Hitting Yoel (7-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Hitting Yoel (7-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

What an angry lettuce seller on Sunday taught me about hitting my son on Friday.



  1. so happy i heard this right now…. after SUCH a hard day with my own kids……. so nice to know i’m not alone in the motherly issues.. thank u.

  2. Thank you for this. My two year old ( who happens to be much more difficult then his brother was) gets upset even when I yell no at him. He does everything to test the limits. everything. but then when I put him in time out or yell he cries hysterically as if I have physically hurt him. This pep talk is a reminder to me to work on dealing with him in a much gentler way, Because even though he does just absolutely insane things, he is just a sweet and very sensitive neshama trying to figure out his limits in this world. thanks again!

  3. A similar incident happened to me today with my 4 year old son where I smacked him for the first time and after I felt so horrible and like the worst mother in the world, but I was sitting for ages trying to figure out how to imbue a sense of yira in our children towards ourselves? because on the one hand by me giving him a smack he suddenly had such a sense of reverence (which I want him to develop for himself so that he has a sense of kavod for his parents) and all the chutzpadik attitude suddenly fell away, but on the other hand I felt so deeply inside that I had failed. How do we teach our children yira without reaching that low point? Its such a struggle!

    • JewishMom

      here’s a link to an incredibly effective approach to setting limits…

      • so my biggest problem with time out in general is keeping my 2 year old in a chair! or other room or anywhere. the amount of energy I put in to putting him in time out gives him so much attention that I feel like ignoring all the misbehavior would be better at this point.. I am really at a loss, he is very difficult to discipline and of course needs it a lot! so there ends up just being a lot of yelling. I like the 123 magic idea but don’t know how I would do it….any ideas?

        • Just one idea – you could try a booster seat with straps so you can just buckle him in. I do that with my twin two year olds and it works well.

          • Yes I also strapped my toddlers in the chair. It worked brilliantly because it worked as a threat, too. It’s limited tho, until they can unbuckle it. Get this: my one year old can wiggle himself out of the tightest belt!!!!! Oy vey…..
            Toddlers are toddlers. One thing to remember is that we are all individuals and so are our kids, as are our respective tikkunim. Sometimes there is no method, there is just “hazorim bedima, berina yiktzoru….”

  4. Thank you for this beautiful pep talk, I so much appreciate your honesty!

  5. I can relate to “losing it” unfortunately. Often it helps if we can “re-channel” their need. For example, he likes playing with soapy water, we don’t want him to play with grease, so if we give him a bowl of soapy bubbles to play with in the yard/on the balcony or dump him in a bubble bath (just a bath with lots of shampoo in the water, my kids taught me!) that might fulfil that need in a way that works for both of you. On Fridays it is much harder to stop and try to be creative though.
    I tried 1,2,3, Magic (not from the book, just from description) but I didn’t like being “on the lookout” to see if my child misbehaved again. I can relate more to the Nurturing Heart approach where you are constantly trying to “catch your children” doing good things . It creates a much more positive feeling in the home.

  6. I think you meant well with your pep talk. I do feel that there is a vast difference between your reaction and relationship with your child and the incident in the shuk.

    Your child: Your child was warned by you twice before you ‘lost it’ we are only human and as such loose it occasionally. Your child knows you love him and ‘got you back’ his way. Further Your 6 year old needs to understand that there are consequences for not hearing his Mom.

    Also it could be a talk about the Yetzer Hara even now: You know how yummy that stuff looked in the pot in the sink – you just couldn’t resist putting your hand in even (it was so red, squishy, soapy whatever) though Mommy said NO and you even got a patch! That is how strong the Yetzer Hara can be — what can we do next time the Yetzer Hara seems so strong Can you ask Mommy to help you listen so Mommy doesn’t have to tell you NO three times? So you won’t get a patch, Mommy loves you so much…?

    the Lettuce man in the shuk was entirely out of line!

    whatever his frustrations his response to you needed to be: These new big lettuce are 10 Shekel and the ones you bought are 4 – I don’t take returns on produce you can buy more if you wish.

    He didn’t need to be rude at all

    Had you been more experienced perhaps you could have just burst out laughing and then said-Behechlet! I hope you feel better now.

    I don’t know if there are other possibilites for lettuce buying but if yes you might mention that you don’t need to purchase by him next time. Should he wish your continued patronage you would apprecaite being treated appropriately and if he wanted you to pay more he could have just told you or he could have told you he would have better produce if you come back later… either way you deserved better respectful treatment.

    I had something like this happen to me at the bank I was told by the teller to sign my name and I scribbled my initials which is how I sign everything. He let me ‘have it’ both barrels LOUD for not signing my full name on the line- I became a blubbering idot! Tears pricking my eyes the whole works.

    After crying in my car I decided never to let anyone do that to me ever again and have practiced a way to avoid situations like these.

    This bank teller had nothing to do with me or my actions per se and the Lettuce guy had nothing to do with what happened with your child.

    Anyway Yashar Koach or Kochacha for your delightful and insightful blog!
    Good Shobbos

  7. I just listened to your talk so my previous comment was totally unrelated!!!
    I just wanted to say that it was beautiful as usual. Also, I lose it constantly as well, and I guess the best way to make for it, because IT WILL HAPPEN, is simply find something good to say to the child, a little later on, hopefully related to the former incident to show that they CAN be good in that situation.
    I really appreciate your honesty, especially about smacking. If you have the courage, I admit it too!!!!

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