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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘CHILDREN’

Children’s Weapons-Making’ Cell Arrested in Gush Etzion

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

Israeli security forces have announced the arrest of a children’s weapons-making cell in Gush Etzion. For real.

The “children” are suspected of hurling firebombs (Molotov cocktails) at Israeli vehicles as they travel through the area, and manufacturing various improvised weapons.

Two underage suspects were arrested Monday during a joint raid carried out by Israel Police and forces from the Etzion Regional Brigade in the Arab village of Beit Fajar, located in the Gush Etzion region of Judea.

Both are suspected of firebombing the Jewish community of Migdal Oz and the Oz veGaon Nature Park.

During questioning the two culprits also confessed to belonging to a cell that produces other improvised weapons.

On Wednesday evening, police arrested two additional suspects, and discovered improvised weapons parts, springs, various purchased items and bullets to create makeshift weapons.

The investigation into the four young suspects is continuing, even as it is being added to the dozens of cases of new and varied types of illegal weapons being created in Arab villages in Judea and Samaria.

“Israeli Police will continue its determined, uncompromising struggle to reduce the number of illegally held weapons,” said the spokesperson for the Southern Jerusalem District Police. “We will work tirelessly in cooperation with all relevant forces and agencies to do so.”

Hana Levi Julian

Parent Traps: How To Avoid Them And Raise More Confident Children

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Answer true or false to the following statements:

When my children ask for something to eat, I typically stop what I am doing and get it for them.

My child uses an electronic device to pass the time whenever she is required to wait for anything.

If my child forgets a book for his homework, I will drive him back to school to get it.

If all of my child’s friends have the latest gadget, I will also buy one for my child.

I have to run around getting supplies the night before a project is due, because my child waits until the last minute to work on the assignment.

My child does fewer than two chores a day.

My child has very little free time during the week because of all the extracurricular activities she has.

I receive more than two or three messages from my child per day asking me questions, even during school hours.

I buy something for my children when we are at the store as a reward for not putting up a fuss about going.

If I am not at an agreed meeting place the second my child arrives there, I receive a call asking where I am.


According to Dr. Darlene Sweetland and Dr. Ron Stolberg, and their new book, Teaching Kids to Think: Raising Confident, Independent, and Thoughtful Children in an Age of Instant Gratification, if you answer yes to any of the statements above, you might be falling into parent traps.

What are parent traps? Sweetland and Stolberg explain that a parent trap is “a situation in which parents are drawn to solve problems for their children or rescue them in a way that ultimately stifles growth opportunities. We have seen many parent traps in practice, where parents work harder than their children to solve their children’s dilemmas or problems. Of course, you want to assist your child in any way you can. The difference is in whether you are giving your children advantages or assisting them in developing the skills that will put them at an advantage. When parents set everything up for their kids, they lose the chance to learn to do things on their own, which ultimately puts them at a disadvantage. On the other hand, when parents assist their children in developing skills so they can gain those advantages themselves, their children truly enter the adult world ahead of the game. With the pressures so strong in this generation, parents often fall into the trap of giving rather than assisting.”

They identify five different parent traps and then outline how you can work to avoid them. I’ve summarized those tips below:

            The Rescue Trap. No one likes to see their children struggle. Thus, parents often feel the need to “save” their children when they are hurt, frustrated or angry. However, if we constantly rescue them, they never learn to help themselves. If we drop everything to feed our nine-year-old the moment he says he is hungry, he will never learn to find his way around the kitchen (or the grocery store) in the future.

What can you do? Take a backseat. Let your child struggle. Ultimately he will be stronger and know how to succeed the next time. If he really tries and really fails, then you can save him.

            The Hurried Trap. Today’s children are used to instant gratification as they live in a fast-paced society with access to information and entertainment at all time. Parents who fall into the “hurried trap” respond immediately to their children’s requests and desires. This means that when they are forced to wait it causes anxiety and uncertainty.

What can you do? Pause. Take a step back. Allow your child to wait for things he wants. When it comes to his needs, of course, provide them, but don’t constantly jump at his beck and call. He’ll learn patience and gratitude.

