By now, children across North Carolina may be going a little stir crazy from the holiday break, and parents may be counting the days until their children return to school.
But experts are reminding us about the importance of quality time this holiday.
Samantha Gray, executive director of the support group Attachment Parenting International, says it’s important to remind ourselves about how much the holiday break means to children.
“Try to see it from their point of view,” Gray stresses. “They have a lot of anticipation about it. Then, planning a few things – don’t over plan, but have a couple of kind of milestones.
“So, that kind of thing helps us make the most of the days, because actually, by the end of it, it’s over faster than you knew.”
Gray says milestones may be a plan to see a movie one day and baking cookies the next. She adds it’s also important as an adult to know when to take a moment for yourself if patience runs thin. She says children value holiday traditions – no matter how small – so don’t underestimate their importance.
While the build-up to the holidays often makes parents feel like every event should look like a scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Gray says you can look for ways to make it easier on you, and offers an example:
“You create these high expectations, and saying, ‘This year we’re just going to do ready made hors d’oeuvres for Christmas Eve,'” she states. “We’re not going to go all out and make every single thing from scratch.’ ”
Other ways to spend quality time with children include a family game night, going for a walk, having a movie night or cooking together.