Holidays are coming which means more time with the kids at home.
Read that again, notice what feelings come up for you…
Is it happiness and joy, or is it stress, anxiety and overwhelm? Both?
Holidays mean quality time with family but that can be stressful. You love your kids but the thought of being with them all day for a few weeks might feel overwhelming.
Here are 5 helpful tips for you this holiday season:
Plan and get organized:
We feel less stress if we have a plan and we also tend to be more productive. If we are less stressed, we have more patience and our kids benefit. Add your activities on that Pinterest inspired family command center calendar you worked so hard on. You can always just print out a calendar and tape it to the fridge. Whatever works, but make it visual for the whole family to track.
Keep kids on a schedule and routine:
Yes, I know it is winter break, but during school days their routine is predictable. Having consistency during time off makes your life easier. Plan for meals around the same time each day. It is easy to get caught up in family outings, and when kids start getting “hangry” it is not pretty. Bedtime routine is important, kids need to be well-rested. The truth is most kids are not getting enough sleep during school days anyway. Bedtime should be kept the same, letting kids stay up late is only going to make it harder to adjust back to their school bedtime. Having time off from work, kids being out of school and extracurriculars, reduces a lot of the rushing. This is the time to make bath time more relaxing, spend more time snuggling and more than one bedtime story. Also if the kids are in bed that means more grown-up time for you, which you rightfully deserve.
Make the most out of quality family time:
Focus on connecting and bonding with your child. Child therapists and pediatricians recommend at least 15 minutes a day of undivided attention. Play with your child, let them lead the play, be engaged, be playful and silly. Children who feel securely connected to their parents do not act out as much. Acting out behavior is usually caused by an underlying unmet need. Parents who are more connected to their children are more attuned to their needs. If you notice your child becoming agitated and restless, go through a check-list in your mind first: could they be hungry, tired, thirsty, overly stimulated, or wanting more connection? Just the way you did when they were babies, children and teens still have these needs. They are not yet able to identify what they need or how to resolve on their own.
Avoid overindulging and overspending on toys and gifts:
Research shows that young children are happier with less toys. Before you shop sort through your kids’ playroom and toy chests. “Children don’t need more things. The best toy a child can have is a parent that gets down on the floor to play with them”. -Dr. Bruce Perry. Encourage families to not overdo gifts either. Instead, suggest loved ones give gifts of experiences like tickets to museums, sports events, indoor jumping playgrounds.
Partake in and create family holiday traditions and rituals:
The holidays are a wonderful opportunity to share traditions you grew up with or create new ones that your children can do with their kids one day. Doing activities together like decorating the tree or the gingerbread house, or lighting the candles, baking cookies are all great for bonding. They create wonderful joyful memories for your children to have.
Need tips on what else to do with your kids this winter break? Click here: https://andreavargaslmhc.com/the-best-place-to-take-your-kids-this-weekend-in-south-florida/