Home & FamilyHolidaysParents, Kids and the Holiday Season: Effective Ways to Avoid Family Meltdowns

Parents, Kids and the Holiday Season: Effective Ways to Avoid Family Meltdowns

Do you want to have a meltdown this Christmas? Who doesn’t, right?

OK, in all seriousness, this is becoming all too common around the holidays. And, the thing is, it’s totally preventable. Here are a few tips to avoid stress and have a good time this year.


Map out your holiday season. It might not seem like the most fun thing in the world, but it’s probably necessary for you to keep your sanity. Set, at most, 5 goals for Christmas and New Years.

Make sure that you don’t over commit yourself to projects or responsibilities.

Part of this plan should include routines that you maintain throughout the rest of the year. Routines make life generally less stressful because there’s some level of expectation that something will happen and you know what that something is beforehand.

For example, let’s say you just got your Sleepyheads.com pajamas, and you regularly wear pajamas to bed. One of the things that’s going in your holiday plan is your bedtime.

Does that sound silly? It isn’t. And, here’s why.

Many people ditch their routines around the holiday because it’s a “special time” and they don’t want to be the one person who is a “stick in the mud.”

But, deviating from routine is often what makes people stressed out. So, doing things like brushing your teeth at the same time every day, going to bed at the same time every day, and eating your meals at the same time every day, will help keep you sane when things get hectic.

Engineer Holiday Space

You will need time to yourself. Plan that out in advance and set aside a room or space in your home where you can just get away when you need to.

This is your “holiday space.” It’s a place where no one can bother you, where you can ‘chill out,” where you can read a book. Whatever you need to do to get back to center.

Stay Healthy, But Don’t Go Overboard

We all like to indulge a little more than we should during this time of year, but you need to be careful with your diet. Don’t go overboard with the snacking and sweets. At the same time, you don’t have to say “no” to everything.

Maybe you decide to take some extra vitamin C to stave off the colds going around. Maybe you balance out the extra calories by walking 5 extra miles a day. Maybe you take up weightlifting to offset the fact that, the week of Christmas, you’ll be lazy around the house.

Don’t Be An Advice-Giver

It’s tempting to give advice to family and friends when you see them doing something you think they shouldn’t be doing.


This is usually a bad idea and it will almost always be taken the wrong way. Instead of giving advice, let things slide. It will create less stress, angst, and make life easier during an already hectic holiday season.

Always Look For Solutions, Not Problems

Look for solutions to problems instead of complaining. Complaining is a common phenomenon during the holidays. Avoid relatives who insist on bringing their negativity to family gatherings. Plan ahead by engineering and then accepting an invitation to a party or event that takes you away from any awkward family events. It will minimize stress for you, and prevent a meltdown.

Reece Sharp works as an elementary schoolteacher. She enjoys writing about her insights on life with kids. You can find her posts on many family blog sites.


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