Going off the Derech

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  • #1182130
    aries2756
    Participant

    BF, W.O.W.’s son displays typical behavior of a child who is hurt, has lost his bitachon and emunah, and is really hurting. He shows some various symptoms of depression and substance abuse but other than that he does not really display signs of bipolar disease.

    Bipolar patients can go days without sleep. They display completely extreme degrees of wants, needs, actions and reactions. At one end of the spectrum they have a need to conquer the world and fix everything for everyone. Not unlike the energizer bunny, they keep on going, and going and going. On the other end of the spectrum when they hit their low point, they are so low basically on the floor and cannot get their chin up. Not even to go out with their friends to do whatever it is they are doing. This does not fit the information given by W.O.W. about her son.

    #1182131
    Imma613
    Participant

    WOW,

    I have been thinking about you and your son a lot. I wish that I had the right words to help or even to offer you chizuk, but I don’t feel qualified or experienced enough to do so. I will mention, however, two ideas that occurred to me:

    You mention many times that your son refuses to see a therapist. I would like to suggest that you and your husband go instead. A qualified therapist should not only be able to serve as a source of chizuk to you, but should ideally be able to give you concrete suggestions for how to deal with your son. I know other parents who have done so when their child wouldn’t go to therapy and were abke to really help their child.

    The second suggestion I have is to try using some of the communications methodologies of Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish in “How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk.” They really work well if you make this communication method fit with you and don’t sound “fake” with it. Also, they discuss giving your child genuine and specific compliments – not “wow your such an amazing kid. You’re awesome,” but things like “You’ve been keeping your room so organized and putting all of your laundry in the hamper…” Any of these types of compliments you can give your son will have a hashpaah on him and on his self image which needs to be rebuilt with genuine and true compliments.

    As a child, whenever my mother said things like “Wow youre such an amazing piano player” (I wasn’t that great – ok maybe, not great) I wouldn’t buy it. Even when a teacher told me “You’re an express train headed to becoming a true bas yisroel,” all I could think of was every wrong thing I was doing that contradicted that compliment.

    I suspect that like Aries has noted your son is really felling down on himself, and the more he does things he knows contradict the TOrah lifestyle, the worse he feels. Keep the love flowing – it’s definitely making an impact, and I truly think (and hope and pray) that your son will come back – perhaps stronger than before.

    You and your family are in my heart and prayers. Keep strong!

    #1182132
    Imma613
    Participant

    BRAINFREEZE:

    Would you kindly tell us how many years of experience you have in diagnosing and treating bipolar in teenagers? Can you let us know how long you have worked with teens at risk? I too am suffering as I read each of your posts – at the pain you are causing WOW. Please, she has heard you loud and clear. DROP IT!

    #1182133
    ZeesKite
    Participant

    WoW. Again, advice (at least sane advice) is not any of my 2.5 talents. A cursory glance at my pithy handiworks can attest to that. I’m here just to lend you a shoulder to cry on, to dry your tears, to try to comfort and be mechazek. It’s my humble belief that a healthy and relaxed, strong minded person would make a better decisions and take matters easier. And I’m here to try to lift you, however slightly, to be able to see a not so distant BRIGHTER future.

    #1182134
    mom12
    Participant

    me three!

    #1182135
    write or wrong
    Participant

    BRAINFREEZE-Thanks agaim for your concern, but I’ve already said everything I have to say on this subject.

    Imma613-My husband and I have been speaking with someone, in fact, now we are speaking with Avi Fishoff who has his own unique approach to this whole thing. I actually read that book many years ago, and agree it is a good resource. Thanks for reminding me, I will have to get a copy of it and read it again! Thanks so much for your nice thoughts and prayers.

    ZeesKite/mom12-Thanks to both of you too! It’s nice to know there are people who care and who are rooting me on. In this merit, we should ALL win!

    #1182136
    write or wrong
    Participant

    So we’ve been speaking with Avi Fishoff about how to deal with my son. All this time, we had gone on the advice of the therapist that we should try to get our son into a low pressure yeshiva for next year, and away from our other kids. But Twisted Parenting is a completely different approach. Their philosophy is to do everything possible to keep my son out of the street, and away from bad influences, meaning, keep him as close to us and home as possible. Sending him away to yeshiva, even if low pressure, is against the TP approach. Any comments?

