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Protect your child against cyber bullying

By Marli Naidoo Cyber bullying is the posting or sending of electronic messages aimed at harassing or threatening  people, or to spread gossip about them. This is done by means of digital platforms such as social networks, chat rooms, blogs, or instant and SMS messages. Most parents did not grow...

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Teen suicide can be prevented – here’s how you can help

By Melodie Veldhuizen According to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), depression and thoughts of suicide, attempts and in many cases suicide by teenagers often go hand in hand. Although sometimes there may not be any warning or outward signs, there might well be subtle or specific indications. Many teen deaths due to suicide can be prevented if parents, teachers and other adults recognise these warning signs in time, take them seriously and know how to react. Which factors or causes can give rise to suicide thought/attempts in teens? Various factors/causes may lead to depression, from which thoughts ... Lees meer.

Prepare your child for nursery school

By Melodie Veldhuizen Will your child be going to nursery school for the first time next year? This new phase in a child’s life comes with many challenges for the child and her parents, but with proper preparation it can be a wonderful experience for all of you. Role play This is the ideal way to prepare a toddler for an unknown situation. Take turns with your toddler to be child, mother and teacher. Make dolls and toys part of the fun. Imitate daily nursery school routines, such as dropping off, saying goodbye, story time, singing, playing outside, eating and ... Lees meer.

Tips for travelling overseas with children

By Nico Strydom Changes to the requirements for South African parents who wish to travel overseas with their children endeavour to make it easier for the parents to travel. The Department of Home Affairs has changed its system so that the information of children’s parents may be entered in the children’s passports. Previously parents had to present their children’s birth certificates in order for children to be able to travel overseas. Documents required when travelling with a child: A child who is accompanied by both parents and is a South African citizen, must have a valid passport as well as ... Lees meer.

Warning signs of violence in children

By Nico Strydom Lately there has been numerous reports about violence by schoolchildren and, according to experts, this is often pre-empted by warning signs and their behaviour. According to Dr. Marshinee Naidoo, a specialist psychiatrist at the Aleso Alberton psychiatric hospital, children can display violent behaviour from a very young age. “Violent behaviour in a child, regardless of his or her age, should be taken seriously and not merely be shrugged off as a phase through which the child is going.” The warning signs of violence in children are not always the same and the signs need not necessarily occur ... Lees meer.

What does being a foster parent entail?

By Emsie Martin To suddenly become a foster parent is not easy and although a foster parent’s primary task is to care for a child temporarily, it requires a great deal of commitment from the person becoming the foster parent. Foster parents’ responsibilities Foster parents must meet the requirements of the state’s laws and the welfare organisation, as well as convey important information regarding the child to the foster care supervisor, and participate in decision-making regarding the child. Foster parenting also means being in partnership with the biological family and the organisation, as well as supporting the child during the ... Lees meer.

What is the ideal age to get married?

By Melodie Veldhuizen You have been waiting for years for your dream guy and suddenly the knight on the white horse appears on your doorstep. You know this is Mister Perfect. But how do you know this is the perfect time to pledge to be true to him “until death us do part”? When looking at divorce statistics, you might get cold feet even before you can say “yes”. How old a person is when getting married, is not necessarily the determining factor for divorce or for a long and happy marriage. Johan Ferreira, a psychologist in Johannesburg, is of ... Lees meer.

Four tactics for working parents to make regular family meals a reality

By Anja van den Berg Getting the whole family around the dinner table at the same time is one of the most challenging parts of working parenthood.  Yet, it’s a ritual that stretches much further than merely filling up your kids’ tummies. According to The Family Dinner Project, a non-profit organisation operating out of Harvard University, kids who eat with their families roughly five days a week exhibit lower levels of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, obesity, and depression. They also have higher grade-point averages, better vocabularies, and more self-esteem. Although you’d probably like nothing better than sitting down to a ... Lees meer.

You’ve decided to get divorced ─ so what now?

By Emsie Martin Nobody gets married with the intention to divorce. The hard reality, however, is that 40% of marriages end in the divorce court before the 10th anniversary. Statistics SAs latest figures show that 25 326 divorces were granted in South Africa in 2016. When your marriage has broken down irretrievably or if there is any other reason that made you decide to dissolve your marriage through divorce, it would be advisable to obtain a legal opinion on the matter. There are a whole number of issues that will have to be addressed: custody of the children access to such ... Lees meer.

Cheap or free: Date nights need not break the bank

By Marli Naidoo One of the excuses that have been worked to death, is that there simply isn’t money for a night out (without the kids, mind you) with your loved one. You will have to quickly change your mind about these excuses when you realise that all you need for having a wonderful time with your partner, is creativity and a good imagination. A cheap or free “date night” could even be more exciting than an expensive dinner at a swanky restaurant. You do not have to go out to spend time together. After dropping the children at Grandma’s ... Lees meer.

Fight fair with your loved ones

By Wilma Bedford Identify exactly what you are angry about and decide why you are angry; in this way you can choose how you are going to express your anger. Was property physically damaged, was your integrity doubted, were you offended, were rules broken that you jointly agreed upon, was a confidence broken? Is it about principles or personalities? Are you partly to blame for the unhappiness? Put yourself in the shoes of your loved ones and try to understand the matter from their perspective. The relationship must still be a priority, especially if it is family members, because you ... Lees meer.

Prepare your pet for the new baby

By Nico Strydom The arrival of a new baby can turn a household on its head and it could also affect the house pets. Once the new baby has come home, it is accompanied by an overwhelming array of new sounds and smells, and this could upset a dog, especially if it is not used to children. A baby also results in drastic changes to the daily routine, which means that your dog’s schedule could possibly also change. A new baby could also result in a dog getting less attention than before for a while. All this can result in ... Lees meer.

Learn to understand your dog

By Nico Strydom Dogs use their bodies and expressions to communicate their feelings. By learning your dog’s body language you will know when it feels sad, happy, threatened or bad-tempered. Dogs use their whole body to show how they feel in a particular situation. They will bark, whine or growl and use facial expressions and their ears, lips, noses, tails and bodies, and it is therefore important to know what the different expressions and habits mean. It is, however, important to take everything together as well as the situation in which the dog finds itself into consideration, otherwise you may ... Lees meer.

Yes, your dog can also grieve

By Melodie Veldhuizen Some animal-behaviour scientists doubt whether dogs can really feel grief when a human parent dies. Experts claim that dogs function on the same intellectual and emotional level as children of four to five years old. They do not understand the finality of death and therefore they expect the deceased person to come back. And yet, from the behaviour of dogs it is clear that they experience loss when a human parent dies. The intensity with which dogs experience loss and the extent to which they grieve, depend a lot on how close the relationship between the deceased person ... Lees meer.

Seven diseases you could pick up from your pet

Chisanga Mukuka Just like the rest of us, your furry friend is also prone to germs, bacteria and bouts of sickness. And in the same way that you might catch a cold from other people, conditions from pets can sometimes be passed on to their owners. The good news is that most zoonotic diseases (diseases that can be transferred from animals to humans) are quite rare, and those that you could contract are treatable and can be prevented through simple measures. A great start is knowing which infections are most likely to cross over. Familiarise yourself with the following conditions: ... Lees meer.

Help your child to process the death of a pet

Marli Naidoo In many cases the loss of a pet is a child’s first introduction to death. It can therefore leave him sad, but can also fill him with feelings of guilt, fear and confusion. Some children may even resent a friend whose pet is still alive. It therefore is our duty to help our children through this difficult time. A toddler will probably not yet understand the concept of death. Explain to him that his pet is dead and won’t return, but that it definitely is not his fault. Four- to six-year-olds are inclined to see death as a ... Lees meer.

