22 Sivan 5779 / Tuesday, June 25, 2019 | Torah Reading: Korach
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How to Love Your Kids    

How to Love Your Kids

It’s hard to be a good parent unless you have a good marriage. Why? Because teaching your children how to succeed in love is your MOST IMPORTANT responsibility…


If you have kids, chances are you love them. I hope. At least, I hope you love them when they’re either at school, sleeping, or heaven forbid, behaving themselves.


I don’t have much experience with the third and slightly inconceivable option, but I still have hope that one day, my kids will listen to me and pick up their stinky socks and turn them inside-in. For G-d’s sake. Is it really that hard?


We think we love our kids.


Unless we hate them, which, let’s be honest - is totally normal and way more common than we’re ready to admit. I mean, unless we hate them at times. Normal, people. Get over yourselves, all you helicopter/best friend/annoyingly fake-nice parents out there.


How do we show our kids we love them?


Well, we let them sleep in our homes, we buy them clothes, food, and the occasional dessert, we sometimes even cook the food that we buy and may do their laundry once in a while. If the mood is right and Mercury isn’t in retrograde.


We take them places, which involves hours of car torture, between breaking up fights, threatening to turn the car around or drive it right off the road, and ducking when the stray sneaker happens to fly past our heads and land on the dashboard.


You think I’m kidding.


Speaking of torture, I think that a much more sadistic way to torture a prisoner of war instead of waterboarding would be to put them in a car full of kids and send them off on a 10-hour drive to nowhere. Silly parents, waterboarding is illegal and for wimps.


Oy, the things that come out of my head when I write. Genius, all of it.


Okay, the point. Our society tells us that we have to pamper our kids and give them every ounce of our time and attention in order to let them know that we love them.




What if I told you that even if you did everything right according to the All-Inclusive Parenting Handguide to Create Perfect Children Who Weren’t Traumatized in One Way or Another, BUT!


There was still one thing you didn’t do well enough.


One thing that would have made your kids feel more loved than anything.


Before I get to that One Thing, I have to tell you who taught me about the One Thing.


His name is Mort Fertel, and he’s my latest guru.


You can find out about his background (talk about painful!) and how he came to be one of the world’s foremost experts on happy marriages on his website, marriagemax.com.


Here is the One Thing, straight from Mort’s mouth: “The most important thing you can do for your children is to have a great marriage with your spouse.”


Separated? Divorced? It’s okay! Learn from your past and apply this important principle to your future.


He continues: “It’s hard to be a good parent unless you have a good marriage. Why? Because teaching your children how to succeed in love is your MOST IMPORTANT responsibility.”

Now before I go on any further, I know that he’s right. And I know you’ll agree with me.


Just look back on your childhood. How did your parents treat each other? Did they do fun stuff together? Did they constantly fight and yell at each other? Did they treat each other with respect?


Any psychologist will tell you that the way we behave with our spouse is very similar to the way we saw our parents behave. Why?


Because being fully immersed in something is the way we internalize things.


Let’s continue: “There will be nothing more important in your children’s lives than the success of their marriage. And who’s going to teach them how to love their spouse? You are! But they won’t learn it from what you say; they’ll learn it from the life you lead… they’ll learn it from YOUR marriage.”




How powerful is that?


It’s painfully true, isn’t it? Most of us haven’t had the best role models as parents, and unfortunately, we end up perpetuating their mistakes, as much as we don’t want to.


Before you despair, here’s the amazing news.


It’s much easier to do than you think!


Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it next week.


In the meantime, if you can’t control your curiosity, I highly encourage you to check out Mort’s website at marriagemax.com. Watch his short videos. He’s phenomenal!



* * *

Feel free to send Racheli your questions, particularly in the areas of marriage, dating, child-rearing and women's role; write her at racheli@breslev.co.il 

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