Keeping Your Sanity During Christmas Vacation | Part 5

Keeping Your Sanity During Christmas Vacation | Part 5

Dec 16

Using New Year’s To Create Family Unity

During the Christmas season we discussed using your family traditions to point to Christ.  New Years should be no different.  Think through the traditions that you will do as a family and how they can close out the year and begin the New Year, Christ-centered.

One idea is spending time around the dinner table doing a year-end review.  Think through some questions to answer as a family to process all that happened this year as well as expectations for next year.  Things such as, What was the best thing that happened to you this year? What was the scariest moment for you?  What are some things you hope to do better next year? What ways did you see God’s hand through the year?  You can go around the table and each answer the questions.  It’s a great way to process as a family and remember all that God has done for you this past year! Take the time to add a God centered tradition to all your new years celebrations this year.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on New Year’s traditions.

 
Keeping Your Sanity During Christmas Vacation | Part 4

Keeping Your Sanity During Christmas Vacation | Part 4

Dec 15

Taking the Focus Off of Me

We have spent a lot of time over this holiday season discussing teaching our children how to serve others.  Close out the Christmas season by ending the vacation serving.  What a great way to spend the last day of 2010!  Spend some time thinking what  you can do with your children on New Years eve to serve.  Maybe go together to a local charity, like Sheridan House, and take those gently used clothes that you put aside from cleaning out the closets.   Another great idea is finding someone from your church who could use help taking down Christmas decorations.  James 1:27 reminds us, ”Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”  Who are the widows and orphans around us?  There are many literal widows that we can serve, but there are also many single moms who could use help. There are also many foster families who are caring for today’s orphans.  Is there anything you can do to serve these families? Why not call and see if your family can take dinner over, to give the foster mom a much-needed break. Take some time to think through whom your family can serve to end this year others-focused!

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on serving others during Christmas vacation.

 
Keeping Your Sanity During Christmas Vacation | Part 3

Keeping Your Sanity During Christmas Vacation | Part 3

Dec 14

Doing Chores and Dividing Up the Labor

Breaks from school are great for teaching some real life lessons for children.  One of the real life lessons is that the adult world doesn’t stop.  Just because everyone is on vacation doesn’t mean that adults completely get a break.  Someone still has to prepare and clean up after meals, pick up the house, do laundry ect.  There may be some whining and complaining when the children are required to do their chores on vacation but this is a great opportunity to instill this lesson.

Another benefit for breaks is that parents can spend time communicating what their expectations are for chores.  There maybe some chores that are beginning to fall below the expectation level.  Take some extra time with your kids over break helping them learn how to properly do different chores.  This is also a great time to do some deep cleaning of bedrooms and bathrooms.

Another opportunity that a break from school gives is time for cleaning out the closet and toy box.  Cleaning out clothes that don’t fit or toys that aren’t played with anymore also helps to make room for any new Christmas gifts.  This also begins to get your children in the habit of going through clothes and things that are used anymore and giving them away, which is another great lesson to carry on into adulthood.

Have your children start the New Year fresh by helping them keep up with their chores over break, even teaching them some new habits.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on the topic of Christmas Vacation.

 
Keeping Your Sanity During Christmas Vacation | Part 2

Keeping Your Sanity During Christmas Vacation | Part 2

Dec 13

Establish a Purpose for the Break

Even though we are early in the second week of Christmas Vacation, it’s not too late to establish a purpose.  The week leading up to Christmas has Christmas day as its focal point.  There are many things for the whole family to do to keep them busy.  The week after Christmas the excitement has died down and shockingly, even with all the new things to play with, boredom sets in.  That is unless there is a plan and a purpose for this week.

Sit down with your spouse and come up with the expectations for the rest of break.  Talk through what the routine will look like, are there any areas that need to be focused on, and what consequences will be if certain behaviors appear.  Get out in front of these issues early so that you will save yourself frustration during the final days of break.  Then have a family meeting to let the kids know what the routine will be for the rest of break.  Make sure to schedule in time together as a family to do a fun activity together like a game night or a puzzle, complete with snacks for the participants.  Don’t let this time get away from you, are there activities or even things like homework or projects that you will have wished you had taken the time to fit in over Christmas break?

Listen to today’s podcast for more ways to keep your sanity through Christmas Vacation.

 
Keeping Your Sanity During Christmas Vacation | Part 1

Keeping Your Sanity During Christmas Vacation | Part 1

Dec 12

A Break in Routine is Difficult for Many Kids

Children, like all of us, are creatures of habit.   There is a sense of safety and familiarity in a schedule.   When that routine is broken it can cause a little bit of chaos in their world.  They don’t know what to do with themselves, so parents will hear things like “I’m bored” and “when are we going to…”.   For many children with siblings it can cause fighting, for no other reason then they can’t think of anything else to do.   For sanities sake, we need to come up with a plan for the last half of Christmas break.

Just like the “I’m Thankful For…” poster we made for thanksgiving, spend this week working on a “Going the Extra Mile” poster.  Jesus teaches the concept, in Matthew 5:38-42, about going the extra mile.  This means to go above and beyond what you are suppose to do.  This is a great concept to make a game out of teaching your children over break.   Read this passage this week to your kids and then give them examples of what would be going the extra mile.  You get up to put your dish in the dishwasher after cereal, take your brothers as well.  Your chore is dishes after dinner, take five minutes extra to sweep the floor.  There are countless examples to give your kids.  Next the job for parents is to watch and find even little things that are kids are doing above and beyond and write them up on the poster.  At the end of every day read the things that were done and have little rewards for each thing done, like Hershey Kisses.  The bigger deal that we make out of the game the more fun our children will have with it.  Don’t miss this opportunity over break to teach your children another great way to be selfless!

Listen to today’s podcast for more ways to keep your sanity through Christmas Vacation.