THIS is the most beautiful time of the year – especially for children.
They’ve graduated from high school and there’s excitement in anticipation of the big day.
For most families, this is a time of fun and laughter, with the kids going to bed a little later than usual to enjoy the holiday fun.
As special as the run-up to Christmas and Christmas Eve is, watching the little ones get excited about Santa’s arrival, most parents have a hard time getting their adrenaline-filled kids to head off to bed before bed.
Speaking to The Sun, a parenting expert shared how you can ensure you have a restful, stress-free sleep over the Christmas period.
Sophie Pickles from munchkin said her six surefire methods would give moms and dads plenty of time to get their feet up with a glass of sherry and finish the wrap.
1. Stick to your regular routine
Sophie said it’s tempting to spend Christmas Eve just as you let your kids stay up late and enjoy “the night before.”
In fact, it’s more important than ever to stick to your regular routine if you want a good night and a peaceful Christmas, she said.
Sophie advised: “Stick with your usual bedtime routine, whether it’s a story or a warm bubble bath before turning on the nightlight.
“The same goes for bedtime on Christmas Eve and also on Christmas Day – stick to their regular bedtimes for much happier kids and adults.
“If toddlers or young children are not sleeping, it can cause excessive fatigue, leading to more strenuous sleep times for everyone involved.”
2. Don’t threaten to show up
According to a parenting expert, threatening the big man won’t show up might seem like a good idea at the time, but it can often create chaos and unnecessary frustration.
Sophie said that, ultimately, it’s not something you can really accomplish – or want to – if your child doesn’t do what you ask.
“If your little one finds this day challenging, remember that this is a time of great upheaval for him and he may feel confused and a little restless with all this hyperactive excitement.
“Try to stay calm and confident and acknowledge your child’s feelings instead.”
She added that you could use the phrases below to help.
- “It’s so great that Santa is coming tomorrow.”
- “I understand. It’s okay to worry, but you shouldn’t (throw toys, push your brother, etc.).”
- “Let’s go outside for a little run.”
3. Keep stockings out of the bedroom
We all know how important an uninterrupted night’s sleep is, especially with an early rise at Christmas.
According to Sophie, keep your stockings out of the bedroom so the kids can sleep peacefully and won’t be bothered by the rustle when you try to sneak in quietly.
“Moreover, the thought of a stranger walking into their bedroom in the middle of the night can actually be a little scary for younger kids.
“You can explain to your child that the stockings will be stuffed downstairs and any gifts left in the living room or perhaps on the landing.
“Knowing that Santa Claus will not come into their personal environment will make them feel safe – all of which contributes to good sleep,” she added.
4. Prepare the box for Christmas Eve
Many parents now give their children boxes on Christmas Eve to kick off the holiday in a big way.
To ensure a calm and relaxed day on Christmas Eve, Sophie suggested, take a close look at the contents of these boxes, making sure they are meant to create a peaceful yet exciting atmosphere.
“If you want to add chocolate and sweets, consider opening the Christmas Eve box together in the morning rather than leaving it before bed.
“For the perfect calming box, think cozy pajamas, holiday slippers, and a holiday story that you can snuggle up and share together under the Christmas tree light,” she added.
5. Get some fresh air
Sophie said wrapping up warmly and taking the kids out for a winter walk and a breath of fresh air should be a priority for any parent on Christmas Eve.
“Exploring nature provides endless opportunities for creative learning, and helping kids burn off physical energy throughout the day can really do wonders when it comes to sleep,” she added.
6. Have a plan
The Guru said that it is worth thinking about your family affairs and when to do them.
“Save any high-octane antics for the earlier part of the day and immerse yourself in the calm atmosphere when the afternoon hits.
“Christmas movies are also often on the agenda, so plan for them in the afternoon and spend the evening doing relaxing activities like reading Christmas books, doing puzzles, or coloring while thinking,” Sophie added.
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