* Coronavirus Resources for Parents *

Letter from the Editor November 2011

Jenna Hammond

One of the best ways to show your gratitude is to give back. Likewise, in sync with Thanksgiving and the Big 29 Anniversary Tuition Assistance Program that’s helping to fund what readers pay for their children’s schools and programs, our November issue has a giving focus. We’ve adopted the sentiment in the office, donating thousands of dollars worth of children’s and parenting books in the past year to a nonprofit organization that assists families with social, medical, economic and psychological needs. How can your family get involved? We encourage you to champion a cause that speaks to you.

For ideas, flip to “Young Volunteers” by author Lara Krupicka. The inspiring article details the benefits kids reap from serving the community. Check out how some of the estimated 15.5 million young volunteers today make the world a better place. Once your children join an effort that appeals to them, they’ll be poised to develop new interests, confidence, responsibility and other positive attributes that Krupicka discusses. The author closes the article by spotlighting places that welcome young volunteers, before sharing by five pointers for getting involved in a cause. Whatever path your kids choose, we invite you to post their service experiences on www.facebook.com/parentguidenews to inspire other families to pay it forward.

Now that your children are becoming pillars of the community, consider rewarding them with presents! Sure, kids get plenty of emotional and spiritual rewards from volunteering, but material pleasures might be extra incentive to keep the good will going strong. We’re not suggesting you bribe your brood, but our November gift guide certainly gets you in the mood for giving, even if you are waiting until the December holidays to bestow playthings and such. In any case, turn to “Holiday Cheer is Drawing Near” for a preview of the coolest gadgets, gizmos, stuffed friends and toys debuting this season. It’s worth noting that two featured presents support needy and hospitalized children. Even further incentive to give.

If you’re searching for playthings that serve another purpose, like to enhance the skills of children with special needs, turn to “Toying Around.” Written by the Toy Industry Association, the article reveals various playthings and activities to strengthen children’s abilities. Despite what diagnosis your child has, and even if your child is typically developing, the article has dozens of ideas for giving your child the tools to flourish while having fun. Simply look for abilities to enhance, from gross and fine motor abilities to socialization and sensory processing skills, and you’ll find a slew of suggestions for helping your child to thrive. Now there’s an optimum way to give back to your loved ones.

Approaching the issue’s theme from another angle, “Generous Girl or Diva Daughter?” provides a laugh-worthy look at a not-so-funny topic, how to get growing girls to drop an attitude. Read the article to discover how author Kerry Luksic “put the brakes on this emerging diva-tude” among her daughters to do your own family a favor and bequeath the giving spirit to your kin. The piece packs plenty of tips for nurturing respect and kindheartedness in your home. The results should prove beneficial for your kids and the world at large.

Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the issue.

Jenna Hammond