Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Havoc of Holidays

 "The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."
(Psalm 16:6)

While holidays of all kinds are much anticipated, there can be a certain amount of dread at the thought of facing the inevitable chaos that accompanies them. This is when I remind parents of my great love of the BOUNDARIES books by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend. These Christian psychologists do a fabulous job of making readers aware of biblical mandates regarding these issues, and offer practical insights on how to let in the good and keep out the bad, gaining control of life.

Here are some holiday challenges to keep in mind:

  • Maintain boundaries with diet. While some fun foods or sweets are permissible, only you know your child's limits. Offer alternatives for your child when you know there will be other temptations around at picnics and social gatherings. Weigh in your mind what price you're willing to pay for your child deviating from their usual eating patterns.
  • Maintain boundaries with sleep. No one likes to miss the fireworks, big band concerts or other late night events. But again, count the cost. Perhaps being mindful of these challenges, a nap or quiet rest time in the afternoon can be built around this schedule. And if you have to skip events that run later in the evening, remember that it's not forever.
  • Maintain boundaries with risky behaviors. Does your child lack the mental capacity to discern danger? Then being near sparklers or other pyrotechnics is not advisable! Might using the trampoline be considered too dangerous for a child with a given diagnosis? Then don't be afraid to be firm on denying that activity, and offer another fun physical outlet. Is your child prone to wandering? Make certain that a medical alert tag is worn and that you make those you're celebrating with aware of this concern.
  • Maintain boundaries with hurtful comments. It is well known that police get the largest flood of domestic disturbance calls when there are holiday gatherings. Bringing people together often means unwanted remarks regarding your child or your parenting skills. Before subjecting yourself to this, make certain that you and/or your spouse are on the same page with what can/will be tolerated. Some parents are at a place where they can offer a firm, but appropriate retort. Others feel that one more comment will make them dissolve. Decide if it will mean leaving early or not going at all before you attend a gathering.
Getting ahead of these issues before you encounter them will help assure that your boundary lines will fall in pleasant places too! Have a wonderful holiday!

PRAY:  Holy Spirit, help me control the havoc of my holidays.  Remind me of these ideas.  Make order out of our chaos, so we can enjoy this time together.

~ Barb Dittrich

1 comment:

  1. These are some great points and well worth considering. Thank you for sharing them. My 3 year is old horribly afraid of loud noises so we will not be going to see them this weekend. But my daughter may go with friends.