The winter holidays are my favorite, hands down. I enjoy everything about the holidays. I enjoy the decorations, the music, the gatherings, the school plays, the holiday fashions, the food… everything! This time of year always makes me smile and really take time to enjoy and appreciate the ones around me. I feel like all year we’re all on a hamster wheel just rushing and rushing and rushing, but when it comes to the winter holidays – for some reason – I just always feel that it’s time to stop and press pause and take in what we have around us.
As many of you know who already know me and have been following my blog, I’m a big believer in giving back during the holidays. It’s a time to give thanks. It’s a time to be grateful. And it’s a time to truly give back. I really try my hardest during this time of year to concentrate and focus on the importance and the beauty of giving. Giving is what makes the holidays so wonderful for me because it is that time to give of ourselves and give to others. It’s also very important that I share this with my children, too and inspire them to be the same way. It’s not always easy for kids to understand that the best thing they can do during the holidays is to give… they love to receive! And yes – I get it, it’s the holidays and there are presents to receive. But I really have tried to teach and show them that it’s the giving that is what really matters and what captures someone’s heart.
With the holidays here, I wanted to share some ways that you can GIVE to the people in your life. I love these ways because they’re not only meaningful, they’re incredibly important.
Three years ago I partnered with Responsibility.org and their incredible Ask, Listen, Learn program for tweens (ages 9-13). Ask, Listen, Learn is a program for parents that helps with ways to start conversations about why a healthy lifestyle is important, and why that healthy lifestyle doesn’t include drinking underage.
It’s been a pleasure for me to work with them because this is something I’m very passionate about spreading awareness about and giving these tools and resources to other parents. I’ve spent so much time really trying to help and educate parents and give them what they need to help them as they embark on this (sometimes) difficult time on their child’s life. As many of us know, there’s so much that kids deal with on their own as they get older and helping them to be armed with what to say and how to deal with any uncomfortable situations or experiences will help.
It’s that giving of information that is so important. Giving them the tools to make healthy choices and good decision is something as parents that we can give our kids, especially during the holidays. And it’s also key to share this information with other parents and caretakers, too.
But I’m not just stopping with my “big” guys this holiday season. I have my Victoria who is 5 years old and I feel it’s never too early to start giving kids – even at these young ages – the tools and information to make healthy decisions. With Victoria right now I’m trying to give her advise on how to deal with other kids that don’t want to play with her on the playground. Or give her advise as to how to deal with other kids doing things that aren’t good during recess or while she’s in class.
She’s already seeing demonstrations of bad behavior in some kids that she’s around and it’s a delicate conversation to have with a 5 year old, but it’s the same kind of teaching that I’m sharing with my tweens and teens. I want her to know that the difference between right and wrong. I want her to know that if someone’s being mean to another child, she should tell someone or standup for the one being made to feel bad. I want her to know that she shouldn’t be acting bad in class and that she always needs to listen to her teachers and respect them. I want to give her the tools NOW as to how to be responsible and trust worthy. I want her to be aware of her surroundings and know when she needs to ask me or her father for any kind of help. I want her to always know NOW that she can come to us for anything.
This time of year always does make me get into that giving mode and focus on what I can do to hopefully help others… even conversations at home with your kids is a big enough deal! Start them! Build on them! And don’t be afraid to open up the dialogue. At the end of the day – we just want our kids to make healthy lifestyle choices for themselves.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with Ask, Listen, Learn, part of Responsibility.org. All opinions are 100% my own.