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The NJP Blogs

In this section, we present an ever-growing collection of brief articles, essays, poetry, news, recipes, and more—all contributed by our members.

These blogs represent each individual writer's viewpoint. Please keep that in mind as you read and comment. Feel free to disagree, but be respectful of differences.

Note to members: You can start your own blog here, in the "Window Into My World" section. (Please don't start new blogs in any of the other categories.) Instead of or in addition to your own blog, you can also contribute to almost all of the blogs listed below as a guest blogger.

Before starting your own blog, or if you're interested in being a guest blogger in one or more of the categories listed below, please contact Yael for guidelines. It's easy to get started. This section needs YOU!


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  • » [no title] (Yael): Editor's Notes Everyday Childcare Jewish Family Life News Roundup
    • » Nutrition News (Yael): Short "bites" of info to keep you informed about the latest research
    • » Vaccine News (Yael): Brief reports on the changing landscape of vaccine information
    Perspectives on Parenting Quill of the Soul
    • » Poetry in Emotion (Yael): A place to read poems by NJP members and to share poems you have written. If you would like to have your poetry featured here, contact Yael for guidelines.
    • » Young Writers (Yael): Poetry, stories, and essays by kids and teens. (Parents should contact Yael for guidelines for participation.)
    Raising Healthy Families Tried and True: Creative Problem-Solving Ideas Window Into My World
    • » A Kosher/Organic Life (ChayyimPesachSilverman): Stories from my Kosher/Organic Life experience and philosophy
    • » Life With Teens & Twenties (Channie): Although big children are required, upon reaching their twentieth birthdays, to turn over their copies of Advanced Methods for Adolescent Insanity to their younger siblings, my "adventures in good parenting" continues with them all the same
      • Rerouting Talking Fish, Fidgety Parrots, and the Rest of the Menagerie: When I appreciate familial events through the lenses of talking fish, of fidgety parrots, or of other members of the local menagerie, I experience enjoyment. When I don’t, in contrast, I feel put upon. At this point in my life, it serves me w... [more]
      • Not Racing for the Phone: Our phones shrill. They chirp. They ring-a-ding and make other sorts of incessant noise. In doing so, they spur my kids into action. Sadly, so conditioned are my offspring, by all manners of electronic gadgets, that they can not bear to have one so... [more]
      • Looking Backward Looking Forward: In balance, at this juncture, during which I am unwillingly being caused to consider that my kids are getting older, I try as much as possible to cheer them on from the sidelines. Awkwardly, I work to accept that my offsprings’ tribulations b... [more]
      • No More Vegetarian Shabbatot: In my home, there will be no more regular consideration of how to add a vegetarian element to Shabbot. You see, my local avoider of meat, fish, and poultry got married and moved away. It used to be the case, when planning cholents, chops, roasts,... [more]
      • After the Confetti: At many of the sheva brachot, held for my daughter and my new son-in-law, the bubbles, confetti, and kindred accoutrements available, were meant to enhance the “fun” tenor of those evenings. Now, days later, fewer and fewer bits of thos... [more]
      • Shabbot Kallah: The girlies are coming! The girlies are coming! In two days’ time, a magnificent, energized coterie of young women will descend upon my home, will pull food out of my pantry and refrigerator, will otherwise take over my kitchen, and will caus... [more]
      • The Wisdom of Oranges: ...a short Sukkot story to round out the holiday season ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Across the lawn, upon a cement dais, our temporary hut, fashioned by bamboo, broken fences, and elevated mitzvot gl... [more]
      • Her Striped Bathrobe: As my family approaches our oldest child’s chuppah, I think about the transformations our family is undergoing. There are many. For me, the most profound differences come from the small matters that make up daily living, such as not being a... [more]
      • More Passages: Weddings and New Years: Whereas I have not yet morphed into a little Jewish grandmother, who is: capable of using her elbows in the shuk, adept at calmly daven Tehillim amidst throwing-taffy children, and skilled in harrumphing unfair prices quoted by cabbies, I am evolvi... [more]
      • Caterpillars to Butterflies: I knew a small child that had “befriended” a fuzzy caterpillar. She fed it the right sort of leaves for its species, adjusted the temperature in the environment in which she had placed it, kept that space free of predators, and staunchl... [more]
      • To the Chuppah without Interference: “Marriage.” I allow the word to roll around on my tongue. Missy Older is, now, mazel tov, a kallah. She has a chatan. They are getting married. They, B’ezrat Hashem, will share a life of health, of wealth, and of joy. He is a wond... [more]
      • Small Packages: The Importance of Seemingly Insignificant Portions: I didn’t arrive at today abruptly, but rather via micro units called “days.” My children didn’t become teens and twenties all of a sudden, but in the drips and dabs of a lost tooth here, of newly flood-length pants there, of... [more]
      • Parenting a Daughter in Shidduchim: Why should does it surprise me that the daughter who went intrepidly to group babysitting at age one, because she felt so secure with her primary care provider, me, specifically, and with her world, more generally, almost two decades later, went to... [more]
      • Days of Milk and Honey: These days, my offspring are able to laugh when they rubric their behaviors as “fine” or as “needs improvement.” They are self-aware of their hygiene, their school work, and, sometimes, even of their need to complete househo... [more]
      • And Then Came Mom: I taught really, really big kids for a while. When not in the classroom, I conducted research. I read. I wrote. Thereafter, I was blessed with babies. Once the babies arrived, I homebirthed, I nursed my boys and girls through their toddlerhoods, ... [more]
