Caring for children is an everyday adventure in joyful moments and unique challenges. During the holidays, these challenges pile up—and fast.
The pause from daily routines and an overload of festivities can spark stress, anxiety and social fatigue for caregivers and children alike. So, how can parents and guardians create a calm space for your children throughout the hectic holiday season?
Our Care Coaches have a few ideas to share.
Take Time for Mindful Moments
Setting aside peaceful, quality time with your child is important. Find a quiet activity you can do together, such as creating arts and crafts, listening to an audiobook or even taking a walk. Anything that offers a break from the holiday hullabaloo.
TIP: Try creating mindful moments before a day of errands or on a day when the schedule is less cluttered.
Avoid Schedule Surplus
Try to organize no more than one demanding event daily with your child when possible. A breathable calendar allows your child downtime to refresh, recharge and avoid becoming overwhelmed.
TIP: If having your kiddos tag along on your important holiday errands is too stressful, try reaching out to your trusted network of family and friends for help.
Establish a Code Word
Create a signal or code word with your child. Explain that they should use it during large gatherings if they need to step away. Some reasons to use a code word may include feeling overwhelmed, craving a social break or simply needing to use the restroom. Creating a code word provides your child with the comfort and assurance that they can always look to you for support.
TIP: Practice using the code word in non-stressful situations, like at home or a familiar public place. This will empower your children to use the code word when you’re in a busier or more stressful situation.
There are countless things to do and places to be during the holidays, and it’s easy to fall into the rush of the season. But rushing often adds stress for everyone, including your child. Be patient and—particularly with younger children—allow extra time to prepare and schedule errands.
TIP: Set enough time for you and your family to prepare for errands together—whether it be getting on winter wear, filling water bottles or grabbing the shopping list off the fridge.
Set a Calm Example
Children are often sensitive to the emotional climate around them, and they can pick up on their parents’ stress levels with ease. This sensitivity means that when parents are tense, worried or upset, kids are likely to become unsettled, too. Parents need to cultivate and project a peaceful demeanor, especially during the holiday season.
TIP: Try practicing self-care, mindful breathing techniques or positive communication to set a more mindful example to your kids.
It’s not always easy creating a comforting space for your children during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Whether caring for toddlers, teenagers or any age in between, Cariloop understands and is here to help you and your family find simple ways to alleviate stress.
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