A: As a parent and educator for over twenty years, I must admit I’m still learning how to effectively achieve this and now with COVID19, less stress seems to be impossible. We are still navigating through uncertain times. Daily we learn of new protocols, procedures and recommendations to stay safe and healthy. We have very little control of them, but we can control how much we take on to make life easier this season and beyond. “Less is More” is the motto I like to follow when trying to decrease stress levels. Here are a few more tips.
First, plan ahead. Begin discussing with children their expectations for holiday activities and experiences.
Second, write it all down. Create a huge list without eliminating activities. This is a time to reminisce about special memory making moments and promote writing skills. For the very smallest, let them draw pictures.
Third, narrow to the top five favorites. Negotiate what is achievable and what is unreasonable during this national crisis. Allow for questions and respond with truthful answers even if it means saying, “I don’t know the answer.” Keep in mind balance between extravagant and simple and suggest the family’s list represents that. After negotiations are completed and everyone’s voice has been valued in the discussion, let each individual select their top five choices. Then compare. Place the activities that rise to the top on a new list.
Finally, schedule and complete. Children will enjoy looking forward to a video call with grandparents and cookie baking with cuddles just as much as huge family gatherings and travels. Remember together with less stress creates the best memories.