      • Shidduchim: A Limited Time Offer: Dating is like drinking fresh milk; the newer the issue, the more likely the “health benefits.” That is, it’s unfair to stall decision-making when seeking matrimony. In balance, “sell-by” dates are often posted way i... [more]
      • Teaching Kids Healthy Body Image: I like spending time with my developing offspring. Unfortunately, at this stage of their growth, few of my activities are of interest to them. They don’t care to cook with me as cooking is “a chore.” They don’t care to plant... [more]
      • To Scar or Not to Scar: Personal development is equal parts imagination and rigor. The former helps us conceptualize the changes we want to make and the latter helps us move ourselves toward those goals. Sometimes, though, our good intentions and our hard-won discipline a... [more]
      • Snapshots: I wish I had taken more snapshots of my kids when they were in diapers, in training pants, and in preschool. I wish I had more frequently captured their drooling faces, their sing-song awe of creation, and the manifestation of that drooling awe whi... [more]
      • About Pesach and Giving Thanks: I think gratitude needs to be practiced more often and needs to be practiced concerning more matters. Sure, we mouth words of thanks, beginning with Moda Ani, continuing with Brachot HaShachar, and onward, throughout our daily prayers. Sure, when w... [more]
      • Progress: Some of my dishes are packed. Others are not. Some of my linens are washed. Others are not. Incidental items, like my light fixtures, have been dusted, but my windows have not yet been washed. Yes, I am spring cleaning as well as am getting rid of ... [more]
      • Tweaking the Familial Vibe: I admit that I'm not generally successful at influencing the behavior of my sons and daughters while I’m busy writing—research up to my eyebrows, papers spread on my concrete desktop, and, simultaneously, a confounding number of electro... [more]
      • Legacy: The very recent death of a college friend got me to thinking (again) just what it is that I want to leave my children, when I pass to the next world. Over time, my ideals have transformed. Material goods never topped my list. Either my children d... [more]
      • More on Chores: Me: “I’m not perfect. Does that surprise you?” Child: “That’s okay, Mom; I’m making up for it.” Most regularly, my sons and daughters “make up for it” in the domestic department. Their recor... [more]
      • The Volleyball of Claiming to be Unabashedly Sentimental about Other Peopleís Children: I remain unabashedly sentimental about other people’s children. Perhaps I possess this attitude because I am fortunate enough to enjoy my own sons and daughters. My crew disagrees. They believe that I prattle about other kids, not because I... [more]
      • When Cookies are more than Calories: Only in my home does vegetarianism come in two flavors: “exotic” and “healthy.” The former refers to work-intensive interventions such as making cucumber sushi or hummus latkes. The latter refers to easy efforts such as cobb... [more]
      • Starfighters: Adolescents typically grump about their parents’ lack of investment in fashion, specifically, and about their parents’ lack of investment in consumer goods, more generally. Kids’ pouts and other nonverbal protests produce powerful... [more]
      • Open my Heart: A Story for Chanukah: This story is based on a true event that happened roughly thirty years ago.... ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- “Matt there?” “Sure. Hudi?! How are you? We read about you in The L... [more]
      • Embracing Guilt-free Alternatives to Mainstream Torah Schooling: Despite the fact that one of my children is successfully growing within the framework of an alternative school, it took me many painful years to embrace the Torahdich sentiment, which I had often espoused, but not lived, that each child ought to be... [more]
      • Dust Bunnies and Manuscripts: I used to be an academic. I have an undergraduate science writing degree and a doctorate in rhetoric. Although after my first baby was born, I chose to drop my ambition of tenure and to work only one or two evenings per week, so as to not interrupt... [more]
      • As Subtle as a Skunk in Heat: My efforts at constructing yet another assemblage of thoughts on my children’s development count as an example of my many attempts to ward off feelings of emptiness caused by children growing up. On the one hand, I could laud myself for succe... [more]
      • Scratch and Sniff: Recently, one of my offspring offered an astute observation; we moms sometimes ask our children to undertake behavior that we, ourselves, would never dream of undertaking. More specifically, that child said, “You know what really annoys me? Y... [more]
      • Ignoring Sibling Skirmishes: In our home, the emphasis is on telephones, telekinesis, and telemarketers. The first moves sound, the second moves objects, and the third moves money. My investigation of local happenstances, via those instruments, whose audio, energetic, and fidu... [more]
      • Growing Pains: My home, Baruch Hashem, remains filled with teens exploring the domains beyond our safe castle. Those offspring, whether adventuring or resting, claim that their mother is an imperfect parent. They are right. I no longer I worry that one daughter... [more]
      • In Pursuit of Fantastic Contraptions and Other Parenting Foibles: Call us “nerds.” My husband and I identify with matters of physics, of math, even of engineering. Recently, we became obsessed with an animated spatial challenge, Fantastic Contraption. This online science puzzle, which boasts several l... [more]
      • Teaming Parenting with Writing and other Fantastic Aspirations: Through the conduit of word play, we make relationships. No matter the percent of our days and nights spent squatting in cyberspace domains, we still look to semiotics to confuse ourselves about who we are and about whom we might want to become. ... [more]
      • A Little Late Music: Something new happened in our home last week. That particular was a shadowy monster, a thing of which I was afraid. Specifically, my husband and I were, respectively, abroad on business, and in another part of Israel on an annual “mommy getaw... [more]

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