Holiday Parenting

It is a couple of weeks since I posted anything about parenting… I’ve been busy writing the advent series and upcoming 12 days of Christmas series of reflections.

However, this morning I found myself refereeing over a disagreement about who had the longest twiglet and thought it was time for a catch up.

The kids have settled well into school, probably helped by the fact they have done next to no learning other than the lyrics to carols and making pictures of reindeer.

We’re only a couple of days into the school holidays and I’m already more frustrated than I should be. Is there no end to the things children can get upset and angry about?! Fortunately, the stringent screen time rules are relaxed in the holidays so at least they can watch endless episodes of Lady Bug and Cat Noir rather than throwing toy cars at the Christmas tree (bearing in mind we’re staying at someone else’s house).

Does anyone else struggle with the fine balance between discipline and grace? I’ve been reflecting on this a lot but really I have no idea how you give consequences at the same time as showing them love and grace.

I don’t find the holidays easier – it’s just a different set of stresses really. I guess we’re all still in this weird period and change and transition, maybe it will be easier when we have a new rhythm in the new house…

In other news, I am very much enjoying my Lego Star Wars Advent calendar and I’m excited to hear that Disney+ are launching some more spin off shows like the Mandalorian in 2021. As a dad, I think it’s important that we are able to engage with a broad range of character types – beyond the usual provider, protector etc. One of these character types is the child that so many adults loose. I think my engagement with Lego keeps me in tune with the inner child.

I have also re-kindled my love of baking. I’d forgotten the joy that a cheese and rosemary biscuit can bring. So far we’ve made the aforementioned biscuits, two lots of sandwiched shortbread rounds (pecan and maple, pistachio and apricot), a Victoria sponge and some slightly odd savoury cheese meringues. The plan is to make chocolate profiteroles, ginger cheesecakes and more shortbread before the holidays are out. The gammon terrine is also an absolute triumph. We had Lamb (half price) on Sunday, we’re having Chicken on Thursday and Duck on Christmas day – there is shortcrust pastry waiting in the fridge to create a boxing day pie. This has nothing to do with parenting except that I am calmer if I have a flow activity and creating in the kitchen certainly ticks that box.

I’ll let you know how the next few days go.

Merry Christmas.

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