Rock by Byrd<br />

Baylor.<br />

It takes time to practice generosity but being<br />

generous is the best use of our time. – Thich Nhat Hanh<br />

Tide pooling. We are blessed with countless beaches and tide<br />

pools. Vancouver <strong>Island</strong> is home to many species of sea stars,<br />

crustaceans, mollusks, segmented worms, seaweed and more.<br />

Treat the children in your life to a day of tide pool viewing. A<br />

trip to Botanical Beach guarantees lifelong memories. Always<br />

check the tide table and road conditions first. Do not remove<br />

any critters!<br />

Gift item: Marine Life of British Columbia Field Sheets by<br />

David S. Young.<br />

Sky watch. Light pollution, a side effect of the industrial<br />

revolution, has our cities glowing at night. Plan a late-night<br />

escape to the countryside to watch the stars in your pajamas.<br />

Or book a camping trip and stay up to star gaze.<br />

Gift item: Star finder or star wheel. It’s a multilayered cardboard<br />

disk that lets you dial in the current date and time. Then<br />

you can see a map of the naked-eye sky at that exact moment!<br />

Also, source a few books or field guides to the stars.<br />

Felt together. Needle felting is a great way to be creative<br />

and reduce stress, and anxiety. It’s also a lot of fun to do with<br />

someone you love.<br />

Gift item: Buy pre-made beginner felting kits from a local<br />

fiber store or wool shop. Or, gift a workshop series with in person<br />

instruction.<br />

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

Dye Ukrainian eggs (pysanky). For the artist in you, those<br />

reclaiming their Ukrainian roots and those seeking to support<br />

Ukraine. This ancient pass time decorates eggs with symbols to<br />

carry meaning and good wishes is both fun and challenging. It’s<br />

a peaceful way to connect with family or friends.<br />

Gift item: Buy a beginner pysanky kit which comes with<br />

dyes, a kistka, beeswax and instructions. Check out options<br />

from UkrainianEggcessories.com and check out books from the<br />

library to learn more.<br />

Carve as a family. Choose your favourite animal to carve<br />

from soapstone. This hands-on activity is rewarding and excellent<br />

to do as a family. It’s a lovely keepsake for time well spent,<br />

together.<br />

Gift: Studiostone Creative kits have everything you need.<br />

They are made in Vancouver and are usually for 8 years old<br />

and up.<br />

Lindsay Coulter is a writer, educator, facilitator,<br />

naturalist, community catalyst, soul activist,<br />

mentor, and dedicated mother of two. She’s the<br />

Director of Communications, Culture and Community<br />

at EPIC Learning Centre, a forest and nature<br />

school in Victoria. Find her @SaneAction on Instagram<br />

and Facebook.<br />

Active.<br />

Creative.<br />

Connected.<br />

Recreation<br />

for all.<br />

Opportunities for kids of all ages:<br />

Learn to Skate<br />

Tot Hockey<br />

Power Skating<br />

Swim Lessons<br />

Lifeguard Training<br />

Piano<br />

Ballet<br />

Dungeons and Dragons<br />

Plus,<br />

opportunities<br />

for adults<br />

of all ages<br />

too!<br />

Babysitter and Home Alone Classes<br />

Pro-D Day and Spring Break Camps<br />


victoria.ca/recreation 250.361.0732<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 11

MOM’SPOV<br />

Letting Go of<br />

Holiday Expectations<br />

Let’s imagine for a minute: What would it be like if this<br />

holiday season and beyond, into <strong>2023</strong>, we all collectively<br />

let go of expectations—those we have of others<br />

and, especially, of ourselves. Now I don’t mean expectations<br />

of good behaviour and basic responsibility, being kind and<br />

courteous, following safety rules, etc. I mean all the extras:<br />

the unspoken “shoulds” and the blatantly broadcast Instaimpossibilities.<br />

Pressure to over-perform, whether at work, at home or<br />

socially is real, and it can be suffocating. The feeling is especially<br />

profound at this time of year.<br />

Before every holiday season I try to give myself a little<br />

pep talk, reminders that the most important “things” are<br />

not things at all, and that it doesn’t need to be about endless<br />

baking or crafting or shopping.<br />

However, as the season nears, I inevitably feel my anxiety<br />

stirring: “Am I doing enough? Have I put enough thought<br />

and effort into this gift to make up for the fact that it isn’t<br />

expensive? Will there be enough magical moments and core<br />

memory-making for my son?<br />

Will it ever be enough? Will I ever be enough?”<br />

Spending any amount of time-consuming modern media<br />

can certainly trigger and amplify these doubts. I know I’m a<br />

good mom, and my son’s safety, growth and happiness are<br />

my top priorities. I work hard to make sure he thrives and<br />

knows he is loved. My family and friends know I love them<br />

and I am here for them. I am kind and as generous as my<br />

means allow.<br />

But even if I try to look at this objectively, all it takes is<br />

a few minutes on social media seeing what other moms are<br />

doing and I’m chastising myself for not doing more, more,<br />

more!<br />

These are challenging times. Many are cinching financial<br />

belts a little tighter, and the pandemic has also inspired a lot<br />

of us to re-examine where we spend our soul-energy. Do we<br />

grind ourselves to death to do All. The. Things. or do we<br />

give more time to the experiences and people who bring us<br />

joy and recharge our batteries instead of draining them?<br />

And do people we care about need us to turn ourselves<br />

inside-out to produce tangible “proof” that we love them,<br />

just because it is a particular time of year?<br />

Absolutely not.<br />

When I look way, WAY back to when I was my son’s age,<br />

my best memories are not those of how many “must-do”<br />

activities we crammed in over the holidays, or how perfect<br />

the table settings looked at Christmas dinner, or whether the<br />

Elf-on-the-Shelf entertained us sufficiently with its nightly<br />

hi-jinx. No way. I remember my grandpa’s jokes, my family’s<br />

laughter, my mom’s delicious baking (that she made because<br />

she actually loves baking), the comfort of recycled decorations<br />

and familiar rituals and the warmth of being together.<br />

I don’t remember many of the presents I’ve received dur-<br />

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



These local businesses are family-focused and<br />

committed to our community and helping you.<br />

P iano Lessons<br />

for your child or teen<br />

in your home<br />

ing my life, but I definitely remember how people have<br />

been present for me, with me. It’s such a clichéd statement:<br />

“Bring your “presence,” not “presents,” but I think a lot<br />

of us (including me!) need to re-examine this idea, that we<br />

don’t have to show up for people with all the doo-dads,<br />

bells, whistles and trimmings. We just have to really, authentically<br />

show up. And not just for the holidays, but<br />

throughout the year.<br />

For me, this means checking in with people I love and<br />

spending time with them. Not having to have “something<br />

to do,” but just being there, together, doing everyday<br />

things or even nothing at all. This means listening to each<br />

other and helping where we can. This means not making<br />

myself cranky by overburdening myself with extra things<br />

I think I “should” do because everyone else is and instead<br />

soaking up the moments I have with my family and friends<br />

as they are, right now.<br />

My son would likely not remember the hours of planning<br />

and work I could put into craft projects or perfectly<br />

colour-co-ordinated decorations. He would remember that<br />

Mama was busy and stressed out and doing things that he<br />

couldn’t be a part of.<br />

Instead, I believe (and hope) he will remember all the<br />

games I play with him (that he usually beats me at), our<br />

rock-hounding adventures on the beach and hopefully our<br />

nightly stories when he snuggles in and we go on adventures<br />

together within the pages of a favourite book. These<br />

things don’t get as much of a chance to happen when there<br />

is too much doing, doing, doing and stuff, stuff, stuff.<br />

This year I remind myself that going overboard does not<br />

make someone feel more special, or more loved. Connection<br />

does. So we might not have a Pintrest-worthy holiday<br />

display or piles of gifts, or particularly remarkable adventures<br />

to recount, but we will have laughter, and joy, and<br />

lots of love with our special people. And I think that is<br />

absolutely enough.<br />

www.musicalia.ca<br />

250-888-2432<br />

Serving Oak Bay and communities close by<br />

Tired of packing lunches? Try a<br />

weekly delivery of school lunches!<br />




Kelly McQuillan is a writer, musician, teacher<br />

and fledgling mother living in Comox.<br />

kellymcquillanwriter.weebly.com,<br />

music teacher: kellymcquillan.com.<br />

ThisWeeksLunch.com/<br />

How-It-Works<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 13

HEALTH<br />

Take Back Your Health<br />

When your kid is sick, you don’t hesitate to do anything<br />

you can to make them feel better. You also<br />

probably try your best to keep up with all their well<br />

visits at the doctor. But when it comes to yourself, you may<br />

ignore your health and put off needed tests. Or you’re unaware<br />

that some of these tests are even recommended for you. This<br />

can especially be true if you don’t have a family physician—<br />

which unfortunately is the case for roughly 900,000 British<br />

Columbians!<br />

Do not put your health off any longer! There are some important<br />

tests you need to get to stay on top of any health issues—and<br />

you can access them even if you don’t currently have<br />

a family physician. Remember, early detection and prevention<br />

can help save your life!<br />

Cervix<br />

Regular Cervical Screening (typically referred to as a PAP<br />

test) is recommended for anyone who has a cervix. These<br />

screenings should be done every three years starting when you<br />

become sexually active or age 25, whichever comes first, right<br />

up to age 69. If you have a family history or have had previous<br />

issues with your cervix, it’s recommended that you get tested<br />

more frequently.<br />

If you don’t have a family doctor, PAP tests can often be<br />

booked at local walk-in clinics or urgent care centres by phoning<br />

them directly or visiting their websites. Depending on which<br />

community you live in there may also be women’s health clinics<br />

or sexual health centres you can visit for cervical screening.<br />

Breasts<br />

The BC Cancer Agency recommends that anyone with<br />

breasts get a mammogram every two years starting at age 40.<br />

You DO NOT need a doctor’s referral to get a mammogram!<br />

Simply visit the BC Cancer Breast Screening website to find the<br />

screening location near you. Or phone the number listed to find<br />

out when the mobile screening unit will be in your area. If you<br />

have a family history of breast cancer you may wish to speak to<br />

your family doctor, a telehealth doctor or a walk-in clinic doctor<br />

about early screening.<br />

Colon<br />

After age 50 everyone should start having regular FIT tests<br />

(Fecal immunochemical test). These tests can be done quickly<br />

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

and easily in your own home with a kit you pick up from a<br />

local laboratory. You will need a doctor’s referral to access a<br />

FIT test kit, and this can be acquired by a telehealth doctor or<br />

walk-in clinic if you don’t have a family doctor.<br />

Lungs<br />

Not everyone needs lung cancer screening. However, if you<br />

are over the age of 55 and are a current smoker or have a 20-<br />

year history of smoking at any time in the past you should be<br />

screened.<br />

If you believe you are eligible for lung cancer screening or<br />

have questions talk to a doctor or call the BC Lung Screening<br />

Program at 1-877-717-5864.<br />

Skin<br />

It’s recommended that everyone self-checks their skin at least<br />

twice a year, starting as young as possible. Make note of any<br />

suspicious moles or spots and take pictures of them to see if<br />

they change over time. Have a loved one help you check your<br />

scalp, back and other areas you can’t see properly.<br />

If you notice a mole has changed or find one that looks suspicious<br />

see a doctor for assessment. Go to your family doctor<br />

or walk-in clinic, if possible. However, a telehealth doctor can<br />

assess your skin from digital pictures you send them, plus they<br />

can refer you to someone in your area if they cannot make a<br />

proper diagnosis online.<br />

There are several skin cancer screening clinics throughout<br />

BC, however, most do charge for the screening unless you have<br />

a history of abnormal moles and/or are referred by a doctor.<br />

Mental Health<br />

If you feel yourself struggling with depression, anxiety and/or<br />

any other mental health issue don’t hesitate to get help. Consult<br />

with your family doctor, a walk-in clinic doctor or a telehealth<br />

doctor to get advice. Or you can visit AnxietyCanada.com or<br />

call either 310-6789 or 811 at any time to access resources.<br />

811<br />

811 is a particularly important number for everyone to remember.<br />

It gives you a 24-hour hotline to a nurse, as well as<br />

access to nutritionists and pharmacists. The staff at 811 can<br />

give medical information and advice, connect you with an online<br />

doctor in urgent situations and provide any other physical<br />

or mental health resources you may need. If you do not have a<br />

regular health care provider, the staff at 811 can help you get<br />

on a waitlist for a physician or nurse practitioner.<br />

Erika Palmer is a writer living in Victoria with<br />

her husband and daughter. She believes most<br />

problems can be solved with a good cup of tea<br />

and a huge piece of chocolate.<br />





Buy online at imaxvictoria.com/annual-pass or in person at our box office<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 15

