Forum Replies Created
Wow, just wow!!!
Firstly, you are being motzei Shem rah on an entire amazing community and I take offense to that.
Secondly I happen to be a member of this amazing chessedik and Frum community for the past 24 years. You should be grateful to have the opportunity to have a job here and show some hakaros hatov. Maybe you should take a job in the city and see what true pritsuz looks like. Go work in the city and see what challenges will present themselves to you.
You make excuses for yourself that you don’t have the time to make yourself lunch. Seriously? If this truly was an issue for you, you would make sure that you made your lunch the night before. If you were such a tzaddik that this was truly an issue for you, you would make sure that you not only had a homemade lunch but a Sefer to go along with it.
Shame on you!!! You choose to be mevayesh women in MY community when there is absolutely no issue right now in the cold months of the winter and you are only looking to run off at your mouth and stir up controversy on our amazing neighborhood. As such I don’t believe that you even spend time in our neighborhood at all. You are just a gossip looking to stir up trouble. Unfortunately there are good people in this world who are always looking for the best in others and then there are people like you. You owe us an apology big time.
We call it a troll…..
We have moved off the original topic and gone the regular root. But I will offer my opinion here anyway.
On the topic of the Israel draft…if you choose to live in Israel and know and understand that the citizens of Israel must protect themselves from their own neighbors and therefore every child that turns eighteen must enter the army and be trained to do so, then you must be prepared as all other citizens to do because you are protecting your own! And you are expecting your brothers whether they are chareidim or not to protect you! It is not like in America where kids were drafted to fight wars for other countries and nationalities. Each and every citizen of the Land of Israel shares the same risk and therefore must share the same training and service. A special leniency has been afforded to religious girls which I truly appreciate and admire; and for many years to religious yeshiva students. This has been a huge area of contention.
Yes learning Torah is also a measure of protecting Eretz Yisroel but there is no Age limit or constraints on learning. So while the Yeshiva boys who are serving their country during the few years that they are required to do so, other men outside that age barrier can and should be learning in their stead. In this way there are always trained chareidim in the midst of the community ready and prepared to keep there own communities safe! Once a soldier always a soldier. Armed, ready and prepared. With a sense of discipline, purpose and respect in all areas of their lives.
If you do not accept that responsibility as a citizen of the country you should move out and allow others who do to settle the land.
As far as the Yeshiva system is concerned….it needs to be completely overhauled. Kids are NOT being taught the basic Torah values which should be the foundation of their lives and their Torah learning. That should come first before all else. That is the A, B, C’s of Yiddishkeit and without it their learning is pointless. With it their learning is like Angel’s singing! Yes there should be parallel classes and strong students should be encouraged to help the weaker students. Weaker students who wish to achieve their potential will be able to work to move up into the other track. When you have separate schools you are stuck and labeled for life!
Hashem gives each of us different skills and talents. One kid might be an ilui in Gemarah while another shines in Mishnayos, Chumash or Nach. That means that the possibilities are here. A kid might not chap the Gemarah but he could be a Math savant. Why does he belong in a different school? He just needs the encouragement to train his brain to tune in to this other exciting and intricate concept. He needs to be motivated differently. Sometimes it is the lack of motivation and encouragement from the yeshivas themselves that turn off the kids and not the abilities of the kids at all!
Children need positive energy to meet their goals and to push themselves past the stop signs. If a child needs a pat on the head I don’t want to hear that the yeshiva doesn’t have the time to supply it. For the tens of thousands of dollars parents spend on a child’s tuition make the time to give he kids what they need and don’t put them on the bottom of the totem pole. Schools are supposed to be designed to help kids meet their individual potentials. Schools are supposed to be designed to help kids succeed. Schools are supposed to be about the kids! Our yeshiva system is NOT about the kids at all. It is a place for the Rosh Yeshiva and the Rabbanim to make a living. And please notice that I use the word make and not earn. It is about what the administration needs, what the staff needs, what the school needs, what the wealthy parents want, what the donors want, how to outdo and out frum the other yeshivas. How can WE stand out and be more exclusive? It has nothing to do with the kids and heir welfare. Any regular normal parent with a regular normal kid who has a problem or issue will be shown the door and told to look elsewhere. They don’t care if they lose normal students. They are all just looking for wealth and Yichus. Is this what Yiddishkeit is about? This is what our yeshivas are teaching our children Yiddishkeit is about. This is the hypocrisy our children see. They do nothing to make their students safe, happy or successful.
I have tried in vain many times to get kids into yeshivas who were so willing to change just to get back not school. They were brushed off like flies only to go down the very dark journey of OTD. Those principals have no clue what achrius they are carrying and they won’t know till after 120 when Hashem points everything out to them. What a difference they could have made in these kids lives. They were so open and ready, so ripe for the picking. Why did they choose to be so very blind? Because their egos have grown too large for their positions. They need to take lessons of the previous gedolei hador, z”tl. They should try to remember who the true Roshei Yeshivas were and how they handled their Talmudic!
WOW, don’t sell your son short. He learns and memorizes a lot more than that in yeshiva, and it is the absolute truth. So whether he says all of that or an abridged version of that, answering in such a manner is always better than lying. Never teach a child to lie it will come back to slap you in the face. Teaching him “how” to respond to such a question in a truthful manner, shows that the family is dealing with the situation and it is NOT effecting them in a bad way. That shows strength and emunah in the mishpacha.
WOW, maybe the more appropriate way of answering that question is “my brother is in a lot of pain, thank you for asking about him, we are all very concerned for him, he is really suffering. He is going through a tremendous nisayon and we are lucky that he made a connection with Rabbi ….. we truly hope that he will be able to help him and he will be the right sheliach for him. It hurts so much to see your own sibling have a yeridah and know that there is nothing you can do but daven and learn for him and his refuah, we are all doing the best we can”
By answering in this fashion, one takes the bull by the horns and shows that they are NOT ashamed of their sibling, and they are NOT at risk of following him down that path therefor there is no risk in taking the child into the yeshiva.
WOW please read the book Choice Theory by Dr. William Glasser, it might help you. Also the Language of Choice by the same author. It might help you communicate with your son with positive affirmations, teaching how he as choices about the way he feels, thinks, and acts. He can take control over his thoughts, emotions and actions if he chooses. He just has to be shown the way.
WOW, one thing you should realize is that you can’t add rules you can only renegotiate to ease up on them. Once a child especially a teenager accepts a situation as it is, they will NEVER accept authority over it or a consequence over it if it was NOT laid out to begin with. It is much easier to set up the guide lines to begin with at try as best to stick to it and follow through with it and ease up on it if it is not working out for you, or even ease up on it if it is because you can always renegotiate and say “I admire you persistence at following the rules respectfully, is there anything you wish to renegotiate or anything that you would like to discuss?”
WOW, you are absolutely right on all counts. Everything you said is absolutely true and is the root of the problem. But you see it as a problem and he doesn’t. You are hurting over something that HE is not hurting over. The saying goes “time heals all wounds”. This is not the type of wound that heals in a year or two especially because it didn’t happen over that type of time frame. It was an accumulative pain in progress, it is an accumulative yeridah, and it will be a work in progress for an Aliyah. Most especially because he does not have the maturity and mental ability to understand what he needs to understand at his age. And these kids never accept help from their own parents to return, only their love whether they show it or not.
You are in pain and very frustrated because your hands are tied and there is not much you can do. Well that is part of the parsha. You and every other mother in it. The only thing you can do is love him unconditionally and teach yourself this is NOT about you. It isn’t personal and keep the rest of your life and family on an even keel. Make your home a happy one. Make it a place that is full of simcha and a pleasant place to visit. Maybe if there was less tension when he walks in he might give the family a little more time. Obviously he is not starving. Stop looking at what he is not eating don’t let it bother you. And if you do give him his own room don’t be afraid to set some rules.
“Dovid, we realize that you and your brother are not on the same page, and things can get irritating and frustrating between you. Therefore out of respect to BOTH of you we rearranged everyone and are giving you your own room. With that privilege comes a few responsibilities. Mainly keeping it clean and sanitized. I am choosing here to respect your privacy and allowing you to step up to the plate and care for your room alone so I don’t have to come in. If you take any food or drinks in, it is your responsibility to take the dishes, crumbs and garbage out. You can choose to do your own laundry or bring it to the laundry room where I will do it for you, and that includes the linen. The music has to be confined to the four walls of the room and cannot spill out to the rest of the house. And of course you can’t smoke in your room or anywhere else in the house or bring anything else into your room or house that is dangerous.”
