At this time of year, opportunities abound for passing on to your kids some of the most essential and time-honoured life skills of all, those of Compassion, Tolerance, Unselfishness, Teamwork and Social Confidence.
If you’re stumped for ideas on how, being the CANDo type of people we are, we’ve come up with a Christmas selection box of CANDo activities that are sure to spread a little Christmas cheer.
So, no excuses, take your pick, seize the moment and give your children an extra special gift this year: Help them build a strong foundation of the life skills they’re gonna need to grown into adults with CANDo attitude and successful lives.
Generosity and Unselfishness
Chances are the members of your family are gonna be receiving some pretty fab new stuff before the season’s out. Make room for it!
Have everyone go through their belongings and select things that they’ve outgrown, no longer use, have “upgraded” for a newer version or think would bring happiness to someone less fortunate – be sure these things still have major amounts of life left in them, we don’t want to be giving away tat after all! Bundle this stuff up and head to either the local Church or Charity Shop in the High Street – they’ll certainly know how to recycle the stuff to spread a little cheer to the needy.
Another idea here, is to have every member of the family MAKE a present for someone else. They can use bits of old things they don’t need anymore as well as all the usual colouring pens, plasticine and coloured paper. The idea is that it’s something personal that comes from their heart NOT from their wallet.
Every community has members in it that will probably be spending this festive season alone. If you know of someone, show some compassion and spread a little CANDo love.
If you know them well, invite them for a meal – you’re cooking anyway!
If inviting them to your home is a little too personal or risky, drop by with some home-made cookies or a surprise little gift. You could even drop this through their letter box as a surprise on Christmas Eve – just be sure to let them know who it’s from coz we want to spread cheer and love not angst!
If you’re going out to walk off some of your lunch on the big day itself, why not drop into the nearest care home with some homemade cookies and let the children talk about the surprises they woke up to, the decorations, etc., they made. Or let the residents talk about their past festive experiences. Even if it’s only 10 minutes, it might be the 10 minutes that brought the most cheer to one of the resident’s heart that day. It might be a good idea to check with the home first to make sure when is appropriate and if they think it’s a good idea too.
Different people have different beliefs. Most of us these days live in multi-cultural societies which provide an ideal opportunity to educate our children about cultural difference. Grasp the opportunity the season represents to show an interest in how your neighbours will be passing the festive season, have them explain to other neighbourhood kids what they’ll be doing and use the chance to demonstrate tolerance for what is different.
Christmas is a great opportunity to work together as a team. Work together to put up the tree, make home-made snow flakes, et al to stick on windows, make paper chains, bake mince pies for the old people’s home at the end of the road or for yourselves and the neighbours. Apportion tasks to even the smallest member of the family and make Christmas a family affair that comes about through teamwork.
When the kids are young, younger families often don’t venture out on New Year’s Eve. Don’t use this as an excuse not to show your kids how it’s done on the social front. Invite a few friends with younger children to your house. The children can bunk down early with one another in a bedroom if they get sleepy and you can socialise. Show your kids how important it is to have friends and pass time with those friends.
These are just a few tips on what you CANDo to make use of this special time of year to teach your children some pretty special life skills. Life skills that will not only make their live’s that bit more positive and successful in the future but, that just might also have the ability to impact on society in general if sufficient people care enough to pass them on to their children.