Many children experience Christmas as a time to create lists of all the material goods they think they need – it is our job as parents to protect them and teach them the deeper meaning of Christmas also. Help them to learn that it can be more rewarding to give than to receive sometimes. Help them to enjoy the Holidays with the family – spending time together, taking time out from devices – spending time in thier real worlds rather than their virtual worlds.
How? Here are a few ideas:
. Making Family Traditions is so important – it is what will bring your teenagers home, your young adults back from abroad. Family is always No. 1. It can be so hard being parents, trying to get it all right – there is no such thing. We can only do our best, but remembering that it is the small stuff that really matters is so important in this fast pacing world we are living in and they are growing up in. Curtail devices (for everyone) as often as possible – family meals, Christmas movies, family visits etc. Yes there will no doubt be an anguement but it is an arguement you must win. Take the time to plan movies, walks, visits, cooking, playing board games – it really is worth it.
. Give them a little extra pocket money and make a ‘charity jar’ in your home. Let them decide what charity they would like to give the money to, it can be a tradition every year to give their savings to the chosen charity.
. Let him experience how good generosity feels – buy an extra can of whatever he wants in the supermarket and he can give it to the charity that are usually collecting non perishable items at this time of year.
. Have meaningful fun together – work together as a family to make cakes or cookies – take them to your local old peoples home, homeless shelter, penny dinners….
. Make a Santa’s Workshop – go through the house together looking for anything you no longer use that could be cleaned up or repaired and donated. Create a ‘give-away box’ to pass on to kids who need them. (Don’t force them to give, it needs to be their choice or it will backfire)
. Have your kids write a little thank you note to people who make a difference in their lives – a grandparent, coach, teacher, cousin, neighbor…and deliver them together.
. Light a candle together on Christmas Eve to remember everyone you love, they may be still with you or they may have passed on but remembering is so special. Celebrate with a glass of champagne (non alcoholic now available for little ones) – this can be a wonderful tradition every year. (Family Kris Kringle can be great fun and not expensive.)
. Take time to watch family Christmas movies ‘together’ – with all the extra treats allowed at this time of year but with all devices off (parents and kids)
We have a very special job to ensure our children have wonderful memories, traditions and values – especially at Christmas Time. Try to take the time to make them happen – you are the only ones that really matter!