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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777
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Too Young To Fail? Creating Self-Reliant Children


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Photo Credit: Rifka Schonfeld



Teach Problem Solving

Most parents dislike when there are difficult students in a child’s class. They tell their children, “Next year, we are going to make sure you aren’t in class with Noam. He’s so wild and distracting. I am going to request that from the principal.” In reality, Mogel argues, perhaps keeping your child with that difficult classmate (as long as he is not dangerous or destructive) is beneficial.

When your child is confronted with distractions or frustrating behavior, he will be forced to figure out how to resolve the conflict. He will need to focus regardless of the distracting behavior or learn how to handle people who are problematic. After all, when your child grows up, you will not be able to call his boss to resolve an issue with his difficult colleague. Leaving him in the class will challenge your child to courageously solve his own problems.

Encourage Separation

It’s hard for most parents to acknowledge that our role is to raise children who will leave us. You have succeeded as a parent if you raise a child who is self-reliant and independent enough to live on his own. Your job is to give him or her the skills to function as fully autonomous person. If you don’t give your child a chance to fail, he will not have a chance to learn how to succeed.

Rifka Schonfeld

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and social skills ​specialist​, 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@gmail.com.


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