    #1182137
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    I’m not sure if our comments is what is needed. Tell us how it is working for you and anyone who doesn’t have useful help can save their comments. You are doing an amazing job and I have learned so much from all these exchanges. I have a son who is, B”H, not at risk hashgafically but many of the thoughts and feelings, and some of the abrasive behavior, that have been discussed between you and Aries and HtoH are very relevent. I am not one of his favorite people and am in that place that you speak of where my comments are considered intrusive and my lack of comments are considered lack of caring. I daven hard for you, and all the other moms, and I thank you all for sharing these struggles. As a member of the ‘peanut gallery’ though, I would rather learn than comment.

    #1182138
    mom12
    Participant

    There is definitely a point in this.

    aside for the fact if the yeshiva has a strong hashguche..

    which most yeshivas cannot do because the boys need some freedom and have to feel trusted.

    I was glad when my son was home SLEEPING.

    at least I knew he wasnt watchng movies or smoking or both!

    The nights were a different story…

    He BH now has a job and usually comes home at night..LATE!

    when I ask him till when he worked.. the answer was 8:00.

    He was just chilling with some friends till 3am.

    So that’s the schedule these days..

    Thank you for keeping us posted

    and for the tips. I will definitely use what I can.

    I am in this alone. My husband has HIS approach,

    and so far is not ready to hear other ideas..

    Thanx

    #1182139
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Syag Lchochma-I think you would benefit from some of the ideas of Twisted Parenting. Even if a person did not adopt their entire hashgafa, there are some very true and valuable points that they make. One of the things I am learning is how our words affect our children according to ‘their interpretation’, and not according to our meaning nor our intention (nor necessarily the truth of our words either!). That’s how we can end up either damaging our child chas v’shalom, or make worse any inner turmoil they are already going through. I think, like TP says, kids are ‘allergic to control’, and any conversations with our kids that might appear that we are trying to influence, affect or control our kids will be met with resistance, either externally or internally.

    mom12-the yeshiva my son wants is so low pressure and open, that I’d rather have him home. But, I would prefer that he go to a more supervised yeshiva, rather than have him home. But after speaking to Avi Fishoff, the goal behind TP is to strengthen the relationship between him and us, so how can we do that if he’s living in yeshiva? Also, he wants to go with a few of the kids from the chevra, and we’re hoping to weaken that connection, not strengthen it. Unfortunately, he’s going to be the one to decide, bc we ‘can’t’ force our will on him. Truthfully, I don’t know what to daven for..

    #1182140
    write or wrong
    Participant

    mom12-Even though it’s better and probably more effective if both parents adopt the same approach, I’m sure your son would benefit even if only you were to do some of these things. I know that according to TP, both parents have to be in sync with this, the truth is, that it is very difficult to do, even if highly motivated. At least, you’d be healing your relationship with your son and providing a window for him to ‘return’. Then, as your husband would see how your son’s relationship with you is so much better, he might be more receptive to making similar changes.

    #1182141
    write or wrong
    Participant

    So, I’ve been reading all about Twisted Parenting, and I don’t think I’m going to be able to do it. I agree with the hashkafa, but today, when my son walked out in jeans and a tee shirt with a very provocative girl on it, I just burst out crying….exactly what TP says I’m NOT supposed to do. No matter what any liberal-minded person tells me about how b’seder it is, my son knows very well that he is making a loud statement about his observance, or lack of it. He told me he also wants to pierce his ear, and get a tattoo. I am trying to reassure myself by thinking, he has to go down before he can go up, and that the sooner he goes down, the sooner he can come back. But I’m still having a hard time accepting this…

    Maybe it sounds terrible, but I remember many years ago, hearing how someone left Judaism and ‘became’ a goya. I remember everyone was telling the parents to sit shiva for her. I thought it was something punitive, to punish her for leaving the religion..and it is. But going through this with my son, I now see a different interpretation. I love my son with all my heart, but as I look at his black hat and jacket hanging in the closet, I can’t help but feel I’m in mourning. Baruch Hashem, he is alive and in our life. But my heart is in mourning, sitting shiva perhaps, for the yeshiva boy he used to be..

    #1182142
    Brooklineborn
    Participant

    how do i get a copy of the twisted parenting manual. i know i asked before and i still would like a copy.

    #1182143
    aries2756
    Participant

    W.O.W., I feel your hot tears, believe me I do. Your son is pushing your buttons. He may be saying these things because he means it, or he may be saying these things because he is feeling you out about them. The piercing is bad but the tattoo is even worse.

    On these things you can say “I know that you feel the choice is up to you, and I know that you feel that you can do whatever you want and you probably don’t really care how much we get hurt right now in the process, but I am doing my best to hold it together. If you choose to go that route I can’t promise you that I will not only have a broken heart you will break it into a million pieces and I don’t know if I would ever be able to recover. Don’t forget what a tattoo symbolizes in this generation to Jews!!! The Nazis tattooed numbers on to the arms of the Jews to keep track of them as if they were animals. Whenever WE see tattoos that is what WE are reminded of. It has no beauty or sense of meaning to us other than how the most evil of evil people humiliated, degraded, experimented on, tortured and annihilated our families, $6,000,0000 jews plus any other people that they felt didn’t live up to perfection which included gays, handicapped, gypsies, and others.”

    W.O.W. don’t make it about the Torah and what it says about our bodies being on loan and not damaging it. Give him something he can relate to and think about. As far as sending him off to school. I highly doubt at this point it has anything to do with learning and he certainly doesn’t care to be in Yeshiva. The idea is to get away with this group of boys, so there really is no point. What is the point in having the school call you constantly that he did this, that and the other thing. Better that the boys should go without him.

    Has he been asking you about it, or is it something he spoke to you about earlier?

    #1182144
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Brooklineborn-you have to ask the mods. I am more than happy to email them the manual, however it’s a big file, and for some reason, it wouldn’t go through when I tried to email it to a friend. You could ask the mods for Avi Fishoff’s email address (they will email it to you directly) and ask him to send you the file.

    Aries2756-I don’t think that good sense will reach him at this point, even by mentioning the association between tattood numbers and tattoos. He just doesn’t care. As far as yeshiva goes, he’s done nothing to follow through. He says he’s going with his friends to this open yeshiva that I mentioned, and asked us if we will pay for him to go there. Truthfully, I told him that if he were serious about learning, a profession, or anything, then that would be fine. But I wasn’t interested in paying for him to ‘have an apt’ with his friends somewhere, so that he can go out partying, and stay out all night, away from his parents. My husband is ready to call the ‘Revacha” in Israel, and let them take over. But after speaking these last couple of weeks with Avi Fishoff, I’m torn between being the ‘supportive, accepting, “you can do anything you want if it makes you happy” kind of mother, and doing something more proactive that will force (yes! I said the bad word ‘force’) him to be in some program.

    If there are any “Twisted Parenting” alumni reading this, please tell me your opinion.

    #1182145
    aries2756
    Participant

    W.O.W. at best I would recommend that you go down to the yeshiva and not only speak to the tosh yeshiva and administration about your dilemma, I would also knock on some doors in the vicinity of the yeshiva and hear what the neighbors have to say about the yeshiva and the kids that go there. If it is basically a babysitting service where the kids do what they want so the administration can collect the bucks and have parnasah from it, I would say, save your money and keep him home. On the other hand if the neighbors support the yeshiva and vouch for the sincerity of the hanhala, then you might have something to think about.

    #1182146
    daniela
    Participant

    WOW please don’t hurry to shed tears upon his imaginary tattoo: I understand you cry if he gets one, but so far, it’s just hot air. Is it legal in Israel to tattoo an underage without parental consent? A tattoo shop, which is how some people make a living, is hardly going to risk being fined because of his whims. Also, they avoid unreliable people like the plague, as they are harassed by customers who get something done and afterwards change their mind, want it removed (at the shop’s expense) and try to blame the parlor. I think a piercer or tattooer may figure out pretty quickly a thing or two.

    I am curious about what will happen to that T-shirt after it gets dirty. Who will wash and press it?

    Shabbat Shalom, don’t let him ruin your happiness, and in my humble opinion, trust your husband, your rabbi, your father and father in law – they are the people who can advice – they know you, they know the situation, they know the boy.

    #1182147
    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-The problem is that this is the first year for this yeshiva, which I’m also not crazy about, so the neighbors wouldn’t be able to tell me anything. We liked the RY, but felt that he was looking to get students, and were worried he might be more flexible than we’d like bc of it. It may be a moot point bc my son has already decided he is going there with some of the kids from his chevra.

    daniela-I actually have no idea about any legal ramifications on getting a tattoo, but now that you mentioned it, I will certainly look into it.

    You made me laugh about the t-shirt, but it’s just possible that he won’t let me near it, and may end up hand washing it himself!

    The other problem now is that my husband and I don’t agree on how to handle the jeans situation. Our counselor says one thing, which is actually in sync (sort of) with Avi Fishoff. But it’s VERY hard to do, and my husband just wants him out of the house if he’s going to wear ripped jeans, t-shirt, no kipa, and who knows what.

    Hope you all had a good Shabbos, ours was certainly…loud.

    #1182148
    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, why are you washing his clothes at all at this point? He is mr independent with no form of consideration or courtesy for you. What makes you think you have to be his maid? Every child is entitled to his G-d given rights, privileges is another story. He is home all day anyway. He has enough time to play games and be rude. He chooses to wear what he wants, eat what he wants, go where he wants, etc. he claims he can take care of himself doesn’t he?

    #1182149
    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-If I stop washing his clothes and taking care of his basic needs, what else is there? Kids feel their parents love them bc we take care of them. Especially now that he feels we hate him, I wouldn’t stop doing his laundry. Although I might ‘forget’ to wash a thing or two:)

    #1182150
    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW I would meet him halfway, in other words. “I am doing laundry tomorrow, if you want me to do your laundry make sure you put what you want washed in the laundry room.”. “I am changing linen tomorrow, if you want me to change your linen you will have to be out of your bed by…, if not I will leave fresh linen on your bed and you can do it yourself”

    #1182151
    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW I would meet him halfway, in other words. “I am doing laundry tomorrow, if you want me to do your laundry make sure you put what you want washed in the laundry room.”. “I am changing linen tomorrow, if you want me to change your linen you will have to be out of your bed by…, if not I will leave fresh linen on your bed and you can do it yourself”

    #1182153
    here to help
    Member

    Hello, sorry I haven’t checked in for a while. I noticed that you are having some difficulty fully committing to TP. Firstly, you should know that because the method is a little radical for most of us, it takes time get accustomed. Let me reassure you, however, that when done correctly it is guaranteed to have positive results. The faster you get with the program the faster you will see these results.

    Second, it seems your husband is still not on board, have him speak directly with Avi ASAP. If your husband “just wants him out of the house” your son’s feelings that “you hate him” will continue and hinder any progress you are trying to make.

    Third, I disagree with the statement you made that “he has to go down before he can come up”. With TP you can stop his downward spiral fairly quickly. If it seems he’s getting worse after starting TP, what is more probably happening is the following. When first implementing TP a child will notice the changes in the way you are treating him and he will want to test your actions to see if they are sincere. If you do not follow through he will understand that you don’t REALLY accept him and that you’re just trying to manipulate him. (not good)

    Fourth, I understand your need for support and that that is why you are here; BUT, although some of the advice given here is great advice much of it conflicts with TP and will only delay its affect. (sorry aries) 🙂

    I will tell you once again; I have tried any and all methods that were presented to me from a wide range of professionals over a LONG period of time. The ONLY one that worked for me was TP.

    I will try to help you if I can, but you have access to the master, I am merely a student. Keep in touch with Avi, HAVE YOUR HUSBAND TALK TO HIM, read the book MANY times, most of all, NEVER give up.

    #1182154
    write or wrong
    Participant

    here to help-I already agree with the ideas behind TP, and am more worried about being able to follow through with what I believe will help my son, AND having my husband AGREE, than I am about getting side tracked in the CR. I do get chizuk here, and learn a lot from others’ stories, yet I am making TP the core approach for dealing with our son. The main problem now is putting into practice what we’ve been reading. While my husband agrees with everything “on paper”, putting it into action is more difficult. We are on page 228 of the manual, and speak with Avi every week. But my husband just won’t agree to buying him jeans (this is really a biggie), nor will he consider letting him wear them in the house (or in the neighborhood, for that matter). I’m just wondering, when you said that TP is the only thing that worked for you, what does that mean exactly? Did it just improve your relationship, or did they return to the derech?

    aries2756-I agree that your suggestion would teach responsibility, but the bottom line is that I know very well he won’t get out of bed until early evening, so he will end up changing his own linen. My goal with him at this point is to give him the feeling that I care about him, and I don’t think I’ll be able to teach him anything (ie responsiblity, nor anything else) until he’s internalized this better.

    #1182155
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    This is probably a naive/stupid interjection but I have several teenagers and find myself in hot spots as well. One thing I say to them which I think everyone should say, and works very well with my kids and the difficult children I work with is that I love them. When my son(s) gets me very angry I will break myself to say, “I love you very much but I cannot stand what you just did” or “I love you very much but that does not stop me from being very disappointed in your choice”. If I am speaking out of turn, forgive me. I just find that this kind of talk is very important in sustaining the groundwork of our relationship through the rockier and shakier times.

    #1182156
    here to help
    Member

    kol hatchalot kashot. All beginnings are difficult, it definitely gets easier as you go, but you must take that first step. If you don’t buy him the jeans he will get them somewhere else and then what? If he’s going to wear them anyway you might as well use it to your advantage.

    My son has not fully returned yet but he’s home, he’s happy, and part of the family again. I’m sure Hashem sees the tremendous strides we’ve made and is happy as well.

    I can honestly say TP was a bigger Tikun for me than it was for my son. I have learned the TRUE meaning of Ahavat Chinam and what it really means to emulate Hashem. Tell your husband he’s not doing G-D any “favors” by alienating his son in the name of Frumkeit. G-D doesn’t need a defense attorney He wants to see his children loving their children not because of what they wear but because of who they are.

    #1182157
    mom12
    Participant

    I’m sorry to stik in my 2cents here but jeans should really be your leasr problem.. t-shirt with photo is another story..

    My sons wearing $80 (sale price) jeans a long time. although BH he is wearing white polos.. The rest of my boys do not leav the house without a hat and jacket..

    and I have a neighbor who is a ruv in a shul-chassidish-

    whos son is walking around in blue jeans and colored polos and t-shirts.. not really a pride to the family.

    but I see he lives at home and also has ‘different’ friends and an unacceptable schedule– there are so many of us suffering!

    My suggestion to you is to take ONE system and give it your all.

    try not to get sidetracked by ‘others’.

    tell yourself you will do this system lets say 2 months.. then push maybe another 2 months and see if anything moved.

    at least you know you really gave the TP system a good try.

    btw- all my boys do thir own laundry from bar mizva age and up!

    so there is really nothing wrong in having him do his own laundry.

    they change their own linen and leave it to me to wash- perfectly acceptable.. Now when they got/get married they really get a break!

    GOOD LUCK and keep us posted.

    #1182158
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Syag Lchochma-How you speak to your kids sounds great, and is probably the way we should speak to our (regular) kids. But what I got from Twisted Parenting is that regular chinuch doesn’t work on these kids (and it really doesn’t!). So our interventions have to be a bit “off” or “twisted” in order to reach them.

    here to help-you are right about the jeans, but since it was a bit too extreme for my husband, we started by giving colored shirts for the first “bomb”. My son was so happy, that he seems back to normal already. But I know it’s only the begining. I can certainly understand how it would be a bigger tikkun for you than for your son. And you are sooo right about learning the true meaning of Ahavat Chinam. This approach forces us to confront all our beliefs, priorities and middos.

    How long are you doing TP? Now that your relationship is repaired, what is your goal, and how are you trying to get there?

    #1182159
    write or wrong
    Participant

    mom12-don’t be sorry about adding your 2 cents..I look forward to it!! You are right about the jeans, and my son did already buy a pair of jeans…but he wants more. The t-shirt is a disaster, it wasn’t just a photo, it had provocative words as well (the truth is, he doesn’t read English well, and I do believe that he didn’t even know what it said). It’s great your son will wear white polos, my son won’t wear anything white. But we did go together to the store, where he picked out some colored shirts that he liked. I do want to give TP my best shot, but the problem is, it’s too extreme and immediate for my husband, who I think needs time to get used to it.

    I’m not against my son doing his own laundry. It’s just that now is a very sensitive time. I wouldn’t want to start teaching him things (which he could interpret as a kind of rejection-since I’ve been spoiling him all these years when he was learning late hours, doing everything for him). Believe me, somtimes I’m thinking he should not only do his laundry, but everyone else’s with all the free time that he has!! But the focus now is on restoring his connection to us, and feeling valued. Teaching responsibity can come once he’s healed…or via the army, which ever comes first:)

    #1182160
    aries2756
    Participant

    W.O.W. I don’t see how teling your son to put his laundry in the laundry room is not “loving” him, or telling him that you would be happy to change his linen if he is up, if not you will leave the fresh linen on his bed and he can do it when he is ready.

    Why is that “NOT” loving him? Why is being a maid to him showing “love” is he 4 years old, incapable of taking care of himself? He is choosing to be independent and you are offering to take care of him. You should continue to tell him that you love him and you should continue to offer to do things for him, however, you do not need to “baby” him. He wants to be respected and treated as an adult, so why not? Does an adult need to be picked up after? Does an adult need to be spoon fed? He wants to choose his own clothes, he wants to stay out all night, right? OK, so then bring it up a couple of notches. Make him feel like an adult. He is going to go off to school on his own isn’t he? Do you think they are going to do his laundry for him? You are not doing him any favors. Teach him now how to do it for himself.

    #1182161
    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-under normal circumstances, I would agree with you 100%. It’s just that my son has a warped view of things. I don’t see it as ‘babying’ him as much as ‘handling him with kid gloves’. He is hyper sensitive right now to anything we say or do, and anything can throw him off and reinforce his faulty image of us (he could think, ‘right, when I’m learning in yeshiva and being what they want, they ‘do’ for me. But now that I’m not a yeshiva boy, they refuse to ‘do’ for me). His ‘template’ is that we hate him, so we are bending over backwards trying to change that. Once he is more ‘back to himself’, then he’d be better able to accept our chinuch, teaching him responsibility and everything else..

    #1182162
    Ravs Daughter
    Participant

    My condolensces on this enormous challenge. First and foremost you need your husband to be on the same page. Otherwise, you don’t stand a chance. I had this with my son who is now 19 and coming back. Rabbi Wallerstein’s yeshiva was mentioned, my son was in that environment and it was awful. edited

    He went though about a girl a month for three years and now is finally settling down in a great place in Israel.

    His father was a disaster always trying to put him back in “mainstream” yeshivas instead of staying the course in ones that catered to his needs.

    I am sorry to be reminded of the churban story of the woman with the flour, first she wanted fine flour, there was none left so she wanted regular flour, etc. By the time she got used to the idea of grits, there was no food left.

    Your husband has to come around that the “uniform” is the least of the heart of our legacy. We are after all rachmanim, bayshanim and gomlei chassadim and hopefully the first and the last will be overdosed on your son during this difficult time, by you, by your husband, by family, by neighbors, by community so your son can sift through his emotions and work out his issues.

    I heard of the twisted parenting and some say it really works.

    My feeling is that kids actually like to work for something and get it instead of it just being handed to them. I used to give my son extra allowance when he fixed things around the house, more allowance when he did it without being told, kids like him don’t like being told so let them “preempt you”.

    There is a woman Mrs Belsky who lives in Israel who speaks all over, she had a son OTD and he returned and then passed away. She has a lot of “hindsight” that may benefit you and your husband in your situation. Hatzlacha, parenting is the most difficult job and you got a real star job with your son. Would love his hebrew name to add to my tefillos if you feel up to sharing. We’re rooting for you! 🙂

    #1182163
    Speaker
    Participant

    write or wrong

    As mentioned, I am a member of Twisted and if you follow the rules it works at the onset. I don’t want to say that I have it worse than you, I have a 16 year old girl…

    I know that you live in Israel and communicating is very hard. If you are willing to travel, I will host you and your husband (at no charge) – Seeing is believing.

    If doing Twisted you need to do it the proper way by attending a few groups as well not only speaking with Avi. You need to hear it from other parents as well.

    All the best.

    #1182164
    daniela
    Participant

    Hmmmmmm.

    Avi Fishoff, according to Google, runs a “shelter” (the word comes up from Google and is not mine) for 15-21 years old, in Brooklyn.

    Do those minors enter the institution voluntarily? If so, and given that the method appears to be difficult to implement correctly (I notice many posters are pointing out mistakes in what WOW does), perhaps the boy should be informed about this option and would be delighted to move there, to enjoy unconditional love and all the other benefits we’ve heard about and made us drool with envy at what our parents did not offer us (were they nasty? naive? fools?! or maybe they were not!), and at the same time allowing WOW and her husband to feel relieved, to know their son is in a safe and loving place, and to be able to enjoy a marriage relationship and a family life with their other children, both of which have somehow suffered.

    Or are the kids in “home, sweet home” committed there by their families against their wishes and/or by child protection services? Perhaps “here to help”, “Speaker”, and the other fans of the method, will take a minute to elucidate and to explain us. At this point I am really curious. The “guarantee” that the “method” undoubtedly works “if implemented correctly” is definitely a conversation point.

    it takes time get accustomed. Let me reassure you, however, that when done correctly it is guaranteed to have positive results. The faster you get with the program the faster you will see these results.

    PS What does it mean to be a “member” of “Twisted”? Is that an association? Is there documentation which is publicly available? We would like to know more.

    #1182165
    aries2756
    Participant

    Daniela you are way off base. So off base that I am not even going to respond. What Avi does and what Home Sweet Home is besides being a labor of love is a mitzva above and beyond anyone can imagine. To try and put a different “twist” on it is beyond reprehensible.

    #1182166
    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, everything depends on how you do it. If you do it in a way that is condescending then yes he might feel that way, if you do it in a way that makes him feel like an adult then he won’t. For instance. You said he is set on going away to this school. So the right thing to do is teach him how to manage on his on while he is there.

    “if you are sure you want to go away to this school you will have to learn some survival skills and how to take care of yourself because they do not provide maid service. So when you gather your laundry I will meet you in the laundry room and show you how to do it yourself.”

    #1182167
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Ravs Daughter-Thanks for your post. You are right, getting my husband to be on board is probably the biggest challenge. I think he can get past the fact that jeans are ‘only clothes’, but it’s still hard for him to believe that this isn’t just another one of my son’s manipulations to get what he wants from us. Truthfully, most of the kids Avi Fishoff worked with(that he describes in the manual) went through terrible emotional or physical/sexual abuse, or have terribly cold/distant relationships with their parents. I’m positive Twisted Parenting would help them. But up until about 3 months ago, we had a great relationship with our son, with affection and constant communication. Even though he did go through some teasing in school, and had a critical RY, it seems a far cry from the abusive situations Avi describes.

    Do you know Mrs. Belsky’s first name? I would be interested to hear what she has to say.

    #1182168
    daniela
    Participant

    Dear Aries I may very well be off-base, however, I have not insulted or slandered anyone: I have asked a question. Are the minors staying voluntarily and can they leave at any time, or are they institutionalized? Are they free to behave as they please according to the “unconditional love” attitude which is demanded from WOW, or are there rules in place, and if so, what happens to those who defy them? Are the minors in charge of their parents who retain rights and obligations and who make any and all decisions during their guest stay, or are they charges of the residential community according to NY and federal secular law? I am not saying this or that option is a bad thing, nor am I denying that those services are necessary for some minors: they are, no different than hospitals and surgeries and chemoterapy are necessary and are tremendous mitzvot. However, it seems appropriate that we all should be aware of the sort of services being suggested; and whether these services are suitable to a particular boy is a legitimate question, if you don’t mind. Especially given that I had the impression WOW is not interested in having her young son admitted into such an institution. Which for what is worth, I fully support.

    In addition, I find there is something dissonant about the TP supporters demanding from WOW she must be “accepting” of her son and any behaviour of his, and that she must express him unconditional love allowing him to leave the house whenever he pleases without even saying where he goes, to get up whenever he pleases, to wear whatever he pleases, to drink liquor and smoke cigarettes to his liking, and so on – and some have reprimanded WOW for having reacted in the obvious way to the stupid t-shirt – I would find it surprising if this advice is confirmed to come from people who are running a residential community, where I am not quite sure children are remotely allowed a shadow of that. But, of course, may be I am wrong, so please dispel our misconceptions. With facts, not with refusal to answer.

    Finally, nobody can guarantee anything. We can’t even guarantee our lifespan. There is no magic solution: there are many educational approaches, some work for some children and other work for other children, and we have to teach each child according to their inclination. It is ironical and saddening that the very approach which supposedly accepts every kid no matter what they do – thus implying and leading us to believe it allows every child to be themselves and find their true path in life – treats them as xerox copies and treats their parents as fools whose insight is consistently dismissed and who are told to follow blindly and without asking questions a certain “easy and simple method”.

    #1182169
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Speaker-Thank-you for making such an amazing offer. I do wish we could be involved in the groups, but coming to NY is just not an option for us right now. I would, however, love to hear from any Twisted members who can share their insight.

    Aries2756-the school he wants to go to doesn’t have a dorm, so he will be commuting, but I get your point. Actually, now that he has some new clothes that he’s really interested in, he is receptive to learning how to take care of them. In fact, he asked me today how he can shrink his jeans!

    #1182170
    Speaker
    Participant

    write or wrong – You are welcome. The invite is long standing 🙂

    #1182171
    write or wrong
    Participant

    I can relate to some of Daniela’s questions, and have also wondered how anyone can guarrantee that this technique will work with my child. And what does that mean, ‘it will work’? You mean, it will bring him back to the derech? If it only means to restore our relationship, then I don’t believe I need TP to do that. I think the reason TP is so extreme is bc in situations where there was extreme trauma, then an extreme approach may be what’s needed to counter-balance it. The point about treating kids as ‘xerox copies’ has also bothered me. This approach doesn’t seem to be tailor made to each child, but rather an ‘across the board’ approach. Yet each child had a different experience and has a different make up. I’m assuming the answer would be that a kid going OTD, is a reaction to trauma and ‘trauma is trauma’, but I’m not sure I’d agree with that. Can anyone clarify?

    #1182172
    Speaker
    Participant

    write or wrong – Avi has hundreds of hours worth of recordings. It is important that you listen to them so you will hear first hand as to what other parents are dealing with and their progress. Being part of the groups is a nechuma on its own.

    If Avi is unable to email it, he can put them on a USB player and you can make arrangments to get it.

    #1182173
    TheGoq
    Participant

    “But up until about 3 months ago, we had a great relationship with our son”

    Wow while you may know for certain that YOU and your son had a great relationship previously you cannot know for certain that your husband and your son did, for most of my life my mother was in complete denial about the way my father treated me, every day when we were alone he would say terrible, hurtful things to me, and display to me in every way possible that he did not love me.

    I am not accusing your husband of anything but it is possible to live in the same household with other people without having a true grasp of what their relationship is like. While there are no good reasons to go off the derech, pretty often there are reasons why dont you ask him?

    #1182174
    Speaker
    Participant

    write or wrong – Avi never speaks to the kid – only to the parents. For a kid to go OTD something happened, School / Home … He is angry – the best thing is for him to have his parents as best friends.

    I am not good in typing but Avi and his groups has helped us so so much.

    #1182175
    write or wrong
    Participant

    The Goq-I’m so sorry that your father didn’t give you the love you deserved. I’m not saying my husband and I had the same relationship with our son. But we both were affectionate with him, and always told him how much we love him. I think typically, children are closer to the mother bc in general, there is more communication/affection. My son does have some anger towards us, but he connects it more to our moving to Israel, and forcing him to be religious (by being religious ourselves). I really think he got pulled in by the secular world and all its attractions, and the fact that we don’t have an extended family over here reinforcing our chinuch, he was much more vulnerable.

    Speaker-I think Avi talks about the kids in the manual from Home Sweet Home, or from other encounters he may have had over the years. Funny thing is, that I always thought I was my son’s best friend. I really always enjoyed talking to him, and we used to have a lot of laughs together. In the back of my mind, I was always a little sad thinking that next year he will move out and go to yeshiva gedola…until he’s married! And I won’t see him so much anymore. I would cry just thinking about it. But now I cry for different reasons..

    #1182176
    Speaker
    Participant

    He needs to know from you and your husband that you will cry when he goes to Yeshiva – He needs to know that you will miss him…. and nothing that he ever does will change the love you have for him will ever change.

    Home Sweet Home has nothing to do with Twisted. This is Avi’s project and none of our kids go there.

    #1182177
    aries2756
    Participant

    Daniela, you should keep googling and I should not have to tell you or explain to you. If you do your research properly you find the correct information. It is neither an institution nor a lockdown facility it is what the name suggests, a home for kids who could not live, function or otherwise do well for various reasons in their own home. Whether it was because their parents could not deal with them at home, they could not deal with their parents, or they could not function in the environment any longer. They had to be a certain age, I believe at least 16 or 17. It was an environment of warmth, acceptance and love filled with volunteers from the neighborhood giving of themselves to mentor and aid the kids in various roles and functions. Whether as big brothers, co-parents, or just friends. No one judged them, they just offered support, love and care in order to build self esteem, self confidence, self respect and self pride in an environment surrounded by caring frum individuals.

    The boys always had with whom to speak and interact whether it was about sports, feeling and emotions, religion, arts, music or whatever. They were encouraged to find jobs to support themselves and feel good about themselves. There was limited amount of space and those that were accepted had to go through a process in order to get accepted. They had to “want” to be there and accept the rules to be a part of that community. No one was there against their will and no one got a free ride. Everyone there agreed to be a part of the Home Sweet Home “family”. There were waiting lists of boys who wanted to get in, so anytime someone wanted to leave there was always someone ready and more than willing waiting to get in.

    It was a miracle that boys had this environment to turn to. I hope I answered your questions.

    #1182178
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Speaker-Avi didn’t mention the recordings to me. I will mention next time we speak. Thanks.

    #1182179
    welldressed007
    Participant

    This topic is ad nausium.A story was recently told to me by my daughter-in-law.in the erev shabbos mock party in the play group the little boy who played tatti was sleeping at the table, the morah asked if he was tired to which he replied,no, his tatti sleeps at the shabbos table. You do not see your children the whole week, working oh so hard,then when you are home you still do not see the child, so yes they will tend to raise themselves. DO NOT RELY on the yeshivas to raise or instill the values, they are concerned with tuition bills. can’t blame them, staff need to get paid, very vicious cycle. hence more responsibility falls upon the ‘

    parents, stop ‘sleeping’ and be a part of your children’s lives.

    goed shabbos

    ps this is pure common sense which by the way is not common to everyone, so get common…

    #1182180
    aries2756
    Participant

    WD, it saddens me that you would find a need to make negative comments on this thread. This thread, from the get go has basically been a conversation between one poster who asked for help, and those who have offered assistance. Why you felt the need to comment on the general issue just to throw your hat in the ring when this entire thread has nothing to do with the debate on the issue is questionable. Was it your intent to pour salt on an already open wound?

    Did you not bother to read any part of this thread, the history between the parents and child? What exactly is the point of your very sound advice here aside from letting us all know you are sick of this topic? You did have the choice of skipping it if you are tired of the subject, you did not have to get involved at all.

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