WOW, again I am not saying any of this to sound harsh. Your son has a neshama that is very ill. It keeps him from doing anything good and healthy according to the Torah. Other things are Normal for kids in his age group, not all kids, but many kids. Had he been in a secular school he would still be doing many of the things he is doing, but still be in school. Of course if he had been bullied in school, he might have dropped out as well. But the fact that there is a religious aspect to it makes it all the more painful and hurtful.
You are NOT seeing what I am seeing. He is NOT rebelling against his parents because his neshoma is ill. He is rebelling against his parents because he is angry and he refuses to discuss with you what exactly he is angry about! Is he angry that you gave him a choice about switching schools? Does he blame you that you did NOT make the choice for him? Does he blame you for putting him in that Religious school to begin with? Is he angry at you for something unreasonable that his new friends planted in his head because they wish to put a wedge between you and him?
Where is all this anger coming from? Is he angry at you because his friends are angry at their parents? Is that the trend he needs to follow in order to be in their group? Maybe some of those kids have a very good reason to be angry at their parents. Maybe they are the ones that caused their pain. What does that have to do with you and your relationship with your son? Do you fall into that category by default? YOU DON’T KNOW and he won’t tell you, why is that? Is there a real reason for him to be angry at you or is it part of the code of the cult? Did he take on this persona because that is the way to be accepted by his friends? Little girls ALL love Hello Kitty and American Girl dolls even if they don’t because EVERYONE just loves them, don’t they? They would never be accepted if they didn’t.
I don’t know your son, you do. But how well do you know him right now? You only know your son’s history. You only know what went on in the past between the two of you. Is there any reason for him to be angry at you? Is there any reason for him to even perceive a basis to be angry at you? If not, then you have to look at another theory. By being angry and agressive at you he gets everything he wants. His friends have taught him very well.
There is a huge difference between Pity and Compassion. Pity is a useless emotion, it is a non motivating emotion. Climbing on the Pity Pot with your son will get you and him absolutely no where quickly. Compassion on the other hand is a productive emotion. It encourages and motivates one to do something productive because it allows one to feel another’s pain and sadness. It puts one in a mode of “what can I do to help?”. Being a compassionate parent one can recognize a child’s pain and validate it. One can offer support and compassion and guide a child through their journey. One can respect their right to make choices while not approving of those choices. One can appreciate one’s child while not appreciating their choices. The child is a human being who is a part of us their parent and who deserves unconditional love. Their actions and choices do not have to be loved and admired unless they are worthy of love and admiration.
In coaching we use the terms appreciate, admire and respect. “I respect you for making that choice”, “I appreciate your help”, “I admire your confidence or your determination.” Those type of comments promote self-esteem and self-confidence. WE bury the term “proud”. We never use the term “I am proud of you” because that is a fulfillment of our own need and not a reflection of our child’s need to be admired, respected and appreciated.
So if your son decided to only join you for the dinner part of your sedorim I would say “Dovid, I really appreciate that you came for dinner, Yom Tov is just not the same if you are not a part of it in some way”. That makes him feel appreciated. Always look at the positive and not the negative. There are many people in this parsha that stare at an empty seat all of Yom Tov year after year.
There are many ways to make our children feel loved, respected, appreciated and admired without having them blackmail us into giving them things they think they need or want. Some only for the high of seeing how much they can get from their parents. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one of his chevra dared him to do it. “Hey Dave, why don’t you get your parents to buy you that bracelet. Even if you don’t want it. I dare you to make them get it for you.” Yeah WOW, that happens too.
Do you think it was easy for him to shed his kipah and tzisis? Or to be mechalel Shabbos, he friends pushed him into it. HE didn’t do that out of pain, he did that to conform to the group. That is something you need to realize and maybe the fact that he is broken is because he chooses to stay with a group that doesn’t make him feel good about himself. Maybe he feels guilty for giving up the things that he really didn’t want to give up in the first place. And maybe he is angry about that too, but doesn’t realize it and doesn’t know or understand in his immature mind WHO to blame for that.
WOW, I get that he was damaged by the bullies and the Rosh Yeshiva who did nothing about it. I got that and I understand his pain. But you can’t keep saying your son can’t pick himself up. He has picked himself up and done things he would never have dreamed he could possibly do, however they are NOT beneficial to him nor are they wise choices, but he has picked himself up and done them. He has picked himself up and stood up to you and his father. He has gone against everyone who loves him and believes in him because he chooses to do so.
Yes out of pain but it is still a choice whether he wants to blame everyone, ALL frum Jews and all the beliefs and the Torah that tie us together or whether he wishes to believe that each one is a human being making his own choices between good and bad, and that each one of us has bechira and has the ability to make mistakes, and sometimes the mistakes we make effect others big time. He also has the ability to take some responsibility on himself because YOU did provide him with the option to back him up and switch schools but he chose against that. So who is he really angry at himself or everyone else?
Is he doing all this to punish himself for NOT standing up for himself, not with the bullies and NOT with the Rosh Yeshiva and NOT allowing you to help him by taking you up on your offer to go to another school. Is all this a sense of masochism where he is gaining some kind of sick pleasure from torturing himself? Why am I saying these things? Because you are too close to the situation to take an objective look at it. You are the mother, no matter what is said or brought to your attention, your first instinct is to protect your son and make excuses for him.
When you say “He doesn’t ‘give’ anything to anyone right now, and if that’s what has to happen for him to develop self esteem, then we’re in trouble” then you really need to recognize that you are truly in trouble because YES that is what he really needs to develop self-esteem. Beating himself up as he is doing and looking for steps to enter further into this dark journey is not going to get him the self-esteem or self-confidence he needs. Those are not the building blocks he needs to find success and worthiness. He will only keep finding failure and worthlessness.
How do you expect him to heal his inner pain and find his inner strengths if no one believes he has any? How do you expect him to heal if no one is guiding him to the right healing methods? Believe it or not he IS in a slump and he does need a push. There are people even kids who are much worse off than he is. There are kids not much older than he who has limbs blown off by Arab terrorists. Maybe you should get him to go visit some of those people who have more to cry about than he does. Or kids who were molested by their own family members, or kids who were beaten or starved by the ones who should have cared about them the most?
Yes he his hurting and yes he is scarred but he still can be a productive member of society and he still has a lot to give others less fortunate than he is, and he still can do things that others can’t. And that doesn’t take away from the pain he carries or the right he has to feel that pain. He was wounded and Hashem will make those that hurt him answer for their sins. But every single day that he relives that pain by causing himself more pain and more depression, he is allowing them to beat him again, and again, and again. Every day that he breaks free of their painful control over his thoughts and feelings, is a day that he succeeds against their evil and cruelty. But every day that he suffers and goes off further and further into the darkness of this journey he proves them right about him. If they would see him today they would point their fingers at him and laugh. They would say “you see, we were right, you are a nobody”. On the other hand, as he proves them wrong, and takes control of his life in a good productive manner, he can look down upon them and say “you are like ants beneath my feet because you tried to prevent me from meeting my own potential, but you did NOT succeed. I succeeded in life “despite” your attempts to cut me down!”
Everyone who walks through the life of a child has an achrius to him. They can either make him or break him. They can either build him up or cut him off by the knees. That is our bechira, that is our choice. What choice does the child have? Well as a young child the only choice they have is to come to their parents. As they get older, the choice they have is whether to allow what happened to them defeat them or strengthen them. As parents and others who care about our children, it is our job to help strengthen them and show them that by making the appropriate choices they will defeat those who tried to cut them down. Success is the best revenge.
I don’t say this to you c”v to be harsh to you. I say this to you because I feel your pain deeply, internally, and I wish I could take it away, or at least help you. But if you don’t stay strong for your son and not allow him to suck you into his control and his pity, you will NOT be able to help him at all. You have to remain more clear and more level headed. You can’t be pulled into this stinking thinking or sinking thinking because it won’t help him. You are giving up on him to easily and you are giving him an out too easily. Expect a little more of him and maybe he will meet the challenge. But don’t expect too much too soon. Ease into it with baby steps. If he is 16, expect of him what a 16 year old is capable of. Don’t make a woos or a sissy out of him. If someone has a cut don’t treat him like he has a broken leg.
You have to remove religion from the picture, we all recognize that. But who said you have to remove mentchlichkeit or respect from the picture? Which post did I miss that you abdicated your thrown to your son? And as I said before, if you are going to follow TP, then work it as it is supposed to be done. Speak to Avi’ and follow the guidelines. But don’t just let the chips fall where they may because you might just be mixing parts from different puzzles, confusing yourselves and your son and not get the results you are looking for.
Io3, I agree it is also a good idea to get into the habit of not feeling forced into agreeing to anything but getting into the habit of saying “I will give that some thought and get back to you” because sometimes when feeling pressured we can agree to things that we would not ordinarily agree to but then feel that if we negate we cause more harm than good. So by not saying yes or no, but actually saying you will think about it and then get back to them about it and not just forgetting about it, you actually maintain control over the situation. You also get the time and space to choose your battles wisely and not just because you are giving in to pressure and shouting.
So if you are pressured for something that you don’t want to do, and you have the time to think about it, you might come back with “I gave it some thought and I don’t feel comfortable just getting that for you because you know how I feel about that, but I don’t have a problem respecting you enough to allow you to earn the privilege to get that for yourself, so what do you think you could do to earn that?”
In that way you are showing him that you respect him enough to allow him to make his own choice, and that you feel he is responsible enough to earn a privilege. But that since you love HIM and not his choices, you will allow him to earn that privilege for himself. So if he can earn that privilege, it definitely shows love and acceptance of HIM, without negating his right to make choices for himself even if you don’t approve of them. It also will build his self-esteem and confidence because it allows him to be productive.
WOW, I don’t buy that! I am a Life Coach and that doesn’t make any sense to me. In order to build one’s self esteem and self-confidence they need to be productive and feel part of a group. The reason he is NOT feeling loved is because he is NOT a contributing member of the group. HE is NOT being productive, not expected to be and is NOT doing anything for anyone else that would make him feel good about himself. When one gives to another it makes them feel good. When one is productive it makes them feel good about themselves. Your son’s mitzva bank is empty!
When you earn something it is worth having. When it is given to you so you don’t cry, it is worthless, you can get more where that came from, you just have to cry some more. If you are NOT working with Avi and blindly following some of the TP program, you are going to find yourself lost.
If your son wants things from you that you do not approve of I would tell him “Look I know this is what you want, but it is NOT easy for me to do that for you. What are you willing to do to earn that? You are an adult, and you want to make your own choices. You are now living in the real adult world where things are NOT handed to you, on the contrary you have to work for what you want. There is a lot one can do to contribute to a family and help out in order to gain privileges that are out of the box, or there is always the option of getting a job.”
What you have created here is a situation where your son “rules” or “roars”. He wanted to make his own choices. OK. Who said that YOU have to pay for his choices?
In addition, unconditional love is just that unconditional love. “I love you no matter what. I don’t have to like you right now, or like what you are doing, after all I am also a human being with feelings and emotions, but my love for you is unwavering.”
WOW understand this. YOUR sons friends did NOT approve of his white shirt, his kippah, etc. HE changed to be just like them, act like them, and do what they were doing. They did NOT accept him for WHO HE WAS until he turned in to one of them. GET IT? WE love them period. We don’t have to accept their choices, just their right to make their choices. “No matter what choice you make, I still love you. I might not approve of your choice. I might feel your choices are inappropriate, foolish, stupid and risky at times, but that doesn’t change how I feel about you. You are in control of your choices and it is YOU not I who will have to deal with the consequences of your choices. I worry about that because I am your mother and I love you. I also understand that you have NOT reached your full level of maturity and wisdom even though you believe you are very smart and very mature. There will be a time not too long from now when you will look back at this time and you might not be so proud of the choices you are currently making. It might help if you would speak to twenty somethings who have been through what you are going through and have grown out of it. They are the only ones who can explain to you what they wish they should have or could have done differently when they were in your shoes.”
The more control he has over you the more he will be in your face to test you. He might very well be begging for boundaries. Some kids equate boundaries with “love”. “If they loved me they wouldn’t let me do this.” So you have to know your kid. “Listen, you can raise your voice and make a fuss, that is not going to get you what you claim you want. You sound like a two year old. If you want to rant and rave and have a tantrum that’s your choice. I have choices to and I choose not to listen so I am leaving this room. When you choose to act as a respectful adult, you can come and find me.” “I choose not to engage in a shouting match with you, this conversation is over. When you choose to have mutually respectful conversation come find me”.
You said in an earlier post that you were going to look into your options. So lets revisit something I had asked you before. Is there a way to move the kids around and give him the smallest room, to separate him from the other kids? Discuss this with the other kids. Even if it means putting a bunk bed in his current room and doubling up other kids. I am just saying this as a means to help the siblings out. This is something you should speak to the entire family about and see if you can all come up with a mutually agreed upon solution. This way he always has a bed to come home to, but he doesn’t have the same opportunity to bother his siblings nor control them. This is a way for you to start taking some control back of the situation. You won’t have to be afraid of his music, his magazines, etc. His room should be off-limits to the other kids, and you will know that the rest of the house is kosher by your standards. I am saying this because you have the right to run your home the way you choose to run it.
WOW, I believe in unconditional love. I also believe in accountability and responsibility. I don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior or supplying things to children that we don’t approve of especially if they haven’t earned the privilege.
I don’t know much about TP, Avi and I do things differently and we have had successes with our clients by following different methods. So if you are following TP and you run into a snag don’t give up and don’t dispair. Call Avi and discuss the issues you are having. You are NOT the first parents to run into these snags. He has loads of experience with all sorts of these snags and he is the one you should go to for help instead of internalizing the pain and just suffering and making yourselves miserable. Let him help you through this and learn from the experiences of his other clients. The issues that you are experiencing is very common in so many families and he has guided so many families through what you are going through. Let him help you and your family through the latest bump in the road.
I can give you chizuk and I can guide you through the methods that I know, but since you have given him these things, as you said the cigarettes, the earrings, the bracelet, etc. you are following a method I have no experience with. It is beyond my scope. In my methods he would have had to “earn” those things by showing respect, by doing chores, etc. so I am not familiar what the consequence would be for the shouting match, or if there are consequences.
As far as the other children are concerned, I have mentioned this before and I have guided clients through this before. It is important to have family meetings and talk to the siblings and let them talk to you and discuss their questions and concerns. He is their sibling and there has to be concern for him. That doesn’t mean that they have to accept what he does, absolutely not. They just have to accept him. “Dovid, I love you because you are my brother and you always will be. But I am not happy about what you are doing or the life you have chosen. It breaks my heart and I just can’t accept that. I am sorry you chose that for yourself, I really am, but it is your choice and I can’t do anything about that right now but love you and daven for you.”
You need to explain to your children that you and your husband are the role models in the family. That you work hard to be good parents, good role models and most of all good Jews. You need to explain WHY Yiddishkeit, Hashem, Torah and Mitzvos are important to YOU. YOU need to explain WHY you are raising them b’derech Hatorah. YOU need to explain to them why being a Jew is a privilege and why serving Hashem is a privilege. If they understand why it is an honor to be a Jew, and to be a Frum Jew who reveres Hashem, who enjoys doing mitzvos and serving Hashem, then you are raising children who are secure in their Yiddishkeit no matter what happens to them outside of your home. If being Jewish and serving Hashem b’Simcha is the core of your home and essence of your being, then nothing your OTD son does, and nothing that any of their friends, teachers, Rebbeim or anyone else says or does will have a negative effect on them.
If the only reason they do what they do is because you do it, or because you tell them to, then it is NOT your OTD son that will tip the scales on them, anyone can influence them for the good or the bad. So don’t worry so much about what he is doing, think about what YOU need to do because there might be another bully or hypocrite out there that will have a worse effect on one of them and hurt them or turn them around just like that one bully and that Rosh Yeshiva did to your oldest. Infuse your home with the Joy of Yiddishkeit, make simcha your goal. Doing mitzvos is a privilege. Serving Hashem is a privilege. WE are the chosen people. WE are special. WE greet others B’sever Panim Yafot. WE don’t show our tzoros on our countenance. We forgive easily, we give over our worries to Hashem.
Are you getting my message?
A mamin, we all have to realize that a child who is OTD, especially a child that we know has been hurt and that is why he is OTD, is NOT a rebellious child. He is a child who is in pain and has a a neshoma that is ill. Just like a child that has any other illness. Would you be angry at a child that had diabetes or tourettes or any other disease or illness? How does being angry help him or you?
Will it heal him? Will it turn the situation around? Will it stop your pain or help your other children? How is being angry productive?
Obviously anger is NOT an option, so how else can you channel your emotions? Well you can definitely think about it. “My child is in pain, real pain. I might not understand his pain, and I might not understand why he is doing what he is doing, but it is coming from a place of pain and maybe even anger. Is there something I can do to change that? Is it something in MY control? Well then what IS in MY control? Can I control HIS feelings or HIS actions? NO! But I can control my own feelings and my own actions. So what are they? What are my feelings?
Am I am angry at my son or am I angry at his actions? OK, let me think about that and try to separate the two. If I am angry at my son, then I have to know why I am angry at him for being hurt and being in pain. Does he have the right to feel pain and to be hurt? Is he entitled to his feelings? Is he human? Did Hashem give him the ability to feel pain and be hurt? Is he acting within the confines of human emotion? Even though I would like to stop his pain or shield him from ever having pain is that possible? Is that in my control? NO! Could I have shielded him from the experience that happened to him, was that in my control? NO! Can I control his feelings, emotions or the reaction he is having to his experience? NO! Is it my job to control that? NO! Is he feeling emotions that Hashem has allowed him to feel? Yes. Am I greater than Hashem that I can stop him from feeling emotions that Hashem has allowed him to feel? NO! Should I be angry at him for feeling emotions that Hashem has allowed him to feel? NO! So should I be angry at my son? NO!
Am I angry at my son’s actions? Do I like what he is doing? NO! Do I approve of what he is doing? NO! Am I hurt by what he is doing? Yes! Is he doing this purposely to hurt ME? NO! Is any of this about me? NO! Am I in control of my son’s actions? NO! Am I responsible for my son’s actions? NO! Do I love him any different because of his actions? NO! Does my heart break for him? Yes! Is he still my son no matter what? Yes! Do I love him no matter what? Yes! Is there anything that I can do to stop him from going through this nisayon? NO! Is there something I can do from stopping myself from going through this nisayon? NO! Is there something I can do to help me go through this nisayon? Yes! You can do what you do when you are faced with any other nisayon, challenge or illness. You daven, you have compassion and you search for your inner strength to keep going. A mother’s tears have so much meaning and carry so much tefillah with them. A mother’s love has no boundaries and can heal unimaginable and unbearable wounds. But like with all illnesses and all wounds, healing takes time. And each illness and each nisayon has its own timeframe. Some heal faster than others and some illnesses and nisyonos has a much longer time frame.
So A Mammin, no one said it is easy, which nisayon is? But Hashem will help us through each nisayon he gives us. But we need to understand what the challenge is and we need to understand the path we each have to take in order to overcome the challenge. Those who don’t get it, will not succeed. Those who turn their backs on their children do not master the challenge. Does Hashem turn his backs on HIS children? Does he slap us around as one poster had mentioned earlier about some peoples response to the OTD issue? Or does he show us rachmonus upon rachmonus and give us chance after chance to do teshuva? Does he throw illness upon us and just let us die, or does he send us shelichim and refuos to make us well? OTD is NOT a death sentence, and nothing that a child does in the parsha is a death sentence nor is it a door closing on teshuva. There is always hope for return. However, if parents, family or friends slam doors in the process, push them further away with more criticism, more anger and more animosity do you think they will be running back to their unloving less than compassionate and critical arms?
Why do we Frum Yidden have such little faith, emunah and bitachon in our own wonderful religion that we are so sure that our children will turn their backs on us and find happiness outside of our heiligeh Yiddishkeit? Why is it that we have so little faith in our own beautiful way of life that we are so sure that if we let go even a little they will wander off so far they will not return. Why should WE be so confident that they won’t find their answers out there and that they will see the shmutz and hypocrisy that we tried to shield them from and that the only truth they will ever find is in the Torah. Where is our true emunah and bitachon? We should not be so afraid of letting go, we should be more sure of ourselves. What is out there in the goyish world that is better than the world Hashem gave us? Why are there more Baalei Teshuva today than at any other time ever? Why are those unaffiliated finding their peace and happiness back in the arms of the Torah and Yiddishkeit. What answers have they found that we are so afraid our own children will not recognize?
When our kids are little and threaten to run away from home, we are not scared because we know they won’t go past the front door. They will be too afraid as soon as they get past it. So let us find our confidence again, love our children unconditionally, and teach them that Yiddishkeit is something to be proud of, and to be joyful about. That there is nothing better out there. If they go out and look, they will be happy to come home. If they start tugging at that rope in such a situation as WOW is in, we have to learn to give them slack so they test the dirty waters out there. If we tug at the rope they only tug harder. If we slacken the rope they can wander off a bit and get scared enough to come home.
WOW, We are first human beings. What he is doing is NORMAL for a human being. What he is doing is NORMAL for his age and what he is doing is NORMAL for a kid going through his nisayon.
This is really something you need to let go of. YOU are probably making a bigger deal of this than your other children are. WE frum people separate our children from the time they are young because we don’t want them to mingle. WE don’t want them to get involved too early and let nature take its course. WE wait till they are marriageable age and then encourage them to date for the purpose of marriage. That is what WE do. But that is OUR NORMAL because we choose it to be. We choose to follow OUR rules for OUR reasons.
YOUR son is not following ANY of OUR rules. It is foolish to expect him to follow this one. It is foolish to expect that your other children will NOT find out about this or that they have NOT seen other children who are OTD, modern or secular in mixed company. They are NOT living in a bubble. The best you can do for your family and your sanity and that of your husband is to understand what your son is going through and where his path is leading him and to explain it to the rest of the family. You need to explain it in such a way that they understand the pain you are going through and that you need their help to daven for their brother. To have him in mind when they daven, say Tehillim and even make brochos. Because it is only through the tefillos of others that and even the extra mitzvos of those who love him that will bring him home.
Answer their questions and also say that you are NOT angry at him because he is still your son, but you are very, very hurt. You are very hurt because he is your son and when he is in pain you are in pain, and you are very hurt because every time he performs an aveirah it hurts you deeply as his mother. As a parent you want only the best for your children, and that is why you are mechanech them the way you are. You are teaching them that Hashem loves them. You are teaching them the love of Torah and mitzvos. You are teaching them the love of Yiddishkeit and to live a healthy life filled with joy and simcha. What he is doing is not healthy and is harmful and you are frightened for his safety and welfare. The mitzva of Kibud Av v’Em is a huge one. The fact that he has forgotten that just shows how sick his neshoma is right now.
OK, WOW, lets review your options.
You can choose to NOT worry what others think and not be embarrassed by your son.
You can choose to teach your other children that he is going through his own nisyonos and that they should daven for him because he is NOT davening for himself, and the worst thing in the world is to lose your emunah and bitachon, because when you lose that you feel like a lost soul just like their brother who has no direction, who feels like he has no place in this world, who feels unloved no matter how much we all love him. Do you know why? Because he doesn’t feel he deserves to be loved. He knows what he is doing is wrong and therefore he doesn’t feel he deserves to be loved. His neshoma is sick, and therefor we have to daven that he has a refuah sheleimah.
What are your other options? Can you stop being his mother? Can you turn your back on him? Can you slam the door in his face? No I don’t think so. But you can stop arguing with him. You can choose to let go of the rope and let him go. Sometimes when you give them the freedom they think they want, they realize they never wanted it in the first place, they just don’t want the tug of war.
So honestly who cares if he is mechalel Shabbos in front of your friends? Seriously, who cares? He is still your son no matter what? Think for a minute, if it was there son who was mechalel Shabbos in front of you, how would you feel? Would that make them less in your eyes? Or would you choose to say “B”H, at least you know where he is, and you can see with your own two eyes that he is alive and well.”
So the next time he is mechalel Shabbos in front of you and your friends why don’t you try it “B”H, at least I know where he is and I can see with my own two eyes that he is alive and well. The only other thing I can do is daven. Maybe you can daven for him too.”
Sorry, I meant to say “IF he is telling you HE is taking drugs because he is angry at you” which is very common. I am just say that because it is something one always has to consider, it is part of the parsha, part of that culture, and even though we would like to deny it and save our kids from going down that road, it does happen. I didn’t mean to state that as a fact, just as a possibility.
WOW, no he can’t. He can’t see past his own pain. He is a kid, he is male, and he is in pain. Right there are the three strikes keeping him from thinking like you. You are an adult, you are a female, and you are more equipped and capable of handling and dealing with pain. He doesn’t think like you do, he is not mature like you are, nor can he rationalize or be logical like you can. His brain is not yet as developed as your is, nor has he had the life experience, knowledge, nor seichel that you posses. It is foolish to expect him to follow your expectations of him.
As parents we have these little scenarios go off in our brain. This is how we want and expect our children and even our spouses to behave. If we do this, their answer and response should be this. We are shocked, dismayed and extremely disappointed when they don’t follow the script exactly as written. But they are NOT dreaming or fantasizing the same dream nor scenario from the same perspective, need nor desire as WE see it. Their needs are different, their desires are different and they just plain don’t see things the way we do. Now add to that the issues of a child at risk, going OTD and in the midst of all that confusion and how can you expect him to follow your script? He is still getting used to the OTD and at risk script. He still doesn’t know where he is heading and what he will still experience. I know. You might know, but he doesn’t believe any of that will happen to him until it does.
Remember he told you that HE will not be one of those kids that take drugs. I knew it was inevitable, I knew he would follow that script. He is following a well traveled road. It is almost a by the book case. He is putting up a barrier where you are concerned and yet he is communicating with you. Like a pull me push you toy. I don’t want to talk to you, I am angry with you, you don’t love me, and yet I AM talking to you, I AM communicating with you, and I AM letting you talk to me even thought I am telling you that I don’t want you to talk to me.
WOW, he is telling you that he is taking drugs because he is angry at you. In all honesty I believe that YOU are right. He is angry at himself. He is probably realizing that HE has achrius in all of this and he could have made other choices for himself. He could have done something to stop it, but he wasn’t brave enough to stand up for himself. HE could have allowed YOU to help him at the time and let you switch schools for him like you offered, but he didn’t. It is easier for him to say that YOU don’t love him than for him to say that HE doesn’t love himself. He doesn’t want to say that he blames himself, it is much easier to say he blames you. But at this point maybe the best thing for you to do is to tell him in words and in notes that we can’t live in the past and we can’t allow the past to dictate to us how we choose to live in the present and in the future.
Even if we made mistakes in the past, we don’t have to allow those mistakes to follow us around for the rest of our lives and define who we are. We have the choice to learn from the mistakes that we made and choose to never make those same mistakes again. WE can choose to take a good harad look at our mistake and figure out what we could have done differently to bring about a different outcome and then actually learn how to do that other action. So if that means that we have to build our self esteem and self confidence so we don’t allow anyone ever to bully us again, then that is what we need to do. We don’t shrivel into ourselves and disappear. We build ourselves up, by recognizing the good qualities that we posses. We work on our skills by taking classes in areas such as Karate and body building as well as coaching and debating.
We use the brain Hashem gave us to outwit and outsmart anyone who would try to hurt us. We are each created in tzelem elokim and we each deserve to be treated with respect.
No one going through this nisayon at this age cares what others think, it is just not in the makeup of a teen at risk. And anyone that believes that they should has their head planted firmly in the sand. Where have you been all these years.
It is what it is. This is the situation. He is NORMAL for someone in this situation. He is NOT normal for a child in the family, but for someone going through what he is going through he is basically following the book. It is the adults in the community who haven’t read it yet.
WOW, He yelled at your husband for embarrassing him? Did your husband bother to ask why a father “looking” at his son would be an embarrassment?
WOW, when faced with a difficult situation…..expect the worst and then be happy it doesn’t go that badly.
So if you give your love and you expect rejection well then in your mind “I expected that, no harm done” or “I was prepared for that, move on”. But if you set yourself up….maybe this time he will hear me…you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if he responds even in the minutest positive way “score!”. Count your blessings.
That applies to Pesach as well. What is the worst that could happen? Then move up from there. When it came to the Bar Mitzva, the worst that could happen was HE wouldn’t show up. So what happened, not only did he show up in a suit & sneakers, he brought his friends and everyone had a good time. Score!
You do your part, let him do what he needs to do, and let Hashem do the rest. Hatzlocha.
WOW, your job is to keep doing YOUR part, his job is to keep doing his. His choices might change (I”YH) sooner hopefully than later, and he will mellow sooner than later, so his responses might change as well, but you are the parent, older and wiser, and you have to keep doing what YOU KNOW is the right thing to do. NO MATTER WHAT he does, you still love him. NO MATTER WHAT stupid things he says or does, you still love him, that doesn’t change. HE can always count on you, that is not going to change because you will always be his mother and he will always be your son. His friends will come and go, but the two of you will stay mother and son forever. That is the one constant he will always have in his life. When his nisayon is over and his friends are long gone, your relationship will have survived it all. So as he goes through his tests and he keeps testing you, don’t let the yetzer horah get you. Show your love and let it be known, no matter how many times you feel rejected (he is an immature kid), no matter how many times he says the wrong thing (he is an immature kid) no matter how many times it hurts (the yetzer horah is really good at his job!) you be better at your job! OK?
WOW, it is just a matter of time and circumstance. The messages have to keep coming. I can remember a conference I went to a very long time ago, maybe 10 years ago where At-Risk kids were speaking. One child said “never stop telling our kids you love them, they need to hear it no matter what they tell you”, another kids said “Never stop asking your kid what their doing, who their friends are, how their doing, they need to know your interested”.
This was advice from the kids themselves. They said, this is what got them through their worst moments. The worst thing a kid can go through is the thought that their family and most important their parents gave up on them or they feel about them as the child imagines they do. Never ever let their thoughts become reality to them. Keep fighting their negative thoughts about themselves. They want control so let them have some, but never stop showing you care and never stop showing your love. It will reach them when they need it most and when they are at their most vulnerable and have no where else to turn. It will envelope them when they need the warmth that only you can provide.
This is where the notes come in. They may seem to tune out the voices, but they might choose to take the notes with them an read and reread them at the lowest points they go through.
WOW, his receptors might be damaged or turned off at times, or he may just be putting on a show for you to keep up with appearances. But keep doing what your doing because he needs to hear your message and it will be delivered and received. Messages of love from parents have its own way to “turn” on the receptors and to find a way around the damage to get to the heart of the matter. It might come in as drips and drops or it might hit him as one huge lightening bolt, but he will get the message.
WOW, so then let me guarantee you that he won’t be with this group for long. It is very, temporary. Although every single day seems like a very long time, it will soon break up as each one will find there own path or be drafted. You are in Israel, that is a reality they will have to face. As they get closer to that reality they will have to mature a lot quicker. Here in the states we don’t have that wake up call.
I wonder if the boys speak about that at all. Things have changed in Israel and i wonder if that is on their mind at all. It is great that your son has opened up to you and has even told you what he has. That is quite amazing. Who is making him feel that way about himself? He is spending so much time with the same group of friends and this is the best they can do for him? Are they picking on him and bullying him too? You can’t say it to his face but you might right him a note, that if his friends are not making him feel good about himself after spending so much time with them, then maybe he should be looking for friends that do. After all, he changed himself to be just like them and to be accepted by them didn’t he? If they didn’t accept him the way he was, and still make fun of him the way he is, who needs them?
A friend is supposed to have your back and make you feel the best you could possibly feel about yourself. A friend is supposed to build your self-esteem and self-confidence.
