By Sofia Robirosa, Local Mom Scoop Contributor
The Holidays are here! Ahhhhhhh! (That was a scream of desperation, LOL).
Like any other parent, you are probably wondering how you are going to get everything done for these holidays, and above all what to get your child and how many gifts is enough, fair, or appropriate.
You might be looking at the catalogs in the mail, checking websites to see what they recommend and even get your kids to write a letter to Santa to figure out what to get your child.
What if I told you that you that there is one gift that you can give your child that is free and that they would prefer over any gift, even if it is an xbox, Wii or any other amazing toy out there?
Do you know what your child really wants for the holidays?
Your child wants more ATTENTION from you over any toy.
Yes! So simple, right?
As a family counselor and mom, I see time after time, that attention is the one thing children want and even demand the most from their parents.
From the moment our children are born, they want our attention. Initially, attention is about survival: not being able to eat or protect themselves from really anything. As our children get older and more independent, attention becomes less about survival and more about obtaining emotional safety.
Children understand the world through the filter we create as parents, so they eagerly want to learn how to live in this world through our guidance. A key component of guidance is face-to-face time, because the best way children learn is through mimicking our behavior and then through structure and discipline.
So here are some cute ideas to give your child they really want for the holidays:
Give them an envelope filled with “passes” to hang out with you. Describe in each pass for how long the “hang out” will be, as well as other criteria such as when it can happen (weekends only, Thursdaynight, etc) and other stipulations such as money that can be spent, amongst other.
“Hire” your child to create new family tradition for the upcoming year, such as movie night, arts and crafts, board game night, dinners as a family, or a family getaway. Create a contract and stuff it in an envelope.
Write a Holiday Card to your child telling him or her how much it means for you to spend time with them and how you appreciate every moment you had with them through the year. Mention how you would like to have more time together. These words will mean the world to your child!
Buy toys that can be played as a family and write a note on the toy indicating that you will play with them throughout the year.
Above all, whatever promises you make to your child about spending more time together, make sure you promise something you can keep up with. If there any changes due to unforeseen situations, make sure to address them with your child and try to make it up somehow. Children hold promises, especially those from their parents, at a very high standard.
Check out this video that IKEA put together. They present in a very enlightening way how children honestly want more dinners with their parents, play time, and outings. https://www.youtube.
To the Success of Your Family!
Happy Holidays, from Your Therapy Friend,
Certified Addictions Professional.
Leader in Active Parenting Now and Teens.
BAMFT Board Member.
AAMFT Clinical Fellow.7520 NW 5th Street, Suite 206,
Plantation, FL 33317.