TWU Offers Little Chapel Wedding Package
Holiday Excitement May
Overwhelm Young Children
DENTON — The holidays
can be an exciting time for children as they anticipate gifts and
visits to grandma’s, but young children may be overwhelmed
by all the activity, turning excitement into anxiety.
Dr. Shelley Jackson,
assistant professor of family sciences at Texas Woman’s University,
says children benefit when they can stick to a schedule. Even though
a schedule is difficult to keep during the holidays, she said, consistency
will give children some sense of security.
from their teacher or daycare provider about the activities of the
day — what time they have their snack, nap time and play time
— and stay as close to that schedule as possible,” Dr.
Parents also should prepare
for visits in advance. Dr. Jackson recommends talking with those
whom they’ll be visiting, discussing such issues as safety
(Is the home childproof?) and concerns about valuable and breakable
objects in the home. The hosts may have their own holiday traditions,
so children should be told what to expect, she added.
As families gather for
the holidays, young children may be overwhelmed by seeing so many
relatives, some of whom they might meet for the first time. Dr.
Jackson recommends taking the child into another room, giving him
or her the opportunity to get away for a while. However, she added,
“At the first sign a child is misbehaving, it’s time
Traveling with children
during the holidays can be stressful for parents, and children can
pick up on that stress, Dr. Jackson said. When flying, she recommends
booking direct flights, if possible, and bringing along toys that
will hold the child’s interest. While waiting for their flight,
parents may take advantage of family rooms found in many airports.
These rooms feature cribs and toys for children, she said.
Traveling by car can
be made less stressful by playing games, whether electronic handheld
games or guessing games played by the entire family. Stopping for
breaks also may help.
Dr. Jackson said parents
can avoid much of the stress the holiday season brings by doing
only those activities that are meaningful to them.
“Before the holidays
start, discuss what’s important for you to do,” she
said. “Establish a tradition for your immediate family. Your
extended family may have trouble accepting your decisions, but these
are boundaries you need to set.”
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