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Forum -> Parenting our children -> Our Challenging Children (gifted, ADHD, sensitive, defiant)
Teen ordered non kosher food
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 12:02 am
I’m so so sad. My 16 yr old dd, who has emotional/behavioral challenges just ordered from a treif restaurant ( through door dash).
She attends a non Jewish therapeutic school and has distanced herself from mitzvos in general. She is surrounded by many “woke” peers and says she is not sure if there is a Gd…
Through therapy, my husband and I have really made strides in accepting her, living her unconditionally and doing our best to let her know that there is a place for her in our family. It’s a very big challenge especially for her siblings, but we try to model how to love unconditionally and not be at all apologetic about our standards as a family - it’s really complicated and quite a journey.
This is a first though. I’m not naive enough to think that she hasn’t eaten treif before - but this is egregious.
I think I handled it well ( I key thinking what would someone greater than me do, and all those stories of the how the chofetz Chaim and rabbi Aryeh Levine handled these kind of things went through my mind)
I’m just shaken up.
I don’t consider her to be a classic rebellious teenager because of her other issues and the environment that she’s in.
The silver lining is that since she’s been in this school ( before that she was in a Jewish school but they didn’t have the resources to really help her) she has grown so much as a person. She is really getting the tools she needs to cope with her issues. But this is at such a high cost Sad
Can anyone relate?
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amother
Mauve


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 12:15 am
Unfortunately, I can relate!

My dd has been dealing with mental health challenges for a while now. She's been in and out of hospitals and currently in a residential facility. Although they have an option to eat kosher she doesn't. It's beyond painful for parents but right now I tell myself that she's a chole sheyesh bo sakana and not really mechuyav to keep mitzvos.
It's really hard.
I would tell your daughter not to bring it into the house though(if theres a chance she woukd listen!). Especially if there are younger kids in the house.
Try to connect to kesher nafshi.
You'll get support from ppl dealing with the same issues are you!
https://keshernafshi.org/
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 1:05 am
amother Mauve wrote:
Unfortunately, I can relate!

My dd has been dealing with mental health challenges for a while now. She's been in and out of hospitals and currently in a residential facility. Although they have an option to eat kosher she doesn't. It's beyond painful for parents but right now I tell myself that she's a chole sheyesh bo sakana and not really mechuyav to keep mitzvos.
It's really hard.
I would tell your daughter not to bring it into the house though(if theres a chance she woukd listen!). Especially if there are younger kids in the house.
Try to connect to kesher nafshi.
You'll get support from ppl dealing with the same issues are you!
https://keshernafshi.org/


Thank you! I just spent the last half hour checking out kesher nafshi. It seems like a great organization. I would love to go to the upcoming Shabbaton. It’s so expensive for us. But may be a necessity more than a want.
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amother
NeonPurple


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 1:23 am
Definitely reach out to kesher nafshi.
You will get a lot of support.
Unfortunately there are many people dealing with this.
There isn’t much you can do and it’s not your job to change things. However you should just show your dd acceptance and care and realize that inside she’s really unwell. When the atmosphere in the home is calm and she feels your acceptance she is much less likely to act out.
Please reach out to kesher nafshi . You will be blown away by the support you can get. Ask them if you can be on the mother chat.
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amother
NeonPurple


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 1:24 am
amother OP wrote:
Thank you! I just spent the last half hour checking out kesher nafshi. It seems like a great organization. I would love to go to the upcoming Shabbaton. It’s so expensive for us. But may be a necessity more than a want.


It’s worth every penny.
Their events are not to be believed.
Start by listening to the recorded lectures.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 1:46 am
amother NeonPurple wrote:
It’s worth every penny.
Their events are not to be believed.
Start by listening to the recorded lectures.


Thank you it’s already comforting to k ow that this exists. Are the Shabbatons a for whole families or just parents?
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amother
Mint


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 2:14 am
amother OP wrote:
I’m so so sad. My 16 yr old dd, who has emotional/behavioral challenges just ordered from a treif restaurant ( through door dash).
She attends a non Jewish therapeutic school and has distanced herself from mitzvos in general. She is surrounded by many “woke” peers and says she is not sure if there is a Gd…
Through therapy, my husband and I have really made strides in accepting her, living her unconditionally and doing our best to let her know that there is a place for her in our family. It’s a very big challenge especially for her siblings, but we try to model how to love unconditionally and not be at all apologetic about our standards as a family - it’s really complicated and quite a journey.
This is a first though. I’m not naive enough to think that she hasn’t eaten treif before - but this is egregious.
I think I handled it well ( I key thinking what would someone greater than me do, and all those stories of the how the chofetz Chaim and rabbi Aryeh Levine handled these kind of things went through my mind)
I’m just shaken up.
I don’t consider her to be a classic rebellious teenager because of her other issues and the environment that she’s in.
The silver lining is that since she’s been in this school ( before that she was in a Jewish school but they didn’t have the resources to really help her) she has grown so much as a person. She is really getting the tools she needs to cope with her issues. But this is at such a high cost Sad
Can anyone relate?


