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Curious
The light bulb icon represents curiosity. For content about raising a curious child, look for this icon.

Inside Highlights January 2017

Dear Highlights: What Your Kids Ask Us

Highlights 4Cs

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Curious
The light bulb icon represents curiosity. For content about raising a curious child, look for this icon.
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Creative
The paint brush icon represents creativity. For content about raising a creative child, look for this icon.
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Caring
The holding hands icon represents caring. For content about raising a caring child, look for this icon.
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Confident
The thumbs up icon represents confidence. For content about raising a confident child, look for this icon.
All children need help handling new, puzzling, or challenging situations. So every month, we provide spot-on tips for kids who contact us—in writing or by email—to reveal their everyday problems.
Dear Highlights January 2017
To learn what stumps your kids, check out the latest Dear Highlights on page 42 of the January 2017 issue, or read the letters below and the helpful advice that follows. Then set aside time to chat with your kid about this month’s universal dilemmas.

Hot topics this month:
How to avoid conversations based on hurtful or mindless gossip; how to get friends to help clean up after a messy playdate, and how to coax a playful game out of a skittish kitty.

Washington reader Kateri can’t avoid gossipy conversations every time she talks to her cousin. She wants to end the unkind chatter but doesn’t know how to stop it. We encouraged Kateri to focus on saying nice things during her telephone conversations, avoid negative comments, and switch the topic if she and her cousin fall back into their gossipy habits.

Q’s for your kids:
How is gossip nasty or hurtful? Is the gossip you hear at school mostly true or largely rumors? What would you say to classmates who pass along rumors or unkind information? Have you ever said something about a friend or classmate that you regretted later?

E-mailer Tara enjoys playdates but when the get-togethers end, she usually tidies the mess alone. We told Tara to set an alarm for 15 minutes before the playdate ends so everyone can help clean, or better yet, neaten the room as they go so there’s less to do when the playdate’s over.

Q’s for your kids:
Why is it a bad idea to leave toys on the floor after you play with them? How could you make your toys and games easier to organize? What could you do to make cleanup time go faster? Why is it harder to put away toys than to take them out in the first place?

E-mailer Buck wants to play with his cat, but his furry pet runs away from him. We told Buck to try dangling a string to entice the cat, to approach him slowly and gently, and not to frighten him with sudden movements. We reminded Buck his cat might need alone time. When he wants to play, he will let Buck know. 

Q’s for your kids:
How can you tell if a pet—or a person—needs time alone? What can you do to help provide it? Describe a time when you needed a little downtime at home, at school, or on a playdate. How did you communicate that to others?

How do you reward excellence or achievement?

Parents Talk Back
How do you reward excellence or achievement?
Praise or a pat on the back.
80% (37 votes)
An inexpensive gift or toy.
9% (4 votes)
A gift of substantial value.
7% (3 votes)
We do nothing—it’s expected.
4% (2 votes)
Total votes: 46