Shmuley Boteach is an American Orthodox rabbi, radio and television host, and author. He rose to prominence with the publication of his international bestseller Kosher Sex. He received his rabbinic ordination in 1988 from the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement in New York City, as a disciple of its leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. He frequently appears as a guest on television and radio discussing politics, religion, society and morality. He also now hosts a reality television program entitled Shalom in the Home which involves facilitating conflicts between family members. He has authored many books since Kosher Sex, the latest of which is The Broken American Male.
Topic: The importance of parenting.
Shmuley Boteach: It’s all a part-time job because I’m also the father of eight children. You’re the father of eight kids, that takes a lot of time. And if you wanna do it right, it takes a lot of time. And I wanna do it right. You know Jackie Kennedy said you can succeed at many things in life. You fail with your kids you have failed at life period. I wanna succeed with my kids. I don’t want my kids to have my insecurities. I’m a man who has been riddled with insecurity throughout his life. And no doubt that is partially a function of having been raised in a home where my parents fought a lot and ultimately divorced. Parents who are fighting, they love their kids as much as any other parent, perhaps even more. Sometimes they actually are more emotionally dependent on their kids, which is their only source of emotional sustenance. But they’re fighting so much they’re licking their own wounds. They often are too wounded to give that affection and love. I mean that’s the problem with bad marriages. If I’m not just giving them quality time, which I think is an erroneous concept, but quantity time. Quantity time means you can talk all you want. “Oh five minutes I spent with you. Great! And it was five uninterrupted minutes. Fantastic!” That’s B.S. You gotta be there every single night, virtually, with your kids having dinner. You gotta put them to bed. You gotta read them a bed time story. You gotta do their homework no matter how much you hate it, and I hate homework. But if you don’t . . . But doing this is what make your kids feel valuable.
Recorded on: 09/05/2007