Guest Post: Secret Crush, Secret Life

The writer of this guest post would like to remain anonymous. I was in 8th grade when I first met her. To my untrained eyes, she was completely perfect. From her shining eyes and dimples to the sound of her laugh. I knew that I couldn’t approach her, but I worshipped from afar. We became friends, … [Read more...]

Things We Did Not Learn in Ulpana

On Facebook, Tiferet Shaham wrote an open letter about sexuality for graduates of religious high schools in Israel. She hopes it will be beneficial to both men and women, secular and religious. Below is my summary in English. Open Letter to Young Girls and Women on Positive Sexuality, or How to … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Story of Orthodox Teen Pregnancy

The author of today's guest post wishes to remain anonymous:  This story has a happy ending, mostly. It almost didn't. I grew up in a religious household, and I knew what the expectations were, yet when I was eighteen, I became sexually active. When I was twenty, a condom tore. Ten days later, I … [Read more...]

Getting Support for Teen Crises

This post is dedicated to the memory of "Ricki", a teenager with Down Syndrome who died in her sleep this week. Blogger RickisMom wrote about the challenges she and Ricki faced bravely in her blog Beneath the Wings, which served as a resource for moms of teens with disabilities. May the family be … [Read more...]

"Half-Shabbos" and Texting: What Is the Parent’s Role?

The New York Jewish Week wrote about the phenomenon known as "Half-Shabbos," in which teens who are otherwise Sabbath observant use their cell phones to text their friends. When I asked my kids if this is common in Israel, they said that they had first heard about it from me! They haven't seen it … [Read more...]

When Do You Get Your Kids Cell Phones?

I once heard an expert on the radio talking about kids and cell phones. She was concerned that children as young as gan (preschool/kindergarten) brought cell phones to school. At the end of the discussion, the host asked whether the expert's own children had cell phones. "Yes," she … [Read more...]

Video: Tuned-Out by Technology

Call over your teens and pre-teens to watch this excellent video about Facebook and a "tuned-out" family. Even if you have limited Hebrew, you'll understand 90%.  The scenes at the dinner table and at the end are especially good. It's produced by girls from the Lehave religious high school in … [Read more...]

How Teens (and Parents) Are Like a River

I recently came across Haim Ginott's classic, Between Parent and Teenager. Published in 1969, his examples often relate to hippie teens and "square" parents but the principles remain the same. In his chapter on criticism, Ginott explains the long-term damage parents can cause by assigning negative … [Read more...]

Orthodox Girls and Eating Disorders

The Washington Times published an article on eating disorders in the Orthodox Jewish community. Julia Duin writes: Staff members at Renfrew, where 12 percent of the patients are Jewish, said they noticed an uptick in Orthodox clients in recent years. The main pressure, they said, is on the … [Read more...]

Cyber-Bullying, Teens and Facebook

Image via CrunchBase The other night I went to a talk at my daughter's high school by Dr. Meyran Boniel-Nissim. Boniel-Nissim is a Haifa University researcher on teen internet usage  and its psycho-social connotations. In the old days, teens had to get out of the house to get into trouble. … [Read more...]