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Manage Your Child’s Holiday Stress

Holidays are a time for fun and family and enjoying time together, however for your child this also may trigger a feeling of being overwhelmed and could cause anxiety.

Here are some great tips from Peggy Cockerell, our Director of Education to help reduce holiday stress.

  • Space out big family get-togethers. Avoid multiple parties on a single day. Visit with friends and family one day, then another on a different day.

  • If your child will be seeing family they have not seen in a long time, refresh their memory by showing pictures of the family member and talking about them a few times before your visit. This will help with familiarity and recognition.

  • Arrive at large gatherings early so your child sees the crowd getting larger, instead of getting there and being overwhelmed by an already big crowd.

  • Make sure your child has a special place to go if they get over stimulated. This could be a bedroom where they can relax and then rejoin the party when they are ready.

  • If your child is sensitive to touch, ask family members to give high 5’s instead of hugs and kisses.

  • If gift wrap is overwhelming then use plain bags or just a ribbon, or nothing at all.

  • Stay home for the holiday and have an ‘open door policy.” Invite family to your home so your child can stay within familiar surroundings or could go to their room if the party or activities get to be too much for them.

Holidays can be a lot of fun, but they can also be overwhelming for everyone. By implementing a few small steps you can make sure your child is relaxed and are enjoying themselves at your holiday get-togethers.


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