The holidays are upon us and for many that means activities are in full swing. This is also the season for gift giving. Kids are excited and making their wish lists, but what happens when their gifts are unattainable? Santa may not have that in the budget this year, or mom and dad can’t find that sold out game anywhere?! The look of disappointment on your child’s face maybe difficult to handle, but then we must remember the true reason for the holidays– Hint: you can’t buy it in any store. The holidays are intended to celebrate Peace, Joy, and, Love. Over the years we have fooled ourselves in thinking that in order to achieve those qualities; we absolutely must have the best of material items- gadgets and gizmos of plenty. Unfortunately, this mentality has also reached our children.
We learn this lie from advertising, marketing, department stores, malls, and this list goes on. But I always say that the truth will set you free, so instead I’m going to help you cultivate Peace, Love, and Joy in your life and family. The secret is to focus all of your energy on Gratitude! Here are some tips to help your kids refocus this Holiday season.
- Name your blessings.
Have a moment of thanks each day when everyone shares something they’re thankful for. Whether the list includes a favorite toy, a particularly good piano lesson or a birthday card from Nana, this daily tradition can help develop a positive frame of mind.
- Be a grateful parent.
What an invaluable exercise it is to tell our kids why we’re grateful to have them! It goes without saying that we love our kids, and that we’re thankful beyond words for their love, their smiles, their hugs and so much more. When we tell them what makes them special to us, their self-esteem is boosted for the right reasons (not because they have the latest smartphone or because they’re dressed fashionably). Plus, our example shows them that gratitude extends well beyond material things.
- Have them pitch in when they want something.
If your kids get an allowance or earn money at a job, have them participate in buying some of the things they want. When kids themselves take the time to save up, they have an ownership in the purchase and gain an understanding of the value by working toward what they want. It also teaches patience and encourages kids to appreciate what they have, as well as giving them a more realistic perspective on what you and others do for them.
- Have them write Thank-You Notes.
This is a great way to teach your children to show appreciation and acknowledgement for the gifts that they have been given. I heard that even Santa loves Thank-You notes! For the younger children you can dictate what they say on a card and have them draw a picture.
Put more emphasis on celebrating — making cookies, attending church, decorating the tree, lighting the menorah, visiting relatives.
Have a very Merry and Grateful Holiday Season!
If your child has a difficult time adopting the gratitude attitude then we have wonderful counselors who work with children to help cultivate Peace, Joy, and Love all year around. Give our office a call for a free consultation. 407-355-7378