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  • Writer's pictureKristen Conte

Holiday Family Values

We hope you enjoyed our November blogs around building connections within our families. We enjoyed delving into facilitating playfulness and sinking into joy at the pace and curiosity of a child! We had fun unpacking connection; bringing awareness to celebrating our children for who they are! We also built some deeper understanding around what is realistic to expect from young children and how we can nourish their learning, in a supportive way! This month, we want to focus on topics that surround the holidays - a time of year we know brings so much joy as well as stress to families. You’re not alone, and we’re here to talk about it with you.

We want to start this month’s blog with the question, “what does your family value around the holidays?” Tis the season of: 

  • holiday expectations, 

  • packed schedules (family gatherings on-repeat); and,

  • the pressure to make each day magical for our children, as we countdown to Christmas (as fun and/or exhausting as this can be. PS where is your Elf on the Shelf headed tonight?)

Not only do we get swept away with our own large Christmas To-Do lists within our own families  but we also get pulled into other people’s “visions for the season” as well! Whether that means an onslaught of additional plans and appearance expectations, it can also mean the pesky comparison game as parents. It can leave some of us feeling dejected and disconnected, or the pressure to accumulate financial debt to show our love. To say the holidays are a blender of mixed emotions is an understatement! As we begin to enter into the month of December, it’s ok to hit pause and reflect. It’s ok to ask yourself:

  • What do you value as a parent? 

  • What do you want your children to experience, feel and value around the holidays?

Is it the family gatherings? Baking or cooking together? Time outdoors ice skating? Playing in the snow after school and going for walks to explore animal tracks? Maybe what you value isn’t listed, or maybe it's a combination of things that change year to year - depending on what your family needs and what the year has felt like. That’s ok too. Traditions are allowed to evolve and change, based on the needs and priorities of your family. Values are allowed to shift and bend, especially when the year has brought unexpected change. Sometimes the constants around the holidays can bring us so much comfort, but the ebbs and flow can really make room for new, beautiful memories and perhaps - soon to be - traditions too. Remember, the holidays can be full of activities that feel GOOD for you and your family, and can even include activities that are self-care for yourself too! Although it’s tempting to say yes to everything or to feel guilty if we say no, it’s ok to value whatever your family needs this holiday season. We challenge you to say yes to an activity that feels bone-deep, heart-warming good for you and your family this season!

We understand that this season can be an overwhelming time for a lot of people. You’re not alone! We’re here to dig in with you, and it’s never too late to start! **If the holidays are feeling daunting, connect with us at PACE Counselling to get the support you need.

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