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Aug 14 2014

After 10 Years, Finally a Diagnosis For My Son

By at 11:46 am

woodlands-sign

My son Joey is turning 10 this fall. His development has been anything but normal.

Since Joey was 18 months old, we have seen countless professionals who have attempted to evaluate and diagnose him. None of the doctors, therapists, psychologists, or teachers were ever able to satisfactorily define Joey’s behavior. I often wondered if he was autistic, but that didn’t totally fit. He also exhibits a lot of Asperger’s characteristics, but again, not a complete match.

Allow me a moment to give you an idea of what I’m talking about: Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 13 2014

I Never Thought I’d Let My Son Watch TV–Until Now

By at 3:25 pm

Boy-watching-TV

I love television. I always have. I love to talk about TV with friends, I love to rewatch shows I haven’t seen in years, and now with services like Hulu and Netflix, I love catching up on shows I missed the first time around. I don’t usually have much time for TV, but while recovering from a C-section this past February, I watched almost the whole 10-year run of “How I Met Your Mother” while caring for my newborn. Hundreds of episodes, probably.

I can’t believe I just told you all that. Because I love TV, but boy, do I feel guilty about it. Whenever I am watching, I always feel that I should be working, or cleaning the house, or exercising, or pre-cooking healthy meals for my family to be pulled out of the freezer at a moment’s notice, or, or, or… you get the idea.

For better and for worse, I have used TV as a method of self-care, distraction, and procrastination for decades. It’s not as destructive as drugs or gambling, I know, but it isn’t exactly virtuous either. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 12 2014

The Overbearing Jewish Moms of Bravo’s “Extreme Guide to Parenting”

By at 4:51 pm

If you want to feel like you have a handle on this whole parenting thing you should probably watch Bravo’s “Extreme Guide to Parenting.” Unsurprisingly, a disproportionate number of the “extreme parents” are Jewish, with stereotypically overbearing moms who smother their children with kooky love and unconventional parenting philosophies.

Enter Shira Adler, “Eco-Kosher Shamanistic Godess” mom. You read that right. Shira believes her son Yonah, who has ADHD, is an “indigo” child which means he sees invisible “spirit animals” all around him, including water buffalo, flying monkeys, and unicorns.

Yonah admits he doesn’t really know what an “indigo child” is. It’s more his mom’s thing, he explains. Shira says, “Indigos are here on the planet to break down old paradigms, but he also breaks me down.”

But that’s just the first episode. Next up are the Eisenbergs, AKA “The Pushers.” (Jewish and pushy? What are the chances?) This family won’t accept anything less than A+ in all subjects along with complete excellence in a plethora of sports and extracurricular activities. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 8 2014

Dear Media: Leave Noah “Apparently Kid” Ritter Alone!

By at 2:16 pm

Noah-Ritter2

Noah Ritter was having the best day of his life–that is, until it rapidly spiraled into his worse nightmare. The 5-year-old, who is crashing with Grandpa Jack in Wilkes Barre, PA for the summer, became an overnight internet sensation when he reviewed rides for a local TV station at the Wayne County Fair in Pennsylvania and hijacked the interview with his adorable overuse of the word “apparently.”

But by the next morning, throngs of TV reporters–vultures, really–had descended on Grandpa Jack’s lawn. Everyone wanted a piece of #ApparentlyKid, who seems more confused and overwhelmed by each interview. The questions keep coming: “What does apparently mean?” (He’s not sure.) “How does it feel to be a superstar?” (Good.) “What do you want to be when you grow up?”(A paleontologist.) But all Noah really wants to talk about are dinosaurs. The whole thing seems rather exploitative, especially as we see Noah become increasingly flustered.

Watch the media corner poor Noah on his bike: Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 5 2014

“Apparently Kid” is (Apparently) Having the Best Day of his Life

By at 1:04 pm

noah_ritter

Here’s one kid that doesn’t take anything at face value.

Noah Ritter was (apparently) just minding his own business at the Wayne County Fair in Pennsylvania when (apparently) a local television reporter approached him to get his review of the rides. Though (apparently) it was the young fairgoer’s first time on live television, he managed to steal the show and (apparently) the internet’s collective heart.

