web analytics
December 23, 2014 / 1 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Mending Fences

Respler-021513

Dear Dr. Yael:

We have been having a very difficult time with our oldest child who is now a teenager. When I ask her to do something she answers me in a chutzpadik manner, leading to an awful fight. Besides the terrible influence this is on our other children, I get very angry and end up responding to her in ways I later regret.

This cycle seems to just continue. I love her, but after our fights I cry myself to sleep. She is very respectful toward my husband, who tries to help by defending me. He feels torn between the two of us and is constantly trying to make peace. Whenever he asks our daughter to do something, she runs to do it. He is calmer than me; thus his personality makes him better able to deal with her. In short, I am in a terrible place with her.

My daughter is frum, is a good girl with friends, and is an excellent student whose teachers rave about her.

I know that the problem lies with me, as I had a terrible relationship with my mother. Unfortunately she passed away at a young age, and I live with much guilt. Yet, I find myself speaking to her the way my mother spoke to me.

I sometimes feel that Hashem is punishing me for the way I treated my mother. Please help me understand how I can change our relationship.

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous:

Since teenagers can be challenging, it is wonderful that you are seeking help to repair your relationship with your daughter. Many parents have a difficult time relating to their teenaged children, and wonder what happened to their sweet young child.

The difficulty lies in how teenagers perceive their surroundings. They often see the world as revolving around them and cannot understand why parents are always asking them to do things and putting limits on what they can do. The key for parents is to try to understand their teenaged child’s feelings and to speak with him or her in a concise and loving manner. Teenagers do not have patience for lectures and will tune out much of what you say.

For example, if you want to ask your daughter to help watch the other children and she says she can’t, you may want to go into lecture mode. Instead, say something like, “I really need your help, but if you can’t you must have a really good reason because you are usually very helpful. So I understand.” Your daughter will likely be astonished, as she was probably expecting a 10-minute lecture as to why she is being selfish and that she needs to work on it. She might say that she has the time to help after all. And even if not, she may begin to react to you differently.

Whenever you speak with your daughter remain relaxed and use a loving tone of voice. Tell your daughter how much you love her and how much you want to have a good relationship with her. Explain that because she is your oldest child she will sometimes be assigned more jobs than the others and that you will make every effort to be fairer when distributing those assignments. At the same time, you will try your best to give her more privileges.

Ask her what you can do to strengthen your relationship with her. Say something like, “I am sure you do not realize it, but I feel bad when you speak to me without derech eretz. Knowing that you are an amazing girl who gives us so much nachas, I do not know what to do to help you speak to me in a nicer tone. I notice that you have a lot of derech eretz for Abba, so I am not sure what I do to encourage a different reaction from you. I want to have a loving and giving relationship with you, so what do you think both of us can do to begin improving our relationship?” Hopefully this will result in a constructive conversation between the two of you, leading to positive change in your relationship.

Also, suggest a secret word that either of you can use when feeling badly about something the other is saying. This can help both of you realize when you are talking to each other in an unkind tone – and give you a chance to change. Try saying this: “Maybe it would be a good idea if we both try to talk differently with each other.”

About the Author:


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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Mending Fences”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yaron Sidman, (center) Israel's Consul General for Philadelphia and the 5 state surrounding area, spoke to a hundreds strong crowd at Adath Israel in Suburban Philadelphia, Dec. 17, 2014. State Senator Anthony Williams (left, rear), waiting to speak.
Philly Ties Har Nof Victims’ Shloshim to Hanukkah Theme of Rededication
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

When someone with a fixed mindset has a negative interaction with a friend or loved one, he or she immediately projects that rejection onto him or herself saying: “I’m unlovable.”

Respler-121914

How many potential shidduchim are not coming about because we, the mothers, are not allowing them to go through?

Kupfer-121914

Is the Torah offering nechama by subtly hinting that death brings reunion with loved ones who preceded you?

She approached Holofernes and, with a sword concealed under her robe, severed his head.

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

“The secret to a good donut is using quality ingredients and the ability to be patient and give them time to proof.”

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-121914

How many potential shidduchim are not coming about because we, the mothers, are not allowing them to go through?

Respler-logo-NEW

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

Isn’t there anyone making a simcha who understands that loud music can cause hearing loss?

My mother thinks of herself as a superior person, has very little feelings for other people, and probably suffers from a deep lack of self-esteem.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

When one marries someone with children, all family members must accept them.

My mother-in-law is totally devoted to her daughters and their children. Her sons’ children on the other hand are treated like second-class citizens.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/mending-fences/2013/02/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: