Judaism: What does it take to raise a Jewish child

There are so many jokes about Jewish mothers! I think everyone can list quickly all the mistakes that are associated with Jewish mothers - guilt, martyrdom and more.

I remember a joke about the little Jewish boy who came home to say he had a part in the school play as the father and his Mom called the school and said "I want my son to have a speaking part!"

All jokes aside, the role of each parent is very important. Yet, when we take a closer look, what is involved with being Jewish parents is transmitting a heritage that has a 5769 year track record! Until the last 60 years or so, traditionally a father's role is to bring certain ideas based on our heritage, from his Torah learning, into the home. From there, traditionally a mother's role is to build the idea into an environment where the children will absorb it and be nurtured through it.

What is the essential basis of the ideas that we want our children to absorb and be nurtured by?

I asked myself that question when my children were born. I found what I would recommend in a book called Raising Children to Care by Dr. Miriam Adahan. It is a book on how to give unconditional love to a child, accepting the child even if the parent does not approve of the child's behavior, and how to nudge the child along the path of maturity and growth. Raising Children to Care

It is also very important to understand your child's innate personality and uniqueness.

A child is born with a personality to be shaped. That means there are certain essentials to the child's makeup that must be understood in order to be effective in guiding the child.

Having a good grasp of personality differences is a huge help.

Have you heard of the Enneagram? It offers 9 basic "templates" for understanding yourself and others. It surfaced in Babylonia around the times of the Jewish exile. Dr. Miriam Adahan ties the Enneagram to Judaism in her book Awareness. Go to Miriam Adahan's website for downloadable ebooks, or order a hard copy on the Enneagram: Awareness

There is a personality test you can take for yourself! Enneagram 9 Types of Personalities

Looking for good stories for your children to listen to online? Here is a link to "Parables of the Ben Ish Chai" on Blogtalkradio.com Parables of the Ben Ish Chai by Yaakov Kahn (1 through 3)

In need of a parenting coach with experience and success in raising boys to men? The articles on the following blog are free and are highly worthwhile. JParent - ACPI Certified Coach Debbie Katz

There are numerous books on Jewish parenting. Here is a recommended bibliography: Recommended Parenting Books Bibiliography on Jewish People Unite

For more articles and Jewish parenting resources, please visit Aish HaTorah Parenting Articles

Recommended materials (Amazon)
Go to Artscroll
Find out more about Project Unity
Judaism: Back to Home Page


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