• Jodi Samuels

What’s Important To Your Child?



We all know kids are sponges and are highly influenced by their environment. My son Meron keeps teaching us this lesson.


A few months ago at school he had to write five pages about one of his happiest memories. My children have had amazing opportunities to travel and see the world. By the time Meron was two, he had been to 14 countries. My kids have been to Alaska, Hawaii, Disney, National Parks, a game park in South Africa, and so much more. We have gone camping, canoeing, and sledding. He has so much to write about.


When Meron brought home his project he had written 12 pages. His happiest experience was……”the night I helped out at class”. My husband and I run a non-profit Jewish International Connection (www.jicny.com) and every Monday we host Torah Classes for over 100 young professionals. This is the centerpiece of our programming. Meron came to class as a treat during school vacation and he helped us set up for class. He then sat with a volunteer collecting the $5 charge. He wrote in perfect detail about the events that night. I was so surprised that this was his happiest memory. Reflecting, though, he sees what is important to us and he wants to be part of that. Just this past week we had our annual gala. There was a great deal of preparation and our house was full of volunteers leading up to the big day. Weeks earlier Meron kept asking what tasks he could do to help. On Monday he said, “Imma, this is my favorite event of the year. I just love helping out so much.”


So sweet and also so compelling, as parents, to remember the influence our choices and behaviors have on our kids.


Originally published June 17, 2010

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