Q. I am the parent of three wonderful children, but sometimes I just run out of patience with them, whether it is having to remind them to hang up their coats, or turn off the lights when they leave the room, or put away their playthings. I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is important to me, and sometimes I just lose it. How can I become more patient?
The Pennsylvania Playhouse is marking the 30th anniversary of the release of the motion picture, “Steel Magnolias,” with its own superb stage production of the bittersweet comedy-drama about the bond among a group of women at a beauty shop in a small Southern town whose lives are changed with the death of one of their own.
The play, which continues April 12-14, 19 and 20 at the Bethlehem theater, was written by Robert Harling as a way to cope one month after his sister’s death from complications of diabetes.
Q. At what age is it safe to leave your child alone? My husband thinks that it is OK to leave our 10-year-old son home alone while we go out for a few hours. I think he is too young. Are there guidelines for this situation?
The panel pointed out that there are only three states that have laws regulating a minimum age for leaving a child alone: Illinois, age 14; Maryland, age 8; Oregon, age 10.
“The ages are all over the place,” panelist Pam Wallace said.
Q. My three-month-old daughter wakes up at least three times during the night. My husband thinks we should let her cry it out until she goes back to sleep. I think she is too young. I’m getting different opinions from my relatives, and I am not sure what to do. Can you help?
It was apparent from the panel’s discussion that there are many reasons why babies cry a lot.
“Crying is a way for babies to communicate,” panelist Pam Wallace explained. “So, whether or not the baby is hungry or needs to be changed, she requires some attention.
In its latest thought-provoking play, written and directed by Ara Barlieb, the Crowded Kitchen Players tackle the uncomfortable topic of child abuse and how society has either failed to address it or has too often been looking the wrong way.
The play is “Unspeakable,” but it has a very loud and clear message in a production that continues March 29, 30 and 31, Charles A. Brown Ice House, Bethlehem.
Q. My son transferred from three days a week of preschool to a full week of kindergarten. I understand the advantages of a head start in reading and math skills, but he comes home from school exhausted and worn out. I am wondering if this schedule is worth it.
While children may become fatigued after attending kindergarten all week, the panel explained that the students do adjust, usually within five or six months.
“A Chorus Line,” the award-winning concept musical, is a triple threat.
It requires consummate acting, impressive singing and polished dancing from nearly every one of its 19 cast members. The director, in turn, is faced with the formidable task of casting all of the diverse roles, and getting the best character interpretations out of each of the performers.
“Buyer & Cellar,” the one-man show through March 24, Theatre514, Civic Theatre of Allentown, features a highly-creative concept, an immensely funny script, a tour de force performance by Timothy Janovsky, and incredible stagecraft that ties the entire production together in a neat directorial package.
Q. I am the mother of two young children, and I have decided to go back to college to finish my degree. I also have to work part-time. How do I find time to study and take care of my kids, too?
The panel began by offering congratulations to the mother for making the decision to improve her life and the lives of her children.
Q. My son fell off his bike and broke his arm. When we took him to the hospital Emergency Room (ER), they asked him and us a lot of questions that made me feel like they suspected us of abusing him (we didn’t). Does this happen to all parents who bring injured children for treatment?
The panel agreed that the experience of the parent asking the question is an outgrowth of contemporary society.
“I think in this day and age, doctors are doing a lot of covering their bets,” panelist Mike Daniels said, “so there are going to be lots of questions.”