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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Time’

Social Skills Around The Clock

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

7am: The Morning Rush

“CHAIM!”

“Hmm…”

“Let’s go. Get out of bed. You are already ten minutes late.”

“I’m coming.”

“That’s what you always say, but why aren’t you dressed yet? And where is your backpack?”

“Oh, right.”

“Chaim!”

The alarm clock rings and Chaim pulls his pillow over his head to stifle the screeching noise. Mornings are Chaim’s least favorite part of the day; they always end in someone yelling. In truth, mornings are difficult for most of us, but particularly so for those who struggle with basic skills that are labeled “executive function” skills.

Executive Function Disorder

In order to recognize Executive Function Disorder, it is important to understand what executive skills are. Among the individual skills that allow people to self-regulate are:

Planning: the ability to create a roadmap to reach a goal. This also includes the ability to focus only on what is important.

Organization: the ability to keep track of multiple sets of information and materials.

Time management: the ability to understand how much time one has, and to figure out how to divide it in order to meet a goal.

Working memory: the ability to hold information in mind even while performing other tasks.

Metacognition: the ability to self-monitor and recognize when you are doing something poorly or well.

Response inhibition: the ability to think before you speak or act.

Sustained attention: the ability to attend to a situation or task in spite of distraction, fatigue or boredom.

People who suffer from Executive Function Disorder lack many of these abilities. This can lead to persistent lateness, impulsive behavior, and the inability to complete any task completely.

Solutions

In the book, Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents: A Practical Guide to Assessment and Intervention, the authors suggest a hands-on approach when dealing with children. This step-by-step method is formulated to help children develop the skills they need to successfully finish their schoolwork and function as competent adults in the workforce:

Step 1: Describe the problem behaviors, which might be not following the morning routines on schooldays or forgetting to hand in homework assignments. Be as specific as possible when describing the problem behavior – talk about the action – not the child.

Step 2: Set a goal, which should relate directly to the problem behavior. For example, if the problem behavior is not following morning routines, then the goal should be, “Ezra will get up, say modeh ani, brush his teeth, get dressed and eat breakfast.”

Step 3: Establish a procedure or set of steps to reach the goal, which is usually done by creating a checklist. The visual information on the checklist can help reorient your child towards the task at hand.

Step 4: Supervise the child following the procedure – especially at the beginning. Some supervisory steps include: reminding the child to begin the procedure; prompting the child to continue with each step; observing the child as each step is performed; providing feedback to help improve performance and praising the child when each step is completed successfully

Step 5: Evaluate process and make changes if necessary. Once you see your child run through the procedure, you might notice the moments where he gets caught up. During this step, you can modify the procedure to prevent those breakdowns.

Step 6: Fade the supervisionwhen your child gets the hang of the procedure. This does not mean you should take away the checklist or your praise, but instead, attempt to allow the procedure to run its course without your reminders.

10:30am: Recess

“We need another person to play kickball.”

“Well, we could ask Chaim.”

“Nah, he’d just say no.”

“Or, maybe he would wander off in the middle.”

“Maybe we should just play something else.”

Making it through the morning rush and the bulk of his Hebrew classes, Chaim’s class finally had morning recess. For most of the class, recess was the best time of the day, but for Chaim, recess was the most dreaded. Instead of participating in sports like the other children, Chaim wandered aimlessly around the yard. After three years, his classmates recognized that Chaim was not completely like them. While they had originally tried to get him to join in their games, now they left him alone.

