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Parenting coach Filippa Forsberg, who we introduced a few weeks ago is back. This time she will share her tips for how to make the holidays enjoyable for the whole family.

No Kids are Bad Kids

“Santa only comes to good children”, is something we’ve heard since we ourselves were small. But, what decides if a child is good or bad? NOTHING. There are no bad children!

On the other hand, there’s bad behavior. A child can do bad things, but that doesn’t mean that the child is bad.

So, the next time you want to say that Santa only visits good children, try saying it in a different way. Do you need to threaten your kids with “Santa won’t come”? In the end, empty threats only lower children’s self-worth.

Prepare for Success

This year has been anything but ordinary. Things have been cancelled, some of us have lost loved ones and everyday life is very different compared to a year ago.

It’s difficult to plan things when things change at the last minute. Children don’t like change, and to help them deal with last minute changes, it’s good to let them know of your other plans, should things change.

For example, what would happen if a family member got sick? What would your options be? Let your children feel like they are part of the plan, so they don’t feel run over by changes. And when things do change, they might handle it better and view it positively.

Children Don’t Need to Hug their Relatives if They Don’t Want to

“Oh, look how kind your auntie was giving you that gift. Go and give auntie a hug!” But, your child might not want to give them a hug. Your relatives may feel like strangers to your children, and they might feel unsafe. Giving that person a hug may not be something your child wants to do. It’s their body and their choice. There are many ways to show appreciation, without using hugs or kisses. Your children should, of course, say thank you for their gifts. But we need to respect whatever way they choose to do that.

Do you have realistic expectations for the holidays?

What’s important during the holidays? What are your musts? Do you have any at all? Is it realistic to want to see your family this year? Is it even realistic to see anyone but your closest family? We should all sit down a reflect on this. What’s realistic for our family’s celebrations this year? When we come to understand this, our expectations will decrease, and we will be less disappointed. If we’re disappointed, our children will surely be more disappointed.

Daily Routines

Most children love routines; they work best when knowing what will happen and when. During the holidays, keeping routines is difficult. Celebrating the holidays is hardly something we do every day. What we could do is try to work around our children’s normal schedule even during the holidays.

For example, could you eat around the normal time? Could Santa visit before their normal bedtime? I completely understand that the holidays can make it difficult to stick to a routine. But, if we keep our normal routines in the back of our minds, we will subconsciously try to stick to the routines that are best for our children.

Let the Children Relax

Things are happening nonstop. So, let them take small breaks between all the celebrations to relax on their bed and read a book, stare at the ceiling or play at their own pace.

But Get Moving!

 We’ve learned that children need 60 minutes of physical activity EVERY day, even during the holidays. It’s easy to forget this between all the meals, gift giving and festivities.

Try going on a walk or have a quick stretch session where each family member has to come up with 3 stretches that you do together.

Say No to Things You Absolutely Don’t Want to Do and Listen to Your Body

What’s realistic for you? How much energy do you have? Listen to your body, because if you don’t have the energy for certain things, they won’t turn out the way you’re hoping anyway. You might need a half hour of alone time in the middle of all the festivities. Could you try waking up half an hour earlier just to enjoy a cup of tea? Or could you try yoga or reading a nice novel?

 Have Fun!

Focus on what’s positive! Don’t let negative things bring down your energy.

I hope this can ease the stresses of the season so that you and your loved ones can enjoy your holidays together. 

Love,

Filippa, Kidsologi 

Bonus tip!

Remember that “good enough” is something you need to keep in mind during the holidays as well. Everything doesn’t need to be perfect. Good enough is, well, good enough!