What children really want this holiday season…

Last week, I began writing a blog about what children really need this holiday season. I wanted to urge parents to spend more time instead of more money on their children this holiday season. As a mom myself, I know how easy it is to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and to feel stressed by the lengthy to do list and a tight pocketbook.

But that was before the events at Sandy Hook Elementary. I am disheartened by the terrible news and I can’t help but think of the parents who have lost so much. Never has it been more clear, that the best gift we can give our children this holiday season is our love and time. When we think of the Sandy Hook Elementary parents’ suffering, how can we not stop, hold our children tightly and be grateful that they are safe?

So this year, I hope more families will embrace the importance of meaningful time with one another. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant — bake cookies together, go for a family walk, sing carols in church, have a goofy dance party in your kitchen, build a snow fort, snuggle together and watch a movie. Drive around and look at holiday lights. Just be together and present in the moment. Talk to your children about their day. Ask questions. Laugh with them and tell them how much you love them.

Time and time again, when the children we work with talk about their best memories of the holidays, it rarely has a price tag associated with it, and instead focuses on a fun and meaningful time they spent with the important people in their lives. Children thrive when they feel loved and valued and what better gift to give your child – and yourself.

Note: If you are seeking guidance on how to soothe your children’s anxiety in the wake of this tragedy, please see a list of resources we posted here.