Monday, July 28, 2008

“Imagination---Life is Your Creation”

Kids love to play pretend. They have kitchen sets where they get to “cook”. They have tool boxes where they get to “fix” things. They like doing things where they are imitating what they see done by adults.

If you ask a kid what he wants to be, he will usually say a police officer, fire man, or Hatzollah cause these are jobs they imagine as important jobs. One girl I babysat, when asked what she wants to be when she grows older, she said a insurance broker. She said it because that is what her father is, and she wants to be just like him.

Kids have so much fun playing cops and robbers. Chasing each other around and putting them in jail. They like playing doctor and stitching up a patient. They like playing hair dresser and cutting hair. They like getting dressed up into “Mommy” clothes.

Now why is it that kids like to play pretend and have such a vivid imagination. It is because in the future when they become adults they are going to have to do some of these roles. So now as a kid they can imagine it, see it in a fun way, and get used to it, so that when they are older they will be ready to take on the adult role and do it the real way.

When a fireman, police man, teacher, doctor, Hair dresser or any other worker is asked why they chose that profession, a lot of them will say it is because as a child they always imagined having that profession, it was their dream job. But then there are those that end up in jobs they never dreamed they would have, because things change as people get older and they start to see the world in a different way. But over all, most still value their child views.

Even though a child imagining things seems to be based on fantasy, its actually based on reality. A girl will play with doll houses imagining she’s a Mother. While a boy will play with a Police car imagining he’s a police officer. These are positions that they have the potential of filling, so they are based on reality.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Digital Age

This time period is filled with digital electronics. People like stuff that are instant, easy, and convenient. People are attracted to electronics for this reason. I never really thought about myself as having experienced something that is now old fashioned.

There was an eleven year old girl that was going on a late night trip with day camp so she wanted a camera to be able to take pictures. Her parents bought her a disposable camera to use. After buying the camera, she was so happy she had her own camera that she started taking pictures of everything she saw. Now since her parents had a digital camera she always saw them taking tons of pictures. She didn’t realize the difference between a digital camera and a disposable one.

So as she was clicking away taking pictures with her disposable camera, I realized she didn’t understand that when she takes pictures she uses it up and there is a limit of pictures she can take. Meanwhile her parents didn’t stop her from taking pictures, and if they paid for it and they didn’t mind, then I didn’t stop her either. We were all laughing at how funny it was.

After this I appreciate my digital camera so much more. I mean it really is great that you can take as much pictures as you want and then delete some and you don’t even have to develop them all, and you can put them on the computer and e-mail them out. I remember a time when we used to have rolls of film, I thought it was so cool that if you pay an extra amount of money they will put it on a CD for you. I guess that was the beginning of some sort of digital form of photography.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


My annoyances are rationalized. There is one thing that annoys me very much, it makes me go mad. One noise I hear and I feel banging in my head and want to destroy things. Sounds crazy but the noise that causes such a disturbance in my head is the noise of chewing.

I don’t know when it started but all of a sudden I hear someone munching on a carrot and I can’t stand it. I’m forced to sit at the same table but I try to inch my chair away or switch seats with someone else to further me. Or sometimes I just take my own carrot to munch on to out drain the noise even though I don’t especially like carrots.

During the week everything is fine cause I can have my music to listen to so I won’t hear it. Family gatherings or other parties have too much talking and music to hear any chewing so I’m fine. But at the Shabbos table it is the hardest, hearing all the munching and chewing.

Sometimes I feel like I want to take the food away from them to stop them, but I know that’s mean and I can’t stop them from eating just because it annoys me. I can’t ask them to leave or not eat where I am because that’s rude. So I’m stuck listening to it and get angry.

When I’m babysitting little kids and I give them a snack of super snack to eat, surprisingly their chewing doesn’t annoy me. I’m fine with it and could sit with them while they eat without getting bothered once.

Then tonight I got an e-mail about a site called Nice Critic. I thought it interesting and decided to check it out, I looked through the different categories picked: “General Behavior”, scrolled down and behold I see it: “You tend to chew very loudly”. So it does exist, people do chew loudly and it is a normal thing to be annoyed at.

Now I can kindly ask all those that chew loudly to please not chew so loudly in my presence!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Amazing Child Singer --- Connie Talbot!

Connie Talbot

She is an amazing singer, with a soft innocent voice.

6 year old Connie Talbot sings 6 songs. 5 Live performances and 1 music video.

Songs Include: "Over the Rainbow", "Ben", "I Will Always Love You", "You Raise Me Up", "Smile", "Three little Birds".

Friday, July 11, 2008

Don’t Hide It -- Show It!

