Dear Bundoo: My daughter is a Christmas brat!

One family wants to go gift-free this Christmas because of their bratty preschooler. Another mom needs a cure for her daughter’s excessive earwax.

Dear Bundoo, 

Last year, my toddler embarrassed me when she opened presents from her relatives. She announced when she didn’t like something and told her grandparents to return toys she didn’t want. This year, my wife and I—along with the rest of our family—decided to go gift-free. My concern is how to tell our children, now 4 and 20 months. We want to make sure they know this time of the year isn’t about how many things they get under a tree, but rather the time they spend with family. How can we tell them without a potential World War III?

—Father of the brat

Dear Father,

Yes, this is the right message to send your children. You are establishing this foundation early on—good for you! I suggest you start preparing them for a change in what they are used to as soon as possible.

Your 20 month old will not have a recollection of last Christmas, so no explanation is necessary there. Your 4-year-old may take a little prepping. When you discuss the change, you will have to sell it with your own enthusiasm and excitement. Explain to her what to expect on Christmas and this holiday season. Take every opportunity between now and the day they would’ve expected a truckload of gifts to celebrate family, start new traditions, and emphasize the values you wish to instill in your children. Share with them something to look forward to, like family activities and traditions that encourage family togetherness. If sold well and communicated effectively, your children will not be disappointed (but possibly more excited!) for this time of year.

Answered by Raquel Anderson, EhD, LMHC, Bundoo Behavioral Health Specialist


Dear Bundoo, 

I think my 3-year-old daughter has excessive earwax. When I look in her ears, I can see big chunks of it, and sometimes it hurts her or I see her tugging on her ears. I looked online to see if there’s a way I can treat this myself and found a few recommendations for earwax removal using hydrogen peroxide to flush out her ears or earwax candles. Are these safe to use?

—Waxing Mom

Dear Waxing,

Earwax is a normal part of the anatomy and comes in two forms, wet and dry. Many children seem to have a large amount of wax which can feel itchy at times but will not hurt them. Cleaning around the ear with a wet washcloth helps remove it from the outer ear. Mixing equal parts hydrogen peroxide with lukewarm water and putting a few drops into each ear during bath time can help loosen wax so that it falls out on its own. This method may take at least a week to work and often has to be repeated as wax returns.

Earwax candles work by warming the wax so that it melts out of the ear. I would not recommend this method for use in children. If your child has ear tubes then you should not clean out earwax with any home remedy. In this case, discuss the problem with your pediatrician or ENT.

Answered by Dr. Sara Connolly, MD, FAAP, Bundoo Pediatrician

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About Jon VanZile, Bundoo Content Director

Jon VanZile is the Content Director at Bundoo and edits the weekly Dear Bundoo column.


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