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Parental Guidance

Handling the Hard Part of the Day

April 26, 1999

We recently asked how you handle the most difficult hour of the day in your house:

For the longest time, my 4-year-old didn't wake up on time or woke up so cranky that getting him ready for school was impossible; thus, I was late for work.

Then I realized he needed nine hours of sleep!

Now, to get him up in the morning easily, I turn on his favorite video of the week in the VCR (halfway through), pump up the volume and wait for him to get up.

By the time I'm dressed for work, he's up, smiling and ready for his breakfast. Also, playing with him for a few minutes helps too.

--LIBBY LO, Pasadena

Our tough time is picking the kids up after 5 p.m. . . . and organizing dinner / homework.

My sister and I own a bathing suit store. We each have two children, and our store is open seven days a week. The days we don't work, we watch each other's kids and try to help with homework, sports, bathing and feeding, so the other person's evening goes smoother.

--TISHA HORNER, Malibu

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The next question: The recent shootings at the Colorado school raise the issue again: What is the best way to handle grim or tragic news events with children? How do you talk to your kids about such events?

Coming up: A recent study by a federal consumer safety agency found that many child-care facilities had hazards that put children at risk. What do you look for? How do you assure yourself that your day care, family care or child care center is safe?

Please share your strategies with us in 75 words. Send this week to Parental Guidance, Southern California Living, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053; e-mail socalliving@latimes.com; or fax (213) 237-4888. Please include your name, hometown and phone number.

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