How can you have a WHOLE family holiday? How can everyone’s needs be met? Everyone happy? Everyone well fed and relaxed? Is that even possible?
I’m introducing a concept of an ALL IN holiday celebration time. It starts with you, it starts with the person whose eyes have landed on this page. The concept of “making a child happy” is one I would like to explore.
Let’s start here. NO one can make anyone anything. Literally, if someone is making an angry face, no one can change their face. I can see how this can seem true, but as parents, you actually “train” your child to be certain ways based on your behaviors.
If you say “it’s raining” with a somber tone, your child learns rain means, sad, or something low energy. If you live in the Middle East and it rains, it would be more like “it’s raining!!!” with joy and enthusiasm.
As women, we love control. When everyone and everything is “out of control” we actually have the power to pull in our energy and gain control, of ourselves. This is key with children. If your holidays are with 10 people, 3 or 40, your energy and your disposition matters. Self care is critical at this time. It’s different. It’s different than the way you were raised, so it’s simple but not easy.
What I’m talking about is, taking care of yourself before taking care of your family. This does not mean to ignore them, or put them off completely. Baby steps, integration. Here’s the big secret, you are in complete control, they will adjust. They will learn how to take care of themselves by watching you take care of yourself.
I invite you to release yourself of being a servant, a martyr. If you are constantly serving your children, especially if they are under 8 years old, you are showing them the role they will play as they get older. I’m inviting you to witness your actions and behaviors, and to check in and see if they are a choice or an obligation or habit, and are they serving you?
I imagine a holiday where your whole self matters, all your requests and desires come from a place of receptivity, not doing and going and getting sh*t done. Imagine a “wholy holiday? What could that look like for you?
- Would there be more creativity?
- Would there be more music and dancing?
- Could you include more unstructured activities?
- Would there be more chill time?
- More family games?
It might mean you say, “no thank you” to some invites, it might mean you do things different that you had growing up, it might mean that new challenges arise. Here is the good news, the impact of your choices create shifts for the next generation, your children.
Have a beautiful holiday season,
Shane B. Kulman, MS SpEd