With the holiday season fast approaching, I think that it is important to continue to find ways to slow life down to a pace that satisfies ours and our children’s deepest needs and, to take the pressure off ourselves in as many ways as possible.
With that in mind, the theme for December is going to be:
Accepting The Ordinary.
There is so much pressure on us to be extraordinary today, especially so at this time of year.
Pressure to succeed. Pressure to fit it all in. Pressure to be happy. Pressure to make sure that our children don’t miss out. Pressure to get ahead. Pressure to get an extraordinary gift. Pressure to put a HUGE feast on the table.
Pressure to escape the concept of ordinary.
What is so wrong with ordinary?
Why do we need the “extra”?
When we strive to make every experience in life extraordinary; do extraordinary things, wear extraordinary clothes, do extraordinarily well, be extraordinary, we put incredible pressure on ourselves to be something that at the end of the day, we might not be capable of and the situation cannot bring us. And, in doing so, we can put extraordinary pressure on our children. It can make them feel that ordinary is not good enough and that they are not good enough as they are.
Did you ever see the 2013 holiday advert from a large Swedish furniture company? Here it is. It comes with a warning: watching this might cause instant liquefying of mascara!
In it, 10 primary school-aged children were asked to write two letters: one to Santa Claus and the other to their parents.
Here’s what the children asked their parents for:
Dear Mom and Dad,
This is what I want from you:
- To spend more time with you
- For you to pay more attention to me
- To have dinner with you more often
- For you to tickle me
- For you to read us a story
- For us to be together for ONE whole day
- For you to play cowboys with me
- For you to play soccer with me
The letters to Santa included long lists of toys and material items.
The children were then told they could only send one of the two letters, but they could choose which one to send.
Every child chose to send the letter they had written to their parents.
The magic truly is in the ordinary moments we get to spend with our children, because the extraordinary is often to be found in the ordinary. Kids inherently know this. Every single thing listed here is really nothing extraordinary, is it? It’s quite simple. Our kids just want more ‘ordinary’ moments spent with us.
I see chasing the extraordinary a bit like searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. We can chase and search all we want but at the end of the day, the pot of gold is within each of us, right here under our noses.
This season, let’s stop chasing the extraordinary and create the magic in the ordinary moments. This is what our children need and want.
Stay tuned, over the course of the next couple of weeks I will be sending out a tip or two to help you stay “slow”, keep your foot off the gas, reduce the pressure and experience more joy.