How to take advantage of the holidays - a few hints for Christmas...
The Christmas period is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your children, really paying attention to their needs and having some fun in the process. Do a puzzle together, bake some cakes, make something creative while putting on some Christmas music. Children love spending time with you, often it doesn't even matter what you are doing as long as they get to spend time with you. But here are a few more ideas and things to consider over the Christmas holidays.
The benefits of board games
Open your cupboards and bring out the old dusty board games, yes, the ones that have not been used all year. Playing a board game is a great opportunity to spend some social time together with your kids. Another bonus is that it teaches children and teenagers about turn taking and the importance of losing gracefully. A board game is so much more interactive than an electronic game or watching TV, it encourages all members of the family to have a chat while playing, and surely you are never too old for that. Besides improving feelings of togetherness, playing games like Ludo and Monopoly help your kids to understand numbers and strategies better making it a win win situation.
The importance of helping out
Use the Christmas holidays to teach your children the importance of helping out. In this process, you will even help with reducing your own stress as you are delegating some of the tasks related to Christmas. However, make sure you put the message across that doing chores is for the whole year and not just something you do for Christmas. A child likes taking responsibility and they enjoy the praise they receive for doing something well. Remember to use lots of positive praise, and keep a smile on your face when you delegate.
Eating at the table
Over the Christmas period more families tend to eat together, and at a table. This is great practise for how you should be eating together as a family during the rest of the year. When we have our meals at a table and together with others, we generally eat better. We chew our food more, we interact socially and we eat smaller portion while also picking the more nutritious food groups. Also, eating together as a family is extremely important while bringing up children. It has been found that teenagers feel their family is more supportive and attentive which leads to fewer signs of depression. Not a bad side effect, is it!!
Taking that important walk in the fresh air
After those large meals, make your way into the woods or onto a field. Kids thrive on fresh air as well as the discoveries they make while out in the nature. Being in the outdoors is a fantastic chance to try out some measurable risk taking, like climbing a small tree, crossing a ditch using a large branch and jumping over obstacles to mention a few. When we walk with our children, it gives us another chance to talk to them, and you will find that conversations just flows more naturally while walking.
Most importantly, enjoy the company of your kids but also keep in mind to value your own company and allow yourself some 'YOU time' as well as some KIDDIE time. Have a wonderful Christmas.
By Tina Elven
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