Holiday How To Tips – Kids Behaving
Think back, stretch your mind over the years and remember your childhood holidays. What did your family do? What did your day look like? For most young kids and even teens, the holidays can be a time of excruciatingly painful sheer boredom. I know, I know, that’s not a very nice thing to say & that may not always be the case. They get to see all of their relatives, play with cousins they don’t see often and there may even be presents involved. However, the holidays can make for some very long days that are all out of the regular routines and expectations. There’s no school, no after school and not even regular television programming. To a child it can be really stressful not knowing what’s coming next, when it’s coming and how it’s supposed to go down. Here are my tips on how to help the kiddies get through with minimal meltdowns…
- You plan your holiday meals, spend some time on planning activities for your kids too. Having some activities set up in advance keeps your kids busy and makes life easier on you. Having a special activity bin they can go to whenever they are bored is a great idea. If the kids are entertained and/or busy they’re not bored and hopefully less likely to fight and drive you nuts.
- Make a schedule. It sounds silly, but kids do like to know what to expect, they are not born free spirited hippies. If you have a schedule for them to look at they will know generally what’s coming and they will transition better into each activity. For example: the morning could be breakfast, taking the dog for a walk, making decorations, free play time and then lunch. It doesn’t have to be extreme entertainment all day long but just having a guideline will make things feel more normal for them
- Have down time. If your child usually zones out or naps after school or in the afternoon for an hour or so, make sure they have that same opportunity. Well rested children cooperate more, just like well rested adults handle things better than sleep deprived ones.
- Review expectations with relatives. If Aunt Nelly always buys the kids something ridiculous that they typically hate, talk about how they should respond with a happy thank you even if they don’t like it. Aunt Nelly is just trying to tell them she loves them after all & you can always bring it back to the store later and exchange it for something they do like. Its’ also good to review table manners for special occasions, safe subject to discuss are also helpful. Don’t expect your kids to know which topics are off the table unless you clarify it for them. For example no one talks about motorcycles around Mike because he will talk about Motorcycles for the rest of the night and then no one else gets a chance to talk.
- Talk about the holiday you are celebrating. Sometimes the preparations for the holiday are so big that the holiday can get lost in all of it. Make sure to go over what you are celebrating and why so that your children understand the point of all of this and to install special meanings and traditions into the next generation.
Everyone has bumps and hiccups in their holiday celebrations. Enjoy it all – the bumps are just adding character anyways!