Rabbi David Aaron discusses how to instill religious values in your kids.Israel News Talk Radio
Posts Tagged ‘CHILDREN’
According to the InterNations survey’s Family Life Index, in a roundup of the world’s 41 top countries to raise a family in, the best three countries are Austria, Finland, and Sweden. And right behind those wealthy, industrialized European nests of socialized everything and the baskets of goodies from the nanny state, in fourth place, you’ll find a country that’s been fighting for its life for almost 70 years, with a huge security budget, supposedly enormous gaps between rich and poor, and ceaseless ethnic strife — and there, according to the survey’s criteria, is the fourth best place on the planet to raise your children. Go figure.
For comparison — the UK came in at 22nd place. The US in 25th place. France in eighth. New Zealand came fifth. Saudi Arabia is in 41st place, so, in case you were planning to go raise your kids in the Kingdom, we can advise you, based on these findings — don’t.
After the success of InterNations’ first Expat survey in 2014, the second annual survey report involved 14,400 expatriate respondents, in one of the biggest topical surveys worldwide. The information benefits mainly the group’s 1.8 million members, who are interested in moving, living, and working abroad. By providing insights into expat life in 64 countries, from Argentina to Vietnam, the report is a valuable resource for people seeking temporary or long-term relocation.
The Expat Insider survey included questions on demographics, basic facts about moving abroad, and daily life in the respective country. The questionnaire especially emphasized individual satisfaction with various aspects of expat living. Survey participants cover a variety of people from 170 countries of origin and all kinds of backgrounds. The section regarding the “family life index” evaluates the best places to raise children, based on three categories:
Availability of Childcare and Education — Israel was ranked 4th, behind Austria, Finland and Sweden. The US ranked 12th, France 13th, the UK an abysmal 24th.
Cost of Childcare and Education — there Israel was ranked 13th, with Sweden, Austria, Finland and Denmark at the top of the list for state-paid education for everyone. France was ranked 8th, the US 37th, right behind the United Arab Emirate, and the UK was in 31st place.
Quality of Education — OK, Israel was ranked only 16th on that one, which could, to be honest, bring into question the entire celebration we’ve been having here. So, it’s available and it’s relatively cheap, but maybe you get what you pay for? Finland, Austria and Singapore—where they cane you for spitting on the sidewalk—lead the bunch, with Kenya, surprisingly, in 7th place (it’s where US presidents get their diplomas, after all). The UK is in 9th place (which is still behind Kenya), France is 11th, the US is 25th. ‘Nuff said.
Finally, there’s the category of Family Well-Being — Israel is ranked 3rd on that one, behind Australia and Austria. Because, let’s face it, Israel is essentially one big family, occasionally happy. The US is 16th (better than we expected, to be honest), Sweden is 10th (on account of the suicides and those truly depressing movies), The UK is in 21st place, and France in 24th.
So the result of the survey, in terms of recommendations to Jews wishing to move abroad with their families, has to be Israel, because, let’s face it, if you’re making the move because you fear the growing anti-Semitism in your country, are you really going to move to Austria or Sweden?JNi.Media
Achievement? Happiness? Compassion?
In a study conducted at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, researchers asked 10,000 middle and high school students throughout the United States: “What is most important to you? Achieving at a high level, happiness [defined, in part, as feeling good most of the time], or caring for others?” Of the three options, 48% of students selected high achievement as their top priority, 30% selected happiness, and only 22% placed caring for others at the top of their list.
Those answers are starkly different than what parents say they feel about their children. In fact, 80% of parents rank “caring for others” as the top value they wish their children possess. So, how do we bridge this gap between what parents say they want for their children and the values the children actually internalize? Robert Brooks, the author of Raising Resilient Children, suggests the following steps:
Provide opportunities for chesed. Get your children out there, helping those less fortunate or those in need.
Listen closely. See the world through your children’s eyes. If you have empathy, you can better help them care for others.
Be a strong moral role model. If you show that you are committed to living ethically and taking care of others, your child will be more likely to follow suit.
