The Christmas holidays are fast approaching. For many people this means having to think about purchasing the right gifts for their friends and relatives. For others, the holiday seasons may trigger difficult feelings such as feeling under pressure and stressed out. Parents of young children for example usually get to the end of the holiday season feeling exhausted and depleted. The reason is quite simple: their children are home from school. Below are a few pointers that may help you and your family to get through the most wonderful (but indeed stressful) time of the year.
1. Manage your child’s Christmas gift tantrums and meltdowns
How many 'I want this, I want that' children scream during the holiday season? Christmas marketing is full of bright colors, intermittent lights and tricks to attract kids’ attention. It can be very sensible to explain to your child that advertising does not always tell the truth, however, this does not make it less hard to avoid the pressure to buy stuff. A good tip is to decide how and when to say a firm ‘no’. If there is one thing that makes your position as a parent vulnerable it’s inconsistency. If you first say ‘no’ to your child and, as he continues to insist you change your answer to yes, you are communicating 'When I say no and you insist that 'no' will quickly become a ‘yes’. To ensure that Christmas remains a joyful holiday, it is advisable to focus on a few but good gifts. It’s always best to prefer toys that stimulate your child’s creativity, so that they don’t get tired too quickly.
2. Reach out to your support network
What would every parent want as a Christmas present? Probably help with childcare related duties. However very often grandparents are still working and/or living too far from your family. A good tip is to consider alternative forms of support, including your friends and other people in the network of who can understand the challenges of having bored children at home for a couple of weeks over the holidays period. Planning a day out with another mother and their children, for example, can be a great way to escape from being the only adult in the room for the day.
3. Find a balance between chores and pleasurable activities
Parents often feel really tired at the end of the festive season as they spend their time juggling between work, family and Christmas related chores. Having children at home involves a great need for their parents’ attention and time. However, what sometimes can be perceived as an effort on your side, with the right mindset can soon shift to being seen as a source of joy. A good tip is to pause and think that very soon your children will grow older and you will miss the times you spent decorating the Christmas tree together, or staying in bed longer in the morning without having to do the school run. Every family, including yours, can find the time for some precious moments during the holiday season. This will help you compensate and balance the efforts you have to make.