How to Give Your Little Ones the Happiest Holiday Season
The festive season is a busy and exciting time filled with friends and family, yummy treats and, of course, the anticipation of a certain visitor wearing a red suit! But as fun as this time of year is, it can also be challenging for families, and it’s important to look at how that impacts on children. All that extra excitement can translate into emotions the developing brain doesn’t yet know how to process. Visiting friends and family they’re not used to seeing can bring out feelings of shyness and uncertainty, and the stress and pressures faced by parents, and how adults cope with these, will also have an effect on little ones.
An extra cuddle, tickle or moment of silliness with a child can go a long way in helping children to feel safe, secure and connected
Attachment, and our significant relationships, will impact how we’re able to manage the joy, stress and general busyness of the holiday season. Dr Suzanne Zeedyk describes attachment as like having an internal teddy bear. This internal teddy bear grows with children and is formed by consistent and loving interactions with significant adults in their lives. Children with strong and secure attachments are better able to cope, manage and make sense of the world. Children, as happy and as excited as they will be, will look to their parents and carers for extra comfort and reassurance as they manage a range of overwhelming emotions. This extra comfort will support the development of secure attachment, which is an important part of our everyday lives.
It’s easy to get caught up in the planning and preparation of the holidays. But this holiday season, make sure you set aside a few extra minutes every day for some stories, songs or rhymes. An extra cuddle, tickle or moment of silliness with a child can go a long way in helping children to feel safe, secure and connected. You might find that with all the stimulation, an extra lullaby or bed time story is needed to help calm children down. An extra few minutes a day to cuddle up with a song, rhyme or a story will help children process and cope with the feelings of excitement, joy and stress. As you cuddle up, you’re helping to support the child’s internal teddy bear – something that will stay with them for life.
We hope you and your family have a happy and healthy festive season!