The holidays are here and that means gatherings and parties with family and friends. We never want your kids to be grumpy for special occasions, especially ones that involve the family and friends. But, once you have kids this time of year can be even more stressful there because are so many events going on and your kids have their own schedule.
How can you make sure your kids stay on schedule during the holidays?
One thing that works for my three boys is adjusting their schedule for the day so when the gathering or party takes place they won’t be grumpy. For instance, last year our Thanksgiving was at 2 p.m. usually that is nap time for my boys. What I did was on the Wednesday before I had them take earlier naps and I also put them to bed a little earlier. This worked like a charm. What works me, may not work for you though. If you do adjust your child’s schedule, it should be easy to adjust back.
Another option would be to ask the host to have the time of the gathering fit your child’s schedule. Family and friends, I am sure, will want your child happy for the occasion. I know this is not always possible to do but I have heard many people do this and it work out well for them.
What if your kids just don’t want to stay on schedule for the holidays?
One of my boys does not stay on his schedule at all for holidays. His grandparents are in town and so everything is out of routine for him. It took me a while to learn this but it is okay if your child gets out of his routine for the holidays. They will bounce back to their normal schedule once things calm down. My only advice for this is don’t worry about it. Just go with the flow of the schedule that your child has for the day of the gathering.
Another thing is, watch the cues of your child. If they start getting grumpy or tired while the festivities are going on, try having them lay down somewhere quiet. As a parent, I want to be able to stay as long as I can and enjoy the holiday with family and friends. I will watch for cues if my boys are getting tired. Sometimes having them try to rest somewhere other than their bed does not work out well and at that point we leave and head home (if you are out of town this is not possible so adjust accordingly).
What if your kids are not hungry at the set time to eat?
I have run into this before where my boys were not hungry at the time we scheduled to eat. It is okay. I let them play and dished out a plate that I could reheat when they were hungry. It is also okay to feed them before a gathering, especially if it is at a time in between their usual meals.
These tend to be the three biggest obstacles parents face during the holidays. I know each parent has their own way of doing things but I hope I have given you a few ideas on how to manage.
I will close with this, as parents we want a perfect holiday with our kids in the presence of family and friends. Remember, kids still have their own schedules and sometimes it won’t match what we want. It is okay if the events of the holiday are not perfect. What matters is being with family and friends.
Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!
How do you manage holidays with kids?
This guest post was contributed by Jessica. Jessica is a mom of three boys and writes over at http://junewife627.blogspot.com/.