“Twas the night before Christmas,
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring….”
Christmas is a very exciting time of year for children. With the prospect of lots of presents to open on Christmas day, seeing all the family and lots of sugar at hand, this puts added pressure on trying to get the little rascals to follow the usual routine.
Don’t worry, we’ve not become a Grinch and given up, our festive spirit is still in one piece. So much so, that we have pulled together a couple of tips to help you.
Children – Ages 3 to 13
- Be active during the day – Maybe skip the Christmas movies and go for a family walk instead.
- Stick to the usual routine/rituals – Bath time, bed time and story time all on schedule.
- Get them to have a warm bath or shower – This will calm them down and make them drowsy.
- Act before they get over tired – Over tiredness can usually lead to hyper or misbehaviour. Sticking to the routine or bringing bedtime forward a little will help keep the tantrums at a minimum.
- Give plenty of notice – Give plenty of notice before bedtime and then stick to it. If your child acts up then be as uninterested as you can and not react whilst you lead your child back to bed.
Extra tips that might help…
- Adding warm milk to the routine.
- Buy some new Christmas pyjamas to wear on Christmas Eve.
- Read a specific Christmas book before bed. We recommend ‘The Night Before Christmas’ by Clement C Moore
- If you want to lie in a little, set a curfew in the morning for when it’s time to open presents. An idea would be to put stickers on a clock for the littler children.
Teenagers – Ages 13+
- Bed is for sleep only – Not for watching TV, as a wardrobe, library for school books or a general dumping ground etc.
- Try to insist on a curfew – Then take off half an hour to an hour to account for procrastination.
- Request that screens are excluded or also have a curfew – The blue light emitted from screens hinders sleep and this isn’t present on an old school alarm.
- Keep them occupied – Try to keep them occupied during the day to reduce the opportunity for them being able to nap.
- Hide the caffeine – Sounds simple, but teenagers are only practising at being adults and their bodies can’t handle the caffeine in coffee and tea. So, maybe swap this with decaf till they are older.
- Lastly, accept that the above will probably be quite difficult to enforce on weekends and maybe only on special occasions. ha ha!
And if all else fails, tell them that Santa doesn’t bring presents to naughty children. Good luck!