[E168] Let's Talk About the Holidays!

Episode 168 November 21, 2023 00:41:31
[E168] Let's Talk About the Holidays!
Empowered to Connect Podcast
[E168] Let's Talk About the Holidays!

Nov 21 2023 | 00:41:31


Show Notes

It's that time of year again - time to take a deep breath and spend hours and hours with family members you may or may not want to see, eat foods that may or may not be easy for your kids to eat and spend the next month or so with the dull hum of presents and high expectations accompanying your every move. Happy Holidays everyone! In all seriousness, whether you live for this season or loathe this season, it can be a bear to navigate with all of the out of the ordinary that it brings. Have no fear, though, Jesse Faris, Becca McKay and JD talk through all of these things and more with some practical tips and reminders to help get you through what can be a really tricky season to navigate with your family!

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Speaker A: Welcome to the Empowered Connect podcast, where we come together to discuss a healing centered approach to engagement and well being for ourselves, our families, and our communities. I'm JD. Wilson, and I am your host. And today on the show, we got Becca McKay and Jesse Ferris. We're going to talk about all things holidays. And so one of the things that comes up every year around this time is stress because it is sometimes a very tough season to navigate for all the different reasons. Whether those reasons be kind of grief and trauma or whether they're smaller things, food preferences or I just don't like when Uncle So and So starts telling these stories again or whatever it is. It can be a tricky time to navigate. And so we're going to talk together about ways to navigate that. This is by no means an exhaustive, comprehensive list, but we wanted to give a bit of a framework for ways to maintain connection and stick together during the holidays this season. So without any further ado, here they are now, Jesse Ferriss and Becca McKay, talking about the holidays. Okay, as we talked about in the introduction, it is Becca McKay and Jesse Ferris and myself, and we're talking about the holidays today, particularly just well, you know, just the holidays. Because for all of us, for different reasons at different times, these can become kind of tricky seasons to navigate with your family, with your own self and your own history and past, with whoever you are parenting with, be it siblings or extended family or spouse partner or whatever. So all we're trying to say is that we feel it and we know it's coming, and so do you. And so around the holidays, there are so many emotions and so many feelings that are kind of wide ranging. We wanted to talk about just some practical ideas for you for how to navigate that season well. And so I will just defer to you, Becca, to start off and say, why is it more difficult for us to do that in seasons like this? [00:02:16] Speaker B: Yeah, first, I'll say holidays can be so fun. Like, they can be a great time of year. They can be super joyful. It might be like something you look forward to all year, something you think back on all year. But at the same time, I think any of us, and I'll say this as someone who doesn't have kids yet, with or without kids, holidays can just bring up big emotions, and I think there's tons of reasons for that. A couple that come to mind is holidays are this thing where there's so much nostalgia wrapped up in it. So however holidays were or were not celebrated when you were a kid, you just bring that kind of sense. And I think a lot of us are trying to chase that childhood wonder or I remember it feeling like this, or I remember it being like that, and so we bring that into our current situation and things change. Things change, families change, families meld together. I know for some people, holidays are hard because you're navigating. Maybe it's not your turn to be with your family, you're with the in laws and so you're having to navigate that process or things like that. But I think the first thing that we bring to holidays is a lot of our own experiences and what we wish that it would feel like. That's the first one that comes to mind. [00:03:31] Speaker C: Yeah, I think that probably informs our expectations too, about the way we want it to be now. And I think what makes expectations so tricky, you all, I mean, agree or disagree, but you've got your kids expectations about what they want at the holiday to be like you've got your own, you've got your extended family. Like everybody's bringing something to the table and often it doesn't quite match up and often it's not quite realistic. And it's formed by so many things, including the way it used to be, the way we always dreamed it could be in the future. It's like all the past, present, future all mixed up together and what we're kind of expecting to get out of those couple of weeks or months. [00:04:16] Speaker B: Can I add something to that too? It's like depending on where you are, there could be competing priorities and expectations