New Life #685 – Dealing With Criticism in the Family
Dr. Michael Laitman in conversation with Oren Levi and Nitzah Mazoz
Our growing ego even causes us to criticize our children and demand that our children realize what we didn’t attain. But criticism should be minimal, maintaining boundaries that we define for our familial standards, and the child must learn how to activate his critical sense by himself correctly, keeping within the framework of the family. If he doesn’t criticize himself when he goes against the accepted rules of the family, then we parents criticize him gently to provide him with the tools to be self-critical.
A child needs to know that he has a family for his whole life, and that if he goes against the generally accepted rules in the family, he will lose the right relationship with it. The most important general rule is to be connected to the family; this is the highest value, and if he behaves in a way that is not acceptable in the family, he will lose the connection and security, and this will bring him back on the right track.
The family is the basic unit in nature and we must not destroy it. Parents give birth to new life, and if they divorce, they destroy the good familial relationship for the children.
We require preparation to know how to criticize each other with love and to receive it with good spirit. For example, how do we behave with a child who isn’t studying for a test? We express our familial expectation that he will succeed; we help him study, and it is also possible to promise him a reward.
To do this we must gradually build familial standards: everyone must say how he will contribute to the family, and the family will express its appreciation and thanks for all of his daily contributions at fixed times, even if this is artificial and contrived. It is important to open a new page every day without mentioning the events of the previous day. We could give each other a kiss when we meet, and so forth. That is how we set principles, agreements, and habits and provide examples, since personal example is the best influence, more than words.
If I have a criticism, I must restrain myself and only approach it gently and ask: “Did you do that on purpose?” With this I am not expressing my attitude about what he did. Instead I am clarifying with the child his attitude about what he did and his intention. I help him clarify what he did and what he meant by it, with love. In this way I am teaching him how to criticize himself.
From KabTV’s “New Life #685 – Dealing With Criticism in the Family,” 2/2/16
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