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For those who don’t have children, the holidays are full of endless shopping, traveling, entertaining, eating and lots of family time. But for those who have children, it’s an entirely different story.

[bctt tweet=”With these few tricks, you can keep your children tuned in for fun while you also enjoy your holiday – @PikinMama” username=”SheLeadsAfrica”]

Holidaying with children can sometimes be quite the adventure – and not in a fun way! From soiled diapers to crying toddlers, the list goes on.

However, is it possible for parents to enjoy their holidays without being broken by their children? As a mom, here are some lessons I learned that have helped me survive the holidays.

1. Enjoy every time you get with your little ones

I learned to accept the fact that the holiday period is a time to embrace my superpowers and bond with my child. It was not a gruesome punishment or some curse bent on making me unproductive. It was time to play catch up, to try new things together, to experiment and get to know him better.

Because I didn’t want to make the same mistake twice, I also worked hard on preparing myself for when school was out. Though I didn’t have much time off, I made sure that with what little I had, I made the time to spend it with my children

2. Do things with them

It’s very easy to simply buy your children toys to entertain themselves or let them watch TV. I learned from my son that this does not always work. Despite eagerly opening his presents, he often became quickly disinterested especially when he had no one to play with.

Even with a few hours of TV, he usually had a lot of free room for mischief or adventure.

I realized that I need to capitalize on this time to ensure he wasn’t up to any mischief. My first moves were to get in touch with his creativity and engage him in things that we could do together.

From messy activities such as decorating cupcakes to playing peek-a-boo, my son was happy and I relaxed knowing he was doing good.

3. Remind them to be nice

I  have always wanted a super courteous child who is the first to greet all the elderly people that visited form church or his great- grandma and grandpa. But when my son started growing up, I was in for a rude shock. He was awfully rude to them and often had no regard for his elders.

This made me livid at my son for letting me down after all the talks we had regarding manners. I realized that I needed to step-up my game through continuous reinforcement of positive behavior.

I could have taken my anger out on my son but I realized he was only a child who just needed the right direction. 

4. Plan ahead of trips

During one particular event, we went out to have lunch. On that day, my son decided to reject every single thing that was offered to him. The only thing he wanted was jollof rice which wasn’t on the menu. He threw a fit over this. 

Though embarrassing, this experience taught me a great lesson in planning. For large celebrations or when going, I try as much as possible to bring in my son’s favorites. This can include food or even cutlery. My obligation was to ensure my child had a great experience.

5. Maintain routines

When going on holidays, everyone usually wants to throw out their usual schedules and simply relax and be lazy. With kids, they tend to take advantage of this period and push their bedtimes. For parents, this becomes quite the difficulty.

It is important that we maintain good habits and practice our routines with the children. Sleep is quite essential in ensuring the whole family are relaxed and enjoy the holiday. Therefore, make sure that you maintain the different routines and schedules that are part of your family culture.

With these few tricks, you can keep your children tuned in for fun while you also enjoy your holiday. Some say its pure magic, I say its the art of minding children through the holidays.

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