"EMBRACING THE HOLIDAY CHAOS"
Parents, let’s talk about chaos! Recently, I responded to a facebook post that I read on a parent page that shows just how we respond to chaos. The group is closed but there are 777 members, so there are many thoughts, questions, and opinions posted here. This particular post had to do with the way the PTA was “using” the kids as a way to get parents to increase attendance at their functions, thus raising more money. She was frustrated (maybe more mad) that they hype up these functions so much that the kids come home with a sense of urgency about attending. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) sets in and then disappointment follows when the parent tell them the bad news that they can’t make the activity. I understand her frustration!
We have everyday chaos then you add in the Holiday activities (choir concerts, room parties, gift making/buying, cookie traditions…..) not to mention the monetary increase in the season because of it all! Talk about stressful…and the holiday season is supposed to be “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”!
Here’s my spin on her reaction to chaos. It is two-fold. First, she should have never reacted to her chaos with anger on social media. It is easy to hide behind the screen and vent, but you always get responses. There were so many strong responses like “get over it” and “kids need to hear ‘no’ more” to “preach it, sister” that she finally deleted the post. Maybe social media isn’t the place to complain. I believe that social media has clouded the chain of command, if you will, with complaints. Listen to me parents! There is always a proper way to handle complaints and pushing it out into the world to gain a following about your complaint is detrimental to human kindness. GO TO THE SOURCE! It is as simple as that! I guarantee you that the PTA did not have a vindictive heart toward those parents who are naysayers to their activities. One of the PTA board members wrote eloquently that they are excited about providing fun activities for the kids and their families and in the process trying to raise funds to better the kids’ education. She added that they were not in any way trying to sabotage the parenting of the kids. She also offered her a position on the board to help with the best way to communicate with parents. Complainers, please report to the proper authority! So much energy was wasted on that issue, when all she needed to do is call the PTA president and voice her concern and offer some suggestions. Be a part of the solution you have a problem with or don’t complain.
Second, on a softer note, I totally understand her reaction to the chaos that ensued. We are inundated with so many activities and pressure to join those activities that we feel like we are about to explode! Hear me when I tell you, you are not alone in this feeling. The post did not say how this person reacted with her child about the activity. I am sure she is a wonderful, loving mom who hugged her kid and said she was sorry that they couldn’t attend the activity. My response to her complaint on facebook was something like this:
“Being a mom of adult children I have been through this pressure and in hindsight I am grateful for the lessons of disappointment I allowed my kids to have growing up. They were great lessons because they are most certainly having to face disappointments as adults. Hug your kids, tell them you are sorry they can not go to the activity. Allow them their feelings, then suggest an alternative activity that your family can do instead. Hang in there mamas, stay true to what is right for your family.”
Parents, do not let the chaos ruin your holiday season. Choose activities that mean the most to you and your family.
When things get too chaotic please do not respond with anger. Stop what you’re doing and evaluate what is before you. Disappointment is bound to happen, so teach your kids about disappointment. Do what brings you and your family peacefully and gracefully through the holidays.