Parshas Beshalach

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Dear Parents,
By the time you read this, I will be in Eretz Yisroel visiting nine seminaries that our students are either attending or are applying to. The trip allows to me to meet as a group with graduates of PHDS and NEAT and to hear about their successes in Eretz Yisroel. More important, our students are sought after in the seminaries of their choices but many of these seminaries have a 1:3 acceptance ratio and a little advocacy on their behalf is most helpful. I look forward to sharing with you highlights of my short visit to Israel in the next newsletter.

I would like to thank all those who attended our School Choice event sponsored by the school and hope that your advocacy for School Choice will “Raise The Cap.”

This week’s article is the closing parenting article by Mrs. Adina Soclof. In her article she discussed the works of Carol Dweck on the topic of “Growth Mindset”. This week our entire staff attended our in-house staff development workshop by Dr. Leslie Bogart on this topic. Growth Mindset suggests that everyone can grow as long as they are willing to pay the price through hard work and effort.

Help children tackle new challenges: Self-esteem comes from learning new skills and under-taking challenges. We all need to do things that we don’t like to do and things that don’t come naturally to us. Even pursuing our strengths can take hard work and effort. We can teach our children to tackle challenges by making sure that they are doing chores at home, volunteering in the community and taking responsibility for their schoolwork.

Role modeling also works. Talk about the challenges that you have and how you managed them. “I had a really challenging issue at work today. I pushed through, asked for help, and spent a few extra hours on it. It paid off; we dealt with it successfully!”
According to Carol Dweck, children who are praised for their effort and hard work will feel confident taking on more challenging work. So instead of telling your child, “You are so smart!” say, “Wow! You worked hard studying for your math test, you reviewed the problems several times, and studied with your friend. Looks like it paid off.”

Strengths are a lifelong pursuit: Not everyone will figure out their strengths right away. It might take a while. That’s what childhood is for. Encouraging children to take part in different extra-curricular activities (within your budget and time frame) is an important part of the process. Parents often get frustrated when children lose interest in karate, art, or tuba lessons, but those are clues. Encouraging kids to try different things without any strings attached will help you have happier and more confident kids.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Peretz Scheinerman
Dean