            The Pressure Trap. Many children are engaged in so many different activities because their friends are on the competitive sports team or the math club. They are overscheduled and have little or no unstructured time. This can lead to the common complaint of boredom as children will never gain the ability to entertain themselves.

What can you do? Schedule free time. Let your children learn to entertain themselves. At first, this will be difficult and they will complain of boredom, but eventually they will gain powerful problem-solving and imaginative skills.

            The Giving Trap. Who doesn’t want to give their kids everything? It’s hard to say no when it’s a 99 cent toy at the dollar store, but children need to understand that they cannot always get what they want. Otherwise, they will fall apart when they encounter rejection later in life.

What can you do? Occasionally, make your children earn what they want. Even young children can learn they need to help with tasks to earn the things they want. And, if you call those things “goals” you are teaching your child to work toward a goal.

            The Guilt Trap. When we feel we make mistakes as parents, we often feel guilty. We then take on the responsibility of causing the child unhappy feelings. This makes it very tempting to give in and go back on the difficult consequences.

What can you do? Be kind to yourself. Understand that parenting is about learning and growing and doing your best. If you truly feel that you made a mistake you can explain to your child, “I was very angry when I told you that you couldn’t… and I’ve decided to change it to…” Everyone is allowed to make mistakes sometimes. Parents too!

Rifka Schonfeld

Haifa Hesder Students Rescue Nursury School Children From Fire as Yeshiva Burns Down

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

Students from the Hesder Yeshiva Mevaser Shalom in Haifa ran out to evacuate the nursery school located in the first floor of their building, as the pyroterrorism fire got closer to their building.

Having saved the children, the students tried to return to the yeshiva to save the holy books, but it was too late, the building was on fire, and everything was lost.

All the teachers and students are alive and well.

The Hesder Yeshiva combines Torah study and IDF army service in a five year program.



Jewish Press News Briefs

Government to Reveal Lost Yemenite Children 2001 Committee Findings

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

The Netanyahu cabinet on Sunday is expected to approve the revelation of the findings of a 2001 state committee investigation of the disappearance of the children of Yemenite immigrants who arrived in Israel between 1948 and 1954. The proposal to expose the findings was initiated by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), and MK Nurit Koren (Likud), who petitioned Prime Minister Netanyahu to appoint a minister-level official to examine the issue.

In May, Netanyahu appointed Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud), whose mother, former MK Geula Cohen (Likud and Tehiya), is herself Yemenite. Now, as Hanegbi has concluded his examination, with the help of the state archivist and the Government Freedom of Information Unit of the Justice Ministry, the publication of the committee’s report will be voted on by the cabinet, and followed by a vote of the Knesset Constitution Committee.

According to the proposal, the classified protocols of the 2001 Cohen-Kedmi Committee, which began its investigations in 1995. This followed bloody clashes in Passover of 1994, between the followers of Yemenite Rabbi Uzi Meshulam and police. The Meshulam followers were barricaded in the rabbi’s Yahud home  for 52 days, until police raided the place, aided by snipers and helicopters. One man was killed in the clashes.

The government-appointed committee heard more than 850 testimonies in those seven years, 27 of which remain classified. The committee’s findings were issued in 2001 in a 1,828-page report. Regarding 979 missing babies, the committee concluded that they had concrete evidence that they had died, just as hospital staffs were telling their newcomer parents. But the committee said it had not been able to find evidence on 69 missing babies, and raised the possibility that they had been given to adopting parents by social workers, without consent or even knowledge of their biological parents.

At the time, the government placed a gag order on the content of the committee’s protocols until the year 2071, with the rationale of wishing to avoid additional pain to the parties involved. The proposal the cabinet is expected to approve on Sunday conditions the revelation of specific cases of illegal adoptions on the consent of the adopted person in question. Considering the fact that they are now in their sixties and even seventies, every such revelation will likely touch the lives of dozens of individuals.

Justice Minster Shaked said in a statement that “there is a major public interest in revealing this affair, and to exposing as many of the details as possible. The era of hiding information is over in this country.”


