Stressed About the Holidays? Try these tips from “How NOT to Kill Your Kids Before They Turn 18”!

scaredThe holidays can be something else!  Planning, cooking, cleaning, parenting!  Everything tries to intensify & become overwhelming.  But it doesn’t have to be that way!  Try these tips to go from distressed to de-stressed!

I.  Family calendar taking a beating?  Yeah, this time of year can be stressful because it seems like everyone is putting everything within the same 2 weeks!  Well, here are some tips from my book:

“Whether paper, dry erase, or electronic, having a family calendar can alleviate a lot of confusionplanner and stress.  Logging tasks, homework, bills, grocery lists, meals and date nights keeps them in a place where the entire family has access.  It’s hard to follow an unwritten plan.

And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.  Habakkuk 2:2 King James Version (KJV)

So when you and your family come up with a plan, keep it simple, straightforward and easy to follow!  You can use different colors for different types of events (work, church, school, community, sports) or for the person they correspond to (Mom, Dad, kids, pets).  This will reveal the entire family schedule, but still keep it organized according to each person.  My husband and I decided from here on out we’ll have the same brand of phone so that we can sync everything.  It’s also handy if I have to run out and my battery is low.  He’ll switch with me and let his charge or vice versa.  If your kids have phones, you can sync with them, too.  Keep all calendars in sync and it’ll be smoother sailing when unexpected events pop up. “

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II.  Another stress trigger?  Arts & crafts!  As much as I LOVE crafting with the kids, they don’t like to clean up as much as I like them to.  So, I had to make an area for them to get crafty without it getting crazy!  Here’s some ideas from my book:

Having an area mandated for all things artsy and craftsy keeps the kids focused and allows confettiall potential messes to be contained in a specific area.  Be sure it’s an area that is “oops” resistant (no carpet, dent resistant, glue and glitter tolerant).  It may help for it to be near a window.  Sometimes fumes from spray glue, paint and cleaners will need to be ventilated.  If      you’ve dedicated an entire room or part of a room, maybe hang or frame their art there for display.  That way there’s less to store.  We let the kids hang their art in their room so we don’t have so much to kids artstore.  My daughter is currently in the “making things for Mommy” (constantly) stage, so I got a notebook filled with clear sleeves and started collecting her artwork.  This will be neatly stored in the mementos area of the hall closet or the family room bookshelf for browsing.  The boys are a bit different.  The middle one is 8 and the oldest is 12, so they’re into building 3D things.  I can just take pics with my phone and put them on my flash drive.”

So, I hope I’ve helped you with some ideas on how to decrease the stress during the holiday season.  If you’d like to see about 98 more tips & ideas on how NOT to kill your kids, pick up my book on Amazon.com!  Click below to order your print or electronic copy or stop by my book signing this Friday night from 5-6:30 at Deep Roots Market in Greensboro, NC.

A5

 

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