Q. My 17-year-old niece has been living with depression for many years. She recently shared with me that she has been seeing a therapist, taking medication and is considering increasing the meds she takes because she likes them. When I was with her, her parents seemed to be “hovering,” so we couldn’t really talk. I am concerned that she is not getting all the information she needs about her medicine (she didn’t know dosage, etc.). I gave her my cell number and told her to text anytime, but I feel like I didn’t do enough. What else can I offer her?
Q. My 19-year-old daughter went away for the weekend with some friends. Someone posted photos on social media sites, and they include my daughter drinking and engaging in unacceptable behavior. One photo is definitely of her drunk. She is very upset and realizes that she made a few bad decisions. Should she be worried that someone could see these social media postings? She is applying to colleges.
Q. My family is struggling with trying to create balance between work, children’s activities, personal time and running the household. Sometimes the tension runs pretty high because we can’t seem to keep our heads above water. We both have demanding jobs and three active children, ages 16, 13 and 5. Plus, we each have our hobbies and interests. Where do we begin with trying to bring some stability to our family?
Q. My 14-year-old nephew is bright and artistic, and he has a certain style. My “staunch-conservative” 22-year-old son recently commented about a Christmas gift of brightly-colored socks that I gave my nephew, saying I shouldn’t encourage that “behavior,” meaning my nephew’s flair for the dramatic. I was stunned, and didn’t know what to say. How could I have handled this?
Q. My four-year-old throws tantrums every time we have to go somewhere. I dread the holidays because it is such a battle to get him to leave his grandparents’ house, a store or a party. What can the panel suggest I do to make the transitions peaceful?
It is not unusual for a four-year-old to have difficulty making transitions, according to panel member Denise Continenza. “Plus, it could just be his temperament to get focused and very involved in what he is doing, so it becomes difficult for him to make changes. If mom knows that it is going to be an issue, she should plan ahead.”
Fire was a constant threat to the Moravian community that had settled in 1741 on 500 acres of land on the north side of the Lehigh River in what is now part of the city of Bethlehem. Many of the community houses were built partly of wood, and were interconnected to protect the residents against the harsh winters. Some farm buildings were made with logs, and filled with flammable contents. All of these structures were highly vulnerable to fast-spreading fires.
For the past quarter century, the annual holiday artisan marketplace Christkindlmarkt has been an integral part of the celebration of Christmas in the Lehigh Valley.
Q. A truancy officer was called to my house because my son is refusing to go to school. We are going to have to appear in front of the magistrate, and could possibly be facing a fine for each day that he missed. What can we do?
It was written in 1843 in the midst of the bleakness of the Industrial Revolution, but also in a period in England when interest in Christmas traditions was being revived. Charles Dickens’ novella, “A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas,” was perfect for its time.
The Pennsylvania Playhouse production of “The Happy Elf,” continuing through Dec. 17, is a welcome change from slick traditional Christmas fare. It’s a musical comedy featuring a cast of mostly youthful actors and singers of diverse ages who are definitely full of the holiday spirit.