Do your kids have holiday meltdowns?
It is that time of year again – frenzied shopping, experimental baking and party after party. Holidays are many people’s favorite time of year. I love everything about the holidays, except the over stimulation and pace that turns my otherwise well-behaved little children into gremlins, causing truly ugly holiday meltdowns.
If you want to see a gremlin for yourself just find a young child at a holiday party three hours after it started or for even more fun go visit the end of the Meet Santa line.
To avoid holiday meltdowns start by following these five tips:
Avoid over scheduling and allow for some down time.
It is tempting to cram every festive activity into your schedule. I know I am guilty of this! With so many cute holiday-themed activities, it is hard to decide which ones to let go.
If you are like me, you want to soak up the holidays. Unfortunately some kids can’t handle the pace and stimulation this might bring. This could be a quick trigger for holiday meltdowns.
Be aware of your child’s limits. If your child gets tired and overwhelmed after activities, be sure to arrange for some down time at home after a fun event (That is of course unless you just love holiday meltdowns).
Holidays with kids are full of treats. Keep an eye on your children’s sugar intake.
I must gain at least 10 pounds in the month of December. It seems like no matter where you turn, a cute holiday treat is being shoved (albeit by your own hands) into your mouth. Your kids are stuffing their faces too!
For two of my three children this does not alter their mood or behavior too much. For one child it is a scary transformation. I swear if you look close enough you could probably see his head spinning.
Know how sugar alters your child’s mood and behavior. Some children get more emotional, hyper and quick to anger when on sugar overload. A recipe for a delicious disaster (and a guarantee for holiday meltdowns)!
Family holidays are fun, but be a buffer for overzealous relatives.
You might love your Great Aunt Margaret from Idaho – but your kids probably don’t. Some children are slow to warm and can be uncomfortable hugging and chatting with people they don’t see often.
You can help your children by not insisting that they go up and hug every distant relative and friend. Teach your children to be polite and smile or say hello, but do not force your children to hug or entertain those they do not know well.
Spread out gift giving.
Sometimes marathon gift giving can overwhelm children and lessen the appreciation for the gifts they are being given. One way to help with this issue is to spread out gift giving.
We have a tradition where our children can open a few gifts on Christmas Eve. Our Christmas Eve gifts always require more assembly and keep our children’s attention for hours. Hmm – coincidence, I think not!
I also like the concept of hiding a few gifts that are “found” by the children a day or two later.
Have something your children can look forward to after the holidays.
The holiday season is like a huge wave that is building momentum from Halloween to New Years Day and then crashes January 1st. You have one more week off with the kids and all the holiday fun is over. This can cause holiday withdrawals for not only you, but for your kids.
Having something fun planned for after the holidays can help with the anticlimax of the season’s end. Have a special get together, hike or outing for the week after Christmas. This will help with the holiday detox process and give the kids something to look forward to while on break.
Holidays should be magical and screaming children who have lost the ability to use their legs is not what I call fun! Hopefully with some of these tips you will be able to truly enjoy the holidays – and your children will remain children and will not morph into seasonal gremlins!
How do you handle holiday meltdowns? Leave a comment and share some good ideas!
Do you know someone who struggles with holiday meltdowns? Share this article with them.
Looking for gift ideas? Check this article out: