Following on from yesterday’s blog post, it was interesting to browse this week’s Migros supermarket newspaper. One of the articles is about avoiding stress when you have children and a lot of what is discussed is very true – some tips I have implemented in the past and some I should have implemented, perhaps!
Above all, keep the peace – it does no good to get stressed yourself and expect kids not to pick up on that (possibly easier said than done, but worth mentioning!). The author of this article, Tamar Venditti, a mother of 5, recommends avoiding activities that don’t have anything to do with the season as far as possible – dentist’s appointments or painting and decorating, for example: Advent is often busy enough! Remembering to enjoy the season in a childlike manner and through childrens’ eyes is another good tip – and above all, leave your perfectionism for another time! Children do love to contribute and in many ways, it’s all about catering to their appreciation of the season and by having time for stories and discussion, crafts and baking, and traditions are created without gift-giving and especially, “designer” decorations being central to everything. These activities also mark other values of the season such as being more thoughtful and taking care of others and yourself. Obviously religious families will each have their own messages to explore. Embrace the imperfect!
Ms Venditti also recommends not allowing catalogues in the house, so as not to awake a fit of the “wants”, not baking more than is needed (those biscuits I mentioned…!!), reducing the amount of decoration, general stuff and level of activity and learning to say “no”. Interestingly, she claims that children these days often ask for experiences as presents because they have everything else already… Hmm.