Are your child’s most annoying traits disconcertingly familiar, because they are also your own? And are those qualities- anxiety, competitiveness, impatience, even hatred of loud chewing- baked in the cake? Or have our children learned how to be impossible simply by living with us?

Ellie Grossman says when our kids are driving us nuts, it’s always best to look within for answers:

The trick is to find our child’s greatest strength hidden inside his or her worst quality. The first step is to look at ourselves in the mirror. Where do you think our child’s mishegas comes from in the first place?

Keeping this in mind, we also love Wendy Mogel’s writing about the “yetser hara,” that part of all children’s personalities that is both the source of all parental exasperation and the essential spark of our children’s greatness. Read more here:

Emily Bazelon for The New York Times: So The Torah is a Parenting Guide? 

Wendy Mogel, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Timeless Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children

Special thanks to our listener Michelle for suggesting this topic! Do you have an idea for an upcoming episode? Leave us a comment below, send us an email, or click the Speakpipe on the right-hand edge of our website to leave us a voice message.

This week’s episode is brought to you by Barkbox. Barkbox is a monthly surprise of dog toys, treats and goodies. Amy’s kids absolutely loved helping Marshmallow choose among the many delights in her “Knights of the Hound Table” themed shipment. What Fresh Hell listeners can get a free Barkbox when signing up for a 6 or 12-month plan (and support our podcast!) by using our special code: barkbox.com/laughing.