In these crazy times, it’s hard to stay on track with our kids, and many have expressed to me in exasperation that they just want to give up and “throw in the towel.” Where does that expression come from? It’s from the world of boxing.
When a boxer is suffering a beating, and his corner wants it to stop, they literally throw in the towel to indicate they’re conceding of the fight. You, as the parent, may feel that you are the one getting beat up these days and just want it all to stop.
Don’t throw in the towel, change the game. On Momentum trips, we share with you how important it is to remember your job as a parent– the Torah teaches us that parents are teachers; teachers of values. The Hebrew word for education is “Chinuch”, which shares the same root as “Chanukah.” Chinuch means education, Chanukah means dedication (at the end of the battle at Chanukah, we rededicated the Temple). What is the deeper connection? Rabbi Moshe Lowe of Toronto said, “When you are truly educating a child, you are dedicating them with values that are eternal.” That’s our job. When counseling a mother last week, she said that if she puts limits and boundaries on her children’s behavior, they freak out. I replied: “Better they cry now; then you cry later.” The Almighty gave us these kids– these beautiful pure neshamas, these precious souls. We have a job to imbue them with values so that they realize their potential and become healthy contributors to society. Everything we do is all about doing our job, whether you are chilling with them, disciplining them, driving them to the mall, helping them with their homework, or just shmoozing.
Remember that these are all opportunities to fulfill our mission in life as parents. The best way to teach anything? Be an example. And trust me, no matter how old they are, they are watching.
So take off the boxing gloves, and see your kids not as your opponent, but as your students of, and for, life.
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Let’s dial up the love, even with those who may be hard to love, and hope that the Almighty looks down at us and does the same.