The Fast Lane to Success
We think that we give our children everything – could it be that we are actually missing the most important thing?
It Won’t Work on You
We all want the “very best” for ourselves, in all areas of our life. When it comes to our children, it is only “all the more so”!
When it comes to our kids, we check and research and carefully weigh every decision – from the preschool, to the babysitter, to the school, and every extra-curricular program. You put your whole heart into their birthdays and buy them presents and pamper them without end.
Now, your conscious is clean. You did the absolute maximum. You gave them everything. You made every possible effort to make sure your children grew up in the most ideal and perfect environment. You can pat yourself on the back and certainly be satisfied, and continue on with your work and personal life. Your children are “taken care of.” You’ve paved for them the path to succeed in life…
Is it really so? Could it actually be that the most important thing, you have not given to your children….?
Is it possible that you have fought and won on all fronts… but the most important front you left out…?
The Silent Cry
To all the precious parents out there, and for all those who will G-d willing be parents in the future, I beg you on behalf of all your children that are screaming inside, without you hearing:
“Daddy, Mommy – I really appreciate everything you do for me and everything you have invested in me… But what about me? Have you ever truly thought about what I need? Are you giving me what I need more than anything? Have you not heard my cry, pleading to you?
“The birthday cake was crazy yummy, and the expensive bicycle really did make me happy, but I really need a Daddy and a Mommy. I need you. Without you, there’s no meaning to all to any of these treats. Without your personal attention and closeness to me – I can never truly succeed in life.
“The nannies and the playgroup were great, but they aren’t and will never be a substitute for my Daddy and Mommy. In order to grow, I must be planted in the fertile ground of our home, and watered personally by you!
“Please smile at me and speak with me. I may seem small, but I understand so much more than you realize. I understand your attitude and feelings towards me deep inside my heart, and this influences my emotional health for the rest of my life.
“If you don’t have time for me – I understand in the depths of my soul that I am not important to you, and that I’m not really wanted. If you don’t tell me how much I am loved – I feel extraneous. If you don’t tell me about all of my great qualities and how good I am, I think that I am bad, a walking failure – and even more so if you criticize and belittle my behavior at every opportunity. These feelings and emotions will accompany me throughout life, and prevent me from succeeding. Deep inside I will feel like a broken vessel, G-d forbid.
“But if you give me time, warmth and love, and if you shower me with kind and loving words, and strengthen my little soul with emuna in Hashem, emuna in myself, and emuna that I am loved, and the knowledge that I am good and successful – this will accompany me throughout life and this is what will truly give me the ability to succeed.”
The Common Denominator
In the previous articles of this series, I’ve spoken about the central and critical role that parents have in building the foundations of the soul of the child already from their earliest years, and how these emotional foundations influence them throughout the rest of their lives. Now, I am going to elaborate and fine-tune this most important point.
I am constantly around people. I have traveled throughout the world, and on tour and at home, meet privately with dozens of people every day. I am witness to the severe and widespread phenomena of people who are emotionally weak and broken, which manifests itself in many areas of life, including inability to hold a job, marital difficulties, anxiety and all forms of emotional problems.
The common denominator to all these problems is a tremendous depletion of the spirit stemming from very deep deprivations in childhood. I am not only speaking about people who had a difficult childhood; I am also talking about those who grew up in a seemingly healthy environment with normal parents who did everything for them.
With all of them, you can identify the characteristics of self-persecution, lack of self-confidence, lack of the recognition that they are inherently good, loved, and that their real desire is to be good. They constantly feel worthless and deficient. Even if on the outside they seem successful, and even if they indeed are successful in various areas – nevertheless, the emotional distress expresses itself in the hidden areas of their lives.
This painful reality needs to be put before us constantly as a gigantic warning sign: Do everything you can already now, before it is too late.
The Child Needs You
Both of you are independent adults and both of you are equals – You crave love, you crave appreciation, and are thirsty for compliments. You too have difficulty with criticism and disrespect.
If this is true for you – think about your children! They are small and vulnerable, completely dependent, without a strong outlook on life to carry them. They desperately need our love and appreciation as parents, and this is what will shape and formulate their entire attitude toward themselves and the world for their entire life!
Once again, I turn to you, beloved parents. I hope that you understand that we need to change our awareness. Just like you would not miss prayer or on the flip side, a business meeting – all the more so is it forbidden for you to forgo quality time with your children every day. Time to build a strong connection, build the soul of a child, and strengthen and appreciate them. Time for warmth and love, friendship, and talking heart to heart.
When To Start?
Decide that you will start today! Not tomorrow and not next week. The most important thing is persistence and consistency. Even if up until now you have never made this time, it is not too late to start! As long as the flame is lit you can and must fix the situation.
Constantly remind yourselves that the time that you spend speaking to your children about the little things in life is not a waste of time. These moments are especially holy!
Like a medic who rushes to save a life – you are giving your children oxygen and life! You are literally creating the infrastructure that makes it possible for them to build floors and levels of personality – physically and spiritually. And if your child becomes a righteous man or a brilliant sage, or someone who helps others at every opportunity – everything will be in the merit of this precious time and conversations you give to them now!