I am Ethan. You may not understand me, or the way I feel today. You may not understand my reasoning for things I do...
I know what you are thinking. What possible situation could cause a professional to advise a parent to “Pray hard that your children ignore you”?
In our culture of conspicuous consumption, it is not unusual for children to ask for everything they set their eyes on. And, if we are fortunate enough to have the funds to buy them all that their hearts desire, we tend to think, “I can do it, why not?” There are, however, importance values that our children can learn when we set limits.
With the constant pressures placed on us in our fast paced lives, sometimes we all feel like we need a vacation. Everyone needs a break now and then – to relax their bodies and their minds. Research has shown that too much stress can cause:
Several years ago, during the height of the balanced literacy controversy in New York City, I wrote about the different approaches to reading. With some more years of research and hands-on experience, I would like to revisit this integral topic: How do children learn to read?
“Mommy, can you read me the book, again?” Shmuel asked his mother, holding up The Little Engine That Could. “Of course, Shmuel. Let’s do that,” Chevy smiled. She was tired from a long day, but with her four kids huddled around, she was happy to sit and read in the living room. “Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong. The little train rumbled over the track,” Chevy began.
Today, more children than ever are diagnosed with ADHD and the disorder is widely researched and accommodated in schools. However, a lot of children do not necessarily understand ADHD – whether they or their friend is the one suffering from the disorder. To that end, I wrote a children’s book about ADHD, My Friend, The Troublemaker, to help children better comprehend what is going on in the classroom with themselves or their classmates.
Four-year-old Naomi stayed in the block corner every day during playtime, building an intricate tower. She rarely spoke except when spoken to during circle time. In the yard, Naomi enjoyed swinging calmly and watching the other children jump rope or kick the ball.
“But, I can’t reach the light!” Yoni yelled after his father asked him to turn on the hallway light. “Yoni, you can reach the switch. You have done it hundreds of times before. You just need to go brush your teeth and in order to get to the bathroom, you need to go through the hallway,” his father, Noam, sighed.
Q: My daughter’s teachers have been telling me that she has trouble with her executive functions. I know she is not organized and often forgets to finish her homework, but I am not sure exactly what they mean. Can you clarify the term?
“So, Mrs. Cohen, we spoke on the phone about why Baruch is coming in today, but Baruch, why don’t you tell me why you think you are here?” “I’m bad at school,” Baruch said, barely glancing in my direction.“ Do you mean that you don’t get the grades you would like?” “No, I’m just not good at school. My teachers don’t like me, my tests are horrible, and my friends think I’m dumb.”
“You miss 100% of the shots you don't take” – Wayne Gretzky, Hall of Fame Hockey Player “I can’t seem to focus.” “For as long as...
Chaya had a knack for numbers from when she was young. While baking with her mother as a four year old, Chaya would double recipes easily.
Recently a popular Jewish weekly magazine featured a story depicting the life of a young boy whose parents were divorced. Each parent had re-married, establishing new families. Their shared custody of this son, and he spent substantial time with each of his parent's new families. Giving a voice to the child of divorce was the intention of the story. It highlighted the distress children feel as well as the confusing messages they often receive from the adults in their lives.
Yossi’s mother was at her wit’s end. Yossi’s grey pants were wet again. It was the second time that week.
In his best selling book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business, Charles Duhigg argues that most of the choices we make may feel like products of well-considered decision making. In reality, they are not.
In the 1950’s, bestselling author Rudolf Flesch offered to give a friend’s son, who was a struggling reader, some help with reading. He soon discovered that the problem did not lie in the boy’s intelligence, but rather in the way that reading was taught to him in school. To set out his reading principles, Flesch wrote a now famous book entitled, Why Johnny Can’t Read – and What You Can Do About It. In it, Flesch outlined the basic approach of phonics, an effective and important manner of teaching reading.
Avital walked into the test feeling great. She had studied the night before and she was sure to ace her grammar test. But, suddenly, when her teacher passed out the test paper, Avital found her palms sweating and her heart racing.
Dear Dr. Yael: My seven-year-old daughter is having a very difficult time socially in school. Another girl is making fun of her, and I do not know how to fix the problem. Because she wants to be friends with this girl (although I am not sure why), she puts herself in situations where she is the target of the girl’s ridicule.
Meet Noam, a ninth grader I worked with several years ago. Noam came to my office because he was struggling with his biology curriculum. Though Noam was extremely smart, he had ADHD, which made it hard for him to focus on all of the material presented during class. Before we even looked at the material together, I asked Noam how he learned best. His face was blank as he responded, “Um, Mrs. Schonfeld, I really am not sure.”
When an opportunity for a fresh start is handed to us, when that new door opens, it is often viewed as a gift from Hashem. In most cases in order to completely realize it, we must fully embrace it. For people transitioning into marriage the second time around this is often the reality they face: a new opportunity seldom comes without a price, without us having to, in some way, compromise the life we were accustomed to. Seamlessly blending “pre re-marriage” life with “post re-marriage, new blended family” life is difficult at best and often times takes many years to sort its’ way out.
Conversations in my head always there but never to be said, Can't escape my childish dreams, my fantasies, the unreal realities, Talking to myself again no one seems to be around, I hide myself inside myself, never thinking I'll be found… -Jamie Sue Reinhart
In Part I of My Soul Is On Fire, I told my readers about Allan, a very distraught nineteen year old who, in a moment of dire pain, told me he felt his soul was on fire.
Allan is a very troubled nineteen-year-old who has been coming to see me since August. Actually, I’m never sure if Allan will make it to the next appointment. Since we first met, I have been amazed at the amount of emotional turmoil and pain he is in. Every appointment seems to bring another “cry” for help. His anguish is noted by his constant crying and threats of harm to himself and others.
In a recent New York Times article, Robert Lipsyte, a sports author, posed the following question: “Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope?” For years, I have been dealing with this question in my office. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education’s reading tests for the last thirty years show boys scoring worse than girls in every age group, every year.