A Stressful Time for Children
Happy Holidays -- you bet! Most of us enjoy and get caught up in the decorating and all the festivities that come this time of year. But one thing many adults don't realize is that it's also a stressful time of year for the children among us. It can be anxiety provoking when the routines are broken, schedules are whacky, good nutrition and bedtimes are compromised. And for the school aged kids it's an added factor having projects due and tests to take before Christmas break.... academic crunch time. As a Mom to a 13 year old man-cub I have a few things I'd like to share in trying to keep his world 'balanced' this time of year.
- Sunday thru Thursday keep the evening and bedtime routines as close to normal as possible – the kids need their sleep and to stay in the school frame of mind.
- As the primary cook in the house I try (although I do not always succeed) to keep nutritionally balanced meals going. Yes there are a ton of sweets around and yes we all tend to indulge more... but to keep the main meals balanced and nutritious will keep their systems from going crazy....which tends to impact their thought processes and their sleep pattern.
- Be sure the chores are kept up.... It might sound strange, but to keep the kids actively doing their normal 'stuff' will keep the daily routines intact.
- Down time – Breathe. Sit and read for 30 minutes, watch a Christmas video, take a walk, listen to some music, just do something that is calming and restorative...guided imagery is great too!
- I have friends who do this weekly, but we do it daily at my house -- a schedule meeting of sorts -- do the rundown of what is coming in the next week/day so there are no surprises. And don't be afraid to say no to things that don't fit. Overscheduling is a design for disaster for everyone involved.
- Remember the reason for the season, not just all the accessory stuff that goes along with it. Do something nice for someone, volunteer at a soup kitchen, share some love and be grateful. As a family we always 'adopt' a less fortunate child to provide some Christmas morning joy...it helps keep things in perspective with gratitude.
Alright peeps, that's all I have. Please feel free to comment below to share things that you've found to be helpful for your young people. I hope you all have a wonderful and meaningful Holiday season.
Be good to yourselves.