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Megan Swartz

Children and water bottle safety

Children and water bottle safety

By Pam Henderson

Generations of children have grown up healthy and thriving despite drinking water from garden hoses, riding bicycles without hands on the handlebars and daring each other to eat dirt (or in my family’s case, cat food). I survived all of those things with only one incident of stitches and zero broken bones.

Like many children from my generation who were told otherwise, I grew into adulthood without my “eyes staying that way” or without carrying swallowed gum in my stomach for seven years. But, I did recently learn that one of the habits I gained as an adult can be rather, well, dirty. In fact, some contend it’s even dirtier than licking a toilet.

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Children and Decision-making

Children and Decision-making

By Pam Henderson

During a recent fit of insomnia, I watched a late, late 1940’s movie, “The Green Promise.” Despite its single star rating, I was drawn in to see its young star, Natalie Wood.

Natalie Wood’s character, Susan, was one of four children being raised on a farm by a grouchy and stubborn widower, played by Walter Brennan. While this father loved his children, he treated them more like farm hands than offspring. Managing the farm and household were all-consuming responsibilities.

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Children and Holiday Foods

Children and Holiday Foods

By Pam Henderson

Did your 6-year old look at the Thanksgiving table and ask, “Why do I have to eat Brussel sprouts? The Pilgrims didn’t.” It’s a hard argument to make when your child is correct.

Indeed, according to National Geographic, the first harvest celebration meal that the Pilgrims shared with the Wampanoag Indians did not include Brussel sprouts. Instead, it included foods like spinach, swan, deer, porridge and mussels with curds. Ask your little history buff he would rather that you serve those foods for your next holiday feast.

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Fear of Santa

Fear of Santa

By Pam Henderson

I opened my “Column” manila folder to prepare for this week’s column. It’s a file bursting at the seams with a collection of news clippings and Post-It Notes relating to parenting and child development. Topics about how to respond when your child wants a tattoo to teaching your child about managing money are waiting to be referenced in a column. Meanwhile, my favorite topic – mnemonics (e.g. My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas a/k/a the order of the planets from the sun) makes at least an annual appearance.

So, I thought this would be the week to pull out one of those articles I’ve been saving about why it’s important to look children in the eye when you speak to them. But, it will have to wait another week or so. Unfortunately, as I was reaching for the folder, a black, furry critter jumped into the folder. “Silly girl, one little spider” you’re thinking. No, actually it was the brother of the one who just crawled across my keyboard onto my hand. I flung the folder onto the floor of my office where it will sit in quarantine until a braver soul agrees to thumb through it and take the critter outside.  

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