With all the madness and excitement right around the corner, you may already notice your little humans are slowly yet surely turning into crazy balls of everlasting energy.
AHHHH SANTAS COMING!!!
Something in the air this time of year makes it a perfect cocktail for hyperactivity and more than a few meltdowns. I feel excited myself and I’m 24! Yet that’s always been just me and I will probably feel the same when I’m grey-haired and trying to remember millions of my grandchildren’s names.
HO HO HO!
It’s inevitable wherever you may find yourself. Christmas markets are packed full of the candy that weighs a tonne and those lights that always cost a freaking fortune! And those incidents where children lose all self-control around advent calendars and demolish the whole pack without an ounce of regret.
IT’S MADNESS I TELL YOU!
Wherever you are and whatever your normal traditions maybe, you’ll probably find at some point or another, there will be that bang on breaking point where children go a little wild in reaction to all the buildup and Christmas mania.
While we want to create such awesome memories for children, I like to encourage a little bit of calm too.
Without calm, children are almost like balloons being blown up, lots of pressure and energy to elevate them until the impending doom that is a full-on meltdown is in full swing! This is when it all becomes too much and reactions turn into fireworks.
You’ll see fireworks in really busy places when everything a child is taking in becomes too much and they really do just cry out for a cuddle and understanding, not deliberately to make your day more difficult.
So during my time as a professional (she says modestly), I have developed a few tricks of the trade so that we can have the loveliest Christmas, yet we can stop children from becoming little fireworks and help create a peaceful atmosphere with much fewer storms!
Allow alone times
This is something that bugs me a little and I see it so much these days. Children are barely left alone! Yes, they do need education and stimulation… but not constantly!
Children are human just like you and me and they need time by themselves too.
Lovely wind down times separate from other children and adults where they can cool for a sec and do their own thing.
Encourage alone times this Christmas whether it may be them sitting in a cosy room with some books or doing an activity by themselves.
Yoga is becoming more and more popular and there are plenty of youtube yoga videos but personally, I like this one! It’s so fab how stripped back it is and there are no crazy stories or flashing lights it’s just super simple!
Children are little chipmunks of change and their whole beings can change throughout each area of their senses.
With the sheer abundance of jingle bells and Rudolf smells and George Michael belting out last Christmas it’s only natural that enough of this can turn little minds and bodies into bambinos bursting with horsepower!
Zoom Zoom indeed!!
Music is really important as it’s not only super-duper educational, it’s also a lovely way to set the mood.
Now we can burst into song and Christmas cheer too but it’s also lovely to flip the switch by allowing calm into your child’s body.
Classical music is a winner. I think I have mentioned this in previous blogs but I remember my mother would often have us lay on the couch for a few minutes after I’d come home from school and we would just lay there and listen to good old Mozart drumming away. And after listening to the music it really did work a charm!
For kids old enough, say over 4 years, I like to have them put their head down somewhere and by listening to the music I ask them to come up with a story in their heads what they think might be happening.
Try listening to CBeebies radio too where they have lots of lovely calming sounds to listen to including rain, birdsongs, waves, pink noise, brown noise and lots more!
Allow a little 10 minutes in one day listening to something soothing and watch the Christmas magic unfold.
Christmas candle activity
For older children, around 4 and up, you could try something different this Christmas Eve. Sometime in the evening close to bedtime, gather the family together and scoop up a bunch of candles and lighters.
Each child would take a turn lighting a candle (or with assistance) and make a special Christmas wish or prayer depending on your beliefs. Something special and meaningful where they can share if they want, but they don’t have to. This takes just a tiny 5 minutes! And after they share a wish, everybody would have a minute silence thinking about their Christmas wish.
This can be a lovely time to talk about people less fortunate and how they might celebrate Christmas.
I guarantee you, little kiddos will not only pick up on the calming vibe, but they will also be thinking about Christmas in a deeper, more meaningful way!
Encourage mindfulness at Christmas
I’m not saying that we have to turn our children into hippie-dippy yodas but there are many reasons why mindfulness at Christmas can be particularly helpful in creating that end goal of calm!
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of everything in the present of the moment and being thankful for who we are and what is around us. Try these simple ideas to encourage mindfulness at Christmas:
- Take walks and notice things with your child you haven’t seen before.
- Try doing cosmic kids yoga together! Get the link here!
- Share one thing a day you are thankful for, perhaps at family dinner.
- Describe feelings like a weather report. In the book sitting still like a frog by Eline Snel, she states feelings to be like the weather outside. As Snel describes it, children can recognize, “I am not the downpour, but I notice that it is raining; I am not a scaredy-cat, but I realize that sometimes I have this big scared feeling somewhere near my throat. Find it here!
Not that I don’t absolutely love the smell of turkey and pigs and blankets and all the stuffing, in fact, I’m finding it a challenge not to drool all over my keyboard! However, a little extra somethin somethin we can do this Christmas is calm our children through the sense of smell. I think that this is really overlooked and can be a fab idea to use pre-bedtime!
Personally, I am really into this! I love using things like candles, diffusers and incense sticks! My partner Marcel is frequently coming home to lots of candles and lovely smells drifting about. I especially think it’s so lovely during winter when everything is so dark!
LET THERE BE LIGHT!
I highly recommend investing in this little cutie! It’s a really simple and gentle diffuser that doesn’t overpower the room. So many families I work with have one and I often like to put it on for a bit before I put little one to bed!
- Ylang Ylang
During a meltdown is not a time to teach
It can be super tempting when a child is having a meltdown to swoop in with the power of teaching and try and get them to learn about what’s happening or why their actions were the wrong ones. Trust me, this is the last thing you want to do and it will most likely go in one ear and out the other.
Imagine a time where you have been under lots of stress or perhaps you have felt feelings of panic and frustration. Imagine if someone came up to you and started saying all these things which are pilling up on top of what you are already trying to process. Adding books and books of weight on top of your shoulders before your head would feel like exploding.
It’s the same for kids and even more so true for Christmas time.
Little ones are trying to figure out the world and are often uncovering emotions they don’t have a clue how to process. The only reason we don’t react the way a child does to new emotions is that we were once in their shoes and learned how to cope.
I’m a big believer in discipline but I’m also a believer in understanding. And I think at first when a child is at breaking point they need a cuddle or some space to become calm. And once they are peaceful, then we should be talking about why a behaviour is wrong.
Always remember how little they are and how imperfect their reactions will be, yet teach them to become better.
Help those in need
I think it’s lovely to totally take advantage of the time off work and school and show your child how lucky they are and how much other people need their love.
Physically seeing people who are less fortunate really helps put things in perspective. It’s so vital for children to see it with their own eyes and be actively involved in caring, and making our world a better place!
If you need a little inspiration, here are some ideas of what you could do:
- Help a Needy Family
- Visit Your Local Pediatric Wing
- Donate Your Hair
- Give to Toys for Tots
- Give Life: Donate Blood
- Donate old clothes
- Visit a children’s home
- Make food for the homeless
- Volunteer at an animal shelter
- Be mindful of the things you have
- Raise money for a charity
- Visit other children in hospital
Well all, if you made it down to the bottom I want to thank you so much for reading my article!
I would love to know what you find most difficult during Christmas with your kids! Is it a crazy madhouse or are you super chill and zen? Let me know below!
Let me know below and as always the more you can share/ like this the more I can continue to smash out epic content! Plus, I talk about cake quite frequently in my blogs if you are new here! Wink Wink!!
Until next time, have a calm peaceful Christmas!
Nanny M x