June 12, 2024
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June 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Many of us say that when we have children we hope to emulate the type of parenting that our parents showered on us. Others, and I think that is practically everyone at one time or another, also say that when they have the opportunity to have their own children they might do things slightly differently from their parents.

Let’s consider this morning, as we were preparing to leave from a wonderful visit to Rochester which we made at this time because our granddaughter and her family (three little ones under the age of 6) were visiting from Chicago and we do not have the privilege of seeing them often enough. The scenario that took place made me chuckle greatly.

Malkie, our daughter, had placed all of her daughter Adina’s school books from the time she was probably 8 years old onto the kitchen table and asked her to “please get them out of my house.” The excuse that they have, being in a small apartment, was not going to sit well with my daughter. It reminded me of how many times I asked our own children, years after they were married, to please remove their “very important” documents from our home in Montreal. In particular I remember asking a daughter to clear out her closets and reminded her that after being married for more than 10 years one does not need to hold onto the plastic bride and groom statue that sat atop their wedding cake. Her response was similar to that of Adina: “Why, Ma, do you not have enough room in your house?”

I just grinned and smiled inwardly. Poor Malk and poor Adina. When my grandson, married to Adina, was asked what had happened to all of his old papers and school work, he answered in a perplexed manner, “Of course it was all thrown out years ago.” Different strokes for different families, or differences between men and women?

In a completely different role as an onlooker, I feel the pain of other grandchildren when they are about to leave the house either on a Shabbat afternoon or in the afternoon or evening and are interrogated as to where they are going. I did the same thing but now I feel so sorry for the kids. I guess that at different stages in life we see things totally differently.

We, as couples, and as parents, need to allow our children to make the same blunders and poor decisions that every one of us has made. It is not our place in any way to tell our grown married or single children what to do and, yes, it is sooooo tempting.

There is one exception, and that is when they ask for advice. Even some of those questions asked of us have to be left for the children to figure out on their own. How much more so if a daughter or son were to ask their mother or father’s opinion on a topic on which they are disagreeing with their spouse. Let them work it out themselves. That is what we did and wanted to do. There is a time for everything and while our children are young and developing in our homes, and throughout their teen years, we try our hardest to create young, independent, free thinking individuals. It is often hard to remember that what we aimed for might be what we have achieved, but sometimes it is not to our own satisfaction. It’s just too bad. C’est la vie.

Watching our children going through similar situations with their own children that we had with our children is part of the life journey. For me, I watched the scenario play out in Rochester this morning and waited until I got into my car for the ride home to let out a large howl and chuckle. What goes around comes around!


Nina Glick lives in Bergenfield with her husband, Rabbi Mordechai Glick, after many years of service to the Montreal Jewish community. Nina coordinated all Yachad activities in Montreal and was a co/founder of Maison Shalom, a group home for special needs young adults. She can be reached at [email protected].

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