It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but between the shopping and family get-togethers, it’s also one of the busiest.
Now, throw a few kids in the mix, a schedule they’re not used to and food they don’t normally eat and you could have a bonafide festive fiasco on your hands.
Here are some tips to help divert any Christmas crisis your kids could throw at you this season.
WHEN YOU’RE KID IS A PICKY EATER AT SOMEONE ELSE’S HOME
Feed our kids before we go to parties or bring food that we know they’ll eat. Hungry kids can get nasty quite quickly, so being proactive is key for us. We don’t want to imply that hosts need to prepare something different for our kids so we try to keep them fed or encourage them to try small bites of things.
WHEN YOU’RE HAVING A PARTY BUT YOUR KIDS AREN’T GREAT AT HOSTING OTHER KIDS…
This is us! Our kids are home bodies and don’t like noise or big crowds. We’ve kept quiet spaces in our home that they can retreat to for down time (for example, no one is ever allowed upstairs where the bedrooms are – basically because we don’t want to have to clean every room in the house after a gathering) but it also gives our kids somewhere quiet to go to when they need a break. Knowing your child’s behaviours and triggers is important to success throughout the busy season. We also put away all of their favourite toys before hand to avoid fights with other kids.
YOUR CHILD OPENS A GIFT IN FRONT OF THE GIFT GIVER AND THEIR REACTION IS LESS THAN GRACIOUS
We try to have a mock “present opening” before the holidays begin. We wrap up really odd items around the house and our kids learn to love opening up pretty much anything. They’re like cats – they’re excited about boxes and wrapping so we’re not too worried. But, if they ever do have a less than pleasant reaction, we try to use it as a teachable moment and talk quietly with them about how they should be grateful and appreciative.
We also try to keep them engaged throughout the entire process – not just when they’re opening their own presents. We let them play “santa” and pass out items so that they learn to be excited with the entire process.
WHEN KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS
Kids have no filter. At two and four years old, we never know what they’re going to say. Scents are big things for them lately…they’ll totally call out someone if they think they tooted etc. Sometimes, it’s quite comical but other times I want to crawl into a hole. We’ve really had to practice this one and teach them to whisper questions to us etc. We’ve had them inquire about foreign accents right in front of the person and so on. But, we try to use each instance as a teachable moment and not freak out. The more attention you draw to a situation, the bigger and more dramatic it can feel.
WHEN YOU’RE POTTY TRAINING ON THE GO
Holidays are a hotbed for accidents…including potty mishaps. How do we keep things dry? Always show your kids to the bathroom when you arrive to a new home or party. Try to remember to check in with them too because once kids get playing they can forget to go to the bathroom before it’s too late.