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Preparing Children for Christmas

It is hard to avoid the 'most festive time of year'. The changes in routines, crowds, and excitement can be overwhelming for some children and adults.  

Sharing Parenting has put together a few tips and strategies to support you, and your children, to avoid over-excitement and help create a balance of fun and magical experiences.

  • Expect more challenging behaviour but try to keep to routines such as bedtimes, storytime, fresh air, and exercise as much as possible
  • Manage expectations; talk to your child about what will happen in the run up to Christmas like family visits, what they might see when visiting Santa (and what they want to take part in or not) so that they and you know what to expect
  • Avoid too much sugar! It is likely your child will be offered more sweet treats at Christmas so try to keep these to a minimum and offered after a meal rather than snacked on throughout the day
  • Try planning ahead by creating your own family countdown to Christmas chart or timetable that you could stick to the fridge door so that everyone can access it and see what is happening
  • Involve them in making decorations for the home and helping to put up decorations
  • Have a Christmas free zone (a quiet calm area with less stimulation) so on the big day (especially you) can have a bolt hole for a few moments of quiet
  • If your child is overwhelmed in the run up to Christmas and finds it all too much, make sure they have space for ‘quiet’ independent activities like reading, crafts, music or something that they enjoy where they can focus on something specific,  and forget about the world around them for a short while. They may prefer outdoor time to burn off excited energy by playing with friends or going to the park.
  • Limit the number of gifts so they are not overwhelmed and will appreciate what they have more. It will also help your bank balance. If others have been kind enough to give to your child, you may want to space out the giving over the day (or even days) to help them appreciate the presents and to spread out the excitement

Above all, try to enjoy and embrace the excitement!


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