Tuesday, December 17, 2019

10 Things to Discuss With Your Child Before the Family Christmas

For our Christmas party we make crafts, drink Grinch juice and hot cocoa, make gingerbread people and do a small optional gift exchange with dollar items. It’s an opportunity for the children, especially the 3.5yo+ children, to discuss and practice societal norms and expectations before heading to family events and the mayhem and high emotions involved.

It teaches:

1. Giving is hard, especially if the item being given is something you really want.

2. Gifts are new toys and you shouldn’t expect someone to be willing to share their new toys, and you may not want to share yours, either. And that's okay.

3. Wait your turn to unwrap a gift. It’s not WWF.

4. Unwrap with care, gifts can be broken.

5. Show gratitude when opening a gift. Someone put a lot of thought and effort into getting it especially for you.

6. It’s the thought that counts. Keep any displeasure at the gift to yourself.

7. Offer kisses, hugs, high five, handshake or a simple “Thank you” to the person who gave you the gift, depending upon your comfort level with the giver.

8. You may politely decline personal space invasion. “I don’t feel like a hug right now. May I shake your hand?” Understand that there may be people around you that are your family, but you don’t know them or know them well. They will want to show you their love, but it may be uncomfortable for you.

9. Ask consent before you invade a person’s personal space, especially little kids who may feel overwhelmed and may not know you well. “Can I give you a hug? Ok. How about a fist bump?”

10. If things get overwhelming, it’s ok to ask your parents for a retreat time to some place quiet for a few minutes to just talk it out and relax.

We also talk about that opening presents is about opening presents, not playing with presents. That time will come afterward.

They know about being responsible and picking up, but those lesson can be lost in the mayhem, so we talk about that, too.

A time of joy and family can be overwhelming to young children. I try to prep them a bit to handle it as gracefully as possible.

parenting, child care, daycare, preschool, pre-k, teaching, holiday, holidays, Christmas, xmas, kids, children,