How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 6 The Steps

Note: This is a yearly re-broadcast series to help parents prepare for, and have a more peaceful holiday season, we will be presenting the entire contents of my e-Book How to Turn Holiday Stress into Peaceful Family Time – On Sale for the Holidays between now and Christmas.

Don’t let the Holidays sneak up on you—they come every year around the same time. Many of our children have great difficulty staying regulated during this time—as do their parents. Be prepared. Plan ahead. Don’t let your frustration, fear or anger ruin the season. Use the Stress Model to help bring calm and peace on earth and goodwill toward all— especially children and parents!

The Steps
Now let’s examine your child’s holiday schedule from beginning to end. The first thing is morning time. How does your child wake up? Did he have difficulty getting to sleep the night before. I’m talking about Thanksgiving, Christmas and also New Year’s. He may have problems going to sleep the night before. The reason is because there is too much stress in his body due to the excitement of the next day’s events. Make the evening as relaxing as possible. Take a deep breath. Breathe with me. Inhale through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. (four, seven, eight) When doing a relaxation breathing technique, start with a short exhale. You inhale for a count of four. (You hold your breath for a count of seven. (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven) You exhale for a count of eight. (one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight) You do this for three cycles: Four, seven, eight; four, seven, and eight; four, seven, eight. Breathing is the one way to interrupt your stress system so just breathe.

Even before you do the breathing technique, you are realizing something. You’ve been enlightened. You are acknowledging that your child has difficulties. You have accepted it. Now you’re going to do what you can to help make this the best holiday season ever. Keep repeating the relaxation breathing technique to interrupt your stress system.

The Night Before
Before nighttime, turn off the television. Keep it off the entire evening and turn on some nice music. Let the family play a game. What we’re doing now is setting ourselves up for success. As bedtime approaches, your child will feel tired. So read a nice story to your child. Turn the lights down. Sit with them for awhile. Maybe lay down with them. Rock them gently. Be there with them until they relax.

When you’re present and you’re there and you’re calm, then you can help your child be calm. However, what happens if you’re there and you’re thinking that as soon as they go to sleep, you’ll go to Wal-mart? You remember you need to buy another turkey and Wal-mart is open 24 hours a day. If you do that, then you’re going to feel stressed. Your child will sense the stress. It’s not what you say. It’s not what you do. It is how you feel when you’re saying and doing it. Your child feels when you are really being present or if you’re going over your What’s Left list.

I remember when I used to put my daughter to sleep. She was around three years old. I remember taking her into the bedroom and lying down on the bed. It would be around eight o’clock. My wife and I were still going to be up for awhile so I’d be laying there thinking about all of the things I was going to do as soon as she went to sleep. I’d open one eye just to make sure she was falling asleep and she’d have both eyes beaded in on me, watching me. Oh my Gosh! I suddenly realized that she was on to me. I’ve got to relax. Otherwise she’s anxiously waiting for me to leave. So be still. Breathe. Calm down. Relax with your child, and help your child drift off into a relaxing sleep. You can do this because you did your pre-planning. You don’t have to go to Wal-mart for a turkey because you already did that. You’ve already got the things you’re going to need. It’s already taken care of. So now you can relax and help your child fall asleep. Wonderful! Success! Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step in being proactive.

You’ve taken the first step towards having a great holiday season by just slowing down and helping your child rest. Now your child will get a good night’s sleep. Before you go to bed, you’re going to pick out clothes to wear, pack your bags, and you may even put them in the car. You already bought the food. Half of it is already cooked because you cooked it the day before. You’re going to finish up the cooking that you need to cook and go to be bed by midnight. You’re going to have at least seven hours of sleep the day before because remember...you’ve got a window of tolerance as well!

There is only so much stress that you can handle and there is only so much stress that your child can handle. I will promise you one thing. You may even hear my words in the middle of a really stressful situation during your holiday event or family gathering. You may hear my words say if you’re stressed you’re child is going to be stressed out as well. Your child can only be as calm as you are. You’re going to hear those words but you’re going to be proactive. You’re going to take responsibility for your stress. So you’re getting things done. You’re getting to bed at midnight. You’re going to get a good night’s rest. You’re going to wake up early. You’re going to wake up early and take a little quiet time just for yourself, and then you’re going to go to your child’s room. You’re going to sit beside their bed, you’re going to put your hand on their back or on their head and say good morning and say Happy Thanksgiving or Merry Christmas or whatever the situation may be. It’s time to wake up. If it’s Christmas time it’s a lot more exciting. If it’s Christmas, tell your children several days ahead of time what the schedule will be. Either they will wake up and open presents at home and have all day to play or they’ll go to visit relatives and to open presents when they arrive. Be clear. Okay? Make sure they know ahead of time exactly what will happen. At Christmas, it’s especially important to be clear because of all the presents and madness.

Coming Up Next... The Morning

You have permission to copy this and circulate to as many people as you think can be helped Help us to bring peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

Timeless wisdom for preparing yourself and your challenging child for a smooth transition through the Holiday Season. Don’t let your fear of the past haunt you this year. Get Bryan’s 4 Point Plan – Don’t let the holidays just happen!

Holiday book and cd v.2To purchase this twin-pack e-Book and mp3 audio file on sale for only $4.95 click here.

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