WOW, we parents especially mothers are so connected to our children in the most natural of ways, by giving and nurturing them. We have a NEED to take care of them, and in return we have a NEED for them to accept from us and to show love in return.
When our children go through this nisayon they are not thinking about anyone but themselves. What they do has nothing to do with the parents. They are NOT thinking “I won’t accept this from my MOM who worked so hard and lovingly to do this for me, I will just stab her in the heart and show her I don’t care.” That is the feeling that WE get when we are rejected in our efforts, that is the slap in the face we feel and exactly the stab in the heart that reaches its mark, but in reality there was no mark intended.
This immature child does NOT think about anyone but himself nor anything other than what HE wants and needs. At this point “selfish” is his middle name. Sometimes its a barrier he puts up to prove to himself that he doesn’t NEED his parents and he can take care of himself. And sometimes it is just plain the immaturity and foolishness of the age and the rebellion he is going through. Think about it, when you were a kid, didn’t you wonder why you had to eat real food when all you wanted to eat was junk? Well he is making that stupid choice for himself right now. When he gets sick of the sugar highs and junk food he will learn to appreciate a good home cooked meal. Kids complain about having to go to bed early and don’t appreciate that “sleep” is a commodity and something to cherish. When we get older and have insomnia and too many worries to fall asleep or stay asleep we understand what a blessing being able to just go to sleep is.
WOW, I am going to say it again. We can’t control anyone but ourselves and we can’t change anyone but ourselves. We just can’t make him change unless he is ready to do so. It has to be his choice. It is no different than getting a heavy person to diet. If they don’t do it for themselves when they are ready to do it, there is no point in pushing them because it will only backfire.
A person has to be ready to change their behavior, their habits, their negative thoughts and actions. They have to choose to do it. Even though we want them to change so very much it is not in our power nor in our control to force that change to happen.
I would like to ask you something. This is your son, your child, your gift from Hashem. At the very worst scenario he may never come back, again that is the worst scenario, not everyone does. At the best scenario he will find the right sheliach who will help him return 100%. Then there are many various possibilities between the two. No matter what happens in the future he is still your son.
Where is the pain coming from? Is it coming from a place that your son is hurting and suffering or is it coming from a place that you and your family are hurting and suffering? Do you understand the difference? If it is coming from your concern about your son, you will have to learn to deal with it in the way that any mother has to let go and let their children fly. We will still hurt but we can teach ourselves to let the control go and just love him no matter what.
If you are hurting because your family is suffering due to the neighbors and the rest of the family that is a whole other ballgame and that is something else you have to work on altogether. You have to learn to separate your pain from your child’s pain and not mix up the two. You can’t bring him back or tug on the rope because he is embarrassing you or not fulfilling your needs for the perfect son or the son he once was. Kids change even if they don’t go to this extreme, they still change and as parents we either accept those changes as growing pains or we risk losing them altogether. As long as we love them unconditionally and leave the lines of communications open, there is always a chance that they will still choose to learn from us and come back to allow us to guide them to successful life choices, or at least to discuss them with us.
If on the other hand we tug too hard and don’t let them test the waters of their own choices, or fight them on it too hard, we risk slamming the door on a loving relationship that they are entitled to no matter what their choices are. Hashem does NOT give us these gifts with any guarantees. WE can lead by example, but we also have to learn to “listen to understand” and follow from their example. If they say stop, we need to learn to stop. That doesn’t mean we stop loving them nor do we stop trying but we stop pushing. “Honey, do you want me to pack something for you take back with you? Should I make you a cake?” If he says “ok” then go ahead. If he says “don’t bother” then don’t bother. Let him know you love him and you look forward to seeing him next time; remind him that you are there for him so call anytime.
Its possible when you stop pushing he will ask for it. Its possible when you play it cool and let him run the show, he will make his own suggestions if not, be patient. Wait it out. I know it is hard, but you are both still in “learning mode”. This is a new situation for both or you and there are no handbooks on this. It is a see as you go type of thing.
I want to relate a story to you. My oldest son was away in Yeshiva in another state. When he graduated High School and came home he was my little boy again. Except that he wasn’t. He was 18 and he drove a car and he would go out at night. One night he didn’t come home and he didn’t call. I woke up in middle of the night and he was not in his bed. I panicked, I thought he was dead in the street somewhere (you know how mother’s imaginations take off..) I got into the car and started to search the neighborhood. I was scared out of my wits. I was driving and driving and I was crazy and yet was there a chance that I would find him?
When he finally came home that morning I went nuts. First I kissed him to death because I was so happy he was ok and then I wanted to kill him. I read him the riot act. I told him he was so inconsiderate, why hadn’t he called me, why didn’t he come home? Why did he do this to me? Didn’t he know I was worried, I am his mother I need to know where he is and so on and so on.
Well when I stopped yelling and crying and calmed down, he calmly told me he WAS considerate. He realized it was late and I was sleeping so he didn’t want to wake me up by calling. He was at a friend’s house that I knew and he was so tired that he didn’t want to drive and fell asleep on the couch. He then said, I was out of town for 3 years and you didn’t know where I was any night for all those years. If you trusted me to be away for 3 years and I didn’t make any trouble you have to trust me now too. I am NOT a baby and I don’t want you chasing me down and embarrassing me with my friends. He told me he will try to call me earlier if he will be home late.
I realized that he was right. I couldn’t treat him the same way as I did before he left for Yeshiva. He was not the same little boy. I had to let him go.
When my daughter was around 20, she decided to go to the store at 11:30 pm to get some snacks for her class the next day. I asked her to take her brother with her. My husband heard them leave and he asked me where they were going and I told him. He started to yell at me how could I let them go out so late at night, they are just kids…etc. I reminded him that at their age we were already married and our parents didn’t know anything about our whereabouts. They will be fine.
There comes a time in every parent’s life when we have to let go. Sometimes sooner and B”H many more times later. In this case it is more like easing up and giving some slack to the rope because the more you pull on the rope to pull him back into the fold, the more he will pull back and harder to go on his own path.
WOW, as you said it is almost a year now, and although it was so painful, what you thought you could never survive you did survive just like every other parent who has gone through this terrible nisayon. And of course it is not over. Could you possibly sit down for a few minutes and think of what you have learnt this past year? What worked and what didn’t? Can you think about if this is about you, directed to you? Does he treat your husband different than he treats you?
Please try to separate your own pain from your child’s pain, and understand that none of his attitude, selfishness or rudeness is meant to be directed at you personally. Pesach is stressful enough so take the best tools that you learned this year and apply them, especially for the time he will be home on vacation. Stay out of the line of fire..don’t bother doing things for him when he doesn’t want you to. Concentrate on yourself and doing what you need to do. You can pick up on your efforts with your son after Pesach. Don’t add additional stress.
Try to get him to help, but don’t count on it. Put post it notes on everything that is done for Pesach so there is no confusion that he wasn’t home and didn’t hear the announcement. I did that a lot “this room is ready for Pesach!”. Let him know that you don’t want to go through his things so he should clean his part of the room by himself or you will have to do it for him, because the entire HOUSE has to be cleaned for Pesach. Now is a good time to teach him how to do his own laundry, especially if he is not helping for Pesach. “Let me show you how to do your laundry since I am overworked right now. At least I won’t have to worry about your clothes.
But other than that don’t make him the focus of the home. Pesach is the focus right now. Let him know that you would all love him to be at the sedorim and that his place will be set for him. Expect the worst and then be happy with whatever you get. Don’t expect him to show up, and if he does it will be a happy moment. If you expect him to come and he doesn’t you will be disappointed.
Don’t borrow trouble so don’t get anxious and worry about what might be, choose your battles and try to ignore whatever you can. And the best I can say to you is count your blessings. Don’t look at what is going wrong in your life, look at what is going right.
a mamin, or course your apology is accepted wholeheartedly and I too apologize to you for answering harshly and to anyone that might have felt offended. That is not my purpose and not the purpose of this thread. Let us all please stay on the same page and the right track here.
WOW, you said he was NOT back in school, so what is he on vacation from?
PL, because this is NOT a thread about OTD, this is a thread about a woman asking for help with her own situation. It has been that way for almost a year now. Someone decided to hijack it a few weeks ago and take it over. Until then it was just about WOW and her story. She posted when she needed chizuk, and chizuk was offered. It was that simple. A simple situation of chizuk for someone who needed it. It was NOT therapy, it was not coaching, it was simply chizuk from people who cared about another human being.
