Friday, June 15, 2007

It's the Parents' Fault

Dr. Benzion Sorotzkin takes a look at the "drop-out" phenomenon and names the parent-child relationship as the key element: link

Gutsy. Intuitive, if not obvious. Very non-PC. Especially this story, which I did not know:

Likewise, when a prominent frum periodical published a series of articles addressing the topic of teen dropouts, it published the viewpoints of all parties involved except those of the children themselves. At the encouragement of his former mashgiach, a young adult wrote a very moving and eloquent letter relating how the difficulties he had with his parents led him to abandon Yidishkeit. At first, the periodical rejected the letter. After some pressure was brought to bear on the editor, the letter was indeed published, but only in a censored and heavily edited manner, which portrayed the letter writer in a very negative and distorted light. In fact, the editor implied, based on virtually no evidence, that the writer had a serious problem with his perception of reality. It was a classical case of trying to deny the message by killing the messenger. When the young man's therapist wrote a letter of protest in order to set the record straight, the editor refused to publish the letter because of concern of "causing additional pain" to parents of rebellious children. Similar concern for the feelings of the unjustly maligned youngster was not expressed.
And this one won't win any sympathy from the right wing:
To the best of my knowledge, the rate of children rebelling against their parents' Torah standards among families with increased exposure to the media is no higher than in families that strictly insulate their homes from outside influences... It is very doubtful that exposure to the media, in itself, can make it worthwhile for children to abandon their parent's way of life.

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