Children are people, with rights and qualities, not empty vessels for adults to model as they please.
Children deserve the opportunity and freedom to play, develop at their own pace and discover, with guidance, their own potential.
This most western and up to a point commercialised of celebrations is not a holiday but it is used to celebrate Love (mostly of the romantic kind) and friendship. It is mostly characterised by exchanging of cards, giving and receiving flowers and chocolates. There days not only teens celebrate it but primary kids have craft activities and produce little gifts to bring home.
Sometimes we forget how the transition from the holidays to back to school works. We may think that because adults have to return to work and find it a bit draining, children will need extra incentives to return to the classroom in winter. Actually, many children can’t wait to return to school and get back to spending time with their peers. It also seems that having structure helps using their time and energy, this does not mean that free play and time are not welcome.
On January 6th, in the Christian tradition, families celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men (Los Reyes Magos) with presents for children and in some countries with special bread that people share at home or at work. In some parts of the world this celebration and the gift giving gets combined with Christmas and the celebration in January goes forgotten.
A new year is a motive for celebration, and is a cultural event shared by millions around the world. Do we include our children in the preparations or this a holiday that is mostly celebrated by adults?
Culturally, while I was growing up, children were not really part of the celebrations nor the aspirations or expectations of the new year. That is not always the case in other cultures such as the Chinese New Year or Nawruz in Persia and the Baha’i tradition.
With the advent of better communication around the world and digital devices, celebrations around the world are shared by larger populations. How do you celebrate New Year in your family? Do you party at home with the children? Do you part away from home? Are children part of your celebrations?