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How to help your kids avoid feeling overwhelmed during the holidays

Posted at 3:44 PM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 17:44:17-05

The holiday season is a hectic time for everyone, but children especially can start to feel overwhelmed by all of the business going on around them.

Dawn Ramsey has some tips to help your kids from feeling overwhelmed during the holidays and avoid holiday meltdowns.

Give your child a preview of the weeks ahead:

Make a calendar for your child and highlight what is happening each day. The more time children have to prepare for an event or activity the less likely they are to be anxious about it.

Pace yourself & prioritize:

Decide which events are the most important to you. You do not have to attend everything. Just because other families are constantly on the go does not mean you have to be. Be sure to plan some down time between events to let your child go home and recharge.

Create your own traditions:

Choosing not to attend every event you`re invited to does not mean you`ll have a less enjoyable holiday. Taking time to create your own traditions will give you time to make memories as a family in a way that works best for your own situation, in a way your child can handle.

Don`t force social interaction from your child:

Some children feel anxious about crowds of people they don`t know. If your child is one of those, don`t force them to hug and kiss, or perform in front of every distant relative in the room. You can tell them before a social event that you expect them to say hi and smile, but that you will not force them to interact with people.

Create an Exit Plan:

Sometimes despite our best planning, children reach their limit sooner than we think they will. Having a plan in place in case a child reaches melt down stage, and making sure your whole family knows what that plan is, can help all of you have a better experience.

Stick with routines (food, sleep, minimize sugar, caffeine):

Keeping kids on their regular routine will help avoid tired meltdowns. You know how flexible your kids can be. Keep their routines in mind when making plans, and try to minimize sugar that can affect behavior.

Keep it simple:

Don`t worry about what you feel like you`re 'supposed' to do. Don`t over plan, just do what works best for your family and the age of your children. There is no one way to celebrate