When you read the news and hear about rockets destroying homes in Israel, you are understandably worried about your child in Israel. SO you call your son or daughter and you ask them how they are… and if people are pulling their kids out of school… and if they are NOT going out… and if they are worried… THIS IS A MISTAKE.
News Flash: Israel is chock full of people who have lived through many security situations, wars, intifadas etc. Many of them are in your child’s school and are providing appropriate guidance – calmly and in an organized manner so the students can stay safely in Israel, learn and tour while having a good time even so. Undoubtedly, security measures have been added to ensure your child’s safety.
Another News Flash: You are probably not an expert in stress management or security issues. Maybe some of you are, but most aren’t.
To Call or Not To Call? When you do speak to your child, here are some helpful guidelines for parents who are very worried about their child in Israel:
Most students are doing fine, they are following instructions, staying informed, and continue to enjoy their year – albeit with more caution. But when parents call and continually ask them about their stress, asking if people are leaving Israel, and voicing their concerns over and over – THAT makes them more stressed.
I observed once an incident in a playground in which two toddlers fell and scratched their knees. One mother remained calm, telling her daughter that she was ok and she should continue playing. The child continued playing. The second mother jumped up, said (loudly) “Oh my G-d! are you ok? Is it bleeding?”, grabbing the child and looking for injuries. Well I watched as this child registered his mother’s panic, realized that he was supposed to be crying, and then (after a brief delay to process her response) proceeded to cry. A self-fulfilling prophecy: mother expected panic and pain… and got it. As parents, our reactions very much influence our children’s reactions (even as young adults), so monitor your response and don’t make things worse!
Yes, you need to keep informed. Your son / daughter is definitely keeping informed. But from minute to minute – you can become overwhelmed with stress and this is unhelpful to you and your kids.
Dr. Aaron is volunteering to speak about stress management and safety at any yeshiva/seminary/ gap-year program. If you are interested in this seminar for your child's school, contact us through the website so we can make arrangements. alternatively, contact the school and forward our contact information.
Dr. Eliana M. Aaron is the director of EMA Care. Dr. Aaron received a Doctor of Nursing Practice from Yale University and has 20 years of experience in nursing, health advocacy, health education and as a nurse educator.
Thank you for the zoom (and all your updates). It was great. I wish the news was like that. Straight forward, factual, unemotional. Bravo to both of you ladies!!
My experience with Ema Care has been so positive that I wanted to share it in case it could help someone else. Eight days ago my daughter, a Shanah Bet student, called to say she wasn’t feeling well and had symptoms of Covid-19. I was put in touch with an Infectious Disease specialist who recommended Ema Care. I reached Dr. Eliana Aaron easily and signed my daughter up. The next morning, Ema Care gave my daughter a telehealth exam and provided her with prescriptions, as well as a list of...
I would like to also add my compliments, you exceeded my already very high expectations. You can certainly send other schools our way for a recommendation.
-Mr. E. Naiman
Dear Dr. Eliana words simply cannot express how much you have done for all of us and so many others in keeping us informed, calming anxieties, and being such a wonderful and patient resource through such a difficult time. Wishing you much bracha and hatzlacha in the merit of all the countless mitzvot u have done to help so many through these trying times; mikol halev, ein milim and thanks so so much .
Gap Year Program Staff
Hello Dr. Aaron. I cannot thank you enough for providing not only crucial information but a framework that gave us stability and allowed us to function (instead of descending into chaos, which undoubtedly would have happened, if not for you). At the risk of waxing dramatic, I will tell you that when I think of what you've done these past couple of months, what comes to mind is Rav Yohanan Ben Zakai asking Vespasian to give him Yavneh ve-Hakhameha, thus saving the entire enterprise of Talmud...