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Nobody is to blame for autism


By Emsie Martin Autism is on the increase worldwide and for that reason we have World Autism Day on 2 April to create awareness. What is autism? Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of genetic conditions that cause abnormal brain development and functioning. A lot of research is currently...

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Nobody is to blame for autism

By Emsie Martin Autism is on the increase worldwide and for that reason we have World Autism Day on 2 April to create awareness. What is autism? Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of genetic conditions that cause abnormal brain development and functioning. A lot of research is currently being undertaken to try and find out what the cause of autism is, but so far no clear answers have been found. The prevalence of ASD is on the rise worldwide. International statistics imply that currently it affects one out of every 158 children under the age of eight years. ... Lees meer.

Why doesn’t discipline work for my child?

By Essie Bester When it comes to handling your child’s behaviour, none of your efforts seem to be effective.  It frustrates you and you are at your wit’s end. But there is hope. The reasons why discipline does not work, could include one of the following: You give up too soon: When implementing an effective disciplinary strategy, it must be kept in mind that things sometimes get worse before they get better. If your child can convince you to buy him a toy or sweets by throwing a tantrum in a shop and suddenly that strategy no longer works, it ... Lees meer.

The complexities of the relationship between adult children and parents

By Wilma Bedford The transition to adulthood reconfigures what it means to be attached to the people who raised you − especially when you’re no longer living under their roof, says family therapist Judye Hess. The evolving shift in how dependent you are on mom and dad, how much you’d like them to be involved in your adult life, and how great a burden their needs become as they age can pave the way for unanticipated tensions, Hess says. See if you recognise one (or more) of the following four common sources of conflict that might be featuring in your ... Lees meer.

Keep your child safe on Instagram

By Nico Strydom Instagram is one of the most popular social-media platforms among young people and it is therefore important to make sure that they are protected against its dangers. According to research by World Wide Worx in collaboration with Ornico there are 10 million Instagram users in South Africa, which makes the platform one of the biggest and most popular ones in the country. Carey van Vlaanderen, executive head of ESET South Africa, says social media can be a fun way for young people to connect with friends, share contents and pursue several creative interests. “However, Instagram is not ... Lees meer.

Get your child ready for academic success from Grade 1

By Nico Strydom The preparation of a child for future academic success should start in Grade 1 and the focus should be on cultivating a love of learning. “Parents have an important role to play in the early years regarding the development of the framework for a child’s educational journey,” says Desiree Hugo, academic head of ADvTech’s school department. “One of the most important ways of doing this is to help your child navigate the early years with humour and enthusiasm, to make sure that the learning and discovery process creates positive associations in the brain rather than feelings of ... Lees meer.


Setting goals and achieving them as a family

By Marli Naidoo Setting goals and the compilation of an accompanying action plan is a valuable skill that we can develop from a young age. A great family tradition can be created when a family sets out their personal and mutual goals on paper on a yearly basis. The key to your children’s cooperation lies in it being fun. Collect some coloured pencils, a pair of scissors and glue, and get the family together. Decide what you want to achieve during the year. The younger children can draw pictures to depict what they would like to do. Do you want ... Lees meer.

Domestic violence: How to get help

By Nico Strydom The number of domestic violence incidents in South Africa increased during the Covid-19 lockdown. This is aggravated by the fact that so many women who are victims of abuse and who choose to talk about it are blamed and humiliated and made to feel that there is nothing remarkable about their experience. “You must have done something to make him treat you like this. Don’t wash your dirty laundry in public. You have to make it work. All of us have problems, yours are nothing special.” These are words that are heard so often by women who ... Lees meer.

Normalise mental health in your family

 By Marli Naidoo The stigma surrounding mental health has subsided considerably over the past decade. This decline is not happening fast enough, however. Most people struggling with mental problems have already run into misconceptions regarding psychology; that they should only be positive and their problems will go away; that it is only a phase; and that they can control it if they only try hard enough. This stigmatisation makes people feel ashamed about their problems so that they are not exactly willing to get help. It is essential for parents to start teaching their children about mental health from a ... Lees meer.

Is alcohol your master?

By Emsie Martin Have you ever thought that you would admit that alcohol had the better of you? Perhaps not, but most people prefer to ignore or hide the problem. When you, or somebody you love, is entangled in the web of alcohol dependence  rehabilitation could seem impossible. Every day you decide to stop, but it just never happens. There is hope, however, with the right decisions, treatment and support. There is help, even by talking to a labour relations specialist, office practitioner or health practitioner, but the road to recovery is a long one. If you are worried about ... Lees meer.

Show your partner gratitude and appreciation

By Wilma Bedford In a long-term relationship one of the straws that breaks the camel’s back is the danger that people start to take each other for granted and neglect being polite or saying thank you. Taking someone for granted is viewing the other person’s efforts to make a contribution as unimportant or effortless. It is the inability to notice that your partner is making life easier for you (or you for your partner) by performing routine tasks. The pandemic has led to the people in the relationship performing more tasks in the household than they would normally do, for ... Lees meer.


