Question: With the Holidays coming - any tips for keeping the whole family (parents and kids alike) calm with all the busyness and change in routine (and sugar).
Answer: We came across a blog recently, and below are 5 tips to getting through the holidays.
1. Remember that the only thing you can control is the way you react. No family is perfect, no partner is perfect, children are not perfect. I can almost guarantee that not everything will go as you plan it so try to start out with lower expectations. Know going in to the situation that there will be bumps and mess-ups and then it won’t be as devastating when these things happen.
2. Try to stick to as normal a schedule as possible. Kids still need structure and routine, it makes them feel safe and secure. Letting things go over the holidays may cause the kids (and you) to act ‘out of sorts’.
3. Get some air when things get to be too much – or some silence in the bathroom, the basement, laundry room – where ever you can escape for a few minutes.
4. Keep your expectations realistic – No family is like the ones you see on those wonderful Christmas movies, no Christmas is like that either. Talk to your children and tell them your plans each day – this will help them know what to expect.
5. Try to enjoy yourself – don’t try to do too much. Spread out the ‘traditional’ activities, try not to do them all on Christmas Day. Ask your kids to pick two things they’d like to do, and let go of the ones that aren’t mentioned. You’ll enjoy the ones you keep much better.
*This blog originally appeared here on “Being Beautifully Bipolar” on PsychCentral.com in 2013. Other thoughts were added to each point for the purpose of this reply.
Now... just a bit on sugar – and ‘sugar highs’
Dr. Mark Wolraich, chief of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center, researched sugar's effect on children in the 1990s. Basically, there is no such thing as a sugar high. “Sugar is often the main attraction at birthday parties, on Halloween and other occasions when children are likely to bounce off the walls. But all that energy is the result of the kids being excited, not from the sugar in their systems, he said. The misconception comes from the idea that increased blood sugar levels translate into hyperactive behavior. It's true that someone with low blood-sugar levels (known as having hypoglycemia) can get an energy boost from drinking a sugar-filled drink. But it's a different story if someone has a sugary treat when he or she doesn't have low blood sugar.
"The body will normally regulate those sugars. If it needs it, it will use the energy," Wolraich said. "If it doesn't need it, it will convert it to fat for storage." So... if you have a donut when your blood sugar level is already just fine, those extra sugars may be converted into fat.”
Our advice for the sugar consumption holidays ... limit sugar as best you can – as you always do - and get them outside and moving as much as you can. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow ☺