Parenting Issues

As we approach the holidays being busy and preoccupied with shopping, wrapping, decorating, menu preparation, traveling, and children’s holiday shows or plays, remember to take time to de-stress.   Sit back and relax, meditate, enjoy a cup of special blend coffee or calming tea, watch the traditional Christmas movies, read Christmas stories to the kids and don’t rush through them. Find a way to reconnect with your soul and spirit. Set aside 30-60 minutes to read, do yoga, and meditate.  Planning for Christmas is key.

The letdown after Christmas is real. Search for this topic and you will find many articles, religious messages, and even poems about it.  But, what about the letdown after you open presents Christmas morning and the question begs- what do I do now?  What kind of time and activities should I plan for the kids…just the craziness of toys everywhere?

Plan your day!  I don’t mean to over plan, I mean set up a schedule and be flexible about it.  You do have to GO WITH THE FLOW!

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Kwanzaa is a celebration of traditional African family, community, and culture. It is based on the 7 principles of Kwanzaa. I understand this is about African-American unity and I believe it should stay that way. But, I really like these principles and think they are also relevant to raising children in the family system. I am not African-American and I don’t celebrate personally with any Kwanzaa customs. But, if I had children at home today, I would chose at least one way of observing this celebration. Perhaps I will anyway. I am Christian and find it very interesting to learn about other customs, religions (I know Kwanzaa is not about religion per se), cultures, and celebrations. 

When I find something worthwhile for raising children and empowering families, why reinvent the wheel? Borrowing ideas and adapting them for good use while honoring the original spirit and intent of those ideas is a good thing.  I think!

The holiday was originally created by Maulana Karenga and first celebrated in 1966–67. This is the Official Kwanzaa website: . This site contains a picture of the seven principles with their symbols and is also written in Swahili. There are other sites about Kwanzaa as well.

Celebrating The 7 Principles of Kwanzaa with Children:

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One of a parent’s role during this holiday season is helping children give gifts.  There are simple common sense principles to go by and there is also the art of giving. Giving is about the other person you are giving to.  While it might be ok to give something you like yourself, the most important part is that you know what the other person wants for a gift.  You can ask the other person what it is they want, which is why we ask our kids (and adults) for a list!  Children are often insightful about what to give to others…and other times they have no clue.  So, the younger they are, the more help they need.

helping children give gifts

The Art of Giving and Helping Children Give Gifts

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Children are like monarch butterflies.  They grow, change, mature and transform in so many ways right before our very own eyes. They change when we’re not paying attention at all! Parents help their children in these processes.

Monarch butterflies are beautiful creatures of nature. They have a journey as well as a transformation.  The vast majority of the North American butterfly population journeys to Mexico to overwinter. Then, they fly north in the spring after mating.  They lay their eggs and the larvae feed only on milkweed.  The caterpillars grow, change into a chrysalis, and transform into the butterflies they are destined to become.

A butterfly is a transformation, not a better caterpillar.

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Go on a Rampage of Appreciation!   I learned about this technique from Jack Canfield in one of his writings.  He is the author of Chicken Soup for the Soul.  He says to go around your house and say out loud why you appreciate all the things there.  It creates a humbling experience.  You may cry or be overcome with emotions.  Let it happen naturally.

Help your child appreciate people and things in their lives.  Encourage them to say thanks to others.  This serves to center us in a more positive intention.  Furthermore, it gives us a sense of relatedness and satisfaction in our relationships.  Finding something to be thankful for and appreciate even in the midst of failure or sadness lifts the spirits enough so we cope well and bounce back sooner.

Go on a Rampage of Appreciation!

Ask your child to answer the following questions:

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Hi, I'm Jody Roblyer. I bring together my nursing and health care expertise & knowledge to create a one of a kind health care service for children.

My practice uses health coaching & alternative medicine to improve mind, body & spirit of children with chronic illnesses...Read More

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