“My child just asked me,” a mother wrote, “ ‘Why do people hate the Jews?’ ” Another parent wrote, “I can explain the cause of the war; I can retell history. I cannot explain these atrocities against the Jewish state of Israel. Help me.” A third came this morning. “Thank you for your blog about the War in Israel. It wasn’t enough.” I spent the day today thinking, researching, pondering, digging for answers, talking to colleagues. I even called Rabbi Steve Leder. Rabbis are teachers, … [Read more...] about What DO I Say about the War in Israel
I absolutely hate that I have to write this blog. There is a war in Israel, and this is the reality of the world in which we must raise our children. But my job is to help and support parents and children. And so I write...again. Wasn’t it only yesterday that I wrote about talking to your children about the War in Ukraine? Having to explain an act of terror or violence or trauma to a child of any age is just plain daunting. As much as we try to shelter them, our children get exposed … [Read more...] about Talking to Your Children About the War in Israel
Finding the right words to use with children is undeniably powerful. But coming up with the “right” response in the moment, creating just the script that is called for can be challenging. In fact, knowing this led to writing my first book, Just Tell Me What to Say. Successful communication with children of all ages, however, is more than your words and your script, (and your tone, your facial expressions, your body language.) It is also about your timing. Most parents know, for example, … [Read more...] about Timing is Everything: Set yourself up for successful conversations with your child
Seems like a ridiculous question, I know. But since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, it feels fitting. One of the lessons our children will learn as they mature is that are lots of different kinds of love… the love for chocolate; the love for your favorite song; the love for your most comfy jeans; the love that grown up partners feel for one another; the love you have for your best pal; …And the deep, enduring love that a parent feels for her … [Read more...] about Do You Love Your Child Enough?
Years ago, I walked into the 4 year olds’ nursery school classroom and watched Mimi, a fabulous, feisty, third born child, collect all the playdough from the other three children at the table. The three were shocked; one protested loudly. Mimi looked up at me and said, “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!” “Mimi,” I said, “Sorry isn’t enough.” Every time I hear a parent insist that her child apologize to another, I cringe, and I think about Mimi. Sorry is not enough. Teaching a child to say I’m sorry … [Read more...] about What’s Wrong with “I’m Sorry?”
It’s mid-August… that means summer vacation is creeping to an end, depending upon your child’s first day of school. For some it starts as soon as next week. Summer time and the livin’ was easy. Going, going, gone. For some students the thought of going back to school is exciting. They can hardly wait to start. For others, just the thought of school and summer ending feels kind of sad. Different kids, different feelings. On top of that, different age kids consider school-starting … [Read more...] about Helping to Smooth the Transition Back-to-School