We need a serious reform of our attitude toward children—not just a reform of the educational system of teaching itself or of upbringing, but in general, of our whole life in which children learn from us, take all kinds of examples from us with which they cannot agree and cannot implement on themselves.
Once upon a time, a boy would look at his father, a girl at her mother. If the father was a shoemaker or a tailor, no matter what, a child knew: “I will grow up and also be a shoemaker or a tailor.” Back then, children did not have internal demands.
Crafts have been passed down from generation to generation. Children lived with their parents. They did not yearn to be different. In those days, the whole way of life, all the examples that parents gave them: how to live, how to communicate, all this was normal, all this suited the children.
Today—no! Today, children look at us and feel in an empty world. They have nowhere to get examples from. They have to invent their own world. And we, fools, don’t understand why they are engaged in all sorts of fanaticism, use drugs, and everything else. It all happens because we are not ready to give them examples of living correctly.
We do not agree that they are different. This is our most basic point. We need to take into account that they are different, that they have different souls. And we must live for them, not for ourselves. By living for them, we will correct ourselves as well. So it is said: “Lo, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord, that he may turn the heart of the fathers back through the children, and the heart of the children back through their fathers-lest I come and smite the earth with utter destruction.” Meaning, children should teach us.
When a woman becomes a mother, the child as if requires her to grow up so that a completely different attitude to life would appear in her. It is the same here. We must understand that by having children, we have to be more responsible. And they should dictate to us what we should be like.
First of all, we must study the next stage in which our children should live. They ask for it, but we do not understand it. We are in such a generation, in such “scissors,” in such a transitional process, that we stand as if between two epochs.
From KabTV’s “Close-up. Depression in Children” 8/24/09