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Toby Klein Greenwald

Toby Klein Greenwald

Toby Klein Greenwald, Executive V.P. Creative Development, is a founding partner and the editor-in-chief of WholeFamily. Toby is an educator, journalist, photographer, scriptwriter, poet, playwright, lyricist, and theater director, including for populations that have experienced trauma or are at risk. She is a Playback Theater conductor and is the recipient of Israel's Ministry of Education's Egerest Award for Culture, for her work in educational and community theater. She has more than 30 years of teaching experience and has served on numerous educational think tanks. Her specialties include the creation of innovative educational programs, and teaching Creative Writing and Film to AD(H)D and LD high school students, and to senior citizens. Toby is married to Yaakov and they have six children, most of whom have made her a proud mother-in-law and grandmother.

Dear WholeMom: My daughter is 1 1/2 years old. She doesn't listen to "Time out" anymore and if I tell her to go back to "Time out" she cries or hits. The worst part is I'm very emotional because I'm 3 months pregnant. So when she cries, I cry, and then I feel like a mean mom. I really don't know how to handle this and I don't believe in hitting a child, not even a light tap. What should I do? - Emotional Mom Dear Emotional Mom: There are a number of issues to address here. The first one is your personal state of mind that is, by your own admission, "very emotional" since you are three months pregnant. The second issue is your daughter's behavior.

Okay, so camp is over, they've seen all the new movies and how many times can you go to the pool or play miniature golf, anyway? Exploit this time to trigger your child's imagination! Once you've introduced your child to her imagination, and she's exercised it (like a muscle that is stiff at first but after a while begins to work smoothly), she will find it easier to plug into it at will. Easier said than done, you say? Well, have you ever seen a toddler who gets a toy in a box, puts aside the toy and fills the box with bottle caps which then morph into little men from mars/soldiers/kids at the mall? That child is exercising the ability to suspend reality and create a reality of his own.

Q Dear WholeMom, Ever since my first daughter was born there was such a special way about her. She was different. I was delighted by her every move. I knew in my heart that she was gifted. By the time she was two, my sister and other relatives and professionals would comment to me about how wonderful she was. When she toilet trained herself, learned her colors, numbers, ABC's, and words to more than 30 songs by the age of two, I simply beamed with joy over her accomplishments. She longed to do things and go places. She was a sponge for information and experiences.

We did not need an official testing process to reveal to us what we knew from the time that our son was very young - that he was a gifted child who was not only precocious in his reading and other cognitive abilities, but whose mind worked in totally different ways from the minds of ordinary children. He was tested at the age of five at the urging of his two pre-school teachers who wanted to advance him to first grade after only one month in kindergarten.

Dear WholeMom: My 11-year-old son loves to read, work on the computer and paint, but he can't sit still in school. We've received five notes from his teachers this year and it's only December! We've had him tested. He has a high I.Q. and does not have A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder), so we know that he does not have a concentration problem and is not hyperactive. He can walk into a test after he has studied the material and knows it cold, but he'll just sit and draw pictures on the test paper.

Dear WholeMom, What is your opinion about the schools blocking certain sites on Internet? A This is not a question that can be answered in a vacuum and the question of censorship of the media is not black and white. A lot depends on the general approach of the family or of the school. It is easy for schools to block certain sites on Internet and perhaps that's what should be done because even if kids can get to it elsewhere, it is sending a subliminal message from the school: this is not acceptable to us.

Q I have a 15-year-old son who smokes. Not much but it's only the start. We don't know how to make him understand the situation. His two grandfathers and one grandmother died from heavy smoking and he knows it. We (parents) were also smokers in the past but not now and he doesn't get it. Please help us. - Marcia A I hope some of these ideas will help you. It is not easy to explain the concept of mortality to a teenager.

Dear WholeMom: We have four children, two girls aged 16 and 14 and two boys aged 12 and 7. The three older children go to sleep later than the youngest boy, a fact he bitterly resents. He takes out his frustrations by acting out, refusing to go to bed and jumping out once he is in. There is lots of action going on in our home in the evening and he can't seem to settle down. He's an active little kid and doesn't want to miss any of the fun, but when he goes to bed late he finds it hard to get up in the morning for school and is miserable.

Dear WholeMom: I am struggling with my nine year old son. For the past two years he has become increasingly rude and even yells at me. He doesn't seem to realize that he is yelling or being rude. Anything I say to him gets a negative response with an inappropriate tone. I am finding it very hard to come up with positive things about him. He was an only child for seven years and now has a two year old sister. He said to me once, "Why do you only like us when we are babies?" It is hard because my two year old is so good and my nine year old seems to thrive on negative attention.

Dear WholeMom, My twelve-year-old daughter has been hanging out with a group of kids lately who I am not crazy about. The girls dress in very slutty clothes and they go to movies that are not appropriate for kids their age. When I question my daughter about where she is going she gets defensive and says, "Everyone does it. They come from good families so if their parents let them go, it must be okay." It's true they come from good families but our values are somewhat more strict.

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