How Parents Can Avoid Meltdowns Over the Holidays

As every parent with children knows, meltdowns (especially those in public), become an unwelcome part of life. While it’s normally random when these tantrums will occur, they are most likely to happen during the holiday season. After all, kids who don’t know how to express their emotions yet can become just as stressed as you do this time of year. Whether you’re a new parent or one who just needs some new techniques to try, below you’ll find tips for avoiding those dreaded meltdowns during the holidays.

Prepare for Problems

Whether you’re going to a recital or a friend’s holiday party, packing a “just in case” bag for a meltdown can save you when you need it the most. While what you pack should be based on the personality of your child, some top items to consider bringing along include:

  • Snack and Juice
  • Favorite Toy
  • Paper and Crayons
  • Headphone for Music/Games/Movies
  • Tablet

Monitor Your Schedule

While there might be a lot of holiday parties to attend, bringing your children to too many can upset their normal schedule. While attending a few events is certainly fine, you may want to cut down on the total amount on your calendar. Before making your way out, check to make sure you’re checking the following needs off your list:

  • Is your child fed? Will there be food for them to eat at the party?
  • Will there be a place for your child to sit down and rest while you’re there?
  • When you leave, will your child have enough time to unwind before bed?

Set Expectations

Before going on any type of outing, let your child know what they can expect. This should include going over rules, fun activities, downtime, food, and other important details. This will set their expectations so they can avoid disappointment.

Have a “Can Do” Attitude

Your little one might get upset when they can’t touch all the toys at the store or play in the same room as the adults at a party. So, instead of telling them “no”, why not give them things to do? At the store you could let them pick out the fruit and at the party you could have them help look after a younger child. When you make them feel important, they’re much more likely to keep their cool.

 

Working Moms and Their Children

Working mothers face a lot of scrutiny. They’re expected to still remain the primary caretakers of their children on top of having a job, either full or part time. Working mothers often get asked questions like, “How do you balance work and family?” and “Who watches the kids while you’re away?,” questions rarely – if ever – asked of the father. While working mothers often feel the burden of guilt over choosing to have a career, they should feel guilty no more. Working moms, rejoice! New psychological studies have found that working mothers tend to have happier children than stay-at-home moms while also being happier themselves.

There are ever-growing amounts of research saying that helicopter parenting harms kids more than it helps them. A study of college students found that children given their independence report satisfaction, better health, and confidence as young adults, where children of helicopter parents are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and self-doubt in their decisions. In fact, according to a University of Michigan study, the amount of time that parents – both mothers and fathers – spend with their children before their teenage years has little to no impact on the child’s performance socially, academically, or emotionally.

In fact, it’s not until the child’s teenage years that more time spend with a parent can help reduce delinquency. What actually makes a difference in the children’s lives is income: family income is a much bigger predictor of whether or not a child will have successful development than the amount of time spent with parents. This isn’t to say that people who are rich will have better kids, but rather higher household income for each income bracket correlates to better child development. An economically stable environment is more important in a child’s development than having a parent constantly present. So, working moms, if you’re working to give your child a better life, keep it up. You’re doing the right thing.

Mothers who work at least part time are happier and have better health overall as compared to stay-at-home moms.
Mothers who work at least part time are happier and have better health overall as compared to stay-at-home moms.

On top of having happier children, working mothers themselves are also happier than their stay-at-home counterparts. A study from the American Psychological Association said that mothers who are employed part time report fewer symptoms of depression and better overall health than mothers who stay at home with their children.

Moms, enjoy spending time with your children, but also enjoy taking time for yourself. Your children will thank you for it, and you’ll thank yourself.