Help Get Your “i-Kids” Back to the Holiday Table!
Written by Carew Papritz- “Mommy’s Gone Shopping Again” Guest Post
Have you experienced a holiday dinner when it seems like the kids are more thankful for their phones than their family? With kids glued to their apps, screens, texts, and videos, we’ve finally reached the modern equivalent of that age-old parenting adage, “Be seen but not heard.” Now our kids are both not seen and not heard. Is that what we want for our holiday dinner? Is that the family tradition we want to leave them?
In our 24/7 world where everything is so convenient, so easy, and so very quick, traditions are not fast. They do not change overnight and for good reason. They provide history to our lives and memories that bind families together. Traditions are also a vital part of our legacy to our children. In my inspirational book, The Legacy Letters, I realized that legacy is not what you leave behind but how you live in the moment. And that’s how our family traditions should be—living in the moment so the moment will last forever.
So where do begin? Let’s start with the “gift of participation.” Let your kids “get in the way!” Let them help make the family bean dish, or the turkey sage dressing, or the marshmallow Jello dessert. Let them find a desert to make so they can start their own recipe tradition. Have them prep the food, cook, clean, setup the tables and chairs, and set the table. Have ALL the kids involved. That’s the beauty of peer pressure and it works. (And it keeps the moans and groans to a minimum.)
Next, let the kids know the “traditions of participation” so there are no surprises. Let them know that all the kids will set the table. How everyone says some sort of blessing or thanks at dinner. Let them know they’ll all be washing the dishes because that’s what you did as a kid. Let them know about the tradition of the after-dinner walk, and then cutting up the pumpkin pie. Or serving up the marshmallow Jello dessert.
Lastly, create what I call an “e-Free” zone and let the kids—and adults— know where and when that is. The holiday dinner table is absolutely an “e-Free” zone. Nothing that emits electrons near your food. No cell phones or TV (yes, and that means the football game). If you want to create an “e-Free” zone on your traditional walk after dinner, then do. The “e-Free” zone is a technology time out—and it can definitely be extended to other parts of your life and the life of your kids!
This gift of participation—is truly a legacy gift. It’s so easy for kids to reap only the rewards of the holiday table. But easy isn’t always better. Some things, like creating traditions, are anything but easy and quick. And that’s a good thing.
Written by Carew Papritz
Author of the award-winning, inspirational bestseller,
“The Legacy Letters” ©2016
Author Bio: Carew Papritz, also known as The Cowboy Philosopher, is the author of the multi-award winning inspirational book “The Legacy Letters.” This best-selling author left his career as a filmmaker in Hollywood, and returning to his ranching roots, worked as a cowboy on a cattle ranch in the Southwest where he began writing his book. “The Legacy Letters,” though fictional, has also won acclaim as a life lessons book for all generations, gaining the distinction of being the only book in publishing history to win awards in both fiction and non-fiction categories. A Renaissance Man in an age that lauds the specialist, The Huffington Post says Papritz “intrigues and enlightens, charms and catalyzes change for every reader.”
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”