5 ideas for keeping the Merry in Merry Christmas – parenting in the holidays!

Despite whether it is this week of next the holidays are upon us! For some parents and kids this is the best time of the year, for others the most challenging, and lots somewhere in between.

As children get older they develop their own likes and dislikes. Which of course, have to be different to their siblings! This can leave parents in a no win situation. So what can you do?

1. Talk to the kids about their expectations of the holidays. Is it big days out or lazy days at home? You can then scatter in bits of what each of them would like. This also means they are more likely to join in the other activities as well.

2. Keep some routines. Kids can find it hard when the strict school routines change to none at all. Having a loose routine, such as snack break at 10.30, can help kids to keep track of time and not be asking you for food every five minutes!keeping to a fairly regular sleep routine makes sure that they end the holidays rested. Particularly if they are early risers!

3. Keep learning. If you have more time than usual with your kids you can try and share some of your interests. Your favourite children’s book, painting, etc. Kids enjoy seeing what adults do and seeing if they can have a go.

This also goes for chores. In the holidays you may be able to let the kids do the chores alongside you as there is less rush. This is good, not only for them to appreciate what you do for them, but also gives them a sense of responsibility in the home. Research tells us that kids that do chores and help out their parents give them skills to become successful adults.

4. Still keep learning! This time think about what opportunities your kids have for thinking. Baking can be fun. The pic is my kids Christmas baking! Letting them get a bit bored can help them to think of activities for themselves. Even though they have those presents they may still get bored! Don’t run around finding things for them to do!

Older children should be able to learn about moderate risk and should be able to play out, even in the cold! The older children also need some time without direct adult supervision! The world of phones and phone watches make being in contact with kids so much easier that you can give them some freedom (often harder for the parents than the kids!).

5. Finally, think about what you would like to get out of the holidays. Which friends would you like to catch up with? Do you want to meet together as families or have an adults night out? Sometimes large group day outs can be fantastic but don’t always recharge your batteries.

Kids can get disconnected and play up if your attention is on catching up rather than the activity that is happening. So think about what is the best r and r for you and plan this in too!

Have a lovely Christmas and keep an eye out for my new year sessions. Make the change in your family in 2018!