Last week I wrote a letter from a mother who questioned whether getting divorced was better than remaining in a failed marriage. I received well over two hundred questions and comments, many of which I posted. Thank you all for being a part of this tremendous parenting initiative. I would like to respond to the more common questions or comments that were submitted.
Rabbi Ross – I am baffled as to why you didn’t give the woman from last week better advice. She desperately needs help with her marriage.
This is a parenting column. There are many people that ask questions that I respond to privately with more information. In last week’s article, I responded to this woman privately with contact information to a well-known therapist. I suggested that she and her husband speak to this person and see if their marriage is salvageable. I’m hoping and Davening that it works out, but again, the marital issues are beyond the scope of this column.
Last week, it really sounded like you were condoning divorce. I’m somewhat surprised.
Far from it. I even wrote in the article, “A bitter divorce can be just as detrimental to a child’s emotional well-being as living with married, yet bitter parents.” Nevertheless, there are certain situations that call for a divorce. There is a well-known clinical psychologist/certified divorce mediator who recently told me, “Sometimes, it's actually much better for the kids’ mental and emotional health for the parents to be separated, because being in a stressful, conflict-filled environment can be very damaging to kids of any age.” Again, this is under the assumption that the parents conduct themselves during a divorce or separation with the children’s best interests in mind and refrain from including them in any disputes or arguments.
I keep commenting and none of them are showing up on the site.
This is a common question. There are a few criteria to having your comments posted.
Do you work with kids privately?
Short answer - no. There are many amazing and qualified therapists out there that can help. Over the next few months, I will be putting a link on the site to any therapist who submits their information, and can provide the names of some satisfied clients as references. There will be no charge to be listed. Baruch Hashem, I am fortunate to spend my days teaching Torah to my Talmidim and helping them whenever possible. There are select cases where I am able to help certain children and/or parents, however it’s usually limited to my Talmidim.
If I wanted you to speak in my Shul/House, how would I set that up?
On the contact page of www.Yidparenting.com, you can request speaking engagements. I will IY”H be listing locations and dates on the website, as to where I’ll be speaking in the near future.
The quotes from the divorced children were heart breaking. Did you write them down as they told them to you?
Yes I did. I don’t specifically ask them for quotes, but I listen to them talk and afterwards, I jot down things that will help others. Incidentally, while many of these children turned out OK, there were quite a few that are still having difficulties. I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise, but these are the ones whose parents still bad-mouthed each other after a divorce.
Who helps you write or edit these articles? I was surprised that an article about divorce was approved.
Usually, I choose an email on Motzoai Shabbos. Over the next two days, I write an answer and compile my thoughts. It takes quite a few hours to put it together. When I’ve completed it, I send it to a family member who proofreads and edits the article. When he is finished, it goes to my wife who reviews it. If either of us think that a Rav should make a final determination, we send it to our Rav. This past week regarding the divorce question, we did send it to the Rav, and he felt that “It might help someone.”
I think that newer parents should all read these emails. Is there anything I can do to help with getting the word out?
Thank you. The easy way to help get the word out, is to forward the emails to your friends. You can assure them that I will never sell this email list, and their email address will always remain totally private. I am also looking for a social media guru who is willing to donate his/her time to help post the articles on a Facebook/Instagram feed (and help maintain it). Please send me an email if you’re interested.
Have a great Shabbos!
Rabbi Yitzie Ross is a Rebbe and has been working with parents and kids for many years. You can read more about him in the "about" section.