Your son's behavior is destroying my son's classroom experience
Shani: I feel terrible about your predicament, but I had to put my son’s needs first.
Tamara: We’re dealing with a major challenge here. couldn’t you have been patient while we tried to work it out?
MY Yoni is what you’d call a model student.
Hardworking. Conscientious. Loves to learn. The type who’s made to sit in a classroom. You get the idea.
He enjoys camp, he has a bunch of friends, but school is where he’s in his element. So I was surprised when he came home a few days into September, dragging his feet and looking dejected.
“What happened, Yons?” I asked, giving him a hug and a cookie.
He accepted the cookie but pulled away from the hug. Too macho for that at nine years old, I guess.
“Whatever, nothing,” he mumbled.
I tried probing a little. “The rebbi? Your friends? Something happened?”
He shrugged. “Nooo… I mean, yes, but nothing happened to me. Just…” He finished the cookie and looked around for more. I put a few on a plate in front of him; I didn’t want him to stop talking. “Our rebbi this year is Rabbi Schwartz… he’s really nice, but he isn’t so strict, you know? And some of the kids, they mess around and stuff. Today they were all throwing paper airplanes whenever Rebbi turned around. And then Av— one of the boys even threw one at him. He got kicked out of class, but everyone was laughing, because it hit Rebbi’s jacket, and then it was just all noisy, and we didn’t learn a thing.”
“That sounds tough,” I said sympathetically.
The poor rebbi. And what was that about Avi? Yoni’s classmate Avi lived across the street from us. His mother, Tamara, and I were good friends, and Yoni and Avi played together with the other neighbors a lot, although they weren’t really close friends. They were too different for that.
“Yeah. Yesterday also. And in English class. I wish they wouldn’t. It’s so hard to concentrate.”
His brow furrowed in frustration. My poor kid. He loved school, but he was really an average student. He had to work hard to do well. And focusing in a chaotic classroom couldn’t be easy.
“It’s still the first week of school. Hopefully things will settle down,” I said, optimistically. “Let’s give the rebbi some time to get to know everyone.”
“Yeah. Maybe,” Yoni muttered. He didn’t sound convinced.
As the weeks went by, I heard more about Avi and his chevreh’s antics. It wasn’t the entire class — far from it — but a group of six or seven troublemakers was enough to ruin the atmosphere for everyone. The rebbi sounded like he was trying hard, but struggling, and every day Yoni came home with another story — water balloons, popcorn parties, some prank with the lights…
“I couldn’t understand the Mishnah today at all,” Yoni complained. “Rebbi kept stopping because the boys were interrupting him. And I got my homework all wrong, but it wasn’t my fault! Because my notes were all messed up, because he kept stopping and starting.”
He was really frustrated. I wondered if I should do something about it. Speak to the rebbi, maybe? But how embarrassing for him, if he was struggling with classroom management like that.
Some days were better than others. It sounded like when the rebbi sent Avi out the room, things generally calmed down — apparently, he was the ringleader. I felt bad for Tamara — he was her oldest, and a real handful — but I also found myself wishing he’d shape up already so the rest of the class could learn.
My friend Libby called me one night. She had a son in the same class too.
“Shani, what are you hearing from Yoni about what’s going on in class this year? Honestly, I don’t know what to think of what Moishy’s been telling me.”
“Which part? The water balloons? The fake spiders? The water on the rebbi’s chair?”
“You mean it’s all true?” she sounded horrified.
“Yoni wouldn’t make this sort of thing up.”
“I guess Moishy wouldn’t either. I was just kinda hoping it was… I dunno, a bit exaggerated.” She sighed.
“How’s— um, is Moishy complaining about what’s happening?” I asked cautiously. I hoped he wasn’t one of the gang.
“Moishy? I mean, he would never join in such a thing — you know him, he’s not that type. But I think he was kind of enjoying the fun. Although now he seems to be getting a bit sick of it. He says the class keeps losing part of their recess to make up for the lost time. And it’s annoying to have a few boys ruin every class for all the rest of them.”
“Exactly. Yoni’s been really frustrated about that too.” I hesitated. “You think there’s anything to do about it? I would call up the rebbi, but I feel bad…”
“Maybe we should call the principal? It sounds a little out of hand.”
“You think?” I thought fleetingly of Tamara. The idea of getting her son into trouble with the menahel wasn’t fun.
“Yeah. I mean, if it continues…” Libby didn’t sound convinced either.
“Let’s wait and see. Maybe things will settle down.”
But they didn’t. Yoni was coming home increasingly frustrated, his grades were slipping, and I’d heard complaints from other mothers of kids in his class too. Some of them shared Yoni’s frustration; others were getting pulled along with the misbehaving crowd and landing themselves in trouble. None of the mothers were happy.
I hadn’t seen Tamara for a while, but one evening, we met outside. She was just coming back from a power walk, and I was unloading the trunk after a late grocery run.
“Long time, no see.” I waved her over.
“I know, we haven’t spoken in ages.” She looked exhausted. I wondered if it had anything to do with Avi.
“What’s doing? Did you enjoy Yocheved’s visit?” I knew her sister had been in town last week.
Tamara passed a hand over her eyes. “Things are so nuts here, I barely got to spend any time with her. I’m hardly getting to see my kids.”
“Oy.” I made a sympathetic face. “What’s going on? Work stuff?”
“No. I mean, yes, always, but it’s — whatever. It’s Avi. He’s really struggling.” She hesitated. “I’m really struggling. He’s been really difficult, at home, in school, everything.”
Oh, boy, did I know about the school stuff. “Sounds… hard,” I said, trying to put Yoni and his frustration out my head and focus on my friend.
“You can’t imagine. You really can’t, your Yoni is nothing like this. Avi’s in trouble with the rebbi literally every day. Every day, can you imagine?” She sounded perilously close to tears. “And I’m busy on the phone all the time with the rebbi, the English teacher, whatever, and we’re trying all these charts and stuff, but meanwhile, he’s acting up at home also. He’s picking fights with my girls, he has these meltdowns, it’s really impossible. I wish I knew how to handle them.”
My heart went out to her. “Would— like, have you tried getting, you know, help for him?”
Tamara waved a hand. “Tried? Of course I have. But everything takes so long — we went to one therapist for two months last year, was a total waste of time and money. Now I have another recommendation, someone who’s really an expert with boys this age. But there’s a waiting list. Hopefully in a month or two, we’ll get to start. Not that I have any idea where the money’s going to come from.”
No wonder she looked so defeated. Poor Tamara.
We chatted a little longer, and I carefully avoided any mention of Yoni and what he’d been saying about school. Now I was even more uncertain what to do.
But the year went on, and things weren’t getting better.
One morning after Chanukah, Yoni refused to go to school. He rolled over in bed when I tried to wake him, and when I asked if he wasn’t feeling well, he muttered something unintelligible.
He pulled the blanket off his face. “I’m not going. There’s no point.”
“No point?” Were things really that bad?
“Yeah. Why should I go just to sit there and listen to Rebbi yell at the same boys all the time? And the classroom is so noisy, it gives me a headache. I don’t understand the stuff we’re learning because Rebbi doesn’t talk loud enough and I can’t hear him. And anyway, it’s boring, because he just makes us sit and write notes, and we never do fun activities and stuff because those kids aren’t behaving.” He said it all in one breath.
I wasn’t sure what to say. Should I insist he go to school and sit through yet another disaster of a class? Should I let him stay home just this once? But what about tomorrow, the next day?
In the end, I let him take the day off.
“But just today, okay? Tomorrow you need to go back, and you’ll do your best to listen to the rebbi no matter what’s going on.”
“I always do,” he muttered.
“I know. And…” I hesitated. “I’m going to speak to Abba. We’ll see what we can do about it.”
There were only three choices.
Ignore the issue. Call the rebbi. Or call the principal.
Ignoring the issue and encouraging Yoni to just do his best didn’t seem to be a working option anymore. He was becoming more and more discouraged, and now he was refusing to get up in the mornings.
That left speaking to the rebbi — uncomfortable, since I’d never spoken to him before, and he was the one with the classroom discipline issue — or speaking to the principal directly.
I’d never been the type to call and complain, though. I was kind of hoping another parent would do it. Knowing that Tamara’s son was at the root of the issue also made it so much more complicated.
“We have to do what’s best for Yoni,” my husband, Eliezer, said when I discussed it with him.”
He was right, but that didn’t make it easier.
In the end, Eliezer was the one who made the move.
“I met Rabbi Fine this morning, and I mentioned something to him,” he told me casually.
“Rabbi Fine?” I’d been flipping through a circular while sipping a coffee — my morning ritual after the kids all leave for school — but now, I pushed everything away, on high alert. “Yoni’s principal? When? What happened?”
Eliezer shrugged. “It wasn’t such a big deal. I saw him at Shacharis and I went over afterward, told him a little of what’s going on…”
“What did you say?”
“Not much. I told him you know more than me, you’re the one who hears it from Yoni every day.” Eliezer poured himself a coffee. “He wants you to call him, okay?”
“Call him? Like, today?”
Eliezer looked at me strangely. “Why not? The sooner, the better, no?”
I supposed he was right. Yoni was still miserable, he dragged his feet out the door each morning, and he hated sitting through tumultuous classes every day. Why should he keep suffering?
“He was very grateful that I’d brought it to his attention,” Eliezer continued. “He said he knew there were challenges in the fifth grade, but he hadn’t known that they were that serious. If you can give him some more information, he’d be able to step in and try to resolve the situation.”
I figured I’d tell Rabbi Fine what was going on with Yoni, without focusing too much on which boys were the ones causing trouble. But when he asked me point-blank if I knew which boys were involved, I found myself stammering incoherently.
“Um, well, I’m not exactly sure, Yoni doesn’t always say…”
I could tell Rabbi Fine didn’t believe me. But I couldn’t bring myself to give Tamara’s son away. Let the menahel investigate it for himself.
“You can rest assured that I’ll be looking into this very seriously,” he said. “You know, the rebbi is new, and there are often ‘growing pains’ in such a situation. In general, I like to allow the rebbi to handle things on his own, instead of rushing in to take over — it undermines the teacher’s discipline. But I appreciate that you and your husband brought this to my attention, because from what you’re telling me, it’s gone too far. It’s a top priority to ensure that every child can learn in a safe and appropriate environment, and I’ll be investigating this further. Your son shouldn’t have to suffer because of ongoing misbehavior in the class.”
I hung up the phone both relieved and apprehensive. Relieved for Yoni that the principal would be taking things in hand, but apprehensive for Tamara and Avi. What would this mean for them?
Rabbi Fine acted fast. The next day, Yoni came home reporting that the menahel had sat in through the entire morning of classes, and it was the first time Rebbi had been able to give his lesson, beginning to end, without interruption.
“I’m so happy to hear that,” I told him, but I also wondered how the principal hoped to get a picture of the situation if the boys behaved perfectly in his presence.
I guess he wasn’t stupid, though, because over the next few days, Yoni kept coming home with more snippets of information.
“Avi got pulled out of class today, for ages,” he said. “And then Rabbi Fine came and spoke to all of us before recess. He said he knew exactly which boys weren’t behaving, and that there would be serious consequences if it continued…”
“Did it help?” I asked.
He shrugged. “A little.”
And then came the clincher: Avi was suspended.
“Today the kids were acting up again, and Rabbi Fine walked past,” Yoni told me. “He’s been coming past our classroom all the time recently. And he saw what was happening and he figured out that Avi started and he called him out of the room and Avi never came back! And then afterwards someone said he got suspended…”
Suspension, ugh. But while I hated to admit it, I was relieved. At least my son and the others could finally get to learn. At least the rebbi would have a chance to teach.
Yoni began going to school cautiously hopeful and returning home happier. Without Avi in class, the other boys were settling down. The rebbi had found his stride, class was fun and interesting, and Yoni could finally concentrate on his learning and enjoy school again like he’d always done.
When I met Libby at the grocery, she told me her son was also much happier. I imagined the other mothers felt the same.
Well… except for one.
I thought guiltily about Tamara. She’d confided that she’d been struggling even before the suspension, and now she was stuck with her most challenging child home all day. How long would this last? Would the suspension even help? What if things escalated again? Now that Rabbi Fine was involved, I didn’t think he’d take it lightly. And that would fall back on my friend…
I felt sorry for her, I really did, and I dreaded to think what she’d say if she knew that my phone call had been the clincher behind the school’s decision. But what else could I have done?
If I could tell Tamara one thing, it would be: I’m sorry you’re struggling, but I have to advocate for my child — and your son’s behavior was destroying his year.
When Avi was in second grade, we had him tested for ADHD. His rebbi was complaining, he didn’t like to follow the rules, sit still like everyone else. But he wasn’t ADHD, just very bright and determined and a little rebellious, with a mind that was very much his own.
We made it work, with stickers and prizes and incentive schemes. The teachers tried to work with us, keeping the classroom activities varied and exciting, which Avi liked. As long as he was busy and stimulated, his behavior was generally under control.
By the time he reached fourth grade, though, things were a lot more challenging.
The expectations were higher, classes were longer, and there were less interactive activities. Avi had a good head, but he didn’t enjoy applying himself — especially when there were other, more interesting things to do.
I started to dread the phone calls from the rebbi. Each time he called, I’d confer with my husband, speak to Avi, try a different chart or prize or system, reach out for advice. But it wasn’t simple — Avi wasn’t easy to manage at home either, and my conversations with him often ended in disaster. I would try to open up a conversation about school, and he’d start yelling, I’d get upset and inevitably he would storm off, either to his room (best-case scenario) or to take out his frustration on a younger sibling (what usually happened).
We tried to get help, but I knew from the first session that the therapist wasn’t a good fit. Still, we stuck it out, everyone insisted these things took time. I gave her a chance — and shelled out thousands of dollars — for two full months. Then I snapped. Things weren’t helping, they were only getting worse, and I wasn’t waiting anymore to see if something would change.
By the time June rolled around, I was finished — but luckily, the school year was too. Summer was a dream — with Avi having a blast at camp, I could finally recover from the difficult year, focus on the younger kids. I knew, in the back of my mind, that I should use the breathing space to do some research, find a better therapist and a new plan of action — but I was tired. Simply. Too. Tired.
“Maybe next year will be better, he’ll grow out of it, you never know,” I said hopefully to my husband, Yossi, one evening.
We were sitting out on the porch, the house was quiet, it was pure bliss. I was feeling optimistic and at peace.
He raised his eyebrows. “You think?”
I shrugged. “Hey, a woman can dream…”
A lot, I thought, would depend on the rebbi. I hoped he would be firm enough to maintain discipline, but flexible enough to cater to Avi’s need for a lot of stimulation. I needed a better year. Avi needed a better year.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t what happened. Not at all.
By the time school started in September, I noticed that Avi had formed a new group of friends. He’d always been a leader, but now it looked like there was a little coterie that followed him around like a group of puppies. It kept him busy, but I felt uneasy. I hoped the group — mostly classmates — weren’t going to cause trouble in school.
Once school began, the vague feeling of unease quickly morphed into red warning flags. The fifth-grade rebbi was fairly new, and Avi and his gang were taking full advantage. I heard some snippets from Avi himself and others filled in the picture. My sister’s kid in fourth grade told her something, other mothers called me, concerned about what our sons were up to together, and of course the rebbi called, stammering uncomfortably. I assured him I wanted to make this work, and I’d do everything in my power to help the school manage Avi’s challenging behavior.
The problem, of course, was that my power was extremely limited.
If Avi’s behavior at home had been difficult last year, by now it was impossible. He didn’t take well to boundaries of any kind, and I was bewildered. None of my other children were like this — where had I gone wrong? Was this a personality issue? Was I too easy on him? Too hard? Was there a better way?
It was easier when Yossi was home, at least Avi listened to him, but he usually wasn’t — he worked long hours, often overtime, and I was the one dealing with the kids most of the day. I spent the after-school hours dodging crises — if I was lucky — and struggling to handle Avi’s meltdowns, the younger kids’ crying, the endless power struggles, the noise, the fighting, the discipline, the noise.
I wanted to think about long-term solutions, find a therapist, work with a parenting coach — but by the time the kids were in bed, I was so wrung out and exhausted, it just felt too overwhelming. And then there were the phone calls with the rebbi, planning charts and incentives and consequences, trying to figure out how to present them to Avi…
I was crumbling. Who knew what one struggling kid could do to a mother? I had four younger ones and taking care of all of them put together was nothing compared with the challenges we were facing with Avi.
When I met my friend and neighbor Shani, after a quick power walk one evening — literally the only me-time I got all week — I realized how long it had been since I’d talked to a friend. The stress with Avi was literally taking over my life. It was crazy.
“What’s doing? How was your sister’s visit?” she asked.
