Stress in Children during the Holidays

It does not take an adult to realize that the real essence of the holidays lies in the fact that they bring families and friends close together; children are as aware of this as the next person, and even more sensitive, perhaps.

This may be attributed to how children notice all the other children around them having a good, exciting time with their friends and relatives as they spend their time missing someone who is not with them at the time. A break from school, family traditions, etc. makes the holidays fun for kids, however, if there were to be a close one (sibling, parent, close first cousin etc.) missing, holiday times can be sad, stressful times.

There may be instances when preplanned and the very looked forward to family activities and celebrations may be complicated by divorce, separation or second marriages. The holidays can be an extremely difficult time for children who have lost a parent, sibling or close relative. This is because holidays often remind children of everything that has changed and what is different now that one of the parents isn’t present for the holiday.

For instance, a child whose parents have been divorced or chose to be separated may feel upset and lonely on some level because they miss the completeness of the “complete” family they used to have, just like most of the other children. As a consequence, they may start to feel irritated and may even prefer to not mix with anyone at all. And it is now the job of the parent currently presents with the child to rid them of their misery and make sure they have an OK, if not great, time during the holidays. Here’s how:

  1. Make plans beforehand – Let the child participate in planning activities so that they don’t feel ignored or left out. Also, these plans must be made in advance since children need some degree of sureness. Extended uncertainty, constant changes in plans or last-minute cancellations can all add to the stress and bother the child.
  2. Don’t make promises you might not be able to fulfill – Making promises and giving children hope and then not following through can break children. This is because as soon as you make a promise, kids get excited and start to mentally prepare for you to fulfill them. So not keeping your promise will only make the child even more upset. Therefore, be mindful of what you promise your child.
  3. Maintain the family traditions – Impossible as it may seem, try to celebrate the holidays the same way as they used to be when your partner was present. Kids are influenced by and look forward to certain traditions, which can have an important grounding effect by letting your child know that even though some things have changed, other things have remained the same; this will let them know that you value the family traditions no matter what.
  4. Lastly, keep in mind that the child needs your time, undivided attention and reassurance – holiday or no holiday. Therefore, you need not focus entirely on bringing gifts and toys, focus your effort on rather spending quality time with your child and letting them know that you are there for them no matter what and even though some things have changed, your love for them remains unconditional.

Furthermore, look into the many benefits of Hypnotherapy Healing, it’s more effective than you may think. Hypnotherapy helps recover from many types of trauma, stress in children being one of them. Contact Genevieve today for a Free Consultation (510) 253-3549.