Holidays are lots of fun, but there's also a lot to do to make it happen. Sometimes, our children pick up on our stress and it just adds to the problem. I checked out the website childandfamilycoaching.com and found parenting coach, Brandi Davis, has some great ideas.
Davis suggests, "Respect your child's wish not to be touched". We're often telling our kids to hug and kiss each relative who stops by, but it's a good idea to reinforce the idea that your child should have a right to his or her own body and not to be touched or kissed if they don't want to. People that you see every Christmas may be near strangers to your child.
If you're headed to a long holiday dinner, Davis says, "Bring toys and activities to hold their interest... There is a lot of talking that goes on at the holidays, but not much to engage a child." In our house we have a rule against our children playing with toys or their high tech gadgets instead of engaging with their relatives. But, the truth is sometimes these dinners just drag on and we're inviting disaster.
Another tip that I found helpful: Give Information. Davis says that children feel much more comfortable when they as many details as possible. I think I'm guilty of dragging my kids to relatives without letting them know exactly which cousins will be there and what they can expect.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you avoid your next holiday meltdown!