The holidays are fast approaching and “to-do” lists are reaching new lengths. During the busiest time of the year, it becomes even more important to take a deep breath and a step back.
Think about what is most important to you. Is it conserving time, making memories or getting your child the new “it” toy?
Ask your children what they really want. Most toddlers are in the “me, here and right now” stage. However, most preschoolers and up have realized the difference between “need” and “want.” Differentiating between needs and wants can be difficult for adults, too. After all, advertisers are paid to make us think we need what they are selling. When watching TV with your family, keep the remote handy to pause commercials when they come on. Ask your child what they think the benefits or the negatives would be from getting the item. Ask what they think the item costs and be sure to share the actual cost of the item if their prediction is off.
When running holiday errands, plan your list and stick to it. Plan a time to shop and make sure that includes someone to watch your children for you. When you are out shopping with the kids, acknowledge and restate their demand, empathize, then firmly redirect or distract your child’s attention.
If you don’t have family meetings, consider starting them. Family meetings are a great time to talk and share about what you enjoy, don’t enjoy. During the Holiday season, ask your family members what they really want to do or what they’re looking forward to the most. Continue to build your families traditions, which may mean changing some of your old ones. Instead of focusing on all the “I wants” on the lists, slow everything down and focus on a reasonable amount of requests. Be creative, there are usually ways to meet each of the requests if you take time to think it out – and that doesn’t mean running to the store to meet the demand.
Before bundling up the wee ones and dragging them on errands, think about what it is that you want your kids to remember after the holidays.
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