Many children find the festive season just as stressful, or even more so, than adults. Children are highly sensitive and tend to take on board their parents’ anxiety and stress during this time of year. Here are some tips to help them brave the winter with you!
1.) Give them lots of love, hugs and patience – that, after all, is what this time of year is really about.
2.) Spend peaceful time with each child daily, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, and focus entirely on them.
3.) Involve kids in your holiday plans and preparation. Ask for and use their ideas and input.
4.) Encourage them to express their feelings through creative play, perhaps by drawing, painting or playing a musical instrument.
5.) Maintain your normal household routines – children are creatures of habit and find an upset routine more stressful than an adult would.
6.) Stick to your established rules for behavior and consequences if those rules are not met. Children like to know where the boundaries are, even if it’s only to kick against them at times! Don’t give in simply because it’s the holidays or because you are tired or stressed.
7.) Talk with children about their feelings in a way they can understand and relate, especially if a family member is absent at this time of year through something such as death or divorce.
Together with your kids, plan and participate in giving each other the needed attention to make this holiday season as smooth as possible.