GOOD HOUSEKEEPING BRIGHT FUTURE FAMILY FUN FAIR
The Ultimate Family Fun Day event, with fun for the whole family!
We have a full day of kids’ activities planned, as well as great live music from two of South Africa’s hottest bands, GoodLuck and TouchWood, plus mouthwatering food from some of the country’s best food trucks. The day will also focus on discovering how we can build a better world for future generations and the important role that children need to play in South Africa.
Children between two and 16 years pay just R20 for a full day of endless activities, with more than 30 kids’ activities on offer! It’s a fun day out for the whole family.
Cost: Payment required – Children between two and 16 years pay just R20 for a full day of endless activities, with more than 30 kids’ activities on offer! It’s a fun day out for the whole family.
Beach Horse Riding
Contact Gary at 0842059797 for Recreational fun loving horse riding on the beach or over hills and crossing streams. Can accommodate from novices to professionals for both the old and young. Riding lessons for adults and children also available. Special request of Children’s pony parties and weddings can be arranged.
Cost: Climbing: R30 p/p | Paintball: R150 p/p (100 balls)
Soon to be extended to 100m, the 25m outdoor climbing wall at Orlando Towers is the perfect place to challenge your abilities from different angles. The setting is what makes it so great – the Orlando Towers are one of the most distinctive landmarks in Soweto; they’re also the site of the world’s first bungee jump between two cooling towers. There’s also bungee jumping (R480), the power swing (R360) and abseiling (R260) if your budget and heart condition allow.
Contact: 071 674 4343
Acrobatics in the trees with Acrobranch
The Pretoria North park has a 3 hour high flying adult course, kids need to be 9 years and older, it costs R290 per person. You can take younger kids to acrobranch in Centurion which has much smaller obstacles for the little ones and costs R80. The Pretoria course consists of 8 adrenaline packed obstacles, including tarzan swings and a 300m long zipline which will end your amazing aerial adventure. Open Wednesday to Sunday and Public holidays From 9am to 5pm. 012 940 1966.
Even the most well-behaved toddler can have a tantrum from time to time. Tantrums are common during toddlerhood because kids can understand more than they can express and this often leads to frustration when they can’t communicate their needs.
Toddlers get frustrated in other ways, too, like when they can’t dress a doll or keep up with an older sibling. Power struggles can ensue when your toddler wants more independence and autonomy too soon.
The best way to deal with tantrums is to avoid them in the first place, whenever possible. Here are some strategies that may help:
- Make sure your child isn’t acting up simply to get attention. Try to establish a habit of catching your child being good (“time-in”), which means rewarding your little one with attention for positive behavior.
- Give your toddler control over little things. This may fulfill the need for independence and ward off tantrums. Offer minor choices that you can live with, such as “Would you like an apple or banana with lunch?”
- When kids are playing or trying to master a new task, offer age-appropriate toys and games. Also, start with something simple before moving on to more challenging tasks.
- Consider the request carefully when your child wants something. Is it outrageous? Maybe it isn’t. Choose your battles; accommodate when you can.
- Know your child’s limits. If you know your toddler is tired, it’s not the best time to go grocery shopping or try to squeeze in one more errand.
When Tempers Flare
If your child does throw a tantrum, keep your cool. Don’t complicate the problem with your own frustration. Kids can sense when parents are becoming frazzled and this can just make their frustration worse. Try to understand where your child is coming from. For example, if your youngster has just had a great disappointment, you may need to provide comfort.
Ignoring the outburst is another way to handle it — if the tantrum poses no threat to your child or others. Continue your activities, paying no attention to your child but remaining within sight. Kids who are in danger of hurting themselves or others during a tantrum should be taken to a quiet, safe place to calm down.
Some kids will have a hard time stopping a tantrum. In these cases, it might help to say to say, “I’ll help you settle down now.” But whatever you do, do not reward your toddler by giving into desires. This will only prove that tantrums are an effective tactic for getting what he or she wants. Instead, verbally praise your child for regaining self-control.
As their language skills improve and they mature, kids become better at handling frustration and tantrums are less likely. If you’re having difficulty handling you child’s temper tantrums or have any questions about discipline, ask your pediatrician for advice.
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My son learned to read last year. It was, and still is, the greatest milestone I have witnessed in the life of my child. Yes, learning to walk was amazing and one cannot deny the joy a parent feels when your little one graduates from diapers into underwear. These are all wonderful and should be celebrated, but there is nothing quite like learning to read. Listening to my son read often brings tears to my eyes, being a reader myself, I know the power a book has to transform your mind, to transport you to places you may never see in real life; a book has the power to heal and imparts knowledge that you may never be able to learn from anyone else. More so, reading is independence. It allows you to read important labels, to follow important rules, it can give you direction when you don’t know where to go and it can often save your life. I think adults often take for granted the absolute gift it is to be able to read.
I’ve encouraged my children to read from an early age, I’ve tried to grow their little library of books at home and when asked, I always encourage gift-givers to give books. Even with the introduction of digital readers and tablets, which no doubt, has made reading more accessible and even cheaper, I still believe in the magic of a real book, turning pages until they are dog-eared from continuous use, the musty smell of an old library book; reading is a legacy I hope to leave for my children long after I have gone.
In saying this, I thought I’d share a few of our favourite books; books my children and I have enjoyed reading during their toddler and preschool years.
The Curious George series.
If you grew up in the 80s, you know Curious George. The gutsy little monkey who belongs to the Man in the Yellow Hat; his antics will keep your little ones entertained.
The Mr Men and Little Miss series
What I love the most about these books, are the lessons they impart in a rather unconventional way. The books are all about people who are very different – tall, short, angry, happy, worried or loud. It gives you a chance to discuss with your children the diverse world in which we live.
The Cat in the Hat series (Dr Seuss)
Little children love rhyming books, and Dr Seuss is all about the rhymes! There are so many books in the Cat and the Hat series, and they are great for older kids too.
The Berenstain Bears series
Also a favourite from my own childhood, these books always end with such a good lesson for little people.
When I’m feeling… series (Trace Moroney)
These books are amazing for discussing feelings with children. In the series, you will find titles like When I’m feeling Angry, When I’m feeling Jealous, When I’m feeling Lonely. There is a book for every emotion!
Which books does your family enjoy?
This should be our new family motto. The number of times I hear this phrase a day from my perfectly privileged children is alarming. They are, however, at the age where everything needs to be fair and square. Things need to be split fairly; duties need to be shared unbiasedly and who gets to go first for EVERYTHING needs to be closely monitored. It.is.exhausting.
My son totally understands the chivalrous concept of “ladies first” as long as it doesn’t infringe on his life’s pleasures. And my daughter doesn’t mind things not being fair, as long as she isn’t the one who has been put into an unfair position. Kids, hey.
These are just a few “unfair” situations I have to deal with on the daily in my house. Woe is me:
- Who has more peas on their plate. I am sorry, I will simply not start counting out peas at dinner time. Oh and do not let the sliced carrots look different. How come his carrots are bigger/juicier/rounder than mine? I mean really I&J, can you not slice your frozen carrots exactly the same please?
- Who gets to brush their teeth first. Seriously? What difference is it going to make? Will the person who goes second have a minty fresh breath for 0.5 seconds more? And along with this point is who gets to flush the toilet… well forgive my ignorance but surely it is the right and privilege of the person who is ON the toilet, to flush said toilet?
- Who has to pack away the toys. In their minds, fair means putting away the toys according to whom they belong to. So my daughter must pack away all the “girl” toys and my son must pack away all his toys. Works well if they were playing independently. But if they were BOTH playing in Son’s room and only playing with HIS toys and then Daughter gets up and walks away when it’s cleaning up time, citing that those are Son’s toys, then that is NOT FAIR and Son loses it. Same thing if they were playing in Daughter’s room and Son leaves her to clean up. Of course, I disagree with their rule and everyone must pick up everything together regardless but that was THEIR rule!! They came up with that all on their own! But it’s like WW2 when their rule backfires because, of course, it’s not FAIR!
- And it’s the same for everything: who gets to talk first, who gets to use the soap first in the bath every night, who gets to have the last yellow yoghurt, who gets the last kiss good night, who gets to switch on the lights, and who gets to switch off the lights, who gets to fetch whatever mommy is asking for.
So that’s IT! I am done trying to appease small children with big demands. They need to understand that life ain’t fair baby. I’m not going to start cutting up frozen carrots to make everyone happy. No sirree. So NOW I’m trying to teach them that ACTUALLY, not everything IS fair. Life is often not fair and sometimes we just need to suck it up and get on with it. Sometimes we do things for the other person’s sake and on the surface it seems unfair but we do it to make that person feel happy… for example helping to pick up the toys even if you didn’t play with them, but you’re doing it to help your sister or your brother out. But alas, right now it’s all just UNFAIR. Life is so UNFAIR for 4 and 5 year olds, I tell you. *eyes rolling in deep sarcasm*
Who’s in the throes of the “that’s so unfair” stage?
My son lost his first tooth. I think it is too early. He is six. I think it is too soon for him to be losing teeth. What next? University? A girlfriend? Marriage? It’s just going too fast. Make it stop.
Mothering is a weird thing. Some days I am so happy that they are grown, that they can wipe their own bums, sleep through the night, fetch my slippers and BE QUIET when I tell them to. But on the contrary, I feel this sadness that they are growing so fast. There’s a part of me that misses the sleepless nights, the endless stream of dirty diapers and the utter dependence that my babies had on me. I looked at my children’s bodies the other day; there are hardly any signs of babyhood left. Their bodies are lean, there are no dimples on their thighs and no pudginess left to squeeze. I remember a time when their arms couldn’t reach around my neck to hug me, but these days they almost strangle me with their gangly limbs wrapped twice around my neck.
I don’t know how much time I have left for them to fit onto my lap. Already it’s getting awkward because it’s all arms, legs and poky bum bones and I’m like WHEN DID YOU GET SO BIG? I do know that I’ll keep them right here on my lap for as long as they will let me.
I love that we can still cuddle.
There are many moments in my parenting future that I am dreading… puberty, boyfriends and girlfriends, school projects, slamming doors and ALL that. But one moment which will truly break my heart is when the cuddling stops. And I KNOW it will happen, that’s the cycle of life, it’s a normal progression, I get that. But man, it will hurt. I still hug and kiss my own parents but I know that if I tried to sit on my mother’s lap I would most likely render her injured, ha. But I wonder if she misses it? I need to ask her that. Does the growing up part get easier? I know that each stage comes with wonderful things, I can’t wait to have a teenage daughter – shopping together, going for spa days, getting her to colour my greys and ogling over movie stars… I look forward to those times. As I do with my son… I look forward to fostering a relationship where he’ll talk to me about stuff, I pray every day that my boy and I will be able to talk about STUFF. That he’ll feel safe talking to me about STUFF. All sorts of STUFF. And hanging out together, playing Xbox or Playstation or whatever is cool for teenage boys in 2022.
But for the moment I do hope that time will stand still, I wish that these babies of mine would stay just that for a moment longer. When you’re in the throes of new parenting and it’s difficult, older moms will often say “don’t wish this time away, they grow so quickly” and at that moment you don’t get it because it’s just so hard and you want it to be over, you just want to sleep a full night’s sleep or get through a day where you can shower and pee in peace. But it’s true. Enjoy every moment, even the extremely awful moments of colic and teething woes, because time is the one commodity we cannot buy. Blink, and you may miss it.
A lot of changes happen as you grow up, especially as you reach puberty (say: PYOO-bur-tee), the name for the time when your body begins to develop and change. Girls start developing breasts and get their periods — signs they are growing into women.
But how do boys know they are growing into men? Let’s find out.
For a guy, there isn’t just one event or sign that you’re growing up. There are lots of them, including your body growing bigger, your voice changing, and hair sprouting everywhere. Most boys begin puberty between the ages of 9 and 14. But keep in mind that puberty starts when a boy’s body is ready, and everyone grows at his own pace.
Here are some of the questions boys have.
Why Are Girls Taller Than Me?
You might have noticed that some of the girls you know are taller than the boys. But you’ve probably noticed that out of the adults you know, most of the men are taller than the women. What’s going on?
Well, girls get a head start on puberty — and growing taller — because they usually start these changes between the ages of 8 and 13. Most boys, on the other hand, don’t begin until between the ages of 9 and 14. So that’s why girls are often taller than boys during that time.
Most boys may catch up — and even grow taller than girls. But it’s also important to remember that your genetics play a role in height. So if your mom and dad are tall, you’re more likely to be tall. And if your mom and dad are kind of short, you may be short, too. But nothing is definite.
You have to wait and see how it turns out, but you can also talk to a doctor if you’re concerned. Remember — not every adult male is tall. Many men who are considered “short” have gone on to have careers in the movies, the military, and even professional basketball!
When Will I Get Muscles?
During puberty, some boys might become worried about their bodies after seeing what some of their friends look like. For instance, lots of boys are concerned about their muscles. You may have already noticed some boys starting to get chest muscles (called the pectoralis muscles or pecs for short). Others may have broad shoulders (the deltoids, or delts for short). Other boys might still be slimmer and smaller.
