web analytics
April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Too Young To Fail? Creating Self-Reliant Children

Schonfeld-logo1

Share Button

“Can you please turn on the shower for me, Mommy?” six-year-old Binyamin asked politely.

Mimi paused. She was standing right next to him in the bathroom because her younger son had just finished his bath. She could easily turn on the shower, but then Binyamin would need her to turn it on every night. As a mature six-year-old, Binyamin was capable of taking a shower all by himself (including shampooing his hair and getting into his train pajamas).

“You asked so nicely, Binyamin, but no, I am not going to turn on the shower for you. I know you can do it yourself.”

Binyamin started to whine a little and Mimi knew she could end the discussion by lifting her arm and turning on the shower, but she also knew that with that act she would be forcing herself to turn it on the next night and the night after.

“Binyamin, I know you want me to turn it on, but you can do it!” Mimi said, and walked to the kitchen to allow Binyamin to figure it out on his own.

***

The above situation seems silly, but in reality, Mimi is teaching Binyamin a life skill. He is learning to do things on his own. One of the basic tenets of Judaism is to create self-reliant children, after all fathers are required to teach their children how to swim. As parents we are responsible for giving our children the skills they need to survive in this world. Often, in order to instill those skills, it means we have to take a step back and allow them to try things on their own – even if they fail.

In reality, children need to occasionally experience disappointment and failure in order to understand how to overcome it in the future. Dr. Wendy Mogel, in her book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teaching to Raise Self-Reliant Children, writes about the importance of balance in Jewish parenting:

[A] Parents’ urge to overprotect their children is based on fear – fear of strangers, the street. Fear of the child’s not being invited to the right parties or accepted by the right schools… Real protection means teaching children to manage risks on their own, not shielding them from every hazard… Children need an opportunity to learn about the “wave-pattern” of emotions. If parents rush in to rescue them from distress, children don’t get an opportunity to learn that they can suffer and recover on their own.

Here, Mogel asserts that children need to fail in order to understand that they can survive failure and recover. Mogel has multiple suggestions to help us turn down the worry and help create self-reliant children.

The Twenty-Minute Rule

One of the best ways to help your children gain confidence and become self-reliant is to be confident yourself. That means curbing your own worrying. If you are experiencing a perfectly beautiful family moment, and you find yourself worrying about something that might potentially happen in the future, you are worrying too much and might, in turn, be creating anxiety for your children.

Set a rule for yourself: you are only allowed to worry for twenty minutes a day. It sounds funny, but it is a good tool to use when you feel your anxiety for your children building up. Set aside a fixed period of time that you are allowed to worry about your children. At all other times, push those unnecessary, unwanted thoughts from your mind. After all, worrying is not going to change anything. It will only make you and your children fear risks and change.

Recognizing Real Concerns

There are some very real concerns that parents need to watch out for and help guide their children through. That said there are many issues that we blow out of proportion and end up stunting our children’s independence and self-reliance. You do need to teach your children to be wary of strangers and to practice safe methods when walking home from school, but if everyone else in your neighborhood lets their children of a certain age walk home from school, don’t continue picking yours up because you feel that it might be “too dangerous,” “too cold” or “too long of a walk.” By sheltering your child, you are setting him up for dependence in the future.

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Too Young To Fail? Creating Self-Reliant Children”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ancient skull discovered Gush Etzion
Hikers Find Human Skull and Bones in Gush Etzion Cave
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Schonfeld-logo1

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

The key to kindness and acceptance is empathy. A lot of people argue that you cannot teach empathy. While I agree that it is difficult to teach empathy, I believe it is possible.

By multiple intelligences, we mean that people have different intelligences in different areas.

Explosiveness is not confined to a type or a gender. It comes in male and female children, and in all ages, shapes and sizes. Some blow up dozens of times a day, others just a few times a week. Some “lose it” only at home, others only in school, and still others in any conceivable location.

The truth is that you never know what’s going on in a house until you live in it.

Q: What does twice exceptional or 2e mean?

Shimon quickly shoveled a forkful of rice into his mouth, while attempting to scribble the right math equations into his workbook. “(2 x 34 -11)2” he said between mouthfuls. “Mommy, I got some rice on my paper, but I have to finish this before it is time to go in the shower,” Shimon choked out.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/too-young-to-fail-creating-self-reliant-children/2013/11/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: