Holidays are exciting times for most families because they spend more time with each other, enjoy a bit of downtime, and celebrate with favorite traditions. However, holidays, especially those that lead to extended breaks from school, can also be difficult times when children get away from their routines. As Thanksgiving arrives and your family heads into the Christmas season and an extended winter break, be mindful of these five tips for consistency and stability in your family’s life.
If you are like the over 100 million Americans who typically travel around Christmas, you probably have a trip planned over the next two months. Children can become anxious and moody when they do not have access to their favorite toys and comfort items from home. Bring along something that feels like home to your children, such as a blanket, stuffed animal, or favorite toy.
Regular breakfasts, lunches, and suppers may be left in the dust during the holidays when you are busy traveling, shopping, or attending Christmas activities. However, children need healthy eating prioritized to keep them from acting out from hunger. In addition, beware of party foods and desserts, which may be filled with food colorings and sugar.
Sleep is just as important as a healthy diet, and elementary-aged children should be getting 9 to 12 hours per night with preschoolers getting up to 13. However, watch out for excessive sleep, and find ways to help your children wake up at the same time every day.
It can be tempting to keep your children busy with video games or movies. Be sure to limit daily screen time exposure to no more than two hours. Try installing parental controls and screen limits on your children’s devices, and provide them with plenty of books, board games, and outdoor activities to keep them mentally and physically active.