Going off the Derech

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  • #1182442

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    “I have that with my son as well. While he is not otd,”

    Adams, you do not have a kid off the derech, you can’t understand and I am glad you don’t. Your son fasts on Yom Kippur, doesn’t eat bread on Pesach, doesn’t eat at McDonalds? Acceptance does come but first a parent goes through a mourning process.

    Write or Wrong, don’t give up, your son is young and he could come back to frumkiet. He is at a tough age and he will mature and grow up. Hang on and be patient.

    #1182443

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I know than I am willing to post on this forum. And its not just family its good friends too. Trust me it was no fun hearing from a best friend that not only is he going OTD, he is going off the “straigned” path as well. That was a shock to me. And this was a Yeshiva guy no less.

    I know more people than Id like to admit and none of them came back and I am currently dealing with someone who worked so hard to become religious and it appears due to attitudes and corruption in the community (Both Charedi and Modern , neither was innocent here) they are about to leave. I am doing my best to stop it, but there is only so much I can do. If I can keep them in the community I think they will stay for a while, but if they leave , they will be gone forever.

    I can also tell you that its best to only practice tough love to a point, If you want to punish him in the house and make rules in the house that he must follow, that is ok, but NEVER throw him out, because that will likely BACKFIRE and backfire badly.

    Unfortunatly many people here are telling you either he will come back or tough love will work. In my life they dont come back. Thats why I think you need to accept it.

    Finally I think sending him to the US is a bad idea. Not because he needs the change, but because I fear it might get worse. At least in Israel he will go into the Army and hopefully meet a nice jewish girl. Maybe not religious as you would like, but I am sure a nice jewish girl and hopefully you will get some nice jewish grandchildren (Even if they are not religious) . If you send him to the US, Its very possible he will meet a nice shiksa. In Israel the Arab women dont usually go for the Jewish guys (The Arab men do want the jewish girls though) but here in the US many shiksas want a jewish husband (They think they make better husbands) And then not only will you have an OTD kid, you might have non-jewish grandchildren as well.

    #1182444

    momadvice
    Member

    dear write or wrong, I’ve read all the post and believe my hart goes out for you.

    I am a mother of 7 and I was almost there where you are now. The secular world seemed sooo atractive …that stated shortly after his Bar Mitzva. A very intelligent boy, whatever he learned came easy, talented in many ways but not musical. designing film stars and not wanting to look at the picture of a godol to design etc… We agreed to let him go to a jewish frum but with lots of secular studies for 1 year. and at the same time we sent an application to a very good Yeshiva abroad. That was the condition. During his year in school we gave him all the support, intrest, books etc that he wanted. this first zman in yeshiva this year has been very hard. Believe it or not, he was homesick! Calling a few times a day, talking to all his siblings ( what never happened before) bein hazmanim, he has been seeing his old friends, but his attitude at home is totally changed. his smile is back Baruch Hashem, we daven dat this change is a long lasting one.

    what MY BROTHER suggests sound very good, but I wonder who are the others who are going with how far OTD are they?

    I believe strongly that sending away to a new place where no one knows him, can do wonders, but of course you cannot force him, maybe you can make a deal, and it should not sound like it is forever.

    whishing you lots of Hatzloch and syata Dishmaya

    #1182445

    write or wrong
    Participant

    zahavasdad-I’m not really thrilled with sending him to NY, and maybe you are right, that there are other risks. I do tend to think that the army may be the best thing for him in the long run, bc it will force him to learn responsibility, and he will see, once and for all, that having rules is not strictly a ‘Haredi idea’.

    Imaof3-thanks, I will try…and you too!

    #1182446

    tahini
    Member

    wow. Wish you continued strength and support.

    Just to say with regard to the IDF, I have seen a number of young men OTD who have eventually become more respectful and closer to their families as a result of army discipline and most of all life experience. Suddenly arguing over what to wear and how does it look seems really petty compared to other bigger issues. Seen a number of rebellious kids grow up rabidly, they may not have the appearance the charedi world might wish, but surprisingly army experience actually reinforces the importance of family and respect.

    #1182447

    write or wrong
    Participant

    momadvice-thanks for your advice. You should see hatzlacha and nachas from your son (and all the other children)!

    tahini-that’s what I’m hoping for, if it can’t come any other way before then.

