Worried about the holiday blues for your preschool child? Need help teaching your kindergartener how to enjoy the winter holiday? Are you looking for ways on how to help your child learn to cope with the winter season? Here are simple tips on teaching your children to beat the holiday blues.
During the winter holiday, it’s a natural tendency for kindergarten kids to get ramped up and excited about receiving all the toys and gifts that they wish for Christmas verses what is realistic, adopt parental stress from either family or event situations leading up to or during the holiday. Pre holiday overload can be helped a lot by parents doing a few simple things.
- Set expectations ahead of time by talking with your child about gift expectations. To a child they anticipate that the visit to Santa will deliver all the wonderful things that they saw on tv, adverts or seen in the store as they accompanied you shopping will be under the tree. By talking with your child ahead of time can help to set realistic expectations.
- Family time in all shapes and sizes – If your family happens to be a blended family where your child’s holiday is split between two sets of parents, often children feel torn when having to leave the other parent on their own during the holiday. It is important to talk to and listen to your child during this time. Make sure to communicate to your child that they are number one not taking sides in the situation and that you love them and want them to have fun and enjoy the holiday.
- Reduce event stress: As parents you want to avoid anticipatory family event anxiety or bickering at event spill over to your children as they are like sponges that can sense these and often will follow suit with what the parent is feeling. Again this is about communicating with your children if that situation arises. Let them know that you’re ok and that sometimes families argue but you still love each other.
- Watch their diet: From parties to gifts of goodies it is easy for your child’s diet to head south during the holiday. Sugar and low nutritional value foods can have a effect on your child’s mood and behavior. While allowing some “treats” avoid free rein on the candy, cakes and cookies and make sure that your child is maintaining a healthy balanced diet as well as eating schedule during the holiday season.
- Change the focus of the holiday to giving vs. getting
Inspiring your preschool child learn about giving
Teaching your child learn the true meaning of giving can help you teach your child about what the holiday season is truly about giving vs. buying and spending time with family and friends. So here are some of the activities that will help you in teaching your kindergarten child learn about giving:
- Participate in a volunteer program –by joining such programs, you will be able to help your kindergarten child learn how to appreciate gifts and but also about giving the gift of time and help to those in need. Volunteering helps to develop giving skills that will last a life time.
- Help at the pet shelter – either donate food or volunteer to walk a dog or pet a cat.
- Volunteer to read a story or make holiday cards for kids in a hospital or a elderly person in senior living facility
- Help to collect food donations for the local food pantry
- Gather and donate small gifts for needy children.
- Take a walk and clean up as you go – carry a small grocery bag and pick up left behind trash is another way to help your kindergarten child learn about giving, by teaching them to contribute to the environment and the world they live in.
- Donating books to a local shelter and/or children’s hospital – it will be a great way to help your preschool child learn sharing and also help them to develop a sense that this simple act of kindness will be greatly appreciated and is in the spirit of giving which is what the holidays are truly about.
- Clear out the old to make way for the new. If your child has toys they rarely play with talk to your child about going through their toy collection and donating those toys they have outgrown to goodwill, the local women & child center or other in need program. Emphasis that their toy will be well loved by another child that has less than them.
Teaching your child about giving vs. getting during the holiday season can be one of the best lessons that you can give your child and the community that they live in. Giving, volunteering, donating and not hanging on to objects that are of no further use will become a trait that will serve them well into their adulthood.
Keeping the routine of your kindergarten this holiday season
While everyone is getting ready for the holiday season, make sure to prepare your preschool kid for the holiday events. To help your child learn how to adjust with the holiday season’s events, remember the following:
- Create a schedule with your preschool kid – this will prevent your preschool child from thinking of changes in his routine. Keep him informed of what event will happen next.
- Keep the bed time as is – make sure to stick with his sleep time giving your preschool kid enough time to rest. This will enable him to keep up with busy events the next day.
- Funny Food= Introduce menu early on – different events entail various menus which can be overwhelming for your preschool kid especially if they are a picky eater. Pack a take along meal with you just in case, a hungry child is a grumpy child and an event is not the place to try and persuade your picky eater to try something new if they don’t want to.
- Keep their body busy – exercise and play dates with school friends help your child stay connected with their friends from school and helps them not to be lonely, but also helps them to burn off energy in a healthy way during the holiday season.
Coping with Post Holiday Blues
With the various festivities happening everywhere and the warm feeling from everyone around, the holiday season is so exciting for children and it always seems as if it is over just as fast as it came. This is what makes it difficult for preschool kids to cope with post holiday blues.
You can help your preschool child deal with post holiday blues:
- Make a game out of packing up the holiday decor. Remember that the holiday season ramp up has happened for weeks and the all of a sudden poof everything is gone can be a big let down for your little ones, making a game out of packing up the decor can help with the disappearing decor let down.
- Count your blessings dinner. After the big day is a perfect time for your child and family to reflect on all the wonderful things they are grateful for. Plan your family’s favorite meal and have each member of the family recount the wonderful things, memories and people in their lives that they are grateful for. This not only helps to strengthen the family ties but also helps to broaden the picture past the moment and see that each and every day is a gift and that wonderful things happen all year.
- Saying thank you crafts. Get out the art supplies and help your child make masterpiece thank you notes for the gifts that they received. Not only are you teaching them how to appreciate and say thank you for the gifts that they received but also that taking the time to hand write a thank you note is a gift in and of its self to the person receiving it.
- Play School. While many are off from school and on holiday break untill the beginning of the new year if you add in a daily lets play school and exercise routine will help them easily transition back to their normal daily schedule.
- Keep your child busy – sign your child up for a school break camp, or plan outings during the holiday break. Not only does this help them move on past the holiday but is a great way to help focus their attention forward vs. behind.
- Sharing how you feel can also help your kindergarten child learn and understand that post holiday blues are normal tendencies.
By incorporating some of the above mentioned tips into your holiday season it will help you and your children have a happier and healthier holiday season.