Rebbe Nachman

It is more beneficial for children that a person should distance himself from them; that is, he shouldn’t be too attached to them and play with them all the time.  Don’t pay too much attention to them.  Just do what is necessary to educate them in the service of G-d when they are old enough to learn.  However, you shouldn’t play with them too much.

(Likutei Aitzot, Children, 15)  

[Webmaster’s Note:  Rabeinu wasn’t telling us to neglect our kids.  Quite the opposite, he was trying to tell us what is best for them.  The main thing is to teach them and help them grow in Torah and Mitzvos.  Giving them love and showing emotion is also important, but there are barriers.  Much more to be said on this, hopefully in the future.]

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The usual way is that when a child is stubborn they hit him and afterwards they give in to him. But I say: Don’t hit and don’t give in.

(Siach Sarfey Kodesh 1-91)

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In general, the Rebbe did not approve of hitting children. He once saw one of his followers slap his son and exclaimed, as if in surprise, “A kindt shlugt men . . . Does one strike a child?”
(Bi’ur ha-Likkutim, cited in Si’ach Sarfey Kodesh I, 489; cf. Avanehah Barzel, pp. 49-50, para. 4)

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The Rebbe said that when teachers pressure their young students too much, the child ends up knowing nothing.  One must use great skill to teach children gradually, without threats and forcing.  This way, the child will grasp much more easily.  Often the teacher repeats to the child again and again, “Remember this!  Remember this!”  If the teacher would review the material with more patience, the child would surely remember the material much better; but since the teacher keeps repeating, “Remember this!  Remember this!” the child will think that the meaning of the verse he is being taught is “Remember this!”  The child only becomes completely confused by being pressured.  This cannot be explained, but it is self-evident to anyone with intelligence.  As a general rule, one should not pressure oneself too much on any matter, but progress gradually and patiently.  This teaching arose out of the following story:  A father once brought his son to the Rebbe.  The father reviewed with the boy the entire way there that when he is given a drink, he should say “Savri Maranan v’Rabanan” – Attention, masters and rabbis.  He reviewed it with the boy again and again so that he would remember it well and not get confused.  When they finally reached the Rebbe, he was completely unable to say anything because he was so confused.  The Rebbe then said to the father, “You must have reviewed this with him so much and pressured him so much to remember that he is now unable to say it at all.  Had you not reviewed it with him so much, he would have certainly been able to say it properly.”  The Rebbe then discussed the subject as recorded above.

(Chayei Moharan, 432)

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from Sefer Hamidos (Book of Traits):

  • One must guard a baby that it should not go [about] with an uncovered head.
  • A man does not need to worry about the income of his children. For, as they grow, their income grows with them.
  • One should be very careful that one’s child is not nursed by an evil woman. For milk contaminates and milk purifies.
  • Bad mannerism in a person’s house is worse than the War of Gog and Magog (a war of immense proportions that, according to prophecy, will take place right before the Redemption).
  • One should not treat one son differently than his other sons.
  • One must teach a child proper behavior (“derech eretz”) from a young age.
  • One who does not have mercy on his children, it is certain that he does not possess a portion of holy intelligence.
  • Children will be fools when their father is bad tempered.
  • One who suffers in the raising of his children, should read the Biblical passages describing the Creation, everyday. (Genesis 1:1 – 2:3)
  • The pouring out of one’s heart before God will be a source of redemption and salvation for one’s children.
  • The milk of a righteous woman is good for the baby to have fear of Heaven, and also gives him dominion over this world.
  • One who has control over his desires causes that his children will not be drawn to evil ways, that his money is blessed, and that he will not be put to a test.
  • Charity protects one’s offspring.
  • One who does not review his Torah studies will have a hard time raising his children.

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