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If you have a question for Ms. Magnolia, please mail it to P.O. Box 669, Vidalia, GA 30475, or e-mail to [email protected]

Ms. Magnolia

Dear Ms. Magnolia, I’m the mom with small children who wrote about getting them to work together. I just want to give another idea about getting close to them at bedtime. Bedtime rituals are very important, especially to small children. It’s a good idea to talk with each of them separately at bedtime, ask about their day and really listen when they tell you what was important to them. Don’t use this as a time to criticize or give advice. Just listen and maybe ask a question to show you are listening. If you listen now, when they are adolescents, you won’t be as likely to be asking the cops, “Where did that idea come from?” when they do something you don’t expect.

Then read them a story together or separately as works best for you and them. Include a Bible story now and then. In order to be educated in their culture, your children need to know what it means when someone casually says, “It’s raining so much we’re going to need an ark soon.” If you don’t consider yourself religious, you can just call the stories cultural myths. Children need to know about belief systems in order to be able to make choices for themselves later on.

Then it is a good idea to have goodnight prayers with them. Most children need to believe that there is someone watching over them when times are hard. Mom Dear Mom, Again you have provided priceless information. Thank you.

Letters have been edited for length and clarity.

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