There is a lot of pressure that goes into the holidays, preparation, expectations, family dynamics and changes in routine. While the holidays are meant to be enjoyed, these changes can add stress to a child’s day, and therefore a parents as well.
Try to use some of these tips to help manage the holiday with your child:
- Set the expectation of the rules and specific behaviors you would like to see “When we are eating dinner, I would love for you to sit and try all the food on your plate, and ask to be excused” or “When you are playing with your cousins, please keep your hands to yourself.”
- Bring activities that are enjoyable or preferable for your child to do, pick puzzles, games or projects that will help occupy their unstructured time, so you can enjoy more adult time.
- Know your child-if they tend to get overwhelmed in big groups, or get tired early, pay attention to those cues, this helps avoid a meltdown and the embarrassment that can occur if you push them past their limits
If you structure, prepare and organize the expectation, you are setting your child and your family up for success. Children tend to act out more when they feel out of control, and placing them in a new situation, with people they do not see often can trigger distress. Prepare for this and you should have a successful, enjoyable holiday with your family.
Enjoy the holiday!
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