Tip: Preventing Festive Meltdowns

Christmas can be a difficult time of year for toddlers and tweenies. All the excitement in the lead up to the big day, coupled with endless parties, staying up later than ususal, sugar overload and a lack of routine, can add up to some monumental tantrums. But there are some things you can do to limit the meltdowns over the holidays.

Limit their sugar intake – it can be tempting to let little ones overindulge ‘as it’s Christmas’ but remember the effect that sugar can have on your child’s mood. The sugar ‘high’ is well documented – it can cause hyperactivity and erratic, emotional behaviour – followed by an inevitable ‘crash’. Try and substitute some of the sugary snacks with fruit, vegetables or healthier options.

Schedule some down time – Christmas is the busiest time of year, with lots of parties, visits to see friends and relatives, day trips and festive activities, but all this can take its toll on little ones. Don’t we all feel emotional and irrational when we’re exhausted and over stimulated? So, keep some days free for a pyjama or film day to relax and recuperate.

Spread out the gifts – Often children are given so much on Christmas morning that they barely register each present. It can be very overwhelming for little ones. A good idea is to spread out the gift giving, allowing them to open a few things on Christmas eve or holding back some presents for later in the day, so they have time to fully appreciate and play with everything.