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Kids and the Holiday Season: Tips to Thrive

The holiday season is a fun, exciting, busy, festive and…stressful time of year! Parents feel a time crunch with a long list of to-do’s and events to attend. Children can feel over-stimulated, busy and buzzing with that anticipatory feeling that is oh-so good at causing meltdowns, tantrums and willful battles.

Whether you're a seasoned pro with kids at this time of year or a rookie parent, take note of our top tips to manage the inevitable bumps along the way:

Try to keep a routine.

Easier said than done! When you can and if you can, aim to keep some of your routines at home reliable and consistent. If bedtime is changing, keep wake up time consistent. If mealtimes are flexible, try to keep a bedtime story in the mix every day. Small, consistent details in the day can help anchor times that feel chaotic and less predictable to young children.

Find your “no.”

There will be many opportunities for fun, extra treats, parties and outings. While they may all seem like a “must do” try to balance finding your “no” when it is for the best. Does hot cocoa and a town tree lighting sound magical? Yes! But will your child be cranky and tantruming throughout it? If so, wait until another year and, for this year, say “no.” You know your kiddo and family best. Trust your gut and know everyone will be ok.

Find your “yes.”

No need to always say NO! The holiday season is chock full of moments that are doable and fun. Surprise your kiddos (and yourself) by saying yes to things you may not normally. Stay up to watch a holiday movie? An unexpected playdate or stop at the coffeeshop for a treat? Maybe not every day but the whole family loves a “yes!”

Remember: The little things count.

While the big moments and gifts may give us that “wow” moment we imagine, it’s the little moments our kiddos often remember the most. Whether using a special holiday themed cup or putting out a decoration year after year or listening to music together that brings a smile, it’s often the little, repeated moments that mean so much to our kids.

Check in with yourself.

All in all, the holiday season is a lot when you have littles. Check in on yourself. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or frustrated that’s ok. Recognize it and address it in a way that helps you. Maybe a meet-up with a friend; a quiet, post-bedtime movie binge; a glass of wine with a book; sleeping in or snuggling up to watch a show with your little one instead of tackling the “to-do’s” that abound. It’s your holiday season, too. Make sure you’re on the list of things to take care of.

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