Non-Verbal Communication

In reality, Chaim’s problem came down to his inability to read non-verbal cues. Here are some instances of positive non-verbal communication:

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Time Magazine on Attachment Parenting

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Time magazine’s cover story about attachment parenting has garnered a great deal of attention. Clearly, the shock value of showing an attractive young mother breast-feeding a child nearly four years of age was enough to excite worldwide conversation. No doubt this was their intention, and in that sense, it worked. The story inside focused on a controversial theory put forward by Dr. William Sears about attachment parenting. In a nutshell, attachment parenting argues that modern Western parents have forgotten how to parent naturally. His theory includes the hypothesis that nature dictates that we can never be too close to our children: we ought to carry them in a sling attached to our body as much as possible; they ought to sleep in our bed almost constantly; we should never allow them to cry for fear of damaging them psychologically with abandonment issues; we ought to breast-feed them until they are at least toddlers and generally remove any kind of division or separation between us and our babies. Dr. Sears’s theories were put forward in a mega best-selling book called The Baby Book.

But, respectfully, I have significant questions about the theory. First, there is the issue of the marriage itself. I have counseled countless married couples, and I have frequently seen how, when a child is born, the marriage can potentially be disrupted. A child is supposed to enrich and further develop a family. We parents dare not raise children in a manner that undermines our own marriages. That is not good for husbands and wives and it’s also not good for children. A husband should not feel that he has lost his wife to their baby. A husband should not find reason to become jealous of his own child. But just imagine the feeling of any husband who has become a new father, seeing his wife now breast-feeding the baby for most of the day, his marital bed – previously the domain of only him and his wife – now shared with the child, and his wife responding to each and every cry of their new baby with comforting cuddles and loving embraces. That husband might just feel that the child has usurped his place.

To be sure, many will say that a husband who has this feeling is being selfish and immature. He should get over it, as the interests of the child come first. And yes, we can criticize this husband as being infantile. How could any father be jealous of their children?

But I counsel couples, and it happens. And while a man must be mature enough to resist this feeling, it’s also true that even after having children our marriages should flourish and not falter.

I would appreciate if the advocates of attachment parenting please address my concern which I raise for the benefit of marriage.

And then there is the issue of intimacy. How is it possible for married couples to have a passionate love life with children in the marital bed? Don’t parents need to have their own private space where they are husband-and-wife and not just mom and dad? A Harvard University study shows that the sex life of a couple often diminishes by 74% in the first year after a baby is born. I can imagine that for those parents practicing attachment parenting and allowing their children to sleep in the marital bed on a nightly basis, that percentage would probably be even higher. While I may be wrong, I can imagine that their intimate life might disappear almost entirely. In the Jewish religion it is regarded as inappropriate for a couple to be intimate when a child is with his or her parents in the marital bed. How could it possibly be positive for a marriage or for a child to have parents growing less intimate as a result of the birth of baby?

There are, of course, responses to each of these challenges offered by the proponents of attachment parenting, which has been brought to my attention by my friend Donna Tabas. Regarding nutrition, they remind us that infants under the age of six months who are exclusively breastfed need unlimited access to the breast to optimize the mother/infant breastfeeding diad to provide optimal milk supplies, especially during growth spurts. They point out that prolonged nursing and child-led weaning which extends nursing into and even through toddlerhood is, they argue, biologically normal, as evidenced by the average weaning ages worldwide, and that it is only Western modern society that has redefined weaning in the first year as socially normal.

Rubin Reports: Is Islam Innately Evil? Is Islam Innately Good? Why This Debate is A Waste of Time

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

http://rubinreports.blogspot.com/2012/05/is-islam-innately-evil-is-islam.html

We all know that the number of Muslims who explicitly put forward a systematically coherent moderate theology of Islam is very small. We also know that radical Islamists pretend to be moderates and fool people in the West. We also know that foolish or dishonest people in the West claim that Islam is innately moderate; that Sharia law as it will inevitably be interpreted at present is no big deal; and that the radicals are a minority, hijackers, or will soon become moderate. People must know the truth about these issues.

However, it is also true that the number of Muslims who are anti-Islamist in politics and relatively moderate in their politics and practice of Islam number in the tens and even hundreds of millions. Their motives range from liberalism through ethnic (Berber; Kurdish) or state nationalism, conservative views that do see Islamism as improper, those who find refuge in the West and want to acculturate to it, ruling groups and their supporters who don’t want Islamists to cut off their heads, etc. These people are our actual or potential allies in the battle against Islamism, and we better understand that and find ways to work with them, even if we don’t agree on everything.

