Well, here we go! The holiday season is upon us.
This time of year is many things. Grace and love and family, as it should be. Chaos and expectations and stress, as it always seems.
And that’s not all on you. Schedules are demanding, we want to please everyone and somehow still make it the best season yet.
And it can be! But it doesn’t have to be as stressful as it always feels. Especially on your family.
Enduring stress is a natural part of life. It’s a response to situations you and your body are going through — a way to cope, and that’s ok. But it’s important not to allow this response to dictate your attitude and demeanor.
It’s important to maintain perspective, because when we lose it, we take our stress out on others without even realizing it.
Like our families.
Talk about stress with your child. Explain that it is a form of tension caused by demanding circumstances, an emotion that makes adults feel out of control of a situation. But we maintain control when we talk about how we feel and share our fears with people we love.
When you speak honestly about stress, you are showing respect for your child and building trust in the family.
It’s a way to show love.
Once you’ve had a conversation about stress, move the focus onto ways you and your family can manage it together.
Tell your child that we combat stress by taking care of ourselves. When we eat well, sleep well and exercise our bodies, we endure less stress and feel better.
When we organize our time, choose positive attitudes and give gratitude for this special time of year, we feel better.
And most importantly, when we help others enjoy the season and give of our time and energy, we can’t help but feel good inside.
That’s not stress, that’s love.
Children are incredibly perceptive. They watch and learn from us in more ways than we realize. This holiday season, show your child healthy and positive coping strategies to a busy time of year. Model gratitude and dignity — because your child deserves that, and you do, too.
About the Author
Angela Tewalt is a writer, storyteller and mother to two boys. She shares parenting stories and inspiration in Guidepost Parent.
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