Children are not here to “bring Nachas to their parents”

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    It’s time to change the language surrounding this, because it brings untold pain to parents and children alike. Children are not put into this world to bring their parents Nachas. This may seem controversial, but if you think about it for half a second, you’ll see that it’s true. Every set of parents have a different view of what Nachas is. For some, Nachas is having adult children becoming a Jewish doctors or lawyers. For others it’s joining the family business. Others consider Nachas to be full time kollel learning or klei kodesh. For some, Nachas is joining the IDF and settling on a kibbutz. Others want their children to grow up to be devout chassidim of their specific chassidish. In fact, one parent’s version of Nachas is another parent’s nightmare. While chabad parents would kvell if their child grew up to be a devout follower of the Rebbe, if a child of a litvish family spent their days doing mivtzaim and at fabrengins at 770, I guarantee the parents are not bringing that up at dinner parties.
    Children were not put onto this earth to serve up to their parents their specific desired brand and flavor of Nachas. Children were put here to work on the imperfections of their specific neshamos; to battle their demons, and become close to Hashem using their specific strengths and working on and with their weaknesses. Let’s stop demanding that our kids bring us Nachas, and instead start helping our kids become the best versions of themselves, whatever that looks like.

    ☕️coffee addict

    Parents feel like a failure if the child doesn’t turn out the way they want them to turn out, like they parented them wrong and that’s why they are different than them

    They use their children as a litmus test as to how well they parented


    The first thing my rebbe asked me when i wanted to take on a certain chumra, was whether or not my father was makpid.

    He wasn’t.

    But to daas Torah, shteiging cannot be done at the expense of disappointing a parent – unless of course we’re talking about a parent who’s שונא תורה and doesn’t want their kid to learn; for that we say kovod Hashem is more important.

    A healthy child wants to serve Hashem and make his parents happy. The push for children to be their own person leads to foresaking mesorah and eventually going off the derech when the person thinks “this isn’t for me.”


    A child is obligated to follow his father’s minhagim.


    Of course children are here to bring nachas to their parents (and what great nachas is there in educating one’s children and watching them grow up). If this wasn’t Ha-Shem’s intention, we could be like reptiles who lay eggs, buried in a safe place, and the hatchlings that emerge are tiny adults with no need for parental guidance. But Ha-Shem decided on helpless babies who needs years and years of care to grow up.

    Ari Knobler

    What a ridiculous claim. Of course, Hashem wants us to shep נחת from our children. Try reading Tehillim, chapter 128 just one more time. It was one of the Psalms Jewish fathers would sing with their sons as they carried or accompanied them up to the בית המקדש on the Shalosh Regalim.

    Sam Klein

    Your absolutely correct that most of us here today in this temporary physical world are gilgulim that are being returned to this world on a specific mission to complete to make up for mistakes we made in the past in previous lives but that doesn’t mean that in the midst of doing our mission in this temporary physical world we can’t make our parents proud of us-and that includes our loving FATHER Hashem king of kings ruler of the world-and the accomplishments we have achieved in our lives.


    UJM: “A child is obligated to follow his father’s minhagim…”

    So if we watch a closed circuit video feed of the pre-K, the little bochur pulling the hair of the little meydlach and screaming at them to go back to the varbeshe section of the playground is named Yosef Jr??


    Parents who tell their children to learn raise children who will also be telling THEIR children to learn.


    The OP is correct. Parents should encourage their children to serve HaShem. How they choose to do so when they grow up is between the child and HaShem. I truly hope that ujm is just trolling as usual because that’s a recipe for disaster. Avira has it backwards. Some people need to find another way. Is Rav Mosheh Twersky Hy”d suffering in the olam haelyon because he abandoned YU and went to Brisk? Of course you believe that YU is problematic but his parents didn’t. Did he have a right to turn his back on his parents?


    @OP, I know purim is around the corner but it a little early to start with purim torah


    pekak: What I wrote is the actual Halacha.



    That may be true, but it can lead to real life problems. When I need to know actual Halacha I ask an actual Rav. They usually have a more nuanced take. That’s why they are the Rabbanim and not YWN leydigeyers.


    Pekak, see the caveat i wrote about parents who are less religious than their children. There’s a difference.

    And while it’s ok for a brisker to become a chossid and vice versa, even though a father might be somewhat disappointed, it’s different when parents do not give hadracha and just want the kid to decide on their own – that’s hefkerus and leads to a cavalier attitude.


    As you can of elude to, it depends what nachas is. If it means tot run out the exact way that parents want them tp then yes you have a point. But if it means to be fine jews who serve hashem in whatever manner works best, assuming is torahdik then that is what children are here for.


    A child is not always required to follow his father’s Minhagim.
    My Zaidy was not Frum. My father learned in a Litvish Yeshiva so he puts on Tefillin on Chol Hamoed.
    I asked my Rabbi about this & he told me where my family is from in Europe there is no chance they wore Tefillin on Chol Hamoed & that I should not.
    My father and I have been in Shul together on Ch”H & he wore Tefillin while I did not & it was not an issue at all.


    ridiculous comment. Of course we are supposed to bring nachas to our parents and rebbeim and continue the heilige mesorah that goes back all the way to har Sinai


    Kuvult, your story is not clear
    1) it seems that one should follow a (legitimate as Avira noted) minhag of the father even the father changed it. Otherwise, all chassidim should go back to minhag Ashkenaz …

    2) when you are in shul, both of you should be doing the same thing – namely what is minhag of the shul you are in! If you wear T and the shul does not, ,you simply put it on at home. Not sure how it works other way around – I guess you wear it in shul and do not wear it at home 🙂


    People are confusing things. A parent should not raise children in order to get Nachat. That would be completely self serving. A person should raise their children to learn Torah and do Mitzvot because that is what Hashem wants parents to do. Whether or not that will bring parents nachat is completely independent of their obligation to raise Jewish children properly. Of course all parents have a vision of how they want their child to turn out, because that’s their idea of an eved Hashem. Every child is different and every parent is different. A different “flavor” of religious Jew is always more favorable than off the derech. A parent has to use their sechel to know when and how to direct their child or leave them be. If they end up how you wanted you’ll be very happy and get “nachat.” But you didn’t do it for the nachat you did it because you are raising your child to be the best Jew they can be, because that is what Hashem wants from you.

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