The Christmas holiday can be super stressful, especially when there are kids involved. Kids can make everything more stressful, from shopping to going to a family members' house, no task is easily done. There are a ton of things that families like to do during Christmas.
For instance, traveling, visiting family, going to Christmas parties, pictures with Santa, and opening presents before a big family meal. This can be a lot for toddlers and children to handle, though, and a lot of times meltdowns are inevitable. In this article, we will discuss ten ways to either avoid or stop a child's meltdown on Christmas either before it starts or before it gets too bad.
10 Carry Snacks
Let’s be honest, we all get a little cranky when we're hungry, thus the term hangry, which is why snacks can be essential. One of the best ways that you can avoid meltdowns when going in between different family members' houses is to have snacks on hand at all times.
Some snacks that all kids seem to love are goldfish, fruit snacks, pretzels, and if you want to stick with the holiday theme, candy canes. If you notice your child is starting to act cranky and unwilling to listen, try shoving a snack in their direction, 9 times out of 10 it will be a crisis avoided.
9 Divert Their Attention
What a better way to avoid a complete meltdown during the holidays than to divert your child’s attention away from whatever it is that was upsetting them in the first place. This one can be a hit or a miss, but usually, all it takes is something fun to take their mind off of the fact that they are upset.
When you notice that your child is starting to become upset by something and is on the verge of a meltdown, simply divert their attention by saying something along the lines of, “Oh, cool, look at this” or “Here, let’s play with this instead.” That almost always does the trick.
8 Don’t Skip Nap Time
Another great way to avoid a complete meltdown during the Christmas holiday is to make sure that you do not skip nap time. We all know how cranky kids can get if they don't get their naps in, however, it can also be difficult to stick to a sleep schedule when you're bouncing around between different people's houses.
Whether it is a quick nap in the car or a nap at home before going out, you will want to make sure to work it into the schedule.
7 Scared Of Santa? Skip The Pictures
Getting pictures with Santa is a tradition for many families, however, it is also something that causes a ton of meltdowns. Plenty of kids are too scared to get anywhere near good old Saint Nick, let alone sit on his lap.
This leads to total freakouts, and honestly, we don’t blame kids for not wanting to sit on a strange man’s lap. So, if you know that your child is terrified of the jolly old man known as Santa, then just skip the pictures all together.
6 Keep A Favorite Toy On Hand
Another great way to stop a meltdown on Christmas is to make sure that you have your child's favorite toy on hand at all times. This could be many things, from rattles to a favorite blanket. If you know that your child loves it, bring it with.
This is another great way to divert their attention away from whatever was upsetting them in the first place. If you notice that your child is about to go full-blown tantrum on you, whip out that toy and cheer them up! Crisis avoided, and everyone gets to be happy and enjoy the Christmas holiday in peace.
5 Give Positive Energy
Kids love to feed into our emotions. If they see that something is getting to us, they might keep doing it just to get a reaction. It's easy to get upset with our kids and punish them for acting poorly, but instead of scolding them, you might want to try giving them positive energy.
Instead of telling them “No! Don't do that!” you could always try something a little more positive, such as “Hey sweetie how about we do this instead” or “I like that you're so set on getting what you want, but let’s try this first.”
4 Give Them Some Control
The exact reason that children have meltdowns can vary greatly, but it always comes down to one basic thing, them not being able to do or have whatever they want. So, if you want to avoid or stop a meltdown this Christmas, you might want to consider giving your child some control over what they get to do.
Give them choices when it comes to what they are going to do and what they are going to eat. This will make them feel more independent and less likely to get upset over the little things.
3 Know Their Limits
In order to better understand why your child is having a meltdown and put a stop to it before it gets too bad, you might want to know their limits. This is especially important during the holidays because between all of the travelings that some families do and all of the different people your child will be around, they might become overstimulated.
Being overstimulated can lead to meltdowns for a lot of children, so it would be a good idea to know when your child has had enough and might need a break to recoup.
2 Talk It Out
If you notice that your child has become visibly upset while celebrating the Christmas holiday, a good way to get them to relax would be to talk it out. This is something that will not only help to deescalate the situation but help your child learn to trust you and to come to you when they need someone to talk to.
It doesn't matter if your child’s vocabulary is not yet up to par, take them into a room alone and ask them nicely what it is that's bothering them, and then try to cheer them up with reassurance.
1 Let Them Cry It Out
When all else fails in the department of stopping a meltdown on Christmas, have your child go into a separate room and let them cry it out. Eventually, they will either take a nap because they have exhausted themselves, or they will get over whatever it was that upset them in the first place.
This is easy to do if you're at home, but if you are at friends or family members' house, ask if there is a room where you can take a child for a few minutes to let them get all of those emotions out.