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You asked, your local experts answered! Today we hear from experts on three different topics: dental, law and speech pathology.

Dear Dentist on Paxton, I am terrified of the dentist, how can I make sure my children don’t have the same fears?

In a list of the most common human fears, number one is public speaking and number two is death. This means that at a funeral most people would rather be in the casket than reading the eulogy!

Sadly, a visit to the dentist also rates highly in this list of fears. Fear of the dentist is commonly due to a traumatic experience as a child. This fear can be passed down to our kids by the way we behave and talk about the dentist. Making sure they have minimal dental problems early in life will ensure they grow up loving their dental visits.

Tips to reduce children’s dental anxiety:
•Portray a dental visit as something fun and the dentist as someone who helps them.
•Lead by example, have regular dental checks yourself.
•Control the sugar in their diet and help them brush to avoid dental issues early in life.


Dear Ruhl Family Law Centre, I am the father of two children and I’m going through a divorce. Will my ex automatically get custody of the kids?

In parenting matters, no one is “automatically” given care of the children. The Family Law Act states that the Court must make Orders that it considers to be in the children’s best interests. This considers the benefit to the children of having a meaningful relationship with both parents, any risks to the children, and a number of other factors.

Unless there is risk to the children, or it is not practicable for the children to spend time with both parents regularly (for example, if you live in different towns), the Court will usually Order that children spend time in both parents’ care. The time arrangement will have regard to a number of factors, such as the capacity of each parent to care.

The Court does not consider mothers and fathers as having specific roles which are different from each other, and neither is inherently more important than the other.


Dear Coastal Kids Speech Pathology, What can I do to help my 3 year old’s development?

By now, most children have a reasonable amount of words and are making little sentences. What research has shown, is that for strong language skills, now is the time to start exposing your child to more sophisticated words, so using words like ‘purchase’ instead of buy, or cutlery instead of knives and forks.

You can explain these as you go, and link them to things your child already knows about. For example “We need cutlery to cut our food up for dinner…. Can you please get the knives and forks from the cutlery drawer?”

The size of a child’s vocab at age 4 is directly related to their literacy outcomes at school, so feeding in a variety of more complicated words now is worth the investment!