Tag Archives: wwyd?

WWYD – non-Shomer Shabbat child at home

Remember this WWYD (child stealing) from last year? The same lady wrote to me to update me and to ask another question. Please give her the benefit of your wisdom.

Dear HSM,

Many months ago I wrote to you for advice about one of my children who had been taking food from her sibling’s private store and then denying everything. Your readers very kindly offered advice which more or less said the same thing – take her for therapy and to go myself.

I took the advice. We went to family therapy and she also had a few meetings alone with a different therapist. The diagnosis was depression but not enough to necessitate a visit to a psychiatrist. To cut things short, some weeks later we did take her to a psychiatrist who put her on Prozac, and a few days later she tried to commit suicide.

Seven months have passed. She is now 16. She has spent this time in a psychiatric hospital (wonderful place with dedicated staff), and will be leaving in a few weeks time.  She is very definite about not returning to her old school, and is planning on staying in a therapeutic youth village with every other weekend at home. At the moment she comes homes every Shabbat and here lies the problem. She is no longer shomer Shabbat but we came to a compromise in that she can do what she wants in her bedroom as long as she doesn’t do anything that affects the rest of the house. However, now that the days are long, she says she needs to be able to recharge her ipod on Shabbat afternoon in order to get through the day, and has been changing the Shabbat clock (time switch) in order to do so.

The psychologist treating her has turned to us to find a solution for her while at home on Shabbat. The matter isn’t critical – if she doesn’t use the ipod/internet she won’t try and commit suicide again, but it is a crutch she depends on. The options I have thought of are leaving the electricity on in the house all day, or letting her recharge her ipod in the kitchen where there is always electricity. Or helping her find other occupations (not what she wants). I would be interested in hearing your opinions.

And finally a word of advice. Don’t respect your child’s privacy too much like we did – read their diaries. If we had done that a year or two ago life would have been very different.


WWYD – wrong crowd

So you find out that a friend has started hanging out with someone that you know is bad news. You know for a fact due to past experience with him / her that this person has the morals of an alley cat and that your friend will end up used and or hurt. Your friend is actually a principled person but cannot see the bad in their new association. You know that if you speak up you might lose the friendship, but sitting idly by while your friend puts him / herself at risk is something that feels alien to you.

WWYD? Speak up and risk the friendship? Stay quiet but take some distance? Warn your friend anonymously?

An Ethical Dilemma: Serendipity or a Mistake that Needs Fixing?

A fellow Jblogger posted this on her blog yesterday, and she wanted my opinion. I asked her if I could post it here for your opinion – what do you think? WWYD in her situation?

I’ve got an ethical dilemma on my hands, and I’m seeking advice. But I think the underlying issue is very relevant to all of us: when a “good” mistake happens to us, is it serendipity or just a mistake that we have an ethical obligation to fix? (Apparently “fix” is a very Southern verb. Just go with it.)

Here’s my dilemma:

I take a daily medication. My bargain-basement student insurance (evilly, in my opinion) makes me fill it every month, even though it is available in a 3-month supply, which is significantly cheaper than purchasing one month at a time. I don’t know what happened this month, but they gave me the 3-month supply, and I didn’t notice until almost 2 weeks after I filled the prescription. I don’t have the receipt anymore, but I’m pretty certain I only paid the (higher-per-unit) one-month price.

Should I attempt to return the two extra months’ supply to the pharmacy? (I’m not even sure that they can take back “used” medication since it may have been tampered with.) Or, knowing that the next two months are going to be tight financially, has HaShem sent me a little goodwill?

UPDATE: Bright minds have confirmed that I cannot return the medication, but that I may be able to pay the difference. However, because of the insurance rules, I’m not sure that I would be allowed to. I might be liable for the non-insured price :/

WWYD – toddler negligence

The other day I was running errands, and had to drive on residential streets to get to a couple of places. At one stop, I saw a 4 year old girl on the side of the road beckoning to someone on the other side of the street. I had to quickly slam on my brakes as there was a toddler, an 18 month old, wobbling her way across the street when there were cars driving on both sides. The toddler stopped in front of my car and smiled and waved, and promptly sat down. (As I read this over, I can hear you say that there is no way this really happened. It did. I wish I was making it up).

The sister beckoned to the little kid, who took his/her time getting up and moseying on over to the other side of the road, leaving it clear for me to drive. I was shaken. Where the heck was the mother? The father? You leave your toddler in the care of a six year old, who is unaware that the road is not a place for her younger sibling to be playing?? What is wrong with you?

Happens to be I know these people. Not well. Just enough to say hello to if I see them at the grocery store.

Do I say something? If I say something they are going to feel judged, as they should. They may just take it as if I am sticking my nose in where it isn’t wanted. My purpose in telling them would be so that they could keep a closer eye on all their children. G-d forbid one of them gets hurt due to their negligence. This isn’t the first incident that I have seen negligence on their part concerning their children. Or do I just pray that the children are kept safe by G-d? What would you do?

WWYD – Hostess Gift

From one of the message-boards….

Neighbors of mine had a Simcha [celebratory occasion] this past Shabbat and asked if I could host their guests. It was no problem and I prepared the guest room.

