Going to the Kiddush!
Rabbi Ross. As long as I can remember, my husband would finish Davening on Shabbos and come home. He never stayed for the Kiddush and explained that my food was better. In the rare event he needed to stay (for a close friend or special occasion), he would have a little herring and crackers, and be home shortly. Our Shabbos meal was fantastic. My boys are getting older, and they now insist on staying for the Kiddush. Nowadays, each Shul needs to have a 5-course meal after Davening, and my boys come home ½ hour later with no appetite. When I tried explaining that I worked hard preparing the meal, they seemed apathetic. Any ideas before this becomes a huge battle? Mimi – Flatbush
I remember going to the Kiddush after Shul as a kid, and you are correct. There was some sponge cake, assorted whiskeys, herring, crackers, and sometimes kichel. It didn’t come close to filling us up, so we ate the full meal when we got home. I would agree that the Kiddush situation has changed dramatically, and I wouldn’t necessarily say for the better. What’s interesting is that your husband does not stay for the Kiddush, but your boys do. Usually, the kids follow their parents’ lead when it comes to Kiddush in Shul.
In any case, I’ll address the question you brought up in the email. First of all, I don’t think this should ever be allowed to escalate into a huge battle. My parenting motto is, choose your battles. Whereas I think that having a family meal is quite important, I’m not sure if Kiddush is where you would draw the line. You seemed to suggest that they come to the meal but have no appetite. Let’s play devil’s advocate for a minute. So they don’t eat. They’re still participating. And it’s still a family meal.
On the flip side, you’re still the parents. If it really bothers you, I don’t understand why you can’t tell them “no.” I understand that we live in a world where political correctness is the norm, but is it so hard to tell your kids, “no”? I worry for the kids when parents are scared to disagree. I’m not saying to be cruel to them, but you can simply say, “Daddy and I spoke about it and we decided the following. You can go to the Kiddush on Shabbos Mevorchim, but every other Shabbos you must come straight home. We understand that you like to hang out with your friends, but you’ll have to do so after the meal. This isn’t a discussion.”
In the past I’ve explained that although I’m not a psychologist, I enjoy analyzing the emails I receive. When I read yours, something else jumped out at me. You wrote, “When I tried explaining that I worked hard…”, and this seemed off, for two reasons.
Have a good Shabbos.
2/8/2018 08:38:18 pm
Yup. If it bothers you, be parents. You're in charge!
2/8/2018 08:54:13 pm
It's Takeh a problem. These are out of control... maybe the Shul's should cut back?
2/8/2018 09:58:49 pm
Rabbi Ross. Although you are correct, there is something else. These Kiddushes are disgusting. food wasted, kids going before adults, and just a horrible attitude. This really needs to be addressed also.
Sarah N Frisch
2/9/2018 09:10:26 am
So, I get the mother's concerns. However, (and maybe I focused on the wrong sentence), I don't get the whole 'worked hard for nothing' bit. My husband isn't a big fan of the Kiddush but my kids love it. We teach them to be mentchen, allow the adults to go first, only take what you believe you'll eat, eat nicely, etc. And I'm so grateful that the pressure is taken off of me for the Shabbos lunch meal. I do put up a cholent, as my kids are a huge fan of my cholent. But I don't warm up anything else, no kugel or schnitzel or whatever else might take hard work preparing. As a mother who works outside the home, I have enough pressures. And I'm so grateful to the shul that eases my burden just a bit in this respect.
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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.