When she was a little girl, Joanna Faber told her mother, “If Hitler had you for a mother, he wouldn’t have been Hitler.”
Her mother, Adele Faber, didn’t just influence Joanna’s upbringing and choices as a mother herself, but wrote a classic of good parenting: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk. Adele and coauthor Elaine Mazlish both studied with the late Israeli child psychologist Haim Ginott and turned his principles into a perennial best-seller.
Now 54, and with three sons of her own, 22, 20, and 17, Joanna Faber will appear in Manalapan Sunday morning, Jan. 18, at the Chabad of Western Monmouth County. She will draw on her mother’s book to discuss “specific communication skills that make life with children easier and more satisfying.”
“I’ll be offering tips on how to help children deal with difficult feelings, how parents can engage cooperation without threats or bribes, how to make effective use of praise, and how to find suitable alternatives to punishment,” Faber told NJJN via e-mail.
Acknowledging that these techniques apply to people of all cultures, Faber suggested they are particularly pertinent to Jewish families.
“My parents raised me with the idea that the identity of being Jewish is inextricably tied to being a mensch,” said Faber, who has a master’s degree in education and conducts workshops around the country based on her mother’s work. “When I talk to Jewish groups I am always impressed at how important it is to parents and teachers that their children not only behave well and achieve highly, but that they become people with good hearts,” said Faber.
“The methods of communication in my mother’s book help young people grow up feeling connected and caring,” she emphasized.
Faber’s presentation is scheduled as a “prequel” to “The Art of Parenting,” a six-session course set for consecutive Wednesdays beginning Jan. 21.
Rabbi Boruch Chazanow, codirector of the Chabad of WMC, and Rabbi Levi Wolosow, its director of adult education, are trained instructors for the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute.
Wolosow said the parenting course was designed by JLI and will be presented at Chabad facilities throughout the United States, 27 in New Jersey, all beginning the week of Jan. 18.
Subjects include the difference between being a parent or a peer, whether to be firm or forgiving, how to reward and discipline effectively, and how to help children cultivate healthy self-esteem.
“The tools children need to succeed include a great education, strong values and an identity they are proud of,” said Wolosow.
The course is presented in joint sponsorship with the Washington School of Psychiatry and is accredited by the American Psychological Association, American Council for Continuing Medical Education, California Board of Behavioral Sciences, and National Board for Certified Counselors. Enrollees may earn as many as 15 continuing education credits for completing the program.