Tag: Kids


When It Comes to Holiday Greetings, Assume the Best

Back in 2009, Gap released one of my favorite holiday commercials. It featured a group of happy, sweater wearing, scarf-clad people dancing while chanting the following: Two, four, six, eight ’tis the time to liberate! Go Christmas! Go Chanukah! Go Kwanza! Go Solstice! Go classic tree! Go plastic tree! Go plant a tree! Go without a tree! You 86 the rules. You do what just feels right. Happy do whatever you wannukah and to all a cheery night! My then eight-year-old daughter loved the commercial as well and quickly memorized the lyrics.......

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Explaining Anti-Semitism to My Young Kids

Growing up deep in the rural, isolated Midwest, it’s hard to say what was more foreign to me – Judaism or the ever-elegant, art-filled Paris. Now that I’m middle-aged and living in a big city, I’m well acquainted with both. I first visited Paris on my honeymoon. I was a new convert to Judaism, having completed my study just months before. Seeing Paris’ Museum of Jewish Art and History was as important as visiting the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. I’d never experienced such intense security. An uneasy feeling from the searching,......

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Teens Under 'Pick a Career' Pressure

How did you pick your current career, or could it better be said that your career picked you? When did you know what you “wanted to be when you grew up”? Think back to eighth grade: Imagine, at that age, committing to the career path you have now. Sound crazy? Well, that is pretty much what the state of Texas has asked 400,000 graduating eighth graders to do. What are they thinking? Their system requires students to pick not so much a career but a specific path of study from among five......

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Own Your Grit vs. Quit Decisions

Are you a quitter or a gritter? Do you take special pride in your ability to stick to a task, or to getting your kids to do so? Does it matter what is actually being accomplished, or does that not even matter because life is mostly about staying in the game, no matter what? Is grit – defined by its most prominent proponent, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Angela Duckworth, as “the tendency to sustain perseverance and passion for challenging long-term goals” – really as important as it is increasingly fashionable to claim?......

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Do Children Thrive Under Fewer Rules, or More?

It doesn’t take the genius of Einstein or the compassion of Mother Teresa to realize that bullying is bad. But it may take a combination of new information and wisdom to actually curb the practice of bullying and other forms of childhood/adolescent violence. As part of a recent university study, a New Zealand primary school suspended most recess rules, and observed a significant drop in bullying, vandalism and school violence – not to mention an increase in classroom attention by students. To be clear, they didn’t invite kids to brings weapons to......

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