You have relatives visiting and you’ve been busy getting everything ready…making sure the house is clean, the grocery shopping is done, the guest room is ready. There’s just one thing left…helping your preschooler adjust to the visit. Here’s some tips to help you and your preschooler have the best experience with visiting relatives.
GIVE ADVANCED WARNING
To help your preschooler adjust to visitors, they should have plenty of notice. If your doorbell rings, and then all of a sudden your home is filled with people, loud voices, and possibly luggage…your preschooler may get overwhelmed.
Start by simply letting them know you will have company and when they will be coming. How much notice you give may depend on your child… If you think telling them a week in advance will just have them asking you “Are they here yet?!” every hour, then maybe give a little less notice.
If you think your preschooler might be a little uneasy about the visit, talk about the fun things they will get to do with their family. If there will be relatives that your preschooler isn’t very familiar with, talk about that person and help them get familiar with them. It would be a great idea to show your preschooler some pictures of their relatives before the big visit.
Be prepared to answer a million questions. Your preschooler may want to know all about their family members, where they will be sleeping, if there will be other children, and how long they will be staying. Having an answer for their questions will help ease the anxiety they may be experiencing.
KEEP A ROUTINE
If you don’t know how important a routine is for your preschooler then be sure to read our article BENEFITS OF A DAILY ROUTINE FOR YOUR PRESCHOOLER. Keeping a routine while relatives are visiting is essential in helping your preschooler maintain a sense of control.
You may need to modify your routine some while you have company, and that’s understandable, but it’s important to go over these changes with your preschooler ahead of time so they can be prepared. While things may get hectic while you have visitors, it’s important to keep up with the most important routines that keep your preschooler’s mind and body healthy, such as:
- Morning time
- Teeth brushing
- Going outside
It’s important to keep up special routines, like reading a favorite book after breakfast, singing a silly bath time song, or checking under the bed for monsters before bed.
ALLOW DOWN TIME
Some children welcome company with open arms, and would be fine if they never left…and some children are counting the moments until things are back to normal. Regardless of the type of child, chances are they are going to need some alone time at some point.
It’s important to make sure your preschooler has a space they can go and reset, especially if there are children visiting. If they are sharing their bedroom with visiting children, then they are even more likely to need some time to themselves. If possible, allow them some time to play in their bedroom with their belongings alone.
SPEND EXTRA QUALITY TIME
If your preschooler is antsy for some alone time and having a hard time getting any with a house full of people, try getting away from the crowd for a bit. Your preschooler needs some quality time with you anyways, and what better way to do it than a trip to the local ice cream shop?
If you can, stop by that park on your way back…Your preschooler may not come right out and tell you, but they really appreciate the alone time together. After a chance to reset and have their favorite person all to themselves for a little while, your preschooler will likely be back to playing with their cousins and begging their uncle to play that game just one more time.
While there can be a lot of fun and exciting things about relatives visiting…there can be a lot of scary and unknown things also. It’s important to understand that your preschooler is coping with this change the best they can, and be patient with them when things don’t go as expected.