Tag Archives: Middot

Moderation or M’tinut in Hebrew

Moderation means to do something within reasonable limits and not to excess.  Jewish values for childrenblog moderation

There are so many areas where we all would like to have more moderation in our lives: eating fewer unhealthy foods, spending less money, watching less television, or spending less time on the Internet and playing video games. Many of these examples hit home for us and our families.  Jewish values for childrenblog moderation2

Today we see little ones who operate electronic devices, some as young as two years old! We know that technology for children is entertaining and when parents are busy and need uninterrupted time, technology is a great babysitter. For school age children there are many educational benefits from the use of technology.

However, electronic devices used without moderation have many disadvantages. Electronic stimulation has been shown to interfere with falling asleep and staying asleep. (American Academy of Pediatrics) Too many hours interacting with electronic devices results in less physical activity and is found to be associated with attention problems in children.  Excessive amounts of time spent interacting with electronic devices reduces time spent interacting as a family.blog moderation3

We all know that when our children watch television they are exposed to alluring advertising and inappropriate messages. Many studies have shown that children who watch TV without moderation are likely to read fewer books and have lower grades in school. If any of these issues are of concern to you, then its time to put moderation into effect in your household!  Jewish values for children

The first step is to talk to your family members about why moderation is important. When too much time is spent absorbed in technology, there is less time spent together as a family. Technology can be addicting and research has proven, especially in children, that it can have detrimental effects.

Old habits are hard to break, but not impossible. In order to facilitate a change in your home you will need to first let your family know that some of your rules will be changing. Specific time limits should be set for computer games and all computer and TV time. The good news is that activities and games that promote togetherness also promote a healthy lifestyle. But don’t forget, even togetherness should be practiced in moderation. We all need some time alone!

The Mussar For Children Curriculum integrates Jewish values into the classroom and connects those values with activities completed at school and at home. Children learn through puppets, songs, activities, and practice. Teachers receive lesson plans, activities, book lists, and articles for school newsletters. Parents receive communication that explains the middah that their children are learning about, along with relevant book lists and activities that can be done at home to further reinforce the value.  Jewish values for children

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Mussar for Children was created by Michelle Princenthal in partnership with The Mussar Institute. It is the only Mussar values for children curriculum of its kind geared specifically for young children.  Jewish values for children

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All materials and content are copyrighted.
©2013 Michelle Princenthal
©2015 The Mussar Institute

 Jewish values for children

Trust or Bitachon in Hebrew

Bitachon generally translates as “trust,” which according to one definition is “a powerful sense of optimism and confidence.”  Mussar scholars have understood trust to mean “trust in God.” According to Jewish thought, trust is something to be valued, even treasured.  Jewish values for children

When do children learn to trust? Acquiring trust begins at birth. blog trustNewborns are dependent on their caregivers for everything they need to survive. If their needs are met, they will feel safe and begin to trust those that care for them. If their needs are not met, they will become fearful rather than trusting. Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development is one of the best-known theories of personality in psychology. Trust vs Mistrust, the first stage of Erikson’s theory occurs between birth and one year of age and is thought to be the most vital stage in life. The parent-child relationship is the first and most important social relationship a child has.  Jewish values for childrenblog trust2

How do children learn to trust? Children develop trust in response to specific interactions they have with others. New experiences and daily interactions with others guide children to differentiate between people who are trustworthy and those who aren’t.  Jewish values for childrenblog trust3

Can children be too trusting? Helping children develop trust does not mean blind trust. Being too trusting can be problematic and even dangerous. Children need to know common-sense rules that can help keep them safe. Make sure your children understand the rules you have set up for their safety. Balancing trust with caution is a skill they will develop with adult guidance.  Jewish values for childrenblog trust4

How can adults help children to learn to trust? Adults need to display behavior that is trustworthy. Try not to make promises to your children if you cannot keep them. If it seems that you might not be able to keep your promise, tell your child in advance. Explanations should be as honest as possible taking into consideration the developmental level of the child. Tell the truth in an age appropriate way. As parents and teachers we should focus on being trustworthy caregivers and role models. The result will be children who are worthy of trust, which transfers to trusting relationships later in life.   Jewish values for childrenblog trust5

The Mussar For Children Curriculum integrates Jewish values into the classroom and connects those values with activities completed at school and at home. Children learn through puppets, songs, activities, and practice. Teachers receive lesson plans, activities, book lists, and articles for school newsletters. Parents receive communication that explains the middah that their children are learning about, along with relevant book lists and activities that can be done at home to further reinforce the value.  Jewish values for children

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Mussar for Children: Jewish Values for Everyday Living was created by Michelle Princenthal in partnership with The Mussar Institute. It is the only mussar values for children curriculum of its kind geared specifically for young children.  Jewish values for children

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cropped-mussar21.png

All materials and content are copyrighted.
©2013 Michelle Princenthal
©2015 The Mussar Institute

 Jewish values for children