HEALTH<br />

Raising Kids with a<br />

Healthy Body Image<br />

At the onset of a new year, we find<br />

ourselves setting intentions and<br />

making goals for the twelve months<br />

to come. Many of us may want to get<br />

“back on track” with fitness or perhaps<br />

even set a weight goal for the new<br />

year. I often think about how the goals<br />

we set as adults, and the surrounding<br />

cyclone of body-centric messaging on<br />

the covers of magazines, on the radio<br />

and online every <strong>Jan</strong>uary affects the<br />

growing minds and perspectives of our<br />

children.<br />

Body image is far from just a “girls”<br />

issue’ or a “women’s issue.” In fact,<br />

in my practice I have seen many boys<br />

and men who have struggled with body<br />

image challenges and low self-esteem<br />

stemming from how they perceive their<br />

appearance. For girls and women, the<br />

issues tend to revolve around striving<br />

for an unattainable “standard” that<br />

usually involves being thin. For boys<br />

and men, it can be more about wanting<br />

to look muscular. Here are some<br />

suggestions I often share in my practice<br />

that you as a parent can take to support<br />

the development of a healthy body<br />

image in your child.<br />

Easy on the appearance-based<br />

praise<br />

As beautiful as we all know our children<br />

are, you don’t want your child to<br />

feel like they’re earning your love by<br />

being “pretty” or “handsome.” Children<br />

who receive a lot of appearancebased<br />

attention from parents can<br />

sometimes mistakenly create the connection<br />

that their looks are connected<br />

with their worth. Your child needs to<br />

feel loved for who they are, for their<br />

internal self, with no strings attached,<br />

ever. Outward appearance takes many<br />

shapes and forms; everyone is unique<br />

and that’s part of what makes the<br />

world interesting. I suggest aiming for<br />

the “five to one rule”: for every time<br />

you give an appearance-based compliment,<br />

for the next five compliments,<br />

focus on inner qualities like: a positive<br />

attitude, diligence, creativity, empathy,<br />

intelligence or compassion.<br />

Stay current and show an interest<br />

in your child’s life<br />

To support healthy development,<br />

parents need to understand what’s<br />

going on in the life of their child, as<br />

well as what’s happening in the world<br />

around them. Think of it as keeping a<br />

barometer on what matters to them.<br />

How are they feeling, acting? Who are<br />

they playing with, what interests them?<br />

And what are their peers interested in?<br />

It might not seem like much, but simply<br />

staying current in the life of your child<br />

sets you up to be there for them in a<br />

meaningful way, like when it comes to<br />

body image.<br />

Establish smart boundaries,<br />

online and offline<br />

Boundaries have a lot to do with<br />

body image. Why? Because body image<br />

has a lot to do with what messages<br />

we’re willing to allow into our minds,<br />

and the power we choose to give those<br />

images we see and the words we hear.<br />

Keep an eye on the apps, games and<br />

social media your child is using, watching<br />

for content or even online friendships<br />

that might be doing more harm<br />

than good. Don’t be afraid to enforce<br />

standards—uninstall an app or game<br />

if you don’t think it’s appropriate, and<br />

take the time to explain your rationale<br />

to your child in a loving, blame-free<br />

way. You can also have conversations<br />

with your child about balance, about<br />

not exclusively liking things, commenting<br />

on things, posting things, that are<br />

appearance-driven.<br />

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

Learn a new sport or refine<br />

your skills: come join our<br />

rock climbing teams!<br />

Nurture relationships IRL<br />

When kids are developing relationships<br />

with others, they’re practicing<br />

empathy, they’re paying attention to the<br />

wants and needs of another and they’re<br />

considering community.<br />

There’s no better time to build this<br />

intrinsically-motivated foundation<br />

than during childhood. That’s because<br />

they’re still developing that schema,<br />

the operating system, hardwiring them<br />

to engage with the world in a positive<br />

way. Raising your child to see the<br />

world as a community, and them being<br />

an active participant—a change agent<br />

who is connected and belonging—will<br />

help to instill that sense of purpose<br />

that guards against preoccupation with<br />

superficial things like appearance. Ultimately,<br />

encouraging friendships is a<br />

moderating factor for a healthy self image,<br />

but it also helps reframe the narrative<br />

about “what really matters.”<br />

Registration<br />

for recreational<br />

and competitive<br />

teams open now.<br />

All levels<br />

welcome!<br />

Ages 6–18.<br />

Details and registration at climbtheboulders.com<br />

The Boulders Climbing Gym<br />

1627 Stelly’s Cross Road | Saanichton, BC | 250.544.0310<br />

Despite the gains made with “body<br />

positive” messaging, and a general<br />

move as a society towards embracing<br />

diversity and celebrating differences, we<br />

still have a long way to go. Supporting<br />

your child’s development while modeling<br />

body-positive behaviour will help<br />

mitigate against negative body image<br />

influences as they progress into their<br />

teens. And what better time to start<br />

than the new year?<br />

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

UVic professor and mother. She is the author of<br />

Kids, Sex and Screens: Raising Strong, Resilient<br />

Children in the Sexualized Digital<br />

Age and CEO and founder<br />

of MindKey Health mental<br />

health clinics with locations<br />

in Victoria, Sidney and soonto-be<br />

in the Western Communities.<br />

drjillianroberts.com<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 17


Simplifying Your Traditions<br />

It’s easy to get caught up in the too muchness that comes<br />

with this time of year. Regardless of your personal holiday<br />

traditions, there are gifts for teachers, cards to be mailed,<br />

travel planning, parties and concerts. Once you get caught up<br />

in the whole winter season it can be hard to find that bit of<br />

space to relax.<br />

In the past, my husband and I found our bit of space by<br />

dividing up the children’s concerts (one year we had five concerts<br />

in a span of two weeks). We’ve likewise juggled our party<br />

invitations. And last year we bought absolutely everyone the<br />

same gift (coffee shop gift cards work for teachers and grandparents)!<br />

Here are three recipes that are designed for both comfort and<br />

relaxation. They are simple, healthy and delicious. Perfect for<br />

adding a bit of serenity to the season.<br />

Light & Frothy 5-Minute Eggnog<br />

(Time: 5 minutes)<br />

Whether you love store-bought eggnog or not, this recipe is for you.<br />

While the ingredients and flavours are similar to a carton of eggnog,<br />

this frothy drink is pretty different from the custard-based eggnog you<br />

are probably used to. Best of all, it only takes 5 minutes to prepare! It’s<br />

sure to be a new holiday favourite.<br />

4 eggs (separated into yolks and whites)<br />

1 ⁄3 cup of powdered sugar, to taste<br />

2 cups milk<br />

1 cup whipping cream<br />

1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg<br />

1. Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in a large bowl, and the<br />

whites in a container for whipping. (My stand mixer has a bowl, but a<br />

tall sided measuring cup works as well).<br />

2. Beat egg yolks with a whisk until the colour starts to lighten (about<br />

1 minute).<br />

3. Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved.<br />

4. Stir in milk, cream, and nutmeg.<br />

5. Whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Don’t over mix or<br />

the foam will collapse. This is much quicker using an electric eggbeater<br />

or stand mixer. Just make sure your bowl has tall sides or it may splash<br />

as you whip.<br />

6. When the egg whites are a nice thick foam, gently fold them into<br />

the egg yolk mixture. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve within<br />

3 hours. This recipe uses a lot less sugar than traditional eggnog, so if<br />

it’s not sweet enough, feel free to add a dusting of icing sugar.<br />

7. This recipe contains raw eggs, so it is not recommended for pregnant<br />

women, children under the age of 1 year, or anyone who may be<br />

immunocompromised.<br />

Cheesy Green Pancakes<br />

Vegetable and cheese pancakes for dinner? Yes please! This easy<br />

meal packs all the food groups into a form that kids love. If you think<br />

your kids might balk at the onion and garlic, then feel free to skip it. But<br />

it really adds a lot of flavour to these pancakes.<br />

Pancakes<br />

1 bunch of greens 3 Tbsp of diced onion<br />

(chard, kale or spinach) 1 clove of garlic<br />

3 eggs 1 cup of ricotta or cottage cheese<br />

2 Tbsp oil 1⁄2 cup flour<br />

1 ⁄2 tsp salt<br />

Toppings<br />

Cheddar cheese Sliced tomato<br />

Scrambled eggs Sour cream<br />

Bacon bits Diced green onion<br />

1. Wash and trim the greens, removing the stems. You want about 3<br />

cups of loosely packed greens.<br />

2. Place the greens in a blender with the onion and garlic. Add the<br />

eggs, cheese and oil. Blend until the greens are fully pureed. Add the<br />

flour and salt. Pulse a few more times to fully mix.<br />

3. Warm a frying pan on medium heat.<br />

4. Pour in 1 ⁄4 cup of batter.<br />

5. The pancake is ready to flip when it is bubbling in the middle and<br />

dry around the edges. Flip, then cook the other side for about 1 minute.<br />

6. Serve immediately or keep warm in a 300°F oven until all the pancakes<br />

are ready to serve.<br />

7. We enjoy eating these pancakes like open-faced sandwiches with<br />

cheese, tomato and egg. They’re also delicious with baked potato toppings.<br />

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

Thank you for<br />

your continued<br />

Love and Support!<br />

Turkish Red Lentil Soup (Time: 30 minutes)<br />

I first encountered this particular red lentil soup when cycling<br />

through northern Turkey. It was the only thing available for dinner at<br />

the local bar/restaurant/cafe that was the only place to eat in the small<br />

town where we were staying. At the time, it felt the most amazing dish I<br />

had ever enjoyed. Likely a healthy dose of hunger was one of the main<br />

ingredients. Regardless, it is still one of my favourite comfort meals.<br />

A simple, one-pot dish that is warmly flavoured (without being too<br />

spicy). The red paprika oil isn’t necessary, but it does add a bit of seasonality<br />

to this otherwise very easy dish.<br />

Soup:<br />

1 ⁄4 cup olive oil 2 large onions<br />

2 large carrots 1 can of tomato paste<br />

1 Tbsp cumin 2 tsp paprika<br />

1 tsp dried mint 1 ⁄2 tsp thyme<br />

1 ⁄2 tsp oregano 1 ⁄2 tsp black pepper<br />

2 cups red lentils 4 cups water<br />

4 cups broth 1 tsp salt, to taste<br />

Red paprika oil:<br />

1 ⁄4 cup olive oil 1 Tbsp paprika (sweet or hot)<br />

1 ⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes<br />

1. Chop the onion and carrots. They don’t need to be finely diced as<br />

the soup is pureed before serving.<br />

2. Saute the vegetables in olive oil until the onions are sweating,<br />

about 3 minutes.<br />

3. Add in the herbs and spices and toss to coat the vegetables. Then<br />

add in the tomato paste, stir and cook for 1 minute.<br />

4. Add in the lentils, water, broth and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce<br />

the heat to medium. Cover the pot halfway with the lid and leave<br />

it to simmer until the lentils have fallen apart, about 15 minutes.<br />

5. Meanwhile, make the paprika oil by mixing the oil, paprika and red<br />

pepper flakes together in a small pot. Warm the oil on medium until you<br />

see the paprika just starting to bubble, immediately remove from the<br />

heat and set aside.<br />

6. When the lentils are cooked, puree the soup with a stick blender<br />

or traditional blender. Taste and add more salt if necessary. The exact<br />

amount will depend on the saltiness of the broth.<br />

7. Serve with a drizzle of paprika oil.<br />

250-590-9298<br />

We’re locally<br />

owned and<br />

currently<br />

1563 Pandora Ave<br />

Victoria BC V8R 6P9<br />

Nurture Your Natural Curiosity<br />

Guided Nature Outings & Events<br />

Learn about the fascinating natural and cultural history of the<br />

region from CRD Parks Naturalists and Cultural Programmers.<br />

> Educational and interactive guided walks and drop-in events<br />

> Free or low cost for a variety of ages and abilities<br />

Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with<br />

her two busy children. You can find more of her<br />

recipes in her recently released cookbook<br />

Fermenting Made Simple. fermentingforfoodies.com<br />

Check out the full calendar at www.crd.bc.ca/parks<br />

Capital Regional District | Regional Parks<br />

@crd_bc | CapitalRegionalDistrict<br />

crdparks@crd.bc.ca | 250.478.3344<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 19


The Magic of Make-Believe<br />

Do you regularly hear your child complain about bedtime<br />

and having to go to sleep? Then perhaps it’s time for your<br />

child to think about how the bed feels when it hears that<br />

night after night after night. Time for Bed’s Story by Monica<br />

Arnaldo (Kids Can Press, 2020) gives you just that. A story<br />

by the sticker-covered springboard about how kicking and<br />

the drooling makes it very hard for bed to sleep at night.<br />

And all Bed wants is for its child to think of Bed’s feelings<br />

when it’s bedtime. For ages 4 to 7.<br />

Ray by Marianna Coppo (Tundra, 2020), is all about a<br />

lightbulb named Ray. His life in the closet is pretty boring,<br />

so boring that he often slips into dreamless sleeps. Until one<br />

day something magical happens and Ray’s life is forever<br />

changed. This story is a beautifully illustrated tale about the<br />

wonders of the outdoors and the magical powers of imagination.<br />

For ages 4 to 7.<br />

Once your child’s imagination has been woken up, they<br />

might like some ideas about how to get their ideas out of<br />

their minds and into the world for others to enjoy. If that’s<br />

the case, then Studio: A Place for Art to Start by Emily Arrow<br />

and illustrated by Little Friends of Printmaking could<br />

be a good book for you. This brightly coloured tale follows<br />

some bunnies around as they learn about different kinds of<br />

art and the studios where they’re made as they try to find the<br />

perfect place for them to make their own art. For ages 4 to<br />

7.<br />

Imagine you and your family are home one day and suddenly<br />

the power goes out. You tell the kids not to worry<br />

because it’ll be back on in a moment. But then that moment<br />

stretches and to them it feels like an eternity has passed<br />

and the lights are still out.<br />

How do you pass the time?<br />

In some cultures and families, you’d tell stories. If you<br />

don’t think your imagination is up to the task of coming up<br />

with a tale, I bet your kids could. And if they can’t, here are<br />

a few stories about dreams and imaginings that might spark<br />

your own creativity.<br />

Story Boat by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Rashin<br />

Kheiriyeh (Tundra, 2020) highlights the wonders of a young<br />

refugee child’s imagination as they travel across the water to<br />

find somewhere to belong. Kheiriyeh’s drawings are captivating<br />

as Rashin turns ideas about what “here” means into cozy<br />

cups of tea and ceramic sailboats with apricot blanket sails<br />

that provide warmth and safety through a scary trek. If you<br />

have ever found yourself struggling to explain what a refugee<br />

is without delving deeply into the scary situations they<br />

face, this book is for you. For ages 4 to 7.<br />

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

When Emily Was Small by Lauren Soloy (Tundra,2020)<br />

reminds children that even great painters like Emily Carr<br />

were once small. In this tale which is based off of Carr’s<br />

autobiography, Soloy goes into the time before Carr was a<br />

famous painter and focuses on a small part of her childhood<br />

when her vast imaginings sometimes made her feel out of<br />

place, but always opened her up to a magical world right<br />

outside her door. For ages 4 to 7.<br />

While I hope it doesn’t take a power outage (or another<br />

wave of sickness) to get you and your family to sit down<br />

and enjoy a tale or two, I do hope that you are able to spend<br />

some time with your loved ones—maybe even curled up in a<br />

blanket fort that’s transformed into a fairy castle or a friendly<br />

dragon’s den—so you can all enjoy a good book or five.<br />

Christina Van Starkenburg lives in Victoria<br />

with her husband, children and cat. She is the author<br />

of One Tiny Turtle: A Story You Can Colour and many<br />

articles. To read more of her work and learn about her<br />

upcoming books visit christinavanstarkenburg.com.<br />

Facebook: facebook.com/christinavanstarkenburg<br />

and Twitter: @Christina_VanS.<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 21


Show a Little Tenderness<br />

If 90 percent of our communication is body language what is<br />

our face saying?<br />

If part of a healthy attachment with our children and<br />

partners is to give support, to soothe them and keep the environment<br />

safe, our non-verbal messages are a part of this. If we<br />

can meet these needs, family members in turn will be able to<br />

listen more fully, care about requests that are being made and<br />

experience a sense of trust.<br />

While the words we use are important, our physical and<br />

emotional cues build the connection. When we listen to our<br />

children and partners, it isn’t enough just to use the “skill” of<br />

repeating back what they have said and take a guess at how<br />

they are feeling. They need to see that we genuinely care and<br />

that we are curious to learn more. If we don’t show them, our<br />

words seem transactional. If I listen to you, then I expect that<br />

you will get over this thing that you are complaining about! Or,<br />

I’m not okay if you are upset, so let’s get this thing fixed.<br />

If you are having a difficult conversation or hearing someone’s<br />

pain, slow down. Show that you care with a soft face, and<br />

relaxed body language. Express and physically show tenderness<br />

and see how much easier things go. Practicing this brings calmness<br />

to everyone.<br />

Children can be hypersensitive to our moods and teens will<br />

see anger where there isn’t any. If our adult relationship is experiencing<br />

a disconnect, we can easily hear what we fear rather<br />

than what is actually being said. Monitor the people you’re<br />

speaking with closely so that you can catch any signs of frustration,<br />

annoyance, hurt feelings or stress. Look at their eyes, face<br />

and body language and listen to their tone of voice. Are they in<br />

distress? Be willing to pause and soothe your loved one. Even<br />

if you think you weren’t yelling or speaking with a tone, don’t<br />

argue. Tend to them, soothe them.<br />

Be prepared to pivot from making a point to being present.<br />

There are many reasons to do this, one being that when someone<br />

feels unsafe or distressed, they can’t hear you anyway. Pay<br />

attention to the process of how you are communicating. If you<br />

have something important to discuss, ask your loved one this;<br />

What can I do to make it more comfortable for you to hear<br />

what I have to say?<br />

Dr. Allison Rees is a parent educator, counsellor<br />

and coach at LIFE Seminars (Living in Families<br />

Effectively), lifeseminars.com.<br />

In-Person &<br />

On-Line Options<br />

STAGES<br />

Performing Arts School<br />

since 1980<br />

Come Dance With Us<br />

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

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

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

• Not sure which class to take?<br />

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

Daytime Pre-School Classes<br />

for the little angels...<br />

STAGES Performing Arts School<br />

#301 1551 Cedar Hill X Rd<br />

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

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

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

Nature-Based Counselling<br />

With Thriving Roots<br />


Humans are naturally designed to belong in nature. We’re<br />

ecological beings who have evolved alongside trees, rivers,<br />

birds, and mountains. So, when we are supported in<br />

connecting to nature in an embodied, mindful, and interactive<br />

way, our nervous system regulates and new brain patterns<br />

form, leading to a deeper sense of ecological connection, belonging<br />

and empowerment. The therapeutic world is beginning<br />

to realize this and embrace the power of nature connection in<br />

healing and development in ways that are very exciting.<br />

It’s for these reasons that Thriving Roots has opened a new<br />

nature-based Counselling Services division in addition to our<br />

Wilderness School. This way, youth and adult clients can work<br />

in more specialized, intimate settings with trained counsellors<br />

who are themselves deeply connected to nature. We use regulating<br />

sensory activities, therapeutic games, mindfulness practices<br />

and reflective questioning to help clients explore their<br />

inner world, while finding comfort, regulation, and resilience<br />

directly from nature. This way, nature itself becomes a source<br />

of healing and strength that clients can draw from in their dayto-day<br />

lives.<br />

While most of our counseling focus is designed to take place<br />

outside in private green spaces or parks, we also provide indoor<br />

and online options depending on preference or weather<br />

conditions. Our clients include youth, teens, adults, couples<br />

and families and our meetup locations are based in Saanich,<br />

Westshore, Sidney, and the Highlands.<br />

Curious about a nature-based counselling approach? Book a<br />

free introductory meet and greet with Vanya Laporte: vanya@<br />

thrivingroots.org or visit our website: thrivingroots.org.<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 23

Healthy Families, Happy Families<br />

Child, Youth<br />

& Family<br />

Public Health<br />

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

Esquimalt 250-519-5311<br />

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

(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)<br />

Peninsula 250-544-2400<br />

Saanich 250-519-5100<br />

Saltspring <strong>Island</strong> 250-538-4880<br />

Sooke 250-519-3487<br />

Victoria 250-388-2200<br />

West Shore 250-519-3490<br />

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

Duncan 250-709-3050<br />

Ladysmith 250-755-3342<br />

Lake Cowichan 250-749-6878<br />

Nanaimo 250-755-3342<br />

Nanaimo 250-739-5845<br />

Princess Royal<br />

Parksville/Qualicum 250-947-8242<br />

Port Alberni 250-731-1315<br />

Tofino 250-725-4020<br />

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

Campbell River 250-850-2110<br />

Courtenay 250-331-8520<br />

Kyuquot Health Ctr 250-332-5289<br />

‘Namgis Health Ctr 250-974-5522<br />

Port Hardy 250-902-6071<br />

islandhealth.ca/our-locations/<br />

health-unit-locations<br />


Nobody’s Perfect<br />

And that’s okay<br />

wish I wasn’t so irritable at my kids<br />

I and could be more like how they ask<br />

of me.<br />

The fulfillment is astounding; motherhood<br />

is the purest state of living that I’ve<br />

ever experienced— but loving them is<br />

unconditional and it comes with many<br />

challenges.<br />

I can be patient and mindfully compassionate<br />

to a point— but I can also regretfully<br />

snap at my wits end.<br />

I see a lot of posts going around about<br />

early childhood trauma and how to<br />

speak, act and do better for our children.<br />

I agree that in an ideal world it’s true—<br />

we should continually rephrase, nurture<br />

and encourage *calmly* regardless of<br />

any behaviour.<br />

What I don’t agree with is this implied<br />

accusation that we are damaging our<br />

children if we don’t adhere consistently<br />

to this standard of new-age parenting.<br />

For abrupt frustration when we know<br />

the older ones know better and it feels<br />

like they’re testing us at a cellular level.<br />

I think we should apologize to them<br />

often, and after reflecting, manage those<br />

big feelings with compassion as best we<br />

can when they come up again<br />

I won’t apologize though, for being a<br />

human being in my evolution of parenting—it’s<br />

a damn hard Olympic sport.<br />

I think we need more real-life mothers<br />

sharing how hard this is all actually is<br />

with unapologetic solidarity and a side of<br />

forgot-to-gentle-parent.<br />

We need to agree that we all have different<br />

levels of tolerance on different days<br />

for the exact same behaviour.<br />

We need to know that when we are being<br />

tested, that it’s not a time to feel judgment,<br />

instead a time to feel seen.<br />

I think we must learn in hindsight and<br />

discern teachings from our children; to<br />

Changes with BC Medical Services Plan<br />

premiums mean that families eligible for partial<br />

payment of some medical services and access<br />

to some income-based programs now must<br />

apply for Supplementary Benefits through the<br />

Government of BC. Applications can be done<br />

online and take approximately 15 minutes.<br />

Families who previously qualified for MSP<br />

Premium Assistance should not need to re-apply<br />

if taxes are completed yearly. It is advised to<br />

confirm coverage before proceeding with<br />

treatment to avoid paying out of pocket.<br />

For more information, visit gov.bc.ca/gov/<br />

content/health/health-drug-coverage/msp/<br />

bc-residents/benefits/services-covered-bymsp/supplementary-benefits<br />

I think all we can do is try and aim for<br />

our best every day, but I refuse to feel<br />

shame:<br />

For my lack of patience when overstimulated.<br />

For my cyclically-imbalanced mood<br />

swings.<br />

For utilizing screen time for sanity.<br />

For the projection of my own childhood<br />

wounds that I still need time to<br />

heal.<br />

look at challenges as an opportunity to<br />

not repeat history, but also to see our<br />

own instabilities as indicators to find<br />

more support and seek self-care.<br />

We must know that we don’t always<br />

have to do everything right in order to be<br />

a good mom. We are, and we need to put<br />

ourselves first, too.<br />

I hope this message helps normalize<br />

any fear or sadness parents are going<br />

through in transitions, especially when<br />

other younger siblings are involved.<br />

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

A Poem for My Eldest<br />

Sometimes I forget how little you are<br />

because of how fast you’ve grown.<br />

Sometimes I “expect” too much<br />

considering everything you’ve shown.<br />

You are my eldest, so big and so brave.<br />

And yet<br />

we’re at a crossroads once more<br />

A reality check when time slowed down<br />

and we couldn’t get you out the door.<br />

School can be daunting and so can<br />

transitions<br />

I see it now loud and clear<br />

You need me like they do,<br />

that nurturing attention<br />

normalizing everything that you fear<br />

So I keep in my glovebox<br />

this weathered old photo<br />

the one they taped up at your cubby<br />

Those days I’d drop you off<br />

you held on so tightly<br />

letting it go was so hard on mommy<br />

Then I felt it all flood back in<br />

with warm tears and tight embrace<br />

my sensitive little boy<br />

who’s still in there<br />

Mum needed this reminder<br />

To slow down and tell you<br />

I’m here, I love you<br />

your heart, we will repair<br />

Hudson’s recent artwork missing us as we<br />

navigate big feelings with school time<br />

transitions and anxieties.<br />

Natasha Mills is a twin mom of three residing on the island now for nearly 30 years. She has found a creative outlet in documenting<br />

the real moments of parenthood—the relatable highs and challenging lows. She has also found a passion in writing her<br />

experience of motherhood and connecting with many like-minded parents in her community and abroad. @mommamillsblog<br />



CENTRE<br />

your destination for active living<br />

Visit us for all your fitness, aquatic, arts & culture needs.<br />

See a complete list of programs and schedules in our Activity Guide at<br />

www.ladysmith.ca/programs<br />

INFO / REGISTRATION 250.245.6424 | ladysmith.ca<br />

follow us / ladysmithPRC subscribe prc@ladysmith.ca<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 25

Family<br />

Favourites<br />

The Family Favourite results are in! Who has the best<br />

products, services and experiences? We asked and<br />

you answered. Developed to recognize quality family<br />

retailers and service providers in our community. Our<br />

readers were invited to vote online at islandparent.ca for<br />

their family favourites in 48 categories. The response was<br />

phenomenal. Thank you to everyone who voted and sent<br />

us such wonderful feedback. We have tallied your votes—<br />

here are your 2022 <strong>Island</strong> <strong>Parent</strong> Family Favourites!<br />

Favourite<br />

Outing<br />


Winner: Victoria Royals<br />

Runners Up: Harbour Cats, Grizzlies<br />


Winner: Goldstream<br />

Runners Up: Gordon Bay, French Beach<br />


Winner: Parksville Community Beach<br />

Runners Up: Beacon Hill, Cadboro Bay Gyro Playground<br />

HIKE<br />

Winner: Mount Douglas<br />

Runners Up: Hole in the Wall, Mystic Beach<br />

BEACH<br />

Winner: Long Beach<br />

Runners Up: Willows, Esquimalt Lagoon<br />

PARK<br />

Winner: Osborne Bay Regional Park Beach<br />

Runners Up: Beacon Hill, Macaulay Point<br />


Winner: Malahat Skywalk<br />

Runners Up: BC Aviation Museum, Royal BC Musuem & IMAX<br />


Winner: Crystal Cove Tofino<br />

Runners Up: Mount Washington, Big Splash Waterslides<br />

Favourite Retail<br />


Winner: Once upon a child<br />

Runners Up: Abby Sprouts, Woodland Kids Shawnigan Lake<br />


Winner: H&M<br />

Runners Up: American Eagle, Beyond the Usual Chemainus<br />

BABY<br />

Winner: Momease<br />

Runners Up: Sugar Sandwich, TJ’s<br />

TOYS<br />

Winner: Buddies Toys<br />

Runners Up: The Red Balloon Toy Shop, Kaboodles<br />

SHOES<br />

Winner: Baggins<br />

Runners Up: DSW, Beyond the Usual Chemainus<br />


Winner: Smoking Lily<br />

Runners Up: Hudson’s Bay, Aritzia<br />


Winner: Once upon a child<br />

Runners Up: Kidsville Parksville, Kinderbeez Duncan<br />


Winner: Red Barn Market James Bay<br />

Runners Up: Root Cellar, Market on Millstream<br />


Winner: Lifestyle Markets<br />

Runners Up: The Vitamin Shop, Market on Millstream<br />


Winner: Moss Street Market<br />

Runners Up: Duncan Farmers Market, Esquimalt Farmers Market<br />

BOOKS<br />

Winner: Bolen Books<br />

Runners Up: Russell Books, Fireside Books<br />


Winner: Heart Pharmacy Shelbourne<br />

Runners Up: Fort Royal, Pure Pharmacy Superior St<br />


Winner: Healthy Spot<br />

Runners Up: Growlies, a pet’s life<br />


Winner: Collar & Comb<br />

Runners Up: Petsmart, Pawsitive<br />


Winner: Dinter Nursery Duncan<br />

Runners Up: Garden Works, The Artisan’s Garden<br />


Winner: North Park Bike Shop<br />

Runners Up: Westshore Bicycles, Oak Bay Bicycles<br />


Winner: Howie’s Car Corral<br />

Runners Up: Harris Dodge, Galaxy Motors<br />

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


Favourite Children , s...<br />


Winner: Little Phoenix<br />

Runners Up: Lexie’s Little Bears, CEFA<br />


Winner: Stages Dance<br />

Runners Up: Theatre SKAM, Kaleidoscope Theatre<br />


Winner: Flying Squirrel<br />

Runners Up: Lizzy Lee & Me, Victoria Gymnastics<br />


Winner: Victoria Gymnastics<br />

Runners Up: WEA Westcoast Educational Adventures,<br />

Pearson College<br />


Winner: Camp Qwanoes<br />

Runners Up: Camp Thunderbird, Camp Pringle<br />


Winner: Saanich Commonwealth Place<br />

Runners Up: Oak Bay Recreation Centre,<br />

Frank Jameson Community Centre<br />


Winner: Sylvan Learning Centre<br />

Runners Up: Kumon, Nabvigate NIDES<br />

Favourite<br />

Personal Service<br />


Winner: Foxy Box<br />

Runners Up: Willow Stream Spa, Laser Obsession Beauty Spa<br />


Winner: Eye Etiquette<br />

Runners Up: Vista Eye Care, Cordova Bay Optometry<br />


Winner: Dr. Vohn Rosang<br />

Runners Up: Dr. Murdoch/Ocean’s Edge, Dr. Kirk Bartlett<br />

HAIR<br />

Winner: Copper & Ash<br />

Runners Up: Design House, Mint Hair Duncan<br />

DAY SPA<br />

Winner: Amatista Spa Bear Mountain<br />

Runners Up: Willow Stream Spa, Sapphire Day Spa<br />


Winner: Saanich Dental<br />

Runners Up: Westshore Dental, Oak Bay Dental Centre<br />


Winner: Tall Tree James Bay<br />

Runners Up: Elizabeth de Jong Westman/RISE Health,<br />

Kaitlyn Chernomaz/Startline Physiotherapy Duncan<br />


Winner: Lianne E Waters/Edward Jones<br />

Runners Up: Mike Kalinka/Investors Group, Bobby Vu Financial Solutions<br />

Favourite<br />

Food Service<br />


Winner: Deadbeetz<br />

Runners Up: Greek on the Street, Emiliano’s Authentic Port Alberni<br />


Winner: Beacon Drive-In<br />

Runners Up: Coombs Country Market, North 49<br />


Winner: Bin 4<br />

Runners Up: Fat Burger, Big Wheel Burger<br />

PIZZA<br />

Winner: Pizzeria Prima Strada<br />

Runners Up: Romeo’s, 900 Degrees<br />

VEGAN<br />

Winner: Be Love<br />

Runners Up: Copper Branch, Green Cuisine<br />

ETHNIC<br />

Winner: Sizzling Tandoor<br />

Runners Up: Pho Tru, Victoria Sushi<br />


Winner: White Spot<br />

Runners Up: Romeo’s, Beacon Drive-In<br />


Winner: Local Urban Bites<br />

Runners Up: Balanced Meal Prep, Fresh Prep<br />

<strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca <strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 27

SHOP<br />

Holiday Gift Guide<br />

Melissa & Doug’s<br />

Geometric Stacker<br />

Match and sort these 21 colourful<br />

wooden pieces, and skill-building is just<br />

part of the fun. Rings, octagons and<br />

rectangles can be slotted onto the three<br />

rods, stacked on top of each other or<br />

lined up to compare shapes, sizes and<br />

colours. This first-concepts set is a manipulatives<br />

all-star!<br />

Hape Pound & Tap Bench<br />

Pounding sends the balls tinkling<br />

over the xylophone. Pull out the keyboard<br />

and the xylophone can be played<br />

solo. Promotes dexterity, hand-eye<br />

coordination and manipulation. It also<br />

introduces logic, matching, spatial<br />

relationships, critical thinking and an<br />

understanding of cause-and-effect. For<br />

ages 12 months +.<br />

Folkmanis Animal Puppets<br />

Imagination is the key to a healthy<br />

childhood, encouraging play and discovery<br />

to develop the skills necessary<br />

in life. Folkmanis has been making<br />

the most innovative and engaging<br />

specialty puppets in the world since<br />

1976, delighting imaginations and<br />

winning nearly every industry, child<br />

development,and kid-tested award—<br />

many repeatedly.<br />

Magna-Tiles<br />

These original 3-D clear magnetic<br />

tiles inspire creative, open-ended play<br />

and are an educational toy for children<br />

of all ages. Engage young minds by fusing<br />

together math, science and creativity<br />

and spark hours of imaginative free<br />

play. Anything kids can dream, they<br />

can create!<br />

Loog Mini Guitar<br />

More sophisticated, but still kidworthy,<br />

a Loog mini guitar will help<br />

develop a lifelong love of—and maybe<br />

talent for—music! The ideal first guitar,<br />

the real-wood Loog mini has perfect<br />

intonation and three-string award-winning<br />

design. Includes flashcards with<br />

chord diagrams and full access to the<br />

Loog guitar app. loogguitars.com<br />

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

Nat Geo’s Break-Open Geodes<br />

Explore the crystal caves inside these<br />

naturally forming volcanic rocks. Crack<br />

them open and discover the beautiful<br />

minerals inside. Nat Geo selects only<br />

the best geodes collected from multiple<br />

mines around the world so you’re<br />

guaranteed to find fascinating crystals.<br />

Inspire an appreciation and love of nature<br />

with this extraordinary science kit.<br />

canadiantire.ca<br />

Slothside<br />

Rock Climbing Holds<br />

This set includes high-quality polyester<br />

resin bolt on rock climbing holds<br />

with a variety of shapes like jugs,<br />

crimps, pockets, pinch and slopers for<br />

a better climbing experience. Designed<br />

for easy gripping, these holds have a<br />

texture like real rock and are durable<br />

and weather resistant. slothside.com<br />

www.kimberleykufaas.com<br />

Christmas Eve Family Service<br />

Back in-person!<br />

@westcoastlife<br />

<strong>Dec</strong> 24, 4:30 pm<br />

The Shoemaker of<br />

Bethlehem<br />

First Met United Church<br />

Quadra & Balmoral<br />

firstmetvictoria.com<br />

Also on <strong>Dec</strong> 24:<br />

Carols in the Candlelight: 7:30 pm<br />

(Annabelle Stanley, harpist 7 pm)<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 29

Thank you for voting us a<br />

Family Favourite Attraction!<br />


The Relentless<br />

Determination<br />

of <strong>Parent</strong>s<br />

See airplanes,<br />

seaplanes, helicopters<br />

and more at the<br />

BC Aviation Museum<br />

Learn about BC’s aviation<br />

history from early bush planes<br />

to bombers and beyond!<br />

Well, it’s that time of year<br />

again, when we—hopefully—<br />

get to put some of the strain<br />

and stress of the year behind us and<br />

have some good food and drink and<br />

time with the family. Although looking<br />

back on 2022, man, not sure just how<br />

I just don’t know how sustainable it<br />

is for a family to live in Victoria right<br />

now. I silently scream when I go to buy<br />

coffee at the store; I mix tears with gasoline<br />

in hopes of saving a few pennies<br />

at the pump. I constantly think that<br />

there are mistakes when I’m purchasing<br />

Winter Hours, Oct 1 to Apr 30:<br />

11am to 3pm, Thurs through Tues<br />

Summer Hours, May 1 to Sept 30:<br />

10am to 4pm, Thurs through Tues<br />

Closed Wednesdays, Christmas,<br />

Boxing and New Year’s Days.<br />

1910 Norseman Road, Sidney<br />

250-655-3300 | bcam.net<br />

much food any of us can afford this go<br />

’round. Inflation at the grocery store<br />

absolutely tore through the wallets<br />

of families living in Victoria and the<br />

region, as has inflation at the pumps,<br />

and, if you’re renting and have had to<br />

move this year, those monthly rental<br />

cheques.<br />

toilet paper. How can toilet paper possibly<br />

cost so much?<br />

But I refuse to let despair sink in, as<br />

I cackle to myself when I drop my oldest<br />

off at school—high school, now!—<br />

trying not to calculate the ludicrous<br />

amount that drive cost me in gas, trying<br />

to just make it through a morning<br />

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

without feeling the existential economic<br />

strangle that every single one of you<br />

reading this probably felt this year as<br />

I throw my younger on a bus to get to<br />

his school—middle school now!—because<br />

he still gets on that thing for<br />

free for another glorious year or so. I<br />

mutter to myself, half-convincingly but<br />

somehow simultaneously like threequarters,<br />

totally unconvincingly that it’s<br />

worth it to take out a second mortgage<br />

for a Christmas tree because, hey, it is,<br />

afterall, Christmas.<br />

“Might as well!” I scream at the<br />

clerk at the tree lot, through a totally<br />

unconvincing smile as I throw my credit<br />

card in the air and wander off, stumbling<br />

like an elf in a snowstorm, kids<br />

chasing after me, other moms and dads<br />

walking into walls, muttering about<br />

money, making jokes that just make no<br />

sense, crying, laughing, crying, crying.<br />

Yeah, it’s been one of those years.<br />

I got a hernia a while back and our<br />

medical system is about as mangled as<br />

everything else is, so when I laugh it<br />

kinda, well, moves around, making<br />

me involuntarily grab it, an endless<br />

source of humiliation for all my family<br />

members. It’s okay, I scream into the<br />

air, the specialist will call me at some<br />

point! But they’re not calling! They’re<br />

too overwhelmed! And I gotta stop<br />

screaming because it’s just more pressure<br />

on the ol’ hernia!<br />

So, merry Christmas, as grocery<br />

stores tease us with slaps to the face<br />

disguised as price freezes, and as we<br />

are thankful gas has gone down a teeny<br />

bit so it’s only, like, ten thousand<br />

times more than it was a year ago,<br />

and, let’s face it, we are approaching<br />

the finish line here totally dazed and<br />

battered.<br />

But never defeated.<br />

Honestly, you can’t defeat parents.<br />

We get woken up at unholy hours. We<br />

get screamed at. We literally get excrement<br />

on our hands, like, kinda regularly.<br />

But we just keep going.<br />

And despite our corporate overlords<br />

chasing dollar signs to such a degree<br />

that they’re now destroying society as<br />

we know it, hey, we’ll just keep going,<br />

because we’re parents, that’s what<br />

we do, and, honestly, those corporate<br />

overlords, they have no idea what we’re<br />

capable of.<br />

So, it’s been a tough year, an ugly<br />

year, a brutal year for many families in<br />

Victoria. Let’s see if we can turn that<br />

around. Let me rephrase that: I know<br />

we can turn it around. This year got a<br />

bit tough, a bit dark. But we’ll make it<br />

through to brighter days.<br />

In all seriousness: Merry Christmas.<br />

Happy new year. <strong>2023</strong>: We’ve got this.<br />

Greg Pratt is the father of three<br />

children and a local journalist and<br />

editor. His writing has appeared<br />

in, among other places, Today’s<br />

<strong>Parent</strong>, <strong>Dec</strong>ibel and Douglas. He<br />

is @gregprattwriter on Twitter.<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 31

Holiday HAPPENINGS<br />

The Nutcracker<br />

The Cowichan Performing Arts Centre presents<br />

The Nutcracker on Saturday, <strong>Dec</strong>ember 3<br />

at noon and 4pm. Experience the magic of The<br />

Nutcracker this holiday season with Royal City<br />

Youth Ballet’s full-length ballet, featuring an extralarge<br />

ensemble cast. Performing to Peter Ilyich<br />

Tchaikovsky’s beautiful music, this traditional<br />

ballet has wonderous sets and extravagant, colourful<br />

costumes. Perfect for young and old alike!<br />

Tickets are $36 for adults, $18 for children and<br />

$90 for families (2 adults, 2 children) and can be<br />

purchased online, by calling 250-746-2722 or by<br />

visiting the Ticket Centre.<br />

cowichanpac.ca<br />

Butchart Gardens’ Magic of Christmas<br />

Bundle up and stroll through Butchart Gardens’<br />

Magic of Christmas and be dazzled by the thousands<br />

of twinkling lights and Christmas displays.<br />

Take in the Twelve Days of Christmas display, sing<br />

along to the sounds of the season with Traditional<br />

Carollers and Festive Brass, then stop in at the<br />

coffee shop to warm up with a hot chocolate and<br />

gingerbread by the fire. The Gardens will be open<br />

3–9pm, with viewing until 10pm.<br />

butchartgardens.com<br />

Gingerbread Showcase<br />

Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s premier fundraiser,<br />

The Gingerbread Showcase presented by Revera<br />

Living, is open for its 14th year in the atrium of the<br />

Parkside Hotel & Spa and will run until <strong>Jan</strong>uary 2,<br />

<strong>2023</strong>. Stop by this local holiday treasure to view<br />

the 100% edible creations made by volunteer<br />

bakers and don't forget to donate to vote for<br />

your favourite. This year’s theme: “Magical.” One<br />

hundred percent of donations to the Gingerbread<br />

Showcase will help Habitat Victoria support affordable<br />

homeownership in Victoria. Can't make<br />

it in person? View and vote for your favourite<br />

creation online at habitatvictoria.com/<br />

gingerbread2022.<br />

Malahat SkyWalk’s Holiday Magic<br />

Take in the sights and sounds of the season with<br />

Malahat SkyWalk’s Holiday Magic and experience<br />

something unique and truly west coast. From <strong>Dec</strong><br />

3 to <strong>Jan</strong> 1, Vancouver <strong>Island</strong>’s newest attraction<br />

introduces Holiday Magic, an exciting line-up of<br />

fun and festive activities for all to enjoy. From<br />

appearances by Santa along with Luke the Sasquatch<br />

Elf, decorations, a 20-foot Christmas tree<br />

to Santa’s Workshop, The Clause Family Bakery<br />

and a cozy outdoor fire, there's no better place<br />

to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy the best of<br />

the season. For more information on Malahat Sky-<br />

Walk, its Holiday Magic events, an annual seasons<br />

pass and more, visit malahatskywalk.com.<br />

Milner Christmas Magic<br />

Make memories with family and friends this<br />

holiday season by experiencing Milner Christmas<br />

Magic’s outdoor stroll through thousands of<br />

twinkling lights and festive window displays. Find<br />

something for everyone on your holiday shopping<br />

list in the Gingerbread Gift Shop, drop off<br />

your letters to Santa in the North Pole Mailbox,<br />

with a wave to Santa and Mrs. Claus themselves!<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember 2–4, 9–11, and 16–21. Entry is by suggested<br />

donation of $5 per adult, $2 per child or<br />

$12 per household. Dress warm and grab your<br />

camera! milnergardens.viu.ca<br />

Need help with the Affordable Child Care Benefit?<br />

Looking for child care? Taking care of children?<br />

Need child care training?<br />

Call your local CCRR for free referrals and resources.<br />

Victoria & Gulf <strong>Island</strong>s: 250-382-7000<br />

Sooke: 250-642-5152 ext 239 West Shore: 250-940-4882<br />

Cowichan Valley: 250-746-4135 local 231<br />

PacificCare (Ladysmith North): 250-756-2022 or 1-888-480-2273<br />

gov.bc.ca/ChildCareResourceReferralCentres<br />

Your community’s best source of<br />

child care information and resources.<br />

Funding for the CCRR is provided by the province of B.C.<br />

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


Victoria & Area Peninsula Westshore Cowichan Valley Nanaimo & Area<br />

v Comprehensive programs for<br />

Preschool through Grade 11<br />

v Delivering academic excellence through<br />

music, dance, drama and visual arts<br />

v Outstanding educators,<br />

locations and facilities<br />

Castleview Child Care........... 250-595-5355<br />

Learning Through Play & Discovery.<br />

Licensed non-profit, ECE staff. Since 1958.<br />

Morning or full-time care.<br />

castleviewchildcarecentre.com<br />

www.ArtsCalibre.ca 250.382.3533<br />

Christ Church Cathedral Childcare<br />

& Jr. Kindergarten..................250-383-5132<br />

ECE and specialist teachers provide an<br />

outstanding all day licensed program for<br />

2.5–5 year olds at our Fairfield and<br />

Gordon Head locations.<br />

cathedralschool.ca<br />


September<br />

2022<br />

ENROLL<br />

TODAY!<br />

Come Learn & Grow with Us!<br />




Cloverdale Childcare Society<br />

Vic West Site<br />

at Vic West Elementary School<br />

cloverdalechildcare.com<br />

250.995.1766 cloverdale@shawbiz.ca<br />

Pre-School<br />

Junior Kindergarten<br />

PacificChristian.ca<br />

250-479-4532<br />

Educational Excellence to the Glory of God<br />

Ready Set Grow Preschool.....250-472-1530<br />

Join our learning through play preschool located<br />

in Hillcrest Elem. Our caring ECEs offer<br />

an enriched Program for 3-4 hour, 2-5 days a<br />

week and help with kindergarten transition.<br />

heoscmanager@gmail.com<br />

St. Christopher’s Montessori School<br />

Offering an enriched and<br />

nurturing Montessori program<br />

Competitively priced independent<br />

school education<br />

Half day for 3 & 4 year olds<br />

Full day kindergarten<br />

stcmontessori.ca 250-595-3213<br />

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12<br />

Learn more today! 250-390-2201 AspengroveSchool.ca<br />



Nestled on 4 acres of lush west coast forest, our Award<br />

winning, Nature based program will not disappoint!<br />

While firmly embracing the Reggio-Emila (Italy) Philosophy our<br />

dedicated team of educators use the environment as the third<br />

teacher as we encourage your child throughout their day.<br />

Our purpose built facilities have been handmade using the<br />

trees from our forest. Come take a virtual tour on our website!<br />

lexieslittlebears.ca Waitlist: 250-590-3603<br />

BC Award of Excellence in Childcare & Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence in Early Childhood Education.<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 33


Dragonflies & Damselflies<br />

Have you seen them? Have you really seen them?<br />

You never know what you’re going to fall in love<br />

with next when it comes to the beautiful and sophisticated<br />

ecological world that surrounds us. I have found love in<br />

nature thousands of times, but it is not every day that you fall.<br />

My first fall in nature was enormous, and I am far from recovering:<br />

Fungi. At first they tantalized me, with their delicious<br />

flavours, and then even more as I learned of their extraordinary<br />

roles in ecology and uses in society.<br />

Second, I fell for salmon. My heart climbed seven storeys<br />

while I worked as an interpreter during the annual salmon run.<br />

The fish are easy to admire, but I fell in love with their profound<br />

abilities and perseverance. I fell for every single caudal<br />

peduncle, operculum and enormous jawbone that I saw.<br />

Now? I am curious, wondering if I have found a third love. I<br />

can feel the beginnings of sprouting giddiness and tingling thrill<br />

at the very thought of them. Yes, that’s right, naturally: Insects.<br />

Have you seen them?<br />

As spring sauntered into town and then somehow slipped<br />

into summer and even fell into fall, my love for insects metamorphosed<br />

into something I did not expect. Insects are incredible!<br />

With shields, segments and sheaves, their diversity and<br />

design is astounding—you just have to look! Have you really<br />

seen them?<br />

As part of my educational work with the Swan Lake Nature<br />

Sanctuary, I was taking part in regular net dips in Swan Lake.<br />

During these dips we sweep our nets through the water, gently<br />

brushing plants and collecting invertebrates. Our scoops are deposited<br />

into containers of water in which we can take a closer<br />

look at the creatures of the lake.<br />

I was amazed to find an incredible diversity of insects, many<br />

of which would one day inhabit the terrestrial environment<br />

above the water. I was frequently told “I did not get anything<br />

in my scoop,” by students, only to encourage a deeper scan and<br />

hear sounds of excitement as they found more and more tiny<br />

creatures. Thrilling!<br />

Invertebrates in the lake can be indicative of the lake’s health;<br />

we call them bioindicators. Certain species can only survive in<br />

healthy waters while others are very tolerant of pollutants. As I<br />

was performing my bi-weekly scoop to help monitor the health<br />

of the lake, I could feel myself falling for a third time. Dragonflies<br />

and Damselflies belong to the order Odonata. They are<br />

defined by their slender bodies, two pairs of transparent wings,<br />

large compound eyes…and of course, by their epic speed and<br />

hunting abilities!<br />

Did you know that dragonflies and damselflies begin life<br />

underwater? These insects start as eggs dropped in wet and<br />

muddy areas by their mothers. When they hatch, they assume a<br />

life underwater as Nymphs. In this stage, you might not recognize<br />

them, as they lack their wings and many of their beautiful<br />

colours. They have gills and are effective underwater hunters!<br />

Dragonflies and Damselflies have an astounding and admittedly<br />

odd adaptation for catching prey underwater. Their lower<br />

lip piece, called their labium, can extend up to a third of their<br />

body length, shooting out at extraordinary speeds to quickly<br />

scoop up unassuming prey (small invertebrates or fish)!<br />

I highly recommend looking up a video of these sophisticated<br />

hunters. These nymphs are beautiful and their design is marvelous.<br />

Their perfectly packed segmented body is full of whacky<br />

and wonderful adaptations, including the ability to quickly propel<br />

themselves forward by shooting water out of their behind!<br />

When these insects are mature enough, they prepare to move<br />

into their terrestrial stage of life. Some species can live underwater<br />

for five whole years before they become adults! The<br />

dragonflies and damselflies will crawl out of the water, partially<br />

at first, and allow their respiration system to adapt to breathing<br />

air! They will then climb onto vegetation or rocks and clamp<br />

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

on tight. Here they will slowly split and crawl out of their larval<br />

skin and emerge as an adult dragonfly.<br />

The adults must work hard to pump haemolymph into their<br />

wings, causing them to expand and strengthen. With some time<br />

to harden their exoskeleton, they are ready to take flight! Adult<br />

dragonflies can fly up to 54km per hour and move their four<br />

wings individually! This makes them great pilots and impressive<br />

hunters. We can thank them for eating plenty of mosquitoes<br />

and causing us a few less bites in the summer!<br />

While it began for me with dragonflies and damselflies, it<br />

was not long at all before it became insects as a whole. From<br />

the hundreds of bee tongues I’ve seen this summer to the stunning<br />

colour palettes on leaf hoppers, I have been shocked and<br />

delighted. I promptly purchased a beginner macro camera to<br />

see them closer—to be able to look at their armour, their eyes<br />

of many lenses, their ancestral fluff and their comprehensive<br />

hydraulics. I have a lot to learn about insects, but with my<br />

newfound love I can promise you one thing: They are worth a<br />

closer look—have you seen them?<br />

Join us at the Nature Sanctuary for one of our children, family<br />

or adult programs and perhaps you can fall for something<br />

new! To see our calendar, register and learn about programs<br />

visit swanlake.bc.ca.<br />

Madi Haller is a Community Educator at Swan Lake Christmas Hill<br />

Nature Sanctuary. She is passionate about the small intricacies of natural<br />

world that are often overlooked.<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 35


The Reality of<br />

Adopting a Pet<br />

Pets can be a lot of fun if your family<br />

is ready for the responsibilities<br />

that come with them. They can help<br />

teach children values and social skills.<br />

Most relationships between people and<br />

pets are positive.<br />

There are some important health<br />

and safety considerations to remember<br />

when bringing a pet into your home.<br />

Both your children and pet will be happier<br />

and healthier if they know and<br />

understand the rules. It’s important to<br />

take the time to prepare and understand<br />

the realities of having a pet.<br />

If you decide to adopt a pet,<br />

make sure it is healthy.<br />

Adopt your pet from someone you<br />

trust. Your veterinarian (vet) will be<br />

able to offer suggestions.<br />

Consider the final adult size of<br />

your pet when deciding which kind to<br />

adopt. Don’t forget that they grow and<br />

might get bigger than you are prepared<br />

to handle.<br />

Make sure your pet sees the vet every<br />

year and has all vaccinations.<br />

Have your cat or dog spayed or neutered.<br />

Get veterinary care when your pet is<br />

sick.<br />

Watch for any contact your pet has<br />

with other animals that might carry<br />

disease.<br />

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

FAMILY<br />



When you have a pet in your<br />

home.<br />

Teach your children to treat animals<br />

gently and with respect.<br />

Never leave a young child alone with<br />

an animal. Accidents can happen when<br />

children tease pets or touch them in a<br />

way that makes them uncomfortable.<br />

Involve your child in the care of your<br />

pet. This helps children learn a sense of<br />

responsibility.<br />

Make sure your pet has a quiet and<br />

comfortable place to go.<br />

Don’t allow your pets to sleep with<br />

children.<br />

Don’t allow your pet to roam alone<br />

in a baby’s room.<br />

Don’t allow your pet to lick your<br />

child’s face or any cuts or scratches.<br />

Pets and allergies.<br />

If you have a child with allergies,<br />

think carefully about whether a pet is a<br />

good idea. If their allergies get worse,<br />

it can be hard to find a new home for<br />

your pet. If you get a new pet and your<br />

child starts to show signs of allergies,<br />

consult your doctor for advice.<br />

Dogs.<br />

Look for a dog with a gentle nature.<br />

Older dogs are a good idea only if<br />

they have been around children.<br />

Puppies can be a lot fun but tend to<br />

have lots of energy. They need a lot of<br />

time and patience for proper training.<br />

Involve all family members in the training<br />

so that the commands used are easy<br />

for both your children and the dog to<br />

remember.<br />

Don’t leave your dog alone in the<br />

house for long periods of time. If you<br />

have to be away for long periods, a<br />

dog might not be the right pet for your<br />

family.<br />

Keep your dog secure in a space that<br />

they can be comfortable in.<br />

Expose your dog to different types of<br />

people and situations.<br />

Dogs need lots of exercise. Encourage<br />

your children to join you on walks<br />

with the dog. Remember to use a leash<br />

when walking your dog.<br />

Cats.<br />

Keep your cat indoors to protect<br />

them from harm or disease.<br />

Keep the litter box clean. Wash<br />

hands thoroughly when done.<br />

If a dog or cat is not the right type<br />

of pet for your home, there are other<br />

choices. Talk to your vet for ideas and<br />

tips on care.<br />

Reptiles, wild or exotic animals.<br />

Reptiles, such as turtles, lizards<br />

and snakes, often carry Salmonella,<br />

a kind of bacteria (germ) that can be<br />

very hard to kill. Always wash your<br />

hands after handling a reptile.<br />

Exotic animals, such as sugar gliders,<br />

hedgehogs or monkeys, are not good<br />

pets for children. They can be dangerous,<br />

or they may need special care that<br />

young children can’t give.<br />

Wild animals should not be kept as<br />

pets.<br />

Ferrets are not a good pet for homes<br />

with young children.<br />

The Canadian Paediatric Society<br />

is the national association of paediatricians,<br />

committed to working together to advance<br />

the health of children and youth by nurturing<br />

excellence in health care, advocacy, education,<br />

research and support of its membership.<br />

caringforkids.cps.ca<br />

The Family Resource<br />

Directory is designed<br />

to highlight the caring<br />

community that we are<br />

a part of. This directory<br />

showcases organizations<br />

and businesses that provide<br />

services and support for<br />

families and children.<br />

Navigate is an award-winning<br />

school, recognized nationally and<br />

internationally for our innovative<br />

approach to blended learning.<br />

We’ve implemented the new BC<br />

curriculum and built unique, flexible<br />

learning options for every student.<br />

This allows us to meet a diverse<br />

range of student needs, abilities<br />

and learning styles.<br />

Discover more at<br />

NavigateNIDES.com<br />

Thriving Roots<br />

Wilderness School<br />

Thriving Roots provides hands-on, wilderness<br />

education and counselling services for youth<br />

and adults. Our year-long programs and summer<br />

camps are immersive in nature, fostering<br />

connection to land and community through<br />

earth-based skills, play, music and more.<br />

thrivingroots.org info@thrivingroots.org<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 37

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

Vol. V, Ed. V<br />

GRAND<br />

grandmag.ca<br />

Sunday ‘Crafternoon’<br />

Setting Up a Meal Train<br />

Smart <strong>Island</strong><strong>Parent</strong>.ca Kids & Smart Phones<br />

Connecting<br />

with Teenage<br />

Grandkids<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 39

Technology<br />

Smart Kids & Smart Phones<br />

come to realize (albeit grudgingly) how<br />

valuable cellphones can actually be in<br />

terms of providing quality learning experiences—supervised,<br />

of course.<br />

Years ago, I made the decision to cancel<br />

my landline, so my cellphone is my only<br />

method of contacting someone. Out of necessity,<br />

therefore, I have had to teach my<br />

Susan Gnucci is a local author and a<br />

proud “nonna” to two young grandsons.<br />

She enjoys sharing her experiences as<br />

a grandparent.<br />

My children were probably the last<br />

generation to be raised without<br />

cellphones, so I must admit, I had<br />

absolutely no experience with them as a<br />

parent. In fact, I actually held off buying<br />

one for myself for a long time.<br />

By nature, I tend to resist change,<br />

especially technological change that always<br />

seems so daunting, but eventually,<br />

I did purchase a cellphone when my first<br />

grandchild was born. With his birth, I<br />

felt it was more important than ever to be<br />

able to keep in close touch with my son<br />

and daughter-in-law. Now I can’t imagine<br />

my life without one.<br />

I still have reservations about cellphones,<br />

especially when it comes to<br />

teenagers. As a former teacher, I can<br />

only imagine the issues that arise in the<br />

schools and classrooms with respect to<br />

cellphone usage. When it comes to my<br />

7-year-old grandson, however, I have<br />

grandson how to access the cellphone keypad<br />

in the event of an emergency in which<br />

he would have to call 911. We routinely<br />

practice all the steps involved in calling<br />

for help and I always keep my cellphone in<br />

the same location in my home so he knows<br />

exactly where to find it. This experience<br />

has given him a sense of pride that he<br />

is entrusted with such an important job<br />

and it has led to interesting discussions<br />

between us about the different emergency<br />

services in our community.<br />

My grandson also knows how to access<br />

the text function on my phone in case<br />

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


he wants to send his father or mother a<br />

message while he is away from them. We<br />

have had great fun inserting emojis and<br />

gifs into creative messages that convey<br />

his own unique personality so my son<br />

and daughter-in-law know my grandson<br />

is the sender. If they receive a text<br />

that has oodles of cars and truck emojis<br />

tacked on the end, they can be certain it’s<br />

from him!<br />

One of my grandson’s favourite games<br />

is “Ask the phone a question.” Using the<br />

microphone, he will pose a question and<br />

then we will research the suggested results.<br />

Where is the largest volcano? Who<br />

built the pyramids? What is a fire break?<br />

This not only broadens his knowledge<br />

base but also teaches him to think critically<br />

because I often point out the validity<br />

of a source as we look through it.<br />

Amazingly, the camera function on a<br />

smartphone these days is capable of producing<br />

good quality photos and videos.<br />

Like most children, my young grandson<br />

loves to be videotaped—he pretends to be<br />

a weatherman, a firefighter, an explorer<br />

etc. And then, of course, he enjoys watching<br />

the videos we’ve created together. We<br />

have also experimented with the slowmotion<br />

video function to produce some<br />

hilarious results. Or we will film his hot<br />

wheel car jump in slow motion, leading<br />

to modifications of the set up in order to<br />

achieve desired results.<br />

He often asks for my phone to take his<br />

own photos and videos. He might set up<br />

a detailed Lego scene for instance which<br />

he will then videotape and narrate a tour<br />

through. Admittedly, his first few attempts<br />

shot more footage of the wall or<br />

the floor, but he has gradually gotten the<br />

hang of it, understanding how to hold the<br />

phone to get the best results, even zooming<br />

in on details of his subject. I have also<br />

shown him the editing functions for photos,<br />

so we have played with things like<br />

brightness, tint, shadow effects, etc. We<br />

often discuss which effect we like best<br />

and how these effects change the mood or<br />

message of the photo.<br />

So although I still have reservations<br />

about children and cellphones in general,<br />

I have come to recognize their<br />

value when their use is controlled and<br />

supervised. They have taught me to embrace<br />

new technologies rather than fear<br />

them—yes, you can teach an old dog new<br />

tricks!—and to look for positive ways to<br />

share that technology with the next generation<br />

in order to stay connected.<br />

Make sure you are included in the upcoming<br />

Independent School<br />

& Education Guide!<br />

This is the most comprehensive list and resource for families.<br />

Email sales@islandparent.ca to reserve your spot.<br />

flexibility<br />

for<br />

different<br />

learning<br />

styles<br />

optional<br />

hands-on<br />

learning<br />

activities<br />

support<br />

from a<br />

certified<br />

teacher<br />

gentle and<br />

constructive<br />

feedback<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 41

Eat<br />

Setting Up a Meal Train<br />

Emillie Parrish loves having adventures<br />

with her two busy children. You can find<br />

more of her recipes in her recently released<br />

cookbook Fermenting Made Simple.<br />

fermentingforfoodies.com<br />

A<br />

meal train is when a group of family<br />

members and friends work<br />

together to deliver meals to someone<br />

who is going through a major life<br />

change. While some of these occasions<br />

are happy, like the birth of a new baby,<br />

it is often set up to assist in sad and<br />

stressful periods.<br />

The general idea is to have a calendar<br />

where everyone chooses a date to drop<br />

off a meal. That way the person or family<br />

in need is well fed while they cope<br />

with their transition.<br />

Meal trains can be organized via<br />

group emails or texts. Setting up a<br />

google spreadsheet that can be shared<br />

around is a simple way to organize a<br />

meal train. There are also apps and services<br />

that can be used for coordination,<br />

for example, mealtrain.com and takethemameal.com.<br />

Even if you aren’t up for coordinating<br />

a meal train, it’s always nice to drop off<br />

a healthy meal to someone who could<br />

use a bit of a hand.<br />

Here are a few tips if you’re planning<br />

on dropping off a meal to someone:<br />

• Use containers that you don’t need<br />

to get back.<br />

• Date the food, because they might<br />

not remember when it was dropped off.<br />

• Provide reheating instructions.<br />

• Ask about dietary restrictions in<br />

advance.<br />

Here are three healthy meals that<br />

are perfect for sharing. They are rich,<br />

warm, and filling. Food that will comfort<br />

and nourish. Make a double-batch<br />

so you can enjoy it as well!<br />

Rich Vegetable<br />

Noodle Soup<br />

This noodle soup is a simple and comforting<br />

dish. It’s the sort of soup that<br />

tastes better the next day, making it<br />

perfect for a meal train.<br />

2 Tbsp olive oil<br />

2 onions, chopped<br />

2 large potatoes, cut into bite-sized<br />

cubes<br />

3 leeks, chopped, white and light green<br />

parts<br />

3 large carrots, diced<br />

1 1 ⁄2 Tbsp salt<br />

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper<br />

3 quarts stock<br />

1 can of tomato paste (156 mL)<br />

1 pinch of saffron threads<br />

1 ⁄2 lb. green beans, ends removed and<br />

cut in half<br />

8 ounces soup pasta or spaghetti, broken<br />

in pieces<br />

1 jar of pesto (200g)<br />

1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup<br />

pot, add the onions, and saute over low<br />

heat for 5 minutes.<br />

2. Add the leeks, potatoes, carrots,<br />

salt, and pepper and saute over medium<br />

heat for another 5 minutes.<br />

3. Add the stock, stir in the tomato<br />

paste, and saffron. Bring to a boil, reduce<br />

the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.<br />

4. Add the green beans and pasta and<br />

simmer until the pasta is cooked, about<br />

10 minutes.<br />

5. Serve the soup with a dollop of<br />

pesto in each bowl.<br />

Slow Cooker Kale<br />

& Sausage Stew<br />

This is comfort food at its best! This<br />

sausage stew features a tomato and<br />

mashed potato base that is absolutely<br />

delicious.<br />

1 pound Italian sausage, cut into bitesized<br />

pieces<br />

1 large onion, chopped<br />

1 large-sized can diced tomatoes (28 oz)<br />

2 garlic cloves, finely diced<br />

1 cup of water<br />

3 ⁄4 tsp each salt and pepper, to taste<br />

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

2 large-sized mashing potatoes, peeled<br />

1 small bunch of kale, stems discarded<br />

and leaves torn<br />

Mashed Potatoes<br />

1 ⁄2 cup of milk<br />

1 ⁄2 cup of olive oil, plus more for serving<br />

1 ⁄2 tsp each of salt and pepper<br />

1. Mix the sausage, onion, tomatoes,<br />

and garlic in a slow cooker. Pour in the<br />

water and add the salt and pepper. Push<br />

the potatoes into the liquid so they are<br />

mostly covered.<br />

2. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or 3 to<br />

4 hours on high, until the potatoes are<br />

fork tender.<br />

3. Remove the potatoes from the slow<br />

cooker. Add the kale to the slow cooker.<br />

Stir and allow it to cook while mashing<br />

the potatoes.<br />

4. Mash the potatoes with the milk,<br />

olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir back into<br />

the stew and serve.<br />

Mediterranean<br />

Quinoa Salad<br />

While casseroles, soups, and stews are<br />

the mainstay of meal trains, sometimes<br />

a fresh salad is just the thing. This<br />

quinoa salad is packed with vegetables<br />

and flavour for a bright dish that will<br />

taste good for several days in the fridge.<br />

Tomatoes and cucumbers are both delicious<br />

additions to this salad, however,<br />

they taste best when served right away.<br />

So stick with the carrot and pepper if<br />

you’re giving the dish to someone else.<br />

1 cup of dried quinoa<br />

2 cups of water<br />

Salad dressing<br />

1 ⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar<br />

3 Tbsp olive oil<br />

2 Tbsp lemon juice<br />

1 tsp salt and pepper, to taste<br />

1 clove of minced garlic (optional)<br />

Toppings<br />

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed<br />

1 red pepper, chopped<br />

2 carrots, grated<br />

1 ⁄3 cup chopped fresh parsley<br />

3 diced spring onions<br />

1 ⁄4 cup dried cranberries<br />

1 ⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese<br />

1. Place the quinoa and water in a<br />

small pot. Bring to a boil and simmer<br />

until the quinoa is cooked but not soft,<br />

about 15 to 20 minutes.<br />

2. Meanwhile, whisk together all the<br />

dressing ingredients in a large bowl.<br />

3. Once the quinoa has finished<br />

cooking, gently toss it in the salad<br />

dressing. Allow it to cool before adding<br />

the toppings. Taste, and adjust the salt<br />

as necessary.<br />

4. After the quinoa has cooled, stir<br />

in the chickpeas, red pepper, carrot,<br />

parsley, and spring onions. Mix well.<br />

5. Top with the cranberries and<br />

crumbled feta and serve.<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 43

Grandparenting<br />

Connecting with<br />

Teenage Grandkids<br />

My boys are incredibly blessed to have grandparents who work hard to nurture<br />

a trusting, playful connection with them. Who better to offer advice on<br />

how to connect with teenage grandkids than two grandparents who make<br />

enormous efforts to play an active role in their grandkids’ lives?<br />

My parents live in our city for only two to three months out of the year, which<br />

means they need to consider how to remain present in our lives whether they are<br />

five minutes or five thousand miles away. Experiencing both ends of the spectrum<br />

provides my parents with the added advantage of being able to speak to grandparents<br />

who may be geographically close and can partake in daily activities, and those<br />

who may live further away and wish to remain connected without the privilege of<br />

being physically present.<br />

Make a<br />

lasting impact<br />

for amputees<br />

with a charitable<br />

estate donation in<br />

your will. Together,<br />

we can improve the<br />

lives of all amputees,<br />

including traditional<br />

and modern-day<br />

veterans, adults<br />

and children.<br />

estatedonation@waramps.ca<br />

waramps.ca • 1 800 465-2677<br />


Know what’s important to your grandkids. We make an effort to be a part of activities<br />

which are important to the boys—school, hobbies, sports, friends. Whenever<br />

possible, we show up to their special events but when that’s not feasible, we call<br />

or FaceTime because we want to hear all about it. Be sure to ask lots of questions<br />

and encourage conversation. Show your interest!<br />

Create opportunities to have fun as a family. If you live in the same city, this may<br />

be a family picnic in the park, a Sunday night barbeque, family movie nights or<br />

game nights. If you live in a different city, invite your grandchildren to stay with<br />

you for a long weekend or an extended period over summer break. (Inviting just<br />

the kids without their parents is an excellent way to foster bonding time.) And,<br />

when they come to visit, plan exciting experiences you can share together.<br />

Encourage projects together. In the past, we have helped our older grandson build<br />

a display wall of skateboards in his bedroom. Last summer, we helped the younger<br />

one fashion his own fishing rod. We ask them to cook with us, and we learn new<br />

skills together such as wakesurfing. They help us around the yard or with household<br />

building projects. When we are working towards a common goal, we share<br />

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


failures, successes, and lots of laughter. As grandparents, we<br />

are modelling that we are still learning too. We love to hear<br />

their suggestions and ideas when problems inevitably arise.<br />

We want our grandkids to know we think they are smart and<br />

innovative (and they can learn a lot from us, too).<br />

If you don’t live near your grandchildren, perhaps you can<br />

all take an online course together, watch the same Netflix<br />

show, or help them with their homework over FaceTime.<br />

Let your grandkids know how much you enjoy their company.<br />

We tell our boys they can talk to us about anything—<br />

YouTube, friendships, alcohol, sports, love. We try to be<br />

non-judgmental and create a safe space for them to share.<br />

They can come to us for advice or support even in times when<br />

it’s hard for them to talk with their parents. We appreciate<br />

them as teenagers and love who they are trying to become.<br />

Offer to drive them places. While this seems simple, the best<br />

conversations often happen in the car! It’s also a fantastic opportunity<br />

to get to know their friends, if they come along for<br />

the ride. We often offer to stop for a slice of pizza or a Starbucks,<br />

as this creates more shared time together.<br />


Jackson (aged 16): It’s easy to talk to Nana and Papa because<br />

they take an interest in me. I can talk to Nana about fitness<br />

and Papa loves soccer. Papa is one of my best friends. I talk to<br />

him almost every day. If you don’t share an interest with your<br />

grandkids, you can try to learn a little. Maybe watch a You-<br />

Tube video or watch their favourite TV show. That way you<br />

have something to ask them about.<br />

My grandparents are cool people. They have lots of interesting<br />

friends and they have cool experiences, so I like to ask them<br />

about what’s going on in their lives. They tell great stories and I<br />

like talking to them.<br />

They’re also really fun. They invite me to do cool things with<br />

them, like go on the boat, play soccer-golf or go quadding. I like<br />

hanging out with them.<br />

Chase (aged 13): I know Nana and Papa care about me because<br />

they call regularly. They know my friends’ names and they ask<br />

about them. They know my interests. Nana asks what I’m reading,<br />

and Papa asks about soccer. They’re also fun to be around.<br />

They laugh and smile a lot. I like that.<br />

Connecting with teens isn’t always easy. They can be moody,<br />

unpredictable, and hormonal. The world they live in is very<br />

different from when you were their age, and this may be challenging<br />

to relate to at times. Despite their occasional standoffish-ness,<br />

teens want what everyone else wants: to be seen,<br />

heard and loved. So push through your grandchildren’s prickly<br />

demeanor to show them how much you value and enjoy their<br />

company. When grandparents and teens connect, it brings joy<br />

and vitality to all!<br />

Kelly Cleeve is a best-selling author and an<br />

educator. More importantly, she is the proud<br />

parent of two amazing sons. Visit kellycleeve.<br />

com or follow her on Instagram<br />

@resilient_kel and Facebook – Raising<br />

Resilient Children/Radiant and Resilient.<br />

Where there’s a Will,<br />

there’s a way…<br />

A gift in your Will<br />

is a promise today<br />

of care for tomorrow.<br />

To learn how you can support the future<br />

health of <strong>Island</strong> children, contact<br />

legacy@islandkidsfirst.com<br />

or scan<br />

<strong>Island</strong> kid Ephraim<br />

Champions for the health of every <strong>Island</strong> family since 1926.<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 45

Grandparenting<br />

Sunday Crafternoon<br />

It’s a blustery West Coast afternoon, but<br />

my three oldest grandchildren and I<br />

aren’t worried about the weather. We’re<br />

warm and snug inside, rolling up our<br />

sleeves in preparation for a few hours<br />

of creative adventure. I’ve supplied the<br />

large table and the craft supplies; they’ve<br />

brought the unfettered enthusiasm and<br />

sky-high imaginations of four-, five- and<br />

seven-year-olds.<br />

The rules are simple: be kind, be safe<br />

and have fun! There are no other expectations<br />

for our afternoon together. I don’t<br />

know how long my grandkids will remain<br />

engaged in this activity, and I have<br />

no preconceived ideas about what our<br />

crafting will produce. We are freestyling,<br />

operating without instructions, plans, or<br />

even Pinterest pictures to guide us. Our<br />

craft materials are our only source of<br />

inspiration.<br />

The craft supplies themselves are rudimentary.<br />

We have three pairs of scissors<br />

of various sizes, rolls of scotch and masking<br />

tape, washable markers, crayons<br />

and sheets of coloured paper. But most<br />

important, we have a laundry hamper<br />

overflowing with materials otherwise<br />

destined for the recycling bin: cardboard<br />

boxes and tubes, plastic lids and containers,<br />

cards and flyers and other miscellaneous<br />

paper goods. In other words, a<br />

creative treasure trove!<br />

Seven-year-old Kieran takes the lead.<br />

He wants to make a model replica of<br />

Ladysmith, our mutual hometown. I<br />

suggest that we might not be able to construct<br />

the entire town in one afternoon,<br />

but we can certainly start with our favourite<br />

buildings. Kieran immediately gets<br />

underway on a very impressive version<br />

of Ladysmith’s post office. His younger<br />

sister Dahlia and cousin Rhea are game to<br />

contribute to the town as well, but need<br />

a little help constructing their buildings.<br />

In four-year-old Rhea’s case, a box<br />

turned inside-out makes an excellent<br />

Aggie Hall—with the addition of a sloped<br />

roof of course. Five-year-old Dahlia has<br />

her heart set on making a “baby house,”<br />

which she decorates with a door, a window<br />

and a pipe cleaner balloon.<br />

While Kieran continues work on the<br />

post office, I contribute a few more buildings<br />

for my granddaughters to decorate:<br />

two six-story apartment complexes<br />

(inspired by the size and shape of the<br />

boxes in our stash, rather than any actual<br />

Ladysmith structures) and a very basic<br />

model of our local grocery store. To jazz<br />

up the grocery store, we turn its roof into<br />

a park. Kieran supplies the bench, water<br />

slide and pool.<br />

It’s hard work building a town from<br />

scratch, and after an hour and a half my<br />

three builders let me know they’re ready<br />

for a tea break. Assuming their interest<br />

is waning, I begin to tidy up our surplus<br />

materials. But no—they aren’t quite finished<br />

after all! Fortified by licorice tea<br />

and homemade applesauce, they’re ready<br />

for their second shift. Again, Kieran leads<br />

the way, suggesting a quick trip outside<br />

to hunt for sticks to turn into trees.<br />

The second shift goes as smoothly as<br />

the first. Kieran adds a tree-house platform<br />

to his stick-tree, and then moves<br />

on to building a church complete with<br />

a steeple and pipe cleaner cross. Dahlia<br />

and Rhea turn their attention to colouring<br />

and cutting out decorations for their<br />

original structures.<br />

Finally, the moment we’ve been working<br />

toward arrives. We position our<br />

structures and trees on a larger sheet of<br />

cardboard, and just like that our little<br />

town is complete. Well, almost complete.<br />

“We need people!” says Kieran. He’s<br />

right, of course. Happily, we have a bag<br />

of Lego people nearby, just waiting to<br />

populate our new community.<br />

My twin daughters arrive to collect<br />

their children three hours after they<br />

dropped them off—and find them still<br />

engrossed in their cardboard town. By<br />

any measure, our first “crafternoon”<br />

together has been a success. Since I had<br />

almost as much fun as my grandkids, I<br />

assure them it won’t be our last.<br />

Crafternoon Tips:<br />

If a completely open-ended crafternoon<br />

seems a little daunting, the internet<br />

is full of great ideas to get your creative<br />

wheels turning. That said, with the right<br />

materials at their disposal, your grandchildren<br />

might surprise and delight you<br />

with their own original ideas.<br />

Beyond the basics like scissors, glue,<br />

tape, paint, markers and/or crayons,<br />

some of the best crafting materials are<br />

the ones you rescue from your recycling<br />

bin or wastebasket. Keep a box or two<br />

for potential materials: cardboard boxes<br />

of various sizes, paper tubes, interesting<br />

plastic packaging, greeting cards, scrap<br />

fabric, extra buttons, etc.!<br />

Finally, experience has taught me that<br />

any activity goes better when I check<br />

my expectations and follow my grandchildren’s<br />

lead as much as possible. Set<br />

parameters for the essentials like safety<br />

and healthy behaviour, of course, but<br />

do your best to surrender the rest. You<br />

never know where your grandchildren’s<br />

creativity will take you, but it’s sure to be<br />

interesting!<br />

Rachel Dunstan Muller is a<br />

children’s author, storyteller,<br />

podcaster and grandmother.<br />

You can find her podcasts<br />

Hintertales: Stories from the<br />

Margins of History and Sticks<br />

and Stones and Stories<br />

through her website at<br />

racheldunstanmuller.com.<br />

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


Central Saanich, BC North Saanich, BC North Saanich, BC<br />

every donation<br />

helps a local family build the future<br />

Saanich, BC<br />

North Saanich, BC<br />

A legacy gift to Habitat for Humanity Victoria<br />

can transform the lives of local families living in<br />

need of a safe, decent place to call home.<br />

By including us in your will or estate plan, you<br />

will ensure that your interests and passions are<br />

supported after your lifetime.<br />

visit habitatvictoria.com/donate<br />

North Saanich, BC<br />

North Saanich, BC<br />

Contact Colin Doylend<br />

email giving@habitatvictoria.com<br />

phone 250-480-7688 ext 102<br />

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember/<strong>Jan</strong>uary <strong>2023</strong> 47

Thank you<br />

for choosing<br />

SunRiver Dental &<br />

Implant Centre as<br />

Family Favourite<br />

1st Runner Up<br />

Sooke’s New<br />

State-of-the-Art Dental Clinic.<br />

Serving from Port Renfrew to<br />

the Western Communities.<br />

Featuring<br />

Needle-Free<br />

Laser<br />

Dentistry!<br />




Local Dentists that can<br />

Calm Your Dental Anxiety!<br />

Payment plans are available<br />

We accept all insurance plans<br />

Visit www.sunriverdental.ca<br />

2350 Sunriver Way, Sooke<br />

Call 778-365-0452

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!