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7 Ways To Make The Holidays Less Stressful For Your Child (And You)Kids can get just as stressed as adults when the holiday season rolls around.by Kate Borbon .
Christmas is a highly-anticipated time of year for many, but it can also be stressful, especially if you have a lot of events to go to, gifts to buy, and errands to run. It’s not parents who can get frazzled—kids can, too.
Here are seven things you can do to relieve your child’s holiday stress. Maybe these can work for you, too!
7 ways to reduce holiday stress for your child
1. Try to follow your routines.
As Harvard Health Publishing notes, kids do best when they follow routines. The holidays can throw a wrench into that since most celebrations go on until late at night. To reduce your child’s stress, try to observe her usual bedtime, save for a few special occasions, like New Year’s Eve. This also applies to meals: As much as possible, ensure your child eats healthy meals three times a day.
2. Avoid overscheduling.
Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you have to say yes to every invitation. Saying no to some events will help both you and your child avoid feeling overwhelmed. As Verywell Family notes, “A couple of events a week may be fine, but having an obligation every day can lead to holiday stress and anxiety in children.”ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOWCONTINUE READING BELOWRecommended Videos
3. Give her a heads-up.
Once you know what you’ll be doing for the day, inform your child of the schedule and what she can expect at these events. Celeste Coffman, a licensed counselor, tells Parents that keeping your kid in the loop so she can prepare herself for what’s coming can do a lot to relieve her stress and anxiety.
4. Include free time in your schedule.
No matter how busy it gets in your household this season, don’t forget to set aside time for your child to relax, whether alone or with the family. “Even a 15- to 30-minute break can help kids recharge and decrease the likelihood of emotional or behavioral problems later on,” pediatric clinical psychologist Zachary Adams, Ph.D. tells Parents. This small window of time can be used to read, chat, or even get some screen time.
5. Keep her physically active.
Another thing that experts say should not be left out of your child’s schedule is time for physical activities, like playing outside, going to the park, taking a walk, or another activity. According to Verywell Family, fresh air and exercise are great for improving your mood, which can then alleviate stress.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
6. Allow her to vent when she needs to.
Before attending a social event, tell your child that if she ever gets stressed or anxious, she can come to you and open up, which will allow her to release those unpleasant feelings. Make sure to also help her label her emotions so she can understand them better.
7. Manage your stress.
If you’re able to handle your stress well, your child will also learn to do the same. Dr. Adams says, “Children of all ages look to their parents for cues about how they should think, feel, and act.” How do you do this? Using lists to break down your tasks is a good start. You can also try meditating, exercising, or talking to supportive loved ones. Finally, just try to enjoy the season!
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