I winced. I’d been so looking forward to Yocheved’s visit, but with everything going on, I barely got to spend any time with her.
“What’s going on?” Shani asked me, concerned. “Work stuff?”
I waved a hand. “There’s always work stuff but — whatever.” I stopped.
Shani’s Yoni was in the same class as Avi. He was a good, quiet, well-behaved student; would she even understand? I was almost embarrassed to share our struggles with Avi; I felt like such a failure. Even though this wasn’t my fault at all.
“It’s Avi,” I finally blurted. I just couldn’t hold it in anymore; I had to talk to someone already. “He’s really struggling, and so am I. He’s acting out in school, at home, everywhere. It’s so difficult.”
“That sounds hard,” Shani said, biting her lip.
“You can’t imagine.” I shook my head. “I mean, you really can’t, Yoni is nothing like this. Avi’s getting in trouble literally every day, can you imagine?” My throat was closing up, but it was such a relief to finally talk. “I’m on the phone with the rebbi every day, we’re trying all these charts and things, but he’s acting up at home as well. He fights with the younger ones, he has these major meltdowns, I honestly don’t know what to do with him. It’s becoming impossible.”
Shani’s eyes were wide with sympathy, and for a moment it just felt good, knowing someone was listening. But then she said, hesitantly, “Would you, you know, try getting help for him?”
I wanted to scream in frustration. “We’re trying! But everything takes so long. The first therapist was a disaster, a waste of time and money. Now I have another recommendation, apparently this one is a real expert, but there’s a long waiting list. And the money, you can’t imagine how much these things cost…”
“Oh. That’s crazy. I’m so sorry, Tamara.” Shani looked genuinely upset. “I wish I could do something to help…”
“I know. Don’t we all,” I sighed. “Whatever. Thanks for listening. I’d better get back to the train wreck now. I mean, home. You know.”
Rabbi Schwartz called again the next day — before Avi had even arrived home from school. Was it that bad?
“I’m sorry to bother you again, Mrs. Hirsch. I just — the incentive chart we prepared, I’m not sure how well it’s working…”
I pulled brownies out of the freezer for the girls — anything to keep them quiet and happy while I handled this call — and headed out the room so I could focus.
“Did something happen today?”
“Something? I guess you could say that.” Rabbi Schwartz sounded exhausted. “Look, the details aren’t so important, water balloons, ich veis, but the point is, Avi is definitely the leader of the pack there, and when I reminded him about the chart, he mamash laughed in my face. It’s not a good atmosphere for the rest of the class. You hear what I’m saying?”
Not a good atmosphere? It sounded terrible.
“I’m so sorry, Rabbi Schwartz. I — my husband will speak to him again. We’ll work on it.”
Empty promises, I knew. Because we’d tried to speak to him, so many times. How was this ever going to work?
I cracked open a bleary eye. Just past 6 a.m.
“What is it, Avi?”
In his pajamas, Avi looked so much more vulnerable. He’d just woken me up way too early, but I felt myself melting when I looked at him. He was so young, really. And so challenged. We had to find a way to help him… maybe with this new therapist, who I’d tried calling again yesterday? The waiting list was around five weeks now.
“I decided, Mommy. Okay?”
My brain scrambled to keep up. “What did you decide?” Oh, please, let it be something good. Or at least, not bad.
“I decided I’m gonna do the chart. What Rebbi said. And you. And I get a small prize every day and two massive, massive prizes at the end. Right?”
“At the end. That’s right.” I wondered what sparked this sudden resolution. And would it even last?
Avi clapped his hands. “So that’s it. From today I’ll behave perfectly, you’ll see. And then in a few weeks I get the prizes!”
Perfectly sounded like a tall order to me, but I wasn’t going to put a damper on his excitement.
“Sounds great, Av. Good for you!”
I held my breath. But it seemed like Avi was really determined. The rebbi called later that night to report cautious progress, and Avi came home happily claiming to have earned two checks on his chart.
As the week continued, it seemed to be two steps forward, one step back. Some days Avi slipped up, which was to be expected. But with constant positive reinforcement, things seemed to slowly be heading in the right direction.
And then everything fell apart.
I wasn’t expecting the call from the principal. Not when we were finally seeing small signs of improvement.
“Mrs. Hirsch, this is Rabbi Fine calling.” His tone of voice didn’t bode well. “I’m calling about Avi.”
