Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Tough Love Back in Vogue

Michal Eisikowitz

A New Trend in Parenting Takes Us Back to Tradition

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

tree“I was once standing at a busyJerusalemintersection waiting for the crosswalk to turn green,” relates Rebbetzin Malka Kaganoff, educational director of She’arim seminary in Yerushalayim and a frequent speaker on parenting topics. “Next to me was a mother of three young boys. The mother said, ‘Yanky, you may not cross the street!’ Yanky saw there were no cars coming and scampered across the street. Mother tried son #2: ‘Shloimy, you may not cross the street!’ Shloimy promptly bolted across the road. The mother then turned to her youngest: ‘Good boy, Sruli! You’re listening to Mommy!’

“What was so alarming, witnessing this incident,” says Rebbetzin Kaganoff, “was that the mother was totally unaware that she had no control over her kids. And in a year or two, Sruli will probably become just like the others.”

“Our parenting standards have sunk so low that we don’t even question behaviors that would have been considered outrageous 30 years ago,” concurs Simi Yellen, a popular Los Angeles–based parenting instructor who has given teleconference classes and private consultations for over a decade. “We’ve lost our accurate lens for what is normal, and now we have to raise back the bar.”

A growing number of parenting experts feel the same way, and are determined to restore Torah-based respect to Jewish homes.

“There are only two psukim that dictate the parent-child relationship in the Torah,” says Simi. “One is ‘Respect your father and mother.’ The other is ‘Your father and mother you must fear.’ If respect and a healthy yirah are the foundation, only then can you build up to the sky.”

Though she is all for warmth, love, and positivity, Simi — and others — fiercely believe this: Warmth alone doth not an enduring relationship make.


 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you