It is only a few more weeks until Christmas. Have you organised your greeting cards? What about your gifts? Your presents? Your treats? Your guests? Family gatherings and hosting people?
If you are hosting the party and are expecting relatives to stay with you, it would be a very trying time if you were to handle everything on your own. So would you consider getting your children to be involved with the festive planning and preparations?
If so, how can they help?
- Help research recipes and plan the menu.
- Prepare the shopping list while checking the pantry for ingredients before setting off to get them.
- Help to prepare the guests list and sitting arrangements.
- Organise the invitation cards.
- Help with organising guests rooms, or cleaning the house and setting the tables on the day etc.
Involving your children is not just asking for their ideas and opinions, it is about listening to them, while taking their ideas and suggestions seriously. It is about acknowledging their presence and importance, respecting their opinion and allowing them to build new skills and confidence during the process.
The benefits of involving your children in festive preparations:
You are building confidence in your children.
Allow them to explore, plan and use their own imagination to create. For example, allow them to come up with the recipes for this Christmas; get them to research recipes, find what ingredients are needed, write them up, check through the pantry and prepare the shopping list.
Allow them room to express their thoughts, and create and build the trust and resiliency within themselves.
Make them feel good about themselves
Children love to help and feel needed when they are able to help and contribute. Contributing makes them feel good about themselves and gives a sense of accomplishment.
It may seem hard from the start and you may think that it is faster to work on your own. However, parents are finding less time to connect with their children, and it is even more so during the festive season. By involving your children in decision making when planning, it is a great opportunity to open up avenues for communication and to bond while sharing your family traditions, culture and rituals with them.
Finally, remember that every child is unique, they have different needs and wants, different ways of handle situations and expressing themselves. Be patient and have realistic expectations.
Make sure to only involve your child in activities that are suitable for their level of comprehension and understanding, i.e. their social and cognitive development level for young children.
Finally, be prepared to supervise and guide. Have a wonderful time planning for your festive gatherings and have FUN sharing family rituals together.