‘Be clear with your children about what they’re allowed and stick to it. If you say they can have more after lunch then you must remember to follow through on what you promised. They will remember and feel angry and cheated if you ‘forget’.
‘You can say things like “I know you want to have more know, and you can have more after your lunch. I know it’s hard to wait, but you can do it”.
‘Have clear rules and limits around any activities and communicate them clearly to your children, such as: “You’re only allowed to hunt for eggs of this colour” or “You’re only allowed to find 10 eggs, the rest are for the other children”.’
Aideen also recommends trying to stick to regular routines as much as possible – as tempting as it may be to have a lie-in and laze around all day, or stay up late watching films.
Make sure that even in the midst of chocolate eggs, children are still having proper meals at regular times and getting enough sleep, so their blood sugar and energy levels will remain stable.
And remember that no matter how much you prepare, sometimes kids just won’t be able to handle all the excitement. That’s okay – stay calm and adjust your plans.
‘Remember that the younger children are the less they are able to regulate their emotions and control their behaviour,’ says Aideen. ‘They are much more likely to forget rules and get carried away in the excitement of the moment, so make sure that you keep a close eye on them and use empathy to help them calm down if they start veering towards a tantrum or meltdown.
‘In the midst of the fun and merriment there are bound to be moments when the kids become overwhelmed, overexcited or overstimulated.
‘Have a plan in place for how you can give them space to calm down or the loving connection they need to regain their equilibrium. This might involve cuddles, snacks, baths, books or a break from the activities in a quiet area.
‘If you’re at someone else’s house, you can ask your host in advance where you can retreat to if necessary.’
Most of all, do try to relax and have fun. Your Easter weekend may not go perfectly to plan, but when you’re spending it with your family it’ll be just as joyful. Grab some Mini Eggs and join in the fun.
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