MAKING HOLIDAYS BETTER FOR YOUR CHILD
The holidays are a period that is fun and joyous, but also a busy and stressful one. Between buying presents, holiday events, entertaining, traveling, and family gatherings, it is inevitably difficult to remain calm and peaceful. As a result, children can often get carried away.
Here are a few tips to keep your child happy and ready for the holiday season:
1. Set a calm example. As a parent, your child looks up to you. So, if you are relaxed and calm as much as possible, then your child will also behave this way. Try to be self-aware and set aside time for yourself. Also, remember to practice self-care and to get enough sleep. Taking steps to handle your own stress will reduce anxiety in your child.
2. Keep in mind the importance of routines. Children behave the best when routines are predictable. Once a party is over, try to get routines back on track, especially for bedtime and mealtimes. The following day after a special event, try to stick to quiet and calm activities.
3. Have your child help you out. School age children usually love to help their parents. Do not hesitate to praise your child when she is responsible and helpful. For instance, ask your child to help you find an item in a store or to help you decorate the house. Giving your child a task will boost her self-esteem and make her feel member of the holiday team.
4. Manage your child’s expectations. Some children get incredibly excited around the holidays expecting to receive expensive gifts, spending every day of vacation being busy visiting museums, having endless play dates and multiple sleep over. While your child will be busier, let your child know up front what to expect. Look at the calendar and plan activities together so that you child is aware of her holiday schedule.
5. Discuss the values of the holidays. Material gifts are great, but the best gifts might not be these ones. Volunteering, participating in a local toy drive, or giving each of your child a little money to give to a charity of her choice are all great ideas for getting children in a more generous mood. Also, remember to take the time to get together to play a game, watch a movie, or decorate sugar cookies.
By planning, talking to your child about your and her expectations about the holidays, and by trying to stick to her routines as much as possible, the stress and the anxiety from the holidays will be manageable. You and your child will be able to enjoy this special time of the year.
As a parent and a therapist, I want to offer some tips on how to raise happy and healthy kids. Please feel free to comment on my posts.