Northampton Press

Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Family Project: Smoking and infant

Thursday, October 3, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. We are expecting our first child in three months. I do not smoke cigarettes or vape, but most of my relatives do. My husband is adamant that he does not want any smoking or vaping near our baby or in our house. He doesn’t even want them to have any smell of smoke on them or their clothes. Is he being unreasonable? I don’t know what to tell my family.

“Reasonable and unreasonable are personable opinions,” panelist Mike Daniels said, adding, “Everyone is going to have a different decision about whether something is unreasonable or not.”

Theater Review: Pines has a ‘Clue’ in new musical

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Even if you’ve never played the internationally popular board game “Clue,” you probably are familiar with the colorfully-named murder suspects: Professor Plum, Miss Scarlett, Mrs. Peacock, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White and Mr. Green.

The board game “Clue” was patented in 1944 by English musician Anthony E. Pratt, who invented it to help wile away the time during underground air raid drills during World War II. It was only a matter of time, given its popularity, that it would become a musical.

Theater Review: Star actresses do ‘Disenchanted’ well

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Once upon a time, there were six talented singer-actresses who were cast as storybook princesses with an attitude.

The problem? The princesses are “Disenchanted” with their portrayals in classic fairy tales and more contemporary animated films.

The actresses, aka princesses, sang and danced their way through a bevy of royal complaints in “Disenchanted! The Musical,” a hilarious princess parody presented by Star of the Day Productions at the Macungie Institute Performing Arts and Conference Center. The musical concluded Sept. 28.

The Family Project: Children’s needs

Friday, September 27, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. My husband and I separated six months ago. We have a custody agreement for our children, ages 7 and 10, that works well. My husband spends a lot of money taking the children to the movies and out to eat. I can’t afford to entertain them that way. What can I do?

The discussion of this question began with panelist Mike Ramsey explaining that spending on children in situations like this may be based on two things: guilt over the separation, and competition.

The Family Project: Sharing duties

Friday, September 20, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. My hours recently changed at work, so now I must start earlier. I used to take care of the morning routine myself, but since I started this new schedule, my husband has not offered to help me in the morning. When I mention that I could use some help, he gets irritated. How can I approach this?

The panel agrees that this is a communication and problem-solving situation, where timing and tone are important.

“The mother needs to have a conversation with her husband about this, but in the framework of working together to address the problem,” panelist Pam Wallace said.

The Family Project: Cyber school?

Saturday, September 14, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. The school year is just beginning and my daughter is talking about switching to cyber school. My husband and I don’t like the idea of her sitting in her room on the computer more than she already does, but I also want to be sensitive to the idea that kids do get bullied, and school is tough for some kids. Please help.

The consensus of the panel is that switching to a cyber school is a very complicated decision, with serious logistical and social ramifications to be considered.

The Family Project: Daycare dilemma

Friday, September 6, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. My three-year-old daughter is having problems at daycare, such as hitting and not listening. It makes me feel that she is a bad kid. I punish her at home with timeouts and taking things away from her, but the situation only seems to get worse. What can I do to help her?

“The mother should never feel that her daughter is a ‘bad kid,’” panelist Wanda Mercado-Arroyo said.

“The teacher is just reporting what she is observing because she wants to find out if the child is doing the same things in other settings so she can figure out what is happening,” said Mercado-Arroyo.

The Family Project: Teen vaping concern

Saturday, August 31, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. I overheard my teenage son talking about vaping. When I asked him about it, he told me it was flavored water vapor. Should I be concerned?

The panelists noted that use of e-cigarettes and vaping has skyrocketed across the United States, including in Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.

“When we saw the results of the 2017 Pennsylvania Youth Survey [the most recent one], we were very excited because students’ use of tobacco had gone down,” panelist Denise Continenza said.

The Family Project: Father should help

Friday, August 23, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. I have a three-year-old son and a four-month-old daughter. My husband accused me of neglecting our son in favor of our daughter. I don’t get enough sleep and don’t have the energy to play with my son. What can I do to make more time for my son?

“I’m concerned that the husband is playing this situation as daughter versus son, rather than a three-year-old versus a four-month-old baby,” panelist Chad Stefanyak said.

The Family Project: Grandson’s tantrums

Friday, August 16, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. I have a four-year-old grandson, who is a very sweet child. However, when angry he kicks, slaps and pinches his parents. His parents are calm, spend time with him and do not hit him. He doesn’t act like this with his grandparents. Any suggestions?

“My first response,” panelist Denise Continenza said, “relates to the idea of temperament: How children respond emotionally and behaviorally to the world.

“Some children have high-intensity emotions, so when they get frustrated and don’t get what they want, their emotions are so strong they take over,” said Continenza.