Between all the presents that need buying, family and friends that require entertaining, the money that gets spent, the cooking and cleaning and all other tasks that are required when trying to raise your family, the festive season brings anxiety for many parents trying to manage the expectations that come with it. Add in the kids and you can end up getting stressed out!
The good news is that you can alleviate the stress and enjoy the holidays by following the five tips below.
#1 Set the stage
Lead by example. Remember that you are the role model and your children will feed off whatever energy you put out. If your children are in a calm, controlled environment, their behavior, and attitude will be cool and controlled.
#2 Manage expectations
If you and your children have been bombarded with commercials since Halloween and your child thinks Christmas morning will be an extravaganza of epic proportions when all the toys they’ve ever wanted will magically appear under the tree you’re not alone. Your job is to bring them down to reality.
This expectation of gifts is probably the most stressful part of the season, especially if you are on a tight budget. Set things straight and let your kids know that they may not get all the things they want. It’s not necessary to give your children a full account of your finances but let them know what you can and cannot do.
#3 Get help
Your regular parenting routine is stressful enough, add all the holiday cooking cleaning and entertaining and it’s understandable why you’d rather be anywhere but home.
Get help whenever and wherever you can. Has grandma seen the kids lately? Is your neighbor happy to take care of the kids while you run some errands? Take them up on their offer…all of them!
#4 Make a plan
A bored child is a whiny child about to get in trouble, for this reason alone, you need to have an action plan for the holidays.
Schools are closed through the new year and if your child has no activities to keep them occupied, you can bet they’ll get bored. Set up play dates with other children, game nights, trips to the park, anything you can to keep your kids occupied.
#5 Loosen the reigns a little
If bedtime is at 8 p.m. and the kids’ cousins are still visiting, letting them stay up a little late won’t be the end of the world.
It’s okay to ignore regular schedules and routines once in a while.
Remember that the holidays are meant for spending time with your loved ones, not money on them. Relax and enjoy the season.