Mar 15, 2013

Painful but True

Rabbi Chaim Yisroel Blumenfeld, a student of R' Wolbe and the mashgiach of a yeshiva for boys in need of motivation and guidance, says it's usually not Yiddishkeit itself that students have problems with.

Signs of disobedience or rebellion are symptoms of underlying emotional issues and most often, the problems don't start in Israel, they start at home.

I read this in a book written by someone who counsels parents:

"Nearly every parent who brings me in to heal their children's problems uses the same approach: "My child doesn't listen; can you make her listen?" "My child yells; can you make him stop?" "My child wants nothing to do with me; can you change her?" Of course most of the time I quickly discovered that the real problem lies with the family dynamic, not with the child.

"In fact, let me be more blunt. Nearly always, the problem lies with the parents, rather than with the children. So why don't parents own up to it?

"Because it's indescribably painful to accept that you have harmed what you love most in the entire world. So cognitive dissonance sets in and you can't see the truth.

"It is my belief that one of the corruptions at the root of modern family life is a lack of accountablity. "I can't do anything with my kids," parents tell me. "They're out of control." But this I do not accept. It is the parents' job to assert and maintain control. When one of my children does poorly in school, mistreats siblings, or speaks disrespectfully to me or my spouse, I don't look elsewhere for reasons. I step up squarely and take responsibility. If my children yell, it's because I yell. I formed them in my image and I take responsibility for the image they assume."

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