Here at FocusedKids we are trying not to exhaust ourselves by worrying about plans for the upcoming Holidays. We are reminding ourselves to be patient and grateful, and figure we are successful in those endeavors about 40% of the time. (Truth: maybe only 30%!). We hope the following tips will help you navigate the holiday season however you plan to spend it.
Plan Ahead: Predictability is Key! (Wise Owl – prefrontal cortex)
Have a family meeting now (even virtually with extended family) and make a plan for the holidays. Make some new traditions. Define the rules for gathering and make agreements to follow them. Start new traditions.
The more predictability we can create in this uncertain time, the better it is for kids.
Give Kids a Voice in the Plan (Ms. Elefante – hippocampus)
If you just ask your child, they will have ideas, and that voice that you give them is really important. It takes the pressure off of you and makes it more fun for them. Food, Games, Movies, Music, Projects.
Make the Holidays More Kid-Friendly and Novel (Guard Dog – amygdala)
Maybe everyone dresses up in a costume. Maybe the kids get to try out a messy new recipe or help stuff the turkey, now that the stakes for Thanksgiving dinner aren’t so high. Maybe it’s a big game of hide and seek, or a treasure hunt. Everyone — adults included — participates. Choose simple things that you wouldn’t normally do, that make things more fun for everyone.
Model Coping with Disappointment in a Positive Way
All feelings count! Validate to to accommodate!
Talk with your kids about what you are doing to feel better (like scheduling calls with far-off friends or making a favorite recipe) and help them find their own ways to do the same. Invite them to come up with one thing to do that takes care of YOU.