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Parenting
05/07/2010
Icon"Starsky Hutch" Movie Review The Movie Reporter Films Reviews from a Family Perspective by Phil Boatwright Starsky Hutch. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson. Warner Bros. 3/5/04Spoof of the '70s cop/adventure TV-series is mostly mock-ish comedy with the duo going undercover to nab a drug dealer. There are some laughs, but it's not smart enough to be considered satire. Most of the humor is devoid of subtlety, each gag hammered home, usually by crudity. Aimed at 14-year-old boys, my real objection is the repeated misuse of Christ's name throughout. PG-13 (Christ's name is treated as a mere expletive at least 12 times; there are also that many obscenities and several minor expletives throughout; there is the occasional sexual innuendo, with the sometime exploitation of the female anatomy; the violence is played for laughs, such as an Asian kid throwing knives at our heroes, the knives actually hitting the targets; some gunplay, a couple of explosions and of course, the inevitable finale car chase). Video Alternative: For an example of true satire, try, "The Mouse That Roared." Every time I see a film that attempts satire, I come back to this Peter Sellers classic. This English comedy has a small country declaring war on the U.S. in order to get federal relief from the conquering America. DEFINITIONS Crudity - A word or action lacking in culture, tact Expletive - A mild obscenity or needless expression Obscenity - Objectionable or repugnant to acceptable standards of decency or morality; indecent; pornographic Profanity - Irreverence toward God Blasphemy - To speak contemptuously of God Adult subject matter - Situations or subjects unsuitable for or difficult to comprehend by children Download Boatwright#146;s book #147;How To Choose A Good Video Every Time!#148; FREE when you subscribe to his weekly film guide. For further information, visit www.moviereporter.com . "Know Before You Go" reg;Philip Boatwright, Editor Film/Video Reviews from a Family Perspective, Email: moviereporter@sbcglobal.net . Published by C. C. Publications, 835 Northstar Ct., Tonganoxie, KS 66086. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconThe Hottest Topic For Spring - Potty Training Tips Jodie Lynn www.ParentToParent.com Identifying if your child is ready for potty training is easy; it's the actual process that is driving parents over the edge. Here are a few "tried and true" tips. Just remember, if you are a stay at home parent, you can expect to give this training process a 2 to 3 week window for the best success. Your child might be ready if: They know the difference between a wet and dry diaper. The sensation involved in getting a wet or messy diaper. Interested in the big potty. Interested in sitting on the big potty. Can stay dry during naptime or other two to three hour periods. Have a bowel movement on a regular schedule. Can pull down own pants. Can tell you about the need to go to the potty. Training Tips: Set out portable potty by the age of two and a half to three. Do not expect them to use it right away. Let them get used to seeing it in the bathroom. Never rush. Keep in mind that boys are usually a little slower. Potty training can take up to two to three weeks or longer (especially for bowel movements). If the child is in any type of outside activity or childcare, ask the teacher or provider to help you to potty train using the same methods. Use stickers, colorful big boy and big girl training pants, books, music and praise as rewards. If you are traveling, take the potty with you. Never spank. If your child refuses to use the potty, back off as this will create a power struggle and unfortunately the toddler will not only win - but often times will also regress in training. Patience and positive encouragement is the key. If all else fails let someone else try to do the training. A new person with a new perspective just might be what is needed for a successful endeavor. Jodie Lynn is an internationally syndicated parenting/family columnist. Her latest book is Mommy-CEO, revised edition, Martin-Ola Press. (It's not just for moms!) Please see www.ParentToParent.com for more details. copy;2004 Jodie Lynn. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconFor Their Own Good Homebodies By Cheryl Gochnauer Cheryl@homebodies.org Flipping through the papers in my daughter'sbackpack, I noticed a book crammed into one of hernotebooks. "What's that?" I asked. "I don't know," she answered. Now, my daughter is a preteen, which means she knowsabsolutely everything. My radar went up. Pullingthe novel out of the folder, I flipped it over - andmy heart sank. It was one of those popularwitchcraft/horror-based books that are expresslyforbidden in the Gochnauer household. I didn't know whether to yell or cry. And mydaughter didn't know whether to look at the ceilingor the floor; she just knew she didn't want to lookat ME. I decided not to yell or cry. Instead, I held thebook and got very quiet inside. It was another ofthose teachable moments. We'd talked about thissubject before, about how important it is to beselective about the activities we watch, read aboutand participate in. But it had been a while. Infact, as I thought about it, it had probably beenover a year since we'd covered this specificsubject. Not a long time to a middle-aged mom, but aneternity to an absorb-the-world, hormone-chargedpreteen. I set the book on the table. "I'll return this tothe school library for you," I said, removing thetemptation. "When you get home tonight, we'll talk.I don't want to just say 'NO' without youunderstanding why. And I want to get inside yourmind a little bit, so you can share with me what itis that makes this kind of book seem attractive toyou." My daughter nodded, and headed out the door. She'sgot a lot to think about before our conversationtonight. Censorship? Absolutely. If there's any place inthis world where we should applaud censorship, it'sin the parenting arena. No matter what we do orwhere we go, regardless of position or authority, wewill never have a better opportunity to shapeanother human being. I'm not talking about churning out little robotsthat think just like us. But I am talking aboutproviding direction - helping our kids to focus onthose things that are noble, right, pure andadmirable. Our children are bombarded everyday with conflictingmessages. If I don't take responsibility for mygirls in this area, who will? You can be sure therewill always be someone or something ready to stepright up and do our job for us, and we may not likethe results. It's crucial that kids are guided by someone wholoves them. And I do love my girls, more than life.If that means taking heat for being a mean mommysometimes, so be it. Comments? Write Cheryl@homebodies.org , or visit theactive messageboards at www.homebodies.org .Copyright 2004 Cheryl Gochnauer. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconAre You Too Busy For Play? Jodie Lynn ParentToParent.com Work-at-home-parents can get pretty busy. Our world is a whirlwind filled with schedules and constant deadlines. Make sure you are taking time out for a simple but important pleasure with your kids: PLAYING. This doesn't mean you have to always entertain them or even have company over for them everyday. Just take a breather here and there to monitor their playtime and implement unscheduled time for them to just be a "kid," and the same can be said for you. Enjoy being a kid with your child. Playing With Others or With Mom and Dad If you are wondering if it#146;s OK for your child to be perfectly happy playing with play dough by herself, don#146;t fret. It#146;s not a big deal. In fact, it#146;s perfectly normal to stand back and watch others interact. Most toddlers aren#146;t into social behavior until the age of two or three. Check out this handy checklist, relax and join in. Play can be fun and (Birth to age 15 months) - Repetition play helps the child to learn about her world. Dropping an object is one of the most common games. Even a six-month old will drop something and watch to see if someone will pick it up. If it does get picked up, it delivers pure delight when she gets to drop it over and over until someone stops picking it up. YOUR PART: While it may drive many of us nuts, it is an excellent way to help the child gain control over her immediate environment while mastering a new skill. Play along with her only when you know what is going to take place and schedule time (and frame of mind) to interact. (Age 15 months to 2 years) - Observing others but not participating is often referred to as the onlooker stage. This is common among all children. Playing by themselves is called solitary play. Here they just play by themselves. While older kids do this as well, it is not as popular as actually engaging in activities unless the child is reserved (which most parents refer to as being #147;shy.#147;) Whether observing or playing, both helps the child learn how to get along with others, building social skills while exposing them to language. YOUR PART: A popular activity for this age group is building blocks. They love to stack them up and then watch them fall. It is a perfect activity for a parent to do with the young child. It can also become educational by buying the colored blocks and naming the colors as you stack them. Most of the blocks have numbers, pictures and even letters on them as well. Don't hit her with everything at once. One day work on the colors, the next the letters, etc. Have fun. (Ages 2 to 3 years) - Most older toddlers play side by side but are not really playing. This is called parallel play. There may not be any real interaction but it still provides a perfect chance to begin learning what belongs to whom...but mostly #147;mine.#147; As they watch others and maybe dress up while pretending to pour and serve a drink, they are experiencing their first taste to role-playing. All of this helps develop gross motor skills as well as some fine motor skills. YOUR PART: Boys and girls alike love to serve tea, cookies and pretend to cook. The play kitchens are an excellent interactive tool. As many of you know, the cooling utensils as well as dishes can be purchased to add more lifelike play. Again, this is very important play and work at home parents really need to plan on a good 40-minutes with this one. (Ages 4 to 4 1/2 years) - This age group displays very unstructured organized play called associative play. An example of this would be when children are all sharing a box of action figures, but may all be playing different