I was transfixed by the coverage of Queen Elizabeth’s death and funeral proceedings. The pageantry, the ritual, the lock steps, the salutes, the uniforms…I was mesmerized. The English loved their queen. Her passing marked the end of a 70 year relationship, and so many were really sad. Children watched their parents weep, curtsy, and bow their heads in silence. Their parents’ motions were the language of their feelings as they demonstrated their respect for the crown. While the … [Read more...] about Teaching Civility: What the Queen’s Funeral Taught Me About Raising Kids
It’s hard enough to raise your own child—teaching him the rules of the road, guiding him as he learns how to “play nicely”—but what happens when a child who is not yours is in need of some pointed guidance (a swift kick in the pants, perhaps!)? You’re having a playdate, and the guest grabs a toy (your child’s favorite Thomas car) out of your child’s hands. The grabber’s mom observes without reaction. You’re at the park, and a girl you don’t know throws sand at your child. The sand … [Read more...] about Should You Discipline Someone Else’s Child?
Every year my friend Freida gives me a surprising gift. Far out pop-up books, foodstuffs from the Homeboy Industries-Homegirl Catering and Kitchen, DVD’s of documentaries I might have missed. But this year’s is the best: Of Thee I Sing: A letter to my daughters by Barack Obama. I have been hearing about this book since its release, but shame on me for not reading it until now. It is my loss. Don’t let it be yours. Of Thee I Sing, a beautifully, joyfully illustrated book, will drop you … [Read more...] about The Gift That Keeps On Giving
“Professional Halloween Lighting” reads the sign on my corner. Are they kidding? I wondered as I inched toward my house, looking out for any of my young neighbors. My block is filled with kids of all ages, nursery through high schoolers. And their house Halloween decorations began appearing last week. Next door to me there is a menagerie of scary guys and body parts, bushes dripping with spider webs. Across the street there is a whole array Halloween creatures, hanging ghosts, spiders, … [Read more...] about Let Halloween Be The Kids’ Holiday
The “perfect” family—mom, dad, and two girls probably ages 6 and 9—sat across from my husband and me as we dined at a local restaurant to launch our weekend As hard as I try, when I am out in the world I cannot help but notice families. It is my passion and my life’s work, and I am just selectively perceptive to parents and kids wherever I go. Knowing them doesn’t matter, (but it is the icing on the cake.) The girls were adorable. The older one, on the quiet side, seemed calm, centered, … [Read more...] about Join the Family
“You will not believe this story,” began the email from a client who had just returned from family services for the Jewish New Year. She described the mother and three children sitting next to her own family. “She was knitting!” (Yes, you read it correctly, knitting.) “And when she was done knitting, she pulled out her Blackberry and began texting.” I queried as to her guess of the ages of the children. Elementary and middle school, was her reply. There really isn’t more I need to write … [Read more...] about Be the Person You Want Your Child to Be