The holiday season can be stressful for even the youngest in the family! Help your child avoid meltdowns during the holidays with these helpful tips:
Be extra aware of your child’s needs and sensitivities. Hunger, over-stimulation and sleepiness are common causes of tantrums and meltdowns in young children. Making sure your child’s basic needs are as uninterrupted as possible is the first line of defense in avoiding meltdowns.
Keep your child in the loop. Children are very sensitive to changes in routine. Giving your child a run-down of the day and letting them know what to expect may ease their anxiety. When possible, give them a 5 minute and 1 minute warning before moving on to new activities.
Give choices. Children will feel more in control when they have opportunities for making some decisions. Keep choices simple and age appropriate. “We’re going to grandmas this afternoon. Would you like to take your bear or your bunny with you?”
Be realistic. Don’t expect children to be able to keep up with the holiday pace. A young child really can’t be expected to maintain enthusiasm at being carted around all day doing errands. Avoid over-booking! Be aware that you may have to say “no” to some holiday events to help your child adapt to schedule changes during the holidays.
Don’t forget the fun! Children see life as a game so play along. Sing carols while helping them dress or bathe, put reindeer antlers on your head and dance or spend time reading favorite holiday stories together. Take time this year to relax and enjoy the season through their eyes!