Building on the success of its Parenting Matters programming, Madraigos will host a second community Parenting Matters event entitled “Parenting, Then and Now” featuring Rabbi Berel Wein and Dr. David Pelcovitz scheduled for April 19th at Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence at 8 PM. This event is dedicated in memory of Rabbi Raphael Pelcovitz, zt”l, Rav of the White Shul and beloved father of Dr. Pelcovitz as well as Mrs. Mira Wein, a”h, beloved wife of Rabbi Wein.

Dr. David Pelcovitz

Madraigos has taken a leading role in providing education, support, and practical advice for parents in the Five Towns community and beyond. As part of their Parenting Matters program, Madraigos runs ongoing parenting classes, parenting support groups at various levels, and community lectures throughout the year. Four parent groups have completed the curriculum with a fifth group to launch soon.

Several months ago, Madraigos ran a tremendously successful event entitled “Be the Parent Your Child Craves” featuring Rabbi Zechariah Wallerstein and Dr. Brad Reedy. The event which was attended by over 500 parents created such a buzz that over

Rabbi Berel Wein

10,000 people viewed the recorded presentation video on social media.

Madraigos gratefully acknowledges key sponsors, Cross River and Touro College and University System for generously supporting this important community event. Madraigos also appreciates the event’s supporting sponsors which include Bank United, Seasons, and Torah Anytime.

The 5 Towns Jewish Times decided to learn more about Madraigos by interviewing Mrs. Werblowsky Saketkhou, LMSW, the newly appointed clinical director.

5TJT: Parents have a critical role in their children’s lives. How do parents feel about their unique role in today’s society?

Werblowsky: When conducting assessments, Rabbi Dov Silver [Founder and Executive VP] and I frequently see that parents feeling frustrated. Parents ask us: “Why is parenting so different nowadays? Why is what I am doing not working? How come it worked for my parents?” The role of a parent has always been a challenge, and now, more than ever, parents are discouraged and don’t know where to turn.

Rena Kutner and Rivki Rosenwald, who facilitate the Madraigos parenting support groups for parents of adolescents, receive the same feedback. In fact, several parents who have already raised older children ‘without a problem’, now seek guidance and support as they struggle to raise their younger children. These parents report that what worked for their older children doesn’t work with their younger children.

5TJT: We all know that technology poses a definite challenge in parenting. What are your thoughts on this?

Werblowsky: At times, children feel that they have much more knowledge than their parents. They tend to feel they can find out whatever they want on their own. Therefore, parents are no longer the primary source of knowledge for them by any means. So, besides the obvious life-threatening risks that access to technology poses, it breeds an attitude in children where they think they are smarter than their parents. Parents even reinforce this dynamic when they ask their children to teach them how technology works. This kind of attitude has contributed to the role reversal in the parent/child relationship. Dr. Pelcovitz will discuss this issue in further detail at the upcoming Parenting Matters event on April 19th.

5TJT: The level of respect in the parent/child relationship has declined significantly?

Werblowsky: Yes, the dynamic has definitely changed. Today, kids feel like they’re equals with their parents. Parents no longer enforce the same boundaries that used to exist in the past. Additionally, nowadays, there is less regard for privacy in families. We find that children are often privy to details of their parents’ relationship which a child should not be exposed to. As children are raised in an era of entitlement, they demand explanations and answers from their parents. The age of “because I’m your father/mother, and I said so” is ceasing to exist.

 5TJT: How do parents’ financial priorities affect the parenting process?

Werblowsky: From my experience, even in our Orthodox microcosm, kids today feel entitled. They have greater expectations with regard to materialism. They just want M-O-R-E!

In general, parents extend themselves in an effort to meet these expectations. However, every person can only expend a certain amount of time, energy and focus before becoming depleted. If a parent is focused on meeting these material demands and expectations, they will not have any energy left to focus on being there emotionally for their children.

Many teenagers have told me that their parent(s) equates love with giving material possessions. And for most teens, they do not feel that it is enough. Children may want certain items, but what they want more than anything is their parents’ focus and attention. Rabbi Berel Wein will expand on this idea at the upcoming Parenting Matters event on April 19th and explain how this differs from parents in the previous generation.

To hear directly from Rabbi Wein and Dr. Pelcovitz on the topic, “Parenting, Then and Now — What’s Changed,” parents are invited to attend the upcoming Madraigos’ Parenting Matters event on April 19th at Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence. Online registration is available at https://parentingpart2.eventbrite.com. Walk-Ins are welcome and encouraged.

For further information about our programs please contact Mindi Werblowsky, Clinical Director 516-371-3250 x 112 or mwerblowsky@madraigos.org.

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