How can we find a way to blend those two different factors and combine them into a standpoint and strategy?

At a moment when we should be analyzing existing political movements, ideas, actions, and the Western failure to meet this threat there is a wasteful, unending battle that subverts the effort to understand and explain what’s happening.

In one corner, we have those who claim—and these are by far the more powerful people today, controlling academia, media, and government policies in many places—that Islam is innately good, a religion of peace. Those who are revolutionaries and terrorists simply misunderstand their own religion. Naturally, the idea that non-Muslims, who are usually quite ignorant of Islam and its history, should define Islam is ludicrous.

There are many important points the religion-of-peace crowd misses but here are five of them:

–Islam, like any religion, is subject to interpretation, which is not always the same in different times and places or among various individuals or even—in Islam’s case—countries and ethnic groups. Thus, to say that the proper interpretation of Islam that is moderate and peaceful interpretation is absurd. Even to say that there are a lot of people who hold a moderate interpretation of Islam–as opposed to a conservative but anti-Islamist one–is absurd.

–If revolutionary Islamism is such a heresy why is it that it can often muster overwhelming support? Why are Islamic clerics, who know far more about Islam than the Western apologists, often supporting such a movement or at least its basic assumptions?

–There is much in Islam’s main texts, historical beliefs, and history that is not at all so peaceful. In fact, the revolutionaries, as a number of scholars have ably shown, base themselves on totally authentic portions of the Koran, the hadith, and the respected commentators of the past. To divorce Islam and revolutionary Islamist political ideology is absurd. The Islamists make clear they see themselves as fulfilling religious commandments and are acting as “proper” Muslims.

To ignore the reality of Islamism’s rootedness in Islam is to ensure that you are fooled by stealth Islamists, underestimate the power of the revolutionaries, and even—worst of all!—are ready to help your worst enemies.

–The idea that Islam has been “hijacked” by Islamists ignores the fact that they have a strong claim to legitimacy. They are not heretics or hijackers but contenders for power. And they may well succeed—helped by the blindness and foolish policies of the apologists—in seizing control of Islam. In fact, that seems to be happening.

–To claim there is such a thing as “moderate Islamism” is so ridiculous that it boggles the mind. Yet this is what mainstream academics, journalists, and policymakers argue without any evidence but the most superficial and easily disprove propaganda of the Islamists themselves.

This school tends to be apologetic and even to lie and conceal. By doing so, these “Islam is good” people make it impossible to have a successful foreign policy or to understand revolutionary Islamism.

But in the other corner are those who claim that Islam is innately bad, meaning that its followers are inevitably prone to giving full support to revolutions to seize state power and install radical Sharia-imposing regimes. In this concept, Iran, the Taliban, Hizballah, Hamas, al-Qaida, and the Muslim Brotherhood—as well as the far more subtle revolutionaries running Turkey today–have gotten Islam right and any Muslim who doesn’t support them misunderstands his own religion.

There are many important points they miss but here are five of them:

–For most of history, the systematic interpretation and praxis of Islam held by contemporary revolutionary Islamists did not exist. Thirty years ago, the radicals and their ideas were marginal, viewed as crackpot by most Muslims. The Islamists are well aware of this, and are themselves quite critical of Islam as it has been practiced since the seventh century or so.

J.E. Dyer: A Tale of Two Embassies

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Are liberty and the right to intellectual freedom – including free speech – on “the right side of history”?  I’m increasingly unsure how the Obama administration would answer that question.  I’m even a little unsure how the American public would answer it.  The latest and most disturbing case in point is the handling of the situation with Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who was escorted out of the US embassy in Beijing this week and left in the hands of the Chinese authorities.

