By Toby Lieder – momof14.blogspot.com
When our out of town kids come home for Yomtov, a very short period of merely 2-4 weeks, it is very easy for ‘all’ of us, to slip back into our ‘old habits’.
Why not? We’re back in our good old home, where we grew to love, have fun and created all our childhood memories, so of course home is where we long to be, together with family and friends, the way it was.
And yet we find, when the kids return home from a long absence, we all go back to where we were at when they left in the first place. Everybody goes right back into their positions. The oldest one is the boss, the youngest so spoiled, old habits play out, the way we are all used to right?
After all, we are continuing where we left off.
I came to realize that a new system has to take place. We cannot treat the children that return home from out of town, for Yomtov the same like it was before.
Because they are home for such a short period of time, and we are all so occupied with yomtov, with guests, food preparations, cleaning up, and what not, that each and every minute really counts.
Time speeds by so fast, that before you turn around, pouf they are gone again!
What I came to realize was that, since the out of Towner kids are home for so short, let me make this time the most absolute precious memorable experience ever, for both me, and them.
Before they return home, I am busy with preparations getting ready for their exciting arrival.
Their bedroom is freshly cleaned (sometimes I buy new linen) with a new towel embroidered with their name on it, resting at the foot of their bed, that is calling out to be picked up.
I always have a welcome basket on their dresser, with their favourite chocolates and nash, plus a new sponge, and their favourite shampoo and knickknacks.
I change my gear up a notch; to talk to them like a guest rather then the child I used to order around to do this and that. I find that when I treat the out of Towner kids like a guest. in my mannerism, and speech, we suddenly become like best friends, instead of returning back into the mother/child I am the boss, and you do as you are told, habits.
Remember, they are home for such a short while, lets make it a most memorable, happy, peaceful, experience, where love and understanding between one and another has its place in a warm accepting environment, rather then the old habits we were so used to behaving.
The children have grown up now. They are now much more independent. We must recognise that, and shower them with a sense of respect, and praise their maturity, and keep reinforcing their positive behaviour.
The more we treat them as we would treat our guest, the more they will live up to that behaviour.
We have them for such a short time, lets chap arayn, seize the moments, and make this short visit a most positive experience, where they go away saying “I cant wait to come back home!”
Lets bite our tongues when a criticism creeps up, and have mesiras nefesh, self sacrifice, for the sake of peace, to practice seeing only the good, (as we would in our guests) and make our kids feel that home is a place where we feel safe and loved and not where they want to run away from.
Time flies so fast, right? Do you also say every week; it feels like there’s only 3 days to the week. Shabbos, Monday and Thursday. I don’t know about you, but every time I turn around it’s Thursday again! Do you know what I mean?
This stage, of kids returning home from out of town, will slip by so fast, and before you know it, you are walking them down the chupa.
So, while we have them at home, please think twice before you open your mouth, and say to yourself, “What I am about to say to my child, will it make him feel good or bad?” as simple as that.
You have the power to make it or break it.
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