Tag Archives: parenting

Parenting by Design: The 5-Level Method for Raising Younger Children, by Rabbi Yisrael Kleinman, LMSW

Parenting by Design, published by ArtScroll as part of its Pocket Scroll series of easily portable books, is a small tome with a big message.

parenting by design coverParenting expert Rabbi Kleinman shares the five-step approach he’s developed to help parents raise their children more effectively, calmly — and happily for all concerned.

Unlike some books that discuss philosophies of childrearing or offer sweeping generalizations, Parenting by Design is straightforward and practical.

Rabbi Kleinman teaches parents how to categorize an interaction with a child quickly, figure out an appropriate immediate response, and plan a long-term strategy to address the issue.

Throughout the book, he offers examples that most parents will recognize. He presents us with a fictitious family — parents and several young children, each with his or her own issues — and walks us through how the parents apply the 5-Level method to each of the children’s various problems, changing their approach to reflect the changes in their children.

The method is fairly easy to understand and practice. The chapters include worksheets for parents to apply the 5-Level method to the specific concerns they may have regarding their own children.

After spending some time teaching the method, the book then addresses specific topics, such as teaching truthfulness and dealing with the inflexible child. Perhaps one of the most important chapters is the one in which Rabbi Kleinman shows how parents can use the method on themselves, to deal with their anger.

Some readers may initially balk. Faced with overwhelming pressures of work, housekeeping chores, making Shabbos and Yom Tov, tackling laundry, paying bills, fielding kids’ arguments and trying desperately to get their offspring to behave or go to bed, parents may wonder where in the world they’re supposed to find the time to learn the method and plan their strategies. But Rabbi Kleinman’s examples clearly show how the initial investment is likely to pay off, with a family that runs more smoothly with a lot less stress and more joy.

As the book’s tagline says, it is aimed at parents of young children. What even a parent of older children can take away from Parenting by Design is the reminder of just how mindful, thoughtful and deliberate parenting must be. There is no instant, just-add-water method of raising happy, functional, emotionally well-adjusted children who will be a source of nachas.

The method will work only when parents — ideally, two of them working together to develop a strategic plan — take the time to reflect on a child’s issues and develop tailor-made protocols for both the short and long term. In other words, parenting by coasting along, or winging it, probably isn’t going to work that well.

It takes parenting by design.

Fortunately, Rabbi Klein is there to provide parents with the blueprint and the tools.

Buy now from Amazon.

Published by ArtScroll.

We received a review copy from the publisher.

Boy Oh Boy! by Beily Paluch

Boy Oh Boy!‘s subtitle is A mother’s guide to the wonderful world of boys from bris to bar mitzvah.

Boy Oh Boy! by Beily Paluch

Moms of boys, this is the book you’ve been waiting. Okay, if you grew up the only girl in a horde of 12 brothers, you might be one step ahead of the game. But if you’re from an all-girl family, this book is going to be a lifesaver!   

If like most people, you fall somewhere between those two examples, you are still going to find a trove of useful, interesting and unusual information between the covers of this work that will help you be a better mother to your sons.

As the author wryly notes in her preface, while most mothers will find much in their daughters that reminds them of their own childhood, “it’s an undisputable fact that no mother has ever been a boy.”

In her lively, humorous way, Mrs. Paluch presents a trove of valuable information. The book covers the Torah perspective on raising a son, practical, health and spiritual advice for the week before a bris, handy checklists for events from vachtnacht (What’s that? Read the book and find out!) to bar mitzvah, creative ideas for the upsherin.  It covers minhagim and segulos. There are answers to things like “everything you always wanted to know about the kibbudim at a bris were too embarrassed to ask.”

The author also tackles questions such as boys’ clothing, tznius, how to choose a yeshivah and shaylos that arise from hiring a maid. There is a “Consumer’s Guide to Tzitzis” — written for moms. Chapters to help mothers understand boys’ play and chores.  What should you know if your son’s a lefty? Even instructions for knitting a gartel!

And of course, and most importantly, there is a whole appendix full of tefillos for mothers and fathers to daven for their sons on all occasions.

If you’ve got boys or grandsons, (or even if you’d just like to understand a bit more about the world in which your husband grew up!) you need this book. Keep it somewhere handy, because you will turn to Boy Oh Boy! time and time again.

Buy now from Amazon.com

Published by Jerusalem Publications.

We received a free review copy of this book.

Beily Paluch’s articles and stories have appeared in Binah, Family First, Inyan, Mishpacha Junion and Baby & Me, among other publications.  You can follow the author on her blog: http://www.boyohboyblog.com

She is also the author of two lovely board books:

Braid the Challah by Beily Paluch I Am a Torah b Beily Paluch