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Education in the World Today

Rabbi Chaim Tabasky8 Cheshvan 5765
267
Question
As a mother of 4 grown (and one 11 year-old) children, I have come to the conclusion that in today’s world, there unfortunately seems to be a discrepancy between educating children to Torah values, on the one hand, and bringing up children who are totally mentally healthy, happy and easy-going persons, on the other hand. This would presumably not be the case in an ideal world. Children who are super-sensitive to others - get hurt. I tried very hard to educate my children to values, and think I succeeded - but they suffered greatly. What is the solution?
Answer
Your comments and question is much too broad for a pat answer. Raising children to both fit in to a fixed system of norms, values and behavior (in this case the Torah mode) while maintaining sensitivity, curiosity and creativity, is a harrowing task in any generation. In ours it is much complicated by the exposure to modernity (for good and for bad), and the openness of our society. It is my firm belief that the most important factor in the raising of children is the positive, sympathetic, happy and sincere attitude of parents. If the parents truly believe and express their satisfaction and gratitude for the Torah way of life, kids will get the message. The openness of our society precludes forcing Torah down our children's throats, we have to give them the means and confidence to arrive at values and correct actions. On the way they may get hurt, sometimes from others, sometimes from themselves. No easy task. May HaShem grant us strength, courage and wisdom, sympathy and love. (PS I have seven grown children and my youngest is twelve, so I can honestly say, I know how it feels)
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