The “Holiday Season” in the United States of America runs from mid-October until the first of January every year. Every month during this time there is a holiday to prepare for, experience and enjoy. However, with this come challenges for parents and children. It is this I would like to write about here.
Let’s start with the first thing that will come up: Sugar and sugary treats. I love sweets!!!! And most people I know do as well. But what most medical and nutritional doctors tell me repeatedly is that all bacteria, viruses, yeasts and fungus feed best on sugar! At a time when most people get together, kiss each other and share good spirit, we are also most likely to eat sugar, hence predisposing us to illness.
Secondly, this is the time most people and children tend to become critical of one another. Children criticize each others’ costumes, gifts, likes and dislikes. It is a time during which we will tend to get less sleep, become short with one another and/or make others’ criticisms seem more important than they need to be.
Lastly, regarding divorced parents: while you might never criticize your child’s other parent to them or in front of them, sadly I have found that grandparents, aunts and uncles or friends are sometimes not so careful in their communications about such things within earshot of the children. And even if it is not within the earshot of your children, other children have a tendency to repeat things they have overheard.
All these things create stress which can result in the predisposition of illness and injuries.
If you think about it, you will see how this can easily happen. A person starts to feel invalidated (made less of) or evaluated for (told what to think about themselves), this begins to worry him/her. They don’t sleep well, they might not eat well, thus causing them to worry even more. Now he/she is not paying attention to what he/she is doing as he/she is looking inward trying to figure out what to do about the situation. The next thing you know – BAM! An accident happens that results in an injury. Or due to the poor nutrition and exhaustion and excess sugar, a bacteria or virus floating around is able to take hold and that person is then sick.
If you look at the whole picture, it will suddenly make sense to you why there tends to be more illness and accidents around the holidays. It is more than likely not the colder weather; it is more likely the above situation.
So what can we do about this?
I can tell you right now that the chances of you getting your child (or yourself) not to eat that amazing Holiday treat that you only get to experience once a year are slim. But you can educate your children way in advance as to what sugar does and how it acts in the body. You can also provide alternative treats for the situations you will be in, at least minimizing the amount of sweets you and your child eat. And you should take extra vitamins and supplements that are well-documented to boost the immune system just prior to and during this time of year.
I would suggest taking the time to educate the family on the definition of invalidation: “refuting or degrading or discrediting or denying something someone else considers to be fact. Basically it is ‘no attention’. It actually acts as force and is equivalent to being struck.” (Basic Dictionary of Dianetics & Scientology)
And the definition of evaluation: “the imposing of data or knowledge upon another. An example would be to tell another why he is the way he is instead of permitting or guiding him to discover it for himself.”
(Basic Dictionary of Dianetics & Scientology)
Go over why it is damaging to do this. Act out many examples of how it happens in life and then act out what they could say or do instead. This will result in three things; them being able to withhold themselves from doing this, to recognize it when it is being done to them and how they can handle it when it does occur. Drill with them how they can easily ignore those kinds of statements, as these are someone’s opinion and not necessarily a truth. Drill how instead they can put their attention on the good things a person says and on the “fun stuff”. They can then just ignore those statements and make nothing of them completely. Doing so is not in any way being impolite. You can also let them know that it is totally within their rights to point out to the other person who is invalidating and evaluating that the Way to Happiness says to treat others the way they would like to be treated. (See The Way to Happiness Booklet Precept number 19 & 20).
Lastly, to those who are divorced: You generally know those people in your life who tend to hold a grudge or criticize your former spouse. Speak with them before you get together for a holiday event and explain as pleasantly as you can that you wish to keep the Holidays a happy time and that you do not wish to discuss any disturbing or upsetting things regarding anyone, especially not about your former spouse. The truth is, if there are any issues between you and that person, it is a personal situation to be resolved between the two of you. After all, “communication must be good communication: the necessary data sent in the necessary direction and received.” (The Components of Understanding pg 9 http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/SH3_3.HTM ). Therefore if those individuals have an upset about your former spouse and they are telling you about it, they are then in violation of two things: 1) good communication (it is not going in the proper direction to be received.) and 2) They are acting as an unknown third party between yourself and your former spouse. If overheard, then this creates that situation between your child and their parent.
“The law would seem to be:
A THIRD PARTY MUST BE PRESENT AND UNKNOWN IN EVERY QUARREL FOR A CONFLICT TO EXIST.
FOR A QUARREL TO OCCUR, AN UNKNOWN THIRD PARTY MUST BE ACTIVE IN PRODUCING IT BETWEEN TWO POTENTIAL OPPONENTS.
WHILE IT IS COMMONLY BELIEVED TO TAKE TWO TO MAKE A FIGHT, A THIRD PARTY MUST EXIST AND MUST DEVELOP IT FOR ACTUAL CONFLICT TO OCCUR.” L. Ron Hubbard (How to Resolve Conflicts booklet http://www.scientologyhandbook.org/SH8.HTM )
For me, the best handling for this is to remind myself and others of the purpose of the Holiday being celebrated. I can work hard to grant beingness and enjoy the people around me. (“Granting beingness: to let someone else be what he is. Listening to what someone has to say and taking care to understand them, being courteous, refraining from needless criticism, expressing admiration or affinity are examples of the actions of someone who can grant beingness.”) beingness. http://www.whatisscientology.org/html/Part14/Chp50/pg1021-a.html )
When I find myself feeling upset, I can remove myself from the situation, take a little walk and when I come back, I find things I can admire about that person.
I am not saying it is always easy, but by applying these simple tenets of Scientology you and your children can enjoy your Holiday Season with the least amount of stress and illness.
Here is wishing you the healthiest and most amazing Holiday Season ever!
Diane DiGregorio Norgard
Mace-Kingsley Family Center