Tips for Parenting Through Holiday Stress

3 Tips for Parenting Through Holiday Stress

Photo of 3 Tips for Parenting Through Holiday Stress Article Link opens in new windowWhat to do if your child is feeling sad or disappointed this time of the year?

For many, the holidays look very different this year. In my family, we are not traveling to see our grandparents and my oldest son is pretty sad about it.

If you see your children are feeling stressed, disappointed, sad, or lonely, the most important thing you can do is to make space for their feelings.

In fact, for our children to grow emotionally healthy, they need to know two things:
1. ALL their feelings are valid and accepted. It’s okay to be not okay.
2. Feelings come and feelings go, they are temporary.

So when my son feels extra sad or even angry when things don't go as he wants to, I say:

“It's okay to feel this way. We all get sad sometimes and it passes. You can think of your strong feelings as thunderstorms and sad feelings as clouds. Thunderstorms can be loud and scary but they pass. Once thunderstorms and clouds pass, the sun comes out again, and you feel better.”

This visual works pretty well for my son and he understands that it's okay to feel sad and the sadness will pass.

Remember that when children are expressing a feeling, it’s not a behavior that we need to control or fix (of course, we do need to stop them if anyone is being unsafe).

The way to encourage emotional awareness and self-regulation is to hold space for all kinds of feelings.

We hope that you find this resource useful.

Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season!

The Guidance Team

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