Managing Christmas Expectations

Parenting coach, Meghan Leahy, offers some advice on how to help your child cope with disappointment when larger-than-life expectations around Christmas are not met.

“The problem is that parents often feel guilty for failing to meet those expectations, so they go overboard — and miss an opportunity to teach their children how to handle disappointment, a skill that they will need as they get older.

“It seems to reflect parenting at its larger core,” Leahy said. “Kids don’t just play soccer, they play soccer, tuba and guitar. There’s this need in us to supply it all. That is actually a really inaccurate message for life.”

Let your child put whatever he wants on his holiday wish list, Leahy said. But instead of making yourself crazy…focus on choosing a few meaningful items that are within your budget.

They might get upset or express disappointment…But that’s okay, Leahy said.

“If your child throws a fit, say Santa had a lot of requests to fill,” she said. “You have to let them experience that disappointment, and don’t call them ungrateful. It’s okay for them to have hope and it’s okay to run into the disappointment of not getting what you want. Just let them move on, because they will.””

Article: Parenting coach Meghan Leahy on managing a child’s holiday gift expectations, The Washington Post

Image credit to TIMOTHY CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

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