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.