Monday, July 04, 2022

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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


Bermuda Triangle

I will not be writing about my fabulous vacation to Bermuda. That is probably because I have never been to Bermuda—though I am hoping to go to Bermuda, hint, hint. The issue at hand is one that is much more serious. The issue at hand is the vortex in each of our homes that sucks in items that become missing. It starts when our children are little and they lose their


Seventeen Years

Seventeen years ago, in addition to weighing enough to qualify for heavy weight boxing status, I became a mom. Two weeks late, 22 hours and 30 minutes of labor, facing the wrong way, skinny as a noodle (which he remains to this day) out comes son #1…I was so exhausted that instead of looking at his bright eyes and thinking “I love this child,” all I could think


Sukkot Sentiments

I have always attempted to instill in my children a sense of pride in their Jewish heritage. As a Jew living in America, I want my children to be comfortable and confident with their Jewish identity. It goes beyond sending them to yeshiva day schools and Jewish overnight camps. The ultimate goal is for my kids to feel fulfilled in their spiritual and cultural


What to Wear?

It was Erev Sukkot when I realized I had spent too much time menu planning, food shopping, decorating the sukkah and baking, and had neglected to buy my kids new clothing for the holidays. Since Rosh Hashanah was still in the summer, the kids happily wore their sandals and summer clothing, but somewhere during that one-day-of-school they had, it became fall, and I

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