Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Successful-Chinuch

Imitating

Children also have the tendency to imitate their parents’ actions and behavior (noch machen in Yiddush), and they observe and retain more than we realize. A kindergarten teacher once told a group of parents to please be careful what they say and do in front of their children, as she knows exactly what transpires in their homes from the way the children play, talk and behave in school. For example, two children are playing house and one is the father and the other the mother. If the mother remarks to the father, “Where does it say that the wife must immediately obey all of her husband’s wishes?” then the child is indicating that this is how her mother speaks to her father.

Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky was once asked how and when he trained his children to say brachos. He replied, “We never taught them. They saw us making brachos before and after eating, and because children naturally imitate their parents, they also started making brachos.” (Reb Yaakov, Artscroll, p. 324)

Children also imitate midos ra’os – bad character traits – from their parents. Chazal say, “Whatever a child speaks is (learned) from his father or his mother.” (Sukah 56b) They exemplify this with the story of Miriam bas Bilga, who renounced her Jewish religion and married a Greek nobleman. When the Greeks entered the Bais Hamikdosh and desecrated it, she went to the mizbayach (altar), pounded her shoe on it and exclaimed, “Lukos, Lukos” – wolf, wolf (in Greek) – How long will you devour our nation’s money?” (Referring to the korbonos (sacrifices), like a wolf who roams around searching for food). Upon hearing these words, the sages penalized her entire family of kohanim by placing various restrictions on them when they served in the Bais Hamikdash. Chazal explain that the reason why Miriam bas Bilga’s family deserved this punishment is because her statements were a reflection of their feelings. During my teenage years, there was a family that lived down the block from us whose young children constantly used vulgar and obscene language in their conversations. When I asked my older sister when and how these young children learned to speak in this manner, she replied, “Just pass by their home when their parents are quarrelling and you will hear that they use exactly the same language when they are angry at each other.”


Main point to work and focus on for the next week:
Since children observe and imitate their parents, parents must be more aware of what they do and say in front of their children.


Text Copyright © 2008 by Rabbi Chaim Morgenstern and Torah.org


 






ARTICLES ON DEVARIM AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

The Nine Days of Mourning
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

Parshas Devarim - Eichah?
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758

The Recognition of Shame
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

ArtScroll

Wise Rebuke
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

Immortal Teacher
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Eisav's Reward
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Honesty
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5761

Rebuking 101
Shlomo Katz - 5765

It's Not What You Want - But How You Ask
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Choosing a Vision
- 5768

Petty Squabble to Baseless Hatred
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758

The Usual Suspects
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5762

> In Other Words
Shlomo Katz - 5764

A Judgement Call
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5758

Striving to Succeed
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5761

A Day of Rebuilding
Rabbi Label Lam - 5761



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information