Kiruv… How We Can Help

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  • #591572
    okthen
    Member

    there are many adolescents in my area who are “off” or well on the way. what to say, what to do??????? how can we help someone who’s close to us?

    #683457
    chesedname
    Participant

    Just be there for them, you don’t need to and shouldn’t talk too much about yidishkeit, it’s not what they need now.

    if they know you’re really there for them and care for them, they will come back, slowly but surely.

    good luck

    #683458

    Are they close to you, or not?

    If they are close to you, provide emotional support.

    If they are not close to you, find out if there is something they need- a summer job, etc. Hire them, or mentor them, or something.

    Also don’t be too pushy, but show you care. Ask them how they’re doing, don’t just ignore them, act to them as if they are just normal kids (which they are)

    Don’t ever ever ever lecture or try to teach them something- wait until they ask. It could take months but eventually they will.

    #683459
    okthen
    Member

    if the person starts talking about bad things they are doing or things going on at home can i tell them if i think what they are doing is wrong or assur. or should i just be quiet and let them vent.

    #683460
    chesedname
    Participant

    okthen

    you shouldn’t do much without guidance.

    but in my humble opinion, if you keep saying that’s wrong, they will never talk to you again and you’ll lose any chance of helping them.

    either say ah hum, i see etc. or tell them please don’t tell me about all the avouris you do, lets talk about something else.

    on a side note they’re telling it to you for a reaction, if you ignore it they will usually stop talking about it, and if you’re very close like father and son or brothers, and there is no reaction they will stop doing it all together.

    #683461
    artchill
    Participant

    Without knowing the specifics of what the person is telling you, it is hard to advise. ?

    The mehalech very successfully used in Chicago is to not address the mitzvos/aveiros aspect of the at-?risk behaviors and activities, he instead helps the teen regain his purpose in life by finding meaningful ?activities to engage in, the theory is once the teen is living a life again religion will follow on its own. ?Discussing schar and oneshor assur/muttar with someone who is in pain and angry is a bracha levatalah. ?

    #683462
    okthen
    Member

    yes i am actually from chicago and well aware with the mehalech. and i now that there are still some teens being overlooked and left beind. i also don’t want to shut the person up who i am trying to help. i want her to be able to talk openly with me i just can never find the rite thing to say back. behavior that is completely assur mideoraisa is happening by “offs” and its just so hard to watch and deal with.

    #683463

    if the person starts talking about bad things they are doing or things going on at home can i tell them if i think what they are doing is wrong or assur. or should i just be quiet and let them vent.

    No, you cannot tell them your opinion of what they are doing, but you can say something like “I’m not comfortable with your sharing this with me.” Make it about you, not about them.

    #683464
    plaid
    Member

    okthen – from my experience, the best think you can do is LISTEN. If they start coming to you about the things they are doing wrong, it’s totally pointless to lecture – they KNOW it’s wrong, and usually they care plenty, but the pain is blocking their logic, and sometimes, teens just want some attention, so they do something that will shock others (note: this is NOT always the case). You don’t have to know what to say – very often, a person doesn’t want an answer; rather, they just want to be heard and accepted. Don’t try to fix things (unless you specifically have the power to change something), don’t try to “refrum” them, ultimately, the person themselves has to reach a point where they feel comfortable enough with themselves and their life to reaccept the various boundaries of yiddishkeit. At the same time, don’t encourage their behavior. Talking about their level in yiddishkeit comes much much later with a very close MUTUALLY respectful relationship. Very often, these teens don’t feel much respect from their family, school, etc, so they rebel to show they “don’t care” – they usually care very much, but don’t always respect themselves, so the greatest gift you can give them with your friendship is your RESPECT…

    wow I have a lot more to say, but I’d like to hear some feedback first…

    #683465

    FOR THE PARENT- make boundaries!!!!! of course u have to love…..care…..show affection……that forshure. but if there r no boundaries then there r no limits! tell them that it is wrong!!! but dont tell them that shooting pool is wrong for even if it was he wouldnt be able to understand and give up. (not just pool). however if he eats non-kosher or breaks the laws of the shabbat- tell him its wrong!!! tell him that drugs r wrong! if its within the boundaries that u made then good if not then OUT!! (but of course theres the first set of rules and boundaries then the second then a third……) but the main point is to show that there r limits!!!!!!!!

    #683466

    What plaid said is exactly right.

    #683467

    I agree with wat ppl are saying.. I feel you need to always show that you love them, care for thum, and respect who they are.. Show approval on who they are and just not what they DO. you dont necessarily have to protest when you see them donig something wrong, rather very subtly show you wudnt do the same, because as said b4-they know theyre wrong.

    Spend time with them to show that youre always their for them, but take precautions and make g’darim for yourself beforehand to make sure you are not negatively affected by them.. the power of negative Hashpa must not be under estimated

    #683468
    smartcookie
    Member

    OKTHEN- you don’t need to answer. I would just listen and shake my head along and just say something like uhu or wow with a sad look on my face.

    Do not mussar them because they will go furthur from you. Just listen but you have to be sure that ur strong enough.

    #683469
    okthen
    Member

    thnx plaid! i was already trying to do your idea and it really is the only thing to do. people have to know respect comes first. especcially self respect. i think if we show how we respect are bodies and selves the other person will realize and without giving mussar or anything they’ll want to do the same. and someones bored, you now what parents do mae boundaries and you know how many countless times the kids break the rules. someone has to come up with something better than boundaries. and charts with sticers don’t work on teens. lol even if they some what keep the halachos and rules inside the house they usually don’t keep them outside the house. thnx everyone. i want to eep hearing from you

    #683470
    sm29
    Participant

    You have to make bounderies, but I think that there should be a balance of that, plus space. They need both, one to keep them safe and the other so we don’t push them away. Some things we can’t let them do and are off limits. However, we also need to let teens be able to make small choices. That’s sometimes how people learn. They might decide that you are right, but they don’t know until they see for themself. Like this story in which this man didn’t want his son to go to the movie, but he let him choose what to do. The young man went there and afterwards decided it’s Not worth it and left that place.

    Of course, every case is diff and some might stay there. But if they forbid him from going to watch it, he might lie and say he’s going to a friend’s house or something. It’s better that they know where he is.

    Also, in regards to a child who’s off and run away, let them know they have a place to return. Sometimes, kids don’t come back because they feel they can’t. Let them know you are there

    #683471
    sm29
    Participant

    Plus, keep in mind that some runaways are just be tired of it all and don’t want to come back, and so it’ll time for them, but just be patient and supportive

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