Opinion

Tips for visiting your relatives during the holidays | Column

Here are just a few tips to set yourself and your little ones up for a less-stressed visit to any relative’s or friend’s home.

Talk with your child about who you are visiting and what the rules will be at their home. Set boundaries. For example, “do not take or touch things without asking first.”

• If your child is shy, remind them that if they get nervous they can always come find you or show them a quiet area of the house that they can hang out in. If your child tends to get overstimulated, you can come up with a plan with them about what steps they can take to calm down and what consequences will be if they become out of control.

• As soon as possible after arrival, take a house tour with the hosts. Ask them what the rules are about this and that and relay those rules to your child as you walk around.

• Show them where the bathroom is as well as how to turn on the lights. Many older homes have bathroom light switches outside of the bathroom, which could end up in a frustrating mess when a child cannot find the light to be able to see the toilet! Also, remind yourself to stay on routine with pottying with your little ones. It is very easy for us all to get caught up in the excitement of family and presents and realize too late that you forgot to remind your child to go potty.

• If staying overnight, show your children where they will be sleeping and where their belongings will be.

• Bring foods and snacks along that you know your child will eat. Of course we want them to try the food served, but have back-ups. I cringe thinking about the pig jello and sauerkraut that I would find in my grandmother’s refrigerator as a child!

• Especially if the relatives have no children of their own, bring some toys, books, and movies to keep them busy and their blanket or stuffed animal that will help get them cozy when it’s time to go to bed.

Have a happy, low-stress holiday and enjoy your children; they won’t be small much longer.

Aleksa Overby is the director of Kiddie Academy of Bothell, located at 22703 Bothell Everett Highway. For information, call (425) 485-7200.

 

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