Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Christmas concerts and other holiday hassles

The Christmas program at my children's school is this Wednesday, which is a relief because it means the end of the routine-destroying rehearsals that drive my son so batty during the month of December. As I've written before, I have my doubts as to whether the good things about these annual extravaganzas (musical enrichment, the discipline of working as a group and being onstage, the opportunity for parents to get together and go "Awwwww...") is worth the bad things (study time lost, kids without musical ability forced to spend lots of time proving it, kids without standing-still ability tested beyond the very limits of endurance). I know, at any rate, that they're not good for my boy. Judging by the comments I'm getting about his rehearsal demeanor, his teachers know it too, although whether they're placing the proper blame on the disruptiveness of pageant preparation, I don't know. After Wednesday, at any rate, it will all be over. I'm hoping he doesn't display a little disruptiveness of his own onstage.

Christmas rehearsals are my son's greatest source of holiday stress. If your personal stress producer is a child with RAD, check out the Christmas message from Nancy Thomas for tips on making it through to the 25th. If dealing with child study teams has got you down, the folks at Wrightslaw want you to remember to follow their survival tips at this time and throughout the year. The About.com Special Children site has a nice list of links to articles on dealing with everything from depression to family reunions (oh, wait -- aren't those the same thing?), and on Mothers with Attitude you can still find the article from a mom of 18 on establishing Christmas traditions for adopted children. And if all that doesn't help, just remember that all of this holiday frazzle and frenzy does eventually come to an end. Holiday stress will pass. Then we can move on to general winter stress, followed by spring stress, summer stress, and fall stress. Merry whatever, y'all.

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