Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I Was 100% Wrong

(Picture courtesy of

I just spoke with a person who was physically and emotionally abused as a child and I came to the conclusion that I was 100% wrong with what I wrote here.

I hereby resolve to give $18 to tzedakah on any occurrence if I do anything to scare my children or cause my children to be fearful of me.

I am making a new beginning starting now.


At September 6, 2006 at 4:25:00 PM EDT, Blogger Minor Fast Days said...

Our mistakes can be our a biggest gains spiritually.

At September 6, 2006 at 5:00:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Neshama said...

Thank you for being so honest - with yourself and us.

On second reading, I am sorry also that I did not take up the defense of your little frightened son. Now that you have brought the incident to the fore, I also say I'm sorry. Sorry I wasn't sensitive enough to your son.

In all honesty, I don't think I would do something a second time (as the first time is when you see the reaction) if I had children and witnessed that type of reaction. What was I thinking of!

At September 6, 2006 at 5:16:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A Yid said...

A bit realted - I've heared besheym Baal haTania that chosid should never beat his children.

Not related:

I found a great store, where you can by numerous old sforim in copy form relativerly cheep!

At September 6, 2006 at 5:23:00 PM EDT, Blogger Stacey said...

There is nothing wrong with stopping and re-evaluating. And it is a perfect time for new beginnings. I agree with you, btw.

At September 6, 2006 at 5:53:00 PM EDT, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

ASJ, that you are re-evaluating your tactics shows how much you must truly love and care about your children. Kol HaKavod. How will you rehabilitate the orangutan so it is seen now as just a toy?

At September 6, 2006 at 6:00:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mottel said...

Thanks for the pic blurb.
In regards to the discussion at hand, I think abuse is relative.
Even with the Alter rebbe's words (In truth they are the Frierdiker Rebbe's, who says that the AR leaves out the term chossid when describing a father who must punishes his son (A parable referring to Divine punishment). However, we see that the FR was given "patch" by his father, the Rashab, on two occasions -and refers to them as true child rearing.

It would seem then that all is relative.
A father could spank his child, and be doing the right thing. He could do far less and be dangerously abusive . . .

At September 6, 2006 at 7:40:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Chaim said...

The "orangutang" tactic might also fall under "scaring one's child with an impure animal" which is explicitly assur, i think in the mishna berurah but maybe actually shulchan aruch... anyone know?

At September 6, 2006 at 8:13:00 PM EDT, Blogger Neil Harris said...

"All beginning are difficult" Kol Hatchalot Kashot

Kol HaKavod. This is exactly what the Rambam tells us to do during Elul. Admit we made a mistake and resolve to not do it again. You mom will be proud of you!

At September 6, 2006 at 8:46:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Akiva Micah: True!

Neshama: Honesty is a necessity, especially now during the month of Elul.

A Yid: Thanks. I have run across that website as well.

Stacey: I appreciate your kind words.

MCAryeh: I might need to send the orangutan to a 12 step program to properly rehabilitate him ;)

Mottel: Interesting thoughts. Thanks again for the picture.

Chaim: I would be interested to see that reference.

Neil: I sure hope so :)

At September 6, 2006 at 11:46:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty and your children will thank you for your self-honesty. My husband and I have learned over 8 years and a number of children later that as much as we try to develop middot in them, parenting them gives us the opportunity to strengthan our own. There is no question that as parents we WILL make mistakes. Our growth comes from realizing which ones we have made and learning from them (and makind ammends if need be). Your son is luck to have such a self-reflective parent.

RE: jumping on the couch: with our second son, who always seems to have velocity, we found that an effective way for us to get him to stop doing something that involved pieces of furniture or toys, or any object, really, is to explain ONCE what our expectation was for his behavior, explain ONCE what the consequence would be (usually removing him from said furniture and placing him on the deck for a short period of time even in winter, or removing the toy or object for a while), and then following through on the consequence the very next time. With our oldest we can reason more - he is just a words kind of kid. You explain once, maybe twice and you're done with him. The second son needs to be physically reminded by removing him or the object he is destroying. Not that you asked :-) just my 2 cents! I hope I didn't intrude or offend you!

At September 7, 2006 at 2:06:00 AM EDT, Blogger Aunt Laya said...

Good for you for growing and changing and sharing it with the world. Here's a tidbit of something I've learned (and continue to learn, refine, practice) about parenting:

Our children bond with us through three things:
-emotional intensity
-eye contact

Often parents tend to give these three elements while disciplining the child with negative emotional intensity. We want to use positive emotional intensity in bonding with our children though so the bond is one of comfort and love.

One of the most effective (and Torah approved) methods is the "one, two, three" method. (You’d need to learn this and explain the new system to the child.) Explain one time what the house rules are. Then they get "counted". "That's one" let's them know they have been given the benefit of the doubt. "That's two" gives them another chance to think about and change their behavior. "That's three" gives them a time out in their room to cool off, settle down, etc. Once kids get the hang of this system, they rarely get to three. When they do, the time out serves them well. All this is done without anger! (Well, we are human, but it sure cuts the anger a LOT)

The only book I know that teachers this system is "1, 2, 3 Magic" by Dr. Thomas Phelan.

I hope that helps you or someone else out in blogger land. Thanks for a thoughtful spot to visit.


At September 7, 2006 at 6:29:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Ezer K'negdo: I truly appreciate your feedback. One thing I try to keep in mind is a saying by Rabbi Brody who commented that the difficulties we experience raising our children is precisely what we need for our individual tikkun.

Aunt Laya: Thank you for the recommendation. I just ordered a used copy of the book you recommended and will read it once it arrives.

At September 7, 2006 at 10:09:00 AM EDT, Blogger Elisheva said...

As an adult survivor of child abuse in which many scare tactits were used, I want to applaud your decision. I'm sure your child will be eternally grateful.

At September 7, 2006 at 10:12:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Elisheva: Thank you. If you don't mind me asking, how did these scare tactics affect you later in life?


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