Posts in family
Make What’s Most Important Most Important

One morning last week, I made myself my favorite breakfast – fruit-filled pancakes – before heading downstairs to my home office to get my day started.

Shortly before I finished, I used some of the batter to prepare a plain pancake for my teenage daughter (she doesn’t seem to feel that pancakes and fruit go together), and she decided to sit down to eat it. This is a girl that almost never eats breakfast, certainly not in the kitchen.

So, instead of making my way downstairs, I sat down right there in the kitchen and ate with her.

We chatted about breakfast, school, and other stuff.

It was short but pleasant and a great way for both if us to start our days.

Sometimes, in our rush to get to work and (officially) start our days, we jump in, power up and plow ahead, leaving our lives behind for the time being.

At least, that’s what usually happens to me.

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Negotiating Tips from a Parent's Perspective

Probably the hardest morning for me is Monday.

It's the day that my wife drives carpool and I am responsible to get our little one out the door.

As you can imagine, it's not always so simple.

He's got his own agenda, isn't the quickest to get up in the morning, certainly doesn't love to get dressed.

Giving him breakfast is a challenge.

Helping them decide on what he wants for lunch is a challenge. In general, it's a challenge.

Actually, a lot of the key things that we do when we want to negotiate with our kids, we also need to be thinking about what we want to negotiate with adults too.

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Is it Father's Day or Father Day?

How did you spend your Father’s Day?

Full disclosure: I’m one of the purists (if I can call my self that) who says that “every day is Father’s Day”. So, in my house, there’s no big celebration, no gifts of ties or toolsets.

Instead, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. Putting together my kids’ pool, that is.

Pools, even the inflatable variety, take real work to assemble and properly fill (I did well on the former but not so great on the latter – hard to get it all even and fully balanced, but that’s for a different post).

But the weather was hot, and the kids were pining for the pool, so out went dad in his finest shmatas (Yiddish for upscale yard attire) for hours of fun in the sun (before the real fun began, of course).

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A Long, Overdue Cleanup

We haven’t celebrated Pesach (Passover) at home in 4 Years

For the past 3 Passovers (and for 5 of the past 6), I have served as a scholar-in-residence at different hotel programs. As a result, our family did just a token amount of pre-holiday cleaning at our residence. We did the cars and basic surfaces, but by comparison to the amount of time spent shopping, packing and traveling, our cleaning time was but a pittance.

(For the uninitiated, the Torah demands that a home be leaven-free on Passover. This means that it must be cleaned from all items that contain leaven (foods derived from grains such as wheat and barley), a stringency that is far more involved than standard kosher requirements. The amount of effort needed to achieve this level of cleanliness is significant.)

This year, we decided that we were going to stay home for the holiday. With a son studying in Israel for the past seven months and an upcoming bar mitzvah, we felt that we would do well to enjoy the holiday together at home.

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