December Parenting Tip of the Month
Minimizing Holiday Stress
The holiday season can be a wonderful time of year. It can also be a time of added stress surrounding shopping, decorating, baking, family gatherings, etc. The joy of the season can get lost with all the hustle and bustle. Additionally, children can pick up on your stress and be affected by it. Here are some ways to minimize your stress and make the season more enjoyable for everyone:

  • Make a list. Write down the things that need to be completed. Now prioritize your list by first tackling those items that need to be done sooner, followed by those that can wait.
  • Take control. Decide what on your list you can control or do something about. If baking cookies with your child from a family recipe brings you stress, consider purchasing prepared cookie dough to bake and have your child decorate them.
  • Learn to say “no.” If there are tasks you do not want to do or cannot do, say “no” and cross them off your list. This can be difficult for some people, so it may be helpful to recommend another person for the task or offer an alternative suggestion.
  • Let go of perfection. Don’t expect perfection on all things and from others. Doing an okay job is better than not doing the job at all.
  • Choose activities that bring your family together for the season. Visit the library and have your child pick books to read together. Make homemade gift bags for family and friends. Enjoy hot chocolate and popcorn as you watch movies. Listen to holiday music as you put together a puzzle. Buy inexpensive canvases and paint a welcome sign for guests with your child. Buy or make homemade play dough and create with seasonal cookie cutters.

By taking control and minimizing stress, you will make room for more fun and quality time with your family!

Visit our Pinterest page at for more great activities to do with your child this winter. For ideas on making holiday crafts with your child, visit the Martha Stewart website at
Reference: "Stress Management Tips for Holiday Happiness & Family Fun," Bright Horizons Family Solutions website,
ERC Resource & Referral, Inc., dba Child Care Aware ® of Eastern Kansas