Thursday, August 31, 2017

Does the Eid Sacrifice Traumatise Children?

A question often asked at the time of Eid al-Kebir - is it traumatic for the children to attend the sacrifice ceremony? The issue was raised in an interesting article posted by the Huffington Post who sort an answer from Dr Rim Roudies, a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist, who works in the child psychiatry unit at the Arrazi hospital
Photograph of  sheep on Mt Zalagh by Jearld F Moldenhauer

For most children, attending the Eid al-Adha ceremony does not generate any trauma or emotional shock. However, it is essential to manage the sensitivities of some very young, very sensitive or anxious children, for whom the slaughter of the sheep can be traumatic because of the response they may have of it, such as disgusted or fear.

On the other hand, some children can attach themselves to the animal and tame the sheep as a pet, so they have difficulty separating from it and feel a real sadness. Whatever the circumstances, parents should discuss it with their children and rectify certain notions that they could have about the act. This could prevent children from aversion and refuse to eat sheep meat sometimes for life.

In an anticipatory way parents can explain the symbolism of the gesture to the children, according to what they can assimilate according to their age, and to highlight the spirituality of the Eid, notably by telling them the history of the sacrifice or by illustrating it. It is essential not to force a child who refuses to attend the slaughter of the sheep. It should be noted that children have very different degrees of tolerance. Therefore, it is important not to rush them. If they take part in the festivities of their own free will, they are allowed to take part. If not, let them have the freedom to abstain.


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