Talking About Winter Holidays With Your Child

Now is the Time, Take Control

It seems like it’s too early to be thinking about Christmas presents, but marketers and stores already have our children’s attention. Many children are already formulating a list for Santa Claus and we are barely done with Halloween!

This is a time to remember who is in charge of your kids—you are! It’s up to you to set the tone of what you celebrate, what your traditions are, and how much money you will spend on any given holiday.

Holidays are perfect opportunities as parents to teach what you value as a family and model those values to your kids. Here’s how:

  1. If eating healthy is something that is very important to you, plan to share healthy treats for Halloween and other holidays.
  2. Teach moderation and self-control if your child is inundated with sweets by helping take control of the bag of candy before they can consume it.
  3. Let your kids know how much they mean to you by planning an activity for quality time together during winter break and having a joyful time doing it.
  4. Let your child be immersed in your traditions and religious heritage by taking them to your place of worship, singing old songs, and bringing out the valuable symbols associated with your beliefs.
  5. Start communicating now what you want your kids to focus on for your winter holiday plans, especially if it’s not centered on getting a ton of gifts.
  6. Emphasize GIVING over getting by organizing a charitable act you can do with your child between now and the end of the year. For example, bring your child on a trip to the food shelf and teach them about giving to others who can’t give something in return.
  7. Show your care for family members with a visit to relatives and planning ahead with activities or treats to share.
  8. Teach resourcefulness and conservation finding ways to use what you already have for decorations and making gifts with your child.

Advertisers know to communicate early and often and are sending the message today to your child about what is needed for the holidays through the end of the year.  Take control by communicating today your holiday plans for the family. Imagine together with your family what your expectations are and why this year’s celebration will be special for your child because it’s what your family does.

In today’s world, we can sometimes lose sight of our role as parents and that we do have the authority to set boundaries and expectations for our kids more than the media, friends, or advertisers. While our children are very young, we have our child’s attention and can teach them exactly our way of life—early and often. Beyond any toy you can afford them, your children will always remember and treasure the yearly traditions and values you set for them today.