There’s definitely good reason why the holidays are “the most wonderful time of the year”, but do you ever feel like it’s also the time of year when your kids think they can get away with anything? Parenting guru and New York Times best selling author of “Swagger” Lisa Bloom says that maintaining rules and boundaries with your kids around the holidays is especially important for a number of reasons. Lisa advises parents on what to say “NO” to when it comes to the kids this holiday season. What are you saying “no” to?
Without a doubt, Lisa’s biggest thing parents should give a big “NO” to is using technology during holiday family gatherings. Whether it’s their smartphone or the iPad, kids need to put it away! Technology should be off limits during family time. Quality family time isn’t quality at all if your kid is glued to his iPhone. And since grandma and grandpa may not be around for much longer, it’s important our kids focus on, well, what’s important, and not on Angry Birds.
The next thing to say “no” to is extended curfews. If they don’t have school the next day, maybe allow an extra half an hour to an hour more, but, Lisa points out “our kids are sleep deprived and it’s actually damaging to their health and their development when they don’t get a good night’s sleep.” And if they give you the guilt trip that they’re the ONLY one that has to go home early, Lisa says stick to your guns and do what’s best for your kids. Don’t worry about what other parents are doing with theirs.
Email thank you notes is next on the list of things to say “no” to with the kids. Lisa emphasizes that part of the message of the holidays is expressing gratitude and appreciation, so it’s not enough to dash off a quick email. Encourage your kids to hand write thank you’s. Once they get started, they really enjoy the process and it means a lot to adults to get those hand written thank you’s. Not only will it teach them real appreciation and giving “thanks” in an authentic way, it’s also a great life skill to learn at a young age.
As for holiday gifts, say no to allowing your kids to give gift cards to any immediate family members – so mom, dad, or siblings. Instead encourage thoughtful, meaningful presents, even hand made ones. Have your kids think about the recipient and what they like. Those homemade gifts that are straight from the heart are always the best.
On the flip side, what should parents be encouraging this holiday season? Lisa says say yes to real life family experiences together, such as playing board games (which encourage kids to read, count and strategize), going away for a weekend to a new place (to the city if you live in the country, and vice versa). Say yes to family trips to your local museum -- many have cool hands-on activities for kids. Say yes to cooking holiday treats together. And most of all, say yes to holiday community service projects together. Feed the homeless, walk shelter dogs, speak English with immigrants. As a family, through your actions, show your kids what the holidays are all about.
In this episode Allison's Wardrobe is provided by:
Dress, A Pea In The Pod
Necklace, Jennifer Zeuner - http://www.jenniferzeuner.com
Bracelet, Rebekah Price - http://rebekahprice.com
Shoes, Sam Edelman