Holiday Meltdown Plan for Children: 12 Days of Christmas

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Emotions run high during the holidays. Prepare for your child’s inevitable Christmas Crash with the Holiday Meltdown Plan printable.

Welcome to Day 8 of the 12 Days of Christmas Printables. This is my thank you for your support of this small business.


Let’s be honest. You know it’s coming.

Last year your child turned bright red and had a level four tantrum when he didn’t get the toy he wanted. Or your daughter needed to be carried out of Target over your shoulder when she staged a sit-in on aisle 12.

Holiday Meltdowns will happen. And fortunately, there is an easy strategy you can use to prevent or minimize meltdowns.

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Why You Need a Holiday Meltdown Plan

The holidays are an emotional time.

Your child is using all their energy coping with waiting.  Then after the holidays, your child will be coping with disappointment.

Your child’s brain isn’t developed enough to manage these huge emotions independently,

The stress is like a pressure cooker, and at some point, your child will blow.

Here’s my biggest piece of advice to all parents:

Accept now that if you have a child with big feelings, there will be at least one meltdown moment.

You can adjust your expectations now so you’re able to stay calm even when your child isn’t.

Holiday Meltdown Printable

The good news is you can be proactive and develop a plan with your child.

Here is how to use the Holiday Meltdown Printable:

  • Print it out (scroll to the bottom of this post).
  • Grab some crayons or markers.
  • Set aside 10 minutes to talk about it with your child.
  • Practice the strategy your child chooses when your child is calm.

Then you need to pay attention to signs of overwhelm during the holidays and encourage your child to try their strategy. Look for the beginning signs of stress in your child – don’t wait for full on meltdown.

Reassessing the Meltdown Plan

This is where the real magic occurs.  When the meltdown plan doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean it was a total failure.

It means you found one strategy that isn’t working. And you can try:

  • readjust how your child uses the strategy
  • practice it more when your child is calm
  • choose a different strategy

When a meltdown happens, it provides you the opportunity to have a conversation with your child.  Through these conversations, your child will learn self-regulation.

In your discussion, make sure to:

  • help your child identify the trigger
  • stay neutral about the behavior to avoid shame (your child already knows it was bad)
  • focus on generating possible solutions

More Support for Holiday Meltdowns

Here are four additional resources:

Social-Emotional Learning at Home Printable Pack

Learning to regulate emotions starts with learning to name them and then understanding how the body feels. This printable pack has all the tools you need to help your child learn to get calm.

I Can Handle Special Occasions

This book helps children understand emotions during holidays and use the positive self-talk “I Can Handle It” to regulate.

The original book I Can Handle It is also effective.

Raising Human Beings

This book is the first I recommend to all parents. Teaching your children to self-regulate comes from a place of collaboration not shame.

This book lays it out for busy parents.

The Whole-Brain Child

There’s so much misconception that children misbehave because of poor parenting. In fact, most children misbehave because their brain isn’t mature yet.

This book helps parents understand the brain and strategies to get children regulated.


Holiday Meltdowns happen. You can prevent or minimize the tantrum by being proactive with your child.

Grab the printable and get started today.


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