Lessons of the Four Sons

The Four Sons/Children

Every child learns in a different way. We all have our own approach, identity, and way in which we learn. Cookie cutter approaches don’t work in raising children or in education.

The four sons at the seder show us that each child needs to be approached in a way that is best for them. There’s a lot of talk in life about the “right way” to be; the “right” clothes, the “right schools” to go to, even the “right way” to help people.
What makes something the “right” thing? Is it really the only “right” way or is it about our needs for perfection, our worries about how we are perceived by others, and a fear that if we don’t do everything “right” that we are failures?

I remember when I was talking to a friend and expressing my fear that one of my sons wasn’t doing the “right” thing, the conventional thing. She said to me, “Gary, you’ve never done anything conventional in your life. Why do you expect your children to?” It was at that moment that I realized that I was worried about how my son appeared to others instead of embracing his individuality and identity.

The haggadah is teaching us that it doesn’t have to be one size fits all. There isn’t one correct approach. What works for one person may not work as well for someone else.

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