Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.
Parenting Column by Jodie Lynn
Since my husband and I both lost our jobs, our four kids will spend a lot more time outside playing this summer. Unfortunately, our neighbors are already beginning to complain about the noise from their games. How is the best way to handle the neighbors, give my children followable guidelines on neighborhood and noise rules and find a balance that will keep peace with everyone?
It is very difficult to try to please everyone around you. For some people, it won't matter what in the heck you try to do, they will still gripe. Have rules for your kids and let the other ones go fly a kite. - T. P. in Atlanta, GA
This will certainly be a challenge, especially if there are older people living close to either your home or where your children play. Many senior citizens cherish their privacy, quiet evenings and of course, peaceful nights when it is time for bed, which may be quite early. Summertime provides more hours of daylight that extend outdoor playtime. However, if you would walk over to each neighbor's house, as opposed to calling people over the phone, you can talk with them in person and explain the situation. By doing so, they may be more sympathetic towards the kids, noise and your personal job loss dilemma. It would even behoove you to ask for a few suggestions pertaining to specific time frames throughout the day during which they are especially fond of quietness. Talk with the other parents as well and try to come up with doable guidelines that everyone would appreciate. Explain the rules to the kids and go into simple but helpful details about why there are certain ones at specific times throughout the day, even though it may still be daylight outside. Hopefully you can come up with generalized rules for outside play and they will be more feasible than you may have previously expected. Make a list of the ones that most seem to agree on and give a copy to each family. This way, if everyone is aware of what needs to be going on, when and where, there will be less questions, arguments and reminders and more peace for those who need it, while the kids can continue to play.
CAN YOU HELP?
Our four-year-old daughter is very interested in learning how to read. I am reading her books that are age appropriate but also harder ones. My husband says to keep her on her age level or it will become confusing. Is he correct?
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