Joy of Parenting

Monday, 4 February, 2019 - 3:12 pm



Joy of Parenting

 By, Rabbi Shneur Wilhelm, Principal


Children are ultrasensitive to their parents’ actions, particularly those done with reluctance or heaviness, such as sighing when heading out the door to a child’s soccer match or procrastinating before leaving for a Torah class. G-d forbid, a child reacts negatively long-term to their parents’ unflattering behavior. Fortunately, children by nature are resilient and often rise above. But why should our actions as parents test their stores of resilience?

I am not saying you have to always be smiling; that’s not realistic! But I am saying that it is important as much as possible to project a positive attitude -- even happiness -- when interacting with your children, even when it’s challenging to do so .

In an audience in 1973, Rabbi Shmuel Lew asked the Lubavitcher Rebbe how to have the required strength and patience to be an effective parent. The Rebbe said that one way is to contemplate the Torah teaching that every Jew is G-d’s child. Just as you are the parent of your children, they also are the children of G-d.

A key indicator of a good parent-child relationship is how a parent looks at his or her child and how the child regards his or her parents. By reminding ourselves to always consider our children as G-d’s children, we come to respect what they represent even more. Why? Because then we can recognize that G-d has entrusted and empowered us to train our children, discipline them, look after them, and help them achieve what G-d wants from them.

Part of looking at our children as G-d’s children entails looking at oneself as G-d’s child. This is a very powerful notion and one that leads to more self-confidence and the projection of it, which is another key in the joy of parenting: Improve your self-esteem and self-respect and doing so facilitates and enhances all relationships, perhaps especially those with one’s own children.

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