Stay fit and well

Se­crets of the diet gu­rus

Woman (UK) - - Contents -

my two grand­chil­dren live with us and our next-door neigh­bours are very kind and help­ful and will babysit at a mo­ment’s no­tice. How­ever, they’re quite re­li­gious and while we’re not, we are at least in touch with our Jewish her­itage. we tend to take the best of both worlds – cel­e­brat­ing both Christ­mas and Hanukkah, and Easter and Passover as big fam­ily events rather than re­li­gious fes­ti­vals. we have no ar­gu­ment at all with our neigh­bours’ Chris­tian be­liefs or even with their ex­plain­ing them to the kids. what I’m not at all happy about is that some of their at­ti­tudes are not just tra­di­tional but down­right big­oted. I found my youngest grand­child in tears re­cently be­cause she’d been told Hal­loween was wrong. what should I do?

Suzie says:

Use this as a mar­vel­lous op­por­tu­nity to teach your grand­chil­dren about re­spect­ing other peo­ple’s dif­fer­ences. En­cour­age your lit­tle ones to be po­lite but also to tell the neigh­bours that they’ll talk it over with you if they’re told any­thing that makes them feel un­com­fort­able or un­cer­tain. I’d also go next door and talk to your neigh­bours. Tell them how much you value their care and kind­ness to your fam­ily, but point out that your at­ti­tude to re­li­gion is very dif­fer­ent to theirs. Ex­plain that you feel Hal­loween and other such events through­out the year are harm­less ex­cuses for a bit of fun for the chil­dren – noth­ing more than a rea­son to dress up and play games – and that you can see this may throw up points of con­tention that you’d hate to cause con­flict be­tween you. Say that you clearly do have some dif­fer­ences and you’d like to re­spect theirs, as long as they equally re­spect yours. But if they can’t keep those bound­aries I’m afraid all the free child­care in the world just isn’t worth the po­ten­tial up­set to the chil­dren.

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