Neither a stick nor a rag shall you be

When it comes to raising your child, are you a rag or a stick? Being either can be bad for your child, according to National Council for the Child executive director Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, who calls such parental behavior the sponja (floor-mopping) approach to parenting. "Many people, when it comes to parenting, choose the 'either-or' approach: If I can't hit the kid, what's the point of educating him, they say. If I can't do such and such, let's not do anything. That's not the way things should be. It isn't a matter of either/or. "One of the things we say is that being a parent isn't like sponja. Why sponja? When you do sponja, there are only two choices you can make, the stick or the rag. We don't want our parents to be rags, and sit and do nothing, but also not sticks that are too strict. There are a lot of variations between being a rag or a stick." "If we can't even yell at them, what authority does a parent have anymore; they keep telling us what we can't do, when will they tell us what we can do?" is among the questions the council receives from confused parents. When up against a stressful moment, Kadman suggests "never react instinctively. In most cases it doesn't lead to a positive result. I'd advise such a parent something very simple: First of all, count to 10. Many times when you think you just can't anymore, if you count to 10, you can find the strength."