3 Teves 5782 / Tuesday, December 07, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayigash
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Get to Know Yourself - Get to Know Your Child    

Get to Know Yourself - Get to Know Your Child

Everyone faces difficulties with their children. There are two secrets you MUST know – or you cannot hope to fix those problems...


We Are (Not) Coping 


A couple came to see me whose son had unfortunately left the path of the Torah. They were broken to pieces. They explained to me how they were trying to cope with the situation. On the one hand, they would argue with their son, while simultaneously trying stir him with feelings of guilt and remorse: “How much have we invested in you, how much have we given to you - and are betraying us in return! They tried to show him how much his smartphone is ruining his life, but as much as they tried, he just didn’t understand what they want from him. It seems to him that his life is great, and the only real problem in his life are his parents!  


I assume that you already figured out that their methods did not exactly help. The parents are on one wavelength, and their son is on a completely different wavelength. It might not have been so bad if their efforts simply did zero. The problem is that their attempts to sway their son only angered him more, and created more distance between them. Not to mention the emotional state of the parents, which only continued to worsen with every confrontation. They just became more and more upset every day, undermining both their physical and mental health. 



Get to Know Yourself - Get to Know Your Child 


We all have an Evil Inclination. The question is: What do we do with it?  


How do you look at yourself, and deal with your mistakes and failings? If you persecute yourself and say to yourself things like, “I can’t do it. I am weak. I am bad. If you speak this way to yourself, then this is exactly how you will relate to your children! In fact, you will see them in a much worse light than yourself, because you will take out all your inner frustrations with yourself onto them!  


If you, as an adult, are still somehow surviving and continuing with life and trying to serve Hashem despite the heavy burden of guilt you take on yourself  understand that for your children it is far too much - they are simply collapsing. 



The Missing Information  


So, the first thing I did was talk to the parents about their own lives.  


As funny as it may sound, one of the facts that we really love to ignore is the recognition that we have an Evil Inclination. But what is even more concealed and hidden, that most people do not know, is that we have NO power to defeat it 


Yes, you read correctly. We cannot do it. The Gemara says this: "Unless Hashem helps, he cannot overcome.”  


You as parents deal with