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: Preparing Your Kids for the Holidays

The big ones are heading our way… Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and the New Year. Most of the time these holidays include multiple family gatherings, parties, extra trips to stores, a derailment of eating right, and a lot more pictures getting taken. Our daily routines will start to fill up rather quickly and so child experts say, now is the time to prepare your kids for what’s to come to ultimately reduce family stress during the next two months. MSU child development expert Kendra Moyses says, this not only includes telling them what’s getting planned, but how they should behave as well.

“Regardless of the holidays you celebrate, there is a shift in things like family routines. There’s a lot more interaction with extended family members and friends too and so as we go into this holiday season, it’s really important to let kids know what some of those holiday plans are. For example, if you’re travelling to see grandma and grandpa and you don’t see them very much, letting them know what to expect.”

Here are a few ways to get your kids ready for the holidays:
*Have frequent conversations with them about upcoming events
*Talk about people they may meet
*Children view unknown relatives as strangers, so don’t force hugs and kisses
*Stick with scheduled meal times

Child experts say, preparing your kids mentally for the holidays will reduce family stress at a time you need it the most.