The ABC’s of making it through the holiday break!
I’ve got 3 kiddos – an 11 year old drama tween, a twice-exceptional (gifted + adHd) 8 year old boy, and a wildly rambunctious 5 year old boy. My husband and I both work full time outside the home so when the kids are out of school and routine for a while things get a little bit crazy around our house!
In honor of surviving the break, the holidays, the ‘quality’ family time, and in celebration of school starting up and getting back to a new normal again, I’ve put together my ABC list of way to make it through:
A – Abandon all pretenses! All those warm fuzzy Lifetime movies, where families are all smiles and the kids are all smiles, all those fancy Pinterest holiday crafts and all the pictures of your friend’s creative Elf’s naughty antics…seriously? Abandon it – realize that the movies are scripted, the crafts are crap you’ll either have to clean around or store somewhere and those elves are just plain creepy (and if you are like me, you’ll forget every night anyway like the forgetful tooth fairy)!
B – Buy less! We are guilty at going overboard in the toy department. For my 2 boys that translates into chaos – the youngest opens everything like a tornado and then declares there is NOTHING to play with! I’ve found if we get more deliberate about what we purchase we all end up happier!
C – Capture the fun! Years from now you won’t remember the fights and fuss and stress, so be sure to capture the smiles and fun with you camera for posterity. My favorite pic of the year is my 5 year old holding out the candy coal he got in his stocking with a puzzled look on his face. (Santa thought he was a teensy bit naughty this year!)
D – Discuss the meaning of the season! Regardless of your reason for celebrating, the holiday break is a great time to talk to the kids about why you celebrate, why neighbors celebrate, why some people don’t celebrate. It opens the door to have deeper conversations with your kids about beliefs and toleration of others beliefs.
E – Entertain! At least once during the break, have people over. Move the unfolded laundry from the couch to your bedroom, throw all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, and order a pizza – doesn’t have to be a fancy party or a ton of prep work – too often, those of us with ETL kids tend to hide out and hole up in our caves, protecting ourselves and our kiddos from the harshness of others.
F – Forget the rules! I know order is a good thing, but the kids have worked hard the last few months at school and deserve a break of their own – let them stay up a bit late, let them sleep in (if you have one that does that!) and let them eat the candy they got in their stockings! This is their time to relax so let them do it!
G – Giggle – a lot! Remember that the holidays are supposed to be fun. (who knew?) Have a joke contest, a dance-off and quit being so stressed out and serious!
H – Help! That toy your kid got for Christmas that is just a bit too hard, or the game that requires 2 people or the room/toys they are supposed to be cleaning. Help them, do it with them, spend time together!
Wow – this is getting longer than I expected! Check back for part 2 of my ABC list of ways to make it through the holiday break!
Do you have any suggestions/alternate ideas for letters A through H?