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Parenting Thoughts

New Year’s 2017

New Year’s 2017

By Pam Henderson

I don’t quite have words for it, but there is something uniquely special about New Year’s Eve. It’s as if some kind of magical spell is cast upon us when the clock chimes at midnight. It’s a chance to start anew; the line in the sand separating what once was from what may be.

In reality, I know that nothing of substance will likely happen to me between the two minutes of 11:59 pm on Sunday and 12:01 am on Monday that moves us from 2017 into 2018. That is, nothing will happen yet. But, the premise of New Year’s resolutions is that we have the chance to start all over again.

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Children and Grief During the Holidays

Children and Grief During the Holidays

By Pam Henderson

For many of us, the time of year between Halloween and New Year’s Day brings unparalleled anticipation and excitement. Holiday baking, decorating, religious observances, shopping and gathering with family and friends consume every waking moment outside of work and school.

Sadly, for many others, the holidays can stir up painful memories of loss. Whether it’s a recent death or a loss from long ago, the holidays may trigger feelings of grief. When everyone else seems to be smiling and full of joy, it can feel lonesome for a person of any age who is drowning in sadness. Not that any of us ever becomes adept at handling grief or stops asking “why”; but for a child whose life experiences are just developing, it can be especially difficult.   

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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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