Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Avoid Christmas Tantrums

Read More:
Avoid Christmas Tantrums

Excitement, lots of people, late bed-times, lots of rich food, lots of sweeties and treats, lots of presents… Christmas is often a recipe for toddlers and others to push themselves beyond their limits, and then everything turns to custard, with tears and tantrums.

But it doesn’t have to be that way… Some simple house rules can keep everyone on an even keel, and enjoying all the fun without the tears.  

Valerie Davies, well known writer on family affairs, mother of 2, granny to 4 and writer for Kidicorp’s Bright Start magazine has 4 basic rules to make Christmas drama free.   

Rule number one: make sure everyone is drinking plenty of water.

Avoid soft drinks which don’t quench thirst, and usually have lots of sugar, which often makes children hyper-active. When people are thirsty, they often eat, thinking they are hungry – adults too.  

Rule number two: though this means immense self-discipline for  parents, try to keep bed-times at the normal time, and with the normal routines, so children go to bed without debate, and get enough sleep.  

Rule number three: ration the sweeties and the cakes and puddings. Have other snacks around like nuts and vegetable sticks with tempting dips.  

Rule number four: keep an eye out for three things, tiredness, hunger and thirst. Regular meals for the children, lots of those drinks and snacks takes care of the last two. But in hot weather with all the excitement and activity of Christmas, and often with small children trying to keep up with bigger children, tiredness can catch up. Make a quiet period in the middle of the day for a nap, or a rest, or even time on the mat, like school.   

Most families develop their own special rituals around Christmas and present giving… while children love the ritual of doing the same loved rituals every year, remember that it’s more important to have happy children than a rigid ritual. Be flexible if it makes it easier for the children, and thus for you. No room for tantrums, if everyone feels their wishes are being heard.   

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.