Review by Ellie Salkeld, Events Organiser and Book Reviewer for TwinsPlus Arabia.

This book: Raising Happy, Healthy Children, by Sallie-Ann Creed (a clinical nutritionist) and Andalene Salvesen (Super Granny) is much more than a guide to time-outs (although if you’re looking for Super Granny’s secret method to installing obedience into your kids in one three-hour visit, it IS here). I think reading this before you book your private home visit is almost a must: if you violently disagree then you will save some money. And if you agree with all of it then you can begin practicing some new habits before Andalene comes over and save some time!

I recently had the privilege of attending two of Andalene’s talks in one week. I still find myself marveling at her wisdom and the practical, no nonsense way of imparting it. And I found myself thinking, this lady has definitely been set apart for a time such as this.

Raising Happy Healthy Children
Raising a child today can be a daunting task – the responsibility is enormous; the challenge is one few first-time mums are ready for and knowing the right thing to do is often learned by trial and error rather than having someone take us through the steps to empowered parenting. In Raising Happy, Healthy Children, Sally-Ann Creed and Andalene Salvesen bring together two of the most important aspects of raising a healthy child – discipline and a healthy diet – by implementing suggestions which have been proven in practice for many years, you may find your task easier in a multitude of ways. This book is designed to be a quick-reference, practical guide for common discipline and diet dilemmas. It takes you through the stages from pregnancy to 6 years covering topics like: • How to deal with tantrums effectively • How diet affects behaviour • Eating and sleeping problems • Understanding different temperaments • Healthy lunchbox ideas Childhood is a time for being carefree, healthy and happy. Read Raising Happy, Healthy Children and learn how to raise children who are emotionally and physically healthy. About the authors Sally-Ann Creed is a qualified Clinical Nutritionist in private practice, and author of Let Food Be Your Medicine. She serves on the board of experts of the South African Journal of Natural Medicine and has been a regular contributor to this magazine for several years. She has also been the health Writer for Christian Living Today since 2004.  Sally-Ann was named SA’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government 2009/2010 for her contribution to health. Andalene Salvesen is a professional parenting coach, mother of four and grandmother of nine. She conducted mother and toddler classes for 12 years and was the owner and principal of a nursery school for eight years. She has presented her own parenting seminars internationally for the past 15 years and transforms family dynamics by empowering parents, teachers and au pairs by inspiring them with creative tools for raising happy, healthy children. R150 (South Africa) / 100 dir (Dubai) / $20 (USA) excluding posting and packaging If you are interested in purchasing this book please contact:  Madelein Nortje via info@munchkins.me Published: Struik Christian media Website: www.struikchristianmedia.co.za  
Book cover
South Africa’s Super Granny shares her parenting secrets A brand new parenting book by South Africa’s own Super Granny, Andalene Salvesen, an international parenting coach and speaker with almost 20 years experience in the field. The book, A Brand-New Child in 5 Easy Steps, is inspired by the amazing child-transforming results which Salvesen has gained from her home visits to families all around the world and shows that children will only change when parents become empowered. ‘Children are not born with boundaries and parents are often ill-equipped to enforce appropriate house rules. A Brand-New Child in 5 Easy Steps will help parents to regain their authority so that children can once again just be children.’ Andalene Salvesen The book guides parents to choose creative ideas for discipline thereby eliminating today’s epidemic of shouting and guilt-based parenting.
  • Salvesen covers all the childhood phases, from tots to teens, dealing with appropriate consequences for anything from tantrums to silent defiance.
  • Her five easy steps will empower every parent to achieve the desired results with their children.
  • Parents will easily relate to Salvesen’s descriptions of her home visits – often humorous, sometimes emotional – and the problems she encounters in different homes.