things with their own figures. Another example would be where children decide to play with a common aspiration in mind, like entertaining each other by singing a song for a pretend audience. The more interaction children have with other children, the better understood the rules of getting along will become. Playing with others teaches how to share, encourages language and the introduction of being fair. This age group can become quite creative and gain great self-esteem (especially if parents let go of the perfect child syndrome). YOUR PART: Dump out a bucket full of action figures and begin role playing. Let your action figure (yes, this includes Barbie) to make up or sing a favorite song. Show your child how important it is to take turns. Be silly and enjoy this age and stage in your child's life. School-aged children (age 5 and up) - Here is when things begin to turn into clear competition. While younger children often feel frustrated with rules of winning, the positive side is that games and rules offer the chance to build character and close friends with a couple of others. As they grow older, they will enjoy being part of a group (some like large groups while others prefer small groups) which will help them become aware of different children and different ideas. YOUR PART: Grab a kick ball or any sizable soft ball and head for the backyard. Show your child how to kick the ball, show her the positive side of making it around the base line (running form base to base) and going in to home plate. Let her decide where to put the bases and what to use for the bases. Maybe she can invite over a couple of friends and you can become a team? Just remember, when other kids come over to play, you will also assume the role of coach, nurse and referee. To think you are going to get much work done would be pretty silly on your part. So, don't do it. There's a big kid in all of us so let yourself go and have a little fun with your play partner. Why? Because play is serious business...just don't let them know this! All in all, if your child is not into other kids, don #145;t push too hard. She will come around when she is ready. For now, give her the space she may need to become more independent while still being there when she needs you and play, play play. Jodie Lynn is an internationally syndicated parenting/family columnist. Her latest book is Mommy-CEO, revised edition, Martin-Ola Press. (It's not just for moms!) Please see www.ParentToParent.com for more details. copy;2004 Jodie Lynn. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconWatch Your Receipts By Cheryl Gochnauer Since my ability to stay home hinges on my financial status, I guard my money when I shop. I'm not talking about watching out for muggers, though that's a wise idea, too. It simply means I watch cash register totals carefully and point out discrepancies when I see them. You would be amazed how many times the totals are wrong, whether you are at the grocery store, the gas pumps or your favorite discount center. Here are some common shopping pitfalls to watch for: Sale items ringing up at regular price. "New and improved" packaging that charges the same price for lessproduct. Clerks forgetting to subtract coupons. Items being rung up twice. "We just ran out" excuses, when you're shopping on the first day ofthe sale. Perishables being sold past their expiration date. Substitutions that don't match the quality of the advertisedproduct. Damaged product (dented cans, slit boxes, broken seals, etc.) soldat full price. It's also important for the customer to understand the requirements of any special deals being offered. For instance, I may have to buy more than one of the advertised item to get the discount. Perhaps I have to make a minimum purchase or submit a special coupon before the savings kick in. Or maybe the markdown is only valid on certain days. Another thing to keep in mind? These hard-saved dollars are too precious to be spent at stores that don't respond positively to customers' requests and concerns. Smart managers understand they attract a lot more Momma Bears with honey than vinegar. So watch those receipts, and let both price and service be your guides as you shop for your family. Comments? Email Cheryl@homebodies.org or visit the active messageboards at www.homebodies.org . Pernmission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconHelp! Our 6 Year Old Cannot Read Jodie Lynn www.ParentToParent.com Everyday parenting and family dilemmas drive all of us crazy. If you are a work at home parent, your child is supposed to be smarter, kinder more courteous. Right? But, when things go wrong at school, a work at home parent feels really guilty. I mean, we stay at home so more things can be implemented to enrich our children's everyday experiences. Plain and simple. So, when your son's teacher shakes her head and suggests that he might need to be held back a grade, how does this make you feel? Question: Our 6-year-old cannot read. We are work at home parents and feel really bad about this. We feel like we haven't spent enough time with him. Should we hold him back? Our local school has a host/mentor program in which sometimes older students or parents will volunteer to help younger kids, or those with reading problems, learn to read. My daughter has an older student