By Diann Ducharme, Special to the Citizen 12/12/2013 Family Forum
You know your 13-year-old child is truly growing up when he announces his plan to become a vegetarian, effective immediately.
“But you like meat,” I pointed out.
“True. But I don’t like the idea of eating animals.” He rubbed his belly sentimentally. “It doesn’t make me feel good.”
Apparently, meat of the porcine and bovine variety particularly bothers him. And poultry doesn’t sound too appetizing to him either. (Fish we can slaughter at will.)
By Diann Ducharme, Citizen Columnist 08/13/2012 Family Forum
My dad’s name is Norman, so of course people called him “Stormin’ Norman.” And the moniker fit him perfectly, for he was a proud and successful business owner and undisputed head of my four-member household.
Though he could be quite sentimental, generous and affectionate with his “girls,” he was mostly stubborn, opinionated, judgmental and foul-mouthed (usually while working in the garage). He was also a very hard worker and had a hard time relaxing, even at the family beach house. He possessed the highest of standards not only for himself but for everyone in his orbit.
By Patty Kruszewski, Citizen Managing Editor 07/05/2012 Family Forum
Title IX hasn't done a darn thing for me.
But I am one of its biggest fans, just the same.
As a frustrated female athlete who graduated high school 40 years ago – the same month that Title IX was signed into law – I am all too familiar with the arid wasteland that was girls' sports prior to 1972.
Back then, the only place I could get involved in the sports I loved best was from the sidelines – as a cheerleader.
By Diann Ducharme, Special to the Citizen 07/02/2012 Family Forum
Editor’s note: This column is the third in a series about pets and children. You can access the first two installments at http://www.henricocitizen.com/index.php/Opinions.
When a family purchases a pet, parents have visions of their child’s growing responsibility and expansion of character. But when it came to our border collie pup, Toby, the dog brought on nothing but extreme paranoia.
If there was one thing my kids loved more than all else in their lives three years ago, it was their stuffed animal collections. Toby found that he loved them too. They made such a satisfying ripping noise when he gutted them down their seams, and their eyeballs popped off so nicely. And their inside stuffings! Pure heaven to gouge out with his paws.
By Diann Ducharme, Special to the Citizen 05/17/2012 Family Forum
Editor’s note: This column is the second in a series about pets and children. You can access the first installment at http://tinyurl.com/77qqtxn.
We brought our 11-week-old border collie pup Toby home from the breeder’s, still missing our sweet Harry. Being black and white borders, the two brothers looked similar, which was both comforting and confusing.
We were pleased to find that Toby didn’t have nearly as much interest in herding our feet or the children. And he took to the housebreaking and the electric fence and his daily walks well enough too.
By Patty Kruszewski, Citizen Managing Editor 06/14/2012 Family Forum
In today’s society, where computer literacy is considered an essential part of education, many parents assume that the earlier their children are introduced to technology, the better.
Entire multi-million-dollar industries have sprung up to cater to this assumption, introducing multitudes of smart toys as well as an explosion of the phenomenon known as lapware, such as JumpStart Baby and Baby Wow.
So named because babies play with it while sitting in Mommy’s or Daddy’s lap, lapware is designed to introduce infants as young as six months old to the keyboard, mouse, and monitor by allowing them to flail at the keys and produce images or sounds.
By Patty Kruszewski, Citizen Managing Editor 05/14/2012 Family Forum
Years ago, when columnist John Rosemond was about to become a grandfather, he wrote a column giving his son, Eric, just two pieces of advice about fatherhood.
Although I am not a Rosemond worshipper by any stretch of the imagination, and cannot even recall the second piece of advice, one piece has remained chiseled into my brain for life.
Rosemond’s suggestion to his son? To lock up the TV set until his child entered school.
The idea might seem radical, but it grew out of Rosemond’s own difficult experience raising Eric. After learning that he was failing third grade, Rosemond and his wife imposed a number of changes in household rules and routines. Convinced that Eric’s TV-watching habit was the chief contributor to his problems, they decided not just to limit the family’s viewing; they gave the family TV set away.
By Diann Ducharme, Special to the Citizen 05/03/2012 Family Forum
I believe it was the day after our 15-year-old border collie-Lab mix died that my two children (ages 8 and 5 at the time) began to lobby for a new dog.