    #1182448

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, I don’t believe in “tough love” I believe in “loving tough”. That means loving hard and strong even though it hurts.

    We can’t control other people only ourselves and we can’t change other people only ourselves, even our own children! The more WE try to control and change them, the more we tug on the rope that binds them to us, the more they pull away. It is only when we give them the slack they think they desperately need or want do they see that it is neither what they truly want nor what they need at all. But this is a learning process both for the child and the parent. This can’t be told to either, it has to be learned from experience.

    It is the strong and loving parent who learns to ease up and let go a little at a time, just enough to allow them to take those independent steps they think they want. It is those parents who allow them to make their own mistakes, no matter how difficult it is to watch and how much it hurts to bear, that will eventually have nachas from the mature adults who learn life lessons from their experiences and dark journeys. Neither parent nor child may end up with what they want at the beginning of the journey, but both will learn to respect, appreciate and love one and other as the unique and special individuals that are, most dear and most important in each other’s daled Amos.

    #1182449

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, I don’t believe in “tough love” I believe in “loving tough”. That means loving hard and strong even though it hurts.

    We can’t control other people only ourselves and we can’t change other people only ourselves, even our own children! The more WE try to control and change them, the more we tug on the rope that binds them to us, the more they pull away. It is only when we give them the slack they think they desperately need or want do they see that it is neither what they truly want nor what they need at all. But this is a learning process both for the child and the parent. This can’t be told to either, it has to be learned from experience.

    It is the strong and loving parent who learns to ease up and let go a little at a time, just enough to allow them to take those independent steps they think they want. It is those parents who allow them to make their own mistakes, no matter how difficult it is to watch and how much it hurts to bear, that will eventually have nachas from the mature adults who learn life lessons from their experiences and dark journeys. Neither parent nor child may end up with what they want at the beginning of the journey, but both will learn to respect, appreciate and love one and other as the unique and special individuals that are, most dear and most important in each other’s daled Amos.

    #1182450

    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-does trying to control my son include wanting him to come home at a reasonable hour? I can’t get him to agree to come home at any specific hour, he wants to be able to stay out as late as he wants/all night, without boundaries. I told him, if coming home by midnight is too difficult, then let’s try to come up with some compromise. Besides the fact that I worry about him, and the fact that his chevra’s rowdiness has warranted a visit by the police periodically, I am thinking more long term. He is isolating himself, growing further and further apart from the ‘world of the living’. He sleeps by day, and lives by night, and is getting used to not being around people and functioning in the real world. How will he ever re-enter mainstream life when he is becoming accustomed to separating from it? And, is ‘using drugs’ one of the mistakes we have to let him make? I really think he needs outside help, but he refuses to go to a therapist, a doctor, or anybody, and he refuses to let me bring someone to the house. The way I see it is I can either go behind his back and bring someone to the house, which may infuriate him (and alienate him from us even more), or I can let him hit rock bottom, which I’m petrified to do. I am back to staying up all night, crying/worrying about him, and am hitting my own ‘rock bottom’. There really is no solution…

    #1182451

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, what choice do you have? As much as it hurts he is going through the typical scenario. As much as it hurts, you are going through the typical scenario. What can you try that others haven’t tried before you? I have suggested this to you before. All you can do is show him love in various ways, one us by writing to him. That is the only way you can relate your feelings to him. “It seems at this time your friends’ feelings and opinions are much more important to you than mine. It hurts me terribly to just sit by and watch you make such bad decisions for yourself. Ones that have nothing to do with religion and everything to do with life, maturity and common sense. It seems that you seemed to have shoved the most important qualities of life, values and self respect to the side in order to fit in and impress others who have given up on themeselves, their own self esteem and potential at growth because of possibly others opinions of them? You play the game of not caring what others think of you by going off to the other extreme. But why is that necessary? That only shows that you do care and you want to do negative things to be up in everyone’s face. If you really didn’t care you would just let what they say slide off your back and continue on your road to meet your own potential and your own goals. You wouldn’t let anything anyone says to you get in your way or in the way of your hope and dreams. No one should have the power to squash and trash someone else’s hopes and dreams. By doing what you and your friends do you give THEM that power to do it to you and then again to others. But when kids STOP giving them the power to destroy them and cut them off at the knees they will stop, they will become powerless!

    #1182452

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    It must be very hard that he is out all night, you are understandably very worried. Does your son have a cell phone? I would tell my son that in case of emergency he should call and I will pick him up. no questions asked. And I would sleep with my cell phone on my night table. Would that work for you, would it make you less worried at night?

    #1182453

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaof3-It would help me knowing that he could reach us in case of emergency. But my main concern is that he not get into trouble and the more he hangs out late at night with his chevra, the more I worry about that happening. I also think that if he doesn’t break this habit of sleeping by day/living by night, he won’t develop into a functioning adult. Am I over reacting?

    #1182454

    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-I did write him a letter, right before the Chagim. I put my love, heart and soul into it. He read it, and then gave it back to me. He’s not the type who will read it over and over again. He’s not the sentimental type. I do try to show him love, only he rejects it every time. Yesterday evening, when he woke up, I asked him if he wanted to go out and grab something to eat before he goes out wih his friends. But he refused to go. Even for 15 minutes, he wouldn’t go. And for sure he doesn’t eat anything I prepare at home.

    Everything you suggest makes sense, but if I say it to him, it will all just fall on deaf ears…

    #1182455

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    I don’t think you are over reacting, a mother worries about her children and I would be beside myself. But at this point you really can’t control him, sometimes we have to let our kids make mistakes and learn from them, as hard as it is for us parents to do.

    But keep on telling him from time to time that your phone is right there all night and if he needs you you will be there for him.

    #1182456

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaofthree-Will do.

    #1182457

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    Also, now that the yomim tovim are over, try to go to a shiur that will give you chizuk. I just came home from a ladies shiur and it was amazing and I was thinking how I could have really used this shiur when I was going through what you are going through.

    #1182458

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, it is as if you are acting out a scenario that so many have already done. He will keep doing as he does and play out his role to the enth degree as so many others have before him and you can only do your part as a mother. Keep telling him you love him!!! Keep sending him encouraging and loving notes!!!! NEVER throw them out!!!! Keep all of those that he returns. If he read them, he filed it away in his mind and his heart. When the time is right you can take them all out and return them to him. You will be able to show him that you were there with him through his journey and that he was never alone. But, you can’t stop a racing train. You can stand aside and watch it pass or you can stand in front and be run down. When you put your heart out there for him to trample on that is exactly what you are doing.

    It is HIS journey!! You can’t pull on the reigns and guide him back onto your own path for him. HE has to walk the path in his own shoes. He has to learn his own lessons. He doesn’t want to hear them from your voice, but he will feel them in your written words. He will take from them what he wants in his own private space and pocket them for when he needs them. Your words are NOT falling on deaf ears or on a stone cold heart, he only wants you to believe that it is. But they are penetrating and will continue to penetrate as long as they are words of love and support.

    “i know that you feel you must try on this new lifestyle for size, but don’t be afraid to discard it if it doesn’t fit! I know that you are on your own journey right now, one that I might not understand, one that frightens me a lot, I fear for your heath, I fear for your safety, I fear for your well being and I fear for your future. I realize that you are only thinking about the moment and living for the moment, I guess that is your job, you are still a kid. But I am the grown up here, the Parent, and I have to be mature and use the common sense that Hashem gave me. You are NOT the first to go down this path and I understand the dangers out there. I understand that you can’t see them. I understand that you don’t believe they exist. I understand that you don’t understand why I am so on edge and afraid for you. It has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with the fact that you are my son, my child, born to me, precious and special to me, a gift from Hashem to me and to Tatty, and I can’t stop loving you nor worrying about you.”

    #1182459

    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-thanks for all your great advice. You know, I wrote him a short note the other day, just telling him I love him, and goodnight. It was 2am and he wasn’t home, so I left it on his pillow. It’s what I would have wanted to say to him had he been home, before I went to bed. Then I forgot about it, until yesterday when he asked me for something I couldn’t give. He got so upset, and told me the note wasn’t true. This is what I have to contend with. We will always be imperfect, or worse yet, HORRIBLE parents in my son’s eyes. What do you make of this?

    #1182460

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    Sounds like he is very manipulative. In order to get what he wants he threw your note in your face, figuratively. At this age they ALL think that their parents are horrible.

