A home hitting post and extensive comments from 2007 – Good prep for Thanksgiving.
Here are some highlights from the comment thread:
– Almost every BT has to resolve conflicts with their parents, it is a normal process.
– Obviously every parent and every situation is different, but it does need to be pointed out.
– There is an emotional factor of rejection that the parent often feels when the BT chooses a (radically) different lifestyle.
– There is also an implicit (and sometimes explicit) statement that what I’m doing is right and what you’re doing is wrong.
– One general approach is to be as accommodating and accepting as possible and over the long term expose the relatives to the depth and beauty of Torah.
– Another approach is to encourage mitzvos observance (positive and negative) whenever possible in a reasonable manner.
– We generally should set the rules in on our own houses, but we should consider which rules to set and how to gently enforce them.
– When our children are negatively effected by non-Torah behaviors we have to weigh that factor in heavily.
– We need to internalize the truth that our non observant relatives are good people and impart that understanding to our children. Non-observance is generally due to a lack of knowledge in our generation.
– BT conflicts with parents can be shalom bayis issues and a Rav should be consulted.
I have been lurking around on beyond bt for a little while, and am amazed by the amount of information and support that is provided. I am having an issue right now, and would like some advice from someone who has been doing this longer than I.
My parents and sister came to visit us from out of town. Right now, my father, mother, sister and young children are sitting around the dining room table enjoying dinner. (it is the 17th of tammuz) I am sitting on the couch, starving and trying to find some meaning. This situation just feels so wrong. I cannot explain why. I am not angry at my family for eating, growing up I did not know this fast day even existed, why would I expect them to fast?
I feel angry trying to explain to my 5 year old why mommy and daddy are not eating and everyone else is. It is easy to tell him he is a child, so he can eat… It was even easy to explain that when mommy was really sick on other fast days, I ate. But how can I explain why 3 healthy adults are sitting around enjoying their dinner? Why will my kids chose to fast when they are old enough, when they see that people they love and respect do not? Should I have forbidden people to eat in my house? Am I freaking out over nothing? Any advice would be appreciated.