Hiding is not the answer. Most people who say that the Internet is bad, say it because they want to hide the bad stuff out there so that people won’t come in contact with it and then want it. I say the answer is not to hide it, don’t forbid the Internet. Rather teach people out there what is permitted and what is forbidden. Teach them a foundation so that they will not want to do the bad.

Same with children, if you have something valuable that you don’t want the kid to touch, you shouldn’t always have to hide it in places where they can’t reach so they don’t touch it. Once the kid is old enough to understand not to touch, teach them not to touch. If your always hiding things from kids and never teaching them not to touch, then if something is in their reach they’ll take it, not knowing better.

I used to be amazed how certain houses with little kids have plants full of dirt in the dining room in reach of children. I wondered how they were able to keep it there, wouldn’t the children play with the dirt? The answer is no, since the plants were always there, the kids were used to it, the parents taught them not to touch, so they learned and didn’t touch.

Don’t be afraid to have fancy stuff for fear that the kids will break it, you can have all the fancy stuff you want. Of course at times kids will be clumsy and break things, but adults do that too. As long as the stuff are safe for kids then it is ok. Don’t have sharp knives lying around, but then again teach your child that it is dangerous. If you don’t teach your child why not to touch these things, then your going to be in trouble the one time you forget to hide it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kill Your TV

Have you ever counted how many hours you spend watching TV? In a July, 1996 speech, President Bill Clinton noted that, "a typical child watches 25,000 hours of television before his or her 18th birthday.” Most American homes have a TV, people can become addicted to watching TV. There are three major drawbacks to watching TV, one a lack of education, two an increase in violence and three a decrease in health.


  • If children spend their time watching TV they are not spending a lot of time reading and writing.

  • Households that value literacy and push their children to read will have kids that excel in this area.

  • What is being watched is not nearly as important as the simple act of watching.

  • When a child learns to read and write, he must access the schema developed in his brain. As he reads, the child creates pictures in his mind and uses imagination and points of reference to put the story together.

  • It may be that television-bred children's reduced opportunities to indulge in this inner picture-making accounts for the inability of so many children today to adjust to non visual experiences.

  • Watching television does not develop a child's skills in word recognition, decoding, vocabulary, spelling or high-level thinking.

  • Watching television may entertain a child, but his passive participation leaves him unchanged, while reading supports growth.

  • Parents are the only answer to solving this problem.

  • American youth spend more time with media than with any single activity other than sleeping.

  • Parents must learn to establish controls in the house regarding media and support reading, drawing and quiet activities.

  • In order to change the trend of diminishing reading and writing skills, parents may have to do radical things such as turning off the TV.


  • Violence on television is not a new phenomena. In 1968, Action for Children's Television was formed to try and convince the FCC to limit violence and force the networks to show more educational programs for children. In 1983, the FCC ruled against providing any provision for children. One response to this ruling was CBS canceling Captain Kangaroo and replacing it with CBS Morning News.

  • Violent programs that probably have the most detrimental effects on a child's cognitive development are the ones where the here is justified in being violent. Researchers say, Violent scenes that children are most likely to model their behavior after are ones in which they identify with the perpetrator of the violence, the perpetrator is rewarded for the violence and in which children perceive the scene as telling about life like it really is.

    The national institute of mental health has identified 3 major effects of seeing violence on television:

  1. Children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others.

  2. Children may be more fearful of the world around them.

  3. Children may be more likely to behave in aggressive or harmful ways toward others.


  • Of all the possible activities in the world, sitting watching TV is probably the most unhealthy.

  • Television does not promote a healthy lifestyle.

  • Junk food advertising can be viewed with regularity on TV.

  • The whole process of watching TV is not an active one.

  • The diet accompanying TV-watching is high in sugar, fat and calories.
    The American Academy of Pediatrics presents some moderate guidelines recommended to parents:

  1. Limit Children's total entertainment media time to no more than 1 to 2 hours per day.

  2. Remove TV sets from children's bedrooms.

  3. Discourage television viewing for children younger than 2 years, and encourage more interactive activities that will promote proper brain development, such as talking, playing, singing, and reading together.

  4. Monitor the shows children and teenagers are viewing. Most programs should be informational, educational, and nonviolent.

