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If you’re spending Father’s Day at home this year, you can still spoil dad. We round-up some quick and easy breakfast-in-bed recipes you can whip up in the kitchen with a little help from the kids.

ALSO SEE: 4 yummy waffle recipes perfect, for Sunday brunch

Smashed avo with charred sweetcorn and Mexican flavours on sourdough toast

You can even add bacon to this recipe if it’s one of Dad’s favourite breakfast foods.


Click here for the recipe.

Stuffed bacon and cheese French toast

This is a firm favourite of the Living and Loving dads.

*Makes 3 French toast sandwiches

  • 6 slices of bread
  • 3 eggs
  • A little milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250g diced bacon
  • Grated cheese
  • Onion marmalade (we like the one from Woolworths)
  • Beat the eggs, milk and salt and pepper together.
  • Fry the bacon bits.
  • Dip one side of each slice of bread in the egg mixture.
  • Spread the dry side of each slice of bread with onion marmalade.
  • Scoop some bacon bits on three of the bread slices and add grated cheese.
  • Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread (egg-dipped side upwards).
  • Fry the sandwiches in a frying pan with some oil until golden brown on both sides.
  • Serve with fresh juice or coffee.

Breakfast pitas

They’re quick and easy to make and you can add all Dad’s favourite ingredients.

Click here for the recipe.

Crumpets with crispy marmalade bacon

 Surprise Dad with this scrumptious recipe. You’ll never make crumpets any other way again!

Click here for the recipe.

Portabella omelette

If Dad likes eating healthy, he’ll love this portabella mushroom omelette.

Click here for the recipe.

The post 5 quick and easy breakfast-in-bed recipes for Father’s Day appeared first on Living and Loving.

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When it comes to dealing with bad behaviour, your approach can often backfire. Learn from these discipline mistakes to reap rewards with your child.

 ALSO SEE: 5 steps to positively discipline your toddler

1. Being negative

If you are constantly telling your child what they should not be doing, they become immune to the word ‘no’.

Fix: Ask for the behaviour you want to see. Tell him what he should be doing and offer him encouraging words when he does it.

2. Setting high expectations

Feeling frustrated your child won’t behave in a certain way in public places? Children aren’t perfect and sometimes they still have to learn what is acceptable.

Fix: Don’t shout at him, but rather teach him how he should behave. Be a role model for your child to mimic and remind him of how to act in a social situation.

3. Modelling the wrong behaviour

You react to certain situations in a manner that isn’t ideal. If you yell and scream, your child will too.

Fix: Be the example. Children are like sponges – they absorb everything. If you react inappropriately, correct yourself and explain to your child why it is wrong.

ALSO SEE: Why you shouldn’t use shouting as a form of discipline

4. Not following through with action

You make empty threats to bad behaviour; therefore there aren’t any consequences when your child oversteps the line.

Fix: Be serious about the boundaries between good and bad behaviour. Follow through any promise of consequences without negotiation or nagging. Make it clear that there is no option for your child but to cooperate.

5. Using time-out ineffectively

You use time out as a form of punishment without any explanation of why your child was wrong.

Fix: Time out is meant to calm children, and not to highlight that they did something wrong. Explain to your child that he needs to calm down until he can be well behaved and why his behaviour was inappropriate.

See more on using time-out effectively here.

6. Using the same discipline technique for all of your children

No child is the same, so using the same measures for all of your kids often won’t work.

Fix: Get acquainted with what will work for each child in different situations. Learn about various methods and be willing to treat each child differently.

7. Overreacting

You’re always quick to stop your child from doing something, especially if it doesn’t suit you at that particular moment.

Fix: Let your child be. He needs to explore and learn. If his safety isn’t an issue, give him space to be a kid. Give yourself a break a too.

The post 7 discipline mistakes parents make and how to fix them appeared first on Living and Loving.

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Respiratory infections in children are very common, especially in children who have siblings or attend day-care or school.

Your child will develop an average of six respiratory infections each year. Aside from the common cold and the flu that produce symptoms mainly in the nose and throat, viruses also commonly causes infections in small children’s lower respiratory tracts (the windpipe, airways and lungs).

Lower respiratory tract infections such as croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis and pneumonia, invade the cells and trigger inflammation and mucus production.

This leads to nasal congestion, a runny nose, a scratchy throat and coughing, which can last up to 14 days.

Fever with a temperature as high as 39°C to 41°C is also very common.

ALSO SEE: How to treat your baby’s fever

It’s usually not necessary to run off to your health practitioner at the very first sign of illness, as there are many things you can do to help your child.

When to seek medical advice for childhood respiratory illnesses
  • If symptoms don’t improve within three to five days, last more than 10 – 14 days, or deteriorate suddenly
  • If there’s respiratory distress, fast breathing and the use of rib/tummy muscles to aid breathing
  • If your child improves but then develops a high fever again
  • If your child takes in less fluids and urinates less than three times a day (a sign of dehydration)
  • If there’s a marked decrease in activity and responsiveness
  • If there are any signs of lethargy and ‘floppiness’.

Important Note: All babies under the age of 12 weeks with a fever higher than 39.5°C should see a doctor.

How to help your child when they have a respiratory infection

These tips apply to all the below respiratory infections.

  • Place a wedge underneath your child’s pillow in her pram or cot to elevate her to a 45-degree angle (or elevate the bed for older children). This will help your child to get rid of the mucous and to breathe more easily.
  • Steaming is a great way to open the lungs and to loosen mucus, so that your child can cough it out. Steam with a bowl of hot water or spend some time together in the bathroom with a hot shower running.
  • Avoid giving your child any mucus-producing foods like cow’s milk products, bananas, grapes and refined sugar.
  • Prevent dehydration by constantly pushing fluids (cooled boiled water or diluted fruit juice). Rehydration solutions from your local pharmacy or health store will make a big difference to your child’s energy levels and recovery.
  • Always allow your child enough time to recover fully before getting back to play school, swimming lessons, etc. This will help to prevent either a relapse or another opportunistic infection.

ALSO SEE: 5 tried-and-tested products to help keep your child healthy all year round

Common childhood respiratory illnesses and how to treat them The common cold

The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. It’s one of the most common causes of infection and is most prevalent in early childhood. It’s caused by viruses – usually the rhinoviruses – which are spread both by contact and via airborne droplets.


  • Runny nose
  • Itchy or sore throat
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Body aches and mild headache
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Low-grade fever
  • Mild fatigue

Medical treatment

Because a cold is a virus no antibiotics are used, and treatment is symptomatic, such as saline nose spray or suction for blocked noses, paracetamol or ibuprofen for fever, and paediatric cough syrup for coughs. Push fluids to prevent dehydration.

The natural approach

Heat works wonders when mucus from a cold, post-nasal drip or croup is a problem – either in the form of a hot drink/soup, or by using steam. Essential oils like eucalyptus, pine, peppermint, cedarwood, rosemary, niaouli, basil, cloves, thyme, tea tree oil and lemon, are all very useful to relieve congestion, inflammations, mucus and breathing difficulties. Rub onto the chest and sinus areas, as well as the nose.

You can also use these essential oils as inhalers with steam. Pour hot water in a bowl and add three drops of essential oil. Place your child on your lap with her head about 30cm above the bowl. Cover yourselves with a towel, so that a tent is formed. Let your child breathe the essential oil-infused steam for one to two minutes. Sitting in the bathroom with the hot water running in a bath or shower will also do the trick.

ALSO SEE: Is it safe to use home remedies to treat my sick child?

When to seek professional help

Colds are usually self-limiting and most patients recover within a week or so. In general, children tend to be far sicker than adults when it comes to a cold. They often develop complications due to a secondary bacterial infection. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist, worsen or change, or if you feel at all concerned.


Influenza, also known as flu, is a viral infection that commonly affects the throat, lungs and nose. The infection spreads through inhaled droplets or direct contact with objects that an infected person has touched. It’s often confused with a common cold, but there are two main differences: symptoms develop far more rapidly, and they tend to be far more severe.


Infants and young children are usually unable to communicate their specific symptoms and just appear cranky and uncomfortable. Watch out for the following:

  • Fever
  • Aching muscles
  • Sweating and chills
  • Headaches and body aches
  • Dry cough
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children).

Medical treatment

Like the common cold, the flu is viral in nature. Therefore, it’s treated symptomatically. The most important thing is to bring down the high fever which is making your child feel achy and miserable. Paracetamol or ibuprofen given every six hours should help here. So will undressing you child and keeping her cool by immersing her in a tepid bath or by using a fan in the room. Saline nose spray or paediatric nose drops will help blocked noses, while paediatric cough syrups will loosen tight chests.

The natural approach

Aside from alleviating symptoms in the same way as a cold, a number of homeopathic remedies like Eupatorium and Ferrum Phosphoricum or tissue salt no 4, will help your child. Talk to your homeopath about flu-specific homeopathic preparations that are safe for the whole family (including young infants).

ALSO SEE: What you need to know about the flu vaccine

When to seek professional help

While most cases of flu are self-limiting, children under the age of five are considered high risk. So it’s important that you monitor your little one closely. Temperatures that won’t settle need urgent medical attention. So does any sign of deterioration, as there’s a high risk of secondary infections leading to complications like pneumonia.


Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils; both viruses and bacteria cause the infection.

Click here for the symptoms and treatment options.


Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the pharynx that lies at the back of the throat. The most common cause of pharyngitis is viral, but there can be bacterial causes too, such as a streptococcal infection.


  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Skin rash

Medical treatment

Treat your child symptomatically (the same as for cold and flu). Most children with pharyngitis usually get better within a couple of days.

The natural approach

Chamomile tea with lemon and honey are soothing and healing, while sucking on an ice-lolly will soothe an inflamed throat. Gargling with a ¼ tsp of salt dissolved in 250ml warm water will also help if your child is old enough to do so. Steaming (see colds) or running a humidifier in the room, will help. Also consider Bryonia and Lachesis Muta. Chat to your homeopath about both of these remedies.

ALSO SEE: What you should know about humidifiers and how to choose the best one

When to seek professional help

If left untreated, Streptococcal Pharyngitis may cause rheumatic fever in children older than two. Always consult your medical practitioner for any persistent sore throat or fever, as your child may need antibiotics to treat the strep infection.


Croup often begins as a typical cold.

Click here for the symptoms and treatment options.


Pneumonia is loosely described as an infection of the lung’s air sacs, caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites and other organisms (that your toddler picked up from the floor and got lodged in her lungs.) Infected air sacs become inflamed and can be filled with fluid, pus or phlegm. This makes breathing uncomfortable and sometimes painful.


Pneumonia often presents with a range of symptoms, depending on the underlying cause.

Most often, children will have symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Coughing

Newborns and infants may not show any signs of the infection, or they may vomit, have a fever and cough, appear restless, tired and lethargic, or have difficulty breathing and eating.

ALSO SEE: Different types of coughs and how to treat them

When to seek professional help

Pneumonia can be very severe and your child may develop other problems like septicaemia. Her condition can deteriorate very quickly, so seek immediate medical attention at the first sign of floppiness and unresponsiveness. This is especially the case in children under the age of two, as pneumonia can quickly become life threatening.

Medical treatment

Complications of pneumonia can be severe and life threatening. So it’s important to consult a qualified medical practitioner for a thorough examination and management if your child has any of the abovementioned symptoms.

Medical treatment depends on the cause and severity of symptoms, but mostly includes physio and antibiotics. Your child will more than likely require medication that is administered to the infected lung tissue using a nebuliser. This will help relieve her tight chest and shortness of breath. Once she has been treated, she should rest.

Full recovery is expected within seven to 10 days of treatment if the pneumonia is caught early. But bear in mind that once the infection has been resolved, it can take your little one four to six weeks to regain both strength and stamina.

Natural treatment

Pneumonia can be treated homoeopathically with a number of remedies, including Bryonia and Phosphorus. Remedies will vary according to your child’s symptoms. Your natural health practitioner will advise you about the best choices.


Bronchitis often develops from a cold, which results in inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes (which carry air to and from the lungs).

Click here for the signs and symptoms and treatment options.


Bronchiolitis is a common lung infection in young children and infants that causes congestion in small airways (bronchioles) of the lung. It is usually caused by a virus.


Bronchiolitis starts out with symptoms similar to a cold (runny or stuffy nose, cough and slight fever). Then follows coughing, wheezing and sometimes difficulty breathing. An ear infection often occurs simultaneously.

Medical treatment

Steam and symptomatic treatment may settle your child. Very young babies should be taken to hospital and put into an oxygen tent with humidity, as they can deteriorate rapidly.

The natural approach

The same as for bronchitis.

When to seek professional help

Bronchiolitis can be very severe – your baby could struggle to breathe and become exhausted. It’s vital to see a doctor if she has any of these symptoms: vomiting, breathing more than 60 breaths per minute, breathing very shallowly, her skin turns blue (especially lips and fingernails), lethargy, refusing to eat or drink, distress when breathing (the ribs are sucked in when try to get air in).

The post Your guide to childhood respiratory illnesses appeared first on Living and Loving.

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Immediately after birth, your baby must breathe on his own and be kept warm to stay alive. To do this, he needs energy, which comes from sugar. The best source of sugar for your baby is colostrum, or your first milk. Your breasts are prepped for this task during pregnancy, and during the first few days after birth a newborn needs to drink colostrum every two to three hours. Think of it as condensed milk − thick and yellowish, rich and very sweet.

There is a risk of low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia) in the first 12 hours after birth in full-term babies, and in the first 36 hours for small or preterm babies.

Low blood sugar levels in the first few hours after birth (called “transient hypoglycaemia”) is normal, according to the American Academy of Paediatrics Guidelines for Neonatal Hypoglycaemia. The purpose of lower blood sugar levels is to make sure the baby feeds often and doesn’t sleep for too long between feeds. Remember, a newborn’s stomach can only hold, at most, 20ml (or four teaspoons) of milk at a time, and frequent feeding stimulates the pituitary gland in the mother’s brain to produce essential breastfeeding hormones known as oxytocin and prolactin.

ALSO SEE: How to prepare for breastfeeding

Acclaimed neonatologist and neuroscientist Dr Nils Bergman, reminds us that babies are born prewired to be fed about every hour, and babies’ sleep cycles are approximately one hour long. This means when your baby uses up her sugar reserves, colostrum helps to restore those levels. When sugar stores are not replenished, babies can become hypoglycaemic with some of the complications.

There is some controversy among healthcare professionals as to what a newborn’s blood sugar levels should be. For adults, a normal blood sugar level varies between 3 and 5.8 mmol/L. When babies are just an hour or
two old, normal levels are just under 2 mmol/L. However, this should rise to between 2.5 and 2.8 mmol/L within the next two to three days once a feeding pattern (whether breast or bottle) has been established.

When things go wrong

Low blood sugar levels should start improving within the first 24 hours. When these levels stay persistently low, or deteriorate, interventions like glucose feeds, a drip or admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), may be necessary. Tests will be done to find the cause of low levels.

Gauteng-based dietician and lactation consultant Lizelle Payne cautions that low blood sugar levels can be exacerbated by pregnancy- and birth-related complications like small-for-date babies (also large-for-date babies when the mom is diabetic), a discordant (or smaller) twin, prematurity, infections, babies with respiratory distress, medications (these include narcotics and epidurals during labour), C-sections and delayed feeding.

Symptoms of hypoglycaemia

You know how you feel when you haven’t eaten for a while or when you’re craving chocolate – hot and cold, grumpy and irritable? Your baby feels the same way and tells you this through her body language. These signals include a high-pitched anxious cry and jittering with an exaggerated moro (startle) reflex. Your baby will also be lethargic and it may be difficult to feed her if she is too weak to latch and suck. Her breathing may also be faster than usual.

ALSO SEE: 8 newborn reflexes and why your little one has them

What to do

If your baby shows signs of hypoglycaemia or is sleepy and reluctant to feed, blood sugar levels can be checked with a heel-prick test. “This test is quick, easy and convenient,” says Lizelle, “but can be unreliable. Lab tests may take longer and are more expensive, but they’re accurate. They can be the difference between implementing necessary or unnecessary interventions or simply persevering with skin-to-skin kangaroo care and breastfeeding.”

Providing there are no complications, breastfeeding at least every two hours, including during the night, is best. Lizelle emphasises the importance of skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding within the first hour after birth whenever possible – even if you have had a C-section. “If your baby is in NICU, you should be encouraged to express her milk as soon as possible to establish a milk supply.”

ALSO SEE: 8 breastfeeding tips and tricks for new moms

When babies are reluctant to suck, expressed breast milk can be given using a teaspoon, syringe or medicinal feeding cup.

When it was found that low blood sugar levels in the newborn can affect their brain’s metabolic functioning, many healthcare professionals began insisting on regular heel-prick blood tests and even formula feeding in the first few days after birth while waiting for the mother’s milk to come in. However, this may have been because, in the past, mom and baby were routinely separated and feeds were restricted to a four-hourly schedule. With mom and baby rooming in, this doesn’t happen anymore and has helped to reduce the incidence of hypoglycaemia.

Most babies make a quick and easy transition from life in the womb to cuddling in their mom’s arms. If you’re worried, trust your instincts, speak to your healthcare provider and contact a lactation consultant.

The post Your newborn and low blood sugar levels appeared first on Living and Loving.

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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited life-threatening disorder that affects all parts of the body, but predominantly the lungs and digestive system.

Read more about CF here. 

“CF occurs in people of all races and backgrounds throughout the world. It’s estimated there are approximately 700 people with cystic fibrosis in South Africa,” says Dr Marco Zampoli, paediatric pulmonologist and head of the CF Clinic at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.

According to the South African Cystic Fibrosis Association (SACFA), there is currently no accurate information of cystic fibrosis patients in South Africa.

Dr Zampoli has been working on a national CF registry launched in 2018, which will hopefully provide more accurate information in the near future.

Diagnosing Cystic Fibrosis

Unlike many other countries, there is no newborn screening programme in South Africa for CF.

ALSO SEE: 12 newborn screening tests your baby will have in hospital

And, due to the complex nature of the disease, limited access to diagnostic tests outside the main cities, and low levels of CF awareness in society, an unknown number of people with CF are likely being misdiagnosed with conditions that resemble CF such as asthma, tuberculosis or malnutrition, and subsequently do not have access to proper treatment. These people, children more specifically, often die from malnutrition or pneumonia. Because treatment is available, it is important to reduce the incidence of misdiagnosis by raising awareness of the disease in all parts of South Africa.

ALSO SEE: 1 in 15 babies are affected by a birth defect in South Africa

Symptoms of cystic fibrosis

According to SACFA, CF affects a number of organs in the body, primarily the lungs and pancreas, by clogging them with thick and sticky mucus.

Prominent symptoms, which often appear in infancy and childhood, include:

  • Frequent lung infections that may lead to breathing problems, lung damage, prolonged courses of antibiotics, and respiratory failure requiring support by a ventilator. Repeated infections and blockages can cause irreversible lung damage.

ALSO SEE: Your guide to childhood respiratory infections 

  • Mucus that blocks the tiny ducts of the pancreas which supply enzymes required for digestion.  Consequently, food is not properly digested and absorbed, and nutritional value is lost in the process.
  • Salty-tasting skin. The sweat glands are affected and the body may lose an excessive amount of salt during exercise or hot weather.
  • CF can also lead to frequent sinus infections, diabetes mellitus, and difficulty with digestion and fertility problems.
Treating cystic fibrosis

There is no cure for CF. However, advancements in treatment have made it possible for people with CF to live much longer than ever before.

Dr Zampoli says the most important aspect of therapy in CF is preventing malnutrition and lung damage that is caused by thick mucus and infection, so as to maintain a good quality of life. “The damaging effects of CF begin in early life and accumulate over time. Early diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment in early life is critical to ensure people born with CF can lead normal, healthy productive lives.”

Among these treatments is Creon, a pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT) in the form of capsules. This capsule enables people with CF to absorb nutrients from food. It is specially designed to help the body absorb fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

In studies of children with CF, Creon has been shown to improve the rate of fat absorption with good safety and tolerability, helping to control the symptoms of CF and enabling the patients to achieve satisfactory weight gain.

For more information, visit the South African Cystic Fibrosis Association.


The post How to spot the signs of cystic fibrosis in your child appeared first on Living and Loving.

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Simone Tonkin, a mother, teacher and lecturer with over 20 years’ experience, has spent the best part of her career nurturing independence, cooperation, patience and self-control in young children. She’s also lectured student teachers on topics related to discipline, as well as how to teach families to thrive in today’s modern times.

We spoke to Simone and asked her to give us some insight into what teachers discuss at tea-time, and what they wish parents knew, and implemented, at home. “Although they’re not always easy, these life lessons are critical to help your children learn valuable lessons and morals like kindness, patience, self-discipline and self-confidence,” says Simone.

ALSO SEE: 6 life skills you should teach your child 

Whether you have a baby, toddler, or school-going child, it’s never too early, or too late to take these points on board and start applying them at home.

Teach your child to be a good first-time listener

“In busy households, it’s common for parents to give out one-way instructions without expecting too much of a reply. Parents often talk to their children while they’re watching TV or playing on the iPad, but in these instances, you aren’t modelling the best behaviour when it comes to actively listening and engaging with your children and other family members,” explains Simone.

“As a result, kids aren’t used to listening well, maintaining eye contact and engaging with their parents, and unfortunately we see this in school too,” she adds. Listening is a skill that needs to be practised over time. “We’ve found that the children who listen well do better at school – and in life in general.”

What to do:

Teach your children how to be good first-time listeners by showing them how its done. You can practise this by giving your child an instruction, such as “Please help mommy pack your Lego away in the box”, then watch to make sure your child is looking at you and has heard and understood your request. After your child has followed through with the instruction, make eye contact again and praise her when she follows through with what you’ve asked.

ALSO SEE: 3 steps to get your child to listen

Don’t be afraid to say no and put boundaries in place

Today, we live in a world of instant gratification, but it’s important to teach your child that she can’t always have everything she wants the moment she askes for it. While this may be possible at home, it’s often not possible at school or later in life- in the workplace etc, says Simone.

What to do:

Delay gratification where possible – and say no where appropriate even if your little one throws a tantrum. Constant reinforcement of this message, “I’m sorry honey, but you can’t have a treat right now, or I can’t help you right this second,” will help her start to accept this and learn to wait her turn, especially in group settings or social circles.

By saying no, and delaying gratification, you’re teaching your child the valuable skill of patience and boundaries.

Also remember to praise her when she is patient. This will go a long way towards helping her at school.

ALSO SEE: New ways to say “no” to avoid toddler tantrums

Allow choices, but teach consequences

While it’s good to offer your children choices in life, it’s important to help them understand the consequences of their choices- even from a young age, says Simone. For instance, “You don’t have to eat this dinner I’ve made for you, but then you might be hungry because there’s no other option”. By explaining this way, your child will start to fully grasp the concept that every choice has a consequence, whether it’s good or bad.

Helping your children understand the consequences of their choices and actions will help them to foster independence and teach them how to make good decisions as they get older – and especially at school.

If you don’t let your little ones make their own choices, they won’t get a good grasp on consequences, and this can affect them all the way through school and into adulthood. “I’ve seen 12-year olds suffer from a lack of confidence because their parents didn’t allow them to make enough choices and take responsibility for their actions,” cautions Simone.

What to do:

Allow your children to make age-appropriate decisions, but be sure to explain the consequences to them too, says Simone. Constant communication is vital here- even if your little one is only two years old. Always explain what will happen if your child makes a certain choice.

If she makes the wrong choice and is angry, sad or disappointed, this is another opportunity for you to explain how certain choices lead to certain consequences.

ALSO SEE: How to teach your child to make decisions 

Build your child’s confidence without inflating her ego

While it’s very important to affirm to your child that she’s worthy, valuable, special and has a specific purpose in life, this should be about building genuine confidence and self-esteem rather than inflating your child’s ego through constant flattery.

“This is what we try to do at school – because building a child’s confidence also helps them to accept failure, criticism or disappointment a little easier,” explains Simone. “I’ve had to council parents and children who believe that they should never lose or fail at something, and this is hard because it shakes them to the core.”

What to do:

Teach your child that while she should always try her best, it’s also okay to fail at times and it doesn’t take away who she is as a person. Unconditional love is the key in this situation- you want to show your child that you’re proud of her, no matter what, and that disappointment is a part of life.

For instance, if your older child doesn’t make the netball team, rather than throwing a fit with the school coach,  let your child know that it’s okay to feel sad, but then encourage her to practice harder, eat healthy foods, get enough sleep and try again when the new season starts, says Simone. This is an important lesson because it teaches your child to keep trying and not give up, rather than feeding her fears and insecurities about failure. It will also help her to learn to trust herself and her abilities throughout life.

The post 4 life lessons your child’s teacher wishes you implemented at home appeared first on Living and Loving.

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The flu season in South Africa typically occurs over the winter months from May to August. Although it has commenced in South Africa, it is not too late to protect yourself with this year’s flu vaccine.

Dr Pete Vincent of Medicross Tokai and Netcare Travel Clinics says the flu vaccination takes some 10 days from its administration to become fully effective against strains of this highly infectious illness, which is linked to the deaths of many South Africans every year.

ALSO SEE: Your guide to childhood respiratory illnesses

The benefits of getting the flu vaccine

“The flu virus is constantly mutating and changing and, while many different types of flu virus strains exist, the annual vaccine is designed to protect against the main flu strains that are likely to be in circulation during that particular flu season,” notes Dr Vincent.

He says the flu vaccine is considered by healthcare authorities around the world, including the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in South Africa, to offer individuals and communities the best protection available against influenza.

“Getting vaccinated against flu is the responsible thing for all South Africans to do. It is, however, particularly important for those who are at high risk of developing complications from the flu virus, including individuals who have weakened or immature immune systems.”

A further benefit of the flu vaccine, and one that is often overlooked, is that even if you do get the flu, the illness is likely to be considerably milder than it would be were you not vaccinated against it. The vaccine also assists in preventing, or limiting serious complications.

Who is most at risk of developing serious complications from flu?
  • Those who are 65 years of age and older.
  • Individuals who have respiratory conditions such as asthma or emphysema.
  • People who may have compromised immune systems such as HIV-positive individuals, or those undergoing radiation or chemotherapy for cancer.
  • Those who have chronic conditions such as compromised heart or kidney function or diabetes.
  • Women who are in their second or third trimester of pregnancy.
  • Babies and small children.

ALSO SEE: Flu tips for pregnant and breastfeeding moms

Why you should get vaccinated today

“The more individuals who have the flu vaccine administered, the better the protection against a general flu outbreak among the population tends to be. Therefore, we not only protect ourselves when we are vaccinated, but we may also protect others who may be more vulnerable to the effects of the virus,” says Dr Vincent.

He adds that flu negatively impacts your immune system, making those who are at a higher risk of contracting the flu virus, considerably more prone to developing other secondary infections and potentially serious complications such as pneumonia, which can be life-threatening.

More about the flu vaccine

A flu vaccine is developed annually according to the World Health Organization (WHO) strain recommendations, for both the southern and northern hemisphere flu seasons. “The annual Southern Hemisphere vaccine that is available to South Africans, usually provides protection from the three strains of the flu virus that are identified by WHO researchers as likely to be the most prevalent during that particular season. This year’s Southern Hemisphere trivalent vaccine protects against two influenza A strains, and one influenza B strain,” says Dr Vincent.

Side effects

Yes, the flu vaccine can have side effects in some individuals, but these are almost always mild and of short duration. The side effects may include some pain, redness and swelling at the site of the vaccination, drowsiness and muscle aches. Dr Vincent says a few individuals may suffer a severe allergic reaction, but this is very rare.

“It is a myth that the vaccine can cause a flu infection, as it does not contain the live virus. It can cause some mild ‘flu-like symptoms’, including a low-grade fever, in some individuals, which is no doubt where this idea originated,” Dr Vincent stresses.

“The flu vaccine is safe and, while it does not always offer a complete safeguard against infection, it does usually offer a good measure of protection, particularly when the year’s vaccine has been well matched to the strains of virus in circulation. In fact, this vaccine can, and does save many lives every year and we recommend that all South Africans should consider having it,” Dr Vincent concludes.

ALSO SEE: 7 flu myths debunked 

The 2019 flu vaccine is available through Medicross medical centres, Netcare Travel Clinics, and the pharmacies located within Netcare hospitals.

The post It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine appeared first on Living and Loving.

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When you were pregnant, you probably spent many hours wondering what your baby’s first smile would look like – how amazing it would feel to watch him take that first step towards you, how incredibly rested you’d feel after a full night’s sleep for the first time in ages.

Every parent relishes those first milestones, which is why stealing a first ranks among the highest of the crimes you could commit against a parent.

Don’t be that person – let your friends and family enjoy every one of these special first moments.

First meal

The move away from milk is surely one of the most poignant first milestones. It’s a definitive end to that “fourth trimester”, and just a short step away from family discussions around the table (at least, that’s how it feels). That’s why the first meal isn’t just a bit of rice cereal – it’s a rite of passage (plus, let’s not forget how absolutely awesome it is to watch the look on a baby’s face when she experiences a new taste for the first time).

ALSO SEE: Your guide to introducing solids to your little one

First tooth

When you’ve been responsible for manufacturing every cell in someone’s body, you feel that no one knows those cells quite as well as you. Pointing out the growth of the first tooth might seem like a small thing, but it robs a mother of her realisation that the landscape of her baby’s face is changing.

ALSO SEE: Everything you need to know about baby’s first teeth

First hug

Don’t even go there.

First step


ALSO SEE: When will my baby walk? Look out for these 5 signs

First bedtime story

Reading with your child is one of the very best things you can do together. Being part of the joy of discovering the world of books is incredibly special – small wonder every mother wants to be the navigator of that world.

ALSO SEE: The benefits of reading to your baby

These moms had their first milestones stolen!

We asked some Living & Loving moms if they’d had any firsts stolen from them. Here’s what they said:

“My father-in-law popped a Salticrax in my exclusively breastfed baby’s mouth.” – Mara

“I went away on holiday with my husband and my second baby started walking while she was with her grandparents, and they cut her hair. It was her first haircut. I nearly died!” – Kerry

“My mother-in-law cut my son’s hair for the first time, without asking me. Apparently my husband gave his consent. I wasn’t very impressed. At least we have always had a good relationship so I could just be honest about how I felt from the moment I found out.” – Louise

“I went away for the first time ever since having children for four days, and that was the weekend when my second baby decided to walk. At four days short of 16 months! As much as I enjoyed the relaxing getaway with my sister, I was very upset to have missed that.” – Olerato

“My son was born early and I had an emergency C-section. In the hospital, I started getting congratulations messages about how gorgeous he was from random people. I realised my mom had posted a pic of him and me (the first) on Facebook and announced the birth to everyone. I’m still mad.” – Alison

The post First milestones you should never steal from parents appeared first on Living and Loving.

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Don’t know what to get Dad for Father’s Day this year? He’ll love these special DIY treats.

ALSO SEE: 12 great gift ideas for Father’s Day for 2019

You will need
  • Label template
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Bottles (cleaned with labels removed)
  • Fillings like jelly beans or nuts
  • Popcorn container
  • Clear plastic packet
  • String
  • Print template here. Cut out, label and glue onto the bottle.
  • Fill with nuts or jelly beans and screw the lid on tightly.
  • For the popcorn label, cut out and punch a hole in the corner.
  • Make or buy popcorn, fill the packet and close tightly with the string. Place inside the popcorn cup and thread on the label.

The post DIY daddy treats for Father’s Day appeared first on Living and Loving.

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You don’t need to spend a fortune on a Father’s Day gift for dad – it’s the thought that counts. Here’s our pick of the best and cheesiest gifts for the special man in your life.

ALSO SEE: Find the perfect Father’s Day gift with this Superdad’s quiz

Thingamajig screwdriver set with LED, R79.99, Crazy Store

Dads always need a screwdriver to fix something around the house.

Best Dad beer mug, R49.99, Crazy Store

Every time he has a beer, he’ll think of his family.

Tekut bamboo biltong slicer, R399, Cape Union Mart

Dad will love this nifty biltong slicer. It has a super sharp stainless-steel blade that competently cuts through most food and is highly durable, meaning endless biltong for those rugby matches and afternoon snacks.

Buffelsfontein gift box, R349, Cape Union Mart

This gift box consists of beard oil, moustache balm and a rugged leather key chain – all guaranteed to keep your dad groomed.

K-Way men’s Harlow down jacket, R1 999, Cape Union Mart

This jacket is is perfect for cold weather outdoor pursuits, be it your dad’s daily commute or a weekend hike. The main fabric of this jacket is waterproof with stitch-free channelling, designed to offer superior insulation.

Just For You Chuckles tin, R119.99, Woolworths

Does Dad have a sweet tooth? He’ll love this delicious gift.

Print mule slippers, R199, Woolworths

Make sure Dad’s feet stays toasty warm this winter with these comfy slippers.

Humble & Mash leather braai and fireplace gloves, R399, yuppiechef.com

These braai gloves are the ultimate accessory for braaing enthusiasts, allowing you to pick up and rearrange coals, logs and foil wrapped veggies without burning your hands.

Brooklyn Handcrafted Gin, R699, trumanandorange.com

If Dad is a gin aficionada, he’ll love this gift.

Thule Chasm gym bag, R1 999, www.thule.com

This nifty bag can be carried in two different ways: as a backpack and as a duffel (all straps tuck away when not in use).

Thule Subterra PowerShuttle, R599, www.thule.com  

Dad will love this electronics travel case for organizing and transporting his charger, cords and accessories.

Lou Harvey Gusset vanity bag, R435, louharvey.com

If Dad travels quite often for business, this vanity bag will come in really handy.  

The post 12 great gift ideas for Father’s Day for 2019 appeared first on Living and Loving.

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