Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
How do we re-establish parental control at home after a year of the corona? How do we bring back to our homes tranquility and contentment after such a challenging year? In a broadcast with her last night, my mother-in-law, parental counselor Ziva Meir, provided four parenting guidelines for this time:
Trust. Many people are saying that our youth is lost and cut off, but if we stop believing in the younger generation and its potential, that could become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We need to trust our children implicitly and to reinforce them continually, to focus on the positive and not the negative, to believe that the good will win out in the end.
Empathy. When we say "no," we tend to cut ourselves off emotionally from our child. We shout, "You can't have another popsicle!" or "Stop playing and go to bed!" Even when we need to say "no" and establish boundaries, we need to be empathetic and understanding. For example, we could say: "I understand that you want another popsicle, they're really fun to have on a hot day, but I decided that it's not necessary right now and we will make do with one". Or "I know it was fun going to sleep late during lockdown, but now it's back to school and what can we do, we have to turn off the light."
Family rules. It's funny, but the school year is just starting now. This is the time for a family meeting where we make family rules regarding bedtime, meals, distribution of household chores and computer time. The lockdowns are over, baruch HaShem, and if your child has a Tablet that was used without restriction during the corona, that does not mean you cannot take it back now. The corona turned the world upside down. Now is the time to sit down and establish house rules once again.
A sense of mission. This is actually the main thing. To feel that what we are doing at home is important. That we are not only fulfilling our purpose outside the home, but inside it as well. That the education we give our children at home is precious and holy and full of meaning, even when this task is gray and terribly tiresome compared to what happens at work or on social media. If we understand the higher purpose of parenting, it's possible to feel a sense of mission even while using the washing machine or doing the dishes.
Wishing everyone success in this endeavor!