Can I Have a Cell Phone for Hanukkah? is one of the best parenting books I’ve read this year. As an evangelical Christian, I wouldn’t normally pick up “the essential scoop on raising modern Jewish kids,” but as a mom trying to navigate the ever-changing waters of my nine-year-old’s life in 2007, I have no doubt that parenting this generation requires a working knowledge of their modern culture. Author Sharon Duke Estroff dishes up the scoop with humor and a balanced perspective stemming from her expertise as a mother of four and twenty years of teaching experience.
Estroff thoroughly covers a range of topics of interest for those of us parenting school-aged kids including
- kindergarten readiness and school enrollment (public or private)
- teaching your children to properly handle money
- friendship (including a funny chapter with a Q&A format answering all those questions about the post-preschool era playdate, another on “the schoolyard social jungle,” and yet another on birthday parties, and yes, an exclusively Jewish concern–the Bar/Bat Mitzvah)
- extra-curriculars: how much, how to pick them, and how to balance them with religious commitments
- a very informative chapter on “parenting the net generation” with wonderful overviews and safety precautions about IM, social networking, cyber bullying and yes, cell phones.
You can download a discussion guide at the author’s site to enhance your study or make a perfect springboard for a book club meeting.
If you would like to win one of five copies, leave a comment here, and we’ll announce the winner in next week’s book column.