Raising Jewish Kids: Respect & Love vs. Fear & Hate

According to a recent Jew Central survey, the biggest challenge facing Jewish professionals is raising Jewish kids in today’s world! To find the answer we went strait to the source: teenagers. Menachem Ani, who as a teen founded JewishHigh.com-a place for Jewish teens to speak their mind, has the inside scoop.

Why is it that nowadays most religious kids grow up hating school, teachers, rabbis, religion etc.?

The answer couldn’t be simpler, most parents teach their kids by “telling them” what to do. Instead they should teach by setting a good example.

There are two reasons why kids do what they do:

1. Respect & Love
2. Fear & Hate

Some kids go to Shul and learn because they want to.
Some kids go to Shul and learn because they have to.
Some kids do as they are told because they want to do the right thing.
Some kids do as they are told because they have to do the right thing.

A child will learn to respect religion and do things out of love, if their parents show them what to do by setting a positive example. For instance: When a father brings a child to Shul, he should set an example by being enthusiastic about davening and explain the importance of it, instead of just yelling at the child for not davening or paying attention. When a parent force feeds religion, the child will do as they are told out of fear, but will grow to hate it.

When one brings their child up with the proper example, the child will end up doing the right thing out of love and respect. On the other hand, most children who are forced to do something will end up finding their own way.

Parents have a choice they can get their way by reinforcing positively or negatively. There is only one way to make it last.

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