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Need advice about keeping at risk ds from going fully otd
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amother




Viola
 

Post Fri, Sep 17 2021, 7:10 pm
My son is 14. He has a similar temperment to your son. For a while he was on meds for anxiety and depression and they always seemed to help but only temporarily. Now he is not on meds. He hated his elementary school and we pulled him out of it. We figured what is the point if he is going to learn and end up hating it. (We had only one option where we live.) We were afraid he will hate his school and then generalize and hate frumkeit. We didn't want that. He was tested and evaluated for ADD and other things. He was borderline for ADD so we tried meds but they didn't help and made him worse actually.

We figured we just had to go a different way with him and he seems happy and is maturing. He doesn't have a yeshiva education at this point. He learns once a week with a person he looks up to and he willingly goes to shul on Shabbos. I don't know if he will go OTD one day. Our focus has been just let him grow up happy about himself and confident and hope he finds his way the way he is supposed to.
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barelyawake




 
 
 
 

Post Sat, Sep 18 2021, 7:58 am
Just love him.
Make it clear that, whatever his journey, you love him.
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LovesHashem




 
 
 
 

Post Sat, Sep 18 2021, 12:30 pm
Is there any chilled yeshivos in the USA for kids who need a less intense vibe and outlets like sports and woodworking but aren’t fully of kids who are doing drugs?

It’s a real issue of all yeshivos either being for really issue kids dealing with drugs and addictions and girls and regular Yeshivos.

Anyone who doesn’t fit the mold is stuck. I know many people who went yeshivah hopping but never found a good fit until yeshivah gedolah in Israel.

Fischer’s is amazing but I’m not sure if they take 16 year olds. And I’m not sure how much freedom the give the boys. It may be an option though. The environment is amazing.
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amother




Aquamarine
 

Post Sat, Sep 18 2021, 9:26 pm
LovesHashem wrote:
Is there any chilled yeshivos in the USA for kids who need a less intense vibe and outlets like sports and woodworking but aren’t fully of kids who are doing drugs?

It’s a real issue of all yeshivos either being for really issue kids dealing with drugs and addictions and girls and regular Yeshivos.

Anyone who doesn’t fit the mold is stuck. I know many people who went yeshivah hopping but never found a good fit until yeshivah gedolah in Israel.

Fischer’s is amazing but I’m not sure if they take 16 year olds. And I’m not sure how much freedom the give the boys. It may be an option though. The environment is amazing.

Fisher's is amazing! Talking from experience! They give boys lots of freedom.. I don't think they take 16 yrs old. A lot of the boys come from waterburry where OP said she didn't want to send.
Unfortunately I don't think there's much choices for "in between yeshivos" (talking about regular yeshivish system and waterburry, Englewood...)
There's shaarei amazing in Monsey. They cater to kids with learning disabilities. They do have activities, a band...(I wouldn't call it chilled either!)
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amother




Hawthorn
 

Post Sat, Sep 18 2021, 9:52 pm
amother [ DarkRed ] wrote:
I have an OTD child myself.
Can you elaborate on "loving myself"? Do you mean by stopping to blame yourself?


I mean a few things.

One thing I mean is to come to understand the part of me that is very much wanting to prevent my child from going otd. THAT needs attending to, first and foremost, because otherwise it will run the show, and when THAT runs the show, true connection between parent and child is compromised. Connection, not correction, is what is most life-serving to children/humans.

Another thing I mean is to begin to come into relationship with my own human-ness. When I become aware of my need for acceptance, my own need for autonomy, my own need for nurturance, etc etc etc. then I realize that the otd child is a human being first and foremost, and his/her HUMAN needs require attending to first and foremost.

Regarding blaming myself: that's another aspect.

There's more, when I have more time.
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amother




Khaki
 

Post Sat, Sep 18 2021, 10:03 pm
amother [ Arcticblue ] wrote:
How about a mentor or "big brother?"


I was on the brink for a while when I was a teen and having a close relationship with a caring non judgemental wise third party is what has saved me
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Chaya rachel




 
 
 
 

Post Sat, Sep 18 2021, 10:28 pm
My husband has helped boys in the past that were in this situation, sort of like an older brother/friend vibe. Pm me if you would be interested in talking to him.
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amother




Turquoise
 

Post Sat, Sep 18 2021, 10:53 pm
My only son is 16 and he also struggled A LOT in mesivta. He was unhappy, was always friends with the bad kids, did bad things, was rebellious, although very little chutzpah. It became a nightmare when he was 14-15, we were genuinely worried about him. Again, no chutzpah and no problems at home, but a lot of problems at school, calls from the rebbis, being pulled from class, getting into fights, making internet friends somehow, very scary times. Then I offered him to go to yeshiva in NY (we're not from the US). To the yeshiva my husband went to. My husband initially didn't want him to go there.

He went for the first time as a test to the yeshivas camp this summer and the change was INSTANT. He made amazing friends at that camp where he could explore new interests, new hobbies, new activities, he started learning seriously with a chavrusa that is now his best buddy, and it really really was all for the best. After camp he came back home for a month, and then missed some class so he could stay for RH but now he is back there and he loves it! When he came home this summer he was a brand new, adorably sweet boy, very serious in his yiddishkeit.


What was the secret? The yeshiva he goes to is MUCH LESS frum than the mesivta my husband had initially put him in. My husband thought my son was very shtark, and he was, when he was around his bar mitzvah, but the pressure of a very charedi yeshiva was just too much for him. Now that he's in a yeshiva with a good limud and that emphasizes the importance of derech eretz, he is thriving.


I'm not saying I have the solution to your problem. Every child is different. But a change of environment can be very good for someone who is struggling. Particularly if he feels like yiddishkeit can only be done one way, the way his Yeshiva teaches it, and he just doesn't like it.


Hatzlacha, OP. I wish you nothing but the best
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amother




DarkRed
 

Post Sun, Sep 19 2021, 6:38 pm
naturalmom5 wrote:
As someone , whose son went to yeshiva with at risk and OTD boys and lots of exposure to the parsha

Many OTD girls feel comfortable around me for some reason and open up, I can speculate
Maybe its helpful

As a random anonymous poster I feel the gaiva loud and clear

If I was your son I might be totally turned off as well


Proof that you never walked a step, never mind a mile, in the shoes of parents of kids leaning towards going OTD, or parents of OTD kids.. May Hashem bentch you never to be in those shoes iyH!

Its a humbling and a crushing experience. They dont need to be further steamrolled.
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amother




Cobalt
 

Post Sun, Sep 19 2021, 6:57 pm
I have a son who was similar in temperament and was in a similar situation at that age. I'm not out of the woods but he is in a much better situation now.

One thing we did that helped a lot was to distract him and buy time by very much encouraging ANY remotely positive interests he had. To give but one example. He had this odd obsession and I mean OBSESSION with the civil war. Totally socially off for a fifteen old boy and his social issues were a major component in the problem.

Our Rav heard and told us and him that the world desperately needs him. Who else will be able to inform people searching for civil war trivia? Today he has a business finding information for people whose know they have a ancestor who fought in the civil war for either side and are searching for details.

We had no idea that things would turn out that way but by encouraging the one neutral and non contentious interest he had even though it cost a lot of money, effort and tolerance we managed to avoid so much other contention and anger over other things until things died down. Plus we were able to make him feel good about himself

Hugs. I am davening for you and him
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amother




Copper
 

Post Sun, Sep 19 2021, 7:54 pm
I Any advice I have is not from a parents perspective, but my own as a teenager/young adult who went otd and BH made my way back

First- no matter what happens with your son, always let him know that you love and support him. This is so so important. My parents were extremely supportive no matter what stage I was at, always made me feel loved and never looked down on me or my choices.

Second- respect his decisions. If you give him respect, he will learn to give it back. When I came back from seminary I was fully otd, and when I was living at home I never dressed inappropriately around my family, never broke Shabbos around anyone and never brought non kosher food into the house, even discreetly to eat in my room. I felt my family respected my lifestyle and in return I could respect theirs, and I understood for example while It doesn’t bother me to see someone keeping Shabbos, it bothered them to see me not keep it, so I made sacrifices for them on my own and never complained

Third- never push. Let him figure out where he wants to go and take that journey, and just love and support him unconditionally through it wherever he goes so that he can hopefully make his way back. If he is unhappy in his school than definitely try to send him somewhere else, that gives him a lot more freedom and doesn’t put on the same amount of pressure because that will only push him farther and create resentment towards everything he is forced to do and the people forcing him to do it.

Im not sure why you didn’t want to send to Waterbury, I had a brother and a few friends who were very much on the path of going otd that went there, and all are now really really good boys. My brother now learns full time in Lakewood and and plans on being in kollel for a few years after getting married too. The first year or two in Waterbury the boys are definitely more exploring and figuring out where they want to go, but after that they usually start getting much more serious and spiritual and going the right way. I definitely recommend it as an option
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chocolate moose




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Sep 19 2021, 9:17 pm
He needs a big brother type mentor that he will look up to and like
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su7kids




 
 
 
 

Post Sun, Sep 19 2021, 10:56 pm
Look on YouTube for videos by Rabbi Shais Taub on parenting. He addresses this issue in a strong and powerful and positive way.
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amother




Raspberry
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 12:13 am
Does his school have enough secular studies?
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amother




