Articles From October 2015

Understanding Your Teenager


Given the opportunity, would you choose to go back to high school and become a teenager again?  My guess is that your answer mirrors the sentiments of many people whom I asked this question: a resounding NO! What is it about adolescence that is so challenging?  Why is being a teenager so difficult?

According to Eric Erikson, one of the founders of psychology, adolescence is the age when a person is in search of their identity. An adolescent is looking inward and outward to figure out who and what she identifies with, what she wants to make a part of herself, what she will reject and how that may affect her future. Values, morals, and rules are no longer givens. An adolescent is asking questions and searching for the answers that resonate with her. She is testing the boundaries and limits of those in authority to help her identify her own boundaries and limits. She is not willing to take what is spoon-fed to her because she fears that it might taint the person she wishes to become. She is looking to her peers for approval and acceptance so that she can have the courage to accept herself.  Finding one’s identity is not an easy process.

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Tummy Time


You’ve surely been told by your doctor to always put your baby on his back when he sleeps. But what you might not realize is how important it is for your little one to spend supervised time on his belly while awake.

In 1922, the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Back to Sleep program successfully decreased the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in the United States by 40 percent by encouraging parents to put their babies to sleep on their backs. Around the same time, a number of infant carriers that doubled as both car seats and carriers became widely used. The combination of these events greatly impacted childhood development today in unforeseen ways.  According to the American Physical Therapy Association, many physical therapists noticed an increase in motor delay in infants who spend too much time on their backs while awake.

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pta meeting

“Twenty years after my son graduated from elementary school, I still feel pain when I see some of his teachers and rebbeim,” says Mrs. T. “Although my son is now productively employed and happily married, I still cannot forget the feelings of pain I had many years ago when he was a troublemaker in school…those horrible phone calls that filled me with dread every time there was a new infraction to report.  I often felt that the teachers had already labeled him as impossible.”“I have been accused of many things by the parents of my students,” says Mrs. R. a middle school teacher. “Parents have insinuated that their child’s misbehavior is probably my fault because their child has always been fine until he entered my class. They have suggested that I am too old to be teaching and that younger teachers are more equipped to deal with today’s children. It compounds the difficulty of a teacher’s job when we do not have the support of the parents.”

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