Keeping Holidays Happy with Kids
By Tamara Sevigny
The holiday season is a busy and exciting time of the year for everyone. Holidays can have a great effect on children, as the time away from regular schedules can impact established routines. An overwhelming amount of gifts and too many activities can cause unnecessary stress and take away from quality time. Keeping these things in mind will make the season more enjoyable for your family.
It’s normal to be busy during the holiday season. We pack in visits with family, celebrations, parades, and other fun events. But with too many activities jammed into each day, this could prove to be overwhelming. Keep the individual tolerance level of your child in mind when planning your days.
Although it can be chilly this time of the year, kids are used to getting outside at least once a day for some fresh air. Outdoor time is also great for quality family time, as is including them in the extra activities of the holidays. Wrapping gifts, decorating, baking, and cooking are all excellent practical life activities that teach children life skills, and help them feel included in festivities.
Gifts are also a big part of many holiday traditions. But too many gifts can be overwhelming, so it is important to respect your child’s needs. If they want to play with a gift without opening more, let them. Or try different gift giving routines to break up holiday expectations.
The biggest impact of the holiday season is a disruption in daily routines. Children depend on a predictable routine, it reminds them that they are in a secure, loving environment. Keeping up with regularly scheduled nap times, meal times, and activities is all important in keeping the consistency that existed before the holiday season. Continuing to offer healthy meal choices and not allow too many sweets is important in keeping children calm, and prepared to handle some extra fun.
The holidays should be memorable and enjoyable. Slowing down the pace and continuing healthy routines for little ones will help them to keep up with the excitement. With less chaos and more focus on our children’s needs we can all have a great holiday season.