Please enable JavaScript in your browser to experience all the custom features of our site.

RabbiHorowitz.com

Mr. Harry Skydell, Chairman
Mr. Mark Karasick, Vice Chairman
Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, Director
Rabbi Avrohom M. Gluck, Director of Operations
The first 1000 members will have a chance to win a
16 GB
iPod
touch
with Rabbi Horowitz audio

Membership Benefits:

  • Save articles to your favorites folder.
  • Save and print selected articles in a PDF journal.
  • Receive emails containing the latest comments on your favorite articles.
  • Mark articles as "READ".
  • More member features coming soon...

Raffle Rules:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. To enter, complete the signup form and join as a member. Incomplete entries will be disqualified. All entries shall become the property of CJFL. CJFL is not responsible for lost, misdirected or delayed entries.

The contest is open to the general public. Members need to be at least 18 years old. Identification must be produced on request. Employees of CJFL, its raffle sponsor, advertising and promotional agencies and their respective affiliates and associates and such employees' immediate family members and persons with whom such employees are domiciled are excluded from this raffle. ALL PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED MEMBERS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY ENTERED INTO THIS RAFFLE. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Decisions of the raffle judges are final - no substitutions will be available. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness (first initial and last name) and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation, radio broadcasts, newspapers and other publications and in television or film releases, slides, videotape, distribution over the internet and picture date storage) which CJFL may deem appropriate. In accepting the prize, the winner, acknowledges that CJFL may not be held liable for any loss, damages or injury associated with accepting or using this prize. CJFL retains the rights, in its absolute and sole discretion, to make substitutions of equivalent kind or approximate value in the event of the unavailability of any prize or component of the prize for any reason whatsoever. This contest is subject to all federal, provincial and municipal laws. CJFL reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this raffle at any time without prior notice. One entry per person.


Issue 165 - Rising Above
by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
Publication: Mishpacha Magazine

  Rated by 15 users   |   Viewed 160834 times since 7/5/07   |   35 Comments
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size    [ Change Font Size ] Email This Article to a Friend
   

7/5/07

Any conversation with a brilliant, out-of-the-box thinker like Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski is bound to develop a fresh perspective on things. With that in mind, a discussion I had with Dr. Twerski a number of years ago about the topic of at-risk teens most certainly fit that pattern. He remarked to me that most people are looking for solutions to the teens-at-risk crisis by focusing on those who dropped out of our school system. “Wouldn’t it be interesting,” he asked, “to focus some of our energy and attention on those who achieve success – despite having some of these risk factors?”

Dr. Twerski mentioned that he would be most interested in conducting a research study on children who grew up in conditions that would seem to indicate that they would be ‘at-risk’ for ‘at-risk’ behaviors – but grew into outstanding adults nonetheless. “Imagine how things would improve,” he wondered aloud, “if we could replicate the successes of these individuals with young men and women who are confronted with similar challenges during their adolescent years?”

Well, Dr. Twersky, if you ever read these lines and are still interested in that project, it would be my pleasure to introduce you to two ordinary, extraordinary people who would be ideal candidates for your study – Rabbi Herschel Meisels and Mrs. Sarah Rivkah Kohn.

Rabbi Herschel Meisels, a descendant of a long chain of Chassidic rabbis, is a soft-spoken and an unassuming individual with an easy smile and an engaging personality. Twenty-five years ago, at the age of five, he was diagnosed with juvenile (type 1) diabetes. One can only imagine the challenges he faced managing the medical ramifications of his diabetes and dealing with the social stigma of growing up in a close-knit community with a condition that requires constant monitoring. One does not need any imagination, however, to analyze how Rabbi Meisels harnessed the energy created by the challenges of his formative years. Eight years ago, Rabbi Meisels started “Friends With Diabetes[1],” to help Jewish diabetic children/teens – and their parents. There are currently more than 2,000 children on the mailing list for their bi-monthly publications and hundreds of children, couples and parents attend their seminars and Shabbatons each year.