Parenting can be an exciting journey, and A Brand-New Child in 5 Easy Steps is an excellent start to move families into a healthier, happier and more empowered direction. Anyone that is struggling with their children and wants to be a better parent will gain from going through the five steps in this book. R150 (South Africa) / 100 dir (Dubai) / $20 (USA) excluding posting and packaging If you are interested in purchasing this book please contact Madelein Nortje at info@munchkins.me Publisher: Struik Inspirational Website: www.struikinspirational.co.za  
Inspired by Professor Johan Mostert’s (PhD, AOG Seminary, Springfield Missouri) book, Kinders, Tieners en Soortgelyke Rampe (which can roughly be translated as Children, Teenagers and Similar Disasters), the purpose of this ‘Peace in the Home’ diagram is to encourage you to stand back and see your situation in perspective. It depicts the different aspects of parenting to consider when you are confronted with a situation. It also features as a dedicated chapter in international parenting coach and speaker, Andalene Salvesen’s book: A Brand-New Child in 5 Easy Steps. Said chapter starts off with the following statement: When we want to improve in any area of our life, we study, write exams and receive a diploma, certificate or degree for it. Not so for parenting! All we need to do is have sex! This evidently qualifies us to become parents. How sad that the most important task we will ever have to perform has so few qualifications! The following sections of the diagram provide us with ‘checkpoints’ in the form of questions we need to ask ourselves: 1.  Could the problem lie with me (as parent)? 2. Could it be them (the children)? 3. Could it be us (our communication)? 4. Is the time invested in our relationship sufficient? 5. Is this particular issue negotiable? 6. Do I need to step back (regaining objectivity)? After reading through these chapters, we trust you will be able to approach each situation with renewed confidence and make the right choice to achieve peace in the home. Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away. – Robert Fulghum Section 1: Could it be me? Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. – John Gardner When we are challenged with a situation, the first question we need to ask before reacting is ‘Could the problem lie with me?’ As a parent you could be reacting instead of responding because of situations happening in your life. You could be stressed, ill, going through something traumatic like a death in the family, divorce and the like. Your first reaction could be to take out your frustrations on your child. If the problem lies with you, you can choose to do something that will help you think straight. Phone a friend, read a book, take a walk, pray, meditate, whatever it would take to redirect your thoughts so as not take it out on your child when he is innocent (this time)! Happiness is not a value but a result; a result of the practice of good values. – Cloud and Townsend Anger and shouting Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears. – Barbara Johnson Often moms ask Andalene in a seminar, ‘But what do you do when you get so angry that you just want to explode?’ The main reason why parents get ‘SO ANGRY’ is that they have let it go and let it go so many times, that they then explode. Instead, they should deal with it the first time and not allow the behaviour to continue. When I deal with over nine-year-olds, they often tell me about their anger issues. They hasten to add that they feel really bad about themselves when they do get angry, and wish that, if there was a way to stop, they knew how. I try to use the analogy of the highway that they drive on to go on holiday.
  • When you are on a highway, you know exactly where you are headed, provided that you stay on that highway.
  • However, if you choose to take one of the exits, you will land up at a different destination. The choice is yours.
This applies to anger as well.
  • When you know you are building up to an explosion, you know where you are headed.
  • If you choose an alternative route, you could have a different outcome.
  • No one can make you angry: you choose to be angry.
  • Try to break the pattern by choosing a different off-ramp.
Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. – Mark Twain A very important off-ramp is to ensure that you have some ‘me-time’.
  • If you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else will. think of how many people it would take to replace you, and the cost! As a parent you are priceless!
  • It is a juggle to keep all the balls up in the air, but make sure one of those balls has time for you to relax and enjoy some sort of hobby or time with friends.
  • Your tank needs to be filled so that you can give to others out of the overflow.
  • By making time for yourself, you will be in the head space to deal with whatever comes your way.
  • If you have neglected yourself, you will almost certainly be in an over-reactive state.
  • In my experience I have found that the main reason why parents become so angry is because they repeat instructions over and over.
  • This then builds up into a screaming match and they are simply ignored until they totally lose it. If they have no other form of discipline, shouting becomes the only ‘effective’ tool.
  • But it is actually counter-productive because the parents feel guilty afterwards and end up indulging their children out of guilt; the children abuse this opportunity and the cycle repeats.
Guilt-based parenting‘Poor Simon, he is so used to having all our attention. I don’t want him feeling neglected when his brother arrives.’ • ‘I only see Peter every second weekend so I feel I have to spoil him to make up for lost time.’ • ‘I had to suddenly start working full-time, so I don’t want to fight when I walk in the door.’ • ‘It’s my fault that he is sleeping in my bed, so why should he suffer now?’ • ‘We have moved so many times, I am sure it is unsettling for him.’ I often hear parents making excuses for not dealing with a child’s misbehaviour. Although the statements above, amongst many others, are relevant, they cannot be a reason not to establish and maintain boundaries and consequences in the home. Let us deal with them one by one.