Even though we didn’t miss her daily accidents and tumbleweeds of fur and old-age stink, the house wasn’t the same without our sweet Sydney. We needed something furry and licky and waggy to love on us again, and of all pets, only a dog is capable of giving that particular ego-boost.
About four months later, my husband pointed out an advertisement in the pets section of the paper; my eyes subsequently oozed from their sockets as I gazed on the three most adorable creatures ever made in the world. They were five-week-old border collie pups, and I knew I had to have one, preferably that day.
By Patty Kruszewski, Citizen Managing Editor 04/26/2012 Family Forum
Thank you. My faith in parents has been restored.
I was beginning to think that all 21st-century children were growing up tethered to electronic toys from birth, cutting their teeth on Baby Einstein videos and graduating from diapers straight to Gameboys – and that parents today popped techno-gadgets into toddler hands the way we once popped pacifiers into their mouths.
So it was heartening to hear the response to "Raising Slow Kids" (March 1 Citizen), and to learn that there are plenty of parents out there who are members of the resistance. Moms from Sandston to Short Pump wrote about the constant struggle to unplug their kids – and about their belief that doing so is better for them.
- More Henrico News
The Rotary Club of West Richmond recently presented UMFS with donations of $28,000 raised during the December Nutzy Rotary Funn Run. Pictured, from left, are Dr. Jerry Strauss, dean of the VCU Medical School and VCU Hospitals (the lead corporate sponsors for the Funn Run); Jeff O'Flaherty, chair of the Nutzy's Rotary Funn Run steering committee; Todd 'Parney' Parnell, general manager of the Richmond Flying Squirrels; Nutzy, the mascot of the Flying Squirrels; Gary Duncan, development vice president of UMFS; Greg Peters, president/CEO of UMFS; and Roy McLeod, Chair of the West Richmond Rotary Foundation. > Read more.
The Richmond Antique Extravaganza Show and Sale brought antiques and rare collectibles to Henrico for the 28th year Jan. 17-19 at the Richmond Raceway Complex. The event attracted more than 80 dealers from Florida to New England, offering old prints, China, toys, children books and small furniture pieces among many others.
At right, vendor Rebecca of Richmond sought enthusiasts of Japanese collectibles, like the rare, 100-year-old half-carp, half-dragon incense burner shown. > Read more.
The Richmond Flying Squirrels and Richmond International Raceway are teaming to host the inaugural Turn Left Golf Classic at The Dominion Club in Wyndham June 2. The charity golf event strengthens the partnership between the organizations and will equally benefit the charity arms of both, Richmond International Raceway Cares and Flying Squirrels Charities.
The event was named because the common denominator between the two organizations is competitors turning left during competition. (Drivers turn left at “America’s Premier Short Track,” and base runners turn left as they round the bases at The Diamond.) > Read more.
CAT Theatre will present Enchanted April March 21 through April 5. As part of the theater's 50th anniversary this year, patrons selected Enchanted April (originally performed in 2007) as the CAT performance that they would most like to see repeated.
Enchanted April was written by Elizabeth von Arnim, and the novel was adapted to the stage by Kane Campbell. The 1991 film version featured Miranda Richardson, Alfred Molina and Joan Plowright. > Read more.
The Classic Amphitheater at Richmond International Raceway will host concerts by The Band Perry July 12 and Darius Rucker July 18. Tickets for both shows go on sale April 4 at 10 a.m.
The Band Pery, fronted by Kimberly Perry and rounded out by her younger brothers, Neil and Reid, has achieved much acclaim since the release of its self-titled debut album in October 2010. Pioneer, the band’s sophomore album, was released in April 2013 and has helped to secure the band a string of hit singles including "Better Dig Two,” “Done” and the current single, “Chainsaw”, which was released to country radio in March 2014. > Read more.
It’s the last weekend in March and eastern Henrico is the place to be! Sunrise Productions and Henrico High School will present “Finding Chris, My Father” at the Henrico Theatre on Saturday. Also at the Henrico Theatre is “Real to Reel” featuring the film Shenandoah. End the weekend with an all-you-can-eat spaghetti luncheon from the Eastern Henrico Ruritan Club. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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