Coping With Holiday Hustle and
can better cope with the hustle and bustle of the holidays by following a
few simple tips.
Keep routines as normal as possible and concentrate on
important activities to reduce holiday stress. Routines are important for
children, so try to maintain normal meal and bedtime schedules even during
holiday vacations., Children may feel upset, grouchy or anxious during
this busy time. Don't expect children to always be happy and appreciative.
Having a quiet time is also a good idea during the
holidays. Play soft music, read stories or take a stroll to bring down
your child's activity level. Setting a "whisper hour," a time
when everyone in the house must whisper, is a way to reduce noise and add
mystery to the season.
Parents should select activities most important to the
family. By letting go of the less important ones, the festive mood won't
be hindered, but stress may be eased.
It's also a good idea to schedule activities over
several days so the excitement isn't overwhelming -- for the children or
for the parents. Make several short shopping trips instead of one long
trip. Children have short attention spans and little endurance.
Here are some additional ways to deal with holiday
- Concentrate on people instead of objects. For
example, it's more important to have fun making cookies than to have
- Prepare children for holiday visits by sharing photos
of family members. Discuss who the people are and who the children
- Plan celebrations during children's best coping time
of the day.
- Touch people. A loving touch can have the opposite
effect of stress because it calms people both physically and
- Limit sugar, salt, caffeine during holiday meals and
snacks. They may result in the same symptoms as stress.
- Have children help prepare for celebrations by
setting the table, cutting out cookies, picking up toys, and designing
and coloring placemats.
By letting children be part of the festivities, the
family emphasizes shared joys and responsibilities during their holiday
Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care - NNCC.
Source: Adapted from Helen Danielsen and Karla Rose.
"Coping with the Holidays". North Dakota State University