Every year the calendar flips to December and we parents hit the ground with skis on and head down the slope to things to do and places to be before that magic goal day on the calendar, December 25. We want to focus on the real meaning of Christmas, the birth of the Savior. We may have a depth of understanding of the season that our children do not see. They deal in the tangible of what they can see until the spiritual foundation is raised. Some of us are parenting hurt children who have come from hard places and have no foundation of celebration. Christmas activities may seem strange or act as triggers for their past. This survival tip series is full of suggestions to help with some of the anxiety of season and make it more joyful for children and parents alike.
Let kids know what is happening next.
Help kids with there expectations by giving details about what is on the calendar. If the child is used to taking time to eat a leisurely breakfast of waffles and sausage and you need to get the family out the door for an event, let him know ahead of time. When my newbies became part of the family, they had never celebrated a holiday the way we Americans do. Twenty-five days of build up to something they had never experienced before was overwhelming and caused anxiety. Everywhere we went there were reminders, Christmas trees, wrapping paper, cookies, parties and people asking them what Santa was bringing them. The schedule changed. We shopped, went to parties, plays, etc. For the whole month the schedule was out of whack. One thing that helped was letting the kids know what was happening day by day and answering five hundred times of day, “No, this is not Christmas.”