web analytics
March 1, 2015 / 10 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Toby’s Secret Dating


Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

 

During the next few sessions, I slowly tried to bring the father into the picture. I also recommended that Ruth and her husband plan a one-day outing with their daughter. The goal was to get away and just have a lot of fun. I thought a boat ride or trip to the country would be the easiest way for the family to share precious moments together without fighting and without tension. I explained to Ruth that the most important goal during the trip was to avoid critical language. No matter what Toby said, Ruth and her husband must respond only in a loving way. If they wanted her back, Toby’s parents needed to be able to listen to her and make her feel that she was loved unconditionally.

After the trip, her parents reported to me that they believed the time together with her had slightly improved their relationship.  Toby had enjoyed the personal attention from her parents. Just spending time alone with her was a sign to Toby that her parents really cared about her. Not criticizing or fighting with her sent Toby the signal that her parents cared more about her than about what she did.

During that time, I also began to see Toby on a weekly basis and we discussed her emotional history together.  Toby had been having trouble in school from sixth grade onward.  According to Toby, when she was about eleven years old she started experiencing feelings of rage and began disliking her teachers and her friends.  At about the age of thirteen, she started becoming interested in boys and began looking for boys who might be interested in her. Toby also started staying out late at night with boys and girls who were having similar problems with their parents.

From her description, it sounded as if Toby’s desire to spend time with boys was rooted in a deeper desire for closer relationships. Over the next few sessions, I worked with Toby and her parents to see if they would consider trying a different style of parenting and if Toby would be willing to give them a chance.  This was not going to be easy.  Both Toby and her family had developed rigid patterns of communication, and life at home was tense.

I worked to help Toby’s parents become more sensitive to her inner-world issues, such as the need for control.  I suggested the following actions:

  • Allow Toby to gain some form of control in her life by giving her a clothing allowance, for example, or a reasonable curfew that she will be rewarded for following.

 

  • Empower her by giving her the opportunity to work helping younger children in various chesed projects in her community.

 

  • Build Toby’s self-esteem and sense of individuality by making a list of Toby’s potential talents in music, art, or athletics and nurturing them.

 

  • Plan several outings alone with Toby, and allow her to choose the types of fun activities that she would like to do.

 

The goal was to look at Toby’s good traits and to make sure that they were given a chance to grow.  By doing so, her parents would be signaling to her that they were not merely interested in their own agenda but focused on treating Toby as a unique individual.

In the process, they discovered that Toby desired to work with young children. They then arranged for her to work in an after-school day care program in which Toby could utilize her skills and learn how to contribute towards the greater good of the community.

By introducing Relationship Theory, we were able to open new lines of communication.  Eventually, Toby started talking to her parents about her boyfriend. She first needed to see that other loving relationships were possible and that her parents were willing to extend themselves towards her in a loving way. Toby’s parents were also pleased that their relationship had improved.  They were hopeful that their daughter would continue to feel more comfortable about allowing them to help her through these painful emotional issues. Eventually Toby decided not to see her boyfriend anymore.

Addressing the inner issues of control, self-esteem, and individuality were the key to helping Toby resolve her dilemma about premature dating and help her get through one of the most difficult periods in her life.

 

Parenting Tips

  • Examine your teenager’s inner issues.
  • Look for hidden feelings behind your teenager’s actions.
  • Highlight positive aspects of your teenager’s personality.
  • Express your love through words and actions.
  • Give your teenager control combined with responsibility.
  • Address your teenager’s need for meaning.

 

Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, is the Executive Director of Shalom Task Force and author of “At Risk – Never Beyond Reach” and “First Aid for Jewish Marriages.” To order a copy, visit www.JewishMarriageSupport.com. For more information about Shalom Task Force, please visit www.shalomtaskforce.org. You can e-mail questions to him at rabbischonbuch@yahoo.com.

About the Author: Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, LMFT is an expert in marriage counseling, pre-marital education, treating anxiety and depression, and helping teens in crisis with offices For more information visit www.JewishMarriageSupport.com, e-mail rabbischonbuch@yahoo.com or call 646-428-4723.


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 “Toby’s Secret Dating”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall ahead of his speech next week at the US Congress.
Netanyahu Visits Western Wall before Leaving for US
Latest Sections Stories
Golan Wine Medals

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Astaire-022715-Countryside

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

I’m here to sit next to you and help you through this Purim with three almost-too-easy mishloach manot ideas, all made with cost-conscious paper bags.

Kids want to be like their friends, and they want to give and get “normal” mishloach manos stocked with store-bought treats.

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

“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”

A program that started with a handful of volunteers has grown exponentially to include students from a wider array of backgrounds.

More Articles from Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch
Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

Teens-at-risk feel alienated from their parents and often believe that no one is interested in hearing about their problems.

Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

Separation anxiety disorder is a condition in which a child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or separated from a loved one – usually a parent or other caregiver – to whom the child is attached.

I try to focus on the parents in a way that is not often addressed. As soon as the child gets anxious, the parent gets anxious;

Most people are not aware that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).

Parental conflict affects children in varying ways, depending on their age. For example, teenagers around the age of fifteen or sixteen are most likely to involve themselves in their parents’ battles. Younger children may keep their feelings hidden inside and may only show signs of depression in late childhood or early adolescence.

When parents come to talk to me about a troubled child or teenager, I often find it helpful to explore whether or not their marriage is causing their teenager to be at risk.

Active listening is only one part of the marriage equation; learning what to say and what not to say is the other half. And, it’s not just about expressing your feelings, but doing it in a way that avoids hurting the other person.

Control may be the most destructive force influencing a marriage. Let me illustrate this point with the following story. About two years ago a woman named Bracha, 47, came to speak to me about her husband’s controlling behavior. This is how she described her precarious situation:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/tobys-secret-dating/2010/04/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: