Ways To Prevent Holiday Tantrums – Our Top Six
'Tis the season for holiday get togethers with friends and family. This means more chances of kids having a meltdown, throwing a tantrum or pretty much becoming a spawn of the devil. Here are six simple tips to keep your sanity, as well as those around you.
Our family opens our gifts in the morning, but when our extended families get together in the evening, that's when they open theirs. Sure, you already opened yours but you want to join in their festivities as well, sharing the joy they have now that you had earlier in the day. If you have something similar to this on your side, if you visit other friends and family on Christmas day when they may or may not be opening presents, make sure you have an extra one so they can join in. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant - something simple will do. The best part is if they don't open presents, you can surprise your child with an extra gift before bed time.
With in-laws, cousins, extended family, close friends, separated families; trying to fit them all in in one day can be a pain, especially for your child who just wants to sit and enjoy the day as much as you do. We know some people who make as many as five stops each Christmas, fitting in everyone in a day - you probably do, too. Try to cut down as much as you can without hurting anyone's feelings. Some families alternate years which most happy. If absolutely necessary, may try breaking it up per meal. breakfast at one place, lunch somewhere else, dinner at another's and have dessert at a 4th place - allowing for time to travel from location to location. Or, if possible, make it into a 3-day ordeal. Spend Christmas Eve at one house, Christmas somewhere else and maybe drop your kid off with another family on the day after while you go out and score some post-Christmas sales along with your returns.
If your child takes a nap at a specific time, take it. If they wake up or go to sleep at a certain time, make sure you get these in and that your host is aware of it. Nothing can cause a bigger meltdown than a kid who doesn't go down for a nap or if their schedule is out of whack. Just because it's a holiday doesn't mean they don't need their routine in place. If at all possible, see about feeding them at the times they normally get fed. This way they're not loading up on snacks waiting for a later-than-usual meal and not be hungry by the time it's served.
If you're visiting someone else's house, see about using a room, whether it's the guest room, bedroom, den - somewhere where they can escape if everything get's too much for them. With all the excitement and joy in the air, it can cause a sensory overload for your youngster(s).
On a lot of 'sit down, get together' dinners, especially when visiting somewhere else, there may be odd items on the dinner table. If you can, try to get them to sample most of the foods, but keep in mind how picky your kids are. Have a healthy snack your kids can eat as a back-up.
With well-meaning grandparents, aunts and uncles, your kids will be given more sweets than expected. Make sure they know to not load them up on just dessert items and snacks. Nobody wants a sick child who ate too many sweets the night before. It's okay to set limitations.