Christmas cheer and Christmas tears… There’s no doubt that parenting around the holidays can bring an equal amount of both. We buy the gifts, prepare the foods, decorate the tree, watch our Hallmark movies, and inevitably find ourselves frustrated at some point, that our ideal holiday is interrupted by the reality of our chaotic lives. If you know the feeling – you’re in good company, and in this special holiday episode of the Mama’s Well Podcast we have some tips to help you navigate some of the parenting challenges headed your way!
My guest this week, Anna Valdez, TBRI Practitioner, reminds us that MANAGING OUR OWN EXPECTATIONS is the first step towards a holly, jolly Christmas! Let’s be honest. Holiday preparation typically leaves us scrambling with very little time to cover the basics, it takes clear intentions to find adequate time to prepare ourselves and our children mentally and emotionally for what’s about to go down. It’s important to remember that the trauma experienced by our foster and adoptive children can make the navigation of everyday situations difficult, much less the whirlwind that exists around extended family gatherings and the like. Communication is one of the best gifts you can give yourself, your spouse, your children and your loved ones when it comes to setting your holiday up for success.
Here are a few of the communication tips covered in this week’s episode:
– Prepare yourself on the role that expectations can play in our level of holiday frustration. Preemptively discuss possible scenarios that might be triggering to you or your child and think through a variety of calm, loving responses to those various situations so you can feel empowered to meet any challenge you might face.
– Prepare your children in advance for your holiday gatherings. Discuss your plans in detail, working through transitions, people, traditions or anything else that might be unfamiliar or that may be challenging to you child.
– Prepare family and friends about the heightened state of vigilance that children from trauma experience and the potential for behaviors that may be difficult to navigate. Let them know the ways that they can be supportive to you and your family.
We discuss these tips and more in this special holiday episode of the Mamas Well Podcast. Watch now and let’s all relax into a Merry Christmas filled with food, fun, family, gifts and REASONABLE EXPECTATIONS.