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Why Don't My Kids Respect Me?

Sunday, 7 October, 2018 - 6:32 pm

 

Question of the Week:

Can you explain my children to me? I have dedicated my life to looking after their every need. But if I ask one of them to get me a glass of water they moan and groan. Why is it that one parent can care for thre children but three children can't seem to care for one parent?

 

Answer:

We are all descendants of Adam and Eve, the first human beings. We have inherited from them the basic ingredients of human nature. They didn't have parents. They were created, not born. They had no umbilical cords. They probably didn't even have belly buttons. So any normal human being has an innate desire to look after their children. But looking after our parents (and our belly buttons) is a skill that doesn't always come naturally.

The genes we pass on to our children are not enough. We must pass on to them a moral code too. If they are raised to think of themselves as mere intelligent animals, then they will follow their instincts, which program them to care for themselves and their young, not their parents.

 

But if we teach our children that they are moral beings that can go beyond their genetic programming, then we raise them to know that life is about doing what is right rather than what feels right, what is good rather than what feels good. We are not just apes with intelligence, but ethical beings with a belly button.


Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Moss

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