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Slowing Down During the Holidays

The holidays can be a difficult time for parents and families. There are so many activities, events, and family gatherings. It can be overwhelming to navigate while trying to enjoy every minute of your time together. This post outlines some things parents can do to keep things calm and give themselves grace. 

Keep a Schedule

When kids are home from school and there is so much going on, it can be easy to lose your routine. Routines help keep everyone healthy and regulated. Even if there are days when bedtime is later than usual, do your best to keep structure during the day. A schedule will help keep the children’s expectations in sync with the plans. It will also help keep everyone getting good sleep. Sleep is invaluable and often harder to come by around the holidays due to the excitement and traveling. 

Keep Downtime in the Schedule

There are numerous holiday activities and travel that take place this time of year. It can be overwhelming jumping from one activity to another. Keep some downtime in your schedule for the family. This will give everyone a much needed break to calm down and relax. 

Have Meaningful Family Time

Often families schedule elaborate activities and trips, but children often want to spend quality time with their family. Leave time to engage in holiday traditions or routines such as playing a game together as a family, decorating the house, cooking a special meal or dessert, or reading a story together. 

When Traveling

When traveling to visit family or go to special places/ events, it is helpful to set expectations with your children. This does not need to be rule based. Instead tell them who will be there and what they will be doing while they are there. Consider your child’s temperament or worries. Set up a plan for if they feel upset, so they know what to do. Do not feel the need to rush there. Take your time, so you can enjoy the visit. 

Be Kind to Yourself

As parents, we try to make everything the best for our children. Things will not always go as expected and that is OK. Be kind to yourself and to your family in those moments. Being together is the most important part about the holidays. This will teach your children the invaluable lessons of how to be flexible and that things are still enjoyable even if they aren’t perfect.