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20 Things I Want My Children to Know

20 Things I Want My Children to Know

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  1. Think for yourself. What would the world look like today if Noah and Abraham hadn’t thought for themselves?
  2. Trust me, but don’t rely on me. When we’re crossing the street together, look both ways.
  3. The key to all success is the constant awareness that the Creator is making it happen.
  4. People are more important than things.
  5. It’s OK to make mistakes. Forgive yourself and others.
  6. You can use your thoughts to control your feelings.
  7. Don’t allow anyone to manipulate your feelings, or G‑d forbid, drag you so low as to act out of anger.
  8. Kindness is not doing a favor for your friend because she did a favor for you. That is business. Kindness is just doing a favor.
  9. Your talents are a G‑d-given gift, not an achievement. Be grateful and humble.
  10. Talents are like a birthday cake; they are given to you to share with others.
  11. There is nothing wrong with owning nice things. Just make sure the nice things don’t own you.
  12. I like it when your room is neat. If it’s not, it’s not the end of the world. I like it when you get great marks at school. If you don’t, it’s not the end of the world. But acting unkindly to others is absolutely unacceptable.
  13. Teachers are your fellow people, too. You must be kind to them when you like them—and even when you don’t.
  14. This is how to make dinner . . . cook eggs . . . shop for fruits and veggies . . . do laundry . . . sew a button. First, we’ll do it together. Then, you can practice next to me. After that, you can try it on your own.
  15. When cooking for Shabbat, let’s put on music and dance. We are preparing to host the Master of the Universe. That is a great privilege. Let’s celebrate!
  16. Let’s be ready and start Shabbat early. This shows G‑d that we love Him so much, we can’t wait for our special time together!
  17. This is how the world works: Get up in the morning, give tzedakah, pray and learn Torah. Tell G‑d what you need and ask for His help. Don’t waste your precious energy in worry. Trust that He will help—and He will.
  18. I always love you. Even when I don’t like something you did, I love you just as much as always.
  19. Learning Torah is my greatest pleasure. The only possible upgrade is learning Torah with you.
  20. Only once I was a mother was I able to understand why “love your fellow as yourself” is a main principle in the Torah. A parent’s greatest joy is seeing their children love and help each other.
Nomi Freeman is the daughter of the renowned Argentinian Kabbalist Professor Avraham Polichenco, of blessed memory. She is well known for her seminars on spirituality and Jewish mysticism. Mrs. Freeman has lectured extensively in Canada and abroad. Contact her here for lecture engagements.
Sefira Ross is a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many Chabad.org pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.
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Chaya Melbourne September 7, 2017

Beautiful article. I disagree with the order of these points. I strongly feel that number one should be about g-d etc. Not about thinking for yourself. Reply

Gayle Gruenberg Westwood September 4, 2017

Short, sweet, and so very valuable! Reply

Rose Sydney, Australia September 1, 2017

I absolutely love this. Reply

Thea San Antonio,TX USA August 31, 2017

AWESOME advice Reply

Anonymous nyc August 31, 2017

this was rly really great, #8-#12 so good Reply

Eileen Shapero Thornhill August 31, 2017

Loved your list! Yasher Koach! Eileen Reply

m. fishman los angeles August 31, 2017

charming! Reply

Eileen Sickel WASHINGTON August 31, 2017

This is great. Reply

Andrea Richey NJ August 30, 2017

Thank you so much for this! Reply

Anonymous Tokyo August 30, 2017

This is so beautiful and helps me focus on the most important tasks as a parent. Thank you. I will print this out and hang it on my door where I can see it frequently. Reply

Anonymous darom August 30, 2017

I like this tone, familiar and right.not abusive not ordering not abusive. A woman voice for her creature. Reply

.Ann hirschler Diksmuide August 30, 2017

Nice love it. Reply

Karl Van der Wijk August 30, 2017

#18 sits very well with me, especially with my young son being such a ball of energy! If he does something wrong, he understands that I may not like what he did - but, like always, it's the action I find undesirable or wrong, never the person who performed it :) Reply

Ashley Louisiana August 30, 2017

I was just talking to my husband about getting a list/curriculum to teach our children! This is great! Love it! Thank you! Reply

Stevie A Mick Zelienople August 30, 2017

Wonderfully encouraging! I changed number 14 to read: First, we do tasks together. Then, you practice next to me. After that, try it on your own. When you become adept you have gained a skill to enjoy and pass on to others. Reply

strgg world August 30, 2017

thanks for putting awareness on some of those points mentioned Reply

Stevie Zelienople, PA September 16, 2017
in response to strgg:

Thx for the encouragement. The insight came as a result of the overall direction of the article and seemed a natural result of the learning process. Reply

Batsheva Nelson Tsfat August 30, 2017

Love this! Thank you! Reply

Viktor Karanovich Oakland, CA August 30, 2017

Great list Nomi! Reply

Bracha Goetz Baltimore August 29, 2017

Wonderful! Reply

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