Rabbi Mordecai Finley
Parenting the Soul of Your Child - Description of Class
Parenting the soul of your child
Parents typically seek my advice about issues of their children’s compliance with parents’ wishes, performance at school and in the home, and patterns of misbehavior. Parents often encounter resistance from their child when they try to correct their children. Oftentimes, conflict ensues, with the child, the other parent, or both.
An Underlying Problem
An underlying problem is that parenting is often directed toward compliance, performance and behavior. Parents often raise their children with a checklist: The right school, the right grades, the right friends, the right behaviors. In other words, parents are often seeking their own ego-gratification through their child.
The response of parents with a non-compliant, underperforming, or misbehaving child is to tell the child repeatedly what to do, what to think and how to be. Children often resist their parent’s demands. It almost always results in arguments and conflict. This kind of parenting is often rooted in unrealistic demands or expectations of the child. In addition, such parenting does not take into consideration the individuality of the child.
A Deeper Problem
A deeper problem sometimes arises in adolescence with the “good child” - the compliant, performing, and well-behaved one. As they get older, they can feel an emptiness and purposelessness that can manifest is destructive behaviors.
This course teaches a foundation that addresses these issues and more (excluding disorders). Once the foundation is set down, certain techniques and skills flow from that foundation.
The ideal foundation for parenting is that your child (and everyone in the family) has a soul. The soul refers to the deep part of the inner life where core, authentic self, is found, where meaning is encountered and created, out of which character flows.
There is no one right way to parent a child because there is no one child. Each child has their own inner life, where the meaning of love, truth, beauty, fairness, and truth are worked out
Our parenting should guide children toward virtues and values: the gift of insight and self-awareness, the cultivation of wisdom and honor, including the meaning of their resistance to parents’ expectations. Some of the virtues and values we ought to instill within our children are a moral sense, integrity, respect, resilience, empathy, honesty, courage, creativity, industriousness and so forth.
The path toward insight and wisdom are the greatest gifts we can give our children, gifts our children will use their entire lives.
We must understand the inner lives of our children to help them understand themselves and to guide them toward their full humanity.
This four-week course will offer insights on parenting the soul of the child, their inner life of values and virtues, wisdom and meaning.
Parents will be offered the skills and the tools to guide their child toward insight, responsibility, and wisdom.
Each session will include a presentation and time for Q&A.