The Jews are commanded to submit to a census by donating a half shekel coin to the National treasury. A half shekel seems to be a strange denomination to represent a whole person?! A relevant parenting lesson that can be derived from this is for us to see our children as “incomplete” works in progress. A common parenting error is to ascribe fixed qualities to our children based on specific behaviors. This stems from a fear of being “bad” parents: “Look how he behaves!” we say to ourselves as we observe the ‘parental failure’ in front of our eyes. Meanwhile, our own experience tells us that life is fluid and the person we are today is very different than the one we were 20 years ago. That same “work in progress” attitude that we (hopefully) employ with our own life and growth, should be given to our children as well.
We, and our children will always be a “half shekel” striving to develop the latent parts of ourselves and working towards more shleimut (wholeness). This attitude encourages us to be creative and confident rather than critical as we support our children on their journey.