Guest Author - Michelle Anne Cope
The time between the beginning of the school year and the holidays can seem to pass quickly. As teens or adults, we have many responsibilities and commitments. Right now, we might be feeling pretty good and confident about our to-do lists. We've been working hard and have our schedules and deadlines in order. Sighing with relief and feelings of accomplishment, we are checking tasks off our lists and in our calendars. We smile knowing we got this all covered. Then we look at our calendar again. Oops! It is time to think about holiday preparations, dinners, gatherings, and all the other trimmings. Yikes, it was time to think about these things a few weeks ago!
Please, don't panic. Yes, I know, unfortunately holiday celebrations do not include an extra hour or two of time. Menu planning, invitations, cleaning, cooking, travel arrangements, and et cetera, all have to be added to our already overflowing schedules. Stop, breathe and again, please don't panic! Itís time for help.
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. I like to think of it as a sign of sanity ó our own. It's absolutely okay if we need to ask for help. And . . . it's definitely okay to help others. Yet, how do we help, and how do we ask for help? It doesnít have to be that hard. We simply ask and we offer. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
Dear Teens: You can help by offering to assist with menu planning and preparations, grocery shopping, miscellaneous errands, addressing invitations, or making phone invites. You can also help by offering to do chores beyond those you do on a daily basis. They might include helping with laundry, extra house cleaning duties, or taking care of your siblings for a few more hours. You can also ask if there is anything else you can do to help. You can also ask for help.
Dear Parents: You can help by offering to proof essays and/or term papers that need to be turned in before the holidays. You might also suggest and help with additions and improvements to class projects that are soon to be due. Brainstorm with your teens about ideas for holiday menus and activities, as well as share with them family traditions. You can also coordinate schedules so that your teens have a chance to attend a couple holiday parties with their own friends. Once again, ask if there is anything else you can do to help. You can also ask for help.
Dear Teens and Parents: The most important thing you can help each other with is sharing the gifts of encouragement and a sense of calmness. Also, remind each other that although everything and anything can go wrong, you are in this together as a family.
We all have the same amount of hours in a day, trust me, I know. Itís easy to fool ourselves into thinking we can do more than what we can realistically accomplish.
Holidays are a time for celebration, and they may not always come out perfect, but will still be priceless. Live, love, laugh, and help each other.