STOP the holiday CHAOS! Pt. 3

Are YOU caught up in the holiday CHAOS?Holiday-stress

In the last post, we focused on the holiday stress of Presents and Gift Giving. We talked about minimizing the cost of presents and ways to minimize the amount of presents you have to purchase, as well.

Today I want to discuss the final aspect of holiday gatherings. We have talked about location, food and gifts. Now we are going to talk about people.

The third (and final) category is

Handling Family and FriendsfamilyThere are many stressful issues when it comes to the holiday season. But, in my opinion, the most stressful is the worry I place on myself trying to make sure everyone is happy and having a good time. Just in a small setting, with close family, I worry about people feeling left out, people fighting and people having fun. With large family gatherings, such as are common during the holiday season, the stress of trying to create and maintain a joyous atmosphere can be a mountain of a task. But usually, for me at least, it’s more of a mole hill and I made into a mountain. So, let’s discuss some activities and tips you may be able to use in order to keep your family happy and you a little less worried!

The first stress I have with maintaining my people are the children. Not only do I worry about my own child, but I worry about every other kid too. You know how it is when you’re a kid at a holiday party. The only good thing about these parties for kids are the food and the presents and they have to wait for both of those things. Most families, including my own, lean a lot on the kids being able to play with each other and cure the boredom. But sometimes, you can have a few kids that don’t have other kids their age or you can have shy kids who don’t warm up to each other very fast. So, here are a few tips to help handle the youngsters at your event!

My first suggestion: “Kid Rooms”

I have always found that being able to separate the kids from the adults leads to a much happier party crowd overall. But, you may be like me and not have but one large room for congregating. So, here are my tips on how to have a “Kid Room” even if you don’t actually have a room!

  1.  Utilize your kid’s rooms- If you have other kids attending the party that are close to your own children’s ages, have their rooms be the “Kid Rooms” for the one year before and after their age. Ex. Your kid is 12, so their room is for 11-13.
  2. Utilize your kid’s entire room- It might be a hassle, but you can also consider moving your child’s furniture to the garage or another bedroom to create a “Kid’s Room”
  3. Create a “Kid’s Section”- You can easily arrange the furniture in your house and or other rooms to have an area clear for kids. Using a rope, fence or some other form of “fencing” to section off the area to allow only kids into it.

My second suggestion: Games and Activities

A very easy way to ensure the children at your event are entertained is by providing options for activities and games. By having a ready source of entertaining events for the kids, you allow the kids to have a good time and you take some of the pressure off of the parents to have to be watching their child, allowing them to have a better time as well! For some great suggestions for age appropriate games try visiting:

Nick Jr: “Party games” or Kidspot.com: “Activities and Games”

Another option would be to have a holiday movie ready for the kids to watch while waiting.

My third suggestion: Kids Table

I’m not going to say this is some sort of controversial subject or anything, but there has been some debate in the parenting world about kids table vs joined table. In my opinion, if you have only small children, that may need to be monitored while eating, it would be best just to seat them at the table. In that case, as a host, you want to make sure and arrange the seating so that there doesn’t have to be any shifting in order to place parents beside their children. However, if you have a wide range of ages, I recommend the kid’s table. It allows the kids to feel a sense of independence and allows the adults to have a sane meal! lol

The other stress you have to deal with is family drama. I know, not all families are filled with drama. But when you put a lot of family together in one room, sometimes drama can be the outcome. Within the boundaries of “Family” there are often very few boundaries. This can create an atmosphere perfect for meddling, arguing and plain out fighting. If you’re lucky, you have a family with very little drama and the closeness only brings joy. But if you’re like most, myself included, things can go well or terribly wrong, depending on the preparations made and the damage control used.

My first suggestion: Have a Game Plan

If your family has a tendency to stir up drama at big occasions, you might benefit from having a sort of schedule. In no way, would I suggest a full schedule during a holiday gathering. People need to be able to mingle. But, you could easily throw in a few “activities” for adults to participate in in order to prevent any tension. Board games are a fantastic way to keep the atmosphere light and happy. For some suggestions for board games visit: Best Board Games List.  However, if your family isn’t the board game type, you could always bring out the home movies and/or photos. If you plan ahead, you could even ask guests to bring their favorite videos and/or photos. That way, the family can be entertained as well as brought closer together by remembering bonding moments.

