Holidays are advertised to be joyous events filled with love, family, and tradition. However, a lot of times, that also means experiencing stress, anxiety, changes in routine, and more. When you have children, the excitement and changes in routine can mean exhaustion and changes in behavior. And the last thing you want to deal with during the holidays is meltdowns. Below are five tips to help keep your holiday meltdown free:
- Make adjustments to normal routines.
Children thrive with routine, but it is unrealistic to expect that you will be able to keep them on their normal routine during the holidays. Help yourself out and make adjustments ahead of time. Use your normal routine as a starting point, identify potential problem areas, and modify to work best with your holiday schedule.
- Get the kids involved.
Find small, special ways to get your kids involved with the holiday preparation and traditions. Having a job that they are solely responsible for makes them feel special, significant, and part of the festivities.
- Set clear expectations and boundaries.
Holidays are not an excuse for bad behavior and rules to fly out the window. Again, start with already established household rules and expectations. Then, modify to best fit the holiday events. For example, if your children are used to doing certain tasks before getting electronic time, modify and review with them the holiday rules for when they can expect electronic time and when it will not be appropriate. This way, you avoid unnecessary meltdowns.
- Relaxation & downtime
Children tend to see holidays as a break from school, and time for them to relax and have fun. In reality, these breaks can be chaotic and filled with over stimulation and… sugar, sugar, sugar! Intentionally setting aside a regular time designated for relaxation and de-stressing will help keep them regulated and able to handle all of the excitement.
- Plan ahead.
After the holidays are over and it’s time to go back to school and work, the stress doesn’t stop. It takes another 1-2 weeks for everyone to adjust back to normal routines. If you expect this and plan ahead for it, you can save yourself the stress and headache. If possible, start moving towards normal routines a few days before the kids go back to school to help with the transition.