Several websites have been featuring a recent Chinuch Video delivered by Rabbi Yaakov Bender on August 22 of this year. I have listened to this shiur and have highlighted MY impressions below.
Raising Happy and Productive Children:
Moshe begins Devarim by saying Lo Uchal Levadi Laseis Eschem...followed by the next Pasuk that says... Hashem should multiply you, should bless you...followed by the next Pasuk which says famously...Eicha Esa Levadi.
Strange that Moshe says he can't deal with the multitudes, then subsequently says that they should multiply even more!
Apparenlty Moshe is faced with the dillema of all parents, he clearly loves them and wishes that they are numerous, yet still must figure out a way to balance discipline with love.
RYB doesn't ever remember being upset at his mother (his father passed away when he was small). A parent must CONSTANTLY keep Chinuch on their mind, not letting go of the concept for one second. The same way a glazier has glass on the floor and a printer has papers all around, the parent must always be cognizant of the Chinuch of their children.
Parents must create an atmosphere whereby the children do not want to disappoint their parents. No yelling and no screaming by parents at children - is paramount.
Parents must constanly use life's lessons to impart character to their children. He noted that when a sibling of his found a large sum of money, she felt so bad for the loser that she went outside to see if anyone was looking for the money. A similar story he told of Rav Pam who found money but did not want to buy something with it immediately because the loser was still feeling pain.
He cautioned against slipping a dollar bill through the mailslot to Meshulachim. Children learn a lesson from that and will not appreciate human connection.
Children had so little in those years, yet they were happy. An old broomstick and a spalding ball brought so many hours of enjoyment. Nowadays kids aren't happy even with professional grade equipment.
One time he went to visit his mother and as the visit concluded, proceded to invite his children to kiss their Bubby. Yet his mother told him, "not today", just go. When he got home he called her and she told him that the lady whom she was talking to was a Holocaust survivor who had no children and it would have been impolite to have her own grandchildren kiss her when the other woman had none (Incidentally, what I appreciated from this story was the fact that his children kissed their Bubby at each visit).
He told a story of how when he was working in a camp he got a knock on his door once late at night - preceding visiting day. Turns out that the 11 year old wanted him to wash a shirt. Why? because his mother was going to see him the next day and he wanted to be wearing her favorite shirt.
Children must be afraid of Aveiros, not parents.
He quoted an amazing statistic that "95% of OTD kids come back.". You must smother them with love and not be worried about what affect they have on other siblings. Just ask them to do whatever they need to do behind closed doors.
Don't Kvetch in front of children.
Don't demand 100 on every test.
Don't tell other parents about shortcomings of your children. Inevitably it will get back to the child.
Treat children like adults. He noted that Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky and others were so great because of how they treated children. He told a story of how one young man's life was changed when his train was late to Yeshiva and the principal invited him into his office for breakfast instead of berating him.
Don't make a big deal when children engage in behavior that they will outgrow. For example, if a child offers a left hand instead of a right hand to shake...by the time they are adults they will no longer do this.
Don't tolerate Chutzpah.
Don't treat waiters, stewardesses harshly and expect your children not to follow your actions.
Don't make racial jokes, in-law jokes, etc. Of course it is a joke, but the child's character will be flawed.
Don't lie. Don't put a child under a turnstile if he rightfully should pay. Children learn from this not to be truthful.
Kids need time and your undivided attention.
Never cry about something that can be replaced with money.
Open your homes to those in need. He noted that it says Vesamacta Bechagecha, Ato, Bincho etc. then continues on with Ger, Yasom, etc. Rashi notes that Hashem is saying...if you take care of the downtrodden, I'll take care of you. Arbaah Sheli KeNeged Arbaah Shelcha.
Bemoaned how today it is Treif to be a Pirchei Leader.
OTD. No rhyme or reason. Disagrees with those who say they are Reshaim. Not necessarily parents fault, as usually it is only one of a bunch. Told a story of a mother who wanted to nix a Shidduch of her son because one of the girl's brothers was OTD. The mother claimed that you need to "check the brothers". Rav Schach said that it only applies to Midos. So mother said but "He's killing his parents.", to which RS replied, that it is not a Midos problem, it is Taaveh.
Motivate with prizes is OK. Use the carrot, not the stick.
Ball Games are not recommended. Tznius and language concerns make these not the proper place for Jewish children.
"Everyone" has it or does it is usually not true. He didn't give his own daughter a cell phone until the middle of 12th grade (which was when the 2nd to last person in her class got one).
Doesn't recommend seminary in EY due to cost (his daughter DID go).
Children need to be NORMAL. Don't overload them with holiness at a young age.
Shidduch Crisis - What can we do? Daven for them.
Speak about Shmiras Einayim publicly? Perhaps it is more relevant nowadays bec. of internet.
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