For thousands of years parenting was a pretty straight forward responsibility. Society offered very structured guidelines for behaviors and expectations: Adult’s roles were well defined, children’s roles were clearly delineated, and throughout the strata of the community everyone knew his place. In terms of practical parenting, new parents had their own parents as guideposts and role models, and the techniques to use were time tested and proven – to fit that world.

However, we live in very different times. We live in an open society. Man has social freedoms that never existed before, in terms of opportunities for education – social advancement – increase in income – where to live and what to do – there are almost no boundaries. Yet,  this new found freedom comes with a cost: gone are the norms of social conduct, gone is the family structure, and gone are the role models for socially acceptable behaviors. And, so, we now find ourselves in uncharted waters in the role of parents, without having a clear and definitive path as to “how to parent”.

This Shmuz, the second on the topic of parenting, deals with the primary role of the parent, and some practical “how to”s in term of fulfilling that role.