Help manage destructive feelings. Destructive feelings shouldn’t be ignored; they should be worked through.
How does caring for others connect to resilience? Well, the whole way that we parent is connected to resilience. One of the findings of the Harvard study was that “Parents who seek to preserve their children’s happiness by constantly protecting them from adversity can rob them of coping strategies that are crucial in their long-term happiness.” That is all about resilience.
Dr. Brooks explains, “If we examine our parental goals, it would not be an over-simplification to conclude that realization of these goals require that our children have the inner strength to deal competently and successfully, day after day, with the challenges and demands they encounter. We call this capacity to cope and feel competent resilience.
“Resilience embraces the ability of a child to deal more effectively with stress and pressure, to cope with everyday challenges, to bounce back from disappointments, adversity, and trauma, to develop clear and realistic goals, to solve problems, to relate comfortably with others, and to treat oneself and others with respect. Numerous scientific studies of children facing great adversity in their lives support the importance of resilience as a powerful force. Resilience explains why some children overcome overwhelming obstacles, sometimes clawing and scraping their way to successful adulthood, while others become victims of their early experiences and environments.”
Another way of describing resilience is grit. Paul Tough, in his book How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, explains that character is created by encountering and overcoming failure. And, character is just what children need to succeed.
Persistence. Persistence is about knowing what you want and not stopping until you get it. Remember Watty Piper’s The Little Engine that Could? While the little blue engine is the smallest of all the engines, she is the only one who agrees to help the dolls and toys over the mountain. Though it is unclear whether such a small engine can succeed, the engine repeats to herself, “I think I can. I think I can.” And eventually makes it to the other side of the mountain.
It is just this persistence or perseverance that we need to teach our children. When struggling, we need to push ourselves in order to reach our goal. Like all non-cognitive skills, persistence cannot be taught through a worksheet. As parents, we can be role models for our children and teach them that when things are tough, they still need to keep trying. Setting our own goals (whether they are fitness, educational, or personal) and then sharing our triumphs and failures with our children will teach them that it is okay to fail and then keep on working towards a goal. Parents and educators need to model persistence and encourage second, third, and twentieth tries.
Grit. Grit goes hand in hand with persistence. Children who fail and then pull themselves up and start again are exhibiting grit. They know that though it is painful and their knees are scraped, they can try again. Without grit, there is no persistence – and every failure is final.
Self control. A famous study in the 1960s, often dubbed the “marshmallow study,” tested children on their self-control. The very young children were handed a marshmallow and told that they could get a second one if they waited until the researcher came back in the room in order to eat the first. Some children ate the first one right away and did not receive a second, but others sang or talked to themselves in order to avoid eating the marshmallow. Eventually, when the researcher returned, those children received a second marshmallow. The researchers then followed those children for the next several decades.
What the researchers found astounded them. Those children who had managed to control themselves in order to get the second marshmallow had more successful marriages, careers, and lives in general. The ability to control themselves and delay gratification ended up allowing them to set goals and achieve them even if it meant waiting a bit along the way. Helping children set goals and then working with them to achieve them is an excellent way to develop self-control.
Curiosity. Curiosity is about asking questions and wanting to know how the world works. The truth is that you cannot “teach” curiosity. You can, however, model curiosity when your children are little – asking your own questions and working with him to look them up. You can also answer their questions, regardless of how silly or frequent they are. These questions will get longer and more important and as time goes on they will develop skills to answer them themselves.
Self–confidence. Self-confidence is about believing in yourself. In order to take risks, fail, and continue again, you need to be confident that you are strong and capable. Part of self-confidence comes from success – and part of it comes from overcoming failure. As parents and educators, we have to let children fail when they deserve to fail in order to help them learn to overcome that failure.
It might be that we need to help our children gain resilience (or grit) and then they will have it all: achievement, happiness, and compassion.Rifka Schonfeld
(JNi.media) According to a new survey of parents in Israel, children who were exposed to the horrific photos and videos of terror attacks on social networks in October and November have developed symptoms of anxiety in public places. Also, according to the survey, children exposed to online videos are 1.5 times more traumatized and anxious than those exposed through other media.