Moonstone
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 7:24 am
I apologize if this comes across as simplistic but I found this to ring true for me when trying to help someone who was OTD.
First comes Happy, then Healthy(emotionally), then Frum. Maybe it would be a good idea to put more focus on happy and healthy first?
May you have the strength and wisdom to get through this and come out a better, stronger mother and person.
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amother




Dahlia
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 8:11 am
Where do you live? There is someone in Lakewood who works magic
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amother




Wallflower
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 8:15 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
*Please only give advice if you have personal experience with this type of situation. Thanks.*

My ds is 16 and in yeshiva. He’s had major learning difficulties his whole life (that we got him tutors for) and has always had a difficult personality (easily angered, overreacts, hates being told what to do, impulsive, aggressive) and got suspended both in elementary and in mesivta. We’ve tried therapy but he refuses to talk with anyone and the therapists have told us they can’t work with him since he refuses to participate. He’s on adhd medication to help with focusing and impulse control.

Since he was younger I sensed he might go otd but now things are getting much worse. His clothes, his attitude, his “friends,” are all changing. And I found out he was mechallel Shabbos at least 2 times in the last month.

He’s a good sweet boy underneath. We b”H have a good, loving relationship. I think most of why he’s still in yeshiva is because he doesn’t want to disappoint me.

What can I do to pull my precious ds back from the brink? Of course I’m davening hard. What else can I do? I’m fully aware that I don’t have any control over this, and that he’s going to make his own choices. But I’d like to do whatever I can to try and keep him. Advice greatly appreciated. Thanks.


I’m not sure if he is at this stage, but someone my husband knows has two teenagers with learning disabilities who are otd and this person is finally (after a year and a lot of hard work) seeing results with twisted parenting from Avi Fishoff. May be worth a try.
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tp3




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 8:55 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
*Please only give advice if you have personal experience with this type of situation. Thanks.*

My ds is 16 and in yeshiva. He’s had major learning difficulties his whole life (that we got him tutors for) and has always had a difficult personality (easily angered, overreacts, hates being told what to do, impulsive, aggressive) and got suspended both in elementary and in mesivta. We’ve tried therapy but he refuses to talk with anyone and the therapists have told us they can’t work with him since he refuses to participate. He’s on adhd medication to help with focusing and impulse control.

Since he was younger I sensed he might go otd but now things are getting much worse. His clothes, his attitude, his “friends,” are all changing. And I found out he was mechallel Shabbos at least 2 times in the last month.

He’s a good sweet boy underneath. We b”H have a good, loving relationship. I think most of why he’s still in yeshiva is because he doesn’t want to disappoint me.

What can I do to pull my precious ds back from the brink? Of course I’m davening hard. What else can I do? I’m fully aware that I don’t have any control over this, and that he’s going to make his own choices. But I’d like to do whatever I can to try and keep him. Advice greatly appreciated. Thanks.

I know this is distressing but you cannot control your child's life or actions. He makes his own choices and will have to deal with the outcome of them.
I would turn a blind eye to any detail that is simply not my business and not under my control. Just love him for who is. Just like Hashem loves us, every minute, unrelated to our actions. He gives us billions of chances to start fresh every day.
I have a teen son who is both creative and a risk-taker. He will experiment with anything impulsively just because. I've been telling him since he was about 11 that anything he chooses to do, he is responsible for. Not me or my husband. We are there to help him, advise him, teach him the right way, but his choices and actions are his alone. This made him stop and think, that he can't just do anything at all and expect to be magically rescued from a predicament. I haven't had to remind him of this in at least a year and Baruch Hashem, as far as I know, he makes good choices.
I give him a ton of positive attention and hugs too, which is easy because he's still adorable.
Older bochurim that he knows from yeshiva and overnight camp have been a very good resource for him too. He respects them as role models and they are nice enough to keep up with him every once in a while.
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Jewishmom8




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 8:56 am
naturalmom5 wrote:
As someone , whose son went to yeshiva with at risk and OTD boys and lots of exposure to the parsha

Many OTD girls feel comfortable around me for some reason and open up, I can speculate
Maybe its helpful

As a random anonymous poster I feel the gaiva loud and clear
If I was your son I might be totally turned off as well

I reported this post. I am glad I was not the only one.
There is something seriously wrong with you, that you could say that to another Jewish mother.
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amother




Dahlia
 

Post Mon, Sep 20 2021, 8:59 am
I have good news for you OP, your son in most likely part of the small percentage of the population who are highly creative and emotionally intelligent. He’s “struggling” because he is part of a system that doesn’t value this. I mentioned this is in earlier post there is someone in Lakewood who completely flips the script on how these individuals see themselves, and how to channel these unique talents and be the greatest assets to the community.

Edited to add let me know if you would like more info
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