This week most kids are very excited and look forward to Christmas finally arriving. The entire month they have heard about and seen Christmas pranks, Santa Clause, secrets about Christmas gifts, Christmas elves and Christmas TV. They have been partaking in Christmas events in kindergarten and school. In front of them a lot of prearranged hours with family and friends. I think that December is probably the month where kids get less sleep than usual.
The little gift in their stocking in the morning, the Christmas calendar on TV in the evening drags out time so that bedtime is later than usual. All this we can't change. But there is a wish from most kids who - almost - can't cope with all the excitement, the new, the unpredictable and all the secrets.
Remember to create small breaks between all these impressions. From all the kids, who become irritated, unpredictable and have outbursts of anger; let them have some quiet time with mom or dad. Preferably without other kids. Turn off the mobile phone and do something together, without interruptions. Here are some suggestions, which most kids, will enjoy a lot. Build Lego together or look for very long in the good book where you pay attention to each individual picture. Point and tell what you're looking at. You can also lie on the floor and draw together. Look at each others drawings and comment on what you see. Rub your child's toes or give the child a looooong bubble bath. Think about how much calm will spread in the child while mom or dad sit on the edge chatting and laughing with the child. Or you could just watch and comment on the child's play in the water while they poor water from cups, pots and pans.
If someone should have forgotten how important these breaks are for the kids brain - try and monitor what happens with their behaviour and mood once they get these breaks.
If it's hard to understand why the "Christmas month" is so hard to cope with for many kids, then try to compare it to adults starting a new job in a new company. Then nothing is as it used to be. All the routines are different, the days are unpredictable and there is nothing familiar and predictable. It is far more strenuous than compared to when everything is as usual and that goes for all people and all brains.
I hope that everybody has the energy and imagination to cut down on all these offers and find time to some quiet time building a small cave (a blanket over two chairs or a table) or to play siesta. That would be like candy for the kid's brain. The result is almost instant; brains which get a break and some quiet time are far better at controlling behaviour, mood and to cooperate.