Aug 18, 2010

Follow-up to previous post

What issues must we deal with or do we choose to deal with? It depends on where we are raising our children and what kind of school and camp they attend.  If they live in a mostly sheltered environment and attend a school with children coming from a similar background, in which drug use is quite remote, not only would I think raising the issue would be pointless I think it would be harmful.  However, if smoking is something they see, that might warrant a talk from an authority figure like a doctor who tells them of the dangers, followed up by a talk by the rebbi or mashgiach about the halachic reasons not to smoke.

"How do you teach a child not to touch fire without telling them it's hot?"

Items that are hot naturally come up in a toddler's life.  There is hot food, a hot oven not to touch, hot water in a tub or sink and a parent will comment about waiting until it cools off, about being careful not to touch it, ouch.  It's part of life.  Just as we teach children how to cross the street and warn them to look around carefully.  Or have a fire drill.

"Would you say the same in regards to talking to them about child predators?"

It is appropriate and advisable to tell a child about the importance of never going anywhere with anyone without permission from home, even with someone he/she knows well.  No need to inform them of molesters and what they do.  Little talks with a parent about tznius, about not going off with a counselor or someone alone is fine.  The emphasis could and should be on 1) permission from parents  2) modesty  3) impressing on them that if anyone ever tells them to keep a secret from their parents the first thing they should do is tell their parents. 


  1. "impressing on them that if anyone ever tells them to keep a secret from their parents the first thing they should do is tell their parents"
    Also telling them that if a friend shares a secret and asks them not to tell anyone, if the secret is about some sort of danger or trouble they might be in then they do not have to keep it a secret but must come and tell someone who can help that friend.

    regarding molestation I find it impossible in today's day and age to not tell them about it. just a couple of years ago there was a scandal. I didn't even tell my kids, they were the ones who brought it up themselves after hearing it from their peers in school.
    So there was no choice, it had to be discussed.
    So yes to an extent all these negatives shouldn't be drilled into them, but I do think that to some extent they should be informed. It need not be dwelt upon however, lecturing may be needless for many of our kids, just enough to keep them informed and safe.

    Another thing I'd add to all you are saying is that although there are times that it is allowed and appropriate to be not tznius, such as when being examined by a doctor, those times must be supervised by the parent.
    This so that no other trusting adult can try to convince them that it is acceptable to compromise on their tznius for whatever reason.