December is an exciting time of year, especially when you have little ones!
But as exciting as the season is, it can be confusing to some children why the month is so jam packed with activities and events involving new people and places. Combine this with the strain of holiday preparations as a whole, and you might be on course for an overwhelming few weeks…
So, what can you do to lessen the strain this December, and make sure that - however your family chooses to celebrate - you’re doing so in a way that means everyone can thrive, not just survive!
⭐ Create a family tradition that everyone can get involved with
This might be baking cookies, watching festive films under a duvet, or even volunteering for a local charity. This is a great way to get everyone involved in something together, especially if you have extended family joining who your little one might be unfamiliar with but who can connect through play and collaboration.
⭐ Avoid too many treats
Naturally this can be easier said than done but we recommend having a pre-agreed number of presents for each child so they don’t immediately come to associate the season with physical goods. This can be especially useful if you are spending gift giving time with relatives who have children of a similar age, to avoid any feelings of jealousy or feeling left out.
⭐ Communicate openly with your child
We can often get swept up in planning and forget the importance of communicating openly with our children about what they’ll be doing, and who they can expect to see. As outlined in this blog from Cradle & Crescent, this can be a really important step in creating trust and open channels of communication with your child, so they feel confident with what’s happening in their schedule and able to ask questions as needed.
⭐ Give children the space they need
Meeting new people can be overwhelming at the best of times, and that’s as an adult. It can be easy to brand children’s behaviour during the holidays as ‘bad’ but quite often it’s a response to new people, places and routines shifting them off their usual course. Support them through this with open communication and providing them the option to step away when they’re feeling overwhelmed, perhaps with a book or even just a cuddle with you in a safe space.
⭐ Keep them involved
We all know how much our littles love to be involved and, when we’re already juggling a thousand plans, it can feel frustrating when they want to ‘lend a hand’. Keep them busy with dedicated responsibilities - like decorating cards for family members, writing table place names, or perhaps getting involved in some baking!
⭐ Remember that it’s okay to ask for help!
Don’t feel like you have to take everything on yourself. Ask friends and family who you’re spending time with to take littles on walks when you need a break, or add them to your Onoco profile so they can lend a hand next time nap time comes around. Nothing says you have to do this alone!
By combining these tips, you’re sure to create a warm and loving environment which helps steady the emotional rollercoaster that can come with December while creating memories you can look back on for years to come.