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20 practical ways to have a happy holiday season

20 practical ways to have a happy holiday season with your children

Children enrich our lives with their joyful energy, their laughter and their uncomplicated spontaneity.

They need to explore, experiment and discover new things. Remember children they get tired, thirsty and frustrated just the same as we do, and that they make mistakes too. That's how they learn.

Parents looking for positive ways to make holidays more manageable may find the following suggestions useful:

    1. Keep your expectations and rules simple and reasonable.
    2. Take children outside for a run around or a walk on the beach.
    3. Think about whether children are tired or hungry…or just tired of shopping!
    4. Say lots of positive things when children are good.
    5. Turn tasks into a game. Get everyone to help.
    6. Explain consequences (for example, 'if you throw your new toy, it might break').
    7. Accept that we all make mistakes.
    8. Ignore tantrums.
    9. Give children some quiet time with quiet activities so they can calm down.
    10. Leave your children with a trusted family member or friend while you do your Christmas shopping or pack for a holiday.
    11. Try to sort out what you really need to do and do other less urgent things only if you have time.
    12. If you are trying to get somewhere on time, don't answer the phone.
    13. Keeping the house tidy at all times is unrealistic when you have small children.
    14. Accept that not everything is your problem.
    15. Act in the same way you want your children to behave.
    16. If you are feeling stressed, take a deep breath and gather your thoughts.
    17. Avoid using a loud voice or shouting.
    18. Sing some Christmas songs together and dance.
    19. Go to bed early and drink less coffee.

If nothing seems to be working, call *Parent Help Line on 0800 4 727368 (0800 4 PARENT).


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