Raising Wimps?

Here's the 4 step cure.

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Comments (25)

(25) SusanE, June 22, 2015 11:18 PM

They're not Wimps

Their parents are narcissists. Teaching their children to be the same. It's all about me me me for both the parent and the child.

(24) stephen, February 1, 2009 8:48 PM

good advice

i was having trouble with my thirteen yearold daughter i took her cell phone off her about 2 weeks ago and ive seen a big change ih her manner shes never getting it back

(23) Nechama, February 1, 2009 9:04 AM


My youngest child (29) and his wife, both of whom I love dearly, are raising their two children this way. If I say anything, I am told that they are very sensitive to the child's feelings and that this is important. The kids whine, cry and get what they want. The parents bargain too. I usually don't but in and I see that my diplomatic comments go unheaded so I've decided to keep quiet, but it hurts. These beloved grandchildren are not being taught to cope or to do without in any way. Does anyone out there have any advice? I would sure appreciatd it.

(22) Shulamit, January 30, 2009 2:43 PM

Great message all parents should hear!

Great message! I've been noticing way too many spoiled kids myself and the parents that encourage it by exactly doing those things you mentioned. A great book that conveys your message is out there. It's called "The Blessing of a Skinned Kneee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children " by Wendy Mogel.

(21) MARGARITA, January 30, 2009 12:51 AM


I am a mother to 4 sons. The youngest is 27 now.(they all have homes of their own) My OLDEST son saw that we was not going to spoil him by giving him everything he wanted. So at the age of 7, he FOUGHT, to go and live with my parents. They gave him anything he wanted, or else he would throw a tantrum and bust-up their house. We raised the other 3 the old fashion way. We could not aford the best of everything to give them. Most of their toys were second-hand and broken when they got them. But they appreciated each one. Once a classmate came over to visit. But he said that he would never come back, because we didn't have any video or modern games and toys, ect. ALL my sons walked to school by their self (as I did) even the one who lived with my parents. They were all warned about talking to strangers at a very young age. I myself didn't learn to drive till I was 31. We all walked. The 3 that I raised, turned out MUCH BETTER in life than the one who lived with my parents and had everything. Cell phones were not invented than. I would not have bought one for them anyway. I still don't own one myself. Yes, finding a payphone is difficult, these days. But I have the choice to either pay a monthly cell phone bill or for the same price, pay life insurance on my husband, in case he dies, so I won't loose my house. I can't aford both. My children learned about G_d at a very young age. The 3 that I raised, keep G_d in their life daily. But not the oldest. He also wants to stay distant from all of us.

(20) Rivkah, January 29, 2009 10:32 PM

An idea

DearRabbi you are my fav blog, i think you have covered everything.. almost.=) Would you please consider doing a piece about empty nesters? All articles regarding the little ones is important but I often feel over looked as a new empty nester. I have mixed feelings about it and would love your take. thank you for a wonderful start to my day. Shalom, Rivkah

(19) Sarah-Eliyah Zimmer, January 29, 2009 3:33 PM

The World needs this message.

This message is simple and clear and soooo true. Thank you for this word Rabbi. Again I as a non-jew realise we need to learn from jewish wisdom which God has put into them.

(18) Anonymous, January 29, 2009 1:37 PM

great but remember some sensetivities

yes it's important to encorage idependance but remember we need to do w. sensativity. i remember the excitement and relief i felt when my mom surpised me and was able to pick me up from school on some very cold days.i would love to give my kids more independence but nowadays things have changed it is not as safe to let kids walk home from school anymore.i appreciate r.solamons other ideas laundry etc..eventhough it is easier for me to just do it myself i will work on giving my kids the chance to grow.

(17) Frady, January 29, 2009 12:54 PM

something else to think about....

I'd like to "thank" the first indulgent parent who bought their child a video-ipod, a fully-loaded cell phone, or whatever latest gadget their child just "had to" have. That parent made it significantly harder for all the other parents out there to say "sorry, you don't need it" to their own kids. It's a lot harder for me to be a responsible parent when my kids see their friends getting whatever they ask for from parents who say "yes" because they don't like to deal with the discomfort of saying "no".

(16) Leah, January 29, 2009 12:46 PM

Yes, I agree. The only difference is the cell phone for the child in the advent of an emergency. You see, when I was a kid in the seventies, you left your front, back and side door open-all night! Now, in this day and age? Forget it. I do believe that kids do not need a cell phone, yet if they are going somewhere on their bikes or whatnot it is a different story. To have their own cell phone and talk on it? Naaah...yet I let my son take mine with him when he goes somewhere with his friends and will be gone for a little while.

(15) Anonymous, January 29, 2009 10:06 AM

I think the cell phone is not a bad idea to give a 12 year old in these turbulent times.

(14) angel joshua, January 28, 2009 9:24 PM

Re: cell phones & bullies

The Rabbi is not saying that picking up your children at school or that giving them cell phones for their safety is going to spoil them. He is saying that some parents over spoil their kids by going to extremes. We all know there are legitimate exceptions but in general a first grader does not need a cell phone in school. He just gave examples of what could be signs of spoiling a kid. That's all the Rabbi is saying. Think about it.

