Protecting Routine during the Holiday Season

By Kristin Church, Parent Educator

This time of year can be a lot of fun and very exciting for young children. It can also be challenging for parents as we try to strike a balance between holiday activities and bedtimes and routines.

Here a few different philosophies to help this busy season go more smoothly. Perhaps one will resonate with you or you might think of another option:

  • You don’t generally worry about routine anyhow. The holiday season is no exception. Acknowledge that this is a family value and own it. All values come with risks and rewards.
  • Choose to compromise routine for a few events. The memories for your children and friends and family are worth it. Acknowledge that this option will likely have over-tired kids (and adults). Some middle ground ideas are having one night of a “splurge” from routine followed by one or two days of rest and a greatly reduced schedule. All compromises come with risks and rewards.
  • Don’t yield the routine at all. It is important for his year to get kid(s) and adult(s) into bed. Know that this option means you or your partner (or both) may miss out of some family or company bonding. Acknowledge that this is a family value and it comes with pros and cons. All values come with risks and rewards.
  • Choose to compromise the routine consistently because this season too, shall pass. Acknowledge you may have to rework some routines you had set up. The pros outweigh the cons.

I can think of plenty of situations as both a parent, and parent educator where I might have chosen any of these options or maybe even one not listed. It’s my belief that there is not a deep rulebook for parenting (kindness, play, car seats, and infants sleeping on their back are high on my list).

The Holiday Season of 2019 will be exactly what it is: one holiday season, for one year. I hope you feel empowered to choose whatever road makes the most sense for your family, at this time.