I just want to mention one more thing. Even though everyone here is anonymous it doesn’t absolve you of your obligations to be respectful of each other and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you would NOT want others to slap you in the face with a hurtful comment then don’t offer one either because you are putting yourself out there to get your face slapped back in response. It doesn’t matter WHO the other party is, don’t expect them to understand or look away.
We are all human beings and we all need to be treated equally with the same respect, with the same kindness and generosity the Torah commands us to do. To expect otherwise is expecting too much, and to do otherwise is doing too little. We may not know who the other party is, and we may not be able to recognize each other but Hashem knows all the players here and HE knows the absolute truth. So although you feel that you might not have the courage to play this game in person and be so quick to judge or speak out and that anonymity of the internet is a game changer, please understand that you are only anonymous to humans but not to HBH. And when all is said and done, HE is the only one that really counts.
Emunah 613, it seems we were brought up the same way! 🙂
ZD, I remember when my father a”h came into the school he was greeted as if he were the president himself. “How are you Mr……, can I get you a glass of water, a cup of coffee, etc.” Today, a parent walks into a school he is ignored along with the students. Even if he has an appointment, he is kept sitting outside the office, even in the hallway waiting for hours. And thats if you are lucky enough to get an appointment to begin with.
Syag, thank you for that nod. As a human being I get hurt the same ways other human beings get hurt. I have the same feelings and suffer the same pain, I am not made of stone. That is why I chose to leave the CR to begin with.
As a Life Coach, I hold people accountable and responsible for their actions and their choices. I try my best to be considerate and helpful. I try to teach as I help. When someone chooses to attack me, i have the same right as any one else to respond, and maybe they can learn from my response that THEY should have thought twice about making the comment in the first place. Maybe they should realize that not every comment needs to be posted and not everything that is on your mind needs to be shared especially if it is a personal attack which has no place in a general discussion.
When I make a mistake or hurt someone purposely (I hope i haven’t) or accidentally, i step up to the plate and apologize immediately. I understand that you feel you were correct in choosing to explain to ME what the other poster meant. And I understand that you felt the need to come back at me with your complaint that you held me to a higher standard and expected me to be the bigger person here. But why is that? Why shouldn’t you just look at the situation and respond to the one that “misread” or misunderstood and explain to that poster that they misunderstood the context of the post, and they should not have made such a rude and hurtful comment. Why the need to tell the “hurt” party, you should be mevater because you are the “counselor” you should be more insightful?
This is a teaching opportunity. Yes I could be mevater and I could have ignored it, actually I could have ignored both posts. But both of you could have also made the same choice. WE all had the same opportunity here, not just me, the one who helps others. Everyone can learn to make these choices. As I mentioned in the original post, we can all choose to make a difference in this world. We can ALL learn how to do it.
On another note or maybe on the same note, as a teaching opportunity, what makes you think I was answering in anger? I was pointing something out to you, as you were pointing something out to me and you considered it a “put down”. Should I then consider what you said to me a “put down”? Everything is in the way you choose to read it, not necessarily in the way a person writes it. Everyone has the power of choice. You can choose to have rachmonus, you can choose to dan l’kaf zchus, you can choose to empower and build up or you can choose to knock down, you can choose to help or you can choose to turn your back. It is all in the power of the individual and the perspective in which they choose to see things or read in to them.
Syag, maybe the onus was on her to reread MY post before she made the comment she did. But thank you for your comment and putting the responsibility on MY shoulders. On the other hand, you could have easily asked “a mamin” why she made that hurtful comment. I don’t have control over how people choose to read posts. I only have control over the intent and and content of what I write.
I myself choose to read and reread before I respond. I also at times respond but then not hit the “send post” button. That is a choice that is within MY control. As I said, I do the things I do to make my parents a”h proud of me.
A mamin, really in what way? They taught me that a Yid darf zan b’simcha. They were holocaust survivors and they taught me to follow the Torah as did my mechanchim. They brought me up on the Survivor’s instinct. They taught me NOT to judge other Jews but to help them. They told me to love ALL my fellow Jews and never to judge anyone till I walked a mile in their shoes. They told me never to shut the door in their faces or turn them away.
A busha? Who are you to tell me that? Do you know anything about me or what I do? I do everything to honor my parents and make them proud of me. Everything I do I do for chessed and to help other people without any regard to myself. I don’t charge anyone no matter what help I give them, on the contrary I pay out whatever I can to help them in their times of need. I don’t have to explain to you or anyone else how. I do this because I was raised by amazing parents who taught by example. When I lend money to help someone, in my and heart I give it as a matonah not expecting to ever see it again. If I am paid back it is a bonus so I can help someone else with the money that was returned.
My hakaros hatov to my parents is a busha? What do you know about my hakaros hatov to my parents? What do you know about anything? I get it, I see what you mean, I understand you completely. This is what I have to say to you and your comment. If you are NOT part of the solution you remain part of the problem. And the problem is the same as it was before, it hasn’t changed and that is the reason the problems stays the same.
Thank you for your comment. I appreciate the reminder why I left the coffee room to begin with. You also reminded me that I am not here to discuss this issue with you, nor am I here to discuss the issue of OTD with anyone else. I chose to help WOW and not engage with any of you and your judgmental attitudes. I do what I do for a purpose and I help who Hashem sends my way for the purposes that he chooses to send them my way. Obviously the day I peeked inside Yeshiva World and saw this thread there was a purpose because I hadn’t opened YWN in a very long time. There was a reason why I had the push to do it that day. If I was able to help WOW in any way then that was Hashem’s purpose. He put us together for a reason. What anyone else thinks is not my concern.
I have Hakaros Hatov to you for reminding me of my tafkid. Thank you.
CRGO, as much as the world is so large and things are different in different places WE are all human beings, and with the same roots, unfortunately WE are still the same. WE are no different than our counterparts in E”Y. We suffered through the same things and still do. It took lots of time and lots of hard work on the part of parents and concerned community members to make changes here and and to establish a more productive approach and a better insight into what is going on. But in order to achieve it WE had to literally pull teeth and drag our own gedolim at least those that moved a few inches in our direction out of the sand and sink holes, and are still working on them every single day. WE have a long way to go to accomplish what still needs to be accomplished. And you in E”Y have yet to begin and start taking the baby steps that WE here have already laid out for you.k
Yes things are different right now if you compare the two communities, but that doesn’t mean that WE did NOT go through what you are going through and that many of our communities are still not just as stubborn and equal to yours. Did you not hear that nothing bad or improper happens in Lakewood or Williamsburg for that matter??? But in reality that is so far from the truth that it is a busha! People are people all over the world, in any community and in any religion. People are going to make the same mistakes and have the same bad apples wherever you go. It is the choice of those in that community especially those in charge to wise up and do something about it.
Change happens very slowly, but it only happens if people are willing to force change. If people are complacent and say “this is how things are here and it is not going to change” then it is individuals who have to choose to either live with the problems or move. On the other hand, there will always be those heros who will stand up for what is right and teach others that we are here to serve Hashem and NOT to serve the ideas and concepts of ONE or many individuals who run our communities. OUR jobs is tikun olam, and that does NOT mean the goyish world. We can’t fix the goyim if we don’t first fix ourselves. We can’t expect to hold the goyim up to a higher standards if WE are hypocrites and sinners. We have to first correct what is wrong in our own daled amos before we can go and point our fingers at the outside world for what they are doing wrong and against G-d’s will and wishes.
Is it G-d’s will that Rabbonim and mekomos Torah and teaching treat children as if they were objects without neshomas or feelings of any kind? Did Hashem not give them seichel to think with and hearts to feel with, not only brains to learn with? Is Yiddishkeit just a system of rules to follow such as “do as I say and not as I do”, or is Yiddishkeit a concept of love and respect. Aren’t we supposed to Love Hashem and ALL his creations? Isn’t a yid supposed to be b’simcha and love learning Torah and Love doing mitzvos and love being an example for others to follow?
How is it that Hashem made Batya’s arm long enough to reach across the water and save baby Moshe, but our Rabbeim only have a long enough arm when it comes to reaching out to offer a potch?
Am I the one that was taught incorrectly by MY parents and Mechanchim???
WOW, I believe that your Husband needs to take another look at this situation and must actually stop it immediately. He needs to confront this RAV and let him know that Hashem does NOT discriminate and no one knows who he will test next with which nisayon. My mother a”h used to say “ver hut kinder in shteib zol shvagen”, those who still have children in their own home should stay silent.
This was a wise way of saying NOT to judge and “al tiftach peh l’satan”, don’t test the satan and invite him in. When a person chooses to discriminate against a child for these very foolish reasons and hurt a child like this, he has no way of knowing how Hashem will punish him. This Rav’s job is to give your second child MORE chizuk than he another child would normally get. Your son needs a true friend in a Rav, a true role model and leader to follow so he does NOT get hurt and he does not go OTD like his brother. HE should have pulled him aside and ask him how his brother is doing, and if he has some understanding what exactly turned his brother off, so he should be extra careful that the same doesn’t happen to him.
That is the position that your husband should take, that is what your husband should say when he goes back to speak to the Rosh Yeshiva and the Rebbe.
WOW, did you call that RAV and ask him what the problem was. If he is NOT going to accept your son then you have nothing to lose anyway. But at least you can ask him point blank what the problem is. Ask him if his shita is to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
WOW, although it is surprising and shocking to us what they choose to participate in and connect to, it is just natural and normal to them. You would be surprised how many OTD non shomer Shabbos still fast on Tisha b’av. “Of course, why did you ask????” To them we are asking foolish questions so WE MuST learn to STOP asking these questions. Just take two deep breaths and hold back. It is better not to ask just watch, listen and learn. Amazing isn’t it that when we think they are so disconnected they are still connected in some ways. They really choose NOT to break all ties. And who are we to question that??? Why call them hypocrites when it was our own hypocritical frum JEWS that shoved them off the derech to begin with? They are kids who are challenged and confused. Lets appreciate that they didn’t completely turn their backs on our Chagim and traditions. Think about it. They could have chosen to just go to a club or party that had nothing to do with the chag! Better that they chooseto connect with other Jews. When they do so there is always a possibility that they will meet the right sheliach. Yes even at a chagigah.
So go ahead and prepare for Peasach and don’t be afraid to ask him for help. The worst that can happen is he says no. The best is he helps in some way and he feels productive. It sounds from your post that he went back to school.
WOW, please understand that everyone and anyone would love to believe that they are experts in this field but more than anything they only think they are and are more concerned with showing off how much they don’t know than actually doing something about the situation.
What is the point of such an article, to give up on K’lal Yisroel? Does this show that this person has any bitachon and emunah in Hakadosh Baruch Hu? Does this person have any Ahavas Yisroel that they could even say such a thing? B’emet??? Who is in charge here?? Who runs the world the people this person spoke to??? Please, give me a break. There are no statistics on this subject because there can’t be. Every day the statistics change. Every day there is a new baal teshuva. Every day someone finds their way back home. Who is to say which one of Hashem’s children that one is. And who is to say which day that will be. That article is pure shtusim!! Please throw it away. That is only someone from the outside looking in. They know nothing. Ask Avi his own statistics, he can give you a better answer. I am quite sure that author never once spoke to him and asked him his success record.
Let me remind you WOW of one thing. Kids who go off the derech don’t do so over night and they don’t return over night. It is a process. Someone pushed them off and they have to find the right sheliach to show them the way back home. There is no time limit on doing teshuva, and there is no time limit on finding your way back home. As long as the door is open, they will know how to come home. Hashem doesn’t shut the door and parents shouldn’t either. Stop reading negative information, if you see it walk away from it. If you hear it walk away from it. Surround yourself with positive thoughts and positive energy. As I have said before, your son is going through his nisayon and you are going through your own. Your faith is being tested as much as your son’s is. Your husband is right.
How did you feel when you read this garbage. This was a personal attack on your emunah and bitachon! My reaction would be “How dare they? Who do they think they are printing such garbage? Don’t they know that it is Hashem above who rules the world? How dare they say that? Hashem is in charge and it is through my tefilos and his rachmonus that things will turn around. How foolish and stupid this person must be to say these things.”
So WOW, take chizuk from your husband, from Avi and from myself if you feel I am helping you, and don’t step into that nasty pool of negativity. OK?
WOW, I sent you a way to contact me via Avi. Please use it as needed. We both want the best for you and your son and although we use different methods we have the utmost respect for each other and the work that we each do. You can cc him in the emails to get his perspective on the issues or we can discuss it privately whichever way you prefer. I hope this helps you.
WOW, you can’t be afraid to speak to your own child. He might not react as you would like him to at first. But he will repeat in his head what you have said when he is not with you, and eventually it will seep in if it is said in the right way with the right meaning and intention.
WOW, you can only say things from your heart. He will hear it and receive it in the way he chooses.
WOW, that is just another sign of their immaturity! They don’t like to be accountable for their actions so they will just quit? Well that certainly is a sign of maturity and wise choices isn’t it? And who will pay the School what they agreed to pay when they signed up? Ask him that? Didn’t he sign an agreement? Ask him about the agreement he signed? Is his signature and his word worth nothing? Did he and his friends work hard to get into this school and think that once they did THEY would take over and be making the rules? What exactly did they expect would happen there? And then there is the issue of the Chassan and Kallah who will nebech feel they are the cause of this trouble.
So now the question remains what can a parent do? So the simplest question to ask might be “Does it make sense to quit when you worked so hard to get in? Why the need to drop out when things get messy? Real life is full of “mess” how you handle it is what makes all the difference in the world, the man you are, the man you become, the person you have to live with all your life.
Sometimes in life you have to decide when to follow your own path and do what’s best for you, that’s how one becomes a leader and NOT a follower”.
WOW, whatever happens, this is a wake up call to the kids. They chose this school because of its attitude and lax views. However, there are rules and obligations no matter where you go in life and one needs to be accountable. They want to be treated as adults and they want to be in control of their own choices. Well then, with that comes the responsibility of being accountable and responsible for those choices. Parents are NOT responsible to clean up the messes they make due to those choices. When one makes a choice they also choose the rewards or the consequence that comes along with that choice. It is up to them to think through where those choices will lead them.
WOW, Way to go! That is a smart move. That is the only way these kids are going to take life seriously. The school should have called each one of the kids instead of the parents. Each of the kids have their own cell phones, and each one should have been contacted and asked why they were NOT in school! This school knows who their students are and what they are dealing with. Calling their parents instead of calling the kids was a cop out on their part. They should have done both!
WOW, maturity is always part of the problem and that is why you always have to be the wise one. They will never understand the rationality or the truth and someone has to be the voice of reason. You can only lead him to water, but you can’t make him drink. But you still have to lead him to water, that is your job. You can’t tell him what to do, but you still must guide him in a way that is offering him information without it sounding like mussar.
So by letting him know that his decision is not fair to the person he is supposed to make happy, might make the light bulb over his head ignite. If not in this instance, then at least in the next one. On the other hand, as long as he is home you can say “As long as your home, let me show you how to do your own laundry, it is high time you learned how”.
WOW, when confronted with such a situation, I would probably have asked, Is that what your friend would want you to do? Does he know that you are taking off an entire week from your new routine because of his wedding? That probably would NOT make him happy and that is too much responsibility to put on his shoulders. The point of going to someone’s wedding is to be mesameach chasan and Kallah. I am sure at this point your friend is happy for you that you are being productive. Taking off a week from school “for him” would not make him happy, it would probably make him feel guilty and that’s not fair to him. I’m just saying…
As far as laundry and stuff is concerned. I already explained to you about teaching him to do his own and teaching him responsibility. And the money you give him does not have to be endless, you can give him an allowance. If he needs more, he should really learn how to speak to you with derech eretz. You can also explain to him that Respect is a two way street. Of course you must always preface it with your love is unconditional, but if he wants to be RESEPECTed he will have to also learn how to be respectful of others.
MODS we need you!
Purplicious what are you saying that you didn’t make the call to Rabbi Goldwasser and he somehow knows about our conversation and called you out of the blue?