We all know the holiday season is supposed to be filled with cheer, however, we often find ourselves battling bad moods and crying fits from our little ones. It’s not that youngsters don’t enjoy the Christmas season, it’s because this time of year means a change in schedule and routine, often making the experience very stressful. As a result, as parents, when we think we should have a cheerful child, we often get a tearful toddler.
Here are 4 ways to help make the holiday season a little merrier and brighter for everyone:
- Know the best and worst times of day for your child and plan accordingly. For example, if your child does better in the mornings, plan to do a majority of your activities earlier in the day rather than later.
- Make sure to keep your child going through the motions of their regular routines as much as possible over the holidays. While there is a lot to do, make sure there is some normalcy in your child’s day.
- Don’t force participation in an activity and find a place to take a break. If your child doesn’t want to take part, avoid a potential breakdown by not forcing them. Rather, find a quiet spot to take a break and step away for a few moments.
- Don’t expect your child to behave in a way that they don’t behave at home. Keep your expectations realistic and set your child up for success!
- Be sure to provide snacks and meals to your child at their regular meal times, as best you can. Kids are not themselves when they are starved for food.
- If your child is a picky eater, make provisions to include food items you know they like and have success with at home.
- Pick one skill or behavior that is most important for you both to work on at holiday dinner time.
If you notice feeding or swallowing issues with your child, please reach out to us at 225-924-8311 to have your child evaluated so we can offer help.
- Build movement into the car ride. For example, do sing-a-longs that require movement and dancing.
- If your child has sensory needs, bring a weighted blanket, music, fidgets, etc. to keep them occupied.
- Make surprise bags for each hour to help keep the entertainment going during longer travel times.
- Plan breaks, bathroom stops, and snacks in advance.
Holiday Sensory Play Ideas
- Wrapping presents, using different textures
- Bake or cook together
- Create different Christmas countdown activities
- Take a walk to enjoy the Christmas lights
- Try new holiday foods together
- Listen to holiday music of your child’s choosing
If you notice your child gets over stimulated or has sensory integration issues, please feel free to contact us at 225-924-8311 to have an evaluation performed to get your child the tools they need to succeed!