Holidays are a frenzy of activities and tasks — and all with a time limit. As a result, this time of year can be demanding and downright stressful. Here are some helpful parenting tips for you and your family to slow down, plan ahead, and reap the holiday spirit!
- Don’t overschedule. Take it easy on planning, especially too much in one day.
- Give your young one snacks. Remember to provide water and a healthy snack every two hours.
- Never miss an opportunity to encourage good behavior. Be proactive about talking and practicing how you want your children to show manners and be grateful.
- Give back. Try your best to fit in some community service. Not everyone has the best holidays and your community needs you to pitch in to provide those less fortunate with some holiday cheer.
- Teach gift giving. If your children are attending family gatherings, have them come prepared with gifts they have made or cards so they learn about giving, the true point of the season.
- Don’t underschedule. Structure down time in your holiday plans and pay attention to hydration, rest, and exercise for everyone. Actually plan for it and stick to it.
- Let kids help. Remember that children can help in the kitchen more than you think, even little ones. They will be more invested in the holiday meals if they help make things you are serving or giving away.
- Find creative ways to involve children. Thanksgiving and New Year’s celebrations can be very adult oriented. Figure out ways to involve the children in cooking, decorating, putting on skits for the adults and guests to your home, inviting someone to the meal, or saying the prayer at the table.
- Let kids make decisions. Provide children with lots of choices to empower them to feel like they have some control over what is happening.
- Create structure — and stick to it! Provide some structure while they are out of school. A written schedule can be quite helpful for those kiddos who have difficulty managing down time.
- Don’t ignore deceased family members. Do not be afraid to include family members who have passed with a toast or a candle and picture for fear of the grief it may bring up. The holidays are really about family, and so, there will be some sadness about family members not there. Manage that by including people no longer with us in some small way.
- Find time to put children to bed. Make sure your bed time and morning routines stay as close to normal as possible. Take the time to read to your children and find value-laden holiday movies to watch.
- Make good memories. Most of all remember, we are providing our children with the good memories of their childhood they will take with them throughout their lives and will likely shape how they raise their children. With this in mind, plan out your rituals and traditions to include them, engage them, and nurture their spirits.
Happy winter holidays to you all and great family times!