Monday, January 24, 2011

The Israeli Instinct

Two days ago, Raphaela figured out where I keep the Cheerios, climbed up and into the cabinet and pulled the box down, and managed to get it open all by herself. As a reward, I gave her a bag of the cereal to take to nursery.

When we got to her classroom, I put the Cheerios in a bowl, and immediately three of the other children came over and helped themselves to a good portion of the snack intended for Raphaela.  On the one hand, I was glad that my daughter seems to have no problem sharing (the American in me), and then I started thinking that I wished she had fought back a little, gotten a little selfish and not shared quite as much as she did (the Israeli in me).  There is a fine line between kindness and generosity, and being taken advantage, and I don't want my daughter to become a victim in that sense.

Of course I did not intervene, preferring to stand back and simply watch the proceedings.  I feel that I need to give Raphaela a clear and fair picture of the world, one in which there is giving, and taking.


Ariela said...

I find this offensive and anti-semetic. How can you define an entire people as being selfish. The kids I know in Israel all love to share.

Doc said...

Good Lord, I didn't say that kids don't share or that all Israeli parents raise their children badly. And how can I be anti-semitic, or how can you say I offend Israel, when I have chosen to live and raise my child here, in a Jewish country?!
My point was that my own experience since I have moved to Israel is that some people are more generous and some are less generous. I myself have been too giving sometimes, to the point that people see me as an easy mark.
I am thrilled Raphaela is kind and loving, and yet I want her to have some level of assertiveness, because without it, you don't do very well in Israel, or for that matter, in life.
For the record, Ariela, I love Israel and I love the idea of Raphaela being an "Israeli kid."

koshergourmetmart said...

The kids in Gan are too young for you to be ascribing characteristics of selfishness and sharing and unkind motives. if your daughter had been really hungry she would have thrown a fit with her cheerios being taken away. as to your daughter being taken advantage you are projecting your own feelings on her. Kids at the age don't have the same motives as adults-they probably saw food and took what they wanted and did not say "let's leave RR with nothing"

midlifesinglemum said...

I give DD a snack (Bamba, pretztels, or Dubonim)on the way to Gan as they don't have breakfast there until after 9 am. Her favourite thing is to save it and then hand it out to the other children - one each. The ganenet, who has encouraged sharing from the start, told me that she's started a trend. i don't think it is a nationality thing but rather a matter of education and example.