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Desperate To Reconnect With Their Son

1 Heshvan 5774 – October 5, 2013
Dear Dr. Yael: Unfortunately, for the last several years our beloved son (we will call him Shmuel) has become estranged from us. This occurred immediately after his wedding in Israel.

Parenting: Protective And Positive?

1 Heshvan 5774 – October 4, 2013
Gershon got up from the chessboard and walked away slowly, pouting as he headed to the bathroom. His father watched him go and once again wondered if he had made a mistake in playing competitively against his son. Gershon hated to lose, but how could he improve if his father always let him win?

Modernity Meets Therapy: Do You Really Need to Meet Your Therapist?

The therapeutic alliance has always been about a firm connection between patient and counselor. There has always been one primary standard - physically meeting in an office setting. There might be some phone calls in between sessions or to bridge some vacation gap. But therapy has always been about a feeling of connectivity and there is no better way to do this than face-to-face.

Giving Parental Advice: Is It A Good Idea?

22 Tishri 5774 – September 25, 2013
Dear Dr. Yael: How do I express my opinion in an appropriate way? There are some aspects of my sister’s parenting that I do not agree with, and feel that her methods in these areas are harming her children. I do not claim to be the best parent in the world, but I am confident that my instincts in my sister’s situation are correct.

Why Kids Need Gym

Your son has a big vocabulary test this morning. He’s really anxious and studied with you last night for over an hour. Now, at breakfast, he is talking about how nervous he feels and how he hopes he doesn’t fail. You are trying to think about what is best for him. He has ten minutes before he needs to leave for school. Should you go over the words with him one last time? Should you encourage him to take deep breaths and realize that he knows the material? Or, should you get him to take a run around the living room, ending with jumping jacks and push-ups in the kitchen?

Enjoying A Simcha To The Fullest

15 Tishri 5774 – September 18, 2013
If all of us recognize that any oversights or unintended slights are just that, a huge step toward practicing ahavas Yisrael would be taken.

Stop Beating Yourself Up

Cindy is 43, successful, attractive, a dedicated mom, extremely caring... and she hates herself. She doesn't readily admit this, but spend a minute inside her head and you’ll discover the resounding messages revolving around negative rants – everything from "I failed" to "I should've done better." You wouldn't know it from her behavior. She's a high functioning, regular member of society.

The Truth About Lies

Your mother just knitted a beautiful pink hat for your seven-year-old daughter. The hat, unfortunately, is also extremely itchy. To be honest, you wouldn’t even want to wear it yourself. But you tell your daughter, “Say thank you. Tell your grandmother how much you like the hat.”

Bullying Must End Now

10 Tishri 5774 – September 13, 2013
The captain teaches a form of Krav Maga that is very simple, effective and easy to remember. The end result is that he creates a very steep learning curve with many students feeling more confident. Many are able to fend off a bully after only one lesson.

Why Can’t She Just Listen? Auditory Processing Disorder Explained

I was recently approached by a mother whose daughter had been diagnosed by an audiologist, two years before with auditory processing disorder (APD). Her daughter, let’s call her Basya, had been making progress in her academic environment. Her grades had been rising and her teachers had noticed a significant improvement in her listening skills.

How Fighting Harms Children

Parental conflict affects children in varying ways, depending on their age. For example, teenagers around the age of fifteen or sixteen are most likely to involve themselves in their parents’ battles. Younger children may keep their feelings hidden inside and may only show signs of depression in late childhood or early adolescence.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

9 Tishri 5774 – September 12, 2013
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From The Greatest Heights (Part IX)

1 Tishri 5774 – September 4, 2013
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.

Meriting A Reward For Helping Parents

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.

The Secret Social Setback Of Learning Disabilities

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.”

Combating Inappropriate Touching

25 Elul 5773 – August 30, 2013
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

Quiet As A Mouse, Yet Brave As A Lion?

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.

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