Hot topics this month:
Making extra-special birthday plans, coming to terms with lying, finding volunteer opportunities, and openly expressing one’s feelings.
E-mailer Siddharth is excited about his upcoming 10th birthday, and asked for ideas to make his milestone celebration a special one. We suggested he mull over his favorite activities and center his festivities around the one he enjoys most. We reminded him, too, that no matter what he does, spending time with those he cares about will help make his first double-digit celebration unforgettable.
Q’s for your kids: What was your most memorable birthday celebration? What made it so special? If you could have one wish for your next birthday, what would it be? What could you do for your family’s birthdays to make the day special for them?
With a propensity for lying to family, friends, and teachers, Iowa letter writer, S., asked for advice on breaking this habit. We told her she can achieve her goal if she is truly determined, if she thinks carefully before speaking, and remembers that her lies may hurt others.
Q’s for your kids: Why do you think people lie or make up stories? Have you ever been tempted to lie, or have you ever caught a friend in a lie? How did that make you feel? Is it ever OK to lie?
Reader Lizzie loves animals and is eager to volunteer at the zoo. But she is too young to work there and is looking for other ideas. We suggested she use her dedication to animals in other ways. She could pet-sit or help out at an animal shelter that accepts young volunteers, until she is old enough to work at the zoo.
Q’s for your kids: What’s the difference between a job and a volunteer position? Why do you think some might prefer to volunteer? Where would you volunteer if there were no restrictions? What type of volunteering wouldn’t you do?
A. feels caught between her divorced parents and has trouble mustering the courage to tell them where she wants to spend her time and what she wants to do. We encouraged her to be as open with them as possible—and to take advantage of one-on-one time, such as car rides, to express her thoughts.
Q’s for your kids: Why should A. tell her parents what she is thinking and feeling? How should she begin this conversation? If you needed to have an important discussion, where would you want to have it—and why would you choose that location? Was there ever a time when you were nervous about a conversation and then ended up feeling better afterward?