Saturday, November 25, 2006

Childhood Excitement

These last few days have been busy. The girls have had cousins to visit whom they have not seen since early June. As we have run from place to place, and activity to activity, I have begun to remember how children react to all the excitement that surrounds this time of year.

This is not a complaint, just an observation, but as the kids get all excited about one activity and then another event, and then a special visitor - not Santa specifically, but any special visitor who may come during the season, be it an grandparent, an old friend, a cousin, or an aunt who they have not seen in ages - they begin to forget some of the basic rules which they seemed to have learned. We find that they forget to listen to parents, they fail to do their chores, or they break some basic house rules. To make matters worse they start to get moody when the fun party does not come as fast as they wanted, or when it ends faster than they wished.

Having made this observation before, we will attempt to keep the activities at a reasonable level while still celebrating the season. So far we have not done very well. To the regular festivities of the year we have added a new brother (first boy makes it better than a new sister for the girls) and some of their close cousins are moving to New Zealand in a couple of weeks so there are extra parties and goodbyes to attend to.

Wish us luck as we try not to overload the kids while we indulge in the excitement of the season.


Jason said...

Hey that sounds like my kids!

Thinking about this phenomenon, though, I'm embarrassed to realize that I'm not different. Perhaps it's not all because of excitement but due instead to the stress of trying to remember everything, get everywhere on time, get all the preparations made, etc. Somehow busy (and exciting) times are the times I'm least likely to keep up good habits such as preparing and eating nutritious meals, spending ample time with my kids, studying scriptures, etc. and more likely to fall into bad habits, such as staying up to late, eating out a lot, overspending my budget, and so on.

Even more frightening is the realization that way down deep inside, I like those stressful times as it seems to give me an excuse to relax my self-imposed good habits and choose to do things I otherwise would not.

That's not to say that during the holidays or on a vacation it's not appropriate to eat out and stay up later than normal - a little bit. But I think it's wrong to excuse or justify my changes in behavior based on the intensity or quantity of activities I'm temporarily involved with - especially since, no matter how much social or family pressure is brought to bear, I'm ultimately responsible for choosing to be involved in so many activities. Instead, I think it would be wise to plan ahead for these times and come up with creative ways to maintain good habits, even if they can't be done in the same ways as usual.

David said...

I think that stress and excitement are, to a large degree, the same thing. I have noticed the fact that keeping my good habits is hard during these busy times, that's another reason to moderate my personal busy-ness.

I have also noticed that the lack of nutritious meals and staying up late are the direct causes of some of the bad behavior that I see in the children - even in times which are not busy.