We all want to get our kids a special Afikomen gift this year, and I’m not saying that we shouldn’t. But keep in mind that sometimes it’s the non-tangible things we give that make the biggest difference in our childrens’ lives. Here are some things of lasting value that you can give your kids this Passover.
Your kids want to know what makes them unique, who they are, and who they are not. Instilling a strong sense of values and ethics in our children helps give them that purpose and direction they need. The Passover Seder experience is a great opportunity to give our kids the values and traditions which makes up the family identity.
You want your children to feel that they can communicate openly with you and trust you with their questions, feelings, hopes, and fears. The set-up of the Seder and text of the Haggadah put emphasis on communicating with and teaching our children. (The Hebrew word Pesach is actually a combination of two Hebrew words, “peh” – mouth, and “sach”, that speaks.)
Don’t forget to encourage your children to be open about their feelings and questions. Never dismiss your kids’ feelings or questions as silly, wrong, or insignificant.
3. Your Time
Giving your kids your time is just another way to show them they are your highest priority. Let’s take advantage of the Passover seder to forget about mundane work matters which so often bog us down and focus on our children, giving them the gift of our time and attention.
In order for kids to be able to trust the world around them as a secure, stable environment they need a sense of predictability and stability within their own little worlds. When we are true to our belief system and set of values, when we establish a consistent routine, set of rules, and methods of discipline, we are raising stable kids who trust the world around them.
5. Healthy Boundaries
In a world where boundaries are so blurred, it’s important to remind ourselves that our kids actually want to be taught limits. Maintaining healthy boundaries acknowledges every child's right to a unique role and identity within the family unit. The “four sons” in the Haggadah reminds us about each child’s unique role in the family system.
Acknowledge your child's individuality by respecting his personal preferences and feelings. Respect his privacy. Don't blur boundaries by sharing with your child that which shouldn't be shared or by giving him parental roles or responsibilities.
Every family has its own challenges to overcome. But nothing banishes negativity like the ability to see the good and accentuate the positive in our family members. Reminding ourselves during Passover that two of our goals are joy and togetherness can drive away some of the inevitable tension and stress associated with the busy season.