by Dr. Zev Ballen
My Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom Arush, warns us not to rebuke our children. He raised his own beautiful, successful children without criticizing or rebuking them at all. With emuna, Rav Arush knew that if he prayed for his children and did t'shuva (repentance) for every personal defect that he saw in them that they would excel.
One might object saying that this is all well and good for Rabbi Shalom Arush, but we are not tzaddikim and we do not have his strength to refrain from making critical remarks. To this the Rebbe gives you his promise that if he could do it so can you. The truth is that Rav Arush is not expecting us to be on his level. His level is actually much higher than this - he just sees capabilities in us that we do not see in ourselves.
The main idea of the Rav's approach to child-rearing is that: the only way to raise healthy children is by first working out our many imperfections of character before trying to work out theirs. Rav Arush does not expect perfection from us, he simply wants us to acknowledge the futility of forcing values and traits onto our children that we do not possess. The Rav prays for all of us to have the wisdom to avoid the pitfalls of psychological and even religious approaches to parenting that focus exclusively on the child. Tune into this must-see video where I more fully explain Rav Arush's approach to raising children...
Dr. Zev Ballen