Sharon Scott, LPC, LMFT – I hope that you consider birthdays as special as I do.
I had mine recently and was so happy to receive a number of cards from friends. That made me feel special which is what a birthday is about-reminding us of how special we are by celebrating the day of our birth. What was funny, though, was that my mother was visiting me and she got mixed up on what day of the week it was.
So she failed to wake me with the usual "Happy Birthday to You" song-that made me sad-until it finally dawned on her that it was October 19 at which time she sang to me! Mother and Daddy started that tradition years and years ago when I was very little. Later, while I was at work, she made me a special dinner and a chocolate birthday cake. What a surprise to come home to this wonderful home-cooked meal!
Her forgetfulness continued, though, as after dinner she seemed to forget about the cake. So I asked, "Would you like me to cut the cake?" She was still clueless… so I got a candle, put it on the cake, and began singing "Happy Birthday to Me!" She apologized profusely… but I thought it was hilarious!
Family traditions are important. I learned of a unique one recently from one of my counseling clients. She taught me about "half" birthdays and I love this idea. This lady has two darling children and she honors the half-way mark between their birthday. For example, if a child was born in March, the half-way point would be September. On this special "half" day, she lets the child select the dinner meal that she will prepare. Instead of a birthday cake, she makes cupcakes for all the family to share.
This birthday doesn't have presents… just a time to remind each child how unique and special he or she is! And I think that's the best present of all!
Copyright © 2011, Sharon Scott. No reproduction without written permission from author.
P.S. Please see my other column "The Counselor's Corner."
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The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.