Layah Lipsker, a beloved local educator and Parenting Through a Jewish Lens instructor, shares what is keeping her her up at night these days. 

Having a large family has its perks, but a good night sleep is not one of them.  Taking care of the physical and emotional needs of my six children, ages 10-20, is often overwhelming.   Lately I am finding that it is the nourishing of six souls that keeps me up at night.  Am I doing enough to maximize their spiritual growth?  Am I bonding with each of them individually in ways that will inspire confidence?

In case I was not causing myself enough grief, I chose to watch a disturbing film this week, one that triggered every worry I ever had about raising emotionally intact children.  Though I had read the book “We Have to Talk about Kevin” years ago, viewing the movie now, as a parent, was especially painful. The film depicts the aftermath of a fictional high school massacre and its devastating effect on the family of Kevin, the teen who is convicted in the shooting.  Having lost everything dear to her, Kevin’s mother faces a life of self-doubt and the overt animosity of her community.  The director makes clever use of flashbacks to help us feel her desperate desire to do it all again to avoid her son’s crime.  The movie explores the challenge many parents feel in bonding easily with one child but not with another, and the terrible guilt and pain that ensues. 

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created at: 2012-03-20