I wouldn’t be surprised if you are hurriedly reading this article before you speed off to your next calling!  We are all leading very fast, hectic lives – often rushing to do the next task.  The Tzaddikim living in the same generation as us are far busier than us.  Surprisingly though, their facial expressions reflect an inner tranquility.  The reason for this is simply: A tzaddik lives in the moment.

As parents we worry and even fear the worst regarding our children from the day that are born.  (It’s a proof that we are Jewish!!!)  What if he doesn’t recover from the bris; will she ever be toilet trained; will he ever read, aleph-beis; will she outgrow Ritalin; will he be aggressive when he’s older; if she likes the color orange when she’s 15 who knows how she’ll dress a year from now – and shidduchim, in-laws… How will our untame, clumsy, impulsive children ever be responsible role-models to their children one day?!

When we observe character flaws in our children or experience various challenges at home or school, it is natural to foresee a problematic future.  But it is so destructive.  We must focus on the here and now by davening and seeking practical solutions rather than thinking our children will be non-achievers.

Additionally, the middah of Menuchas HaNefesh means that I can delight in each age, stage and circumstance I have with my child/children.  We should rejoice in the fact that we have the health and strength to do our tafkid.  The less we think about later, the more time and energy we have to enjoy the NOW.

Additionally, when we ourselves are sometimes not functioning at our optimum level as parents we should not think that our children are now doomed to failure.  This is the tactic of the yetzer hara.  There is no need to feel inadequate if we use the situation to be a stepping stone to greatness.

(Needless to say in chinuch we still need to have long-term plans and future goals.  We need to know which direction we are travelling and consult our map periodically, but we must primarily focus on the passengers sitting in the car).

One day the child who reaches our knees may be even taller than us.  One day the child who has melted chocolate around his mouth will probably be a refined and dignified human being.  We must speak to their magnificent potential even whilst they are little pitzkelach. 

 

One of the exceptions to the rule of remaining in the moment is to envision our child’s future greatness.  For this purpose we may step out of the here and now.  And although you have left the present, you still remain with a gift!

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