Section:  Avodah   Category: Chanoch L'Naar
Sara's Way Of Moving People
Sara wanted Hagar to have a child with Avrohom.  The pasuk says (16:3) "VaYikach Sara Eishes Avrom Es Hagar... VaTitein Oisa L'Avrom", Sara took Hagar and gave her to Avrom.  Rashi says that she "took her" with persuasive words.  She told Hagar that she is fortunate to attach herself to a Tzaddik like Avrom. 

How does Rashi know this?  After all Hagar was her slave, why bother explaining things.  Although we can't fathom what it means to be a slave, a slave is considered property.  You do not need to reason with your property when you want them to do something.  A slave mentality means that they literally do not have their own mind.  Nevertheless Rashi is convinced that Sara employed gently persuasion.  Why?

The Sifsei Chachomim says that since the Ikar or main part of a person is their Da'as, therefore if it says Sara "took Hagar" it means that she captured her heart and mind to get her behind her idea.  That can only be done through good words, concludes the Sifsei Chachomim.

Our rule over our children is less omnipotent than a master of his slave.  Just like Sara could have forced Hagar without consulting and convincing her yet convinced her anyway, we certainly need to win over our children's hearts and minds if we want them to do certain things.  Are you supposed to reason with a 5 year old?  Probably not since a 5 year old has no "da'as".  However as our children grow older and their "ikar" becomes their Da'as, we need to consciously make the difficult transition from authoritative instruction and dictation, and move towards a working model which is based on Da'as.

You may be able to impose your will on them but with force you haven't moved them to where you want them to be.  If Hashem told Avrohom to listen to his wife, it is because she knew a thing or two about Chinuch.  We'd be wise to pay careful attention to the lessons our matriarch has taught us!