Corvallis Parent: Veterans Day, CASA Fundraiser, Stargazing, Solar System Books, & Almond Parenting

Parents of school aged kids, remember tomorrow is Veterans Day so the schools will be closed.   

The holiday had its start at the end of World War I when, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the armistice was signed. This day has survived for 104 years even though peace hasn’t always survived alongside it. 

So here are a few things to do with your child to help them better understand why we stop on November 11.  

  • Read a book together. Teaching with Children’s Books has a long list of possible books to help explain the importance of remembering those who gave their all to ensure freedom. You can start that as a tradition when the kiddos are little and it’ll make them more aware when they become adults. 
  • Clean a grave of two. Graves aren’t just for Halloween and Memorial Day, they can also be tended to as a peaceful means of remembering that people have lost their lives in wars. Particularly if you have a family member who died in a war. 
  • Write a letter to a veteran. You can send it to one of two different groups and it will find its way into the hands of the right person – A Million Thanks and Operation Gratitude. 

CASA Fundraiser: Not all children have happy homes. Because that’s a truth in our world, we need to count ourselves lucky to have the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children right here, serving kids that need an adult to step up in Benton and Lincoln counties. And you can help them do this important work by spending a little money locally.   

The CASA Shop Small, Help Big event has begun and will run through December 4. Go to one of the participating businesses and buy a gift card. Then send that card to CASA, 129 NW 4th St., Suite B, Corvallis, OR  97330. You can also drop the cards off at their offices at the same address.   

The gift cards will be auctioned off virtually on Saturday and Sunday, December 10 & 11.   

Autumn Dark Getting You Down: As the days get darker earlier, you might be wondering what to do to keep the kiddos busy, interested, and away from screens. Stargazing may be the answer.  

It’s a great hobby for the whole family – partly because it’s inexpensive and partly because you don’t have to have an advanced degree to enjoy it. There are apps you can download to your phone for the basics like where the Big Dipper is or even how to pick out Venus. And to begin, you’ll find a pair of binoculars will work well – meaning you won’t have to buy a telescope unless you really want one.   

Now, find a space without too much light pollution – fields, parks, Marys Peak, and a night without too much rain – harder to do, and look up. Over the whole course of humankind, people have been wondering about those bright lights in the sky. Your kids will wonder too.  

Making this a family activity is easier with a star map that you can all keep. Head over to What’s Out Tonight or Skymaps for easy to use mapping tools and information.   

Getting the Kiddo Into the Solar System: And if you’re looking for a good astronomy book that are great for kids – or nine good astronomy books for the once nine planets in our solar system (sorry ‘bout that, Pluto, you ‘lil celestial dwarf, you), then Book Club Chat has a list for you.  

  1. Hello, World! Solar System by Jill McDonald 
  2. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space by Catherine D. Hughes & David A. Aguilar 
  3. There’s No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System by Tish Rabe & Aristides Ruiz (this book features a certain cat wearing a familiar hat) 
  4. Hello World! Moon Landing by Jill McDonald 
  5. My First Book of Planets: All About the Solar System for Kids by Bruce Betts PhD (Did you know that the bubbles in your Diet Coke are made of the same gas that’s on Venus? – yep, this one has fun facts) 
  6. Moon: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup 
  7. Roaring Rockets by Tony Mitton & Ant Parker 
  8. 8 Little Planets by Chris Ferrie & Lizzy Doyle 
  9. I Heart Pluto by Chris Ferrie, Helen Maynard-Casely, & Lizzy Doyle 

Almond Parenting Making Comeback on Tiktok: Back in 2014, one of the women on reality TV’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, when told by her teenage daughter that she was feeling weak as she’d only eaten “like, half an almond,” said to that daughter, “Have a couple of almonds, and chew them really well.” This spawned the term “almond parenting” – meaning, of course, that you are giving your child “unhealthy but unfortunately common eating advice.”  

So how can you stay away from this regrettable position?  

Don’t shame your child’s foods. Sweets are not bad in reasonable numbers. And a person cannot live by vegetable alone – even vegans add nuts and fruits to stay healthy. Make sure the kids have a good variety of foods, without disallowing things. What happens when you don’t allow a child to eat something specific is they want nothing but that as they reach their teens.   

Part of giving your child an understanding about foods is to have them help out in making meals. As they see the ways you cook their healthy favorites, you’ll be not only showing them how you choose the foods they get, but also teaching them how to care for themselves one day. A benefit of that comes when they leave your home and find they can make home meals – which are more economical as well as generally healthier.  

Don’t teach your kids to hate the scale. Scales become weapons to kids prone to eating disorders, and really they only measure one aspect of your child’s overall self. Make sure to also measure how cute they look in that new cardigan, or how handsome they are with their new haircut, and how exceptionally proud you are of their attention to schoolwork.   

By Sally K Lehman 

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