Standing on one foot
Recently, a friend of mine asked me to sum up education in one point. I didn’t think twice and told him what Hillel said to the man who asked
him to teach him the whole Torah while standing on one foot: “Don’t do to someone else what you wouldn’t want done to you”.
In education: “Don’t treat children in a way that you yourself wouldn’t want to be treated”.
When we make a mistake, we would never want somebody to punish us or cause us pain because we made a mistake.
Natural consequences, although they may be painful, make sense to us.
If we took our time packing for our flight and therefore missed our flight, we will be really upset about it, but we learn from it and know to leave earlier next time. If we eat unhealthy food, our stomach hurts. Nobody is causing this pain; it is a natural pain that happens when we make a mistake or do something stupid.
Children learn the same way. If they are playing ball indoors and break something, they understand that they can’t play ball indoors anymore. If they disturb during class, they understand that they can’t be back in the class till they figure out a way to stay quiet.
But to cause them pain just because we have power! It’s not the way we want to be treated, and therefore we should not treat our children that way.
Try treating children the way you would want to be treated. You will have happier kids who learn from their mistakes, and probably a better relationship too.
How does that sound?