Looking for something to do this holiday weekend? See our picks for some fun local events.
MONETA— “This is Taryn,” said Beckie Sherman as she gently lifted the newborn out of the baby swing and cradled the tiny girl in her arms, beaming as she introduced the newest member of the family. Beckie leaned down and placed Taryn into the waiting right arm of the infant’s mother — Beckie’s daughter — who was sitting in a recliner. Beckie quickly lifted the mother’s left arm, and in one rote motion, secured it around the 3-week-old. Without help, Katrina Chandler, 40, could not take her baby into her arms.
MONETA — “She dropped them off and said, ‘Can you keep them a while?’ and didn’t come back for a couple of years.” Bob Hirsch, 59, recalled the Sunday night four years ago when his daughter, who had separated from her husband and was struggling financially and emotionally, dropped her two young sons off at the Moneta home of Bob and his wife, Melody, 57. The boys, Kai Patterson, 12, and Elijah Jackson, 8, are still there . But since that night, plans for the Hirsches’ retirement years at their Smith Mountain Lake home, where they moved full time in 1998, have drastically changed. They’re providing food, clothing, medical care and child care for two growing children .
Q: I went into my 17-year-old’s bedroom to wake him this morning. After some urging, he eventually got up and then told me he hated me. What is the appropriate consequence for this sort of disrespect? A: Actually, I don’t consider that a form of disrespect. Strictly speaking, your son simply informed you of how he feels about you, or felt about you at that moment. His tone of voice
You took 10 years of piano lessons. Should you become your 7-year-old’s teacher? Parent advice (from our panel of staff contributors): You’ve already taught your child to eat correctly, get dressed and myriad other skills. How did those teaching sessions go? Did your child eagerly adapt or fight you every step of the way? The answer should guide you as to whether to hire a piano teacher. — Phil Vettel
When I was a child, back in the Parenting Stone Age (a.k.a. the Parentocentric Era), your parents were the most important people in the family. They paid the bills, bought your clothes, prepared the food you ate, took care of you when you were sick, drove you to where you needed to be, tucked you in, and kissed you good night. They were essential. Your parents acted like they were
A new baby means your daughters now share a room. Any way they won’t hate this? Parent advice (from our panel of staff contributors): Tell them these new arrangements dictate a new room, and you need them to help decorate the old digs. Get their input: Paint? Wallpaper? Carpet? A moose head on the wall? Then have them help implement the redecorating. If they have a strong sense of ownership,
It seemed like such a good idea. And it was — until it clucking wasn’t. A few weeks ago, I dragged my family for an overnight stay at a working farm. They didn’t want to go; it was a long drive and they had concerts and ball games to attend back home. But I thought it would do us good to get off the grid for just a single stolen
After reading more than 80 submissions from readers who finished the sentence, “I knew I became my mother when … ,” one thing was clear. Mothers are powerful people. Not only do their children find themselves speaking the same phrases, they also pick up the same habits, use the same voices and — gasp! — transform, literally, into mom. “I am a 71-year-old great grandmother,” writes Brenda Berry of Lexington.
Dear Carolyn: Sometimes I think I’d like someone to rescue me from my life — someone to make it so I don’t have to work anymore, and I just sit back and not think about anything serious or responsible. I know this comes from having always been the “responsible” one, and it’s gotten to the point where I’d love to make some very significant life changes, but I find myself
Q: Is it OK to start teaching our 1-year-old how to play independently? He screams and cries when I put him in any type of enclosure if he can’t get “free” (even when I arrange the furniture in a way that he has a very ample play area). Is there a method to teach him how to play by himself for at least a little bit? It seems I am
Grandma’s vying to replace your nanny. How do you politely decline? Parent advice, from our panel of staff contributors: Tell her that you fear the kid(s) would be too much of a handful, but emphasize that she is always welcome to visit. And you could also float the idea that if she saw the kids every day, her visits would not be as special as a grandma visit should be.
Q: It seems our 1-year-old is showing willful disobedience. We tell him “no” and try to redirect but he does the same things over and over again. The things in question include turning over and not being cooperative when I’m trying to change him, slapping us in the face, and standing up during bath time. I’m trying to be creative with ways to entertain him and make things fun but
Other soccer parents loudly criticize your son’s game. Should you go to the coach? Parent advice (from our panel of staff contributors): The other parents need to be reminded that the purpose of these soccer matches is to teach the kids sportsmanship and how to improve their game and to foster friendship. These soccer matches are not designed to help jerk parents sharpen their jerk skills. You can calmly tell
My grandmother, who is twice my age, is always threatening to die. “Yep,” she tells me, in that matter-of-fact way that only wise old people can, “I’m about ready to take this show on the road.” It amuses me when she says it, and saddens me. But it also stops me in my tracks because if her predictions are right, and my math is correct — then I’m officially middle
Q: Our 7-year-old son is very negative about everything. He’s a middle child, so that may have something to do with it, but everyone else in the family is very happy, positive, optimistic, and so on. He never has anything positive to say about anything. Things the rest of us enjoy he says are “stupid” or “dumb.” We raise all of our kids the same, so we don’t understand where
Your in-laws toss profanity around with abandon. Should you ask them to tone it down for the kids? Parent advice (from our panel of staff contributors): The only thing within your control is a discussion with your kids; just because others speak in a certain way does not make it OK for the kids to speak that way. This is a tough concept for children, but a good lesson
One of the reasons — it’s probably in the top three reasons, in fact — that parents fail at solving discipline problems is they try to solve too many at once. In so doing, they scatter their disciplinary energy too thinly and end up solving none. The only thing they accomplish is getting more frustrated and more convinced that there is something about their child that renders discipline ineffective —
Your son doesn’t want you at his high school band concerts. Should you attend anyway? Parent advice (from our panel of staff contributors): Assuming you’ve already asked him why not, and he’s been his usual sullen, uncommunicative self, then no. Eventually, he’ll relent. If you sneak in and sit in the back, he’ll find out (they always do) and be even more resentful than usual. With age, this, too, will
Start spreading the news. I’m leaving today. I want to be a part of it … I grew up in a big city with billboards and litter and bellowing horns. We lived in a concrete jungle with beggars and highways and smog — and we vacationed, naturally, in charming, palm tree-punctuated beach towns. Now I live in a charming, palm tree-punctuated beach town. It’s lovely — a safe, peaceful, pretty
Dear Carolyn: I cheated on my ex. I’m extremely ashamed of this part of my past. I understand now why I did it: to avoid facing a painful reality, and to avoid sharing my feelings with my ex because I was afraid of his reaction. I’ve grown immensely since then. I am dating again now. I am afraid of sharing the details about my past with prospective partners because they’ll
In the seventh grade I was promoted by my peers from president of the class geek-nerd-brainiac society to, well, if not fully cool, then at least on the way. I had discovered two sports I excelled in — golf and baseball — and the girls had discovered that I was one of the best, if not the best, dancer in the class. My classmates began overlooking the fact that I
Molly Cardenas likes sports, has been an honor-roll student and is basically your typical 13-year-old kid — except for the fact that she asked for an unusual present last Christmas. She wanted a banjo. Now, the eighth-grader from Cave Spring Middle School is taking lessons at Fret Mill Music Co. in downtown Roanoke, where instructor David Cannaday has been teaching her the banjo basics. “The sound is just really different
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