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Parenting Thoughts

Children and Paying for College

Children and Paying for College

By Pam Henderson

Every once in a while, my former career in financial planning intersects my parenting. Perhaps that statement is never more true than when it comes to considering how to pay for college. Every semester when the new college bill arrives, I deliberate with my husband in how to help our daughter make the best financial decisions for college.

In my previous career where I worked to help people achieve their financial goals, I found it much easier to be on the outside looking in. When you’re in the midst of figuring out your own stuff, you’re balancing the wisdom of your mind with the emotions of your heart. Sometimes when you’re stuck in a situation, you don’t see it as clearly as others (and that is why we have armchair quarterbacks and backseat drivers).

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New Law on Child Abuse Reporting

New Law on Child Abuse Reporting

By Pam Henderson

As another school year begins, a whole new set of “eyes” is on children. Oftentimes, teachers spend more time with our children from Monday through Friday than we get to as parents. As skillful observers, they have witness to a side of our children that we don’t get to see. The classroom, playground and lunchroom can bring out interesting conversations and behaviors amongst children when they’re with their peers.

At the same time, a child’s problems from outside the classroom are likely at some point to surface at school. A teacher may notice a straight “A” student regressing to failing grades, frequently arriving late or unprepared for school, wearing dirty clothing or clothing that is not suitable for the weather or struggling to concentrate due to daily fatigue or hunger. Any of these may have a reasonable explanation – maybe the dog really did eat the homework or the hot mac & cheese really did accidentally scald the arm. Most of us entered adulthood still proudly bearing the battle wounds of a well-played, mischievous and adventurous childhood.

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Families and Electronic Devices

Families and Electronic Devices

By Pam Henderson

I was texting my daughter a few days ago to tell her that I was leaving work to exercise and wouldn’t have my phone with me. As I was typing, I misspelled the word “phone” as “hphone”. My phone’s auto-correct changed the misspelled word to “husband”.  So, my sentence read, “I’m going to exercise now and am putting my husband in the trunk.”

My claim to fame is that I can type 96 words/minutes on a keyboard. I may be able to type that fast while texting on my phone, but the combination of my haste and chubby fingers has created new English phrases like, “Isbpulled porkbin the frig you can hear if you’re hungry,” “Wantbtobfibi,” “The temp outside is 183 degrees,” “Shesnorib and Sucuvvess”.

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Back to School

Back to School

By Pam Henderson

Jammed lockers. Forgotten gym shorts. Lost lunch money.

Welcome to the first day of school!

Many of La Porte County’s children will soon be returning to school, hesitantly bidding adieu to the dog days of summer.

Goodbye sleeping until noon. Goodbye staying up until midnight.

Hello Sunday night homework panics.

No matter how many times you live through the first day of school as either a student or as a parent of a student, it remains a nail-biting, gut-wrenching experience.

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Children and Entitelment

Children and Entitlement

By Pam Henderson

Over the weekend, my daughter’s summer job at an amusement park was interrupted by a severe thunderstorm. Warnings rang out from the loudspeakers, and employees and guests alike had to take cover for about 30 minutes.

When summer storms like that roll through, it sends a lot of guests running for their cars. Spending a half-hour huddled like sardines under the canopy of a burger stand while the rain comes down in sheets on a sultry day isn’t particularly comfortable. The loyal thrill-seekers know, though, that stormy weather makes for the best times at an amusement park – it scares others away which reduces ride wait times.

Generally, admission tickets state “no rain checks”.  It’s up to park guests to take a gamble on the weather.

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