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Holidays at Boys Town

Adapting to a New Kind of Holiday Season

November 24, 2020     By Boys Town Contributor

Family, Parent-Child Relationships, Parenting Skills, Today's Family

The holidays this year will not look the same as past years. The usual holiday gatherings, traditions and events will need to take a backseat to the priority of keeping family, friends and communities as safe and healthy as possible. Because of this, there will be an increase in stress and disappointment among many.

To lessen and better cope with these feelings, it helps to get everyone on the same page and talk about how to reset expectations and begin adapting your holiday plans so they are not only safe but also fun, meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips on how you can go about doing that with your family.

Be Honest – Allow family members to share their fears, fatigue and faith about their disappointments. Allow your children and yourself the opportunity to appropriately vent emotions. Parents do not need to have all the answers. They just need to be willing to listen to concerns.

Be Flexible – Make decisions together as a family, especially decisions about changes to the holidays. Talk about what will need to take place to restructure family holiday gatherings, traditions and activities. All family members should work together to put the adaptations into place so everyone feels included and enthusiastic about them.

Be Mindful – In order to reduce stress, families need to be resilient. To do this, allow for daily mindfulness activities like meditation, rest, outlets for discussion/mediation, journaling, exercise and other individual activities that help family members better cope with difficult   feelings. Establish workable routines that help maintain calmness, stability and connectedness.

Change can be challenging, but we can all take comfort in knowing that, hopefully, we will never have to experience a situation like this again. In the meantime, you can use this time to self-reflect and rejoice in the many blessings you have. There is joy in the simple things of life. Have a happy holiday season!

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