Choosing Your Own Path When It Comes to Your Child’s Education

Written by Editor on . Posted in Advice Columns

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Dear Rivkie,

I would like to send my child to a school in my community that I believe would be more suited to her needs and future goals. It is not the school to which my friends send their children, and although I know my child’s welfare and future should be my guiding principles, I also know I will get a lot of negative feedback from my social circle. I have learned that my friends’ ideas about this school are based upon unfounded gossip and are wholly untrue, but I don’t want to get into debates ... especially at Shabbat meals when groups of people are gathered.

Meal Planning For Seniors to Maintain Healthy Muscle

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One of the health challenges people face as they age is the loss of muscle mass. This loss begins at age 25 in both men and women, and accelerates after age 55. Two big contributors to this decline are a lack of physical activity and poor choices when it comes to eating balanced meals (or even eating meals at all).

Gaining My Religion — Losing My Family?

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Dear Rivkie,

 My husband and I recently started to take on greater Jewish observance while raising our young family. We’ve started keeping kosher and observing Shabbos. Additionally, our oldest son is turning 3 soon, and after a lot of thought we decided to have an upsherin for him (a haircutting celebration for Jewish boys upon turning 3).

Yom Kippur Struggles

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Dear Rivkie,

 Yom Kippur is just around the corner and I’m unsure how to improve my experience this year. Usually, I spend the day hungry and grouchy, and I find it hard to concentrate on the service while thinking about what to eat after the fast! I want to do teshuva (repentance) and I know there are plenty of things I did wrong this year, but I am so distracted I feel like I don’t give it my all on Yom Kippur. What can I do to make Yom Kippur more meaningful this year?

Tools for Effective Parent-School Communication

Written by Stephanie Frumkin on . Posted in Advice Columns

When challenges arise at school that require parental involvement, parents can be apprehensive about communicating with their child’s teachers or school administrators. It could be that the child is performing poorly in a class, experiencing social difficulties, or feeling overwhelmed by the amount of homework. If the child is “differently wired” (neuroatypical), as at least one in five children today are according to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, there will likely be even more challenges that will need to be addressed with the school.

5 Tips for Talking with Children About Anti-Semitism

Written by Courtesy of JSSA on . Posted in Advice Columns

There are well-established strategies in place for helping young people cope with tragic events, but when dealing specifically with acts of anti-Semitism, a more fine-tuned approach can be helpful. To help you navigate these emotionally-charged and uncertain times, here are five tips from the Jewish Social Services Agency (JSSA) for talking to children about anti-Semitism.

Chofetzing Chaim

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Why it pays to keep a civil tongue at the table.

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 Dear Rivkie,

 With all the Yomim Tovim (holidays) behind us, I’ve been thinking about the lashon hara (derogatory speech) I heard around the table when getting together with friends and family. And not just as an observer; I oftentimes (I am ashamed to admit) participated in the discussion! This is especially hard to imagine myself doing just days after all the teshuva (repentance) for this and a multitude of other sins on Yom Kippur, but it seems to happen every year.

Joining in the Children’s Game

Written by Dr. Michael Milgraum on . Posted in Advice Columns

Parenting experts have much to say about behavioral management, the methodical approach to parenting that seeks to rationally examine and structure expectations, environment, and consequences. While this approach has much merit, it is incomplete and often ineffective if it lacks something that we might call “relationship management.”

Rebuilding Ourselves on Yom Kippur

Written by Dr. Michael Milgraum on . Posted in Advice Columns

Yom Kippur looms on the horizon. We have traveled through Elul, that month of soul searching, inner accounting, and resolve to change. We’ve listened to the shofar blasts on Rosh Hashanah, that heart-piercing sound, which Maimonides tells us is designed to wake us from our spiritual slumber. We have intoned the words: “On Rosh Hashanah it is written and on Yom Kippur, it is sealed.” In this time of judgment, we all engage in a great deal of self-judgment. How do we keep up our spirits and find confidence that we can, in fact, improve, rather than dropping into feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and despair?