During this time of year when there are lists of things to do and places to go, don’t forget this one simple truth: people are more important than things. People are worth more of our focus than lists.
We may think that the lists of things make the holiday perfect for the people, but that isn’t true. While it is true that a loving effort for a nice occasion is noticed and appreciated, it is also true that a stressed-out parent at a perfect occasion ruins the occasion all together. No gift, list, or event is worth disconnecting from the people or damaging relationships.
When you are working on your lists of holiday plans this year, make yourself this promise: “I will allow myself to be interrupted by my children and bond to them. I will look them in the eyes and listen to what they say. I will treat my family members as my top priority.”
Years ago, when I decided to write a parenting book, I gave myself this advice for when I was writing. I told myself that I would always allow the family to interrupt me. And, that if they did, I would focus on them. I found so much joy in prioritizing through this one project that I made this rule part of my life. I wouldn’t allow my plans and lists to become the focus of my life. It is connecting to the people that brings the greatest joy.
This holiday season, when you are at home or at parties, look at the people around you. Take time to make them feel important and listened to. Look at them with love and understanding,and create a bond that will change both of your lives for the better. Holidays are for sharing and bonding. That is, after all, what makes them memorable.
By Nicholeen Peck
Nicholeen Peck is the mother of four and previous foster parent of many difficult and troubled teens. The Peck family's success with these difficult children was based upon calmness, the principles of self- government, and good communication. She has been teaching people around the world the principles of Self-Government since 1999. She has spoken on radio stations and TV in England and China as well as to parent groups all over the world to discuss effective parenting. In 2014 Nicholeen has been invited to speak by two family organizations at the UN for the “Year of the Family.” She has also recently been nominated for “Young Mother of the Year” for Utah. In 2009, Nicholeen and her family were featured in a one hour BBC documentary about parenting called "The World's Strictest Parents." She is a popular speaker, author of the international book, Parenting a House United, and the books Londyn LaRae Says Okay, Porter Earns A Quarter, Big Win For Quin, Popular Parenting Methods, many magazine articles, and a blog called http://TeachingSelfGovernment.com .