Thoughts for the holidays

The Santa Question

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This is a controversial subject, so we’re going to work up to our main point gradually.

The Tooth Fairy

No parent that we’re aware of takes great pains to protect the true identity of the Tooth Fairy. Maybe that’s because by the time a child starts losing teeth – at about 6 – he’s already well aware that there’s no good reason for someone in a tutu with wings and a wand to go flitting from bedroom to bedroom gathering up the ...

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Keeping holidays focused on the children

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It’s happening again. We’ve all seen it before: A mother rushing along the sidewalk or through the mall, pushing a stroller and holding the hand of a 3-year-old who is pasted along her thigh, half-walking half-trotting in an effort to keep up.

The holidays are coming. The media is ratcheting up the excitement and the stores are inviting us in with glorious decorations, repetitive holiday music and store shelves overburdened with things to buy.

We are beginning to feel a little overwhelmed ...

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Handling holiday disappointments

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“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” sings Andy Williams over the PA system in Walmart – and as we pile gifts in our shopping cart we halfway believe it.

The kid riding in the cart, eyeing the decorated artificial trees and the life-sized cardboard Santas and the aisles and aisles of toys sincerely believes it.

His favorite TV shows, his nursery school teachers, the Santa on whose lap he sat last week at the shopping mall, his older siblings and ...

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The spirit of giving: How children’s gifts are recieved

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It was Christmas morning. As the family sat around the little tree, under which was a modest pile of wrapped gifts, Nina could not contain herself.

She ran to the tree, pulled her gifts away from the others and distributed them; one for Poppa, a couple for Mommy and Daddy, and one for Grandma.

She then stood by and watched, wriggling and grinning as they were opened. She was almost 4 and her babysitter had helped her make a card for each ...

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How little ones learn to love giving

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We Grandmothers are certainly aware that today’s families live in times of “Hurry Up” – that mothers and fathers both work and have to deal with malls filled with gifts of every shape and color.

We recognize time is a precious commodity, so it’s often quicker and easier to suggest or even buy something for Aunt Mable during lunch hour, have it wrapped and then simply hand it to the child give it to her.

Your child’s psyche won’t be damaged for ...

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Excitement vs. Fun

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In most circles excitement is a positive word – often considered synonymous with fun.

A movie, a television program, even an activity for young children, is praised for being exciting. Using the common definition, the opposite of exciting is boring, and boring is to be avoided at all costs.

Excitement, however, can also refer to agitation, over-stimulation and loss of control – the opposite of calm.

Parents, observing their over-excited children running around in circles – coming close to knocking over the birthday ...

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A holiday wish: Simple delight in your children

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What quality would we Grandmothers most ardently wish for you parents of young children in this final, bustling season of the year?

Well OK, you didn’t ask, but we’re going to tell you anyway. Not patience, not insight, not mediation skills, not tolerance for mud and messes, not the ability to survive your busy day on three hours of sleep, not immunity to childhood illnesses, but delight. Delight in your children.

At this time of year you’ve doubtless had many opportunities to observe ...

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