Chen, who is blind, was transported to the US embassy on 22 April by well-wishers in China, barely escaping pursuit by authorities.  To secure his departure from the embassy compound, the US agreed to a deal with China by which Chen and his family, who have been tortured and subjected to a brutal form of house arrest for seven years, would be allowed to live, undetained, near a university where Chen could pursue academic studies.  No information has been released as to how the features of that deal would be verified.

Chen reportedly made the decision to leave the embassy when he was told by American personnel that his wife would be beaten by authorities if he did not give himself up.  Chen is in a Chinese hospital, in an extremely vulnerable position, and has been making appeals through the foreign media for help for him and his family.  He has now officially requested asylum of the United States.

Embassies do not make a practice of publicly spiriting asylum-seekers out of host nations, although the embassies of a number of nations, including the US, have quietly assisted over the years in getting asylum-seekers to safety.  During the Cold War, there were official procedures for handling the issue in US embassies and consulates.  Nevertheless, in a publicized case inside the country the dissident seeks to leave, the embassy will not, during normal peacetime relations, take him out of the country by force majeure.

What the embassy can do, however, is offer refuge to the dissident.  The grounds of the US embassy, anywhere in the world, are sovereign US territory.  And what the United States can do is put pressure not on the dissident, but on the dictatorial communist government, to allow Chen and his family to be reunited, and to travel abroad if that’s what they want to do.  Such pressure is more effective when the US has the dissident in safety, and is clearly going to withstand any pressure to give him back to a government that has been torturing and imprisoning him for his beliefs.

The US can put a spotlight on the dissident’s plight, and ensure that the world is watching anything the communist authorities do to his family.  More than that, the president can make it a personal priority to see the dissident released into a safe situation – abroad, if necessary or desired – and a promising future.

How do we know a president and his embassies can do this?  Because it’s what was done by two presidents – Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan – for two Russian Pentecostal Christian families in the former Soviet Union.

On 27 July, 1978, two Pentecostal families from Chernogorsk, in Siberia, burst into the US embassy in Moscow, seeking American help to leave the country.  They had been attempting to emigrate from the USSR for as much as 20 years (in the case of one of their number), which had resulted only in more assiduous oppression by the Soviet authorities.

Of President Carter, we may say that he did at least the minimum by allowing the Pentecostals to remain in the embassy (where they eventually lived for five years).  There is an interesting echo of the accounts of embassy pressure on Chen in this exchange in October 1978 between Carter and the press (view it here in the papers of the Carter administration):

Q:  Mr. President, a family of Russian Pentecostals, the Vaschenkos, are seeking asylum and are lodged in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.  They said in letters that have been smuggled out that the embassy is bringing subtle, emotional pressure to expel them into the hands of the Russians, probably at great risk.  Did you direct the embassy to seek their ouster, or are you willing to give them asylum and visas?

The President.  They are Russian citizens, as you know, and have been in the embassy in the Soviet Union, in Moscow, the American Embassy, for months.  We have provided them a place to stay.  We provided them a room to live in, even though this is not a residence with normal quarters for them.  I would presume that they have no reason to smuggle out correspondence to this country since they have the embassy officials’ ability to transmit messages.  I have not directed the embassy to discharge them from the embassy, no.

Reagan had a more proactive approach, one remembered and affirmed by others in later years.  His concern for those suffering persecution in the communist world was genuine and passionate.  Kiron Skinner wrote about Reagan’s intervention with Soviet authorities – including direct appeals to Leonid Brezhnev and Yuri Andropov – in his 2007 book Turning Points in Ending the Cold War.  (See excerpts from pp. 103-4 here.)  According to Skinner:

By the summer of 1983, at the height of the Cold War chill, Reagan and Andropov had privately worked out the details of the Pentecostals’ release from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and the families were allowed to leave the country.  As Secretary [of State George] Schultz writes in his memoir, “This was the first successful negotiation with the Soviets in the Reagan administration.”  Schultz further notes, “Reagan’s own role in it had been crucial.”

