Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 11-27-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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2 AT HOME / ENTERTAINMENT NOVEMBER 27-DECEMBER 4, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE LIVING EDITION Do children need help with homework? After a recent talk in south Florida, women came up to me in droves asking, "How much should I help my chil- dren with their schoolwork?" That not one man asked the question speaks loudly to the state of parenting in post- modern America. Men don't ask the question because they know they are not trusted to do big parenting stuff like ensure their kids' academic success. My answer: "I can't quan- tify that for you, but I do know that the more you help your child with his or her schoolwork, the more you will be called upon by said child to help. A child's belief that he can't do something is rarely fact-based; it's usu- ally instilled by well-meaning people, as in, his parents." Before drilling deeper into this ubiquitous issue, a few facts are in order: • Fact: Children do not know what they need. They only know what they want. When a child says he "needs" something, it's all but certain that he does not need the something in question; he only wants it. That definitely applies to a child saying he needs help with schoolwork. • Fact: Children have a low tolerance for frustra- tion. "I can't!" is their default response to difficulty of any sort. • Fact: Children do not know what they are capable of. They must be forced to push the limitations they impose on their abilities. • Fact: Children are soap opera factories. They are prone to exaggerating the significance of anything they experience. Making moun- tains out of molehills is a child's nature. When my daughter Amy entered high school, she began taking algebra. Right off the bat, she had difficulty understanding the equations and asked me for help. For the first two weeks of her freshman year, I helped her sort out x, y, and n. Then I realized she was becom- ing dangerously dependent on me and so, before things went any further downhill, I told her I was done helping her. "I've gotten you off to a good start, Amos," I said. "The rest is up to you." "One more night, daddy? Please?" "Nope. I'm out of the alge- bra business as of five min- utes ago." She wanted to negotiate. I wouldn't. Before long, she was weeping and wailing and accusing me of wanting her to fail. Then she begged. I stood firm, so she wept and wailed some more. Then she wouldn't talk to me (a bless- ing of sorts). For three days this went on. Finally, she gave up. Her final salvo was, "Don't be surprised if I get an F in algebra!" She got an A in algebra. I honestly do not think she would have been able to ace algebra if I had continued to "help" her. • Fact: Every time a parent helps a child who has said he "can't" and "needs" the help, the child's tolerance for aca- demic frustration goes down a notch, all but guaranteeing that said child will (a) contin- ue to believe he "can't" and (b) ask for help more and more often. This is the curric- ulum for "How to Grow an Incompetent, Academically Anxious Child 101." Do some children need the help? (Also phrased as: Do some children need more help than others?) Yes, but the above facts pertain to all children. All children, therefore, need parents who will set limits on the nature of any help they give and the amount of time they will spend per day or week giv- ing it. Just remember: You need to call it quits. Your child will not. Family psychologist John Rosemond:, Traditional Parenting JOHN ROSEMOND Music at the Meeting House hosts An Old English Christmas GLOCESTER – Music at the Meeting House will present An Old English Christmas on Sunday, Dec. 1, at 2:30 p.m., at the Chepachet Baptist Church, 1213 Putnam Pike. The concert will feature English Christmas favorites featuring soloists Arielle Rogers, Amanda Santo, Jason Shealy, and Grace Norton, accompanied by Marie Kane on piano. Bell ringers from the Greenville Baptist Church, trumpeter Klancy Martin, recorder players Marie and Colin Kane, brass virtuoso Tom Kane, and organist Marilyn Knight will also contribute. The Christmas Story will be read from the Bible, and the congregation will be asked to sing familiar English-origin Christmas hymns. The concert is open to the public without charge, but a free will offering will be taken. Refreshments will be served afterward. For more information, visit chepachetbap- . Paws and Claus pet photos at Slater Park Sunday PAWTUCKET – The Pawtucket Dog Park Committee will present its annual Paws & Claus pet photos with Santa event on Sunday, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Daggett Farm in Slater Park, 451 Newport Ave. The event is open to all fur babies. New this year, for a $5 donation visitors have the opportunity to take their own photos with their cell phone or camera. However, visi- tors will also have the option of having the printed photo from the photographer. For a $7 donation, visitors can add a magnetic acrylic frame. Bring an unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots collection bin and receive a raffle ticket to win prizes. Raffle tickets will also be available for purchase. Joys of Christmas Cabaret at Park Place Church Dec. 7 PAWTUCKET – Park Place Congregational Church, 71 Park Place, will present the Joys of Christmas Cabaret on Saturday, Dec. 7. Doors open at 6 p.m.; buffet begins at 6:30 p.m.; show begins at 7:15 p.m. The show will feature Cindy Boulay, Kristine Gervais, Bill McMillan, Darlene McMillan, Ethel Martel; Crystal Masters; Carlene Neves, Wayne Patenaude with Jane Dean- Burkhart on piano and Karen Mellor on percussion. The cost is a donation of $20 per person. Reservations are being taken until Thursday, Dec. 5. Call the church office at 401- 726-2800 or email office@ .

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