Mrs. Sarah Rivkah Kohn was raised in Monsey and currently resides in Brooklyn, where she is a homemaker and mother of a one-year-old daughter. Her mother passed away while she was in her early teenage years and she often thought how helpful it would have been for her to have had the comfort of a network of girls who were similarly coping with the searing pain and loneliness of losing a parent. Several years ago, Mrs. Cohen actualized her dream and published a newsletter called LINKS[2], geared to provide support, practical advice, and a sense of camaraderie to frum, orphaned girls. Her mailing list continues to grow exponentially and currently has more than 300 members. (Click HERE and HERE)

Recently, I got a firsthand look at the incredible work of these two individuals when I participated in Shabbaton retreats conducted by ‘Friends of Diabetes’ and ‘LINKS.’ In both instances, I was asked to inspire others and walked away uplifted myself.

The ‘Friends of Diabetes’ event was entirely upbeat – where more than seventy boys had a grand time together. In fact, the only time I realized that it was a gathering of diabetics was during the Motzoei Shabbos festivities, when I noticed that quite a few boys seemed to be checking their cell phones and sending text messages incessantly. It was only when I looked closer that I noticed that those devices were in fact blood sugar monitors that the boys were scanning and calibrating. I suspect that they were, in some way, celebrating the fact that they could whip out those gadgets and tinker with them in a public setting without being subjected to curious glances and uncomfortable questions.

The LINKS Shabbaton, on the other hand, was a blend of Yom Kippur, Simchas Torah and Tisha B’av. More than fifty teenage girls spent two full days together laughing, crying, talking and bonding. There were art-and-crafts and aerobics activities, as well as sessions on understanding the grieving process and open forums where the young ladies were able to seek the counsel of trained adults as they struggle to comprehend the incomprehensible. When I left my hotel room at five-oclock Shabbos morning, I found that thirty of the fifty girls had been up all night and were sitting in the lobby deeply engrossed in conversations – not even noticing my presence.

Of the entire gamut of emotions that I experienced over that Shabbos, one poignant moment stood out above all the others. It was during a session that I conducted on the subject of ‘blended families.’ I fielded a broad range of questions from dealing with stepparents and stepsiblings to how, when – and if – to ‘allow’ their single parent to remarry, when a young lady got up and asked a heart rendering question. She mentioned that a Rebbitzen told her during the shiva mourning period that the neshama (soul) of her departed mother would be reunited with her father and family members in Gan Eden. She wanted to know what would happen if she did as I suggested and gave her blessing for her father to remarry – would her mother’s neshama then be excluded from their family? And if that was the case, was she being disloyal to her mother by ‘letting’ her father remarry?

All in all, both of these gatherings left me filled with hope and encouragement. Due to the passion and dedication of Rabbi Meiseles and Mrs. Kohn, many hundreds of children are afforded resources and services that simply did not exist a generation ago. When my father died before my fourth birthday more than forty-four years ago, my mother and her children; my sister, brother and I, had to cope – ourselves – in the best way we could. Today, things are thankfully different.

In my remarks to the two very diverse groups of teens, I told them to look at the living example represented by the founder of their organization – and to start thinking about how they would use the painful experiences of their youth to help future generations of Hashem’s children.

© 2007 Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, all rights reserved



[1] For more information on “Friends With Diabetes,” call 845-352-7532 or email rabbimeisels@friendswithdiabetes.org

[2] For more information on LINKS, call 718-851-4778 or email olamhabo@verizon.net



To sign up for Rabbi Horowitz’s weekly emails, please click here.


Reader's Comments:      Rating & Comments Policy      Rate & Write a Comment!
 Average Rating:              Rated by 15 users    (35 comments)
Subscribe to this Article
(by subscribing you will receive email notification
when new comments are posted)

Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


1. Resilience     7/5/07 - 2:07 PM
AK

Hi, I think we are looking for 'resilience ' , the ability to come back , a belief in ones abilities ' The term resilience has typically been applied to children who have overcome difficult situations such as abuse, neglect, poverty, or school failure and gone on to lead satisfying, successful lives. These individuals possess what we call a resilient mindset. Such a mindset includes some of the following features and skills: they believe that there are adults who relate to them with unconditional love and are available for support and encouragement, they have excellent problem-solving skills, they demonstrate self-discipline, they are optimistic and recognize their strengths, and they view mistakes as experiences from which to learn. However, we do not believe that parents have to expose their children to undue hardship to develop this mindset since all youngsters will experience some stress and pressure as part of the process of growing up. We believe that if parents understand the components of a resilient mindset, then all of their interactions with their children can be guided by strengthening this mindset whether their children face major stress or not. In effect, we advocate that just as children are inoculated to avoid physical disease, we should strive to inoculate them for the challenges they will face and we can accomplish this by nurturing a resilient mindset. ' Robert Brooks


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


2. growing up without a father....     7/5/07 - 2:20 PM
Anonymous

i grew up in a loving single-parent home. my father passed away when i was one. i think that i spent so much time being different, coping with and processing my situation and life-long pain that there was less time for being molley-coddled. the need to grow up fast and face death (and maybe therefore life) takes away the time that might otherwise be spent getting into mundane trouble. I think true hardshipe faced early in life make a more mature character.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


3. This is not a good example     7/5/07 - 3:52 PM
Kayla - Brooklyn

Sorry, Rabbi Horowitz, but I don't think these remarkable individuals are good examples of people from at-risk situations who overcame and never went "off." This is because, in my humble opinion, it isn't the medical challenge or the challenge of orphanhood that puts one at risk. It's the lack of emotional support that does it. And I mean, specifically, emotional support in situations of emotional or physical abuse. If the home life is loving, caring, interested in the child, if the child is not being constantly criticized, yelled at, hit, if the parents (such as of the sick child) are good and respectful to each other, then chances are excellent that the child will survive his challenges. He will know that he is not alone. He will be a grounded, healthy individual no matter what fate serves up. I refer you back to that excellent article from Rabbi Sorotzkin. Why do children go off the derech? Three things: The parents, the parents, the parents. But even where the child has no parents, rachmana litzlon, with a secure homelife provided by others (grandparents, aunts, uncles) he will still have a very good chance of making it.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


4. Not good examples     7/5/07 - 4:29 PM
Ak

Kayla, I completely agree with you . Robert Brooks says 'The term resilience has typically been applied to children who have overcome difficult situations such as abuse, neglect, poverty, or school failure and gone on to lead satisfying, successful lives'.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


5. The children who succeeded     7/5/07 - 4:32 PM
Anonymous

I grew up in a one parent very poor household.My mother was emotionally unstable but functioned only because a member of her family gave all of us financial and emotional support. It didn't require large sums of money or an exorbitant amount of time, but we all knew we had someone we could go to if we needed help or guidance.He showed up on a regular basis.

May his memory be blessed-Moshe ben Avrohom.

We all are highly educated,frum, and successful parents and contribute in many ways to the Jewish people . I'm sorry to add that the community did nothing for us.We were never even invited for one Shabbos meal.Although, I would like to thank people who donated to the Rabbi Jacob Joseph School and Camp Emunah for giving us low cost tuitions and camp experiences.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


6. The brilliant out of the box Rabbi Twesky idea     7/5/07 - 6:45 PM
Yitzchok - Brooklyn

With all due respect, the premise that there are certain at risk factors that should be studied and dealt with, is twenty years too late. At this point every single child is extremely at risk. At this point every Yungerman is at risk. --------------------------------------------------------------Hats off to Mr. Meisels and Mrs. Kohn, I might add that chances are that these Y'somim probably get more attention than many children in a normal 2 parent dozen kid family. A radical but rational question might be wether the focus on having as many children as possible is the proper way to be mekadesh Shem Shomayim? Are our times not such that while we are all busy with parnassah, in many cases the woman of the home must also go out and work to the point that we must really be superhuman to juggle all our responsibilities? Example: a yungerman tells me that he sends his kids to a particular school. I ask him Is this school really for you? he answers me "Its affordable" Need I say more? his kids suffer every day because they are like fish out of water but what could he do, get a 3rd job?!!! I am fully aware that there are "heteirim" but a "heter" implies that it is a Yotze Min Haklal. Would it be so bad if we slowed down a bit in the race to have our own Minyan in order to redouble our focus on the 5 we already have?


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


7. Abolish adolescence     7/6/07 - 5:45 AM
Ak

Hi, All kids to today have to rise above the way the adult world relate to them. Robert Epstein - see his web site , aricles , interviews, has written an interesting book - Abolish Adolescence. For me this is particulary interesting because there is no adolescence in Torah law , a kid is a gadol from the age of 13 , and has all legal rights and responsibilities. When it comes b'yedai shamayim there is the age of 20 , but essentially a kid at 13 is one of us. By treating these adults like kids , not being involved with them as fellow adults we are a creating a youth culture , peer pressure , reinforcing and perpetuating teen culture. The educational system which prolongs kids full time study is also to blame. In the past , kids would start work earlier , learning is a life long experience while you work , the outstanding students would go to yeshivah , by the age of 17 they were outsatnding Talmidei Chachomim and could marry already. Mentors, young adult involvement with kids counter acts peer culture. Part time real job , allows teenagers to be involved with adults not in a top down controlling dynamic but respecting competence and responsibility. Epstein in an article on Teen brains claims that kids brains are equal or better than adult brains , this maybe true in academic testing , but in real life kid's limbic brains get in the way of their frontal lobes. However the perpetuation of childhood by creating teen -peer culture reinforces limbic brain thinking, enjoying the moment instead of delaying gratification and thinking responsibly how one's actions effect others and one's future. We cannot expect teenagers to act responsibily when they are not allowed to make decisions that effect their lives , we don't give them a voice. I want adult involvement and participation , not a top down dynamic , but one of cooperation and learning. According to the Torah , a kid of 13 is an adult , if we want them to act responsibly like adults we need to treat them like adult. For sure , we would need to make sure the particular kid is competent , but we generally underestimate kids and they then behave that way.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


8. I have to agree     7/6/07 - 9:53 AM
Tzippy

I have to agree with most of the others - these two people definitely had challeneges as children and still turned into amazing adults. But I don't think that these kind of challenges are what causes kids at risk. If you could give us examples of children growing up neglected and unloved, children of bitter divorces, children who did not succeed in school due to learning disabilities, or children who were abused, who then grew into successful adults then we could try to figure out how THEY became successful. Kids who chas v'shalom lose a parent or face medical or physical challenges but still have solid support systems probably statistically are less likely to become kids at risk than those growing up in emotionally unstable situations with neglect, abuse, lack of love or education challenges even if they have a father and mother or are physically healthy.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


9. Ak's misreading of chazal     7/6/07 - 11:01 AM
Avrohom - Spring Valley, NY

I'm sorry Ak. You brush aside the b'edei shomayim age of 20 as if it were insignificant. It's quite the contrary. The Creator knows exactly what he wrought and therefore they are not punishable for their crimes. It is possible that the b'edei adam is more severe as a deterrant, perhaps. It is rediculous to suggest that "essentially a kid at 13 is one of us."


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


10. Teenagers -Buying/ selling real estate     7/6/07 - 11:02 AM
Ak

Epstein proposes a competency test. The Rambam says when it comes to selling property we check the competency of the teenager. So there is some sort of a transition into adulthood , but essentially when a kid reaches 13 , he is an adult. Are we the obstacles in the way of our kids to ' rise above ' adolescence into adulthood ?


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


11. Avrohom     7/6/07 - 11:41 AM
Ak

Hi, since I don't think I am Hashem , I think Rambam, Shulchan Aruch is most relevant to our discussion. Epstein talks about transactional rights, the right to marry etc not about punishments or deterents. In any case my parenting and educational philosophy is to avoid punishments and give people the opportunity to express honest remorse ,make amends , restitution, come up with a plan up, give them a vision for the future , do teshuva. So when it comes to punishments I am very much in the spirit of the b'yidei shamayim.In any case Beis Din today doesn't have the power to punish, no deterents , so the dynamic is essentially encouraging people to do teshuva by reaching out to them. Epstein's article is provocative , challenging our convential thinking , but when we look at the rights conferred on kids above 13 by Jewish law, that a kid above 13 is called a gadol , it makes one think. Yakov Avinu called his older children , my brothers ,' one of us' , at the meeting with Lavan. I have shared this article around , interestly parents who are more controlling and less respectful to kids found the article ridiculous. ( not being judgmental on bloggers here )


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


12. Socializing with adults     7/8/07 - 1:05 AM
Ak

Hi ' today teens are trapped in their frivolous world of peer culture ( this is why I am against youth movements) they learn virtually everything they need to know from one another rather than people they are about to become. isolated from adults and wrongly treated like children , it is no wonder that some teens behave , by adult standards recklessly , without responsibility.We need to replace the myth of the immature brain with a frank lok at capable and savvy teens in history at teens in othe cultures at the truly extraordinary potential of our own young people today ' - Epstein I think teens should have adult friends , mix with adults , go to the same shiurim , say tehilim together , socialize together , this will be a great learning and growing stage ,and improve relationships


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


13. all?     7/8/07 - 11:30 AM
M

Yitzchok, you write, "At this point every single child is extremely at risk. At this point every Yungerman is at risk."

Those are radical statements. Care to explain them and back them up?

You suggest birth control and ask whether "it would be so bad to slow down a bit". You say you are aware of heterim but realize that "heter" implies it's not the rule. So what are you really saying? That poskim should change their minds and recommend birth control to one and all?


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


14. "hold on to your kids"     7/8/07 - 11:34 AM
M

Ak, you write, "today teens are trapped in their frivolous world of peer culture." Well, whose fault is that if not the parents and other adults who encourage it?

I recommend the book, "Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers" by Gordon Neufeld (Author), Gabor Md Mate (Author) If parents got back to spending time with their children, making their homes the places their children want to be, their kids wouldn't be "trapped."


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


15. parents not enough     7/8/07 - 1:22 PM
Ak

Hi, A supportive, open, unconditional relationship goes a long way , but does not combat peer pressure and teen culture. Kids need their parents and an alternative social structure where they are involved with adults , have relationships with adults. Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro suggests that a parent who goes to visit a Gadol of his Rov , should take his kid with him, so a relationship can develop with them. With parents often ther is also a lot of emotional baggage , it is not an easy relationship , it usually the teacher or Ram , mentors , where the relationship is more democratic that can reach out to kids , inspire them etc


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


16. interesting     7/8/07 - 5:09 PM
tb

AK and M, I think you're both right.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


17. does or doesn't combat     7/8/07 - 6:43 PM
M

Ak, you say, "A supportive, open, unconditional relationship goes a long way , but does not combat peer pressure and teen culture".

Why do you think it does not combat peer pressure and teen culture? In my experience, it does. Maybe we have different ideas of what this relationship is about.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


18. Email correction and response to comments     7/8/07 - 9:40 PM
Sarah Rivkah Kohn - Brooklyn NY - olamhabo@koshernet.com

Firstly, I want to thank Rabbi Horowitz for writing up my org. and for attending the Shabbaton.

Secondly, I want to provide the correct email address: olamhabo@koshernet.com (during the summer, I can't check my emails every day but you can still email me.)

And lastly, I want to address the issue of whether I was 'at risk' or not.

As one of the posters commented, a child who lacks emotional care is at-risk and therefore, Rabbi Meisels and myself would NOT be at-risk.

When any person is challanged, an adult or a child, a struggle is inevitible. The grief process includes anger for a reason. There is no question that I had to struggle. I remember describing to a friend of mine (when I was in the 8th grade) that I had a 'hole in my heart that can't seem to be filled with anything' I don't wish this kind of pain on anyone. Yes, every child needs warmth. Yes, every child who lacks a stable home and care from teachers can be at risk. However, I always go back to what the Torah says: a yasom, almonah and a ger get extra care from Hashem. Why? Because natrually they are more emotional and feel more vulnerable.

However,as Rabbi Horowitz has pointed out many a time, orphans usually rise above and become exceptional in many ways. That's not because we have more talent, intelligence or love-- it's because Hashem is giving us an extra dose of protection that so many children today need.

In conclusion, I think every person who experiences a major trauma, is at-risk and I also believe that every child, with the right support, can overcome his/her challenges and be a nachas to all of klal yisroel.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


19. Neufeld/ Epstein-Kohn     7/10/07 - 2:44 AM
Ak

M, Comments like , from my own experience, I know parents that ... , mean very little to me , I try to do my best to examine the ideas behind any approach. IMHO Neufeld feels that kids look to their peers because their attachment to parents are weak , so improve the attachment and ' hold on to your kids. This is only part of the story. Teens are striving for independence, creating their own identities which are formed using peers as a ' mirror ' to reflect back on themselves. Teens operate as a social unit often forging together a unified spirit. There is a lot of learning going on, both from peers and the adults they encounter. When adults act very ' top- down ' to their students , students will unify and rebel , often in very unresponsible ways. There are school(s) - I am talking about Chareidi high schools in Israel- which will do the most create an anti-social environment , malshinim, divide and rule to deal with the situation and there is what Epstein and Kohn talk about ' empowering students, treating them like adults, giving them a voice, inviting them to join the adult world. I have spoken a lot with teachers and principals about this issue , the herd mentality, how friends, the school , the classroom have so much influence on a kid's personality and behavior , even more so in the teen years whch can easily undermine parental influence. Neufeld deals with the parents' role , but there is more to a kid's life than the home, whether kids will be involved in an adult world , learning fom adults, socializing with adults, feeling part of the adult world , a relationship with the Rav of a Shul , as an adult member in his own right and not as someone's kid. Negative peer influence is more subtle in the frum world and where kids follow expectations we may not be aware of the lack of maturity , initiative or how we are stifling growth , iniative and maturity. As far as schools I recommend Alfie Kohn's - Beyond Discipline - From Compliance to community. Reb Shimon Skop in his introduction to Sha'arei Yoshar defines Kedusha as doing everything with the benefit of the community in mind. Check his web site http://alfiekohn.org - books , there is an interview also the articles on schools.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


20. parents     7/10/07 - 11:41 AM
M

Ak - you wrote, "Comments like , from my own experience, I know parents that ... , mean very little to me"

Fine. Doesn't seem to me that your statements are any different .

You think Neufeld only tells part of the story. I think it's 'the story' because when the parent-child relationship is solid, when parents' opinions and views mean more to a child than anybody else's, then there's unlikely to be any rebellion against the parents' values or a herd mentality. If the foundation is laid in the pre-teen years, peer influence in the teen years is either neglible or greatly mitigated. You refer to Israeli chareidi high schools which prompts me to comment (yet again) that it would be very helpful if R' Horowitz made it clear who he is addressing in his articles. The chareidim in Israel are not the chareidim of Bobov in Boro Park, who are not the chareidim in Lakewood, who are not the chareidim in Monsey, who are not the chareidim in out-of-town communities, who are not the chareidim in Antwerp, etc.

General approaches to chinuch can be applied across the board, but when it gets into cultural norms, expectations, and mentalities, these vary widely.

I agree that when children fall in line with parents' expectations, this can result in a lack of maturity, and taking of initative. I think the tradeoff is worthwhile. There is time to gain in maturity later on. Far more important is maintaining a close, positive parent-child relationship.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


21. out of the box thinker     7/10/07 - 11:47 AM
JR

R' Horowitz, you describe R' Twerski as an out-of-the-box thinker.

R' Twerski trumpets self-esteem as The Issue. So do countless other writers and speakers. The bookstores are full of books all saying the same thing. I don't see anything unusual or "out-of-the-box" in this. A second favorite topic of R' Twerski is addictions. Here too, anything I've read of his on the subject is standard dogma.

However,I do like the approach you quote him as suggesting at the beginning of your article.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


22. Twerski - Out of the Box     7/10/07 - 12:52 PM
Aaron - Dallas

If Rabbi Twerski is so in the box, why won't Agudath Israel put him on a panel or let him speak at a convention.

In fact, Rabbi Twerski is a courageous man who speaks his (very reasonable) mind, no matter how the contemporary winds are blowing.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


23. twerski     7/10/07 - 7:25 PM
JR

You ask, "If Rabbi Twerski is so in the box, why won't Agudath Israel put him on a panel or let him speak at a convention."

I don't know that they don't. What is your source of information? And if you know this to be true, why do you think this is the case?

Artscroll publishes many of his books and Artscroll is not known to publish anything radical or anything that goes against Aguda type thinking. True, he has books that are not published by Artscroll, but the fact that he is a published author of theirs, says a lot about his being accepted by the mainstream yeshiva world, I think.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


24. He did speak     7/10/07 - 8:09 PM
Tzippy

I heard Rabbi Twerski speak at last year's Agudah Convention. He spoke about the high divorce rate and shidduch crisis and what could be done about it - it was actually a very honest and informative speech!


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


25. Twerski's Brother     7/10/07 - 11:27 PM
Aaron

That was his brother Professor Aaron Twerski.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


26. Interesting people     7/11/07 - 9:25 AM
AK

Hi, Mainstream has difficulty with creative and original thinking, IMHO the most interesting people. What does Rabbi Twerski say about the fact that ' self esteem ' is not so in today. http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/tase.htm


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


27. s.esteem     7/11/07 - 1:11 PM
Anonymous

What does he say?

he writes yet another book and/or article about how important it is, contributing to the ongoing worship of Self.

And it's as 'in' as ever ... the article you cite is from Dec.1994 ... esteeming one's self has grown ever more popular since then!


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


28. praise self esteem     7/12/07 - 1:32 AM
AK

Hi, The responses - Tizku le'mitzvot , Ye' asher co'chacha , chazak u'baruch are blessings and encouragement for the future rather than merely ' good job' praise

interview "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" http://www.itconversations.com/shows/detail1011.html

The New York Times has a feaure on How not to talk to your kids , the ' inverse power of praise ' - this effects mindset as well http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/

The most praised generation goes to work http://empathic-discipline.com/talk/YaBB.pl?num=1177440249 The conservative Christian right, John Rosemond etc it seems are taking an anti- self esteem stance. Alfie Kohn says his reasons are very different

http://www.lib.niu.edu/ipo/2003/ip070344.html


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


29.     7/12/07 - 12:52 PM
Anonymous

With all due respect to both Rabbi Horowitz and Dr. Sorotzkin, blaming the parents for at-risk children is a gross simplification of the issue. Currently pushing 30, I grew up during the age when this issue was first pushed to the forefront, and I saw friends (and relatives) who are no longer frum. While some may blame the parents, others (including Gedolim in EY who have large yeshivos) told me it is the Rabbeim; children today have no Rabbeim to look up to on a personal basis; who can relate to them. I know people who while the progressed to the 'at risk' stage, the only frum people they maintained a relationship with was their parents (no, they are not frum today). Many are not frum due to abuse (whether physical, sexual, or emotional) in nature. Others couldn't handle the pressure of the frum world. In the end, more than anything else, it is the same pheonomeon which hits the secular world; the inability of our society to teach children responsiblity. R' Moshe Feinstein used to say their were two things which drove children of frum immmigrants away from Torah; we failed to teach them life is not a bowl of cherries, and we never gave over to them the sweetness of Torah. ( Or as R' Noson Wachfogel would phrase it, America had no Yeshivas to teach Yiras Shomaim - which has the same connotation). My generation is not to blame for wanting to remain in Kollel long-term; those who do, are probably some of the most financially responsible people in the world, and those who leave, begin life without a lot of debt. Yet, they learned reponsibility. For those who leave the frum world as teenagers,chances are they never learned to deal with life's curveballs, and they place the blame of a Torah lifestyle, which is supposed to be utopian. When they find out it is not, they have the attitude of who needs it! The point is, why do children leave a frum lifestyle is a very complex question, and while some factors are to blame more than others, to place the blame on a single factor is avoiding the issue.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


30.     7/12/07 - 1:48 PM
Anonymous

To the poster at 12:52; an important point which was left out was the fact that many of these children have other issues which may require medical intervention; and due to various factors, the number of these cases both detected and undiagnosed is increasing.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


31. med. intervention     7/12/07 - 6:05 PM
Anonymous

That's a new one ... that many children who drop out are sick!


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


32. At risk kids - medical intervention     7/13/07 - 3:51 AM
AK

Hi, Untreated ADHD, mood issues etc put kids at risk and usually the treatment for some includes medication. Mental health is today more about the quality of life , giving scaffolding to build oneself up. A person who needs glasses to improve his sight IMHO is not sick. There are so many factors , the problem is when we limit our understanding to a neuro-biological explanation and don't look at other issues such as the contribution of caregivers and teachers, lack of cognitive skills, compatibility etc


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


33. Self-Esteem-The "Second" Wave     7/16/07 - 10:16 AM
:)

If I read the NY Mag article correctly and if I'm applying the assorting literature on raising resilient children correctly, self-esteem is still thought of as very important. It is just being interpreted differently. Parents and teachers are now being made aware that self-esteem is "self" esteem. The child needs to develop it about themselves. They need to esteem themselves. Vague or underserved praise and praise of innate abilities is what doesn't work. The literature quoted by the NY Mag spoke about praising effort in a very specific manner and not praising innate intellegence, stregnth, etc. I believe that many of the top parenting training programs teach the same thing. These parenting programs also focus on natural (and artificial) consiquences of behavior - also alluded to in the NY Mag article (students who value critisism more than praise). I'm hesitant to name programs simply because I myself am not a trainer.


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


34. Self esteem , praise , consequences     7/17/07 - 2:47 AM
AK

Hi, I am in a bit of a rush and cannot go through all the links including Alfie Kohn on self esteem , my first link http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/tase.htm There were different views. IMHO I think Dweck and Kohn are saying that criticism and praise are both judgmental and ' doing to' which gets the kid to focus on the self , like consequences - where the kids asks what is in it for me , what will be done to me or waht will I get. Kohn wants kids to reflect how their actions effect others , take perspectives , go beyond themselves. Kohn and Dweck show also how praise impairs the growth mindset. I prefer to use dialog questioning to help a kid reflect on what he did , talk about it , how it effects others, what can be learned from the experience


Report this Post

Thank you.
Your report has been submitted.
You may not see immediate results on your browser, but rest assured, the offensive or inappropriate comment will be dealt with automatically.
You can only report a comment once.


35. "yesomin get more attention"     3/29/17 - 11:27 AM
Anonymous

Someone commented that yesomim are not at risk because sometimes they get more attention than other children. that is the most unrealistic shallow comment I ever read. The little bit of sensitivity they may receive from the outside world is like a cup of water given to a person who is dying of thirst because they don't have running water in their home!

DONT ENVY THE ATTENTION SOMEONE GETS FOR A DEAD PARENT!

A dead parent is definetly a nisayon of lonliness lack of confidence(not having someone who is always routing for you)the list goes on and on. many yesomin push away close relationships and support in a back handed way as a result of needing it so badly. or how about the orphan dealing with the surviving parent who may be emotionally effected by the loss.

I do agree that there are many different factors that can put a teen at risk. We can probably debate whats the worst tragedy. But the point is that it is not a competition for whose life challenges are worse. ideally all risk factors should be studied and addressed.

  Rate & Write a Comment!
Dear Readers:

Please visit our Parenting Resource listing to learn about agencies and services that you can make use of. If you know of an agency that can be of assistance to others, kindly drop an email to our site administrator at admin@RabbiHorowitz.com and pass along the information to him.

I ask that you please consider supporting the work we are doing to improve the lives of our children. Click on these links to learn more about our teen and parent mentoring program that serves hundreds of teens and their families, or our KESHER program, now in 20 schools in 4 states. Your financial support can allow us to expand these services and help more children.

If you believe in the governing principles of this website – to help effect positive change through the candid discussions of the real issues we collectively face, please consider becoming a daily, weekly or monthly sponsor of this website and help defray the costs of it’s maintenance.



Working with Families and Educators on Behalf of our Children

This site is managed by The Center for Jewish Family Life, Inc., 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952
Project Y.E.S. was founded by Agudath Israel of America
The Center for Jewish Family Life/Project YES - 56 Briarcliff Drive, Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 352-7100 ext. 114 Fax: (845) 352-9593
email: email@kosherjewishparenting.com


Advertisements