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4 year old said he "hates being Jewish"!


Forum: Jewish Parenting

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  #1  
December 16th, 2006, 03:30 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 778
Although we live in an area with a lot of Jews, my 4 year old son is having a hard time accepting that we don't get a christmas tree and won't celebrate Christmas. I explained to him that we are Jewish and we will celebrate Chanukah, and then he looked at me and said, "Mommy, i hate being Jewish."

So my husband and i told him we understood why he might feel like that but that Jewish people don't celebrate Christmas.

I have memories of feeling like that as a child too, although I grew up in a community where there were very few Jews. I think it's hard for kids that age to understand when there's so much hype around Christmas.

We are doing a lot of celebrations for Chanukah this year, so I hope that will get him excited.

Now he's calling Jews "Chanukah people" and Christians "Christmas people"
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  #3  
December 16th, 2006, 08:21 AM
Llamamama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Salem, MA
Posts: 4,090
We celebrate both .. and Alex is too young to know what either are.. BUT

I can tell you that I remember feeling that way as a child. I also pretty much rejected my Judaism for most of my life until probably about 10 years ago when I finally realized how special it was to be part of this great religion.

He will come to understand, it sounds like you are handling it well with your explainations, but he's a kid and sees Christmas all around him. I think this is a normal process we go through as Jewish parents.
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  #4  
December 16th, 2006, 12:35 PM
rachna's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 26,485
I think it is really normal for him to express that and can you blame him? Christmas is so integrated into american culture, they even celebrate it in the schools! (dont get me started on my feelings on christmas beingcelebrated in public schools). Kids just want to fit in and not feel left out. and our children are left out of something that seems really cool

I remember benig a kid and not really understanding why we dont celebrate it, and wanting too.

I am positive that in about 4 years or less Jesse will say something similar.

I think you are handling it well! I think for Jesse we will make sure he knows that Christmas is not about gifts and santa worship and that we do not believe in the religious aspects of christmas so we do not celebrate it.

and point out how cool it is that we get gifts and celebration for 8 days!
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  #5  
December 16th, 2006, 07:50 PM
Mom2DavidandAaron's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mexico City
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Hugs!!! You know, this time of year is very hard on us Jewish parents. You're not alone in this.
Why don't you try showing her how "cool" Hanukkah really is? There's a tradition of getting children a small present every single day, that's 7 more presents than any Christian child! You can play dreidl with chocolate coins, eat latjes with whatever topping you feel like.
I dont' know if you have family or firends near by, but in my family, each year we have a Hanukkah party with all my cousins and their kids (this year it was at my house), the adults have a gift exchange and we all get presents for the children, they get to stay up late, eat whatever the ywish, etc. They love it. I don't think any of my cousins will change that Hanukkah party for all the X-mas trees in the world.
Now, my parents had this huge wooden menorah that my dad made. It's electric and they used to put lights on it and decorate it. Personally, that was to X-masy for my taste, but if it helps your dd see the beauty and fun of Hanukkah, you can try it.

Sharon
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  #6  
December 17th, 2006, 12:01 PM
mom@20's Avatar Veteran
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Location: New York
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I hope its not to hard on him and . I don't really have anything to add, e/o had really nice ideas.
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  #7  
December 17th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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Location: Philadelphia
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Well, we're off to a great start. We had the best family Chanukah party this weekend and jeremy is really excited! We have a week filled with get-togethers and small parties. hopefully he won't feel like he's missing out on Christmas--plus we're going to mmake a tradition of going to Chinatown on Christmas day--which he thinks is pretty cool.
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  #8  
December 17th, 2006, 12:07 PM
mom@20's Avatar Veteran
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Location: New York
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Thats so great! It sounds like your doing a great job helping him like being Jewish!!
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