Positive Parenting Over the Holidays

We can all appreciate the joys of Christmas, but we can also envision the stresses that come with this wonderful festival. During the Christmas holidays, it is easy to get caught up in the demands and expectations that our family can put on us as parents. We may maintain traditions from our own family, but it’s also nice to create new traditions and customs with our children with their input–perhaps a particular movie on Christmas Eve or the goodies that are left for the all-important visitor.

It is important to remember that Christmas is a time to unwind not to get wound up. In the run up to Christmas and over the holidays it is important to bear in mind how we approach spending all this extra time with our loved ones. Christmas can be a time of year where we really practice our negotiation and reconciliation skills, but preparation is key.

  • Remember to stay calm, “Press the Pause Button” when arguments brew between siblings and try pre-empting and defusing situations before they escalate. The television remote control can be a source of much arguing so perhaps set some ground rules around argument “hot spots” such as this.
  • Budget and plan your holidays. Involve the whole family in planning family outings and check out christmas.limerick.ie for free/low cost family events. Look for support from your family and friends and plan visits and activities that could alleviate some of pressures and stresses of parenting over the holidays.
  • While its lovely to have a duvet day and watch the Christmas classics back to back, try to get out-and-about for fresh air and long walks. Everyone will feel better for it! Parents unwind, children burn off some energy and everyone sleeps better. Offer choices to the children as to where they would like to go and how they would like to spend their afternoon outside.
  • Christmas is always a time of indulgence but remember “everything in moderation” when it comes to our food and sugar intake, especially with our little ones. Tummy aches are not desirable by anyone!  Be sure to make yourself aware of the opening dates and times of your local GP and have the contact number for the out of hours services at hand over the festive period. It’s also good to know which chemist is open if you need medicines for family members.
  • While is nice to leave the kids extend their bedtime, be mindful of the importance of keeping to household routines to insure they can be easily reintroduced when going back to school or creche.

As the song goes, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” so above all, Enjoy Family Time.

This article was contributed by a member of Parenting Limerick.