The holidays are characterized as a time for family, fun, and festivities, but rarely do we combine all three. Often times we fail to enjoy the holidays with our families due to travel, busy schedules, and other holiday stressors. Instead of merely "getting through" the holidays, wouldn't it be nice to actually enjoy them? Here are some helpful tips for enjoying your family during the holidays.
This is when you as a parent set aside 15-30 minutes of your day to march to the beat of your child's drummer. You follow his lead. Depending on the age of the child, you may actually get on the floor with him and play. You follow his direction in the play with minimal discipline, redirection, or correction. If the child wants you to play the bad guy, you play the bad guy! If the young daughter wants the father to join in imaginary tea, you put on your Sunday best! This shows the children that you are open and accepting of who they are. During play, children explore their world and their emotions and having a loving parent in close proximity will help them grow and help you see them for the unique people that they are.
If your child is older you may have to adjust the principle of "floor time", but the main idea remains the same. You follow your child's lead. Sitting and watching TV or movies is not preferable, but if it is all you can get from them let them choose the show and have them explain to you what is going on. If they have other interests join them in that. If they angrily tell you that they don't want you around them, ask them to share why in a calm and accepting manner and explain why you want to spend time with them. It may hurt to hear these things from your children, but at least they are opening up to you and this may lead to an open and honest conversation. Always remember to try to discipline behavior and not emotions. Hearing these things from your child may help you become a better parent in the end.