I had to believe that things were going to be ok. They just had to be ok. We had gone through so much, had sacrificed so much and were doing everything the doctors told us to do. I remember speaking to a hesitant professor in my Ph.D. program about getting an incomplete in her class. The conversation stands out in my mind because, looking back, I can see how odd it must have seemed as I matter-of-factly told her I was too busy for coursework because my twins’ amniotic sack was bulging through my wife’s cervix.
Dear Dr Yael: I loved your answer to Confused Mom (“Should Children Voluntarily Help Their Parents,” August 23). It was a bit unrealistic of the writer to expect her children to do things voluntarily for her and her husband. Even my husband, a good and loving man, does not do anything unless I ask him to, several times. I have spoken to my friends, and this seems to be the norm. This woman is blessed with an amazing marriage, but her daughter is correct: al pi halacha a child gets more sechar if he or she is asked by a parent to do something and then fulfills the request.
Dena was the star of her nursery class. All the kids loved her and the teachers gushed to her mother, “Dena is so kind. She shares with everyone and is so inclusive. When we have circle time, she sits attentively and she is always ready with a detailed and fun answer.”
Dear Dr. Yael: I am sending my oldest son to a Pre-1A this year and am very anxious about inappropriate touching. I do not know if I should speak to my son about this and, if I choose to, I do not know what I should say. I want to protect my son from any kind of inappropriate situation, but I also do not want to scare him. My goal is for my son to have a warm and loving relationship with his rebbe. How do I balance my wish to protect him with the desire to provide him with a successful school year? An Anxious Mother
In her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain relays the story of Rosa Park and the Montgomery Bus Strike during the Civil Rights Movement.
When parents come to talk to me about a troubled child or teenager, I often find it helpful to explore whether or not their marriage is causing their teenager to be at risk.
Baruch Hashem, my husband and I have a marriage in which we constantly anticipate each other's needs and usually try to help the other even before being asked. We, of course, did the same for our children.
As adults who were children of divorce know, healing does not occur through time alone. In fact, my research found that only 46% said they had a positive relationship with their fathers as adults.
In American culture, there is a large emphasis put on optimism. We are told that we need to think positively and that things will work out. For a lot of people, this type of outlook is beneficial and healthy. However, optimism is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Positive thinking works for some, but not for all. For people who have anxiety, optimism can be very difficult and unproductive. Instead, anxious people can harness that anxiety and use it in order to ensure that they do succeed.
Dear Dr. Yael: Like the seven-year-old daughter of A Heartbroken Mother, last week’s letter writer, my somewhat socially awkward nine-year-old son is also being bullied.
When interviewed about the subject, Carrie Goldman, the author of the book, Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear, explains that bullying comes about pretty equally between the genders, but it happens in different ways.
On our first day in the antepartum unit, one of the nurses mentioned how critical every moment of pregnancy really was. “One minute in is worth two minutes out (in an incubator).” We weren’t really expecting a premature birth, but her comment put a fine point on the importance of the care my wife was receiving.
Karen’s fourth child, a daughter named Abbie, was bright and highly verbal. Abbie learned phonics and loved drawing. But, even at eight or nine years old, Abbie could barely make it through an easy reader. Her mother was at a loss. She had taken her to three different doctors to check her vision.
Our daughter would tell us glowing stories about how Mrs. Mike made the pesukim come alive, tricks she taught them to memorize and recall the mitzvot, how each mitzvah perfectly fit women…
There is a huge difference between standing up for oneself and retaliating against others.
The uncle’s story: When Menachem was a baby, he seemed like any other normally developing kid. Videos from that time show him laughing and reacting to other people; you’d never guess how he would turn out. I don’t know, maybe a professional might have seen the signs, but I certainly didn’t.
Caring gestures like a homemade, baked item, a small gift, or a card are very appreciated and leave an extra-special warm feeling - that someone with whom you are not particularly close is thinking of you. It also takes away the lonely feeling of being "failures" or "ones who are different."
“I could never let someone else raise my children. I don’t think I would have had kids if I had to work.” “I would go crazy if I had to spend all day with my kids. I don’t know how you do it.” “I wish I could eat like you, Mindy. But, I just can’t.” “If you made more time for exercise, you’d be happier with yourself. I’m just trying to help.” “I wish I didn’t care about what I wore all the time, just like you. I always feel like I have to put on make up.” “If only I had your time in the morning to get dressed.”
Be careful to avoid arrogance by not extensively discussing the virtues of your family members to those who are prone to jealousy. This can only fuel more envy.