Young children notice difference. As they try to make sense of their world, they pay attention to regularity and irregularity, what is familiar and what is not. And there is no judgment involved, just recognition of difference. Truth be told, most people notice difference. It’s no big deal, or it shouldn’t be, anyway. Problems arise when difference is viewed as unacceptable. I know many adults who could use a lesson in tolerating difference. Last week on the bike path at the beach, a … [Read more...] about Look At That Lady’s Nose!
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?
Was your parent one who asked, when you brought home an A-, “Why didn’t you get an A?” So many adults have a version of this tale to share. They have never forgotten it, twenty or thirty years later. Most children really do want their parents to be proud of them, proud for a variety of reasons. While we don’t actually remember the many times that they were, it is the composite of all those moments that contribute to the child feeling significant in his parents’ eyes. This is just one of the … [Read more...] about Roaring Back at the Tiger Mom
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
How many ways can I help you to rebrand the holidays? I'll try one more time by sending you to watch the video I taped for Parents Ask. http://www.parentsask.com/ Tuck the ideas away, and enjoy the rest of this holiday for now. Then when all is said and done, ponder the ideas I have offered about rebranding the holidays to be in keeping with your family values, moving from GimME to give you. Have a lovely holiday season. … [Read more...] about Holiday Mistakes Parents Make
“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