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Family Briefs: Shunned Hugs, Potty Training Help and Bedtime Snacks

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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It's common for kids around age 6 to start squirming away from parental embraces, avoid holding hands and coolly wave goodbye. But as hard as it is for parents to feel pushed away, they shouldn't take it personally.

"Because you've given her a nurturing environment over the years, she now has the confidence to become more independent," adolescent psychiatrist Sucheta Connolly tells Parents magazine.

If your child shuns kisses and hugs, try these options:

-Use a secret sign or handshake.

-Give him a thumbs-up or a high five.

-Call her by a special pet name (privately).

-Leave a note in his lunch box or on his pillow.

-Indulge in playful wrestling, tickling or hair tousling.

-Give your daughter a manicure.



The makers of Pull-Ups Training Pants have launched a toll-free hotline with potty-training tips for parents and a motivational song for kids.

Call the hotline at (877) 4BIG-KID and sift through the automated directory to let your child hear one of three upbeat ditties written by James Patrick Dunne. The verses are designed to encourage children, motivate them as they train and congratulate them once they are successfully potty trained.

For more potty-training tools, including progress charts, games, coloring pages and tips from experts, go online to



A snack can be part of a comforting evening ritual and help your child get a better night's sleep, says Rallie McAllister, author of "Healthy Lunchbox" (Lifeline Press, $14.95).

The next time he asks for something to eat right before bed, try these smart choices:

-Glass of low-fat milk

-Handful of graham crackers or animal crackers

-Bowl of fortified cereal with milk

-Scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt topped with fruit

-Slice of whole-wheat toast spread lightly with peanut butter


(Compiled by Suzanne Perez Tobias of The Wichita Eagle. Write to her at The Wichita Eagle, P.O. Box 820, Wichita, KS 67201; or e-mail Please include your name and daytime telephone number.)


(c) 2004, The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.). Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service.


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