Is That Normal? Podcast Episode 57 – The Gift of Presence

Christmas is a time for celebrations, gifts, and family. It is also a time for us to remember that God in the flesh came and dwelt among us. The word for that is Incarnation – an intentional choice to be with His people.

As we reflect on that powerful truth, we should let it motivate us to be present in the lives of our children and family. However, we also know that can sometimes be a real challenge with teenagers and young adults. We talked a lot about this concept in Episode 10: Are You Withing? Take some time to check that out.

Here also are some ideas on how you can make space to be present this Christmas:

  • Make Traditions and Memories. Young people love to see how they are a part of an ongoing story of family and history. Traditions and family memories help to foster this concept.
  • Schedule some special meals. This could be simply a breakfast or dinner that you plan to be together.
  • Have a Game Night. Nothing bonds families like a little friendly competition. Check out Episode 25: Family Game Night for some ideas.
  • Let your children plan an event or outing. Give them some experience in responsibility and decision making as well as learn what they truly enjoy.
  • Take advantage of captive moments. Those times that you are alone with no agenda – maybe it is in car rides or early mornings or late nights – ask some good questions. Check out Episode 11: The Art of Asking Good Questions for some ideas on great question asking.

In order to be successful at these ideas, you will need to address some of the common barriers:

  • Technology. Make sure to set some expectations and boundaries. You might schedule some “no device” events or set guidelines on when a person needs to be off of their phone.
  • Outside interests. Realize that there will still be other people and events pulling at your family’s time this season. Be sensitive to that as well as proactive in establishing what your expectations are for their availability.
  • Personal needs. We all need some down time but we also need intentional engagement in relationships. Help your family set some healthy balances in this area ahead of time.

Enjoy your holiday and invest in your family. Be Abnormal!

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