literally. Like maybe at your house, everybody eats dinner on the couch, but then you're at grandparents house and everyone sits around the table and it's more formal. And I know that's just one example, but it's like what you're saying. I think some of it is internal expectations. Some of it is also rules that we put on kids. Like the rules could change and that can be hard for families to navigate. [00:04:46] Speaker A: Yeah, I think when you have extended family and when you have I'll use air quotes here that extended family that maybe everyone's not excited to go see that can bring up a whole bunch of different feelings as well, which can then make issues that are not normally issues become issues, right? So maybe the food pickiness flares up more at so and so's house than it does at home. Or maybe just to use a word my grandparents use all the time, just the orneriness the general orneriness of a kid spikes in a certain location more so than at home or than other family locations. And so all those things for all those reasons it's just tricky to navigate seasons like this. And if you're not paying attention to your own self, one of the things and I'll just speak for myself and not for anybody else, we can just live with an existential kind of dread. Just like walking into that season and not even realize it. Like kind of carrying that almost like you're almost like you got a bunch of programs running in the background of your phone and you're like, why is it going so slow? I don't understand why it's bogged down so much. And then you realize every app that you've ever downloaded is open and running the background. So that can run in our own background and cause just a lot of slog in our own life. And so we wanted to just kind of name those things and talk about them today so that hopefully this season could be different. [00:06:17] Speaker C: And let me add this too, JD. Because you said the phrase of a kid and when you said it made me think we are all kids, and especially at the holidays, we're all kids. We're all the kids of someone. And so I think that even layers upon something that's difficult, whether it's difficult relationships that we have with our own parents, in laws, or with our children, or it's like with our children's, significant others, or whatever else is going on, we are all kids to someone at the holidays. And I think that also pulls in a layer of grief. A lot of people are missing family members at the holidays, whether they're missing what could have been in the relationship in the way they wished the relationship had been, or they're grieving someone that used to be present in person in the holidays and that person is no longer with them. I think it can just be so multilayered as we hold all those things. [00:07:21] Speaker B: Yeah, that's so true for so many families and kids. I think sometimes you're prepared for it and sometimes you're not. We had a conversation here in the office just the other day about how sometimes it's like, oh, yeah, well, my mom's favorite holiday in the whole world was Christmas, and so she had all of her things set out and so I expect to feel sad at Christmas. And we didn't really care about this is not my story, but just for example, we didn't really care about Thanksgiving, but for some reason, man, I miss my mom this Thanksgiving. So sometimes it can hit us unexpectedly and that can kind of catch us off guard and we're not always prepared for it. Holidays bring up memories. That's just part of it. And so that's going to trigger some different feelings and emotions. [00:08:05] Speaker C: I think a lot of our actions come out sideways when that's happening too. So whether it's our parenting, whether it's our relating with our spouse or relating with our parents, our own parents, a lot of things that are coming out we're not aware of them are just coming out sideways because we're holding so much, so much stress, so much big feelings, and that's happening with our kids, too. I mean, we didn't even talk about the holidays for our kids are a time when they're going from usually a time of structure at school to like, they have all this free time ahead of them, or they've got sensory needs that aren't being met or they're eating a different kinds of food than they normally eat. I know I'm feeling really weird on the evening of Thanksgiving because I've binged on all these favorite foods and then it's like, oh, my goodness, I'm so full, I don't feel great. [00:09:00] Speaker B: No, let's talk about that for a second. Because you're also adding in travel and some people are switching time zones and your body is off and maybe you're used to having, I don't know, like, oatmeal for breakfast or like a granola bar and now you're having cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate and it's fun and that's awesome. And hello, sugar spike. [00:09:21] Speaker C: Grandma's not making your daily protein shake for breakfast. [00:09:25] Speaker B: There's so much that's different around the holidays. And then if you're listening and you're like, yeah, I wish that was me, or your life is going on, you're still going to your shift, you're still picking up the things. You're still doing the things while you watch everyone else live out their quote unquote, best life on social media. So you're like, maybe you're just heading to work in the morning and you're doing your regular routine and you're having to watch other family members or friends or people like that eating the cinnamon rolls and getting to kick their feet back and binge watch a show or whatever it is. And so I just think, yeah, there's so many layers to this, and it's physical and it's emotional and it's relational. And it's all of those things wrapped up in a time with also a lot of pressure because it's short. Like you feel so much pressure to make this count because this is Christmas and it's supposed to be all these things and we've only got this short time together. I know something that my family carries kind of heavily is we live super far away from each other and we very rarely get to be together. Very rarely. And so the times when we do, it's almost like you're fighting that temptation to be like, it's not enough, it's not enough, it's not enough. And so that can add in some. [00:10:39] Speaker A: Complexity to it as well, for sure. Yeah. Maybe it's time to transition because I feel like we're overloading the plate now. [00:10:50] Speaker C: Do you feel overwhelmed yet, guys? Do you feel stressed out? Good. [00:10:53] Speaker A: All right, if you're listening, you probably do, right? I feel that way right now. So why don't we talk? Let's tackle some of these things and talk about some practical workarounds for them and let's maybe start from the broad and go in. So for travel, chances are most of you listening are going to travel at least sometime during the next couple of months, right? Whether it's to go see family or to go do something special or whatever. So let's talk about how do we approach travel in a way that can set us up for success and not to go ahead and just dive right into the chaos. [00:11:32] Speaker C: I am wondering if I can even zoom out, is that okay? I'm wondering if expectations is the first thread I would pull because I think that then plays into how we approach travel, how we approach relationships, all of those things. And I'm thinking for those of you driving in your car listening to this right now, or folding the laundry or whatever you do when you listen to podcasts, I think even just listening to this is the first step because you're thinking about it. I think the first step is just bring awareness to what are your expectations about the holiday and talking to your kids, what are they actually expecting from this upcoming holiday season. Talking to your spouse, talking to your extended family. You may not be able to hold all those things and make everybody happy all the time, but just being aware about them and then once you know everybody else's, exploring your own feelings about that, like, man, I think that's unfair that this person expects this or what does that bring up within you? I think that's where I would start if I were thinking about feeling overwhelmed. [00:12:51] Speaker A: That's good. [00:12:52] Speaker B: I like that. Just paying attention to it and not letting it catch you off guard. So just a little bit of pre conversations with your family, with your loved ones, or with someone that's just a good processor, like just a good friend who can bounce stuff off with you. And just if you're more introspective, maybe journaling or writing about it, just getting yourself in the headspace of what might come up for me in the next little bit. I like that, Jesse, because I think so much of what we do is just reactionary. So that's a really great first step. [00:13:24] Speaker C: Just be a little awareness to anything. We're ahead of the curve, right? Kind of think that so many of us just bumble our ways through these holidays and then we end up flattened in the new year and we're like, okay, I'll do better next year, but we can't really figure out what went wrong. And I think just bringing the awareness to it is a good first step, even for our kids too. To be able to talk to your kids about what they're expecting and what they want and maybe what is going to happen helps them align their expectations and to feel heard and to feel like they had a part in what is about to unfold. Even if they are going somewhere they don't want to go, or having to eat food they don't want to eat, or whatever it is. I think even just asking them about their side of what they want helps them to have a voice in the whole. [00:14:25] Speaker B: I think your question, JD, about travel, once you've kind of thought through the expectations and where you're headed, there's like two categories. So I think category mean depending on how old your kids are, right? Travel can be very different. So level, set your expectations. Are you going to be able to make it there in one trip? Are you going to have to stop at some gas stations? Like, get yourself in the right mindset to make the trip as low stress as possible. Know that at this time of year there's going to be long lines, there's going to be delays, flights are going to get moved, interstates are going to get backed up. So just having that in your mindset as you go into it and then preparing yourself and your kids with how do we handle time together in the waiting? Because so much of travel is just waiting. So the first part of my thoughts is like on the actual trip, how do you prepare in advance with the stuff that we talk about, with snacks, with hydration, with activities that meet different kinds of play personality needs. My other half of it is when you travel, you're going somewhere different. Are there routines you can take with you? So is there a certain way you do bedtime? Sorry, that's two different conversations. If anybody wants to jump on to the trip part before I transition. But just thinking about those two sides. [00:15:46] Speaker A: Of travel, my only thing to add on is just to remember that you pack at least $100 to go in Buckies because it just always piles up so fast. [00:15:55] Speaker B: It really does. You go in for some fudge and you walk out and you're like, what. [00:16:00] Speaker C: In the world gets you every time? [00:16:02] Speaker A: The problem is you go in for some brisket and a breakfast taco and then some roasted pecans and then I mean like this. [00:16:10] Speaker C: You walk out. [00:16:11] Speaker A: Walk out with the bucky's. [00:16:12] Speaker C: One pajama first Bucky's experience, believe it. [00:16:17] Speaker B: Or not, just a couple of weeks ago. And all I could say was it's a production. This is a whole production. [00:16:24] Speaker A: I didn't know if you're listening to this. So for Tom and Don in Johannesburg, South Africa, if you're listening to this, I'm sorry, but you should look up Bucky's, the gas station also bucky's. You're welcome. You should advertise with us. It is the most Texas American thing ever to have. It's got a hundred pumps at the gas station. [00:16:44] Speaker C: Oh, they get the electric car people, too. Chargers and all kinds of and then. [00:16:51] Speaker A: You walk inside and they get everybody else because they've got every kind of food you could ever hope to eat or have at that moment. On one half of the store, on the other half of the store, it is like, I don't want to defame the other brands. It is like a home decor store toy section, a kid clothing section in a just you could find a live LaughLove sign with the Bucky's logo popping out of the o. Or you could multiple we have multiple bucky's onesies in our house that not little kids wear. I mean, not parents, but like big kids wear. Yeah, one's a Santa theme one is, okay, guys. [00:17:37] Speaker C: You know, I love a good illustration. I feel like the trip to Bucky's is the great metaphor for the holidays. It's like you go in thinking it's one thing and you walk out with, like, broke you walk out broke and flattened, spent way too much time. That is it. So as we prepare and go to Bucky's, it's like, here it is. [00:18:01] Speaker B: What are you going to do? [00:18:02] Speaker C: Yeah, I think in terms of you've got people that are bummed to travel or juggling that. You also have people that are bummed to stay home or are juggling that. Like, you've got the kid that's like, it's going to be so boring. I used to have so much to do. There's a lot of waiting whether you're traveling or whether you're staying home. And for kids, I think waiting for the event, waiting for the big day or the times when you're going to do the fun things. I am thinking about just how rich the opportunity is for rituals at the holidays, whether you're traveling or whether you're staying home. And that kind of goes along with your routines, too, Becca. I think it's nice to think about. I was talking to a coworker in the office just this morning about how I used to be really strict about when we listened to Christmas music because it was part of our traveling ritual. We did not listen to Christmas music until we got in the car to drive home from Thanksgiving. And that was fun for everybody and we loved it so much. Well, guess what? We don't really travel for Thanksgiving anymore and my kids want to listen to it now. And I have loosened up. I'm not going to name any names, but maybe someone else in my family has kept that ritual because it's still important to them. But it was fun. Get in the car. We always played the same first song. And maybe there are some things that you can find for your family that take the most tedious parts or most tedious times of travel and turn them into a fun ritual. [00:19:44] Speaker A: I love bucky's. So just wrapping up. [00:19:49] Speaker C: Just wrapping up for the Wilsons that is going to Bucky. [00:19:52] Speaker B: Yes. [00:19:55] Speaker A: And I will say that knowing that there are those of you listening who think I'm an insane person for saying that. [00:20:00] Speaker C: I think we just know you're an enneagram seven. Those are your people. [00:20:05] Speaker A: There's fun I can have. I'll be right back. That's fun. So you're traveling. You get to the place and I think thinking about big meals, obviously bring we talked in our last episode of Carpool Q and A about food and picky eaters and all that. This is like the Super Bowl for picky eaters, right, this season, because you've got either only the stuff you really love, talking about rituals and stuff, like we make poppy seed bread in our house all the time and it's gone immediately. Because it has icing on top, so therefore it's just ready to be eaten all the time. But then you also have traditional foods that might not be everyone's favorite things that parents, grandparents, et cetera, might be expecting those things to be eaten, right? And so whether it is the cranberry sauce or the pumpkin pie, whatever it. [00:21:02] Speaker C: Is, what I was mouthing earlier was sweet potato casserole. [00:21:06] Speaker A: Oh, yeah, sweet potato casserole is still. [00:21:08] Speaker C: Ready to have JD's sweet potato casserole. [00:21:11] Speaker A: Well, it's Granny's. It's Granny's. [00:21:13] Speaker C: It's Granny's. But in our office, it's JD's. And that's true. It's famous for me, at least. [00:21:18] Speaker A: Well, it's delicious. [00:21:20] Speaker C: You're right. It's not the holiday until you eat something. But that's not always true for our kids. [00:21:26] Speaker A: And let's talk about that. Depending on your extended family or your in laws, extended family, whatever, wherever you are doing Thanksgiving, it might become a harrowing experience if you've got kids who are picky eaters and the family does not abide picky eaters, as Becca's grandmother would say. Grandmother. [00:21:49] Speaker C: Sorry. [00:21:50] Speaker A: And so, yeah, don't get that wrong. So if you have extended family that will not understand or tolerate it, what are our steps there? And how do we begin to kind of prepare our kids for that? And how do we prepare our family for that? [00:22:09] Speaker C: I'll just tell you what we do. And I think this is very specific to certain families. I mean, let's just also say food is a hot topic for people, the way humans, maybe even, especially Americans, but maybe it's a human thing have a complicated relationship with food. So the way we think about food, the way we talk about food, there's so much that goes into that. You heard me say I feel icky at the end of a Thanksgiving Day, and that's partly because of what I ate nutritionally, sure. It's partly because how I feel about what I ate and its nutritional value. You know what I mean? I think there's so much that goes into that and what we eat and what we want our kids to eat and what we don't want our kids to eat. Like all of those things, right? And then you've got food allergies and food preferences and sensory preferences all layered in there. So let's just acknowledge that first. But I think in my family, if a child does not want to eat something, they'll say, no, thank you. Or if we ask them to try it, they try one bite and they say if they're asked how they like it, they can say, it's not my favorite in this dish. That's the script. I hear that a lot, guys. I do have at least one picky eater in my family, and I will hear that's not my favorite in this dish. There is somebody in my family that loves rice and could eat it every day of their life, but only certain kinds of rice. And I'm even telling you, it could look like the same, but if it's a different brand or it has a different something in it, that person knows. And so it is like I just ask them to try it once and then they're allowed to pass. I think that's respectful. Depending on your family situation, you may not be able to do that with kids. [00:24:14] Speaker A: Right. [00:24:15] Speaker C: I would teach that kid then to put a very small amount on their plate. [00:24:20] Speaker A: Yeah. And I think this is one of the situations too, where one thing that we've done is just try to prepare our extended family. And so now we've got four kids. So there's been sort of the on ramp into how we're going to enter a space and everybody has been cool about being welcomed to that conversation. So if we are going to give some concessions here or there to somebody in our family that's kind of communicated ahead of time so that it's not then corrected by somebody else, an extended family that does not know that that's a different rule in our family. [00:24:58] Speaker C: Right. [00:24:59] Speaker A: So if it's like, hey, that's not what we do. Like remember Granny said, you have to get whatever, that doesn't happen anymore because we've got that conversation happens on the front end. And we are just looking out for those kids that might need to make some different choices in the moment. And we provide some pretty clear kind of out of the way solutions for that. [00:25:21] Speaker C: If you're offering to bring a dish, bring the dish that's the favorite of your kids or the favorite of your. [00:25:28] Speaker A: Pickiest eater or offer uninvited to bring. [00:25:31] Speaker C: A I would I would definitely practice outside of the moment with that kid in terms of talk it through, talk about what will be know. Maybe you've