Keeping Kids Focused During the Holidays

6 December 2023

The end of the year is a tough time for kids.  Their attention is diverted in so many ways with parties, anticipating gifts, lots of food with an emphasis on sweets, and an influx of relatives and friends.



As much as possible, keep to a standard routine, which includes bedtime and its rituals.  Meals can be at odd times so try to keep some granola bars handy to hold the kids over.  Be sure they get proteins that will fuel their days of building snowmen and play dates and limit sweets, which will be one of the most difficult tasks for parents and grandparents.

They may need extra time at night to unwind from the events of the day or anticipation of the next and to come down from the sugar highs.  This might be a good time to chat or to read an extra chapter or two.

At family dinners they may need to be excused early since they can get antsy with adult conversations.  Allow extra screen time for them to be occupied while everyone else is finishing their meal and cleaning the dishes.



Let your kids help.  No, things won’t be perfect, but it will give the children an ego boost and keep them occupied as well.  Give them a box of extra decorations and let them do up their bedrooms in their own style.  Little ones can hold down paper or get the tape ready as you are wrapping gifts for the grandparents.  Let everyone participate in the cookie decorating and worry about the mess after it is all over.

Check around for community activities or church events that can substitute as day care.  Many local museums offer opportunities for kids to explore or experience different aspects of culture.

Set up a crafting station where they can make their own gifts for parents, grandparents, and/or siblings.  The most memorable gifts are those that are hand made.  As a parent, start a box for each child and fill it with the ornaments they make each year.  When they go out on their own, or as a wedding gift, you can give them those keepsakes as a special surprise.

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Before the winter break, teachers have their own special challenge keeping children engaged and continuing to learn despite all the interruptions and distractions.  As parents, they deserve support and credit for their efforts.

Use technology to your child’s advantage by encouraging literacy.  Libraries often have give aways to kids for the number of pages or books that they read during a specified period.  Look for story times or special events that educate as well as entertain.  They allow you to check out movies and comic books, sorry…graphic novels.  Libraries are often a very under-utilized resource in our communities.  There are very few free services any more, so take full advantage of your tax dollars.

Holiday times can be special in many ways and we hope you enjoy yours.

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