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  • 7 Nature Outings for Grandparents & Grandkids

    Making Sense of Social Media

    GrandparentGrandparentI S L A N DGrandparentGrandparent2 0 1 5

    Here & There 10 Things to Do with Your Grandkids

    Making Sense of Social Media Making Sense of Social Media

    7 Nature Outings for Grandparents & Grandkids

    Making Sense of Social Media

    7 Nature Outings 7 Nature Outings 7 Nature Outings for Grandparents for Grandparents for Grandparents & Grandkids & Grandkids & Grandkids

    7 Nature Outings 7 Nature Outings 7 Nature Outings 7 Nature Outings 7 Nature Outings 7 Nature Outings for Grandparents for Grandparents for Grandparents for Grandparents for Grandparents for Grandparents & Grandkids & Grandkids & Grandkids & Grandkids & Grandkids & Grandkids

    GrandparentPreparedness 101

    A Letter to My Granddaughter

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  • 2 Island Grandparent 2015

    Island Grandparent Magazine, produced by Island Parent Group Enterprises Ltd., is an annual publication that honours and supports grandparents by providing information on resources and businesses for families, and a forum for the exchange of ideas and opinions. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher. No material herein may be reproduced without the permission of the Editor. Island Grandparent Magazine is distributed free in selected areas.

    Island Grandparent Magazine830A Pembroke St, Victoria, BC V8T 1H9Tel: 250-388-6905 Fax: 250-388-6920Website: islandparent.ca

    Publisher/Owner: Mark WarnerEditor: Sue FastSales & Marketing: RaeLeigh BuchananPublishers Assistant & Sales: Linda FrearDistribution: Ray Cutts, Ted Dawes (Mid-Island)Production: Eacrett Graphic DesignPrinted at Black PressCover Printed at Hillside PrintingISSN 0838-5505On the Cover: Doug and Deb Hughes with grandsons Nash (on shoulders), Gage and twins Grayson and Logan Cover Photo: Erin Wallis Photography, erinwallis.com

    CONTENTSFrom the Editor ......................3

    This & That .............................4

    Words to Live By .....................6

    7 Nature Outings ....................8

    GrandparentPreparedness 101 ................10

    Being There for the Birth .....12

    Great Picture Booksto Share ................................14

    A Trip to the Library .............15

    A Grandparents Guideto Feeding Babies ................16

    Here & There ........................18

    A Letter to MyGranddaughter .....................20

    Making Sense ofSocial Media .........................22

    GrandparentingThen & Now ..........................24

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    From the Editor

    Like becoming a parent, becoming a grand-parent requires no formal training, no certi-fication or licensing, and generally speaking, no proof of any particular skills or abilities. If you have your own child, youre pretty much good to go. And even if you dont, there are, occasionally, honorary positions available. So when I found out I was eight months away from becoming a new grandparent, I wasnt worried. Id already helped raise four childrenthree of my own plus my step-daughterand theyd survived. How hard could it be?

    But not long before the babys due date, after Id stopped at a store to buy three helium balloons for my neighbours kids who Id be seeing later that day, I started to question my competence.

    If You Think LosingYour Marbles Is Bad...try losing your balloons

    No sooner had I wrestled the balloons into my car and pulled into traffic, when I decided to open the sunroof for air.

    Bad idea.Whooshthen whooshthen whoosh.

    Just like that, one after the other, the balloons were gone. Gone. Just like my dignity when I returned to the store and had to explain why I needed three more.

    This episode made me think: If I cant be trusted with the safety of three balloons, what made me think I could be trusted with the safety of three children? Or even riskier, a new baby?

    But thankfully, unlike balloons, there are car seats for babiesnot to mention gravityso the chances of me losing a grandchild through the sunroof are slim.

    Were lucky, as grandparents, that at a time

    in life when our memory starts to fail and our bones begin to shrink, our brainsand, I would add, our heartscontinue to grow. A certain wisdom comes into play, along with a broader perspective that can only come after raising our own children. All of the everyday tensions and expectations of the parent-child relation-ships seem to vanish, leaving us to discover the joy of grandparenting. Now we can delight in watching our grandchildren grow, all while we marvel at watching our children as they parent.

    As much as Id like to think otherwise, grand-parenting is not all just about fun and games: saying yes when the parents say no; serving des-sert before dinner; staying up telling stories past bedtime; or cracking questionable one-liners at just the right moment. Its not just about providing free childcare, RESP contributions, unsolicited parenting advice, the passing down of skills and talents, not to mention tales, jokes, ancestry and embarrassing stories. Grandpar-enting can be about all of those things, sure, but most of all its about unconditional love. Its about being allies with our grandchildren as they discover who they are and then go about finding their place in the world.

    Heres to enjoying our grandchildren, to keeping them safe and laughing, and to letting them know, again and again, that they are loved.

    Sue Fast

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  • 4 Island Grandparent 2015

    This

    You may want to write down a few of yourfavourite recipesand what it was like the day

    your own mother taught you how to make the familydish. You may want to talk about your best friends, andthe times you shared together. You may want to let us

    know, through the prism of your own times, what it was like to see the Beatles in concert, or sign up for the draft,

    or sell the family farm. Your words will embroider the emotional quilt of your history, and will be handed

    down with care and reverence. No one will fight overa platter or a set of goblets, because they will be

    too busy getting to know you and the life youled, in words you carefully chose.

    Are you are a grandparent raising your grandchildren? You are not alone. To talk with someone about resources and programs that you may not be aware of, please call the province-wide GRG Information Line toll free at 1-855-474-9777. You can also find out about programs on the Island that provide opportunities to meet with other grandparents who are raising their grandchildren, along with information, support and activities. Find out more by visiting parentsupportbc.ca. Children have a better sense of who they are and where

    theyve come from. They have roots, a history, and a senseof continuity and perspective.Th e benefi ts to children of a close connection to their grandparents. From legacyproject.org.

    Grandparent Books10 Books About Being and/or Having Grandparents (in no particular order): Th e Grandma Book by Todd Parr (Little Brown) Here Comes Grandma by

    Janet Lord (Henry Holt) Where is Coco Going by Sloane Tanen (Bloomsbury) Th e Hello, Goodbye Window byJuster and Chris Raschka (Hyperion) Me With You by Kristi Dempsey (Philomel) Grandpa & Bo by Kevin Henkes (Greenwil-low) Song & Dance Man by Karen Ackerman (Knopf ) Th e Bee Tree by Patricia Polacco (Putnam) Fablehaven by Brandon Mull (Alladin) Off to School, Baby Duck! by Amy Hest (Candlewick). For the full list of 16 titles, visit grandparents.com

    According to Stats Can, undergrads in Canada are now paying, on aver-age, $5,959 in tuition fees for the 2014/15 school year that started last fall, or 3.3 per cent more than they were in 2013.

    Here, from Th e Globe and Mail, are personal fi nance columnist Rob Car-ricks tips for grandparents who want to help with the costs.

    1. Obtain your grandchilds social insurance number.2. Decide between individual (one benefi ciary, who can be anyone) and

    group RESP plan (multiple benefi ciaries related by blood or adoption and under the age of 21 when the account is set up).

    3. Decide on a fi nancial provider: Banks, online brokers and investment advisers all off er RESP accounts.

    4. Decide on investments: Pretty much anything that can be in an RRSP can be used in an RESP.

    5. Set up contribution plan: Saving works best when its automatic. Con-sider having money electronically transferred from your chequing account into an RESP every month.

