The holidays are around the corner, but they may be different this year. Learn how we can help our kids enjoy the holidays and have less anxiety about it:
- Start by initiating a conversation about the season, what do the holidays mean. It can be helpful to have conversations with our kids about the variety of different holiday traditions our families, friends, and others may celebrate. Use this time as an opportunity to discuss how some families may not participate in the same holiday traditions as others. Not everyone needs to be the same. It is essential to teach open-mindedness about others and their celebrations.
- Try making new and fun traditions within your immediate family. Create new keepsakes, new activities, and always know you make new keepsakes for family members who usually are around during the holidays. See holiday lights or drive-through holiday events, grab a container of hot chocolate, buckle up and explore your local neighborhoods. Make a DIY Holiday Calendar, fill it with fun activities, crafts, and experiences.
- Set a calm example for your kids this year. The most important way parents can help children during the holidays is to keep things relaxed as much as possible. As with so many situations, how parents handle an issue can set the tone for how their kids behave. If you let holiday stress get to you, your kids will pick up on it. So if we show that the holidays can be fun with new traditions, kids will follow along.
- Keep routine. Holidays can throw household routines into haywire, which can play a role in children not being happy. To minimize holiday stress in your kids, try to keep the routine on track. For instance, if a holiday concert or a gathering on zoom goes past your child’s bedtime, try to stick to quiet, calm activities the next day and get your child to bed on time the next night.
- Teach your children the importance of giving. This could be buying a toy to donate to charity, making a card for a loved one, a friend, or a teacher or donating meals and canned foods to shelters. Enjoy spending time together as a family. Spend time decorating the tree, building gingerbread houses, sledding, singing holiday songs, learning new recipes, and playing games. Please take advantage of the kids being out of school to spend quality time with them.
Remind your child what the holidays are all about. An excellent antidote for holiday stress is helping others, whether it’s by shoveling an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk or by wrapping presents for needy kids at your local church. Helping your child understand by becoming a charitable child will help alleviate their holiday stress and anxiety.
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