Family Christmas Dos and Don’ts #3 Making time for School Nativities and Performances
Whether your child is Mary, Joseph, an Angel, an Elf or Sheep number 3, watching them on stage is a beautiful moment. This is a great time to encourage confidence and rewarding commitment to excellence, without imposing your dreams of seeing them on the big screen. In spite of how busy we get at Christmas, we have never regretted the time we took to watch our kids perform, recite or do readings at school. Being involved in the lives of our kids does of course have different challenges depending on the circumstance of relationships and jobs, but we would probably all agree that our presence in the audience makes a big difference to our children.
Many workplaces allow official and unofficial flexibility for parents to attend things like school assemblies and performances, understanding that it is important that parents are there for their children. Any employee in the UK with 26 weeks of service has the right to request flexible working and this can be on an ongoing basis, for a short period of time or even for a morning to see your star being a star. Even if you are not entitled and still accumulating your 26 weeks of work, have a conversation with your line manager or plan to take the morning off in advance if you can.
Most school nativities, services and performances happen during the final week of the term before Christmas, which coincides with that slow, mince-pie period at work. For most of us, getting into the office an hour later makes little difference, although I appreciate this is not always the case.
Today I got to attend my son’s guitar recital before school. It reminded me that most popular tunes can be covered with 3 chords and that the real joy of performance is participation. This is even more special at Christmas, when the audience join in and raise the roof with a joyful noise.
- Make it a priority to support your child in the Christmas performance
- Talk about their role and help them learn their lines
- Take pictures, videos and make memories – they will be very different next Christmas
- Leave it to the last minute to check your schedule and juggle excuses
- Expect this to be their platform and ticket to Hollywood or the West–end
- Post pictures of other people’s children on social media without their consent