Parenting is a lifelong process and there are no rights and wrongs. It’s a journey where you not only are responsible for raising other human beings; you are also on a journey of self-learning. No matter how many books on parenting you read, there is no set rule of raising children that gives a surety that your child will grow up to be a decent human being and an intellectual one at that.
Jewish parents on the other hand do not need to read many books on parenting or visit psychologists to help raise their kids. Their kids are generally not only amazing human beings; they are also geniuses in their own being. Here are ten things a Jewish mother does which might be the secret to being successful mothers.
Growing up to be independent individuals is a key characteristic of Jewish children. It is a major personality trait found in most Jews and is may be because of the mere fact that Jews teach their children they can do anything by themselves as opposed to children being taught they can do anything. The small difference of being able to do things by one’s self as opposed to being able to do things helps raise independent children that are not looking for others to help them realize and achieve their goals and dreams. They take responsibility for themselves and their actions and do not sit around waiting for others. They get down, pull their sleeves up and get to work. They do whatever it takes to get things done and that is what makes them such amazing individuals!
We often see parents telling their young that they are too young to do something and proceed onto completing that task for them, such as tying shoe laces or clearing the table after dinner. Jewish parenting makes use of the mantra, try, try again, until you succeed.
If a child can’t button his shirt up, the mother would not grow impatient and tell him that he is too young to do so as she unbuttons and properly buttons it up for the child. The Jewish mother would sit by the child and guide him. Have him unbutton the shirt, then explain the right way to do it, but she will let the child do it herself. She would patiently sit by him, for as many tries as it takes until he gets it right.
There is a saying the Jewish elders use, ‘Kol haschalot kashot’ which means ‘All beginnings are difficult.’ They believe that after difficulty there is ease and so they are they help their children grow to be strong individuals who do not shy away at the first signs of difficulty but keep on going ahead, facing and braving every difficulty they face.
A child when treated with respect will learn to give respect. Psychologists say that children just want to be treated like everybody else. What is the foremost thing in any relationship? It is trust of course. This is the greatest reward anyone can give or get, trust. Jewish parents know this all too well and use this to validate their children. When the child wants to help around the house, they won’t overshadow every move the child makes or point out every small mistake they do in the process. They tell them the basics, take the necessary precautions such as keeping the sharp objects away from them and let them be. They believe the child not only will learn better with trial and error, he or she will also know and respect the trust the parent has shown in the child. This helps raise self-aware and confident individuals who learn to respect those around them.