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Inside Highlights Dear Highlights July 2018

What Kids Asked—And What We Told Them

Highlights 4Cs

Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
The light bulb icon represents curiosity. For content about raising a curious child, look for this icon.
The paint brush icon represents creativity. For content about raising a creative child, look for this icon.
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Read on to see what school-age children want to know about the family pet, an all-consuming habit, and one-on-one time with a parent.
Dear Highlights July 2018

Got a kid with a concern, a gripe, a sticky problem? 

Show her our Dear Highlights feature. You can find it on page 42 of the July 2018 issue. She’s going to love our inspiring suggestions to manage life’s little worries. You, on the other hand, will get more than enough out of the summaries here, but do take time to read our answers to kids’ letters and the prompts that follow to engage the whole family in a lively discussion.

What Kids Learn:
  • What it takes to be a responsible pet owner
  • Brain-saving tips for screen-time offenders
  • How to arrange time with Dad to share an activity

Jethro from California wrote:

My dog barks every morning at 7:00. Sometimes I like to sleep in. How can I keep my dog from barking before I wake up?

We responded:

  • There are certain must-do tasks for responsible pet owners. One of those jobs is walking the dog on a regular schedule so he can “do his business.”
  • Find out if the dog’s early morning barking is out of the ordinary by checking with a veterinarian or professional dog trainer.

Get to know your child. Ask:

  • What type of pet would you like to raise—a dog, cat, bird, fish, or something more exotic?
  • What do you think it takes to raise that pet—how much money, time, and commitment? What are you willing to contribute?
  • Which tasks would you find difficult: Walking a dog in the rain or snow? Feeding a pet on a regular schedule? Grooming a pet or bathing it monthly? Keeping a pet safe from household and outdoor hazards?

P from Illinois said:

I always use the computer and can't stop. I feel that I'm not getting any smarter and the computer is warping my brain.

We responded:

  • Write a list of things you’ve always wanted to try—a new sport, game, craft, or activity—and get started.
  • Refer to the list when you’re tempted to jump back on the computer.
  • Remember, you control the computer. It doesn’t control you.

Get to know your child. Ask:

  • What five things would you like to do that you’ve never done and might enjoy as much as you like the computer?
  • How much time do you think you spend on the computer (or other screens) on a typical weekday. How about on weekends?
  • Do you think that’s too much time, about right, or not enough? Are there other things you would like to be doing?
  • What does it mean to do something “in moderation”? Why is moderation a good idea?

Janiya from North Carolina told us:

I like to ride bikes with my dad, but he pays more attention to my little sister than to me.

We responded:

  • Because you’re the older sibling, you’re more independent.
  • Little kids need more care, and need to be watched more closely.
  • Explain to your dad how much you like riding bikes with him and suggest that the two of you spend some one-on-one time together.

Get to know your child. Ask:

  • What are your favorite things to do with me? With your siblings? With your friends and classmates?
  • What are some things your younger (or older) sibling might need extra help with?
  • If you could choose, would you rather be the oldest sibling, the youngest sibling, or in the middle? Why?
  • If we set aside some quality one-on-one time together, just the two of us, what would you like to do?
  • Do you ever feel jealous or upset when I spend time with a sibling? Why do you feel that way?