“Avi?” My mind raced. “Did something happen?”
“Not exactly. Avi is okay,” Rabbi Fine said. “But it’s come to my attention that the class is experiencing some… challenges. There’s a group of boys who are acting very rowdy, misbehaving, undermining the rebbi… and from my investigations, it appears that your son is the instigator behind it.”
I knew all that. This was old news. But now, when Avi was finally starting to show improvement?
“I know this is sudden, and believe me, I would have liked to resolve it differently, but the rebbi has been working on lower level interventions for a while, and we’re not seeing much progress,” Rabbi Fine said. His voice was genuinely apologetic, but that just made me more nervous about what he was about to say. “We’ve made the decision to ask you to keep him home for a little while. Hopefully, that will get the rest of the class back on track, and give Avi some time to think about proper classroom behavior.”
Suspension! I couldn’t believe it. When Avi was finally starting to progress… this was the last thing we needed..
I found my voice. “But, but — I’ve been in touch with the rebbi, we’re trying a new chart system, and it really seems to be helping. He’s trying so hard these past few days…”
“Mrs. Hirsch,” the principal said. “I understand, and I’m sorry, but it seems that the situation has escalated too far. Avi’s behavior may have improved this week, but it’s still far from acceptable, and the others that he’s led along with him are still acting up. It’s a group dynamic, and we have to take drastic action. We’ve been receiving complaints from other parents that their children can’t learn. It’s not a situation we can wait out anymore.” His voice softened. “I hope this will simply be a temporary measure. The class will settle, Avi will come back, and we’ll work together. Without a group backing him, I hope it will be easier for him to behave, and the classroom will be a better, safer learning environment — for everyone.”
For everyone? This wasn’t about Avi, that was for sure. It was about the other boys in the class — the ones who didn’t struggle to manage their behavior, the ones who coasted by gaining accolades all around. I gritted my teeth. Which parents had complained?
I glanced out the window, at Shani’s gray minivan across the street. Was it her? Had she been the one to make the call, to betray me so badly?
If having Avi at home on a regular day was bad, having him home while suspended for an unspecified amount of time was 1,000 times worse.
“I’m bored! I’m hungry! What should I doooo?” he complained, kicking over the potted plant in the hallway. Water, soil and leaves crumbled in a soggy heap on the floor.
“Avi, no!” I bit my tongue. Yelling at him wasn’t going to get me anywhere. “Why don’t you read a book? Or draw something?”
“I don’t want to! I’m not interested! I’m bored!” he screamed.
A minute later, I heard the thud of a basketball against the living room walls. No, no, no…
“Avi, no balls in the house. Wanna shoot hoops outside?”
“Nnnnnnoooooo!” he screamed, throwing the ball harder. It bounced against the wallpaper, leaving a black mark, and slammed against the glass coffee table. I held my breath, but it didn’t shatter. This time.
Slam. “I’m not interested! I don’t want to stay home all day! They’re so meeean!”
I sat down on the couch. “Avi, I’m sure it won’t be much longer. Maybe I’ll call Rabbi Fine tonight, and see if you can go back —”
He hurled the ball to the floor. “I don’t want to go back to school. I’m not interested. And if you make me go back, I’m gonna behave really badly again so they throw me out again. They pick on me! It’s not fair! I was being so good and doing the chart and then they ruined everything!”
“Avi…” I sat there, helplessly. I just didn’t know what to say.
Because they had ruined everything. We were finally making some progress, and the suspension was a huge slap in the face. To Avi, it was a rejection of all his efforts, all the work he’d been doing trying to behave better. And now I was left with a frustrated, angry, boiling-over child — a child who wasn’t easy to have home even in the best of times.
Later, when I went outside to wait for the girls’ carpool, I saw Shani and her son across the street. Yoni was smiling up at his mother, chatting eagerly. Shani noticed me and gave a tentative wave, and from the look on her face I knew that she knew about Avi’s suspension. Yoni was probably telling her how much better it was without him in class.
Resentment filled me. She — or someone like her — had done this to us.
How could parents with a regular, well-behaved kid complain, and destroy the progress we were so painstakingly trying to make with Avi?
If I could tell Shani one thing, it would be: You’re lucky enough not to be in my shoes. Can’t you have patience as we work toward a solution, instead of sacrificing my child for yours?
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 927)
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