Remember that puberty happens on its own schedule, so there’s no rushing it if you’re a little slower to develop muscles. Maybe you’ve considered lifting weights to help yourself get bigger. It’s important to know that if you haven’t quite reached puberty, this will tone your muscles, but it won’t build up any muscles yet.
Eating nutritious food and being active (like riding your bike, swimming, and playing sports) will help you be a kid who’s strong and fit. In time, you’ll reach puberty and you can start building your muscles, too.
If you decide to try lifting weights, first let your doctor know you are interested. He or she may tell you to hold off on weightlifting for a bit or give you some advice on how to start. If your doctor discourages weightlifting, try some other ways to work out. Resistance bands, which are like big rubber bands, are a great way to help build your strength without putting too much strain on your muscles.
If your doctor recommends weightlifting, here are some tips:
- Have a qualified coach or trainer supervise you. It’s smart to have somebody show you the proper way to lift weights. This will help you gain strength and prevent injury.
- Use lighter weights. Your coach or trainer can recommend the right amount. Lifting heavy weights can cause injuries and then you’ll have to wait until you recover before you can work out again.
- Do repetitions. It’s better to lift a smaller amount of weight a bunch of times than to try to lift a heavy weight once or twice.
- Rest. Let your body have a break at least every other day.
Do I Think About Girls Too Much or Not Enough?
There is this girl who lives in your neighbourhood and you see her playing with her friends every afternoon when school is done. You get really hot and your palms sweat when she says “hi” to you. That night you go to bed and before you sleep, you have one last thought about her. Every day for the next few weeks you keep thinking about her. You might be wondering, “Why do I feel this way?” You just may have a crush.
Or perhaps your friend keeps talking about this one girl he thinks is so pretty. He goes on and on about how she tells funny jokes. He also tells you that he likes her. You think, “Why don’t I feel or talk this way about a girl — am I supposed to?”
Every boy has his own likes and dislikes. And during puberty, some boys are very friendly with girls and others might be nervous about talking to girls. Thinking about someone you like is a normal process of puberty. And if you feel like you don’t like any girls, that’s fine, too. Eventually, you may find someone who makes you feel giddy inside. Only time will tell.
So why do you feel this way? The hormones in your body are becoming more active. As a result, you’re starting to have more feelings. These feelings can confuse you and may leave you scared. This is natural because you are going through a new phase in your life.
Talking with a friend or an older person like your brother or sister might help you be less confused. Older people sometimes have more experience than you, so they can be good people to go to for advice.
What’s Up With Body Hair?
Body hair really gets going during puberty. Some boys will start to notice hair growing on their face around the chin, on the cheeks, and above the lip. Also, hair grows on the chest, the armpits, and even down there in the pubic region. Remember that there’s nothing to worry about because hair is just one of the body’s many ways of telling you that you are on your way to manhood.
You’re growing hair in new places because hormones are telling your body that it is ready to change. Some of the hormones that trigger this new hair growth come from your adrenal glands. Other hormones come from your pituitary (say: puh-TOO-uh-ter-ee) gland (a pea-shaped gland located at the bottom of your brain). These pituitary hormones travel through your bloodstream and make your testicles (“balls”) grow bigger and start to release another hormone called testosterone that also helps make your body start sprouting hair in your pubic area, under your arms, and on your face.
Boys don’t really need to do anything about this new hair that’s growing. Later, when you’re a teen, and the hair gets thick enough on your face, you may want to talk with your parents about shaving.
Do I Smell?
You probably know what sweat is, but did you know that it’s also called perspiration (say: pur-spuh-RAY-shun)? How does it happen? Perspiration comes out of your skin through tiny holes called pores when your body gets hot.
Your body likes a temperature that is 98.6°F (37°C). If you get hotter than that, your body doesn’t like it, so then your body sweats. The sweat comes out of the skin, then evaporates (this means it turns from a liquid to a vapor) into the air, which cools you down. Sometimes this sweat or wetness can be smelly and create body odor (sometimes called BO). During puberty, your hormones are working all the time, which explains why you sweat a lot and, well, sometimes smell.
What makes it smelly? The sweat is made almost completely of water, with tiny amounts of other chemicals like ammonia (say: uh-MOE-nyuh), urea (say: yoo-REE-uh), salts, and sugar. (Ammonia and urea are left over when your body breaks down protein.) Sweat by itself is not really smelly, but when it comes in contact with the bacteria on your skin (which everyone has) it becomes smelly.
But how can you keep yourself from being all sweaty and smelly? First, you can shower or bathe regularly, especially after playing sports or sweating a lot, like on a hot day. You can also use deodorant under your arms.
