Sunday, May 24, 2020

Family Link

Because It Matters

Choices Determine Who You Are

Whenever I ask my five-year-old daughter to make a decision, whether it’s about an outfit for school or which food she wants to eat for breakfast, it seems to take her a long time to make up her mind. The other night, I gave her permission to watch a short video before bed. By the time she finally chose a movie,


The Countdown

“Alright, let’s go.”

“I don’t want to go. Can’t we stay? Why do we have to go?” The voice has not yet risen, but it is on the verge.

Every parent has been there. It’s the end of a play date, time to leave the park, or????. At that point, we have two choices. You can hold firm and deal with the inevitable meltdown – tears, yelling, etc.


No More Homework

How many days of school are left? Come on, everybody has a calendar somewhere where they are “x”ing the days out and counting down until school is out. As Alice Cooper sang, “School’s out for summer!”

There are many reasons why you may be counting down. Maybe you are tired of carpooling. Maybe your child has had a challenging school year. Maybe you


“I Just Want Him to be the Best He Can Be”

Some time ago, I met with a couple who was concerned about their son. The boy, Andrew, was, at 9, the oldest of four children.  There was a sister, 6, and twins, 3.  The sister, Emily, was described as “happy-go-lucky, pleasant, easy to please” and the twins, Michael and James, due to several developmental problems, required many therapies both in and out of the


Everyone’s An Expert

Part of becoming a parent is learning to take advice from other people. It begins with the book What to Expect When Your Expecting (which is probably as bad as going on the web every time your stomach hurts, your feet look a little swollen or you cannot see your feet at all from eating too much marshmallow iced devils food cake.) Solicited, unsolicited, there


Changing the Music In Your Home

The Story of MASK

MASK is an organization that has been around for more than 15 years and has changed our perceptions about wayward children. MASK advocates for children in countless settings and has pulled them back from the brink of despair over and over again, focusing on prevention. Ruchama Bistritzky-Clapman, Founder and Director of MASK, put it this way:


To Crawl or Not to Crawl

Parents, educators and physicians are concerned that more and more children seem to be requiring therapy than ever. While it may be difficult to determine statistically the number of children receiving therapy versus five or 10 years ago, it seems safe to say that it is more common for children to receive therapeutic intervention today than it was even 10 or 15 years


Riding the Teenage Roller Coaster:

Hands OFF vs. Hands ON

Adolescents react in different ways when confronting social challenges.  How they react depends on the circumstances: a teenage girl reacts to the way her secrets are exposed in one way, and a young boy being beaten reacts differently from that. In all cases, it is normal to see a range of emotions that run the gamut


Taking Control: Chinuch

Your children’s school is not educating them properly. Our yeshivot are shortchanging their students with administrators and faculty that settle for mediocrity.

Such accusations are, of course, not true. Our schools are full of devoted, caring, and motivated teachers who work hard (in school and out) to provide for their students as best they can.


Immigration Parenting 101: Nodding and Laughing

On Yom HaShoah, my 3-year-old daughter left gan with a memorial candle and a poem about the honor we show for the Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. Having lived in Israel for nearly four years, I was already a pro at just nodding at all the educational and cultural things that I thought were absolutely bizarre or inappropriate, so despite the fact that I


Don’t be Too Picky on Pesach!

It’s not easy feeding children. Some of them just don’t like to eat. They instinctively know that even if it’s shaped like a bear, it’s a chicken nugget and a chicken nugget is made out of chicken (hopefully) and eating chicken would make mommy happy, so, no, that child is not eating it.  It also doesn’t help when their father is a picky eater. When we are


The Working Mom

As we have just passed the “holiday” of Mother’s day, when kids make their moms adorable cards and creative gifts in school and their dads desperately try to make some sort of good impression on mom so that Father’s Day, for them, doesn’t totally stink. I did see the irony in having the holiday of Shavuos follow so closely to Mother’s Day and then look,