The holidays are beyond exciting for your child. It’s hard to sleep, it’s an endless countdown, and it’s all lights and candy and joy. But this excitement in a child can be torture in an adult. Here are three tips for managing your child’s holiday excitement without quenching their excitement.
Use an advent calendar.
These calendars count down to the holiday by revealing a small prize or gift each day. Every morning, your child can look at the calendar, find today, and open the small door to see what surprise is in store. If your child has something surprising to look forward to each morning, they will be more excited throughout the season, but less demanding to open Christmas presents each day. Every morning at a specific time, your child can open the calendar day. If they are misbehaving, you can delay the opening in fifteen-minute increments.
Create a Christmas Tree Ornament Prize.
With your child, make a cutout Christmas tree to hang on the wall. Add several removable sticker ornaments to it (using post it notes, paperclips, or putting the tree on a cork or magnetic board work well). At the end of the day, or a specified time, if your child has all their ornaments on their tree, they can have a prize. You can either have your child earn one at a time by being kind or patient or polite; or you can have the tree full of ornaments and slowly remove them one at a time based on misbehavior. You can even include chores as a way to earn an ornament. To make it more exciting, give the chores new holiday names. Cleaning Carols you can only sing when you are cleaning. Merry-Make-our-Bed as they help you make their own bed. When they have reached the top of the tree with ornaments, have a reward ready. These rewards can be small tokens, such as a toy or a treat, or can be larger, such as playing a game with your child or taking them somewhere they want to go this season.
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