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Helpful Hints

by Heloise | November 24, 2022 at 1:31 a.m.

DEAR HELOISE: This is a response to Nell V.'s letter encouraging parents to teach their children to read before entering kindergarten. She had some good thoughts (not rushing was my favorite). I have taught reading for 30 years in public and private schools. To teach reading to your children requires a great deal of education. If done wrong, your efforts may end up raising a child who hates reading. Constant sounding out of words very often spawns a child who hates to read. Of course, no one wants that.

As a parent, your main goal should be to teach children to love reading. The first thing parents should do with children is read to them for about 15 minutes each day. Some of that time should be spent discussing the book and characters. Good readers love to read. You want your child to see reading as fun. I found it worked out well to read to them before bed in a cozy environment.

-- M. Falconer,

Woodstock, N.Y.

DEAR HELOISE: I have a very important car tip: Every time you get into your car, lock the doors. My vehicle has automatic locks that activate after I drive it for 20 feet or so. Regardless, I lock mine the minute I get into the car. Recently, I was at a big retail store, got into my car and locked the doors (like always) when an older gentleman tried to open my passenger door. I kept saying, "No, go away." He was very insistent until I heard a voice say "Honey, I'm over here." It was scary. All I could think was, what if? I was quite shaken, but it turned out OK.

Another tip on the same subject. When you take your shopping cart back to the front of the store (to get your 25 cents back), lock your car. Anybody could get into it or steal your groceries. Little things like that can give you peace-of-mind. I love to read your hints and recipes. I have tried a few already, too. Regards.

-- Helgie, in Calif.

DEAR HELOISE: Regarding pill swallowing, I find that simply tilting the head to one side or another makes large pills (like fish oil) go down more easily.

-- Ralph Schneider,

Olmos Park, Texas

DEAR HELOISE: Perhaps "Frustrated Shopper" could think about shoppers like me. For the past year, I've been unable to push a cart. In the few instances that someone came to push the cart, it was wonderful to be able to see, and maybe choose from, specials and discounted items. I'd love to take those extra steps and shop for myself. I'm not disabled enough to take up one of the store's motorized carts, if there even is one available for use.

Many curbside shoppers may be like me, unable to shop otherwise, or maybe relying on a friend to do the pickup. I suspect, as well, that the close location to the stores is for the store's sake. With short staffing practically everywhere, the location lets employees serve more people faster.

-- Hoping to Shop

In-Person Soon

DEAR HELOISE: A reader wrote in that they were requested to remove their shoes when visiting family. They were wearing socks. This is unsafe, as socks can cause one to slip. Look for "no slip socks" in your department store or on the web. These are given to patients in the hospital, and they are safe and keep your feet warm.

-- Laura Smith, via email

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

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