Any semblance of peace that may blanket your home tonight will be shattered once dawn breaks on Easter Sunday.
Kids will be running around like Energizer bunnies looking for sweet treats left behind by the holiday hare, and once they hit pay dirt, they’ll be even more amped thanks to the endless amount of sugar coursing through their little bodies.
Say “No” without saying “No”: Your preschooler wants to polish off an entire family of Peeps before you leave the house for Easter Sunday Mass. You put the kibosh on his plan and he erupts like Mount St. Helens circa 1980. As your child screams his head off, gently sympathize with him by explaining that you understand how badly he wants to behead his band of marshmallow bunnies, but he will only be able to do so if he stops having a meltdown and behaves nicely in church. This puts the ball in his court. He gets to choose between acting appropriately and getting the Peeps or continuing to meltdown and losing out on a dessert of fluffy farm animals.
Stick with your routine: Children function better with a routine. Order and predictability help keep a child calm. Bedtime, mealtime, bath time, play time; the routine is like a gentle melody that soothes a child. If you need to break with your child’s normal schedule to accommodate a holiday get-together or other family function, prepare your child ahead of time. In addition, you can try to compensate for changes, such as moving up naptime or providing your child with an extra snack if you know dinner will be served later than normal.
Quiet the environment: If your child has been surrounded by stimulation all day while attending an Easter party, unplug as soon as you leave the gathering. Too much stimulation can lead to toddler overload and massive meltdowns. On the way home, avoid the temptation to crank up the radio, throw in a DVD or talk on your phone. Rather, turn it all off and give your child a quiet environment to calm down.