Some may say that “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”; however, the holidays may cause a lot of stress for parents and families for many reasons. I’d like to encourage you to shift the focus from the never-ending “To-Do List”, the house cleaning, the shopping, and the cooking to focus more on slowing down and creating meaningful connections with your children and teens. In the years to come, your children will not remember if the house was spotless over the holidays, but they will remember the memories that were made. It doesn’t matter how old or young your children are, spending extra time connecting and strengthening your relationships will help you all to enjoy a calm and peaceful holiday season.
Here are 5 ways to build connections and create memories with your children this holiday season.
1. Cooking Together
While you are in the kitchen preparing the holiday meal, involve your children in the process. Young children love to be given responsibilities and opportunities to help. Give older children and teens the chance to prepare a dish for the holiday meal. While the family is in the kitchen preparing food together, engage your kids in conversations about what they’re interested in, ask them how things are going with their friends, about their favorite football team, about what they’re looking forward to next year. It’s important to remember when connecting with kids to ask open-ended questions and engage with curiosity.
2. Reliving Memories
Spend time with your family looking at pictures and videos from the year that is ending. Ask everyone to tell the family about their favorite family memory of the year. Take it a step further and create a wall of memories somewhere in your home with printed pictures and your children’s drawings of their favorite memories of the year.
3. Positive Notes
Throughout the holiday season, hide a few notes of praise and gratitude in places where your children will find them.
4. Family Games Night
Engaging the entire family in some healthy competition is a sure way to boost spirits, increase connections and create memories. Playing games during family holidays promotes healthy competition, the opportunity for good humor fun, and jokes, and it can even improve your health by stimulating your brain and encouraging social interaction.
5. Giving Back
Coming together as a family to give to others over the holiday season can help to build altruism. Ideas for giving to those in need may mean teaching children to donate their preloved toys to charity shops or children’s charities, donating time to clean up a beach or a park, or donating money to worthy causes.
If you are still looking for fun ways to connect, have a look at our 5-Day Family Connection Challenge. Each day, you will be sent an email with a fun game or activity to participate in. These activities should take no more than 30 minutes each and require only common household objects, such as a pen and a piece of paper, but can also be adjusted according to your needs. They are suitable for all ages and family sizes. Best of all, it’s FREE – click here to sign up today!