Friday, July 22, 2011

MATOS 5771

Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Matos

20 Tamuz 5771/July 22, 2011 -- Pirkei Avos – Chapter 1

As we all know, our children are our greatest gifts and every child is priceless. What wouldn’t we do or give for our children! But, we also all know that like anything of value they require nurturance, time, and, above-all, tremendous patience.

Parents are always seeking worthy techniques to help guide their superlative efforts to educate and discipline their children: What do we do when our children don’t listen to us, and how can we foster compliance?

The Love-and-Logic program (of which we are often adherents) promotes the use of a technique called ‘brain drain’. If a child (children) is not cooperating or is misbehaving the parent says to the child that the child’s misbehavior is causing them to have a ‘brain drain’. This causes the parent to become ‘tired’ and unavailable to participate in the child’s leisurely activities until the child figures out a way to restore the parent’s energy by behaving nicely and perhaps doing extra chores to compensate. A brain drain may impede the parent from taking the child somewhere the child wants to go or from enjoying a privilege around the house.

In our home, Chani has recently been telling our children that she has ‘a bottle of patience’. If the bottle of patience is used up she won’t have extra patience for the things they want her to do, until they somehow figure out a way to help her bottle become refilled.

When I heard about the bottle of patience I liked the idea and asked her where she got it from.

“From you,” she replied.


“Yes you. Whenever we go shopping you tell me that you only have a certain amount of patience for shopping, after which you become restless (to say the least!). So I just applied your shopping creed to our home management.”

I dare say that Chani has more patience with our children than I do for shopping (thankfully).

Although we must have endless patience with our children, our children must know that their actions have consequences and when their behavior is subpar there is a price-tag attached to their actions. After all, that’s the way life is in the grown up world as well.

I am not sure if there are other connections between child-rearing and shopping (definitely not the way I shop) but one thing is for sure, our children never go on sale.

Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,

R’ Dani and Chani Staum