Written by Ganit Shaked, Assit Elia Branch rehovot
Purim is an exciting holiday, especially for children they can be whoever they want, dress up, wear makeup and even make more noise than usual.
However, for quite a few children, some holiday holidays can be uncomfortable, frightening, daunting and even scary.
For children with visual impairment, purim may be especially challenging since on the holiday there are many changes in the familiar reality, flooding of colors, stimuli, sounds and textures.
We have compiled some recommendations for you that will help make this holiday more pleasant for your child and of course for you parents as well.
Choose a costume
It is important that you share the process of choosing the costume in order to choose a character from his world that he knows or connects to. It's also a great opportunity to talk to the boy about his choice and hear thoughts from his inner world: I'd like to be…Tall, big, strong as Superman, as fast as a cheetah. I wish I could fly in the sky…
If it is a toddler, it is recommended to choose a comfortable, safe and minimalist costume for them. For children, also make sure that the costume is as comfortable as possible and as cumbersome as possible and limits the child's movement. You can also wear a cosy, thin cotton garment under the costume, thus avoiding direct contact with the costume with the skin. Many children do not feel comfortable with a mask or makeup on their face. You better not insist on it with them and remember that a partial costume is still a costume, too.
Preparation for the holiday in the garden
It is recommended to wear the costume at home several times before the holiday morning in order to get used to the texture of the fabric and also the feeling of being disguised. On this occasion it is recommended to do the filming as well and avoid pressure to take pictures on the morning of the holiday. Explain to your children that on Purim my kindergarten and kindergarten children will come dressed and that the garden will be festive and ornate.
Despite the preparations, when the morning of the holiday arrives, many children refuse to wear the costume and wish to go to kindergarten in their usual clothes. At this point you parents may feel disappointed, especially if you have invested heavily in the costume. It is important that you take into account that this option exists so that you are not surprised by it. Try to avoid putting pressure on the child. The more you click, the less willing he is to wear the costume. If he is not interested, bring the costume to the kindergarten in a bag in case during the day he changes his mind and wants to dress up as the other children.
If your child travels to kindergarten by transportation, it is best to wear the costume in the garden and not feel awkward during the trip.
Meeting clowns, people with masks and giant dolls
During the holiday period, before and shortly after, the streets and entertainment venues will be decorated if you meet figures of puppets or clowns whom the children fear during the holidays. Try to avoid putting pressure on the children to approach, take pictures or touch them. Explain to them that it's a man or a woman in disguise. Sometimes it is soothing when the child is able to see for a moment the face of the person behind the mask and realize that it is a disguise.
Dealing with noise
Purim holiday is accompanied by noises of firecrackers, jumpers, loud music and noises, noise that may startle your children. You can talk to the children before the holiday and prepare them for this, explaining that the noise is loud but not dangerous. Keep in memory that children are more sensitive to noise than adults, especially children with visual impairment. Even if you don't think the noise is scary, try to accept their fear with understanding. Hug and calm them down. You can also ask them what can help them overcome fear: a hug, a caress, a song you love, a doll you love, make a noise of themselves, and more.
Don't forget that first of all the goal is to be happy and have fun, every child in his own way and with the degree of disguise and participation that suits him this year. And you parents remembered that Purim also allows adults to momentarily emerge from everyday reality, fly on the wings of the imagination, celebrate, fool around and rejoice!!
Happy holiday children and parents!