In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review


By Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg

"Techniques" parents must NEVER engage in

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Many times when I have to address an audience, I prepare my remarks in the form of an acronym. I also use acronyms in lengthy lectures and classes. I find them to be very helpful in keeping on track and staying focused. It also aids the listener or learner by allowing for easy review.

Recently I addressed the topic of parenting. I used the word PARENT as the acronym, sharing six pointers to help the participants successfully meet their goals. The 'N' in the word parent stood for the word NEVER.

I shared some "techniques" that I feel parents must NEVER engage in. The two main behaviors were embarrassing and hitting. In this article, I would like to focus on the message of NEVER hitting children. Before some of you object to my message and call to protest, please just give me the courtesy of hearing me out; listen to the other side of the argument.

I believe that I have heard just about every conceivable reason why people say that corporal punishment is an effective teaching technique. But I stand strong with my belief that a parent should NEVER hit a child. It goes without saying, the same is true in schools.

When I use the word HIT, I include all forms of physical hurt from the parent to the child, including the slap on the hand.

Before we proceed, to answer the inevitable, yes, I am quite familiar with the advice of King Solomon in Proverbs (13:24) that the one who spares the rod, hates his son. I think that there are many ways of reconciling that message with my belief, however.

As a dean, I meet with and hear from many children and parents. I have yet to meet a child who claimed that he would have been better off if he had been hit more. And I have never met a parent who regretted not hitting his children more. No one has convinced me that anything bad happens if we do not hit children. Nor has anyone proven to me that children become less well behaved if we do not hit them.

What I have heard, are the horrors involved with hitting. This, both from children and their parents.

While I anticipate that some reading this article will respond well, I will be careful to hit my child in the right way and my child will benefit from it, I have witnessed far too many casualties. There are more effective means to alter bad behavior.

One often hears of the self-destruction of a lottery winner who managed to squander his jackpot in short order. The typical response is If I should be so lucky, I would do it differently. Facts document that it just doesn't work that way. I believe that the same risk applies with the potential damage from hitting children.

By now you are probably asking how I can say NEVER when we have all been raised with the understanding that even those who don't approve of hitting children agree that if the child runs into the street or does something else dangerous, then hitting should be the appropriate response. If you can explain the rationale for that senseless exception for hitting, please contact me immediately because for the life of me, I don't get it. I suspect that it is one of those things that we just pass along from one person to the next, assuming that it is sound, while it really has no sensible explanation.

You may ask if hitting a child is wrong, why, then, have there never been any laws enacted to prevent corporal punishment against one's child. You are so right and I wish that the lawmakers would have the guts to finally do it.

There is a point that we need to consider as we examine the pros and cons of parents hitting their child. Have you ever wondered why young children, while playing with their peers, often resort to physical means to get their way when they don't like something? Is it possible that the two-year old thinks that it is acceptable to hit because he sees that as something that his mother or father does? Please don't respond that the child understands the difference between the parent hitting and the child hitting, as that is the furthest from the truth. Just for the goal of modeling how to deal with things that are wrong, it is a great idea to not model hitting. I think that just for this reason in itself, it makes sense to rule out hitting.

I recently shared this message with a group of parents. One said that she remembers the four times during her childhood that she was hit by her father. She claimed she knew and felt that it was with and from a point of love. While I truly doubt that she is being honest with her feelings, such exceptions should not be the cause or the green light for all parents to hit.

I once heard in the name of Rabbi Moshe Shapiro about a great Rebbetzin who related how her father hit her on two occasions. She, too, claimed it was instructive and was certain that her father was hitting her only for her benefit and not out of anger. However, Rabbi Shapiro said outright that in our day and age, hitting is not the proper approach.

The only real challenge to the position of NEVER hitting a child is the verse in Proverbs cited above. The great Mussar master, Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe, explained that the original Hebrew word in the verse many translate as ROD can have many alternate meanings. While it can mean "stick", it can also mean, for example, a "stern look".

I heard the same interpretation from Rabbi Michal Yehudah Lefkowitz, who expounded on the famous Talmud passage (Sotah 7a) that instructs us to draw a student to us with the right and push him away with the left — two steps that must be done simultaneously. He explained that due to the times we live in, the main focus must be on drawing the student close with the right hand. In the elderly sage's Hebrew-language work, Sefer Darchei HaChaim, he actually writes about the time he learned of a father hitting his son. If he would have only had the strength, he said, he would have personally gone and stopped the father. That's how adamant he was.

I am not aware of any incident in which it would make sense to have an exception to the rule of NEVER hitting a child. I can comfortably state that hitting a child is wrong and a child never, ever, under any circumstances should be hit. Let us use our intelligence to discover more sensible approaches to discipline. You will be amazed at what methods you will find and how much more effective they are!

The rabbi wants to know what you think. Please comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor Rabbi S. Binyomin Ginsberg is dean of Torah Academy in Minneapolis and a columnist for Yated Neeman.


© 2008, Yated Neeman

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