Jennifer Gomez, MSS, LCSW
5 tips to survive the holidays with your kids
Winter break is an exciting, joyful, frenzied time with your children and families. While the time away from school feels short for your children, as a busy parent the break can feel very long! Here are 5 tips to help you get through the break as painlessly as possible! If your child or you are experiencing daily stress that feels difficult to manage, please feel welcome to contact me about scheduling an appointment! Here are my tips!
1. Stick to your routine with bedtime and expectations as closely as possible. Kids do best when they know what to expect, so be clear on what the schedule will be throughout your days. Because transitions can be difficult, try to keep to the routine as much as possible so kids know what to expect and to keep their bodies in a rhythm.
2. Encourage your children to show gratitude. Make it a fun activity to write thank you notes with your children. For older children, have them contact those who sent them gifts or write their own thank you notes.
3. Do an activity of their choice with them to encourage bonding and make them feel like their interests are important too. This may put you outside your comfort zone, but think about how excited and validated your children will feel!
4. Give them some time alone because this is their period for rest and relaxation, too. I worked with a principal who directed his teachers to give not give any assignments over the break. The idea is this time really should be a break from all the stress and anxiety of waking up early, school assignments, after school activities so they can start the new year refreshed, energized, and ready.
5. Start a new tradition. Talk with your children about what they'd like to do and create not only memories, but a new tradition you can continue every year. Whether it's going to a certain place, watching a specific movie, or doing an activity it'll be something you and your family can look forward to every holiday season! Feel free to combine this with tip #3!
Lastly, recognize your child's accomplishments this year. Name the accomplishments. Tell your children how proud you are of what they've done and for getting through another year. The daily expectations put on your children are challenging so recognize when they are trying and thriving!