East Penn Press

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Family Project: Haunted house scary, not traumatic

Friday, November 8, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. My 4-year-old loves scary Halloween displays in stores, so I took him to a haunted house that I thought was kid-friendly. It wasn’t. I covered his eyes and we ran out as soon as we could. He told me he saw horrible things. I tried to tell him it was all fake. Did I scar him for life?

“No, you have not scarred you child for life,” panelist Mike Ramsey said. He said the mother may be experiencing guilt feelings for having made a decision that resulted in an emotional reaction from her child. “Was it scary for the four-year-old?” Ramsey asked. “Yes, but not traumatic.”

Family Project: 2nd-grader cell phone

Friday, November 1, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. At what age is it appropriate to give your child a cell phone? My daughter is in second grade and is asking for one because her friends have one. What do you think?

The panel agreed that age seven is too young for a child to have a cell phone.

Panelist Pam Wallace said that, in addition to the cost, a cell phone involves a lot of responsibility: “Is she going to be able to hold onto the phone and not leave it on the bus or drop it somewhere?”

The Family Project: Picky-eater

Friday, October 25, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. Our five-year old son is a picky-eater. I am thinking about making him the food that he wants. My husband is against this and wants him to eat what I make for us. What is the best way to handle this?

Panelists Chad Stefanyak and Mike Ramsey agreed that this is a very common problem.

“Everyone thinks their five-year-olds are picky-eaters,” Stefanyak said, “and this argument between parents probably occurs in many households.”

The Family Project: Trick or treat

Sunday, October 20, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. My children, ages 5 and 12, are planning their costumes for Halloween. Our neighborhood has always been safe, but I still worry. Do you think they are old enough to go alone? I need to be at my house to hand out candy. Also, is there an age when children are too old to trick or treat?

“I don’t think you need to be concerned about how old to trick or treat,” panelist Chad Stefanyak said in answer to one of the questions.

The Family Project: Daughter, 15, dating?

Saturday, October 12, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

Q. My 15-year daughter wants to date. Is she old enough? Should we insist on meeting the boy first? Should we talk to them?

As to whether or not your daughter is old enough to date, panelist Pam Wallace said that depends on the girl’s maturity and ability to be responsible.

“The parents know their child best. Is she mature enough to go on a date? Also, does she have ground rules on what to do if something unexpected happens? Will she reach out to her parents if she is in an uncomfortable situation?” asked Wallace.

Theater Review: Pa. Playhouse does Agatha Christie justice

Monday, October 7, 2019 by CAROLE GORNEY in Focus

The Pennsylvania Playhouse is providing a welcome respite from musicals and comedies by staging a whodunit based on Dame Agatha Christie’s novel, “And Then There Were None,” the world’s best-selling murder mystery novel of all time.

“And Then There Were None” continues through Oct. 13 at Pennsylvania Playhouse, Bethlehem. The opening night, Sept. 27, performance, was seen for this review.

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.