How to Avoid Spoiling and Build Gratitude During the Holiday Season

With the holiday season in full swing and the wish lists getting longer each day, we often get carried away with presents. We all want our kids to feel special, but many parents worry about spoiling their children during the holidays. Sharing our time, values and traditions with them can often be more meaningful. The holidays are a great time to teach our children lessons in gratitude, setting limits and giving to others.

Here are some ways to give your kids gifts without overindulging them this holiday season:

Share Traditions.

Holidays aren’t all about the gifts! Remind your family of this by passing on traditions from your childhood, or starting your own “no gift related” traditions. For example, you could create holiday crafts together, drive through your community to see the lights, or bake and decorate some tasty holiday treats.

Build Gratitude.

Children tend to become more aware of gratitude when they see and hear their parents being thankful. You can model gratitude by regularly expressing your appreciation for the people or things you have in your life.

Give Back.

One of the best gifts you can give your children is one of service. Explain to your children the importance of generosity. Let them know that some families aren’t as fortunate as yours, so they need a little extra help this holiday season. You can teach your children how to serve others by going to the store with them and having them pick out toys or clothing that they think other kids would like. Have them help you wrap the gifts and deliver it to a family in need or a local charity. This is also a great time to go through toys and clothing in your home with your child to find things that may not be used anymore, and donate them to families in need.

Set Limits.

One of the easiest ways we can avoid spoiling our children with too many gifts this year is to set realistic financial limits and stick to them.  A great way to stay on budget is to make a specific list or have your child make their wish list with their most wanted items at the top. You can cross out the rest of the items that you know won’t fit into your budget.

At Cranium Academy, we believe in developing character, social skills, and good values. Taking the focus away from gifts alone will help to develop your child’s grateful spirit and build character while enjoying the holiday season!

Tips to Keep Your Child Safe While Swimming

Summer is the season for swimming! With all the fun that this recreational sport provides, it’s still important that your child stays safe while swimming. It is always a good idea to sign your child up for swimming lessons which will help them develop into strong swimmers. Here are some tips on other ways to take the proper safety precautions while your child swims this summer:

In Swimming Pools

  • Maintain constant supervision over your child and make sure they swim in areas that are supervised by a lifeguard.
  • Enforce that your child must swim with a buddy at all times.
  • Teach your child to walk slowly in the pool area. Because the area around the pool is usually wet and slippery, accidents are prone to happen if a child is running in this area.
  • If you are at a public pool, always follow pool rules.

In Lakes and Ponds

  • Always swim with your child in lakes and ponds. With these bodies of water, it’s usually difficult to see the bottom, so it’s hard to gauge their actual depth.
  • Make sure your child is wearing protective water shoes. Lakes and ponds have a tendency of hiding dangerous objects like jagged rocks, broken bottles, and trash.
  • If you are going boating, make sure that both you and your child are wearing life jackets.

In Oceans

  • When you first get to the beach, ask the lifeguard how strong the waves are. Stay close to your child if the waves start to get rough.
  • Always make sure your child is swimming in an area where a lifeguard can see him, and in areas that are specifically marked for swimmers to
  • Make sure your child does not swim too far from the shore to avoid getting caught in a rip current.
  • Instruct them not to swim close to piers. If a big wave comes suddenly, it could move them, causing them to hit a piling or a rock.
  • Teach them to face the waves, rather than turning their back to them. This can prevent a wave from knocking them down suddenly.

In general

  • Stay hydrated! Swimming is a sport, after all, and therefore requires a lot of physical effort. It’s important to make sure your child drinks plenty of water regularly.
  • Slather them with sunscreen! Make sure to keep reapplying the sunscreen (with a protection factor of at least 15) throughout the day. The sun is at its peak strength between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, so it’s best to limit the amount of sunlight you and your child receive during this time frame.
  • If your child does not yet know how to swim, make sure that her flotation devices are Coast Guard approved.
  • Don’t allow your child to chew gum or eat while he is swimming, as this poses a choking hazard.

At Cranium Academy, we strive to provide a safe and secure environment where our students have the best opportunity to learn, discover, and grow from preschool through elementary school. Making sure that children stay safe outside the classroom is just as important to us. To give kids a break from swimming over the summer, our summer camp programs offer the perfect combination of learning and fun in a safe, welcoming environment. We make safety a priority so that our students can focus on learning and having fun!