One year, my sister and I made salt dough ornaments with our mom. Homemade snowmen, Christmas trees, stars and candy canes adorned our tree that year. Those that survived two small children and a mischievous cat became a part of our tree decor for years to come. It’s one of my best childhood holiday memories.
They teach our children left from right, fractions from percentages, similes from metaphors. They teach them how to speak in an “inside voice” and to raise their hands instead of shouting out the answers. And if you’ve got little ones, they might even be teaching them how to use the potty. So how do you say “thank you, thank you, thank you!!” to your children’s teachers?
In an ideal world, Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner would be a warm, festive experience, where everyone remains sober, no one brings up old family feuds, and children sit with their napkins in their laps and chew with their mouths closed. I wish this kind of Normal Rockwell holiday upon everyone and everyone I know…but I am betting that if you’re like most of us, Aunt Jane will drink too much wine, your kids will last all of 10 minutes before someone has a meltdown or breaks heirloom crystal, and your little sister will accuse you of ruining her life. (Again.)
I’ve noticed a trend among my brood on Thanksgiving: the adults will drool over the usual, traditional fare—turkey, gravy, vegetables, potatoes—but the kids pick at their plates and save their appetites and enthusiasm for dessert. Our children haven’t been raised in a typical, “meat and potatoes” type home, so the sight of a slab of poultry with bones and gravy and colorful dollops of side dishes is a little foreign to them.
I grew up in the ‘80s – the era of fruit punch and boxed mac and cheese. I didn’t give much thought to what was good or bad for me. My single, working mom, an avid veggie lover and modernized Hippie, cooked homemade meals when she could and did her best to make good choices for our family when she couldn’t. As I got older, I became aware of the good habits she had instilled in me. And when I had my own children, I realized how important it was for me to help them understand how to make healthy choices in today’s even more complicated food climate.
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid back in the 1980s, a diagnosis of head lice meant suffocating your teddy bears and blankets in giant, air-tight trash bags, being doused with an awful-smelling shampoo that came in an amber glass bottle from the pharmacy, and having the lice eggs (nits) removed one by one with a tiny metal comb that snagged painfully. It was an experience that was, in short, lousy.
Decades later, lice are still an annoying fact of life for school-aged children across the globe—but fortunately, lice removal techniques have come a long way. In fact, there are many completely natural, non-toxic solutions available, so you can destroy those pesky bugs without harming a hair on your little one’s head.
Once the worst stages of a bad virus or flu have passed, every parent has a dilemma: do you keep your child home another day or two, until she’s completely symptom free, and risk her falling behind in schoolwork (or you falling behind at the office)? Or do you send her in, tell her to tough it out, and risk her relapsing?
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