Keeping your child on track during the holiday season

on track

Isn’t this the time of year for children of all ages?  I don’t know who gets more excited – the child awaiting a special red-dressed fellow OR the parent who can’t wait to see the delight in their children’s eyes?  Whoever it is, this is the time of year when everyone gets busy scurrying here and there with stress mounting.  Below are a few great ways to keep your child in sync during the holidays:

Schedule lots of downtime.  Learning to play quietly, looking at books, completing small chores for you, doing a holiday-related activity – these help your child to calm herself. 

Keep active – Around the downtime, bundle up and play outside, running, jumping – all these expend that pent-up energy.  Of course, parents, you will also want to do this for yourself.  It can have a calming effect for you as well. Then, share some hot cocoa.

Design a parent-child activityMaybe reading a favorite seasonal book, making cookies together, wrapping presents.  Make it a yearly tradition that you and your child look forward to every year until she outgrows it – which may be never!  Building memories is what the season is all about. 

Keep to a scheduleChildren do best with routine.  Try to keep the dinner hour and the bedtime as normal as is possible.  Even children tire of the hustle-bustle and it will show in their behavior and emotions.  A good night’s sleep can do wonders for both parent and child. 

Holiday blues – Be empathetic when your child begins to show the “let-down” after Christmas.  The newly acquired toys, etc. are always fun for a week, but even they lose their luster in the latter part of the holiday festivities.  Curl up with her, share a book or a movie and this will help keep her spirits up, while letting her know that you care about how she feels. 

Finally, Mom and Dad, get some rest yourself.  Our stress hormone can send us into feelings of worry, discouragement and exhaustion.  Remember that your child has radar that senses just how you feel. 

Have a happy, healthy holiday season! 

*”Decorated” image courtesy of Aine / flickr Creative Commons

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