Educating the child



I have a question that consists of two questions ... My 5-year old son is in a Orthodox kindergarten and we are a family who became religious over the time. This week I had a talk with his teacher who said that my child is very lively but that doesn’t disturb her. What does bother her is that he is chutzpadik and the other children are influenced by him. Even at home, I feel he is chutzpadik but not at the level that she says. He’s a little bit chutzpadik at home and we try to stop him as soon as he starts up, but sometimes he does not listen or he laughs in our faces. I put him in his room until he calms down but it just calms him down for that moment and doesn’t deter him for the future.

In the kindergarten, it reached a point where the teacher had to chase him to obey her and he even dared to call her “stupid”- a word which he never heard in our house!!! I want to emphasize that there is no TV in my house. We tried all ways to talk with him and punish him but nothing worked and we’ve reached a situation where every day he brings a note from the kindergarten teacher. If he does a good deed, he gets a gift and if not, then he doesn’t. My question is whether this is the right way? And if not, then what is?? My husband claims that the person responsible for my son's deterioration is my father’s son (my father divorced and married again and he has a 9 year old son who is also chutzpadik). He comes to us every Shabbat with my father and they have a TV in their home (they do not observe Torah and its commandments) and his son teaches my son all kinds of nonsense and things not appropriate to the education that we have in our house. My husband asked me to tell my father not to bring his son with him, but I am very close to my father and he would be very offended if I tell him not to bring his son ... what am I supposed to do? Tell him not to bring his son for the sake of my child’s education and my domestic harmony? If so how do I do that? This is very important and urgent because I am really at a loss! 


The way you interact with your child is very good — the carrot and stick method in which the “carrots” should dominate and you should keep giving him small things for every good thing he does, even if it is only something minor. You should also express sadness when you can not give him the gift / candy you would like to give him.

Concerning your son’s connection with your father's son, you need to evaluate more deeply what to do. You have to check the degree of the older boy’s influence on your son, and to think how to restrain him and set up clear limits of what he can and cannot do in your home.

Only in truly extreme cases would we advise you to ask your father not to bring his son to you on Shabbat.