Pausing to celebrate our freedom

  • Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bessie

This is the week we pause to celebrate our freedoms in this great nation, God Bless the USA.

My hope and prayer is that we all will be safe as we celebrate the Fourth of July – and remember all the sacrifices made to keep our nation free.


Dear Liz,

We do a family reunion every 4th of July.

Being on Thursday this year means I will be hosting 10 members of our family in my modest home for longer than usual. Five of those are children under seven.

I am not complaining, really. I just want to know how I can keep my sanity in the relative chaos—and not have a huge mess to clean up when the dust settles.

Cringing already


Dear “Cringing,”

You are a generous person to not expect family members to arrange, well in advance, for their own accommodations. Short of that, I would come up with a clear list of house rules and expectations. These should include: 1. Courtesy (define); 2. Inside voices (demonstrate); 3. Pick up after yourselves (explain, and have a consequence—like having to earn back the item, a mutual “pick up” time, and a container for each child to keep his or her belongings while they are there.), 4. One toy or activity out at a time; 5. Bedtimes and routines; 6. Agreements on who is cooking/paying for groceries and cleaning up. Sleeping arrangements are key, and when there are not enough actual beds, I recommend the purchase of good but inexpensive TWIN size blow up beds (I like Amazon.com.) I do not recommend that the hosts surrender their “master” bedroom during visits. You need your own space to decompress and rest.

I also recommend a designated “quiet” hour in the mid-afternoon, where the children can nap or watch a quiet movie—and you can take a break. I also recommend age appropriate toys or activities within your budget be made available with the same “put away” rules.

The more agreements you can make in advance, the better your visit will be. I hope this can help you enjoy your company and the Holiday.


Dear Liz,

My husband and I are in a disagreement about fireworks.

He is like a big kid when those local stands open. We have children ages 6, 8 and 10—who want to get their hands on “the goods” with dad. I live in fear.

Fire-worked-up


Dear “...worked up,”

Safety and abiding by local laws and ordinance first and foremost.

Minors and anyone “under the influence” should not be handling fireworks (sorry) Children can participate somewhat—but only under strict adult supervision. I worry about: burns, hearing damage and fires. Ask anyone who works in law enforcement, fire departments or in emergency rooms.

There are even traffic and pedestrian accidents on the fourth due to people watching fireworks while driving and intoxication from a day in the boat or at the beach. Charleston TV icon, the late WCSC-TV 5 weatherman Charlie Hall used to warn, “water (and or gasoline) and alcohol don’t really mix, they make a bad cocktail.”

Most experts agree—leave the fireworks to the experts. Everyone find a way to stay safe while you celebrate.


Contact Liz via asksharpliz@gmail.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.

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