The relationship between pets and people

By Emsie Martin Many of us cannot always understand why there are people who don’t like animals, but the bond between man and animals enjoys attention worldwide due to the mutual benefits it contains for both parties. Animals are being increasingly utilised as substitutes for social interaction in homes for the elderly, nursery schools and hospitals. Pets and companion animals can therefore serve as objects for unloading tension on the one hand, and as a link to nature on the other. Pets have an important influence on how people feel about themselves and about life. The emotional, social and physical ... Lees meer.

5 Human Foods That Will Harm Your Dog

By Anja van den Berg You might think that sharing your treats with your pets show them how much you love them. After all, who can resist those puppy-dog eyes begging for a morsel? But hold off on spoiling them with human indulgence. Some foods that you enjoy are just out-and-out bad for your dog and can cause health problems. Even if your dog has eaten these foods in the past with no problems, they could be causing serious issues you might not realise. Here are the five worst foodstuffs you should never feed dogs, no matter how adorably they ... Lees meer.

Choosing the right pet for your child

By Dr Eugene Brink You’re thinking about treating your child by getting them a pet they can adore and spend time with. The spin-off is that they are taught some responsibility by caring for a living being. While this all sounds wonderful, it is advisable that you first assess what animal is best for them. Also, it is a long-term commitment and the care of such an animal will eventually in all likelihood fall unto you. First of all. . . There are several handy guidelines to keep in mind when taking such a big decision. The American Association of ... Lees meer.

Get the right pet sitter

By Emsie Martin It’s bad for an animal lover to plan a holiday while you know your beloved pet cannot go along. And then, when the holiday arrives, they look at you with those big, sad eyes as if they know that you are going to leave them alone. Start looking for a pet sitter for your next holiday right away so that your pet can stay in the comfort of its own house and you can have peace of mind while on holiday. There are various options Traditional options include a kennel or a house sitter. It is extremely ... Lees meer.

My dog barks too much

By Marli Naidoo There are many reasons why some dogs bark excessively. Some dog-breeds bark more than others. Don’t choose a guard dog if you don’t want him to bark. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise are inclined to bark more. Too little stimulation can cause your dog to become bored. When dogs are left alone the entire day, they can start missing you, become bored and start barking endlessly. Dogs in general are excitable creatures. When you play with them, they can bark playfully. After all, this is their way of speaking. Dogs communicate through barking, moaning and crying. ... Lees meer.


Avoid falling for social media scams

By Melodie Veldhuizen A social media scam is a criminal activity where social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram as well as emails are abused by cyber criminals with the aim of tricking you out of your money and/or steal your identity (for example email addresses, passwords, birth dates, identity numbers or bank details). Social media is the ideal platform for scammers because it has more than three billion (often trusting) users worldwide. It’s popular and readily accessible, which is why it’s easy for criminals to reach victims in large numbers. On social media scammers can hide their ... Lees meer.

First aid for the whole family

By Marli Naidoo First aid is one of those things one simply has to learn even if you hope that you will never have to use it. Unfortunately it is also one of those things that we as parents are inclined to discuss with each other but not with our children. The reason is that we do not want to frighten our children. However, it is important to talk about this as a family so that everyone can be prepared. What will your child do if something happens to his nanny and cannot take care of him at that moment? ... Lees meer.

3 Ways To Keep Your Kids Productive and Safe Online

By Anja van den berg Technology is part of our world, and it's here to stay – also when it comes to schooling and education. Instead of cringing or being fearful, parents can create a healthy environment that encourages exploration but with clear boundaries. The internet is a powerful resource, but it can also be a never-ending abyss of distractions. It's also a non-destructible record keeper. As such, whatever is uploaded to the digital space will stay there indefinitely. Making smart choices now will keep your children productive now and safe for their future. Here's how: Focus on focus time. ... Lees meer.

Drive safely this Easter

By Wilma Bedford Long weekends usually result in a carnage on our roads, and it is essential that you not only take the usual precautions, but also are aware of other dangers on our roads. More than ever before, it is essential that your vehicle is well maintained, that you have good driving skills and that you and your passengers are vigilant. 1)  Hold a family meeting. This is a golden opportunity to raise road safety awareness in your children. Get the younger children to name and even write down what needs to be done in advance to ensure a ... Lees meer.

Facebook – what is the difference between a friend and a follower?

By Melodie Veldhuizen Facebook is an online platform where friends, families, colleagues and other persons meet virtually to discuss issues, share thoughts, communicate and teach. Here you can have friends and followers, but few people know the difference. To become a friend on facebook, one person has to invite another or direct a friendship request. Only when the invitation is accepted, will you be friends on facebook and you can communicate with one another, like one another’s status and comment on one another’s profiles. IF a friendship request is not accepted, the person who directed the request automatically becomes a ... Lees meer.


