5 Ways to Prevent Holiday Meltdowns

5 Ways Parents Can Prevent Meltdowns This Holiday Season. To help parents this holiday season, The Goddard School put together five tips to help prevent holiday meltdowns in young children and to help the whole family enjoy these special moments together.

  1. Bring healthy snacks: Everyone, even kids, get hangry sometimes. If you have a picky eater and are worried about what they will eat, bring their favorite foods and snacks. It may seem like an impossible feat during the holidays, but try to limit the amount of sweets kids eat, which can exacerbate tensions. Energy bars and fruit are handy, healthy choices.
  2. Help with sleep: Children can have trouble sleeping in a new place. Help your child transition into their new space by bringing items that may optimize their sleep including a noise machine or app on your phone, noise-canceling headphones and some favorite books. And don’t forget that beloved teddy bear or security blanket!
  3. Allow alone time: For older toddlers and school–age children, alone time may be as important as nap time. Whether at home or away, try to create a dedicated space they can escape to for some downtime. Giving children a chance to be on their own or just with their siblings may allow them to recharge and be ready to reenter the holiday fray.
  4. Plan ahead: Preparations to head off meltdowns can start before the holidays begin. Parents should talk with their children in a way that is right for their ages and stages to give them a sense of where they are going, who is coming and what will happen. Books are a wonderful way to help convey these messages and lessons to children in a manner they will understand.
  5. Pay attention: Be mindful of people or situations your child may find challenging. Consider having them take a moment in a quiet place to let them talk through what they are feeling or why they are upset. Redirect and distract them if you think it may help. Bring out paper and crayons or head outside for fresh air and a walk. Like adults, children may have an overflow of energy. With some playing and imagination, they can quickly dispel their frustrations.

Here are a few classics from The Goddard School’s Life Lesson Library that can be particularly helpful this time of year:

Infants & Toddlers 

  • I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont, illustrated by David Catrow
  • Little Monkey Calms Down by Michael Dahl, illustrated by Oriol Vidal
  • Calm Down Time by Elizabeth Verdick, illustrated by Marieka Heinlen

Preschool & Kindergarten

  • Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns We Can All Get Along by Howard Binkow & Reverend Ana, illustrated by Susan F. Cornelison
  • You Get What You by Get by Julie Gassman, illustrated by Sarah Horne
  • Me First by Helen Lester, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger

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