  • Having a sibling is a privilege.
  • There are sometimes wonderful lessons in character building that can be learnt on ‘fast forward’ when a sibling arrives.
  • The most important one is to learn that the whole world does not revolve around the child; this is called ‘a sense of entitlement – the whole world owes me something’.
  • Having a sibling also teaches ‘Poor Simon’ to wait.
  • How will you learn to be a patient adult if you never learn patience?
  • Nobody is born with it. Patience means waiting with a good attitude.
  • The more you practice it, the more patient you become.
Spoiling is doing something for a child that he can and should do for himself. This cripples a child. Spending time bonding and having fun is wonderful, but it does not mean it has to happen without any form of discipline. Discipline, when done correctly, enhances the special weekend, it does not spoil it. What I am referring to here is indulging, not spoiling. When divorced parents have this attitude of, ‘Give him whatever he wants because I hardly ever see him,’ it creates a number of problems, amongst others:
  • They feel entitled to have whatever they want, not need.
  • The one parent appears to be the ogre while the other is the ‘fun’ parent.
  • They lose respect for the parent without boundaries.
  • It places strain on both parents – for the one, a financial strain to maintain this standard and for the other to try to compete with the ‘fun’ parent.
When circumstances change it is important to consider a child’s emotional well-being. However, the change eventually becomes his new reality. This is his life and children adapt far more quickly than we realize.
  • If it is circumstances beyond your control, then do not beat yourself up over them. Accept that you have done your best, and move on. Find someone you can trust to talk to and share your concerns.
  • When you come home from work, try to spend at least the first 15 minutes giving undivided attention, then use chill time.
  • Take one child at a time to perhaps help with the cooking.
  • Don’t feel guilty about using time-outs if necessary as soon as you walk in the door. This way you can enjoy the rest of the evening.
  • The alternative is shouting and fighting throughout the evening and counting down the minutes to bedtime, then getting into bed feeling guilty.
  • If you have started a bad habit, yes, take responsibility for it, but move on. Change it.
  • The alternative is that you continue to have the child in your bed, then a year from now, you have to add another year on to your complaint of, ‘Well, it is my fault, so why should he be punished?’
  • It’s not ‘if ’ a child eventually gets to sleep in his own bed, it is ‘when’. The earlier you start, the easier it is to change a habit.
  • Moving can cause minor trauma, but again, if it is a decision you have made that you feel is best for your family or if it is out of your hands, it is time to move on and accept this.
  • Moving to new schools has the advantage that children learn to make new friends, and this can become an adventure.
All of the above are examples of ‘trauma’, but they are not by any means the only traumas one can experience. They are simply a few examples of how parents react out of guilt.
  • When any or more of these changes happen in families, the first response parents have is to throw the rules out the window to compensate for the changes.
  • When children have predictable boundaries, they feel safe. 
  • When the boundaries change because of Mom’s mood, circumstances or Dad being away, they are not sure where they stand, and this brings on insecurity. 
  • They then push in all directions to establish where the boundaries are.
It is not necessarily the change that brings about the insecurity as much as the change in boundaries causing insecurity.
Lovingly known as Super Granny, Andalene Salvesen travels the world as a speaker and parenting coach. She was the owner and principal of a school in Cape Town for 8 years. Being mostly a stay-at-home mom, with a passion for children, she compiled a parenting seminar combining extensive knowledge and valuable experience. She has been presenting this course for more than 16 years in a variety of venues and locations. Out of this, arose the need for families to have personal one-on-one attention for their particular needs. For the past decade, she has helped families by coaching them through common parenting challenges such as healthy boundaries, tantrums, sleeping, eating, discipline, sibling rivalry and much more, in the privacy of their own homes. Munchkins is a powerful resource to assist you with every step of the parenting journey. We believe in empowering parents with the right tools to transform family dynamics and offer a range of practical solutions for your family. This includes providing parenting talks, home visits, healthy lunchbox sessions and online parenting courses with simple and easy to apply advice for all ages. Find out more about us on our website at or follow us on our Facebook and Twitter social pages for some great updates, tips and parenting advice.
