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PARENTING-----know your kids

MODERATOR Posted - 15 April 2002 20:26


There’s no question - people needs friends like they need water. But sometimes people with friends can still be lonely.

That is because in order to be someone's friend you have to understand them. If you don’t, they will not relate to your friendship. They will say "He is not my friend, he is the friend of the person who he thinks I am." Your advice will not be taken seriously, since it is given to someone who you do not really know.

It’s like what Rav Nachman said when they asked him how he explains all the Misnagdim that are against him:

"The Misnagdim?" he said, "They have nothing against me. They are against the person who they think I am. And he deserves it!”

So if a kid thinks that his parents don’t "know" him, he will feel unloved, even though his parents love him very much. They will be expressing love, but he will be thinking to himself "They don’t love me - they love the kid who they think I am. He's lucky!"

So (to paraphrase a comment made by a certain Goy), you can be lonely, even if you’re not alone.

I find so many teenagers feel unloved, even though the parents love them. This confuses them and makes them feel guilty, because the kid sees that the parents love him so much, and yet he doesn’t feel it. So he feels weird that he can’t "catch" the love his parents shower on him, and in his confusion and guilt he goes out to find that feeling of being loved and appreciated elsewhere.

But in reality, what’s happening is he is loved but not understood. And since he thinks his parents do not "know" him, he will not feel their love. What needs to be done in such instances is for parents and kids - or friends - to open up and get to know each other.

That happens when the parents are willing to accept the fact that their child is whoever he is, as opposed to what they want him to be or what they think he is. If not, the kid will hide his real self from the parents, and will become a stranger to them in their own home.

That applies to friends, too. Friends have to know and accept the reality of who they are as well.

Without facing reality, and opening up to each other, even with a hundred friends, you’re going to still feel alone.

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