Join 400,000 Aish subscribers
Get Email Updates
The agony of not knowing.
How to find God.
A chilling Malaysia Air Flight 370 story.
Mahmoud Abbas and Iran show their true colors this week.
Like Solomon Northup, Esther could not reveal her true identity.
Eighteen years after a series of deadly terror attacks leading up to Purim, a unique quilt helped stitch together broken hearts.
Children went from being our employees to our bosses, replacing responsibility with entitlement.
Matthew McConaughey and finding God in mysterious places.
Where is our shame?
Purim is the opportune time to work on piercing through the darkness and strengthen your connection to God.
Sometimes receiving a sign that God is orchestrating events can transform one’s life.
There’s an Esther, Haman and Mordechai in all of us.
How to bring more love and joy into your own marriage.
It’s Purim time, is everyone happy? If not, try these tools with your kids.
If it is, here’s an important Purim silver lining.
Three keys to peering into the soul of the person you’re dating.
Although they mean well, these three words are like a knife digging deeper into my heart.
7 tips on how to really thrive while being single.
Delve into some mind-boggling concepts in this exploration of the Jewish definition of God.
Read each word carefully... and all its secrets will be within your grasp.
Is God needed to create the universe?
Practical and relevant insights on the weekly parsha.
Advanced-level midrashic and Kabbalistic illuminations on the weekly parsha.
Lessons, stories and discussion questions for parents and kids.
An in-depth video series exploring Esther’s true role in the Purim story.
Watch the Purim story come alive.
Amazing infographic to SHARE with your friends and family about Judaism's most fun holiday.
Summing up the Purim holiday: They tried to kill us, we won, let’s eat.
You voted for the three best jokes of the year and here they are!
With the Sochi Olympics now over, let’s go back 100 years and imagine what a Russian “Olympics” in these shtetls would have really looked like.
Are you surprised to hear an Academy Award winning actor thank God so publicly?
My groovy, let's-all-make-aliyah theme song that describes the various major redemption moments of the past century.
Purim and your unique role in life.
A big picture overview capturing the meaning and joy of the holiday.
Get Aish.com's Free Email Updates.
October 6, 2007
July 30, 2008 6:15 PM
evaluate each step in life
I think we can find a midle point.
whit the time you let him decide things by himself... depends haw mature he is....simple like that.
May 13, 2008 6:21 PM
What a horrible way to live your life, no guidance, no one mature to go to...i want to see how a kid like this turns out.
November 13, 2007 6:42 PM
My child's job is to be a child, mine is to be a parent. When either role is reversed the responsibility of that person has not been fulfilled and damage is the result.
October 12, 2007 4:26 AM
Which thirty year old chooses a 5yr old who plays with dolls, thinks going out to Macs for french fries is a dinner engagement,the Wiggles(sorry I'm from Oz) is sharing musical appreciation and the last chapter of "Doggy meets Pussy'is a shared literature experience, as a friend. The kids wouldn't choose you as a friend, they accept you as their parent. Learn to be a parent- somewhere; but not from a five year old, no matter how cool they or you are. If you want them to be your friend, maybe you should grow up.
October 11, 2007 5:28 PM
teach and lead
Above all we lead,we teach,we correct,we lead,we teach,we correct and we ALLOW life to happen. Love comes from hope and support and a teaching of a right path. Every human being, even a child wants to be well in mind and soul. Teach, lead and correct and your children will come to be loving Jewish souls that find favor in the fact that we live to create G-d's will..and eventually it will be taught and learned to their OWN children.
October 10, 2007 7:41 AM
your child is a seperated part of you. treat him as you need to be treated.
October 10, 2007 7:35 AM
Not Leting go
Too many parents want to be in control and not let their children grow up. And if we disagree with them, they say we are being disrespectful.
October 9, 2007 7:17 PM
Children are children and parents are parents
Of course we all love our children but they need us to be parents. They have friends. Parents are the leaders of their families. Our children need us first of all, to be adults and to show them by example how we believe they should behave. Children need to learn the self-discipline that comes from being mentored by the most important leaders they will have, their parents.
October 9, 2007 5:30 PM
Be a roll model for your child first and a friend second.....thats it !!
October 9, 2007 5:28 PM
Go Adam Sandler...One of his best movies showing true care and concern for a child he never knew before. If you watch the rest of the movie it shows that eventually he makes the right decisions on his own.
