So it is almost Christmas! Is it a Yay for you or a blerggghhh?
Tantrums, meltdowns, rude behaviour and NOT LISTENING, seem to go hand in hand with Christmas day (and the over excitement of it all!).
So let’s run through my 5 top tips to help your kids have better listening and all round better behaviour for Christmas. (or any other day filled with over-excitement.)
1. Listen to your kids
- Letting your kids know that you are truly listening to and hearing them can help to avoid the big meltdowns. The meltdowns that happen when we are all a bit too busy to give our kids the bit of extra time they need.
- Remember how much work and preperation you have done for this day, take a breathe and really enjoy the act of ‘just being’ with your kids.
- Allow your kids to share their masses of excitement over every little thing with you and BE INTERESTED.
- Ask them to tell you all about their gifts, ask them to share with you what they think Santa does on Christmas day when he has finished delivering presents and make magical stories with them.
- Let them create wonder and excitement and sit in it with them!
2. Use positive language
- Kids tune out to negative language that is over-used by parents. Try to replace some of the No, Stop, Don’t with more positive language. (It is not about changing the outcome or the rules, just using different words to deliver the message)
- Kids often want to stay home and play with their gifts instead of going to Aunty Jenny’s for brunch at 10am or they don’t want to rush off from Jenny’s to get to Uncle Bob’s in time for lunch! You can pre-empt some of these moments now and prepare your positive language speech! eg. “Wouldn’t it be great to stay here and play, tomorrow we will have all day to play with the toys AND you can stay in your PJ’s!, which of your new things could you bring along?”
3. Create Opportunities for Connection
- Make the time to have some truly connecting moments with your kids on Christmas day.
- Take a moment at breakfast to share what you are grateful for, before opening presents.
- Find 10 minutes somewhere in the day, with each child, to be with them alone in play.
- Disconnection is what often sends kids behaviour off track and there is so much to do and so many people to see that we can sometimes forget to just ‘be with’ our kids.
4. Positive Power Opportunities
- Get your kids to help you to plan the day in the morning or on Christmas eve (I know it is already planned, but let them add some flourishes).
- Draw a schedule of the day and leave some blank bits for them to fill in with whatever they want.
- Encourage them to add their ideas and assistance to food prep, handing out gifts and hosting loved ones.
- Giving them a sense of control and choice can make all the difference to their attitude about the day.
5. Slow Down
- I know this is a hard one on Christmas day but see if you can get your kids to open gifts more slowly and with a break in between.
- Give them time to explore their new things before rushing off for the day.
- Extend meal times by staying relaxed at the table and letting your kids come and go as they need to so that Christmas lunch doesnt become a shouting match. (and relax the rules a little).
- Make a big thing about a Slow Christmas by asking your kids for the gift of a 5 minute cuddle, every hour of the day or start a story in the morning that gets added to every hour, or come up with your own Slow Christmas tradition.
Most of all relax! Do Christmas the way you like to do it and take the pressure off yourself and your kids. Be late, relax the boundaries, and most of all give time to being with your favourite people, Family, friends, loved ones, however you do it, do it your own way.
If you would like more of this stuff but applied to the rest of the days of the year, Grab my FREE email course, How to Talk so they Listen – 2 weeks to better communication with your kids.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas and Happy Holidays, See you in the New Year.
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