The holidays are right around the corner! You might find that this year’s holiday season is more stressful on your child than previous years. Our lives in 2020 have been upended, but there are ways you can help your child (and yourself) manage holiday stress and anxiety — and make this year's season one that's filled with comfort and joy!
Keep your regular routine as much as possible. Children thrive on consistency and predictability. By following the same schedule, including bedtime and getting up, meal times, and consistent discipline, your child will feel more safe and secure.
Keep things simple. We can all fall into the habit of overdoing it on gifts — after all, we’re bombarded with messages that buying a lot of stuff will make our children and us happy. But this year, try to focus more on your family’s spiritual practice, or choose a service project that you can all get involved in together. Talk to your child ahead of time, and get his or her input. You might be surprised that your child is perfectly happy with a few less gifts and is very enthusiastic about volunteering with you for a cause you both love!
Schedule lots of together time. The greatest gift you can give your child is time together. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – teach your son how to bake your famous pumpkin pie, sit and share stories with your daughter about your favorite holiday memories as a child. Or, let your child decide what he or she wants to do, and then simply follow their lead! For some awesome together time ideas, visit care.com for 101 Holiday Activities for Kids.
Practice healthy habits. Go ahead and let your little one enjoy some extra candy or stay up late to watch that favorite holiday movie, but be sure to balance it out with healthy foods, good sleep, and a fun game of hide and seek or catch outside.
If your family has experienced loss this year, remember that the holidays can bring feelings of sadness, anxiety and depression to the forefront for your child. Help him or her manage those feelings by talking about them, reading books on the subject, or seeing a child therapist.
Hendersonville Pediatrics is always here to help! If you’re concerned that your child is experiencing more than a usual amount of stress and anxiety this holiday season, contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our caring, qualified health professionals.