The best way to help toddlers get ready for Thanksgiving day, is too let them know what to expect. Who will be there? What will happen? What foods will be served? Tell them! They will love feeling in the loop. It will help them transition into a new and overwhelming event, much better.
Let your child bring a favorite toy to help them feel more comfortable. Bring a few activities that will keep them busy if they need it.
BRING A HOMEMADE THANK YOU
Help your toddler get excited by letting them make a picture with crayons or stickers for the host beforehand. This will give them something they are excited to bring and share, and it will be a special way to thank the host.
CHANGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS
You may be excited about or dreading Thanksgiving. Either way, help someone else enjoy the day. Help in the kitchen, talk to someone that no one else is, or play with the kids. Decide to focus on others instead of how you are feeling about how the day is measuring up.
When there’s so many new people and foods, it may be hard for your toddler to eat much. Keeping your expectations low about what they eat might help. Bring extra toddler snacks you in your purse!
Look for special moments to mentally pause on. A tasty bite, a shared laugh, a delicious smell, a doting Auntie.
GIVE YOURSELF TIMEOUTS
If you find yourself in a frustrating interaction with someone with very different views, or invasive opinions, excuse yourself to refresh your drink or plate. Give yourself a moment to mentally regroup and decide whether this is worth getting upset over, worth saying something back, or not.
HELP THEM SAY THANK YOU
Making sure your child say’s thank you, gives a hug, or high five, helps your child practice being thankful and shows thoughtfulness to the host who has likely spent hours cleaning, cooking, and preparing for today, and will spend hours after everyone has left, cleaning up.
LEAVE BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE
Don’t wait until the kids are exhausted and screaming and crying. Leave before that, and hit a drive-thru for coffee and a treat on the way home (so you can continue the holiday after baby goes to bed).
Happy Thanks Giving!
Meg at A Great Baby