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Hot Spots – Raising Children with Torah Values in Our 4G World
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

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6/6/12

Speaking to your Children about Personal Safety – Summer 2012

Teleconference with Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Thursday Evening 9:30 p.m. EDT

Over the past few years, as a public service, Project YES has been conducting teleconference calls in the month of June designed to help parents effectively speak to their children about personal space and safety before sending them off to summer camp. This year's teleconference call will take place Thursday, June 7th at 9:30 p.m. EDT. To join, kindly call in to (209) 647-1600 Participant Code: 827269

(Here is a link to a child safety teleconference call we ran in 2011, and a recording of this 2012 session will be available on our website www.kosherjewishparenting.com or by dialing (209) 647-1699 Participant Code: 827269 after the call is concluded. )

Hot Spots – Raising Children with Torah Values in Our 4G World


Dear Readers:

The recent "Asifa" did much to focus our community on the risks and challenges of technology. Clearly, there is still much to do on that front and many skilled people are working hard on practical solutions. But there is still much more to do. Based on our experience in Project YES, in addition to filters and defensive techniques, it is important to go on the "offense" by building strong relationships between parents and children. In order to do that, it is important to develop the parenting skills needed to transmit our Torah values to our children in a meaningful way.

Interestingly, we find at Project YES, that only 10% or so of the many hundreds of parents who reach out to us when their kids get into trouble are dealing with home computer issues. It is smartphones, tablets, and internet enabled devices -- all the gifts Steve Jobs bequeathed our generation, that the kids are using and abusing. Moreover, the vast majority of parents are completely unaware that their children are engaged in these activities until the problem becomes acute. This reality cannot be addressed by filters or defensive technology alone. It is critical that an open line of communication and trust be developed between parents and their children.

The critical components of a comprehensive plan for parents to deal with the issues that all children – no matter what level of sheltering there is at home – will face at one point in their lives are:

1) Relationship Building – How to a develop a deep and meaningful relationship with your children so that they will seek your guidance when they need it most.

2) Congruence – How to craft a theme/hashkafa/message for your family that is congruent with your own deeply-held feelings on the matter of technology, and in line with the theme/hashkafa/messages that your children are hearing at school and shul. There is nothing that shreds your chinuch messages to your children more than incongruence, meaning where you don't really believe what you are saying, or when your actions (or things you wear on your belt) are incongruent with what your children are hearing from you.

3) Supervision – How to oversee your children's use of technology in a transparent manner without the type of "snooping" that is so damaging to the level of trust you must develop with your children.

4) Reaching "Tiferes" (a balance between firmness and flexibility) – How to create an environment where your kids will confide in you when they are about to or already did violate your house rules. Always keep in mind that if this comfort level does not exist, you will in all likelihood join the ranks of parents who are unaware of their children’s technology use.

5) "But Everyone Else Has It!" – How to maintain (and perhaps adjust) your home standards when your children complain that you are far more restrictive than the parents of their peers.


Project YES is in the planning stages of developing the tools to help parents acquire these skills. Your input will be most helpful in this process.


We would like to know which of these delivery methods would work best for you:

A) Articles on these subjects

B) Interactive forums with experts in the field

C) Webinars, Lectures, or Teleconferences

D) Any other suggestions you may have


Kindly drop us a line by posting a comment on this thread or by emailing yhprojectyes@gmail.com .

Thank you in advance for your assistance,

Yakov Horowitz

Special Request

Project YES is in need of a car or small van. Please get in touch with us if you would graciously consider donating one that is in good running condition. Since we will be using the car (it will not be transferred or sold), you will be legally entitled to use the full Kelley Blue Book current value as a tax deduction. Email us at yhprojectyes@gmail.com or call (845) 352-7100 ext. 114. Thank you.



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