Dads play such a significant role in the family unit, even though sometimes it feels like the family would do just fine without him – as long as they have his credit card! It is not an easy task to be a father; juggling work pressures, financial stress, being a good husband and a role model for your children. It is quite ironic that just as a father is climbing the corporate ladder, his children are reaching adolescence and maybe his wife, menopause! No wonder there is chaos in the home. “The act of compassion begins with full attention, just as rapport does. You have to really see the person. If you see the person, then naturally, empathy arises. If you tune into the other person, you feel with them. If empathy arises, and if that person is in dire need, then empathetic concern can come. You want to help them, and then that begins a compassionate act. So I’d say that compassion begins with attention.” ~Daniel Goleman One father told me of how he would come home with the workload on his shoulders, but he had a little routine. As he pulled up into the driveway, he would look into the windows of his home and say to himself, “The people in that house love and need me and they are the reason I go to work “, and so he would take a deep breath, walk up to the door, ‘put’ his work troubles into the mailbox and march in with a smile on his face. When he left in the morning he would ‘take’ them out again. When we seek out the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.

 William Arthur Ward Generally speaking, men cope better with work stress and women cope better with household stress. But these days there are more and more full-time working moms that have to cope with both. However, the last thing anyone wants to hear as they walk in the door exhausted, is, “I have had it! Its your turn to take the kids – they are driving me mad!” This is where teamwork is needed. Invest some time in date nights to keep your relationship strong. The best gift you can give your children is to love your wife. One dad told me he would phone home and ask his wife on score of 1-10 how bad her day was. They would compare notes and decide who’s day was worse. That one would then have a few minutes to themselves to re-energize before joining in and helping with the household demands and/or chores. When mom/dad arrives home, it could be an appropriate time to make use of Chill Time (from A Brand-New Child in 5 Easy Steps by Andalene Salvesen) so that the two of you can have a few minutes of silence to enable you to catch up. Often communication over a quiet cup of coffee should sort out what each one’s expectations of each other are when suicide hour begins. Try not to make assumptions, rather clarify. In most homes I go into the husband enjoys bathing the younger kids while mom cooks, but sometimes the dads prefer to be involved behind the stove. It is also great to include the older children to teach them how to cook. Then maybe later, they can be responsible for one meal a week? If you are divorced, show honour and respect towards her in front of your children as she is the mother of your children. The divorced homes that I have visited where the parents make the effort to have an amicable relationship, really shows in the happiness of the children. Sadly television shows often portray men as spineless beings with no original thought in their heads. Children that are exposed regularly to these sitcoms develop a warped sense of the role a father should play. Building relationship with your children is essential for their future wellbeing on so many levels. One year, with Mother’s Day approaching, someone at Hallmark had a brilliant idea to let inmates send cards to their mothers. They were inundated with requests for cards. Sadly when Father’s Day approached, the response was quite the opposite. How sad is that? The footsteps a child follows are most likely to be the ones his parents thought they covered up – Unknown. There are some things that are just not the same when coming from a mother: • Playing rough, like pillow fights, wrestling (very good for testosterone levels) • Taking risks together • Bringing out a girl’s femininity • Modeling to a boy his masculinity • Showing boys how to treat woman with respect • Showing girls how they should be treated by other males • Teaching them how to accept and give compliments • Teaching them to work with their finances • Teaching them to take responsibility for their actions • Modeling how to apologise • Modeling good work ethics • Listening to, being understanding and not necessarily fixing a problem • Believing in your child and their abilities • Being a loving caring dad that is relational • Preparing them to be a good daddy one day • Shaping their hearts • Showing unconditional love • Setting fair predictable boundaries • Mentoring them in areas of their child’s interest • Encouraging independence • Providing financial security
Lovingly known as Super Granny, Andalene Salvesen travels the world as a speaker and parenting coach. She was the owner and principal of a school in Cape Town for 8 years. Being mostly a stay-at-home mom, with a passion for children, she compiled a parenting seminar combining extensive knowledge and valuable experience. She has been presenting this course for nearly two decades in a variety of venues and locations. For the past decade she has also helped families by coaching them through common parenting challenges such as healthy boundaries, tantrums, sleeping, eating, discipline, sibling rivalry and much more, in the privacy of their own homes. Munchkins is a powerful resource to assist you with every step of the parenting journey. We believe in empowering parents with the right tools to transform family dynamics and offer a range of practical solutions for your family. This includes providing parenting talks, home visits, healthy lunchbox sessions and online parenting courses with simple and easy to apply advice for all ages. Find out more about us at www.munchkins.me