blessing of a skinned knee

What We Learned From Dr. Wendy Mogel


Yesterday, as part of the Kveller Book Club, we had an awesome Twitter chat with Dr. Wendy Mogel, author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee and The Blessing of a B Minus, both parenting books that are well-loved among many in our community.

She had a lot of words of wisdom for us, and since we know not everyone was able to join us yesterday, we thought we’d provide a quick recap:

We asked what to do when you want to raise self-reliant kids, but the norm in your community is to be really overinvolved in kids’ lives. Dr. Mogel says, “Find ONE parent with good sense. Avoid ‘brag-plainers’ (parents who live through their kids’ achievements).” She also gave an awesome example of a brag-plainer: “I don’t know how Olivia manages all those AP’s. And solving the problem of hunger in Rwanda at the same time!”

Molly asked, “So… is there a polite way to ask the grandparents to stop overindulging your kids?” Dr. Mogel suggested telling them, “I know you think we’re weird, but this is how we’ve decided to raise our kids.” So firm, I love it!

Susanna asked, “How can I give more independence to special needs kid? I want to give her that freedom, but she needs more protection.” Dr. Mogel said, “Read ‘Welcome to Holland,’ by Emily Perl Kingsley. Give your daughter freedom every chance you can. She will be grateful.”

Someone else asked, “I believe in G-d but my husband doesn’t. How do we tackle this convo w/ our kids?” And Dr. Mogel replied, “EVERY marriage a mixed marriage. Can share w/ your kids theological differences as long as righteousness is avoided. Hard!”

And a few general pearls of wisdom from Dr. Mogel:

“If your child has a talent to be a baker, don’t ask her to be a doctor.”

“Don’t mistake a snapshot taken today with the epic movie of your child’s life.”

“Kid presents you with problem?: Communicate calmly with curiosity & compassion but not instant urgent solutions.”

“Don’t try to be popular with your children or you’ll end up HATING them.”

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our book club this month. We’ll be taking a book club break for the month of December, but keep you eye out in January for our next pick.

KvellerThe Kveller staff is made up of the hard-working folks behind your favorite Jewish parenting website, Kveller, of course.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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