Parenting Connection: Managing Holiday Season Meltdowns

Parenting Connection

It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Managing Holiday Season Meltdowns.

Starting this week tantrums at the most inopportune time and breakdowns for the tiniest little things will likely increase and last through December. Child experts say holiday meltdowns are caused due to a number of things, like an increase in family activities, reductions in outdoor play due to winter conditions, the addition of sugary snacks, and bad quality sleep. Michigan State University child development expert Kendra Moyses says, parents and caregivers must work to limit these disruptions.

“There’s extra stress around because families are more inclined to say yes to activities that they wouldn’t otherwise do. So, it’s really a time to make sure at home you are creating enough space for good sleep, you’re focusing on solid nutrition, and keeping those routines as stable as possible.”

Here are a few strategies from the MSU Extention to help reduce some holiday frustration for both you and your kids this holiday season:

*It’s OK to say no. This includes not attending certain scheduled parties for family, friends, or for work.

*Stick to family routines to ensure good sleep and healthy eating habits.

*Teach your kids how to manage their emotions. This involves them recognizing the emotion they feel, like frustration or anger, and then knowing how to use calm themselves down from that emotion through various strategies.

Child experts say, parents must pay extra attention and be able to recognize when our kids temperament is being stressed, plus, be patient and supportive when it is.

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