How to Have a Peaceful Holiday Season – Part 9 Mealtime

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!

Mealtime | Let’s also discuss mealtime. Mealtime is always an overwhelming time during the holidays. Why? Because we’re stressed. S-T-R-E-S-S, that little six letter word that causes so much havoc and so much chaos during the family
season. But guess what? You can turn stressful holidays into peaceful family time. Mealtime is going to be different this year. This year, twenty minutes before it’s time to eat, you’re going to pull your child out the stress. You’re going to pull yourself out of the stress too. You and your child are going to get out of that house. Whatever house you’re in, it’s likely stressful. You’re going to get out of there. This is where you’re going to get in some of that time together with your child. Spend some of that time together and you know what will happen? Your child might not like it! You have to honor that.

You have to say, “I know honey. You are playing and you guys are having fun and you don’t want to leave. I understand and I would be upset too, and it’s okay for you to be upset. But I know that we’re going to be getting ready to eat soon. I want you to be able to eat the food that you want to eat and then I want you to be able to play with your cousins after you’ve eaten.”

You’re going to honor that, you’re going to recognize that, you’re going to acknowledge it, twenty minutes before mealtime. You’re going to pull your child out because when you’re doing that you’re creating regulation. You’re creating an opportunity to be calm for yourself and for your child. So that’s mealtime. What about sweets? Let your children have sweets, but not too much. Talk with the rest of the family. After you’ve finished eating, put the food away, especially, the sweets and the soda.

Have you ever noticed how kids go in and out of the kitchen all day long during the holidays? At the end of the day, you find little pieces of pie here, half glasses of soda there, and spilled cans of pop everywhere. Have you noticed that? Guess what we’re going to do this year? We’re going to put the soda away and you’re going to tell the kids that if they want more dessert after dinner, let an adult know.

Better yet, come and let you know. Take responsibility for your child. You’ll be setting an example for other family Holidays are not normalmembers to take responsibility for their children. You’re really going to be regulating their sugar intake. Some sugar is good. It’s helps them to actually feel a little better. But too much sugar sends them over the edge. One point to keep in mind is that we are not conditioned for holidays. They are holidays. We call them holidays for a reason. It’s a special occasion in the middle of the year, in the middle of the week, in the middle of the month. What happens is, we are conditioned to be going places like school or work. We’re not conditioned to be spending all of that time together. You
usually spend all that time apart. Now you’re spending all that time together.

DisneyworldRemember that window of tolerance? Keep that in mind. Another thing to really keep in mind is all the stimulation.  Sensory overload can be experienced by both you and your child. If you have been to Times Square in NY, recall the first time you were there—the huge buildings, the lights, the 250,000 people that cross through there every day—and the noises! For any first timers, this is an overwhelming experience. Or, seeing Disneyland for the first time as a five year old! This is what much of life is like for these children. And that is on a normal day. So you must be mindful of the jingles, the malls, the Wal-marts, the turkeys, the pumpkins, the Santa Claus and all of that stimulation. Be mindful of that. Be aware of over-stimulation.

Be in tune with your child. That’s the dance between the parent and the child. Be in tune with your child recognizing his internal state. Recognize when they are starting to get out of their zone of comfort. When you do all of these things, you’re honoring stress and fear. You’re not denying it. You’re not sticking your heard inside the turkey. You’re actually honoring the stress and the fear. You’re honoring the fact that according to the stress model, all the negative behaviors
you have seen over the years arise from stress and fear. You’re going to acknowledge, you’re going to understand, you’re going to appreciate and you’re going to feel enlightened by the fact that your child, God Bless his or her soul, has a very, very sensitive system. You’re going to honor that. You’re going to set your child up to be successful.

Coming Up Next… Epilogue

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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