Christmas! What a joyous time – yet, if you’re a parent with young children, there are bound to be a few Santa-sized tantrums thrown in there for good luck. Whether it’s while doing the Christmas shopping, trying to pose for a Santa photo, spending time at home or over at your in-laws – you’re bound to run into the tantruming toddler sooner rather than later.
But how to avoid tantrums at Christmas? This is by no means a foolproof guide or a one size fits all model, but you could try some of these tips and tricks to see what works in your house. If you’re reading this, you’re probably willing to give anything a crack!
Keep Those Hands Busy
Consider involving your little one in some kind of a club. Be it art or Lego, this ‘keep them busy’ attitude will burn up some of that tantrum fuel. It doesn’t have to be anything formal – it could be something that you start up amongst family or your mother’s group.
Keep Those Bodies Moving
Burn off that energy! Trips to the park, chasing the dog, climbing trees, being outdoors – the more energy your children burn off the less likely they are to EXPLODE with tantrums. Refuse the temptation to just plonk them on the couch with the iPad (as that’ll lead to a massive tantrum when you try to take it away) and get them outdoors.
Keep Them Involved
Decorating the tree, making cookies, delivering presents to neighbours and kindy teachers. The more your child is involved in the season the more special they will feel and, as a bonus, you’ll be introducing the gift of giving to your child.
Keep Them In Check
There may be an underlying issue that you’re not actually aware of. Head to the doctor – is it an ear infection? Head to the dentist – is it tooth pain? Take a look at your pantry – are there a disproportionate amount of sweet things in there at the expense of unprocessed, natural foods? Look at the broader picture and see if there’s a reason why your kids are acting nuttier than the Nut Cracker!
This gig is tough, particularly at Christmas. Reach out to your online or real-life community and ask for help. Even a few hours respite where you can sleep or shop the day away will make a world of difference. Hang in there, mama – you’ve got this!