By Portarlington Psychologist and Operation Transformation Expert Dr Eddie Murphy.
Last Friday, my little family of four, my wife Carol and sons Oisin and Darragh, like many others, cuddled up in front of the fire to wait for the greatest show on Earth, the Late Late Toy Show.
Now that it has happened, Christmas has officially started.
Creating familymemories is central to the story of Christmas and the Toy Show is one such event. It’s all about connecting with each other. it’s an all-national slumber, toy, singing, and dancing party.
This time of year is your chance to forge family memories and traditions that become part of a ‘language’ of a family, keeping us connected.
They provide a sense of continuity and belonging. Family traditions nurture and foster children's stability and security, boosting emotional health.
December and the lead-up to Christmas is a chance to nurture your inner child.
For many it’s forgotten, yet it’s a healthy part of our creative adult personality, to have fun freely and spontaneously with no guilt or anxiety. Over the year it is often suppressed or even abandoned.
Society tells us to grow up and reject childish things such as our inner child’s capacity for awe, innocence, joy, empathy, sensitivity and playfulness.
But hey presto, the magic of the Toy Show is that it allows your inner child to soar free.
With no judgement, your inner child can be a great source of positive energy and you can carry forward this positivity to all aspects of your life.
This positive attitude towards life is the foundation of living a contented authentic life where you are your real self.
For me it’s the unscripted moments that make the Toy Show magical. It’s the same in life. Allow yourself to charter the unscripted water, get beyond your comfort zone for that’s where the magic happens.
For me the toys are only the props for the real magic dust of the Toy Show, itbrings the nation’s families together and enhances our relationships and wellbeing. It’s a national institution for positivity.
Take the opportunity to create other family traditions. You can use every day routines such as bed time, taking a moment to talk, read pray, snuggle up, or reflect on 3 good things that happened today.
This ‘3 Good Things’ tradition helps you or your children orientate towards a positive and grateful outlook. Positive psychology shows that grateful people tend to be happier, healthier and more fulfilled.
When we strip it all back to memories and feelings, they centre around love, warmth, safety and nurturing.
As a parent, grandparent or guardian, this is the key emotion you are trying to create for your children to thrive. Its what we need as a society to blossom. It’s not only for children. My parents Joanie and Billy, with a combined age of almost 160, also let their inner child out for the toy show. Let go and spend some time with your inner child this Christmas.