5 tips for enjoyable holiday time
Only a few days left, and the kids will be home for the break. How long will it be until some adult in your house is nagging at kids to get off of technology or help with the housework? How loudly does one have to yell to get the teen out of bed at 11 am and then back into bed at 11 pm?
This is our last post of 2016 – and we’re asking you, What’s it all about?
It’s time to get clear with yourself and with your kids about the expectations over the break. What’s allowed? What’s not? It really is that simple. Once you have it figured out, you can clearly explain it to the kids and hold them accountable.
Do we have to entertain them?
No. Your kids are home. It’s definitely important that you spend some time with them, but it is not your job to entertain them every moment of the day. Boredom is good! So is contributing to the family. So is reading, playing, drawing, piano, cards, games, gift-wrapping, etc.
Do we have to have a plan?
But it’s the holidays – it is all about not having a plan! (whine)
You know that somewhere in your head, you have a plan…even if it is a plan to not have much of a plan. You know when you are going to eat, when you want to sleep, when you want to do things as a family and when you want to be on your own. It’s only fair that your kids know that too.
Imagine how you would feel if you had just settled in with a great book or movie and your spouse walked in the door and said to you,
“Hurry up! Get dressed in your good clothes! We’ve got to get to the Harrison’s Christmas Party in 10 minutes and it is freezing out there!”
We know how we would feel,
“No way man! I’m in my jammies and I’m done for the night! Have a great time!”
This is why a plan is essential. Get out the calendar (or print one off) and go through it with your kids. When do Grandma and Grandpa arrive? Who is making the bed before they come? When is the baking happening? Who is on floor cleaning duty? Who is setting the table? When are we going skating? How much screen time is allowed each day? Do we have to share our presents the very first day that we open them? When does everyone have to be out of bed each day? When does everyone have to be in bed each day?
Mark it clearly so they can see what is going on.
Spending time with the kids
Get clear on when you will be spending full-focus time with the kids. Put the devices down. You don’t have to be playing. You could be folding laundry, or baking, or reading or whatever you like. Spend time with them, and then let them know that you’ll be doing some things on your own and that you expect them to do the same.
When you say that you are going to be spending time with kids and then you answer the phone or an email, or a text or any social media, you are encouraging your kids to misbehave in order to get your attention.
Just to be clear: YOU are teaching your kids to misbehave.
Set clear expectations
If you find yourself yelling at your kids over the next couple of weeks, get clear with yourself. Figure out what you expected and then clearly explain it along with the consequences for not following through.No one’s perfect.
This week, ask yourself these questions:
Do you and your kids know what is expected over the holidays around
When will you spend time with your kids each day?
When will you expect them to spend time independently?
We are taking time with our families from through the holidays. We hope that you get to relive many wonderful traditions and make new memories as the year winds down. We wish you an exciting new year, filled with growth and connection!