By Rabbi Chaim Morgenstern
Once parents feel their responsibility toward their children's chinuch (upbringing), they must educate themselves about how to be mechanech their children properly and efficiently. By failing to do so, even well-meaning parents can innocently make serious mistakes in their chinuch techniques, some of which may be counterproductive.
Child-raising requires a knowledge of proper chinuch techniques. Think for a moment: All electronic appliances and devices come with instruction manuals, and more complicated devices require larger manuals. To properly operate them, one must thoroughly read the manual beforehand. Children are far more delicate than the most sophisticated electronic device, and addressing a chinuch issue without expertise is like trying your luck at repairing a complicated electronic device. You may be lucky and connect the right wires to make it work, but if you makes a slight mistake, you can ruin the entire device.
Is it the child’s fault, or is it improper parenting?
Even if couples received proper hadrachah (guidance) for marriage, they likely received no pre-marital hadrachah on how to raise children. Therefore, it is essential for parents to listen to or attend shiurim (lectures) and read sefarim (books) that reflect daas Torah (opinions of the sages) about child raising. The next step is applying those lessons to one’s individual situation (which may require additional guidance).
The following contemporary rabbanim have expressed this concern in their public lectures:
The Rav then interjected, “You're forcing my child to lie. What child would reply that he's bad?"
The doctor retorted, "Rabbi, you're mistaken. All children are born good. We are the ones who make them bad!”