Most children spend at least part of the Christmas holiday at their grand-parents’! If you’re just getting used to this tradition, your kids might feel a little lost, especially with all the frenzy of the holiday season… Here are a few tips to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
Spending Christmas break at their grand-parents
Your kids may have a great relationship with their grand-parents, but they might not live very close to you, just like many French families. Every visit creates a lot of excitement, that’s for sure!
However, there’s a big difference between visiting for a few days during spring break or summer holidays and spending the entire Christmas vacation there. There are a million reasons for you to choose that option: sometimes the holiday schedule doesn’t match your work duties, maybe you prefer that your children spend the holiday season with family rather than going to holiday camp during the day and coming home to exhausted parents, or maybe, your parents live in the mountains… There can be many reasons.
Get your kids ready for the visit
What about your kids’ point of view? Christmas is the epitome of family gatherings and, while your children truly love their grandparents, they might express the need to spend more time with you during that period of time, especially younger kids. You must set precise conditions for this holiday: how long are you sending your kids there? Will they stay at their grandparents just for a few days or the entire holiday? Are you planning on joining them at one point?
If you know you won’t be around on Christmas day, anticipate and simply explain to your children that work doesn’t allow you to spend the holiday with them this year. And that it’s better for them to have fully available grandparents for Christmas than exhausted Mom and Dad who can’t stay up on Christmas eve because they have to wake up early for work the next day! Don’t be embarrassed to insist on what they like about staying at their grandparents: Grandma’s patience, Grandpa’s cooking, watching DVDs in bed, and no wake up call in the morning… Your parents, on the other side, will want this holiday to be perfect, they’ll make sure you don’t fail on your promises.
Make sure you’re still “there”!
Daily mandatory phone calls to hear them tell you about their day! Sometimes hearing your voice may be a source of anxiety or sadness, especially for younger children. Make sure that you first talk to one of the grandparents; maybe your kid is in the middle of a game or a cooking workshop and won’t want to be interrupted… It means that everything is ok!
Of course, they might get homesick sometimes, and this applies to any child, whatever their age. If they’re not old enough to own a mobile phone, GPS trackers are a good way to stay in touch: your children only have to press the alarm button to let you know that they need to chat and hear your reassuring voice.
Make it clear to your parents that it is not a question of trust; it is only a way to let your children decide on when they want to contact you.
Other features of the GPS tracker may also be reassuring for grandparents: no risk of losing the kids when they play outside!
Spending the holiday season at their grandparents’, without their parents? It happens. If you anticipate and get your kids used to the idea, maintain regular contact, let them know that they can reach you whenever they need to, and plan a fabulous “post Christmas party” (maybe the first week-end after school starts again?), everything should go smoothly…