Articles by Aviva Weisbord

Shalom Bayis


jewish

Dear Dr. Weisbord,

We are fortunate in having our parents living nearby and invite them often for Shabbos lunch. My wife is generous and caring and has always gone along with this arrangement. My parents are rather outspoken, especially my mother. I enjoy their conversation and am used to my mother’s opinionated ways. I mostly take them with a grain of salt. She can tell me I shouldn’t allow a child to do this or that, or criticize their behavior, and I just nod and then do what I want. However, it upsets my wife a lot. Last time they came over, the kids were a little wild, and my mother criticized our six-year-old. My wife got angry and told her she had no right to discipline our kids. My parents were in shock and hurriedly bentched and left. It was extremely unpleasant. I don’t know where to go from here. Do we owe them an apology? Should they come less often? Should my wife chill out? Our children are fairly young now, but how do we explain the situation to them when they are older? Any tips would be appreciated.

Wants Family Peace Again

 


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Shalom Bayis


dementia

Dear Dr. Weisbord,

I am struggling with the decline of my favorite aunt and wonder if you can give me some clarity. What is the correct Torah hashkafa about visiting or being involved with a person with dementia who does not seem to recognize you or appreciate your coming to see her? Sometimes I think that it is useless to visit my aunt. Moreover, I feel certain, knowing that, if she had a choice, she herself would not want others to see her in her diminished state. As I try to interact with my aunt and get no meaningful response, I wonder if I should just follow the advice of an acquaintance, who told me that she had not seen her good friend for the 10 years before she died because the friend did not recognize her.


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Advocating Successfully for Your Child


school child

So here we are, back at school, with excitement and dread all mixed together. As parents, we begin the year (not unlike the children) hoping for a teacher who’s a “match” for our child and will create the setting for healthy growth and learning. We daven for our child to be successful, to keep up with the work, and to feel socially and academically adept. And, as always, we think about the optimum ways to help this happen: How can we become a true partner in our child’s education? What happens if we have concerns? Is it best to keep quiet and hope things work out by themselves? Or is it better to be proactive? Is there a “best way” to advocate for our children?


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Shalom Bayis


messy house

Dear Dr. Weisbord,

I am very overwhelmed. This happens to me every summer when the kids are out of school. I don’t come from a frum family, and grew up in a two-child, calm and organized home. It is very hard for me to deal with the chaos, noise, and mess of six children under the age of 11. I do okay during the year, but when the children are home all the time, it’s extremely difficult. I really, really need those few hours to myself, when they’re in school, but it’s not possible. We can’t afford to send the children to camp. Since most of the other children in the neighborhood are in camp, my kids spend the day around the house, getting bored and fighting with each other. I know I could go places and do creative projects with them, but I don’t have the energy. The house is a mess. It’s impossible to make order, and even when I do, it falls apart in a few minutes.


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Shalom Bayis


child

Dear Dr. Weisbord,

I have a 14-year-old daughter, the oldest of many children. We have a relatively peaceful house – at least we did until she started acting up. Getting her up every morning is a screaming battle. She sleeps late and misses her ride, then demands that I take her to school. We have brought up our children to help for Shabbos. Everyone pitches in to get ready. But this teenager finds a way to get out of helping. Usually, she claims a stomachache. She manages to avoid whatever I ask her to do. She also can’t be bothered with her family in other ways. She has friends in school and talks to them at night and gets together with them. But she rolls her eyes at any suggestion or activity that we do as a family.


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Shalom Bayis


work

Dear Dr. Weisbord,

My daughter is in her early 20s. She went the normal route of the children of our community, and never had any particular problems. She got good grades, has friends, and generally gets along with others. She finished high school and studied in a seminary after high school. When she returned, she tried to find a job, but nothing came through. Even though there are job opportunities, she always has some excuse for not applying and, if she does apply, does not follow through and has not been successful in finding a job.        

I would think that she would be motivated to work, because there are many things I cannot provide for her from my income, but that does not seem to be incentive enough for her to find a job. No job or career preparation that I suggest appeals to her. I think this behavior is very damaging to her confidence and will also be bad for her image when it comes time for shidduchim.


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