That’s a phrase you might hear a lot during the holiday season. And that’s a wonderful thing! For many families, the holidays often bring people together that don’t get to see each other much during the year.
Do you remember hearing things like “You were so little last time I saw you!” and “I remember when you were just learning to walk!” and “Do you remember me?” Those conversations can feel weird, but they can also be really fun.
Once the greeting is finished and everyone gets comfortable, see if there are any kids about your age to play with. You can also have a good time talking to people of different ages. Hearing stories from your grandparents and other older relatives can open your mind to new thoughts and ideas. You can ask questions to find out interesting stuff. You could ask, “What kinds of outdoor games did you play when you were my age?” or “What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?” or “Do you have any hobbies you can tell me about?”
If you are a little shy around new people, that’s completely understandable. The holidays are a great time to practice talking to people you don’t know well. The family and friends who visit during celebrations are there because they love you and your family and want to know you better!
Family and friends can make a great support system. That means that they can listen to you, and help you when you need it. Enjoy getting to know them … they will love getting to know YOU!
Did you know that two of the most common phrases during the holidays are “Go give [insert person’s name here] a hug!” and ”You remember [insert person’s name here], don’t you?”
Remember that kids aren’t always comfortable giving physical affection to relatives or friends whom they don’t know very well. They may not even remember someone they met when they were one or two years younger. Counselors suggest you let your children skip the physical greeting if it makes them feel uncomfortable.
Try something like “You’re such a good hugger. Maybe you’d feel more comfortable hugging Great-Aunt Marjorie at the end of the day.” and to the relative, “Timmy is a little quiet around people he doesn’t know well, but he is great at high fives! Maybe by the end of the day he’ll volunteer to give you a hug.”
Even if your children are a little shy or uncomfortable around relative strangers, the holidays are a great opportunity to help your children practice their manners and learn social skills. A polite greeting and smile are always acceptable.