My husband and I have been avid readers of your column on the internet for the past few years. We generally agree with most of your advice, and constantly lament the new issues that our children and grandchildren face. Our issue is how our son and his wife are raising our grandchildren. They have this new-age mentality of rarely disciplining them, and they’ve adopted a “Stay away from no” attitude. The hardest part isn’t even watching them miserably fail at raising their children, it’s when they come to us for Shabbos. Instead of being the “fun” grandparents, we’re constantly admonishing them for basic things. “Don’t read at the table when others are sitting with you. Don’t put your shoes on the couch. Don’t talk with food in your mouth.” Not only are the grandchildren beginning to resent us, but our son is threatening not to bring them over since we’re too strict. Please advise. Tizku L”Mitzvos! DS and RS
Ouch. As someone who knows a few parents utilizing this “New age” parenting style, my heart goes out to you. It’s so frustrating watching people raise their children in such a dangerous manner, and it’s even more painful when it’s your own family. Answering this question is tricky, since I’ll be heavily relying on my non-existent psychology skills.
I’m going to share some bullet points and hope that they help you decide what to do. As always, these are only thoughts and suggestions. The nature of this blog is that I don’t allow detailed questions, and as a result I’m missing a lot of relevant information.
Wishing you and all of my readers a Kesiva V’Chasima Tova, and a year of Simcha and Gezunt and Nachas.
Have a Good 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.