web analytics
September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Look Out – Real Life Ahead!


Schonfeld-logo1

After returning from a year of studying in seminary in Eretz Yisrael, Feigi was ready to join the “real world.” Seminary had been a wonderful, spiritually uplifting experience, but now it was time to settle down, find a job, and think about what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. Feigi started job hunting. She had excellent credentials and was perfectly qualified to start a career in any of a variety of fields. Yet despite her intelligence and willingness to work, she was unable to focus on a clear sense of direction. She felt uneasy in the “real world,” with its unique pressures and expectations. Feige was obviously bright and personable. Yet she was lacking some of the basic life skills she would need to cope with unfamiliar social situations.

Feigi is not alone. Like many other young adults who are just beginning to enter the “real world,” she is at a loss. The dramatic transition from the protective cocoon of Bais Yaakov schools to independence can be overwhelming. Feigi and others like her may have underlying self-esteem issues. They may be overly dependent. Or they may simply be fearful of the unknown. Either way, chances are good that they can be helped. It’s never too late to begin coaching life skills and training our young people to meet the challenges that may come their way.

An extensive study conducted by the World Health Organization cites several aspects of behavior crucial for young people to master in order to face adult life. Decision-making and problem solving are of the most important of these is. As strange as it may seem, members of this coming-of-age generation are ill equipped to deal with this basic coping skill. After all, their well-meaning parents (and teachers/rebbeim) have been guiding them and making decisions for them all of their lives. It’s wonderful to be so loved, cared for and protected during childhood and adolescence. The problem is that when it’s time to cut the apron strings, some of our young adults are simply at a loss. It has nothing to do with how bright, intelligent or popular they have been until now. At this point, they’re being confronted with a new set of rules and for many, navigating these choppy seas can be confusing and frightening.

According to the WHO study, creative thinking is another coping skill that is essential for success in life. “Creative thinking,” it states, “enables youngsters to explore the available alternatives and various consequences of their actions and non-actions. Creative thinking helps them to respond adaptively and with flexibility to the evolving circumstances of their daily lives.” In other words, when you’re in a jam or when life throws you a curve ball, creative thinking is the essential tool you need to solve the problem and overcome the crisis.

Most important of all, according to the study, is effective communication. People who can successfully convey their feelings both verbally and non-verbally, have an excellent chance of fostering good relationships with others. When young people are trained to communicate properly, they are able to articulate their opinions, their desires, their needs, and their feelings. These skills are, of course, important in developing friendships as well as in the workplace. When it comes to marriage, they are absolutely essential.

A good therapist or social skills coach can make a dramatic difference in the lives of young people. They can be empowered to achieve the skills outlined above as well as other valuable life skills. They can be trained to recognize the differences between passive, aggressive and assertive behavior. They can learn the practical applications of maintaining eye contact, giving appropriate responses, and recognizing various verbal and non-verbal communication cues. They can practice essential behaviors such as introducing one’s self to others, keeping one’s conversation interesting, and thanking others whenever appropriate.

To some of us, this may all seem elementary. We picked up these skills as we were growing up. And if there are those who didn’t, then isn’t it possible that they missed the boat? I get this question from worried parents all the time. Is my child destined to live like this forever? The answer is no. With proper guidance and regular sessions, these valuable skills can certainly be learned and internalized. I’ve seen tremendous improvement in so many of my young adult clients.

Like Feigi, a significant number of young adults lack a certain self-awareness. They are not in touch with their strengths and weaknesses, with their character and personality, with their likes and dislikes. Development of self-awareness makes a big difference in the life of a young person, especially when coping with the challenges of the shidduch world. If you know where you’re coming from, you’ll be better able to pinpoint your needs and expectations from a spouse. How many of our young men and women are having difficulties with dating simply because they haven’t a clue of who they really are?

The transition from adolescence to adulthood is not an easy process, even though some of our teens do seem to have it easier than others. If someone you know seems to be “stuck” or is having a hard time making that leap there’s nothing wrong with taking them for help. We’re all so eager to send our school age children to therapists and counselors in order to help them achieve their personal best. Why aren’t we just as eager to send them when they’re about to embark on the journey that will shape the rest of their lives?

Don’t let your daughter or son struggle through this stage of life needlessly. Stay on top of the situation and recognize the signals of a young person reaching out for help. Suggest to your child that it might be a good idea to schedule a meeting or a session with someone who can help them cope with the challenges of adulthood and who will give them the tools to acquire essential skills that will accompany them throughout their adult life. Chances are that they will readily agree and will be relieved to know that somebody out there can actually help.

As for Feigi, she has certainly come a long way. After a series of sessions, it was easy to see a marked improvement in her behavior and social skills. Her self-confidence and self-esteem grew, her thinking became more focused, and she was better able to communicate her emotions and feelings to others. Best of all, Feigi is really beginning to get to know herself. She understands who she is and is better equipped than ever to begin searching for her life’s partner.

Can we really teach “social skills”? Absolutely. Does it make a difference? It certainly does. It’s a big world out there and nobody knows what challenges or obstacles tomorrow may bring. But one thing’s for sure. Those who have the tools to cope with life have a better chance at achieving success and happiness in all their endeavors. Just ask Feigi.

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 “Look Out – Real Life Ahead!”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Kreshnik Berisha is not Jewish but played for a German soccer team - before joining ISIS.
German Man on Trial for ISIS Membership Played On Jewish Soccer Team
Latest Sections Stories
Ganz-091214-Fifty

Today, fifty years and six million (!) people later, Israel is truly a different world.

Goldberg-091214

There will always be items that don’t freeze well – salads and some rice- or potato-based dishes – so you need to leave time to prepare or cook them closer to Yom Tov and ensure there is enough room in the refrigerator to store them.

Women's under-trousers, Uzbekistan, early 20th century

In Uzbekistan, in the early twentieth century, it was the women who wore the pants.

Schonfeld-logo1

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

While multitasking is not ideal, it is often necessary and unavoidable.

Maybe now that your kids are back in school, you should start cleaning for Pesach.

The interpreter was expected to be a talmid chacham himself and be able to also offer explanations and clarifications to the students.

“When Frank does something he does it well and you don’t have to worry about dotting the i’s or crossing the t’s.”

“On Sunday I was at the Kotel with the battalion and we said a prayer of thanks. In Gaza there were so many moments of death that I had to thank God that I’m alive. Only then did I realize how frightening it had been there.”

Neglect, indifference or criticism can break a person’s neshama.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

The assumption of a shared kinship is based on being part of the human race. Life is so much easier to figure out when everyone thinks the same way.

Various other learning opportunities will be offered to the community throughout the year.

The new group will also deliver kosher food to Jewish residents in non-kosher facilities, as well as to kosher facilities where the food is not up to par.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

Schonfeld-logo1

Children with dyslexia or dysgraphia frequently have problems in social relationships.

Some educators today believe that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder falls into an executive function category.

Because the children suffering from this disorder generally have wonderful verbal skills, the disability can go unrecognized for many years.

People definitely had stress one hundred and fifty years ago, but it was a different kind of stress.

Time outs increases compliance and positive behavior far more than other forms of discipline

The Joys of Yiddish, Leo Rosten defines a mentch as “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/look-out-real-life-ahead/2009/08/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: