July 12, 2017 6:12 pm at 6:12 pm #1316890
Looking to connect with other parents facing this challenge – let’s support one another and, IYH, think of ways to help our child find his/her way back. There are so many ‘reasons’ good kids choose to turn away from Yiddishkeit – and we are not to “blame”.July 12, 2017 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm #1316963jakobParticipant
every community has a group & a org. where OTD & KAR boys/girls hang out & speak to a rabbi they can speak to with any problems they have.
contact the org. in your community & speak to the Rabbi for priceless tips to bring these children back to yiddishkeit & frum againJuly 12, 2017 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm #1316961
MASK 718-758-0400 does exactly that. Aside from support group meetings, this organization also connects these parents to each other for support. They often arrange for a parent mentor. Call.July 13, 2017 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm #13172365ishParticipant
It is true that you need support. Unfortunately, you most likely need a different type of support than you think. You straight away absolve yourself of blame saying frei out for all sorts of reasons, but you and other parents are not to blame. You need to get real. In an overwhelming percentage of cases the reason children leave the frum lifestyle is because of their experiences at home and at school. And as far as school is concerned, that is ultimately the achrayus of the parents too. The number one thing you should be doing is reaching out for support, to someone that can help you and your spouse examine what went wrong and how iyH you can fix it. I hope it is not too late for you but if you bury your head in the sand you will most likely lose your child. Take it fromsomeone who fried out and fell to low places and who’s friends all did the same, and who now works with young men and women who are themselves falling through the cracks rachmana letzlan because their parents go around looking for everyone and everything to blame but won’t accept responsibility that they are the real problem.
Hatzlacha.July 13, 2017 1:01 pm at 1:01 pm #1317254
How are parents to even know what’s really going on at school?July 13, 2017 1:33 pm at 1:33 pm #1317266
I dont know anything about you, but there are 2 issues here one is the religious one and the other is the safety issue.
Even if your child is not relgious at this time, you need to get them into something productive. Better to work at McDonalds on Shabbos than have them doing drugs or some other dangerous and harmful activity. At least they will be safe there. You can always do tshuva from working at McDonalds on Shabbos. You cannot do Tshuva if you O’Ded on HeroinJuly 13, 2017 2:02 pm at 2:02 pm #1317272
As a parent of 3 boys…now all in their 20’s… let me put my 2 cents in.
They all lived in the same home and went through the same 8 years of elementary school yet they are all very different in almost every way. One at each extreme and one somewhere in the middle. I cant explain it other than they all reacted/interpreted things differently. Meaning, as an example, one loved a certain Rebbe and one was turned off by the same Rebbe….the Rebbe wasn’t different the child was. Not blaming the Rebbe or Yeshiva. At home they all saw the same lifestyle we live…..again different strokes for different folks.
So now all we can do is continue to love them for who they are, the religiosity not withstanding and hope that by showing support for who each one is as an individual each will continue to move closer to the derech they should be on.July 13, 2017 2:28 pm at 2:28 pm #1317282
And i agree with Zahvasdad…..do what you can to keep them out of trouble….better to have some meaning in their life.
As much as it pains to see my son who isn’t on the derech i chose, i see him being respectful, productive and as a father and a husband he is doing right by his wife and child. Keep loving them. I believe and pray that eventually they will find their way back.July 13, 2017 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #1317286OhTeeDeeParticipant
As someone who has gone OTD and stayed, i will tell you that religion just isnt for everyone.
But almost everyone needs family, love, support, and friendship on some level.
Loving and supporting your child (without condition) will be best for you and them. Whether that brings them “back” or not isn’t in your control, so stop worrying about it.
Life is too short.July 13, 2017 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #1317295
There is a feeling among some for “Tough love”, usually it fails and all you have are resentful children. it rarely worksJuly 13, 2017 3:37 pm at 3:37 pm #1317310
There are plenty of kids who aren’t the slightest bit OTD and are in trouble with drugs and dangerous things, and there are plenty of OTD kids who are otherwise fine.July 13, 2017 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #1317319
RebYid…..Kids in trouble with drugs and dangerous things ARE OTD.
What are you judging on?July 13, 2017 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #1317317
Gedolei Yisroel have been making statements about OTD kids for several generations. What is universal to all statements is that kiruv, not richuk, is the only approach. Many emphasized the role of tefiloh. Never, ever, stop davening for your children. The ways of Hashem are so far beyond our ability to grasp. The Steipler ZT”L was quoted as responding to the question about how there is a current influx of baalei teshuvah. He attributed this to tefilos recited by zaides and babbes even many generations ago.
If someone’s child is rejecting their obligations bein odom laMakom, that does not justify the parent abandoning their obligations bein odom lachaveiro.July 13, 2017 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #1317329
Yiddesh_kup, literally everything else.July 13, 2017 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #1317338
I didn’t realize that we can pick and choose what the D in OTD is. And i guess by my own definition, i am also OTD in some way (we aren’t all perfect). I think the word “derech” must have a pretty wide definition.
Point being that we can’t judge these children. We need to keep loving them and guide them best we can.July 13, 2017 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #1317348
So everyone’s OTD?July 13, 2017 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #1317351SuperdParticipant
As someone who has gone OTD and stayed, i will tell you that religion just isnt for everyone.
Having been an otd myself, what is that supposed to mean?? Religion is for EVERYONE and anyone.
Unconditional love and space is the best.July 13, 2017 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #1317355OhTeeDeeParticipant
The little I know – i can promise you kiruv for someone FFB will not have the desired effect. Its one thing for a BT to show them a geshmack shabbos meal or otherwise enticing things about frum life. but someone who is doubting all the things they have been told and known their entire lives will probably not change their minds dur to typical kiruv techniques.
if anything will make more resentful
Going to a rabbi/rebbetzin (or being sent to one) when you are having doubts is like going to a bar to quit drinking. Not only does it not work but usually makes the problem worseJuly 13, 2017 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #1317357
As i said I think the word “derech” must have a pretty wide definition.”
Meaning that there is room for definition. You stated “There are plenty of kids who aren’t the slightest bit OTD and are in trouble with drugs and dangerous things”. I contend that can’t make sense…as that drugs are off the derech.
If i were to make the word Derch very narrow, yes we are all off, including myself (missing minyan….OTD?).
Some would argue drinking (excessively), smoking and things like that are also OFF the derech….Very Muddled.July 13, 2017 5:23 pm at 5:23 pm #1317375DovidBTParticipant
In my humble opinion, the entire Tanach can be viewed as a case study of OTD.July 13, 2017 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #1317413
Another point of information: BH, our adult child is a real mensch – sensitive, kind, loving, caring, responsible (most of the time), going to college; and the disenchantment with Yiddishkeit starting before s/he got to the college campus. Seems to be based primarily on ‘rationalist’ viewpoint, though I’m not ruling out any other factors. NO HISTORY OF ABUSE (Thank GD). Not interested in discussing views with us, even though we have been very open and non-judgmental.July 13, 2017 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #1317409
Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment. I know each of you meant well, and I appreciate that.
A few comments: I don’t come to this discussion lightly – I have spoken to MANY REBBEIM, some who know our adult child (and us) VERY WELL, others who have experience dealing with this issue, in Israel and the US.
I have combed the internet looking for information, insights, things that we can do as parents besides LOVE OUR CHILD UNCONDITIONALLY. Don’t misunderstand, this is by far THE MOST IMPORTANT thing that we do and have done AND MAKE A POINT TO EXPRESS CLEARLY, OUT LOUD, as often as is appropriate. So, when I absolve myself of responsibility, I assure you I’m not copping out. Our adult child went to excellent orthodox schools where s/he got both a fine Judaic AND secular education.
***Special thanks to the Oh Tee Dee for sharing your thoughts***July 13, 2017 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #1317420NotthatuniqueParticipant
There’s a long post I wrote out to show my feelings about the topic, but just know that I feel like I’m exactly like that kid (but am obviously not that specific one), and if the mods let this one through, then so be it. I’d love to share it with you.July 13, 2017 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #1317428
Since you child is in college, I will assume they are at least 18 or close to it.
Once someone is 18 they are a legal adult and there isnt much you can do. basically you can either kick them out and hope nothing goes wrong or at least let them stay at your house being non-jedemental and hope for the best and even if they are not relgious, at least they will be a mensch and a positive member of societyJuly 13, 2017 7:37 pm at 7:37 pm #1317436
Yidesh-kup, you’re drawing the road pretty narrow. A person injures himself and is treated by a careless doctor who misuses morphine, and suddenly he’s OTD?July 13, 2017 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #1317442LightbriteParticipant
This is a really hard thread to read. By the time I read the last post here, currently RebYidd23’s posted/moderated at 7:37pm, my shoulders were touching my ears! They started at least a tennis ball away and just crept up with the tension.
It was super brave of this parent of an OTD child to come to this forum where there’s plenty of experienced ammunition ready to pounce on a poster.
It also may have been a plea in desperation after going through every other option, which is what it sounds like to me at this point of my understanding and contemplation.
So thank you OP for sharing.
That’s all that I have to say.
Thank you <3July 13, 2017 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #1317543
Thank you, Lightbrite. Your observations are on target – and I am still hoping that this can be a meaningful, helpful, SUPPORTIVE discussion for those of us who are going through this.
I read something recently that was quite striking: in earlier days, parents would sit shiva for a such a child, the reason being that THERE WAS NO HOPE THAT THEY WOULD RETURN. Today, many if not most try to maintain a loving relationship “because” there is a chance they will return (just quoting the source); I would be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping s/he would find the way back to Judaism but I continue to love my adult child as much as ever regardless of the choices s/he makes.July 13, 2017 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm #1317535
You misunderstood me, and I want to clarify my statement. I did NOT mean kiruv as exactly that which is done with baalei teshuvah who come from non-frum backgrounds. In fact, there was a presentation at an AJOP Convention quite a few years ago in which the panel of presenters drew many contrasts between the two.
I used the word kiruv in the sense as it is opposite of richuk. We may disagree with the choices of our children, but we must maintain unconditional love. That includes a child who is behaving in ways that are so opposite of ours that we can be disgusted by it. How about the vulgarity and chutzpah? Each parent will develop their own formula, but it cannot include rejection as that seals the fate for the child. In a much more global sense, Klal Yisroel is an OTD child of HKB”H. Just listen to the viduy we recite in tachanun, in selichos, and on Yom Kippur. But HKB”H continues to provide us with so much. Have we had a simcha lately? Have we achieved something lately? Are we making parnosoh? Etc. Yes, the מודים אנחנו לך that we repeat thrice daily is truth. But with our aveiros, should we not be rejected, and distanced from any of His graces? Answer – that is not the way of a parent. A parent does not reject. Punish – sometimes. In the case of HKB”H, everything is chesed. Yes, 100% of everything. Maybe not packaged that way, but the best for us.
You are correct in noting that the traditional “kiruv” would be provocative to the OTD child. I could explain this in greater length. I used the word to refer to the unconditional love that HKB”H showered on Klal Yisroel after the sin of the eigel, the worst situation for Klal Yisroel. he never stopped giving us מן, and there was uninterrupted באר של מרים and ענני הכבוד. That is a parent, never rejecting, always supportive.July 13, 2017 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm #1317557
Sitting shiva is for someone that died, not someone that is sick. The children we are addressing today are suffering. There have been many labels used for these kids, OTD, at-risk, KIPs. KIP stands for Kids In Pain. They are suffering, usually far more than their parents are. How they got there may make for an interesting study, and there are rarely cases that are identical, just as everyone has their own, unique fingerprints. I have commented in other threads that the single universal ingredient for all of these kids is REJECTION. Different flavors perhaps.
We are far more capable than ever in our history, though perhaps more resistant to the idea, of loving these kids, accepting them without necessarily approving of their behavior, and including them in Klal Yisroel. Ultimately, we do not know why this happened to our family. Gedolei Yisroel have made comments on this. The Steipler ZT”L suggested that these are nisyonos for us, and we will never be capable of grasping why. Do we understand gilgulim, often jumping over many generations? Are we being given the nisayon of Sinas Chinom – Ahavas Chinom? Maybe. Should we not try to pass it? I would give my maximum. I bet it sometimes gets really hard. I may need to lean on others, get chizuk, even therapy. As long as I do not see the child as dead, I will love him/her, include them in the family, and see them as a precious neshomoh who is struggling and suffering. I would want HKB”H to do that for me when I struggle.
I know a parent whose kid was acting out in all sorts of ways. He or his wife regularly prepared his negel vasser, even though he was sleeping late (having watched movies for many hours of the night), and might not be putting on tefillin. He is gainfully employed, keeping Shabbos today. he was never lost, just in pain.July 14, 2017 8:35 am at 8:35 am #1317667
People religious observance varies in a lifetime. Some people become more frum and others R’L less frum.
People’s especially teenagers interests also change and can change often. The story about the kid who would rather watch movies than go to davening is a perfect example. For a while davening just didnt interest him and the movies were more important. whenever that phase was over he just went to something else or back to where he wasJuly 14, 2017 5:56 pm at 5:56 pm #1317882
You are correct, that the behavior we observe could be just cooling periods, much as climate varies due to factors that we can’t identify. But the overwhelming majority of cases involve a form of rebellion. The kids are purposely and consciously rejecting the “frum lifestyle”. There are reasons for this, but it is enticing to blame everything on the family, the school, the internet, spoiled kids, etc. There may be common factors to many situations, but it is often difficult to know which observations are causes and which are effects.
Having quite a bit of connection to the “parsha”, I do have a label for what I believe is universal in ALL cases. REJECTION. Now it is incumbent on those involved to determine what, where, how, and when. The refu’ah is to swing the opposite direction, with the wealth of love, unconditional at that. That’s all that works, and so say the Gedolei Hador.July 14, 2017 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #1317909
Most teens engage in some sort of rebellion, Its quite normal. Alot of the rebellion is simply to be against what the parents are for if the parents are religious then they become non-relgious and if the parents are secular, they become relgious.
They once did a poll of the most uncool car among teens. and the winner was Toyota and when they investigated more they found out the reason Toyota cars were uncool among teens was for the simple reason their parents drove themJuly 15, 2017 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm #1318050LightbriteParticipant
And the funny thing is that now Toyotas are popular with Millennials (at least that’s what I read last year), because they’re reliableJuly 16, 2017 1:03 am at 1:03 am #1318055
Where teenagers have their own cars, a car like that a parent drives is a borrowed car, which means the teenage driver is not a car owner.July 18, 2017 9:50 am at 9:50 am #1319480Ahava613Participant
Mods, please let this through, thank you for your consideration!
There is an amazing and very enlightening shir on TorahAnytime.com about OTD and personality types. THis very enlightened speaker talks about 4 personality types and how every case of OTD he’s ever seen all share the same personality type. He said 25% of kids have this personality type, and statistically, 1 in those 25 become OTD due to additional stress factors. It was a very eye-opening speech, I highly recommend it!
Here is the link: https://www.torahanytime.com/#/lectures?v=36535
I recommend this shir to every parent. My kids are still relatively little, but one of my daughters has this personality type. It has totally changed how I deal with her, for the better! We have a much less conflicts now after I incorporated his advice.July 19, 2017 3:05 am at 3:05 am #1320660MammeleParticipant
Thanks Ahava! Very informative.July 19, 2017 7:35 am at 7:35 am #1320666TheGoqParticipant
Here;s the thing about love you can fall out of love with a friend or a spouse but to fall out of love of your child is to chas vshalom spit in the face of HKBH, you can be disappointed in them, you can be afraid for them, you can daven for them, you can hope for them, my father did not love me in fact he rarely let an opportunity pass to let me know how much he disliked and even hated me. Love of a child is not a choice its an obligation, you created a human being not a robot a human makes choices has free will you don’t have to approve of their choices but you must love them that is your promise to Hashem when you become a parent.July 19, 2017 8:43 am at 8:43 am #1320683MDGParticipant
“He said 25% of kids have this personality type, and statistically, 1 in those 25 become OTD due to additional stress factors.”
