Parenting During the Holidays

Parenting During the Holidays

As we enter the holiday season, we are reminded of the importance of hope, empathy and gratitude. As parents, we have an opportunity to shape this event for our children, ensuring they look back and identify gains more than losses.

 

Talk About it

Having ongoing conversations with your children are important no matter the time. During this holiday season, take time to talk with your children about what the holidays will look like this year. If you maintain a positive, festive and calm demeanor, your kids will pick up on that and do the same.

During the conversation, you can set expectations for holiday activities and focus on what can be done instead of what can’t. Here are some conversation starters/statements you can use:

  • "What can we do to make this year special?"
  • "When I'm sad, it can help me to…"
  • "You know what we can finally do this year?"
  • "Let's think of one way our family is lucky this year."
  • "Let's make a list of things we'll do when we can."
  • "I know it's frustrating that we can't…"

Create New Traditions

Ask your kids what their favorite holiday traditions are and discuss new ways to do them if they are no longer considered safe during the pandemic. Remind your kids that traditions started because one person did something once, and this can be the year to create new traditions. Not just for this year, but for years to come.

  • Hold a pajama game night
  • Take an evening for a Christmas movie marathon
  • Make your own ugly Christmas sweater
  • Make homemade holiday decorations

Stay Connected

We know that strong, supportive relationships help us manage all kinds of challenges. So, we can view the holidays as a time to reconnect with the positive people in our lives. Accepting help and support from those who care about us can help alleviate stress. Here are some ideas:

  • Have a White Elephant/Secret Santa party.
  • Have a holiday dinner together by cooking the same meals and enjoying them together.
  • Write and decorate Christmas cards to send to family and friends

Shift Our Focus From Ourselves To Others

When things aren’t going as planned, it is easy to get stuck in feeling sorry for ourselves. Take some time to think about others in your family and community. Visit with your kids and identify ways to give back.

  • Bake some cookies and drop them off at your neighbor’s.
  • Go through your closets and donate clothes and toys.
  • Make a homemade gift and send to a friend or family member