parenting faith

Parenting Faith

by Aigul Aubanova on January 5, 2011

in By S.Soloveychik

Furthermore, the first thing that this science of upbringing at home must do is to admit the fact that people raised and still raise good children without knowing about this science.

That is right.  Who has ever seen children brought up by science?  No one.

It is because children are raised not by a science but by faith.  Let’s not be afraid of this word as we will meet it many times.  Spiritual processes absolutely cannot be analyzed and explained without the concept of faith.

To succeed in any task a man needs to have confidence, which usually is obtained by his own experience.  Parents don’t have that experience.  Their confidence is based on the faith of the experiences of others, on the trust to their own parents and all previous generations.  We don’t know where those parental convictions come from.  They seem like common sense – how can it be otherwise?  Parental faith lives in us, as we all have graduated from the fifteen-year institution of parental education.  We were not just brought up by our parents; we were taught how to bring up our own future children.  Upbringing is the first human activity that a man meets at birth.  At first he feels how he is reared   Then he sees how people cook, do chores, etc.  Later the child sees actions of an automobile driver, a doctor, a salesman – the first heroes of children’s games.  But in the beginning it is a game of upbringing: a “daughter-mother” game.

You give a doll to a little girl.  She will begin to sing lullabies to it, and prepare it for bed (most unpleasant things happen to children when they go to bed), but maybe instead, she will lift up the doll’s dress and begin to spank it, saying, “Ata-ta, ata-ta!  Why don’t you listen to me?”

A mother and her son come home from kindergarten.  She slowly maintains educational conversation.

“The bear threw all his toys… What will we do with him?”

“We will spank him,” the child replies indifferently.

The mother, an intelligent woman, looks around to see if anyone has heard.

“Why do you say that, ‘spank’…?” she asks without confidence.

“Don’t you spank me?” the son reminds, “You do.  And so we will spank him.”

“But I do so when you are stubborn.”

“And he is stubborn,” the boy says.

He is five years old, but he definitely knows how to bring up children.  He still has to grow up, but the education of a future parent is complete already.

Faith is faith.  It is necessary.  And it may be dangerous.  Convictions, perceived in early childhood – are not gloves on hands; they are the hands themselves.  People reluctantly give up their convictions, even if those convictions don’t obviously meet life requirements.  Faith has a feature to strengthen, even if it faces refuting facts.

A father is strict with his son.  The little boy reminds one of a small unmanageable beast.  But it seems to the father that he is not strict enough with his son.  He blames his wife, mother-in-law, the child, and he blames himself, but he has no idea that only his convictions are guilty.  He has no idea that he possesses some parental faith and that it can be very different from what he believes, and that he can change it.

This explains why some people make use of advice, and other people do not.  If the advice contradicts the faith of parents, then, of course, that advice will not make any sense.  This is the same as advising a Japanese to eat with a fork, and advising a European to eat with sticks and forget about forks.  Parental advice is good only to the extent that it meets our faith.  Even this book will influence some people to approve it, and it will seem senseless for others.

If you are fine with your children, then close this disturbing book.  But if something is wrong in your method of upbringing, then try to see, maybe it is about your parental faith?

Everything begins with faith!

Parenting For Everyone, by S.Soloveychik, Book1 Part 2 Chapter 3

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