The sun has barely risen, and heavy footsteps followed by loud excited yells fill the air.
And around the world, parents groan with a smile – let the chaos begin. Let’s be honest, 2020 took parenting and shook it up like those Christmas cocktails you know you are suddenly craving/ going to drink plenty of, and has the paved way to a new style of parenting.
I believe we have connected with our children more this year than ever before and I don’t know about you, but somehow the crazy year full of uncertainty has made this time of year just that little more magical. Of course, seeing that many presents under the tree sent it all into pandemonium and I was reminded of the most important rule at Christmas time:
to breathe and be in the moment.
To take it all in and reflect on the important things.
It’s not the Christmas we envisioned or expected due to lockdown, restrictions and missing family members, but it is important to still find the value in it. I have a long-standing tradition of going all out the second December 1st comes around. There is enough food to feed the neighbourhood ten times over and enough sugar to make even the biggest sugar addict shake their head. There are the late-night drives to find the brightest lights and as many Christmas movies as we can fit in.
And don’t even get me started on the adventures of that bloody elf.
This year in particular, I went even more overboard than usual. Because 2020 was full of tears, stress and the unknown, I wanted to make this Christmas a happy end to it all and to celebrate that we made it. As I took my own advice on taking it all in and reflecting on the year while watching my children drown in wrapping paper, I realised just how lucky I was. I was lucky because my family was together which I know a lot of you in lockdown don’t have at the moment. But as we sat down for lunch that my mother went all out for, things got a little harder and a little more realistic.
There was an empty seat at our table, one of the many empty seats around tables all around the world whether it be from restrictions or other circumstances. That empty seat reminded me that reflecting on the positives, especially this year, can be the hardest thing to do. But that we also owe it to ourselves and those not the table to at least try. So, amongst all the crazy yelling, loud toys (Thanks Nanna) and the amazing aromas, take a minute and remember to breathe. Grab your wayward children and make them breathe as well.
Our ParentalEQ BackPack App has brilliant belly breathing exercises that can help calm the most excited or emotional child – and adults too. My family is a fan of the Belly Breathing module and I can honestly say it saved a few breakdowns (mine not the kids).
It breaks belly breathing (deep breathing that comes from your diaphragm) down into fun games like “Animal breathing” “Craft breathing” and “Breathing with Objects” that includes blowing up a balloon, moving a Ping-Pong ball across the room and making a tissue dance. These exercises can be used to not long help calm down the chaos but to entertain the kids while you sneak another piece of pudding or pavlova. You can also make them into Christmas themed games for the whole family to enjoy.
So, as you sit with full tummies and even fuller hearts, think about the new year coming and all of the opportunities 2021 can bring you and your family. Strive to find those positives and make them bigger and better come the new year. We at ParentalEQ hope your Christmas was as full as it could be, and we will see you in the New Year.
We’ve just gone live with subscription – 40+ new modules over the next 4 months. 50% off the annual membership for all you progressive parents.
(only until January 31st 2021)
Click here to download
Words elegant & authentic from Casey Luxford