Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 14, 2008 / 8 Adar I 5768

A developing situation

By Malcolm Fleschner


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Like most new parents, in five years of fatherhood I've become acquainted with many previously unfamiliar parenting concepts including, but not limited to, proper car seat installation, Wiggles Mania, "stroller envy" and pretending to make a big deal when someone else uses a toilet.


Another concept I've become familiar with is the notion of "developmental milestones." This is the term psychologists use for those childhood breakthroughs that overjoyed parents race for the camcorder to get on tape, such as when a child says "Mama" for the first time, learns to use a cup, takes those first tentative steps, finally moves out of the house at age 32, etc.


By contrast, when I was growing up, the primary developmental concept we had was called "going through a phase." The "phases" in question typically involved some sort of childhood behavior that the parents couldn't wait to end, such as the "throws tantrums in the supermarket aisles" phase, the "cram every small object he finds up his nose" phase and the "keeps hot wiring the neighbors' cars" phase. What I loved about the "He's just going through a phase" approach to parenting was that it could be used to explain away virtually any obnoxious, antisocial or downright illegal behavior. Suffice it to say that some of the kids I grew up with were able to smoothly transition from "going through a phase" during childhood into "doing a stretch of time" as adults.


Currently our household's developmental focus is on our 19-month-old son, Rafferty. His latest discovery is the word "hot," which he now uses with the irritating frequency of a recently accepted Mensa member steering the conversation toward the topic of IQ. Rafferty's obsession with heat likely stems from an incident when my wife or I may have given him a slice of pizza that was, in fact, a little too hot, and ever since he acts highly suspicious whenever we hand him anything.


So now, whether it's a banana, a popsicle, the front door, Grandma - whatever comes near is automatically met with a wary, "Hot? Hot?" These days my wife and I spend much of our time debating with him about whether various items are hot or not. I suspect this is what it's like hanging out with Paris Hilton.


Then again, I could just be misinterpreting his meaning, and he's merely concerned that everything in our home is stolen. The next time he asks whether his yogurt is "hot," maybe I'll be able to calm him down by showing him the supermarket.


Rafferty's other big development is a love of books. Until recently he routinely ignored our efforts to read to him, a circumstance that caused my wife no end of worry. She lives in constant fear that he will grow up to be a semi-literate lummox - the kind of guy who wears his baseball cap backwards, regularly demands high fives and refers to everyone, whether friends, coworkers, teachers, parents or the Pope, as "Bro."


At one point I tried to put her fears to rest. "You know," I told her, "I wasn't read to all that much as a kid, and look how I turned out."


For some reason she found this less than reassuring.


Then again, my limited exposure to books during my early years can be directly attributed to my mother, who never exhibited much interest in reading children's books to my sister and me. When I mentioned this to Mom during a recent visit, however, she took offense.


"What are talking about?" she asked, indignant. "I did read to you kids. I read you that Goodnight Moon book. Once."


Frankly, Mom may have had the right idea. Since Rafferty's awakening to the world of books, my wife's concern has turned to exasperation. The problem, as many parents of small children will recognize, is that he likes to have the same books read to him over and over again. As an adult, reading a book more than once can be an enriching exploration into the wonders of great literature. By contrast, most books directed at a 19-month-old audience are not exactly James Joyce, depth-wise. That's why no one ever says, "You know, I've read 'Pat The Bunny' dozens of times and each time I get something new out of it."


And so, while Rafferty's calls of "More, more" are adorable following the first few times through "The Little Engine That Could," after about 30 readings, I'm often tempted to hurl the book out the window and tell him, "Oh look, the little engine could fly too!"


I don't, of course. That would be bad parenting. So instead, after multiple readings of the same book, I instead encourage his new interest with a little hip lingo. "Wow," I'll say. "this book is really hot." Why he never wants to keep reading after that remains a mystery.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Malcolm Fleschner is a humor columnist for The DC Examiner. Let him know what you think by clicking here.


Previously:

01/30/08: I can tech it or leave it
01/02/08: Confessions of a coke addict
01/02/08: Our bills are due
12/13/07: Going (to lunch) once, going twice…
11/28/07: Out with the old
11/06/07: My latest pet project
11/06/07: Can't tune it out
10/23/07: Something special in the hair
09/12/07: Can I have your attention, please?
09/12/07: Houston, we have an image problem
08/21/07: In the heat of fashion
08/09/07: Let's get in the game
06/13/07: You gonna eat that?
05/08/07: That's disinter-tainment
05/02/07:You Are (not) Getting Sleepy...
04/18/07: No time like Father Time
03/15/07: Deface the Nation
03/08/07: More gifts? You shouldn't have
02/22/07: Relationships can be such a chore
12/05/06: Who's calling the shots?
11/09/06: I'm taking selling to a whole new level
10/27/06: Some skills are beyond repair
10/18/06: You can't tech it with you
10/04/06: Award to the wise
08/24/06: Phrased and Confused
08/09/06: We're Gonna Party Like it's $19.99
07/19/06: Just Singing in the Brain
05/24/06: Who says you can't go home again?
05/11/06: When nightly news stories go off script
04/26/06: Cents and sensibility: A thought for your pennies
03/16/06: The day the Muzak died
02/23/06: Checkbook diplomacy begins at home
02/15/06: Today's toys: Where learning means earning



© 2006, Malcolm Fleschner

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles