Going off the Derech

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  • #1182391
    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, someone just asked me this Yom Tov, how do you respond to chutzpadik kids and I told him to ignore them. He said “ignore them” in the times past we used to show them the strap or the stick…..I told him you don’t ignore them in the sense that you let chutzpah slide, you tune them out, look the other way, hum a tune…. show them that you don’t hear them when they are being chutzpadik like you and them are not in the same room or even on the same planet. That you can’t hear their words, that they can’t reach you or penetrate you. Eventually they will learn that they can’t speak that way to you because you have elevated yourself to a higher madreigah and you can only hear them when they speak b’kovod and with derech eretz. What I told this “divorced” parent is this. If you lower yourself to that level and respond in kind, your children will remember every painful or sarcastic remark and it will repeat itself in the tape recorder of their minds and hearts. They will conveniently forget what brought on the remark and their accountability in it. But they will never forget the hurtful response to them. By tuning out to them when they are being chutzpadik you engulf yourself in the protection of your own sense of security whether you sing a song to yourself to tune out the hurtful words, you say tehilim, you daven, whatever. But they are basically talking to an unmovable force and they will eventually stop.

    WOW, you are a safe and easy target. When he starts in on you he is probably drunk and for sure over tired. If you choose not to stop and listen but continue doing what you were doing before he came in and started his tiraid, or become a moving target instead of a sitting duck it would not be so easy for him to attack. If he starts in, say tehillim in your mind, sing a song to yourself and realize that it is NOT your son yelling at you it is his yetzer horah.

    If he tells you that you are “not listening to him” you can choose to respond with “when you speak to me with respect I will show you respect in kind and will listen to you with respect. If you choose to yell at me disrespectfully I don’t have to accept such unacceptable behavior”.

    #1182392
    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, I only suggested that she might try to ask a question here because this thread is a safe haven. Not every thread is as safe and as concerned about one’s feelings and needs as we are right here on this thread. There are a lot of bloggers out there with a lot of opinions and self-righteousness and so many that are too quick to judge others. That is why I made the suggestion because if the question and I do mean one question at a time, can be addressed by the caring individuals who have been so helpful to you, then maybe they can help this young adult as well.

    #1182393
    BRAINFREEZE
    Participant

    WOW–

    You’ll probably not even respond to my post, fine it’s your choice.

    The bipolar clinical picture becomes more and more clear with each of your posts. I will keep beating my drum even if it falls on deaf ears, if only to placate my own sorrow for the entirely avoidable circumstance you find yourself in. You beg for a solution, but magically know mine has no worth. I would pay to have a conversation with your husband about with matter.

    The boy you so dearly miss is trapped in the prison of mental illness and your local pharmicist is patiently holding the key, waiting for you to pick it up.

    #1182394
    write or wrong
    Participant

    soliek-So good to hear from you again!! Thanks for your insight, and I’m sure you’re right. But the problem is, that I don’t think he feels our love. If he’s home at all, he’s usually so full of anger, that it’s hard to have any peaceful conversation without his anger errupting, and us trying to gracefully pull out of the conversation. I told my husband not to even talk to him at all right now, bc EVERYTHING makes my son blow up and talk chutzpadik to us.

    David Hamelech-Thanks for your words of chizuk. You have a lot of insight and it helps to hear it. I hope you are right, that he will come back one day. I just hope I survive until then..

    #1182395
    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-Thanks for the great suggestions. I will try them out and try to keep my cool when I’m under attack. I do hope that it will bring him to a point where he can speak with derech eretz. You know, I was just speaking to my sister about my son, about his going off the derech (she’s not haredi). And she said, that it’s understandable why he would go off the derech bc our lifestyle is so restrictive. But the truth is, his rebellion extends way out of Yiddishkeit. To stay out all night, and hang out in the streets and smoke has nothing to do with rebelling against Torah. It seems to be merely rebellion in and of itself. If he were to have just said one day, “Ya know Ma, it’s too hard to be religious. I want to be a secular guy and do the things secular kids do. So register me in a secular school, send me to karate classes, and I need some new clothes”, then it would all be a yiddishkeit issue. But it was more like, “I’m going out with my friends, and I wanna be a street boy, do what I want, when I want, with whoever I want, for as long as I want…and don’t tell me what to do with my life, ’cause I’m NOT a kid. See ya”.

    #1182396
    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-I didn’t realize that some threads were ‘safe’ while others weren’t. Don’t they all basically work the same way? I just thought that it would be too confusing if there were different agendas going on at the same time. Also, the people that might be able to help her wouldn’t necessarily come to this thread, bc the topic is different and it wouldn’t necessarily bring them. But if you feel it would work out, then feel free…

    #1182397
    write or wrong
    Participant

    BRAINFREEZE-“The boy you so dearly miss is trapped in the prison of mental illness and your local pharmicist is patiently holding the key, waiting for you to pick it up.”

    Says who? Please don’t go down this path again. Professionals who met my son don’t say this, how could you? But thanks for caring…

    #1182399
    soliek
    Member

    “soliek-So good to hear from you again!! Thanks for your insight, and I’m sure you’re right. But the problem is, that I don’t think he feels our love. If he’s home at all, he’s usually so full of anger, that it’s hard to have any peaceful conversation without his anger errupting, and us trying to gracefully pull out of the conversation. I told my husband not to even talk to him at all right now, bc EVERYTHING makes my son blow up and talk chutzpadik to us.”

    He’ll recognize it when he needs to. I can’t say I know how hard it is to love someone as much as you love your son and have it thrown back in your face, but I do think when the time comes he’ll recognize and remember it.

    #1182400
    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, I don’t see any signs here of bipolar disorder. I see signs of alcohol and or drug abuse. I dont’ see signs of mood swings or going from one extreme to the other.

    Aside from that, I also see a child who has been hurt and that hurt became all consuming. He did not know how to deal with that pain and chose to do what others do thinking that it was the way out out. But he is realizing that it is not and he is confused. Basically he is trying to punch is way out of a paper bag and is still in pain and is still looking for a way out.

    #1182401
    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, as far as showing him love is concerned, Soleik is right on the money. The more you give and show the more he has to tuck away for when he needs it. And when the time comes no matter where he is, no matter when it is, he can take it out of his pocket or wherever he has tucked it away and surround himself securely in it.

    #1182402
    BRAINFREEZE
    Participant

    Aries2756,

    “I don’t see any signs here of bipolar disorder. I see signs of alcohol and or drug abuse. I dont’ see signs of mood swings or going from one extreme to the other.”

    Most people wrongly assume that by definition bipolars “go from one extreme to the other”. This is not the case. Many bipolars suffer with chronic irritability as their cardinal symptom, with extremes to speak of.

    WOW has indicated in her posts that her sons moods do fluctuate quite a bit and that she needs to catch him in a good mood to have any type of civil interaction with him. More importantly, he is depressed which is obviously a component of the illness. Lastly, WOW has indicated that her other son is ADD, which adds a genetic predisposition towards mental/behavioural conditions to the picture. The evidence is overwhelming.

    #1182403
    BRAINFREEZE
    Participant

    Correction: I meant “no extremes to speak of” in my last post, not “with extremes to speak of” as I wrote. Thank you.

    #1182404

    I am truly impressed that Dr. BRAINFREEZE Ph.D. has accomplished what no other medical professional in the universe has yet accomplished: Diagnosed a mental health condition based upon a limited number of posts a parent of the diagnosee has made on an online forum, without ever having met or even having spoken to the parent, let alone the patient.

    Advancements in medical science being made every day, right here in the YWN Coffee Room!

    #1182405
    aries2756
    Participant

    Brainfreeze is doing what so many therapists are forced to do by the school system, which is to diagnose teens with a disease they can medicate in order to control them! They would prefer to turn them into zombies and keep them under their control, perfect little angels instead of defiant and rebellious individuals making choices WE don’t approve of and we don’t understand.

    #1182406
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Well, the news is out My son pierced his ear, and is soooo happy about it. Now he wants more jewelry, like necklaces and bracelets.

    I didn’t react too much, we were kind of ‘prepared’ that it was coming. But needless to say, my husband is quite upset. The past few days, he’s been mechalel Shabbos more openly, mostly in his own room, but he also made phone calls from the kitchen. It’s such a bad feeling that my home is not shomer Shabbos. I’m so angry that he did this to us. At least, I want my home to be Shomer Shabbos, and when he gets his own home, let him do whatever he wants. Do I have the right to tell him this? Can I insist that at least while he is in my home, he should be respectful of this?

