On Monday morning I got a couple of SOS messages from friends who are struggling with whiny behavior and sibling fights.
The holidays are supposed to be a cozy time of peace and rest, but when high expectations are mixed with busy schedules and extra treats it can lead to chaos.
This is why we continue to focus on healthy rhythms even during times of celebration.
Celebrations are an important part of a happy life, but it's also important to maintain the healthy rhythms that make space for deep learning.
Some of the rhythms that we are continuing through the holidays are:
- Daily prayer. Taking time each day to pray (even just a simple recitation of the Lord's prayer) creates a sense of peace that helps us regulate even when there is external chaos (I love the short prayers in the Pause App)
- Daily Bible. When we are pressed for time we will use an audio version to play a quick Psalm or reading. We like this one BIOY , but for children who appreciate a visual Bible, the Bible Project has some great overviews (for adults too).
- Eye contact. We can keep the home calm when children know we are present and eye contact is one of the ways that we reassure them.
- Healthy meals. Young children will act out when they are under nourished. It's the only way they have to let us know how they feel. Instead of waiting till they get to that point, keep high protein meals and snacks available. This will help us as well. When we have protein snacks available, it keeps us from having sugar cravings (no more binging on the stocking candy when you have peanut butter toast or a meat stick to munch on while you wrap the gifts (check out my gift lists here). (Amazon link)
- Active play. When children get some big sensory input, it helps them feel more regulated and calm. Playing the gingerbread man game or snowball fight from the Peaceful Press Holiday Book Flood, or even taking a walk or run outside can help calm a nervous system that is overstimulated through media or the extra sensory input from holiday decor and activity.
If you are struggling to connect with your children this holiday season, it's not too late to start Unearthing Wonder or the Peaceful Press Holiday Book Flood. You can start either resource on any day, simply start on the day that corresponds with the day of the month you are on, or start from Day 1 and enjoy them for a few days after Christmas.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links.