Drive safely this Easter

By Wilma Bedford Long weekends usually result in a carnage on our roads, and it is essential that you not only take the usual precautions, but also are aware of other dangers on our roads. More than ever before, it is essential that your vehicle is well maintained, that you have good driving skills and that you and your passengers are vigilant. 1)  Hold a family meeting. This is a golden opportunity to raise road safety awareness in your children. Get the younger children to name and even write down what needs to be done in advance to ensure a ... Lees meer.

Conflict after the family holiday? This is how to handle it

By Nico Strydom Holidays are supposed to be a time of peacefulness and relaxation but with families and in-laws who often go on holiday together, conflict could arise. The conflict can arise during the holiday with everybody rather just keeping quiet in order to try and keep the peace, and then after the holiday you realise that not everybody was on the same page. Due to conflict family holidays can easily deteriorate into a period of stress and tension. There are several things that could lead to conflict during a family holiday. Perhaps all of you are staying together under ... Lees meer.

Holidays then and now: What can you remember?

By Dr Eugene Brink Change is the only constant in life and this principle applies even when it comes to holidays. What makes holidays so enjoyable, though, is that so many of the same elements have somehow remained the same. That is why we go on holiday: to enjoy what has always been fun, such as the sea, the bush and braaiing. It is nonetheless interesting to know what holidays were like decades ago and how it compares to modern day holidays. Obviously, people’s individual experiences will differ, but everyone experiences, but has nostalgia – whether as a child or ... Lees meer.

Staying safe in a shopping centre

By Nico Strydom Shopping centres are at their busiest during the festive season with consumers streaming to the shops to shop for Christmas. Over the past few years, however, it would seem that shopping centres are at their most vulnerable during the festive season due to increased crime activity such as robberies at stores and transit robberies. Charnel Hattingh, marketing and communication head for Fidelity Services Group, says there are various reasons why criminals target shopping centres. “There are a lot of people together in one area, which makes it easy for them to disappear in the crowds as soon ... Lees meer.

Pet-sitting: Options and advice for the coming holidays

By Dr Eugene Brink One of the biggest concerns of many pet lovers and owners is what to do with their beloved animals when they go on holiday and cannot take their pets along. Journalist Kedibone Modise says, “If you can’t travel with your pet(s), a prime option is to ask a friend or family member to pet-sit at your home while you are away. Pets, especially dogs and cats, would be more comfortable if you leave them with a familiar person in a familiar environment.” Entrusting your pet with someone who you know cares about them just as much ... Lees meer.


Domestic workers and gardeners: How to make sure who you are employing

By Nico Strydom Appointing a person to work in your home or on your property is not a decision to be taken lightly. According to Charnel Hattingh, head of marketing and communication at Fidelity ADT, it is of great concern that so many home-owners allow strangers into their homes or on to their property without knowing anything about them. “Most households need help – whether it be an au pair, nanny, domestic help, care-giver or gardener. Often, being desperate to appoint someone overshadows the necessity to do background checks on these people,” says Hattingh. “The end result can be disastrous ... Lees meer.

What is a home or property inspector?

By Melodie Veldhuizen In the past prospective buyers and lessees of a property had to be satisfied with what they saw when they wanted to buy or rent a house. They had to rely on the honesty of the seller and the estate agent and had to accept in good faith that there were no hidden defects before they signed the contract, just to discover to their dismay when they moved into the residence that the roof was leaking or that there was a plague of termites that was damaging the woodwork. The good news is that you can now ... Lees meer.

Give your internet strength a boost

By Marli Naidoo The internet has become faster than it’s ever been. When the phone-in internet brought the worldwide web to our screens huffing and puffing, we thought that things were happening fast. Now, however, we are used to “instant”, and internet providers make wonderful promises of lightning speed connections, which they can actually provide us with. But when the internet reacts at a slower pace than promised by your contract, there are a few solutions that you can try yourself, before contacting your service provider. Switch off your router or modem and then on again. Usually this is everyone’s ... Lees meer.

Home and children: How to start the year in an organised way

By Nico Strydom Before you have properly rubbed your eyes, the new year has started with a bang and you and your family have relapsed into your old habits and the stress and tension are building up. The start of a new year, however, is also an opportunity for a fresh start, establishing new routines and trying to get rid of stuff that cause unnecessary stress and tension. Being well organised could help to make your household and other parts of your life function like a well-oiled machine. There are many ways of making sure that everything is running smoothly ... Lees meer.

Tips to derubble these five problem areas in your home

By Nico Strydom Before you know it, you have a house full of items that only take up space, attract dust and make everything look untidy. Perhaps you are a hoarder who cannot stand throwing anything away or easily attach sentimental value to stuff. Or it could be that your home has become progressively fuller because nothing is disposed of and is simply thrust into a cupboard or drawer. Not only do unused items in a home take up limited space, but also make it difficult to tidy up, to find things you are looking for, and it can also ... Lees meer.


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