web analytics
December 21, 2014 / 29 Kislev, 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.



How To Raise A Mentch

Schonfeld-logo1

Yossi was always the top student in his class. He knew the most mishnayos and his rebbeim and teachers were constantly praising his spectacular mental abilities. However, Yossi didn’t have many friends. When people wanted help studying, Yossi would hesitate knowing that working with others would slow him down. That was one of the reasons he didn’t enjoy being in school.

Reuven, on the other hand, was a student in the same class who loved school. While he did relatively well in his classes, he was never the top student. Yet everyone wanted to study with him because he was patient and calm. Every morning, Reuven would look forward to seeing his friends in school.

What’s the difference between Yossi and Reuven? You might say that Reuven is a mentch. In his book, The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.” In order to be a mentch you must have a moral character and be attuned to right and wrong. Above all, as Jewish parents, our goal should be to raise mentchen, children who enter the outside world with a strong moral compass.

 

Balance: The Key To Mentchlichkeit

I recently heard Dr. David Pelcovits speak about how we can raise our children to be mentchen. He touched on the idea of creating an environment of love and limits. What does he mean by love and limits? This is something that I see in my practice on a daily basis.

Love: In this case, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Most parents have unconditional love for their children. They provide them with food, shelter, enrichment, and attention (just to mention a few!). Knowing that a parent loves them unconditionally is an important part of self-esteem building for children. The parents become “home base,” a safe haven in which they know they will always be accepted.

Limits: All children need rules and routines to govern their lives. Some limits include bedtimes, junk food regulations, and no playing until after homework. Each house has different rules and limits which help impose order and schedule into children’s lives. They help them understand the world around them and help prepare them for the idea that there are other considerations in the world besides their own.

 

All Love, No Limits

But, what happens if children are brought up in a home that is based solely on unconditional love and offers no limits? Often, they will not have the safeguards in place to teach them that they are not the center of the universe. They will grow up believing that the rules do not apply to them. After all, in many cases, they have never heard the word “no” at home.

In the end, children who grow up with no limits will often end up selfish and egocentric. As opposed to healthy self-esteem, they will grow up with inflated senses of self. Ultimately, when faced with a negative response, children brought up without limits will be unsure how to function.

 

All Limits, No Love

On the flip side, a home that emphasizes limits, but does not have space for unconditional love creates a different set of problems. These children might have trouble building their self-esteem because they do not have a secure space to start from. While they are used to hearing the word “no” when they make extravagant requests, they do not feel comfortable in their own skin.

Eventually, with too many limits and not a lot of love, children may become angry and rebel. Without a strong connection to the family unit, these children may not feel that there is a reason to follow their parents’ directions.

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


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 “How To Raise A Mentch”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israel Lebanon Peace Project Flag
UN Demands Israel Pay Lebanon $850 Million
Latest Sections Stories
Games-121914

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

South-Florida-logo

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

South-Florida-logo

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.”

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

The Liberty Bell is a symbol of American Independence.

Because you can’t have kids pouring huge jugs of oil into tiny glasses, unless you want to turn your house into an environmental disaster.

Try these with your kids; there’s something for every age group and once all the recipes are made, dinner will be ready!

You children will build the country and you will help restore Israel to her former glory.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

Children develop at different rates – they say their first words, take their first steps, toilet train, read their first word, and lose their first tooth at different times.

Schonfeld-112814

Once you understand why you are lying, you might be better able to tell the truth.

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Do you love your children? Of course, who doesn’t? Maybe I should rephrase the question: Do your children feel that you love them?

“Without a high school diploma, you couldn’t work as a garbage collector in New York City; you couldn’t join the Air Force. Yet a quarter of our kids still walked out of high school and never came back.”
– Amanda Ridley

Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Brown argues that this wholehearted living must extend into our parenting.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/how-to-raise-a-mentch/2014/07/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: