’Tis the Season for Family Rituals
Using Family Holiday Season Rituals to Find Holiday Joy!
Slow Down and Enjoy
Children and spouses will both appreciate slowness and calmness to holidays. Maybe you don’t drive 800 milies to be with family for 24 hours–maybe you stay home this year. Or perhaps you have the meal catered or have guests each bring a dish. Possibly you put a limit on the # of gifts to purchase.
Please stop overspending at Christmas as it does not bring your children more happiness–instead it makes them have an attitude of “entitlement” (which used to be called spoiled brat!). I recently was talking with a 12 year old boy who had got a ticket and had his four-wheeler impounded due to driving it on the city streets. The ticket and fee to get the four-wheeler back was about $600. I asked him how he was going to take care of that–he snorted and said his Dad would pay for it. No remorse.. in fact, he said he liked his dad working long hours so he can get more things. If you met this boy, you would learn he is a good student, an accomplished athlete and has manners. Yet this attitude of “I deserve things and the more things I get, the cooler I am” will not serve him well in life.
Talk, Play, and Relax
Your children want more time with you to talk, play or just relax. Think of rituals from your childhood that you enjoyed and add to your family time. Or maybe you make some new ones up. Simple things are what I remember such as helping Daddy string the outdoor lights, going to midnight church service on Christmas Eve and helping Mother bake cookies. I recall one grandfather always liked to shake his presents under the tree and would invite me to join him. I remember special foods that were always prepared by my grandmothers.
Take photos at holiday time–or maybe give your child a camera and let him or her become the family historian. Relax… breathe… have fun… add some special rituals that your children will take to their families some day!
The guide for parents/educators on how to peer-proof children and teens is Peer Pressure Reversal: An Adult Guide to Developing a Responsible Child, 2nd Ed.
Her popular book for teens, How to Say No and Keep Your Friends, 2nd Ed., empowers kids to stand out,not just fit in!
A follow-up book for teens, When to Say Yes! And Make More Friends, shows adolescents how to select and meet quality friends and, in general, feel good for doing and being good.
Sharon also has a charming series of five books for elementary-age children each teaching an important living skill and "co-authored" with her savvy cocker spaniel Nicholas who makes the learning fun.Their book on managing elementary-age peer pressure is titled Too Smart for Trouble.