Christmas and Traditions
We all love Christmas as we get to spend time with family and friends and enjoy all the celebrations that come with the holiday period. It’s a wonderful stimulating time with new sights and smells, songs and games and festive traditions.
A great idea is to start some of your own family traditions with your little ones as research shows that the best childhood memories are not down to material wealth but about spending time together.
“Christmas traditions are important. Kids need to feel they belong and shared memories help reinforce that and helps them to develop their own sense of identity” says psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer, an expert in play and parenting
However deciding whose family traditions to pass on can be quite a source of discussion in most homes! Try to compromise and use a few from each family, or of course make up your own.
Here are a few ideas (out of many):
- Gift filled advent calendar (to be reused each year)
- New pyjamas on Christmas Eve
- Making Christmas cards
- Favourite Christmas book to read together
- Letting your child choose and buy a new Christmas bauble each year (perhaps taking them with them when they leave home to set up their own)
- Making homemade decorations and food together
Remember children love traditions even more than adults
Surviving Christmas with Small Babies
Christmas is a great time for exciting sights, sounds, smells and stimulation – you will be amazed how babies change and grow in response to the excitement, attention and stimulation that Christmas provides. However, young babies and lots of excitement and “strangers” don’t always mix. You may end up with a crying, exhausted and over stimulated baby or hyperactive toddler if you’re not careful.
Here are some tips below to help make sure both you and your baby will enjoy this Christmas together.
Tip 1 – Don’t Overdo It
Everyone is probably very excited to have a new baby or toddler in the family, especially around the holidays and your baby’s first few Christmases are experiences you will remember the rest of your life. However try to make sure you have some quiet time so that you and your baby/toddler can have some calm time to yourselves.
Tip 2 – Keep a Soothing Toy / Comfort Blanket Around
Whether there are new people the baby isn’t used to in your house, or you are taking them to new surroundings, keep them comfortable by wrapping them in a favourite blanket and keeping a familiar toy they like around.
Tip 3 – Mummy Chill
Young children are very tuned into how their parent feels. The best way to keep your baby calm is for you to relax. When things start to get stressful, take a deep breath and calm yourself. The tips above about not over scheduling and taking breaks will work well to keep you relaxed as well. Accept all offers of help too!
Christmas and Young Children
As with babies Christmas is a fantastically exciting time with toddlers and small children but at this time of year you can often see exaggerated emotions, highs and lows seem to happen more quickly and more frequently. Adult stress just compounds the stress on children, who may already be over-excited in anticipation of Santa Claus, presents and sweets.
Children whose behaviour is becoming difficult before Christmas may be asking for more recognition of their needs and some time with you. Even 15 minutes of this special time helps. Sit quietly together; go for a walk together; do things together (make Christmas crafts, Christmas biscuits, read favourite story book).
Over-stimulation of children in the Christmas season, with too much going on all at once, is a common cause of stress and emotions.
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