With the winter break swiftly approaching or in full swing depending on your district’s calendar, you have probably experienced for yourself just how crazy school breaks can become in your household. Children thrive with time out of the house along with routines, but a break can dramatically change both of these. Here are a few ways to manage your expectations and keep your children calm at the same time.
Create a Holiday Plan
Plans work well for nearly everyone in the world because they streamline processes and tell others what to expect for the day. With so many tasks to get done before Christmas, it may be wise to write out everything that needs to get done before the holidays and to assign each task to a specific day. For example, consider shopping, gift wrapping, decorating, cooking, baking, and even cleaning.
Speaking of shopping, busy shopping centers can be prime locations for meltdowns if you have a special needs child. While one well-timed shopping adventure can be fun if you go without pre-conceived ideas, you may want to try to do as much of your holiday shopping as possible from the comfort of your home. You could also consider ordering groceries online and scheduling a pickup time from your local supermarket.
Look for Community Programs
Community programs, such as Kids Night Out or similar adventures, will give your child a chance to get out of the house much as he would for school. You will also gain a much-needed break.
Decrease the Number of Guests and Visitors
Guests in your home can create noise and extra work, which can be fun at certain times. However, if your child is struggling to remain calm, more than one Christmas party or one or two nights of overnight guests could be too much.
While you surely want your holidays to play out perfectly, this is probably too much to ask for if you have young children. Instead, remember that Christmas is about love and joy, and focus on the moments of happiness that you find around you.