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Posts Tagged ‘young children’

‘Hotel Pesach’

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

        It’s erev Pesach, the house is sparkling, the chicken soup is cooking, the potatoes have been peeled (20 pounds worth) and the guests are on their way.

 

         You’re so excited, for it’s been quite a while since you’ve seen the out-of-towners, and your heart is beating quickly in anticipation. But you have a dreadful feeling because the real Pesach workout is just beginning, and you pray that you will have the strength and patience to get through the next few days.

 

         And you can – by establishing a few ground rules, and facts on the ground. Here they are:

 

         If your guests are married children, you must (upon their arrival) remind them that the week of Pesach consists of holy days, not holidays. They are not on vacation, and your house is not a hotel. In other words, there are no housekeeping, laundry or baby-sitting services, and the kitchen is not open 24/7. Everyone must share in preparing and serving the meals, and in cleaning up afterwards. On Pesach, we are all royalty; there are no “servants.” Hence, we all have to roll up our sleeves.

 

         The only exceptions to “we’re all in this together” are the elderly, the infirm, and very young children. Acquaintances and relative strangers who were invited so they would partake in a Seder should be made to feel like guests of honor and not be expected to take part in the “chores.”

 

         As a host/hostess, you can also make life easier for yourself this Pesach (and any time adult offspring visit) with a bit of foresight and lots of self-restraint.

 

         Foresight involves anticipating the needs of your guest so that during Yom Tov – when shopping is out of the question – there will be no crises due to lack of a necessary provision.

 

         If there are babies or young children visiting, make sure that your home is childproof, including plugs for the outlets, safety gates and locks by the stairs and cabinet doors, and unreachable medications and poisonous household items.

 

         If elderly relatives are visiting, be extra vigilant that their pills – often in colorful hues that make them look like candy – are not left in places where toddlers can get a hold of them.

 

         Have the following items on hand: several extra boxes of diapers of various sizes; boxes of baby wipes and tissues; lots of juices and milk; and toys and books that will distract bored or cranky little ones.

 

         It’s also very important that each bathroom being used by your guests has a container of liquid soap, room freshener and tissue boxes. If possible, a nice touch would be added by providing a small dorm-sized refrigerator filled with water, juice and snacks in a guest bedroom or hallway. This will permit guests needing to get a drink or snack during the night for a child or themselves to do so quickly and privately, without having to make their way to the kitchen.

 

         Most important for a Pesach get-together that will fortify family ties and create warm memories is to be as machmir (stringent) on restraining yourself as you were in getting rid of your chametz. For this, remember the wise Yiddish saying, schveig shtill (be quiet). When your company arrives, your house should be criticism-free – like it is chametz-free.

 

         If you are a guest, do not tell your daughter or daughter-in-law how much better the food was last year at your other child’s home, or be critical of how the kids are dressed for Yom Tov, or how you would do this or that differently. In particular, if you are not invited to do so, do not take over your hostess’ kitchen or any other part of her domain. And certainly do not compare the way she does things to how you or anyone else does it. Likewise, if you are the ba’al ha’bayis, keep any negative opinions or comments about your children or their spouses to yourself. They came to celebrate Yom Tov, not to be scrutinized and evaluated.

 

         Being in an environment of unconditional love is what family gatherings should be all about.

Readers Write – Part 2

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

         On January 5 of this year, I wrote about a reflexologist, who used her skills to not only diagnose and heal, but also provide a caring touch for people (such as the elderly who live alone and well spouses) who can live for weeks at a time without being touched.


 

 


Dear Ann,

 

         Could you please share with me the name, address and phone number of the reflexologist whom you visited? I am divorced for almost 23 years, have had brain cancer which left me somewhat disabled, and my five children are all married, B”H, so I live all alone. I feel the skin hunger so strongly, at times. I think I could really benefit from this.

 

Thank you.

 

 


         The term “skin hunger” truly shows the desperate need we humans have to be touched. Whether a handshake, hug or pat on the back, the absence of touch for an extended period of time is devastating. Unfortunately, the therapist I wrote about worked too far from the letter writer. If anyone knows a reflexologist, massage therapist or another professional that lives in the (718) area code that concentrates on the whole person’s needs and can give time and caring along with healing to the above writer, please forward the information to me so I can pass it on.