as her mentor at the school. My daughter has learned to read more this year than last. Ask about this program at your school. - Amanda in OK As a first grade teacher, I can tell you that there are many considerations that should lead to a decision to retain a 6-year-old, and because every child is different, there is no one guideline in making this choice. Is he able to sustain his attention span and work independently by the spring of the year? Check his physical activity level, (is it high) and whether or not he is socially immature and physically small in relation to classmates, or has poor fine motor skills? Retention may not be an option for children who are already physically larger than their classmates or have a learning disability. Children with learning difficulties sometimes do not benefit from being retained but would do best in staying with their peer group and receiving added academic support. At the core of any decision should be what is in the best interest of the child now and in relation to his/her academic future. - L.M. in New York If your child cannot read at 6, holding him back may not be a bad idea if his entire school performance is suffering. If he does well in other areas, it may just make him bored. There are several ways you can help him learn to read better: Read to him. Take him to the library and allow him to pick a book he wants to read. Comic books can sometimes motivate a child who is not generally interested in other books. Most schools also have testing available that can identify if a child is perhaps dyslexic. Reading is extremely frustrating for kids who have a minor correctable problem. A tutor at school who can spend some individual time may help. I also suggest a trip to the eye doctor. It may be something as simple as needing glasses to better see the words. - Darla in MO I suggest you really talk with the teacher and find out exactly the reasons as to why she suggests the 6-year-old needs to be held back. If your son cannot read at all, then it might be better. Reading is the key to all other lea rning. Visit the local library frequently to encourage reading as a good habit. - Joan in OK From Jodie: Don't feel guilty if you have really tried to do your best in spending the amount of time needed in this area. There may be other things to take in consideration as well. Don't forget to get your son's hearing checked. If everything checks out, get started in teaching him how to read taking the approach for slow starters. And, keep your attitude positive. It's not a shameful situation as many children go through this. Really. Everyone seems to panic and take it as a sign of failure if a 6-year-old cannot read. It is not failure. Begin putting in extra time and working with him now and even over the summer if needed. If you are terribly frustrated let someone else work with your son. For example, an older boy could probably work wonders or even a grandparent. Calm non-pressured educational summer activities could make the difference between learning and feeling lost where reading is concerned. To begin with, buy or check out favorite books with only a few words but with lots of pictures and interactive activities. Make "learning" fun, and remember, boys are sometimes slow in reading but usually catch up quickly. If he is emotionally up to snuff and knows basic everyday words, ask if he can be reevaluated in ninety or so days. Most school systems have their own tutors and if they don't, the No Child Left Behind can pay for private tutoring at some of the very best learning centers. Have your teacher check it out. You could also send an email to the Huntington Learning Center through their website. I personally talked with Dr. Huntington and know firsthand that his centers were approved for this specific program and he is very committed to finding success for each and every child. Jodie Lynn is an internationally syndicated parenting/family columnist. Her latest book is Mommy-CEO, revised edition, Martin-Ola Press. (It's not just for moms!) Please see www.ParentToParent.com for more details. copy;2004 Jodie Lynn. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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05/07/2010
IconWhy DOES Dr. Laura continually urge parents to keep their kids out of daycare? by D. Schattner www.daycaresdontcare.org The answer is simple: Because daycares don#146;t care about or love your child like you do. Deep down, everyone knows it#146;s true, but almost everyone#146;s afraid to say it. For years, many experts have been warning us about the detrimental consequences for children placed in daycares. Their findings show that no amount of legislation, government funding, money, early childhood training, regulations, or inspections can make a daycare love your child. My wife and I got so sick-and-tired of people hounding us to put our kids in day care, I created a website, daycaresdontcare.org , to counterbalance the relentless pressure placed upon parents to abandon their children to these impersonal institutions. This website contains an extensive collection of information about daycare intended to encourage and affirm those parents who have made the choice to care for their own children -- a choice that too often has been criticized and devalued by many in our society. Daycaresdontcare.org features: An index of the inherent problems with daycares from a variety of media, including Books , Magazines , Newspapers , and the Web An overview of the History of Daycare from its origins to the present A Daycare #147; Dictionary #148; A common sense commentary featuring What People Say about daycare A #147; Recommended Reading #148; section (featuring Dr. Laura#146;s bestseller, Parenthood By Proxy !) And more#133; For more information, go to: Daycaresdontcare.org Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com More >>

