Dec 12 2014
By now, you’ve probably heard of the Mensch on a Bench, the toy that was started as a Jewish response to the recent Christmas craze, Elf on a Shelf (earlier this month we gave one away). But Mensch exposure is about to get even bigger–creator Neal Hoffman will be appearing with his product on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank” tonight as part of a special holiday episode.
For those not in the know, Shark Tank is AMAZING. Entrepreneurs present their company/products to a panel of “Sharks”–millionaire and billionaire business mogels including Dallas Mavericks owner Marc Cuban and QVC maven Lori Greiner–and the sharks can decide whether they’d like to invest in the company by way of offering thousands of dollars in exchange for a stake in the company. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 25 2014
I’ll admit it: I’ve had it with this “no screen time under 2” thing. I have always suspected that this “no television” thing is bogus—and at last, someone is saying so.
A guide released last month by the nonprofit group Zero to Three called “Screen Sense: Setting the Record Straight” notes that “children should have lots of time for play in the real, 3-D world,” and parents should, “make screen use a shared experience.”
In other words, the new group posits that maybe, just maybe, the whole “no screen time under 2” thing isn’t getting to the essence of the problem, which is the fear that parents will substitute television for themselves on the regular. In other words, you do not need to fear weirdo rays emanating from screens morphing your child’s brain—instead, you need to fear your own inadequacy as a parent. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 24 2014
So we’ve all been sitting on our couch watching TV, at one time or another, and have seen someone get ambushed at the grocery store. The slender, healthy TV personality (in full make-up) goes through the chips, soda, cookies, and white bread in the shopping cart and they tell the poor, unprepared mom who just popped in, sans make-up, with her yoga pants on, why her children should not be eating sugary snacks.
I never thought it would happen to me.
On a random Thursday I popped into my local Publix grocery store with my 1-year-old, sans make-up (with yoga pants and my worn and beloved orange and blue Coca-Cola t-shirt on) for my regular mid-week shopping trip. This trip usually consists of things I forgot to get over the weekend, or things like fruit and milk that we’ve run out of. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 23 2014
Parenting a preschooler can sometimes feel immense and impossible. The sheer fact that my kid might have lifelong memories of something I did or said haunts me at night. I’ve already trudged through the muddy waters of newborn and toddler stuff and came out (barely) on the other side with some sense of confidence and strategy. But with my firstborn, I wake up each day to unknowns and I’m often up at night Googling how to best connect with him.
I have found that if I’ve talked with my son about something, it helps tremendously if the concept is reinforced by some sort of media. For example, we’ve been talking a lot about wasting water. Money and worth, in general, are very hard concepts for small children to wrap their brains around. I initially tried with “water costs money” and that approach was a giant intangible fail. So now, when the water is running while he is watching his tongue dance in the mirror, I tell him that we don’t want to waste water because it is a precious resource and it might go away someday. Just like the trees in “The Lorax.” He seemed to get that. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 22 2014
Helicopter or snow plow? No, we’re not asking you what your favorite kind of heavy machinery is, but what kind of parent you are. Or aren’t.
This was exactly what Kveller contributing editor Jordana Horn went on “Fox & Friends” to talk about this morning in light of her recent article for Today.com called “The ‘No Rescue’ movement: Could this be the cure for helicopter parenting?”
In the segment, Jordana talks about letting her kids suffer the consequences of their mistakes, such as forgetting to bring their cello to school, instead of Mom stepping in to save the day. Check it out: Read the rest of this entry →
Recently, my family’s been taken with the new sitcom “The Goldbergs.” It’s an adorable show about a boy (Adam Goldberg) growing up in a (I’m assuming Jewish) family in Philadelphia in the 1980s. It’s got an overbearing, loving mother, a father who just wants to be left alone to nap in his recliner after work, and two older siblings who take turns teasing and embarrassing Adam in the ways that only older siblings can. Throw in 80s pop culture (“Star Wars,”“The Goonies,”“Ghostbusters,” mixtapes, and laser light shows) and hilarity ensues.
The series is based on the creator, Adam Goldberg’s, life. As a child, the real Adam Goldberg had a video camera and recorded everything that went on in his household. At the end of every episode, viewers are treated to a snippet of that footage that relates to the story we just watched.
After watching the first season, my husband and I decided that our 10-year-old son might enjoy it too. Some of his favorite movies have been featured in episodes. I had fond memories of watching sitcoms with my parents at his age and hoped this would be a show we could watch together as a family. I didn’t realize it would end up being a favorite show of his, and a means of therapy at the same time. Read the rest of this entry →
Oct 1 2014
When my middle child was in kindergarten, he asked me, “Ish means not really. So why do we say we are Jew-ish, when we’re really Jews?”
I thought about my son’s question while watching ABC’s new sitcom, “Black-ish,” which premiered last Wednesday, September 24, 2014. (Yes, that would have been Erev Rosh Hashanah. The same night “The Goldbergs” premiered. Great scheduling, network guys!)
“Black-ish” tells the story of Andre, a financially successful African-American advertising executive, played by Anthony Anderson, married to Rainbow, an equally successful anesthesiologist, played by Tracee Ellis Ross (daughter of Diana, and, for what it’s worth, born Tracee Ellis Silberstein). Living a prosperous lifestyle in Los Angeles, Andre is worried that his four children are no longer Black, but rather Black…ish. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 30 2014
“What’s teshuvah?” my 3-year-old daughter asked as we were getting dressed for services on the first day of Rosh Hashanah and talking about the holiday.
I explained that during this time of year from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, we can change things about ourselves and how we act in the world. I said, “If you don’t like how something is going, you can turn it around.”
She thought for a moment, then her face lit up and she said, “Like Daniel Tiger says!” Before I could figure out what the heck she was talking about, she sang, “When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good.” Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 17 2014
Apparently 2014 is a good year for bar mitzvah boys.
Earlier this year, 12-year-old Josh Orlian wowed and/or horrified audiences with his verrry dirty comedy routine on “America’s Got Talent.” Then viral bar mitzvah boy Sam Horowitz resurfaced with his very own fashion web series. And now, in time for the High Holidays, we meet Eitan Bernath, of Teaneck, NJ, the new star of the Food Network’s show “Chopped.” On September 30, the show is airing its first-ever teen episode, featuring contestants in fifth and sixth grade.
The young chef–a student at Yavneh Academy is Paramus–sports his kippah throughout the show and even had to consult his rabbi before cooking non-kosher dishes. Read the rest of this entry →
Sep 4 2014
Just when you thought the “Frozen” frenzy was dying down, Disney has announced that it will release a “Frozen” sequel short film, bringing Elsa, Olaf, and Anna back to the big screen.
In the film, appropriately called “Frozen Fever,” Elsa and Olaf set out to throw Anna the best birthday ever, but Elsa’s icy powers threaten to derail their plans.
If you don’t want to wait until spring to get your “Frozen” fix, ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” also plans to do a “Frozen”-themed episode this season, bringing the characters of the beloved Disney movie to live action form. Read the rest of this entry →