Over the last three months, Israel experienced dozens of stabbing attacks, ramming by car, and stone throwing, saturating the media with appalling attacks across the country. Unlike past years, almost every attack was accompanied by countless real-time videos documenting details of these attacks from every angle. The Tom Company, which offers parents means to control their children’s Internet viewing, ordered a special survey to examine the impact that this new reality has had on the children of Israel. The survey was conducted online from Oct. 29 to Nov. 11 by Nielsen Israel, among 300 parents of children ages 8-15 (Jewish population only).
The Data that was uncovered is alarming: 64% of children exposed to the videos are afraid to leave the house, and 50% of parents of children who have expressed concern about the security situation restrict or prohibit watching the news.
The parents in the survey were asked, “How would you describe the level of exposure of your children to the security situation in recent weeks?” and “Through which media were your children exposed to the security situation in recent weeks?”
97% of parents of children ages 8-15 report that their children were exposed to the security situation in recent weeks, with exposure being greater among older children. 60% of parents of children ages 12-15 reported a great degree of exposure, compared with 38% of parents of children ages 8-11. Most of the exposure, regardless of the age of the child, came after talks with family members (70%), conversations at school (66%), and TV news (59%), especially among older children. About a third (28%) of the children were exposed to the security situation through online videos. Most of the videos are transmitted over Whatsapp and social networks such as Facebook.
68% of parents whose children were exposed to the security situation through Internet media, report great degrees of exposure, compared with 46% of children who are exposed to the security situation through traditional media. Children exposed through Internet media were more affected (expressed more concern or worry), compared with children exposed through traditional media (78% versus 68% respectively).
“The survey highlights once again what we have known for years — parents today have no real control over content that our children are exposed to,” said Yariv Pe’er, CEO of Tom, adding, “The direct exposure of of children ages 8-15 through the Internet today has led to a painful outcome in which one in three children is going through a trauma. This situation did not exist here before, this is a new problem that every parent must address and take responsibility for.”
On the issue of restricting video watching, almost all parents (92%) think that blocking the videos will reduce the anxiety children feel over the security situation, while 65% even believe that the obstruction would lead to significantly reducing anxiety.
“Parents must limit their children’s access to questionable content for their mental health and should not worry about the child’s loss of freedom of choice. Home computers are not protected from content unsuitable for children, but there are solutions that enable providing protection for children while continuing free browsing for parents. We can’t completely block or prevent our children’s access to videos, but you can minimize the damage. The security situation today creates a digital reverberation of each security event. The echo of this reverberation can and should be reduced for the safety of our children.”JNi.Media
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas stepped up to pour a little ignition fluid on the flames of terror on Wednesday.
In a speech from his headquarters in the Palestinian Arab capital city of Ramallah in Samaria, Abbas attacked Israel’s response to the current wave of terror.
“We are peaceful, but we will not accept the actions of the settlers and the executions of Palestinian children under occupation,” he said, according to translations by Channel 2 television news and Ha’aretz.
“We will not concede to Israel’s occupation policies and those of its settlers who terrorize our holy sites, our women, our land, and execute our youths, like they did to 13-year-old Ahmed,” he continued, in a reference to one of two assailants involved in an especially vicious terror attack this week in Pisgat Ze’ev.
The prime minister’s office responded bluntly that the speech was filled with lies: “The boy referenced is alive (not “executed”) and still hospitalized after stabbing an Israeli riding his bike. While Israel maintains the status quo on the Temple Mount, Abbas makes cynical use of religion and thus prompts terror,” the PMO said in a statement.
It is Abbas himself, in fact, who has inspired these so-called “children” to such acts. Abbas and others in his government have glorified the “sacrifices” of those who die while murdering Israeli Jews, calling them “martyrs” and referring to their spilled blood as “pure blood, clean blood.” The Palestinian Authority government each year hastens to laud dead terrorists who have murdered Israelis, naming public streets, squares and camps in their memory. Those who are incarcerated in Israeli prisons receive high salaries for their service; the more deadly the attack, the higher the salary.
