Life's Tool Box – A Guide for Parents and Educators

Welcome to Life’s Tool Box

 Rona Milch Novick, PhD

To read  posts about other “tools”, and see current or prior blog entries, click on Posts in the blue box on the right side of this page.

To subscribe to the blog, so that you receive notification each time a new post is added, click on Email Subscription in the blue box on the right side of this page.



Everything in Life is Easier  With the Right Tools

I was already a licensed psychologist, wife and mother.  In walks my Dad as I’m stripping the wires of a broken lamp with a butter knife.  An Industrial Arts teacher and proud owner of a garage filled with tools, he joked – “you know there’s a tool made for that!”    “Everything in life” he said “is easier with the right tools”. 

I hear that sentence in my head when hanging a frame, spackling a hole in the wall, or tinkering with household items that need repair.   I hear the wisdom in my Dad’s words whenever I am working with educators or clinicians,  meeting with parents and children in my clinical practice, and especially, when I am with my own children. 

I have fond memories of the garage in the house where I grew up.  A place filled with saws as big as me and tiny intricate tools for the most specific jobs, and my Dad, with such a sense of authority and certaintly when he inevitably found just the right tool to do the job.

Parenting and education is so much less defined than those problems tackled in my Dad’s garage.  Never exact science, raising and educating children has become incredibly challenging.  I have the opportunity to speak and meet with so many caring, dedicated and compassionate adults who really want to support children’s growth and development – they just wish they had the right tools.

As parents and educators, the tools we have for “building” children are our words and actions.   But we want some of the same things in our metaphorical toolbox as any carpenter.  We want a variety of tools – so we can do all the jobs of parenting and teaching.  We  want tried and true . . . the well worn, but trusted hammer . . . the saw we can count on to stay straight as we cut.  And just as when we hang a frame on the wall, the contribution of the hammer is clear, but it is the picture we see and enjoy,  we want child raising tools that do the job, leaving invisible marks that let our children shine. 

So this blog will offer practical, workable tools for educating and raising healthy, resilient and happy children.  Borrowing from my Dad’s toolbox wisdom, each entry will highlight a tool that serves a purpose in supporting the growth of children.  We are certain to be a bit clumsy at times, hitting our thumbs with the  metaphorical hammer, or slipping and making a hole in the wall.  But hopefully, we’ll find the tools that help us correct our mistakes and keep on building!  After all, we are all participating in an amazing adventure –   and everything in life – especially something as wondrous and challenging as producing the next generation of healthy, happy and productive citizens- is easier with the right tools.

To read  posts about other “tools”, and see current and past blog entries, click on Posts in the blue box on the right side of this page.

To subscribe to the blog, so that you receive notification each time a new post is added, click on Email Subscription in the blue box on the right side of this page.


  1. Hi Rona, I look forward to reading more- it’s so important to check in with new (and old)ideas for guidance. Hatzlacha rabbah,Kiki

    Comment by Kiki Rothenberg — July 21, 2010 @ 5:18 pm |Reply

  2. Dear Rona,

    I truly enjoyed reading your introductory essay. What a wonderful idea! I look forward to reading what you write in terms of “tools for educating and raising healthy, resilient and happy children”.
    Kol Hakavod!

    All the best,

    Comment by Sara Reichman — July 21, 2010 @ 6:42 pm |Reply

  3. Hatzlacha !

    Comment by Chaim Feuerman — July 28, 2010 @ 11:36 pm |Reply

  4. Always good to read blogs from someone who has something as wise to say as you do. Best of luck.

    Comment by beryl eckstein — August 2, 2010 @ 1:51 am |Reply

  5. Rona,

    Finally, advice I can read from someone I trust. Look forward to reading it!

    Comment by Lysa — August 2, 2010 @ 1:55 am |Reply

  6. Hi Rona,
    Sounds like your father would have gotten along with my father. He was also a teacher, and is a proud owner of a basement filled with tools. To this day, he brings guests down for a tour of his work room. The idea of using tools for child rearing and education is right on target, beginning with this blog. I look forward to reading many helpful ideas.

    Comment by Deena Shapiro — August 2, 2010 @ 2:11 am |Reply

  7. I love the analogies!! What amazing life lessons you have learned from your Dad – continue to learn, to teach and to share your wisdom. Wishing you much success!

    Comment by michele — August 2, 2010 @ 9:34 am |Reply

  8. Inspiring story-nice message.Much success in your work, and with this new blog—Leib

    Comment by mordecai j muchnick — August 2, 2010 @ 2:15 pm |Reply

  9. Rona,
    Thank G-d I now have a way to process all your words of wisdom without leaving my office. I look forward to using all your ‘tools” on my kids as well as grandkids. Looking forward to each blog – thanks.

    Comment by Sharona — August 2, 2010 @ 4:04 pm |Reply

  10. As former teachers,and, current parents and grandparents, we two marvel at the metaphors.. truly a real new meaning for, “tools of the trade”! We wonder, too, as to the extent that these “connections” could have eased classroom situations, as well as, offered suggestions for parent conferences. Please keep your brilliant and informative blogs coming…. we appreciate them on so many levels!!! E and S

    Comment by E and S Milch — August 2, 2010 @ 10:37 pm |Reply

  11. look forward to gaining new insights to old challenges

    Comment by david abramchik — August 3, 2010 @ 2:43 am |Reply

  12. Thanks, Rona, for forwarding your blog to me. I have always appreciated your refined sensitivity to the important challenges facing the Jewish community, most especially in the home and in school. Once again, with the creation of this forum, you are initiating meaningful opportunity for an exchange of ideas and experiences for those concerned with the role of parents in guiding their children. Best wishes for continued hatzlacha in all of your important endeavors.

    Comment by Ronny Wachtel — August 3, 2010 @ 11:10 am |Reply

  13. Rona,

    Life was busy and I just got to read your blog. Just great, can’t wait to hear more wisdoms and tools. I need as much help as I can get.


    Comment by sharon — August 3, 2010 @ 6:04 pm |Reply

  14. I was fortunate enough to have you as a friend as our kids grew up together and I have had the pleasure of receiving your pearls of wisdom for a long time. Now this will help me with my grandchildren. Thanks for sharing and good luck with the blog.

    Comment by Linda Koegel — August 9, 2010 @ 4:21 pm |Reply

  15. Looking forward to expanding my own personal and professional tool box with your wisdom and insights.

    Comment by Dina Rabhan — August 9, 2010 @ 9:19 pm |Reply

  16. Thank you for the opportunity to add a high-quality, interesting, and professionally and personally relevant blog to my favorites list!

    Comment by Goldie — August 9, 2010 @ 9:30 pm |Reply

  17. Thank you for sending the website link.
    What a meaningful undertaking on your part!
    I look forward to learning more from you.

    Comment by Golda Gross — August 9, 2010 @ 10:22 pm |Reply

    • I wonder if parents in your school would like the one on holiday giving, boundaries and indulgence.

      Comment by Life's Toolbox — December 7, 2010 @ 10:29 pm |Reply

  18. Looking forward to learning from an old, wise friend. Wonderful idea and so interesting. Good luck and bring it on.

    Comment by Melanie — August 10, 2010 @ 10:23 pm |Reply

  19. B’ Hatzlacha, I look forward to sharing the ideas that are put forward.

    Comment by Ellis Bloch — August 11, 2010 @ 6:05 pm |Reply

  20. Good article. Thank you.

    Comment by Priligy — April 20, 2011 @ 5:42 pm |Reply

  21. Thanks for great post!

    Comment by Vimax Reviews — April 29, 2011 @ 9:40 pm |Reply

  22. A gift that will endure…Thank you, and happy Mother’s Day.

    Comment by Audrey Menachem — May 8, 2011 @ 5:15 pm |Reply

  23. thank you for the invite to read your poetic and important words and have the opportunity to dialogue with colleauges, as well as share useful and practical “tools” with each other. all the best, sharona

    Comment by sharona b. — July 20, 2011 @ 3:47 am |Reply

    • Glad to provide the opo\portunity and forum. Feel free to share your “tools”. We can all benefit from learning what has worked!

      Comment by Life's Toolbox — July 22, 2011 @ 1:09 pm |Reply

  24. I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

    Comment by rtyecript — August 25, 2011 @ 1:48 pm |Reply

  25. when is the next time your speaking in Brooklyn about bullying?

    Comment by Mrs. Eidelman — June 12, 2012 @ 6:29 pm |Reply

    • Thank you for your interest. I have no set plans for upcoming presentations on bullying.

      Comment by Life's Toolbox — June 12, 2012 @ 7:34 pm |Reply

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