Being Kind is Good for Your Kids

By Dale AtkinsBy Dale Atkins, PhD and Amanda Salzhauer, MSW

Kindness is important because, among the many benefits, studies continue to support that it is positively linked to our happiness, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health, overall well-being, AND it can give our life meaning. For kids who are engaged in service to others, research shows that they feel better about themselves, have better attitudes towards learning and school (and they do better in school), have improved social skills, and increased civic engagement.

The majority of parents say that they place high value on their children being kind, yet that message can be confusing for children, especially, because they are more often acknowledged for their academic, athletic, and artistic achievements than for their acts of kindness. But when we look at our children through a lens of kindness we see things that often go unnoticed. When we tell our son: “It was thoughtful of you to draw a “get well” picture for your friend Joey when he was in the hospital” or mention to your daughter: “I noticed you filling your hamster’s water bottle. You take good care of her”, we are paying attention to, and acknowledging our kids’ kind behaviors. When we take an extra moment to thank the person who bags our groceries, or when we hold the door for someone behind us, or put our phone away to fully focus on the person with whom we are speaking, we are practicing and modeling kindness. Having these interactions, brief as they may be, gives us an opportunity to connect with others. And our children observe us doing these everyday acts of kindness. (more…)

Natural Ways to Prepare for Spring Cold Season

searsBy Bill Sears, MD

There’s never a convenient time for your child to get sick. While missed school (and work!) days are going to happen, there are steps you can take to minimize them. As a pediatrician and a parent, I’m eager to share strategies to support their immune system so they’ll be less likely to get sick in the first place. I’m also including simple ways to address your child’s cough and cold symptoms that don’t involve medication.

The best prevention strategy is simple regular exercise, sufficient sleep and good nutrition. Help your family maintain a healthy diet, packed with vitamins and nutrients including immune-boosting foods such as fish, citrus fruits and leafy vegetables, to help prevent the onset of illness. And stock up on items such as tissues, vitamin C, throat lozenges, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray. Keep them in one handy place to make illness prevention even easier. (more…)

The Mystery Around Perimenopause

By Dr. Sherry Ross
By the age of 45 or so, there’s a good chance you already considered how perimenopause would affect you. There’s no accident that this period of hormonal disruption has been referring to for years as “the change.” You’ve most likely wondered: how will “the change” change me?

It’s different for everyone, but the constant questions I hear are: Will I have crazy uncontrollable bleeding for weeks on end? Will drenching sweats come on when least expected? Will sex become painful and sexual intimacy a thing of the past? To you all I say hold on there. First let’s talk about what exactly happens in perimenopause.

Perimenopause happens when your ovaries cease to function consistently, thereby upsetting your normal hormonal rhythm. This hormonal change usually happens within a couple years of menopause, but for some it can happen much earlier. The erratic and disruptive symptoms of perimenopause tend, however, to mark the beginning of menopause. Every decade brings about some emotional and physical change, but for women, the decade of one’s forties may pack the biggest punches of all. Between the typical 40-something anxieties of shifting relationships (divorce and dealings with hormonal or college-bound teens), self-esteem issues, job challenges and other midlife stresses, one’s 40s are challenging enough without the hormonal upheaval. In your forties, it’s not just life’s stresses that are affecting you emotionally and physically, it’s “the change,” the symptoms of which include, unfortunately: (more…)

What Do I Need to Know About Concussions

By Dr. Daya Alexander Grant
Daya Alexander GrantWe’ve all been there. Your child falls, hitting her head, and your mind immediately switches into overdrive: Does she have a concussion? Should I take her to the doctor? Will she have long-term brain damage?

With the heightened media attention on concussions in recent years, these concerns are natural.

Let’s address the most frequently asked questions: (more…)

There Ain’t No Proper Way!

The best way to support grieving parents is to let them know that it’s ok to smile, laugh and dance again.

By Ruth Molinari

This is us, a month after Emilio’s passing. That’s right, a month, and there we were smiling. We were attending the Creative Emmys in support of our dear friend, who was nominated for Best Stunt Coordination. We got all dressed up, jumped in a Limo with our best friends, and began the night. I was happy to go! I was eager to step out again. I so desperately wanted to feel normal. That night, we laughed so much, we cheered on our friend, we drank and we DANCED for the first time together. An incredibly powerful moment for the both of us! I felt so grateful. Grateful to feel joyous enough to move my body and dance. I remember looking up at our friends on the dance floor, they rushed over to us and we all huddled together…no words were said…no words were necessary. I felt safe. It’s times like those that get you through it….friends like those who help you hurdle along, without judgement.

I recall around the same time, us having dinner with friends, when an acquaintance of my parents saw us enjoying ourselves at the table. The look on her face said it all! She was so shocked to see us and actually looked disappointed. What that acquaintance did not know is how much I cried that day or cried myself to sleep that night. Is there a proper way to go about all this??! Nothing is natural about outliving your children so I don’t think there is a proper way to go about your business and getting on with your lives. (more…)

The 3 Steps of Coaching Through a Successful Life Transition

By Carolyn Mahboubi

Life transitions are inherently painstaking.  The human brain does not like change and will do whatever it takes to resist it, often in ways we ourselves don’t consciously recognize.

But the sooner we understand that change needs to happen, whether we feel ready for it or not, the easier it becomes to navigate transitions to a successful conclusion.  

My passion around mastering the art and science of change was borne from my own life experiences.  I learned the challenge of navigating change at a young age, when my family fled Iran for the United States when I was just 11 years old.  My learning continued as a 16 year old who had to quickly find my footing as an entrepreneur amongst adults, then as a young adult who felt professional success but struggled to create satisfying intimate relationships.  I also confronted challenges as a full time working single parent who struggled to balance my life, and as a physically active woman who developed chronic pain and was unable to move forward both physically and psychologically in the way that I wanted.  Through these various phases of my life, I learned to make friends with change, even though sometimes it felt more like an uneasy alliance than a fulfilling relationship! (more…)

8 WOW Tips to get back on track for the New Year

By Lauren Haas
Studies show 80% of people that make New Year’s resolutions fail by February.

Instead of making unrealistic resolutions like, loose 20 pounds, exercise everyday, only eat organic or take on an extreme way of eating, use my Simple WOW Tips to achieve a life full of health, happiness and balance.

1. Eat real food from the earth not a factory: That means loading your plate up with vegetables, fruits, organic meat, wild fish, nuts, seeds, gluten free grains, beans and healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil and organic ghee. (more…)

How to Discuss Race and Diversity with Your Children

Trina Moore-SouthallBy Trina Moore-Southall, Ed.D.

I was in a department store with my beautiful, Black children. A white child from his stroller examines the skin tone of my children. He then asked (who I assume to be) his mother, “Why is their skin brown?” The lady responded, “That’s not nice”. This response communicates to the child that recognizing people as different is wrong. The message is clear: Diversity is a bad thing. I felt a need to intervene. I knelt down to the young boy and put my brown hand next to his white hand. I explained that my hand was bigger, because he is still growing and maybe one day his hand will be bigger than mine. I also said we both have something called Melanin. I have a lot, which has made my skin darker. He has a little bit, which has made his skin lighter. When I had my children, they also got my melanin. He then said (at maybe 4 years old)” My mom and dad didn’t have a lot of melanin, so I ‘m white like them!” Kids are so much smarter than we give them credit. The lady still seemed uncomfortable and did not know how to respond to me or the revelation her child just had. I said to her, “This is only the beginning.” When children have questions, we answer them. My hope is that her next conversation with her child about difference is ongoing and purposeful. I also hope that this child will not silence his friends, family members, or maybe one day his own children when they equate the recognition of difference with something erroneous. (more…)

Best Ideas for Touring in Israel with Kids During the Spring and Summer Breaks!

Puzzle Israel

Puzzle Israel travel experts have collected for you the best touring options in Israel with kids during the spring and summer breaks.

Travelling in Israel with kids can be a real adventure, which the adults can enjoy just as much as the kids! Israel is an extremely kid-friendly country, offering amazing activities that cover a range of topics: from history, culinary, active and much more. Check out below our recommendations and contact us for more info and for plenty of other special ideas!

History – yes, it can be fun too!

Jerusalem offers fantastic options for learning history in a fun way. (more…)