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On Christmas Eve we do not sit at the table in a tracksuit and socks. You don't have to explain it to anyone. This rule also applies to our children. Of course, we do not have to pack a few years into a fitted suit with an English slit, but we should make sure that the toddler's costume is festive. Let the kids see and feel the difference this special evening. Girls in beautiful dresses, little gentlemen in stylish shirts. We say definitely no to cotton tracksuits (although we like it) this evening! Festive dress shows children that Christmas Eve is an important event, makes them feel part of it. Finally, mom and dad also dressed more beautifully and more carefully than usual.
And at the table ...
A richly set buffet. Fish, meat, salads, dumplings. What only the soul wants. And suddenly ... there is nothing to eat here. I want a sausage and ketchup! This type of event is unfortunately a scourge. It is obvious that the adult Christmas Eve menu does not apply to infants and young children (and dishes with mushrooms also the older ones) and some allergy sufferers. But what to do with a six-year-old who "doesn't like anything"? We should not allow older children (we forgive more toddlers) to be embarrassed by this type of behavior. If we are guests, such behavior can make the hostess unpleasant and embarrass us. An older child should already know that it's just rude. Translating and instilling the principles of cultural behavior on a daily basis will avoid this type of "mishaps" during important dinners. Of course, you can't turn back time and act backwards. If we know that a child is capable of behaving in such a way that he will be disgusted and will not eat anything from the table anyway, just ... let's give him dinner earlier. He won't be hungry, so he'll save you the embarrassment. Certainly happy to eat dessert. The child will be fine and we will not give him the opportunity to show him from the "wrong" side.
We say no to technology!
Tablets, telephones, TV sets - we turn it off during dinner and parties. We do not click on touch screens and do not allow children to do the same. Of course, it is easy to turn on the toddler cartoon and enjoy peace, but it would be harmful by all means. First, it would isolate the child on the evening that traditionally counts on family and community. Secondly, it would teach them inappropriate behavior. One evening we will endure without technology. Let's show our children what is most important on this day.
Well, nothing can be enforced at this point since childhood. The emotions associated with unpacking packages are enormous. The joyful shout cannot be stopped. It also happens that a disappointed child exclaims: I didn't want such a doll, I wanted a mermaid! There's nothing we can do about it. We are unable (and well) to control our honest response in such important matter. Children can't pretend. So what can we do as parents so that the child can accept gifts in the future? Set an example! Accepting gifts is an art, unfortunately, recently it has deteriorated. We are surrounded by advertisements of "hit" gifts, rankings of hated gifts dominate the Internet, and people exchange gifts in shops on a mass scale. So how do you accept gifts to teach children? First unpack immediately after receiving. We do not put it aside (except for birthday parties, crunches etc. at which we open all the gifts "by commission" - showing the contents of individual packages to the gathered guests).
Secondly, we show joy and gratitude. Yes, it can come with difficulty, especially if after unpacking our eyes appear ugly vase, or sweater, which "bites" from just looking. Let us recognize that the donor had the best intentions (after all, it is usually so) and appreciate them. Let our children see that we appreciate every gift. Someone put a job, money, packed it carefully, wanted to please us. Even if the gift is not to our liking, let's not talk about it with children. And let's not exchange missed gifts. Aunt, who added to the silk scarf that she has a receipt, so if you do not like it, then you can name it, it does not deserve to hear that her efforts to give you joy failed. Of course, you don't have to use something that doesn't suit you, you can (after waiting a bit) place unnecessary gadgets at auction, replace it. Discreetly.
For most Poles, Christmas Eve is the most important dinner of the year. Preparations for it take really long. Choosing presents, cleaning, cooking - in other words, a lot of work. Let's not forget about the most important things in this Christmas rush. Let us teach our children to celebrate this solemn event. This is very important if we want to preserve the festive character of the evening. If we indulge too much and turn a blind eye to the inappropriate behavior of children, and at the same time we do not set a really good example, in a few years our toddlers will grow into adolescent teenagers, for whom Christmas Eve is only an opportunity to get lots of new gadgets.