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The Roadmap To Your Teenager’s Inner Worlds

6 Shevat 5770 – January 20, 2010
Relating to their teenager can be easier than most parents think, especially when they learn about the key areas that can sustain the relationship: connection, control, and communication.

Temper Tantrums

Dear Rabbi Horowitz: Our 10-year-old son, the oldest of our six children, has a very strong-willed personality and is very energetic. He has a very hard time sitting in school all day. (He attends school from 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.) At home, he is frustrated with having to sit and do his homework. He often has temper tantrums when asked to do his work. My husband says that he is lazy and self-centered. I agree, in part, but isn't this what all children are like? Don't we have to teach them how to act properly? Thanks, Rachel

When Touch Gets Too Touchy

Most people don't think much about their socks, but for eight-year-old Suri W., they are all-important today. The seams at her toes are terribly irritating. Suri spent an inordinate amount of time this morning getting them into a perfect position. But now, three hours later, they apparently shifted. The teacher's voice has receded into the background; a friend's request for a pencil has gone unheeded. The itch has taken over.

A Validating Experience (Part III)

In the first two parts of this four-part series, we discussed the need to validate someone who is mourning the loss of a loved one. Utilizing a Rabbinic illustration, we presented the story of Rav Yochanan ben Zakai when he sat shivah for his son. The focus was on his receiving consolation: why he received comfort from his one student, Rav Elazer ben Aruch, and not from his other four students. Now let us move to a Biblical backdrop as we continue.

Childhood Resilience

28 Tevet 5770 – January 13, 2010
Why is it that one youth involved in a trauma or difficult situation seems to bounce right back with little effect on his daily functioning while another youth seems to take forever to get back to his usual self?

More Common Teenage Issues

23 Tevet 5770 – January 8, 2010
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Mark, sixteen years old, has trouble sitting still in class. His mind wanders; he's anxious and is failing many of his...

A Validating Experience (Part II)

20 Tevet 5770 – January 6, 2010
How does one comfort an individual mourning the loss of a loved one? What does one say so that the grieving person will feel consoled?

Investing In Your Relationship

9 Tevet 5770 – December 25, 2009
As many parents discover, building a good relationship with a teenager is not easy. Often teenagers are reluctant to be close to their parents, and at times they look to distance themselves as much as possible. If so, how can parents see beyond the daily power struggles of homework, keeping curfew, staying out of trouble, and succeeding in school?

A Validating Experience (Part I)

6 Tevet 5770 – December 23, 2009
Her tone of voice was no different than usual: demure; calm; in-control. And then she shared with me a couple of ill-conceived statement expressed to her by some "loving" individuals: "Don't think of her suffering as something bad." If she suffers now then at least she won't suffer in The Next World." And the next one, well, that just went over the top (mind you, this communication took place a couple of months after the High Holidays): "It looks like you didn't daven too well this past Yom Kippur."

The Gift That Keeps On Giving: Involving Young Children in Hands-on Chesed Activities

One of the goals we all share as parents and educators is to instill an appreciation for the mitzvah of tzedakah (charity giving) in our children. I have found that one of the most effective methods of achieving this is to present young children with hands-on opportunities to participate in charity projects that are child-centered and age appropriate. There are those who take the attitude, especially as far as school-based programs for boys are concerned, that these are a distraction from limudim.

Relationship Centered Parenting

26 Kislev 5770 – December 12, 2009
Building a relationship with your children is often one of the most overlooked aspects of parenting teenagers; yet clearly, as the evidence suggests, the relationship is key to managing a teenager’s at-risk behavior and restoring confidence in the family unit.

A Torah Perspective On Educating Our Children About Sexuality (Part X)

12 Kislev 5770 – November 28, 2009
As we have been discussing, it is essential for parents to take an active role in teaching their children Torah ideas in regards to sexuality and modesty.

The Magic Pill

11 Kislev 5770 – November 27, 2009
Life is full of stories about teenagers having difficulty making it through adolescence. However, parenting teens – even teens who are at risk – doesn’t have to be such a daunting task when parents are willing to focus more on the relationship and less on getting immediate results. Building the relationship is the key to reaching teens who are at risk.

BT Parents/FFB Kids (Part II)

24 Heshvan 5770 – November 11, 2009
In Part I (10-30-09) I responded to a question posed by a ba'al teshuvah (BT) who wanted to ensure that his frum-from-birth (FFB) children become well-integrated, healthy and normal, frum Jews.

BT Parents/FFB Kids (Part I)

10 Heshvan 5770 – October 28, 2009
Dear Rabbi Horowitz: What is your advice for ba'alei teshuvah (BT) parents raising frum-from-birth (FFB) children in terms of ensuring that the children are well-integrated, healthy and normal frum Jews? It is sometimes easy for us, as BT parents, to be very strict because of insecurities from our own upbringing and lack of family minhagim. It would be helpful if you offered a few pointers, to be explored with rebbe'im and suited for our family needs. Thank you.

A Torah Perspective on Educating Our Children About Sexuality (Part IX)

4 Heshvan 5770 – October 21, 2009
As we have discussed over the past few weeks, it is essential, especially in these times, that parents take an active role in teaching their children Torah ideas in regards to sexuality and modesty.

A Torah Perspective On Educating Our Children About Sexuality (Part VIII)

25 Tishri 5770 – October 12, 2009
Over the past few weeks we have been focusing on how necessary it is, especially today, that parents take an active role in teaching their children the Torah’s view on sexuality and modesty. We have pointed out how important it is that first images to fill a child’s mind in regards to these concepts be appropriate ones.

A Torah Perspective on Educating Our Children About Sexuality (Part VII)

20 Tishri 5770 – October 7, 2009
Over the past few weeks we have been focusing on how necessary it is, especially today, that parents take an active role in teaching their children the Torah's view on sexuality and modesty and how important it is that first images to fill a child's mind in regards to these concepts be appropriate ones.

A Torah Perspective on Educating Our Children About Sexuality (Part VI)

13 Tishri 5770 – September 30, 2009
Over the past few weeks we have been focusing on how necessary it is, especially today, that parents take an active role in teaching their children the Torah's view on sexuality and modesty. It is important that the first images that fill their minds in regards to these concepts be appropriate ones.

Uproar: Post Traumatic Embitterment Disorder?

In a paper greeted enthusiastically at the May conference of the American Psychiatric Association, in San Francisco, a new name was given to a common problem, Post Traumatic Embitterment Disorder. My initial response: another excuse to drug people. However, upon thinking it over, I think that the word embittered does describe the essence of a serious problem. Many of us suffer from some degree of jealousy and bitterness about the injustices in our lives. But does that make us embittered? I would hope not. So, what characterizes embittered people? Here are some actual examples (the names have been changed):

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