Monday, November 2, 2009

Peaceful Holidays Part 1

Halloween is over and the holiday rush will soon begin. We all have special memories of the holidays, and as parents, we want to create equally special memories for our children. The relentless commercial pressure to purchase the latest toys and gadgets can make it challenging to keep the holidays focused on love, gratitude and peace. The changes in normal routines – even fun changes like visiting family members – can be disruptive. To create those endearing and enduring memories, we can employ some tips for managing what we do during this wonderful time of the year. Here are a few suggestions to make your holidays peaceful:

Have a plan to handle requests for gifts. Having a plan to handle the requests will help you parent peacefully. Here are a few suggestions:

a. Create a request list (i.e., a letter for Santa or wish list) and route all gift requests to that list. When asked to purchase something, say “That sounds like a great addition to your list!”

b. Avoid commercial television, a huge source of advertising aimed at children.

c. Avoid power struggling over requests. When your child says, “Look at how pretty! Please buy it for me!”, follow these three steps to prevent a power struggle:
o Make them right (“You are right! That is such a pretty doll!”)
o Acknowledge their desire (“I would want a doll like that, too!”)
o Fantasize about it (“What would you do with that pretty doll? What clothes would she wear? How would she get along with your other doll?”)

For more on Peaceful Holidays, please listen to our Parenting Tip of the Week at We will be talking about ideas for peaceful holidays for the next few weeks. At you will also find articles under "Resources" and our e-book, Parenting Week by Week has several chapters on reducing the stress and creating holiday family rituals.

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