The holidays can be a challenging time for everyone preparing the holiday setting. As parents and homeowners we are trying to get everything ready in time. Pets and children add to the challenges with all the preparations. Here are 5 ways to make holidays easier for children.
Involving children as much as possible helps
It’s finally the holidays! This year most people are looking forwards to the Christmas holidays a lot more than usual, especially as it’s the first time in over 21 months that having family over seems less risky. For children, though, the holidays can be a tough time, especially if they are quite young.
Why Are Holidays Difficult For Children
It is easy to feel stressed as parents during the holidays. You are trying to enjoy Christmas, buy the right presents, see relatives, travel and make sure children are being looked after. All this at the same time in a concentrated time frame. More importantly, it can be a lot for a child to handle. This is when child behavioral problems often increase in this intense period.
Here are just some of my tips to help make your children’s holidays a little bit less stressful.
Give them choices about what to do on Christmas Day. After all, it’s only once a year, so let them choose their favorite non-negotiable activity.
As for the rest of the day, be prepared with other options – especially if you have children over 6 years of age – and try to fulfil as many of their wishes as possible. This way, younger children will tend to get less overwhelmed and feel they have some choice in what they do on Christmas Day.
Plan in some down time
If you are going to be out of the house during the day on Christmas Day, plan some downtime for children in their rooms, in the family room, or in a quiet area of the house.
Planning downtime helps children to recuperate after a busy morning. Ideas such as sitting in a quiet area of the house watching a movie on bean bags with snacks will be welcomed by children of all ages.
Give children responsibilities
Children may not understand what it is like to be older or identify with its meanings, so try to get them involved as much as possible.
Give them responsibilities and try to let them know that they should be doing things themselves by themselves. This way, they will likely behave better, especially if you don’t make it sound like a big deal at all.
Don’t expect them to be excited
Children might not be as excited as they should be, even if they are old enough to understand what Christmas is all about.
Give them information about the Christmas story, but let them know that it’s not important for you to see how excited it makes them. Try and plan a fun day for children without expecting too much excitement. This is especially important if you are parenting a child with sensory processing difficulties.
A final thought on trying to make holidays easier for children
Parents of children who like to get up very early on Christmas day may wish to implement a bed present. This gift is placed on the end of the child’s bed by the parent before they wake up in the morning with the instruction that they are allowed to open that one gift only before breakfast.
For quiet children, a book is a good present, whereas a child who is a kinesthetic learner may prefer a gift such as Lego or crafting in order to keep them occupied.
Further reading for homeowners and pet owners
At Housesitmatch.com we like to offer useful and practical articles on topics for our readers. In this selection we offer you a number of suitable pieces from our own blog on renovating and decorating a home.