    #1182407
    aries2756
    Participant

    Yes you do. It is all in how you say it. ” son, the same way you want and expect us to respect your choices, we want and expect you to do the same. If you choose to be mechael Shabbos there is nothing we are going to do about it. We are going to give you the space to make your own choices as painful as they may be to us, and whether we see them as good or bad choices. However, we will not allow you to flaunt them in our face and ruin the menuchas Shabbos for the entire family. These new choices against our beliefs are yours and yours alone to be made in private where it can’t effect the rest of the family. We are also entitled to OUR choices and it is to keep Shabbos in our home without interruptions. You have chosen to do things according to your chevra and here in our home we do things according to our chevra. We expect you to respect that.”

    #1182408

    You’re son is braver than I was. I don’t really like foreign objects getting put into my body (I pass out about 50% of the times I got for a blood test). But I always wanted a tongue ring. The one time I pulled myself together and decided I would go get it, they were closed…

    I wonder if the question is whether you have the right to tell him that he must be Shomer Shabbos in your home or not. You explain that you want your home to be Shomer Shabbos. Do you ever have a goy come over to do something for you on Shabbos? Can a pile of Jerusalem stone be Shomer Shabbos or do you think you might be trying to rationalize the pain of your son’s open desecration of what you hold dear?

    I once called up R’ Avrohom Shorr because I was at my Mother-in-Law’s house and my wife is the only one who is Shomer Shabbos in her family. I asked him if we should go away for Shabbos (I think it was Shevuos also that year) because the chillul Shabbos was really bothering me. He told me that I should be l’maaleh min hamakom and l’maaleh min hazman and stay. Shabbos is what we make of it. All the Rebbeim in the YEshivah I went to in E”Y were all exposed to chillul Shabbos and I never heard of any of them saying anything to anyone about it. They made their Shabbos and were happy just to get us to come to the seudos.

    I’m not saying that the right answer is to ignore your sons actions. You have other children and need to measure the impression of your sons behavior on them. But maybe you can modify your reaction to his behavior in light of these thoughts to be more calm and accepting of him during this struggle. The more that you express negative emotions to him, the more he will feel pushed and run the other way. The more accepting you can be of him in your heart, ?? ?? ????? ???? ????, the easier it will be for him to run towards you.

    Maybe it would be effective to say something along the lines of:

    We understand that you are already 16, an adult that is mature and free to make your own decisions. You are your own person, responsible for yourself and have the right to choose whether to keep Shabbos or not. But there are other impressionable children in the house that are our responsibility. So maybe we can agree that you are free to come and go as you please, but any chillul Shabbos that you feel you need to do, you do outside the house. In this way we respect your freedom and none of us have to worry about the effect of your actions on the children.”

    In this example you are validating his “maturity” both by “admitting” that he is an adult and by separating him from the “children” of the house. Then you are using the positive feelings that this evokes in him as a base to propose your “trade” with him.

    And most importantly, don’t make your family’s Shabbos revolve around the actions of the boy that is troubled, but about reinforcing positive feelings in your family.

    #1182409
    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, about the rest of the jewelry, does he have the money to buy it?

    #1182410
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    WOW

    I hope the mods allow this, but this might be important, you dont have to answer publically. But does you son like girls?

    I am not saying every guy who wears an earing and wants to wear jewerly is “different”, but you need to think about it and somehow broach the question without being judgemental like saying the torah says its an abomination. I have heard of many people who went OTD for this reason.

    #1182411
    Imaofthree
    Participant

    Yes, you do have the right to ask him to be respectful. But he is not able to be respectful of you right now. He is young and not able to live on his own, I don’t know what options you have and I forgot if he is dorming somewhere for school. I know first hand how miserable it is to live in a house where the teen is not keeping shabbos, you feel very angry as if he is ruining your whole home and everything you worked for. But what really does ruin the home is the lack of shalom bayis and the anger that is there. You have to make a decision. If he lives home with you, then you have to show him love and support. The anger is destructive and will get you nowhere. If you feel that your house is being shaken to it’s core and can’t deal with him, then you may need to have him out of the house (of course you should ask a gadol about this decision). Your son is sixteen, right? I think that if at all possible you should try to keep him home, because if he is not allowed home you will be basically throwing him to the dogs and he will end up living with an Arab woman or some other horrible nightmare. Much worse than an earring in his ear. I am sorry you are going through such bad times but keep davening and hopefully the situation will get better. You must be very patient. I know it’s hard. 🙁

    #1182412
    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, I disagree, one should never ask there own child to leave their home. It is their child and it is the child’s home as well! That is the worse thing a parent can do to a child and to themselves. First and foremost he is their CHILD and Hashem does not give us this child, this gift, with warrantees. The only reason a parent would need to do something that harsh is if he were a danger to himself or to others and he would need to be institutionalized.

