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Getting Your Children To Sleep

5 Iyyar 5772 – April 26, 2012
Dear Dr. Yael: I am having a very difficult time putting my children to sleep at night. My four-year-old son constantly barges out of his room after he has been put to bed. This usually goes on for about an hour - no matter how many times I put him back in bed or threaten to punish him. I also have an eight- year-old who is afraid of bedtime because she can't sleep.

Above And Beyond The Court System

After my recent article about the difficult trials divorcing couples face within the court system (Family Issues 1-13-2012), especially when there are children involved, I received a heartfelt e-mail from a grandfather in tremendous pain over the demise of his son’s marriage and the subsequent custody battle over his beloved grandchild.

Improving Your Son’s Behavior

24 Nisan 5772 – April 15, 2012
Dear Dr. Yael: My five-year-old son is a very difficult child. Most of the time he will not do what I ask of him, and he has a tantrum when he does not get his way. Interestingly enough, he is much more obedient when it is just the two of us, but if the other children are around he is very hard to manage. I know that as he gets older, things will become more difficult. Thus, I want to help him change his middos now.

A King’s Ransom To Keep Him Happy

11-year old Avi was just awarded a trip to visit his cousins in Detroit – because he didn’t get into trouble in school or fight with his siblings for one week. The prize his parents originally had in mind was a new speed bike, but when that failed to motivate him sufficiently, they searched for a more appealing incentive.

Postpartum Depression

14 Nisan 5772 – April 5, 2012
Mrs. D., the mother of two children under the age of four, came to see me – she was in the seventh month of her third pregnancy. This baby was unexpected. She had “difficulty” after her last pregnancy, and already tearful, she wanted me to get to know her now, so that I could help her later, when the depression hit. She was not sure she would be able to handle it all again.

A Child-Centric Seder

7 Nisan 5772 – March 29, 2012
Dear Gary, As Pesach approaches, I get worried because I want to have a great Yom Tov, and yet, every year, the seder ends in some sort of fighting and arguing. My husband wants the seder to be all about divrei Torah and so do I, but between the younger children (who we want to be awake for the whole seder) and guests, we somehow end up in stern looks and squabbles. I'm happy we have guests or else we'd probably start yelling at each other and even Eliyahu Hanavi would bail. I know everyone jokes about how tough Pesach is, but I can't see the humor anymore – and neither can my children. What can we do to manage a calm (I don't even wish for happy) seder? A Sad Mom

Remembering: A Year Later (Part II)

1 Nisan 5772 – March 23, 2012
In the first part of this article (Family Issues 3-2-2012) I shared the many memories resulting from my year of avaylus (mourning) for my mother. This week I would like to connect those memories to a better understanding of how good could potentially come from bad happenings in an effort to improve relationships.

Twice Exceptional: Smart Kids With Learning Disabilities

23 Adar 5772 – March 16, 2012
It was Yehudah’s third birthday party. Instead of calmly interacting with his guests, he either ignored them or bossed them around with his limited vocabulary of ten words. He ran around nonstop and elbowed every person in his path. Then, his mother, Shoshana, decided he needed some time to himself so she asked him to play quietly in the den for a few minutes.

Instilling Derech Eretz

16 Adar 5772 – March 9, 2012
Dear Dr. Respler: I enjoyed your recent column concerning the jealousy a girl had toward her newborn brother.

A Mother Remembered: A Year Later (Part I)

8 Adar 5772 – March 1, 2012
In her ninety-eighth year my mother beat pneumonia twice. She always said that she would know when her time was up – and she did. People would ask her what she attributed her many years to. Though she was not raised in a religious home, she would always say that Hashem knew what He was doing. We learn in the Torah when one honors parents the reward is a long life. She was certainly proof of this.

Looking Asperger’s Syndrome in the Eye

2 Adar 5772 – February 24, 2012
Asperger’s Syndrome was first described in the 1940s by Austrian pediatrician Hans Asperger, who noticed that he had many patients who were deficient in social and communicative skills even though they had normal language development and cognitive abilities. Professionals still debate as to whether Asperger’s Syndrome is “high-functioning autism” or whether it is its own disorder completely. Regardless, in 1994, Asperger’s Syndrome was added to The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as a separate disorder from autism.

Multi-Generation Blended Family

25 Shevat 5772 – February 17, 2012
Multi-generational families are making a comeback these days. For some the choice is made out of necessity because of the unstable economy, for others it is due to the physical needs of either the younger generation or aging parents. And then sometimes the decision to live this way is out of a mutual desire to be full and present participants in extended family life. For us it was a combination of factors that brought us to this point.

Cooling The Flame Of Teenage Anger

14 Shevat 5772 – February 7, 2012
“Oh. I was just thinking about you. How was your day?” Ruti’s mother asked her the minute she walked through the door. “Fine, Mommy.”

Youth Overcoming Challenges

A few weeks ago in these pages you were introduced to Menifa - Leverage for Life, a nonprofit organization based in Israel that works with youth at risk who have dropped out of high school.

Literacy Illuminated (Conclusion

7 Shevat 5772 – January 30, 2012
In the previous two columns, we focused on phonics, sight-reading, comprehension and fluency. While phonics and sight-reading are different approaches to reading instruction, comprehension and fluency measure the level at which a student reads.

Surviving Bullying, Silencing And Torment For Being Gay In The Frum Community

2 Shevat 5772 – January 25, 2012
It’s been more than six months since The Jewish Press published an op-ed titled “Orthodox Homosexuals and the Pursuit of Self Indulgence.” In the article, the writer, while not mentioning my name, calls me shameless and self-indulgent and suggests that I learn to suffer in silence.

Courtroom Drama

18 Tevet 5772 – January 12, 2012
There was a time when I thought we would never reach this stage. However, I can now say that we are "courtroom-drama free" – at least in regards to our blended family. The scars remain, the experiences no doubt have changed us, but the constant upheavals no longer control our daily lives.

Literacy Illuminated (Part II)

Like most first grade classrooms, the one I was observing had students with multiple reading levels. Accordingly, the head teacher had divided the students into different groups so that they could practice skills that were relevant to all members of the small group.

The Power of a Teacher

11 Tevet 5772 – January 5, 2012
I had just picked up my son from his first day of school, when this beautiful woman smiled at me, then at my children, and continued on her way. A flood of wonderful memories washed over me; this woman had been my first grade teacher.

Literacy Illuminated (Part I)

7 Tevet 5772 – January 2, 2012
Peeking her head into her daughter’s preschool classroom, Shayna heard Morah Esther singing a melodic song while the children clapped their hands and stomped their feet.

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