How does one encourage a husband or a child without becoming just an ordinary nag?
And the answer is that חכמת נשים בנתה ביתה – It is the wisdom of a woman that builds up her house. Now, that’s not an easy answer because you have to learn how to do it. You have to plan what you want to say. Sometimes you feel that you must say something on the spur of the moment. Don’t! Wait until you can say it with cunning. And many times you’ll accomplish what you wouldn’t have accomplished otherwise.
Sometimes you might want your husband to go out and learn in the beis medrash at night and he’s sitting with his feet up at the table reading a newspaper. That’s how he’s wasting his evenings. So you have to wait for an opportunity and then you let pass a remark, “What a nice neighbor, Mr. Cohen next door. I see he’s such a fine man; every night he goes out to learn in the beis medrash.” That’s all; don’t say any more than that. Just let those words sink in a little bit.
I’ll give you another suggestion as well. Sometimes when your husband does do one good thing, go out of your way to praise him. And that way you’ll give him incentive to do it again.
Whatever it is, you’ll have to find tactful ways because the frontal attack usually doesn’t succeed and it only causes irritation.
TAPE # 239