  5. View television programs along with children and discuss the content.

In conclusion, watching TV interferes with children's reading and writing skills, causing them to be less educated. Additionally, it makes children become more violent and leads to an unhealthy lifestyle. So limit your children's TV use, and if at all possible get rid of the TV. Like any addiction watching too much TV is harmful and can interfere with daily activities that lead to a productive life. Now with the Internet having almost all the news hosted on their channel websites for free you don't even need a TV to watch the news. If you want to watch something, use DVD's instead so you can guard what your children are watching and limit the amount they watch.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Bad Language

soap in mouth One of the places where a lot of bad language is found is on the city bus. I remember going on the city bus in High School and I kept hearing curse words. It has become an accepted way of speaking for some. But I don’t think its good for children to hear it. Children will repeat it at the wrong time, and offend someone or get expelled from school even. But sometimes when others hear a little kid say a curse word they may get shocked and think its adorable that a little 3 year old knows such words already. Then they laugh and encourage the kid on. 

I feel cursing shouldn't be allowed by kids. But I don't think washing the mouth out with soap is the answer. Just because soap cleans, doesn't mean you can clean out a mouth that way. It's not the mouth that's doing the talking, its the brain telling the mouth what to say. Second of all, soap is not a food and you don't want to teach your kid to put stuff that aren't food in their mouth. Next they'll put Windex or detergent and then your in trouble. Thankfully, I don't think anyone still uses the practice of putting soap in kids mouths for saying not nice stuff.

Now bad language, doesn't just mean curse words. Being chutzpadik also shouldn't be acceptable. Lots of times kids become the center of attention for being chutzpadik. With the right personality a kid can be admired for it. But I don't think it should be encouraged. Even with teenagers and adults they will have disrespect for other adults, I don't know how they have the audacity to do such a thing.

A college student says to a professor:

"I'll quit smoking if you'll give everyone in the class an 'A'"

now after hearing this, all the other students were on his side, cause they wanted an A. Then the student had the audacity to say:

"Now if you don't give the class an 'A' then its all on you, I gave you the choice, now my continuing smoking is on you, its all up to you!"

How can a student dare say such a thing to a teacher?

Now besides for the way you talk, bad language also includes little words people take for granted to be slang. Words like "P***ed off" should not be said. Even a word like "stupid" should be replaced by "silly". Now if that's all to extreme for you, then just stick with the basics. Don't use bad words near your kids. It might be good for shock value sometimes, but its unprofessional and undignified.

For when you get frustrated and feel like you have to curse to get out the anger, instead make up your own word. I've heard all kinds of words used for these times, words such as "door knob", "fire truck". Pick any object you want, and use that word as your "curse word". Or even make up your own word. But don't use curse words.

I especially feel strongly against parents using curse words on their children. It’s bad enough if a parent tells a kid that their a monster or any negative label. But to call your kid a piece of s***, is just horrible. It lowers the kids self esteem and self confidence. It makes the child have negative feelings toward the parent. It causes the child to be disrespectful toward the parent by cursing back.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Going out in PJ’s

Ever see children out at night in pj’s? They look so comfy looking. There’s something about kids in pj’s that makes them look so much cuter and huggable.

I remember as a kid maybe once going out at night in pj’s. It was when my mother gave birth to the next set of twins. My siblings and I had to be driven to relatives to stay by. Because it was in middle of the night and it was an emergency situation we went in our pj’s, we were still young then.

I used to have nightmares that there would be a fire Chas V’Shalom, and the scariest part was having to go out in pj’s. But it seems like plenty of kids don’t mind leaving their house that way. I’ve seen kids at restaurants in pj’s. I’ve seen kids playing outside at night in pj’s.

Mothers probably do this so that they won’t have the hassle of getting the kids changed before bed. They figure it will save them time. It’s a psychological trick as well, they tell the kid to get changed into pj’s, but not to worry they don’t have to go to sleep, they can still play outside. This way the kid gets changed accomplishing the first task of going to sleep, making it easier for the mother when it is actually time to go to bed, so there’s no fighting it.

The only problem I have with this theory is that it defeats the whole purpose of pj’s. The purpose of Pj’s is to have a nice clean comfy set of clothes to wear to bed. If the child plays outside in his pj’s then he is getting it dirty, if he goes to bed in those pj’s he might as well have gone to bed in his clothes.

If a family is taking a long drive at night, then its smart to change the kids into pj’s before you leave and let them sleep comfortably in the car. Bring along pillows and little blankets too, to help them rest better.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Day Camp

Day camp is great for families where parents are working and can’t entertain their kids in the summer. Its also great for stay at home mom’s, to be able to send their kids to a place where they know their child will have a fun filled summer.

However, it seems like parents are always wanting to send their kids away. Parents are so excited once day camp finally starts. They even wish they had day camps for babies.

“****wishes there was camp for babies too”

“Day camp finally stared today! Hooray!”

“only x days left till day camp starts, thank goodness”

Now why is this that parents always want to send their kids away?

