Parenting is a demanding job, and finding time to learn and enrich your role as a parent can be challenging. Here you can listen to short segments about Jewish parenting from noted experts. Download and listen on the go, play them while you sit at the computer and multitask or use them as a basis for a parenting discussion group.
by Rabbi Ron Klotz Hoo boy, do I have a lot of kids! Spending thirty-seven years directing a URJ camp brings a lot of children into the family. Do you think I know a lot about parenting? Well, I know a lot about camp directing, and Jewish programming, and conflict resolution, and homesickness and more; but I never thought of myself as an expert in parenting. About eight years ago, our son Jeremy and our daughter-in-law Melissa brought Zoe into the world. Of course grand parenthood presented only wonderful opportunities to my wife and to me. But an unexpected opportunity [...]
by Dana Sheanin It’s not easy being a Jewish educator with a child who hates religious school! I’ll be clear at the outset that I believe my congregation’s religious school is engaging, warm and innovative—but right now it creates stress for my 3rd grade son. Perhaps it’s the extra three hours after the school day. Perhaps it’s that he is an introvert by nature, and really doesn’t like to be in large groups of busy kids. Perhaps it’s that his home life is so Jewishly rich that he is bored by what he gets in the classroom environment (needless to [...]
“Does she remember it or not, it was not only the first day in her life that she used her umbrella, it was also the first day in her life that she walked alone, without holding either her mother’s or her father’s hand.” –Umbrella by Taro Yashima (1958) This is the conclusion of a book I used to read to my now adult children. The main character, Momo, has been given boots and an umbrella for her third birthday. Each day she longs to use them, but each day the sun is shining. When finally a rainy day comes, she [...]
by Jane West Walsh, EdD, R.J.E Good parenting is complex and challenging. Good step-parenting is differently complex and challenging. My step-son Ben made the decision to move from his mother’s home to our home when he was entering eighth grade. It was clear during his month-long stay with us during the summer before his decision to move in that the inquisitive, good-looking and friendly boy I knew was becoming a troubled adolescent confronting the dark side of his personal history as it related to his parents’ divorce along with the academic challenges that often emerge in eighth grade. I worried [...]
by Rabbi Leora Kaye I’m a rabbi, and my husband’s an atheist. My husband Doug’s atheism is well thought-out. He’s a loving, intelligent guy who doesn’t believe in God and hasn’t since he was eleven. He is moral, compassionate and Jewish, and he does not believe that his ethics are related to God. We believe parenting should be deliberate and purposeful, much like Reform Judaism. Choices should be based on knowledge, specifically knowledge about what kind of parent you want to be, what works in your family system and what works for your son or daughter. In this week’s Jewish [...]
by Rabbi Stephen Wise In this week’s Jewish Parenting Podcast, psychologist Richard Weissbourd explains the difference between being a “helicopter parent” and taking a helicopter view of parenting. You may have heard the term “helicopter parent” to refer to hovering and over-involved parents who take too great a role in their maturing children’s lives. Dr. Weissbourd has a unique perspective in that he is teaching us about raising moral children. By taking a step back, a helicopter view, we can look at our own parenting and see what we’re doing that either helps or hinders our children’s moral development. When [...]