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Parenting Through the Holidays

Happy Holidays! Today I will be talking about how to help your kids through the holidays. This time of year is an exciting time for kids but it is also stressful! Routines are disrupted and plans may be changed without notice. Children might have certain expectations (unbeknownst to parents!) that are not fulfilled. When children become stressed they may engage in some less than desirable behaviors including crying, yelling, being physically and verbally aggressive, and refusing to do things when asked. Below are three strategies you can use to help your children through the holidays. 1. Stick to your routine. As much as possible stick to your routine. Have your children go to bed at the same time, eat at the same time, and do their other activities as they normally do. Obviously, this can't be done all the time, but sticking to your children's routine when you can will help them feel secure. 2. Provide structure. Children are generally out of school for 2 weeks during the holidays. This year has already been unpredictable with school, so when they are not in school provide as much structure to their day as possible. Ask them what they want to do and make a schedule for the day. You don't have to follow the schedule exactly, but having it and following it when possible will provide the needed structure to your children's day. 3. Tell them the plan. Tell your children what you have planned that may be outside the norm. This year may look significantly different than in holidays past due to COVID-19. Tell your children what is changing and what you are doing instead. This is a great time to make new traditions! Let your children know of changed plans as soon as you can so that they will have time to digest the information and prepare for the changes. If they react negatively to the changes, validate their feelings, and offer choices when possible.

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