The Power of “But” (Shelach)

The sin of the spies in the week’s portion turned on one word: “But”. As instructed, the spies returned with a report. Then, with the word “but” they shared what the report meant to them. And everything went downhill from there.

FACT: Children exhibit behaviors.

We then observe those behaviors and have thoughts and feelings about them. Like the spies, that is what those behaviors mean to us. That meaning is not necessarily true for the child and therefore responses to a child’s behavior based on that meaning may not be in their best interest. An initial step in effective parenting requires separating our child’s behaviors from what those behaviors mean to us. Then we can move forward with a response that is truly in their best interest.