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If other parents learn from your challenge and get early help for their child when they experience a problem, and they nurture their children with love and positive reinforcement, we will have less children going off the derech, less problems with our children, and even less divorce in our community. In essence, the skyrocketing divorce rate is a reflection of parenting that does not breed self-esteem. Too often, people who end up in a poor marriage or in a divorce report that they grew up with poor parenting. Sometimes it is only one of the partners that had a traumatic or dysfunctional childhood, and even if they marry a person from an emotionally healthy home, the healthy partner at times cannot bear the pain of living with a dysfunctional mate.

Not only did you save your son, but you hopefully also protected him so that he can engage in a healthy marriage in the future and raise beautiful, confident children of his own. Thank you again for your wonderful letter. Hatzlachah!

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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at www.jewishpress.com and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at www.dryaelrespler.com.
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