It is no secret that Pesach, and the Seder especially are times where children and family dynamic are highlighted. However, what may be a secret to some is just how much potential there is in this entire season of Pesach and spring break for building our children and enhancing our families.
There are various correlations drawn between the Hagaddah structure and a deep level of understanding of child development and cognition. For example, the Mah Nishtana, structuring the Seder in a way that may appear strange in order so that our children should ask questions. This speaks to the natural curiosity that exists in each child. How often do we get annoyed at toddlers and their repetitious way of asking ‘why’ all the time?
But this desire for knowledge and information is innate within each person, and based on the responses they receive, a person’s natural curiosity can lead to them being a naturally inquisitive person, always seeking to understand the world better and do better. Or if this innate quality is ignored, belittled, or reprimanded, a person is a lot less likely to approach the world seeking to learn and grow. This is just a small example of what we should be looking for throughout the next few weeks so that we can be a part of building our children up and raising them to be successful on all levels.
There are dozens of other areas one should explore that speaks to the innate nature of children, which our chachomim understood on a deep level. Such as the language and differentiation of the four sons, a very well known and widely spoken about commentary on proper chinuch. These points and many like them are expounded on by our Rabbanim and appropriately so.
Madraigos Midwest, as a team of highly qualified and skilled professionals, is seeking to partner with and enable every parent to raise emotionally and mentally fit human beings. We are here to point out opportunities and techniques for family bonding, closeness, child growth, encouragement, and empowerment.
Madraigos Midwest functions not only with an intervention model, via our counseling center (the only exclusively frum therapy clinic for teens in the Midwest), but a tremendous amount of Madraigos Midwest programming is based on prevention. Prevention is a giant piece of the Madraigos Midwest organization, because data shows that through preventative measures, the likelihood of misconduct in all areas drops dramatically. It is this approach that we ask you to have in mind through the Pesach preparation, the Seder, the family down time, and the break from school and work. Everyone should look for opportunities that can model and instill positive behaviors that lead to appropriate conduct for years to come.
Are we structuring our Sedarim for our needs or our children’s needs? Are we using the Pesach preparations as a time to be even more critical of our kids or are we taking our children’s’ strengths and giving them space to succeed? It can be daunting to be on top of this and Pesach, but the Seder is a clear example that this task, keeping our children’s’ needs and willingness to grow and learn, has to be our center and focus this season.
Wishing from our Madraigos Midwest family to yours, A Chag Kasher V’sameach.