web analytics
July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


The Wrongs Of Onas Devarim


Respler-122812

Dear Dr. Yael:

I am the oldest child in a family of seven; one of my sisters is a year younger than me. Even though we basically have the same responsibilities, somehow I always get stuck with all the household chores. My sister has a tendency to take her time, all the while doing one job. Honestly, sometimes it takes her three hours to do the dishes. She says it is because she is a “schlep.” She actually gets angry with her when I ask her to move quicker, saying that “I am not understanding of her feelings” and “she needs time.”

I think she uses this “schlepping” business as an excuse to get out of doing more chores. I know she can do things quickly. For example, if her friends say they are having a sleepover party, she packs, gets dressed, has the dishes done and is ready to go in 10 minutes flat!

We recently had the entire extended family over for a Chanukah chagigah and as usual, I got stuck doing most of the work. My sister took about an hour to set the table, while I was running around the kitchen with my mother to make sure that everything was ready in time. I want to have a good relationship with my sister, but I find it hard not to be resentful of her. Can you help me?

Frustrated and Overwhelmed

Dear Frustrated and Overwhelmed:

I definitely see how this can be frustrating for you. However, calling your sister names, even ones that she uses to refer to herself (or even thinking this) just intensifies the conflict. Calling her a “schlep” not only adds to her insecurities, it also convinces her that she possesses negative qualities that she seems to not have. It is almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If she is called a “schlep” she may end up acting like one, because that is what is expected of her. Thus, your actions are actually making your sister want to do less.

Think about it this way: if you had a teacher who constantly called you a dummy when you replied incorrectly to a question, would you raise your hand in class to answer the teacher’s questions? Probably not, as you’d think that your answer is wrong and that you are going to look stupid. In addition, you would probably not try to do well in her class. “If the teacher thinks I’m stupid, what’s the use of trying?” is the typical response of most teenagers in that situation. It’s the same with your sister. Since you expect very little from her, she does very little for you. Why should she want to please you if you are calling her names or thinking of her in negative terms?

As the older sister, you can create a relationship with your sister that is based on respect. This will lead her to want to please and emulate you. Tell her that you don’t think that she’ s a “schlep” but rather that she is a very capable. Tell her that you love her and want to have a good relationship with her. Explain to her that because she is so capable, you expect more from her in terms of helping around the house. Make sure that you use a loving and caring voice, devoid of frustration and criticism. This will be the hardest part of your talk with her, but if you stay calm, you will be successful. Most people do not respond well when criticized or spoken to out of anger; thus, your tone will be integral to the success of the conversation.

When your sister helps, show her how you appreciate her effort by complimenting her. This is a good way to deal with people in general. When you treat people nicely, they will want to do more for you. Instead of saying, “Hurry up, you are so slow,” say: “I can see how much effort you are putting into doing the dishes; maybe you can finish up so you can use your creativity to help me prepare tomorrow’s lunches.” Do not say this in a sarcastic or frustrated voice, or it will not have a positive impact. Instead, like I advised earlier, use a sincere, loving and complimentary tone. Also, any time you find a reason to compliment your sister, do so. It is very important for siblings to help build each other’s self-esteem. When people feel capable and have self-worth, they are much more likely to be productive.

About the Author: Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Respler will be on 102.1 FM at 10:00 pm Sunday evenings after Country Yossi.


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 “The Wrongs Of Onas Devarim”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Russia Steps Up in U.S.-led Nuclear Talks with Iran
Latest Sections Stories
Teens-Twenties-logo

I realized that I am an integral part of that man who wished to win – I am also a part of a nation; I felt like I was standing there and shouting, “I won.”

Teens-Twenties-logo

As I powerfully belted out the song, Ani Maamin B’emunah Sheleima – which means “I believe in God with full faith” – a thought suddenly crossed my mind.

Ganz-View-From-Window-logo

I do not suggest abandoning civilization for a pristine desert island or a hilltop in Judea or Samaria.

Sandy-Eller-Consumer-logo

Search the Internet for innovative barbeque items and you might just be surprised at what you come across.

Orlando was once a place where people came only to visit and vacation. Now it is home to a burgeoning Torah community, a place Jewish families can be proud to call home.

You’re not seeking perfection. You’re seeking a life that an average person can manage and feel good about. Don’t feel pressure to change everything at once.

The smuggler’s life has been changed forever. He is faced with a major criminal charge. He will probably be sent to prison.

In Culture Shock, readers will also come to identify with a culture from the other end of Orthodox Jewry’s spectrum.

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Executive Function Disorder (EFD) have trouble keeping themselves organized and on-task.

Our Sages have told us exactly how we should act – and how our children should act – in Pirkei Avos, Ethics of the Fathers.

A second supposed difficulty actually becomes a reason to corroborate that Amestris is Esther.

I work with the Bible in one hand and the tools of excavation in the other.

“Thanks to a local philanthropist who shares our core mission, we now are able to connect more Jewish teens to Israel than ever before,” said Todd Cohn, executive director of Southern NCSY.

In September 2013 he was appointed head rabbi of the IDF Central Command and is currently in charge of special projects for the IDF chief rabbinate.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-logo-NEW

My children encouraged me to date and even set me up with a very special man.

Respler-062615

It is very hard to build a healthy marriage when you do not have good role models.

When they all try to speak at once, I will ask them to stop and speak one at a time.

In America one has to either be very rich or impoverished to receive care – the middle class seems to get taken advantage of.

Growing up, I saw the respect my parents had for each other. Then I got married…

When I complain, she tells me it is retail therapy.

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

Unfortunately, the probability is that he will not see a reason to change as he has been acting this way for a long time and clearly has some issues with respecting women.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/the-wrongs-of-onas-devarim/2012/12/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: