At FUMP, during the holiday season, we make maintaining a calm, normal environment for the children a high priority. We know that this is probably your family’s busiest time of year. Between all of the shopping, traveling, family visits, new foods, new places, etc., we want children to count on preschool to be a place of familiarity and regularity. The following is an excerpt on tips for managing the holiday season.
We hope you have a healthy, happy and joyous holiday season! SKP
Holiday Stress Management Tips for Kids and Parents
First, recognize signs of holiday stress in kids. Signs of holiday stress include:
• Tears for seemingly minor reasons.
• Nervous behaviors such as nail biting and hair twirling.
• Physical complaints, such as stomachaches, headaches, fatigue, upset stomach, etc.
• Regression to younger behaviors: bed wetting, eating with hands.
• Withdrawal from friends or siblings.
• Any behavior that your child doesn‘t normally do could be a sign of Christmas stress.
Then, use the holiday stress management tips most appropriate for your kid.
1. Take children out of the spotlight during Christmas plays or performances. Helping children cope with holiday stress involves knowing their
personalities and limits.
2. Combine parties and get-togethers to reduce the time you spend partying. For instance, invite your aunt to a kids‘ Christmas party.
3. Stick with the routine as much as possible. Keep stressful holiday shopping and eating out to a minimum; start preparing for Christmas early to avoid holiday anxiety.
4. Ask your children what makes them feel better. Do they wind down with music, reading, spending time with you or playing with siblings? To help children calm down at Christmas, encourage them to do what they love
5. Make sure your children eat nutritious foods, drink lots of water, and get exercise. Reducing kids’ holiday stress looks similar to minimizing your own holiday anxiety.
6. Talk to your children about traditions and spirituality. If you believe in Christ, focus on the real meaning of Christmas – and trusting God. If you have traditions, explain why they‘ve stayed in your family.
7. Bring a favorite blanket or stuffed animal if you’re staying with family over the holidays. A bit of home will reduce your child‘s holiday anxiety.
8. Cope with your own holiday anxiety. The less Christmas stress you feel, the more relaxed your children will be.
9. Lighten the mood with funny movies, silly games or cozy chats with hot chocolate.