The Illusion of Authoritarian Parenting (Vaera)


Aaron cast down his rod in the presence of Pharaoh….and it turned into a serpent… and the Egyptian magicians, in turn, did the same with their spells. (Exodus 7:10-11)

Aaron was given the divine ability to turn his staff into a snake. The Egyptian sorcerers appeared to do the same with theirs. This is a great analogy for 2 parenting styles that seem to get the same results: Take a child aside, gently speak to him and show him the correct way to clear his plate or to express his frustration; he will listen, and he will learn. Scream, threaten and punish; he will also listen and submit to your demands. Same results? Like the sorcerers’ “snakes”, submission to a scary parent is an illusion as nothing has really changed.

But education is the staff of Aaron, it has the capacity to transform. Aaron’s staff swallowed the magicians’ snakes because education eats intimidation for breakfast.