Raising Our Children
by: Esther Tarkieltaub MA.Ed
Raising our children is a unique bracha given to us by Hashem. No doubt, it is a tremendous responsibility that comes with very real challenges. But, we must never lose sight of the fact that the opportunity to raise children and help them realize their potential is one of Hashem’s most precious blessings
How do we express gratitude to Hashem for the gift of children? We need to make a conscious effort every day to connect with them, empower them to have a positive outlook, and – of course – shower them with love.
I’d like to share some simple suggestions on how to do so. The list of opportunities to express our love for our children is endless.
- Listen to your child, not only with your head, but with your heart.
- Praise effort, not just achievements.
- Smile at your child when you see him/her.
- Support your child in decisions that they are having trouble with by being present and sharing words of encouragement.
- Listen to your child’s advice and suggestions, and find ways to demonstrate that you value his/her input.
- Celebrate your child’s unique abilities, gifts and talents; encourage your child to use them; and help your child recognize that they come from Hashem.
- Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
- Be available to your child when they need you.
- Create a home environment that is welcoming and positive.
- Offer and encourage forgiveness.
- Be your child’s biggest cheerleader.
- Provide structure but know when to be flexible.
- Create a notebook entitled “Let’s Celebrate Our Successes” and chart your child’s accomplishments large and small.
- Schedule a one-on-one date with your child and spend some quality time together. Make sure to let your other children know that they too will have a turn for one-on-one time. Your “date” can be as simple as engaging in something they enjoy or a walk to a special destination./li>
- Put a note under your child’s pillow or in their lunch box expressing your love and sharing something you admire or appreciate about them.
- Leave a simple yet special gift for your child in a surprise place.
- Have a family night on a Motzei Shabbos or Sunday with food and games that your children enjoy.
- Plan a family day trip and have fun doing something active together.
- Spend time reading with your child or doing another activity they enjoy, like going to the park together or baking something special for Shabbos.
- Give your child your full attention. Even if your time is limited, make sure they feel heard.
Most importantly, show your children your love by giving them the tools and room they need to grow. It’s all about connecting and letting them know that we respect their efforts and their unique qualities