How To Make The Holidays Less Stressful For The Family
The holiday season can be a stressful period for the family. The mad rush to get your gifts for your loved ones ready and the constant trips to the grocery store to get your festive feasts prepared while you are still working is the perfect recipe for an emotional breakdown. As it is a break in their usual routine, it can be an especially trying time for children who are acclimating to the hectic schedule of the holiday period. Therefore, before the holidays, it is crucial to collaboratively create an open communication channel to express emotions and feelings to alleviate more unnecessary tensions during the festive.
Destressing as a Family
Before the holidays begin, it is important to start on the right foot and set aside some time to destress following the hectic semester and month of school and work, respectively. Incorporate some yoga stretches and moves in your daily morning routine as a family. Plan some fun activities together, such as cooking and baking festive treats to get the family to feel hyped up and excited for the holidays.
Perhaps a dance party would be appropriate to cheer up your moody child, who would be bound to dance around in exuberance after listening to the music they love. Exercise breathing techniques your children could use to calm down during tense moments of feeling overwhelmed and experiencing meltdowns. Regardless of what you choose, carve in some time to reset and relax after a long day of visiting.
Give Your Children The Ability to Choose
Many emotional meltdowns happen because the child feels like they lack control over the circumstances around them. This is a good time to set and discuss expectations of their behavior during social occasions such as family visits. Prepare them in advance and inform them that they will have to greet their fellow family members – however, it is important to let them choose how they want to.
From saying a simple hello to giving a hug to saying a verbal festive greeting, they can choose how they want to interact with everyone in the family. At the same time, let your family members know about your children's boundaries to lessen the pressure among everyone. Communicating with them about your expectations ahead of time is key to keeping the holidays as stress-free as possible.
Be Patient with Your Children (and Yourself)
While it might not seem like a big deal at the moment, acknowledging and validating your children's feelings and thoughts goes a long way in building mutual respect. For example, if an emotional meltdown happens at a family event, connect with them immediately and understand their perspective instead of correcting them immediately. This will enhance your children's emotional intelligence and literacy while teaching them how to be empathetic and conscious of people's feelings around them. In addition, the way you act towards them will reflect significantly on their behavior in the future. Being empathetic with them can also help ease a lot of pressure and tension and make the holidays a less stressful experience for everyone.
For more tips to help your children with social and emotional development, visit kindercare.com.
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