Q. My daughter, a high school senior, is getting cold feet. She has had her goals all set, been accepted at a good school, but now wants to take a gap year before going to college. I’m not sure how to coach her through it or how hard to push.
Q. My ex-husband and I have a court-ordered visitation schedule, and he wants to continue with that visitation order during the coronavirus pandemic. The children are with me. I have not been sending them to their father’s home. Their father is not in agreement with me, What are some ways to handle this situation?
Panelist Mike Daniels took the lead in dealing with this question, including checking with the courts.
Second of two parts
“The Family Project” panel shares techniques to cope with “stay-at-home” orders for coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Being creative during social distancing and staying at home was suggested by several panel members.
“There’s something to be said for allowing children time to create, problem-solve and entertain themselves,” panelist Chad Stefanyak said, adding, “You might be surprised with what they come up with.”
First of two parts
“The Family Project” panel shares strategies to cope with “stay-at-home” orders for coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Pam Wallace, Project Child program coordinator, has grown children living in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Oakland, Calif., which are coronavirus “hotspots.”
Said Wallace, “I try to check in with them every day, either by phone, FaceTime or Zoom. It gives me some peace to find them adjusting well and healthy.”
As with other panelists, Wallace also checks in on friends and relatives she hasn’t spoken with in awhile.
Q. My son is married to a lovely woman who has two children ages 10 and 8. He has taken on a parenting role with them since their father is completely out of the picture. The children seem to like my son and respect him, but he refers to them as “my wife’s kids.” This bothers me because it seems that he doesn’t see the children as belonging to him or being part of a family together. How can I bring this up to him?
The first question that was raised came from panelist Mike Daniels, who asked if the son referred to “my wife’s kids” in front of the children.
Q. My six-year-old has asked to have a play date with another child in the neighborhood. I have been reluctant and make excuses when he asks because the mother is a recovering drug addict. How do I explain this to my son without giving him the details?
While the panel urged parents to be vigilant, pay attention to what their children are doing, and listen to their instincts, it also had comments about the mother’s concern about the need to explain things to her son.
Q. My children 6, 8, 10 and 12, keep asking if we are safe from the Coronavirus. What can I do as a parent to help them feel safe without causing unnecessary panic?
The panel members agreed that one way to assure the children when they are fearful is to give them things to do that help them feel in control, like washing their hands, a recommended measure to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19).
“It is an opportunity to teach children that there are things they can control, and things they can’t control,” panelist Denise Continenza said.
Q. My family in Puerto Rico has been badly affected by the earthquakes. Their houses were destroyed. My children ages 5, 7 and 9, are upset, have trouble sleeping and are hard to get ready for school. What can we do to assure them that they are safe here?
The panel agreed that the reaction of the adults to the situation influences the children’s responses.
“How the parents react is important,” panelist Chad Stefanyak said. “In a child’s mind, mom and dad are the experts. If mom is crying, it must be really bad.”
Everything’s coming up roses in MunOpCo Music Theatre’s production of “Gypsy,” the fabled 1959 musical very loosely based on the relationship between stripper Gypsy Rose Lee and her controlling backstage mom.
With book by Arthur Laurents, “Gypsy” continues to entertain with stirring music by Julie Styne and lyrics by the inimitable Stephen Sondheim. Directed for MunOpCo by Daniel Petrovich, the first-rate production continues through March 8 at Scottish Rite Cathedral, Allentown.
Q. Is it OK to bribe your children to do things? I have asked my children to make their beds or empty the dishwasher or do any number of chores, and I found them undone. Then I started offering $1 and it worked. Then my daughter asked me to double the amount for emptying the dishwasher because it takes so long. They do get a small allowance each week. What do you think? I just want the chores done.
The first comment was that it is only a bribe if you are giving the children something to get them to do what they are not supposed to do.