The holidays are steadily approaching, and parents know how hard it can be to manage their child’s excitement this time of year. Between school holidays, Thanksgiving break, and then the winter holidays, kids are continuously home from school. It can be hard to control their excitement. Excess excitement for the holiday season can sometimes carry over into restless energy that’s hard to contain. In the season’s spirit of giving, here are some holiday tips for parents trying to manage their child’s holiday excitement.
Maintain a Schedule
One of the easiest holiday tips for parents is to maintain your toddler’s schedule. Don’t let the lack of school and the easy-going holiday spirit trick you into allowing your child a liberal nap and bedtime schedule. Not only will it add to your child’s restless energy, but it will make readjusting to daily life more difficult.
If your toddler is used to taking a nap at a certain time every day, make sure they continue to do so over the holidays. Altered nap schedules will result in a cranky toddler with a low tolerance for disturbances. Keeping to a normal schedule will help stabilize your child’s mood, and ground their day into a sense of routine and normalcy.
Limit the Treats
Halloween is certainly a huge day of sugar consumption for children. However, kids also get a decent number of sweets and treats throughout the holiday season. Between chocolates, pies, cakes, and other holiday desserts, there’s plenty of sugar to go around.
Prevent the highs and lows of sugar rushes by limiting the amount of treats your toddler can have during the holidays. Toddlers typically have enough energy at family gatherings to begin with. Having them hyped up on sugar will only add to erratic behavior, and subsequently, increase the inevitable crankiness that follows when they crash. Plus, limiting their exposure to sweets will aid in their overall health.
Break Up the Holiday To-Do’s
For children, the holidays mean time away from school, visiting family, feasts, and desserts. For adults, the same applies, but with added stressors of budgeting finances, lost hours from work, finding gifts for a number of people, travel, and surviving the holiday rush.
As adults, we’re tempted to bang out everything on the to-do list all in one fell swoop. We just want to get it all over and done with as quickly as possible. While that plan may work for us, it doesn’t pan out so well when children are involved. They don’t have the patience or the stamina for a whole day of shopping and errands in the high-stress holiday rush atmosphere. Knocking it all out in one day just isn’t feasible.
Another of the great holiday tips for parents is to plan ahead for your errands. Leave yourself enough time so that you can break up your trips into smaller segments. That way, your child won’t get overwhelmed, and your time in the stores will actually be more productive. It’s easier to figure out which sweater your mother would like better when you don’t have a screaming toddler throwing a tantrum on the floor behind you.
Take breaks in your shopping and do fun things with your toddlers to encourage them to enjoy it too. Gift shopping at the mall can always be broken up by pictures with Santa, and you can take a break from cleaning and decorating the house by taking your child out to the playground. You can even involve them in the process, so that they can receive your attention while you still get work done.
Reinforce Realistic Expectations
Possibly one of the best holiday tips for parents is to take the time to reinforce realistic expectations. Remind them that Santa may not be able to deliver every single gift on the list. If you set these expectations, it’s especially important that you stick to them. It’s counterintuitive to tell your child to only expect so much, and then splurge and get everything on the list. That only reinforces the idea that they will always get everything they ask for.
Shifting your child’s focus away from their wish list will help reinforce that the holidays are about family. It’s never too early to show them that gifts mean more than their face value. They are a sign that someone cares. Exposing your children to these complex concepts early on will make it easier to contain their excitement leading up to the big day.
Holiday Tips For Parents from HAFHA
There are always opportunities to enforce preschool learning activities during the holidays. Thanksgiving presents numerous arts and crafts opportunities that will help your child learn and grow their imagination. From making handprint turkeys to learning about the pilgrims, Thanksgiving is a holiday steeped in tradition and fun.
As the gift-giving season approaches, encourage children to create homemade cards and gifts for friends and family. These items crafted by your toddler can be turned into ornaments to help decorate the house during the holidays. They will also help your toddler practice dexterity, grow their imagination, and connect to their relatives. Make sure you look into some fun preschool learning activities you can do at home with your toddler.
Home Away from Home Academy has been educating children for decades. Our dedicated and caring staff encourage children to grow into their best selves by developing all aspects of their mental awareness. Learn more about why you should choose our educational programs, and then get in touch with us today!