got a vegetarian in your family and you're like, there's going to be ham. And Uncle Ronald loves smoking that turkey. So you know, it's going to be a really big deal. And here's what you can know or what do you think is respectful? You could say to Uncle Ronald, I mean, I would just say like, talk it through with the kid so that they feel prepared for that meal moment when they might be feeling a little nervous. [00:26:05] Speaker B: Yeah. There's three pathways. You can talk to your kids, you can talk to your extended family or you can talk to yourself. And you probably need a combination of. [00:26:12] Speaker A: All those things 100%. [00:26:14] Speaker B: And so there's different expectations, there's different family structures and styles. And we get that. We get that not everyone's family is the same. Not everyone has the same expectations around food. But I love the idea of practice beforehand with your kids. What's okay to say? Give your family a heads up? I think that's really hard for a lot of people that are like me, like conflict, avoidant. I don't want anything to be awkward, but just think about the well being of your kids and your family. And think about it is hard for kids. It is fair for there to be different expectations in different settings. We don't behave the same way in the DMV or the doctor's office as we do at our friend's house or Uncle Rod or whatever the case may be. [00:27:06] Speaker C: That's fair. [00:27:07] Speaker B: Also, sometimes we have these internal rules that we know from our family of origin, but we're not communicating that to the kids. [00:27:16] Speaker C: So true. [00:27:17] Speaker B: So we can put them into some sticky situations where we're like, you know, better and maybe they didn't know know. Maybe that's your childhood coming into the moment. Maybe that's you being like Jesse said, we're all kids, we're all someone's kids. And so I love the idea of, like, just talk it out. Talk it out with your family, talk it out with your kids. When I say talk to yourself, that's me. Think about managing your own expectations. Think about what are the things, like, holidays are a weird time. You might be away from home or at home. The schedules are different, the expectations are different. I don't want to say bare minimum, but what is your baseline? You know it's going to be different. You know it's going to flex. What's your baseline? You know what I mean? This is not the time to maybe do like, what is it called when you go on like, a restriction diet to test out what you're allergic to? [00:28:11] Speaker C: You're not going to do a whole. [00:28:14] Speaker B: Diet with your family or this is not the time for that. And so this is the time for a good balance of structure and nurture and figuring out what that means for your kid. [00:28:24] Speaker C: I think, as I think about just what we hold during this time, I'm just thinking about how our kids just want to have fun and being able to acknowledge finding the fun in those moments, letting go, some of that stuff, and then later maybe revealing what was going on. I think about times when our kids are getting older, they're about to be ten and 14, and so we've got like old Tweens and teens kind of thing going on in my house. And it would not be uncommon for my husband and me now to be like, hey, did you notice when I said that that way? Let me tell you what was going on behind the scenes, or Let me tell you what was going on in my mind. Or like, we'll talk about going over to a family member's house and be like, okay, well, you know, this family member doesn't have the same rules, but we still want you to behave this way. Talking about those expectations before especially and after even to be like, hey, did that feel weird to you? Here's what was happening. And I think that can be helpful for our kids as we stay connected to them, and then it frees us up to just have fun in the moment. Knowing that we'll circle back to whatever dynamics were happening with all the people present or even just what was going on in ourselves with our own stuff. [00:29:57] Speaker A: Yeah. If you can find a way to maintain sort of a shell around your nuclear family, like when you are going to visit somewhere else, if there's going to be sources of stress there, if you guys can just find a way to stick together and communicate in a way that's going to help you to stay together and where you're not turning against each other in that. That's a huge win. [00:30:22] Speaker C: We might have said this in another podcast, but I think it can be helpful or even like a kind of fun ritual. If you've got a code word or a little body language wink or something, pull on your earlobe that a kid can let you know when they need help or support or they're struggling or you know what that thing is. The kid that needs to tell you something that's important in that moment but doesn't want to draw attention to themselves. I think you can have maybe even a little fun with what that thing is. [00:30:56] Speaker B: Yeah, we're talking about kind of specific things. But maybe what I want to say is, if I'm thinking ahead of the holidays, I just think giving choices is maybe one of our best connecting. Obviously all of them. Be curious, respond thoughtfully, repair. All those things are still true at the holidays. But maybe what I want to say is think about the holidays and think about a lot of times, I don't know, you all tell me if this is your families. A lot of the biggest meltdowns happen when someone in the family has decided we're all going to go to the Christmas tree farm and pick it out together, or we're all going to go bowling, or we're all going to watch this movie. And I think that we're all like, I don't know, maybe that's just a Dalton Family thing, but I wonder if it might be true for other families that sometimes it's the expectation that everyone's participating in every single thing. And if we can think proactively just a little bit, like just to the next hour and be like, okay, everyone wants to play Phase ten. What's the opt out option? Or what if they don't have to? What's the opt out? What's the option? [00:32:04] Speaker A: B. Yeah. [00:32:06] Speaker C: Depending on how big or small your family gathering is at the holidays, you might need to have multiple options. I'm even just thinking of the different family styles of family marathon where we're all together all the time with no breaks. [00:32:21] Speaker A: Right? [00:32:22] Speaker C: Yeah. And then you've got the other style where everyone's on their own and can do whatever they want at whatever time they want. [00:32:28] Speaker A: Right. [00:32:28] Speaker C: And you're really kind of like walking into a situation assessing what's the situation here. But different people have different preferences. So you may have kind of a person who really values autonomy, walking into a family marathon situation, that person needs to be able to step away, go do their thing for a minute, or vice versa. The person that's wanting to do all the things with, let them come with to do something special. [00:33:00] Speaker A: Yeah. And I think something that I remember, I think it was Tana saying last time we talked about this a few years ago, was just maybe there's a room, there's a space, there's a closet, there's something at the house that can be the safe spot for a kid. So no questions asked, if they need to go down to the spot, they can either make their eyes at you to give you the signal, go whisper something to you, but they can go to that room and be by themselves and have some space. That's not always physically possible, but when it can be even just that safety valve of like, okay, if I need to go somewhere else for a minute to cool down or just because it's loud and overwhelming, I can do that, that can be really helpful. [00:33:42] Speaker C: I was even thinking about the way Becca had talked about bringing your routines with you. In our family in the morning, we have one kid who rises really early, like before everyone else, even before most of the parents I talk about, we got both of the parents in the like my husband's, the early riser. But sometimes this child wakes up before he does. And even when we're out of town, we immediately need to take that routine with us to make a plan for what that early riser will do. Even if we're all in one hotel room or we're in a family member's house, where can that child go and what will they do for the 7 hours until we wake up? That's kind of a routine we have at our house, but we have to make kind of a travel version of that routine when we are away. [00:34:35] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:34:37] Speaker C: And maybe for you all, that includes like, a bedtime routine. You do certain things in certain orders, and so maybe you're going to bring the chapter book that you're reading with that kid, or you're going to bring their special soap that they use in their bathtub or favorite bath toy or whatever it is. But I think creating that sense of normalcy within all the unpredictable can be really helpful. [00:35:01] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:35:02] Speaker B: And you can bring routines. We've said it earlier a little bit. [00:35:06] Speaker C: But. [00:35:09] Speaker B: I spent one summer my dad lives overseas, and I spent one summer with him. And the thing that we decided as I was going there was every morning, we're going to go to a different coffee shop. That was nothing we had ever done in any of my childhoods, in any of my whatever. But it built a ritual for us. And so now at the holidays, we go get coffee somewhere. It's bringing that into this new season. It's not something that has, like, childhood memories for me, but it's a sweet moment that I have with him. He doesn't do that with my siblings. That's like our thing. And so I think just the encouragement to I know a lot of people that listen have teens or older kids. You can bring old routines and rituals. You can also make new ones, and they can change as your kids change and as your family changes. Just look for opportunities to meet each other in the chaos, in the hustle and bustle, and look for