    From An Education Tip for Grandparents, The Globe and Mail,theglobeandmail.com

    The Benefits of Grandparents

    Playgrounds & Stroller RoutesVictoriamom.ca has a list of stroller routes that are perfect for

    grandparents strolling with their grandkids. Look under the Mom Body tab for routes, descriptions and maps. Or look for playgrounds under the Activities tab to discover great outdoor sites you may not know about. Each playground listing includes a description, location and photo. For best playgrounds and water parks in the Nanaimo region, visit nanaimoinformation.com/playgrounds.php.

    According to Cangrands, a non-profitorganization that provides support to caregiver families, some 62,500children are being raised by kin in Canada, mainly by a grandmother or aunt.

    A GrandparentsTo-Dos

    From Why Grandparents Matter, by Adriana Trigiani, at

    grandparents.com

    GRANDPARENT NICKNAMES Grandmothers: Nana Gram G-ma Gamma

    Ne-ma Ama Nona Bama GagaGrandfathers: Papa Gramps G-pa Grandad Pop Papi Grand-D Dabba-Do Gumpa

    Grandparents RaisingGrandchildren Support Group

    How to Set Up an RESP for Your Grandchild

    &&That

  • 5kidsinvictoria.com

    Car Seat SafetyWhen it comes to car seat use for your grandchildren, you probably rely on the childs

    parents to keep you informed, but heres some general information to keep in mind, especially if youre a new grandparent.

    1. For Infants/ToddlersYou must use a rear-facing child car seat until your child is at least one year of age and

    weighs at least 9kgs (20lbs). Theres no rush to switch to a forward-facing seatthese guidelines are just the minimum requirements. Your baby or toddler can stay rear-facing, so long as their weight is within the specific child seats stated limit.

    A rear-facing child seat is the safest option for a small child, as it provides better sup-port for your baby or toddlers head and neck. Ideal placement is in the back seat, centre position. Never install a rear-facing seat on a front seat equipped with an air bagthe child could be injured if the air bag deployed.

    2. Toddlers/PreschoolWhen the child is older than one year and weighs between 9-18kg (20-40lbs), use a

    rear or forward-facing car seat, depending on the childs weight. Keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible. This is the safest option as long as their weight is within the manufacturers stated limit.

    Ideal placement is in the back seat. Forward facing seats must always be used with a tether.

    For the latest information on proper car seat use, visit Transport Canadas website at tc.gc.ca.

    Vancouver Island Universitys Grand-Kids University program is a unique way for grandparents and grandchildren to spend two days together on VIUs Na-naimo campus experiencing university life. The program is now in its eighth year and had close to 100 students last year. This year, GrandKids U will be held on July 9 and 10.

    Just like other university students, participants get to choose their major from subjects such as chemistry, art, baking, and fisheries and aquaculture. They also get to experience student activities like a barbecue, organized sporting events and movies.

    Enhance your experience by stay-ing in the student residences (single occupancyyou can book two adjoin-ing rooms with a shared bathroom) or share a room (one twin bed with linens suppliedbring a foamy, pillow and sleeping bag for the floor). Rooms have a small refrigerator. Grandkids are paired with grandparents in the rooms and free evening activities are provided.

    Make sure you add your contact info to the interest list through the website for updates at viu.ca/grandkids or to register, phone 1-866-734-6252.

    Grandkids University Bridges the Generational Gap

    Pearls of wisdom passed on by our grand-parents stay with most of us for the rest of our lives, according to a 2013 study.

    Gems such as practice makes perfect and never go to bed on an argument are among the tips retained by two thirds of adults for life.

    Researchers said the most common advice from grandparents is along the lines of good manners dont cost anything, followed by you can only do your best.

    The poll of 2,000 adults revealed that the average person has retained 22 tips handed down by their grandparents.

    Other advice came in the form of sayings such as, neither a lender nor borrower be and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    From Granny Really Does Know Best, by Katy Winter, for The Daily Mail at dailymail.co.uk

    Wise Words

  • 6 Island Grandparent 2015

    Words to Live ByIn the space of two years, I lost my mother to cancer and became a grandmother for the first time. I was present for my mothers last breath and my grandsons first, and both moments marked me in a profound way.

    My mother was only 65 when she died, fol-lowing her third go-around with breast cancer. The last months were painfulphysically for my mother, and emotionally for those of us who loved herand yet I think my father and siblings would agree when I say that she had a good death. Shed had a rich life, had no unfinished business, and died at peace in the embrace of her husband of 44 years, her three grown children, and a daughter-in-law whom she loved like one of her own. Her funeral was huge, with family, friends, colleagues, and clients sharing warm memories of a woman whod laughed easily, and made everyone she interacted with feel safe and welcome.

    My mothers death left a gaping hole. Shed been the centre of our close extended family, organizing and hosting frequent get-togethers, sharing wisdom when we sought it, and listen-ing when that was what we needed. Up until her last months, she was still very much my momthe person I called when I needed parenting advice, or cooking tips, or encour-agement. Shed played an irreplaceable role in my five childrens lives as well, and their grief was hard to watch.

    In the weeks following my mothers funeral, it struck me that I was now the matriarch of my immediate family, the oldest woman in my childrens direct line. I had a heightened awareness of what my mother had given us. Inspired by her example, I resolved to embrace my new status with as much grace and inten-tion as I could. But how to begin?

    I fell into a strategy almost by accident. I struggled in those early months, both with grief, and with pain and frustration as the result of a bad knee injury that wasnt healing. Id seen how my mother had retained her dignity and even her joy by choosing to remain grateful right to the end of her life. Out of desperation I decided to practice gratitude too, to make it the word I lived by. And it made a difference. The more I looked at my life circumstances through a grateful lens, the better I coped. I took out books from the library, and learned that grati-

    tude is a discipline that can be cultivated. My own experience echoed what researchers had discovered: that actively practising gratitude increases life satisfaction, and leads to more fulfilling relationships, greater optimism, hope, and empathy.

    My experiment with gratitude was so suc-cessful, that as a new year began, I resolved to adopt another word. My mother again served as my role model. She was a generous woman in every sense, and so I decided to become a student of generosity. There are many mate-rial ways to be generous: donations to worthy causes, gifts to friends, colleagues, or even strangers. But I was interested in generositys other manifestations. As soon as I started pay-ing attention, I saw examples everywhere. I saw people who were generous with their words: offering encouragement, sharing sincere compliments, and speaking kindly to everyone they encountered. I saw people who were generous with their time: jumping in when a job needed to be done, volunteering at school

    Mary Dunstan with her granddaughter, Rebecca.

    Rachel Dunstan Muller

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    or in the community, stopping to listen when a neighbour needed a sympathetic ear. I saw people who were generous with their surplus: sharing excess produce from their gardens, passing on outgrown clothes and toys to other families, and donating what they didnt need to local charities. There were subtler acts of generosity as well: people who let others have the spotlight, or let someone else go first in line. The more I looked, the more I saw that it was possible to respond generously in almost any situation. As the year went on, I did my best to put what I was observing into practice, in the hope that it would take root and become a permanent way of interacting with the world.

    Since January Ive been trying to live by a new word, again inspired by my mothers example. This time the word is hospitality. As an introvert its not something that comes naturally to me, but Im discovering that even hospitality can be learned. To that end Ive been initiating more conversations, inviting people into my home more frequently, and welcoming the occasional overnight guest. Ive even emceed a few public events. To my surprise, Ive enjoyed pushing the boundaries of my comfort zoneand the new friendships that have resulted. Ive learned that hospitality is an attitude more than anything else. Its about making newcomers and guests feel welcome, cared for, and safe. Its not about impressing, or projecting an image of perfection. Good thing, because theres no perfection here!

    And what will my next word be? I dont know yet; Im still focused on this years word. Living in the present was another of my mothers gifts.

    My grandson was born at the end of Decem-ber. When my daughter and her husband first announced that they were expecting a child, they asked me what I wanted to be called. Not Grandma, I told them. That was my mothers title for more than two decades, and out of re-spect for her memory, I wanted another name. My daughter felt differentlyshe wanted the title to continue so that what it represented would live on for her own children. In the end, I acquiesced. When my grandson begins talking, hell call me Grandma after all.

    I am not my mother, nor am I trying to become her. But she left a legacy of kindness, generosity and wisdom that I would love to pass on to my own children and grandchildren. I dont know if Ill ever catch up, but Im work-ing on it, one word at a time. Rachel Dunstan Muller is the mother of five, grandmother of one and a childrens author. Her previous articles can be found at kidsinvictoria.com.

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  • 8 Island Grandparent 2015

    Victoria to Sooke or Sidney

    Steam along the Galloping Goose or Lochside Regional

    Trails.Watch for birds and other marshland crea-

    tures from the Swan Lake, Todd Creek or Blenkinsop trestles, and imagine the trains that used to blow their whistles here. Every visit, explore an urban or rural section of the more than 80 kilometres of mostly level trail on these former railway lines.

    SaanichWalk under towering trees at

    Francis/ King Regional Park.Listen for the tap-tap-tap of

    pileated woodpeckers or the scurrying of red squirrels in the leaves from the accessible Elsie King Trail, an interpretive boardwalk loop through the forest. You can warm up by checking out the Nature Centre displays.

    7 Nature Outingsfor grandparents and grandkids

    Traipse the trail at Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park.

    Search for ducks, great blue herons and mink along the shore-

    line or look around the forest to spot woodpeckers, squirrels or maybe an owl. The 10 km lake loop trail is level and accessible to strollers. Pick a section to explore and come back to one of the many picnic areas at Beaver, Hamsterly, or Eagle beaches.

    North SaanichRamble from forest to ocean

    at Coles Bay Regional Park.Look for wildlife on the

    10-minute trail through the for-est to the beach at this quaint little park. The cobble beach is home to shore crabs, moon snails, and you might even spot seals bobbing in the waters offshore. Picnic at the beach or at the grassy picnic site near the parking lot.

    To everything there is a season when youre exploring nature with a grandchild in hand. Blessed with a mild climate and year-round access to 33 regional parks and trails in the Capital Regional District, theres no better time than the present to grab a map, a small backpack and your grandchild(ren) to explore nature. Here are a few of the popular short outings to regional parks and trails that you and your grandchild will enjoy.

    Pho

    to: C

    apita

    l Reg

    iona

    l Dis

    tric

    t

    Laurie Sthamann

    1

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    Toddlers SocialJoin us in the Galleon Room at Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre for this drop-in program where your grandchild can ride the ride-on toys, climb the kindergym, and bounce in the bouncy castle plus crafts, games, and circle time.

    Tuesdays & FridaysSeptember 18 to December 18*$3 Child & $2 per sibling 0-2 Years 9:30-10:15am2-4 Years 10:30-11:15am

    * Program does not run on Pro D Days October 23 and November 20.

    www.westshorerecreation.ca

    This artist didnt receive the support he needed in his lifetime

    ensure that the arts in your community are supported during yours

    Remember the Community Arts Council of the Saanich Peninsula in your estate planning

    To leave a lasting legacy: 250-656-7400, cacsp.com

    We acknowledge the assistance of the Town of Sidney, District of North Saanich, Municipality of Central Saanich and the Province of British Columbia

    through the British Columbia Arts Council

  • 9kidsinvictoria.com

    Central SaanichWatch the birds at Island

    View Beach Regional Park.Explore along the scenic loop

    trail at this premiere bird watching site along the Saanich Peninsula. Head north down the beach, then join one of the access trails through the foredunes. Return by way of the inland trail through the old salt marsh and backdunes, and stop at the picnic shelter for a snack.

    MetchosinListen to the Water Roar at

    Wittys Lagoon Regional Park.Once the fall rains start, Sit-

    ting Lady Falls crashes into the lagoon below. Gaze down at the rushing water from the viewing platform after a five-minute stroll, or continue on the Lagoon Trail for 15 minutes to reach a vantage point across from the falls. What a sight! Though this is not a level trail and requires a bit of an uphill climb on the way back up from the waterfall, it is well worth the effort. Dont forget to visit the Nature Centre.

    East SookeDiscover the Beach at East

    Sooke Regional Park.Whether youre searching

    for shore crabs hidden beneath rocks or enjoying the views over the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the white sand beach at the beginning of the Coast Trail is a place youll want to return to again and again. Picnic on the sand or in the picnic shelter above the beach after a 10-minute walk through open fields along the accessible trail from the Aylard Farm parking lot.

    So load up the young ones, and head out to the parks. Or join CRD Regional Parks interpreters on one of the many free nature outings, guided hikes and drop-in events offered year round. They are guaranteed to pique the natural curiosity of both adults and children, of all ages and abilities.

    Download A Guide to User-Friendly Trails from the CRD website. There you will also find park maps and brochures, as well as the calendar of nature events at crd.bc.ca/parks. Laurie Sthamann is the Regional Parks Commu-nications Coordinator at the Capital Regional District.

    5

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    A visit to this must-see mini zoo offers visitors an excellent opportunity to view and experience live tropical bugs from

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    Birds Up CloseBirds Up Close

  • 10 Island Grandparent 2015

    GrandparentPreparedness 101

    Welcoming your grandchildren for a family visit is exciting, but getting prepared for their arrival can be a daunting task. This checklist was supplied by Lyra McLean, co-owner of Momease Baby Boutique and avid baby product researcher.

    Feeding Time Portable or slim-folding high chair. Having a portable

    or slim-folding high chair is a great way to incorporate your grandchild into fam-ily mealtime. Look for a chair that is easy to setup, clean and store. Check

    out the Perch por-table high chair

    from Cana-dian company

    G u z z i e + G u s s , which al s o work s

    wonders in restaurants or attached to a picnic table for

    that trip to Willows beach. Feeding Utensils. Equip your little one

    with some child-friendly utensils. The Boon Serve silicone spoons are a great way to intro-duce those first solid foods.

    Table (and floor!) ware. For an older toddler, check out the Sugar Booger Suction Plates and Bowl Sets to help avoid the food-

    dumping Olympics in your dining room. Laying the Sugar Booger Splat Mat under your grandchilds high chair is also a great way to enjoy a mess-free family mealtime and it wipes down easily with a damp cloth for a fuss-free clean up.

    Bibs. Keep clothes clean with a smock-style bib to catch those stray peas or messy bananas. Canadian-company Goo Goo Baby makes a unique laminated bib with sleeves that pulls double-duty as an awesome craft smock once your little one discovers the paint brush.

    Sippy cups. For a spill-free beverage ex-perience, the WOW Cups offer an innovative 360 drinking surface with a leak-proof design that will have you raving.

    Ice Pop Molds. If family is visiting in the summer heat, consider picking up the Silicone Ice Pop Molds from Kinderville. This set of child-friendly popsicle molds turns any homemade fruit puree or juice into a cool treat on a hot day.

    Reusable cloth wipes. Natural options in-clude bamboo and organic cotton and both wash up well for long-term use.

    Sleep Time Portable bed, playard or cot for nap

    time or sleepovers. Having a portable bed at the ready can be a huge lifesaver for weary travellers and also saves the expense and hassle of transport. The well-designed playards of

  • 11kidsinvictoria.com

    Free of parabens, sulfates and other harmful additives, the entire Original Sprout hair and skin care line is a natural solution for bath time that the whole family can feel good about.

