Do Your Kids Need a Manners Makeover?

One of my preschooler’s favorite animated shorts on Playhouse Disney is called “Can You Teach My Alligator Manners?” In it a little boy is challenged with the task of teaching his pet alligator Al how to behave properly. Young viewers help Mikey to instill good manners in his scaly sidekick by answering questions, such as: What should Al do when playing on a slide at the park? A. Shove the other kids off, so he can have a turn B. Sit at the bottom of the slide to prevent anyone else from going down C. Take turns My daughter loves … Continue reading

“Sick” Manners for Young Children

“Cover your mouth when you cough” is just the beginning of the manners that can keep an ill person from being a complete horror in public. Ideally, of course, we wouldn’t leave the house when we are sick but that just is not the reality. It is up to us as parents to teach our children what is appropriate manners for coping with an illness while out in public. The idea for this article came to me when I was sitting on the bus and two ADULTS were coughing, sniffing, and sneezing behind me without any regard for the people … Continue reading

How Children Learn the Cycle of Violence

The Cycle of Violence is a pattern of behavior that occurs in many relationships. It is insidious, refuses to use clear communication, and relies on people reacting through behaviors rather than clearly identifying and calmly stating their case. Why are so many adults sucked into the Cycle of Violence? Because they have learnt it as children. This is how it goes… Mum awoke this morning with conviction anew. During the night she had slept badly, worried that she was yelling at the kids too much. Leaping out of bed, eager to start a new day, she said aloud to her … Continue reading

The Weakness

As the temperatures have dropped (as we near winter) and the stress has increased (as I near another round of exams) my family has found itself on the receiving end of sickness. This is something that seems to happen at least once a year but since our son is not yet two years of age we haven’t been doing the “sick” think with a child for very long. We want him to be a happy and healthy little boy. We want to protect him from sickness… but what happens when he needs protection from his own sick father? I should … Continue reading

Buddy (1997)

I was pleasantly surprised by “Buddy,” the true story of a baby gorilla no one thought would live. Renee Russo stars as Trudy Lintz, an animal lover who lived back at the turn of the last century. She has a houseful of animals, from horses to ducks to dogs to kittens to birds – and two adorable chimps named Maggie and Joe. She’s raising the chimps like children, down to teaching them manners and dressing them in clothes, and things are going fairly well – except that Maggie is a little bit of a trouble maker. She likes to let … Continue reading

Should You Let Your Special Needs Child…gulp…Date?

If you’re like me, this topic makes you say, “Yikes.” There’s something really nerve-wracking about the idea that our special needs child might someday date. This is especially true for parents of children with cognitive disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, and so forth. These children can be particularly vulnerable and it’s hard to imagine them handling any kind of romantic friendship, no matter how innocent. (Let’s face it, it’s not always pleasant picturing our neuro-typical kids dating either.) Here are some tips I would offer: Don’t panic. First, recognize that often times these special adolescents don’t even … Continue reading