One of the first things in child education that I learned from my beloved rabbi and spiritual guide Rav Shalom Arush, may Hashem bless him, is that criticism and comments destroy a child. Parents hate criticism and comments, so why do it to their kids? A child's home should be a greenhouse of warmth and sunlight – smiles, compliments and positive reinforcement are the water that helps a child's soul bloom like a beautiful flower.
Some kids become stifled – either they're afraid to say a word, because they know they'll be shot down with criticism, or else they can't say a word, because unthinking egotistical parents have robbed them of their self confidence. Such kids remain recluses all their lives – they're the butterflies that never come out of the cocoon or a withered plant that never received enough water and sunlight to flower and to grow new leaves.
A major sickness of twenty-first Century kids is that their parents are selfish babies that are self-indulgent in their own pursuits. Rather than giving their kids personal attention and quality one-on-one time, they buy their kids "goodies." Not long ago, I was a guest in the home of a well-to-do family; the kids had bedrooms with their own phones, computers, DVDs, and wall to wall toys. Yet, the mother was never home, for she enjoyed her outside-the-home status as a major macher in the community. When the father wasn't in the office, he was on the golf course with his clients, casually sealing deals and looking to make more money. No wonder the kids were spoiled brats, nervous, an undisciplined. Emotionally, they were like kids from Biafra – starving.
Also in this week's issue:
Rav Shalom Arush writes about the spiritual root of the most catastrophic day in Jewish history in One Night's Crying.
Rav Kook zatza"l teaches us the lesson of this week's Torah portion - Pinchas - in Refining Zeal.
Rivka Levy asks a basic question about certain things in life - Worthless or Priceless?
You're Welcome is Bracha Goetz's poem about having guests.
Don't miss these fantastic new CDs, on sale now at Breslev Israel's online store:
1. Man and Woman, One Soul - this is a must-hear for men and women alike, to solidify your deep relationship with your spouse.
2. I Believe, a musical CD with an emuna message (Lazer's English narration), featuring the Shalom Banayich boys choir.
More exciting new CDs on the way soon, G-d willing. Have a great week!