(13) Lisette, January 28, 2009 5:00 PM

Raising Wimps

Finally, common sense again! Thank you, parents need to hear this over and over. I was raised by immigrant parents who worked very hard and did not spoil us. I appreciate it now. I wish I had followed their good example instead I was overprotective and I am guilty of raising spoiled wimpy kids.

(12) Arthur, January 28, 2009 3:49 PM

I agree with Rabbi Salomon 99.9%. My two older children received cell phones when they started junior high school. My youngest is still waiting. I think some children get them too young. They are[today]escorted and driven everywhere. I personally don't see the need. Since the rise of cell phone, the payphone that was EVERYWHERE is not too easy to find. As children become more mobile, they should have a way to make contact. Gone are the days when you could just reach out and drop a dime...

(11) Anonymous, January 28, 2009 12:30 PM

adapting to current environment

Only a couple of generations ago, the measure of a good Jewish mother was her careful protection and self-sacrifice. Now, it is modeling American rugged individualism. Get with the program!

(10) Anonymous, January 28, 2009 6:40 AM

Cell Phones?

Many of Rabbi Solomon's comments are true, but I must strenuously disagree about the cell phones. My daughters are 16 and 13, and they have had cell phones since the first grade. Not for them - for me, for my own peace of mind. Moving back and forth between Israel and the US (Rehovot, Houston, Haifa), my kids travel to school and to their friends alone by public transportation. When they want to go somewhere (without the family), they go on their own. Sometimes they travel at night. Sometimes they visit friends or Sabba in cities that are miles from home - alone. Cell phones give them the self confidence to go out on their own, but to know that Mom & Dad are there to help in a crunch. And when I want to know where they are and what's going on, I can reach them. Cell phones don't make the kids wimps, they give them independence.

(9) manasseh, January 27, 2009 9:34 PM

Which way

Sorry Rabbi but I had to laugh at that face in the picture,!! it sure is self explanatory...lol My problem is how many writings there are about children, so many doctrines, philosophies, psychological views are by the Myriad Books have been written by the thousands about this subject,yet the trend is downward, worse not better. Whatever happened to good ole mama papa gramma, grandpa way that brought us up for all these un numbered years

(8) Anonymous, January 27, 2009 3:10 PM

Acting in fear was not intended for those who live a godly life and parenting this way is a weakeness. You are right if they cry, that is good they will stop but is better than have the parent cry later on. What happened to the true virtutes that we should pass to our kids? We have to lead by example and that starts in every household, we either gave our kids a clear guiding or the society will shape them in something we will be surprised later on by. Even when they want something they should not learn to rely on us alone as their providers but know how to pray about it. Thank you Rabbi Solomon

(7) Jennifer, January 27, 2009 9:43 AM

Bullies, not wimps

I agree with another comment that the children Rabbi describes are bullies, not wimps. A wimp does not stand up for himself whereas a bully uses his muscle (physically or emotionally) to get his own way. Rabbi, I agree in general with what you say. However, please remember that sometimes when parents pick up their children, it's simply for the child's safety. Unfortunately, child abductions, pedophiles, and other dangers are much more of a threat in certain areas than others.

(6) Edward, January 27, 2009 9:10 AM


He should publish a book along these lines!!

(5) lisa, January 26, 2009 12:54 PM

As Usual......you are right

I wish I could hear this message every morning!!!!! SO TRUE!!!!! But how many of us do this???? I will try to listen very hard to your words!!! Thanks for giving over priceless messages!!!!! always!!!!

(4) ross, January 26, 2009 11:23 AM

They do what they see

ROLE MODELING !!! Let's show our kids that we aren't dependent on our cell phones! Let's walk in the snow to the store! Let's accept dissapointments in front of our kids graciously! Let's make our kids aware that we follow rules, too, and actually follow them! Obviously this isn't the only remedy, but it sure helps!

(3) S. Zakon, January 26, 2009 8:41 AM

Perfect advice

Rabbi Solomon calls kids raised this way wimps. I call them bullies. And the parents are wimps who are afraid of a child making a scene or trashing his room.

(2) Anonymous, January 25, 2009 6:36 PM

It's about time!

It's about time someone mentioned this. Children these days expect their parents to give and rescue them from their mistakes. Concerning the comment on the eighth-grade class with cell phones, I teach middle school and even some of the sixth-graders have the latest cell phones. Kids need to realize that life does not run smoothly and they cannot always get what they want. That's why they are spoiled brats. My husband did not have consequences growing up-he was mollycoddled and even to this day, he runs to his mother when he needs help. I have no intention of our two-year-old turning out this way.

(1) Anonymous, January 25, 2009 9:48 AM

How MUCH struggle

Wise insights, but how much do we let our children struggle? If we have a car and do not drive them in inclement weather, do our children perceive us as withhholding chesed? If we have means and don't support them accordingly, do our children learn the lesson of overcoming hardship, or do they view us as ungiving? We live in a society of comparison. A child will often compare himself to his peers. When we were growing up, our parents would have similarly indulged us but did not have the means. In the social realm, the teacher was always right and we children had to adapt to the social milieu, especially if our parents were "greena" (New Americans). We are swept into the ocean of "herd" behavior. We see parents provide unnecessary luxuries for their children and we feel pressed to do the same for ours. It becomes easy to lose touch with the lessons we wish to teach. Thank you, Rabbi Salomon, for pulling us into greater awareness of our actions.


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