Deodorant comes in many good-smelling scents or you can use one that’s unscented. Some deodorants come in a white stick that you can twist up. Lots of people put this on after showering or bathing before they put their clothes on. Otherwise, the white stick deodorants can leave white marks on your clothes. You can also choose a deodorant that’s clear instead of white.
You can decide to wear a deodorant (which helps stops the smell) or a deodorant/antiperspirant (which helps stops the smell and the sweat). If you find these products aren’t working for you, talk with your doctor.
What About Erections?
An erection is what happens when your penis fills up with blood and hardens. The penis will become bigger and stand out from the body. Boys will start to notice erections occurring more often when they reach puberty. And they’re perfectly normal.
An erection can happen at any time. You can get many in one day or none at all. It depends on your age, sexual maturity, level of activity, and even the amount of sleep you get.
An erection can happen even when you’re sleeping. Sometimes you might wake up and your underwear or bed is wet. You may worry that this means you wet your bed like when you were little, but chances are you had a nocturnal emission, or “wet dream.” A wet dream is when semen (the fluid containing sperm) is discharged from the penis while a boy is asleep. Semen is released through the urethra — the same tube that urine (pee) comes out of. This is called ejaculation.
Wet dreams occur when a boy’s body starts making more testosterone. This change for boys is little bit like when a girl gets her period. It’s a sign a boy is growing up and the body is preparing for the day in the future when a man might decide to be a father. Semen contains sperm, which can fertilize a woman’s egg and begin the process that ends with a baby being born.
Although some boys might feel embarrassed or even guilty about having wet dreams, a boy can’t help it. Almost all boys normally experience them at some time during puberty and even as adults.
But if you ever have pain or a problem with your penis or testicles, it is important that someone take you to the doctor. You may think “Man, I don’t want to go to the doctor for that!” But it’s best to get problems like this checked out — and your doctor won’t be embarrassed at all. It’s a doctor’s job to help you take care of your body — even that part.
Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MD
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As a parent, you soon discover that every single decision you make revolves around your children. Even decisions that have nothing to do with your children, boil down to how it will impact your children. Let me give you an example to illustrate my point. Changing jobs before you had children may have looked something like this: you’re passionate about it, the money is good, the growth potential is high, and you’re possibly bored with your current job. Great. But making changes to your career when you have children looks something like this: how far is the office from my kid’s school, are the hours flexible enough for me to attend school events and stay home if my kid gets sick, does the salary cover school fees and the million other costs related to having a kid, forget job satisfaction, is the medical aid scheme good for families?
You get where I’m going with this, right?
This same thought process is applied for any decision you make post-kids. Think about it for a minute… your job, the clothes you wear, the groceries in your cupboard, the car you drive, the people you hang out with – if you are really honest with yourself, you’d agree that the common denominator for all these factors is based on your children.
Still don’t believe me? Let me break it down.
As a woman, from the moment your little one is born, you start planning your wardrobe around breastfeeding, or what colour hides spit-up best. Mom Jeans is a thing, people. We need to be comfortable if we’re going to be climbing jungle gyms and cleaning Cheerios from behind the couch on our knees.
Cross out the shell fish and sirloin steaks on your grocery list. These items are replaced with two minute noodles and lots of cheese. Man alive, children eat a lot of cheese. And you may as well pack that Jamie Oliver cookbook away; the only meals you will be making will be those your children will actually ingest. Mainly spaghetti bolognaise, hot dogs and two minute noodles.
What about your automobile? Well shame, the sexy model you currently drive will need to be traded in for a mom-mobile, more suited to carting children and their many accessories around. You become more concerned with ABS brakes and airbags for transporting your precious cargo and whether your car has an ISOFIX fitting, rather than how cute you look behind the wheel.
And lastly, your friends… We can all attest to the fact that when you become a parent, you more often than not, lose touch with friends who have not procreated yet. And I get it. Quite frankly, I too would not want to hang out with people who discuss their baby’s poo at the dinner table. Your children start to dictate who you spend time with, or more specifically, who wants to spend time with YOU.
Say what you want, we are all slaves to the little dictators who run our lives. Their totalitarian rule means we can do nothing, go anywhere or say anything without their consent. And just you try to deviate, you will be punished in ways you can’t even imagine… like a sleepless night or a bowl of cereal flung across the kitchen floor.
What’s most peculiar about this whole predicament is that it’s a dictatorship that no parent would trade in for the world!