October 9, 2007 4:55 PM
ABUSE, VERBAL, OR OTHERWISE, IS NEVER! acceptable! 'MIRROR', A CHILD's SPEECH, BACK! TO THEM, SO THEY KNOW, YOU, TRUTHFULLY LISTENED, AND UNDERSTOOD. WITH KINDNESS, AND PATIENCE, PROVIDE A TORAH, POINT OF VIEW, AND YOU UNDERSTAND, THE TORAH TEACHING, THAT WHEN IT SAYS, "PUT THESE WORDS OF TORAH, ON YOUR HEART", (RATHER THAN, "IN YOUR HEART", AS ONE WOULD EXPECT), IT IS TEACHING US, THAT, WHEN A JEW themSELF, IS READY, THEN, YOUR WORDS GO IN! LIKE! EDUCATE, ACCORDING TO THE PERSON"S WAY. SHABBAT SHALOM
October 9, 2007 4:40 PM
Let them grow, but don't turn them loose
As parents, our job is to properly guide and nuture our children and make them feel comfortable and protected in our home. We must set the examples and provide answers for our children's questions. Kids, like adults, will always be dealing with the yetzer hara (evil inclination). The younger they are, the less strength they'll have to resist or even how to combat the yetzer. We cannot let them do their own thing; we cannot let them go forth into the world without guidance. They will rebel. They might think we're "the most evil parents in the world". As "Franklin" said earler, we must mould, teach, coach, love, and support our kids. We must make reasonable demands and expect respect and adherence to our guidelines or rules. In our case, there have been times we've been called mean and cruel by our son, just because we didn't let him do what he wanted to do. Our stock answer has consistently been "Great. We're doing our job as parents. You don't always get what you want. Besides, remember what we told you about priorities? G-d, Family then everything else? Well, it might be difficult but those are the rules".
October 9, 2007 3:13 PM
Set boundaries. Be involved but still be a parent.
There is nothing wrong with loving and liking your kids. That means getting involved with their lives, knowing their friends' names, understanding their issues. I spend a lot of time with my boys, aged 5 and 7. We have fun together and often have Father-Son & Son days going to the "Coke Float Restaurant" or doing sports, or whatever. I encourage independent thought and for them to express themselves freely.But there are also rules to be followed and boundaries which must be adhered to.They do try and push and that is when a firm voice and fathering comes in.Kids need structure in their lives - in fact, they crave it. They need to understand what is right and what is wrong. Taking a few minutes to explain why one should act a certain way in society is more important than just barking out a rule to them.They need to see why one should act a certain way. Often framing something into a question like - "Would you like it if someone said mean things to you?" makes them think about what they say and to understand their impact on others and on their environment.But this is a two way street. Words are hollow unless they are followed by an example set by the parent. My boys lower the toilet seat after peeing because there are ladies in the house (and they are taught to respect women) but it only works because they see me doing it, and reminding of them if they forget. Kids are smart and their sense of fairness is strong. If you are asking them to live a certain way, be sure that your words are light but your actions make an impression.When we see beggars on the street (we live in Beijing, China), I have explained that I refuse to give money to an outstretched hand. But if someone asks for food, a train ticket to get home, or such, then I will go out of my way to provide it. And make sure they have warm clothing if it is cold outside. And look them in the eye and treat them with respect. When my kids ask why I do this, my explanation is that it feels like the right thing to do. That somewhere I think that as a Jew, it is our duty to do this. Then the ongoing conversation we have about this got interesting... they asked me if I thought those people were cheating me. I told them that I knew that most of them were cheating me but that there was a big but... and the but was that in a group of 100, maybe there are 2 that really have a need. "Why give to all of them?" was the next question... my answer was simple - I am not capable of knowing which 2 out of a 100 really need the help... the reason why I don't give cash is because it is fungible and creates an industry encouraging more beggars. But a meal here and thereâ€¦ Why not?For about 6 months before David turned 7, we had a saying - "Good boy equals Game Boy, Bad boys get nothing good." And when we went to the market to get one, his little brother Michael came along.We walked around the huge display area of video games. Of course they were mesmerized by the array of goodies... they wanted the newest PSP or WII or whatever next caught their eye. We discussed prices and put everything into perspective by comparing what other things that money could buy. We took the time to see everything on offer.And by walking to the back and checking out the not so glitzy displays, we came across a vendor who had something that was literally a tenth the price of a PSP. And it had a bright display, ran on AAA batteries, and best of all the games came on cartridges that had anywhere from 25 â€“ 35 games. For less than a quarter the price of a PSP (with only one game), I got two of these other units â€“ one for each boy (that was David's wish so that his brother did not feel left out) and 7 cartridges with approx 250 games in total and a couple of months worth of batteries. Was the technology the best? No, of course not. Games were older and the resolution of the screen was lower. Did my kids notice? No.And here is the thingâ€¦ after several weeks, they came to me and thanked me again for the games. And they also said that they understood the value of things. And they commented that the unit they ended up with was easier to use and better for their small hands than a PSP. That when they were older, they could earn the PSP but for now they were so happy with what they have. The net result? They got what they wanted, David shared with his little brother, the unit they got was appropriate for their age, and they have something to look forward to. Sounds a bit like a parallel to most people's lives. Kids need to learn early in life that they can't always get what they want.A dad is a friend. He needs to be. But never give up your power. You are a gatekeeper to wonderful things but what the kids get should be equal to how they are acting. Impress this upon them. Hard or smart work is rewarded, laziness and bad behavior either gets them nothing or punishment. This will help equip them for the world.Love and respect and understanding are important. Consistency and rules are not just comforting for kids but key for shaping their habits and giving them perspective when making decisions.Do I make mistakes? Of course. All parents do. Am I too much of a friend sometimes? Maybe. Am I too strict sometimes? Maybe. On balance as a parent, all we can do is try our best to educate our kids and prepare them for their own future.
