Avoiding Christmas Meltdowns

With All I Know About Children’s Sleep, I Still Feel Powerless Against the Elf on the Shelf!

I feel the same way about the advent calendar causing my 4.5 year old to wake up early with excitement!  During the holidays, we all bend our rules just a little because it is such a fun and exciting time of year.  I’m definitely guilty of this because I really love the Christmas season, so I thought I’d put together some tips for ways to have a really fun holiday AND avoiding serious meltdowns!

Make sure the get as much sleep as possible: You know my first tip has to be about sleep!! If your child is getting up a little too early (like mine), try to put them to bed 15-20 minutes early every few days to avoid overtiredness.  With Christmas parties and family coming to visit, this can be hard, so do it whenever you can.  If you know you are going to have a late night, allow your child to nap (if they are no longer napping on a regular basis) so that they aren’t cranky during your outing. Several days in a row of early mornings and late bedtimes can cause negative, unwanted behaviors in your child.

Prepare your kids: Talk to them about what to expect when you go out.  If you are going to see Santa, do they know that there may be a long line up or that they will have to sit on his knee?  It’s hard for kids to wait, especially when they are excited, so make a game plan before you go. Also, let them know about crowds in the mall or at an event you may be attending. Children who are sensitive or shy may become overwhelmed by large crowds, especially if it comes as a surprise. No matter what the event, if you prepare your children, it will be much easier.

Bring snacks: Your kids will inevitable get hungry (probably 2 minutes before it’s your turn to see Santa) and you don’t want them to fall apart because they are hungry.  Hunger can cause children to have meltdowns and act out, which is the last thing you want to happen when you are trying to do something fun and special together.  Bringing snacks along can help you easily avoid this, plus this way you don’t always have to spend your money on junk food from the mall.

Be sure you have realistic expectations: As parents we have these great ideas of how things will work out, and our kids don’t always agree.  You may get your little ones dressed up to see Santa, wait in line and then they scream when they see Santa or refuse to get their pic taken.  Or maybe you take your kids over to their grandma’s house for dinner and they won’t eat or sit quietly at the table.  It is important to be ready for these things so that you don’t get disappointed and end up frustrated with your kids. Try to go with the flow. If your little one cries on Santa’s lap, there’s always next year!

Overscheduling and rushing is just as stressful for our kids as it is for us. Taking a more relaxed approach to the holidays will help you and your children enjoy the time together without all the stress.

If you’d like to get your little one sleeping well during this Christmas holiday, you can take advantage of my Christmas offer and get 15% off the price of a full consultation booked prior to December 20th, 2013.

To take advantage of this offer call me at 604 984 0116 or email leslie@akissgoodnight.ca