Education

Selecting the Right School for Your Child

By Nathalie Kunin
Nathalie KuninSelecting the right school for your child can be as exhilarating as it is overwhelming. Here are some things to consider as you tour prospective schools, thumb through brochures, and peruse websites.

1. Observe and Report. Start with a school tour, but don’t stop there! Stop by during their next book fair, see a school play or attend a sporting event. Are there on-campus volunteer opportunities? You want to meet as many families as possible to get a broader sense of the school and the community.

(more…)

Prepping Your Child for Kindergarten

What are private schools looking for?

By Janis Adams
janis adamsThere are a lot of questions about whether or not one should prep their child for the all important playdate/entrance exam to private school Kindergarten.

The subject is so fraught with emotion that many parents do not even discuss it with other parents. This anxiety is fueled by the low number of openings in Los Angeles private schools and by a sense of competition that careens off the walls of inflatable party bouncers the minute the child turns three.

Such is the reality of today’s private school admissions. (more…)

Sibling Rivalry

Tips on dealing with new siblings.

By Rachel Bernstein
RachelYou all know the family. The one in which the siblings seem to magically get along, support each other, work well together, and talk through difficult moments with little to no yelling, or homicidal threats. You also know there is a reason you probably only know one family like this. It is a rarity. It doesn’t exist in nature in large numbers. Parents aspire to have that sense of familial calm and sibling cohesion, and may feel that it will always be beyond their reach. Then, a new sibling is brought into the mix, and that aspiration for familial magic seems like an ever-more-distant hope.

Truth be told, familial magic can always be created. When parents already have a child, or children, and find out they are pregnant, there are a few tricks to put up your sleeve.
(more…)

Paper. Pencils. Confidence.

By Nathalie Kunin
SamaraWhat do these three things have in common? Well, they’re all on our first day of school checklist. And that third word—Confidence—can’t be found in the back-to-school section at Staples.

Before the first day of school, our children start to become consumed by questions like Will I like my new teacher? Will I make new friends? Will there be even more homework this year?

As parents, we can set some goals for ourselves for this year. We can value and celebrate our children’s strengths—not dwell on their weaknesses. We can ward off their nerves and trepidation with support—not criticism. We can anticipate success—not failure. Our involvement and encouragement are undoubtedly the most influential factors in their academic achievement.

(more…)

Building Your Child’s Self-esteem

Expert tips to help build you child’s positive self-perceptions.

By Samara Fabrick
SamaraSelf-esteem is a term we hear a lot in child rearing, but what is it and why is it important?

Self-esteem can be defined in many ways, but I define it as the collection of beliefs or feelings we have about ourselves or “self-perception.” In children I would add that self-esteem is the feelings of capability and confidence combined with feelings of being loved. Helping our children build their self-esteem is one of the most important responsibilities we have as parents.

So why is self-esteem important and how do we as parents help build our children’s positive self-perceptions? (more…)

Summer Science Fun for the Human Body

Nutrition and Cooking with your child

By Lisa Niver Rajna
Lisa Niver RajnaStudents love to learn about themselves and their bodies Inside your Outside, from the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library by Trish Rabe, is a story that has an Inside-Your-Outside machine. At the end of the story after learning all about our bodies the reader discovers:

As you grow, you will know, that your bones will get longer,
Your lungs will get bigger, your muscles grow stronger.
Your brain and your heart will guide all you do.
Someone special is inside your outside—it’s YOU!

(more…)

Sharpening Skills Over the Summer

By Nathalie Kunin
By Nathalie KuninAsk any student what he or she plans to do this summer, and they’re likely to reply with a resounding, “Nothing!” After two semesters of reading, writing and math it’s a natural response.

As parents, our job is to ensure that our child’s academic skills remain sharp over the summer and prevent hard work and progress from slipping away. With parental reinforcement, our children retain more of what they’ve already learned and begin the new school year mentally geared up and ready to build on their mastered skills.

Here are 7 easy ways to achieve a happy medium between staying sharp and enjoying summer relaxation: (more…)

How to Cope with Your Teenage Daughter

By Judith Bin-Nun
July Bin-NunHow many Moms recall the thrill of birthing a daughter? A little female child may consciously or unconsciously recall your own maternal relationship and a wish to replicate or remediate your early experiences. (more…)

Gift Giving Etiquette

By Lisa Gaché
LisaBeing able to select just the right gift for someone is, well, a gift. Most people are fair at it and a few special individuals actually excel in this department. They seem to know just the perfect gift to present no matter what the occasion. Homemade or hand-crafted, purchased online or store-bought, professional or personal, gifts from family members, friends and acquaintances can be high and disappointment can set in when it appears that no real thought or effort was made. Here are 5 important etiquette tips to consider when giving or receiving gifts. (more…)

Fostering Resilience in Your Children

By Nathalie Kunin
NathalieResilience might best be described as the capacity to cope. We find this capacity in adults (Americans’ resilience in the face of the recession), in governing bodies (Haiti’s resilience in the aftermath of the earthquake), and even in Marvel comic book protagonists (Our resilient hero took on his twelve captors single-handedly!). But how often do we find, and foster, this capacity in our children? (more…)