Friday, December 03, 2021

Family Link

The Bad Playdate

We have all been there: The friend whom your child begs to have over. The friend who also likes dried fruit! The friend who also has the same pink pencil skirt! She went to Hershey Park too last summer! And so we acquiesce. What could be wrong with a Shabbatafternoon playdate? The child is called and plans are made.

But this friendship is shallow. It


Making a Plan

As both a parent and educator, I find myself using the phrase, “What’s your plan?” countless times throughout the week. Whether in response to my own child remarking that he left his math textbook at school and cannot do his homework, or a student coming to let me know that he has two Shabbatonimon the same weekend, my response is typically, “What’s


Great Family Chanukah Ideas

Chanukah is such a wonderful holiday for families, but often there is a struggle  balancing the expectation of presents with the origin of Chanukah—the miracles Hashemdid for the Jewish people. Some I have spoken to parents who have put a lot of thought into making Chanukah less about presents and more about meaningful giving and family experiences. Since


The Dilemma: How to Help a Bedwetter

Waking up in the middle of the night to the dreaded words, “My bed is wet,” or finding a pile of wet pajamas tucked in a corner on the bathroom floor are challenges many families face daily.  While bedwetting can be frustrating for the parents and the child, understanding this condition can help with its management.

Bedwetting is common


Parent-Teacher Conference Tips for Parents

How can you get the most out of Parent-Teacher conferences? First of all, go. The competition for your time is fierce, but investing time in meeting with your child’s teachers pays great dividends down the road.

Second, prepare some questions and talking points. Teachers will surely have some data to talk about, work to show and anecdotes to share, but


The Time I Had a (Winter) Break

I lucked out for winter break last year. In my last trimester of pregnancy, it was too risky for me travel anywhere, and so I was advised to stay put. We had stayed home for most winter vacations in the previous years, as my husband is a self-employed dentist and therefore “paid vacation” does not really exist. And I had managed to come up with a few enticing


Helping Children Deal with Setbacks, Part 2

In my last article, I listed three situations where parents could consider how to help their children deal with setbacks. The adage “live and learn” is a popular saying, but it is important to address how parents can communicate this message to their children. Teaching children to deal with setbacks by increasing positive thinking, reducing negative thinking and


Helping Our Children Deal with Setbacks

Do you sign up your kid for a team sport because you want him to win the championship trophy?  Is it your goal for him to be on the winning team or the MVP? Does it matter if he wins or loses? Or are you relieved and happy for him to receive a trophy for participating? In an article entitled “Not Everyone Deserves a Trophy,” Sara Debbie Gutfreund advises parents


What is ABA?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention ( Autism Spectrum Disorders, Data and Analysis, 2013), an average of 1 in 88 children have some type of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Individuals with an ASD typically have difficulties with social skills, communication and behavior. As a spectrum disorder, those with autism can present with a wide


To Each His Own

In Parshat Toldotwe read the story of Yaakov and Esav. Yaakov— Ish tam yoshev ohalim, the one who is destined to be one of the Avot, father of the Shvatimfor which the Jewish people will be named. And then we have Esav—his twin brother, a highly deceptive individual, who prefers to spend his days out and about hunting animals.


Can Mindfulness Help My Child?

What is mindfulness? It is specific attention to the present. It is actively observing one’s own thoughts and feelings, without passing judgment on them as either good or bad. It is purposefully noticing some aspect of one’s environment, internal or external. While mindfulness is based on Eastern mediation practices, it is not a religious practice or


Birthdays and the Art of Giving

My daughter’s sixth birthday is next week. She recently asked me why I forgot to make her a birthday party last year. My heart sank, as I didn’t think she actually remembered! Last year we had a birthday party for her friends in school, she had a special birthday dinner at home with cake and candles and she was showered with gifts from her grandparents, aunts and

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