Dear St. James’ Families,
“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year or Holiday Hullabaloo???”
Christmas- one of the most anticipated times of the year – the times of families coming together, of good cheer, peace on earth, and— oh goodness,… children. You’ve seen them in the malls throwing tantrums, at a relative’s house refusing to stay at the table and eat, or in the grocery store whining. I just saw it yesterday in my own grandson at the dentist’s office. What is it about this time of year that can turn normally well-behaved children into being unrecognizable and cranky?
If you think about it, children are particularly vulnerable at holiday time. Everyone is moving fast from one activity to another, and before long, everyone is exhausted. When children are caught up in that, they feel the stress, too, and it usually shows itself in their behavior. It is frustrating and worrisome, but it is preventable Having a plan and being prepared is the best way to stay out of trouble. So, as we approach the Holiday season, here are a few tips to help ward off behavior that results in a time-out at Grandma and Grandpa’s or coal from Santa.
- Instead of plugging in the favorite video, send your children out into the yard to run and play, or take a walk through the neighborhood with them to look at decorations. Physical activity is a great stress reliever, and children need plenty of it every day.
- Children love their routines, but they are often the first things to go at holiday time. While you may feel pulled and tugged in a million directions, try to keep bedtimes and mealtimes as consistent as you can. When there have to be deviations in the routines, share the changes with your child before they occur. They will not feel so disrupted.
- There is lots of food during the holidays – not all of it healthy. Share at least one healthy meal a day as a family. Pack healthy snacks to take along when you are out and about so you can keep sugary treats and fast foods to a minimum. Good nutrition is important.
- Talk to your children about your behavior expectations throughout the holiday, and be specific. It is not enough to just say, “Now, I want you to be good”. Children need to know that they must hold your hand in the store, or stay in their chair at the dinner table. Once they understand what you expect, a gentle reminder before you make that trip to the mall or go to grandmother’s house for dinner should ward off most challenging behavior.
- Rest and relax. A well-rested child is more likely to be well-behaved, and a well-rested parent is more likely to remain calm and patient when challenging behavior occurs. A great way to wind down before bedtime is to cuddle up together on the sofa and share a Holiday movie.
- Establish and keep family traditions – they last long after those fabulous new toys have been forgotten. They offer comfort and security to children as they grow, give them something to anticipate, and become fond memories of what the holiday season really means in their family.
Let the holidays be the most wonderful times of year in your home – a time of joy and
togetherness. May they be blessed, safe, happy, and stress-free.
The Threes’ Christmas Program is tomorrow Monday, December 12th at 11:15. Everyone is welcome including siblings. Please ensure that they are as quiet as possible.
The Prek, TK, and K program is Tuesday, December the 13th at 12:15.
Please dress your children in Holiday or Party attire and please make sure that they have a great night’s rest beforehand and a good breakfast.
Parties will be Wednesday and Thursday depending on your child’s class. Please check with your teacher as to the time and day. We will have a surprise visitor come to see the children during that time.
Friday begins our Christmas break. We hope you have a wonderful Holiday season and look forward to seeing you back on the 3rd of January.