Veteran parents have learned the importance of saying ‘yes’ to life in general, but reserving the right to give a final, definite, no-refunds ‘no’ to specific requests and activities that involve their children in questionable pursuits or eat up too much of their own time and money.
This is especially true during the Holiday season, when the spirit of generosity and an open heart are dinged at us constantly from the TV and social media. Who wants to be a Scrooge or a Grinch when it comes to putting the kibosh on your children’s activities?
But of course smart parents know that setting boundaries is never a job that is finished and wrapped up with a bow. There’s always new ways the kids can figure out to push the envelope. So what’s a holly jolly parent to do?
Krystal Arnot, an educator in the Midwest, has this holiday advice for parents:
“As soon as the kids are out of school for vacation, take a full afternoon to hold a family council meeting, in which your children are made to understand that they will have a full voice. Then start listing all the activities that everyone really wants to do, decide to do them, and schedule them. Then discuss all the various traditions and expectations that the holidays also bring, and get a consensus on whether to continue doing them — once everyone is agreed, two thirds of your holiday arguments have just disappeared!”