Three time saving tips to enjoy Thanksgiving with your kids.
by Susie E. Caron (c) 11/23/14
Americans love their Thanksgiving holiday! But wait! What about the kids? Do they really love Thanksgiving? What about you? Do you enjoy your kids during this holiday?
Most kids enjoy a time when family members gather together. However, for kids, such gatherings and feasting, is also very stimulating. Sometimes this results from the extra number of people, adult preoccupation with visiting or meal planning, or perhaps added conflict between family members. Throw onto all this the pressure that you, the parent, may be feeling for little Johnny and Jill to behave in front of relatives, and you add a recipe for disaster. When that happens, your kids become stressed and do just the opposite of what parents might want them to do. Of course, when you get stressed and anxious, everything becomes more difficult.
What’s the answer to all this?
If you want to enjoy Thanksgiving with your kids, you'll want to invest a little time with them before, during and after turkey time. The most important relationship you have is with your kids. Maintain their connection to you and everything will go more smoothly. Follow the 3 time savers below and you may find they enjoy themselves, they behave well, and you get to have a good time too.
Three time savers and a note:
1. Time cost: 45 minutes - the weekend before anything about this holiday erupts make a plan together. Ask your kids to sit down and talk with you about what will be taking place. Use a calendar for visual assistance and describe to them when, where, how, and who will be involved in each day’s plans. Let them know where you are traveling, what time you’ll be leaving and when you will get home.(Or who is coming, where they will sleep,and so on.) Ask them what they may need or want to take in the car, or to do while adult relatives are busy preparing food and talking. Ask them what they’ll want to do when they return home, or after everyone leaves. Answer all their questions and tell them what you expect of them. Be positive, and clear.
2. Time cost: 15 minutes. Each morning wake your kids up by sitting with them, hugging and talking about the day ahead. Ask them what they think about your plans. Ask them what they need or want to help them enjoy the day.
3. Time cost: 30 minutes. At the end of each day, take ½ hour to sit alone with them and help them to unwind by talking about what they liked or didn’t like that day. Listen, validate their feelings, but don’t make excuses or try to fix things that may have gone wrong that day. Just thank them for telling you and let them know you care and that tomorrow you will work to help them enjoy their day.
The total time invested in the 3 steps above = 1 & 1/2 hours. The benefit is a pleasant time to enjoy Thanksgiving and your kids. There is one more note to all this and may take a little bit more of your time and attention.
Note: When you return, or everyone departs to their own homes, you may find that your kids need some unwinding space and time. Don’t give them a pile of chores immediately. Allow them to do what they need to do – play a game – watch a movie –visit with their pets or play in their rooms. Stay close enough to notice when they need you again. When they start arguing with each other, or interrupting and ‘bothering’ you then it’s time to sit, cuddle, read, or take a walk or bike ride together. It’s time to spend some parent child time together to reestablish your bond and ‘status quo.’ Don’t skip this because this really helps kids unwind and settle back into their routines. After this, you can direct them to do their chores and prepare for the coming week.
With these tips you may find you get to enjoy your kids, your relatives and friends and your Thanksgiving much more.
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Twee' Means You & Me
Susie E. Caron
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
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Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!