Advice: Finding the calm in the storm of the holidays

During the holidays, if you feel overwhelmed, your children will sense it and will more than likely act up.

The only way to handle stress is to get organized. The more you plan, the easier it will be to get things done and keep things running smoothly.

The following are a few tips you may find helpful this holiday season.

>> Schedule the things you need to do. If your calendar leaves no room for fun and rest.

Don’t feel guilty about eliminating events.

Cranky children are not happy children.

>> When you have things to do at home, plan activities for your children that will keep them busy: A few inexpensive crafts or a holiday movie will keep them entertained for a few hours.

>> Explain to your children why you need to get a certain project done, and how important it is that they cooperate.

>> Adults assume children will understand what is happening around them, but children live in their own world and have to be told the “why” of things.

>> Taking a few minutes to explain why you send Christmas cards, and why this is important will give you more time to do it.

>> Remember that young children need your attention, so be prepared to take breaks and give them what they need. Stopping to play with your little ones for 10 minutes may give you another hour of uninterrupted time.

>> Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Sometimes we take on too much when there are those that would be more than willing to help us out.

>> Be patient, speak with kindness and model self-control, and you will have a more peaceful home during the holidays.

Maria Luisa Salcines is a freelance writer, and certified parent coach with The International Network for Children and Families in Redirecting Children’s Behavior and Redirecting for a Cooperative Classroom. Follow her on Twitter @ PowerOfFamily, Instagram mlsalcinespoweroffamily or contact her on her blog FamilyLifeAnd FindingHappy.com.