The holiday season is a busy time of year. Parents often find themselves faced with a long to-do list. It’s easy to get lost in the whirlwind of having to make big elaborate dinners, buy and wrap all the presents and spend time traveling to visit family and friends. Parents can quickly lose sight of what the holiday season is all about. Family and togetherness. With just a little bit of intention and planning, parents can focus on celebrating as a family and building a deeper connection with their children.
Here are some tips to help parents and their children enhance their family connection this holiday season.
- Get busy in the kitchen. Cooking is a great way to bond with children of all ages. Toddlers love to help and letting them add and mix ingredients is a great way to get them involved in the process. Older children can take on more responsibility and even prepare a dish of their own. Use this time to talk about what they are most grateful for or reminisce about the past.
- Have a movie night. Get cozy on the couch with blankets and hot cocoa. Watch your favorite holiday movies or any movie for that matter. Christmas Vacation, anyone?
- Wrap presents. This is a great activity to do with children. Not only is it an opportunity for parents to bond with their children, but it can also help children get excited about the act of giving gifts. Don’t worry if the presents aren’t wrapped perfectly. In the end, it’s all about the process.
- Donate old or new toys. Another simple way for parents to connect with their children during the holiday season is through acts of service. Go through gently used toys, clothes or other items to donate to others in need. Make a trip to the store to buy a new toy to donate to a child in need. Parents can talk about gratitude with their children and increase compassion towards others.
- Get crafting. Holiday crafts are an easy way to both entertain children and have fun with them. Consider making holiday cards for everyone in the family and then writing personal messages in each one. Who doesn’t love a homemade card?
In the end, the holiday season is about spending quality time together as a family. Years down the road, children won’t remember what video game was given to them, but they will remember the attention, meaningful conversations, and lessons learned through time spent as a family.
Christine Holmberg, LMFT