Parenting Articles by Yaakov Lieder

Acclaimed educator Rabbi Yaakov Lieder, founder of the Support Centre in Sydney, Australia, that aids families struggling with relationship issues, discusses his ideas and tips on parenting.

12 Ways to Build your Child's Self-Esteem
As parents we have a unique, never-to-be-repeated opportunity to set up a "self-esteem bank account" from which our child will draw throughout his or her life...
From Nothing To Everything
When we enter into the communication out of "nothing," then everything becomes possible...
I'm Here Because I Care
Why is it that I can influence others, but I can't get through to my own children and grandchildren? Is there anything wrong with them or with me?
Ownership & Responsibility
What our children need most from us is not another toy or another vacation, but something only we can give them: ownership of their lives
How to Make Time for Your Family
“I can’t work any harder than I’m working now!” one busy father asserted. But maybe the trick is not to work harder but to work smarter.
Teamwork Parenting
"If I say yes, he will say no. When he wants to deal with the situation in a nice way, I want to be tough. Our children sense our differences and play us against each other..."
Tell Me What's Wrong
"I don't care what you think about me, as long as you don't tell me." Is this what your child, spouse or co-worker really wants?
Three Rolls and a Bagel
Johnny was hungry, so he ate a roll. He ate a second roll and a third, but he was still hungry. So he ate a bagel. Finally sated, he said to himself: "Stupid me! Next time I'll eat the bagel right away!"
Communication That Gets Results
Real change can only happen if we are prepared to give up our old set of beliefs about the other person
Believe like a Child
We would never tell a two-year-old, "Why, that's not how that word is pronounced at all! And what a way to walk! Oh, you'll never walk or talk properly." So why do we do that with our children's dreams?
"I get porridge for breakfast," complained the yeshivah student, "porridge for lunch and porridge for dinner." To which his friend student responded: "I get excuses. From porridge one can live; from excuses a body can die!"
The Sales Technique
Our job as parents is to sell our children to themselves. The first point of reference for a child's self-esteem -- or lack thereof -- comes from what the child believes the parents think about him or her
Four Listening Rules
One of the most important human needs is to be listened to and understood by others. The closer a person is to us, the greater the need. Your children will want to confide in you -- unless you're sending them the wrong messages
Adopt a Bubbe
Some families bring pets into their homes for the purpose of teaching children to care; but the satisfaction in caring for a human being is far greater and more meaningful
Help! My Kids Are Fighting!
If you are blessed with two or more children, chances are that they will fight. But what can be even more damaging, in the long run, is that you will be expected to act the judge
Three Parenting Hints
Love your child's mother, don't say "No" when you mean "I don't know", and what to talk about when your children are listening
Does Your Child Want to Go to School?
"Why is it that the parents whom I most need to speak with don't show up at meetings, while those whose children are doing fine come to every parent/teacher night?" My response was that her question is in fact the answer
Upward Parenting
Some children focus on all the good they received from their parents. Others focus on what they feel they should have received
Are You Pleasant Company for your Children?
Adam and Eve's children learned from them, by example, how a parent cares for a child. But they couldn't be an example to their children of how to look after one's parents
Talk Less
We often hear parents say, "I told you a thousand times not to fight!" or, "I told you a million times not to exaggerate!" Perhaps that's the problem
Be Careful with your Words
We cannot always control what our children hear from others; but we should at least be careful with what they hear from the most important people in their lives -- their parents and teachers
The Power of Acceptance
One of the reasons for the ancient Jewish custom to cover a bride's face during the marriage ceremony is to symbolize the complete acceptance that is integral to any enduring relationship
Get Your Child Talking
Some children are not talkative, and it's very hard for the parent to know what's really going on in their life and in their mind
Who Needs Parenting Seminars?
If you wanted to play tennis, would you play with a person who plays worse than you, or with a person who plays better than you?
The Importance of Now
We can go through an entire day, driving to work, doing our job and talking to other people, without actually being there
The Seven Day Diet
"When he was five years old," a concerned father said to me, "his face would shine and a big smile appeared on his face when I entered the room. Now, at age 14, his face also shines -- when I leave it. What should I do?"
The Left Parent
"The right hand should bring close while the left pushes away," our sages taught. This is the age-old dilemma of the educator -- how to do a rejective act without being rejecting
Choose Your Parents!
