Are you nervous just thinking about the fidgety little people sitting at your seder table? Is the thought "HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS AND STAY SANE??" making its way through your head. Are you starting to feel fuzzy before you even drink the four cups! Well! Here is a guide on how to approach the seder with little ones.
Kadish- Sweet stains
You dress your child in a spanking clean white shirt and watch as the grape juice drips. Embrace the stain and let your child savour the sweetness. A child with grape juice stains on their new Pesach outfit is your badge of honour.
Urchatz- You are going to get wet on this Seder ride
My children love sensory experiences. Yet I try to keep those wonderful moments outside my house. But sometimes we are required to bring those moments in. The Seder journey is wet, messy and wild. This sensory Seder experience allows children to live and internalize their Jewish experiences.
Karpas- The children’s tears
It’s heartbreaking to watch your child cry. There is a place in a mother’s heart that wants peace and joy for their child ALWAYS. But tears are part of the human experience. Sit with your child when they cry. Let them feel their emotions and then guide them to move on because we can’t sit in our tears forever.
Yachatz- Perfection is the key to unhappiness
We all want perfect experiences with no ruptures. Breaking the matza brings out what real life is all about. Life is not perfect. There are zig zag lines in our daily interactions. Let’s role model this to our children as they watch us experience frustration and imperfection. Then this will become their automatic response to their daily adventures.
Magid- Our Story
Children love stories. The suspense, excitement and drama talk to a child. The story of the Jewish people is OUR story. Not a social media fleeting story that lasts for 24 hours. But a real story that is embedded deep into our blood. Tell the story of Pesach to your children with suspense, excitement and drama. Use props, make changes in your voice and act it out. This is our story.
Rachtza, Motzi, Matza- Humble Beginnings
Wash your hands for the hamotzi, say the bracha and eat the matza. Matzah is made out of water and flour. It's called the poor man's bread. We eat the matza to remind us of the food the Jewish people ate in Egypt. This was was the food of slaves. Cheap and easy to make. The Matza reminds us of our humble beginnings. Role Model humbleness to your child. Encourage success but always remember how we started off simply.
Maror & Korech- Bitter Herbs and a Sandwich with bitter Herbs
Does eating bitter herbs really allow us to feel the pain of our forefathers? To be honest we are just tasting some bitter herbs for just a short moment. What is the significance? When an individual encounters bitterness, it is almost impossible to actually join their affliction. It would be unhealthy and unwise. Yet we can taste their bitterness. Lean in and be supportive of them as this is the power of the Jewish community.
Shulchan Aruch- Festive Eating
They tried to kill us and what do we do but EAT! This is the story of the Jewish people. Every holiday has a component of eating. But in reality food is just an expression of celebration. Being Jewish is a joy. Food allows us to express that joy and make it a festive occasion. So bring on the matzo ball soup and celebrate your Jewish identity.
Tzafun- The Afikoman- Inspiring Wonder
It's that time of mystery. Where is the piece of matzah that we broke in the beginning of the seder and put away. Judaism is full of mysteries. Allow your child to be curious. To think, inquire and dig deep. There are no bad questions in Judaism.
Berach, Hallel, Nirtzah- Gratitude
The simple words thank you mean so much but are difficult to come by. To assist my children in learning to show appreciation, I often say " thank you Mommy for dinner, thank you Mommy for my new clothes..." It may seem silly to thank myself but in reality I am bringing an awareness that what I do for them doesn't magically appear. And of course after I make those grand announcements they look at me and say "thank you."