Posted on: 19 December 2014
The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy in the life of a child--and in many cases, this is true. Yet the holidays can also be a time of stress for young children.
These stressors can come from a variety of sources. Parental stress--either over money or time--can filter down to their children. In addition, children experience a great deal of disruption to their schedule around the holidays. Late nights spent at holiday gatherings, rising early to go visit relatives, and even time spent overnight at grandma and grandpa's house can be a stressor.
With pressure to behave and excitement and anticipation constantly on the rise, many pre-school aged children feel stress. This stress can manifest itself in a variety of ways.
Signs of Stress In a Preschooler
- Problems in the preschool program. Children who feel stress may go their preschool programs and act out on other children. Problems like hitting, yelling or tantrums at school are an indication that a child is feeling stress--especially if that child normally does not have such problems.
- Bed-wetting. Also known as Enuresis, bed-wetting is a common problem among children age six and younger, and could be a sign of stress.
- Emotional fragility. Children who normally don't cry easily may begin to show signs of easy upset around the holidays.
Ways to Reduce Stress
If your child is showing signs of stress, there are a variety of ways to reduce those feelings and restore your child's natural equilibrium.
- Reduce the number of social obligations. Keep your number of social obligations to a minimum this holiday season. Avoid inviting a lot of people to your house that your child doesn't know. Keep gatherings limited to close family members, and reduce the number of events to attend to only a few.
- Stick to ordinary routines. Whenever possible, have your child go to bed at the normal time, eat at the normal time and get up at the normal time. Keep life at home as routine as possible.
- Take extra naps. Make sure your child stays well-rested throughout the holidays.
- Reduce sugar intake. Sugar can influence your child's ability and motivation to control his or her behavior. Limit the number of cookies and treats your child takes in at big events.
Finally, don't forget that your child will become more stressed if you are stressed. Take time to reduce your own anxieties. Exercise, meditation and yoga are all healthy methods for reducing and relieving stress. Remember to have fun this holiday season, and enjoy spending time with your preschooler. Talk to preschools about preschool programs that could help them relieve stress.Share