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Tips for Raising Your Children with a Love for Yiddishkeit

 
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amother




OP


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 5:24 pm
It is every frum mother's hope to instill in her child a love for Yiddishkeit, and I would love if we could share little (or not so little) tips from your every day life for practical ways of accomplishing this (besides for tefila - the most important factor of course!). Please be as specific as possible! I'll start with a few off the top of my head:

- telling my children stories about tzaddikim and stories with important values. I especially try to prepare interesting stories to tell over at the Shabbos seudahs.

- saying brachos out loud

- davening out loud with kevana

- telling them at bedtime a "story" about how Hashem wanted to choose a very special neshama to add to our family, He looked through all the neshamos and found an extra "shiny" special one and said this is the one that I will give to the Cohen family. He put the neshama into the baby in Mommy's tummy, and that was you!

- making parsha-related treats with them

- praising them as a "gibor" when a sibling hurts them, but they don't hit back

- making a special dinner when they have a siyum at school

- listing the things that we are thankful to Hashem for

Looking forward to reading your tips!
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amother




Floralwhite


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 5:41 pm
Wow, these are all great tips!

I would say to really make sure that I myself keep up a love for yiddishkeit and will try to watch what I say around my kids so that they hear positive attitude from me. Try not to burn myself out on things that are not really necessary (such as an extra salad on Shabbos) if that will make me feel resentful and give off a feeling that Shabbos is stressful and a burden. Ditto for Pesach. Try to add things that really make it enjoyable for me. B'ezras Hashem.
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Avrahamamma




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 5:50 pm
we have a "graffiti wall" that the kids color on. they draw and write down the thing we want to thank HKBH for. It was originally a scribble wall and I figured if its already all marked up we might as well make something nice out of it.
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bigsis144




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 6:10 pm
My kids (7 & 10) tell me to shut up and scream “blah blah blah” when I sing Modeh Ani or Shabbos zmiros... they don’t participate in school Chanukah performances or take pride in answering parsha questions or saying over divrei Torah... a sincere “what I am grateful to HaShem for” go-around-the-table exercise turns into unsubtle insults of their siblings or potty humor... praise for unplanned good behavior gets IMMEDIATE negative behavior as a test of my patience...

All I can do to instill a love of Judaism in them is not to be critical/pressuring of them and daven (when they’re not around to physically harass me), and be a positive example in Halacha and hashkafa. If their home is a happy and safe place, then their parents’ religion will feel happy and safe too IYH.

(“Maybe if I’d had a preschool Morah’s endless enthusiasm when they were younger... maybe if I’d davened harder... maybe if I didn’t harbor secret cynicism in my heart and had more Yiras Shamayim...” says my inner Critic. But I take a deep breath and just do what I can.)
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amother




Babyblue


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 6:42 pm
I think that an ahavas Hashem and chayim, on my part. A love of Shabbos. An involment in the community. Doing chessed -that speaks to us, together and with love. An appreciation and amazement of how easy kosher is at this time. Approaching Yom Tov with joy instead of stress (nobody cares if how many side dishes I serve or if I left a laundry basket full of dirty stuff). Some Kiruv "so we can share this beautiful life we have with people who were not as privileged to grow up in Torah..... "
I think a lot of it is about the perspective you display to them.

I do have some advantage. I have a very small family due to SIF, which breaks my heart, but the silver lining is that means I have more time and less work. I was a SAHM for many years. I am financially stable. I am MO and I don't feel all the constraints people often complain about. Most of all, it is a priority to me to relay this to my children and I am blessed to have been raised to genuinely feel this way!
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SixOfWands




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 6:48 pm
bigsis144 wrote:
My kids (7 & 10) tell me to shut up and scream “blah blah blah” when I sing Modeh Ani or Shabbos zmiros... they don’t participate in school Chanukah performances or take pride in answering parsha questions or saying over divrei Torah... a sincere “what I am grateful to HaShem for” go-around-the-table exercise turns into unsubtle insults of their siblings or potty humor... praise for unplanned good behavior gets IMMEDIATE negative behavior as a test of my patience...

All I can do to instill a love of Judaism in them is not to be critical/pressuring of them and daven (when they’re not around to physically harass me), and be a positive example in Halacha and hashkafa. If their home is a happy and safe place, then their parents’ religion will feel happy and safe too IYH.

(“Maybe if I’d had a preschool Morah’s endless enthusiasm when they were younger... maybe if I’d davened harder... maybe if I didn’t harbor secret cynicism in my heart and had more Yiras Shamayim...” says my inner Critic. But I take a deep breath and just do what I can.)


Your kids aren't demonstrating a lack of love of Judaism. They're just being 7 and 10, and that they feel so safe and so loved that they can act this way.