My second suggestion: Keep it as short as people’s fuses

There aren’t really any rules, per say, about how long or short your event must last. Sometimes, the drama doesn’t really start until the novelty of seeing someone you haven’t seen in a while wears off. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. But even with as much as we love each other and as well as we get along, if you keep us locked in one room for too long there will be some sort of drama. So, to cut down on that, have a plan to bring the party to an end, when you can see that people are becoming short fused. Also, don’t be afraid to have your event in shifts, if you happen to have people who cannot stand each other. Offer a buffet style meal with a large range of time people can stop by to visit. That way if any two people do not want to be around one another, they can split the time.

I hope the past three blogs have been able to help you with some aspect of this holiday chaos! Just remember, the reason for the season is the JOY! So don’t let the chaos steal your JOY! Keep calm, find tips and tricks that work for you and remember, you’re a Wild Mommy, you can do ANYTHING!

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@WildMommyMC

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

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Build your child by building your family

Hey Everyone!

First of all, I want to apologize for my inconsistency in blogging these past few weeks.

Combine a dying computer with a sick family and it’s definitely a recipe for BLOG KILLING! lol

But, I’m back now, family is healthy and the computer seems to be doing it’s thing. (We’ll see how long that lasts)

But, what I really want to talk about today is the sad state of family relations in today’s world.

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Really, I began writing WILD MOMMY, for me. It was a way of allowing myself to share the things I felt were important in parenting. And possibly, to help anyone out there who wanted to become a better, more involved parent. I never intended to have this blog be more than my shared thoughts and ideas, but it became more,

As well as being an expression of my Wild Mommy Heart, it became an outlet for me to confront ISSUES I see plaguing the parenting world and our children’s futures.

Well, here’s my biggest issue, The BREAKDOWN of family. Families today do not communicate or connect like they used to anymore. The problem with a family that doesn’t connect or communicate is that is creates a kind of “Lost” feeling in young children. Without a strong family bond, children feel less grounded and less secure. It can also cause self-esteem issues and even mental health issues.

Now, Most people who discuss this issue jump right into unwed pregnancies, divorce and even homosexuality.

And what I want to say to all that is… WRONG!

There is absolutely NOTHING SPECIFIC about those things that CAUSE the breakdown of family.

I can see how someone might like to argue that point with me. Because there definitely is CORRELATION between those things and this epidemic of “LOST CHILDREN”. But the fact of the matter is, no matter what TYPE of family situation you have, YOU STILL HAVE FAMILY.

What truly matters is the involvement and love AMONGST the family.The problem I see with a lot of families today is there simply is NO INTERACTION.

So many families out there are suffering simply because parents are too “busy” to stop and talk to their children.

It’s heartbreaking.

As a parent, it is YOUR JOB to guide your child. And that means STAYING ENGAGED!

Too many times I see kids being parented by TV or TABLETS, Parents who have NO IDEA what their children are doing and children who are just, AWFUL. I have no other way to put it. I see children who have NO RESPECT for adults, no concern for other people around them and to top it off, they have a sense of “entitlement” growing because of society. It’s an UGLY combination.

But all of it can be stopped simply by BONDING your family.

As parents, we set the stage for how connected we want our children to be with us. If you put effort into them, they WILL return the effort and stay connected with you.

And when tough issues come up, TALK TO YOUR KIDS.

Tell them EVERYTHING about the world, because ONE DAY they will be in it ALONE!

It’s a parent’s job to make sure children have the best assets possible when they enter into the world.

That means informing, encouraging, loving and supporting them. Which means you have to stay involved CONSISTENTLY!

Not only stay involved, but you have to encourage a BOND between yourself and your child, as well as encourage a BOND between grandparents, siblings, cousins, etc. You want to create a STRONG root system for your child to be able to get everything possible from life. And that strong root system allows them a sense of security in the world, as well. They will always know they have support and love, which will create in them a very STRONG character foundation.

By creating that strong foundation, you not only will have a child with a feeling of security, but it will actually BOOST your child’s self-esteem. A child who knows that at home they have close, loving, bonded relationships, will then go out into the world a HEALTHY, LOVING person, who feels secure in themselves. They will make better decisions on LOVE, because they will have knowledge of what a true BOND means. But, it’s more than that. You actually take some of the sting of REJECTION away, by having a strong family bond. That root system allows a child to explore relationships, while always having the security of a CONSTANT, UNENDING bond. So, when/if they experience heartbreak, the love of their family can actually help to ease the pain.

It is just simply the most important aspect of parenting.

As parents, we MUST provide that love, support and BOND that will help our children to become WHOLE, confident, secure adults capable of sharing and HEALING their hearts.

Join me next time as we go back to the MOMMY BLUES and take a look at Misbehaving: Not listening. We’ll begin by identifying the different reasons children do not listen, then I’ll share some of my favorite tips for how to CHANGE that!

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@Wildmommymc

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com