It can be hard to explain to a small child the concept that they must wait for a special occasion or event to arrive but there are some tips which can help them.
Help the child to count down to a particular event – mark the event on the calendar. This is a visual reminder of something that is planned. It gives the child the chance to wonder about the event and ask questions about it before the event. When the event has passed, the child can see that mark on the calendar is still there indicating that time has passed.
Involve the child in getting ready for the event. Think how you can support the child to contribute – is there a task they can do (with help perhaps) that is part of the preparation for the event? Doing jobs together provides reassurance for the child that they are part of the celebration and can contribute.
Manage expectations – life does not always go to plan. As a parent think about the expectations we put on ourselves – the perfect meal, the perfect gift, the perfect photo. When we relax the demands we put on ourselves, we show that we can cope, even when everything doesn’t go to plan.
Remember some of our fondest memories are often the less than perfect moments that make us human.