“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” the holidays are upon us. Planning, scheduling, shopping, traveling, cooking and celebrating family are probably on your current to-do list. Your daily routines are about to change. Your children are an important part of this wonderful time, so here are a few helpful suggestions to keep them as the center of this year’s celebration.
Children are people too. They need to be included in the thought process of all the planning.
- If you are traveling, help your children by making sure they get the proper nutrition and rest before and during the trip. Interrupted sleep and feedings make a restless, hungry child. Keep to their daily schedule as much as possible.
- Prepare in advance for items needed on your trip. Pack to help your children transition into a new or somewhat new environment. Pack necessities for comfort as well as daily care. (special blankets, toys and always pack extra pacifiers)
- With toddlers and young children, talk to them and explain, in advance, what your plans will be. Include them in the process. Listen to their thoughts and be aware of those subtle comments. Give them some choices of what they want to take in their suitcase.
- Children may become tired if trapped in a car too long. Play fun traveling games, sing or tell stories about family members. If needed, stop and stretch to get refreshed.
- Whether you are the guest or hosting, there will be family and friends to meet and greet. Remember to adapt to your children’s needs. Fun and laughter can be loud. Remember to look and listen for the cues your child may give. They may become uncomfortable if it becomes loud or they are passed around from one person to another too often. Friends and relatives may not think much of this as they continue to socialize. Recognize when your child has had enough. It’s ok to step in and be the parent.
- Make efforts to sneak away and find some quiet time for you and your family. Eliminate and reduce any stress that may occur.
- No matter how you may feel at any given time or situation, try to stay calm and convey a pleasant attitude. Children can sense stress through tone and body language. Don’t let them see you sweat.
- As your children grow and become older, encourage them to be a part of the celebration. They may want to be creative and make table decorations, cards or pictures for friends and family. Cooking with children may be challenging but it is a great fun, family learning experience.
- Remember to take pictures during family gatherings. The posed ones are good but the, funny…unexpected poses are even better.
- Most importantly, remember…Holidays are about people not things. Holidays are to be fun not forced. Enjoy your family. Celebrate the time you have together. Make it special. Make it meaningful. Make memories.. This article is ©Copyright- All rights reserved