Written by Rorri Geller-Mohamed, LCSW
February 4, 2018
When was the last time you and your partner learned something new together?
For relationships to last over time it’s really important that you are learning and growing together. This is especially true for interfaith and multicultural relationships and families.
Because we come from different backgrounds, we often have the opportunity to learn more about our own and each other’s backgrounds together. We gain new perspectives and are able to approach challenges and conversation differently.
When kids are in the mix, this is often even more important. Being able to learn about their own multiple cultures and faiths that they are part of helps them to develop their sense of identity. Learning about other cultures and faiths also gives them the opportunity to expand their world view.
Have you had any experiences lately that allowed you and your partner or your family to learn together? What did you learn? How might you be able to incorporate more learning experiences into your life for your family? How might learning together more often improve your relationship or family?
I want to share my example of a recent opportunity I had with my family to learn together and share what we took away from it. Recently we participated in a social justice community seder for Passover put together by an interfaith group. Here are 3 of our key learning moments and how they can carry over to our family life:
1. We had the experience of seeing what a seder looks like when social justice is a focus.This helps to strengthen the values that we are teaching the kids of embracing diversity and advocating for equality and human rights. I thought it was a great way to learn how the Passover story can still be relevant today. We learned about a local organization working to protect the DREAMERs and immigrant rights.
2. We had the opportunity to experience a seder outside of my family.Although many rituals were similar to how my family traditionally does a seder there were a few differences. The opportunity to discuss questions at the table, make it relevant to what is going on in the world today, and have music are a few of the things we learned. All of these ideas are things that we can incorporate when we do a seder at home or suggest when we attend a seder at a family member’s home.
3. We learned new ways to celebrate with songs together.They had 2 people playing the guitar throughout the evening and even had the opportunity to get up and dance to one of the songs. This made it fun for us as well as the kids. Bringing in music like this made it very family-friendly. Some of these songs, I hadn’t heard since attending camp as a child and it was really cool to be able to share that experience with my family now. It introduced them to songs that I knew and brought back childhood memories that I was able to share with my husband. These are just a few examples of ways that you and your partner and family can learn together. Most of us know from experience that relationships take work because it’s finding that balance of two individuals coming together. Sustaining this over time can sometimes be tricky and why we often hear about relationships not always working out. Being able to learn together is an awesome way to maintain a happy and healthy relationship over time. So what’s next the opportunity that you can create where you and your partner and/or family can learn together?
We worry about saying the wrong thing which often keeps us silent, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to some white moms about issues of race and racism. Here’s what I took away from these conversations…
In family therapy, we are often working on how to resolve conflict, strengthen family relationships, and improve communication
It can be frustrating and hard when white people just don’t get it. How often this season have you heard white people in your life say you were being too “sensitive” or take things too “seriously” for?