Holidays are so much fun especially with kids. So many great memories can be made with family and friends. Holidays however can be quite hectic especially if there is travel involved, lots of events, lots of people and late nights planned. For our little babies and kids there can be some challenges that arise so here are a few tips to enable you to enjoy your family holidays.
1. Respect Awake Times
Okay so we know that during a busy holiday time this isn’t always going to be possible or perfect so just be aware that if you have stretched your kids for part of the day beyond what they are able to deal with then take some pre-emptive action later in the day. Don’t continue to push them beyond what they can deal with and be aware you may see a shift in the way they eat, sleep, play and engage as the day goes on.
2. Keep things predictable
Again, not always possible but do what you can. For example, if your child is used to a particular bedtime routine but you’re away on a holiday or staying overnight with family then keep that same routine. If they have a special lovey then make absolute sure and triple check you have it with you. If they eat lunch at a certain time or in a certain way then if you can keep it predictable. If you set certain boundaries for behaviour then remember that being in different surrounds or over-tired or having eaten chocolate or foods they aren’t perhaps used to that they will need some extra patience from you and for you to give them that calm leadership.
3. Respect Tiredness and Challenge
This ties into numbers 1 and 2 but what this may look like is that if you have had a busy day with family and friends and driving and fun and loudness and lots of people then you may need to give your child additional wind down time at bedtime. This is especially so for younger babies. Even though Auntie Jodie really really wants to join for bathtime routine and make things super noisy and splashy, you might need to just bring things down a notch for bathtime and respect your child’s tiredness in that moment. It’s not about being a party pooper, it’s just recognizing what your child may need at that time.
Also bear in mind you may see more challenging behaviour if your child is over-tired so be prepared ahead of time to respond rather than react.
4. Be mindful of over stimulation
Again this is also more important for younger babies but important to keep in mind for all ages. It’s a super fun holiday time and there can be so much going on. Just something to be aware of with your kids especially if they are prone to getting super over stimulated and struggle to come down.
5. Enable your kids to have choice over how they greet and meet
Obviously this is more aimed at older kids but there is also an element relating to younger kids. It’s really important that while we want our kids to have good social skills and healthy manners in saying hello and good bye, we want them to feel comfortable to have control over what that might look like for them. If a 3 year old doesn’t want to hug grandma then this is something we really should support and offer some other options for how they might say hello. This is really about respecting our childs own boundaries with their bodies. This also relates to younger kids where we need to advocate for them. For example, if Uncle Peter is coughing away then we need to feel okay to suggest that they can have a cuddle with our baby next time.
Most of all.....have fun! x