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If you are sending your child to summer camp for the first time, you may be experiencing the conflicting emotions reminiscent of that day years ago when the same child boarded the yellow school bus for kindergarten. It’s another one of those “letting go” milestones that catches parents off guard.
Dear Mr. Dad: This is my second marriage, and I’m totally committed to my new wife. But even though I hate to admit it, her two kids from her previous marriage are driving me crazy. They play one of us against the other, and my wife – being their mom – usually takes their side in any disagreement. How can we keep our marriage stable and still come to some agreement on disciplining the kids?
At first glance, they look like the stroller brigade – 15 moms running around Mission Park and along the Centennial Trail with babies and toddlers in tow. But this isn’t just a walk in the park. When it comes to exercise, these women with the baby joggers mean business.
Green leaves just don’t get the attention they deserve. Usually, we ooh and aah in the fall at the emerging splashy colors of crimson and golden leaves on trees and bushes. But there is infinite variety in the green and the gray of those leaves on trees, vegetable plants and bushes that continually grow, shade and add a natural umbrella in gardens and parks in the hottest of July days.
Dear Mr. Dad: Our 12-year-old daughter does well in school but apparently hates us as parents. She never speaks kindly to us, refuses any kind of parental authority, and insists that “no one can tell me what to do.” She is very interested in boys and has been involved in “kissing sessions” on a school outing. We’re just about at the end of our rope. Is there anything we can do? A: I can certainly see why this situation is upsetting you, and you’re absolutely right to be concerned. Teenagers are notoriously defiant of parental authority, but at 12, your daughter is still a “tween,” far too young to be engaging in the kind of behavior you describe.
Those of you with preschoolers need no introduction to the Wiggles, who arrive in town with their “Go Bananas Live!” tour on Saturday. The rest of us, though, need a brief primer. Jeff – aka the Purple Wiggle – was happy to provide us with one, via telephone. “A Wiggles concert is really like a Broadway show for preschoolers,” said Jeff Fatt, who has been a Wiggle for 18 years. “There are lots of songs, lots of dances and lots of interaction.
Today Alter This! - For teens. Create art from damaged books using fabric, paint, chalk, crayons, paper, scissors, glue and more. Snacks and supplies provided. 1:30 p.m. Airway Heights Library, 1213 S. Lundstrom St. Free. (509) 893-8250.
Dear Mr. Dad: I am the mother of a 12-year-old girl. We used to be very close, but she’s recently made it very clear that she only wants to be with her father. She’s never happy to see me, but she’s always happy to see my husband. No matter how much I try to understand, it just hurts to be ignored or pushed away. Is it normal for girls this age to prefer their fathers? A: I often hear from dads who feel that their children prefer mom, so your question was especially interesting. Unfortunately, feeling rejected by their children in favor of the other parent is a relatively common phenomenon – the difference is that women, I think, are less likely to admit it than men.
Once your kids turn the last page of the classic bedtime story “The Three Bears,” tell them that when they wake up in the morning, they’ll get to mash and measure some healthy ingredients and watch them whirl all together in your blender for their own bowls of nutritious and filling porridge. You’ll actually be preparing a very thick smoothie-like concoction the kids can ladle into cereal bowls instead of drinking glasses, and top with colorful fresh summer fruits and berries. When they grab their spoons and dig in, they’ll quickly discover that their porridge is not too hot, not too cold, but “just right.”
Today Baby Lapsit – Enjoy nursery rhymes, songs and stories. For children up to 18 months. 10:30 a.m., Moran Prairie Library, 6004 S. Regal St. Free. (509) 893-8340.
Several articles published recently have attempted to celebrate an upshot of the down economy: If a parent loses a job and kids have less money for movies and dinners out with friends, families may have no choice but to spend more time together. An Associated Press feature this month offered this spin: “Cutting back means spending more time at home, giving them an opportunity to reconnect.”
There’s only one thing worse than a cranky 2-year-old when you’re on vacation, and that’s a cranky teenager. Fortunately, just as most toddlers can be pacified with naps, bottles and clean diapers, I have discovered that my teen and tween sons become charming traveling companions if I let them sleep late and take them shopping.