Parenting 101: How to navigate holiday stress

Posted at 8:01 AM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 08:03:06-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- There are times when the most wonderful time of the year can turn into the most stressful time of the year. With holiday parties and last-minute shopping, parents face a lot of pressure.

FOX 17 spoke with a few mothers Tuesday who say they get stressed during the holidays, because they feel like they have to make everyone happy this time of year. Pediatric psychologist Brittany Barber Garcia says that feeling comes from wanting to create wonderful experiences for everyone, but that can be overwhelming.

Barber Garcia recommends planning down time. Create some white space on your calendar by re-evaluating the number of parties you commit to this year. Keep in mind, planning down time is important.

Also, maintain your kids' sleep and eating routines. "We all know that kids do best when they’re on a regular routine, and allowing kids to keep that routine during the holiday season is very important," Barber Garcia said.

Rushing kids to see relatives and friends can be a challenge for little ones, as this adds more stress. So, keep things simple. Try making decorations, ornaments, etc, instead of buying them, and go easy on the holiday gifts.

Barber Garcia's last piece of advice is to keep family in mind this holiday season. Focus on getting quality time with the kids.

"Find some balance during the holidays between doing all those fun things but also finding the time at home and creating those moments of joy at home amidst all the stress," she said, "because the most fun moments for your kids are going to be at home with you."

"Staying at home and enjoying each other is the most important thing you can do this holiday season."

Barber Garcia says it's important parents recognize when they are stressed, and if you're feeling overwhelmed, it affects everyone around you, including your kids.

If that's the case, make time for a bit of silence every day. Turn off those electronics, and try getting in at least 30 minutes at the gym.