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     Pointers For Parents

from Christine Maestri

July

1. Children are always wondering and asking questions. Often you know they already have the answer, but it's just not coming in a quick response. They know they know, but they just can't remember at that point in time. A way to assist a child in this situation is to say just the first letter of the word. This hint will always spark the memory to find the answer. You helped, but you didn't answer for the child. It's significant when you can give a child that bit of help to succeed.

2. Summertime treats are always a delight whether it's an ice cream cone, a popsicle or a slice of watermelon. One treat that's easy to make, inexpensive and tasty is frozen bananas. Use ripe bananas and slice them in half. A whole banana is usually too much for a child to eat. Insert a popsicle stick and lay it on wax paper in the freezer. One might consider toppings: sprinkling cinnamon or carob, rolling in granola or basting with vanilla. The frozenness and sweet familiar taste makes this a summer favorite for children. And children can make them on their own as well.

3. Learning to use the toilet is a milestone for parents as well as children. Remember when teaching your child how to use the toilet, that learning how to wipe is a natural component. Think about it. If your child is able to walk, talk, feed himself, play with an innumerable variety of toys and projects, and now use the toilet ... he can certainly wipe himself. Half independence is not independence. But what about cleanliness? is always the parental concern. If you show your child how, and let them wipe until the paper is clean, they will be clean. They may have to wipe many times, as opposed to your one or two thorough wipes. But they will be doing it and they will have the independence AS WELL AS YOU.

Children always want to crumple the toilet paper into a little ball. This of course does not work well. Show them how to take a length of paper, FOLD it flat, and wipe. And just to be on the safe side, make sure your children have daily baths. (No excuses: it's late; we just went swimming; I'm tired). Both you and your child will appreciate this level of independence.

4. A fun little project to do on any afternoon is watercolor envelopes. One can use the inexpensive water color sets from the grocery store and any size envelope. Let your children paint pictures or designs - whatever their artistic soul wishes to express. Tie a ribbon around the set of painted envelopes. Anyone would enjoy a gift of such personalized stationery. (Water colors create a faint color which is easy to write over for addresses.)

5. It's time for the beach and the pool. And it's time to learn the Fijian way of tying a sarong to make those towels stay around those little bodies. It's not a knot. It's a roll. Wrap the towel around your child like a skirt. Take the top edge of the towel and roll it down 2 or 3
times. Do this around the entire waist. It's amazing but it won't fall off. Just think of all the island dancing with people wearing sarongs. The sarongs stayed in place and this is how they did it. I was shown by a Fijian and was as impressed as you will be when you try it.

6. We all have favorite songs to sing with our children and one of my favorites is Miss Mary Mack. It's also a great song to sing at this time of the year as it refers to the 4th of July. I was browsing through a song book the other day and found these extra verses.

We know all the verses and end with the elephants - never came back, back, back,
till the 4th of July, ly, ly.

I like water, water, water,
And I like tea, tea, tea,
And I like you, you, you,
And you like me, me, me.

Went to the river, river, river;
Couldn't get across, cross, cross;
So I paid 5 dollars, dollars, dollars;
For the old gray horse, horse, horse.

And the horse wouldn't pull, pull, pull;
So I swapped it for a bull, bull, bull;
And the bull wouldn't holler, holler, holler; So I swapped it for a dollar, dollar, dollar.

And the dollar wouldn't spend, spend, spend; So I put it in the grass, grass, grass; And the grass wouldn't grow, grow, grow; So I went and got a hoe, hoe, hoe.

And the hoe wouldn't chop, chop, chop; So I took it to the shop, shop, shop; And the shop made money, money, money; Like the bees make honey, honey, honey.

See that yonder, yonder, yonder; In the jay bird town, town, town; Where the children always play, play, play; Till the sun goes down, down, down.

Link to August



Teaching Values: Uses accelerated learning methods and storytelling. Recommended lists of children's books and videos.

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