Posted on: 22.12.2021.
The thought of holidays brings a smile to many people's faces because they think of relaxing, enjoying time with their family, colourful lights, gifts, snow and hot cocoa. While it may be important to children what gift they will find under the Christmas tree, it is important to put the focus on connecting with family and creating new memories.
It often happens that due to numerous obligations and hectic lifestyle, parents want to make up for the time they did not spend with their children by buying gifts. But is it necessary and useful? Remember how long the enthusiasm and preoccupation with gifts lasts several days or weeks after they are opened. As they reach adulthood, children most often do not remember the momentary excitement and fulfilment when opening gifts, but rather the shared moments they spent with their family. When children spend quality time with their parents, they build a sense of identity and belonging, and you can use the holidays to strengthen the connection between you. In addition, family customs and rituals are important for a sense of security and belonging. Children need security and predictability in order to develop into a self-confident and adapted adult.
How can you do that?
Regardless of the age of the child, you can always include them in the preparation of cakes, making Christmas decorations and greeting cards, decorating the home and the Christmas tree. Also, talk to children about what gifts they can make themselves or with your help, to cheer up grandparents. You can tell them how you spent your holidays and remember those who are no longer with you, which is important for their emotional world. If it snows, there is no greater joy for the little ones than to make a snowman together, go sledding or skating or organize a snowball fight. It doesn't matter if there is no snow - dress warmly and take a walk-in nature, the park or the decorated city.
How to work on the psychological aspects?
Developing empathy is extremely important for emotional intelligence, and you can strengthen it by sorting out toys and clothes and giving away some of them to the needy. Children learn much better from examples than through words alone. In this way, it will not only be a matter of receiving gifts, but also of giving and helping. In addition, you can teach children gratitude for everything they have, and you can write down everything you are grateful for and put it in one box. Opening the box and reading messages will come in very handy in challenging times.
Let your holidays be relaxed, enjoy your moments together and don't worry about unimportant things, but create memories with frozen noses, stained chocolate and flour cheeks and coloured and glittery fingers.
Enjoy the holidays,
Patricija Haček Zuber, Master of Psychology