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Parenting & Education Articles by Other Authors

A selection of articles on parenting and education by an assortment of contributing authors.

The Oys and Joys of Parenting
If, as the Torah says, humans are similar to trees, then parenting is a lot like gardening. You can read about it in books, but you don’t know what you’re doing until you get your hands dirty.
Your role is not to make your child talk to you, but to create an atmosphere where he feels willing and safe enough to share with you.
Tiferet: When Kindness and Discipline Merge
Frank is the father of a young family He was raised alone by an authoritarian father who administered harsh discipline.
4 Tips from a Single Dad
Since we’re in the same boat, let me suggest some tips that I found helpful . . .
Finding Heroes for Our Children
I was left with a strange feeling that I was out of step with much of America. For my kids don’t know who these celebrities are, and my husband and I have no intention of telling them...
Upshot of an Atrocity
Where there's life, there's chance. Kids are here to learn and grow and do. The idea that there's no trade-off when we lock them inside is wrong. Bubble-wrapped kids get the message that the world is a horror movie, that they are never safe unless their parents are right there to save them...
Thinking Small
Connecting Children Jewishly
How is it that such “great” people could think so big and act so small? Judaism teaches that it wasn’t a coincidence. It was, in fact, because they thought so big—or, rather, because they only thought so big—that they acted so small!
Poorly Parented Parents
What happens to the children of parents who were violent, panic-stricken, depressed or living in an addictive fog?
My Father’s Legacy
I remember those moments, sitting there on my daddy’s lap watching the thumbnail marks gradually spreading over the page. That piece of time is crystallized in my memory. I can still replay the fascination with the idea that those thumbnail marks were creating a permanent presence in my prayerbook; that some essence of Daddy was infused in those rhythmical indentations . . .
Transitions
It’s just that in my newly configured family, any celebration that takes me away from home has acquired an entirely new meaning—another abandonment of our thirteen-year-old daughter...
Bouncing Through Childhood
Energy is power, and it signifies endless opportunities and possibilities. However, energy, it seems, is not exactly equally distributed among the inhabitants of this good earth...
Daddy, Daddy!
My son was scared. This time, however, he was scared of me. And he had no one else to turn to. How did he react, where did he turn for reassurance? He clung to me, his father, the object of his present fear!
Do You Have a Dark Side?
Are you in a fight with the other guy, or are you facing a struggle between the good and the evil inside your own heart?
Why Do We Send Our Children to School?
Don’t they have the right to know?
Kids have a right to know the objective of the hours they spend in school. Sadly, often the message they get is misleading.
Your Child, Your Tree
When you come to think of it, a child needs the very same things a tree does in order to grow: "earth," "water," "sun" and "air"
Your Children Believe You
The most blessed thing you can say to your children is, "I know you can do it"
In Defense of the Jelly Bean
Should a parent give a child a tangible reward, such as a prize or a food treat, when a child behaves properly, does his homework or helps around the house?
The $499 Dilemma
His cousin has one, his friends have it, but we have no intention of buying him one. How will I explain it to him?
The Kabbalah of Adolescence
Like the moon, your child may be lovely, but he is a reflector. You assert, she believes. You decide, he accepts. You give, she takes. Then comes the chaos of adolescence . . .
Everyone Can Win-Win
Chanie is playing ball in the living room; Mom is concerned that something might get broken. Who "owns" the problem? Chanie? Her mother? Or is it the relationship between parent and child that owns the problem?
Abandoned Baby Syndrome
Who Is Loving Our Children?
A well-known rabbi once said to me, "Never write anything controversial. You'll only make enemies, and it won't help." So I hesitated to write this article...
A Psychology of Motivation
Doing good without believing in reward is the flip side of doing good only for reward. In the one case, good is constrained to the metaphysical; in the other, it is limited to a crass physical expression . . .
The Best Self-Help Guide
She asks for what she needs, recognizes what she doesn’t, and appreciates what she has. She never stops moving. Nothing is boring to her; everything has potential . . .
Humpty Dumpty
(or at least an elevation)
There is no such thing as a “meaningless” nursery rhyme. If it is nonsensical, it fills up a child’s mind with nonsense
A House of Books
To produce a wunderkind, mothers and fathers will put themselves and their child through a rigorous schedule of classes, concerts, museum visits . . . But parenting is as much about who you are as about what you do.
They say that actions speak louder than words; but words can also be actions...
Teaching Our Children Responsibility
When we tell our children to run an errand for us, are we teaching them "responsibility" or are we teaching them how to transfer responsibility?
Are Your Children Afraid of Terrorism?
When children understand why we were created and why we are in this world, they become less anxious about the “what ifs” and more focused on to living each day to its fullest.
My Daughter's Ten Bicycles
Physicists are looking for ten dimensions. The Kabbalists speak of ten spheres of reality. And yesterday I bought my 10-year-old daughter ten bicycles
A Letter to a Child
When you are starting off in life, it seems like you're mainly on the receiving end. But don't let outward appearances fool you. You are her mother, the one who gave birth to the mother inside her
My Son’s Life
It may seem odd that I am writing such a detailed letter. But I have noticed that it’s been very hard for people to talk about this, so I decided to step forward on my own and tell this story . . .
Songs Of Innocence
My spiritual mentor drinks heavily, straight from the bottle. Most of his wisdom is culled from the works of Dr. Seuss and of a certain purple dinosaur
A Jewish Boy's First Haircut
Musings from the mother of a newly “upsherined” boy
Then it was haircut time. I squeezed my eyes shut, half expecting the same cries I heard at his bris, which seems like it was just yesterday. But when I looked up, he was grinning.
Who Needs Fathers?
I had just had my first child and was new to parenting, so although I was arguing that children definitely need fathers, my perspective was somewhat limited . . .
The Smell of Kid
Some days my life smells like peanut butter. It’s not necessarily a bad smell, just persistent and prevalent with mild hints of glue, sweat, and baby wipes. It’s the smell of kid...
The Educator's Handbook
The Haggadah teaches us how to respond to the unique needs of four different types of children, or possibly the same child, depending on the circumstances and the motivation behind the question.
Midnight Ironing
It’s two o’clock in the morning and I need matchsticks to prop open my eyes. I’m sitting in the kitchen next to the ironing board trying hard to remain awake, listening out for sounds of Martin’s arrival home . . .
Meditations on a Tuna Sandwich
Making tuna sandwiches is a holy activity--one that dates back to the times of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem
How to Connect Your Children to the High Holidays
Children are never too young to learn the valuable lessons of forgiveness and transformation. Here's a list of creative activities to bring home to your children the valuable lessons of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Explaining Corruption to Children
What should we say to our little ones when they are exposed, for the first time, to immoral educators, abusive parents, religious corruption and the basic inconsistencies they witness...
A Letter from a Teen to Her Mom
I sat and waited. I hoped that you wouldn’t ignore my absence. I hoped that you wouldn’t be afraid of me—your daughter, your own flesh and blood, your baby who only sixteen years ago emerged from your womb.
To Gift or Not To Gift
A Chanukah debate
Chanukah has always posed a particular challenge for Jewish parents because it arrives around the same time as a certain secular holiday that is surrounded by an inordinate amount of music, lights and action...
Tips to Create a Kid-Friendly Seder
When your Passover table is filled with boisterous youngsters, the evening may feel longer than those infamous years of slavery in Egypt. Here is a guide of creative ideas for the frazzled parent seeking to inspire every kind of child...
Speaking to Kids About Yom Kippur
Jewish educators offer advice on making the Day of Atonement meaningful to children.
Don't Say You're Sorry
You don’t apologize just to absolve yourself from guilt, but more to acknowledge that you are the cause of someone else’s pain, and to take responsibility for it . . .
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