There is no question that during the holiday season, many of us experience more stress than we usually do in our busy lives. It seems as though we have so much to do; we don’t know where to start and we can become so disconnected, taking on a more Scrooge-like persona!

We have certainly had a chock full calendar for the last month around my house that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight, at least not at the moment. I have been very busy working on my new projects for my business, all with their own deadlines, weaving in time to help with an annual campaign for a charity I have been involved with in the past, as well as all of the usual shopping, cleaning, decorating and baking in preparation of one of the most celebrated days of the year.

As I was buried under my “to do list”, my kids were also carrying a heavy load and will be until their Christmas break; between their regular assignments and homework and their individual independent study projects…all do at the same time; not to mention the normal dramas and conundrums that accompany their teenage years. Of course after the holidays they have something else to look forward to…final exams!

I found myself feeling the familiar fear of not getting it all done and how paralyzing it was. This cement like feeling was being reflected by my kids…all of us in the same place of having so much to do and literally not being able to move or do anything! Anyone who has been in this stuck place knows exactly what it feels like…and it’s not fun!

Connection is the heart and soul of parenting. This past month was a wonderful reminder for me to keep practicing what I preach! When I took a step back and saw the pattern, I took responsibility for and shifted the fear in me and got back into the flow. It was only then that I could really empathize with and empower my kids to do the same.

Sometimes I think we forget that it isn’t just we adults that are under the pressures that life can bring; our kids have theirs too, many times even more than we know, especially if we don’t have an open, communicative relationship with them.

It will all get done, it always does…but how we do it makes all the difference!
Gaining a new perspective on how we can shift the negative energy in us and in our family can help make this holiday season the loving, peaceful and joyous time it is meant to be!

Give yourself the gift of connection this holiday season…the gift that keeps on giving!

Author's Bio: 

As an author, speaker, awareness/life coach and host of her own internet radio talk show, The Parent Connection, Jo-Anne Cutler has become a passionate voice for children by building the awareness of what we are teaching them by our example and following her vision to inspire and empower others to be the connected parents, teachers and role models our children need them to be.

She has created an audio program called Breaking the Cycle, is in the process of writing her own book (scheduled release early 2008), is a certified life coach using The Inner Workout™ program and is also the author of several published articles and co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life, Vol. 2. She offers personal/telephone consultations, seminars, and a free monthly e-newsletter, opening hearts to the harmony that we all desire in our homes, our classrooms and in our lives; one connection at a time. For more information, please visit