 


Thanks, Ann


 


 


Dear Ann,

 

         I happen to be in total agreement about the cell phones being overused (December 1, 2006). One can see young children sent to the corner store with cell phones. What ever happened to the idea of carrying a list and reading, or remembering the items needed,  skills that are now being wasted. This further carries over to the school setting and thus many, rather too many, have learning problems. Unfortunately, I realize that there are those who do and will always have problems in school but perhaps some could be avoided.

 

Unsigned

 

Dear Unsigned,

 

         All the new technology has its positive and negative sides. We are all familiar with the advantages and dangers of computers, for example. One recent new finding about the excessive use of computers by young children, is their declining ability to make eye contact with people when speaking and a lag in social skills development. Both are very important for success. We must be very vigilant to the negatives in new technology as well as the lost opportunities for personal and social development.

 

         I absolutely agree with you that cell phones have unfortunately replaced many chances for learning. Writing and reading grocery lists was always a tool for developing reading skills in young children. Also, remembering what was needed in the store was one way to exercise memory skills. I believe that dependence (of any kind) is rarely a good thing. Whether it is on tools or people, it hinders the development of self-confidence and independence, both of which are very important.

 

         But it is important to remember that it’s not the tools themselves that are the culprits but how weallow them to be used by our children and ourselves. In the end, it is we who decide whether these tools will make our lives easier or steal essential developmental exercises from our families.


 

 

Hi Ann-

 

         I read with great interest your January 12, 2007 column, “The Importance of a Medical List.” I have a nursing consulting business here in Miami Beach. One of the services I provide is a health information card that documents a patient’s vital information. This card is wallet-size and laminated. It is ideal for elderly people who need to have the information accessed by family, friends, paramedics or other healthcare personnel in the event of a medical emergency. It includes important contact and medical information.

 

          I genuinely believe that all elderly people should carry such a card so that in a medical emergency, this information is readily accessible to family, friends, or healthcare personnel.

 

         It is an ideal gift for Bubbe or Zayde, and can be updated as frequently as necessary. The initial charge for the card is $18.00, and any periodic updates on the card (i.e. for medication changes or contact changes) are $7.50.

 

         I can either fax or e-mail the health information form to a designated family member, and once it is completed and returned to me, I’ll input the data into the computer If the buyer mentions this article when placing the order, I will send them two cards for the price of one. A family member could hold the duplicate card, so that the important medical information that is on the card can be accessed.


Barbara Lang blangrn@hotmail.com


 (305) 778-6327

 

Dear Barbara

 

         Thanks for sharing the information on this valuable service. Carrying this information could save your life and give your children peace of mind. Whether your medical list is scribbled on a scrap of paper, printed on a computer or is professionally done by a company such as yours is up to each individual. But carrying such information wherever you go should be seen as a necessity.

 

Ann


 


         Note: I have no personal knowledge of the letter writer or her business. Publishing her letter should not be considered an endorsement but a sharing of an interesting ideaand place to startshould you have the need of such services.

 

         You can reach me at annnovick@hotmail.com 

The Sound Of Silence

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

(Names changed)





Silence is assent, or so the saying goes. Yet, in today’s world, does someone’s silence mean agreement? Not responding to an invitation to a simcha (silence) is taken as a negative response. Agreement from a passive-aggressive person is just another way of saying no. Knowing what silence means, when it comes from someone else, is difficult. However, when people make a commitment, agree to a plan or give their word to something, is it not assumed they will follow through, or at least tell you why they didn’t? When nothing happens and the task is not done or the commitment reneged on, and all you hear is silence (as if the agreement never happened), you are left in bewilderment and anger.


