Simplify the Season: Primrose Schools® Encourages Parents to Let Go of Holiday Guilt
Tips to Travel with Kids and Unplug this Holiday Season
Avoid holiday stress and #letguiltgo with these tips from @Primrose Schools Tweet
ATLANTA (Nov. 20, 2019) – It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but for millions of American parents, the pressure of creating “perfect,” social media-worthy family moments – while dealing with end-of-year obligations – often creates more frustration than joy.
A nationwide survey conducted by Primrose Schools reveals “losing patience with my children” as the top guilt of parents – and the stress of the holidays can certainly amplify any burdens or negative emotions. To help parents alleviate their holiday guilt, Primrose offers tips to help parents find peace in the small, joyful moments rather than trying to create picture-perfect holiday bliss.
Take the Stress Out of Travel with Kids
According to AAA’s 2019 Thanksgiving travel forecast, more than 55 million Americans – the second-highest volume since 2005 – will travel to visit loved ones over the holidays. Preparing for long holiday trips can be daunting, but these tips can help parents keep their cool.
- Make a Manageable Packing List: Babies come with lots of gear. Make a packing list for daily essentials like extra outfits, pack-n-plays and medications for children. Consider which items can be left behind, substituted or easily obtained at your destination.
- Plan Travel Around Sleep Schedules: Make travel easier by departing at children’s bedtimes or naptimes. Follow normal bedtime and naptime routines and don’t forget to bring sleep staples like blankets and toys.
- Allow for Extra Time: If flying to a holiday destination, arrive at the airport more than two hours before departure, building in extra time for potty breaks and distractions along the way.
- Free Up Your Hands: Check the big, bulky items – including car seats, which are free to check on all U.S. airlines. Carry on smaller bags with in-flight essentials, like familiar snacks, blankets, electronics and toys that provide routine and comfort for little ones.
Unplug and Unwind as a Family to Reduce Parent Guilt
For working parents, keeping up with career demands while taking time off with children is a balancing act, especially during the holidays. In Primrose’s recent survey, one-quarter of parents surveyed said “not spending enough time with my kids” topped their parent guilt list.
In an ever-connected world of distracting texts, calls and emails, the holidays are an important time to intentionally unplug and make family memories. Parenting experts at Primrose Schools suggest these tips for stepping away from the screen and creating time for loved ones.
- No-Phone Zones: Set aside designated times, like mealtime or family movie night, for phone-free zones, leaving electronics in another room. Also try making entire days on the weekends or holidays as “screen-free” days, when the whole family sheds their devices and spends quality time focused on each other.
- Set Your OOO: The end of the year can be a very busy time at work, wrapping up budgets and planning for a new year. Communicate with your team on hours of availability, letting them know when you will be completely unplugged. Set your OOO (out of office) email and turn off notifications from your phone to prevent stress and truly enjoy your time off.
- Keep it Simple: Slow down and create some white space on your calendar, leaving unplanned time for spontaneous family fun. Consider scaling back on elaborate parties, decorations, cards and gifts to conserve energy. Remember to focus on quality time as a family rather than keeping up with social media standards of the “perfect” holiday.
- Create Joyful Rituals: Make time for family fun when you’re out of the office. Observe family traditions and create new ones that you and your children will always remember. Read a holiday story, watch a movie together or share what you’re thankful for during mealtime.
The holidays don’t have to be the most stressful time of the year and parents shouldn’t feel pressured to make them the most wonderful time of year either. By taking a step back, planning ahead and intentionally creating quality time for family, parents can create a “perfectly imperfect” holiday that’s tailormade for themselves and those they love the most.
About Primrose Schools®
Primrose Schools is the leader in providing premier early education and care to children and families in the United States. Founded in 1982, there are more than 400 Primrose schools in 29 states today. Each school is independently owned and operated by Franchise Owners who work together with parents to help children build the right foundation for future learning and life. Primrose believes who children become is as important as what they know. The Primrose-exclusive Balanced Learning® approach is created from the best early education wisdom and balances purposeful play with nurturing guidance from teachers to encourage curiosity, creativity, confidence and compassion. For more information, visit www.PrimroseSchools.com, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, explore our blog, sign up for our Pointers for Parents emails and find a Primrose school near you.