October 9, 2007 2:36 PM
What is parenting? It is definately not about letting impressionable children have their own way. That is certainly not parenting. It's about moulding, teaching, coaching, loving,supporting, demanding and being an example for young ones.
October 8, 2007 11:37 PM
Parents should be disciplinarians......
I tried to be friends with my kids and it doesnt work.. They take advantage of you and then its downhill from there. helppppppppppp...
October 8, 2007 9:37 PM
Neither disciplinarians nor friends: guides
Let's go back some 4000 years and see how well culture was transmitted. Look and the bumpy road parents now have to go through and so much unhappiness. Only 60 yrs ago children passed over adolescence without even knowing it. If we did what motherly instinct tells us to, for example nurse our babies and bond with them...
October 8, 2007 4:14 PM
Dad is not your friend
Adam Sandler is doing his son a big disservice by letting him do what he wants. Dads are supposed to love, protect and care for the children, not let them run wild. Parents (both fathers and mothers) are not the child's friends, nor are they ever supposed to be.
October 8, 2007 11:56 AM
No, Dads are not just a grown up playmate. They are co-parents with your Mom.They are responsible for supplying your food, shelter and protection inthis world while you are young and helpless...unable to supply these things for yourself.As you grow they are to be there to train you in your physical, emotional and spiritual life.Physically they are there to teach hygiene, good eating habits, and hopefully as you follow them in daily life, they will help you find your talents and skills so you will be able to get a job and supply your own children with food, shelter and protection.Emotionally, a good Dad shares his hopes and dreams, his weakness and his strengths, his feelings about life...good and bad.Spiritually, a good Dad recognizes that his child is not just a small body walking around that looks simular to him...but that child is a spirit.Each spirit is sent to the earth to live an earthly life...and hopefully connect with his Spiritual Father God.Once you, as an earthly Dad, help that child make his connection with the living God in Heaven...he can hear from that God in his own spirit.God is alive. He wants fellowship with you. If you ask Him, He will answer you.Thanks and Happy Monday!Beth Ann
October 8, 2007 5:12 AM
got it wrong
Yes, you have to be your kid's friend. But being a friend doesn't mean "do whatever you want, that's fine with me." When needed, a friend needs to give direction and criticism, with love. So I'm afraid the kid in this film is going to grow up very messed up.
October 7, 2007 2:41 PM
best way to kill a kid
As someone who works with kids at risk, I can tell you exactly where that attitude will take a parent and their children. One of the kids I work with said it best. We were discussing another of the kids, and I asked what his problem was. The answer: his parents don't love him. How do you know? Because they don't make any rules. They just try to be his friend instead of taking care of him and making sure that he's all right. That's what rules are for after all.I think that says it all.
October 7, 2007 10:42 AM
This little video clip shows just how far so-called political correctness has gone. Children don't really appreciate the laissez-faire attitude shown by the father in the sketch. In deed, they prefer to be told exactly what they can and cannot do. Would the father have allowed the child to go and drown himself in the pond? As for the name, if the father had said that Frankenstein was not really a very nice name and his friends would laugh at him if he kept it, the child would have gladly accepted that decision. Later in life, when the child has grown into a young, sensible man, would be the time to release the knots tied in childhood and youth.
October 7, 2007 5:04 AM
On the whole, it is important to have a father figure, because they are a strong influence on one's well-being. Without one (or an abusive one), children can grow up troubled and disturbed. Thus, the more the father stays with the mother (undivorced and unseparated), the better the outcome of the child is in his/her life. Plus, sitting down to dinner helps too.
Display my name?
Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.