Everyone is asking, how do you teach children anything these days?! They don’t listen, they are so distracted and they all think that they know better!
The answer has not changed over the millennia, unfortunately 🙂 We have to role model no matter how difficult it is.
If you have had a difficult day and someone struggling to put food on their table knocks on your door, the patience and generosity with which you respond is being recorded by your children in real time. Five hundred lectures about the importance of caring for the needy will not have close to that impact.
How do you use your time? Do you live a healthy lifestyle? Do you value education and learning when you have free time? Are you generous with your family? Do you give charity gladly?
So here’s the point: don’t worry about the fact that your children do not listen to most of what you say… Concern yourself said with the fact that they record all they see and it will impact them forever!
Parenting post by Mendel Bluming
Maimonides (1135-1204), one of the greatest Jewish thinkers and sages of all time, advises motivating a child by promising, “read, and I will give you a nut or a fig.”
But wait are you not teaching a child to do what is right for reward, why not teach them to do what is right BECAUSE it is the right thing to do?!
Here’s a teaching from the Rebbe: The child was saying I cannot clean my room I just can’t! I cannot do my homework, I just can’t! Now you gave her a lolly and suddenly she can! What have you shown her? You have shown her/him that what they considered impossible is doable! Just because your mind or heart tells you that accomplishing something is impossible should not prevent you or deter you- you can overcome it!
Now THAT is education… with a spoonful of honey!
From Mendel Bluming
Our forefather Jacob lived the shortest of all the Patriarchs. Abraham lived 175 years. Yitzchak lived 180 years. Yaakov lived 147 years.
Our sages explain that Yaakov should have lived 180 years. However, G-d deducted 33 years of his life. The reason is as follows:
When Yaakov came to Egypt and Pharaoh asked him his age, he replied, “The days of the years of my life are a hundred and thirty years; few and bad have been the days of my life and they have not attained the days of the years of the life of my fathers” (Gen. 47:9).
The verse in which Yaakov complains about his bad lot and misfortune in life contains 33 Hebrew words. As a result, G-d shortened his life by 33 years.
(Jacob’s reasons for what he said were not a lack of gratitude to G-d, he had his own reasons like maybe he did not want to appear great in Pharoah’s eyes so that Pharoah would not ‘follow up’ with him or befriend him on FB.)
The lesson to us: life always has its vicissitudes and yet if we are asked how our life is, our answer must always be: thank G-d, wonderful!! Because life is worth living, life is full of so many blessings every day despite our justified reasons to kvetch 🙂