TalkBack To Vicki Jardine

A TalkBack on Parenting Issues

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly December 7, 2008

dreamstime_69553473Fa la la la laaaaaa    
La la la laaa!

So here’s an idea to make the season even more memorable for your child. Select a favourite Christmas Carol of yours….think back to when you were a little child. Which ones were your favorites? I loved Silent Night for a couple of years running and then when I turned 9 years old I fell in love with ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ (parhump a pump pum…me and my drum). Just make sure it’s one that you love, because you are going to sing it and hear it over and over again this Christmas.

Now sing it to your child and sing it with your child. Make it a celebration. Do sign language with it. Make it up if you don’t know authentic sign language (but you could find out what the signing is for your particular song).

Then each time you sing it the song together, have a big smile and a hug at the end if possible. Of course, if you are driving in the car or something like that then a hug won’t do, so clap or snap or something to signify between you and your child that you are both feeling really ‘happy’.
The idea here is to ‘anchor’ the good feeling you both get when you are singing that song. By ‘anchor’ I mean make a definite link in your mind and especially in your child’s mind between the happy feeling, and the song.

dreamstime_68615091It’s even a good idea with younger children to give them the vocabulary to describe their feeling of joy or happiness.

Young children really only know if a feeling is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and need they need your help to learn words that they can use to express their feelings.

An example of this is when my daughter was 3 or 4 years old she used to say her tummy hurts when she was actually just hungry. She knew the difference between the feelings of hunger and the need to use the bathroom, but she didn’t know how to express it to me. She only knew one word for the two sensations.
It’s the same thing with happiness, joy, contentment and pleasure. We have to give our little ones the words they need to express themselves.

So sing the Christmas Carol and then anchor the good feeling by using a big smile and a hug, snap or clap. Repeat this over and over always remembering to anchor the good feeling to the song and sometimes to describe the feeling of happiness, pleasure and joy for your child.

Now why am I suggesting you do this?

Well even though ‘tis the season to be jolly, it is also the season where the routines get out of sync and there are ‘more things to do’ than normal. I mean, it isn’t called the Silly Season for nothing! Sometimes it can be very unsettling for children, even older children.

You may notice your child’s behaviours escalating more often and you may find your child testing the boundaries just to see if they are still there. And opportunities for ‘joy’ and ‘peace’ seem to go out the window sometimes.

dreamstime_5800111So if you have ‘anchored’ the joyful feelings associated with the Christmas Carol, then when you notice things escalating with your child, when you notice their mood changing and the atmosphere in the home or the car declining, all you have to do is start singing the song.

This lifts your child’s spirits and changes the emotional direction he/she was going in. You can instantly distract your child from their feelings of insecurity this way by focusing their attention on something you have previously established as ‘happy’.

Not only are you changing the mood of your child, but you are establishing a very positive ‘shared experience’. The value of ‘positive shared experiences’ is immeasurable as your child matures.

You know even if your child is older, you can do this. As children get into teenage years you will want to have established as many ‘positive shared experiences’ as you can. Your child will need to know more than ever that the bond between you and them is intact and strong.


And the beauty of this little technique is that it costs you NO TIME to implement. You can sing your carol as you put dinner on the table, as you do laundry, as you drive the kids to school, or whenever and wherever you choose.


‘Tis the season to be jolly!!!

So Talk back to me!

Let me know what carols you decided to use.  Let me know if you have any other ideas for making the season jollier for your children and ways to give them the attention and security they deserve without adding drastically to your long list of things to do.

Leave a comment for other moms to see and have your say!

Bye for now

Vicki Jardine