I’m sending hugs. I’m sorry I don’t have practical advice to give, but hoping the hugs will give you chizuk on some level.
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DrMom




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 2:22 am
Not that this addresses the biggest issues here, but it is entirely reasonable for you to tell your daughter that she may not bring treif into the family home.
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amother
Candycane


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 2:25 am
I don’t mean to derail the thread , but I have a question
In which case would an Adhd child need a non Jewish behavior school ?
I myself have a teenager w/ ADHD & Tourette’s & Anxiety …who is certainly a handful .
But it never occurred to do this .
Not judging at all, just wondering if there is something I am missing .
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amother
RosePink


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 2:48 am
OP you are amazing. I’m not entirely in same situation but I can completely understand as I’m in a similar situation. When I read your post my heart hurt for you. But it also hurt for how I’m dealing with my DC that is similar. I ignore MANY things he doesn’t do, but I can’t accept and be loving when my DC does something obvious and blatant (like turning on a light on Rosh Hashana). Reading your approach sounds so incredibly admirable, but how can you be so loving and accepting of blatant aveiros being done in front of your other kids? I think it would cause my kids to believe it’s not so bad. I also want my DC to know that even if he doesn’t believe there is a GD I am strong in my beliefs in Torah and I can’t allow him to do things I know are harming his neshama . Even if he doesn’t believe it, it’s my responsibility to protect him. Just like I wouldn’t let him jump off a bridge even if he thinks nothing will happen , I can’t lovingly allow him to do muktzah, eat non kosher and the like. I know he probably does when I’m not around but isn’t it important to instill the message in him that I love him and can’t allow him to harm himself spiritually just like I wouldn’t allow him to harm himself physically? He keeps telling me that it’s just a belief and it’s not real but I keep telling him I believe it’s real and I love him too much to do things I know are harmful to his soul. Is that the wrong approach? Should I be loving instead of preventing him from doing an action and giving unhappy feedback after he’s doing something wrong? If we are all loving and accepting how will our kids know this is truth and not just a belief of ours that they are welcome to belief or not and we love and support their choices either way? Isn’t it important for them to know just like a mother will do anything in their power to prevent a child from causing oneself physical harm so to will she do all she can to prevent them from causing themselves spiritual harm? Please understand I’m not judging your methods. Your approach tugged at my heart and I’m asking as I am re-evaluating my approach….. hugs to you and lots of love
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PinkFridge




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 8:10 am
amother Candycane wrote:
I don’t mean to derail the thread , but I have a question
In which case would an Adhd child need a non Jewish behavior school ?
I myself have a teenager w/ ADHD & Tourette’s & Anxiety …who is certainly a handful .
But it never occurred to do this .
Not judging at all, just wondering if there is something I am missing .


I don't know. But I assume such a decision is made with professional input.
Which leads me to suggest to OP that these are people she can ask.
If she doesn't have that kind of support and infrastructure, I third Kesher Nafshi. Yes, the Shabbatonim are supposed to be beyond helpful, but I assume they're there for those who need them in between too.
Hugs!

ETA because it's clear that OP is doing everything right in a situation that seems like everything's wrong.
I still think Kesher Nafshi is a great idea.


Last edited by PinkFridge on Sun, Sep 24 2023, 9:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 8:28 am
DrMom wrote:
Not that this addresses the biggest issues here, but it is entirely reasonable for you to tell your daughter that she may not bring treif into the family home.


Reasonable? I’m not sure. But it was how I was able to address it best in the moment.
. I didn’t make the mistake of asking a million question questions and then try to control the situation, which is what I used to do and it backfired every time. I was calm, and sad , instead of angry , which is a step for me . I’m kind of glad it happened on erev Yom Kippur. The fact that I was able to stay calm and loving was really helpful for both of us. And she too remained calm. And respectful .
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PinkFridge




 
 
    
 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 8:32 am
amother OP wrote:
Reasonable? I’m not sure. But it was how I was able to address it best in the moment.
. I didn’t make the mistake of asking a million question questions and then try to control the situation, which is what I used to do and it backfired every time. I was calm, and sad , instead of angry , which is a step for me . I’m kind of glad it happened on erev Yom Kippur. The fact that I was able to stay calm and loving was really helpful for both of us. And she too remained calm. And respectful .


