On Moetz'ae Shabbos, December 25th, Dr. David Pelcovitz, one of the foremost child psychologist gave a lecture to over 500 men and women at the Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills. You can download the shiur here.
Dr. Pelcovitz is the son of the former long time Rabbi of the White Shul in Far Rockaway, Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz and his lectures are filled with relevant Divrei Torah, psychological insights and amazing stories that drive home his message.
The lecture was sponsored by P’TACH, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide the best possible Jewish and secular education to children who have been disenfranchised because of learning differences.
Find the Right Balance between Love and Limits.
Chazal say the key to good parenting is the left hand pushes away while the right hand brings closer. The left hand represents limits and the right hand represents love.
In our times, our general society is relaxing limits and we are affected by those changes. As an example Dr. Pelcovitz points out that the majority of teenagers surveyed in certain Orthodox communities feel that their parents should put more filters and controls on their Internet usage.
On the love side, Dr. Pelcovitz points out that the overwhelming majority of parents want to be better parents. As he put it, "A mother can only be as happy as her unhappiest child".
One area in which we can improve is giving our children our undivided attention. He speaks about email voice, which is the tone you detect when the person on the other side of a phone call is dealing with their email. We all have many distractions but we need to try to communicate with undivided attention with our children on a regular basis.
The secular research on "mentsch making" says the number one predictor is how we talk about others with whom we disagree. We need to teach by modeling how we respect those we disagree with.
We have to realize that children are constantly absorbing lessons from our actions. And these lessons go very deep. Keeping perspective is a key component on good parenting.
Appreciating Your Child's Uniqueness
Dr. Pelcovitz points out that families have bumper stickers such as "Lakewood or Bust", "Ivy League Forever" or "Chesed or Else". However, we often have children who don't exactly fit into our vision. It's very important that we see our children as they are and bless them for who they are.
Taking that a step further we not only have to recognize them for who they are but we have to be grateful for who they are.
There are just some highlights and we want to strongly encourage that you download and listen to the wisdom that Dr. Pelcovitz is teaching.