Updated: Dec 23, 2020
What's a holiday with kids?
Often a holiday season is not a holiday for parents. In fact it puts immense stress on them. As a single mum with four kids I know this only too well.
With the holiday season coming up you may be feeling a sense of dread.
How to plan ahead
Preparation is key. Planning ahead and keeping it simple.
Here are some tips for planning ahead.
Kids need entertainment. Bored kids will find their own and it may not be what you want. This doesn't have to be fancy or complicated. Brainstorm and make a list with your kids. They know what they like to do. This can be a mix of things they normally do plus some special Christmas things. Ensure that you keep them active by including some active entertainment.
Try and keep routines. This makes it clearer for kids to know what is happening and when. It keeps a structure for them. When events are happening, give them warning in advance.
Don't let them get over tired. Tired kids will struggle more and you will find it harder.
Plan meals ahead of time. This means you don't have to think on the spot. Making it easier for you.
It's easy to get caught up in all the treats at Christmas. Remember that sugar will be tempting but it not advisable.
Don't get too stressed about time. When you are in holiday mode some flexibility is good. It removes some pressure.
Kids are excited about Christmas. It is not necessary to go overboard with all the special things and trying to repeat the magic of Christmas you felt (or didn't feel! )
Get your kids involved - with planning, games, shopping lists......
This can also include giving them responsibility. This will make them feel special, involved and important.
Fall outs may happen. This is part of life. Don't let it ruin things.
Make it a holiday for you too
This can be a stressful time for you. Wouldn't it be lovely if you have a break too.
This is rarely the case and may feel impossible. Here are some tips:
* Look at how you can reduce your responsibilities during this time.
* Ask for help where you can
* Try to book in some time out for yourself - even if it's just ten minutes here and there.
* Don't try to do or achieve too much. Nothing needs to be perfect. Aim for enjoyment rather than perfection. Don't try too hard to make it amazing. Kids are excited anyway
* Don't over stretch yourself financially. Stay within your budget.
(be firm with your kids and put in boundaries. Everyone has different financial limits and kids need to accept this.
The holiday season can be a stressful time for everyone. Don't over achieve. When things are hard and don't go perfectly - it's okay.
Aim to reduce this by planning ahead and having some strategies that will help you.
Just know you are doing your best..