By LOYLA LOUVIS
For Montclair Local
In “Mother Matters,” parenting and life coach Loyla Louvis, AACC, provides parenting tips. She is dedicated to eliminating frustration in the parenting journey by customizing solutions to fit the uniqueness of each family. A mother of four children, she is experienced with single parenting, remarriage, home education, mentoring and teaching. Louvis runs Mothers in Training, LLC, and is a certified professional parenting consultant/coach. More info can be found at Mothersintraining.org.
The chilly winds of autumn blow leaves gently to the ground while golden beams of sunlight illuminate the afternoon sky. Nature announces that Fall must bid us farewell. It is time to pack up Halloween decorations and dig out the accouterments of a new season.
It is here between pumpkin picking and winter celebrations that the wise mother pauses to utilize this valuable window of opportunity. With careful planning and strategic action steps, she will ensure a peaceful vibe in her home as the holiday season approaches.
With a peaceful home for the holidays in view, let us consider the following:
Be flexible. A branch that bends does not easily break. Holiday planning is tricky when many are involved in the decision-making process. Be open to new ideas and methods. As a child experiments with their growing independence, they often want to bring new ideas to the table. A question such as, “Do you have a new idea you’d like to add to the holiday planning this year?” opens the door to enthusiastic participation.
Get everyone involved. The family that works together stays together. Gather the family together to create a master list of work to be done. Invite each person to sign up for two or three tasks of their choosing. The question, “Which tasks would you like to take care of for our holiday preparations?” creates freedom of choice. A child who has a say in what work he or she will do tends to be more cooperative.
Own your joy. No man can steal what he cannot take. Choose to find your inner joy and protect it from sabotage. If you accomplish all sorts of tasks in preparation for the holidays but are not joyful, it will sabotage your hard work. This truth is a valuable life lesson for a child, as well. It is a bonding experience to work together as mother and child on the following statement, “I choose to bring my best self to the table no matter how the day unfolds.” The light of inner joy is not only personally satisfying; it is contagious.
Model What You Desire. Be the change you want to see. The behavior you desire to see in a child will not only come from the words you say but the responses you display. While it is tempting to focus on a child’s poor behavior over the holidays, it is your reaction which speaks volumes. A peaceful correction that begins with “Please turn off the television and come to me now,” exemplifies calm, controlled role modeling to an overstimulated child.
Let go of the outcome. An open hand receives more than a closed fist. Proper planning and diligent preparations make the holidays special, but things rarely go as planned. A child may be overwhelmed or overstimulated by the festivities of the day. You are only responsible for dealing with things as they come; you can’t prevent them necessarily from happening. “We will deal with the day as it unfolds” is a mantra that goes a long way toward regulating emotions when a child acts out in front of family and friends.
The air will soon chime with the clamor of holiday shoppers and joyful songs of the season. Excitement will mount as children await family gatherings, delicious meals, and the exchange of thoughtful gifts. The mother who plans now for the days ahead can rest assured she will enjoy a peaceful home for the holidays.