“I can’t remember – I just knew.”
“In our family, the way it worked was my dad would say, ‘You can’t talk to your mother that way.’”
“We lived near my grandparents so I watched how my parents treated them.”
|Judy and the PTJL class at Mayyim Hayyim in Newton|
These are some of the responses to the question: In your family of origin, how did you learn to respect your parents? In this weeks Parenting Through a Jewish Lens course at Mayyim Hayyim we sat around a table for an hour and a half, eating mini-muffins and dried figs, and engaging with each other about what the 5th commandment (to honor your mother and father) means for us as adult children and as parents of young children.
We wondered together about how one honors parents in the face of wanting to parent differently than our parents did. And in other cases, how to do for our own kids as our parents did for us. Reflecting on how we were parented gives us a platform to view and make sense of our families of origin with a new lens. It’s the starting place for our own decision making as parents.
And as we laughed at ourselves, at our childhood experiences and our challenges in parenting even that morning, or cried from past hurts, we formed a community, united by the deep desire to raise healthy children who will yes, one day respect not only us but themselves and others.
Judy Elkin, a long-time Jewish educator and a certified personal and professional coach, is teaching in Parenting Through a Jewish Lens for the second year in a row.