December 2008 Parent Tip-Holiday Stress
The holiday season is approaching and with it comes a bit of stress. Not only are we stressed as parents but our children feel our tension and need us to help them cope during this whirlwind of hustle and bustle associated with the Christmas season. John Riddle, author of the article "Holiday Stress and Children" suggests seven tips for helping you and your children relax and enjoy this holiday with less stress:
1. Limit TV and Video Games: Although it is easy to allow t.v. and video games to serve as a babysitter, too much screen time decreases the amount of physical exercise kids need to de-stress.
2. Remember Routines: For parents of small children, this is especially important. Children find their routines are disrupted during the holidays and kids need schedules and routines to keep them feeling secure.
3. Nutrition: Try and have at least one healthy meal a day and include healthy snacks when shopping or waiting in lines.
4. Family Traditions: Family traditions offer great comfort and security for children when everything in their daily lives is disrupted. Baking cookies, creating an advent wreath or choosing ornaments together are wonderful traditions that children come to depend on.
5. Attitude Check: Take a deep breath, practice relaxation, remind everyone that even though someone stole your parking space or there is a line a mile long, it is important to have a good attitude and not to sweat the small stuff.
6. Rest and Relaxation: Remember to take "time outs" over the holiday season to rest and relax. Build in "hang out" time for the family.
7. Laugh: Rent a comedy, tell jokes or find a funny holiday book to keep family humor in check.
This holiday season does not have to be filled with stress and exhaustion. Enjoy your family together and keep the peace and joy of this wonderful time of year.