“Lots” of Christmas

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The Christmas Season is here! You may be home from work, your children are out of school or childcare, you are gearing up for some travel, or preparing to host guests in your home. In my home, we are watching our favorite Christmas movies, getting ready to make our favorite Christmas snacks, and making a packing list for a Christmas visit to see family. Whatever it may look like for you, it is safe to say your “normal” routines and habits are a little off. If you have a preschool child at home, they may have realized your routines were changing even before you did! Preschoolers thrive on predictability. They want to know what comes next. I love that Parent Cue has given some antidotes to help us manage our expectations and help prepare our preschoolers for the “Lots” of Christmas. Lots of Stimulation, Lots of Sweets, and Lots of People.

1. Lots of Stimulation
As parents, we each have our own story of a Christmas experience that has gone wrong. For me it was a visit to see a Christmas character at our favorite chicken restaurant. I was so excited to share this fun experience with my preschooler! I woke him up early from his nap, he was not ready to get up. I convinced him to put his shoes on, but they were not the ones he wanted. I talked it up all the way to the restaurant only to find out when we arrived that we were a day early! Come to find out, he did not even want to participate in this meet and greet at all. He was just as happy eating dinner at home and playing Legos.

Parent Cue Antidote: Stick with your routine as closely as you can. As much as you want to fit more in at Christmas, look for moments in the day when you can turn off the music or TV. Weave in some silence or a calm activity like coloring or reading to help your toddler decompress.

2. Lots of Sweets
Gifts from friends and neighbors, candy canes, gingerbread houses, Christmas cookies… there is no shortage of sweets this time of year. Keep track of your child’s “special treats” so you know when they have had enough. Stock up on healthy alternatives to offer your child for snack time and meals.

Parent Cue Antidote: Moderation. You’re in control. Your child doesn’t grocery shop. So, limit the number of sweets you bring into the house and tell Grandpa the max is two cookies (because you know he’s going to sneak your kiddo a third).

3. Lots of People
You cannot get around it, there are a lot of people everywhere we go this time of year. The grocery stores are fuller, Sunday school classes are busier, there are holiday parties to attend, and family to visit. Some children love the extra busyness and attention. Others are easily overwhelmed. Watch your child for signs of enough. Do they withdraw, become a little clingy, begin to whine? This may be their own way of telling you they need a break.

Parent Cue Antidote: Set boundaries and prepare your toddler. If you’re holding your daughter and your church friend says, “Give her to me for a minute,” don’t be afraid to say no, especially if you have a shy child. Before everyone arrives for the party, pull up pictures on your phone and remind your child who each person is.

I hope these insights and antidotes will help your family enjoy Lots of Christmas this season!

P.S. If your family is looking for a place to worship this Christmas, we would love for you to join us on Christmas Eve at 4:00pm, or 5:30pm, or on Christmas Day at 10:30am. All services are family friendly; babies, preschoolers, and children are invited!

Preschool Ministry

Preschool Ministry

The Preschool Ministry of FBCA understands the importance of establishing trust with parents and children. Trust must come first for your child to be able to soak in the love God has for them. As your child grows and matures, our goal for their spiritual understanding is to know: God made them. God loves them. God is their friend. These basic principles are what we teach in all areas of our Preschool Ministry.

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