Doing the math, that means that 1% of kids are OTD. I am under the impression that the percentage is higher.July 19, 2017 9:01 am at 9:01 am #1320699
It’s based on the cases he’s seen. The ones he’s seen were already narrowed down before he saw them.July 19, 2017 9:23 am at 9:23 am #1320708JosephParticipant
Less than 1% of kids are OTD.July 19, 2017 10:17 am at 10:17 am #1320737MammeleParticipant
Mdg: I believe he also said not to get hung up on the numbers. He was just trying to give us some perspective.
There are no real statistics, and the numbers vary depending on community. So what’s true in his circle, may not be accurate for yours.July 19, 2017 10:48 am at 10:48 am #1320792
There are alot of people who are “Hidden OTD” meaning outwardly they are “frum” but secretly do “unfrum things”
Like they might leave Brooklyn , go to a place with no jews , the wife uncovers her hair and the husband changes his look to “American Style” and they go eat at McDonaldsJuly 19, 2017 10:54 am at 10:54 am #1320807JosephParticipant
There’s also a lot of people who murder.
Like they might leave Brooklyn , go to a mafia meeting, take an order to hit someone, and then goes and takes that person out.July 19, 2017 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm #1320943
You know very well that those who do murder don’t bother leaving Brooklyn first.July 20, 2017 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #1322012kingdavidParticipant
There is an amazing insight in “Ohev Yisroel” this week. He explains that the ONLY way to protect small children who do not have yet enough of their own abilities for protection is when the parents do mitzvos with kedusha, it creates a holy angel that protects the children.. so we do have some control on our children’s decisions by doing the right things ourselvesJuly 23, 2017 1:10 am at 1:10 am #1322790
Thank you, Ahava 613 for recommending the shiur on Torahanytime – the rabbi clearly knew what he was talking about and I am impressed by his insight, sensitivity and suggestions.July 23, 2017 2:55 am at 2:55 am #1322797TheFakeMavenParticipant
OhTeeDee: As someone that…. there is an interesting story related about the Mahrayatz of Lubavitch. there was once aa self profeesing jew turned ‘atheist’, and when the Mahrayatz once met him, he started speaking to the ‘atheist’ about Hashem etc. the ‘atheist laughed and said “Rebbe, you know I don’t believe in these things”. The Mahrayatz looked at him and said, you think because someone sits on bence cracking sunflower seeds and professes to be an atheist he becomes one?
The point is, as the Mahrayatz clearly understood, someone who knows no theology and just decides not to believe in Hashem does not become an atheist. in order to really be a non believer one has to know what there is to believe!
Although I really feel for you, I found your statement funny. ‘religion is just not for anyone? Have you ever actually studied religion? Waking yup every day to daven making brachos etc is not what religion is about at all. religion is not actions, religion is the duty of the heart, it takes a tremendous amount of studying to understand. what’s worse off is that we are not toaght religion in yeshivas. therefore, although sad, your comment actually sums up the issue. People in general do not know what religion is at all…..July 23, 2017 7:23 am at 7:23 am #1322811
There is an amazing insight in “Ohev Yisroel” this week. He explains that the ONLY way to protect small children who do not have yet enough of their own abilities for protection is when the parents do mitzvos with kedusha, it creates a holy angel that protects the children.. so we do have some control on our children’s decisions by doing the right things ourselves
There are some well known people who went OTD whose parents were very chashuv peopleJuly 23, 2017 1:08 pm at 1:08 pm #1323314
TheFakeMaven, a person who is not a theist is automatically an atheist. In order to be a non-believer, one simply has to not believe. Only a person who believes is a believer.July 23, 2017 1:32 pm at 1:32 pm #1323356HealthParticipant
Mamajun -“Looking to connect with other parents facing this challenge – let’s support one another and, IYH, think of ways to help our child find his/her way back.”
First of all, coming to YWN will probably not help you. You’ll get a lot of opinions from non-professional people!
Secondly, I’ve a few OTD kids – you can’t change anyone, but yourself.
And I don’t even blame my Ex.
If you have a relationship with them – just live your life as before he/she went OTD.
Don’t push anyone to your way of life!
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