Follow the Children’s Lead (12 Days of Christmas Family Fun)

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Children know what’s fun. And sometimes it’s better to follow their lead when it comes to family entertainment.

The first year that I instituted the Christmas Countdown, I was so excited about all the fun we would have. I knew my kids would have a blast eating dinner backwards and going light looking in their pajamas and decorating cookies.

Heck! I knew I would have a blast.

Imagine my surprise, however, when the idea of eating dessert first crashed and burned. I was stunned. My oldest absolutely refused to eat dessert before he ate his dinner. And a child digging his heels in over dessert? Well, that kinda takes the wind out of your sails.

So, lesson learned. This year I asked him if he would mind if we ate dessert first one night. He was utterly confused why I would ask such a question. Of course, he didn’t mind!

The ultimate lesson, however, was to let my kids take the lead.

I can provide the activities and be available, but if it’s “supposed to be fun,” I certainly can’t make them. At least, I’m not going to fight it. Sure, there might be one guy in the bunch who balks while the rest of us frolic. That’s a different issue about attitude.

But, overall, I’ve learned that when fun is concerned, it’s better to take my cues from my kids, instead of the other way around. They know what would be enjoyable to them, and that is why I want to do something in the first place. And this year, they’re totally excited about gingerbread houses and Christmas ornaments and everything!

12 Days of Christmas

This week we’re sharing quick and easy ideas for family fun while some friends are sharing tips in different areas.

How do YOU decide what to do for family fun?

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  1. I am happy that you learned that you cannot make your kids have fun. My mom told us when we were going to have fun and to this day, when someone says I will have fun, I know I won’t…

  2. This is so important to realize. Sometimes we want the holidays to be the way we remember them as children, but if we really think about it, what we want is to be happy the way we were as children. To recreate that we have to listen to our children, and make traditions that appeal to our whole family. We will quickly realize that what makes us all happy is what we want.

    Thank you for this wonderful post.

    1. “what we want is to be happy the way we were as children” – excellent point!