I can understand parents need breaks here and there. But kids are mostly in school the whole week, for the few days that their off, it is an opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their children. There are so many great places to go with children, that are even free too.

Parents are relying so much on others to care for their children, that when the child has off the parent doesn’t know what to do with the child. I can understand you don’t want to be cooped up in the house with a bored child who might drive you crazy. But you can do productive stuff together. Use the day as a day of taking care of errands that had to be done with the child then have lunch together and bond. If it is younger children, you can still have fun with them too. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Spoiling Children

You go to the doctors office and there is a mother and son who just came in, there are two chairs left, an adult size chair and a little kids chair. The son sits on the adult chair, the mother tells her son to get up, that the chair is for her, and the little kids chair is for him. But he persists on sitting on the adult size chair, the mother having no other choice squeezes herself into the little kids chair.

Now what is wrong with this situation? The child is a spoiled child. Children of this generation are becoming more spoiled, they have power over their parents, don't let this happen to your child. According to Dan Kindlon, author of "Too Much of a Good Thing", 60% of parents thought their kids were spoiled, and 15% of teens think they themselves are spoiled. We will go through what causes a spoiled child, why spoiling your child is not good and how to prevent your child from becoming spoiled.

What causes spoiled children:
The main cause is permissive parenting, where parents don't set limits and give into tantrums and whining. Holding a baby is equivalent to loving the baby and does not spoil the child.

Why spoiling a child is bad:
A spoiled child is one who can use a bit more discipline, they find it hard to share, wait their turn, appreciate what they have and accept that they can't always get their way.
Spoiled children run into trouble by the time they reach school age. Other children won't like them because they are too bossy and selfish. Adults don't like them because they are rude and make excessive demands. Eventually spoiled children become hard for even their parents to love because of their behavior. Spoiled children eventually become unhappy cause they can't get along with others. Spoiled children may show decreased motivation and perseverance in their school work. Overall, spoiling a child prepares a child poorly for life in the real world.

To Prevent your child from becoming spoiled:
1- Provide age-appropriate limits and rules for your child:
Children need external controls until they develop self-control and self-discipline. Your child will still love your if you say "no" to him.
2- Require cooperation with important rules:
Have 10 to 12 important rules that are not open to negotiation and make sure that other adult caretakers of the child are consistent with them. Then give your child choices in other areas that are not important. Show your child the options of which cereal to eat or what to wear and let the child choose.
3- Expect your child to cry:
Respond to crying immediately when dealing with needs of the child. However when its part of a tantrum ignore it. But be careful to avoid denying him his feelings and don't call him a cry-baby or punish him for crying.
4- Don't allow tantrums to work:
As long as your child stays in one place is not too disruptive or in a position to harm himself, you can safely ignore him during a tantrum.
5- Don't overlook discipline during quality time:
When spending quality time it should be enjoyable, but also reality based, don't ease up on the rules.
6- Don't try to negotiate with young children:
Don't give away your power as a parent. Only by age 14 to 16 a teenager can be negotiated with as an adult, you can ask for his input about what limits and consequences are fair. You don't have to give a reason for every rule. Sometimes it is just because "that's the rule".
7- teach your child to cope with boredom:
Assuming you talk and play with your child several hours a day, you do not need to be his constant playmate. Sending your child off to "find something to do" is doing him a favor. Much good creative play, thinking and daydreaming come from coping with boredom.
8- Teach your child to wait:
Waiting helps children learn with frustration. Delaying immediate gratification is something your child must learn gradually, and it takes practice.
9- Don't rescue your child from normal life challenges:
These are opportunities for learning and problem solving. Always be available and supportive, but don't help your child with situations he can handle by himself.
10- Don't over praise your child:
Praise your child for good behavior and following the rules. Praising your child while he is in the process of doing something may cause him to stop at each stop, expecting more praise.
11- Teach your child to respect the rights of adults:
Spending every free moment of your evenings and weekends with your child is not good for your child or for you. Schedules nights out with your spouse or friend will not only nurture your adult relationships, but also help you to return to parenting with more to give. Your child needs to learn to accept separations from his parents.

In conclusion, spoiling a child is not good for you as the parent or for the child, prevent your child from becoming spoiled. To un-spoil your child you need to set firm limits, be consistent and provide choices. But keep in mind that when children ask for things, a lot of times there can be more to what their asking, something deeper. You have to look at their request and see what's behind it. If the child asks for a new toy, it could be more than just the toy they want, they could be asking for time with their parent. So spend quality time with your children, but remember who is in charge and don't let your child become spoiled.