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.
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.
Q. My hours recently changed at work, so now I must start earlier. I used to take care of the morning routine myself, but since I started this new schedule, my husband has not offered to help me in the morning. When I mention that I could use some help, he gets irritated. How can I approach this?
The panel agrees that this is a communication and problem-solving situation, where timing and tone are important.
“The mother needs to have a conversation with her husband about this, but in the framework of working together to address the problem,” panelist Pam Wallace said.
Q. The school year is just beginning and my daughter is talking about switching to cyber school. My husband and I don’t like the idea of her sitting in her room on the computer more than she already does, but I also want to be sensitive to the idea that kids do get bullied, and school is tough for some kids. Please help.
The consensus of the panel is that switching to a cyber school is a very complicated decision, with serious logistical and social ramifications to be considered.
Q. My three-year-old daughter is having problems at daycare, such as hitting and not listening. It makes me feel that she is a bad kid. I punish her at home with timeouts and taking things away from her, but the situation only seems to get worse. What can I do to help her?
“The mother should never feel that her daughter is a ‘bad kid,’” panelist Wanda Mercado-Arroyo said.
“The teacher is just reporting what she is observing because she wants to find out if the child is doing the same things in other settings so she can figure out what is happening,” said Mercado-Arroyo.
Q. I overheard my teenage son talking about vaping. When I asked him about it, he told me it was flavored water vapor. Should I be concerned?
The panelists noted that use of e-cigarettes and vaping has skyrocketed across the United States, including in Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.
“When we saw the results of the 2017 Pennsylvania Youth Survey [the most recent one], we were very excited because students’ use of tobacco had gone down,” panelist Denise Continenza said.
There’s good news and some bad news for the 160 homeless animals waiting to be adopted from the Center for Animal Health and Welfare on Island Park Road in Williams Township. The good news is that the animals are living in a no-kill facility where finding forever homes for them is the goal, and while waiting for that to happen, their human hosts do the utmost to keep them well and happy.
Q. I have a three-year-old son and a four-month-old daughter. My husband accused me of neglecting our son in favor of our daughter. I don’t get enough sleep and don’t have the energy to play with my son. What can I do to make more time for my son?
“I’m concerned that the husband is playing this situation as daughter versus son, rather than a three-year-old versus a four-month-old baby,” panelist Chad Stefanyak said.
Q. I have a four-year-old grandson, who is a very sweet child. However, when angry he kicks, slaps and pinches his parents. His parents are calm, spend time with him and do not hit him. He doesn’t act like this with his grandparents. Any suggestions?
“My first response,” panelist Denise Continenza said, “relates to the idea of temperament: How children respond emotionally and behaviorally to the world.
“Some children have high-intensity emotions, so when they get frustrated and don’t get what they want, their emotions are so strong they take over,” said Continenza.
Q. I am a recently-separated single father with primary custody of my six-year-old daughter. Her mother has her every weekend and sees her weekly during activities and dinner. Her mother recently started dating a man and their posts on Facebook include them drinking and partying on weekends when she has our daughter. Should I be concerned?
This question has two somewhat connected issues to it, panelist Mike Ramsey said.