The Wise Child

The wise child asks, “What are the testimonies, statutes and judgments we learn through the Passover story?" We are told to discuss with that child the order and meaning of the Seder and teach them the rules of observing the holiday. The wise child is seeking connection. "Please explain to me what I am supposed to learn from this," they ask.

They are reaching out.

The wise child has trust in their community, and it’s important that we respond, validate and build that trust. On the surface, the wise child appears to be the easiest child. They are engaged, they ask the question the way we want to hear it, they listen to us speak. But we need to be mindful; we never know what’s going on under the surface and should not assume a person who is smiling is okay.

Everyone has mental health challenges to some degree, and struggles affect us all. Moreover, it’s hard to be the wise child. The drive to fit that role and be high achieving can put a lot of pressure on a child, and it doesn’t always lead to a healthy sense of self-preservation, boundary setting and a work-life balance that encourages self-care.

We live in a world that’s afraid of failure, one that translates “I failed a task” to “I am a failure.” It’s important to remember even the wisest among us is constantly learning and to teach the next generation that failure is not a tatoo but merely a bruise.

haggadah Section: -- Four Children