April 16, 2012 6:30 pm at 6:30 pm #602945
What can boys Yeshivahs and girls schools do to prevent OTD feelings, thoughts and plans, where the seeds often grow?
Every day were reading about new highly vocal and public formerly Frum OTD males and females wanting to show currently Frum young people, optional lifestyles, offering numerous questions, issues, facts and reasons, many of which are totally invalid, but some are unfortunately valid.
The tactic of scaring children into submission to Frumkeit will not only no longer work, but will backfire.
Its agreed that a loving calm home life with praise and encouragement is the best prevention against having kids go OTD, in most cases.
But- What about Yeshivos, where kids spend the bulk of their waking hours, and opinions of Frum role models are formed as well? Strict rules have to be kept and competition is encouraged or Frumkeit and learning levels drop.
What should Yeshivos do and not do to increase Yiras Shomayim and lead to happy kids who grow into happy adults?
Or do we leave things as they are, which is what the frum world usually does, and continually witness the very small, but loud, percentage of OTD individuals touting their new lifestyle and ignore them and not even try to tweak and repair and make some changes in our communities, where needed?April 17, 2012 2:06 am at 2:06 am #972692Bar ShattyaMember
they should respect the kidsApril 17, 2012 3:22 am at 3:22 am #972693optimusprimeMember
Make more chumrasApril 17, 2012 3:45 am at 3:45 am #972694tajikpashutMember
SHOW IT’S ENJOYABLE NO MATTER HOW HARD IT IS,THROUGH EXAMPLE.April 17, 2012 4:16 am at 4:16 am #972695Bar ShattyaMember
who says you have it harder than them that you can give an example of overcoming hardships?April 17, 2012 6:40 am at 6:40 am #972696
Maybe increase the learning of Hashkafa seforim like Michtav MaEliyahu, some Maharal, which bring a certain clarity to the depth of what we are doing…. giving it a certain sweetness which can reinforce what we are dong ritually. Take the habit away, make it meaningful and rich.April 17, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am #972697awarenessvaadParticipant
I speak for boys in Yeshivah.
I believe that one of the problems could be that they spend the majority of the day involved in learning material that has no direct relevance to their personal internal emotional world.
It maybe intellectually simulating and enjoyable for some but since it is abstract,it has nothing to do with a living connection with Hashem.
They want an emotional connection but Gemara learning does not achieve that.
Secondly many,even girls, may find it hard to feel the words of Davening, especially if one is obligated to repeat the exact same words 3 times a day,the whole year round.People may feel that this is Dovid Hamelech speaking but I am not on his level!
Does anyone share this problem with me?
Many do not allow themselves to admit that this is their problem
because they are afraid of not finding a solution!
I BELIEVE THIS LAST POINT IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM!!!!!!April 17, 2012 1:12 pm at 1:12 pm #972698PLONIALMONI4Member
I am probably on quite solid ground when I state that there isn’t a person who hasn’t had his own child, a neighbour’s child or that of a close relative go OTD.
I have always wondered at the phenomenon of having more baalei teshuvah than ever today while at the same time we are experiencing more FFB kids going OTD than ever before.
I am not involved in chinuch but I do get the feeling that there is a major disconnect today between talmidim and their Rebbeim. Most Yeshivas do not have the resources to deal with non conforming kids and many take the easy way out by expelling them. Some take the equally non productive path of actually letting a non learning child stay as long as he is not being a negative influence on the other kids.
Neither option is helping the child.
I would think that more children today with their shorter attention spans cannot spend hours and hours in a Beis Medrash as their fathers did.
Piling on chumros after chumros preventing healthy physical and emotional outlets just give the child the feeling that he is in jail and will take the first opportunity to escape which many do.
I realize this is a very simplistic summary but the thrust is that we cannot use tactics from previous generations to deal with today’s problems. They will not work for kids today who are tech savvy and know what the world is all about.
It is not easy being a young frum child today.April 17, 2012 9:53 pm at 9:53 pm #972700ambushParticipant
Love them and respect them for real.
and make sure they don’t just know it, they feel it.
If they know, not deep down- right up on the surface! That you care for them as your own sister, child whatever, your cheering for them at every step of the way, (talking about teachers here) you got a pretty strong change of them doing everything in their power not to let you down.
that’s just step one…April 17, 2012 9:54 pm at 9:54 pm #972701ambushParticipant
sorry, typing too fast
*pretty strong CHANCEApril 17, 2012 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm #972702BYbychoiceMember
The biggest thing is to not make them feel diffrent, bys and yehsivas dont have to do anything if they are doing the right things then they shouldent have to change!April 17, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm #972703cinderellaParticipant
There is one thing that has always bothered me. I feel that there is a tremendous effort put into making sire that people who are either irreligious or at risk are enjoying yiddishkeit that sometimes people forget about the people who are frum.
Let me explain- I feel that some people assume that all religious kids love yiddishkeit and that they don’t need any special attention or love or incentives or whatever. It has always bothered me that there is a huge attempt to make OTD kids feel unconditionally loved and to try to foster a love for yiddishkeit in those who are unaffiliated that ironically enough, those who are frum are forgotten about.
I think it is extremely important to make every single person, frum or OTD, feel special and loved. Those who are on the derech need just as much love and attention as those who are off. I think if schools realized this, their students will feel just as important and validated and it will make a world of a difference.April 17, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm #972704
I’m a high school student. Sometimes we learn hashkafah, but then we’re tested on it, so we’re busy writing everything and focusing on whether we have everything down. We do have discussions, but only to get the teacher off-topic so we’ll learn less material. If we could have a hashkafah class where we would be comfortable and not tested on the material, I think a lot of girls (myself included) would ask real questions that we need answers to.April 17, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm #972705
Bekitzur- If the topic is interesting and it responds to your needs and questions, why should it be less effective if you are tested?April 18, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am #972706
Because when you’re tested, nobody cares about understanding anything. We care about getting a good mark.April 18, 2012 12:49 am at 12:49 am #972707zahavasdadParticipant
The truth is most teachers at jewish schools are UNQUALIFIED and I dont mean they dont know the material. They very well might know the material, but it doesnt mean they know how to convey that.
And they dont know how to handle kids, An uncaring teacher who knows the material and doesnt care about the kids is as useless as a teacher who doesnt know the material.
And the reason the teachers are unqualified is the pay and teacher requirements. Many schools pay the teachers low pay and engage in nepotism, instead of hiring the best candidates they hire people with nepotism who are willing to accept the low pay, delayed paychecks and is friends or a relative of the Menahel.
In the girl schools they hire 19 year old girls who stay until they are married and then they usually leave.
Sorry a 19 year old girl is not qualified to teach teenagersApril 18, 2012 1:00 am at 1:00 am #972708
Dirachea Darchei Noam, Vichul Nisivoseah Shalom. The problem is that many don’t get a chance to experience the Neiumus and witness everything but shalom. There is plenty of blame to spread around among parents, mechanvhim and the community at large.April 18, 2012 2:29 am at 2:29 am #972709morahmomParticipant
azoi – Interesting question you posed. I’ve been teaching for close to 30 years and B”H I’ve generally had very good relationships with my students. Oh – and we learn a ton. No party time in my class. But I try to never miss an opportunity to bring out points of hashkafa, no matter what the actual subject matter is. Kids are thirsting for hashkafa; they want things to make sense.
I just question why parents were left out of this question! Is it the sole responsibility of mechanchim to deal with kids and their questions? Parents need to be active participants and role models for their kids! They need to speak hashkafa – not just mussar – and explain things as well. And if parents don’t know the answers, they should model to their kids that it’s only proper to ask a rov.
As a mechanech, I don’t shirk my responsibilities, but I think we’d have less of a OTD issue if parents and mechanchim could work TOGETHER.April 18, 2012 2:45 am at 2:45 am #972710writersoulParticipant
bekitzur: MASKIM(AH)!!!!!!! I’ve been saying it for years. It’s insane how teachers expect us to learn and absorb the material when it becomes boring stuff to be absorbed, spit back and promptly forgotten like the resto f the stuff we’re tested on. Which is why I’d love to abolish tests in limudei kodesh, but unfortunately that’s not really practical.April 18, 2012 3:20 am at 3:20 am #972711
I would love to abolish tests as well. But the reality is that whne there are no tests people just so not try as hard to understand, retain and remember.In theory we (teachers especially!) would love that everyone learn lishma…… in reality, the yetzer horah makes sure that other interests take a front seat and push away real learning. I have tried it many many times in my classes over the years. If Talmimdim/os are taught inan exciting classroom environment by a tracher who genuinely loves them, loves his subject manner and loves giving it over, and gives fair but challenging exams then the sense of accomplishment and excitement is ever greater by being rewarded with high grades. Diluting tests gives a talmid-ah a feeling of being cheated. And lishma only works for a limited few. The Mishna says to always learn not lishma because it will bring to lishma. Fair tests with ample support and encouragement does much better than no test. Retention is better also. In the end if when you need it you cannot remember it, of what value was it? There is much greater productivity and creativity with good learning and testing.April 18, 2012 4:11 am at 4:11 am #972712BYbychoiceMember
I think we can all agree that the only way to really know if students absorb the information is if they have test! Yet i also feel that perhaps hashkafa class isnt really a class you need a grade in. I mean they should be using the time to strengthen the students yiddeshkeit, not studying abilites!!!April 18, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am #972713lesschumrasParticipant
In my freshman year in yeshiva h.s. a lot of us would ask sincere hashkafic questions about the things we were doing by rote. The rabbanim, European trained,would respond by calling them chutzpaniks. By the time we had a teacher willing to answer, in our senior year, the boys were already otd and were no longer interested . I came very close to otdApril 18, 2012 1:29 pm at 1:29 pm #972714zahavasdadParticipant
You just proved my point, the teachers WERE unqualified.
IMO the WORST answer I have ever been given, “Its a Kasher on a Maiser” to this day I HATE that answer.April 18, 2012 2:18 pm at 2:18 pm #972715
morahmom, “I just question why parents were left out of this question!”
You must have missed “Its agreed that a loving calm home life with praise and encouragement is the best prevention against having kids go OTD, in most cases”.
But when you read the OTD peoples reasons for dissatisfaction with a Frum lifestyle, parents are not always the ones they fault.
We can easily blame all parents, but its not that simple.
I wish Id be able to be a fly on the wall in the room where Gedolim discuss what can be done to lessen the OTD trend, outside of parents being more loving.April 18, 2012 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #972716
“Its agreed that a loving calm home life with praise and encouragement is the best prevention against having kids go OTD,”
Praise and encouragement will help foster a relationship of love and trust. They will not prevent kids from going OTD. Especially if the parents (and other role models) are master practicioners of the “do as I say, not as I do” approach.April 18, 2012 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #972717popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Also, they can stop molesting kids. That is a sure way to lower OTD rates, since it is very high among molested kids.April 18, 2012 3:29 pm at 3:29 pm #972718adamsParticipant
There is no one reason why some go otd. Usually something traumatic is one place to start. This can be a molestation not necessarily by a frum person, or parents not providing a loving home Within a loving relationship. There are many factors. SOme families divorced and 1 went otd and the others did not so how do you explain that? Overall it is more important to ensure that while they are otd that they are doing something constructive. For now they don’t see the beauty of Yiddishkeit, hopefully they will in the future.April 18, 2012 3:41 pm at 3:41 pm #972719
apush “Especially if the parents (and other role models) are master practicioners of the “do as I say, not as I do” approach”
If kids are put through that, there is no calm. :>)April 18, 2012 6:42 pm at 6:42 pm #972720
Plenty of praise and encouragement though 🙂April 18, 2012 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #972721sem graduateMember
Teachers need to be very careful with what they say in front of a classroom. I had a twelfth grade teacher who responded to an innocent question – one asking her to explain what she just taught; not a random hashkafa question – with the statement “by asking that question, you effectively took your twelve years of education and through it out the window”. Although the answer did not cause such an adverse effect on me, I still remember the answer, and know that I refused to raise my hand to ask ANY questions from that point on. If questions are encouraged, and practices explained, it would very possibly help.April 18, 2012 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #972722
I’m fine with Navi tests and Chumash tests. But how about a test-free hashkafah class? Does anyone see any problems in that?April 18, 2012 9:46 pm at 9:46 pm #972723
I recognize some of you from another feed, where as you know, I am struggling with my son going off the derech. I will just say that my son was shown a great deal of love, affection and encouragement from both me and my husband, and we always had a good relationship with good communication. None of this prevented my son from making the changes he’s made. He is enticed by the secular world, which is filled with many of the things we don’t have at home and don’t want. He never really enjoyed learning, although he is extremely bright. He went through a tough period in school where the kids made fun of him, and although we met with the principal a number of times to address this, apparently it made a deep mark on him, which he talks about ’til today. I have to agree, that I don’t think the school Rebbes are well equipped to deal with a lot of the behaviors in the classroom, and may make critical mistakes that seriously impair the child’s ability to develop a love of learning, as well as respect for Rabbonim.April 19, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am #972724optimusprimeMember
popa +1April 19, 2012 1:42 am at 1:42 am #972725sammy16Member
Being a 16 yr old my self i know how hard it is to stay clean. All the movies all the music and whatever else u happen to find on the internet can really throw u off. If u dont have a geshmak for learning yet and the yeshiva wants u to be in bm for 3 hrs already and u have no interest u turn to movies and nonjewish music to waste ur time. Ive watched this happen to myself and to a bunch of my friends. As said in other posts the rebbeim dont know what to do. In my case my rebbi is a first yr out of kollel and has no clue how to deal with teens. The first thing yeshivos should do is get themselves some good rebbeim with knowledge with dealing with teens. Not someone who is related to the menahel or friends with the menahel and has no experience and uses us as his guinae pigs to see what works. All that does is help the kid slide further and further until hes totally off. Oh and hashkafa shuir or mishna berura whatever u want to call it when u ask them certain things they just wont give u an answer they tell u its not for now. That helps a lot. If u actually had the guts to ask the question and then ur turned down like that it guarantees that no more questions will be asked.April 19, 2012 6:48 am at 6:48 am #972727frontlineMember
Offer a warm and positive environment, where the students are comfortable expressing themselves in whatever manner they feel suitable….. If the Yeshiva or School is sincere and the students sense it, then the student will eventually turn and pick the “correct lifestyle” ……….
I can name you several Yeshivas that have succeeded enormously in this.April 19, 2012 8:58 am at 8:58 am #972728
Sammy16- you’re right, the schools should have rebbes who know how do deal with teenagers, and the nisayonos they’re up against. In your opinion, what should my role be? How can I help my son? Can I bring him back from, like you said, wasting all his time with secular movies and videos? Or should I just leave him there until he hopefully gets sick of it on his own?April 19, 2012 1:31 pm at 1:31 pm #972729blueprintsParticipant
More than meets the eye
Make more chumras
POSTED 2 DAYS AGO #
Less chumras: I’m suprised u didn’t mention this
But once again maskim
(I like your shittas)April 19, 2012 1:35 pm at 1:35 pm #972730sammy16Member
write or wrong- im 16 i dont think i can really give advice to a parent but ill try. At 16 ur really confused. U dont know what u want. U enjoy watching all the movies and listening to the music but u know its wrong and somewhere in side u want to stop but dont know how. U go to the movies because the learning doesnt really interest u. U find it boring, too hard to learn and then it comes to why do i need to do this anyway? And u tell urself forget about it and u stop learning totally. U should let him watch a little (try and limit it) but try to stop it comepletely otherwise hell go haywire but make deals with him. Ask him what HE WANTS to learn and learn that with him for as long as he wants. Guys dont want people telling them what to do they want to make the decisons. Let him make the decisions but u give him the ideas and let him pick. Really u should ask someone who has experience dealing with this kind of thing.April 19, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm #972731
Sammy16-thanks for your suggestions. My husband and I are speaking to someone, but I think it’s important to also get the perspective of teenagers, since perhaps you can understand the challenges kids face today better than adults.August 11, 2013 4:56 pm at 4:56 pm #972732the-art-of-moiParticipant
unfortunately, there is no way to prevent someone from having feelings of dissatisaction with judaism. the only thing a teacher/ rebbi can do is provide the resources for the child to get better. generally, what is causing the child to feel this way is a major trauma so if the kid has someone he knows wont judge him, someone that cares and wont make him feel dumb, he/ she will seek out the help and hopefully, with Hashems help, get back on track. im not male(BH!!!) but i really dont know how they survive yeshivah. i mean, my brother has learning disabilities- is he really supposed to sit and learn 24/7?! if he comes out of that with his self esteem intact, id be shocked. why dont yeshivos get that not all boys can sit and learn all the time? i understand that theres got to be some boys learning, but many are really not capable of doing that. if boys were created for the sole purpose of learning- why would there be so many guys with learning disabilities, adhd, whatever? Hashem wouldve created them capable of learning!August 12, 2013 3:03 am at 3:03 am #972733notedaskanMember
bring in rabbi daniel mechanic to speak in your school. He will set the kids straight!August 12, 2013 5:54 am at 5:54 am #972734interjectionParticipant
The-art: why is it the yeshivas fault. A yeshiva is a place to learn. If someone isn’t doing well there it’s up to the parents to switch him to a school where he can thrive.August 12, 2013 8:00 am at 8:00 am #972735Smile E. FaceMember
Pay attention to all your students, even those good quiet ones sitting in the corner who appear to be the most frum, aidel, tznius, etc. ESPECIALLY to the good quiet kids sitting in the corner. Those who maybe aren’t the loudest, who aren’t openly rebelling. (For those that know me, this is not about me, it’s about a friend.)There are so many girls who are hurting for whatever reason, and because they don’t outwardly rebel, because they aren’t the most popular, because they make the teacher uneasy, because the teacher can’t imagine how this sweet good girl could have anything but the perfect life, because of a thousand and one reasons. Everyone speaks about “at-risk” and the need to pull them back. What about those who don’t appear to be “at-risk”? We had questions. We wanted out. And real hurt is knowing that if you just unbuttoned that button or pulled that skirt up a little higher, you could’ve gotten help. It’s knowing that because you didn’t just have questions and leave it all, because you instead looked things up, researched, discussed, and decided that Judaism is real, and you weren’t going to leave it just because you were hurting, you couldn’t get help. It’s making a decision to stick with the emet even when “the truth hurts.” Imagine having to research everything on your own because you had classmates who, nebuch, were falling through the cracks and you were the perfect aidel knaidel so your questions weren’t as important.
For so many it wasn’t, isn’t an intellectual need. People leave a place because a need isn’t being met. People go off cuz a need is there. Rarely is it from intellectual misunderstandings. (it happens, but more often the underlying cause is emotional.)
That’s how we end up with all these robots. Do you know what it is to go through four years of high school not feeling the part but acting it perfectly because you know it to be true but there’s nobody there to listen? You’re a good kid, you don’t need help.
You want to know what to do to help? Listen to the silence. It’s the things that aren’t said, the ones that aren’t blatantly in your face, that say it the most. Silence hurts.
Don’t think the exterior says it all. Everyone needs a kind word every now and then. Everyone needs praise or recognition for something. And nobody wants to be the good quiet kid in the corner for the majority of their elementary and high school years. It hurts.
Kiruv krovim became a big deal at one point. But only, apparently, for those whom it was deemed necessary. Don’t judge, you don’t know.
end rant 🙂August 12, 2013 4:35 pm at 4:35 pm #972736Torah613TorahParticipant
What can boys Yeshivahs and girls schools do to prevent OTD feelings, thoughts and plans, where the seeds often grow?
Teach social skills and make sure everyone has friends.
People who feel appreciated and an important part of a community are unlikely to go OTD while in school.August 12, 2013 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #972737
Smile E. Face
+1,000,000August 12, 2013 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #972739lakewood001Member
1.)Make being Frum fun.
2.)Don’t lie and don’t crtitcize and or make fun of things you don’t fully understand
3.)”Sell” Frumkeit on the “quality of life” angle as opposed to the “Logic” angleAugust 12, 2013 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #972740
Stop encouraging and pushing conformity, even subtly. Conformity doesn’t equal observance. And stop making disparaging and/or condescending comments about people and groups who are serving G-d but are “different.” Observance doesn’t equal conformity.August 12, 2013 5:47 pm at 5:47 pm #972741August 12, 2013 6:35 pm at 6:35 pm #972742August 12, 2013 6:43 pm at 6:43 pm #972743the-art-of-moiParticipant
interjection- sorry, i phrased that wrong. im more upset about the attitude in the community. unless you learn 24/7, youre considered a loser. that is just so sad.
smilee- AWESOME! well written, and thought out. that is soooo true!
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