Xmas is a time for celebration. But, it's also a great opportunity to teach your little ones some important values. Sadly, the significance of Xmas seems to have changed from learning to share, coming together as a family, and spreading love, to becoming more and more materialistic. It’s important that our little ones know that Xmas is about more than just giving Santa a long wish list and getting new toys!
If you are wanting to bring some meaning back to the festive season, here are some great life lessons you can share with your kids:
One of the easiest lessons to teach at Xmas is also one of the most overlooked. We know how easy it is to get swept up in running around and getting everything on your kids' wishlists, just to see their faces light up on Xmas Day. But what are we actually teaching them by doing this? It’s important to teach your children that giving can be just as exciting as receiving.
A great way to do this is to encourage them to choose a gift for their friend or family member. Share with them that person’s interests and what they might love to receive. Then let them buy the gift with you and wrap it together. When the time comes to give that person the gift, they’ll be so excited to hand over their gift and see their reaction.
Another idea is to get them to choose a few toys that they are willing to donate, and explain to them that they will go to boys and girls who don’t have anyone to buy them gifts and how happy it will make them. This will allow them to experience the joy that giving a gift can create.
The festive season is one of the best times to create special family moments. It’s also a great opportunity to spend more quality time together as a family and to create conversations around how special this time is and the importance of having a loving family.
A great activity to encourage this is to play a game where each person talks about something they love about another family member. It’s a great way to get children to realise their family will always be there for them, no matter what.
Xmas Day brings with it a lot of excitement and anticipation, and it’s easy for kids to get over-excited and rush through opening presents, without pausing for a moment to think about where the gifts have come from. This year, try to get your kids to slow down a little and really appreciate things. Make sure that they take the time to thank each person individually who has given them a present. You might even like to encourage them to write thank you notes to friends and family.
Xmas is also a great time to teach kids to be thankful for the bigger things in life. With so many people less fortunate at this time of the year, it’s a good opportunity to talk to your kids about all the things they have to be grateful for, and how they might be able to help others through random acts of kindness.You can even ask your kids to come up with their own gratitude list where they write down the things that they are most grateful for.
There is no better way to communicate this than with the story of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. It might be a heart-warming Xmas song, but it also provides a great opportunity to talk to your kids about being “different” from others, and why it isn’t a bad thing. Everyone has their own unique qualities and that’s what makes them special.
It’s also a great opportunity to talk about bullying and being kind to others. Talk about how Rudolph was treated like an outcast and defriended by those who’d previously thought he was just like them. In today’s world, it’s a very meaningful lesson. Kids should learn from a young age to embrace diversity, and that no one should ever feel left out or treated poorly simply for being a little different.
It’s never too late to teach your kids valuable life lessons this Xmas! As parents, let us strive to make Xmas more meaningful to our children by teaching them what the season is really about.
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