web analytics
April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities

By:
Chronicles-logo

Share Button

Dear Rachel,

As parents to a handful of boys, I’d say we have our hands full. Seriously, I realize that boys will be boys and I know we should be grateful that they’re not a bunch of sissies. But what we hadn’t counted on was our eldest – the supposedly mature one – endlessly picking fights with his younger brothers.

Rachel, I’m not talking about squabbles over something tangible; I mean unprovoked physical altercations, blows that hurt and lead to wailing and shrieks of pain by our younger children who honestly don’t ask for it.

This has been going on for quite some time now, and as nerve-wracking as the noise and mayhem have been, up until last week we just chalked it up to sibling rivalry, figuring that it had to do with the attention that was diverted from our oldest with each new addition to the family.

We’ve reasoned with Yonie (not his real name), tried charts with a reward system for good behavior, and even instituted special dates with mommy or daddy (where one child gets to enjoy the exclusive attention of one of his parents on an outing) on a rotating basis. Every time we think we’ve made progress, it’s back to square one a day or two later.

Like I said, until last week — when our son pounced on someone else’s child, a kid almost half his age. This was something new and something we weren’t going to tolerate.

That night we sat him down, determined to get to the bottom of what was driving our bechor –who, believe it or not, is otherwise a shy and soft-spoken soul – to act out in such bizarre fashion.

After endless prodding and seemingly getting nowhere, a question asked by his father led to the shocking revelation that our son was being hounded relentlessly by a school bully — on the school bus, on a daily basis, for almost two years now!! Further prompting brought to light that Yonie (of slight build) had a fear of his tormentor who was “much bigger than me.”

It began to dawn on us that our 12-year old son has been acting out his own frustration and “getting even” by pummeling his weaker younger brothers, and inadvertently teaching them all how to be bullies! My husband was also very concerned about Yonie’s lack of resilience in not standing up to the bully.

Hopefully, we will be able to reverse the damage that has been eating away at our boys. We’ve already been to the school to speak to the principal and will follow up to make sure that appropriate action is taken.

In the meanwhile, my message to parents is not to chalk up their child’s odd or out-of-character behavior to “a passing phase” or “sibling rivalry.” Get to the bottom of it — the sooner the better.

P.S. I don’t refer to a public school in Anytown, USA; our children attend a cheder in a baalbatish yeshivish community.

Still Shaken…

Dear Shaken,

Children in schools the world over are being affected by the scourge of bullying — so much so that there’s been a mound of research done to try and evaluate the extent, the causes and effects on both aggressor and victim, and the best course of action to take to protect our vulnerable children.

Bullying comes in the form of repeated physical, verbal or psychological assault, usually directed at victims who are unable to defend themselves. Now, this doesn’t mean that parents should suddenly consider their children’s quarrels among themselves or with their peers as bullying. A fight or argument, especially between equals in physical size and strength, doesn’t constitute bullying.

So what makes a child vulnerable and susceptible to being picked on this way? A whole host of things, in fact, such as a lack of verbal skills that impedes self-expression; the craving of attention; physical clumsiness; shyness; low self-esteem or even the lack of ability to build friendships.

If you’re wondering why your son never spoke to you or complained about the bullying, studies have shown that most victims don’t tell their parents or teachers for fear that they will not be believed and/or they feel that nothing will be done about it. Victims are also prone to fearing retaliation, as well as embarrassment, at being unable to stand up for themselves.

Your husband, by the way, may not be doing his son any favor by encouraging him to take on the bully. Without adult intervention, this can chas v’sholom end up causing Yonie physical harm.

In contrast to those parents who choose to look away when their children get involved in altercations with others outside their home, you did the right thing by taking your son to task about his unacceptable behavior. In addition, his low self-confidence will be boosted by your show of support and caring.

Certainly, your story serves to teach parents everywhere that communication with their children is not optional but mandatory. Children should be encouraged to share their innermost feelings on a consistent basis. By showing them unfeigned interest in every aspect of their lives, you will be instilling in them an unshakeable trust in you, as well as the belief that you, their parents, are there for them unconditionally.

And in this way you will gain the upper hand in fending off the long-range effects of any mental and emotional torment children can be so susceptible to. As research reveals, symptoms victims of bullying may display many years down the line range from low self-esteem and aggression to anger-management issues and difficulty in trusting others.

How apropos that we find ourselves celebrating Lag B’Omer this week! One of its lessons, weaned from the tragedy that befell the 25,000 students of Rabi Akiva and that ceased on the 33rd day of the Omer, highlights the importance of respecting one another and the consequences of sinas chinam – baseless hatred.

Thank you for sharing and hatzlocha in raising your boys to be ehrliche, upstanding men who will do you proud.

Share Button

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.
America Joins Israel in Canceling Talks with PA
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-137/2012/05/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: