We all want to have that picture-perfect family! The kids listen! Nobody is having a tantrum or crying! Your spouse is not arguing with you! And everyone is getting along….maybe even singing Christmas Carols…
Well…back to reality…
That is not typically what happens during the holidays. Schedules are off. Kids are grouchy and filled with more sugar and junk food than usual. Parents are tired because there is so much to do with shopping, wrapping, baking, and all the other Christmas activities, on top of an already full schedule.
To help make this season a little less stressful and a little more joyous…..Here are a few tips to help make the holiday season with kids a little bit easier.
Keep Schedules As Close to Normal As Possible
With all the fun and chaos of the Holiday Season, we all tend to be busy and out of our normal routines. However, it is important to keep the kids’ schedules as close to their normal routines as possible. This allows them to eat, sleep, play, and do their other typical activities about the same time as they do most days.
Keeping schedules the same or similar helps children to feel safe. They know what to expect and everything seems less chaotic in their world. Because of them feeling less stressed, this lowers the chances of additional tantrums and irritability, which makes everyone’s life just a little less stressful!
Make Sure Everyone Gets Enough Sleep…Kids and Parents
It’s one thing to remember to put our children to bed, but it’s another thing to make sure that we get enough rest. There is always a long list of tasks that parents have to accomplish and sometimes those tasks are easier when the children are in bed. We can take care of our kids, make sure they get enough good food and sleep, but we do not always take our own advice.
Sleep is more important than we often realize. Sleep helps to keep us healthy. It gives our bodies a chance to rest and heal. Sleep helps us recharge. It improves our mood, patience, and frustration tolerance. It helps us from being as grumpy as we could be without sleep. Plus it’s hard to be Merry when you are tired and grouchy!!
Hopefully more of this…
Means more of this…
And less of this!!
Don’t Forget the Fruits and Veggies!
Everyone still needs fruits and veggies even though there are so many GREAT Holiday Treats around practically everywhere that you go! We, and our children, need to maintain a healthy diet with nutritious foods to help us to remain healthy with all of the hugs, kisses, and visits from family and friends, especially when those family and friends may not be feeling very well themselves.
You can also have fun with the fruits and veggies and spice them up a little for the Christmas season! Make a fun fruit salad with red and green fruits! Turn strawberries into Santa hat treats! Dye your veggie dip red or green! The options are endless and allow you and your children to be creative and have fun! Maybe it can even be a new family tradition!
Allow Kids to have Downtime to Play
Often we forget the simple necessities in life when we are busy with our special holiday activities! We have to remember to make sure our children (and ourselves) get some downtime! Allow younger children time to just play and be free. Let them go outside and run and play. let them play with their toys…both old and new. You may have 10,000 exciting activities for them to do, but they still need time just to enjoy the simple things in life and the activities they choose for themselves.
You should also allow time for the adolescents to have downtime and fun too. Allow them to have time on electronic devices period. Allow them to have friends over or spend time with friends outside of the home. It is often much easier to allow your teen to have a friend over or bring a friend to grandma’s house (assuming grandma is nearby) than to listen to them huff and puff and pout for hours!
Most Importantly…Make Sure to Enjoy the Time with Your Children!
Most importantly, remember why this season is truly important. You are spending countless hours preparing for the holidays and trying to make the perfect memories with your children. Remember to enjoy that time too and spend quality time with those that you love. Let the children help make cookies for the party or other holiday events. Allow them to shop with you and pick out something special for grandma, grandpa, or their siblings. And play. Just play with them and give them your attention. Even if you have older children and teenagers, play with them. Spend time with them. Give them your attention and conversation. Reminisce about Christmasses past. Dream about future Christmasses or the new year to come. No matter how you chose to do it, just spend time with your family and make sure you are enjoying this season too!
Check out more parenting tips! We have free downloads about what to do when your kids are bored, ways to increase your communication skills with your kids, and, most importantly, our tips for busy moms!
Also, check out Dr. Jones’ parenting book!!