Happy Holidays?: Set kids up for success this Christmas and New Year.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery and today is a gift.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

For many children Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! The presents, the food and of course a long summer break from school. We may not realise the impact that lots of big celebrations may have on our children. If we aren’t mindful of their needs they may be over-stimulated and become anxious. All the hype coupled with lack of structure and predictability, makes children more likely to act out, sulk or have tantrums (which can add to our stress)! As much as children may fight against it they thrive on the certainty of routine, as it helps them to feel safe and secure.

Your feelings also have a big influence on how your child feels, so it’s important not to over-extend yourself financially and emotionally at this time of year! Children are perceptive and they pick up on our pressures, expectations and disappointments which can effect their behaviour. Remember holidays are meant for ‘down time’ as well as connection not only for you but also for your children. Sometimes we can get too caught up in the ‘material’ side of the season and lose sight of this. Here are some tips for managing the chaos and having a calm, cool Christmas and New Year;

  • Balance – Insist on some routine like certain amounts of outside play, relaxed family time and helping with some chores.
  • Sensitive Kids- Large gatherings can overwhelm children who get anxious easily and those on the Autism spectrum. Be proactive to minimise melt-downs at special events. Write your family a letter beforehand, give children an activity based on their interest or even designate an area where they can chill out if they need to.
  • Sleep and Food – We all like to be flexible over the holidays with bed times and junk food rules, and that’s okay. If you start re-establishing sleep and meal routines a week out from resuming school this will assist children to better adjust when the school year begins!

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