    The “Trade-off” with troubled kids is always “RESPECT”. That is the “key” word, element and bottom line. They are learning to respect themselves and are basically learning to expect respect from others. However, respect is a two way street. It is not enough to respect oneself or to expect it of others there is the other side of the coin and that is also giving respect. When one gives respect it is easy to respond in kind. They themselves will find it easier to respect someone that respects them. That is something that should always be pointed out because they were NOT trained that way. Respect should be a “given”. It should come as easy as breathing. Children are always taught to say “please and thank you” but how many adults are as courteous to children. Many times the radar on manners are turned off. But if you point out to them that they usually had respect for those who showed them respect or they didn’t have difficulty having respect for those who showed them respect, then you are turning them on to a good path and an important “choice” in their dark journey and state of confusion.

    #1182413
    interjection
    Participant

    “I hope the mods allow this, but this might be important, you dont have to answer publically. But does you son like girls”

    zahavasdad: I don’t think that’s a concern here. They live in Israel. It’s very common for heterosexuals to wear jewelry in Israel. Piercings don’t make the same statement in Israel as they do in America.

    write or wrong: I remember being the child in that situation and I agreed not to expose it in front of my siblings because my parents gave me a similar speech to what aries suggested. All they said was that it was my prerogative to make the choices I want in my own space and when I would have my own home, I could structure the entire home however I would choose. Had they mentioned how impressionable the others are, I would have been further incited. If anything I wanted to ‘show them the light’ that was secularism. Parents cannot be enablers, so something needs to be said. You want him to think it is in his best interest to keep your rules, perhaps by telling him that the owners of a home can choose what gets exposed in the home. He can do whatever he can do a good job of hiding, but it is what goes on in public that the homeowners have jurisdiction over.

    #1182414
    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-thanks for the language on how to speak to my son about having a Shomer Shabbos home. As far as the jewelry goes, he wants me and my husband to buy it for him, but my husband is dead-set against it.

    Derech HaMelech-I like how you and aries2756 put things. The main issue is really the other kids. If it weren’t for them, I could probably close my eyes and close his door to what he is doing. But he shares a room with his brothers, and doesn’t really care who sees him mechalel Shabbos. And he doesn’t even confine it to his room. Although he tries to wait for everyone to leave the room, he’ll make calls from the kitchen on Shabbos too.

    #1182415
    write or wrong
    Participant

    zahavasdad-the good news is, yes my son likes girls. But the bad news is that, yes my son likes girls…

    #1182416
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaofthree-I really don’t want to throw him out into the streets, but like you said, I am really angry that he is destroying the atmosphere in my home..both directly by being mechalel Shabbos, and indirectly, by destroying our shalom bayis. Even family that we’ve had come visit from the States (who aren’t religious), respect our lifestyle and are Shomer Shabbos with us when they come. But my own son….

    aries2756/interjection-we really don’t want to throw our son out into the streets, but we did have a little discussion about him getting a job and earning the money needed to get his own apartment where he can live the lifestyle he wants without any hinderence. Is that okay? The only problem is that sometimes, when he gets me reaaally angry, I actually think that I don’t care what he does. Let him be mechalel Shabbos, get in trouble, just don’t do it in my home. But when we have good moments, I realize how much I love and miss him, and I don’t want him to do worse things or get into trouble, G-d forbid. That’s when I think he should stay with us for as long as possible so that, MAYBE, he will start to miss us and feel our love for him.

    #1182417
    Imaofthree
    Participant

    No, you can’t throw him out of your house. He is very young and won’t be able to make it on his own. On the other hand he needs to be in some sort of framework/program where he is accomplishing a goal. It is more than okay for you to discuss goals with him like getting a job and moving out eventually.

    I understand your situation very well as I went through it. there are good times and sometimes very BAD times. Thank G-d my daughter had her own room, it would have been very hard if she was sharing a room with a sibling. I tried making rules in the house but she had a hard time following and did what she pleased. It was hard for all of us.