I am so impressed. Liking isn't enough. May Hashem give you continued strength, and repaired and renewed relationships.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 8:32 am
amother Candycane wrote:
I don’t mean to derail the thread , but I have a question
In which case would an Adhd child need a non Jewish behavior school ?
I myself have a teenager w/ ADHD & Tourette’s & Anxiety …who is certainly a handful .
But it never occurred to do this .
Not judging at all, just wondering if there is something I am missing .

I hear your question. Of course ADHD usually does not interfere with life to require such an extreme move. While flipping through the names of forums, this felt like an ok place to post it
There are other issues ( history of suicide ideation) DMDD. We made this decision with clarity and input from our Rav and DD therapist.
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 8:47 am
amother RosePink wrote:
OP you are amazing. I’m not entirely in same situation but I can completely understand as I’m in a similar situation. When I read your post my heart hurt for you. But it also hurt for how I’m dealing with my DC that is similar. I ignore MANY things he doesn’t do, but I can’t accept and be loving when my DC does something obvious and blatant (like turning on a light on Rosh Hashana). Reading your approach sounds so incredibly admirable, but how can you be so loving and accepting of blatant aveiros being done in front of your other kids? I think it would cause my kids to believe it’s not so bad. I also want my DC to know that even if he doesn’t believe there is a GD I am strong in my beliefs in Torah and I can’t allow him to do things I know are harming his neshama . Even if he doesn’t believe it, it’s my responsibility to protect him. Just like I wouldn’t let him jump off a bridge even if he thinks nothing will happen , I can’t lovingly allow him to do muktzah, eat non kosher and the like. I know he probably does when I’m not around but isn’t it important to instill the message in him that I love him and can’t allow him to harm himself spiritually just like I wouldn’t allow him to harm himself physically? He keeps telling me that it’s just a belief and it’s not real but I keep telling him I believe it’s real and I love him too much to do things I know are harmful to his soul. Is that the wrong approach? Should I be loving instead of preventing him from doing an action and giving unhappy feedback after he’s doing something wrong? If we are all loving and accepting how will our kids know this is truth and not just a belief of ours that they are welcome to belief or not and we love and support their choices either way? Isn’t it important for them to know just like a mother will do anything in their power to prevent a child from causing oneself physical harm so to will she do all she can to prevent them from causing themselves spiritual harm? Please understand I’m not judging your methods. Your approach tugged at my heart and I’m asking as I am re-evaluating my approach….. hugs to you and lots of love

It is very difficult with other kids. And for many years I tried to “protect” my other kids from this child. That just sent the message that I love dc conditionally and that they should feel that they need their mommy to protect them - on the other end it made this DD feel isolated from the family.
This was all pointed out to me by a therapist .
The other kids now that this dd has struggles that are very difficult for her and it impacts our family, and it’s hard- AND, we are a family and are there for each other .
DD’s older sibling does have friends come for shabbos, and it does give her anxiety, like what crazy thing will DD do?
DD’s younger siblings will not have friends over because they are too embarrassed if DD.
I need to give them that space and validate their feelings and at the same time, when we are with a group of people model what it looks like to really make the statement that our family is a uniit through thick and thin and we are proud of all of them ( don’t even get me started in how hard this can be with certain extended family members..)
We have been evolving as parents and I
have made great strides in rebuilding my relationship with DD. It’s taken so much inside work , and I’ve met with DD’s therapist many times and spoke with our Rav …
1. My take away is, be like HaShem. HaShem gives us free choice, even when we do aveiros that will spiritually harm us.
2. HaShem lives this child more than I do -He knows her struggles and that they are not the norm. Her starting point as Rav Dessler refers to is very different from a “ typical” 16 yo.
3. After 120 years, I’ll have to answer to what I did and didn’t do . I’m trying to the think of what HaShem wants from me - and trying to keep the main thing the main thing.
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amother
RosePink


