The festive season can mean meltdowns for babies, kids & parents. My advice is try to minimise meltdowns but don’t fret if they do happen.
There’s so much going on at this time of year: new people, new food, presents, travel – the LIST GOES ON.
Here are some of my top tips for thriving – not just surviving – this holiday season:
Preparation key (make a packing list and tick it off together) – see my blogs on flying with kids & long car trips
???? Presence over presents:
Your kids won’t remember the perfectly wrapped whatever – but they will remember how you made them feel
this is particularly important for toddlers, talk to them about all the NEW things that are going to happen, who they will see, what food there will be, presents etc. (role playing festivities or Christmas morning can be terrific fun).
????Practice/roleplay saying thank-you:
But don’t force kids to kiss or cuddle people.
???? When it comes to managing people & illness during festivities, be practical.
Babies have developing immune systems, so if people are sick, they should avoid newborns. If a regular carer hasn’t updated their whooping cough vax they should be encouraged to. Set your own boundaries and be clear.
????If a meltdown happens, keep your cool (remember our kids drink more than milk, they will pick up on your emotions).
Be aligned as parents & as much as it seems impossible at the time, don’t stress about what anyone else thinks, this is a completely normal part of parenting a toddler.
Regulate your emotions. When it comes to managing toddler tantrums, the number one thing that escalates a power struggle into a full on tantrum is the parents’ own emotions. If you enter a power struggle noticeably stressed or frustrated, your children will sense this and reflect those emotions back to you.
While considering your emotional response, also de-escalate your physical response. If your voice gets louder, so will your toddler’s. Lower your voice and your toddler will follow suit
For babies, be conscious of reading their signs even when you’re busy – tired, hunger, wind, etc.
???? With bedtimes & routines:
While things might be all-over-the-place for a day or two they will quickly return to normal.
Keep your routine as much as possible but don’t sweat if you can’t. Kids will naturally return to their baseline.
⭐️ Pro tip: if you’re travelling take a copy of your routine & stick it on the fridge wherever you’re staying, that way everyone in the house will know what you’re working towards
❤️ Don’t sweat the small stuff
Relatives may not agree with your parenting style, things can go wrong, kids aren’t robots – just roll with it.
Don’t get caught up trying to make every moment perfect – just enjoy all the great ones along the way.