The holiday season is soon upon us and it’s a well-known fact that this time of year can be a stressful time for everyone in the family. Aside from the usual holiday shopping and cooking, extra cleaning and the burden of entertaining, there’s also travel, staying with family or friends and taking scheduled kids out of their typical routines. It can all equate to a lot of stress for you and your kids. Here are a few tips to help your family get through the holidays with a little less stress:
Keep your child’s routine as close to normal as possible. You may have to remind grandparents and cousins that a tired child makes for a crabby child, but keep bedtime and meals as normal as you are able.
Spend time with your child. If they feel you are ignoring them they will begin to feel stressed out.
Don’t over-schedule your child. Remember they will need time to play, rest, be quiet and do normal things. Don’t force your toddler to shop all afternoon or your teenager to play with the little cousins all day. Let them do things that are pleasing to them on their own time.
Reward your child for good behavior. When they are brave about meeting a new person, try a new food or sit patiently while you talk with family, give your child a special treat as a thank you.
Keep to your bedtime routine. Read stories together, snuggle, bathe—whatever your child is used to doing to help calm them and go to bed should be the norm even on vacation. And don’t forget blankies and stuffed animals!! They should definitely make the trip with you.
Be patient with your kids. Even when it feels like your child is trying to be annoying or frustrate you, it is most likely because he needs some attention. Don’t take your holiday stress out on your child.
When you are stressed, frustrated, over-worked and exhausted, don’t take it out on your child. It’s okay for them to know you are overwhelmed, but it is not their fault and they shouldn’t have to pay the consequences. If you need some space or a break, take acould deep breaths and remove yourself from the situation. Set a calm, good, positive example for your child.
Good Luck & Enjoy Your Holiday Season!
About Mike Locker, Article Contributor
Daddy Locker (aka Mike Locker), father of two, helps parents navigate the ups and downs of parenting through his expert advice. He covers topics ranging from taking baby out to eat without annoying the other diners, best ways to swaddle baby and how to how to be an involved dad. Daddy Locker is also the founder of Cozy-Cover, innovative parenting solutions for on-the-go families, and is constantly putting his creative skills to work developing new products to make parents’ lives easier and more convenient.