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 10:38 am
amother OP wrote:
It is very difficult with other kids. And for many years I tried to “protect” my other kids from this child. That just sent the message that I love dc conditionally and that they should feel that they need their mommy to protect them - on the other end it made this DD feel isolated from the family.
This was all pointed out to me by a therapist .
The other kids now that this dd has struggles that are very difficult for her and it impacts our family, and it’s hard- AND, we are a family and are there for each other .
DD’s older sibling does have friends come for shabbos, and it does give her anxiety, like what crazy thing will DD do?
DD’s younger siblings will not have friends over because they are too embarrassed if DD.
I need to give them that space and validate their feelings and at the same time, when we are with a group of people model what it looks like to really make the statement that our family is a uniit through thick and thin and we are proud of all of them ( don’t even get me started in how hard this can be with certain extended family members..)
We have been evolving as parents and I
have made great strides in rebuilding my relationship with DD. It’s taken so much inside work , and I’ve met with DD’s therapist many times and spoke with our Rav …
1. My take away is, be like HaShem. HaShem gives us free choice, even when we do aveiros that will spiritually harm us.
2. HaShem lives this child more than I do -He knows her struggles and that they are not the norm. Her starting point as Rav Dessler refers to is very different from a “ typical” 16 yo.
3. After 120 years, I’ll have to answer to what I did and didn’t do . I’m trying to the think of what HaShem wants from me - and trying to keep the main thing the main thing.


I have worried of sending the message that love is conditional, but am I sending that message if I’m completely loving again after I prevent them from doing something they shouldn’t?
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amother
DarkViolet


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 10:54 am
Based on some experiences I've had, I wonder if this note might be accurate:

Dear Mommy,

You know I ordered Treif food. I know it hurt you. And, to be honest, it hurt me too. But right now I'm hurting so much in so many ways that it was what I needed to do now.

Remember, I won't be 16 forever. I'm going to grow up and make decisions about my life. And when I do, I'm going to remember the model you set.

I'm not promising to be Frum one day. Right now I have too much against me for that. But as life changes and I change, I will remember your kindness and love. And that will provide me with connection. Maybe it will help me keep mitzvos. Maybe it will keep me alive. Even if just for another day, another year. I know that means something to you, because I know you love me. Even when I can't love myself. And that definitely makes a difference.

Your daughter
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amother
OP


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 11:34 am
amother DarkViolet wrote:
Based on some experiences I've had, I wonder if this note might be accurate:

Dear Mommy,

You know I ordered Treif food. I know it hurt you. And, to be honest, it hurt me too. But right now I'm hurting so much in so many ways that it was what I needed to do now.

Remember, I won't be 16 forever. I'm going to grow up and make decisions about my life. And when I do, I'm going to remember the model you set.

I'm not promising to be Frum one day. Right now I have too much against me for that. But as life changes and I change, I will remember your kindness and love. And that will provide me with connection. Maybe it will help me keep mitzvos. Maybe it will keep me alive. Even if just for another day, another year. I know that means something to you, because I know you love me. Even when I can't love myself. And that definitely makes a difference.

Your daughter


This made me cry. It makes me feel that if an anonymous outsider could read the situation like this, then certainly my daughter can.
Thank you!!!!!
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amother
Tiffanyblue


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 11:57 am
amother DarkViolet wrote:
Based on some experiences I've had, I wonder if this note might be accurate:

Dear Mommy,

You know I ordered Treif food. I know it hurt you. And, to be honest, it hurt me too. But right now I'm hurting so much in so many ways that it was what I needed to do now.

Remember, I won't be 16 forever. I'm going to grow up and make decisions about my life. And when I do, I'm going to remember the model you set.

I'm not promising to be Frum one day. Right now I have too much against me for that. But as life changes and I change, I will remember your kindness and love. And that will provide me with connection. Maybe it will help me keep mitzvos. Maybe it will keep me alive. Even if just for another day, another year. I know that means something to you, because I know you love me. Even when I can't love myself. And that definitely makes a difference.

Your daughter



As someone who has been struggling with being frum for many years this made me cry. I wish others would understand this.
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amother
DarkViolet


 

Post Sun, Sep 24 2023, 2:00 pm
amother Tiffanyblue wrote:
As someone who has been struggling with being frum for many years this made me cry. I wish others would understand this.


I'm going to add something for you and all of us who feel similar. Please forgive me if this is not what you need to hear right now.

Most human beings will continue to remain blissfully ignorant. But Hashem knows everything I said above, and more. He doesn't have the same expectations of everyone. He knows what pain and trauma do to a person, and understands and accepts what we are capable of at any moment. He only asks from us what we can do now.

Like I said, most people don't understand this. Someone might even be obtuse enough to argue with me. But what I say comes from exploring what our sources say about people in pain. And they say that Hashem gives us the compassionate understanding that is denied to us by others and that we often deny ourselves.

To anyone else reading this, if you think what I'm saying is that Hashem gives us a free pass and are wondering what Yom Kippur is about, be grateful you don't understand. Be grateful you never experienced these depths of pain.
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