"Please Don’t Make Your Child Behave"

/
I was browsing the library when two children, a boy and a girl were running up and down the aisles of books playing a noisy and apparently very enjoyable game of tag. The elderly gentleman sitting on the other side of my laptop station got up and found mom who was at one of the library computers. “Are you their mom?” his question burned. “Yes”, the blond thirty something distractedly responded.…

10 Suggestions for Encouraging a Jewish “Growth” Mindset in (ourselves and) Our Children:

/
EMPATHIZE AND MODEL   1. Be open with them regarding your own past struggles and share the work and the process that led you to overcome the challenge. 2. Admit that there are (many) things that you still struggle with every day, haven’t yet mastered, and continue to work on and improve in. NORMALIZE AND EMPOWER 3. Normalize the struggle by explaining that God created us with “competing…

The Next Moses?

/
I recently witnessed a well meaning rabbi communicate to a room full of elementary school age Torah students: “The next gadol hador (leading Torah scholar of the generation) may be sitting in this room!” I wonder if this message unintentionally does more harm than good. Surely, it is meant to inspire, but isn’t our goal to encourage each child to deepen and strengthen his/her unique connection…

When Your Child Asks: "What's This?!"

/
A number of years back Rabbi Aaron Ross of Yavneh Academy in New Jersey posted the following on LookJed, a Jewish educator’s forum: “Being an educator is a tricky business.  What inspires one student can turn off another student, or perhaps can turn off the same student on a different day.  We are called upon to constantly be sensitive to the characters and needs of our students and to do…

Avoiding the Pitfall of Privilege

/
It is nice to be able to discuss the challenges of having it all.  For much of our history, the test has not been that of comfort and wealth, but of lack and need. The question I would like to pose is: When we have all that we need, what do we miss? What are our children in danger of missing out on when they have an air conditioned home, designer clothes, food in the fridge and a top notch education?…

"What Type of Father Are You"?

/
It has been said that there are 3 types of fathers: The 1st father The 1st father tells his son: “I want you to follow after me. You are young and inexperienced, so you would be wise to learn from me as I have seen much and can lead you in the right direction." The 2nd father The 2nd father tells his son: “Let’s walk side by side, hand in hand, together. I don’t feel it’s right for…