    #1182461

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaofthree-So then, how can we ever win? Do we have to wait for them to grow up and beome parents before their vision improves?

    #1182462

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    You don’t have to wait. You win by telling YOURSELF that you are a fantastic mother. That is why I keep telling you to nourish YOURSELF, by going to a shiur for chizzuk, doing a hobby, going out with your husband, etc. whatever you need. Don’t wait for your son’s approval. He will love and approve of you eventually but you first have to love and approve of YOURSELF. Don’t let him control your emotions.

    You are his MOTHER. not his friend. always remember that.

    #1182463

    aries2756
    Participant

    “how can we ever win?” Why do we have to win?????? When you play a game to “win” everyone loses! Stop trying to play the game and just let things happen as they do.

    “Do we have to wait for them to grow up and beome parents before their vision improves?” YES!! As my mother A”H always said, “with the years comes the seichel”. It takes a level of maturity and experience to gain the appropriate knowledge and wisdom.

    WOW, please try and turn a deaf ear to the negativity. Please try to tune out the tantrums as you did when he was two. He is reaching back in time and trying everything he used back then in his bag of tricks to manipulate you. Don’t let your guilt make you feel inadequate or imperfect. On the other hand, no one is perfect but Hashem, so don’t let that shake you up or rock your boat. So what if he has imperfect parents, that is a part of being in the real world. Parents are imperfect, as are children, as are teachers and principals, as are friends and spouses, as are pets and even automobiles. So get on line and fill out a form at the complaint department. See how far it will get you.

    Usually when someone wants to fight the best thing you can do is give in, but not in the way they want. If a child says “your mean” you answer with “you are right”, don’t argue. If a child says “you don’t love me” answer with “if you say so, but remember I never said that”, if a child says “I NEED “x,y & z”, you can answer “that you have to earn it, it is a privilege and not a right” or “I hear that, how do you plan on going about earning that?”

    So he asked you for something you couldn’t give him? Is he a KING? Are you his servant? In the real world people do get disappointed! That doesn’t mean that they aren’t loved, that just means that they can’t always get what they want! That is a part of life, that is a part of growing up, and that is a part of making your own choices. If you choose to live a certain way and make these choices for yourself how do you plan on getting the things you need and want. Hashem is just not going to deliver them to your front door.

    My three year old granddaughter keeps telling me “Bobby I want….” and I say “Honey, I want a million dollars, its just not going to happen” or she will ask me to share something of mine. If she followed the rules ie, behaved and listened nicely to her Mom, I will let her use that item. If she didn’t I will say “Sorry, I can’t share with you right now because you misbehaved and didn’t listen to Mommy, we can try again tomorrow.” I believe the best rule is neither to say “yes” or “no”, just say “I will give it some thought”.

    When we react negatively to a request, the child believes that we rejected it out of hand without giving it due consideration. Even when we react positively, the child believes “that was easy, I should have asked for more” But when we respond with “I will have to think about that”, then in either case no matter what the final decision will be, the child will realize that we gave it the proper thought and consideration and we came to our conclusion by weighing the pros and cons. If that becomes our policy with every request, they will learn NOT to take advantage and will also learn that sometimes they will get what they need or want and sometimes they won’t.

    #1182464

    Austin17
    Participant

    Let Him!

    #1182465

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaofthree-Maybe that’s the problem, I don’t feel like I’m a fantastic mother. And even if I go to a shiur or something, I feel great while I’m there. But I always come back to the painful reality of my son being OTD, and the tiny (or, maybe HUGE) voice that questions/analyzes the 16 years of mechanaching him, looking for what I did wrong. I know intellectually I shouldn’t blame myself, but no matter what I read, no matter what people tell me, I will always feel like I missed something somewhere, and this is the reason I can’t forgive myself.

    #1182466

    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-the problem with turning a deaf ear to his negativity, is that when he was 2yo, it was only tantrums. But now, it’s accusations, sarcasm, and rejection. And all this after loving/caring for him for 16 years. It’s much harder to take. And my guilt does make me feel inadequate, and when he goes there, it just depresses me even more. And maybe he does feel a sense of entitlement, he is the bechor, and always enjoyed all the privileges and exemptions that came with that title. It’s hard for him to face the real world. But I accept all your points, and will try to incorporate them when dealing with him…thanks

    #1182467

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    So you think that your son’s being off the derech is all your fault? Join the club. We all feel that way. But eventually I came to the realization that everything is in Hashem’s hand, for some reason this is the way He created my child. I have to constantly work on my bitachon.

