We hope that you enjoy this article from our Pesach Edition of “Mayim Chayim”, this year’s ministry magazine.
Surviving Seder with Kids
Having children is often viewed as it is a burden when we are hosting or entertaining. I know first hand that it can be difficult or even frustrating to host something as important as a Pesach Seder when your children are running around like monkeys let loose from a zoo.
I often hear from other parents how embarrassed they are to host a Seder because they don’t know “what to do with the kids”. Most of the time, I stop them there and say that we don’t “do anything with the kids”. We just let them enjoy this holy day too.
Why can’t our children have fun and enjoy this moment? Why can’t they see us embracing our roots AND also include them as well.
When we ask our children why they do not like going to religious events, we often get the same answer. “It is boring, or I can’t be me, or They force me to sit and be quiet.”
If you think about this, it is very sad because throughout all of the Torah and elsewhere in the Bible, HaSHem constantly reminds us that our future is the children. A very famous quote is to come to Him with the faith of a child.
Why then do we dismiss our little ones for the sake of busy-ness and fast pace movements during a time when we are asked by Hashem to honor Him and remember Him.
To remember and honor brings a sense of quietness and stillness from the day to day tasks of the world. Pesach is meant to be a time when we contemplate on what He has done for us and how he has delivered us from slavery. With this in mind, although it is a sober experience, it is also one filled with joy because we are FREE.
Let’s not put ourselves back into slavery of the mind because we want to limit our children from being the free and often havoc natured tiny humans that they are. Besides, if we ignore them during the important times in our faith, they will see this as not being important enough to be included in this faith. So when they grow up, you can not blame them for lack of zeal regarding being keepers of the commandments.
They are watching us and if we slow down the havoc we as parents cause by moving fast like frantic trainwrecks trying to clean the house and prepare for our seders, maybe- just maybe our children will see the peace that Pesach brings and be glad to honor it.
With this being said, we do have some helpful tips for those of you who have children around during Pesach. These tips should help you enjoy the holy day as well as your little ones. The tips should also help you bring peace and harmony in a way that helps the order when children are around. They do need discipline and order, we just need to be a bit more open to allow them to also enjoy Seder as well.
Tips for a child-friendly Seder
Don’t do anything last minute or you will stress out!
Give them a separate kids table for coloring, snacking & fellowshipping together.
Bring toys, blocks or puzzles with you.
Let them help with telling the story of Passover.
Take notice of when they get tired & let them rest.
Don’t run around frantic like you have to do all of this stuff to do. Do what you can peacefully.