573 Magazine Nov 2017 - Page 33

-- and yourself -- what the holidays are really all about. Have a conversation with your kids about traditions and spirituality. If you believe in Christ, focus on the real meaning of Christmas – and trusting God. If you have traditions or other beliefs, explain why they are important to your family. Practicing traditions gives all of us a chance to acknowledge and appreciate the culture and community to which we belong. It fills up our internal ‘security bank’ and gives us a sense of belonging. Traditions make the stress of daily life less painful, giving us comfort and strength. As parents, we can do a great deal to make sure that that inner bank of love and security has a healthy balance by the time they leave our care. Family traditions around holidays are one of the means we have for letting children know that they are embedded in community, for witnessing their growth over time, and for passing on important cultural and family values. Most parents have the skills to deal with their kid’s stress. Do seek professional help when any change in behavior persists, when stress is causing serious anxiety, or when the behavior is causing significant problems in functioning at school or at home. If you need help finding resources for your child, check with your doctor or the counselors and teachers at school. So this year, how about less emphasis on gifts and a perfectly clean house, and more time with the people who matter? Looking ahead, which memories will matter to your kids? I wish you happy holidays. 33