A letter to parents written by Ganit Shaked, a visually impaired social worker from Rehovot.
Each of us has different experiences and memories from Seder night in his childhood. Some remember it as a family and pleasant experience and some remember a tense and even jarring atmosphere.
As parents we have a significant role in mediating this evening for our children and in shaping the experience they will remember from it.
We have collected some important highlights that can make the holiday eve more enjoyable for your children and so for you.
First, you should have a preliminary conversation with your children and describe to them what is expected to happen on the eve of the holiday. Describe to them simply what the order of things is and how they are expected to act at each stage. For example: when they should sit around the table, flip through the Haggadah, wait patiently for a meal, when they can get up and play and more.
If the arrangement does not take place in your home, try to arrive early and make the child familiar with the environment, the holiday table and the things that are placed on it.Indicate to the child who the people who are participating are in order and you can also tell about the order of sitting around the table.
If you know that the meal will start late in the evening, you should make sure to have a light meal before the order begins so that the children arrive seventy and more patient.
Try to bring an accessible bank adapted to the child in which he will be able to show interest and curiosity. Remember that what is written in the Haggadah, your children are unable to read and do not understand, so it is natural for them to feel bored while reading it.
Actively involve your child in making the seder and allow him to see things up close, feel, feel and taste the blessings and the wine. Depending on the age and abilities of the child, you can allow him to perform various tasks and roles such as distributing matzah to the participants.
Allow your children to participate in the Afikoman search. Although it is a visual game, you can allow the child to try to think and imagine where he is hiding and help him get and search in the places he wants to search. You can also help your children connect with another child and search with him (of course the reward will be double!).
The more openly and casually the issue of visual impairment or blindness is discussed with the child, the more those around him will feel it and behave more comfortably with the issue.
It is important that your expectations of the child be realistic and adapted to his age, character and temperament. The more realistic your expectations, the less likely you are to feel disappointed at the end of the evening.
If you are not satisfied with your child’s behavior, wake him up gently and respectfully without embarrassing him in the presence of others, just as you would like others to treat you. The Passover Seder is not the time to educate and if necessary you can have a calm conversation at home about it.
We wish you a happy Freedom Day and continued open and respectful communication with your children not only this night but all nights.[