Holidays and Family Time: What Are You Doing?



James L. Casale, Ph.D.


One of my readers suggested this topic. She believes, as I do, that additional family time- even for working parents-presents itself during holiday weekends and extended seasonal celebrations that include Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a result, I couldn’t help thinking about what my wife and I would do differently if we knew then-in the 60s and 70s- versus what we know now.

First Things First

First of all, our goal of raising and teaching our children to be kind, compassionate, considerate, selfless, respectful, responsible and life-long learners would have been written as a family mission statement and posted in a conspicuous place in our home. It would guide our actions as a family. I feel comfortable saying that in “those days “we knew little but tried hard to raise our two children, James and Karen, in an environment that emphasized personal and academic growth. At that time, I had not yet formulated Dr. Casale’s First Commandment of Parenting:

“Thou shalt have a family mission statement that is posted in a conspicuous place and referred to often.”

(For more information on family mission statements, read chapters one and two in Dr. Casale’s book.)

Memorial Day Weekend

Since I am writing this on Memorial Day weekend, and my family has a long history of military service, I’ll start here. Holiday celebrations are rich opportunities for parents to set an example as teachers and role models.

Do not allow this significant day to pass without choosing one or more of the following activities 🙁 If you do, I’ll have to revoke your citizenship)

  • Check a book out from your local library that explains this sacred day. Read it together and discuss it.
  • Listen to a version of Taps. It’s most likely on YouTube.
  • Display your American flag.
  • Attend a Memorial Day Parade.
  • Check TV programming that focuses on Memorial Day and watch it together.
  • Send a card to a veteran who is confined to hospital and thank him or her for their service.
  • Get creative
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Holidays are the perfect opportunities to learn, and focus on others who are less fortunate rather than on yourself. These life lessons never end in our quest to become better people and better citizens. If you have children at home at any age, it’s not too late to increase quality family time and stay true to your mission. The selfless things you do during any holiday weekend or season are transferable to other holidays and other seasonal celebrations.

Dr. Casale is the author of the highly praised parenting book, Wise Up and be the Solution: How to create learning culture at home make your child a success in school. Skyhorse Publishing (NYC) Available at book stores, amazon and

     Copyright: 28 May 2016 by James L. Casale, Ph.D.      




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