Family baking during the holidays

Helping Your Kids Get Through the Stress of the Holidays

Published November 1, 2021

Every parent knows there’s a stressful side to the holidays. After all, you’re the one doing all of the planning. You’re the one doing all of the shopping. And you’re the one creating all of the magic. But believe it or not, the holidays can be a pretty stressful time for your kids, too. That’s right; even the little ones feel “the holiday heat.” Below are a few easy ways you can help them make the most of this very special season.

Give Them Input

You’ve already done a great job making sure that they’re eating festive meals, seeing a ton of family, and getting into the general spirit. But sometimes their little voices can get lost in the shuffle. Do they want to drive through a fun part of the city to look at all of the Christmas lights? Is there a seasonal movie they were hoping to watch? You never know until you ask. So, be sure to invite your kids into a few small decisions.

Don’t Forget About Sleep

Sometimes, the holidays find you waking up at the crack of dawn to drive to Grandma’s. Other times, you’re staying up way later than usual and playing board games. That’s all part of the fun. But make sure you’re aware of how all of this is affecting your kids’ sleep cycles. Because if their schedules are way out of whack, it might be time to dial things back and prioritize good, healthy sleep.

Give Them Some Alone Time

This time of year can be an amazing opportunity to surround yourself with loved ones. But there’s a fine line between being surrounded and being smothered. Alone time is important, especially for kids. A little bit of independence can help your kids relax and recharge. It can also improve their behavior. So, try to stay in tune with whether your children need a moment all to themselves.

Give Them a Margin for Error

This season has a way of putting your kids in uncharted waters. Maybe they’re going to a holiday service where they’ll need to behave for long periods of time. Maybe they’re interacting with relatives they only see once a year. Or maybe they accidentally chip one of the plates that only come out for special occasions. But remember that they’re still learning. So, get in the spirit of the season and try to be forgiving and charitable if they make a few mistakes.

Get Outside

This is obviously a colder time of year, which means a little more time indoors. But if your kids are spending too much time inside, that can dampen their mood (and immune system). So, be sure to bundle up and head outside for a beat. Try making a snowman, or even just bundling up and going for a nice, brisk walk. Because all of those festivities inside are way more enjoyable after you’ve stepped outside for some fresh air!

Don’t Overschedule Their Day

The holiday season has so much to offer that the temptation is to try and do it all. But that can lead to a bit of overextension. When you try to cram four different activities into a single day, that can leave you feeling like you never fully experience any one of them. Don’t just think about what you can do but, instead, what you can enjoy. There’s something to be said for slowing things down and soaking it all in.

Every parent has a ton of responsibilities this holiday season. And at times, you’re probably wondering how you’ll make it through the year in one piece. But keep in mind that your kids are about to run into their own set of challenges, and there are several little things you can do to make their lives easier (which will, in turn, make your life easier). Give them a little independence, some leeway, and a bit of time to sit back and relax, and they’re sure to have a season to remember.

Happy holidays and thanks for a great year!