An online community for Jewish moms



Making the joy and peace you imagine for your home a reality. Helping our children understand the power they possess with their speech will give them the ability to bring true happiness to themselves and to others.

Location: New York City
Members: 42
Latest Activity: Sep 25, 2017

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Discussion Forum

If You Could Choose Your Last Words . . .

The father of my daughter’s close friend has been battling what we all hoped would not be a life-threatening disease. After almost two years, our hopes have been replaced by a deep sense of…Continue

Started by audrey weitz May 10, 2011.

Mixed Messages

SpeakNicely is inspired by many people, one of whom certainly needs her own SpeakNicely page: Sarah C. Radcliffe, who practices psychology in Toronto, writes so beautifully on parenting and often…Continue

Tags: to, kids, talking, speech, power

Started by audrey weitz Mar 31, 2011.

The Gift of Words

I finally heard the "story" of a woman I have known for years. I have only known Anita as a mother, a grandmother, an accomplished artist and a successful teacher. We do not often get to hear the…Continue

Tags: hora, speaknicely, loshon, words, of

Started by audrey weitz Dec 16, 2010.

Share Your Story

The most surprising aspect of working on SpeakNicely over the past two years, has been the incredible number of inspiring and often painful stories people have shared. There are the sweet ones about…Continue

Started by audrey weitz Dec 13, 2010.

Comment Wall


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Comment by audrey weitz on September 16, 2010 at 11:02am
SpeakNicely was featured on Las Vegas' #1 morning program, FOX5: to view segment:

I must admit, this is my favorite time of the year (I always quote that Staples commercial with parents dancing down the aisles singing the X-mas song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!." Many of us are thrilled our kids are back in school. Even the kids themselves are happy; we see it on their faces.

There are unfortunately those situations where school produces anxiety, stress, and even real fear in our kids. It is heartbreaking for a parent to watch a child burst into tears either on the way out the door in the morning, or when they walk in at the end of the day. But, we have tools to help our kids; and for those children who go off without a care in the world, we can help them see the power they have to help a sad child have a better day.

We already know that we can tell our kids, "It's ok to be sad. It's ok to cry." But an another powerful tool is verbal empathy. We can repeat back to our children the fears we know they must have: "It must be so scary to enter that big school every day when you are used to going to your kindergarten class." "I think I would also be nervous getting on the bus when I didn't even know the driver." Kids are mesmerized by an adult expressing fears, even when we are "pretending."

For the kids who are happy-go-lucky, we can give them even more self confidence when we remind them that their efforts to reach out to or to smile at a new kid in class will produce tremendous results.
Comment by audrey weitz on May 12, 2010 at 8:37am
Some of us actually do save our Mother’s Day cards, but whether or not we do, most of us want to do so, especially the adorable ones from our younger children. We look at them a few times. We re-read them. Why is that? Because the words our children write are so unfettered, they’re not complicated, our kids write from the heart.

One of my children wrote me a poem with a line that read: “You are as unique as a cat without fur.” Of course I burst out laughing, and the rest of the poem was equally funny and sweet. I keep remembering different lines from each of my kids’ cards. Our children’s words are powerful avenues into their souls. The reason we cherish what they write to us is because we also understand the power of words. We see the positive effects they have on us. We just need to remember that, and continue to work on choosing our own words carefully while generously offering kind words to our kids – they also remember what we say!
Comment by audrey weitz on March 19, 2010 at 10:13am
this is a piece i rec'd from the chofetz chaim foundation; i found it so appropriate for moms & teachers. i fwd'd it to the principals of my kids' school too. if you'd like to receive ccf daily emails, send a msg to: have a great shabbos!

SEFER CHOFETZ CHAIM — Laws of Loshon Hora 8:3-4

It is forbidden to speak derogatorily about children.* While adults understand that “kids are kids” and their negative behavior is often excused as normal immaturity, if the information casts this particular child in a bad light it should not be spoken or listened to. The Chofetz Chaim stresses that it is also forbidden to mention something about a child which is not derogatory but is harmful. The example offered is where someone mentions something negative about a child in the presence of his foster parents. While the information is not derogatory and may describe behavior common to children, it may make the foster parents unwilling to care for this child. The Chofetz Chaim notes that sometimes children can be punished excessively by their natural parents because of information about their behavior which angered the parent. Therefore, one should exercise caution before relating any such information.

From their end, parents and teachers should be careful not to discipline children based on negative reports without following the basic rule for acceptance of loshon hora: the parent or teacher must first investigate the report and determine that it is accurate. Only then can he or she take action.

Rabbi Avraham Pam z”l, used to tell the story of a young child who was punished when an item was found in his knapsack which a fellow classmate had been missing. The apparent culprit insisted that he had not stolen the item and that he had no idea how it had gotten into his knapsack. The teacher refused to believe him and punished him by having him wear a sign which read, “I am a thief.” A long time passed before another boy came along and admitted that he had stolen the item. He had wanted to return it but was too ashamed to admit his guilt, so he stuffed the item into another boy’s knapsack.

An innocent child was humiliated publicly because his teacher immediately accepted the evidence and ignored the child’s protests. If this could happen in a case where the evidence seemed so convincing, how careful must we be not to take action based on reports without first investigating the matter.
Comment by audrey weitz on March 13, 2010 at 9:07pm
I’m a mom of a bunch of little kids, why do FOX & NBC care what I have to say?!? Because gossip has gotten so out of control in our culture that cynicism is the norm. I'll be on NBC this Monday morning & we're trying to build our facebook fan page - please join & Share Your Power!
Comment by audrey weitz on February 23, 2010 at 10:52pm
Sharing some great news: SpeakNicely was featured on Fox news in Orlando, FL last week and we are preparing for two more appearances in Philadelphia & New York in the coming weeks. Of course news shows are interested in the scoop as much as they are interested in a mom with some cute tees. One of the facts we came up with shocked some people:

A quick google search of "local gossip sites" produced an astounding 11.3 million hits! This generation of children is being bombarded, and without an antedote like SpeakNicely they will naturally follow this sad trend. Children imitate their parents, especially when it comes to speech. A powerful study has shown that happy couples/families have a 20:1 ratio of positive to negative comments when dealing with each other.
Comment by audrey weitz on February 17, 2010 at 1:38pm
We speak all day long. When we make the conscious effort to add something positive to our interactions, especially with our kids, we are succeeding in defining ourselves as who we HOPE to be, rather than a default setting of who we are at that moment. Humans are powerful creatures. We have the power of speech. No other live being has this power. Sure a parrot can imitate sound, but a thinking being who can formulate thoughts and put them into words has a power that only belongs to us.

Knowing that we are special and unique is the only way we can appreciate someone else’s uniqueness. Speech itself grants us this unique quality. If nothing else is working for you today, use your words to make your day and that of those around you better.
Comment by audrey weitz on December 23, 2009 at 10:42am
All people have the power to use their speech to build up others, and to bring themselves up. With some simple messages we can work to make the world a better, more pleasant and peaceful place to live. Children have this power too; if we teach them to use their words well, they will be our beacons of light.

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