Skinner recounts further the release of well-known dissident Natan Sharansky in 1986 (then known, before his emigration to Israel, as Anatoly Scharansky), as well as Reagan’s advocacy for the Pentecostals and the army of intellectual dissidents in the Soviet Union on his radio program in the 1970s.

Time to Kick the Palestinian Can?

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Would it be prudent for Israel to launch now the kind of unilateral initiative proposed by former Yesha Council Director Naftali Bennett, or is it best to leave well enough alone?

Under Bennett’s plan, Israel would annex Area C – where Jews live – granting full citizenship to the Palestinians residing in the area while at the same time Israel would make the heavy infrastructure investment required so that Palestinians residing in the remainder of the West Bank (under a “full” autonomy subject only to security-related limitations and restrictions on the return of refugees) could enjoy complete freedom of movement within and between those areas.

What’s wrong with continuing with the status quo?

That question itself hinges on a critical assumption, namely that the status quo can be reasonably expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Will the Palestinians be able to change the situation on the ground or will they only spin their wheels in an ongoing series of international resolutions, declarations, and photo ops?

Would a second term President Obama pull all the stops to impose his vision on the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip?

Would a world facing a nuclear Iran seek to appease it by forcing Israel to make dramatic concessions to the Palestinians?

What’s the downside to acting now?

Would it shift the focus away from Iran?

Certainly in column inches and broadcast minutes, but that’s not necessarily the relevant measure.

As it stands today it would appear that an American and/or international decision to use force against the Iranian nuclear program would be driven by assessments of intelligence regarding progress in the Iranian program, with Israeli-Palestinian relations having little if any impact on – or relevance to – the decision making process.

And finally – is it better to implement Bennett’s plan already or instead to make preparations so that the plan can be implemented if and when the Palestinians cross some red line?

Is it realistic to assume that Israel would be able to annex Area C after the Palestinians took their move?

Certainly a lot to think about.

One thing is certain.

It would be a terrible mistake to postpone thinking this through.

 

Originally published by IMRA http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=55982

Israel’s Supreme Court Dismisses Law Absolving Yeshiva Students from Army

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

A majority of Israel’s Supreme Court judges on Tuesday accepted petitions against the Tal Law, which provides an exemption from military service to yeshiva students. The ruling also reveals the sharp differences between outgoing, activist Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch, who advocated nullification of the law, and the incoming president of the incoming, conservative Chief Asher Grunis who sought to reject the petitions.

Beinisch wrote: “Time has proven that the law has not fulfilled its underlying purposes, and, in fact, anchored the law, almost entirely, in the deferment arrangement that existed prior to its enactment and vice versa.”

The new Chief Justice for his part, wrote: “I would have preferred that the court avoid the issue altogether, leaving it in the public sphere, outside the realm of the court.”

Iran Passes Letter to US: You Killed Our Scientist

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

In a letter handed to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran, the Iranian foreign ministry relayed to the United States that it believes the CIA was behind the recent assassination of another Iranian nuclear scientist.  Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan’s car exploded after a magnetic bomb was attached to the side of it during rush hour traffic on Wednesday by a speeding motorcyclist.

The United States and Iran have no formal diplomatic relations.  The Swiss embassy represents US interests in the country, and received the letter from the Iranian foreign ministry on behalf of the United States.

“We have reliable documents and evidence that this terrorist act was planned, guided and supported by the CIA,” the letter said, according to a Reuters report.  US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has denied US responsibility for the attack, the fifth such assassination in 2 years.

Western intelligence sources told Time magazine on Friday that Israel’s Mossad is responsible for the scientist’s death.

The Wall Street Journal on Saturday reported that the U.S. is preparing for the increasing possibility of an Israeli military assault on Iran.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/iran-passes-letter-to-us-you-killed-our-scientist/2012/01/15/

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