chances to really connect with that specific kid in a way that they enjoy in the season. [00:36:04] Speaker A: Yeah. And I would offer my last kind of closing thought, would just be if you are parenting with a partner in a situation, husband, wife, spouse, whatever, you all work hard to get on the same page before you go. Work hard to stay on the same page as you're there and work hard to stick together as kind of a team when don't let the child militia split you guys up and pitch you against each other because that complicates the situation so much further, right? Especially if you're at one of the other's family. So just do the work ahead of time to have those discussions together, be on the same page, and to go together into and through the holidays, it'll make life a lot easier. It's not easy. It just requires a lot of conversation. [00:36:56] Speaker B: I want to add to that and say, we don't have kids yet, but my husband and I have had some of our biggest fights have been because we weren't on the same page and we didn't know it. So if you're listening and you're not parenting yet and you're just thinking about but you are married or you're in a relationship with somebody, just remember what we talked about earlier, about all the stuff you're bringing into the conversation and be willing to work it out together. And make a plan for next time if there's repair that needs to be made. But I really love that JDF just getting on the same page so that you can decide together what it needs to look like. One of the things that we figured out was my husband is super into fitness and exercising, and there wasn't space for it, so we made space. Like, he goes by himself, he doesn't join in the family, whatever movie Morning Cinnamon rolls, he goes and does his thing and he has his routine, and that has been really helpful for him. That's not something that I would have intuitively known because I want to you said it, Jesse. Be with everybody, be together. I don't want to go do my own thing. So it's being willing to see each other, and I just think whether that's with your partner, whether that's with your kids, being willing to make space for. [00:38:07] Speaker C: What each other needs definitely and my last thought is I just want us to let's just give each other a little bit of grace. Because excitement is something that is happening so much, especially for our kids. You just think about how excited they get about the day or the thing that they've been wanting for Christmas or just even the excitement about what they're looking forward to. You all excitement and stress load the same exact place in our brain. And a lot of our little kids, a lot of our kids bodies, a lot of our bodies can't tell the difference between excitement and stress, right? So they're feeling excitement and they're fight, flight, freeze, fawning all over the place. It can be really hard for the people who love them, whether it's you doing it and experiencing that, whether it's your child doing that and experiencing that. I guess I just want to say let's just love each other well in that season and give lots of grace. I don't know that there's ways that we can avoid it. I've tried for decades now and I think in some ways it just will be what it will be. But knowing what Becca said, I see you, I've got you, I see what's happening and I'm with you, that is like what our kids, what our family members are going to carry away from a season. [00:39:41] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, guys, thank you all. This has been really great. [00:39:48] Speaker C: Thanks guys. Happy holidays. Happy holidays. [00:39:56] Speaker A: Well, thanks for tuning into this today. And I would just say as you're leaving, just that piece of sticking together is so important. And so our hope for you this holiday season is that it gives you one where connection is bolstered and not disrupted. And so that is our singular hope for you all this holiday as we go today. If you have not ever rated or reviewed our podcast on Apple podcasts, that'd be super helpful. It just helps us to make sure that if there are places where people might be looking for our kind of content, that they can come and find it more easily. And so that would be great. If you have not done that yet, you also might not know that we're on video on YouTube each week now. And so we switched over a few weeks ago. We didn't make a big announcement about it because we're not completely sure if it was going to work or not. So we've got it going. It's on there. So if you want to watch us instead of just listening to us, you can always find us on YouTube at Connect. You can find all the episodes there along with a billion other resources to kind of help you in your parenting journey. So for everybody here at Etc, for Becca McKay and Jesse Ferris, for Kyle Wright, who edits engineers, all of our audio, and Tad Jewett, the creator of the music behind the Empowered to Connect podcast, I'm JD. Wilson and we'll see you next week on The Empowered to Connect podcast. It.

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