Monday, December 5, 2011

Preparing Our Kids for Life...Starting With Santa!

As a lot of children do, my daughter screamed BLOODY MURDER last year when we went to visit Santa.  She was so excited as we stood in line but once it was our turn, she froze.  The dream of the cute family picture vanished from my brain...I knew it wasn't going to end well.
So, this year, I wanted to try something different.  We took the same approach we did to Halloween and we PRACTICED!  We practiced for weeks! 
"Have you been a good girl (boy) this year???"
"What would you like for Christmas little boy (girl)???"
They KNEW it! 
Well, Saturday morning came, they were excited, and they did great!  They were hesitant as they walked up but as soon as he started asking the same questions P and I had been asking, they started chatting up a storm!  IT WORKED!!!

On the way home, P and I were talking about how if we don't prepare our kids for these experiences, we can't be disappointed by their responses.  It made sense.  We help them practice their counting, pulling up their underwear, and eating with a fork. 
As parents, it's our job to prepare these little people for different experiences throughout life.  If we don't tell them what is appropriate/inapporopriate, how are they going to know?

One time, my next door neighbor asked me why I am strict with my kids.  I asked him how I was strict.  He said, "well, you have them repeat 'yes' when they have said 'yea.'" 

"Well, my dear neighbor, I am teaching my kids the english language.  More than that, it is my job to prepare them for whatever vocation God created them to do.  I want them to fulfill God's Will in their lives and I need to give them the tools to do that.  Knowing how to innately say 'yes' and look people in the eye will probably come in handy down the road.  We're just starting it now, before it's a big deal!"

Now, before you think I am crazy, I am well aware that Santa is not a big deal.  It was just a fun way to get the Christmas season going and experiment a little bit.  It really showed me that practicing these core lessons can go a long way and not only that, but you can have A LOT of fun doing it!

So, if last year was a disaster and you are hoping for better this year...PRACTICE.  Make a game out of it.  Get into character.  You'll find that in teaching theselittle things, you will have a lot of fun spending time with your kiddos.

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