Families 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 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 celebration.