Aug 12, 2013

What Message Are We Conveying?

Continuation of previous post:

If R' Aisenstark is talking about demonstrable love, I tend to agree with him.  Why would someone who departed from a frum background change their way of life, their lack of tznius, their non-observance of Shabbos, if the people around them treat them just as they would if they were strictly observant? If they are showered with love regardless as to what they do, that sends the message: Whatever you do is fine.

Would we smile, praise and hug a preschooler if he emptied out the fridge and all the cabinets, creating chaos in the kitchen just as we would if he helped clean up all the toys? If we did, would that be good chinuch because we would be conveying that no matter what he does, we love him? Or would that be abysmal chinuch because it does not convey right and wrong to the child?

Do those communities that put up with public lack of tznius get more or less tznius from its members than communities with high standards of tznius which no one would think of breaching? According to R' Bender, acceptance and love will ultimately lead to the desired results.  I don't see that happening on a public level.  It might be effective with certain individuals. 

Back to rebellious children, I think that the love for the child is always there, regardless as to what they do, though it can be covered over with immense pain and resentment.  So I wouldn't use the word "rekindled" as R' Aisenstark does.  I'd like to see a combination of the two, in which the child knows that his parents love him always, but they must stand up for Torah in their home.

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