Al Chet for Parents

Found In: Yom Kippur

Tags: al chet

By Yonit Kosovske | Prayer
For the mistake we have committed before You by losing patience with our children,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by losing our temper.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not giving our children our undivided attention,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by forgetting to teach our children not to interrupt when others are talking.

For the mistake we have committed before You by giving our children fast food,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not making an effort to have sit-down, home-cooked, locally produced meals together without the interruption of television, movies, or telephones.

For the mistake we have committed before You by allowing DVD's and computer games to act as a babysitter instead of constructively finding a more creative activity in which our children could involve themselves,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not allowing our children any movies or computer time.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not giving our children enough structure,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by being so structured that our children do not learn to be flexible.

For the mistake we have committed before You by fighting with our partner in front of the children,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not teaching our children how to peacefully resolve conflicts.

For the mistake we have committed before You by verbally insulting our children,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by being overly critical of our children’s efforts instead of constructively encouraging them to do better.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not providing opportunities for our children to exercise and to play in nature,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by over-programming our children with extra-curricular activities, and by not allowing them down-time to wonder, imagine,  be bored, and daydream.

For the mistake we have committed before You by putting too much pressure on our children to succeed,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by comparing our children with others.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not recognizing our children’s unique talents,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not knowing how to cultivate our children’s special talents and skills.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not listening to our children,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not talking and communicating with our children.

For the mistake we have committed before You for pushing our children to read too early, when they clearly weren’t ready or interested,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not reading to our children.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not exploring alternative ways of educating our children,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by forcing our children to learn when they weren’t ready and in ways which did not work for them.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not being fair,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not being consistent.

For the mistake we have committed before You by acting like a child instead of a parent,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by intentionally or unintentionally putting our children in harm’s way.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not modeling a healthy, loving relationship with our significant other,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not giving sound advice to our children about their friendships and relationships.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not sitting down to help our children with their homework,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not admitting that we don’t know something, for fear of being seen as unintelligent.

For the mistake we have committed before You by worrying too much,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not worrying enough.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not recognizing soon enough that our children were having problems,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by knowing that our children were having a problem but not intervening out of fear, embarrassment, or shame.

For the mistake we have committed before You by showing our children the evils of the world without giving them an opportunity for tikkun olam, to repair the world,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not doing our part as parents to make the world a happier, cleaner, and more peaceful world in which our children can live.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not apologizing to our children,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not accepting our children's apology.

For the mistake we have committed before You by pushing our children so intensely to succeed in something that they lost the ability to have fun while doing it,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not making learning fun.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not working together as a society to provide affordable, quality childcare options for everyone,
And the mistake we have committed before You by not providing adequate maternity and paternity leave for parents.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not promoting and supporting breastfeeding, whether at home, at work, or in other public places,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by casting our assumptions and judgments upon mothers who do not breastfeed their children.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not being good role models,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not giving our children a chance to simply be children: to play, to make mistakes, and enjoy life.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not providing full coverage health insurance to all children who are minors,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not doing something to end illegal trafficking of children and other exploitive practices affecting millions of children worldwide.

For the mistake we have committed before You by giving into our children’s tantrums because we were so tired, impatient, in a hurry, or embarrassed,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not comforting our children during their tantrums.

For the mistake we have committed before You by rejecting our children and withholding our love for them,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by not showing interest in our children’s lives, even though they may be completely different from our own.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not using peaceful conversation and soft, non-combative voices when talking with our children,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by hiding our emotions from our children, never letting them see that we are sad, confused, or angry.

For the mistake we have committed before You by not creating Shalom Bayit, a peaceful home,
And for the mistake we have committed before You by focusing only on our shortcomings as parents instead of recognizing that, at least most of the time, we are doing our best.

For all these,  and more, G-d of forgiveness,  forgive us, pardon us, atone for us. Help us to be more patient and compassionate so that we may guide and teach our children well. Amen.