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It’s the most wonderful time of year—or at least that’s how your mind replays the memories as visions of holidays past dance around in your head.
Now that your daughter is a full-blown tween, the magic of the season may start to feel like it’s slipping through your fingers.
Her enthusiasm for Santa is nonexistent or waning.
Joining you in the kitchen to bake holiday goodies used to be something she begged to do.
Now, you seem to be the one pleading her to join in on the fun.
Don’t despair! Your daughter is changing and growing up, but there are still lots of ways to have a happy holiday with your tween.
Here are 5 that will help you have a joyful season:
As a busy, modern mom, there are many things trying to drag you down and distract you from what’s most important this time of year.
Deadlines and obligations at work.
Parties and performances that add to an already packed schedule.
Pinterest pressure to have all your decorating, gift selecting and wrapping, and culinary delights magazine worthy.
The constant onslaught of messages to “BUY THIS,” “DON’T MISS THE BEST DEAL OF THE SEASON” amid the financial strain of gifts for one and all.
The foundational step you must take to achieve the peace and joy you’re looking for and deserve is to get grounded.
Once you prioritize your own self-care DAILY and focus on what really matters to YOU, you will be able to manage the other pressures of the season.
From yoga poses to deep breathing exercises all you need is a few minutes each day to bring calm back into your life.
There’s something magical when your tween starts to contribute to building your family traditions.
To help her engage in the season, you can invite her to start a new tradition for your family. Whether that’s spreading goodwill to others or going to see a holiday performance or taking a walk on Christmas Eve, inspire her to own an experience this year.
You’ll be showing her you respect her growing up, and you’ll show yourself that there’s still magic and wonder to be enjoyed this time of year.
She’s also old enough to talk about what traditions she really loves and listen to you and other family members about what traditions you and they love and why.
Maybe this year, you’ll forgo making gingerbread houses because it was something added along the way that nobody really cares to do anymore. BUT, hearing firsthand why a tradition is meaningful could spark your daughter to embrace the tradition rather than resist it.
Navigating your tween’s gift list can be tricky – I get it! She might be trying to keep up with her friends and have things on her list that you don’t approve of or are out of your price range.
Giving experiences instead of gifts is one way that can help eliminate this struggle in your home. And the memories of an experience will last a lifetime, unlike some of the items on your tween’s list.
Who knows whatever happened to the purple pager I desperately needed when I was 12, or the limited edition Care Bear I had.to.have. (I’d actually love to know where this is!).
Another way to shift the focus during the holidays is to teach gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude is a lifelong gift. Just like with any new skill, gratitude will take practice.
Be kind to yourself and have patience with your tween. When you start talking to your daughter about what she sees within herself that she’s grateful for, she will start to shift her mindset to value her unique qualities.
Another way to make gratitude a tangible concept is to broaden her perspective to talk about what you’re grateful for in your community and in the world.
Eventually, by making gratitude a regular practice during the holidays and every day, your daughter’s perspective will begin to shift from “what can I get” to “I am grateful for what I have.”
As mothers we know that when you have kids, sometimes your best plans need to change course. I believe making a holiday action plan and being intentional and mindful about possible stressors and your strategies to overcome them is time well spent even if the plan ultimately shifts.
To help you experience more joy and peace this holiday, I outlined my entire strategy in the Inner Rainbow Project’s Holiday Happiness Guide for Moms of Tween Girls.
If you hear chimes of “I’m bored” about five minutes into your school break, then you’ll want to download my list of 108 Ways to Balance Emotions, Build Happiness and Be Your Best, True Self.
It’s full of creative, engaging and most importantly CONFIDENCE-BUILDING activities for girls. Instead of spending her break connected to her cell phone, you can see how many things on the list you can accomplish. You’ll both increase your happiness and improve your relationship.
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