By Paige Trevor, Parenting Coach
As we enter the crazy season of holidays, vacations, and resolutions, I’ve been thinking about how our parenting skills can get out of whack and take a beating during this time. Below is a list of holiday and New Year’s resolutions to ponder.
I resolve to live by “The Less is More” motto. Less is more toys—let’s just start there. This is the season of gift giving. Let’s all be mindful that the junk we buy our family and friends becomes the junk we have to nag our kids to pick up. The less you have in your house, the less you have to pick up. Remember that most kids’ favorite game is to fight with their siblings as close to a parent as possible. No Legos needed for that game to work.
I resolve to have realistic expectations. If you have little kids and you travel on vacation, don’t expect much sleep. If you have kids and it’s a holiday, expect runny noses, sore throats, and headaches. If you have kids and you go to holiday party, expect sugar highs and bedtime lows. If you have tweens expect that the sweater, phone, or book you bought them is completely dorky and for losers. If you have teens expect them to either be out with their friends or asleep. If you have family traditions with tweens and teens expect eye rolls and groans and sarcasm. Keep doing the tradition, but expect the pushback. Expect these things and you will have an easier time dealing with them.
I resolve to take care of myself. Nag yourself to make your own bed, clean your own room, go outside for some fresh air, find a play date, take a nap, eat something healthy, practice your musical instrument, read a book. You’ll be glad you did.
I resolve to be grateful. We live in a culture where there is never enough. Never enough money, never a good enough education, never a clean enough house, never a healthy enough meal. We live with an attitude of scarcity. Let’s buck the system and resolve to be grateful for what we have. Let’s live with an attitude of gratitude. We don’t have to “Keep Up with the Kardashians.” Let’s just be grateful that we are so fortunate to live in a close-knit, beautiful, and diverse community.
I resolve to volunteer. The best way to get that attitude of gratitude is to volunteer your time and services. St. Luke’s Shelter is a great place to pitch in. You don’t even have to get that formal; shovel a neighbor’s walk, have your child decorate a homemade card for your neighbor’s birthday, take a dish to the folks down the street with new twins, pick up some trash in front of the bus stop. There’s always a way to pitch in, and it always makes you feel better.
In Conclusion. The holidays are part magic and part drudgery, part delight, and part exhausting. Resolve to abide by one or two of these resolutions and see if you can glide through the season with more grace and gratitude.