Keeping the family together and feeling connected during the holidays can be a real challenge for fencing families who seem to be going in a thousand different directions at once! With competitions, practices, schoolwork, parties and more all yanking your family in alternate directions, sometimes it feels like the family is never even together during the holiday season.
Here are eight tips that will help you keep your family stuck together and feeling on top of things during the holiday season.
1. Seek Out Moments
Though your schedules might be all over the place, you can as a family still make time to do things together in the little moments. These might be the few minutes that you’re waiting for practice to start or the time that’s spent unpacking the car when you pull up to the club. The point is to just breathe in these moments with your kids, savoring them. This time of year reminds us of how important family is and how lucky we are to have each other. Take the opportunity to just appreciate the little things.
2. Simmer in the Season
Another wonderful part of this time of year is the fun! Who doesn’t love the fun and sometimes silliness? Wear some reindeer antlers while you’re out running from school to practice or stick some brightly colored seasonal stickers into your child’s gear bag for them to find at practice. Enjoy the silliness!
3. Recognize Limitations
You can’t do it all, and that’s ok! You might not get everything done on your to do list, so when it feels crazy just look at it and make some cuts. What’s really important? Then forgive yourself for not getting it all done and let it go.
4. Share Thankfulness
This doesn’t mean mom and dad lecturing the kids about how they should be grateful, but rather it means leading your child by example. Take some time to thank the special people who have supported your family this year. For fencers that means coaches, teammates and staff at the club. Ask your child who they’re most thankful for, then make it a point to lead them in sharing that sentiment.
5. Reach Out
Sometimes we just go through our days, far apart from each other and without really connecting to our families. Reach out to your kids during the day when you get a chance. It might be a text or an email (because aren’t most kids wired today?), but send something out to recognize the season. It will really help you to connect with your child!
6. Ask Questions
This one goes right along with the one before. Ask your child questions about their life! This is so, so important. Allow them to do the talking more than you, and keep that ear towards them. Remember that as crazy and overwhelmed as you might feel during the holiday season, your child is feeling it too.
7. More hugs
Did you know that hugs actually make you happy? They absolutely do. Hugs release endorphins in the brain, which make us feel better both physically and mentally. Give extra hugs to your child this time of year, in front of their friends and anywhere that you happen to be together (yes, even at the club!).
8. Carve Out Special Time
When you’re running from practice to the fencing club to home to sleep to school to practice and around and around, it can seem like there isn’t ever any special time! Then you’ll need to make it. Drive by some festive lights on the way home, or stop unexpectedly for a dinner out at your favorite hangout after training. Whatever you do, make some devoted time a priority with your child. Again, you can work it around whatever you need to! Think outside the box. If you’ve got practice and competition pushing on you, then maybe your special time is early in the morning before school or late at night on a weekend when you don’t have competition the next day. Whenever you schedule that time, make it about just you and your child.
How do you make special family time happen during the holidays despite your busy fencing schedule? Let us know in the comments! Happy coming holidays!