After today, we at the HaltonParents will be stopping for the holidays to take some of our own advice and spend some quality time with our children and families. We hope you are looking forward to this time as much as we are.
Over the year we’ve written about the importance of taking the time to attach with your new baby, play with your kids, really listen to your teenagers. We’ve shared a plethora of ideas with you about connecting with your kids and how to handle tough situations. The thing is, we all know it’s easy to write these things and so much harder to live them every day. And as much as I’d like to say we are all perfect role models on the HaltonParents team, let’s be real.
In 2012, we may have on occasion spoken a bit too loudly to our kids (OK, I’ll say it, “yelled” at them). At some point, we may have been too preoccupied with getting the dishes done or doing the stupid vacuuming to have said “yes” to the hundredth request of “Mommy, will you play with me?” We may have also done our own eye roll back at our teenager who just reminded us how unfair her life is – again. OK, we confess, not “may”. We have done all of those things and more. And isn’t that just what parenting – and life – are about? Imperfection, learning, forgiving yourself, and striving to do better the next time around.
So, as I write today, I’m thinking I’d like to use this holiday time to do some serious chillin’ out: chillin’ out with my fam; chillin’ out about that friggin’ list that is never going to go away, not now and not in 2013; and chillin’ out about the guilt I’ve felt oh so many times when I wasn’t the super awesome, best parent I totally expect myself to be all the time.
And as I think about that, perhaps chillin’ out is the key to being a great parent anyway. Life is always going to be stressful. So, maybe if we use the holidays to remind ourselves not to take it all so seriously, that will actually help our kids be more resilient when their own stresses come – through school work, struggling friendships, and experiencing failure. Chillin’ out means taking a deep breath. It means stopping, taking a break, reframing/regrouping, and most importantly, laughing and enjoying life.
So here’s to a super chillin’ holiday for each one of you, with the hope that some of us may remember to take the “chill” right into 2013 and beyond!
Happy holidays, and thank you for hanging with us in 2012. See you in the New Year when we’ll continue our stumbling along the parenting journey together.
The HaltonParents Team