Most of us repeat the patterns of our experienced holidays. You can call this your “holiday programming,” similar to a computer program. It is the hardware we bring to our holidays. Whether this programming is good or bad, we can hack it to improve it. When we think of hacking a computer, we think of stealing passwords. Hacking is also used as a shortcut to an upgrade. It is difficult to completely change our programming but we can upgrade our system.
My three tips are:
1. Share positive moments 2. Acceptance and Gratitude 3. Savor your time together.
When you implement these practices, observe your child and adjust the practice to your child’s unique personality. The way we understand a child is by watching them and paying attention to what they do, the activities that interest them, and observing how they engage with the world.
Here is an explanation of each Happy Holiday Hack. When using these practices, connect them to yourself and your special children.
1. Have fun.
Share positive emotions. The way to instantly create joy is to laugh together. Laughter has many positive benefits, which include improved health, emotional bonding, and stress relief. The biggest benefit of laughing is fun. The laughter must be genuine during a shared moment. Pay attention to what amuses you and your child, and go with it. Let yourself laugh together about big things, small things, anything. Do not limit yourself from laughing at the same thing over and over again. Young children love repetition.
2. Don’t try to be perfect.
One way we try to be perfect is by comparing and despairing. Don’t compare yourself or your child to anyone. Let’s throw assessment out of the window for the holiday. Our hack for compare and despair is acceptance and gratitude. Gratitude has been researched to create the best and most lasting positive impact.
Gratitude is consistently associated with increased happiness. Be grateful that you have the opportunity to laugh together. Acceptance means there are no mistakes. Acceptance is being aware of our feelings without trying to change them. Like the line from the old blues song, “everything is either a lessin or a blessin.”
3. Savor this time together.
The way to savor something is to remember it. Share your memories out loud with your child. When you remember a positive event, you extend the lifespan of the positive emotion. Take photos—they are a great way to remember joyful moments. Take to your child about the joy the two of you experienced. By reminding a child of something they enjoyed, you encourage a positive self-image within them. You help them write their own positive story. You can reminisce about all of the good times spent together. Remember those times you laughed together, remember what you are grateful for, remember the fun.
We can choose practices that increase our happiness over the holiday. It is a joy to be with children. Cherish it. Be grateful and accepting. Savor every moment.
Use these holiday hacks to thrive during the holiday season with your family.
Miss Emmy from Flourishing Children and PS Family Network