2017 Rabbi Isaac Mayefsky Memorial Lecture


Chicago, IL – December 4, 2017 – Close to 150 parents of school-age children joined the Associated Talmud Torah’s on Motzei Shabbos, December 2, 2017 to attend the Thirty-first Annual Rabbi Isaac Mayefsky Memorial Lecture. This annual parenting program featured the renowned group facilitator and director of Camp Yagilu, Rabbi Tani Prero.

The presentation, entitled “Discipline by Way of Connection,” focused on strategies for effective parenting. Rabbi Prero presented on the importance of establishing family relationships that enable parents to teach their children values and proper behaviors. This is best accomplished if parents have a connection with their children. He presented the following ideas that can help parents develop this important connection with their children.

1. Spend time with children and talk with them.
2. Active Listening is a powerful way of establishing connections.
3. Embrace a child’s creativity in all areas. If this creativity manifests itself at an inopportune time, use ADD: Accept that the child is creative, Direct the child’s creativity, Don’t reject the creativity.
4. Be careful when you say your child’s name – there should be a sense of love and respect.
5. Use PVI – positive verbal interactions, aim for 10 per day that help make a child feel connected to us.
6. When something negative happens, try to remain calm when reacting.
7. Practice patience in communicating with children in all life’s situations. Don’t let frustrations get in the way of being role models. Use soft and clear messages for behaviors we want to encourage or change.
8. The goal is to create long-term connections, especially as children get older. Do this by having conversations where disagreements are accepted. This creates space for safe, flexible connections.

Ultimately, the value of connection is that it allows for an environment in which a parent can teach children proper values, avoid confrontations (which damage connections), embrace creativity, maintain patience to create long-term connections, and allow connections to be flexible.

Rabbi Isaac Mayefsky was a gifted educator who, in the course of more than 40 years of communal service, developed many key programs within the Associated Talmud Torahs, including the Russian Transitional Program and the Oscar & Bernice Novick P’TACH Learning Disabled Program.

This lecture is part of the ATT’s expanded program designed to address the challenges of creative teaching and rewarding parenting. Over the years, it has become an excellent resource for parents of children of all ages. For more information, contact the Associated Talmud Torahs of Chicago at 773-973-2828.


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