Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Decades ago, I heard a wonderful idea about Ha’kol kol Yaakov. Being that Yaakov and Eisav were twins, they probably had the same voice. The difference was in the delivery. Yaakov’s words were delivered softly, they were delivered with respect, humility and empathy. When Yaakov said something, he meant it. He genuinely cared; whereas Eisav’s words were superficial.

The statement “It isn’t about what you say, it is about how you say it” is extremely apt when it comes to children.

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Years ago when I was in 8th grade, I took interviews at two different high schools.

One high school’s evaluation of me was: “He isn’t on par with most of the other applicants. He would need to be in the lower class.”

The other school said: “We see much potential; he isn’t there yet, but there is no reason why he couldn’t become one of the best.”

In essence, both schools said the same thing, however one focused on what was missing now, while the other was looking at potential growth.

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Yisroel Picker is a social worker with a private practice. He writes and speaks about parenting, communication and child safety. He also runs MyJerusalemPrayer, a service where people get pictures and videos of their prayers being placed into the Kotel. Yisroel lives in Jerusalem with his wife and their five children.