We can choose our partners, our job, the place we live -- is the common wisdom -- but we can't choose our parents. Yaakov Lieder, son to two parents and parent to 14, disagrees
Now or Later?
Raising children requires an investment of time. Regarding that, we have no choice in the matter. But we can choose when that time will be spent
The Difference Between Anger and Hate
"You don't love me. If you loved me you would allow me to..." Children are experts in making us feel guilty. The trick is to understand what they're really saying
Last week I saw a man who had not made a mistake in 4,000 years. He was a mummy in the British Museum
Auto Pilot
One of the most precious gifts G-d has given us is the capacity to switch our brains to the "auto-pilot" mode. Without that ability, it would be very hard to function. The problem is, we need to learn when and how to switch it off
How To Ask For Help
"Did you do it all by yourself?" If our child answers "Yes," we're proud. As parents and educators, perhaps we should reconsider this classic respons
A Crazy Idea
In a successful business, the management does not say: "It was good enough five years ago, so it should be good enough now." Shouldn't we be at least as enterprising as parents?
Our Headache
"Instead of making your family part of the problem," I suggested, "invite them to become part of the solution"
Being Right or Being Happy
When children get into a fight you hear them say, "I'll never talk to you again! I won't play with you for a million years!" Minutes later they're enjoying each other's company. What do children know that we adults don't?
Too Much Of A Good Thing?
The most important things a parent could give his or her children are time, attention, care and boundaries
The Rebbe's Love Laboratory
When the lab technician examines a blood sample, the discovery of even .001 percent of the suspected element is very significant.
Benefit of the Doubt
It is amazing how a simple mental exercise can reduce the intensity of emotions such as anger, hurt, shame, etc., and the pain associated with them
Anger Control
A way to get out of an angry state is by performing a physical action with our body which is totally opposite to our emotional feelings at the time
Stay in Charge
"By removing the boundaries between a parent and a child," some parents say, "we will bring up a more confident and loving child." Do your child a favor and don't accept their advice
Rudder of the Day
A recently published finding suggests that the thoughts going through our mind as soon as we awaken can determine our outlook and attitude for the rest of the day.
Labels Are For Shirts
Our perception of who we are is deeply influenced by the labels that other people attach to us. And when it comes from people who are important to us, these labels stick much longer
Stones and Pebbles
In our busy lives today, there is only one way to make the time for things that are important to us and that is by employing the "Jar Parable"
Getting Your Way
If I said "No" to my child for something they wanted and then changed my mind, would it come across as a weakness on my part?
Earn Your Child's Respect
A company CEO once told his employees: "The firing will continue until morale improves." It's easy to understand how absurd this statement is. It is a bit harder to understand what's wrong when a parent screams at their child: "Why don’t you respect me?!"
Cabin Pressure
Have you ever noticed how when they go through the safety procedures on an aircraft before takeoff they tell you to attend to your own oxygen mask first before attending to your child's mask? I've always wondered about that.
If It's to Be It's Up to Me
Being direct descendents from Adam and Eve, some of us may have inherited this tendency to look for others upon whom we can place the blame.
What is your Family Mission Statement?
This is how it works: The entire family sits down for a meeting to work out what their mission statement is. Once adopted, it gets written down and placed where all family members can see it. It can be reviewed and altered as time goes on.
Good and Sweet
I explained that in Jewish tradition, before Rosh Hashanah, we wish each other "a good and sweet year." Why the double expression? Because we believe everything that G-d gives to us is good. But there are two forms of "good" -- sweet and bitter.
The Control Tower
Do you parent the way your parents parented? Or do you do everything exactly opposite the way they did?
A Passion for the Possible
"Tommy, what do you what to be when you grow up?"
"Possible" Tommy replied.
"Possible?" asked the teacher.
"Yes" Tommy said. "My Mom is always telling me I’m impossible. So when I get to be big I want to be possible"
A Time To Be Silent
"While you live under my roof you behave as I tell you!" This statement gives the message to the child that he or she is a temporary visitor in the parent’s life
Knowing When to Let Go
I asked the parents what they really wanted for their children. They replied, "Whatever they want, as long as they are happy. That is all that matters. But if only…"
Shmuli Needs His Privacy
If 16-minute-old Shmuli deserves his absolute privacy, how about the other Shmulis of the world—our friends, our children, our neighbors. Are we protecting their privacy at all times?
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