23 Tishrei 5782 / Wednesday, September 29, 2021 | Torah Reading: Sukkot
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Precious Moments    

Precious Moments

There are times when warm words are much more necessary and are much more empowering and beneficial. With children, these times are wake-up time and bedtime...


Proper timing can make or break a conversation. While it’s true that compliments are good at all times as I discussed in the previous article in this series, there are times when warm words are much more necessary and are much more empowering and beneficial. On the flip side, during these same times, we have to be much more careful with criticism and destructive words, which at these times, have more impact and can be much more devastating.  


With regard to the daily life of our children, these important times are wake-up time in the morning, and bedtime in the evening before going to sleep. 


Just like it’s important to you that your children go out with their backpacks and all the supplies they need, a nutritious lunch, hair combed, neat and organized - so much more so, you need to do everything you can to make sure your children go out of the house smiling and feeling good. There is nothing like a hug, a compliment, or words of appreciation to uplift and boost the morale of your children. It gives them enthusiasm, self-confidence and positive energy for the whole day. 


How a child leaves the house makes an impression for the entire day. The words that are said to the while getting ready in the morning, and specifically the moments they are leaving the home, “escorts” the child the whole day and establishes his mood and sense of stability.  


If a child leaves the home cheerful and happy, he goes out to a day of light and success. He has enthusiasm, eagerness, and energy to learn, to listen, and to play. But a child that leaves the house depressed and bitter - how can he possibly focus on his lessons? The whole day he is reliving the pain of the morning.  


A child like this, even when he is playing and having fun - is really just escaping from the negative emotions and feelings that are flooding him. He’s not really happy. In general, all of his frustration comes out in different ways – either with fighting, or with destructiveness, or with finding a bad group of friends who give him a fake sense of care and belonging 


Good Night 


The minutes before the child goes to sleep are also very important. This is the time that the subconscious world of the child is built. We are talking about very deep and internal things we have to impart to our children: Happiness of life, self-confidence, emuna in Hashem that He loves them, feeling valued, important, wanted, precious, and loved, and that they are inherently good and righteous. When emuna and emotional health is implanted deep within them, then their subconscious is constantly active and in the background of all their actions. This part of the soul is developed primarily while they sleep at night and their conscious is blurred, and their subconscious processes all the experiences of the day and internalizes them.  


A child that goes to sleep after being shouted at and insulted has a very hard night of sleep to look forward to indeed. The pain will accompany him the entire night and that’s what will burn into his subconscious. However, a child that goes to sleep from a kiss and a hug, after a story from mommy or daddy, after positive words and compliments, warmth, love and nurturing - he will truly have a “good night, a sweet sleep, a night of processing positive data and coming to the conclusion that life is good, the world is a great place to be, he is righteous and inherently good, he is loved and appreciated – this is what will be burned into the depths of his mind and soul. 


These precious minutes are the time to tell the child about all the good that he did that day – and don’t skimp on words! I saw that you cleared the plates after the meal, look how much you love to help people, and you are so responsible, clean and neat!; I noticed how you forgave and gave in to your sister, it shows what a good heart you have, and how nice and generous you are; I saw that excellent note you brought home from school, the great grade you got on that test, and how hard you worked on your homework; you prayed so nicely tonight, and said that blessing with intention - you make us so proud! Hashem is also proud, and Hashem loves you so much too… 



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