Practical Parenting

A Frindle Distraction

As the media sowed frenzied fear during COVID, and the government imposed isolation on citizens, destroying relationships and the economy in one draconian move, people turned to mashed potatoes. Just as had happened after 9/11, comfort food and comfort reading proliferated. Quite frankly, I do not want to be comforted right now. As the hostages […]

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Attitudes, Not Academics

What Are Your Children Learning? During the 1960s and onwards, many TV stations such as New York’s WNEW-TV (channel 5), prefaced the 10 o’clock news with the phrase, “It’s 10 PM. Do you know where your children are?” As a child in the safe boundaries of my urban middle-class neighborhood, I assumed it was a

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Bad News All Around?

Only if we let it be. This week, I happened to be in a hotel lobby more often than I usually am. This lobby featured a large television screen on which CNN ruled. Each time I looked up from my work and glanced at the screen, I either saw scenes from Ukraine or a commercial.

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Rays of Hope

Have you ever bitten your lip while a neighbor’s child shared her adulation of Ruth Bader Ginsberg or Hillary Clinton (or Heaven help us, Kamala Harris), based on one of the many books that she is reading? Have you been unable to find a children’s biography that you are happy to own? Does your child’s

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Normalizing the Abnormal

When talking to women looking to meet a man, they frequently say to me, “I just want to meet someone normal.” The problem is who gets to decide what is normal? My definition may be very different from yours. My views of normal certainly differ greatly from the views held by many of my fellow

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A Different Kind of Bread Line

The great food giveaway The first time I glanced out my window and saw the line of cars, I thought it was a funeral procession. Slow-moving, inching along at a stately pace, the formation seemed never-ending. I went online to discover which important person had died. No one had. When I expressed my bafflement to

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Henry’s Awful Mistake

Did fixing a problem make it worse? Don’t give up! In one of our children’s favorite picture books, Henry’s Awful Mistake, Henry the duck decides to get rid of an ant in his kitchen. Before long, his overly vigorous efforts lead to a burst water pipe, a flooded house and evacuation. You get the idea,

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Mommy and Me Bible Study

What is appropriate to learn with my child? Hello Rabbi Lapin and Susan, I hope you are well. My question is about sharing the Bible with my son. For many years now I have been blessed to go through the entire Bible each year with the help of a daily podcast. This year I am

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The Unread Book Review

Is it great literature or virtue-signaling? In addition to his ‘day-job’, for many years my husband hosted a radio talk show on KVI in Seattle and then later on KSFO in San Francisco. He occasionally featured a movie review but with an unusual wrinkle. He light-heartedly claimed that while there were many reviewers who described

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Let’s Put On a Show!

Over the almost two decades that we actively homeschooled, there were many times that I questioned whether I was doing the right thing or  adequately preparing my children for a successful future. Then, there were those radiant moments when I inwardly shouted, “YES!!!” I remember one such moment when I found a few of our

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