Kids Safety 101
A child with a christmas themed mask on

Holiday Coping Tips for Stressed-Out Parents

With Christmas just a few weeks away and the holiday season more uncertain than ever before, it’s a tough time for parents. You want your children to have happy memories, but how can you make it happen in the midst of a pandemic?

The CDC currently recommends limiting celebrations to virtual visits or people already living in your household. “In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk,” the agency warns.

Decorating Safely

Creating a sense of normalcy at home can help younger kids cope with the uncertainty in the air. Decorating for the holidays is a safe way to celebrate–with a few important warnings. The normal safety rules for decorations are still in place, so make sure to pay attention to potential hazards as you deck the halls.

  • Secure decorations, including the tree, so that they can’t be pulled down by curious kids.
  • Poinsettias, holly berries, and mistletoe are all toxic to kids (and pets, too). Avoid using these plants.
  • Position items that are breakable or potential choking hazards well out of reach.
  • Make sure that cords are kept out of the way. Use surge protectors and lights that are UL rated for safety.

Talk About Feelings

Kids might be disappointed or scared right now as they realize that the holidays aren’t the same in 2020. Start setting expectations about what is–and is not–possible.

If you won’t be able to visit family, brainstorm other ways to connect. Phone calls, video chats, making handmade cards or care packages… there are plenty of ways to help kids feel involved with the holidays and keep them safe, too.

Center Gratitude

Although it’s tough to find a silver lining in this stressful time, there are still things to be thankful for. One potential upside of the 2020 holiday season is the chance to scale back and reflect on what the season means to you.

It’s easy to get swept up in the commercial aspects of the holidays, especially for kids who are bombarded by ads for toys and treats. As parents, you might find yourself dreading December because of the pressure to make everything perfect and meet all of your obligations to friends and family. It is, in short, a lot.

This year, take the opportunity to pare down your celebrations and focus on the traditions that are most meaningful to you.

Erin Long