Christmas parties are right around the corner.  If your family is like ours, you won’t be attending just one.  It’s usually  – my side of the family, your side of the family, church programs, church friends, and maybe even a family office party!  All the fun will continue for days and will typically involved long hours and an abundance of delicious food.  (Food, by the way, that does not necessarily qualify as nutritious or make you feel ambitious.)

Knowing all of that ahead of time, there are things you can do to keep your kids from imploding after the late hours and too many desserts.  The key is to be proactive.  That mean you need to think ahead and plan ahead.  In other words, take a tip from the Boy Scouts and “Be Prepared!”

It’s important to note that kids thrive on routine and there is nothing like the holidays to destroy their normal routine.  That means that it’s up to you, Mom and Dad, to make an effort to keep your kids on their normal schedule and usual diet allowing for some flexibility.  We’re not encouraging you to pattern your behavior after the Grinch who Stole Christmas, this is simply an encouragement for you to look honestly and carefully at the upcoming events – the parties, concerts, visits from family members, and treks to the homes of other family members – and to try to anticipate potential problems.

For example if you know the party will extend into the wee hours of the night, long past your child’s usual bedtime, you have some options.  You can leave before the end of the party.  You can hire a sitter for the evening. Or you can arrange with the hostess to put your kids to bed at the party and gently transfer them to home and their own beds later in the evening.  No matter how you decide to handle the situation, communicate the information to your child before the party.

When it comes to holiday food you need to keep an eye on what the kids are consuming.  Again, a little pre-party communication can be a big help and can prevent an embarrassing confrontation or a stomachache from eating way too many black olives from the buffet table.  It’s easy to be distracted at a social event, but it’s important to keep an eye on the clock and on the buffet table.   Be the Parent! J

How have you been proactive during the Christmas season?

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