A quiet holiday

Becoming a better parent – Holiday tips & reminders

Our Westview team member, Terry Owens, writes his next post in a series, Becoming a Better Parent. In this article, Terry shares important ideas from our friends at Empowered to Connect. It is titled “Holiday Tips & Reminders.” 

The holidays are here, and we are all focused on getting ready for buying gifts, family visits, and making the holidays a special time. This is a stressful time for everyone, especially for your children. I would like to share a few tips and reminders that will help make the holidays go a little smoother.

  • Up your nurture:
    • Be purposeful when it comes to your quality time with your children. Set aside time to spend with your children, such as playing games, doing puzzles, baking cookies, going for a walk, or reading a book together. Spending one on one time with your children goes a long way to creating a deep connection during the rush of the holidays.
  • Be flexible:
    • Be prepared to stop what you are doing to meet the needs of your child. Meeting your child’s needs is an opportunity to connect with your child.
  • Practice outside the moment:
    • Preparing your child for success by role-playing situations before they happen. This, for example, provides the opportunity to practice the correct response if they receive an unwanted gift from a relative whom they don’t know very well.
    • How to decline food that they don’t like in a respectful and polite way.
  • Keep it simple:
    • When possible try to simplify your plans.
    • Remember that being overwhelmed or overstimulated may cause unwanted behaviors. Support your child by meeting the underlying need rather than punishing your child.
  • Stick to a schedule:
    • Whenever possible try to keep your routine such as bedtime and meals consistent. Routines can help create felt safety and calm your child’s anxiety.
  • Expect big feelings:
    • Leave time in your schedule to support your emotions and the emotions of your child.
  • Create traditions:
    • This is a great time to create a new tradition for your family. Traditions are an important part of building a family culture and they also create a sense of felt safety and belonging for your family (see more at https://empoweredtoconnect.org/)

As a parent and a grandparent, I know that holidays can be stressful for parents. I hope that these tips can give you guidance on how to make your holidays happy and full of joy.

We thank Empowered to Connect for posting these tips and allowing me to share them with you. The staff at Westview Boys’ Home would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.