I am taking this last opportunity to ask every parent to please make the extra effort to attend the program on Wednesday night at the school in honor of School Choice Week. The cost of Jewish education has risen to the point where it creates a challenge for many families. Many states have school choice laws that allow schools to receive payment from vouchers and tax credits. We are very fortunate in RI to have a tax credit bill whose proceeds translate into tuition assistance and scholarship for needy families. Each year we gather together to urge the state to fully fund all applications for tuition credits. Under the current law only a quarter of all applications are funded, and these funds are allocated based on a lottery system, meaning that past performance never guarantees future results. We have been told by the firm that advocates for school choice on our behalf that government officials need to see that we care about and attend school choice functions. PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ATTEND ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT FROM 6-8 P.M. SUPPORT OUR BAND AND HEAR AN EXCELLENT GUEST SPEAKER!
Parenting continued: Adina Soclof - Teach children to notice their strengths
Knowing about strengths and weaknesses is helpful to children, but it has to be taken a few steps further in order to be useful to them. How can we help children use their personal strengths to build self-confidence and a positive attitude? Part of this depends on the child’s age. Young children love to tell you about themselves, and are open to telling you what they like to learn. In contrast, older children and teens may have a hard time opening up. We need to point out their strengths:
“I noticed you love basketball; you seem so comfortable holding and dribbling the ball.”
“I noticed that you love to figure out math problems in your head.”
Sometimes children won’t talk about themselves and we need to find a clever in to help them understand the concept of strengths. For example, when children talk about their friends, they might say, “Sara is so klutzy in dance.” It is a perfect opportunity to ask, “Well, what are Sara’s strengths? What does she like to do? Everyone has strengths and weaknesses...”
Listen to children
The most important thing we can do to encourage children to use their strengths is to listen to them. In our house, whenever someone comes up with an innovative or even silly idea, we try to listen as best as we can and say, “In this house, we encourage innovation and creativity! Just keep on coming up with ideas!” Even if it is said tongue in cheek, it still sends a powerful message.
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman