Empathy, Mother-Guilt, Shabbat, Career Skills, Anger, and Idleness

RaggedyMom showed me this CNN story about developing children’s social maturity. In a  fourteen-year study, the preschool children of mothers who described a picture using emotional language showed more empathy and better social skills when they got older.

It is important to encourage children to think about others’ feelings from a young age. However, I was dismayed by the first line of the article:

Mothers often get blamed for the way their children turn out, and a new study gives additional weight to that accusation.

Let’s stop blaming mothers, who make mistakes like everyone else. Most of the time they are acting in a way prescribed by our culture, which, the last I heard, is comprised of both sexes. Could you imagine a newspaper using similar language to introduce a study about some unknown benefit of breastfeeding?

Mothers looking to build up career skills while taking a break from the work force might enjoy this post by Trent at The Simple Dollar, listing six neglected skills that can be transferred to practically any job.

Tom Hodgkinson writes about the reaction to his article, The Idle Parent, and gives ideas of ways parents can disconnect from the outside world and connect with the family. Shabbat is mentioned.

Finally, Miriam Adahan shares techniques for dealing with children’s anger on Chabad.org.


  1. It is so much easier to blame parents, and even easier to blame mothers, than the way our society functions!

  2. this is only sort of related, but really fascinating: