Thursday, November 12, 2015


Erev Shabbos Kodesh Parshas Toldos  
Rosh Chodesh Kislev 5776/ November 13, 2015

In Ashar I have the privilege to be the fifth grade Rebbe and to serve as School Guidance Counselor. My office shares a wall with the office of the nurse, Nurse Trish. I hung a sign in between our offices which reads “Stomachache? From last night’s supper - enter office on left, because of today’s test – enter office on right.”
Last week, Nurse Trish was kind enough to arrange for a nurse to come to Ashar to administer the flu shot to any faculty member who so desired. It was a long trip next door but I received the injection. The only problem was that the administering nurse didn’t bring any stickers with her, so my children didn’t believe me that I had gotten a shot. The Band-Aid wasn’t enough to convince them.
The next day I woke up with minor flu like symptoms. I felt fatigued and had some achiness in my neck and back, but I was able to proceed through my day pretty regularly.
It’s pretty incredible that by injecting a controlled dosage into one’s body, the body immediately begins producing antibodies to protect itself from a stronger attack of the disease. It’s worth the minor discomfort for a day or two if it spares me the suffering of a full fledged attack of the flu iy’H.
The concept behind vaccination is fascinating – better to deal with the disease now when it’s controlled and manageable, than to contend with it later when it’s far more severe and debilitating.
Expert parents and educators appreciate this concept well. They understand that when their children are young they need to give them the space and confidence to make their own choices, and inevitably mistakes, so that they can gain lifetime experience.
There is a great amount of worthy discussion about the deleterious effect of “helicopter parenting”. These are parents who hover over their children and seek to protect them from life’s challenges and negative experiences. These are parents who are quick to defend their child and lambast the principal and school for disciplining their child, before finding out the school’s perspective. These are parents who will not allow anyone to tease their child and when normal immature youthful bantering takes places, will scream at the school for not protecting their child from bullying. [The vital difference between teasing – even unpleasant teasing, and bullying is often misunderstood with very serious consequences. But that is its own discussion.]
Often these well-meaning parents will never say no to their children when they are young. Then, as the children age and become obnoxious and disrespectful, the parents have a hard time setting boundaries.
It’s never easy for a parent to see their child make foolish mistakes, but there is no better teacher than personal experience.
Parenting expert and Love & Logic founder Jim Fay, quips that it’s always better to allow our children to learn the consequences of their actions when they are young and the price tag is relatively small, than to learn those lessons when they get older and the price tag is far more costly.
The shot may sting and hurt a bit, but to be vaccinated and protected it’s worth it.   

Shabbat Shalom & Good Shabbos,
R’ Dani and Chani Staum         

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