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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Family Link

Buying the Best Chanukah Toys

Chanukah is around the corner and I am trying to figure out what to buy for my kids. I have different ages and abilities. I would like to focus on toys that are developmental in nature as opposed to those toys that my kids will look at for two minutes and then throw in the toy box. Do you have any suggestions?

Cool Girls Get Cool Lunches

I stayed up extra late tonight because I was making a duct tape bow for my daughter’s lunch. Duct tape bows are not in any food group; they are, in fact, as the name suggests, a bow made out of duct tape. The more colorful and intricately patterned tape, the better. But the bow was made with the intention of adorning my

Religious Development—The Middle Years

A community rabbi in Teaneck once mentioned to me that when he speaks to bar mitzvah boys before their big day, he asks them, “What do you think is a difficult mitzvah?” Many of the boys answer “fasting,” and indeed many of us can recall the sheer terror at the thought that “this year I’m not going to be able to cheat but am

Being a Dispassionate Parent

If you have begun to read this article, you may have already thought that the title above may seem to be odd for a parenting article. What parent would want to not reflect positivity or passion during interactions with their children! Furthermore, isn’t the expression of emotions healthy and vital for the emotional development of our

The Other Chesed: Teaching Our Children Self-Compassion

Some made Styrofoam tents with four cut-out flaps, others colored class bikur cholim phone lists. The rare few even made cardboard welcome mats. Whatever project young Jewish children made this week, the lesson was the same: Avraham and Sarah did chesed, and so should we. From the time they are young, we teach our kids to show kindness and

Religious Development—The Bar/Bat Mitzvah Years

My mother used to say that you can do whatever you can in parenting your child until she or he turns 13. After that, you have to just stand back and pray.

After describing the births of the twin boys Yaakov and Esav, the Torah skips over their early childhood years and says, “And the boys grew

‘Mommy, Daddy, I Have a Problem:’ Helping Children Deal With Adversity

Someone once related to me the following quote:

“Little children, little problems. Big children, big problems”

As parents, we need to help our children deal with challenging situations. These situations will change based on age, situation and the nature of the

Religious Development in Younger Children—the Cognitive

Religious development can be understood not only in terms of the affective domain, the emotional side of belief that we spoke about last time, but cognitively as well. That is to say, how do young children think about God? What can they truly understand? Given that their ability to think in the abstract is limited, does that mean

Unraveled

As one of six children, my family was split in half—the “big kids,” and “the little kids.” We were all roughly two years apart, born within 10 years of each other (two of the big kids were twins, and I was the self-appointed triplet). The big kids stayed up later, got to wash our hands first before meals (“oldest first!”), and

Voicing Concerns About School Bus Safety

Englewood—Last June I received a very exciting letter; for the next academic year, my town would provide public bus transportation for my children to get to school.

My immediate joy was immeasurable. After five years of driving carpools, I would finally be free. No more buckling other

The Soul of Parenting: Children’s Spirituality

An infant has no sense of permanency—that’s one reason why they can play “peek-a-boo” forever; their brains are not developed enough to understand that you haven’t really disappeared behind the hands covering your face. A young child cannot understand that taking that candy from the store is an immoral act, hence you have

Untrained

Now that my baby is two-and-a-half, and is probably not a baby anymore, I figured it was time to start toilet training. He seemed quite capable to go on command in the shower, and so I thought maybe this would translate into some very easy potty work. The thing that had been delaying me is that I was still holding out for him to be that