And yet, Abbas delivers a performance of the indignant statesman, outraged over the untimely death or bleeding wounds of an innocent Palestinian Arab “child” by Bad Israelis and the violent Occupation.
Thank God for security cameras, which can help us tell which side of Alice’s Looking Glass we’re seeing through.
The following video shows the world the truth about the “innocent Palestinian Arab children” Abbas refers to. Peaceful is as peaceful does. The “children” in the CCTV footage released by Israel Police on Wednesday are clearly anything but babies.
Ages 13 and 17, they are clearly seen brandishing chef’s knives that are reminiscent of hatchets. They literally track their prey in the first segment, a 25-year-old religious Jewish man, older than both of them. In the second segment, only the results of the attack are seen, and one of the assailants still brandishing his knife just before he is shot.
Fully capable of planning and executing an attempt to murder, arming themselves and chasing down their prey, they are hardly children.
The “occupation” referred to by Abbas, meanwhile, is his description of this country’s establishment and its continued existence. Since the State of Israel is not going anywhere anytime soon, it would be to the benefit of the Palestinian Arab population for their leadership to make their peace with that fact, sooner rather than later.Hana Levi Julian
Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization proudly held a Graduation Day ceremony a few days ago for the older division of its “summer camp” program.
The youths demonstrated their skills during a graduation ceremony of the military-style camp organized by Hamas, whose armed wing organizes Liberation Youth Camps for Gaza teens ages between 15 and 21.
The “campers” were put through their paces to exhibit skills that ranged from learning hand-to-hand combat to how to aim and fire guns, jump through fiery hoops, climb ropes and walls, and camouflage themselves well enough to avoid detection.
Hamas also runs a similar military “summer camp” for children of younger ages as well — children as young as five years old.Hana Levi Julian
‘A great miracle happened there, in our days,’ each year reminds us of the historic events that led to the creation of the ancient Jewish Festival of Lights, Chanukah.
The story is told about the Jewish revolt of the Macabees and the miracle of the single cruse of purified oil for the Holy Temple which lasted an entire eight days until a new supply could be secured. And it includes the tale of Chana and her seven sons who were involved in the war, each of whom refused to bow down to an idol – right down to the youngest, a mere young child – preferring to die for the sanctification of God’s Name rather than profane it.
Imagine the irony, therefore, to know that now and in our present day, there are Christian children led by a cleric who once learned in a yeshiva in Jerusalem, who this year were faced with the very same dilemma.
The little Christian children were threatened with death by extremist “Muslim” monsters from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, ISIS, if they would not convert to a faith not their own.
Like the Jewish children of old, they refused.
All four children were under age 15, according to Canon Andrew White, the “Vicar of Baghdad,” who told the tale from Jerusalem in late November to the Orthodox Christian Network.
“ISIS turned up and said to the children, ‘You say the words that you will follow Muhammad, and the children, all under 15, four of them, they said, ‘No we love Yeshua… We have always followed Yeshua.’
“They said, ‘Say the words! They said, ‘No, we can’t.’ They chopped all their heads off. How do you respond to that? You just cry,” recounted Canon White.
“They are my children. That is what we have been going through and that is what we are going through.”
ISIS is currently hunting for the vicar, he was warned. The Archbishop of Canterbury has ordered him to leave Iraq as a result, for his own safety. Having once learned Old Testament from its original sources in an Orthodox Yeshiva in Jerusalem’s ancient neighborhoods, and Biblical analysis from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, perhaps it was only natural for him to return to the Holy Land when it was time to leave Iraq.
“I am in Israel now,” he explained, adding that some 250,000 Iraqi Christians are displaced. The group once numbered 1.5 million. There once were more than 300 churches in Iraq; most recently there were 58.
On Monday, ISIS launched a siege on a cafe in the busy commercial and government center in Sydney, Australia. As of 6:30 am Monday morning Israel time, the terrorists were still holding customers hostage in the cafe.Hana Levi Julian