Monday, November 30, 2009

Curing the Holiday Gimmies

With the holidays fast approaching and more and more on the " to- do " list, pausing and planning what you really want to happen may make a lot of sense.

Think about what is most important to you, time, memories or another new thing. Ask your children what they really want. Most toddlers are in the "me, here and right now", preschoolers and up, over time, can be taught the difference between "need" versus "want". Be forewarned, this will take time, but it can be mastered if you consistently talk to your child when the "I wants" are happening. Advertisers are paid to make us think we need what they are selling. Keep the remote handy - when commercials come on mute them, ask your child what they think the benefits or the negatives would be from owning the item. Ask them to tell you what they think it would cost, then try to share with them the actual cost.

When running your holiday errands, pre-plan your list and stick to it. Plan a time to shop and make sure that includes someone to watch your children for you. Tackling the "I needs" on future shopping trips may be easier on all of you than trying this during the holiday rush. When you are out shopping with the kids, acknowledge and restate their demand, empathize, then firmly redirect or distract your child's attention.

If you don't have family meetings, consider starting them, talk and share about what you enjoy, don't enjoy and try to include one favorite "to do" from each family member this holiday. A simple way to do this may be asking each family member what food item they want included in the meal. Continue to build your families traditions, which may mean changing some of your old ones. Instead of focusing on all the "I wants" on the lists, slow everything down and focus on a reasonable amount of requests. Be creative, there are usually ways to meet each of the requests if you take time to think it out - and that doesn't mean running to the store or computer to meet the demand.

Before bundling up the wee ones and dragging them on errands think about what you want your kids to remember after the holidays.

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