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The holidays are right around the corner, and for working parents that can mean an added level of stress to an already tight schedule. Cleaning the house, shopping for the food, and purchasing decorations can all seem very daunting, while still managing to care of the kids. Here are a few "Dos" and "Don'ts" to make your holiday run more smoothly and to help you keep your sanity.
1. Don’t "force" your child to eat new foods. Thanksgiving dinner usually involves food that many infants and toddlers are not used to eating. Rather than trying to force them to eat Grandma's spicy sweet potatoes and have a meltdown, allow them to eat a few simple things they like. It may just be a little turkey and a dinner roll, but it's worth every minute of peace.
2. Don't lose the nap. Holidays are usually longer days with many new experiences for a child. New foods. New environment. New people. These experiences can put a normally happy baby in sensory overload. Try to time your child's nap with the card ride to Aunt Janet's. Or if you are staying home, invite your guests after your child wakes up. This will make for a happier day for everyone.
3. Do praise good, appropriate behavior. Is your child doing well greeting guests? Setting the table? Cleaning up their toys? Make sure to let them know! Positive reinforcement not only works, but it also helps build a child's confidence.
4. Do a special craft. Children LOVE to be involved in everything. Why not let them make a keepsake for each place setting? A simple pinecone painted with glitter and a colorful fall ribbon will make a child proud of participating in the family celebration.
5. Do have quiet activities during clean-up. After a long day with family and friends, it's time to clean up. A new coloring book, play-doh or activity book can work wonders while mom and dad put the house back in order.
These simple ideas will hopefully make your Thanksgiving run a little more smoothly this year. Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Lightbridge Academy!