Making Christmas Fun for Pre-Teens
Your pre-teen may still enjoy the presents and food that comes with the holiday season but, at the same time, be expressing views that they are too old for some of the games and events that you did when they were younger. While this can be difficult for parents, especially if you aren’t ready to admit your child is growing up, it is important that you listen to their wishes.
Regardless, there are still ways you can enjoy the holiday together, while respecting their wish of being treated as a more mature individual.
Choose Toys Carefully
If your child no longer wishes to be treated like they were before, you may need to alter your present arrangements. Looking for toys for 11 year old girls or boys, rather than a wider age range, may impress them more. When you choose toys that are for a range of ages, you run the risk of picking something that they are growing out of and, therefore, may not enjoy as much.
Asking them for suggestions on things they are into or might enjoy, can also be beneficial, especially if you do not see them regularly. Now they are no longer babies, their personality, along with their likes and dislikes have developed more, so you have a better idea of what kind of things they relish – take this into consideration when buying them gifts. Consider a present that could encourage an interest or passion, as it may become a lifelong hobby.
Have a Movie Night
While the fun of Santa Claus may now be in the past, you can do other enjoyable activities as a family. You can pick some Christmas movies or just films you enjoy in general, to watch together. You could do this over takeout, a home cooked meal or even, later in the evening, a nice cup of hot chocolate. Whatever you choose, it will still allow you to have some form of a yearly tradition, without undermining your child as they grow into a young person and want to be treated as more mature.
If your child is fairly mature, you may also want to teach them some compassion and humility. The winter season can be difficult for people who don’t have much money, or even a roof over their head. You, along with your child, could offer to volunteer at your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. You will still get the enjoyment of spending time together, but also the benefit of knowing that you have done some good in the world. In a time when Christmas has been made to be about food and buying expensive gifts, it can be good to tone down on any greed and bring back the selfless meaning of Christmas.
Teaching your child to be humble, but also respecting them as they grow into young adults, can help them in the real world and show them that their thoughts are valued. You are more likely to have an enjoyable Christmas if you take their thoughts and feelings into account when planning both gifts and activities.