    Bath toys. Keep the little ones excited for their baths with playful bath toys from Boon. Take a whimsical fishing trip with the Boon Cast bath toy, or navigate the bubbly waters with a convoy of ships using the Boon Fleet stacking boats.

    Towels. Cap off the whole bathtime experience with a hooded terry towel from Canadian company 3 Sprouts. Available in popular animal characters like Blue Walrus, Purple Hippo and Orange Tiger, the 3 Sprouts Hooded Towels are sure to put a smile on everyones faces.

    Travel Time Car seat. If youll be transporting a baby

    on a regular basis, you may want to invest in an infant car seat or even just an extra base

    that stays in your vehicle and can be used as needed with your grandchilds main infant seat. For an older child, the made-in-Canada Clek Olli backless booster seat makes install a cinch by easily locking into place using your vehicles UAS anchorage system. Removal is also a breeze with the Quick Release System located on the front of the booster seat-just tug the strap to release.

    Lightweight stroller. A compact and lightweight stroller can make travel time with grandchildren a whole lot easier to handle. There are a number of fabulous lightweight op-tions out there, including the award-winning Mountain Buggy Nano stroller. This ultra lightweight umbrella-style stroller boasts a simple fold, built-in suspension for a smooth ride, and an ingenious design that allows it to be stored in overhead airplane compartments. It also comes equipped with a universal car seat adapter for use as a travel system with an infant car seat. Momease Baby Boutique is located at Matticks Farm, 5325 Cordova Bay Road.

    today (formerly called playpens), feature easy one-step set up and take down, and often come equipped with great extras like bassinets for infants or change pads for diapering on the move. Dutch-company Nuna offers both a mini or a full-sized version of their popular Sena playard which features a simple fold-up and lightweight design for the ultimate in portability.

    Night light and white noise machine. Help create that comfortable home-away-from-home environment with a night light and white noise machine. The Tranquil Turtle from Cloud b is a popular option for doing both. Tranquil Turtle turns any room into a serene sleep space with its gentle ocean sounds and soft blue wave patterns that it projects on the ceiling. The Tranquil Turtle is a hit with parents and children alike, and works beauti-fully as a relaxation tool for all.

    Bath Time When it comes to bath time, there are a

    number of handy products to make this a fun and enjoyable experience all around.

    Baby bathtub. If youre in need of a bathtub for a baby or younger toddler, the collaps-ible Boon Naked is the per-fect option. With settings

    for newborns and toddlers, the Boon Naked also folds flat

    and comes with a hook for easy storage between baths.

    Natural skin and haircare. For a simple all-in-one cleansing solution, check out the safe and natural Hair and Body Babywash from Original Sp r o u t .

  • 12 Island Grandparent 2015

    When my daughter Shannon asked me to be present for the birth of her second child, my first thought was: Of course, Id love to be there, what a treat to witness a new little being entering the world and to be a part of this experience with my own child. But I also wondered what it would be like to watch her endure pain and not be able to al-leviate it. I wondered what my role would be and whether Id instinctively know what to do to help her.

    My daughter and her partner hadnt taken any structured prenatal courses with either pregnancy, so there were no coaching instruc-tions for me to follow. Yes, theyd already gone through the birth process with their son, but Shannon was a bit more relaxed about the whole thing than I might have been. Her out-look was that it would happen as it happened and if she tried to account for every detail along the way, something was bound to happen to derail her plans. Her one stipulation was that she wanted an epidural when the pain got to be too much for herthat was it as far as a plan.

    My final little niggling worry centred around not wanting to get in the way during such an intimate experience in a couples relationship. Was Shannons partner Jason fully comfortable with my being there? He said it was okay with him, so I happily accepted the invitationwith the caveat that the baby needed to be born no later than 10 days past the due date as I was leaving on a week-long vacation after that (I know, I know, my husband plans our trips and kept wondering why I was fixated on not leaving before the two weeks overdue date).

    So, no birth plan, no Coaching Tips sheet, no clear idea of how to not be a third wheel but be helpful, and a set date after which Id have to give up my spot by the birthing bed. I supposed I could live with all that.

    Shannons pregnancy progressed smoothly and her due date approached. Because shed been on time with her first birth, we expected the same sort of scenario for the second. Be-ware misguided assumptions. The date came and went and we both started getting antsy as there were no signs of labour. She told me it was fine if I couldnt be there, shed manage,

    Being There for the Birth

    Mada Moilliet

    Cowichan Aquatic Centre2653 James Street

    250.746.7665

    Register Online atwww.northcowichan.ca

    Discover us...Register Now for Lessons

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  • 13kidsinvictoria.com

    but we were now both looking forward to sharing this experience.

    As my departure date drew near (with my husband quietly stressing out in the back-ground), I made the two-hour trip to Shannon and Jays house for a last overnighter before having to leave. I was madly adjusting my cal-culations on how late I could stay, but it wasnt looking like things were going to go my way.

    And then, that evening, something started happening, a tiny hint of abdominal tighten-ing (just indigestion?) that made us cross our

    fingers. I was happy to be woken up in the wee hours and told it was time to head to the hospital.

    I wont go into the details of the labour and birthwe grandparents all have our own birth stories, our sweet memories of welcoming a new little being into our family. Shannons story belongs to her more than to me, but Im just so grateful to have played a part in it. It turns out that I did know what to do and how to be helpful, and I dont think I got in the way. What a thrill to see my little granddaughter make her entry into the worldafter making us all wait, she decided to speed things up in the end and take the nurses by surprise, so we had a few minutes of panic and the doctor missed out on the birth.

    Id hesitate to offer any words of advice to other grandparents taking part in the birth of a grandchildwe all do things differently, after all, and we have years of life experience to draw frombut I would say dont book any vacations until at least three weeks after the due date! Mada Moilliet is happy to be Granny to Oskar and Thea in Sooke, and to Ellie in Fort St. John.

    4075 Metchosin Rd, Victoria t: 250.474.2626 e: [email protected] w: west-mont.caWest-Mont Montessori School

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  • Its Only Stanley by Jon Agee. Th is fun rhym-ing story is the latest from bestselling author/illustrator Jon Agee. Fans of Jon Klassen and Oliver Jeff ers will love this quirky read-aloud about the mysterious noises that keep waking up the Wimbledon family. Stanley, the family dog is very busy fi xing the oil tank, clearing the bathtub drain, and howling at the moon. But what Stanley is actually doing while his oblivious family goes back to bed is much more adventurous and unexpected.

    Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton. From award-winning author-illustrator Chris Haughton, creator of Little Owl Lost and Oh No, George! comes a hilarious, vibrantly-illustrated story about the secret to successful bird-hunting. Four friends creep through the woods, and despite their perfect plan, they fail every time, until they start listening to their unassuming friend whose simple plan could just be the most successful.

    Th e Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett. Th is wordless picture book tells a classic and heart-felt story of generosity and kindness. It is fi lled with beautiful, sepia-toned illustrations that add an old-timey quality to the story. From the

    creator of Th e Boy and the Airplane, this book celebrates diff erent virtues with the story of a little girl, a shiny bicycle, and the how her hard work pays off . Th is would be an excellent book to read with young children as you predict together what she will do next.

    Henny by Elizabeth Rose Stanton. Henny is a chick who is diff erent from the other animals on the farm. Instead of wings, she has arms! While she oft en likes being diff erent, some-times she is less confi dent about her unique-ness. Th rough Hennys mothers unconditional love and acceptance, she learns to embrace her special gift in this funny, whimsical and charming picture book debut from author/illustrator Elizabeth Rose Stanton. Th is warm-hearted story is well told and illustrated with watercolor and pencil illustrations that are fresh and expressive.

