For those of you who do not celebrate Christmas I wish you all the best of the holiday season.
I love Christmas and I hope that the article we have included with this message will help you and your kids have the best holiday ever.
In the spirit of the season, I will not be publishing a newsletter over the holidays. So it’s time for me to say Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year. After the article I have noted a few upcoming trips for the New Year. If you want to take advantage, give me a call.
Enjoying the Christmas Break
School will be closed for two glorious weeks. The kids will be at home and you are looking forward to fun family time. With our hectic lives, it’s nice to contemplate not having to get the kids to school, or extra-curricular activities.
Or, you are in a panic about how to keep the kids occupied during all these unstructured hours? Should you be looking for some planned activities to make the days run more smoothly?
Some parents are really concerned about whether the next two weeks are going to involve whiney, miserable kids looking for some way to fill the hours.
The problem is that we have become unaccustomed to actually relaxing, going with the flow and enjoying an unscheduled time to do as we wish. It should not be necessary to schedule every moment. What about a lazy morning with everyone participating in putting a brunch on the table and reading the paper?
It’s okay to do nothing, to move slowly. But, boy does it ever feel weird for us and our kids. And the only way to do it is to just let go of the schedule and relax. At first it will feel strange. You may have to actually fake it, until you make it.
The dream of quality family time can also be a challenge. The kids are busy texting and playing on-line games while you are trying to create some fun activities for the whole family.
It takes planning and listening. Parents can sit down with the kids and start to talk about the holiday time. The conversation goes something like this: I know that you will want to spend more time on-line (or with games or whatever your particular kids like) during the holidays and that is fine. Everyone should get extra time to do what they love during holiday time. So that’s part of your holiday. What else would you like to do? We would enjoy spending some time with you so let’s talk about what you would like to do that we can all do together.
Then listen, don’t judge and see what evolves. Activities such as skiing or skating, bowling or going to the local swimming pool, working out at the fitness centre, going to a movie, a special meal at a restaurant, movie night at home, board games can all be fun and involve the whole family.
Of course, the kids also want time with their technology. So, suggest some ways to get involved in their favourite media together. Can they teach you how to tweet? What about playing a video game together?
This time can become a battle ground if we don’t plan ahead and if the kids aren’t clear on the expectations.
It’s all about balance between family time and technology time and the kids will also want some time with their friends.
With some conversation and planning this really can be a glorious holiday.
A Few Things Happening with Parenting Today
For those who plan way ahead I will be in Washington state and Oregon in June 2011 and in Ontario and New England in late September and early October of 2011.
I will also be in Hawaii in the winter.
And, I’m working on a trip to Calgary Alberta in the late winter or spring. Stay tuned for more information.
If you want to take advantage of any of these trips with a Beyond Childcare presentation, parent conference or professional development workshop, give me a call.