Around Christmastime, a lot of moms feel anxiety over having a Christmas tree with little ones around. One friend seriously contemplated skipping the tree completely, convinced there was no way to keep her toddlers from attacking it on a daily basis.
I have a little secret we’ve used in our house. All kids are different, but this worked for us. From the time my son was about 22-months-old, I allowed him to touch the tree and the ornaments. My only rule was, “Just use one finger.”
I reasoned that it would be terribly difficult to explain to him why he couldn’t touch the tree, and it would be equally stressful on me to have to monitor the situation all the livelong day. So from the beginning, I taught him that we do touch the ornaments, and here’s how.
As a mom, it’s sweet to be able to watch your kids stare in wonder at the ornaments and stroke them gently and enjoy their beauty. So much more pleasant than my usual, “Wait! Stop! Don’t touch that!” (I probably need to consider how I can use this rule in other day-to-day situations.)
I’m sure this wouldn’t work for all kids. In fact, I’ll be trying it with my 18-month-old this year and I’m already skeptical. She doesn’t have the same temperament as her brother. I’ll report back and let you know how it goes.
But if you’re looking for a way to have your tree and enjoy it too, maybe this is something you can try. Let us know if it works for you, and please share your own tips for getting through the holidays with little ones.