Despite the holiday chaos, try to keep some routine amidst the shopping, parties, and traveling to maintain a sense of normalcy.
Create a schedule for your child, either with simple words or pictures, to help them understand what will happen during the day. This will provide consistency and help them prepare for upcoming events.
Schedule some downtime to prevent emotional or behavioral problems later on, advises Zachary Adams, Ph.D., a pediatric clinical psychologist. Even a 15- to 30-minute break can help kids recharge.
Encourage your child to share their feelings with you, even if it's just a minor issue, and keep paper and pen/crayon handy.
Dr. advises that physical activity releases endorphins that can reduce stress, so encourage your children to engage in activities such as walking, playing in the snow, or dancing.
Dr. suggests that skipping some holiday activities can reduce the craziness. You can also take turns running errands with your spouse instead of dragging your child along all the time.
"Children take cues from parents on how to think, feel, and act," says Dr. Adams. Take care of your own stress during the holidays by finding some downtime, even if just a few minutes, to do something enjoyable for yourself.