So the holidays are here, and there are only a few more days to get everything completed. You're running to this store, this party, this event, trying to tie up loose ends at work, and you’re barely getting to bed by bedtime. Holidays inch closer and you’re making sure to keep traditions alive. You are creating amazing experiences and memories for your children, but the hustle and bustle is exhausting and it’s starting to wear on you. What do you want your child to remember? Will she remember quality time spent with her parents looking at twinkling lights and drinking hot chocolate, or will she remember rushing through each day and feeling lost in the chaos and stress of the season?
Now slow down and take a breath for just a minute. Think about your child in this scenario. Is your busy schedule throwing off your child's routine? Do you have a daily schedule? If you've ever needed one, now is the time. It will help you and your children make it through the holidays without losing your sanity!
Grab some paper and a pencil (you will probably need to erase and add/subtract tasks a few times) or get on your computer and brainstorm everything that must be done in the next couple of weeks. Now, jot down your schedule day by day. Build in your daily tasks first (your child can help with this). For instance, wake up time, dinner, bath and bedtime should be as consistent as possible at the same time each day. If you read a story before bed, continue to do that and put it in the schedule. Keeping daily tasks consistent helps your child know what's coming and provides a stable, reliable environment. This goes a long way in preventing child temper tantrums (always a good thing!). Fortunately, you can work in your magical holiday events and traditions around these daily tasks by creating time for shopping, baking cookies, crafting, wrapping gifts, and all of the many other things you need to do on your brainstormed list. As an example, see the sample schedule I easily built on a word document.
Now that you have your schedule created, you can finalize it. I would recommend putting it on a poster board and displaying it prominently so that everyone in the house can easily refer to it. When everyone can see it, they can all be on the same page.
Keeping your child as the primary focus will help you filter out other unnecessary time and seasonal fillers that may come up. With your schedule in place, you are on your way to outsmarting holiday stress. It's as easy as pie!
Enjoy the season,
KinderReady Parenting Blog
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