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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.

Are You A Caterpillar Or Butterfly

28 Kislev 5772 – December 23, 2011
Have you ever seen pictures or a video of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly - what a miraculous site, truly a confirmation of the Creator constantly at work.

Tikun Olam

Tikun Olam, "repairing the world" has become a modern day catch phrase. It appears to be everywhere from the yeshiva world, to Christian groups, used by even certifiable cult leaders and Kabbalah enthusiasts - both the respected ones and the phony ones

The Happy Cure: Learned Optimism

20 Kislev 5772 – December 15, 2011
Years ago, a young man, who I will call Baruch, came to see me as his parents were concerned about his recent test scores.

Who Do You Think You Are?

28 Heshvan 5772 – November 24, 2011
Over the many years of providing residential, as well as outpatient care, we realized that children and youth with symptoms of an attachment disorder acted out the most and were difficult children to make immediate progress with.

A Variety Of Blends

When I became the mom of a blended family more that fifteen years ago, I imagined that there were only two possible options: either we blended or we didn’t, and blending was the definitive goal.

Mind Your Manners: Raising A Respectful And Considerate Child

19 Heshvan 5772 – November 16, 2011
Have you ever noticed that when four year olds play baseball every member of the team runs to field the ball? Do you pay attention to the fact that toddlers are eager to help with clean up regardless of whether they made the mess?

Ensuring That No Child Is Left Behind

18 Heshvan 5772 – November 14, 2011
A child's uniqueness is something to be celebrated. When that uniqueness translates into diverse abilities and learning styles in the classroom, however, teachers are faced with a dilemma.

The Other Side of the Story — Reflections on the Social Experience in School

11 Heshvan 5772 – November 7, 2011
Sara is pulling straight A's in all of her classes. She scores high grades on most of her exams and tests. You would think that she and her parents would be thrilled with her progress. But Sara is struggling in school despite her academic excellence. Socially, she is a wreck. While all the other girls easily group together during recess she has few friends, little social contact, and she is generally reclusive and shy around classmates and teachers.

Dead Beat Parents

5 Heshvan 5772 – November 2, 2011
Certainly most of us have heard the term "deadbeat-dad" used in relation to fathers who fail to be financially responsible for their children. There is also another type of "deadbeat- parent” (I prefer to use the word parent in an effort to avoid gender bias and with the understanding that this phenomenon can occur with mothers as well), and the phrase is used to depict parents who are emotionally unavailable or inattentive to their children's emotional needs after the breakdown of their marriage.

Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You (Part II)

29 Tishri 5772 – October 26, 2011
In Part I (Family Issues 10-14-2011) we discussed how many of us personalize different situations and how that affects our effectiveness in dealing with those situations.

Reflections From A Yachad Parent

“Hi Tammy. It’s Penina. It was so nice meeting you and spending Shabbos with you guys last week. It was such an amazing weekend. I wish we were going back on the shabbaton this coming Shabbos!”

Prioritizing Our Children’s Safety As We Approach The New School Year

1 Tishri 5772 – September 28, 2011
As the new school year begins, we parents must gain insight into one of the common causes of youth at risk -- abuse and molestation. It is a highly sensitive issue generally deemed the domain of mental health professionals and community leaders, with a host of significant halachic ramifications, such as raglayim l’davor - meaning reasonable suspicion, which is the halachic threshold to permit reporting to authorities under the rules of mesira.

Responding To Smoking, Rude Behavior, Drug And Alcohol Abuse

10 Nisan 5771 – April 13, 2011
Scenario: your teenager starts smoking and you detect it by smelling it on his or her breath or by finding packs of cigarettes in his or her bedroom. Possible inner issues: control, self-esteem, lack of relationships.

Responding To Problems With Prayer, School, Secular Music *

27 Adar II 5771 – April 1, 2011
The principles of Relationship Theory (where the greater the relationship, the greater the ability parents have to connect to their teenager) can help address some of the key issues facing teenagers today including: problems concentrating during prayers, difficulty in school, listening to secular music, smoking, rude behavior and alcohol and drug abuse.

Fantasy And Fury

7 Shevat 5771 – January 12, 2011
The couple had barely completed their brief intake papers, which included a small handwriting sample, when, her eyes blazing with fury, the wife pounded on the small table between us and yelled, "He has to grow up! I need a husband who is a real partner, not a lazy good-for-nothing who won't take responsibility and is totally clueless about my needs!" Her husband sat hunched in his chair, looking like a hapless cat which had somehow survived the spin cycle in a washing machine.

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