web analytics
April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Instilling Derech Eretz

Respler-030912

Dear Dr. Respler:

I enjoyed your recent column concerning the jealousy a girl had toward her newborn brother.

As you deal with derech eretz-related issues, I need to tell you that I am having a hard time with my children regarding this very topic. They no longer follow the rules you set in your DVD, “Chutzpah is Muktzah 2.”

I wonder if their deteriorating attitude is happening because my husband and I are arguing more often. Unfortunately my husband lost his job, and although I am working and he is collecting unemployment, he is very nervous at the lack of job opportunities. This is causing him to fight with and act very disrespectful to me. Can it be that the children are picking up on this and acting disrespectfully toward me as well? I am trying hard to be supportive; I know that this situation is very hard on him. My husband had a high-level, prestigious job and is very educated, so being home and feeling inadequate is very difficult for him.

I, Baruch Hashem, have a great job, enabling us to manage financially. Due to the circumstances, I am not making any major purchases and not putting any pressure on my husband. But between his anger and the children acting out, I am going crazy. Dr. Respler, please help me deal with this situation. While I try to support my husband, I must get my children under control.

A Mother Who Is Losing Her Mind

Dear Mother:

It sounds like you are correct and your children are feeling the tension at home, which may be adding to their stress level. This stress, in turn, may be manifesting itself in their behavior and speech. Nevertheless, you can begin to change it.

Try to speak to your children and your husband in the same manner with which you want them to speak to you. This will permit them to hear proper speech all day and it will begin to become second nature to them. You can also speak to your husband about how your children’s level of derech eretz (or lack thereof) is bothering you and that you want to start changing the way people speak to each other in the house. Tell him that if the two of you start to speak to each other and to the children in a very respectful manner, they will respond in kind. It follows the premise of practicing what you preach. This may alleviate some of the tension because even though your husband is edgy, once everyone starts to speak nicely at home, things may become calmer.

You can also start a derech eretz chart with your children. Every time they speak with derech eretz, you should give them a sticker and make a big deal about it. After 10 stickers, your children can choose a small prize or treat. The prizes/treats can be tangible or something like special time with you or your husband. Give your children a lot of positive reinforcement when they speak respectfully. They will crave this attention, and will continue to speak with derech eretz because they will want to continue to receive it. When your children speak disrespectfully, remind them in a calm and loving way of the proper way to speak – and give them a chance to self-correct. If all else fails, you can even remind them of the prize for which they are working.

In order to alleviate some of the tension, try talking to the children about what is going on. Parents generally feel that they should shield their children, and thus do not talk to them about life’s stressful things. While this may sound like the best course of action, it actually can be harmful to children. Children pick up on stress and hear bits and pieces of what is going on. This often becomes very scary to them because they know you are upset, and this upsets them as well.

Moreover, because no one ever sat down with them and told them what is going on, they may think something terrible is happening. It would be a good idea to sit with them and explain that Daddy is going through a hard time because he lost his job. He may look sad and angry, but everything will be okay and the family will be fine. You can ask the children to try to listen and talk nicely, so that the situation becomes easier on Daddy. Ask them if they have any questions and inquire about how they feel regarding what you just told them. Try to answer their questions as honestly as possible and in a soothing way. While not saying anything that would scare them, don’t lie to them. Listen to their feelings and tell them that any questions they may still have should be directed to you, not your husband. Explain to them that it is too painful a topic for him to talk about.

About the Author: Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887.


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 “Instilling Derech Eretz”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Car - A-Tor
Updated: Three Injured in Jerusalem Terror Attack, Ambulances and Mayor’s Car also Attacked
Latest Sections Stories
Food-Talk---Eller-logo

“People who never buy cookbooks are getting this one,” said Victoria. “They read it cover to cover and find it so interesting.”

South-Florida-logo

We have recently witnessed how other minorities deal with even perceived danger aimed at their brothers and sisters. They respond in great numbers.

South-Florida-logo

The Hebrew Academy students took part in all categories and used successful and innovative techniques to achieve their goals.

“The objective behind establishing small communities as places for relocation was a remedy for the excessive cost of housing and education in the large New York metropolitan market,” Mr. Savitsky explained.

Jewish Democrats did not entirely trust the son of Joseph Kennedy, a man broadly considered to be both anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi.

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-041715

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

Respler-040315

How can you expect people who go through such gehenom to even know how to give warmth and love?

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

I believe that Hashem will only bring Moshiach when we finally achieve achdus.

I love my husband dearly and I do everything to make him happy.

Men and women have different roles to play in marriages and as parents.

The husband needs to make some changes!

Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/instilling-derech-eretz/2012/03/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: