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Community BlogWhat I Wish I’d Known

Parenting is the most demanding and humbling job that most of us will ever take on. Yet, there is no standardized course of study, no user’s manual, and no licensure required for being a parent. Most of us try to deal with the myriad decisions we must make as we strive to raise healthy, well-adjusted, stable kids in our rapidly-changing world. We try to use our deeply held values as a guide.

But what exactly are those values and how were they formed? How do they square with the world in which we live? How do our decisions work for our children, who come with their own temperaments, strengths, and challenges? And how does our Jewish heritage figure in with all of this? Hebrew College’s course, Parenting Your Tween Through a Jewish Lens, offers parents an opportunity to step back and reflect on Jewish thought and wisdom – both age-old and contemporary – to find guidance for the answers to these questions.

My three children are grown and living adult lives. I wish I had had the opportunity to take this course when they were in their tweens!  What would I have appreciated learning from this course at that point in my life?

that I was not the only parent struggling to do right by my kids.
that what we do is more important than anything we say.
that maintaining perspective and seeing the bigger picture should be our focus.
that the Jewish concept of savlanut – patience – is key.
that our tweens need a rudder in turbulent waters that will help steer them through life’s course; ideally it would be based on values that are stable, but not inflexible.
that the Jewish concept of hineini – here I am – (which is highlighted in the Tween course) may be the most important one of all in our quest to raise our kids. No matter how difficult the tween years may be, if we show our kids that we will be there for them no matter how hard it is to do so, we demonstrate the kind of love that every child needs.

I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to help parents explore this wisdom, search within themselves for answers to their important questions, and find common ground with each other during this challenging stage.