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Dear Rabbi Horowitz: We were taken aback when our 18-year-old son just called us from Eretz Yisrael (we live in Europe) and told us that he was coming home and wants to immediately go to work. He said that he is wasting his time in yeshiva, and just can't take it anymore. He said that he will "run away from home" if we don't allow him to go to work.
Dear Rabbi Horowitz: Our 10-year-old son, the oldest of our six children, has a very strong-willed personality and is very energetic. He has a very hard time sitting in school all day. (He attends school from 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m.) At home, he is frustrated with having to sit and do his homework. He often has temper tantrums when asked to do his work. My husband says that he is lazy and self-centered. I agree, in part, but isn't this what all children are like? Don't we have to teach them how to act properly? Thanks, Rachel
Dear Rabbi Horowitz: We would appreciate your thoughts regarding offering our children incentives, financial or otherwise, for doing well in school this year. We don't want to bribe our kids but, on the other hand, incentives seem to work very well. What do you think? Yaakov and Susan
Dear Rabbi Horowitz: We find ourselves faced with an increasingly challenging experience each year when midwinter break comes around. Some of our children's friends go on expensive vacations with their families, and our kids are asking us to send them on similar trips. Our children are respectful whenever they discuss this with us, but there is a clear sense that they feel "left out" because they don't go to the exotic location like some of their friends.
Dear Rabbi Horowitz: We are all aware of the terrible churban that recently took place in Yerushalayim's Merkaz HaRav yeshiva, where eight precious neshamas were taken from us.
Dear Rabbi Horowitz: My 12-year-old daughter is, B”H, a well-rounded, hardworking Bais Yaakov girl. She takes her schoolwork seriously and has a nice circle of friends. Recently, I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend. On Shabbos and Sunday morning, when she does not have school, she has begun to sleep in unusually late and often does not daven Shacharis. Even when she wakes up with enough time to daven, she seems to be procrastinating and looking for excuses to avoid having time to daven. This is particularly disturbing to me as her mother, due to the fact that I’ve always made a great effort to daven every day – despite the challenges it entails. How do I get my daughter to appreciate the chashivus and beauty of tefillah without making her feel that yiddishkeit is a burden? Yocheved