For many families the holidays are about the wonder of a child enjoying Christmas. You must experience the wonder and mystery of the holiday season for yourself before you can give that to your children. The problem is that we try to create the perfect experience for our kids. The perfect gifts, tree and holiday cookies. Relax and enjoy the wonder not the gifts. More than anything your families needs time and experiences with you. Don’t live the holidays through your children, let them live the wonder through you instead. This means that you must relax and avoid the trap of becoming a helicopter parent. A helicopter parent is a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children. The goal is for your children to experience the wonder and joy of Christmas, that comes from the overflow of your heart, not gifts. Keep the wonder, beauty and mystery of Christmas alive in your heart.
So are you a helicopter parent? Here are some simple tests from author Lythcott-Haims:
1. Check your language. “If you say ‘we’ when you mean your son or your daughter – as in, ‘We’re on the travel soccer team’ – it’s a hint to yourself that you are intertwined in a way that is unhealthy.”
2. Examine your interactions with adults in your child’s life. “If you’re arguing with teachers and principals and coaches and umpires all the time, it’s a sign you’re a little too invested,” she said. “When we’re doing all the arguing, we are not teaching our kids to advocate for themselves.”
3. Stop doing their homework. Enough said.