    #1182418
    write or wrong
    Participant

    I still struggle with what should be the right approach regarding curfews. As it stands now, my son comes home whenever/if ever he wants. While I’m pretty convinced that locking him out is the wrong thing to do, we do know people who are doing this with some success. The thing is, even though I wouldn’t want him to find another place to stay…and get used to it, I still can’t get used to the idea of waking up in the morning and seeing his empty bed. I keep thinking it’s such a chutzpah! Sometimes he doesn’t come home until early evening the next day. Who can do such a thing?

    #1182419
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I know this is unpopular, but have you thought about just accepting the situation as it is. I didnt say you have to LIKE it, just accept it and try to make the best of it.

    This thread has been going on for 5 months and there doesnt seem to be any change in the situation and I realize this thread has been thearpy for you, but at some point you will have to accept it. I wouldnt worry what others say, Its between your son and Hashem and only he knows why he feels this way at this time. You really dont know exactly what he went through or is going through his mind

    Accepting it doesnt mean it will get better in the future, it might not, It might stay the same, but it will likely stabilize the situation.

    Not everyone is meant to be in the same place in life.

    It does seem to me that immaof3 did accept the situation (I didnt say she liked it, but accepted it)

    #1182420
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Zahavasdad-I don’t think that I haven’t accepted the situation, and I really haven’t been focusing on the neighbors at all. I actually have no choice, but to accept the situation. But accepting it doesn’t mean that I’m numb to the pain of it, or that I’m emotionally prepared for all the new things that keep popping up. Imaof3 does seem to be less ‘in crisis’, but probably that is bc more time has passed. I am not ‘falling apart’ as much as I was when all this got started, but until things level out, I don’t think I can get to ‘acceptance’ if things keep changing from week to week.

    #1182421
    adams
    Participant

    If the issue is how is he affecting the other siblings, this is a new separate issue. I have seen where one other sibling is affected in some way although you don’t know if that would have happened anyway. But if you think that the others are being affected, this is your call, would you be willing to sacrific so to speak the first son, for the sake of the others. THis means throwing him out but I wouldn’t do that but would offer him a program that he can board at. But its your call, how important is frumkeit for you regarding the other children.

    My heart breaks for you. I think I would draw the line at public CHilull Shabbos. since he shares a room then he can’t do anything there, in the bathroom he can listen to the ipod. I do think he can influence the other children negatively in the sense of following your Derech. It does seem that he does not feel like he has to listen to anything you say so maybe the tough love time has come.

    Prior to this move, I would ask you if you have gone for family counseling yet with him. this would be helpful.

    I also would be interested approx. how old he was when you moved to EY this can cause alot of problems for youth, I am speaking from personal experience. If they dont’ make friends in the new community, as happened with me, then I started to feel an abandonment of parents love, i.e. why they did this to me.

    this sort of feeling if he has it might come up in therapy and could be road back at least for a better relationship.

    #1182422
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Ive been following this from the begining and I see you are tearing you hair out over this.

    And ive seen nothing has really changed over the last 5 months. For whatever reason he doesnt want to be religious at this time in his life and I dont think at this juncture you can change that, thats why I think you need to accept it. It really could be alot worse, What if you son was really sick and there was no hope, At some point you would have to accept it as well.For your own mental health.

    You need to accept for your benefit, not his. You need to decide what you want to do, Do you want to throw him out and accept the consequences of that (It might sound good now, but in 5 years you might feel very differently). It might entail disowning your son. he may never speak to you ever again. I see people say “Tough Love”, well tough Love doesnt always work and does backfire.

    Do you want to let him go his own way and accept those consequnces that he might influence your other children to also go their own way, Maybe the neighbors will also disown you as well for this choice.

    I dont think Therapy for HIM to become religous will nessasily work either. Some people just have a bad experience and its best for them to go away for those things to heal themselves. Maybe he had a

    #1182423
    write or wrong
    Participant

    zahavasdad-I don’t know what you mean when you that nothing’s changed over the past 5 months, when EVERYTHING has changed over the past 5 months. Almost weekly, a new development occurs. First it was quitting Yeshiva, then staying out late, then no suit and hat, then smoking, then jeans and t-shirts, then growing hair long, then not coming home all night, then an earring, and now girls or drugs(?). Let’s say, I accepted that he quit yeshiva, it still doesn’t help me to accept what he’s doing now. Yes, I am tearing my hair out over this (as any parent would), as my heart is already torn. I accept that he doesn’t want to be religious, but unfortunately, it’s already a lot worse.

