My Out-of-the-Box Kids

My Out-of-the-Box Kids

As an Orthodox mom of out-of-the-box kids living in a fairly cookie-cutter neighborhood, it’s easy for me to look around at my neighbors with their in-the-box kids and feel like I am failing as a frum mom.
So when I heard this quotation from Superbowl-winning NFL coach Pete Carroll about the drawbacks of a pressured “fitting-in” culture, it gave me chizuk! The original quotation talked about coaches and players, but I have changed it around to apply to parents and our kids. Enjoy!
“There’s no question that it’s easier to manage a ‘fitting-in’ family culture. You set standards and rules. You parent by ‘put up or shut up’.
“But you miss real opportunities – especially the opportunity to help your kids find their purpose. When you push a fitting-in culture’ you miss the opportunity to help kids find their personal drive – what’s coming from their hearts.
“Parenting for true belonging is about creating a culture that celebrates uniqueness. What serves parents best is understanding your childrens’ best efforts.
“My job as a parent is to identify kids’ unique gift or contribution. A strong parent pulls children toward a deep belief in their truest selves.”

One comment

  1. So so true. But in the frum community this is difficult. Different ideas, interests or dress are discouraged, often by parents themselves who also want to ‘fit in’, and especially schools. I once challenged the principle of my sons (modern orthodox) High school, who had made a comment about my son needing a haircut: what if his hair was even longer, but neatly combed back in a pony tail, would he be ok with that? His answer was no. Instead of focusing on his positive midot and good grades, he focused on his hair. I totally objected to this attitude and told him so. I think your advice should definitely also apply to the parents as well. They need to overcome their own fear of being non conformist in the frum world first so they can lead by example.
    By the way…Yosher Koach, Jenny, to you daughter in the army, for her self confidence and strength of character!

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