'Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for
Raising Successful Children'
Relieve pressure at the holidays:
Make plans with children
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holidays are approaching and my stress level is already over the
top! There are gifts to buy, holiday meals to plan, relatives
visiting… It's simply too much. I know it's supposed to be a joyous
time, but I'm not looking forward to it. What can I do?
A: There's a lot of work to be done in any family. Most
parents need help, especially during the holiday season. But there
is an answer, and it can work for you. The solution is to
redistribute responsibility for holiday preparations to the whole
family -- including your children.
Learning doesn't stop just because school is out. Holidays are a
great time to teach your children responsibility and, once they
learn it, they'll carry the benefits back to school -- and
throughout their lives. You'll also be developing great new family
holiday traditions. Here's how to do it.
Sit down tonight with the whole family and a calendar. The
subject is holiday plans. Make a list of what activities are most
important to everyone. Then figure out what everyone -- adults and
children alike -- can do to make these important things happen.
Listen to your children's ideas. They want and need to have real
responsibilities. Ask what each one wants to be responsible for.
If you don't get volunteers, offer some choices. You might say,
"This is the week we will do our baking. What are some things you
want to bake this year?" This approach cuts down on a lot of those
"When are we gonna… ?" questions.
Together, brainstorm a list of gifts to buy or to make. Decide
who will be responsible for what, by when. Older children can help
deliver gifts and food to needy families. Teens can also help
address family holiday cards, get gifts ready to mail and stand in
line at the post office.
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Younger children can be responsible for setting and decorating
the table for a holiday dinner. They can also help with wrapping
gifts. And, of course, everyone shares with daily chores -- help
with dishes, food preparation, laundry and so forth.
Develop a no-nag method of reminding everyone. Post a chart on
the refrigerator or other prominent place in your home. Each day,
family members can check off their jobs as they complete them.
Responsibility will give your children opportunities to shine, as
visiting aunts, uncles and friends praise their efforts.
Don't forget to schedule time every day for fun, to laugh and to
just enjoy being together. Show your children you need them and that
you rely on them. And get ready for the best holiday season ever --
for the whole family.
* * *
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question to The Learning
Advisor, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
© Copyright 2004, The Parent
Note: This feature follows the
"advisor" spelling used by the source, although guidelines for news
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