WATCH: Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 23 2014

Jon Stewart Needs to Talk About Israel

By at 1:53 pm

Jon Stewart, who drew ire for his humorous spin on Israel’s recent intervention in Gaza, aptly demonstrates the real problem with talking about Israel. Maybe it’s time we changed the conversation to Ukraine?

 

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Jul 9 2014

Joan Rivers Not Sorry For Storming Off CNN Interview

By at 1:13 pm

Joan Rivers wears fur upsets peta

You don’t mess with Joan.

CNN reporter Fredricka Whitfield learned that real quick when her interrogative line of questioning prompted Joan Rivers, who was trying to promote her new book “Diary of Mad Diva,” to angrily storm off the set.

But not before the Jewish comedienne delivered this epic monologue: “I’m going. All you’ve done is negative. I’ve made people laugh for 50 years, I am put on earth to make people laugh! My book is funny! I wear fur that was killed 15 years ago! I work for animal rights! Stop it with this ‘And you do this, and you’re mean, and you do that.’ You are not the person to interview a person who does humor!” Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 1 2014

Verizon’s “Inspire Her Mind” Commercial Pisses Me Off

By at 11:18 am

inspire

So I saw this Verizon commercial going around on Facebook that had really good intentions. The purpose was to help encourage girls to go into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). And while I fully support that idea, the way they did it really ticked me off.

If you haven’t seen it, it starts with a young girl (maybe 1 year old or so) running towards the camera and a parent calling her a “pretty girl.” Then it moves onto the girl growing up and exploring and trying new, mostly science/engineering things, and the parents continually stopping her from trying these things and reprimanding her for getting dirty or whatever else. The commercial ends with the girl, now in high school, looking at a sign for the science fair, but then getting out lip gloss–choosing instead to focus on her looks. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 11 2014

The Kid-Dish: Catch This Rabbi Mama on Jeopardy! Tonight

By at 5:06 pm

All the Jewish celebrity parent gossip you (n)ever wanted to know.

sari-laufer

(Courtesy Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

 

– While Rabbi Sari Laufer is not technically a celebrity, she’ll get her claim to fame as a contestant on “Jeopardy!” tonight. The reform rabbi and mother of an 8-month-old baby told JTA that she was was terrified of missing the question in the “Jewish” category. (JTA)

-And the name is…(drumroll, please…) Oliver Finlay Dallas!  That’s right, Ginnifer Goodwin and Josh Dallas had a baby boy. If you read Kveller diligently, then you already know that a few weeks ago Ginnifer talked to Jimmy Kimmel about the challenges of naming a baby boy with the last name Dallas. Mazel Tov! (People)

-Mila Kunis, who is expecting a baby with Ashton Kutcher, plans to join the list of celebrities who had a totally natural childbirth (Kveller’s Mayim Bialik made this list, too!). No epidural, nothing. (Us Weekly)

-Speaking of our very own Mayim Bialik, she can’t name all the Kardashians, but she sure can tell you which lobe of the brain contains the visual cortex. Catch Mayim in People’s video series, “Up Close.” (And we thought we were being original with the whole Up Close thing.) (People)

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Jun 10 2014

Why I Let My Son Watch (a Little) TV

By at 4:07 pm

kid-watching-tv

There are plenty of parents out there who are adamantly opposed to the idea of young children watching TV. And I should know, because I used to be one of them. For the longest time, I refused to let my toddler sit on the couch fixated on a screen. I wanted him to spend his time playing with puzzles, building with blocks, and moving around–not glued to the television.

But one day I had no choice but to try a TV-related experiment. My son’s day care lost power overnight during a storm, and I found out the next morning that the center would not be able to open that day. Unfortunately, the timing couldn’t have been worse, as I had a (pre-nap time) work deadline looming and needed at least an hour to complete a major project. Rather than ignore my son, I decided to try turning on the television to see what would happen.

At first I wasn’t even convinced he’d have the attention span to sit there watching Barney (yep, I went old school), but after a few minutes he seemed fairly content. I, on the other hand, was not. Even though we were only talking about two back-to-back kids’ shows, I couldn’t shake the feeling that this one concession would kick-start an unhealthy habit that I’d previously gone out of my way to discourage. In fact, following that incident, I made a promise to myself that TV would be limited to “emergency” situations alone. And for some time afterward, it didn’t actually go on at all while my son was around or awake.  Read the rest of this entry →

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