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Parent Talk: Hot posts from our daily blog


REWARDS POINTS FOR CHILDREN

Westbury native Neil Cavuto -- senior vice president, anchor and managing editor of business news for both Fox Business Network and Fox News Channel and father of three -- knows a thing or two about helping kids save money.

One tip is to consider a point system that rewards kids for being responsible or behaving well. "I think all human beings are drawn to 'things' and early on, we even have a pretty good idea about the price of things," says Cavuto. "I try to teach my kids it's fine to covet, but you better first plan. Pricey gifts aren't dropped in their lap."

-- JENNIFER BERGER


HORROR FILMS AND NIGHTMARES

I loved horror movies as a child, but even I had nightmares. It didn't stop me from watching "The Night Strangler," any Hammer film I could or other "scary movies" on television.

My 8-year-old son, a more genteel soul, is hesitant. He doesn't even like to watch the commercials for scary films (which, by the way, seem a lot scarier than they were when I was a child). And that's probably a good choice for him. It's almost impossible to turn on TV this Halloween season, even for a few minutes, without seeing harrowing clips for new movies such as "Paranormal Activity 4" and "Silent Hill Revelation 3D."

It may seem obvious, but if your child is having nightmares, it's important to see whether he or she is being exposed to such content, says California-based psychiatrist Dr. Tom Jackson, who specializes in the treatment of sleep disorders and anxiety.

Also, examine your child's life. "Might there be something happening at home or school or elsewhere in your child's daily life that could be causing enough distress to possibly lead to bad dreams?" he asks.

If your child does have a nightmare, go to him or her right away, he advises. "Reassure him with comforting words, soothing him just as you would if he became frightened by an event during the day."

-- VALERIE KELLOGG


THEY'RE NOT REALLY STINKERS

When Britt Menzies' daughter, Emma, asked her to paint a picture of a ballerina, she had no idea how that simple request would change her life.

Originally from Port Washington, this mother of two is now a children's book author and entrepreneur who used an innocent term of endearment, "little stinKers," to help create the world of "StinkyKids."

She considers her latest book, "StinkyKids Have a Heart"(Raven Tree Press, $16.95), her most treasured story. "It deals with bullying and hurting someone's heart with words," she says. "It is so special to me because I was bullied as a kid in elementary school and early junior high. I always wanted to write a book about this topic and how words can really hurt you."

In the book, she writes a letter about her experiences of being teased to help inspire kids to remember the bully never wins. "And to help stop bullying -- one little stinKer at a time," she says.

-- JENNIFER BERGER

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