One might think a father, happily at prayer and apparently totally oblivious to the noise and havoc his son was creating, would feel a little embarrassed. Why would he not intervene in an attempt to maintain some decorum in the synagogue? I sometimes think that when asked to take their children to shul, many husbands interpret this request literally. They bring their children and then seem to forget that they are responsible for their children’s behavior until it is time to leave. As the noise levels increase and the kids entice others to run wild, it feels like only we grumpy older folk notice.

This is not a column about dads (to be fair, moms too can be guilty) or about forgetting your children – although with the onset of summer heat, it is hard not to comment on that latter issue. Not removing an active or noisy child from a place where decorum is expected when they first start to misbehave is disrespectful and also sends the wrong message to the child.


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