A: Abbreviate some of their toys. Use this time of year to your advantage. They are aware if they are school aged kids, that there are kids less fortunate who might not have a Christmas as abundant as their own. Pull at their heartstrings by encouraging them to donate some of their toys, and make room for the toys they will receive on Christmas day.
B: Be on top of their chores. Bribery works at this time of year, especially with the toddlers who want to be good for Santa Claus! Create a chore list, and sell it just as a new holiday chore list. Then, for the new year, motivate them with the adult tradition of New Years Resolutions for their chores.
There are lots of ideas for chore lists on http://www.Pinterest.com..
Set the timer for 4 to 20 minutes according to age. A rule of thumb for children’s attention span is their age + 2 minutes. Even adults should only be expected to work 20 minutes of focused time. The timer works because the ticking keeps them on track. Make it a race, or contest.
C. Cooperate with a parent. If you are vacuuming, baking, doing dishes, de-cluttering, or shining the taps for company coming over, Delegate a chore for everyone an hour ahead of time with the incentive of enjoying the company together. “Aunt Patti and Uncle Jim aren’t coming over until we have the place tidy for them” might work.
This season is one for family, joy, light and laughter. Play play play, no matter what you’re doing. Turn everything into a game. My mom always seemed to be in a bad mood when doing housework for a family of 8. I got a real paradigm shift one day, when I paid a friend to do some housework. She looked up from vacuuming and smiled! That was the first time I ever saw that in my life, I realized. Involve your kids and everyone will win.