Pre-Pesach Parenting Perks #2

I recently met a neighbor and shared some light conversation i.e. small talk with her.  Not surprisingly the conversation turned to Pesach… This time of year, whether the conversation is light or heavy, the topic of Pesach inevitably comes up.  At a certain point she commented “You seem so ‘chilled out’”… This comment got me thinking.  How is it that the norm is to be in a state of panic and being ‘chilled out’ is noteworthy, even a rarity…

Right, Pesach is a major project with substantial mental and physical preparations.  I can’t deny that I, too, exert a substantial amount of effort as Pesach approaches.

But why all the hype??  Why are we stormed with endless advice on:

1. How to be calm (pre-Pesach is panic time…).

2. How to be organized (you’re a mess…).

3. How to get your kids to cooperate (they would just rather play all day…).

  • Is it really necessary for us to have low expectations regarding ourselves and our kids?
  • Are Pesach and panic forever linked just because they begin with the same letter?
  • Can we see things differently?

1. Being calm: Being calm is nice but life is dynamic.  Erev Pesach even more so… You may ‘lose it’. Most likely that’s not what you set out to do when you started out in the morning.  It doesn’t make you a ‘bad’ or dysfunctional parent.  You’re human.  Your child can handle someone being displeased with him/her.  In the course of a lifetime they will undoubtedly meet up with people who are disgruntled with them.  Better to get practice with someone who loves them unconditionally as you do.  You might also consider that odds are that he/she had a fair share in causing you to ‘lose it’.  It doesn’t mean you’re not a good parent, it means that you’re human.  Let it go.

2. Being organized: Organizational skills are wonderful.  They ultimately save you lots of energy. Some of us have it naturally, some work at acquiring it.  What’s considered organized in one household may not necessarily work in another.  The important thing is to avoid wasting energy.  Let it go. 

This leads us to one of the biggest ‘energy wasters’ pre Pesach and all year round: arguing, convincing and negotiating with our kids.

3. If you want to be ‘energy efficient’ especially (but not only) on erev Pesach, best to simply tell your kids what you want one time, and just expect/believe it will happen.  There is proven scientific evidence that saying things a thousand times  is NOT more effective than one time.  You probably noticed that already!  Save your energy, expect more from them and let it go.  

Feel free to take the components of the previous sentence in any order that works for you.  

Don’t be surprised when they live up to higher expectations.  Deep down you know they can.

Good Luck!

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