Keeping the Fun in the Holidays, and the Stress Out!
Every year when the holidays approach there is a “to do list” that can seem daunting. The fact is, your child will enjoy the season more, and you will too, if you limit that list and some of the stress that comes with it!
This year, promise yourself to enjoy the season and its magic with your child….here are a few suggestion that might help your level of holiday stress. Share your tips with us too!
- Set priorities. Sit down and discuss which traditions, decorations, parties truly matter to you and your family. Sometimes more fun results from doing less!
- Accept help. Consider if you really need and want to host family gatherings this year, and if so split the responsibilities with others. Remember, a clean house only lasts a minute when you expect a houseful of guests! Make your home presentable but not necessarily ready to pass the white glove test!
- Plan ahead. Break big jobs down into small steps. Try to be realistic about how long it takes to get things done with young children in the house and allow for the unexpected.
- Stop negative thoughts. If you find yourself feeling inadequate or thinking that you are letting others down remind yourself that your little one is who is most important. You are a Mom or Dad first!
- Keep a sense of humor. Even the worst holiday disasters have the makings of great family memories. Everything looks more perfect when looking back!
- Keep your child’s age and temperament in mind when planning the schedule. Do not schedule too many special events in a row. Try to be sure that your child has quiet time or “down time”. Touch can calm stress in a child and you.
- Shop on-line. Buy the same gift for as many people as possible. (Think picture gifts…your child smiling face is the perfect gift for so many!) Think about limiting your gift list now. What about a family name draw? White elephant gift? Shopping takes patience and shopping with a young child takes a saint! Try to swap babysitting. Have a plan when you do shop, children do best when on the move. Bring plenty of snacks and know when it is time to stop. Be the adult, don’t melt down when your child does!
- Make Santa a solo event! If a visit to Santa is in the plans, do just that! Visit Santa when your child is well rested. Children that have entered the stranger anxiety phase, which can begin around 7 to 8 months and last into toddler hood, often don’t enjoy the Santa visit. Read about Santa, talk about Santa, wave at Santa from a distance and then try a visit. TRY…don’t force your child to sit on Santa’s lap if there is anxiety and tears. Stand next to Santa for the picture or sit on his lap with you holding your child. If all fails…photo shop Santa into your picture! www.icaughtsanta.com Love this website!!!
- Make 12 dozen of the same kind of cookie rather than 12 different types. Concentrate on the people rather than objects. It is more important to have fun making cookies than have beautiful cookies.
- Make your tree child friendly! I am often asked if I think a tree is worth it when there are active toddlers in the house. ABSOLUTELY, remember family traditions glue your family together. Make your tree family friendly. Decorate it from your child’s eye level down with safe unbreakable ornaments with plastic hooks. Let your child explore those ornaments. (Our tree was redecorated from 2 feet down on many days! That is what made it so beautiful!) You might think about anchoring the top of your tree with fishing line to the wall, which will prevent a little one from pulling it over. A wide based tree stand is a must.
- Don’t expect perfection from yourself or your extended family. Family visits are not times to reform your nieces and nephews or discuss parenting views! Your child is your responsibility! Any comparisons of children are not important. If your child or you are criticized, ignore, if you or your child is complimented…enjoy! Do not pick battles with family members during gatherings, those battles are seldom worth it to you or your child. Be flexible!
- Exercise, breathe, remember to eat well and take a break each day.
- Include your child in holiday activities—it creates roots, bonds, and traditions that will strengthen your family and will create joy and many memories. Appreciate the moments, they are but a moment!
What are your tips to enjoy more and stress less???
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.
- Posted in: Becoming a parent ♦ Enjoying parenting ♦ Family traditions ♦ Holiday activities ♦ Holidays and children
- Tagged: Christmas tree and children, enjoying parenting, family bonding, family gatherings, family memories, Holiday stress, infant, preschooler, Santa visits, school age, shopping with children, teen years, tips to decrease holiday stress, toddler, tradition