Letting go of the vision that we have in our head is never particularly easy. After all, we often have a grand plan of how things should be and look, what people should say and do, how life should look. This is never more apparent than around Christmas time. The stress and expectations can be overwhelming at times.
This holiday season is the perfect opportunity to practice loving our kid’s boldly. Inviting children to be a part of the Christmas plans helps to empower them to take an active role in the family, church and school. It helps them to feel that they are valued and heard. Allowing your kids to have a voice – and for us to listen really listen to their questions and ideas– can help to build the foundation of confidant, expressive people and lifelong faith.
Easier said than done? True. Christmas plans can bring out the control freak in all of us. But making a shift in our attitude, being more flexible, letting go of the perfectly tidy and embracing the slightly messy (ok probably really messy) is a way of loving our kids boldly.
The reality is that most kids have an opinion and are so excited when they are asked to share it. Think about these tips when on loving boldly and have some honest conversations with your kids this Christmas:
- Let go of your agenda
- Love first
- Be ok with messy
- Really listen (don’t listen while mentally creating a response)
- Follow through with promises
6 easy ways for you kids to participate in Christmas
- Let them choose their favourite dish or dessert- they can help or you can do on your own
- Invite them to create holiday decor, name plates, centre pieces or place settings
- Encourage them participate using their gifts, be it at church or at home. Get them to sing and item, create artwork, whatever it is that they are good at.
- If you’re having guests over or joining at another home, make a little thank-you gift for your guests or the hostess.
- Let them come up with/help choose a way that you can serve the community you live in or church you attend at Christmas
- At the Christmas table, be sure to invite them to have a voice, be a part of the conversation or say a prayer.
Christmas conversation starters:
The twelve ideas of Advent:
You’re probably familiar with the classic Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” In it, a true love gives a gift every day for 12 days-from a partridge in a pear tree on the first day to 12 drummers drumming on the very last. In the spirit of that song, we’re giving you 12 amazing ideas you can use or share with families to help them prepare their hearts for Christmas. Click here for the 12 ideas.
Create a new tradition for Christmas with the Kindness Elves, an alternative to the popular Elf on the Shelf idea, and place the focus instead on positive, character-building activities for kids. Teaching love, kindness and gratitude with a hope to raise kids who move away from the “entitlement” attitude which pervades our modern generation. Click here to read about the tradition or here for 25 more kindness elves ideas.
>>This blog was adapted from Lifetree Family. Real Bold Love and Fearless Conversation for Parents. Growing Together Newsletter. November 24, 2014