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The Blessing Of A Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children Hardcover – January 4, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Frustrated with a therapeutic practice that "shifted too frequently to be an anchor" for parents struggling with issues like overindulgence and overscheduling, clinical psychologist Mogel turned to her religious heritage for ways to help her clients and her own family "find grace and security" in an increasingly complex world. "In the time-tested lessons of Judaism, I discovered insights and practical tools that spoke directly to these issues," writes Mogel, who left her psychology practice in order "to help parents look at their children's anxieties and desires using a different lens." Digging into the rich traditions of the Torah, the Talmud and other Jewish teachings, Mogel builds a parenting blueprint that draws on core spiritual values relevant to families of all faiths. With warmth and humor, she offers strategies for encouraging respect and gratitude in children, and cautions against overprotection ("we treat our children's lives like we're cruise ship directors who must get them to their destinationDadulthoodDsmoothly, without their feeling even the slightest bump or wave") and the pressure of "Lake Wobegon parenting" (a reference to Garrison Keillor's fictional town where "all the children are above average"). Her thoughtful observations consistently illuminate and reassure. Impassioned, lyrical and eminently practical, this inspiring volume is a real treasure. Agent, Betsy Amster. (Jan.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Dr. Mogel's personal and caring touch comes through clearly as she presents practical and useful suggestions for parents." -- Jacqueline I. Haines, Director of the Gesell Institute for Human Development
"Impassioned, lyrical, and eminently practical, this inspiring volume is a real treasure." -- Publishers Weekly, November 20, 2000
...She hits all the difficult issues: materialism, permissiveness and the protection of sacred time and space. -- Reverend Robert Thompson, Minister of the Phillips Exeter Academy
A treasure trove of information. Dr. Mogel uses a personal, caring touch to present practical, useful ideas.... -- Jacqueline Haines, Director of the Gesell Institute for Human Development
Peter Cobb executive director of the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education Prophets call on the wisdom of a tradition, its revealed truth, to say out loud what we know but are afraid to utter. Wendy Mogel has issued a prophetic call to good parenting, one laced with psychological insight, practicality, and humor. Her words are themselves a gift of faith and a blessing. -- Review
Wendy Mogel presents us with one of the finest and most challenging books on parenting to emerge in recent years... -- Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin, author of Putting God on the Guest List
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Top Customer Reviews
Our kids are 6 (boy) and 7 (girl) and I finished the book with 'highlights' to reference back, strong practical guidance, situational and language to use, and overall felt 'relieved' to read that our kids are 'ok' in this crazy world. I'm a full believer in what we do/say now at this age is what matters to get them through the teenage years, so overall it was a validating book and a great reference to help with specific actions and language.
General messages in book:
deed before creed - what you do is more impt than what you think or believe. So get kids to do things/say things and it'll eventually seep into their behavior and psyche.
moderation - always a good reminder
sanctification - building a world and lifestyle where not everything is casual and on the same plane. Kids and adults are not equal. Respect and honor and traditions help define our existence and provide a comforting structure for our children to belong to a greater good and society.
celebration - i especially enjoyed how we can 'celebrate' or embrace our child's faults or worst traits as it's that 'passion' that is potentially the energy for creation and discovery if channeled properly or viewed differently. Our kids in some ways come wired the way they are.
Enjoy every page. Enjoy every moment with your children.
The result is her book, Blessings of a Skinned Knee, and a new career teaching preventative parenting in schools, churches and synagogues rather than treating single families on the proverbial couch.
Much of the Judaica is prosaica, familiar to anyone who has sat through some High Holiday sermons and done a bit of study. Still, these are the touchstones of the tradition, beginning with "Honor thy father and mother" and the injunction, "Teach your child how to swim," and she handles them with an ecumenical, nondogmatic touch. Swimming, we learn from Wendy, means giving kids a bit of independence, even if they end up skinning a knee. The table is the altar of the home, a place to practice respect, express thanks, and clean up together. She writes in favor of more discipline at home, but also more autonomy and less fear out of the house (and on line). And she urges us to honor the sweet ordinariness of our kids as well as their potential for greatness.
The overall message sits well with me, and I am already trying to put some of her ideas into action. I've got to start with swimming lessons for my six-year-old!
The author is right on about the problems parents and their children face in finding balance, perspective, and resilience in their day to day lives. Cannot recommend highly enough!
I believe every parent should read and apply these principles on a daily basis - our future would benefit.