    George in the Dark by Madeline Valentine. All children and adults will be drawn to this heartwarming tale of bravery and adventure. George is a little boy who must overcome his fear of the dark in order to rescue his

    Great Picture Books to ShareAstack of picture books + a small child or two + a comfy couch = a great aft ernoon spent snug-gling and enjoying stories with your grandchildren. Here are some titles you may not have discovered yet. Find them at your local library or bookstore, and settle down to enjoy

    beloved teddy bear. Th is picture book is a Junior Library Guild Selection and will help provide extra reassurance to all little ones as they bravely face their own fears. Th is book is perfect for fans of Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassens Th e Dark.

    More Great Picture Booksto Share:If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur by Linda

    BaileySam and Dave Dig a Big Hole by Marc Barnett;

    illustrated by Jon KlassenOpen Very Carefully: (A Book with a Bite) by

    Nick Bromley Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter BrownDinotrux Dig the Beach by Chris GallIts An Orange Aardvark by Michael HallTh is Moose Belong to Me by Oliver Jeff ersPaul Meets Bernadette by Rosy LambIts a Tiger by David LaRochelleLove is Real by Janet LawlerA Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick Mc-

    DonnellSay Hello Like Th is! By Mary MurphyOliver and his Alligator by Paul SchmidUnicorn Th inks hes Pretty Great by Bob Shea Oliver by Birgitta SifTh at is Not a Good Idea! by Mo WillemsSlug Needs a Hug by Jeanne WillisHippospotamus by Jeanne WillisBear Counts by Karma WilsonEarly Bird by Toni Yuly

    Sarah Isbister is a Public Services Librarian at the Greater Victoria Public Library. Her fa-vourite childrens picture book is Bark, Georgeby Jules Feiff er.

    Sarah Isbister

  • Greater Victoria Public Librarys Website Resources

    Kids Games Online are available at gvpl.ca, including CBC Preschoolers, CBC Kids, Fun with Spot, Family Channel Games, Playhouse Disney, NASA Kids, National Geographic Kids, Tumblebooks, Sports Illustrated Kids, Funbrain, and Physics Games.

    GVPLs 100 Picture Books to Read Before Kindergarten

    Did you know? Experts say that children need to hear at least 1,000 stories before they begin to learn to read. GVPLs Children and Family Literacy Librarians have selected a list of 100 exceptional picture books to share with the children in your life. Ask for a copy of the list at your local branch while supplies last. Or download the GVPLs 100 Picture Book brochure PDF.

    Library Programs for Children

    Programs for kids are varied, inspiring, fun and ongoing. You can give your grandchilds parents a break by joining Babytime programs, Toddler Time, Family Storytime, Preschool Storytime, and more. Or you might bring your grandchildren to any of the many programs offered for older children. Check out the calendar at gvpl.ca, then register online or call your local branch for more information.

    Is Your Grandchild Getting Ready for Kindergarten?

    The Welcome to Kindergarten staff booklist is filled with books to help with each childs transition to school. The Welcome to Kin-dergarten (WTK) program, developed by the Learning Partnership, offers exciting resources and experiences that will get preschool kids ready for kindergarten. Visit LearnNowBC (learnnowbc.ca) or call your neighbourhood school for more information.

    Did You Know? French Collections for Kids & Teens

    Enjoy a great selection of French books, CDs and DVDs for kids and teens. Check out the latest French additions to library collections plus the staff booklists of Funny French Pic-ture Books, Easy to Read French Books, and Bilingual Picture Books (English and French).

    Borrowing Materials at the Library

    Your library card isnt just for borrowing books. You can check out DVDs, Blu-Rays, music CDs, video games, eReaders, story time kits, and even special passes to the Royal BC Museum, the Robert Bateman Centre, Saanich Recreation Centres and the Victoria Art Gal-lery. Most items can be borrowed for three weeks and returned to any of the 10 library branches. For details, visit gvpl.ca.

    Booklists for Various Ages, Stages & Interests

    The library has numerous booklists for the children in your life, including our Booklists for Talking, Singing, Playing, Writing and Reading, Get Started Reading: Beginner Readers, Lets Go to Preschool: Picture Books, and more.

    Especially for Toddlers

    Toddlers are at that stage where they want to move around, so Toddler Time programs and Family Storytime programs are designed with lots of movement in mind. If youre expecting a visit from your toddler grandchild, check out a few titles from our Great Picture Books for Toddlers booklist.

    Stories to Go BoxesIts storytime in a box! Stories to Go are great

    for grandparents to use with young children. Filled with books, music CDs, rhymes and puppets, each box focuses on a theme for babies and toddlers or preschoolers.

    If youre a grandparent, chances are you already use your local library to make sure youve got books or childrens DVDs on hand for little visitors. However, you may not know about the vast array of lending materials, resources and programs that are perfect for book lovers of all ages. Here are some of the treasures you can find at the library. Help establish an early love of books and reading in your grandkids, all while spending quality time togetherand giving Mom and Dad a break. Visit gvpl.ca or virl.bc.ca/kids.

    A Trip to the LibraryTheres more going on than you might think

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  • 16 Island Grandparent 2015

    A Grandparents Guide to Feeding BabiesCongratulations on becoming a grandpar-ent! You have an important role supporting your family as they raise the next generation. Parents and grandparents have always helped babies to learn to trust and to lovethis will never change. However, what has changed over the past few decades is how babies are fed.

    When your children were born and as they grew up, you wanted the best for them. You probably followed the advice of the day about feeding babies, advice based on the latest scientific evidence. Over the past few years, new evidence has emerged and the advice for feeding babies will have changed from when your children were born. The following is up-to-date information on feeding babies and young children with ideas on how you can sup-port your children as they parent their baby.

    The first thing to remember is make sure your children are open to your support and advice. New parents can be sensitive, so make sure your offer of advice is welcome.

    Breast milk is the best first food for babies. Todays recommendation is to give nothing but breastmilk for the first six months. Breast milk gives a baby all the nutrients and immune factors that they need until they are ready to eat solids at about six months of age. The best thing you can do for your grandchild is to sup-port their mother in breastfeeding.

    By six months, the babys digestive system has matured enough to take on new foods in addition to breast milk. The gag reflex, which protects baby from choking until they are able to move food around in their mouth, has matured and the immune system developed enough to make allergies less likely. Baby has been practicing by putting fingers and toys into their mouth and now has the hand-eye coordination needed to pick up food and to eat without much assistance from parents.

    A six-month-old is ready to eat solid foods mashed with a fork. Caregivers can cut up meat with a small knife and mash other food until it is a chewed consistency. From the

    very first feeding, caregivers are encouraged to allow babies to touch the food and to feed themselves. Spoons are optional.

    Breast milk and mashed foods from the family table are all that a baby really needs to learn how to eat solids. As baby becomes efficient at eating mashed foods, the texture can become lumpier, gradually progressing to cut up pieces. By age one, babies can eat everything thats served at the family table.

    Grandparents have an important role by supporting parents to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months then helping to in-troduce mashed foods from the family table. Another important role is helping the infant and toddler develop a healthy relationship with food.

    A healthy relationship with food is one of the best ways for a child to learn to eat a variety of healthy foods which will help them grow into a size and shape that is right for them. This healthy relationship with food is based on trust. It begins at the first feeding and continues through life. Children learn trust around food when caregivers respond to their cues. This includes offering food when they are hungry and letting them decide when they have had enough.

    As children grow and start to eat family foods, serve small portions and allow plenty of time for you and your grandchild to notice when you feel full. Its better to ask for more food than to be given too much to begin with. Allow children to decide how much food they want to eat or whether to eat at all. A healthy relationship with food means we trust children to know how much they need to eat to feel comfortable.

    Offer meals and snacks at about the same time every day so children know what to ex-pect. If they did not eat well at the last meal, they can wait until the next planned meal or snack. A little hunger is not harmful and the child will likely eat better the next time food is served.

    Eileen Bennewith & Anthea Kennelly

    Child, Youth & Family

    Public HealthSouth Island Health Units

    Esquimalt 250-519-5311

    Gulf Islands 250-539-3099(toll-free number for office in Saanichton)

    Peninsula 250-544-2400

    Saanich 250-519-5100

    Saltspring Island 250-538-4880

    Sooke 250-642-5464

    Victoria 250-388-2200

    West Shore 250-519-3490

    Central Island Health UnitsDuncan 250-709-3050

    Ladysmith 250-755-3342

    Lake Cowichan 250-749-6878

    Nanaimo 250-755-3342

    Nanaimo Princess Royal 250-755-3342

    Parksville/Qualicum 250-947-8242

    Port Alberni 250-731-1315

    Tofino 250-725-4020

    North Island Health UnitsCampbell River 250-850-2110

    Courtenay 250-331-8520

    Kyuquot Health Ctr 250-332-5289

    Namgis Health Ctr 250-974-5522

    Port Hardy 250-902-6071

    www.viha.ca/prevention_services/

    Healthy Families, Happy Families

  • 17kidsinvictoria.com

    A caregiver who bribes, threatens, forces or plays games to get children to eat is not respecting the fact that the child knows how much they need. This destroys a healthy rela-tionship with food and usually leads to fussy eating and mealtime battles. Making a child finish their food by offering a reward of dessert actually teaches children to ignore their own feelings of hunger and satiety. This can lead to excess weight gain in a child. Food should never be given as a reward for good behavior or achievement.

    The best way to model healthy eating is to enjoy family meals together. Studies show that children who eat meals with an adult

    are healthier, learn better and have better vocabulary and social skills. Children learn to eat what their parents eat by enjoying family foods together.

    Making different foods for children prevents them from learning to eat the same variety of foods that adults eat. To give children an op-portunity to learn to like a food, it is important to keep offering foods even if they say they dont like it or refuse to eat it. Children may need to try a food up to twenty times before they eat it. Eventually, they will learn to enjoy family foods.

    Family meals enhance family relationships and the relationship with good food. This is not the time to discuss behaviour or to criticize how children eat.

    Offer family meals in a quiet place with few distractions. Turn off the TV, the phone and the computer and limit noise to promote con-versation. Talk about your day, joyful events or family stories.

    Sharing meals with grandparents is a great way to pass on family traditions and to share stories from the past. Children learn about life by whats discussed and modeled at the family tableand that hasnt changed. Eileen Bennewith, RD, and Anthea Kennelly, MSc, MSc (PH), RD, are both registered di-etitians working for Public Health Services for Island Health in Central and North Vancouver Island.

    Sharing meals with grandparents is a great way to pass on family traditions and to share stories from the past.

    250.656.7271 www.panoramarecreation.ca

    PLAY IN THE PARKEvery weekday evening from 5:30-8:30pm beginning July 2nd, Panorama sta will facilitate fun for the whole family through interactive play, face painting, group games, and of course, inatable fun on our giant 50 obstacle course! Grab the whole family and unplug, unwind and come play! Did we mention that Play in the Park is oered free of charge?!

    Unplug, Unwind & Come Play!

    July August (No Session Aug 4)Monday Pioneer Park, 7130 West Saanich Road

    Tuesday Rathdown Park, 2170 Calvin Ave

    Wednesday Wain Park, 871 Birch Road Greenglade Community Centre 2151 Lannon Way

    Thursday Iroquois Park, 2295 Ocean Ave

    Friday Rodolph Park, 6446 Loganberry Place

    Centennial Park, 7400 Block of Wallace

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  • 18 Island Grandparent 2015

    Here

    Saanich Fairis a must for the whole family on Labour Day weekend, Sat Sept 5 Mon 7. Drop by the Saanich Fairgrounds, where fun, food and fantastic meet. Th eres a variety of things for people of all ages to see and do including 5,000 exhibits, dog and horse shows, concessions with an ethnic fl air, carnival and games, pumpkin and duct tape contests, and live entertainment. Th is year the Fair has added 30 free attractions.Admission is $11, kids 6 and under are free.saanichfair.ca

    Royal BC Museumoff ers interactive, learning-based activities at Wonder Sunday on the last Sunday of each month (exclud-ing July, August and December). Each theme, based on ideas inspired by the museums current exhibi-tions, is off ered through activities and lively presentations. Make craft s, join special tours, and let your imagination wonder away with you. Suitable for children 3-12 years old and is included with admission. royalbcmuseum.bc.ca

    Butchart Gardensoffers 55 acres of sun

    ken gardens, rose gardens,

    Japanese gardens, Italian gardens along with

    a

    Childrens Pavillion & Rose Carousel. There

    s a

    Living Fossils Walk, a Family Walk, a boat to

    ur,

    Night Illuminations and, in the summer on S

    atur-

    day nights, a spectacular fireworks display. Y

    oull

    also find 55 acres worth of garden paths, perf

    ect

    for exploring and expending some of your gr

    and-

    kids endless energy. Stop by the coffee shop

    after

    to re-fuel.

    Beacon Hill Childrens Farmis a great outdoor activity that is fun for all

    ages. Th e farms

    goats, bunnies, peacocks, potbellied pigs, horses, guinea pigs

    and other animals are perennial favourites. Kids especially love

    the renowned goat stampedes at 10:10am and 5:10pm. Th e

    farm is open from March-mid-October. Hours of operation are

    10am-5pm daily, weather permitting. Admission by donation.

    beaconhillchildrensfarm.ca

    North Island Wildlife Recovery Centreis nestled in the district of Errington in a park like setting with a peaceful rustic atmosphere. View eagles, several species of owls, falcons, hawks, ravens, and black bears. Live raptor presentations take place during the summer. The centre is a world class wildlife rehabili-tation facility specializing in raptors and black bear. Watch through one-way glass in the largest flight cage if its kind in Canada. niwra.org

    Things to Do With Your GrandkidsFor more ideas and a fun map of the Island, pick up a copy of the Kids Guide toVancouver Island at Tourist Info Centres or at your local recreation centre.10

    Beacon Hill Childrens Farm

  • 19kidsinvictoria.com

    AGGV Family Sundayson the third Sunday of the month (from October-June) are in-spired by the current Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibitions. Bring your grandchild and join this aft ernoon of artmaking for the whole family. 2-4pm. Th e program is included with admis-sion. aggv.ca

    Fort Rodd Hillwas built in the l

    ate 1890s to defend Victoria and Esq

    uimalt Harbour.

    Tag along with a naturalist through f

    ields of wildflowers and learn

    about one of Canadas rarest landsca

    pesGarry oak ecosystems. Fol-

    low historys voices sharing their pe

    rsonal stories on an audio tour.

    Enjoy the forest, beaches and grassy

    areas, perfect for family picnics.

    fortroddhill.com

    Chemainus Theatrepresents its 2015 Kidzplay, J

    ames and the

    Giant Peach, for the young and young-at-

    heart. Imaginations come together with in-

    credible puppeteers. Suddenly Roald Dahls

    classic childrens story of a magical journey

    into a giant peach is more than fun fantasy

    and the great adventure begins!July 18

    August 15. chemainustheatrefestival.ca

    Parksville SandcastleCompetitiondraws world class master sand sculptors who create incredible works of art. This years competition and exhibition takes place July 9-August 16. Once the masterpieces have been completed (from just sand and water, and a lot of ingenuity!) and judged, the site is open to the public. Wander through starting on July 10 at 2pm (then open 9am-9pm daily,starting July 11). parksvillebeachfest.ca

    Mt. Washingtonoffers as much fun in summer as winterfor all ages. Youll find year-round mile-high experiences including, in the sum-mer, a scenic chairlift ride to the summit of the mountain, alpine hiking, a bungee trampoline, mini golf, disc golf and, in the winter, skiing, snowboarding and tubing. Go for the day or stay overnight at one of the many accommodationoptions. mountwashington.ca

    &&There

    Fort Rodd Hillwas built in the l

    ate 1890s to defend Victoria and Esq

    uimalt Harbour.

    AGGV Family Sundays

    Chemainus Theatre

  • 20 Island Grandparent 2015

    Dear Randi, Sweetie, you are the most beautiful, smartest, and most wonderful little girl I know, and I

    wish that I could always be around to help you through the challenges that youre bound to face as you grow up. That might not be the case, though, so Ive jotted down a few things that you should remember. Grampa isnt all that wise, but I might have stumbled on some wisdom in these random thoughts. After all, even a blind squirrel will find a nut occasionally.

    So here goes. If you come across a style or fad today, dont jump onto that bandwagon right away. Be

    certain that todays fad will almost certainly embarrass you within 10 years. Trust me, I lived through leisure suits, mechanical bulls, disco, new-age meditation, and wines named after

    A Letter to My GranddaughterThe other day, I taught my five-year-old granddaughter how to hang a teaspoon on her nose. We were in a restaurant, and Id already used the crayons provided by the serving staff to draw her a picture of a unicorn and a dinosaur. And Id discovered that my magic tricks no longer fooled her sharp little eyes (children become cynical so early these daysimagine her not believing that I could turn a fork into a salt shaker).

    But the teaspoon on the nose? It was a new trick and she loved it, to the point of quite proudly leaving it in place on the tip of her nose as she politely placed her order with the waiter.

    Alright, I know what youre thinking, grand-parenting should be more about wisdom and less about silliness. And I do try. Honestly, I do. The problem, though, is that Im not certain that my 60-some years on the planet have made me significantly wiser than I was when I first learned to balance a spoon on my nose. So that whole passing on of wisdom thing may not be in the cards.

    This has left me wondering what I actually have to offer my grandchildren. My review of the online literature on the topic, mostly comprised of about a gazillion articles entitled the 10 Effective Things that Grandparents Can Offer Their Grandchildren (or some variation thereof ) didnt help much.

    So, in the true spirit of my distinctly personal approach to grandparenting, Ive written this letter to my granddaughter. The points Ive listed may not be wise, but maybe, just maybe, they will be a little helpful to her as she navigates her way through life.

    Tim Collins

    9811 Seaport PlaceSidney

    250.665.7511oceandiscovery.ca

  • 21kidsinvictoria.com

    baby animals. As I look back, they all seem pretty silly today. Im only glad that I matured before the tattoo craze. I was able to move beyond my fads without painful laser surgery. Be cautious of anything that everyone tells you is really cool.

    Its okay to be judgemental about some things. The planet is not 6,000 years old, any belief that cant be tested and challenged isnt worth having, its never okay to hurt or con-trol other people to keep them from having a good life, and Justin Biebers haircut looks dumb. Anyone who tells you any differently is a whack-a-doodle. And there is nothing wrong with saying so, and sticking to your guns regardless of whether your views are what other people think at the moment. Trust your instincts and you wont go too far astray.

    BFF? It would be nice, but dont count on it. Dont immediately trust anyone who offers you unconditional love or friendshipexcept me and your dog. Grandparents and border collies and moms and dads will always love you, regardless of what you achieve or what stupid things you might do. Oh sure, youll have friends, and lovers and other people in your life who will tell you that theyll love you forever, but any one of them might disappoint you. If they do, dont let it hurt you too much. And

    forgive them. Then call your grandparents or your mom to cheer up and move on.

    Dont be scared. As you grow up, dont be afraid to explore, try new things, test your lim-its and discover what truly makes you happy. A fellow named Oliver Wendell Holmes once said Alas for those that never sing, but die with all their music in them. Dont be afraid to sing your songs, baby girl, or to chase your dreams and take some chances in life. You only get to do this oncebe happy with your choices.

    But dont be stupid. That last bit of advice does not translate into taking a dare to go car surfing, eating spoonfuls of cinnamon, or racing down hills in a shopping cart. It does not mean that you should take drugs, or drink alcohol or do anything that makes you lose control, simply because youve been dared to do so by some idiot. Life is precious and there is a difference between being brave enough to climb a mountain, and being stupid enough to jump off a cliff.

    Be nice. Okay, I confess, Im a bit quixotic about returning to an age when we didnt ig-nore our dinner companions to text someone else. And I recall when people didnt have to be reminded not to talk in movie theatres, and when wearing a shirt with a misspelled swear word wasnt clever, just vulgar. Im not sure how you can learn these things since it

    seems that youll be swimming against a tide of incivility. Maybe youll pick up some of it when we talk over the next few years. I hope that you do. If not, watch some old movies, and take some cues from Jimmy Stewart. He always took off his hat in restaurants, and, trust me, that was cool.

    Read books. Ive used words like quixotic, and referenced Wendell Holmes and Jimmy Stewart, none of which is going to make any sense to you unless you read. Sure, I know that technology is advancing to the point where youre going to be able to call up random facts at will and books are going to seem pretty lame. But trust me, actually reading books will give you an understanding of the world and its people. Reading will make you even smarter than you are today.

    When you grow up, and maybe have grandchildren of your own, itll be your turn to teach them all this stuff. Try your best to do so. And, while youre at it, teach them the words to Hit the Road Jack (you really like that song) and, oh yeah, show them how to hang a spoon from their nose.

    All my love,Grampa

    Tim Collins is a writer and freelance journalist living and working in Victoria.

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  • 22 Island Grandparent 2015

    Making Senseof Social MediaIstill remember the day nearly eight years ago when my dad said he wanted to get one of those new smart phones. I was a bit stunned, as I was still using my pay-as-you go fl ip-phone. He had held my husbands iPhone and my brothers Blackberry, and thought they were pretty cool toys. Th e debate raged on about which would be better to get. In the end he purchased a Blackberry, only to switch to an iPhone a few years later. By the time he got his iPhone, I was yet to convert to a smartphone.

    Now I dont know if my dad would have made the move if somebody hadnt gone with him to make the purchases and teach him how to use the phones. Likewise, my husband went with my mom to get her iPhone. Its not

    that my parents werent more than capable of making the purchases on their own, it was just easier to have someone with them who could make sense of all the technological jargon and rate plans.

    I have now fi nally caught up to my par-entsand maybe even surpassed them in many waysin their technology use. But Im proud of how they embraced technology, knowing that my mom spent many days sitting at the computer, frustrated, because it just wouldnt

    do what she wanted it to. And its okay if you still have a pay-as-you-go fl ip phone, or no cell phone or computer at all. Computers are available at the library and many of the tools Im going to discuss, can be used there, too.

    Technology can be frustrating and intimi-dating, but it is not going away, and in fact can really help connect grandparents with their grandchildren. Whether you live next door or across the country, the ability to instantly connect with a grandma or grandpa is golden for your grandchildren. Th e birth of the fi rst grandchild was the impetus for both my parents and in-laws to get high-speed in-ternet connections. Skype made thousands of kilometers disappear instantly. Grandparents

    were able to read books and play peek-a-boo through the computer screen, hear fi rst words and witness fi rst steps. Now my kids can read and sing for their grandparents or show them their latest drawings.

    Th e beauty of technology is that it can be personalized. Pick and choose what will work for you and your family and, if need be, ask your son, daughter, niece, nephew, or friend to spend some time and show you how to use a specifi c tool. Th ey may say to you, just play

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    around with it. If you dont feel comfortable doing that, its okay to respond, Could you please sit with me and walk me through this [tool]? Then make sure Im using it correctly.

    Dont be afraid of breaking it by pressing the wrong button. Believe it or not, smart phones and tablets are pretty intuitive, and most actions can be undone.

    The following are some of the most popular ways to communicate digitally with family members.

    Skype/FacetimeSkype and Facetime are video communica-

    tion tools. Both can be used from laptops, tab-lets or phones, the difference being Facetime is a Mac application. Within my family we use both. Technology hardware will be the deter-mining factor of which tool you choose to use.

    Skype and Facetime have allowed grand-parents into our house to virtually play with the kids. Its important to have some sort of trick up your sleeve to keep the kids engaged, because kids quickly become bored if they are expected to be the entertainment. Some ideas for grandparents may be to read books, sing songs, play peek-a-boo, hide and seek, wear funny hats, give tours of the house, show the weather outside, or do a puppet show. Imagine yourself as being in the room with the kids, rather than far away.

    Texting Texting with cell phones is quickly surpass-

    ing emailing as a way to send pictures and videos to family members. Although essen-tially the same action, texting allows for an immediate response, something parents and children both enjoy receiving from grandpar-ents. Although email is still used and excellent for group emails, many families are choosing to instantly share a video/picture over text.

    FacebookFacebooks demographic has gradually

    changed over the past decade. More and more grandparents have started a Facebook ac-count, often, at first, as another way to keep in touch with children and grandchildren. One grandparent I interviewed, said that she found she used Facebook to stay in touch with her larger circle of friends and as a source of news and current events, whereas she used Skype/Facetime primarily to stay in touch with her grandchildren.

    Many grandparents have concerns about the privacy of Facebook and this is understand-able. If choosing to use Facebook, it is best to do so with these tips in mind:

    1. Only accept friends that you know and trust.

    2. Check your privacy settings and change any applicable settings to private. Also, be aware that your profile picture and cover photo are always public.

    3. Try to avoid posting your location and whereabouts and any personal information in status updates or messages.

    4. Although you have hopefully only ac-cepted people you know to be your friends, be careful to just share photos and information that you are comfortable strangers seeing. Anything posted to the Internet can easily be redistributed without your permission.

    I share these tips to help you safely use Face-book and not to deter you. My parents chose not to use Facebook (although secretly my mom asks to see whats happening), however many of their friends have a regular presence on Facebook and have found it useful.

    BloggingDepending on your comfort level with

    technology, blogging may appeal to you and enable you to share your adventures with your family. This is especially useful if you are going on an extended vacation. Depending on your Internet connection, you will be able to post a regular journal entry and upload photos or videos. This encourages your family to discuss what you are doing, and grandkids to stay connected with you while youre away. Setting up a blog has become relatively easy, with user- friendly sites and easy-to-follow steps. Although there are always roadblocks with technology, blogging is worth exploring if it appeals to you.

    You can also alter privacy settings within certain blog platforms. Some blogs allow you to keep the blog private, so that only invited guests can view the entries, whereas others are public to everyone. Many blogs are free to set up. An easy one to start with if you have a Google/Gmail account is Blogger.com; you

    can also easily sign up for this free account. This site allows you to go into Settings and change the privacy to invited members only. Two other easy to use free platforms with privacy settings are weebly.com and wordpress.com.

    What else is out there?Other social networking tools include Twit-

    ter and Instagram. Both Twitter and Instagram can be a lot of fun, but neither are as integral as the aforementioned tools. If your kids and grandkids are regular Twitter or Instagram users, then these are relatively quick ones to sign-up for without much commitment on your part.

    Twitter allows users to post 140 character updates and share images instantly with all their followers. By following their accounts, you will be privy to their updates and any interesting media events they choose to share.

    Instagram is a photo taking application and social networking tool. Much like Twitter, you can sign up to follow someones account. Their pictures will then appear on your Instragram feed (similar to a homepage). You can then choose to post pictures or just be on the receiving end.

    Just like Facebook and blogging, it is important to review the privacy settings for both and if you choose to share, make sure you are comfortable with strangers having this information.

    When deciding which technology to use, its best to take some time to sit down with a family member or friend and find out whats worked for them. That way youll be better informed to decide what will be best for you. Then sit back and enjoy the marvels of technology. Camille McFarlane is a mom of two kids, a teacher and an educational technologist. For-merly from Alberta, she now calls Victoria home and loves sharing Vancouver Islands natural beauty via technology with family members living throughout Canada.

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  • 24 Island Grandparent 2015

    My mother was very involved with my children. She provided quality of life to our family in a way that was both non-intrusive yet highly supportive. She had this ability to be engaged with the kids and make everything a game while she tidied my house and did my laundry. I remember coming home one day from work to find her juggling oranges in the kitchen with the kids laughing so loud they didnt hear me come in.

    I saw things in my mother that I didnt get to see when I was a child. She was playful, fully engaged and affectionate with my kids. The business of life with work and saving money to buy a house were days gone by for her. Having already raised two kids herself, she seemed to know that the time would go quickly and was too precious to miss.

    Now my mom is 93 and my kids are in their mid twenties.

    She supported my way of parenting and tolerated my reminders that I would stick on the fridge for both her and my husband to read. TO LABEL YOU DISABLE or SAY WITH AN I STATEMENT. Poor mom! Imagine me trying to teach my mother how to parent. I remember having a talk with her about how communication can impact a childs self-esteem. Even though she was confused by this concept, she remained open and willing to make changes. Thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes because in reflection, she could have called my kids anything and the love she gave would overshadow any negative impact on their self-esteem.

    If you are a grandparent today there is a good chance that you referred to some of the classic books on parenting when you raised your kids. Dr. Thomas Gordon, wrote Parent Effectiveness Training in the early 70s and Rudolph Dreikurs wrote Children: The Challenge in the 60s back when children were called Betty, Fred or Her-bert. I still pull both books off my book shelf when I need some inspiration.

    If you didnt take any parent education courses, you might think your kids talk funny when they talk to their own kids. It can actually be painful to listen to a young parent squeak out an I Statement while screaming at her child.

    MOMMY FEELS SCARED WHEN YOU LET GO OF MY HAND IN THE PARKING LOT! Or how about hearing your son reflecting his sons feelings? You are so mad, mad, mad right now. You dont want to leave the park!

    There are some basic concepts at work underneath this new way of relating to kids:

    Labeling a childs feelings and reflecting why he might have those feelings builds his emotional intelligence and carves the path to a higher level of moral development.

    If you listen to a childs feelings his behav-iour will often calm down immediately because behaviour is often how he communicates.

    Loving parents accept feelings and guide behaviour. It isnt okay to hit but I can see you are really upset.

    Using I Statements takes the negative judgments, assumptions, labels and put downs out of our words. Instead we describe behaviour that we might see or hear. Its a clean way to give feedback to anybody.

    We can talk about our own feelings of concern or frustration and why we have those feelings. This brings a deeper level of connec-tion to our kids and helps them understand that limits usually have a lot of value and meaning.

    When parents practice healthy commu-nication with their kids, they also teach skills for solving problems and talking about things that really matter. This kind of modeling gives children the ability to have healthy relationships and high self-esteem.

    My mom was literally dodging bombs in Scotland during World War II when she was young