Tag Archives: Austria

Make a Little Noise

In many European countries, such as Austria, people make a LOT of noise on New Year’s Eve in order to frighten away the evil spirits who are believed to try to take advantage of the last night of the year to make mischief.

At midnight, car horns blow, church bells ring, and all other manner of noise is made to ensure a safe end to one year and the launching of a new one.

Far be it from me to encourage your children to go crazy and get loud (especially if you life in an apartment building or a townhouse) but if it works for you and your family – and if you’ve got whistles, rattles, horns, bells, pots and pans, or anything else to clang) – consider letting loose for a few minutes when the clock strikes twelve.

If there’s any chance making a mini noise disturbance will bring you a better, happier, and luckier 2011, isn’t it worth the ear pain and potential complaints? I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Leave a comment

Filed under Holiday, Learn

Tackling Tough Topics

On November 9 and 10, 1938, Kristallnacht, or the “night of broken glass” tore through Jewish communities in Germany and Austria.  It is viewed by many historians as the beginning of the Holocaust.

imagesAs parents, how do we begin to educate our children about tough topics like the Holocaust?  When is it appropriate to talk to children about other man-made tragedies such as slavery, oppression, and genocide?  How does your cultural background inform when and how you discuss these issues with your child?

These are questions that I am struggling with in raising my child.  There are some things I would prefer he hear from me, at a time and in a way that I can control.  At the same time, I’m not a child development expert.  Like doctors, I feel compelled to “first, do no harm.”

Are these issues that you are facing as parents?  If so, how are you handling them?

Leave a comment

Filed under Europe, Learn