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05/07/2010
IconLove Your Body! 5 Tips to Get You Started By Carrie Myers Smith Author of Squeezing Your Size 14 Self Into A Size 6 World: a real-woman#146;s guide to food, fitness and self-acceptance with a foreword by Keli Roberts ( www.championpress.com ) February#133;the month of love! But while many of us have an easy time showering other people with love, we find that Cupid has yet to hit us with the #147;body love#148; arrow. Don#146;t wait for Cupid! Begin today to start appreciating, accepting, and yes, even loving your body. Stop picking yourself apart. Let#146;s face it: No matter how close-to-perfection a body you have (and just what is the perfect body anyway?), chances are, there is something you would change about it if you could. Even celebrities and models who have been stamped with the media#146;s #147;perfect body#148; rating have parts they dislike#151;their feet, their hands, their ears#151;and they don#146;t necessarily have high self-esteem, either! Rather than pick your body apart, look at your body as a whole (and read the next point#133;). Consider the marvelous functions of your body. There are millions of microscopic functions that go on in our bodies every day#151;and you don#146;t even have to think about them! They just happen! Unfortunately, it often takes a crisis or a tragedy, such as a brush with death, a go-around with a disease, or a debilitating accident for some women to realize that their bodies weren#146;t so bad to begin with and that their body hang-ups were a big waste of time. Don#146;t let that be the case with you! How much time are you spending each day worrying about your weight, your body shape, the size of your rear#133;and what could you be doing during that time? Maybe you#146;re supposed to be the first female president, but you#146;ll never know because you#146;re too busy obsessing about your abs! Get real. Did you know that most of the images you see on television, movies, and magazines aren#146;t even real? A model for a magazine cover goes through hours of professional hair and make-up, has professional stylists, top photographers who know her #147;best side,#148; professional lighting#133;and that#146;s all before the chosen photo goes to a company where they remove stray hairs, wrinkles, blemishes, and #147;extra#148; curves (can you believe that someone who qualifies as anorexic has extra curves?). Sometimes Model A#146;s head is stuck onto Model B#146;s body. What you see is totally made up (just see how their professional photos compare to the candids caught by the paparazzi!)! And it#146;s not just fashion magazines that are creating a fantasy. Most of today#146;s #147;fitness#148; magazines are following suit. On top of airbrushing and computer generating their models, fitness magazines now need to audition their models to be sure they#146;re strong enough to just do basic exercises! Muscles are even airbrushed in! It#146;s time to get real! Find real role models who emanate the qualities you desire. Educate yourself about what really goes on #147;behind the scenes.#148; And realize that no one naturally #147;glows#148; the way those models in the magazines do! Change your inner dialogue. It#146;s been said that we teach others how to treat us. If we believe that, due to our bodies, we are not worth being liked, loved, or treated with respect, that message comes across to others#151;and mostly from what we#146;re not even saying. Choose to believe that you are worth taking care of, and that you have the right to be respected and treated with dignity#151;and act like it! Take care of your body. Diets, pills, quick-fixes, binging, not exercising, over-exercising#133;all these things disrespect one of the greatest gifts you have been given#151;your body! You only get per lifetime#151;give it the respect it deserves. You will not only feel better, but you just might become someone else#146;s role model! Carrie Myers Smith is a licensed WellcoachTM, co-founder and president of Women in WellnessTM, and author of Squeezing Your Size 14 Self into a Size 6 World: A Real Woman#146;s Guide to Food, Fitness, and Self-Acceptance (Champion Press, 2004). To join her FREE Wellness Club and receive her FREE weekly wellness newsletter, visit: www.womeninwellness.com . More >>

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05/07/2010
