Prepping Your Child for Holiday Overload

Around this time of year, every kid experiences the same debacle: holiday overload. Their routine gets thrown out the window, and they’re forced to interact with relatives they’ve never met before. This is a recipe for crankiness and complete meltdowns.

Help your children embrace the festivities by following these tips for holiday overload prep.

Prioritize time with your child

Between the shopping, cooking and traveling, the holidays pull parents in many different directions. Children can sense when they’re receiving less attention than they normally do. This causes them to become cranky, anxious, scared or clingy. To avoid a meltdown, build playtime into your daily schedule. Giving your undivided attention will let kids know you still love them and maintain a sense of normalcy during the holidays.

Tell your kids about new guests

A house full of strangers can quickly lead to holiday overload. It’s overwhelming for kids to meet so many big, scary people at once! Prepare your child for the guests’ arrival by showing them pictures and explaining who they are before the party. That way, your child will know what to expect when they meet guests face to face for the first time.

Ask visitors to respect boundaries

Give visitors a heads-up about your children before they meet. Politely request visitors not to smother the kids with hugs and kisses. Instruct them to speak in a gentle voice and kneel down to eye level. Warn visitors that some of your kids are shy and will approach when they’re good and ready. Keeping your kids comfortable in a social environment will help prevent holiday overload.

Travel with comforting objects

The party won’t always come to you. Kids are often forced to endure long car rides when you visit relatives. If you’re travelling this holiday season, an important part of holiday overload prep will include packing objects that comfort your child. Kids stay calm and fall asleep more easily when they have their favorite blanket, stuffed animal or white noise machine.

Show positive energy around the kids

Children excel at mirroring their parents’ emotions. When you’re upset, they’re upset. If the holidays are stressing you out, you’re likely to encounter more meltdowns from the kids. Help everyone (including yourself) keep their cool by focusing on the excitement of the season. Find healthy ways to cope with planning and family tensions, so the kids don’t pick up on that negativity.

Maintain a consistent routine

Kids thrive on consistency. Parents are in for a tantrum when kids skip a nap or don’t get fed at their regular time. As part of your holiday overload prep, make sure kids sleep the recommended number of hours each night. Bring kid-friendly snacks to social gatherings, so they have something to munch on if dinner is later than usual.

Every parent struggles to prep for the holidays and tend to their children’s needs at the same time. The friendly teachers at Assumption Academy are more than happy to help! Our before and after preschool care provides a fun, safe environment for your kids to play while you shop for their presents. Reach out to learn more about how we make the holidays a breeze.