The Tyranny Of OCD

With Pesach behind us, what better time to take a closer look at the annual burst of intensity that propelled us, in the weeks and days leading to the yom tov, into a frenzy of cleaning? That sustained embrace of scrupulous cleaning offers insight into a subject that has lately received a great deal of attention in psycho-educational literature. The topic, OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, might be understood by comparing it with that exhausting endeavor from which many of us are just starting to recover.

Relationship Centered Parenting

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

Shutting Down

If the thoughts that are keeping you awake are tasks you need to complete, write them down. This way, you know you won’t forget.

Communicating With A Teenager

For both parents and teenagers alike, adolescence can be a very hard time. Unfortunately, when family life gets rough, communication tends to break down. And when it does, parents need to restore their ability to relate to their teenagers by learning about the rules of communication.

The Cup is Half Full…

It is more than a year since I have seen Chaim K. The last time was when he was hospitalized here at Shaare Zedek’s Pain Clinic with intractable pain. I had kept in touch with him and his doctor, and had recently noticed that he changed his picture on Facebook. When I asked him if he wanted to meet, he answered in the affirmative, and today he “rolled” in smiling.

Control Issue

In our rapidly changing world, the idea of control has begun to change quicker than anyone can imagine. A metamorphosis of unparalleled proportion is taking place and many parents feel that they are unequipped to deal with the challenges that it will demand.

The P’TACH Miracle

One of the leading factors influencing family life is the intellectual and emotional development of the children. In most families, the children grow up healthy, happy and able to fulfill their academic or Torah-based goals. But what happens when a child is perpetually falling behind and is then diagnosed with a learning disability?

The Power of a Teacher

I had just picked up my son from his first day of school, when this beautiful woman smiled at me, then at my children, and continued on her way. A flood of wonderful memories washed over me; this woman had been my first grade teacher.

Saying “Yes” to “No:” The Positive Power of Negative Thinking

In American culture, there is a large emphasis put on optimism. We are told that we need to think positively and that things will work out. For a lot of people, this type of outlook is beneficial and healthy. However, optimism is not a one-size-fits-all affair. Positive thinking works for some, but not for all. For people who have anxiety, optimism can be very difficult and unproductive. Instead, anxious people can harness that anxiety and use it in order to ensure that they do succeed.

Stopping A Child’s Tantrum

Dear Dr. Yael: I am married and have a two and a half year old son. He is a wonderful child, but when he does not get his way, he often has a tantrum. Sometimes, I just give him what he wants because we are in public and his behavior is embarrassing. But I cannot always give in, especially when what he wants is dangerous or unhealthy. It is then that I do not know what to do.

Boys In The Back: Equalizing Education

Think about the perfect student, the one who sits quietly, takes notes, and participates when called on. Now, were you imagining a boy or a girl? Chances are, your “perfect” student was a girl.

Literacy Illuminated (Part II)

Like most first grade classrooms, the one I was observing had students with multiple reading levels. Accordingly, the head teacher had divided the students into different groups so that they could practice skills that were relevant to all members of the small group.

Academic & Social Skills Insights #34

For those who are introverted, being with people often feels like it is sapping their energy – even if they themselves have great social skills.

What Kids Worry About

Do you remember the good old days when kids were kids and there was never anything to worry about? Those days never really existed, but today there are issues kids worry about that weren’t issues for some adults. They include fear of bullying, natural disasters, divorce, and violence.

Friendship: Art or Science?

We can all use the science of likability to master charisma, attract friends, and cultivate people.

Anxiety Q & A: The Unusual Places Anxiety Rears Its Head

Therefore, large servings of both compassion and patience are also necessary remedies for the problem.

Is It ADHD?

While I am not calling to question the diagnoses of medical professionals, there are many children who exhibit signs of ADHD but may be struggling with something else.

How To Be Productive

The secret to being more productive is understanding how to manage your brain better.

Two Different Relationships

In all honesty, I really do feel blessed. Interestingly though only someone in a family situation like mine could possibly comprehend this particular "blessing," and many would not consider it a blessing at all. You see I feel fortunate to have not one, but two wonderful women in my life – both of whom happen to be my mothers-in-law, one from my first marriage and one from my second.

Stepparenting – Challenge And Opportunity

Menchlichkeit, good middos, patience and wisdom are the accolades I heard over and over again by stepchildren and stepparents when I asked them to describe the attributes of a good stepparent.

More Than Meltdowns?

Explosive children or those with ODD are easily frustrated, demanding and inflexible.

If You Want to Be Happy, Just… Be Happy?

If we start off happy, then we feel good about ourselves and what we are doing.

Teacher Training: What First-Year Teachers Need to Know

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

how r u? i am gr8. ttyl ;) Teaching Our Children Writing Skills

The abbreviated language of text messaging has entered our everyday lives. While texting is an excellent, quick way to communicate with our friends and family, it is a symptom of a greater issue facing today's students: declining writing skills.

Getting The Interview, And The Job

Watch your weakness. Interviewers are often wary of people who answer, “What is your weakness?” with “I am a perfectionist” or “I work too hard.” Those answers seem disingenuous and often make the interviewee appear insincere.

ADHD On Vacation

While days off from school can be daunting for all parents with young children, for parents of children with ADHD, they can be thoroughly frightening. Children who have ADHD have trouble sitting still, focusing on one thing at one time, and attending to details. While their attention seems unfocused, it is actually multi-focused. Their mind takes in multiple stimuli at once, making it hard to engage in one activity for long periods of time. Therefore, entertaining children with ADHD all day can often feel like an exercise in frustration with children “bouncing off of the walls.”

Are You A Caterpillar Or Butterfly

Have you ever seen pictures or a video of a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly - what a miraculous site, truly a confirmation of the Creator constantly at work.

A Child-Centric Seder

Dear Gary, As Pesach approaches, I get worried because I want to have a great Yom Tov, and yet, every year, the seder ends in some sort of fighting and arguing. My husband wants the seder to be all about divrei Torah and so do I, but between the younger children (who we want to be awake for the whole seder) and guests, we somehow end up in stern looks and squabbles. I'm happy we have guests or else we'd probably start yelling at each other and even Eliyahu Hanavi would bail. I know everyone jokes about how tough Pesach is, but I can't see the humor anymore – and neither can my children. What can we do to manage a calm (I don't even wish for happy) seder? A Sad Mom

Instilling Derech Eretz

Dear Dr. Respler: I enjoyed your recent column concerning the jealousy a girl had toward her newborn brother.

Language Based Learning Disability: Not Just In The Classroom

Children with dyslexia or dysgraphia frequently have problems in social relationships.

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