100 Family Media Literacy Activities, Ages Pre-School through Teen Years
Are You a “High Hopes” Parent?
Attending to Our Children’s Attention Span
Building the Foundation for Resiliency Skills
Live and Play in Your World: Stimulus Addiction and the Growing Brain
Looking for Meaning in All the Right Places
Parenting Today: The World Has Changed, Have We?
Parenting as a Living System
Reading the Screen
Screen Time and Obesity
Screen Violence: Impact on Self as Relational Being
Teaching Children Gratefulness
Looking for Meaning in All the Right Places (cont.)
Stirring up anticipation for the light, we can wait in the darkness letting the dark bring its wisdom into our hearts. Pretending power outrages, children get into the spirit of no electricity, lighting candles, and experiencing the hidden treasures only found in a dark void. That place has been called “the fertile void” where nothing is yet formed, but everything is possible. When the light finally arrives, the children will appreciate it in new ways.
Debby points out that there are so many options for things to do during the holidays, she likes to ask, "What am I not going to do?" Take time to reflect upon your priorities and don't try to do too much. Parents who are less stressed and feeling rested will have more energy and a positive outlook to truly enjoy the season.
Ask the Children What's Important
Instead of dealing with full malls the day after Thanksgiving, our family had a meeting to discuss what was important to each person for the upcoming holidays. We ate turkey sandwiches while we prioritized and organized holiday giving, routines, and special menus. Our sons told us which traditions they definitely wanted to keep and which they felt they had outgrown and could leave behind. They often came up with new ideas to try that have lingered over the years because they were so much fun.
It can be surprising what children want to hold onto for tradition's sake. When Debby found herself in a new home around the holidays, she thought this would be a good time to shift from decorating the outside with swags to going to lights. In discussing her ideas with her children, she found out they wanted to keep the swags, like they always had—even in their new home. She feels fortunate she didn't go full-steam ahead with the lights. By talking things over with the kids she found out what was important to them.
Adjust Traditions as the Children Grow
As my sons matured, they didn't always care if we had a tree or not. What became more important when they came home from college for the winter break was good food and family outings. So some Christmas seasons we had a tree and some we didn't. This caused me to realize I like it better with a tree. The tree represents to me the ancient Tree of Life, and symbolizes vitality and transformation. Now we have a tree for that reason. So this is one tradition that has morphed from doing it for the kids into Mom's important thing!
Debby wants to make sure she takes the time to make her family's special Christmas Tree Fruitcake with her daughters. She hasn't done this before and it has become an important, anticipated activity for all. So she is planning her time so that she and the girls can have a relaxed time in the kitchen with her girls learning how to make this significant contribution to the family feast. The weeks before the holiday season can fly. By taking out our calendars and carving out the time for those special moments, we ensure beautiful memories.
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