Malky was having a hard time going through her chronically ill husband’s things after he had passed on. She was thrilled when her daughter offered to come and help. The only problem was that Malky’s daughter would have to stay over several days (she lived quite a distance away) and because of this she would have to bring her two young children. After two days of emotionally laden work, with constant interruption by the two young children, Malky realized that they would never finish going through her husband’s things without help with the children. She called around to see if anyone’s older children were available to help babysit. One parent made the commitment for her children. She said her children were very tired after camp, but she could imagine how difficult it was for Malky, and so her children would be happy to commit to help for a few hours the next day starting at 1:00.


It wasn’t till after 2:00 that Malky realized the sitters weren’t coming, and probably never intended to come. Through the grapevine, Malky heard that the parent had difficulty saying no when Malky asked for the favor, and so decided to agree, but just not have the children show up. Meanwhile, Malky fell further behind in her emotionally charged work, and another day was lost.


Tzippy told me that she found herself in the exact situation as Malky. The difference was, that she had already gone through her husband’s things by herself but found it too painful to deal with the accounts and people. Presenting the death certificate over and over and answering the questions at the bank, the phone company and everywhere her husband’s name needed to be removed, was just too painful to do alone. She didn’t want her young grandchildren to see her in the state she knew she’d be in, doing this task, and she dreaded doing it alone. She, too, asked a favor in the form of baby-sitting time. She, too, was let down at the last minute with silence as the explanation for the noshow. In the end Tzippy and her daughter took the children to the various appointments. They had no other choice. The children found it frightening to see their grandmother cry, over and over again, at each stop. The pain the children went through, as well as the pain Tzippy went through, by watching her grandchildren’s discomfort and fear each time she broke down, could all have been avoided if the sitter had shown up. Further, an explanation was never given and an apology never received.


When making a commitment to someone – even a tentative commitment – and then not following through, it is important to take the 60 seconds to make a phone call and let the person know, who is relying on you. Otherwise, the person at the other end may have to manage unexpectedly at the last minute, be unable to keep appointments or go through more grief than would be necessary.

Q & A: Meat And Milk Issues (Conclusion)

Wednesday, August 4th, 2004
QUESTION: I am presently nursing. I would like to know until what age it is permissible to nurse my child soon after feeding him chicken. In general, how long do we wait between eating meat and dairy?
A Concerned Mother
New York City
ANSWER: The prohibition against eating meat and milk together, “…Lo tevashel gedi bachalev immo…,” is stated three times in the Torah: Exodus 23:19 and 34:26, and Deuteronomy 14:21. Three warnings are learned from the repetition, one against eating basar bechalav, one against deriving benefit therefrom, and one against cooking the mixture (Chullin 115b). Other exegeses were also derived from this unusual repetition. The types of meat included in basar bechalav were extended by the Rabbis to include fowl and non-domesticated animals’ flesh as well (Chullin 103b).We discussed the Gemara in Ketubbot (60a) that serves as a source for allowing mother’s milk (for babies), as presented by Rambam (Hilchot Ma’achalot Asurot 3:2) and the fact that it is considered pareve (Yoreh De’ah 87:4). Issues of mar’it ayin apply to mother’s milk with regard to cooking meat, but where this does not apply, as with a nursing infant, there is no need for concern.

We continued with an examination of the necessary waiting time between consuming meat and milk. We also addressed the question of the necessary waiting time between the consumption of dairy foods (milk, as well as soft or hard cheeses) and meat. There are various opinions, but one common requirement is that the hands be washed and the mouth rinsed after dairy.

We then proceeded with a discussion regarding the age at which a child is required to wait the full time between meat and milk, as an adult does. Whereas the set age for the obligation to fulfill mitzvot is 12 years and a day for girls, and 13 years and a day for boys, there are various subjective definitions as to when a child can be considered capable of understanding, and therefore parents have to be meticulous in training the child in the fulfillment of mitzvot.

* * *

We find a more precise definition in this regard in the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De’ah 245:5), where R. Yosef Caro states, “From when [at what age] must one begin to teach his son [Torah]” From the time he starts to talk. He then begins to teach him the verse in Parashat VeZot HaBeracha (Deuteronomy 33:4), ‘Torah tziva lanu Moshe morasha kehillat Yaakov – The Torah that Moses commanded us is the inheritance of the Congregation of Jacob,’ and the first verse of the Shema recital as found in Parashat VaEt’chanan (Deuteronomy 6:4), ‘Shema Yisrael, Hashem Elokeinu, Hashem Echad – Hear, O Israel, Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is one.’”

