Some people can accept quirky, can accept differing preferences, but there’s one thing that flummoxes most people: If it’s easy for them, it should be easy for you. They have a very hard time understanding why you’re struggling.
We live in a hyper-connected world where people’s tragedies and struggles go viral, where we can be reached anytime, anywhere – by strangers as well as friends. While being informed and aware is a good thing, I fear that we are unwittingly hurting the mental health of our kids and young people – not to mention ourselves. We weren’t made for this.
Sometimes, our kids don’t experience the world the same way we do. There are allergies, sensory sensitivities, and other challenges that would make the events that we loved more stressful than thrilling, more anxiety-inducing than awe-inspiring.
You can give your kids… and yourself… a gift. The gift of an appropriate and child-informed holiday season. I’m not saying that we let our littles become dictators who determine what we do (and don’t) do, but instead of chasing after recreating the past and keeping up with the neighbors down the street, we do what works for our family. At our pace. And don’t feel guilty about the rest.
Instead of feeling guilty, I’ve learned some simple tricks to bring the outdoors in, which inspire lots of creativity and exploration.
This list is going to be the anti-list to those “hot toys” out there. Nothing. I repeat. Nothing on those lists is being marketed to inspire creativity and open-ended exploration. Instead, these toys are specifically designed for a cheap thrill that your kids will soon tire of and then move on to the next craze. So… turn off the commercials, hide the catalogs, and think about ways to inspire your little ones to think and grow in creative ways.
We can’t ask ourselves or our kids to control that which they do not see, any more than we can ask a colorblind person to match the colors or someone listening to loud music to respond to verbal commands. It doesn’t work.