The Intensity of Gifted Children: Pros And Cons

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained – Marie Curie


Raising a gifted child? You’re so lucky, right? Actually, sometimes it’s extra hard to raise a gifted child. Celi Trepanier, the author of Educating Your Gifted Child, created a checklist of information those people parenting or teaching gifted children should know. I’ve included the top five issues people should be aware of:

            Gifted students do not always excel in school. While many gifted children are high achievers and excel in school, many others are bored, unchallenged, or dealing with co-existing learning disabilities. This means that even though gifted students are very bright, we cannot always expect them to succeed in school.

            Gifted children often have emotional intensities. Along with higher than average intelligence, gifted children often have stronger than average emotions; they can be passionate and intense.

            Gifted children can be extremely sensitive. That emotional intensity (#2) works hand-in-hand with extreme sensitivity. Children who are gifted can be very sensitive to sensory issues such as smells and sensations as well as negative comments or criticism.

            Gifted children can have learning disabilities. Students who are both gifted and have learning disabilities are often called “twice exceptional.” Children can have both above average intelligence and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder.

            Gifted children can struggle socially. They are not always interested in the conversations or hobbies of their peers and will therefore stand apart. In addition, sometimes they excessively correct the people around them, leading to resentment and frustration.


Now What?

So, what can we do with this information? What do you do as a parent or teacher of a gifted child? Christine Fonseca, the author of several nonfiction and fiction titles, recently published Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings. The main focus of her book is helping gifted children who struggle with their emotions.


In her introduction she notes,

Parenting is a difficult job. You aren’t given a manual when you have a child and there’s no survival guide to tell you what to do. Things complicate further if your child is lucky enough to be gifted. People tell you it’ll be easy raising a bright child, leaving you frustrated when your child begins to act a little… intense.

Fortunately, there are parenting books to help – too many parenting books.

Most of these books don’t address the unique needs of gifted children. In fact, as you attempt the strategies typically found in them, things often get worse…

As the negative feelings build, your child increases the intensity of her behaviors, adding fuel to the fire. The result? A chaotic household with few resources available to help.

That’s where this book comes in. Designed to provide support for the difficult job of parenting gifted children, “Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope with Explosive Feelings” provides the resource you need to not only understand why gifted children are so extreme in their behavior, but also learn specific strategies to teach your children how to live with their intensity.

We might think that it is easy to parent gifted children, but in reality, parenting gifted children can be a struggle until we figure out how to manage and direct all of their special characteristics.


Tips for Helping Your Gifted Child Deal with Emotional Intensity

Now that we understand why we need a separate guide for parenting gifted children, what are the steps parents can take to help those children manage their emotions? How can we make life easier and more enjoyable for the whole family?

            Help your child talk about his emotions. When we help children develop an emotional vocabulary, we can transform raw feelings into a tangible thing. This is the first step in learning to control those very raw emotions.

            Recognize (and help him recognize) his escalation cycle. Most children have a pattern in terms of what sets them off and how they get riled up. When we can point these patterns out to the child, he can start to recognize his behavior and stop himself before he gets out of control.

            Create a plan. After you have identified the escalation cycle, the two of you can work on a plan for what your child can do when he is overwhelmed. These can be relaxation techniques or exercises to distract from the cycle.

            Don’t get emotional yourself. If your child does get caught up in the emotional intensity and cannot stop the escalation, be sure to keep your emotions neutral and stay calm.

            Take a time out. Both you and your children can take breaks from each other in order to create distance from the emotional outbreaks.

            Emphasize the behavior you want to see. Rather than talking incessantly about the negative behavior that your child is exhibiting, talk about the positive behaviors that you would like your child to engage in. The more attention you pay to the positive, the more it will be on your child’s mind.

Just remember, intensity is a great thing! It’s passion and enthusiasm and lifelong engagement. As parents and teachers, we just need to ensure that we direct that energy towards positive endeavors.

Rifka Schonfeld

Israel Warns Google, Apple: New Game on Gaza War Could Endanger IDF Soldiers

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan has called on Apple and Google to remove a new “free to play” game from their online stores, called “Liyla and the Shadows of War.”

The minister contends that the mobile app is being used to incite players to kill IDF soldiers, by having them take on the role of a girl in Gaza during the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, ‘Operation Protective Edge.’

The Israel Defense Forces are seen as “the bad guy” in the game, and are portrayed as particularly cruel and filled with murderers.

Erdan has warned both Google and Apple that the game could endanger the lives of IDF soldiers became of the incitement it generates. But neither company has responded to his concern.

Gaza resident Rasheed Abueida, the creator of the game, says it’s based on “actual events” and calls it a “cry for help.”

The promotional kicker line on the game’s website says, “When you live in a war zone and death is hunting everyone, things will look different and choices become harder. Face your fate in an unjust war to survive with your family from the shadows of war.”

Reviewer Rami Ismail, co-founder of Vlambeer, is quoted on the site as saying, “Liyla is a brave personal game about the invasion of Gaza, both an exploration of what games can communicate and a plea for help from someone actually affected by the reality the game sketches.”

Abueida explains on the site that he made the game because he is a father of two children, and “I can’t imagine my life without them, but in Palestine nobody is safe.

“When the war started in Gaza and I saw the images of the killed kids in their parents hands I was shocked, I had a weird feeling, it’s a combination of sadness, fear, empathy and anger. All what I was thinking of is ‘What if this happened to me.’ I have chosen to share those feelings in a game to deliver a message of how we are living as Palestinians under this situation. It’s not just a Game, it’s a case and call for help.”

The game won the Reboot Develop Indie Award in the category of “Visual Excellence,” according to the website.

Under “Resources” the site lists the Human Rights Watch “World Report 2015: Israel/Palestine Events of 2014” and the “Gaza Emergency Situation Report” released by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

Neither was an example of professional objectivity.

Also listed is a link to ABC News, which leads to an article by Middle East correspondent Matt Brown, beginning with the sentence, “An Israeli military spokesman says the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) should have been able to tell that four boys it killed on a Gaza beach last week were not Hamas operatives.”

There are also two videos on the page, one from Qatar-based Aljazeera, “Israeli strike kills children on Gaza beach,” and the other, a 67-second report from a Palestinian Authority-generated news source, TOMO, “Israel-Gaza conflict: another UN school hit by Israel, at least 16 dead.”

“Facts” are graphic images of the war that are part of the game. The game uses sounds from freesounds.org, and the melodic music, “Cold” by Jorge Mendez.

The skewed way in which so many residents of Gaza and the rest of the Palestinian Authority view the events of the summer of 2014 is displayed in all its tragedy and misery in this game.

The biggest tragedy of all is the destruction caused by the vicious Hamas leaders of Gaza who used them all as human shields, who forced them into bloodshed and war, and who then prevented them from fleeing to safety even when Israel did its best to allow them safe passage out of the combat zones.

It is Hamas who has misdirected and outright stolen their supplies to create more instruments of war, rather than the homes and hospitals and neighborhoods for which they were intended. And it is Hamas who has held them hostage and prevented them from doing anything else with their lives, other than working as slaves for the cause of hatred and death, from the very youngest ages to the grave, sometimes in a collapsed tunnel, and sometimes in a teenage attempt to murder a Jew.

“Sadness, fear, empathy and anger?”

Understandable, and matched by the endless frustration of those on the other side of the security barrier who have done everything possible to create the reality of a reasonable co-existence with their Arab neighbors.

Hana Levi Julian

Seven Tips To Manage Anxiety In Children

Friday, October 21st, 2016

I want life to be easier for Jake. He’s an exact replica of me. I was the kid who always had a stomachache, always worried about doing something wrong, kept thinking I was going to get in trouble – and, of course, I never, ever did. I was the model child. He’s always on edge, looking around at what other kids are doing, making sure he’s not doing anything different. He’s only five years old. Why can’t he relax like the other kids? It kills me.

Sarah has never been a worrier; she was always my confident straight-A student, but suddenly she has become paralyzed with fear about everything. She is hesitant to try anything new, she’s doubting her abilities, she second-guesses everything. It’s heartbreaking – we don’t know what happened to our girl, and we don’t know how to get her back.

The above scenarios are two of many in Dr. Tamar Chansky’s book Freeing Your Child from Anxiety. Below, I’ve outlined the different types of anxiety that children can experience:

            Panic disorder: This is accompanied by panic attacks, which include feelings of fear and dread that come with no warning. Those feelings are associated with sweating, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, and trouble breathing. Many times, these panic attacks are mistaken for heart attacks by the sufferer.

            Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): The World Health Organization estimates that around 2.5% of the world’s population, ranging from children to senior citizens, is affected by OCD, an anxiety disorder. Evidence is strong that OCD tends to run in families. Of course, having a genetic tendency for OCD does not mean people will develop it, but it does mean there is a greater chance.

Dr. Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph of the Emours Center for Children’s Health Media states that people “with OCD become preoccupied with whether something could be harmful, dangerous, wrong, or dirty – or with thoughts about bad stuff that might happen. With OCD, upsetting or scary thoughts or images, called obsessions, pop into a person’s mind and are hard to shake.”

            Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): PTSD involves anxiety and stress about traumatic events in one’s past. This disorder frequently occurs after violent personal assaults, such as mugging, domestic violence, terrorism, natural disasters or accidents. Children who experienced an extremely disturbing event might subsequently develop generalized anxiety. PTSD is often triggered by sounds, smells, or sights that remind the sufferer of the trauma.


Some symptoms of PTSD include:
Anger and irritability
Guilt, shame, or self-blame
Substance abuse
Depression and hopelessness
Feeling alienated and alone
Feelings of mistrust and betrayal
Headaches, stomach problems, chest pain


            Social Phobia: Social phobia is characterized by an overwhelming fear when confronted with social situations. Those with social phobia have a strong fear of being judged by others or publicly embarrassed. They might be afraid of doing common things in front of other people – for example, eating or drinking in front of other people, or ordering a drink at a coffee shop. Generally, this condition is diagnosed in children when they start school, but it can be interpreted as shyness and only get diagnosed later in life.

            Generalized Anxiety Disorder: This is the least specific, but perhaps one of the most prevalent. People with generalized anxiety disorder feel severe tension and worry even when there is little or nothing to provoke that fear.


Chansky suggests seven steps to overcoming anxiety:

            Empathize. We always want to tell our children, “There’s nothing to worry about,” but if our children are worrying, it will help them to know that we understand they are afraid and we can see things from their perspective. We might know that there is nothing to worry about, but it will help our children if we can see things through their eyes for a moment.

            Reframe the problem. Dr. Chansky has some great techniques for helping children relabel the worry. Instead of always listening to the messages from what Dr. Chansky calls “the worry brain,” children can learn to filter those messages and reframe them. This is something that we work on in my six-week program for helping children succeed in school.

            Shrink down to size. Once we acknowledge and reframe the worry, we can “fact-check” it. Help your child think rationally about whether the actual event lives up to the fear that it is producing.

            Turn off the alarms. Our bodies sound the alarm when we are anxious: we sweat, our hearts race, our face get hot, we feel dizzy. Children need to learn relaxation techniques to manage those physical reactions, for example, deep breathing or meditation.

            Practice dealing with the worry. The more you are exposed to worries (with the tools to deal with them), the better equipt you will be when real worries come your way. In order to prevent children from becoming overwhelmed, build up their “worry management muscles” when the stakes are low.

            Move forward. Help your child get unstuck. When he or she is stuck in a worry, figure out another activity to take his or her mind off of it. Physical activities are often best because they involve both the body and the brain.

            Positive reinforcement. Compliment or reward your child when he or she is courageous and fights through the worry. This will encourage calm in the future.

Anxiety can be crippling, especially in the first months of school. Give your child the tools he needs in order to fight the worry and succeed!


Register now for a Social Thinking workshop by Michelle Garcia Winner on November 16. Please call Mrs. Schonfeld at 718-382-5437 for more information.

Rifka Schonfeld

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/seven-tips-to-manage-anxiety-in-children/2016/10/21/

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