Shalom Bayit - Coping with College

This post is dedicated in merit that Hershel ben Etya Sarah have a yeshuah.

Why Millennials Can’t Grow Up
By Elisheva Maline

A sick mother once phoned Rebbetzin Kanievsky with the following, "Rebbetzin, I've been bedridden for the last six months and am heartsick over it. How can I raise my children when I've been reduced to calling out instructions from bed?"

Rebbetzin Kanievsky replied, "You raise them by teaching them how to cope with life." (This is more or less the gist of the story.)

The message from this anecdote is applicable to mothers across the board. Rebbetzin Kanievsky, whose communal as well as national activities had earned her the nickname 'Mother to All,' was reminding the young mother that following a generic list of instructions does not a good mother make. "What's important," the Rebbetzin reiterated, "is teaching your children how to deal with life's ups and downs gracefully," (starting with her personal ailment).       

In today's world, nicknamed the age of the millennial children, the youth are bombarded by technology, helicopter parenting and the iphone twitch (when a person continuously twitches his neck or hand to check his messages, even when the phone is not present). More than ever, the focus is placed on academic achievement and successful careers. Also, thanks to the constant updates in technology, information is more accessible and therefore, more avenues to job opportunities are available. However, as the pace of our environment skyrockets, people's stress levels pick up as well. Why? In the parent's mad dash to provide their children with good credentials and skills so they get into the best colleges, and essentially, the best careers, parents fail to provide their offspring with the space necessary to build those basic life skills which will enable them to stand on their own one day. Instead of encouraging them to pick up after themselves, plan out their own schedules so that they can have time for the things they want to do as well as the things they need to do (like homework and studying), the older generation tends to do it for them. It's faster to clean up your kid's room rather than haggle with him to do it himself. It's also easier. Unfortunately, the Result is that while young adults come to college with a lot of AP's and academic credentials, they discover that they don't know the steps necessary to handle simple things time management, budget management, picking majors, making friends etc. They are OVERWHELMED.

Building up one's career is important. As with all things, though, it needs a balancing act. A good college education is important, as is a viable, well paying career. However, dealing with a messy breakup, booking plane or bus tickets, planning a dinner party for friends, planning out daily schedules so one can set aside time for homework, getting enough sleep, exercising, eating well, getting to classes and work on time and remaining cheerful throughout is essential for the emotional well being of everyone. Does not success come with many faces?

What does Judaism have to say about all this? The greatest form of charity is providing man with a means by which he can work so that he can earn his own wages. In the same vein, parents can give their children room to experience that they have two feet on which they can balance quite well. They will not always need mommy and daddy to fix it; they can stand on their own.

In any case, don't stress over small details. Make today ridiculously amazing.

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