    #1182424
    Imaofthree
    Participant

    Sixteen is too young for him to be kicked out of the house. Is it at all possible for him to have his own room? I think the main focus should be towards him becoming independent and being a “mensch”. Perhaps he could go to school or learn a trade. Maybe by the time he is eighteen he will be in the army so he will be out of the house. Not that the army is so great but it’s better than being on the streets.

    Write or wrong, I know exactly what you are going through. It’s a real hell on earth. I don’t know if you can afford it but it would be good for you to have a therapist to talk to. Try to take a little vacation with your husband and get away from this stress. There are so many parents that are just like you, going through the same thing. You are for sure not alone (not that it makes it any less painful). It is not your fault.

    I think that us parents who have kids who are OTD go through a mourning process. We had this dream that we would have children and they would be frum and get married and you would have these cute little grandchildren. Then you wake up to a nightmare. and you mourn your dream but then you face the reality that things could be much worse.

    I am wondering how your other children are coping with this. It must be very hard for them too.

    Anyways I hope things get better very soon. Hang in there and don’t let it consume you, remember to take breaks for yourself and your husband. hatzlocha!

    #1182425
    write or wrong
    Participant

    adams-My son was 5 when we moved to Israel. My husband and I have spoken with someone here in Israel, but then we got in touch with Avi Fishoff in NY. Since then, we have been trying to do TP, and stopped with the therapist here bc his approach, which is basically a tough love approach, is the opposite.

    Imaof3-My son is going to a very low pressure yeshiva with his ‘friends’, so I don’t know how much he’s getting out of it. I keep telling myself to hang in there bc, like you said, in about another year, he’ll probably go to the army, and be off the street.

    You are so right about parents of kids OTD going through a mourning process. It’s not just the lost dream that we mourn, but it’s also the child they used to be. Thanks for reminding me to take breaks. This has been one long roller coaster ride…

    #1182426
    Imaofthree
    Participant

    IY”H you will have nachas from your son yet! These are the rocky teenage years, be patient, they do grow up and mature into adults you can be proud of!

    Just be patient and get the support you need to get through it.

    By the way, have you ever read “Off the Derech” by Faranak Margolese?

    #1182427
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Imaof3

    May I ask if you daughter is more or less a respectable member of society. I realize you are not happy she is not religious, but is she at least working at a normal job and living a normal life (according to secular society anyway) It might not be a job you approve of (Like an Actress for example) but a job considered normal by the world

    #1182428

    You aren’t going to get this kid back in to the “cage” of his old lifestyle. Once you have experienced certain things, you can’t go back to the old status quo.

    Best case scenario is either him defecting to (in your eyes) a lesser form of “yidishkite” or becoming a well adjusted adult with no use for organized religion.

    Keep the lines of communication open and keep trying to develop an adult relationship with him, it will work wonders.

    #1182429
    laebish
    Member

    I grew up in Israel in an American family who moved from New York in pursuit of ideals that were more real or high or a bunch of other adjectives…. Although there is a trace of cynicism in that last statement… I will add that i hope i have internalized some of those values…. Having said that….

    I have been following this post here and there and i can tell you two things for certain. From different things that you write I can tell that your mindset and how you view Judaism has been strongly influenced by Charedi culture. The flaw in Charedi thinking is that one should separate between things that are naturally important to them and those that are values that you strive to be a part of. The underlying mindset of our self righteous world does not believe that and especially in Charedi Israel. Someone smart once said that in America Judaism is a part of life, by some even a great part of it and in Israel it’s life… the down side of that is that it isn’t …. Before you jump over me What I mean is hopefully it should be but should is the key word. if it is Ma Tov and I look up to people like that but where the charedi world goes wrong is that the reality is that Torah should educate the person and when I say that by definition that means that naturally the person has his/her own identity which isn’t Torah. Obviously the state of the human being left without the guidance of the Torah is doomed as we see in popular culture, which is why most of us are trying to be practicing Jews. But if we start making the values we hear and are inspired by, our identity per say, that only stems from insecurity and inability to deal with ourselves as people first of all. Your son maybe be rebelling becasue he needs to know that your love for him is moe real than anything your teaching him. Eventually this in itself will ironically bring him to believe in those values.

    Your son needs to know, and I repeat, know, that for you the humanistic part of being his mother/family is more important than Judaism and I’m not sure you know that so how can he? He is in the streets because it’s all the same in this culture. I know it because Ive been there. There is nothing called being a normal person in that society. once he’s not in yeshiva than there is nothing else… What he’s telling you is that there is something in his basic identity that he resents and that that identity associated with Judaism and the basic culture that he grew up on, Right now he’s on a mission to find an identity that will be a relief for him and he’ll just keep on going until he finds that.

    My second point is that your son is obviously very angry and in pain but it is deep and in my opinion from what it sounds like, telling him you love him, although better than getting into any sort of argument with him, isn’t really helping. It’s time to really devote yourself to understand what he really is angry about. You must be 100% honest and not the least bit defensive when it comes to this.

    I feel your pain but I feel your son’s pain too. I wonder what he would think if he read all this….. “People are only mean when they are threatened” someone once said. What is your son going through for real inside of him?

    #1182430
    adams
    Participant

    WOW is the pain what exactly? None of this is your fault. It sounds like you projected to him a love of Hashem, Yiddishkeit etc.

    He got involved with people who showed him an ‘exciting ‘ life and there was nothing to fill that void in the community. Perhaps you can learn to accept him as he is. If you can’t remove him from the home that is. If in fact drugs are involved then you need to get him into a rehab and recovey facility.

    It would depend on which drug but unless it is ‘only ‘ marijuana that is anything harder is a absolute danger to his life.

    I am speaking as knowing a young person from a frum community who over doesed and halach liolamo.

    So if this were me, I wouldn’t have so many illsions about that aspect of this. You seemed to be unable to deal with that part.

    But you haave to determine. also alchohol if drunk too much of is toxic and kills. that is people do die from drinking too much.

    #1182431
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaof3-I did read that book, and for some reason, it depressed me terribly. The more kids I see OTD, the more I think that besides all the ‘obvious’ reasons that could cause it, there must be some Divine reason as well. Some of the most AMAZING families have kids OTD, and it just doesn’t make sense. We know a Rav who has about 10 kids, all outstanding, Talmidei Chachamim…and 1 kid completely off, and badly. I know that ‘abuse’ can push a kid OTD, but there are many situations where abuse is just not in the picture. Who can we blame then???

    crisisoftheweek-I really hope you’re wrong. After all, the people who love him the most, who have given to him the most, and who will always be there for him are Haredi Jews (his parents!). I’m hoping that message will seep through one day.

    #1182432
    write or wrong
    Participant

    laebish-when you said that there is something in his basic identity that he resents, I think you hit the nail on the head. But it’s not bc he isn’t sure I value him more than Torah. It’s bc he resents that he is not ‘completely’ Israeli nor ‘completely’ American, and he’s actually said this to me a number of times. I don’t think, for whatever reason, he was able to fully integrate into Israeli culture when we moved to Israel. He is angry at us for moving to Israel, and he’s told us so. But at this point, there’s really no solution, bc he doesn’t feel he could ‘go back’ and live in the States anymore either.

    #1182433
    write or wrong
    Participant

    adams-I don’t really know what my son is doing. I’ve never seen him drunk, and I think he only tried marijuana. My other kids think he’s only saying it to upset us. But I don’t know. I can only talk to him, and hope sense will kick in. But right now, he has a tremendous desire to look important to his chevra, and that’s what scares me…

    #1182434
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    One of Charedism greatest weaknesses (And one of its Greatest Strenghts as well) is its no compromise attitute.

    It has served charedism greatly with that attitude, but in many cases it has hurt as well. Especially with OTD. Are you willing to compromise with your son. What if you are told banish him from the house and lose him perhaps forever. I have read many cases of OTD people who were banished from the house and the result was not positive. It seems those who were not banished did not return, but at least dont have as much a negative attitude as those who were banned.

    Finally I am upset you are using the word “mourned” . There is a major news story around the NYC area about a 28 year old Korean Woman who has Terminal Brain Cancer and had a stroke about a month ago because of it that left her paralized from the neck down. She lost the will the live and was originally fighting her parents for the right to die. Her parents have spent the last year helping her with her chemo and the chemo did not work, And soon they will have her bury her daughter (In Korean Culture they feel she is their good luck charm) and when she dies they will feel all is lost, THEY ARE MOURNING. In the end your son will live, maybe not as a life as you want for him, but he is still there. These people wont be so lucky.

    #1182435
    laebish
    Member

    WOW, I myself moved to Israel at a much more critical age than your son and I know what that identity crisis is like. Eventually after going through the system here for a while I did go to America for a couple years. If you want i think I maybe able to help out with a couple of ideas for him.

    It takes time but eventually he will realize that he has to come to terms that he is American in certain ways and Israeli in others and for me it took going to AMerica for a couple of years to be “proud” of the Israeli side of me, both culturally and value wise.

    The reason why i continue to emphasize what I did in the last post isn’t to be annoying and blame you. It is because from my experience with these situations, the fact the someone has this sort of identity issue of American/Israeli is not to be taken lightly; however, usually a person is able to find some type of niche or place and the identity issue becomes stronger and more enhanced usually to other underlying issues. SO while I suggest you believe your son that he resents the fact that he’s neither/or, you should realize that for him to be acting the way he is and to be so stuck in that identity issue must stem from other things and that I humbly suggest you look more deeply into… It could be the points that i was making before. It could be that his way of thinking or specific uniquness were never noticed and appreciated. It could be a million things.

    What you should do is think hard about that.

    Also I suggest that you should be totally focused with him on trying to find some kind of interest that he can develop. I know you’ve been saying that he”s just interested in smoking and what his friends are doing. I’m sure if he was doing something where he had an edge over his friends be it a job with real money or studying something interesting or other things…. he would probably use that to his advantage.

    Does he ever express interest in going to the states? Even though he’s only sixteen there are some ideas for him. if he had to work and be on his own a bit it could work wonders; reality would set in for him… It could be detrimental too and that would depend on where he’s holding and where he would be there. From what I know about Israel though, there aren’t many options. He’s not going to work at a pizza store although if you ask me a job like that wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world for him.

    I wish you a restful and peaceful SHabbos

    #1182436
    write or wrong
    Participant

    zahavasdad-The story of the Korean woman is terrible, but does that mean I don’t feel pain? Of course there are probably thousands of situations worse than mine, there always are worse scenarios. But I am dealing with my scenario. “Mourning” doesn’t have to relate only to one who has died, which I’ve gone through as well. “Mourning” is an emotional response to the loss of someone, which can be through divorce, death, distance etc. I’m not really looking to compare losses….

    #1182437
    aries2756
    Participant

    Did I miss something is he no longer in this new school?

    #1182438
    write or wrong
    Participant

    laebish-It’s interesting that you were healed, in a sense, by reconnecting with your American side. I thought about sending him, or going with him to the States, and we are going to look into it more. But so far, the ‘American side’ of him has been the thorn in his identity’. He so much wanted to be accepted as a full fledged Israeli. Now, I’m not sure that’s the pressing agenda anymore. And the truth is, a number of other kids in the chevra are also American born-Israeli.

    We are trying to encourage him to consider working, or to learn a trade more seriously. Maybe in a month or 2, he will consider it when the weather will change, and it will be harder to hang out all night with the chevra.

    #1182439
    Imaofthree
    Participant

    Write or Wrong, I highly doubt zehavasdad has gone through what we have gone through, having a child off the derech. He cannot understand the pain a parent goes through. I have spoken with other parents who are in our situation and they also went through a mourning over their loss. It is very normal and people who didn’t go through it are clueless.

    #1182440
    adams
    Participant

    But this loss you speak of is the issue. You would be better off to accept that he is not frum 24/7. And focus on the good side of him. I have that with my son as well. While he is not otd, he doesnt’ have a cheshek to daven very often but otoh he has a learning seder with a former Rebbe. And he is very honest and upbeat personality. Does not put on Tefillin daily. But I don’t love him less or am anguished about the lack of Cheshek.

    It’s not exactly the same but I had at first disappointment in him, now not at all. I am proud of the good that he does at his young age and his good nature.

    We are trying to suggest that you try to adjust your view in some way like that.

    Also the cannabis, a long term study was just published that showed conclusively that those who used cannabis at a teen age and stopped in 20’s had IQ reduction against the same age group which did not use cannabis as teans but did in adulthood. you may want to print this study so he see this information.

    #1182441
    write or wrong
    Participant

    Adams-I do accept that he is not frum, and focus only on the good. He is still the same neshama I gave birth to 16 years ago. I will always love him bc he is my son, and nothing can change that. But I miss his personality that I loved (which has changed), his smile, (which he hardly does anymore), and the time I used to spend with him. I thank G-d I still have him in my life, but am petrified for what he could get himself into. I will mention the study to my son, thanks.

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