By Susan Jerison, Director of Marketing & Communications
When I was a parent at a Jewish nursery school ten years ago, the parenting book that everyone talked about was The Blessing Of A Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children, by psychologist Wendy Mogel. As her own children grew from toddlers to teens, Mogel once again decided to share the lessons she learned and how she views Judaism as a framework or spiritual guide for parenting. Mogel has now written a second book, The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers, this one full of insight about how to raise resilient teenagers. Jewish Woman magazine recently interviewed Dr. Mogel about the book.
Mogel offers a lot of common sense wisdom – about setting reasonable expectations, being a consistent voice of good sense, and about the difference between being a parent and a friend. She reminds us that teens learn by example: If they see you bending the rules, they’ll learn to bend them; if they see you get angry or treat people rudely, they will learn to do that as well. Mogel also tells us that just like adults, teens learn from their mistakes. They are bound to sometimes push the limits and neglect their responsibilities. We need to know when to let them learn and when to intervene. And as hard as it is, we need to let go so they can mature, begin to make their own decisions and discover their own strengths – all better done while they are still under our watchful eye.
Mogel also shares the unique joy of parenting. Teenagers – wide-eyed, fun and full-of-life – do listen and learn, and raising a family is one of life’s great blessings. I encourage you to sit down with her book. You’ll be reassured and reminded that while the teen years can be challenging, your children most likely will develop into confident, happy adults.