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A New Mirror for a New School Year

Sara Miriam Gross

Vacation winds to a close, and the school year begins. How will it turn out? That’s a question even the most confident kids ponder. Rabbi Chaim Walder, popular author and chinuch expert, talked to Mishpacha Junior about how to make the most of this new year.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

MJ: Is there anything children can do during vacation to help themselves have a successful school year?

Rabbi Walder: Vacation is a time for jumping, running, and having fun. Don’t feel pressure to learn—and certainly not learning anything that’s connected to school.

 

MJ: Some kids worry if they will have friends. What do you advise them? 

Rabbi Walder: Don’t be afraid. If you are afraid, it’s natural. Imagine a centipede walking on his 100 legs. Isn’t it ridiculous for him to worry about what he’ll do if leg number 26 doesn’t work well.

If you didn’t have many friends last year then it certainly isn’t a problem that was born during the vacation. So don’t worry during the vacation and once school starts, speak with your parents or someone else you trust about how to handle it.

 

MJ: How can a person find chein in other people’s eyes?

Rabbi Walder: That’s the million dollar question. Our entire life we seek all seek to find chein, as we say in Birchas HaMazon, “V’nimtza chein v’seichel tov –May we find ... chein, grace, and may others understand us.” One way to help yourself is to think about who your friends are and how you relate to them. Children can explore the reasons why people might not feel close to them. Maybe they’re chasing after friends so the friends run away from them. Maybe they don’t act properly or they do silly things. Sometimes a child lacks the self-confidence needed to attract friends. If that’s the case, perhaps they could study Judo or some other skill that will build confidence. Chein is like a mirror — a mirror that sometimes needs to be replaced. My book Behind the Mask, explains how to create a new social mirror.

 

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