Yoni’s Missing Shoe (9-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Yoni’s Missing Shoe (9-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Minimizing frustration with our kids.


  1. B”H

    Hi Chana Jenny,

    Thanks so much as always! I think it’s important to note that great medical care is available in the U.S. to those who can pay for it. There are still huge swaths of the population that are uninsured. Even those who are insured cannot always pay for all of their medical needs. I appreciate your point about expectations and pain, but we shouldn’t have illusions that all or even most Americans get good basic healthcare.

    I appreciate very much the idea that our children are not perfect. At the same time, I think it IS important to keep our expectations high. Our kids have limitless potential, as do we.

    The missing shoe situation sounds frustrating indeed, and I’m sure that we can all relate to frustrations of all kinds with our kids. I certainly can! 🙂 I haven’t studied how to teach the Shefer parenting method, but I’ve taken the course twice, and I think that this is what a Shefer teacher might say about this specific situation:

    Humans beings are goal-oriented. When we speak and/or act, we are often unaware of our motives, but we are still goal-oriented. Our kids want a sense of connection to us, their mothers. It is as basic a need as breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping, etc. When our kids don’t put their shoes away (or do whatever behavior we don’t want them to do), they get something from us–anger, frustration, disappointment, etc. All of these strong emotions are a form of connection with us, their mothers. We want them to put their shoes away (or fill in the blank positive, cooperative behavior), thereby connecting to us positively through cooperation. I think the Shefer approach would say that if my kid is not putting her shoes away, it’s because the “reward” of pushing my buttons and making me angry, frustrated, disappointed, etc. is more worth it to her than a cookie, for example, or the ease of being able to get out the door quickly when she wants to go play.

    I believe that a Shefer teacher would suggest clarifying to your kids your expectation that when they get home from school, shoes go in the appropriate location (wherever that is in your home). I believe s/he would suggest visualizing your kids doing exactly that and truly expecting that the shoes will be put away as you’ve asked because they are capable of doing this task and want to connect positively to you, their mother. If your kids choose not to put the shoes away, you could think of a logical consequence (which is different from a punishment, because with punishment, the kid just gets more frustration, anger, etc. out of mom.) Maybe the logical consequence could be that Shabbat shoes are unavailable for that Shabbat. (This would be logical because if you can’t take care of your everyday shoes, then you can’t be trusted to take care of the special shoes, so they are temporarily unavailable. Whatever you think makes sense for your specific family culture.) The Shefer approach would probably also say that the logical consequence should be explained calmly and matter-of-factly (without any anger, frustration, disappointment, etc. outwardly or especially inwardly. Note: this is very hard to do, but when you manage to do it, wow!)

    I am 100% with you in being frustrated with some of my kids’ behavior. I have found these techniques to be helpful, and I wish you strength in working through this particular issue.

    Many thanks for all of the inspiration you give us!

    Sarah 🙂

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