    I spent a couple of years feeling guilty and hashing over everything and how I reacted and the mistakes I made. It only made me feel like a failure and enormous guilt. But then I stopped and started looking at all the good I did. I was very devoted to this particular child and did so much and money and time was of no object when it came to this kids health and well being. My husband is an extremely kind and devoted father, my kids adore him.

    What I’m saying is that not everything is in our control, Hashem is the only one who is, and we have to daven for His rachamim that everything will turn out for the good.

    I hope this helps you.

    By the way, I love Aries comments. excellent. Good Shabbos and hang in there.

    #1182468

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Imaofthree-thanks for the pep talk. I know you’re right.

    Wishing all of you a Good Shabbos…

    #1182469

    interjection
    Participant

    Parents tend to forget that as much as they give their everything to their children, a parent can only offer direction. A parent does all he can to plant within his child feel-good feelings for doing right, but the parent needs to remember that a child is not a puppet. All people, our children included(!), were created with their own minds and free will and sometimes a child expresses his own free-will by making choices that are extremely painful for the parent. The parents have to realize that if they are doing all they can to give positive messages to their children, it is not their fault when the child misinterprets it according to his own mind. Teenagers’ minds are immature and they cannot think past the immediate future. He will make mistakes thinking they won’t hurt him in the long run, but it will take until his mind further develops that he realizes that he needs to take responsibility for his own life.

    #1182470

    interjection
    Participant

    Also someone gave me powerful chizzuk today that I am still trying to internalize and that I think could be mechazek you, and if you could get the message to your son, to him too.

    There are some people who have only good. Everything works out for them and they don’t have to think. It’s only when God puts challenges in our life that we actually have to think.

    When we go through a nisayon, it’s the Ribono Shel Olam coming in and holding our hand. If He would let go for a second, the nisayon would dissipate. If He let things go according to nature, everything would work out smoothly and we wouldn’t have any reason to think. It’s only because God is here holding our hand that the nisayon can exist. The Ribono Shel Olam wants us to call out to him and tell him, “I am your child and I am in pain, help me with my pain,” and He always does help.

    And always remember that Hashem is as much a parent to your child as you are. He is with you and He is with your son.

    #1182471

    write or wrong
    Participant

    interjection-thanks. You are right, it’s very hard to watch our child make mistakes. But I always remember something someone once told me. The 2 greatest gifts you can give your children are roots and wings…

    #1182472

    Imaofthree
    Participant

    How is it going, Write Or Wrong?

    #1182473

    write or wrong: I’ve been staying mostly quiet because anything I could say is already being said here better than I could say it, but reading this last page I thought of something that I might be able to offer.

    Your view about having a son who is OTD seems backwards. You weren’t given a son who got “messed up” for some reason that you should feel guilty. Hashem gave you a neshamah that was destined for big nisyonos because He knows that you would be able to help him through the nisyonos that he was destined to have. When you are doing your research for your son or making calls for him, you are fulfilling a tafkid, not fixing a mistake.

    As for how your son treats you: you must be very close with your tehillim because you are going through nisyonos so similar to Dovid HaMelech. Just remember that when someone is hurting Dovid (and he had plenty of people doing that to him) he attributes it to Hashem and knows that it is for the best.

    And the king said, “What is it between me and you… let him curse, because Hashem said to him, ‘Curse David’. Who could say, ‘Why have you done so’?… Maybe Hashem will see the tears of my eyes, and Hashem will return to me good for his curse on this day.”

    You too remember, when you are hurt, cry like Dovid. But when you are done, smile. Because Hashem just touched you personally. And it will be for good things.

    #1182474

    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Derech – That was really powerful, thank you.

    #1182475

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Derech HaMelech-Wow! I really like what you wrote. Thanks for helping me to see the bigger picture.

    #1182476

    aries2756
    Participant

    “I’ve been staying mostly quiet because anything I could say is already being said here better than I could say it, but reading this last page I thought of something that I might be able to offer.”

    DH, nope I think what you said was much better than anything I wrote over these past few months!!

    #1182477

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Derech HaMelech and Aries2756-I value what you both say, and have gotten tremendous chizuk from both of you. Post more!

    Imaofthree-How is it going you ask? The bad news is that a few of the kids from his chevra were not serious about the school they attend together (what a surprise!), so when they decided to take a few vacation days, they all joined in and now the school cancelled the bus, and doesn’t really want them back. Truthfully, my son was the most upset, and really got upset with his friends. So he spoke to the Rabbi, and the kids are trying to appeal their decision, and basically, re-apply as ‘more serious’ kids. If that doesn’t work out, I don’t know what we’ll do, bc he’s basically back to staying out all night, with little to no conversation with us, and sleeping all day. I think me and my husband are dealing with things a little better. We already went through the initial shock of all this, and are not getting too bent out of shape over these other things. Although the new tsarros is that he’s hanging out with girls. If it gets too close to my house, I don’t know how my husband (or me, for that matter) will handle it. As it is, he doesn’t hide anything he does, whether it’s hanging out with ripped jeans, earring and girlie t-shirts, smoking on Shabbos, so why should girls be any different? Just call us Mr. and Mrs. Doormat, bc that’s about how we feel right now.

    Sorry, you asked………

    #1182478

    aries2756: Thanks but its clear you must be a psychologist of some sort with experience from lots of people. I only have my experience which is just one person.

    write or wrong: One thing I noticed which was brought up a few times in the past, is your husband. I understand that he probably doesn’t need the extra support you are getting from the coffee room, which is understandable. but do you feel he is contributing (or trying to contribute) towards a positive relationship with your son? As a mother there is only so much you can do, some much life that the two of you can relate on, in comparison to your husband. I understand that as a man, he gravitates towards anger at a problem that he feels powerless to fix. But is there anyway he can bring himself to be friendly with your son? I’m sure he tried, but to keep trying.

    If as you said, your husband tends to be angry at this situation, he probably has a strong personality. And your son probably looks up to that and on some level is trying to compete with that to prove to himself that he is a man and not a child. If your husband can prove to your son that he already sees him like that, that might lower the animosity that your son has towards him and by extension you, since on some level you are both one to him.

    I’m sure your son likes to drink and sees it as an “adult” thing. Imagine if your husband asked him to sit out on the mirpeset to schmooze and have a beer. How much that would make him feel accepted by the only real “adult” model he has right now. I know that right now you barely see your son and when you do its only to hear him yell at you. But maybe there will be an eis ratzon by him that your husband can grab.

    I want to reiterate one more thing. As long as you see yourself as a doormat and the things your son does as things you have to deal with and struggle not to blow up or cry about, the more tension that will be created in the house. And a child can detect tension better than a metal detector at the airport can detect a 100 keys on a key-chain sitting right next to a big metal belt buckle. And when your son detects tension, his first response is to get angry to suppress the guilt he feels over it. And once he’s angry everything just gets out of hand. So the fight is over the second he walks through the door. And not just him, your other children too. You can’t control your 16 year old, but your other children still rely on you to set the tone for the house. And the younger a child is the better they are at smelling that tension.

    It’s so important to change the way you feel about your son and his actions. For you and your husband, for him and for the rest of your family. Then iy”h kmayim panim el panim your son will also be able to change the way he sees you.

    #1182479

    write or wrong
    Participant

    Derech HaMelech-You sound like you know psychology as well! You are correct (this is actually quite Freudian) that my son is competing with my husband, and is trying to prove that he is a man. I tell this to my husband all the time, since this struggle is universal and not specific to our situation, nor to religion. But it’s still hard for my husband to ‘respect’ his behavior and relinquish part of his title, when my son is severely disrespectful and immature. I tell my husband to ‘hear’ the struggle and not my son’s words, but it’s a process..and he is getting better. My husband does look for those moments, but they are too few.

    Good point about the tension. I never really thought my son might feel guilty, and that that could be triggering the angry outbursts. I will try to keep things in check..

    Thanks for all the advice!

    #1182480

    aries2756
    Participant

    All good points. As they say the best defense is a good “offense”. This seems to be the child’s MO.

    The issue with the school is concerning to me. It is again an issue of accountability and responsibility. The children themselves “chose” this school and yet didn’t take it seriously. It is their responsibility alone to fight for another opportunity to be admitted. Sleeping all day will not get them what they want. That will NOT prove to the administration that they are serious about a second chance. Giving up on the opportunity, will only cause them to blame the “school” for throwing them out and not accept responsibility on their own part for getting themselves thrown out. So the question is how to approach your son and/or his friends by association on how their campaign is coming along and what exactly is their campaign for getting themselves re-admitted? If they truly want something they should have enough determination to go after it. They should be encouraged to pursue it and request from the administration what they need to do in order to get a second chance and then do it.

    How could you or should you approach your son on this subject? Again, if you don’t get the opportunity to speak to him one on one, write him a note telling him that you are concerned about him and his friends and the opportunity that they have missed here. Let them know that anything worth having is worth fighting for, and since they themselves researched and chose this school for themselves they should NOT give up the opportunity of going there. They should do whatever is in their power to fight for a second chance. Everyone deserves a second chance if they are serious enough about fulfilling the opportunity offered. It is up to them to find out what they need to do to get that second chance and then do it. No one can do it for them, they are the only ones that have the power to make this happen. If they don’t pursue it they will blame others for this lost opportunity when in truth they will have no one to blame but themselves.

    WOW, this is a lesson that you can teach them, all of them, without scolding them or speaking down to them. If they fight their way back in and realize that it is actually an opportunity for them and do take it seriously from here on it, they can possibly gain a positive experience to some small degree from the administration and teachers there.

    #1182481

    write or wrong
    Participant

    aries2756-they are taking it seriously and have each contacted the Rabbi, showing their commitment to continuing. They appealed the decision to cancel the bus, and are now waiting for the answer. In the meantime, I was trying to get my son to consider other options as a ‘back-up plan’, in case this doesn’t work out. The truth is, I do think he’d be better off without these kids, perhaps in a dormitory too. But he will only consider his options if this school falls through, and if the other kids go with him.

    #1182482

    ThePurpleOne
    Member

    write or wrong- hi just saw an ad on yeshiva world for this yeshiva very low pressure.. its called kesher… maybe look by the ads now on top and c if u wana look into it. i dont know anything abt it but maybe if this whole situation doesnt work out then u can try contacting this yeshiva?

    #1182483

    ana mia
    Participant

    Wow, I have not read all of the posts in this discussion yet so I apologize in advance if this has already been discussed but I was wondering if there was a way to get your son to participate in some sort of sports activity i.e. joining a soccer or basketball team since it builds character and gives youth a sense of purpose among other things. Also, if sports is not his thing, then perhaps he would be interested in theatre whether it may be for acting, singing, or even playwriting, directing, set design etc. perhaps he is good at stand-up comedy and would enjoy doing that professionally? None of these things go against the torah and may help strengthen his yiddishkeit. If there are no teams/theatres in your community that he can join, then perhaps you can help him start one from scratch and build it up from there. That would probably help other teenagers that are in the same situation as he is which will help with his self-esteem/anger issues as well.

    #1182484

    write or wrong
    Participant

    purpilicious-I will look into it, but truthfully, it has to come from him or his friends. Anything I suggest is an automatic ‘No”.

    ana mia-all your suggestions are good, and we’ve tried. But I think it’s for someone who’s healthier. He’s not interested in anything, only in hanging out with his chevra.

    #1182485

    ana mia
    Participant

    Wow, Can you please elaborate on what kind of extra-curricular activities he has already done?

    I would think that any boy who tries karate would feel empowered by it and would want to continue with it until he gets his black belt (and perhaps beyond that as well) Karate teaches self-discipline/respect which he seems to be lacking at the moment… it would also provide him with a healthy alternative to relieve his stress/anger while simultaneously helping his self-esteem issues.

    also, perhaps he is more artistic and would want to take art classes? or woodworking classes?

    Perhaps he likes to cook and would enjoy taking culinary/pastry classes?

    perhaps he is musically inclined and would be interested in learning how to play an instrument or two and start/join a band?

    perhaps he enjoys swimming and would be interested in becoming a lifeguard?

    perhaps he enjoys working with cars and can find an auto mechanic shop where he can be an apprentice and learn all about cars?

    perhaps he likes computers and would benefit from a computer programming class?

    You can find several different programs/classes (like the ones listed above) that you would approve of and just hand him the brochures and let him decide if he wants to take any of the classes or not. dont pressure or force him into it, like you said-the decision to attend these classes has to come from him. its really up to you to show him that there are tons of things that he can do and that you would be willing to support him if he chooses to attend any of the classes. You never know if he will take you up on the offer or not but you can at least try.

    Good Luck!!

    #1182486

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, I understand the Kesher now has a program for Israeli kids as well as American kids. He might just find himself a place for himself there because he can choose which group he fits better in. As far as not having the bus, how are they finding their way to the yeshiva on their own? That is a responsibility they have to work on. Just because they don’t have the convenience of provided transportation should NOT stop them from finding a way to get there on their own. That is the challenge and that is what they have to figure out to show their commitment to the administration. If he does it own his own or he does it together with anyone else or everyone else, he needs to be encouraged to get up and stand up to the challenge. Maybe this is where you husband can take an active role and be the “man to man” example. This might be where he can discuss the challenges in life and how to overcome them. He might be able to “work” with him here instead as seem to be “against” him. This might be an opportunity for them to bond on this issue. However it has to be with positive energy and never in a negative light.

    #1182487

    write or wrong
    Participant

    ana mia/aries2756-perhaps you are seeing my son emotionally healthier than he is. He is lazy as can be and not motivated to do anything. He never took any classes, although he has many talents. I offered to send him to karate classes, but now he’s too lazy to go. The only thing he does is sleep or listen to music. As far as the bus goes, no, they didn’t go on their own. And any attempts by me or my husband to ‘help’ only made him angry. The kids appealed by speaking to the Rabbi, and it looks like now, they may reinstate the bus.

    #1182488

    ana mia
    Participant

    Wow, it seems as though you are contradicting yourself.. on the one hand you are saying that he is emotionally unhealthy and on the other hand you are saying that he is simply lazy so I am not sure what the real case is here if he truly has a mental illness or not. have you given up on him?

    You say that he has many talents but has never attended any classes–is there a reason for that? perhaps he feels that it is too late to start anything?

    perhaps, instead of just offering to send him to karate classes which may or may not interest him, you can do as I suggested and find several different brochures of programs that he may be interested in–maybe music since that is what he is into these days. again, dont offer to send him anywhere, just give him the brochures (of several different programs so he has options) and see if that sparks an interest in him. he may yet surprise you…

    perhaps you can try some sort of reverse psychology by getting your other children to participate in extra-curricular non-threatening or non-religious activities like karate, kickboxing or swimming and when he sees how much they enjoy it he may be compelled to join them in their activities.

    #1182489

    aries2756
    Participant

    WOW, one thing you need to understand and make it your philosophy. If you believe in him he will believe in himself. If you give up on him he will give up on himself. This is true no matter who he is and what his potential and abilities are. This is true for parents, mechanchim and Rebbeim. Those who who walk through the life of a child have an obligation to that child and that is to believe in him and to be a great role model for him. One needs to understand that as a role model for each and every child we have the power to either “make them or break them”.

    So if YOU believe him to be lazy he will be lazy. If you believe he can accomplish he will eventually accomplish. Never give up on him or his potential. I am currently reading a book on Rebbetzin Kanievsky, I am getting tremendous chizuk from her. I only had the zchus to meet her twice in person, but her smile and her unique ability to care for each and every person she meets and benches carries with that person for a very long time. She will be with me forever in my heart. The book about her life gives me tremendous insight and chizuk. I believe you can, and anyone can learn many lessons from her.

    #1182490

    ana mia
    Participant

    another form of reverse psychology would be to go see a movie with him. then go out to eat with him and discuss the movie at length. you can try it with different things like going to a concert of his choice etc. yes, you may have to swallow your disgust at what the movie is portraying or the music he is listening to but on the positive side, your son will realize that watching a movie or going to a concert is no big deal for you and his rebellion will be moot since you are showing him that it has no effect on you. it may also open the door to communication between the two of you and perhaps if he sees you accepting his choices then he will be open to accepting yours.

    #1182491

    write or wrong
    Participant
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