The adverts are playing; the mince pies are on the shelves and shops are adorning their windows with wreaths, holly and glittering lights. Before we know it, the familiar tunes will be blasting from our radios the build-up to Christmas will have well and truly begun.
The festive season is full of excitement for children, but it can be stressful for parents. Despite the magic of celebrating Christmas as a family, the addition of presents, sugar, lights and music to the seasonal period can cause children to feel overwhelmed. To avoid unnecessary stress this Christmas, keep your kids calm by following these three top tips.
| Get Out of the House |
The schools seem to break up for Christmas earlier and earlier each year. So, to stop your kids getting too cooped up and overexcited, take them out in the fresh air at least once a day. You could forage for natural decorations like pinecones and holly in your local park, watch a carol singing performance, or head to an ice skating rink to keep them entertained.
If the thought of spending two weeks at home fills you will dread, why not plan a festive break? Hire a cottage in the English countryside or go further afield with a skiing trip. If you’re feeling adventurous, Colorado is a beautiful place to visit at this time of year, and it's not too late to book your flights. You can search online for available Snowmass condos for all types of vacations.
| Teach the Art of Giving |
Children usually obsess over presents at Christmas time, and with the carefully targeted advertising and endless new toys hitting the shelves, who can blame them? While there’s nothing wrong with spoiling your kids a little at this time of year, you don’t want them to lose sight of what Christmas should be about.
Teach them the art of giving as well as receiving, and practice gratitude at home. Take them out to choose thoughtful gifts for their friends and family members, or encourage them to get crafty and create their own. You could also take part in the Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal and encourage them to help you choose gifts for less privileged children. Opening their eyes to what Christmas means elsewhere in the world will enrich them as people and teach them a new perspective. Even if your kids are young, they will get the idea.
| Stick to Your Normal Routine |
It’s easy to let routine go out of the window over the festive period, but staying up late and climbing the walls all day just isn’t good for either children or their parents. Despite their protests, sticking to your kid’s usual bedtime and keeping a semblance of routine will help them feel calmer, happier and less overwhelmed this Christmas.
Obviously, you want to let your children enjoy the season, and the occasional late night isn’t going to hurt anybody. However, if your daily structure differentiates too much from the norm, then you may struggle to get your kids back into their routine again when school restarts.
Don’t let the stress of overexcited children ruin your Christmas. Instead, help them understand that while it's lovely to feel excited about a special time, they still need to practice gratitude and remain aware of other people’s needs. Whether you spend the season at home or on holiday, teaching your children how to stay grounded will help them all year round, not just at Christmas.