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PARENT TO PARENT Advice!
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At the end of each Parent to Parent newspaper column, there's a question listed from a parent or grandparent who is frantically searching for a doable solution to their current parenting or family channelize.
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Here are the latest questions:
NOTE: Thank you for your time, effort and input. If you are requesting a response, due to the amount of mail received, it could be between 4 to 6 weeks. Your patience is appreciated in this area.
- We are struggling to help our 10-year-old daughter choose a nonlocal eight-week ballerina camp over a local summer camp. We'd like for her to attend the former because she's already quite talented in that area and would truly benefit from such an amazing experience. However, out of the four girls in her group of friends, she was the only one who was accepted. The other three girls are now going to the local camp. Of course, she feels left out when she should be elated. How can we help in this scenario?
- It is almost impossible to get my three-year-old daughter to take a nap at the same time each day. If I cannot keep her on a schedule, then her bedtime and sleep pattern is thrown off during the night. This affects everyone else as she wakes us all up and screams until someone will get her juice, something to eat or whatever. However, once we acknowledge her, she does not want to go back to sleep. Any suggestions would be highly welcomed and appreciated.
- My fourth grade son's cursive handwriting is still not up to par and his teacher is not very happy with his progress. Even though we've tried her suggestions, they just don't seem to help. Is there something other parents have done that is successful in helping this skill?
- My wife and I are going through a divorce and our kids are devastated. How is the best way to handle their anger and sadness? Should I pretend things will be OK?
- My 10-year-old son is organizationally challenged and is also gifted. The problem started out being small in the third grade when the teachers expected kids to be a lot more responsible for organizing their workspace, among other things. The school counselor met with my son a few times to give him tips and to monitor progress. He also suggested that my son undergo an assessment, which was done, and concluded that he has mild ADD. To what extent can I request the teacher to work with him to set up a good system for schoolwork and encourage better school habits?
- We just learned that our three-year-old daughter has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. We feel confused, alone, mad and even guilty but we don't even know why we feel guilty. Is this something that will get better with age or can a three-year-old grow out of it?
- Our 10-year-old daughter is an excellent speaker, really funny and rather tall for her age. She would like to try and get into making commercials and expand from there. My husband is not too thrilled with the idea and is basically trying to talk her out of it. The more he does the more she is determined to do it. Should we go along with it or make her wait until she's older? If we do agree, is it best to begin with a modeling school or some other type?
- The death of the teen girl in Missouri who took her own life because of the bullying and mean comments posted online about her has led to very little done, but much promised, in rethinking of what individuals can post and write online about others. My kids have also had false and mean comments posted about them on MySpace.com and Facebook.com. As concerned parents, what should we be doing to help move forward a mandated law to stop the potential life-threatening comments that others write in the online communities?
- My 16-year-old daughter's boyfriend tries to be completely controlling and possessive of her, her friends and her life. It is really beginning to concern us. The more we try to separate them, the more it backfires. What have other parents done in this type of situation that actually worked?
- My 3-year-old needs to be potty trained before he can attend preschool in the spring. Are there specific tips that apply more to boys?
- My 9-year-old son is asking for a cell phone. I think he's too young. His dad says it's fine. Are there other parents who have purchased a cell phone for kids this age? If so, which one did they get and why? What rules do they have for their child? If not, why did they decide against it?
- How is the best way for parents to be fair to their kids? One of our kids is more responsible than the other but we want to give the one who seems to use poor judgment a chance to improve. How's the best way to do so?
- We do not have the money to keep our 14-year-old daughter dressed in all of the latest fashion. Her friends seem to always have the newest and greatest item, which puts additional pressure on us. What's the best way to handle this without feeling guilty?