A young couple become parents. They begin to imagine all the positive and uplifting interactions they will have with their children. Admonishing and criticizing children is most likely not part of this blissful scene. Unfortunately, the reality of life and the chinuch obligations of parents soon intrude and require parents, on occasion, to correct, reprimand and admonish (i.e., give “tochacha” to) their children. However, when they try to implement these measures they often find their efforts to be ineffective at best or counterproductive at worse. Yet it is clear that we are halachically obligated at times to admonish our fellow man and to guide and correct our children.
This article will explore how chazal look at the issue of reprimanding and admonishing – particularly regarding chinuch – and their advice on how to maximize its positive impact and minimize the likelihood of it backfiring.
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