IconHitting at School By Jodie Lynn ParentToParent.com Kids are a major part of having a good work-at-home environment. If there are family challenges with kids, working at home can be pretty yucky. Why? The biggest reason is because normally you can't hand the problem over to someone else like if you were working out of an office and your child was in child care. Here, a 5-year-old kindergartner is hitting people at home and at school. The question is being sent to me from the parents and I have a few choice words for them. Along with my two-cents is advice from a few other parents who work from home. Question: Our 5-year-old kindergartner is hitting everyone. What is the responsibility of the school to correct this? My wife and I made the decision long before we had children to raise our own kids -- that is, that one of us would stay home. My wife was very happy to stay home with our daughter. I was not making a lot of money at the time. It was not easy making the dollars stretch, but we made it work because we knew it was best for our child. Since then, many people have told us we were lucky to have one parent able to stay home (as if our family had some unfair advantage over the rest of the world). Virtually every family has the potential for one parent to stay home and raise the children. Most families opt not to because they see more benefits to having a dual income than to raising their own children. - A. and J. R. in MO It's not the school's responsibility to teach your child how to behave with other children. It's your own responsibility as parents. The school is there to provide you a service, not to raise your children for you. - P. C. in Texas Communicate with and enlist the help and support of your teacher. Begin by finding out what seems to cause your child to hit, and what the teacher's response is. Talk to your child. Your child will benefit from you talking to him calmly about why he shouldn't hit, and asking him why he does. Offer a reward for consecutive days without hitting, such as the opportunity to do a special activity with you. Your child needs to know he has your love and support as he learns appropriate ways to control his emotions and interact with others. - K.G. in IL Your child's behavior is your responsibility. He is trying to tell you something and this is the only way he knows how. If he is in half day kindergarten, quit your office job and stay home with him. I promise you it will make a difference. - M.A.M. in TX From Jodie: Let me answer your question directly. Communication and doing your part at home is the key here. Take a look around at your son's home environment. Are you spending too much time working on projects after he arrives home from school? If he is in half day school and you still need to get a few things done after he gets home, maybe consider taking a forty-minute break and do something that involves just the two of you. If he goes to all day school, it's best just to call it a day until he is in bed for the night. Check out what he is watching on TV. Are you using TV as a baby-sitter even if it is an educational program? Kids eventually wise up on these type of things. He may just need more human interaction and is seeking any type of attention he can get - especially from you. Are older siblings wrestling and play fighting with him? Younger siblings always want to be like their older siblings. At this age, any type of hitting action will be imitated. He may think that hitting is just as normal as putting on shoes because it is acceptable behavior in your home? Monitor his computer and video games. Is he watching what his older siblings are watching? If so, this is not a good start for him. He needs his own age appropriate games. Talk to him quietly and tell him how he can play with others without hitting. Tell him if he hits other children, they will not play with him and he will be lonely and sad. Make sure you watch his diet as well. Do not allow your son to have caffeine drinks. If he is already used to them, begin now to dilute them with water and eventually switch to caffeine free. Keep sugar and chocolate intake low especially right before school. Remember, chocolate has both sugar and caffeine and can be found in many of today's more popular cereal and have a tendency to make children more assertive in behavior. If he seems really keyed up after he arrives home from school, take him out to the backyard or to the park and let him kick and chase a ball for at least one hour. In fact, kick the ball with him. It will do the two of you a world of good. Pop into the school unexpected and watch him unnoticed. This will give you firsthand information. Talk to his teacher about the incidents, and find out the exact rules on inappropriate behavior at the school. Ask your child to show you how he is hitting. Find out "why" by role-playing. If he hits only Billy, you become Billy and act out a scene. If this doesn't work, switch roles and become your son, and he can pretend to be Billy. As a rule of thumb, the latter will usually work better. Work together with the school and stay calm accepting responsibility for your son's behavior while monitoring your own environment at home on a daily basis. Your first priority is not your work at home business. Your kids are your top priority - please do not forget that. Jodie Lynn is an internationally syndicated parenting/family columnist. Her latest book is Mommy-CEO, revised edition, Martin-Ola Press . (It's not just for moms!) Please see ParentToParent.com for more details. copy;2004 Jodie Lynn. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com. More >>

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