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By: Rabbi Moshe Don Kestenbaum

Why Do Kids Fall Into Bad Friends?

We know and hear the all-too-common scenario of a child struggling in school or at home falling into a group of bad friends. The child, although not currently up to anything wrong, quickly becomes pulled down by his new chevrah. He begins to imitate their behavior. Obviously, there are many factors here, but there is one factor in particular [...]

The Pink and White Medicine

While our pediatrician affectionately calls it the “bubble gum medicine,” our children never seem too fond of the pink amoxicillin. It has been a rough week battling my three-year-old and forcing him to take his medicine. While he still had fever, we had been giving him the far more tolerable white-colored Motrin. He was so desperate not to t [...]

Becoming Less Possessive

Heading towards my deadline, I was sitting in front of my computer for a solid twenty minutes at a complete loss of what to write about this week. It’s no small miracle after all these years that I am still writing articles. Trust me, there are plenty of Tuesday and Wednesday mornings when I am davening for a topic to write about. As I was so [...]

Climbing Out of Our Own Hole

I would like to continue this week with more chizuk in dealing with nisyonos and how to help ourselves and our children become better avdei Hashem. Picture the following scene: You hire Jack to assemble your brand new deluxe swing set, which should take about five hours, for $250. Jack comes over to your house completely drunk, and not [...]

Asarah B’Teves and Proactive Parentin...

Next week is Asarah B’Teves, when we remember and mourn the beginning of the siege of the evil Nevuchadnetzar on Yerushalayim. While it may have become a lighter fast in our eyes because of the short winter day, it actually carries profound significance that surpasses other fast days. While no other fast day can fall out on Friday, Asar [...]

Chanukah: Spreading Our Fire

Menorah burning
I recently traveled to Far Rockaway to be menachem avel my close friend, Yudi Gordon, who lost his father. He told me the most incredible story. Fifteen years ago, during the summer of ‘99, the Far Rockaway/Five Towns community and beyond suffered the tragic loss of a great mechaneches, Mrs. Tova Fine a”h, at the youthful age of forty-n [...]

Against Discipline?

Against Discipline?
From varied comments I have received over the years of writing parenting articles here in the Yated, it seems that some people think I am against disciplining one’s children. Absolutely no rules. Just one big party! No bedtime. No curfew. Let your kids do whatever they want and everything will turn out great. That’s what some people think I b [...]

Building Tips

This week, I would like to discuss the second question recently posed to me by a fellow mechanech: “If I am making a kumzitz or the like, what should I do with the numerous boys who are not joining in? How do I get everyone involved?” The answer to this question I have learnt from observing Rabbi Doniel Kalish, menahel of our mesivta, over th [...]

Whose Problem Is It?

manager discipline young office worker for being late, point to
I was speaking to a fellow mechanech recently and he asked me the following question. He wants the davening in his yeshiva to be loud and geshmak, but he is faced with the challenge of having a small group of bochurim relative to the spacious size of the room. How can he get the bochurim to daven with extra vigor in order to create a pass [...]

Getting Old and Grumpy

Boruch Hashem, my picture no longer appears with my column, thus hiding my recent influx of gray hairs. The other day, I attempted to play basketball and tired way too quickly. I guess I am indeed getting old. Clearly, Hashem gave us the aging process as a gift. Among the positives is the fact that aging serves as a reminder to us to wo [...]



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