Monday, March 3, 2008

What do children really learn from us?

"A married couple asked for a blessing that their children behave properly. The Rebbe's reply seems simple, but since I have not seen it in any parenting book I'm including it here. Sometimes the most obvious is also the most inconvenient -and therefore the most avoided.
Behave yourselves properly. When the children see your example, they will naturally want to do the same as their parents. Then it is only a matter of talking with them, step by step, day after day, and eventually it will help."
-From Tzvi Freeman
I'm not a parent yet, but this seems like pretty good advice to me. I know that the "Do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do" type of parenting does not work, and actually enrages children more than helping them. As a young lady that would like to be a mother someday, I read this and felt that this is good advice to anyone, single or married. We can always improve on our treatment of others. It also reminded me of how HaSatan (the Adversary) tries to destroy any semblance of Shalom Bayit (peace in the home). Thus, the reasons for the typical Friday afternoon (or Sunday morning to some) squabbles. We must fight to allow the Sar Shalom (Prince of Peace) to reign in our hearts and our homes. As women, I feel that at times we have the opportunity to control this in the home a little more than men. We have the power to hold our tongues or to respond with a quiet and gentle voice, when there may be a soul in need of just that. Like the old saying goes, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." It's so hard, but it's undeniably important. B'ezrat HaShem (With God's help), we can allow peace to reign - even when the soup's boiling over, the phone is ringing, the TV's blaring, and coffee just got spilled all over the mail. In our weakness, He is strong!
Any thoughts or advice?


crissie said...

Thanks again, for putting it into perspective. You are right! Even tho I am not a mother, I am a wife and a help mate and it is my role to be a peace maker in the home! Even if I think it is unfair, God has commanded me to act or re-act a certain way (yes, my motives should change, too, though!). But, I as a wife, can obey and react with a gentle and quiet spirit in the home, and my husband will see that and one day, Lord willing, my children will see that. Thanks, Jenny M!

Rose said...

I know this is an old post, but maybe someone else will be reading through the archives as I am :0)

I'm terrible at this! I have such great intentions, but as soon as a few things go wrong, I fall apart. And let me tell you, how right you are that Friday afternoon is squabbly. It is the downright worst day! Everything that can does go wrong right before my poor husband gets home. Shabbat shalom my friend! My prayer is that I will continue to want to react differently.

Thanks for the reminder.