A specialist in pediatric emergency medicine, Dr. Bruce Weinstock thought that Parenting Your Teen Through a Jewish Lens would augment his professional tool box. He also has an abiding interest in the application of Jewish texts to today’s questions. Finally, he felt the course could be of personal benefit-his daughters are 13, 17, and 20.
Bruce’s expectations were met on all counts. He had never before explored certain texts, such as the story of Moses, from the perspective of parenting dynamics. Though he may have previously examined “things we carry as baggage,” he now consciously stops himself from responding to his kids in ways that echo his parents’ expectations of his teenage self. Perhaps more importantly, he has learned the value of not responding at all. He now uses a related mussar teaching-on humility, on being silent and not taking more than the appropriate amount of “space”-to great advantage.
In Parenting Your Teen Through a Jewish Lens, Jewish texts serve as springboards for rich discussion. From his instructor and other parents Bruce learned the importance of clearly articulating limits. He learned tricks that could help kids out of tight spots. For example, one parent and her teen use a “check in” code that affords an “out” in the event an environment is unsafe. (The teen could leave or choose to stay at a party after receiving a “come home” message.) Though their teens’ religious practice is of concern to some parents, Bruce noted that participants’ levels of observance vary and that this is not what ultimately matters. Emotionally, parents of teenagers struggle with the same issues. Parenting Your Teen Through a Jewish Lens gave everyone the same helpful tools.
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