Body Image – 5 Ways to Strengthen How Your Kids View Themselves

By Ann Luban, Community Services Program Specialist

Body image isn’t the shape of our bodies; it’s how we view our bodies.  And negative body image can affect kids as young as four or five years old.  Parents and other adults play a central role in how kids of all ages view their bodies and view themselves overall.   It is critical that we act intentionally to support them in their development.

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Teen Pregnancy Prevention: Having "the Talk"

Everyone knows about the “sex talk” – also known as the conversation with your children about sexual health.  Some parents and guardians dive right into the talk, while others avoid it at all costs. If you’ve been practicing avoidance, which response below best describes your philosophy?

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Mental Health Therapy for Children? Why?

By Lindsay Hardy, M. A.

Life in general presents us with ongoing challenges, many of which we feel unprepared to handle- parenting, divorce, interpersonal issues, etc.. At times, we need outside support to help us make sense of the challenges we face.  And so do children.  Pursuing counseling for a child, either as a primary service or an addition to current services, can foster positive change on a number of levels. It probably looks much different than you think.  However, knowing when a child might need this type of help can be challenging.

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Understanding Your Teen's ADHD

By Kevin Goldberg, B.A.

Children and Teens with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder can face challenges throughout their academic career; one of which is preparing for, and taking college admission exams such as the ACT and SAT.  As you begin preparing for college exams, questions often arise around how to best support your teen’s success.  Although the emphasis universities place on these exams is slowly diminishing, success on these tests is still crucial for students.  Added to the stress and pressure of taking these exams, a teen with ADHD may also struggle with studying for these exams.

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1 in 10: Learning to Recognize Signs of Teen Dating Violence

By Betsy Lazerow, JCARES Outreach Coordinator

Your 13 year-old may appear to be completely absorbed in math club, sports and preparing for his or her Bar/Bat Mitzvah – but 89% of 13 to 18 year-olds say they’re in or have had a dating relationship, according to a Children Now/Kaiser Permanente poll.

US government statistics reveal that 1 in 10 Illinois teens was a victim of physical abuse by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the last year, so it’s not too early to have a conversation about healthy relationships. The first people most teens will turn to when they are being abused are their friends – but JCFS wants you to know what parents and community members can do to help prevent teen dating violence and abuse.

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Addiction and the Family: How to Help Children of Alcoholics

By Aimee Pecora, MA, Therapy Extern-Psychological Services, with help from Beth Fishman, PhD, Jewish Center for Addiction

Did you know?

  • One in five children grow up in a family system dealing with addiction.
  • Children of alcoholics are four times more likely to later develop addiction-related issues, such as difficulties with trust, anxiety, depression, and alcohol or drug addiction.

Considering these facts and in working with children, adolescents, and families, it is clear that addiction impacts the family system. There are several protective factors to consider or ways to reduce the negative impact of addiction, when working with children in a family system struggling with such issues.

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Highlights from Hamburg-A Delicate Balance

By Dr. Yonit Hoffman, Manager, Holocaust Community Services

Throughout the week, most of our group quickly bonds. It is as if there is an unspoken familiarity, and we somehow find a balance between listening to each other’s stories, sharing our own, and finding and wondering about common experiences and crossed paths. The balancing act is, at least for me, a constant process throughout our visit to Germany. 

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Looking Further Back – Holocaust Survivors and Families Meet in Hamburg

By Dr. Yonit Hoffman, Manager, Holocaust Community Services

This is my second time coming to Germany. And, again, I feel an intense ambivalence and strange mixture of anticipation and apprehension. When I came three years ago, I wrote about this same feeling:

“In a million years, I never thought I would be on a plane on my way to Germany.  I grew up with a powerful and clear message; ‘We don’t buy German,’ we write ‘No Krups or Braun’ on our wedding registry, and we certainly don’t go to Germany.  When we have strayed from this edict and bought German, like our now defunct Bosch dishwasher or my grandfather’s used Mercedes ‘lemon,’ we are punished by dishes that don’t get clean and motors that need to be rebuilt. The reason? We are a ‘Survivor Family’ with all that means, all that comes with that identity.  And that also happens to be the exact reason that I am on a plane to Munich right now.

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Visiting Yad Vashem: An illegal photograph and a shoemaker whose children have no shoes.

By Dr. Yonit Hoffman, Manager, Holocaust Community Services

I hadn't been to Yad Vashem in more than 25 years. Established in 1953, it is the world center for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust. Here, too, much had changed, and much remained the same. The location is as breathtaking as I remembered it to be: set high on Mt. Herzl, overlooking Jerusalem, with an expansive vista of hazy mountains, clusters of Cyprus trees and the golden city below. There are pristine connecting paths and spaces between the visitors center, the main museum, the museum of holocaust art, the hall of names, the research buildings, the beautiful gardens and memorial sculptures throughout the grounds of this world-renowned memorial center. There are plenty of places to pause, to think, to feel, to attempt to take in the enormity.

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