Keep doing what you're doing, and check in again when they're 19 and 22.
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flowerpower




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 6:48 pm
Making yiddishkeit exciting-

Buy special treats for shabbos
Play games together on shabbos
Bake something tasty lekovod shabbos.
Same with yom tov.....
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amother




Plum


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 7:11 pm
From my husbands rosh yeshiva: shalom bayis and loving attention for each kid + calm atmosphere = kids will associate everything you stand for with what they want. (And the opposite is true too: parents fighting + not meeting kids emotional needing + stress = kids will associate everything you stand for with what they hate.)
According to this rav, the school you pick, the friends your kids have, the things you teach directly at home all have very little to do with how a kid makes their relationship to yiddishkiet.
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PinkFridge




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 8:22 pm
Don't complain about the high cost of Yiddishkeit Twisted Evil At least not in front of them.
Model. Show excitement about a devar Torah, new song, etc. And be a happy person. Laugh. Make cookies. Serve Shabbos cereal and Shabbos parties. Zero in on their good qualities and give them opportunities to use those qualities.

If some of them seem like good parenting ideas for anyone, not just religious people, absolutely. The relationship is crucial.

(Did I do everything perfectly? No. But I hpe you still take me seriously.)
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Refine




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 10:36 pm
This is what my parents did with bh success;
-Be a dugma chaya (living example). I try, but honestly, my parents passion for yiddishkeit is much stronger than my own, so....
-a certain level of certainty or trust that we'll be frum. I don't remember hashkafa debates. It was more like "when you get older you'll understand"
-mitzvos were not framed as a burden. We were told to pull down our dress to cover the knee "because it's not nice" not because it's not tznius.
-Take care of our needs physically and kept us emotionally safe. We knew that if need anyhting, they'd have our backs. We never heard complaints about schar limmud or how kids are expensive. We were never shamed for sharing our sometimes wacky thoughts. I'd say I'm a more selfish parent.
We had our fair share of yelling though. Affected us emotionally just not religiously.
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amother




Periwinkle


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 11:00 pm
Great thread! Great tips!

Cultivate our own joy in being frum yidden and express in front of the kids how fortunate and blessed we are to be born yidden! with a special relationship with Hashem and special mission privilege and responsibility He Gave us. Show them by example how joyous you are being a frum yid. Make it real and make it personal.

Make it fun -- make shabbos and Y"T kid friendly. talk about how lucky we are to have days to celebrate with family/friends/each other. Talk about how fortunate we are to be able to live freely as yidden and do mitzvos! And have a Torah chinuch!

focus on the positive and empower them that Hashem Has Entrusted us with the Torah! Like we are partners with Hashem in creation and our mitzvos and brochos are so powerful beyond what we can see and even imagine. Like the Torah is our treasure map blueprint.

when possible send them to good camps that reinforce the strong identity linked with fun, you can when possible/advised link each kid up with an older kid mentor (same gender) who can do fun things with them, help with homework, and again wordlessly reinforce the connection socially and otherwise how fortunate we are.
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wantavaca




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Nov 26 2019, 11:27 pm
Speak about hashem as a loving father who is always taking care of them and always wanting to hear from them.
Model love for yiddishkeit yourself.
Give them as much freedom as possible to be who they want to be- my dd wanted to listen to English music which I didn’t feel happy about at all but I ended up working with her to find an app with clean songs I can tolerate that she likes listening to.
Don’t shove davening and stuff down their throats.
In general, teach them to make high level choices in their lives by being consistent with encouragement,praise, and consequences.
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amother




Yellow


Post  Wed, Nov 27 2019, 1:59 am
amother [ Plum ] wrote:
From my husbands rosh yeshiva: shalom bayis and loving attention for each kid + calm atmosphere = kids will associate everything you stand for with what they want. (And the opposite is true too: parents fighting + not meeting kids emotional needing + stress = kids will associate everything you stand for with what they hate.)
According to this rav, the school you pick, the friends your kids have, the things you teach directly at home all have very little to do with how a kid makes their relationship to yiddishkiet.


It’s very interesting. B/c I have 4 children (youngest SN so this topic doesn’t really apply to him) but the other 3 all married and B’H have a love of yiddishkeit that I am truely in awe of.
Way way more than me. & what I bolded holds true in our home when they were growing up. I often wonder how my 3 children have so much love of being a Jew. Each are different but love it just the same. B’H- 100x. I don’t take it for granted.
I am so proud of them. But on the inside - and prob outside too - I never felt a margin of what they obviously are feeling. My childhood was the exact opposite of my kids.
So your husbands rosh hayeshiva was right on the mark.
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amother




Chocolate


Post  Wed, Nov 27 2019, 2:20 am
Encourage questions. Even uncomfortable ones. Although there is Emunah in Yiddishkeit, Emunah is only at the point where sechel (intellect) can no longer reach. So let them try to understand as much as possible!

Make Shabbos and Yom Tov food delicious. "The way to the Jewish soul is through the stomach."

Admit your mistakes, so that they can see that Yiddishkeit is perfect but Yidden are a work in progress.

Be happy yourself, and if you don't LOVE Yiddishkeit, learn more so that you will!
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amother




OP


Post  Wed, Nov 27 2019, 10:56 pm
I love these ideas! Thank you so much to everyone who contributed! Please keep this conversation going...
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