Jessica's Reviews > The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee by Wendy Mogel
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May 29, 10

bookshelves: parenting, jewish-interest
Recommended for: parents
Read in May, 2010

Mogel is a child psychologist who studied Judaism and applied it to her approach to parenting. Her basic premise is that children need limits and structure, and a place in both the family and wider community. She breaks her parenting advice into nine lessons and most, if not all, would apply to parents of many faiths and even of no faith in particular. Some of my favorite chapters: The Blessing of Self-Control, in which she discusses why your child's difficult traits are the key to his strengths, and The Blessing of Work, in which she talks about the value of household chores.

Mogel rarely gets preachy and she clearly adores children. She talks about her ideas in a spiritual framework but I would argue you could remove the spirituality and still have much of this book, as many of her ideas have a practical as well as a religious application. For example, the chapter on honoring your father and mother works as a guideline to that commandment, but the advice works for parents who want to teach respect for adults, even if they are not teaching the Ten Commandments in the home.

Mogel also provides some discussion questions and a suggested reading list. I plan to look for a used copy of this book as I imagine I will refer to it again.
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