'The Art of Parenting' Course Begins Jan. 18

Posted Tuesday, Jan 13th, 2015

Parenting is quite possibly the most difficult job in the world, yet it’s one for which most receive little or no preparation. Children do not come with instruction manuals, and the awesome responsibility of raising them to be well-adjusted, moral and productive members of society falls squarely on their parents’ shoulders.

So, in a world of conflicting theories, where experts with impeccable academic credentials each offer up their own diverse paths to parental bliss, where does a parent turn for direction? Should parents be emulating Captain Von Trapp from the Sound of Music, summoning their children with the sharp blast of a whistle? Or maybe the 1960s commune approach works better, with children taking the reins and educating themselves by way of their own trial-and-error. How does one strike a balance between these two extremes?

Whichever route is chosen will have long term effects on the child. No pressure.

In order to help parents navigate the stormy waters of child-rearing, beginning January 18, the Jewish Learning Institute will present The Art of Parenting, a new six-week winter course which explores parenting principles and techniques rooted in millennia of Jewish wisdom.

Rabbi Shalom Paltiel of Chabad Port Washington will conduct the six course sessions at 10am on six consecutive Sundays, beginning January 18, at Chabad, 80 Shore Road, Port Washington. “As parents we are constantly being bombarded with various educational approaches and methods,” explains Rabbi Paltiel. “How do you strike the correct balance between discipline and freedom? This course answers these great questions by looking to the timeless teachings of the Torah.”

From questions of how children and parents should relate to each other, to how to help a child cultivate a healthy self-esteem, The Art of Parenting provides a solid foundation anchored in the eternal wisdom of Jewish thought and practice for parents to explore and develop their own parenting philosophies and techniques.

“Empires and civilizations have come and gone, but the Jewish people have survived,” says Paltiel. “This course taps into the great Jewish parenting success story that is our people’s survival, against all odds, over the course of thousands of years.”

The course has drawn praise from educational experts such as Paul A. Flexner, co-editor of What We NOW Know About Jewish Education.

“Over the past 100 years, the American family and the Jewish American family has transformed itself from a close knit group of parents, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins living in close proximity to independent family units,” explains Flexner, an instructor at the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education at Georgia State University in Atlanta. “Parents today are very much on their own; they receive little guidance on how to raise their children. Children today have nowhere to turn other than their parents for support, guidance and advice. For the first time in history, parents and children are left to their own devices to figure out how to make the experience meaningful and positive. By creating opportunities for parents to learn together and to share the experience of parenting with like-minded peers, the JLI is offering a much needed resource that meets the concerns of the 21st century.

“The real beneficiaries of such a program will be the children who will learn and grow in a stronger, more supportive community.” Like all previous JLI programs, The Art of Parenting is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship.

Interested students may call 527 767 8672 or visit www.chabadpw.org/jli for registration and other course-related information.

Photo: Rabbi Paltiel and his wife Sara founded Chabad of Port Washington in 1991, where he has served as spiritual leader since. He and Sara are the proud parents of 11 children, ages 10 months – 23 years.

(Source: http://patch.com/new-york/portwashington/art-parenting-course-begins-jan-18)

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