Dr Amanda Gummer Says... Mum
Dr. Amanda Gummer has dedicated her life to working with children and families in a variety of settings since 1993. As well as running a family support charity in London and teaching children...
Keeping Kids Calm in the Run up to Christmas
Every year the hype seems to get bigger and bigger and Christmas seems to start earlier. It’s not uncommon for children to finish school or nursery on a high from all the activities only to go into meltdown as they are unable to sustain those giddy heights of adrenaline and excitement. This can make Christmas itself stressful and somewhat of an anticlimax for families whose children have just had Christmas overload.
Here’s some tips on keeping the kids calm in the run up to Christmas and preserving the magic of the day, whilst still enjoying the build up.
1. Limit advent calendars to one per household - especially if they’re chocolate/sweet-filled calendars to help manage sugar intake and promote sharing.
2. Bring bedtime forward – there are lots of events that result in late nights and exhausted children so on nights when there’s nothing on, bring bedtime forward by at least half an hour and help children calm down with a lovely Christmas story.
3. Don’t feel that your children have to be involved in every Christmas event – help them to prioritise so both you and they appreciate them rather than seeing them as a chore.
4. Get back to basics – Christmas means different things in different families, but by figuring out what it means to you, you can plan some low-key activities that reinforce the key messages of Christmas.
5. Delay the official start of Christmas – don’t put the decorations up or the Christmas goodies out too early.
6. Pace yourself and the children - are there people you can see together rather than making a string of Christmas visits? Try to make sure you have quiet nights in with nothing planned in between all the carol concerts and school plays etc.
7. Pick your battles – try to avoid arguments over the smaller things. At Christmas, everyone can be a bit frazzled so whilst it’s important to maintain consistent boundaries on important issues, ignoring a few extra sweets, or sloppy table manners can help keep everyone calmer.