The Seder and subsequent holiday usually finds a few generations under the same roof.
It could be the best of times, it could be the worst of times.
Because it’s when the ups and downs of relationships appear.
Let’s talk about relationships…
‘Relationships’ are all the rage. Especially the relationships that we have with our children. The concept comes up almost every time a parent consults with me regarding issues with a child.
Parents want an ideal relationship with their children.
They do everything possible to make it happen, from the minute the child is born.
Time to ask parents:
What can your children do to make it happen?
The answer to that is very simple. No need to research or guess it.
We know it for the past 3334 years, since receiving the Ten Commandments: ‘Honor thy father and thy mother’. Simple and basic. No ‘but’s and no ‘if’s.
Evidently when G-d gave us the blueprint for living a life of values and decency, He knew that the parent-child relationship needs to be addressed precisely.
G-d, in his eternal wisdom knew that the dynamics between generations are potentially explosive. Therefore, we received a clear ‘plan of action’, guiding us not only how to deal with it, but rather how to avoid it in the first place.
Holidays have a reputation of being potentially volatile when it comes to relationships. There’s an expectation (or some kind of unwritten rule) that families getting together for several days brings out the worst… We’re wary that lots of ‘stuff’ that’s been dormant under the surface is just waiting to erupt.
Here’s the good news:
It doesn’t have to be like that.
We don’t have to expect the worst.
It could be the best of times.
We can focus on giving our parents the ‘place’ that they deserve, even if we are already parents ourselves.
We can take the opportunity to hear and learn what the ‘older’ generations have to teach us.
We can focus on the innate good in our children and see how ultimately that goodness ‘comes to the surface’.
The key is in our hands – more so, in our mindset, and in our hearts.
Enjoy the holiday, enjoy the family! Chag Sameach!
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