Safety tips for women drivers

By Emsie Martin Women who drive alone need to take a few extra precautions, for instance: Should you notice a vehicle following you closely, turn into a different road than the one you would normally take. Remain aware of your surroundings. Should the other vehicle turn into the same road, take a few more twists and turns. If the other vehicle continues to stick with you, it would be safe to assume you are being followed and may be the target of foul play. Do not stop or allow the other driver to pull up beside you, or try to ... Lees meer.

A victim of theft: How to make peace with it and move on

By Marli Naidoo Regardless of the way in which your possessions were stolen, it is still a traumatic experience. It could be a so-called “friend” who stole valuable earrings from your wardrobe, a burglar who invaded your house, or an armed street robbery. Each of these events has emotional consequences, which, naturally, differ in seriousness. All people react differently to traumatic events. Your reaction may be influenced by various factors, including personality, coping ability, values, convictions and experiences. How does one handle the shock, anger, sadness and fear that can torture you after such incidents? Get support. It is no ... Lees meer.

Restrain that road-rage monster

By Wilma Bedford Statistics for 2018 reveal that 18 000 people die on South African roads annually, of which numerous are related to road rage. 150 thousand people are seriously injured and 8 500 are paralysed in accidents, and this costs the state R300 million a year, without even taking into account the personal and emotional loss. From these figures it is clear that there are no winners in a road-rage incident, but only consequences and losers. Road rage is when a vehicle is driven in such a way that other people, vehicles or property are injured or damaged, deliberately bumping against ... Lees meer.

How to stay professional on social media

By Nico StrydomSocial-media platforms have become part of people’s personal world, and also of their professional life.Social media enables you to keep contact with family, friends and clients on a professional and personal level and to establish a brand for yourself. First, it is important to know why you are using social media. To create an online presence you must know what the advantages and disadvantages are.From a professional point of view social media can help you build a network of knowledge, to stay informed of trends in your professional world and to market yourself as a thought leader in ... Lees meer.

Adults can also be afraid of the dark

By Marli NaidooNyctophobia is an extreme fear of the dark that can cause intense symptoms of anxiety and depression. Fear becomes a phobia when it is excessive or irrational, or when it affects your everyday life.This fear usually starts while you are still a child and is regarded as normal. It comes from uncertainty about what the dark holds that the child cannot see. This fear of the dark is usually only temporary and should disappear with time. There are, however, people who still have to put up with it as adults. In some cases this fear later becomes a ... Lees meer.

What to do if you lose your SA passport overseas

by Essie Bester Your trip overseas is a dream come true. Then the time comes to return home to your country and your family and you discover that your passport has disappeared into nowhere. It might have been stolen, or perhaps you lost it on the beach. What to do? Does this mean that you are left stranded in a foreign country? Just the mere thought is enough to fill you with fear. But don’t panic. This step-by-step guide will enable you to handle the situation calmly. Report it Report it immediately at the nearest police station. Then you have ... Lees meer.

Must I entertain my child right through the holidays?

By Marli NaidooSchool holidays, a time for children to enjoy playing and spending time at home! Unfortunately some parents and children don’t see it this way. Parents feel that their children must not become bored and that it is the parents’ job to make sure that their children’s days are filled with activities and excursions. We are scared that our children will tell us they are bored.It is, however, not good for our children to be entertained all the time. It is noticeable that it is precisely the busiest children who complain that they are bored. They are used to ... Lees meer.

The ultimate holiday checklist for your home

By Dr Eugene Brink You’re so tired the only things you can think of are cocktails and idyllic beaches. The last thing you want to think of is expending more effort and time in and on your house. However, if you are going away, it is crucial that you tick some things off your last to-do list for 2018. The advantage most people have is that they now have more time to do it than during the busier parts of the year. But before you dive in and just start doing stuff, take note of some of these useful tips ... Lees meer.

Christmas Time … Again!

That time of year is once again approaching when some people agonize over buying the right gift for a special person or members of the family, how much to spend on it and then if the receivers will find it useful and welcome. What message does your present transmit about yourself, particularly if it is for an in-law? You yourself dread receiving a gift which you don’t want and then having to fake gracious gratitude. Others will agonise over not being able to give at all because their budgets will not stretch to allow purchasing small, let alone elaborate, gifts. ... Lees meer.

Recycle and re-use: Ideas for a green Christmas

By Marli Naidoo A white Christmas with swirling snowflakes may seem attractive, but for me there is nothing better than a green Christmas in sunny South Africa. To make it even greener, we will focus on recycling and re-using as one of our new family traditions. There are many ways in which the amount of plastic that lands on the rubbish heap after Christmas can be decreased.       The easiest way to give a green gift, is by moving away from items that need to be wrapped. For a busy mother who can’t get around to everything, you can arrange ... Lees meer.

Recipe: Home-made protein fingers

By Lea Brink These fingers are delicious for breakfast or for late afternoon when your blood sugar is low. You will need: 2 cups oatmeal 2 tablespoons cocoa powder 500 ml finely chopped dates 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon cumin ½ cup coarsely chopped raw almonds ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts 2 teaspoons raw monkey nuts 1 cup organic coconut flakes 2 teaspoons vanilla essence A pinch of salt ¼ cup honey 180g chopped dark chocolate Mix the oatmeal and finely chopped dates well. Add the cocoa powder, cinnamon, cumin, almonds, walnuts, monkey nuts, coconut flakes, salt and honey. Mix ... Lees meer.

Recipe: Chilli stew with cheese tortillas

By Lea Brink This is great fun with friends. You will need: 500g lean beef mince 300g pork mince 1 finely chopped onion 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic 1 finely chopped carrot 100g frozen mealies 1 chopped green bell pepper 1 chopped chilli 1 tin drained kidney beans 1 tin whole tomatoes 150g tomato puree 150 ml red wine 500 ml beef extract 2 teaspoons paprika 2 teaspoons cumin 2 teaspoons coriander 2 tablespoons dried thyme 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar Salt and pepper to taste 10 tortilla sheets 5 cups grated cheddar cheese 250ml sour cream Fry the beef ... Lees meer.

Recipe: Banana and granadilla fridge tart

By Lea Brink Delicious any time of the day. You will need: 200g Tennis biscuits, finely crushed 500 ml Ultramel custard 1 tin Caramel Treat 2 tablespoons butter 160g dark chocolate, finely chopped 200g finely crushed Caramel Romany Cream biscuits 4 large bananas, sliced 4 tablespoons granadilla puree 200g Bar One chocolate Grease a square tart dish with butter. Heat the butter in a saucepan until completely melted. Remove from the heat. Add the pieces of dark chocolate and stir until all the chocolate has melted. Place the chocolate ganache aside. As soon as it starts to thicken, it is ... Lees meer.

Recipe: White chocolate fudge cake

By Lea Brink No coffee shop can beat this delicious cake. You will need: 2 cups self-raising flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 cup margarine 1 cup castor sugar 4 eggs 1 cup chopped Whispers 1 cup finely chopped Cream Caramels Filling: White chocolate ganache 80 ml fresh cream 80 g chopped white chocolate Icing: 6 egg-whites 1½ cups white sugar Pinch of salt 500g soft butter 2 teaspoons vanilla essence 2 cups chopped vanilla fudge Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line two medium cake tins with baking paper and spray with Spray and Cook. Sift the self-raising flour and ... Lees meer.

Recipe: Garlic and Mussels Dish

By Lea Brink With a glass of white wine this is a delicious seafood dish. You will need: 2 kg fresh mussels 500g fettuccine pasta 1 cup white wine 250 ml fresh cream 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour ½ onion, chopped 3 cloves of garlic ½ cup chopped herbs: basil and oregano Coarse salt and pepper Wash the mussels in cold water and remove the moss and hair from the shells. Discard any mussels that have already opened. Fry the onion and garlic in a saucepan until done. Add the butter and melt. Add the flour. Stir well with ... Lees meer.

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