As a parent, you shape how your children will remember Christmas. Will it be a time for hosting friends and throwing lavish parties? Will it be a family-only affair? Are there certain movies you’ll always watch? Activities that you’ll always do, and food you’ll always eat?
Before you answer those questions, you might want to examine what will make the holidays brighter for youngsters. Pick and choose from this list and include your own ideas for new traditions to give your kids the best holiday ever!
Make ornaments every year
You can obviously go the macaroni or construction paper route, but it’s also fun to have kids do a more lasting ornament. Buy clear bulbs, or simply bleach out the insides of a colored bulb that you no longer have a set for. Give kids their choice of photos of them from the year to put inside the ornament and let them pick ribbon colors. Roll up the photo, insert it inside the bulb with tweezers and then let it unfold naturally. Add a curled ribbon behind the photo to hold it upright. You’ll have a matching set of ornaments that will hold great memories.
Decorate the tree
So many families miss out on decorating the tree together. If your family tends to get frustrated at certain aspects, simply remove those obstacles. Fans of not having to string lights can look into pre-lit models, and those who hate the trek in the cold to find a tree can get an artificial Christmas tree. Let kids take turns picking out ornaments, and make sure they don’t try to put any glass ornaments too high above their heads!
Go on a Christmas lights tour
Your neighbors work hard to decorate their yards — it’s time to take an evening to appreciate that! Make hot chocolate in thermoses and pile in the car to get a sample of the local Christmas creativity. End the evening by driving to the center of town, or wherever the best lights in your area are. Kids will love listening to holiday music and pointing out the best lights.
Have a traditional dinner
Dinner is always too rushed. This year, set your family down for one nice meal where no one texts during the meal. Use the fancy china (you or your partner can serve the meal if you’re worried about the nice dishes!), and teach the kids which forks to use. The evening can be multicourse and have a dessert at the end, or you can just make your usual favorites and put it in a flashier package. Either way will be special!
Help the community
Teach kids the meaning of the season, whether it’s about love or a religious aspect. Your family can work in a soup kitchen or food pantry in the weeks before Christmas, or plan a visit to a nursing home to cheer up lonely residents. You can also participate in an “Adopt a Family” campaign, and assign one of your children the job of picking out and wrapping a child in need’s gift. This will help them learn the importance of giving and make them appreciate what they have. You can find a family to donate to through local organizations or your local United Way.
This holiday can stand out from the others, or begin a series of new traditions, with a little prep work. Make this holiday special for the kids and learn to enjoy it more yourself by picking activities that will be fun for your whole family.
Responsibility is something which we give to our children gradually and in accordance with their age. Giving them too little or too much is counterproductive. The nature of task should take into consideration the physical, mental, and emotional capacity of children.
Protective actions carried out by parents to their children are normal and necessary. However, there are times that parents tend to overdo it, sometimes unknowingly hurting their children in the process. Here are three possible areas in which parents should consider backing out a little to provide their children more space to decide their fate.
Protecting Children from the Consequences of Their Actions All the Time
The key words here are “all the time”. It is a natural reflex on the part of the parents to protect their children from painful consequences such as hurt feelings, physical injury, and facing punishment. If parents do this all the time, they are depriving their children of important opportunities for learning.
Of course, there is no doubt for the necessity of intervention for potentially life-threatening situations. Otherwise, parents should allow their children to discover the natural course of life, taking into consideration their ages. Shielding them from reality can be detrimental to their attainment of maturity.
Deciding Everything for the Children
At the start of life up until such time that a child attains a certain degree of physical and mental independence, parents are expected to decide everything for their children. As the child grows up however, parents should start releasing their full hold on their children and listening to their preferences becomes part of responsible parenting.
Deciding on such seemingly trivial matters such as what to wear or more important matters like choosing friends is something a child would like to have more freedom of as he or she grows up. Slowly attaining independence is a natural phase of growing up and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. It would be best for parents to opt for a happy compromise where both sides are able to accept agreed upon house rules rather than dictating on their children.
Doing Everything for the Children
Some parents are under the belief that they are the best parents if they make everything easy for their children. Not giving children any form of responsibility even if they can realistically be delegated some for their own good is counterproductive. Just imagine how children accustomed to doing nothing for themselves would fare in the outside world.
They would be practically helpless, unable to do anything without the assistance of other people. We all know that this is not always possible especially in the very hurried world we live in. Allowing children to exert effort on their own is part of raising up responsible kids.
Because of the love we have for our children, we parents sometimes forget that overprotecting is not the same as protecting them.
Working parents have a constant and recurring need to hire baby sitters. Even stay-at-home moms will also encounter instances where they will need to get the services of one. Before I became a full-time stay-at-home mother myself, I had considerable experience with baby sitters and not all of them were good. Knowing these, here are my suggestions to parents before they leave their child/children with a baby sitter.
Adults are wont to believe that babies are not able to detect or determine if they are revealing their true emotions or not. Recent studies revealed that infants as young as 18 months old can actually tell whether an adult is not responding accordingly to a given situation. In simple terms, infants know when adults are bluffing or lying!
There is a need to raise eco-conscious children if we are to talk about any future for our world. However, the burden of training them towards the green way falls on the parents. Parents cannot preach on green living while they themselves are not doing it. How then can we raise children who will treat the environment with love and care?
If there’s one thing that babies do — aside from sleeping and pooping, of course — it’s cry. Babies have to cry in order to communicate, and it’s their go-to activity when they need to tell you they’re hungry, tired, in need of a diaper change, or just want to be held.
But sometimes, a baby cries more than normal. There are many reasons why babies cry, and understanding them will help you to know if there’s something wrong with your little one … or he or she just wants Mommy time. More »
A swing set is a great addition to any backyard. It provides hours of entertainment for energy-filled kids and gets them away from the TV for a while. The best part — if you’re into DIY projects — is that you can build it yourself.
But how do you make sure that when you build it, it will last until your kids are grown — or even until your grandkids can have their turn spending quality time outdoors?
First, you’ll need to figure out the size of your swing set — not just how tall it will be, but how much space it will take up in your yard, how much room you’ll have between the swings, etc. If the ground is particularly tough, putting a sandbox around the swing set can provide a softer landing for the kids.
Next, you’ll need to gather materials and tools. Supplies include the following: More »
Not every child will perform in the same level as any other student in school. It is an accepted fact that each child will perform according to his or personal capabilities, opportunities, and circumstances. It is not really all about whether a child in inherently “intelligent” or otherwise but more so about the encouragement and support given to him or her that will help in maximizing potentials.
Parents always have a big role to play in every aspect of their children’s life. Education is not an exception. It is in fact one of the most crucial areas where parental support is largely needed. How can this be done? More »
Parents are the avowed protectors and providers for their children. In the traditional context of parenting, a parent trying to be the best friend of his or her child may be totally unheard of. Modern parenting however dictates that parents shed off a little of their authoritative figure to cultivate friendships with their children.