12 Days of Christmas Parenting
It’s hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner! It seems like we just celebrated Thanksgiving a few days ago. This time last year, I posted a holiday blog tour called: “The 12 Days of Christmas Parenting” on the blogs some of my favorite people. This year, I’ll be posting those articles on my blog for those who either missed it last year – or need a reminder for some practical ways to lead your kids during this busy season!
I’ll share tips for parents on how to navigate the difficult traps of the holidays, and create moments with life long impact. We’ll talk about 12 ideas to combat ingratitude, selfishness and impatience — and encourage generosity in your children, especially through the holidays.
Today’s post originally appeared on Greg Surratt’s blog. I have known Greg as a friend for several years, and so respect the work he does leading Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant, SC. He and his wife have 4 incredible children and 7 grandchildren who they adore.
Growing Perspective in Your Kids at Christmas
Our kids are experiencing something unique today. Adolescence is expanding on both sides. Young kids are hungering to enter adolescence early, wearing suggestive clothing, pierced ears, wanting cell phones, and even tattoos. At the same time, young adults are taking longer to grow up and be ready for adult responsibility. Several college deans have told me this: 26 is the new 18.
One of the marks of maturity is perspective. A mature kid sees the big picture; certainly he or she can see beyond his/her own selfish needs. So how do we build perspective in our children?
If you have a globe in your house, gather your kids around it and play “Spin the Globe.” Have them spin your globe and point their finger on a spot. When the globe stops spinning, notice what nation they are pointing to and talk about it. Maybe Google some facts on that country and talk about what some of their greatest needs are socially, materially, economically, and spiritually. Then pray for that nation.
But don’t stop with this. Next, talk about your children’s school campus. What’s happening on their campus? After some conversation, ask them to name one problem at their school that really needs to be solved. Get as specific as possible.
Challenge them to “adopt” that problem as their own. Have them list the steps that could be taken to solve the problem. (These may be imaginary steps depending on the size of the problem they’ve chosen.) Get them thinking about their vision to make the school better instead of complaining about how bad it is.
Finally, have them write about it, draw a picture or clip out photos from magazines that depict the vision they have for their school. Have them create a mural if they wish. Then, post these pictures in their room as a reminder to both pray and act on their vision. This kind of activity cultivates both vision and a big picture perspective in kids.
“Where there is not vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law.” (Proverbs 29:18)
What are you doing this Christmas to grow perspective in your kids?