And while the lights are on the Christmas trees and the lists for the Christmas gifts have been sent to Santa’s village, it is important that we stand and think about how we will pass the true magic of the Christmas spirit to our children. Gifts and walks are one part of the feast. But have you ever thought that this year during the festivals can be a great opportunity to pass important messages to your children? The way you interact and talk with your children during the Christmas season can be very special and send them important messages.
So, take advantage of the festive to provide your children with virtues such as gratitude and generosity. Usually, during Christmas celebrations, children are at the heart of attention and are the main recipients of activities and gifts. This is the opportunity, instead of a message of egotism and greed, to broadcast messages of interest, offer, and sharing. Particularly, in younger children who develop through a normal phase of self-centeredness and try to make adults meet their needs all the time.
There are easy ways to emphasize the importance of generosity as a key message of Christmas:
Help your children learn to be grateful: Name along with your children all the important things you generally have or enjoyed during the past year (depending on the age of the children – time is better understood as children grow older). Find the opportunity to thank for all the precious things of your life such as food, water, home, toys, school, friends, family, health.
Explain to children that all these goods are not given and talk to them about examples of children who may not have them. Without exaggerating talk to your children about those who need our help, as it is important to know what is actually happening.
Become a real-life model and show through your own behavior the example of politeness: e.g. in the way you talk to a salesman when you go for Christmas shopping, saying 'thank you' when they make you a gift, giving your spot on a queue to a person with mobility difficulties. When your child demonstrates such polite behavior, praise him.
Encourage children to participate in acts and gestures of offering: pick together gifts for your loved ones, prepare sweets together to treat your guests, or even choose to support a charity action. In this way, children learn that the joy of receiving is just as great as the pleasure of giving. It also increases children's sense of pride in how useful they can be, despite their young age.
Talk to your children about Christmas customs according to the traditions of your own family and those of other people around the world as this will give you the opportunity to talk about the diversity and acceptance of the differences around us.
Include children in festive sharing acts: enjoy Christmas treats together, eat all at the family table, exchange small presents, see a nice movie in a warm environment and of course do not forget to play as much as you can!
Wishes for the most magical Christmas of all!
Psychologist- Play Therapist