Christmas excitement is contagious. The bell ringers outside of stores, the lights on every tree, and the Christmas music on the radio all add excitement for your preschooler. But children struggle with self-control and managing their excitement in proper ways. Try these two tips for engaging their interest while teaching them to manage their excitement.
Plan a special event for each week of the season as you count down to Christmas. For the six days of the week leading up to the event, begin preparing for it. If your special event is caroling, begin learning the words of the songs and practicing. Make cookies or cards to present to those whom you treat with your carols. Let your child help with making a holiday themed outfit, star headband, angel wings, or Santa hat. Make a chart to show your child the theme for the event and what you are planning to do leading up to the event. Before the holiday, take time to let your child think of ideas to prepare for the event. “What can we do for our caroling night?” and let them choose something.
Inverted countdown calendar.
Instead of marking off days and time leading up to the holiday, give your child tasks that have to be completed before the holiday. “We have to make our bed 22 times before Christmas. We have to pick up our toys on 12 days before Christmas.” As your child accomplishes each of these tasks, provide a visual for them to see their progress. This visual can be created together as a pre-holiday management tool. Perhaps draw a large Christmas tree and each day let your child add a colored sticker to represent an ornament. If you are dealing with behavioral issues, remove a sticker. As the stickers grow closer to the top of the tree, the time for Christmas draws closer as well
Your child’s excitement for the holidays can be used to instill good manners and curb outbursts. Engage and encourage their excitement, then use it to help them grow.
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