Around Friday noon time their child came over with two packages – a beautifully wrapped gift (crystal tray) for me, and a bag for the guests with various items and itinerary.

I placed the guest bag in the guest room and unwrapped the gift for myself, discarded the wrapping paper, and put the tray into a closet.

About an hour before Shabbat, they phoned me to let me know that the guests that were supposed to stay with us had cancelled.

Now what do I do? Send back the tray (I’m embarrassed because I unwrapped it.  Also they may be embarrassed if I return their gift)? Send back the guest bag (I certainly don’t need it)? Or just leave things as they are?

Help me out you etiquette experts!


So, readers, what should be done here? Return the gift and the guest package? Keep it? What would you do?

WWYD – Interview

So, you sent in your resume and cover letter to apply for the position that you recently saw advertised. The business is local, and you are excited at the prospect of working for this dynamic company as part of a team.

After a few nail biting days you receive an invitation to come for an interview next week. You do your homework on the company and find out that you know someone who works there. So you call them up and go through your list of questions.

This contact tells you that while the person interviewing you is extremely competent at his job, he has a bias when hiring. When it comes to the interview, you are told, you should wear a shorter skirt, make sure you show some leg, wear a tight top too, leave your hair loose, and that way you are guaranteed the job. If you dress down or not-sexy there is a chance that you won’t be successful.

Do you:

a)      Follow instructions because you really want to work there?

b)      Dress as you normally dress and hope for the best?

c)      Decide to do the opposite, dress completely dowdy, and hope you are hired based on experience?

d)     Cancel the interview because you don’t want to work for someone like that?

WWYD – friend’s child

(From the mailbag)

Dear Mama H,

I have a friend with a son the same age as mine. We live close to each other and at first I thought it would be great for the 2 boys to become friends.

However, I don’t like the way my friend speaks to her son (she seems to shout at him a lot, and can be quite aggressive) and her son also behaves the same way, he plays a bit too rough, shouts a lot and is very pushy. My son complained to me about this and so now they don’t play together any more

Just now another friend with a son the same age also mentioned how she doesn’t want her son playing with this friend’s son, for the same reasons (she didn’t say who it was, but I knew who she meant).

I feel really bad for my friend and worried a bit for her child. My friend does not have an easy time of things, but she definitely means well and tries hard to be a good parent. I don’t think I’m close enough to her to tell her all this, and even if I do, how would she change her son’s behavior so quickly, if at all?

WWYD? Would you say anything, and if so what?


So, readers, what would you advise this mother to do?

WWYD – Chronic Illness

Recently had an email exchange with an acquaintance that left me a little frustrated. This friend is in a highly paid, well respected work environment with major responsibilities. She lives and breathes her career. She is married but has no kids, yet.

She has been recently diagnosed with a chronic ailment that is not life threatening but if she doesn’t take care of herself it could severely debilitate her. She is of the opinion that to let her superiors at work know is tantamount to giving in her resignation. She feels she will lose all respectability and credibility and will be treated as an invalid and encouraged to take disability.

I feel that her superiors should know that something is going on, so that they can be sympathetic when she has a flare up or has to take time of for tests or treatments. Perhaps they can accommodate her work needs better so that she can be more effective.

If I were a boss I would want to know what was going on with my employee.

WWYD in her situation?

Bookmark and Share

WWYD – inquisitive child

I have a close friend who has an adorable 6 year old daughter who hasn’t met a question she didn’t want the answer to. This delicious bundle of energy asks questions on your answers, so you had better not be telling her porkies.

Well, school is out for the summer and she has been home chilling out at Camp Mommy. While her mother was busy with cooking dinner and doing laundry she took it upon herself to explore the house, to see if she could find some treasure. She found herself in her parents’ bedroom.

My friend is in the kitchen cooking dinner, when her daughter appears with a box of condoms in her hands. “Mommy, what are these?”

Now, my friend is of the belief that you always need to tell the truth to your kids, in an age appropriate manner. But these people are somewhat religious (and this manner of birth control is frowned upon), and to hear her daughter tell a friend the next day that mommy and daddy don’t want a baby so they use these things called condoms, and then explain the whole baby making thing – well, she didn’t want to have to deal with that and the potential fall out.

The child received a lesson in not going through other people’s stuff, but we know we all did it as kids. (Sorry Mum!!)

How would you have answered this bright and inquisitive child?

Bookmark and Share

WWYD – Minyan

It’s summer time and the living is easy. Well, easier than getting the kids up and off to school every day. The pace is more relaxed – life is less stressful. That being said, we never forget that we are religious Jews, and our religious practice still dictates the same things that they do in school time.

I have two boys over barmitzvah, one 9 months away from “becoming a man”. The KoD goes to shul every morning, to daven (pray) with a minyan (a quorum of ten men over the age of 13). I expect the same of my oldest two – and there is a later minyan than the 7 am one the KoD goes too. There is one at 8 am throughout the summer.

How much do I push for them to go? Shouldn’t this be something that should be their choice, or should I expect it of them and do my darndest to drag their tired selves out of bed? They can daven at home, but it is so much better to daven with a minyan.

What do you do with your teenage boys in this regard? What worked for you as a teenage observant boy? What are your thoughts?

Bookmark and Share