Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around – Leo F. Buscaglia
The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can often times leave our children feeling a little, er, neglected. Sure, there is a lots to do but shopping, sending out cards, wrapping presents, and meal planning can be put on hold without completely ruining the holiday season. Failing to connect with your children will however complicate the holiday season.
I thought that I would provide you with a few suggestions on how to connect with your children during this busy, stressful season. Carving out a few minutes here and there each day will do wonders to uplift your child and remind him or her that mama loves and cares about them. Family is what the holidays are all about after all!
- Clear an entire day to spend together as a family doing child-centric activities. No chores, no television, no computer, no “routine” activities, and especially no holiday related fanfare. Make this a day about celebrating your children!
- Let your child “help” you do a certain task or chore that you normally would not let them participate in. You can also ask them to help you with holiday preparations or decorating.
- Do an art project with your child. Get messy yourself.
- Laugh and smile at your child for no reason other than to make him or her feel good.
- Make your child's favorite foods all day long.
- Do an “extra” for your child. This could be reading an extra story, having a few extra minutes outside, singing an extra lullaby…the extras are endless!
- Give lots of extra cuddles.
- Learn and then act out a short finger play for your child.
- Fill up a drawer or a box with fun little household items and let your child throw everything about as he or she explores this new treasure trove.
- Go for a walk at your child's pace.
- Let your child play with that toy that really annoys you as much as he or she wants.
- Really take the time to listen to what your child is saying to you (even if it is baby babble!)
- Refrain from having negative reactions to your child's undesirable behavior.
- When you become irritated with your child, pause for a moment, collect yourself, and instead of showing that irritation to your child, grab them and give them a huge hug and tell them that your love them!
- Take a nap or simply rest with your child.
- Do an activity withy your child that he or she has been asking to do for a long time.
- Make your child something. It can be anything but make it age appropriate. Heartfelt gifts made with your own hands are always the most treasured.
- Play a game with your child.
- Make up a song with your child and then have a concert.
- Stop whatever you are doing and be with your child for no specific reason other than just connecting with them.
- Don't tell your child that you are busy and that you will be with him or her when you are done. Be with them at that precise moment that they need/want you.
- Be a horse and give your child rides on your back.
- Engage your child in a game of chase or tag.
- Make a promise and keep it!
- Get outside with your child more than you normally would, even if the weather is less than desirable.
- Make a special batch of holiday cookies for your child to decorate as they see fit.
- Turn your child lose with a couple of boxes, some tape, and wrapping paper and watch the joy it brings!
- Do the “elf dance” to Christmas songs. What is the elf dance you ask? It is whatever you make it.
I hope that these suggestions inspire you to connect with your child during this busy season. Just last week, I laid in the grass at the park and let Tiny jump all over me. I have NEVER seen her more thrilled or heard her laugh so hard. This is definitely something that I would not normally do but the happiness this small (yet slightly uncomfortable) action produced was well worth it!