He continues, “And later on [as he attains more understanding] he teaches him more, until the child reaches six or seven years of age, and then he sends him to the melamdei tinokot – the teachers for young children.”

He reiterates further (245:8), “We bring the young children [to the school] to be taught when they a full five years of age, but they are not to be brought earlier than that. And if the child is delicate, we bring him [there] when he is a full six years of age.”

The Vilna Gaon explains that this halacha is not inconsistent with R. Yosef Caro’s earlier ruling (245:5) because the numbers are essentially the same, for “age five” is understood to mean up to the sixth birthday…

R. Caro’s source is the Gemara in perek “Lo yachpor” (Bava Batra 21a), where it is concluded that when a child reaches six years of age, or seven if he is delicate, we are to begin instructing him in Torah, and thus his chinuch (education) commences.

The Gemara (ad loc.) adds the instructions of Rav to R. Samuel b. Shilat, who was a teacher of young children: “Do not accept children before the age of six; from that age you can accept them, and stuff them with Torah like [one feeds] an ox.”

Obviously, Rav’s opinion is that a child before that age is not ready to learn, and teaching him at that time will be counterproductive.

Kashrut matters are also an area of study that we engage in all our lives, considering how often we eat meals – three times a day, seven days a week. We wish to ensure that what we eat and how we eat it is fully in accord with Halacha. Thus, there must be an age when we start the kashrut education of our young children.

We find the view of the Gaon R. Moshe Stern, zt”l (Responsa Ba’er Moshe Vol. 3:36), who deals with this question specifically: “Starting at what age do we wait before we feed a young child milk after he ate meat? We only begin at age three. Before that time one feeds a child milk even immediately [after meat]. The only requirement is that one wash out the child’s mouth so that there is no residue of meat therein. After three years of age we begin to train the child [to wait] one hour, and then subsequently two and three hours, until the child reaches six years of age, because they [the halachic authorities] did not set a requirement of six hours [for such a young child]. For a child who is delicate, or who will not drink any other beverage before going to sleep, or in other similar situations, the [halachic authorities] were more lenient up to age nine but suggested waiting three hours whenever possible. However, even regarding a healthy child they were not very meticulous in this matter, that is, to wait beyond three hours. After age nine - that is when they are stricter…”

In Responsa Teshuvot VeHanhagot (Vol. 1:435) we learn that the Gaon R. Moshe Sternbuch rules similarly in a related case. There we read, “It would seem that as soon as [the child] understands the prohibition of milk after meat, even at age two, it is proper to educate (chinuch) him as we do with all other mitzvot in regard to violations [of Halacha], as we note from the halachic authorities (Orach Chayyim 343; Mishna Berura 343:3) who state, ‘…and it is proper to wait one hour (after the child’s mouth has been washed and the teeth brushed).’ One hour is the essential waiting period of the Rema (Yoreh De’ah 89). However, when the child reaches age five or six, which is the age when we begin the education for mitzvot, we have to start teaching him to wait three hours before drinking milk after eating meat. (Ed.: But, note Mishna Berura and Orach Chayyim 70:6 and 70:1.) At age nine or ten, we teach the child to wait the full required time.

“The Chochmat Adam (40:13) is lenient regarding an ailing person, whom he permits to consume milk as soon as one hour after eating meat, and the rule for a minor child would be the same.”

However, R. Sternbuch advises that [even with the very young] there should be some sort of chinuch in this matter. It is thus proper that as soon as feasible, a young child should be trained to wait six hours. He adds that he has not found this matter extensively discussed in the works of the poskim. Nevertheless, the concept is that the young child should be educated, the goal being the regular observance of mitzvot when the age of obligation is attained.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/ask-the-rabbi/q-a-meat-and-milk-issues-conclusion/2004/08/04/

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