The holiday season is all about fun and enjoying family, but the constant hustle and bustle can be just as nerve-wracking for children as it is for adults. These holidays can actually end up being hectic and tense. In theory, what ought to be enjoyable might end up causing physical and emotional fatigue due to shopping for presents, holiday parties, travel, hosting guests, and family get-togethers. It can be stressful for kids, too.
Here are some ways to prevent and reduce holiday stress for children this season.
1. Setting a Calm Example
Keeping things as calm as possible is the most crucial thing parents can do to help children who are experiencing holiday anxiety. Like in so many other situations, how parents respond to a problem can influence how their children act. If you succumb to holiday stress, your children will undoubtedly do the same, which increases the likelihood that there will be a problem with child anxiety in your home.
2. Setting up Conditions for Good Behaviour
Make sure your child isn't hungry or tired when you take him to events like holiday gatherings or the mall. It’s hard, even for grown-ups, to deal with noise and lots of stimulation when they’re not feeling their absolute best; children get hungry more often and become tired more easily, and they may understandably have a stressful time being on their best behaviour if taken out in such conditions.
3. Remembering the Importance of Routines
The disruption of daily routines during the holidays may contribute to children's anxiety. Try to get routines back on track after an event or party to help your kids feel less stressed during the holidays. For instance, if a church event or school holiday concert drags on past your child's bedtime, try to stick to low-key, relaxing activities the following day and put your child to bed on time the following evening.
Fresh air and exercise always help! They are essential for boosting moods and resetting the spirit, which can help alleviate holiday stress and anxiety in children. Make sure to set aside some time for your child to play and run around outside.
5. Avoid Over-scheduling
Avoid over-scheduling yourself and your child by limiting the number of holiday parties and activities, despite how alluring it may be to accept every invitation from friends and family.
6. Schedule some relaxing time
During the hectic holiday season, it is more crucial than ever to spend some quiet time with your child. Create holiday cards for Grandma and Grandpa or read a book to your child in a peaceful area. Go for a nature walk to escape the hustle and bustle and your obligations.
7. Focus on Helping Others
Helping others, whether it be by shovelling an elderly neighbour's sidewalk or wrapping presents for needy children at your local church, is a great antidote to holiday stress and the overblown commercialism of the season. Helping your little one become a charitable child will help alleviate his/her holiday stress and anxiety.
Lastly, stress is normal, and holidays are meant to be enjoyed. A few minor tweaks to your holiday celebrations can make the occasion a joyous one for both you and your little ones. So the next time your little one shows signs of some stress, circle back to this blog for some helpful tips, and while you’re at it, if you have any secret antidotes up your sleeve, do share them with us too!
Here’s wishing everyone Happy Holidays!