Surviving Christmas With The Kids
5 ways to enjoy the holidays with the kids. They might not be quite what you expect!
By Tracy Laverick – Enriching Parenting
#parents #parenting #FamilyChristmas
The holidays with the kids are coming!
The holidays with the kids are coming. This could fill you with a range of emotions… excitement, thankfulness or fear! Expectations for the holidays are so high they can be impossible to achieve. This blog is about how to appreciate the holidays with your kids!
Set realistic expectations
Social media, and the media in general, has significantly altered our view of ‘normal’. Therefore we get sucked into thinking that our families should reflect those that we see. I mean, even our friends have amazing shots of their kids all dressed up and smiling in their Christmas jumpers! (Imagine how many shots were needed before they got that one!)
So, think about what for you would make a successful holiday with the kids. Focus on these things being right and plan for how that might happen! But be realistic. We have given up expecting that the kids will sit still for the whole of the dinner but really appreciate it when they do! And if kids have never eaten sprouts before it is unlikely that they will this time! Free yourself of some of those expectations.
Keep some routines, some of the time.
The holidays are a time when routines change and the world is a bit less predictable for the kids. This can be really exciting but also takes a lot of their energy. Plan for some days when routines will be in place and demands are taken off them. This will help them to have some flexibility and be able to enjoy all the new and exciting things for longer!
Make time to play with the kids in the holidays
So many demands are put on parents during the holidays. We need to plan for times when we will have a bit of downtime from the cooking and the hosting to sit down on the floor and play with the kids for a bit! It can be great with family around as they can do a job for you while you play or they can play with the kids. If you have young kids in the house just time watching tv or tablets will generally lead to grumpy kids who have emotions that just need to spill out! Kids will often still default to games they know so try not to be disappointed if they put down the shiny new things. Plan some play in with those over the next few days when things are a bit less overwhelming.
When kids develop really high expectations of what Christmas is going to be like, with all the amazing things they have seen in tv,they can seem ungrateful. Really they only managing the same feelings as us expecting that everything will be perfect – but they have yet to develop the skills to not let this show!
Physical activity outside each day
The weather is miserable, everyone has found their sofa spaces but kids need to get outside. Over the holidays with kids plan in some outdoor activities. All that excess energy has to go somewhere! Take the dog out, go to the woods or just head to the park for a bit. These blasts of fresh air help restore a child’s balance to manage the longer periods of time inside. Try to get out for some time each day. This is easier if there are some outdoor toys on the Christmas list!
Take some time for yourself!
If possible take advantage of having extra people around to have some of your own time. Have a meal with friends. Put the kids to bed at their usual time so you can watch your tv programs in peace. Whatever you need to keep your batteries charged. Reflect on the things that the kids have managed well that day rather than when they have fallen out or been snappy (which they will – this is real life!). Try and pace things for yourself as well. The holidays with kids at this time of year is exhausting so see if you can plan in some quieter days.
As a mum of 2 I will be trying all of these. There will still be some tears and tantrums I am sure. But I also know that there will some laughter and fun! Holidays with the kids are coming! Merry Christmas!
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