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29 Jul 2014


The summer is flying by and we’re trying to enjoy it. However, our thoughts never stray to far from Israel. I am glued to the computer, to the news reports coming out of the Holy Land. My second son is there now on NCSY’s Kollel tour and we hope to join him in 2 weeks. We are G-d willing celebrating our 3rd son’s bar mitzvah in just a few more weeks at the Kotel.

Life does go on, even as we prepare for our trip.

My oldest child is working and my 2 younger children are CITs in a local day camp. They are occupied for a few hours a day, but we still are spending a lot more time together than we do during the year. I love it, but it can also be challenging.

One of the things that I find tough to handle is the need to micromanage their lives. I find I am constantly telling them what to do. I need to remind myself often that I have to respect their point of view and value their input. I know that one of the best ways to do that is to ask them to assist me in thinking of solutions to the little domestic problems that come up. It is also helpful to ask their opinions, empower them to help themselves and praise solution-oriented thinking.

But it seems so much easier for me to do the thinking for them. I know though that in the end, when I do ask them to be a part of the solution, they feel good about themselves and it helps them feel a part of a team, a family team, Team Soclof.

These techniques are great reminders for me on how to do this. I hope you find them helpful as well:

Here are some questions that we can ask to promote problem-solving skills in our kids:

Some ways to ask their opinion are:

Kids also like to have a say in what will help them overcome the little challenges that they face everyday. To teach them that they have the ability to help themselves with a little thought, we can ask:

Finally, I know that I want to reinforce thinking that is solution oriented. I try to recognize any attempts by my children to come up with a solution:

Now I actually have to put this into practice. Wish me luck! I hope I can continue this even on our trip, while we are in Israel!

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.